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December 31, 2009

What a Difference A Day Makes

I woke yesterday morning to yet another glorious sunrise. The way the color swept across the sky and rose up over the trees was truly magnificent. Despite the chill in the air on the frosty winter morning, I couldn't help but feel the warmth from the heavens.

Then, just twenty-four hours later, a completely different view from the same vantage point -- equally glorious, but a different sort of warmth. Perhaps a heaven-sent message of purity, grace, hope -- and a gentle reminder to slow down and enjoy life in the coming year.

Best wishes for a healthy, happy and safe New Year.

December 29, 2009


In a million years I never anticipated the incredible outpouring of support through SITS! I am positively overwhelmed!

THANK YOU for swinging by my blog yesterday and for all of the kind comments that you left.

I am going to work my way to all of your blogs to say hello and thank you "in person" -- but I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate the time you spent visiting with me yesterday. I'm so grateful to everyone who commented -- especially on some of my older posts, like The Philosophy of Nicholas & Sarah. That was my very first post -- ever -- and one that gave you a peek into my heart. It had gone largely unnoticed until yesterday, and the outpouring of kind and supportive remarks really lifted my spirit.

The day is yours -- choose happy!

December 27, 2009

Unexpected Christmas Gifts!

Dear Santa,
I just wanted to write to say thank you, because once again, WE DID IT!
Another wonderful holiday has come and gone, and I owe it all to you. With your help we decorated, shopped, wrapped, baked (more than 450 cookies), cooked, and this year we even managed to get a holiday card out...EARLY!! I know it was only an e-greeting, but it beat the heck out of no greeting at all! (Thank you!)

Beyond all of the usual holiday-related tasks, this year you even helped us move our daughter home from college and get her transfer applications out in time, so that she can start second semester at a school closer to home. Yes, we pulled it off...even while I was adjusting to the new job and new commute.

Like every year, I know I couldn't have done it without you!

The only thing I have been bummed about through the holidays, is that I rarely found time to keep up with my blogs. At this time of year there are so many great family traditions, funny stories and special recipes to share -- but with everything that was going on, the time to write escaped me. By the middle of last week I was getting kind of cranky, because I really NEED my writing time – in fact I was just whining to my hubby that after the holidays I was determined to get back into better routine that gave me my "escape" time to write.

Lo and behold, you must have been eavesdropping on our conversation, because the very next day I received a message from Heather at The Secret Is In The Sauce, saying that I was going to be today's featured blogger. That news was just the little shot in the arm that I needed to stay true to my commitment! So....THANK YOU Santa...and my SITS friends...for this wonderful, and very unexpected gift!

Whether today is your first or fiftieth visit to my blog, I just want to Welcome You and Thank You for stopping by today. Please pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and join me ‘Round the Kitchen Table. I'm not exactly sure how I’d describe this place – it’s kind of like everyday life – with a little bit of this, and little bit of that.

If you have time, I hope you’ll check out some of my favorite posts, including The Philosophy of Nicholas and Sarah, which I truly believe holds the secret to life! You can also find some quick and easy recipes -- but I apologize in advance if you stumble upon broken links in my recipes.

Also, if you’re so inclined, I’d love for you to swing by my other blog – Today I Pray. As I try to figure out how I'm going to manage the two blogs in the new year, I’d really love your suggestions about how I could bring the two blogs together somehow.

Thanks again for coming by today. I look forward to getting to know you -- I've met so many great people through SITS, I know this is the beginning of some great new connections!

I know that 2010 is a joy-filled year for you if you remember the secret of life -- just be happy!!


December 22, 2009

I Can't Take Credit...

...but I can find joy in sharing this message with you. A version of this message arrived in my email today and I absolutely consider it an early Christmas present -- one I will gladly share with you.

By Regina Brett, The Plain Dealer

September 20, 2007, 2:03PM

Originally published in The Plain Dealer on Sunday, May 28, 2006

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.

It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don't ask, you don't get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Wishing you a joyful Christmas, and true happiness in the New Year!

Lauren :)

December 18, 2009