The year of firsts...

Today is Thanksgiving! A day where we tell ourselves that we're not going to gobble til we wobble out the front door,  but who are we kidding!  As I reflect back on this year and realize how lucky I am to be here, I get a little emotional. When I look back at past Thanksgivings, I start to see how I have taken this day of feasting for granted. Never in a million years did I think that last year might have been my last TURKEY DAY!

The murphy family in Florida during Summer vacation 2016.

The murphy family in Florida during Summer vacation 2016.

I titled this blog "The Year of Firsts" because that's how I look at everyday and major family experience.  This year to me is like when my kids were growing up and experiencing their first milestones from rolling over, to sitting up, walking and talking, going to kindergarten and driving. Although, for me it's different, it still feels the same. I remember sitting in the pew at church for Parker's confirmation and being so grateful that I was a part of it. To taking silly pictures in the pumpkin patch with my family.  This year I go into every day and think to myself how I can get the most out of this time/day and create a million memories?

Since my heart attack nine months ago I have noticed the littlest details. The sounds coming from the wind chimes this spring, the bold colors of the flowers in my pots, birds chirping outside my window, and the bright orange pumpkins in the fields. Many times we go through life and take for granted that those simple pleasures will be here next year. But I'm afraid we are never guaranteed tomorrow. So live each day like it's your last.. take in the sounds, the colors, and the smells. And it's okay to over indulge in that turkey and pie; you can always start your diet on Monday!!

Heart attacks like any natural event in one's health open your mind to a never-ending internal dialogue of the "what if's." One never imagines not getting to experience a piece of pumpkin pie with tons of whip cream.. or my dad Larry's special dressing (credit to Uncle Dick who passed down the recipe.)  The special dressing recipe is one that I have had at every Thanksgiving since I was a little girl. I remember my dad in the kitchen melting the butter with the beef bouillon cubes and we all would laugh about how many onions he would add! And don't forget fighting over the crusties on the edge.. the best part of the dressing. All too often we go through life complaining about the silliest things.. Stop! I too am guilty of doing this.


Poppy Larry's & Uncle Dick's "not so secret" Dressing Recipe

1 loaf of Bread (soak in water and squeeze out excess water)

1 tsp. of Sage.                     1 stick of margarine

1/2 chopped onion.          1 beef bouillon cube

1 tsp. salt                               1/4 tsp of pepper

chopped celery to your liking

Directions: Melt the butter and beef bouillon cube together until dissolved. Mix all the remaining ingredients together. Bake at 350 degrees covered for 1 hour then uncover and back an additional 15 minutes and ENJOY! You can always make it the night before and put it in the crockpot and set it on low the next morning.

Today I ask that each of you as you gather around the table with family and friends cherish every second!  Experience this Thanksgiving like it's your first. Laugh out loud when you're too full to stand up.. or you need to let out a belt loop to breathe. Call family who can't be with you and tell them you love them! Live each day, make a million memories and take pictures until your cheeks hurt! But most importantly....