Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm Giving Thanks for Pinterest

Oh y'all.  I am so addicted to Pinterest.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then go check it out.  This is not a "only for the crafty people" website.  This is a place where the greatest ideas on earth live, and they are there for the taking pinning.  There are so many great ideas, hilarious sayings, delicious recipes, decorating tips, photography tutorials and book recommendations that it can be a little overwhelming at times, and that's just barely scratching the surface.  I can literally spend hours scanning boards and re-pinning things so that they will be at my fingertips when I need them.

The great thing about Pinterest is that you can collect ideas from all over the internet in one place, and share them with friends.  I have boards for things like Christmas, For the Kids, Books Worth Reading and Hilarity.  I have the Pinterest app on my iPhone and iPad so I can access all those recipes and ideas no matter where I am.  As you can see, I seem to have a bit of a problem here:  so many ideas, so little time.

So today I am thankful for Pinterest, a much more effective and productive way to waste time than Facebook. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I'm Giving Thanks for My Kitchen

Yes, I know.  I missed a few days of the challenge.  My OCD, people-pleasing instinct was screaming for me to go back and write posts for the last two days because my numbers on my side bar would not match the actual date for the love of all that is good!!  (Deep breath)  Not only write the posts, but then go back and change the post date for each one so that my blog would look perfectly neat  as though I had really written the posts on time.

But you know what?  As I sat here in my chair getting stressed about what I did and did not write, my mind wandered to what I was doing the past few days that caused such a lapse in blogging continuity.  What came to the forefront of my thoughts was all the cooking I did yesterday.  I made three complete meals:  chicken and sausage gumbo, chicken spaghetti and a pan of lasagna, and as I thought about that craziness I realized how thankful I am for my kitchen.  This is the first kitchen I've ever had that was big enough to cook fairly large quantities of food without covering every single spot on the counter with utensils, bowls and pots.  I have enough counter space and plenty of room to move around comfortably, even if several people are in there at once.

It's awesome.

For those of you out there who think cooking is a dirty word, then this makes no sense to you at all, but those of you who love to cook are nodding your heads in agreement.  Our old kitchen in Texas had plenty of counter space, but it was galley style, and only one person could be in there at a time.  The refrigerator door would almost hit the front of the stove when opened, and effectively trapped anyone standing at the sink from leaving the room.  Not so bad for making dinner, but a real pain when I was trying to prepare a holiday dinner with my mom and sister.

Our last house had more room to move around, but severely limited counter space.  I could only do one thing at a time, and cooking often requires so much more than that!

But this kitchen has both counter space and floor space, and I revel in it every time I cook.  Is it the professional kitchen of my dreams, with a hot water spout over the stove and wood burning oven?  Nope.  But it is roomy, with beautiful granite counter tops and lots of cabinets in which to store all my cooking/baking paraphernalia.  There's a place at the counter for people to sit and visit while I'm working, and a pass through to the living room so I don't miss out on conversations when we have guests.  It has big windows that offer lots of light as well as ventilation when it starts to get hot.

So today I'm thankful for my big kitchen.  I'm thankful that I have a great place to prepare all the foods I love to cook, and to have a place to entertain.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'm Giving Thanks for Knitting

Last October, a friend of mine at work taught me how to crochet and knit.  I crocheted afghans for Nathan, Grace and both of my grandmothers for Christmas, and really enjoyed creating something practical with my own hands.  At the same time, I was beginning to knit and made lots and lots of scarves, and then I made more. 

Over the last six months I've been expanding my knitting repertoire to include knitting in the round on circular needles and double pointed needles, as well as learning how to follow patterns and make up my own.  It's been so much fun trying out new things and improving on my skills.  I knit all the time:  while watching television, during my lunch hour, spare moments at work and while riding in the car.  If there is an opportunity to sit down, I usually have my knitting in hand.  It feels good to be productive even while I'm doing something as mindless as watching tv.

So today I am thankful for knitting and for the person who opened up a whole new world for me.  Thank you Mary Ann!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm Giving Thanks for Cooler Weather

I love cold weather.  I love the feel of a fire in the fireplace, a mug of hot chocolate warming my hands and cozy sweaters with sleeves that go down to my fingertips.  I love the snow, and the crisp feel of the air when it's cold outside.  I enjoy shoveling snow in the same way that I enjoy mowing the grass...there's an element of instant gratification that I love.  I love wet cold days and the dry ones.  I love wearing scarves and gloves, and sleeping with the windows open when it's freezing.

Cool weather seems to finally be making it's way to us in Oklahoma, and I think it's here to stay.  This evening has been cold and drizzly, which is perfect weather for snuggling up with a good book and a hot beverage.  You'll very seldom hear me complaining about cold temperatures, even when it feels like spring will never come.  Summer is just a season that I have to get through so I can have cooler weather again.

So today I am thankful that summer is over and the cooler weather is here to stay.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'm Giving Thanks for Elijah Thomas

The call came this morning at 6:37am.   "She started having contractions at 1:00am, and they are at the hospital now," my mother said. My sister Amber was in labor, despite not being due to give birth until November 14th. I was so excited as I dressed for work, and couldn't help checking my phone every few minutes to make sure I had not missed any important calls or texts. I was also unduly excited by the fact that he would be born on 11-1-11!

My entire morning was spent running upstairs out of the basement so that I could get cell phone service and check for messages, anxiously awaiting word of my nephew's birth. I called my mom at 1:30, and when she answered I heard the sweet sound of newborn cries from her arms. She was holding Elijah Thomas, and as I heard him for the first time I cried tears of joy. I would have given almost anything to be there in that moment with them, holding him in my arms and cuddling him close but those things will have to wait until Thanksgiving when I finally get home to see them.

I spoke briefly with Amber, and she sounded amazing. Her voice was strong and if I didn't know better, I would never have guessed that she just went through hours of labor! I was so proud of her and so thankful for my brother-in-law David for being the kind of husband and father that he is.

So today I am thankful for new life, but especially for my new nephew, Eli. He bears the names of two men that I loved dearly (my grandfather and great-grandfather), and I'm thankful that he was delivered safely and that Amber is doing well. I am thankful that God has seen fit to bless our family with another baby to raise and nurture in the admonition of the Lord. I am thankful.

(I can't post pictures or stats yet, because Amber will might kill me if I steal her thunder!)