Monday, November 26, 2012

I'm Thankful for My Job

Once again readers so sorry for the delay but last week was one of the most mentally and physically exhausting weeks I have had in a while but the show must go on... :)

Happy Belated Thanksgiving Everyone! I am happy to have a friend and fellow bloggers guest posting on how she has "Paid It Forward" this month! She is also the brains and talent behind the beautiful design of my blog, oh and she shares this yummy recipe with you! Thank you Lauren and thank you for sharing!

Hello, Melanie's friends and readers! My name is Lauren, and I blog at Team Denton about my husband's and my newlywed adventures and our journey as Southerners living in and learning the Midwest. I'm excited to be sharing this little corner of the blogosphere with you and Melanie today.

I love Thanksgiving. I love having a day—and a season, really—with the primary focus on the people you love and life's little often-overlooked luxuries. All too often we get bogged down in the monotony of our everyday lives that we forget to appreciate these things, and it's nice to have a time devoted to stopping and remembering them.

About this time every year, I begin looking back at the year that has quickly passed by me and consider what events, what people, what perspectives have reminded me how incredibly blessed I am. Many come to my mind year after year: a supportive family that remains tight despite the miles between us, friends who share my thoughts and happy memories, a faith that saves me and empowers me to give to those with less, and a husband who laughs with me, encourages me and likes my cooking.

But this year, a new one came to mind, one that hasn't been relevant for any Thanksgiving prior: I'm thankful for a job. Doing what I love. In the industry I wanted. Using the degree I earned.

Few people my age (recent college graduate) can say the same. And at this time last year, I doubted if I would be able to. Six months after graduation and two and a half of living in Iowa with absolutely no professional network, I began to get discouraged—not because I was getting turned down left and right, but because there were a shortage of jobs to even get turned down for. No one in my field was hiring, and if they were, they wanted experience, not entry-level.

Nine months ago, that changed, and I began a part-time job as an Editorial Assistant (I write, edit, proofread, fact-check, brainstorm, etc) for a large publishing company with an impressive resume of national magazine brands. In short, it was the environment I'd wanted to work in since I was 13. So this year, not only am I incredibly thankful that I have a place to work when the economy has not been as kind to all, but I'm especially grateful that in my work, I get to use my skills and passions on a daily basis.

I wish that in paying it forward, I could end the job search for everyone on the hunt. Unfortunately, that's not in my scope. But what I can do is show my appreciation for some of those who helped me get the job and those who make it even more enjoyable: my coworkers. I'm also thankful for them because they are my connection to Iowa, a place I'm still not totally in sync with.

To show my thanks, I pulled a file from my mom's recipe box. I remembered these treats from a few Thanksgiving seasons when she gave them freely to those whom she appreciated.

Pumpkin Bread for Jars

2/3 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin puree
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cup nuts (optional)
8 or 9 wide mouth pint canning jars with lids and rings

Preheat oven to 325. Cream shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs, pumpkin and water. Sift together dry ingredients (except nuts) and gradually add to pumpkin mixture. Stir in nuts. Pour into greased jars, filling each only half full of batter. Clean the sealing edge of jars. Bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Meanwhile, scald the lids and keep them in water until ready to use. When the bread is done, remove jars, clean the sealing edge again, place lids on jars and screw rings on firmly. As bread cools, the jars will seal.

While the bread was baking, I used an extra lid to trace circles on some scrapbook paper, then placed each circle on top of a lid prior to screwing on a ring. I made the pumpkin cards out of scrapbook and brown kraft paper.

Happy thanks-giving, everyone!

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