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Bull in a China Shop

I live in Atlanta, Georgia.  Home of the Braves, high temperatures, and southern hospitality.

I love hospitality!  In fact, I think if you quiz my closest friends and relatives they would tell you that hospitality is in my blood.  I enjoy having guests in my home for dinner or for weeklong visits. It is a joy to feed them a meal (or meals), take care of their needs, and make them feel very welcome in my home.  It makes me smile just typing about it.

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Smart Sally

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I don't know what we did before GPS navigation.  Now we just punch in an address and go.  My family even gave our system a name..."Smart Sally".  We actually stole that name from another family but we like it so it stuck.

Smart Sally has led us safely through numerous states, cities and streets.  Most of the time she lives up to her name and smartly directs us the most efficient and accurate path to our destination.  She even frequently "recalculates" when her human follower makes a mistake or misses a turn.  (Did I say, 'frequently'?!?)

However, occasionally Smart Sally is not so smart!

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It's a Small World

Deric and Kristen Milligan with Mickey Mouse

30 days from today Inheritance of Hope will be welcoming 16 families from all over the country to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for a trip of a lifetime!!!  As I get to know these families, I am amazed at some of the similarities.  In my mind I already see the friendships developing between the children of similar ages and the parents with the same illnesses.

We even have two families that (when I google mapped their addresses) live just a few miles from each other! (It's a small world after all....) These families are strangers right now but in a month they will be friends AND neighbors (literally)!

Although we serve a wide variety of families with a wide variety of conditions it always amazes me that the community that develops at our Legacy Retreats is very rich and unified.  These families may come from all over the country but they have much in common.

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Top-Rated

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When I consider purchasing something new whether it be a camera, television, car minivan, or refrigerator I find myself asking everyone I know for their opinion.  I also have been know to search online for reviews and comments to help me make my decision. This also applies to services like carpet cleaners, lawn maintenance, house painters, etc.

In this day and age it is as easy as a click of the mouse to get thousands of opinions on these things and more.

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Most Likely to Succeed

So...listen to this conversation from the backseat of my minivan the other day.  DSC_0087

Elizabeth: "Do I have any money in the bank?"

Me: "Yes, it is for college."

Elizabeth: "I plan on working really hard at the piano and soccer so I can get a scholarship for college. Then what happens to that money?"

Me: "You can use it for something else, like a car."

Elizabeth: (with wide eyes and big dreams) "Cael, what are you going to work hard at so you can get a scholarship for college?"

Cael: (with very little hesitation) "I don't really feel like working that hard at anything....I'll just use the money in the bank."

Are you kidding me?!?! Guess I'm going to have to keep working on that one.

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Stay-at-Home Mom

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I am proud to be a stay at home mom.  Over the past 9+ years in this role, I can honestly say I have kept very busy managing my home and raising my kids.  The past year and a half have been different with both kids in school all day, but I still manage to keep my days very full (grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, volunteer work, and IOH work).

My husband, Adam, told me when he was tucking Elizabeth into bed the other night she said, "Dad, I want to marry someone just like you."

Wow...what a wonderful thing to say!!! Adam was very honored and humbled...until she added, "then I can stay home like mom all day and just shop and stuff."

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Giving Life

I value life greatly.  Hopefully, you do too.  There is no question the life we have here on earth is often times far too short whether it is 40 years or 99.

It seems like, more often then not, we spend more time contemplating what we are going to make for dinner or what our next big purchase is going to be then we do on teaching our kids or loving our "neighbors".

Life is too short.

We need to be intentional about taking a moment to teach our kids about loving others.  Or, for that matter, intentionally looking for ways to love others.

We need to literally stop and smell the roses...or at least notice that they are there and that they are all unique and beautiful. Can you believe each one of us is also unique and beautiful? Yes, you!

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Cheerleader

I am not a runner!!!!  There is no question about that.  DSC_0020

 

I actually have said, "One thing I will NEVER do in my life is a marathon....I have no desire!" I do, however, have several friends who have committed to running marathons for Inheritance of Hope and I woke up at 3 am and stood in freezing conditions for hours to cheer them on during their route.DSC_0022

 God created me to be a cheerleader.  I like to stand on the sidelines and cheer (LOUDLY and EXCITEDLY) for people.  So, why am I now signed up and training to run (walk) 26.2 miles???  Two reasons:

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Swagger Wagon

I am in love.....have been for quite some time.

Actually July 11th 2005 was the date we first met and it was NOT love at first sight.

It was a practical relationship.

My sleek trendy stylish Acura SUV had kind of died so...

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A Spirit of Sharing

We went over to some friend’s home the other night for dinner.  My husband and I both agreed that the meal was awesome so I requested the recipe from my friend.

Well, I don’t know what this says about me as a person but, I did not just make the meal for my family and then file the recipe away.  No!!!!  I made the meal for my family, gushed about how yummy it was to anyone who would listen and then emailed the recipe to all my buddies near and far.

As I went to the grocery store to restock on the pantry items that I would need to have on hand when I make this meal again, I talked to the lady in line behind me about the meal and she left the line to go buy the ingredients.  The checkout lady overheard our conversation and inquired about the meal so I shared the recipe with her too.  When I think about it, it is really funny!

Once I find something that is special I feel this overwhelming urge to tell everyone about it.  I don’t want people to miss out on good things!  It’s just how I am wired.  I guess I am a marketing managers dream. If word of mouth is the best form of advertisement then my mouth is making them big bucks.

I realize that my mom has this tendency as well and my son seems to be catching on to the spirit.  We really don’t want people to miss out on a good thing…whether a recipe, a restaurant, a big sale, a good vacation spot, a service or organization...

So in that spirit let me share a few recent things you don’t want to miss:

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