Monday, November 23, 2009

Let the Christmas season BEGIN!

After Thanksgiving, my Dad would go up to the attic and bring down the decorations. I still remember some of my favorite decorations, which surely have been tossed years ago at the determination of their tackiness, but I loved them. The macaroni ornaments, artificial fluff snow and plastic Santa and reindeer, and the felt Christmas figure magnets for the refrigerator door. I fondly remember decorating the Christmas tree and then laying under it admiring all the beautiful ornaments.

After Thanksgiving, everything began to get exciting - everywhere. There was a certain buzz in the air. At church, we received our pieces to be memorized for the Christmas pageant, and the sanctuary looked and smelled like Christmas; with the live decorated Christmas trees and large red bows and candle decorations. The houses in the neighborhoods transformed themselves into illuminated masterpieces. What would appear to an adult as T-A-C-K-Y, to a child looks spectacular! And, when we returned to school after Thanksgiving break, the classrooms were transformed into winter wonderlands.

I remember almost pitying adults during the magical time between Thanksgiving and New Years. How sad it must be for them to grow up. But here I am, an adult (most of the time), and I am right back there: grinning from ear to ear, so filled with the Christmas spirit that I can hardly contain it. For this reason, you will notice on my blog that I probably will be speaking a LOT about Christmas, my old and new traditions, and everything in between.

My Christmas decoration boxes are down from the attic, I have my Christmas choir music to learn, and I secretly admire even the tackiest illuminated homes – even if I don’t plan on emulating them!

May God bless us all this holiday season!


Thursday, November 19, 2009


Is gratitude the act of being grateful when you get what you want out of life? Or, is true gratitude perhaps being grateful despite what you get? I looked up the definition of gratitude this morning on the internet, and this is what I found on, “Gratitude, thankfulness, or appreciation is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.”

How can you be grateful if what you have been given is not at all what you asked for? According to the definition I found, it looks like first of all gratitude is a positive emotion or attitude. I can’t be grateful unless I act grateful. This is an action that I must carry out. Point well taken,!! The other aspect of the definition that struck me was that this positive emotion was backed by an “acknowledgement of a benefit … received or will receive.” Therefore, although the circumstance itself may not have been my wish, I will reap some sort of reward, even if for the life of me I can’t see the greater good right now. To acknowledge this is an act of faith on my part.

Thanksgiving is next week and I am so thankful and grateful for the lives of those around me. I don’t always savor the taste of life’s experiences, as so many lately have tasted quite bitter. But, I guess the old adage is true, that with a little sugar, even the sourest of lemons can make a wonderful glass of lemonade. Life’s sugar is gratitude.

What areas of your life need a little sugar?


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bitter Ending

I never met Scott’s Great Uncle to my knowledge. He may have been at some wedding or funeral from my past, but I certainly have no recollection of it. I would have easily passed him on the street without so much of a second glance. He was a stranger. I will honor his passing today by attending his funeral, but I am saddened that there is no piece of him: his personality, his hopes and dreams for the future; that I can carry with me. Sadly, no one from the funeral has really known him for years, as this is what he wanted. To my knowledge, I don’t believe he even had an animal companion.

I am reminded once again that to live is to share my life with others. It is not to acquire things, or to protect myself (above all costs) of becoming hurt. I have a responsibility to myself to share my story: my past lessons, present priorities, and future aspirations. We all have stories to tell, don’t we?

I ask you, as I ask myself, are you sharing your stories? Do you love others as deeply as possible? Are you weaving bits and pieces of yourself into those around you, so your life will go on here on earth well after you have left? Will others be better for knowing you? Or perhaps we also need to recognize whether someone amongst us is trying to share their story, but we keep pushing it off as we try so desperately to grasp everything we can in our own today.

I can usually find great solace, even amongst great sorrow, because I feel that there is a plan for everything. Today sitting at this funeral of a life I have never met, I’ll pray for lessons to be learned. When my final days are here, and let’s face it… it will happen someday for all of us. I want my ending to be sweet and lovely, just like my life.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Me... Simplfied" is now available on

I am so thrilled! The search engine capabilities are not totally working yet, so if you want to check out the book on Amazon you either need to know the ISBN number or you can simply click here: