If you were to ask me what one of my all time favorite movies was, I would instantly answer, "Life is Beautiful".   Have you ever seen the film?  If not, I'll give you a brief synopsis...

"Life is Beautiful" is an Italian film that takes place during World War II in Nazi influenced Italy; and focuses on the life of the optimistic and humorous Jewish Italian book shop owner Guido Orefice and his family.  During the first part of the film, you watch the joy Guido finds in his humble job, community circumstances, and his family despite all the pressures that come from the National Fascist Party in his country.

As the film progresses, Italy is eventually occupied by Nazis, and Guido and his family are seized, during his son's birthday, and sent to a concentration camp.  Not wanting his son to be tainted by their despairing situation, Guido convinces his son that they are part of game and does everything in his power to transform their surrounding horrors into things one would find joy and gratitude in.

Although it's been awhile since I last watched this movie, I can't help but continually think about it this time of year.  Like the majority of people out there, I find myself thinking about the things I have and am grateful for as Thanksgiving draws near.  This year, the one thing I am most grateful for, is my imperfect, somewhat crazy, and modest life.

Nowadays, I feel as if I am constantly being bombarded with how and what society thinks my life should be like.  But, I believe society has it all wrong.  To me, life isn't about the big/spotless house, brand name clothing/accessories, a skinny and fit physique, jet-setting vacations, upscale appliances/furniture, plentiful yearly incomes, perfectly behaved children, and a picture perfect marriage that I clearly do not have.  Instead, life is about:

*The small, frequently disorganized, two bedroom little brick house that keeps my family of 5 safe and secure from all outside elements and maintains the eclectic/vintage feel that I love with the furniture and appliances that I have mostly found at thrift stores, yard sales, Craigslist.

*The humble income that allows Dave and I to provide the basic and essential needs for our family, perfect our budgeting skills, and learn to get creative with date nights, parties, adventures and all the other things on our "want" list.

*Living in a state that has new things to see, do, and discover everywhere I go.

*My three adorable, but rather energy draining, children who teach me more about myself, and the hard things I can do, than anyone else in the world.

*Being married to my complete opposite and learning together how to conquer the road blocks that form from two very different personalities.

*A body that definitely isn't skinny or fit but can hear, see, move, think and do all the things that allow me to be the best mother and woman I can possibly be.    

*A family that is unified, full of love, and eternal.

  According to society, my life may seem rather dismal, uninteresting, and insignificant.  But, if there is one thing I've learned from Guido Orefice, it would be the understanding that, no matter what your circumstances are, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL.  It isn't the "things" you have that make life worth living, but rather, your perspective.  Clearly, my life is far from being like many of the ones I see portrayed online, in magazines, and on t.v. but, it's mine and I will forever be thankful for it.

Loves and Hugs,


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