Mother’s Day: Grateful For These Women💗

On this Mother’s Day I’m reflecting upon special women in my life and their roles. I’m extremely grateful for these moms!  As a mom myself, I wish to honor them, for how can I truly enjoy this day without paying homage to my loved ones who have made a difference and influenced my mothering?

 

 

img_1906

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to my mom, who has supported me from day one and loved me unconditionally. I owe so much to her for helping me grow and overcome so much, when I was younger. She was my go to person, who I could always  count on, until I stood on my own two feet. What I love about her is that she has always listened to me no matter what. When I’m down and out she whispers sweet little prayers for me aloud. It does my heart some good to know that mom is still looking out for me, even though I’m grown and a mother myself now. Happy Mother’s Day to the lady who gave birth to me so long ago with love.

 

 

img_0925

 

 

 

 

 

img_2155

 

 

There’s another sweetheart in my life who befriended me at work so many years ago and brought me to her home for a hot meal and loving conversation. That day I met her only son, who happens to be my husband now.

 

On this special day I can’t write this post without mentioning Theo, my second mom. I’m so thankful for my mother in law and her friendship. She’s always been there for me and a champion for our family. We’ve done baseball games together, camped with the kids in the summers and spent several Christmases cooking a meal. She’s been an outstanding grandmother to her grandchildren and has always been there for her four children. That’s the kind of lady who sets an example and someone I learned from when I was starting out. Happy Mother’s Day to her with love.

 

 

 

I must mention my sons today as well. There’s not a day that doesn’t go by without my grateful feelings for my two sons. Being a mother has been the most learning, humbling, exhilarating and rewarding experience of my life!❤️ If I would want to be remembered for anything once I pass on, it would be that I was a great and loving mom and that I was happy doing it. I have no regrets, even with mistakes I made because I know I made up for them with love. Also that’s what makes me human!

 

 

Last but not least, I’m extremely grateful for the group of women I work with. We all work in an elementary wing and every teacher and para there are kind, like old friends who support each other with love. I have to thank Laura, Carol, Anne, Brittany, Beth, Darcy, Aimee, Joanna and Donna who work together with joy, their main goal is to teach children, support them and provide a safe loving environment. These special women are all mothers in one way or another through their nurturing and loving actions with the school children. Kudos to these heroes I know, who are teaching our future leaders with a grace and confidence that’s impeccable!

 

As I wrap up this post, I challenge you to think of the special women in your life.  Have you made the time to visit them, message or call? Most importantly, have you told them that you love them? That means the world to mothers , coupled with tight hugs and lots of kisses.

 

Happy Mothers Day to all you moms out there! I hope you receive precious time with your children and hugs too!

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Million Reasons to Stay

Inspiration from Lady Gaga’s Song, A Million Reasons
If you can, listen to this song!

 

IMG_0476
An anniversary card my husband gave me a few years ago.

 

This song touches my heart and seeps into my very core. It seems that it’s about a failing relationship and that she is about to walk away but needs one good reason to stay. When listening to it a few weeks ago, I had an inspiration. From an opposite perspective, I thought of a million reasons to stay.

 

 

 

 

I stay in my marriage for a million reasons, too many to count. That doesn’t mean that our union is perfect by any means. Just because I always post positive aspects, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have shortcomings or miscommunications, LIKE ANY MARRIAGE. I simply choose to focus on the good and anything that needs to be worked on is our business. Any marital relations that are aired on Facebook or the media doesn’t aid the situation but may make it worse. I suggest that if you want a healthy marriage don’t tell others details about your issues. It’s no ones business and that may complicate things.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2469
A snapshot of Tom and I in Florida. 

 

 

 
My man is a hardworking fella, someone who would take his shirt off his back to clothe you. He means well with everything he does and thinks of others when he acts and speaks. Tom is a great reason to see all the good in the world. Sometimes good has a quiet voice and we all have to listen intently for that. Just because he has a soft nature and doesn’t scream from the mountain tops, doesn’t mean anything. It means that he has class and kindness and I look up to him for that.

 

 
I stay here for a million reasons, one of them being that I chose this road. Like many, I married out of choice and chose love, commitment, and family. I vowed to support Tom through whatever we go through and sometimes spouses need to be reminded of that vow. No one said that marriage would be a piece of cake and easy as heck, but it’s promised that whatever energy you invest into it, you’ll get the same results.

 

 

 

I have a million reasons to stay…friendship, kindness, laughter, so many little and precious things that have enriched my life. I wish that others would focus on the good in their marriages and build it up instead of tearing it down. If couples would work on their relationships and stick together, they would see many rewards in the end. Obviously not every marriage can be saved and some spend years trying to change his or her spouse when it’s not going to happen. If you are in it for the long haul, I believe the key is to accept your spouse’s shortcomings because we all have them. Focus on the good and if it’s meant to be, it will steer you in the right direction.

 

 
Do you stay for a million reasons?

 
Hello readers! We are presently on our way back from a wonderful and special trip to Florida. Give me a few days and I’ll share our adventures with you. Thanks for stopping by and God Bless you all.

 
All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

Letters to God: The Movie

My husband and I watched a really great family movie recently, Letters to God. It was based on a true story about a little boy who fought brain cancer and the fight he and his family battled. The message in the story is all about faith through a pouring of prayers to the Lord. I feel that it’s fitting because it will be Easter tomorrow.

Letters to God 1
Taken from Movieguide.org

Tyler had a habit of writing letters to God. These little prayers scrawled on a notepad and with a stubby pencil were this boy’s mission. He wrote of his sickness but mostly of his thoughts and prayers for his loved ones; his mom, his best friend and her grandfather.   The boy would hand his stamped envelopes to the mail carrier, who was a new man on the route. His puzzled looks kept me wondering about what he would do with them.

Taken from YouTubemaxresdefault

It turns out that God had placed this particular man on this route because he needed help. You see, he drank too much and had made a devastating mistake in his past. If anyone needed God’s interventions and his presence, it was Brody, the mailman.

PrayerLetters2God_book_lg
Taken from Christiancinema.com

I won’t tell too much more about the movie because seeing it would be better. I strongly encourage you to soak up all the good in this movie, despite the childhood cancer and sickness. There are lovely pressing lessons about faith, renewal of life , forgiving yourself and second chances. It reveals the strength found in a little meek boy and his mom, who feels like she can’t do it anymore but shows up anyway. God gave her the precious gift of mothering and nursing this child. He gives her the strength to continue the fight for her son.

 

 

The flick touched us and started up a meaningful conversation about God’s plan in our lives. After the movie, I talked with my husband about how God has a unique plan for us and will strategically place all of us in the path of others for good and to help those people as well. Once you see paths intertwine for a reason, you’ll know deep in your heart that He hand picked and placed those people there with intentions to heal, disperse love and kindness.

 

 

Did you know that you can write to God? Why not? I have a little notebook that I jot down my prayers in. I note people in my life who need prayers. They may be family, friends,  co- workers, acquaintances or people I don’t know but are in need. I don’t do it everyday but a few times a week and this is a supplement to my spoken prayers that I murmur at day or night. It takes my faith a step further, a pen pal who will answer in mysterious and exciting ways!

 

 

This movie inspired me even more to live the way Jesus would and to try to make a difference in people’s lives. No matter how small a token, it may affect in a monumental way. I’m working on trusting Him more everyday and giving up needed control of my life. I hope that you will watch the movie and think about this post.

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Most Days

Most days I breathe with positive intentions

and think optimistically …

IMG_1226
I have a few books from Norman Vincent Peale about positive thinking. This picture was taken from GratitudeHabitat.com

Most days I feel peace in my heart

and want others to feel it just as deep

I am quiet but loud

quiet in reflection but loud in thoughts

Most days I long for affection in small ways

A hug, a held hand or a warm friendly smile

Most days I love with acceptance and unconditionally

 I hear people out and sympathize

Most days I love life and it’s simple offerings

 I mostly see subtle signs of tranquility 

 I give my very best

whatever it is…

because that’s how I want to be,

positive.

My friends…what are you, most days? Are you happy, content with this life?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul >3

Looking For the Best

Flipping through my journal recently, I found an entry from summer 2013. At that time I had been watching The Bachelorette and had jotted down a thought. One of her pursuers, Brooks, had said that he looks for the best in people. I want to be that kind of person, who gives people the benefit of accepting their shortcomings…for we all have them, right?

 

 

IMG_2084
My sister, niece, mom and myself…looking our best!

 

 

 

 

Lately I’ve slipped away from this and have had negative feelings about people. That’s definitely not me or how I feel most of the time. Like anyone who gets wrapped up in a busy life, I tend to weaken and stray from my positive outlook. I realize that I set myself up for this by letting social media weigh me down and turn my mood.

 

 

 

IMG_2085
My sister is good at listening to me and offering positive advice about relationships with people.

 

 

 

Looking for the best in people may take some work and steady gentle reminders to yourself.

 

 

 

 

Look past faults and focus on strengths.

 
Forgive when someone wrongs you, for maybe they are trying their best and they didn’t realize their actions would hurt you.

 
Always strive to look for the best in your spouse, your children, friends and co- workers!  Don’t they deserve that chance and unconditional love?

 

 

 

Wouldn’t you want someone to look for the good in you?

 

Thinking of it this way may make you realize that we are all human and most of us are trying to live and love the best we can.

 

 
Go about your day with the challenge of looking for positive qualities in a person, instead of focusing on the negative ones. I can guarantee you feel better about life and feel happiness for accepting others.

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

A Movie to Remember

 

 

img_1899

 

 

 

 

 

It was 1984 and I was 15 years old. I remember the PBS station was holding their annual fundraising campaign and the nightly feature was their gold star breadwinner, It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s a show that opens up purses and hearts. I watched the famous movie for the first time, half expecting to not finish it. In the late hours of that cold December night, I got sucked in, despite my dislike of old black and white movies.

 

 

 
This 1945 classic appealed to me…maybe  it was Jimmy Stewart’s character and amazing acting and the drizzly snow scenes set in a small town that impressed me. This beloved story of a family man down and out and a goofy angel coming to his rescue all were staunch reasons why I kept watching. All these elements added up to a once in a lifetime movie, a show stopper that has stood the test of time.

 

 

 
I’ve watched it every year since and sometimes twice at Christmas with that eager fluttering in my heart. I still hold my breath during the bridge scene. George prays for his life back and it’s answered, for snow starts to fall and his lip is bleeding once again. He runs home to find the bank examiners at his house, and I still get choked up when all the people he’s crossed paths with and positively affected in his life show up and help. He made a staunch difference in their lives and never realized that until that moment. He had so many friends that he was a rich man indeed, not with monetary value but with love from family and friends with goodness and loyalty.

 

 
George Bailey’s famous plight continues to inspire  me today, a reminder that wrapped up presents and piles of material goods just don’t measure up to the connection of family members, their love and legacy and their undying loyalty. Being together, laughing, spending time together means much more to me than what you can buy at a department store. Love, goodness and friendship can’t be bought but shared, valued and treasured. These are the precious gifts of life to be cherished everyday and at Christmas too.

 

 

If you’ve never watched this classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, you must treat yourself and watch! If you’ve seen it before, as you watch this year, notice the scenes that mean something to you. Let those moments remind you of what is important at Christmas and most importantly, share that love with others and show them how much they mean to you. Here’s your chance….to act and live as George Bailey did.

All My Best,
Heart and Soul❤️

Cookie Parties

img_2075

 

Start a Christmas Cookie day tradition this year! For me, it started about 15 years ago when I baked cookies with my sweet mother in law, Theo. A few years we baked in her log home, a beautiful big kitchen and laid our treasures on her bar counter and dining room table. Then we started making them at my house, the house we used to live in. Even though our kitchen was a nook, we made it work by putting a big wooden cutting board over the sink. We would divvy up the cookies for home to give away to co- workers and friends and family. Last year I had two Cookie days, one with Theo when she visited from Florida and one at my sister Barb’s house with her, my niece and mom.
The Cookie tradition continues and today we celebrated baking, sistership, family and love all in one. We laughed and talked about life, my niece’s Kindergarten class and about future trips to Florida we are planning for next year. Bing Crosby and Judy Garland Christmas tunes played in the background as we rolled out gingerbread and mixed chocolate toffee cookies. The hot oven buzzed every few minutes and we hurriedly grabbed pot holders and checked the goods. “Not done, pretty close, done and ready to come out!” Sitting on cooling racks,they smelled delicious and the spicy ginger aroma coaxed the kitties in to investigate.

img_2093
My niece and I 

 

My niece rolled out dough, sometimes I helped and other times her mom, my sister Barb helped. Cutting gingerbread men, Santas and bells, she popped them on baking sheets to wait to bake.

 

What’s special about our cookie days is anything goes. I drank white wine while my sister had a shot of Baileys. We snapped photos of us by the tree and in the thick of cookie making. We enjoyed our labors and each other’s company.

 

 

img_2083
My mom mixing the batter
img_2074
Lots of cookie cutters and my favorite jar

 

Do you want to start this with your family or friends but not sure how it goes?
Let me give you some helpful tips:

*Decide who you wish to approach with the idea, sisters, brothers, mom’s, aunts, best friends, daughters, who ever likes baking cookies

*After deciding who will come, pick a mutual date, time and place that works for all. If you can’t decide where, choose one and the next year you can switch

*Decide who will bring what. I chose to make simple chocolate toffee cookies that could be mixed and spooned on the tray easily. I also made the gingerbread dough and refrigerated it for two hours for easy rolling. My mom brought peanut butter cookie dough for chocolate kiss cookies and my sister brought all the extras to decorate the gingerbread men.

*If you’re planning a few hours three or four types of cookies will do, because remember you have to share the oven and bakers cooling racks. We did three kinds and it worked very well.

*Write an ingredient list ahead and make sure you have what you need for your cookies. Each person coming will be responsible for their cookies. Sometimes it’s easier for them to mix it together at home and bring to bake and decorate.

*Prepare your kitchen by getting out cookie pans, cooling racks, scoops,cookie spatulas( to take off pan), bowls, spoons, measuring utensils and I got out my favorite big jar of cookie cutters. It usually sits on my high cupboard but today it had a place on the table so we could choose which cutters. The jar was a pickle jar and I found it on EBay for $20. 

*Have cookie exchange guests bring plastic containers or tins to take their cookies home in

*Designate who has what space and make sure there is enough baking cookie sheets, scoops, spoons, etc

*Play a Spotify or a Pandora Christmas tune play list. Mine includes many old favorites of mine by Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Judy Garland,Andy Williams

*Plug in all the house twinkling lights and Christmas tree

*Wear your favorite apron and or Santa hat

*Take lots of photos and even videos to remember moments


*Lastly have lots of stress free fun and enjoy baking and your company!

Do you have family or friends over for cookie parties? What are your traditions?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul💗