Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 30... 
It may be the last 'official' day, but my thankfulness won't end here! It can't when you live by grace! My life isn't perfect by any means... I mean, who's is really?? Perfection within one's life is just what you create on your own, within your own heart. My life is perfect, to me and for me... and I will continue to be thankful for it until my days come to an end!!
Here are some quotes that I love.... I am going to keep them close in the months to come to remind me of this 30 Days of Thankful blogging!! Doing this has been so fun and reenergizing for me!!
 It may just become a yearly tradition.
Without knowing that grace is gift given at all times, thankfulness just doesn't happen!!!
When I lose sight of all the blessings and mercy that is given to me on a daily basis (and it happens often I am sad to say), this quote helps!! I try to say it as I lay down each night... :)
You can never be too Thankful!!!

Always - Abbey

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 29.. one day left!
Man! Time flies... I am happy and sad that November is coming to an end :)) Happy because I love this time of year and look forward to the Christmas holidays coming up! I am also happy that, even tho I could go on for what seems like an endless amount of days posting about all that I am thankful for.. the thankful posts are coming to an end!! I am sure I will look back and love all the thankfulness!! But I am anxious to get back to refocusing my blogs on crafts and other fun stuff that I like to write about... and maybe with the new year coming I will add in some bonus health/fitness posts!! 
Posting for 30 straight days really helps you realize the amount of good that fills your life! It forces you to notice not only the big, obvious things to be thankful for but also the small, minuet things that fill your days and make you happy without even realizing it!! So, I will be sad to not have to post each day and focus on all the blessings we/I have!!
With that said and to make sure I get in every last bit of random and purposeful thankfulness... here is some more :))
 I am thankful for new decorations that make a space took totally different!
Thank You Willow House and Pinterest for making this idea happen, and sprucing up my kitchen a bit!!

I am thankful for a decorated house... it just warms up the place ;))
We spent the whole afternoon last Sunday decorating and enjoying each other!! It was a fun day that filled my cup more than I can say!

I am also thankful for my brother, my sister-in-law, and their 3 boys!! Looking thru pictures always makes me smile! You get to look back on good times, great memories and things you had forgotten you did!! Today, I found this pic...
It's not the best pic, and for some reason I can't make it any bigger ! 
BUT nonetheless, it makes me smile because it is my family together with my brother's family!! Our kids may be crazy loud and rambunctious when they get together, but they will remember growing up together, just like I remember fun times with my brother and our cousins! I adore that we all live close enough to see each other as often as we want and to share important milestones together!! I love that my sister-in-law and I have grown close, have a lot in common, and share a love of family that goes beyond the "in law" status!! I am thankful that my brother and I grew up close... loving Mtv, 70/80's music, arguing but laughing when it counted, and shared our milestones together thru the years! I look forward to seeing our boys grow up together and our families celebrating many, many more fun times together like the one above!

Always - Abbey

Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 28...
Today I am going to try to be thankful for the negative, stressful things in my life! I know I have read something similar to this before, but here is my own personal version:
I am thankful for the multiple loads of laundry, cause it means my loved ones are active and blessed with energy to get dirty!
I am thankful for the alarm clock going off this morning, because it means I woke up to enjoy another day in a life I love.
I am thankful for, what seems like never ending amounts of dead grass that end up all over our house and shows up so obviously on our wood floors! It reminds me that our boys love to play outside and that we are blessed with a big, safe backyard for them to run around in!
I am thankful that I have to go to the grocery store today... I am blessed with a family to feed, growing boys that snack like maniacs, and a hubby who loves my cooking!
I am thankful for a garage full of tubs and craft items that are waiting for me to 'redo' them!! Although I know it drives the hubs nuts, I know all the memories that those tubs store!!! Baby pics, bibs, sweet outfits our boys wore in their 3 month pictures, blankets and toys I hope to pass on to our grandkids! I love knowing we are fortunate enough to have "stuff", when so many in this world don't!!!
I am thankful for the toothpaste marks all over the sink and mirror, that I try to keep clean every day... it means our boys are learning to take care of themselves!
I am thankful for the bills we have to pay... simply because it means we are earning our living, working as a family to make ends meet and to give each other a life full of precious earnings that we come by on our own!!
I am thankful for the unmade beds (that drive my OCD crazy) because it means our family had a warm, safe night's sleep!
I am thankful for this crazy life we lead... the weeks ahead are full of parties, birthdays, lunches, soccer practices and games, church activities, dinners, family arriving, school performances, trips to here and there... you name it and we will squeeze it in! 
It gets stressful and sometimes cumbersome, but I wouldn't trade it for anything! It is our life, it is given to us by God's grace! He chose us to lead this life and I am proud to follow his lead! I could get bogged down in all the difficulties in the plan God has laid before me, but instead I am going to be thankful for them!!!

Always - Abbey

Sunday, November 27, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 27
Today, I am thankful for one more day to a long holiday weekend! 
I am also thankful to have a place to worship with my family today! I love that I have grown up at our church... I have had all of my sacraments at St. Vincent de Paul, including the most precious one of marrying the love of my life there! I have seen my brother get married there, met life long friends there and now I am looking forward to seeing our oldest begin his journey thru the sacraments there! 
It truly is a special blessing to have a church to call home, where people know your name, they know your family and they care about your life!

Always - Abbey

Saturday, November 26, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 26
After a great weekend with family, I am happy to be in our home and thankful that all my 'chittlens' are safely back together!! We are headed to take our boys to the movies in a bit...
SO thankful for my team of 4 (5 if you count the dog ;) )

Always - Abbey

Friday, November 25, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 25... one week left!

Today I am thankful for sleeping in late, hotel breakfasts with my 3 favorite boys, Santa pictures that are a Lewis/Jarvis tradition every year the day after Thanksgiving, holiday shopping (which always includes secret prizes for mommy), starting a new book with a dear friend, indoor hotel pools, sonic cranberry limeades, and mexican dinners at a restaurant where no one has to do dishes or clean up leftovers!!!
Basically, I love the day after Thanksgiving... so grateful!!

Always - Abbey

Thursday, November 24, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 24...
Well today is the BIG day.. Turkey day, "THE" day to give Thanks... Thanksgiving!! 
I am so glad that I have been giving thanks all month long, because to me, giving thanks and counting your blessing really isn't something that should only be done on one day!!! 
So to honor this precious day for family, friends and loved ones I am going to spill even more thankfulness into this blog... not because this is the only day to do it, but because that is what fills my heart (especially on today)!!!
I am thankful for yummy food my mother-in-law fixes, it fills the house with such warmth (and I am thankful to help, and not have to do it all solo ;))). I am thankful to see our boys cuddled up on the couch this morning, jammies and all! I am thankful for books to read, music to jam to, and movies to get lost in! I am thankful for Pinterest, that even tho it consumes me to the point I may ignore my kids during certain parts of the day, it inspires me to no end! I am thankful for facebook for connecting me with family and friends! I am thankful for being able to snuggle up later and watch football with my hubby! I am thankful for my dear friend who also happens to be an amazing photographer, she helps fill our home with precious snapshots that beautifully capture our boys amazing personalities!! I am thankful for downtime with my loved ones, and a pending nap that I look forward to today!! I am thankful for the sitcom 'Jessie' on Disney... my boys laugh out loud at it, and so do I oddly enough!!! I am thankful for warm sweaters, boots and scarfs! I am thankful (and looking forward to) black Friday shopping with my sis-n-law, a tradition that we keep going strong no matter how tired we are or if we need anything!!!

And lastly.. I am thankful for all the blessings God has given me and continues to give me, even when I don't deserve them! His grace continues to guide me and my family and I could not be more thankful for that!!!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours...
(turkey day 2010)

Always - Abbey

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 23 
Today I am thankful that our boys have 2 wonderful families to grow up with! Almost every time we get together with either my family or my hubby's, there are always cousins there for our boys to spend time with!!! Whether it's 1st or 2nd cousins, cousins they see often or just on holidays or family reunions... We love seeing them all together making memories!
Good times or bad, fun times or boring... If you have cousins around, they can always be there to keep you entertained and happy! I am thankful our boys have so many cousins to call their own!

Always - Abbey

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 22
Today I am thankful for precious friends of our boys that feel more like second brothers. These boys have known each other since my biggest was just about 3 months old (he is 8 now)! They talk about going to college together, being in each other's weddings (what 8 year old thinks about that??), and they pick up immediately where they left off, even if they haven't seen each other in 2 months! They are like my own when they come over.. they look at me like I am a nutcase when I yell, but they listen, they  take their shoes off once in the house, and they help themselves to snacks in the pantry! They have always felt like family more that friends! 
Plan and simple they are our best buds, 
The Meador Boys...

Always - Abbey

Monday, November 21, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 21 
Today, even tho I am tired and worn out, and the boys/dog didn't sleep in like they should on the first day of a holiday week with no school... 
I am thankful for this:

It may only last 3.5 seconds, and I expect to hear arguing or crying any minute... but there is nothing more heartwarming than seeing your boys playing together! And that sweet girl just laying there while her boys play... priceless!!!

Always - Abbey

Sunday, November 20, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 20...
Today I am thankful for fun nights dancing with friends, lazy afternoons alone with my sweet husband, staying in my pjs until it's lunch time, hugging our boys after they have been gone visiting GG, seeing our kids happy to come home full of stories that they can't get out fast enough, hearing Matthew pepper his Daddy with questions about everything and anything, and most of all I am thankful to be blessed with a life that I love to lead!!

Always - Abbey

Saturday, November 19, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 19
Today I am thankful for a special set of family that I wasn't born into, I was blessed into... my in-laws!
I have grown up in front of them, we raise our kids beside them, they are a huge support system, I consider them also my friends and someone I could turn to in an instant!! We have such fun together, and over the almost 18 years that they have taken me into their family we have created some amazing memories and life long traditions I am proud to be a part of!!
They love their grandkids with a full heart and a fun spirit...

I could not be more blessed to call them my family! I am truly thankful for them :)

Always - Abbey

Friday, November 18, 2011

30 Days of ...
Day 18...
Today is another simple post... and oddly enough, it's about a dog!! 
I am thankful for our newest family member 
DeHaya Lewis...
I am not a self-proclaimed dog lover but I really am sweet on this little girl!! After we lost our nervously precious Vincent a couple of months ago I have been stuck on the fact that our family needed another dog!! I just think our boys need that companionship and sense of ownership in their childhood memories!! Luckily, a young friend had gotten her as a baby and has allowed us to take over caring for her!! She is 4 months old and couldn't be a better fit thus far for our team of 4!!
The boys adore her...
And she already loves them..
She is so docile and chill...
And just what our family needed in a furry addition to our already crazy, moment to moment, non-stop bop of a life :)

Always - Abbey

Thursday, November 17, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 17..
Today I am Thankful for my Dad!!
He is truly one of a kind :))
He is the first man who taught me how a woman should be loved and cared for!! He comes across rough and sometimes crass but on the inside he is sensitive, caring and really a softy! I laugh with him, as a teen I drove him crazy, I would say he is who I get my love of music and dance from, and he taught me to be strong and proud no matter what!
This man has worked hard and fought for our family, he taught me a love for sports and is always up for a good meal! We joke together, hug often, and never miss a chance to give my Mom a hard time!!
I am thankful for him and all he does for my brother and I, and for who he has been as a husband to my Mom. Without him our family would not be the same!

Always - Abbey

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 16...
Today I am thankful for the one day I wake up waaaaaaay earlier than I ever want to and go teach cycle!! Even tho I dread the early alarm clock on Wednesday mornings, and everyone who hears I get up at 4:45am to go teach an aerobics class thinks I am crazy... I really do love it!!
The quiet I get in that 30 minutes before I have to leave for the gym is so genuine and needed! I love the peace and stillness I feel within the walls of our home! I smile knowing the 3 boys I love the most are resting just steps away from me. Most of all the satisfaction I get after I am done teaching is amazing! Knowing that I conquered my workout before the sun comes up and that people actually look forward to me showing up and are dissappointed when I can't, really is a blessing to me!
So, even tho I can't seem to muster up the gusto to carry over this love of an early morning wake up call to every day of the week, I am thankful that I make myself wake up early on Wednesdays!! I am thankful for that one day that is an extra peaceful and yet totally motivating time in my week!!

Always - Abbey

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 15...
Today I am Thankful for my Mom! This lady is so many things to so many people...
But to me she is my Ma, my friend, my role model, my arguing partner, the one woman I know I can rely on, my example of strength but also someone who has shown me vulnerability in life. My mom can put me in my place, fire me up and calm me down all in one sitting!! She has been the shoulder that I have cried on my whole life... She has taught me pride, love, and acceptance!
I look to her for how to be a good Mother, but I also look to her as someone that is more than that! She has worked hard my whole life as a working mom, and even tho at times she gets tired and overrun with work and family, she tirelessly helps anyone who needs it (especially her kids)!
Today and always, I am Thankful for my Mom!!!

Always - Abbey

Monday, November 14, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 14...
Last night I was in bed by 8:35pm... even tho I was reading, I was still in my pjs with my teeth brushed enjoying the comfy warmth and security of my bed!! I love to sleep and am so thankful that I have some place safe to do it!!
There is something sweet and pure in sleep that fills my heart, plus sleep is just good for you! You can sleep off a sickness, a headache, a hangover ;), a bad mood, a bad day... you name it and I think a nap can help make it better! In college, my friends and I would take epic naps!! In fact, we would often schedule our classes around naps and General Hospital... ahh the good ole' days when all the worries we had were what time GH came on and if it interfered with nap and/or meeting for lunch!! 
Now that I am older, sleep doesn't come as easy! I guess maybe stress, life, being a mommy, etc can take over and interrupt a restful night! But none the less, when I can get it I will take a nap any day!!!
I love watching our boys sleep... their precious faces, the sounds of their breaths in and out just make me pause and say a prayer of thanks! And the quiet that comes when they sleep is beyond peaceful ;)) I soak up every second!!
So today, I am thankful for slumber, sweet sleep... whenever I can get it or enjoy it thru my precious babies as they rest, sleep is something I give thanks for!!

Always - Abbey

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 13...
Today I am thankful and happy to be home! 
I love hearing our boys playing together, even tho they always start off fighting, after about an hour or so  they adjust and they always find their groove and get along!! Laying on our couch, with the hubby on the other watching football is one of my favorite lazy things to do!
So today it is simple.... I am thankful to be home!

Always - Abbey

Saturday, November 12, 2011

30 Days of...

Day 12...
Today I am thankful for family! Immediate family, extended family, and my in-laws, who I hate referring to as that because they are my family plain and simple!!
Through my life family has been a constant... there aren't many memories I have that don't involve my family!! I have only been one place for New Year's Eve, my whole life... my aunt's house with my 30+ family members! Every Thanksgiving for the past 11 or more years we have gone to Shane's mom's house, elaborate Italian weddings, birthdays and the way we all scream the song at you... You name it and I can probably tell you a funny family story to go with it :))
Through good times and bad, family is there to give hugs, advice, to poke fun, to cry, to dance, and to share every moment to it's fullest!! As I have grown up I have gone from thinking a huge family is the best and easiest thing to be a part of, to experiencing first hand how much work, effort and love goes into keeping a family together! I am thankful for that experience because it has taught me how precious my own family of 4 is and what it takes to make our family thrive!!
This weekend, I am headed to Austin with my parents, my little man and some of my cousins for a wedding! Although I am sad that my hubby and oldest can't join us because of soccer, I know that we are going to enjoy fun times, telling of stories, dancing and laughing!!! That's just how my family rolls... and I love it!!! So Thankful :))

Always - Abbey

Friday, November 11, 2011

30 Days of...
Day 11 or 11-11-11
A once in a lifetime date, or a date that is special every year... either way it is a date to give thanks on!! Today I am, hopefully like most all, thankful for freedom! But even more so I am thankful for the veterans who have sacrificed their lives and continue to do so, so we can be free! 
It seems like such a simple and easy thing to say, Thank You, or a simple thing to be, Thankful... but today it just doesn't seem like enough! Being that my family hasn't been touched by war directly, had close relatives who have fought in war or given of their time to the Armed Forces... it's hard for me to think that saying Thank You or just being Thankful is enough!! For me, I want to do or say more to give back to the men, woman, and families who's lives are affected and altered because they fight for our freedom!! 
When I see pictures like this...
My heart just swells with emotion and my eyes can't help but fight back tears! The sacrifice given by so many is indescribable and too enormous for my mind to even comprehend sometimes!! I love the scene in the movie Valentine's Day where Julia Roberts, playing a solider, is flying home. The whole movie they play it so you think she is anxiously waiting to see a man, her husband or a boyfriend. But at the end it is her son that she is dying to see and is rushing back to spend time with, no matter how short that time may be!!!! That just sums it all up for me... sacrifice, devotion, love, honor, and insurmountable pride!!!
So.. today I am thankful for just that!!! It may be the only small gesture I can make right now today, but  if that is what I can give so I can see this on a daily basis, I will gladly give thanks...
Our boys, holding hands on the 4th of July, going to see fireworks without a care in the world... because someone in a far off place or close to home is fighting for their freedom!!

Happy Veterans Day!!
Always - Abbey