Music Monday

This one has been stuck in my head for the past few days and, because it’s Monday and I have homework to do still, I’ll take the free pass and do a MM post that will foreshadow some upcoming posts I hope to write! ūüôā

Enjoy!!

MATTHEW WEST-ONE LESS LYRICS

There’s a child
Been abandoned on the street
Now she’s waiting for someone to be her miracle

There’s a wife
Somewhere halfway around the world
Begging God for a little girl she can call her own

Well, worlds collide, and colors fade
And a man and wife brought their little girl home today

And there’s one less
One less
One less broken heart in the world tonight

We are called
To the widows and the orphans
But it’s easy to ignore their silent cries

Oh, but every single time
Somebody reaches into the darkness
Makes a choice to help the helpless
They let mercy save a life

Well the truth is we are all the orphans
But love has left the ninety-nine
Just to find the one

One less night alone
One less child without a home
One less birthday gone forgotten
One more soul rising from the bottom

One less
One less
There’s one less broken heart in the world tonight

Merry Music

Merry Christmas Everyone! Let us never forget the reason…

and from Pope Benedict XVI’s Christmas Eve homily:

“…God has anticipated us with the gift of his Son…God anticipates us again and again in unexpected ways. He does not cease to search for us, to raise us up as often as we might need…He loves us, so that we too may become people who love, so that there may be peace on earth.”

Meaning of Christmas

It dawned on me today that Christmas is less that a week away and I have yet to acknowledge it, one of my favorite and most important holidays, on the blog! Opps!

Now that I’m older, I can honestly say that the joy in the season for me really comes from it’s true meaning now. For the past few years, I’ve not cared about the gifts so much (although presents are always nice) and really just enjoyed the time spent with my family and my own private time spend reflecting on the birth of that beautiful baby who changed the World forever.¬†

I don’t want to get too strong here, for those of you that read the blog and could care less about my faith or my religious beliefs–although, you’ve been getting a lot more of that than I originally intended of this blog (that’s God for you!).¬† There’s just two things I wanted to share with you tonight about the beauty of this Christmas holiday.

First, Sarah over at Stand Tall Through Everything¬†wrote an amazing post today reflecting on the Fourth Sunday of Advent (today) and the power that one woman’s “Yes” had on every single of us who live this faith. Sarah was probably the second blogger I started following regularly, and her posts are really¬†wonderful¬†and well-written.¬† Please take the time to go check it out! It really moved me. Thanks Sarah, for letting me post it up on my blog!

Second, is one of my all-time favorite Christmas quotes. Bear with me as I tell you the quick story of where it comes from. The quote is from the longest running soap opera Guiding Light, which ended its 72 year run on September 18, 2009. I know some of you are probably judging me right now for pulling a Christmas quote from a soap, but this wasn’t just a tv show in my family. Guiding Light was sortof an undetectable gule in my family. It binded generations (my grandmother, to my mother and my aunt, to me and my sisters), and it brought us together for an hour each day, whether in person, over the phone, or simply in heart. My grandmother was always the go-to person about GL questions as she was the one who’d watched (or in her case listened) to the show the longest. Anything Grandma told you, you never questioned. My grandmother passed away in 2007 and I remember one of the last conversations I had with her was calling to see if she watched today episode and what she thought about the writers bringing some of the old characters back (and more importantly, if their storylines were truly accurate!). Watching GL was never quite the same when my Grandma passed away, but I¬†remember calling my mom everyday to have the same conversations¬†if I was away at school,¬†and DVRing each episode to watch with my mom if I was home for a weekend or¬†on a break. For those, and many more, reasons this quote holds a special place in my heart. Merry Christmas Everyone.

“When times are tough, we have to stop and appreciate what we do have, what’s important to us, and what keeps us waking up in the morning; our family. Our lives may not be perfect. We make mistakes, but we survive, and we forgive, and although the future may seem uncertain, nothing is ever lost as long as we have faith. It’s Christmas. Where the unexpected gift from the least expected person can turn everything around. Where there once was darkness, there may be light. And above all, there is that one gift that costs nothing, that requires no wrapping, and that is love. Love. What would Christmas be without it?”

Inked.

I got a tattoo 2 days after I turned 18, my freshman year of college. This wasn’t a spontaneous Friday night activity during a trip to New Haven. I’d been planning it for a long time.¬† My parents came to take me out to dinner on my actual birthday, and I showed them the sketch so they’d be prepared when I came home for Winter break. I’m not sure that they were happy, but I was 18 now after all.¬†

I went with my best friend, who had come to visit for my birthday, and sat anxiously waiting for the tattoo artist to come talk to me about what, exactly, I wanted, where I wanted it, etc.

I knew I wanted a heart. My mother always told me when I was born, there were hearts everywhere. She saw them in everything. I even had a¬†heart-shaped birth mark on my arm! It’s since faded, but I can still make it out if I look closely enough. ¬†

I knew I wanted whatever words I chose to be in Italian. First, as a nod to part of my heritage. Second, because words in Italian just look so much more beautiful.

I knew where I wanted it. Well, kind of. Originally, I wanted it on my back right over my SDR scar because I have such strong dislike for that scar. That was until I was told my pain would probably be magnified at that site. Then I realized I also wanted to be able to see whatever ink I was permanently etching on my body. I ended up deciding on my left hip, just above my hip bone. Another scar of significance.

The words. This was, by far, the hardest decision. I played with Italian translations of words for months. I wanted words that not only fit me, not only made sense, but also fit with the tattoo. I was going to be looking at it for a lot of years.

In the end, I settled on coraggio=courage and amore=love. Courage has somewhat always been¬†the word I live by. I may not do something well, or even succeed, but I will always do it courageously. And have the courage to try.¬† Amore¬†was a little more difficult of a story. I didn’t want love just because it was going to be attached to a heart. I wanted real love. Genuine love. The kind of love that starts within yourself. There was no translation for self-love, only love of oneself, and that just sounded conceited. Amore it became.

I don’t pay as much attention to my tattoo now as I used to, or as I should. This is, in part, because¬†it’s winter¬†and I’m always¬†fully covered, but even in the Summer months I don’t pay¬†it any mind.¬†It’s also because I’ve become so used to it now. The¬†morning¬†after getting it done, I screamed getting in the shower when I noticed it. My roommate was hysterical. Apparently she knew that was going to my reaction. Over the years, though, I’ve become so used to not even looking at it.¬† So, I “forget” it’s¬†there.

A reminder. Every now and then though, like this morning, I look down and am reminded of the importance of those¬†words and that symbol in my life. And when I look at my tattoo, I always take a moment to love who I am and what I’ve become. I take¬†a moment to vow to live the day courageously.

So I wanted to remind each of you, too. There’s always a reason to stop and show yourself some love. Even if it’s just looking in the mirror as you pass by on your way to work or class and saying “you look beautiful today”.¬† Love is nothing without us.¬† And we are all¬†cheating the meaning of life¬†if we can show love¬†to others, but¬†we can’t show it to ourselves. Courage is in every one of us. In some of us, it lies in getting up in the morning to face the day. In some of us, it lies in jumping out of our comfort zones and leaving our families for months to go explore all this world has to offer. In some of us, it lies in believing in that dream so much that it is what you live and breathe, so much that you actually dream about it at night. No matter where it lies in you, it is there. And it will never leave you.

This is my challenge to you: live, and love, courageously.

Father’s Love Letter

I know I haven’t been around much lately. I’ll be back soon! I just saw this video on a friend’s Tumblr account and it brought me to tears. Listen, watch, and enjoy. There are no other words.

(Nearly) Wordless Weekend: Camp Care 2010

I was going to make this a wordless post completely, but couldn’t really do that. I woke up thinking about how to go about writing my Camp Care post and realized writing wouldn’t happen at all. There are simply no words. So I figured I’d give you all a glimpse of the amazing piece of my life that is Camp Care through the photos and memories of these wonderful, loving children! I’m sad to say that none of these photos are actually mine. Most days I forget my camera or was having too much fun to worry about pictures, but I have great friends who let me share theirs!

So here’s a week in the life of a Camp Care Child: PT (there’s no pics of that..sorry!!), Rec Time, Lake Time, and a few from the annual Talent Show!
Enjoy… ūüôā
These children are what make Camp for me. And let me tell you, in 5 days, they heal our bodies, minds, and hearts, much more than we heal theirs. I am sure of it! The looks on there faces, like that of Dominic’s, when they get to experience the freedom of water without fear, or like Bella when she got to play basketball, put life into perspective for me. Oh, and another thing, it is rare that we even know a child’s diagnosis at Camp, unless a parent tells us or a therapist. That label simply doesn’t matter here.

I had my own expereiences at Camp too, of course, much like I blogged about last year in this post. The difference this year was that I was a Camp Care (adult) Kid myself for the morning sessions, then volunteered in the afternoon. This means I went through the 2.5 hour PT session in the morning. It. Was. Amazing. A week of free, intensive PT like I’ve never gotten before and will be lucky to get again. There were so many changes for me throughout the week, from things like increasing my overall body and mechanics awareness to standing longer, straighter, and more confidently to, on the last day of camp, being able to kneel and almost sit back completely on my heels. Something I don’t remember ever being able to do. So, for that, I’ll leave you with a few more photos…

Photo Credits: Jennifer Walts and Theresa Kaminsky. Thanks girls!