Happy Easter 2018

EASTER cross

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.”  

On this day, let’s remember the true meaning of Easter as we visit with family and friends.  Treasure the moments for the days go by quickly, loved ones are gone and kids grow up.  This day holds so many mixed feelings for me…..

Growing up going to my grandparents while my parents and aunts went to sunrise service on the beach.  Then home to get ready for church.  Totally new outfits to wear to church.  Sometimes even a trip to the Boardwalk for the Easter Parade in Asbury Park.  Then back to my grandparents for a traditional Easter dinner with the whole family.  Easter baskets overflowing with candy from the “Carmel Shop” and “Old Monmouth”.  Happy memories of my childhood.

Fast forward (many years) to having my own home with my daughter, Belinda.  Easter took on a different meaning.  As an infant, I had lost touch with God, feeling like I didn’t deserve his unconditional love.  Easter was still about dinner with family but gone were the traditions of church and the Easter parade.  When I entered recovery, things changed ever so slightly – now I was entering into a relationship with God but still did not have a church.  As Belinda got a little older, we did Easter baskets but they were filled with toys and games because she didn’t like chocolate.  I know can you believe it!  She did like white chocolate but only in small amounts.  And of course “stale” marshmallow peeps.  It was a treasure hunt to find the basket with clues left in Easter eggs throughout the house.  I can still remember the squeals of excitement as she found the basket.  I even remember making her Easter outfits and heading to Atlantic City for the traditional Easter parade.  Dinners were a little smaller but family was still together.

Now, as the miles stretch between us, we each celebrate Easter with our extended family.  Gone are the Easter baskets filled with candy.  Gone is the traditional family Easter dinner.  There will be loved ones in heaven celebrating together while those of us left behind still struggle with making new traditions.  The true meaning of Easter begins to shine through…

My relationship with God has grown and I am grateful he loved me enough to sacrifice his son for my sins.  Today, I will head to church then hubby and I will head to Atlantic City to have brunch with mom and my step dad.  I miss those traditional family holidays (those I remember) but am learning to create new memories with each passing day.

Share your Easter memories with us.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Who Will I Have to Become?

Last week, Thirty One announced their 2019 Leadership Incentive Trip – Maui!  Yup, Hawaii and a whole year to earn it!

For me, this is a HUGE goal I really want to accomplish. I’ve never been to Hawaii and it is on my bucket list PLUS this is a spot hubby and I talked about going some time.  I had to laugh when they announced it because it brought back a memory of when Edythe and Elsie (my aunts) wanted to take my grandparents to Hawaii.  My grandfather’s response “If I can’t drive and take the camper, I’m not going”.  Okay, so I squirreled for a minute….

Do you have a dream you can’t stop thinking about – a dream you wholeheartedly want and sometimes even wonder how you can possibly achieve it?   Maybe it is to have your own business.  Or be debt free. Or quit your job and travel.  Whatever it is, it is actually possible if you set the groundwork to accomplish it….

There is a powerful question which can help you.   When I heard it, it hit me like a 2×4 because I knew there are habits and thinking patterns I would need to change in order to get to my vision.

The question is this:

Who would you have to become in order to accomplish your biggest goal?

The truth is the thing which holds us back is usually us. We need to get out of our own way by being willing to make changes, face fears and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  I started a new 8-week program called Fit Within which is helping me to get out of my own way.  I’m only on week 2 and it has really brought some of these things to light…

When challenges arise, we either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.  A fixed mindset believes your talents and intelligence are set. A growth mindset believes where you are today is just the beginning, and you have far more capacity for growth and learning than you realize.  Which one do you have?

When was the last time you said  “I’m just not good at ________ (fill in the blank)”?  The problem with thinking like this is there are challenges which require you to stretch to places which feel uncomfortable to achieve the desired goal.

When you feel like you aren’t good at something, do you put forth a little bit more effort than you have in the past or do you just give up?  With age, comes greater expectations, especially what we expect from ourselves and as a result some things may not come as easy, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do it.  You might have to change your approach and your mindset.  You may have to become a person who puts forth more effort when things are more difficult.

When we come up against a challenge, we must sometimes accept there are things which worked in the past which won’t work now.  OUCH!  We can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results.

What got you to this point, won’t necessarily get you to the next point. Who will you have to become in order to accomplish the goal you really want to accomplish? And are you willing to do it? That’s really the ultimate question.  Here are some things to think about as you are working on the person you will need to become…..

  • What’s the shift you have to make?
  • What steps would you have to put in place?
  • What would you have to change in your environment?
  • Who might you have to change in your environment?

These are all choices you get to make.  Believe it or not, if you make them and remain consistent, you will become the kind of person who can accomplish ANY goal you truly want.

I know working on “inside stuff” is tough.  At the ripe old age of 60, I am still working on inner stuff and squashing those gremlins BUT it is so worth it,

I BELIEVE you can do it.

I challenge you to be willing to stretch in an area where you previously limited yourself.  I want to you to allow yourself to become the kind of person who can accomplish your biggest goal.  Share you BIG goal with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Happy Easter 2017

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.”

As the sun begins to rise on Easter morning, I think of Easter’s past…

Growing up, I went to my grandparents while my parents and aunts went to sunrise service on the beach. Then home to get ready for church. New outfits for church. Sometimes even a trip to the Boardwalk for the Easter Parade in Asbury Park. Then back to my grandparents for a traditional Easter dinner with the whole family. Easter baskets overflowing with candy from the “Carmel Shop” and “Old Monmouth”.

As the years passed, life seemed to get in the way – no more fancy Easter outfits, no more Easter baskets combined with a feeling of not belonging. Then I was blessed with my daughter, Belinda. Childhood memories and traditions came back to life starting with Belinda’s first Easter. Four generations – Grams, Mom, me and Belinda.4 generations Easter

Easter was different. Easter baskets were filled with toys and games because Belinda didn’t like chocolate – I know SHOCKING, right? It was a treasure hunt to find the basket with clues left in Easter eggs throughout the house. I can still remember the squeals of excitement as she found the basket. I even remember making her Easter outfits and heading to Atlantic City for the traditional Easter parade. That is my cutie in one of those outfits!

Dinners were a little smaller but family was still together. The family was smaller – Edythe, Elsie, Grams, Mom, Belinda and I but we were blessed with 4 generations at dinner for several years.

This year is just a little different…. the miles stretch between us, as we each celebrate Easter with extended family. Hubby and I will have dinner with his family.  Gone are the Easter baskets filled with candy. Our loved ones in heaven will be celebrating together while those of us left behind will struggle with making new traditions.  This year is even tougher since heaven gained an angel this week – my Dad.  This is one of my favorite songs…

Blessings from Laura Story:

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

I am blessed. I have a loving, supportive family, and a devoted husband. I have a faith which at times is as small as a mustard seed but is enough to get me through the toughest days. For I know even the trials are blessings from God.

Share your Easter stories and pictures with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful Easter!

Happy 4th of July

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According to Wickapedia “Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain”.

For me, the 4th brings up all kinds of memories that are bittersweet…

Life in Ocean Grove over the 4th of July was a whirlwind of fun and excitement. I can remember many 4th of July parades and bar-b-ques with the family. Belinda was always in the parade in an array of costumes. Costumes were made by me – Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Pocahontas, Peter Pan… are you getting the Disney theme? Yes, we were obsessed with Disney and we wore out many VHS tapes before DVDs came around. Then as Belinda got older, it was decorating her bicycle. Cards in the spokes to make the flipping sounds – okay, am I really showing my age now? Red, white and blue shirts, shorts, hats…

Sitting on the side of the parade route on Main Street waiting for the parade and the barrage of candy that was thrown by the floats as they traveled down the street. Grams worried that Belinda would get too close to the trucks. Belinda hiding and covering her ears as the fire trucks came by – her sensitive ears were always a concern for Grams.

Life in Ocean Grove was fun and has lot of memories for us. I mean there was a time when ALL of us lived in Ocean Grove on Broadway – Edythe, then Grams, Pop-pop & Elsie then closest to the beach was mom and I. Okay, so that was BEFORE Belinda but it was always a lot of fun. Believe it or not, I miss living in Ocean Grove… this is so off topic. Yes, I squirreled!

Best wishes for a ThirtyOne-derful day with friends and family celebrating today…

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quinoa


Can you tell that I LOVE Quinoa???  It is so much healthier than rice.  I was surprised that even my hubby loves it and prefers it over rice.

My grandmother made the BEST stuffed bell peppers.  We all have her recipe but they just never test the same.  So we have been trying out different versions and this one was a hit.

Seriously! Such an easy weeknight dinner the whole family will enjoy!

Ingredients:

4 bell peppers halfed length wise, ribs removed
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 pound grown turkey or ground beef (I use Morningstar Crumbles)
1 small onion
1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 7oz can diced green chili
1 14 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
1 TB taco seasoning
1/2 TB cumin
1/2 TB olive oil
1/2 cup mozzarella shredded cheese
3/4 cup water

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and cook until translucent ( about 3 minutes). Add in meat and cook until browned. Drain any excess grease.
2. Add in black beans, tomatoes, green chilies, water, quinoa, cumin, taco seasoning, salt and pepper if desired. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium/low and simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is done.
3. Heat oven to 375. Place peppers in 13 x 9 baking dish. Spoon in filling and top with grated cheese. Cover pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and serve with sour cream or salsa (optional).

Enjoy!  Let me know what you think, if you try them.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Courtsey of : I Heart Nap Time