During the chilly days of December, these are a few of our favorite things to do:
Starting the day with a buttery pain au chocolat and a delicious foamy cappuccino.
Baking Christmas cookies.
Decorating the tree with ornaments silly and precious.
Creating art. And posing with it.
Shopping for special gifts.
Wrapping. And more wrapping.
Journaling to the gentle snores of the children.
Writing in my cozy spot.
Reading. Always reading.
Happy end of December. Happy end of 2012. May 2013 be filled with all your dreams come true, dear friends.
The Advent season has begun, and this is my favorite time of the year. Our little family of four is big on rituals and festivals. This is a time of cozy fireside chats and rainy day board games, of starry evenings filled with music and lazy days of books, of intimate coffee dates with friends and parties into the wee hours of the morning, of sledding down snowy slopes and the making of homemade apple cider.
But this is also a time when the focus is inward. In the stillness of the house at midday when the children are in school, or in those early hours of the morning, when I’m the only one awake, this is the season when I peer into the deepest, most shadowy corners of my heart.
Wishing you all, my dear friends, a blessed Advent season. A time of joy, a time of peace, a time of love, a time of connecting to your true self, a time of allowing your light to shine into this dark and dreary world, a time for you to become the highest, best possible version of you. Happy Holidays!
Ok, so this post’s all about me. Yes. Sorry about that. But, in less than a month I’m turning 40, and from all accounts I should be just a tad more obsessed with aging than I am. Of course, I already spend a great portion of time staring at myself in any mirror I come across. Or any window. At my face. At my skin. At my breasts and my butt. And all the while I think: do I need Botox, fillers, a nip here, a tuck there? I mean, let’s face it. Skin at 40 grows all sorts of little hairs where little hairs have no business of being, or little skin folds where little skin folds have no business of being. And yes, my roots are grayer than they’ve ever been. And yes also, my breasts are nowhere near perky. Nor is my behind.
But I am 40, not 20. And I’ve been pregnant several times, and gave birth twice.
Should I be more worried than I am?
I had lunch with a friend of mine who also turned 40, and she told me that she’s been getting Botox for the last 6 years. And also another friend who turned 40 said that her dermatologist told her that there’s very little Botox can do to the lines on her forehead as they already are too deep. Too deep? At 40?
I AM vain. And deep down I know that I will do whatever it takes to NOT become invisible. Whatever it takes. But I don’t like the idea of wasting my forties obsessing about every little wrinkle. I’m not that vain. Of course it’s possible I’ll change my mind, but for now, I want to worry about things that make sense: that I won’t die before my children reach adulthood and that I don’t have to work for a living until I’m eighty.
But if you see me dressing too young for my age, or having an impossibly round tush, or tiny waist, or frozen forehead, or lips that stretch to both of my ears, kindly take me aside and tell me how ridiculous I look. But do it gently. Because to resort to such extremes my ego must be very fragile. And it will only respond to gentleness.
No matter how busy I am throughout the year, I always make time to slow down in the summer. I make time to pamper myself and those I love. I make time to relax. To laugh. I make time to be present in the daily moments of wonder, of gratitude and of beauty.
So here’s my recipe for a magical summer:
Daily one-on-one time with my sweetie. Yup. I KNOW he’s gorgeous.
Eating well. Summer is my favorite food season. Oops, second favorite. Winter’s first;
Long talks with my BB’s - beautiful brilliant - children. Far into the night;
Creating. Playing. Relaxing;
Ice cream dates. Every day. Why not?
Get-togethers with friends. The conversations, the laughter, the ease of being with people who love me and don’t judge.
Reading. Reading. And more reading. Inside. Outside. On a blanket at the beach. On a blanket in a field. Anywhere. Anytime.
How about you? What are your recipes for a great summer?
I did the whole numbers in a hat thing, and Ms. Moon, the owner of comment number 8, is the lucky winner of Blackbird! I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did, Ms. Moon. Please send an email with your address to: angiemuresan(at)gmail(dot)com, and the book will be on the way to you.
Thanks to all of you, my lovely friends, for the warm welcome back, and for participating in this giveaway. I’ll stop by for a visit soon, and also have a new post ready in the next week or so. Until then, I hope the rest of your weekend is fabulous!
I’ve missed you all and thought of you daily. I can’t believe it’s been over 3 months since I’ve last posted, but there it is. Three months. Thank you for your emails and concern. I am well. Family is well. All happy and healthy. And busy.
You know how it is: work and family and more work. And even writing, if you can believe that. Once a week I drive myself to a writing class, present some of my old work that I haven’t shared with anyone before, listen to, and read the work of other students, accept their feedback on my work, offer mine on theirs, and so on and so forth. It’s one of the highlights of my week. Haha. No. It really is.
I’ve been wanting to take a small writing class since forever, and now that I finally have, I can’t believe I put it off for so long. Our teacher, Jennifer Lauck, is phenomenal. And I’m not saying that just because she’s a New York Times bestselling author - and I want to be one too. There. I admit it. - I’m saying it because she truly is phenomenal. The things she’s been through… I’m amazed at how she’s endured and carried on and become the person she is today: full of life, of joy, of gentleness and of wisdom.
So as a hello to you all, again, after such a long absence, I’m giving away a copy of her memoir, Blackbird. The writing is graceful. Exquisite. The story: powerful, harrowing, hopeful. I read it in one day. I cried and I laughed and I cried some more. And you will too. I promise. So go on. Leave a comment anytime between today and next Tuesday evening. And have yourselves a beautiful week!
When I was a child, every March 8 dawned fresh and glistening. In our country it was a national holiday, a celebration of being a woman, a mother, a wife, and a colleague. Children at school worked on crafts and wrote letters to their mothers. Men brought flowers and chocolates for the women in their lives. Mothers sent children to school with bouquets of spring flowers for the female teachers, and after saying, “I kiss your hand,” the obligatory child to female adult greeting, the flowers would be handed over and the teacher’s desk became a mini flower shop.
In our house, my dad prepared the breakfast on this special day. We usually had a simple one of chunks of homemade bread spread with sweet butter and homemade jams, or clover honey, a boiled egg on the side, and mugs filled with hot milk in which a dark chocolate bar would be broken into several pieces and stirred in until all melted. It was a delicious breakfast made even more so by the anticipation of handing our gifts to our mom, trying to guess whose gift she liked better.
So, many happy years to all of you, my beautiful, amazing females friends and readers, whether you are young or old, single, married, divorced, or widowed. Let’s live our lives fully and with purpose! We have come a long way, and yet, WE HAVE SO MUCH MORE to accomplish. Let’s go forth, and make the world a better place!
Love to you all!
I try all the tricks I know to make myself fall asleep. But nothing works, not even my favorite daydream, which is a surprise. I simply can’t sleep. So here I am in front of the computer, sipping a hot, moroccan mint tea, and staring at the keyboard. I have nothing to write about. Never mind that it’s been almost a month since my half-hearted attempt at sharing my boring life. I’m a bad, bad blogger. I prefer to read what others have to say and comment on that, than to dig something out of the recesses of my brain.
I started this blog with the zealousness of a preacher. I felt that there were truths which had to be addressed, yet were ignored by the people with the power to do something. I smugly thought of myself as the perfect person to address them. But when I reread what I had written, I didn’t like how much of a know-it-all I appeared, and my fervor cooled off.
I honestly don’t know in which direction to take this blog. I censor myself quite a bit because there are readers who feel offended if I leap out of the box they’ve placed me in. Being true to one’s beliefs isn’t the easiest of things. And so, until I figure out which way to go, my posts will be sporadic and random.
By the way, if any of you have any ideas, I’m listening.
*Photo taken from a travel website about Romania
I’m anxious by nature. When I read that part of the licensing requirements for my business is having an emergency evacuation plan in order, and emergency supplies for all at the ready, I couldn’t prepare them fast enough. The day after the earthquake in Japan, I went through every single item just to make sure that nothing was missing. And now I have a suitcase under my bed packed with a three day supply of clothing, first aid kit, flashlight, important phone numbers and copies of documents, as well as dried, packaged food. As the seasons change, the clothing changes of course, and the expiration dates on perishables are checked to ascertain that they last another six months.
And then there are the drills. But that’s a whole other post.
So, how about you? How prepared are you for an emergency?
(You all know how much I LOVE making lists. If there is any interest in what to pack and/or how to plan an evacuation, shoot me an email.)
As teens, my sisters and I would roll our eyes whenever my dad or mom would bring forth the subject of their courtship. It seemed such an old fashioned concept, and we were more than slightly embarrassed by it. Normal people’s parents had dated, not courted. According to my dad, mom had quite a few suitors and she couldn’t make up her mind between them. One night she’d meet one of them for a walk down the linden city center streets, stopping somewhere for a beverage or dessert, and the next, together with her girlfriends, she’d run into another at an ice cream parlor.
Apparently these meetings carried on for a while, and dad was losing patience. Christmas was approaching, and he was playing the trombone in a brass band that visited the surrounding village churches. He would be gone for a while every Saturday and Sunday and those were their designated days to walk the promenade, coyly flirting, my mom in her tailored miniskirt and kitten heels and dad in his well-cut suit. On a cold November Sunday he demanded that she choose between him and the other man. Who would it be?
I can just imagine my mom looking up at him surprised. What was his hurry, she had probably murmured in her soft voice. My mom is very soft spoken. She couldn’t be rushed, she had most likely added. She was just twenty-one. And so my dad did what every honorable man of his time did. He paid a visit to my grandparents, laden with gifts and asked for my mom’s hand in marriage.
The only problem was that another of her suitors had beat him to it, and while she hadn’t been promised (as the decision was solely my mom’s), my grandparents prayed that she would choose the kindest of the two.
My mom took a while. She could see herself having a future with either of them. Finally she decided that she’d leave it up to fate. She’d pick the one she would first encounter, unplanned. She got herself ready, her long dark hair in a topknot popular in those days and went to meet a girlfriend. And whom should she meet on the way there? My dad, of course! Was it planned, a coincidence perhaps, or was it really a sign from God? No one’s telling. And my grandmother had a saying she loved to repeat over and over whenever I pressed her about it: God’s not into magic tricks.
A month later my parents were married, and almost two years after that I came along, the first of five children. Now, as they are preparing to celebrate their 42nd anniversary together, on New Year’s Day, I am praying for their long, happy marriage to continue, in good health and in love, side by side.
Happy New Year, to you all, my lovely friends. May the journey through 2012 be a blessed one, filled with joy, love, peace, good health, and prosperity.