Thanksgiving Memories

Oh Thanksgiving. A holiday for eating, for being with friends and family, for remembering all of the good, and acknowledging what we are thankful for. Above all, thanksgiving for me has just always been about family. Spending a full, wonderful day with family and friends; laughing, creating new memories and inside jokes. It’s never really actually been about the food and eating (although that is always a fun side note). All through

As I sat down to write this post I was trying to think of what I actually wanted to say. I could list what I’m thankful for (which I will actually do in a bit), but I felt like I wanted to do more than just that. I could reminisce on past Thanksgivings, but the problem is I don’t have too many memories that really stand out to share that would make sense (the only one that comes to mind is one I’ll share below). I could share favorite recipes, outfits, decorations, etc. None of it really feels “right” and rather than not marking the occasion, I figured I would embrace that feeling and go with it.

I’ll start with my thankful list. This past year we’ve been so blessed with good food, good friends, and incredible experiences. I am thankful for those that have come into our lives this year, thankful for our boys who continue to show us how incredible life can be. I’m thankful for my husband who has supported me throughout the obstacles of this year. I’m thankful for our family, who we have seen quite a bit of this past year. I’m also thankful for YOU. You who are (and have been) reading my words that I write every week, commenting, following along on our journey. Thank you.

I want to share a quick Thanksgiving Story with you, our very first thanksgiving together.

We had been dating/together for about 3 ½ months when Thanksgiving rolled around. For me, those 3 ½ months had started with a blow up with my mother (due to my moving out of her house), a turning point in my relationship with her, and this Thanksgiving was not only the first time that Rob was meeting her, but also the first time that I would speak with her in those 3 months. Talk about stressful (although I don’t think Rob was outwardly stressed, he had already met my father and that was the hard one).

Thanksgiving was being held at the son of some family friends house. I had never attended a Thanksgiving by myself (even if this was technically with family and close friends, it was my first time being considered “separate” from my parents in terms of guest list) and I hadn’t the first idea what to bring. I wanted to be a good guest and polite, so I spoke with our family friends and tried to get some ideas. I ended up settling on dinner rolls.

***Real fast, let’s recap so we can set the scene. Me and my mom blow up and haven’t spoken in 3+ months. Rob’s never met my mother. My parents are putting on a good show, but I don’t think that they were in the best place of their marriage. All while being held at the child of a good family friends house…awkward***

So here we come, walking up the drive, store bought dinner rolls in hand (I seriously cringe at that memory, I would never now bring what I brought to a dinner I was attending). At the time, I hadn’t had the foresight to at least put the rolls into a nice container, or present them in a way that was more than just an after thought for the day. I was so nervous about what was to come.

***The dinner rolls actually ended up becoming the “joke of the day” and really lightened the mood. ***

Somehow we arrived before my parents did, so we were able to settle in and relax a bit before they walked through the door. I do remember us all (dad, me, Rob, family friends, right before my mom walked in) sitting around the back patio table talking about the latest expensive purchase (gun related) and the tension rising when my mom came out the backdoor. I think it may have been the most tense, awkward moment of the day. My mom was the epitome of polite, introducing herself, making polite chit chat, although I can’t deny that there weren’t a couple of snide glances or comments made in my direction. It was nothing serious or truly bad.

Once the moment passed, all went surprisingly well. We ate, we all made conversation, we left with our dignities intact (aside from me and my dinner rolls- which became the punch line of the day). I don’t know what I was actually expecting, but now it’s a funny memory to look back on.

Do you have a good Thanksgiving memory to share? What about a I’m thankful list? Share in the comments!

Round The Kettle Ep 4: Tackling Emotions

So, how you been?

I’m sat here in our bed (of all places, the one place I don’t like electronics or technology) typing this out. It’s like 10:30PM on a Friday night, but when inspiration strikes, you just kinda roll with it…or at least I do. Good thing this isn’t a podcast just yet or I’d be waking the house up with my voice.

The past couple of weeks have been good. Life decisions made (will share soon!). Plans for the rest of this year sorted. Holiday plans…on going. I’m a planner and with everything that is going on (and the large amount of things that we can’t solidly plan), the little things that I can schedule out (in some cases to the hour…) have been scheduled and I feel just much more calm with all of our changes.

I’ve been dealing with some behind the scenes life stuff over the past couple days. Really it’s been an ongoing situation, which changed a few months ago, but I’ve only just recognized behaviors the past couple days. It’s a funny thing because I’m good. I’m happy. I’m in a good headspace BUT (there’s that but…whys it gotta be there? Oy.) I’ve had this feeling in the back of my mind. A little jiggling in my gut (that’s not from those extra m&m’s I promise). Something telling me -hey Mia you need to acknowledge this.

For me the way these things go is like this:

Step1: there’s a feeling. Something in the back of my brain sending a gentle nudge of hey-this isn’t ok.

Step2: trying to figure out what the eff step 1 is referring to.

Step3: sorting through what I’ve figured out in step 2 and working through that internally. Before I even voice something I can guarantee I’ve over thought it ten ways to Sunday.

Step4: deciding whether this whole situation even needs a voice. Not every feeling or nudge I get needs to be talked about. Sometimes just acknowledging that hey I don’t feel right can be enough to then fix whatever it is.

Step5: putting my feelings into words if needed and ,again if needed, sharing that with others.

***now that I write it all out I feel neurotic just rereading it. I can assure you it’s not nearly as drawn out or over complicated as it sounds. Also, I really need to stop over analyzing and being my own psychology patient. Oy. ***

And here we are-step 5. I’m working on putting words to how I’ve been feeling/coping and trying to decide whether I really want to share that with others.

With all of that going on it’s got me thinking about how we can be so good, so happy, so at peace and then still have this little background noise going on. Is that possible? Are you still happy and good if you’ve got that little voice in the back of your mind? If you’ve still got something that is causing you…well whatever this is causing? OR is the need to always feel good and happy making us think that we can’t acknowledge when we aren’t good?

It’s weird because I do have so much to be happy about and that I am happy about. I’ve got so many blessings and I lead such a privileged life. I’ve got things happening and changes coming that so many would dream to have. AND I AM HAPPY.

But there is more to us as beings. More to our emotions and feelings and it can get…complicated to say the least. So, all this to say I do think it is possible to be happy and still have a struggle. I always say life has ups and downs (or highs and lows) and I think that it may be possible that when you are up that there are still downs without everything going down. If that makes sense…

As always, I’m probably just overthinking everything. For someone who preaches to be in the moment and just be present and let the feelings wash over you, I over analyze WAY TOO MUCH.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts. And of course, I want to know how you  have been? Talk to me in the comments below J

Friday Morning Cups – 3 Things I Want You To Know About Me

IMG_7908We get asked at the start of a conversation with someone new about what we do. Who we are. I find myself answering with just the standard of, “I’m a wife and a mom.” and this seems to suffice, but I got to thinking that while those are my two most important roles, they do not describe all of me. They represent a part of me, a very big and important part of me, but that is not all I am. I am more than those two labels. So, I want to share three things that don’t fall under those labels. In turn, I’d like you to share something that doesn’t fall under a typical description of you. So…

  1. I love writing. I hesitate to say I am a writer or anything like that and I don’t particularly find that I am great at it (although I am improving), but there is something special to me about sitting down with a pen and paper and just…”word vomiting”. Spilling out everything that is jumbled in my head onto paper. Then sorting through that to come up with blog posts, stories, bits for my book, etc. in the same realm, I am an avid reader. 
  2. I’m actually a fairly private, fly under the radar type of person. Funny, huh? If you follow along you’ll notice that there are certain things I keep very close to my heart and there are several reasons for that. I am open and honest about 80% of my life and the other 20% just stays private. I also don’t really like being the center of attention, I’ll shy away from that as much as possible. 
  3. I love to be in the kitchen. This is one of those funny ones as I am not a chef, or even really a cook, I just really enjoy preparing meals, baking various items, and then cleaning up afterwards. If I’m having a rough day, I’ll step into a kitchen and cook dinner or bake some sort of treat and instantly just feel better. 

So, those are my three! What about you?

The Spider-Pocalypse : A Light Hearted Story about a Facing an Invasion of Our Worst Nightmares…

***Disclaimer: this is completely true story. This fear is very real. I know that there could be a lot worse and is a lot worse going on in the world. This is intended to be a light hearted attempt poking fun at my own fear.***

She woke early one morning, full of excitement for the upcoming day ahead. Quickly changing from her pajamas to her yoga clothes, she was looking forward to taking her morning flow/practice outside. It was finally starting to get cool enough (and not crazy muggy) to do her Yoga on the back deck and she had been eagerly waiting for this moment.

There is just something special about taking your practice outside, surrounded by all the wonderful morning sounds: birds chirping, breeze flowing through the trees, and of course a sunrise that only dreams contain. Perfection.

After changing, throwing her hair up into a loose pony, and brushing her teeth, she grabbed her mat and headed to the back door. She was about to crack it open when she saw it…

A spider. Suspended in mid air (in its web of course). Just hanging out. Blocking her way of getting to the back deck.

“No” she thought to herself. “No, no, no. This is NOT happening”.

In her mind, it was the beginning of the end.

***Now, I suppose I should clear something up. She was TERRIFIED of spiders. Borderline Arachnophobic and while bits of her fear were rational, for the most part it was a completely irrational fear. ***

Determined to still feel calm, she did her morning practice in her living room, curtains open, and tried to go about the rest of her day as if there was not a killing machine in the form of an innocent bug right outside her back door.

The next morning dawned, the spider was still there, this time joined by two more outside of other windows. This WAS not ok for her. She was FINALLY getting the cooler weather, where it wasn’t so oppressive to be outside and she couldn’t even enjoy it?!

***I suppose I should also mention that she did not kill spiders. Every time she had tried to, she didn’t actually succeed in killing the spider in the first attempt. I could go into a whole separate story about this, but we’ll just leave it at she was almost as scared to kill a spider as she was of the spider itself. As I stated earlier, irrational.***

Over the next few mornings the number slowly grew. When it reached 5, she told her husband that something needed to happen. They had to go. They couldn’t enjoy the weather they were waiting all summer to get. So, that weekend he went out to handle the situation.

10 spiders gone. 10 spiders. Spiders she hadn’t even known were there because she couldn’t get onto the back deck to see where they were. Spiders under the deck. Spiders in the back yard, the side yard. 2 had even caused her husband to remark on the size! She followed and counted as he kept spraying and spraying. Once it was done, she thought they were good to go on the spider front.

And they were. For a week or so.

Morning dawned clear. There was a brightness to the morning and as she opened up the blinds in preparation of her day she had a smile on her face. That is, until she saw it…

A spider. In the outside corner of her bedroom window. Hanging out in its masterpiece of a web (pun completely intended).

***If this sounds like dejavu, it completely is.***

“Is this ever going to end?” She thought to herself. They had just handled this and she thought they would now be good for the year.

Not a day later, she found three more spiders, one hanging out in their carport, another the other right next to their front door, one just off the front porch. Front door spider made getting the mail a lot of fun. Her older son loved the spiders. Every morning for the week the one was outside their bedroom, he would come in in the morning and watch it. His favorite? The morning the spider was eating it’s meal of an unsuspecting bee. He thought it was really cool, she did not really think so.

Her husband found the fact that the spiders had returned comical. She knew that he would eventually either handle the spiders again, or maybe they would move on their own, but until then he would get a good chuckle out of the whole situation.

The weekend came and her husband decided to power wash bits of the front of the house. This took care of two out of the four spiders. The spider right outside their window was a speedy one and moved just fast enough to avoid being sprayed by the water. It clung to its web in an upper corner and there it stayed for a little while longer.

Eventually that spider moved its web to another part of the house and all was well…for now…

***Authors Note: I know that once again, this is a ridiculous thing to get out of sorts with, but I’m trying to poke a little fun at my own fears and silliness from my day to day. Please treat it as just the lighthearted giggle that it has become. Also, in case you’ve seen on my SM, I wrote this at the end of September/Beginning of October. Since that time we have had a resurgence of Spiders. Rather than me continue to add on to the ridiculous length of this story, just repeat the couple last paragraphs over again in your head. I guarantee it was about the same reaction on all fronts. I hope you enjoyed!!

Mug Collection 2018

Some people have a purse collection (…oh wait…I have that), some people have a shoe collection (…have that too), some people are me and have a mug collection. If you follow me, read my posts, look at my social media, or really just any of my pictures anywhere, I usually always have a mug in the picture. And usually…it’s a different mug almost every time. There are multiple reasons behind this, not just because I like my tea, or because I take life…One Cup at a Time (yep just went there), but also because I collect them. Today we are going to focus on my collection of Mugs!

Yep, that is my random collection of choice. I do collect handbags, shoes, books, tea, but the collection that typically gets the most questions/comments is the mug one! I definitely think it might be the craziest things I collect…

I started doing this a few years back when I was gifted a teacup and saucer as part of a wedding gift. It was such a beautiful piece of fine china and I had decided (quite on the spur of the moment) to get the matching larger mug. I loved that mug (still do, see below) and drank from it very regularly. It started this love of not only what tea I was drinking, but what I was drinking out of. I know it’s silly, but it’s just something that I fell in love with.

I figured it was time to share my “collection” with the world…or with the few of you that are subscribed to this blog and those that follow me on Social Media. One place for all of my mugs to live and you can see them all “side by side”. I wont be showing each individual mug as I have 55 (…yes…55…let’s let that sink in for a minute) and it would just end up being a really big, really long post. Instead I am going to highlight a few special ones throughout my collection.

***I feel like I should interject something here. 55 is a crazy number. I totally see that. It’s just one of those things-almost like a guilty pleasure.  I do use all of the mugs that I own and I do try to be realistic when buying.  I try to limit my mug purchasing by only purchasing mugs that I really like, and can see myself enjoying. I try to avoid impulse buying. This is something that I actually extend into all of my money spending habits.***

IMG_7150First I am going to touch on where I “display” them all. I’ve got a cabinet that is in our living room, and most live on the top two shelves, with a couple on the bottom shelf (the bottom display shelf is mostly tea). I’ve got them grouped together: the top shelf being my The Cosy Book Shoppe Mugs, my Rae Dunn larger mugs, my Inky and Indigo collection, and the middle shelf being my Anthropologie, Emma Bridgewater, and miscellaneous (which changes as I pull out the couple of seasonal mugs I have…yes I have a couple of seasonal-aka Christmas-mugs). The rest of the mugs live in the inner cabinet (not shown here) and they are the mugs that are lesser reached for at this time, there is one mug in there that I still reach for semi regularly), or have sentimental value.

So, without further ado, let’s look at some of the mugs.

 

The one that started it all:

IMG_7105

The two that I consider the most special:

My recent favorites (that I’m reaching for most currently):

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My most recent addition:

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So, there you have it! If you want to see a specific one, or having questions on where I bought one, please just comment or message me! I’m always happy to share!

Round the Kettle Ep 2: Oh What’s In A Name

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to name this little side “segment” of mine. Trying to keep in mind my long term goals with it (a podcast one day in the far future), I wanted something that I loved and was catchy. I hemmed and I hawed and I over thought it for too long. 

In one of my side tangents of thinking-you know what I mean, when you start with one train of though and then spin off into somewhere completely different-I started just thinking about names in general. 

***I am now about to go into one of those little side tangents for the next paragraph…or two. Fair warning***

Names are important (and not just for the obvious reasons) and we usually have multiple names for one thing/person. For instance, my children have their name, and then usually some sort of nickname or pet name that we use to refer to them. My husband has his name and then a {seems like} bajillion other nicknames based on who is talking to him and how they’re feeling when they are talking to him. 

While businesses and blogs don’t typically have different names, they are referred to differently at times. 

Blog and Business Names are important. They need to be short and succinct, straight to the point, and yet catchy and stick in someone’s mind. It’s a lot of pressure, I can promise you that. And when something new is offered it can be given a catchy name or slogan to get people interested or excited about whatever it is. 

***Side tangent over, although we kind of full circled there in the end***

Basically, one thing that kept permeating in my head was that this was supposed to feel like a catch up with a friend. When you sit down over a Cuppa (whether that’s tea, coffee, or wine…tea for me please) and you just chat. 

I thought-if we were to have a chat at my house, the first thing I would do is offer tea (or coffee) and if you excepted I would put the kettle on. We would gather around somewhere and start chatting, with the only interruption being the kettle whistling and the water being poured over the leaves for that perfect cup. 

Thus, “Round the Kettle” struck me as both catchy, accurate, and just overall perfect for these posts. 

So, now that I’ve rambled on for two whole posts just about what these posts are and why the name (which really probably isn’t important or interesting and could have been put into one single short and sweet post), next time will be the “real deal” of Round the Kettle. I promise ☺️

Round the Kettle Ep 1: An Introduction

IMG_2491Ah something new. I’ve been thinking long hard about this. Do I want to do it. Can I do it. How do I do it. All thoughts that have been swirling around in my head for the last couple months. I’ve come to a decision that rather than just continue to wonder about it, that I would just take a chance. Give it a shot. If it works out and goes the way I am planning, then perfection! If not, then maybe timing just wasn’t right. Either way, I’d rather at least try then continue to sit and ponder and wonder what if. That’s not something I’m good at (although sometimes I am, and in those case I almost mull it over for too long and then the spark passes).

So, where to begin?

I’ve always said that my blog is intended to feel like a chat with a friend over coffee (or tea, tea for me please). My goal is to uplift, inspire, maybe impart a little wisdom (as to what I know-most times I know nothing) and just share things I’ve learned and experienced. I want it to feel like a warm inviting space that you stay and chat for a while in. I feel like I’ve been succeeding in my goal over the past 9-10 months (already been blogging regularly that long?!) and I’ve generally enjoyed the direction and shape my blog has taken on. Right now I’ve been posting twice a week (Monday/Wednesday) with an optional third post from my Social Media that I want to highlight (Friday). I feel like this is really working. I’ve really hit a good groove. I LOVE the posts I’m writing and I feel like I’ve got a good handle.

So why change a good thing?

Because I’m nuts. I’ll just start with that. I’m nuts. Why not add a third (or really fifth when you count in my business writing) thing to my list? As much as I LOVE how things are going (and I cant stress enough about how I really do), I feel like something has been missing lately.

I feel like I’m missing sharing the little tidbits of everyday. I missing the relaxed fun that comes when you’re just {almost} rambling on with friends. Everything goes off in a million different directions, but circles back around in the end.

I used to share a “recap” type post way back in the day. It started on my business blog, then transferred to this blog. It was like catching up with a friend over coffee. You sit and chat about what you’re loving, how things have been, how the kids are, etc. maybe you broach into world news (eek…maybe not?!), but it’s just a chance to free roll and chat. No bigger message, no lesson, no nothing. Just a bunch of chatter. I realized that in my posting of late, that’s kind of been missing.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all over Social Media. Sharing thoughts as they come, sharing bits of my kids, of day to day, and you can always catch the latest and greatest there. I just haven’t seen it up on my blog in a while. I kind of miss that personal side banter of little mundane things. Not to say that you don’t still get that every once in a while, but all the same. (I’m really probably mucking this all up, sorry if you’re totally lost with my thoughts!)

So…all that rambling to introduce “Round the Kettle”. I think I’ll get into the name next time, as this is already scary long, but the gist of it is to be a catch up. A catch up “round the kettle” about whatever is happening. Whether that be family, me, conversations with my almost 3 yr old, new things my almost 1.5 yr old has discovered, news (eek…maybe not?!), whatever is floating my boat at that time. It may feature someone else sometimes, it may feature a funny story, it’s just going to be…well whatever it is. It will hopefully be fun, maybe a bit ramble-y, and just a feeling of catching up with a friend.

If this isn’t really your thing, or something you like reading, have no fear! Regular blog posts will still be around and the style, consistency and message of those will remain the same. This is a special just post that I’ve been kind of missing.

Side banter-my long term goal is to have this be a podcast one day…a girl can have some dreams, right?

This will be a twice a month posting, formatted much like this one…where I’ve managed to ramble on for 777 saying something I could have just as easily said I’m probably a quarter of that. I hope you enjoy ☺️