The Days Are Long, The Years Are Short

I think just about every parent has had someone tell them, “Enjoy this time, they grow up so fast.” While this is true, it doesn’t make your most challenging days with your little ones easier. It doesn’t make it any less frustrating when someone says this to you while you’re immensely sleep deprived or dealing with an independent toddler. Life with kids doesn’t get easier, it just becomes different and more complicated.

Right now I’m in the middle of juggling my four-month-old getting acclimated to all of her mental and physical leaps, while keeping my 2-year-old busy and happy. In another five years I’ll be dealing with my children coming home to do homework, or heaven forbid, being teased or bullied. See, it doesn’t get easier, it just evolves.

I’ve thought a lot about these types of things since my youngest, Viviana, has entered the world. Becoming a mom for the second time has made me even more patient and accepting. It has also taught me to slow down and put my phone down, despite how many photo opportunities my kids give me. Just when I think I’m at the end of my rope, one of my girls will do something to remind me how beautiful motherhood is.

Just the other day I was up for much of the night with Viv, replacing her pacifier every time she realized it had fallen out of her little mouth during the night. Although I had maybe gotten only two consecutive hours of sleep I was so happy. I was happy that she finally took the pacifier. I was so anti pacifier when Gia was her age, but Viv is a sucker and really needed one. It just took us forever to find one she liked and could learn how to use. For Viv, the paci means falling asleep with ease, and being much less needy through the night.

If I were in this situation as a first time mom, I’d be less inclined to find the positive in that situation. I’d be focused more on how tired I was, what I was seemingly doing wrong, and why my child wouldn’t do what others do. Sounds silly, I’m sure, but that’s kind of how I work.

Now I’m easily able to find the little joys in my challenging days home alone with my two babes. It used to be hard to not immediately think I wasn’t doing things well enough. (Sometimes I still think I’m not doing enough, but that’s a mom for you.) I’m so much more accepting and realistic about only being able to do so much. I truly know I’m always doing my best, so that is enough. Sometimes my best means giving in when Gia is asking for something I’d rather she not have, or maybe it means an extra episode of Paw Patrol. Other times I feel like superwoman – I’ve meal prepped for a few days, I’ve been able to wash my hair, give both girls equal amounts of attention, keep the house tidy and make sure most things run smoothly.

Now, four months into being a mommy to two girls, I finally feel like I’m getting my footing. I can go out alone with the two of them with confidence (and a lot of preparing ahead of time). I’m sure now that I’m more comfortable, things will change, because that’s just how it goes with kids. They are ever changing. Knowing that, I’m able to refer back to what I was saying earlier – it goes so fast.

They are only this little for such a short amount of time. Acknowledge your struggles and the tough days, but don’t let your frustrations and exhaustion rob you of your precious moments with your kids. Let the little things lift you up.

The other day I was feeling a little down and frustrated and then Gia randomly came up to me and said, “Mommy, you my best friend. I love you soooo much.” If that can’t give someone a boost of energy and a burst of happiness, I don’t know what can.

Xo

Mother’s Day vs. Father’s Day: Both Are Important!

Regardless of your views and beliefs about religion, Christmas is easily one of the most recognized holidays across the globe.  So why is it that Easter, another very important religious holiday, can’t compete with the month-long extravaganza that is Christmas?  Easter is clearly the runner-up to Christmas, whether we want to admit it or not.

Likewise, retailers and bloggers have done their best to whip shoppers into a frenzied state prior to this Father’s Day weekend.  Despite these efforts, Father’s Day seems to be treated with far less reverence than Mother’s Day.  It’s no secret that Mother’s Day gets a lot of attention, but I’ll argue that Father’s Day doesn’t typically receive the same level of interest.  Why is that???

When May rolls around each year, florists, chocolatiers and the trendiest brunch joints extol the importance of showing profound gratitude for all mothers.  The way Father’s Day is marketed and treated with far less seriousness.  Even though I shouldn’t be complaining, this kind bugs me.

Yes, Gia’s dad, Craig, is a lovable buffoon at times, but he is by no means a dimwitted figure who couldn’t possibly be expected to be bothered with feeding or bathing our daughter without first being issued step-by-step instructions.  (I am guilty of leaving him detailed lists of what to do with Gia, as well as checking in on them when they’re alone, but part of that is me just being me.)

It’s 2018 people.  Men are more involved than ever in the day-to-day caring of their kids.  There are countless mornings when I’m on my way to the gym, with Gia in tow and I see the neighborhood elementary school yard filled with fathers.  They’re making sure their kids don’t jump into the street, holding backpacks and giving hugs and kisses before seeing their little ones off to school.  My local parks overflow with dads who seem especially doting.

Just yesterday as I walked into my gym, a member who I’m friendly with asked, “Where’s the baby?”  I kindly said that she was with daddy having fun until I got home and it was his turn to head to the gym for his workout.  What I wanted to say was, “She’s home alone watching TV and making sure the house doesn’t burn down.”  Come on – where do you think she is??  Why are fathers seen as the “babysitters” and moms are seen as the “real” parent?

In my humble opinion, it’s insulting to all moms and dads.  Yes, there may or may not be more pressure and unrealistic expectations placed on mothers, but this message we are sending is that fathers are less devoted.  That’s simply not the case.  Dad’s are not an afterthought and it’s time we start acting like Father’s Day is just as important as Mother’s Day – because it is!

I’m sure all of us want the father figures in our lives to feel special on Father’s Day each and every year.  In my family, the fathers are probably okay without a purchased gift, but I enjoy shopping for the occasion anyway.  For some, Father’s Day may be more challenging to shop for than Mother’s Day, but remember, it’s not about the gift.  Just like mom, dad wants to feel appreciated and be told that he’s doing a good job.

I am not the sole nurturer of my child because my husband plays a huge role in that as well.  Craig, if you’re reading this, you are a fantastic father.  Expressing my thanks publicly like this for all of your unconditional love will never be enough.  Your contributions to this family exceed all expectations.  You are our provider, protector and a strong individual that we all should try to emulate.  Thank you for never shying away from wiping a dirty baby bum, or putting our daughter to sleep.  I appreciate the selfless care and protection you provide to us on a daily basis.  We love you beyond measure.

Here’s to all of the fathers out there.  May all your days with your family be filled with love, but especially so this Father’s Day.

xo

More Than A Wannabe

Everyone is a blogger these days. Whether you’re a journalism student hunting for a platform (I was one!), a makeup lover with on fleek contouring skills, or just a “normal” person like me who enjoys posting about your real life, anyone can be a blogger.

Ask any truly successful blogger or influencer and I’m sure they’ll tell you the struggle is real. Not everyone has ideas for blog posts just flooding their brains, let alone coming up with enticing blog post titles to catch the attention of a follower. Hell, this rings true for me and I just do this stuff for myself, not a big audience. I guess it’s kind of like my journal and I’m hoping I grow by sharing it with others, whether they care about the content or not.

Even though I’m just a sometimes blogger whose following is mostly family that I’ve bribed into reading along, part of me still would love to somehow make this hobby a job.

Yeah, I’m not organized like these Instagram influencers and fashion bloggers who post daily, but I’m passionate about trying to show others that we are all more alike than we may know. I might not have the photoshop skills for this, let alone a fancy camera…..hello iPhone! But, I’ve got gusto and I think I’m a decent storyteller, writer and I’m a realist. (Did I just compliment myself? Go me!)

At the beginning of this blogging rendezvous there may have been a time or two where I’ve wondered why I’m not famous and getting freebies in the mail. I’m sure I’ve also pissed people off, or at the very least, annoyed people with things I’ve written. I’ve gotta share posts to put myself out there, so my skin has gotten thicker.

I’ve thought about trying to add more glamour to my everyday life, but again, let’s keep it real. Most days are spent bare-faced with day 3 (or was it 4) hair and chasing my firecracker toddler. I’m no Julia Engel, Rachel Parcell, or LaTisha Springer – not even close when it comes to the blogging world. (Ladies, go follow them!)

What I do have that these other bloggers don’t have is an innate drive to share real life moments (good and bad), to try and not be so filtered, and to write thoughtful posts that allow me to remain totally true to myself.

I may never have a following and I definitely don’t have the aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed that these other bloggers do. I may always struggle with the tone of my blog, for fear of others thinking I’m an over-emotional wacko. My main reasons for writing and sharing the things I do is to sort my own thoughts out, to learn from my own mistakes, and to share my limited, yet still valuable life experience as a young mom.

I feel funny saying, “I’m a blogger,” but isn’t that what I am? I have this blogging platform that I contribute to on an almost regular basis, so I’m no wannabe. I’m going to own it from here on out, whether I get sent goodies from companies or not. I’m having a good time doing what I’m doing. That’s what this whole thing should be about anyway!

Putting my thoughts and opinions out there has been hard at times, but it’s teaching me to continue to focus on what’s important in my own life. Plus, challenging myself mentally like this is good for my emotional health!

Go ahead and put yourself out there! Own your truth, whatever it may be. Things might feel uncomfortable, but the growing you’ll do afterwards is so worth it.

Xo

My Week Long Social Media Detox

I’m pretty sure that from the beginning, technology was meant to serve us in a positive way. Social media is supposed to make our lives better by allowing us to have more time and connection to others in our already limited schedules. But are the likes of Instagram and Twitter really adding value to our lives?

I will certainly admit that there are times where I feel like a slave to the social media machine. It’s sometimes hard to totally “log off,” especially when our jobs and lives almost require us to be online. I catch myself scrolling through my Instagram sometimes before even hopping out of bed in the morning, and for what?

Of course social media can be a good thing, but even too much of a good thing can be harmful. For this reason, I decided to take a little break from all things social media for one week. Some of you may scoff and say, “One week is nothing!” While that may be true, at least I’ve remained true to my word for the last week by going completely cold turkey. For me, the main culprit of addiction is Instagram. I use Facebook as well, but Instagram is something that I feel more invested in, for whatever reason.

On day 2 of my detox from the online world, I realized just how much I casually visited Instagram. Day 1 was easy to go without, but the second morning I found my fingers twitching to click that little icon on my phone. Thoughtless Instagram scrolling sometimes serves as a little mommy getaway during nap time or when Gia is happily watching an episode of Sesame Street. But what was it that I was really longing for? Nothing on Instagram that I was “missing” was going to change my life, or make it better for that matter.

On Day 6 of my little detox, I realized I wasn’t even thinking about social media. With this newfound sense of “freedom” I found myself using short bursts of time for more useful things than online scrolling. I’m a pretty productive person, but this past week I’ve been more motivated to just get things done. I’m not sure if it has everything to do with not being so online, but I’ll take it.

During the past week I’ve accomplished a lot – Gia’s big girl bed is in her new room, bedding for it has been ordered, I’ve had family over for dinner, I’ve taken family to appointments and planted in the yard, just to name a few. Along with these to-do’s I’ve also felt more mental clarity. I know that sounds a little wacky, but it’s true. No trying to keep up with the Joneses, less feelings of inadequacy and more pride in the things that I have accomplished. If I can attribute these feelings to less social media usage than I may very well make this a regular thing.

We all know that social media sells a false reality, which can be especially toxic for women. We all usually post our best pictures – many times showing us on our latest adventure, silently proclaiming (with or without intention) how great our life is. Herein lies the comparison problem. It’s extremely difficult to remind ourselves that people post what they want others to see. If you say you don’t, you’re probably lying.

When I first looked at my Instagram feed after not seeing it for a week there was a couple things I noticed. I realized that I didn’t miss much of anything and I immediately had a negative thought creep into my head. After seeing a pregnancy Instagram account post a photo of a woman who was 25 weeks pregnant, I found myself comparing my pregnancy size to her. First off, I’m a couple days shy of 23 weeks, and second – it doesn’t matter! Everything I’ve been trying to stop doing the past week came racing back. I’m just pleased I was able to instantly realize how irrational and ridiculous I was being for thinking I should look like that woman.

The thing about comparing our lives to each other through social media is that it’s completely unfair. Nobody’s profile is perfect – it’s all filtered and sterilized! So why do you and I keep feeling a twinge of despair for not having as many likes and followers as the next person? Here’s where I insert a friendly reminder: Comparison is the thief of joy. A flower doesn’t think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms. Lions don’t concern themselves with the opinions of sheep either. Wish I could say I came up with those quotes, but I didn’t. They are just words I try to remember when I catch myself feeling inadequate after looking at the hottest blogger’s Instagram feed, or my mom friend who seems to always have her stuff together.

One of 30 newly planted friends in my front yard – my beautiful hydrangea:

I understand that we live in a day and age where social media is truly a big part of all of our lives. There’s lots of tangible benefits too – keeping us connected with friends and family from all over, and augmenting our social lives, rather than replacing them.

My biggest takeaway from this personal experiment was that there is so much more to life than meets the eye. My perspectives have been shifted and I’ve been reminded of what’s most important in life – our family, health and happiness.

I read an article prior to going offline for the week about a man who takes a month long break from social media every December. I thought this was a really great idea and would be something that I could benefit from. If I implement this same practice the only thing I will miss are sharing photos of my daughter. (Soon I’ll be saying daughters! Crazy!) Other than that, it sounds like I need to pick my month of the year to go on my vacation from the online world.

Have any of you taken a deliberate break from social media before? I’m curious to hear what it did for you. Leave a comment to let me know your thoughts about what the app addiction is doing to our world.

Xo

#MomSoHard

As parents we try our very best to be the ultimate caretakers, protectors, providers and nurturers, but some days we feel like we just flat out suck. If there’s one thing I know, I am not alone with these feelings.

Becoming a parent has hands down been the greatest thing I’ve ever done, yet it’s also been the absolute hardest. Gialina has the power to melt me or crush me with a single word, look, or gesture. It’s almost as if I’m at the mercy of a tiny dictator….an adorable tiny dictator.

I think about how Craig and I made the decision for me to be a stay-at-home mom and I know it has been the best decision for our family. With that, some days I can’t help but think about the single parents, the working parents and parents of multiple kids who seem to always get everything done, and without complaint.

On my tough days at home with Gia I try and remember parents who have it a lot harder than me (the stay-at-home parent raising three kids under three, the parent who cries when dropping their child off at daycare, and the parent working two jobs who just can’t catch a break). I should be so grateful to stay home and raise my daughter, knowing she’s learning from me. I am grateful of course, but it’s not picture perfect, nor should it be.

Being a mom is hard. I’m alone most of the time and that takes a toll on my mental health. When I say alone, I’m with my daughter, but obviously talking to her is very different than talking to an adult. I sit in my own thoughts and that can have a negative snowball effect on me at times.

It’s easy for me to judge myself and feel guilty about most anything related to parenting. I know many parents feel that same guilt, so I’m not alone, but man….it still feels lonely.

I feel like I didn’t do my best as a mom if I didn’t talk enough to Gia, play enough, take her to the park, etc. These thoughts are completely ridiculous, I know. She gets plenty of stimulation doing the countless things we do at home.

Then there’s that other guilt I get. Guilt from not folding the laundry right away, from not picking up the play room (even though I’ve done it three times already), guilt from not making Craig a lunch for work, etc. After all, my job is to take care of Gia and our family home.

The days I don’t do it all, or don’t feel like doing it all make me feel like I’ve lost. If this is my “job” and what I choose to do then I should be doing better at it, right?! No. I’m doing the best I can, just like everyone else.

Yesterday was a day where I felt like I just couldn’t win. The second Craig walked in the door I felt better because I had my partner in life home. At the same time I was upset that Gia could care less about me because he was home. I’m so glad that she loves both of us so deeply, but I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of envy. I’m with her all day, everyday, bending over backwards to give her everything she needs. Daddy is gone at work, so of course she misses him. I feel bad for having those feelings, but they’re honest.

Once Craig had changed from work and asked me what he could do to help with dinner, etc. I asked if he wouldn’t mind bathing Gia for me. When I walked down the hall to see how they were doing, any feelings of envy disappeared. Appreciation was what I felt in that moment instead.

Tubby time with daddy:

We are all just trying our best to make it through each day, whether we have kids or not. Don’t judge the mom in the grocery store because her clothes are covered in dog hair and don’t judge the person on BART falling asleep after a long day at work. You don’t know what they might be dealing with in their personal life, or how long they were up with their kids the night before.

Xo

Reflecting On A Busy Year & Preparing For 2018

Here we are, yet again.  We are days away from saying goodbye to another year and getting ready to welcome a fresh start for 2018.  This is the time where people begin to think about making resolutions for the year to come.  Normally I don’t make a resolution.  I thought I’d flip the script just a little bit, while it’s great to make new goals for the upcoming year, it’s equally as important to reflect on the year that has passed.  I’m feeling especially inspired to start my 2018 with a clear mind, positive thoughts and heaps of gratitude, thanks to a very, very popular blogger.  I’m taking the time to write a few things down and share them with you, at the suggestion of Julia Engel.  Head to her blog, Gal Meets Glam, to see the post that has encouraged me to do some reflecting.

Now Julia isn’t the only one doing the encouraging – I encourage any of you reading my blog to follow suit and do as I am doing here.  Take an hour to yourself to reflect, show appreciation and yes, plan for a good start to 2018.

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5 things I’m proud that I accomplished this past year:

  1. Sold our first home and purchased our current home.  Life is stressful in many ways, and I’ve realized that moving homes is close to the top of my stressors list.  I’m happy that we are settled in our house and it already feels like we have been here for years.  I definitely look forward to continue making it ours.
  2. Started blogging again.  I follow a lot of different bloggers through their Instagram accounts.  Although I’m not an “accomplished” blogger, I feel that I’ve already become successful.  When I say successful I mean that I successfully put my mind to something, followed through and continued to write, regardless of the opinions of others.  That’s a win in my book for sure!
  3. Deliberately went out of my comfort zone.  Although this does not pinpoint one specific thing, it’s an accomplishment nonetheless.  I’ve done things like take Gia on road trips, try completely new workouts and deviate from our routines.  I’m sure these sound small to outsiders, but for me they’re huge.
  4. Survived the ups and downs of my first year as a parent.  When Gia turned one in August, it wasn’t just a birthday celebration.  It was also a chance for Craig and I to look at each other and say, “we did it!”  The first year of parenthood is magical, but it is freakin’ tough!  Anyone who tells you otherwise is not telling you the whole truth.  From sleepless nights, to that first little giggle, all of it is so memorable in it’s own unique way.
  5. Regained my sense of self.  After having Gia in August of 2016, I dealt with a lot of new feelings about myself.  Many of those feelings about myself weren’t so positive and were likely related to postpartum hormones.  I was able to feel like me again after remembering to make myself a priority.  After all, if I don’t take good care of myself, how can I take care of anyone else?

One of my favorite accomplishments of the year – celebrating Gia’s 1st birthday!

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5 things I want to tackle in 2018:

  1. Do more yoga.  I think I’ve said this for the past three years.  I start the year off doing some yoga and then I fall off the wagon.  This year I want to do it for my mind, to keep my body loose and prevent injury from my more traditional workouts in the gym.
  2. Hold weekly meetings with myself.  I’ll even admit it, this one is lofty.  It sounds really simple, but it’s not that easy.  I want these “meetings” to be a check-in where I can refocus and align my to-do lists with my high-level priorities.
  3. Maximize my time.  I’m going to try and implement a two-minute rule.  Any action that can be carried out in two minutes or less will need to be completed right away.  I’ll be able to finish small tasks before they pile up and take more mental space than they deserve.
  4. Learn to control my emotions.  It’s not like I have uncontrolled anger and need anger management classes, but certain emotions are destructive in all circumstances.  Gaining control over my feelings will allow me to continue to keep a level head and think more rationally, even during emotionally charged situations.
  5. Volunteer.  I want to do good for myself, but I also want to do good for others in the upcoming year.  The times that I have volunteered, or donated, gave me a sense of purpose, made life a little more meaningful, and made me happy.


Now that I’ve listed a few things I’ve accomplished this year and a few things I’d like to tackle this coming year, I want to continue the trend of making lists.  This next one is going to be one that I jot down on paper and keep to myself though.  Feel free to join in and do it too.  Again, these are ideas I’ve followed from one of my favorite bloggers, Julia Engel, of Gal Meets Glam.

I’m writing down the names of five people (or as many as you like) who were my best supporters during my hardest and happiest times this year.  My plan is to send them a note of appreciation to thank them and remind them of what their actions and presence has meant to me.  These are the people who have contributed to my own personal growth.

The last thing I’d like to do is scroll through the photos on my iPhone and find five pictures that make me happiest when thinking about that memory.  That is going to be hard to do and take quite a bit of time, considering how many thousands of photos of Gia are in my phone.  I’ll be honest, I’m going to save the scrolling for another day.  It will likely be long after Gia has gone to bed for the night – that’s when I do most of my scrolling anyway!

I hope that in 2018 my thoughts become actions.  The act of doing is contagious and with that, accomplishments can come closer each day.  I can’t expect all of my goals for 2018 to happen in January, but with lots of hard work, a little faith and some action, I’ll get them done.

Happy New Year to all!

xo

 

7 Easy Ways To Pay It Forward This Holiday Season

It’s so easy to become wrapped up in ourselves this time of year, with all of the presents to buy, parties to attend and preparations to be made.  Wow, I’m totally guilty of being very self-centered lately.  With my broken ankle still on the mend, continuously trying to get our house organized from our move and our toddler, lovingly known as hurricane Gia, I just haven’t thought much about anything besides myself and my family.

I’m starting to take action so I can pay it forward for the holidays, instead of focusing on me, me, me.  I don’t want excuses thwarting me from helping another, so this is where my little pay it forward project comes in.

Today Gia and I ran a couple of errands before her nap.  Our first stop took us to Target, which was bustling all before 9:30 a.m.  We made the rounds for a few essentials and that’s when I got the idea to create a goodie box for our UPS, FedEx and USPS delivery people.  I cannot take full credit for this idea, but I definitely put my own spin on it.

I used an old box from our move and wrapped it in festive paper, filled it with Gatorade, trail mix, protein bars and other snacks, and attached a little note expressing gratitude for the hard work of delivering packages during the exhausting and lengthy holiday season.

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After feeling proud about my mini project, I thought about additional ways that I could continue to spread some holiday cheer.  Some of the things I came up with I’ve done in the past and some are new to me.  I thought I’d share with all of you in case you’d like to keep passing on good karma.

Here are 7 ways you can pay it forward with me:

  1. Donate your time to new or exhausted parents.  My sister-in-law, Michelle inspired this one.  Michelle, her husband Jeremy, and newly crowned big bro, Jarren, just welcomed baby Jack to the family in November.  If I could offer my time to her for free babysitting, I would!  (She’s in San Diego, so logistically I can’t.)  If you know a parent or parents who could use an hour to themselves then help them out.  Bring your own kids along as playmates and helpers.  Imagine being a new parent and having the chance to get out for a few hours to do a little (peaceful) Christmas shopping, have a coffee break, or simply take a shower!  This basic act of kindness means so much to parents who desperately need a break.
  2. Be kind to someone you dislike.  Children are always watching and listening, and this I know because Gia repeats every word I say these days.  Thankfully she is always hugging and kissing her friends, family, stuffed toys and even photographs.  (I must be doing one thing right!)
  3. Be a store angel.  Leave 10 (or any other desired amount of) $1 bills in random places in the local store.  If you’re feeling extra kind, leave a little bit more for tax.  😉  Imagine how happy the single mom or dad shopping for their kids will be — or the child who wants a toy but mommy and daddy are hesitant to buy it because of the tight budget they’re maintaining.  It sounds like so little, but it makes such a HUGE difference in the lives of others who really need it.
  4. Leave a homemade treat with a kind note for your mail person in the mailbox.  These men and women are always providing us with such a thankless service every single day, regardless of weather conditions, traffic and more.  Let them know you appreciate what they do for you.
  5. Visit those who are lonely.  Some of the best gifts are not “things.”  A cheery visit to someone who lives alone may be just the nourishment they need.  Visit a neighbor or family member.  Save artwork made by your child to take as a small gift to brighten their day.
  6. Remember the “unsung heroes.”  Our local police officers and firefighters serve us everyday.  Bake goodies for their departments and fire houses, or buy their coffee when you see them in line at the cafe.  Do something to show that you recognize and appreciate all of their hard work.  After all, they are the ones who run straight to the danger that the rest of us run away from.
  7. Adopt a soldier.  Adopt-A-US Soldier is a non-profit organization that seeks volunteers to help show the brave men and women fighting for our freedom that their sacrifices will not go unnoticed. It connects supportive civilians with deployed troops and offers a channel by which to communicate encouragement and express gratitude to those brave men and women serving in the United States Armed Forces.  I’ve adopted a few soldiers over the years and it was a great experience.  We regularly wrote letters to one another and I sent much needed care packages filled with reminders of home and other necessities.

I know it’s not possible for everyone to do all, a few, or even one of these, but please, give what you can.  Your gifts to others do not need to be elaborate, or expensive.  You can have a charitable heart even if you don’t have a lot yourself.

I hope I’ve encouraged a few people to pay it forward for the holidays.  We should all be thankful for what we have and not focus on what we think we don’t have enough of.  As long as we have our health, a warm home and love in our hearts, then that will be enough.