So, this is supposed to be a blog about "Sweets & Treats" and everything in between, right?
But this blog also reflects myself and my life.
And sometimes it just feels good to get things off your chest and to be open and honest.
So, I have to be honest with you all…
I did not bake this weekend, not one single thing!!!
Can you believe it?!
Instead, I did some of this...
But I think I deserved to shed a few tears. This year has been hard. Very hard.
Just a year ago this weekend, my Granddad passed away.
If that wasn't hard enough on our family, my husband left me just days before our anniversary, draining our bank account.
Then our family friend was diagnosed with cancer, after yet beating childhood leukemia TWICE (That's how strong she is…she is already beating this next obstacle…she's AMAZING!)!
My mom's dear friend, and coworker, passed away suddenly.
A family friend has a rare illness, Guillian-Barre Syndrome and she is (hopefully only temporarily) paralyzed in the ICU.
My uncle's Parkinson's Disease has progressed and he has been in and out of the hospital with a stroke and abdominal aortic aneurysm and has landed himself a spot in the nursing home.
This year has been hard on my family, but through all this I have had help from a friend to lean on, who has turned my frown upside down, and has turned tears to laughter. Although I have many friends who have been here for me throughout this tough year, this one in particular has made me smile like I haven't in a very long time. But this friend has a lot on their plate too and needs to take some time to for themself in order to heal.
And therefore, yet again, my heart has been broken.
Not for me, but for all these friends and family.
You see, I lost my husband, but I know that was a GOOD thing in the long run. He wasn't good for me and therefore, it's easier to lose something that was never that great in the first place.
But my heart goes out to our family and friends who are experiencing such a difficult time during the holiday season.
If you could all think of them and pray for each one of them, I would so greatly appreciate it.
On days like this, I try to remember this quote to keep positive.
"It's not our past which most determines the possibilities open to us, it's what we choose here and now to make happen in our present and future."
Instead of thinking of Granddad leaving us the week of Christmas, I try to remember how Granddad had over 80 years of wonderful life. I was lucky enough to have him in my life for almost 28 years. Many people were never able to meet a single grandparent. I'm so lucky that I was able to meet all four of my grandparents. Each and every one of them were amazing in their own ways and taught me something different. Granddad prided himself on family and always lectured us on "sticking together." He was right on target! I don't know what I would do today without a single one of my family members. After a tough weekend for me, and many tears, it was nice to have lots of laughs, hugs and kisses from all of my loving and supporting aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, sister, and soon-to-be brother-in-law!
"If you find a path without any obstacles, it probably doesn't lead you anywhere."
But, one of my very favorite cousins was missing this weekend. Kates lives in South Carolina so it's hard for her to come up all the time. However, she will be home in just a couple days and I can't wait to smoother her with hugs! We missed you yesterday, and always, Kates!
"Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward."
AND NOW, DEBBIE DOWNER HAS LEFT THE BUILDING!!! WOO HOO!!!
"Think of what you have rather than what you lack. Of the things you have, select the best and the reflect how eagerly you would have sought them if you did not have them."
Tonight I'm having some of my very best friends over. Wine, food, and great company…what else could you ask for?! I cannot wait to see these girls and spend some quality girl time catching up on their lives and having them over to my new home! These girls have been there for me since I can remember. Childhood on up, we have remained close, and I love each and every one of them dearly.
"Real generosity to the future lies in giving all to the present."
And now for some really GREAT news!
My little sissy is GETTING MARRIED!!!
We are so excited around here, to say the least!
But you know what I'm even more excited for?!
The fact that she has asked me to be her MOH and I get to plan a shower for her!!!!
I already have so many ideas, as this is my one and only sister, who deserves so much more than I could ever give her.
Even though she is younger, she has been my rock through a very difficult time and I have actually learned so much from HER!
I love you, Sissy!
And my last and final quote of the day
to get me through this cold Monday morning…
"I get knocked down
But I get up again
You're never gonna keep me down."
(How great and corny was that?! Hope I made you smile or laugh!)