Sunday, April 5, 2009

Grand Adventures!

It's 8:30 Sunday morning and my brother and his family of seven just pulled out of my driveway, headed off to Washington D.C. for a family trip. They drove in from Indiana last night with the intention of breaking up their drive and spending some time with me. As they backed out of the drive with their fifteen passenger van, I could hear the screams of joy and laughter from the kids as they waved madly and yelled their excited goodbyes - ready for their adventure to begin.

Craig and Leanne take their kids on lots of family adventures and it reminds me of my own childhood. Last summer they spent 18 days out west seeing all the big attractions, just like our parents did when we were little. Our parents took us lots of places, but the four week vacations out west were by far the most memorable. We saw all the wonders of nature and more than our fair share of wild beasts on those trips, which continues to make for good story telling when we take a walk down memory lane.

Between last night and this morning, my brother's kids shared one story after another of the pains of trying to just get out the door and start their vacation - the packing, the planning, and the dreaded cleaning. You can't leave the house messy because "No one wants to come home to a messy house," my mother always said. It reminds me of those little moments that my siblings and I still laugh about today.

I remember having to choose just one stuffed animal to take on our adventures and every year that decision became more painful - who to choose. I remember leaving at 4:00 in the morning to get a jump start on the day because we had to drive twelve hours through the boring states of Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa. I remember my older siblings teaching me to shuffle a deck of cards like a pro on those long day drives.

I know one time when we pulled the van off the side of the road due to a slight mechanical problem, one car after another stopped to see if we needed any help. Where have those days gone???

I remember one year we spent days baking all sorts of treats and desserts for our adventure and by the time we had settled in Colorado, we came to the conclusion that the reason we couldn't find them amongst ALL our stuff was because we accidentally left them in the driveway at home- absolutely devastating! I know we ate lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pistachio pudding, and fig newtons.

We sat around a campfire every single night before bed and occasionally woke up to elk standing outside our camper in the mornings. I remember finding a place once, that let you pick cherries for free, so we went totally nuts. Of course, then we proceeded to eat lots and lots of cherries - so many that most of us spent the majority of that evening in the outhouse. And if I remember correctly, that was the state park with good old fashioned smelly outhouses.

Sometimes we got lucky and Dad would choose a park with real bathroom facilities. He would give us each a quarter to take a shower and that 25 cents got you three minutes of water. You really learned to shower fast!

Every time we were about to drive into a new state or enter a significant landmark, such as the Grand Canyon, one of us kids would have to jump out of the van and pose next to the sign because "No picture is complete without a person in it," my father always said.

I remember standing on a glacier in the middle of July thinking how crazy it was that my friends back home were sweating under the hot summer sun and I was standing on a glacier. My brother, Craig actually lost one of his shoes in that glacier - not cool. We hiked in the mountains and saw real live mountain goats and rams. We took the fur that stuck on the bushes as they ran through them as take-home souvenirs. My sister and I also collected little rocks from all the places we visited and spent the rest of the year shining them up. We still have some of those rocks today. Gee, I need to re-shine those...

All the wonderful and crazy memories of these trips could fill a book. And now to watch my nieces and nephews leave my house so excited about their grand adventure makes me nostalgic and appreciative of all the great adventures my parents took me on.

Thanks Mom and Dad!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Together Forever!

Today is my birthday and one of my favorite things to do is call my younger sister and wish HER a Happy Birthday! Whoever calls first yells “Happy Birthday!!” The other laughs and yells back, “Happy Birthday to you too!”

I was due on the 1st of April and came a day late, then two years later, Amy was due on the 3rd and came a day early. What are the odds?

We spent our childhood years sitting next to each other at the table, with our respective cakes and matching presents. We opened our presents fast because we always knew we were getting the exact same thing – just in different colors.

As we grew up and moved out on our own, we always managed to spend the day together, just like old times. Once while out to dinner, Amy realized she had forgotten her I.D. We were hoping to share a bottle of wine, but looking as young as she did (does) she was having a hard time convincing the waiter to serve her. We explained that we were celebrating our birthdays – that they were on the same day. “Oh, you’re twins!”

“No" I said, "But, we were born on the same day. I'm just two years older than her." He looked completely confused.

Liars. Big fat liars! That’s what the waiter was thinking. We tried to explain how one of us came a day early and of one us came a day late, two years apart, but he wasn’t buying it, so no wine for Amy.

We’ve managed to get together and celebrate our big day even when we were living 12 hours apart, simply because it feels too weird not to. We did not celebrate my 30th together because her daughter, my god-daughter, was due early in the month and I wanted to fly out for the baptism later in the month, so greater priorities prevailed that year.

Today, my sis is coming for the day and we’re going to the salon to beautify ourselves. We are going to spend the day together because there’s nobody else we would rather spend it with than each other.

We are eternal best friends and I thank God everyday my parents decided to have another baby even after putting up with me. What a lucky girl I am!

Happy Birthday Sis!

I Love You!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Game On!

Okay, this Spinning thing has gotten completely out of control. I don’t know if it’s the New Year’s Resolution rush still in full swing or memberships to the gym just naturally increasing, but the spinning classes are the hottest thing at my gym right now and it’s popularity is totally messing with my plans.

A reservation of sorts, is required at my gym to get a bike in the class. One must sign up at the front desk for a bike ahead of time to insure a seat. There have been a few times lately, when I’ve arrived thirty minutes before class on a Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon and I’ve been shut out.

Getting a bike in Spinning class has become more like getting to the theatre an hour early to see a new release, or the mall on Black Friday at 4:30 in the morning to buy an Ipod (which I would never do), or waiting outside the call box for an hour to buy concert or Broadway tickets. These things I expect in life, but getting to the gym so prematurely for a spinning class is making my gym experience a little intense.

I have on occasion pulled into the parking lot, spotted someone I recognized from my class and immediately pegged them as a potential threat to my workout for the day. I’ve been known to speed walk – like the middle-aged women who waddle-walk fast down the street with their hips swaying from side to side and arms flailing wildly – and I’ve been known to pick it up to a cool jog, kind of like a warm up before the gym, but I have never gone to the extreme of making a mad dash for the door.

Today, I did what I will refer to as a warm-up sprint. It’s 5:37 in the morning – only eight minutes until the start of class – and I spot TWO potential threats emerging from the same car just two rows over. My paranoia set in and all I could think of was, “I did not get up this early to be shut out of class,” so I grabbed my stuff and did a mad dash for the entrance.

When I approached the front desk, there were only two spots left. I signed my name and breathed a sigh of relief. As a headed up to the Spinning Room, I started thinking about the two people who came in behind me. What if they were a couple who had got up early, planning to do a little spinning together? What if I wrecked their plans? What if I ruined their morning? I sort of felt bad.

As I got my bike adjusted for the ride ahead, I happened to spot the woman from the parking lot preparing her bike. The man she came with was nowhere to be found and I felt bad about that for a moment. But then as the class started I found myself thinking, “You know what? Maybe next time, he’ll know better and he too, will make a mad dash for the door, and then we’ll have ourselves a race!"

Game. On!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chocolate Love or Toast Love?

Many people blow off Valentine’s Day as some Hallmark holiday, but I think it’s a great opportunity to take a break from our busy lives and appreciate ALL the love we have in our lives. To me, it’s no different than honoring our family and friends at Christmas with gifts, or giving special Thanks on Turkey Day for everything we have, or taking a moment on Memorial Day to remember all those who have fought for our freedom. It would be great if we thought of these things every day, but life gets too busy, so these mini-holidays are perfect reminders of what’s truly important.

If you’re one of the lucky ones who have found your True Love in life– I mean seriously, the one God had specifically designed just for you to meet, fall in love with, marry, and do laundry for for the rest of your life – if you’re one of those lucky monkeys, then this is not a day to take for granted. Love like that is what God intended for each and every one of us - some of us just have to wait a little longer than others to experience it. So, if you’ve found your True Love already, celebrate that today and do the laundry together!

If you’re one of those people who are dating someone and think that this might be the person you would like to do laundry for every day for all eternity, then maybe you too, have found your true love. But if you’re not sure, ask yourself this question, “Is this person chocolate or toast?”

Chocolate or Toast

For most of us, just thinking about chocolate can produce a physical and emotional response. We get giddy and excited just thinking about it. When we finally give in and have a taste, we find it hard to stop because we just can’t get enough – there's nothing else like it! When the chocolate is gone, we usually find ourselves dreaming of when we can have it again.

Now think of toast. You like toast, right? But I doubt that you crave toast or moan silently when you eat toast. Add a little butter and jelly and you’ve got yourself some tasty fiber, but I’m guessing your nights aren’t filled with dreams about the toast you‘re going to have for breakfast. And you know why? Because toast is just nice, but chocolate is pure magic! When it comes to love, you can either settle for the contentment of toast or hold out for the pure joy of chocolate.

So celebrate this Valentine’s Day by appreciating ALL the love in your life, giving a little love away, and honoring True Love by waiting for it!

Remember: When you’ve truly found great love, it won’t be like your morning toast, it will be more like chocolate fondue.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Plea For Mercy

Today seemed like the first reasonable day to consider running my little black SUV through a car wash. The weather was warmer, and from top to bottom, salt had named itself the new color of my car. Even my Life is Good magnet had lost it‘s sparkle under all the grit and grime.

As I drove up and positioned myself to get in line, I went through my purse, looking for my five dollar bill. The basic car wash used to cost six dollars, but then a while ago they dropped it down to five, which is so much more convenient than six – and cheaper, obviously.

As I slowly inched my way up, I noticed the prices posted on the billboard and it looked like the basic wash was up to six dollars again – shoot! Oh well, I had exactly six dollars in my wallet, so I was okay.

Another two car lengths forward and now the billboard and it’s ever increasing prices were crystal clear – eight dollars. Whoa! I didn’t have eight dollars. And now I’m sandwiched between two cars, with no room to escape because we’re lined up like cattle in a shoot – nose to butt – with no wiggle room. I start rummaging through my car looking for two dollars in loose change, which is a particularly big challenge for me because I’m an anti-change girl– I just don’t like carting it around.

Whenever I can, I dump my spare change into jars, waiting for it to add up and morph into real money. In Canada, their one and two dollars are coins instead of bills, which is right at the top of a short list of why I could never live there. Can you imagine lugging around all those coins? They call them Loonies and Toonies, which is hilarious, but not funny enough for me to carry around all day. I must say though, Canadian men are probably the only guys who have a legitimate excuse for being a sagger – a man who wears low, low, low rise jeans.

Anyway…….After some serious digging and praying, I miraculously found enough stray quarters, dimes, and pennies to add another $1.57 to the pot. After panicking for a moment over the fact that I didn't have enough money, I sat back in my seat, took a deep breath and realized that these people could not deny me this wash. Once I pull up to the starting line, the only way out of here is through that car wash. My car was going to get it’s much needed shower today and that was that.

Of course, when it came time to hand over the cash, my brazen attitude was long gone. Instead, I greeted the kind woman with a sheepish grin and a pathetic plea for mercy. I only had $7.57. “Please have mercy on me.” I said.

“Sure Honey”, was her reply, “just come better prepared next time.”

“Absolutely! Thank you!” That was sweet!

As I came out on the other side, four men came at my car with their super-duper rags and dried it until it was nice and shiny and black again. They even asked me to brake for a moment so they could finish the job, and that’s when I noticed the tip box outside my window. “Was that always there?” I thought to myself. “Buggers. What do I do? What can I do?“ I could roll down my window and tell these nice gentlemen that I truly don’t have one single penny to give them – because they would sooo believe that, or I could just speed off and let them get right to their discussion about the cheap lady in the black car who couldn’t even spare a penny for a job well done.

I chose option number two……………...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"It Doesn't Hurt A Bit"

"It doesn’t hurt a bit,” my patient, Maude said when she told me about the technique, called Threading, nearly two months ago. “It’s amazing! It takes four to five minutes, I don’t feel an ounce of pain, and my skin doesn’t react to it at all – it’s all natural and totally fabulous.”


I went the very next day to the mall and walked all the way to the very end, on the lowest level and found the little shop performing this technique called Threading. There was a lovely young woman of Indian descent waiting to greet me.

I assured the nice woman that I needed no explanation or instruction about this all natural, waxless, painless, hair-removing technique, as I jumped in the chair, leaned back to relax, and closed my eyes.

Within seconds, I felt the hairs being ripped violently from their follicles as a silent alarm went off inside my head, “Ooooh My Gooooooosh! What the hell kind of procedure is this?!” My right eye started producing tears at an alarming rate – you know the kind of tears that you can’t control. As freaked as I was, I also felt strong and resilient and knew I could handle this. But my eyes told a different story. They cried, “Ouuuuch! Make it stop!”

This concerned the nice lady, as she stepped back, apologized, and politely handed me a Kleenex. I explained to her that I was not really crying - my eyes just naturally reacted to the violent nature of the procedure. I wasn’t sure she understood me, so I just lied my head back again and waited for her to proceed.

When she finished, I sat up and took a look in the mirror. Not only was I pleasantly surprised by how great it looked, I was also really happy, because she spent so much time on my eyebrows that I was half surprised to see that they were still there.

Even though I found the technique biting and painful, I decided that this was officially going to be my new hair-removing technique. I was so enamored by the simplicity of using cotton thread, two hands, and one mouth to create such precision and perfection, that I reasoned that the pain was worth it.

Today, I headed back to the mall for more fun threading and secretly hoped that today’s experience would be less painful. It was the same lovely woman from last time and she actually remembered me, which either means she has a really good memory ( of her only crying client ), or very few people have yet to discover this wonderful, “painless” technique.

I’m sad to report that my one eye gave me up again today, as tears streamed down my right cheek. I think the first pass or two just shocks my system and my body feels the need to react to the perceived attack, because once she gets going, the tears stop. The pain was less this time, but I’m anxious and optimistic that I too, will get to the point that I’ll be singing the same song as Maude one day, “It doesn’t hurt a bit……..”

Monday, February 2, 2009

Who To Root For?

Wow! What a Superbowl! I told myself I wasn’t interested in watching it, but I couldn’t help checking in. I witnessed the 100 yard touchdown by the Steelers in the first half which got me hooked, tuned in for some Bruce at halftime, and then got distracted by Wipeout on ABC because that show cracks me up! Anything that makes me laugh until I cry gets two thumbs up from me.

I told myself and others that I was feeling neutral when it came to who to root for. It felt odd to say, being a Bengals fan and all – that I would even consider rooting for the Steelers. Yet, I felt like if I didn’t root for them, I would know it was because they took our Carson down and out two years ago and that might mean I was holding a grudge. I don’t want to be the type of person who holds a grudge.

So, I went in rooting for both teams like a girl. As the game really heated up in the fourth quarter, I found myself getting more and more involved in the game. Then, Fitzgerald of Arizona caught that pass for a touchdown with just a few minutes left and I jumped out of my chair, threw my hands in the air and yelled, “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

After my premature victory dance, I sat down and started giggling. Apparently, I was rooting for a team – Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals! The Bengal fan in me came alive and I felt the anxiety level rise in me as Ben tried his best to ruin this SuperBowl for me. And ruin it, he did. But, hats off to Ben and his Steelers for making the big plays at crunch time to come out on top and thanks to Kurt and his Cardinals for hanging tough and making it so exciting to watch!

Mark my words though, the Cincinnati Bengals are going to rule their division next year. ( or maybe the year after that…)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Skidding Cars...Bo or Luke Duke

I remember seeing kids – mostly boys – intentionally skidding their car in the snow while taking a simple turn on a street corner or a little more brazenly in a wide open parking lot, and thinking to myself, “silly kids…”

Well, I don’t know if it’s because the snow is there...on the ground...every. single. day for me to look at, or if I’m tired of driving so stinkin’ carefully every time I back at of my garage and drive down the road, that I just want to let loose a little, but I’ve been finding myself tempted to let my car spin out of control just a teeny tiny bit like those boys used to do.

I’ll be in a parking lot with a bunch of open space, see the slushy snow, and just want to punch it, hit the brakes, turn the wheel, and “weeeeeee!” - go for a ride. But I don’t. When I turn onto my street I just want to take it a little too fast and feel my car freak out and try to recover. But I don’t.

Until today. Today I was leaving work and I just couldn’t help myself. I made sure I was in a controlled environment – big open space – as I turned the wheel quickly and touched the brakes, then “weeee” my car did a little skid. And by little, I mean very small – petite, really. But big enough to get my rebellious juices flowing. A few minutes later, when I turned onto my street, I intentionally took a sloppy turn and felt my car slide, “Errrrrrrk!” It was fun!

I felt like the boys from Dukes of Hazard as I drove into my garage – except that I exit my car through the door, not the window. I miss Bo and Luke Duke. I remember thinking Luke was the cutey of the two, but as I look back now, I think I was blinded by the dark hair and dark eyes. For reasons I can’t rationally explain, until I was twenty one, I wouldn’t even give a blond guy a second look. Well, except for Jeff. “How did he get through?” He was like a dark blond really. No matter. He’s married with triplets now. Anyway, I only dated guys with dark hair and dark eyes. Don’t ask me why. I’m over it now.

No offense to Tom Wopat, but I need to take back the Hottie Award I gave him twenty odd years ago and give it to the cute blond one – Bo – because I was wrong, so wrong to judge them on their hair color alone. Plus, Kudos goes to Blond Bo for aging so well – sorry again, Tom Wopat!

Anyway, I sure hope the snow melts soon before I get myself into trouble. You never know when Boss Hogg or Rosco P. Coltrane will be coming around the corner….

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

No 'Snow Angels' Today

It has become painfully obvious to me that snow falling from the sky is going to be a regular thing around here for awhile. Here in Ohio, we’re used to getting an inch or two overnight, the sun comes out the next day, and then – poof – it’s gone. A couple weeks later, the same cycle repeats itself.

This month of January – the longest month I have ever experienced in my lifetime – has been full of snow days and nights with very little sun to melt it away. And just when I’m about to pat myself on the back for maintaining a positive attitude through it all, I experience a teeny tiny mini-meltdown when I wake up to more snow and ice.

This last Sunday, I had been working feverishly on some creative projects and lost track of time. When I walked downstairs to get myself an apple and another shot of tequila (kidding) I noticed huge, monstrous snowflakes falling fast and accumulating even faster. I ran to the sliding glass doors, pressed my nose up to the glass, and verbally rejected the snowfall – “Nooooooooo!” I had been given no warning about snow today– I never saw it coming!

I decided right then and there that I would not let these simple white flakes ( that were actually quite pretty ) deter me from getting to my spinning class. I reasoned that I would go to my class, warm up my muscles, then come home and deal with shoveling the drive and sidewalks.

Fast forward an hour and I’m returning home from the gym. As I get closer and closer to my house I realize that my sidewalk has been cleared. “What?!” I can’t believe my eyes! I live on a large corner, so there is a good long sidewalk to shovel and nobody has ever shoveled my walk but me. I slowly turned onto my street and there, in my driveway, I saw two gentlemen shoveling the snow. I pulled into my garage and hopped out of my car. It was my neighbor from across the way and his teenage son. You would have thought I had won the lottery, I was so stinkin’ happy. They said they wanted to show their appreciation for me always letting them play catch with their football in my side yard, since their yard is too small. Even though I didn’t think the two favors were comparable, I didn’t argue with the boys. I considered them my very own ‘snow angels’ and I was so excited and grateful for their kindness.

Well, this morning when I woke up at 5:00 am for my Wednesday spinning class, I peered out my window to see all the snow and ice on the ground that the newsman had predicted would fall and knew right away that my class would be cancelled. I jumped right back into bed, set alarm number two for 7:00 am, and snuggled under my covers. I drifted back to sleep, dreaming about my ‘snow angels’ coming back to magically make the snow disappear once again. It was a very good dream.

As the second alarm sounded, the first thing I thought about was my ‘snow angels’. I jumped out of bed all excited, rushed out of my room and into the guest room to peer out the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of my angels. Even though I knew it was ridiculous to think that they would show up at 6:00 am to shovel my drive, I couldn’t help but feel a little droopy as I realized the truth….it was going to be Me and my shovel doing all the work today.

But then again, at least I have a shovel and two legs and two arms to use it. At least I have a warm house waiting for me when I’m done, with a fridge stocked with food to fill my belly. A small prayer goes out to all those who don’t have a warm place to call home this cold, wintery day….

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President Obama

So, the Inauguration Party for President Obama was yesterday and Wow, what a spectacle! It’s very hard for me to miss out on a party and I always like to be where the optimism and hope is, but I felt conflicted about the whole thing.

I did not vote for President Obama, but the people have spoken and I respect that. As I watched all the hoopla, I found myself excited for the black community and can only imagine the excitement and pride they were feeling. The hysteria was not limited to the black community - there were people of all races and class screaming for joy as if Jesus himself, had come back to save us from the fires of hell.

I, myself stand back with guarded optimism. He projects himself as seemingly the perfect father, the perfect husband, the perfect man to solve all our problems, but so far, all he has done is get himself elected. He is a true poet and words roll off his tongue like honey, but words are words and action is action.

It’s good to see the country so excited and engaged again, but I would like to hold some of the applause and idolization until after he has actually done something. President Obama has not proven himself a great man with great accomplishments yet – he’s still just a man with inspiring words. Maybe, it shows just how desperate Americans are for a hero and he’s the one who stood up and put on the cape.

I disagree with him on some of the issues, but I hope that he surprises me and proves me wrong. I hope that all this Beatle mania is warranted and we can look back one day and see how he made important and significant changes that benefited and strengthened our country.

I pray that yesterday’s parties were not in vain. I pray that he makes us all proud.
I pray that he lives up to and beyond all the hype. But most of all, I pray that he has a change of heart where a change of heart is most crucial.

I will be praying for you, President Obama, with an optimistic heart…..

Monday, January 12, 2009

Don't Cry...

When I saw this quote, I had to laugh, because many times throughout my work day, I have patients who are sad when their appointment is over. I find myself smiling at them and saying, “All good things must come to an end…” The moment I read this particular quote, I knew it had to become a new fixture in my office. I think it’s a much better sentiment than “all good things must come to an end.”

As I read it over and over again, I realize they are words I should take to heart myself. I am the type of person who lives for the next big exciting event. Whether it’s a grand vacation, an exciting holiday, a birthday, a good friend’s visit, or the eating of a magnificent ice cream cone, I usually find myself just a little devastated inside when it’s all over.

Last year, after having a magical adventure in Italy, I boarded a plane in Rome, took my seat, plugged in my MP3 and decided to let the great Frank Sinatra and legendary Tony Bennett serenade me all the way home. As I sat on the plane for nearly twelve hours, I tried not to cry, but I just couldn’t believe my grand adventure was actually over.

Heck, just two months before, I had made myself a green, red, and white paper chain – just like an eight year old would do – and had started counting down the days until I met the Pope. Every day as I ripped one of the links from the chain I would imagine all the different flavors of gelato I would taste-test and all the handsome Italian men who would spoon feed them to me.

And then when I had my fill of gelato ( if that is even possible) I would have found a different group of handsome Italian men – just to keep things interesting – to make me pizza, pizza, pizza...then pasta….“Oh, and I’ll have a glass OR three of wine, please. Thank You!”

Of course, I could only try and imagine the breathtaking beauty that was in store for me in Italy - from Assisi, where the beauty is found simplistically in nature, to Florence and Rome, where men over many centuries have created the magnificence that would leave me awe-inspired.

Even though my trip did not turn out as my daydreams had exaggerated, the experience was phenomenal, nonetheless. I did cry on that plane ride home though, and that’s okay, because darnit, not ONE Italian man spoon fed me anything! That was disappointing. Add to that, my grand adventure that I had dreamed of for so long was officially over.

But I’m not gonna cry anymore just because it’s over. I'm not. Instead, I’m gonna put on my happy face and smile because I feel completely blessed that it happened in the first place! Annnnnd….the Pope said a special prayer for me in German, which I didn’t understand but it was a prayer, so that’s gotta be good. Of course, there were thousands of people there with me, but I’m pretty sure that somewhere in the midst of his German speak, I heard him say my name. I could be wrong. But my version of the story makes me happy inside, so that’s the version I‘m going with. Me Smiling – No Tears!


Saturday, January 10, 2009


It’s a New Year, which means new resolutions, new philosophies, and new ideas on how to improve the life we currently live. I always hate to follow the obvious trend, but every year, I find myself looking at the new year just like everybody else.

Let’s be honest, it’s impossible to stay on course with a healthy diet during the holidays, when every time you turn around some sweet soul has made you a special batch of feetless turtles
(without the pecans), or their grandma’s sugar cookies, or God forbid, FUDGE! What earthly human possesses the willpower to pass all that up? When someone bakes me something and offers it to me, if I say “No thank you” it’s like saying no to Love – I’m not doing that – not at Christmas anyway!

So, I eat the fudge and the cookies and the turtles with no nuts, knowing that I will do better in the New Year – just like everybody else – yuk! But it’s true. And as much as love the holidays, it always feels good to reinstate the carrots and apples as my official bedtime snack and save the processed sugar for special occasions only. I think I speak for my body when I say that it prefers to feel the fiber moving through instead of the sugar settling in.

So the carrots and apples are winning the race again and the gym is back at the top of my list for favorite places to visit. I had some pain issues that slowed me down towards the end of last year and also served as a perfect excuse not to go to the gym altogether, but the pain is gone and so is my excuse, so back to the gym I went.

Each year I think I grow more and more as a person. I am proud of the woman I have become. Yet today at the gym I found myself a little embarrassed by my juvenile thoughts. Let me explain. I like to do my cardio workout – which I hate – in the movie theatre room at my gym. I had, of course, originally made fun of the idea of doing cardio in a dark theatre, but eventually found it quite fun. I don’t really listen to the movie so much, because I have a Cardio Coach in my ear telling me when to sprint and when to jog and how out of breath I should be, but I find the visual distraction very helpful.

Sometimes the visual distraction for the day is not so enticing – like "Joe Dirt" – someone needs to burn that movie. But today, as I started climbing the eliptical, I looked up to see Matthew McConaughey on screen. Which movie it was is completely irrelevant – he was in it – enough said. Call me a teenager or call me a dork, but there is no better distraction I can think of than to see that man smile and watch that man move. I consider myself evolved as a woman and I certainly don’t consider him my dream guy, but there’s still that tiny piece of teenage girl left in me that thinks to myself, “Yum!”

Here I am, a woman who’s waiting for thee right guy to walk into my life – a man who God put on this earth just for me – getting giddy over some hunk on the screen. I truly wouldn’t want him if I could have him, (seriously!) because he is not the kind of man I really want, but boy oh boy……”Yuuuum!”

I had a good long workout, thanks to Matthew, and I have this feeling that 2009 is going to be just fine!