Thursday, November 22, 2012

"Feeling Gratitude And Not Expressing It Is Like Wrapping a Present and Not Giving It."-William Arthur Ward

I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday. I'm thankful for so many people (and things!). I'd like to express my gratitude through photos and inspiring quotes. 

Thank you to everybody who has helped me get HERE, which is the best place I've ever been.

I am thankful for my husband, George.

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." -Thornton Wilder
I'm grateful that through hard times, we have bounced back stronger. I'm grateful neither of us have quit "us" and we both can depend on the other. I'm grateful EVERY day, not just Thanksgiving, that you married me. My best friend, my soul mate. 

 I am thankful for my family. They have loved me unconditionally. They are always there. Home will always be when I walk through the front door, hear the dogs barking, and smell my mom's cooking.

My dad's laugh warms my heart like nothing else. And with each passing day, I respect my mom more than I ever have. My sister and I have the exact sense of humor, and share a sensitive heart. I love my Van Meter unit! Can't live without them.

Grateful for my late grandmother and mother. And how though we each have our own look, the resemblance is still there. Grateful for heritage.
"Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life...a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year-and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God." -Ray Stannard Baker
Proud of my sister, and thankful she adds a Master's degree to our unit of four. Way to go, Bud.

My grandparents, Mimi and GrandDad.
 I am grateful for the opportunity to see two people still giddy in love after over 50 years. 

I am grateful for our family farm.

I am thankful for my Mimi's cooking, specifically her pies, and her teaching me how to make them this year.
Thankful for handwritten recipes passed down to me. Such a beautiful way for family tradition to live on.

I am thankful for my lifelong friends, who love me with every change of season. We've each grown and changed, but our friendship is unwavering.

I'm thankful for my furbabies. They teach me unconditional love everyday.

 I am thankful that my husband and I both have jobs.

"Thank God every day when you get up that you have something to do that day which must be done whether you like it or not. Being forced to work and forced to do your best will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know." -Basil Carpenter

I am thankful I live in a state where I get to enjoy all 4 seasons. I love soaking up the summer rays, watching the leaves turn color and fall, snuggling up in winter, and being reminded of new life in spring.

Last spring, admiring new life.

Last summer at the pool.

Last week, enjoying autumn.
Last winter at the Caldwell's.

Last, but not least....

I am thankful for my Krispy Kreme, Drunken Noodles, and French Press coffee. Also known as the simpler things.

"If I have enjoyed the hospitality of the Host of this Universe, Who daily spreads a table in my sight, surely I cannot do less than acknowledge my dependence." -G.A. Johnston Ross

"If the only prayer you said in your whole

 life was, "thank you," that would

 suffice." -Meister Eckhart


Thursday, November 15, 2012

May the Hibernation Begin...

The weather is cooling off. The windows have been open more often than not, and I've finally put my "cold weather tunes" playlist on repeat again. This includes Bon Iver, Vampire Weekend, Ben Howard, Postal Service, Penny Hill, Death Cab for Cutie, and of course, George Winston. Haha. No shame, I love "Thanksgiving," what can I say?!

This autumn I've been especially THANKFUL. Not just for material things, but for my network. I strongly believe in surrounding myself with people who lift me up and inspire me. Fortunately, I was born into a network of generous, loving, thought-provoking people. My family. I'll never be able to put into words how much they have been there for me, and I often worry that loving them isn't enough in return.

I fell in love with a man who stands by me through thick and thin, good times and bad. We have been through a lot the past (almost) 8 years, and continue to have life throw us surprises. He's my constant, my rock. And I'm very proud I picked him out, because he and his family are a huge part of my supportive network.

My friends have been around for as long as I can remember, going back to about age 5 or so. They have stood beside me and lifted me up, but most importantly, they have kept me laughing even through rough patches.

I don't have a recent pic of the 4 of us, what's up with that?!
To know more about why I love these ladies, you can click on the links below...
The DWC has continued to be a blessing to me. Women that want to improve their lives and the lives around them. Talk about upliftment and inspiration! One in particular has been a mentor to me as I've been working on obtaining non-profit status. She's lived life more than I have, and has lots to share with me. I'm like a sponge soaking up her knowledge. I'm so intrigued by what she has to say, I don't even pause to TAKE a picture of our time together, which is a pretty big deal for me, since I take pictures pretty much everywhere I go.

And even at my job, I have co-workers who help me out OUTSIDE of work, because they WANT to, not because I even have to ask. And I've developed newer friendships as a result of that level of support.

My favorite co-worker, Crystal, surprised me with Target goodies at my desk at the beginning of another surgery day. 

Despite this fantastic support, I've felt more intrinsically inclined than social. I do go through spurts. In high school, I loved socializing as often as possible. When I moved to Oklahoma by myself and embarked on the collegiate journey, I was alone more than I was with friends, and I developed a relationship with myself for the first time. Being long distance with George helped develop this introverted side of myself.

So this autumn, and all through the winter, I'll be spending a lot of time inside our little house, snuggled up with a blanket, sipping hot tea (and/or hot chocolate, depending on which Twin my Gemini personality presents), and thinking about how thankful I am. I haven't been blogging as much as I once did, but I have been journaling. I've become a little more reclusive, which might have been a good thing. My family has always been more private than I have through social media, and I'm starting to get a glimpse of why.

But I must say, as the leaves have been turning color and falling to the ground, preparing for winter, I have also felt a preparation for the next chapter in my life. We are going through many changes around here, and once I know more, I'll share more. Maybe. But until then, I'm enjoying the journey. And unlike the engagement and the wedding, this one feels more appropriate tucked in our little house, and shared with our closest family and friends.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Our Surprising and Exciting News!

We are expecting a little bundle of joy sometime late April, early May.

We found out on September 6th, and I'll be 15 weeks this Saturday. We kept it to ourselves for a while, then told our family and closest friends, and then let the news spread organically. Something just didn't feel right about posting it directly on Facebook. And it seemed so...surreal...I didn't want to announce something prematurely. 

So life around our home has changed drastically the past couple months. HUGE changes for us!!! My love of red wine came to an immediate halt, and rather than indulging in teratogens, I'm indulging in my random food cravings. Since I've been pescatarian (I eat seafood but no chicken, pork, beef, etc...) for a few years, craving red meat is a very strange craving for me. I eased my way into being a carnivore again very slowly! First with cheese enchiladas and meat sauce...and now I'm eating meatloaf and chili. And I CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF IT! People have asked if I'll go back to my vegetarian diet after the baby is born. How could I know?! I never thought I'd crave meat again, and didn't see this one coming. But I'm listening to my body, and I listened to my body when I stopped eating meat years ago. I'll continue to listen to my body and do what's best in that moment.

I've started to show, and I've gained 11 pounds. I've never been so excited to hop up on a scale and HOPE the number is higher each day. Never has it been so fun to gain weight. 

I'm extremely grateful for my husband, partner, best friend, and baby-daddy. Hehe. Papa Georgio has now earned his nickname, though he's been called that for years. The moment I told him the news, in my work parking lot (same place he proposed to me exactly a year ago), he was by my side. He's been sweet. He's been supportive. He's gone out and grabbed me dinner even after I brought some home (after changing my mind on what sounded good). He found a bar of pure white chocolate (I specified, "not that cookies and cream crap") and has already been kissing my tummy and talking to our little sprout. 

We find out the gender the weekend of Thanksgiving. I've had two dreams that the baby was a girl, and one of the dreams I was holding her and staring in her face. This makes me wonder if I saw our baby! If it's a boy, then I guess it was just a dream...But I don't really have a preference. I think it'd be easier (not like being a parent is ever "easy," though) for me to raise a boy, only because I think same-gender parents have to be tougher disciplinarians and have higher expectations. I'll be happy and focus on the positives either way.