November 22, 2017

Giving Thanks

I have more to be thankful for this year than ever before. My list of blessings is too long to list here but I did want to take a minute to thank all of you. Truly and sincerely I thank you from the bottom of my heart. To each of you that sent me well wishes, cards, emails, gifts, prayers, positivity, good thoughts and encouragement this past year, you will never know just what it meant to me.

I have so often felt held up by those around me this year and I feel such gratitude for you. It seemed every day that I needed it, one of you showed up for me in some way. It's something I feel like I can never repay and that has been a little bit of a struggle to come to terms with because I never like to feel like I owe someone. But I do and there is a lesson to be learned there. I will add it to the list of lessons that have needed to be learned this year.

Today I spent the day doing the bulk of the preparation for our Thanksgiving meal. I had been feeling a little overwhelmed by the idea of all the work but once I stepped into that kitchen with my lists, schedule and recipes, I felt completely at peace. I was surrounded by the smells of the holiday, Christmas music playing and the memories of so many Thanksgiving that have come before this one and I loved every minute of this day. I never understood why my mom was such a fan of Thanksgiving, but I think I finally understand. There is something about putting so much love into a meal for the people you care about, something about the traditions and the memories that combine and bring a warmth and connection to the past, as well as the present.

So my work is done for the day and I have settled in with a cat on my lap and my knitting. I'm tired but content and happy to have lived this day. I leave you today with my thanks and the hope that you know you made a difference for me. You've made my life richer. I hope you enjoy a lovely day tomorrow whether you are eating turkey or not and I hope you know that you are someone to be thankful for.

November 17, 2017

Storybook Cottage

Once upon a time (well actually less than 3 weeks ago), in a town not so far away, a husband and wife ran away to a cozy cottage in the woods to celebrate their 17 1/2 anniversary (because who wouldn't want to celebrate being half way to 35) on the same day they were celebrating the 4 month anniversary of surviving the hardest day of all of their years together.

Beautiful, right? At the time of our trip I was feeling so burnt out. We were in the midst of the busiest month we've had in some time, with a kitchen DIY project, getting the house ready for a 10 day visit from a foreign exchange student from France and my Sweet Man having to travel 3 of the 4 weeks of the month. I was physically and emotionally drained. I was depleted. This time away helped get me to the finish line and rejuvenated my spirit as well as my creativity.

The weekend was perfect from beginning to end. A cozy cottage, perfect chilly autumnal weather, good shopping and amazing southern food. We celebrated our anniversary with a dinner at a tiny restaurant that had just opened, where we brought our own wine, met the chef, enjoyed the best meal of our lives and sat next to a soap opera actress I grew up watching on Days of Our Lives.

I love spending time with this man. We have a ridiculous amount of fun together. There is something about getting away from the daily grind and responsibilities of life that really agrees with me. I become someone else. Her name is Vacation Jen and her arrival is much anticipated. Seriously, she's a legend. ;) This was only our third getaway since we got married. We are on the precipice of being empty nesters and we get so excited talking about the travel and experiences ahead. I'm so happy to be sharing this life with my guy and looking forward to new adventures with the one I love best.