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Winter Song

Essays · Holidays · LiFe

Gratitude and Grace


Photo by TJ Parker

I had a great conversation the other night about gratitude and grace and the things that are important in life.  It was lovely, and a good reminder.


It’s very tough to not be overwhelmed by the things in life that don’t go as planned, the things in the world that are heartbreaking.  It’s easy to forget ourselves, forget the good and the light and the hope.  But this time of year, it’s all about those things.

There’s meaning in the little things, it’s really where the good stuff lives.  A smile, a sunset, a snuggle from one of the dogs, the laughter of a grandchild, light through the trees, a good meal, warm socks, a good hug, small kindnesses, small generosities, the bluest blue in the sky, music playing, walks in the crisp air, a good meal with friends, love, love in any form it comes to you.

I have no big message of thanks, this year, but will offer this.  It isn’t about the big things, the mighty changes, and large leaps.  Those things are rare.  What it’s about, and should be, are the small things.  Those little moments of grace and gratitude.  They are the meat of life, the soul of it.

And in that vein, we’re going to take the dogs out for a walk on this crisp Illinois fall day.  The sky is the most lovely blue.

Family & Friends · Holidays · Love · Photos

Christmas in Illinois

Dear Sebastian…

We had the best Christmas this year and it was all because of you.  Christmas is the time when a person should feel a lot of joy and enjoy a lot of warm family gatherings.  Because of you your Grandmas felt both of those things.

We spent a lot of time over at your house with you and your Mommy and Daddy.  We ate good food, your Grandma made pierogi on Christmas eve.  You liked it very much, just like the rest of us.  So good.  Then after you went to bed Santa got to work.

Your Grandmas came over early Christmas morning so we could see you see your presents under the tree for the first time.  You really liked your wagon and Zeus.  We were so happy you did.  We spend a lot of time opening presents.  You are such a loved guy you got a lot of them and not just from your parents and your Grandmas, but from your aunts and uncles, and your great grandparents.  We even had to take a couple of breaks from opening, to go for a walk and to play with some of your new stuff, before you finally finished later in the day.

That evening we had dinner too.  You loved that and then you went bed.  You had such a fun day.  Just what Christmas is supposed to be… time with the people you love.  And you are one loved guy.  I can’t believe all the people that love you.  It’s a lot.  It’s because you are such a fantastic guy.

We love you…

Your Grandmas

Holidays · Love · Photography · Photos

Swimming and the Goats

Dear Sebastian…

Hi there Mr.  We had a really fun time with you the last few days.  We got to see you twice on Saturday.  We are really lucky.

First we went to see you swim again.  You are such a great swimmer already.  Your Grandmas are really impressed with your skills.  Kind of amazing how you manage to have so much fun.  Your Mommy swam with you again, playing and helping you do all the things you needed to during your swimming lesson.  It was pretty cool.

Later on Saturday we met up with you and your parents at the Curtis Orchard where you picked out your pumpkin for Halloween.  You had so much fun playing on the wooden train and riding the pony.  You are such a brave boy.  It’s pretty special how you do all this stuff and aren’t even scared.  You did the zip line too, with your Grandmas help and that didn’t scare you either.  Wow.  There were goats at the orchard too, and ducks. You really love animals.  It’s so fun to watch you with them and how excited you get.  You fed the goats and also got to pet them.  They had slimy tongues, but you didn’t seem to mind.

Today we came over to your house to see your cool Halloween costume.  You were a train engineer.  Grandma Tam was supposed to bring her camera, but forgot part of it so I couldn’t take any photos of us.  I used my phone camera instead to get a picture, but it turned out kinda blurry.  Your Mommy took some pictures of the three of us with her camera.  I hope one came out, but just in case I’ll put the blurry one on here.  That way we can keep the memory safe and sound.

Love, Your Grandmas