Seven Gratitudes - Starting Over - Week 1

It's Lent y'all!

During this Lenten season, I have decided to start posting my weekly gratitudes again. This week I am grateful for...

1. Warmer weather and the ability to open the windows and air out the house! It's been unseasonable warm this February and I am taking full advantage while my husband is away at a conference. Allergies usually prevent me from letting the natural air in the house but not this time! It's warm, breezy and beautiful and I am taking it all in!

Elvira was enjoying the sunshine and warm breeze too!

Elvira was enjoying the sunshine and warm breeze too!

2. Bi-weekly book club, fellowship and the women that are in our group! I used to be involved with a women's small group that fizzled out a couple years ago due to ladies having babies. But we have recently regrouped and have made it a bi-weekly book club! I really cherish the girl time and their friendships. Our first book was the Life-Changing Magic fo Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

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I've enjoyed this book but found it to be a little redundant. She says the same thing over and over again. It gave me some new ideas for folding a storing clothes, but also rejuvenated the minimalist in me. I've have strayed from my "fewer nicer things" policy over the last couple of years and plan to get back on track this spring! Our next book is Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis.  It's Timothy's favorite and I can't wait to read it.

3. The One Question a Day for You and Me - A Three-Year Journal - Daily Reflections for Couples! Speaking of books - We found this book at Barnes and Noble when we were in Atlanta back in January. I have really enjoyed this daily task. Some of the questions are really sweet. Some are practical and some make us laugh. We started it on Valentine's Day and just a coupe days later one of the questions was "Do you exercise?" We got a chuckle out of that. It was hard for me to admit that we haven't exercised sine October. I hope to start back soon. 

4.  St. Valentine and our modern celebration of love! Good 'ol St. Val had it rough but I am grateful for his work and sacrifice for Christianity. Since Ash Wednesday was on Valentine's day this year, we had services and were fasting. We opted to celebrate a couple days later and had a great time! Our tradition for Valentine's day is a little unique. We don't tend to do the romantic dinners, flowers or desserts. Instead we usually eat a cheap dinner and go see an action movie! This all started when we got married and realized extravagant dates weren't in the budget, and the tradition has continued every year since. This year we had pizza and saw the Black Panther. It was soooooooo good. Go see it!

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5.  Beautycounter and safer skincare/makeup! My dear friend Cassie, Atlanta's Best Chiropractor, informed me a few years ago about how toxic the beauty industry is. I could write a whole blog post about it, and probably will, but long story short the FDA doesn't do a whole of regulating when it comes to the chemicals that companies put in their products. The EU has banned over 1500 chemicals from beauty products and the US has only banned like 11. Since my awakening, I've been using the Environmental Working Group's Skin-deep database to check products before I buy them. That can be really time consuming when you're standing at the Walgreens trying to find out if some makeup wipes are toxic and the EWG app "can't find product." I heard about Beautycounter when another friend, Christina, had a social back in September. I did some research and really liked this company, what they stood for and the action they are taking to change the industry. Their products are great and I decided to become part of the movement!

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6. Alone time and getting stuff done while Timothy is away! Don't get me wrong, I miss him like crazy and would have preferred to go to the church conference with him this past week! However, I did enjoy my alone time and the opportunity to get some stuff done around the house. All the laundry and dishes are done. The house is spotless and I got some mending done onvclothes that needed some tender love and care. I worked on some crochet patterns and blog posts as well. He came home on Thursday and I sure was glad to see him!

Work in Progress #wipitgood

Work in Progress #wipitgood

7. Starting over with this weekly reflection! It's very easy for me to get wrapped up in the busyness of the day and not take a moment to reflect and appreciate life. I'm really grateful for my friend Leanna and her idea of this weekly practice. I'm so proud of her for keeping it going for a whole year!

#XOXO

K

First Sunday in Advent - FAIL

Hey! Guess what? It's hard to live liturgically when you are constantly on the road and never home. #logic

We drove home to Knoxville for Thanksgiving with our families. For the first time in years, both families celebrated on Thanksgiving day. So we had to eat light during the first meal to save room for the second. #stuffedpigs We survived though and it was fun to see everyone on the actual day.

Since I was and am still getting over a cold, I didn't feel like Black Friday shopping. I slept in until about 10. #sonice #what! #holla Timothy wanted to get out visit a few places so we got ready and headed out. 

The first stop was TMobile on the hunt for new iPhone 7s. He got one and I had to order mine. #bummer Then we grabbed some lunch and I wanted to go the Bath and Body for their 1/2 priced soaps. #lovemesomevanillabeannoel #merryberrychristmasyall You probably do not want a play by play of my thanksgiving weekend, so let's skip on the the meat of the story.

We didn't get home until around midnight on Saturday and the following day was the First Sunday in Advent. We went to church and worshipped which included lighting the Advent wreath. Then we ate lunch with friends, I worked on crochet stuff all afternoon, handbell and choir practice that night and then home for more crochet work. #la-ti-da

Interesting side note: We had decided to wait on putting up our Christmas decorations to celebrate Advent and really feel the anticipation of the season. So since we made that decision, it didn't even occur to me that I had an Advent Wreath at home that needed to be unpacked and lit. Monday night a friend, who is in seminary and probably busier than me, posted a picture.

" Happy Advent, beloveds! In the midst of life's clutter, after a late night of travel, and with last Year's candles (sans wreath, even) we begin the preparation.   Because Jesus is on the move.   #advent     #reallife     #hallelujah "  -Leanna Coyle-Carr

"Happy Advent, beloveds! In the midst of life's clutter, after a late night of travel, and with last Year's candles (sans wreath, even) we begin the preparation. Because Jesus is on the move. #advent #reallife #hallelujah" -Leanna Coyle-Carr

Um yeah, I couldn't even manage to make something that simple happen. #pastorswifefail 

So I decided to pull out all the Christmas decorations, while I was writing this post, and started looking for the Advent wreath. Pro tip: put that stuff on top next year yo! #winning I had to dig a little and finally found it. 

Totally forgot to light the first candle before taking the picture. #winning 

Totally forgot to light the first candle before taking the picture. #winning 

Oh boy, well better late than never. I hope you and your families enjoy this season of Advent. 

P.S. Did you watch Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life? Somehow I managed to watch it sporadically over the weekend. #what?!? #thatendingthough