Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Holidays

As the holidays come to a close and people start returning to the normal grind of daily life, I am taking a few extra moments to remember the true meanings of each Holiday. Not because I am having some deeper feelings about the holidays, but because too often people get lost in buying the world to measure the holidays. This year I spent my holidays with some great people and I have really enjoyed myself. I took my kids to a concert and it was awesome. If I have learned anything, it is time is worth more than anything wrapped in a shiny box.
I love what I do, for businesses , for people, for friends, for families, but most importantly I love what I do for my family. The role that I play the example that I am... that's my holiday

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Precious gifts

This holiday season people are reminded about precious life. While the Jews celebrate the miracle of light for 8 days, something that no one can really explain, Christan's celebrate the birth of a baby born to a virgin, another miracle no one can explain. In both cases we are reminded that our existence is precious. That the people before lived lives that were harsh and full of hardship unthinkable at the time, yet managed to rejoice in the slightest gifts.
This holiday season I will be rejoicing for the precious gifts in my life. The people that have been given to me to guide me, to hold me, to teach me, to make me a better person. And for the people that have knocked some sense into me when I really needed it- yes to you- I hold you very close to my heart!
To my sisters, my life has extra meaning, I have been the "top", the oldest, the mentor, the figure-head, the example (right or wrong), and the "ruler of the little people". While you were learning from me, it is I that have learned from you! Thank you for always excepting me for my faults, mistakes, and stumbles and being there to lift me up back to my "throne" of authority and remind me of my place! I love you! YOU are my precious gifts and I thank Mom and God for each one of you -still a little upset ONE of you wasn't Black ;) but I am working that out through my friendships!
Mom- God does make plans- that is for sure- what a precious gift I believe he gave both of us. Who knew but him what our lives would be... hard to believe how we started out and where we are now. I am glad for my precious gift.
KELLY RICKETTS- YES I am naming you! We have a BOND very few in a life-time would ever share! Tell me God doesn't plan... what a precious gift!
Megan- I couldn't write enough in here. I have 15 years of a daily reminder to look at, and believe me, I do. When I see my son, I remember the people that were there for me the most and you (and your hubby) are precious gifts only God can create and I am so grateful I was selected to be your friend!
Finally, to my husband, there is so many things I could and would say. So many people have had there thoughts about "us" in the beginning and after almost 11 years I am pretty sure everyone knows that YOU are the most precious gift I have received. The day you sat next to me holding my hand when I learned I had MS pretty much sums it all up. I thought my life ended, and you assured me it just started! YOU were right! Here I sit today, a COLLEGE Graduate (with HONORS!) accepted into the Masters program (WITH YOU) starting in January, with three GREAT kids, a great house, cute dogs, a cute car, and a great life. Yeah... you were right... that day my life didn't end, it changed that was it and you have been there every step, I am beyond BLESSED! I love you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Sometimes I think it is better not to know everything. When we are little one of our favorite words is "why". We want to know everything. We need to know what makes things run, work, happen, and not work. As we get older we find those answers sometimes the hard way, and sometimes through others. I have seen my share of "wish I didn't know that" and "I sure am glad I know that" but sometimes there are things in life you just can't prepare yourself for. Those are the things that hurt your heart. Those are the things you wish you didn't know. I think people would laugh a little more, dance a little longer, and hug just a little tighter if the things they didn't know never happened. Sounds kind of strange, but people end up shielding their heart afraid someone will come in and shatter it they end up missing out on the finer things of life. We get this one chance to enjoy it... we better make it a good one with the things we know...

Yeah... I know how to live... one wave at a time!

Treasure Chest

It's always the little things in life that you miss during the holidays that you come to realize as you get older. Certain smells if things were cooked, or certain traditions- maybe even snow (for a day!). I remember when I was little we would travel to my grandparents at some point and feast with family- extended too! People that I couldn't tell you exactly how they were related- just that they were family- mine, and they all loved me too! My sisters and I would get new dresses (some years matching) and new shoes, we would run around, cause after all that's what kids do, and then we would all come together and sit down for a huge dinner. I remember people would fuss over my Grandpa (nothing was wrong with him) and I would think when I get older will I fuss like that? Now I would give anything to fuss over him, if only for a little bit... But we all got older, traditions have changed, families have moved, and what was once important has shifted.
When I moved to Florida I was blessed by a husband who not only loved me, but loved my son. In addition to that his family took us in and put up with my "demanding" ways. I brought with me "my" way of thinking and "my" way of doing things. Who knew there were other ways of doing the holidays? But with love and patients they let me in...
Last year I was quick to put up my tree, my village, the wreath, and decorate the house. It was wonderful!

I just fell in love with the look and everything. That was last year! (actually I think the pictures are from two years ago because last year  I even had a train!)
This year came and it just hit. Life is life, you would think that with graduating school I would be flying high- that just wasn't the case. I heard over and over again how proud everyone was, and although my children were there to see my husband and myself walk it just felt like something was missing. Quickly the weeks passed.
Christmas came.
Anyone who truly knows me, knows it is a struggle and not my favorite time of year anyway, I push through, but enough "baggage" weighs me down and I generally glide through the holidays hoping I don't drink my weight. This year was like a rock got stuck in my throat and I just haven't been able to get past it, nor have I really been able to really express it.
It hit me. For years since I moved down, I have always purchased two wreaths. One I would decorate for my house, and other I always decorated very similar for Nana. She would always make a big fuss about how "us kids" (Rich was her grandson) shouldn't spend our money on that sort of thing, but then she would spend the whole holiday going on and on about it, totally delighted over a wreath. I always put some sort of little trinkets on it, and I never knew what happened to those. I know she saved them. That's another story, I guess... 
Last year she was gone. So I only made one wreath, and I thought about her the whole time I made it and how she would comment on how lovely it was. When I hung it up last year I smiled, and shed a tear. This year, there is no wreath. I don't know, maybe it was just my schedule, maybe it was just on purpose. Maybe it was easier... I know I thought that when she passed away there would be a little treasure chest of all the little trinkets from the last few years from the wreaths as I had watched her carefully take them apart and save the bows and little pieces telling me as she did how much it meant to her. It meant something to me, I guess, I belonged, if even for a little bit. I was so hurt to find the way her treasures were treated.
When my Grandpa passed there was a world of things my Grandma made sure that we knew was still there to touch, to feel, to be apart of, but I know even some of that is slowly slipping away. My Grandma has given us the biggest blessing of them all, with memories of photos, and stories and some bow-ties :)- I really wish I had taken some! But the memory of them and all the other precious moments will live with me in my memory treasure chest!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lack of understanding

I was raised in a house learning religion. Learning about forgiveness, and most importantly God's grace. Love has always been something I have held dear, and forgiveness is something, that although hard at times, I have learned. People in my life have often remarked at the fact that it takes lava to get me to my boiling point, but like lava, I too have learned to cool under some of the most hurtful situations.
I witness people turning to God, using God as some sort of way to almost excuse their own behavior towards others. I guess I lack the understanding or I lack the knowledge where it is in the scripture that says treat some people in a righteous manner while walking over other and being down right cruel to others. That part may have been removed from my Bible, and that's okay, I wouldn't want a Bible that makes actions okay for some and not okay for others.
I guess what I am getting at is something I read recently (Thank you Kim). It talked about people who TALK about needing to work on their relationship with God (not saying that is a bad thing), but find themselves gossiping about anyone, or putting people down in subtle ways rather than lifting people up. The article went on to talk about how people are so quick to express their religious beliefs yet cut out family members for actions they didn't agree with. Pretty sure that isn't in the Bible either. Now I am not saying go hug your drug dealing, gun smuggling relative and help them commit a felony. But condemning family members and shutting them out for things they may not even understand, while in the same breathe spreading God's love for everyone- take a good look at yourself! Try...
I love my family, all of them (yes I said it)! One way or another either by blood or adoption, or marriage, my family has embedded themselves into my life and I would move heaven and earth for them. When they hurt I hurt. It sickens me to know however, that there is a member of my family that for whatever reason has decided that it is better that my family is not apart of their lives. WOW! But please by all means- love the Lord with all your heart!
This holiday season I have tried my best to toe the family line and be jolly. I guess the reality of the holidays really hit me when I realized my kids were not going to school today- I haven't even set up the Christmas village. The house is barely decorated. The tree and the lights are done, but that's about it. If my wonderful hubby didn't have a part in it, it didn't happen. It's hard to explain, it's hard to understand... mainly because I lack the understanding of why! But like she likes to say over and over again, I guess it's all part of God's plan!