Poem – Note to myself 

During my retreat to Orlando this past weekend with some visionary and amazing ladies, I was asked to write a love note to myself. What felt right for me was a poem. Though I don’t normally write poetry, I’m quite infatuated with it and wanted to share, because when I was done it didn’t feel like it was just for me – but for anyone and everyone.

 

Dear one,

You have always been joyous and free

It is YOU, who were meant to be

Born a wild and wonderful child of the sea

 

Waves have rocked and shaped you

Stars have guided you

Winds have kept your navigation sure and true

 

Through mighty storms and disastrous droughts

You’ve always known what this world was about

Which is making sure your insides shine OUT

 

Giving to others the gifts that they need

To ensure, that though they might cut open and bleed

It was only the promise of hope, that was planted there as a seed

 

Love comes bursting from your heart

Your life is your art

Never doubt you were created perfect, right from the start

 

Christmas Eve – So far… so merry…

Sitting here with the little Man listening to sponge bob, dish washer is going and washer and dryer are in full swing.  Thanks to the snowfall last week, what was originally going to be a 4 day weekend became a 6 day weekend.  The best thing about snow days… free days off!

Besides a quick trip to Urgent Care on Sunday for a UTI that Santa decided to give me as an early Christmas Present, things have been fairly smooth.  We went to my Mom’s for Christmas and not only did we all score thoughtful presents, but we got the best thing of all… STOCKINGS!  I love them.  They are where the little things are hidden!  Little bits of money, sometimes chap sticks, tooth brushes and… CHOCOLATE!  I got some of the most thoughtful presents this year!

Stockings!

Stockings!

My Aunt Deb sent me some plaques that really speak to me right now… “Keep calm and carry on”… and maybe more fitting “Keep calm and eat cupcakes”. Along with a “Dream Big” pillow that now has a place on my bookshelves.  AND… Dark chocolate raspberry M&M’s.  That’s right.  Half of them have found their home in my belly… the others are in a holding pattern for the same destination.  If you haven’t tried them… don’t.  Just send them my way and I’ll keep them safe for you.

My Aunt Sandy sent me a little care package of nail polish (already have some of it on), nail files, and CHOCOLATE! (Even dark chocolate… my fav!). And it was all tucked into the cutest christmas box.

My step brother and his wife (Chris and Cheryl) so thoughtfully also sent presents… not only for the immediate family, but included Vince and Jason too.  That was unexpected and so sweet.  The best thing about their gifts was that they showed up literally as we were opening the other presents!  The snowpacalypse did not stop those gifts of joy.

Chris and Cheryl provide more ammunition... See him smile!  (Later see us become targets)

Chris and Cheryl provide more ammunition… See him smile! (Later see us become targets)

My Sister and Mom made some very cool hand-crafted presents… love them all and they each have a home on my walls already. My Mom also gave me a supppper soft scarf… which is super, super cool.  Fingerless gloves, and the MOST cozy slippers that I’ve been wearing since she gave them to me.  They look like moccasins so I will be wearing them all over the place I’m sure.

My sister and nieces

My sister and nieces

We had a wonderful time at Mom’s and Jason and Vince seemed to really enjoy themselves.  Having my family all together warms my heart.  I think I enjoy Christmas more as I get older because the greatest joy is spending time with amazing people and giving thoughtful gifts and creating precious memories.  The gifts are wonderful, but not really the key focus.  Which leaves behind some of the childish feelings of disappointment when certain sparkly doo dads don’t show up under the tree.

I also got to spend my second Christmas with Jason’s family.  Last year we celebrated in Milwaukee at his mom’s and this year we celebrated at our house.  It was so nice to not have to drive anywhere afterwards.  Definitely having so much food and activity is a little overwhelming, but thankfully we have the room for it.  Jason made a prime rib… 4.5 hours of cooking/warming/preparation for a delicious and perfectly proportioned dinner!

DSCN2322

Jason’s Mom’s Christmas

Jason’s sister brought hot chocolate marshmallow brownies… they sound so simple.  Simply heavenly is more like it.  I had 3.  THREE!  I can’t remember the last time I had 3 brownies or any dessert for that matter.  But I did, and didn’t feel one bit bad about it!  I made another attempt at cake pops and they didn’t turn out quite as I expected… Sophia, however LOVED them and made it her mission to eat them all.  I’m pretty sure there was 12 when the party started… and none when it ended.

I got some thoughtful, snuggly and warm presents from everyone and really enjoyed the bonding time.  I got to be sandwiched between two beautiful kids and it was wonderful.  There isn’t much better than some bonding and couch time.

Bonding time....

Bonding time….

All that… and it’s only Christmas Eve!  Whoa.  Still Christmas morning with little C… Christmas dinner with Grandpa C a couple additional christmases on the horizon also…

There has been much rejoicing, eating, photo taking, memory making and blessing counting.

Thanks to everyone who has made it so great so far…

No matter what life throws at me… the bottom line is I wouldn’t trade what I have for anything else.

Happy Holidays!

My person - my every day present - my love

My person – my every day present – my love

Richness Project…

What makes your life rich?  Not cha-chang rich, but soulful/heartfelt/my heart is on wings… rich?

I have been posing this question to my close friends and family per a 007 super secret project.  Now I’m going to lower the security level clearance and really put it out there…

What makes you/your life/your heart, rich?

There is no right or wrong answer.  In fact, so far the feedback I’ve gotten (along with all the wonderous things that people have in their lives that make them rich) is that making the list… made them feel richer.  Taking the moment to take inventory of the ingredients that come together to make a sweet plate of richness brownies (mmmm… brownies), brightened their day.

I’d like you to brighten your day too!

Please respond to this post with your Richness Recipe! 

If you can’t get the comment doo-hickey to work, email me here: fromsandtopearl@gmail.com and tell me there.  I will read each of them. I will be richer for it.  I will be sharing the data in the form of, “so many people are more rich because of birthday cake Oreos… it’s amazing!”.  {if you haven’t tried them, google/amazon/pray for them — awe-some}. 

I will not throw you under the bus or directly quote you, unless of course you are asking for it because your life is so full of richness and awesomeness that you are ust going to burst if you don’t share it (and ask me to do so).

Here is my list… because it isn’t sharing of information if I don’t do it too!

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Jason & Vince {who are also my family}
  • Colors in Nature
  • Feeling blessed by the opportunities I have in life
  • Having arms, legs and a butt — and a good inner beat to shake them all to
  • My crafty side
  • Giving to someone
  • Teaching someone something
  • Being a good friend
  • Wine & Cheese — ever-broadening taste buds
  • The ability to pick olives off my food because I am an adult and can do what I want (stomp, stomp)
  • A good education
  • A beautiful, stable, promising, full-of-hope relationship
  • Chocolate, for the days when hope is hiding
  • Technology – to keep me informed, to keep me in touch, to allow me to flex my creative muscles with pintrest, facebook, instagram, photos, pandora, etc.
  • The gift of being able to make everyone around me laugh, and laugh hard… like almost pee their pants hard
  • Life.  And the ability to live it… fully, everyday.

Sigh, smile :)

Now you go…. AND GO!

DIY Friday Night: Its a snap(ple)

Supplies – Empty Snapple Jars.                                                  ~ It was actually after finishing a snapple earlier this week and having the epiphany that they would make perfect change jars that the idea for this project was born.

 

The 3 Change-Amigos – Here is the final product.  I like how different craft end results can be and yet you like them each so differently for their unique qualities or the thought put behind them.

 

The manly change jar – I made this jar for Jason because I want him to be able to enjoy the craft projects too… As much as boys enjoy craft projects that don’t involve beer and fishing lures.

 

Vacation change goes here.  Sun, sand and ocean.  I tried to grab a little of each of those for this little jar and not make it too busy.  Sometimes I get carried away and keep wanting to add to a project.  This one I just had to set aside and I’m so glad now. It’s perfect.

 

I used the big “wave” swirly design to separate the beginning and ending of the word… I stared at it for a while before deciding to do it that way.

 

Sparkle fund! Bling bling change goes here. I believe this should be the first reservoir to be filled.

 

Sparkle – I had a lot of fun with this jar and actually had started out with a whole different theme and didn’t like it and washed the glass to start all over and ended up with this.  Good call, Ingrid :)

 

For this project I used craft paint that you bake in the oven when you are done.  The nice part about this is that you can mess up, restart, and be artfully messy because the paint is also water based so you don’t have to worry about getting on furniture or the wonderful tile floor in the kitchen.

I used tiny little paint brushes, but it was still a challenge because I think I could go with better quality paint in the future.  It seems to streak a lot and if I go over the design with a second coat, it wants to take off the first coat.  It took a little longer than it probably should have if I had better supplies, but given my cheap-0 paint and paint brushes (both bought at Michaels craft store)… it turned out pretty well.

I put them in the cool (temperature cool, not mullet hair cool) oven, then heated the oven to 350 degrees and baked them for 30 minutes.  Then you let them cool with the oven.  I did this last night right before bed so they had all night to cool back down.

I have done this in the past with tumblers, shot glasses and wine glasses.  They always make great gifts because no matter how crappy you think they turned out, someone else sees it as a hand crafted gift and all the flaws as something unique that no one else will have.  You should make something like this and give it.  Maybe if you make a change one for a kid… you can even throw some change in there for them.  It’ll be almost as cool as going to disney world… almost.