Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Starting the day off with coffee in hand and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on! I will be heading down to my grandparent’s house later today with my parents, sisters, and the rest of our extended family. However you are celebrating today, I hope you have a wonderful day with family or friends!


Life is full of a million and one things to be thankful for, and then some. Life is about being grateful for what is right in front of you each and every day, helping others, and letting love speak in your life. There are many things I am grateful for today, so just chose to share a few with you today. Comment below and let me know one thing you are thankful for today!


First off, this girl.



I’ve had Tess since the spring of this year, and she’s brought a little extra happiness into my life. Tess is my aunt and uncle’s dog, but I’ve always had a special fondness for her. On our trips to visit my aunt and uncle, we would always joke that Tess would come home with me since I loved her so much (she did always run to greet me first, so I thinks she feels the same way!) This spring, I began looking for a dog of my own to get. After talking with my aunt and uncle, they offered to let Tess come stay with me. I am blessed to have such thoughtful and generous people in my life!



Wine and this sweet dog – what else does a girl need??




For the last two years, I was a Special Education Teacher, working with students in 5th and 6th grade. This year, I am a 5th grade classroom teacher, and absolutely loving this year with my students.  Each day is full of learning opportunities (for me and them!), but I am so thankful for each day with them. They say if you find what you love to do in life, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. I don’t know about never having to work; the huge stack of papers I brought home a couple weekends ago to grade and plan indicates otherwise; but I love what I do each day and have the best students. Since this is my first year being a classroom teacher, lots of things have been new to me this year with figuring out how to plan, grade, and classroom routines. One of the teachers I work with is constantly sharing ideas with me, offering advice, answering my million and one questions every day, and provides encouragement and support. This year has been overwhelming at times; my teammates have been so helpful and I couldn’t do it without them!



New house!


Earlier this fall, I moved into a townhouse with one of my best friends growing up. We met when my family was building our house across the street from her house, and have been best friends ever since. Now, 19 years later, we got a townhouse together.



We have so many memories from our days growing up together, and now we get to make so many more! I’m thankful to have had a friend like her in my life for so long.



I am thankful for my health, and the ability to run, lift weights, and workout. Fitness has become a big part of my life, and I am grateful to be able to live an active lifestyle. Facebook reminded me that I ran my first race on this day, four years ago. It was a 5 mile Turkey Trot – perfect way to kick off the Thanksgiving day!





I am beyond blessed to have a family that cares and supports one another so much. My parents are the most sacrificial, loving people that I know, and provide a wonderful example to my three sisters and I. Their unconditional love and support is constantly a blessing in my life, and in the lives of others.




At my cousin, Craig, and Victoria’s wedding this summer.



After the doctor suggested I try an exercise with tennis balls to help my back, my mom picked some up at the store and brought them by that night. When I complained about a migraine last week, she asked what I needed or wanted and said she would bring anything by my house. Every time I stop by my parent’s house, my mom sends me home with homemade bread, or something else she made.  My dad helped me make wooden mailboxes for my classroom this summer, helps me figure out how to do taxes and finances, and answers car questions. My older sister, Kate, and I have become so close in recent years, and I am thankful for her constant listening ear and advice about anything I ask. Even when I’m a broken record and talk about the same thing twenty times, Kate still listens, and I am thankful to have her in my life. I just wished she lived closer!



Most importantly, I’m thankful for the promise of each new day.




Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Let’s Chat!

  • How are you celebrating Thanksgiving?
  • What are you thankful for this year?

I got a red cup at Starbucks, and lived to tell about it

If you’ve been following my blog for any time or my Instagram, my love for Starbucks is no secret. Current obsession – a Grande Americano, with 1 pump each of sugar-free peppermint and mocha flavors. Last week when I stopped by for my afternoon coffee break, they handed me my drink in a red cup. Now, a somewhat infamous red cup.

When I was handed my coffee in said red cup, I was actually excited. I thought the cups were festive, and they made me want to transition from pumpkin flavored everything to peppermint flavored everything, ASAP. Naturally, I even pulled out my phone so  I could post a picture on my Instagram (insert #basic status here).

starbucks red cup

I’m really excited for Christmas this year, and seeing the bright red color only served to kick start my holiday enthusiasm. If you can’t find me, I’ll be untangling lights as I simultaneously watch the newest Hallmark movie and eat peppermint bark. Please, someone direct me towards the nearest treadmill.

But back to these red cups. I was scrolling through Facebook last week, and saw that several people had shared articles about the debate over these red cups at Starbucks. Intrigued, I clicked on one, and could not believe that people were actually offended by the color of coffee cups. COFFEE CUPS.

Usually I don’t publish many blog posts for the sole purpose of throwing my opinion out there; I personally think too many people comment on social media and share comments that are not uplifting to others or meaningful. I do strive to share a blog with others that promotes a positive, healthy lifestyle, and does so in an inspiring way. However, since I’ve read those articles, this topic has been on my mind.

According to this recent article on CNN’s website, critics, specifically Christians, are accusing Starbucks of “waging a war on Christmas,” claiming that the plain red cups take away from the significance of the Christmas season. In reality, Starbucks isn’t a Christian company to begin with, so being offended that they are seemingly removing meaning from Christmas doesn’t really have a basis.

Since 1997, Starbucks’ holiday cups have been decorated with snowflakes, reindeer, stars, or some other small symbol of the season. Last year, the background of the cups were all red, but they also had snowflake and tree illustrations on them. Throwback Thursday – I thought it was fun to look back at pictures of holiday cups at Starbucks through the years. But if we’re being honest, how is a red cup with a snowflake on it any more meaningful than a red cup with no snowflake on it? Is the design of coffee cups really our takeaway at Christmas time? What does that say about the reason behind celebrating Christmas in the first place?

It was suggested by one person in an article I read that customers say “Merry Christmas” when your barista asks for your name for your order, so they will be “tricked” into writing Merry Christmas on your cup instead of your name, thus spreading more holiday cheer. I think that actually sends a demeaning message; just because the company changed the color of the cups does not mean the person taking your order is a Scrooge or any less likely to appreciate the meaning behind the Christmas season. “Tricking” someone into saying Merry Christmas doesn’t inspire or promote a higher standard of living; instead, it seems somewhat immature.

I’m pretty sure my Americano will taste just as delicious whether it is in a red cup or a red cup with snowflakes or stars. Illustrations on a cup don’t define what Christmas means for me, and if that’s what people are deciding is important enough to worry about and debate, then I think our priorities need to be re-evaluated. “Let all that you do be done in love” is a mindset with much more power.

This Christmas season, I hope you spend time with loved ones, with friends and family. I hope you bake enough Christmas cookies to cover your countertops and give to your neighbors. I hope you listen to Christmas music on the way to work, I hope you send a shoebox to a child in need, I hope you clean out your closet and donate extra hats and gloves to a school or shelter.

This Christmas season, I hope you take time to reflect on what is truly important in life, and be thankful for each day you are given. I hope you reach out to someone that you haven’t talked to in years, I hope you forgive someone who’s hurt you, I hope you hold someone a little tighter and let them know how much they mean to  you, because none of us are promised another day.

This Christmas season, I hope you relax and enjoy a cup of coffee. And I hope you enjoy that coffee in a red cup.