Wishing You Thanksgiving Blessings (with a Side of Laughter)

Happy Thanksgiving, lovelies! I hope this holiday is filled with all of the good stuff. >

And I’d like to add one more item to this list…”share a smile!”

Here are three ways you can add a dash of humor to your turkey dinner.

{ONE} Lighten things up with a mad lib

Mad libs are an easy and fun group activity. Ask someone to be the scribe. As everyone takes turns shouting out words, such as adjectives, verbs, and nouns (as instructed by the story) the scribe writes them down. When the sheet is full, the scribe reads the full story to the group, which usually takes a hilarious spin. You could even do this a couple of times with the same sheet!

Try this Thanksgiving-themed story compliments of Real Simple:

{TWO} Share a few silly jokes

I’m a sucker for silly jokes. That’s pretty much the best part of Laffy Taffy candy for me. When I found these Thanksgiving jokes, my kids and I giggled and shared them for hours. There are a few are eye-rollers in here, but that’s kinda the point with these jokes. Have fun sharing these around your table!

{If the answers are a bit hard to read, here are the full jokes for you.}

  1. What always comes at the end of Thanksgiving? The letter G.
  2. Why did the turkey cross the road? It was the chicken’s day off.
  3. What did baby corn say to mama corn? Where’s popcorn?
  4. What’s the best thing to put in a pumpkin pie? Your teeth.
  5. What sound does a turkey’s phone make? Wing. Wing.
  6. What key won’t open any door? A turkey.
  7. What does a vampire call Thanksgiving? Fangs-giving.
  8. Which side of a turkey has the most feathers? The outside.

You can find more jokes here!

{THREE} Play a game or two

When you’re ready to get up from the table, you could jump into some of these lively games. They’re like minute-to-win-it games, but with a Thanksgiving theme. And they look pretty hilarious.

Here’s to full bellies and full hearts this Thanksgiving!

XoXo,

Kate

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Thankful for Awesome People

We’re at the halfway mark of November, as well as day 15 of the 21-day Gratitude Challenge! So I’m sharing today’s message and personal reflection. >>

Front

Back

The white text is little hard to read, so here’s what it says:

Who are the people around you – friends, co-workers, neighbors – that you don’t always pay attention to? Are there certain people whose presence you may take for granted sometimes? List some people below and write a brief reason why you’re thankful for them.

In the next few days, tell one of these people why you’re thankful for them. It’ll be an encouragement to both you and them.

———————————————————

Personal Reflection

Gosh, this message struck a chord. I can get so wrapped up in my day-to-day schedule…keeping work projects moving, carpools rolling, kids studying and playing sports – not to mention fed, that I probably take a lot of people for granted.

This bums me out just thinking about it, because I don’t mean to overlook the generous people or acts of kindness in my life.

I will definitely open my eyes and take a moment over the next few days to thank these people in particular:

> My husband for being more than my better half. In fact, many days he’s my better 3/4. He’s such a great listener – no matter what I’m rambling about. I can vent about hard days or chatter about craft supplies and he patiently listens to it all. We tag-team on pretty much everything around the house, and he always runs errands with me (even when his schedule is full) because he knows spending time together is my love language. He’s a calming presence when I get weird bouts of anxiety, and life just wouldn’t be the same without him.

> All of the moms and families in our carpools. They save my bacon on a weekly basis. Honestly, I can’t imagine life without carpool. (Someone needs to put that on a t-shirt.)

> All of the teachers and coaches who carry the baton of making my kids amazing people while I’m at work or cheering from the sidelines.

> My dearest friend in California who never gives up on us no matter how much time passes between visits, as well as my super fun friends in Kansas City and here at home.

> My kids who continue to be good eggs no matter how much I mess up. My adoring parents, talented brothers and sisters, in-laws whom I honestly love, and nieces and nephews who make me feel incredibly proud.

> My sweet neighbor who’s always willing to help feed our rabbit, bring in our mail, watch over our house, or even visit over the fence about life. She’s amazing in so many ways.

> My co-workers who not only inspire and push me to new levels of creativity, but also take time for lunch and sharing parts of their lives beyond work.

> The people at DogParty who give sweet Leo a home away from home when we take trips.

> The girl who cuts my hair and doesn’t get mad when I trim my own bangs between appointments.

I know there are so many more…

I appreciate you all and send you my deepest love.

XoXo,

Kate

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Thankful for Creativity

Last week kicked off the season of thanks, as well as the series of Thankful Thursdays.

{This is a spot on the blog where I pause, try to appreciate what’s in front of me, write about it, and then invite you to join in.}

This year I’ve decided to take on a 21-day Gratitude Challenge. I ordered a set of cards and everything. Having these prompts has been super helpful, and I’m currently on day 8.

Let’s take a look. >>

Front

Back

Personal Reflection

How can I bring more creativity into my life?

For me, it comes down to making it a priority in my schedule. Thanks to Pinterest, the countless magazines stacked on my coffee table, and the close proximity of my house to Hobby Lobby, there definitely isn’t a shortage of inspiration or resources around here. It just comes down to setting aside the time – and not feeling guilty about spending it on a creative project that might not seem necessary.

The idea that “God created us to be creative” is pretty powerful, though. Essentially, that means it’s a sin when we don’t use our talents and look for opportunities to be creative. And perhaps if we can be creative in a way that also expresses our love and acceptance of others, we’re on the path of our purpose?

I’m thankful for this message today – and for the ability to use my mind, hands and heart to create things. I suddenly feel like painting a kindness rock or something.

What about you??

Blessings,

Kate

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Thankful for November – And All That Comes With It

I adore the month of November so much I got married in it. Lol. My sweet B and I will be celebrating 17 years of marriage this month – and we still love each other. Like a lot!

This guy is such a good dad, caring husband and all around best friend. The picture below was taken two years ago when we went to Oregon for our anniversary. Oh, how I want to go back…right now.

Thinking about how lucky I am and the approaching holiday of Thanksgiving, I decided to take on a gratitude challenge.

You may remember last year I wasn’t sure I was up for it. Well, I recently stumbled upon these cards from Proverbs 31. They’re daily prayer cards that offer a prompt for each day. Something about them felt right. Maybe it’s the timing or the topic – or both? I ordered them. And they arrived just in time for my first Thankful Thursday post of the season!

This is the complete set, which includes one colorful card for each day of the challenge.

Below is the first card in the deck to kick things off.

Day 1

Personal Reflection

I like the thought “worship puts our problems in the right perspective.” When I think about it, I probably let too many problems get blown out of proportion. There have been days when I felt so overwhelmed something simple, like one too many red lights on the way to pickup kids from school on an already tight schedule, have sent waves of anxiety through my skin. For what, really? Being a few minutes late somewhere? Will that matter in a week, a year, ten years, or more importantly in eternity? Definitely not. But the way I handle these times…the way I treat other drivers, greet my kids when they hop in the car, and view the overall stress around it? Probably does matter. There are bigger, more important things at play, here.

Today, I’m grateful for this perspective.

What were you able to get out of today’s prompt? I’d love to hear from you.

Many blessings,

Kate

PS. It’s not too late to order your own set of cards here.

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Creative Tip: Listen to Little Messages

As I sit and enjoy my coffee on this cool November morning, I’m feeling thankful I stumbled upon this list titled “10 Ways to Stay Creative.” It’s been tucked away in a folder on my desktop for months. Somehow it managed to catch my attention. And I’m glad it did.

I’ve been feeling like a tire with a slow leak…rolling along, but losing air at a speed that’s almost unnoticeable until it gets low enough to hit the rim. I feel like I just skimmed the ground, creatively speaking. And it finally caught my attention.

As I reflect, my posts have been fewer and farther between, the writing projects at work have been mostly clinical these days, and I haven’t dabbled in any craft projects lately. Not the best combination for someone who adores and thrives on living a creative life.

Luckily there’s that small voice…the one that quietly guides and cheers us on. And it led me to my computer to dig through old files for inspiration. I found this list and decided to post it on Facebook late last night. I woke up still thinking about it, which was a good sign. I’m being nudged into action.

So here I am today, armed with a spark of motivation, my computer, and a blank page ready to accept the challenge of creativity. I’m excited and curious to see where it leads. Maybe you’d like to join me? >>
stay-creative

Here’s to a creative day…and that we keep our eyes and hearts open to the messages that keep showing up.

XoXo,

Kate

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Feeling Thankful for Humor

I’d like to introduce a touch of humor to the blog today. Sometimes when I’ve read too many negative comments on my Facebook feed, or watched a dark show that has left me feeling scared, sad, or downright icky, I try to shake it off by either looking at pictures of cute animals on Pinterest, like this one >>

{via} Aww, hello sweet bun.

Or I’ll find something that makes me laugh. {Usually involving episodes of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.}

Today feels like a good day to lighten things up. So I’ve pulled together ten things that have made me laugh recently. Hopefully it will lighten or even brighten your day just a bit, as well.

{ONE}

That face!! Our dog would try to play it off, too, like “Wow, that’s weird. Is it time for dinner, yet?”

{TWO}

The fact that I’m so bad at math, I had to think about this shirt.

{THREE}

Remember The Office!! That show was so funny. Mostly because of Michael Scott.

{FOUR}

People who are hangry = funny.

{FIVE}

That’s right. Sometimes we just need a donut already.

{SIX}

This would be me at any protest rally.

{SEVEN}

Yasssss! I could easily see this happening. Way too easily.

{EIGHT} 

This made me spit my coffee when I read it. So awesome. and funny. Adding it to my Christmas list now.

{NINE}

…because Cark is such a common name.

{TEN}

We’ve all had moments like this, haven’t we?!

Hopefully this list brought a little smile to your face. If not, try this or this, care of my twin girls. 😉 Have an awesome day.

Blessings,

Kate

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A November Welcome + Permission Not to be Perfect

The month of November holds a special place in my heart because it’s when I celebrate my wedding anniversary, my mom’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and cooler air with the most gorgeous leaves on our sugar maple trees.

In fact, you know that fresh-start feeling on New Year’s Day when everything gets rebooted – like a computer? You examine your health, habits, relationships, and any projects that had been sitting idle and nudge them into motion? I actually get this feeling now.

I try not to let the “bigness” of the upcoming holidays and busy schedules overpower me.

Sitting in the joy and gratitude of November is an awesome way to recognize the month.

I’ve seen lots of people take on gratitude challenges this time of year. In theory, this is a beautiful idea. And this is one of the best lists I’ve seen so far >>

30-days-of-gratitude

I have to admit that while I want to join the ranks and post something online that I’m grateful for each and every day, the thought of this challenge is both exciting and stressful to me. As someone who steps in and out of the grip of perfectionism, this type of activity can be a trap.

I’ll get all gung-ho…for a few days. I might even buy and new journal and special pen just for the occasion. But by the fifth or sixth day, I might miss writing something down. So I try to get back on schedule, maybe even backtrack. Then I miss another day. At this point I have holes. Holes that taunt me from their stupid blank pages. Instead of letting go, I leave. I ditch the idea altogether, because I feel like I failed. Then I feel guilty for messing up and giving up.

And this was supposed to be a peaceful and enjoyable experience…about feeling grateful?!

I do realize how crazy this sounds. It’s still hard, though. So I’m taking a cue from Brene Brown and am writing myself a permission slip.

“Kate, you have permission to mess up. Even with a simple gratitude challenge. You can skip a day, forget a day, or even not know what the hell to be thankful for, because it’s a tough day. You’re imperfect, and that, in itself, is perfect.”

So today I take on the challenge of sharing my thanks. I won’t promise to post something every day…or even once a week for Thankful Thursdays. I’ll simply start by sharing five things I’m grateful for today, on this awesome Friday. And let’s see where it goes from here. >>

{ONE} My mom’s 80th birthday

mimi-clark

My sweet mom, Mimi, is turning 80 years old this weekend! My entire family (all five siblings) will be gathering for the first time in we-can’t-even-remember-how-long to celebrate my mom and all of her awesomeness. I’m so thankful we’re able to pull this off, and I can’t wait to see my mom’s smile when she sees all of her babies in one spot!! 😉

{TWO} Friends I can lean on

friends

More times than I can count on my hands and feet, I’ve relied on friends to help me out. Whether it’s a carpool ride, point of view, beer buddy, listening ear, high five, or encouraging hug, I’ve been blessed to have the comfort of friends around me. Not all of them are pictured above, but this was taken at a recent GNO and shows a few of my incredible friends here in Arkansas. I love and appreciate them so much…they have no idea. <3

{THREE} The beach

beach-sunset

I’m still basking in the memories of my recent trip to the beach with Brandon. Sometimes if I’m quiet enough, I can hear the ocean waves and taste the salty air. I’m obsessed with the ocean and am so thankful B was able to score that lovely trip to Laguna. P.S. That picture has no filter.

{FOUR} This phrase…

contribute-more-than-criticize

Okay, so this is another Brene Brown reference. I was recently watching a video of her talking to Oprah, and she made this bold and tearful statement. More than anything, she wanted to be known for contributing more than she criticized.

It struck a deep chord with me, as I sometimes look with a critical eye at situations and even people. And as I scroll through my Facebook feed full of criticism about politicians and life’s situations, I can easily get caught up in the drama. So I’m thankful for this reminder – and motto.

How can I contribute instead of fanning the flames of negativity around me?

{FIVE} The right to vote

Speaking of politics, in a way, Tuesday is an incredibly important day. As a U.S. citizen, and more specifically as a woman, it’s our right to be able to vote.

There were many women before us who had to fight for this right. The ultimate sign of gratitude for their efforts is for us to stand up and voice our opinion through our vote.

No matter who you’re rooting for (or even against), that’s not the point. The ultimate message is to let yourself be heard. Take a moment to read up on the issues and get to know the politicians in your district, state, and country. Then get out there on Tuesday, if you haven’t already, and cast your vote. Your voice matters.

Okay, friends. That’s a wrap for this first friday of November. Here’s to a messy, mismatched weekend – that’s perfectly imperfect.

XoXo,

Kate

Fiveonfridayfriday-favorites-01-1 h54f2_zpsc7e1f4e7-2 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish each of you the happiest of Thanksgivings filled with the sweetest of blessings! Thank you for being such dear friends and readers of the blog. I cherish your support and want to share this Thanksgiving poem written by one of my favorites, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Together, let’s give thanks…

Love and hugs,

-Kate

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Thankful Thursday: Special Recipes

As I dream about and prepare for turkey day, I’m feeling thankful for all of the recipes shared among my family and friends.

I keep these treasures tucked in a little recipe box in my kitchen, but it’s more like a memory box. I’m amazed at how food can conjure up such strong memories.

rifle recipe box

The smell and taste of a certain dish – or even an ingredient, like cinnamon or chives – can instantly take you back to an event or special place in your life.

Cheese pizza on Christmas Eve, hand-spun Ovaltine milk shakes, shoestring potato snacks, and Jell-o cheesecake all bring me back to my Gramma Lettye’s apartment, where we spent countless evenings camped out in front of her TV watching episodes of Dallas, Fantasy Island and Love Boat together.

I will seriously high five anyone who can name all of these characters.

{via} I will seriously high five anyone who can name all of these characters without Googling.

When it comes to special recipes, I think about the time my friend Katie brought over this amazing poppy seed chicken right after Evan was born. I was an exhausted and nervous first-time mom, and the comfort of this warm, home-baked meal made me feel grounded again – even if it was just for a few bites. It was a welcomed treat, and I still think about that moment every time I make it for the family.

Of course my sweet mom, Mimi, has many recipes that make me feel “home.”

Growing up, her savory hot Virginia dip was one she made for holidays or when company was coming over. I knew it was time to dress up when the smell of buttery roasted pecans filled the house.

Any time you’re feeling chilly or under the weather, Mimi’s chicken noodle soup is more soothing than anything you can buy from the drugstore. That, and her ice chips…

ice chips

When we were little, she’d hit a piece of ice with the back of a spoon to make crushed ice. We didn’t have fancy dispensers back then. Whenever you heard that cracking sound coming from the kitchen, you knew someone wasn’t feeling well.

Mimi also makes this amazing banana bread that cannot be recreated. Both of my sisters (and I believe my SILs) have tried our hand at whipping up some of this special bread using the same recipe. It simply doesn’t taste the same, unless my mom delivers it to your door. We think something magical happens in the car on the way. By the time it arrives, it’s perfectly delicious.

banana bread

{via} I don’t have an actual picture of Mimi’s bread, because I’m usually too busy stuffing my face. This picture reminded me of her version, though – even with the little cutting board and all!

There are so many more fond memories I have around food, family and friends. I know you have some, too. So as you’re gathering together and giving thanks this coming week, think about this prompt.

What dish reminds you of “home?”

Join the conversation with a comment below or share on your social channels using #ThankfulThursday.

In the meantime, here’s my mom’s hot Virginia dip recipe. Enjoy, and go have yourself a party!!

Mimi’s Hot Virginia Dip

1 cup pecans, chopped
2 tsp butter
16 oz cream cheese, softened
4 T milk
5 oz dried beef, minced
1 tsp garlic salt
1 cup sour cream
4 tsp onion, minced

Directions:
Sauté pecans in butter. Reserve. Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Place in a 1-1/2 quart baking dish. Top with pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve hot with crackers.

-Kate {hugs}

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