Giving thanks

Feeling thankful today as we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.A. The holiday is deeply rooted at Plymouth Rock and the celebration among the Pilgrims and the Indians. It is a time many people pause and count their blessings. Friends and families gather together to celebrate the season…….and just so happens to be my favorite holiday of the year.

There are no expectations, other than spending a day with loved ones, enjoying good food, along with familiar family traditions. Like the tradition of peeling and cooking potatoes with my brothers. Funny as it seems, it’s something we look forward to each Thanksgiving. We laugh and joke while peeling a mile high, pile of spuds, that eventually turn into the most delicious mashed potatoes extraordinaire……that we are quite famous for. No matter how many we prepare, there are rarely leftovers.

Another family tradition we do at Thanksgiving, as well as every family dinner throughout the year, we gather around the dining room table, forming a closed circle while holding hands, Dad offers a heartfelt prayer of gratitude for our family, for those not with us, and for those less fortunate. These prayers become more important and sentimental with each passing year.image

Even though the Thanksgiving holiday is about giving thanks, I believe showing gratitude throughout the year is what really matters. Take time each day to give thanks for blessings, big and small. I am learning to give thanks for difficulties, as I know there is a reason for each one, and they are blessings as well.

During this holiday season and throughout the year, remember there is always something to be grateful for…….come, join me in giving thanks, with a joyful heart. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

xoxox…..Sheryl

 

 

Washington and wine

A group of friends gather together every year or so to celebrate with dinner and wine, highlighting a wine’s specific region, country or state; the host’s choice. This year’s hosts decided upon the state of Washington, U.S.A. Each couple was responsible for a course and a Washington wine that paired well with the food.

For a little fun, it has always been suggested that we research the wine we offer, and share an interesting story. The history of the wine is presented, and a description of the course is provided. We raise our glasses in celebration and savor each sip and bite, while we talk about characteristics of the wine, or more importantly, stories about our lives since we last connected.

imageThere is no rush between courses as spirited conversation fills in the gaps, and laughter is always found at the forefront of the evening. As usual, we decide on the next dinner and who will host. Instead of letting the year go by, we are planning another one in just three or four months.

What a wonderfully fun night it was, filled with delicious food, tasty wine, and wonderful conversation doused with laughter. But, what made the evening more special, I was able to share it with people I love, including my brother and sister-in-law, whom I don’t see often enough.

As time continues to fly by, it’s important to connect  with those we love. It reminds me how precious life is, and how important it is to make time for those I treasure. As the evening winded down from all things Washington and wine, we celebrated with fellowship and friends, building upon our existing memories. Cheers!

xoxox…..Sheryl

 

Girl Power

Last month, a friend and I commited to a personal challenge. When planning the challenge, my friend suggested we have our “why”……what makes this commitment important to us, and I immediately said “I’m in.”  I just had to dig deep to come up with one that really mattered and spoke to my heart.

My “why” came easier than I imagined, and I wondered how I hadn’t thought of it earlier in my life. Right around the same time I was committing to my “why,” I happened to be listening to music and a song came on I hadn’t heard in a couple of years……..a light bulb went off in my head, and realized I had a theme song to go along with my “why”! I immediately started singing and dancing around the house…….like no one was watching…….PHEW….thank goodness no one was…..hahaha. My “why” and theme song were set and the challenge began.

The first day of the challenge two things happened that were amazing to me, and I felt tingly both times. One of the two things happened after a long day at work, I was exhausted and sitting in heavy traffic, and all I wanted to do was make it home….pronto. I started thinking about my “why”, and just like that, my theme song came on the radio……the same one I hadn’t heard in a couple of years…….it was my affirmation, and I broke out again in song and dance while sitting in traffic, and my frustration melted away.

My friend would send inspirational messages that kept us motivated. I played my song every morning as I started my day and set my intentions around it, as I danced to my theme. The challenge is now over but imagemy “why” and theme song still remain…….I call that my GIRL POWER.

My beautiful friend reminded me, we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for, and as women and mothers we often give to others before we give to ourselves. As I continue on my journey back to me, I am committed to loving myself….come with me, take a leap of faith, listen to your authentic self, let go…….use your Girl Power…….and shine, you have it in you!

xoxox……Sheryl

 

Friendsgiving

With the holidays just around the corner, parties and obligations start popping up on my calendar. Last week, as an ode to friends gathering together on Thanksgiving, I was invited to a “Friendsgiving” feast.

My closest high school friends and I try to get together once a month to connect, laugh, tell stories, and just hang out, as we break bread together. The designated mayor of the group planned a “Friendsgiving” night (a twist on the traditional Thanksgiving get together), even though it was a bit early to be celebrating the  actual November holiday.

As the evening began, we toasted our friendship, and raised our glasses for an evening of “Friendsgiving”. I wasn’t able to make the last three get togethers, so it was fun reconnecting on what I had missed. The meal was filled with turkey, dressing, and traditional fixings, as we all pitched in to create the lavish spread. Like always, a prayer of thanksgiving and friendship was offered, and a few tears were shed in love and gratitude.

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We laughed, ate, and laughed some more. It’s amazing how many stories swirled around the room, revealing our latest triumphs and painful defeats. We know so much about each other’s lives, children, families and friends. Some get togethers are filled with laughter, and others are peppered with tears, depending on the need or events of the moment.

One of my girlfriends recently suffered the loss of a loved one. We rallied around her with love and compassion; just having us near, was a comfort to her. Words weren’t spoken, just the feelings we had in our hearts were enough.

We also managed to get in a few rounds of games the hostess had prepared. We roared with laughter as the competition began……not to brag….well, OK just a little…..I WON! Who knew my competitive spirit was in full force that night…..sorry Jilly-bean…..HA!

All kidding aside, we realize just how lucky we are to have each other. Girlfriends have special bonds that connect us no matter how many sleeps between get-togethers. We may not have the opportunity to hang out every week, but know we are always just a phone call or “Friendsgiving” away. Here’s to many more first Fridays.

xoxox…..Sheryl