2010, I RESOLVE...

I am already giving serious and thoughtful consideration about this coming year and some resolutions for me for 2010. Here they are:

1) Eat whole foods and make better food choices more consistently

I want to be healthier in 2010. Though I have done much better in eating whole foods, whole grains and switched to brown rice, whole wheat pastas, whole grain breads and including fresh vegetables and fruits into our meals every day, and have seen the results in my excellent cholesterol numbers, I want to BE CONSISTENT all year long. I aim for drinking 3-4 litres of water a day too...again, my goal is to be more consistent, since I tend to be more lax on the weekends.

2) Exercise in some way, everyday

In addition to my regular exercise time in the mornings and our Bow-Flex workouts during the evening weeknights, my resolution is to integrate some hikes, bike rides, and shoreline beach walks. By April, I resolve to sign up for Beach Boot Camp classes for the 2010 season (April - October).

3) Become more involved at my church, The Rock

Though we attend services, I want to become involved through a small group, Bible study and/or outreach

4) Less TV/more reading/more writing

These three go hand in hand. I resolve to use more of the time I spend watching television on more reading (which I love, but I have let the "boob tube" rob me of that pleasure) and working on my writing projects.

5) Volunteer/Selflessness

I resolve to give more of myself this year. More of me to my husband, family, friends and charitable endeavors.

Those are my five. Have you thought about your resolutions for 2010?



Yup, I am sick...still another day.

Today, some new symptoms to this cold virus. I feel winded and my eyes hurt. I am still sneezing, coughing and blowing my nose. But I do feel a little bit better than I did yesterday. It sure doesn't sound like it though, does it?

Bruce got me a really cool laptop pad for Christmas. It's called an e-Pad. It makes working on my laptop from the comforts of the couch (or bed) so much nicer! It is much better than trying to juggle it on my lap or from the arm of the sofa (which is a terrible angle for my neck and back when I work for any extended length of time).

I have been getting lots of use of my new e-Pad!

So, what else is new?

I am counting the days until we get to fly to Utah and celebrate Gracie's FIRST birthday!! Has it really almost been a year since that sweet baby girl was born? Yep, it really has!

I am compiling my list of things to pack for our trip to Utah and watching the calendar, marking off the days...one by one.



We celebrated Christmas Eve at my parent's house with a delicious Italian feast and a gift exchange! We had a smaller gathering than usual with some cousins not there and missing our sweet kids who live out of state. Nonetheless, our celebration was festive and warm and full of love and laughter.

I, unfortunately, am sick. I started with a sore throat last Saturday--24 hours after the dude at Sardina's coughed over his shoulder right at me--and on the morning of Christmas Eve, I began to feel REALLY awful, but I was not running a fever. Christmas morning, I woke up at 6 a.m. feeling EVEN WORSE....AND on top of it, I had a horrible migraine headache. After Excedrin and a cup of coffee, I began to feel better...Bruce and I opened our stockings together (sitting in bed) and enjoyed another cup of coffee.

We finally got out of bed and opened our gifts to one another, enjoyed some delicious Stollen Bread for breakfast. Sweet daughter, M was still fast asleep but was up and ready when the rest of the kids all arrived around 1:00 p.m. I had already happily chatted with our son, T, in VA and our daughter, A, in Utah and we all wished each other Merry Christmas.

Our house filled with laughter and exchange of gifts to and from all the kids. "Santa" brought us another Mystery Puzzle to work on during the afternoon, before we all gathered with plates of hot food into the living room to watch the football game. T, called us to let us know that he and buddy had driven the 6 hours to Nashville and were on their way to LP Field to watch the game!

At game's end, everyone said their good-byes and went on their way. Bruce, M and I settled in with cups of cocoa and tea and watched "Pelham 123" before calling it a night. I finished my evening with a dose of Nyquil and got a really sound night of sleep.

Today is a lazy day. In my jammies. Fire in the fireplace. Sipping mugs of hot tea and being very diligent on taking my cold meds with a box of tissues at my side.

That's it from our house...how was your Christmas?



I live in a beautiful city where the temperatures are moderate and it is often called Paradise. It is known as "America's Finest City".

This time of year is particularly beautiful. Our downtown streets are decorated with lights and full of bustling people making their way in groups full of happy conversation and laughter as they walk up and down the sidewalks to shop, eat at the restaurants and celebrate Christmas.

On these same streets are another distinct group of people. They are homeless. Dirty, destitute, drunk, addicted or simply without resources to get them through a rough patch they find themselves in.

Their presence is hard for the rest of us to look at but impossible to ignore. We do not make eye contact with them. Some of them are clearly mentally ill. They shout obscenities and wave their arms about, so we cross to the opposite side of the street to avoid them. But even if we turn away, we can smell them and we can see and smell the result of their having to live on the street. It is offensive to us. We try hard to pretend that they are not us and that we could never be like them.

I drive to work very early in the morning--just before sunrise--and every day, on my route, there are several adults in sleeping bags, sequestered away under the bridge, on the hillside and out of the sight of all but the occasional passing car, who have taken shelter there for the night.

I can't help but think about the homeless, on nights like last night, when the downtown temperatures dropped into the high 30's. While I was in my warm house with a drawer full of sweatshirts and socks and blankets to keep me comfortable and a pantry full of food -- they shivered hungry, hungover, and alone in the night and many are alone in the world.

That reality gnaws at me.

Who are these people? What happened to them? What is their story? I am sure they were all at one time in their lives, like you and me. They had families, friends, jobs, homes. But somehow, somewhere, along the way, through either bad decisions or unfortunate circumstances, they lost everything. Everything.

I have shivered in a sleeping bag for the duration of two very cold nights. I know what that feels like. It was not from homelessness, but by choice as we were tent camping in the California desert during a very chilly November. The temperatures were easily in the mid 30's. The first night I could not sleep at all. It was agony. Even the second night, better prepared wearing a hooded sweatshirt, socks, and layered shirts and sweatpants, I was still very cold. I was miserable. I have not forgotten what that felt like. I think about those nights when I see homeless people in tents along the Park median and huddled under bridges.

This post is not about condemnation or blame. But it is about humanity. And remembering that the homeless, though they have very little else, have not lost their humanity. And that --they --are us. And we--could be --just like them.

"There, but by the Grace of God, go I...."



I have been busy being one of Santa's elves. Well, not really one of his official elves, but I feel like one of them and I love that feeling!

All of our out of state packages are on their way and on time! The rest of our Christmas shopping is just about done. I have some stocking stuffer shopping (for our boys and Bruce) to finish but our major shopping is all done.

Oh and here is some really great news! We were thrilled to get a call this week that we had been given a family to adopt for Christmas and I had fun choosing warm clothes for two sweet little boys. Bruce is going to go get them some Matchbox cars and books and pick up a commissary grocery card for their Christmas dinner. And we're going to try to find some Christmas feety-pajamas for them, too. We are so excited about bringing Christmas joy to a sweet military family. It really IS better to give than receive. Our military families sacrifice SO MUCH for all of US.

We got together with a group of friends last night at Flemings for appetizers and cocktails. It was so much fun. We got two booths in the bar area and enjoyed the most delicious array of tasty treats including Jumbo Lump Crabcakes (huge chunks of crab with only a light coating of breading with roasted red pepper and lime butter sauce), sweet chile calamari (oh my...again lightly breaded and served with strips of red pepper), fresh bread with butter and their famous spread. I had two glasses of a delightful Petite Sirah. The guys said that the Prime Burgers rocked too!

We're going to a Christmas Party on Saturday night with a huge group of high school friends. We are all bringing something to share--I am thinking a nice bowl of warm artichoke dip with tortilla chips or sourdough bread and a bottle of wine, of course!

Saturday, I'm co-hosting a cookie-exchange party with my momma. It will be a very festive event with lots of sweet girls! I love this time of year with all of the parties and events!

I baked my 3 dozen cookies last week at a girls' baking day at another friend's house! We mixed and baked and decorated from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Such a fun day together and a great way to knock out all of our Christmas baking! There were 6 of us and all brought an appetizer to share and we sipped champagne and giggled all day long.

Tonight, I must get my nails all prettied up again! It's a "me" night. Get in my jammies and some fuzzy socks, and settle in by the fire and probably catch a nostalgic Christmas movie on the TV while I do my nails.

So now you know what we've been up to this past week (or two). What have you been up to?



I bet you all thought I lost my way to Blogville, didn't you? Not lost, just a few detours along the way.

Christmas is a little more than two weeks away. My to-do list is still full but we have made a good dent in our shopping. Every day is a busy one and we are looking forward to the parties and festivities coming up on our calendar.

Last weekend we got our tree and now, we have all of our outside lights and decorations up (Bruce gets all the credit for that! Thank you, baby!!), our Nativity scene is displayed, and we have our tree decorated, Liberty Falls Town set up and our home looks and smells like the Christmas season.

I saw my son and Navy boy, T off at the airport early yesterday morning to return to JAX. His two week visit flew by and as I stood out there in the chilly darkness curbside, hugging him good-bye, I fought back the tears I knew would come on my drive back home. I just hate the good-bye part of visits, don't you?

He made it safely back and today, he will begin his drive to VA to report to his new duty station and next adventure. I am happy that he will be near his friends, Bobby and Sarah again.

I have packages to mail out this week....which means I have to get busy wrapping! Tonight! And I must get my Christmas cards done too. My to-do list is much too long...where are elves when you need them?