Tag Archives: family

Let’s make a memory….

27 Jun

As I thought about what to put in my intro to my newsletter for the month of July, I decided to google “July Holidays.”  I had NO idea all the things that I need to celebrate in the month of July.  Did you know that July is National Blueberry Month, National Anti-Boredom Month, National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, National Hot Dog Month, and National Ice Cream Month???? I had no idea. And, then we get into the days of the month…it appears that the 16th of July is the only date on the calendar that has no celebration. Here in the US, we are all familiar with Independence Day that we celebrate on July 4th – and those of us that have friends in Canada know that July 1st is Canada Day. But, there are sooooo many more celebrations to have!

For example, July 3rd is Compliment Your Mirror Day. July 7th is Chocolate Day and National Strawberry Sundae Day.  On July 10th, it is Teddy Bear Picnic Day. And on the 13th, we are supposed to embrace our geekness!  I will choose NOT to celebrate National Nude Day on the 14th and don’t want to know if you do 😉  Even the Ratcatchers get a Holiday on the 22nd.You can Take Your Pants for a Walk on the 27th and we would be remiss to miss Father-in-law Day on the 30th!!!  These are just a sampling of the Unique and Bizaare Holidays that one can celebrate in the month of July.  (My source was:  http://holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/july.htm)

Crazy? Fun? Interesting? Sure!!!! That’s what life is about.  Finding the small things and celebrating them.  Taking ordinary moments and turning them into a joyous occasion and a reason to make memories with friends and family members.  It’s not the big vacations that fill our lives with so much joy…..Yes, they are fun to take and we do create many memories while we are on those vacations.  But, we cannot live at Disney World all year long.  We have to learn to savor the unexpected, fun moments that come our way when we are least expecting it…..and to take a crazy Holiday like, Sidewalk Egg Frying Day, and actually celebrate it.

Too many times we wait for the BIG occasions to make memories and enjoy life….life is too short to just wait for once-a-year vacations.  Every day there is something to celebrate…try it….see how creative you can get…..LIVE in the moment and embrace it!

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On the road…in the air

12 Jun

Summer is here and many of us will embark on a few journeys during the next three months.  Weekend getaways to the beach or to the mountains. Long weekends to the cabin. Holiday travel over the 4th of July and over the Labor Day weekend.  Road trips and airports can wreak havoc on our wellbeing if we don’t plan in advance and make wise choices.  All it takes is a little preparation and planning to keep us from the potholes of bad foods.

If you’re traveling by car, packing a picnic basket and cooler is a great way to ensure that you have healthy choices at your fingertips.  Some great memories can be made as you look for fun picnic stops along your way.  Stock the car with fruits, trail mix, water, juice, etc.  The food items that are in your pantry at home can be transferred to your car.  Not only will this decision help your waistline….it will also help save you money!  If you have children, eating a picnic lunch at a park or roadside rest area can provide them an opportunity to play, run, and be loud….something they cannot do (or should not do) in a restaurant.

If you’re traveling by airplane, it is definitely a good choice to bring snacks….most airports snacks are not healthy and are very expensive.  Also, bring your water bottle along…. No, you cannot have water in it when you go through security, but you can take an empty water bottle through security and then all you have to do is find a water fountain.  Some airports have water filtering systems that provide good water for you.  I’ve been in two airports in the last few months that had this kind of system (Portland, Maine, and Chicago, Illinois).

Many hotel rooms now provide a small refrigerator and microwave.  Find a local co-op, farmer’s market, roadside stands, and grocery stores that provides healthy options once you arrive at your destination and stock your room with healthy foods.  If you are staying in a cabin or camper, you can really make great choices because you have the ability to cook, as well.

If you decide to eat out, do the local economy a favor….seek out restaurants that are local and provide farm-fresh foods and regional, ethic cuisine instead of going to national chain restaurants.  If possible, I always seek out local restaurants when I’m traveling just like I do when I’m at home.

On my recent trip to Michigan, I stocked my car with fresh fruit, veggies, hummus, black beans, salsa, blue corn tortilla chips and only had to purchase my soy latte.  It was easy, fast and cost efficient.  On my way back to Tennessee, I did the same and then made a stop at Whole Foods in Indianapolis to purchase my supper and, of course, a vegan chocolate chip cookie for my dessert!

Don’t be at the mercies of gas station convenient marts and fast food!!!  Be proactive and make GOOD choices.  Here are some resources that can help you do this:

www.healthyhighways.com/travelinfo.shtml (Lists 2,800 US healthy eateries, natural food markets and co-ops.)

www.eatwellguide.org (Locate real food via zip code or city and state)

www.localharvest.org (Find a farmers’ market by product or location)

www.vrg.org/restaurant/index.php (Vegetarian Journal’s guide to Natural Foods Restaurants in the US and Canada)

Apps for your phone – Bon’ App, Locavore App, Happy Cow App, and iVegetarian App

Happy, healthy traveling!

 

 

 

 

Chapters in life

6 Jun

Last evening, one chapter ended in the life of a very important young lady in my life.  She was part of the class of 2012 and received her diploma for completing high school and will move into the next phase of her life as she enters college in the fall.

Eleighna Chanel is the reason number one that I am an auntie.  She was born on July 12, 1994 and from the moment I saw her being born I was totally in love with this oldest niece of mine.

Because of circumstances, she and her mommy lived with my parents and I; and we were totally taken in with this precious gift sent from Heaven.  Yes, we doted on her and spoiled her and held her all the time and I’m sooooo glad we did because the moments just pass too quickly.

Memory after memory was made with this baby, toddler, little girl, young lady…..

I would wake up in the morning and could look through my door into her room and see her wake up and get a big smile on her face and we would point at each other and she would start giggling.  “I love you more”…. “No, i love YOU more!!!” These statements would be exchanged as she started talking.

Bath time, play time, reading time, trips to the park, trips to great grandma’s house in TN, Disney World, campground, family vacations to Prince Edward Island, etc.

Her first day of Kindergarten, the entire family went with her and escorted her to her room.  Lots of pictures were taken.  It was hard to believe she was already five years old.

During her time in elementary school, I volunteered in her class a few times – went on a field trip or two – was able to take her to school many, many times.  When I would drop her off, I would tell her that she was a princess and that I loved her but Jesus loved her more.  We would say a prayer and prepare her for the day.

She moved to New York for her middle school years; and the day she, her mom & her sister left town, I thought my heart would break it hurt so bad. Lots of trips both ways were made during those few years….

They moved back the summer before Eleighna entered high school…..and as glad I was to have them close again, I was concerned because I knew she would have to adapt to a new school, making new friends, and all the craziness of being a 9th grader.

And….then…..graduation.

I know she will handle the challenges of life just fine because she’s already had to face challenges and difficulties.  Challenges and difficulties I wish I could have sheltered her from.  She faced and dealt with some hurts, sorrows, and disappointments that she should have never had to deal with but because of other people’s choices it left her with consequences.

Not once did she complain or express anger. She would just say, “I’m used to it.”

This oldest niece of mine is kind, compassionate, tender-hearted, strong in her convictions/beliefs, musically talented, loyal, dedicated, sensitive, quiet, introspective, non-demanding, loving and sweet.  I’m so proud of her and being her aunt is a privilege and a blessing.

I hope that the memories she has of the chapters in her life so far will be great ones to reflect on.  I pray that she will remember the good more than the bad.  I hope that the love from her family will be a strong foundation that keeps her grounded the rest of her life….that she will remember the object lesson from her school superintendent at her commencement last night about having a foundation and then adding passion to that foundation and a lifelong love of learning.

It has been my privilege to watch and be part of this chapter in her life.  I’m so grateful for the day she was born into our family….our lives have been much better because of her.  It truly is an honor to be her aunt!

Congratulations, Eleighna, on completing this chapter!  I love you!