As I have grown older the phrase "Time marches on.... and across your face." usually runs through my mind each New Year's Eve. As I obsess over new found wrinkles and white hairs on the inside I am laughing a bit because there is no use obsessing over things that can not be changed. Just like time and aging can not be stopped neither can the end of one year and the start of a New year.
With the presence of Facebook in this new information age I am now privy to so many of my loved ones, friends and acquaintances New Year's resolutions. I myself do not subscribe to the belief that there is one special day each year to re-start one's life. Each year in reality gives us 365 days and chances to change directions. To refocus our priorities and begin again.
When I was in the depth of my darkest depression each day for me was much like the movie Groundhog's Day. Each night I would promise myself that tomorrow I would get out of bed. I would clean and start my life again. The next day always brought the same sad reality that I was unable to achieve the goals I set for myself each and every night. That was until I found the strength and courage to ask for help. That day no where near New Year's Eve was the true NEW start to my life.
Through medication, therapy, diet and exercise I was able to reshape my life. Not everyday was a success but I was able to make the majority of the 365 days in the year productive ones. Always with the understanding that yesterday's failures could be tomorrows successes.
As we move into 2014 let's all remember that each day brings another opportunity to reshape our lives into living what we have only dreamed before being possible.
Happy New Year!
Once again it is that time of year. Time to decorate and shop till you drop. As a child what I remember most is getting together as a family on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Coming from a traditional German background my family celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas day.
For us that meant Christmas Eve Mass where my brother and I were taught that you gave your seat up to those who were older or needed the ability to sit during the long mass. Our Mom and Dad disappearing after communion and reappearing at home where my brother and I would find that Santa had already visited our house. One year I swore I saw Rudolf in the basement. As an adult I realized it was the tail lights of the car reflecting in a window. The memory still makes me smile.
As an adult the only presents I remember receiving were those I still have today. Pieces of jewelry that I was given as a child and as an adult I can remember the warm feelings of Christmas past as I look at them today.
When I had my own children I wanted them to understand the true meaning of Christmas. That is was better to give than receive. I also wanted them to have gifts that were memorable from Santa instead of just the hottest toy of the season.
Every year the kids had to earn and save their own money to buy a present for Toys for Tots or pick a child in need from the parish Christmas tree to buy for. I wanted them to understand that they needed to be thankful for what they had and teach them that giving to others felt even better than receiving.
The kids also only got two presents from Santa. Just two.... and a stocking. When they asked how other kids got so many more than they did I simply answered that their parents bought the rest. Santa may be magic but there are limits to what the sleigh can carry.
Which also led into the "Rules" of what Santa would bring. The "Rules" were developed over the years depending on what the kids asked for. No cash or leather, vibrating, reclining rockers. This rule came after my 3 year old asked for $100 in cash and a full size leather, heated, vibrating rocker. No live pets. Santa did not have time to take bathroom breaks. This was instated after I was asked for a LIVE chicken and monkey. No $3000, 600 lbs vending machines. Yes, that's right a vending machine my 8 year old wanted to charge his friends for snacks and drinks when they came over to play....
Over the years due to only getting to ask for 2 gifts I had quite a few interesting requests from my children as they were growing up. They also remember most of the gifts they were given over the years from Santa because only getting two made them special. Christmas simply was not a pile of gifts and wrapping paper left on the floor around the Christmas tree. Forgotten just moments after the wrapping was removed.
I hope my children when they have children of their own pass these two traditions along to my grandchildren. That they teach their own children the joy of giving to others and that the best gifts are those that have meaning......
#christmas #gift #sillyseason #christmastraditions #holiday
I can distinctly remember the first time I looked in the mirror and was filled with a kind of self loathing. I was about 13 and watching the Miss Teen USA pageant. As I looked at the scar on my face and my uneven smile I thought I would never be as pretty as any of those girls on the stage.
Fast forward 15 years and I was standing on a stage in New York winning my first pageant. My desire to enter the Mrs. New York America pageant was not one of vanity but of a new found confidence I had acquired. After a 5 year battle with depression and anxiety I had finally triumphed over the disease regaining myself. I wanted to celebrate by doing something I never had the courage to do. Compete in a pageant with the hopes of winning and getting to spread the message of depression awareness and education. An awareness of the disease that 10 years ago was just beginning to surface in main stream media. I made over 100 appearances that year and was blessed enough to place 2nd runner up at Mrs. America.
It has been over ten years since I first stepped foot on that stage. At age 38 I realize even more a decade later how true beauty has to come from with in one's self. Or in the words of Judge Judy "Beauty fades, Dumb is Forever." I rarely look in the mirror and think about exterior beauty. Other than when my husband likes to point out a white hair or two. lol However, I now worry greatly about my step-daughter's perception of beauty. For me even using the word "Step" seems a bit foreign as I love her no differently than my biological children.
She chose at the age of 4 to compete herself in pageants. Unlike Toddlers and Tiaras' there was not an adult pushing her to compete. She had asked for an entire year to be on a stage competing till I finally decided it was not a phase and gave in. I questioned it then if it would lead her to have a poor self image. That she would be taught that exterior beauty was superior to your thoughts and actions. In a world of the Bratz Dolls, Total Drama Island, Miley Cyrus at the VMA's and women retouched to with in an inch of their lives in every ad I worry how will she see herself at 13. At 28...
She was the inspiration behind my True Love charm. I wanted to create something for her. For all women. To wear on a daily basis to remind them that one's true beauty comes from inside. No matter your shape, your weight or your age. One's true self worth should be based on one's thoughts and actions not your exterior shell.
A few weeks ago I learned that we may have made the right choice in letting her compete. She entered her third pageant and while she placed she didn't win. After the pageant she made an amazing gesture. She gave one of the two bouquets of flowers she had been given to another little girl in her division who had won her first crown. She had been just happy for a chance to compete and make new friends.
As parents and step-parents we were very proud. It also made me hopeful that she will grow up both knowing and understanding where true beauty comes from. That when she looks in the mirror she will be filled with self love instead of self loathing.
A Mom/Step-Mom can hope right?
We put a lot of time and effort trying to design our collections. We want each one to speak to you in different ways. Our Stackers and Hanakotoba collection are a fun and colorful way to inspire each other in our daily lives. The Hope and Fertility collection has special stones with natural properties meant to infuse the wearer with their powers and special message. Cherry blossoms along with the Japanese symbol for infinity symbolize the meaning of life is endless and every changing, for our Sakura collection.
Yesterday we announced our new Whimsical Dreams Collection which will be making its debut this spring. We are looking forward to sharing with you a new fresh and fun way to express your dreams through jewelry. Our first piece in the collection shares a message of love. The rest of the collection will inspire your inner sparkle and ask you to let out a roar.
If you have any ideas you might like to see in this collection or in an upcoming collection please send them along to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We always love to hear from our customers.
Hope and Love,