Blessings of the New Year

Today as we start to put all the Christmas decorations away, I cannot help but think about the Christmas hustle and bustle that went on a few weeks prior. The house looked beautiful with twinkling lights, presents under the tree, family and friends celebrating Christmas with us sitting at the dining room table enjoying dinner and Christmas stories from our past.

Now we go back to normal. We are getting ready to put away the tree, the ornaments, the things that make Christmas special in our home. The beautiful centerpieces that made our dining room table look elegant. Now all that is left on our table is Christmas cards, store receipts, Christmas Card address book and thoughts of the work upcoming for the year.

As I picked up the Christmas cards and reread some along with the beautiful newsletters attached, I realized how blessed I was. These cards represent people who thought about my family and me during the busy Christmas season. I started to pray for each and every person that sent a card that as the New Year 2017 started, that they would receive health and blessings in the coming year.

As I put things away, I thanked God for the receipts that I had because it signified that I had a job to purchase a gift for someone. I thanked God for my family’s health as I saw an unexpected bill from our son’s pediatrician and pharmacy that set us back Christmas week several hundred dollars.  Some may ask,  how is that a blessing?  It is a blessing because at least I had insurance that covered some of it and also because God gave us this miracle who at that moment had a stomach virus and strep throat.  My son was a premature baby and they are more susceptible to illnesses due to their under developed lungs and other health issues.  It could have been much worse, but because of His grace it was not as severe. I also thanked God because I have the opportunity to work and do the things that I love while also at the same time helping others in need of support through The Gift of Life charity.

When I first looked at the mess, that is what I looked at it as, a big mess and chore to put it all away. But today as we put away all the things that represent Christmas decorations in our home together as a family, I realize I am truly blessed. I am reminded daily that Christmas is the  season of miracles and remembering that beyond Santa Claus, we have a Savior that was born on Christmas day.

Happy New Year!

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A Christmas Miracle Merry Christmas!

It’s been a year since my twin girls were born, and as strangers ask me their age, I hesitate. Do I tell them their real age or adjusted age? Depending on my mood, I often will say, “they are one, but they were born at 28 weeks.”


That’s usually met with, “little miracles!” or “they look healthy now.”


Now? That word always bothers me, though I understand where the stranger is coming from, but the term now, takes on a different meaning and feel. My girls were born in late October at 28 weeks, and one NICU nurse told me, that probably would be home by Christmas. While another NICU nurse told me that they’d be home probably by their due date. Yet another nurse said, maybe spring.


As Thanksgiving came and went, and as Christmas approached, I knew they wouldn’t be home and as I begrudgingly put up a small Christmas tree and felt a twinge of sadness at every happy family going Christmas shopping, I told myself that I was lucky that my girls were ok. I’d witnessed enough so far with other NICU babies, that I felt that even though I wouldn’t have them this Christmas, at least I still had them.

The NICU nurses had a crafty staff, with ornament making, footprint items, Santa hat photos of the girls. As we got ready for the long day we’d be at the NICU, I was mentally preparing myself not to make this a somber moment, next year, I told myself, would be different.



We arrived at the NICU to sleeping babies, but we had quite the list of to-do’s — bathe the twins, feed them, and kangaroo care. We decided to have our Christmas meal at the hospital, and as we were given free hard as a rock Christmas cookies, I told myself, next year, this will be different.



It never really occurred to me, that besides my somber attitude that was hidden by a smile, that the NICU nurses had to do this every year. My next year would be different, but their next year would be the same – dealing with concerned parents and watching over preemies.

While you’re in the NICU with your baby(ies) it’s easy to have tunnel vision. It’s easy to not pay attention to the world outside and though your focus is your babies health, you have to remember that there are other things, bigger things happening around you.


So, this Christmas my girls are now one, crawling and trying to stand on wobbly legs, I feel blessed at their growth and continually impressed by them. They struggled into this world and now they fight to catch up. The new normal – was a phase that I used a lot when I would see the girls in the NICU, our new normal is constantly changing. My life is busy, chaotic, and sometimes frustrating, but when it comes to Christmas, I always take a moment to think of the NICU nurses. To remind myself, there are bigger things happening, there are people who are in my shoes from last year.


At Christmas time, it’s a great time to take a step away from yourself and look at the world around you. You don’t need to give money or presents, but simply by giving your time or lending an ear to someone, helps you take a step back and reevaluate your current situation. I’ll never forget the kindness and patience of the NICU nurses and as Christmas approaches I strive to be uplifting to someone who may be stuck in their own tunnel vision or struggling silently.


Guest Blogger Jen Labriola/Graphic artist for The Gift of Life

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Merry Christmas!

Christmas Countdown Day 24 Blessings

As we bring the countdown to an end.  Let us all reflect on what we have to be thankful for this year.  Some of us have lost jobs, relationships with significant others, friends, financial turmoil or health, but one thing remains, if you are able to read this last countdown right now, then you are blessed.  Why you may ask?  Because we live in a country where we can access the internet freely, we have our eyes to read and our hands to type to search for an article.  That is the beginning, we are breathing and alive!

So today make it special, tell someone that you are blessed today because you know them and that makes you feel great.  Share the Christmas cheer not just today but every day to come.

We hope that you have enjoyed these 24 days of Countdown to Christmas.

Come back on Christmas day for a very special article written by a guest blogger, you don’t want to miss this story.

Follow author Rosie Moore

Merry Christmas from our house to yours.  May you always remember that the reason for the season is the birth of the baby Jesus.


Christmas Countdown Day 23 Stroll in the Neighborhood

As things begin to wind down, take a moment to grab the kids and the dog and walk around the neighborhood to see the Christmas lights instead of driving.  This will get you out of the house, allow you to see neighbors that you may have never met and had some fresh air to breathe and establish family memories.

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Merry Christmas!


Christmas Countdown Day 22 Take Care

Ugh now three days before Christmas and a cold sore appears on your mouth, what?  Stay calm, stress will cause these things to pop up.  The best thing to do is to start taking care of yourself early on, we know that the holiday season can be a source of stress for many, but we need to remember that when we are run down we are susceptible to colds.  Some helpful hints, good hand washing, antibacterial everywhere you go, if you start to feel sick, drink  Echinacea tea with honey and lemon and take your zinc and vitamin c tablets( check with your doctor first to be sure that you can take these).  To take care of the cold sore see some remedies here from peppermint oil, to vanilla and more.

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Merry Christmas!