Monthly Archives: October 2013

Be Thankful

My Blessings As I Countdown to Thanksgiving

I have a lot to be thankful for … most of us do, even though the economy has wreaked havoc for so many people throughout the world. Times are tough for so very many. Illness, accidents, unemployment, violent weather/natural disasters, terrorism, political chaos … there’s so much to be depressed about.

I refuse to fall victim to these feelings. I want to be optimistic and have a positive outlook. I’ve been through tough times before and everything turned out okay. I will draw on past experiences and be encouraged. I recently read a book by Ann Voskamp called “One Thousand Gifts”. While I have never experienced the horrible life events that she shared, I was really inspired how she counted all her blessings ~ big and small ~ as a gift.

Since Thanksgiving is on the near horizon, I’ve decided to really pay attention and concentrate on all the blessings that I sort of take for granted; from big revelations to smaller, everyday types of things. Each day leading up to Thanksgiving, I hope to capture my thoughts and emotions regarding how truly blest I am. I hope to share these with you along my journey. I’d like to wake up this Thanksgiving Day truly knowing all the things I’m thankful for because I spent this time in reflection.

I would love to hear your feelings on this topic … please comment to share your thoughts and/or past experiences. 

photo by: rustiqueart
I love curling up with a good book.

Books I Recommend Reading – “The Yada Yada Prayer Group”

I love reading. I’ve always been a bookworm. My idea of a perfect quiet afternoon is curling up with a good book, and escaping into the story 🙂

For the last decade or so, between homeschooling my kids, and more recently, starting my Tracy Helps You business, I’ve allowed myself to get out of the habit of reading for pleasure. I feel like I spent so much time reading textbooks and making lesson plans, that the only pleasurable reading I got to do was whichever classic my kids were reading for Literature. I’ve got nothing against the classics, but I like lots of different genres … from historical fiction to contemporary lighthearted romance 🙂 Continue reading

photo by: the bbp
Indian corn, pumpkins, corn stalks and bales of hay make perfect Autumn Decorations

Autumn / Fall Decorating ~ Halloween or Thanksgiving ?

It’s Fall ~ I just love Autumn ! The past week or so has been gorgeous weather in the Chicago area … warm sunny days in the low 70’s and cool crisp evenings in the low 60’s — Everywhere you go, you see apples and pumpkins … it’s so fun spending an afternoon apple picking; enjoying the activities at a local pumpkin farm; or going for a hayride. I love laid-back evenings just sitting by a relaxing bonfire sipping hot apple cider 🙂

I also love the autumn color palette; so many shades of gold, orange, rust, red and brown. The garden centers and pumpkin farms are stocked with harvest inspired decorations.

Do you decorate in the fall?? Indoors or out?? Do you decorate for Halloween or Thanksgiving or both?? Continue reading

photo by: jmd41280
Beautiful Fall Foliage

Five Favorite Things About Fall

  •    FALL FOLIAGE ~ the beautiful colors of the leaves never fails to awe me. I love all the hues of the autumn color palette, from the golden yellows to the burnt oranges to the deepest maroons.
  •    PUMPKIN ~ everything … pumpkin bread, pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkins seeds, pumpkin scented candles … btw, did I mention that I love pumpkin ??
  •    WEATHER ~ warm sunny days; crisp cool evenings; low humidity … what’s not to love ? Sadly, my sinuses aren’t huge fans of the change of seasons, but the rest of me loves the Fall.
  •    FIRE ~ I love sitting around a fire enjoying a warm (or warming) beverage and having long talks while gazing into the mesmerizing flames. I love when the wood pops and sends up sparks; I love the scent of the burning logs … I also love the smell of burning leaves (although it’s not allowed in my area)
  •  COMFORT FOOD ~ the change of seasons brings a change of meals at our house. The coolness gets me craving baked goods warm from the oven and big pots of soup with warm crusty bread. I love serving hearty dishes like beef stew and chili.                                                                                                                                                                                         Many thanks to & for co-hosting List It Tuesday / Top Ten Tuesday 🙂