Traditions Revisited

Over the years much of the joy of the holidays involves children - nieces and nephews. The problem is, they grow up and the traditions change to accommodate their ages. One of those traditions was creating gingerbread houses. It was a yearly activity that we looked forward to as did the kids.

Tonight we started a new era of the gingerbread tradition and boy was it fun! Each child had a house (pre-built), a cupcake tin of candies and goodies, and a baggie of frosting. The two year old was fascinating to watch as he analyzed his options, sorted his goodies, and created a rather balanced design. The eight year old created a beautiful house with a high level of creativity. The six (almost seven) year old didn't like the frosting on her fingers, licked them, and then couldn't figure out why the candy kept sticking to her. Her creation was lovely as well with a definite design.

It was a wonderful way to spend a Friday evening and I am grateful for the rebirth of a beloved tradition. I also look forward to future years of decorating gingerbread. I am so blessed to have family member's who are willing to share their children.

Here are two pictures from tonight's activities.







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Technology rocks

I have traveled for a significant part of my working life and have watched technology change over the years, which makes staying connected so much easier.

Today I was able to keep up on work projects/emails between my laptop and cell phone. I could text home photos of the Powerball tickets I purchased (don't ask). I called home to chat about the day and as a bonus talked to a whiney Hazel (she didn't talk back but I could hear her whining for a treat).

I am truly blessed to have so many options for staying in touch. It makes my life easier and helps me not feel as far away from home. I am grateful for technology and the many ways it adds to my life.

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Old is new again

As I mentioned a week ago I have switched positions in the company, which I'm excited for this new challenge. Yesterday I moved from my old office to a new office - officially called "The Cave" because there are no windows and it is long and skinny. But I'm fine with this location and actually really like it - I'm not big into fluorescent lights and so using lamps to light my office is a fun thing (and yes there have been references to vampires when people come into my office because of the lack of light).

But the really cool part is that the desk I had when I was with Paper Crafts magazine is the desk in my new office. It was so fun to sit down to a desk that I had used before. A desk that feels familiar. A desk that welcomes me to my new assignment.

I am grateful to have an old friend back in my life that will support me in my new job.

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Leftovers for dinner

Leftovers are a wonderful thing! They don't require cooking - just reheat. They are often times better than the first time. And they give you something to look forward to. We had beef stroganoff yesterday for dinner and enjoyed leftovers tonight, which meant no cooking for anyone.

I am grateful for meals that can be eaten more than one day and thankful to not have to worry about what to eat for that second meal. Plus, it tasted as good tonight as it did yesterday!

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Nylons and dresses, oh my!

Today's gratitude item may seem weird, but at this point in my life, it is a big deal. I am so very grateful that I don't have to wear nylons and/or a dress every day. Today was the first day I've been to church since my surgery (didn't want to take the scooter buddy with me, but today I could handle walking in and out). What this really means is it is the first time I've worn nylons in a month.

Putting on nylons is always an exciting experience. But imagine doing that while trying not to put weight on one foot - not an easy task. But I succeeded with the nylons, donned the skirt, found one of my flat dress shoes, and off to church I went.

Here comes the second problem with nylons/dress situation. The boot on my foot is secured in place by long velcro straps. They work beautifully, but they are not friends with nylons. I accidentally touched my nylons twice with my boot - those nylons will not be worn again.

So I'm grateful that for work I can wear pants (mainly jeans) so that I don't have to buy nylons on a daily basis :) Some times it is the little things in life that bring such happiness and today was a reminder of that.

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Holiday treats

Well, really what I mean is candy, but I guess some are treats too :) I love the candy and goodies that come with the holidays. The scale doesn't and my pants don't, but there is something lovely about mint M&Ms, Peppermint Bark Dove pieces, Almond Roca, Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark, Mint Truffle Kisses, and Chex Mix (I realize that Chex Mix is available year round but I rarely eat it except during the holidays).

And this year, I'm on the hunt for a couple elusive treats - Gingerbread Creme Oreos and White Chocolate Peppermint M&Ms. I've seen them advertised but have not found them in my local haunts. But I did snag a bag of Peppermint Muddy Buddies that I can't wait to break into.

Could I survive without these treats? Absolutely! Do they add to my life? Most definitely! Chocolate is a great soother. And so I'll enjoy my candy and treats during this holiday season. I'm grateful I live in a country with such indulgences and that I have the means to buy the things I enjoy. Once again, life is good.

P.S. I thought this image was appropriate :)


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Happy Movies

Spent a quiet day at home (except for the running to get new tires, oil change, and car inspection). We watched a few favorite movies on TV - Nanny McPhee, Frosty the Snowman, and Nanny McPhee Returns. Such heart warming shows - a little cheesy at times, but lovely sentiments. There's nothing better than a feel good movie.

I'm grateful that in these crazy times there are things to watch that can lift the spirit and bring a smile to my face. And who doesn't love those adorable Bassets in Nanny McPhee?? What a wonderful day.

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Traditions!!!

Traditions are those things that make life cozy, comfortable, and give you something to look forward to. The holidays are full of traditions - favorite foods, activities, people, etc.

Today I am thankful for Thanksgiving traditions - mincemeat pie, dinner at Harriet's, frog-eye salad, homemade rolls, Mom coming to dinner, spending the day decorating, watching football, and more. These are the things that make the day special. I am grateful for all my many blessings and the opportunity to reflect on all that I have. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Time...

Today I'm grateful for time. It comes in a variety of ways:

  • Time with friends - shopping, catching up on favorite shows, eating at favorite restaurants
  • Time with loved ones - sharing stories from the past, shedding tears together, looking towards the future
  • Time with the hounds - playing, snuggling, watching their antics
  • Time alone - peaceful evenings, reflection time, reading a book
  • Eternal time - the knowledge that I will be reunited with loved ones, that life goes on after this time on earth, that this is but a short time in the grand scheme
I pray that I might use my time wisely and I'm thankful for this time in my life.

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Memories

I was asked to spotlight my mom today, which meant going through photos to find a smattering that represented her life. As I picked through the books and stacks of pictures I was flooded with memories - holidays, playing with my brothers, the snow storm that took out the power, fishing and camping, college days, and so much more. There were also photos that brought a touch of sadness as I thought of what might have been, others that made me laugh out loud at how ridiculous I was at times, and then others that made me smile just because.

I am grateful for these trips down memory lane, even if they do bring up emotions that I may not always want at that moment. And I'm thankful for the many things I've experienced that have created these memories.

Here's a blast from the past photo compliments of my brother Casey. Enjoy your trip down memory lane!


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New adventures

Today I started a new adventure - I moved from the events team to editorial to be the Digital Managing Editor for Creating Keepsakes magazine and Paper Crafts magazine. I am so excited!!

I loved working on the Events team. I met so many amazing people at the conventions and events I've attended. I've worked with amazing exhibitors. And I've shopped a lot :)

But it was time for something new and this position was to good to pass up. Plus, I'll will continue doing one of my favorite things - teaching at events. I am so grateful for the various jobs I have had over the years that have given me the skills I have and the confidence I need to try new things. I have been blessed to work with wonderful people, learn so many things, and enjoy what I do.

I am thankful for those that are willing to let me stretch my wings, give me the opportunity to be the best I can, and share in my passion. I am one lucky girl! Here's to new adventures.

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Helping Others

Today I had the opportunity to help a neighbor with a computer issue. It wasn't a big deal, but she was so appreciative. Better yet, I left feeling so good - I had shared something that I could do with someone else and it had helped them.

I know that losing ourselves in service is far better for us, but it is good to have a reminder. I am grateful for the opportunities I have to help others and pray that I will find other ways I can serve and lift those around me.

P.S. And yes, I realize that service is a never ending circle - it makes me feel good so I serve someone else and when they feel good then I feel good again and serve again. And yes, I am the one who truly benefits, which in some ways makes serving selfish, but I know it is the right thing to do no matter how I feel.

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Expanded Family

I have been blessed to be part of several families that I was not born into, but feel as if I were. They have acted as mother, father, sister, brother, friend, and more over most of my adult life. In a time when so many families are experiencing struggles it is good to be surrounded by so many that care and love me.

One of these adopted families are dealing with a new cancer diagnosis. My heart is breaking and yet as we visited this amazing man today chatting with him was a comfort as he talked about the wonderful life he has had, his desire to not draw out his life but let it come to a natural end, and that he looks at dying as a part of the process and a new adventure. He also spoke of the work he'll do in the next life, the loved ones he will be reunited with, and his knowledge of a Heavenly Father that loves him. Yes, there were tears, but only because we will miss this man more than words can express. At this point we don't know the time frame. But I do know that I am a better person because of my association with him and the love he has shown me. I do not look forward to the day when he will pass, but I am grateful to know that he is at peace.

So today my heart is full as I have thought about the many "family" members in my life, whether they are part of my birth family or those that have graciously adopted me. I am so very, very thankful!

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A good nights sleep

Some nights you sleep good, other nights not so much. Last night was a wonderful nights sleep and what a difference it makes. I am grateful for a comfy bed, lots of pillows, and a ceiling fan that keeps my room cool (because I like to burrow in the blankets), which all factor into a good nights sleep.

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Wonderful, lovely vacation days

Most years when I get to this point in the year I either am scrimping on my vacation time or trying to figure out how to use what I have left. Our company does not allow you to carry over vacation time, which is fine, but I typically end up with about half my days to take in a six week period.

That is the case this year and tomorrow I am taking advantage of this surplus and taking a vacation day. There is something so wonderful about knowing that I don't have to set my alarm for the morning or think about what to wear to work or dream of the weekend, because the weekend is here!!

I am grateful for my wonderful job and so thankful for the vacation time I am allotted, but even more grateful to be taking one of those lovely vacation days tomorrow. Oh the joy of it all.

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Contemplation

It's not like it was a bad day, but this week has been very long and so today I'm grateful for time to contemplate life and review the things I have that make my life wonderful. I am truly blessed - a beautiful and comfortable home, surrounded by people that love me, a good job that I enjoy, hounds that are excited to see and be with me, and so much more.

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Tired puppies

Today was a puppy day care day, which Gracie thinks is the bee's knees! She is the socialite of the facility and starts fussing as soon as she realizes she gets to go. But the best part is the evening after - the puppies are so tired that they eat their dinner, do their business, and then settle in for a long winter's nap. They might wake up for a quick romp at around 9:00, but it doesn't last long.

It's a peaceful night as they each pick a spot, curl up, and sleep in their variety of contortions. Ahh, nothing like a quiet evening, for which I am very grateful. Love these sweet babies.

I love that they still pile on each other when they sleep. The ride home today.

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Unexpected gifts

I had to work half the day today but K and J did not (Veteran's Day). When I got home, I had two unexpected gifts from their day of shopping - a new insulated cup ('ve dropped mine multiple times in the past two weeks and it is cracked) and a necklace & earrings (the Christmas variety). It made my day!! This time of year I wear a different Christmas jewelry combination each day. The new pieces - a cute snowman that is either a necklace or pin and matching earrings. Can't wait to wear them tomorrow.

Some days it's the little things, like unexpected gifts, that make the day extra special. I am grateful for these fun perks in life and for the wonderful people that think of me and know how much it will mean to me.

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Quiet Sundays

I'm grateful for quiet Sundays at home. For time to knit, play with the hounds, be with loved ones, and relax. Quiet is a good thing. Thanks!

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Sleeping in on Saturday morning

I admit it, I love to sleep in. For me, the perfect day starts with no alarm and waking up when I'm ready. I can stay up late, but mornings are not really my thing. This morning, I got up and fed the dogs and then went back to bed. It was delightful!!

I am grateful to live with people that understand this need/love and only occasionally harass me for this indulgence. I'm also grateful for Saturdays when I don't have to set an alarm. Life is good!

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Beautiful, peaceful snow

Oh the loveliness of snow falling. It brings out the child in me as I dream of making snow angels. Watching the snowflakes softly flutter to the ground is mesmerizing. And watching the hounds bounce through drifts as they frolic in play makes me smile.

I am grateful for the moisture snow brings for the coming spring, but more importantly, for the beauty it provides in the moment. Today I give thanks for snow.

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Recovery, slow but steady

A little background about how this title came to be.

I had a bone spur in my left heel and after months of cortisone injections and limited relief surgery was the next step. As I waited out the summer/fall travel season I was scheduled for surgery the end of October. During the summer I also hurt the muscle/tendon in that same heel and re-injured it multiple times.

Day of surgery, showed the doctor a couple of bumps I had on my heel as well that were not from the bone spur. Two hours later he reported that the one hour bone spur surgery turned into an additional hour to repair a partially ruptured achilles tendon. The good news, it wasn't a total rupture. The bad news, no weight placed on that foot for several weeks.

I'm in a boot now and working to stretch the muscle/tendon so that I can place my foot flat on the floor, but until then, I'm slowly working to get it flatter in the boot. Today, I only have one lift in my boot and I can put limited weight on it while standing. Say hallelujah!!

I know that it will still be several weeks before I'm out of the boot and fully healed, but this small step towards recovery has me very thankful.  Life is good!

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Grateful to learn

I took the first half of a knitting class about three weeks ago. I was concerned about whether I would pick up the skills or not since the two friends I took it with learned to knit AND perl and I barely managed to knit - a meager four rows in two hours. Tonight was the second part of the class and even though my friends moved on to new projects, I stuck with my scarf with a promise from the teacher that she'd teach me to perl before the evening was finished.

I'm proud to say that not only can I knit AND perl, but I finally got the hang of cast on - something that took me about a half hour to do in the first class.

It makes me feel good to know that I can still learn things and I'm grateful for patient people that are willing to teach those of us with a desire to learn, even when it is a slow process.

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Christmas Music Sing-a-long

When I need a quick pick me up, singing at the top of my lungs is the perfect fix. And this time of year, a Christmas music sing-a-long is just what the doctor ordered. Lots of traffic on the drive home, but singing "Merry Christmas Darling" with Karen Carpenter makes the time pass effortlessly. The only problem, there are times I can't sing along, like this afternoon as I was stuffing ticket envelopes at work in a shared office (the perfect boring activity to sing while doing) and so I have to watch myself so that I don't create an embarrassing moment.

Regardless, Christmas music makes me happy and I am thankful for the bright spot it provides in my days over the next few months.

P.S. - my Christmas playlist has 276 songs. My favorites - Josh Groban, The Carpenters, SHeDAISY, Voice Male, MercyMe, David Archuleta, Lady Antebellum, and Johnny Mathis. What's on your playlist?

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My own car

Cars are wonderful things, until they quit working. My car died last Wednesday and today it is fixed!! I am grateful for those that gave me rides and shared their cars so I could get to work the past few days. But today I am so very, very thankful for mechanics that can fix problems and grateful to have my own car back.

I think the puppies will be grateful tomorrow when they realize having my car fixed means they are headed to daycare (their favorite activity of the week).

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Corn Chip Scented Basset Babies

There's nothing like a Basset waking up from a nap - they smell of corn chips! They are snuggly, warm, and so adorable. And this is the case for our lady Basset as well. Love having one or more of them cuddled up next to me and am grateful for the comfort and love they provide.

Gracie and Hazel - they love sleeping with each other

Mabel sleeps near wherever you are

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Getting Lost in a Good Book

There are times that escaping to a good book brings such joy. I love finding a story that draws me in, keeps my interest, and is intriguing. The only problem, I want to read all the time! But that's okay, I can pace myself and enjoy the journey. I am grateful for wonderful story tellers that produce books I enjoy reading.

Love the way John Grisham tells a story!

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Grateful for Home

Home is...

  • comfortable
  • a place I belong
  • where I unwind
  • filled with people and pups that love me no matter what

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Gratitude - it lifts my heart and soul

In this month of thankfulness, referred to as November, I have chosen to reflect on the blessings I have. The funny thing is, this week has been a rough one and so identifying the blessings in my life reminds me how good my life is instead of wallowing in self pity, which was not part of the original plan but definitely a benefit.

And so I'll attempt to capture the people, things, events, and more that make my life meaningful and oh, so wonderful. And no, these will not be listed in any particular order but rather influenced by the events of the day.

Today I realize how many wonderful people I am surrounded by. People that are willing to help when needed. Those that are willing to pick up and do what I can't do for myself right now. Loved ones, friends, family, co-workers, and strangers. My heart is filled with gratitude and my eyes with tears as I think of the acts of kindness received this week and especially today.

Image from Remodelaholic and Lexiphilia

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About This Blog

My posts are random. They cover a variety of subjects, but are mostly about things I enjoy, am inspired by, or catch my attention at that moment. I don't ever want to offend anyone by anything I write. This blog is a way to express myself and the interests I have. I hope you enjoy what I share.

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