Happy November to each of you! I hope this newsletter finds you well. When the clocks fell back an hour in the middle of the night last weekend, I think the calendar flipped forward a month. It is difficult to believe October has come and gone as quickly as it did, and it is now officially the holiday season. *Cue one billion gingerbread lattes, Black Friday deals, and excitement over making that first fire in the fireplace only to realize a bit too late the flue is closed. Not to mention any names…Courtney Burkholder.

Along with starting off November by turning back our clocks, our family welcomed a new brother-in-law/uncle on Saturday night at the wedding of Brian’s sister, Allison. (Remember from #palmeruncorked.) Here we are at the rehearsal which was on Halloween night. Dinner was in Cowtown, so we decided cowboy costumes were an excellent choice.

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Ringbearer #1

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Ringbearer #2

It is a bit difficult not to get a little jealous when I think of Allison and Jared right now on their honeymoon. In Tahiti. She was kind enough to share this ugly picture with the world via Instagram. #notbitter

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Something I always find myself doing this time of year is preach to my children how fortunate we are and to teach them to be thankful for all that we have. I have explained to James many times there are children who don’t have toys or fun games with which to play, but, until recently, have been discouraged by my efforts feeling as though my words would go in one ear and out the other. Example:

Me: James, we are going into Target to get a couple of groceries. We will NOT be buying toys. Do you understand.

James: No. I want a new toy.

so then I would try…

Me: James, you have so many toys already, and there are some children who don’t have anything. Do you think it would be a good idea to clean out some of your toys and give them to some of those children.

James: NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

I had finally resolved to stop pushing the issue, thinking he was just too young to fathom the concept. #momfailure

However, two weeks ago, after a trip to the grocery store with Brian, both the boys came home with new Spiderman toothbrushes…Daddy is such a sucker! The next morning, James walked into the living room holding his old toothbrush and asked if we could give it to someone who maybe doesn’t have a toothbrush. I was caught somewhere between laughter and tears over his innocence in thinking someone would want an old, used toothbrush and the sweetness of him wanting to share with those less fortunate. It dawned on me my words about gratitude and giving had actually sunk in. #momsuccess

James holding up his old toothbrush.

James holding up his old toothbrush.

My point in telling you this is not to brag about my kid, but to encourage any of you out there with littles to keep on preaching and teaching. They really are listening! I kindly pointed out to James, that it probably isn’t clean to use someone else’s toothbrush, but we could definitely go to the store to pick up a few new ones and some toothpaste to take to the Samaritan Inn, which is exactly what we did.

My verse for this month is Colossians 3:17.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it

all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to

God the Father through him.

It does seem to be on theme with my recent desire to involve the Lord in all that I do, but I also love this verse as a reminder to do all good things for His glory, not my own.

This month I am most excited about my posts on Thanksgiving entertaining! I love setting tables for any meal, but Thanksgiving is always especially beautiful. I have lots of soup recipes to share with you in La Cucina which is always nice to make this time of year and pairs well with paninis. Style Wheel boasts several cold weather friendly ensembles, and I’ll finally get back to Sadie’s Potting Shed for some Fall planting–it’s time to replace my rotting pumpkins!

Don’t forget to follow me on my social media pages for information on giveaways and other fun stuff happening about town.

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I also hope you will pick up the November issue of Paper City Magazine and flip to the back page to see the ad I shot for Sharla’s Boutique. And definitely stay tuned for my holiday gift guide!
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Before I go, I also wanted to say thanks to all of you who participated in my four giveaways last month! Congratulations  to winners Sara Lott, Laura Bishop, Lisa Kennedy and Vicki Jones. Have a blessed month, everyone!

-ciao for now-

lauren

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