Mar 04

I Quit ~ Day 63 #365grateful

Today I am grateful that 4 years ago I quit smoking and it’s the healthiest and hardest thing I have ever done. My body is thankful. My heart is thankful. My lungs are thankful. My family is thankful. My home is thankful.  My car is thankful.  My life is thankful.

I was tired of being sick and tired and I even more tired of the excuses I made for myself why I was sick all the time.  I was good at making excuses as to why I could keep smoking and why I should keep smoking.  I made these excuses not only to myself, but friends and family as well.  These are the highlights:

  • I will gain weight
  • It calms my nerves
  • I helps me focus
  • I don’t smoke that much
  • I don’t smoke those heavy duty cigarettes
  • I don’t drink so smoking is my vice
  • I don’t have the will power
  • I will be the biggest “B” you’ve ever heard
  • I am not sick again because I smoke
  • I like smoking (ya, can you believe that one?!!)

I created this addiction and I knew it would be hard to give it up. I really wasn’t a heavy smoker, but I knew having even one was not good for you.  At the beginning of 2011 I got really sick and I felt like I just couldn’t shake it.  Deep down I knew it didn’t help that I smoked and when I got well I chose a date and worked my way toward that day. I didn’t tell anyone I was going to quit for many reasons.  I didn’t want the “how are you doing” “did you have a cigarette today” “do you feel ok?” “oh that’s why your crabby” and if I failed I didn’t want to be reminded I failed.

I did a lot of reading on how to quit and as the day approached I was nervous, but ready. I decided to quit cold turkey without any patches or medications.  March 4th came and I threw away the cigarettes I had left and I went about my day.  I did change many things that I knew would be triggers to want to smoke.  I did the dishes right after dinner.  I didn’t talk on the phone as long and I didn’t make phone calls. I chewed gum in the car and used coffee stirrers to ease the urge when I wanted to smoke.  I went to bed earlier and read a book.  I didn’t sit still for too long.  A few days into it the boys noticed, but it took my husband over a week and I had to tell him.  I must not have been to crabby huh?

I will say that it wasn’t easy.  I felt lousy for a over a month and cough… ugh I thought that would never go away.  But, every single day I went without smoking it was a day to celebrate and the cravings began to subside.  Every day that went by also was a better reason NOT to smoke as now it was the principal of it all.  Every day that I didn’t smoke became a choice I was now making and that the addiction wasn’t making for me.  The only down side for me is the weight gain and I added much to my frame and I am having a hard time getting the motivation to commit to losing it.  I am healthy though and it comes with the territory of quitting.

I never liked the smell of smoke, but now it’s overwhelming and it really bothers me. I will never preach to anyone about how they have to quit.  I will tell them that I feel healthier and that the excuses are really just lies I told myself.  I am grateful I made that choice and that I have added years to my life to enjoy my grandchildren whenever I am blessed with them and my retirement years.

If you are thinking of quitting, please don’t hesitate to reach out as I would be glad to be a vocal support system for you!

I Quit

 

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Mar 03

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 62

Today I am thankful for a day that is anything but ordinary. Tuesday, it comes after that wretched day we call Monday and before the whole what DAAAAAY is it nonsense. After Tuesday the rest of the week is just W-T-F and then there’s the weekend aaaand I’m a Realtor so, WHAT weekend?  That’s reserved for appointments with new buyers, sellers and showings and more showings. Of course I’m not complaining, I love my job!

Tuesday.  It’s mine.  It’s yours.  It’s fun.  It’s special.  It’s pink.  It’s momentous.  It’s crazy.  It’s smiles.  It’s laughter.  It’s reflective.  It’s informative.  It’s historical.  It’s family.  It’s love.  It’s real estate.  It’s extraordinary. It’s friends.  It’s neighbors.  It’s business.  It’s Templeton.  It’s beyond.

Above are the many words about Tuesday. Below are the many faces of Tuesday.  I am grateful that I came up with an avenue to share thoughts, moments, news, business, real estate, history, photos and so much more here on my website.  More importantly, it has become an amazing connection to my community.  Tuesday, it’s not just a day~it’s everyday and it’s a way of life.

The many faces of Tuesday

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Mar 02

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 60

Today I am grateful for childlike wonder and amazement at the world around us. Now who doesn’t remember doing this? I still do when no one is watching, but I think that Zach has it right ~ you have to experience everything and who cares if anyone is watching?! This photo was taken a few years ago at the first snowfall of the season which is always magical to begin with.  We had to go to an appointment and I had just hung up from a call on my way out the door.  I would have thought he was in the car by now, but alas he was having too much fun.  He was so lost in the moment and the joy of trying to catch the snowflakes, he had not one clue I was standing not far from him just snapping photos.

You can see the look on his face and there is definitely a big smile there, but I can still hear the laughter and see the movement of his hands and arms.  I smile when I recall the words and sounds of sheer pleasure.  I remember it was a snow/rain and even though he was getting wet there was no better moment than this for either of us.  It was hard not to get caught up in the wonder and magic of the snow, but even more so his excitement.  We were standing in that same moment in time, but feeling completely different emotions, thinking different words and having different reasons for the joy.

I’m so glad I have this photo.  I reminds me to stop for the however brief moment to catch the snowflakes, feel the rain, put your face toward the sun, smell the flowers and have that childlike wonder and amazement at the beauty all around us and experience it in every way possible.

His laugh is contagious and his zeal to experience all things in our world always fills me with joy.  Grateful isn’t really a large enough word for this second in time we shared ~ love is.

Snowflakes

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Mar 01

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 59

Everyday I am grateful I am a child of God and for a strong faith that gets me through.  I love the Psalms and here is an excerpt from one of my favorites.

Psalm 118: 21-23

I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, And You have become my salvation. The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. This is the LORD’S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.

There is a place I go in Leominster called The Living Stone and it is a place to behold as it really cannot be explained as it is to be experienced.  I have written of it before here a couple of times, but HERE is a link to that post so you can read more about it.  I like to go a couple of times a year and just wander and sit quietly and take it all in.  It is a time where I may take the day or just a little bit of time and I completely disconnect and reconnect with the One who is the author and finisher of our faith.  It renews in me an energy and a clarity of where I may be going and to always be at peace for where I have been,how far I have come and all the people that He has placed in my path along the way.  I am grateful for the amazing friends I have there that brought me closer to God and have shared much and given much not only to me, but to many.

I am not going to write much today, but I am going to sit quietly and pray for those that are hurting, need healing, need employment or a place to live, that are mourning or keeping watch over someone that is close to going home to Heaven, need wisdom in a decision or those that feel they are end the end of the rope and need Him to pull them up and hold strong.  In this life we will have troubles and turmoil, but He will always be there to lift us up and walk with us on our journey as His was not an easy one either.

I AM

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Feb 28

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 58

Today I am grateful for best friends both young and old. This photo is at Zach’s 13th birthday and on the left is his best friend Cole and on the right is his best friend Papa.  I thinks it’s amazing to have best friends that couldn’t be more different, but play such an important role in not just Zach’s life, but ours as well.  Because Zach has Cole, I also gained an amazing friend in his mom and today I don’t know what I would do without her. I have other great friendships with all of Zach’s friends mothers and I am so thankful to have that as we all know we can rely on one another when the need arises and it’s easy for us to get all the kids together and do things.  I am grateful for that every single day even when I don’t talk to them all the time I know they are there.  I love having all of Zach’s friends t the house and I couldn’t ask for a finer group of young boys to be around.  They are funny, always polite and respectful, helpful and they aren’t afraid to speak up and share things with me either.  I like they are comfortable enough to talk and they are so good to Zach.  It’s been a wonder and a blessing to watch these boys grow up.

Over the years that they have been growing up Cole has become a staple in our house especially during the summer when there is more time for them to be together. Look at the smiles on their faces as they read a card that Cole bought because it was funny and knew Zach would get a kick out of it.  Zach and Cole do a lot together and share a lot of the same interests outside of school. They love to scooter and they explore the downtown of East Templeton and go to Cumberland Farms to get snacks and play at the ET playground.  They like the skate park at TC and in Hubbardston when they can go.  They explore the woods at our house, play computer games, video games and jump all over the furniture in our basement.  They at one point set up the scooter ramp down there and were doing jumps.  Yes, I let them … they are boys.  They have always shared classes together even if it’s not all of them and they sit together at lunch.  It’s nice to know that they have each other’s back and that I never have to worry about them as they are responsible young boys.

Then there is Papa, my Dad, who has been Zach’s best friend since birth.  He and Zach are two peas in a pod and have done so many things together and through the years fishing has become their favorite past time.  Zach spends a lot of time at Papa and Nana’s house and it’s always been his home away from home.  They used to play music together and we have tape recordings.  They mow the lawn and do yard work together.   They do projects together like fix things that are broken or build a wooden computer or a duct tape wallet or anything else that Zach’s imagination would invent and Papa would help figure out how to get it done.  They would just be together hanging around while Zach played and they talked about anything and everything.  My Dad has taught Zach the value of work, play and rest.  Papa has taught him respect, responsibility and readiness for the world.  He has taught him to believe in himself, to love others and to true to oneself.  He has taught him how to be a friend and that family is the most important.

I am grateful that Zach has amazing best friends that he is growing up with and will learn many lessons as they go through decisions made, paths chosen and trial and error.  They will learn easy lessons and hard lessons, but they will have one another to rely on and talk things through.  I am also grateful for a best friend and Papa that will teach him how to grow up by being a leader, a teacher, a sounding board and most importantly a safe haven for those times he will need a place to just be.

 

Best Friends

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Feb 28

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 57

Today I am grateful for dreaming in green.  As I am watching the news I am seeing we will be getting snow in a couple more days and as much as I love when a fresh snow sparkles in the light, this Tuesday Girl has had enough.  So tonight I will post a photo of days that seem so far in the past as this is early fall around September.  The leaves are just beginning to fade to a dull yellow before the burst of of orange or red and a mixture of both.  I still see a sea of green and I can smell in the air Fall is on it’s way.  There is still time to cook on the grill and go for a walk in the woods and I truly do love sweatshirt weather.

So tonight I will go to bed and dream in color and not just white and I will smell apple pie and feel the breeze from the windows and be grateful that I live in New England where the weather can change when you blink your eyes.

Early Fall at the Brooks Homestead

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Feb 26

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 56

Today I am grateful that I have begun the process of simplifying my life. This is in many areas and it’s becoming less cluttered, drama free and more peaceful.  Simplify for me means to not only get rid of, but add back or add to or just add more focus in a positive way and direction.  I have made sure to have breakfast or lunch dates with friends and colleagues I really want to keep up with and maintain a great relationship.   I want to be sure to connect with those people that are upbeat and have a positive and profound affect on my life.  I feel like I spend a lot of time at my desk and on the computer and although I can connect in so many social media avenues, it’s just not personal enough for me.  I prefer to see the facial expressions, share the laughter and hear the voice.

Simplifying also means getting rid of things, like papers I don’t need and clutter that has built up because it only serves to stress me out more.  I am a sentimental pack rat and I began the cleaning out process months ago and I am getting there.  I have enjoyed looking through all my “junk”, but it’s been freeing to get rid of a lot of it, yet keeping things that will mean something to someone else is still making things simpler.  I want to start my scrap booking again and this has been a good way to organize some of my things I save for sentimental reasons and I hope one day my kids will thank me for it.

Today I had breakfast with a wonderful friend and colleague that I have come to know more over the last year or so and we have a great friendship too.  We can talk shop, family, real estate, swap ideas and just enjoy the company and connect outside of social media and home sale transactions.  I admire the gusto with which all projects are tackled and the genuine way he wishes to connect with those around him.  Learning new things, not being afraid to reach out to people and also a very helpful heart.  Surround yourself with those that will help you grow, cheer you on, share their wisdom and help you be all you can be.  This is simplify for me because it’s a simple concept I believe we forget.

Tonight I spent time with my girlfriend that I don’t see often who is a nail tech so we got to share all the gossip and spend that girl time together I need more often than I make time for.  We laughed, caught up on all the family news, shared some stories and it was the best few hours I have spent in awhile just relaxing.  Thank goodness she loves her job enough to make my hands and feet beautiful when I ask her to do this later at night.  That is simplify as I could have been doing some paperwork, laundry, house cleaning or writing this post earlier, but I wanted to share taht time for me and her.

I am very grateful for embarking on the simplify journey, what that means to me both in my personal and professional life and for amazing friends that I can BE simple with and share time and ideas with to continue down that road.  Thank you for today!   Life is a lot of pathways to places we choose and are sometimes led down and we must be sure to keep our eyes, ears and hearts open to all the little things to be grateful for.

simplify

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Feb 25

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 55

I am so grateful that Zach and Alan got to share this moment together in Boston at the Bruins Championship Parade in Boston in 2011. Zach was born with a hockey stick in his hand. Early on it was apparent he loved all things hockey. The moment he could walk around he had hockey sticks in his hands and all over our house.  I was amazed as what this kid could do with a stick at a very young age.  Zach plays street hockey and has since the young age of 4.  He has Bruins memorabilia on his walls, hockey pucks, nearly every hockey stick he has played with and he loves to watch the Bruins play.  He is excited for the Spring season to hurry and get here so he can play again.  I like that when the warmer weather comes he would rather be outside practicing shots by himself or with his friends.

It’s alawys awesome to win, but the Bruins had not won the Stanley Cup since 1972,  I remember all of us as a family getting together as often as we could during the season to watch the games.  It was an exciting day when they took the cup and then for Alan to say he was going to take Zach to the parade… I thought he was gonna faint he was so excited.  Zach said the parade was awesome and seeing the players and being in the crowd and riding the train….he could hardly contain himself trying to tell me all about it.  He said is was a sea of black and gold and it was soooo loud with everyone cheering!

A friend that Alan ran into, I know in that sea of people right?, took this photo to capture the moment. That is truly a grateful moment to capture a moment that may not come again for many many years. I hope Zach can experience more of the parades and championships in his lifetime, but for now he has this one and he got to be there with his Dad.

Bruins Stanley Cup Parade Boston 2011

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Feb 24

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 54

Today I am grateful for the best Christmas gift I can enjoy all year, my Teavana perfect tea maker and my special blend teas.  I love my coffee, my decaf coffee without cream or sugar ~ I know why bother right, but I really love the flavor.  But, at night I prefer like to sit down with a cup of tea and I have a whole drawer dedicated just to different flavors of tea, but they are in a box and those tea bags with the strings or the little packets.  I think maybe once had tea that was leaves an in a little ball that you put in your cup to steep and that was fun and I never gave it another thought…until this past Christmas.

When we shop for the gaggle of children we have we start out window shopping to get ideas or to see what jumps out at us AND we always wait until a weekend before Christmas and then we make it a marathon. During the year I do find a few things, but the bulk is always done last minute.  It’s fun, trust me.  It’s a game to see what jumps out at us and who ends up with the gift that was the “oh my that’s awesome” one we both totally jumped at.  Anyway, I digress.  During the last day of shopping we were just about to leave and I saw the Teavana tea store with all these colorful tea pots and cups and it smelled so good I had to go in.  I collect tea cups and this store just drew me in.

It was small and crowded, but a great experience.  I had to ask a lot of questions, and sample some teas both hot and cold and completely fell in love with the whole tea leaves and spices infusers, make your own blend idea that I decided to buy my own Christmas gift and left with the perfect tea maker, a cup and a canister of the limited edition of white chocolate peppermint.  Each blend or type of tea comes with instructions on how long to steep them for.  With the tea maker you put in the amount of tea needed, pour in the water, let it steep and then set the maker right on top of the cup and it pours right in, the perfect amount.  I have gone online and ordered an Youthberry Wild Orange Blossom that is to die for and I can’t wait to try more blends.

It’s been bitterly cold and a long Winter and my tea is a wonderful pick me up and warm me up.  I am so thankful that I have this simple little tea maker that makes my day when it’s time to wind down at the end of the day.

Like tea?  Well, you’ve got to check out their website and all they have to offer.  Just go to Teavana.com and shop away!

Tea Time

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Feb 23

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 53

Today I am grateful that I can celebrate a first birthday with Brutus!  I post lots of pictures of Brutus on Instagram and Facebook because he’s funny, always makes us laugh and he’s a great sport.  It’s been an amazing year and instead of writing I made a video of some of my favorite pictures of #brutustheboxer.  I hope we have so many more years of birthdays with our lovable, handsome man!

Brutus the Birthday Boy

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