Hello January!

Playground.2Hello and welcome to January.  I cannot believe that we are now 18 days into the new year.  My that time has flown. Hope you are having a great week.  Mine has been pretty good but our unseasonably warm weather is wreaking havoc on my allergies and sinuses.

I have missed writing and hope to be back to it soon on a more regular basis.  The holidays were a whirlwind and I enjoyed down time and family time.  Now that school is back in session, we are busy again.  We are back to the routine of busy mornings, homework, and all of the rest.

I haven’t been inspired this week to write and that is frustrating.  I have many things and people on my mind and am stressed.  Sadly when I get stressed, my body and my stomach are affected.  So, I am trying to do things to help with my stress — watching what I eat today, relax and do some fun things, take a walk later today, do some coloring and a word find, and perhaps I will start meditation.  That would certainly help.

Life is pretty good but every once in a while I think about loved ones who have passed away, loved ones who are now suffering with loss, pain or health issues, loss of jobs, loss of homes and community, and so much more.  I am having one of those days today.  I will do my best, may have a cry, listen to some music, and try to focus on all of the positives.  And, I may go to bed early and hope for a better day tomorrow.

I have a book entitled, The Daily Writer.  Today’s writing is on The Art of Concentration. How is that for irony?  Concentrating on writing has been a challenge in recent weeks as I have mentioned. I hope to be able to concentrate again soon and find new topics that inspire me. I certainly didn’t mean to start on such a downer for my first writing of this new year.  But, it always helps me work through it when I write about it and what I am thinking.

Here are a few quotes about and from the amazing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose life we celebrated on Monday.  He is an inspiration in how he lived his life, fighting for what he believed in, his speeches and his writings.

  • “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope… and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” ~ “Robert F. Kennedy
  • The time is always right to do what is right.”  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “Everybody can be great.  Because anybody can serve.  You don’t have to have a college degree to serve.  You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace.  A soul generated by love.”  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.”  ~ Franklin Thomas
  • “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”  ~ Anne Frank
  • “Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.”  ~ William James
  • “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

May we remember it is okay to have some down days.  May we live each day with kindness, empathy and peace.  May we learn from others different than ourselves and respect each other.  May we fight for what we believe without harm to others.  And, may we remember to always, always love.

End of 2013 / Happy New Year!

party.hatsCan you believe that today is the last day of 2013?  Neither can I!

This year has flown by for us.  It has been a good one with many changes – both good and bad.  Now is the time to look back on the year that was and think ahead to the coming year.

For the first time in many years, my family didn’t have a vacation this year.  I hope that we can change that and enjoy the rest of our break for Ian from school.  Perhaps we can do a few things around town and have fun!

We lost a few people who are close to us this year and that has been really hard.  Several friends and family members are having health issues and I am praying for them to get better very soon.  I hope also that we will have a wonderful and healthy coming year!  Hope you will as well!

Also, this year I began working with the PTO at Ian’s school.  I am serving as the secretary.  It has been a great way to meet people and get involved.  I have made some new friends as well.  So this has been a fun use of my time.

This week, I read in a magazine some fun items for the end of 2013.  Here they are with my answers:

**Plans at Midnight:  I hope to be awake long enough to kiss my husband and say Happy New Year!  We usually watch the ball drop in Times Square with a sleeping boy in his room and us fighting to stay awake.  Nights out partying into the new year are a thing of the past.

**Celebratory Drink: White Zinfandel in a glass with ice.  This is my favorite way to give a toast!  To 2013, cheers.  To 2014, may it be a good one!

**Hangover Cure:  Don’t drink enough to need this.

**One Word To Describe 2013: Changes.  With Ian starting school and so much else going on, it truly has been a year of transition for us.  It was hard at first but knowing how much he loves school and learning has made it so much easier.

**Dream Travel for 2014: I hope my family can go to the beach for vacation and see my cousin in South Carolina (perhaps the same trip or two trips).  We’ll see what we can do.

Tonight our church has a service that we plan to attend.  We will celebrate communion, which is a cool way to usher out the old year, I think.  And, then we’ll eat with my parents and get home before it gets too late.

Then Wednesday late morning, I plan to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade in its entirety.  This, in my opinion, is by far the best parade of the year.  Ian is looking forward to it as well.  A lazy day will be wonderful!!!  Whatever you do to celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, may you be safe and careful!

Here are the words of Auld Lang Syne, which I am sure we will hear at some point tonight.  What do you think of the words?  I think it’s important to remember old acquaintances and be thankful for them.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Here are a few quotes about New Year’s:

  • “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” — Oprah Winfrey
  • “Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”– Brad Paisley
  • “We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” — Edith Lovejoy Pierce
  • “May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions.” — Joey Adams

Happy New Year!

Happy.New.Year.2013Today is the first day of 2013.  Can you believe that?  I know I sure can’t.

The year 2012 flew by and was full of many good things and some bad as well.  I am hopeful for a better year this year.

Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions this year?  This is the start of a new year and a new slate so we can resolve to make some changes.

Or we can just plan to make them and not be done with them after a few months as often happens with resolutions.

Here are a few things that I want to do in 2013:

  • Have more time with my friends and family
  • Write regularly and make time for writing a story or book
  • Practice the piano more often
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes each day
  • Eat less and eat better food
  • Read my Bible each day
  • Prepare myself for Ian starting kindergarten
  • Have regular dates with my husband
  • Read more and watch less television
  • Finally lose the baby weight!!!

These are the first things that I could think of.  Perhaps there are more but I think this is enough for now.

I hope that you too can do whatever you set your mind to as this new year begins!  Enjoy!!

A few quotes about the new year:

  • “New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday.”  ~ Charles Lamb
  • “Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”  ~ Hal Borland
  • “Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits. ” ~ Author Unknown
  • “A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.”  ~ Author Unknown
  • “Every man should be born again on the first day of January.  Start with a fresh page.  Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past.”  ~ Henry Ward Beecher
  • “New Year’s Day:  Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.  Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”  ~ Mark Twain

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

It is now the first day of 2012, January 1st. Another year full of possibility and new beginning! A clean slate as they say.

I looked up on Webster’s web site the definitions for the three words that make up this celebratory phrase that we say at the beginning of each year.  Here is what I found:

  • Happy — characterized by well-being and contentment
  • New — a beginning
  • Year — 365 days (or 366 this year) required for one revolution of the earth around the sun

When we say this to a friend or family member, we are in essence wishing them a contented new trip around the sun. Pretty cool, isn’t it? I do like this tradition of wishing well to others. And honestly wish the best for them!

And 2012 is a leap year! This year we have another day to enjoy.  The friends of mine born on February 29 will actually have their birthday on the calendar! How great is that? And, how weird to think your birth date is only on the calendar once every four years?

I hope and pray that we can enjoy each day and live life to the fullest. My friend Dawn included a great quote this morning in her post that I had to borrow.  It sums up the sentiment of this new year so well for me.

I don’t really want more time; I just want enough time.

Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing  joy…

I just want time to do my one life well.   —-Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

Wow, time to laugh, breathe deep and laugh long (which I love to do), and to do my one life well!  I wonder if we can do that.  I am sure going to try!!!

Remembering 2011

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.- Hal Borland

That is a quote I found when looking up information about year’s end. I like the sentiment of going on with what you’ve learned in the previous year.

It is hard to believe there are less than 2 days now left of 2011 and then we start 2012. This year seems to have flown by.  We started the year with the loss of a dear uncle, then lost other ones dear to us throughout the year. These losses were hard but each day gave way to new hopes and opportunities and healing from those losses.

In addition to these losses were also wonderful new lives that came — my cousin had a beautiful daughter and a dear friend’s granddaughter was born.  And, other new and exciting things – my son using the potty for the first time, starting to learn his letters, drawing amazing pictures, and having amazing thoughts on a variety of subjects.

This year was quite busy for me and my family.  We traveled several places throughout the year — some for business and some for vacation. Each trip was fun and full of something new.  Whether we were visiting friends and family or visiting a new location, we enjoyed the time that we had. And at the end of each trip, we were blessed to get back home to our house, our community, and church.

Also this year we celebrated many birthdays. My family makes a big deal of birthdays for both the children and adults. And I have to admit that I love that! One day to celebrate another trip around the sun is very special and a gift. That is still a time to feel special and see everyone who truly loves you. A true blessing, that’s for sure.

I also was able to reconnect with some friends and had a great time planning a high school reunion. It was fascinating to hear about everyone’s different path in life. And, we came together to celebrate, get reacquainted, and even start new relationships.

I enjoyed a trip to the beach as well. This is the beach I have been going to since I was a child. It is still a magical place for me and a place that I love to visit! And, now Ian is starting to love as much as I do. We visited with friends and family — some people who we see just once a year. We make the most of that time and start back right where we left off.  Do you have people like that in your life?

Much more could be said about this year, but I mainly want to think back on my memories and hold them near and dear. I have learned to take each day and make the most and best of it. And, I continue to learn to be thankful for all of the gifts that I have and continue to receive.

I do wonder if we carry that wisdom and experience into 2012. I hope and pray that we can.