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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

A Moment to Reflect

If each year is a rollercoaster with ear-popping climbs and careening twists and turns, then surely Thanksgiving Day is the peak, the crest before the final thrilling drop, the rush to the end of the year where as the cart lurches to a halt one must smooth her hair and gather her bag and depart with some sense of decorum.   And so.  As our cart teeters at the top, tipping slightly forward, into the holiday season, I for one, would like to breathe.  For at this moment, I don’t know if I will be clutching the safety bar, white-knuckled and holding on for dear life or if I will be holding my arms up and screaming with delight.  Of course, I’m hoping for the latter.
So to breathe.  To be grateful.  To count my blessings, which are, truthfully, too many to count.  And to remember.
It was faith, courage, and bravery that brought us to the first Thanksgiving.
IMG_2710The first Thanksgiving came after leaving home, after suffering, after sickness, after grief.
IMG_2712The celebration came after hard work, after toil, after struggle, after compromise.
IMG_2713 And still after such hardship and loss, people gave thanks and were grateful to God not so much because the worst was over, but because—in their faith, they knew the best was still to come.

The above images were taken from N. C. Wyeth’s Pilgrims.  Wyeth, father of Andrew Wyeth and grandfather of Jamie Wyeth, was renowned for his illustrations of such children’s classics as Treasure Island and The Last of the Mohicans.  These images were commissioned for a series of murals by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in 1940.
Another book that tells the story of the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving is Barbara Rainey’s A Thanksgiving to Remember.  This publication includes the story of the Pilgrims in a read-aloud version for younger children as well as a more detailed version for older children and adults.
IMG_2705 For a delightful Thanksgiving tale set in the 1820s, Louisa May Alcott’s An Old-fashioned Thanksgiving is a marvelous story that gives a glimpse into a loving New England family.IMG_2709
Lastly, for older children and adults, Truman Capote’s The Thanksgiving Visitor is a poignant story not to be missed.
                   The Thanksgiving Visitor

I hope you find a moment to breathe a prayer, to read and to ponder, to sit at the top of the roller coaster and appreciate the view.


  1. oh, its so easy to get caught up with "life" to foreget how truly blessed and thankful we should be. lovely post... i might borrow it! even through the hard times there is still so much to be thankful for...

  2. So very eloquently written, as usual Paula. I know you will enjoy your Thanksgiving with your family and your beautiful table.

  3. Thank you for the reminder to breathe.:) I will most certainly be counting my blessings and giving thanks. I love all the books you mentioned...Such a lovely post! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


  4. What a beautiful post...

    As for the history, my class has had a wonderful time learning about the history of the Separatists and all they went through on the journey and the year after their arrival in America. Really affected their previous understanding of Thanksgiving.

  5. Yes, I am thankful for so many blessings. I loved this post and will have to read the books that I have not read yet!

  6. I wish I had those beautiful Thanksgiving books in front of me right now!


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