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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

30 Days of Thanks


You know how every November your facebook feed suddenly fills up with what each of your friends is thankful for? Every.Single.Day for 30 days straight? I'm all for being thankful and expressing that thanks, but gratitude for Pumpkin Spice Lattes gets old really quick, ya know?

So, instead of annoying my friends with one thankful status at a time, I've decided to put all of you out of your misery with the things that I'm thankful for this November as well as every other month of the year.

I am thankful for

My Children. These little miracles. These precious little beings that teach me so much every single day. They can build me up and tear me down all in the same second. They drive me insane and make my heart swell with love and joy. My children have changed me, for the better, most days. I can not imagine my life without them and I will always stand up and do what is right for them.

Love. Love, what a fragile thing love is. I've experienced what I thought was love, pain from being in love, and the sheer joy of being loved. Love will stretch your limits and test you and will pick you up when you've hit bottom. Real love. Love is patient, love is kind. I'm thankful for the lessons love has taught me and continues to teach me. I'm thankful to know what real love is and to live it every day.

My Parents. Sometimes, they drive me crazy, frustrate me, irritate me. Much like I do to them, I'm sure. I love my parents and I'm thankful for the lessons they've taught me - even the ones they didn't know they were teaching me. My parents have shown me how to (and not how to) parent, love, stand up for myself, and make good decisions.

New and Old Friends. Old friends because they know me and new ones because they don't. Old friends because we can reminisce about our memories and new friends with which I can create new memories.

New Beginnings and Second Chances. Oh, how thankful I am for new beginnings and second chances! If it weren't for those two things, I'd never be where I am today. I would never be able to right my wrongs, or try again to get it right. I wouldn't be able to finish what I started or start something new altogether. I wouldn't be able to chase my dreams.

My Job. I am blessed to work where I do. I genuinely enjoy my work and my coworkers. My days are long and I miss being home with my kids terribly, but I am happy to get up and go to work in the mornings.

Forgiveness in Myself and In Others. I am thankful for the ability to forgive others and for the ability of others to forgive me.

Hope. There are many things in life that I still hope to do and experience and I'm thankful that I will most likely achieve those things.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving friends. Enjoy it with those you love and spend time creating beautiful memories together! 
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On This Veteran's Day

Most Veteran's do not like to be regarded to as heroes. In my opinion, a hero is someone that you can look up to, admire, and respect. To me, a veteran almost always fits that description.

Growing up, I didn't really know what it meant to be a veteran - to have served our country. I didn't "get it." I knew that my uncle and some of his friends were in the Navy, stationed in Virginia. I knew I only got to see him when he came home from the "big ship." I knew that my Papaw was in the Army, but only recently did I find out that he was a Sargeant 1st Class and served his country for 21 years. Neither of them ever really spoke about their service to our country; I just knew that I loved and admired both of these men that were important to me for many reasons, including their time in the military. 

As I got older, I began to have a wider perspective of the military. I have had many friends who have served and here and there I learned bits and pieces. I thought I understood what it must be like to serve and to have that kind of bond, even with perfect strangers. I still wished my veteran friends a "Happy" Veteran's Day. 

My view has changed yet again. I've chosen to spend my life with a veteran and while I will never fully "get it," there are a few things that I now know for sure. I know that Veteran's Day is not a happy day; it's a day to remember those veterans who didn't make it home and to thank the ones who did. I learned that I will never really understand why the men and women who choose to serve our country do what they do for so many who are unwilling to do the same. I will never understand the bond that they have with one another. I will never understand why the majority of veterans would drop everything and do it all over again if they could. 

My heart breaks, yet swells with pride every time I remind myself of this. I didn't choose to serve this country the way so many have. I have however, always held a deep appreciation for those who did choose that path. I am thankful for the sacrifice. I am grateful. For you, you, and you.

Thank You.

Remember today, the fallen heroes who didn't make it back home. Remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for me and for you. Remember their families and friends. Say a prayer for the veterans who we are lucky to still have with us today. Pray for them to find peace and comfort. Remember that today is not a "happy" holiday, but a day of remembrance and thanks. 

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Lighter Pumpkin Latte Courtesy of Sweet’N Low®

Temperatures at night are dropping lower, the air is feeling crisper, and folks are getting antsy for the sights, sounds, and tastes of Fall!

My absolute favorite season is Fall. I look forward to crisp, warm days, pumpkins all over the place, the excitement of Halloween, and a couple of my favorite Fall-themed beverages. It’s always fun to be a little indulgent, but if I were to drink my favorite pumpkin latte all season-long my diet plan would be way off track!

Luckily, Sweet’N Low® has got me covered! If you enjoy the sweet taste of lattes but not the calories that accompany them, then read on for a great Lighter Pumpkin Latte recipe from Sweet‘N Low®!

I’m going to share a multiple-serving recipe because even if you aren’t sharing with friends, you will probably find yourself wanting more than one latte! At only 93 calories per serving, enjoy the taste of Fall without the caloric guilt!

Lighter Pumpkin Latte Recipe
93 Calories per serving
(serves 4)

  • 12 packets Sweet‘N Low® zero calorie sweetener
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) espresso coffee (or bold coffee)
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin (not the pie filling)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 cups skim milk (or plain unsweetened almond or soy milk)
  • Nutmeg, for garnish (optional)

  1. In a heatproof container, whirl the Sweet‘N Low®, espresso, pumpkin, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice using a milk frother or fork.  Pour equal amounts into 4 mugs.
  2. In a separate container, heat the milk in the microwave. Pour equal amounts of hot milk to each mug and whirl until the latte is topped with foam.
  3. Garnish with a pinch of nutmeg. Serve immediately.

Enjoy your Lighter Pumpkin Latte from Sweet‘N Low®!

This blog post is sponsored by Sweet’N Low®.
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