Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Blessing and a Birthday

I have loved her since the first moment I laid eyes on her just a year ago this past week. I never realized that you could love children that weren't your own until my nieces came along and they have been such a wonderful addition into our lives and our family. Her sister is a firecracker, and while I love her to pieces, I have felt a special connection with Evie since the first time I held her. The Boy™ and I were honored when his sister and her husband asked us over the summer if we would be her Godparents. We of course accepted and after having to cancel due to that Nor'easter last month, had the Baptism this past weekend.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

123. How he takes it all in stride, calm and never complaining.

124. A late afternoon fall hike with some coworkers. Great way to end the day.

125. Warm November sunshine.

126. Quiet at the end of an unpleasant day.

127. Many things to give thanks for, including a delicious and safe meal and the love of each other.

128. A family trip to the movies filled with laughter.

129.  Remembering loved ones who have gone to be with God as we decorated the tree.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Day To Be Thankful

Growing up we always celebrated Thanksgiving at my Gram's house. She cooked the same exact dinner every year, and we would eat it at 1pm on the dot. You were given the option of having Cran-Raspberry or Tomato Juice to drink with your meal and we always had the same 4 choices of pie for desert after the dishes were done being washed, dried and put away. The adults ate at the table, and the kids ate at a fold out table in the living room. It didn't matter how old you were, or, in my case, even if you were married and had small children of your own, if you were not one of Gram's kids or married to them, you ate at the kids table. It was how things were done, and it was comforting. Some years back, for reason's I will never quite understand, Gram started keeping bread and cookies in her oven. She also started battling Alzheimer's Disease, and we arrived at her house one Thanksgiving to discover that she had turned on the oven to pre-heat and had forgotten to take whatever she was storing in there out. That was the first year in my life we ate later than 1pm, and the last year Gram got to cook Thanksgiving dinner.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Tale of One Table

Six years or so ago, my mother gave us that long white side table that currently lives in our dining room. When she bought it for her apartment, she used it in her living room. I remember that there was a table runner across the top of it and she kept some pretty decorative items and candles on it. There were two chairs that she had, one at each end and it fit in her living room very nicely. When she gave up her apartment and moved to Maryland she asked if we'd like to have it for our house and I accepted. The first place it lived in our dining room was in front of the window next to the porch, as seen in this photo from 2008. While I really liked the table there, the window is not centered on the wall, and it gave my OCD tendencies a twitch. On top of that, it was really close to the doorway. After several years of being in that spot, we moved it across the room to the space between the arches. In case you are wondering, I don't know why my dining room windows have shutters, but we haven't replaced them yet because it's one of those projects that involves more than just replacing the shutter.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Giving Thanks

Somehow we have made it past the middle of November, and Thanksgiving is next week. I'm not really sure how this has happened, but multiple trips to the calendar have confirmed this rumor, and my family has assured me that in fact, we will be eating turkey at this time next week. (well, not this exact time anyhow) There's all sorts of noise, for lack of a better work, in the world surrounding Thanksgiving. You hear about it on the radio, or the TV, or read about it in the paper or on the internet. The best way to cook a turkey or the best stuffing recipe or how to decorate your table so that even your cranky old aunt Betsy is impressed. Does it really matter? I think we place too much importance on the wrong part of the holiday. We end up tired, stressed out and cranky with dry turkeys and overcooked stuffing that took 5 hours to cook and 15 minutes to eat and ended with a table full of bickering family members. Where is the enjoyment in that?

Saturday, November 12, 2011


much like the rest of the year, the colors were a bust
It's hard to come and post about things you are thankful for, when so many things are broken right now. My laptop sits near a window, and I sit here so often and stare out the window and the things that weigh heavy on my mind threaten to bury me alive.

Instead of posting about all of these things, I've come to ask for your help. If you could send some good thoughts and prayers over here to help lift some of that weight, I would so greatly appreciate it. Just me, and all of this stuff that is crushing my spirit. If you could keep my Grandpa in your good thoughts and pray  that when his time comes  to go and join my Grandma, that it's quick and peaceful, I would greatly appreciate it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

All is Grace

For the past few years I have purchased what has become known as the "family gift". Something that we can all do together as a family. One year it was a Whirly Pop popcorn popper, wooden popcorn bowl and a few DVD's to watch over vacation. One year it was RockBand (I got it for a steal as it was an older version of the instruments). As we head into Christmas this year, gifts have been a bit of a challenge to think about. We are going to Florida in March. The kids are going with the Band, and Neal and I are going as Chaperone's. We weren't going to originally, as even for just the two of us it's a lot of money, but we figured it's a chance of a lifetime and we likely won't get to do this again, so we are going for it. Part of the everyone's gift this year, is spending money for the strip. On top of that, we have to have our trip paid for by February. In light of that, I've been giving the family gift a lot of thought this year. The kids are getting older, and I've been finding that as they age, what they want and what they need and what they consider gifts is evolving and changing and it's hard as a parent to come to terms with.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Warm November Sunshine

my tree swing.. buried in snow
During certain times of the year, when the temperature isn't that warm, you can stand outside with your eyes closed, facing the sun and trick yourself into believing you're at the beach. I know what you're thinking, "She's finally lost it. All that snow has gotten to her and she's gone off the deep end." Not true. This trick works especially well if you are standing out on a playground and have the noise of small children to add to the beach daydream. It doesn't work come December, and if my memory serves me correctly, I don't believe it works again until April.. but it worked today. We still have about half a foot of snow on our playground, and I'm starting to doubt if it will melt by the end of the week, or before it gets cold enough to not melt at all, as we have some really high snow banks in some areas. To stand in the snow, close my eyes and feel the warm sun on my face and day dream about the beach was a little slice of heaven in November.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A Month of Being Thankful

The year started out really well, as I recall. I had some major revelations about some areas of my life and was working on turning things in a new direction. This was going to be the year of change. Change that was desperately needed. Then life got in the way, as it is so often known to do, and put a screeching halt to my plans. It's harder to avoid life when it's your health that is getting in the way of things. Health issues have a way of getting in your face and becoming all consuming. They manage to take over and fill all areas until they threaten to bury your with their very existence. I have a new appreciation for people who have to live with chronic illness. I don't know how they find the strength to get through it. I really don't. Now that I finally on the other side of it all, I'm ready to put it behind me. I think I have the fortitude to deal with what's left and move on with a clearer head and less worry. I'm tired of it all, frankly, and it's time. So this month, the month of Thanksgiving, I'm going to focus on being thankful, and positive, and the blessings in my life. Work on turning my attitude and my focus around and get to a better place before the holidays and the darkness of winter set in. I don't think I can head into winter with the mindset I've been in the past 9 months. I might not come out on the other side. Today, on the first day of this month, as I get ready to embark on this journey, I leave you with this quote:

"To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant,
to enact gratitude is generous and noble,
but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven."
Johannes A. Gaertner