Monday, December 25, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

(Thank you to all who contributed food for the Holiday Food Drive) Look at all those boxes of food - Together, we made a difference! :)

The Holiday Food Drive ...

Have you ever been asked to be the chairperson for something? During the summer, I was asked to chair the holiday food drive for our children’s elementary school. I agreed to ‘take it on’ and it has been a very special experience. This morning, we spent some time in the school’s auditorium sorting the food and getting it ready for the receiving families. (We had enough food for 16 families to each get 3 boxes). Amazing huh?.

It felt so good to be a part of such a worthwhile cause! Thank you to all the people who donated food and other supplies. And a special thank you to the ‘angels’ who showed up this morning and helped with this big project.

It always feels good to make a difference! I hope that during this busy holiday time, we’ll all take a few moments to give a little or give a lot to those around us … be it time, a listening ear, food, money, a hug or a smile.

Cheers to the moments that matter …

Monday, December 11, 2006

Each life that touches ours …

This past weekend was a sad one for many. A family I know and love lost their father. I spent some time this last weekend pondering the relationships in our lives and the impact they have on us. There is never an easy time to lose someone we love.

And each time someone dies who has touched my life - I feel grateful and honored to have known them and hope that the footprints they left on my heart never fade away. I also recognize a strong need to touch base and connect with those I love (who are still alive). Death often serves as a reminder that our days are precious and fragile. And it makes us realize the importance of those around us that matter.

My sympathies go out to those of you who have lost someone you love…. May your hearts be mended one little moment at a time …

Monday, December 04, 2006

(That's me ... thinking about the Thinking man)
Life (like art) is subjective …

Have you ever heard the phrase: art is subjective?
Have you ever really thought about that? I have.

I think it’s safe to say that life (like art) is subjective as well.
We all see things differently and experience the daily happenings from our own view point and perception.

During my freshman year in college, I took an art class and really enjoyed it. It was an Introduction to art 101 class and we spent most of the class time studying the artistic masters such as: DaVinci, Van Gogh and Monet. Some of their pieces were touching to me and others were random and not as interesting I learned about these art pieces via a book and photos on its pages. So my exposure to the art was quite limited.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. and on my last day there I was able to have a ‘speed pass tour’ of some of the D.C. attractions.

One of my very favorite places – was an art museum. I only had a couple of hours before I had to catch my departing flight but the few moments I had in that building changed my entire perception of art. I almost cried a few times – there is something really beautiful about seeing someone’s work – for real (and not on the pages of a book). I could have spent an entire day in that museum! This beautiful, old building held treasure after treasure of the ‘master’s work’. It was an inspiring time for me.

Wouldn’t it be neat if we each had a museum for people to visit – containing the ‘art’ of our lives? I wonder what it would hold – maybe our fingerprints, our dreams in a big crystal ball, maybe our tears in a bottle, or our laughter on tape and possibly it would contain a few security guards to keep the items safe? (There were a lot of guards in that museum!) No, this was not a hands-on museum. It was NO touching (period).

It’s fun to think about the things we would want to have remembered about our lives…And comforting to know that there are some things we can leave behind. Like our love, our kindness, our memories in a book or pieces of art we sculpted from clay.

No matter what we leave behind, it’s pretty evident that our lives are a work of ART …
And how we paint, sculpt or create it - is up to us!

Enjoy creating your artistic museum …!

PS -
Below are some web sites to explore …

Monday, November 27, 2006

That's the snowman in our backyard!
(He's wearing a Darth Vader hat) ...

It snowed yesterday! I love snow! It was the first snowfall of this winter season and it really added to the magic of this holiday time. My kids were excited about it too and bundled up in their coats, gloves, hats and boots to rush out and make a snowman. It was fun to see them work together and create such a fun and happy creature from the snow. I think to them, it really did come alive and dance and play in the backyard... They even gave him a snowball so he could join in the snowball fight fun!

I am so thankful for the little things that add magic to my life! Some of them are: children, snowflakes, hot chocolate, friends, family, old movies, a fire in the fireplace and love.

I do hope your Thanksgiving holiday was a time of reflection and renewal. When we really stop and think about it, there are so many wonderful blessings that decorate our lives.

Cheers to snowmen who use the Force! :)

Monday, November 20, 2006

< going back in time! That's my husband and I wearing 80's costumes for a dance...

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s hard to believe that it’s holiday season already! Where do the years go?
I remember as a kid, the holidays took forever to get here. Now, I blink and it’s time for turkey, Christmas trees and New Year’s Eve parties.

Speaking of parties, my husband (he’s a counselor at a local high school) and I were able to chaperone a high school dance last Saturday night. It was a girl ask guy dance and the theme was: back to the 80s. Most of the kids dressed up…There were lots of girls in legwarmers and short skirts. I didn’t see very much BIG hair (from the 80’s) or the plastic bracelets adorning arms, neon shirts or big black belts. It was more a mixture of 70’s and whatever. The dance moves were all modern! And like nothing I’ve ever seen …

Yes, we dressed up and it was fun to be a part of ‘history’… It’s a strange feeling to be chaperoning a dance where kids are dressing up from the days we were actually in high school. It made the reality of years flying by all that more real!

This time of year always makes me feel thankful for the people, places and events that have helped shape my life. I am truly thankful for so much!
(Yes, even the fact that the years are flying by and that high school kids are dressing up like the 80s!) Both serve as little reminders that it’s great to be alive and that time is a precious thing!

Cheers to family, friends, turkey, pumpkin pie, being alive and the retro 80s!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Imaginiff ….

OK have you ever played this game? If not, I highly recommend that you do! And I’ll tell you why in a moment. First, I need to tell you about my wonderful weekend (and yes, Imaginiff was a part of it!)

It all began Thursday with a phone call alerting me that one of my sisters was in town. She drove (over 9 hours) with her two little children to come home and visit. I didn’t know she was coming so this news was pure happiness for me to hear! I’m the oldest of 5 girls in my family and we are scattered here and there - so getting together is something I love!

And when you’ve got one sister in town, why not try to get together with more sisters?
So, on Friday, we packed our kids (and our Mom) into my sister’s mini van and drove two and a half hours away to meet up with two more of our sisters! We had a surprise birthday party, went shopping, shared lunch at an Italian CafĂ© and enjoyed every moment! There were lots of hugs and I love you and we even sang together – more of the stuff I love!

On the drive home from our ‘sister’s reunion’ (we were only missing one sister), I couldn’t help but feel completely grateful to belong to such a sweet family. My sisters are truly some of my very best friends.

And to top it off, we gathered at my parent’s home last night for a very yummy dinner and a game of Imaginiff. And when the game piece landed on my name the following question was read …

Imaginiff… Wendy were a car. Which would she be?
Family Sedan
Pick-up truck
Rolls Royce
Red Ferrari
Volkswagen Beetle
Dune Buggy

The reasoning behind the answers was a riot! Most everyone decided I was either a Rolls Royce or a Red Ferrari…Expect my Dad – he had a different view point. We’ll have a fun time with this ‘game night’ for years to come. Thanks to this funny game, we learned a lot about each other and why we see each other the way we do. (It was really quite insightful!) And yeah, laughter was abundant!

And tonight as I said goodbye to two of my sisters (I’ve never been fond of goodbyes) … I hugged them each and appreciated again the dear friends they are to me and couldn’t imagine life without them.

PS – I’m grateful that THEY see me as a Rolls Royce and not a family sedan :)

It’s ok Dad …. We’re even. When everyone else sees you as a wise man I’ll still see you as one of the three musketeers!

Imaginiff all weekends could be so wonderful!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween Eve …

I love Halloween! Why (you wonder)? I believe it has something to do with people, the costumes and the excitement of all the spooky stuff. This past weekend, my husband and I attended a very fun party. It was a potluck and everyone was to bring a pot of their favorite soup. We were also invited to bring our kids, carved pumpkins and come dressed in costumes.

Did we dress up? Oh yes! Did we bring soup? You bet! Did we carve pumpkins? Three of them! Back to the costumes …we decided to go as Mary Poppins and Bert. We encouraged the kids to go as penguins (to help complete the scene) but they had their own costume plans.

Our costumes were inspired by the Jolly Holiday adventure Mary, Bert, Jane and Michael had after jumping into the chalk art photo on the sidewalk. We were quite the hit! I found a beautiful wedding gown at our local thrift store and my Mom and I altered it to be the perfect Mary Poppins dress. I enjoyed the little girls who oohed and awed over having Mary and Bert at the party and now have a little idea of how the people at Disney World or Land must feel like playing the part of famous on-screen personalities. I’ll have to brush up on my Mary Poppins signature. (An umbrella will definitely be part of it!)

All in all, it was a great night. We’re looking forward to a little trick-or-treating tomorrow (with the kids). Can you hear that? It’s a song … (sing along if you want) …

“It’s a jolly holiday with Mary …”

PS – Happy Halloween!

This little moment matters –
Be creative and wear a costume this Halloween! Come on, you’re not too old, or too mature or too sophisticated. Trust me, put on the costume and enjoy Halloween 2006.
You won’t be sorry… Be safe, have fun and cheers to the holidays that add magic to our lives!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Bumping into inspiration …

Have you ever just been minding your own business and bumped into something or someone that inspired you? This happens to me every now and again (and I love it).

Earlier this year, I was in the Seattle airport and had two hours before my connecting flight. It was late and I was returning from the East Coast and the time difference was really throwing me off. Honestly, I didn’t know how I was going to stay awake!

I decided that I’d better keep myself busy by visiting all the gift shops at the airport. At one particular gift shop, I decided to pass the time reading their greeting cards. I fell in love with the quote on the front of one (and bought it)…

This is what it said …

Walk in the rain,
Smell flowers,
Stop along the way,
Build sandcastles,
Go on field trips,
Find out how things work,
Tell stories,
Say the magic words,
Trust the universe.

- Bruce Williamson

The saying just really grabbed my attention and made me smile. I sat down in the airport and had a good ‘thinking session’ about the inspiring message …And agreed completely with every word!

The universe stepped up and helped me enjoy that little moment!
Cheers to field trips, sandcastles and adventures in the airport!

Do you have an inspiring quote or message that has helped you along your journey?
Please feel free to share it …

Monday, October 16, 2006

Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?

Do you ever wake up and wonder ... Hmmm what will the weather be like today? I do that every now and again! And today was especially interesting because Mother Nature couldn’t decide what to do. There were patches of dark grey clouds in the sky mixed with bright blue clouds. In addition to the blue and grey, there was sunshine breaking through and gushes of wind and splashes of rain. It felt like Mother Nature was holding open her weather pallet. And it was truly amazing … the backdrop was sprinkled with fall’s vibrant shades of red, orange, yellow and brown. She was truly painting with all the colors of the wind!

I must say, today was an absolutely beautiful day! It reminded me of the song from Disney’s ‘Pocahontas’ … remember it? Below are a few lines to help jog your memory.

You think you own whatever land you land on
The Earth is just a dead thing you can claim
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name

You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You'll learn things you never knew you never knew

I love that song! And crazy weather days like today remind me that all the creatures on the Earth are different and unique and that to fully understand each other, we must walk in each other’s footsteps. I am thankful for days like today so I can understand the earth better and appreciate the seasons that come and go.

Cheers to the wind and the colors of fall… and to learning things we never knew…

I hope you take this little moment to look outside and appreciate the beauty of THIS day…

Monday, October 09, 2006

I’ll take a tree trunk shake please -

The other night, I was in the kitchen cleaning up (sound familiar?) and I could hear my three children playing together in the front room. They were full of energy, laughter and were quite excited about whatever they were putting together. I had to take a peek and see what all the fun was about! It was so cute, they had turned the entire room into a restaurant and I was their guest of honor! I was so amazed at how much they knew about the ‘food business’… They handed me a menu complete with a drink list, side dish options and dessert. Would you like to know what I chose from the lunch menu?

I ordered crab, a side of purple grapes and a large tree trunk shake. As you can imagine, all of the items were found around the house and determined what would go on the menu! I must admit, the tree trunk shake was simply wonderful… I had three refills on that one. And of course for dessert I chose a slice of pumpkin pie piled high with whip cream. (The pumpkin pie was a big orange light that goes into a carved pumpkin). Oh the power of imagination at work!

When it was time to pay, they simply handed me a pile of UNO cards and the bill. They assured me that UNO was the card of choice in their joint! Yes, I left them a very nice Wild card as a tip!

My children always remind me of the simple pleasures of being alive and creating fun with whatever is around. It’s refreshing to stop and think about the little people in our lives and the GIANT lessons they provide in every little moment.

Some of the lessons from this event were – Take time to imagine (it does wonders for the soul), Take time to play, and take time to love.

After the kids were all in bed, I couldn’t help but smile and wonder when I would be the fortunate honored guest at the Seafood by the Sea Restaurant again…. I hope it’s soon.

PS -
Just thinking about their menu makes me hungry…. I think I’ll tip toe to the kitchen and munch on a few tortilla chips and salsa. (And pretend that I’m really sipping down a thick, barky tree trunk shake!) You can pretend you’re having one too – if you want….

Good night.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Thank you Mr. Barrie for my name …

Did you happen to see the movie Finding Neverland? It’s a great show, one of my personal favorites. This movie is based on the life of J.M. Barrie, author of “Peter Pan”.
Some of my very favorite movies are the ones based on true stories. They inspire me! I absolutely love learning what it is that drives people to do what they do. And what they went through to accomplish it.

Life touches us in different ways (no one person has the same life) and it’s great to see what people choose to do with the ‘journey’. Because of Barrie’s interaction with the ‘lost’ boys and their Mother, he was inspired to create “Peter Pan”. What a beautiful gift he gave to society. This wonderful story is a children’s classic. And as far as I know, he is responsible for creating my name – Wendy. (I happen to really like my name so thank you Mr. Barrie for pulling the name Wendy out of the stars … or out of your head).

Have you ever thought about the stuff that affects your life? Our entire lives are full of events – some happy, some sad, some tragic and some brilliant. What do you do with all of these events? Maybe you have a closet in your mind that holds them all. Maybe you choose to only remember the fun things maybe you play the ‘why did that happen’ game in your head. It’s possible, you keep a journal and its pages hold the ‘days of your life’. Whatever your style, my hope is that you choose to enjoy the journey of life – with all its ups and downs and as you are living, laughing, and learning, please take a moment or two to stop and appreciate who you are and the unique gifts you possess as a human being. Then DO something to make the world a little better. Just as Mr. Barrie used his creative talents to write “Peter Pan”, we can take our authentic style and do something with the events and the moments of our lives.

My hope with this little blog is to offer a space to share that journey…Please feel free to share your dreams, your hopes and the STUFF that makes up the little moments that matter. I truly believe that as we connect and share, we’ll support each other and help others along the wonderful journey called LIFE...

Get ready… Get set…. BLOG!

Here’s the first topic I’d love to discuss: What is your favorite movie? And why do you love it?
(This is only a suggestion, if you want to blog about something else – please do so!)

Till we meet again….