Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, from my family to yours!! What are yall up to today/this weekend? We are in San Antonio at a cute little “Home Away” with my parents. My brother is in from Florida (only for a few days, but it is sooooo good to see him!) and I’m thoroughly enjoying the family time!

We initially decided to come to San Antonio because there’s a big Christmas parade tomorrow on the river walk! We are really excited to see it so we made plans to just spend the holiday down here. And my brother surprised us all a few weeks ago when he said he would be able to come!! We’ve been to San Antonio before, I was actually born here. I came back once when I was 15. Then Adam lived down here for a bit during training with the Army. Then Adam and I came back once to visit my brother-in-law while he was also in Army training. But this is the first time we’ve been able to stay a little bit and just enjoy the city.

This morning we woke up and had apple cinnamon pancakes and then enjoyed a nice stroll around the block. Marshall LOVED exploring this cute little neighborhood and loved waving to all the pups we passed on our walk. This neighborhood is full of old Craftsman style houses (my absolute FAV) so my dad and I talked all things construction and I dreamed-out-loud of one day having my own to purchase and fix up. The rest of our morning was spent going to the airport to pick up my brother (we surprised HIM by all being there—he was expecting only my dad). We are currently cooking and lounging waiting for dinner and the Cowboys game!

Being an adult and creating my own holiday traditions and memories is seriously so fun! I remember as a kid we always had a big dinner with my grandparents and cousins and then the day after Thanksgiving was always spent going to a Christmas tree farm to cut down our own Christmas tree and then taking it home to decorate. We’d pull out all the Christmas décor and the house would slowly turn into a winter wonderland. We’d make chili and watch Christmas movies. Seriously some of the best memories I have as a kid! Not much has changed now that I’m an adult with my own house and family, BUT I have decided that I like to decorate my house for Christmas a little earlier than Thanksgiving. I’m by no means rushing Christmas or “forgetting Thanksgiving,” but I just love Christmas so much and love to enjoy my décor a little longer than just the end of November thru New Year’s. I also love the idea of having Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by the lights of my Christmas tree.

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? Do you decorate for Christmas before or after Thanksgiving? Do you do Black Friday shopping? We are thinking about going shopping this year. Were still undecided. But Target is having some REALLY good deals so we may venture out.

But from our family to yours, we hope you have a great day and that your surrounded by ones you love. Make the memories and enjoy every second! Happy Thanksgiving!

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Our thanksgiving spread

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This sweet little boy and his waves

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My little fam bam


Grace in the Middle.

Hello there. Welcome to the blog, Grace in the Middle. I am a twenty-something Army wife, momma, pediatric nurse, health and fitness enthusiest, and lover of all things pretty. I am so glad YOU are here and you’re spending time reading this blog post. I don’t believe you’re here by accident and I’m so happy you “stopped by.”

This blog was an idea that came to me earlier in the year and I’ve spent the last few months praying over it and dreaming that it would become a space that encourages people, a space where you can connect with another momma/wife (because I KNOW life in those roles can be the absolute best thing in the world but can also be very challenging), a place where you can laugh, cry, smile, and ultimately just be encouraged. So, let me tell you a little bit more about myself and this blog. I hope you enjoy!

My name is Ariel. I am 27 and currently living in Fort Hood, Texas. I’ve been a wife to my handsome hubs Adam for almost four years (how time has gone that fast, I have NO idea). We have one little boy, Marshall, who is almost TWO (again with the time thing….). We have absolutely loved being parents and Marshall is such a welcomed surprise addition to our lives and we wouldn’t change anything at all. We live in Fort Hood, Texas and will be here for a little while longer….at least that’s what the Army tells us…. but you can never be too sure about that! I’m a pediatric nurse and I absolutely love working with my little kiddos. A lot of people ask me how I can be a pediatric nurse and how I can stomach seeing sick kids, but it is honestly the most rewarding job. Kids are so resilient. They WANT to get better. They are so easy to love. And it’s the absolute best feeling to see them walk out of the hospital all happy and healthy. Sure, there are definite hard times and I have shed my share of tears, but the good outweighs the bad and I honestly cannot imagine working in any other specialty. And that’s exactly why I’ve gone back to school to get my Masters in nursing. Ill ultimately become a Nurse Practitioner at the end of this program and I can’t wait to do my part in helping take care of the sweet little kiddos of Texas. In addition to alllllllll that (haha), I am a health and fitness junkie. I’ve lost thirty pounds this year and I’m still at it. My mission is to make my health and the health of my family a priority while also helping other girls/guys if they need help. I love strength workouts and I love pushing myself to limits I didn’t know was possible. I also love to develop clean healthy recipes while also being able to satisfy my husband’s junk-food-craving appetite (can anyone else relate?).

Grace in the Middle was the title that came to me when I took a pause for a second and evaluated where I was at in my life. It hit me real hard a few months ago that I felt like I was always running to the next thing. When we get married…when we have a baby…. when I graduate…. when we move…. when we have a second baby…. when we buy a house…. etc. And while none of those things are bad in any way, I just think as a culture we are always trying to get to the next thing and kind of forget the “middle” part. And if we are being honest, I think we could agree that it’s the “middle” that’s full of the good stuff. The memories. The laughter. The sleepless nights. The delicious recipes. The fabulous adventures. The good stuff. But I’ve also realized that today’s culture is full of judgement, ridicule, impossible standards, and feeling of “maybe your just not good enough.” Those feelings really hit me when I became a mom. Somehow in the midst of all the new mommy bliss, I felt subjected to judgment, mom shaming, doubt that I wasn’t doing everything right, feelings of wondering if I was enough, and the ultimate goal of striving for perfection-which we all know doesn’t exist. And so, I found myself thinking…. if only I could give myself some grace. Some grace to be okay right here in the middle of raising a toddler who is very strong willed and has a mind of his own. Some grace to not have it all together in the midst of working and going to grad school. Some grace not to have a perfectly clean house 24/7. Some grace to allow my body to bounce back slowly after birth with the realization that I just grew a miracle. And while my body may be imperfect now, I sure do have a perfect little blessing to love every day for the rest of my life. So, it was in this head space that I came up with the idea for Grace in the Middle. Life is too perfect these days and I think we are all in the midst of the “middle” and we should allow ourselves some grace and be able to help others around us struggling with the same things.

So, I hope this space encourages you. It will be an outlet for me to share what’s going on in our little corner of the world and to connect with others who feel the same way. I hope you come back as more content is posted. My hope is that this blog becomes a safe space for people who feel like they just need to let loose for a minute and find some grace. If you’re a wife/momma, if you’re into fitness/nutrition, if you’re into adventure, decorating your home, and/or making memories, I think this is the place for YOU! I’m so glad that you stopped by. Leave a comment below introducing yourself. I can’t wait to “meet” ya!