Back to Real Life

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This Christmas break has been one of the best we have ever had.  Truly!  There were no expectations, no hurrying to get somewhere, Mr. Bits had almost two whole weeks off and we were all together!  The days were full of sitting or doing whatever came to mind.  I think we have all been dreading the reality of today, but it was nice to get back into a groove.  The kids started school today, and it actually went smoothly.  No arguing about starting a routine.  I think they secretly were excited to get back to a normal routine.  I actually started cleaning my house and putting the decorations away.  I am not putting all of them away since we celebrate through Epiphany, but I did want to get started.  My urge to have a clean house was just too overwhelming.  The tree will stay up through the weekend though.  Part of my urge was due to the fact I have a small surgery on Friday.  Nothing too huge to worry about, but I will be down at most a week, hopefully not even that long but we shall see.  I want to make sure the house is in order so that no one has to worry about anything.  Of course it includes the schedule for Mr. Bits to keep up with, and I know he will do great, but I think us mothers worry sometimes!  It’s just that we know the schedule so well!

Thought a great deal about my new mantra today.  How have I given of myself this day?  I realized that on a daily basis we give so much of ourselves that we forget to really see it.  Making sure to devote my attention to the kids when they are wanting to show me something.  It sounds small, but it is so tremendously huge!  I cannot forget to do this and truly be in the moment or I will miss out on so very much!  A small thing given of myself this day.  The dinner put on the table, the toilet that was cleaned, the homework that was helped with.  All of this may not seem like much, but it is my way of giving and I am thankful for the opportunity.  I also thought about how giving of myself means that I must take care of myself, and so here I sit in a quiet space journaling about the day.  Therapy for my soul, and peace that is needed.  This moment of remembering to savor and be grateful for the gifts that were given to me this day.  What a journey!

Peace to you all this night, and thank you for reading!

Words to Live By

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This past year has been, well different.  Last January, another woman and I started a community kitchen in our church basement.  The lunch is open to anyone, every Wednesday, no cost for anyone who wants a delicious home cooked hot meal.  It started with four people showing up the first day we opened, and now it has grown to an average of 130 people per week, spiking on some days to over 200.  I have learned so much about other people as well as myself this past year.  The biggest being that a variety of people, homeless to rich, drug addicts to business world, all ethnicities and religions can share a meal together peacefully and work together in a positive and uplifting environment.  I have realized that I love to cook, and help other people develop their goals and realize they can accomplish a task no matter how small.  I have realized that the more I give the more I receive and truly the smaller I become.

Yesterday, I was walking on my treadmill watching It’s a Wonderful Life.  There is a moment in the movie when George looks at his dads picture and underneath the picture is a plaque that states, “All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.”  This quote struck me and I realized that this is how I want to live.  Not acquiring fame, stuff or more money, but I desire to live my life given away.  So, instead of making a New Years resolution, I have decided to try to live out this quote everyday.  My goal is to do at least one thing a day that is given.  This can include what I give to my family such as my attention and care, to how I smile at someone walking down the street whether they smile back or not.

I am excited to start this New Year and where this quote will take me.

Love to you all!

Suzy

 

Christmas and New Year Traditions

I remember the first year my husband and I celebrated Christmas with our first born.  It was really nothing big, but the first thing I did was make a huge breakfast.  I tried to combine tradition we both shared:  egg casserole for my husband and cinnamon rolls for my family.  My Grandmother was known for her cinnamon rolls.  Every year starting after Thanksgiving, she would get to work making her famous rolls.  People would pay her to make some for their families!  The egg casserole my husband was used to had such a rich flavorful, fifties feel.  Easy, yet so very delicious.  I thought a great deal about that first “family” Christmas this year, as we celebrated our 16th year together.  Our baby is now almost 15, and we have added two kids since then.  I was wondering what traditions I have created for my own family, when my oldest said how excited he was for Christmas Eve.  “Mom!  When are you making the cinnamon rolls and egg casserole!  Also, the cookies should be made by now so we can decorate them between church services and watch National Lampoons Christmas Vacation before midnight mass!”  I was excited to know that we as a family have created traditions without even realizing it!  And isn’t that the point of traditions?  Things you do without even realizing it!  I was worried that I was not trying hard enough to create fond memories for my kids, yet it was already happening without even realizing it.  No effort on my part, just warm loving memories that my kids are now appreciating.  My grandmother and husbands mom probably did not even realize that cinnamon rolls and egg casserole were tradition worthy, but they were so meaningful to us.  Truly it is the little things that make the most difference to us all.  No stress, just natural family oriented events that are filled with love.

From my family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas Season and the most Happy and Healthy 2017 filled with fun memories and traditions created from love!

 

Scenes From Christmas 2016

We have enjoyed our time together this Christmas.  Honestly 2016 was a very busy and slightly overwhelming year.  Mr. Bits is finally back home after four long months, the kids and their activities have settled down at least for the past two weeks, and I have been working away on various projects.  All in all, the year has been good, but I am glad to have a fresh start!

Here are some pictures of our very quiet Christmas this year.

Christmas Eve Fun:  Two church services, decorating cookies and new pajamas!

 

Christmas Day gifts and rest.

 

After Christmas Snowshoeing.

After Christmas Hike on a Frozen River with our dogs!

Happy New Year Breakfast!

 

From our family to yours, Have a very Happy and Healthy 2017!

 

Adventure in Arizona

First I would like to say Phoenix is hot!!!!!! Second I would like to say, I was tremendously thankful for the hotel having a pool!!!!!! With that being said, we did have a great time in Phoenix. It was fun having absolutely no responsibilities for a while.

Middle Bit was born in this great city, so he had fun seeing the old house we lived in, hospital he was born in and the church he was baptized in. We took him to the church he was baptized at, and one of the priests is still there almost 13 years later! I have a picture of her holding him as a baby, and now of them standing next to each other 13 years later. Time does fly!

Other highlights were visiting Tombstone and Bisbee. If I had the chance to live in Bisbee, I would. The town is so eclectic and much cooler in temperature. Love it!

We had a great time, but like all good things, we had to come back home. We were all grateful for the time away and time spent together!

What were some of the trips you have been on this summer?

Love,

Suzy

Jeep Wagoneer Memories

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When I was growing up, my family had a Jeep Wagoneer. This car was what got us from Las Vegas to Oklahoma over the holidays. My memories of it are fond, yet funny. The Wagoneer had no heat or air conditioning, so traveling in the winter was an adventure. I remember one holiday, having to take our black lab “Pepper” with us. Early on in the trip, I spilled ketchup down the front of my shirt and had no napkins to clean it off. By the end of the trip, it was hardened with dog hair to it. That trip was cold, tiring and filthy. But memorable.

Now that we are getting closer to completing the skeleton of Betty, we have been thinking of cars to pull the trailer. For some odd reason, the first car that came to mind is the Wagoneer. My husband jumped on board immediately. Besides pulling the trailer, it would be a perfect car for our oldest to learn to drive. Another story for another time.

We found a Wagoneer for sale 3 hours south of us, and jumped on the opportunity. We drove down, and I must admit, I was dreading the drive back up. My husband and the boys decided that they would drive back together in the Wagoneer, while my daughter and I followed. I was not looking forward to following 65-70 mph up mountain passes. Many memories were rushing back! In true Wagoneer form, memories have already been created for my kids. Going up one of the passes, the jeep began to struggle, and finally died. My husband pulled off on an exit with nothing around, and as we trouble shot the issues, it came to me that he was low on gas, and it could be that the gas was not getting to the engine up the hill. An exit with a gas station was less than 10 miles away, so we piled in and got some gas to bring back. After putting gas in the car, we realized that it was parked up hill and probably need to be facing downhill in order to start. So my kids got their first lesson in pushing a vehicle! While we were pushing, my husband started the Wagoneer, but it was moving downhill, and I yelled for the kids to run!!! Jump in the car!!!!! Off they went to the gas station to finish filling up!

Wagoneer’s are made for adventures, and this one has been fun for us all. I have loved remembering my childhood, and the kids have loved creating memories of their own.

Here’s to memories!

Love,

Suzy

Hoops

Our old basketball hoop was a hunk of junk. It was not a permanent basketball hoop, which honestly caused a great deal of problems. It was constantly blowing over in the wind, which meant the hoop itself was an unusual shape. It was not round, but instead oval, and even rectangular. One day, we finally took it apart, but this left the kids without a net. For our oldest child, that is a big deal. He love basketball! So we began looking for a good deal on a permanent goal. The price for these is unreal!! 800 to a 1, 000 dollars. Something we could not afford! Some friends of ours had taken an old basketball goal down at their house. Their boys, are young, and they decided to remove it. The goal was totally old school playground. The long white pole, with a simple white board and rim. They offered it for free, and so we jumped on it. We had the pole powder coated black, we sanded the board and repainted it a nice bright white and repainted the orange square on the backboard.  All it needed after that was a new net, and it started to look brand new! It was a great project for the three boys to work on together, and cement into the ground. Now we have a basketball hoop installed permanently into the ground, and in the end it only ended up costing us $200!

There have been many games of horse and pig played on it since returning home from Phoenix. Nothing like a summer evening playing basketball!

Hope your summers are going well!

Love,

Suzy