A Time to Give Thanks

It’s that time of year again…

The groceries are purchased, the meal plan is set. And this time tomorrow, all the work will be done, as will the elaborate meal.

 

 

Thanksgiving remains my favorite holiday. Even though this year may feel like everything has gone awry, we can take this opportunity to put things into perspective and count our many blessings.

Needs

I am grateful that my family, wherever they are, has been afforded all basic needs: food, water, shelter, clothes, air, etc.

Even for those of my family and friends impacted by the hurricanes this year, they are still not wanting for the basics.

And though my contribution to helping others less fortunate is small relative to the challenges they face, if we all do our part, we can make a difference. It’s this time of year that I especially remember that there are those who want for what I take for granted.

Wants

Anyone with small children who watch TV this time of year knows that there’s a new “it” toy every commercial break.

Whether for children or for adults, we don’t need any new toys in our house. We’ve been systematically trying to clear some of the clutter of things we’ve outgrown.

Even in my own shopping, whether it’s clothes shopping or beauty buys or gadgets, I find it amazing that I can get that elusive item that fits my expectations and my budget.

At the start of the holiday season, it always breaks my heart to see parents struggling to make a good holiday for their kids due to financial constraints.

And, yes, I know and agree that a memorable holiday doesn’t have anything to do with the monetary value of the gifts under the tree.

Luxuries

There are so many things we pay money for that we don’t need, services we take for granted that someone will do for us, or items that we get that are nicer just because. Do I take for granted carrying a designer logo on shoulder or wrist, fancy gadgets or vanity spending? I need to do better about recognizing how very blessed I am.

This year we’ve been blessed to take some awesome trips, and the memories we made will last a lifetime. That’s the best luxury of them all, and I’m so grateful that we’ve been able to do that as a family.

So this Thanksgiving I’m going to consciously improve my gratitude practice and appreciate just how good I really have it.

I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Previous years: 2016  2015  2013

Halloween is here again!

I had a fabulous in-costume picture from a recent trip that my husband insists he doesn’t want me to share. Since I’m about a year behind on Halloween pictures, you’ll probably see it next year…

Halloween is here again, and I’m thrilled as always. This year’s costume may be more recognizable to most classic Disney movie aficionados than last year’s (pictured) rushed-home-from-work-to-get-ready-for-a-Halloween-party. However, I loved getting to commemorate such a historical character for Halloween. In my neighborhood, there are enough people who aren’t familiar with American pop culture and American history to recognize her, but my clue to you is “We Can Do It!” Let me know in the comments if you figured it out.

I love that T doesn’t want to be a princess: her favorite show is “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” and she was determined to be the one with the “Green Hat, Red Feather.” I’d rather she was a swashbuckling adventurer than Cinderella any day. While D doesn’t usually have too much of an opinion about these things yet, when he got his little Jake costume on, he was just as pleased as any two-year-old could be.

Call for Beta Readers

Of course, Halloween brings with it shades of NaNoWriMo. While I’m not planning to participate this year, it’s because I’m feverishly working to wrap up my edits to Book 2 of “Sea Deception.”

Titled “Sea Rivals,” it follows the story of my heroine four years after the conclusion of “Sea Dreams.” And that first book is completely finished and ready for beta readers and formatting: I don’t plan to touch it again to make any further changes. Edits all in doubled the word count, and I couldn’t be happier with how the story has turned out. If you’re interested in being a beta reader, sign up to the mailing list and indicate or update your preference.

So I’ve been hard at work scribbling…as soon as I knock out my first-pass edits to Book 2, I’ll send it to my editor for her feedback. Then I’ll get to the business of writing the first draft of the final book, whose title is still not completely decided. That last book is fully plotted out, and I just need to find the time to sit still and write the story. I even have a thought for a bonus book following related characters, so let’s see how this series plays out.

But first, Halloween!

(Then beta readers)

What costume do you have planned?