December again…

time_for_champagne-party_invitations-tokketok-whiteSo here we are, December once again. And as it does every year at this time in addition to the usual hubbub of merry celebrations and all other things jubilant, I celebrate a birthday.

All of my life I always felt somewhat cheated by having a birthday a mere 10 days before Christmas. Between commitments and illness, few friends attended my parties as  child. Once I got older I preferred to just skip over the whole thing entirely. Not because I disliked getting older…I know some have a real hang up about that but I don’t. I just got tired of being disappointed by those who could not celebrate; it’s hard to compete with the hoopla of the Christmas season. When my favorite guy and I got hitched this became a bit of a sticking point because he is a major birthday celebrator.

But this year I will be 50. Anyhow the discussions about birthday celebrations began early this year and were all over the place. I could easily rule out doing something at our home because we all know who would be doing most of the work for that kind of party. So I considered having a party out somewhere. Wow, can that get pricey! Then I thought I would rent a house up north for a few days and have all our kids there and spend time playing and hanging around together. Whoa—do you know how much that costs?!

I decided to speak with a friend from work who heads north to New Hampshire regularly about a place to stay and do you know what? She is letting us stay in their home for the time for free! Yep, no cost at all! I am so blessed. She has a perfect little log cabin in the woods. Sleeps just enough for all the gang. Even has a hot tub under the stars. Today she came in to show me the photo’s of the Christmas tree that they put up this past weekend.

So we will be heading north for a few days. With the exception of our daughter on the west coastm all the kids, spouses, significant others and grandson is coming. We will be playing in the great outdoors for sure! Hopefully there will be plenty of photo’s, laughs, food, and memories to share.

For today it brings me Joy and Thanks just thinking about it.

Gratitude Week 1

As I sat reading blog posts I was inspired to write a weekly reflection of sorts. My hope is to challenge myself to identify the beauty in each day and grow in gratitude as I realize all that I am blessed with. I wrote a brief post earlier in the week that I am sure if you read it you appreciated the undercurrent of strife with which I was contending. I received some great advice as a result of that post and continued to spend some time in quiet reflection pondering the situation. I realized that I don’t have to be stressed—it is a choice. Well I chose to let it go, surrendered it to God. You see the reason He exhorts us to give thanks in all things is because when we are being thankful and have a heart full of gratitude and a mouth of praise it is IMPOSSIBLE to be grumpy, stressed, unhappy or contentious. So as I look back at my week here are some of the things I choose to be thankful for.

*Celebrating another birthday with my wonderful mom, sister, and daughter number 2. We are not all so fortunate to have so many lives to love who love us back.

*Spending quiet time on my yoga mat, meditating, and praying.

*Having a wonderful husband who cares enough to listen when I came home after an unpleasant day. Again not all are so fortunate.

*Winning a book from Goodreads by an author I enjoy very much. I was thrilled to receive it in the mail and have already started reading. Prayer, by Timothy Keller.

*Luxuriating at the Spa of Essex yesterday where daughter number 2 did my monthly facial after I enjoyed the steam room followed by the most scrumptious, engulfing chair you would every want to sit in!

* Caring for beautiful, courageous women battling with breast cancer who daily bring encouragement and strength into my life. Today I had a message from a mom whose daughter I helped navigate the most complicated insurance problem I have ever encountered—the news—she was reinstated!!

*I will even celebrate the snow powdered ground to which I awoke this morning. While winter is not my favorite season there is a still and quiet beauty that comes this time of year.

 

I am encouraged by the simple splendor found in my daily life. I hope to make this a regular weekly post, please join me if you are up to the challenge!

IMG_5575

~Paige

What May Brings

May

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.”
–  Robert Frost

I feel this poem reflects how quickly time passes. It seems as though it was just last week that we were talking about New Year’s goals. Each month I have spent time reviewing my goals, updating and adding new ones. I have found this to keep me on task and even challenge me to new heights. I want to thank you dear readers for encouraging and reading along.

As I peek into May I get a glimpse of a busy and diverse month. In our family May has more birthday’s than any other. We will celebrate the births of my son, brother, niece, nephew and our granddaughter. I expect this will bring a few photo opportunities as we take Piper to the circus and for her first carousel ride.

Piper Jean

My husband has picked up the planks to build two raised beds that I intend to grow some vegetables in. More photo opportunities here.

We will be honoring the mother’s of our two soon to be born grandchildren at a baby shower. Yet more photo’s.

I plan to honor my chosen profession of nursing this month as we celebrate Nurse’s week from May 6-12th. I hope to bring a couple of guest posts as well as a few posts of my own.

The Foodies also have tentative plans for a late May gathering to kick-off summer. You can check out our other adventures on the newly created Foodie page. I think I will begin to add recipes our favorite prepared dishes.

Finally, at least for now are our plans to travel to the Delaware Water Gap next weekend to take part in a digital photography course. I have high expectations for this weekend. I am sure I will have marvelous things to share when I return.

Landscape in April

Above is a photo in our backyard last weekend. The colors are popping out all over the place.

What plans do you have for the month of May?