Posted in Holidays, Inspiration, Love

For all my sweet Valentine’s

Picture taken from google

It’s Valentine’s Day, a day to send extra hugs and kisses out to all of you. I love you all and thank you for all the kindness you have shown me and for your support on this blog site that marks my personal journey.

Valentine’s Day is so much more and first became associates with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In the 18th century England, it grew into an occasion in which couples expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionary, and other gifts of affection.

I found a little story about Valentine’s Day amongst the numerous stories associated and connected to February 14th. One such story is a written account of Saint Valentine of Rome’s imprisonment for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his judge, and wrote her a letter signed “your Valentine” as farewell before his execution. The feast of Saint Valentine was established by Pope Gelasuis in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14 in honor of the Christian martyr, Saint Valentine of Rome, who died on that date in AD 269.

Whatever this day may mean to you, whether you celebrate it or not, whether you have that significant other by your side to shower with your love and affection, or whether you find yourself longing for that special someone, today and always please know that you are loved, appreciated and needed. ❤️🙏🏼

Posted in Holidays, Inspiration

Light and love in 2020

Happy New Year everyone. The new year has started and a new book has opened with 365 blank pages. As co-creators of our life we have some say so about what we write and fill these pages with.

2019 was a tough year for most of us, but also a year for laying the groundwork and to prepare. It was a year of development and a year of growth and this has actually been going a little bit longer.

2018 was the year of the caterpillar

2029 was the year of the cocoon, and

2020 will be the year to emerge as the beautiful butterfly you are.

We are ready and I hope your book will be filled with magic and wonder. We all deserve it, so let’s write a good one. ❤️

Posted in Christmas, Holidays

4th Advent

It’s the 4th Advent today, the last Sunday before Christmas is here. Four weeks leading up to Christmas, we celebrate the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd and finally the 4th of advent. On this last Sunday, four candles are lit on a decorative wreath, signifying that Christmas is here. Family gathers over cookies, hot cocoa, Christmas Carole’s, mulled red wine, while visiting Christmas markets, filled with booths of handmade treasure and other magical things.

The wait is over, especially for children who anticipate for the “Christkind” to bring many presents and goods. I was lucky to see the Nürnberger Christkind while I was in Germany. Dressed in gold with her curly hair and magical crown, she represents the spirit of Christmas in the most angelic way. You can’t help being drawn in to her soft voice delivering her Christmas message to children and adults alike.

It’s the magical time of the years, a time filled with spirit, believe and hope. A time that is hard for some of us who have lost someone special and who adjust to this magical time without. May you always remember the magic of this season and know that you are not alone.

Posted in Holidays, Inspiration

A magical time

It’s almost Christmas, and for many of us it can be a stressful time. Running around, fighting crowds trying to get a deal. Staying alert, dodging people who drive a little too fast, and feeling the stress and financial burden to find the perfect present. Sadly many fall into the hectic of these and many more reasons and forget the magic of this special time.

For me it was working in retail for many years, making the Christmas season for special for others, and being too exhausted to enjoy my own. I have skipped working in retail for the past two seasons and I am grateful for visiting the German Christmas markets where I was reminded of the spirit of Christmas and why this time has always been my favorite holiday.

Here are a few other things to consider in the spirit of giving and just being merry.

This Christmas end a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind, be gentle. Appreciate. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Gladden the heart of a child. Welcome a stranger. Take pleasure in the beauty and the wonder of earth. Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it yet, once again.

Posted in Family, Holidays

Family – Memories

Meet my four cousins with their Mom (Moms sister and my godmother). This picture was taken at one of the many Christmas markets I got to visit, mostly with family. There is no place like home, especially for the holidays and I am grateful for the time we’ve spent, the closeness we have found in each other and the support of caring for each other. I miss these guys like crazy already and can’t wait until the next time when we connect once more.

Posted in Europe, Holidays

Ansbacher Christmas Market

A scene from the Ansbacher Christmas Market. What a cool little stand with it’s rotating roof that reminded me of something like a windmill. These ornate, usually out wood Christmas displays can be found all over Germany and are intricately detailed and carved. The stand itself was serving hot Glühwein (mulled wine) and more. There isn’t any Christmas like the one at home, here in Germany. Where the hectic and greed of making sales, keeping the stores open day and night hasn’t quite caught up as much. Here, you can still enjoy shopping the markets for unique, often handmade goods, many times benefitting a good cause and the less fortunate. Here, you still take the time to bake cookies, while children count down the days with daily surprises or goodies from their advents calendars. Here, you still enjoy family and friends, getting together for a nice meal and simply just be.

There is no place like home for Christmas.

Posted in Europe, Holidays

1st Advent

In Germany it is the 1st Advent today. Next Sunday will be the second and so on, until the 4th Advent when Christmas arrives. I am not ready at all for Christmas this year and the feel is definitely different this holiday season. But I still enjoy the beautiful Christmas markets here in Germany and there is always some magic to be found. I am glad I got to spent Moms last Christmas with her last year and I miss her so much. Especially now spending all the holidays without her for the first time.

Posted in Freedom, Holidays

The sweet smell of freedom

It is Independence Day in Amerika. Today we celebrate this holiday for the ones that gave some, and the ones that gave all. It is a reminder of our independence and the sweet smell of freedom that often takes great sacrifices and often requires a fight or war.

Independence Day has an added meaning for me this year and it is more than just celebrating the history and the anniversary of our freedom. It’s more than BBQ’s and gatherings with friends and family. It’s more than fireworks and smoke filled air. And while this holiday celebration affects us all and our way of life today, I was thinking of our current, individual fights for freedom and independence. I don’t know why, but I was thinking of the various struggles each one of us faces to attain such precious freedom.

I was thinking of Mom, alive and well now, but not really free in a place she doesn’t want to be. Nor is she independent any longer and requires help. She will never enjoy that privilege ever again. This so called help comes at a price, and is in exchange for money and not voluntarily given.

I don’t mean this to turn out to be a sad and depressive post, as clearly this is a day of celebration, but for me it was a mere reality check. Taking a look around at what was happening. How many people I know that were truly happy, independent and free. It was an eye opener as I couldn’t name many at all. Most were stuck in unhealthy jobs, a slave to make ends meet with no freedom in sight. Others were in unhealthy and oppressive marriages, unable to move on by themselves, and made dependent. Others were sick and their dreams were cut short, having to fight unimaginable battles and wars against pain each and every day. Others simply had bad luck and got dealt a poor hand to deal with. And what about the ones stuck in their own hell, the ones that crumble from the pressures of society and believe that they are not good enough? The ones with anxiety, fighting for acceptance each day, just trying to find a place to belong. The ones that try to beat drugs and are made prisoners to their own addictions. The list goes on and on and doesn’t stop here. Even the ones that did defend us and came back as survivors continue to fight their battles each and every day.

So what is the point I’m trying to make here! What I’m saying is that today is an important anniversary in history, a crucial turning point that allowed many people to escape the claws of war, while others never made it and paid the ultimate prize for what we enjoy as our freedom today. A freedom that should never be taken for granted. And yet the fight for freedom and independence continues as each of us carries out their own battle. World peace, independence and freedom may look the same for all of us, but our individual freedom can have many different faces and is never free. There is always some prize to be paid, some struggle to be endured, some war and battle to be fought. May you never give up the fight, for it is always worth it and united we are strong and united we stand.

Happy Independence Day America and to all of you. Bless each and everyone of you ❤️

Posted in Holidays, Valdntine’s Day

Valentine’s Day the most romantic holiday

Valentine’s Day, holiday of lovers. Each year many countries observe and celebrate Valentine’s Day to make their loved one feel a little extra appreciated and loved. Candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. The history of Valentine’s Day is shrouded in mystery. What we know is that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.

As a hopeless romantic and believer in love as the universal language of the world, it is important to me to live and breathe love for the remaining 364 days. Not always through gifts and traditions, but in many other ways we can make others feel just a little extra special. What about a random act of kindness? Paying it forward. A compliment to light up someone’s face? What about a secret note for a stranger? What about going the extra mile? The smallest efforts can have the biggest impact.

So whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, whether you have a significant other or find yourself single, there are always ways to give and receive love. Today and always I want to remind you how near and dear, how special you have been to me and how much you have touched my life for the better. Today I say “Here is to you Valentine” wishing you a day filled of love and that you may know how special and appreciated you are.

Posted in Holidays

Christmas Fun

Some game populated this to be my naughty Christmas name. Haha….sweet.

Merry Christmas to all the special people out here. Thank you for making my year so much brighter. Best wishes for 2019. Hugs

The time has come and I am flying back to the states today, so there might be an extra sleigh in the sky today. It is bittersweet and I am lost for words at the moment.