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Newtown, CT is my home

Friday, December 21, 2012

My home town for the last 30 years has been Newtown, CT, a small, quiet, picturesque New England town, where nothing out of the ordinary ever happens. I have worked in the school system here for 12 years, the first two years at Sandy Hook School where this horrific tragedy took place. Two of my friends were at work at SHS on 12/14/12, when our world here changed forever. Teachers I worked with years ago, still work at the school. Six of the children in our school lost innocent little siblings on that horrible Friday morning. I too was at school, a few miles away, in lock down, wondering what report was true, and hoping, praying, begging that the last report we heard, the one with the number 26, was a big mistake. This just couldn't be right, the hospitals reported only three casualties had arrived, where were the rest of the children?

Well. we all know what happened, there's no need to repeat what newscasters all over the country, all over the world have been reporting. But what many people don't know is how our town responded to this horrific act. We came together in LOVE, that's what we did. And although we were angry, we came together in PEACE. We reached out to each other for comfort, to offer our services, to just sit and pray together....and we have begun the healing process. We created memorials, we made ribbons to wear in support of the Sandy Hook School community, we brought food, we found another school to send those Sandy Hook students to when they return to school, we have been STRONG...together.

The media has grouped this senseless act with Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora and even 9/11, and for all of us everywhere, our world has been rocked once again.

Please take a moment of silence or offer a prayer for the families of those directly impacted, for the first responders who should never have had to witness something so horrific, for the brave teachers who gave their lives to protect their students, and for those of us in the community who are starting to pick up the pieces and help our community to heal.


Mary Ann

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIPPICHICK1 12/26/2012 11:17AM

    I'm so sorry MaryAnn. It's so tragic. When I first heard the news I started reading it outloud to my husband and he asked me to stop. He couldn't take it and neither could I. Sometimes I lose faith in humanity for other things like destrying the earth for profit and this was one of those times I was stuck dumb by the violence of one person. I think we ought to melt the guns. All of them.

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DDOORN 12/26/2012 12:18AM

    The teachers and other staff of the school were true heroes not just during this tragedy but day-in and day-out. I'm hoping at least some good can come from such horrific events in the form of raising folk's awareness of all that our public servants give back to our society. There has been far too many efforts to short-change teachers and many other public servants on the part of "right to work" and other groups.

I've been part of a Pinterest group who've been sharing many resources, suggestions and editorials related to gun control:

Keeping everyone affected by the senseless loss of life due to guns in my thoughts and prayers!


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BIGPAWSUP 12/24/2012 10:08AM

    Thank you for sharing your story.

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KTISFOCUSED 12/24/2012 9:09AM

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I've been praying for all the people who lost their lives as well as their family and friends. I am just so sorry you had to be part of such a terrible, senseless, unspeakable tragedy. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you and yours.

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CARRAND 12/23/2012 9:10PM

    I am so sorry for all of you. What a horrible tragedy.

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HDHAWK 12/23/2012 8:08PM

    I can't truly comprehend what your town is going through but it's obvious from what we see on TV that you have come together to help one another. I'm a teacher and my husband is a firefighter. I've thought many times about what the first responders are going through and will continue to go through after seeing what they did. My heart breaks for everyone who has been affected by this tragedy. Bless all of you.

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CHANGINGELAINE 12/23/2012 7:46PM

    Mary Ann I had no idea you were from Newtown or that you were a teacher. I can not imagine what your town is going through but I am glad to know that you are together working through this tragedy.
My prayers go out to you and your community. May you all find peace even during this extremely difficult time.

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TWO-TOO-MUCH 12/22/2012 9:59PM

    Mary Ann, the whole world wept for you on Dec 14 -- I don't think I knew Newtown was your home. I'm so desperately sorry for the unspeakable tragedy that has befallen your beautiful town. It's still impossible to get my head around the horror of it all. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all of Newtown over what will surely be a long period of healing. Wishing you and all around you...peace.

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ILUVFIFI 12/22/2012 2:34PM

    From half a world away we are so deeply affected..wounded by what happened.. We cried and prayed for you all and will continue to do so! .. I can not begin to imagine how you must feel.. even now it is still incomprehensible..

Stay strong! :)

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SLENDERELLA61 12/22/2012 12:42PM

    Shanti, Shanti - peace, peace. I know shanti is the Marathi (maybe Hindi, too??) word for peace and probably why you chose your screen name. Peace is so precious. Such a tragedy. I had no idea that you were so close to this tragedy. Thank you for sharing your perspective and stressing the strength of your community. My prayers are with you and all those touched by this tragedy. Continue to be strong. Know the whole country is with you.

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BAKER1009 12/22/2012 7:25AM

    Mary Ann,
I had no idea this is where you lived, or I would have come by to check on you sooner! I am so sorry for everything you are going through right now. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you, and everyone in Newtown, and everyone affected by this tragedy.
If there is anything I can do to help you, please let me know!!


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PAMNANGEL 12/22/2012 12:14AM


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HEALTHIERMAMA57 12/21/2012 8:05PM

    We are so terribly sorry for you loss. It was /is an absolutely horrific event. I am from a small town in New York state that had a hostage situation at our school, where I work. Although there is always terror and fear, and we will never forget the horror that we were fortunate enough to survive. I was amazed at how our town banned together to help us, it was incredible. This horrible situation in our town brought the town close, we protected each other, we fed each other, we bonded in ways others cannot imagine. Bless you all, stay strong for each other, be there to help each other, hold each other, listen to each other and most important, hug each other

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SBITNER1 12/21/2012 7:49PM

    I am so sorry for your community's horrific loss.

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PATTOMMC3 12/21/2012 7:48PM

    Bless your in our city of Altoona PA a man walked out of his house with a gun and randomly shot and killed 3 people...shot and injured several cops...then was killed himself by the cops...this small city rarely sees anything of this magnatude....all we can do is pray

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CHOCOHIPPO 12/21/2012 7:47PM

    I am so for the loss of those fine people, those innocent children, those fractured families. I'm thrilled that the community has come together in strength and peace. I hope that in time the healing will begin. You sound rightfully proud of your community. Stay strong and know that we observed a moment of silence today at work to honor those slain at Sandy Hill and prayed for those who survived.

Thank you for sharing your perspective.



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Official 2012 BEFORE picture

Monday, January 02, 2012

The start of 2012 has given me renewed hope, renewed determination, and renewed trust in the universe.

I spent part of last night watching one of my favorite people Wayne Dyer speak about The Power of Intention. I love this man. I need to have this information etched on my brain, have access to it 24 hours a day, or at least take time and start my day with the daily intention to connect. Yep, that's all I have to do is make the choice. So, that's what I'm doing today. I'm committing to reconnect with source, with the universe, with God, with whatever amazing power holds my space on this planet. And I'm going to get the job done...I'm going to be the most amazing person I can be. End of story. Namaste, Mary Ann

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 7/9/2012 6:30PM

    Right on!!


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Your blog is a great inspiration!
Thanks for sharing :-)

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TWO-TOO-MUCH 1/3/2012 7:25PM

    Good girl, Mary Ann! I love Dyer, too, and have many of his DVDs. You look great! What a great idea to post a pic on January can SO do this!
I'm cheering for YOU!

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HIPPICHICK1 1/3/2012 9:45AM

    Go get 'em GRRL!!!!

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2DANCEAGAIN 1/2/2012 8:58PM

    Oh I love Wayne Dyer! Was fortunate enough to get to see him speak live!! I had forgotten that, thanks for the reminder! I'll join you in that venture!
The pic is a great idea, I may use that idea too!
Affirming a healthy, happy, peaceful, prosperous year for us all!

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-GOT2FINISH- 1/2/2012 5:44PM

    You have the power!
I'll be here to cheer you on!

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BAKER1009 1/2/2012 1:40PM

    You're already looking good! I know you can do whatever it is you want to do this year!
Great idea on a picture for the new year...I might have to steal that idea!

Have an awesome day!!

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CRYSTAL8488 1/2/2012 12:22PM

    Best of luck to you on your journey! I hope this year brings you great things. emoticon :)

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

This time of year gets to me thinking about what I've accomplished in the past year, and also about what goals I am going to set for myself in 2012. Not those "January 9 and their over" type of goals, but good healthy life changes, changes that make my proud of who I am.

So, first of all, and this has to come first.....


Actually, this is probably my only goal, all the other stuff that I'll list below will probably fit nicely in this one goal. Is this bet it is, 'cause if I don't take care of me...NO ONE WILL. And, when I take really good care of me, everyone benefits.

How am I going to accomplish this, you might ask (or not)?

Well, I'm going take MORE time out of my day to do the things that make me feel like I belong here on this planet, and that I serve a purpose. Yep, simple as that...simple but will it be EASY? This is not the time set aside for me to do the laundry, make the phone calls, pay the bills, do the shopping, make the lunches, cook dinner...oh no, no....this is just the time for me to BE ME. For me to be embraced by the being that is Mary Ann.

For starters, I will commit to the following:
1. getting to at least two yoga classes each week
2 volunteer more than every other week at the soup kitchen (what's another 2 hours on a Monday afternoon)
3. take MORE TIME to get in touch with my spiritual side
4. attend more meetings (ask, if you really want to know)
5. make healthy choices 85% of the time (every freakin' day). So at 1200 calories, that leaves me 180 calories that don't have to be PERFECT.
6. work on the PERFECTIONISM defect, yuck
7. continue with trainer twice a week
8. add a day of strength training on my own (...duh, I know how to do it)
9. commit to cardio 5 times a week
10. try kickboxing (did I really say that?)
11. look myself in the mirror every morning and commit to being the best I can be
12. blog on Spark, at least once a week (to hold myself accountable)
13. oh yeah, get rid of those 25 pounds that have been following me around for the last few years.
14. get into the best shape I can between now and next July so I will be ready to make a difference to the people of Liberia (this is a long story...but my goal is Africa or bust!!!!!
15. do not let fear stop me from doing whatever I want to do

I'm sure I'll think of more to add to this list, but I'd say what I have listed fits nicely into the category of LOVING MYSELF MORE.

The bracelet I've worn for years is inscribed with the following:
May all beings be peaceful
May all beings be happy,
May all beings be safe,
May all beings awaken to the light of their true nature
May all beings be free.

Happy New Year everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 1/3/2012 10:37AM

    Terrific goals!

Loving ourselves...sorta like the final frontier...SO TOUGH for many of us, yours truly included! No self-bashing allowed!

Your plans for Liberia adventures sound most exciting...!


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HIPPICHICK1 1/3/2012 9:43AM

    A GREAT way to start off 2012.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TWO-TOO-MUCH 12/31/2011 11:16PM

    I share your goal, Mary Ann -- I know you'll attain it from that beautiful light that shines from within. Happy, Happy New Year, my friend. ♥

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HAPPYWALKER 12/31/2011 7:51PM

    Loving yourself more is the best goal, and you're so right that once you do that, everyone benefits. Loving yourself is the opposite of selfishness. When you love yourself, you have more love to give to others. Loving yourself defeats envy. If everyone on the planet truly loved themselves, we would have a world of peace.

Your bracelet sounds beautiful. I have a silver cuff bracelet with this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote inscribed on it "what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us".

Happy New Year and namaste, Mary Ann emoticon emoticon

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It Works if You Work It!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Good morning everyone. I'm feeling positive today and today believe I can really do this plan and be successful. I am also starting a workshop on the Sugar and Food Addiction team entitled Sugar...the Hidden Eating Disorder. I am really looking forward to delving deep and getting some answers as to why my issues around the food still plague me after all these years. I will be required to go deep inside and really search for reasons why I do what I do (or should I say did what I did), even when I don't want to. I thought I was really looking forward to this journey, but have been putting off starting the workshop. I have read through the materials for the last week and then....I decide to postpone or avoid taking the first step, always with a "good" excuse. I know that recovery requires doing the footwork, but I still stay stuck. What am I afraid of? What is the worst that can happen? What will I learn about myself? So, regardless of my feelings or my fears, I commit to picking a quiet time tonight, grabbing my journal, and getting down to business. I am reminded of a slogan from a twelve step fellowship that says....."It works if you work it", so that's what I'm going to do.
Mary Ann

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSISIS 10/12/2011 4:18PM

    Yep yep sugars and grains - I just loaded Wheatbelly on my Kindle - excited to see what it says - oh and Try Primal vs Paleo

I am more a Mark Sisson girl but tend to low carb it as that works well for me emoticon

And you are right on! It only works when you work it!!

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DDOORN 7/25/2011 12:46PM

    Sugars and grains...YEESH do they still have the POWER to DERAIL me!

Curious to hear more about your findings...!

Climbing back from a long slide...thx so much for the "add!"


Comment edited on: 7/25/2011 12:47:18 PM

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JAMJOJAM 5/12/2011 1:14AM

    I have been doing the workshop and it has really inspired and motivated me. ElizRN is a great teacher and leader. Best of luck in your journey to a healthy lifestyle. Have a great week. emoticon

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LDY_ALI_79 2/14/2011 12:50PM

    I love this blog title! emoticon
I'm about to start reading this book called "Made to Crave" that focuses your deepest desire with God & not food. I wish you nothing but the best! Keep me posted!

Take care~

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HIPPICHICK1 2/12/2011 2:01PM

    That's great news!!

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TRAINER_T 2/11/2011 9:16AM


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MONTY68 2/10/2011 6:37PM

    Hi Mary Ann
Awesome blog. You are doing the right thing in determining and in the change of old subconscious beliefs that have hindered your journey. In the years I have been in Florida, we have had workshops and I have seen so many people finding and changing those old beliefs and habits that have been problems. I believe you are ready and you will find success in your search.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 2/10/2011 2:45PM

    I totally agree: in fact, it only works if you work it.

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TWO-TOO-MUCH 2/10/2011 2:29PM

    Oh my goodness! Read my last blog! :-) We must both have the same fears. Great minds, and all that, of course.

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BAKER1009 2/10/2011 12:56PM

    That slogan is so true! Good for you on everything you are doing! You can do this, but you already know that :)

Have a great day!

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MIATIA1 2/10/2011 12:36PM

    Good for you!!! Nothing ventured, Nothing gained..... emoticon

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What if.....?????

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Tomorrow is weigh day and although I have been on track ALL WEEK, I'm afraid to get on the scale. I don't consider myself a negative person, actually quite the opposite, but I am feeling negative this morning.

The what ifs are making me crazy. What if I didn't lose? What if I did everything right and nothing happened? What if I gained? What if this program really won't work for me? What will I do? Will I be disappointed and confused, of course I will? Will I be doubting my ability to do this, yes I will? Will I self-sabotage like I have done in the past...NOT THIS TIME, I WON'T! I WON'T, I WON'T, I WON'T. Nor will I reward myself with food if I am happy with the number on the scale, 'cause I can go there as well.

So, we'll see tomorrow at 6:30 a.m.. WHATEVER IT IS, IT IS!!!!! Thanks Spark friends for all your support. I am so grateful I met you all, you help me more than you know. Namaste.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 2/9/2011 3:51AM

    Now, this is easy for me to say, and not always so easy to do, but: try to keep it in perspective. First, weight is just one of several factors by which you can gauge your progress. Second, like taking a test, it's to help you determine how well you're doing and where you may need to change things. It's just a tool.

emoticon emoticon

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MONTY68 2/8/2011 11:09PM

    Hi MaryAnn
Great blog, I think a lot of readers will recognize the what ifs. You said that you had a great week but worried about the scale tomorrow. To me, you need to recognize how well you are doing, being successful in life. The scale will show what it will and I am not going to guess, but regardless of the numbers you had a great week. The more you believe that, the more success you will have.
I will congratulate you tonight on a successful week

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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STEINERMOM 2/8/2011 4:52PM

  Be brave when facing your fears. No matter what the number on the scale, you will have accomplished something by overcoming your fears.

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SHERLYN-WILL 2/8/2011 1:48PM

    GO read my post to you on our team! I told you 'JUST HOW THE COW ATE THE CABBAGE" LOL


YOU know you know you know in your heart, in your HEAD, IN YOUR SOUL...
THIS plan does work for you!

It was such a lifesaver back when you first started it and somewhere you and me both got off plan! (geez!) You couldn't have paid us to have done that when we started, REMEMBER? LOL

YOU have one fantastic week... use it to gain momentum, to gain confidence, to feel better, to STAY on TOP of the WORLD! (your words)

Don't keep having to hit the restart! THAT just plain ole' sucks!

Doesn't it?

Look back 1 week from now.. and scream with excitement that YES YOU ARE ON PLAN YOU are YOU ARE!!!

Say "I Got This" and put some proof behind it!

Love you,

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SOUL_LOVE 2/8/2011 11:13AM's always less painful than we imagine it to be. Don't let the number on the scale control your emotions. You are more than your body. You are a beautiful spirit, no matter what that number is.


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TWO-TOO-MUCH 2/8/2011 10:18AM

    Mary Ann, I'm betting that you have a stellar week on the scales! And even if the numbers are disappointing, focus on just how wonderful you've felt all week -- how empowered you've been -- just knowing that you've honored your commitment! Eventually, the scales will move, too. I weigh myself daily as sometimes those .2 lb movements are what keep me going. :) I'm betting you have a great weigh-in, and if not, well you've surely had a GREAT week!

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GETBACK2GOOD 2/8/2011 10:15AM

    Can't wait to cheer for you!! You got this!!!

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