Happy Holidays

As with every passing year, 2012 flew by too quickly and proved to be another year full of change and growth. As Tucker and Andie’s worlds expand and broaden, we’re recognizing now more than ever the importance of slowing down and savoring our precious time together.

Our hope for 2013 is that in the midst of ski races, soccer games and schoolwork, we find quiet moments for leisurely meals, walks in the woods and occasional family movie nights.  It’s become increasingly clear, that those are the moments we’ll look back on and treasure most.

Whatever your wishes and intentions may be for the coming year, I hope that you find 2013 memorable, rewarding and full of moments of serenity and joy.

Happy Holidays!

I can’t wait to spend more time with you in the New Year! XO

The Gift of Receiving

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It is truly an honor to be a regular contributor to Hand to Hold’s official website, Preemiebabies101.com.

To read my latest post, The Gift of Receiving, please click on the link below the short excerpt.

“I used to love the holidays.

The sparkle of white lights, the smell of evergreen, the sound of Bing Crosby Christmas carols.

And then I spent a Christmas in our home, while our baby lay in an incubator in a hospital an hour away…”

Preemiebabies101

May the holiday season bring joy and peace to you and those you love.

Gratitude and Giveaways

December is hard for me.  I love the idea of a beautifully decorated home filled with the smells of gingerbread and fresh cut greens.  But somehow, every year, it remains just an idea, a longing, that ultimately eludes me.

The reality is, I spend most of the year trying desperately to get organized and maintain what little controlled chaos I’m able to manage.  And then along come the holidays and suddenly my entire living room is full of the cardboard boxes stuffed with the ornaments and decorations that I swore I would organize before putting them back in the attic last year.  I’m pretty sure it was around March when I finally gave up on any hope of that happening and hauled the disarray back up the attic stairs.  And now, once again it all litters my living room.

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I’m already making promises to myself that this year will be different.

I know what you’re thinking, but this year it might actually be true.  Here’s why.  Remember earlier in the fall when I wrote about fear and how when you speak your fear aloud it loses its power and control over you?  Well, I think that holds true for other emotions and attributes as well.  In this case, it was admitting to a friend, a friend I really admire, how deeply disorganized my life is.  “I’m barely hanging on by a thread,” I’d said, detailing missed deadlines, double-scheduled appointments and numerous late charges on misplaced bills.  Saying that out loud, admitting that truth to someone outside our home, was freeing.  Speaking those words released some of the shame I’d been carrying for far too long.  My friend didn’t laugh or dismiss my confession.  Instead, he handed me a book.

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Have you ever held a book and felt it vibrate in your hand?  That’s what it felt like when I held It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys by Marilyn Paul.   I knew I was holding something that was likely to alter the course of my life.  That sounds awfully dramatic, I know, but it’s true.  What’s different about this book is that it approaches organization from a spiritual point of view, and if you’ve read my book, you know that’s how I roll!  The main theory behind the book is discovering the WHY behind the disorganization, and once I discovered my why, or whys, I made several little changes that proved significant.

I never, ever thought I’d say this, but here goes…I not only bought, but LOVE my label maker.  Seriously, I do. It was about $25 bucks and now there are labels on the shelves in the kid’s closets so they know where all their clothes belong and my kitchen junk drawer no longer looks so junky and now we can all find pencils and pens and I even have a working mail system for the first time in my life!

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Another change occurred when my sister mentioned that she’d gotten rid of most of her plastic food containers and started using glass storage for leftover food. So I decided to make the change, too.  And what a difference!  Now I can see what’s inside my fridge, and I’m no longer throwing away the expensive leftover grass-fed ground beef that was hidden in a large yogurt container on the bottom shelf.

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I can’t help but think that I’m not alone in this perpetual quest for order and so, here’s what I’m going to do.  Because it’s the season of giving and expressing gratitude, I’d like to express mine to all of you for the tremendous support you’ve shown me as I’ve navigated my way through this wild world of book publication with a GIVEAWAY!

TWO ACTUALLY!

One lucky reader, will receive a copy of, It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys.

AND another lucky reader will receive a set of the glass storage dishes that have brought such order to my kitchen!  Don’t they look kind of Holidayish with those red lids?

So here’s what you need to do.

Leave a comment by December 28th  and tell me why you would benefit from either of these gifts, or offer me one of your best organizational tips. Each comment will be assigned a number and chosen by Random.com.  Good Luck!

I’ll let you know come January if I manage to finally get all the Christmas trappings back in their boxes in a somewhat orderly way.  Chance are, if it’s all back in the attic by January, I found success!

Photo Friday

A nice reminder that sometimes you just need to take a day off and chill on the couch, especially this time of year.

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She kinda looks small in this pic, but weighs 118 lbs!

Thanks, Meg.  You continue to be one of my greatest teachers.

Who are yours?

An Interview, a New Friend and a Giveaway…

Earlier this summer I was contacted by Rachel Turiel, who had just finished reading my book, Preemie. Her baby was born at 25 weeks, just like my Andie. He weighed in just an ounce more, at 1 pound 12 ounces.

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His name is Col, which as Rachel says, rhymes with soul.

I soon discovered that Rachel keeps a blog called “6512 and Growing – Growing Food and a Family at 6512 Feet.”

I was curious and after just a few minutes on her site, I was entranced.  Immediately I knew that this was a blog I would visit frequently.  Then, to save myself the trouble, I entered my email in the subscribe box in the sidebar, and now every week, Rachel’s latests musings on her own journey in love, life and motherhood (and unlike mine, her illustrious gardens) arrive in my email inbox.

I’ll leave you curious, too, and let you follow this link to read our interview and discover where it is that Rachel writes at 6,512 feet.  Can you guess?

www.6512andgrowing.wordpress.com

Leave a comment on Rachel’s post before December 10th and enter for a chance to win a free copy of Preemie!

Also, if you haven’t yet seen my newly released video “Preemie – A Letter to My Daughter” please check it out!   Response so far has been tremendous, and I’m so grateful to everyone who helped make the video a reality. If you’re inspired by what you see, please take a moment to share it with your friends and family.  You can either copy and paste this link http://tinyurl.com/Preemie-video in an email or on your Facebook page.  There is also a share button right below the video on Youtube.

Click right on that photo of Tuck and Andie to watch –

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May your coming week bring much joy and peace.

XO Kasey