Monday, November 12, 2012


November always gets me thinking about gratitude with the upcoming holiday of Thanksgiving. At the beginning of the month I taught a Family Home Evening lesson on being thankful to help Maybrie start thinking of things to thank Heavenly Father for in her prayers each night. The exercise of counting our blessings from the day every night has been really great for both Maybrie and me. She is showing more interest in saying prayers herself and I notice myself focusing on the positive parts of the day more. It has been a good reminder that no matter what your situation in life may be, there is always plenty to be grateful for. A friend (Brittany Olsen) shared a quote on her blog that really struck me. It is "Gratefulness turns what we have into enough." I just love it! During these early years of marriage when we are living on a tight student budget and it is so easy to fall into the world's trap of always wanting more and not being content with what we have, this quote is a good reminder. I have been trying really hard to embrace each situation we find ourselves in and find joy during both the good and bad times. Even though we don't have matching furniture or a dishwasher, we still only have one vehicle, and we don't really have extra money to eat out or buy a new outfit... I can honestly say that we have "enough" and that I feel truly blessed and happy right now. Here are a few of my greatest blessings(in no particular order) that I have been thinking about lately:

1. Being a mother- Even though I find myself frustrated and exhausted at times with two little ones, I wouldn't trade my role as mother for anything in the world. Maybrie and Thomas make me so happy and are so much fun to have around all day while Brian is away at school. They stretch me in ways I never imagined and bring great purpose to my life. I am so grateful to have two beautiful, healthy children of God in my home.

2. Thomas- I simply can't get enough of this chunk! He is now 17 months old and is funner than ever. He is totally a little boy not a baby anymore and will be going into nursery next month He is a very happy and calm kid. He seems to be sensitive too, never fighting back when Maybrie pushes him down or steals a toy (something that could be good or bad depending on the situation). He loves cars and pushing things (stroller, play shopping cart, chairs, baskets) around. His favorite food is bananas... he can down them so fast it's unreal! He loves to be outside and is always going to the door and looking out the window. He is curious, but not too mischievous(yet). He has the cutest laugh and can always brighten my day! 
 Thomas crawled into the basket on laundry day, and was pretty happy about it!
 Trying on his new winter coat... I love when they look like a big marshmallow, reminds me of The Christmas Story.
 The other day Thomas came into the bathroom while I was taking a shower and after playing peek-a-boo with the curtain for a few minutes, he decided to dive in! He thought it was great... here he is playing in the tub in his sopping wet clothes!

3. Maybrie- This 3 year old knows how to push my buttons and melt my heart within just a matter of minutes. She has so much personality and can be a total drama queen. She loves everything girl- princesses, dress-up, wearing mommy's lip gloss, playing house, etc. This past month she has been really into helping me decorate the house and is always wanting to make more decorations. She is very eager to learn and is wanting to play school with me. She knows a lot of her letters and can write the first half of her name by herself (May). She is thoughtful and often wants to take notes/pictures to her friends. Maybrie is a nurturer already... she loves babies and is always playing with the little ones in our neighborhood. In fact, sometimes she wants to go to her friend's houses and play with their younger sibling instead. She has a great memory and pays attention to detail, always wanting to put things back in the right spot or straighten the decor. I love my independent preschooler.
 Love her expression in this picture, she looks so grown up to me.
 Posing with me in front of a fountain during our walk along the canal downtown.

4. Brian- I have the most perfect (for me) husband! I love being married and having my best friend to share everything with... the good and the bad. As we approach our 5 year anniversary I am amazed by how much we have already been through together. He is my rock and I can't imagine going through this life without him by my side. I think we make a great team and I feel honored to have him as my companion. He treats me so well  and I simply love being around him. I am so proud of how hard he works for our family and his persistence in chasing his career goals. He is a wonderful example to me and pushes me to be my best every day.I love you babe!
 Maybrie took this picture of us in front of the canal in Indy.
 Brian is a wonderful dad... he is great at getting down and playing with the kids when he is home from school. This is him hiding under the desk with Thomas during a game of hide-and-seek with the kids.
 Thomas is such a daddy's boy... their bond is simply adorable.

5. My health- I often hesitate when it comes to talking about my weight because I know it is a sensitive subject for many people. I also hesitate because of the way I lost some of my weight- anxiety. It is not a diet I would recommend, and sometimes I am embarrassed that some of the anxiety I have dealt with off/on over the past year has led to a loss of appetite and dropping a few pant sizes. I wish I could attribute my size strictly to exercise and healthy eating... though my husband does remind me that I need to give myself more credit for that, because I have worked hard on that too. I am now the smallest I have been since high school. After moving out here I dropped another size and am now in the unimaginable size 0! I remember thinking that getting back to size 6 would be a miracle. Sometimes I still look in the mirror and am surprised. What I am most grateful for right now, above all in my weight loss journey, is that my mental health is stable once again. I honestly would rather have made it down to a size 6 without anxiety than a size 0 with anxiety. But, as Brian says, my weight loss is just a positive outcome/ silver lining to a hard experience. I am happy to be skinny and pretty fit, but mostly am grateful to have a healthy mind and body.
 Wearing my first ever size 0 skinny jeans!

6. Good haircuts- I decided to chop my hair a couple weeks ago, and am grateful for the great and affordable recommendation from my friend Alanna. Kami Starnes in Fisher did an excellent job on my hair and I am having fun getting the hang of my new do!

7. Indy- I love living in Indianapolis. I think it is a beautiful city with so many fun things to see and do. We have been having a great time exploring as a family. Whenever I pick up Brian from school I get to cross the White River and see the downtown skyline. I think it is so pretty and just cool that we live here right now. Here are a few shots of the city I caught last month when we did the canal walk.

8. Date night- The crazier life gets with kids and Brian's school schedule, the more I look forward to and cherish the time we have to spend alone on dates. I truly believe it is important for husbands and wives to take time to focus on each other and enjoy quality time together. While I do appreciate the times we get to sit and talk or watch TV once the kids are in bed, I feel even more grateful for the time we take to go out together. It reminds me that I am not just a frumpy mom, but a woman who can still go out with a hot date and have a good time! :) On Nov. 3rd Brian took me to the Indiana Pacers opening game. We went with our friends Michael and Maddie Daetwyler (Brian gets a ride to school with them). They played the Sacramento Kings, which is why we wanted to go... to see Jimmer. We saw him, but he didn't play :(. It was a fun game that went into double overtime. We had a lot of fun!
 Entering Bankers Life Fieldhouse
 Our view of the court
 Me & Brian 
(They had free XL shirts on every seat... $5 tickets plus a free shirt, that's pretty darn good!)
Maddie, Michael, Brian & Me

9. Friends- We have made so many great friends since we've been out here in Indy. With our families so far away, it is nice to have so many friends around. They are like our family now. I feel like we've hit the jackpot when it comes to being surrounded by awesome people. I am especially grateful for all of my girlfriends that make having our husbands so busy with school less lonely.

10. Faith- I am so grateful for my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am grateful for my Savior and the strength and comfort His atonement gives me. I am grateful for the Plan of Happiness  and the purpose it brings to my life. I recognize that the blessings I have listed and the millions more I could share all come from a loving Heavenly Father. 

Happy November- the month of giving thanks!


  1. That was a great post, Summer! I'm grateful for friends out here too, I'm so glad you're here!!

  2. What a neat post, Summer! I am glad to see that you guys are doing so well over there. :) Say hi to those little cuties for me!

  3. I LOVE that quote too! Life feels so much fuller with gratitude.