Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.


Monday, January 16, 2012


While running errands this morning, I was listening to the Martha Zoller show on the radio.  The segment I heard was regarding Tim Tebow, and his open display of faith on the football field.

Let me say at the outset.  I'm not a huge sports fan.  I didn't watch the game.  The only time I've seen "The Tebow" is when they show replays, or as the fad seems to be nowadays, people mimicking the gesture to poke fun at him.  I could Google it of course, but I'm not even 100% sure of the team he plays for (Denver maybe?), and I believe maybe his team lost yesterday?  (Okay, please don't throw rotten tomatoes at me.  I can't help it.)  I watch the Dawgs, and I'll watch the Braves once they get to the playoffs.  Same with the Falcons.  If they're in the last playoff or the Superbowl, I'll watch.  If I'm not working.  Working on Sunday afternoon/nights and Monday nights makes it a little difficult to be a fan anyway, so I'm glad I'm not.  It would be awfully hard to be chained to a desk while the game was on.

Tim Tebow has been taking flack for publicly acknowledging his faith ever since ... well, I don't know... I guess as long as he has been playing maybe?  I know the first thing I ever heard about him was not what a great player (quarterback??) he is, but about his gesture after a good play.  I heard and read about folks making fun of him for "crying".  For kneeling at the goal line.  For verbally proclaiming his faith.

On the radio this morning there was discussion that some people are saying that he is "divinely" inspired to make the right plays.  Seriously?  There is talk of outrage among nonbelievers who are hoping to have the NFL declared as a "no religion" zone.  Oh really?  Well, good luck trying to take the religion out of Tim Tebow.  Well, perhaps you could take the "religion" out of him, but I doubt you could take (his love of) God out of him, or any any way, shape or form prohibit him from having a relationship with Him.

Does he pray before a game?  I'm quite certain that he does. (Probably all during it, too!) As I said, I only know what little I've seen/read about the guy. I haven't done any book reports on him or anything.  I'm just making comments as a casual observer. And I've certainly not been privy to his personal prayers to The Almighty.  From the little bit I know about him, though, if he is a true man of integrity and faith, I seriously doubt that his prayers are for lots of points, perfectly executed plays, and to bring glory to himself so everyone will think he is so great.  I kind of think maybe (hopefully) his prayers are for the ability to do his best, safety for all the players, and that GOD would be glorified.  Of course I can be wrong.  But I'd bet his prayer is closer to the second example.  After all, isn't that how we should model our own prayers when beseeching God's help for successful lives?  The ability to do our best, safety for ourselves and those around us? and that He would be glorified ... whether we succeed.. or NOT?

This whole thing bothers me on several levels:  Will people begin to see Tebow as another Joel Osteen?  Do it "right" and you will be blessed? (No haters, please... JO is a very dynamic speaker and motivator, IMO, but I don't care for his version of the (un)Gospel.  That's just me.)  Will people begin to turn to God because He "blesses" TT so much?  So what happens when his career starts to slide, when he's off his game, when (hopefully never) he is injured, when something horrible happens in his personal life?  Will those people then blame God?  Will God get the bad rap?  Do you think that when the stadium lights go down, when the cameras are gone, and/or he's too old for the sport, do you think he will stop "Tebowing"?

Do you really, honestly think God needs Tim Tebow in order to be the Awesome God that He Is?

For Tebow fans, is it the "hip" or "in" thing to do... pray to God because T does it?

I'm not discounting the impact on people.  Not a tall.  I'm quite sure there are people everywhere who are deeply affected by his faith and his public display of it.  The maneuver is a great testimony.

So what's all the outrage about?  Come on, folks.  It's not rocket science.  He's a young man who has a relationship with God, and who's not afraid to acknowledge it.  Does that mean that every believer has to behave that way?  Of course not.  Is it in good taste?  That's a matter of opinion.  As a believer, I personally enjoy seeing someone giving God credit for their blessings and talents, instead of pounding their chests and proclaiming "Look at ME!  See what I can do!"  Again, that's just me.

Why does it bother so many people?  Is it a threat?

On the radio show they said that Fran Tarkenton has commented on this whole "religion in sports" thing.  He said that religion in sports is nothing new.  He was (is?) a man of faith, and said at the time he played football, he had to get permission from the elders of his church to play on Sunday. There have always been believers in sports.  Ever heard of the FCA?  (Even I know what that is! ha!)

And then there's that 3:16 commercial.  I didn't see the game, but the commercial video has been posted all over Facebook and the internet, so I've seen it.  What's the problem with it?  I honestly just don't get why in the world people want to get so upset about it.  People who don't drink beer and have horror stories regarding alcoholism don't get up and scream about beer commercials during football games. Celibate men don't protest against Victoria's Secret commercials (now that one made me laugh).  You see where I'm going with this, right?  So what... if there are atheist or agnostic people watching TV and they don't like the 3:16 commercial.. SO WHAT!  Get over it!  If you're threatened by such a commercial, then perhaps you're not as strong in your non-belief as you want to think you are.  Put your atheist (or whatever else concept that conflicts with my beliefs) commercials on TV.  Doesn't bother me a bit.  Whoever has the money to buy ad space on the network ... gets the air time. I'm impressed that FOTF was able to come up with the money.

Are these same anti-religious people creating a fuss about all the Mormon commercials on TV?  (Were there any of those played during the game?) I've always thought LDS church had the best commercials.  As a teenager, I once wrote off for a free poster for my room  that was distributed by them.  I don't remember exactly what it was, but something very peaceful and beautiful.  And now they have this campaign* on TV showing average, every-day people who live with the same struggles and triumphs as everyone else.  And at the end, they say... ".... and I'm a Mormon."  Great marketing for the LDS, IMO.  (*And while they deny any correlation, my cynical mind screams that it is politically generated and/or sponsored by a certain campaign).

Do those Mormon commercials offend me?  Heck no.  Nothing they can say is going to make me become a Mormon.  I'm not dissin' them, I just don't want to be one.  I believe differently, and I'm not gonna change, no matter how Every-Day-Average the people in their commercials are.  Could I vote for one for president? Absolutely, I could. I'll vote for the best candidate, regardless of his religion, (or lack thereof), if he is the best candidate (I hope I don't have to vote for THIS one, but that's another blog post altogether!)  There are some, though, who wouldn't consider voting for one of those "weird Mormons", so the Every-Day-Average American might find him/herself with a little softer view on that, after the commercials.  [As an aside... did you know that it is unconstitutional to "test" a candidate for the presidency based on religion?  Yep, it sure is.]

Oh, sorry... I drifted way off topic here.  I'll have plenty of time for those posts. It's shaping up to be a long election season...

Okay... back to religion on TV.  Here's another angle to consider.  You can please all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time.  If anti-religious people rally against religious stuff, the Christians get mad.  If the anti-gay people raise a fuss about shows depicting openly-gay (or even implied) relationships, the gay people get mad.  If the atheist or whatever you call the nature-worshiping folks want to have something on TV the Christians get mad.  The Christians get mad about a lot of stuff... lol...

There's this thing called the 1st amendment.  (Help me here, Ron Paul...)  Evidently anybody can say anything they want to say... but oh wait... Don Imus can't call a black girl "nappy headed", but Westboro Church can stand outside a fallen soldier's funeral and scream "Fag"??  (yikes, another subject for another day)

There's also this thing called freedom of choice.  If you don't like something, do your best to remove yourself from it.  If you absolutely cannot survive watching Tim Tebow doing his thing, then take a break from the TV.   Close your eyes, or go to the fridge for a snack.  Honestly.  I know people who absolutely are disgusted at some of the sitcoms that depict the gay lifestyle.  Okay, so they are offended by it.  Do they watch it?  Ummm, probably not.  A Miss America (another show/organization which disgusts many) contestant was asked Saturday night about the "16 And Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" shows on MTV.  I've seen some of these shows and they are pretty pathetic.  I don't like them and for the most part don't agree with their message.  I'm not going to get on my soapbox and scream about how they are offensive and should be taken off TV.  I just don't watch.

One thing I would like to say, as a word of caution to my fellow believers.  I think we need to be very careful to understand that while we want to see the right preserved for anyone, on any show, to acknowledge their faith... there are others who believe differently than we do about other things.  These folks deserve the same consideration... they want to see *their* beliefs and values respected and preserved the same as we do.  We can't criticize or judge them for standing up for what they want... without expecting them to criticize and judge us.

Bottom line - Tebow's relationship with God is a personal thing.  His acknowledgement is a personal thing.  Perhaps it is encouraging to some who have difficulty showing their faith in public.  Maybe it will be a good commercial for God, like the ones we're seeing for the Mormons.  Most assuredly it will turn some folks off.  But it has nothing to do with football.  I'll betcha when he gets a good parking place at the mall, he whispers "Thanks, God!"  (I do, do you? lol) or maybe he hops out of his car and hollers it, I don't know.  In a world where we worship athletes and rock stars, I find it very refreshing that someone (with a lot at stake) is willing to acknowledge that his talents are God-given, and not self-made.

But that's just me.

This post probably doesn't make much sense, and doesn't tie itself up very well at the end.  It's just a bunch of rambling thoughts on a Monday morning.  Now it's time to get to work.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Magic Diet

[For those of you who aren't on Facebook (all two of you), or who somehow missed the new Sweet Tea, here's my article for the January issue.]  

The Magic Diet

Admit it.  We all want it.  The Magic Diet that will melt away the pounds like hot butter, and buff the muscles to a six pack.  What’s that?  Butter?  Six pack?  See how quickly I get sidetracked when thinking about The Magic Diet?  Just that one sentence alone was enough to make me gain 3 pounds. Believe me.  If there were a Magic Diet out there I’d have found it by now.

Growing up, I didn’t have to worry about weight.  My mama was a tiny little thing, and I was just barely over 100 lb soaking wet all through my teenage years.  Everyone used to tell me “You’ll never have to worry about your weight.”  (Pssst.  Don’t ever tell that to anyone.  Some people are silly enough to believe it.)

I didn’t experience the “freshman 15”.  Nope, that was kid stuff.  Instead, I experienced the “bridal bloatfest”.  When I married at 21, I was horrified that it took a size 9 wedding gown to hold my bloated body.  What had happened to my size 5 and 7 jeans?  I guess being so blissfully in love was a calorie magnet, and I had ballooned up to 114 lbs.  If gaining weight was the sign of bliss, by the time I gave birth 5 ½ years later, you’d have thought I was the owner of Disneyland (The Happiest Place On Earth).
Some people take up a new craft or hobby.  Some people take dance lessons or learn a new language.  Some people search for the answers to the mysteries of the universe.  I began The Quest for The Magic Diet.  The one that would allow me to swallow a pill, or meditate, or listen to subliminal messages to give me the desire and the willpower to fit back into those jeans.  Forget the 5s and 7s, I would have been ecstatic to see ANY size in the single digits!
My library expanded.  I purchased every diet book on the market.  I read them all.  Some of them I tried, some of them I decided were either too dangerous, or the food choices left me gagging.  There was the grapefruit and boiled egg diet.  The Lemonade Diet. The Cabbage Soup Diet. The Richard Simmons Method.  Medibolic.  Scarsdale.  The Banana Diet.  The Ice Cream diet.  The Zone.  The Mayo Clinic.  The Eat Like A Tree diet. The Full Plate Diet.  The Weigh Down Diet.  And that’s only a few of them. Needless to say, I’ll never have to buy another door stop again.
Back in the olden days of VHS cassettes, I bought enough exercise videos to rival the Great Wall of China.  And like The Great Wall, they just sat there, not doing a darn thing to take the weight off. Today I have no less than 10 “workout” DVDs.  I can Walk Away The Pounds, Dance Away The Pounds, and Hypnotize Away The Pounds.  They just sit there too.  Collecting dust.  Hmph.  And they were guaranteed to work!  Wonder if I can get my money back?

My repertoire of exercise equipment isn’t too shabby either.  I have stretchy things, and springy things, and special tone-up sneakers.  I have a pedometer, an MP3 player and some kick-butt ear buds.  I have my very own personal treadmill. Inside my house. Plugged in. And up until a few months ago I had a membership at the Wellness Center. Then I figured for that monthly payment, I could buy myself a lot of groceries and fast food.  You know that didn’t end well.

And now, a bride again at age 53, the “bliss” seems to come at me even faster.  I’m at the happiest place I’ve ever been in my life. Healthy, awesome family, beautiful grandchildren, and the most wonderful husband. Bliss, I tell you!!  I guess that explains it then: I bump into things I didn’t used to bump into. Sometimes when I walk through the room, things just seem to topple over all by themselves.  And then I realize it was my butt that toppled it over. 

Something’s gotta give.  And it ain’t gonna be my waistband.

So here we find ourselves in a brand new year, with a clean plate … err… clean slate, and once again embrace the resolve to start all over.  To get it right this time.  And we will do it.  Because after all my extensive research, I have learned that there really IS a Magic Diet.  Four Little Words.  Eat Less, Move More. Find your magic and make it work.  You’re not gettin’ any younger, and unless you already found your magic, you’re probably not gettin’ any skinnier either.  Eat Less, Move More.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to make room in the closet for all those clothes that are hanging on the bars of my treadmill.  I’m ready to get my Magic on. I’ve got some movin’ to do! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Barcodes = The Antichrist

I remember when the bar-code system began to be used in the common marketplace.  Some Christians immediately declared that bar-codes and the use thereof represented the Antichrist.  Then the whole Proctor & Gamble fiasco ensued, and folks were convinced the company was run by satanists.  (Thankfully they survived the "scandal" and lived to print more coupons...)

I don't know if the Antichrist will need to depend on such technology as bar-codes or not.  I could see how it could work, and may indeed play a part.  I don't know.  I'm actually more afraid of a Big Brother Conspiracy using bar-codes than I am of selling my soul to the devil for a Big Mac.  Maybe Big Brother will end up being the Antichrist, I don't know.  (That being said, you'll never find bar-codes tattooed to my forehead or my right hand.)

However, this post is not about the battle of unseen powers.  It's about the mind-blowing, game-changing use of ... bar-code scanners!!!  I kind of wasn't going to go "Public" with my decision to join Weight Watchers (WW) just yet.  Well, there.  I just went "Public" with it.  Yep, that's right.  I re-joined (for the umpteenth) time on December 29th.  Ever the cost-conscious consumer, I read that some prices would be going up after Jan 1, and I also wanted to avoid the annual New-Year-Resolution crowd that inevitably shows up the first week of the year, I jumped back on the bandwagon before the new year started.  After a few days of reviewing the program changes, reorienting myself with the E-Tools system, and planning some menus, I started the New Eating Year on Monday, the 2nd of January.  My weigh-in was scheduled for Thursday the 5th, and since I only had a few days of being On Program (OP), I wasn't expecting a significant loss.  Nonetheless, I was very pleased with how those four days had gone.  We went to Applebee's on Wed night prior to my Thurs weigh-in, and I ordered one of the WW dinners from the menu.  I even shaved off a couple of Points by substituting the black-bean-and-corn-salsa with steamed broccoli.  It was very yummy and quite satisfying to the palate.  Best of all, I only ate half, and brought the other half home to have for lunch the next day.  So I was prepared to share my non-scale victory (NSV), figuring I wouldn't be celebrating so very much at the scales.  WRONG!  I couldn't believe it when the receptionist told me I was 3.2 lbs ... DOWN!  YAY!!!  The news provided even more motivation and determination, and I was elated, to say the least!!  I called everybody I knew.  Well, I called DJ, Steve, and my mamma, and I texted Whitney.  Not quite everybody, but at least those closest to me.

At the close of the meeting, the lecturer asked if anyone had tried the bar-code scanner for Smartphones.  I didn't know such a thing existed, but I thought I'd give it a try.  Friday afternoon I had a few minutes of down time, so I went to the App Store and downloaded the scanner.  I figured it wouldn't be worth a flip, but Mary found an empty Diet Coke container... one of the squatty little plastic ones... in the backseat, so we decided to scan it.  Well.  Not only did it pull up the points value (0, of course), it pulled up the nutritional information used to calculate the points (fat, carbs, fiber, and protein grams), and a picture of the squatty little Diet Coke.  Seriously cool.  So, off to the grocery store I go with my WW-friendly shopping list.  I ended up buying quite a bit more items than I otherwise would have, because... I could scan each item and it would tell me how many points per serving the item would "cost" me!!  Wow.  One of the things I always hated about WW before was "journaling".  Or writing down everything I ate.  (They call it "tracking" nowadays.)  I also hated looking up in the little booklet to find the points value of everything I ate.

Those days are gone!  With today's technology, I can keep track of all my points with the click of a mouse, and I can scan the points value of anything with a bar-code.  Granted, there are some obscure items not in the scanner's database, but if the item is not in the database, it gives the option to calculate the points using the nutritional information on the product label.  How cool is that!  And.. it keeps a list of everything you scan, so no duplicate scanning!

Another tool that I am loving on the WW mobile app is the Restaurant tab.  I haven't looked at the entire listing of restaurants (but I've already found my favorites!!!), and I can look at all their menu items to check the points value.  There's also a row of tabs at the top (ex. 2-4, 5-7, 8-10  etc.) so that if I only have 10 points left for the day, I can click on the 8-10 tab and see all the food on the menu with 8-10 points without having to scroll through the entire menu.  Brilliant!!

I have been overweight for more years than I have not.  The road has been long and complicated.  I'm so very thankful for yet another chance to start over, and get it right this time.  I've tried everything... but it always seems to come back to WW.  I've probably lost several hundred pounds on the program over the past 30 years or so.  It's what the doctors recommend.  It's on TV all the time, and the internet ads too.  Everywhere I have turned for the past few weeks, WW has just kinda been "in my face".  For me it's confirmation.  Jennifer Hudson has been singing to me about believing and I've tapped into the energy, and I Believe.  I Believe that with the techno tools available to me, that my old excuses won't work any more.  I'm excited about the tools, and how they have already rocked my world.

So, here it is.  My name is Cathy, and I'm a WW member.  And I'm loving it.

Oh, and about that Antichrist thing... I ain't askeerd of him.  My FATHER can beat up his father any day.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Out With The Old

In with the new.  Except to document the progress of contractions, labor, and the birth of a baby, the second hand on the clock is rarely watched so closely as New Year's Eve.  Whether you're out with friends, or snuggled comfortably at home with the ones you love, the tick, tick, tick of the countdown symbolizes the anticipation of the new year to come.  For as long as I can remember, the stroke of midnight on that last day in December has always been accompanied by a lump in my throat, and oftentimes, a misty feeling in my eyes.  I've never really figured out why.  From the times I remember as a kid at home with my parents and brother, to celebrating in my own home with my own family, to partying with friends, to spending some of them alone, a few babysitting my grandchildren, and now entering 2011 with my "new" husband, there's just something emotional about it.

I love this picture, and brazenly swiped it from someone else's blog.  It makes me think though, about the waves on the beach.  When the waves crash over your sandcastle, the structure itself rarely survives, but often there is a lump in the sand that stands bravely, as a testament to what you so painstakingly created.  We often say that a new year is a clean slate, a chance to start over.  And it is... but we also carry forth lumps in the sand left over from yesterday's experiences.  Hopefully many of them are good, but life is tough, and the mistakes and the hurt that we felt in 2011 will go with us into 2012.   We can hope and trust that the waves of time will continue to smooth away the pain, and the sun will shine upon the sand again.

2011 will go down for me as a very good year!  A busy year, with much to be grateful for.  I married the sweetest man, and bask unashamedly in his love.  In doing so, my family increased overnight, and I welcomed his children and grandchildren, mom and siblings, as he has welcomed mine.  Our Christmas tree this year was a sign of the increase in our blessings-- not because we spent lots of money, but simply because we have so many with whom to share the holiday.

After calling The 409 home for five years, I moved into Steve's home when we married in April.  A huge change for sure!  I had been single for 19 years, and had no plans whatsoever to marry again.  A few disappointing and painful relationships over the years had left me with the realization that I was much better off just enjoying my daughter and then delving wholeheartedly into the world of Greemaw-ism.  No room for dating relationships and/or the complications that inevitably followed.  And I made no bones about the fact that I'd never marry again.  Obviously Stevie Jay caused me to re-evaluate those resolutions, and I'm so thankful that I gave us a chance.  Oh, I fought it tooth and nail in the beginning, but with the counsel of a few wise friends, and The Great Epiphany one day in church, I stopped fighting against myself.  And just let it happen.  And I'm so thankful!!

The summer of 2011 included our Honeymoon Trip to the beach in June.  Our original wedding date was set for June 17th, but a series of events (God-ordained!) found us married April 22nd, but we kept our original plans for the honeymoon.  It was a whirlwind week of fun and sun, staying busy, and being lazy.  By far my most favorite trip to the beach to date!  We're hoping to make lots more memories at Our House At The Beach.  (Aunt Joyce and Uncle Gene's townhouse.)

2011 also brought the reunion of our graduating class - the renewal of old friendships, as well as the blossoming of new.  Serving on the planning committee, I got to spend some time with several folks that I didn't really know that well in high school, but enjoyed getting to know as we planned.  Funny how renewing acquaintances brings you back to your roots.  And instilled a longing in my heart to get together more often with my Statham friends, with whom I shared homegrown memories of life in our small town, and attending the same school together "just us" through the 8th grade.  It was sad to see how many classmates have passed since we graduated in 1976, and far too often now we read on Facebook where someone has lost a dear parent, or a spouse.  Life really is short.

And the hours just whiz by the older I get.  I swear, when I was a kid, it took 12 1/2 years for Christmas to come.  Now it seems like just a few weeks.  Yesterday Steve and I un-decorated the house and put away all the trappings of the holiday.  In the blink of an eye, it will be time to bring them out again.  My youngest grandchild will start Pre-K this fall.  It was only yesterday I was smooching on those sweet little newborn cheeks.  Leyliebug is such a grown-up little lady, and watching her takes me back to the days when her mommy was a little girl.  She'll be in first grade this next school year.

I find myself wishing constantly for 48-hour days (but leave the 8-hour work day intact, please!)  I don't have time to blog any more.  I did manage to write about half a chapter in my book in 2011, but I long for more time to finish the research and complete the book.  Scrapbooking?  Haven't touched it in ages.  I need to finish Corey's First Year scrapbook so I can get busy with mine and Steve's wedding scrapbook.  Luckily, I never finished Whitney's Wedding Book (she started having babies before I got that one finished!), so I have lots of wedding scrapbook supplies on hand!

Good things happened at The 409, as well.  Whitney and Dustin gained full custody of sweet Mary in June, and she has settled in quite well.  We are so happy that she is with us now.  So thankful to turn an undesirable former situation into one of stability and unconditional love. Dustin went to school, and after passing a rigorous battery of tests, has made a career change and is doing amazing work with a great  company.  Whitney returned to her former job, and has enjoyed being back at work.  Daycare, one of the biggest challenges of working parents, is manageable, and I'm fortunate to be able to spend time with the kids and help out when they're out of school.  Mom and Dad are enjoying good health, and they love spending time with the kids too, and are able to help out when needed.

Steve and Joe stayed busy throughout the summer, and we are grateful to all the people who continue to use Greater South for their construction/remodeling needs.

DJ and David welcomed their first grandchild, Ryan Philip, into the world on November 30th.  Such fun to watch them in this new role.  The sight of a baby in their arms has been long coming, and we are so thankful for this new life.

Michael and Linda continue to work on the farm, and at the annual Hillbilly Hippiefest, chose "Star Valley Farm" as the name of their corner of Eden.  Steve and I were able to attend the event, and it remains one of my favorite memories of 2011.  Their future plans for the farm are amazing, and I can't wait to watch them unfold.

One of the girls I grew up with was unable to make it home for the reunion in October.  She was in town after Christmas and seven of us gals met for dinner.  Boy, did we ever have fun!  Memory Lane for us is Broad Street in Statham, and we traveled up and down the lane all evening.  I'll bet some ears were burning somewhere!!  There's just something so gratifying about revisiting my youth with ones who were such a huge part of it... and knowing that we share the same roots.  We talked and laughed (hysterically at times, when a malfunctioning camera kept shooting crazy shots even without the shutter button being pressed!), and when we parted, we promised to do it again soon.

There's always the sad part of saying goodbye to dear friends as they pass from this life, and we were called upon to do that as well in 2011.  But hope lies eternal, and for those of us who believe, death is not the end.

2012 now lies before me.  A few lumps in the sand brought over from 2011, for sure, but an empty beach as far as my eyes can see.  I hope the decisions I make will be good ones, built firmly on solid ground, far from the reach of the crashing waves. I hope I take time to stop and smell the roses, and love those around me in such a way that they never question my love or devotion.  I hope to spend more time with family, and enjoy lots of grandbaby love and kisses.  I hope I will love myself enough to grab hold and hang on tightly to my resolve to make healthier choices, making 2012 the year that I regain my health. I hope I will devote more time to matters of my faith... because my faith matters so very much.  I hope that I will be an encouragement to the downtrodden, a ray of sunshine to the sad, and a balm to those in pain. I hope that I will mean as much to my friends as they mean to me.  I hope that my relationship with my husband will continue to grow ever stronger and sweeter, and that our home will be full of love, happiness, and the laughter of our grandchildren!

And I hope the same things for you.  Happy New Year!!  May your 2012 be blessed.