Trimming The Tree With Memories (from the best of Mom2Mom)

It took a long time for us to trim the tree this year.  Well first of all we had to wait for my middle daughter to get home from school.  Originally we were going to have to wait until the 22nd but she surprised us this weekend and came home for an unexpected visit so one of the first things we did was finish the tree.  It did look nice with just the little lights, I was getting kind of used to that look, but I will have to admit it does look prettier with ornaments too!

We have a very eclectic collection of ornaments.  Some from my childhood, some from before I met my husband, and some from when we were first married. But we have oodles of ornaments since our girls were born.  Baby’s first Christmas, we have a few of those.  We have some of those fun “made by your child” ornaments, some construction paper school ornaments, some from vacation destinations we have been to.  But we have a large assortment of ornaments that our daughters picked out every year since they were born.  It was a new tradition we started at a friend’s suggestion. And I am so glad we did.  It’s fun to look at those and remember what they were thinking about the year they picked them out:  Santa, , Barney, soccer, Harry Potter, Mickey Mouse, a play they were in, music, basketball, hippos, snowmen, pirates and the list goes on. 

Each ornament had a memory and a story and I guess I was feeling nostalgic as we hung them on the tree.  As I took each one out of the tote I thought about where we lived when we bought the ornament and who picked it out and why.  I had so many wonderful memories come to mind. My girls are young adults now and one of these days they will be off on their own.  All those ornaments and memories will go with them as they begin their own life and their own story.

So being the organized mom that I am I bought an ornament box for my oldest daughter. And this year as we untrim the tree, I will put her ornaments (and my memories) in a new box-her own special ornament tote.  I don’t plan on her leaving any time soon but I figured I’ve got to be ready. 

And if the ornament boxes go on sale after the holidays I will get two more and organize my other girls’ memories.  Next year when we go to trim the tree, they can use their own box as we trim our family tree and they can stroll down memory lane much like I did today. 

Why not start a new tradition this year with your own children?  It’s easy and inexpensive and the memories are priceless.  Do you have an ornament tradition?  I’d love to hear about it.  Please leave your comments.  Blessings, Leigh

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Thanksgiving-A Time To Be Thankful Or A Day That Marks The Start Of Christmas?(from the best)

Last weekend, my husband, daughter and I went to South Carolina to attend a college football game.  Afterwards we went out to eat and then started the drive home.  My husband turned on the radio and we heard
Christmas songs.  Too early, don’t you think?

I know the stores have the Christmas decorations in the stores already.  In fact, Christmas items started arriving in the stores shortly after school started.  But more and more, I have noticed that people are decorating for Christmas prior to Thanksgiving.  I guess they think when company comes everything is ready for Christmas.  They have decorations up and Christmas dishes ready for the Thanksgiving turkey.  One friend even mentioned on FB that they are decorated and ready for Christmas.  I have even seen a Christmas tree in the windows of one of the houses on my street.

But that is one race I will not win.  I love Thanksgiving and I love having autumn
decorations up. I decorate for fall around September 1st, shortly after schools starts.  I love to see the fall colors and the leaves, pumpkins, scarecrows and gourds.  I want to enjoy each season and I want to set aside time to be thankful for all the blessings I have.  Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful every day, but I enjoy a special time of family and friends at Thanksgiving and look forward to seeing everyone around the table and mark off another year of telling everyone what we are thankful for that year.  A time of gratitude. I am so thankful that each and every one of them can be there another year.  I know the day after Thanksgiving typically starts the beginning of the holiday shopping season.  And that’s okay with me.  I will put up most of the Christmas decorations that weekend.  But the
Christmas tree and the stockings will wait for a weekend when my husband and children can spend time decorating the tree, enjoy hot cocoa and then have a fire in the fireplace and enjoy the result of our hard work.  I know it’s hard for children to wait for Christmas, but I can wait.   I will pass the time by taking a little extra time to enjoy the Thanksgiving season for what it means to me and my family.

Leigh@mom2momtoday.com

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Patience (from the best of Mom2Mom)

A few years ago, I met a lady at our church in Virginia.  She was happily married to a sweet man, had 4 sons and was expecting a baby in the next few months.  She loved all her boys but was hoping that this time she would have a little girl.  A few months later, she did, and she quickly named her Patience, a name she felt was symbolic of her life.  Everyone loved the idea and felt the name was perfect.

Patience is a virtue, isn’t it?  Not one that we ever seem to have enough of.  I have often heard people comment about patience.  “Don’t pray for patience! If you do you will get something to help you learn (or try your) patience. “   I have to agree, there are many times that I have felt short of patience, or out of patience, or have quietly reminded myself to be patient.  I have found though, that each time I felt that way, I think God was chiseling away bits of me that needed refining.  These temporary moments of lack of patience or times that try your patience are actually reminders that you should slow down, calm down or just seek God to help you see through what the problem really is.  Most of the time we are too busy doing too many things and are overextended so anything that comes up seems to throw us off schedule causing us to lash out over little things. Whoa!

So how do we get more patience?  Slow down.  Remember that the times you seem to have the least amount of patience are the times that you are more focused on yourself than others.  Remember why you are doing the things you are doing.  If you are busy doing things for others, make sure you are doing them for the right reasons.  Not because you want people to look at you to see all you are doing, because then you are doing these things for yourself.  And don’t neglect the people you should be serving by being too busy, like your family, that’s when you seem to lose your cool. Patience.

Do you remember the lyrics in an old song…. slow down, you move too fast…… ?  Remember, the holidays are coming.  So slow down, enjoy the prelude, enjoy each and every step on the way, enjoy your family, and then relax and enjoy.

Do you have patience?  Has something tried your patience?  Have you lost your patience? How did you get past it?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Leave your comments.  Do you know someone that would benefit from this blog?  Feel free to share my blog with them or share it on Facebook.  Have a blessed day!

Leigh@mom2momtoday.com

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Angels (from the best of Mom2Mom)

It’s funny when you have children how different they all can be even though they were raised the same way.  My youngest daughter did so many dangerous things when she was a toddler that her sisters nicknamed her Danger Baby.  She climbed the cabinets, locked herself in the car and would swim underwater the length of the pool causing lifeguards to jump in thinking they needed to rescue her.  The girl had no fear.

Around this same time, the song, “10,000 Angels” was popular and every time I heard it, it would remind me of Sarah.  One of the lines was,”I need 10,000 angels watching over me.”  I would joke about it and laughingly started collecting angels figuring I had a long way to 10,000.

In the Keeping Room of my house now, I have lots of angels as my collection just kept growing.  Sarah is 16 now and no longer a Danger Baby, but she is driving and I pray that she stays safe.  She is entering a part of her life where the danger is very different from the Danger Baby days.   And she still needs those angels watching over her.

The angels I have collected now sit around as keepsakes of her youth. But I know that there are angels out there, watching over all of us.  In the Bible, it says in Hebrews 13:2, Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.  Sometimes a person swoops into your life, blesses you with their presence and then is gone.  They were there when you needed them and just as quickly gone.  Have you entertained an angel lately?

Calling all Angels, Calling all Angels, Walk me through this one, don’t leave me alone.

Calling all Angels, Calling all Angels, we’re trying, we’re hoping, but we’re not sure how.  Jane Siberry

Leigh@mom2momtoday.com

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Wait A Minute (from the Best of Mom2Mom)

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Do-over (from the Best of Mom2Mom)

A few years ago, the movie Groundhog Day was in the theatres.  I am sure you are familiar with the movie.  It was about a man named Phil who kept waking up and reliving Groundhog Day over and over and over and was given the opportunity to correct the mistakes he made until he got it right.  Phil, the main character, was an arrogant man that no one really liked.  He was self-centered, focused only on  imself.  He was an egocentric Pittsburgh TV weatherman and this particular day he was assigned to report the weather on Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.  He was rude to the residents of the town, his co-workers, his producer, and his cameraman, anyone that was there.  A blizzard causes the television team to spend the night in the town and this is where he wakes up over and over and relives the day.

I know we can’t relive the same day over and over to right some of the wrongs we may have done that day-maybe we said something we shouldn’t have or passed by an opportunity to help someone else.   But I know I am thankful for every morning that I am able to wake up and can try again to do better or to make right; things I did that weren’t my best.  I am
thankful for second chances and although there may not be any do-overs in life like in Groundhog Day, every day we do have on earth we can try to do our best.  We can love with all our heart, we can apologize to those we wronged, and we can smile more and help and serve others.  I want to keep trying and am thankful for each day I am blessed with.

How about you?  Is there something you need to fix?  Something you need to re-do? Someone that deserves a second chance or an apology?  Don’t miss an opportunity to
correct our wrongs – Phil the weatherman had the opportunity to relive his day until he got it right. That only happens in movies.  We don’t know how many days we will be
blessed with.  Don’t take another day for granted.   Be thankful for today.  Make it count!

Leigh@mom2momtoday.com

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He’s The Reason We’re Free! (from the Best of Mom2Mom)

“He’s the reason we’re free!”  I’ll never forget hearing those words.  My husband had taken the girls to visit some veterans on Veteran’s Day.  As the girls entered the hallway, a young man in a wheelchair approached them.  He had lost his legs and one arm in war.  Sarah looked at her dad and then at the man and said “He’s the reason Americans are free today!”  The young man just nodded as if he was showing gratitude for her comment.   Oh Veteran’s Day!  Let me back up a little bit….

When I was growing up, Veteran’s Day was a holiday from school.  I never really thought too much about it. It was day you could usually find someone handing out poppies for a
donation.  I liked the poppies.  My dad would usually buy me one.

When I met my husband, he was in the Navy, on active duty.  And once married I quickly began to learn what it was like to be a Dependent Wife.  We moved around a lot and each place brought us new adventures, new homes and new friends.  The people you would quickly make friends with and live nearby for a short while but have kept in touch with forever.  I loved moving.  Someone would come and pack up your life into some boxes and crates while you watched and then deliver them to your new home.

Mostly I loved the adventure.  The adventure hit a little too close to home when we were stationed in Guam.  First my husband had a scuba accident and the island had an earthquake and during the 2 years we were there we survived 37 typhoons, water rationing, power outages and brown tree snakes.  For those of you not used to typhoons, they are hurricanes that form in the Pacific (hurricanes form in the Atlantic).   Funny thing is I had always heard “women and children” first, but not in the Navy.  If a storm was approaching, the sailors would take that ship out to safe water and leave the women and children to fend for themselves.  It was a long two years. The scuba accident coupled with other problems caused my husband to be disabled and once out of the military, he became not only a veteran but a disabled veteran.

Because of his love of the military, my husband now works for the VA and helps takes care of other veterans like himself.  He loves to educate people on the Veteran’s benefits they may be entitled to.  He has even written a book on benefits and has started his own blog to help veterans.  I guess you could say we are a blogging family.

From the time my girls were in elementary school, they have spent many of our country’s holidays visiting veterans in the hospital, usually the Spinal Cord Injury or SCI center.
The men and women there enjoyed the visits and cookies my daughters would share.  Many of these veterans were in there early 20’s.  Hence the young man
mentioned in the beginning of today’s blog.

So now Veteran’s Day means more to me than poppies.  It is about the men and women who bravely fought for all the freedoms we take for granted every day.  Oh, I will buy a poppy and I will wear it proudly to honor all the veterans for all they have done.  And I will hug a veteran, now where is my husband?

Speaking of veterans, please visit my husband’s blog at www.veteransadvice.wordpress.com.

Leigh@mom2momtoday.com

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