Defining Thankful

I had plans for today.

Big plans.

Plans that included stunning reveal photos of our new back porch, complete with fabulous farmhouse style table for 10 topped with a gorgeous fall centerpiece.

Well friends, that and a pair of Spiderman shoes’ll give you this.

on being thankful... via #fall #decor #gratitude

Sometimes (and I promise it is not merely the former English teacher in me) I think definitions can be helpful…

For example – maison: (noun) house

de: (prep) of

pax: (noun) peace

on being thankful... via #fall #decor #gratitude

But I think we often have to redefine the definitions.  Does that even make sense?

on being thankful... via #fall #decor #gratitude

We have to remember that peace may not mean perfection.

on being thankful... via #fall #decor #gratitude

That peace may not mean the absence of chaos.

on being thankful... via #fall #decor #gratitude

That peace may not mean completed projects, perfect photo shoots, and magazine-worthy centerpieces.

on being thankful... via #fall #decor #gratitude

Peace sometimes means a quick table set after your husband gives you 30 roses for your 30th birthday last month…

on being thankful... via #fall #decor #gratitude

Or a simple fall wreath made as desperately needed creative therapy…

Create your own gorgeous eucalyptus wreath for a FRACTION of the cost of buying one! via #wreath #green #fall #floral

Peace sometimes means no new outdoor table built because you were too busy filling your home with friends, family, and laughter these past few weeks.

on being thankful... via #fall #decor #gratitude

Peace sometimes looks like little sand piles all over your new back porch because your kids have “built castles” to their hearts’ content.

on being thankful... via #fall #decor #gratitude

Peace often looks like giving thanks.

Giving thanks that we have a back porch for dirty Spiderman shoes to sit on.

Giving thanks that we have family and friends to keep us busy.

Giving thanks that the sand covering our porch (and entire home) brought smiles to the lips of two little boys…

May you (and I!) remember to redefine our sense of peace and thankfulness this month and throughout the year.

thankful at home tour

For more thoughts on what it means to be Thankful at Home, visit these other inspiring women this week:

Monday, Nov. 3

Funky Junk Interiors

French Country Cottage

Savvy Southern Style

Lilacs & Longhorns

Maison de Pax

Tuesday, Nov. 4

My Soulful Home

On Sutton Place

Cedar Hill Farmhouse 

Wednesday, Nov. 5

Stone Gable

At the Picket Fence

Top This Top That

Housepitality Designs


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  1. Cute post, Rachel.

  2. I have seen you with your beautiful baby . . . the way you nurtured the beautiful child snuggled next to you . . . you gave your child a sense of peace when there was noise and chaos around us at the restaurant. You have a gift. A gift of not letting things that don’t always go the way you want….to let it go…and your children are so blessed with a mom with your wonderful attitude of embracing the imperfect. I truly enjoyed your story of your blessings of home and your Home of Peace.

  3. oh so true. what a great reminder of life’s real purpose . thanks for sharing such a wonderful post!

  4. Love this, Rachel! Such true words. Life isn’t perfect and thankfulness is more than a beautiful fall table.
    So happy you’re on tour with us!

  5. Love this post and your photos and home are looking beautiful as ever!

  6. Great message, Rachel! Rarely do things go according to plan at my home. Rolling with the punches appears to give me the greatest peace. :)

    Your images are stunning… love the book page pumpkin and wreath!

  7. Rachel – redefining our selves & our way of thinking is what keeps us happy & alive ~ so I agree wholeheartedly with your new definition. Beautiful post from a beautiful heart.
    p.s. u know I adore you, but I think I liked you better before I knew you are only 30 – but then, I have redefined what the “new 30 is” ~ so I guess I am ok with it! xx

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Thanks, dear friend! Sorry to burst your bubble. 😉 You sport your “new 30” while I pretend I’m still 29, mkay?

  8. Beautiful message and what a dear of a man you have indeed! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  9. YES! Thank you so much for sharing this today Rachel! Perfection is overrated and unrealistic. Peace, even in the midst of chaos, is far sweeter and more valuable. In this season in my life I feel myself guarding carefully the things that are coming at us and wanting to provide as much peace for my family as possible while all sorts of craziness swirls around us. Creating a haven for our families is so important and it’s obvious that you are doing that for yours! So thrilled to be part of the tour with you this week! :-)

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Thank you so much, Vanessa! It is so hard sometimes, but so so important. :) So glad to be on tour with you, too!

  10. thank you Rachel, that was lovely, and words to remember~

  11. Tana Lewis says:

    Loved your post. We all look at “Thankful” with diffenet hearts and minds. Such a joy to the different thoughts and take a moment to reflect along the lines that you have shared. Thank you for your time and sharing of your thoughts. Blessings to you and yours.

  12. You are such a beautiful rare soul , Rachel. I was so drawn to you the very first time I met you, carrying that gorgeous newborn around close to you in a sling! You certainly have your priorities right, my friend! Someday, sooner than you would like, those little shoes will be gone and so will the piles of sand and those baby smiles. Yes, they are replaced by other wonderful things… but I’m so glad you are breathing in the air around the life of your little ones and making memories for them and you! God bless your precious family and your beautiful home!

  13. Dearest Rachel, that was beautiful. Yes, I see the English Teacher in your writings ( : and I probably would receive an “F” if I were one of your students. I agree with Vanessa above. Perfection is overrated unrealistic, especially if you have little ones running around making sandcastles everywhere. I believe Peace is how you feel inside. It’s very hard to raise a family (especially two little boys ), take care of yourself and your husband, keep the house clean, cook meals, do the laundry and volunteer for school functions or PTA meetings. Now add in remodeling your home, doing all those diy projects AND write a blog and be your own photographer !!!! Oh my goodness, I’m exhausted just writing all this and I’m not even done yet ! ( : Now add in decorating for the holidays and THEN entertaining family and friends.
    You need a vacation sweetheart, your overwhelmed, and over worked ! Then and only then will you find Peace (inside and out ) on a beach( with white sand for the boys ( : ) I hope I’m not over stepping but I just don’t know how you do it all, you remind me of my daughter. She goes and goes and goes and then she can’t figure out why she’s exhausted, sick, can’t get anything done or competed. Don’t worry about blog land, if you can’t build a farm table that seats 10, pull out the old card table. One time I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for my family of, wait for it, 44 people ! I had acard table in front of the front door, all the little kids got to eat sitting on the stairs, i had 2 kids on every other step. They had a ball, i was going crazy. So don’t try to do to much, worry about family, not us ( : I hope you and yours have a blessed and “Peaceful” Thanksgiving. Sincerely, Diena <3

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      You’re too sweet, Diena. It is always a balancing act… but the creative process is a BIG part of what keeps me sane. Like you said, though, it’s finding peace amidst it all – breathing deeply the love and family – and taking a vacation every once in a while. 😉 Take care and have a wonderful holidays (you and all 44 of your family members. 😉 )!

  14. Beautiful, Rachel. So true.

  15. When I saw the Spiderman shoes on the bricks my first thought was of a little boy laughing and playing in the sand. It brought a smile to my face because I thought of my grandkids and how I marvel in their innocence. It’s true, sometimes we need to stop and savor those moments. Those are the moments we are thankful we can enjoy. Beautiful post, Rachel! May you and your family be blessed as well.

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Thank you thank you, MaryJean! It’s so easy to skip over those moments; that’s why I love Thanksgiving – it helps me to slow down and appreciate them! Many blessings to you this season. :)

  16. As I neared the end of this post, my one thought was “this girl has her head on straight.” Bravo my friend…your family is blessed and it warms my heart to see you living in the moment. Enjoy those little boys because they won’t be little for very long!

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Aww, thanks, Ann! I assure you that some days my head is on straighter than others. 😉 Thank you for the encouragement!


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