Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas and thoughts for the New Year

Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.

- Eleanor Roosevelt

I hope that everyone had a Christmas that was everything they hoped for.
Mine was nice and low key,  spent with family, my parents and my girls.  On Christmas Eve I made visits during the day to my closest friends to deliver my Christmas cookies.  Later that night I hosted dinner at my house for our small family, we had a delicious dinner, and later watched A Christmas Story and White Christmas in front of the fire, it was a nice quiet evening. 

Cookies just before I started boxing them up for delivery.

Tonight I will be picking up my sister and nieces from the airport, they will be here visiting for a few days, and I am really looking forward to this, I love these girls so much.

I spent most of today raking leaves and cleaning up (again!), but also thinking of what I want out of the new year.  Most of all, is just to be happy.

I've been thinking of what really makes me happy, and without a doubt my family is first on the list.  I tried to think of the times in my life when I felt most happy, and love and financial comfort both come into play as well.  But something that really sticks out is GIVING.  Giving of my myself, through volunteerism.  One of the best weeks of my life was probably helping with the Park Playground project I got to work on that I've mentioned before. 

The table for Christmas Eve dinner.  The girls set it for me.
My challenge to myself for 2011 is to find an organization that I can feel comfortable with, to consistently find the time to volunteer.  I will have to do some research, I want to make a commitment and stick with it, and to do that, I must find something I can feel  passionate about, but that will also fit around my work schedule.  I rruly believe we all have a purpose in this life, and I feel it's important that we try to figure what that purpose is.

What are you hoping for in 2011?

Happy New Year & Happy Thoughts,

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Spirit

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.
~Burton Hillis

So I'm trying to get into the Christmas spirit...I finally got my decorating done, started playing the Christmas music last night while we finished up the tree.  Now that my daughter is home from college, it's finally feeling like the holidays.   Every year I go on the annual Christmas Home Tour in our town, it's a tradition for me and my best friends, sometimes it's the only chance we have to get together all year.

I love these pictures my friend and co-worker took for me.

Last week I made some Chocolate and Peppermint cupcakes for work and that started getting thinking about the baking I will soon be doing for friends and family.  Over the years, I have cut back on the gift-giving, so that now I only exchange with my immediate family.  Most of the gifts are bought for the 4 girls in my life, my two daughters and two sweet little nieces.  I package up little boxes and plates of cookies a few days before Christmas and deliver those to my neighbors and friends and we snack on the rest throughout Christmas Eve and after.  My cookie baking has become a tradition in our home, and my girls look forward to it, wondering what favorites I will bake each year.  Baked goods and handmade gifts are such a special, inexpensive way to show someone you are thinking of them.  

Photos by Meric Velasco, cupcakes by Me!

The past few years, especially since my girls are older and my budget smaller, I have tried to focus on feeling of Christmas spirit over the amount of gifts that are purchased.  Spending time with family, baking cookies, decorating, watching the Christmas classics, and listening to Christmas music by the fire are the things I really look forward to during my time off at the holidays.

Family traditions are so important, even if they have to change a little as time goes on and the family dynamics change, it's important we hold on to the little things that mean so much.

What are your family traditions? 

Wishing you Happy Thoughts and the magic of Christmas,

Friday, December 3, 2010

Girl Power

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.   
~Faith Whittlesey

Celebrating all the woman of the world today...
I truly believe that when it really comes down to it, every woman's true strength lies in the ability to believe in herself. 

I am constantly amazed at what women can do, will do, and even what they will allow others to do to them, yet they can overcome just about anything.  If only every woman out there in this big world really believed in herself and lived up to her true potential, can you imagine the power we could have?  It might be more than this world can handle!

There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women. ~Madeleine K. Albright

Today I am thinking about the incredible strength and spirit women posess.  A strong mind, a soft heart, the ability to multi-task like no other, women are truly amazing.  The strength, courage, and talent that I see in women each and every day, never ceases to amaze me.

The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it. ~Roseanne Barr

Mothers, teachers, doctors, housekeepers, enteprenuers, whatever occupation, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, I can't help but feel that women are the most interesting and complex creatures that walk this planet. 

If you think about it, it's usually the support and words of encouragement from a fellow woman that can really bring us through the most difficult times in our lives.  Be it your mother, sister, grandmother, best friend, or daughter, only a woman truly understands who we are and how we think.

No woman is required to build the world by destroying herself. ~Rabbi Sofer

Girl Power, such a cliche phrase, really sums it all up though. 

Stand tall, be proud and celebrate the gift of being born a woman, because we are AWESOME!

Happy Thoughts,