Go With The Crazy!

Go With The Crazy!

Wait–before you start thinking that I am about to outline a tactical plan on how to commandeer strategic “Black Friday” shopping…let me explain the reasoning behind the title of this journal entry!

Christmas Shopping!  www.mytributejournal.com

I have actually never braved the crowds on the day after Thanksgiving to do any Christmas bargain shopping, but that’s not to say that I don’t get feeling a little crazed with my holiday “to do” list sometimes.

As much as I love celebrating the Christmas season, sometimes all the added responsibilities that come with this time of year can be a little overwhelming.  That’s why I’m grateful for a bit of sage advice my husband gave me one year when I was feeling particularly frantic–“Mary,” he told me, “it’s always a little crazy during the holidays with everything that’s going on, we can simplify where we need to, but otherwise, just go with it!”

Go With The Crazy And Still Enjoy The Christmas Season!

♦ There’s nothing more fun than finding that perfect gift for the loved ones in our lives, but it can prove to be a daunting task sometimes.

christmas-gift-pink

Your shopping may be a little less stressful if you take the unique approach my friend, Hayley uses–she simply asks her family members and friends to give a few suggestions for something they need, something they want, something to wear, and something to read.  This way, when you do go shopping at this busy time of year, you will actually have some specific things in mind and you won’t have to wander around aimlessly.  This obviously applies to cyber shopping too.  I love this!

♦ I love planning parties and fun gatherings with family members and friends during the holidays, but let’s be honest, preparing for these occasions can also add stress to an already busy time of year.

Christmas parties.  www.mytributejournal.comMy parents had great Christmas parties and people looked forward to them every year.  My mom was happy to let others help with the refreshments and she didn’t hesitate to recruit her kids to pitch in and help too.  Our house was warm and inviting, but without too much fuss.  My dad and mom’s main focus was always on the people who attended!

♦  As you embrace the crazy, busy Christmas season, some of the best holiday memories are created. 

ornament2

Since my children are all grown now, I have the advantage of being able to look back and realize that although at times it might have been a little hectic during the holidays, the things we did together as a family, from picking out a special ornament to hang on our tree each year, to the holiday crafts and cooking, were not done in vain, and are in fact, some of the things my kids cherish the most about this time of year now–these traditions have also helped them start similar ones with their own families.

As another Christmas season is now upon us,  it’s inevitable that we’ll find ourselves rushing about on occasion.  I also hope we can all embrace the crazy good things about this wonderful time of year.  

What are some of your most cherished holiday memories?

–Mary

 

A Smile Worthy Moment!

A Smile Worthy Moment!

Smile Worthy!  www.mytributejournal.com It was a typical morning as I grabbed a granola bar and headed out the door to work a few days ago.  My car seemed to be in auto pilot as I drove my usual route to the hospital where I’m a nurse on a woman’s floor.  I was juggling the load in my arms to free up a finger for the elevator button, when I was greeted with the warm smile of an operating room orderly as he punched it for me.  As the doors opened onto my unit, the kind eyes of our housekeeper met mine and smiled as she uttered a soft hello.  My busy day at work hadn’t even gotten underway, but already it seemed to be a little less daunting due to the gracious gestures of two people who seemed to think I was smile worthy that morning!

When I made rounds on my patients later that morning, I was welcomed by the sleepy smiles of tired, but happy parents as they snuggled their newborns.  Then, during a quick break, I received a picture that my daughter sent me of my oldest granddaughter, Makena…her smile reached out and touched my heart through the phone screen!  That’s when it hit me, I truly am very blessed to experience so many smile worthy moments in my daily routine!  I realize, however, that I need to do better at being more mindful of these moments and the positive impact they have on even my most ordinary days!

Smile Worthy!  www.mytributejournal.com

Makena couldn’t contain her excitement or her big smile when on a recent day off from her school, she was asked by her sister, Marli’s pre-school teacher to stay and help out! 

Recently, I took on the Happiness Challenge–now I’m challenging myself, as well as anyone else who would would like to join me in taking on a simplified version of this challenge, so to speak, that I’m calling “Smile Worthy Moments”!  I think for the most part, we all try hard to recognize those special, happy times in our lives when we look around and take notice of those things that make us smile or even chuckle a bit–but I want to make a more dedicated effort at being more genuinely aware of those smile inducing moments–and perhaps linger in their enjoyment a little more!

Some Recent Smile Worthy Moments!

♦ Occasionally on my days off, I’ll walk out to the kitchen in the morning to find my husband has fixed us a nice breakfast to enjoy together!

Breakfast oatmeal  www.mytributejournal.com I never really liked hot cereal until my husband made his specialty oatmeal for me–now it’s one of my favorite breakfasts!  Besides who doesn’t smile big when you get to enjoy a meal you don’t have to fix!

♦ Let’s be honest, kids and grandchildren just have a way of making your whole soul smile from the inside-out!

Sharing A  Smile Worthy Moment!  www.mytributejournal.com

Family relationships often bring on a kaleidoscope of emotions, but they are most definitely the reason for our biggest smiles!  Wearing my leopard coat makes me smile too!  

Smile Worthy!  www.mytributejournal.com On our recent “Backyard Campout” with our granddaughters, my husband and I wore those silly grandparent grins on our faces the whole night…especially when we all got in jammies and read stories together inside the tent!  I’m pretty sure we were even smiling in our sleep–the little bit we got!  Ha! 

 Seeing our children and their spouses work hard to see their career choices come true is always worthy of big smiles!

NYU Medical School Graduation 2014  www.mytributejournal.comAlong with his parents and my daughter, my husband and I were indeed smiling when we saw our son-in-law graduate from NYU’s medical school this past year.

Smile Worthy!  www.mytrbutejournal.comI not only smiled, I laughed a little too, when my daughter sent me this picture of Cole at the end of a late night shift as he now embarks on his Emergency Medicine residency…her smile worthy caption read: “Oh, the glamorous life of a doctor!”  I think it’s probably safe to say that whatever our “job” is, most include great things and not so great things about them, but surely they all include things that make us smile on occasion!  

Sweet preemie newborns  www.mytributejournal.com

As a nurse, I well understand the long, busy hours of hospital life.  That being said, my littlest patients always inspire heartwarming smiles.     

 It’s always wonderful to work hard and accomplish some of our own goals in life, but being able to witness the smiles of others who have accomplished their dreams is awe-inspiring and indeed smile worthy!  

Smile Worthy!  www.mytributejournal.com My whole family trained hard to run a half marathon together!  Their tired, but happy smiles say it all; they definitely evoked encouraging smiles from me as I cheered them on from the side lines! 

Last year my youngest daughter, Mandi, trained and fulfilled her dream of running in the New York City Marathon.

The New York Marathon 2013!  www.mytributejournal.comThere were so many triumphant smiles on countless faces that day, since many who ran, did so to pay tribute to all those affected by the tragedy that took place at the Boston Marathon the previous April.  

♦ Another smile worthy moment for me occurred when I was pleasantly surprised by the delivery of these beautiful fall flowers!

Fall foliage  www.mytributejournal.com

The note accompanying these flowers stated, “Hope you have a big smile kind of day!”  How could it not be a smile worthy moment after being the recipient of this gorgeous bouquet!  I decided to pay the gesture forward, hopefully creating a smile worthy moment for someone else! 

Sharing A Smile Worthy Moment!

Sharing A Smile Worthy Moment!  www.mytributejournal.com

I hope you’ll join me on my Smile Worthy sojourn…besides, even if a particular day isn’t the most happy day of your life, it seems there is always something to smile about!  (I’m inclined to believe that more smiles=more happiness!)  I’ll be sharing some of my smile worthy moments from time to time in future posts and sincerely hope you will be inclined to share some of yours here too.  I’ll also put a few smile worthy moments up on my Instagram account @maryjwild1 and on Facebook and Twitter, as well.  I say we all work together and create a wonderful domino effect that should prove to have us all smiling more!           

Be the reason someone smiles today, or even better yet, perhaps you will be the lucky person that smiles because of someone else’s smile worthy gesture! 

–Mary

Yay, November!

Yay, November!

It has been such an amazing fall so far…but even as the temperatures start to get colder, and snow is dusting the mountains tops as I look out my windows, I can still honestly say…

Celebrating November!  www.mytributejournal.com

Some of the reasons I’m saying “Yay, November”!

Did you know that today is National Sandwich Day!  Yep, that’s right, one of America’s all-time favorite things to eat has a special day of celebration!

History records that November 3rd is the birthday anniversary of John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich.  This 18th-century English aristocrat was apparently a hard-core gambler who didn’t want to leave the gaming table to eat, so he told his servants to put some meats between two slices of bread so he could continue to play in a gambling tournament while eating his lunch.

The Italian Sandwich Place  www.mytributejournal.com

(via Urban Spoon)

The Italian Place in Logan, Utah, is a fun, eclectic place to eat.  Their roast beef sandwich, the Manhattan, served hot with melted provolone cheese and banana peppers, is probably one of mine and my husband’s all-time favorite sandwiches.

Manhattan Roast Beef sandwich from Italian Place  www.mytributejournal.com

My husband often goes to the Italian Place whenever he’s in Logan on business, and has become good friends with the owner who let him in on some of the basic ingredients of the Manhattan sandwich.  We make our version of this scrumptious sandwich for weekend game nights and parties.  (I’ll share the yummy recipe soon on an upcoming post.)    

We get to experience our right to VOTE in November–tomorrow, in fact!

I was always so impressed with the patriotic hearts of my parents when I was growing up.  They saw the opportunity to vote as a most cherished privilege!

Autumn scenery  www.mytributejournal.com

      “I love voting day, I love the sight of other American citizens lining up to make their voices heard.” 

from the life history of Merle M. Jorgensen

Our right to vote is a privilege!  www.mytributejournal.com

If you aren’t sure where your voting district is located, or you’d like to study more on each candidate and their stand on various issues, visit your local government website.  It was nice for me to be able to sit down with my husband and read more about the amendments being voted on too.

Voting ballots  www.mytributejournal.com

Our county is trying a new mail-in ballot with detailed instructions on how to fill them out included.  They must be postmarked a day before official voting takes place.

The cold weather of November calls for some warm, cozy slippers to be worn!

Knitted slippers  www.mytributejournal.com

I got these knitted slippers from the Esty shop, DaisyChain–they remind me of ones my grandma used to knit.

Ugg slippers  www.mytributejournal.com

And who knew that the company who makes the popular Ugg boots, also makes slippers.  Don’t these just say, “Hello winter!” Love the color!

November is the perfect month to enjoy spicy, warm quick breads!

I know everyone has their favorite family recipe for pumpkin spice bread, but if you want to whip up a quick loaf without a lot of fuss, I highly recommend this Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread!

Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread Mix  www.mytributejournal.com

I put a loaf in my oven this morning before I started taking down my Halloween decorations.  My house smells like November now! 

Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread  www.mytributejournal.com

My husband recently discovered that they sell extra large boxes that contain enough for 4 loaves of pumpkin bread at Costco.  

Like any other month of the year, November is a great time to appreciate all the things we have, and enjoy spending fun times with family and friends!

Fall leaves  www.mytributejournal.com

 I know two little girls who are saying “Yay” to November too!

I would love to hear about some of the things that make you say “Yay, November”?

–Mary