Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 10 photos for 2009 +1 (because I can't count)

With so many end of the year/decade list of memorable moments of 2009 being shared on this last day of the year, I decided to do one of my own. I present to you, my top 10 favorite photos taken this year (of the ~1000 I took this year).

From the Eating Disorder Candlelight Vigil

The Choice

Matthew's exuberance
And one more....

I love this little nose!

Hope you have a safe New Year's Eve and a blessed New Year!

No photos may be used without my permission.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What's the Word? Part 2: The Unveiling

Today's the day! I'm so excited! I get to unveil my word and set my intention for the new year!

So....are you ready? I know I am. 2010, for me, will be all about.....FOCUS.

FOCUS will mean a great deal to me this year. My adult, as a mom, years have been a little bit of a blur – through sleepless nights in the beginning, to the multitude of jobs a Mom is expected to fill, it was easy and important to lose focus on myself. While the kiddos will remain central to my life, they are both old enough (13 and 8) to do lots more things on their own (with guidance and supervision, of course), which means I can focus the lens of my life a bit to sharpen myself in the picture. I will focus on what made me who I am, what my interests are and what is important to my well-being.

I’ll be FOCUSing on my relationship with my guy, Bob. Sadly, this is the one thing that is the first to be set aside when I get too busy, and surprisingly, the one thing I can count on to be what sets me straight on my priorities. He’s a gem, a rare find – kind, loving to me and the kids, always there for me, and yet manly and cool. Yeah, he’s going to get more of the focus this year.

FOCUS will help me stop wasting precious time on stuff that doesn’t help me to be who I want to be. FOCUS will keep me on track to getting my healthy body back.
FOCUS will help me SIMPLIFY, RENEW, and REBUILD, among other things.

I uncovered a few FOCUSed quotes to use this year. This first one gets at what I'm aiming for:
Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.
--Denis Waitley

So, that’s why I chose FOCUS.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What's the Word?, Part 1

Poised on the edge of a new year, a new decade, I’ve been challenged to come up with a word, something of my own personal theme for 2010. This is a tradition of my friends Leanne, Peggy and Laura that I’ve been invited to participate in this year. Leanne and Peggy will be unveiling their words tomorrow as well.

From my understanding, it’s to be my guiding force for the new year. Much better than a resolution, it’s not likely to be broken once the thrill of the promise of the new year is gone. I envision it as the wrapping paper on my life in the upcoming year. Not to be taken lightly, I tried on a few words before I settled on my final choice.
I initially thought SIMPLIFY would be right for me. Over the years, my home has taken on the weight of many interests, hobbies and projects. It’s really time to let some of them go, like my teaching materials and my collection of jars I was planning to decorate some day. That word would help me get to what was important, what was worth my time and energy. Releasing these projects will give me renewed energy to spend on things that matter to me now.

I also thought, RENEW or REBUILD, would be a good one for me. In 2009, thanks to social networking, I renewed old friendships and began to remember who I was, once upon a time. I remembered the dreams I’d had, the goals I’d set, the person I thought I’d be and I really wanted to rebuild some of those dreams. I really am the same person at heart; you just have to dig through some of the debris of my broken dreams to get to her. Thus, REBUILD would have been a good choice.

I finally zeroed in on the right word for me. The one word that immediately made sense after it popped in my head. The one that takes all of these runners up words and ties a bow on the wrapping paper, to continue that analogy.
So, since this post is already getting too long, I've decided to keep you in suspense just one more day.
Tomorrow, I'll unveil my word......see you then.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Deck the Halls with Kitty Chaos!

Wow, time flies. Every time I think of writing here, I find another thing to do, or my computer is so slow, it’s time for bed before I get a chance to write.
The good news is, the computer situation has been worked out…a newer, faster model is being set up for me soon---I’m really excited! My computer has served us well for the past 7 years and is going to spend her retirement playing games and doing homework with my kids. No more trudging through the Internet for the old gal. Enjoy your retirement HP Media Center! I’m not going to be able to use the slow computer excuse for much longer.
Since we last chatted, there has been an update on the ornament situation. You’ll recall I used some glue to repair a few beloved ornaments a few weeks back. Well, 2 Fridays ago, when I came home from work, I found the cats had Decked the Halls with Kitty Chaos! This came on the heels of the cats knocking over the Advent calendar and helping my dog, Jack, to enjoy day 23, the same week. Here’s our Advent calendar:

When Friday came along, things got a little feistier, it seems. Since I wasn’t there to see it, I imagine it went something like this.

1. Mom leaves the house.
2. Jack gets off the chair and sniffs Dmitry.

3. Dmitry gets feisty and smacks Jack in the head.
4. There is some running up and down the stairs.
5. Jack and Dmitry crash land on Melanie, who has been watching, bored, from the table.


6. Melanie freaks out and runs into the living room, where the Christmas tree stands, as yet, undisturbed.
7. Dmitry does some maneuvers ala the Matrix and crashes into my jester Santa. One casualty.

8. Dmitry, knowing all his good deeds up to this point will be forgotten because of the beheaded Santa, runs into the tree, dislodging several ornaments, including James Dean, who ends up, face down in the carpet.
9. There is some kitty “I’m telling” meowing.
10. Everyone goes back to sleep.

Or, this is what could have happened:

1. Dmitry is bored. He is enticed by the pretty, glittery ornaments and plays a game to see how many he can knock off before I get home.

Naughty Kitty

Like I said, I can’t be too sure what happened. You be the judge, I’ll go get the glue.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Spreading the Christmas Cheer One Card at a Time

The cards are written, personal notes inscribed, they are addressed, stamped....and sitting on my desk! Darn, I missed the mail!!!

This is the first batch of Christmas Cards I've sent out in 5 years. I don't think a lot of my friends or family have my address - I get NO cards anymore. That's what happens when you move a bunch of times and don't send out your cards!

This year, I've vowed to be on top of this activity, now rendered quaint in these days of emails and texts. Also, the first time I've had stamps in my possession in a year! If you don't get a card.....I don't have your address....:)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Goodwill Christmas

This year Christmas, our long time friends, Debbie and Melissa, along with my sister and I got together on December 5th for our third annual Christmas get together. We have known each other since we were VERY little kids, and our moms are also good friends. When we were young, we used to go to their house on Christmas Eve, before we went by my Grandparents house. Now, they live too far away to imagine doing that, hence, we have created our new traditions. The first year was by my house, then by Debbie’s and this year, Melissa’s. Next up is Jeanne’s turn—we are going from oldest to youngest – oh, my, I’m the oldest! (by 11 days). We only exchange between Deb’s family and mine, and Melissa’s to Jeanne’s.

This year, we added a new twist—gifts to each other (Deb/Cindi, Jeanne/Mel) could only come from Goodwill, be under $10, and would have to be proudly used or displayed for one year. I have to say, this was the best year ever! I got a tree ($7), a “lovely” table runner ($1.49), and lights for the tree ($2). Deb signed me up for Club Goodwill, so the table runner was actually free! Deb got a Joliet ashtray, lighthouse snowglobe, dolphin statue and a clam shaped purple chip and dip bowl. Melissa got a potato shaped serving dish, a Friends tray, a friend plaque, cactus flower cheese spreaders, and Texas salt and pepper shakers. Jeanne got a Merry Chirstmoose sign, a carafe with warming tray that works with a tea light candle, a wire cage tree, a picture of a purple motorcycle, 4 duplicate VCR tapes with “Nightmare” in the title, and an oak tissue paper holder.

I can’t wait for next year when the men of the couples join in and we all have to wear bad holiday sweaters. Good times and we helped support the Goodwill mission. Not bad.