Thanksgiving Dinner

A few things you should know:
1. This past year has been quite difficult - and that is the cleaned up/nice version of what I really think about it!
2. I love the holidays - Thanksgiving and Christmas literally make me giddy like a little girl smiling at the cute boy two rows over!
3. Because of facts expressed in number one I believe that we should take this time to remember our blessings and to celebrate and to make the decision to be happy despite the circumstances!
Now that you know these things, I thought I would share with you some of the things Candace and I are cooking on Thursday!
Now these are not pictures of my actual food... I borrowed them from the wonderful invention known as google images.  I just wanted to give you a visualization as I am a visual person myself! SO short story long, enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Pie

Sweet Potato Casserole

Banana Pudding

7 Layer Salad

P.S. I found the recipe for Mamaw's banana pudding recipe - she layered the vanilla wafers, bananas, and then poured a homemade custard like substance over it that is other-worldly that it so good.


new home, new job, new me!

So, recently Candace and I moved from our house in Laurel to a house in Ellisville which happens to be attached to a florist owned and operated by two ladies I worked with previously.  Many of you are probably scratching your head wondering why in the world we would want to live in a florist, and please allow me to explain.

Not long ago, I was unemployed and we were struggling - I mean when I say it was hard times I am not exaggerating in the least.  At the point in my life, God had brought me pretty low - lower than I had ever been in my life and lower than I ever want to be again; however, the lessons I learned are priceless to me now.  Amidst the worst times, we had awesome family and friends who helped us without even knowing the extent of our troubles, and we were so very blessed and beyond grateful for these amazing people.  I prayed every night for the opportunity to be on the other side - to be the one who could help others.  During this time, my prayers changed from please let me have  the dream job with the dream paycheck to just let me please have a job that provided money to pay the bills and help people.  To be completely honest, at times it seemed like my prayers were hitting the ceiling and bouncing back.  But I had to hold to the verse in Romans - that says that tribulation brings about perseverance and perseverance produces character and character ends in hope and this hope does not disappoint.  Honestly, Candace and I have quoted that verse to each other through tears more times than I care to admit.  I had to hold onto the promise that God has a plan and a purpose for everything in our life.

Well, a few months ago a couple of friends of mine that I had worked with at a local florist opened their own florist in Ellisville, and they were thinking of moving to a new space that would allow much more creative freedom and space.  This space was a 3 bedroom/ 2 bath house with much more space than they could possibly use - they called me and asked me if I would like to move in.  The opportunity to move would get us out of our previous neighborhood, would lessen our financial burden as the rent is less than half of what we were paying, and all utilities would be divided in half.  I immediately thought of my prayer.  God had been refining and redefining who I am - no longer was I a teacher who happened to be a teacher but a child of God who was intently searching for His path and plan for me.  Moving into the florist allows us freedom to not be so tied to money.  It is really an amazing feeling. 

Not long after we moved in, I got a part time job at Laurel Christian School helping Candace in the afterschool program -which is another lesson in and of itself.  To truly appreciate this you have know that it is a job which is better than the alternative, second it is in a school system which gets my name in the system and a foot in the door, and third I believe it is part of the plan and evidence of God working in our lives.  The decision to move into the florist may not make sense to anybody else, but it works for us and if it is where God wants me then that is where I want to be.  I have been trying to get away from the florist industry and get a teaching job for a while, but it seems like it is part of the plan for me to be in the florist industry.  So I am embracing it - moving into the florist also provided office space for Always Love - my new project which is a wedding and event planning company that I have started.  I am really excited for everything God has in store for me.