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Mohonk Mountain House


In my last article I wrote about the wedding that dear friends of ours had in a garden at the Mohonk Mountain House (you can read that here). Today I want to share some additional pictures from this very beautiful location.

The "house" itself is a fascinating mixture of architectures. You can notice three different phases of the building project, with the stone structure in the middle and unique wooden additions on either side.

The resort is built on cliffs surrounding a lake, and we learned very quickly the terrain is rocky and uneven. After exploring the lake and swimming area, Charles and I ventured on their most famous trail, which goes straight up the mountain to the stone Skytop Tower.

The trail was very steep, but every 50 feet or so there were benches offering a rest and a chance to enjoy the views of the surrounding Catskill Mountain range. In addition, FIVE states can be seen from the top of the mountain: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

We climbed spiral staircases to the top of the Skytop Tower. The view was so majestic that the miles we hiked uphill were worth it. :)

Charles and I are planning another day trip to Mohonk, including a hike to the tower, during the peak of autumn foliage, when the already stunning sights will be even more spectacular! 

 

By: Kristia Markarian

Garden Wedding


Yesterday Charles and I attended the wedding of dear friends. (You can read about how excited we were to receive their invitation here.)

It was a perfect August day. There was not a cloud in the sky, and the...
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Treehouse Adventure


This past Saturday Charles and I traveled along a tree-lined road in the peaceful Virginia countryside. Our destination was a very unusual house, one that is built among the taller limbs on an enormous tree.

The...
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Three-Year Wedding Anniversary


Charles and I were only married a few days when we vowed to renew our vows every year on our anniversary. We had big parties the first two years, but this year we decided to have a more simple celebration on our...
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Sometimes You Feel Like a Nun


I want to share a funny story that happened two months ago, on June 3rd, when Charles and I were in Atlantic City for his birthday. (You can read my previous article about that here.)

As you can see from the picture above of us at dinner, I was wearing a very modest, high-necked white blouse. I am one of those people who are almost always annoyingly chilly.

Since we were going to be in a very well air-conditioned stadium that evening for the fights, I purposefully wore a long sleeve blouse and...
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My Journey to More Sharing


A secondary title to this piece is "My Journey to Instagram," as I am now on that social media. (I've asked my web developer to add a direct link on the top left of this page, but until then you can access my page here.) 

I hesitated a long time, as I'm already on Twitter (very reluctantly, and only to announce a new article) and Facebook (which is surprisingly enjoyable). But Instagram, which is a picture-sharing program, was bewildering to me.

Husband gently nudged me. "It will be...
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Happy Independence Day 2016


On this Independence Day, I am so thankful for our Founding Fathers for their vision for our country. I am equally grateful for our soldiers and their victories for our country. And, as always, I am remembering all those who, like my brother Sgt. Jon, paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

God Bless America always! 
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Fort Drum Remembrance Ceremony 2016


The statue above shows two soldiers helping each other "Climb to Glory," the motto of our Army's 10th Mountain Division. This is located in Memorial Field in Fort Drum, Watertown, New York.

My brother, Sgt. Jon, was...
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Happy (Surprise) Birthday, Dad!


The above picture was taken the moment I gently led my father, David, into a room filled with his family and closest friends and festively decorated to celebrate his 70th birthday.

The image of his face captures the...
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Happy Birthday, Army!


"Gentlemen, please seat your ladies and then seat yourselves."

Those words began a 153-year-old tradition at the Union League Club in New York City, which has existed since 1863 and counts several former United States...
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Happy Heavenly Birthday, Brother


I just started to read a just-released book from one of my spiritual mentors, Marianne Williamson. Below is a quote that I wanted to share.

"The universe is wired for God's light the way a house is wired for electricity, and every mind is like a lamp.

But a lamp must be plugged in for it to shed any light.

With every prayer, we plug into the light.

With every realization of our mistakes and willingness to atone for them, we plug into the light.

With every apology we give and...
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My Memorial Day: A Mets Game Tribute


In 2005, the year that Sgt. Jon joined the Army, he was granted a home leave on Memorial Day weekend. Jonny's barber, a World War II veteran, invited him to march in the Wyckoff, New Jersey parade.

Jon was incredibly...
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Memorial Day Message 2016


A few days ago I spoke with a friend of mine whose second home is in Jerusalem. She offered me and my family condolences on the loss of my brother, Sgt. Jon, as the American Memorial Day approached.

I asked her what...
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Birthday Snow Wishes


Hello, darling friends! I want to thank everyone for their patience this past month while our website has been mostly silent. The family business is now up and running smoothly, and I again have the time to devote to connecting with all of you.

This seemed a perfect day to come back, since it's my birthday today, April 4th. And I'll confess a little secret: Every year on my birthday I wish for snow.

Sometimes the Universe enacts the opposite of my hopes and there is unseasonable warm weather....
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A Quick Update


Hello friends! I hope everyone had a fabulous February and that lots of love was spread your way during the month that celebrates love. 

The picture above is the flower bouquet that Charles gave me for Valentine's Day. Husband also gave me a beautiful ring, but I'm not showing that picture for fear some of you ladies may kidnap him. :-) 

It's been a quiet time on our website for the past two weeks. I want to assure you that everything is fine and I will be back to writing here again very...
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Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo


Every Wednesday on CHONJ, I attempt to best provide solutions to a challenge one of my dear reader friends is having. I've received a significant amount of emails from friends with goals to become neater, have a less cluttered home, and to downsize their belongings. This week, as an answer to that collective Reader Challenge, I'll be discussing a book that provides solutions to all those dilemmas.

Although it was published in 2014, I have finally read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:...
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Little Love Quote


"Take away love and our earth is a tomb." - Robert Browning (1812-1889)

I wanted to send everyone some love this Friday, especially as Winter Storm Jonas is predicted to affect the entire eastern seaboard. May everyone stay safe, and warm, and cozy.
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Warriors Aren't Trained to Retire: A Movie Review of "13 Hours"


Riveting and enraging are the two words that come to mind when describing the new film "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi."

We know the ending, but here is a synopsis. On September 11, 2012 our embassy in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by Islamic terrorists. At a CIA compound less than a mile away, six military contractors bravely volunteered to come to the rescue of the Americans at the embassy. They were ordered to "stand down" while terrorists set fire to all the embassy buildings....
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Our New Mission Statement


There are some exciting changes on CHONJ that I want to share with everyone! 

But first I want to thank everyone again for joining me on this journey. During these last few months we have shared a lot together, and I have grown so much as a person, and my beautiful reader friends have come to mean so much to me, even those I have never met.

As my writing has addressed the most common concerns and challenges we face, Charles and I decided that it was time to form a mission statement for CHONJ....
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My Resolution Evolution


After last week's article about my New Resolution to speak up when I encounter rudeness, I received many emails that basically said that people are ruder than ever but they are also crazier than ever so I need to be very careful, and some chastised me for wanting to chastise rude people who might be crazy.

It was a lot of crazy and careful that I was being warned about. :-) 

Let me first extend a large THANK YOU to all my reader friends who extended such love and concern to me. I send love...
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Welcome!

I am glad you’re here!

This website is for ALL of us. CHONJ is a compassionate community that strives to be positive and uplifting as we help and connect with one another.


My name is Kristia Cavere Markarian. My husband, Charles Markarian, and I are soulmates who spend practically every minute of the day together. Our goal is that you feel better about yourself and the world every time you visit our website.


There are many challenging situations we are facing today, from being overscheduled and overwhelmed, to facing technological distractions. We want to assist you in navigating through all these circumstances, so you can become the best you are meant to be. We will help you become the hero of your life’s journey.

Spread Love Gather Joy