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We Honor You

wehonoryou

It’s Memorial Day.  Everywhere I look it seems I see flags flying high and parades of proud Americans marching in honor of Memorial Day.  Today we are reminded of the sadness in memory of our fallen who served our country.  We remember.

I remember.  I take a few minutes this morning with my coffee to remember those who have gone before me and even those who are still here who have served our country.  I have a lot of family who served our country.  Some are still here, others have passed away.  But each one of them proudly served and were changed by their experiences.  To have a day set aside in ceremony to honor them warms my heart.

When I try to think about the sacrifices that those in the military have given up for us, it feels unimaginable.  The changes that seem to occur through their unique experiences holds such a tender spot in my heart for I know I cannot even begin to fathom what they’ve endured, when they have seen battles and even when they haven’t.

I imagine the changes in psyche that occur for those in military service.  It cannot be otherwise the civilian in me thinks.  Just the training and mindset to be willing to serve our country and the courage to potentially lay down your life for what you believe in and for countless strangers and citizens.   I’m in awe.  I’m honored.

So please accept my humble thank you to all on this day.  I remember you.

Shine On!

xo

 

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

stpatrick

May the blessing of light be upon you,

Light on the outside,

Light on the inside.

With God’s sunlight shining on you,

May your heart glow with warmth

Like a turf fire,

That welcomes friends  and strangers alike.

May the light of the Lord shine from your eyes,

Like a candle in the window,

Welcoming the weary traveler.

Keep shining your heartlights dear friends!  We are loved and blessed!

Shine On!

xo

 

Cheers!

cheers

We have a restaurant that is similar to Cheers in our life.  For years, it has been a staple for us to go to for birthday occasions, for nights when cooking just felt like too much effort or when we just wanted to get together with friends at the bar for a drink.

There’s something special about a place where everybody knows your name – or at least some people do!  I think we all feel that way when we share experiences.  I know for me, I feel very grateful that when I go there, whether as a family or with friends.  I feel like someone’s watching out for me.  Someone whom I trust.

It’s a locals place – our neighborhood Cheers.  It’s not a franchise chain restaurant, but one that has stood the test of time for many years, even though the owners have changed, and even improved it!  I have so many delightful memories in that place and whew – if the walls could talk – they’d surely sing of a myriad of nights spent there for all different reasons.

The food is consistently good.  The help are personable and many have been working there for years so we know them well – and they know us!  My favorite bartender of all time is nicknamed Pal and we’ve known each other over twenty years.  He’s the manager now of our local Cheers, but I remember when he first got married and had kids and he remembers when I did too!  Isn’t it nice to just have a lovely friend?  I just wanted to see if any of you have a Cheers place in your neighborhood?

In case you forgot the theme song, here it is below!  Enjoy!

Shine On!

xo

The Magical Allure of Balsam

themagicalallureofbalsam

I am still thanking Pedro, even days later and probably will until the tree comes down.  After all, that delicious smell of a fresh Christmas tree greets me every morning when I get my coffee and immediately, it puts a smile on my face!  For me, that balsam smell is associated with the thrill and child-like anticipation that comes during the Christmas season, most specifically for me on Christmas morn.  Even as a parent, there is a thrill of anticipation upon waking Christmas morning!  It’s that joy of giving.  That joy of family and love that permeates every moment.  It’s just being grateful for all of the blessings in our lives.  It’s the magic in the spirit of Christmas!

I’m grateful for being here every day, but especially upon waking on Christmas morning with my children.  It’s innate within me.  I am like a child, fully excited when it comes to Christmas.  I’ve always been this way, ever since I was little.

The smell of a fresh tree immediately brings me back to being a little girl, waking up on Christmas morning and seeing those presents under the tree.  If I sit quietly, I can easily remember that joyful feeling along with the thrill and magic of how Santa brought us presents while we were sleeping.  It wasn’t ever a lot of presents, but just the right amount.  It was in the excitement of anticipation of what’s inside the prettily decorated wrappings that charged me up!  It was also, as I got older, the happy anticipation of giving special presents to those whom I loved.  Finding that special trinket or sweater or special toy that couldn’t be found anywhere and delivering it to my loved ones with joy for knowing that they would be happy!

Christmas is about family being together on Christmas morning.  Waking up, sleepy with joyful anticipation for what Santa (ahem Mom) brought and what thoughtful gifts each of us in turn have gotten each other.  It doesn’t have to be a big deal.  It’s about giving the Presents of Presence to each other.  Being there, in that priceless moment of glee that’s filled with love and family.

What about you?  Does the smell of a fresh cut tree bring back memories of childhood Christmases and the anticipation of presents magically appearing under the tree for you too?

Shine On!

xo

 

The Year Without A Santa Claus

Heat Miser?  Snow miser?  Mother Nature?  Mrs. Claus?  Jingle and Jangle the elves along with Vixen the little reindeer who they pretend is a dog?

Does any of that ring a bell for you?  A little twinkle of nostalgia?  A little song in your heart?  It sure does to mine!

So on a Tuesday morning, let’s keep the holiday spirit bright with a little nostalgia!  And just for the record, a white Christmas would be perfect for me!

Shine On!

xo

A Charlie Brown Christmas

ABC's "Charlie Brown"

Does this photo bring back memories of watching A Charlie Brown Christmas?  It does for me!  I love those old shows and I always watch them during the Christmas season.  That tree always makes me smile when I see it because it’s such a good reminder to keep Christmas simple and not fraught with commercialism.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
12And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.”

Linus then walks over to Charlie Brown and says, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

When I was looking for a photo for the post today, I found it here along with some fun facts about the movie!    Don’t forget to sing along at the end,

Enjoy!

Shine On!

xo

 

Thanksgiving Blessings

thanksgivingblessings

“Not what we say about our blessings,
but how we use them,
is the true measure
of our thanksgiving.”
~ W.T. Purkiser

On this Thanksgiving morning, let me reach out to wish you all a day filled with love, with blessings, with gratitude and with being surrounded by loved ones.  Be more patient today.  Be kinder today.  Be loving today.  Be grateful for all the goodness in your life – from the biggest to the smallest of blessings!

Happy Blessed Thanksgiving to all!

Shine On!

xo