Tuesday, November 19, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: Week Three

Continuing on with 30 Days of Thanks! If you're so inclined you can also check out Week One and Week Two as well.

Posting this set a little early since we're leaving for our "Thanksgiving Midwestern Tour" (to visit many sides of our families) on Friday. Let's see if I can follow my own road trip advice. I want to get Week Four all typed up too. Then I'll only have to hit publish on my phone while traveling.

Day 15: Technology I'm thankful for. This one is pretty easy. Technology can do some amazing things. I'm very thankful for the technology found in the NICU's (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Without all of it we never would of had 7 extra weeks with our angel Grant.

Day 16: Color I'm thankful for. Wait again? I should of read through that list more thoroughly. Blue. Blue skies and blue waters. Both of those together? Well, that's heaven on earth, can't get much better than that for me at least!

Day 17: A tradition I'm thankful for. This one is a little harder. We have various traditions but we don't always do them due to time constraints or where we live (or how faraway we live from family). I'm finding it quite taxing to just pick one AND have it be something that can be represented by a picture? I just don't know... perhaps that in itself is something to be thankful for. So many great traditions that it's too hard to pick!

Day 18: Something in my home I'm thankful for. My bed. Besides far off exotic places, I daydream of my bed the most. It beckons me, I swear! Nothing is more satisfying than taking a lazy afternoon nap or falling into bed after a long day. Some nights I don't sleep well and wake up exhausted, but I'm always comfy & cozy! We were very excited when we moved to Houston and upgraded to a new KING bed! Here's a picture from when I shared our current Master Bedroom.

Day 19: A warm object I'm thankful for. I love all my scarves. I enjoy wearing them as fashion accessories, especially when they also serve a function like keeping me warm. This picture is when I first started getting into them a few years ago.

Day 20: A soft object I'm thankful for. I'm truly drawing a blank on this one. Okay, got one! I'm thankful for this soft cuddly guy... Timbo! He's Jake's buddy since about a year old. I kind of have an attachment to him as well, I gotta say. I even had to perform on-site surgery on him this summer, he handled it like a champ. He even had his own post on the blog once years ago :) The picture, Jake actually took himself when he got one of those kid cameras for Christmas one year.

Day 21: A wooden object I'm thankful for. A most recent project around the house... our frame for our family pictures made by Poppy Tree Frames. It's like artwork that you can swap your family pics in and out of! Check them out they're wonderful and come in every style, size, color and combo you can imagine! Here's a quick IPhone pic from when we were in the process of putting it up last night.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: Week Two

Continuing 30 Days of Thanks. You can see Week One here.

Day 8: A number I'm thankful for. I find this one to be a bit odd. A number?? I just don't know... but I will tell you with the holidays right around the corner, THREE is a good number for eating cookies and not getting crazy. Scientific research caliber information here folks. One to two you just want more, three really gives you the enjoyment of a splurge without feeling like you need to go back for more. Sorry that's all I can come up with for that one. Oh and don't forget a great design tip is to decorate in threes as well (if you have multiples) it's more natural.
3 is the magic number

Day 9: An emotion I'm thankful for. I'm a pretty emotional person, always have been. I just FEEL a lot, about a lot of things. I pay the price by being hurt a lot too. People used to try to make me feel bad for that, calling me sensitive. I once saw a something about " Never apologize for being sensitive or emotional. Let this be a sign that you've got a big heart and aren't afraid to let others see it. Showing your emotions is a sign of strength". With all that said, I'm thankful for the emotion/feeling of contentment. It's not always something I have (for reasons I'll never quite grasp), so I'm thankful for when it is felt.

Contented heart quote via Carol's Country Sunshine on Facebook

Day 10: A book I'm thankful for. This is about as hard as picking my favorite food. I love books and have many favorites. But to narrow it down to just one? I could do a whole book series alone on books (would anyone actually be interested in me doing that??) One all time favorite that I recommend whenever I get the chance... there's tons of runners-up but I have to go with Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

Picture right from my bookcase!

Day 11: A time of day I'm thankful for. To be completely honest it's probably about 8:30pm... when all the kids are asleep (bedtime is 8pm, but I don't consider it done until they're all OUT). All is quiet, they're all three snug in their beds and are actually peaceful for the first time the whole day. Greg and I both like to check on them before we go to bed and steal quick glances of them sleeping. We've always been super strict about bedtimes & their routine and it really pays off. While I feel like I'm sliding into home all beat up, war-torn, and quite a mess... 8:30pm is pure bliss!
sweet dreams ~

Day 12: An appliance I'm thankful for. An appliance huh? Hmmm. Another hard one. Let me just be frank and very "First World" right now... the television! I know, I know! But one of my favorite things to do is for Greg and I to curl up on the couch together and watch our favorite shows and movies. I also love family movie night, and sharing our childhood favorites (hello 80's films!) with the boys.

Our Family Room TV from when I blogged about our Spring Mantel

Day 13: A color I'm thankful for. GREEN. Everything always feel right about the color green. More times than not you can't go wrong with green! How amazing is this....

The Tunnel of Love, Ukraine

Day 14: A smile I'm thankful for. My own. Is that selfish or something? But it doesn't always come easy, so if I'm smiling then everything is okay for the moment. I used to be very self conscious of my big mouth and teeth, but if they're in a smiling form... I really can't complain :) And if you know me in real life, I really do like to laugh... so I enjoy this picture and picked it to represent this thankful

Thursday, November 7, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: Week One

It's become popular to do a month of Thanks in November. I started last year on Facebook and I think I fizzled out somewhere in the teens (maybe earlier). Oops. Not that I'm not Thankful... it's just that life is constantly catching up with me!

So this year I've decided to try to do it in Week segments here on the blog. Hoping it makes it more manageable while still sharing my thanks.

I found this on Pinterest from Capture Your 365 and decided to use it as my Thankful template for the next 30 days! Don't expect elegant words to touch you, but my goal is to use pictures (either via my phone, copying a graphic online, scanning an old picture, or using an actual camera) as a way to express my feelings of why/what I'm thankful for. I notice that #17 & #28 are repeats, BUT there's also 31 when there's only 30 days in November, so it works out.

Day One: A person I'm thankful for. On November 1st we received our wedding digital negatives in the mail (YES, we got married over EIGHT years ago), so it was perfect timing! There's really no way I can truly put into words how/why I'm so thankful for Greg. It's beyond words. I never thought there would be someone to love, love me back, be my best friend, share dreams, laugh with, snark with, start a family, survive ups and downs, and now start to grow old together. But there was!

Day Two: A place I'm thankful for. My dad's old house (that was not only his childhood home, but his mothers as well). I loved this house for it's outside... woods, pond, animals, meadows, tree forts, sitting on the porch in the rain, picking wildflowers, running around barefoot with the grass or mud between my toes, sitting on the roof, picking around in the old farm equipment left in the woods, fishing, swimming, catching tadpoles, frogs, and turtles, watching the clouds go by, being able to explore, and having room inside and out to be creative and pretty much just myself! A little bit of an oasis if you will.

These pictures were taken probably 5 years apart and don't really show the house, but it's the only ones I can find. That's me on the ice... maybe 6 or 7?

Day Three: A food I'm thankful for. Now this is a hard one. I LOVE food. I think I'll go with fruit. Eating fruit feels indulgent while still being healthy. Besides Greg, we're a bunch of fruit-a-holics around here. Fruit is good! (AND wine is made from grapes!)

Day Four: A trinket I'm thankful for. A necklace I received as a gift from a very special group of friends after we lost Grant. I'm wearing it in this picture... it's a Lisa Leonard , the front has a heart and says love... the back has his name.

Day Five: A word I'm thankful for. Create. To me it almost all comes back to creating, the process, the ability, it can be tangible and intangible, and what can be created is just about infinite... feelings, art, a baby, a card, a home, etc.. Most of all whatever you create has anywhere from a little to a LOT of YOU in it.

Day Six: A memory I'm thankful for. Sitting on my Grandma's back porch. Sometimes we'd be discussing the mysteries of life & people, sometimes silly things, sometime discussing the characters on Criminal Minds or NCIS or watch an Opry show together, sometimes just sit there bird watching. She passed away February of this year, I miss her so much that I don't really talk about it. Those are memories I'm thankful for. Here are some of us with her, right outside her little porch!

Day Seven: A luxury I'm thankful for. For some it's a luxury, for some it's not an option, some don't want it as an option... but I feel very thankful that I get to be a stay-at-home-mom. I couldn't imagine it any other way... even if some days I feel like I'm failing and barely struggling to stay afloat. Other days are exactly what I always wanted. Out of all the jobs I've ever had, this one I like the best, hands down!

"Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something
 in your life actually attracts more of the things that you
appreciate and value into your life."
-- Christiane Northrup

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Balls Bluff Battlefield - H Fam Sightseeing Part 20

Greg's parents came to visit this past weekend. So I was trying to come up with a local (under an hours drive) that they'd enjoy and would be good for the kids. It was going to be a pretty fall day so while a museum would of suited any of us, we wanted to be outside. Last time they visited we went to Bull Run Battlefield.

So we headed up to Leesburg, VA where our first stop was Balls Bluff Battlefield!

Taking the trail to the battlefield & bluff

A relatively good pic for on the fly... just wish we could of gotten Luke closer :)

Their favorite things about visiting battlefields... cannons!

The Smallest National Cemetery

25 graves, all unknown except one

Sticks & Cannons, can't get a better battlefield visit!

It's hard to tell you're on a bluff over the Potomac River, you can barely see it below. But straight out in front of you, you can see Maryland!

Checking something out with Grandpa

Walking back to car

Pretty Fall Day!

This yellow tree was so vibrant

Then we went into Leesburg Historic Downtown hoping to visit some shops and have lunch. Well the youngest had other ideas... his mood went south real quick. We tried Old Town Grill. I wish I had a glowing review... because the place had all the makings of a really great place. The building was from 1790, had brick floors, wood plank walls, they were serving brunch until 2pm (which is always a hit with kids!), and had a very yummy looking lunch menu. Unfortunately it went south as fast as Luke's mood. I kept having to go outside with a tantrum-ing Luke, as to not ruin the other patrons lunch. It took over a half hour to get food. It came in waves (Greg got his burger so early, we told him to eat so it wouldn't be cold, he was done by the time everyone else got their food). The food was lackluster and the pancakes were terrible... who in the world can ruin pancakes!?!

After that it was way past Luke's naptime and waiting in the restaurant forever for anything burned all our extra time. It definitely looked like a place to check out another time when the odds are more in our favor.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

H Fam Halloween 2013

Ah... behind as always per the norm this time of year! School, birthdays, holidays, etc... it creates quite the vortex!

We visited a local pumpkin patch and had a fun time!

Greg & Luke down the big slide

Come on mom, get this horse going!

I love it even if it doesn't look like it!

Not sure I'd want him as my pilot

They had these huge tubes to climb in and roll down the hill. The big boys loved it, and Greg loved pushing them down the hill! Ha!

Gotta have the pumpkin pic!
 Then we painted their little ones. We carved a big one later on, that I got ONE IPhone pic of while sitting on the porch on Halloween night giving out candy!

Halloween day I tried my hand at making a themed lunch for Jake...

A pumpkin shaped apricot & peanut butter sandwich, Halloween shaped pretzels with roasted sunflower seeds, cheese stick, blackberries, carrots, and milk.

Then here are the boys in their "Storybook Character" costumes for school and I even dug out my Halloween shirt and Candy Corn earrings!

Then I did show you about starting their costumes.

A good blogger would show you all my steps. I AM not a good blogger. I basically just randomly worked on them a few minutes here and a few minutes there (with a lot more minutes the day before Halloween, ha ha!). Then it was a complete whirlwind to get out the door, Grandma & Grandpa were also here, and I didn't get barely ANY pictures of them after all that! Here's one not so good one...

Sandman, North, and Jack Frost

Luke totally pulled apart his costume when I put it on him. I tried to fix by stapling, but he ripped those too. However, he DID like being sprayed with glitter and he liked having the yellow paint on his face. You totally couldn't tell who/what he was, but he had great enthusiasm. Was yelling "TREAT" before he could get out of the wagon and up to the house. After each house would say "I got LOTS!".

They sure had a great time though! Hope your Halloween was filled with more treats than tricks! Happy November!

My attempt at being artsy taking a pic of their treat buckets