How do you say “Thank You?”

Crooked Creek, Ford City, PA - June, 2017

Crooked Creek, Ford City, PA – June, 2017

How do you say “Thank You”
for sunshine or health…
for clear days or gentle rains…
for happiness, joy or love?

You say it by sharing
what you have.
You say it by making
the world a better place in which to live.

-Thomas D. Willhite

How do YOU say “Thank You?”

I say it by trying to share something small every day
in this tiny little platform that is mine
to give to the world
a little bit of happiness…
a little bit of joy…
a little bit of love.

My “Thank You” might be
a photograph,
or a painting,
or a craft or DIY idea.

It might be a favorite cherished
or newly discovered recipe.
It might be a verse
or a quote or a story.

But it is my “Thank You”
for sunshine and health…
for clear days and gentle rains…
for happiness, joy, and love.

It is my gift.
It is my little life.
It is my creative journey…
at life in between.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Focus

Everyday Heroes

Everyday Heroes.

They really are among us.

And I have to brag on one of them (maybe two).

For those of you that have been hanging around here at TheCreativeLifeinBetween for any length of time know about our amazing McHendy family.

Well – our youngest Jake (who we affectionately refer to as Baby Jake, but who is far from a baby these days!)  is now a distinguished Naval officer on a ship that was being commissioned this past weekend.  An Everyday Hero he is!

But behind the story of this great hero is another hero.  This everyday hero shuns the spotlight, but she does magical, amazing, generous acts of kindness behind the scenes.

She also just so happens to be my BFF.  Her name is Jill, and she is astonishingly extraordinary.  (Remember the Pay it Forward Christmas Gift Challenge?)

Well – much like any Mom of a military service person would do – Jill sends “care packages.”

But Jill doesn’t send care packages just to her son (our Jake), she sends them to the ENTIRE crew of the ship he is on – EVERY month!

She does it behind the scenes, all on her own, while also working full time and then some in an executive position, being a mom to four grown children and grandma to one (and a half!), and being an amazing friend and philanthropist.

When we recently celebrated Jill’s birthday, Jill insisted on paying the bill for lunch.  When paying, she told our server to “keep the change.”  The server questioned her to assure she meant what she said, because, you see, Jill tipped our server over double the amount of the cost of our lunch.  It was her “gift” to the server – on HER birthday!

That’s the kind of person she is…  Someone I can only aspire to be like!

When she was recently called up among dignitaries and military personnel and political celebrities to be honored at the commissioning of the naval ship our Jake is an officer on, she humbly accepted, but raised her arm in respect to doing it “all for the crew!”

I am so stinking proud of her, I had to share!  She will likely not be pleased, but hopefully she will forgive me, because she knows I am doing it out of love and respect for the amazing person she is.

Everyday heroes are among us!  And I am so honored to call one of them my BFF!

Love you Jill!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

 

Advice from a Lake

Advice from a Lake.

Be clear.
Make positive ripples.
Look beneath the surface.
Stay calm.
Don’t be shallow.
Cast away troubles.
Take time to reflect.
Be “reel.”

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*compilation of thoughts from Pinterest – authors unknown
Photo taken 05/21/17 Lake Arthur, Moraine State Park, PA – First Spring boat ride of the season

In Case You Forgot


In case you forgot to remind yourself this morning…

It’s a new day ready for fresh beginnings.

Your smile can light up a room.

Your beauty is way more than just your appearance.

You alone are more than enough.

You are doing a pretty awesome job at this thing called life.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS – I also need to remind myself of this, and these maple tree seedpods I fondly remember as “helicopters” from my childhood spring days at Grandma’s remind me of the hope each day brings and the beauty and potential we all have within just waiting to be shared.  

Cherish the Moments!

Even if no one bothers to look…

Sunrise on Forsythe - Mars, PA 5/8/17

Sunrise on Forsythe – Mars, PA – 5/8/17

Even if no one bothers to look…

The sunrise, of course, doesn’t care if we watch it or not.
It will keep on being beautiful,
even if no one bothers to look at it.

Gene Amole

Yesterday morning I was on the road very early
and couldn’t resist driving down one of my favorite roads in our little community.

It was a cold, but sunny morning
with a nip in the air and frost on the grass.

As the warmth of the sun shone,
the steam and fog rose from the ice crystal-kissed earth and cold creeks and ponds.

I drove home slowly on my way back from my early morning run,
sipping my steaming coffee, but drinking in the beginning of a new day.

I wish I took time to notice it more often….
It’s there – just waiting for me to enjoy its beauty.

And with or without me –
that sunrise just keeps on being beautiful!

It made me think a bit too…
About being beautiful.

No – not Hollywood beauty…
not Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition beauty.

But about being a beautiful person –
in my heart and in my thoughts and in my character and in my actions.

And I want to make an effort to be a beautiful person…
even if no one bothers to look.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Gene Amole also wrote a book I just bought on Amazon called “The Last Chapter.”  I look forward to reading it and will share my thoughts.

You may house their bodies, but not their souls…

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow…

-Kahlil Gibran

Next Sunday is Mother’s Day.
Last Saturday my youngest “child” got married.
My greatest honor in life has been being a mother.
But as this wise verse from Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet reminds me,
I may have housed their bodies, but I cannot house their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow.

I am so proud of the men my boys have become.
As I watched the youngest celebrate marriage, and the oldest toast his brother last weekend,
my heart swelled.
Somehow we managed to do a good job.
And I couldn’t have done it without my husband – their father – by my side.

As I look at this photo I took at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago of a Momma Duck (made of flowers by the way) and her little ducklings, I was once again reminded of the privilege I was bestowed in life to be a mother.  I am now also blessed with two beautiful “daughters”-in-law and the great privilege of being a “grand”mother.

I am so grateful.

Here’s to all the moms out there!
Cherish the moments.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Be Bold

Pink Rosebuds Watercolor 5x7 140 lb Cold Press Saunders

Pink Rosebuds Watercolor 5×7 140 lb Cold Press Saunders

Be Bold.

Be bold…
in doing what you love,
in doing what feels good,
in doing what makes you happy.

Be bold…
in making your own kind of beauty,
in being your own kind of beauty,
in seeing the beauty in others.

Be Bold!
Be You!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Quick, loose painting done on Saunders 140lb cold press watercolor paper using Daniel Smith Rhodonite Genuine and Sap Green watercolor paint.

It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts

I received one of the most precious gifts yesterday from my BFF, Jill…. this darling little clutch purse for the wedding.

What is so special about it is what is on the inside.

From the outside, it is absolutely gorgeous!

But when I opened it up, I burst into tears.

The lining is made from a photo of hubby and me with our soon-to-be-groom son (taken at our oldest son’s wedding from 3 1/2 years ago!)

Isn’t this such a beautiful gift?  What a wonderful idea for brides, bridesmaids, mothers of brides and grooms!  Such a unique and personal gift.  Jill ordered it from AngeeW’s ETSY shop.

And clever, beautiful, kind Jill, wrote this beautiful note.

I don’t know how I hit the lottery on most amazing BFF and friends, but I am so grateful!  And what a wonderful reminder to all of us that it IS indeed what’s on the  inside that counts.

Especially as we grow older and all the “lovely” saggy, wrinkly, things begin to happen we need not discuss, it is especially important to remember who we are on the inside.

No matter our age, gender, ethnicity, physical appearance – we all have the ability to exude a bright, loving aura.  Have you ever noticed how a person who is maybe just average looking but has a bright, positive, happy, loving disposition seems so much more beautiful?  And sometimes people who are especially physically attractive, but not kind people can become unattractive?

I love how Jill expresses it….  she sees a person’s “aura!”

Let’s make a focused effort this week (and always) to look for a person’s aura – and remember that it is what’s on the inside that counts.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi