Monday, December 31, 2007

Farewell 2007!

Hello Friends,

Welcome to Monday and the last day of 2007.

While most people are taking their Christmas decorations down, I am sprucing mine up. I love to celebrate with a last hurrah to ring in the New Year before we put everything away until the next holiday season.

It just tickles me to hang twirly streamers and metallic curling ribbon all over the house. We have several lighted table-top decorations and a big "Happy New Year" banner, that makes the house look extra special. Finally, I add sparkly curls, New Year party hats, and horns to our already beautiful Christmas tree.

Dave and I have plans to go out for dinner and then dancing. So even though we will not be having a party at home, Mason and Melody (his sitter) will be here having pizza, snacks, and sparkling cider in glass champagne flutes. Yes, Real glass! He is so excited to be having a party that is just for him, and decorating the house, makes it that much more meaningful.

My motivator for this last day of 2007 is from a beautiful book, Simple Abundance:

Chill something bubbly. Honor the Old Year with a farewell toast, welcome the New Year within. Offer thanks. Celebrate how far you've come, how much you've learned, and the glorious person you really are. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Motivator

Hi Friends,
It is Christmas Eve and I do believe I have succeeded in my quest for a stress free holiday. There has been very little party-going and entertaining, and I have to say, it has been nice. I have been able to be with Dave and Mason, and we have been able to attend the events we really wanted to. This is not to say we do not like to get dressed up and go out. It is just that sometimes it all becomes too much. Too much scheduling, too much rushing, and just too much go, go, go.

Today we are going to see Alvin and the Chipmunks, and then we will deliver our Christmas pies to our neighbors. Dave baked each neighbor a delicious apple-raspberry pie, and I am complimenting his pie with my beautiful snowflake sugar cookies. Have a merry, merry Christmas and take a moment to really take in today's motivator. I think it is a wonderful message everyday, but especially to ring in a new year.

Love to you and yours!


This Christmas

This Christmas mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Think first of someone else. Be kind and gentle. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it still once again. Anonymous

Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday Motivator

Today is my birthday and I must be growing up. Having a December birthday is great, but unless it is set up properly from the very beginning, it can be a bummer (I've been told). I am very lucky in this regard as my mom made it a point to differentiate my birthday from Christmas. I never get a combination gift and my birthday presents are never wrapped in Christmas paper.

In years past, my birthday was a month-long event. I would start counting down the days the first of December, and I celebrated everyday as if it were the 17th. My coworkers, business associates, friends, relatives and even total strangers were informed that I was celebrating my birthday-month. Of course, there would be a party. It might be dinner with friends, or a full blown, "all hours of the night" bash to bring everyone together, sometimes both! Whatever the case may have been, it was a pretty self-indulgent time.

The last several years have been quite the opposite. My birthdays have become a day in a month. I think about my birthday in terms of my past accomplishments and how much more I still have to do. I look in the mirror and see a woman who cares so much more for others than she does for herself, and I like that. This is just to say I have a life that is stimulating and full with the love of a husband and child, our animals, great friends, and all the opportunity in the world. I have realized that I am the least interesting, and life is so much better lived being interested.

I'm not sorry I spent so much time being into me. I think it lends my best years to giving to others, and that feels great. Today is my birthday and I will celebrate being older without being old. Now I have to get Mason off to school, meet with the trainer to run in the rain, finish my Christmas cookie gifts, volunteer at Mason's school for two hours, and Dave said I have to pick up the dog poop in the back yard. Yep, it's my birthday! Laughing!

"Youth is a circumstance you can't do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old." Frank Lloyd Wright

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday Motivator

Merry Christmas!

This weekend Mason and I made Christmas cookies. It is really a task with a 4 year old, but as much work as it is, it is worth every moment of the 15 minutes he spends decorating a dozen cookies.

I remember when I was growing up, my mom did lots and lots of baking. She must have started right after Thanksgiving and made every kind of Christmas cookie in the book. I helped with some, but decorating the cut-out cookies was the best. When I was little, the frosting we used was homemade butter cream. It was thick and sweet, and never got hard. That meant that we had to lay the cookies out one by one, and you couldn't stack them up without smearing and messing them up. We had to decorate them using a butter knife, so the detail was not that good. We used sprinkles and shiny gold and silver balls, so even with the butter knife spreading, they were the prettiest cookies of the season.

Mason has a few advantages. Being a former professional cake decorator, I have bags and tips. We mix our icing using meringue powder so it dries hard thus, not messing up your work of art. We don't have the gold and silver balls anymore because they are no longer for sale in California, but we have ways around that. We have a ball talking about the kind of cookies we are making, happy, mad, wacky, and even "the one-eyed guy." Pretty much anything goes, and isn't that how you want to remember it when you are all grown up? "I got to decorate the cookies any way I wanted to." That is how I remember my mom facilitating my creativity, and that is the same gift I want to give to Mason.

What are your holiday traditions? Do you have a favorite Christmas memory? I would love to hear it, and maybe I can share some of them next week. That would be fun. In the meantime, enjoy the picture of our Christmas cookies and this motivator.

"What an enormous magnifier is tradition! How a thing grows in the human memory and in the human imagination, when love, worship, and all that lies in the human heart, is there to encourage it." Thomas Carlyle

Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday Motivator

Welcome to December!

I am having one of those mornings where there is so much to do, that I can't quite figure out where to start! I have a mile long list of little tasks, and then another list of things to do that will take a little more time. Usually, when I find myself in this place, I knock out as many of the little things as I can, and then settle in to tackle the bigger things. For some reason though, I am just a little more scatter-brained today. I suspect regardless of my current state of mind, everything will eventually get done.

We had a really wonderful weekend. Dave, Mason, and I went to Columbia State Park. What fun! We tootled the town, watched as they made giant candy canes at Nelson's Candy shop, and rode on the stage coach. We were the only family on the coach and during our trip, we were stopped by a bandit! Yes, a man with a gun! Dave and I enjoyed the theatrics, but Mason was genuinely frightened. After we were back on our way, safe and sound, I explained to Mason that it was just a show. I am not sure he believed me. After all that excitement, Dave and Mason had the best time climbing in and on the rocks. Those of you who have been to Columbia know what I am talking about. We stayed overnight in Sonora and since it got dark so early, we had a party in our hotel room We went to the local Save-Mart and each got a treat. We went back to our room and watched television in our jammies and ate junk food. Mason thought that was the best! Sunday, we headed home early and got to decorating the house for Christmas.

I was hoping to get a great photo of all of us for our Christmas card, but that didn't happen. I guess I need to come up with a plan B. I hope you are all getting in the Christmas spirit and looking forward to lots of holiday fun this month. I know we are! Have a great week and make sure you are only doing what warms your heart. This is the motivator that we are practicing. Hopefully, with consistency, Mason will get it.

Lots of love!


Ask your children two questions this Christmas. First: "What do you want to give to others for Christmas?" Second: "What do you want for Christmas?" The first fosters generosity of heart and an outward focus. The second can breed selfishness if not tempered by the first. - Anonymous