Tag Archives: unrealistic expectations

Making Holiday Memories

‘Tis the Season for Making Memories…

Amy Casual headshot

By Amy Chibib

The Holiday Season is upon us and the message we hear is ~ “This is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!”  True, this time of year is filled with Joy and Giving but another truth be told is that it can also be a challenging season for many. There are stories and memories behind the sparkle that can bring up sadness, disappointments, or loss. According to the National Institute of Health, Christmas is the time of year that people experience a high incidence of depression. This is counter intuitive to all the merriment surrounding us this time of year. Why is this so? I believe it is because it stirs our emotions and memories in a profound way and most likely topped with some unrealistic expectations.

I start this season with mixed emotions, my mom passed away at the end of this summer and my siblings and I no longer have any parents or grandparents alive ~ which marks the end of an era for my family. My siblings and I are all very independent and although roles had been reversed for some time; the final loss of our older generation is profoundly felt and one I don’t believe any of us expected. The bright side for me are all the good memories and a refreshed appreciation for those that were created so long ago.

In particular, I treasure memories of our Christmas Eve parties. Our house was filled with friends and family and I recall how my mom would spend the entire week building up to img_2324-1Christmas Eve getting the house just perfect. It was the anticipation that I believe made it the very best. I remember the sights and scents and especially the calm in the house just before everyone was to arrive. My dad had the stereo turn table all set with the classic albums and Nat King Cole was a favorite. To this day, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…” can take me back to these moments quickly. For all the effort put into this special evening, it all ended so quickly. It was time to get ready for bed as our parents were talking up Santa’s arrival. When the morning came and we eagerly woke up my parents, this anticipation was held for as long as possible. I laugh now knowing my parents must have been exhausted and probably a img_2322-1little hung-over from all the spirits from the prior evening’s celebration that lasted well into the wee hours. They were desperate to get their coffee and photo ready to capture these moments. We had to line up down the hallway and wait as they had to go out into the living room to “check on Santa’s gifts”. I remember we would laugh and giggle for what seemed like forever and couldn’t wait to be released to go check out our gifts! I share a couple of photos of a special year I received a coveted play kitchen – I look as if I was a “Price is Right” contestant that won the motherload of prizes. I remember feeling so overwhelmed that Santa would bring me such a wonderful amazing gift. That is what I remember ~ feeling so special that Santa would think of me with such a wonderful surprise. I spent the entire day in my PJ’s playing in my new kitchen. Even at that early age imagining the joy it would be someday to be a mom and cook for my family.

These are the memories that create the strongest of bonds – they are deep wired with emotions within our mind. They can inspire us to share and give more to those we love for generations to come.

The importance our memories have on our health – we do not fully comprehend, but everyone agrees they have the power to change our lives in significant ways. The beauty of amykitchenthis is fully expressed in the spirit of Christmas and how traditions have remained alive and continue to spread love and good cheer generation after generation! It is the joy, love, hope and forgiveness the season is wrapped in that inspires and motivates us to keep creating long lasting positive memories.

Wherever your emotions may take you this season, take peace in knowing You are not alone and there is healing in feeling it all!  The brave act of accepting these emotions and sharing where you are and what you need; is where the spirit of your season is found. Respond in giving back the best of your memories and making new ones with your loved ones is the essence of Christmas and promise of Love everlasting!

May this season bring you joy in knowing it is in the little moments that the best memories are made and treasured. We may not all have Dream Kitchen’s delivered on Christmas morning but I bet you can conjure up some of that magic starting today. You never know what moment will get recorded so embrace where you are in authenticity, make room for all the crazy and simply share, I believe these are the gifts and best ingredients for creating joyous holiday memories.

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The Pursuit of Perfection: A Social Networking Challenge


I’m doing it: posting one of the most UNflattering photos of me out there…here I am world!

Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.

Point to Ponder:
Do you strive for physical and life perfection or wish you had the body or life of someone else?

Action Item:
Be grateful for all of your God-given unique attributes and life and share your imperfections, life struggles and even embarrassing moments with others.

By Neissa Springmann

By Neissa Springmann

Have you ever ventured on Facebook to accept a quick friend request, to then look at the clock and shockingly realize a whole hour has passed?! Or maybe you found yourself looking through a friend’s pictures admiring their travel adventures, beautiful family photos and even their life… Or maybe you quite possibly experienced an ego boost after noticing that you have more followers than someone else… These are only a few of my concerns with social media and the challenge it poses for us, our children and our society at large.

When my son Durant was born I became diligent at posting his monthly albums on Facebook, as I thought it would be a great way to share our new life with friends (and because everyone else did it- a good reason, right?!?!)  Although at the  time I thought it was a good idea, I found I couldn’t keep up with the demand or justify the time it took to upload, organize and post the pictures. The other problem was that I could never just post and log out. I would get sucked into other friends’ profiles and it quickly became too much for me. Furthermore, I always felt obligated to respond to a nice comment and even hoped for one in return, which eventually stressed me out…so finally I just quit all together.

One time, I distinctly remember a friend saying that Durant was the happiest baby ever, as he smiled in every picture! I laughed and told him that my objective was to not show the many horrible pictures of him covered in spit up while screaming his head off, or the ones of me holding him while in my pajamas, with no makeup, hair everywhere and glasses on…..and it was 3:00 in the afternoon! NO WAY was I about to show the world that my newborn wasn’t always happy, I was losing my mind and my life wasn’t perfect.

I think social networking has many redeeming qualities, as I still have a personal account and iGnite has one too! It allows us to quickly connect with people and friends from around the world that we otherwise would not be able to contact, quite an extraordinary opportunity. However, I also think it is important to put on our safety goggles when using it, and always be aware of its challenges and even dangers, like judging and comparing ourselves and our lives to others.

Last week during class, Claire S. told me about a great article she read on perfection and how

our imperfections are actually a blessing, as they enable us to relate to one another.

I couldn’t agree more and I want to relate with you so badly that I’ve included one of the most unattractive and unathletic picture of myself, which is above. What’s most crazy is that I do not keep unflattering pictures of myself, so finding one that was worthy of the weekly inspiration was very difficult!

All in all, the pursuit of perfection will keep you in a vicious, unhappy and never-ending downward cycle. Perfection is impossible and despite all of the seemingly “perfect pictures” posted on Facebook, no one lives a perfect life, everyone struggles, has problems, and gets bumps and hairs in embarrassing places. Therefore, I encourage you to embrace your imperfect beautiful body and life and share it with others….and join iGnite as we start an imperfect and relatable Facebook and Life Revolution! Join us on Facebook here!


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