Happy Thanksgiving!

Source:  Twigg.com
First, just let me wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving, full of peace, love, family, and good food!

As much as I've been struggling lately with way too much on my plate (and a bout of bronchitis to boot), I am also very aware of the many ways I have been blessed this year.

I love Thanksgiving because it is a reminder to pause and really think about all the ways in which we're fortunate.  It's very easy to get side-tracked with daily stressors and everything that seems to be going wrong in life, but a happy, healthy life is one that doesn't allow those things to overwhelm us.  Stopping to appreciate life's blessings, to feel gratitude to the universe, is important.

As I've been allowing myself to get overwhelmed lately, a day of giving thanks is just what the doctor ordered!

This year has been a tough one.  As a family, we are still dealing with the medical, financial, and legal effects of my fiance's motorcycle accident.  My fiance is working and is continuing to heal, but he is still feeling the physical effects.  I'm so grateful that he is still around for the kids and me and for others.  As a hospice nurse, he touches people's lives everyday in a profound way, and I'm continually inspired by his work ethic, dedication to service, and selflessness.

I'm so thankful for all of my family.  I never imagined myself as a parent to five children.  Being a parent is tough.  Being a step-parent is even tougher, especially to two children with special needs.  Everyday, my kids teach me to be a little more patient (CONTINUOUS WORK IN PROGRESS), more empathetic, and to take myself less seriously.  I have learned unconditional love in a way I never thought possible, and for that I am so thankful.

I am grateful that I still have my parents with me and all of my siblings.  What's more, I am fortunate to still have one of my grandmothers in my life.  This beautiful funny woman is so full of love.  I can't even form the words to explain how unbelievably blessed I am to know her.

While they have greatly improved recently, finances were very tight over the last several months due to the accident.  While the financial setback was a very stressful period, I realize that we were still much more fortunate than many others and it was our relatively good financial status prior to the accident (and some awesome family support) that allowed us to escape any serious effects of this income decline. Having lived in or around the poverty line most of my life, I am well aware that our situation could have been much worse.

I am so thankful to all of you for reading my blog.  This year has truly exceeded my expectations.  Over the course of this year, I have been featured in Redbook and won the People's Choice Award for Best Delivery of Personal Style at the inaugural St. Louis Fashion Blog Awards, neither of which I would have imagined a year ago!  

More important than any accolades, I feel like I have developed relationships with some of you, and it feels amazing to make such connections with people I've never met!  I haven't fulfilled all my goals this year for my blog, as I strive to create a larger balance towards socially conscious writing, personal style suggestions for curvy petite gals, and outfit of the day posts.  

That said, I feel fortunate that my posts have inspired some of you in a small way to try a new look or to accept and love yourselves a little more.  I am thankful that this blog has also helped me feel more confident and beautiful.  We're in this journey together!!!

I'm so open to suggestions regarding what you'd like to see on the blog.  While I have a direction and a voice that I plan to maintain,  I'm open to posts on various topics, particular styles you'd like to see me feature, questions about fitting different body types, etc.  Please feel free to shoot me an e-mail or comment on a post.  Your continued feedback and support is very much appreciated!!!

Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!  I hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday!  Thanksgiving outfit post coming soon!!

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