Monthly Archives: November 2013

Thankful For: Home

Or rather, I’m thankful for who I share my home with. We may always have projects that we want to do around the house and don’t even get me started on how we could always clean/vacuum/dust, but as long as I have Chip and Wrigley, I’m happy. I don’t mean to be overly mushy, but it’s the truth. Those two boys may drive me crazy sometimes, but I can’t imagine what my daily life would look like without them.

 I am so thankful that I married my best friend. That he can make me laugh easier than anyone else can. That he can help me overcome my fears and weaknesses and is my number one supporter. That he works so hard for us. That we can serve alongside each other.

You all know how much I love our pup. He can be a downright conniving pest (many of you have seen him try to steal food while we pray before a meal), but I am so grateful for the joy he brings in our life. There’s nothing better than coming home to his excited face ready to lick us and throw himself in our laps for a belly rub.

So today, I am thankful for Chip and Wrigley and how they make our house a home. Please feel free to share whatever you are thankful for, hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

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Thankful For: Community

Over the past year, I have become extremely thankful for the community we have here in San Antonio. As I’ve mentioned before, we don’t have any family in town, but we have been extremely blessed with friendships strong enough to feel as if we were family.

I am so thankful for the community we have at Redeemer. For the wonderful women in my Bible study and how they prayed for me as I made the decision to leave my job. For our fun community group and the ways they encourage us as a couple as well as individually. For our youth group and all the ways they make me laugh and grow. For all of the sweet friendships we’ve developed with so many different people and families. We know our life here in San Antonio wouldn’t be the same without them.

I am also very thankful for the community I developed in my years at Bromley. While working alongside some truly talented people, I was able to make some wonderful friends that could make even the longest meetings more fun (trust me, that’s no small task!).

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! What are you thankful for today?

Thankful For: Music

If there’s one thing that can instantly impact my mood (besides a giant piece of dark chocolate), it’s music. I love how music can make me want to dance, to rest, to cry, to sing along in an obnoxiously loud voice in my car. Music can comfort me and encourage me. It doesn’t matter the kind of music, I just about love it all. I grew up playing the piano and will always appreciate classical music. My inner teenager never grew up, so I can’t resist catchy pop songs (I’m looking at you, TSwift). Car rides with my dad taught me to love Van Halen, while my mom plays Michael Buble. This past month has been wonderful with the constant Christmas music on my Pandora and Spotify stations.

It isn’t very profound, but today, I’m thankful for music and all of the memories it recalls and emotions it creates.

As always, feel free to share what you’re thankful for!

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Thankful For: Travel

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m trying to take time this week to consciously consider what I am thankful for and share it with you all. I would also love to hear from you on what you’re reflecting on this week, so please share in the comments!

When I first thought about what I’m thankful for, I realized how much is equipped by travel. This thankfulness works two fold: on the one hand, it allows us to see friends and family that live outside of the great state of Texas, and on the other hand also lets us to see new places for the first time, which is something we really enjoy.

Sometimes it can be really hard not having family in town or having some of our good friends live so far away. If we weren’t able to hop on a plane or get in a car for a road trip, there is so much that we would miss out on in the lives of those we love. I’m grateful that this year we have traveled far more than we had ever anticipated. It allowed us to go to our friends’ wedding in Nashville and be part of their special day. We were able to attend my brother’s college graduation which was so wonderful to see. We were able to go to Rochester for my cousin Denisse’s daughter’s baptism, which meant meeting precious little Daniella and getting to spend time with my goddaughter Isabella. We were able to share sweet time with my family during trips to Boston and Maine. Chip and I were able to explore Nantucket and San Francisco on our own during work and anniversary trips. Just this past weekend we were able to go to Denver to visit my brother as well as one of my closest college friends (stay tuned for a post on that trip!). I’m thankful that we live in a time where travel is as advanced as it is; let’s be real, if we were still in the Oregon trail days, we really wouldn’t be able to see anyone past Boerne. 

Riley and Becca's wedding in Tennessee

Riley and Becca’s wedding in Tennessee

Alex's graduation from Creighton

Alex’s graduation from Creighton

With Daniella after her baptism

With Daniella after her baptism

With my aunt, mom, Daniella, and goddaughter Isabella

With my aunt, mom, Daniella, and goddaughter Isabella

With Chip in Nantucket

With Chip in Nantucket

In Boston with my family

In Boston with my family

In Maine with my parents

In Maine with my parents

In Napa during our trip to San Francisco

In Napa during our trip to San Francisco

With Alex and Teresa in Boulder

With Alex and Teresa in Boulder

With Rachel in Denver

With Rachel in Denver

So today, I am thankful that we have been able to visit so many dear people as well as see new places together. Here’s to visiting more new places next year and continuing to visit loved ones wherever they may be!

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Thankful

It’s here, folks. Thanksgiving week! It’s finally feeling like fall here in San Antonio so I am more than ready to kick off the holidays.

I saw this quote on Pinterest recently and it made me realize that I don’t spend hardly enough time thanking God for all the blessings He provides. Hard lessons, sweet friends, times of rest, times of joy, a crazy dog, a supportive husband, a messy house. This week, I am hoping to do a post everyday with something I am thankful for and I encourage you to do the same. We shouldn’t just rely on Thursday’s dinner to quickly share what we’re thankful for, but be in constant reflection.

What are some things you’re thankful for?

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Things I Love: Christmas Music

Confession: I really really love Christmas music. I saw this on Pinterest the other week and thought it was just about perfect:

Time to Rock Around the Christmas Tree

Time to Rock Around the Christmas Tree

If I can make it to Halloween without listening to Christmas music, then I’ve shown serious self-control. This year, I had one week where I got over-excited (pretty sure we had a cold front come in) so I had to play some holiday tunes for a few days before listening to more Monster Mash for Halloween. But once November 1st hit, it was on. Christmas music full time. Thankfully Chip has fully accepted this part of me and no longer complains when there is constant Christmas music going on (although if he gets command of the radio/itunes, he’ll go to anything not Christmas).

I’ve just about always loved Christmas music. There have been some classic favorites over the years and also a few new ones each holiday season. So get ready to Jingle Bell Rock with me and check out my list of favorite Christmas songs that Buddy the Elf would be proud of. Please note: this list was extremely hard to keep to just 10 and I apologize to all the songs I had to leave off.

Garibaldi:

I have been listening to Garibaldi’s Christmas CD pretty much my entire life… it was always our Christmas morning tradition to listen to this while opening gifts. Nothing takes me back to childhood memories around the tree faster than this CD can. Please note: this music is so old that this was the only song I could find on YouTube. I was hoping to find Las Posadas, but no such luck. If you’d like to hear it, let me know. This CD is always in my car.

O Come All Ye Faithful:

This has been a favorite of mine over the last few years. I appreciate how simple the lyrics are while speaking to the Christmas story so beautifully, especially with the verse “Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning; Jesus, to thee be glory given; word of the Father, now in flesh appearing: O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.” Nat King Cole’s version will always be a favorite, but I love how Josh Groban has the song crescendo to the last verse.

Sleigh Ride:

Let’s be real. This is a classic; it’s not a holiday season without this song. There are lots of different versions out there, but the Boston Pops Orchestra is my favorite. You just can’t beat the brass instruments coming in around 1:45. Makes me want to do a good jazz square. Harry Connick Jr. also does a great rendition of this song.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen:

I wasn’t really a big fan of this song too much growing up, but it has become a favorite over the last couple of years. The lyrics just hit me at “God rest ye merry gentlemen let nothing you dismay, remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day to save of us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray. O, tidings of comfort of joy.” Such a great reminder of what we’re really celebrating when it’s so easy to get caught up in the buzz and sparkle of the holidays. This MercyMe version is one of the best (in my opinion), but you should also check out Glee’s cover.

Little Drummer Boy:

Little Drummer Boy is one of the most underrated Christmas songs. I really like this version by Jars of Clay, but MercyMe and Josh Groban also do a great job with this song.

Do You Hear What I Hear:

Another song that I feel is too underrated. One of the things I love most about this song is how it builds the story through each verse. My favorite goes to Carrie Underwood because she actually does all four verses. Best dramatic version is definitely Glee, although it drives me crazy that they don’t do the last verse of the song. #angryelf  Destiny’s Child also has a great cover (but skip the last verse) and Whitney Houston can’t be left off of this list, either (she also does all four verses).

Joy to the World:

Over the last few years, this has been my favorite Christmas song. It’s such a great declaration of the feeling we should feel because of Christ’s birth: joy! While not 100% accurate lyrics wise, I absolutely love Mariah Carey’s version of this song. Get ready to clap along, it’s just about impossible to resist. Also, shout out to Mariah for another favorite – All I Want for Christmas is You.

O Holy Night:

This has been a favorite of mine throughout the years. From about 6th grade to too far into high school than I would like to admit, NSYNC’s version was my favorite (I’ll never forget buying their Christmas CD at Target with my dad and brother). Mariah Carey’s is also up there at the top of the list. If pop music isn’t your style, Nat King Cole can’t be beat.

12 Days of Christmas:

An awesome cover of one of the oldest songs out there. Love the creativity in the lyrics and the ending to the song is pretty darn brilliant.

Need a Little Christmas Now:

You want an instant Christmas dance party? Listen to this version by Glee and be sure to have the volume up. Makes me want to go get our Christmas tree now.

What’s your favorite Christmas song?

A New Chapter

I say I like change, but that isn’t always true. Take a hair cut, for instance. I love getting my hair cut (highly recommend Twirl here in SA!), but after a few days of shorter hair, I’m left questioning my decision. Should I have had that much cut off? Or should I have gone shorter? Do I have too many layers? Not enough? First world problems? Definitely. But I know that change is good (and I’ve learned that thankfully hair does grow back). Often when I get too comfortable in my everyday life, I can easily take on the mentality of “hey, thanks for getting me this far, God, I got it from here….”. But in those instances where it feels like the rug has been pulled out from under my feet, that’s when I experience my best growth and dependence on God. I will always say that while it was a huge change in my life and required a lot of faith, studying abroad and living in Chile for five months was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

This past Friday was my last day at Bromley Communications after working in the account management department for the last four and a half years. I was able to work across various General Mills brands and I learned so much about strategy, creative development, client relationships, product development and more. I learned how to lead client presentations, how to give feedback to our creative team and help get to the best work together, how to put together competitive reports and analyses, how to foster a sense of teamwork with our partner agencies and so much more. But as time went on, I knew it was time for change. This had been my first job in the real world; I literally started just two short weeks after graduating from Trinity and the last few years went by in a blur. I have felt ready for a new chapter for a while now, but have been too hesitant to make a move. I was scared to leave the one thing I had known in my professional career and something I felt I was good at, but I knew I couldn’t let that fear hold me back from pursuing a new chapter. After lots of time praying about it and countless conversations with Chip, I finally made the bittersweet decision to end my time at Bromley and focus on what’s to come next.

I’m thankful for all of the experiences I had at Bromley. Thankful for the different projects I helped manage, for all of the people I worked with, for all of the experiences it gave me. This past summer alone, I was able to travel to Minneapolis twice (alright, not the most exciting destination) and go to my first TV commercial shoot in New York, which was quickly followed by two more shoots in Mexico and LA. I’m thankful that I was able to go on these trips at this time in my life. We don’t have kids, so while it was hard to be gone from Chip and Wrigley on and off throughout the summer, this is the time to travel for work and I am grateful for these experiences. Most importantly, I am so grateful for the friendships I developed at Bromley. I have met so many wonderful people that helped make me a better coworker and a better person.

On set in New York

On set in New York

Our view from the hotel in Bernal in Mexico

Our view from the hotel in Bernal in Mexico

Filming while in Tequisquiapan

Filming while in Tequisquiapan

The team at the end of our shoot in Mexico

The team at the end of our shoot in Mexico

Wrapping up our shoot in LA

Wrapping up our shoot in LA

The scariest thing about this whole decision is that I don’t know what I’m doing next, but I know that God has given me this season for a reason. I love the holidays and am thankful that I am being given the opportunity to savor every moment and rest. This will be a challenge for me, I’m really awful at resting (just ask Chip, he usually has to force me to take a nap) but know that it will be good for me. I’m thankful for how God reminds me that He is in complete control, which can be a hard pill to swallow for this control freak and planner. While I struggle with not feeling as productive and “busy” as I was up until last week, this has also reminded me that regardless of how I fill my day, I am called first and foremost to glorify God, whether that’s in the advertising world or running the house and graciously appreciating this gift of rest.

I am extremely thankful for a wonderful and supportive husband. Chip has been there every step of the way with me and his love and encouragement and willingness to accept whatever sacrifices we need to make while temporarily being on one income is something I am so grateful for. I am also so thankful for my parents and wonderful community at Redeemer for having prayed for me during this journey and continue to pray for me as I adjust to this change.

Whatever the next chapter looks like, I’m thankful that it’s been written by God and that He will be with me the entire way.