First born

This week, my first born celebrated a milestone birthday; he turned twenty-five. That’s just plain, crazy talk…….and seems nearly impossible to believe. The years passed by in what seems like a blink of an eye, and I am feeling a bit sentimental this week thinking about his journey, and celebrating my handsome son.

When he was little, he was a mama’s boy through and through, and I was fortunate enough to stay home with him. He was my buddy and we did every thing together. I had about three and a half years alone with him, before my daughter was born. He decided it was OK having a baby brother or sister, as long as we named the baby “Fred” for a boy or “Spike” for a girl…..HA!

He loved the typical “boy” things, but I was determined to keep toy guns out of his reach as long as I could…..well, that is until he started biting his cheese sandwiches into the shape of a gun and pretending to shoot at random things from the kitchen table…..I gave in and bought him a cap gun, it was a small civil war replica I purchased in Williamsburg, VA., made of wood and iron……he loved that toy gun.

He was the kid that knew right from wrong and anytime we needed the full, accurate story, he was the one everyone asked. While in kindergarten he witnessed his grandfather fall from the barn roof while climbing down a ladder. His grandfather told him not to alert anyone or call 911, but this scared, yet brave little boy, knew help was needed, and ran to get me, despite the stern warning. Grandpa had gone into shock before the ambulance arrived, and I believe he just might have saved his grandfather’s life that day.

imageHe always had and still has, a good head on his shoulders. He is a logical thinker, has good common sense, that can figure out just about anything mechanical. If I was stranded on a desert island, he’d be the one I’d want on my team. The boy has mad survival skills.

He helped shape me into the woman I am today, and taught me unconditional love, humility, bravery and how to love deeper. Even though I miss the days he was a mama’s boy, I take pride in the independent man he has become.

To my first born, adventure loving, risk taking, hardworking, tender hearted, generous, and funny son…..Andrew Charles, I loved you first. You have my heart, always……my cup runneth over.

xoxox…..Your thankful mama

 

In the wee small hours of the morning….

If you are anything like me, you go through stages in your sleep cycle, and sometimes find yourself tossing and turning in the middle of the night. Most times when this happens, at first I try to ignore the feeling and attempt to go back to sleep, but when that doesn’t work, I pause……then settle in……….something seems to be tugging at my heart.

Then ask, what is the universe trying to tell me? What do I know in my heart that I am ignoring? If you become still and listen…….the answer will come. It is your authentic self whispering what you already know to be true.

If internal feelings aren’t aligned with external actions, trusting your inner voice helps guides our growth through love and joy. The amazing thing about life, each of us already come equipped knowing our own truth, it’s whether or not we choose to pay close attention that matters.

I am being guided down a path, and receive clues and signs along the way; some are subtle, but if I am not paying attention, I might miss them. Other times the signs practically bop me over the head. However, when the path ahead seems dim, I ask for guidance and clarity.

imageIt is both humbling and amazing when things fall in place. I believe these experiences don’t just happen by chance, but rather by listening to our authentic self.

The next time you find yourself wide awake in the wee small hours of the morning, and feel that little tug on your heart……..be still, listen. Quiet your mind, invite love in, and let your light shine.

xoxox…..Sheryl

 

 

Tattered and torn

Living in the Midwest we experience all four seasons. As we say good-bye to warm summer nights, we say hello to crisp fall days, and just like clockwork, cozy sweaters and socks make their appearance.

Every year, I pull out my favorite cold weather things, and always stumble across the same familiar t-shirt. I have treasured this shirt for twenty, possibly twenty five years. It is well worn, with frayed edges, even has a hole or two, but still takes up residence and space, in my closet, and my heart.

I make a vow to throw it out at the end of each season, but somehow can’t pursuade myself to go through with it. I’ll throw it on at the end of a long work day, or just casually hanging out at home….many times it has been worn to bed. Why is it so hard to let it go?

I am guessing because it holds special memories of days gone by, and spending time with my best friend. We had purchased the matching black and white t-shirts when we spent the weekend in the city. I don’t recall exactly what we did during that trip, but I remember the laughs and fun we shared.

imageSpecial memories connect us to a person, place, event, and even a feeling. To this day, I don’t wear the t-shirt without thinking of that weekend or the special bond we share. I am blessed that we are still best friends; it is her beautiful smile, contagious laugh, sweet personality, and generous heart I am grateful for, and can’t imagine my life without our friendship. Even though year after year I save the treasured shirt all tattered and torn, my gratitude for our friendship is just like brand new.

xoxox…..Sheryl

 

forever sisters

My sister was recently in town for an extended period, and hadn’t spent that much time at home in many years.  She stayed at my parents home, but I usually saw her everyday. We had a few unplanned adventures that reminded me of our younger selves, growing up on the farm.

imageLiving out in the country, we were far from any clubs or activities, so most of the time we created our own fun since Mom rarely took us to town, we were best friends. On occasion…… well, probably more than we remember or will admit, we managed to get into mischief. Nothing bad, just normal, innocent, every day kid stuff. Like the time we ambushed a wild barn cat inside a make shift trap, so we could capture all her kittens in hopes to make them friendly.

We used our shiny, black patent, Barbie doll lunch boxes to transport them to our bedroom, where we put them in the bottom dresser drawer, lined with blankets. We were sure we could take care of all their needs; first order of business was tying pretty ribbons around their necks……they looked so cute! We also had the bright idea to ask Mom if we could eat dinner in our room…..we were quite busy…….she didn’t have a clue 4 or 5 wild kittens were in our room. If they meowed too loud we closed the dresser drawer to muffle the sound.

Our supper became their supper, I remember them agressively biting our fingers as we fed them little pieces of roast beef sandwiches…..they were so hungry. As the night wore on, they got hungrier and started meowing loudly……we were out of sandwiches and were long ago, tucked in bed. We were pretty sure if those kittens were discovered we would be in BIG trouble.

Our next bright idea was to put them back outside, and the only thing we could come up with was to lower them out the window, using the pretty ribbons tied around their necks. That’s exactly what we did, then scampered back to bed.

As you can guess, the next morning Mom found the shivering kittens all huddled together; it had rained. She was so mad, and if I remember correctly made my sister take most, if not all, the kittens back to the barn since she was the oldest.

We learned our lesson that mama kitty could take better care of her kittens than we could, but we had quite the adventure in the process. imageJust as the fun we created as little girls from years ago, we can still create the same fun as women.

So, to my beautiful sister, I can’t wait for our next fun endeavor and sharing many more laughs along the way as loving, forever sisters. Cinderella…….here’s to: devastated drivers, Dennis “quad”, Meryl “strep”, Pixie, Dixie and “pied”……OH, and maybe a niblet or two……more adventures await us……..love you!

xoxox…..Sheryl

 

enough

A few days ago I was browsing in a gift shop with my sister, and noticed the most charming, hand-made sign. Normally, I would have snapped a picture of it as a reminder, but wasn’t thinking clearly, since I was in the midst of making a purchase. It read something like: gratitude turns what we have into enough. I smiled at the simple, yet honest, cluster of words.

imageHave you ever noticed when you express gratefulness, how things always seem brighter? I have a daily gratitude practice that begins my morning on a positive note. It may be as simple as being thankful for the new day, a warming shower, a cozy bed, or deeper gratitude for a loved one’s improving health.

It doesn’t always happen, but I try to give thanks throughout each day. When things aren’t going well, those are the times that need my attention most, but if I dig deep there is always something to be thankful for, even in the hardest of times. Perhaps a smile from a stranger, or breezing through a normally long traffic light. If I can connect with that feeling, hope appears, and the day magically improves.

If you look, little blessings can be found everywhere and in everything. I believe gratitude is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. I am learning that being grateful turns everything into enough. Gratitude will change your life……it has mine.

xoxox……Sheryl