November 16th - Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Our home group is going through this book right now and it is AMAZING!! Really gets you thinking and through the fabulous conversation it creates, has really helped us get to know each other better.
November 17th - National Bundt Cake Day! Although this is actually November 15th, it saved me on November 17th. A Nothing Bundt Cakes opened on the 14th right behind my office and my very thoughtful mother forwarded me the coupon they sent out to get a free "bundlet" on the 15th. My co-worker and I both went in to get our "bundlets" (love saying that!) and when she ended up purchasing a large bundt cake, she gave me her "bundlet." Then, when I was texted to bring dessert to the Young Life campaigners I lead in the afternoon on the 17th, I was saved by the "bundlets!"
Note: You should probably start saying "bundlet" in your daily life. I promise it will make you smile!
November 18th - No rise pizza crust! Our busy schedules have not allowed Ben and me much quality time together. This particular Friday we decided to eat in and make homemade pizza together. I was actually supposed to get off work early at 4:00, but a few unexpected things kept me until 7:00. This crust took 10 minutes to make and about the same to cook and was fabulous! This will be a staple in the Clark household!
November 19th - My nieces, Annie and Charlotte!!! All of my sisters, myself, my mom and my oldest niece, Annie, went to Chi Omega Christmas in Dallas and had a blast. I don't get to see my nieces as much as I'd like because of how far away we live, but I got to spend the whole day practically with Annie and it was fantastic. I "flew" her everywhere we went and loved it...even though I started sweating profusely! Both Charlotte and Annie are such sweet girls with such fun personalities and I am so thankful to be their Aunt Natalie!
(I totally stole these pics from my sisters blog b/c I'm horrible at remembering to take pictures)
Annie - a girl after my own heart
November 20th - ALERT...this might get sappy!! November 20th holds a very special place in my heart. On this day, I am incredibly thankful for my husband and, of course, Beth Marie's! November 20, 2009, was the day that Ben proposed to me. It was one of the most fabulous nights of my life and we celebrate it every year by going back to Beth Marie's, the place where he proposed, and getting ice cream. I always try a different flavor when we usually go, but on our "engageiversary" I ALWAYS get the flavor I ordered that night, Hansel & Gretel. It is AMAZING! It is a gingerbread flavor with chunks of gingerbread in it and it is only out during the holiday season. Anywho, I will never be able to express how happy I was that night. Ben is the love of my life and November 20th is so special to me because that is the night we decided to start a life together. Not to mention, he did an unbelievably amazing job with his proposal. I'll have to give you the full story another time, but in short, he shut down my favorite ice cream parlor and proposed by naming one of the flavors "Marry Me." INCREDIBLE!! I love you Ben Clark!! Oh yea and this year he even went to see Twilight: Breaking Dawn with me!!
I love this picture - you can see everyone inside!
November 21st - Pictures. I love pictures and I do not take enough of them. As Ben and I continue to decorate our house I keep finding pictures and it's always like a walk down memory lane for me. I love being able to look at all of our memories!
November 22nd - Smelly Cheese. Say what you want, I may be weird, but I heart smelly cheese. I used to not eat cheese at all. It was one of my "rules." I gradually eased back in with laughing cow and now, who knew, I am a lover of the stinky cheese!
November 23rd - My Mamaw and Papaw, aka the cutest grandparents ever! I say it all the time to people, but my mamaw and papaw are the best grandparents I could ever ask for. They have always lived on a farm in Valley View, TX, which is about an hour or so away from where we grew up, but they have always been at all of our big events. We used to stay at least a week with them every summer and those were the best times where we didn't have to brush our hair or our teeth or ever change out of our pjs if we didn't want to. They are so loving and adorable and I just can't imagine our lives with out them. I am especially thankful for them around Thanksgiving because they anchor our big, chaotic, crazy family! I love my Mamaw and Papaw!! '
At my Papaw's 80th birthday
November 24th - Family Traditions. Yes, I am singing this song out loud right now! My friends make fun of me quite often for this, but I am that person that always says "this is my first year not.." I love tradition and I hate change. My family has TONS of traditions and I love every single one of them! Thanksgiving is the BEST because it starts the traditions off...ok you convinced me, I'll fill you in.
- The Wednesday before Thanksgiving - go to Mamaw and Papaw's for a simple dinner and games
- Thanksgiving - Run the Turkey Trot with Ben's family, have Thanksgiving at Mamaw and Papaws, play on the farm for a while, have Thanksgiving at the Clark's and hang out all night
- Day after Thanksgiving - my parents go shopping ALL DAY and we decorate their house (doesn't happen always now bc most of us are gone), meet mom and dad for dinner and a movie
Ben ran 8 miles for the 1st time in his whole life. Oh yea, and ran for the first time in like 2 months!
Annie and I on the farm
November 25th - Lazy mornings. Not something I'm accustomed to, but Ben went hunting and when I woke up all I wanted to do was watch tv on my computer while laying in bed eating pancakes. This has NEVER happened and it will be happening more often!
November 26th - Cold weather. It FINALLY feels like the Holiday season around here. I was beginning to get depressed by this 70 degree weather in November. A cold front moved in and now it feels like we should be celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas...HALLELUJAH!!
Note: Although I do want the cold weather, I would prefer if the really cold rain would hold off for my half marathon on Sunday. Thanks.
November 27th - Newly discovered TV shows (that are not reality TV). I confess, I am a reality TV junkie. I cannot get enough of those Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I love the Bachelor/Bachelorette, Flipping Out, Rachel Zoe, Restaurant Impossible, etc. When all the new TV shows were coming out, Ben and I decided that we should find a show that was not reality TV that we could watch together. We are now in love with Dr. Zoe Hart on Hart of Dixie aka Rachel Bilson and while he was out of town I watched all of the New Girl episodes and started watching Revenge too. I am now obsessed with both! I even requested that after all of the festivities for my birthday on the 30th that Ben and I watch 2 more episodes of Revenge before going to bed. :)
November 28th - Katie Clark. I cannot leave this month without saying that I am so very thankful for my fabulous sister-in-law! I am one lucky lady to have a sister-in-law who is truly one of my best friends. She is one of the funniest people I know and I absolutely love hanging out with her. Thank you Katie for being such a wonderful sister and friend. I love you!
November 29th - Tony Clark. I also cannot forget to mention my amazing father-in-law. I know I mentioned Karen in an earlier post, but Tony is so wonderful to me as well. He is such a generous man and has done a ton for Ben and me. I truly feel loved any time I am around him and am so thankful for a father-in-law that I am so comfortable around and that has always been so welcoming to me since the beginning of Ben and my relationship. I am also so thankful for his relationship with Ben and how close they are as well as his relationship with his wife and the example he sets for us of how a marriage should be. Thank you for everything Tony, I love you! PS - I am also very thankful for your wine collection! Oh yea, and I'm thankful that I am not the only health nut in the family!
November 30th - Last but certainly not least, I am thankful for another fabulous year. November 30th is my birthday and yesterday was an amazing day for me. Can't believe I'm 24 years old! Everyone in my life, old friends, new friends, co-workers, family, people I didn't even know, made the day extra special. I was floored by all of the birthday wishes I received and could not have asked for a better day. I am so thankful that God has provided so many people that encourage me and lift me up in my life. I am also so thankful for all of the many blessings he has provided in this past year. I am so lucky to have an amazing husand, family, job, boss, health, etc. Can't wait to see what my 24th year brings!!!!
And with that, we have finished an entire month of thankfulness! Time for CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!