Be thankful everyday!

Day 21: Thankful for time spent in the kitchen (and the money) to make sweet treats! Also thankful that the Tisthammer/Harrison/Catarisano families let us celebrate Thanksgiving and gather around the table with them to share memories and stories!

Day 22: Thankful for a day where we celebrate Thankfulness ;) A day where people all around the nation gather with friends and families to eat turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole (yuck!), yams, rolls, and stuffing! It's a beautiful day, every year, no matter the circumstances!
Annnnnd, late night shopping adventures with great friends! Thanks Tisthammers for joining us and fighting the crowds :)

Happy Thanksgiving from the Carton Family!
Day 23: Black Friday. Loooooove this day! We live in a consumer's world, and I'm not going to lie...I love shopping for stuff! But just being in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is so heartwarming...and at times, frustrating ;)

Day 24: New hair. And new boots.

From red, to brown, to honey blonde! Change is so fun!

Day 25: Late nights playing games and eating pizza with friends who have become our extended family!

Day 26: Conversations with those I love over email who are thousands of miles away! Thankful for Rhonda Miller who pretty much adopted me as her 2nd daughter.

Day 27: Thankful to have met a wonderful couple from Germany and are geting to learn about their lives, their culture, their language, and how they cook amazing food!

Day 28: New recipes to cook for my husband that he loves. Give these delicious Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps from Mel's Kitchen Cafe a try! I would not steer you wrong ;)

Day 29: Hot tea, pumpkin cookies, and Settlers with the Menegocci's. Such a fun night with much laughter and getting to know each other better :) We are thankful to know you guys and call you friends!

Day 30: Thankful for the good and not-so-good seasons in life. Sometimes husband and I don't get along and argue over (what seems like) everything. But I'm reminded that we are both human, that we have our own opinions about situations and that we're still both learning how to communicate, how to love, and how to encourage each other! I'm thankful that we have the Lord, cause if we didn't...I don't know how we would make it!

November has been such a wonderful month of newness in my life! A new home, new puppy, new friendships. Although change is hard for me, I've enjoyed this season of growing (as well as growing up) and learning more about myself and those around me. As this month comes to a close, I'm reminded how wonderful it has been to say what I'm thankful for everyday for a month, but it also challenges me that this needs to be my mindset everyday of the year! There is always something to be thankful for :)
I can't wait to see what the Lord does throughout the month of December!

And....can I just take a moment to say how excited I am it's Christmas month!! Christmas music hasn't stopped in a week, the house is just about decorated, and I've watched Home Alone I & II at least 5 times already ;)

Have a lovely Friday friends!


We're almost there..

I am thankful for...

Day 16: Date night at home with my love. We were supposed to go for our monthly date night...ya know, a nice dinner, a movie, Starbucks...but James wasn't feeling well, so we had a date night in! I love that we started having intentional date nights to catch up on life, talk about what's going on in our hearts, where we're at financially, spiritually, and mentally. It's so refreshing to just sit and talk about life with my best friend!

Day 17: Organizing skills and Pine sol. Husband and I spent all day Saturday organizing (and rearranging) our house, organizing our movies, and scrubbing the floors and walls. The "professional cleaners" the landlord said cleaned the house, failed miserably. I was on my hands and knees for a couple hours cleaning up the nonsense the previous tenets left behind; food on the walls, food on the floor, holes in the walls I had to patch up. It's slowly coming together and smelling much cleaner these days!

Day 18: Celebrating my dear friend Britt Jackson and her little man Lincoln who will be gracing us with his presence in no time! Another friend, Mishayla and I, planned a Mustache Bash for Britt which turned out to be so cute with lots of tasty food! It was such a joy taking the time to celebrate a new life and help prep the parents-to-be with fun gifts!

Husband and I also got to spend Sunday evening with great friends playing Settlers! We're both pretty terrible, but there's nothing like having an evening with great friends, playing a board game, eating sweets, and drinking wine (or hot tea if you're like me!).

Day 19: Making some extra cash by selling items on Craigslist! We just sold a table and chair set, which is perfect cause my wonderful husband said I could use that cash to get my hair did! He's the best ever! And we don't have to pull cash from our budget which means, we can still make payments on our debt! Hallelujah!

Day 20: That it's my last full day at work for the week! Tomorrow I only work half day and then it's time to start cooking and baking for Thanksgiving!! 

Have a great week friends :)


Only 7 Days till Turkey Day...

Oy! I seem to be doing a terrible job at blogging everyday. But HEY! I'm still making the 30 Days of Thankfulness happen ;)

Let's see....I am thankful for....

Day 13: Our Tuesday night dinner group...which is becoming more like a small family. We laugh...with and at each other...a lot! We share married stories, like how we signal to each other the 'angry eye' or the 'hand squeeze'. We watched The Voice together this week and made fun of Carson Daly and cheered for our favorite competitors (Go Trevin Hunte!). Husband and I are just so blessed to know and do life with the Shaida's, the Menegocci's, and the Bisenberger's!

Day 14: The girls I work with! We had a Girls Night Out in a cute little home downtown, drank wine, ate delicious pasta and soup, and laughed all night long. I really don't know how I would get through my work days if it weren't for these amazing ladies! My coworkers have indeed become friends, and these friendships, I know, will last a very long time. I am so thankful to work alongside such an incredible group!

Belinda, Amy, Me, Kristen, Christy, Coby, Jourdan, and Mishayla
(missing Kelly, Rachael, and Mary Claire)
Day 15: The days I can wear my contacts and it goes well. Silly, I know...but it's true! As most of my friends know, I wear my glasses all. the. time. I have contacts, but they seem to have found a cozy home in my medicine cabinet. Today, I decided to take them out of the dark, and actually put them in my eyes. You see, I have bad allergies, dry eyes, and a squinty smile so my eye makeup tends to smudge really easily. Contacts seem to multiply these problems by 10. Naturally, I hate all of the above, so I just put my glasses on, make a comment to husband (everyday) about how much I hate looking like a librarian, and go on my merry way. Today, I put my contacts in and so far so good! No dryness, no smudgy makeup (as of yet), and my allergies seem to be fine. It's a good day and I am thankful :) (I'm also thankful that it doesn't always have to be the big things that bring a little joy in ones day!)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thanksgiving is in 7 days! Can you believe it?? I really can't. Like truly, can't believe it's the HOLIDAY SEASON! I l-o-v-e this time of year, but I'm surprised every year how incredibly fast it shows up. Next week at this time, husband and I will be celebrating our first Thanksgiving as man and wife. We will indulge in the eating of much food. We will watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. And we will be sure to get a good nap in so we're rested to head out at midnight to start Black Friday Shopping

Best. Tradition. Ever

Husband and I started it last year and even though we don't have a ton of money to spend (thank you debt.), we will still go out, enjoy the hustle and bustle, buy a few items, laugh at people in their sweats and beanies with their long lists of Christmas gifts, and realize how insane we are to be apart of it all. Although insane, I would't change our tradition for anything :)

Have a lovely Thursday!


Let's cozy up!

Day 11: Thankful for a warm fire in our new home. I haven't had a wood burning fire place since moving from CA, so having one again is the most wonderful thing...specially with it being so cold lately!

Once upon a time there was a piece of wood.
It was not an expensive piece of wood. 
Far from it. 
It was just a common block of firewood, 
one of those thick, solid logs 
that are put on a fire in winter 
to make cold rooms cozy and warm. ~Carlo Collodi

Day 12: Thankful for His peace when my heart is overwhelmed. Psalm 61:2


Red Robin...yuuuummm...

Day 10: So thankful for family dinner's with my three favorite men :) Dad is in from CA for the weekend and my brother joined us after he got off work. We had a great dinner with many laughs, James telling his jail story (of which Dad didn't know about...oops, hehe!), and lots of great food!

To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.
-Barbara Bush


Happiness is a Clean Puppy

Day 9: Thankful for our Molly Girl! She had her first bath last night :) and let's just say this...she really needs to get used to the water! 

She's the cutest ever even though she didn't like us at the moment!
But now she smells like an apricot, hehe!


A little behind...

We just got internet in our new home..hence why I'm behind on blogging. But I'm back :)

Husband and I got all moved in late Saturday afternoon, but it all started Friday after work, which made for a very loooooong weekend. We met our new landlord at the townhouse, did the walk through, got the keys, and started unloading James' truck which had a load of stuff in it already. We worked all Friday night getting (most) everything out of the basement we were living in and spent our first night (yay!) in our new home...on a blow up mattress...not the best night of sleep, but it worked. Saturday morning we got up, moved some boxes around, ate Chick-fil-a for breakfast, and met a group of wonderful friends at the storage unit where most of our stuff was. An hour and a half, two trips to the house, and 8 cars later, we were done. HALLELUJAH! James and I were amazed at how fast it all got done. After eating lunch with a few of the friends who were available, we headed back to the basement to grab the left over stuff, and clean it all up. I wanted to be done there so we could concentrate on our new home! We were both so extremely exhausted, but more than anything, thankful! Thankful for amazing friends, a new home, and our mattress, although old, it was better than the blow up :)

Sunday we moved stuff around and prepped for Molly to come live with us! We were so very excited to finally have our new addition. Our wonderful, new friends, Robbie and Carrie came over and welcomed us with a bottle of wine and chew toys for the pup! It was a rough first night with the little one, but we managed. I took Monday off to get rest and James worked from home; we figured it would be good to have a day at home with Molly to help her adjust to her new life. She did very well! The past two days I was out from work with the stomach flu :( So those extra days with Molly were good as well. She was a nuisance at times, only cause she wanted to play, but she did well (for the most part) cuddling me when I slept and keeping herself entertained!

All that to say....it's been a crazy week and I'm ready for this upcoming weekend when my Dad comes out to visit and we can get settled in a little bit more!

I have 6 days to catch up on for my Thankfulness, so let's get down to it ;)

Day 3: Thankful for my hardworking, patient, determined, sexy husband. 
He was such a trooper moving all Friday night and was so gracious with me when I got stubborn about staying in our new place. I just love him (more times infinity) and could not be more excited to start this new season of life with him!

AND: So so incredibly thankful for all the friends who helped us! We really couldn't have done it with out you all!
Jared and Mary Claire
Beto and Kelly
David and Simone
Rob and Carrie

Day 4: Thankful for our own place! For the longest time, James and I have both lived in a basement. James lived at home and his room was in the basement. I've been in a basement room for a long time, and then we moved into a basement. No more basement for us!! We now have two bedrooms, and two flights of stairs, and a dining room with our own table in it and a wood burning fire place for cold, winter nights, and our own, new couches...ahhh, it's so wonderful :)

Day 5: Thankful for my job. It's been such a blessing working at Rachel's Challenge the past year. I've learned so much not only about the mission for the organization, but about the public school system and the kids that attend. My heart breaks when I hear stories about kids coming from horrible homes or being in the foster care system, but then I fill with joy knowing they are hearing a message of hope and compassion! I am also thankful to have a job that helps pay for our bills so husband and I can live comfortably! 

Day 6: Thankful for the sunshine that shines in the windows. It's the simple things sometimes :)

Day 7: 7up, Chicken Noodle Soup, Saltines, a cuddly puppy, and my favorite show ever, Friends :) Everything to help soothe an upset tummy.

Day 8: Jourdan Foran, who I've only known for a year (since working at RC), but who has become such a great, trustworthy, honest, true, hilarious, dear friend. I just really love her to pieces and am blessed to have her in my life!

That's all she wrote folks....for today at least ;) Have a lovely Thursday!
P.S. It's almost the weekend...praise Jesus!


Day 2: I Voted

It's November 2nd and I voted. And for that, I am thankful. 

I am thankful I live in a country where I have the freedom to express my opinion for our countries leaders. 

I am thankful for the 19th Amendment that states "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

I am thankful.


It's the little things...

Thankful: Feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative. 

Throughout our lives, we take many things for granted. 
We over look the obvious and don't truly appreciate the world around us. 
Well folks, it's November...which means...
a whole month to express your thankfulness!

I once read a book entitled "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp...a book that challenges and invites the reader to embrace everyday blessings. For, if you live with a mind set on being thankful, you will begin to view the world differently. This book is currently in a box somewhere, but once we move and I get the chance to unpack, I will be diving into it again. I definitely suggest reading it! I also suggest getting a really cute (or manly!) journal to write out your list of 1,000 gifts. My list got to about 200-ish and stopped. When I start the book over, I will make a cute journal and once again, write down 1,000 things I'm thankful for...and be reminded of how much I am blessed!
Since today is November 1st and I have made the conscience decision to blog everyday (if I can, that is...might have to double up on some posts) about something I'm thankful for (whether it be a person, a place, or something random), I will start the month off by saying....

Today, I am thankful for Christmas Music!! Yes, I officially started listening to it (on Monday actually) and it hasn't stopped. I love having two full months of non-stop Christmas Cheer. It makes the world wonderful and bright and my heart leaps at every song as if I were still a child! Annnnnnnnd (just so you are aware) there are only 53 DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS! woohoo!