Do you remember the first time you stood on the beach and saw nothing but the ocean extending to the horizon and the waves crashing before you?

Do you remember the first time you saw the mountains rise from a distance and how they seemed to go on forever?

Do you remember your first day of school and not wanting to let go of your mother’s hand? Your last day of school and the excitement of going out into the world for the first time on your own?

Do you remember your first crush? Your first kiss? The first time you fell in love? The first time your heart was broken? The first time you broke someone else’s heart? 

Do you remember the first time you found out you were expecting a child? The first time you heard the baby’s heartbeat? The first ultrasound? The first kick? Seeing your baby for the first time and holding it? Hearing your child’s first cry? The first time they crawled and walked? Hearing their first word?

Do you remember your parents being your heros? Remember a time when they knew everything and then for a season they knew nothing at all? Do you remember the first time you realized how much they really loved you..unconditionally? How much they had done for you and sacrificed for you? Do you remember the first time you realized they wouldn’t be with you forever? Watching them get sick and weak? Watching them take their last breath?

There’s so much emphasis on memories, both good and bad that make us who we are. I love to remember and stay awhile inside my yesterdays. Of course it’s not good to stay there too long or we miss out on the present.

Everything and everyone in your life was once a “first time”.

Today I challenge you to appreciate and see everything and everyone you encounter as is it were the first time.

Really look at that sunrise or sunset. Listen to your children as if it were the first time you heard them speak. See the world around you as if it were the first time. Your home. Your neighborhood. The trees. The birds singing. Your pets. Your parents. Your friends. 

Oh, and don’t forget yourself! Really look at yourself and see who you are, inside and out. Forget the mistakes and heartache. The disappointments. Even the bad experiences and choices have made you who you are. Let it all go and see yourself… not only for who you are now, but for who you can become.


Another Year Older…

The day is almost over and I’m another year older, a little bit wiser, and very grateful.

It’s ironic that as children we can’t wait to get older and as adults we wish we could be free of all the responsibilities we have and slow down the clock. One piece of advice I would give to teens and young adults is this…don’t wish your lives away. Enjoy every moment because you won’t get them back.

Yes, my hair is getting gray, but I have a good hairdresser. She’s also a great person and good friend and that helps because I have to visit her more often than I once did.

I’m getting a few wrinkles around my eyes. Yes, they’re signs of aging, but also proof that I’ve laughed and cried. The laughter and tears have both helped me find a balance in life. 

One of the things I’ve worked on this past year is to not spend time worrying about things I can’t change…with myself and with others. I think I’ve made progress. It’s helped me find time for more laughter and not worrying about what others think of me. 

I am me and I am enough. On this birthday I vow to to be happy and feel joy as often as I can and to find it in all the little things we tend to take for granted. Tomorrows are what birthdays are about and I’m going to collect as many good memories as I can. 

I’m reminded of a few quotes as I close…

There is no expiration date on fabulous.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. C.S. Lewis

God didn’t promise: days without pain, laughter without sorrow, nor sun without rain, but he did promise: strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.

Happy birthday to me…

Life In The Single Lane (3)…

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with their families. Christmas is just around the corner and I’m ready!

I went out with a friend Wednesday night to celebrate our birthdays….mine early and hers late. I’ve only know her for about 8 months and she’s become a really good friend. Like me, she’s single and has a teenager that keeps her busy, but we try to go out a few times a month to relax and have some fun.

We usually go to a local bar/restaurant close to home. The atmosphere is nice and the food is good. It’s not the kind of place people go to in the hopes of meeting someone of the opposite sex. My friend is the “single and ready to mingle” type. I’m more of the” single and ready to be nervous” type. Hopefully my awkwardness makes me adorable! 

We’ve had guys buy us drinks, sit down and chat for awhile, and then move on. If they see us the next time we go in, they say “hey” and the whole process plays out again. Friendly guys hanging out in the neighborhood bar with no expectations other than to sit and talk for awhile. It’s nice.

After this happened the last time we were there, my friend and I had a discussion about being single and relationships. We’re both alike in a lot of ways. Can’t we just find a man who’s there when we want him to be and not there when we don’t?!? Sort of like, “Hey! Let’s go to the movies. Let’s go to dinner. Come over and hang out”….on our terms. Of course in our minds the men are perfectly fine with this arrangement. They actually like it.

Be there when we want you to and leave us alone when we don’t, but make sure you contact us once in awhile so we know we can still count on you when we want to see you again. 

I know that sounds selfish and not very nice. It’s not because we’re mean. If we are, there are other women out there just like us because I’ve heard it said before. We just like our freedom, yet want to enjoy some male companionship minus the relationship BUT there also has to be a connection. 

I’m certain we won’t always feel that way, but right now that’s the kind of “situationship” we’d like to think we could find.  And no, I’m not talking about “no strings attached” sex or one night stands. That’s not who I am or who I want to be. I’m not passing judgement on anyone else. It’s just not something I’m comfortable with.

I’m not saying any of this would work out the way my friend and I talked about. It was just a conversation between two friends and in our perfect worlds, at this moment in time, that’s what we’d be interested in while we live life in the single lane.

Update…for the past several months I’ve been talking to a man who lives a few states away. He’s very nice. Friendly. Respectful. Successful. Funny. Interesting. Like me, he’s divorced. He travels with his job so we’ve talked about meeting the next time he’s in the area. It’s nice to have someone to talk to again, but I have no expectations. I’ll just enjoy the interaction for the present and let the future take care of itself. 

Happy Fall Y’all…

It may still be in the 90’s the for the rest of the week, but the first day of Fall is officially here….my favorite season!

Here are some things I enjoy about my favorite season…

1. Oversized sweatshirts & jeans

2. Long walks during cool evenings

3. Crackling fires

4. The beautiful, fall colors

5. Hot chocolate

6. Fall festivals

7. Fall sunsets

8. Crisp, cool weather and no humidity

9. Falling leaves

10. Scarecrows

11. Finding the perfect pumpkin

12. Smores

13. Blankets, cuddling, and books

14. Candy corn mixed with peanuts

15. Hayrides, bonfires, and fires on the patio

16. Pumpkin pie, chili, soups, and stews

17. Preparing for the upcoming holidays

18. Halloween movies 

19. Hiking

20. Decorating the house…right down to the apple and cinnamon smells that greet you when you enter my home.

I’m including a recipe for spiced apple cider…just because

64 fluid ounce bottle apple cider 

3 cinnamon sticks 

1 teaspoon whole allspice 

1 teaspoon whole cloves 

1/3 cup brown sugar 

In a slow cooker, combine apple cider and cinnamon sticks. Wrap allspice and cloves in a small piece of cheesecloth, and add to pot. Stir in brown sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, and keep warm. Cook for one hour and serve warm….it’s good cold, too.

Enjoy the season folks! Leave a comment about your favorite thing about fall….

**image courtesy of Google 

When September Ends…

September. It’s one of my favorite months. Fall has always been my favorite season and September is the month that reminds me it’s just around the corner. 

I don’t know why I find the fall so comforting, but I do. 

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that everything looks so beautiful for a short time before winter arrives. We marvel in that beauty, savoring every moment because we know it won’t last…change is coming. It’s only depressing when the trees are finally bare and yet there’s the promise that in the spring everything will be beautiful again, but in a different way. 

The seasons changing mirrors our lives. We all go through seasons of change. We go through good times and bad. Neither one will last forever. The only constant in life is that there will be change. The seasons remind us that when something devastating or heartbreaking happens to change us, we will go thru a season of darkness and renewal….and with hope and faith we’ll come back refreshed and just as beautiful, but different. It also reminds us to cherish every good moment that comes our way because those will be what sustain us during the dark times. 

The seasons of life are constantly changing as a result of simply being human. Always perservere. Carry on and do your best. Whether it’s a good season in your life or bad please remember…just as the seasons change, the seasons of your life will change you.

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

Khalil Gibran

1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3 King James Version (KJV)

It’s a new season. A perfect opportunity to do something new, something bold, something beautiful!

Fall shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.

God prunes us when he is about to take us into a new season of growth and expansion.

Fall…the season that shows us that change can be beautiful.

Don’t try to stretch a season into a lifetime. Know when to let go and move on.

The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.

Phrases I’ve heard or read, but don’t know who to credit

My Happy Place…

The beach and the mountains have always been my “happy place”. My wanderlust kicked in this weekend and not having either of these places close by, I took a little drive just to relax and get away while the weather is still nice. I wasn’t disappointed.

Sometimes you just need to relax a little and get away from all the “busy” in the world. Nothing but the sound of the wind blowing thru the trees and the birds singing. A quiet place to reflect. I’m realizing that once you figure out who you are and what you like about yourself…everything else starts to fall into place.

This was my new happy place for a short time and it gave me a sense of peace and happiness this weekend. I thought I’d share my photos with you and a few thoughts I had while I was there. 

If you know one place well, you look at all others differently. If you love one place you can also learn to love others and they all hold special memories that are unique and one of a kind.

The maps we make for our own private worlds are precious.

Be The Change…

In light of all the sadness and tragedy clouding the news lately, let this be a reminder of how remarkably beautiful this world can be. We have to remember where there is darkness, there is also light. Where there is death and violence, there is kindness and selflessness. Courage and compassion still very much exist in our world. 

If you see a positive story in the news, take a few minutes and post it on your blog or leave a link to it in the comments to share with others….I’ll start. Have a great day!

I’ve had several ideas for positive blog posts in the last few days! Some of them will be interactive where I ask those reading to participate or to leave a comment. I hope you will! We need more positivity in the world right now!