FEELING all the beautiful memories …

It was a quiet morning here. VERY quiet. And I needed it. No one was up early … but me, of course. I knew that would translate into a lot of rushing later but I didn’t care. My kids needed sleep. MY GOSH THEY NEEDED SLEEP. And I needed my moment of holiday calm. I am thankful that each year between parties and performances and late nights and early mornings, I find some time for myself that doesn’t include running shoes, sweat and swearing. This is time I usually find in front of our Christmas tree, under an overly decorated holiday blanket and sipping a seasonal coffee. ALONE. It’s wonderful. It’s needed. It’s what brings the anticipation of Christmas full circle for me. Somewhere between the first sip of my coffee and sunrise a sense of Christmas peace washes over me. I love it. Some years it comes early in the season. Other years, the opportunity comes later. But I don’t ever force it or schedule it. For some reason, I’ve been blessed to have it always come naturally. God is good. He gives me this time when He knows I need it and when I will appreciate it most. It’s honestly a gift.

But this morning was different than years past. Perhaps it’s my age beginning to squeak it’s way into my little tradition. Usually I lose myself in the “calm before the (holiday) storm”, admiring our tree, enjoying my coffee and thankful for the stillness. I guess I did do all of that, but when I looked at our tree I didn’t see a Christmas tree filled with memories. I FELT a Christmas tree filled with memories. What I saw was far greater than just a “decorated” tree … what I saw was a tree that held my family’s history. Ornaments that represented our journey together. I saw marriages, births, deaths, travel, change, laughter, traditions, joy and love! AND I FELT ALL OF IT. I didn’t just see, I FELT. No, this is not merely a Christmas tree we have sitting in our family room. It is some of my most precious life moments celebrated in one very special place … a tree, placed in our home, celebrating our Savior’s birth, who gracefully and graciously gave us the opportunities to share all of those moments together.

The sun rose and bodies started moving. Doors opened and “Good Morning” greetings were spoken. The silence of my little tradition was broken. It is over until next year. And that is OK. I will greet the opportunity, again, like a long lost friend. But this year I will wonder what changed. How did my heart FEEL more clearly the memories held on our tree? Perhaps I will never know. But I do know that I walked away from this experience differently than I usually do. I am more grateful and I am a whole lot more humble. Life is so precious. THIS I KNOW. And this morning I FEEL IT.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you FEEL all your beautiful memories!!!

Advertisements

Making some wonderful memories …

A trip to Hollywood at Christmastime. A beautiful theater that transports me back in time. And an absolutely WICKED musical. All of this can mean only one thing!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you make some wonderful memories!!!

A hand to hold …

As of yesterday afternoon my world finally calmed down. Yay! It’s honestly been a whirlwind. A wave of relaxation literally washed over me after my last meeting yesterday. Last night I realized that I’ve been so busy that I hadn’t really even given much thought to my favorite holiday fast approaching. Even after decorating, confirming with George when he would head home and after booking Sid’s flight it still hadn’t hit me. Talk about distracted!

I had big plans today. Plans to nurture myself. THIS is so important. Seriously, we all need to do more of it. But that’s a topic for another day. My day started early with a wonderful carefree run. I prayed. I thought about Thanksgiving. I thought about how blessed we are and how thankful I am. And then it hit me! ALL of my babies will be home. SOON. I was instantly overcome with emotions. I have not been with all four of my kids at the same time since early August. That’s a first. Again, I don’t like it but I wouldn’t want it any other way. They are off living their lives and becoming who they are meant to be. It’s beautiful.

The picture I posted with this blog is quite a few years old but it’s one of my favorites. I’d be lying if I said that I don’t miss those days. I do. They were days when we were all a bit younger and life wasn’t pulling us in so many different directions. I’m not one to want to turn back time, but I do like to look back. It makes me appreciate our togetherness even more now. I love our family history and the memories that we have made. They are, after all, what paved the way to what is our now. Again, it is beautiful. I know that our NOW might not look like our THEN but it still takes my breath away. These incredible souls are my WHY. I am blessed to be their mom. So so so blessed. And I am grateful that regardless of how much time passes or the distance between them, that they will always have each other to walk through life with. As an only child I wanted this for them. No. I needed this for them. And knowing that they have each other fills this mama’s heart with immeasurable peace and joy.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you have a hand to hold!!!

Looking back and moving forward …

This morning I was looking at my Facebook Memories and realized that 5 years ago today Sidney and I attended a traveling college open house event. She was at the beginning part of her junior year and this visit would be the catalyst to more than I could have ever imaged. This would eventually be the university Sidney would choose to attend.

In the post I struggled with all of it. I guess nothing has changed there, HA! But it was amazing to see how much time DID change things. I remember that day perfectly. It would be the beginning of so much; a pre-college stay on campus, tours of the city, the application process, a portfolio, her senior year of high school and what would come to be her final year at home. What a journey it has been. To see how much she has grown is incredible. She has accomplished much. As I progressed through all of that with her I could not deny that she was on the right path. She FIT perfectly through every door that was opened for her. I watched her fall in love with all of it. And because she had the courage to take a chance on herself she has now created a wonderful life for herself. Despite being so young at the time my baby girl chose her future wisely. She listened to her heart and committed to nurturing and growing the gifts and talents God gave her. And in what seems like the blink of an eye … “my baby” girl grew up.

Five years.

A lot can happen in 5 years. Nothing in our lives looks the same as it did back then. Applying this knowledge to our futures fills me with a sense of excitement, but also with a little MOM sadness too. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the simpler times when my big kids where little. I do. But watching them mature and seeing them chase their dreams and achieve their goals brings me overwhelming amounts of joy. I have mentioned before that this process comes with many ups and downs for me. I don’t do any of this gracefully. I feel my way through it. I’m thankful that my kids allow me to SIT with all of it in my own way. After all, it’s not just them who has been growing in all of this. I have learned and changed too. I am honestly fascinated at how so many lives can grow together yet still be on their own personal paths. I have come to believe that THIS is what life and love should look like when they are set in motion over a lifetime. And I don’t think I have ever been a part of something more beautiful.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you look back and move forward!!!

Time changed much but not us …

I work up early this morning, despite being up way too late. The house was quiet and I began feeling a bit nostalgic. I always do this time of year. With summer break ending and the new school year starting in a few weeks I tend to feel similar to how I do on New Years Eve. It’s my time to reflect and I look back on summers past. With two adult children off to college I feel even more emotional than I normally do. And it all came out this morning! I spent much of my early morning looking through old pictures of my kids. I laughed, I cried and I soaked in every wonderful memory. It is like time stood still for a moment, but also flashed by in an instant. It’s all a blur but I remember almost every second of it. It sort of makes me sad yet I also delight in knowing that so much has changed but not the love we share and the memories we keep. They are our constant and they are our story. And they are what makes us … US. I am comforted in knowing that no amount of time or distance can ever change that.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you can say that time changed much but not us!!!

Love, American Style …

Today I was sitting in my car at a red light and I had a childhood memory pop into my head. I have no idea what triggered the memory but it certainly made me smile.

There was a show that my mom would watch when I was very little. It aired from 1969 to about 1974 so I was about 6 years old at the end of its run. It was on past my bedtime but my mom would tell me that I could stay up, if I laid down on the couch, to watch it. Which was the greatest thing EVER. But I kid you not, not one time did I ever stay awake past the opening credits. HA! I would always fall asleep! I am pretty sure that my mom planned for that but she also new how to make me happy. She was awesome that way.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you experience LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE!!!