What's Up Wednesday: November 2016
I'm pretty sure I've said it every month thus far, but I literally blinked November away. I enjoy this time of year so much and yet it moves too fast. I'm sharing a little insight into my life on the last Wednesday of every month by answering this questionnaire originated by some blogging ladies that I follow and admire. This month they shared their's early and I missed the memo I guess, but I had planned to keep mine to the real last Wednesday of the month anyway... I'll hopefully be back in sync with them next month!
What I'm eating this week:
This week I am eating all things pumpkin and winter squash that I can. 'Tis the season for pumpkin throughout the end of the year in my humble opinion. I am still eating Paleo/Whole 30 (aside from drinking) so that hasn't changed. I'm still enjoying it just fine and I'm used to the plan at this point so I haven't felt the need to introduce anything back into my diet. I am noshing on things like Paleo pumpkin soup and Paleo pumpkin chili that I'll share on the blog next Monday.
What I'm reminiscing about:
This time of year can be sentimental for most, and it definitely is for me. I always get a little sad regardless of what's going on in my life when I think back through memories of growing up and my amazing family getting together.
I am recently reminiscing about my vacation to Turkey and Romania that I took over Thanksgiving in 2014. My two friends and I just celebrated our trip's 2nd anniversary with a visit to the same Turkish restaurant here in Houston that we went to last year for our anniversary (there are no Romanian restaurants here that we know of?). I absolutely loved every moment of that trip, every place that we visited, every laugh that we shared, and every experience and memory we made. I will cherish it forever. There's at least a hundred or more great photos from the trip so I only selected eight to share here. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I ever even sent them out to my family? Oops! You can find my reviews about Turkey and Romania as well as other places I've reviewed here. I am way behind on reviewing places/trips though because blogging has recently consumed my free time! I need to review Portland soon as well as some other places I've skipped.
I am also reminiscing about past Thanksgivings with my family and friends throughout the years and feeling grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life. God blesses me every day with life but aside from His love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace my greatest blessings are my family and friends who make a difference in my life every day.
What I'm loving:
I am loving my Christmas tree and decorations! I feel like I wait ten and a half months every year to enjoy it. As a birthday treat to myself I always decorate the weekend of my birthday which falls before Thanksgiving and this allows me to enjoy it longer (unless* I am hosting Thanksgiving then I try to keep fall decor up). I turn on the Christmas lights as soon as I wake up and as soon as I get home, and I play my fireplace DVD while listening to Christmas music or play Christmas movies everyday to have on in the background while I work or cook (I don't really sit down to watch them). The below isn't inclusive of all of my Christmas decor...I don't have room for even half of what I still own! I'm a firm believer in the Winter Wonderland feeling when it comes to Christmas so I'm holding on to a lot of decor whether passed down, sentimental, or "just because" until I have more space (again) to decorate!
What I've been up to:
November has been a month of transition for me in a lot of ways so that in itself has kept me busy! But, this month I have also attended weddings, galas, Friendsgiving, the MD Anderson Give Cancer the Boot walk to raise money for cancer research, Thanksgiving with family, dinners, lunches, exercised, and church! Factor in that my birthday fell right in the middle of the month meant I also got extra time with my amazing friends and family. God is so good to me.
What I'm dreading:
I don't dread anything! If I could edit the picture of questions I'd remove this question completely. Dreading something is a mindset, and I don't believe in allowing it. =)
What I'm working on:
Is it crazy to say my beach body? I'm not even joking! I'm already mentally preparing myself for an upcoming beach vacation and can't remember the last time I wore a bathing suit. Yikes! I'm also working on myself in general because I am always a work in progress and the good Lord knows I constantly need re-shaping and molding as I naturally veer off track. I'm working on my blog posts yet haven't had time to really learn anything new about blogging itself recently as life and work have been utterly too busy. But, I hope to continue this learning curve so I can learn how to be more engaging and helpful to others through blogging. It helps me to get things out of my head, but truthfully my intent is to help others in some form or else I might as well be writing my thoughts in a journal for no one else to see.
What I'm excited about:
On November 15th I attended a bible study event hosted by Beth Moore here in Houston. It was a powerful evening throughout the entire worship and service, but the most amazing and exciting part was at the very end of her sermon she literally took out puzzle pieces and held them up saying that all of our broken pieces fit together. All of them. And if you feel like you're missing a piece, God has it for you because we're imperfectly perfect and pieced together by the grace of God. I'm not quoting directly, but I kid you not...I started bawling overwhelmed with emotion, looked over to Rachel who was covering her mouth in awe that Beth Moore almost verbatim repeated the description I gave as to WHY I chose my blog's name Every Piece Fits. I'm still shocked. I felt validated and confirmed that God is listening to my heart and my intentions with my blog. It may take forever (and a day), and I may periodically grow weary of typing out my thoughts and ideas to share, but slow progress is still progress. Even if only ONE person is served or saved via the information I share then my purpose remains validated. Every Piece Fits. Thank you, Lord.
What I'm watching/reading:
If having my fireplace DVD on or a Christmas movie on in the background while I work on things in my apartment counts, then that's what I watched ALL of November and will also be watching in December. Below are my favorites. =)
My sister introduced me to this fireplace DVD and I have loved it for YEARS. It has 3 fireplace settings: classic, modern, and Christmas (with a Christmas tree). Within those options you can select a natural fire (that burns down to nothing), an eternal fire, plus those options with natural crackling sounds and with or without holiday music. It.is.the.best. I've even given it as a gift. If your home doesn't have a fireplace, I assure you that THIS is the solution for a romantic, festive, or relaxed evening. 12/2 Update** I just realized that this DVD is now priced at almost $40 which is insane. It's an awesome DVD, but there are other fireplace DVDs that are cheaper. I don't know why this one's price has increased over the years. Maybe because it really is that good? ;) All joking aside, look below my fireplace picture for another fireplace DVD option that has good reviews!
I'd recommend trying this one. I'm actually ordering it now as a gift too! =)
This month (November) I finished reading all of Psalms and Proverbs in the bible and Joyce Meyer's book "Living Beyond Your Feelings" which I enjoyed a lot. I also finally finished First Comes Love on my iPad. The Kindle app while running on the treadmill is how I've read 90% of the books I've listed on my site. I am now currently reading 1 Corinthians in the bible and Lisa Bevere's book "Without Rival". I've also joined the street team for a book I have pre-ordered called "Cherish" by Gary Thomas that is being released January 10th so I will be reading "Cherish" in December to provide them with my review.
What I'm listening to:
Christmas music for days and days and days! I love to listen to this every chance I get! Separately, I am still listening to my Podcasts while I get ready for work: Joyce Meyer, Breakaway Ministries, Marriage Today, Hope City (my 2nd home church), Bayou City Fellowship (my 3rd home church), Love and Respect, and newly added in Skip Heitzig. You can find these using those links or in your podcast app on your iPhone.
You can also listen to my 1st home church Ecclesia's service here.
*Note: I say 1st home church because Ecclesia is MY church. Hope City I attend as often as possible but never ever miss a podcast so I say it's my 2nd home church. Bayou City Fellowship is amazing, but it is on the opposite side of town from my family (as in a one hour drive to and from) so I do not get to attend as often but do sometimes drive out there to squeeze in a 3rd service hence it being my 3rd home church. I do not mean to confuse. =)
What I'm wearing:
Would it surprise you if I said boots and scarves? Oh, and vests! I'm wearing them to the office even if it's 70 + degrees outside. I don't care. It's fall, Houston's weather stinks, and my office gets cold enough throughout the day.
Separately I have received a ton of compliments about this amazing and affordable red dress I wore to a gala earlier this month. I found it two nights before the gala on AMAZON and rush shipped it after reading the reviews about the length and trusting I wouldn't have to get it hemmed. It was perfect, great quality, and the precise length I needed with my heels. How lucky was that? I always, always have to get things shortened even in my tallest heels. I didn't even know I could buy clothes on Amazon. The closest I've ever gotten is shoes I guess. The word's out ladies! I ordered mine in a size small per the size chart and it was *perfect*. I am 5'4 and 1/2" and wore almost 4" heels. You can do the math with varying heel heights to determine if it works for you.
What I'm doing this weekend:
This weekend I have to "train" for the half marathon so I'm planning to run 8 miles. I say "train" in quotes because my training is nothing like a real athlete's! I also have an engagement party to attend, a couple of dinners planned, and church.
What I'm looking forward to next month:
Christmas! How can anyone not be? I love this time of year and all of the magic of merrymaking. I love the holiday parties and Christmas music and everything festive. I'm also stoked that I get to see my family in December including my four ridiculously beautiful and cute nieces who will also travel to Tennessee. I have my fingers crossed there will be snow!
If you need inspiration for Christmas gift ideas I can help! I love brainstorming for these things. I've also shared posts for ideas for "him & her" as well as for sparkly, glitzy gifts just about any female would like.
Lastly, if you have interest in making an advent calendar it's not too late! While my main idea is a bit more time consuming, you can always use ideas from this post to create less time invasive advents and even start them late. Younger kiddos won't notice anyway. ;)
What else is new:
I don't think I have anything more to share at the moment. I have travel plans to make, changes I'm considering both big and small, a new life path ahead, but all in all I feel stronger in my faith than ever before and need to start setting my goals for 2017.
And before I go...because I shared my boys' Halloween pics last month I wanted to share their Thanksgiving Pilgrims pictures. =))) Aren't they handsome?!?!?!?
Note: I no longer have my boys post divorce. After a custody struggle I relented to let their father keep them. My heart has never been the same and I have grieved that decision for almost 5 years now. So, if and when I mention them on my site I will add this disclaimer. I just have a ton of holiday pictures of them that NEED to be shared so you will see this one more time in December with their Christmas pictures!