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Friday, December 31, 2010

Saying Goodbye to 2010

The remaining hours of 2010 are quickly winding down and 2011 is almost upon us.

As I reflect upon 2010 I realize it has been much like a fine bottle of wine - a very good year!

The first couple of months were devoted to recuperating from foot surgery in December, 2009.  This surgery was a result of a nasty fall while on business travel in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

2009 also saw Chris - my youngest - graduating from Northwest Shoals Community College (where he played basketball and baseball) and then receiving notification of his acceptance at Bama - his dream college!

I also had the opportunity to finally see Chris play some college basketball.  On February 22nd - Sophomore Night at NWSCC -  was the first and last collegiate basketball ball game I had the privilege of watching Chris play in.  It was important to me to be able to walk out on the court when he was presented that evening.  This was quite an accomplishment for me because it was also the first time I wore shoes on my left  foot after surgery.  I was one determined person - let me tell you!

In June of 2010 we once again gathered in Tuscaloosa to share the love and commitment of my niece Anna Smith as she married Whit Whitfield.  Let me tell you - it was a whirlwind of parties from the moment we arrived to the time I flew back on Sunday.  Whit is such a wonderful young man and so perfect for Anna.  They are so much in love and  I know that they have the most incredible life together. The wedding - well all that I can say it that it was perfect!  Kudos to Anna's and her mother - Beth for the most beautiful wedding I have ever seen!

In September,  2010,  I had the honor of traveling with my oldest son - Jimmy to California.  We began our travels in San Francisco and then drove to Yosemite.  To watch the amazement in Jimmy's eyes as he saw the beauty of this remarkable part of the country.  After exploring Yosemite for two days we the drove to Wine Country.   We had a great time exploring some of our favorite wineries and of course purchasing some of the fine wines along the way.  We spent some time at Beaulieu Winery (Tapestry and George del Latour are my favorities) as well as Cakebread (a wonderful Chardonnay) and a new winery - Round Pound (we loved every wine we tasted here)  I also introduced Jimmy to Dean & Deluca.  He REALLY enjoyed the food!   We ended our trip with a night in San Francisco where we enjoyed a wonderful dinner on Pier 39 before flying out to our separate destinations the next day.  I returned to DFW while Jimmy flew to Hawaii fo a couple of weeks.

Less than two weeks later I traveled to San Diego for business.  Too sad that work was so intensive that I did not have a chance to truly enjoy all the wonderful offerings of the city.  I did have the opportunity to enjoy a delighful dish at one of the local restaurants.  Can not remember the name now (should look at the receipt for the bill) but what I do remember is the appetizer that I had - fried olives.  Be still my heart!  I love green olives and being a southerner - anything fried MUST be good.  Let me tell you - lightly breaded (with a touch of parmesan cheese) and fried green olives - YUM O!.  A tasty treat for the taste buds!

Later in October was a girl's trip to Las Vegas - need I say anymore?  Good food, sleeping in and of course a slot machine or two!

We all came together in November in Tuscaloosa for Thanksgiving .  One of my greatest joys and reasons for being so thankful was having both of my sons there to share the wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner!  Thank you Susan and Beth for such a incredible meal.   It was just wonderful until the next day when Alabama forgot that they were playing football in the 2nd half and lost to Auburn.  I mean really?

Shortly after returing from Thanksgiving in Alabama it was time to pack again for another business trip - back to California but this time to San Francisco (actually Sunnyvale - Mountain View area).  Thank goodness this business trip was not as hectic as the trip to San Diego.  I actually made it back to my hotel room each night at a reasonable hour.

All in all - 2010 was a very good year but I know that 2011 will be even better.

Here is raising my glass in celebration to the best year ever!

CHEERS!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

Well - it is that time that I dread every Christmas vacation - Chris, my youngest son, has returned to school at Bama.  Sadly - Jimmy was busy at work at the ski resort in Colorado and could not spend Christmas with us.

When did my sons grow up?  When did they come home on occasion for school breaks, season breaks (ski season is over) or just for a short visit?

They come and the house becomes a whirlwind of activity -  alive with laughter, teasing and late hours.  Once they leave the house life becomes so obviously quiet.

I am so proud of both of my sons but gosh - couldn't they live a little bit closer than Colorado (Jimmy) and Alabama (Chris)?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Goals or Resolutions - 2011

I can remember many a New Year's Eve where I would spend hours writing down New Year's resolutions only to have them completely forgotten within a month (okay sometimes much shorter than a month!)

Several years ago I decided that I would give up on the resolutions and write down my goals.  I also decided to write one new goal for each year according to my age.  Okay - that one has also gone by the wayside too!

BUT - I do enjoy writing down my goals.  First of all by writing them down I am committing to these goals.  Okay maybe committing is too strong of a word but I at least have a record of what I would like to accomplish during the next 12 months.  Another thing I learned about goals - they have to be realistic and achievable or else why bother?

SO - here goes some of my goals for 2011 and not in any order of importance:

1)  Get the weight off!  I know that is the #1 goal of everyone but I really...really need to get serious about this especially for my health and my self-esteem!

2)  Along with getting the weight off - I need to exercise more!  Walking the Dallas (aka Hyper-Pooch) does not necessarily count either!

3)  Finances - again one of the most often used goals/resolutions for any New Year.  I am pretty good about watching my money BUT there is always room for improvement.  I WILL pay off my credit cards this year...my goal?  1st Quarter pay-offs.  I would like to pay off Chris car too!  Along with this is to increase my 401K contribution.  As Suze Orman says - always invest up to the percentage amount that your company meets.  Well my company will match 100% up to 8%.  This should be a no-brainer. 

4)  Travel - I am usually pretty good about this too.  I do manage to get some air travel in each year but I would like to get a bit more specific this year.  I want to travel to Europe.  This should not be too difficult - maybe a trip to Finland?  I would love to see England, Scotland and Ireland.  Oh yes - let's us not forget a trip to Alaska too.  Shouldn't one see the U.S. first before venturing to other countries?  I would also like to return to New Mexico.  There is something so very spiritual about that state...very relaxing, very calming, VERY special indeed.

5)  Okay - here is a new one and will probably be a surprise to all...I want to learn photography.   You would think that being a Pisces and supposedly being a creative person I would be good at this?  Well - only time will tell.  I will start slow and work my way up the ladder here.  I will purchase a "Photography for Dummies" book *ha* as well as a good point and shoot camera.  As much as I would like to purchase a Canon EOS Rebel - I refuse to pay all that money until I know if this is something that I am really going to enjoy.  I will finally learn how to post pics on my facebook page too!  About time...don't you think?

6)  Take a photography class at UTA...nuff said!

7)  Be a more patient, loving person.  Okay - so this is a very generic goal here BUT let's face it.  Aren't we all just a tad bit judgemental?  I could really learn to think before speaking and being a lot less judgemental.

8)  Experience professional growth in my career.   Okay - wonder how I can do this?  ~hmmm~  A definite goal for 2011

I am sure that I am forgetting many things or would like to do much more but the goal here *pardon the pun* is to make the goals achievable.  Too many goals and I may not be able to achieve...too few goals and I will not challenge myself.

AND afterall isn't that what goals really are?  To better ourselves by challenging ourselves?  To take a chance and think/do outside the box?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Being Southern

I was born in the deep South - Alabama to be exact.  I grew up saying y'all and yes ma'am and no ma'am.

As a little girl I loved catching lightening bugs during the early summer evenng, raking the beautiful fall leaves and jumping in a pile of them once they were raked up.  I remember walking to the movies during the summer with my six Royal Cola bottle tops (we could get in free on Thursdays with just 6 caps) and going to the neighborhood park to play games with other neighborhood kids.  I loved when my parents would make homemade ice cream *yummy*

Now looking back as an adult no longer living in Alabama I realize how much I miss the South.  I miss the Southern hospitiality - the small little things that go into what the South is all about.  I miss slow paced attitude, the food, the smells, people caring for other people and a thousand other things - cheese straws, sweet tea, *sigh*  and the list could go on and on.

There are so many good memories of Alabama but there are also some very sad memories.

They say that you can never go home again and perhaps it is true.  The memories shall carry me through.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 1 - Let's Blog

I love reading blogs!  I learn so much about myself  by reading other's words as they write from the heart.

The purpose of creating this blog is to learn who I am and why I am who I am today.

I am a work in progress - every day is a new opportunity to seek my destiny in life.

I am a very spiritual person I do believe in God - but I also hold my spirituality as a personal commitment... believe that my actions show my beliefs.

I believe that there are no mistakes in this world - only opportunties to learn from an "ut oh" moment.  I believe that people come into our lives for a purpose - a reason.

Welcome to my blog - my journey.

Here I will divulge my innermost thoughts and feelings as I open up my soul and discover who I am and what has happened in my life to make me who I am today.

I look forward to seeing who I will become!