Tuesday, April 30, 2013

letters across the miles

Dear Kristine

Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers during the passing of my Nana.  It was a long few days, but there were so many beautiful memories of her radiant life that were shared which warmed my heart.  It is never easy when someone passes but we all know that she is in a better place looking down on all of us.

This past weekend I hosted my very first Feast of Words.  Oh Kristine, how I wish you could have been a part of it.  It was magical.  An intimate group of women gathered to share a meal and pour there heart onto the page.  I wish you could have seen the topics that arose from the writing prompts . . . the words and heartfelt emotion that they shared . . . the kindness, love and support that they gave one another. . . it was all so beautiful.  I am still in awe that it all unfolded as it did.

I definitely want to host another one and dreamed last night of "taking the show on the road."  I would love to be able to show up in peoples home town and host a Feast of Words event in their home.  What a big, bold dream, but oh how wonderful it would be.

Dustin and I went to our first baseball game of the season this past weekend.  It was so fun.  We both love baseball and have the same desire to go to every single stadium.  I love seeing how each stadium is different and love the enthusiasm the fans have for their hometown team.  Even though we are Yankees fans we went to see the Mets.  He has never seen the stadium before and it has a really great feel to it.

I  am so happy to hear that you are enjoying your job!  That is fantastic.  If you make your way to New York City let me know.  I am right around the corner from there.  How fabulous it would be to get to meet up.

How are your plans going for your "Kick Off to Summer" trip to Maine.  I love that you guys do a kick off to summer trip.  What a fantastic idea.  I have never been to Maine but have heard it is beautiful.  Have you been there before?

Dustin and I are not so good with the planning when it comes to trips.  He brings up a million ideas and then changes his mind a million and one more times.  So we have a few balls juggling in the air but am not sure which one we will actually catch.

I am looking forward to getting back on my bicycle again and exploring.  It is one of my favorite things to do during Spring and Summer.  I also enjoying sitting outside on my front patio reading and writing.  This is my favorite time of year.

Until next time my dear.  Sending you so much love and I look forward to hearing from you.


Monday, April 29, 2013

feast of words, oh yes it happened!

It was here where we gathered
Feasting on words and a delicious meal
Hearts opened
Words spilled onto the page
So much goodness

I am in shock that it happened
I am in awe for how open and caring everyone was
Together we bonded
Sharing our inner most thoughts
Letting our hand speak what our heart needed to say

The women who gathered were amazing!
Each one of them blew me away
I am so grateful for them

Head on over here to see more words and images from the night.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

through the forest

You may feel small
Lost in your own forest of worry and despair
You may be unsure how to find your path
Which way to go to feel the weight on your shoulders lifted
You may think you will never make it

What you must know is that
You are not in the forest alone
There are others traveling through
Deep in their own struggles of finding their way out
They too wonder sometimes if they will ever make it

You need to seek out those others and come together
Hold hands and walk the journey alone side one another
Have open and honest conversation
Dig deep into the heart and say what it is that scares you most
And also share what it is that fuels your inner fire

Alone we struggle
Fearful, unsure, feeling we are the only ones
Together we conquer
Encouraging, brave, honest connections
Lets travel through the forest together

Monday, April 22, 2013

the road

You are not meant to travel the road alone
The path may be winding
Shadows and darkness may engulf you
But friendship and love will help you get through

You are not meant to travel the road alone
Mistakes will be made
Fear will surface
But a hand will gently hold onto yours when you are falling

You are not meant to travel the road alone
There are so many who love you
A whole world of people cheering you on
But you must be open to their support and kindness

You are not meant to travel the road alone
The journey is more fun when a friend or loved one is by your side
Laughter is richer and memories are made
But you must travel with the ones who deeply care about you

You are not meant to travel the road alone
Open your heart to true love and devotion
Seek out what makes Y.O.U. happy and free
But navigate your journey from your heart, not from someone elses

Friday, April 19, 2013

the journey continues

It is not goodbye
It is simply see you later
The journey continues
Her love lives on
Her legacy is with each of us

Today we had the most beautiful send off for my Nana.  It was filled with love, memories, laughter, tears, gratitude, appreciation, and everything she infused into each of us.  It was a day filled with family and reflections on how grateful we each are for her creating this beautiful bond of love.  The bond of the Belthoff family is strong and unbreakable.  My Nana was the one who infused that into each of us.  She cherished her family dearly and through her actions she taught us to do the same.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Letters Across the Miles

Dear Kristine,

Oh what a week it has been.  At 12:05 am on Sunday my Nana passed away.  Five minutes after her 84th birthday.  She had been battling Alzheimer's for a long time and now she is dancing an Irish Jig among the stars.

She always had a smile radiating from her face.  Her patience, kind heart, and loving spirit was infused into everyone around her.  During the end of her life the conversation was mostly focused around the disease. Now that she has passed there are so many wonderful memories being shared about her time here.

She was married to my Pop-Pop for 62 years.  Together they raised eleven children.  She was a part of twenty three grand children's lives and also six great grand children.  There are also a countless number of friends of the family who say they are the twelfth and thirteenth Belthoff.

It is amazing to look at these numbers and witness first hand how tight knit this family dynamic is.  A family that large is rare to find these days.  And a family that hangs out together, laughs deeply, and is there for one another no matter what is also not so easy to find, but that is the Belthoff family.

I am one of the lucky ones.  I was blessed to be able to grow up with all four of my grandparents.  In fact they lived around the block from one another.

I have so many wonderful memories of my Nana.  Having raised eleven kids she was the all knowing one.  When I had the chicken poxs and my mom wasn't sure she brought me over to her house to confirm.  I remember standing on the kitchen chair as my Nana inspected me.

Every year for Easter she gave each grandchild a stuffed animal in their Easter basket.  Just imagine over time how many stuffed animals that is.  My mom still lines the steps of our home with those bunnys and chicks each Easter.

She had a warm heart and the brightest smile.  I never once heard her raise her voice.  She had a deep love for her family and the New York Yankees.  She also deeply loved each of the four legged barking friends that we a part of her life throughout.  Taffy stayed by her side the last few months before her passing and gave my Nana so much joy.

Although this is a really sad time I know in my heart that my Nana lived 84 beautiful years.  All of us have so many incredible memories stored in our hearts.  She will live on in each of us for sure.

So my world has been turned upside down a bit, but so has everyone's world with the bombing at the Marathon in Boston.  My heart just breaks to see moments like this occur in our world.  I know that you are near that area, how are things going near you?  Are you close to where it occurred?

My dear friend, I hope where you are the sun is shining on you.  I know you started a new job and would love to hear about it.  Please share any bright and shiny news you have.  The world needs to hear it.

Sending you so much love!


Thursday, April 11, 2013


Believe in incredible love
Trust brave actions
Boldly knowing step into your dreams

Thursday, April 04, 2013

feast of words

I love the world wide web and the way it opens up opportunity for connection, the ability to interact with people all the way across the world, and the never ending journey it takes you on.  However I have been craving in person connection.

Sitting down across the table from someone
Looking into their eyes
Hearing the sound of their voice
Sharing with one another, together

So I have taken a very brave step and am hosting an in person gathering with my aunt; Feast of Words

It will be an evening gathered around the table breaking bread, toasting with a glass of wine, and releasing our fears about writing.  We will leave those fears on the table after dinner and settle in to write.  I will be guiding the small group into how to begin writing your story.  Every one has a story to tell and we will begin writing ours that night.  You don't have to think you are a writer to be a part of this evening.  If you make a grocery list, write you name, or fill out a birthday card for a friend then you my dear can begin to write your story.

I am excited about this evening and can feel in my heart how heartwarming and tender it is going to be. I am looking forward to being in a room with individuals and sharing pieces of our heart.  It is going to be so good.

With any brave step we take though, moments of fear jump in.  I am nervous that no one will sign up.  But I am not going to let that stop me.  The night is planned and my aunt and I are ready to go.

If you are interested in joining please head on over here for the details and to sign up.  And if you know someone in the Mahwah NJ area please feel free to share this event with them.  It is going to be such a lovely evening!  

Love Notes Presents

:: Feast of Words ::

A night of delicious food and writing to uncover your story!

When:  Saturday, April 27th
Time:  5:30 pm - 9 pm
Where:  The comfort of my home in Mahwah, NJ
Included:  Dinner, wine, and a night of writing
Price:  $45.00

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

letters across the miles

Dear Kristine,

Tuesday came and went.  After getting out of work from the restaurant last night I was lying in bed and it hit me, "oh my goodness, I never wrote my letter."  These past few days have flown by in a thick haze.  Holiday weekends tend to do that to me.

It was wonderful spending time with family over the weekend.  I have a very large extended family.  My father is one of eleven --- therefore there are many aunts, uncles, and cousins in the mix.  We have entered a new phase of life where my brothers and cousins have children of their own.  There are six new little ones in the family and as I was sitting at my Uncles house on Easter Sunday I was taken aback by this new generation that was just starting their life.  It feels like only yesterday that my cousins and I were kids and now here they are having kids of their own.

It is great fun having this new generation around.  Holidays have a new sparkle to them.  And seeing my cousins and brothers as parents is mind blowing.  It makes me wonder how I am going to be when I have children of my own.  It is also neat to watch how their children interact with one another; new relationships and connections forming.  My hope is that they even though they aren't "cousins" that they grow up to have the relationship that my cousins and I had growing up and still have today.  Sleepovers, parties, cousin's nights, hanging out together, knowing that no matter what we are family.

I love reminiscing with my family about times past.  Whenever my brothers and I go back in time tears are always rolling down my face from laughing so hard.  Those are the moments that this life is all about.  Connecting, laughing, and being in the moment.

Spring is here and it makes me happy.  I am looking forward to when the sun is shining brightly and I can wear my flip-flops without my toes freezing.  You have me thinking about what I want to do this Spring that I have never done before.  Hmmm, that is a really great question.  I am not sure.

There are many things that I have done before that I am looking forward to.... feeding the ducks, sitting outside on my porch at night with a good book and a glass of wine, walking with Dustin, going to the park with my niece, wishing on stars, nights around the fire, planting herbs, and grilled bbq chicken.  During this time of year I spend as much time outside as possible.  What is on your Spring/Summer Bucket list?

Wishing you a wonderful week!