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More Thanks

It’s still November, so I’m still thankful!

1. Family that’s family. Those people with whom you might share DNA but definitely share a warm relationship. They’re the ones who make the holidays enjoyable. The reason Brad and I don’t mind traveling for Thanksgiving is because it’s a day we associate with family.
2. Laughter. Jokes, stories, cute kids or crazy uncles tend to bring it on.
3. Traditions. Brad and I are building our own holiday traditions together, and as my house becomes filled with holiday decorations, the traditions become apparent.
4. Leftovers. Lunches, snacks and a quick bite of good food are great. It also means less cooking.
5. Hand-me-downs. My home is beautifully decorated for Christmas with a mix of new things and lovely things that have been passed on by others.
6. Tea. I’ve been drinking a lot of green tea for comfort and relief while trying to kick the cold that’s slowly going away. It’s calming and enjoyable. Almost as much of an emotional beverage as coffee.
7. Opportunities.

As November is heading toward it’s end, I’m curious: How do you give thanks all year long?

Related Posts:

Thankful in November

Week two of thanks

Doomed but still thankful

 

Leftovers

I hope that you had an enjoyable and relaxing Thanksgiving and (hopefully) a long weekend!

Brad and I had two enjoyable Thanksgivings, neither of which we hosted.Some of the highlights included: Brad’s uncle pocket-dialed the non-emergency police department number, so the police called back. My favorite two-year-old spent part of dinner under the table. Families are great.

We ended up with Thanksgiving feast leftovers from both. Although Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, it’s not something we wanted to eat over and over until the leftovers were gone. Black Friday isn’t just a big day for retailers, it’s a big day for pizza places because there are a lot of other people who feel the same way.

What to do with the leftovers though? Some ideas straight out of the K-couple kitchen are:

  • Turkey quesadillas. Leftovers used: Turkey. New ingredients: Tortillas, cheese, seasoning
  • Mashed potato bowls (KFC-style). Leftovers used: Mashed potatoes, corn, gravy. New ingredients: Popcorn chicken, optional cheese
  • Buffalo (turkey) pasta. Leftovers used: Turkey (ours was chicken after having chicken for Thanksgiving #2). New ingredients: Pasta, cheese, hot sauce (some people enjoy cheesy pasta with Thanksgiving so that works as a leftover in some cases)

Those three mostly used up our leftovers. We had a random food meal to use some of the other things, like chestnut stuffing. Some other leftover recipes I’ve seen/used include potato pancakes, stuffed pancakes (with cranberry sauce of course).

A lot of cranberries!

How do you reuse leftovers and avoid throwing out good food? Read the rest of this entry

Black Thanksgiving

I’ve never been swept up in the madness of black Friday shopping. I’ve never waited in a line at 5am for a crazy deal. Yes, I’ve done some light Christmas shopping on Black Friday, almost always in the afternoon when the mobs have gone home to nap.

Last year, stores were starting their sales at midnight and I rolled my eyes at how early they were opening and didn’t participate.

This year, it’s worse. And by worse, I mean it’s terrible.

Many chains are starting Black Friday sales at 8pm. On Thanksgiving.

I’m not thankful. I feel bad for the people who have to leave their families on a national holiday of giving thanks to prepare for and then deal with greedy, inconsiderate shoppers. The stores are opening at this time because they know that consumers will jump when they tell them to. There will probably be people completely changing their long-standing Thanksgiving traditions to hit the sales. My question is: Is it worth it?

I say no.

I don’t think that consumers realize how much power they have. If they don’t line up for an 8pm opening this year, the stores won’t be opening at 8pm next year. If they do line up for an 8pm opening this year, next year more stores will open at 8 and in following years it will creep closer and closer to our day of giving thanks.

At 8p.m. on Thanksgiving, I will be spending time with loved ones and I won’t be shopping.

Before you schedule a short Thanksgiving and plot a strategic approach to get one or two coveted items, think about whether that gift could be obtained from a small business on Small Business Saturday or ordered online. Think about the people stocking the shelves on Thanksgiving or running the checkouts. They would probably prefer to be with their families. Can you blame them?

That’s my two cents. What are your thoughts on the new starting times for Black “Friday”?

Related Posts:

Thankful Thursday

It’s the Thought that Counts

Christmas Shopping

World Diabetes Day

“Back before you had to bolus for it,” Brad said when reminiscing about college weekends and late night snack trips to get these amazing pretzel melts.

“It’s pretty amazing to see how much work goes into taking care of yourself with diabetes,” he continued. “So many people abuse the ability to make insulin, or use the crap out of it rather. They take it for granted.”

While that didn’t make my pancreas envy any better, it did make me feel better about who I’ve chosen to spend my life with.

Today is World Diabetes Day.

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November 14th celebrates the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, discovered insulin as a life-saving treatment for diabetes in 1922. Today, I celebrate being diagnosed with diabetes after this discovery, because had I lived a century ago, I would not have lived for very long.

I celebrate each of the 20-30 units of smelly, clear liquid that my body receives to stay alive.

There are people with different types of diabetes and people who love someone with diabetes getting involved today (and year round) to raise awareness and fight for a cure.

I am thankful for insulin, but it’s only a treatment. It’s not a cure.

Related Posts

A Day In My Life

Posts about diabetes

Treasure Your Father

Father’s Day is this weekend and it’s tough. Every holiday is tough when you lose a parent, but especially the ones meant just for them.

Last year, I thought Father’s Day was rough, but my dad was still here. Dad had been admitted to the hospital on the second day of our honeymoon and we had no idea until the last night of our cruise when we were back in range of U.S. cell towers. He was still in the hospital on Father’s Day, but I got to call him and talk with him. This year I can’t.

A couple of weeks ago, I ventured into the card aisle on a mission for birthday and sympathy cards during lunch. I like to think that I’m pretty good at shopping for sympathy cards, I know what words brought the tiniest bit of comfort to me and I know that glitter is never appropriate, it’s like fake cheer. While walking through the aisles of cards, I ended up in the Father’s Day section. I thought for about two seconds that I could pick up a card for my father-in-law while I was there… I couldn’t even pick up a card without feeling like I was going to burst into tears.

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Reading with dad at a very early age

Although nice, none of the commemorative ornaments, Relay for Life luminaries or photographs can take away the ache associated with missing your father. No one tells you Read the rest of this entry

The other ladies

My mom is my one and only mom. I love her dearly and owe her more thanks than I can give.

I feel that I can’t let all of the Mother’s Day celebrations go by without recognizing  a couple of other ladies in my life, who although not my mothers, deserve credit for being motherly toward me.

Mom K

I’m one of the few lucky ladies who married into a great set of in-laws. Brad’s mom raised two boys and finally has a girl around. She deserves credit first for raising a great son and second for expanding the definition of family.

My in-laws consider my family to be their family which meant we had extra support during the tough times. When I was mysteriously ill and finally made an appointment with the doctor, she’s the one who took me to that appointment and then took me to the hospital… but more on all of that next week.

Her giggles are contagious and she has a way of making the people around her happy.

Aunt P

When my parents moved out of state, my aunt and uncle welcomed me into their home Read the rest of this entry

Hi Mom!

This is my mom:

May 28, 2011

Since Mother’s Day is about celebrating moms, I though you all might like to meet the woman who gave me life. She’d had two other children before me, so I’m pretty lucky that my parents didn’t auction me off at birth.*

My mom is a strong woman with a surprising sense of humor and awesome arms (did I mention that she’s a personal trainer?) Read the rest of this entry

Easter Events

I told you all Friday that I was excited for Easter.

Easter weekend was a good time all around. The office closed during the afternoon so I took the opportunity of a beautiful Friday afternoon off to spend it with my friend looking at bridesmaid dresses and shoes for her wedding, as well as shopping for sport. I came home with a $5 shirt from H&M, I’m very pleased with my awesome find. Our men met us for dinner and a nice evening was had by all.

On Saturday, my aunt and uncle came to visit. They took us to lunch (thanks!) and we had a very nice visit. My dad was the youngest of five children and my uncle who came to visit is the next to youngest brother. Being around my dad’s brothers is interesting because they do and say things that remind me of my dad.20120409-121154.jpg

They also played Easter bunny and brought me beautiful Easter tulips and Brad corn dogs. The corn dog thing is probably funnier to us than it would be to you so I’ll just leave it there. Read the rest of this entry

Happy Easter

I may not have given anything up for Lent, but I am still very much looking forward to its end because at the end of Lent, you get Easter.

Today is Good Friday, and I take a moment to appreciate what today means for me, but I’m really looking forward to the celebration on Sunday.

I always loved church as Christmas and Easter. The joy levels multiply exponentially.

As a kid, both holidays meant pretty dresses and fun treats. Most years, Easter also meant spring!

As a grown up, Easter is less about treats (especially since I’ve chosen to forgo the Peeps and jelly beans this year). This year, we are celebrating in the church where my husband grew up and where we got married. It’s always special to go back there. The holiday is a good excuse to spend time with family and look forward to the many good things that this spring will bring.

… I still like the dresses!

Easter 2009

Happy Easter!

Read the rest of this entry

Not giving up

I usually observe the season of Lent. We actually used to refer to it a “lint” when I was a kid, sometimes religious seasons sound too much like mundane fuzz from the dryer. However, I don’t usually give up things for Lent, in the past I have when I felt like I needed to refocus and something was getting in the way.

Typically people will give up something they consume that’s not the best for them like caffeine, alcohol, junk food or pop. In the past few years, I’ve noticed that people have started giving up activities that pull their attention away from the important thing, usually it’s Facebook. One main problem with giving up Facebook for many that I know, is people forget how to contact you and assume that Facebook is the only way. (If a friend has given up Facebook for Lent and you want to reach them, pick up the phone!)

{What people on Twitter gave up for Lent in 2010}

Read the rest of this entry