“A Woman’s Life Blog Magazine”
December Christmas Issue 2012
Table Of Content Gather Around the Christmas Tree By Melissa Newell The Big Shiftâ€Ś. Tara Missman
Christmas Kari Woods
The Birth Dj.G1 Finding
Gather Around the Christmas Tree By Melissa Newell Well, we are knee deep in the holiday season. Our days are filled with decorating, cooking, shopping, company parties, family parties, wrapping gifts and enjoying family and friends. It can be a little overwhelming at times but I think we need to keep in mind what this time of year really means to us personally. This can be the most enjoyable time of year and the most stressful. Through life’s challenges, I try to keep in mind that I can only control what is within my abilities to do so. The rest is part of the journey. Part of that journey tests us during the holidays with delicious food and beverages that take us off track with our original health goals. Keep your goals and your personal happiness in the forefront of your daily activities and this holiday season will be one to cherish. Make this end of year a spring board rather than a pitfall to dig out from. It really is a joyous time of year filled with love and generosity. I love this time of year, the huge hearts and thoughtful acts. We should try to make this next year one that involves constant caring and thoughtful days, rather than just during the holiday season. We all have incredible potential, we just need to open our hearts and allow the love and joy to spill over and make for a generous loving 2013. I personally wish you all a very merry holiday season and a prosperous new year. A great healthy holiday treat…..Sugared Cranberries 2 cups granulated sugar 2 cups water 2 cups fresh cranberries ¾ cup superfine sugar Combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan over low heat. Stir mixture until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer (do not boil of the cranberries will pop); remove from heat. Stir in cranberries; pour mixture into bowl. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours to overnight. Drain cranberries. Place superfine sugar in a shallow dish. Add the cranberries, rolling to coat with sugar. Spread sugared cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature 1 hour or until dry. Makes 9 servings (serving size: about 1/3 cup)
The Big Shift Since my last blog I have had the honor to join the elite group of the Odyssey House graduates. The most important people were there to share my experience and welcome me into the real world. The experience was surreal and validates my ability to complete anything that I set out to do. This was the hardest thing I have ever done. This was the biggest test I have been faced with, and I passed. They say; this is now the true test. They say; these are the moments that will define who I am now and forever more. This is a big shift and it is equally scary and exciting all at the same time. It is time to spread my wings and fly. I get to really be my word. I embark on my journey to fulfill the goals that I have sent into place. A major goal that I have had is to create art, through my words, through dance, and through photography. I feel creatively stifled given the majority of the last two years I needed permission to be able to write anything in journal style. It hasn’t exactly been the place for me to connect with that part of my brain. What if I lost the talent? What if I no longer have the inspiration of misery to drive the ability to create art? I have often related art to misery. The greatest pain, has created the greatest art. I freeze the moment I put pen to pad. I freeze when the music hits and my body says “move”. In my recent history there was a serious consequence for grooving to the music. Do I still have it? My taste in music has expanded and I find myself drawn to contemporary pieces. I have never had a taste for modern or contemporary dancing. Here I am rediscovering the artist within. So what do I do with this new found freedom? Well my choice is to read and watch. I am looking forward to something simple to start to get my body and brain back into creative shape. I have done some research as to the latest choreography styles, the newest mainstream dance shows and the who’s who of the top choreographers. Now comes the fun part, educating myself in the current industries that I aspire to be in. This month I am committed to create an outlet artistically speaking. This is my journey to rediscover the artist within. This month I will take committed action in research and education. I am committed to see in color and let the artist within explore and expand. I am an artist.
Christmas Christmas, what a wonderful time of year! I grew up in Utah so when I think if Christmas I think of freezing cold, snow covering everything and hot chocolate. Those are a few of my favorite things this time of year. But living in California the last couple years I have had to really think about what Christmas really means to me. I have been fortunate enough to be blessed with the gift of great gifts. However that has become my least favorite thing. I use to get wrapped up in all that. Although I do love giving gifts and seeing the joy on their face as they open my gift. This brings me to my family. I love being with my family, they are the very most important thing in my life. But that still isn't my favorite part about Christmas. What it is, you ask. First I have to tell you a small tale. This is a tale of a single mother of 4. It was a few days before Christmas and she still needed to buy her boys a gift. She knew she had a little money to do so. But she thought something is better than nothing. She picked out a few items for them and headed to the checkout stand. When the cashier rang her up she seemed to be a bit short. With a tear in her eye she said to the man working that she only had $20 and would need to take something out. The man felt the spirit of Christmas, reached in his pocket and handed her another $20 bill and said to go pick out a couple more things. The woman was so over- joyed she started to cry. She said to the man that she would never be able to thank him enough. The man said all I ask is that if one day you have the opportunity to pay it forward, please do so. To me, Christmas is all about the Christmas spirit of serving and helping those who need it. If you have a little extra this year, think of those who have nothing, and give to them instead of getting a bigger T.V. Think of how it might feel to be on the other end and pay if forward!
The Birth Hello SYDgiRl readers. How’s everything going with you guys? I'm hoping that you are all doing well. After all, it is the happiest time of the year right? Right, I'm going to get off my normal subject and I thought I would share with you what Christmas means to me. Ok, so here we go. Christmas, it’s a special time of the year in which our all mighty Jesus Christ was born. The man who managed to changed this world for ever. What Christmas means to me is to be surrounded by friends and family, a time to perhaps forgive and forget, and to enjoy each other’s company. To reminisce about those special times and moments that had taken place in our lives. To remember your loved ones that aren't here with us today. A time for a possible positive change in your life. A resolution if you will. It is a time to be able to see the smile on the kids faces when they open up their gifts. A new year is also coming up right around the corner. Perhaps time for a fresh start if you are in a situation you feel that you shouldn't be in. Whatever it is that you decide to do the time is here. It should be for the better of you and your family (if applicable). Always remember to stay positive and don't give up on any of your goals. Yes I know another year went by and you probably thinking to yourself "damn another year" But why not look at it as yes, one less year of waiting before I reach my goal. I really hope that everybody has a safe and happy holiday season. If you drink please drink responsible or catch a cab. I’m Pretty sure a cab would be a lot cheaper than a DUI. Also fyi AAA tow trucks will be offering to take you and your car home on Christmas if you've been drinking too much. Let’s start off the year the right way by making it home. May you all have a blessed one and be blessed with joy and happiness in 2013. Dj.G1
I want to tell you a beautiful story about my 2 daughter’s Skyllar 10 and Jordyn 7. Stories that have touched my life redirected my beliefs and helped me to truly remember what Christmas and everyday life is really about. One day Sky went to school as she does every day. Sky loves school; she’s very intelligent, fun loving, hard working, gifted in many things and a true friend to others. She wakes up looking forward to seeing her teacher and friends. This particular day she had decided to take a little extra money with her to school, something I am always asking her not to do so that she doesn’t lose her money. Nevertheless she had made this decision this day on her own because she wanted to show her friends how much she had earned herself for some One Direction items or a soccer jersey. She hadn’t decided at that point what she was going to use her money for, but had worked very hard to earn the money and was very excited to spend her money as most children are. As the day went on lunch time came along. At lunch time at their elementary school , the children are taken to the lunch room by their teachers and are then left to find a table to sit at if the teach allows them to choose their own spots. Sky is left to stand in line for her hot lunch she gets each day. As she passes through the line she notices there is a little girl sitting alone at a table with no food. Sky takes time once she had gotten her lunch to look around to see where her friends were sitting. She notices as she begins to walk towards her friends table that the little girl is still sitting alone and still doesn’t have a lunch. At that moment she had this feeling to do the right and kind thing, she decides to go and sit with the little girl and of all things, she decides to use the
money she had worked so long and hard for to buy the little girl lunch. She said to me later that day that she was happier using her money to help this little girl, than she would have been if she would have spent it on the other things she wanted to buy. Still to this day this story touches my heart and soul every time I think of it. Skyllar’s act of true and unconditional love for this other little girl is one of the most Christ like gifts I can think of. I am as a mother so very proud of Sky and her ability to do the right and kind thing when no one else was going to. Now on to my little Jordy’s story. So one day I get this phone call last year from her teacher. Jordyn is also a hard worker, follows instructions, is always kind to everyone and is a very funny little girl. She has been given the gift of humor and timing on her delivery that is brilliant at times. Her teach Mrs. Wolf had taken the time to call which wasn’t that common. All teachers are so busy, it is just something you don’t really plan for unless of course the child has gotten in trouble or needs help. When I received the call I immediately began to wonder what this could be about. Mrs. Wolf proceeds to tell me about Jordyn’s day. She said that in her class that year there is a little boy who was from outside the country and struggled with the language. She said that he was new to the school and didn’t have friends. She went on to describe a truly beautiful moment I replay in my mind regularly because of the simplicity of what kindness can truly do for someone else. She went on to tell me that the kids had recess that day and the little boy was once again playing in the corner sand box with his trucks alone. She said she noticed that Jordyn will send him a little smile here and there throughout her days in the class room and will also just show kindness to this little boy just in passing. But this day was extra special. Jordyn was at recess with all the other kids playing on the monkey bars. Mrs.
Wolf was watching the kids as she does every recess. She said she noticed Jordyn Watching the little boy in the corner alone with his trucks. As she continued to watch Jordyn watch the little boy, it was as if someone said silently to her, go play with him. Mrs. Wolf said tears filled her eyes as she watched Jordyn quietly leave her friends to go and play trucks with the little boy in the corner sand box. She said Jordyn and the little boy didn’t speak one word but it was the first time she had ever seen the little boy smile. Jordyn told me a couple days after that recess that she had been thinking. She said “mom I would be really scared if I were in a new school and couldn’t talk to anyone, so I decided that even though I didn’t like trucks, that it would be the kind thing to do to just play with the trucks with the little boy anyway”. Jordyn is one of those special spirits that just knows how to touch someone’s heart simply by her loving kindness she so willingly gives to others each and every day. My heart and soul are filled with such gratitude for my loving children and for all they do for those around them. As many in this country we in my family have had some life changing events that have given us the opportunity to make different choices in life, look at life from a whole new view and have pushed us to live very different lives than what we have done in our past. It has also given me the opportunity to help my children to see the gifts in our struggles, so that our struggles become simply just a new way of living. Struggles are only struggles if you believe you are struggling. If you choose to find the struggle as just a stepping stone through your unique and very brilliant journey, struggle is no longer “struggle” it is your gift into the life you are meant to live.
Four of my most important life lessons I hope to leave with my children are: Show Kindness Have Gratitude Decide what you want in life and NEVER EVER give up until you end up with what you set out for And a Simple Please and Thank You to someone can Change a Persons Day Each morning without fail, our last conversation in the car with my girls when dropped off for school is “please find someone to be kind to”…The first conversation in the car each day I pick them up is “Who did you find in your day to be kind to?” Jordyn my youngest won’t let me forget that conversation must happen first before we can discuss anything else. She says she plans all day to tell me something amazing about her day of kindness, as she calls it. I have found this simple practice with my children has helped them to make kind choices without my help or guidance during their days away from me. It has also prompted my girls to be actively looking for opportunities to help and serve others. My prayer is that I can become more like my children each and every day, and that we all can find true love and kindness towards others throughout the year.