Feeling Grateful is a Treasure

"Some days you’ll need a loaves and fishes miracle, other days it will be enough to see a flower in the crack of the sidewalk.” -Susie Larson
How great would it be if more people celebrated the small treasures mixed in with our ordinary? If we embrace the tiny moments that make up our everyday, if we take the time to notice the "flowers in the cracks," and the small miracles in our world; how much more happy and grateful would we be?

It isn't until air is taken from us that we realize how valuable it is, it is not until our water is taken from us that we realize it is more valuable than gold, it's not until our loved ones are gone that we realize how much we appreciated them, and it is not until we are in total darkness that we realize how much we rely on the light.

We don't remember these things to be sad, and to feel bad for those who don't have it, we remember it to show our gratitude to God. How often do you really pour out your heart to God in gratitude for the "little" things in our lives, the things that make our lives so much better?

To be spoiled means to take something for granted, and not to be grateful for it. We want to be weary of becoming like spoiled children, taking for granted the things that we have, always wanting more, and not appreciating what is given to us, and who it is given from.

 To experience a thankful heart, we have to first notice the gifts, and receive them as such. Celebrating the gifts in the midst of the ordinary.


Organizing Jewelry is a Treasure

Okay, I've never posted about something crafty or handy before, so bear with me. I'm new to the being crafty thing. But it's fun! In fact, I have things in mind that I want to try my hand at. I'll show you when they're done :-)

My husband is really into organization. He labels all of his drawers, including his dresser! He just loves the feeling of having everything in its perfect place. I have never really been like that. I am to an extent, I have organized chaos (places dedicated to being unorganized.) I know where my things are, and its a system that works for me.

However, my husband is rubbing off on me. The other day I actually wanted to organize more. Weird. So, I got to work. I organized all the surfaces in our home. 

Including this one. I forgot to take a before picture, this is the after. All of my jewelry would end up on this surface. My necklaces would be tangled, and my earrings hard to find. I needed a solution, but jewelry holders in the store cost money, and money is tight.

So, I grabbed an extra comb

And my wonderful husband drilled it into the top of one of my bin things 

I then hung my necklaces into the prongs of the comb! It works great! I have 1-2 empty prongs empty between each necklace that way I don't accidentally take more than one off when I want it.

It's perfect. It isn't taking up any needed space, and it saves me a few minutes in the morning when I need a necklace. Yay for simple and inexpensive solutions!

Are you like me and keep organized chaos, or more like my husband and like to keep things in their right places? Do you have any tips for organizing?


Stories that Make You Think are a Treasure

I was in the store today with my lovely step-mom and sister Amber, I was looking for a table cloth and place mats, and I was having a difficult time deciding on the colors I wanted. Now, I've never picked a table cloth out before and in my mind it would define something about our lives, so I wanted to choose the best color combination. 

The deciding process was starting to take too long, and I thought of the following story, then I was able to make a choice more quickly. The table cloth is brown, and the matts are green :-)

The following story is from a blog that I had recently stumbled across, it's called (In) Courage and I love to read it! It's run by around 27 woman, and they write such amazing things on a variety of topics. The things shared on this blog, I think, everyone can relate to on some level.
This is the first of the stories I've read, and the one I thought of today:

"Choosing Life"
She wanted the pencils, I could tell she did. Her daddy sat with her on the too-small chair in the child section of the bookstore. I watched them with stranger's eyes, slowly browsing a shelf nearby. She was deciding between a small, educational activity book or a set of beautiful princess pencils. She held the book in one hand, the pencils in the other, and quietly asked her daddy which one he thought she should choose.
He repeatedly told her it was her decision to make, she could choose either one. No sooner had the words come out of his mouth than he was giving her a list of pros and cons about each potential choice:
The pencils are pretty, but the activity book might last longer.
The pencils have to be sharpened and then they get smaller and smaller and eventually disappear.
The activity book has pages and pages of endless fun.
“But the choice is yours to make,” he was sure to add on to the end.
I smiled to myself as I noticed the father's inability to remain uninvolved in her decision. It was obvious to me which she would choose after his comments. What five year old would choose the pretty pencils after Daddy clearly explained how impractical they were?
I missed what happened next as my own daughter came up to me with several copies of the same board book and I realized she was rearranging the entire board book section. I was glad for the distraction as it helped me maintain my cover.
When I looked up again, the man and his daughter stood to leave. As they passed me by, I noticed her satisfied expression and the pack of princess pencils in her small hand.

I'm embarrassed to admit how surprised I was. In that moment, I realized that no matter how much I wanted them, I never would have chosen the pencils. As a kid, I was too concerned about making the "right" choice, the choice that would please the most people. I did not give myself permission to make the fun choice when the outcome didn't matter.
I still do that a lot. I weigh, I consider, I balance, I reconsider. I obsess over what they would do, what he will think, or what she thinks I should decide.  It is easy to blame it on responsibility or grown up-ness or consequences. Or to claim it as wisdom and experience.
But I think it has more to do with fear.
Watching that small, brave girl choose the pencils that day, it was as if a cloud of worry and longing to please was lifted from me. Life rose up to meet me right there in the bookstore. 
"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10

What did you think? I would have wanted the pencils, but probably gone with the activity book, and now I'm curious: Would you have chosen the pencils?


Some Of My Thoughts

"That's sweet."
"How is that sweet?"
"To be that certain, to feel that much love."
"Love, isn't a feeling..."
"No? "
"It's an ability."

Michael and I watched Dan in Real Life recently, and that quote stuck out to me more this time, then it did the first time I saw the movie.

I've experienced that intoxicating feeling before, only in a less dramatic way than Dan's daughter did in this movie. I'm pretty sure every girl has at some point between, or all during, middle school, junior high and high school.

Infatuation means foolish or all-absorbing passion, suspicious eagerness, unreasoning or extravagant short-lived passion.
In this generation, in many ways, I think infatuation has become a model for what love really is. Which is not at all good, or healthy.

I remember hearing or reading somewhere about a man who was telling a therapist that he didn't love his wife anymore. The therapist replied "love her".

"But I don't love her anymore... the passion is gone..."

"Love her"

"But I'm not in love... it's just not working"

"Love her."

The therapist explained that instead of wandering around in a daze, wondering where his love went, he needed to realize that love isn't just a butterfly you catch with a net or a bubble that you float in... it's something you do. Something you give. And that when you give love to someone... when you behave in a loving way and focus on being loving instead of receiving love, it will naturally make you fall in love all over again.

I am so blessed and grateful to be able to experience real love. The kind of love that consists of butterflies, attraction and all of the little special moments, yet there is also so much more; it is filled with laughter, silliness, commitment, open and honest communication as well as hard work. Love is sincerely putting another before yourself, simply because you want to help them be the happiest they can be.

In hard times, and in years to come, what it comes down to is that you're with your best friend, you're true other half. And I think that when you treat each other with respect, kindness, remembering to do the "little things," (because when you stop doing the little tings, eventually you stop doing the big things) I think the honeymoon feeling never has to fade.

I think these quotes accurately describe what it is I'm trying to put in words:

"Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as can be obtained" -C.S. Lewis

Love is being unselfish

"Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction" -Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Love is growing together, in the same direction.

These are my thoughts, and this is the way I see it :-)
I'd love to hear all of your opinions and thoughts as well.
I hope this blog finds you all well and happy. Have a great day!

ps. The first picture is Michael and I being goofy and shaking our faces as the camera took a picture.


Wearing All Green is a Treasure

Happy Saint Patrick's Day Everyone!! I have always had a special place in my heart for this holiday. There's just something nice about seeing everyone wear your favorite color ;-)

I told Michael he needed to wear all green today, like me. However, as much as I'm sure he wanted to, we were lucky to even find a green shirt for him. Maybe next year I'll make him wear ALL green with me :-D

My dad is 3/4 Irish, so I have quite a bit of Irish blood in me. AND I not only have a very pale complexion, I also dyed my hair red! (really it was for my friends wedding, but I like to tell people it was so I'd look more Irish.)

I love to get all dolled up for St. Patty's day, but the last few years have been rocky between us. I've been feeling kind of sick today, my tummy has been hurting all day, and I thought I was going to "toss my cookies" earlier. However, I guess this is a step up from last year, last year I was very sick (it came on suddenly on St. Patty's day, and left soon after). I threw up 10 times that day...

I have high hopes though that next year I will be even healthier on this wondrous day of green! Really, it's probably just a test of my faith in the holiday. Or, the fates are trying to get me to change my favorite color. One or the other.

Please ignore the fact that this is not a good picture of me. Like I said, I've been feeling sick today.

This is me, after work. Yes, I went to work like this. Green stockings, pants, tank top, shirt, bracelet(not pictured) and earrings(also not pictured) green sweater (not pictured) green hair ties, and red hair! What can I say, I love wearing all green!
Sorry not everything was pictured, I just got home and wanted to change to my pj's. You're lucky I got a picture :-P

Last year I also had green shoes but I couldn't find them, and I had suspenders, but I didn't feel like wearing them... haha, maybe next year!

So, I went green today. Did you?


Meaningful Relationships from "Music and the Spoken Word" is a Treasure.

"The weather began to change, and a man felt inclined to plant something outside in the cold earth. After a hard winter of dark skies and icy storms, the prospect of digging in the ground warmed his heart. So he did some homework, researched the best tree for his chosen spot, and went to see an expert.

"The master gardener had this counsel: 'Don’t plant a hundred-dollar tree in a ten-dollar hole! The roots of the tree,' he explained, 'must have room to expand and to absorb the nutrients from the soil. Also, the tree must be planted deep enough so that the roots can move into the soil and give the plant stability. If it’s planted right, you can expect it will grow into a beautiful tree and last a long time.' (See Carlos E. Asay, Family Pecan Trees: Planting a Legacy of Faith at Home [1992], 228.)

"Good advice—not just for planting trees but also for building relationships. Both trees and relationships grow best in an environment that has been carefully prepared and is constantly nurtured. Occasionally a seed may fall on uncultivated soil and spring up as a sapling, but such trees rarely last long enough to bear fruit. Likewise, lasting relationships don’t just happen. They must be fostered by love and attention, cultivated by care and concern, and fed by kindness and generosity. It doesn’t happen in one day of intensive attention; it happens over time, in countless small moments, as gradually as a tree grows.

"Meaningful relationships are worth more than hundred-dollar trees, and they deserve all the time, effort, and energy they need to become strong and beautiful. Then, once the roots are well established, such relationships can continue to grow—even under difficult circumstances. Trust and understanding will nurture the relationship, and eventually, the flowers of love will blossom and bear sweet fruit."
—Lloyd D. Newell
March 7, 2010


Finding Modest Dresses is a Treasure

I like to get dressed up, so whenever I have some extra money for clothing I like to look for pretty, and modest, things -skirts, dresses, shirts...

Well, over at Not So Idle Hands, there is a giveaway for that very thing!

Have you heard of Mikarose? I hadn't either. You should check them out.

Then, if you're interested (or if you want to try and win then give me the giftcard :) Head over and enter the giveaway!

This is the dress I want the most. However, it was hard to choose a favorite. The store is full of cute things! If I don't win I may have to use the promo code provided by Not So Idle Hands, and get some of the clearance items :-)

Happy Blogging Everyone!


Val M. Ellison

In the end of January, someone very close to the Magistro family, Val M. Ellison, passed away from cancer at 52 yrs old.

At his funeral I learned so much about this great man, and I wished that I had gotten to know him in this life.

He dedicated his life to helping others, his mission statement, and what he continually offered to people, was "an invitation to live an extraordinary life, to rise to the next realm of your existence. To dramatically improve your life in a very short period of time."

Even without knowing him, he has inspired me.

I was a little nervous about going to the funeral. I had never met Val, and I didn't want to impose on other peoples grief -an outsider looking in. The other reason why I was nervous was because the last, and only other funeral I had gone to, was for my mother.

However, I needed to be there for Michael, and I didn't know it yet, but I needed to be there for myself as well.

The funeral was heart-aching, heartwarming, touching, inspirational; it was beautiful. I think everyone there felt the comforting spirit. Everyone I saw was crying, including me, but they weren't the wrenching sobs of despair, but the sweet tears of hope, inspiration and realization.

Michaels sister, Mia, had the chance to work with Val for many years. He asked her, Mendy and Michael to sing a melody of their Project Heal songs at his funeral. It was beautiful.

Mia had written a song a few years ago for a different funeral, they sang it at Val's as well. Here are some of the lyrics:

Goodbye for now, it's not the end, our Father needs you this day
There's work for you, so we must wait, a life eternal we'll have.
Always, we love you and in our hearts you will stay,
All of our days on earth we'll walk faithful,
For the day we'll see you again.
One day we'll see you again.
-Lyrics by Mia Magistro

Having experienced how it feels to lose loved ones in my own life, I wished I could reach out and comfort his wife, and children. However, I know -and they know- that someday they will see him again.

In my life, I hope to be able to touch peoples lives, make a difference, and leave a legacy of goodness.


Making Me Happy

These pictures are making me happy!

I borrowed these pictures from my sisters facebook. I think she got them from google imager, I wish I could give credit to who took them.

So, what is making you happy today?


Things I've Seen

These are just some funny pictures I've taken

This was back from December, but it's still making me happy.

A funny sign at the theatre

I've heard of outrageous inflations, but $150 for a movie ticket is ridiculous!

A semi playing chicken with us on the freeway

Have a good day everyone!