Saturday, January 31, 2009

No more excuses

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I can so relate to Winston in this picture! Okay, I can get still get through the door, but I feel like a total sloth who's bottom half has, shall we say, spread out a bit in the the last few months. And I really am dragging energy wise.

Needless to say, I can't wait to start the Crossfit challenge on Sunday. I'm even planning to climb that day. Just waiting to confirm with my climbing part. I've really had enough sitting around and not working out. No more excuses.

On Sunday, the challenge calls for 1 pushup, 1 sit up and 1 air squat. Each day you add one more until you reach 100 of each exercise.

Who's in?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Links

I went to bed early and woke up late so am scrambling this morning!

Here are a couple links for you:

Harlequin is celebrating it's 60th anniversary this year. Check out Harlequin Celebrates where you can download free books!

I'm guest blogging today at The Wedding Planners. Another post on a recent wedding with an out-of-this-world wedding theme.

Hope you have a great Friday!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back to Crossfit

I've been a total slackard when it comes to working out. That means I haven't been. I had a good reason. For the past six months, my hand issues made Crossfit and climbing difficult and painful, but my hands are so much better now. Nearly good as new so it's time to stop being such a couch potato (or in my case a chair potato) and start working out again.

To get back into working out, I'm going to be joining in with Crossfit Washougal to do a 100 day challenge. I tried the 100 day burpee challenge this fall, but due to my hands only made it to day forty-something. This new challenge consists of Push ups, Sit ups and air squats. The first day, February 1, will be one of each. By day 100 we'll be doing 100 of each. The kidlets who do Crossfit Kids twice a week are joining in, too. Hubby wants to give it a try, too, but we'll see how he does with his knee!

Wish me luck please. I'm going to need it! I have a feeling the kidlets are going to kick my butt!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


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Tonight Mackenna's drama class did a bunch of improv exercises at an Open House. One of them had the kids acting like statues in a store you could turn on to see if you wanted to buy them. Mackenna and a friend were a pair of statues. When you turned them on, one slapped the other saying, "He likes me!" The other slapped back saying, "He likes me!" It was so funny. The entire room was laughing.

The only one not totally amused was hubby. The idea of boys and his daughter do not go over well. He's finally cool with the Jonas Brothers, but that's about it. The next ten to twenty years are going to be really difficult for him!

Today I worked some on the continuity. A cool 3 in 1 book with the first three Wedding Planners books arrived from England. And I started putting stuff together for our taxes. The info is starting to arrive in the mail so I thought I'd get organized. 2009 is my year of organization. It wasn't a resolution per se, but a goal.

I'll admit the organizing isn't going that great so far, but it's only January. There are still eleven more months for me to get my act together. I bought a nifty chore list calendar from Motivated Moms to help me stay (okay, get) on track. I'd do better with it though if I could remember where I put it!

Yes, I need to organize my organizing tools. Pretty sad, but what can I say?

So who out there is totally organized? And who is more like me?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Computer Woes

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Ever have one of those days when it feels as if your computer is conspiring against you? My mac has been doing it all weekend. Today was no better. The original post I had planned for today was swallowed up into the abyss. This after two different phone calls with IT help guys at Stanford to get my account there working. Not a good computer day so I'll just get on to the contest...

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2009-01-27 02:03:25 UTC

This week's free book winner is Virginia. She won with a comment on the post Random Thursday. Virginia, please choose one book from the list here. Email me your choice along with your snail address. You can use the contact form on my website.

Last week's winner Brandy chose Sexiest Man Alive by Diana Holquist. The week before's winner Amy sent me the title of the book she wanted, but I can't find the email for some reason. So Amy please check your inbox!

If you're new here and want to enter the contest, just comment on the blog. Every comment you make gives you one entry into the weekly free book contest, so comment often!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Busy weekend!

We woke up to snow on the ground and falling from the sky. It was so pretty. But that wasn't about to stop our plans for today. The day was almost as jampacked as yesterday. I've had zero time to jump on the computer. Lots of stuff going on to keep me hopping. Though today I spent most of the day sitting at Mount Hood Community College watching a swimming championship meet. I did manage to read all of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey for my Jane Austen Book Club that will be meeting soon and see my oldest win her heat in the freestyle and do well in her other races. A very good day.

Tonight was spent with Mr. Tumnus. He's been the topic of conversation this weekend so we watched The Chronicles of Narnia tonight. My kids play Narnia all the time. I could read them C.S. Lewis' series over and over again. They never grow tired of the tale of the Pevensey children.

And now I'm ready to call it an early night. I'll post the contest winner tomorrow. Hope you had a nice weekend!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lesson Not Learned

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Last night, I was unloading my minivan. I'd done my big grocery shopping trip which meant stops at three different stores: Costco, Fred Meyer and Winco. Lots of bags and an ice chest needed to be carried in. Chaos was in the backyard so I didn't have to worry about her getting out front, but guess who kept hanging out by the front door?


You'd think she would have learned her lesson the last time I was carrying in groceries like this, but no. She kept moving closer and closer to the door. I had to keep chasing her away so she wouldn't run out. She didn't care that I told her next time she got out she might not be so lucky. I finally tired of her games and ran her upstairs, but I still kept the door closed. No way did I want her out again all night, especially with the temperatures so low.

I didn't know if she was bored or what, but then she sat on the steps and meowed. I knew exactly what was wrong then. She was hungry. The meows kept increasing in volume and frequency until I walked up the steps. She darted into the bathroom where her food and water are kept.

I can't believe how spoiled these animals are. And, yes, I know, it's all my fault.

Spirit must be served her food with no spills or mess. She turns up her nose if any of the food falls out of the bowl when I pour. She must always eat before the other two cats, and they give her a wide berth until she's finished even if she only takes a nibble. She's the exact opposite of Smalls who is just like the kitty in the pic below. Smalls will eat out of the bag and drink out of the toilet. She eats of dishes and checks out the garbage if the door is left open. But then again, Smalls lived outside for the majority of her life and learned to fend for herself.

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But at least Spirit was inside tonight. I did a kitty count like catlady posted about just to make sure before I went to bed and all three were accounted for. I think the next time I'll lock her in my room to be on the safe side.

Hope you have a good Friday! Mine looks busy as usual with a few appointments and such. What about you?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Random Thursday

I've finished four of my eight RITA books as my reading binge continues. It's a mixed bag of genres with a couple of authors I've been meaning to read so am happy to finally do so. Thanks for letting me know what you're reading in the comment section. I will be looking into a couple of those books once I finish the rest of my RITA pile!

On the writing front, we (the four continuity authors) should hear something about the new continuity soon. Maybe as soon as tomorrow! And when that happens, my JaNoWriMo book will go on the backburner completely. But not working on it this past couple of weeks has actually given me a lot of insight into the 10K words I have on it. I now know how I want to open it and how to make those beginning chapters so much stronger!

My burn is feeling better. Thanks for the well-wishes! I was putting something into the oven (not my oven) and burned the top of my hand. I've been putting stuff on it and, fingers crossed, hope it's looking better this morning.

Sad news from Mount Hood again. A thirty-one year old woman, who was climbing with her husband, got hit with a chunk of ice, fell four hundred feet and died yesterday. According to news reports, the accident happened near the spot where the same thing happened to my friend on Saturday. Ice fall was one of the things the PMR guys who helped me with research told me could have taken out the two climbers in the prologue of Rescued by the Magic of Christmas.

Any random things from your corner of the world you want to share?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Reading Time

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That picture just cracked me up! Last night I burned the top of my left hand. It's pretty nasty looking with a nickel sized blister. A good thing I'm on a reading binge right now rather than a writing one!

My RITA books arrived. Every year the Romance Writers of America put on a contest for published authors called the RITA. The judges are published authors. I like to get them done right away, especially when I know I'll be working toward a deadline very, very soon.

So far I've read two books, both new to me authors. I'm on my third and enjoying my reading time so much! Usually reading turns into a low priority when I'm really into working on a book.

I can't say what books I've read, but what about you? What are you reading right now?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Home and a new winner

The trip to Sacramento went great. My daughter placed first in two dances. She needs a certain amount of firsts to move up from Prizewinner to Preliminary Championship. Best of all I got to spend some one on one time with Mackenna. We also got to have dinner with my friend, Deb. A great time for sure!

When I came home, I had an email from a friend telling me that her brother, the mountain rescuer who helped me research three of my books and became a friend in the process, had fallen on Mount Hood on Saturday. I can't tell you how reading the first sentence of that email felt. He's been very open about some of the close calls he's had, but those were in the past. I was just hoping his luck had held out this time, too! And it had.

He's in the hospital and is pretty banged up, but his injuries could have been a lot worse. This is the same guy who let me write about his skydiving proposal on the Wedding Planners blog and got married on New Years Eve. If you could say a prayer for Michael and Linda as he recovers, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

Now without any further ado:

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2009-01-20 04:12:44 UTC

This week's free book winner is Brandy. She won with a comment on the post Contest Time! Brandy, please choose one book from the list here. Email me your choice along with your snail address. You can use the contact form on my website.

I never heard from last week's winner Amy.

To enter the contest, just make a comment here on the blog. Every comment you make gives you one entry into the weekly free book contest, so comment often!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Going Feising

My oldest and I will be leaving shortly for an Irish dance feis in Sacramento, California. She competes tomorrow so don't expect another post until Monday evening when I'll announce this week's free book winner! My best friend since college, Deb, who we stayed with this summer when we were down in San Jose, is driving up to see us!

Hubby and the younger two kidlets are staying home. This weekend happens to be the championship swim meet for my son's age group. He missed it last year due to our Disneyland vacation, and we didn't want him to miss it again. I'm wondering if life is going to be like this until the kids go to college!

What are you up to this weekend? I hope whatever you've got planned or even if you're just relaxing, you have a wonderful time. Take care and talk to you on Monday!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Birth of a Thespian

Last night my oldest was in the drama production of The Princess and the Pauper. The ages of the kids ranged from around 10-14. They did an awesome job as did their teacher who is so amazing with the students.

Mackenna was one of the ladies of the court, Lady St. John, and even had lines to say. It was so cool to see her on stage, looking so poised. She was wonderful. Though I must admit, I'm totally biased.

Needless to say, she can't wait to do another play. She loves every minute of her drama class. Princess and the Pauper was our first "play" experience of this sort of magnitude and it was very fun. Though she and hubby didn't get home from Wednesday's dress rehearsal until after ten o'clock in the evening. But it was all worth it.

I've only been in one play, The Merchant of Venice, when I was in college. What about you? Have you ever acted in anything?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Creative Overload

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I feel a lot like the picture above! Except it's my creativity that's leaking out all over the place since I usually just work on one thing at a time, but that's not what my January has been like so far.

I'm supposed to be writing my JaNoWriMo book, but if you've noticed the counter over on the right it hasn't budged in a while. I've got too many projects right now. We, the new group of continuity authors I am now one of, just submitted three ideas for the four book series. I had so many ideas running in my head for that I had to put the JaNoWriMo book on hold. And while we wait to hear back, I finally figured out what I want my next HR to be after the continuity so I'm trying to get that on paper before the ideas vanish.

Of course, my hero and heroine from my JaNoWriMo feel a like like this LOLcat:

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They don't want to be alone now that they've met each other.

What's a writer to do? So many Romances and so little time! But the ones that are already sold take priority so they may have to wait a little while!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Second Best Birthday Ever

Rose thanks everyone for their birthday wishes. She announced that this was her second best birthday right after her one in Disneyland last year. She qualified her statement by saying at Disneyland she got to go on fun ride, sleep in a hotel and see real princesses which is why it was the better one.

So what does a six year old think is second best to a birthday at Disneyland?

Well, she ate cheese pizza for dinner, decorated her cupcakes, blew out a #6 candle after her brother played Happy Birthday on his guitar, ate cupcakes, opened gifts (a High School Musical sleeping bag, a knee length button down brown sweater, kid makeup kit, a singing High School Musical pen and a Camp Rock nail polish set) and watched American Idol until ten o'clock with the family (the kidlets never watch prime time TV unless it's Clone Wars or stay up that late on a weeknight so it was a huge treat though they had to keep covering their eyes during ads for scary movies and shows.)

Of course, the two older ones wanted to know if they got to pick a show to watch on their birthdays. Hubby glanced my way with a now-see-what-you've-started-look. In case you haven't guessed already, our TV is not on much. Clone Wars is the only thing that is never missed.

I just hope all the birthdays this year go off as well as Rose's did. Mackenna is thinking about hers coming up in May, but Finn already told me he wants a Clone Wars birthday in April. Now that one will be a blast to put on! Light saber duels, anyone?

What was your best birthday ever? What would your ideal best birthday ever be?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Today is my youngest's six birthday. Six just sounds so old to me. Granted it's not ten or eight like the other two, but she's the one we still call the baby. Not so much a baby any more!

I still remember being at the hospital six years ago. They were inducing me early because they thought she would be too big if they didn't. Her brother came a few days before his due date and surprised everyone by being 9 lbs 6 oz.

As I was waiting for the contractions to start, I had my Alphasmart with me and was writing a scene for Santa Brought A Son since I would not only have a newborn (along with a 4 1/2 and 2 1/2 year olds) but an upcoming deadline in the next few weeks. Oh, what had I been thinking back then????

But I survived. We all did. And now our Rose is six!

I'll be honest, she's the one who's more work than the other two kidlets combined. All of us, including the other kidlets, have spoiled her. Being the third kid, she learned early on to speak up for what she wants. She also has no problem going for what she wants herself. It's a trait that will serve her will in adulthood, but makes parenting her a little challenging! But I wouldn't have it any other way.

Last night, Rose told us she wanted to make her own cupcakes for her birthday. So she and hubby made cupcakes from scratch. She was mixing the batter and needed a spatula. Hubby grabbed one from the container on the counter, but she pulled her own from a pocket on her apron. It was so cute. And she knew exactly how to use it! Of course we got the whole thing on tape!!! We will ice and decorate the cupcakes today.

She's also set the menu for today. Breakfast is orange juice, fruit salad (made by her sister recipe courtesy of The Wiggles song) and hot from the oven sweet rolls. Lunch is meatballs and a side of carrot sticks and ranch dressing. Dinner is cheese pizza followed by her cupcakes.

My day will be all about Rose! What about yours?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Contest Time!

I'm late again! I actually have a somewhat decent reason. I was asked to participate in another continuity so the authors involved were brainstorming today. I also had two different sets of kids over for playdates at various times. So now the house is relatively quiet. My youngest turns six tomorrow, and she decided tonight she wanted to make her own cupcakes for tomorrow so that's what she's doing with hubby right now.

And I finally have a free moment so without any further ado...

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2009-01-13 03:37:04 UTC

This week's free book winner is Amy. She won with a comment on the post Kitty's Night Out. Amy, please choose one book from the list here. Email me your choice along with your snail address. You can use the contact form on my website.

Last week's winner Limecello chose Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Nobody's Baby But Mine and This Heart of Mine, a two in one trade size book that's autographed. Hope you like the book, limecello!

To enter the contest, just make a comment here on the blog. Every comment you make gives you one entry into the weekly free book contest, so comment often!

Today I was blogging on The Wedding Planners. It was about men and gift buying! You can read the post here.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sigh of Relief

Dinner is over. Everyone ate. The dishes are done! Everyone said it was good, even the kidlets. Huge sigh of relief.

But I'm wiped out from a morning out, then I had to take my oldest to practice (she's completing in the RCC Challenge-think Catholic student Jeopardy) all while trying to get food on the table. The only problem happened when the warming drawer got turned on and somehow the oven got turned off. That delayed the fingerling potatoes being done on time. (I found them finally at Costco this morning!)

I'll post the contest winner tomorrow. In the meanwhile, here are a couple LOLcats for you.

This one had me LOLing since I collect Department 56 Villages:
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And Spirit so wants one of these for her birthday in April. Watch out Chaos!
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So what did you have for dinner? I'll post what we had in the comment section!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Home at last!

I've been gone since 6:50 am this morning. Zero words written, but I made my kidlets very happy by cheering them on at the last regular season swim meet. Of course there are three more meets considered championships and/or allstars, but who's counting?

Tomorrow night I'm having my friend Karen over for dinner. I must admit I'm nervous. She is an amazing cook and owns her own place that does catering and special events. It's where we hosted Finn's First Communion dinner. She also did Mackenna's First Communion dinner. And if I can talk her into it, she'll do Rose's in two years!

But cooking for an amazing chef is, in a word, intimidating. I've got the menu all planned and when I should fix what. Several items will be done in the morning. I am missing one ingredient, but not for lack of trying. Three stores though are sold out of the fingerling potatoes I need so I'll have to run out tomorrow to find them. Wish me luck!

But for now, I'd better try to get a few more words in on my JaNoWriMo project. I think we're suppose to report numbers and I haven't done that yet!

What was your Saturday like?

Friday, January 09, 2009

Feeling Better

I woke up feeling almost as good as new! The key to staying healthy for me is going to be reasonable bedtimes. Even if it means I don't make 50K with JaNoWriMo. But my health is much more important than words! I'll save the late nights for when it really matters...right before deadline!

I'm headed out the door to drive down to Portland and will be gone most of the day!

Hope you have a great Friday.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


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I made it through my class yesterday. I did bring hubby with me to help out since I wasn't feeling all that great, but did okay. The kids really made me feel better. I'd missed them after three weeks of no class.

Of course on the drive home, hubby reached over to hold my hand. He couldn't believe how warm my hands were. They are always cold just like my feet.

Needless to say, I'm still feeling under the weather so will be laying low today. I should qualify that by saying as much as I can. Don't know if I'll blog hop or not, but if I do, it'll be later. Hubby is donating platelets which means if he doesn't make it back home in time, I have to drive down to Portland for my son's speech therapy session. Fingers crossed he does.

What are you up to today?

P.S. if you're a dog lover and haven't seen the furry beast limecello is dogsitting, go to the comment section from a couple of days ago and follow her link. The dog is adorable! The kidlets loved it!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Kitty's Night Out

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My three cats are indoor cats. Smalls was originally an outdoor cat who came with your first house, but now she only goes out occasionally and not in winter.

Well, last night I was bringing in groceries. I locked Chaos in the backyard. Both Spirit and Rocket came downstairs. I shooed them away from the door. The last time I saw Spirit she was walking back to the stairs.

I haven't been feeling all that great since yesterday so I decided to go to bed early. I asked hubby to feed the cats and crawled into bed. Smalls jumped up with me for a little while as did Rocket. I never saw Spirit, but thought nothing of it since she's been hanging out under the Christmas tree for the last couple of weeks. But it was weird that she wasn't sleeping on my feet when Chaos wanted out this morning.

I stayed in bed this morning. Hubby had an early PT appointment. Guess what he heard as he was unlocking the front door when he got home? Meowing. Lots and lots of meowing, coming from our backyard.

He went out there and found Spirit under a bush. It had been raining most of the night. Luckily we have been having warmer temperatures.

Poor kitty.

She must have been terrified. I held her close and dried her with a towel. She's right next to me grooming herself now.

I feel bad that I didn't realize she was missing. If I had been the one to feed them, I would have known right away since they have a pecking order and she's the one who has to take a bite first before the other three. But luckily all turned out well, and maybe this will keep her inside the next time she sees an open door. Of course, she did it when she was a year old on Fourth of July. We found her under our front deck, but that was in 1998. Maybe it's a once every ten years kind of thing.

Has something like this ever happened to you and one of your pets?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


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Last night, another mom and I taught a lesson on gratitude to a group of girls ages 10 to almost 13. I remember years ago hearing about a Gratitude Journal on Oprah, buying one and doing it every single night. In case you missed that, it was a pretty book and you could buy a matching journal to write five things you were grateful for each day. Somewhere along the line I either misplaced the book or got out of the habit. Probably about the time I got pregnant or had a baby.

But talking to the girls last night reminded me how much I take for granted. That is, I don't always express my gratitude as much as I should. A heartfelt word of thanks can go a long way.

We all had to make resolutions to do in the next three days. Here's one of mine:

I want to thank all of you who read this blog. I know how precious time is and I appreciate you stopping by to my little spec in the vast cyberworld.

To those who post comments, thank you, thank you, thank you! I love hearing what you think and what's going in on your life. I often speak of you to my family. You're known as mommy's blog friends!


Monday, January 05, 2009

The first contest of 2009

It's hard to believe the first week of January is already over. We haven't done a lot, but the days just flew by.

Today we get back into the normal routine of activities except hubby is off for one more week. The company he works for had a three week shutdown over the holidays so he has one week left to go. He's managed to get a couple little things done around the house for me which has been great. I think I may have to come up with a few more Honey, dos for him to keep him busy so I can work on my JaNoWriMo project.

It's going well so far. Of course, the writing is quick and dirty. It'll need a lot of work once I'm done, but the point is getting the story on paper not making it perfect. And that I can do!

Okay, free book time! Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2009-01-05 17:03:28 UTC

This week's free book winner, the first of 2009, is limecello. She won with a comment on the post My Side of the Bed. Fitting considering all she's been going through dogsitting the "beast." Limecello, please choose one book from the list here. Email me your choice along with your snail address. You can use the contact form on my website.

Last week's winner Virgina chose Julia Justiss' Most Unconventional Match. Hope you like the book, Virginia!

To enter the contest, just make a comment here on the blog. Every comment you make gives you one entry into the weekly free book contest, so comment often!

Sunday, January 04, 2009


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Today we finally celebrated my side of the family's twice delayed Christmas Eve celebration and the December birthdays. The Christmas celebration took place at my house. The birthdays at a restaurant in Portland. It was starting to snow as we left for dinner. It kept snowing and snowing and snowing. We needed chains to get home.

Needless to say, the drive took a long time.

So...I need to work on my JaNoWriMo book so I'm not up until all hours of the night. I'll post the contest winner tomorrow! Hope you had a nice weekend!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

My Side of the Bed

Here are three of my four furbabies sleeping on my side of the bed while I write. Rocket, Spirit and Choas' version of peace on Earth. If only they would always get along so well! Someday!!!!

In case you're wondering, I sit about two feet to the right of where Rocket is lying when I write. That's why they all congregate on my side. Smalls, our third cat, sits underneath the bed skirt as close to me as she can get without being seen if Chaos is around. If the dog isn't, she joins the other two kitties on the bed. And yes, the cats are thrilled I'm writing again!

Another productive writing day on Friday though I struggled a bit because I was tired. I took my oldest daughter and a dance friend of hers who slept over to the mall to meet other Irish dancers for lunch, ice skating and shopping. I got to chat with the other moms for a couple of hours. It was really fun.

What did you do?

Friday, January 02, 2009

A Good Start

I got a late start on my JaNoWriMo effort, but the words flowed and I ended up with more than I expected. You can track my progress with the counter over on the right hand side of the blog. My goal is 50,000 words by November 30.

I never did write down my resolutions for 2009 so here they are:

1. Exercise more
2. Eat healthier
3. Write consistently
4. Follow the Total Money Makeover program and stay within the budget all year long
5. Make all my deadlines this year.

I'm sure I'll think of more, but that's a good start. I also need to go back to see what I wrote down for 2008, but I'm too tried tonight.

I thought this picture was so cute. One of my cats likes to give kisses to both felines and humans. It's very sweet.

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Hope you have a great day. I'm so messed up as to what day of the week it is. It feels like a perpetual weekend right now!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Welcome 2009

Chaos and I wish you a very Happy New Year!!!

I'm praying your year is filled with love, laugher and dreams that come true!