Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Blogerversary to Me!

So a year ago I put my first post up.  It was an experiment in getting my creative writing juices flowing again, and to be honest I wasn't sure if this whole blogging thing would stick.  Turns out I truly enjoy it!  It's fun putting my stories, feelings and ideas down in a place that others can comment on...thank you to everyone who took the time this year to comment on my posts.  I love hearing your stories, and how I'm not alone in my rants!

I did learn a few things:

1.  It's not as easy as it sounds to find a few minutes to write a post.  I wish I had documented more, but I'm happy with what the year has produced in terms of posts.

2.  Editing is important.  I originally thought that I would just "free-flow" write and post what came out - that way everyone would know what truly goes on in my head.  That didn't work so well...I much prefer to write it all then edit it so it makes sense.

3.  Editing is even more important when I'm pissed about something.  I always feel better when I write stuff down and get it off my chest when I'm mad...but these posts are better left un-posted until I can tone them down a little bit :-)

4.  Posting about my kids has me walking a fine line.  I would find it hard not to include exploits with my family in my posts, but I do want to be respectful of what I post about them.  I try to keep it light, and they now can read what I'm planning to post before it goes up - I am, however, very conscious that what gets posted is out there for good.  I'm thinking as long as I can remember that I should be good.

All in all, I think this creative outlet will stick.  I'm hoping to blog more this year, and welcome any and all comments.  Now I have to think about what creative thing I'll try this year...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Size of my Heart continues to Grow

So I don't know about other moms, but most days I feel like I muddle through parenting thing.  I look back on my day and can pick out everything I did wrong - and stay convinced that I'm messing up my kids.  Then there is a moment when my daughters do something and I think maybe I'm not doing so bad.  Happy to say I had one of those recently.

My caregiver told us a story of a family she met that was new to Canada who didn't have much.  She was hoping to put together a few things for their children to open at Christmas, and I gladly said that I would go through my place for any gently used toys that we could share.  I love knowing that toys and trinkets that my girls enjoyed can be passed on to other children who will enjoy them - and when the story is one that I hear first hand it makes it even more special.

About a week later, I was driving in the car with my oldest daughter.  We were actually discussing the "Angel Tree" they have at their school that asks kids to bring in wrapped toys for children who are less fortunate in our community.  During this conversation, I told her about the story that our caregiver had shared - how there was a family who she knew who could use a little help making their Christmas special.  Marianna got pretty quiet for the rest of the ride home, and I could tell her little hamster was processing what we talked about.

When we got home, she went up to her room - where I found her about 15 minutes later sitting on her floor surrounded by some of her toys.  Not just any toys, but there were dinosaur toys in there - some of her favourites.  When I asked her what she was doing, she looked up at me with her big brown eyes and said "Mom, it's not fair that I have a great room with all these nice things to play with and some kids don't have anything.  I think I should give some of my toys to the family you were telling me about".  I just about lost it.  I asked her if she was sure she wanted to give away some of her favourites, and her response put me over the edge.

"I love these toys so much, but it makes me happy to think about how much the other children will love them too".  I gave her a big hug, and told her I was proud of her - and in that moment I'm sure my heart swelled to dangerous levels.  I am happy to say that my youngest also followed suit and, on her own, went through all her clothes to pick the ones she was willing to part with (a big deal since she is my little fashionista!!).

That evening as I thought about what had unfolded, I sat back and thought maybe the lessons we are trying to teach my girls are sinking in - and that maybe, just maybe I should give myself some credit.  And I will...until the next time I lose my cool with them and go back to being sure I'm messing them up! LOL

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Baby It's Cold...Inside!

It's been an interesting few days at our house...interesting and cold!  What started out with trying fix our humidifier and figure out what a "little" noise was ended up being an adventure - and a lesson.

Last week, we had someone come to see if they could figure out why our furnace sounded like a freight train in my living room when it came on.  Was more annoying than anything, but was getting tired of jumping every time it came on.  The guy came, and told us it was an exhaust fan (this is where I tuned out in the recap from my husband so that's all I got).  He told us it would cost a bit to fix, but it wasn't over the moon so we were ok with it.

We decided to get another opinion...and to say I'm happy we did it a major understatement.  The next guy delivered some news that really scared me.  Apparently it wasn't just a fan, but things had become disconnected and carbon monoxide was leaking from my gas furnace into my house.  I freaked out...the thought that we had been breathing in low levels of this stuff for Lord knows how long made me cringe.  And when I looked up the symptoms of low level exposure...oof.  Headaches that got better when you left the house, low level nausea - all things we have been experiencing with no explanation for the last little while.

Needless to say they turned the furnace off - just as Ottawa was set to have a major snowstorm.  We had our fireplace (thank God) and bundled up in housecoats and wool socks to keep warm.  As an aside, big thanks to all the friends and family who offered us a place to stay - warmed my heart for sure!  We were fortunate that we could get a replacement very fast (in fact they are installing it this morning), and that we had the means to cover the cost.

Did get me thinking - I can't imagine all those families out there who do not have the means to pay for heat, or who truly cannot afford to replace a furnace if it fails.  It saddened me to have the kids wake up for 2 mornings saying how cold they were...I cannot imagine how much my heart would break if I had to hear that every day.  It's amazing how things happen that we think suck, but it makes us realize how lucky we truly are.

I'm thrilled that we will be warm again after this afternoon, and as my children are snuggled all warm in their beds, I will be a little more thankful this year as we celebrate Christmas.  I will hope that in the new year, things turn around for families who are less fortunate than we are - even just a little bit.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Our Griswald moment for the Season!

My husband and I always had a real Christmas tree.  We would go pick it out, drag it into our living room and set it up in front of our big window.  And then I would spend weeks sweeping up pine needles and wondering why the heck we insisted on a real tree.

When we had kids, we decided to go the artificial route.  I decided it just wasn't worth the constant "don't put the pine needles in your mouth" chant.  We ended up finding what I thought was the best invention ever - a tree that had an "electronic lift" built into it.  Let's see if I can describe basically pulled it out of a box, stepped on a peddle and the tree went from 2 feet tall to over 5 feet and fell open into a pretty decent looking tree.  And it came with lights already on it!  Easiest tree assembly ever!!  No mess, no fuss - and as the kids got older they got to take turns "raising the tree" by stepping on the peddle.

Last year, we got the "we should go back to a real tree" bug.  Our daughters were old enough not to put the pine needles in their mouths and, in all honesty, nothing really beats the smell of a real tree.  Last year, putting up the tree went off without a hitch.  This year, another story.

Off hubby went to get a tree.  Saturday was the day we dragged out all the decorations (my favourite part of putting the tree up is going through all the old decorations!!).  Tree went up without a hitch (including lots of water to keep it looking beautiful), on went the lights and the decorations, and up went the angel.

As we stood back to admire our handi-work and grab the camera, it happened.  Our gorgeous tree (with a base full of water) fell sideways.  And it didn't just lean - it fell completely on its side.  Wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't meant litres of water everywhere.

Let's just say there were alot of frantic yells for towels and some very colourful language thrown around.  Was not our proudest parenting moment thats for sure!!

After we mopped up the water, back up went the tree (now secured in its base) minus our angel topper - that we have to replace.  It's been 2 days and it is still standing so we're thinking we're golden.

Now we can giggle about it - and it sure made for a moment that will go into the scrapbook with a journal entry.  I'm hoping that's our only Griswald moment this year.

What about you?  Any moments from seasons past (or present) that you laugh at now but were not so funny at the time?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holy time crunch!

Let me start by saying I love Christmas.  I love everything about the holiday...spending lots of time with family, watching the kids excitement as they tear into their gifts, good food, sparkly lights - what's not to like.  But I dislike December.

Every year I swear I will be more organized.  I will start shopping early; I will bake and put stuff in the freezer; I will start my Christmas cards in September.  Then December 1st comes around and the panic sets in.  Where in the heck am I going to find time to do all the stuff on my to-do list while trying to enjoy the season?

Admittedly I do some of it to myself.  I insist on making my own cards to send out (I do between 50 and 60 every year), I've become known for showing up at events with my baked goods and I do try to find the "perfect" gifts for everyone on my list.  Means alot of pressure on myself to get it all done - oh and this year I am trying to make time to get to the gym too.  Yeah I'm thinking this year something will have to give cause I just won't be able to make it all happen.  Maybe I'll bake less and do less elaborate cards - I can give up my perfectionist tendencies just for December, right?

Or maybe I'll just do like everyone else and give up sleep for the month of December and crash in January.  As much as I say every year there is too much to do, somehow it all gets done LOL

K enough bah humbug.  If you run into me, remind me to take a breath and enjoy the season.  And don't take it personally if your Christmas cards arrive after Christmas!  And if I'm unreachable in January, I'm probably catching up on my sleep - either that or I've convinced hubby to take me on a vacation.  In either case, I'll be chilling out after the craziness that is December.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Tonight should be fun!

So tonight is a milestone of sorts...I'm taking my daughters to their first concert - Justin Bieber.  They are excited, but I think I am more excited to see their reaction than anything else!

I remember my first concert - my mom took my sister and I to see Cyndi Lauper.  We dressed all funky and had great seats.  It was loud and overwhelming at times, but it is a memory I cherish.  Not so much because I remember the playlist from that night, but more that I remember thinking my mom was super cool for taking us to a concert.  It's a feeling I hope my daughters share after our excursion tonight.

To make things even better, we're carpooling with a group of good friends - should mean that the car ride there and back should be just as fun!

Will post pics of their excited faces in another post this weekend.  For now, I'm armed with cash for souvenirs and ear plugs for all.  Bring on the Biebs!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Back to the Gym

I have a love/hate relationship with the gym.  Once I'm there, I love working out.  I love the "me time" it gives me, and working up a sweat gives me a feeling of accomplishment.

My difficulty is dragging my butt out the door on a regular basis to get there.  You see, my preferred time to work out is in the morning - in the evening there are always too many excuses not to go.  I'm playing taxi driver, the house needs cleaning, homework is more than usual...I've thought about it for 3 seconds and have already talked myself out of going.  If I go in the morning, it's before the craziness starts and I really believe it helps me focus for the day.

But it means getting up really early, and my pillow is just too inviting some mornings.  So this time around I've decided to compromise.  I will commit to 2 mornings per week, and I have a friend who will (hopefully) ignore my excuses and get me there at least 2 nights a week.

Truth be told, I am looking forward to getting back into the routine of the gym.  I miss it - and all the benefits it provides.  And cause now I have a gym buddy, I get to spend a couple of evenings per week with a pretty amazing friend...that in and of itself is the extra push that should have me bouncing out the door!

Just to give myself a little bit of extra motivation though, I bought some really pretty running shoes that are going to make me smile every time I put them on.  Every little bit helps!! Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

What a Weekend!

So I've mentioned in a few blogs how crazy the month of October is in our house...and why would the final weekend (OK technically the first weekend on November) be any different?  Mostly fun stuff...let's see how short and sweet I can keep the summary.

Friday night I spent with some pretty amazing ladies.  A friend has an aunt who reads tea leaves, and she organized a reading for a few of us at her house.  To say I love all the psychic stuff is an understatement.  It fascinates me to no end so I was super excited to do this.  The reading was really cool - and very bang on.  It's a little freaky how someone you just met can read you with such accuracy.  For me, she honed in on the fact that I take on too much and need to let other people do things - and anyone who knows me knows that this describes me to a "t".  Thanks Sonia for hosting it, and I look forward to doing it again.

Saturday was Marianna's 10th birthday party with her friends.  I hired a magician to entertain the kids, and all seemed to have a great time.  I have to say, it was a very well behaved group I had at my place...especially given all the sugar I served.  It was really nice to see Marianna interact with all of them, and I got lots of thank you hugs at the end of it all. 

Saturday night I got to spend some time with the newest little man in my life - my nephew Evan.  My sister and brother in law headed out for a well deserved break and I got to get my fill of baby cuddles.  I got lots of smiles, and this child went to bed without a fight...a new concept for me given my girls were not good sleepers.  As I said to Katie, I'm on call anytime for babysitting duty!

This is where my weekend turns a little south.  I was supposed to spend Sunday at a mom and me scrapbooking event hosted by Sonia (go see her at but woke up with a headache this morning - a headache that turned into the nastiest migraine I've had in a long time.  For anyone who has never had a migraine, consider yourselves lucky ducks.  Mine subsided for a long time, but seem to have come back recently...and this one was a doozy.  Luckily I could stay curled up in a dark room for the day and, after a very long nap, it eventually passed.  Thanks to Sonia for understanding the last minute cancel, and thanks to Hubby for handling today on his own.

Now bring on the week.  I'm hoping this is a good one for all of us!

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Day of Surprises and Fun!

So my daughter celebrated her 10th Birthday this week (have I mentioned I have a daughter in double's sort of freaking me out!).  If I'm being honest, I had no idea what to get her this year as a birthday gift.  When you ask her what she wants, her responses are generally either that she wants something cool or that whatever we get her will be just fine.  Great answers, but completely not helpful when I'm standing in the toy store.

It finally came to me as I was reading through Twitter posts.  Someone mentioned travelling on ViaRail - what a perfect gift this would be for my adventure seeking little girl!  Yes...I was gonna be the cool parent when she got this one (I don't get to be the cool one very often; usually that is reserved for my husband!)

So today was the day.  We woke up bright and early, and headed to the train station.  Best part - we hadn't told her what we were doing.  The look on her face (and subsequent squeals of delight) was the best reaction I could have asked for.

We took the train to Montreal for the day.  We hit the Biodome (one of my new favourite places), rode the Metro, and walked until we could walk no more.  Hubby and youngest daughter drove and met us for lunch...the fact that we got to spend some time as a family this afternoon was the icing on the cake.

It truly was an amazing day - getting to spend time solo with each of my girls is so precious to me.  We talk like no one is listening, giggle like schoolgirls and skip instead of walk.  All the things I hope we continue to do as they get older - maybe minus the skipping part cause my knees might give out!!

What amazing days have you all had recently?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Monkey!

All my life the only thing I ever knew for sure was that I wanted to be a mom.  My dream came true ten years ago when my beautiful daughter was born.  Up to that moment, I knew what love was.  I had an amazing family, I had married my Prince Charming and I had a circle of friends who I adored.  Even with all that, nothing - and I mean nothing - in this world even comes close to how big my heart swelled when I laid eyes on that perfect little face for the first time.

Don't get me wrong...for 38 hours leading up to her arrival I wasn't the happiest camper on earth.  And I'm sure my husband got more than an earful from me.  In discussing it today, he said "we should remember it as a time when we had a mutual understanding of what we needed to accomplish and leave it at that."  Well said my love!  And, as any new mom would tell you, there were moments when I was sure my sanity would be the price of being a mom.  They would also tell you that they would not trade being a mom for anything in the world...and they would be right.

Marianna, the day you were born I knew what it meant to have my heart beat outside of my body.  I knew true joy; I knew real fear.  I truly understood what the term "mama bear" meant.  You have brought so much joy into our lives my munchkin and we love you more than we will ever be able to express in words.  I know you are excited to be in double digits, but try not to grow up too fast.  And remember no matter how big you get, you will always be my baby girl.  We love you sweet pea - Happy 10th Birthday.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lessons Abound

So those of you know my daughter know that she is pretty quirky.  She reacts strongly to things - both good and bad - and takes everything to heart.  We have been working with her on how to handle when bad stuff happens to her, and have talked alot over the past few months about appropriate reactions. 

Her experience this year seems to be better.  She is remembering to take deep breaths, and trying really hard to keep things in perspective.  Alot to ask from a 10 year old...there are adults I know that could use that lesson (and there are occasions when I include myself in that bucket).  While we were going through these life lessons, we were also talking about the importance of not getting pushed around ,and the need to let her emotions out.  I wanted to make sure that she knew it was ok to blow a gasket once in awhile, especially if she was feeling threatened or picked on.

I'm thinking we are rock star parents - lessons abound at our house!  Uh huh right.  Tonight I found out there is a bit of a conundrum in our package of lessons.  When someone pushes you out of the way and you get up and push them back, is that sticking up for yourself or being aggressive?  And when someone takes something that is yours and you chase them and grab for it back?  Where does that one lie on the spectrum? Man I hate it when the hard questions get pulled out around the dinner table.

So whats the answer?  I wish I had some enlightening response but I was a little dumbfounded.  While I don't want the solution to be to bottle everything up (been there, done that and the results were not good!), or to report every little incident, I also want to give her an easy way to figure out when its ok to stand her ground.  So we push on and deal with situations as they come up.  We remember to treat people as we want to be treated, and we remember to think before we act.  You know...easy stuff.

For me, I continue to teach those lessons (even when I have to muddle through them) and I keep passing out the hugs as long as she'll take them.  All I can do, right?  If anyone has any words of wisdom, bring them on please!

Monday, October 8, 2012


There is one weekend put aside every year for us to make a list of everything we are thankful for.  For Canadians, that was this weekend - and although I do make a conscious effort to count my blessings often, making that list can become a good reference point for those times when we feel overwhelmed or are having multiple bad days in a row.

So here goes...

I am thankful for the continued health of both myself and my family - without health does anything else really matter?
I am thankful that I have more happy days in my life than days that get the better of me.
I am thankful for the smiles I get every morning from two awesome little girls (admittedly, there are days the smiles are harder to come by, but they come out eventually!).
I am thankful for the fantastic group of ladies that I consider my good friends (and their husbands who accept that sometimes we just need our porch nights!).
I am thankful for my craft room - the place I go when things get a little crazy and my ladies are not available for porch night. 
I am thankful, on occasion, for white wine and chocolate.
I am thankful that I work with people who understand that the most important things in my life are my family and friends - and that work will always take a back seat.
I am thankful that this year my sisters both had dreams come true - one got to experience the amazingness of motherhood for the first time, the other married her prince charming.
I am thankful for my prince charming - the man who always knows what I need to hear, who is my rock when I feel like things are out of control and who supports me unconditionally (even when I come up with hair-brained ideas).  He also provides IT support which, in my life, is a big deal - I get impatient with IT and he just makes it work for me.  Love you hon!

As I detail out all that I'm thankful for, I am realizing that the list could get quite long.  And this is a good thing.  I am truly blessed in my life - I know this.  Doesn't mean I don't have days when it feels like the world has turned on its head, or days when I just want to crawl under the covers and watch the Twilight Series.  But it does mean that when all is said and done, and I get myself centered again, the life I've got is pretty full of things that make me grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone - and don't forget to make your lists!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Where to start?

So this is what happens when I wait a really long time between posts...where do I start to recap everything that has gone on?  Let's see if I can some things up without rambling too much.

Celebrations this summer centred around a wedding - my middle sister got married in August.  We were all so happy for her - she finally found her other half.  The day was not without hitches (and subsequent freak outs), but in the end it was all about family and friends getting together to celebrate with them.  And yes I had to do another speech...and no I didn't make it through without crying.  It really was a fun night, and I could not be happier for her and my new brother in law.

We also managed to get away this summer for 3 weeks.  We spent them in South Florida.  Easy to sum up this part of the summer - it was hot, it rained and the shopping was fantastic.  We are lucky enough to get to go south every year, and every year we come back wishing we could just stay there.  Totally could picture myself being there full time...pretty darn sure it will be part of our retirement plan to move there!!

After I blinked, September was here.  That means back to routine (which I secretly love) and back to school for my girls.  I'm not gonna lie - after all the drama in the school yard last year with my oldest, I was a little (ok alot) apprehensive about what her year would hold for her this year.  Would the mean girls still be nasty to her?  Would she spend more time in tears this year than smiling?  We talked alot about how to deal with "the girls", and worked on accepting that not everyone would see her as the quirky, sweet little girl that I adore.  Glad to report that a few weeks in, things seem to be going better...not perfect but better.  From my point of view she seems to be dealing with it better which is all I can ask for.

My littlest daughter started Grade 2 this year.  She is my little social butterfly and seems to be able to flit from group to group without batting an eye.  She is a chatterbox, so there have already been some discussions about keeping quiet during class time.  Plus she flies through her work in it bad that I want to send extra work for her?

Along with school comes all the fall activities - and my girls are only in two things each!  Hubby and I looked at our calendar for September and October - and discovered we already needed a nap.  Things are pretty nuts, but everyone is healthy and happy which means we can handle the nuts. much for promises about no rambling.  I haven't even gotten into any of my "opinion" posts. Guess I'll have to keep those for another day.

Parting thought - I've seen real strength in some pretty amazing ladies recently.  Hats off to all those dealing with "stuff", and still manage to smile and keep a brave face.  Know my door is always open, the coffee is always hot (or the vodka is always cold depending on what you need) and my ears always sympathetic.  For those of us who have it pretty good, we should just say thanks and leave it at that.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I need more time!

So the summer has come and (almost) gone and I haven't churned out one post.  Not a single one.  And even this one won't have anything too revealing in is more just to say I put a blog entry up during the summer months.

This summer has been a little crazy at our house.  Not to say it doesn't always feel crazy but for some reason this one caught up with me.  I've swooning over my new nephew, I was a single parent for almost 2 weeks while my husband was away on business, and we've been planning my middle sister's wedding.

We did manage to get away on vacation - we just got back from 2 weeks in south Florida.  Love, love, love being able to go there every year.  It really is just what we need to re-charge.  Now I'm back in crazy mode.  The wedding is this Friday, and the kids go back to school next week.  Looking forward to just getting some ahhh time at some point.

Off to finish a speech - please no lectures about procrastination.  I work my best under pressure!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I'm in love with a new man!

No one husband is still my number one guy, but about a week ago I fell in love with a new man - my brand new little nephew.  I've been waiting since he was born to gush about him, but needed to wait until my sister and her husband officially introduced him to the "web world" on Facebook.  That happened today, so let the gushing begin!

Evan is a perfect little angel, and my heart melts whenever I see him.  I was lucky that my sister let me help her alot this week - that meant lots of auntie-nephew bonding time.  I will admit that the thought of how nice it would be to have another baby crossed my a fleeting sort of way :-)  Then I just figured I could get my baby fix, then head home to sleep.  The best of both worlds!!

I can't wait to watch him grow up, and I wish him as much love and laughter as he can handle.  Can't promise not to be an over-protective aunt, but I figure you can't have too many of us watching out for him.

To my sister and brother-in-law, I promise I will spoil him.  I promise to always be his loudest cheerleader.  I promise to be here to help whenever you need me.  I promise lots of babysitting services so the two of you can go for sanity breaks.  I promise to love him (as I do all my nephews) like he is my own.  I promise you lots of pictures (care of my hubby) and lots of scrapbook pages to document your favourite moments.  In a nutshell, I promise to be the kind of aunt/sister/friend that you are to my children.

Tell me this is not the cutest face you have ever seen...I am totally smitten!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is May over yet?

So I'm not usually one to wish for time to pass (I am way too sentimental about days passing too quickly), but I am looking forward to the end of May.

To say May has been crazy in my house would be the understatement of the year.  All of it was fun stuff and I wouldn't change any of it, but I'm wishing I could have spread some of the festivities out a bit.  First was my solo trip to Florida - I told you not to feel sorry for me :-)

I went to Fort Lauderdale to help my in-laws with their drive home.  As a perk, I got to spend a week at the beach, do some fantastic shopping, and read.  In fact, I got to read 13 books.  I have never read 13 books in such a short amount of time.  It's amazing what you can get through when you don't have to take care of anyone else!  I was grateful to be there, but was happy to get home to my family too.

Then the fun began.  The week I was back was filled with preparations for 2 wonderful events - that happened to be scheduled back to back.

Saturday I hosted a birthday party for my youngest.  My baby was turning seven (insert sentimental gasp here) and I had 6 seven year olds over for a scrapbooking party.  It was so much fun, and I loved seeing what the kids had come up with when they were done.  It helped that I had a superb Creative Memories consultant (who is also a dear friend) over to run the party.  This meant I could take pictures for my own scrapbook!

After everyone left, I had some crafting left to do to get ready for my little sister's baby shower - which we held on Sunday.  It was so fun to watch all our friends and family gather to celebrate the fact that we are adding a new member to our family.  My sister looked and felt great, and she got everything she will need for once the baby is born ( ha she thinks)!!  There was a little added stress to the day - we discovered that my other sister's wedding venue had burned down the night before!  She was a trooper and got through Sunday with a smile.  Now the hunt is on for a new location!!

The month of May was a fantastic one, but I admit I'm looking forward to a quieter June.  Then the fun starts again while we prep for my other sister's bridal shower and wedding!!  Maybe I should be looking forward to September! LOL

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Perspective Can Suck It!

I'm the first to admit every once in awhile I need a good dose of reality.  It keeps me grounded; it helps remind me of what is important in life; it makes me remember that the little things are just as important as the big ones. 

What sucks is when I get slammed over the head with a dose of reality that makes me just want to curl up.  This week I got one of those.   A good friend of my parents passed away.  She was an amazing lady with a contagious laugh, and she had a family that loved her to pieces.  What made this one even harder is she went from healthy to gone in 6 months.  6 months.  That's's half a school year, it's two seasons.  6 months.

What it did for me is remind me how precious time is.  How when all is said and done, I don't want to look back and realize I've wasted the gift of time.

The ironic part is this lesson came at a time when I needed it.  I've caught myself working "just a few minutes later" every night - which means I have a few minutes less with hubby and kids.  I'm saying more frequently "not right now" when my girls are trying to tell me something.  I'm trying so hard to keep all the balls in the air that I'm forgetting to pay attention to all the things that keep the ground solid below me - family, friends, giggles and hugs.

How the perspective is doled out can really suck - hopefully the lesson is not lost in the delivery.  For me, it will be about asking the 5 year question - in 5 years will I really remember the extra hours I put in at work?  Probably not.  I may remember the amazing walk to the park where the kids spun on the tire swing though.  Perspective.

Thank you to an amazing lady who reminded me of how precious time is.  R.I.P Heidi.


Monday, April 9, 2012

What if the Maid Went on Strike?

So I've never been obsessed with a clean house.  While I was on maternity leave, I considered dust bunnies my pets, and didn't get hung up on keeping the house immaculate.  Just good enough was ok with me.  I do, however, like when things are tidied up.

In my perfect world, everything has its place, and it would get returned there after use so that when I went to look for it the next time, I would know exactly where it was.  School days are a case in point.  I stress the importance of the kids putting their hats, mitts, etc in their bins when they get home from school - that way when we are rushing in the morning to get out the door I can avoid the "Mom I can't find my mitts!".  I like to have things keeps my mind peaceful.

These days, my mind is not so peaceful.  As much as I try to organize the clutter in my house (and we do purge at least once a year), the "stuff" seems to overwhelm me.  And I'm not sure when it became only my job to make sure that things got returned to their place.  My kids will walk over a mound of stuff that is not put away and not bat an eye.  And my hubby (who I love to no end) leaves a trail of stuff behind him when he comes home.  And don't get me started on dishes left on the counter instead of the sink or in the dishwasher...

Most days, I just sigh and pick up the stuff that is in my way as I come in the door.  But there are days (and today is one of them) where I just can't handle it.  I look around and just see a mess - and I literally have to go hide in my craft room.  I'm left wondering what I have to do to get them to help me keep my sanity.  Maybe I should go on strike...would they notice when things didn't magically get put away? If I do this I would have to spend alot of time in my craft room away from the piles.
I'll keep trying to make them see - and if they don't then I will really consider going on strike.  If that happens, I'll give you all warning - cause there would be no visitors allowed!

Off to tackle a pile...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I'm a Control Freak

I've always told people I'm a type-A personality.  I like things done right (usually means my way), and like to be the one giving directions.  I'm realizing that "type-A" is just a  nice way of calling someone a control freak.

Usually, all is ok.  I can reign myself in before anyone finds it too annoying, and most times people seem to be alright just stepping back and letting me do it.  And my family has grown to love this quirk about me (so they tell me!).  Take "pot luck dinners" for example.  Probably one of the most stressful things for me is to have someone say "just make it pot luck and and we'll all bring whatever".  WHAT?  No planned menu?  How will I know all the bases are covered?  What if we end up with only desserts?  My usual response is "It's ok...I like doing this stuff) - to which I'm sure I get an eye roll.

I am getting better - I gave up a little control last year for my sister's wedding shower - although my family will say I did not (I did have a plan for how I was going to handle it if it turn out the way I wanted), all I promised was that I would try.

It also carries over into my parenting.  I went to a seminar recently, and realized I'm what they call an "over-functioning parent".  In a nutshell, I like to do everything for my kids, remind them of schedules, and their experience at school stresses me out more than it does them.  Aren't all parents like that?  I am making a conscious decision to allow them to make some of their own decisions and give them more responsibility around the house.  Who cares if they don't clean the same way I do, right?  And they should learn to accept the consequences if they don't do their homework, right?

I fully expect that it will take some time before I can let go and become "less type-A".  I will try, but I will certainly have a checklist that will tell me if I am doing it right.  And a plan to fix things if the checklist tells me I'm not.  I wish I could heed Yoda's advice: "There is no try, just do".  For now, all I can promise to do is try.

To my friends, feel free to call me out on it.  I won't promise it won't generate a sigh or a look of daggers, but I will promise to take it in stride :-)

Monday, March 5, 2012

On the Road Again...

Wow...I can't believe its been a couple of weeks since I last posted.  I seem to have a thousand ideas through the day of things that would make a great blog topic, but finding the time to sit and write them is becoming more and more scarce.  I guess I have to resort to scheduling my "free time" where I plan to blog.

I wish the title of this post referred to me getting to travel, but the road I'm on again is of a different kind.  I'm back on the road to trying to get healthy.

When I decided to start writing, I told myself that I would not turn this into a blog about weight - or more specifically about losing it.  I have struggled with my weight...always.  I have been on every fad diet imaginable and...well you know how the rest of this paragraph goes.  It's a continuous yo-yo.  The worst part is it is not rocket science - eat healthy, everything in moderation and exercise every day.  So simple...yeah right.  Life gets in the way of making the choices we know are the right ones.

So while I will not chronicle my journey here, every now and then I may rant a little (when my sugar cravings get the best of  me), but the rants will pass.  For now, I want to focus on making better choices so that I can chase my girls in a game of tag without my knees burning.  Don't get me wrong - getting to wear cute clothes and hearing the compliments are a motivator too.  And that may be how I keep my eye on the prize.  In the end, though, the prize truly is feeling better. 
Just wish I could get to the prize drinking wine and eating cheesecake.  For now, I'll imagine my water tastes like chocolate :-).

So here is my first rant - I'm working with a system right now that will help to get rid of the toxins from my body.  Sounds fabulous - BUT it means no caffeine.  NO. CAFFEINE.  I'm a sucker for punishment I know - I have already warned the people around me that I will not be pleasant over the next few days, and I apologized in advance.  For anyone I missed, I'm sorry.  You have my permission to tell me where to go - just don't mention Starbucks and no one gets hurt.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Weekends Away

Recently I posted about what I would consider a perfect weekend.  I mentioned sun and sand or trips to Paris, and concluded that even at home snuggles could constitute a great weekend.  Last weekend I added another item to that list - a girls weekend away.  And I don't mean with my little girls...with girls whose ages were in the double digits!  And OMG it was so much fun!!  I am big believer that sometimes to re-energize you need to just get the hell out of dodge...after this weekend I'm even more convinced!

Not only was I with 3 really amazing women, but I got to shop all weekend.  Need I say more??  Although it may be hard to imagine, I *gasp* had never been to Watertown, Syracuse or Waterloo to do any shopping.  Now that I know what I was missing, I will be returning.  The deals were fantastic!

The shopping was awesome (the fact that we needed a van to bring our wares over the border is a testament to that), but truthfully the best part of the trip was hanging out with some pretty fantastic friends.  I haven't met anyone that I have clicked with so well in a long time. I giggled so much my cheeks hurt (and it wasn't just because they introduced me to vodka and 7up as a drink), I discovered we have lots in common, and I was introduced to some new phrases (a few of which I will not post on my family oriented blog :-) ).

As the saying goes, good friends are hard to find - and I feel lucky to count this crew on my list of good friends.  Needless to say I am already looking forward to the next one (I'm hoping for at least one per year).  Hmmm...maybe I can convince them that girls weekends are even better when we are somewhere sunny.  I'll work on it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Writing Prompts Rock!!

I recently discovered this awesome blogger who has this cool idea - every week there are writing prompts posted on her site.  Essentially, there are a bunch of ideas/questions/issues that you can use to kick off a blog post.  Why do I think is cool you ask?  Because sometimes the creative juices are just not flowing - and these prompts help to get your mind focussed on an idea.

For anyone interested, the blog is called "Mama's Losin It" and you can get to the writing prompts at

Before I tackle this prompt, can I just say how much fun I am having discovering all the cool bloggers - who knew the world of blogging could keep my attention as much as a Twilight movie - well almost as much :-)

This prompt asked:  Write a moment you felt truly relieved.  Here goes...

I will admit there have been a few of these moments in my life.  When I heard my dad had gone to the hospital, but the next sentence was he is fine.  When my mom had a health scare that turned out to be pretty minor in the grand scheme of things.  The first time I heard my healthy children let out a cry.  If I had to pick one, though, it would be the one that centered around my first pregnancy.

Hubby and I were obviously over the moon when we discovered we were expecting.  To say we were excited would have been an understatement.  The "stomach falling through the floor" moment happened at one of my ultrasounds.  Basically, the ultrasound technician told us there was an issue with our little girls' heart.  Instant tears on my part.  If there was a positive, it was that there are some pretty amazing doctors in Ottawa, and I got shipped off for a specialist to have a closer look.

The wait was agonizing.  All I could do was pray that everything would be okay.  The morning we headed to the specialist was bittersweet.  I had convinced myself all was well with the world, but what if I was wrong?  The thought paralyzed me.

We headed in to have the ultrasound.  Here comes the moment where my relief exuded from me - the doc asked me what I was doing there.  Huh????  He looked at my file and informed us that the previous tech had read the scan wrong.  He walked us through all the parts that formed our little miracle, and everything was fine.  Everything.  Was.  Fine.

Relief does not even start to describe how we felt walking out of that room.  I think I actually asked the nurse if I could give her a hug!  From that moment forward, I thanked my lucky stars every time she made me nauseous or kicked the heck out of my ribs...

Our little girl was healthy, and all was right with the world.  My definition of relief was changed forever.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I *May* Have a Problem

They say the first step to admitting any addiction is to admit you have a problem.  So here goes...I may be addicted to paper.  Not just any paper, but the pretty, scrapbooking kind of paper.  How do I know this is a problem you ask??

Recently, I took inventory of all the paper I had in my craft room.  To say I have alot is an understatement.  That it and of itself is not the issue.  I love to scrapbook and make cards so you would expect that I would have reams of paper at my disposal.  The issue - I actually found myself saying "I can't use that to's far too pretty".  What??  Why would I buy pretty paper if not to create beautiful books full of memories and cards to give away to my friends?  Because it makes me happy to look at them.  I know...very weird.  Remember I never said I was normal.

Now that I've admitted it, I should be on the road to recovery, right?  I wish I could say yes but I was at the craft store yesterday and could not help myself...there was this SUPER cute girlie paper that made me smile.  Instead of trying to get over it, I plan to find other ways to use it.  Up first, I'm going to create an art display for my craft room.  Beautifully framed paper that will cheer me up whenever I glance over at it. 

As for the "problem" I'm going to try to keep it more under control.  I said try, but I make no promises.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blah days

We all have them.  Those days where we would much rather stay curled up in bed under the covers than venture out to greet the world.  Unfortunately, most of us don't have the option but to drag out butts out from under the covers and face the day.

We should get banners or pins to warn those that cross our paths on those days.  Something that says "just stay out of my way today" to anyone who dares to strike up a conversation.  Or one of those Men in Black pens that makes people forget that we snapped at them for really no good reason.

Today was one of those days for me.  I woke up feeling blah - it took everything for me just to get through the morning routine and head into work.  Then nothing was going right for the first hour I was at the office (I'm sure in retrospect the freaking out I did will seem very unreasonable) AND my computer crashed.  Really...did the universe not know what I needed was just a smooth ride for the first half of the day??

Good thing I work with some great people (who I will apologize to tomorrow).  By 2:00 I had had enough.  I headed out into the snowstorm ( a Canadian's standards not yet a true storm but it was snowing and I had to clean off my car) and made my way home.  Now I'm looking forward to hanging out with my sister for a bit tonight...maybe talking babies with her will cheer me up.

And maybe not.  Maybe today I was destined to just be in "one of those moods"...and that's ok.  Who says we have to be happy and jovial all the time.  Tomorrow when I wake up, I will try to roll out of bed with a smile...for today I may just choose to wallow in feeling blah.  And heaven help anyone who tries to convince me to snap out of it...fair warning that my response (which will include a nasty look and an eye roll) will reflect my mood today.

Interesting thing?  Now that I've shared my lousy mood, I'm actually feeling a tiny bit better.  Am reserving the right to eye roll though...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cool Experience

This weekend my daughters had the opportunity to participate in, what I think, is on every little girls' wishlist.  They got to be in the Ottawa Wedding fashion show and model some gorgeous gowns.  Did I mention they also got to have their hair and makeup done, and everyone ran around to find whatever they needed?  Forget little girl dreams - I think that makes it onto the wish lists of most women I know!

It was so much fun to watch them get all dolled up and twirl around in their pretty gowns - my real life princesses.  We took lots of pics (I think my camera-loving hubby took about 600 over two days) - which was great for me cause I didn't actually get to see them walk the runway.  I was their "dresser" and was relegated to back stage.  Note to time hire someone so I can enjoy the show too!

For the oldest, the glitz had lost its shine between shows 3 and 4.  I asked her what was up as she sat slumped into a chair.  Her answer?  "Mom, it was fun for awhile, but man its hard work to do this stuff."  My little tomboy was tired of being hair-sprayed and lip glossed, and the speed changes between dresses were very stressful on us both!

As for my youngest, she was right in her glory.  She loves this stuff - at one point she asked me to get the hair lady because a piece of hair was falling over her tiara...and then she waved her hand at me. weekend and she goes all diva on me!  Truth be told, this is the same little girl who doesn't like to do anything that makes her sweat, and informed me at 4-years old she needed to marry a real prince so she didn't have to work.  Good luck, my love!!

It was tons of fun, and I gained an appreciation for what goes on behind the scenes at these shows.  The audience gets to see the gorgeous final product, but there is a ton of hard work that goes into it.  Hats off to all those that make a living doing this!  For now, it was just a crazy weekend full of laughs (mostly) and we got some amazing pics for the scrapbook.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm Neurotic and I know it

My bestest friends who have known since BC (before children) know I've always been a bit of a worry wart.  I would obsess over everything...are my marks good enough?  Is my new hair colour ok?  How will I get everything done?  These were some of the burning questions that were part of my adolescence and early adult-hood.

Then I got married.

My worries turned to how will I be a good wife?  How will I make sure not to lose myself?  How will I get everything done?  Same type of questions, different scenario.  Still I managed to keep my neurosis pretty much under control.

Then I had kids.  Control out the window.

I now worry about every tummy ache being a sign of something more.  Every fever leading to a trip to the doctor.  Every tear meaning my amazing child will not see their potential.  Every broken heart not fully healing.  My neurosis moved from "how will I do it all" to "how will I make sure the kids never experience anything bad".  Rationally, I know I can't protect them from everything, and most days I've accepted that and am willing to let things run their course.  Then something happens that makes my "worry wart" nature come screaming forward.

Like there is a couple of kids in our area who are approached by strangers in masks to get into a car.  All rational thought disappears and every ungodly scenario creeps into my mind.  We were told today that there was such an attempt very close to my girls' elementary school (I remind myself to breathe every time I think about it).  Very scary...and makes my neurosis rational, right??

When I get some perspective, I have a frank conversation with my girls to remind them of what to do if anything like that (God forbid) ever happens to them.  And I try to have this conversation without letting my sheer panic show through.  Then I hug them and tuck them into bed...where I am sure they are safe for one more night.

Truthfully, I follow this up with a little prayer.  Please help to keep my girls safe.  Please help me to keep things in perspective.  Please help me to remember to breathe.  And please help me to enjoy all the amazingness that I am blessed with and not focus on the what-ifs.  For although all the stuff that scares the shit out of me is easy to focus on, I want to focus on the stuff that makes me smile.  Then I check on the girls one more time before I turn in just to make sure they are still ok.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Weekends how I love thee!

What's your definition of a perfect weekend?  I've thought about that question quite a bit...if I could plan a perfect weekend what would it entail?  Usually, my thoughts stray to visions of sandy beaches, warm weather and lots of shoe and bag shopping.  Or jet setting to Europe just to have crepes in France and Arroz de Mariscos in Portugal.  All of these, although out there, would fall into a perfect weekend category.

So would this weekend.  It was a weekend filled with some of my favorite things - scrapbooking, painting (not the kind on the walls - that I hate), hanging out with some fantastic ladies, shopping with a friend, and spending time with hubby and my girls. 

While there was no warm weather (cause it was downright cold this weekend), and no amazing Portugese seafood dishes (although that may come at my MIL's tomorrow - fingers crossed), as I sat on the couch beside my hubby tonight with a glass of wine I felt all warm and smushy inside.  Perhaps its time for me to re-think my definition of a perfect weekend...and there is still tomorrow!

Who am I kidding...still think a jet set weekend to Europe would still pretty awesome, but if I can't have the fantasy, weekends like this one are pretty damn good!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mama Lessons

When I imagined what kind of mom I would be, I had grandiose ideas.  I would be the "cool" mom, the "go with the flow" mom, the mom who taught their kids to just deal with things as they came up and ignore anyone who was being mean.  Theory is excellent...then I became a mom.

I still think I can be the cool mom, and I try to go with the flow (although those who know me know that I tend to plan even my go with the flow moments) - its the letting the kids deal with things I'm having trouble with.  How can I preach patience and walking away when all I want to do is head to the school yard and make sure my kids are not being picked on?

This especially rings true when you have a child with a sensitive soul...who takes everything to heart and hangs on to hurt feelings until they all come pouring out.  We talk about strategies to help her with the "mean kids" and how important it is for her to share her feelings.  And there are lots of hugs...lots and lots of hugs. 

My advice to new moms...strive to be the cool mom, the go with the flow mom.  As for the other lesson, strive to let them work out some of it, but don't be afraid to intervene when you need to (sometimes Mama Bear does need to show herself).  For me, I've also learned to bite my tongue and breathe.  I'm sure that is better than me following my daughter around in the schoolyard and preaching for everyone to play nice, right?  And if that doesn't work, I go for more hugs.  For now, at least, that seems to make it better for both of us.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Perfect Gift..

OK...from the title you're probably thinking this is going to be some deep post about getting the gift of time, my children or something along those lines.  It's is about a gift my daughter got for Christmas.

For at least 2 years, my oldest daughter has been fascinated with dinosaurs.  She has insisted that she wants to become a paleontologist.  Since she found out there was a career where she could study dinosaurs and go dig out their bones, this has all she has talked about.  And, although she doesn't love school, she doesn't bat an eye when we tell her she will have to study a long time.

For Christmas, my sister gave her a dino excavation kit.  Yesterday she cracked it open, and she could barely contain herself when she saw it was a REAL excavation kit.  It's basically this big piece of clay, and you use the tools they give you to chisel out the dinosaur bones.  With great care, she got every piece of the bones out...the look of determination on her face as she swept the dust from around the exposed pieces was awesome.

She finished it today, and assembled the pieces of the wooly mammoth.  She was so proud, and told us it was her first of many digs.  I love that she loves this stuff...and without a doubt it was one of the gifts that stood out the most.

Thanks further convinced your niece that digging in the dirt is what she wants to do.  And watching her smile and be excited through it all was a side gift for me...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Finally worked up the courage!

I will admit it...I don't take constructive criticism well.  I tend to get defensive and tune things out - not a good thing when you ask people for their opinion, right?  I finally worked up the courage to share my blog address with some of my family and asked for their comments.  Sucker for punishment I know...but I figured if I was going to take the time to write opinions/events, I might as well have someone read them.

Here is where the sigh of relief goes...they liked it.  Means that I can keep writing in a style that I like, and I'm on the right track with topics so far (I admit I haven't tackled anything controversial yet, but haven't decided yet if I will).

Thank you to those who have read it so far...makes me feel like I could share my writing with a wider group.  Maybe after I relish in their positive comments for awhile!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dress Success and Pressure Points

So here is the first post where I couldn't decide what to focus on (promise it won't be the last!) so two discussions for the price of one!

This promises to be an exciting year for our family.  My youngest sister is having a baby, and about 8 weeks later my middle sister is getting married.  I am so excited for both events that I can't think about either without having this silly grin come across my face.  Yesterday we had a shopping excursion to look at dresses - wedding and bridesmaid.  Was sooo much fun - I got distracted often by all the pretty dresses and sparkly accessories.  I could've been there for hours!

Once they got me to focus, the hunt was on.  Luckily my sister is a pretty laid back bride-to-be so we had free reign to choose.  The only criteria was that it not be too formal (its a Friday night wedding) and had to be comfortable.  After a few duds, am glad to report that my sister found a dress she loved (and looked absolutely fantastic in), and we found a fun dress that is the winner for the bridesmaid pick.  One thing down...

The downside of the shopping trip was towards the end I got a massive headache.  Not unusual for me, but it put a damper on things for me.  While I was trying to deal with it, my little sister grabbed my hand and started to rub a pressure point between my finger and thumb.  After a few seconds all I could think is "where has this pressure point been all my life??".  I've suffered with headaches for as long as I can remember, and have tried lots of things to help deal with them.  This worked - it looks weird but I swear it works.  For those interested, here is what I'm talking about:

Glad to say I have another way to deal with headaches going forward - and I've learned sometimes younger sisters can be wiser.  All in all, yesterday was a good day...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Baby It's Cold Outside...

I hate the cold.  Anyone who knows me knows I would rather hibernate curled up beside a fire with a good book for 5 months rather than venture out during the winter.  Every year around this time I become convinced I should have been born in a warmer climate.  But I live in Canada - which means I have to suck it up and just head out.  On the plus side, winter hasn't been so bad this year.  Above normal temperatures meant that I could go outside without dread...but it was just a tease.  The last couple of days the temperature has dropped and, since it is outside of my control, I am trying not to let it affect my mood.

Given the likelihood of my daughters living their lives in Canada, I am trying not to pass on my aversion to the outdoors in winter to them.  They seem to love bundling up and rolling around in the white stuff *shudder*.  So this year I will try to head out more with them.  I will put on layers of clothes and go out just to hear them giggle when they make a snow angel.  Maybe, just maybe, the sound of them having fun will warm my heart enough to make me forget that my fingers and toes are freezing.  Maybe...

Thursday, January 5, 2012


At the risk of stating the obvious, I HATE being sick.  This will be dubbed the holiday season of the virus that just won't quit.  It has made its rounds through my house, and appears to have chosen me to cling to for dear life.  I know, I know...I should stop whining - it can always be worse.  Just right now, this thing has knocked me flat on my ass and I'm a little peeved at it.  Complaining done.

On the upside, it means I have time to catch up on my reading.  Just finished The Glass House (loved it!) and have started The Birth House.  Can't wait to see where this story leads.

Given I'm chronicling life events here too, yesterday was hubby's birthday.  Will admit adult birthdays around here are low key (which is fine by me!)...we had Chinese food, cupcakes and lots of hugs from 2 little girls who are still excited to see the "age number" next to their name get bigger.  Happy Birthday my love...and to many, many more together.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Looking forward...

I started to think today about all the exciting things that this year has to offer.  My sister is getting married, my baby sister is having a baby, I'm hoping to do some house renos and, in October, I will officially be a mom to a kid in double digits.  Looks like I picked a good year to start chronicling!

While these all promise to be exciting occasions, I was reminded by a friend recently that life is more than just the "occasions", and it's important to find the joy in the things we do daily.  This same friend challenged a bunch of us to do a 365-day photo adventure.  The jist - take a picture everyday for 365 days.  At the end of the year, you have a perfect start to a scrapbook that shows all the things you found joy in that year.  So I'm in...I can already think of a few things that will make the list.  My girls sleeping, unsolicited smiles, my morning coffee.  Can't wait to pull the camera out!

Am also hoping that this will remind me to, every once in awhile, stop and smell the roses...the first step to trying to get balance.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bring on the New Year!

I wish I could say 2011 went out with a bang, but it was really more like a whisper.  We had a quiet dinner, watched some of the festivities, then tuned in to Mary Poppins (one of my favorite movies).  Sad to say, we didn't even make it to the end of that movie!  In our defense, we have all been sick for the last week, and are still recuperating - that's my story and I'm sticking to it :-)

I gave up making resolutions a long time ago, but always make a little wish that the upcoming year is filled with health, happiness and laughter.  Here is hoping 2012 brings all those things...