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MELICHACHA's Recent Blog Entries


Friday, December 13, 2013

Alright... here's the deal.

I picked up my wedding dress yesterday.

I know! Crazy!

It is now safely stowed away in my stepdad's closet. where I won't have to move it and Tom won't sneak a peek.

The night before picking it up, I had a nightmare that it didn't fit. It was horrible. Like, it would go on, then not zip all the way up. GAH.

This nightmare did not come true, thank goodness... BUT... if I gain an ounce, this dress is toast.

Thankfully, I am already moving in the opposite direction, so all will be fine... but STILL. That dream! Oy!

ANYhoodle, I am posting the pics below of me in the dress yesterday so that I have something to compare with the actual big day. My hope is that we'll see some key differences:

- Sculpted shoulders/ arms
- A more toned back
- A thinner face

Ignore my hair (which is a hot mess) and the shoes (which are NOT the shoes I plan to wear for the wedding)... but how great is this dress?!

I didn't want to bust open the veil and all that, but here's a peek at what that will look like (as well as a closer look at the bodice detail):

So, stay tuned... this is the "before". The "after" will come on August 23rd, 2014. (Well... maybe not that exact day - I doubt there will be a lot of time for blogging on the actual day of the wedding!)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_DASH_ 4/10/2014 6:53PM

    aghhh that is the SWEETEST most beautiful wedding dress!!!! i LOVE it!!!!! congrats!!!

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PRIN1978 1/21/2014 9:16PM

    You look great! I'll be dress shopping this summer since wedding is next year. I'm trying to work out now to look half decent during trials. Looking forward to the actual wedding day photos!

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4EVERADONEGIRL 1/6/2014 4:12PM

    Such an awesome dress and you are absolutely gorgeous!! :-)

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SWEETNEENI 1/4/2014 12:27AM

    So pretty Meli! emoticon

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ANEWKIRBIE 12/27/2013 9:21PM

    Normally I just lie and say that someone's dress is beautiful but this time I actually mean it! And, its length is so stinkin' cute! You look great in it and you'll look like a babe on your big day! Congrats on finding your dress, I found that once I had that done that everything else was gravy!

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ABETTERCHERYL 12/17/2013 10:18AM

    GREAT DRESS! Seriously beautiful and you look great in it!

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STRIVING4PEACE 12/16/2013 11:31PM

    emoticon beautiful!

Comment edited on: 12/16/2013 11:31:52 PM

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SFSU-GRAD 12/16/2013 4:59PM

    Sooooo pretty! Wow!!!

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JMARIES51 12/16/2013 9:51AM

    Absolutely gorgeous, both you and the dress.

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HDHAWK 12/16/2013 9:22AM

    I love this dress! You'll probably have to take it in by August!

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/16/2013 9:17AM

    You look beautiful; dress is lovely. Wishing you many years of happiness in your upcoming marriage.

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ADARKARA 12/16/2013 9:15AM


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TEENY_BIKINI 12/16/2013 9:01AM



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JES_VARNER 12/14/2013 7:25PM

    Awesome! That dress is completely adorable!

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JTAMSYN 12/14/2013 4:06PM

    You look truly beautiful! What a stunning dress! emoticon

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LIMELITESHINES 12/14/2013 2:40PM

    Que linda, Chach. QUE LINDA. Wow. You look gorgeous. I LOVE the length of this dress on you (and I can't wait to see those shoes!!!)

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_TRIXIE_ 12/14/2013 12:32PM

    Fabulous, FABULOUS dress, Chach! I cannot wait to see it pulled together with the full hair, make up, shoes, and that stunning veil. You are going to be ON FIRE!

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JAWATKINS 12/14/2013 11:50AM

    You look amazing! Can't wait to see the pictures from your wedding day. The dress (and you) are beautiful!

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KEEPGOINGEMILY 12/13/2013 9:43PM

    That's so pretty! You look great now, I'm sure you will be STUNNING on your wedding day! Congrats :)

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IDICEM 12/13/2013 7:51PM

  Beautiful bride and beautiful dress!

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TERRI289 12/13/2013 7:04PM and the Dress!!!

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LOVINGLIFE43 12/13/2013 6:36PM

    The dress looks beautiful and so do you!

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RAPUNZEL53 12/13/2013 6:15PM

  You look very beautiful! Good Luck!

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FITWITHIN 12/13/2013 6:06PM

    That's a beautiful dress. emoticon

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DIPDAB2011 12/13/2013 6:00PM

    Beautiful emoticon

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SEDONACAT 12/13/2013 5:46PM

    You look beautiful! I love the dress.

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CIPHER1971 12/13/2013 5:43PM


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SAMMI-SAM 12/13/2013 5:34PM

    U look beautiful!!! emoticon

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Scenes From a Run

Monday, December 02, 2013

This morning should have been rough.

Last night, I had to finally break it to my mom and grandma that we're moving away in a little over a month. It did not go as easily as I'd hoped. Mom got very emotional. By the end of the evening, everybody was okay, but I was pass-out-on-the-couch drained by the time I got home.

Earlier in the day, Tom and I had been talking about positive changes that we want to be a part of our move. One thing I had said was I want to commit to morning workouts. It's something I have always wanted to do, but with my work schedule here in NYC, have not been able to pull off. At the end of that conversation, I told Tom that I planned to go for a run the following (this) morning.

There are a few reasons the run was a challenge, the biggest being that I am still a pretty sucky runner. I know, I know - it takes time, not everybody has the easiest time with every kind of exercise, blah blah. I get it. But I have to be honest with myself and say that running has always been challenging for me. Even as a kid, I'd rather skip for a mile than run 200 feet. I can do a dance marathon, HOURS of Zumba... but running is just... ugh.

I have started C25K on a couple of occasions. The most recent was this summer, and I actually was doing VERY well with it... but then life and my work schedule got in the way, I had to get my wisdom teeth out, and that came to a crashing halt.

Add to that mental/ emotional exhaustion from last night's affair, and the dreary, gray cold weather (I have never run in cold - my last, successful run was in 90+ degrees, and I liked it that way... what can I say - sweating is a motivator for me!), and the odds were against me.

But, I did it.

I dragged my weary butt out of bed, put on my yoga pants, layered up on top (even with the neoprene waistband sweat-inducing thingie!), hat, gloves, sneaks, earbuds, and I was out the door. I didn't run the whole time, but I didn't use the C25K app either. I just zoned out to music (90's pop was effective today) and listened to my body, interspersing running with walking. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually ran, and that my tolerance for it hadn't completely fizzled.

I completed 3.22 miles in 45 minutes. Not wonderful, but certainly not horrible, all things considered.

The scenery helped.

I often describe where I live to people as NYC, but with lower cost of living and a prettier view. Like I said, it was gray this morning, but this gives you an idea of what I mean:

That big building out toward the end is the Freedom Tower (where the WTC once stood).

Midtown - you can see the Empire State Building in this one.

More midtown.

The view is one of the things I miss most when we move away, and that will probably be even more true now that I've started running.

I'll have to take an evening run soon so I can share some pictures of the skyline at night - it's pretty awesome.

Anyhow, goal for this morning accomplished. I'm more "with it" now, and I think that's in large part thanks to the run giving the the opportunity to get my head straight. Maybe I'll even go do a class tonight...


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_TRIXIE_ 12/4/2013 7:59AM

    Proud of you for getting the am run in!

Just take it one run at a time. Don't worry about what your week of workouts are going to look like because that will stress you out and you'll start looking at your calendar and think "I might have 40 minutes tomorrow instead of the 30 I have today, so I'll wait..." Or maybe that's just me. :)

One run at a time.

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4EVERADONEGIRL 12/3/2013 12:19PM

    Way to go!!! I'm sure you will miss NYC when you move, but there's no better way to check out your new city then by running those streets! :-)

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LOWCARBRENEE 12/2/2013 1:14PM


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JES_VARNER 12/2/2013 11:38AM

    You may not have the same views after your move, but the weather should be more run-inspiring, right? Good for you for sticking with it! :-)


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By Popular Demand: The Engagement Story

Friday, November 29, 2013

Whenever I tell someone I'm engaged, the question of how he did it comes up... so, here you have it. It's long... but you'll understand why soon enough!


Every year, I try to come up with something unexpected and awesome as Tom's Christmas gift. As much as possible, I like to give Tom an "experience". One year, it was a flight lesson. Another, it was a trip to Vegas for Super Bowl weekend. So, for Christmas 2012, I felt like I had to keep the tradition going. After much research and deliberation, I locked up a hang gliding experience and a chance to take a couple of runs in an F1 racecar. I was feeling pretty awesome about my gift selections. I also picked up a little something for him to unwrap (a sweater, I think), since we tend to do the holiday gift thing twice - once Christmas morning with the Brookes family, then again Christmas evening with the Campa household (my mom's side of the family).

The last Sunday before Christmas, I decided to head to a Zumba class in Edgewater. As I left, Tom asked me to please hurry back, because he wanted to catch a spin class in Hoboken and would need our trusty chariot to get there. I did as he asked, and he left for Spin... then was still gone two and a half hours later. I called, then received a text back, that he had decided to get in a swim after class. This wasn't odd, so I thought nothing of it and went on with my day.

(That anecdote will come back into play later...)

Fast forward to Christmas morning. After a fun night at the Bertoni residence (another holiday tradition), I was excited to share what I'd picked up for everybody, and most of all, to tell Tom about his gifts. We went around the table, I announced Tom's gifts, and all was good. I noticed that I hadn't received so much as a card from Tom, but I wrote it off. We still had that evening to go, so no reason to fixate on anything... he couldn't have forgotten to even just write me a note, right?

The day goes on, we travel northward, and we celebrate with the Campa clan... gifts are exchanged. I tell mom about what I got for Tom. She asks what he got me. I shrug. She stays quiet.

Now, I wasn't bummed because I hadn't gotten "something"... it was more that nothing was even said - I had put a lot of thought and consideration into a thoughtful plan that I knew was special... and here I felt a little silly. I could have been handed just a card, but if thought went into what was written therein, it would have been enough.

Tom noticed my crestfallen demeanor, and said offhandedly, "We'll talk about your gift later."
O...kaaaay? Weird. Whatever.

So, Christmas came and went. We went to King Sauna (a wonderful Korean bath house that's not too far from home) a day or two later, and Tom told me that was part of my gift. A spa trip is always great - I didn't argue.

Another day went by, and Tom informed me that my Christmas gift was actually coming on New Year's Eve - he had planned a day/ evening out for us, including dinner at Le Bernardin in NYC, a restaurant I had been obsessing about for a while. We got all dressed up and headed into the city in the afternoon, so we could enjoy the relatively warm weather and walk the Highline. We walked quite a bit, with Tom constantly making me switch from one arm to the other - I thought it was funny, but whatever...

After a good while and a LONG walk, we decided to hop off in Chelsea and grab some sangria at El Quijote. (Tom was clearly doing his best to be on my good side - sangria is always a safe bet with me.) We had a few glasses... and before we knew it, it was almost time for our reservation. We grabbed a cab, and he rattled off an address... downtown.

This was wrong. We were in Chelsea. Le Bernardin was definitely in the opposite direction of what he'd just told the driver. I asked him what was up, and he said he wanted us to go have a drink at a place his buddy had recommended - it was really cool, and he wanted me to check it out - not to worry, we would make it up to Le Bernardin in time. From what I recall, we supposedly had a 6:30 reservation. It was 6:20. I was happily a few glasses of sangria in and in no mood to stress about this, so I sat back and let the driver do his thing.

Eventually, we pulled up and exited the cab in front of a place that had scaffolding erected in front of it, so I couldn't see where exactly we were heading. Tom led the way, pushing through a heavy, wood door, and we walked into the most incredible space - a carriage house with vaulted ceilings, filled with twinkling lights and black and silver balloons, and fitted with a long bar. There was a huge fireplace to one side, and a massive Christmas tree past the end of the bar.

Between the space itself and the festive holiday atmosphere (and the sangria... lest we forget the sangria!), I was pretty speechless. The hostess warmly greeted us and took our coats, and we made our way to the bar. We were immediately each given a glass of champagne, and Tom said that he had a confession to make - that he wasn't sure if we were going to make the reservation at Le Bernardin, so he had made TWO reservations for the evening... one at Le Bernardin, and one at this place, which he had on excellent authority as being fantastic. He asked if I was alright with our having dinner where we were.

At this point I was stilll taking the place in - it was really stunning - and yes, of course I was fine with it! But where were we? Tom nudged a business card over to me, and I saw that we were at One if by Land, Two if by Sea. I immediately smiled. This was a place that I knew was special to my mom and stepfather - they had celebrated anniversaries here, and I had heard how wonderful it was. Tom had obviously given this evening a lot of thought. The Christmas thing now made sense.

A short while later we were escorted to our table, and proceeded to have a flawless meal - from the service to the food and wine, everything was impeccable.

It was time for dessert, and in walked the hostess with a tray topped with a silver lid. Over the course of the evening, we'd had a small army of waitstaff serving us, but now here was the hostess bringing something out? This was odd. Something was up. She placed the platter on the table between us, and explained that it was something special, complliments of the chef. I looked up at Tom, and he told me to open it.

I started to hyperventilate.

I lifted the dome lid to find a picture from our very first trip, when we went to Walt Disney World, just short of a month after we'd met.

The picture was propped up on something (the box that contained the ring), and surrounded by white rose petals.

I can't tell you everything Tom said at this point... partly because I won't do it justice, and partly because I was hysterically crying (happily, but still). Poor Tom must have been on his knee, waiting for me to calm down enough to be able to hear him for...well... I don't even know how long.

I guess I'm just grateful he didn't give up on waiting!

Add to all of this that over the course of my hysterics, every other female in the room started crying. I'm relatively sure that we got a few guys in trouble that evening.

Now... remember the story about how Tom disappeared on the Sunday before Christmas? He never went to the gym. He had gone to see my mom and Bill to ask for my hand... and then did the same and met my dad. EVERYBODY was complicit. EVERYBODY knew. This includes Ibis, who was set to meet up with us later on and head to a party at my aunt's house with us. I have to admit that I was/ am impressed that everybody managed to keep the secret.

To this day, the biggest mystery to me is just how Tom got that picture out of our place. I notice EVERYTHING, particularly in the kitchen... and that picture's home is eye level on our refrigerator door. He'll never explain how he pulled it off... and I'm just fine with that.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JES_VARNER 12/2/2013 9:54AM

    That is such a beautiful story! Congrats, sounds like you have a wonderfully thoughtful and considerate fiance!

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_TRIXIE_ 11/29/2013 7:24PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Love this story. He's definitely a keeper, Chach--and so are you! Congrats!

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ABETTERCHERYL 11/29/2013 6:59PM

    What a wonderfully great story Chach!! His proposal was so romantic and personal!

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SATCHMO99 11/29/2013 3:59PM

    Wow, that's amazing! Congratulations x

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What Am I, Nuts?!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

*tap tap*

Is this thing on?

*tap tap*

Sooooooo, yeah. Hi. Been a while, huh?

I won't rehash everything that's happened between when last we chatted and now -heck, you can get that off my freshly-updated profile page!

Go ahead... I'll wait...

Back? Good.

So, yes... planning a wedding, planning a move back down the Eastern Seaboard... not stressful at all, right? Nah. Yet here I am, back again. I started tracking my food intake/ exercise as of yesterday (Tuesday, 11/26).

Yes, I started tracking 2 days before Thanksgiving.

Those of you with common sense are probably asking, "Why in the name of Benedict Cumberbatch would you ever do something stupid?!"

My response: To prove to myself that I CAN.

My rationale (wonky as it may be) is that if I can keep myself in relative check - enjoy all the holiday foodstuffs in moderation, not consume 1.5 bottles of wine on my own, not end up feeling like a stuffed bird myself, etc. - on the biggest eating day of the year, then I have the capability to be a freaking champ for the rest of the year. With Thanksgiving covered, any other average day will be cake! (Low fat, low sugar cake... but cake, nonetheless.) Go hard, or go home, right?

Am I crazy for thinking this way? (I won't be offended if you say I am.) emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MELICHACHA 11/29/2013 12:00PM

    Thank you!!!!

I'm proud to say that I managed to stay within my calorie goal yesterday, wine, a little pie, and all!

Hope you had a fabulous holiday!!!

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JUSTME9898 11/27/2013 2:42PM

    I think you have the perfect attitude. Hope the wedding is all you want it to be. When you handle Thanksgiving then the wedding will be easy street.

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Here we go again.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Yes, this is what I just updated onto my profile... but I wanted to make sure you all saw it. Sneaky, I know.


Itís only when I re-write things like this that I realize how INSANE a year Iíve hadÖ but any chance to recognize opportunity for improvement is a good one, right?

So, for anybody joining the show a little late, hereís the Readerís Digest version from the beginning:

- I started up on Spark in July 2008, while working for an internet startup in NYC and life was good. I got on the horse, started exercising regularly, tracking my meals, yadda yadda. All good stuff.

- January 2009 I was laid off with 85% of my colleagues. That. Just. Sucked. I probably donít need to tell you about how despite my wanting to make a negative into a positive, being unemployed during an economic depression was not good for my psyche or my waistline. Boo.

- Spring 2009 things look up Ė the Mister and I move to Raleigh, NC and I start up with a new job that has me working from home. This allows me to commit more time to working out and have healthier meals because Iím home and not counting on convenience foods. I drop mad poundage and even get certified and begin teaching Zumba at the local Y. At this point, life is good.

- And then it all blows up. November 2010 Iím laid off AGAIN. (Double-you-tee-eff, right?!) And there are NO jobs in RaleighÖ and teaching alone sadly wasnít going to be enough. All that combined with family illness led us to decide to move back to the NYC Metro area.

- I start a new job in NYC January 2011. Great people, cool officeÖ but CRAZY stress, nutsy hours, and weíre still figuring out our new living situation. All in all, a recipe for disaster health-wise. Yes, I was walking more, but when youíre also eating more, things donít offset quite the way you want them to. Yes, I gained. I didnít gain even close to everything I lost back (thank God), but just enough to be annoyed. Boo, again.

- But now, yay. Why yay? Because in October I got my dream job. Because Iím back working in the education industry, working on a salary instead of a draw, and working for a company that actually gives a fig about its people. Iím working from home, and therefore again have the flexibility to exercise the way I should and eat the way I should. Did I mention that I found a studio just a 9 block walk away where I can do my Zumba and even try out belly dance, kickboxing, etc? Yep. All true.

So, yes.

Anti-BLAH 4 life.

Iím back, baby.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNINGOLLIE 11/23/2011 1:13PM


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SWEETNEENI 11/23/2011 6:27AM

    emoticon emoticon

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_TRIXIE_ 11/21/2011 12:29PM

    Welcome back, beautiful! Glad to hear things are looking up for you and that you are again working from home and in a career you love. Things are looking good!

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DARKFAERY 11/20/2011 7:59PM

    CHACH!!!!!!!! I missed you!!!!!!!!!

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SHEILA1505 11/17/2011 7:21AM

    What a roller coaster ride! Let's hope all continues well for you :)

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_MSAPRIL17_ 11/16/2011 3:01PM

    CHACH!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOO!!!!!!

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CREATINGAMANDA 11/16/2011 2:41PM

    Welcome back!

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TIFFANIE150 11/16/2011 2:23PM

    So happy to hear about you being back!! So glad to see you again:) Can't wait to hear all your new adventures!

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TERRI289 11/14/2011 11:23PM

    emoticon back!! Good to see you again!!

Good luck with the new job!! And I bet you love belly dancing!! emoticon

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CALLIKIA 11/14/2011 3:06PM

    Yay!! So glad to hear you're back in your element!

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ZORAHGAIL 11/14/2011 1:17PM

    Welcome back & here's to rockin' it!

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BLONDEAMBITION3 11/14/2011 1:06PM

    Wow it sounds like things are going really well right now for you! Congratulations on the job girl! Let us know how the belly dancing goes. :)

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MDMNINA 11/14/2011 11:56AM

    You have had such a rough go this past year! I am thinking of you. It is good to see you posting again. emoticon

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LIMELITESHINES 11/14/2011 11:43AM

    LOB LOB LOB LOB you!!! So happy about your new job!! I can only imagine how happy you are! (though I really wanted to take some of those NYC jobs you were posting. I was hoping for "part time personal assistant to full time richy with some ridiculous salary" but it never popped up. teehee.
Miss you!! So glad to see yo face! *SMOOCH*

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POISONGIRL999 11/14/2011 11:23AM

    What a rollercoaser! Glad you were ablet o rise above it. Truly inspirational.

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