Wednesday, December 30, 2009

So Long 2009, 2010 is Nearly Here

I am sorry I neglected our blog this past month. I had an early case of the winter blues which would have resulted only in dribble so consider yourselves lucky. Too much work and no play makes for a very boring blog I know. By the time I shook myself out of it, there was only a week to go before Christmas which resulted in more than enough stress for the whole month jammed into one week. Talk about not heeding your own advice!

The good news is I got my act together in time to enjoy the holiday with both our families together at our place.

Luckily, we had decided to go non-traditional with our meal and ordered pizzas ahead of time, so we could just put them in the oven. This made more sense for us since we really didn't have room for 12 people to sit down at tables. It also allowed everyone to just keep enjoying each other's company rather than being squeezed in the kitchen trying to do last minute cooking, etc.

Our memories of the evening included a surprise visit from Santa for my nephew (my husband Ben), the arrival of my brother in law's girlfriend who was supposed to be in California and lots of laughter and fun.

Now, I am looking forward to a New Year's Eve with friends including the girls from the blog who haven't been all together in one place since this time last year. I know we will have lots to talk about. Although 2009 was a pretty good year, I am anxious to continue making more progress on what I started. Sue, you and I can work on continuing to change our lifestyles together. My goals include incorporating ways to plan and shop for our meals, so that we do more of our own cooking during the work week. I know you could probably help me with this. And perhaps, I could help you with putting a routine together that includes some techniques for strength training as well as cardio? One step at a time of course! We can talk more about it tomorrow night:)

As for our readers, I just wanted to say thanks for sticking with us through another year. We hope you had a wonderful holiday as well and that you are looking forward to your own joys and successes to come At Work, At Play and At Home in 2010.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Where Did We All Go?

It looks like we all let our December get away from us! If your month has been anything like mine, I can see why! I got carried away with baking and shopping and wrapping and planning and volunteering and celebrating my daughter's return from Spain. Ok...with the exception of the last one, that pretty much sums up everyone's month:-)

With the holiday finally upon us, I plan on enjoying every moment with my family. However, I am looking forward to the new year. At that time, I will be starting a new series called, "How the Fat Girl Ate Susie". It is my attempt to get a handle on what is eating me so I can stop eating. I am hoping that it is an interesting and useful self-examination.

So until then, I hope you all have a very, very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year:-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman

The holidays are a time to take stock of our lives and be thankful for all of our many blessings. This year, the season has also been a reminder to me of the inherent strengths that we women possess when we are able to harness the simple power of a positive attitude.

Every family faces its own battles, its own crises. Sometimes, those struggles are enough to really knock us down for the count, to bring about a negative attitude or even depression. I know I've certainly been there. Whether it's financial worries, marital issues, parenting concerns, health problems or a plethora of other difficulties knocking on our front door, our daily life struggles can be downright overwhelming.

Both sides of our family struggle with virtually all of those same issues as well. Divorce, drug addiction, Alzheimer's, financial crises, depression. Yeah, we seem to have it all covered. Yet, this past week I reveled in the fact that I smiled and laughed more than I had in quite a long time. And, for the most part, it was thanks to the women in my husband's family.

We celebrated Thanksgiving at my in-laws' home. (My family is out of state. We'll whoop it up with them for Christmas.) The entire clan was there. My husband has two older sisters, one of whom lives near us and the other flew into town with her two kids.

It's funny how the heart of a home is often times its kitchen. Perhaps this is an old fashioned attitude, but it's one that I still believe to be true, at least for my family. Whenever my husband's family is all together, we gather at my in-laws for a wonderful meal that we all contribute to. While it's being prepared, we women gather in the kitchen and tell our stories. Our stories of success, of failure, of laughter, of tears. Stories that have been told time and time again or perhaps for the first time. I guess it's a kind of oral tradition. Our 20-year old niece has been joining us in the kitchen for many years now, and our 13-year old niece chose to spend much of her time with us for the first time this year instead of playing with her little sister and my son. A woman's life lessons are passed from generation to generation, with my 78-year old mother-in-law at the helm. And as we cook, we laugh and chatter, our smiles encouraging more smiles and more laughter, lifting each other up and lighting up the room with hope and promise for the future.