Sometimes you need an extra smile. Sometimes those around you need an extra laugh. Sometimes you need to make extra memories.

Sometimes… you need to wear a red hat.


Last Wednesday evening, feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and rather emotional, I talked with Dad and Mom about all I needed to get accomplished the next day. A ginormous amount of Christmas-candy (supposed-to-be-fun-stuff!) to be prepared, a messy house to clean and tidy, two days worth of laundry to be washed and put away, meals to think-through and concoct, a home to manage, music ministry opportunities for which to practice… All of this crowded my tired brain, along with the thought that Mom and Amanda would be unavailable due to important wedding preparations, and Jessi was taking Victoria, Susanna, and the littles out to run errands for the morning and possibly a portion of the afternoon.  That left Lauren and I. Hmmmm.

As we neared the end of our conversation, knowing the lack of joy I was feeling, Dad gave me one of his gentle, almost mischievous smiles and said “You know what? While you do all of that, I think it would be really cool if you wore one of Cocoa’s chef hats!”

Now, to be brutally honest, the idea was not my first choice. I have never considered myself to be a hat person… and… a chef’s hat?! You know, one of those tall things that makes your head appear as though it were an acre of mushy earth under a host of rotting leaves in a damp forest that has sprouted one of those nasty, smushy, gray species of fungus. Uggghh!


But, as always, Dad’s little piece of advice was a good one. Lauren and I had so much fun that day, working together to bless our precious family.

And, you might be interested to know, the hat wasn’t so awful after all. It sparked many giggles and memories, and helped keep me reminded to enjoy the special moments the Lord gives me.

So, maybe today you need to wear a red hat. Or a purple one. Or maybe even a florescent, hurt-your-eyes-when-you-glance-at-it orange one! Maybe today you need a rekindling of joy in your heart as you labor for those you love.

The blessings of the Lord are all around you. Find something for which to be grateful and smile at it.

Or… wear a red hat.

A little taste of our efforts... chocolate covered cherries! A Neely Christmas favorite!Oreo balls in the worksYum!

Oreo balls completed!:-D - For our eldest brother and sister - We love you!