Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thankful




·        My Relationship with Christ | I am eternally grateful for my relationship with my Heavenly Father and am so thankful for the unconditional love and grace He shows me daily.


·        My Michael | I am so blessed and thankful to have this man in my life who takes care of our family, keeps me laughing and inspires me to be the best I can be.



·        My Daughter | Madeline, you will never know the many, many ways in which you saved me and gave my life a whole new, beautiful purpose and meaning. It is my responsibility to raise you but really, you have taught me so many things about myself, life and love. You are healthy, intelligent and kind and for this, I praise God and give thanks. I love you so much, my sweet Chickie.


·        My Family | We laugh, we cry, we argue and we just downright act a fool but when it’s all said and done, I know that there is always unconditional love and commitment and I’m so proud to call each of you mine.

·        My Parents | I never fully knew and understood the entire spectrum of emotions and feelings a parent possesses until I became one myself and well, WOW. I don’t think I always understood my parents’ purpose growing up but now? Now, I get it, and I’m eternally grateful and thankful for your unwavering love and devotion to your family. Thank you.


·        My Humor & Positive Outlook – I mean, because life y’all. #thestruggleisreal

·        My Failures & Shortcomings | Thank you disappointments and life lessons. You’ve taught me how to grow as a partner, a mother and as a conscientious human being but more importantly, you haven’t and will never break me. Thank you for showing me I’m stronger and more courageous than I ever imagined possible.

·        For the Food in my Belly, The Roof Over my Head & The Clothes on my Back | These things seem so obvious but there are millions without one or all of them and it could easily be me. I’m so thankful for the simple things of life.

·        Last but Certainly Not Least…YOU Friends! | When I started blogging, I could never have imagined the friendships and associations I would make. Each of you bring something unique and wonderful to the table and I’m honored to know each of you. You have all contributed something in your own way to help make my life fun and amazing and for that, I’m thankful and feel so blessed.

May each of you have a very Happy Thanksgiving and my best wishes to you and your families for a beautiful holiday season!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Learning Italian In the Bathtub



Friends, let’s be honest.

The Internet is no fun today.

Unless you’re living under a rock then you’re well aware of what’s going on in our country today {Ahem, in a little state named Missouri}. I’m not going to get into it on my blog except to say that I think we could all use a little laugh and friends, you're in luck because I’ve got just the giggle for you!

If you caught my IG video post last week, then you saw my little Chickie attempting to say the word “Parmesan.” It was so stinking cute!! For days I just had her on repeat like a broken record: “Parmesan! Parmesan! Parmesan!” Well, one night last week, Michael and I decided to throw a few more Italian words her way to see what would happen and the results were HY.STER.ICAL.

Who needs Rosetta Stone? Join in on Chickie’s Italian lesson and get a good laugh while you’re at it!


 #DYING. 

What have your kiddos done lately to remind you to laugh?

 

Monday, November 24, 2014

My Thoughts on Black Friday




Gird your loins, America. It’s coming…

Corporate America, the stores, the TV and the radio have been programming you for weeks. It’s coming…

The headaches. The fighting. The crappy attitudes. The long hours stuck in the car fighting traffic to get from store to store. The lack-luster, ho-hum looks on family and friends faces as they open their gifts (Even though you feel you put a lot of effort into picking out the perfect gift). The violence. The financial stress.

Is this really any way to enjoy the start to the spirit of the Christmas season?! Have we really bought into the notion that in order to enjoy the holidays, we have to put ourselves into financial distress and become a bundle of nerves over material things?

The final straw (Revelation, really) came for me on Black Friday a few years ago. As I watched the news that evening, the only thing that came to mind was that I think it’s ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS AND PATHETIC that there are people who will literally stampede through a Wal-Mart, Target or Best Buy like it’s the running of the bulls in Pamplona. Do you really need a computer, iWhatever or camera so badly that you are willing to kill someone for it? That night on the news, it was reported that an elderly man who worked as a greeter for Wal-Mart was run over and killed by a mob of people trying to get in the store when it opened. Oh! And let us not forget about the people who died in a California Toys R Us that same year because two shoppers decided to shoot it out over toys.

Are you kidding me?

Right then and there I vowed to never be a part of Black Friday again or be forced to feel less of a person by not being extravagant in purchases or gifts. I'm over it. I'm tired of corporate America's ploys and tricks of trying to convince me that the spirit of Christmas is in the price tag. I'm tired of being made to feel that I have to put myself and my family in financial limbo for others – even family. It seems like everyone expects something regardless of an individuals’ circumstances or finances. I can't think of a single thing that I absolutely have to have or want and if I do find something, I'll buy it myself. The only thing I truly want for Christmas is to be with my family; to spend time with them and enjoy their company. That is a gift that is invaluable. You can't put a price tag on those kinds of memories.

I know we all celebrate the holidays in our own ways and I by no means take anything away from those who choose to get involved in Black Friday. I’m not judging and I honestly believe to each their own, it’s just not something for me. I think what bothers me the most about Black Friday is how the meaning of the holiday spirit gets totally and utterly lost. It's really about gaining some perspective.

Having said that, here is a list of alternative ideas to Black Friday to consider when thinking about how you want to spend your holiday weekend this week:

·         Make a donation to a charity whether it be online or in person.

·         Volunteer your time to an organization. Get your kids involved, too!

·         Go through your clothes and old items and donate them to a shelter. There are so many children and families in need right now.

·         Visit a rest home and give your time and attention to someone who no longer has a family to share the holidays with.

·         Make your own gifts and get your kids involved in the fun too (This is what I do and it brings the spirit of Christmas alive so much more than shopping in any store. Plus, I have ZERO debt when it’s all said and done)

·         Bake or cook for a family or elderly couple/person that isn’t able to do it themselves.

·         Donate a gift basket to your local animal shelter.

·         Donate your spare change lying around in your car console to the Salvation Army bucket.

There are so many opportunities to share in the true spirit of the holiday season that don’t involve getting caught up in the Black Friday madness. 

I know my thoughts are not a popular opinion but I’m OK with that because they are just that – my thoughts, my opinions. At the same time though, I can’t help but to wonder how much brighter our world would be if we backed off the materialism just a little bit…just for one day…and opted for peace instead.

For me, that day will be Friday.

Have a great week, friends.