Thankful Day 13&14

Well…I got on to start writing yesterday and I honestly couldn’t think of the smell that I was thankful for ❤

I mean really, a smell??

OK so here goes….Day 13 a smell I am grateful for…the top of all my kids head!  Each and every one of the 6 of them.  The best smell in the whole world might be a babies head.  I had the blessing of smelling 3 of them fresh from the start.  Though one thing that I do with each of them to this day is kiss the top of their head and smell.  I don’t know why, but I do.  It’s them, it’s me and it is just a beautiful intimate moment that they all allow me!

Day 14…a life lesson that I am thankful for. When I was going through my divorce a speaker said something in my divorce recovery program that really stayed with me.  “God balances his books in his own time.”  Often times we are wondering, why me, why did this happen to me?  Sometimes through divorce that can lead us to looking at our ex and thinking “why do they get out of it feeling fine and just go on living life?”

Something about being human if we feel bad, then we desperately need the person who made us feel that way to feel badly too.  Well, God Balances the books in his own time.  Eventually something will happen and the scales will shift.  It may not happen when we want it to, but it will certainly happen.

Another great life lesson that I got during that same period of life was “you can’t compare your private life to someone else’s public life.”

We often see all the bad happening in our life, but when we see an acquaintance or an ex, all we can see is all that is going well for them.  Well, I mean that is because that is all they are going to easily show.  This is also the problem with Social Media.  For the most part it is all positive things.  We don’t post about the hard moments, all the times we had bad thoughts or yelled at our children.  The times of heartbreak, of fighting, when we can’t pay the bills, when we have $20 in our bank account….we don’t like to put a spotlight on all of those things.

So…don’t compare what is happening in your life inside your home with what is going on in other’s lives when you see them out in the world!  We are all capable of putting on our game faces.

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Thankful Day 11&12

 

11. A gift from God that I am thankful for…my divorce!  Yes, you read that right.  I know that God had a hand in the way that my break up with my ex played out.  At the time of course, I asked God why it was happening to me??  But now, I know it was because I was headed down a path that wasn’t right and so God had to pick me up and place me on a different one.  Some of you I am sure are going to be like, but God doesn’t like divorce!  Or whatever it is that you believe, your religion has taught you and that is fine.

What I know is that God doesn’t like his people to be broken for long periods of time.  He is willing to break you for a minute so that you can mend and become so much more complete afterward.  I absolutely, truly believe this from the bottom of my heart.  Going through the divorce brought me back to my church.  I started attending more regularly.  I found a divorce recovery program, where else but at a church.

I had forgotten God in my first marriage.  I certainly didn’t bring him into the marriage, into the house and keep him in my life like I should have.  God shook me to remind me how important he is to me and also to let me know that he had been there the whole time.

Gods plan

12. A piece of advice I am thankful for…”this isn’t your whole story, just a chapter.”  When I was going through my divorce a lifelong friend said this to me.  I held onto it and honestly reflect on it often.  I use those words with other friends as well when they are going through a similar experience in life.  That advice gave me the permission to keep living.  To move onto the next chapter and write the story that I wanted to write!

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Thankful Day 10

A possession I am thankful for, since I already used my home as the place that I am thankful for in day 6, I suppose that I should choose something else.  Though I think it is important to note that it is fitting here as well.

There are a couple of things and I am just going to throw the rules out the window and talk about all of them!  LOL.

First, my Great-Grandfather’s class ring.  My Great-Grandmother passed away when I was in the 8th grade (I believe) and some months later when we went to Wisconsin to visit my Great-Grandfather, he allowed my mom, my aunt, my sister and I to look through Great Grandma’s jewelry box.  Mind you that my Mom has a big family, there were 11 grand kids and millions of great-grand kids and a lot of them lived closer than we did.  So it was pretty picked over once we got it.

I peeled through layers of the jewelry boxes.  Under many things and tucked in the side of the lining was the copper colored metal band, that was broken.  I pulled it out and looked it over.  I wasn’t really sure what I was looking at until I looked at the sides of it, on one side a 19 and on the other side 28.  I knew that was the year 1928 and it must be a class ring.  It is beautiful and it is mine.  My Great-Grandfather ended up living another 8 or 9 years.  I was so lucky to have him with me until I was 22 years old, but I have this beautiful ring that was his forever.

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I have many other possessions that I love. Pictures and scrapbooks so I can reflect on memories and the parts of my life that built me and shaped me.  My engagement ring that was bought off of craigslist and is simple and inexpensive, but exactly what I wanted.  A bible that use to be my dad’s from when he was a kid and was brought up in the church, just like he brought me up in the church.  A book that was my Great-Grand Mothers when she was a school girl “A midsummer nights dream”, it sits in my curio cabinet because I am so worried if I touch it, it will just fall apart.  Quilts that have been made for me and other family members by women who put love into them.  Artwork that is around the house from my children, that I have displayed in nearly every room in my home, framed and focal points because they are the best art pieces I can imagine owning.

We have 2 sets of dishes.  They don’t match each other at all and they are old, but I LOVE them.  One set was given to me by a friend from church when I was moving out on my own, they had been her parents dishes.  Both of her parents are no longer with us, I grew up with them in the church and I consider it an honor to eat off of their wedding dishes!  The other set belonged to a good friend of my husband.  A friend whom we lost 2 years ago, the friend who left us money to buy our house and we will never be able to repay him.  Those dishes are more fancy, they have silver on them so they can’t be microwaved, we use them every day and think about him and his parents.

The possessions that mean that most to me are the ones that tug at my heart strings.  The sentimental ones that are connected to individuals that I love with all my heart.

 

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Thankful Day 8&9

 

8. A family member that I am thankful for: my husband, Paul!

Yesterday an old-worker, friend of mine posted on Facebook about her sister that is in an abusive relationship.  She is so worried and scared for her sister.  I honestly can’t even imagine.

What I did think about though was the relationship that I am in.  The ups and the downs, all the highs and the lows that we have gone through in 7 years.  How much he loves me and all the kids.  That he shows that to us in his way, constantly.  I am thankful for my husband every minute of every day.  Sometimes when I am driving, I am so moved by how much I love them that I shed a tear…yea that is right I said it!!  Sappy I know, but it is true.  I am thankful that he is gentle and kind, that he is patient and loving and that he lives his life to be the best father and husband that he can.  Love you Paul!

9. A simple pleasure I am thankful for: my mornings of me time!!

Right now it looks like a warm cup of coffee with a drop of peppermint essential oil, while watching last night Grey’s Anatomy episode and typing up this blog.  Sometimes it is my paying bills, answering e-mails, doing yoga or reading my devotional.

My husband’s alarm goes off at 5:35.  Could I roll over and go back to sleep?  Sure, but then I would have all this me time. I deserve this me time.  I believe that this time I give myself is what makes me get through my day, what charges me and gives me life before all the little ones that I gave life to wake up!!

I sit quietly in my bed, my puppy Sky lays right next to me.  My husband is getting ready, in the bathroom that is in our bedroom.  Once he is all showered and dressed, he will walk over to my side of the bed.  He will reach down, give ma  hug and a kiss and tell me that he loves me.  I will reply with “I love you, have a good day.”   Total I get about an hour and a half of me time before the kids wake up and I can do whatever I want during that time.  That is my Simple Pleasure!

 

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Month of Thanks Day 7..A Gift

Day 7…a gift I am thankful for!

Honestly, above anything and everything in this entire world that I am thankful for is the gift of raising my children

God chose me to be their Mama. I was gifted the opportunity to carry 3 babies. To enjoy, endure and experience that process. The good, the bad and the ugly of pregnancy and childbirth.

After having my first 2 children, I thought I was done. Although, I always felt like it was in the cards for me to have more children.

After divorce and making it through as a single Mama. God answered my prayers when he brought me Paul who had 3 children of his own. Oh man, a big family just like I had always wanted.

Then just 6 weeks after Paul and I got married, we found out we were pregnant with Noah. A baby I had prayed for, a gift from God.

6 children, God gave me six children. I’m blessed to be a part of their lives no matter how or when I became their Mama. They are the BEST gifts I’ve ever received.

I always knew…I mean like since I was a small child, that I wanted to be a Mom. I’m thankful for these gifts that allowed me to fulfill the one destiny I believe I had!

Thankful Day 6

Well, there are only 2 places that come to mind when I think of a place I’m thankful for!!!

My house.  My wonderful, beautiful, quad-level in the city that I grew up in.  In a wonderful neighborhood, with a diverse community, amazing schools and a safe place for my children to run around outside.

Paul and I worked our asses off to get this house.  Years and Years we worked to fix our credit, pay things off and getting new and better paying jobs to work toward the goal of owning our own home.

That dream became a reality March of 2017.  I think God every day that I get to come home to this beautiful place that is ours!

home

The only place that could compare to my home as a place that I am thankful for, my church.  I have been attending the same church since I was born.  A place that my parents went, many aunts and uncles, as well as two sets of my grandparents.    The four friends that I hold closest in this world are all in my life because of church.  The church has been a safe haven for me through all of the hard times in my life.  I have even held 2 different jobs there.  It is my home away from a home, a place I feel both safe and happy!

What is a place that you are thankful for?

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Thankful Day 4&5

I thought and thought and thought about what the taste or food I am thankful for is.  It was extremely hard to come up with just 1.  Day 4.  I am thankful for Homemade Chicken and Dumplings.  This is not my favorite food by any means.  Though while I was making it for my family of 8 over the weekend, I was taken back to all the other times I have made it for my family.  The first time that I ever made it was on Christmas Eve of 2011.  I have no idea what made me think “oh yea, I’ll give chicken and dumplings a try”.  My soon to be in-laws were coming over for dinner, before we went to Christmas Eve service at church.  Since it was a busy day, I wanted something that I could put in the crockpot and forget about for most of the day.  Well, it has been on the fall/winter rotation ever since.  What started out as about 3/4 of a crockpot full to feed my whole family, now has turned into a crockpot and an additional full pot on the stove to feed all 8 of us.  When I tell then that is what we are having for dinner though, they get so excited.  Most of the kids have 2nds or even 3rds.  This weekend they all said thank you for making it to me when they were done.  I try really hard to make food that they like, but that also they know I poured my love into.

Day 5. A song I am thankful for…Dream on by Aerosmith.  This is my all time favorite song.  I owned an Aerosmith Greatest Hits cassette tape when I was 12 or so.  I had a paper route at the time and listened to the whole tape as I was out delivering my papers.  It is a song I used to blare in my friends cars when they got their license, then in mine after I got mine.  When it comes on the radio I still get chills and depending on what else is happening in my life, I can get a bit misty eyed too.  Dream On will be played at my funeral.

“Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away”

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Thankful Day 3

A friend of mine shared this yesterday on Facebook.  I was moved by it, so I decided to copy it and play along myself.  Since I have already written a post for day 1 and day 2, I will just answer those quickly.

1. A memory I am thankful for…remembering 4 of my great grandparents and well.  I am thankful that that they were in my life and for long enough that I know what it was like to be loved by them.

2.  A color I am thankful for…orange.  It is my favorite color.  As long as I can remember it has been my favorite color.  It is bright and cheery and when I see things in orange I can’t help but smile and  be happy!

3. A freedom I am thankful for….being a woman in 2018.  Honestly, either 1 of 2 things would’ve happened had I been born a century or two earlier.  Well, I wouldn’t have made it very long.  Assuming I had the same personality, I probably would’ve been mistreated by society, my family, my school, my work and anyone else.

The other option for this would be, that my personality would’ve been stifled, so I wouldn’t have been able to be the person I am anyway.  The loud, fun, energetic, open, honest woman that I am.  I mean if we are being perfectly honest, some people look down on that still in 2018, so I know that I wouldn’t have made it in 1918.

Being able to work, vote, have opinions, get an education well these are all freedoms I am afforded in 2018 as a woman.  I mean, if I am being honest it is gross that there was a time where woman couldn’t do all those things.  Even more gross that in 2018 woman are still being held down in some capacities.

I don’t surround myself with people who can’t handle me as a woman, as a person!!  I am me and I make no apologies for it.

What freedom are you thankful for??

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Month of Thanks Day 2

Today I’m going to share my thankfulness for essential oils.

Yes, yes… in this family we use essential oils all day long. As a natural room deodorizer, in lieu of fabric sheets, drops to flavor our water and for relieve when our body is giving us problems.

Last Friday Noah was in the hospital with croup. Only there for a few hours, but he continued to not feel the greatest for a few days. Anyway, I made a roller blend of oils to help his breathing. Instead if vicks or another rub i could’ve slathered on, I decided to go natural. Noah loved the smell and the way it worked and begged for more everyday.

On Tuesday my 9 year old daughter called from school with a stomachache. Well, turns out she hadn’t been able to use the bathroom and her stomach was cramping as a result. A shot of digize with some water and she was using the toilet in no time!

My husband tweaked his back a couple of weeks ago. His muscles are sore and after a day at work, he wants some relief. When he looks at me and says, can you get your stuff and rub it on me…well then I know the stuff is good.

I drink a lot of water. Sometimes, I want flavor, but I’m really trying to back away for artificial sweeteners that are in liquid water enhancers. A couple drops of lime or grapefruit EO in my water and I’m good to go.

Earlier this week I had a toothache. I really hate having to take medicine. So, instead I used clove oil to numb the area. I did this a couple times, a couple hours apart and I was better in no time.

Every single night the last thing I do is fill my diffuser. Water and some oils. Oils for peace, calming and to help be restful.

Our family has oils all over the house. We reach for them first and give them a chance to bring relief.

Month of Thanks Day 1

I am thankful for the kind of family we are!!!

What kind of family is that?  Well…it is the kind of family that walks around with people we have never met on Halloween like we’ve known each other for years!

I don’t know if this happens to everyone and maybe it does.  I’d have to say based on our political climate right now, that isn’t true.

We took 3 of our awesome children out trick-or-treating last night.  What felt like only a few houses in a child recognized our youngest.  He said, “hey I know you”!  Now, this child had a mask on, so the 2 just stared at each other for awhile! LOL, finally my husband encouraged the other child to take his mask off so that Noah could see him.  Well, the rest is history.

Once Ezra (I found out his name a little later) pulled his mask off, Noah said “hi” to him and he asked to join our family around trick-or-treating.  For about 2 hours our 11, 9 and 6 year old, plus myself, my husband and my mother walked around with Ezra and his mother.  Shortly into our journey the kids were cracking jokes and Ezra was holding hands with our 9 year old daughter as we made our way from house to house.

We laughed and talked.  We got to know each other, but at the same time it didn’t feel like we were first meeting.  At the end of the evening, we circled back to our house to make sure that Ezra got some packages of the Better Made potato chips we were passing out!  After he grabbed his chips, he turned around and hugged every single one of us.  We told him that it was a pleasure to meet him and we had a wonderful time and him and his mother said the same!

After Paul and I enjoyed some candy with the kids, we put them all to bed.  Then we sat on the couch to watch TV together and I just had a big smile on my face.  He asked what I was thinking.  I told him that I don’t know if all families feel this way, but I am so thankful that we have the kind of family that can meet another family and walk around for hours like we have known each other for years.  That we make people feel that comfortable and that we are also that comfortable.

My heart is full.  Full because we have raised our children to live their lives like this, but also that we are leading by example ❤