Viewing Category: Personal   |   Back to Posts
May 26, 2016

Just Not Its Season... Yet.

Published in Personal
When we first moved into our house, it's safe to say we did A LOT of cleanup in the yard. We had about 7 huge trees that were dead cut down, we cleared lots of brush, and cleaned the garden beds. Then it came to the small tree towards the front of the house, which in the fall has no leaves or flowers and isn't that attractive. Chris really wanted to cut it down to clear out the front of the house more. Now, I'll be honest, I was with him on getting rid of the rotting trees and bushes, but when it came to this one I was ready to put up a stink. I told him that I thought it was a cherry tree and that it will look so beautiful when it's in bloom. He looked at me as I went on and on about this tree, and then he tried to convince me that it was too close to the house and didn't look very good. So I decided I needed to switch my tactic and get all dramatic and philosophical on him... Its got so much potential, and right now it's just not its season. We all have seasons like that, ya know? Its true beauty just isn't shining right now. For goodness sake, just give it a chance. Can't we wait and see what it looks like in the spring? Pah-leeeeeeease?! I think Chris was bored of going back and forth with me and shocked at my carrying on, more then I think my deep thoughts really moved him. But he agreed.  
 
This year will be the fifth spring that we have watched that beautiful cherry tree bloom and boy is it beautiful. Every time I look at it, it's like a personal victory. And of course, each time we go out the front door I ask Chris Aren't you so glad we didn't cut down that tree?! Ah, he never answers but just smiles because he knows it was a good call on my part. : )
Just Not Its Season... Yet.
It's What's For Dinner
May 24, 2016

It's What's For Dinner

Published in Personal
Now I know I am definitely not the world's greeeeeeatest cook, and have a sneaky suspicion that I never will be nominated for baker of the year. : ) Chris says I am actually a pretty good cook, so I am going to run with that and remind him of that... often. Or at least as often as I need to!  
 
I think I don't see myself as that good of a cook because my mom and Nana are AWESOME cooks and compared to them, well, I don't even come close to measuring up! They have tons of incredible recipes that have been in our family for decades, and its such a treat when they make one. When I was growing up, and even to this day, family meals and get-togethers never disappoint. It's always a smorgasbord of deliciousness! 
 
One thing that my family has always placed importance on is coming together and eating dinner as a family. Every single night. I remember helping my mom as a kid to set the table with silverware and plates and waiting for my dad to come home from work, knowing that we would all be sitting around the dinner table together soon. It was the one time during the day where we were all together and could just spend focused time with one another. No distractions or interruptions, just quality intentional time. We would chat about our day, school, everything and anything. Our favorite part and least favorite part of the day and the thing we were most thankful for from that day. It was one of my favorite times each day and I still remember some of those dinner conversations like it was yesterday. 
 
It is something that Chris and I make a point of doing as well and is a tradition we cherish. No phones, no computers, no email. Just sweet Greyson and the two of us. Greyson reaches out for each of our hands and listens to us both as we say grace and thank God for all of His blessings before chiming in with a big "AMEN!" at the end!  
 
We sit at the table and talk about mowing the lawn and the new flowers we should plant. We discuss our dreams and fears. We chat about the weekend's plans. We celebrate accomplishments. We talk about how hard it is to be a parent sometimes, but what a joy it is. And more often then not, there is singing, laughing and just sitting and listening to Greyson chatting up a storm and stringing together words into sentences between bites.  
 
At our wooden farm table, we have sat and talked about the little things and the big things in life. The important and not so important. This chapter and the next. 
 
Last night was no different, and tonight will be the same. Oh how I cherish this time. 
 
This photos is a throw back to this stay at home date night meal last summer - notice no baking involved! ;)
May 5, 2016

The Unexpected Gift Of Cheese

Published in Personal
Maybe it is the smell of banana bread or the song Sweet Caroline. Perhaps it is each time you eat gnocchi or see a beautiful white swan. Whatever it might be, there are things we see, smell, and hear that cross our paths and trigger a specific memory or make us think of a someone... Some of these things no one knows about but us. We hold it deep in our hearts like a buried treasure and smile each time we see our "swan." 
 
For me, one of of these thing is... wait for it... fresh parmesan cheese. Yup. And not like the fake shake kind that comes in a can with the green label and holes in the lid for sprinkling. The real kind that still has the rind and has been aged for years and requires you really to lean on the knife when you cut a chuck off. THAT kind of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Oh and it usually kind of stinks a little. That's the best kind. 
 
When I was in college lets face it, it took a little getting used to a steady diet of Ramen noodles, canned tuna, and whatever else I had on hand. It was a fine balance of allotting money for food each month with putting aside money for roadtrips and fun weekend plans. An expensive sushi dinner out with my roomates might have meant Ramen noodles for the next two nights.  
 
When I was a sophomore l remember the day the package arrived. It was marked "perishable" and shaking the box have me no clue as to what was inside. As I opened the box I saw that whatever it was was actually packed in dry ice. As I lifted away the packaging, there lay the BIGGEST block of stinky Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese I had ever seen. It was amazing. I grabbed the card and while still reading it I called home knowing exactly who had sent it. My stepdad, and fellow Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese lover, Anthony. Why? Cause he is that kind of awesome. As he answered the phone he explained that he know how much I loved this kind of cheese and thought he would just send me some. No reason. Just because. To make me laugh and let me know he was thinking of me. He explained he figured I was buying the fake shake cheese while away at college - he was right. 
 
Every time see a block of fresh amazing Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, it reminds me of Anthony's just-because delivery. It makes me think of the effort he went through to find a place that would ship it from CT to PA. Just because. That block of cheese lasted about 3 weeks and was the perfect compliment to a can of tuna or whatever I was eating for that matter. Anthony is one of the most thoughtful and sweetest people I know and constantly reminds me of the importance of unexpected just-because-no-reason gestures, big or small.
The Unexpected Gift Of Cheese
Destructive Comparison
May 3, 2016

Destructive Comparison

Published in Personal
Recently on two separate occasions someone said, "Comparison is the death of many things." Oh man, you know when you hear someone speak a truth that just lingers in the air and rings in your heart? These words have stuck with me over the past week as I have been reflecting on the truth that lies within them. Comparing IS the death of so many things... It can cause the death of marriages, friendships, being content, businesses, confidence... happiness. Comparisons can rob us of the joy that can be found in all that we are and all that we have. It can drain every drop of our own happiness as we look to who others are, what they have, their accomplishments, their lives.  
 
You know why comparison can cause the death of all these things? It's simple. The outcome of comparison is one of two things. Comparing ourselves can give us bigger heads and replaces humility with being pompous and proud. We walk around like we are better then those around us. In the same token, ironically, comparisons almost certainly always make us feel less then. When we compare we are left feeling like we aren't enough... not smart enough, talented enough, rich enough, popular enough, seen and heard enough, loved enough, successful enough, appreciated enough, good enough, special enough. Comparing ourselves always leaves us feeling this way because as sure as the sun rises each day, there will ALWAYS be people we will perceive as more and better then ourselves. We will ALWAYS be able to find someone that we compare ourselves to and will feel less then. Maybe it's looking at another person's marriage or family, maybe it's someone's bigger newer house, maybe its their booming business. We look at what they have and in feeling less then or wanting what they have, we are robed of seeing and enjoying the blessings overflowing in our own lives. Of the things we DO have. Of the way God has shown His unfailing love to us over and over again. Of the things right in front of us that some people don't have and wish they did. We lose sight of our individuality and how special and extraordinary we are. We forget that we are one of a kind and always enough. 
 
With social media having such a strong influence and presence in our culture and lives it makes falling into the trap of comparing that much easier. With a swipe of our finger we can compare the perfectly curated profiles on facebook to what we know are the realities of our own life and feel empty, resentful, alone, less then, unordinary and ungrateful. Our happiness and contentment is replaced with the jealousy, bitterness and insecurity left in comparison's wake. We can let these comparisons influence the way we treat, speak and think of others as well as ourselves and with that the death of so many things has already begun. 
 
So what's the antidote to comparisons? Stop comparing? So much easier said then done, amiright? Just as one of the woman speaking suggested, I believe that the answer is found in gratefulness. It's changing your outlook from outward to inward with a grateful heart... looking at your own self, your own life, and seeing all that you do have and the beauty it's bursting with. It's seeing all the blessings that have been poured over your life, all the prayers that have been answered, all the things in your life that bring you happiness. Its focusing on the fact that you have a beautiful roof over your head, that you have money to buy food, that you have a job, that you have your health, that you have a clean and safe place to lay your head each night, that you have a spouse and family that loves you dearly and whatever else it may be. 
 
So many people, including myself fall into the comparison trap because, lets face it, it is so easy to do again and again. And before we know it, it disintegrates the things that fill our hearts and give us life. I know that the comparison temptation will never go away, but I pray that God would give me daily a heart that is content and filled with gratefulness for His love and grace in my life. One that celebrates my individuality and cherishes my blessings and does the same celebrating and cherishing of others.
Apr 27, 2016

A Creative Mind

Published in Personal
Honestly, sometimes I feel drained of my creative juices... I feel like I get stuck in routine which leaves me feeling less then inspired. Whenever I need to feed my creative side, I try and make it a priority to take the time to do just that. No matter how busy I am or how many things are on my plate to complete, I know the importance of staying inspired and creating things... whether it's creating new ideas, writings, photos or whatever it may be. One of my favorite things is spending some time outside. Stepping away from the editing and emails and soaking in Mother Nature's details. Pouring a cup of coffee and going for a walk outside helps clear the monotony that can come with running a business and the daily tasks of life and lets the creative side of my mind race.  
 
I came across this list on Pinterest and just love it. However, I think #34 should be "Go For A Walk Outside" Amiright?! : )  
 
Happy Wednesday!
A Creative Mind
// 1 of 47 //