Don't Sweat The Small Stuff


I am writing this today straight from my heart, I am THANKFUL.

Thankful for the beauty of family and the complexities of it too.

I grew up in a small cluster, My Mom, Dad, Sister and myself.

Even as I write this I find that my sentences are short and small.

A symbol of the tight and tiny unity that we shared.

Growing up on a farm in Idaho, far removed from the rest of the world,

I was sheltered, protected, and nurtured.







My sister grew up.

I grew up.

We left the safety of our parents and our home.

I went on to marry and have a family.

My sister moved away and married.

My sister went on a boating trip, she never returned from that trip.

Only one of the four people who went boating in Puget Sound that day did.

He was not alive.

That was 38 years ago.






Naturally, there is not a day that goes by that Sandra is not in my heart and thoughts.

I always wonder how different all of our lives would have been.

I wonder who and what her children may have been like.

I miss her.




This tragic experience forever altered my little family's  response to situations, attitude, expectations,

mind set and behavior.

We were forced to focus on what we had, because what we had lost was so great.

We became increasingly aware, with a deliberate mindset, of what we had to be THANKFUL for.

We prayed, we read, we prayed some more.

We worked, and continue to work on learning how to cast aside-

sweating over much of the small stuff.






Now we are in full Holiday mode and there are many sentimental triggers for most of us.

We are swinging into Thanksgiving, and then Christmas is just around the corner.

As much as we embrace these times of gratitude and thankfulness, it is very easy to become

overwhelmed with family expectations, old hurts, sweet and sad memories and loss.


"To do something, however small, to make others happier and better, is the highest

ambition, the most elevating hope, which can inspire a human being."

~John Lubbock





During my usual morning routine, while drinking my coffee and folding clothes.

(This darling tin apron, which hangs on my laundry wall, thank you Samantha!)

Got me to thinking about how all of us, every single one of us...has a messy life.

Those of us who are buying Turkeys, making pies, chopping celery for the stuffing.

We are all a mixture of our messy life experiences, but we can change ourselves and the scars

in our memories by going with a deliberate and conscious mindset into each day.

We have the beautiful opportunity to create new experiences, new memories, and stronger

bonds by choosing to live a life with thankfulness, inspiration, forgiveness, and letting go.


"Experience is not what happens to a man.  It is what man does with what happens to him."

~ Aldous Leonard Huxley





Today I am thankful for all of my family, for those who have gone to be with our Heavenly Father.

For my beautiful children, grandchildren, and step children.  Your lives have enriched mine.

I am thankful for having the complexities that go along with  having you all, to call you mine, to be

with you, to walk with you, to love you.

Happy Thanksgiving Dear Ones, with all of my love.

XOXO









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Creative Christmas Jar Projects

I have been seriously thinking of giving some creative Christmas Jar's to some of my friends

and family members this year.

If you are finding that you are looking for an amazing way to use jars, all types of jars, mason,

pickle, jelly or salsa.

You might just discover that you are going to love these creative ways to incorporate jars into your

Christmas decorating and gift giving agenda.  I know I did, I became smitten!





                                                                       Source

By adding a little greenery, cranberries, water and a candle to a mason jar

an illuminating holiday jar is created.
                                       



                                      Snowy Pinecone Candle Jars by crafts by Amanda





Such a cute, cute idea using a jar as a manicure set and then topping it off with a fabric bow.

Lets not stop here, let's personalize it by adding the recipients name with a paint pen!


                                   Peppermint Brownies in a jar from Skip to my Lou.org



                           Sharing this pretty and tasty Jar gift from A Pumpkin and a Princess




                                                                          Source
                                 
                       Some sand, some candles and some jars create such a dreamy glow.



                     The Graphics Fairy has shared a tutorial and some printable jar labels

                     for these fun and whimsical candy jars.







        Beach Blues  has created some one of a kind distressed shabby chic pint sized jars.



                                                                      Source

          Create simple earthy beauty by wrapping bark, twine, twigs and greenery around a jar.




                                                                   
                           Sparkles and a Stove  created these cute little snowmen gift jars.


                          Weidknecht  has created a Mason Jar Christmas Candle using coffee beans.




Grab a mason jar, some yarn, a Christmas ornament or two and a LED votive and you

have a sweet little Christmas decoration for your mantle or table.


Please Join Me~

Cozy Little House


xoxox





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Outdoor Thanksgiving


This Thanksgiving means so much to me because I am going to be preparing the traditional

meal at our home for my children and their families.


We might even have an outdoor Thanksgiving!

This is the year we will all be together under one roof or star lit sky and my heart is singing.





My theme for my outdoor Thanksgiving table is a combination of rustic and traditional.

I have incorporated pine cones, burlap pumpkins and natural pumpkins into a rustic iron

basket along with some ribbon and Fall leaves.




I am  mixing some china and fall patterned dishes together along with some new porcelain

dinnerware I just purchased, linen napkins and yarn napkin rings.


Reflecting on my childhood Thanksgiving I remember how my Mother prepared well in advance for

Thanksgiving by using the bounty from many of the crops that were grown by my parents.

We had the best, best, russet potatoes ever,  which came from our farm, apple pie made from

McIntosh apples from our apple tree. (yes McIntosh apples are best for sauces, but Mom's

pies were the absolute best.)




To this very day I can see her standing over the stove stirring gravy, mashing potatoes

or  making one of her signature homemade cakes, cookies or pies from scratch.

A pure symbol of her love was preparing and cooking a meal for her family.




In preparation for Thanksgiving day, I have fluffed up some pillows and planted some petunias.

The menu is planned, traditional right down to the creamy mashed potatoes, and you do know they

are the tastiest made with real butter, half and half and some grated Parmesan cheese.

I have taken a dry run on setting our table and creating an outdoor Thanksgiving tablescape.





So, all that is left is to show you the new dinnerware I just purchased.




I am drawn to  dishes with a pattern, but I know that off white is so clean and universal.




I am looking forward to mixing and matching my china, whipping up those tasty

mashed potatoes and preparing a meal with much love for my family, just like Mom did.



Will you be having your Thanksgiving outdoors or indoors?

Please Join Me~

French Country Cottage

Worthing Court

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson



xoxox









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