Let It Go: Learning to Let Go Of My Holiday Expectations

LET IT GO LET IT GO

This hugely popular song from the movie *Frozen* has become my constant reminder and mantra as my own life’s transitions have taken place over these past years – especially during the holiday season – and I hope my own story today will be helpful as you work through the life stage you might be going through with your own children.

Where to start?

First, there were our 3 children becoming post-college grads and me working through the stage of… “What? You are staying in the mountains for Christmas?” Or, “You and your work friends are going on a Christmas cruise?” Or, “Really, you can’t get away from work to come home – not even for a few days?”

 Let it go, Mitzi, let it go.

Then the weddings happened and our adult “children” had other commitments to their spouses’ families, of course…..but my mother’s heart was saying, “Will things ever be the same again?” I already knew the answer, “No, of course not – they will never be the same.” I shed a tear.. or five. 
And even today, honestly and selfishly, I still cling to the hope that in some way, the holidays will allow me, the mother, to have all my family together in my home again- enjoying each other and doing what we always had done.

Do you harbor these feelings, too, if you’re in the same boat?

 Let it go, Mitzi, let it go.

Gloriously, the next stage was when the grand babies began to arrive. Now, we had a totally new set of dynamics to cope with regarding who was staying in their own homes and who would and could travel.

Bob and I raised very independent children and when they proclaimed they would be in their own homes for Christmas, with their own children, I knew then that my family Christmases in our own home were now over probably forever. So I prayed..

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 Let it go, Mitzi, let it go.

 Through my tears, I eventually came to the realization that Bob and I would never again be spending zillions of hours decorating our home, setting up guest rooms, baking, planning for meals, cooking, in addition to serving and cleaning up and, even though we both cherished it all, I can now finally proclaim that we love this aspect of our evolving lifestyle and I still love cooking for Bob and I and a few friends at the holidays.

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And today, the veil of sadness descends only once in awhile – and we await with huge anticipation those infrequent times we can all be together in our home in Wichita, Kansas at Christmas time and we travel as much as we can to where our children are. 

This is huge progress for me and I have really learned to just…

Let it go, Mitzi, let it go.

I’m happy to share that new traditions are now in place in my children’s own homes and they still keep alive some of our long time family traditions, too. And, just like our own evolving life stages, I hope these traditions continue to evolve as my childrens’ families grow and change course on holidays.

Now, I help with the huge holiday dinners. My daughter and 2 daughter- in- laws are all fabulous cooks. They carry on our family traditions by setting lovely tables with delicious traditional holiday recipes- and I can’t tell you how blessed I am to have these 3 beautiful women below in my life.

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I relish getting to enjoy the meal with my grandchildren, adult children and their spouses, and marvel at how they are making their own traditions many of which have been passed down by our own and also their spouse’s families. I now treasure in my Boomer heart the continuation of family rituals through their plans and perspectives while giving me the gift of experiencing them without all the endless work.

 Each family decorates for Christmas with many of our own family decorations handed down to them to cherish for their memory making connectedness. It’s such a joy to see their trees, glowing with light after a family meal together, everyone safe and sound. I know how lucky and blessed I am. 

We have always had the Christmas morning egg strata casserole while during or opening presents and this is still happening. Christmas Eve has been a prime rib meal since my kids were in grade school and still happens today. But now, this very festive and special meal is planned around which Christmas Eve church service works for the majority of the 9 grandchildren’s ages.

 My “girls” set a fabulous table that sets the mood that something very special is about to occur. Everyone loves this meal experience – even hearing the oohs and aahs from the children’s table brings a smile to this grandmother’s memory bank. 

On their adult own, they decide who will host and who will bring what dishes. They have taken the traditional baton and run with it in grace and style – making this mother and mother- in- law so very proud.

As for decorating for Christmas, at this empty nest stage, I bring Christmas to our home in Wichita, that we call Cypress, by inviting close friends for a fireside glass of wine and goodies, and they express their joy to me by saying, “Oh Mitzi, I love this time together, one of my favorite times of Christmas”.

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And here’s the secret:

 Let it go, Mitzi, Let it go 

meaning now, let go of having to have complicated time consuming foods, the house perfectly decorated or the need to have it in perfect order…clean yes…perfect…no.

And this Christmas, all the families will be with their spouse’s families as we trade each year for Thanksgiving or Christmas so we can all take turns being together. What a brilliant plan they set in motion from the beginning of their married lives.

Since we had a marvelously wonderful Colorado Thanksgiving with all 17 of us together, what will Bob and I do for our Christmas without our children and grandchildren? We will have Christmas with my mom who turns 92 on the 28th. With my sister, husband, and nephew, the 6 of us will do prime rib and our traditional Christmas meal. Here’s a picture of my sister and I with our mother from Mother’s Day this year.

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Only this year, I asked if I could cook them the version from my Holiday Deliciousness e-cookbook [ available for free for your families, too, as a download, on https://mitzibeach.com ] and they said,“YES!” It’s the same exact traditional meal without tons of sugars, fat, and calories.

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So, as I prepare, I am saying…

 Yes, let it go, Mitzi, let it go – but only the unrealistic expectations.

I will never ever let go of the hope of this season and sharing my love and joy in new ways at this new life stage, and I know I’m not alone, as every life stage presents us all with new opportunities, new freedoms, and best of all, new found joy in enjoying exactly where we are in life at this holiday season and all year round.

I’d love for you to share your own stories of having to learn to let go in the comments on this post. It would be so helpful for me to read about your own experiences.

Thank you!

Happy Holidays

Mitzi Beach, ASID, NCIDQ, CAPS

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Healthy Holiday Beef

Today’s vlog is from my video archives, circa 2012. Check it out for my healthy take on a special beef meal, perfect for the holidays. Excuse the amateur quality, but I couldn’t help but share one of my favorite recipes with you!

Plus, if you sign up for my email list, you’ll receive a FREE download of my Holiday Deliciousness cookbook, complete with this recipe and many more tasty, healthy meals. Just go to my homepage, and enter your email address into the box. It’s that easy!

P.S. Stay tuned for my truffle pie recipe in a few days!

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Bob Restores Walnut Island

In today’s #BoomerSmarts Saturday vlog, my favorite special guest, Bob, shows you how to restore a solid walnut counter top island. I love sharing DIY tips with you, so I thought this would be another great “how to” lesson! Check out the video for more on how we keep our counter tops looking shiny and new at Cypress.

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Faith and Energy: The Keys To My Work/Life Balance

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 10.47.29 AMHi, Mitzi’s friends, this is Leslie, sharing a bit with you today about what Mitzi and I have been talking about these last two months: how she balances her busy professional schedule with time for herself, her husband, her family and friends.

Do any of you wonder how she does it? I have to admit, I often do, but she does it with such grace and aplomb and energy that I thought you might be interested in some of her top tips for work/life balance when you’re a baby boomer with multiple family responsibilities and a busy professional life, too.

The lead picture you see above was taken this weekend, as Mitzi and Bob visited with their 3 children and 9 grandchildren – 8 girls and 1 boy! – who were able to all be together, in Denver, on Thanksgiving. So precious!

So, what is her secret for managing her busy, busy life, yet making it all seem effortless?

Mitzi would tell you it’s first because of her strong faith and the fact she starts each day in walking prayer.  This helps her set her intentions for the week ahead, get exercise and stay grounded in the midst of everything that requires her attention during the day.

Secondly, she would tell you it’s due to her life long habit of healthy cooking and eating.

She shared the recipe for this delicious, healthy and hearty winter soup she makes for she and Bob, here.
Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 11.30.49 AMAnd she’s developed a Healthy Holiday e-cookbook for you, available as a FREE PDF download, in exchange for your email. If you’d like to get it, please click through to

https://mitzibeach.com and enter your email address in the white blank you will see on the front of her homepage. That’s all there is to it. Once you do that, you will receive an email confirmation  in your inbox from Mitzi with the download link.

Click that download link and you’re on your way to healthy, energy giving holiday deliciousness!

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 Mitzi also tells me her wonderful husband, Bob, who supports her endeavors in every way possible, while still maintaining his own career, too, helps her stay balanced and sane. Bob is affectionately known as *Bob the Builder* because of his love for and skill in building and renovating their beautiful home in Wichita, Kansas they’ve nicknamed CYPRESS.

Who recognizes Tessie?

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It is a living laboratory for all the principles of #BoomerSmarts housing and design that Mitzi speaks about when she’s educating her fellow designers all over the country via her popular #BoomerSmarts CEU series [ also now available for 24/7 on-demand viewing by clicking this link: https://mitzibeach.com/ceu-classes/online-ceu-sign-up/. ]

Mitzi recently received this lovely testimonial from a woman who took her 4 hour CEU online, a real estate agent who was wanting to educate herself.

 “I actually have an appointment tomorrow night with a prospective buyer who is looking either for a home with an in-law suite for her parents (mom has Alzheimers) and that is also relatively accessible for a special needs child, or two homes close together that meet those criteria.  I feel more prepared to ask good questions and help them find the right home(s). “

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Mitzi and Bob have also started making videos together for Mitzi’s video channel on The Design Network.  It takes a lot of respect, kindness and appreciation for each others talents to keep a long time marriage together and make it thrive. Mitzi and Bob continue to work together on re-pointing the bricks in their rock solid foundation.

Click the screenshot below to see Bob explaining how he built the pergola outside their home -it’s a treasure.

I think Mitzi and Bob are the perfect boomer couple for a Home Depot or Loewes ad campaign, don’t you? 

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Mitzi also makes time for her women friends and she tells me that this keeps her sane and balanced, too. Where would be without them?

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And then there’s Mitzi’s charitable work [for her church -not to mention the woman that is living with she and Bob that fell on hard times] and interior design client work, locally, that balances all the travel she does.

Mitzi loves helping others in her hometown of Wichita make their home #BoomerSmarts so they can stay in it as long as they would like. She’s a 30 year professional member of ASID, has her NCIDQ certification, has been CAPS certified for 8 years and also has her Masters In Interior Design.

No wonder her clients appreciate  her!

Mitzi is an expert at showing others how chic, practical and #BoomerSmarts furniture, appliances, kitchen and bath items, etc. will work in a home, without making her clients feel old, and yet gently guiding them to those items that will be able to accomodate their evolving needs. 

In this video below, Mitzi explains how she was so happy to be the designer of this kitchen and home featured on the Junior League of Wichita’s Home Tour last year to benefit abused children. 

Click the picture below to see the You Tube video of the gorgeous #BoomerSmarts kitchen and sunroom Mitzi designed for the Rosell’s – who kindly allowed their home to be part of this tour.

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All of this fuels Mitzi’s ability to be balanced, present and mindful for the work she does across the country, helping both baby boomer consumers, real estate agents, real estate developers and agents and her fellow designers – who serve this population in other parts of the country – understand how to prepare for -and market to – The Silver Tsunami.  

Whether at #HPMKt, as an official StyleSpotter bringing her fellow boomers her top finds for #BoomerSmarts Living, or as seen in this Trend Report

http://press.highpointmarket.org/downloads/HPMAFall14StyleReport.pdf

  Mitzi has a passion for helping others know that aging in place can also mean aging with grace~ 

Mitzi practices what she preaches in living the principles of #wellnessindesign, a movement sweeping across the country now for Baby Boomers -one in which she has been instrumental in leading for many years.

She is so passionate that, even amongst her activity, she never feels off balance and loves delivering her CEU’s offline to designers around the country.

Here she is in Houston with Amy Collier of Legrand, who kindly sponsored Mitzi’s CEU at the Houston Design Centers’ Fall Market event. 

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above in Dallas in September

and below in Rochester, New York, two weeks ago.

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Out of town travel, speaking, and educating is not work for Mitzi, it is her fuel and her passion and I hope today’s post helps you see how Mitzi’s exterior life is fed by deeper wells of faith, family, caring and connection within her local community first, so that, when she arrives ready to attend a major blogger tour like Modenus’ #BlogTourVegas to #KBIS2015,  speak at a major event like #KBISNeXT in Las Vegas, or speak at the Design Bloggers Conference in February in Atlanta, she’s able to bring her A Game to YOU, full of insights and information that will help YOU propel your lives and/or your own businesses powerfully forward in 2015.

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Leslie Carothers

for

Mitzi Beach, ASID, NCIDQ, CAPS

#BoomerSmarts  

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My Secret Weapon: Kick-Butt Soup!

I love soup. I make soup. I create new soups.

And I believe soups are one of our most effective weapons for the battles of fighting flu and colds, getting easy nutrition fast, a huge weapon for me on weight control, and can be cooked ahead for MANY meals.

But, the big BUT in my kick butt soups are :

Continue reading

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Design Vlog: To Keep it or Toss it?

Today, we continue our Cypress design series with a conversation about decluttering. Join me as I share how I evaluate which items to keep and which items to toss.

Continue reading

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DIY Backyard Pergola

In continuing on with our DIY theme for #BoomerSmarts Saturdays, today’s vlog is all about how Bob built our backyard pergola at Cypress. He’ll not only explain the steps and materials he’s used to construct it so far, but also how he plans to finish the project. Since I’m a big fan of sanctuary spaces, this area will be so perfect for our home once it’s finished! Check out the video for more.

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Thank You Houston Design Center!

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 4.20.34 PMHi Mitzi’s readers, this is Leslie writing on behalf of Mitzi to thank everyone who has made her recent CEU course given in Houston such a joy for her and to also share a bit about what Mitzi has coming up if you are a designer reader of Mitzi’s blog and desire to further your education to become a #BoomerSmarts Certified Expert in your local areas. 

For all of you who are not designers, but are Mitzi’s regular readers, I hope you will enjoy seeing how Mitzi is helping American designers around the country understand your unique needs and how best to serve them so you can stay in your own homes as long as you would like. 

First of all, Mitzi and I would like to thank Sheri Roane, pictured above, who arranged for Mitzi to be the featured guest on Day 2 of the Houston Design Center‘s Fall Market.

And thank you to Amy Collier, the Texas representative of Legrand North America’s ADORNE lighting line, who underwrote Mitzi’s CEU on Homes Of The Future so it could be free for Houston designers to attend and Peggy McGowen, the owner of Houston’s premier luxury kitchen and bath showroom, Kitchen and Bath Concepts, who graciously hosted Mitzi’s CEU and the panel discussion afterwards and had her staff prepare a delicious breakfast buffet for everyone who attended.

Amy has, from the beginning, supported Mitzi’s efforts to work with brands who want to reach all of you who trust Mitzi to be your guide for the best in #BoomerSmarts products for your homes. 

Amy Collier on the left in the picture below and Peggy McGowen [and your team]  on the right and Sheri: thank you for helping to plan and execute such a gracious, educational and fun day for #DesignHouston at the Houston Design Center and for including Mitzi as part of it.

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Mitzi has given Legrand North America the right to use her #BoomerSmarts Product seal of approval badge, below, in their own marketing materials for their WAVE lighting switch you see below on the left. For more on the WAVE and why it is so #BoomerSmarts for use in your own homes or the homes of your clients if you’re a designer reader of Mitzi’s blog, please click on this post:

https://mitzibeach.com/adorne-wave-light-switch-boomer-smarts-seal-of-approval-badge/

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There were many fun moments at the Houston Design Center’s Fall Market and one of the best ones, for me, was listening to their panel. Peggy McGowen is the former National President of the National Kitchen and Bath Association and she and Mitzi and Amy were talking about Designing For Life and how it’s so important for designers to consider that multi-generational housing is becoming ever more the norm and that the needs of all ages must be considered when selecting kitchen and bath appliances, lighting, finishes and furniture.

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 4.19.30 PMHere’s Amy sharing Legrand’s products with one of the designers who attended this panel discussion.

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Many Houston designers attended, like Mary Tritico Wilson on the left, former President of the ASID Texas Gulf Coast chapter as well as those who support Houston’s luxury market – like Siri Roark on the right below, who works with Houston Design Resources, a gorgeous print publication that informs Houston’s consumers of the best in luxury products for their homes. 

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After both events, the owners of the Bunch and Shoemaker showroom, shown below with Mitzi [who represent Hickory Chair, Henredon, Century Furniture and others in Houston]  hosted a lovely lunch for everyone who attended and Mitzi spoke for a few minutes on some of the trends she saw at High Point Market and what it was like for her to be a High Point Market Style Spotter. She also invited all of the designers present to apply if they were interested in being a Style Spotter for 2015.

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From both Mitzi and I, again, many,many thanks to all of you who helped make this day so special.

For those of you who are regular readers of Mitzi’s blog and/or designers, Mitzi and I invite you over to see her videos about living #BoomerSmarts on her video channel on The Design Network by clicking here. If you’re not certain how to subscribe to her channel, please click the link below for easy 1,2,3 instructions:

https://mitzibeach.com/3-easy-steps-to-subscribe-to-my-boomer-smarts-video-channel-on-the-design-network/

UPCOMING NEWS!

For all of Mitzi’s designer friends that have asked: Mitzi’s CEU’s will also be available online on her new Go To Training channel starting next Monday, November 10th. You will be able to sign up for them via her Go To Training site using Pay Pal and schedule them at your convenience.

There will be 2 1 hour IDCEC/NKBA approved CEU’s available online as well as Mitzi’s IDCEC/NKBA approved 4 hour CEU, which will be available to take in 1 hour increments.

Watch for more information on these next week.

In the meantime, thank you again to all who care about Mitzi’s vision for wellness in design and housing and are helping her spread her message about serving America’s 80 million baby boomers – who desire to live in their own homes as long as they would like – surrounded by loving families and trusted communities of friends and with chic products designed to change with their evolving needs.

Leslie Carothers

for

Mitzi Beach, ASID, NCIDQ, CAPS

Masters In Interior Design

Wichita, Kansas

#BoomerSmarts 

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DIY Trashcan Cover-Up

#BoomerSmarts Saturdays are all about bringing you tips, tricks and projects for your home and every day life, and this week is no different. In today’s vlog my husband, Bob, joins me as a special guest to show you our latest Cypress DIY project: a gated cover-up area to hide our outdoor garbage cans. Check out the video to get a Bob’s step-by-step process on building this area, as well as a look at some of the materials he’s using.

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Houston Design Center’s Fall Market

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I am so grateful to Amy Collier, pictured here, the Texas representative for ADORNE lighting by Legrand North America for underwriting my CEU on #BoomerSmarts Homes of the Future today — making it free for Houston area interior designers to attend.

I’m having a great time here in Houston and everyone at the Houston Design Center has made me feel welcomed, including Sheri Roane and one of the center’s new owners, Fred Baca, pictured below.

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Fred and I had a wonderful conversation yesterday at Charlotte Nail’s beautiful showroom full of fine French antiques, after the converation there between Atlanta designer and author, Nancy Braithwaithe and Christie’s Houston representative, Jessica Phifer.

Charlotte is on the left in the picture below, with Nancy in the middle and Jessica on the right. 

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Here’s Holly Moore , the founder and editor in chief of Houston and Dallas’ well known Paper City magazine, helping me with one of Nancy’s beautiful new books, titled SIMPLICITY. 
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Nancy’s presentation was wonderful and I loved the way she used slides of her own daughter dressed in different fashion combinations to demonstrate the principles of great design she was discussing. 

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Now, today, I will have the opportunity to share with Houston area designers and once again, I want to thank my hosts and my fellow panelists, Peggy McGowen, the owner of Houston’s premier luxury kitchen and bath showroom, Kitchen and Bath Concepts, and Amy Collier of Legrand North America for making this wonderful opportunity available for me to share what it means to live #BoomerSmarts. 

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Here’s today’s schedule.

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To my friend Joe Ruggiero, Sr. who designs a line using Sunbrella fabrics for Miles Talbott that I stylespotted at #HPMkt, this picture is for you.

 Joe’s line is sold at the Houston Design Center at Charles Ray and Associates. 

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For more of my #HPMkt StyleSpotter pics, please see this post.

I’m looking forward after these events today, to having lunch with Houston area designers, being graciously hosted at Bunch and Shoemaker’s showroom, to share with them about my #HPMkt Style Spotter experience, in case they would like to apply.

And one last picture:

Houston designers, please don’t miss seeing these color full , well made utility bar, manufactured by my friend Stacy Kunstel of Dunes and Duchess and carried in Houston by Lighting, Inc.

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Also,

If  you can’t be here today for my IDCEC approved CEU, please look for all of them online, starting next week!

Thank you, Houston, for your warm welcome and hospitality.

Mitzi Beach, ASID, CAPS, NCIDQ

Masters in Interior Design

#BoomerSmarts

 

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