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Monday, December 22, 2008

It's Beginning to....well, Smell, A Lot Like Christmas!

Frigid, frigid temperatures, but no sign of a white Christmas here for us ~ at least not in the official can always hope for that Christmas Eve miracle. It has happened before! However, after a day filled with holiday baking, it is beginning to "smell" like Christmas...warm, sugary, sweet - no doubt we will have visions of sugar plums tonight as we slumber! :-)

Favorite new recipe this year is a white chocolate and cranberry shortbread ~ absolutely melts in your mouth and is much too addicting. Must give some away soon!! LOL!

Just finished up a batch of sugar cookies, and now Hannah is taking over the kitchen with plans for us to move on to the traditional pressed cookies - musn't forget those! Tomorrow will be the Weinacht Stollen and Buche de Noel (shh! surprise for Grandpa!) - we're heading over to Sarah's larger kitchen for those projects!

In between batches, I'm catching a favorite flick - one I can't believe I left off "The LIST" (and will remedy immediately!!) -- "The American President" -- ahh, yes, a little romance! :-)

Shop is "closed" for the holidays - reopening on January 5th - but if you are a local friend of SignatureSterling - feel free to email me or give me a call if you're looking for something. I'll be happy to have you stop by and take a peek.

Peace and joy to you and yours this holiday season...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Birthday Girls" :-)

My birthday was yesterday and Gram, the "spring chicken" (!) will be 98 on Saturday!

A Birthday Reflection

Andrew will be celebrating his 23rd birthday on January 3rd ~ in Tanzania, of course ~ and I've asked friends and family to help us "celebrate" by sending me birthday cards to forward to him (don't worry - he doesn't "check in" here very often so I'm not thinking that I'll be letting the cat out of the bag) :-).... Just received the most wonderful note today from Ellen that she asked me to print off and send off to him ~ and as I read it, just one day after my "big day," I couldn't help but be called to reflect myself....thanks, Ellen!

Andrew, Who would have thought when you were celebrating all those birthdays as a kid that someday you would be celebrating your 23rd birthday in Tanzania??? We are enjoying following you on this adventure that will impact you for ever! I am passing on a birthday reflection written by a Joyce Rupp, a Des Moines Catholic Sister of Mercy. Happy Birthday on this special day!!! Your cousin, Ellen

A Birthday Reflection
I look back upon the past year, through the many ups and downs, and I gather my significant memories-people, events, inner stirrings,dreams, jolts, joys, heartaches, etc.-all that touched my life in any sort of special way.

As I look over my year:
I am especially grateful for... the love and support of family and friends.
I am amazed at... my inner peace and strength.
I am puzzled by... difficult lessons and challenges.
I wish that... I might have found that strength and peace sooner.

As I look toward the coming year:
I long for... a purpose-filled life of love, calling, peace, and joy.
I hope that... my family and friends continue to share and grow with me in the journey ahead.
I trust... that next steps are clear, positive, and grounded in who I am.
I promise... to live the life I am called to live.
I ask... for God's direction as I step out in faith.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

MY 50...

It is the eve of my birthday week ~ yes, THE birthday week. Growing up, I was "blessed" (although I don't recall it as a blessing at the time) of being the youngest in my class, in my fact, still being 17 when I left for college, I didn't turn 18 as you can see until almost the end of my first semester there ~ again, not a "blessing" in my mind at the time! LOL!

Now, obviously, ahh - the wisdom of the "ages" - I realize that age is relative...and becomes more relative the older one gets! :-) Of course, this is something I am especially reinforcing in my mind as I begin this week ~ "age is relative" should perhaps be my mantra this week?

But, as I was thinking of that "relative number," I also started to think about the blessings, joy, peace, and happiness that surround me now ~ AND what may still lie ahead for me....what do I still want to do in the next ...(insert "relative number" here)....years. The idea of a list intrigued me, and of course, the internet did not fail me!

Yes, there is a website that can help ~ "My 50 Things to Do in My Lifetime" is a site specifically designed for creating such a list. It is complete with links of sample lists to peruse, suggested places to visit, things to do, books to read, quotes and motivational ideas, others' goals.....lots of "fuel for the fire." I know I'm going to enjoy "playing" with it this week. :-)