Wednesday, August 31, 2011

giggles and squeals

Baby Dillan is reaching so many milestones these days.  One day he is spending his time eating and sleeping and latching on to various favorites in the house, the next thing you know, he is interacting with his surroundings.  This week he is responding to all his stimulation with giggles and squeals.  The dolly days are over and now begins the bonding.  Quite often he will stare at the piano and start kicking away in excitement.  His pediatrician had the tortuous task of giving him his first series of shots.  I always dreaded taking my boys for this preventive medicine and cried harder than they did so I did not look forward to this visit.  He was a brave boy but his Mama and Grandma were not.  The good news is he now weighs 13.6 lbs., 24" long (86 percentile) and head is 40 cm.  He is so strong and active and we call him Bucky Buquito when he lifts and squirms.  These are the milestones he will go through this month.
  • When on stomach, with weight on elbows and forearms, arms can lift chest. Legs remain flexed when lying on stomach.
  • Lifts head when lying on tummy.  When held on adult's chest, will push away and look over our shoulder.  Turns head from side to side while on stomach and propped up on forearms.
  • Sits erect when supported at the hips.
  • Arm movements are more purposeful. Enjoys moving arms and legs vigorously when lying on back, sometimes symmetrically or in bicycle motion.
  • Eyes can follow a moving object held about six inches above his face vertically and in a circular pattern. He can see objects 15 to 20 feet away.
  • Hands open most of the time. Voluntarily shakes and holds a rattle. Grabs onto your clothing and hair.
  • Looks at his hand held in front of his face. Enjoys watching his fingers move. Grabs one hand with other one. Sucks on fist.
  • Swings at and reaches for dangling objects. Likes to feel different textures of objects.
  • Explores his own face, eyes and mouth with his hand.
  • Loses interest in mobiles if they're beyond his reach.
  • Turns head and eyes together toward an interesting sound.
  • Quiets and stops sucking to listen intently to a variety of sounds.  Prefers the human voice to other sounds.
  • Coos and gurgles with vowel sounds "ah, eh, oh" in response to what he sees, hears and feels inside his body.
  • Begins to suck at sight of breast or bottle, anticipating feeding.
  • Becomes excited in anticipation of a regular activity like bath time. Begins to enjoy bath time.
  • Soothes and relaxes himself by sucking on hands.
  • Startles and looks surprised at a sudden loud noise.
  • More visually alert when sitting upright. Beginning to associate lying down with sleeping.
  • Imitates your exaggerated facial expressions.
  • Stares at himself in mirror.
  • May become distracted during feeding by watching other people and activity in room or even just by hearing mother talk.
  • Responsive smile in reaction to parent smiling at him.  Smiles for pleasure and delight.
  • Turns away from eye-to-eye contact when tired of interacting.
  • Begins sucking, wrinkles up face, stares vacantly, yawns, begins to squirm or cry when tired of playing.
  • Expresses the emotions of delight, excitement, distress and protest with total body movements.
  • For colicky baby, crying may peak at 6 weeks and continue to 10 weeks; gradually fades by 12 to 16 weeks.
  • Demonstrates individuality in temperament and personality.
  • Settles into feeding and sleep patterns with more responsive time during the day.  May sleep five to seven hours.
  • Our little rainbow has found certain rooms he favors and when he gets overstimulated and overtired, we found just rocking him while he gazes at the special place soothes him to sleep.  He's a busy guy, you know.  He has a lot going on in his world that he is trying to discover.  Soon his Mama will resume her career and I will spend quality time with this little guy.  It overwhelms me at times how similar it is to when my own boys were this young.  Memories flood my mind and I vividly remember the same feelings, cooing sounds, the weight, strength, giggles of glee, and the mesmerized look they have when something catches their attention.  It's been a quarter of a century ago but it all comes back, slowly but surely.  Things are different in raising children and I must say they have more efficient and safer contraptions these days, but the basics remain the same. 
    The classic "mook" pose.  Dillan's Daddy loved walking this way ~ like father, like son. xo


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I tried

As I was leaving my beloved Brookhaven grocery store, I happened to notice this license plate and was blown away.  How often do we pursue a passion, attempt to conquer a challenge, achieve a goal?  Everyday brings a new chance to improve ourselves, whether it be our attitude, our health, our financial situation, our relationships.  If we dig deep and give it our best effort, the least we could say is I tried.
We may not always get the results we want, but knowing in our heart we gave it a shot, we must be confident that something eventually will turn out as we hoped it would.
Then again, sometimes things turn out the way we least expected.  For instance, this is a volunteer cherry tomato plant.  That is to say she grew from last year's leftover seed that blew away from another plant.  She loves her spot and is bearing lots of fruit.  She tried.
And this gorgeous sunflower that Steve planted didn't have a good chance after the dogs kept rummaging through the gardens, but she was determined to make her way into our little world and bring us a little sunshine and smiles so we can enjoy her beauty.  She tried.
Steve is determined to grow dreadlocks and faithfully manages his hair so it will grow on its own accordingly.  So far, so good; but as in all things, it takes time and patience, and one day he will get there.  Same with his career path.  He is trying everyday to be his best in the multimedia arena by working with the professionals and continuing his education and one day when he becomes a film director and reflects on his determination, he will realize he tried and succeeded.  The same goes for his brothers who continue to accomplish their own goals.  Danny begins his last semester at Depaul and in a few short months will obtain his bachelor's degree.  He will be able to say he tried and succeeded.  Mike is continuing his new role as father and provider for his new family.  Lately he tried to supplement his income by buying and selling his beloved cars for profit and is succeeding in a big way.  No matter how long or how hard an attempt may seem, keep on carrying on. 

the difference between try and triumph is just a little umph!  xo

Friday, August 26, 2011

happy feet

We all need our feet to be happy so we can run around as we choose.  I am always running around and like it, but my right foot has a sick toe, technically called hammer toe, a deformity in which the end of the toe is bent downward.  Symptoms include callus forming on sole of foot, claw-like deformity of the toe, corn forms on top of the toe and foot pain in the joint where the toe joins the foot. 
This is kind of how my second toe looks these days.  I have endured it for four years and when initially diagnosed by my podiatrist, Kevin Salvino in Hinsdale, he ordered x-rays and supplied me with custom made orthopedic inserts to keep the foot in balance.  Wearing high heels as a secretary then going barefoot while giving massage all these years caused my issue.  Wearing flip flops sealed my current fate.  To prevent hammer toe, wear the right size shoes with wide toe boxes for comfort, protect the protruding joint with corn pads and corrective footwear.  Keep your tootsies healthy!  If not, you will be facing my fate.
Yesterday was quite an ordeal.  It was time to fix my footsie before it gets more complicated and as I suspected, I will need a tendotomy, which is a cutting of the tendon called tendon release or lengthening.  In order to do this, however, I had to get x-rays, an EKG, deliver the discs of same, and get a referral from my primary doctor, Gerald Simon.  I love this guy.  He sympathetically counselled us through so many incidents when we cared for my mother-in-law (as he was her doctor also.)  When my brother needed immediate care, he opened his door to us.  He always makes the effort to really explain and spend time with his patients and it never feels like an assembly line.  He is down to earth and compassionate.  Now he is my key to any medical procedures for I found out whenever we need anything checked out, we need his approval and referral first.  He is the man.  Luckily, I was able to meet with him that afternoon to get his okay to proceed with my procedure.  I am on a time crunch as I need to be healed in a month to begin spending my days with Dillan and must be recovered and in tip top shape.  Monday is the pre-op and Friday the surgery.  All the pretests had to be cleared right away so I mad-dashed over to Hinsale Hospital,  took x-rays and EKG and all were complete within 30 minutes tops.  Everything went smoothly.  This was my cue from the universe that I am on the right road.  Well, kind of, sort of.
  As Dr. Simon gave me a physical and reviewed the test results, he quizzed me on my healthy visits with other doctors.  Being truthful, I told him I spent many years taking other family members to and from hospitals and doctor visits, I saw no reason to go myself as I am healthy and in good shape (except for my sick toe.)  Then I got the look.  I knew what he would say and I was right.  He had that let's make a deal gleam in his eye.  I had to agree to focus on my preventive health maintenance and he would give me the coveted approval for my toe healing.  Now I must make appointments (and keep them) for my OBGYN, mammogram, bone density and have a colonoscopy.  Damn!  He tried to get me to check my cholesterol and thank God I gave a blood sample for that last year so he has the results already.  I tried to tell him I don't take any meds except for occasional Bayer aspirin and keep active physically, to no avail.  He had me right where he wanted me.  That's okay, for now I will make time for me to officially get a clean bill of health.  It's funny, I just read an article that studies show women who become grandmothers statistically ignore the preventive maintenance checkups.  I guess I will not be part of that group anymore.  I vow to have all the results by the time I turn double nickel, plus I came home with all his referrals to get them done so I am committed.   All appointments have been made and I will see them through.  One thing I did clear up with him was how menopause works.  After sharing my symptoms the past 8 years, I thought I was done yet after explaining things to him, I have just begun!  Hormones...

The moral of the story is preserve our health, prevent complications and listen to your doctor(s.)  If you are blessed to have one that will be honest and look you in the eye and be straight with you, you won the prize.  I still don't believe in tons of office visits, but once in a while we need to make sure our vessels are in good health and functioning properly.  Positive attitude does make a difference.  Doctor Oz would be proud. xo

doctor, doctor, give me the news...
I got a bad case of loving you...
no pill is gonna cure my ill...
I got a bad case of loving you!

Monday, August 22, 2011

fantasy fulfilled

Every once in awhile we experience indescribable bliss.  This photo captures it.  Steve adores elephants and when they offered rides at the Renaissance Faire he was thrilled to no end, but I think I was more than thrilled to capture the moment that took our breath away.  Seeing the joy on his face with this huge smile is priceless for any parent. 
We spent the entire day under perfect skies and were entertained by all the magical shows and characters.  This princess rode her unicorn that captured our imagination.
The famous rag lady shared the gossip in the woods and gave us a few chuckles.
Personally, I felt as if the  novels I have been reading recently came to life.  Then we came across dragons and that sealed it.  Steve had to get this Australian instrument for his buddy, Katie. 
This fool was creating quite a stir and after awhile we dashed out of the way of all the drama.  We took a break from all the browsing and enjoyed some veggie tempura. 
We sat in a tent on soft pillows while Erica had henna artwork on her hand.  Steve is growing dreadlocks and was able to get lots of tips from those who have accomplished this already.  The best tip ~ sea salt.
This is my favorite with the bottles on the trees and the wooden branches on the roof.  I could live here.
This guy was amazing as he flipped his fans while balancing on the ball during the drum circle.
Even the wee ones get in character as this goldilocks wears chainmail.  There is more children activity than ever before at the faire with numerous rides and petting zoo and sand and play areas.  As info ~ Walgreens offers discount admission tickets.  Save some money for the unique craft booths at the faire. One day I will splurge on their Windwalker boots. 
The best part is at 6:20 when the drummers gather to jam in the woods and bring life to the area.  There is something hypnotic and soul reaching about this.  Anyone who has celebrated a drum circle knows what I'm talking about.  I get teary-eyed from the emotional release and my body refuses to let me sit and watch.  I must join in the energies of all the dancers.  Steve and Erica felt it, too, and got right in the middle of everyone. 
Farewell for now all our fantasy friends.  Thanks for a wondrous day.  My heart is filled with warm fuzzies that I must share with those I love.  xo

Sunday, August 21, 2011

friends forever

Steve and I began our weekend journey by enduring a torrential thunderstorm and I white-knuckled the drive behind a truck until we hit 47, then it was clear skies and smooth sailing.  As we entered Wisconsin, the clouds were puffy and the air was crisp.  We delivered the 30 crave sack of sliders and some homemade pickles.  They don't have a White Castle in their neck of the woods so we are always happy to oblige. 
After being amazed at the fruits of Janet's green thumb, we said hello to the new pet piggies that will be shown at the Walworth County Fair in a few weeks and the barn offered all sorts of entertainment for us.  They have ducks and a white rabbit and Sarah creates these amazing crafts that win grand prize at the fair.  Lots of talent in that household. I always leave her house wiser than when I arrived. 
Shadow and psycho kitty manned the grounds while we toured the gardens.
My BFF Janet and her goods.  That vehicle gets her around the 80 acres of paradise.  Shadow and Scoop keep guard!  Scoop is a bagle dog and gives me the heartiest bay greeting whenever we arrive.  You could hear him for miles!  LOL. Every few months we call each other to catch up and tell her I need my Janet fix
On our way home we made our annual pit stop to Pearce's farm where we loaded the car with all sorts of organic goodies. They have the sweetest corn and blueberries, peaches, green beans, yukon potatoes, huge tomatoes, blackberry and strawberry jam, watermelon (the old fashioned long ones that we can't find anywhere around here anymore) zucchini and cantaloupe. Yummy!
The day went by so quickly and before you know it we arrived back home in one piece.  After a refreshing shower, we headed over to our neighbors, Glicerio, better known as G and Helen.  Our sons are long-time friends and we bonded over the years because of them.  They went through the same extreme renovation on their home and G's brother, Eddie, re-landscaped all their grounds so I was in awe all evening at how beautiful everything turned out.  Our grandpups Pontiac and Rocky are brothers and we share the joy of having grandsons, too. This is such a great neighborhood and we baby boomers are keeping our roots planted right here, so we may as well get our humble abodes to our liking as we prepare for our golden years.  Helen and G can focus on finalizing their wedding preparations on their Jamaican cruise and reception at Gold Class in November.  That will be a fun-filled affair!
Gerald is on the left and he did an amazing job restoring all the cabinets in their home.  Lots of talent there, too.  The food was divine and I must get the recipe for some of the delightful dishes.  They give great parties and we are grateful to be invited and share good times with the Abantes.  They have music in their blood and like to play guitars and sing, so lots in common.  And lots of golf!  Gerald's cousin won a big tournament today.  Congratulations!
If there is such a thing as soul couples, Tom and Gina are ours.  We have shared our journey together for over 30 years and our bond remains strong as gorilla glue.  While I was in Wisconsin, they popped in to visit Wayne and announced they are taking us to see Toby Keith in September and acquired VIP concert tickets.  Happy, happy, joy, joy!  Love you guys. :)

Thanks to all our friends who are like family to us.  We bask in your love and look forward to making many more memories together.  People keep posting this little thought on facebook, so I must share its validating meaning.
Family isn't always blood. It's the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile, and who love you no matter what.  xo

Friday, August 19, 2011

busy weekend


We are heading up to Delavan, Wisconsin to visit with our buddies, the Mathers.  Sarah is heading off to college in northern Wisconsin and we have to see her before she gets too entangled being a veterinary student.  We love visiting Janet's garden and perhaps we'll browse through Lake Lawn Lodge and Lake Geneva while we're there.  I have to pick up some farm grown goodies ~ corn on the cob and blueberries are on my list.  Some interesting facts about the area, where we spent lots of good times.

Circus History: Delavan has a storied history steeped in circus myths and legends. By the middle of the 19th century, the nation was continuing its westward expansion, bringing circuses from the east to the young territories in the upper Mississippi Valley. In 1847, Edmund and Jeremiah Mabie, proprietors of the U.S. Olympic Circus, then the largest traveling show in America, chose Delavan for their winter quarters, a year before Wisconsin attained statehood and 24 years before the Ringling Brothers raised their first tents in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The Mabie brothers chose Delavan due to its ability to support the circus horses and other animals. These animals were the most important assets to the 19th century circus, both for transportation and performance. Delavan’s abundant pastures and pure water provided everything the Mabies required. The Mabie Circus stayed at the present site of Lake Lawn Resort on Delavan Lake, where it created a circus dynasty that survived in Wisconsin for the next 100 years. As time passed, the circuses grew in strength and numbers; hundreds of clowns and circus performers from over 26 circuses set up their winter quarters in Delavan from 1847 to 1894. The P.T. Barnum Circus, “The Greatest Show On Earth”, was founded in Delavan in 1871. But, as times changed so too did the circus era in Delavan. It came to an end in 1894 when the E.G. Holland Railroad Circus folded its tents. Except for a handful of local performers, who continued the tradition, the circus vanished from the community. Within a generation, the familiar ring barns and circus landmarks were gone. On May 2, 1966, the U.S. Postal Service selected Delavan to issue the five-cent American Circus Commemorative Postage Stamp. Today, more than 250 members of the old Circus colony are buried in Spring Grove and St. Andrew’s cemeteries.

Sunday we continue our weekend adventures attending in fantasy.  Having read over 4,000 pages of George R. R. Martin's novels of Ice and Fire, my head is filled with this era and it will do me good to re-enact the Medieval times in person.  We first discovered this magical place when I was dancing with the Stormdancers founded by Greg Gale.  He is the master of fantasy and a large group of us dressed up and went here in our costumes, blending in with all the characters on the grounds.
Set in a vast wooded area, we spent most of the day interacting with these characters and pretending.  We visit a plethora of craft stands, sample the foods as they were eaten back in those days, such as huge turkey legs and lots of ale.  Throughout the day we can see royal parades, jousting, comedians, falcons and all sorts of entertainment.  My favorite time is at the end of the day when they all gather and perform a drumming circle whereas everyone can dance and feel the mesmerizing beats in celebration. 
All day the characters refer to you as "my lady and my lord" never stepping out of character and it makes you feel as if you are living in that world.  I enjoy browsing through the crafts and collecting crystals and candles and unique artifacts from this era.  I already purchased our discounted tickets at Walgreens, so rain or shine, Steve, Erica and I are on our way.  

To fantasy and beyond! xo

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

rear view mirror

great aunti kiki and dillan

Sometimes we need to make an effort to connect with persons from our past and share memories and plans for our future.  When Mercury is retrograde, this planet brings a universal force that gives us the nudge to do just that.  We let our little lives carry us away and the gentle waves of nostalgia creep in and remind us to stay in touch with those we love.  My sister, Karen, a.k.a. Kiki, did just that and we embraced the day.  She held our little rainbow, our future symbol of hope and joy and basked in his love.
danny and aunt kiki

Danny got lucky because he needed someone to fix his tie and I never could accomplish that feat.  He was getting ready to bartend at Maggiano's and he provided a delightful meal and drinks for us the other day.  He is a master at his craft, no doubt.  Kiki provided the expertise needed to get it done.  Aunts are cool.  We dined on strawberries and blueberries and sipped refreshing sun tea all afternoon.
steve and aunt kiki

We reminded each other how far we have come in life. Our children keep us connected and hold so much pride for us both.  The best thing we agreed upon is how much we have to look forward even though our roles as moms are not as significant or time-consuming as they used to be.  We vowed to look forward and enjoy each day as it comes and crack the rear-view mirror that keeps us looking backward.  Forge ahead we say!  Now we can focus on our mates and bask in the joy our children and their children bring to us all.  Steve was happy to get some lovin' from his aunt.  He briefly updated her on his accomplishments and his future plans.  I just noticed, his artwork matches her blouse!
uncle steve and wayne-o

And look at dear old Uncle Steve!  He just celebrated his 94th birthday and I tell you, he is doing better than ever.  We brought him outside for some fresh air, took him for a few walks and talked about how to make pickles and soup.  He is being visited by his sister and she made some comments to him with messages to pass on to us.  We look forward to each visit and even though he may revisit the past that he knows and the history we share, we still talk about sharing moments and meals together today.
dennis ~ uncle bill ~ aunt diane ~ aunt aletha ~ wayne-o

We surprised our Aunt Diane and Uncle Bill as their church held a celebration honoring their 50th wedding anniversary.  This is not an easy thing to do as we connect every single day on facebook and I had to stay away for fear I would blow the surprise.  It worked and we had a great time with Aunt Aletha and Dennis as well.  I like being this age for we have so much in common with all age groups.  We are the sandwich generation and it has its own rewards.  All of us share a past and can revisit through the rear- view mirror, but the important thing is to live for today, enjoy our now, cherishing the memories we will revisit in the future. 
wayne-o ~ danny ~ mikey

We had a long overdue visit from our friend, Danny Gibbons.  While the boys get together at his place for jam sessions, he made time to visit us to see Dillan and connect with our boys.  Talk about long term friendships ~ we have been buddies for 40 years!  Back in the day, we would sit on Mark Sikora's porch and listen to tunes and all of us would just chill together.  Good times!  He was our best man and still is.  Love you, Dan :)

We are blessed. xo

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Baby Dillan is approaching six weeks old.  It amazes us how swiftly he is growing.  He eats on schedule every three hours and sometimes 8 full ounces.  You can tell he is nourished by his chubby cheeks and arms and legs.  He even feels heavier when we hold him.  Everyday brings another milestone and this week he is definitely following his Mama with his eyes and listens intently when his Daddy talks in a room. 
We enjoyed a splendid day with our extended family.  The godmother Kristina came by with her kids.  I made my chicken parm dinner and stuffed cabbage.   It's one of the only Polish dishes I know that is similar to Lithuanian and they devoured it.  We call it golabki but they call it balandeliai which means "little doves."  I am learning the language, too.   Having little ones around the house again made me realize I better prepare for visits more often and fill it with games and crayons.  I always have bubbles and popsicles around so they were fine. 
Onute (Ana) had her hair done and came by to visit as well.  She is doing remarkably well and looks fantastic.  We chatted all evening and enjoyed sharing our stories about raising kids and realize no matter where you are in the world, moms go through the same experiences.  Praise God for her recovery.  It truly is a miracle. 
Dillan likes all the attention and hugs and smooches.  He has his favorite spots that he will lock on to and just stare at contrasting colors.  Wayne thinks he will be an architect the way he watches angles and corners.  This week he began cooing and making cutesy sounds and let me bounce him a little.  He likes when I walk with him in the "mook" pose so he can see upside down.  When we take him for stroller walks, you can tell that is one of his favorites.  I play music and tell him who the artists are and sing lullabies and tell him how big he is.  He is loved. 
Like father, like son.  xo

Thursday, August 11, 2011


About relations ~ in an excerpt from Illuminata ~ relationships are our primary teacher. They are the context in which we either grow into God consciousness, or deny ourselves and others the opportunity to do so. There are simple keys to happy relationships, which is not to say that these keys are always easy to use. One key to abundance in every area of life is this: We experience God's peace and harmony to the extent to which we love, forgive and focus on the good in others and in ourselves. We ask God to help us so that relationships will keep getting better and ones that are broken will be repaired. God's law is that we love one another. Obeying that law is the key to a happy life.

None of this means that we then lack the capacity to set boundaries, say a healthy "no," or stand up for ourselves when we need to. Quite the opposite: Since love aligns us with the thoughts of God, it aligns us with the thoughts of God, it aligns us with our personal power. Where there is total love, there is no guilt. Where there is no guilt, there is no obstruction to true and honest communication.

What truly serves one person's good serves the good of all. We don't have to decide whether to love others at the expense of ourselves or ourselves at the expense of others, because utlimately we are all one. There are no separate needs, for there are no separate beings except in illusion. Understanding that paradox gives us a healthy sense of our own individuality, for it gives us a sense of ourselves based on love and not defensiveness. A healthy self-love is not narcissistic but self-extending. We are all waves in the same ocean and sunbeams of the same sun. Only in illusion are we separate, and we pray to transcend illusion. We pray to be able to perceive our oneness with others, with God, and within ourselves.

The idea that someone is supporting us when they foster our belief in another person's guilt is false. All minds are joined. That is the meaning of the Sonship. Whatever thoughts we hold toward others we are holding about ourselves as well. It is only in relinquishing our focus on another person's guilt that we can know the joy of our own innocence. From that place, we can say a very powerful "no" when necessary. We can tell them not to call anymore. Love is not weakness, but wisdom. God's answer is always loving, but the loving answer is not always "yes."

Relationships are the central issue in a peaceful, powerful life. The following prayer may help us get on the ladder to heaven, help us stay there and help us climb.

Dear God,
Show me the light at the center of my brothers and sisters.
Show me the light at the center of myself.
Show me the light at the center of the world.
Where I see guilt, show me innocence.
Where I focus on mistakes, show me how to
focus on efforts at good.
Help me have faith in the goodness of others.
Help me have faith in Your spirit within me.
Thus may darkness be cast out.
May I cleave to the light that is my heart.
This is my prayer.

May I see the light in everyone. Amen.

Relations pertains to family and friends ~  family members can be your friend and friends can be just as close as a family member or relative ought to be.  Sometimes our relations are only friends.  What is the purpose of being a friend if we don't take seriously the responsibility of supporting someone?  Support systems means just that:  that members of the system support one another.  Of course we value independence, and friendship is not meant to undermine that value in ourselves or others.  But still, in the strongest of personalities, in the most blessed of lives, there are times when a person emotionally falls down.  Where are we then, if not for our friends?  Who else can we depend on, to lend the resources of kindness and strength to help us get back up?  Friendship should not be taken lightly.  It is as sacred a commitment as any other; our friends are sent by God, for us to help them and for them to help us. 

We live in meanspirited times.  People instinctively attack.  There is often more criticism leveled against success than failure, more suspicion of excellence than of mediocrity.  We do not live in a friendly society.  A friend assumes our innocence.  A friend applauds our desire to play big in life.  A friend supports our efforts to live according to spiritual purpose.  A friend is always ready to help us forgive.  A friend forgives us when we need forgiveness. 

A friend will see us at our worst, as well as at our best, but his love will not waver when we have failed to show our most positive features.  A friend will not close his heart when we have made a mistake.  A friend will not condemn us but will compassionately support our return to a state of grace.  Friends will try to refrain from criticism, because it hurts the friendship and it hurts the soul. 

The conscious prayer is not "Dear God, send me more friends" but rather "Dear God, make me a good friend."  Do I appreciate my friends or do I take them for granted?  Do I let them know how grateful I am?  Do I actively, verbally support them in their endeavors?  Do I give to my friends, or do I do more taking? 

Dear God,
With this prayer, I call to mind my friends.
I ask for Your blessing on them.
May angels fill their nights and bless their days.
May they find joy and peace and harmony.
May I be a source of happiness in their lives.
May our bond be strong and based on truth.
May they always know that in me, they have support.
May I live a life that lives up to this prayer.
Thank you, God.  Amen.

I have been blessed to give and receive support from many people, both family and friends.  We all have our ups and downs, but when we unconditionally accept each other as we are, agree to disagree and find a way to move forward without dredging up past transgressions, we are successful in relationships.  Take time to reflect on people that affect your life today and make a note to let them know how much you care about them.  No one should live and feel as if they are all alone,  and a kind word or expression of caring goes a long way. 

Thanks to my better half for being my best friend. xo

Carrie Mielzynski


Family isn't always blood. It's the people in your life who want you

in theirs. The ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who

would do anything to see you smile, and who love you no matter what.