Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category


I’m not normally too thrilled with the concept of New Year’s Resolutions or giving up something for Lent or other lists tied to a holiday but I liked this post by Megan Baylerian and I’m simply sharing it here with a quick comment: The 4th resolution is one that I’ve already been working on and that’s “Be more present” or as I like to think of it, “whatever you’re doing, give it everything you’ve got” and don’t worry about anything else in the moment.

So, I challenge each of you to help create a better you … and don’t wait for the holiday to do.

Now, here’s her actual blog:


Forget your standard New Year’s resolutions this year. Here are 17 uncommon but useful New Year’s Resolutions to set you up for success in 2017.


    • Change negativity to positivity
    • The world needs more positivity anyways, right? Try this: instead of apologizing for being late to a meeting, thank the group for being so patient as they waited for you.

      • Learn a new language
      • Just because you’re not in school anymore doesn’t mean you can’t take on learning a new language. Choose something common or less-known—

Rosetta Stone

       is packed with over 25 different languages to choose from.
      • Learn a new skill
      • Be a DIY master this year. Pinterest is full of fun (and easy) projects to try in a variety of fields, from woodworking to sewing. If you need help getting started, check out this

DIY table

       we’re in love with, found on Pinterest.

Be more present

          Enjoy the moments that you’re in. Put your phone away when people are talking, make more eye contact and spark up more conversations.



      • Drink more water
      • Water does more than wash down the food that you’re eating—it flushes out toxins, helps aid in digestion, improves mood and more. The most commonly recommended intake of water is eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon. Having trouble downing that much liquid? Try adding a slice of lemon or fresh fruit, giving your water a splash of flavor.

      • Stop texting while driving
      • Put the phone away. We promise that text, tweet, snap and post can wait. Pro tip: Put your phone in the backseat in an unreachable area, eliminating the possibility of texting while driving altogether.

        • Stop hitting snooze on your alarm
        • Wouldn’t it be great to actually get up when your alarm goes off instead of hitting snooze 3+ times and rushing to get out the door in time? The free

    sleep cycle app

         can help with this, detecting when you’re in light sleep, making it easier to get up and out of bed.
      • Learn self-defense
      • Knowing how to protect yourself is always a good idea. Hit up the local martial arts classes in your area. If you’re pressed for time, some communities offer a one-day class to help you learn the basics.

      • Grow your own fruit, veggies and herbs
      • Growing your own produce and herbs doesn’t mean you need to commit to a garden. Take a few pots and plant your favorite fruits and veggies in the spring, summer and fall. In the winter, herbs keep well indoors—just remember to water them!

        • Stretch more
        • An increase in flexibility helps decrease the risk of injury and increases blood flow to your muscles. Basically, stretching is the unsung hero in a lot of people’s lives. Take 5 minutes a day to stretch your muscles out and your body will thank you.

      Meal prep on Sundays

            Prepping your meals ahead of time frees up your weeknights to do more of the things that you enjoy. Cook up a few pounds of chicken, your favorite veggies and a healthy grain. Package each meal up in a separate containers and they’re all set to grab in the morning on your way out the door.


            • Reconnect with old friends
            • Haven’t seen your high school or college friends in a long time? They probably miss you as much as you miss them. Schedule a coffee date or a weekend getaway somewhere and reconnect with some old friends.

            • Be more adventurous
            • You don’t need to hike the Pacific Northwest to be adventurous. Make a bucket list of local spots and events and explore your city. Wintertime is great for ice skating, visiting a museum in the area or staying a weekend in a wilderness lodge. You never know what you’ll end up really enjoying!

            • Spend less time on social media
            • If you haven’t taken a “social media” hiatus, now may be the time. For one week (or longer!) delete your social media apps and notifications to prevent you from looking at them. The time away from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be extremely refreshing and rejuvenating.

              • Volunteer more
              • Non-profits ALWAYS need more volunteers. Take a peek at some of the

        non-profits in your area

               and see what kind of help they may need. Think: homeless shelters, humane societies and food banks.
            • Call mom & dad more
            • Give the two people that raised you a bit more time on the phone this year. Try calling mom & dad at least once a week and watch how it brightens their mood and lifts their spirits.

            • Adopt a pet
            • Adopt, don’t shop! There are so many furry friends out there who need some love. Stop by your local animal shelter and check out the pets they have for adoption. Not ready for that kind of long-term commitment? Try fostering a pet, giving them a home and some much-needed love while they are looking for adoption.

        Categories: Holidays, Social Media Tags:

        Siren Prayer

        On Saturday, I drove up to Camp Wilderness for our church’s annual “Wilderness Weekend” – usually this trip takes about 45 minutes but the time was doubled when I-35 North was closed just past Liberty.

        I exited at Church Road/291 and drove A-Highway north to cut over to Kearney on C-Highway before getting back on 35 once again. While driving alongside the highway, we saw an overturned semi was the source of the delay and all of the emergency vehicles we’d heard go by us.

        This prompted me to share with the youth in my car about what I call a “Siren Prayer” which is along the lines of “Dear God, watch over those in need today as well as the emergency responders.” This covers those involved whether they’re victims of an accident, in the midst of a medical emergency, or even someone on the run from police, It also is offering up a prayer for police, firefighters and ambulance personnel.

        It was yet another reminder to be safe on the roads. A close friend was in a motorcycle accident on Tuesday and had surgery Sunday. My hope is that he has a quick recovery and that everyone is safe during the upcoming weekend as we celebrate Labor Day.

        Categories: Church, Holidays

        Memorial Day

        It’s Memorial Day weekend and it’s time to remember those that went before us. In the last year, I’ve lost both my mother-in-law & my grandma.   So, Mother’s Day was tough for my wife & mom; I imagine this weekend will be as well.

        This weekend always brings to mind those that served our country and made the ultimate sacrifice. For every soldier, sailor, airman and Marine (past, present, future) a grateful nation says “Thank You” although we don’t always show it in the way that our active-duty  and veterans are treated.

        It’s been just over 5 years since we lost Paul and I can still see his face and how happy he was to become a Marine. Hopefully, I’m going to visit him at the Leavenworth cemetery this weekend.

        So, while I hope we have some nice weather to enjoy grilling and playing in the yard with the grandkids and the dog, I’d encourage everyone to reflect and appreciate those that have gone before us.

        Categories: Family, Holidays, Military