A Lesson In Graciousness

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I’ve been pretty helpless this week–at the mercy of my family and friends’ kindness to take care of me–to literally feed and dress me. Luckily, it’s been temporary and I’m doubly fortunate that I have a husband, family and friends who are willing and able to do such things for me.
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Different Valentines Day Celebrations

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Valentines Day can be celebrated a number of different ways and it’s meaning and purpose changes as our lives and roles evolve. This does not diminish the significance, but it does change the context, so I thought I would share a few different approaches to Valentines Day that may spark some ideas, certainly, but mainly shows how Valentines Day has morphed over time and circumstance for me.

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Valentine’s Day Preparedness

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Valentine’s Day is now less than a month away. This means a couple things:
1. You can no longer wish people a Happy New Year.
2. You officially need to get moving on selecting the perfect gift that embodies your love and reflects how much they mean to you…but no pressure.

Fear not! The good news is you probably know more than you think you do and anything that comes from a loving place can’t totally be a bad thing, so your gift will never completely go off the rails. Here are some tips to keep in mind as we enter this amorous season.
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Gratitude Gift List A-Z

Gratitude Rock

Image Courtesy of Empowernetwork.com

As the end of the year nears I like to take stock and express my gratitude for all the gifts I am so blessed to enjoy. I have two healthy kids who constantly amaze me with their wit and humor, a resilient and devoted husband who loves me–flaws and all–a career I am passionate about, an extended family who are kind and endearing, friends who are more like family and a year that has uncovered a treasure trove of new experiences, personalities and adventures…some that have only just begun. My cup truly does run over.

When I was a teenager and got “pouty,” my Dad would have me say out-loud a gratitude list starting with the letter A going all the way through to the letter Z. I’ve been thinking of him quite a bit these last few weeks, so instead of my usual gift guide or list, I thought I would honor him and this tradition by putting together an A-Z list, and perhaps put some of my own unrest to bed for the New Year.

Happy New Year to you and yours…and Happy New Year, Dad xxoo.

I am grateful for…

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New Year Renewed Love Activity Gifts

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

December 26th I walked into my local CVS and what did I see on the shelves replacing candy-canes and holiday cards–Valentines sweets and greetings up and down the aisles. The cynic in me was shocked and appalled at this hyper display of consumerism. The Christmas pots still soaking in my sink, New Years plans still up-in-the-air, and now I have to look at conversation hearts? Really, Hallmark… REALLY?

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What I’m Wishing For

As parents, we always gather lists from our children, nieces and nephews but when do we get to put together a wish list of our own?  When we start our own blog, that’s when!  This is the ultimate indulgence, agreed, but it’s also potentially a service to you, the reader, to see what items I’m currently obsessed with.  Fair warning…I’m dreaming big this holiday (not like world peace dreaming big) but I am putting it all out there.

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The Santa Dance

Santa Hat

image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My post today isn’t going to be a gift list or guide. Sorry in advance, although it IS slightly gifting related.

Before you continue reading any further, make sure there are only adults present–no children (or inner children) peeking behind you or reading over your shoulder. There are some “holiday spoilers” in this post, if you catch my drift. Alright, now that you’ve done that, I can share the rest of this with you.

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Unique Gifts for the Love of Your Life

i_love_you.jpgThe romantic love of my life was born on Halloween so it’s fast approaching. Every year it’s so hard to identify a gift that illustrates how much he means to me… How when he came into my life it debunked (much to my then dismay) all my firmly held beliefs about relationships… How much he taught me by encouraging me rely to on him and that ultimately helped me believe in romantic love again. And when we eventually got married, I never looked back.

There are a few gift lists my hubby has inspired, like this one on baseball and this one on football. But below is a list of intimate gift ideas when you want to give a piece of yourself, and more importantly, when the recipient is ready (and dare I say worthy) to receive such a prize. So it’s fair to say he is the muse for this one as well, but for entirely different reasons. Happy birthday my darling, I’m grateful for the day you were born and that I get to celebrate each passing year with you.

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Colorful Engagement and Right Hand Rings

20120907-110718.jpgThe beginning of fall always makes me want to break out big beautiful gemstones like topaz, citrines, emeralds and sapphires. I love mixing, layering and finding gemstones that are meaningful either because of a birthstone or anniversary month…or just because a color speaks to me. I was browsing on one of my favorite sites to go to when looking at jewelry–my grandmother, aunt and mother are all Ross-Simons alum and turned me on at an early age–and came across these rocks (the lead image is a ruby ring I am currently lusting after) and had to share these pretty colorful finds since they are all so diverse and can be used for an engagement, right hand ring, anniversary, or just because you are fabulous. Oh and you know what else…most of them are under $1,000.

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My Casual (But Perfect) Wedding

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As I’ve mentioned a couple times here (feel free to eye roll or nudge anything with in reach with a ‘is she serious…a couple times?’), my husband and I are about to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. I think this milestone feels so miraculous because it was so unlikely. Our pairing was unlikely, I mean. At least initially (boy am I botching this up, huh?). Once it happened, it immediately felt meant to be and all the pieces fell into place, however, not without complexities. I was a divorced mom of two little ones, aged five (almost six) and three, he was newly committed to continuing education, a full-time student and embarking upon a new career. Oh, right…and he had been a life-long bachelor. To many in the outside world, these lives and lifestyles seemed disparate and “not for long.” Then a month, three months, six months passed and Hubby Man, as I affectionately call him here and everywhere, were still together and committed–or we probably should have been.

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