Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 17

Tonight I'm thankful for date nights and moments that allow me to just enjoy the company of my best friend and husband, Drewbie. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 16

Tonight I am very thankful for my relationship with Jesus Christ.

At the beginning of this 10 week study on Esther I'm in, I would watch Beth Moore's enthusiasm and passion in awe of someone so in love with her Saviour. I started praying that I would know that kind of closeness with Him.

I'm so grateful for a God who loves me unconditionally - because there are moments... lots of 'em that I'm sure are disappointing to Him - and knows what is best for me, knew me before I had taken a single breath, and sees who I'll be 30 years from now. He knows each and every one of my children - those I've rocked and sang to, and those I've yet to meet. He knows who Cash & Corrinne will be as teenagers and is already preparing my heart for those tumultuous years of parenthood.

He saw my sin and yet died an excruciating death on a cross anyway, so I wouldn't have to.

That, my friends, is love.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 15

Today I'm thankful I have a warm bed, clean pajamas to wear, a house with a working furnace and hot water for me to shower with in the morning.

I do believe winter has arrived!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 14 of 30 Days of Thanks

Today is Monday which translates into the one day out of the week I don't plan any play dates, lunch dates, or doctors appointments (if at all possible). Its the day I stay in my pj's till nap time and start (key word: start) the laundry and cleaning projects for the week. I also have bible study on Monday nights so I try to plan a meal that is either a) a crock pot meal or b) incredibly easy. Now, there a ton of options that would fit into the "incredibly easy" category but NOT into the "mmm this is good and my belly is satisfied" category.

And so today I'm thankful for tasty yet simple recipes such as the delectable Chicken Parmesan we had this evening. This is a recipe from one of Drew's family's friend out in California. So, thank you, Nan for the delicious recipe! Hope you don't mind I'm sharing it...

Chicken Parmesan

Saute 2 cloves of garlic in 1 cup of butter (or 2 sticks - never said it was healthy!). Let chicken (I cut 4 boneless, skinless breasts in half) soak in the garlic butter while you mix up the following: 2 cups plain bread crumbs, 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper and 1/2 cup of fresh parsley (optional - I used dried tonight and it was good.)  Coat the chicken pieces with the breading and place in 9x13 baking dish; pour the garlic butter on top of the chicken.  Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

We choose to top ours with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese and serve with noodles. However, my mother-in-law recently made this sans italian flare and it was quite delish on its own! Who doesn't love a versatile dish?!

You're welcome. ;)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 12 (and 13. Shh!)

Yesterday was like one giant "favorite" for me.
Hung out with some of my favorite people (my sisters and Mom), at my favorite store (Target...and then some), and ate lunch at one of my fave restaurants (Paradise Bakery & Cafe). It was awesome and definitely needs to happen more often!

And so today, I'm thankful for the girls I go to first for advice, a good laugh/cry, or a necessary vent session - my beautiful, talented, hilarious, lovely sisters.

My sisters are the best! They make me laugh the hardest, can totally finish my sentences - they "get me", and can make me feel better about any situation. There are very few people who can be painfully honest with me without hurting my feelings and Megan & Ashley are definitely on that list!

They are gorgeous women who are even prettier on the inside and I treasure our friendship so much! I hope one day Corrinne has a sister so she can know how much fun it is!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Oopsie! Days 10 & 11

Yesterday was a whirlwind of a day resulting in no post from me! Sorry 'bout that. And I had this great post about how I am so thankful to our country's veterans and current servicemen... especially the one I married. :) But that will have to wait for another time and place. Just know I'm thankful for all the sacrifices that have been made so I can live freely.

Today... I'm thankful for my job as a stay-at-home-mom. It is NOT easy, by any means. Hands down, the hardest job I've ever had but without a doubt, the most rewarding. I love my kids and do not take for granted this opportunity I have to invest in them, love them, teach them, and play with them.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 9

Tonight I'm thankful for catching up on our DVRed episodes of Parenthood and Modern Family with my handsome man. And maybe some peanut butter cup ice cream too.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Being thankful - Day 8

I remember when Drew and I were in premarital counseling, our friends Clint & Rachel gave us a pearl of wisdom that I had heard before - Love isn't always a feeling, sometimes its a choice. The butterflies don't last forever and there have been and will be times when loving Drew isn't easy (and most definitely vice versa). In those moments, we choose to love. 

The same can be said for many things in life, one being gratitude. Being thankful when everything's going perfect and even when they aren't going at all how you had hoped. Trust me, my day hasn't been the worst day ever known to mankind. But it hasn't been my favorite either.

Drew's working ALL day long - he left at 7 this morning and probably won't be home until 10 tonight. That seems twice as long when you're hanging out with toddlers... alone. I'm jacked up on Dayquil Cold & Flu and my kids have whiney attitudes to match their runny noses. I've already thrown my pity party so this is the point where I'm choosing to be thankful.

I am thankful, especially in this economic climate, that Drew has a steady job that provides more than just what we need. I'm thankful that he has a great work ethic and is respected by his coworkers and peers. And I'm very thankful for his paycheck that will purchase the delicious peppermint mocha I will treat myself to when the kids wake up from their naps. ;)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 7

I'm just a little over half-way through Beth Moore's study on Esther and LOVING it! It's by far my favorite B. Moore study to date. The book of Esther is quite interesting (and dramatic) but what I'm loving so much about it is how Beth is relating it to other areas of our lives.

Last week she was discussing Reversal of Destiny. She went on to say that God often authors someone's Reversal of Destiny - she used the example of how shy and embarrassed she was of her horribly buck teeth that she would hide behind people and hated speaking and NOW look at her! Reversal of Destiny.

Esther's story involves quite a reversal. She was an orphan. Lost both of her parents at a very young age and raised by her uncle, Mordecai. She was also a jew in the Persian empire. BUT... in a her Reversal of Destiny, she became Queen of Persia. "The least of these..." into a Queen. Its awesome! But what struck me the most about that particular week was the discussion on the fact that Esther didn't have a mom growing up. She didn't have anyone to ask about makeup, how to do her hair... what did she do when she started her period?? It broke my heart. I envisioned my life without my mom. The thought brought tears to my eyes.

My mom and I are very different. While I tend to have more outgoing tendencies like my dad, my mom hates being center of attention. I have a need to get out of my house if I'm home longer than 2 days while mom loves the comfort of home. My mom sees all the details that I overlook. She's awesome.

And so today, I'm so very thankful for my beautiful mom.

I appreciate my mom so much more now than I did growing up. When you're a child/teenager you don't see all the little things moms do. Even as a young adult you don't realize. I honestly don't know that I did until I became a mom. (Just going through pregnancy and childbirth added a whole new level of appreciation!)

Mom helped Dad support a family of 5 on a very tight budget when they had us older 3 kids and Dad was in seminary (and us kids always had food to eat/clothes on our backs). My mom knows how to stretch a dollar and is the QUEEN of Bargains! She makes everything so much more special. Holidays aren't the same if they're not at my parent's house. She's my best friend, the one I call every day - whether its to vent about something, laugh about something or just to chat. She makes the best pot roast with potatoes and carrots and her laugh is one of my favorite sounds.

I can't imagine going through life without my mom! She's my sounding board, my confidante, the standard I hold myself to, and she's taught me so much about being a woman after God's own heart, a supportive wife, and a good mom who doesn't give up on her kids (I also inherited her "worry gene" unfortunately. ;) ) I hope and pray that one day Corrinne can say the same about me... and that my house will someday be as clean and home-y as hers.

Love you, Mom! :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - Day 6

Today was a looooong day. And not just because we got an extra hour, although that did play into why my day was particularly long. Long, annoying, frustrating story short - I had the kids all by myself all day, Corrinne napped all of 15 minutes, and Cash's whine fest continued as I chased Corrinne around my parents' house.

(Just to note, hanging out at my parents' between church and choir practice while Drew watched a football game with some buddies didn't sound all that bad when we planned it. Except that one major detail didn't work: Corrinne's nap.)

As a result, I had put on my grouchy face. I'm not proud of it, but it happens. I just needed a break. An hour of quiet where I could do whatever I wanted, which at the time was sitting on the couch and closing my eyes. So when I left my mom's house and Cash was talking non-stop in the back seat I was totally prepared to write my Day 6 post about how thankful I am for silence.  Silence is so rare around here that I truly cherish it and bask in it when it happens.

Corrinne had fallen asleep (PTL!) but Cash was going full blast: "I yike dis song, mommy." "Whas at, mommy?" "We go a church, mommy? Noooo. We go a Target??" Just on and on. Finally, I said, "Cash, why don't we just sit and listen to the music. Lets just be quiet for a minute." He responded so matter-of-fact, "No. I wanna talk." I kind of smiled and said, "What do you want to talk about?". "I wanna talk a mommy." I was instantly reminded that there will soon come a day where he won't want to talk to me about all the little things that fill his mind. Some day he'll start giving me one-word answers and grunts in response to my questions and I'm sure I'll wish I could relive these days of sweet, funny little things he comes up with.

In fact, during my ahem, meltdown, this afternoon he climbed up on my lap, kissed me on the cheek and said, "Its ok, Bethany. Daddy be here soon.". He's got such a sweet spirit and kind heart. What I need to cherish are moments with my son when his heart is the purest and his words the most honest...

... And so today, I'm thankful for my beautifully handsome, charming, hilarious, sweetheart of a son, Cash.

Isn't he the most adorable 2 1/2 year old you've ever seen? ;)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cinco de Gracias

Apparently Whine Fest 2010 was today in our house. While I will enjoy a glass of wine every now and then, I'm not at all a fan of the w-H-i-n-e. Which means today I'm thankful for in-laws that love my kids so much they're keeping them overnight so the hubs and I can enjoy a night out with some friends.

and whats even better... tonight we change our clocks back an hour in honor of daylight savings! So even if my kids' internal clocks don't fall back an hour, I won't know. Because I'll be snug as a bug in my big, comfy bed while they're snuggled up tight at Nana & Pops' house.

mwahahahahaha! ;)

Friday, November 5, 2010

On the fourth day of Thanks...

After some remarks made by family members regarding a lack of thanks with their name attached, I feel that its necessary to note that these items are listed in random order that does not reflect  the amount of gratitude I have in my heart for that person/item.

That being said...

Honestly, all I can think about right now is snuggling in my bed under our down comforter. And so today, I'm thankful for a warm bed with clean sheets and a husband to warm my feet.

Nighty Night!

Thanks, God - Day 3

This afternoon I did our bi-weekly grocery shopping. The usual... Aldi, then Target for what I couldn't find at Aldi (or prefer to buy elsewhere... more on that later). Last night I got a hand-out from Cash's teacher at church saying they're collecting items for the Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection. Since I don't plan to grocery shop again before the items were due, I decided to pick them up today.
As I was browsing Target's Dollar Spot I started tossing items into my cart: a slinky, silly putty, little books about colors, candy. The shopping trip started out with, "That'll work." and quickly turned into this exciting opportunity to make some little boy and little girl in a country far away from mine, whose life seems worlds different than my kids' Christmas seem magical. A slinky, silly putty and a toothbrush would seem magical to those kids. Would it to my own kids? Right now, yes. But I fear that's just because they're 2 1/2 and 15 months. As I gushed over the Disney Princess lip balm bracelet and polka dotted jump rope, envisioning a little dark-skinned girl wearing the sparkly headbands,  I made a promise to teach my kid's the value of a gift. That it represents the love behind it, not the price tag; that there is joy in giving and in turn, receiving the blessing that comes. I don't ever want to them to join the rest of our society that somehow feels entitled to the most expensive, best thing on the market. I want them to be thankful for what they have and a desire to give to those who don't have.
And so today I'm thankful for projects like Operation Christmas Child for teaching me to be grateful.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - Day 2

Right now my dad is near Port Au Prince, Haiti serving for a week with an organization called Real Hope for Haiti. There's a cholera outbreak in the country that is expected to kill more people than the earthquake that happened last January. And this just in, there's a tropical storm, Tomas, expected to hit the shores of Haiti Friday morning. Not the best circumstances, yet Dad - along with 9 other people from my church - was ready to go help the people of Haiti no matter what.

And so today I am thankful for my dad.

The fact that he would leave his loved ones behind to give of himself for people he doesn't know in one of the most destitute countries in the world gives just a hint to the kind of man my dad is.  He's a pastor, a teacher, a friend, a counselor, an excellent husband to my mom, and a father to eight kids. He's firm in his convictions, gentle in his guidance, and bold in his teachings. He taught me how to ride a bike, drive a stick shift, change the oil in my car, and how to find the back road everywhere I go. ;)

He's still the fastest, strongest, funniest, smartest dad who can fix anything. :) Love you, dad!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

30 Days of Thanks

Last year Facebook had "Thirty Days of Thankfulness" where you were supposed to list something you're thankful for every day in November as your status update. (The fact that sometimes I feel like Facebook is taking over my world is a post for another day...) Well, this year I've decided to do it again but I'm going to go a step further and will commit to blogging about one thing I'm thankful for each day this month. Because we simply do not express our gratitude enough... And because my current status is technically way too long to be considered a "status update".  So if you're a facebook friend o'mine, I apologize for the redundancy of today's post.

Today I am thankful for a husband that lets me sleep in, cleans up the kitchen while I exercise my right to vote, and works so hard everyday so I can take our kids to play dates, enjoy Target's vast array of darling merchandise, and even splurge on a large coke from Mickie D's from time to time. ;)

When they said, "A good man is hard to find." they weren't lying. I know that I am so blessed to have a fantastic, sexy, hilarious, hard-working husband who wasn't afraid to jump right into changing diapers, cleaning up spit up, buying tampons, or wiping snotty noses. He makes me laugh, spoils me, keeps me grounded, and tells me I'm beautiful all the time.

But I do feel kind of bad for you, because lets face it - there's no one else like him on this earth. ;)

Drew, you've got it going ON! Love you!!