Thankfulness Thursday (on a Friday)

I meant to do this post yesterday, but the day got away from me.  A few weeks ago my husband and I went on a little weekend getaway to Kohler, WI.   The hubs turned 30 this year and we also celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary in September, so we thought we’d get away to celebrate.   Let me tell you….it was awesome!   What a blessing to get away for a few days and reconnect.  The food was great, we were able to relax, and best of all, the fall colors were gorgeous.  I thought I’d share a few photos from our nature walk that we took on Saturday as well as a few things I enjoyed most about the weekend.

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1.  Time alone with Jim.   If you have kids, you probably can appreciate that the moments you have alone with your spouse are few and far between.  Uninterrupted conversation, moments of silence shared together, and a leisurely meal all become luxuries.  These are a few of the little things I appreciated about our time together.

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2. And, speaking of leisurely meals, did I mention the food was divine?  Maybe it was just that I didn’t have to cook for a whole weekend, but it seemed like everything I ate was delicious.  We had what Jim dubbed, “the best brunch he’s ever had,” on Sunday and an equally delicious meal on Sunday night.  This used to be one of our favorite things to do together and we loved reconnecting over wonderful meals.

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3.  The fall colors.  Fall is my favorite season and the crisp weather and majestic yellows, oranges and reds combined to make for an idyllic fall day.

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4.  On our nature walk, we got to watch the fly fisherman fishing for salmon.  We also came across a dam in the river where there must have been hundreds of salmon swimming against the current and jumping out of the water.  I was able to catch one on film and was awe struck by their strength and power.   Yet another reason why God’s creation is amazing!

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5.  And last but not least, I’m thankful for my in-laws who watched my daughters so Jim and I could get away.   My kids probably had as much fun as we did!

Thankfulness Thursday Edition 2

This month, we have had the distinct pleasure of several mini vacations to the lake.  My parents have a place down South and I have several close friends with homes on Lake Michigan.  Here are a few of the highlights of things I loved and the memories I am thankful for:

1) There are few things more striking than sunsets and sunrises over the water.  It was fun to see this picture of a sunrise on my parents lake….

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juxtaposed with this picture taken at my friend’s Lake Michigan abode.

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I love that there can be such a different feel between two bodies of water and yet both are considered lakes.  Creation’s creativity, varied colors and landscapes are an endless source of awe for me.

2.  My oldest daughter LOVES the sand.  It thrills my heart to see her so contented and completely enthralled in her own little world.  And, I try not to get too uptight thinking about the gallons of sand we will be washing off while she makes “sand angels” or buries her whole lower half in a mountain of sand.

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3.  Is there anything sweeter than seeing your child’s unprompted expressions of love?  I’m not sure that there is.

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What are you thankful for today?

P.S.  In case you missed the last Thankfulness Thursday post

Thankfulness Thursday

I hope you will forgive this digression from the usual recipes and random facts about nothing.  Awhile back, a dear friend of mind recommended this book as a great read.   If you haven’t read it yet, you should.  It challenged me to make gratitude a part of my daily life.  Not only does it change our outlook on life, but it strengthens our relationship with God.    Since reading the book, I have tried to make it a practice to write down the things in my life that I am thankful for, recognizing them as good gifts from the Lord.  Here are a few things that have been on my mind lately:

1. This orchid in my kitchen window:Image

Is there anything more beautiful than an orchid?  The vibrant color adds an exotic flair to my kitchen that make me smile every time I look at it.  Plus, the only thing you have to do to keep it alive is plop three ice cubes in it once a week.  That is my kind of gardening!

2.  My three year old is brimming over with imaginative play these days and I just love it.  Admittedly, she was destined to be this way, coming from two parents with overactive childhood imaginations, but somehow I am still surprised with what she comes up with.  It is not uncommon for her to ask me to refer to her as “Cinderella” or  “Your Majesty” and frequently my husband is dubbed “Prince Charming.” I can’t say I’m too disappointed that her daddy is the man in her life and this sweet uninhibited play is something I know will only be dampened as she grows up, so I want to soak it all in and remember every moment.

3.  My youngest is always keeping me on my toes, but I have never met a friendlier little person.  At church they call her the “little greeter” because she totally works the room and makes sure she has said “hi” to everyone.  She is the kid who will go sit with total strangers at their picnic table for lunch or ask the random woman at the store to pick her up so she can admire her pretty necklace.  I am thankful that she was born with a skill that takes others years to cultivate.  It has sparked many an interesting conversation with people I may otherwise never have talked to.

4.  Over the weekend, we were able to celebrate a family who is moving away to pursue a calling in ministry.  Goodbyes are so bittersweet, aren’t they?  It is sad to see someone you care about move on, but it allows you to truly reflect on the ways they have enriched and changed your life.  This friend has been an example of the wife and mother that I strive to be, humble and serving, full of life and deeply genuine.  Her impression on so many people will be lasting and fondly remembered.

That’s all I have for today.  I may throw a few of these posts in from time to time just to mix things up a bit and keep life interesting.  I hope you don’t mind!

What are you thankful for today?