Blessed and grateful …

Happy.

Healthy.

Loved.

And safe.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel blessed and grateful!!!

I’m back and happy about it …

I took a few months off from writing. Well, I guess I was still writing just not the way I usually do and I didn’t publish anything. It’s the longest break I’ve taken away from my blog since I started it. And although a break was much needed, I did miss it terribly. This blog has very much become a part of me. The daily hope and silliness I seek to write when I am “here” is so valuable to me. It’s a habit that is now hard to break. And that is very good thing.

This summer was all about possibilities, opportunities and change. So I guess I just felt I needed to give myself some time to feel it, figure it out and to grow with it. To put it mildly we have had A LOT going on over here. For starters, I took and completed an herbal apothecary class that I needed to keep up my Nutrition and Wellness Consultant Certification. I absolutely loved the class. I learned SO MUCH. I couldn’t wait to personally add and implement the things I learned into my lifestyle. It definitely took up a chunk of my time but it was well worth it!

We also had a busy summer getting my son, George, ready for his year abroad. He left for Europe a few weeks ago and he’s settled into his dorm now. He’s enjoying the language and cultural summer program he’s enrolled in and will start his university classes in a few weeks. He has made some nice friends and has been able to do some day trips already. I am so happy for him! But as wonderful as all of this is for him, it’s been really hard on this mama’s heart too. I miss him HUGE and the worry is like NO OTHER. But like I always say, there is nothing more beautiful than watching your child chase their dreams. BIG SIGH.

Our summer wasn’t going to be complete without a few visits from my oldest daughter, Sidney. Luckily she had some time before her summer classes started to hang out with us. She lives in the Bay Area full time now and when she visits it’s always a whirlwind. We pack so much in when she is here that it’s shocking. I need at least week to recover when she leaves, HA!

Anyway, we also took a few small local trips for fun and a big trip back East to do some college visits for Libs. That is another season that we are in … again. This is my third senior year as a mom. It’s a time filled with an abundance of heartbreaking LASTS and exciting FIRSTS. Libs has a lot on her plate with school, tennis and performances this next academic year. I hope that she enjoys this time and savors every moment. I know that I will. History reminds me that this will also be an incredibly busy and unpredictable season with the completion of college applications, acceptance letters and decisions to be made. It’s a roller coaster to say the least. Libs has worked hard (this may be the biggest understatement I’ve ever written) to open doors for herself. Now I put my faith in God to decide what doors He will allow her to walk through. As a mom I’m ready for whatever opportunities come her way and I trust that God’s plan for Lib’s future will be good and that she will end up exactly where she needs to be.

On top of all of that I had some big decisions to make this summer about Reese’s schooling. At times, schooling for my typical children was hard to maneuver through, but having a child with special needs, I find that I put a whole different level of pressure on myself. I am so worried about making a mistake. This little girl deserves the best. MY BEST. I am her voice and I am her advocate. Responsibilities that I do not take lightly. As a social worker I typically feel like I know my stuff. I confidently move forward with my decisions once I think I have finally done enough research and had enough meetings and consultations to make the best ones for her. It’s getting to that point that makes for a stressful process. It took months to work out, but plans are set for the next three years and I feel good about them. Thank god.

So between ALL of that, birthdays, holidays and LIFE, I felt that my focus was needed elsewhere. And a lot of elsewhere-s at that! But as usual I severely underestimated my need to write daily. Be it a brief blog entry or a long journal entry, I need it. Writing is the creative outlet that nurtures my brain and my heart equally. I forget how much I process my world and my experiences through writing. And along with running and yoga I find that it’s part of what keeps me happy, healthy, growing and thriving.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are back doing what you love!!!

Donuts and life …

The truth is that I have been into health and fitness since I was 12 years old. And a donut lover for even longer than that. The summer that I turned 12 was pivotal in my life. I started watching the Richard Simmons show and I was hooked. I began exercising outside of school PE classes and started experimenting on my own in the kitchen with healthy recipes. The life I laid out for myself that summer, stuck. I’m not saying that I didn’t eat junk food like every other teenager, I did. But that is when I learned that there can be both if I leaned more toward making healthy choices most of the time. This carried on for years and even crept its way into my career when I was given the opportunity to work with bariatric patients prior to and after their weight loss surgeries.

So why do I bring all this up?

Because today is National Donut Day. And as much as running, exercising and eating right is a part of my life, so has this favorite childhood food. Jelly donuts will ALWAYS stir up fond memories of yesteryear for me. Memories of New York (I was born there), my mom, my grandmother, and little pink bakery boxes tied with string. I love that weeks like this I am literally a walking oxymoron. With Running Day and Donut Day all occurring in one week, I feel like I get to celebrate the things that stir up a lot of wonderful memories for me. A lifetime of them really. And that is pretty cool.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you love the life you have created and get to eat a donut too!!!

A little break …

Life! I got so caught up in it again that I stopped my daily blogging. What seems like a good idea at the time often leaves me feeling NOT RIGHT. This blog keeps me positive. It MAKES me see the hope in each new day. It’s a habit I’ve taken seriously for many years now. So when I’m away, even when I feel I need to be, it just doesn’t feel normal. I can’t deny that writing and hoping have been a part of who I am for most of my life. ALL OF MY LIFE. I guess I just don’t know how to quit it. And that makes me happy.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you take a little break!!!

Filled with joy …

I wake up pretty happy on most days. I am definitely that person who has a reset button that allows me to feel renewed each morning. It helps that I have always allowed myself to be inspired by each and every pleasant thing that comes my way. Not just the BIG stuff that stops me in my tracks. I mean anything that brings a touch of beauty, a moment of laughter or a sense of peace to my life. It doesn’t matter how little or how silly that they may seem to others. I appreciate ALL of it. This practice keeps my day filled with good. Even on tough days. Learning to smile at and be grateful for those tiny treasures is a gift. You have to work at it though. And have a heart for it. But it’s worth it. So. So. Worth it!

Well, I hope you all have a day filled with JOY!!!

Making the best of it …

Time passes. People change. Things happen. Life evolves. It’s not always easy. But it’s definitely not always hard. I have lived life the best way that I know how. I have focused on the positive. I haven’t hardened or become bitter. I could have. Heck, all of us COULD. But then we would miss out on seeing all the good. And I just can’t imagine that.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you made the best of it!!!

Stay humble, work hard and relax harder …

Yesterday was my son’s first full day at home in 2 months. I am so HAPPY he is back! He has been very busy at school, so keeping in touch this semester has seemed different. Not difficult and not distant, just different. George has created a nice life for himself at school with friends, clubs, sports and church. And he’s a good student. It’s really all a mom could ever ask for. I honestly couldn’t be happy for him. The thing that blows my mind though, is that he handles almost everything on his own now. Shopping, scheduling, meetings, appointments, etc. It has been such relief to see him take these responsibilities over easily and master being an adult. We have always had a great relationship so thankfully he balances all of that out, still asking for advice and assistance when he really feels he needs it. As a mom, I needed him to get to THIS place in his life NOW. Why? WeIl, if it all works out George will be studying abroad the entire next school year. This is also something he’s handled all on his own. Which has shown me so much about my son. He is driven. He is responsible. He knows what he wants and he is capable of making it all happen. And somehow he maintains an air of humility that is rare to see these days.

Yesterday, we had fun. George loves to cook so we shopped at his favorite butcher’s market to get food for his week home. We planned out our week ahead. And we also started researching and shopping for some of the bigger items he may need for his year abroad. It’s all very exciting! I am so thankful that he includes me in all of that when he can and I am grateful that there are pieces of it that I can still help him with. And it really helps me have a better understanding of what his year away will be like. A familiarity of sorts. I think he knows that including me in what he can somehow makes it all a little easier for me knowing he will be so far away for so long.

If I had to describe my son in one word (it’s really impossible to do that) I would choose KIND. He knows that I will never let my fears hold any of my children back from chasing their dreams. So he does his best to ease my nerves when he can. Even if he has no time in his day, he will find the time to reach out to me if he thinks I’m worried. I appreciate his compassion. And I appreciate him so much.

Yesterday I surprised George by sending him off for his first day spa visit. This was DEFINITELY not something he would have ever planned for himself. Not. At. All. But I sure think he deserved it.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you stay humble, work hard and relax harder!!!