The Holiday Issue 2013 - Beautiful Bliss It was one of those mornings out of the ordinary. The air was clean. The sun’s rays were brilliant yet its warmth was tempered by the arrival of the cooler season. Holding the hands of my three year old twin granddaughters, we hurriedly tried to keep up with my vivacious five year old grandson who was already ‘on the hunt.’ We had been collecting rocks along the banks of the lower Colorado River, the location of our little condo that we lovingly call, “the river house.” All of their work led up to this morning when we would engage in an artist’s palooza of rock painting. “This one is pretty GiGi,” they would shout with pure excitement. “Look at this one!” “GiGi, I got another pretty rock!” The picnic table that sits along the rivers edge is where we spread out all of our ‘fabulous finds’ and began to select which ones we would each paint. My daughters and I played as well, simply enjoying the moment. As we sat that beautiful morning along the river, I marveled at the baby quail scurrying behind their mama just a few feet away from us. The Roadrunner, who frequents my patio, made an appearance to see what we were up to. Even the fish wanted to know what was going on, leaping out of the water to take a glance. The children, now covered in paint, were keenly aware of the wildlife surrounding us. As I took in the moment, I counted my blessings for the ability to see the beauty in all things - and the pure bliss that comes from acknowledging so. The holidays provide us with a unique opportunity to see things differently. Although there is much to be cherished about traditions and routines, I have also discovered the exceeding joy in changing up the norm. Perhaps it’s the creative process alone that ignites my bliss. The Holiday Issue of Élan provides a sparkling view of traditional things made new. It’s a collaboration of creative ideas from our talented contributors that make the pages so yummy (and the reason why I couldn’t keep my fingers out of the cake at our photo shoot). From fresh ideas for your holiday decor to historical places still waiting to be explored, the pages of Élan are as exciting as a child seeing the beauty of a rock...”Look at this one GiGi!” Gather your family and friends this holiday season and create new memories. Celebrate life by seeing things from a new perspective. Design a holiday that feels fresh and alive. All of us at Élan encourage you to feel the fire of surrounding yourself in beautiful bliss!