Happy New Year – 2013

I really like this list!

I don’t usually make New Years resolutions, but I do like the idea of making life style improvements, and this list just about covers all of the areas of interest to me!

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So, as I sit here and drink my coffee, and watch football, the french toast is baking in the oven.

I guess the healthy eating will come later ūüôā This is probably why I don’t make resolutions.

But, I am looking forward to reading my book today!

Happy New Year 2013!

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

This gallery contains 12 photos.

My 2012 in pictures. ¬†A year full of new places and adventures! ¬†I am so blessed by the love and care of a wonderful husband, and an amazing family.   I am looking forward to 2013, with hope in my heart, and a sincere desire to find the bright spot in each new day.

Thankful Thursday – 3 gifts remembering

3 Gifts Remembering…

There are a lot of things that I don’t remember….sometimes, my memory just isn’t the best one around. ¬†But thankfully, there are things in life that are exactly what I need to help me remember, and for those things in life, I am truly thankful.

1.  The clever little pill-box, aids me in remembering to take my pills every day of the week. ( It  also comes in handy for remembering what day of the week it actually is! :))

pill box

2.  Visiting the Golden Gate bridge, and remembering the phone call from my daughter the night she got engaged.

San Francisco

3. Remembering the good times I have hanging out with my very best friend!

I am so very thankful for him!

Paul at the Green Flash

Mission accomplished!

A few weeks a go I was feeling a little overwhelmed by Christmas, and all of the events that would take place in the month of December.

I was determined to not let it get the best of me, so I gave myself a few goals.

My goals were to relax and enjoy each moment of the season. Celebrate time-honored traditions, reflect on the special family memories, and be willing to make new ones!

No two Christmas’ are ever alike, and this year was no exception!

I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning with my very best friend. We went to the Hotel Del Coronado to see the huge Christmas tree, one of our time-honored traditions!

Christmas 2012 at the Del

We had good conversation and a great dinner at a quaint little restaurant. We laughed, we looked at the lights, we wrapped presents, and drank coffee together.

On Christmas morning, we exchanged a few, very special gifts. Gifts that we will treasure because of the love and the thought that was put into giving them.

I also learned a very valuable lesson, and it was probably my best gift of the year.

I learned that sometimes the unplanned events and moments can be the very best moments of all! The month was filled with these moments, Christmas day included.

I wasn’t able to be with my own kids at Christmas, but I did get to hear their voice, and the voice of my grandkids. ¬†An unplanned moment, and priceless gift indeed!

The afternoon was spent with my best friend, my mom, my niece and her husband. ¬†The plan for the day had always included lunch with my mom, but the bonus was¬†my niece and her husband. ¬†They were a much welcomed, surprise visit!¬†Another unplanned moment. ¬†I was able to celebrate Christmas with my sister’s daughter. ¬†I know she really would have liked that a lot, and that makes me happy.

It was great to spend time together, talking and laughing, and enjoying the comfort and love of family.

And…I also met my goal!

In fact, I think this Christmas is going to hold a very fond memory for me. ¬†I’m glad I gave myself these goals. ¬†Especially the goal to try and enjoy each moment, because the moments, both planned and unplanned, were good, and I really did enjoy this Christmas!

sunset at the beach 4

A perfect ending to beautiful day!  Mission accomplished!

Related Articles:

https://beckystout.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/overwhelmed-by-christmas/

Merry Christmas 2012

Christmas in the manger

Christmas in the Manger

by: Nola Buck and Felicia Bond

I am the star that shines in the east,

I light the stable for man and beast.

I am the donkey, soft and gray,

I carried his mother from far away.

I am the ram, with my curly horn

I guard the stall where the child is born.

I am the ox, strong as steel,

before the only son I kneel.

We are the shepherds who watch the sheep,

tonight a holy watch we keep.

We are the wise men, gifts we bring

for baby Jesus, our newborn King.

I am Mary, the mother mild,

how I love my tiny child.

I am the baby asleep in the hay,

and I am the reason for Christmas Day.

Weekly photo challenge: Surprise

It was a beautiful day at the beach, no surprise here!

As we were eating breakfast outside on the patio, we saw this young man set up his “band”. It was a pleasant surprise to hear the music he was able to make with a Home Depot bucket, 2 tambourines, and a ukulele.

He whistled and sang, and strummed a few happy tunes. ¬†He graciously remarked “thank you” as the people passing by dropped money in his hat that was sitting on the sidewalk.

I think everyone got a little surprise that day!

The people, by the music, and he, by the people’s generosity.

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this time last week

This time last week I was traveling north to be with my daughter and her husband, to celebrate the 1st birthday of our youngest grandson. A sweet little blue-eyed boy, with a sparkle in his eyes, and the infectious belly laugh of a one year old.

Happy Birthday, little guy!  I love you so much!

Rick looking up at me

This time last week, 26 lives were ripped from this world in a horrific shooting at a grade school in Newtown CT. ¬†The lives of mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, grandmas and grandpas, were changed in ways that I can’t even imagine. ¬†Changed in a way I don’t want to imagine, because it should never have to be imagined. ¬†It just shouldn’t be.

The extreme contrast of the two did not go unnoticed by anyone in my family.  Our event was to celebrate a life, a milestone.  In Newtown, they were mourning. It was a tragedy.  Plain and simple, as there is just no other way to describe it.

My heart, it is so full. ¬†It’s full and overflowing with the memories of the week-end, and struggling with the wide range of emotions. ¬†The sorrow for the families who are in so much pain. The blessing of a wonderful husband, the gift of amazing children, and the joy of precious grandchildren.

I feel a little like Mary right now, “pondering all these things in my heart“. It was a very special moment in my life. ¬†Our time together as a family was full of laughter, and hugs, and smiles. In Newtown, there are only hugs and tears.

And once again I am made aware of life and its brevity. How abruptly it can end, and how important it is to cherish my family each moment that we have together.  I am reminded by the powerful message of the inability to control, and I am overwhelmed by the security and knowledge that we are all in the Hands of God.

Thankful Thursday: 3 Gifts Shining

Three Gifts Shining

1. The sun shining on my shoulder, and the comfort and warmth that it gives

sunshine on my shoulder

2. The lights shining brightly on the Hotel Del Coronado at Christmas
Hotel Del at Christmas

3. The fire glowing and shining in our wood stove
wood stove

The peace of forgiving

‚ÄúForgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē¬†Lewis B. Smedes

Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts we Don’t Deserve” by Lewis B Smedes, is probably the best book I’ve ever read on the subject of forgiveness.

The impact it had on my life was a sense of freedom and release from the bondage of the inability to forgive.  I knew that it was the right thing to do, and I would often get to the point where I thought I could forgive, and then I would stop.

Nope! in my mind, I didn’t want to give the other person the privilege of my forgiveness. ¬†I wanted them to feel the pain that I had felt! Maybe even more!

The reality of it is this, it just doesn’t work like that.

Anyone who is cruel enough to cause pain and not ask for forgiveness after the fact, does not feel any guilt or pain by our resistance to forgive them.  Their life goes on, and they probably continue in the same vein of hurting others.

They are not even giving a second thought to the deed done to me. But my life becomes consumed by unhealthy emotions.  I become conflicted with my own guilt over the unwillingness to forgive, and the bitterness and anger caused by the hurt and the pain.

I learned that the act of forgiveness does not mean that I can or should forget, nor is it required of me to forget.¬†However, forgiveness is still required.¬†It doesn’t mean that I never experienced the pain and the hurt, and it doesn’t mean that I will never remember it again.¬†What it means is that I have made the choice to forgive.

And in choosing to forgive, I move forward with new hope and peace in my heart.¬†I can’t excuse, tolerate or forget, I can only forgive. ¬†And in forgiving, I am released from the bondage of guilt and bitterness.

(Interesting note, Lewis B Smedes died on this day in 2002.  I had no knowledge of this until today.  I am thankful for his insight into a very painful subject.  He certainly had an impact on my life.)