Monday, November 18, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day 18

Today I am thankful for the spirit of Christmas. With every store I go in, I'm reminded of the joy that only Christmas can bring. Jolly jingles, trees decorated with bows and ribbons, white lights, and silver bells - I'm getting antsy just thinking about it. Christmas is the most happiest time of year. Growing up Christmas was a magical time in my household. I would watch my mother decorate the house, with a tree in every room. Every room, a different theme. There were no shortcuts and nothing done lightly. I think my favorite decoration is my mother's revolving Hallmark tree. Every ornament is unique and it's always so interesting to hear each one's story of how it came to join the collection. I think my mother has rubbed off on me a little. My home is fully decorated, way too early, and Christmas music echoes throughout my tiny apartment. There's just something about being with family, giving gifts, and reading stories that puts a smile on my face. I love this time of year and with each one that passes, I cherish it more.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day 17

Today I am thankful for quiet time. I had one hour of pure, uninterrupted quiet time where I got to simply sit, sip some delicious hot chocolate and read. I stopped and looked up and saw my puppy sound asleep and that's when I snapped this photo. All I heard was the sound of her sweet breaths and my occasional flip of the page. Having one hour of quietness is a blessing in the crazy life that I live in. It was pure bliss. I really need to plan to have these more.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day 16

Today I am thankful for the little things like delivery pizza. Wow, I sound like a fat kid. I worked all day and was too tired to stop and get food on the way home. I thought I could scramble something up to fix, but fell on the couch instead. I opened up my Papa John's app and boom: 25 minutes later - pizza at my door. Tonight, I definitely deserved to be a little lazy. I don't get to very often and boy did it feel good! It's the little things that make the day more bearable.. and today I am thankful for the little things. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day 15

Today I am thankful for my sanity. I am a woman of many hats. I work two part-time jobs and have four classes to tend to. Somehow I find time to get everything done, but if it weren't for my sanity I would have gone crazy by now. There are  days where I wish I could just quit everything and just lay on the couch all day (man when's the last time I did that?) but I know that I have things to do. I pray that all of this hard work will pay off and I can have a rewarding job that I love. I remind myself that God has a plan for my life - a plan to prosper me and a plan to sustain me. Thank goodness for promises and thank goodness for sanity. Without both of these things, I couldn't make it through the day! 

30 Days of Thankful - Day 14

Today I am thankful for getting to grow up in the South. I've never lived anywhere else, but I've decided on four things that make the south unique from everywhere else. 1) The people. People in the south are so friendly. Strangers ask about your day, start conversations, share their lives with you in the checkout lane. It's just a way of life. I love the middle aged country man who says, "Yes ma'am" to me multiple times in a conversation. People are naturally courteous and seem to care about your well-being. Friendliness can be found elsewhere, but I find you must look for it and make it happen yourself. It's not so readily "available." People seem more trusting in the south, more ready to share themselves. 2) 
Family. There is something to be said for being in a place where your ancestors lived. For walking down small town streets where your grandmother once walked as a child. To know that the homestead where your great-great-great grandparents raised their family is a drive away. It draws you to a place like no other. 3) Food. I can drive down a stretch of highway on any given day and see countless local food stands. People sell their veggies in front of their driveway. It makes me happy to see people sharing their abundance and growing their own food. I love visiting my grandmother's house and getting to eat REAL Southern food; food she's slaved over and made from scratch. There's something heartwarming about biting into a homemade biscuit verses one out of the can. Also in the South, we make the best BBQ, there's no doubt about it. You won't find it anywhere up north like it is down here. And lastly 4) The landscape. The South boasts tall pines, red dirt, and kudzu. Rolling hills, long summers and winters, and fields of grass through the country. These things remind me where I am, where I came from. They comfort me. All in all, the South is special. If you take out the obnoxious football fans and the fact we all could lose a few pounds, we're pretty awesome. I know that wherever life takes me, I will always have a home here. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day 13

Today I am thankful for the imagination of a child. Watching my niece tonight, I realized children are so fascinating and in awe of everything around them. They have such a sense of purity and innocence without a care in the world. When I'm with her for a moment, it feels as though the world isn't bad, people aren't mean, and life is just a fairy tale. I've had the pleasure of watching the discovery of life through the eyes of two sweet little boys and two sweet little girls. Every time they are in my presence, I wish I could just pause time. I love to hear their little voices as they play, watch their eyes light up when they discover something new, and feel their precious hands as they reach out to me. When you walk in a room, and they smile ear to ear and then run towards you, you know you've done something right. I love being an aunt to these little babies. I just wish I could keep them this small forever. If being an aunt feels this good; I can't wait to feel the love of motherhood! Well...I can wait for now. I am thankful I've had this opportunity to know what it feels like to be loved by a child. It's a pretty darn good feeling! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day 12

Today I am thankful for mistakes. What did she say? Yes, mistakes. Every mistake I've made as made me into the person I am today. Each and every one of them has given me the ability to grow and improve my well-being and ultimately shape the woman I have become. They've allowed me to see that on my own I am nothing and that I must allow others to help me when I mess up. The important thing that I have learned is that even though I mess up from time to time, I must grow from that experience, and be better in the future. I've always heard you learn from mistakes, not from success. Nobody got where they are through pure luck; they've had to have fallen a few times and bruised some knees to get there. Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time. I love the quote by Steve Maraboli. "We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future." That knowledge gives me hope. Instead of focusing on what I could have done, it's now what can I do in the future to make sure this doesn't happen again.

Monday, November 11, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day 11

My sister posted this picture today and I wanted to repost it. Today I am thankful for the sacrifice and selflessness of our nation's military and first responders. On this Veteran's Day, I am reminded of the people who lost their lives fighting on Ground Zero. I'm reminded of those who have been killed in action in Iraq and Afganistan. I'm reminded of the ones who fought for this country long before me in the wars that shaped the face of this great land. I'm thankful that I have a sister who decided to join the fight and serve in our nation's military. I am also thankful that her job has kept her in the states, safe and sound. But I am thankful for the ones that have traveled all over the world. Whatever service you're in, whether you are a private in the US Army or the Chief Police Officer, thank you. You keep us safe so that we can sleep in peace at night. Thank you for what you do every day. 

Happy Veterans Day! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day 10

Today I am thankful for my health. Thankfully, I have never been hospitalized, broken a bone, had any kind of surgery, or ever been diagnosed with a disease or disorder, despite what my friends might think... hehe. On top of that, I have a pretty good immune system; I hardly ever get sick!

I am thankful for my metabolism and my good heart. I recently started exercising again and I have challenged myself beyond what I imagined. I am trying to eat healthier, work out a little more, and spend more time outside. With my crazy schedule, it's going to be hard but I understand the importance of doing it now rather than later. When I'm forty-something, I'll thank my twenty-something self for taking the extra effort to preserve my body and inhale nutrients that are better for my body instead of devouring greasy, fried foods in hopes that my metabolism will kick in. I am going to start drinking more water and less sodas. I'm going to start running with my puppy because not only is it good for me, she LOVES it! I'm going to start eating more fruits and veggies instead of sweets and candy. I'm going to start today, because I might not have tomorrow. With the rate that America's going, we're all going down. The time is NOW!

Plus, I have new running shoes under the Christmas tree and who doesn't love a new pair of shoes?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day 9

Today I am thankful for fellowship with friends. I'm not one of those people who have a lot of friends, and I kind of like it that way. I have a few who are pretty awesome, and that's all I need. I'm thankful for the people who've come in and out of my life because it taught me to cherish the special ones who are still around. I have a few that I know I can pick up the phone and catch up like nothing has changed at all and for that I am grateful. On the other hand, there are a few whom I wish I could say that for. Either way, I'm thankful for the people that I have right now because they are the ones who get me through the day. They are the ones who encourage, support, and build me up each and every day. For that, I am most thankful. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day 8

Today I am thankful for the vast capabilities of technology. Without it, we wouldn't have machines to look at the miracle of life, build automobiles and planes, design and construct buildings, find cures for cancer and other diseases, and interact with people all over the world. Well, we would because they did it for 200+ years, but imagine how faster and better it is today. This is the generation of technology - a generation of people who will forever change the universe with the tips of their fingers. It's so crazy! I can't wait to see how life will be like in 10, 20, and even 50 years from now, God-willing that I am able. It will truly be amazing. I am thankful for the mind of these extraordinary people who have created these machines so that we can all live a little easier. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day 7

I was thinking of something to write today and I realized how grateful I am to have all five of my senses. Some people lack some of them and I am blessed to still have all five. So today's thankful post is broken down into five different things: one for each sense.

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”  - Confucius

Sense of sight – For letting me see the colors of life and allowing me to do the things I love everyday. There are so many things I've had the privilege of seeing in my life but I think my favorite would be the immaculate and all-powerful Grand Canyon.

Sense of hearing - For letting me hear trickle of rain, the voices of my loved ones, and the harmonious chords of my favorite songs. Music has always been a huge part of my life. My favorite concert I went to was the John Mayer Battle Studies concert.

Sense of touch - For letting me feel the many textures of life, the cool and hot breeze of the wind, my puppy's silky fur, and the rigid texture of my grandmother's hands. One thing I will never forget: my grandmother's hand scratching my back.

Sense of smell – For letting me smell the deliciousness of chocolate chip cookies, the crisp air after a rain, and my favorite black cherry candle.

Sense of taste – For letting me savor the sweetness of fruits, the saltiness of seawater, the sourness of Sour Patch kids, the bitterness of vinegar in my favorite Italian dressing, and the spiciness of homemade chili.

Every day we take these things for granted, but think of all of the people that can't do one of these things. When you think about it, you're really blessed. I know I am!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day 6

Today I am thankful for my profession. I chose to be an interior designer because I want to make people's lives more safe, functional, and especially more beautiful. I got to travel with my pretty amazing boss (which whom I am also thankful for because she is TOO GOOD to me) to Tuscaloosa today to see a hotel that the firm did. I was blown away! I'm so thankful that I chose to go into this career because designers really do make a difference! We live to see your face light up when you enter a space! 

Photos taken from Hotel Capstone, Tuscaloosa, AL 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day 5

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself." - Josh Billings

Today I am thankful for my sweet and all so rambunctious puppy. If you don't know the story of how I got her, I'll sum it up for you. I found her on Craigslist; she was free if I went to Jasper, AL to get her. I will never forget this sweet puppy face! She was so little then!

"Happiness is a warm puppy." - Charles M. Schulz

“Puppies are constantly inventing new ways to be bad. It's fascinating. You come into a room they've been in and see pieces of debris and try to figure out what you had that was made from wicker or what had been stuffed with fluff.” Julie Klam
This is the one and only day I left her out in my living room. Haha! This was not funny at the time but now it's so hilarious.
I've had her since March of this year and although it's been challenging, it's been very rewarding as well. She's always at the door to greet me when I get home. She comes up to me at random times, while I'm working on school work or just watching TV, just to say hey. She gives the best kisses anybody could ask for...well she gives them without asking. My boyfriend claims that she isn't his, but she's wrapped around his little finger!

I've battled whether or not I am the right mother for her and that's the worst feeling in the world. She needs to have a big back yard to run around in, which I do not have. She needs to have someone who has time to train her and play with her, which I can't do all the time. But when those big, beautiful, brown eyes look at me with that innocence and helplessness, I can't deny that. Her love for me is bigger than anything I'd ever imagined. I know when she looks at me, she is where she needs to be.

“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. ” - Roger A. Caras
I didn't find her, she found me.

Monday, November 4, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day 4

Today I am thankful for 50 cent refills of coffee. Through the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I don't always have the time to make coffee in the mornings. Thanks to the Kangeroo Express and Bean Street Coffee, I can run in and out under five minutes. Plus, I get to use this cool cup!

Now no one will have to experience the scary side of me when I don't get my coffee. Shew! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day 3

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.." Ecc. 3:1 

Today I am thankful for the seasons. With every season, comes change so I guess I'm more thankful for that. My favorite season is fall because the leaves begin to change into bright, vivid colors. It's a sense of warmth despite the coolness in the air. Change is something most people are afraid of, but I am thankful that things change, that people change. People come in and out of our life fore a reason. Sometimes it's a good change and then other times it's a change for the worse. We don't realize that everything we go through is just for a season; it's just a time in our lives that we must go through in order to get to something better. I'm reminded of one of my favorite verses of the bible Ecclesiastes 3. This whole chapter is amazing and something I read from time to time. So today, on this beautiful fall day in November, I am thankful for change. I'm thankful that God puts my life through seasons in order to change me and make me a better person. Embrace the change! 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

30 Days of Thankful - Day Two

"I have found the one whom my soul loves." Song of Soloman 3:4

Today I am most grateful to have this amazing guy as my best friend. He's encourages me to do better and to be better everyday. He's my biggest fan and supports me in everything I do. We have the most hilarious time together, acting like a bunch of kids. He spoils me rotton and continues to amaze me. I'm so extremely proud of the successful young man he is becoming and I can't wait to see what's in store for his life. I love you much, Jimmy Marion. Thank you for being you. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Start of Something New - Welcome Novemeber!

Wow! October flew by! One of my favorite months is November because I get to reflect on all the things I have thankful for and it's one month before Christmas, which means I need to get started on presents. If you were following my log last year, I did 22 Thankful Days, one every day leading to Thanksgiving. This year, I am going to do the entire month: 30 days! Every day of every month we should be thankful for everything we have. In an instant, it could all be taken away.
So jump along with me, and create a list of your own of 30 things you are thankful for.
Day 1: My parents. 
“Don't be ridiculous, Charlie, people love the parents who beat their kids in department stores. It's the ones who just let their kids wreak havoc that everybody hates.”
― Christopher Moore, A Dirty Job

The quote above is perfect because thank God my mother popped me in the head if I was acting up in public because it taught me the different between a well-behaved child and a crazy one. They will always be my first thankful post because, simply put, they are responsible for my existence: everything I have and am. They are the reason why I am the successful woman that I am today. They sent me to school to follow my dreams and now, in less than six months I'll be graduating. They taught me right from wrong and how to independently live without burning my apartment down. They instilled me the importance of family and spending time with your loved ones. They do my laundry without me asking and somehow fix everything I break. My dad is a genius; I just don't understand how he knows the answer to everything. My mother is the do-it-all woman who goes unnoticed. She doesn't take a little get together lightly; there will be themed food and decorations. She doesn't get the credit she deserves, but she really does so much for this family. They are my idols, whom I look up to. I understand as I get older, so do they. Reality is they won't be around forever so I try to cherish every moment I have with them. I am incredibly thankful that they are in as good as health as they are.
 As I embark on this journey of Life after College, I pray that they guide me through it because life is hard and scary, but that's why we have our parents. I hope that I can be as successful as they have been, but always remember what's important. I love you momma and daddy! Thank you for your continuous support, love, and encouragement each and every day. You are my heroes - today and forever!
“It's a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.”
― Roald Dahl, Matilda
Thank you for always thinking I'm wonderful.