Author: Addie Parker
•10:35 PM
I feel a very unusual sensation - if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.
~Benjamin Disraeli

Shew. Are you as tired as I am? I'm about to zonk out right here at the computer. What a crazy, busy, wonderful holiday season it has been! I don't think I even posted in between last week's Thankful Thursday and this week's Thankful Thursday. I just haven't been on the computer at all.

But things are winding down... my Christmas decorations are down (as of, oh, two minutes ago), I've got four days off from work, just one Christmas left to go, and guess what?! 2010 is going to be here very, very soon! I'll be posting about that on January 1. I've never been more excited for a new year to begin, and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

For today, though... let's get to thankfulness. I am so gosh-darn blessed. Everywhere I turn, there is a new blessing. Let's get to 'em.

*I am thankful for my pastor, Tom. For the new life he has brought to my church since he came in July. For the learning. For the connections. For so much. I love that he's here.

*I am thankful for a quiet week at work.

*I am thankful for the generosity of my friends and family.

*I am thankful for impromptu dinners with friends.

*I am thankful that my foot is healing.

*I am thankful for the hope and excitement I have for 2010.

*I am thankful for steady income.

*I am thankful for orange juice and macaroni and cheese.

*I am thankful that even though my best friend is on vacation in Hawaii, she's still just a text message away.

*I am thankful for a soft bed, a pretty comforter, and a new pillow (which I am going to go use right now).

(Oh, and no pictures for me this week because I'm tired and I want to go to bed.)

What are you thankful for?

{A little bit of business}
1. Please link to your specific blog post, not your main blog page.
2. Please keep things clean and family-friendly.
3. Please link back to this post so that others can easily find their way back.
4. Include pictures if you can! I love pictures. : )

Author: Addie Parker
•9:57 PM
Hi friends!

I considered canning Thankful Thursday this week, being that it's Christmas Eve and all. But what better day is there to be thankful?!

Immanuel! God is with us!

*I am thankful for this little guy- my newest nephew, Asher... and the time I got to spend with him and the rest of my family last Saturday.

*I am thankful for safe travels so far this season (and praying that the trend continues).

*I am thankful that my husband brought these flowers home for me when I had a bad day:

*I am thankful for diet sierra mist ruby splash. I mean, really... does it get any better than that?

*I am thankful for my church community. I love being a part of it.

*I am thankful for my job.

*I am thankful for union-negotiated holiday time-off.

*I am thankful for sweet, sweet Christmas Eve services. They're my favorite hours of the whole year.

What are you thankful for? Link up with your Thankful Thursday post and/or leave a comment letting everyone know what you are thankful for.

{A little bit of business}
1. Please link to your specific blog post, not your main blog page.
2. Please keep things clean and family-friendly.
3. Please link back to this post so that others can easily find their way back.
4. Include pictures if you can! I love pictures. : )

Author: Addie Parker
•8:19 PM
Over Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to "organize" my closet. I conveniently forgot that when I set about organizing anything (especially a closet), I tend to go overboard.

So I emptied the closet, stripped the shelves, taped, painted, and searched high and low for ways to organize it. I've been doing all of this ever since. There will be a full blog post about it when it's done.

But for now, I'm stuck. It didn't come together how I envisioned (which is not surprising since I didn't really have a clear vision going into it). But now my creative spark has fizzled out, and everything is just sitting there waiting for me to finish.

I'm almost done. Really, I am. But nothing that belongs in the closet is actually IN the closet, yet. I haven't figured out how it will all work, where it will all go, and how it all should look.

I'm very picky about how it will look. I LOVE opening a closet and having it be pretty. Pretty is one of my favorite words. And this is a closet I open every morning to do my make up (yes, I do my make up in the hallway), so to be a little inspired by it would be just lovely. 

Yes. I do really expect to be inspired by my closet. It's fun. You should try it.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I think I need something shiny in there. I have shopped my own house, looking for something that would work, but everything I see either already has its perfect place somewhere else, or just isn't what I'm going for for this closet. And the hard part is I'm not really sure what I'm going for. Candle sticks seem silly because it's a closet, and I won't be lighting candles in a closet. Same goes for a vase. No flowers in the closet. But I'm envisioning something like mercury glass, so what does that leave me with? I don't know. It doesn't help that I'm a cheap-o and won't pay much more than $5 for anything.

I saw some flameless candles in Target the other day, and I thought, "Ah-ha!" But they were $15 a piece. Um, no. But at least I know that's a possibility.
Then, just a few minutes ago, I picked up an old copy of "Home" magazine (June, 208, I just realized). Flipping through, I came across a photo of a workspace that I love.

Here, I took some pictures of the magazine for you...

So what I realized after looking at these photos again was that my little closet needs some pattern. Something interesting. Plain blue walls, plain brown shelves, plain white boxes, plain white potted (fake) plants. Pattern would be good, here. So I have a new mission- pattern and shine! I know, it's totally ambitious. And yes, I'm making fun of myself. And just so you know, I really do realize how trivial this is. I am not actually worried in the least about how this closet will turn out.  But I enjoy the process, and I super-duper enjoy the end result.

And now that I've used "totally" and "super-duper" in the same paragraph. I'm going to stop blogging and start thinking about patterns.

Oh, one more thing. On the let's-make-over-Addie's-blog thing, I'm making progress, but I'm nowhere near done. I have a lot to learn about html, and I'm working with a slow computer and a slower internet connection. It's going to take some time. Patience, friends. : )
Author: Addie Parker
•10:21 AM
Most days, I think I am ready to become a mama. We have plans. A timeline for when to begin trying. I'm getting more excited about it all the time. And sometimes I want to start trying today. {But then I remember all of my years of patience of getting to this point and how a few more months will fly right by, and we'll be better off for the wait.}

I opened my Bible this morning expecting to be encouraged and uplifted. I've been reading Luke and Hebrews (Hebrews for my small group, and Luke just for me). This morning was Luke, chapter 12. I got to verses 51 through 53 and found myself saying, "Not me, though. Right, Lord? You couldn't possibly mean me."

51 "Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to bring strife and division! 52 From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against- or the other way around. 53 There will be a division between father and son, mother and daughter, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law."

Right now, I am a daughter and a daughter-in-law. I am not a father, a son, a mother, or a mother-in-law. But I found myself thinking about the mother-daughter relationship- as in me, the mother, and a future daughter of mine. We were actually talking about this during lunch at work yesterday. I work with a bunch of women in their fifties, and they were all reminiscing about how they would sneak out at night and get into trouble. The conversation got around to church and how they were forced to go and always tried to get out of it.

While listening to them, my thoughts wandered to how naiive I am. I was not the get-in-trouble type kid. It just didn't occur to me to want to do that kind of thing. Sneak out? What if my child is the type to try to sneak out? I am not prepared for that! Not want to go to church? I haven't even considered that it could be a battle.

Then, this morning to open up to Luke and read about such division. And I just thought, "No, you can't mean me and my daughter, Lord. Not us."

But he could.

Things aren't all butterflies and rainbows in this Bible thing.  A lot of times it is. The message of Jesus Christ and the incredible thing he did for me. It's comforting and encouraging. Forgiveness and love.

Just not Luke 12: 51-53. 

I wish I were (or had one around) a Bible scholar to decipher and give me background on where this all comes from. But it's just me sitting here with my thoughts.

This morning, I'm thinking about the ENORMOUS task of raising a child. Not the feeding and the clothing and the carting back and forth to school. Not that part. But the part where my child learns to be loving and forgiving. To be kind and gentle with others. The part where I hope my child has a heart on fire for God. The part that I hope it's a joyful thing to be a part of a church community.

How do I do that? How, Lord?  I have so much to learn in the coming months and years. It's helpful that we don't birth six-year-olds. There's time to learn along the way. Time to pray and be prayed for. Time to be boosted up by my friends who will be walking this same path right along with me. Time to listen to the rich messages of my pastor. Time to refine and be corrected myself so that I can be a better example.

There is time. And I will not waste it.
Author: Addie Parker
•7:09 PM
My sister just informed me that my comments aren't working. Again. Boo.  I was wondering why all of you all of a sudden stopped commenting! I thought maybe I was just being too dull (and maybe I was, so you didn't even try to comment, so you didn't know there was a commenting problem- ha!).

I just checked my comment settings, and everything looks good, so I'm guessing it has something to do with the html. Which has something to do with my current layout. Which has been giving me problems from the very beginning.

For starters, I think it's annoying that the comment and post feed links are right up at the top (and on there twice for some reason). And there's the wacky way that the top of the "notebook" thingy is not lined up. And the comment thing. Plus, I'm not sure I'm in love with the grunge-ified look. I have a really hard time finding blog backgrounds that I like. What would be awesome would be to have a blog custom-designed. But that costs money, and that's money I'm not willing to spend right now.

So I will spend some time this weekend making over my blog. Hopefully at the end, things will be prettier and more functional. And you'll be able to leave me a comment to tell me so.

In the meantime, why don't you hop on over to Anna See's blog, An Inch of Gray. Her posts are cracking me up lately. Especially this one. And this one.

Update: Let's do some math; a story problem, k?
I got up at 3:00 this morning. I worked for 14 hours. I then spent almost three hours searching for a blog theme that I even remotely liked.  What percentage of me wants to give up?

The answer: 50%.

I want to give up searching for a pre-made blog theme that I like.  But I think that maybe, just maybe, I can make one myself. I don't have photoshop. I don't have any other editing software. But I have an internet connection, and therefore, I have google. I can do this. ...on Sunday. Because right now I'm going to go to bed, and tomorrow I'm going to celebrate Christmas with my dad's side of the family. So on Sunday, I will attempt what I previously thought to be impossible, given that I have no knowledge and no skills in this area. That's never stopped me before.

If you have any suggestions for how I should go about this, please email me at  Before Sunday.

Thank you and goodnight.
Author: Addie Parker
•10:40 PM
If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.
~Gerald Good

Hi there, bloggy people!  It's the second edition of Thankful Thursday!

A funny thing happened this past week. As soon as I posted my first Thankful Thursday, I was constantly bombarded with other things I was thankful for. I felt like I could do a thankful post every single day!

It wasn't a great week. Bad stuff happened. It was stressful. But in the midst of it all, I couldn't help but think of all the things I was thankful for. It left me feeling so blessed.  It was almost comical the way I could see every little blessing for what it was and know that it was all the more sweet just for the recgonition of it.

So, without further ado, my list of thanks and praises:

*I am thankful for the prayers and support of my friends. This week was a particularly big week for that, and I could see and feel their prayers for me in a big way.

*I am thankful for my new tires- this wintry weather has already produced some very icy roads, and my new extra-grippy tires are up to the task.

*I am thankful for new opportunities to serve my church.

*I am thankful that I am a creative person. It's so fun to be inside my head!

*I am thankful that my husband is excitedly planning a trip to celebrate our five year anniversary.

*I am thankful for the way the light played with the clouds yesterday afternoon.

    *I am thankful for modern medicine and how doctors are able to take care of me, my family, and my friends. 

    *I am thankful for the discovery of a new ice cream that I like- Mike brought home Edy's something or other (I really don't feel like getting up to check the name of it, ha) when I had a sore throat, and it is a great flavor!

    *I am thankful that I am able to give Christmas gifts to others. It feels so good to give.
      What are you thankful for?  Link up with your Thankful Thursday post and/or leave a comment letting everyone know what you are thankful for.

      {A little bit of business}
      1. Please link to your specific blog post, not your main blog page.
      2. Please keep things clean and family-friendly.
      3. Please link back to this post so that others can easily find their way back.
      4. Include pictures if you can! I love pictures. : ) 

      Author: Addie Parker
      •9:36 AM

      Meet my dining room table. It doesn't see much dining. It just mostly sits there looking all pretty and occasionally collecting mail.  For Christmas this year, I dressed it up with some of my favorite elements- a moss terrarium, green candles, a linen table runner, and some shiny things.

       Want some nitty-gritty details?  Okay!

      The moss terrarium was something I put together at the end of the summer. I have three total. I bought the apothecary jar in Pentwater while shopping with my little sister, Britney, and my newest nephew, Asher. I picked up the moss on a hike. So fun.

      The "linen" table runner is actually just a piece of scrap fabric from a pillow project. I folded it up and laid it down. I was planning on taking it back off and sewing it up right, but it ended up looking just fine, as is. The ends that hang off the table are frayed, but I like that look, so it works out.

      The candles are less than two dollars each from Target. They're actually green, but they show like they're honey-colored here. But they're green. Trust me.

      The glass candle stands are from Walmart, and I think they were $2 a piece. I snagged the last two, so too bad for you!

      I already had the two larger silver ornaments from last year, as well as the star garland. I just stuck them in.

      The small silver ornaments were the trickest part. I am a cheap-o, and apparently I didn't think they were worth as much as most of the stores thought they were. I ended up getting these ones at Walmart for four or five bucks. I still think it was too much for a few little plastic bulbs, but I had an image in my head of how this would come together. The silver bulbs were pretty key to the whole look.

      So that's about it! Besides shopping around for all the elements (which I mostly did while also shopping for other things), throwing this look together took just a couple of minutes! I think it was the easiest thing I did this year, and it looks great!

      What does your table look like? Piles of randomness like mine usually is? Covered in cheerios and dried up milk? Set for a fancy dinner party? Tell me all about it!

      I've linked up to the Creative Cats party at Poppies at Play!

      Pssst.... check out my post from yesterday. You could join in next week!
      Author: Addie Parker
      •6:53 AM
      For each new morning with its light,
      For rest and shelter of the night,
      For health and food, for love and friends,
      For everything Thy goodness sends.
      ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

      If you are on Facebook or Twitter, you most certainly could not have missed the barrage of "I'm Thankful" tweets and status updates during the days leading up to Thanksgiving. For the better part of a month, my friends and family (and random bloggy people I follow) were tweeting and updating, "Today I'm thankful for my wonderful husband and kids." "Today I'm thankful for the roof over my head." "Today I'm thankful for grilled cheese with the face of Mary, Mother of God, on it."  Stuff like that.

      I wonder how thankful I was this season. I didn't think much about it. Probably because I've been in kind of an emotional slump. Feeling a little depressed, feeling a little hopeless. But that is so not an accurate snapshot of my life!

      I am so blessed!

      Yes, there are troubles. No, nothing is perfect. Yes, there are things I want and things I question, and things I wish and hope and pray for. But I am so blessed!  I have a job that pays well enough and has good health benefits. I have a roof over my head, and I am in no danger of not being able to pay my bills. I have a husband who loves me more than I deserve. I have a big, crazy family who make me laugh. I have the best friends I could ever imagine. And I have a personal relationship with the God who's mercies are new every morning.

      There is so much more. I could write for a very long time about what I am blessed with and thankful for. And I believe that if I do that frequently- if I call to mind on a regular basis all of the things that make my life wonderful- I will be more worshipful. More full of praise. Better able to recall the good when the bad hits hard.

      Every week here at Life with a Lady, I will host a Thankful Thursday party. Please link up and/or comment and share what you are thankful for this week. And keep your thankfulness in mind all week. Together, we can keep a spirit of gratefulness and thanksgiving year round.

      This week I am thankful for the person who was kind enough to stop and leave a note on my car telling me I had a flat. I wouldn't have noticed until I started driving because I don't approach the car from that direction.

      This week I am thankful that I had enough money set aside for emergencies to cover the purchase of four new, high quality tires.

      This week I am thankful that I am strong enough and confident enough in myself to change a tire {Do you know how many people told me I couldn't do it?!}.

      This week I am thankful that my foot is healing.

      This week I am thankful that my church has hired a new worship leader!

      This week I am thankful for Steel Magnolias, chocolate, and a cozy bed at the end of the day.

      This week I am thankful for a supportive bra. 

      What are you thankful for?  Link up with your Thankful Thursday post and/or leave a comment letting everyone know what you are thankful for.

      {A little bit of business}
      1. Please link to your specific blog post, not your main blog page.
      2. Please keep things clean and family-friendly.
      3. Please link back to this post so that others can easily find their way back.
      4. Include pictures if you can! I love pictures. : )