A priceless gift …

I had an awesome date with an awesome guy last night! This guy stole my heart years ago and still makes me feel like the most special person alive. Who is this man?!?! MY SON. George is leaving soon to begin his second year of college. BIG SIGH. Last year he and my girls surprised me with a night out before he left. It took a lot to pull off and it was such a treat for me. I loved having that time with him. One thing I was really sad about, with him heading off to college, was that our long talks would not be so commonplace. I absolutely LOVE our talks! So having time with just him and some precious uninterrupted talk time really made me happy. And to my surprise, my sweet son told me a few weeks ago that he planned on making our mom and son date night a tradition. Well, you all know that I’m a crier! And that, I did. I think the most valuable thing a person can EVER give me is their time. It is something that I will NEVER take for granted and something that I will ALWAYS appreciate. Without a doubt, sharing moments and creating memories with the people that I love will fill my heart with joy.

Well, I hope you all have a day where someone gives you a priceless gift!!!

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They went on without us …

We rang in the New Year last night in a way that we normally don’t. With a cough, fever and chills. Yuck! We usually go to the movies with family friends, then we all head over to a local restaurant for a late dinner and New Year’s Eve festivities. We have celebrated this way for years now and it has been a lot of fun. We went to college with these friends and our kids have grown up together. We have literally created a lifetime of memories with them. As our kids have gotten older our time together has changed. Sometimes the older kids just can’t make it. Whether they are off at college or at work things are missed … and that’s OK. Life does that sometimes. But what happened last night couldn’t have made me happier. Not the sick part! Despite their parents being sick and older siblings being gone the other kids still all got together. That’s right! They went to the movies and then went back to our friends’ home for s’mores and hung out until after midnight. Isn’t that incredible?!?! Even without their parents they still continued on with our little tradition. It made us sick parents super happy because THAT is what decades of friendship looks like.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you go on without them!!!

Forgiveness …

I did something today that I don’t often do with strangers who offend me. I do it easily for the people I know and love. But I’ve never really done it for someone I don’t know. It really made me think and made me want to change my ways. I’ll get to it, but let me first share what happened to me around noon today.

Unfortunately, I had an encounter with … let’s call her … ROAD RAGE LADY. For the record, I use the term “lady” VERY loosely. Typically when I have these types of interactions I BRIEFLY wonder what gets people to THAT level of enragement. Then I move on with my happy life.

Anyway, about 20 minutes later I had a lovely interaction with a young woman who was my cashier at a local department store. She said that she liked the pattern of the SIXTEEN Christmas cookie plates I was purchasing. I figured that she probably thought it was a little nutty to be buying so many cookie plates, HA! So I explained.

A few years ago I started a tradition with Reese’s teachers, aides and therapists. Every Christmas I give them a new Christmas cookie plate and other treats. After explaining, this young woman immediately said that she loved our tradition. She then shared with me that her nephew was born very prematurely and has many therapists as well. She said that she and her sister were trying to brainstorm Christmas present ideas for her nephew’s therapists. She said that she was excited to share our tradition with her sister and thought that it might be something that she would want to start too. This sweet woman thanked me profusely and then we wished each other well. I left the store with a smile on my face … and then I remembered ROAD RAGE LADY.

And I actually felt badly for her.

Just 20 minutes after experiencing her anger (screaming, honking and fists slamming against her steering wheel) I was blessed by a woman who freely shared her life with me. We connected, albeit briefly, because of two very special children and a village of therapists and helpers who are appreciated beyond measure. I was reminded, in that moment, that my life is filled with an abundance of good souls. And I was overwhelmed with gratitude.

It took me a while to process the good and the bad that had just rapidly entered my life. I thought about the balance of all of it and it made me laugh. Life can be so weird sometimes. And then, I found myself moved to pray for ROAD RAGE LADY. I didn’t just go on with my happy life this time. I thought about her and her fury. And then I prayed that she be blessed with an abundance of good souls in her life too. After all … we are all human.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you forgive someone who you don’t even know!!!

A different kind of adventure awaits …

Although by the feel of our weather you would never know that autumn has arrived. But it has! As much as I love summer this season is often a welcome change. Despite all the back-to-school business and looming craziness of the holidays, life somehow gets a little bit cozier and fun takes on a whole new shape. I am proud to say that we have a lot of family traditions, and during this time of year we have TONS that fill my heart with a special kind of joy. And I simply can’t wait to start them all over again!

Well, I hope you all have a day where a different kind of adventure awaits!!!

Cookies …

Every new school year one of our traditions is to make homemade cookies. Ideally, each week one child picks a cookie they want me to bake and put in their lunches. I say “ideally”, because some school years I can keep it up for quite a while. Then there are those school years that this tradition quickly falls by the way side. Regardless, the day before the first day of school we are baking. But it’s not just baking, it’s spending time together. Talking. Laughing. Reflecting on our summer and discussing the new school year ahead. It’s truly a special time and a tradition that I have come to love.

Well, I hope you all had a day where you made some sweet memories!!!

  

It looks (and feels) a lot like Christmas …

Decorating. Lists. Party planning. Shopping. Menus. The smells. Oh my, yes, the wonderful smells. Guest lists. Trees. Boxes. Wrapping. Tape. And more tape. Music. Santa. Elves on shelves … scary. Chilly weather. Baking. Cookies. And more cookies. Lights. Traditions. Family and friends.

Well, I hope you all had a day where it looked (and felt) A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS!!!