A little piece of magic


Iler family finds solace in the woods

It was our daughter’s 11th birthday a week ago. The past few years have been a bit anticlimactic due to different events in the world. And as each year goes by, we have been hopeful that the next year would bring promise or a renewed state of bliss.


What we have found is that each year brings challenges, some that seem almost insurmountable. So, rather than waiting for the perfect moment, or the perfect season, or the perfect year, to have an amazing birthday party. . . we took it upon ourselves to create our own magic.


We turned onto Tinkerbell Drive (yes, there really is a street named this) in Big Bear, Ca. I jokingly said, “Welcome to Neverland, a place where you never have to grow up.”

My daughters rolled their eyes at me but secretly, I knew that they were excited to have a moment of being innocent and giddy, amidst the worries of war and teenage angst.


So, as we excitedly created our bucket list for the weekend, I was relishing the small moments of breathing in pine tree scents, savoring the custom wood railings on the cabin, and the dormitories on the second floor that had reading nooks, overlooking the mountain road.


The bucket list included the following:

  • Yummy Treats from the Sweet Shoppe in Big Bear Village

  • Trip to Alpine Zoo

  • Matinee Movie

  • Dinner at our Favorite Italian Restaurant

  • Long Walk by the Lake

  • Sledding and Snowmen Making


This is what really unfolded during the magical weekend. The storm that blew in, didn’t come on Friday, it was delayed until Saturday. So, we had time to window shop in the quaint village on Friday, taste savory soup from the local kitchen shop, and anticipate when the first snowflake would fall.


As we checked the temperature and read the weather alerts, we almost thought the storm would bypass us. . . but Mother Nature always comes through.


When we awoke Saturday morning, the black asphalt road had been transformed into a white sparkly blanket. It appeared that Mother Nature had lightly painted the neighborhood with her snow brush.


Mother Nature waved her magical wand. . .

But wait, the best is yet to come. As we bundled up in the blistering 24 degree weather, we received an alert that said the snow would be coming later in the day.


Although we didn’t get to dine at our favorite Italian Trattoria, eating roasted artichokes with garlic aioli, savoring yummy ravioli, and decadent tiramisu, we got to witness the magic of snow falling from the sky. We learned the art of hand whipping cream (since there was no electric mixer), watching a movie marathon, and being giddy, dancing in the night with snowflakes falling on our cheeks.


I thank God for this weekend. We sometimes don’t get these moments of respite from our daily lives.


A moment of bliss

I told Scott when daily life almost seems too hard, work seems too much, parenting is burdensome, world events seem so heavy that there doesn’t seem to be any hope, there is Mother Nature showing us up. Letting us know that all we have to do is stop and observe for a moment. There is beauty all around us. These moments are what we need as a family to be reenergized.


I think it’s what we all need to fill up our cup with positivity.


When the snow started to really fall heavily, I was so excited to share this with my children. I was eager to gather them up and take them outside. As I looked around the house, I couldn’t find Rebecca. I decided to go up into the dormitories, and there I found her. She was in her cozy reading nook, gazing outside the window. The snowflakes danced towards the windowsill before they descended to the ground. She looked at me and said, “This is amazing. This is the birthday I will never forget.”


So. . . no we didn’t get to do everything on our bucket list, since the storm basically kept us home in our cabin for 24 hours.


But, what Mother Nature gave us, was far more beautiful and priceless. I was able to regain some innocence with my daughters which is so fragile and fleeting as they grow up.

I was able to daydream with them as we looked out the window, and be filled with wonder.


When was the last time you had a moment when you just paused? It is hard to sneak away from reality. The list of chores is too long, the daily stresses circle in your brain, the lack of money might not lend to a getaway, but a mere walk down a dirt road, a stroll through a garden, or a lingering cup of coffee as you watch the rain pitter patter on the window, might just be the key to unlocking some positivity in your daily life.


Challenge for the week: Find a moment of bliss. Your heart and soul will thank you for it.



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