Haley Scott DeMaria

Archive for December, 2018


It’s New Years Eve. I am on my computer typing while my husband is watching a baking competition on the Food Network. Clearly we are not “New Years Eve people.” Not sure what that means, but this has never been a very rowdy holiday in our lives. (Except for the New Years Eve that my husband and I danced to Gangnam Style and sent my then-ten-year-old running out of the room embarrassed.)

We have been away for the past five days; with friends in Miami and then with college friends: one of my teammates and her family. My teammate (who works in a hospital) told us that on New Years Eve (and the 4th of July), hospitals schedule extra transplant staff because they know there will be more organs available for donation on those nights. Tonight I pray for those families whose loved ones will give and receive the gift of life.

I know that’s a sobering thought. But it was all I could think about as my now-sixteen-year-old-son drove to his friend’s house for the night. (They are staying in, thank goodness.)

As we wrap-up 2018, I am grateful for pretty much everything. This year hasn’t been without its challenges, but those too are blessings. They are opportunities to grow and to learn. And when the real challenges set in, they are opportunities to be embraced by family and friends. I couldn’t do what I do, and I would be who I am, without my family and friends.

As 2019 approaches, my hopes and dreams remain the same: the safely, good health and happiness of my loved ones. Those seem like simple asks, but they are everything. If we are happy, have good health and are safe, life is good.

Happy New Year.

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    This month has, as it probably has for everyone, flown by. Even with the early Thanksgiving date – and therefore the longest possible Christmas season – all of a sudden we find ourselves at Christmas Eve.

    With Advent being a time of preparation, I have been preparing for two very different events: Christmas and Africa. And as excited as I am for my trip in January, I have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the days leading up to my departure. While they will be filled with training and packing lists (and checking them twice), I find myself marveling at this magical time of year.

    I have always loved Advent as it was a special time in our home growing up. My mom created a Children’s Advent Program, that I now enjoy with my own children. We try to spend a little more time thinking about others less fortunate (a goal to remind ourselves of this all year). We purchase, wrap, bake and decorate. And sometimes the stress kicks in (like about 10 minutes ago, when I told my kids they had to stay outside until they could play nicely on the basketball court…it’s 35 degrees outside…)

    Ah yes, the stress. This is where my Africa trip folds nicely into this time of year. I have to train. I have to walk and hike and make sure I am in shape to make it to the summit of Kilimanjaro. So I take time each day to do this; and it’s as healthy physically as it is mentally. While a workout doesn’t sound much like “slowing down,” it’s a time to pause from the traffic, talk to a friend, breathe in the fresh (35 degree) air, and remind myself of my blessings.

    Hope. Love. Joy. Gifts. The blessings of Advent. Sprinkle in Family and Christmas is complete.

    Merry Christmas from our house (or if you’re my kids, outside our house) to yours.

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