Leighton's ABC's of Thanksgiving!
A-Auburn Tigers and FOOTBALL! So thankful for AU season tickets, Harbuck family to sit with, wonderful group of friends to tailgate with, and memories to last a lifetime.
B-Bonnie. AKA Mom. It has been such a fun year getting to be a 'mom' to Mae. I have such a wonderful example to follow and hope Mae and I will be best friends like my mom and I! I am so proud of my cute mom, tennis playing mom, real estate mom, and I am so thankful for her health!I am also thankful for BB! Ryan's mother! She is the most giving person I know and is a wonderful mom and grandmother!
C-Car. As materialistic as it is. I am thankful for my car. Yup, that 2002 black Camry. I am thankful that my daddy bought it for me in college. I am thankful for the 192,000 miles on it. I am thankful that I have never had to put money into besides gas, tires, and oil changes. Ryan and I have been following Dave Ramsey and have saved cash for a new car. We have been on the car hunt recently, but just decided for now, why get rid of the good ol' camry! It is still running and getting us from point A to point B! Maybe that cash can just keep earning interest for when the time is right!
D-Dad. I'll admit it, I am a daddy's girl. I love my daddy so much! He has had a rough year with prostate cancer, both of his brothers being diagnosed as well. He is having ACL surgery in December, and has had more heart problems this year. I am so thankful he is here and in one piece! He is such a good dad to me, father in law to Ryan, and KPaw to Mae. I am also so thankful for my 2nd dad, Max. He is the sweetest, kindest man. I am forever thankful to him for raising such a wonderful son for me to marry and being such a great Buck to KMH!
E-Eli, our dog! We lost our Buck this year and we miss him so much. Eli is adjusting nicely without him since the move, because he now has Mae to play with and he is so spoiled being an 'only-child dog'.
F-Family. We could not have gotten through this year without our family! They have spoiled us, helped us, encouraged us, been there for us, gone out of their way for us, mentored us, prayed with us, you name it! Blessed beyond belief!
G-Grace. God's Grace has helped me when I fall short. Even though I am not working now, I feel like the standard has been raised. I am always trying to be the best mom, the best wife, the best cook, the best homemaker, the best...Well, let's be honest. I am not. I fall short. By the GRACE of God, he helps me TRY to be the best and picks me back up when I fall short.
H-Heater. I HATE to be cold. I am an avid bubble bath taker, but can not fathom taking a bath in our rental. (Those that know me, will understand this) So I am thankful for socks, sweatshirts, and our HEATER!
I-INSTAGRAM! I have a slight obsession! I love keeping up with friends through pictures and it so fun to see all the babies in all of our lives! With us constantly moving, it is a great way to stay in touch with everyone and feel like I see their babies grow up!
J-"Jesus Calling' A book that sits by our bed or on the side table in our den. It is a small snippet of God's word that we use as our daily devotion. Ryan reads it aloud and we are amazed at how it is always exactly what we need at that moment. Lately, I have been reading it while Mae naps and God is at work. It has been a great part of my day. I know my in-laws have this book and have been changed by it as well! She gives it to everyone she knows! I also know, Amy, my sweet friend who lost her child this past year, lives by it and it has been a great encouragement for her.
K-Kitchen. These days I am spending lots of days in the kitchen. Whether its whipping up baby food for Mae, or cooking our family a meal. I am thankful for friends coming in town tonight to cook for, Thanksgiving tomorrow to cook for our family, and Friday cooking for a family who just had a baby. The kitchen to me is a way to serve others, including my family. Plus, let's be honest, I LOVE to eat!
L-Laughter. There is nothing more that I love about Ryan than his ability to make me laugh. Every day I am laughing about something. I love to laugh, I love funny things, and I love to see my baby girl laugh. Laughter is so infectious and is such a great gift that as silly as it is, gives me my favorite feeling!
M-Mae Mae! What a gift she has been to us. We are loving every giggle, scrunched nose grin, pulling up on our legs, books read, and more! We keep saying our next child is going to be ugly and not sleep. Because Mae is neither of those! We think she is perfect AND a genius! 2.25.13 our lives were forever changed for the better. I am so thankful she made me a mom and gave me that title.
N-Night time. My favorite time of day is night time. Ryan comes home from work and dinner is ready. We have play time, bath time, with Mae and put her to bed at 7. The best time of the day is being able to have time with my hubby, uninterrupted and just the two of us! We spend it talking, watching our favorite shows, laughing, and snuggling. I am forever grateful for our relationship and the little things like this!
O-Our church. Church of the Highlands. I can truly say that this church has changed Ryan and my life. From going on Sundays, watching online, going to the marriage conferences, and Christmas services. We feel fed every time we walk out of that place and take away nuggets to help lead our week and our lives. I am thankful for Chris Hodges the pastor, the nursery workers who love on our sweet Mae, and for all of the campuses so that we can 'share' a church with my family and friends in B'ham.
P-Pregnancy. This year I cant be anything but thankful for my first pregnancy...It was so easy and enjoyable and resulted in our K. Mae! I had an AMAZING dr. who I want to be my best friend, and had wonderful nurses along the way. I am also thankful for my other friends pregnancies. My best friend and I got to be pregnant together and now get to share baby advice since our girls are so close in age. I am thankful for new babies being born and the miracle it symbolizes! God is so good! I pray our next pregnancy is just as great and a healthy baby is the end result! Just one more is on our list, but NOT for awhile!
Q-Quilts. Don't be fooled I don't quilt...but my sweet grandmother, age 92, Mae's namesake and great grandmother has made us several. I have a quilt from when I was born that Mae uses. Mae has her own quilt that my Grandma made, and I also have a quilt made by her of all of my sorority shirts from college. I have started up my own sewing (with a machine and embroidery) My mom is so thankful I am taking after her mom. I am loving sewing outfits for Mae, pillows and curtains for our house, and baby/wedding gifts for others. I love the quilts from my Grandma and love that Mae has 2 great grandmothers. We are blessed!
R-Ryan Maxwell! Wow, what an encourager, partner, best friend, lover, motivator, listener, leader, father, husband I could ever fathom! I always say I 'hoped' he would be a great husband before we got married, but be has FAR exceeded the thoughts I had...he is that much and more! Seeing him with our girl, makes me fall in love all over again!
S-Skill saw. I am thankful for Ryan's tools and the furniture he has built our family and friends. He has a talent! Mae and I love watching and spending time with him while he does it, and we LOVE the final products! He has made things for my antique booth to sell and for our home. What I love the most, is both of Ryan's grandfathers were excellent wood-workers and he is falling in their footsteps. He gets to use their tools and carry on their memory!
T-tennis. I have grown up playing tennis. I played in high school and almost went to play in college at a small school! THEN, I totally dropped the ball and didnt play for years! I have gotten back in the swing of it in Huntsville and now with mom in Birmingham. We recently completed a tournament together and my team won and hers came in 2nd! It was such a fun experience with my mom and I am thankful for the exercise tennis gives! Mae even got to watch her mama's stroke!
U-Unbelievable friends. I have realized as high school and college get more and more in the past, it is easy to lose touch with friends. However, its making me realize my true friendships and all that mean to much to me! This year with having our first baby, we were showered by friends so much! I am forever thankful for my friends who help give advice with babies, recipes, someone to vent to, someone to listen to, someone to pray for, and more!
V-Vacation. One of my favorite things to do with Ryan is vacation. We are big savers and budgeters trying to build our savings account, but one things we like to splurge on is traveling! Since we have been married we have been to Mayan Riviera, Puerto Rico, Maine, Scottsdale, AZ, Nashville, Seaside, Orange Beach, New Orleans, Charleston, Kiawah Island, New York City, Oxford, MS, Jacksonville, FL, and more! We look forward to taking our kids on many, but also having more trips just us! We love it! Our 5 year anniversary is next year so we plan to knock it out! We shall see!
W-work. I am beyond thankful for my husband's job and that he has work. I realize this economy has totally taken a turn for the worse, and Ryan has had a great career with a great company. They have moved us all over the place and it has been a fun ride. I am also thankful for 'my work'. I am getting to pursue my 'dream job' as a mommy...life couldnt be much better.
X-eXcellent health. (had to stretch that X) Ryan, Mae, and I are all blessed with amazing healthy. None of us are ever really sick and we truly are so thankful. I have friends with kids with tumors, cancer, or have passed away all too soon. I know people battling cancer and other diseases and it is just not fair. It seems everyone is going to get some kind of it at some point. It is so scary! So thankful for our health and pray we will continue to be healthy for the rest of our lives!
Y-YOLO. I am loving that saying this year. "You only live once". What a great motto to live by. If you only live life once the right way, once is enough...I want to die knowing that I did all I wanted, enjoyed all I could, and serving all I knew.
Z-Zero Coke. Aka Coke Zero. I know that is stretching it, but Z is hard! I love my coke zero! I really try to just drink water, but each day I treat myself to one of these and all is great in the world!
We are blessed and God is so good, all of the time!