Giving thanks


It is easy to watch the years go by and to take for granted life. As I sit here harvesting gratitude, I am overwhelmed by so much.

I am so grateful for my health and my body. It isn’t perfect. I currently have several large cavities that need fixing, and a few issues I need to take on with a doctor. My memory is escaping me more and more with time, and I have my first gray hairs. I am certainly aging.

But I can see. I can hear. I have fingers to type and to mold play-doh with my daughter and to wipe tears from her cheek. I can run. I can laugh. Even if I was confined to a chair or bed I could listen to Beethoven or have someone read me a book. I am so blessed to have my mind to ponder and wonder and pray.

And food, wonderful food! I get to enjoy food today with people I adore. I can taste. How fortunate are we to have the luxury to gather around a table, even with just one person we love, and share a meal.

I am so happy God gave me a companion like my husband. My life is filled with adventures and meaning because of this man. I love him more and more as the years go on. And the years get harder, let me assure you! Marriage stretches and pulls me more than I ever imagined. I am learning new things about myself and about him as the days press on. Marriage is not only about romance. It is about commitment, deep friendship, grace, and growth. It is pressing on through hard times so the good times are so much sweeter. And there have been many, many sweet times.

I am beyond thankful for my daughter. I never really imagined having kids. The thought had always scared me a bit. The privilege of becoming a mother has been one of the greatest unexpected joys in my life. It has been scary, even terrifying at times, to recognize that my husband and I have such a monumental task of raising our little girl in a very crazy and unstable world. It has been daunting to feel my heart expand with so much love for this little gal and know that each day brings me closer to releasing her into the world, hoping and praying for her every step of the way.

Lastly, thank you God for rescuing me even when I was such a mess. My life has never been the same since that day I asked you to help me on the side of the road on a highway in Arizona. You came to my rescue, and you have never departed from me. Not in my hardest moments, not during my darkest hours, and not even when I acted selfish and forgot about you time and time again.

Truth is, my life is full with just these things. Full to the brim, overflowing, and alive. Yet I have so many other blessings, too. My sisters, my father and mother, many beautiful in-laws and a step-mother, nana’s and grandma’s and grandpa’s and cousins… friends and colleagues and church family. I get to experience beauty in nature, deep and rich foods and coffee, and moments of comfort with my family watching a show.

I have already lived a full, undeserving, and good life. So, today I record how thankful and blessed I am by my life thus far. I am thankful to those who have helped me have freedom in the country I live in, and thankful to the God I serve for his good providence that wakes me up morning after morning to sun, lovely faces, and another day of life.

Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop! Come link up!

Welcome to the Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop!


A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.
Dear Friends,
What a day to celebrate! This is the 93rd week of the Let’s Be Friends blog hop! Thanks for joining us on this special day. Chelsee and Tiffany are extremely delighted to see the way this hop has grown and love to see your faces each week! 
Join us every Tuesday at 7am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. LINK UP YOUR FAVORITE POST from last week in this fun content-sharing blog hop! I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I’ve never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!
The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That’s right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week’s hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win. Only those who link up a specific post are eligible to be featured! *You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.
The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of  The Dwelling Tree or Southern Beauty Guide. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Chelsee about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!
There are a couple of great giveaways going on right now at Southern Beauty Guide and The Dwelling Tree. Go check them out! 🙂
Let’s Be Friend’s Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news! 
***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop. 
Meet your hosts:
The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin’
Southern Beauty Guide: Blog, Bloglovin’
Meet this week’s co-hosts:
Tiffany from The Mommy Glow 
Rachel from Life as Rachel
Ashley from The Nashvillian
***This weeks featured post from last week’s hop:
Hi friends! It is Chelsee today. I am happy that things are going so well and this hop is continually successful! I love all the amazing bloggers I meet each week and all the awesome content you post. INSPIRING!
Thank you all once again for continually linking up at our blog hop. It is such a fun time and I am so impressed each week with all the amazing posts. Please continue to link up an actual post instead of your blog. We want to keep reading your content and it makes it more fun to pick a winner!
Is there anything we can do differently or better? Please share in the comments!
… onto the winner!
I seriously love all of your posts! As always you all make this one difficult decision. Recently I have been super obsessed with scarves due to the chilly weather we have been experiencing in the south. 
Amanda blogs over at Life With Grace, she blogs about life, fashion, food and more! She’s a wife, mommy, and lover her crazy beagle named Duchess. From what I’ve read so far she is absolutely hilarious and has an amazing blog to read. I adore her sense of style in all over her fashion posts. 
When I was scrolling down the linked up posts last week, I came across a picture that caught my eye. It was the prettiest scarf and I knew then I had to find out where to get my own. It turns out this lovely scarf belonged to Amanda and she had put together the cutest fashion look. I love how easy it was to click through her post and be taken to store websites of where to buy items she was wearing. I also love all of her pictures from her little “fashion shoot” for this post. 
If you are looking to read a new blog then I highly suggest you head over and check out her blog!
Enough of that. Go follow her blog. And thank you all again for another amazing week!  
Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for us to read all your posts! If you can, please link up a specific post. It makes it easier for us to come and visit! 
*Remember YOU can be next weeks winner! 🙂

5 ways to make Thanksgiving prep easier

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
#Feast4All #CollectiveBias.

thanksgiving hot pockets
Have you been to the grocery store the past few days? Insanity! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, hands down. However, I do not enjoy the craziness of this time of year.

I am trying to be much more mindful this season of keeping things simple and not overwhelming myself this time of year. Here are a few things I will be doing this week to keep Thanksgiving a joy in our household. [Read more…]