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Posts Tagged ‘blessings’

reverb13-blog-button Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb13: Reverb is a way to reflect on the past year and project into the next year with a prompt a day for 31 days.  December is the perfect time to reflect on 2013 and start to create intentions for 2014.

Day 20: Counting My Blessings
Gratitude | How did you show gratitude this year?  Did you keep a gratitude journal?  How do you want gratitude to play a role in your life in 2014?

I believe in counting my blessings on a daily basis.  I don’t keep a gratitude journal, per se, but I do make sure to appreciate all of the little things that make me so lucky.  On a simple daily walk with Sofi I breathe in, look around, and marvel at all that I have to be thankful for.   I live in a great place that’s safe and comfortable.  I have amazing friends and family who love me unconditionally and support my every endeavor.  I have a job that I look forward to going to and where I’m appreciated.  I’m well on my way to my goal weight, thanks in big part to the fact that I had weight loss surgery. I reach new fitness milestones almost daily, and the magnitude of how far I’ve come doesn’t escape me.

I am so happy with where I am in my life, and I hope to continue this attitude of gratitude into 2014.

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If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Thanksgiving Plans

What are your plans for Thanksgiving this year?  Does your family have traditions?  If so, share them…(I know that some of you live outside of the US so  feel free to fill us in on other holiday traditions!)

This year I’m really excited about Thanksgiving because my immediate family is going to be together!

As many of you know, my sister moved in next door to me (in the duplex on the other side of mine) in January 2011 because she was going through a divorce.  After months of court visits, meetings with divorce attorneys, and limitless wranglings with her ex, she is now officially divorced! So we all have something to be thankful for.  🙂

Growing up, we had most of the traditional Thanksgiving foods, but we always had an Italian spin on it.  So we’d begin our dinner with a soup with tortellini and turkey meat.  Then we’d move on to the main course – turkey and gravy, string beans (but not string bean casserole), cranberry sauce, baked sweet potatoes, green salad, and usually ravioli in place of the mashed potatoes/corn that American dinners traditionally have.  But the main item that signified Thanksgiving was cardoni.

This photo shows cardoni in all of it's stages. The fritti is exactly how my grandmother's looked.

We’d always have cardoni, which is a Sicilian delicacy of fried artichoke stalks.  I know it doesn’t sound great, but it is to. die. for.  We waited anxiously for it.  We looked forward to it. We would fight over it!  We always wanted to make sure that A). no one had more than we did on our plates (even the adults were concerned about this) and B). there was plenty for us to take home.  The reason cardoni is so valued is that it is only around for a very short season at this time of the year.  No one made the cardoni like my grandmother, and it was the highlight of our Thanksgiving meal by far.   For dessert there would be pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and some sort of cookies that my grandmother would make, but often we would steal away to the kitchen to grab a few more cardoni.

As things changed and my mom started hosting the holiday, we retained most of our family dinner traditions. We never had the “American” sides of mashed potatoes, corn, string bean casserole, etc.  I was thankful for that because I preferred having ravioli over mashed potatoes any day of the week. And don’t even get me started on those cardoni!!  Once my grandmother passed away, we were worried about traditions (like cardoni) fading, but luckily my sister took careful notes and has been able to almost replicate my grandmother’s recipe.

My sister loves cooking Thanksgiving food, and has been hosting it for her own little family for the past several years, which meant that my parents and I haven’t spent the holiday with her or my nieces in at least 5 years.  This year all that has changed!!

This year my sister jumped at the chance to have all of us over at her house.  She’s cooking the turkey and Brussels sprouts, my mom has most of the sides covered, and I’m bringing a unique salad (look for that recipe later this week) and the most heavenly pumpkin pie you’ve ever tasted (which I’m buying from a famous bakery in a small neighborhood of my city).  And of course, my sister is making the cardoni.  It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without them.

My plan for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner is to enjoy every dish on the table, but in moderation.  I’m not going to deny myself anything, but I’m also not going to feel overly stuffed when the night is through.  I want to keep the holiday festive, but remember that it is just a DAY.  Not a week, not a month, not a season.

I feel like I have so much to be thankful for – the fact that I see my nieces, parents, and sister on a daily basis; the fact that I’m no longer feeling lonely or alone because I’m surrounded by family; the fact that my sister gets a new lease on life now that she’s free of a bad marriage; and most of all that all of us are healthy, happy, and together.

Now it’s your turn to share your plans!  Don’t forget to go back and link up!

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 4Wonder.

How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

As I mentioned in my last Reverb 10 post, my biggest source of wonder and joy this year came from Lulu, but since I wrote about her last time, I’ll choose a few other wonder-full things in 2010.

Moving.  I absolutely hated where I was living for most of 2010, so when I was finally able to move into this amazing place in September, I became wonder-filled with the way it all worked out.  Some things are truly meant to be.  Here’s what happened: I was miserable because my duplex neighbors were violent, loud, inconsiderate – just plain awful.  I felt like I was a prisoner in my own home with no hope of getting out.  When you feel hopeless, sometimes it’s difficult to find a solution.  Then my friend Nicey and I were talking one night; reminiscing about the great duplex that we lived in together.  It’s perfect layout, the amenities, the neighborhood, the landlord – all of it.  And so I decided to email the landlord on a whim, asking him what the status of the occupancy of either duplex was.  At first he said that there wasn’t anything open, but that he would let me know if there was.  And then 3 days later, he contacted me to let me know that the person renting my old duplex had just given notice.  And the rest, as they say, is history!  The part that seems like fate is that for 4 years I had lived at my previous duplex, and Nicey and I had been together many, many times without ever mentioning our old place.  It was perfect timing, and it’s why I will maintain my sense of wonder while living here.

My attitude.  I wrote about this on a comment that I left for The Skinny Doll.  She had mentioned that, “… I am as always ever hopeful .. and haven’t felt this positive about life and my journey for a long time.” And that really struck a chord with me.  I feel exactly the same way.  And I commented that, “I think your real wonder is how wonder-full it is that your attitude remains positive even when the results aren’t what you hoped for.” And I’m exactly the same way.  I’ve been at this so long now, and many people would’ve given up.  But I haven’t.  And say what you will about my choices, willpower, or whatever, I have persevered.  I will never give up, even if my spirit weakens from time to time, my drive to reach my goal weight never will.  And that’s my wonder – that I have unlimited strength in the face of adversity.

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