A Thankful Heart

Sunday, November 30, 2014

As I sat down to write this post, I wanted to make a list of everything I am thankful for. As I began, I realized how incredibly overwhelming a task that is, and how lucky I am to be able to say that. The task of documenting everything I am thankful for is a daunting one because I have so much to appreciate. When I sit down and think about everything in my life, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I have been blessed with so much.

Regardless of how long a list I wrote, I would never be able to cover it all. I have an amazing home, career, friends, pets, resources and hobbies, and above all else, our family. What I love most about my and Wyet's relationship is that we have both adopted each others family as our own. We aren't two separate families but rather one, and that is a blessing beyond measure.

Below are some photos of our Thanksgiving celebration this year. I am so thankful that I was able to spend it in the company of those I love the absolute most. They are the ones that make this holiday worth celebrating.

My other half and mother-in-law. I couldn't have picked any one better.
A Thanksgiving tradition in our family is to gift my mom with a new Christmas book to add to her collection each year. This year, I found the perfect book in England, Santa is Coming to Peterborough. She will never find anything else quite like it.
My best friends {truthfully}.
The greatest mom's!

Wyet prepared the turkey this year. He has quickly become the chef in the family!

This Thanksgiving got even better when we received our favorite guest early!
Really though, I die over him!
I think we all do.
Cameron showing Hendryx all of the ornaments on the tree.

My greatest blessings, each and every one of them!
JC and Alexsis
The Fillmore Boys
I am especially grateful for Wyet. He really goes above and beyond anything I ever expected. I love him the absolute most.

Tricks, Treats & Traditions

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Halloween has always been the holiday I most look forward to. Not only does it fall in the middle of my favorite season and my favorite month, but it is a holiday of trickery, haunting and treats. Nonetheless, this year, I couldn't seem to get in the spooky spirit of the season. Of course I decorated and bought pumpkins, but the idea of dressing up {which is generally my favorite part} and attending a party just didn't sound appealing.

One can't be expected to host the same amount of enthusiasm for an event or holiday with each passing year. It is only natural, that once in a while, we just want a break. That is how I felt this year. I didn't have it in me. I felt badly about my indifference to what was meant to be my most sought after time of the year, and I would have been disappointed in myself if I would have let the entire holiday pass without paying it notice. Luckily for me, there is someone who prevented that from happening.

For the past decade, it has been a tradition that Wyet and I carve pumpkins. Not long after the tradition begin, it took on a new meaning. Rather than carving for ourselves, we began carving pumpkins for the ultimate Halloween fanatic, Miss Matye. Matye loved Halloween equally {if not more} than I do, and because of her, even though we weren't in our most celebratory moods, we followed through with the most important aspect of this holiday; keeping traditions and memories alive.

Picking out pumpkins in late September {Wyet thought it was too early, but I wanted to enjoy them for as long as possible}

As always, Wyet went above and beyond any ordinary design. This year, rather than carving through the entire pumpkin, he skinned off layers at a time to create this amazing eyeball.
Donned with eyelashes and all!
The artist and his masterpiece
Marcel, the eye, the cat {a running joke of this year}, a Day of the Dead Skull and of course an M for Matye.
Simple vs Dynamic
Happy Halloween Matye! Thanks for always keeping us in check each October.
All lit up
Even though we didn't do much this Halloween season, we did spend a lot of quality time together. Dressed up or not, this guy will always be my favorite person to spend any holiday with.

Somewhat Self Sufficient

Saturday, November 8, 2014

I am acutely aware of how lucky I am to live the life I do. While I certainly don't have everything in the world, I rarely go without. It is hard to imagine a life in which I didn't have virtually everything at my fingertips. Sometimes, when I listen to my grandpa tell stories or watch a movie set in the past, I wonder how I would have handled a life like that; how autonomous I could have been.

Despite having so much at my disposal, I find it incredibly satisfying to do things for myself; to be somewhat self sufficient. Even though I {heavily} rely on my modern accessories to get by, I am proud that Wyet and I do some things on our own. There is a simple pleasure that comes in fending for yourself, and although we are limited in our abilities, I am happy for the bit of independence that comes from being self reliant.

This year, Patye taught us how to bottle beans. We were more than happy to learn as this is one of our favorite snacks.

We were hoping to accomplish a year's supply worth of dilly beans. Only time will tell if we succeeded.

I am so impressed with our bounty of tomatoes and herbs this year.

Naturally, we roasted them all and made homemade tomato soup. It was a quick way to use up all of the produce from our months of effort, and also the absolute tastiest.

I am very proud of Wyet. This year, he really took things in to his own hands. Here, he is smoking a batch of homemade jerky.
After a few months of drying, we were finally able to harvest our herbs.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

It's not everyday that your boss pulls you into his office requesting that in just three days time you jet off to a different country. Needless to say, the request made was not one I could easily refuse. I was asked to head to the United Kingdom the following week to help on the set of a live TV show. Considering how tedious and dull my regular work schedule had been, I was thrilled at the thought of getting away for a week. Just like that, I was on my way.

After an incredibly long journey {two flights, fifteen hours and a few time zones later) I arrived at London Heathrow Airport. From there, we rented a car and made the three hour drive in to Peterborough. Riding along on the wrong side of the car and the wrong side of the road is an experience I will never forget. Everything about it felt so wrong, and I was constantly grabbing on to the dash and holding my breath as I thought we were about to collide with oncoming traffic. Despite my fears, we made it to the Bull Hotel safely.

Over the next few days, we spent time at the studio where I set up projects and displays while my traveling partner covered the hard part of the job of being on live television as a presenter. The work I did while in Peterborough was anything but strenuous, and it gave me a lot of time to think, breath, and just escape real life.

In the weeks before I left for Peterborough, I just felt stuck. Work was proving to be one nightmare after the next. I was showing up late every day because I was appalled at the thought of getting out of my bed. Not only was work life getting monotonous, but I was getting bored in other aspects of my life, too. I wasn't making an effort to attend even my favorite classes at the gym, and I hadn't picked up a good book in weeks. I felt stuck, bored and incredibly unmotivated. Getting away from my regular routine for a few days helped me to see life through clear eyes and a new perspective. It made me realize that life can get repetitive regardless of what part of the planet you are on. Happiness comes in finding serenity in the everyday.

While it was incredible to see the differences in the way people in England live versus the way that I live, what was even more eye opening was to see all of the similarities. We all sit in traffic, and we all count down the hours until it is time to head home. Taking a small break from my regular life gave me the chance to see it through new eyes, and I realized that while a getaway is always nice, sometimes right back where you started from is right where you belong.

Boarding the plane in Salt Lake.
Two hours in to the fifteen hour flight.
At the Create and Craft station.
Bull Hotel
We had a free afternoon so naturally I found the nearest bookstore and spent all of my money.
Enjoying a Starbucks in Peterborough Town Square
Starbucks and Peterborough Cathedral
As amazing as England was, there is nothing quite like coming home to handpicked flowers from your love and a house full of puppies.
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