Photography by: Angie Garcia
Happy Thanksgiving, friends! Thanksgiving is a bit of a marathon for Paul and I as we try to go see all of our family because we are really lucky everyone lives within an hour radius. But EACH year we mess it up with pacing ourselves and get so excited with our first meal and eat way too much. Then the 3 or 4 other houses we visit we have to say, “Oh, I’m good! I don’t need a plate.” Maybe this year we will figure out the exact portions to eat at each table?! But I highly doubt it. 😉
I thought for today’s post I would start my morning off sharing 10 things I’m thankful for. When anxiety hits or life just feels like a chaotic mess, I always like to write out 10 things I’m thankful for and I truly wish I did this practice every morning before I woke up! By the time I get to the 5th or 6th thing my frame of mind has completely changed and whatever was bothering me before just doesn’t seem to matter. Of course, this list is in no particular oder! And I really tried to not be too too typical, so I skipped over the obvious ones like “health, family, etc.” It helps to think past the traditional answers, because it makes this practice work even more for me!
1. My Baby Bump
I know that seems SO cliché to say your first pregnant Thanksgiving, but I shared last week that the Monday of Thanksgiving last year I had surgery to see if we could even get pregnant! I had emergency ovarian surgery when I was 12 and my ovary lost blood flow to it for 12 hours, so the surgeon said it would be a miracle if I could get pregnant when I was an adult. [SORRY that is probably so TMI and things you don’t want to know on Thanksgiving, haha. But I like to be real and honest!] I remember my mom crying so much after my surgery, but at 12 I didn’t even really know why it was a big deal. This time last year we had my surgery to remove endometriosis and check on my ovaries to see how everything was doing. After the surgery my doctor said she fixed everything, but that it could take 5 years or so to get pregnant and not get our hopes up for a quick pregnancy. One year later I’ve got quite the bump to show off! 😉
I’m so thankful for Gods’ grace and his blessing of children and my baby bump this year. Sure, nothing really fits just right and I got to experience what it was like to throw up 26 weeks in a row. Women are pretty stinkin’ tough to go through pregnancy. But I’d gain 100 pounds 10x over and throw up every single second of every single day if I knew she was okay. I know how big of a blessing it is to experience this gift when doctors really tried to make sure I knew what my experience would be like from the time I was a child and I will never stop being thankful that God’s plan was different. I keep telling Paul how much I love being pregnant and how I wish I could always be pregnant. And then since he is a CPA and works in finance he just stares at me and says, “Do you know what college is projected to cost in 2035?” I have to laugh and just say, “Oh, it’ll be fine!” Isn’t it a wife’s job to freak her husband out?! haha!
2. Our Home
I talk all the time about how our home is smaller. It’s almost 100 years old and sure, there are a million things I wish were different. I wish we had a larger kitchen so Paul and I could cook together. I wish we had two bathrooms, I’ve hosted some people this year and it’s a little interesting to tell your guests, “Um, do you want to shower first? Then I can get ready after you or whatever you want!” We chose location over anything, so you better believe when my dad drives us 15 minutes outside of our area and says, “You know you could have gotten like a 5-bedroom house for the same price here, right?!” But when we first got pregnant we went and looked at larger homes and I would leave each home in tears. It wasn’t our house. I love our location. I love our neighbors. I love how cozy our home feels. I love our backyard. I love how my husband was excited to let me decorate. I love how this size feels just right. I saw this quote on Pinterest and always share it because it is exactly how I feel.
“Love grows best in little houses, with fewer walls to separate. Where you eat and sleep so closet together you can’t help but communicate. And if we had more room between us, think of all we’d miss. Love grows best in houses just like this.”
For now, we decided to wait until she is a year or two before we look again. I think me crying at other houses scared Paul! haha. And by then we will seriously need more space for a growing family. But until then, this is our perfect home and I’m so thankful God provided it for us with its location, availability on the market, the sweetest neighbors and our jobs to purchase it.
3. How Peaches Sleeps
This one might seem odd right off the bat, but it’s the sweetest thing! When we first got Peaches we crate trained her-which is the best thing we ever did! She loves her crate and will go take her toys in there during the day if I’m working for long periods of time. She treats it like her little room that comforts her. But right when I got pregnant she would whine and want out of her crate. Paul and I thought something might be wrong so we let her sleep with us. Welllll, months later she has moved up from the end of the bed to my pillow. haha! She now sleeps on her back, like a human, next to my face on my pillow. And then in the middle of the night she might turn on her side and I feel a little paw on my face. I always try to Snapchat it or something to show you all but I’m scared the light would wake her up. I laugh and tell people, “Our dog cosleeps with us.”
Then she doesn’t dare wake me up in the morning. Paul goes to work incredibly early, so I’ll sleep in until 6 a.m. and she just stares at me waiting patiently for me to wake up. Each morning I wake up to a dog laying on her side on my pillow just starting thinking, “Mom! Let’s get up!” I seriously hope she never stops doing it because it just is equal parts heart-warming and hilarious.
I hate the term “followers.” Y’all don’t follow me. I’m nothing to be followed. You read my blog! haha. So I always refer to people that visit my blog as readers and to this day it still blows me mind some of y’all have read for years. I mean, that’s what my mom has done and I don’t expect other people to do that! I worked in PR and when I was in college [and working at a PR firm] I was working with bloggers for clients. Paul kept saying, “I don’t know why you don’t do this. You’re so passionate about it, don’t be the middle man writing press releases about products to help people. Just be the person that helps people find products that would help them.” I remember I launched this blog with my friend the night of one of my sorority philanthropy events. I was so embarrassed hoping no one in the house would mention anything to me about it. And no one did! Thank you, Lord! haha. I kept waiting for someone to say, “Um, did you make a website….with pictures of yourself on it…?”
Then after I graduated I worked on my blog and full-time at a PR firm. I’d go to work, get home at 7 and Paul and I would sit on my couch and we’d work on writing blog posts, taking blog photos [ugh they were SO bad back then! haha. But it’s always good to look back!] and planning my content for upcoming weeks. I don’t think we ever had a weekend where we didn’t work on COF the entire time. Paul was my biggest cheerleader. And when I would call him some nights at midnight when I was writing posts and say, “I can’t do both this and my PR job. I’m exhausted.” He kept saying, “Yes, you can. I promise someone will love your blog and that will make this all worth it.” So I’d stay up late, get a few hours of sleep and write thinking, “Someone will read it and I hope it helps them.” This blog eventually turned into a full-time job as well and I had to leave my PR job in order to keep up with it. I was so thankful Paul encouraged me and I’m so thankful people even go to this website so that I can do this every single day.
When readers e-mail me and say something helped them, I’m not lying when I say it means the world to me. It’s exactly why I started this blog [you can read more in-depth on why here] and the fact y’all read, support me and are so encouraging to Paul and I in every step of our life has helped us FAR more than a blog post could ever help you. To know readers out there are praying for our unborn baby and get excited with us over things like when we got Peaches, has made life even more fulfilling. I always feel like even though I’m an introvert, I have so many friends out there through this blog and it’s something I will never be able to get over or wrap my mind around!
P.S. In order to say thank you this season, I’ll have a giveaway tomorrow on the blog for a designer goodie I absolutely love and hope you do, too! So head here tomorrow morning to enter to win! I promise I’ll make it super easy to enter!
5. How Similar My Mom & I Are
My mom is a total extrovert and will talk to a wall. I’m very to myself and when we go in stores I have to tell her, “Mom, we can’t talk to people for an hour. We have to get home to meet Dad somewhere in 30 minutes.” haha! But we are incredibly similar when it comes to our likes, dislikes, opinions, preferences and things we enjoy. We share everything from makeup to clothes to a Netflix account because we watch the same shows at the same time! haha. We had a long drive last week for a wedding last weekend and I was reminded how much I love that my mom and I are similar. She is my very best friend and we get along so well. My dad is incredibly outgoing now that he is older, but when he was younger he was super shy, so I know that’s where I get it from.
I’m just so thankful for how we have remained so close as I’ve started my own life and family. I know that it could be so easy for both of us to just do our own thing and enjoy these new phases of our lives, but instead we just get closer and closer as each phase of our life goes on and I have the most respect for her.
6. Halo Top Ice Cream
Have y’all tried this?! I’m sorry, clearly ice cream is not the 6th thing I’m most thankful for in life but I had to include it! haha. This is a low-calorie ice cream that has a lot of protein in it and not a lot of sugar. I have been searching for this stuff for a year! It can be a little tricky to find as it isn’t in every grocery store but I finally found it at our local Central Market. I think my husband was a little concerned because I almost scrammed and said, “Paul! They have it! We have to stock up!” I grabbed 2 pints and almost went to grab a 3rd and thought, “Okay, Katey. Chill out.”
I’ve had such a sweet tooth with this pregnancy during my last trimester and I had tried to find things to curb the cravings. This makes the guilt not so bad and it tastes JUST like Marble Slab or something similar! So cheers to finding a sweet that isn’t TOO ridden with guilt and enjoying every bite! 🙂
7. Saturday Mornings
Let me fill you in on a secret, I love Pioneer Woman. I mean, I geek out over the woman. You know how teenagers act over One Direction? I’m worse. One of my readers once told me that she worked for her or something of the sort and I cried. Like I straight up cried for 5 minutes that I had a really odd/far out connection to her.
Anyways, on Saturday mornings she has back-to-back episodes and I watch them all and Tivo them all. So much so, that we have 186 episodes on our DVR and my husband is always saying, “Um can we delete a few?” I don’t think he will ever ask that again because I gave a long rant about how I’ll need something to watch during late night feedings and that thing I will watch is Ree Drummond teaching me how to fry chicken. I really want to take a mini trip up to her store of my birthday and then buy all of her kitchenware.
My obsession is borderline concerning but I’m too much of a fan to be bothered by my lack of sense. Anyways, I try so hard to make sure we don’t have anything planned when she comes on Saturday mornings and normally we have blog shoots and trust me, I’ll be cranky for 5 minutes or so because then I’m like, “How does one start their weekend well if they don’t see Ree?! How?!”
Please do not judge me, but if you do I won’t even care because I love her so much.
8. Quiet Time
Back in March I shared this post on 5 reasons I’m glad I’m an introvert. I think it has a lot to do with why I take my alone/quiet time very seriously. I just feel so recharged and like I can be a better wife, friend, daughter, business owner if I have like 15 minutes or so to myself of uninterrupted time. I need that time to pray, think and plan. My sister is a total extrovert and I’m always like, “How do you get anything done?! You’re always with people?!” haha. As I get older I require it so much that I will force myself to wake up at 4:45 on shoot days just so that I can have that time in the word and sitting on our couch while everything is still quiet for the day. So anytime I’m allotted a few minutes of peace and quiet where I’m not stressed or worried about e-mails/a deadline/calling someone back or just anything going on I’m so thankful to God for providing that time of peace!
9. Friendship Not Changing
Everyone has different life paths and plans, so naturally your friends do as well. When I look at all of my close friends some are having their second babies, some are getting married, some are having fun being single and some don’t have a desire to settle down anytime soon. However, I’m so thankful that we all love and respect each other’s life phases, while remaining so close. I hear a lot of girls I know talk about how their life changed so much with their friends when they got married and especially when they had babies. So I feel really blessed that my group of friends celebrate one another and acknowledge how to be a friend to that person during each time in their life. We know what girls need happy hour to feel refueled, we know what girls need a phone call weekly or what girls just want to go grab a manicure once every few months. I think it’s so important to recognize what your friends need in their life to feel loved and how it balances with their schedules. My friends know how busy I get and are always so kind about it and will text me weeks in advance to plan something so I don’t feel guilty when I can’t make it to something. It’s the little things like recognizing each others’ wants, needs and schedules that make friendships lifelong.
10. Coffee & Pajamas
I had to include what is photographed right?! 😉 This homebody LOVES her pajamas and her coffee. I cut caffeine this pregnancy and thought, “Oh, I don’t need decaf!” So I didn’t drink it my first trimester. I missed that morning ritual so bad so I caved and got decaf coffee pods my second trimester. So. Worth. It. I’m the type of girl that the moment I get home from something, I strip off whatever I was wearing and throw on something incredibly comfortable, slippers included! 😉 So this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for clothing of all sorts! Clothing to be frivolous with [no pun intended! haha] and clothing to relax and rest in as well! If you love Christmas pajamas just as much as I do I’ll link below my favorites for this season! My sister and I always get matching pairs to lounge around in on Christmas day.
See you tomorrow bright and early for all the best Black Friday sales!
If you are shopping today and interested, here are a few of my favorite sales going on!
1. Baublebar: get 35% off [excludes buried baubles, Maya Brenner and gift cards] with code VIPKATEY at checkout!
2.Tory Burch: get 30% off a purchase of $250 or more with code THANKS at checkout!