Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day!

This was an amazing day: our son arrived safely from Cleveland with a few little "take-off" difficulties with the friendly skies, and Kim picked him up at the Baltimore Washington Airport just in time for a fabulous dinner at Kim's parent's home. I have to say it was the most amazing Thanksgiving Day dinner I have ever had and Sally (Kim's mom) pulled out all the stops. And it was the first time we saw Jon and Kim as the "engaged couple."

As a mom, I prayed for both my boys that they would find a loving wife and family; God answered my prayer. The first time you hold your child you have glimpses of what it might be like when they grow up, get engaged, married, and eventually have a family of their own (if they choose). It's hard to believe that 23, almost 24 years, have passed and we are standing on the threshold of seeing that happen (May 30, 2010). This has to be the best Thanksgiving Day of all -- to be part of such an amazing family and to see our "kids" so happy.

I hope your day was as special as mine. Oh, and I haven't forgotten about the book giveaway. I will pick a winner tomorrow, so be sure to leave a comment. Since "Black Friday" will find many of you in the shopping malls, I thought it would be the perfect time to pick a winner!

Blessings and Joy,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Writing, Weddings and Surprises!

We celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary at the Hotel Hershey on Saturday (November 14) in the land of chocolate. We spent the day at the Hershey Spa and ate chocolate in between our various "procedures." It was fun to see my hubby all wrapped up in a fluffy robe and slippers.

When we returned home after our spa experience, there was a package on the doorstep. My hubby turned to me and said, "Did you order more books?"

I flashed a smile, "Not that I can remember!" That was the truth.

They were from the Incredible Prayer series by Guideposts. I contributed a story during the summer; however, I never received a contract so I assumed my story didn't make it in the book.
I'm always amazed -- shocked really -- at the surprises the publishing industry has in store for their authors, "Miracle on Route 30" is one of my favorite stories and it found a home.

Since I received two books, complete with a bookmark and matching tote bag, I will be picking a winner next week. Just leave a comment and I will have my hubby draw a name.

That wasn't the only surprise waiting for us when we returned. That evening at 7:35 p.m., our son, Jon, called and said, "We're engaged!" He proposed at Pier W Restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio (it has to go down as the most romantic proposal on record!). A May 30, 2010 wedding is planned. Kim and Jon have been dating for three years and we couldn't be more thrilled.

This past weekend held all of my favorite things and a few "unexpected" surprises. God is good and He does exceedingly more than we can think or imagine.

I will have a lot of great writing material in the next few months while I work on "Coffee Lover's Devotions to Go" -- I just might need a little more caffeine to keep me writing!

Living Life Passionately,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Apple Strudel

Someone recently asked me what my favorite part of the trip to Austria was and I blurted out, "Apple Strudel." No, it's not a's something to eat. And if I'm truly honest...I ate my way through that country. Instead of losing five pounds like I normally do on trips, I think I gained five. But it was worth every bite.

You cannot go to that part of Europe and not eat this traditional delicacy -- apple strudel.

If you visit the Schonbrunn Palace, you can actually see a strudel demonstration as part of your "classic" ticket admission. Because it was a cold, damp, and dreary day, there's nothing like a warm Austrian tea house to perk up your spirits.

As we walked into the seating area, we were given a bite-size portion of strudel (not nearly enough!), and then the demonstration began. One of our very own ladies on the tour, Deb, was chosen to participate in the strudel show. Afterwards Deb was given a "Certificate of Achievement," and I'm sure her name is written somewhere in the strudel history books.

Believe it or not, there's a hotline number you can call in case your strudel flops!

It was one of the highlights of the trip to see Deb covered in pastry dough and making strudel dough history at the same time.

Of course, all of that is to get you to buy something -- right? Because I travel light and I do mean light (only a backpack on wheels), I resisted the temptation and instead copied the recipe for all of you!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Home from Austria

While traveling through Austria for the past couple of weeks, I have been "unplugged." I have not read e-mail, blogged, or otherwise been in contact with the computer, except for a few short e-mail blasts to my hubby.

When I returned back home, 3,556 e-mails, awaited me! I nearly passed out. When all the spam was cleared out and the junk mail deleted, there were just a handful of "important" e-mails that needed my attention. Writing is like breathing for me. I can't go a day without putting my thoughts on paper, yet I found a serenity in not being attached to the computer.

Austria was glorious with its old-world charm, quaint tea houses, decadent chocolate cakes, pastries, palaces and museums, but it's the way of life in Europe that beckons me back "home" where I spent six years of my life (without a computer!). How is it that the rest of the world knows how to pace their lives?

On the flight home, I thought about what would change if I unplugged several times during the week -- away from the computer -- and just slow down the pace, Well, it happened for me! My knee gave out and forced me to put up my feet and rest.

Home from Austria is a transition and I'm making it slowly. I want to incorporate a little of Europe back into my life and welcome it into my soul again. It's okay to take some things out of your life and replace them with "things" that make you feel warm, comfortable, and peaceful. Give yourself the luxury of just "being" at home!

Living Life Passionately,