Tag Archives: gifts

Second Sunday Suppers

12 Feb

By Jackie Sorensen

In February our thoughts naturally turn to “LOVE”, often of the romantic nature, but I wanted to share some thoughts about creating loving family relationships, especially for those of us with blended families. First, a brief family history: I have a 28 year old daughter, and the man I have chosen to spend the rest of my life with (Mike) has 3 children, 30, 32 and 34 years of age respectively. His oldest daughter and her husband have a 6 year old son. Mike and I have been together 10 years. Two of our daughters got married in 2013 within 4 months of each other (Aug. and Dec.) so when it came time for gift-giving this past Christmas, both time and money was in short supply. So, in a rare moment of early morning silence only days before Christmas, I sat down to consider a meaningful and possibly creative gift for my family that didn’t involve the combat zone of the mall or maxing out the credit card.  I also wanted to in some way honor my ongoing commitment to trying to knit together our blended families so that our parents (ages 82 and 95), siblings, children, grandson, and hopefully, future grandchildren will know the blessing of a loving and well-connected extended family.

And so was born Second Sunday Suppers.  My gift to my family was to cook dinner for them all every second Sunday of the month for the year 2014.  An essential component of this gift was that there was absolutely no obligation on their part: no need to RSVP, no need to bring a dish or chip in money, no need to help clean up, and no guilt for just not showing up at all. Some of our family live out of town, but were invited in case they were ever in the area on that day. Transportation would be provided for our more elderly family members, but all others did have to get to our house by their own means.  This would be a simple meal with the sole purpose of enjoying each other’s company.  If no one came, we would have plenty of leftovers!

And now, a Second Sunday Supper progress report: In January, I served spaghetti and meatballs, salad, garlic bread and strawberry shortcake for a party of 7. Since it was our first meal I did send out a group email with a reminder and those who were coming were gracious enough to let me know.  My heart was gladdened when Mike’s daughter responded with, “Are you kidding? We already have all of the dates marked on our calendar!” Last night we had our second Second Sunday Supper with a different configuration of 8 family members. My daughter and her husband were attending an out-of-town wedding this weekend and texted, “Oh man, we’re going to miss Second Sunday Supper!”  I decided to use February’s meal (and future ones) as an opportunity to try at least 1 new recipe and so made a pot of roasted butternut squash soup, together with rotisserie chicken from Costco, potatoes and carrots, and make-your-own ice cream sundaes (big hit).  My family typically shows up right at 5:00 pm and stays until 7-7:30. Time has been spent around the dinner table catching up with each other, talking about how school and new jobs are progressing, reminiscing about the past, and….Papa and his grandson learning and performing magic tricks together!

At the end of the evening I choose to believe everyone leaves with a full stomach, ribs and jaws which ache from so much laughter, and a joy-filled heart and spirit.  I know that I do.  Little did I know that this would be not only a labor of love, but a precious gift of love for me as well.

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A Gift for an Angel

13 Jul

One of Be Brave. Lose the Beige’s truisms is: “Great ideas come to you in the shower”.  We often find that when something is troubling us or there is a question to ponder, that when you remove yourself from distractions and allow yourself to relax (as in a hot shower first thing in the morning) solutions or ideas just pop into your head.  Such was the case with me this afternoon.  For days I have been considering what to get a good friend of mine for a big “milestone” birthday that was fast approaching. As I have already passed this particular milestone myself a while back, I know that at this stage of life there are few tangible things that I want and actually fewer of those things that I really need. And so it is I believe with many of my Lady Boomer friends. So I have been troubled by trying to find something to give this friend that would not only be meaningful to her, but also in some small way convey my celebration of her presence on this earth (and more selfishly, in my life) and also communicate to her my undying love and friendship.  And then, in a flash, in the shower after a long, hot day on the beach, the ideal gift popped into my head….I would write this blog post.

I had recently read an article in one of Kevin Eikenberry’s weekly leadership newsletters entitled, “How to give A Gift”. He encouraged the reader to consider 3 things when giving a gift to increase its meaningfulness:   1) Think about the process of gifting as well as the gift itself, 2) Think about how to show your intention in the process of giving the gift and, 3) Make the gift 100% about the other person. After reading that article I knew immediately that writing this blog was the perfect gift for my friend because blogging is something that she had been wanting me to do for the longest time. But, more importantly, I knew that she would realize that in order for me to give her this gift I would have to face and overcome some of my personal fears and self-created obstacles and give of myself in order to prepare this gift for her.

After this lengthy prelude, my birthday message for my friend (which also popped into my brain while in that same shower)…

What I realized at that moment is that there are Angels on Earth and that this friend of mine is truly one of these.   She is someone of flesh and blood, but with one of the most heavenly spirits I have ever known. Someone who lives her life in service to others, but in the most humble and self-deprecating way. Someone to whom others gravitate like insects to a lightbulb because she has a way of illuminating and inspiring each individual and making them believe they are capable of the most wondrous and creative things. And someone who has made such a difference in my life. Although we have known each other for just over a decade, in some sense it feels as if our souls have traveled the same path for eons. And to this Angel on Earth I say, “Thank you” for the gift of your presence in my life and for making me that much more whole than I might have believed of myself.  And, “Happy birthday” as I celebrate the time we spend together working, playing, stressing, crying, laughing, praying and all those other things all of us Lady Boomers do together.  There is no need to name this Angel on Earth as she will read this and recognize the value of this gift given from the heart (because of course that’s what Angels do). Look around. She may be standing right next to you.

Santa’s Tips for Celebrating Christmas- #8- Give To Others

22 Dec

#8 of Be Brave. Lose the Beige’s tips for celebrating Christmas is – Give to Others- Let generosity be your guide during this holiday season. (That does not necessarily mean, however, overindulging your children)give to others card