Lots to be thankful for

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I have so much to be thankful for. With Thanksgiving upon us, I think I'll take a moment to count my blessings.

I am so thankful...

...that I was raised in a family who loves the Lord. That I was born to parents and grandparents who taught me by example to live for Christ. That I was brought up in church, that my parents prayed with me, and that they read the Bible to me.

...for my husband. I'm so thankful that he has been so supportive over the last three and a half years, that he was understanding when my life was not my own, and that he is ready and willing to pick up and move wherever I want/need to go for residency come next July. I don't know what I would have done without him. It's been tough, and he was always there to wrap his arms around me and make me laugh.

...for parents who have always supported me and encouraged me to chase my [very expensive] dream of becoming a doctor.

...for my mother. She has more faith and confidence in my abilities than I think I could ever have in myself. She always makes me feel like I can do anything. I'm also thankful that she let me paint my room every color I ever imagined, that she took me to Bookland once a week as a child, and that she never once missed a gymnastics meet, piano recital, basketball game, or drill team performance.

...that my dad has continued to put a roof over my head (at age 25...), that he taught me how to cook (which is particularly fortunate since cooking isn't a strength of my aforementioned wonderful husband), and that he indirectly kept me out of trouble via fear tactics. (Now I'm thankful!)

...for my sister and the friend she has become as we've gotten older. After all, she has the best clothes, the biggest selection of purses, the creative gene, and she always makes me laugh.

...for grandparents that have always been a huge part of my life. I could go on all day about them. I'm thankful for my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I'm so thankful to have such a huge, close family.

...that I have the kind of friends who buy me rain boots on my wedding day to cheer me up, who I know I can call in the middle of the night, who will spend hours on the phone with me because we live in different states, who send me good-luck messages before every test because they wrote my test schedule in their calendar, who have picked me up off the bathroom floor, and who know all of my flaws, yet they still stand beside me no matter what.

...and proud to be an American. I love this country and, I'm thankful that we can worship freely, our votes matter, and we can be anything we want to be. What a blessing we take for granted!

...that in 6 short months, I will have the privilege and honor of being a physician.

...for my Yorkie, Oscar Bob, and our Weimaraner, Grayce. They are so funny, and they really do bring joy to my heart.

...for Rotel dip.

...for weekends off and sleeping late. I'm more and more thankful for this, since it seems these weekends are increasingly few and far between.

...for central air and heat.

...for Shonda, my paid-for 2000 Honda Accord.

...for my favorite pair of jeans that I'm wearing right now.

...that I live in a place where it's reasonable to wear flip-flops and a tshirt until the end of November.

...for the Internet. Seriously.

...for diet coke, coffee, and the Kroger-brand crystal light that has an absurd amount of caffeine in it.

...for our fenced-in backyard.

...for my Canon Rebel T1i camera.

...for the soldiers and veterans who are or have served to protect our great country.

...for being raised by a family who grew our own vegetables and taught me how to pick, shell, shuck, and preserve them.

...for Mrs. Nesbitt, my third grade teacher who changed my life with books. Because of her, I love to read, and I love school.

...for Southern comfort food: mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, collard greens, fried okra, catfish, green beans wrapped in bacon, and hushpuppies.

...for dishwashers.

And lastly, for Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday. Hope yours is fabulous!


Honeymoonin' (Part 2)

Matt and I l love nothing more than lying around doing nothing. It's disgusting how long I can lie on the couch without getting up (for any reason). However, for the best week of my life (thus far), we traded in the couch for some lounge chairs on the beach... And it was glorious. Waiters on the beach--the best idea EVER. Alejandro, our personal beach waiter, brought us drinks and nachos all. day. long. 

After a couple of days of doing nothing (and loving it), we decided to do a little exploring around Mexico. I somehow convinced my new husband to ride horses through the jungle and on the beach. My sweet city boy (well, when you compare Huntsville to Greenville, he seems like a "city boy" to me!) had never ridden a horse. I can't imagine.  He was nervous (but brave). I guess if you haven't grown up around horses and have never ridden one, a thousand-pound animal may be a bit intimidating. His knuckles were white from the death grip he had on the saddle, but by the end of it he was practically a cowboy. 

Cowboy up. Look how relaxed! He may kill me  for this.

Just FYI, horses are very afraid of camels. Just in case you ever find yourself on horseback in the presence of a camel or two. (Hey, it happened to us.) Move away from the camel. Quickly.

This was my second horse, by the way. My first one bucked me. Awesome. I almost peed my pants. Do you like my sweet honeymoon hat my sister gave me? My BFF, Sandidge, told me I looked like Diane Lane. I'll take that as a compliment. Notice that I'm almost not even in the picture. Subtle, yes, but the a-hole, egocentric, anti-female man from upstate New York took this picture. He hates women. He would not speak to me. He chatted Matt's head off. I made a game into trying to get him to look me in the face. No dice.

Sometimes we would come back to our room and champagne would just have magically appeared on our table. I really dig the all-inclusive thing. Cheers!

The third night, we ate at the Italian restaurant. FAVORITE. By far. We ate there twice. Let me just tell you that this girl gained 7 lbs during my 7 day honeymoon. Now let me tell you why: we ate FOUR meals a day! Who does that? I don't even eat 3 whole meals a day at home! We ate breakfast in bed everyday, then first lunch around noon, then second lunch around 3:30ish, then dinner around 9pm! And with the latter 2 meals, we always ordered both appetizers AND dessert. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my metabolism. I probably should've gained 20 lbs. Geez. So anyway, back to this phenomenal dessert. This vanilla ice cream with frozen strawberries... Well, this was not your typical vanilla ice cream. It was the best thing I've ever eaten. It came from Heaven. I'm drooling just thinking about it. Mexican vanilla ice cream. Two months later, Matt and I still talk about it. Often. We're going back. Just for the vanilla ice cream.

Runner-up chocolate thing.

Day four, we went to Tulum--some Mayan ruins. So cool! 

Honeymoon solo-shot. Haha.

He becomes my husband and apparently feels this new obligation to carry my crap. (Well, it was our crap, technically.) I'm not complaining. How cute is he carrying that beach bag? He wouldn't let me carry it. I like marriage.

Iguanas. Everywhere. Welcome to Mexico.

More to come, people. So many pictures, so little time.


Happy Halloween!

Our halloween wasn't too thrilling. There were no costumes this year. I had great plans to put out mums and pumpkins by our front door. I didn't get around to it. Last night, Matt watched Monday Night Football while I painted our breakfast table (and ate candy). Grayce drove us crazy barking, and Oscar Bob tried to escape via the front door every single time we opened it for a trick-or-treater.

The most exciting part of our night was the arrival of my mother-in-law with our new mattress!! She runs several hotels in Huntsville, and she ordered us a Hilton bedding package. It. is. fabulous. It's pillow-topped on both sides, and you kind of sink into it. Just in time for my 2 months off! I have full intentions of sleeping late every single day.

You know you're old if you spend Halloween painting a table, and the most exciting thing that's happened all day week month is getting a new mattress.

Oscar Bobby and Grayce got some new halloween toys. Miraculously, neither one of them has been de-stuffed [yet].

Hope you had a Happy Halloween!