Happy Birthday, Dylan🎉

I have told you all before that twenty two years ago today my life changed drastically. I transformed from a  26 year old woman to a young mother, a role that I had to learn and practice. Although it took years to learn it all, one thing I never had to try at or practice was loving my son.

As most mothers will retell their story, I cherish telling mine. I awoke at 3 am out of a sound sleep, only to be surprised with my water bursting! After a hurried call to the doctor and a quick shower to calm my nerves, Tom and I headed to the hospital and to our new life. Eight hours later after a labor that I’ll never forget, Dylan James was born. He had a full head of dark hair and peach fuzz hair all over his little body. His anxious new born cry sent shivers up in my spine, a reminder that this really happened. I cradled him in my arms, looking at his five fingers and toes. Tom proudly held his son, a moment that touched my heart and made me so thrilled that we had a son.

 

My story continues, for I need to share something that happened on that hospital floor that stays with me. That night, after visiting relatives went home after meeting Dylan, the nurses wheeled my baby away to the nursery. They insisted this so that I would get my sleep and rest as needed. I lay there still and listening and of course I couldn’t sleep a wink. Five or ten minutes raced by and suddenly I heard Dylan’s cries floating down the hall. I just knew they were his, no doubt in my mind. I had to go to him and hold him. Trudging down that cold floor, I was ready to power talk those nurses and plead for my son to come back to our room. Sure enough Dylan lay wailing in the incubator and with tears running down my cheeks, I simply said, ” please bring my son back.”

I lay on my side that night, with one eye resting and one on my new baby. No, I didn’t get much sleep that February night but my son was by my side with his dad not far off in a recliner. All was good in the world.

 

Now that my little mothering story has been told I want to wish Dylan a very happy 22nd birthday! He’s a great  guy holding down a full time job at a local garage and paying his bills responsibly. Dylan plans to marry the love of his life in August and will start his family story. Tom and I are very proud of the kind of man he is and the young lady he’s chosen to marry…she’s a peach.

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

 

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Two Years and Counting

While browsing my blog stats and dates, I noticed that my blog has been running for two years. It all started as a simple idea and a whim. I had no expectations or plans tied with the launch. All I knew is that it was time to present my writing and satisfy my need to be complete. For as you and I both know, if you’re not practicing and doing what you love, then you’re not truly being yourself. I had to write and this blog was a way to do so.

 

I want to thank you, all of my readers who many have become lovely friends who I “talk” with back and forth such as Rhonda, Jodi, Tammy and Ellen just to name a few. Others who I check in with from time to time mean just as much. The one thing I’ve learned as a blogger is that you become a family member of the community, gaining a rich patchwork of friends. With all  you special people, I have read fascinating stories, tried delicious recipes and gawked over amazing photos and pieces of artwork! In the process I’ve shared my life stories and pictures and have put everything out on the table and trusted you all. It’s felt natural and good to trust and share my life.

I hope to continue this blog as long as I can for years to come. With this wish, my other dream is to compile alike posts and write a book someday about a mom’s life in rural New Hampshire. 

So here’s a HUGE thank you to my family and friends who regularly read my posts and offer positive comments in response. This is what has propelled me to keep moving forward…it’s something I’m very grateful for! ❤❤❤

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

Mary ❤

My Journey of Patience

 

The caretakers ” cottage” where we raised our sons and called home.

 

If you didn’t already know…I waited 22 years to live in our renovated home. We already lived in a home just down the road nestled on a grand estate. A winding driveway led to a grand mansion, garages and sheds, an apple orchard, a Christmas tree field, a built-in pool, all surrounded by a serene stonewall. It was a magical place to raise our sons and we felt as comfortable as can be. But it wasn’t ours and sometimes the reality of that slapped us in the face.

 

 

Mrs. Geneen’s grand estate

As time ticked on, money and precious time were factors in a renovation standstill. The house stood lonely and cold and every time I passed it, I felt a break in my heart. Every now and then I would dream of what curtains I would have and where our furniture would go, just to keep the dream alive. Then it would fade away again, with unsettled future plans in limbo.

 

 

Finally we decided to finish the house and make the big move. Our employer and friend, Mrs. Geneen had passed away a few years before and we were eventually paying rent to stay. It was the perfect time to let go, to walk away and start a new life in our home! Now, three years later, we occupy our dream home and it’s a blessing and a relief. Sometimes I pinch myself while walking through the rooms. It doesn’t seem possible that we are finally here in our own home! The wait has gifted me patience that maybe I didn’t possess before, a strength that flows in my blood now.

 

 

If you can learn anything from my circumstance it is this…sometimes all that you desire or think you need isn’t meant to happen right away. For the journey you travel while you wait makes up who you are and why would you pass up something so teaching and beautiful? If you’re being tested and have to wait, remember my story and keep marching on. Stay strong and hopeful during your journey. Eventually events happen as you wish, but not on your timeline but God’s. Trust it…for such beauty lies in the wait!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Capturing JOY

Capturing Joy…

One of my friends on Facebook ( Keri Lyndes) posted this gem of her children enjoying the snow. What a capture of joy! This photo was my inspiration for this post!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our niece Michele’s friend’s darling daughter before a dance recital.

 

 

 

My son Dylan and my beautiful daughter in law to be announcing their engagement in our little humble town.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embrace moments of joy…

Feel the very essence

of its beauty,

its exploding energy

that erupts from your core

that can’t be tamed.

 

This joy that speaks to us all,

The excitement of the moment,

the thrill that send chills

up your spine.

 

 

Our nephew Justin playing baseball. 😁

 

My son Dylan pitching in baseball

 

 

The excitement of playing

what you love

is an act of pure joy.

 

 

My nephew’s Spencer and Luke winning a snowmobile race

 

The special graduation milestones

express joy,

these images forever

embedded in our hearts.

 

Our beautiful niece Paula, her precious daughter Alena at her Kindergarten graduation with Paula’s best friend Jill

 

 

Our niece Samantha celebrating her high school graduation with her Stepdad Roger.

 

 

It’s the joy that creates belly laughter

among family and friends.

 

My sister Barb, myself, my mom and my niece Ella.

 

The joy of mothers and their daughters

 

Our niece Jennifer and Tom’s sister Mary

 

Tom’s mom Theo and his sister Pam

 

and of mothers and their sons

being together.

 

Our niece Jennifer and her three sons Justin, Jared and Joe and his girlfriend

 

My sons Branden and Dylan and me

 

 

My husband Tom and his smile of pure joy

Capturing Joy…

recognizing bright smiles

in a family moment.

 

 

 

The joy of knowing yourself and it shines through like golden rays of the sun

 

The joy of young love 💗

 

 

The joy of family reuniting,

bridging long distances

with tightly wrapped up hugs.

The joy of finding the special one

 

Our niece Paula’s awesome stepchildren.

 

How amazing it is

to see evidence of

pure joy

and feel it

and all the love in  a single picture.

 

 

If we could just remember

the joyful moments

from our lives

on sad lonely days

and swallow our sorrows

away!

We could open up those

memories like

pretty packaged gifts!

 

 

Breathe Joy.

Indulge in JOY.

Capture the Joy!

 

Remember to capture your moments of joy! Thanks to Keri, Theo, Pam,Mary, Paula, Jen, Michele and Jojo for contributing their lovely photos and memories! Thanks for the expressive writing inspiration, Michele! 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

Thanks to My Husband, the Snow Plow Driver

Thank you to this hard-working man,

my husband who works multiple jobs

snowplowing, shoveling, sanding, chopping up ice

 and clearing walkways for people

so they can live comfortably.

He sure is a blessing and I’m truly thankful for his hard work! 

Dear God, please give him a day off, without snowfall 

or rain.

He needs his rest so he can be his best! 

 

Please thank your local snowplow operator and town worker today

for he works so very hard for you! 

My Mom’s Grace

Dedicated to my mom, her resilience in life and her grace I didn’t know until now.

 

My beautiful mom

 

 

About six weeks ago while my mom visited me, she excitedly gave me a pamphlet announcing a dance class that she was in. ” Could you go to this, Mary?” she sweetly asked me and of course I said I would. I thought at first that she wanted me to participate in the dance class and I wasn’t sure how I would do, but then I discovered that it was a dance recital and that I would be in the audience. Phew! What a relief that I didn’t have to bust a move!

 

 

                                                    My mom and niece on Cookie Day

 

 

The dance class, Body in Motion, was for women over 65 and was held in a function room at the Horsemeadow Senior Center in North Haverhill, New Hampshire. Instructor Jeanne Limmer taught this class highlighting confidence and joy. The women journaled during the class and performed simple dance movements. It was a reflective and emotional discovery for all of the ladies. The dance class instructor drove a two-hour trip to teach the class, with reservations at first. But as the class went on and she got to know these amazing women, she was happy to do the drive.

 

Courtesy of Upper Valley News Taken by Liz Sauchelli

 

Upon entering the building, I noticed happy positive people with teeming smiles and an energy I wanted to bottle up for myself! My mom stood there proudly when I arrived. I knew that I HAD to be there for her and that it was definitely a special event.

 

Shared from Upper Valley News Taken by Liz Sauchelli

 

 

The presentation was graceful and inspiring. The women took turns saying profound words to describe themselves using words such as strength, kindness, love and peace. Each woman  performed a quick fluid movement with her word, either reaching her arms to the sky or hugging herself.

 

 

Courtesy of Upper Valley News Taken by Liz Sauchelli

 

 

At one point in the program all the spectators were invited to dance on the floor and celebrate movement while focusing on the positive aspects of life. Swinging my hips and whole body among all these happy graceful souls, I felt alive! It was a few beautiful moments of sheer pleasure and peace, ones that I would love to reenact again. I didn’t care what people thought and no one else did either. We all celebrated life through dance and movement while practicing it in a forgiving space with no holds barred.

 

The closing of the recital was when all the women stood in a semi-circle and a joyous song, Bird Song by Heather Masse played. This angelic voice floated across the room singing , ” I hear a bird chirping up in the sky, I like to be free like that and spread my wings so high.”

 

As this beautiful tune played I watched my mom. She danced with peace and love, with a beaming smile that lit up the room. I was so proud of her that day, of her courage to participate in the recital, her grace to spread her wings and fly and not care what people thought. It was one of the best moments I’ve shared with my mother in a long time and I thank God for this chance to connect with her. I love her so and don’t tell her enough.

 

Myself, my mom and my sister Barb

 

Check out this song, Bird Song by Heather Masse on Spotify or iTunes. It’s a lovely expression of peace, a song that can be danced to or a great background for creating art or writing. Let me know what you think if you listen to it.❤

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

 

A New Year Ceremony

 

Another year has come and gone and here I am reflecting upon its passing. I find the older I become, the more sentimental I feel of a passing year. It’s a great time to reminisce of special happy moments and to accept not so happy times. No life story is perfect and an acceptance of your situation can accelerate well needed healing. Learning from your past mistakes of the year can help you grow and reflecting upon them can bring peace and resolution. After all, don’t you want to begin a new year without carrying around negative baggage?

A good way to put the past year to rest is jot down your triumphs as well as disappointments. Elizabeth Gilbert suggests creating your own New Year ceremony. My sister-in-law Bev has mentioned this idea before as well.  Take your lists of hurtful situations, resentments and disappointments and burn them. With this sacred act you are sending the negative away and welcoming healing and positive things.

My family, me, my son Bran, oldest son Dylan and his fiancé Lexy.

I’ve decided that I will do this ceremony tomorrow night and welcome my husband and son to do so if they wish. My list includes getting rid of jealousy, ( really an indicator of lack of confidence) fear and a lack of confidence. With sending these negatives into smoke and ashes, I intend to stay in prayer for help overcoming them. Life  is so much more pleasant when you let go of your battles.

This isn’t the best of pictures because of the shadows. It was taken of my family on Christmas Eve. I love them so.

Another New Year tradition our family practiced in the past is the grateful jar. I took a glittery vase I had and encouraged my family members to jot down what they were grateful for and place in the jar. Then we shared them after and I kept them to look back upon. Some of the penned thoughts touched my heart, ” I’m grateful for my family.” ” For my family who pretty much supports me most of the time.” ” I’m thankful for food and our house.” This practice can be a Thanksgiving activity as well.

What New Year traditions do you practice? Do you notice the older you get the more special the gift of a new year is? I do…and I thank God for my health, my family and my job.

Happy New Year!🎉🎉🎉🎉

Wishing you all peace and prosperity in the new year, 2018!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 🎉

 

I took a quiz last January and received these words for 2017,

Harmony, Freedom and Happiness

I think we had harmony in our marriage, I wished for freedom of jealousy that’s always haunted me and happiness with myself as well as in my life. 

If I chose three words to focus on in 2018 they would be,

Confidence, Love and Peace

Confidence in my abilities, Love in my son’s upcoming wedding and marriage and Peace in my heart and my corner of the world.