Freshening up and a Note of Thanks in the New Year

As we begin a new year, I want to say thank you to my Stacy’s Flutterings followers! I truly am thankful for each one of you. And I look forward to visiting with you this year!

And I have to be honest! I can’t believe I haven’t blogged in over a year! Wow! Time is flying. But I’m back! And to get back into the groove of things, I thought I’d share with you my latest project. And a little side note, it feels good to be back home on the Web!

So what have I been doing the last couple of days? Well…I’ve been updating my surroundings at home. Well…not really. And my family can attest to that. But I have been cleaning! Honest, I have! I’ve been freshening up the blog, and I’ve updated the book cover to Simply 1 Mom’s Thoughts About Coping. And I hope you check it out! Let me know what you think! My hope is that the newest cover represents the hope that resides within.

Now that I’ve shared, let me know what you are doing! I enjoy hearing from you! Until then…I’ve got a house to clean and a project waiting for me. That my family would agree with! See you again soon!

P.S. I’m already writing the next post. And it’s about a special, and important, moment I had with my son. Now back to cleaning!

Stacy (1 Mom)

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Humor at the King’s House | The Traveling Christmas Tree Ornaments

TravelingOrnamentsPhotoI noticed yesterday, after a quick glance at our Christmas tree, that the ornaments that were carefully placed on the tree a few weeks ago have moved!

Say what? They Moved?!

Yes, the ornaments have moved. Let me see if I can explain. A few weeks back, my oldest daughter had neatly hung each ornament in a random fashion on most of the tree limbs. Well…the ornaments were hung as high as she could reach on her tiptoes without a ladder, and they covered as much of the tree as possible. The fact that the ornaments were hung only so high was quite okay with us. For the most part, we’ve been happy that the tree has been decorated, and it has become an inviting centerpiece in our living room with its colorful ornaments, twinkling lights and warm glow. However, fast forward to today, and things have changed!

How have things changed?

Ahem…well…we had everything in its place: one 9 foot tree standing tall against one of the living room walls secured by a Christmas tree base, a linen white, quilted tree skirt neatly placed on the floor and carefully spread around the tree, a few wrapped gifts nestled under the tree, and ornaments hung with care…I’m sitting in my office typing these words with a smile on my face, and I’m shaking my head. The Christmas tree ornaments are no longer in their designated place. Let me see if I can describe what I see when I’m in the living room. I see: one 9 foot tree standing tall against one of the living rooms walls secured by a Christmas tree base, a linen white, quilted tree skirt now graced with glitter and a few Legos here and there, wrapped gifts nestled under the tree that, due to their location, appear to have been moved, and I see…wait for it! Drum roll please! I see ornaments that have moved to the middle of the tree! There are no longer ornaments gracing the bottom half of the tree, and there are no ornaments gracing the top of the tree (since it’s too high), and so all the ornaments now reside somewhere in the middle of the tree.

LilyChristmasVisitI imagine that you are wondering what happened to our Christmas tree?!

Simply put, we have a two year old in the house! And now, in addition to an adorable two year old, who can’t resist temptation, and likes to remove the ornaments so that she can take a closer look, we have the cutest puppy ever who is curious as well. Do you see her to the left? (Isn’t she adorable?) Just imagine: a Christmas tree decorated with all of the ornaments, somewhere in the middle, a two year old running by the tree with a fluffy puppy bouncing a long behind her! I couldn’t be happier! It doesn’t matter where our Christmas tree ornaments are hung. What matters is that we are together. And I love it! Happy holidays everyone!

Growing stronger…

A Lesson Learned About Time | The Dew on the Branch

DSCN5693-001Just last week, while in St. Louis visiting my kids, I had an interesting experience that turns out to be unforgettable. What experience am I talking about? Well…it was Thursday morning, and I had taken my daughter Katlin’s puppy outside in hopes that the tiny, 3 pound, four legged, black and brown, cute, furry bundle of energy would do her business so we could go back inside, especially since it was chilly outside. In fact, it was so chilly I could see my breath! As Katlin’s puppy made her way around the yard, I paced back and forth on the patio trying to stay warm. It was while I was pacing back and forth that I noticed something.

What did I notice?

I noticed a forgotten single branch laying on a weathered picnic table. It looked like someone had plucked the branch from a nearby tree, and for some reason, placed it on the table. Actually, the branch was almost unnoticeable. It’s surprising that I saw it. It was the same faded gray color as the picnic table. It was obvious that the branch had dried out just like the table. Both the table and the branch appeared more white than gray. Time had made its impression on both with the wind, rain, snow and sun. And yet, despite how lifeless the branch looked, life graced it’s presence with a shiny drop of dew. The dew was frozen in place on the branch. And it was at that very moment, when I had noticed the frozen droplet of dew, that I had the thought, “I should take a picture of this.”

Did I take a picture of the branch decorated with the shiny, frozen drop of dew?

I didn’t take a picture. Even though the thought, that I should take a picture, came to my mind more than once, I didn’t act. Instead, I refocused on the puppy, and moved on. The puppy and I walked back inside the warm house and settled in. The puppy ran around the kitchen playing with her dog toys, and I sat at the kitchen table planning out my next blog post. It was about an hour later, when I took the puppy back outside, that I saw that the frozen dew on the branch had melted. In that moment of realization I felt frustrated with myself. I asked  myself, “Why didn’t I take that picture?!” I had missed it. As you can tell, I’m still somewhat frustrated with myself that I didn’t take the time to take a picture. I missed it. It’s now gone. I can’t retrieve it. The picture would have been beautiful and symbolic, but the dew melted. It’s gone…

What is the lesson learned about time?

The dew on the branch is symbolic to me of the fact that life is fleeting. Next time we notice something that is important enough that it captures our attention, let’s do our best to capture the moment. Let’s seize it however you we can because at the moment that we notice it, it’s vanishing right in front of us.

Growing stronger…

The Zip Line Ride Over the Year 2015

SFBlog-2015-Calendar-Image

Wow! Where has the year gone? There are only about 5 weeks left before the calendars we look at, in all their paper and techy formats we are so familiar with, change to 2016. How did this happen?

Somehow, 11 months have zipped by as if I was sliding uncontrollably along an inclined cable on a zip line ride over the year 2015 with the tips of my toes barely touching each month as they passed by. Some months I glided over, like the months of January and February, looked and felt like the rough and rugged terrain of Alaska while other months I glided over, like the months of June and July, looked and felt like the smooth and glassy waters of a calm sea. Regardless of how the past several months have looked and felt as I glided month to month, we are in November, and November is almost over. Yikes!

Now what happens since 2015 is almost over?

The ride is about over, and it’s almost time for me to unbuckle the harness of 2015, slide it off and put the harness of 2016 on, buckle up and once again ride over the year 2016. Important to note, it’s all good. I’m not complaining. I’m just sitting here typing these words in awe at how time seems to speed up the older I get. And I have so much to do like:

  • Finish unpacking from our move last April
  • Finally sift through, and organize, our family’s old and neglected photos from years past (mind you, the photos I’m talking about are in several different plastic totes as well as on the computer!)
  • Deep clean the house
  • Start, and stick to, living a healthy lifestyle including healthy eating and exercise
  • Clean our cars
And the list goes on and on, and of course it doesn’t include my work goals and aspirations! I imagine that you understand where I am coming from.

What I Realize After Reflecting Back on the Year

As I reflect back on the past 11 months, regardless of how quickly the months have flown by, I realize how fortunate I am, and my  heart is filled with gratitude for all I have including my beautiful family and friends. And I’m actually looking forward to the zip line ride over the year 2016. I hope you are too! Hang on tight because, ready or not, the next zip line ride is right around the corner!

Growing stronger…