Value Every Moment

Getting everything ready for Christmas, I pulled down the box of ornaments ready to hang many of the same ones for the 24th or so time – the tiny painted handprints, the bead wreaths with a kindergarten picture tucked in the middle, the snowflakes cut by safety scissors with preschool hands.

Each and every one of these precious memories bring a tear to my eye. Partly a sad tear but also a proud tear. Sad because there aren’t any new handmade ornaments getting hung in the tree, those days have passed, but proud that almost 25 years later, my boys still love the traditions. They still make the time to help us trim the tree, now taking over the duty of stringing the lights. They look forward to seeing a candle in every window as they pull up to the house, and this year, we were fortunate enough to bring back an old tradition of heading north to choose and cut our own tree.

My heart is full – my empty nest was crowded for a fun-filled 24 hour journey to find the perfect tree. Lots of laughs, lots of connecting, and new adult memories that I will cherish just as much as those handmade ornaments.

Music Is What Feelings Sound Like

The leftovers are put away, family and friends are gathering their things to head home, the dishes are drying and as you reflect on the day, it’s obvious you’re thankful for the people in your life but I have to say, I’m most thankful for music.

Music sets my mood, enhances my mood and sometimes even changes my mood. Songs from my playlist, songs on the radio, background music in a store; the words, the tempo, the melody, make me think of specific people. Those people are the most important people in my life, the people who have shaped me in some way. Music makes me think of these people in their own special ways.

Anything from the 70’s – Barry Manilow, Kenny Rogers, Jim Croce, the list goes on and on – reminds me of my Mom. The music always blared as she cleaned the house, cooked, dusted, did laundry…it didn’t matter what the chore was, there was always a playlist to accompany it before playlists even existed.

Eighties hairbands immediately make me think of my best friends and the carefree days of dreaming about the future, always looking out for one another, doing our makeup, and giggling until it was almost dawn.

Country music brings me back to a time in my life when I wasn’t sure which direction I was going. I can still picture the faces of the people that I met along the way and those that influenced my direction when I was so far from home.

Songs from concerts I’ve been to make me smile and reminisce about who I was with and the time we had. Always wishing for that one more song.

Every time I hear anything from the Kidzbop CDs that were stacked in my car, I immediately picture the two most adorable little boys singing along in the backseat.

As I grow older and become more in touch with who I am, music plays an important part in my life. Each and every significant person in my life has their own soundtrack. What’s yours?

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