ANNIEONLI   46,384
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5th Year Sparkiversary vlog

Friday, February 08, 2013


This is my very first vlog...and it's the very first take too. Just wanted to say hello to all my fellow Sparkers.. and send a thank you as well.

Sorry about the low sound quality...and for the water bottle banging loud on the table! LOL

I tried to do another take, but it's not so great when you get overemotional and start crying in a vlog! LOL

And just a shout out to Jenni real quick: I am wearing the bracelet on my right wrist!! I wanted to mention it in the video but forgot!!

Thanks for all the support Sparkers!!
Smiles
Annie

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESSICABOOTY 2/23/2013 9:19PM

    You are so sweet and brave to share with us. Only makes us love you all the more.

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CAROLISCIOUS 2/12/2013 7:35PM

    What an awesome first vlog! Congrats on all your success!

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CELIAMINER 2/12/2013 11:21AM

    You've done so well! Happy emoticon

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HANKENSTEIN 2/12/2013 7:02AM

    AWESOME! You look dazzling, and your message is wonderful. Congratulations!

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MJREIMERS 2/10/2013 7:32PM

    Happy 5th Anniversary! emoticon You should be so proud of yourself. What a great way to celebrate! Giving kudos to your buddy and sharing what you've learned along the way. emoticon May you have continued success and many more Sparkiversaries!

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KANOE10 2/10/2013 12:43PM

    Happy Anniversary. I loved meeting you on your vlog. It was so sweet and inspirational. You look wonderful and seem very happy with your life. Thanks for sharing such a successful journey in your life.

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PBLITZ 2/10/2013 5:34AM

    AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!! HAPPY SPARKIVERSARY ANNIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have come so far and you have inspired SO many!! Look at the impact you have had on the lives of countless people who feel they don't have what it takes to reach their goals. I know you have really motivated me to get out there, exercise, track and BLOG!! You have given your children, your husband, and YOURSELF a happier, healthier, more enjoyable life. You should be SO proud of yourself! I think I can speak for all of your sparkfriends when I say WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU! And extremely grateful to know you here. Thanks for all you do, and thanks for the VLOG!
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Lots of love Anniebear!!!
xoxoxo
Pola
<
BR>P.S. emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/10/2013 5:35:58 AM

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DWEXCEL 2/8/2013 6:28PM

    Happy Anniversary Annie!!! You Go Girl! I loved your vlog:) I loved hearing your voice and seeing your face at the same time; it was almost like seeing you in person!!! You have done so wonderful, and have always been an inspiration to me. You are the BEST!!!!!! Congratulations to you!

My 5th will be coming up in August, and let's just hope my shoulder/arm will be strong and I'll be getting back to normal by then!

Love ya!
Donna emoticon

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DALID414 2/8/2013 4:16PM

    You would be the ONLY one who would make me log on to SP on my computer, I've been ignoring it since I got my iphone, but I couldn't see the video on it.
I'm so glad to "meet" you! You had me emoticon
emoticon is definitely a big deal!! I'm SO motivated to keep up my maintenance.
emoticon emoticon

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OAKBORN 2/8/2013 3:35PM

    Thanks for the shout out! You have added a bright Spark to my life for the last 5 years! You never fail to make me think, or giggle, or just keep going on tough days.

I can't thank you enough for that. emoticon

I will have to retaliate... heh!

Keep on keepin' on!

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RAWCOOKIE 2/8/2013 11:31AM

    Wow, that was so worth listening too - how inspiring is that?! Happy 5th Spark-anniversary!
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NUOVAELLE 2/8/2013 11:19AM

    Wow, Annie! Nice to meet you! It's really incredible to be able to hear a sparkfriend's voice! You are the nice, kind and sweet person I had imagined you would be.
The sparkpeople community is really lucky to have people like you who are still here after five years. We all know that losing the weight is something that most people can do, one way or another, after one or a hundred attempts. But maintaining a healthy weight for five years is the really difficult part. For once more, thank you so much for staying here, giving all of us hope that it's doable!
Happy 5th Sparkversary!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JAZZII4 2/8/2013 11:14AM

    Great Vlog! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANNIEONLI 2/8/2013 10:46AM

    I am glad Amanda! To be completely honest, it's weird to put something (myself in person) out there since this is such a written format! And if you cried with this, then you'd be bawling at the second take...total breakdown! It's a very emotional thing, this losing/maintaining journey...it goes deeper than just the whole process...it's transforming on both the physical and mental planes.

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-AMANDA79- 2/8/2013 10:15AM

    Oh my Gosh! I have a huge smile on my face and my eyes are full of tears! So happy for you and your journey.

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How the dead see you

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

5 years ago, I started Spark...for me it was my "hail Mary" pass because before this, nothing "worked" and stuck...and I had had about enough and in fact, my Spark page was titled "Enough is enough!" It was Feb 7, 2008. Looking back, nothing "worked" or "stuck" because I wasn't ready for it to...

It just so happens that Feb 8, 2005 is the anniversary of when my brother in law passed away at the age of 27 from cancer.

So in these 2 days, you can see the juxtaposition of me being happy, and others being sad... and I should be sad too, right? but I cannot be because I see things a bit differently than others in regards to death, dying and so forth.

What I see is a guardian angel that is happy... he smiles down upon us everyday, and is proud of the fact that we (my husband and me) are good parents, we love each other unconditionally, are supportive of our extended families, and are finally healthy instead of obese because life is only a one time thing...and he liked to live, smile and be happy, so seriously, if we were not, I could see him being not so happy with us if we weren't.. it makes sense right?.

He was a person who would not want us moping and crying. Same thing goes for my mom, who I lost at the age of 16 to cancer - she loved life too, and had a wicked sense of humor.. or my godmother and aunt who had no children of her own but who I can still feel hugging me when I was 3, or my other aunt who became our stand-in mother/grandmother support and taught me so much before she passed away too.

And there are others.....today, in fact, I go to a wake of a long time friend... and he will be remembered as someone who could talk like crazy and who loved his wife, kids and grandkids with pure joy!

I ask these questions a lot to myself: How do the dead see me? How do the dead see you? Are they happy and at peace because we are happy too...because really, life is meant for the living to be happy and to experience some joy in it in between the bumps and bruises that come along the way.

I read somewhere that typically it takes 7 years to mourn the loss of someone... when I look back, it is a true statement...maybe even a bit longer for some, depending on the circumstances. It's a period of "why's" and hate for something you cannot touch... it's a period of profound sadness... even depression.

But they say that time heals all wounds, and that goes for mourning someone you love as well. It get easier to cope with over time... and the experience of one, helps with another and so on and so forth.

There is the phrase "What would Jesus do?" that is very popular among the Christian folk... it's a good question if you are into that, but if you are not... the more secular question would be "How do the dead see me?" The spirits who love me and watch over me...the guardians that speak to me in my dreams... What do they think of how I live my life? Would they be proud? or would they think that I could do better in how I make my choices?

Quick story...a cousin of mine took my wedding Thank-you pic of me and my hubby with her to a psychic....that was almost 13 years ago. She was concerned on how we were doing after my mom's passing, even though she was dead already 10 years... so showed the pic and the psychic said "They are going to be just fine." I have kept that thought in my head ever since.

Another quick story: My middle sister had the now famous "L.I. Medium" Teresa over to her house about - oh, 4 or 5 years ago... it was her 2nd time with her and I will say this, my sister is a great read (and I can say that everything the medium said has come to pass, believe it or not, but it's true). I openly admit it, I reluctantly went. I sat there, with an open, yet sceptic mind (yes, you can have both) and I was the only one in the room she didn't say anything profound and outright to. $50 gone and an hour and a half later it ended, and I was admittedly a little disappointed... why aren't I getting talked to by the dead? LOL But when I look back... I cannot really say that I am disappointed anymore.

My take on the silence from the medium is this: I am doing AOK. I have peace within myself and those that have passed on. They are around me and I know it. Heck, they pop-up in pictures all the time! My sister even pointed it out in a video! LOL I'm not calling in Ghost Hunters or anything either.. and maybe it's just in our heads, but for us.. it's comforting and reassuring.. and even how we "cope" maybe. I will take it. It's a hug from beyond, a smile and a memory... it's a sign saying that they are still here and not far from our thoughts... not forgotten like one initially thinks will happen when one first experiences a loss.

Now to the point of why I am mentioning this here in a very public weightloss forum: Did you ever notice on the BL that people have these breakdowns and revelations about things in the middle of working out with JM that have nothing to do with the workout at hand?? Deep soul wrenching stuff that they had hidden behind food and eating as a coping mechanism... and then after that... they take on a different approach to how the "game" is played. They see themselves differently... as "healed" even.

What makes that different from your journey here? The only thing would be is that maybe an underlying epiphany is waiting to be had. Something that is holding you back... something you need to admit to yourself, and maybe even to others.. to free yourself on a different plane. Just think about it.

Don't worry, I am not the pot calling the kettle black here. I get a whole lot of what people go through. Heck! I lovingly ate through my emotions for 20 years!! I have had my own revelations and worked through them... part of it is low self-esteem from childhood, another part is from my mom passing away..and there are more parts I am not mentioning, and I am sure there are more that I don't know about! To be continued, I guess....

Today is purely a food for thought blog... if you are hung up on something in the journey, maybe it's not the exercise or nutrition that needs tweaking...but your spirit that needs a good listen to. Think on it, write about it in the planner or in a blog; talk it out... it might help if the thoughts are released into the universe.

Remember: Nothing good ever came from hurting and not being heard.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESSICABOOTY 2/8/2013 3:53PM

    Your take on how the dead see us is a fascinating piece of writing. I'm going to have to read this over a few times to relish your thoughts. Keep it up, we need some deep thoughts to get us centered on what's really important.
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KANOE10 2/6/2013 8:48AM

    I agree with you about learning to get in touch with your spirit and finding trouble spots. That is a beautiful way to look at life with your guardian angels loving us. I feel my family is with me also. You seem at peace and very happy with your life. It is very inspirational that you have found your way into health and happiness.

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Comment edited on: 2/6/2013 8:52:48 AM

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REBECCATKD 2/5/2013 8:25PM

    Let's spread a little more peace and happiness to our loved ones -- both here and gone.

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SPEEDY143 2/5/2013 3:01PM

    Totally agree emoticon

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DALID414 2/5/2013 1:55PM

    You left me thinking...

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PBLITZ 2/5/2013 1:10PM

    Very deep and interesting perspective. Thanks for writing this Annie!! Your Mom must be so proud of you! xoxoxoxo

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WOLFKITTY 2/5/2013 10:34AM

    Lots of truth in there! :)

Sometimes we struggle so hard and for so long and don't really realize what the real thing is that is hindering us. (Hint: It's not the chocolate available at the office.)

Hugs!
Jocelyn

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OAKBORN 2/5/2013 10:24AM

    Thanks for planting some great "seeds for thought"!

I every so often feel my folks, my grandparents, friends who have gone on. I guess this is why I remain in a quasi state as a questioner and not a hardcore skeptic.

Hugs my friend. Blessings to you as always! emoticon

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DONNACFIT 2/5/2013 9:45AM

    Interesting blog!! Thanks for sharing!!

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Photograph blog found - good read

Sunday, February 03, 2013

I found this from a friend on FB...and it really hit a cord with me...since I was rarely in photographs prior to the last 5 years of my life...which is sad, because I mattered even when I was heavy but was too stupid to realize that moments are once in a lifetime...enjoy the blog, I hope someone gets something out of it.

myfriendteresablog.com/so-youre-feel
ing-too-fat-to-be-photographed/

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DWEXCEL 2/8/2013 6:31PM

    Wow!

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KANOE10 2/4/2013 8:21AM

    That was a good blog. She is right. Life is precious and should be enjoyed at the moment. I spent years hating to have my picture taken!


Thanks for sharing/

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DALID414 2/3/2013 2:58PM

    Omg! I emoticon The boyfriend loves taking pictures of me mid laugh (when I'm having a good time) and all I see are the wrinkles around my eyes or how fat my face looks. I always tell him to delete them emoticon
Starting today: NO MORE!!

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WOLFKITTY 2/3/2013 2:20PM

    So true.

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-AMANDA79- 2/3/2013 11:59AM

    Great blog! I've tried to explain this to a couple of my family members, but she does it so much better. I'm guilty too. Even when I like my size in a photo, I still will obsess on how big my nose is or how thin my hair looks. Its really silly.

Thanks for posting. Say cheese! emoticon

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Clarity in saying "no"

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I was just sitting here thinking... well, actually on my drive around town today to get stuff done within an hour's timespan for personal reasons... and as I popped by the office to bang out some work real fast, it occurred to me that there can really be some wonderful clarity when you say "NO - that doesn't work for me" when it actually means something....and then to actually embrace it as such.

This can be in many scenarios when you think about it... at work, at school, with family, with organizations... especially if you constantly say "yes" - "yeah sure, no problem, I will figure it out" - but the detriment comes unto yourself when you are loading yourself with extra baggage that doesn't really belong there because you "are the fixer" or "it's just easier if I do it myself".

I am the classic "Yeah, no problem, I got it" person. I have great pride in the fact that I can fix pretty much everything you throw at me. I will FIND the answer if I don't have it. I will FIX you.

And I will also beat myself up if things don't go the way things are planned... especially when the group dynamic comes into play (more heads thinking sometimes throws logic out the window - in my humble opinion).

And I will also feel bad about not being able to help as much as I can.

Hold on a second here.... about the above two scenarios I just wrote about... I am much better than I was 5 years ago... I am going to give myself credit where credit it due on that point. If you don't want to listen to reason and logic, and do what you want, go ahead - it's on you.

AHA! See? Progress!!! emoticon

Anyway, back to saying "no" - well, sometimes, it takes the unwanted and unneccassary burden off your shoulders . . sometimes it frees up time that you didn't know you had . . sometimes it empowers oneself to actually move forward instead of holding oneself back . . sometimes it will disappoint another for a minute, but bring joy to you for an afternoon! . . sometimes it saves one from oneself (and we can throw in a foodie staying-in-range reference here if you like).

Why is this thought process coming out of my brain now? Well.... my very active son is home sick for another day - and it is the busiest day of the week, that would end at 7pm on a normal day....we have been going on and on for weeks, and I am a bit tired. Well, now, he cannot go to school or anything after school because he is sick.. the answer of "no" was given to the religion teacher, the orchestra teacher, the elementary school teachers that he could not go in to school...and on my end, it was a a bit freeing to say to my friends: You guys have to figure out carpooling this week..because I can't do it.

Normally, I have no problem with pitching in...trust me, I do plenty, probably more than ... but this little hiatus was unexpected... and freeing in many ways.

Saying "no" sometimes for the right reasons is what I am really talking about I guess... Saying "No" too many times in other areas is just as bad as saying "yes"... it's the balance of both, the yin and the yang, the homeostatis of peace and understanding that really needs to come about to be.. I don't know what .. a complete being.

OK - getting deep here. But you get my drift... or at least I hope you do.

So now to saying "yes" to me again...to tracking, to drinking that water (I cannot believe I have slacked on that part!) . . to things that make me... SMILE! emoticon A walk, playing piano, reading.. soulful things. emoticon

You never know how thing are until an "Aha" moment comes along....and what I am learning, is that there are many more that I ever thought!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DWEXCEL 2/3/2013 7:55AM

    Hello My Dear Friend!

Having been your Spark Friend for sooooo many years, I know exactly what you are talking about when you describe the "old you". You have certainly come a long way, and I am so proud of you and so happy for you.

And I feel your peace.

Love ya!
Donna emoticon

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ANNIEONLI 1/30/2013 1:01PM

    It's a catch-22 Amanda!
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-AMANDA79- 1/30/2013 11:07AM

    I have trouble asking for help at work. I need help and they are there to help. What's the big deal? My mother always said, "Don't ask other people to do something for you that you can do for yourself." It stuck. LOL. I think all the people in your life that keep asking you for stuff need to learn that one!

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DALID414 1/29/2013 3:22PM

    How can you stop drinking water? I tell the boyfriend: when the apocalypse comes I'm gonna shrivel up and die (cuz I drink water ALL day).

Have a emoticon for your thoughts

Comment edited on: 1/29/2013 3:23:27 PM

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OAKBORN 1/29/2013 11:39AM

    I grok this deeply and am getting my own NO point...

And it is okay to take care of yourself.

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2JUSTME 1/29/2013 10:46AM

    I have learned over the years that there definitely is nothing wrong with saying NO! It can have a calming affect on your daily life! emoticon

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Two weeks of crazy...

Monday, January 28, 2013

and now is this the calm before the real storm???

Ugh, you guys have no idea how the full moon hit me last week! I'd say it was one of those rare collisions of choas coming together all at once that hit me in the work - family - extracurricular - school world...and I could do NOTHING but ride the wave until it passed.

emoticon was my face when I ended it and then decided to hide for the weekend!! LOL

Hey, sometimes, S-it happens like that! I don't like it to, but there it is...what are ya gonna do about it? Whine? Naaaaah....what good is that gonna do when you have absolutely no control over a situation?!? But I whine anyway emoticon I try not to, but hey, I am human....it happens! emoticon

So anyway...things here on Spark get uber quiet when things get hairy..I wish there were more hours in the day sometimes, to get to everyone in my sites when I come across them, but let's face it, somethings gotta give...and it's that. I'm sitting in a quiet house right now (I have a sick kid home today) and all I want to do really is take a nap to recharge...but instead, I am taking the few moments to give this quick update so you know that I am alive!

And let's face it, sometimes being absent from something that you KNOW works is NOT a good thing...so here I am...checking in, everyday...even if it's just a wee bit at a time. I think if I stopped sparking it would be way worse than stopping my cyclical exercising, which, by the way, should be kicking in aaaany day now...I feel it.

Weird huh? How I go through these cycles? I have gotten used to them now... things get crazy, I stop exercising - even though my brain is telling me to keep going because exercise helps stress - but do I listen? have I learned? nope. Maybe one day! I'm thinking when unicorns come and eat out of my hand on a warm winter's day. That would be the time for SURE! emoticon But I digress...tis how I am made I guess! Better than not exercising at all like BEFORE... ugh...that was a deeeezaaaaster!

Oh good god this IS a disjointed ramble blog...totally not my style.. but now you get how my brain is right now!

There is no pithy lesson here today, there is no rah rah rah sis boom bah either...just little ol' me telling you that I'm AOK and not gone...hey...maybe that is my pithy bloggidy message for today: Don't go away! Stay active on Spark! It's good for you!!!

There! You see?!?! I did it! Whew...thought I was losing my touch there for a sec!
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Ok - I just heard the kiddo cough his head off and bark like a seal at the same exact time ...time for Nurse Nightinggale to attend the patient!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGARSMOM2 1/31/2013 12:28PM

  keep on ..

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PBLITZ 1/29/2013 10:23AM

    Oh no! Sick child! emoticon
Hope he feels better soon! I'm sure you're doing an amazing job at playing Mommy the Nurse!
Glad you decided to write a blog! Not only that, but you showed by example how important it is to stay connected!
And from the looks of your spark history, you don't have to worry about getting back into the routine of exercising. It is a part of you now, you'll definitely get back into it. Hope you're not stressing over it!
TRY to get that nap in Annie! Sleep is part of being healthy!!! emoticon
Enjoy the calm and make the most of it! Treat yourself to a nice long bubble bath and maybe a mani/pedi? You deserve it, Superwoman!
xoxoxo

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NUOVAELLE 1/29/2013 2:56AM

    I swear I just saw a unicorn approaching your house! And it's a nice, warm, winter's day here, too!
emoticon
I hear you this morning! Home with two sick kids, trying to put my thoughts in order and struggling to stay connected with SP. Because we know it works, we know we need it, we know we actually want to be here. And blogs like this one, which are human and written from the heart can only reassure us that it's worth every minute of our time.
I hope your child is feeling better today.
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DALID414 1/28/2013 9:43PM

    Great lesson teach!

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KANOE10 1/28/2013 5:58PM

    We all have crazy periods like that when everything gets too difficult. You can't keep up with everyone and everything! You just took a minor detour on your healthy journey. I find the same dilemas also with time. If I am pressed for time, I might not Spark..but will try to keep up the exercise. I also know that a sign of me being stressed out, is that I do not have the energy for Spark!

I am hoping your week calms down and that your son is better.

You are right..Keep on Sparking.

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MCFITZ2 1/28/2013 3:13PM

    emoticon You can do this.

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FLGIRL1234 1/28/2013 1:54PM

    Glad you're still hanging on. Like you said, sometimes you just have to ride out the wave and then begin again.

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OAKBORN 1/28/2013 1:14PM

    Hey Sister! emoticon

I hear you! Sometimes just getting some words on the ol' blog is the lifeline that keeps you hanging on, whether you have anything fancy or important to say! emoticon

Good to know you are out there... emoticon

As folks older than me used to say, "Keep on Truckin'!" emoticon

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