Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Week of THANKS - Allison Pence

Today I am excited to introduce you to Allison Pence. I am lucky to call this girl my friend and neighbor! One of the HUGE pluses when we were looking at this house we now call home, was that the Pence's lived right down the street. Matt and I went to high school with Allison's husband. And Allison and I share many interests. We enjoy forming "clubs" and joining "guilds" - Glass Slipper Guild, Supper Club, Book Club, Bible Study - so we can get out for some grown up girl time together! Allison is one of the kindest, most gracious, ORGANIZED people I know!

How do you try and give thanks every day?
I have so many reasons to give thanks every day! My mother always impressed on me how important it was to show thanks. So, I simply say thank you. I try to always acknowledge others that deserve it with thanks and appreciation. I find a simple thank you can go a long way. It helps me model gratitude to my children and live in a state of where we can focus on being thankful for what we have both big and small. It is easy to be grateful for the big things but, I try to show gratitude for the small every day things as well. My family ends every night talking about the best thing that happened that day whether it be a beautiful sunset, pumpkin pie flavor at the yogurt shop, or a meal dropped off by a neighbor. We say thanks for the events of the day and acknowledge how blessed we are. This is a lesson from my mother that I am thankful for and hope to pass down to my children.

What do you take for granted that you might express more thanks for?
Living in the moment. I feel like I am constantly running from one life event to the next and checking things off my mental list rather then slowing down and being truly present in the moment. I am working on being spontaneous, letting the things go that don't matter and living. Seeing the world through the eyes of my children has made me reprioritize my life because I don't want to miss any of these magical moments. So what if the laundry piles up for one more day because at the end of the day I am not going to remember the laundry I am going to remember the time spent with friends and family.

What attributes do you posses that you are most thankful for?
My mad organization skills. I often get teased about how structured I am but, it works for me. If you need a color coded spreadsheet or a label made from my p-touch label maker I am your girl.

Who has treated you with kindness or generosity, and how would you like to thank that person?
My entire support system! I am thankful that I have a mom willing to go to the ends of the earth for her family, a dad that has given me the self confidence to believe I could do anything as long as I tried, my sisters although I am not convinced we are from the same womb are always there for me, a husband who brings spontaneity to my life, children that bring magic to every day, a nanny who loves my children like they are her own and my girlfriends ... an amazing group of girls that have an incredible ability to celebrate our differences and allow us to each be our own person. I often laugh at the number of people who get me through the day but, they all bring gifts to my life and I am so thankful for each and every one of them.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving Tradition?
Since I got married we have bounced around on Thanksgiving. Even though we are in a different place each year we are always with family. We are so lucky to have so many people to share the holiday with. It is a tradition to watch University of Kentucky (my husband/father in law are uber fans) at the Maui invitational every three years. Not crazy about college basketball but, the trade off of a week in Maui with family for a few basketball games seems fair. 2010 is a Hawaii year so, we are embarking on a Hawaiian Thanksgiving. This year we will have both kids so, it is certainly going to be an adventure. I am so aware of how lucky we are to be going on this trip and I am going live in the present and make every single moment count even if that includes 4AM walks on the beach with my one year old because she can't adjust to the time change. Aloha!

Thank you Allison! I know Maui will be a blast - even at 4AM. You make me a better woman, wife and friend in many ways. I couldn't imagine not sharing this crazy ride we call "Motherhood in the OC" without you! =)

Allison is also a crazy good baker and cook! She has a recipe blog called Sweet Flours that is awesome. Be sure and check it out.

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