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Pause. Smile. Breathe.

December 20, 2012

woman in red, smiling wrapping gifts, how to wrap a gift, importance of smiles, breathing to relax, Christmas gifts by the fire, gold and red gift, enjoying Christmas, carpe diem ChristmasPause. Smile. Breathe.

Take a moment to pause, breathe, savor the now. This very minute, this exact place and time. Are you rushing around? Is your list a scribbled mess that keeps growing as Christmas nears?

Take this moment to pause, smile, slow your breathing and think of one thing that makes you feel grateful. Hold on to that.

It’s such a busy time of year, busier than our normal hurriedness. We have excited children, family visiting, traveling to do, cooking, baking, entertaining, wrapping, shopping, more wrapping, finishing off the cards and and and …

It’s all too fast, too busy, it takes effort to slow down and to soak in the joy of Christmas.

I’m trying to make that effort. I love this time of year, I love the music, finding the perfect gift, I enjoy wrapping packages up pretty and having candles in all the windows. I love my friend’s annual cookie swap, the Christmas Pageant at church, the festive celebrations, baking with the kids and especially spending time with family and friends. It does get busy but I choose to savor the preparations and anticipation of the Advent season. smiling woman in glasses, smile to relax, benefits of smiling, the key to happiness, gratitude at Christmas, how to be grateful, how to host a cookie swap, baking with kids

Hold onto that which makes you thankful. Amidst life’s pains and tragedies, finding something to cherish, finding gratitude, really living in the here and now, that is the key to happiness.

Merry Christmas and Happy Getting Ready!

Traditions of Gratitude

November 15, 2012

I try to live gratefully every day. It’s an active process, one that takes regular reminding and effort, but it’s gratitude, I believe, that is the key to happiness. My whole life, my grandmother’s mantra was, “Count your blessings,” she embodied this philosophy and truly lived with gratitude. As Thanksgiving approaches, (can you even believe […]

Mother’s Day in the ER

May 23, 2012

It certainly wasn’t how we’d planned to spend a preciously sunny Mother’s Day, but it was a day that tested me to live what I believe, a day that reminded me that I already know the value of gratitude.

I was reading a book in the hammock, feeling the warmth on my skin, listening to the kids take their first splashes in the pool (we finally figured out that opening it early makes a difference to a short Rhode Island pool season). My husband was tinkering around as he kept an eye on the kids; to give them access to the towel hooks, he moved the grill three inches to the left.

Those three inches cost us eight hours in the emergency room. A heavy, cast iron grilling pan slipped off the side shelf and landed squarely on my husband’s right big toe. Though he hopped around swearing beneath his breath and blood dripped everywhere he hopped, we didn’t think it would be so dramatic. At the advice of our nurse and doctor neighbors, we went to the hospital for a look and a tetanus shot.

The kids rallied, threw on cover ups, grabbed iPods (thank goodness) and off we headed, with my husband’s toe still bleeding all oImagever. Huddled in the small room together, we learned that the damage was actually quite severe and it was good that we’d gone in, his toe was broken, he nail bed was smashed, he needed stitches and he was still bleeding.

The whole day, he kept apologizing and we kept laughing as people wished me a happy Mother’s Day, but really, it could’ve been so much worse. We were together. My three sweet kiddos, my dream-man-husband, hunkered down in waiting rooms, triage rooms and small ER rooms. We were together. Even though at times I was reading my book, the kids were entertaining themselves with technology, and my husband rested and watched some TV, we also shared little snuggles, kisses, told stories and colored. There were no words of bickering, there was not a single complaint, we were harmoniously, peacefully together and I just felt thankful.

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