Anniversary Gifts to Celebrate Any Year, Anywhere

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Anniversary Gifts to Celebrate Any Year, Anywhere

If you’re like me, you’re always searching for new ideas for wedding anniversary gifts for your parents or friends. The more you research the subject the more confused you become. There are traditional anniversary gifts for every year of marriage, modern anniversary gifts, American anniversary gifts, UK anniversary gifts, and anniversary gifts based on ancient customs and ethnic rituals. There are flowers, gems, and colors designated for each year’s celebration and many do’s and don’ts, depending on whose authority you’re ready to accept.
Break away from predictable anniversary gifts
Cut through all the lists and conflicting advice and ignore what the anniversary couple already own or are getting from somebody else, and give an anniversary gift that will be:

* Appropriate
* Original
* Unique
* Personalized
* Great quality
* Long lastingThe best anniversary gift ever is a portrait. But I’m not talking about a simple photo enlargement mounted under glass in a typical frame. Far from it! I’m talking about an original painted portrait created from a digital photo. The subject of the painting doesn’t have to be the couple themselves; it can be a portrait of their children, their home, their pets, their garden, or their favorite vacation spot…as long as it’s something that they both cherish.
A picture is worth a thousand words
The anniversary gift that I’m suggesting only begins with a photograph. It’s what happens to the photograph that results in the perfect anniversary gift.
You will need the services of a good online art gallery; one that offers a wide range of sizes, mediums and styles. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how inexpensive the cost of an original painting from a photograph will be. You’ll have a choice of having your chosen digital photograph recreated as an oil painting, a watercolor, in acrylics, pastels, or as a line drawing.
Experienced artists paint the portrait or landscape on museum quality canvas using the best quality paints and art supplies. You choose the medium, the size, and the frame (or have it galley wrapped or simply shipped rolled for you to frame). You approve the painting before they ship so you are assured of a satisfying result.
The possibilities are so diverse that you can order several of these photo to painting portraits for anniversary gifts for all your friends and family. These unique paintings will be appreciated and enjoyed for a lifetime.

***Does Online Dating Lead To Marriage?

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***Does Online Dating Lead To Marriage?

By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.
Oh, the times, they are a-changing! This refrain is from a very famous Peter, Paul, and Mary song. And the truth is, people are finding love in different ways than they did is year’s past. Online dating is a reality today.
According to recent estimates – and we think they are pretty credible – one in eight couples who got married last year met online. Some think the number is closer to one in four. However, we see no evidence that this is the case. One in eight is much more likely to be true.
So here is the important question – is it appropriate and safe to meet online? Here is what we have learned.
First, there are lots of on-line dating services on the Internet. Try this experiment – Google “online dating” or some similarly related notion. You will be astounded by the number of services available on-line. Be you Christian, Jewish, Muslim, African-American, Russian, Asian, Caucasian, or any other ethnic or religious group of your persuasion, there is a dating service for you! Check it out. There seems to be something for everyone. Judging which dating services would be okay for you is not a simple thing to do.
Which leads us to the second major issue regarding online dating that may lead to marriage. Is it safe? Are there some basic “rules” you should follow when engaging in this activity? The answer is YES! If you were to Google “on-line safety tips,” you will find many sources of information regarding the do’s and don’ts of online dating. Some of these websites are very good. Others – not so much.
While there are many good ones, we have found the insights provided at to be particularly compelling. Reviewing the safety tips that are outlined is important as adherence to them could make the difference between a good and bad experience with online dating – between a safe experience and a dangerous one.
The third notion is, perhaps, the most important. Namely, can you find a better potential mate by online dating versus the more traditional ways of dating? Without a doubt, this is the toughest question of all, and there is not a simple answer.
Your answer to this question depends more on you and your interests, personality, and desires, than it does on anything else. On the one hand, have you reached your “wit’s end?” – have you given up on finding Mr. or Ms. Right in the “traditional” ways? Are you, out of some level of desperation, willing to choose an alternative route to find your true love? Or, perhaps, you simply don’t have the wherewithal or time to date in the traditional ways?
If any of the aforementioned reasons apply to you, online dating may be a possibility you should consider. The point is, you have to discover for yourself why online dating is FOR YOU and is preferable to other means. Only you can answer that question.
The simple truth is, the jury is still out when it comes to online dating, especially as it relates to marriage. And frankly, since the phenomenon of online dating is too new to determine it’s efficacy – its success rate as a means to marriage is still without a bonafide research base. In other words, there is no credible research one way or the other that suggests whether online dating leads to marriages that last – that stand the test of time – or those that do not.
“Do not go blindly into that good night” without some verification that the path you are choosing to follow is the right one for you. Having someone to love for a lifetime is a great place to be. Finding your way there requires much thought and reflection.
However you find your lover, however you find the one you choose to marry, you must do so deliberately, with much thought, and with an eye towards what will make you happy. Whether you get there through online dating or through more traditional means, it is most important that you get to a place you want to be, that makes you happy, that gives you fulfillment.
Perhaps, you can find someone to share your Golden Anniversary. There is nothing like finding your love for a lifetime. It doesn’t matter how you got there!
Love well. The simple things do matter.
By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
Authors of Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage
Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
Winner of the 2009 Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book
2009 Nautilus Book Awards Winner for Relationships

Flowers to Australia

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Flowers to Australia

Holiday gift basket for my sweet family
This is why it’s important to pick out unique gift. Not only will it be the only gift of that type given, yes it will also be something very thoughtful that the person will cherish and appreciate you. It’s true that most people even I also prefer to get gifts that are thoughtful rather than expensive. The more thought you put into a gift idea, the more unique and personal it will be. After you’ve got some good ideas, go to the Internet and start searching on your ideas, at sites.
To impress someone, you should choose perfect gift. I have some ideas about it. Baby gifts are a difficult thing to buy, because all relative people want to give some unique gift. We have so many ideas but most people buy the same thing. Most of the important things for baby, parents have already been purchased. For baby homemade gift like blanket with an embroidered name makes a great gift idea for any newborn. Handmade teddy bears are most suitable for newborn. Finding a great gift idea for your father can be quite difficult. Many fathers have already bought most things that they want. Try to find something special that helps build the bond between you and your father, my father likes branded shirts. Mother is a most important part of life, so it is necessary to choose a perfect gift for mother. Most of the ladies like handmade custom jewelry. In current time nobody like heavy traditional jewelry. So you should choose some light weighted jewelry. What does your friend like? Almost all my friends live far away so I usually make plan on mobile for meeting. My best friend means the world to me, so why not give him something different gift. Friendship bracelets are something new gift for young girls but the concept has grown up. Friendship bracelets come with crystals, pearls, most of my friend like these types of bracelets. You can buy bracelets with a charm that contains your friend’s name or initials.
Weddings are occasion to celebrate with a lot of fun, newly wedded couple should enjoy each function of his marriage because marriage comes one time in life. For newly wedded couple best gift is honeymoon package, because it’s natural they want to spend some time with each other. A birthday is always a special occasion. Hence, as a friend or philosopher or guide, it is your moral responsibility to cheer up the birthday boy/girl to his/her heart on this day. Birthday brings you the memories of that wonderful bond you shared with your friends and beloved over the years. Anniversary is the time to celebrate your happiness every year, It comes every year for checking your relationship. When you have to give anniversary gifts to a newly married couple, then also you need suggestions. If you don’t have an idea how to make your partner or an anniversary couples feel special and make the day memorable, for this you should search some sites for the best gifts and also you can discuss with your other friends. You can also order gift Online at Flowers Australia.

Montblanc and Cartier Pens: Ideal Gifts for Your Dear Ones

Montblanc and Cartier Pens: Ideal Gifts for Your Dear Ones

If you need to gift something special on an occasion that marks a milestone like wedding or anniversary or even retirement then pens can be an ideal choice. Moreover, when we are speaking of pens nothing can beat Cartier Pens. The brand is one of the finest manufacturers of ball pens and fountain pens. They are known for superior style and outstanding artisanship. These pens are recognized for its exquisite work and are available at almost any budget. The price range starts from $50 (app) and go all the way up to may be $9300, which are designed according to the customer needs. It is a brand, which is known to serve the royalty and offers pens as well as watches.

The exclusive editions from Cartier Pens include the Roadster, Louis, Diablo, Santos, Santos Ex, Cartier C, Trinity, and pens with charms. The pens are classy and elegant and are sure to please the person whom you are planning to gift this exclusive item. Most of the pens have a sleek and sturdy body except for a few. The color of the body comes mostly in black with a few exceptions of red, pink, steel, and white. The Diabolo De Cartier Pen is a composite ballpoint pen in black that has a platinum finish on the surface and comes with a blue cabochon on the cap. Again, the Diabolo Mini Pink is an equally captivating gift for females and come in pink with a pink cobochon in the cap.

If you are planning to gift, something timeless and exclusive then you can spare some thought for Montblanc writing instruments. These are not ordinary pens but they are something, which you can treasure for your whole life. There are different editions of ballpens in Montblanc’s collection they are: Montblanc Meisterstuck, Montblanc Starwalker Pens, Generation, Solitaire, Boheme, Etoile, and the Female line. Montblanc ballpoint pens exude class and sophistication and are one of the greatest corporate gift items. Whether it is your office colleague or your boss a pen from this brand will be ideal. There are ball pens as well as fountain pens from which you can choose the one you would prefer to gift.

Mont Blanc writing instruments are not just used for writing but it is a way of life, social class and status, which one can brag about. The pens are expensive, but they are definitely worth every penny. Whether one is using a ball pen or a fountain pen these always hold a great value to the one who owns it.  For the past 100 years, the German manufacturer has been constantly producing high quality instruments for writing. The brand is world famous and can be recognized instantly with the help of the logo of a white star. The writing instruments of this top class brand are a thing to treasure so if you have been gifted one then you should always cherish it.
Therefore, what are you waiting for, this season gift Montblanc ballpoint pens and make the people around you, happy and joyful. When you are shopping, you will definitely find a huge variety of these exclusive pens at any of the online stores, which stocks such high-class exclusive pens.

Select The Best Birthday Gifts for Your Beloved Person

Select The Best Birthday Gifts for Your Beloved Person

Gifts are the best way to express your emotions and truly convey your feelings & affection to the people you care for. We need a best gifts or gift items for birthday. Now a day buying online gifts is very new trend. Because it saves time as well as money both. If your are far from your family, friends and relatives you can choose this online option to send them gift on a special occasion and make them happy and surprised. Birthdays are always celebrated with full of hapiness and joy all over the world. A birthday is definitely a special occasion and calls for celebration. And when it’s your beloved’s birthday, you will try to find out the best gift to make it special. Giving gift is one of the ways of making your beloved feel special and loved one. Best Birthday gifts can be flowers, greeting cards, chocolates and you can also think of presenting a gift basket. Apart from that you can gift accessories, purses, perfumes, T-shirts and many more goodies to give a pleasant surprise to the birthday boy or girl.
There can be several ways to show your love to any of the one person who is very important in your life.Your beloved can be your lover, your girlfriend and even your wife, it is the person who chooses you to be with forever and you also decide to spend the entire life with her.It is also very important to show you love and respect to this person by giving unique gifts on her birthday. So that your beloved won’t forget that special moment till end of the life. It can be various things like flowers, chocolates or any gift which you can buy for them but you must choose the best as they are the best for you. Specially when the person is very special and close to you at such situation, you need to choose those gifts which gives a special touch to them, something that is cherished and feelings that are conveyed, and then treasured.
You can choose the best gift for your beloved through online shopping. With the increasing trend in the online shopping and online gift delivery services, you are able to find more suitable gifts for your beloved as they are available in variety and various choices like flowers, cakes, chocolates, cards, jwellery, apparels, teddy, qotation etc with a affordable price. Birthdays are cherished moments and bring a lot of fun.People enjoy birthday celebrations by hosting a party, inviting guests, decorating party themes with balloons, cutting birthday cakes and lastly, being showered with heart-warming gifts. Gifts have special significance to the people of all ages.Gifts add some extra essence to our relationship.Gift your beloved persons some of the exquisite gifts with the help of your creative ideas. The gifts are always attached with some emotions and it is always being appreciated.

Partying with Jesus (A sermon on John 12:1-11)

Partying with Jesus (A sermon on John 12:1-11)

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5“Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” 6(He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 7Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” 9When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 11since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus. (John 12:1-11)
I heard tell of a dinner party that took place to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of a particular couple, and all their family and friends were there, including the couple’s only daughter – now a middle-aged woman herself – and as the evening progressed and as speeches were made, the daughter was struck by the way that her father always referred to her mother as ‘dear’ or ‘sweetie’ or ‘honey’. When she got a moment alone with him she said to him, “Dad, I want to tell you that I am really touched by the way you always refer to mum using affectionate those terms – ‘sweetie’ and ‘dear’ and ‘honey’”, to which her father replied, “well … it might be different if I could just remember her damn name!”
Things are not always as they appear. This is something that we are all familiar with. I don’t mean to suggest that we are all familiar with forgetting our partner’s name (though others who have taken as many hits to the head as I have taken may be struggling in that department) but I suspect we are all familiar with those sorts of dinner parties where things are warm and friendly on the surface but where underneath there are a whole lot of other things going on.
Our Gospel reading today depicts just such a dinner party – a lovely cordial gathering in Bethany that was put together for Jesus by three of his best friends – Mary and Martha and their brother Lazarus.
Lazarus, if you remember, was the man Jesus famously raised from the dead, and it appears that this dinner may indeed have been organised, at least in part, to celebrate that incredible incident, as Lazarus appears to be seated alongside Jesus.
At any rate, however we construct the background to this particular party, it had all the hallmarks of a genteel and festive occasion. But things happened that night at the home of Mary and Martha – things that revealed what was really going on beneath the surface of this warm and festive occasion!
Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. (John 12:3)
This is the incident that completely transforms the party!
What was Mary doing?!
In terms of appropriate behaviour for a hostess, her actions are as difficult to excuse as they are to explain.
This story of a woman anointing the feet of Jesus with ointment and wiping His feet with her hair turns up in all four of our Gospels, and no wonder it stuck in the minds of each of those who recorded the stories of Jesus. The incident is outrageous!
It would still be outrageous if it happened today. I won’t bother trying to get you to imagine a similar thing happening at one of our church barbeques, with some local girl coming up and pouring ointment all over the feet of me or one of the wardens as it is ridiculous to think that such a thing could ever happen! Do you think it was any less ridiculous and unimaginable in first century Judea?
What was she thinking? We are told that Mary had around half a kilo of ‘real nard’, which is intended to distinguish it from the fake nard that you could pick up at the Bethany markets for a couple of shekels. Real nard apparently came from the mountains of northern India which explains why it was so expensive, and it’s suggested that the amount Mary poured out that night would have been worth the equivalent of a year’s wages for a normal working person!
Mary’s action is outrageously exorbitant, though at the same time it is a bit cheap, or at least she seems to be cheapening herself in the way she performs – falling all over Jesus’ feet and wiping them with her hair!
As I say, it would be unimaginably outrageous were this to happen in the context of one of our own formal dinners. Can you imagine how this would go down in a culture where women were never permitted to let their hair down in public?!
I note that this year they’ve had to re-route the Palestinian Marathon so that it by-passes Gaza as the Hamas authorities in Gaza, being conservative religious people, will not permit men and women to run together! They weren’t permitted to run together in Jesus’ day either! They weren’t permitted to run together and they weren’t permitted to even speak together in public. Women certainly weren’t permitted to fall all over a man’s feet in public and rub them with their hair!
In Luke’s retelling of this story (or, at least we assume it is a retelling of the same incident) the woman is unnamed and simply referred to as ‘a sinner’ (Luke 7:36) – the assumption being that she is a sex-worker. This would be the natural assumption you would make if you saw a young woman behave in this way!
Was this something that happened spontaneously? Surely Mary hadn’t planned on behaving like this? Was it just her gratitude to Jesus for having restored the life of her beloved brother or was it more than that? Was she besotted with Jesus?
The latter explanation seems intuitively attractive of course, and it fits with the earlier story we get of Mary (in Luke 10:38-42), sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to His teachings. We can imagine her sitting there, starry-eyed, besotted with Jesus.
Poor thing! She was only young. How could she resist falling in love with Jesus? Even so, surely she could have shown a little greater self-control in the way she expressed that love.
Now I appreciate that I am starting to speculate, and perhaps we shouldn’t make too many assumptions about Mary’s emotional state. Even so, Mary’s actions are hard to understand, and the only thing harder to fathom in this story than Mary’s outrageous expression of love is why Jesus doesn’t put a stop to it for the sake of Mary and for the sake of the rest of her family (even if He wasn’t worried about His own reputation)!
The reaction of the disciples is a little more predictable. Judas is credited as being the one to actually voice disapproval, though I imagine that each one of the disciples of Jesus would have been squirming in his seat.
Judas – ever the one for political correctness – makes no reference to the sensual nature of Mary’s actions but only refers to her outrageous extravagance: “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (John 12:5)
Judas’ comment once again reveals that there are things going on beneath the surface of this dinner party. There are tensions between Jesus and the disciples, and there were obviously tensions between the disciples themselves!
The Gospel writer adds a parenthetical comment of his own at this point, explaining that Judas didn’t really give a damn about poor but was interested in keeping the money for himself, and this comment does indeed help fill out the picture of greed and betrayal that was underlying the happy party-scene. Even so, this should not distract us from the fact that Judas’ question in and of itself was a pretty good one! Indeed, if it hadn’t been for John’s comments and for Jesus’ response you’d be forgiven for thinking, ‘hey, the disciples are really starting to get the message!’
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Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi gifst to India: A Bond that Lasts for a Lifetime

Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi gifst to India: A Bond that Lasts for a Lifetime

Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is a sacred festival which celebrates the sacred bond between brothers and sisters. The Rakhi is a symbol of peace and harmony and spreads the message of brotherhood. Exchanging Rakhi gifts to India on this occasion is a customary ritual which helps to express your heartiest feelings for your siblings.
Raksha Bandhan is a highly coveted festival amongst all Indians across the world. And wherever there is festivity, exchanging gifts is always customary. The Hindi word raksha signifies protection while bandhan means bond. Going by the traditional customs, it is an auspicious occasion when sisters tie sacred threads or amulets on the wrist of their beloved brothers to protect them from evil powers and to remind them of their duties towards family. If considered in true sense, it has a much broader perspective; the festival encompasses the true sense of peace and brotherhood. However celebrations are now no longer restricted to just brothers and sisters as friends also share rakhi amidst each other. It’s celebrated every year on a particular full moon day in the Hindu calendar known as Shravan Purnima which usually occurs in the month of August.
The festival of Raksha Bandhan also calls for great revelry and happiness. Preparations for this special day begin well in advance with men generally preferring to wear traditional attires like kurta pyjama while women prefer sari or salwar suits on this day. Girls perform the rituals by smearing kumkum and rice particles on her brother’s forehead and wish him good luck lighting a diya. Brothers pamper their sweet sisters by giving gifts that may vary from jewelry, apparel, cosmetics or even cash while sisters return the favor and depict love by presenting souvenirs or cooking their favorite dishes.
For those staying overseas, there are several options to send gifts to India for their siblings using courier or online services, thereby showing their love and concern for their brother/sister in spite of being miles apart. Sisters can send rakhis to their brothers online. There are a variety of rakhis available online to choose from such as fancy, zardosi and sandalwood ones or even exorbitant ones studded with pearl, gold, siver or even diamonds. Apart from these, there are plenty of designer rakhis available online which are exquisitely special in their own way. Such rakhis come in a riot of colors and are intricately woven with care.
While choosing a gift, you should consider the style and preferences of your brother or sister. There are several offers on the internet during this time to help you choose your presents. They mainly consist of a variety of delicious sweets though chocolates and cookies can be a good alternative. Apart from delicacies, jewelry items for your sister are also popular. For your brother, apparels make for conventional ideas and depending on this style of dressing, one can choose from traditional Indian wear to Western wear. Accessories such as sunglasses, watches, ties, wallets and belts or a compilation of his favorite music and movies can be a personal and effective gift while books are one of the oldest yet priceless gifts.
During rakhi, there are special deals on offer which allow you to purchase stuffs at reasonable rates or under a combo offer such as a complete Rakhi thali. Presents are a reflection of our feelings for the loved ones thus it should have a quality of expression. The price tag of your Rakhi gifts to India is insignificant as long as it is creative, innovative and expressive!

Most of Life Is Rowing

Most of Life Is Rowing

My grandfather was a man who lived a rich life. A shipbuilder by trade, he was one of 11 children born in rural Nova Scotia.
Grandfather was a quiet man, a deeply religious man and, perhaps most of all, a person of significant character. Once when I was in high school, my grandfather invited me to go on a rowing trip with him. He loved the sea and told me that this particular evening promised a glorious sunset. “Would you be interested in going on a rowing trip with me to visit a tiny cove I’m sure you’ve not seen?” he inquired. Looking outside, wiping the sweat from my teenaged forehead, I suggested that 95 degrees was not the perfect time for a long rowing trip and said another time would be better. “Ah,” he said, “another time is for young men. Let’s do it now.”
With that clarity of perspective, off we went on what would turn out to be a nonstop row of more than an hour. Given that he was in his seventies and I a mere fifteen, the rowing naturally fell on my shoulders. All during our trip to that cove, he was chiding me to go faster else we miss the promised sunset. “Chop, chop,” he piped up. Sweating profusely, I diligently rowed until more than an hour had passed and we turned a corner beyond a tiny point of land and into the promised cove. Moments later, the sky burst into an orange-purple blaze. My grandfather was right, the cove and the sunset were both breathtaking. The scene is one I will never forget.
We were there, however, for no more than a couple of minutes when my grandfather said, “Well, let’s head back now.”
Incredulous, I protested. “Granddad, you were right, it is beautiful here. But look at me, I’m dying — let’s stay for a while.”
“No,” he said, “they’ll have made dinner for us and we’re already late. We ought to think of others, not just ourselves. Besides, we’ve seen it and this beautiful sunset will follow us home.”
Hands on the oars, I began the journey back. With each pull I renewed my complaining: “It was nice, but not worth all that rowing… This boat is too old and needs new oars… The current’s too strong today… You’re the big shipbuilder — why don’t you take a turn rowing?” On and on I went. My grandfather merely sat quietly, enjoying the sunset.
Finally, after about thirty minutes he gazed at me and quietly said, “John, put the oars down, would you?”
With the oars in the boat he stared me in the face: “I want to tell you something today, something I very much hope you will remember. John, most of life is rowing and if you don’t learn to be good at — and enjoy — the rowing, you will grow up to be a very unhappy man. Now put your hands on the wood and take me home.”
I would love to tell you that the scales fell from my eyes in that moment and my life was lived differently from then until now. But that would not be true. At the time, those words seemed like the babblings of an old shipbuilder about to make his last sail. But thirty years have passed and I know now what he meant.
Life is mostly rowing. There are, of course, moments of ecstasy, but most of life is made up of simpler moments. A walk on the beach, a glancing view of a beautiful cornfield out an airplane window, the first time you see your child steal a base, a conversation where you know your words helped a friend, lying in a tent by a river with the few people you love most, the good feeling at the end of a hard day at work when you know your efforts were not in vain. It is precisely our ability to be present and enjoy those moments that makes life worth living. We can spend our entire lives trying to get from one big sunset to the next and miss a whole lot of great living in between. Sure those great sunsets are wonderful, but they are the icing, not the cake.
And it is not the big things that determine our success in the many realms of our life. Marriages are not built on the big anniversary trip to Hawaii or the special gift that marks a date. It is in the rowing that marriages are made and broken, in the daily honoring of life together. Parents do not raise children well because of the camping trip taken once each year to provide “quality time.” Rather it is in the rowing moments, simple exchanges that occur thousands of times over the years that our children learn the lessons they will need to live a life uncommon. Leaders do not earn their stripes at the annual meeting when they give a rousing speech that inspires the masses, but in the daily way their rowing inspires a sense of pride and respect among those whom they lead.
But how do we begin to get better at the rowing and to appreciate the simpler pleasures it has to offer? How do we reclaim the innocence, faith and wonder with which we were graced when we came into the world?
It seems to me that it begins with realizing that life is not about where we are going as much as it is about being where we are. How much of our lives are lived with the future as our focus — saving for retirement, waiting for the weekend, counting the days until vacation, looking forward to graduation, the next promotion. We seem destined to believe life will be better when we finally get there.
When we choose to believe that each moment, however simple, offers as much to us as the great shining moment of ecstasy, we begin to experience our lives in a different way.
What part of the rowing must you pay more attention to? Are you enjoying the moments of your life fully or waiting for some future sunset when life will be what you desire it to be?

Getting Our Anniversary All The Way To Happy

Getting Our Anniversary All The Way To Happy

Today, my partner and I celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary (OK . . . I’ll admit it: we were both late bloomers and re-treads). As usual, these annual celebrations present an opportunity to look back over the years, to see what worked well (and what worked not-so-well), to take stock of how far we’ve come, and, most of all to express gratitude to our Higher Power and to one another for our very many blessings. Making a life-long commitment in the midst of the midlife transition does offer a number of advantages over going through the transition while struggling to make a relationship work: at least we had the advantage of leaving most of the starry-eyed stuff in the hope chest of faded memories.
Those young couples who ‚get it right’ the first time are becoming an increasingly rare breed — almost miraculous, in fact. Based on the statistics, you’d think that the harbingers of doom out there are right when they so loudly proclaim that ‚the family is in trouble.’ They blame it on all sorts of pressures and distractions that afflict today’s families and, I’ve got to admint that today’s couples do, indeed have many more pressures to deal with than they did fifty or a hundred years ago. Yet, I don’t believe that you can pin the blame for failed relationships on the pressures of family life alone. Much of it has to be laid at the feet of an increasingly ineffective midlife transition.
Once you’ve accepted the fact that you can define ‚adulthood’ as ‚childhood without the parental constraints,’ you begin to see the seeds of the problem right away: too many people go into marriages that are founded upon little more than hopes, feelings, and wishful thinking. Our cultural preoccupation with individuality and personal privacy does little to disrupt these TV sitcom-style belief systems. Who’ll show you the difference between ‚love’ and ‚romance’? Maybe you’ve seen those facts of life spread across a kitchen apron somewhere: „Kissin’ Don’t Last . . . Cookin’ Do!”? (Remember that jokes are only funny because they’re true.) The difference between love and romance hinges on the fact that love is a decision; romance is a feeling.
Feelings, particularly strong ones, fade over a relatively short time. Mass marketers rely strongly on that fact. If you see or hear a particularly annoying commercial over a long enough period of time, your annoyance will fade, but you’ll remember the advertiser when you’re thinking about their product or service. Romantic love and hate are not opposites: they’re the same emotions only expressed in different directions. The opposite of romantic love is indifference. When romantic love fades (as it absolutely must), what’s left behind should be the decision to commit to one another. Have you ever heard someone say, „I love him/her, but I’m not in love with him/her”? That’s not necessarily a bad thing — in fact, it’s a very important phase of relationship-building — but for many relationships, it spells the beginning of the end.
Since the untransformed adult (really the ‚adult child’) bases most of his or her decisions on what it feels like, when the Cinderella clock strikes twelve, the time comes to cut and run. There’s another factor that I need to mention here, and that’s the rather obvious but sad fact: that one person can’t have a relationship. That implies that if your partner completely gives up on your relationship, there’s nothing you can do all by yourself to save it. It’s only if both of you have entered into the personal transformation that we call the midlife transition that your relationship can similarly transform from a decision based on feelings to feelings based on a decision.
For the sake of argument, let’s shift the scenario from the love of one partner for another, to the love of a parent for his or her child. For the vast majority of people who are capable of experiencing parental love, they experience that love as unconditional. At some point between birth and the teenage years, these parents make a transition from the emotional high of new parenthood to the acceptance of parental responsibility as an expression of their love and commitment to their child. Even should it come down to a decision to throw the youngster out of the house, the pain the parent feels comes from his or her unconditional acceptance of the child. Anger, even hatred, arises from frustration and disappointment in both the child and themselves. Yet, generally, regardless of the circumstances, their commitment to their child remains, holding out life-long hope that the person on the other side of their parental bond will change his or her mind.
I’m not saying that, to have a truly mature relationship, a person has to carry a hopeless torch for a lost loved one. However, when both parties in that relationship decide to carry that torch for the other, regardless of how dimly it may be burning, each will learn a great deal about the other and, in the process, they’ll come to learn even more about themselves. They’ll come to appreciate a little bit more each day the gifts that they themselves have to offer their partners and, therefore their world. In the struggle to bear their relationship through the difficult transitions that they themselves are experiencing, they’ll find that their love has deepened and transformed with it, to the point that, almost at will, they can summon the emotion — the passion — that they feel for one another. Every year, they can stop, think about how far they’ve come, and truly celebrate their choice to maintain their commitment ‚for better or worse’ and to be grateful to each other for summoning the courage to have held on to that commitment for one . . . more . . . year.

Wedding Attire for Bride and Groom in Marathi Matrimony

Wedding Attire for Bride and Groom in Marathi Matrimony

The Indian culture is amalgamation of various cultures, each representing different colours of India. Various communities residing in India follow their own rituals and customs when it comes to celebrate a wedding. Impact of regional variations can be clearly seen in the pattern of performing a wedding in India.
The Maharashtrian community is one of those Indian communities which follow the simple way to conduct a wedding. The culture of Maharashtra is a mix of the Aryan and Dravidian culture. The impact of both north Indian and south Indian culture can be clearly seen in the food habits, wedding rituals and other customs. The wedding rituals in Marathi Matrimony are known as sacraments. A wedding in the Marathi community is usually performed during the day time, which is considered as the best time to conduct a marriage.
Like other Indian communities, marriages with other communities or caste are not much appreciated in the Marathi matrimony, and marital alliances are usually fixed with the same community. The Maharashtrians have faith in arranged marriages, where the parents find the perfect match for their children, with their consent. According to the Maharashtrians, marriage binds two souls together not only for one life, but for the coming seven lives. A wedding alliance unites two families, and makes the partners believe in the institution of marriage.
It is believed that such alliances help the community and its members to grow and progress. A matrimonial time in India is celebrated as a festive occasion, when the family members, relatives and friends involved in the wedding get the chance to flaunt their traditional clothes. It is the day for a bride and a groom to look the best of all and be the center of attraction for all.
Wedding Attire for a Marathi Bride
A Marathi bride is an idol of femininity, which very nicely represents the Indian bride. For the wedding day, the Marathi brides wear bottle green nine yard long sari, draped in a typical Marathi style. Generally the bride in Maharashtra wear Paithani sari, which is a Maharashtrian patterned sari, having intricate designs of gold and silver threads, and have beautifully, embroidered borders in golden. Some of the brides in Marathi matrimony also wear green Kanchipuram sari, which give a gorgeous look to the bride.
Hair of the bride is neatly tied to form a bun, which is decorated with the bunch of jasmine flowers. The Marathi brides wear simple jewellery for their wedding. The bottle green wedding attire is beautifully accessorized with strands of pearl. The brides wear thin strands of pearls on their forehead, necklace made up of gold and pearls, and a gold nose ring studded with nine pearls. The earring worn by the bride contains seven pearls
The bride also wears a set of green bangles paired with gold bangles in Marathi matrimony. The bangle set is known as chooda, and is the sign of the marital status of a bride. Beautiful waist band made up of gold, and silver toe ring are also worn by the Marathi brides.
A Marathi groom dons traditional dhoti kurta, preferably white or off-white. The kurta is embroidered, and sometimes has some stone work. A Marathi groom wears gold rings in his fingers, and pearl beads around the neck. A large piece of cloth is kept on the right shoulders of the groom, which is tied to bride’s sari and then the seven steps are taken, when the bride and groom make promises to each other.
The bride and groom also apply designs of henna on their palms as a sign of fertility and prosperity. The rituals and customs followed in Marathi matrimony are quite similar to other Hindu wedding, but the regional impact adds beauty to it.