YOU Are Blessed

I brought Baby G to her two-month checkup a few days ago. She measured in at the 55th percentile for weight, and 7th for height—nearly opposite of Little G. I smiled at our pediatrician. “So where Little G is tall and thin, Baby G is …”

“Perfect,” our pediatrician said, hugging Baby G. “She’s perfectly healthy. You have two healthy daughters. You are blessed.”

You are blessed.

My first thought was, how interesting to hear a doctor speak the languages of both medicine and spirituality, simultaneously. My second thought was, YES. Blessed.

When are we most aware of the blessings—or gifts; the good things—in our life? Maybe in quiet moments—rocking a child to sleep, feeling their breath against us. Or in noisy moments, like celebrations with loved ones.

Day-to-day life challenges us constantly, especially when we’re caring for young children. In the hustle and bustle, it can be easy to take our family and friends for granted. Health for granted. Life for granted.

Until someone reminds us, in sometimes the most unexpected of places: YOU ARE BLESSED.

You are.

Blessed.

One of my favorite quotes is this one, compliments of writer Thornton Wilder: “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”

What are the treasures in your life?

Beyond that … beyond tallying up our treasures … why don’t we make them count? Pay forward the kindnesses done to us?

About two years ago, my hubby and I stumbled upon the Sunday morning church service we now attend every week with our two daughters. Sunday after Sunday, we’ve gotten to know the other young families there, too. And after Baby G was born, our church friends wrote out a meal schedule and alternated evenings for bringing dinners to us, for several weeks.

What a blessing, as any new parent knows.

And the next time I can bring a dinner to a friend who could use it, I will. Pay it forward. Make it count. “One can never pay in gratitude; one can only pay ‘in kind’ somewhere else in life,” Anne Morrow Lindbergh said.

You are blessed.

Now be a blessing, too. ❤

YOU Are Blessed

(Many thanks to my good friend Kathleen for sending the beautiful bouquet pictured above for my recent birthday. Yes, she’s a blessing in my life!)

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17 Fun Christmas Gift Ideas

DSCN5477In the past week, I’ve ordered gifts for my family’s Secret Santa picks, colleagues, and Little G’s preschool teachers. Oh, and Little G, too—a ukulele that my hubby and I think our music-loving little girl will have lots of fun with. I have a few more Christmas presents to take care of, but for the most part, I’m feeling fairly on top of the gift giving this season.

How about you, friends? If you’re in need of some inspiration, here’s a list of 17 fun gift ideas. Please “Leave a Comment” to share your own, too!

  1. Coffee mug with an inspirational or funny quote, accompanied by coffee or tea (you can’t go wrong with illy or Mighty Leaf Tea products)
  2. Current bestselling book such as John Grisham’s “Gray Mountain” or “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline (an excellent read!)
  3. DVDs of addictive TV shows (“Downton Abbey,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Mad Men”)
  4. Good-quality writing supplies (think Moleskine notebooks and Vera Bradley pens)
  5. Gourmet chocolate (Vosges makes for heavenly, high-quality stocking stuffers!)
  6. Magazine subscription to a sure-to-please rag like Real Simple (ladies) or Esquire (gents)
  7. Personalized stationery, from Crane & Co. to Shutterfly
  8. Funny office supplies, for home or work (these Knock Knock products crack me up!)
  9. Funny desk calendars (like Awkward Family Photos 2015)
  10. Holiday kitchen linens and/or supplies from Williams-Sonoma (I just ordered some of these Winter Forest-themed kitchen essentials kits for Little G’s teachers)
  11. Plants (you can order from a local floristry like Shades of Green here in San Antonio, or a national company like Harry & David)
  12. Quirky finds compliments of Uncommon Goods
  13. Gift card to a favorite store
  14. Gift certificate to a favorite café or restaurant
  15. Movie theater/date night tickets (you must see “Gone Girl”!)
  16. Amazing socks (I’m not talking about a six-pack from Walmart here … check out REI for the adventurer in your life; Urban Outfitters for funky, teen-friendly and young-at-heart finds; and Zappos for lots more options, including brands like Betsey Johnson, Hunter, and Smartwool)
  17. And just for kids: activities such as games (Candy Land, Cootie, the Frozen edition of Monopoly), craft kits (from charm bracelets to origami), and puzzles