Thursday, November 20, 2008

Oopsie Baby!

I have a friend from high school who has five kids.  She is a great mother, she spends loads of time with her children, she has a healthy and loving relationship with her husband, brings cookies over when I am feeling down and is an all around wonderful person.

The two of us were having a cup of steaming hot coffee one early morning a bit ago and were chatting up the ins and outs of our lives.  I find the best conversation is often had over a caffeinated beverage with a couple of sugars added into the mix.

As the two os us had our heads together in rapt attention to the other - as we both crave one on one time where we know the other individual is really listening...

Right at that point, someone we both knew came up to us to say a quick hello.  The visiting friend said to my coffee drinking friend, "Oh, I didn't know that you had another baby."

To that, my friend replied jokingly, "Oh, you know, we weren't quite ready for another one.  He was  a little oops, " this said along with a hearty giggle.

After a couple of minutes, my friend and I were left alone again, and I could tell that there was something that had shifted.  After not too long, my friend said, you know, sometimes I feel like I have to apologize for the number of kids I have.  We wanted each of our children, we love them more than life itself, I don't think anyone was a mistake or unplanned!  I hate when I do that...when I make a joke out of what is mine."

Together we discussed that issue and concluded that our kids are the loves of our my friend, I only wish to be as great of mother and friend as you...and there is no Ooops in that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We Call It Special Night

A couple of years ago, we started a tradition in our house.  Once all three kids were tucked in and ready for bed, one of them would have what we called "Special Night".  This activity only happened once a week per child, but it was ten to fifteen minutes after bedtime, spent one on one with mom doing whatever activity each child chose when it was their night.  Sometimes in those minutes, the boys would choose to play Go Fish, Monopoly, we'd draw, have hot chocolate, or build blocks.  Depending on the son and the night, the activities would vary.  The boys loved it - it was a time for us to connect one on one with no interruptions, and they got to choose the activity.  During Special Night is where I learned of my oldest son's first crush, about the girl in class who just can't seem to get along with anyone, the happiness at being the best runner in gym class, the struggles that one was having in math, and many other very private thoughts.  

Unfortunately, as things go, "Special Night" has been pushed aside for late soccer practices, band concerts, and playing until the last possible minute.

Today I realized that we haven't been doing special night...and I miss it!

I'd like to up the anty and the fun.  This week, the Crowe house will once again have "Special Night".  The time around, the recipient will be secretly sneaked out of bed for minutes of un-divided, un-equivocally, the best time of the least for me!

I feel lucky....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NEED...just ONE...more...DIME!

Went through a Starbucks drive-through the other was just one of those - I need to have some extra caffeine, to super juice me up, to get through the rest of the day days.

Anyways...I reached into my purse and grabbed what I thought was a such was a $1.  So, that had me a little crazy...must find change...must find change...and quickly.

Found the lint in my purse, many Chuck E. Cheese tokens in my change tray, and mildewed apples in the crack of the seat.  

I happened to be lucky in the midst of it all...I did end up with a tall Americano.

But this got me to thinkin' - do celebrities ever have to scrounge for change?

Enquiring minds do want to know...

Sunday, October 12, 2008


The word - the special special word - FART!

I allow my boys to use this word, and by doing this, I know there is a possibility that some will think my mothering skills are lacking.

Go back 28 years... Star, my next door neighbor, and the "bad girl" on the playground even at the age of seven, was walking home from school with me. Something smelly happened and I said, "Wow, that was a terribly stinky!"

Peals of laughter were heard through the air and I think she might have even laughed so hard that there were tears in her eyes. "Stinky? Don't you mean fart?"

"I'm not allowed to say fart."

This is when the teasing began....and trust me when I say that it was only the beginning.

You see, I let my boys say, "Fart." It might not be a great reason, but there is a reason. One little innocent word made me feel like a fool for many years. I know I can't shield them from most of the world, but in my own little way, I like to try to all of the time.....

Friday, October 10, 2008

Saving Three Lives....

Today I donated blood.  This isn't the first time.....the very first time I gave blood was on the 2nd anniversary of my mother's passing.  That day, I was on my way into the store to buy some flowers to put at my mom's grave site.  Right in front of me there was a big sign that said, "Donate blood today."

It really felt like that sign was up there just for was my turn.  My mother had to have multiple blood transfusions when she was in the hospital.  Each and every drop gave her additional time to be with us.  So, that day in honor of my mother, I donated blood.  

Today, I was able to give blood again.  As I was going through the paperwork, one of the staff from Bonfils told me that giving blood one time could save the lives of three people.  Really, what I does can make that much difference??  In addition, he told me that I was young to be giving blood.....young??  (I'm never too old to enjoy a compliment.)  So, in addition to helping save some lives, I felt like my younger self.

May the blood I donate give someone else additional time. 

Give blood, it's easy, completely free, and, absolutely, ONE person can make a difference!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fifty-Seven Teachers in the Classroom

This blog is meant to be observational, but I'm already assuming it will get its share of criticism.

On average, there are 26 kids in an elementary classroom.  In each classroom, let's assume that 5 of the kids are from divorced families.  (Obviously these statistics are for Parker - not all neighborhoods.)  Of those families, 3 of the parents have remarried.  What that means is that there are - 2 moms/dads (and let's assume that one of the parents is absent from the family) 3 remarried, and 21 families that are married.  If you add all of that up, there are 2 parents + 6 parents (original)/6 (half - or step) + 42 parents =56.  AND, of course, there is the original one teacher = 57.  Hope this mathematical equation makes sense...

What I am trying to get at is this...a lot of the time I hear criticism about our public school system.  But...if you look at the facts above, I come to observe and show something....

There are 180 days in the school year.  If what I have specified above is even close to true, that would mean that if each parent took 3 1/2 days and spent it in their child's classroom, there is a possibility of some major changes, right??  That would actually mean that there would be two live adult bodies in the elementary classroom each day.

Would this change the test scores, stats, and overall concern that we as Americans have about what is going on with our educational system?

So, for me, I am off to make sure that I am volunteering my time.  I've heard that it takes a village to raise a community...and I certainly hope that is what we all want.

There isn't anybody that is any busier than anyone else.  Isn't it time that we all take the time??

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


When I first woke up, I felt really old. With lines on my face, and everything saggin', I felt a bit like a beat up pair of granny undies.

At the store this morning, after taking a shower, and taking my time, casually perusing the aisles, using the coupons, and smiling and talking to all eyes that I met, the casual pair of boxer briefs would be what would fit.

Later in the day as I walked past my husband and he silently gave me a slap on the backside I felt a like a lacey and secure in all that I am.

Bikini, boxers, thongs, briefs, they all have their place BUT....please, oh, please just don't call them panties!

Friday, August 22, 2008

His Perspective

Prior to getting home fom work tonight, I called my husband to find out how our youngest son did at his baseball game.  Their little team got creamed...what I understand is that they really had a tough time and lost by at least ten points.  My son had his first chance to pitch tonight as this is his first season to play kid pitch.  When I got home from work, I asked my youngest how his baseball game went.  He said, "It was so great.  I had lots of fun....and guess what?  I got to pitch and walked most of the team.  I really liked it.  I did really good."


What age is it exactly that we lose that childlike innocence and love for matter how we do?  I hope that I can find a way to bottle how he feels about himself so that he will grow up thinking that he is the best, always, no matter the outcome...just like he does right now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Workout Conundrum, Feeling and Looking Good?

Really, I know it.  Everyone knows it.  To be a completely healthy person, exercise is a must.  Commercials, magazine articles, gurus, and newspapers have millions and millions of articles, tests, and facts to back up this thought.  

I've not always been bigger, but I am now.  This isn't something that I talk about, it's not something that I'm proud of, and for me it's daily mental torture.  I grew up feeling like being my size was not the right size - I could always be smaller - and this was when I weighed less than a black Labrador.  It's not that I don't know how to eat right or belong to a gym, it is just that the amount to loose now is so large, that I don't even know how to begin...Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, a personal trainer, and my family and friends wonder if I'll ever be able to pass the three week mark without messing up....again.

I belong to a gym and actually really like going, but I do not like how I look at the gym.  This is the thing, I know that I am supposed to work out, but show my "bigger" girl self where to buy some decent looking workout clothes.  Trust me when I say that I 've the mall, at sports shops, online, BUT...most of the time, I end up wearing a big man's t-shirt and some sloppy shorts.  I already feel like I don't fit in, so does what I have to wear need to be so obvious too?

As I finish this blog, so many things run through my tomorrow the day that I will begin a healthy eating regimen?  How long will it take me to lose the weight that I need to lose?  Will I ever really be able to find good-looking workout clothes?  The answer is in the search - and I am now on the prowl.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Misuse of I'm Sorry

Last night I went to the grocery store and was pushing the cart down the aisle.  As I got to the end, I took a sharp left after looking left, right, left.  Out of nowhere, there was another buggy that almost bumped mine.  I immediately said, "I'm sorry."

The night before last, my husband and I met one of my best friends from college for dinner.  After I got my meal, I said, "Could I please get some more green chili for my burrito.  I'm sorry."

Yesterday at work there were some women complaining because they didn't think that the rules that were set for the other 100,000 people should pertain to them.  As I talked to them, I said, "I'm sorry."

This is the thing....I really wasn't sorry, but the words just spilled out.

But...I really am sorry when I have trouble communicating to my children and husband exactly how much I love and care about them, I'm sorry that I don't always know the right words to say when someone I care about is hurting, and I'm especially sorry if I should say I'm sorry but I don't.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Twenty Years and Still in High School

So....this weekend is my 20th high school reunion.  How is it that I feel like I never left?  I'm nervous, anxious, and excited to see friends from the past, but I can't help but wonder what they'll wonder.

How will I be judged?  Will anyone care?  Will they talk about who I have become behind my back?

I'm hoping that I've grown up, and my mind will shut really doesn't matter what they think, does it?

Tonight as I begin to ready myself, I make this vow -

I am me or not...nobody can make me worry but myself...

Self - no worries, no doubts, be who I am.

Have fun.

Laugh lots.

Be exuberant about the person I have become...

Still - could you wish me a little luck?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Envious of the Life

My dad and step mom just got back from a trip to Scotland and Ireland.  Right before their travels, I was talking to a friend about her trip to Europe.  She was talking to me about how American tourists are known by their footwear.  Wearing tennis shoes is a sure way to give away our "tourist status."

Unfortunately, I have never had any traveling trips to Europe, so this first conversation intrigued me.  As I sat talking to my family about their trip our conversation started with footwear.  From there it progressed to so many different things.  Obviously it was about the travels that had just been had, but then the conversation turned to one that I raptly listened to.

The bathroom situation is apparently much different clean, so nice, so environmentally friendly.  The U.S. is behind the times by leaps and bounds European standards.  All public restrooms have state of the art hand dryers that you put your hands in...and they dry very quickly!  A time saver and good for the planet.  In addition, after sitting on the "loo" the seat cover will magically have a clean clear coating...ready for the next sitter.  

Europeans know more about what is going on with our presidential election than we do.  There is one candidate that generally all believe would be much better for the economy, way of life, and for diplomatic relations and is expressed through numerous conversations.  

Food is delicious.  All items are fresh - without being frozen and having preservatives.

Television is not banned, but there is not much on, so entertainment takes a different feel.  One of the favorite things my dad saw were two boys about age 10 who went into the pub.  They played the banjo and guitar and knew all of the Irish songs.  They just looked like they had been doing it forever.  They lived in a small town and the townspeople had as much a hand in raising these boys as the parents did.

In addition, most Europeans know more than one language, as this is imperative in communicating with bordering countries and neighbors.

I am proud to live in America and I love the place I call home, but occasionally I wonder, hope, and long for things that I have never known.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'll Never List (Created 1997)

I'll Never.....

1. Go to the grocery store without make-up on.
2. Let my kids eat in the car.
3. Feed my kids spaghetti for breakfast.
4. Let my kids wear clothes that are dirty.
5. Leave dishes in the sink.
6. Have a dog.
7. Bribe my children.
8. Snap my fingers at my kids.
9. Have breakfast for dinner.
10. Let my gas light in my car turn on.
11. Forget to brush my teeth.
12. Find myself singing to a kids' CD even when they aren't in the car.
13. Burp out loud in front of my children.
14. Not play with my kids when they ask.
15. Yell at my kids - especially in public.
16. Let my kids wear their Halloween costume in August.

In 1998, I had my first son...

Now I say, "I'll NEVER say I'll never!"

Monday, July 21, 2008

Manners Please

I grew up with a mother who had very high expectations of me. She appreciated (expected) impeccable manners at all times. I too want my boys to know when to say please and thank you, open doors for ladies, say excuse me, and be polite.

BUT....when our family goes out to eat, I want to know that the experience we are having is full of the manners, but also filled with fun.

Today as I ate out for lunch I sat and watched a couple with kids who did not say one word to each other. From here on out, our restaurant manners include:

Stories from everyone in the family that include roaring laughter.

The go ahead to blowing the wrapper off the straw at either mom or dad.

The ability to play a game of penny hockey with forks on the laminate restaurant table.

Being able to try a bite off of everyone's plate.  

Draw on  all paper napkins - and definitely play a game of tic tac toe and hangman.

Make a math lesson about what kind of tip to leave.  (At least 20%)

Manners - yes, please.

Enjoyable experience for all - YES, PLEASE!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

3 Questions From 3 Boys....

Can police dogs get through cement?

When dogs and guinea pigs are excited, they poop. Why don't we?

Can I turn myself black? Why not, Michael Jackson turned himself white?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Bag Baby

When all of my boys were babies, I loved taking them out and about. After having the twins, it was quite remarkable how many people would literally step in front of the stroller so I had to stop. They'd ask me all about the boys, how old they were, if they were fraternal or identical, and how it was being a mom of twins. I knew that if I was having a hard day, I could put the twins in the double wide stroller and have my older son push it, and I would be sure to have conversation with someone - and really quite quickly.

I enjoyed hear, "Ohhh, they are so cute." Having those conversations became part of me. They lifted me up; they set a tone for my relationships outside of my family and made me feel part of something bigger than myself.

Deep pause - story switch...

I got this new purse for the summer, and I absolutely love it. It is a giraffe print that has a great wallet that matches. Almost every day someone comments on my bag, what they like about it, they ask where I got it, and I've realized that it is a real conversation starter.

I am not sure what happened today, but I realized, my bag has become my baby...

I much preferred being three babies mama....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blame it on the Hairspray

Over the fourth of July weekend our family went camping for four fun filled days.

With our dirty fingernails, greasy hair, and loads of dirty clothes, we returned.  Right when we got home, I knew that I needed to go up and take a shower to wipe off all of the grime.  With that done, I was feeling quite good, until I noticed that I was all out of hairspray...really didn't need it that night, but for some reason, that little squirt does something lifty and shiny to my hair.

The doorbell rang.  The neighbor across the street was there.  "Um, well, while you were away, my daughter's boyfriend hit your car."  Right - it was hit - and we are now in the process of replacing our 1993 Camry....the car that gets forty or more miles per gallon....

Later that night....I go down in the basement and smell a little funk.  I come upstairs and ask hubby to take a sniff.  Not 3 seconds after going down he yells, "Sara, are you kidding me?"

Actually no, I wasn't kidding....I thought there was a smell.  I rush down to see...a little water accident.  Our air conditioner leaked quite a lot of water all over and everything looked a "little" terrible.  The guys came today and drilled holes in the wall, have fans, and a water de-humidifier (is that a word?) down there.  Carpet, baseboards, and a wall or two might need to be replaced.

When I have accidents, they happen in threes...

So...if I blame the start of these accidents on the hair spray, I am done and finished.  The End.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Stop and Readjust

My brother, who is my best friend and business partner just got back from taking a class in Canada. I've only had about 15 minutes to catch up with him, but he was telling me a little bit about something he learned.

The analogy he provided was this....when going on a trip, there are all kinds of things to do in order to prepare for vacation....make travel arrangements, pack, get gas, buy food, etc. After all of that - the trip can begin. Going on a trip is like life - there is an end destination in mind, but often it takes more than one step to get there.

How often do I think -

I want to have well behaved positive boys.

I want to have a thriving business.

I want to surround myself by powerful women.

I want to have a fun and loving marriage that continues to grow.

I want...I want...I want....

It is definitely o.k. to want all of these things....they are who make me who I am.....and I do have all of those things...but do I take the time to stop and readjust when something could be done better or more efficiently or effectively? It takes more than one day or one conversation to have it ALL...

Today - I stop to adjust....

What's working? What's not?

If I'm shooting for the moon, can I get there by car? No, but maybe some of those pieces will help build the rocket.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

An Unwelcome Farewell

My boys go to year around school, so they started back to school this week. I'm always so sad to see them go back, and I can never believe when our summer time is over. The twins are in second grade this year, and our older son is in 5th grade.

As always, we had picked out the first day of school wear the night before, I was preparing a better than normal morning breakfast feast, the lunches were packed, and the batteries in the camera were ready for some snapping. As tradition has it, each first day of school there must be a picture taken by the front door. (This is something that my mother did for me.)

Older son, "Bye, Mom, see you later...," running, without looking back.

"Hey, wait. We need to take the before you start school picture."


The only excited person in the house to have their picture taken was the dog.....(him thinking he is a boy is a whole other story.)

After this was done, older son quickly made his way to the garage. He is now old enough to scooter to school. He stopped me at the door and said, "Mom, really, you're not even thinking about coming out in the garage with me - are you?"

Really? Really?

We teach them to grow up, but then when they do, it feels like it happened overnight.

So - from inside the house, without peeking out, I yell, "Love you!" (Hoping I'm loud enough for him to hear....)

Friday, July 11, 2008

An Old but New Friend

The title here could possibly imply that I have an older "gentleman" friend. Actually, no - not at all, I have created a "new" (but old) woman friend.

My mom had this great friend that she probably met when I was not even in the double digits. I always cared for Nancy, because she was such a good friend to my mom. She made my mom laugh, she sat by her during troubled times, traveled with her, she was fun to be around, and she was there for my mom until the end - I mean THE END. All along, I thought of her as my mother's friend.

Something amazing happened (actually if you knew her - you wouldn't find it amazing - you would know that it is part of her.) Nancy kept in really good contact with my family and me once my mom died. She always had sent cards, and that continued. Along with this, she sent treats and all kinds of fun little holiday stuff for the boys, great books to read, new games she's seen, and even a few fireworks! Then she started coming to see my boys play their soccer and baseball games. It takes someone special to get up in the wee hours of the morning, bundle up in all kinds of layers of clothes, drive at least 45 minutes, and watch little boys play a game.

Last year when trying to find an additional manager for a long term event we were staffing, we wondered if Nancy would be interested. She was - and she has been the best person to work with - ever! She organizes me, I trust her, she does anything that I ask her to, she does great work, she is funny, and she cares.

I was thinking about the friends in my life, and Nancy is one of the first people that I thought of. How is it that she slipped into a different role, and has become someone new and changed? Actually, I just think I have grown up - and now I know how to pick the really good ones.

My G Rated Life

It is just really so hard to believe. The rating on my life went all the way from an R to G rated, and I don't even really know when it happened.

I mean wasn't that long ago that I was putting on my mini, spraying my big hair, going out until sunup and spending some of that time doing (well, most of it really was R rated!)

This week is the first time that I noticed....I say Ooopsie Daisy now instead of *** or ***!

There is nothing that I can sneak anymore - who am I going to sneak it from, myself?

Naughty now is making sure that the deadbolt isn't locked on the bedroom door?

This is what I am going to do -

--Tuesday - Go out and get so drunk that I don't even remember my name.

--Wednesday - Drive around downtown close to midnight, hold some cash out the window and see what happens.

--Thursday - Be "friendly" with a girl

--Friday - Steal a car

Really, who am I kidding? Not one of the things listed above will even come close to happening.

The best I may be able to do is a quick game of Truth or Dare with some girlfriends, while drinking a beer, on the back deck of a friends' house, with our kids playing in the backyard.

You never know, a good game of T or D could get a little R....

The Potluck

This story is definitely one worth telling.

You know those stories, the ones that define a person? This one describes who my brother is to a T.

Our whole family was together in the basement of the church that my grandparents had gone to for all of their lives. We were there to honor the passing of one of our Great Aunts. As tradition has it, after the church service, the church will host a potluck lunch for all that are present.

As to be expected, there were many kinds of salads, ham sandwiches, chips, and a table full of desserts. I just so happened to be sitting by my brother for this particular meal. After a time eating, he said to me, "Sara, I know it doesn't look very good, but this green, mushy, cottage cheese looking salad is really good."

To be honest, that particular concoction didn't look it's best.

Interestingly enough, I was not intrigued by the salad, but by the choice.

I asked my brother, "Steven, if you think that the salad looks so bad, why did you get it?"

This is his reply. "Every time that I go to a buffet, I take a look at what is on the table. I always take what has the most left."

After this explanation, I was even more perplexed.


"I never want the person who brought the dish to the potluck to feel bad. I will always choose the things that have the most versus what I really like."

Could you just cry?

I hope the story that defines me is as good as this one.

Blog Competition

To blog or not to blog? That was the question that I needed to answer for myself. What was it all about? Who would read what I had to write? Would I feel in competition with the blog-world and what to do about that? So, I started the blogging, and I have found that I like to wrap my life up in short little stories. I realized how much I knew about Sugar Mama ( - and Hello, It's Tuesday, and realized it was my time. These two women inspired me to start the typing, and from there, I have never looked back.

I really love it! I mean, how fun is it to come and see how many people have read the entry, written a short comment, or if there may be the possibility of my blog becoming a "feature". Well, I have to admit that it hasn't taken me long to get a little "competition" going with myself. Will I have more comments than the last time, will my story bring a tear, or welcome a chuckle? I often find myself looking it over many times during the week....I think it just might be a compulsion. So today I really needed to take a look at my life. Does blogging represent who I am? Yes, absolutely! Does the fact that I need to "check" on my blog baby correlate with how I relate to my life - well, yes!

Every day I want to be the best person that I can, so I check-double check and check on my life over and over again.I do want to bring the best birthday present to the birthday girl, have the most fun conversation at a large table, take the prettiest photographs, be more creative, and do everything better than I have done it before. In life, I am not a bragger. My "blog" life hasn't bragged, but should it? Does a blog have a personality and are people turned off by the same things in writing as they are in person? This I don't know. If I blogged in another city would "my readers" follow me there? What I do know is this - I love all babies - human and blogged. May we all read and type together, laugh and cry, and live life to the fullest!

The time to say, "I Love You"

My very favorite time of day is 11:11 a.m. or p.m. I like that it is the only time that a digital clock will show the same numbers four times, I would like to someday sleep in until 11:11 a.m., and I love that time of night.

One day my youngest son asked me my favorite time of day and I told him. Right at this point he said, "Mom, every time it is 11:11, I will tell you that I love you."

Younger son is amazing. He always sees 11:11 a.m. on the clock and tells me that he loves me.

After a couple of weeks, he decided he had a favorite time of day. His choice - 7:11. Other twin wanted a time - 8:30, Older son - 12:12.

It's a trend! It's amazing how many times we hear the special words in our house.....what started as a small conversation has turned into a fun family ritual.

Do you have the time?

A "New" Year's Resolution

It's hard to believe that I haven't written about this yet seeing that it was one great adventure that lasted one year long. On January 1, 2007, I decided that for the first time in my life I was going to actually FULLY and COMPLETELY fulfill a resolution that I set for myself. I knew that this task was going to be a difficult seeing that I didn't really have anything super particular in mind. To make it easier, I decided that I was going to do something that I liked, that would be an adventure for both myself and my family, and that would be a stretch to who I am.

My resolution - travel someplace every month for an entire year. I knew that part of the challenge would be getting my support system enrolled in what I was doing. My husband is used to some of my quirky requests, but I wasn't sure how he would feel about this one....knowing that some of the time he would be home holding down the fort. Was this resolution a bit selfish - yes! Did it inspire me - absolutely! The funny thing about the traveling resolution was the guilt that I originally felt when I told someone about what I was creating for myself, my life, for my family, and those who would travel with me. You see, it isn't every day that a mother of three young boys decides to do something like this. The first time I told someone in my younger boys class what I was doing, they looked at me like I had three heads and asked me, "How in the world are you going to be able to do something like that?" At this point, I had not traveled yet, had no idea how I was going to do it, and wasn't quite sure how I was going to pay for everything.

The first month it was a little difficult for me to drive away from the house and say goodbye to the little ones, but those first three days away at a phenomenal class in Los Angeles provided me with insight on how I am going to spend the rest of my life - and it would not have been something that I could have learned on my own.

The months rolled by and the experiences varied. My travel included time with my brother, many travels with my kids and husband, and time with a best friend who was in need of a shoulder to cry on. The interesting thing was that I continued to challenge myself in my travels away and didn't always rely on what I felt comfortable doing. I learned how to ask around and find the best restaurant in the city where the locals would eat, blended in on the streets of New York and was asked by some tourists how to get someplace, spent some of the most relaxing days of my life, and created treasured memories for both myself and my family.

I am a stronger woman, a better mother, a more loving wife, more daring, and more in love with living after doing this. As we are half way through the year, and I didn't have a resolution for 2008, I am now going to make a half resolution. I don't know what it will be....but I can guarantee it will be fantastic (at least 1/2)!