Christmas Blessings

You might wonder why this post is on the travel week but . . .this year I have felt blessed beyond measure on my own life’s journey. It has been a year full of ups and downs. I have cried many tears but I have smiled to the depth of my soul. In this year of so many changes and growth beyond compare; I decided that I needed to share my gratitude for those blessings with those that might not be able to see the goodness still in the world. I resolved this year to relieve some of the suffering that I have seen in those around me by creating homeless kits. I know that my effort was the tiniest drop in the bucket but . . .the love that I have felt while working on the project and the culmination of that love while delivering the kits this week will probably never be matched.

I found a location in downtown Portland that could use the kits and set to creating them with a few of my friends and family. We were blessed along the way with others that wanted to help and had donations given to us of items we were seeking. In all we had 52 kits created. I will never know the reason why some of these people who received a kit are in the situation that they are in but I hope, in some small way, the kit reminded them that they are loved.

Our kits were filled with toothbrush/toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, gum, protein bar, hard candy,  crackers, nuts, water, small pkg of wipes, Kleenex, Chapstick, soap, band-aids, socks, Advil, hand warmers, and poncho or emergency blanket.

As we were delivering we heard people exclaim how excited they were for the socks and the gum. I know it was Christmas early for some of these people and I feel so grateful to have been apart of that Christmas exchange.

One thing I have learned over the years . . .you will never know the impact you have on the life of another. My heart is forever changed and buoyed up with love from this.

As a thank you to those that came with us last night–there was a small little celebration at Ruby Jewel afterwards. Enjoy the few pictures from our small event.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

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2017 Comes To A Close

To All My Family and Friends:

I can’t believe another year has passed us. With the sadness in the ending of another year, there is hope in the start of the new one. I hope and pray that everyone starts the new year out knowing that you are loved and valued. 2018 has the promise of change and growth but it will only ever be what we make of it. Please make it the best yet for all those you interact with and also for yourself.

Thank you to everyone that had a part in making my life a little bit better and happier this year. 2017 was full of challenges and some heartbreak but it was mostly full of growth and happiness.

I wish everyone a Very Happy New Year!!

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Holiday Traditions You Can’t Live Without

I am sure all of you get to December and you start asking those around you if certain traditions will still be going on this year. It could be the annual neighborhood party, decorating the Christmas tree on December 1st, re-enacting the nativity, or reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve; each of us has certain traditions that we like to keep.

What are your traditions?

Some of my Christmas traditions have morphed as I’ve gotten older. They have been adapted for different situations such as nieces/nephews, living oversea, or celebrating away from home. Here are some of my traditions that I like and want to keep around for years to come.

  1. Baking holiday goodies to take to all of the people who I love (not necessarily caroling; I can’t sing). This year I would like to try this recipe by Creative Home Cooking. 
  2. Having appetizers for dinner on either Christmas Eve or Christmas depending on which day works better for the traditional Christmas dinner. This year I am going to make this recipe from Lemon Tree Dwelling. 
  3. Opening one present on Christmas Eve with it usually being new pajamas or a book. If you guys have never order pajamas from Pajamagram, you have been missing out. 
  4. Turning off all of the lights in the house except for the Christmas lights and basking in their peaceful glow. I think this is one of the best things about December. Love this image from The Curious Bumblebee.
  5. Watching at least one sappy holiday Hallmark movie so I can roll my eyes and laugh with my girlfriends about. I mean no disrespect to Hallmark. I actually think it is great that they create movies that everyone can sit down and watch without being worried about something being inappropriate. At the same time, some of the endings make me roll my eyes and laugh out loud. This year I don’t have the Hallmark channel so I am making do with Netflix. I have managed to watch A Christmas Prince and the quota has been met for the year. Enjoy watching it!

The Family Bonus

It is the 5th Friday of the month and I decided to share photos from the time that I was able to spend with my family during the Christmas season. I hope everyone had a wonderful December. That wonderful memories were created this year and that there is excitement for new hopes and dreams as we start a new year. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!