December Daily – Day 31

Celebration

Welcome 2019

This evening as the ball drops in New York City’s Times Square, I will be spending time surrounded by my family. We will attempt to wake the kiddos before the stroke of midnight and they will likely be too crabby to enjoy the clanging of the pots and pans that will take place to ring in 2019. Within the 20 minutes after midnight we will gather our things and scurry home. Our late partying days our over but we always make the effort to stay up until midnight.

One tradition that we always observe is writing down our top memories of the past year and what we are looking forward to in the new year. We have been keeping this tradtion for many years. It is always fun to look back and through the years and see what our memories were and what we were hoping to accomplish.

I look forward to the new year and I hope that you do as well! May 2019 be your best year yet.

December Daily – Day 30

Begin

I love the idea of a new beginning. New years, new weeks, new quarters. I can think of reasons to start anew all the time. The truth is that there is nothing particularly magical about a new year. Your ability to change and grow is a power you hold within yourself and you may choose to exercise your ability to change at any moment. In fact, life does not wait for new years or Mondays to inject a life-altering change. Change can happen to you in any moment. In line at the grocery story, in traffic, or in ways that you never expected. Though change is hard, it also brings growth. We are programmed to fear change. However, when we change and look back the person before the change is almost unrecognizable. Without change we do not grow.

I wish you luck in whatever changes you wish to make this year. I wish you peace for whatever unexpected changes occur in your life. Most of all I wish you the strength it takes to face these changes and integrate them in to your life.

December Daily – Day 29

Reflect

The holiday was good for me. It was minimally stressful and I spent time with those I love. Now that we are a few days out I have had my pictures developed and have put many of the gifted items away. I love to look at the pictures. There is always something new to see. And walgreens had a $.09 print special!

There is a nice calm transition period before life really kicks back in to high gear. I hope that you had a nice holiday and that you are feeling positive heading in to the new year. If you are having a tough time, try writing a list of things that you are grateful for. I am grateful that you are here. Sending love and best wishes!

December Daily – Day 28

Transition

The transition between the new year and the passing year can be a time of reflection and hope. 2018 fades away and 2019 waits patiently to bring new possibilities. What has brought you joy in 2018? What do you wish for 2019?

2018 was a good year for me. It followed a particularly hard year and I am grateful. In 2018 I completed a year of my Master’s degree, visitied Disney with my family, and spent lots of time by the ocean. I feel closer to my family than ever. My daughter is growing and learning so fast it takes my breath away. I began a new career and continue to grow and change personally and professionally. 2018 was good to me.

2019 is shaping up to be intense. My last year of my Nurse Practitioner Program requires intense focus and I know it will be challenging but worth it. We are working on a major home project that will bring much change and excitement. 2019 will be busy and demanding. That is ok. Whatever challenges await me, I am ready. I know I have all the tools to get me through, most importantly the backing of my incredible family.

December Daily – Day 21

Prepare

Preparing for the holiday can be stressful. It can take a lot out of you. Hopefully, the stress and preparations will all pay off on Christmas Day. As you prepare there are several obstacles you may run in to; traffic, busy stores, sold out items, and the most frustration, miserable people. It is easy to become overwhelmed in preparation for the holiday. Just remember to take a breath and try not to let the obstacles overwhelm you. Make sure to take care of yourself by enjoying quiet time or by engaging in practices that allow you to calm down after a hard day of shopping.

December Daily – Day 20

Receive

Receiving gifts has been an uncomfortable feeling for me in the past. I am not sure if anyone else feels that way. I am always afraid that I won’t be able to demonstrate my appreciation enough. However, as I get older and have more life experience, I really appreciate the gifts that are given to me. I know that my family and friends are trying to demonstrate their love for me and who I am as a person.

The best gift I have ever received is difficult to pin down. My circle is great at gift giving. I am extremely fortunate to have such a caring family. They know me very well. I do my best to try to make sure they receive gifts that are meaningful to them.

December Daily – Day 19

Gifts

The Gift of Gifting

Christmas brings many gifts. Not just the physical gifts that are given and received. Also, the gifts of happiness, family, and love. Gifts have the ability to show the ones you love that you understand and appreciate those things they enjoy. It gives the opportunity to demonstrate your appreciation for the receiver of the gift. My favorite gifts to give are to the kiddos in my life. They are at the age where they are struck by the wonder and excitement of everything. I know that this time is limited for the wonder that Christmas brings for the kiddos. Maybe that is why I love this time with them, because I know I need to savor it because it is limited.

December Daily – Day 18

Lights

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I have a love affair with white lights. I think they are so beautiful and classic. My husband loves color. He would put colorful lights up everywhere if he could. And so, we learn to compromise…white lights everywhere. Just kidding, of course. We have mostly white lights around the house. Our front porch has blue icicle lights, which are very pretty. We also added a cool snow fall effect this year, which I was able to get for a steal at LTD Commodities. Tell me about your lights.

Urbinwoodcraft (The Mr. to my Mrs.) wrote this response to my blog post:

I have grown to really enjoy the white lights over the years. Although adding some color isn’t a bad thing, the white lights, just like you babe, are classy and beautiful, and I really enjoy them.

December Daily Day 17

Spirit

When I was younger (not that I am ancient now, but less experienced) I used to complain about the fuss over Christmas. All the stops we would have to make and people I would complain about seeing. I would think about how taxing all of this was instead of recognizing the love that was expressed on this day. I was immature and ungrateful. Time has a cruel way of revealing the truth. I look around now on Christmas and I am so thankful for my family and for the opportunity to show how I love them and spend time with them. It isn’t until members of your family start to disappear that you understand their importance in your life.

Growing up I was fortunate to have both sets of grandparents and a network of extended family. These people helped to shape me in to who I am today. Now I look around and their numbers have dwindled. Time has taken them away. I believe the old saying “youth is wasted on the young”. Wisdom and appreciation arrive with experience and it is sometimes too late. There are times I wish I could go back to years that I wasted thinking about what an inconvenience it was to spend time with my family. I know now that the only thing that I can change is the present. Live in the now and show thanks for what and who you have. Sometimes the present is the present.

sometimes the present is the present

December Daily Day 16

Heritage

Wigilia Dinner

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2017 Wigilia Tablescape My mother keeps it classy while providing fun for her grandchildren.

One Christmas Tradition that our family observes every year without fail is Wigilia dinner. Our family is of Polish and Slovak descent, so this tradition Christmas Eve Dinner is a practice that has been occurring for generations. My mother has been the host for as long as I can remember. She always sets the most beautiful table complemented by the Christmas flowers my father sends her each year. Prior to the meal we break bread called Oplatki. This tradition is meant to symbolize the unity of the family. It also symbolizes forgiveness and reconciliation which can be particularly important this time of year.

This dinner is meat free and typically begins with mushroom soup. Although this dish may not be a favorite of everyone, we still eat it because tradition, right? Additional

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2017 Wigilia Family Dinner

dishes include shrimp, fish sticks, pierogies, and pagach. It is very carbohydrate friendly. Often times my grandmother will make homemade nut roll for dessert. Which is delicious, particularly warmed and smeared with butter.

Wigilia dinner is a great tradition. Though we celebrate our family with weekly family dinners, Wigilia is special, and it feels special.