I've always wanted to be an author. (Pause. If I'm being honest, there are about 100 things I've always wanted to be. Artist, zookeeper, veterinarian, used bookstore owner, greenhouse name it, I've dreamed of doing it. Un-pause.) One day, I actually sat down and started a novel. (No, you can't read it.) What I found in my miserable attempt to write a novel was that I have great ideas, terrific beginnings, and wonderful endings. What I don't have is the talent to fill in the details.

A good and successful author has a gift to make his or her characters come to life. You feel like you're right there in the story, experiencing the adventure with the characters. I don't have that gift, and after many failed attempts at my novel, I knew that I just wasn't meant to be an author. I'm fine with it now. Mostly.

In May 2008, I started this blog. I was almost 30, and thanks to BFF Jessie she talked me into documenting my 30th year and my weight loss adventure. I posted 7 times from May through December 2008. I know, I rock.

Then in January 2009, I met Christy. (Stay tuned...there will be a post about that soon.) She talked me into restarting my blog.

What I discovered in 2009 is that I may not be an author, but I AM a writer. And I think that I'm pretty damn good at it. Writing here is like therapy to me. It's where I can come and say anything I want. It's where I let all of my feelings hang out. I think Jessie said it best when she said, I am most me on my blog.

What my self-therapy led me to was all of you. New friends whom I have grown to love so much. I never in a million years would have thought that anyone (but Jessie) would have wanted to read what I had to say. And not only did you read, but you gave support and helped me to see things in a way that I can't always see them by just arguing with myself. You've encouraged me to write more, which in turn helped me grow more as a person, helped me to discover more of who I am on the inside, helped me to love myself more, and helped me find peace.

And THAT'S what I love about 2009.

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A Christmas Funny

Most of us stop believing in Santa when we're still kids, really. And when the day comes that your whole world is ruined because you've found out that the magic that was Santa Claus was really your parents, Christmas just isn't the same. You feel like it's lost it's magic a bit.

If you have children, the magic returns when you get to play Santa. I don't have kids, but I used to help play Santa at my aunt's and uncle's house when my cousins were little.

My cousin Aaron is now 18, but when he was 4, my uncle got the bright idea to buy him a micro-machines city. (If you're unfamiliar with micro-machines, they're tiny little cars and you could (can?) buy these playsets to go with your micro-machines.)

Now, if you're a parent, I know you know how toys come with stickers. Well this city came with FIVE sheets of tiny little stickers to go onto the city. So, he doesn't have to spend all day Christmas Day putting stickers on this playset, my uncle decides that we'll ALL do it Christmas Eve.

Now, imagine two adults and two teenagers taking "shifts" going to the bathroom to put stickers on this toy. To make matters worse, you had a "map" of the city. So you had to locate where each sticker had to go. This took forever. We'd each take a while in the bathroom. (Not my idea of a fun Christmas Eve evening, by the way.)

At one point right before Aaron was to go to bed, I was headed for my third trip to the bathroom. Aaron noticed.

Aaron: April, where are you going?

Me: I have to go to the bathroom.

Aaron: AGAIN?!

Me: Yep.

Aaron: Man, ya'll sure have POOPED a lot tonight.

And he walked off.

Moral to the story: Just wait until Christmas Day to put the stickers on the toys.

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Snow. Lots Of It.

Usually when they call for snow here, I just kind of smirk and say, "right." Oh, don't get me wrong, it'll snow sometimes, but it's only a dusting and never lasts more than a day.

Last night, they called for snow, and boy did we get it. It hasn't snowed like this here since 1996. Some will argue that it was 1995, but I know it was '96 because I was a senior in high school, we were out of school for two weeks, and my exams were cancelled.

So there.

Since snow like this is so rare here, of COURSE I had to take pictures!! (So, those of you who are used to snow, please bear with me, k? Thanks!)

The girls' dog house.


A neighbor dog came by for a visit.

There's a picnic table under there.

I love this one.

Bayleigh sees something. I love the snow on her back. She didn't.

Snow is piled everywhere!

I was making her fetch snowballs. She'd reach them and then couldn't find them. Bad Mama.

I think this one's my favorite.

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Did You Ever...

Tonight, I walked into my kitchen, I took off, and I slid in my socks to the refrigerator. Oh man, how I loved to do that as a kid. Even though whatever adult was around would fuss at me for doing that, I'd sneak and do it as often as possible. And even though I fell and busted my ass more than a few times, I'd still slide across the floor in my socks.

Did you ever do that? Or how about after taking a bath. You knew your favorite show was almost on, so you had to hurry up, so you'd get your PJs on as quickly as possible without really drying off?

Or, just playing in the rain and jumping in mud puddles. Did you ever?

The things we did as kids without even giving a second thought to. Things that we may would get "in trouble" for really were the best times. I like to think of them as a kid's breaths of fresh air. Even though, for the most part, we had little stresses as kids, we all needed those moments where we could just take a moment and forget about school or homework or *gasp* cleaning our rooms. Without even thinking we took moments and did something completely illogical.

The holiday season can be particularly stressful for me. I never know what to get people, and never have enough money to buy my loved ones what I'd really like to buy them. Yes, I know that it's the thought that counts, but what to give? I generally will shop and shop and shop until it's the last minute. I think sometimes as adults, we get too wrapped up in the worries that are life. It stresses me out so much that I notice that smaller, dumber things start to annoy me. Have you ever notice how that happens? One big thing stressed you out, then the smaller things start to bother you. Work, school, kids, spouses, bills, holidays, friends, this event, that event. We get so wrapped up that we sometimes forget to just take a second and breathe. We forget that we need those little moments to do something completely illogical.

We need to just breathe. Or slide in our socks across the floor. Go ahead, give it a try. Just don't fall, k?

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Most Annoying Christmas Decoration Ever

When I helped my mom decorate her house for the holidays (it's a tradition with us), I was secretly hoping she would forget a particular decoration. We had everything up, and then she said, "Hey, we need to get the snowmen out!"

This was what she was referring to:

Oh, yeah...sure you may think this is cute, but the thing has a motion sensor, and is extremely sensitive. This means that if the wind blows, the damn thing goes off. And if that's not bad enough, my nephew LOVES this thing. Begs to make the snowmen talk. He was fascinated with them last year too, which was cute since it was his first Christmas....until it was freaking March and my mom still had those little punks hanging on the wall.

So forgive me for not looking forward to hearing those little shits the 5 million times I'm going to have to hear them this holiday season.

That is all. ;o)

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