Thankful and a Weight Loss Update

I’m so blessed beyond measure.  The Lord has been so good to us.  I could start a list of everything I’m thankful for and never stop.  There is so much to be thankful for.  I know some people do that “30 Days of Thankfulness” on Facebook…and I didn’t participate.  But I wanted to take a minute and just thank the Lord for some of my biggest blessings.
My husband.

Tyler is a daily blessing to me.  He isn’t perfect, but he is perfect for me.  
My family.

I have been blessed with great parents, great in-laws, and wonderful extended family.  They are always there to cheer me on and love me.
My church.
I had a great church where I grew up and I wasn’t sure I would ever find that again. But I have.  I’m so thankful for the people at FBC Greenwood.  I am so thankful for my life group, our pastor, and the wonderful people.  I am thankful that they live out God’s word.
My home.

I’m so thankful that we were able to build our dream home, but more than that…I’m so grateful for a warm, comfortable, cozy home.  I know many are in danger of losing their homes, or they don’t have a place of their own…so I am thankful for ours.
My job.
Not only do I have a good job, but I enjoy what I do.  I have wonderful coworkers whom I consider to be friends. I am so thankful for this job.

It might sound silly, but I’m so thankful to have found a way to stay healthy and make a little bit of money that I enjoy.  I’m also thankful for the encouraging people I’ve met through Zumba.  From my students (many who have become friends), to other instructors, I’m just thankful for the joy it brings in my life.
My friends.
I have always had pretty wonderful friends.  From high school to college to now, I’m thankful for those who have become friends of mine.  They are great listeners, make me laugh, and are quick to love and slow to judge.  I’m grateful.
I’m so glad I found an outlet for my thoughts, and that I’ve made some friends along the way.  Thank you to those of you who have prayed with me, rejoiced with me, and who have taken interest in my mundane life.  It is fun to have people to walk alongside of you on your journey.

I’m also thankful that these boys are from my alma mater, Ouachita Baptist University.  A great mix of the talent at OBU and the love of the Razorbacks. 🙂

And for a quick weigh loss update.
Back in September, I set out to lose 20 pounds by Thanksgiving.  Now, that was a big goal…but I decided to try.  And I didn’t quite make it.

But I DID lose 6 pounds, so it isn’t a bust by any means.  It is just slow going, dadgumit. I still have 14  to lose to make it to that 20 pound goal I set back in September (which will put me just past my 150 goal)…but I’m still working towards it.  The ladies in my online group (who were all working toward 20 by Thanksgiving) are joking that maybe we will get to 20 by Christmas.  If not Christmas, then we will keep trucking.  I’m not giving up. I have set the goal to be at 155 by New Year’s….so hopefully I can get there.

But here is the cool part: I am 21 pounds less this Thanksgiving than I was last Thanksgiving.  So I’ll celebrate that! 

What are you thankful for?

Best Thanksgiving Recipes

We do Thanksgiving at my mom’s….but I do a lot of the cooking.  Mom does the turkey, but I will always do some sides and desserts.
In case you are wanting to find some new recipes for your Thanksgiving gathering, these are ones we have tried and loved.  These are the best Thanksgiving recipes (in my opinion!)
Let’s start with side dishes. For an easy, yummy side dish, my creamed corn is always a hit! It is super easy but yummy (I mean, who doesn’t love cream cheese?)
We used to make sweet potatoes with maple syrup and marshmallows…and then we discovered Paula Deen’s sweet potato casserole.  To die for, y’all.
For desserts, I make a signature dessert at the holidays: German apple cake.  Mine is 99% identical to this one (but I add 1/2 cup chopped nuts to the batter).  But top it with homemade cream cheese icing…it’s a must. 
For the main dish, we always make turkey. But sometimes when we are expecting a bunch of people, I will make a ham to go along with the turkey.  And I’m telling you, Alton Brown’s City Ham recipe is THE BEST.  Everyone loves it.  It is covered in brown mustard, bourbon, gingersnaps, and brown sugar.  And now my mouth is watering. If you are making a turkey, my mom only ever makes hers in an oven bag and she bastes with orange juice.
And we always serve some snacks.  Nothing fancy…just dips and such.  We usually have a Wind Willow cheese ball there.  We have had the S’mores, Tiramisu, and their Bacon Ranch dip, and they are all good.
Another favorite dip is the Knorr Spinach dip. We love it with crackers before the big meal.  I mean, when all that yummy food is cooking and you are smelling it, you get hungry.  You gots to have snacks.
So those are some of our family’s faves.  What are “must haves” at your house for Thanksgiving?  Let me know if any of these sound yummy!  I have tried all of these recipes before, and they are hits at our house!

Thanksgiving Recap

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Wednesday evening, we gathered with Tyler’s family for a pre-Thanksgiving/birthday feast!  It was his uncle’s birthday, so we enjoyed soups, dips, and desserts together!  (My MIL made some AMAZING taco soup and potato soup!  sooo good!!) We played some games and tons of fun before heading to Hot Springs to spend Thanksgiving with my family.
They got my grandma transferred to the rehab wing of a local nursing home and she is doing GREAT!  I LOVED getting to see her and visit with her.  She is awake, alert, responsive (talking some…but still struggling with her words), and she even ate some mashed potatoes!  Such an answered prayer!
I did several things over Thanksgiving.
I ate.  This (blurry) turkey, 
dressing, sweet potato casserole, salads, rolls, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and many desserts. (Being on your period and ravenously hungry is quite acceptable over Thanksgiving.)  We also made some game food for Friday’s game and ate sandwhiches and dips and snacks.  So much food.
We chilled.  A lot.  Watched TV, and I read Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games series.  I’m officially obsessed with these book and can not wait until the movies come out in March.  I’m now onto the third book, Mockingjay.  (this photo is mom’s dog Gracie sitting on her while she naps.  Gracie is always up in mom’s personal space.)

As painful as it was, we watched football.  This was Mikey on the back of the couch and me during the first quarter of the Razorback game.  We didn’t play pretty, but it showed us why LSU is ranked #1.  

We did do a little shopping.  We decided to go to WalMart’s 10 PM doorbuster sale.  But we didn’t want the crazy crowds, so we drove 30 minutes to the next small town over (which is also a retirement community…it was pretty mild for Black Friday doorbusters).  Mom got kinda overwhelmed in the video game section, but we got my Christmas gift….a chest freezer!  I was soooo excited!  
They had all the items spread around the store and at 10 (or just minutes before) salespeople came by and unwrapped them…then it was a free for all!  Things like video games went fast.  Mom says people were just pulling them off the display without even paying attention to what they were grabbing.  But things like my chest freezer didn’t have anyone else waiting for them.  We also bought a storage ottoman (for $29!) and some rubbermaids.  Then on Friday we made a couple stops.  We also hit up the craft fair on Saturday to support some local merchants for Small Business Saturday! 

I helped mom put up the tree Saturday night and after Sunday lunch, we headed home.We had a great time at home and it was so nice to relax.  Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!