I Am Thankful

There really is always something to be thankful for, isn’t there? So I decided to be thankful for something every day in November and record it. You’ll see they aren’t big things at all, but sometimes all the little things together are a big thing.

I am thankful for…

November 1: The kids slept all night long, meaning I got to get a full night of uninterrupted sleep.

November 2: Feeding the ducks with the girls and having them all come out of the water and stand around our feet. See that white duck? That’s Mia’s duck, and nobody but Mia is allowed to feed it (according to Mia).

November 3: A night out without the kids (casino night at a neighbor’s house for a fundraiser my niece’s cheerleading squad…fun for a good cause.)

November 4: A lazy day at home with the kids.

November 5: The return of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills since there’s no good TV on Monday nights!

November 6:  All of the men and women who have lost their lives so that we could all keep our right to vote and live freely.

November 7: Playdates at the park, which always end with two girls napping.

November 8: RAIN!

November 9: A long weekend. Even Daddy has the weekend off. Lots of family time.

November 10: Making a couple of new recipes…check out my Jalapeno Popper recipe (with a twist)!

November 11: Hanging out with friends and watching football all day. Thankful that we have awesome weather where we can do this almost all year round.

November 12: Took the kids to feed the ducks and then bought everything to put together our first Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

November 13: Kids back in school after the long weekend!

November 14: The kids conked out early which means I got to watch TV with Jason and go to bed early.

November 15: Christmas shopping almost done. Don’t hate.

November 16: This picture of Lila and her Daddy. I am so, SO thankful for Jason and for our beautiful children.

November 17: Hanging out in my parents’ backyard with my brothers and sisters while all of our kids play.

November 18: I posted this on Facebook: “Today I am thankful that my kids have so many cousins that they get to hang out with all of the time. And they just call them their friends. I hope they stay friends forever.”

November 19: Even though I complain about cleaning, I’m thankful that we have a roof over our head and food on our table. We are so blessed and Jason and I both feel it’s very important that the kids understand just how lucky they are.

November 20: Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte Mix. I am going to have to buy a couple of cases of this stuff to get me through the year since I think they only have this during the holidays. November 21: The amazing friends I’ve made since I started blogging; people whom I would have never met otherwise. And all of the blessings I’ve received since I started blogging, including finding a passion for writing. I am a brand ambassador for Chiquita, and I also wrote about little things I am thankful for there as well.

November 22: For Jason, the kids, my family, my friends, and my health!
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What are you thankful for? I’m linking up over at my friend Vanessa’s blog see vaneessa craft. If you wrote a post about being thankful, head over and grab the button and link up.

I also shared why I love Thanksgiving yesterday and included some favorite recipes and my favorite painting of the day!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours

Our 10th Wedding Anniversary Getaway Weekend

10 years ago, Jason and I said “I Do” in front of family and friends. I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was so special and magical. It was everything that I wanted it to be. I really can’t believe it’s already been 10 years.

And so much has happened in those 10 years that have passed so fast. We have a family now. I don’t work anymore. Jason’s in the best shape of his life, and I’m still trying to get in shape.

But one thing that hasn’t changed is how in love I am with him.

Our actual anniversary was this past Friday, which is when we left for our first getaway weekend without the kids in way too long. He surprised me on Thursday by telling me he’s taking me to the central coast for the weekend to Paso Robles for wine tasting and fantastic food.

We left early Friday morning, and drove straight up to Hearst Castle, about 45 minutes north of Paso Robles. I have been there before, but he had not. If you’ve never been, it’s really an amazing and beautiful place to visit.

Of course I wanted to see the wine cellar. 100+ year old bottles of wine, some still corked, were on display. Pretty cool to see!

We then headed to our hotel to freshen up and to The Range in Santa Margarita, a local treasure that they like to keep secret. There’s no website, they aren’t on Facebook or Twitter, you can’t make reservations and they only take cash. And if you didn’t know it was there, you’d drive right passed it. The food was AMAZING. I mean AMAZING. Everybody was so friendly (our waiter actually put together of wineries we shouldn’t miss) and we were lucky enough to get seated right away. They serve a great selection of local wines. We can’t wait to go back.

The following day was a day of wine tasting. Now I knew that harvesting season had started around the country, but had been told that harvest in Paso Robles was still a couple of weeks away. I’ve always wanted to go during harvest, and was bummed to miss it.

We ended the day at one of my favorite wineries in the country, Eberle Winery. We had scheduled a VIP tour and tasting and I was excited to get down into the wine caves to check them out. I hadn’t been there in over 15 years, and it’s changed a lot since then. When we got to the winery, I noticed grapes that had been harvested! To say I was excited was an understatement.

We were introduced to the winemaker, who told us he was just getting ready to start the process of getting the grapes off the stems and crushing them to start the winemaking process. We got to watch!

It was such an awesome surprise to be able to be at my favorite winery and watch the process. Followed of course by tasting lots of their awesome wines. It was a perfect afternoon.

We ended the day with dinner at one of the best restaurants in the area: Bistro Laurent. Now I loves me some eating and fine dining, but I will admit I’m not a very adventurous eater. We sat down and Jason asked our waitress what she recommended. She recommended a four course meal, but said just let Chef Laurent surprise you. To me? This sounded dangerous. There were things on the menu I would never order. But thanks to several glasses of wine at Eberle, I said what the hell and said okay.

Warm lobster salad. I would never order it on my own because I’m not a huge fan of lobster. It was beautiful and velvety and not at all fishy and perfect.

Ling Cod and Lentils. I’m not a fan of fish so again wouldn’t have ordered it. It was over the top good. I wanted to ask for more!

Lamb Chops. No way in a million years would I ever order this. No way. And it was much better than I expected it to be, but I still wouldn’t order them in the future.

Figs with creme. To.Die.For.! It was the perfect ending to the perfect meal.

We can’t wait to go back for more wine tasting and eating. The central coast is stunningly beautiful and I could see spending every anniversary there. Thank you Jason for such a special weekend.

He Even Lectures Me In My Dreams…

I woke up this morning to Lila crying and demanding milk. At 6:20 AM. I was not happy.

I was also not happy about the dream I remembered. Jason died. I don’t know how or why, but I HATE those kinds of dreams…they stay with you for the entire day and leave you with a horrible feeling. It bothered me so much though that I must have cried in my sleep because I had a dried tear trail from my right eye. No kidding.

Anyways in my dream I was completely devastated. But then he came and visited me as a ghost, and from what he said, I knew it was really him.

I decided to tell him about the dream this morning because I knew he would like what he told me in the dream. Here’s how our conversation about the dream went:

Me: Babe, I had the worst dream ever last night.

Jason: Uh oh! About what? (only half paying attention because he was on the computer)

Me: (as I am literally knocking on wood) Well, you died. And I couldn’t stop crying and I couldn’t get off of the floor. I was in heap screaming “NO NO NO” over and over and then you came and visited me as a ghost.

Jason: Were we making pottery? (referring to the movie Ghost)

Me: No! I was really upset and kept begging you not to leave me and telling you I needed you. I kept asking you to come back.

Jason: But no pottery, huh?

Me: No! Would you please let me tell you my story! You are going to be so proud of yourself when you hear it.

Jason: Okay…

Me: Anyways, you were standing on the other side of the screen on the inside of the house. But you put your hands through the screen and held my hands. They were warm. I could smell you too but still I couldn’t stop crying.

Jason: Did I stink? Did you tell me to take a shower?

Me: Babe! Come on, just listen! Anyways, I kept asking you to come back. And you just kept saying “Don’t worry, you are taken care of. You will have money.”

And I kept saying that I didn’t care about the money I wanted you. And you kept saying “What do you have to do with the money?” And then I said, well we need to make sure we have enough to send the kids to college.  And you said okay, but then asked again “But what are you supposed to do with the money?” 

So I said “Real estate. Buy real estate so that I’ll make more money.” And then you smiled and you told me again that I would be fine.

Jason: Really? 

Me: Yes. I couldn’t make this stuff up. You even lecture me about money and spending money in my dreams.

Well, at least he knows I pay attention when he talks to me about the important stuff, I guess!

I’m Pausing For A Moment…

I’m not here today (Tuesday) because I am over at JDaniel4’s Mom blog trying to Pause Life for a Moment. If you spend entirely too much time on the computer and too much time ignoring your kids too little time enjoying time with your kids, head over and read the post because you will relate! And thanks Deirdre for having me over to guest post!

Also…you all loved my Down The Aisle link up so much that I decided to do another fun one! Get ready to dig out your honeymoon photos and link them up with your honeymoon story!

That’s right! Starting on Wednesday, you will be able to link up your honeymoon photos and/or story to share with everybody. It can be one picture or a ton of them, with or without a story…perfect for both Wordless or Wordful Wednesday!

Down The Aisle – Link Up Your Favorite Wedding Photo!

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Everybody has a favorite wedding photo. Maybe it was taken at the wedding ceremony, in front of the courthouse, at the reception, or before or after the big day. It’s that one picture that makes you remember why you fell in love with him or her in the first place. This one is mine.

This picture was taken sometime during our wedding reception 9 years ago. I have no idea when it was taken or what we are laughing about. I never dreamed that our wedding photographer would be able to capture such a perfect moment.

We had no idea what the future held for us, no idea about how incredible it would be to have children, and no idea how fast time would fly. What we did know is that we loved each other and wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. I think this photo captures that intimacy, that happiness, and it’s like I’m peeking in on a very private, special moment.

I will always love this photo. Sure there were many other gorgeous photos taken that day, but none that captured our love and closeness so much.

Now I want to see your favorite wedding photo and I want to know why it’s your favorite! So come back anytime this week after you’ve found the picture and written the post and link up!

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Also linking up over at Project Alicia for Wordless (or in my case Wordful) Wednesday! Check out her site for a list of fantastic other blogs to link up with!