Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Our Christmas Miracle

It was the week before Christmas one year ago when two lines appeared and our world was set aglow. 
We knew in an instant life would never be the same. In nine quick months, we would have a daughter or son to name. 
Always and forever that Christmas will be a favorite in our family's history.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Twelve

People talk all the time about what they want for their children. Who they hope they will become. What they hope they will accomplish.
Of course, John and I want all the good things this life has to offer for Gianna. 
But that's not what I've been thinking about.
Our Little Love is 12 weeks old today. She brings me unbelievable joy every day. Joy I couldn't imagine and can't explain.
As I bathe in the blessing that she is to me, I don't think about her future. I think about mine. 

She makes me want to be a better wife, mother and woman. The truer I am to myself, the better chance I hope she has at really becoming herself. 

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sleepless in San Jose

We really aren't on a sleep schedule yet, but the baby does nap. More than once a day usually.
But not today. Today, Gianna decided to skip her morning nap and her afternoon nap and it's now after 11 pm and she is still wide awake. 

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Weekend Review

A weekend review on Wednesday. Sure, why not.
This last weekend was sort of a big deal because John went on a two-night spiritual retreat, and Gianna and I survived being alone.
(Well, as alone as you get when your parents live 2.2 miles from your house and your husband is gone for a whole 45 hours.)
After dropping off John at the Our Lady of Santa Clara Retreat House, we made a surprise visit to see Gianna's great grandpa, Big Papa Aldo.


Then we headed to Nonna and Papa's house, where I was fed and my mom played with Gianna until the poor baby was completely worn out.
 

Saturday was a busy day of cleaning. I cleaned. My mom cleaned. And then the professional cleaning people showed up. Professional cleaning is a big treat around here and so exciting.


That night, because I was alone and hate the dark, I stayed up late and made pumpkin-apple-cranberry-pecan bread for the first time. 


Sunday morning, Gianna and I made it to Mass (15 minutes late), and we were both in one piece albeit exhausted when we picked up John that afternoon.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Daylight Saving Dangers

If you're 94 and the young lady who drives you around is in her 80s, the time change means more than setting your clocks back.
Of course, you might not realize this until you get caught in Palo Alto after sunset.
Since your home is in Sunnyvale and your chauffeur doesn't drive after dark and you don't drive at all, this will mean calling your grandson and your grandson-in-law for a rescue.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sweeter Than Candy

In early October, John came home with this little number from Costco. Just seeing it in our house filled me with joy. 


Then this happened and the cuteness almost killed me. 


Behind the scenes looked like this.



A few days before Halloween, Gianna and I checked out the mommy and me event at Santana Row.

Then the main event. 
Our 5-year All Hallows' Eve tradition is to spend the trick or treating hours at our dear friends' home.
Back in 2008, it was just me and John with our friends and their then three kids. (Number five is expected in March.) 
Clearly, we are trendsetters.


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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hello, November

I kind of forgot that I'm a blogger, and I sort of missed the whole month of October.
But I've noticed people are dedicating November to gratitude.
I'm living baby bliss, and my heart feels like it might explode with thankfulness.
Every day, even when I've been up four times in the night, I just can't believe I get to be Gianna's mama.
Today, I'm thankful for naps for both her and me.

Gianna asleep in her car seat.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bigger, The Book

Remember how my dear friend Erin wrote an entire book?
I am so impressed with her and all those sentences strung together with interesting characters and a plot.
If you haven't already read it, now is your chance.
She is literally giving it away. You have until Friday to download it free on Kindle.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Lookin' Good

"Christina, you look good."
"Thanks, Daddy,"  I replied.
"Actually, you look surprisingly good," he said while adjusting his glasses.
"I put on makeup," I explained.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Well Rested

For the first time in almost six weeks, I slept for four straight hours in row.
I felt like I could conquer the world.
Instead, I needed of a nap by 9:30 a.m.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Little Walk

I've decided we need more sunshine. 

It's not that it's impossible to go out with a baby, it's just easier to stay home. 
But we took a little walk in Los Gatos yesterday and one with Erin today. I'm hoping this is the start of a daily habit.  

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Act With Love

"Jesus does not so much look at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them." ~ St. Therese the Little Flower

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Rock-A-Bye Baby

Today's amazing discovery: the I'll-magically-make-your-baby-stop-crying swing.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Sound of Heaven

She laughed in her sleep. 

Laughed! And I almost cried it was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. 
It was only for a second, but it was clearly a laugh accompanied by a big grin. 
How I wish I knew what made my little girl giggle in her dreams.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Oh, Martha

I kind of fell in love with your website today.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Oh, Yes!

Our friends' daughter is 2, and she likes to say, "No way," when she doesn't want to do something.
But when she is excited about something, she says, "Oh, yes." 
Her passion is contagious.
It makes me wonder when I should be saying, "No way," and "Oh, yes."  

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Right On Schedule

According to the books, we can expect more smiles and more fussiness in the next few weeks. I'm loving the first. Can't say I'm really looking forward to the second.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Perfect 10

We're one month into this great adventure, and Gianna is a perfect 10. Literally, the girl weighs exactly 10 pounds. This also means I haven't slept through the night for a month, but I don't care. We can't thank God enough for the blessing of our little girl.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Another Talk

Like most infants, Gianna gets swaddled before bed. John advised her tonight, "Someday you're going to date. And if we don't approve, we're going to wrap you up like this again. Don't say I didn't warn you."

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Day-Night Confusion

I'm not sure exactly how it works. But babies eventually learn that day is day and night is night, and we as a people sleep at night and stay awake during the day.
It's all opposite land in the world of the womb.
The thing is Gianna is influencing me as much as I'm influencing her.
After an hour or so of nursing and diaper changing and hushing back to sleep in the middle of the night, she's out and I'm wide awake.
It's like having a newborn plus insomnia.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Side by Side

She changes every single day.
I took the first photo on August 28th. It was the morning after our first night home from the hospital.
I took the second photo today, which marks four weeks since her birth.

Gianna at 3 days and 4 weeks.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Super Mom

I saw Super Mom yesterday.
She was headed into Buy Buy Baby dressed like an urban chic goddess (skinny jeans, flip flops, black nursing tank, fashionable half coat, hair swept back in a ponytail).
She did not have a stroller or diaper bag or even an infant carrier.
Her only baby accessory was an Aden and Anais muslin blanket draped over her shoulder and across her chest, underneath which she breastfed her 8-week-old son while walking across the parking lot and into the store. (It's her fourth child.)
She was a sight to be seen. 
But even this Super Mom could not escape her child's spit up, which covered her shoulder and back.
She wasn't bothered by this at all and just said, "You know all your clothes are ruined."
I admired her, and today I felt a little bit like her.
Gianna and I went to a lovely party for our dear Erin.
It was our first time driving anywhere without John and we were only 40 minutes late. (It's a 10 minute drive.)
We got all kinds of nice compliments.
"She's such a perfect baby. She's so beautiful."
"I can't believe you are out of the house. You look so together."
Gianna slept through most of the party, but after a couple of hours, she woke up and needed to be changed and fed.
No problem. I excused myself to another room.
That's when it happened. 
While changing Gianna's diaper, projectile baby poop spewed all over me ~ my black blouse, my white skirt and Erin's couch.
A month into motherhood, I know this for sure: No matter how super you feel, a mom is always a moment away from being bathed in someone else's bodily fluid.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Father-Daughter Talk

Gianna was a bit fussy tonight when John decided to have the following chat with her:
"Listen, we're going to get this straight right now. We already have a complainer in the family. It's your mother. That position is taken. You're the cute one."

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

All Clean

We successfully bathed our daughter today.
(Yes, it's been almost four weeks since she entered the world.)
I was a bit hesitant because she has not been a huge fan of sponge baths.
Turns out sitting in lukewarm water is much more pleasant than having a lukewarm washcloth wiped across your body. Makes sense. Who wants to be chilly?
The only time she cried was when I pulled her out of the cozy little kitchen sink.

Gianna's First Bath

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Kindness Matters

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." ~Plato

I stumbled upon these amazing ideas for kindness missions. Someday, when Gianna and I are able to shower regularly, we will hit the streets with love bombs. In the meantime, I'm admiring the creativity and thoughtfulness of others.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bath Time

I swear the adults showered yesterday.
But today, John looks like he has been camping, and I'm wearing a shirt stained with and stinking of breast milk.
The baby is the cleanest of us three, but we could all use a good soak in the tub.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Are You A Princess?

"Whose crown is this?" Josie asked after discovering it inside the picnic basket where I keep crayons and other treasures.

"It's mine," I replied. 
"Are you a princess?" the 3-year-old questioned a bit surprised. 
"Yes. Yes, I am."
As it turns out, Josie is a princess, too. 
Princess Josie

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Eternity

It's been three weeks since Gianna was born, but it feels like forever in the best possible way. Like I have always been her mother and John has always been her father and she has always been our daughter.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Good Read

The god of journalism at San Jose State, Mack Lundstrom, always emphasized the value of a well-written obit.

I think he would approve of the one written for Mary A. "Pink" Mullaney, which I highly recommend reading. 
As we are trying to figure out the best way to live, perhaps we should think about what people might say once we are dead. 

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Different Each Day

I've been told every day with a newborn is different and unpredictable and not to get too attached or concerned about any one thing.
Today's thing was nursing and cuddling all day. And the girl is smart because if I set her down, she would wake from her slumber and protest.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Children's Books ...

Should come with a warning that they may make mama cry.
Although, in all honesty, children's books sometimes made me cry long before Gianna was here.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Our Day

Today's news from mama-baby land:
1. I've never been so excited about weight gain.

Gianna weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces when she was born. (She was down to 7 pounds 11 ounces when we left the hospital.) 
Today at her two-week appointment, she was 8 pounds 13.5 ounces.
Yay breastfeeding!
2. I discovered two products to help my achy perineum.
(Why didn't anyone tell me how extensive after-labor recovery is?) 
New or soon-to-be mamas may want to check these out:
Sitz Bath Spray by Motherlove
Mama Bottom Balm by Earth Mama Angel Baby

PS: If you have a mama or baby product you love, I would love to know about it. 

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Eight

We've done romantic dinners, days at the beach, the chocolate festival in San Francisco and weekend getaways with wine tasting in Carmel. 

But we've never celebrated like this before. 
The Market at San Pedro Square in San Jose
Happy 8th Anniversary, My Love! I'm hoping for 80 more.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Leaky

Drops on the floor.

Puddles on my blanket. 
Rings on my shirt. 
Milk everywhere. 

But she's worth it. 

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Dear John ...

My Love,

I say the same thing every year. I'm so grateful you were born. I'm so grateful you are in my life.
But this year is different. I've never been more in love with you. 
Thank you for being my partner in crime.
Thank you for loving me through the good and the hard.
Thank you for coaching me through 29 hours of labor.
Thank you for pacing the house and hushing Gianna to sleep at midnight and 3 a.m.
Thank you for being a wonderful husband and father.

Happy Birthday, My Love! I love you!
~ Christina 

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Skeletons in the Kitchen

As everyone knows, my mom is an amazing cook and baker.
She used these skills (along with her good looks) to snag my dad.
He often reminisces about the homemade tortillas she made him the first week they dated. Last night, he mentioned a homemade cheesecake as well.

"Cheesecake?" I questioned. "Mama doesn't make cheesecake." 
"What if it was from a box?" my brother Jimmy speculated. 
"It was," my mom confirmed. "And it wasn't a cheesecake. It was a cheesecake pie." 
This made my brother laugh so hard. 
"The last 40 years have been based on a lie," he told my dad.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

The Opposite of Stir Crazy

Gianna and I haven't left the house since Tuesday. We don't mind one bit. But it does occur to me that we will need to rejoin the world at some point.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Night Shift

I used to have pregnancy insomnia.

Now, I have a newborn.
It's almost the same thing, except staring at my baby is way better than checking to see if anyone has updated their Facebook status in the middle of the night. 

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Toothache

I swear my toothache was somehow caused by labor, and I think I'm going to have to call the dentist.
Typically, I would be less than enthusiastic about this.
But right now, the thought of squeezing dental work into Gianna's constantly changing feeding schedule seems almost impossible.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bigger Already

We noticed Monday night that Gianna already looks different from when she was first born.
I almost cried over her growing up too fast.
Then I went to the breastfeeding support group at the hospital and realized how absolutely lucky I am that my baby is a little milk monster.

Gianna asleep on the job.

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Love Begins at Home

I have a perpetual calendar with quotes from Mother Teresa. I haven't been able to flip the page off the day Gianna was born. It says:
"Love begins at home. Everything depends on how we love each other. Do not be afraid to love until it hurts, for this is how Jesus loved."

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Week One

Since the second labor began (which was at about 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 24th), time hasn't existed.

It's Gianna and John and me and a stream of family and friends bringing us food and coming by for visits.
But somehow we are outside of time. Day and night hardly matter, and the only reason to look at a clock is to track feedings.
In a blink, a whole week has passed in what felt like one breathtaking moment. 

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

God is Gracious

There is a newborn in my home. 


Gianna Francesca Marie was born at 10:25 p.m. on Sunday, August 25th, weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces and measuring 20 inches long. 

She is a piece of perfection and my constant reminder that God is Gracious. 

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Friday, August 23, 2013

The Shift

I am now 39 weeks pregnant. Up until this point, I think I've overlooked the fact that sometime in the next two weeks a newborn baby is going to come home with me and John. She will be solely our responsibility. 

Don't get me wrong. We are not completely unprepared. Our hospital bag is at least halfway packed. The carseat is in the car. Her room is filled with diapers and clothes. And yesterday we chose her pediatrician. 
But when it comes to the care and feeding of an infant, John and I know very little. 
For months, I have been preparing myself mentally for the hard and unpredictable work of labor. Somehow, I think I forgot to prepare myself for the hard and unpredictable work of parenthood. 
The good news is I'm kind of an expert at cramming. 

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

In the Kitchen

I probably should not have learned how easy it is to make chocolate cream cheese frosting or that you can dramatically improve the quality of a boxed cake mix by upgrading some of the ingredients. Recipes below: 


Upgraded Boxed Cake (as seen on Facebook)

1. Buy a box of cake mix.
2. Read the directions on the box.
3. Add one or two more eggs. (I added two.) 
4. Use melted butter instead of oil and double the amount.
5. Instead of water, use milk.
6. Mix well and bake according to the instructions on the box.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (via www.cupcakeproject.com)

Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar (You can decrease this amount if you don't care about it being as stiff for piping)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Instructions:

  1. 1. Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. 2. Mix in powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
  3. 3. Mix in cocoa powder.

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Friday, August 16, 2013

An Oversight

In the mad rush to get things done (not quite sure why I imagined relaxing on maternity leave), essential laundry has been ignored. Today, I resorted to wearing a pair of John's briefs. To my shock, they were tight, and I was wearing them below my belly.  

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Awaiting Our Little Love

I really have loved pregnancy. Which is not to say that parts of it haven't been challenging.
But those parts are small compared to the overwhelming awe and wonder I feel about the gift of this child.

Of all the things we need to do before she arrives, I'm so grateful John and I didn't miss our chance to photograph this time of waiting.
These pictures were taken Monday at 37+ weeks.
(Definitely one of the benefits of being married to a talented photographer.)



PS: A big thank you to everyone who has been commenting on my various pregnancy posts. I'm terribly remiss in not responding, but I can't express how much your support and words of encouragement mean to me. I especially enjoyed reading everyone's labor stories awhile back.

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Friday, August 9, 2013

37 Weeks

At this point, I am only capable of writing about my pregnancy. My apologies. But it is what everything in my life is currently revolving around.
And today is a big day. I am 37 weeks pregnant, which means I'm officially full term.
I had no idea until recently that 37 weeks was considered full term, and let me tell you, I would have set up my self-inflicted deadlines a lot differently had I been aware of this tidbit.
Everyone warns that you will be anxious and bored in the last weeks of pregnancy, just begging your child to be born.
All I can say is these people don't know how to procrastinate because I have plenty to do.
Have I mentioned we just put new floors into our humble home, and as a result, everything we own has been moved from room to room and the entire place is covered in a layer of construction dust?

Also, I failed to schedule a hospital tour when my doctor suggested it months ago. It didn't occur to me there might be a waiting list. So we're scheduled for August 20. 
In addition, new parents have the very important task of picking a pediatrician for there yet to be born child. I have one in mind, but she is on vacation for the next few weeks. The soonest we can meet her for a consultation is August 22. 
I have a high tolerance for pushing deadlines, but even I think this is cutting it close. 
So when people assume that at this point I must just be putting the final touches on the nursery, I try hard not to laugh hysterically. 

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Let the Nesting Begin

My maternity leave officially began at 3:30 p.m. today. To celebrate, I came straight home and immediately slept for an hour and 40 minutes. (Because people, pregnancy insomnia and anemia is no joke.) 

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Let's Catch Up

So it's been a little crazy over here. Days keep going by and Baby Girl's due date keeps getting closer. 


I already feel like she is growing up too fast. I want to savor every day between now and when she arrives and then every day after she is here. 

Meanwhile, there is so much to be done and people ask me multiple times a day if we are ready. Obviously, these are people who don't know me very well. Because anyone who knows my relationship with deadlines knows that "ready" isn't really a state I ever achieve. 

I'm OK with that. Baby Girl is going to arrive when she arrives and most likely things won't be ready, but the timing will be perfect nonetheless. 

By the way, we are officially one month from our due date. August 30th, here we come. (But if Baby Girl wants a deadline extension, that's fine, too.) 

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Bigger

I'm not talking about my belly (although that is bigger every day).
I'm talking about Erin's much anticipated book, which is now available on Kindle.
This is BIG news, people!
Go here to read an excerpt, purchase or borrow it if you are a Prime member. And if you love it, don't forget to write a review.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rejoice Always ...

"Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Easier said than done, but nonetheless, worth the effort.

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Friday, July 5, 2013

8 Months

Up until two weeks ago, I was telling people I was about 6 1/2 months pregnant.
I had been underestimating on purpose as to avoid losing my mind in the final days.
I figured the less pregnant I allowed myself to think I was, the less anxious I would be about little girl's arrival.
(Did you know the average gestation is actually 41 weeks and 1 day, not 40 weeks.)
My plan was great in theory. However, life-long procrastinators should not underestimate their deadlines, especially when they are unmovable.
I would have remained in the dark if my coworker hadn't pointed out two weeks ago that I was 7 1/2 months pregnant. 
Today marks 32 weeks, also known as 8 months.
In celebration, we bought a crib. It was kind of surreal, nobody even asked us for ID.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Holiday

Hello, four-day weekend. I would greatly appreciate if your days were long and the weather cool. Thanks!

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Why are you terrified?

As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him.
Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea,
so that the boat was being swamped by waves;
but he was asleep.
They came and woke him, saying,
“Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”
Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea,
and there was great calm.
The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this,
whom even the winds and the sea obey?” 

~Matthew 8:23-27

I keep asking myself this question and trying to remember that God is in my boat even when it is being swamped by waves.

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Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1

It was the first day of the second half of the year.
Erin made a big announcement.
2013 continues to be a year of miracles. 

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Stop Crying

I've never in my life been so curious about how people respond to labor. So it's not surprising that I'm asking every mother I know to tell me her story.
I went through a similar stage as a teenager. Only at that time, I asked all the married couples I knew about falling in love.
Anyway, I recently talked to one of my mom's best friends about the labor and delivery of her two daughters.
Rosella said she knew she wanted a natural labor because she was absolutely terrified of the epidural.
Her brother had been paralyzed in an accident, and she didn't want to be paralyzed even temporarily.
She was hoping to take a Lamaze class, but by the time she went to sign up, none were available.
Her doctor said, "Don't worry. I'll coach you through it."
The first thing he said to her was, "Stop crying. You're wasting energy." 
I keep thinking about this advice, not in terms of labor but relative to life.
As in, what dream, desire, project or goal would be easier to birth into reality if I stopped wasting energy?

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ten to Go

I hit the 30 week mark Friday, which means there are roughly 10 weeks between now and when Baby Girl is expected to arrive. Let the great countdown begin.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Not Quite Productive

The first item on my to-do list was to rewrite my to-do list, which took all night. 

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Mondays

Some Mondays feel like they should be followed by another Saturday and Sunday.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ladies Man

My grandpa turned 94 on Friday. That night he went to a dinner dance at the Italian American Heritage Foundation.
"We heard you were dancing with all the ladies," our friend Chuck said to grandpa.
"Oh, no. Only one at a time," grandpa replied.
"Keep dancing, Aldo. That's good for your feet,"  Chuck encouraged.
"I think dancing is good for something, but I don't think it's my feet," grandpa said.

Happy Father's Day to all the great (and funny) men in my life!

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

One Thing at a Time

I just asked John what day of the week is it.
I napped in my car twice this week during my lunch hour.
I did meet one of my one million deadlines last night.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Deadlines

I'm feeling the pressure of a due date. Several, in fact. All leading up to our Little Love's arrival. I'm curious if this child will be punctual like her dad or if she will push deadlines like her mom.

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Ugly Confetti

It's unclear what happened, but it appears we somehow washed a cardboard box along with our clothes this afternoon.

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Slow, Painful Magic

It doesn't happen in an instant, like pulling a rabbit from a hat. But if you stare at a blank screen long enough and think real hard, usually (hopefully) words will appear.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sleepy Time

I used to work in an office that had a couch inside the ladies room. It seemed somewhat odd at the time. But lately, I've  been thinking all workplace bathrooms need couches as a napping place. They are called "rest" rooms, after all.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fun with YouTube

These videos are courtesy John. The first one is sweet. I would not want to be a teenager again, but this kid handles what could have been an embarrassing moment with grace. 



The second video is kind of silly. But I'm not judging her approach to fitness. She is in much better shape than I am and far more coordinated, too.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Hello, 36

I can't wait to experience every day of you and all the many ways you're going to change my world.

Love,
Christina

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Goodbye, 35

You surprised the pants off me and were more than I could have imagined. I will never forget you.

Love,
Christina

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Unicorn Thrift Shop

I get the impression people don't always believe me when I say my dad buys almost all his clothes at the thrift shop in his neighborhood. I'm quite serious, and I think it's great. He is on their email list, and, for those interested, there is a big sale starting tomorrow.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hello, June!

Would it be too much to ask that the next 30 days miraculously be as productive as 90? It would really help me out. 


xoxo!
Christina

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dear Naps

I would like to write a sonnet to express my deep appreciation of your mere existence, but I'm sure you'll understand when I say I would rather go to sleep. 

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Tiny Fashion Police

My goddaughter, Josie, is in the midst of making the leap to big girl panties. Hello Kitty, in fact. After she proudly showed me her super cute undies, she wanted to know what I was wearing. Well, boring big girl cotton whites was my answer. Sometimes conversations with a nearly 3-year-old really make you reexamine your choices. Hers are clearly so much more fun. 

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Don't Come Over

I've had the same approach to organizing since I was a child.
For lack of a better term, I call it the method of destruction.
Nothing is safe. Everything gets moved from its proper place.
Things worth keeping are kept. Things that should have been discarded years ago are discarded. (Yesterday, I found the invitation to my best friend's 12th birthday pool party. We both turn 36 next month.)
This approach would be highly effective if I used a methodical grid method, going shelf by shelf, closet by closet, room by room.
That's what a sane person would do. That is not what I do.
Instead, everything I own is currently somewhere in the middle, covering floors and table tops, embodying the visual definition of chaos.
Had I known I was going to cause this much destruction over the long weekend, I would have taken the whole week off work.
Instead, I'm saying panicked prayers that there isn't some kind of emergency that would force me to allow someone into my home. God forbid anyone see this mess.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

I can't say I did anything particularly patriotic today. I enjoyed my day, my chores, my errands, time with my mom getting our nails done. All the while, I was thankful to the men and women and their families who make such a day possible.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Well Nourished

Brunch at a friend's house. Dinner at my parents' home. And a homemade brownie in between. Happy Sunday. Happy tummy. 

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Great Overhaul

We are in the midst of a massive reorganization effort.
Today, it was Us versus Paper.
We're gaining ground, but the battle will continue tomorrow. 

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Friday, May 24, 2013

The Path to Amazing

"Of course, the only path to amazing runs directly through not-yet-amazing. But not-yet-amazing is a great place to start, because that's where you are. For now. There's a big difference between not settling and not starting." ~ Seth Godin

This is a reminder I need. Sometimes the tiny step toward amazing (or at least, better than here) is so small it doesn't even look like you're moving. But if you don't take that step, you end up standing still. 

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Friday, May 17, 2013

French Wine & Sacred Icons

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2BdT2Vm8w44/UO0Lq_ZCbJI/AAAAAAAAA0U/47zF0NZPNWc/s1600/aIMG_1023a.jpg
About a year ago, I was emotionally preparing myself for a childless Mother's Day.

I woke up that Sunday morning and the first thing that happened is I started my period. I wasn't surprised, but the timing stung. It felt like a slap from the Mother of Mother's Day.

John and I went to Mass with my parents. I sat by my mom and thought about how grateful I was to have her as a mother. Of the four of us (my mom, dad, John and me), I was the only one who still had a mom to celebrate Mother's Day with. What a gift and one not to be taken for granted.

The day improved substantially from then on. When they honored all the mothers at Mass, they included "godmothers" for the first time. (When it comes to godchildren, I'm blessed with 5.) Even my dad was excited about this and said, "Christina, that's you!" I stood up with all the other moms as the priest gave us a blessing.

My family went to brunch at our favorite fancy restaurant tucked away in a rural part of Almaden. The cell reception at La Foret is spotty at best. When we returned to civilization, I realized I had missed phone calls and text messages from many of my friends. They wanted to tell me I was a mom, a godmother, a spiritual mother, the kind of mom all women can be to our friends and family.

At the very end of the day, my dear friend Liz showed up at my doorstep with a present wrapped in lavender tissue paper. I knew what it was as soon as she put it in my hand ~ a small white statue of Mary that Liz's mother had given her. Most statues show Our Lady holding Baby Jesus. This one shows her pregnant. Liz and her husband, Dan, had been married 14 years before being blessed with their daughter Eden, who is now 2. If anyone knew Mother's Day stings the hearts of infertiles, it's Liz. Along with the gift, she wrote me a beautiful letter reminding me that while we don't understand it, God does have a plan.

In some weird, hard-to-explain way, I felt I had celebrated my very first Mother's Day that day. My heart was so full. I felt honored and grateful that my brand of motherhood (while not to children, but maybe in the way I love my friends) was valuable and meaningful.

This year was different. I celebrated Mother's Day 24 weeks pregnant.  

Me & John, Mother's Day 2013
(If this news hurts your heart and you want to stop reading, I completely understand.)

We found out we were pregnant on December 18th, one week before Christmas. I still feel like I'm living an alternate version of reality. Not that I mind. I love this new world John and I have found ourselves in. If fertility is your struggle, I wish I could draw you a road map to get you to the place where I am now.

The truth is, I had been doing less than usual in my attempts to conceive. I hadn't been taking my metformin for about six months. I had stopped taking all my supplements and prenatals. I had actually gained 10 pounds.

But toward the end of 2012, it felt like something was about to happen, I just wasn't sure what.

On the first Friday in November, John and I had two priests over for dinner. At the end of our evening, they blessed our home and prayed over us. They knew we were struggling with infertility, and they asked God to fill our lives with life. They did not ask God to give us a baby, and I felt a peace knowing our lives had been filled with life, especially through the joy of spending time with our friends' children and my sister's kids.  

In a chance meeting, two days later, my friend Alison introduced me to a woman named Carol after Mass. Carol and her family were new to the parish. During the course of friendly small talk, Carol asked me if we had any children. I replied, "No, but not by choice."

Carol immediately explained that while on her honeymoon and visiting the St. Francis of Assisi Basilica in Italy, she had touched an icon of the Madonna and Child and had a vision of herself holding her son. This happened in the gift shop, where the wood carving was for sale, so she bought it. And now she wanted me and John to borrow it, bring it into our home and pray with it.

I don't know about you, but when a stranger offers to lend me a priceless, irreplaceable holy object, my answer is immediately, "No, thank you." In case of damage, breakage, or general wear and tear, I have a policy not to borrow anything I can't replace for 150 bucks. So I politely declined.

Three days later, Carol called. She had the icon in her car and she was bringing it to church for me to pick up. Carol had wrapped the wood carving in baby blanket materials. She said to me, "I'm just going to step out and claim your baby from God for you." Then she said, "When you have your baby, I'm going to make you a blanket out of this material."

The icon was beautiful. But I didn't see a vision or even get chills when I touched it, and I really wasn't sure what to make of her bold prayers on my behalf.

I struggled to make sense of what Carol and her icon were supposed to mean to me. I settled on, if nothing else, that I thought meeting her was a reminder from God that He knew the desires of my heart. He had not forgotten about me, and I quietly told Him I wouldn't be mad if the icon didn't miraculously bring a baby into our lives.

The following Sunday, there was the anointing of the sick at Mass. It's a great tradition, and perfect for cute old ladies with their walkers, but I look relatively young and healthy and didn't want to draw attention to my malfunctioning uterus. However, it had been only 10 days since the priests prayed over us and a week since I met Carol. I kind of felt a spiritual push to get over myself. So I went up to the altar, and I was glad I did.

Exactly a week later, I started my period. But the next month, I didn't.

I thought for sure I was going to. I had abdominal cramps for more than a week, which I blamed on the Jillian Michaels-impersonating instructor at the kickboxing class Erin and I were attending somewhat regularly. 

And I would be remiss if I didn't say I was experimenting with eating gluten-free, plus John and I had challenged ourselves to juice once a day in the month of December. (That went out the window once nausea set in.)

But in terms of dietary changes, the most important was obviously switching from California to French wine for the month of December.

John and I love California wine and rarely drink anything else (not that we drink wine all day, but you know what I mean.) The characters on a show we like drink French wine, so when the BevMo coupon arrived in the mail, I thought it would be fun to see if Bordeaux and Burgundies were worth all the fuss. 

Maybe the soil is more fertile in France. I really don't know. As one of our friends pointed out, "the French are very romantic." They are the only people I know, other than the Eskimos, who have a kiss named after them.
Ultrasound at 19 weeks
Anyway, here we are. Twenty-five weeks pregnant with a baby girl expected to arrive sometime late August or early September. I stare at my swollen belly in joyful disbelief, and every night, I pray for those whose hearts ache for a child. Infertility will always be a mystery to me, and so far, I feel the same way about motherhood.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Motherly Love

Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing, brave, rock star mamas, grandmamas, godmothers, aunties, sisters and girlfriends I know. Your BIG LOVE makes the world a better place one heart at a time.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

A Life of Yes



This was so good, I took notes. How to design a life of yes and be ridiculously happy:

1. Identify your ingredients. (For example, write a list of things "I wish I could get paid to do.")
2. Own your superpowers.
3. Scratch your itch.
4. Embrace your suckage.
5. Act fearless.
6. Drink "Why Not?" kool-aid.
7. Don't belong.
8. Do for others.
9. Ask.
10. Nike it.
11. Do for you.
12. Know you're not alone.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Good Day

Hello May 8th,
Thank you for surprising us with wonderfulness.
xo! C

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Writer's Block

I'm not sure I actually have writer's block or if I'm just taking B.W.O. (Blogging Without Obligation) to a new level.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May

Our Lady and St. Joseph the Worker, we entrust the month of May to you. Please pray for us.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New Love

I had the honor of spending the evening with a darling bride-to-be. She and her prince will be married in 45 days. (Not that she's counting.) New love. It's a beautiful thing.

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Happy Monday

I can already tell this will be one of those long weeks that feels too short because nothing gets done.

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Expectations

Sometimes it's really, truly best to let go of what you imagined and accept what actually is. This might be the secret to a happy life.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Accident-Prone

Today included one of the dumber moments of my life: I ended up at urgent care after cutting the skin off my knuckle with a pair of scissors.
You're thinking, "How does that happen?"
Well, I'm very talented, and you really have to be a professional in clumsiness to pull this off.
My dad said, "I think it must be nice to have coordinated children. I wouldn't know."
Poor man. It really isn't just me.
My sister once required 13 stitches to mend her foot after jumping through (instead of over) a glass table.
My brother, Joseph, broke his arm falling off the neighbors' bush in their front yard.
My brother, Jimmy, fell through the attic ceiling.
I fractured my arm twice and chipped my front teeth. The first fracture was due to a jungle-gym incident. The second time was a full-body experience that including breaking my teeth when I went head first over the handle bars of my bike.
(Trust me. This is not an exhaustible list.)
In the grand scheme of things, today's incident was minor: three stitches, antibiotics three times a day for a week, plus my dad would like me to stop using scissors for the rest of my life.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

About Choices ...

A few that are always right:
1. Joy.
2. Love.
3. Forgiveness. 
4. Trying again (and again).

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Multiple Choice

The difference between a multiple choice test in school and one in real life is this:
In school, one of the answers was right even if they all looked wrong.
In life, when all of the answers look wrong, it's time to find some more choices.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mercy

I always want mercy to be shown to me. You know, like undeserved kindness and forgiveness. Which I think means I better practice giving undeserved kindness and forgiveness to others.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Midweek

The best news about Wednesday is that it's followed by Thursday and then Friday.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Few Things

1. At noon today, I realized my shirt was on backwards. My coworker assures me she hadn't noticed.

2. Last week I made a huge fruit salad for work, and then I forgot to clean out the container for five days. Big mistake. Fermented pineapple juice smells remarkably like a stinky feet gym locker.

3. This video is making its way around Facebook. It's worth watching.


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Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston

I feel like this world is hardly recognizable with all it's senseless violence. God bless those who have witnessed these horrible acts against humanity. You're in our prayers.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Celebrations

Sundays are sweet, especially when Mass is filled with children making their First Communion and the after party includes ice cream sundaes.

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sleepy Saturday

Saturdays don't have the same production requirements as the other days. So I view the fact that I didn't spend the whole day in my pajamas and I took a shower as a huge success.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Limits

If we don't push our limits, how will we know where they are?

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lost & Found

I seem to have misplaced my creativity. This happens. The trick is to keep looking until it shows up.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cheap & Natural

My friend Amy launched a new site today: http://www.cheapandnatural.com/. Amy is a thoughtful and real mama. She has great ideas about parenting, living and eating naturally while on a budget. I'm so excited to learn from her.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Build a School in the Cloud



Watch this, and you'll rethink the limits you put on learning ~ for yourself and others. Truly inspirational.

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Oh, Joseph

Years ago, my friend Kaecey commented that it had to be hard to be St. Joseph.
If you're living with the Mother of God and the Son of God, when something goes wrong, it must be your fault.
I think it was kind of an accidental reflection. But I find it sweetly enduring. 

St. Joseph, protector of the family, pray for us! 

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Complaint Department

File this under First World Problems:
My mouth wash (which I've recently been using twice a day in an attempt to improve oral hygiene) makes my tongue and everything I eat taste weird for hours and hours after I've used it.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Be Fearless

"Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." ~Blessed Pope John Paul II

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter

"Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Risen Christ." ~Blessed Mother Teresa

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Blessed

That's how Good Friday made me feel.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy Sad Day

We remembered my Aunt Gloria today.
It's a terrible thing to lose someone you love. But it's a beautiful thing to know you were loved your whole life by someone who was a joyful light in this world.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cousins

Sometimes you just want to give a shout out to the amazing people you call family. This is one of those times. I love my cousins.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Under Appreciated

You really don't know how much the roof of your mouth means to you until you burn it. Badly. This painful lesson occurred Friday night while eating a piece of once-frozen-but-now-piping-hot cheese pizza. I'm still feeling the effects. 

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Quiet Man

St. Patrick's Day was celebrated a week belated at my parents' home this year. Per tradition, John Wayne's "The Quiet Man" was played. My dad is not Irish, but he is very serious about this tradition. I'm not sure how I've managed to be his daughter for 35 years and never really watch this classic. It was great ~ funny, sweet, ridiculously politically incorrect and, best of all, it has a happy ending.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

On Marriage

"Never lose hope. 
Never get discouraged.
And be willing to fight. 
Because your love has consequences, and those consequences are eternal."
~Fr. John Hopkins

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Holy Smoke



I think nuns are really cute.
When I see them, I think of my Aunt Gloria. She wasn't a nun, but she and her friends impersonated them on occasion.
(What can I say? Catholic humor is a little wacky.)
Anyway, these nuns are extra cute because they are hearing the very exciting news of the white smoke.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Little Birdies

Maybe they got confused by the time change. Or they might be trying to relay to me an important message. But a small flock of birds have taken to holding their singing practice at 3 a.m. outside my bedroom window.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

The Weekend

If you (or in this case, your spouse) spends the entire weekend sick, it should be mandated by law that you get an immediate do-over.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Remember

"Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God."
~ Philippians 4:6

A friend of mine brought my attention back to this verse today. It was a perfect reminder of how to practice faith, hope and trust.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Positive Thoughts Only

In case you forgot, this is a year for good news. Bring on the miracles.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Habemus Papam!

John texted me at 11:07 this morning: "White smoke!"
This was followed by: "Could be wrong, but it's billowing out right now. Live stream."
You know you're Catholic when you skip all the mainstream media outlets and go straight to the Vatican website.
There I could see for myself the white smoke billowing and hear the bells ringing and feel the energy of the thousands gathered in the square.
Of course, if you ask my dad, he'll tell you that it took five rounds of voting because the cardinals were fighting over him.
He even has a pope name picked out, should the Holy See ever call on him to serve ~ Eusebius II. (The original Eusebius was pope in the year 310.)
Of course, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina had another name in mind when he greeted the world ~ Pope Francis.
This is a man who has chosen to live a life of simplicity, and his humble spirit has already won us over.
It may have been a close race between Pope Francis and my dad, but I think the cardinals made the right choice.
Still, my heart rejoices, "Viva il Papa!" for both my fathers.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

SheShe to the Rescue

In addition to tearing my home inside out (this is actually happening), I have also been feeling in real need of a makeover. As my luck should have it, Sheila decided today to start a new blog just to give me beauty advice. Of course, you are invited to read it, too.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring Cleaning

I always say I want to minimize and organize, but this time I really mean it.

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Daylight Prank

We spent the weekend with friends, and without naming names, let me say one person in the group has a somewhat mischievous sense of humor.
After a day of confusion, the bottom line is this:
The time change is a lot harder when someone sets the clocks back an hour the day before you're supposed to spring forward. The result of which leaves you one hour behind.

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Adopt a Cardinal

For those of us anxiously awaiting the election of our next pope, here's something fun to do: Adopt a Cardinal.

The website will randomly select a cardinal for you. I'm praying for Raffaele Farina SDB. He is from Italy, was born on September 24, 1933 and has been a cardinal since November 24, 2007. He recently retired from his post as the Vatican's archivist and librarian emeritus.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hey, Mom & Dad ...

Remember those long car rides with the four of us kids in the back of the van, one or two of whom would often get car sick? Anyway, I remember you always played this song in the car, and we all loved it. I just never knew it had lyrics.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Life is Both

Twice tonight while talking to two different people, I thought about a book I read in my early 20s and the idea of joy and sorrow sharing the same breath.
Only two lines are underlined in my copy of, "The Lessons of Love," by Melody Beattie.
One is at the beginning of the book:
"Life isn't just mysterious and unpredictable, it can be unbearably cruel and breathtakingly wondrous, sometimes at the same time."
The second is at the end:
"I didn't have to scramble up and down the ladder from despair to euphoria anymore, trying to convince myself that life was either painful and terrible or joyous and wonderful.
The simple truth was that life was both."
I'm not sure exactly why these words spoke to me when they did. But I think they are true. Life is both, but it's mostly good.

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday

Mondays are usually a headache, but today actually gave me one. And it wasn't even a bad day.

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Diagnosed

My parents have these wonderful friends, Bob and Marilyn, who joined us tonight for Sunday dinner.
They are retired, but Marilyn's background is in psychotherapy. 
During dessert, my dad asked her if she liked the ice cream.
When she said yes, he said, "I made it." Which is exactly the kind of lie he tells about 54 times a day just to see if anyone will believe him.
"Marilyn," I said. "With all your experience dealing with the mentally ill, do you have a name for what my dad is?"
Without skipping a beat, she replied, "Charming."

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Tackling the To-Dos

The 48 hours of the weekend would be a lot more productive if they could be sleep free.

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

God Bless the Pope!

Thank you for 8 years of humble service and leadership.

"Help each other to live and to grow in the Christian faith so as to be valiant witnesses of the Lord. Be united, but not closed. Be humble, but not fearful. Be simple, but not naive. Be thoughtful, but not complicated. Enter into dialogue with others, but be yourselves."  
~ Pope Benedict XVI 

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Vapors

The cold is (hopefully) leaving. The smell of Vicks is lingering.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Prayers for Santa Cruz

Our hearts are with the Santa Cruz Police Department. God bless the fallen officers and their families.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

A Weighty Issue

My scale broke. It's been broken for more than a week or two now. 
I was going to change the batteries, but then I realized it runs on one of those watch-type batteries. What kind of crazy design is that?
I know women who literally don't own scales. But for me, not weighing myself daily feels like a Lenten sacrifice.

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sickies

The office has been swarming with cold and flu bugs.
A few weeks ago, one of my colleagues literally started throwing up at work. Another has been sick for more than 2 weeks, the result of which has been a visible slim down.
My immune system usually fights like a ninja, but on Friday I came home coughing, which quickly turned into a sore throat, which then turned into congestion and a runny nose.
(After being around all these sickies, I am lucky to just have a cold.)
Anyway, I called my sister for a remedy, and she recommended turnip soup. She says turnips are nature's version of amoxicillin. I say that's worth a try. Here's the recipe:

Turnip Soup
32 ounces broth of your choice (I used vegetable)
2 turnips
1-2 small potatoes (optional)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 lemon
spinach
a pinch of saffron
salt & pepper to taste

Peel and chop the turnips, potatoes and garlic. Then boil them in the stock with the juice of one lemon and half its rind and a pinch of saffron (a little goes a long way). Cook until turnips and potatoes are fork tender, maybe 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with spinach on top. The hot soup will wilt the spinach. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Enjoy and feel better.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

A Life of Luxury

Last weekend, we went to Napa. Tonight, we're watching Netflix in bed. Some might not see these activities as equal, but both are luxurious to me.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

End of Day

Thank you for being so reliable. No matter how long the hours leading up to you feel, you show up without fail. We greatly appreciate it.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Whispers

Sometimes the voice whispers from within. But sometimes you actually hear it, out loud and out of someone else's mouth. Tonight, John overheard a man say, "Don't give up. Don't give up. You can do it." We need more people whispering that into the world.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Heaven is Here

Well, maybe not. But maybe if we acted like it was, then it would be.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Modern Romance

We went to Napa for the weekend. We got the car washed, and I took a nap.

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Young Entrepreneurs

My parents' 4-year-old neighbor and his slightly older sister greeted John and me as we pulled up this evening.
The 4-year-old was wearing a plastic toy binocular around his neck, which he clearly wanted to talk to us about even though he is still a little difficult for our untrained ears to understand.
We did make out "for watching birds only" and "$5."
Then we confirmed what we suspected.
"You would like us to pay you $5 in exchange for looking through your binoculars?"
"Yeah."
"Um. No, thanks." 
He and his sister took the rejection well.
Then they geared up to make their pitch to the neighbor across the street as he pulled into his driveway.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Lent

We're a few days into it, and I could use a little time for some much needed reflection.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sweet Valentine

Per usual, Valentine's Day came and went and I kind of missed the whole thing. I really love all the hearts and red and pink, I just never quite have it together. Maybe we should orchestrate a Valentine's Day makeup session for people who miss February 14th. I vote for a Saturday.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

40 Days

"Even now, says the Lord,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the Lord, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the Lord, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!

proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep,
And say, “Spare, O Lord, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”

Then the Lord was stirred to concern for his land

and took pity on his people."

~Joel 2:12-18

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you, 
we give you thanks for your great glory. 
Lord God, heavenly King,
O God, almighty Father.

Lord Jesus Christ, 
Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God
Son of the Father,
you take away the sins
of the world,
have mercy on us;

you take away the sins
of the world
receive our prayer;
you are seated
at the right hand of the Father,

have mercy on us.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
With the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Simple Prayer

"My past, O Lord, to your mercy; my present, to your love; my future, to your providence!"
~Saint Padre Pio

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Carmel to Los Gatos 1954



This 6-minute film shows a young woman's weekend trip in 1954. The woman is gorgeous, like a movie star. But no one knows who she is. Let's try to help solve the mystery. She would likely be about 80 years old today. Do you recognize her?

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Deep Waters

I dreamed the sandy, dirt road I was on fell into a wide, winding river, with rapid currents and steep shores.
There was a man in the water, ready to guide me to the other side.
But I had to be willing to jump in.
I wanted to stay on the land, to find another way.
It wasn't an option.
Once in the river, I realized the water was only waist deep. The currents weren't as strong as they appeared. And my guide was showing me the way.
I woke up before reaching my destination. But I think this dream was more about the journey.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

February

Please be lovely in every possible way. Thank you.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Winter Break

What if everyone took the last week of each month off? I doubt the world would end. Let's try it.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Apathy

No one ever said apathy is a good thing. It's not. We know it's not.
It's a terrible combination of indifference and boredom, the absence of motivation and passion.
But what we weren't told is that it's an insidious disease. It can organize a surprise attack, sneak up on us and slap us in the face.
Actually, if apathy does slap you in the face, thank it.
It's giving you a chance to change.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Nordstrom

I never understood those license license plate frames that said, "I'd rather be shopping at Nordstrom."
But I've recently made several visits to that fine establishment, and I'm starting to get what all the hubbub is about.

PS: Their bra fitting service is priceless (and free).

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Late Bloomers

I've heard Julia Child didn't start cooking until she was 37. I've been thinking a lot about this, and it gives me hope.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Good Night

I could stare at the screen or go to sleep. I'm choosing sleep.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Yes!

I almost sent this out to my entire address book this morning. I might need to start reading it like a daily prayer. 

Courtesy Seth Godin ...

On behalf of yes
Yes, it's okay to ship your work.
Yes, you're capable of making a difference.
Yes, it's important.
Yes, you can ignore that critic.
Yes, your bravery is worth it.
Yes, we believe in you.
Yes, you can do even better.
Yes.
Yes is an opportunity and yes is an obligation. The closer we get to people who are confronting the resistance on their way to making a ruckus, the more they let us in, the greater our obligation is to focus on the yes.
There will always be a surplus of people eager to criticize, nitpick or recommend caution. Your job, at least right now, is to reinforce the power of the yes.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Three Weeks In

I have to keep reminding myself that 2013 only just begun. The first three weeks have been as exciting (highs and lows) as some entire years.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Honoring King

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. ~Martin Luther King Jr. 

“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ~Martin Luther King Jr. 

“There is no gain without struggle.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Game Day

Today, we watched football.
I really don't understand football. But I don't mind watching it.
(By watching it, I mean I'm in the same room with the actual fans, but I'm not really paying attention until something is worthy of a replay.)
John pulled out a Jerry Rice jersey that in the 11 years of knowing him, I'm not sure I've ever seen, let alone seen him wearing. My dad donned a San Francisco 49ers baseball cap made out of red corduroy, circa 1980s.
I actually remember going to a few games as a kid.
My impression of football was that it was long and cold and Joe Montana was essentially a god.
Apparently, it was worth digging in the back of the closet for these gems.
If you haven't heard, our team won.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Culinary Mystery

Tea sandwiches taste better than regular sandwiches.
If you don't believe me, trim the crust off your regular sandwich and then cut it into to four pretty triangles.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Beyond Brotherly Love



I feel like I know what love is. And then I see something like this video, and I realize I'm only scratching the surface. Conner and Cayden Long, you are an inspiration and a reminder to give more and love more.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hold Tight

That's my new motto for 2013.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Season

The Christmas tree came down today. John brought it outside before I got home. I'm kind of sad I didn't say goodbye. It was the most perfect bought-on-Christmas-Eve-5-dollar tree.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

World Take Over

I'm hearing one good thing after another. Amazing news from friends. Dreams coming true. This is going to be a BIG year, people. Time to jump on the train before it runs us over.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Birthday Boy

My dad turned 65 years old today. But he celebrated being 63. He says he's going backward and hopes to hit boyhood.

Cheers for the Birthday Boy and living life in reverse! Love you, Daddy!

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

In Honor of Friendship

“The best mirror is an old friend.” ~George Herbert

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” ~Anais Nin

“'We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
'Even longer,' Pooh answered.”

~A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Celebration Side Effects

If you go to a party and have your picture taken, you may come to the unflattering conclusion that a new shade of lipstick is desperately needed. The good news is lipstick can be bought. Of course, it would be better to realize this before the celebration.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Conversation

When we were 7, we would spend our recesses and lunch hours immersed in deep discussion while walking around the school grounds. I'm not even sure what 7-year-olds talk about.
But somehow that conversation has stretched more than 28 years.
Twenty-eight years of mostly long-distance phone calls, and today, Kaecey and I got to spend more than 6 hours together.
Can you say heaven?

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Moment of Silence, Please

After years of faithful service, my dad's favorite pair of pants suffered a fatal hole and had to be discarded.
May my father's brown corduroys rest in peace. 
My dad & his corduroys. Both were good sports for Black Friday shopping.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Miracles

I would like to redirect your attention to this beautiful post by my talented husband. Still wishing you a year of miracles in 2013!

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Irritated

Certain people get under my skin. Not because they are annoying, but because they are brave and honest and willing to put themselves out there in a way that scares me. 
If they can do it, so can I. (So can you.)
That's good news. But sometimes good news, when challenging, can be irritating.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday

Sometimes I feel bad for you. I really do. You get no love, especially from me.

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Follow the Star

"Star of wonder, star of light
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect light"


~Happy Epiphany

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Saturday

I didn't leave the house. I stayed in my pajamas all day. I ignored many undone chores. Yes, I'm very lazy, and I'm (mostly) OK with that.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

First Friday

It's the first Friday of the year, and my favorite day of 2013 thus far.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year Question

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." ~ African Proverb

Where is it you want to go, and who do you want to be with when you get there?

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Start

There's usually a lot of (self-imposed) pressure to be perfect from the very start of a New Year.
It's a trap. No one's perfect.
But don't let that stop 2013 from being wonderful.

PS: I got a new pair of running shoes today, and I have no intention of running.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Year of Miracles

Hello, 2013!

I'm so glad you are here, and I'm not going to be shy about asking for what I would like from you.
A year of miracles.
For me and John and our families and friends and everyone on the planet.
A year of miracles.
Big and small.
The world needs a serious shift, and I believe you are the year for changing course.
A year of miracles.
It's not too much to ask of the next 365 days.

xo,
C

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