#76 Realize That Your Life Is Bigger Than The Box You Will Be Buried In

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Hey Girls,

The above picture is what physically remains of my grandpa, your great grandpa. He passed away last month as peacefully as anyone could hope with your Ba (Grandpa) by his side. He was cremated and packed neatly in that box for burial. At the funeral I commented to your father that it was strange to think that all that was left on earth of someone who was just living, now fits in that box. However, I was wrong.

Your Great Grandpa might have had his physical presence with us diminished, but he is still here. He is here in the way that your Grandpa is so extremely generous. The way he values family over money and loves all sorts of sports.

He is still here in the fact that somehow his pet Dachshund still lives with your Nana and Ba. He always owned one of them for as long as I can remember.

He is here in me – in the way I love to take walks on beautiful days and enjoy sitting around a campfire like I did with him when I was much younger.

He is here in you – the blue eyes, the goofy personality.

I hope that as you grow and live your life you will realize that who you are, and your impact here on the earth will reach beyond your life and beyond your death. Your ashes can be packed and put on a shelf or in the ground, but your life and the choices you made, the family you did or didn’t raise, the people you touched with your actions, they will all live on. Your life is bigger – so much bigger – than your physical existence. Don’t be limited by the box, because you certainly don’t have to be.

This post is to you Grandpa and all the living you still have left to do in the hearts of those who love you!

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Meeting Sinclaire 2014
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Meeting Karrigan 2011

#64 Be Thankful MORE Than One Day Per Year

It is Thanksgiving and wow do we have a lot to be thankful for this year! I love that our nation has a day that is designed to remind us to be thankful–for friends, family, and everything else we are so blessed with. With that in mind, I want to remind you to live every day thankfully. Be thankful you are alive, be thankful your parents love you, be thankful you aren’t an NFL referee–wait, I got distracted.

As Thanksgivings come and go I hope you will use them to reflect upon all the wonderful things in your life. I also hope that you will remember there are 364 other days in a year to give thanks for as well.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

Here is a Thanksgiving throwback from last year..since I haven’t really taken any this year yet!

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#53 Make Peace With Your Past So It Won’t Screw Up The Present

Basically I take this as–tie up your loose ends, forgive yourself for mistakes, and don’t be afraid to apologize–all wrapped into one.

Little girl your future is so very bright. Along the way you are going to make great decisions and have good days. Unfortunately, you will also probably make bad ones and have some not so amazing times. It is at the times we realize we have strayed from making good choices, whether of ourself, our family, or our friends that we have a vital decision to make. My suggestion in these instances is to pray. Some people doubt the power of prayer–but I don’t know how someone who prays often and with sincerity could, as I truly feel I have seen amazing things come from my quiet times of prayer.

From there you need to take steps to correct your mistakes. Perhaps you need to ask others for forgiveness for unkind actions. Usually though I find, that you need to forgive yourself. You can’t move on past regrettable decisions until you forgive yourself, knowing that you are going to learn from your mistakes and give yourself the present and future times you deserve.

Pray, learn from your mistakes, don’t burn your bridges, follow through on your word even if it’s difficult, ask for forgiveness and give it too — these things will help your past build up your future instead of let it haunt you. Just note, I never said they were easy. Look it’s some random pictures of me as a kid with the best dog a girl could ever know…..

This post is an elaboration on an article containing advice from Regina Brett..the article can be read here.

#44 Just Take The Picture!

I take hundreds of pictures. Without exaggeration. I am not a professional. Nobody is going to be paying your mom to take pictures any day soon–but I do it anyways.

Your father hates being in pictures–but I snap photos of him regardless.

Pictures tell a tale. They can tell it from many view points. Pictures mark history. Pictures keep our history rich and alive. Pictures remind us of what we love and what we value at any point in our lives. Take pictures and store them away. Make crafts from them. Hang them on your wall or share them with friends. Take pictures that you keep only for yourself. Take pictures of things you find beautiful and things you find ugly. Use pictures to mark life in brief moments.

There is a time and a place for professional photos. Thank heavens your father and I know two great photographers or else we might not have many of the beautiful portraits, the pictorial memory of your birth, and a great record of our wedding day like we do. However there are many times where it doesn’t matter what camera you have, what skill level you are, what you are wearing, or if your hair is done. What matters is that you take the picture. You capture the moment and you freeze it. Just like a song you truly love–a good picture is one you can look at over and over again and still have the same feelings you did in that moment of taking it.

I hope that some day you will look at the photos I take of you and your father together. That even though he hates having his picture taken–you two will get to sit together and reminisce about the memories you have created together that I do my best to capture. That you will blow the dust off the ones I printed or load the ancient files onto whatever device is hip at the time and share the moments–the memories–the day to day actions of your parents and yourself with your own children and maybe even grandchildren.

When I snap the photo and your dad ducks or uses you as a human shield from the forces within the camera I laugh and keep going–knowing that one day he will squeeze my hand as we turn the page in our album and say thanks for the memories.

Whatever you do darling, Just Take The Picture.

Your Dad and I playing Piano in 2006 When He Came to Visit me in Florida and I Knew he just might be The One.