I apologize to those who are reading this on a work computer. I copied all the photos from MySpace and Facebook, and they likely will not show up on your computer if your workplace blocks those sites. I hope you will check back when you get home!
Our home is the last thanksgiving on my list of top ten, and I didn’t really expect to devote any more time to it other than mentioning it when I made the list. But we’ve given food to the same homeless man begging in the same spot for the last two Sundays, and I’ve seen more and more people begging in the streets, and it has made me reconsider. Though I’m not sure how many of them are homeless, their growing presence is a poignant reminder to remain thankful for the basic necessities I take for granted, and even complain about, like the humble roof over my head.
Truth be told, we live in a small home. 550 square feet to be exact. And yes, I have been known to complain about it.
I get frustrated that I don’t have enough room to store my cake pans, that I have to have a clothes rack in the garage because we don’t have enough closet space for our clothes (especially since I turned half of one closet into my cake stuff storage area), that there’s nowhere to store the vacuum so we have to drag it up and down the basement stairs to use it, that we have to move our (very heavy) coffee table every time I want to work out to a video.
We also live in a house with lots of problems. The basement leaks, the garage leaks, we have no guttering, the walls are cracking, the porch is sinking and separating from the house, and did I mention my lack of cake pan storage space?
Jenna recently tickled me when she wrote a very upbeat post on Monday, in which she was showing step-by-step photos of her recipe process, including one with bacon grease spilled on the counter. Her take on the spilled grease? “Look at the grease you spattered on the counter and also feel good. Because you can just wipe it up with a soapy sponge, and the problem disappears. And when your “problems” can be fixed with a sponge . . . well, then you can really count your blessings.” This is what I will remember next time I can’t find a place for my 14″ cake pan. If that’s the biggest of my problems at the moment, I can rejoice!
Because I not only have a home, but I have too much stuff to even fit in it. What luxury!
Within my home, I can shower, cook food on the stove or in the microwave or oven, and store the leftovers in the refrigerator. I drink purified water from a water cooler, go online and communicate with my friends by email. I can write a letter and mail it from the mailbox on the front porch, and I receive cards and letters and packages here–a great perk of having a place to live! I can watch a movie with my husband, I can give my dog a place to sleep, and keep her safe from the storms that terrify her.
Our home protects us from the cold & heat, sun & rain, wind, hail & tornadoes, but the biggest blessing is the many beautiful memories that have been made in it. This home is integral to those memories, and each time I look at certain things in my home, it brings those memories back. They are intrinsically interwoven, and it is a joy to have a place to come to every day, to have parties, to have friends and families over, so those memories can be made.
If you have ever had a reason to complain about the home you’re living in, I encourage you to say a prayer of thanksgiving today. Whether it be grand or humble, you have a home, and that is a blessing. May yours be filled with many, many happy memories.
A jaunt down memory lane in our home:
We used to have Halloween parties every year. Our spread from 2007, above, was one of my favorites! OK, this is a little embarrassing, but you see the cheese balls and cheese log arrangement on the far left? Um, yeah. That was my sister, Lacey’s, “Lorena Bobbit Cheese ‘Balls’ platter.” Oy. :)
Showing off my new baby girl in 2004.
What I love most about my home is the man (and dog) I share it with!
Have I ever shared a photo of my Mom with you guys? If not, I am now! Here I am with Mom and Dad after cake on my 27th birthday.
With Danielle and Mom after a holiday dinner at our house.
Goofing with Everett and Danielle in X-Men masks on Den’s birthday several years ago. Have I ever told you I LOVE the X-Men movies? It’s weird b/c I’m so not a sci-fi girl. But I got pretty obsessed with X-Men. I watched the first one so many times, I could quote it word for word from beginning to end. I had way too much time on my hands!
Lacey (second from right) and I had a Mary Kay party at my house with our sister, Danielle (middle) and our friends, Jen and Carly. Girl time is so much fun!
These two make our house a home.
Dad and his “men” as he always called us. We had a barbecue in our backyard for his 60th birthday.
My cutie-patootie nephew, Owen, making a magnificent cupcake creation! He loves helping me bake. :)
Doggy sleep over: Jessie and her friend Jenny, tired from staying up late giggling. :)
My friend, Heather, stopped in for dinner while visiting family in Wichita, 2010.
Despite a a significant age gap, Bobby and Dennis were great friends for years. He visited us after he came home from Afghanistan in 2010 (he was in the Marines), but he now lives far, far away. We miss him so!
Dennis curled up with Jessie after he had oral surgery to remove a cyst. Jessie’s a great comforter.
Pizza night! Danielle and Everett broke up last November, so the pictures with him are terribly bittersweet for me (they were together 6 years!), but I’m so glad for the time shared with him and the memories. We will always love him.
Action shot! This is Jessie and her best friend, Doc. They have sleepovers every few months. They have known each other since they were puppies–they met at the doggy day care we used to take Jessie to.
At the end of three months, Erika won! We had a final weigh in party with plenty of fattening foods to celebrate our weight loss. :) The Huggies in the background shall be explained shortly.
Nicole and her kiddos were supposed to join us for the final weigh-in party b/c we had planned a surprise shower (hence the Huggies and flying stork), but she didn’t come until everyone had left! Her kids went wild drawing pictures while we chatted for hours. I still have their drawings on my fridge and it makes my heart happy every time I see them.
Last July, my friend Teri came over for a pie crust lesson. She wanted to learn how to make pretty pies, and I needed some help making the kind of down-home-cookin’ my husband loves, so we made a deal to teach each other. So much fun!!
Ever since we made these cut out pie crust cookies last summer (after a day of swimming, hence his trunks), Owen always asks if we can make these again! “Can we make cookies in animal shapes with jelly in the middle?” I’m so glad he loves to bake as much as I do! We will definitely be making a lot of memories in this kitchen. :)