Monday, January 31, 2011

On My Mind Monday

I felt it all, all at once – that time can slow to a near standstill by existing inside it. By not pushing through it, or past it – by not wishing it away, nor trying to capture it. It was a lesson I needed to learn over and over again: to stop and simply be. To recognize these moments and enter them – with reverence and an unprotected heart – as if walking into a cathedral.
Dani Shapiro - Devotion

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Right Now


  • Dani Shapiro. I finished Family History last week, and her first memoir yesterday. Slow Motion was another raw and gritty read.
  • Ina's how easy was that? I so heart the Barefoot Contessa.
  • Alice Munro's short stories and Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird.


  • The first season of Little House on the Prairie. Miss Bit is tickled by Laura's nickname...Half Pint, and lovingly referring to her own Dad as Pa. T. Bone is not even opposed to joining us for an episode.
  • American Idol. I am smitten with Steven Tyler and liking J. Lo much more than I expected to.
  • Packer's football!!!!
  • The Real Housewives of where ever...a very guilty pleasure.
Listening to:
  • Nothing at all, but the world around me. I've been turning off the tunes in favor of quiet, and leaving my music at home when I set out for a walk. There is plenty enough noise in my head...thank you.


  • Lean and clean. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies and no processed or refined foods.
  • Last week's winner...lettuce wraps.
  • On this week's menu: cilantro baked tilapia, spicy tomato soup and turkey burgers with feta and red onion.

  • Content.
  • Full.
  • Light.
  • Right.


  • What my heart desires, what my soul whispers, what my body craves.
  • Taking care of myself and my family.
  • Only what I absolutely have to do or truly want to do. I'm living with purpose.
  • Striving to be the best me I can be.


  • Of finally giving myself permission to do what I'm most passionate about.
  • Of a snowstorm so paralyzing that we have snow days...not a single snow day. (And on that front this week looks promising.)
  • Of helping my kid's make their dreams come true.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Grateful Saturday

Today I give thanks that...

My busy week is over. Life was so frenetic at a time of the year, the season, my life when I find myself craving simplicity and solitude most of all. I didn't even get to my weekly gratitude post that always keeps me grounded. Last night we regrouped and went ice skating as a family, a family plus one...T. Bone's bud joined us. We headed to an indoor area ice rink so Miss Bit could finally strap on some skates. She's been fantisizing about the freedom of gliding along the ice ever since they flooded the rink at school. I wasn't convinced that she would last long so I was reluctant to do the work it takes to secure a pair of skates this late in the season and then pay top dollar for skates that surely won't fit her next winter. Every place I called over the last couple weeks was sadly sold out of her size. Turns out she didn't like, my girl LOVED skating! And I might add that she did famously for a first timer. It's all she's been talking about all night, all morning, all afternoon.

We decided to hedge our bets and headed out to a nearby sporting good's store in the hopes that we'd somehow score some skates today. Happily we did...myself, hubby and Miss Bit. T. Bone was already well-equipt. Now all she's talking about is when we can go skating again and I must admit that I am enamored with her enthusiasm.

Today I'm grateful for a low-key, fun family weekend.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's 4 a.m. - Do you Know Where Your Thoughts Are?

Mine...they were racing rendering sleep ever elusive. And so I got up and trudged down through the sleeping house to one of the family room couches. I plumped up my pillows and tucked in my blanket just so before crawling into my makeshift bed still hopefully hopeful for more shut eye. As I was trying to quiet my thoughts, all I could hear was noise after noise. The air was filled with the seconds tick tocking away on the clock in the room, the wind blowing through the fan below me sending it rattling, the furnace firing up, a battery in one of the smoke detectors sounding in warning that it is time to be changed, an i phone buzzing to let us know there is a message, the heaving and hoeing of tired floorboards, windows creaking, cats chasing and suddenly it struck me how every sound is amplified in the dark of the night. Every sound louder and every thought more worrisome. It is called the dead of night for a reason.

It got me to thinking about insomniacs. An occasional night of tossing and turning only gives me a glimpse at what they suffer through long night after long night. I know people who have bouts of insomnia, and one or two who are plagued by it chronically. I'm sorry that I've had too little sympathy for them. I've never gotten it in the same way that someone who hasn't lost a parent, cannot even come to know my grief. I'm not saying that they don't have true empathy and caring compassion, but they cannot fully fathom the weight that tugs at my heart or the pain that cuts to the core of my being. They just can't, and it works that way for a reason. The reason is called self-preservation.

One of the many things I was thinking of this too early morning was an unlikely book I came to own as a teenager. Unlikely because the book was called How It Feels When a Parent Dies, and I had two young and healthy parents. I was drawn to the book because one of the interviews was with two children who were eerily spitting images of my brother and I when we were their young ages. From the moment I saw the black and white photo, it haunted me and I had to have it. All these years I've held onto this erstwhile library's traveled through life with me mostly untouched...unopened. In the dead of night, I cannot shake the feeling that this book is an antithetical talisman. I know it's not rational, and still I cannot let go of the feeling that destiny manifested itself all right. We are, after all, what we surround ourselves with...right?

And the energy we put out there comes back to us as we know from the Cosmic Law of Attraction. So it was today that I bumped into a babysitter we haven't seen or heard from in a couple years. I told her I had just been thinking about her. She told me, she had just been thinking about T. Bone. It was the middle of the school day in the middle of the week, but guess who was with me having lunch after an appointment? Yep...T. Bone. Coincidence? Perhaps, but I think rather not. This young woman tragically lost her mother a few years ago and I was wondering how she was faring knowing now what I didn't know then: how painfully difficult it is to be without your mother in this world. I can clearly remember the exact spot where she came to my mind only days before, and where I wished I had been of more comfort to her years ago, and days later our paths cross. I was able to give her that hug. Uncanny really. Yet I'm not unsettled by this kind of intersection, and I prefer to think of it less as chance and more as evidence of divine providence.

Well, the coffee is kicking in and I'm ready to start my day, which is probably not a bad idea seeing as how it is bound to be ending early.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


i woke up at 7:30 and shut my eyes again thinking it's too cold to get up.
the sun may be shining, but it's bitter out there.
the next thing i knew it was 9:00.
i had enough time to enjoy a cup of coffee and a chapter before heading out to miss bit's acting class.
we were the first to arrive and i listened from the hallway to my girl carry on such an impressive conversation with the instructor.
i thought...she is the nicest, kindest little six-year old.
i took a cafe au lait to go and finished my book whilst i waited for her class to let out.
i so look forward to this leisurely hour every week.
t. bone braved the cold at the sledding hill with his buddies...the snow that fell overnight too fluffy to resist.
he's at one of the neighbor's houses now with his crew.
the cats are bathing in the sun.
my man offered to rendezvous with my dad to drop off lil bit at a midway point for an impromptu, much anticipated sleepover.
i headed down to the basement to do a little kenpo.
the hot shower i took after my workout felt like nirvana to my already aching's been awhile since they've been used like that.
i am quite smitten with my mug of cranberry tea...tart and sweet.
hubby's making chili for tomorrow's family football fiesta...the house smells good and spicy.
i may start a new book and we might watch a movie this afternoon.
tonight we have our couple's bowling league.
it will be good to see our friends and enjoy a night out. is a good day.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Pajama Day. Today all the kids had to do was crawl out of bed and brush their teeth. T. Bone even wore his bedhead for the occasion. Of course, we were still running around like chickens with our heads cut off to get to school on time. They blame it on my need to take pictures.

The way that the minute anyone or anything goes horizontal these two climb up for a cuddle.

Smart, sweet snacks.

T. Bone's new word:"sick." Every time he says it, Miss Bit has to clarify, "That means good right?"
Miss Bit hums sweet little ditties to herself all day long. His incessant noise makes me think of the mom in the Calgon commercials.
a stack of new reading material and movies too from the library. I so heart the ability to request materials system wide and then have them waiting for me at my library.
Magazines left by a friend in my mailbox.
All the glitter and goodies we need to make homemade valentines...well Miss Bit and I, that is.
Parmesan crusted tilapia with a side of mashed cauliflower and my man's chop suey.
bundling up for a walk in tuesday's winter wonderland. when the wind would blow, it looked like it was snowing again.
Tulips in buckets at the market even though I couldn't buy them...not yet.
T. Bone shared with me that he spent a recent recess playing with a couple kids with special needs just because he thought it would be nice cuz' not too many people play with them, and he said he really enjoyed himself.
My Lil Pony...T. Bone's nickname on the soccer field.
My girl started Jazzercize this week and I can say with such certainty that she's got no rhythm, but also no fear.
Friends both home from the hospital resting and recuperating.
ample time this week to read and write in journals and work on memory books.
turtleneck sweaters.
hot, steaming showers.
The ethereal, other worldly view of the steam rising up out of the lake this morning to become one with the clouds on the horizon.
Our summer vacation is booked and already eagerly anticipated.
A mid-week movie night with Miss Bit. We snuggled in for Ramona and Beezus. We have the first 4 episodes of Little House on the Prairie in cue for the weekend too.
The whole family is back into American Idol.
A weekend ahead with a welcome mix of need tos and want tos.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

what's wrong with this picture?

t. bone is playing on the ipad, miss bit is on her ds, hubby is on his iphone and i'm on the computer.

i think we're in need of an intervention, or at the very least a technology diet.


It may be Tuesday, but this week it's our Monday. T. Bone was eager to get to school this morning to strap on his new skates during gym today. It was one of the gifts he picked out for his birthday during a special shopping spree yesterday with Uncle B. Bone and Aunt A. Bone. They also took him out for wings for lunch and went home to play a game of snow football. During dinner last night he said more than once, "This is the best Monday of my life." That's a big deal considering the fact that he thought it was the worst day when he woke to remember he had lost his PS3 privileges for the morning.

I think Miss Bit had a good day too. When I tucked her in last night, she was feeling sad that we wouldn't get to spend the whole day together again today. We had a little heart to heart. I admitted that I knew just how she felt, and I told her she was so sweet. To that she said, "And you are so helpful Mom." And I did know how she felt. We had a great day together playing play doh, venturing out in the snowstorm for a little shopping and lunch, and then hunkering in at home to finally watch The Polar Express for the first time this winter. Truthfully, I didn't want the day...the snowstorm...the weekend to end either.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Strength, Soul Sisters and Spirit Guides

I was always either stuck in the past, or obsessing about the future, while the present heaped its gifts on me, screaming for attention.

Dani Shapiro, Devotion

I'm sitting here watching the snow fly curled up and content under my afghan with my kids and my cats. I'm keenly aware of the here and now: the world turning white outside my window as I sit sipping my steaming cafe Au lait - a welcome veil of peace both inside and out. I'm not thinking about what I have to do today because there really is nothing at all pressing. We finally took the tree down yesterday. The branches were losing their healthy, jewel-toned verde it in for an unappealing shade of yellow resembling a sickly, aged bruise. I kept putting this off for several reasons...first and foremost because it's emotional for me. I have to be in the right state of mind to carefully pack away the many years worth of ornaments my Mom specially picked out for the kids. Each hand painted ornament has its own dated box, and as I match them up for another year of storage, so many memories are dredged up. So many many Christmases, and yet never enough. It's impossible not to think of the memories that never were...that will never be. The tears came when I took the last couple ornaments off the tree: my shamrock and my Mom's. They were right next to each other. Had I done that deliberately? I really couldn't recall. And as if that weren't enough for one day, I decided that yesterday was the day to sort through my Mom's Christmas boxes. They've been stored untouched for the last couple years in my basement. A number of years ago she divied up the relics from our childhood - some handmade, many with stories, almost all treasured for some reason - and replaced them with an array of elegant golden globes. I unwrapped each and every one of the glass orbs. They didn't really have a hold on me because although my Mom's tree was glorious in all it's glitter and gold, I wasn't attached to it. I'm not going to lie and say that I didn't have some tearful conversations with my Mom as I undertook this task alone in my quiet house. Oh...yea, I certainly did, but it was cleansing and cathartic to rewrap them. One for me, one for my brother. There were practically two of every beautiful design as if she anticipated that one day they would be shared evenly and enjoyed equally. That was my Mom.

I think I was finally ready to take on this task because I have felt my Mom with me throughout the weekend. Especially Friday evening when I went to visit one of my Mom's oldest, dearest friends in the hospital. In the same hospital my Mom spent too much time in during her year long battle. On the same floor my Mom was admitted to several times. With some of the same nurses still tending to patients. My friend shares the same name as my Mom and now she shares the same disease. Her prognosis is more promising and her attitude is just as positive. We spent more time laughing about her lovable little thug of a grandson than crying although there were tears. It was surreal to walk the maze of halls, past scary clinic after clinic getting from here to there by mere memory. There was no need for signs or directions or information booths...this was unwelcome familiar territory. My Mom's friends, my friends too, M. and R. were by my side every step of the way of this almost out of body experience because they are good like that. The numbness abated when I saw K., who looked amazing just for the record, lying in her hospital gown in her hospital bed. I just couldn't contain my tears, but she understood...she knew that they were as much about me as they were about her. They were for my Mom who is always with us when we are all together.

After I walked K's daughter out for the night, I found myself alone in the bathroom. I had a meltdown. I wish that this weren't happening to them. I wish it never happened to me. And yet, there are more differences than similarities between what happened to my Mom and what is in store for her. The thing I know that will be the same...the fact that life will never be the same again. Not better or worse necessarily...just different. When you are faced with life's fragility, it weighs heavily on your heart in times of joy and seasons of sorrow. It's an acute awareness you have no choice but to live with day in and day out as you try to keep the image of the other shoe dropping from keeping you from walking forward into the rest of your life no matter how long it is.

A little while later we said goodnight to our tired friend K., and we three friends headed out for a little continued conversation over glasses of wine. I told the girls about the coyotes in my yard just before I left. How I was sitting at the kitchen table and I felt something looking at me. How I turned to see, not one, but three coyotes in the yard and how one was staring straight at me. It was eerie and it was exhilarating. R. suggested that, perhaps, the coyote is my animal spirit guide and that it may not have been a coincidence that on this night, in particular, three of them were sighted? Sent? Since I set out together with my two friends to go where I wasn't sure I could or should go, were they there to offer strength and protection?

As M. dropped me at my car parked in front of her house, a single red fox came bounding across the yard in front of us, looked our way and then disappeared just a moonlit silhouette in the snow. Again, eerie and exhilarating, and even more so now that today I've just come to know of her history with the red fox. Hmmm? Can it be that the red fox is her animal spirit guide making sure we made it home safely on the snowy, sister filled night?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Finishing Devotion before breakfast this morning. Now I will go back and revisit the many dog eared pages. One honest quote has been on rewind in my head: My father died sad. My mother died angry. The family of my childhood has become dust. It's on constant loop through my mind not because it's my own truth, but because it's so brutally, starkly her's. I feel the pain of her loss.
I also share Dani's disdain for several sentiments most of all God never gives you more than you can handle. I've written before to express how cold and dismissing this sounds to someone who's sufferring. Yet I do believe that everything happens for a reason in the find the lesson and opportunity for growth and extension that both good times and bad times present kind of way.
So many lessons learned this week. Too many aha moments to even add up. I'm exhausted and refreshed.
This has been a week of uncanny coincidence and random acts of kindness. Phone calls from people not heard from for too long after thinking of them...buying sweet little bird plates one day and the very next my kind friend M., gifting me with the beautiful Bluebird of happiness just hubby sending me an email to tell me he's grateful for me before my weekly gratitude post.
Paying it forward...the best thank you of all.
Unconditional love and pure peace.

A whole week of healthy eating is good not just for the body, but also the soul. Taking care of ourselves in every way is an act of grace.

Sledding and snowboarding into the gloaming. I was chilled and I wanted to stay in the warm van and watch T. Bone and Miss Bit from afar, but I knew that wasn't plugging in. I didn't want their memories of the snowy afternoon to be of me watching them from the sidelines. You never know what little things they'll remember...what they're going to take with them, and I sure didn't want laziness and distance to be part of my living legacy.

So many snowflakes this week....on noses, tongues and eye lashes, covering branches, crunching under feet and looking yummy on plates.

Giving myself permission to Just Be. I was searching for a word to guide me into 2011...a sentiment to carry me through. I settled on Just Be, and yes, I know it's two words, but it's really much more. It's a feeling. It's permission. It's a mantra...a motto. Just Be real...authentic...true. Just Be me. Just Be where I deem I need to be. Just Be where I am when I'm there and nowhere else. Just Be in the moment. Just Be the best me I can with what I have right now.

Comfort and connection even through confections.

Miss Bit's a natural on stage. She's been practicing her first part since acting class ended last Saturday. No matter that her part of the script is only 3 lines long. It's all about inflection and gestures and presence.
T. Bone is playing the guitar after school and basketball after dinner. My Renaissance man.
Grilled tuna with fresh pico de gallo.
Mango tea and mint tea.
My boy confessed that his teacher never takes a birthday treat...that is until he brought his, and today she emailed me for a recipe.
Modern Family even if we missed the last few minutes this week.
It's just after dusk and 3 coyotes just traveled through my yard.
A long holiday weekend ahead.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


As I drove along the lakefront this morning, I was blinded by the beacon that was the sun. It was blazing a path clear across the water that came to an abrupt halt at the jagged ice flows and just before the barren, almost deserted beach. A lone photographer was standing at his tripod attempting to capture the breathtaking image, but there was no doubt in my mind that something would be lost in seeing this glory second hand. I felt incredibly lucky and light to be viewing this spectacular sunrise with my own two eyes knowing all too well that something is always lost in the translation...believing that some things cannot be frozen on film or captured on paper. I looked up to see that there was a distinct, straight line bifurcating the sky that cut clear across the horizon. One side: faded blue like worn in, stonewashed denim, and the other: downy pillows of pure white fluff. Wow I said aloud and to myself.

The respect in my voice brought me back to the awe I felt in hearing Dani Shapiro's yesterday as I read her memoir. I picked up the book, said Wow outloud at least three times in the first forty pages, and couldn't put it down for long. Her story is some powerful stuff that resonated rawly with me. In an almost eerie way, I felt like she was reading my mind and sharing some of my own deeply personal spiritual struggles. I felt understood, validated, free and weightless. I feel light even as my mind is swirling with some heavy thoughts and feelings today.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


These last few days have been fragmented, yet full.

big, fat, whirly, twirly snowflakes from morning until night.
the winter lover in me has been wanting more of the white stuff.
the heavy snow makes me feel all the lighter.

plump, purple blueberries that burst when you bite them.
berries of any and all varieties have been hard to come by recently.
finding these beauts and then finding them on sale was certainly serendipitious.

a couple of hours of lost time while the car was maintenanced.
i had my warm tea and my book and a view of the wonderland outside.
i had a much welcome exuse to do nothing, but to slow down and sip and read.

by the time i left, the snow-covered roads gave me the grounds i needed to simply go home.
home to bake and frost brownies for my boy's birthday treat a rather suspect request from the non-chocolate lover of the family.
home where i made a pot of steaming soup.
home where i curled up with a cat on either side of me to finish my book in the comfort of my nest where the tears could freely flow.

kefir smoothies by morning and hot cocoa by night.
my mom's spicy gingerbread topped with cinnamon cream for dessert and homemade waffles for breakfast.
furry slippers, fuzzy afghans, wool hats and best of all...warm hearts.
the crackle and pop of the logs in the fireplace as the flames dance in improvisation.
a houseful of family gathered round...first the football game and then the dining room table.

dreaming of a home with no neighbors high on a hilltop despite the fact that our's are just fine.
thankful for the visitors who pass through the yard.
today it's the hawk hawking on the high wire and little red running himself ragged on the perimeter.
prints in the fresh snow reveal the coyote has been in our midnight midst.

plans to sled after school.
my girl beyond herself excited to whiz down the hill a pink blur.
my boy cannot wait to get a pair of ice skates and inquires daily about whether he should get a 7 or an 8.
shoveling snow so light we could sweep it... a welcome home surprise for daddy after a long day.

a family date night to the theater for dinner and a movie and then for church the next day.
a date with just my hubby for breakfast.
a date to just dance with my girl who has some serious moves.
a date with myself to watch a movie after everyone else was snug in their beds.

just saying no thank you, later, tomorrow, let me think about it.
and saying yes absolutely, right now, today.
seeing, feeling, hearing, tasting and smelling all that is good in life.
knowing i have enough...knowing i am enough.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Random Acts of Culture Seriously...try not to smile through tears as you watch this.

Random acts of kindness too.

Katrina Kenison is my lodestar for 2011. I recently read both of her books and I'm so drawn in by her simple wisdom, and honest truths.

This girl is one of my daily inspirations.

Peace and quiet and plenty of down time.

These two who offer a great deal of encouragement too.

Joie de vivre

School's back in session and healthier habits are being observed on all fronts.

Hearing my girl singing Alleluia exuberantly throughout the day in the shower, as she dresses, as she plays on the I Pad...

The Christmas cookies, delicious as they were, are all gone. Now we are on to Girl Scout cookies, which I am NOT thankful for. We still have plenty from last year!

Cuponk...a family fun game that even amuses the cats.
T. Bone's heartfelt thank you cards. He writes them all by himself now, and he writes them so well.
Decluttering and clearing and cleaning my house and my head.
A friend's cancer has not spread.
We have 2 kidneys.
The things kids say. When T. Bone is annoyed by something someone does he refers to it as random. Miss Bit calls it hyper.
A very quiet weekend.
Time to be.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

today was...

starting the day with a mug of steamy coffee and a beloved author who writes poignantly of changing her life...making it simpler and more meaningful.
purging drawers and cleaning closets to make room for so many new things that I then tucked away along with some of the Christmas decorations.
neat, clean sheets on all the beds so we'll all sleep sweetly tonight.
my mom's tuna noodle casserole for lunch with a glass of chocolate milk.
soft snow starting to fall just as i set out to walk all alone in the quiet afternoon.
popcorn and hot cocoa topped with a Peep and a dollop of cream for after school snack for the littles and a mug of hot tea for me.
working on thank yous with the kids and then homework. he needs little help with his notes, and more with his assignments. she breezes through her work, and agonizes over her cards.
giving myself a reprieve for failing to make soup and bake bread today as i planned despite the fact that i know my kids were hoping for it. no one starved.
pixo projects with my girl. rainbow colored little pixos everywhere. hearing my boy make up a little ditty that went like mom is where i want to be...she's so happy...she's so thoughtful.
a few rounds of scrabble slam before bed.
little t.v., few video games and limited time on the computer.
reading a fairy tale from a book my mom read to me as a child to my girl before bed.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

here where i am

I'm sitting here alone in my quiet house for the first time in over a week. Although there are no gifts to buy or cookies to bake, there's still plenty I can do and more I should do, but what I want to do is nothing. I'm in the throes of the post-holiday letdown. It happens every year...even years when Christmas feels to have overstayed its welcome.

The truth is that I'm not good at 'goodbyes.' I'm still trying to get to the heart of 2010 so it's hard for me to put my heart into 2011. I'm stuck in limbo...uncomfortably betwixt and between. I feel like I've been banished to Siberia, but not because I'm shivering. It's the vast nothingness of the days that leave me feeling barren and inner chill.

It thaws for moments here and there. I soften when my daughter wakes with a smile on her face and a spring in her step on the first day back to school. Excited she is to see friends, wear new clothes, eat the school lunch (yep...true) and most of all, to see her teacher. I melt when my son, who is almost as tall as I am now, comes down crying after being tucked in for the night. He's sad about losing his mommy and daddy, and worrying about what he'll do without us. When I take him back to bed for a snuggle, he traces "I love you forever" on my back with his finger. I relent when I write and put words to my feelings. Giving them credence gives me the power to change them, for I cannot change what I do not acknowledge.

Today, I'm just painfully aware of the work I've got to do to get from here to there.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Go! Bucky!

This weekend we celebrated our last, but not least, Christmas on New Year's Day while we cheered on our beloved Badgers in the Rose Bowl. In our midst were many fans, several alumni and I'd be willing to bet money on it that we have some future Badgers as well. Despite the fact that the Badgers were not victorious, we enjoyed cheering them on together. T. Bone and Miss Bit love...L-O-V-E...spending time with their cousins, and whatever time they do get to spend...well, it's just never enough so they came home with us for a sleepover Saturday night. I'm glad that they are such close friends. I'm glad we didn't travel to Pasadena. I'm glad that the holidays are just warm memories now. I'm even glad winter is back and snow is once again in the forecast.

Happy! New! Year's! Eve!

We rang in the new year with old friends. Old as in childhood friends, 2 of hubby's and 1 of mine. It is cool that now our kids have such fun together. There was laughter and silliness and hammin' it up and togetherness and time to talk and catch up. There was yummy food - cucumber sandwiches, hot wings, hot dogs, hot spinach artichoke dip, shrimp, stuffed shrooms and lots more. There were games - Wii and football and ping pong and PS3. There was a fashion show by a few followed by hats, horns and glasses for all. We watched the ball drop with money in our hands and hoorayed a brand new year. I'm bracing myself for a good one and hanging many hopes on 2011.