ANNIEONLI   50,766
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Last challenge blog

Friday, January 20, 2012


Just got another 10 points for the team!


I think I liked this part of the challenge the best....might I suggest that they start off the next one as such!

I hope everyone had fun reading my blogs - I sure had fun reading yours and getting to know everyone a little bit better. It's been a long time since I did a challenge like this...wait, hold on...this is my first real challenge since being on Spark for almost 4 years! LoL It sure does keep one on ones toes!

Enjoy the non-salt for me, I'm one who needs salt because I don't eat too many processed things like canned soups & stuff, so I will do my best nonetheless to avoid the heavy overprocessed stuff...which means chips on football Sunday! AAAAAHHHHHH!! Forgot about that stuff.

Good luck!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THISISIT-PA 1/21/2012 5:17AM

    I loved this week's challenge. I think your suggestion to start with this one is a good one. emoticon

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TEXASTITCHER 1/21/2012 12:19AM

    Just don't add extra salt to the chips and you are fine for the challenge. I'm going to have a hard time when we go out becasue some of the food is underseasoned.

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BEATLETOT 1/20/2012 10:59PM

    I'm glad you enjoyed it! It's one of my favorites too! It was the first week several challenges ago...maybe it will be again soon! =)

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KAYTIE22 1/20/2012 10:50PM

    This week's challenge has been very interesting. There are a lot of good challenges on Spark and it helps us grow when we push ourselves out of our comfort zones.

I have enjoyed reading all the blogs and getting to know more about other Sparkers on the team too. We can all learn from each other.

Keep blogging and joining other challenges in the months ahead.

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MOMFAN 1/20/2012 10:26PM


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RUTHXG 1/20/2012 10:08PM

    It's been fun reading a couple of your irrepressible posts! Happy chipless football watching, heehee! But wait, the challenge is just not to ADD salt to anything, right? emoticon

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LYNNOTT 1/20/2012 9:25PM

    I've enjoyed reading the blogs, although I'm not a blogger! Good luck with the last week!

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DONNACFIT 1/20/2012 9:18PM

    I have loved this part of the challenge, to know so many new, fun sparkers. The salt challenge isn't too bad for me..I never add any salt on any thing at the table, never add salt to anything when I cook or bake either. Just try not to have too many salty packaged foods, and yeah I love my chips too!!

I think I'll keep blogging, since I have that as one of my January goals..maybe next weeks blogs will be about salt :)

It's been great gettinng to know you :)

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HELLODANAE 1/20/2012 8:34PM

    yeah salt is not an issue for me either.....and yes this was fun!!!

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Dark chocolate is da bomb!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

So in my state of breathing through stress yesterday...of thinking and compartmentalizing that issues at hand & how to deal with them logically instead of emotionally (ooo, that's some good psychobabble there, huh?!? LOL) ... all I really wanted was...oh, SOMETHING!! First thought: glass of wine... next thought thought...STOP!!!

Ahhhh!!!! NOoooooo - you can't do that!!! for SO many reasons!!!

The #1 reason - eating is NOT the answer to stress....took a long time to learn, so why, oh why, are you thinking of that?!

#2 - THIS TOO SHALL always does, especially if you decide and TALK ABOUT IT with whoever you need to talk to - whether it be a co-worker, a family member, a girlfriend, texting a bff long distance, blogging on Spark, beeotching on FB...WHATEVER - just TALK it OUT! even if it's just to remind yourself to BREATHE!

#3 - after all is said and done and said and decided and said and done again...some things are AOK to have when your head is on straight.....and when you log it. Which brings me to THE DARK CHOCOLATE emoticon

Let's just say this...this one small piece of Belgian Dark Chocolate truffle...O. M. G.....Like I died and went to heaven!

You know those commercials that have the piece of chocolate and the silk cloth all wrapped around a lady savoring each bite of the chocolate - well, that might as well have been me! ROFL it was that darned good.

Maybe it's because I don't have really good chocolate like that all the really was a nice treat....very different from Hershey's Dark...or Lindt usual guilty pleasure manufacturers. It was actually I felt every chemical reaction that they say dark chocolate gives you! It felt very weird...and very cool!!

Maybe it was satisfying that SOMETHING I had when the stress started....but when I handled it on my own terms and came back less emotional and more in tune with having the piece of chocolate, (again, on my own terms instead of the stress's terms)...maybe that is what made is so good.

Well....whatever it was...this one little piece of dark chocolate was da bomb!!!! and SO not guilty when you only have one piece...and SO healthy to have too.

BTW - Thanks for all the feedback the last couple of days on my blogs...I appreciate it. I'll be seeing you guys later tonight!

Have a great day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OAKBORN 1/19/2012 10:34PM

    I think your blog illustrates my whole thing of Moderation not restriction!

And the good thing is that when you don't gorge yourself on something all the time, a little bit goes a lot farther and means more to you!!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/19/2012 7:09PM

    Mmm I love dark chocolate - even the not-as-nice dark chocolate kit kats! I eat one or two fingers when I'm desperate!

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MOMFAN 1/19/2012 5:57PM

    They key is taking the time to enjoy it and not shoving it in your mouth one after another, but stopping at one. WooHoo!

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ROXIT22222 1/19/2012 3:00PM

    Great now I want chocolate... ;) I do know what you mean though. OVer the holidays we went to many christmas parties. Lots of yummy stuff to tempt you. Most had little tiny bite size desserts. I would scam them out pick ONE and have it at the end of the night as we were walking out the door. (so I wouldn't be bale to be tempted to have more than one).... They tasted soooo good. I think when you limit things like that the small amount you have you savor and it wakes up the tastbuds.

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LINDABENEDICT 1/19/2012 12:43PM

    Great blog ! And I know what you mean about the chocolate !!!

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HS1056 1/19/2012 11:09AM

  When did YOU get inside my head??? LOL You described it so well. I usually just have that conversation with myself. My dog looks at me strange when I do it. And when hubby is home he'll say What? I just say I'm talking to myself again. LOL I commend you for your discipline in only eating 1 piece of chocolate. Great job and great blog!

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BEATLETOT 1/19/2012 10:04AM

    Wow, your descriptive abilities are so great! I was savoring the chocolate with you and trying to reach the feeling you had as you were eating it, and I'm jealous I didn't get there! Wonderful!!!

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JSPEED4 1/19/2012 9:19AM


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NUOVAELLE 1/19/2012 8:31AM

    The first paragraph of your blog describes my day exactly!!! So, I really needed to read the 3 reasons that follow and get myself together! Thank you so much! Too bad I don't have a piece of dark chocolate available...
And how great that you managed to stop at only one piece!!!

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REBECCAMA 1/19/2012 7:52AM

  I remember the first time I had Godivas. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. :-)

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REDSHOES2011 1/19/2012 7:21AM

    What was you trying to handle that made you emotional? Solve that you won't need food or other stuff to put a plaster on the sore.. Confront what is stressing you- the feeling of mastering a problem is more satisifying than just coping.. I had a problem with disagreeing with other people- keeping to the subject can avoid issues getting personal.. I recommend a non violent communications class. The relief was omg wonderful..


Comment edited on: 1/19/2012 7:22:17 AM

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Good habit: breathe

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Actually...this is more of a reminder.

Inhale pink........exhale blue.

Inhale deep through the nose - filling every bit of lung with air.....exhale slowly - being conscious of each long breath.

Inhale pink.......exhale blue.'s important to do when you are brings oxygen all throughout the body's cells, aiding in the exchange of the good, the bad & the ugly in our blood streams.....but it also helps when you are hit smack up side the temple with stress.

Ahhhh.....stress. My olde I have missed ye. emoticon

Can't run and do a few laps on the treadmill all the time to get it out of your system, so it's time to breathe....and to remember that THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYBETH_OHIO 1/18/2012 11:25PM

    Wow I like this I will keep doing it thank you so much.

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MOMFAN 1/18/2012 10:29PM

    Breathing is something I just forget to do when I am concentrating. I really worked at it at the pool while exercising today. Thanks for the reminder of how important it is.

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RUTHXG 1/18/2012 10:18PM

    I'm so sorry life has been highly stressful for you. I hope breathing deeply & consciously really helps, & I hope the stressful situation gets sorted out & all the nasty stress-barbs removed SOON.

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JMCADE 1/18/2012 7:37PM

    Just Breathe!!

What a great reminder.

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MADAMES 1/18/2012 7:19PM

    Good reminder...thank you!! emoticon :) Evelyn

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LINDABENEDICT 1/18/2012 7:19PM

    Good advice :breathe !!!! Thanks !

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AMYLONGHORN 1/18/2012 6:30PM

    I always feel like I breathe the opposite way you're supposed I breathe in when I'm supposed to breathe out and vice versa! LOL!! Hope the stress was manageable today and that you took your own advice and remembered to just BREATHE!!

GO emoticon!!!

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KIM--POSSIBLE 1/18/2012 5:52PM

    Need this reminder this week! Thanks!

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JSPEED4 1/18/2012 4:39PM

    Sometimes I breathe deeply into my chest, expanding my back and tensing my inter-costal muscles as I exhale slowly and strongly.

Sometimes I breathe into my belly, letting my whole body relax as I exhale.

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Bad habit: Mom guilt

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

ohhhh....I got it baaaaaad! emoticon
Probably one of the worst cases you will ever see.

Somehow, I have this guilt that I have to be with my family 24/7 when they are home, whether it be on vacation for one day or one week....and when summer hits - forget it!!

You husband is a teacher, so we are together A LOT with the kids. More than other families for sure...and I consider this a good and lucky thing because let's face it...not everyone can be with kids and present like my husband.


There is that maternal need to be with them 24/7 no matter if my husband is matter if they are just sitting there playing with their matter if they are playing matter if they are all in the family room watching a football game....and you know what?????? I don't do anything that I would consider uber-productive for myself when they are around!! I do not work out even though the time is there....stretching before me and I'm even find myuself saying to myself "good heavens, there is nothing to do!"

So you can see....I have a bad habit of being a hovering mom. Not like I'm doing anything great with them all the time...I'm just there....just like my mom was.

This goes with wife-guilt going out with my girlfriends for happy hour...but for some reason, I have less guilt seeing her when we meet for lunch and everyone is at school. Seee!?!?!? They are all OUT and busy and thus the no guilt feeling on my part!

I even get anxiety in trying to figure out how to say "I would like to go out to the mall when the football game is on" because, for some reason, I have this stupid GUILT! And trust husband could care less sometimes if I were hanging around because he goes about and does what he has to do without a thought...I'm telling you it's all me! Oy!

I know I'm not alone in this one...this is going to be a work in the saying goes "Knowing is half the battle" so maybe now that I verbalized it...I can help myself get through it and be a little more proactive for myself.

Hey - you know what? We went shopping yesterday as a family (shoe shopping and stuff) and while hubby tried on a suit, I entertained the kids in the accessories dept.....and then I got a chance to look through my ladies dept...and yup, had to try stuff on, which he was glad to let me do while he entertained the kids a bit. I think it was the first time we ever split up and divided and conquered and stayed in a store for more that a half hour with all 3 kids in tow!!! Sure, them getting older has a lot to do with it....but it's also me saying "Hey, I want to check something out for me....will you wiat a bit everyone?" 2 clearance items and one new shirt later - I'm really glad I took that initiative!

Baby steps in everything right???

Woohoo - Blog #4 DONE!
Have a nice day everyone!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Oh, this sounds like something I used go through. Take time for yourself, and the older the kids are, the easier it gets, although you might worry more, because you can't be with them 24/7. Mine have flown the nest and have kids on their own now. It's fun when they visit, but we certainly are enjoying a more quiet life. Glad you were able to do some shopping for yourself.

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KIM--POSSIBLE 1/18/2012 5:51PM

    I am right there with you on this one! I have 5 kids, though the oldest claims we just kicked him out (long story), so there is always something I feel like I need to be doing for someone. I am a teacher, but I am new, so I have a lot of work that I never feel like I have finished, plus I am getting my master's degree. Add in 5 soccer teams starting up this spring, wrestling still going on for ds, gymnastics for all 3 girls once a week, and the usual dinner/bath/homework/housework, and there is little time left for mom!

I have been getting up incredibly early to workout before getting the girls up and showers and ready to head to school. It is draining! I feel pretty constant guilt about not spending enough time with the kids, especially my youngest, who is still young enough to want me to hover!

When I do have downtime, I find myself looking for things to fill it. I told dh over Christmas break that I think I have forgotten how to do nothing! I feel like there is something I should be doing if I sit down for 5 minutes, and feel guilty any time I do anything for myself (which isn't often, anyway) Not sure how to reduce that feeling!

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SUZYWM 1/18/2012 11:32AM

    Great blog on a complicated topic. I want to mention that just being there, like your mom, is pretty valuable to a kid. Don't sell yourself short. But your point about needing to feel okay about taking time for yourself is huge.

I still struggle with this, nearly 33 years into parenthood. Even when my grown kids are around, I feel a need to just be there - attentive, not engaged in anything "just for me". Ridiculous!

Small steps is right - I'm trying to gently force the issue, like putting on an exercise dvd while the kids are home. Double whammy, I'm not doing something for them, and I'm using the tv! Oh the Guilt!


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DONNACFIT 1/17/2012 10:24PM


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MOMFAN 1/17/2012 10:10PM

    Good for you figuring out you are important and worth taking time for! Keep it up!

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OAKBORN 1/17/2012 7:55PM

    I hear you... but you know... it's okay to have time just for you too and to have things that are yours, space that is your own.

But it's hard to voice your own wants and needs (and sometimes remember that you want and need them) when that mom/wife guilt is ruling your day. Taking care of yourself is not something you need to apologize for, because I firmly believe that taking care of yourself fills you up so you have more to give.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/17/2012 12:42PM

    Wow! I have heard of this and I think my boyfriend's mother has a bad case of this, too! Hard for me to understand since I'm not a mom yet, and because growing up my mom kept VERY busy. We still hung out as a family, but there were definitely lots of no-parents or alone time. You're going to have many years with your kids, so you really do need to take some time for yourself so you don't burn out! Don't worry, you're a great mom!

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    you are truly not alone lol, I do this and I dont have any young'uns around... I do this with just the hubs and its not like he cares (for the most part) if I am there (as long as dinner is over lol) but I feel guilty or like I'm going to miss out on something if I make other plans.

Baby steps, little bit by little bit, we must take back our independance =)

but dont feel guilty, you are being a great Mom and thats what great ones do!!

Comment edited on: 1/17/2012 11:34:00 AM

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ARCHIMEDESII 1/17/2012 9:55AM

    I too think it's great that you do things as a family ! Too many families don't take the time to do things with each other any more. This kid has dance. that kid has martial arts. everyone keeps odd hours and no one seems have to time to sit down and talk.

So, I think it's great !!

Now, while some parents can get a little clingy, you should know it's okay to give the kids a little freedom. That will help instill a sense of responsibility. How will they learn to take care of themselves as an adult if their parents keep doing everything for them ?

I say enjoy your time with your family ! But, don't worry about giving the kids a little freedom and responsibility. I think they'll surprize you.


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REBECCAMA 1/17/2012 9:44AM

  First of all I don't know if it's on purpose or not but I got a chuckle out of seeing your picture upside down.

Second.. I totally have mommy guilt too. I work full-time but if my kid is sick or has a delayed opening or something I always volunteer to stay home. My hubby gets more time off than I do because he has a better job but I am always volunteering to stay home. Also like your hubby, my hubby has a life. He is out twice a week every week- Tuesdays and Saturday nights. I never go out. OKay, sometimes I go grocery shopping by myself. Seriously? All my friends are online and I am really bad about going out especially in the winter. In summer I get a little better about going for a walk or for a quick swim by myself but in winter forget it.

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HS1056 1/17/2012 9:33AM

  I think it's great that your family has so much together time. I grew up in a broken home. Dad gone, Mom working. Just me and my younger brother to take care of ourselves. So I read your blog from a different point of view. I do understand your mom guilt, as I have one son, now grown and married. Rather than hovering over their activities, when you have that "there's nothing to do" feeling, lead by example. Do a fun dvd workout. Maybe the fam will jump on board. Or organize a family hike. Involve the family in preparing a nutritious meal. Be creative and get them to follow you. You are very blessed! Great blog!

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RCOLSON97 1/17/2012 9:28AM

    I wish I would hang out with my son more, but he's 3 and sometimes I don't know what to do with I end up on the computer or TV and I feel horrible for doing that! I sound horrible, wish I had your problem.

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NUOVAELLE 1/17/2012 9:09AM

    You sound like a real... mom!!! How much I know this feeling of guilt! I also had another feeling when my kids were babies or toddlers: I didn't trust anyone with them! Not even my husband! I thought they would only be safe in my presence! Thank God I recovered from this!
I had read a quote once about parenting. I don't remember who said it but he or she certainly had been where we are:
"The most important thing parents should never forget about is themselves!"
So, I think you're doing great. You're beginning to remember!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PEACEWYTCH72 1/17/2012 7:36AM

    Oh, girl!! Do I know where you are coming from! I've had mom guilt the whole time I've been a mom. My boys are 19 and 14 and I am STILL a helicopter mom! I think 9/10's of why I am only now successful in my weight loss is because I have let go a bit and let myself take care of myself for a change. That doesn't mean it isn't there or it hasn't derailed me sometimes. I know that I would be further along, or even at my goal right now if I didn't use "my kids might need me" as an excuse not to exercise.

Keep up the great work. Take care of yourself.


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GEECHEEGULL 1/17/2012 7:34AM

    totally know the mom guilt but remember by taking time for yourself, you are modeling that for your daughters and future daughter-in-laws (ie. your sons seem it is normal and important).

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Bloggity blog #3 - laugh

Monday, January 16, 2012

You GOTTA have a sense of humor...I find that if I don't laugh and smile for a while, I start getting mopey and down. That's when I search out "Who's Line is it Anyway?" on tv or youtube and I get my laugh on once again.

Being in a happier state always helps with other things in life...even when the going gets rough. I can tell you right now that I'm the one in the funeral parlor at a wake remembering the person as they were at their most happy and alive instead of how the person left the world...AND I LAUGH and make jokes too (discreetly of course) because a) it's a nervous habit and b) that little bit of stupidity/hilarity is a break from hell that people go through. I know some people might find this crass, but it really does work and help out others...I've been to waaaay too many wakes, trust me...I know.

Anyway....healthy habit #3 - LAUGH!! at silly inane things...make others laugh by doing a silly dance - they might start dancing silly with you!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIM--POSSIBLE 1/18/2012 5:41PM

    Especially at times like now, when I really don't feel like it, I need to find things that make me smile and laugh!! Thanks for the reminder!

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SUZYWM 1/18/2012 11:24AM

    Thanks for the reminder Annie - I love reading the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich - slapstick humor and funeral home giggles thrown in on occasion for effect!

Sometimes you just gotta laugh!

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BEATLETOT 1/17/2012 10:09PM

    I LOVE Whose Line!!! It's so great! Just thinking about it makes me thanks for posting it!

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DONNACFIT 1/17/2012 10:09PM

    Love your blog!! I love to laugh too..laughter is like jogging on the inside!! I laugh at myself..I'll never cease to be amused!!

Your wake story reminded me of singing in the choir at a funeral for a neighbor whose name was Art..the closing hynm was "How great thou art" and I whispered to the other women..wondering if he picked the song him self and we all got the giggles..not good timing :)

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THISISIT-PA 1/16/2012 4:54PM

    Great blog with an excellent reminder! My extended family cruises together and we have a habit of singing "You light up my life" every time we get on an elevator. It makes most people smile and some even sing along!

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RAINBOWCHOC 1/16/2012 2:22PM

    thank you for blogging

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KAYTIE22 1/16/2012 1:50PM

    This is a good blog and a great reminder. A lot of the problems in the world might be solved if everyone learned to lighten up.

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LINDABENEDICT 1/16/2012 1:43PM this !!!! emoticon

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HS1056 1/16/2012 12:51PM

  What fun! I love this blog! One of my fondest memories of my childhood was when my brother and I would get the giggles and we couldn't stop. Our grandmother had very little patience with us and that just made us laugh even harder. During tough times later in life one of us would say something that would trigger the giggles and it just helped make it better. Laugh on!

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STILLOUT2LUNCH 1/16/2012 11:23AM

    I love to laugh, but when I'm alone I find myself staying quiet. I need to laugh out loud when in company or not. Thanks for the tip.

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JSPEED4 1/16/2012 11:10AM

    A few silly dances help me along!

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HELLODANAE 1/16/2012 11:08AM

    like I always say "laughing is my favorite thing to do" emoticon

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MONAKIN314 1/16/2012 10:25AM

    I believe that laughter is the best medicine, too. Especially laughing at yourself. emoticon

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