Hope Wissel

Birthday Reflection

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Happy Birthday – to ME! Since today is my 58th birthday, I am reflecting on the many blessings in my life. First, I am grateful that I actually woke up this morning and am able to enjoy the day – whatever it may bring.

My favorite adult birthday memory was a “surprise party” that Belinda planned for me with the help of her two great aunts – Edythe and Elsie. It was for my 40th birthday and my FIRST surprise party. It was a special day for two reasons – it was Belinda’s idea and it was the first time that my divorced parents were in the same room at the same time. Belinda was all of 9 years old so it was amazing that she got the whole thing together. Of course, the fact that I arrived in sweats and a tee shirt because I thought I was “stopping by” to help with something at the fire house was a little horrifying but funny since I almost didn’t arrive at the party. When I arrived, Belinda started to cry because she took the look of surprise for a look of “being mad” and didn’t understand that the tears were tears of joy. The next was the decorations – “OVER THE HILL” theme everywhere. Belinda picked them out. So the standing joke is if I was “over the hill at 40” what am I now? It was a great day and I was overwhelmed by the love from family and friends.

As a child, there are lots of memories of birthday celebrations. One of things that I looked forward to each year was the annual trip to New York City to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus. This annual tradition was a treat from Edythe and Elsie. It included the circus and dinner in NY. I always felt so grown up!  Both of them are now our guardians angels in heaven.

Birthdays are milestones in our lives. For many years during my addictions and then even in my recovery, I saw “birthdays” as just another day or “I am too old to celebrate birthdays” and I even said that on many occasions. Today, I am looking at them a little differently.  TODAY is a gift from God to be able to spend another day with family and friends. The celebration doesn’t need to be big, it doesn’t need to have lots of presents (one or two, maybe – LOL) and it definitely NEEDS to include thanks for the many blessings that I have been given through the years. I was blessed with a family that loves and supports me despite our many faults. I have been blessed with a child who has grown into an amazing woman. I have been blessed with a husband who loves me unconditionally despite how crazy I make him. These are the gifts that I celebrate on my birthday this year.

Happy Birthday to me! Hope you have ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Bucket List

Good Morning!  I am back in my office “unofficially” trying to catch up on things from being away for the last 5 days.  It was an AMAZING weekend.  The best Birthday/ Mother’s Day gift a girl could ask for – a weekend away with hubby visiting our daughter, Belinda.  I know, you are probably tired of hearing it but I have to share how dreams (and prayers) came true this weekend…..

First, this was our first trip since Rob had congestive heart failure last year so we were not sure what to expect.  The 12-hour ride was our first concern but that went off without a hitch on Thursday.  First obstacle accomplished!  Friday was a lazy day with running errands, visiting the local farmer’s market and dinner made by Belinda.  Rob was shocked because he thought all she knew how to cook was mac and cheese or chicken nuggets.  It was a great dinner along with hours of just talking and playing with the dogs.

Saturday was a DREAM COME TRUE!  Yes, we went to the circus which may not seem monumental to anyone else but Rob was having another GREAT day!  A yummy breakfast at Biscuit Head where we had a chance to meet some of Belinda’s friends.  We headed out to the circus early because Caleb (American Idol fame) was making appearances in Asheville (his home town) and we wanted to make sure that we didn’t get caught up in the traffic – no we didn’t get a glimpse at him but we did see the motorcades that were taking him from place to place.

On line to get into the circus, Belinda is interviewed by Animal Right Activists who are protesting the circus.  She was her usual outspoken self and defended Ringling Brothers then asked them for proof that THIS circus was abusing animals. No hate mail please.  To say the least, they went on their way.  As we entered the circus, we got there early enough to enjoy the pre-show on the floor of the circus as well as mingle with the performers.  I don’t know who was more excited me or the girls.

2009-12-31 23.00.00-35 I got to be a princess in the circus while Ashley tried on the Ring Master’s coat.  2009-12-31 23.00.00-42 You think we could be clowns in the circus?

Belinda was on a mission – she wanted to see Duchess up close and personal.  She LOVES elephants.  As we are looking at the animals backstage – she thinks she recognizes the girl working with the dogs.  She hesitated but after some nudging from me – she asked her if she went to WCU?  YES AND she remembered Belinda.  Theresa told Belinda that she would talk to her as soon as she was done.  Can you feel the excitement mounting?  As soon as Theresa got done caring for the dogs, she came and got ALL of us to take us backstage to meet Duchess.  OMG!  Duchess is 43 years old and has been with the circus since she was 3 years old.  Belinda realized that she has been watching this elephant grow up every year that she has attended a circus.

It was AWESOME!  Theresa applied for the job with the circus as a Vet Tech on a whim and she got it!  She LOVES it!  Travels 46 weeks a year with the circus (and her dog) and is based in Florida.

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Just an hour before, Belinda was interviewed by an Animal Rights group only to find out that one of the Vet Techs is a WCU alumni who LOVES animals.  The girls made plans to stay connected through Facebook so that they can visit with each other again in either NC or Florida.  Another item off Belinda’s bucket list!

So, the moral of the story – besides having an AMAZING unforgettable day – reach for the stars for you never know who may be there to help you along.  Dreams do come true no matter how silly they may seem to someone else, they are YOUR dreams.

Share YOUR dream…Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Purse-onality

purse personality

Happy Saturday!  I am still in North Carolina with hubby visiting our daughter so if you are reading this it simply means that I didn’t have time to blog.  I mean blog this morning as I wrote this before we left just in case….

We are heading for Ringling Brothers Circus in Asheville today with Belinda and her roommate, Ashley.  See we are recreating the total trip that was planned last year.  I don’t remember going to the circus when Belinda was little – don’t get me wrong, she went but with other family members.  I on the other hand remember going to the circus for my birthday in NY while I was growing up.  Every year I looked forward to that trip that included dinner in the CITY!

Okay, so what does that have to do the “purse-onality”?  Nothing really!  Although I changed my bag several times before leaving for the trip to ensure that I had the right one.  One side of me wanted to take them all so that I could change for every occasion but I knew that would make hubby crazy.  So I went with my go to bag – retro metro bag (bottom left corner).  Big pockets and lots of space to carry things in.  Of course I will have other Thirty One bags in the car, just in case we do some shopping or need to pack anything up to come home.

What is YOUR favorite bag?  Here are the names starting at the top row from left to right:  Cindy Tote, Inside Out bag, Vary You Backpack, Retro Metro Foldover, Explorista Crossbody, Vary You Mini Crossbody, Retro Meto Bag, Organizing Shoulder Bag and the Suite Success Tote.  We have something for every occasion and to fit your style.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Birthday Reflection

Happy Birthday – to ME!  Since today is my 56th birthday, I am reflecting on the many blessings of my life.  First, I am grateful that I actually woke up this morning and am able to enjoy the day – whatever it may bring.  

My favorite adult birthday memory was a “surprise party” that Belinda planned for me with the help of her two great aunts – Edythe and Elsie.  It was for my 40th birthday and my FIRST surprise party.  It was a special day for two reasons – it was Belinda’s idea and it was the first time in too many years that my divorced parents were in the same room at the same time.  Belinda was all of 9 years old so it was amazing that she got the whole thing together.  Of course, the fact that I arrived in sweats and a tee shirt because I thought I was “stopping by” to help with something at the fire house was a little horrifying but funny since I almost didn’t arrive at the party.  When I arrived, Belinda started to cry because she took the look of surprise for a look of “being mad” and didn’t understand that the tears were tears of joy. The next was the decorations – “OVER THE HILL” theme everywhere.  Belinda picked them out.  So the standing joke is if I was “over the hill at 40” what am I now?  It was a great day and I was overwhelmed by the love from family and friends.

As a child, there are lots of memories of birthday celebrations.  One of things that I looked forward to each year was the annual trip to New York City to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus.  This annual tradition was a treat from Edythe and Elsie.  It included the circus and dinner in NY.  I always felt so grown up!  This year, I am getting a chance to see the circus in North Carolina with Belinda and hubby.  I am excited because I haven’t been to a Ringling Brothers Circus since I was about 13 years old.  I am sure there may be a tear or two that day for Belinda used to go to the circus with Edythe and Elsie too.  Both of them are now our guardians angels in heaven.  If I figure out how to post pictures on this blog – I will share some.

Birthdays are milestones in our lives. For many years during my addictions and then even in my recovery, I saw “birthdays” as just another day or “I am too old to celebrate birthdays” – I even said that on many occasions.  Today, I am looking at them a little differently – have I grown up?  have I learned that I deserve to celebrate (even in a small way) my birthday?  I am not sure what the reason is but TODAY is the day that I stop saying “it is just another day”.  It is a gift from God  to be able to spend another day with family and friends.  The celebration doesn’t need to be big, it doesn’t need to have lots of presents (one or two, maybe – LOL) and it definitely NEEDS to include thanks for the many blessings that I have been given through the years.  I was blessed with a family that loves and supports me despite our many faults.  I have been blessed with a child who has grown into an amazing woman.  I have been blessed with a husband who loves me unconditionally despite how crazy I make him.  These are the gifts that I celebrate on my birthday this year.

Happy Birthday to me!  Hope you have ThirtyOne-derful day!