Make It Happen

be proud this year

I’m just now winding down from the hustle and bustle of the holidays. It was great, with lots of wonderful time spent with family and friends, tons of delicious food, and so much joy.

As I wrote that — so much joy — my thoughts went to the families of the mass shooting victims killed in a country bar in my city. And those who lost their homes in the fires here. My heart aches for them, and for so many others in this world, who did not have a joyful Christmas season.

There were countless times I thought about them over the past month. It felt like it grounded me, a painful reminder of what truly is important in life.

It’s been a rough beginning to the new year. My husband came down with the flu on New Year’s Eve and it’s totally knocked him out. We’re hopeful he’ll feel better this week.

With the beginning of the new year, I’m (somewhat) refreshed and ready to tackle new projects and opportunities. Even though I don’t make New Year’s resolutions — instead, I make goals throughout the year — it’s a perfect time to reflect on what I want to continue doing and what I want to improve on.

I’m focusing on being more mindful, soaking in and cherishing all the good times and difficult times too. To really be present and savor each precious moment. And, even if it’s on a small scale, I want to make a difference in this world. Practice and use the gifts I have and share them with others. This may mean as a wife, mother, friend, or mental health advocate.

I want to make things happen.

you have the power

For instance, instead of saying to a friend, “One day we should get together/have lunch/coffee/go for a hike, a movie/etc.,” I want to initiate it, take action and DO it. Not just leave it at “we should.

Last year, I started to work on that very thing — to make an honest effort to connect more with family and friends.

My parents live close by and I see them often. My husband and I have them over for dinner most Sunday nights, and I treasure our conversations and laughter. My mom is 82 and my dad is 90.

I don’t want to regret not doing something with them that I’ve been wanting to do. I’m happy to say I took action on one of those things this past holiday season.

My dad’s mom was Polish. One of my favorite childhood memories is eating her cookies that my sisters and I called “twisters.” They’re light and airy, sprinkled with powdered sugar. The real name for them is Kruschicki. They’re also called Bow Tie Cookies or Angel Wings.

For at least the past ten years, I’ve thought of making Kruschicki at Christmastime. I wanted my dad to have another taste of his mother’s cooking and I yearned to bring a lost family tradition back to life. But I was intimidated.

I love to bake, but couldn’t imagine how Grandma made them, it always seemed complicated to me. Heck, I didn’t even remember what they were called. I only knew them by “twisters.” Grandma made her own dough, cut each cookie into a fancy shape, and fried them. It made me nervous to think about duplicating such a delicate dessert.

Until this past year. I finally did it!

It wasn’t that easy. I threw out the first batch because they were too dense. I had to go back to the store for more ingredients and watch a YouTube video to learn what I did wrong (worked the dough too much).

I worried I wouldn’t get it right. More than anything, I wanted my twisters to taste like Grandma’s. I’d settle for pretty close.

I turned the dough like the video instructed, cut and “tied” the cookies, fried them, and topped them off with a dusting of powdered sugar.

My persistence paid off.

twisters3

I’ll never forget the smile on my dad’s face when he walked in and saw the platter of special treats. He couldn’t believe it. It made me so happy to see him so happy.

The verdict from Dad? Delicious. And almost as good as Grandma’s!

When my husband and I walked my parents out to their car, Dad thanked me again for making the Kruschicki. My 90-year-old father said, “Tasting those made me feel like a little boy again.”

Wow. His sweet comment made me feel incredible. I realized I had just given him the best gift I ever could have.

So that’s what I’m striving for this year. To not wait for someday. Make things happen.

Today.

Image result for images of quotes on making a fresh start

Fourth image courtesy of here

 

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34 thoughts on “Make It Happen

  1. I love this post for several reasons. It’s heartwarming. It reminds me of the things that matter – being fully present in the present and savouring every moment and truly, we should stop living with the ‘we should intentions’ we just have ‘to go ahead and do.’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful post Jenny. I can just imagine the joy and satisfaction that would have given both your dad and you. Hope your husband is better soon and the year ahead is happy, healthy and fulfilling. By the way, I think you DO make a difference! Bug hugs, love and light to you from me downunder xx 🙂💕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely post, thank you! I was thrilled to see those Polish deep-fried cookies, just like the ones my (originally) Polish mother used to make on special occasions when I was a child. As I read about your adventure making them, I was thinking ” I’ve got my Mum’s recipe for those, maybe you would like it?” But it looks like you had success in the end with your own recipe! Well done! Yum yum! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your nice comment! And so happy to hear your mom used to make them too. Most people I know haven’t ever tasted (or heard of) those cookies. Thanks for thinking of giving me her recipe, that’s so sweet! Thankfully, I did have success in the end, it’s just something I had to get the hang of. My dad said he’s sure he has my Grandma’s recipe somewhere, and he’s looking for it. Thanks again, and Happy New Year to you, too!! xox

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your post just made my day. The part about your dad was so moving! There is no greater joy than to see our loved ones happy especially at Christmas time. I also congratulate you on getting the Kruschicki done so well. Looks like there is more work to them than meets the eye:)

    All the best and Happy New Year
    Laureen

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I got chills when your dad said that. You are giving them wonderful experiences as they grow older. They look yummy. I love your goal of doing it today. Like you, I do goals too. I too got active about seeing my friends. We have been friends for over 30 years. We would see each other 2x a year. We don’t live that far from each other. So I sent out a group email and told them we have to make time for us. So the first Friday of every other month we go out. No scheduling. Whoever is available goes, if not available they don’t go. So sometimes it’s the 4 of us or 2 of us. This Friday 2 girls can’t go so it’s me and my bestie. We no longer try to make times and days work for everyone. It was too hectic. It sounds like you are living in the now and lots of people are going to enjoy that about you. When I sent out that email they said I was right and thanked me. I’m excited for you and all the things you are going to make happen today!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your comment! Friendships, those relationships are SO important!! It’s great you made the move to reach out… sometimes it just takes one to reach out, then everyone else is like, yes! Let’s get together!! Same with my friends and me. In fact, your comment is inspiring me to reach out. Time goes by, and before I know it, it’s been months since I’ve seen some of my friends. Glad you made that plan with your friends, perfect! And thanks for the inspiration ❤️ Take care Traci! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I hit send too early… lol
    Yes, get your friends together.
    One of them has cancer and now she’s ok two years, but we have to make time. Then her sister was diagnosed with the same cancer. A month ago I was dancing with her sister and then the mammogram showed the disease. Now she’s recovering from her surgery.It is very scary how we were dancing to the 80s without a care,not knowing it was there lurking. Sometimes I wish we could just take a look inside to see if anything is there. Instead, I just try to enjoy life. Have a great day!!! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Traci! I completely relate to this. One of my close friend’s husband died at 54. At that time, she was going through breast cancer treatment. Then had a double mastectomy a couple years ago. She’s fine now. Another close friend recently went through a divorce. Sometimes I think about the carefree days before life changed so drastically. But like you said, enjoy life, living mindfully. The only thing certain is change! Hope all is well!💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow Jenny that’s a lot for your friend to deal with her husband’s death as she was treating her breast cancer. I’m glad to hear she’s okay. Yes, I miss those days too. I will be turning 51 next month and my friends and I are dealing with sick elderly parents, friends getting sick, people dying and I feel like this age is the beginning of all this stuff happening and I don’t like it 😦 Luke Perry dying is just shocking. I didn’t know him; I knew Dylan for over 20 years. We used to have 90210 and Melrose Place parties. He was only one year older than me. It’s like he’s at house, collapses, and boom dead. It’s scary to wonder what might be lurking inside our bodies, which is why I do my best to enjoy life. I just can’t imagine his family getting that phone call; that’s the kind where you have no preparation for the death. My mom was diagnosed with late stage heart failure and it’s freaking me out. She has to get a difibulator because her heart pumping percentage keeps dropping. They can’t stop it from dropping, so basically if she goes into cardiac arrest it will shock her heart. It’s all very scary; nobody likes to know their parents aren’t forever. And on top of this my ex moved his girlfriend and her kids into the house I used to live in with him. My daughter isn’t happy about it; she will be home from school Friday and we’ll see how it goes; I don’t even know if she will want to visit there. I’m sorry for being all emotional; thanks for listening. I hope you and your family are doing well. On a positive note, my daughter got a job on campus working as a project executive coordinator for a non for profit that works with Nicauragua. It was a rigorous 3 step process with 3 hour interview. She will be the only student on the board. She called me today to tell me she got it. I am super proud of her, and at the same time I realized I underestimate her and I do it a lot. She never told me she applied, but she told her dad because he is more chill; she probably didn’t want to deal with my anxiety or inspiring videos I send her. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the news, but at the same time, wow this is my daughter???
        Anyway, thanks for listening!
        Traci XO

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Traci, great to hear from you! Sorry there’s a lot of issues for you to deal with right now. I’m 54 and I remember in my late 40s, I’d say I didn’t like this stage of life. Empty nester, aging parents, friends having problems with marriages/illness/parents… it’s that middle stage. I totally can relate to what you said. Completely. My dad is 90, mom is 82. Both are pretty healthy, but you never know. And that’s hard to think about. I’m sorry to hear about your mom’s late stage heart failure. I don’t know much about that, but I hope the defibrillator will allow her to have a better life. That must feel a bit strange about your ex moving his girlfriend and kids in. I hope your daughter does ok in that situation. And SO awesome about her getting that position!! Sounds like a wonderful project. Funny how our kids can step up and achieve things we weren’t sure were possible. I’ve underestimated my daughters too. And… so, so sad about Luke Perry. Such a shock. Two years younger than me. Way too young to die. My heart breaks for his family and friends. I couldn’t believe it when I heard he had a stroke, and really couldn’t believe it when I heard he passed away from it. You’re right… we need to do our best to enjoy life, savor it. Great to hear from you, thanks for writing… and no worries about being emotional. I’m glad you wrote me. Because of life situations, I haven’t been able to blog as much (just super busy), and I miss it. So thanks for catching up with me! Jenny xox

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks so much Jenny! It’s nice to hear that you get it. Yeah, middle age comes with scary stuff. Glad to hear your parents are healthy. Yes it is quite strange about my ex having his girlfriend and her kids move in. I just worry about Maggie. She has her own bathroom and now she has to share it with two other teenagers and one is a boy. It will all be so different for her, but I hope she will advocate for herself on her needs and boundaries. I told her I’ll help her and she doesn’t have to go there if she doesn’t want to. My ex doesn’t get the depth of this transition for everyone. It was so fast; they told the kids and 2 weeks later they moved in. I always feel like kids get caught in the crossfire of all the stupid adult shit we do.
        I think I’m more worried about it then she is! I read a short article called “Why Luke Perry’s Death stops us short”
        It says he was the age of the fans who grew up watching him on tv. It said it is a reminder of a youth that is receding in the rearview mirror. Also it is jarring because his death came to soon according to stats and that upsets us. When someone vibrant and beautiful dies because of a body malfunction it becomes painfully clear that while we can and should take care of ourselves, much of how we exit this life is beyond our control. It is also a reminder that many of us are in the second half of life and a time when bodies give out. His death offers us moments for sincere reflection, our choices and our paths. Last, it said we may not end up walking as far as we would like. Are we happy with the trail we have left behind us? This article made me feel better, because it helps explain why we feel so upset. Everyone describes him as the nicest person ever. He said I’m a simple man from Ohio, not James Dean. He was so private that nobody knew he was engaged. I watched an interview with him and Jason and they both said after the series ended they had to step away from it and get some distance for a long time and once they had that distance they could talk about it. Jason said he hated Brandon and Luke said he would be friends with Dylan. Thanks so much for taking time out of your life to spend time with me. I really appreciate it. You have a fantastic day!!! Traci XO

        Liked by 1 person

      • That article sounds really interesting, all of the questions that I’ve been thinking about. Just so sudden, no warning signs, and so young. I like what you said, a reminder of a youth that is receding in the rear view mirror. Wow. I hope Maggie does ok with the new situation. That’s hard to walk into. I’m sending positive thoughts your way!💖

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Jenny! She came home from break sick, so she has been with me the whole time. Dad is coming to bring her favorite dinner tonight and I figured I would go in my bedroom so they can have some alone time. Thanks so much for your positive vibes! xo

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Jenny I just found out Demi Lovato went back to treatment. Do you remember when she got out of her 3 month treatment, she started dating Henri, an addict and I said this is going nowhere good. So she went back to treatment for a few weeks and they split after she got out. She’s not well. I know it. I see the same signs. What a battle. Just figured I’d give you the update. I feel bad for her. You and I know what it feels like to struggle. She seems okay, working out, smiley instagrams, but I think she’s on the edge. Nobody knew she went back until now. Must be so hard for her to wake up and fight every day. Hopefully she’ll be okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the update, I didn’t know. I’ve had a bad feeling about her, not sure why. Guess because I’ve seen some of her social media posts, cute instas etc, but I always wonder truly how she’s doing. And haven’t seen much of her at all, which I thought could be a good thing, if she’s staying away from the spotlight. Or maybe a bad thing because she’s slipping away, trying to struggle through this. I feel so bad for her. And yes, I remember when you said that about the guy she was dating! I wish the very best for her, hope she can fight through this and be healthier soon. Thanks again Traci! Have a good night🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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