Friday, November 26, 2010
As I sit here looking at the pile of sale ads, dishes from Thanksgiving and the bags to unpack, I am a bit overwhelmed. I just read a friends blog about making lists and how it will help you feel like you accomplished something. I will do this, after I get off the comfy couch and write for the first time since Halloween.
My life has been busy blessed the past few months in ways I couldn't have planned. In August and September I had the experience of being with a friend who was near the end of his life. I was fortunate to spend time with him and share my special thoughts about our relationship. How often do you share with people what they mean to you in a specific way? Two weeks before he passed I found out I was pregnant with our third baby. I was thrilled and not sure how to share such happy news, at such a sad time in my life. I found myself reflecting on life, birth and death and their similarities. It became important to me to be sure my friend felt safe and secure in this unknown time. I started seeing a possible future for my work I do with families. I may, at some point when my kids are older, work with hospice and help people transition from life to death in a peaceful way. As I helped plan with his celebration of life, I felt the need to remind people to cherish what they have daily. To not hold on to regrets, to make special traditions. Meanwhile I was holding on to this beautiful secret of life.
When I finally had a ultrasound picture and was about 12 weeks, we decided to share the news with our kids. They were thrilled and immediately started sharing the news with everyone we knew! With the news of a baby, brought up the concern of space. We are a family of 4 almost 5 and my husband has to have a office for work, we also home school. So, we are starting to evaluate the space we have and what is best for our family. We are starting to declutter every space and as we do this we are able to see what is really important and what we need. We have had 2 grandma's go through some health changes that have made us more aware of the constant change in life. We are close with our family and want to help as much as possible. We know there is a possibility of having a family member live with us and they will be a welcomed addition.
My husband has also had the opportunity for a new job, which I always feel so blessed when he is in demand. He was faced with a decision to take a job for more money and another organization or to move up within the team he works for and get a raise. He decide that family was the most important. So he will stay with his team and be here more. I am excited for him to be around more with this pregnancy, than the other 2.
So, as I sit here, realizing that I still have list to make in order to go out of town for 2 more Thanksgivings, I am blessed in simple ways. I have family, friends, a warm home and a job. I need nothing. Going shopping doesn't even appeal to me, we have too much. So, as you sit and reflect on the traditions you have for the up coming holiday, see how you can simplify to enjoy what you have. Make experiences come to life. Not just wrap a bunch a plastic toys that will be over looked in a few weeks. Do things for others. Recycle and share you talents and passions. Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend.
Friday, November 5, 2010
We are all about health and wellness, except when it comes to Halloween candy! I believe that traditions are important and kids have fun memories of trick or treating. For the last 5 years we have a had a huge party. It was originally created because the kids were little and we didn't want them to go trick or treating. Well as kids change, so do traditions. They are older and understand the concept of collecting a lot of candy. They were so exciting they both made a map of the neighborhood, planning their route! We went to three different areas, in an effort to see friends and family along the way. After returning the kids began to trade candy. Then they started sorting their candy. The next day it continued again. We then made a candy bar graph. They then did addition problems to figure out how much candy they had in all.
We heard about this program called Operation Gratitude, where local dentists collect candy and send it to the troops. We decided to divide our candy in three groups, the troop pile being the biggest. We then went and asked kids on the street, our park day friends and family to donate to the cause. We found a local dentist who was participating and brought the candy there. The receptionist was thrilled to see us walk in with four grocery size bags of candy! We got to help weigh it all in a teeny scale. We came up with 28 lbs.!!! Shocking! The next part was a surprise for he kids, the dentist pays $1 per pound of candy. So when they were handed $28 in ones, they thought they were rich!! We also made cards to send to the troops. This was a great community project and a nice way to share the sweets.