My first post happens to fall at the same time as my favorite season, Autumn, is coming to a conclusion; and also on one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving. I wholeheartedly believe autumn is my favorite season because of my love affair with pumpkin spice flavored coffee from Dunkin Donuts. I also feel as though the cooler weather clears my mind and inspires my creative juices to flow.
I participated in the Annual Fort Lauderdale Turkey Trot 5k this morning! The weather was gorgeous; and running along A1A next to the beach as the sun was rising provided beautiful scenery. This will definitely be on my list for races to do again. OH and the costumes were hilarious and I made lots of new friends while running, lol!
I have recently heard a lot of hype, with the holiday, about potential health benefits to the heart and soul of synthesizing a detailed list of things we are thankful for. So, this morning as I was running I let my mind wander and thought about all of the things I am thankful for this year. Here is my list, and maybe you will be inspired to write a list of your own. My list is in no specific order, other than the first one, the rest of them are in the order that they came to my mind.(( Also, sorry for the long windedness.))
1) I am *most* thankful for my Lord’s persistent love and grace.
One of my goals for 2012 was to find and join a community church that shares similar values that I hold with respect to faith. The Lord has definitely helped me in reaching this goal, and has blessed me with a church that I feel I can call ‘home’. I am thankful for my growing faith, my new church family, and the ability to share the light of God’s grace on a daily basis with those around me – although I wish I took advantage of those opportunities more often.
2) I am thankful for the beautiful country I live in, and for the blessings associated with being an American citizen. And I am so thankful for the men and women who risk their lives fighting for our freedom, including military, law enforcement, and fire rescue.
3) This year and every year I am very thankful for family. My mother and father, although no longer joined in marriage, have both taught me SO MUCH about life and love. They are both my biggest cheerleaders and I am grateful for their consistent support of all of my choices. I am also thankful for both of their new companions, my stepfather and stepmother. Finally, I am thankful for my younger brother and step sisters – all three of them are constant reminders that joy is obtainable, and I appreciate they’re constant energy and optimism. I am thankful for all of my family, immediate and extended, although I will not list each of them, I am thankful for the light that they each bring to my life.
4) “Thankful”, does not touch how I feel about my truly amazing boyfriend, who came into my life a little over a year ago as one of the greatest blessings I may ever experience. I don’t want to get too detailed or too mushy, but I am so happy to have found love and to experience being loved. I am thankful for his family, and their love. Moving in with my soulmate and best friend, although was a very controversial decision for me as I am a firm believer in marriage first, has proven to be one of the best decisions for this season of my life.
5) This leads me to the next thing I am thankful for, my home. My apartment may be small; but myself, and my boy, and my tiny doggie are more than comfortable and very happy. At 22 years old, I am so thankful that my parents taught me early how to save and budget wisely, so I can afford the expenses of life. Living with roommates was a phase of my life that, while fun at times, I would never want to go back to. And I am thankful to have a home to go back to each night after school/work.
6) And about school, I am SO VERY thankful for my education. And for my ability to learn, as well as my great passion for knowledge. Education will forever be a passion of mine. I fully love curling up on my couch and indulging in a glass of a wine with a good book, even if that book is sociology or criminology textbook. I love the feeling I get when I step foot onto the UCF campus for another night class that will be full of philosophical discussions. And more than anything, I am thankful for my ability to think creatively, to be analytical, and to hold sophisticated conversations with people.
7) I am thankful for friends. This year has been a shaky one for me in learning how to identify who true friends are. I am still learning, and I am thankful for the friends that have stuck by me and for the new friends I have met along the way. Three things on friendship: like any other relationship it takes work and a friendship must be nurtured in a healthy/positive way, a true friend knows your strengths and weaknesses and forgives mistakes, a true friend supports and encourages you in achieving your dreams.
8) I am oh so very thankful for my health and vitality. I am thankful that I am able to run, and that I can confidently say that I enjoy running (much more about this in posts to come).
9) I am thankful life’s challenges, and for the lessons they bring. This year my challenges have taught me a lot about patience and faith, in God and in other people.
10) I am thankful for my job and to be working.
11) I am thankful for my best friend. The girl who can keep all my secrets. The girl who dries all my tears and lifts my spirits when I’m feeling down. And the girl who reminds me the importance of rest and midday naps. I am thankful for Brady’s relentless love.
12) Finally, I am thankful for food and the joy that cooking brings into my home.
Which brings me to this week’s recipe………. What to do with all those Thanksgiving leftovers?
I always have a ton of leftover turkey and other amazingly delicious food from Thanksgiving. And if you know me, you probably know that I HATE letting food go to waste, I mean there are people starving in other parts of the world, seriously. So, this year I am going to try out some of the recipes on this Rachel Ray Thanksgiving Round two article! Let me know if you try, taste, and enjoy any of them!! I especially like the idea of freezing left over pumpkin pie filling to use for smoothies and things throughout the year!!
And for this weekend’s exercise tip. Take a week to REST – your muscles will thank you for it. Enjoy spending time with your family and friends, and don’t let guilt consume you for not getting a work out in. Take advantage of the heavy bag lifting and swift walking you will do while Black Friday shopping. And, enjoy some light stretching or a walk, or maybe a 20 minute yoga session. STAY AWAY from the scale, and do not stress about it!
Happy Thanksgiving all!! Enjoy the good weather and time with loved ones!