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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Love for Retro Things

Here is a lovely post from Lindsay at Scenic Glory, sharing about one of her loves:

something about beautiful retro things makes me so very happy ♥ from the super fun swimsuits (and really all of the fashion), muscle cars, televisions, bicycles, kitchen appliances...this list is truly never ending!

what is your favorite retro thing?

♥ lindsay

Monday, November 29, 2010

How to Bring Love Back into Your Life

Here is an article written by Elisha Goldstein, PH.D

Abraham Joshua Heschel said, “Life is routine and routine is resistance to wonder.” Our brains are set up to make things in life routine and a phrase many of us unfortunately habituate to is “I love you.” Think about how many times you say goodbye, get off the phone, or leave for work in the morning with a cursory, “I love you.” What was once a meaningful phrase has now become a habit stripped of its intent. So I’m going to propose something to practice that your mind will likely try and dismiss because of some underlying fear or discomfort. Here it is…

What would it be like to start your phone call or conversation with the people or person you are closest to with intentionally sharing, “I love you.”

Notice what the next thought is that arises in your mind. Is it a judgment or a thought that you can’t do this for some reason or another? Just check on that.

Ask yourself why? What’s so dangerous or uncomfortable about starting a conversation with a phrase which is likely the phrase you would have wished you said more of later on in life when there is greater wisdom from life’s experiences.

It may be that saying “I love you” to start off a conversation leaves you vulnerable in some way, so the judgment that arise are trying to keep you safe.

This isn’t some Pollyanna, let’s all dress up and pretend everything is roses. You would only say this if you really felt that way about the person you were talking to.

The effect I’ve found with people who do this in relationships is that it immediately sets a different and more caring tone for the conversation. If you’re used to having arguments or conflicts and you start the conversation out this way, it creates a different ground for the relationship to be more resilient. The negative thoughts aren’t quite as sticky.

You might consider trying this out as an experiment so you can let your experience be your teacher instead of the automatic judgments that arise out of fear. It’s just worth being curious what the obstacle to love is in our lives as it truly is a major natural healing source.

Share this with your partner or close friend, try it out as an experiment, without expectations of any miracles and see what unfolds. You might just be surprised.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interactions create a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.


Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is in private practice in West Los Angeles and co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook,Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn (New Harbinger, February 2010). He synthesizes the pearls of traditional psychotherapy with a progressive integration of mindfulness to achieve mental and emotional healing. He contends that we have the power to transform our traumas and habitual patterns that keep us stuck in perpetual stress, anxiety, depression, or addiction and step into greater freedom and peace. He offers practical strategies to calm our anxious minds, transform negative emotions and facilitate greater self acceptance, freedom and inner peace. Dr. Goldstein, who comes from a family of psychologists, advocates that mental health comes from an approach that looks at all aspects of the self – physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Best Christmas I've ever had

The following beautiful post is from Nicole Jeannette at Sounds of Laughter, Shades of Life:


Beloved boyfriend gave me my first Christmas present last night (ridiculously early, I know, but he enjoys giving me presents and I don't hate receiving them!) It was just a cute small, little thing, but it got us talking about what we really want for Christmas and I think it's pretty cool so I wanted to share in hopes that you may adopt a similar idea.


Last year was probably the best Christmas I've ever hadbecause I asked that friends and family members give me a certain type of gift and MAN did I hit the mother load. Through the wonderful World Vision Gifts program and the gifts of wonderful people around me, I was able to giveshelter to sexually exploited girls in Asia, education for a whole year for anorphan, a flock of ducks to a family in India and food and HIV/AIDS medicationsto starving and sick children in Africa. 


If you ask me, that's a lot better than a Kate Spade bag. As much as I wanted one (among other more practical things), it would never make me cry tears of joythe way my World Vision gifts did last year.

So this year, J. L. and I have been interacting with the local homeless community a lot and we LOVE it.  If you ever want to look at the face ofJesus, just go downtown. He's there. He's dirty and smelly and stuggling to keep warm, but He's there--He's everywhere.







This year has been particularly difficult on our local homeless community after the flood destroyed Tent City (a local community of tent-dwelling homeless who gathered there for fellowship and protection) and the incredibly unpredictable weather has made finding shelter a little harder than usual. So we wanted to figure out what we could do to love on them other than cash handouts and/or beefing up our volunteer efforts.

So here's what we've decided:

We're going to make "kits" and hand them out to homeless. We thought we'd include the following items to try to help little that we can:



  • "Hotties" -- you know those little hand/pocket warmers? They're really inexpensive when you buy them in bulk and they last for about 8 hours. I realize that this isn't a huge source of heat, but it's something.
  • Space Blanket -- If you've ever been hiking or camping you're familiar with these. 
  • Socks -- I never thought about this until I started actually talking to a lot of homeless people, but can you imagine wearing the same socks everyday for weeks/months on end? You have no idea how excited they get about clean socks. 
  • Crackers or some other snack
  • An encouraging card
We're hoping to make about 20 or so of these and take the money we would have used on nicer Christmas presents on this. 


I once spent the night out on the concrete for a homlessness awareness activity. It is miserable.
My experience with the homeless community has been completely positive and I have really learned that often the largest difference between them and us is just one paycheck. They're good, beautiful people who just need a little bit of help getting back on their feet. When you talk to them SMILE at them, shake their hands, introduce yourself and ask them their names. They're literally treated like garbage and you have no idea what your kindness means. 

For those of us who follow Christ, I want to encourage you to not be afraid to actively show others that you're not celebrating the season for the commercial part (not that you're not allowed to, I love Christmas), but to celebrate the birth and love of a Savior who died so that you may have eternal life and eternal love. We need to SHOW that love. Not that you should brag or do it for recognition, but maybe give your friends a card that says "In Lieu of a Christmas Gift: I helped build a well in Africa/fed a homeless family/etc. God bless you this Christmas and may the Spirit of love and giving warm your heart." Very few people are selfish enough to throw a fit about you "sacrificing" their gift for someone who really needs it 

Remember, in the end you get what you give--no matter how big or how little.

Is there anything you've done that you're hoping will catch on as a Christmas gift for those who need it? I'd love to hear about them!

"The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" - Matthew 25:40

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A little GOOP Love

This is not from a blog, per se, but I just read the following on Goop, the newsletter of Gwyneth Paltrow, and had to pass it on.


“Do you love your creator? Love your fellow-beings first”
-Muhammed

“A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”
- Buddha

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
- Jesus

Spiritual leaders for centuries have taught the idea of putting someone else’s needs before one’s own. What is it about this common thread - the act of giving of one’s self - that is so valuable?
- gp

From Michael Berg:

The real purpose for which we have each come to this life is to live in complete joy and fulfillment.  How do we achieve this destiny?  By transforming the foundation of our being from getting to giving.
Kabbalah explains that every instance of happiness, whether the small satisfaction of a task well done at work or the great joy that accompanies the birth of a child, has its source in a universal energy, what the Kabbalists call the “Light of the Creator” and what most call “God”.
Therefore, the answer to the ultimate question - “How do I achieve fulfillment?” – is simple: connect to the Light of the Creator.   We can accomplish this through what the kabbalists call, “similarity of form.”
Similarity of form with the Creator depends not on how well you know the Bible, where you worship, how much you suffer, how often you pray, what you eat, or how much of your income you give away. It depends on what’s in your soul, and how your soul expresses itself in the world.
Consider, for example, two people who hate one another. We say that they are “far apart.” And if they love one another, we say they are “of one flesh.” Here we are not speaking of spatial proximity or distance. Instead, we refer to an inner similarity of form.
It is the same with spirituality.  The one thing we know of the Creator is that all of its actions are geared towards imparting and helping.  In the same way, when all our actions are focused on imparting and helping others, we achieve similarity of form with the Creator.
Closeness to the Creator offers us something exponentially greater than closeness in human relationships. It offers oneness with the source of all goodness, abundance, protection, and unconditional love. Therefore, when true spiritual leaders advocate the path of giving, sharing and loving thy neighbor, they are leading people towards forming an affinity with the Light of the Creator that will allow them to draw and receive lasting fulfillment in their lives.  
This is the only purpose for spiritual work: to go through a process of transformation from our natural born self to a higher self. Giving becomes easier when we are always aware of the real goal toward which all positive change is directed - the expansion of our own joy and fulfillment when this transformation takes place. In this way, it’s self-interest in the highest sense.
Our root is the Creator, whose essence is sharing—but our daily lives can distance us from our own true nature. Getting instead of giving can become an ingrained reflex. We are thus born to challenge and question that reflex. We need to move in a counterintuitive way from what we’ve been taught by the material world to what we know in the foundation of our souls. We need to reeducate ourselves from the idea that joy comes from receiving to the understanding that real joy comes from giving, which is the essence of our very souls. This is the key to making lasting fulfillment the foundation of our lives.
Michael Berg is a Kabbalah scholar and author. He is co-Director of The Kabbalah Centre, www.kabbalah.com. You can follow Michael on twitter,twitter.com/inspiringchange. His latest book is What God Meant.

From Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel:

There does seem to be this common thread amongst spiritual traditions – a shared experience that comes from practicing loving kindness. I don’t know how other traditions would explain its tremendous value in spirituality. But in the Buddhist tradition the practice of putting others ahead of oneself is strongly emphasized and explained in a specific way.
The Dalai Lama often teaches on a famous Buddhist verse that says: “All the happiness the world has to offer comes from desiring wellbeing for others. And all the suffering the world has to offer comes from desiring happiness solely for oneself.”
This simple verse reflects a natural equation: that selfishness causes pain, and caring for others causes happiness. It suggests that if happiness is truly what we seek, we need to engage the cause of happiness by turning our attention toward the wellbeing of others.
Curiously, we have some strong misguided instincts that fool us into thinking that we can find happiness solely through cherishing and protecting our self. Our thoughts and activities most often focus on our own welfare. We spend much of each day struggling with what we want, what we don’t want, and all of our hopes and fears.
The practice of extending love and kindness to others does not require we get rid of our own desire for happiness. It only requires we include others in this wish – a wish we usually reserve only for ourselves, our family, or our friends. We have to expand our sense of “me” and “mine” in order to include others in the realm of our care. And as we do this we move away from a contracted, self-focused and isolated state toward a way of being that has limitless connection to life around us.
When we begin to pay attention to life around us we start to see opportunities to practice loving kindness everywhere. We might give a blanket to a homeless person on the street, lend an ear to someone in pain, feed a stray animal or simply acknowledge the presence of a stranger. These small gestures make such a big difference to others and they awaken in us the best of our humanity. When we see a need and respond to it, the joy we experience can sustain us for the entire day.
The wish for others’ happiness can be the focus of our lives whether we are in a position to give or simply driving alone in our car. Once I bought a lottery ticket on my way from Colorado to Santa Fe. The whole way I imagined what I could do with $170 million… “I could build a hospice and retirement home in my community where everyone could have free health care…I could contribute to homeless shelters in every state in the country and beyond…I could open clinics in India to treat all the mangy, homeless dogs that wander the streets...” Whatever came to mind I offered. When I arrived in Santa Fe I was full of energy and felt open, clear and vibrant. And the reason for this, I realized, was that for 3 ½ hours (without even intending to) I had thought only of the welfare of others, never once thinking of what I could get for myself.
The practice of giving is not simply a crusade to do good. It serves as a means of awakening the best of who we are as human beings. Whether we are actively engaged in giving or simply including others in our wish for happiness, we could never find a more meaningful or intelligent way to live out our lives than this. Given its power, it’s no wonder that the great spiritual leaders throughout history so highly valued the transformative nature of loving kindness and the act of serving others.
Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel is the author of the upcoming book, “The Power of an Open Question” (Shambhala Publications).

From Cynthia Bourgeault:

As I try to respond to this question, I realize how hard it is to do so without referring to some underlying moral or ethical value system: What is life about, anyway? The act of giving points toward (and allows us to experience) some “higher” value or purpose enfolding our lives, something that isn’t just the “law of the jungle,” or “the one with the most toys when they die wins.” It’s like a finger pointing to the moon of higher meaning. But what meaning? Religious systems have mined this turf thoroughly over the ages, but in so doing have sometimes landmined it as well. Traditional religious explanations can so easily sound far-fetched or self-serving (“We give because good people go to Heaven”; “giving brings you good karma,” etc.). But in rejecting these systems we often find ourselves hard put to explain the reason to behave according to something “higher” if in fact there is no higher.
So I think the best way to approach this is to start close to home, right in the gut, and then ponder what it teaches us. And the plain fact is that giving “feels right”—feels good, actually. Life seems to be better, friendlier, more connected, more whole, more flowing when we participate in it by givingness rather than taking. And giving isn’t just money and possessions; even more importantly, we give our attention, our listening ear, our commitment, our presence. And out of this giving, life seems to relax and go deeper. Connections open up, trust builds. It’s like oil on the cogwheels of life.
So what do we make of this? The contemporary spiritual teacher Michael Brown has an intriguing and explanation. He observes: “Giving-is-receiving is the energetic frequency upon which our universe is aligned. All other approaches to energy exchange immediately cause dissonance and disharmony in our life experience.”
That’s not a metaphysical statement; it’s a wager. Try it out in your own life. See if you can detect the relationship Michael suggests here: generosity and flow lead to a sense of harmony in life; all attempts to constrict, shut off, take, protect, or hoard lead to a personal experience of being unsafe, threatened, and living in a world that is harsh and even meaningless. The more we hoard ourselves and our assets, the more we experience life as harsh and adversarial. The more we enter the dance of giving-is-receiving, the more we experience life as friendly and “safe.”
And it works in THAT order; it’s totally counterintuitive. We don’t give only after we reach a certain critical point of safety and abundance (some would say that point is never reached). It’s the giving that CREATES the sense of safety and abundance. Puzzling, yes, but check it out.
The word “abundance” contains at its heart the word “dance.” It’s all a dance, a movement, a flow. In Helen Luke’s marvelously wise book Old Age I remember reading that the word “mercy” (as in “the mercy of God”) comes from the same root word as “merchant” and “commerce.” They all derive from the Old Etruscan word “merc,” which means exchange. To my dear son-in-law the hedge fund manager, I am happy to report that a healthy human spirituality, just like a healthy economy, depends on exchange—“cash flow.” Giving-is-receiving seems to be an intrinsic component of that system, in fact, the driveshaft. For it’s through participation in that “dance” that the Mercy of God makes itself manifest: as goodness, connection, and a felt sense of meaning. Until we actually get into the dance, all these so-called “divine attributes” remain mute and invisible, inaccessible to a world sorely in need of them.
We live Meaning into reality by how we live. It’s not about going to heaven when we die, but about creating a small taste of heaven here and now.
Cynthia Bourgeault is an Episcopal priest, writer and retreat leader. She is founding director of the Aspen Wisdom School in Colorado and principal visiting teacher for the Contemplative Society in Victoria, BC, Canada. Her forthcoming book, “The Meaning of Mary Magdalene,” will be available September 14th.

From Deepak Chopra:

It's not just giving, it's the spirit.
I'd like to talk about the hidden side of giving.  People have a vague feeling that God favors those who give. Since Jesus said that it is more blessed to give than to receive, tithing became an established practice in Christian life. In India the focus is on karma -- in order to offset their bad deeds, people want some good karma, and giving to the poor is a way to do that. Still, as religious practice fades in every society, giving has become more secular. Few people feel secure in their conviction that giving has spiritual meaning.
I think that East and West are offering the same piece of wisdom: it's not what you give but the spirit in which you give that counts.  At the level of the soul there are really three levels of giving:
  1. Quid pro quo: you give in order to get something back. Whether you want a bit of good karma or a smile from God, the spirit here is selfish. Tit for tat is the rule. The giver expects to be appreciated. Big donors, whether to a political candidate or a prominent charity, expect to be noticed and praised. In small ways we all harbor a selfish part of ourselves. Imagine how you'd feel if you gave a lavish Christmas present to someone and received nothing back, not even a word of thanks? Suddenly, the act of giving would turn sour.  When you give in order to add to your self-image, the act may be generous, but the spirit isn't. It's even common for this kind of giving to involve a good measure of guilt.
  2. Charity from the heart. This is giving out of love. The word "charity" comes from the Latin "caritas," or love.  In early Christianity caritas became one of the three great virtues, along with hope and faith. By the time of St. Paul it already meant charity in the modern sense, but the spirit of love was always understood. One gives as a child of God to another child of God. In this spirit there is no expectation of return.  One may give anonymously or to strangers.  Charity is selfless. It leaves the ego aside, if only briefly, with one intent in mind: to add to the sum total of love in the world. The spiritual significance is to expand the heart.
  3. Giving everything that you are. This is true generosity of spirit.  There is no separation between giver and receiver. You offer up your whole life, and in return life makes you more whole.  This isn't just a mystical wish. Once you realize that everything comes from the universe and goes back to the universe, there is no need to make giving be about "me."  Possessing nothing, you can give everything. You know that the universe has infinite resources; therefore, life itself can be based upon giving.
Looking around, one realizes that giving everything is the most natural way. You and I are here because Nature stinted in nothing. The air, the sky, the plant and animal kingdoms enrich the earth freely. The creative source that gave rise to life allowed single-celled algae and bacteria to evolve into the human brain, the most complex structure in the known universe. When the spirit of life really sinks in, and we realize the incredible gift we've received, the only possible act of appreciation is to give back with equal generosity.
In other words, giving should be twenty-four hours a day. At the level of spirit you can give of yourself completely. That's the goal we are all evolving toward. At certain moments we sense this, all of us. A mother's attitude toward her infant child is one of complete giving, out of wonder that new life has become hers to nurture and protect. In expanded form, this attitude becomes Ahimsa, a Sanskrit word often translated as "reverence for life." As a doctor I also like the definition for "harmlessness," because a physician's first duty is to do no harm.  When you revere life, violence disappears, and it is only natural to do no harm.  You are linked to all life, and by magic, every gift you give becomes a gift to yourself.
Deepak Chopra is the President of the Alliance for A New Humanity 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cookies of Love


This is from an article posted on Elephant and was written by Roger Wolsey. I really liked what he said and wanted to share it here. I tried emailing to see if I could get permission to post this, but haven't heard back. Hopefully both Roger and Elephant will see this as free advertising. Anway, I hope you like this article too:

…During my last semester of grad school I was involved in monitoring the proceedings at the General Conference of the United Methodist Church (effectively, the “Congress” of the denomination that meets every four years to adopt and revise rules and regulations) that happened to meet in Denver that year.  Like many mainline churches, the UMC has been in state of transition & turmoil regarding whether or not to allow for the full inclusion of GLBTQI[1] persons.  Here’s what happened at the conference one day:
Cookies of Love
As I got off the bus downtown and approached the Denver Convention Center, I could see a bunch of people holding signs.  They didn’t look like fellow United Methodists and they didn’t seem friendly.  As I got closer, I could read the signs and realized that this was a group of outside interlopers who were crashing our convention with their messages of hate.  The signs read,“Methodists Repent! Don’t become a Gay Church!;”Homosexuality is an Abomination! (Leviticus 18:22)”,and the like.
The closer I got to them, the more my blood pressure raised.  I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins.  I was getting into attack mode.  I went up to the jerk holding the sign quoting from Leviticus and said, “Do you eat shrimp?”  He said, “What?” I hollered back, “Do you eat shrimp or crab meat?! Because if you do that’s an abomination Leviticus 11:12!”  Him, “Well that’s different!”  I said, “Oh really? Say, is that a polyester-cotton blend shirt that you’re wearing?  That’s against the law too!  What do you think you’re doing picking and choosing verses from the Bible and then being such a hypocrite?!”  It was on.  The shouting match took off and it was a truly epic match of tit for tat proof-texting each of us proving how we were right and the other one was wrong – and an ass.
Well in the midst of this nasty melee, I felt a breeze against the back of my legs.  I turned and saw a tall man in a suit reaching in between us with a large cookie in his hand, saying, “Have a cookie!”  The guy with the sign and I looked at each other then at him, and then we took the cookie being offered.  We broke it in half and started to enjoy the cookie.  The guy in the suit walked off hardly breaking stride at all.  We found ourselves still arguing, but our volume level went way down and we somehow shifted into a more civil mode of, slightly, more rational debate.  And at the end, we honored each other as being fellow Christians, we shook hands and pledged to pray for each other.
Later that day, I came across that strange man in the suit and went up to him and thanked him for offering that cookie to us as a means of grace and transformation.  To which he replied, “What are you talking about?  I was trying put something in that guy’s mouth so he’d shut up and let you speak![1]
I learned a lesson that day, the Holy Spirit can work even through people who aren’t even aware of it – and who even have a different agenda all together.  In fact, I think She may’ve even done it through me a few times.  The other lesson was that the line between enemy and friend is not a rigid one and that the concept of “enemy” is only there to the extent that we want and allow it to exist.
Historic writings about the early Church tell us that non-Christians often remarked of Christians “See how they love each other!” There was a time of such a lack of love in ancient Roman society that any show of love or joy, let alone unconditional love like the kind that had them going out of their way to ensure that the poor people of Rome received proper burials, set Christians apart from the rest of the crowd.  People could sense something was different about those Christians.  That difference was inclusive, radical love and compassion – and that difference made Christianity worthy of consideration.
Could the same be said of us today?  Could people look at us and be able to say, “See how they love?” It’s such a simple thing to have said about us, but it’s the highest compliment of behavior we can receive.  It’s certainly better than, “See how nice their buildings are,” or “See how big their church is.” It was simply, “See how they love!” To the extent that some Christians are demonstrating and manifesting this sort of love, it’s not by accident.  It’s because they’ve worked at it.  The next chapter shares how.
—-
This is the closing portion of the 10th chapter of my soon to be released book, Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity. (should be available around Dec. 1st, I’ll keep you posted.
Hope you like it.
Peace.
Roger

[1] Rev. Chuck Schuster, currently at 1st UMC Ft. Collins, CO

[1] Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgendered Queer Inter-Sex


Roger Wolsey is a free-spirited GenX-er who thinks and feels a lot about God and Jesus. He’s a Christian, yet he identifies with people who consider themselves as being “spiritual but not religious.” He came of age during the “Minneapolis sound” era and enjoyed seeing The Replacements, The Jayhawks, Husker Du, The Wallets, Trip Shakespeare, Prince, and Soul Asylum in concert—leading to strong musical influences to his theology. He earned his Masters of Divinity degree at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. Roger is an ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church and he currently serves as the director of the Wesley Foundation campus ministry at C.U. in Boulder, CO. He was married for ten years, divorced in 2005 and now co-parents a delightful 9-year old son. Roger loves live music, hosting house concerts, rock-climbing, yoga, centering prayer, trail-running with his dog Kingdom, dancing, camping, riding his motorcycle, blogging, and playing his trumpet in ska bands and music projects. He's recently written a book, "Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don't like christianity", that will be released soon. Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thoughts I Met on the Highway

I decided that if I don't have any posts from bloggers on a particular day that I would randomly also just post things on love. I was reading the following last weekend and I wanted to share it:

THOUGHTS I MET ON THE HIGHWAY
by Ralph Waldo Trine

Tell me how much one loves and I will tell you how much he has seen of God.
Tell me how much he loves and I will tell you how much he lives with God. Tell
me how much he loves and I will tell you how far into the Kingdom of
Heaven,—the kingdom of harmony, he has entered, for "love is the fulfilling of
the law."
And in a sense love is everything. It is the key to life, and its influences are those
that move the world. Live only in the thought of love for all and you will draw
love to you from all. Live in the thought of malice or hatred, and malice and
hatred will come back to you.
And so love inspires love; hatred breeds hatred. Love and good will stimulate
and build up the body; hatred and malice corrode and tear it down. Love is a
savor of life unto life; hatred is a savor of death unto death.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Memories

City of Dionne is a wonderful blog. In fact, it is one of the first that I ever started reading. Here is a post she wrote about Christmas loves and memories:


One month until Christmas.

Photobucket

I love Christmas shopping. Not the long lines or the schlepping around from store to store, but finding the perfect gifts for people. And of course, Christmas isn't all about the gifts - it's ultimately about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, but I do love the seasonal festivities and music that pop up this time of year.

I have so many fond Christmas memories from my childhood right up until last year. They are like little video clips in my head that I pull out from time to time and smile just thinking about. Here are a few:

- Watching my brother with Down Syndrome laugh uncontrollably every year while watching "Home Alone 2". This has made it my favorite Christmas movie.
- Brian and I telling each other we loved each other for the first time; this was the first Christmas that we were dating.
- Waking up on a hot Australian summer Christmas morning to "snowy sled tracks" outside that my parents had made with freezer ice scrapings.
- My parents opening up their home to over 30 people each year to come celebrate Jesus' birthday with our family.
- Mum's zany Christmas decorations.
- The day after Christmas in Australia is the big "Boxing Day Test" cricket match. To feel closer to home, my American friends and I played a game of cricket in the freezing cold.
- Perry Como and Nat King Cole Christmas music.
- Visiting old-fashioned toy shops and candy stores back before Playstations and computers were a household item.
What are some of yours?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

love, zsara

Here is a post from love, zsara. She has a lovely ongoing thing were she is writing 100 things she is thankful for/ loves. Here are some of them:


81. silver jewellery.




82. a truly personalised bedroom.




83. seeing your favourite band live




84. expressing thoughts physically.  usually this is through dancing but today it's been painting - it's been fun :)




85. when something isn't what you first thought it was.




86.grabbing a handful of coffee beans / nuts / seeds....anything small for some reason i've always loved that sensation (just me being a freak? oh... haha)




87. remembering a poem which my sister wrote about the bus home from school with foggy windows every time i'm on a bus with foggy windows.




88. when you find someone who you would choose a thousand times over any celebrity crush. including johnny depp.




89. finding someone with the same birthday as you.




90. finding something truly beautiful.... (see post above) :)


What do you love? Post it to the love train!