Day 30

Not ending "thankfulness," just ending this chapter of my blog... :)

I have so much to be thankful for, and so many things that I didn't mention on here!  I am truly grateful for my family, my friends, and those who encourage and pray for me daily.

I have the best little family a girl could ask for, and I praise God every day that he has allowed me to be a wife and mother to two of the greatest guys on the planet!

I am so blessed to be in a country that grants me freedom of religion and grateful to have a family that puts God first.  My family has had me in church since I was born and I am so thankful that they have made want God to be a priority in my life, not pressured me into such.

I thank you for listening through out this month... maybe I'll start blogging more since I've had a little practice recently!


Day 29

Today, I am thankful for my Papaw.  My father's father.  Today is his birthday, and boy do I love him!  We named our son after him, the "Nathaniel" part, that is.  My Papaw's name is Paul Nathaniel.  He is such a hard worker, will volunteer to help anyone, and is always there when I call needing directions!  You could be half way across the USA and I swear he would know exactly where you are!  He was the founder of my family's printing business, and until last year, his boys and wife worked there tirelessly.  He has instilled values in our family that are irreplaceable and loves us all unconditionally.  He loves to talk about the "old days" and family, and he has a knack for remembering dates.  His father worked in the Pomona Cotton Mills and was the owner of a little country store, where he witnessed to everyone who walked in the door.  I believe that his love for God and family was passed down through my Papaw and has since been passed down to us.

I am so thankful that my Nana and Papaw fell in love so young, and started having children right away, because now my son has the privilege of having Great Grandparents in such good health.  Not many children get to experience their Great Grandparents, let alone those that can still get on the floor and play with them!

I am treasuring my grandparents more and more now that they are getting older.  I guess I am realizing how precious my time with them is, and how much wisdom I can get from them.  With the recent passing of my husbands Grandpa, he only has one grandparent left, his paternal Grandmother Paula.  I am so blessed to have all four of my grandparents left, and I treasure every minute that my family has with them!

i adore this one... captured it a couple weeks ago at our family's Thanksgiving get-together.


Day 27

Today, I am thankful for my mother-in-law!  Today is her birthday!  I'm thankful that she is always willing to help, she has a great sense of humor, and she love love loves her grandson!  Oh, and she's also a fabulous cook!  :)


Day 26

Today, I have stepped over into the "Smart Phone" world.  I was eligible for an upgrade and purchased an iPhone.  And on top of that, we got a GREAT deal on it!  So for that, I am thankful!  Also, I can write blogs on it!  Might try that tomorrow!  :)


Day 25

Today, I am thankful for my vehicle and my husband's vehicle.  More importantly, I am thankful that my husband's '97 Camry is still running!  Let's all hold our breath and pray it stays that way for a while!  :)

I am thankful that we have money to put gas in them, and we have the means to get around town.  This is something that we often take for granted, when truly, we would be lost without it.


Day 24

Ahhh... Thanksgiving.  The inspiration for all of these posts... though we should be thankful always!

I am thankful for such a great Thanksgiving Day!

We started out the day as we always do, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!  It was so much fun this year pointing out the floats and balloons to Nate and him recognizing some of his favorite characters!  By the time Santa arrived, all of the family was at the house ready to eat, so we all cheered and showed Nate Santa had come on the TV!  For me, this is when the Christmas season REALLY starts.  It's not Christmas Time until Santa arrives in the parade!  haha :)

My husband, Andrew, cooked the turkey, as he usually does, and did an AMAZING job this year.  It was soooo good!  From green bean casserole, to cranberry salad, to pumpkin pie, we had all of the traditional Thanksgiving foods, and much much more!  I'm so thankful for my parents, Andy's mom, Andy's aunt, and my Grandma for coming over and sharing such a great Thanksgiving lunch with us!

After the meal, we sit around and watch the dog show, mixed with football, and look through the HUGE paper with all of the "Black Friday" sales papers in them.

After all the family leaves, and we get a bit of a nap, it's time to go on to the next house.  This time with Andy's family.  We always have a blast over at his Aunt Linda's house with family and friends!

I'm so thankful for a loving family and holiday get-togethers full of laughter!!!


Day 23

Today, I am thankful for photography.  Photography is one of my dear passions.  I would never want a world without pictures, much less a world without me being able to take them!  I have been around photography my entire life with my Papaw, Daddy, Mama, and many other family members taking pictures.

Back in January of this year, I decided to start a small photography business for myself to have something to do with my time besides being a stay at home mommy.  I have enjoyed it so much so far!  I normally have a couple of clients per month, which I would love to have more, but I am very thankful for those who are helping me start this venture!

Today, I had my first client that involved some travel.  This was a "friend of a friend" so I had never actually met her, but I had the wonderful opportunity to travel for about an hour and a half to photograph her brand new baby girl and her big sister!  I love newborn shoots, and I definitely jump at the opportunity!

I hope to have many more clients in the future and hope to learn more and more in the coming months and years!


Day 22

Today, I am thankful for Nate's friends.... present and future.  As I sat here today, watching Nate and Jesslyn (Jessica's daughter) play, I remembered to the past when Jessica and I would play.  We would spend many weekends going to each other's house after church or having weekend slumber parties.  Those times I cherish.

Now, we are both married, both have kids, Jessica just had her second.  We often sit around and reminisce and talk of how we can't believe we have gotten to this point in our lives.

I pray for Nate to have good friends, ones that last.  I pray for him to have loyal and truthful friends, ones that will steer him in the right direction.  I pray for him to have friends that encourage him, ones that laugh with him, ones that will lend a shoulder when he needs one.

I am thankful for the little friendships that he is already making, and I'm thankful that it is with children of some of my best childhood friends.


Day 21

Today, I am thankful for Facebook.

On a lighter note, but still in prayer and shock over the events that took place yesterday.

I am thankful, yes, for Facebook.

As corny as it sounds, it is such a source of communication and information in my life.  Yes, I could live without it.  Do I want to?  No.  Sorry, just being honest.

Does it take place of verbal communication?  Yep.
I should probably work on that.

On the bright side though, I have kept in touch with friends from elementary, middle, high school, and college that I have no doubt I would have lost touch with.

I have re-kindled friendships, made new friends, and picked up some photography clients along the way.

Yep, I'm thankful.

for Facebook.


Day 20

Today, I am thankful for comfort.  I am thankful for God's comforting words He gives us.

In my little town, people are hurting tonight.  At my high school, teenagers are mourning.

There has been a tragedy in Pleasant Garden, the neighboring town to Greensboro, and six people have been shot, and the shooter killed herself.  All over something domestic?  That's what it seems.  Three are dead, four including the shooter, and three are wounded, hanging on for their life.

Something like this doesn't happen here, it happens somewhere else.

Guess we can't say that anymore.

No, I did not personally know any of the victims, nor the shooter.  I do however, have many close friends who were very close to the victims and the shooter, so I ask you to pray.

I ask you to send out your prayers of healing for these two who are hanging on for their life.

I ask for the truth from the man who is in stable condition.

I ask you to send your prayers of comfort to those who have lost loved ones, friends.

I ask you to send prayers of wisdom to the counselors, mentors, pastors, and first responders who will be dealing with this for many many days to come.

Update: all five children (two were the shooters children, two were the niece and nephew, and one was a girlfriend of the shooters child)  have passed away from this horrible tragedy.  Please be in prayer for the family members and friends that are left to grieve.


Day 19

On day 19, well every day... I am thankful for my new found love/addiction known as Pinterest.

I was introduced to Pinterest by a friend have haven't stopped searching since.  I know it sounds weird to be thankful for a website/forum, but hear me out.

This website is like a virtual bulletin board.  You know that nifty, crafty idea you once saw on a blog, or a website?  Well, you probably can't remember all the details to it, or how to make it.  So you want to find it again?  Good luck.  Most of the time, you can't remember where you saw your nifty little crafty idea.... right?  Well, Pinterest is the answer.  When you see something you like, you "pin it."  When others see what they like, they "re-pin" it.  And everyone shares their ideas, hits, misses, and crazy things they love.  They share cleaning secrets, baking tips, photography ideas, you name it.

Since I was introduced to Pinterest, my world has opened up to new and creative ideas.  I have used it as a sight to find photography ideas, baby shower ideas, do-it-yourself Christmas gifts, and home goodies for the future!  I feel like I have been rejuvenated with crafty inspirations!

If you haven't tried Pinterest, check it out.  And you will be.... addicted.

Oh, and in love.


Day 18

Today I am thankful for payday!!!

and my husband's overtime pay...

He's been working soooo hard these past couple of weeks, one day, he even worked a 15 hour day!  He works for our family and doesn't complain.  He loves his job, and we can see the rewards, and I get to stay home with our son.

Things have been tight, don't get me wrong, but God provides, and we somehow seem to squeeze the pennies until payday!!!  (which was today!)



Day 17

Today, I am thankful for new life.  Jessica, the girl that we had the baby shower for a couple weeks ago, had her baby boy!!!  She was induced at 8:00 am and had Joshua Daniel at noon!!!  Things went quickly and smoothly and the little guy was not so little!  Baby Joshua weighed in at a whopping 10 lbs 6 ounces and 22 inches long!!!  And get this:  Jessica had NO epidural!  What a trooper!

There's something about new life... there's nothing like it.  :)

Congrats Jessica, Josh, and big sister Jesslyn!


Day 15

Today I am thankful for music.

Music has been such a huge part of my life... for... all of my life!

My mom used to put me to bed with music playing... music for play time, music at church, music in the car... you name it.

I sang my first solo at 2 1/2 years old and haven't stopped.

I loved chorus in high school more than you could imagine.

Music makes me happy.

I hope Nate grows up with the same love for music his mommy (and his daddy) has!


Day 14

Today, I am thankful for my friend Carla.  Though our relationship might be out of the ordinary to some, it works for us.  Because, you know, not everyone becomes best friends with their high school chorus teacher and has them sing and be matron of honor in your wedding.  What?  Is this not a common thing?

When everything in high school seemed like "the end of the world."  I had someone to calm me down.  The adult that wasn't my mother, who probably said the same thing my mother did, but because it came from someone who wasn't my mother... i listened.  well, at least gave it some thought.  :)

I kept her children.  Drove her minivan.  Cried.  Laughed.  Oh, and Ate.  Yes. Ate.  We do that well.

To my "Big" Ely.

Lots of Love from your "Little"... but not so "Little" anymore... maybe we'll both get "little" one day together...

Oh yeah.... Nate loves his "Auntie Car."


Day 13

Today, I am thankful for my home church.  I have been going to Faith Wesleyan Church since I was 5 years old, and it is truly my home.  I am not going to sit her and tell you that there haven't been hard times and I haven't felt like finding a new church to attend, but I can tell you that right now, I am happy there.  I am thankful that I have a church family that has seen me grow up to be the person I am today.  I am thankful that I am not just a face, everyone knows my name, they know my family, they even know what car I drive.  Sometimes people could see this as a disadvantage, but I personally think it's a blessing.  Though our numbers are few, there are many there who are on fire for God.  They love the Lord and consider it their mission to share Him with everyone!

Today, I am thankful for my church family.  :)


Day 12

Today I am thankful for my husband's job.  And the fact that he had today off.

Normally, since he is on a 12 hour shift, he has a couple days on, a couple off.  Not this week.  This past week he has worked Monday-Friday, had off today (Saturday) and goes back to work tomorrow.  It has been rough.  Yes, Yes, i know everyone else works 5 days a week, but when he has to wake up at 4:30 am and doesn't get home until 6:30 pm, goes to bed at 10:30 pm so he can do it all over again the next morning, it gets tiring!

So back to the thankfulness.  haha... I appreciate him so much, providing for our family, and working so hard so that I can stay home with Nate (though that "stay at home mom" thing is another post)

He had today off.  That was so nice.  Last night, we had friends (Alex and Vern) over and they were able to stay a bit late because Andy didn't have to get up at 4:30 this morning!  (it's the little things)  Today, we did nothing.  Well, besides get a lot done around the house.  But we didn't go out.  We laid around, watched a movie and got lots of play time in with Nate!  I love it when Nate yells from another room "DaDa!!!  Dada!!!"  He loves him so much!


Day 11

Today.  Obviously.  I am thankful for Veterans.

I had plans for Friday night.  Then they were changed.  I saw my friend Veronica, and thought she was coming out to eat with us, as her husband is the youth leader.  She said she had other plans, the last Flight of Honor was coming in to PTI and she was going to welcome the WW2 Veterans home.  The Flight of Honor takes any WW2 Veteran to the memorial in Washington, DC that wants to see it.  Then they come home to a packed airport welcoming them with open and thankful hearts.  There have been many flights in the last couple of years, but this was the last.  On Veteran's Day.  What a great way to honor our Veterans.... our oldest.

We hopped in the car, grabbed a bite to eat, and headed off to meet my mother-in-law, aunt-in-law, and Veronica's mom at the airport.  With THOUSANDS of people there with us, we waited... and waited... and waited... finally a cheer, patriotic music blaring, and flags flying, they were home.  The plane had landed... And then we waited... and waited... and waited... you know, it take a long time to get 92 veterans (at least half in wheelchairs) off of a plane!  The next hour was the best.

From the first Honor Guard walking down the aisle escorting the first veteran home, to the last, there was cheering and singing and crying.  Nate LOVED clapping and giving "high fives" and handshakes to all the guys (and one woman)!  And boy did they LOVE him!  Many people in the crowd took pictures of Nate as he loved on the vets, not knowing how much of an honor it was to be a part of such a memorable event.

The last veteran that came through and shook Nate's hand, pointed to him, touching his chest, and said "When you grow up, you grow up to be free and safe."

Nate has no idea, not a clue, what these men and women have done to make life the way it is today.  He will only see in books and media what life used to be like, without the freedoms that we take for granted.  But what he can say, is that when he was almost 20 months old, he told them "thank you" in his own little smiling way.

Here are some links from our local news station:
Video of the vets arriving in DC

P.S.  I apologize for the pictures... they are all cell phone shots... if I would have known I was coming, i definitely would have brought my camera... oh, hindsight.


Day 10

Today, I am thankful for my dog.  I know it sounds a bit juvenile, but truly, I am thankful for all of the pets that I have had.  Andrew and I both grew up with dogs.  When we got married, in March 2008, we did not have a dog of our own.  We immediately missed that companionship.  To make matters worse, my childhood dog passed away 17 days after we got married.  We knew we had to get a dog ASAP!!!

On my 22nd birthday (in June 2008), we picked up Sophie, our Pembroke Welsh Corgi.  She will be 4 years old this coming April and we love her to death!  I can't imagine our life without her!  She is one of the smartest dogs I have ever known.  We have a bell on our door, and a couple months after we got her, we already had her trained to ring it when she needed to go outside.  She still does this.  Needless to say, she rings it sometimes even when she doesn't have to go potty!  One time she rang it at least 10 times in a 30 minute time span because it was snowing outside and she wanted to go play!!!

 The day that we brought Nate home from the hospital, we immediately introduced him and Sophie.  Let me back up.  My mother-in-law kept Sophie while we were in the hospital and brought Nate's blanket home... Sophie slept with it by her side all night.  When we brought him home, she kissed Nate's head, sniffed around, and went on her way.  When Nate would cry, she would pace back and forth as if to say:  "Do you not hear this?  Don't you want to fix it?"   Through out the past year and a half, Nate and Sophie have become such good buddies!  Nate throws the ball to Sophie, though it isnt near as far as she would like it, and he tries to play "tug of war" with her too... she pulls him over though!  Sophie is such a good puppy... she tolerates all of the "petting" that Nate can give... even when he was little, he pulled her hair, she whimpered, looked at us, but didn't flinch.  Many dogs would have snapped.  We couldn't ask for a better dog for our son to grow up with!  I hope she lives many many years with us!

Oh, and since Nate has started on "table food" (eating what we eat) Sophie has mysteriously gained weight... hmmm...


Day 9

Today, I am thankful for my mother-in-law and father-in-law.  Thanks for raising Andy to be the person he is today... Thanks for loving your grandson so much.  I love to see his face light up when he sees you.



Day 8

Today, I am thankful for my new pastor and his wife.  I have known them (or they have known me) for ages, but a few months ago, they came back to our church, not as members, but as our pastor.

I don't feel that i have had a bond with a pastor like this in a really long time, and it's nice to have that.  Daryl just jumped right in to our dwindling church and all of it's problems...  He's worked to hard the last couple of months and I see great things with him as the leader of our church! 

Thanks Daryl and Jeanie... :)

Jeanie and Pebbles, my special little puppy friend!


Day 7

Today.  I am thankful for coupons.

No seriously.

Coupons have helped my family buy so many groceries for fractions of their actual cost.  This has truly been a blessing to our one income family!

Though couponing take up A LOT of time to plan out, I definitely think it's worth it!


Day 6

Today, I am thankful for my good, long time, friend Jessica holding out and not having her baby until we hosted her shower yesterday.  Thank you Joshua Daniel for staying put a little longer.

I have known Jessica practically all of my life and love her sooo much!  My friend Ashley and I hosted her baby shower yesterday.  This is her second child so we decided to have a diaper and clothes shower for her.

Jessica's daughter Jesslyn 

Brownie Pops 

our first diaper cake (not too bad!)
diaper wreath with Joshua Daniel's initials

Jessica (middle), Ashley (right), and I (left)


Day 5

Today, I am thankful that NC State beat UNC.

that is all.


oh, and that I had a fun time with my husband, mother-in-law, and "aunt-in-law" at the game, we had a safe trip, good food, laughter, and I knew where my son was, I knew he was having a great time, and he was safe with his Nana and Papaw.


Day 4

Today, I am thankful for friends.  When I should be cleaning the house, I'm typing this blog, waiting on our friends Alex and Veronica to come over.  This is a common occurrence on Fridays or Saturday nights... and I cherish those times.

We go out to eat, the five of us, then come home to our house and put Nate to bed... Most of the time, the night ends up with Vern and I in the living room talking and watching some "girly show" and Alex and Andy in the middle room playing old PlayStation games... It's nice to have time with other couples, but it's also nice to be away from your spouse and have time with a friend.

I'm so thankful for them in our lives... and our other friends as well!  :)

Here we are on Halloween (minus Andy)

Nate meeting his Auntie Vern and Uncle Alex for the first time... he loves them so much!  :)


Day 3

Okay, so I'm only on Day 3 and I almost forgot to do my post for the day... luckily I made it before midnight!!!

Today... I am thankful... and right now, it's so fitting... for a roof over my head.  Tonight, it's raining... pretty hard.   Not to mention the weather is getting colder... Oh, and a month or two ago, I need the air conditioning... so yeah.  A roof.  (and the air and lights and heat that come with it.)

And on top of that, the roof that I'm sitting under at the moment is a house that I am so blessed to be able to "own."  Well, not TRULY own, but you get the picture.  No, it's not my "Forever Home" that I speak of... you know, the home that you NEVER want to move away from?  The home that you want to  "grow old in" and have your grandchildren run around in.  Nope, definitely not that home.  But it works for now, and we're so blessed to have it.

Luckily, this is not a picture from today... not ready for weather like this yet!!!   :)


Day 2

Today, I am thankful for my parents.

I have always felt that they will love me no matter what and support me through anything.

The are the best Nana and Papaw my little guy could ask for, and he has them wrapped around his little finger!  (especially his Papaw)