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December 31, 2012

Happy New Year - a fresh start

My husband came home from his night job at 3:30 a.m., reached into the fridge for something to eat and a jar of salsa came crashing down splattering glass and tomatoes all over the place.

After a few expletives...he cleaned up the immediate mess and informed me that I might need to check for more pieces of glass and clean out the fridge when I got up.

Come morning I cautiously made my way into the kitchen and began the laborious task of emptying out the refrigerator, removing the drawers and shelves, tossing out anything of unknown origin or expired, and putting it all back together again. 

That about sums up 2012 for me...

There have been many messy jars of salsa, more than a few scary shards of glass and numerous nights of let's sleep on it and take a fresh look in the morning, this year.

Some years are just like that.  Sometimes we need to be shaken out of our comfy little world, face up to the clutter in our lives and remember on Whom we are dependent.  Sometimes it takes peeling away the layers of stuff that can accumulate over time and discarding what is no longer good or necessary, putting everything back into it's proper place and starting new.

That's what 2013 is for me...a fresh start.  Not that bad things won't happen to me because they most likely will, but I don't want to allow the clutter of stuff (not only material but mental) to cause me to grow complacent or too comfortable. 

I was contemplating a word to sum it all up and for 2013 it is PASSION.  I want to live each day of my life with passion and purpose as if it were my last.  I don't want to spend another year overwhelmed with stuff, thinking someday when I have time...

I want someday to be today.

"...What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation." Galatians 6:15

What about you?  Do you have a word for 2013?

xo, Patty

December 28, 2012

art journal 2013

There are so many things I should be doing right now...

Like the laundry...
Like taking down Christmas...
Like a little grocery shopping...

But instead my fingers are smudged with paint and gesso and I am having the time of life creating my first ever art journal.

It is such a great way for me to match my need to create with my love of words.  I am learning so much about myself in the process.

I hope to show you a peek every week or so and hopefully let you in on my growth as an artist.

For now, I better go wash my hands and figure out what's for dinner.

xo, Patty

linking to Art Journal Every Day...

December 27, 2012

the day after, the day after...

I really intended on writing a post on the day after Christmas but somehow it was just as full a day as the ones before.  So here we are...the day after, the day after Christmas.

This is the first chance I've had to sit and reflect on the blessings of it all.  This is the first chance I've had to just be still and enjoy the quietness of my post Christmas home before it all comes down and is packed away till next year.

It was a good Christmas....really, really good.  I loved preparing and wrapping and baking and gifting...

I think maybe because I finally let everyone off the hook to be who they are and not who I expected them to be, (including myself) I truly enjoyed their company. 

This has not been the easiest year.  Things have changed..I have changed...but change is a part of life.  I have such an excitement brewing inside me right now.   I am ready for the New Year.  What about you? 

xo, Patty

December 25, 2012

December 23, 2012

packaging it up...

The countdown continues...just two more days until Christmas. 

I spent the last couple of days in the kitchen baking up a storm.

Friday I made Chocolate Chip cookies, Oatmeal Butterscotch cookies and Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate and Walnut cookies.  Yesterday I focused on candies and pies making Salty Carmel's, Sugar Coated Nuts and a Pecan Pie. 

Now the fun of packaging up all this sweetness begins.

I have been saving plastic produce containers all year long knowing that they would be perfect to hold my Christmas cookies.  I actually got the idea from sweet Trish over at Notes of Sincerity and it worked perfectly.

I'm just finishing up a few last minute details before my daughter and her family arrive for dinner tonight.  Monday my sister in law and brother in law are stopping by for a visit and then Christmas day, after Santa arrives and the gifts are opened, we are heading out to my mom's to spend the day with my family and hopefully, see Les Miserables on Wednesday. 

Let the festivities begin...

xo, Patty

December 21, 2012

four more days...

Can you feel it?  Just four more days until Christmas!

I have nothing but baking and enjoying company on the horizon and it feels sooooo good.

I spent the last couple of days with my mom helping her finish up and just enjoying my time with her.  I don't know when it happened (I was not a lot of fun for her in high school, I'm sure...) but she is absolutely one of my very best friends and I so love my time with her.

I am just about to get in the car and head home so full and yet so empty...

As most of you know, this is our first Christmas without my sweet daddy and so many things are bittersweet.  He was a large presence in our home so his not being here is evident at every turn, and yet somehow the memory of him will not allow us to do anything except enjoy the season he adored.  Does that make any sense?

So this Christmas is for you dad.   You are missed with every fiber of my being but it would be selfish of me to say I wish you were here instead of in heaven.  So dance a sweet father daughter dance for me and I will see you again one Christmas soon.

xo, Patty

December 19, 2012

just be still

I sat in my cozy chair yesterday with a hot cup of tea and really enjoyed the beauty of the season. 

It was so nice to just be still and take in the soft glow of candles lit and really listen to the rain falling outside my window pane.

It is so easy to get caught up in the preparations of Christmas that we miss the beauty of it all and then before you know...it's gone.

Have a Merry seventh day before Christmas everyone.

xo, Patty

December 18, 2012

but what can I do?

It has been one of those early mornings when my brain turns on before the sun comes up.  Thoughts start racing to the front of my mind seeing who can get there first.

Thoughts of the creative kind...

and thoughts of the humanity kind...

The creative thoughts are always welcome.  I have started reaching for my phone in the middle of the night and typing out notes to myself less I forget come morning.

The thoughts on humanity come just as swiftly but I tend to let them percolate a bit more. Those thoughts require a cup of coffee, my bible and devotional and some time staring out the window.

How can I help in the wake of tragedy?  If it's a hurricane or an earthquake there is physical help needed.  Practical needs must be met, food, shelter, blankets and blood donated. 

But what about emotional catastrophe's like the horrendous acts of violence that seem to be happening with such regularity?  I am a big believer in the power of prayer and that is always at the top of the list but I want to help physically, too.  I want to contribute to making things better. 

I came across a link to Joy's Hope.  She has a list of basic supplies to keep in the car to hand out to homeless and struggling individuals.  I have begun purchasing extras every time I go shopping and have started compiling my own bags to keep in the car so that when I get off the freeway and that homeless man, woman or teen looks at me, I won't feel tempted to look away.  I can reach over, grab a bag and offer them a little dignity and hope.  I can meet their gaze directly, smile and tell them that I am praying for them.  That God sees them and hears them and still loves them.

"In my distress, I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free." Psalm 118:5

In the light of the troubles of the world, it doesn't seem like much, but to that one individual it could be just what they need.

xo, Patty

December 15, 2012

there are no words...

I have been sitting, staring at this computer screen trying to put into words emotions and feelings that are unfathomable.  Everything seems so trite and just not full enough.

The truth is we are not supposed to be able to grasp yesterday's tragedy in Connecticut.  We are not supposed to have to put words to the utter shock of such an unthinkable act.

 It is not supposed to be like this...but we live in a dark, fallen world.

 My heart breaks for those families that have to deal with this senseless, horrific act of violence personally.  My prayers have been unceasing since the news first broke. 

I sat in the audience of my grandsons Christmas performance last night with tears in my eyes.

This is what it's supposed to be like...in a world filled with light and hope.  Children should be fidgeting with clothes, trying to stand still, enjoying their new shoes and singing about the birth of our Savior.

The unthinkable thought ran through my mind, as I'm sure it's run through yours.  What if...

I don't have to tell you to hug your family tighter, tell them you love them and thank God for the blessing of one more Christmas together.

And pray...

xo, Patty

December 14, 2012

Christmas preparations

How are your Christmas preparations coming along?  My house is decorated and my shopping is done so I thought I'd take advantage of the rainy day and spent the day finishing up some wrapping.

I started a fire in the fireplace, lit my favorite peppermint candle, brewed a cup of cinnamon apple tea, put on my Christmas Classics CD and just really enjoyed the whole process.

This is the first Christmas where I don't work a full time job outside the home so I am really enjoying the slower pace.  I'm usually a last minute Christmas Eve wrapper so this is a whole new experience for me and I'm loving it.

What about you?  How are your preparations coming along?

xo, Patty

December 12, 2012

an afternoon with friends

I wish there were words to describe how magical Monday was...

If I could have planned the perfect get together, Monday would have been it.  It was one of those days that you know is wonderful as it's happening but still manages to grow sweeter upon reflection.

This particular combination of ladies was the perfect blend of tender conversation, shared secrets and hilarious laughter.  The funny thing is that I have only know these women a matter of months and they have touched my life forever.

I was such a bad blogger and was so busy enjoying the moment that I didn't remember to capture it in photos.

Lucky for me there are smart phones and instagram!

I borrowed (snap-shot...thanks Pam for showing me how to steal pictures, lol) most of these pictures from the ladies that attended.  It was so bizarre to hear them say that my home and our get together was pinterest worthy. 

Like I said, just a wonderful day all the way around.

I planned this "Artful Afternoon" for months and to see how it blessed these women (who ministered to me at our women's retreat at a time of intense vulnerability for me) was so gratifying.

Stacey, Karen, Pam, Jackie and Melissa...thank you for the opportunity to wash your feet and serve you.  The day was such a blessing to me.

xo, Patty

December 8, 2012

kindness and a little more Christmas cheer

Happy Saturday!  I am busy today with the final preparations for my "Artful Afternoon" get together this Monday. I wish I could share more but I want the whole thing to be a surprise to my five special guests.

(via instagram PATTY_MARKER)

I promise to take plenty of pictures and tell you all about next week.

My quiet time this morning found me in the tiny book of Philemon reading about kindness and grace.  It got me thinking about the little acts of kindness that people show me everyday and how much it influences my attitude toward life. 

Then I started wondering if I do the same for others? 

It made me see fresh again that all the pretty decorations in the world cannot provide the real Christmas cheer that others need without kindness attached. 

Pretty stuff gets put back into a box after the season is over but kind words and actions get tucked into our hearts forever.

"Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God's people."  Philemon 1:7

Have a wonderful refreshing day!

xo, Patty