Community Brew / Vol. 4 / Gratitude

Friends I am so excited about this month's Community Brew topic. Madison and I have so deeply enjoyed getting to know each of you and hosting this link up. It truly is a joy for both of us. I feel as if thanksgiving and gratefulness have been two things the Lord has been teaching me for several months lately and I am eager to share some thoughts with you today. 

First, we want you to meet our co host this month, Martha Kate of Seasons with the Strattons. Love Martha Kate, and fun fact, we both went to the same college and even had a super fun English class together in which we sat by each other and loved every minute of the super boring class...remember that MK? Meet Martha Kate!

Seasons with the Strattons is a lifestyle blog focused on bringing Glory to God while living out the Minor League Baseball lifestyle.  You will find stories from my adventure of being a Minor League wife, recipes, home projects, and faith posts.  Mostly, Seasons with the Strattons is a creative outlet for me to share glimpses of our life and the way God uses it. 

The rules for the link up are the same as they have been...
1. Follow your hosts and co hosts
2. Comment on at least 2 other blogs
3. Share your heart on the topic we provide for the month!

So gratitude. Where do I even begin. I feel as if lately the Lord has pressed the slow motion button on my life, and been patiently showing me how to slow down and notice the smallest moments in my days. It has been so easy for me to just blaze a trail every day full speed ahead ready to tackle anything and everything in my way. I hit the pillow at night wiped out emotionally, physically, and mentally...I am so empty. Yet, I arise the next morning with the same goal...get everything done as quickly as possible. 
I fly through my days and fail to notice the beauty of sun rays pouring in through the bedroom. Or the way that it seems like magic to smell bread baking that has taken three days to get prepared for the oven. Gratitude means so much more than saying thanks for physical items. or the big things in life. In fact, I feel as if I am seeing in my own life that I simply cannot be truly grateful for the big things if I do not have the ability to express thankfulness for the small things. 

So now I name things. I take time daily to write in my journal, take pictures or document things in my phone and count the little moments, and speak them. If I do not speak my joy, awe, and thankfulness for the yellow leaves falling life gold to the ground, I will forget and blaze my selfish trail without stopping. 

Here are a few things on my list from the past few weeks. 

Homemade whipped cream
Movies that make me cry
projects using my hands alongside my husband
Wind that whips my hair 
relaxing days that end with naps on the couch
lunch with friends that is not awkward
the beauty of onions becoming caramelized
sourdough does it become bread?! Magic!
Air that is easy to breath and cool on your skin
muscadine wine that reminds me of summer
baby messes and drool
I love these lists. Some people may think they are silly, or shallow, but they mean so much to me. They truly do teach me how to practice gratitude. They remind me of moments I would normally storm on by and forget before they are even over. They remind me to rejoice in the Lord daily. 

What does gratitude mean to you? 

PSA- if you would like to purchase one of my handmade crochet headwarmers I am having a Flash Sale on my @ohsimplethoughts instagram account today until 3:30 pm CST. It is Auction style so everyone has a chance to win a headwarmer! 

Simple Peppermint Mochas

Hello friends! Thanksgiving has come and gone and I feel as if I am still recovering from all the sweets and loads of food I have indulged in these past few naturally this post is about food. Of course... Ben and I have spent the week with his family in Hattiesburg, MS and then Hernando, MS. It has been a joy, and has been super relaxing. We have pretty much just laid around playing with the newest addition to the Cox (the in-laws, not us) family, the cutest puppy ever, Lucy. 

Anyways now that Thanksgiving is over I can officially begin to get into full blown Christmas if I haven't been already (those of you who follow me on Instagram know I have been in Christmas mode for a few weeks now). I love this season, the cold weather, cuddling by the fire, sitting by the glowing lights of the Christmas of my favorite things about this wonderful time of year is the food...treats...yummy drinks...ah my mouth is watering just thinking about it all. So I have decided to share a few different Christmas recipes every week leading up to Christmas. Today's special is, drum roll....... 

(chocolate goodness that will warm your soul)

What you will need...
4 cups of milk (almond milk, whole milk...really whatever makes you happy)
4 cups of strongly brewed coffee
1/2 cup of sweetener (sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup, again whatever tickles your fancy)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 piece of bakers semi-sweet chocolate
4-6 drops (about 1/2-3/4 tsp) of peppermint extract
1 tsp of vanilla

Just add all ingredients to a crock pot, stir well, and allow to combine for 1 hour on high or 2-3 on low. Stirring often. This is delicious served with a big dollop of homemade whipped cream and a peppermint stick. This tastes more like grown up hot chocolate than coffee to me. Makes about 8 servings, and is perfect for a Christmas party since the crockpot will keep the mochas warm. 

Go try this yummy drink tonight! You will not regret it. 

Enjoy the last of the Holiday weekend friends!