This time of year is a time of celebration for so many of us.

This sweet little girl is celebrating her second birthday.  She was a VERY unexpected gift to our family.  We have learned so much from her.

20

You know the saying, “Enjoy every minute because they grow up so fast”.  I have finally been able to take that advice.  I do enjoy every minute with her.  Of course there are still trying toddler times!  It’s not all roses and sundaes, but the little things really don’t matter as much anymore.  Tantrums make me laugh now- sometimes.  And it’s not all about me anymore.  Sure, tantrums are annoying, they throw your plans off track, they make getting from point A to point B almost impossible, and they are inevitably over something SO RIDICULOUS.

Like the time when the Elmo sippy cup was dirty and I gave her the plain red sippy cup.  She wanted Elmo.  I wanted to get her fed, cleaned up and off to our appointment.  Neither seemed unreasonable, but they were diabolically opposed to each other!  The fully filled plain red sippy cup came catapulting from the high chair.  Spill proof lids- yeah, right.  Then came the food.  Before launching it to the ground, she smeared and smushed it all over her tray, then rubbed it all through her hair.  Next came the exorcism like body contortions.  Thank God she was securely fastened in her high chair.

With my first two kids, the upcoming appointment we were surely going to be late for, would have been my driving force.  Stress and anxiety would have taken over, and I would have had a tantrum right along with them!  But now I can see the tantrum for what it is, put aside my agenda and calmly diffuse the situation.  No, I did not magically morph into Mother Theresa or Super Nanny.  I do not react to every situation with calmness and grace.  I still get worked up and add myself to the Worst Parent Ever list.  But the overall trend is much better now.

Please join me in celebrating unexpected gifts and invaluable life lessons as my sweet little girl turns 2!

This brave lady is also celebrating a birthday.

IMG_1305

All birthdays are cause for celebration.  But this birthday is especially celebratory!!  My Mom is celebrating being in remission!  I could write an entire book on all the lessons learned while a loved one is experiencing a cancer diagnosis.  Today, I am celebrating my Mom and honoring her journey through this devastating disease.

Please join me in celebrating life!

My husband and his father are also celebrating birthdays this week.

IMG_0814

 

My husband works in the shipping industry and is working really hard to make sure all the Christmas packages are delivered on time.  As more and more demands are placed on our time, we have less and less resources to tackle those demands.  It’s easy to forget about what is truly important this time of year.  We have to be very intentional about how we spend our limited time together.

Please join me in celebrating honoring your work AND taking time to slow down, and truly enjoy the magic of this season.

This is the night sky. The hands holding the heart. This romantic.

As there is so much to celebrate, there is also so much heart break and tragedy in our world.

December 14, 2015 is the 3rd anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.  There are so many terrible, unimaginable things happening in our world, but this one really knocked me off course.  When Days of Our Lives was interrupted to bring me the breaking news, I went into a downward spiral.  My 5 and 7 year old kids were in school at that moment, and for the first time ever, I REALLY feared for their safety at school.  Up until then, I worried about them falling down on the playground, getting teased by their friends, being too shy to raise their hands in class and forgetting their lunch boxes.  I never once imagined they could be brutally murdered in their classrooms!  This was a whole new level of fear and anxiety for which I was not prepared.

It took me some time, but I did learn some lessons from this senseless tragedy.

  • Be informed, but not obsessed.  Of course it’s important to know what is happening in the world, but setting boundaries and limits is even more important.  I had to know exactly what and why this happened and was obsessed with finding out.  No amount of internet surfacing, news watching, or Facebook scrolling will reveal exactly what happened, or WHY.  Move on.  Focus your energy on what you can control.
  • Be kind and accepting.  Teach your kids to do the same.  Adam Lanza was a troubled soul.  Maybe if people had been more understanding and accepting of him, this shocking tragedy would have never happened.
  • Be aware.  Surely people knew this young man was troubled.  Surely there were signs.
  • Practice forgiveness.  This can be really hard.  But for true healing to happen, it is necessary.
  • Practice gratitude.  Be grateful for your loved ones.  Be grateful for your mental health.  Don’t take anything for granted.
  • Choose love over fear.  I wrote more about this on September 11.  Don’t live in fear.  Fear fuels the anger and destruction.  When you come from a place of fear, you make choices that are not aligned with your soul.  Fear leads to defensiveness and judgement that feed into adversity.  When you come from a place of love, you make choices based on kindness, acceptance, and gratitude.  You take power away from the driving force of the tragedy.

Katie came into our lives almost exactly one year to the date of this unexplainable tragedy.  I don’t find this coincidental.  The Universe gave me a gift of unconditional love.  When your heart is filled with love, joy and excitement, there is no room for unhealthy fear.

Please join me in celebrating love, joy and excitement as horrible tragedies continue to happen at an alarming rate in our world!

Honor your celebrations.  Count your blessings.  Pray for peace.

Do you believe you can make a difference?  I invite you to take action.  Leave a comment.  Sign up for my newsletter.  Schedule a free consultation.  Be the change.

Leave a Comment