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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I wish you a day full of great food and good times with friends and family. While I have no doubt there will be a lot of this going around today, I just wanted to share with you 10 things I am thankful for this year.
- My sweet husband – as cheesey as it sounds, he makes this crazy journey called life infinitely more interesting and enjoyable.
- My family – we might make each other crazy sometimes, but I know they love me and have my back.
- My nieces & nephews – yes, they are “family”, but these little guys deserve their own special shout out. They remind me what it’s like to see the world through new eyes, to approach everything as a game, and to laugh at and learn from our mistakes.
- My friends – to me, friends have always been like the family we choose for ourselves, and new or old I am grateful for their laughter and support through thick or thin.
- My furbabies – I am without a doubt a crazy cat lady, and after losing two of our fluffy children last year and having a couple minor health scares this year, I am so happy to see those sweet sleepy faces every morning and give them goodnight kisses every evening before bed.
- My health – the last few years have been a roller coaster, but I have finally found a good rhythm. It’s so incredibly nice to have more good days than bad and to feel like I am finally getting back to being myself.
- Having the space and the resources to indulge my creativity.
- For you, my dear readers. For checking in and following along in my adventure, you guys keep me accountable and push me to keep exploring and trying new things.
- The healing power of books – something that started as a child and follows me to this day. Books are there when I need information, when I need distraction, and when I need reassurance. A lot of ills can be mended or soothed by some quite time with a good book.
- Personal growth – I’ve been trying to stretch myself emotionally and physically this year, and it’s nice to feel that effort pay off in little ways, while still keeping you humble enough to remember that there will always be more lessons to learn.
Did I make you roll your eyes or throw up a bit? It did get a bit mushy at parts, but ultimately I mean every word. What are you most thankful for this year?
*I also wanted to let you guys know that I’ll be taking the last week of this month off. After Andy and I are done with our holiday travel, my mom and I are going to take a mini road trip before getting back into the daily grind. You can follow along if you like on my Instagram page.
Image from here.
There are few holiday tasks more daunting that hosting Thanksgiving dinner. All those people, all those dietary restrictions, and all those expectations! Regardless of how laid back your guests are, we all know that people can be a little judgmental when it comes to things that are so steeped in tradition. In all honesty, 9 times out of 10 I serve things up buffet style and astound people with the fancy disposable plates and flatware I manage to procure (seriously, it’s a skill). I do know, however, that many of you dream about that perfectly executed Pinterest worthy table, complete with seasonal centerpiece and coordinating linens. Not always possible, but a quick and relatively easy way to elevate your holiday table is place cards. Place cards let your guests know that you gave them a little extra consideration and they also make a great keepsake for anyone who likes to save mementos from these type of things.
Place cards also give you a little extra control over you holiday table. You can manipulate your seating chat to keep your aggressively alt right uncle away from your vegan lesbian friend Kate… or not if you want to keep things lively. You can also make sure that any newcomers don’t find themselves ostracized at the far end while everyone else is chatting it up in the middle. I also like to consider guests with any disabilities or who are a little older to make sure that they get up and down as easily as possible, not to mention closer proximity to restrooms.
Thank goodness for the internet, right? Hopefully, this will help you get inspired for your own table. I am, fortunately, off the hook this year as we will be heading to NC to spend some time with Andy’s parents. So I wish you good luck and happy crafting!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you are all finding yourselves surrounded by good food and loved ones. On this day of reflection and thanks, I would like to share with you 25 things I am thankful for this year (some more serious than others):
- Celebrating five years of marriage with a husband who I can’t imagine my life without.
- The continued health and well being of my family.
- My fluffy children and their cheeky little faces.
- New experiences shared with old friends.
- New experiences leading to new friends.
- Photo editing apps for my iPhone.
- The discovery of new skills.
- Remembering that no matter how much you know there will always be something new to learn.
- The day brightening power of flower crowns.
- The worst dining experience ever that ended with Andy & I laughing helpless as thing continued to go comedically wrong.
- Being the healthiest I’ve been in probably five years.
- The toe warming power of fluffy socks.
- Sparkle nail polish.
- The healing power of baking.
- Mistakes that lead to exponentially better outcomes.
- The joy of stomping in autumn leaf piles.
- Time spent with my favorite people.
- Being able to share my crazy journey, in this space, with you guys.
- My acupuncturist and all of the crazy woo woo stuff she has shown me that actually works. Even if she’s probably a wizard and scares me a little.
- My friends letting me be an honorary “Aunt” and spoil their children.
- Face time with friends who live far far away.
- This mystique of being in my 30’s and having people believe that I actually have shit together.
- The calming power of a good mug of tea.
- The sweetness of a quiet evening in, lounging on the couch with all my boys.
- Finding the adventure in the day to day.
What are you most thankful for this year?
Image from here.
When Andy and I took our big NC Thanksgiving trip, we got to see a lot of our favorite people and go to a few of our favorite NC places. One of those combinations was visiting the NC Zoo with Andy’s parents.
Andy’s parents are lifetime members, so Andy and his siblings have been visiting this zoo for literally decades. It was one of the first family traditions they included me in after he and I started dating.
I’d like to think that I bring a little something extra to the trips. After all, how many almost-30-year-olds do you see hiding out in giant gourds?
Since this was my 3rd visit, I was eager to visit my favorite animals from previous visits and see how they were doing. The Arctic Fox was solidly in his summer coat (brown) the last time I was there, so it was really interesting to see him almost completely transitioned into his fluffy white winter duds.
The otter was curled up in a sunbeam and was not even remotely interested in playing or scooting out of his nest long enough for people to get pictures, so I made do with the sculpture near his exhibit. It is one of my favorites in the park. The sea lions and seals however were having a blast chasing each other around their enclosure. Lots and lots of adorable antics to entertain the small, but steady stream of visitors trooping through their area.
The desert dome was the perfect place to warm up a bit after walking around outside. Sadly, my favorite resident, the Ocelot, was not there. He was getting acclimated to the new outdoor enclosure that was recently built but not yet open to the public. I did get to see the adorable Ringtail pictured above. Her handler was out when we where there and she told us all about Willow.
Elk derp. Evidently, that branch was the best scratching branch in the entire world.
So many gorgeous flowers were blooming in the aviary. I ended up with more pictures of them than of the birds. It was a really nice day; perfect weather and lots of laughter. It was sad not being able to see Andy’s parents on Thanksgiving Day, but we were really grateful that we still had the chance to see them.