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Considering I think of this blog as a fairly happy place, it’s really hard for me to talk about this. So if you must, just pass this on.

DSC05364 Since the beginning of the year, two people that I have know have passed on. And I’m having a hard time dealing with the last person passing on, being only forty years old. A wife, mom, grandmother, daughter, sister, a special person to many people. I have so many questions. Why? Being the most asked, sometimes out loud, into the quiet of the day. And at times into the darkness of the night. I know I won’t get an answer but there is a part of me that wants one. It’s gotten me pondering on death – dreaming of caskets and cemeteries. Almost obsessively. It’s been only a few days since I’ve heard the news but I’m shocked to my core as I just don’t understand and I want to. Why leave if you have so much? Do we have a choice leaving? I joke with my mom all the time that she has to live until she is ninety-five, minimum. One time she looked at me and laughed, before it took a more serious note, “Mary…I don’t have control over that, no one does.” I will never be ready but more time with loved ones is all you can ask for. I’ve started pondering on my own mortality, plugging my stats into a website that gives me my personal day of death, August 10, 2069. I hit enter again and it gave me another date and yet another. I laughed at myself, as if I was going to get a true answer. A realization, I need to make peace with death, once again. I’ve always seen it as leaving this earth as we know it but there is more, so much more, beyond. But what do loved ones do, that are left behind? Grieve, make peace, mourn, celebrate the life lived, remember the good times, forgive and forget the bad, smile at the thought of them and keep your own flame burning as bright as you can.

Fortune Cookie Wisdom…

Happy happy new year everyone! The new year always gets me excited, a clean slate, a new diet, an empty book to fill and a fresh feeling to life. On new years day, there is never too much going on. It’s one of my most favorite days of the year. If I could just pocket the feeling of new years day, I would and take it out midyear, when the freshness has staled, the diet has failed and the book, not as poetic as I had hoped. I love the leisurely feel to the day. Everyone is seen walking their dogs later than usual-at a slower pace, maybe reflecting on the night before or deciding what new years’ resolution to take on. I love spending it with family, enjoying some Chinese takeout, while a good movie is playing. This year, it was American Hustle. (It’s been a little bit of an obsession, I won’t be surprised if baby P loves polyester or has a comb-over one day, that’s how much I watched it when anxiety over what labor would be like or motherhood, would takeover. It sedated me and put me at ease, like no other movie. It inspired me to search for my platforms-that I found and put in a good place. Such a good place, that I asked my husband suspiciously, with squinty eyes, if he saw them. (Meaning did he see them and throw them away? Light bulb moment! I found my new year’s resolution: to not be so annoying.) It’s gonna be a hard one to follow through on. Telling the truth to oneself, helps you grow. It was a cold new years day, like ever other, on the east coast. My mom and I bundled up to get some air and to pick up our takeout. We placed our order and sat as I people watched and my mom admired their Christmas tree, brightly decorated in gold and red. I overheard the gal at the counter saying she just got up an hour ago, even though it was way past dusk. I listened in to a twosome at the table closest to us. Was it a son and father? Friends? I couldn’t tell but the conversation was oddly sweet. “You look good!” “I feel good. There was a while I didn’t think I would be around this long” the older gentleman said, as he sipped on a Coke and looked appreciative of the company and the compliment. The younger gentleman joked, “You know, you gotta stick around, who’s gonna look through all your junk mail if you decide to go?” They both chuckled. I looked over at my own mom, and felt the deep gratitude to have her around, to meet baby P, to pet Daisy dog and tell her she’s a good girl and to plant mini pine trees in places that I don’t really don’t want mini pine trees. I know one day, as they grow, I will fully appreciate them. Our drive back was a nice one with the warmth of fried rice in the air. I got fortune cookies for everyone, even though Daisy and I are the only ones that really enjoy them. It’s my chance to open up each fortune cookie and to pick the one, I like best. (Don’t tell me I am the only one that does that.;)) But this time, I got a good one for everyone to share…

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The Stack of Books & The Toothless Grin

The past few weeks have been flying by-at a snails’ pace, if that makes any sense. When I look at my baby grow so quickly, I just can’t believe my eyes. Every day there is something new that he does. Today he lifted both of his legs together, way up high. (It looked like an ab workout, that I should definitely be partaking in.) And weeks later, I still can’t believe that I am a mom. I had this preconceived notion of what it would be like and I was wrong, in the best way, life has changed completely. (And worst, I miss sleeping a little, lol) He runs the show and has taught me patience and a new found love that grows a little more each day, especially when he smiles. It’s a genuine smile, beautiful, full of life, eyes-sparkling and a pure love behind them. We had a full conversation the other day, full of cooing. How can you ever anticipate that? And all I keep thinking to myself is, “How can I make you a better person?” And, “Why did you choose me to be your mom?” “Am I doing this right?” So much self-doubt fills my mind, like never before. And questions…there are so many… I just want to read every book out there to guide me in the right direction; resulting in a stack of books sitting on the end table. I attempted to read them, while I am feeding him and I’m so disorganized about it; trying to read, more like skim through a few at once, the pages flapping all over the place, while he stares at me. A minimum of three surrounding me at once; this island of open books surrounding me. And then I realized this isn’t important, this meaning, reading about teething, pureeing sweet potatoes or discipling methods before their time. I’m missing out on the present moment and I’m sure nothing will prepare me for what will be or I will have forgotten what I have read in my sleepy state anyway. When the time comes, I will know what to do. We are in this together and more than ever, NOW is important. So, I put away the books, looked into his sparkling eyes and smiled at him and he gave me the most beautiful toothless grin I have ever seen. Now, more then ever, the moment to enjoy is the present. The stack of books can wait for now.

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Keeping the Joy in 2014

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve been here and I’ve missed it! I really did take a true, unintentional “holiday” during the holidays and there was something missing for sure, this place. It’s nice to be back! As the holidays come to a close and we approach the new year, there is one thing that I want to bring into 2014, from the season and that’s joy. As simple as it sounds, it’s something I have been thinking about lately. I want more joy in my life everyday, not just on a special occasion or outing that brings me joy but joy felt daily. And it starts with appreciating and being grateful for the simple and beautiful things in life, the bright morning sun on a cold winter morning, a hot cup of coffee, the natural good feeling after a walk outdoors, the soulful look of my dogs eyes and the understanding that comes with them, laughter shared with a good friend, gently falling snow in the afternoon…

I wish everyone a year full of happiness, health and joy. And may all the desires that are in your heart come to pass this upcoming year. Happy 2014!

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Please Join Me…

It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve been here. Everything going on in the world, this past week has gotten me a little down. It’s hard for it not to, when such tragedies have been occurring, some closer to home and some half way around the world. All the stories have affected me so much, as I’m sure everyone has been affected in someway. It’s hard, to not let it get to you when so many lives have been changed forever, families broken apart, homes lost and lives destroyed. It breaks my heart into pieces what the people of the Philippines and mid-west are going through. Please join me in sending them prayers, love and donations.

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There Is Still Time…

It’s October first and the leaves are changing into their golden colors and I’m in a mild panic. (I won’t mention that I had like three coffees today to soothe myself. Pumpkin spice flavored coffees. They do have soul soothing magic to them don’t they?) A mild panic because I haven’t fully fulfilled my new year’s resolution yet. And as I was in my panicked state, I looked up at the afternoon sky and as the clouds changed and transformed, I realized so can I. There are 92 days left in the year; 3 months; a whole season which will bring about change, in the trees, on the ground and in the world. A shift can happen anytime as long as you are ready for it and if you recommit yourself to your resolution and take small steps daily towards making it happen. And it’s about beginning now and not looking back.

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Soulcation

So you say you need a soulcation? I’ve been there many times. And this weather always brings back memories of having a beach bag in tow, packed with the essentials and an extra pair of sunglasses, I always manage to lose them or forget them in the car and at times, they are right on top of my head. Good thing I have that handy extra pair, as I attempt to put them on, I realize that I have a pair sitting right on my head. (Double sunglasses are always a good look.) Ahh….the joys of summertime. And that brings me back to that soulcation. (When I am attempting to put on my second pair of sunglasses, I know it’s past due.) And usually in tow, in my other hand is a mini library, I never know what I am in the mood to read at the beach, so I bring a little bit of everything; lots of self-help, some fashion magazines and occasionally a little fiction. But when it’s soulcation time, it means these three books are making it into that library-beach bag:

                      Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

                      Creative Mind by Ernest Holmes

                      The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

They are must-reads for anyone looking for a soul soothing vacation, without really going away, they revitalize and rejuvenate. Park yourself on the beach, under a shady tree, or right on your couch, sip a little cold lemonade and take a soulcation. Enjoy and happy weekend!  

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A Little R&R

One of those post-its, whether they are hanging in your office, crammed in your planner or if you are like me, they are scattered all over the kitchen, (including the napkin holder?) needs to be bumped up on your to-do-list. And on top of that list is a little R and R. Rest…Relaxation…Rejuvenation…Restoration…Reflection…I love summer time and all of the promise it holds. One of my fondest memories was going down the Jersey shore with my cousin. We both don’t know how to swim (besides maybe a doggie paddle) but would go into the ocean and hold onto each other for dear life, as we would jump the waves, followed by walking the boardwalk, sampling all of the goodies it has to share; piping hot, freshly salted french fries, funnel cakes, orange swirl ice cream cones. Those single beach days gave me so much joy and lots of R’s. Hoping you are enjoying your summer and getting lots of rest, relaxation, rejuvenation, restoration and reflection.

Aren’t You A Pretty Little Ladybug…

In this fast paced world we live in, it’s easy to get distracted and not be as in tune with nature as maybe our ancestors were. But nature still tries to get our attention anyway. And did Mother Nature get mine today, as I saw this pretty little lady bug sitting on my incense burner. She was so still, beautiful and graceful. I’ve never seen such a ladybug with black and yellow spots. I couldn’t stop staring at her. What a sweet little bug being so patient with me, as I was slightly neurotic, wanting the perfect angle and snapshot. Was that the lesson that Mother Nature was trying to tell me? Possibly so.

Have you ever seen the same butterfly over and over again? Or a hummingbird? Did the groundhog come visit your garden this year? Mother nature has messages for all of us and our intuition is our best guide but a fantastic book to add to your library or to have on your coffee table is Animal Speak by Ted Andrews. It’s an in depth reference guide to the spiritual meanings of animals, birds and insects. It’s a great companion book, as you go through life.

Movie: I AM

Asking myself lately, “What’s wrong with our world?” and “What can we do about it? I came across a movie that wonders the same thing and gives us answers. What I call a modern-day saint, Tom Shadyac makes a movie, giving our global unhappiness the attention it deserves. What society is slowly beginning to see is we are not happier by having more stuff or being number one as we are taught but by connections; real connections that give us those good feeling vibes. We, at the core of our hearts are meant to love and be good to each other. Somewhere along the way, we have lost this way of living and it has shown up in our culture in negative ways. It’s time for a turn around in our society and for those good feeling vibes to start flowing. And with inspiring movies such as this one and small steps taken by each one of us, it will lead to big leaps in mankind heading towards happiness.

Movie: I AM by Tom Shadyac