Thursday, December 3, 2009

Learning to Pamper

I just recently headed off to Miami Beach for a conference with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Of course I learned a lot of good information but the best thing about it was the much needed vacation. I stayed on for an extra day just to give myself time to relax and recuperate from my hectic life at home.

That extra day was so fantastic. It was great just being able to do whatever I wanted. I headed off to Lincoln Road where I had a great time window shopping, found a fabulous little restaurant and had the most delicious meal, and when it started to rain I ducked into a movie theater.

I went to this beautiful and luxurious hotel for breakfast and ordered a pot of citrus chamomile tea. When the waitress brought it out I got as excited as a school girl on a trip to American Girl. It was in this cute pot and served on a tray with a little individual pot of honey and a lemon wedge on its own little dish. So cute!

I sat there outside, next to the pool with my cup of tea, soaked in the sun, and thought about how lucky I was to be there. I couldn't help but wish I could have a little more of this pampering. Of course my lifestyle doesn't really give me a lot of free time for extravagant vacations, sitting by the beach, sipping tea.

Then I thought, how can I bring a little slice of this to my life on a smaller scale? Seriously, why can't I buy myself a nice teapot with some cute cups and those adorable little spoons? I could get a little tray and sit out in my screen room overlooking the pond and sip my tea.

So that is my plan. A little pampering ritual that I am bringing back from Miami Beach. I went shopping yesterday but couldn't find one I was in love with so I will keep looking. I will be sure to post a picture when I find it.

I am on a path of learning how to treat myself special. I've spent most of my life focusing on my kids and I don't really even know how to pamper myself. Sad but true. I suspect there are a lot of women out there who can relate.

So, tell me your story. How do you pamper yourself and treat yourself special? If you don't spend a lot of time doing special things for yourself tell me one thing big or small that you would love to do for yourself. Maybe you can give me some great ideas!

Ornaments of Love

I love Christmas! It is my favorite holiday of the year. Every year after Thanksgiving, we pull out our Christmas tree and we go about the task of decorating it and I couldn't be more excited. Once we get past the initial struggle with the lights, the fun begins. I gather all the kids around and we open up the boxes of ornaments and I begin passing them out.

Each year I give my children a new ornament. It usually has to do with something they did in the year or a strong interest they have. There have been ornaments of just about every sport given out as well as musical instruments and favorite characters. I really love handing my 12 year old a Telletubby ornament. He cringes every time but we all laugh and I remember when he couldn't get enough of that show (thank God that is over!!!).

In 2000 my mother in law passed away in July. During that first Christmas season we received an envelope from the funeral home that handled the arrangements for us. Inside was a paper dove ornament with gold trim and her name written on it. It made us pretty sad that year but it reminded us how much she loved Christmas and it gave us an opportunity to talk about her as we put the ornament up onto the tree.

Nine years later, we still put that ornament up onto our tree in a special spot up high where it is safe and honored. It has become a special time where we can remember her and honor all that she gave us while she was a part of her life.

I am so grateful that we were given this simple gift that year when we weren't even sure we were ready to deal with it. It has given us years of joy and I suspect it will continue to for many years to come.

Is there someone you would like to honor this holiday season? Perhaps you can create a special ornament or decoration that will spark a memory, begin a conversation, or bring about a sense of gratitude for having had the privilege of knowing them. Or maybe there is someone you know who could use a simple gift or remembrance this year.
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