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Our trip to NH

Monday, August 18, 2014

My DH and I took my boys up to Jefferson NH for a trip to Santa's Village. Has anyone ever been there? I love that place so much! It is such a great atmosphere with Christmas music playing, elves everywhere, adorable little cottages to play in (schoolhouse, church, elves house, etc...), fun rides, Santa, very pleasant employees and the smell of fresh baked gingerbread throughout. If anyone has kids or grandkids under 12 I highly recommend it. Plus, it's reasonably priced. So we all had a wonderful time. This was our second trip there and I think we will be making at least 1 more before they are "too old for it". Lucky for us it is only a 4 hour car ride away.

The best part is being surrounded by all the beautiful mountains. Something we do get get to see where we are from. The grounds of the lodge we stayed at were so beautiful. I will post a pic of the yard. We were able to enjoy it a bit (when it wasn't raining) but couldn't totally relax because they warned us to keep an eye open for bears. Not something us city folk are too comfortable with. Lol!

On the way home we visited the Polar Caves. My boys had such a blast traversing these caves. I knew they would love that. It was the most beautiful place to be- up high in the middle of the mountains and forest with the river running through. It was so nice to take in that much nature. We are used to the ocean and truly love that but this was a lovely change. We has to do so much climbing between the stairs and the caves. I am proud of myself I was able to do the caves with my family. Claustrophobia and all, I wanted them to see a mommy who participates! My thighs were literally shaking and are still sore today! I was reminded more than once how out of shape I feel this summer. I am so looking forward to getting back to the gym and working this body!

This is the pic of the backyard of our lodge. I will post more pics when I get them onto the computer.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MALAMI518 8/26/2014 7:44PM

    That is beautiful! We drove through New Hampshire on our vacation to Maine about the same time that you were gone. We aren't near the ocean, so we enjoyed seeing that, but the mountains really drew us in. The Polar Caves sound neat. Unfortunately, mine are probably all to grown for Santa's Village, but I think I would love it.

Great job with all the climbing and walking and participating! Way to go!!!

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NHES220 8/26/2014 5:08PM

    Sounds like a fun place! I know what you mean about the caves. We toured a coal mine in Ireland and the conditions these guys worked in, I never could have done it!

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NISSANGIRL 8/19/2014 10:09AM

    I would totally love Santa's village!!! sounds like u guys had a wonderful trip!!! love the background picture!!! thanks for sharing your trip with us, wish I could have gone!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TREE57 8/18/2014 6:01PM

    Sounds like a beautiful place. There is something similar to this Christmas village in the North Pole. It was very quaint and cheerful. Loved having the Christmas=theme in the summer time.

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STEVIEBEE569 8/18/2014 4:09PM

    Sounds like you had a great time!

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MRSP90X 8/18/2014 3:22PM

    What a lovely vacation!! I am so glad you had a wonderful time and that you didn't sit on the sidelines and participated!! That is my goal as well. Can't wait to see more pics! Your pic here looks right side up too, lol! emoticon

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KAREN-IS-HERE 8/18/2014 11:30AM


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MSHEL7 8/18/2014 11:01AM

    Wow, what a pretty place and sounds like oh, so much fun. Wish we lived near there, that would be a cool place to go. I'm so proud of you for getting in those caves and being so brave. Just the kind of thing you need show you just how strong you are. I'm glad you enjoyed your vacation.

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My concession (and confession) blog

Sunday, July 13, 2014

My concession (and confession) blog.

Hello my spark friends. Warning-this could be long and pathetic. For the past 5 weeks I have been in a friendly competition with my wonderful spark friends Maxynne and Michelle. This competition was my idea and the intent was to try to lose as close to 5% of our weight by today's date. The person who lost the least amount would have to write a blog explaining why and post a day of selfie. Again, my bright idea. I really thought this would motivate me and I started out pretty revved up, losing 1.5 in my first week. Then I just stalled. I lost 2.5
of the 10 lbs I was aiming/hoping for. So here I am writhing this blog as the loser of the competition and not the loser of the pounds.

Oh I have all sorts of reasons (which I realize equal excuses). The biggest one is my new job which I started in January. This was a huge move for me and in order to get that job I needed to take an off shift position. Well, I have adjusted to the job itself, but not the schedule. I never anticipated how much of an effect that schedule would have on my life. I really feel I am totally defeated by this work schedule. No matter how much I say I am not going to let it get the best of me, it is getting the best of me. I just haven't figured out how to make it work. I am gone at work 2pm-12am 3 nights a week. On those nights it takes me hours to settle down and get to bed, usually force myself to go to bed at 2am. On the nights I am off, I have the same schedule. I am wired until 2am. I can honestly say I have not been to bed before midnight since starting this job 6 mos ago. I am naturally a night person but had gotten into a nice routine of sleeping from 11:30-7:30 back when I was working day shift. Now I am either losing sleep if I get up early with the kids or staying in bed and sleeping until after 10 (because it's summer vacation). By the time I get up I have no energy, desire or time left in the morning to get my workout in. The kids are ready to go and do stuff. I used to work out right after getting them to school from 9:30-10:30. I don't know. I just feel defeated. It has messed up my family's routine too. It is harder to have organized dinners together. My DH misses me and needs more attention when i am home (he is needier than my 3 boys put together). I feel much more guilty if I am on the computer when we are all home together because it happens less often. Hence, my spark time has suffered. I also must mention that I have been late night snacking after work which is never good. I use the excuses- I didn't eat dinner tonight or I need stress relief or just to settle down. Ugh! Sometimes I do not track those after midnight calories. Yup, I am in pretty deep here folks.

Summer vacation has always been tough for me too having the 3 kids home. I find it hard to keep any kind of work out schedule. However this time last year I was in such a great groove and I found a way to work out 4 days a week most weeks. I am in such a slump right now. I haven't felt like the athlete I was feeling like last year. I am turning 39 this week and am not thrilled about it. I think it's because my #1 goal is (notice I didn't say "was") to be fit by 40. I feel like I was heading in that direction but have gotten way off track at this point. Another major issue has been my back muscle issues. For some reason this has been a rougher year than last year as far as aggravating it. It has stopped me dead in my tracks and has put me out for at least a week at a time. It's hard to stay in a groove when you have a nagging injury. I have been dealing with this for 7 years but this year has been one of the toughest with that (physically and mentally).

The bottom line is I am a bit lost and in a pretty negative space right now. I apologize for those of you who are still listening to my venting/pity party here. But thank you. I so appreciate your kind words, advise, support, comradery, friendship, love, etc...... I am not and will not give up. I will simply re-think, re-plan and re-focus. A day shift position just opened up and I have put in for a transfer. It is very unlikely I will get it due to my lack of seniority but I had to try. I am praying that works out but if not, I will figure this out. I may have to make drastic changes and flip a switch so to speak but I've got to do something. I am looking forward to going camping next week and getting away from everything. I am sure I will be keeping busy with my family and friends but I am also sure I will have some quiet time to think things over.

Please take the time to stop by my co-competitors' (MOMINE and MSHEL7) pages to congratulate them on their awesome weight losses over the past 5 weeks! They have worked so hard and have earned it big time! Michelle has lost 8.8lbs, only 1.2 shy of her 5% goal which she will probably get this week at the rate she's going! I don't have the final numbers for Maxynne yet but I believe she lost 5% or came really darn close. I hope they post their results on their feed for all to see!

Lastly! Here is my (still smiling) selfie! Me and my bright ideas!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MALAMI518 8/26/2014 7:40PM

    You look beautiful, and your smile looks like it would light up any room!

I just saw this now, and my summer can be summed up the same as yours but worse because I've had a spectacular gain. And I don't have nearly the number of challenges to face that you do. I just lost focus, lost motivation, lost my willingness to really try.

I'm starting again now. I hope that you are finding your way again, too.

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TMRGRANNY 8/7/2014 9:03AM

    WOW!!! What a beautiful selfie. You look great. I have missed you all so much and am so sorry I missed the competition.
After working night shift for over half of my life, I totally understand the effects of it on your health and weight. I will be praying for that day shift job for you.

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ROSAMARCELLE 7/16/2014 4:13PM

    Despite all that, you lost weight! That's pretty amazing. And - you look amazing. I hope the job change comes off because it is always hard doing shifts into the night. Been there, done that and I could never sleep well after it, and that grinds you into the ground in the end.
emoticon just emoticon emoticon

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TRUE-NESS 7/16/2014 9:07AM

    I hope that you're able to pick yourself up from this funk you're in. You really should feel good that you're still in the game. It's a journey, dear. It's about ups and downs in the process of figuring out this healthy living thing.

But, one thing I try to remember.... Don't involve yourself in goals that have a specific weight loss number in mind. Honestly, you CANNOT control weight loss. All of our bodies respond differently depending on many factors. Instead, concentrate on the behaviors that will bring about the weight loss... those behaviors being healthy eating and exercise. So, make activity-centered goals that you think will result in weight loss over time. Make nutrition goals that you think will result in weight loss over time. When goals are specific and measurable, then you can celebrate your achievements more easily.

Find ways to celebrate!!!

Keep moving forward!

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MOMINE 7/15/2014 12:37AM

    Boy, oh boy! If I looked that good, I would still be smiling too!

I think maybe it is time for a change of pace.

First of all, a clean break is a great idea and your camping trip is just the ticket. I am not saying to eat with reckless abandon, but just be smart, eat and enjoy. Don't particularly count or track. We all know that camping generally involves some pretty physical activities, so without trying you will get some exercise in.

Your Spark Wheel will reset to 0 while you are gone. GREAT! Let it go! Once you are back, the number on it will reflect the number of days you have been back "On".

Lastly, while you are doing some of that quiet, thinking time, maybe set some new goals. The best goals would allow for some "stumble room".

If you want to lose weight, rather than making that the focus, make the steps to it the goal, but leave room for life. For instance,if you want to exercise everyday, make the goal (at least for now) three times a week (or two).

If you need more rest and the perfect picture is getting to bed by 12:00 o'clock every night (or 11:00) (any TIME, but not "early") make the goal three or four times a week.

And if you are feeling like you are not managing the family time thing, don't leave it to perception. Make a trackable goal. You want to manage the sit down supper every night? For now, make the goal two or three times.

These kinds of goals will force you to focus on the positive until you get back on track and in a strong enough groove to try for a more nearly perfect picture.

With this one simple competition you made a MAJOR difference in Michelle's ability to pull out of her slump. You will get out of yours too because YOU ARE A WINNER!!!

Have a GREAT time and BE KIND to yourself!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NISSANGIRL 7/13/2014 5:29PM

    a loss is a loss girl! u still lost weight , maybe not what u were looking for, but u lost emoticon there is never enough time in a day for us gals! I think u and hubby need a date night, that should keep him happy .... for a while emoticon Good luck girl, U got this! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NHES220 7/13/2014 3:50PM

I commend you for initiating the challenge for your fellow Sparkfriends and as Michelle pointed out - you did lose weight and any weight loss in my book is a win. Also, I think it helped Michelle get back on track! I can imagine the shift work is tough, when I rotated to that shift back in the day I struggled with it. Also, I know how a nagging injury can impact you as well. But I like the positive - you will be fit by 40. I wish I had done it then and not waited until my 50's, but it is never too late. So, I'll keep my fingers crossed on the other shift, but I know you will figure something out!

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MSHEL7 7/13/2014 2:49PM

    First of all, DH says you don't look like you need to lose weight. He's right, you look great and you did lose, that is a huge plus as you did not gain. The last 2 challenges I was in, I gained, and I mean like 5% each time. Not good. You will find a groove again, it may like you say, take flipping a switch or something drastic, but you can do it and you will. Thank you so much for starting this challenge, I have loved it and it has helped me so much and I'm betting you will find that it helped you much more than you know right now.

We love you and can't wait to do another challenge with you!! Your selfie is great!!

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MRSP90X 7/13/2014 2:44PM

    Ahh,my dear sweet Stacey!! I KNOW what you mean. Although, I do not have the exact same things going on, I do understand the injury's and being in a major slump. I must say, the flip of switch needs to happen. My DH getting P90X was that switch. It was a DRASTIC change to my life. We sometimes don't end our workout until 12am, since my DH gets home late sometimes, but we still do it as it is a commitment. No excuses. I too was getting up around 10am getting to bed later, but I am feeling so much better with the workouts that I am getting up earlier. The best advice I can give is first be committed and then think outside the box and norm of what you are used to figure out a plan. Tweak the plan if you need to, but stick to it. I eat late sometimes too and consider it a meal not a snack. You WILL figure it all out. I would have NEVER thought of exercising to DVD, but now has been the best thing ever that has come into my life. Check out beachbody. I know of several people doing 21 Day Fix and PiYo and all the other Charlene Extreme Turbo Fire DVD's. Think outside the box and make dramatic changes it has certainly gotten me out of my deapths of despair!!
Love Ya!!!

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My 1st official 5k to kick-start 2014!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hello friends!

I haven't blogged in a while but I had some inspiration today so here it goes. This morning I ran my 1st official 5k of 2014. It was the same race I started out 2013 with. I couldn't find anyone to run with me and DH really wanted to take the boys fishing (opening weekend) so I decided to go it solo. It was awesome! A beautiful spring day, perfect for running, not too sunny or windy.

I did not have my best time today. I finished this same race last year in 38:36 and today crossed the finish line at 38:40. I felt I was keeping a great pace and felt I pushed myself but when I came in over last year's time I was initially a bit disappointed. However the overall felling of joy in the accomplishment of running the entire distance overrode the disappointment (part of the runners high I guess).

Then the coolest thing happened. As I was stretching I was approached by a woman who told me that she was impressed with the even pace I kept throughout the race and that I inspired her to keep up. I guess she was in back of me and I was her "white rabbit" so to speak. It was really nice and she was right. I did feel (maybe for the first time) that I was in total control of my pace and I wasn't having to slow down or speed up as often as usual.

I've definitely lost some time over the winter. Even though I used the treadmill often, I felt like today I was dusting myself off and kick-starting another great running year. I progressively improved my time on each 5k last year and finished my last race of 2013 in 36:31. I realize that I now have the mental confidence to know I can finish a 5k without having to slow down to a walk at all. That was last year's goal. So now it's time to improve my speed this year!

This race took place in a local park that also has salt water beachfront. After the race I sat down on a park bench and gazed out into the ocean daydreaming. I took some time to think about some of my short, medium and long term goals. (I've been reading the Spark book lately). It was nice to have the alone time and to be able to think clearly. One thing I realized is that being around runners is such a great environment to be in. I think runners are in general positive, happy, friendly people. Maybe it's all those endorphins or maybe it's the fact that they are keeping active (or a little of both). It's definitely company I enjoy being around!

Then, as I sat there in peace another cool thing happened. This park also has horseback riding and all of a sudden a large group of horses came running down the beach. It was just beautiful and a perfect way to end my day. And it also reminded me of one of my long term goals- to get back to horseback riding and get my kids learning too! Here are some pics I managed to get with my phone.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MALAMI518 4/16/2014 10:04AM

    I don't know how I missed this.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

I loved reading about your run and your reflection time! I can never explain to my husband why running a race is better (and worth the entry fees--he's very financially motivated) than just going out for a run. You've put the environment into words very well. (He still won't's not his personality.) Even though I prefer to run alone, I like having the positive energy and comments from the other runners.

Your pace sounds like it's really close to where you left off, so I don't think you lost anything over the winter. A few seconds here and there can be attributed to many variables. It's great that you now run the entire time, and I'm sure that you will become even faster this spring/summer. And how cool that you were someone's white rabbit! I always pick someone to try to keep up with in a race, but I've never thought to tell them about it. Next time, I may work up that nerve.

It sounds like a wonderful start to the season! Now, if only the weather would catch up with us.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MRSP90X 4/14/2014 2:12PM

    What an AWESOME job!!!!! Even though your time wasn't your best, you are concentrating what you did improve upon and that is SO important!! Very proud you girl! What a difference a year makes!! You are so very right about being with others with the same mindset! I am hopefully changing BLC teams to an application only team to be around people with the same mind set and happy people about their fitness and life in general. It really does help being with others on a similar "path". Exercise, not just running produces all those feel good hormones that help our minds and bodies when we stretch ourselves beyond our limits! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLESSED2BEME 4/14/2014 12:41PM

    A great race for you it sounds like! Congrats on running the whole thing. I've done that once and I'm far from being able to do it again but I know if I continue to work hard it will happen.

Glad your run and your time after was so wonderful for you!

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MATTEROFHEART 4/14/2014 8:40AM

    I am so proud of you! Way to go, girl!!! You are such an inspiration! Love the pictures! What a great day!

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MOMINE 4/13/2014 11:58PM

    Stacey, You are absolutely DA BOMB DIGGETY!!!!! emoticon !!! I am so proud of you!! What an emoticon accomplishment to be someone's emoticon !! You are INDEED an inspiration. emoticon on a job VERY emoticon

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CASTIRONLADY 4/13/2014 9:44PM

    Best thing about a race is the finish and the fun of being around healthy people. Glad you did it on your own.

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 4/13/2014 5:32PM

    Congratulations, you did great! I don't think you lost any time at all over the winter. A few seconds isn't anything to be upset about. I lost a few MINUTES over the winter, lol! Keep it up!

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NHES220 4/13/2014 3:28PM

Well done! You paced another runner! You were an inspiration to someone else, way to go. This was an extremely brutal winter and you and I both know that treadmill running is not the same. Your times will get better now that you have had your first 5k and you can get outside more. I also know what you mean about being around runners, they are a generally happy group. I love my Tuesday night group and it is such a great confidence builder for me. And how cool was that with the horses riding by? Sounds like the perfect Spring day!

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TMRGRANNY 4/13/2014 3:16PM

    Congratulations on the first race of 2014! Great job!
You are definitely an inspiration!

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MSHEL7 4/13/2014 3:01PM

    Sounds like an excellent run to me. Time for reflection after is wonderful. Congrats on a great run.

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ROSAMARCELLE 4/13/2014 2:51PM

    Sounds like an amazing day and congratulations for running a 5K race. I did one last year but it was walking not running and I took just under 2 hours! emoticon emoticon

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Spring please!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLESSED2BEME 3/21/2014 6:08PM

    It is snowing here right now. Green grass? I think I forgot what that is!

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BRADMILL2922 3/18/2014 4:07AM

    No doubt! We are only a couple days away from Spring but it sure hasn't felt like it!

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MATTEROFHEART 3/17/2014 9:54AM

    Me too!!!!!!!

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NISSANGIRL 3/16/2014 5:24AM

    emoticon amen girl! so ready for some nice warm weather! Bring it on! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MRSP90X 3/15/2014 10:28PM

    I totally hear ya!!!!
Those pics are so cute,especially the second one!!
I so ready!!! I have had enough of the teens and twenty's degree weather already!!

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TMRGRANNY 3/15/2014 7:24PM

    I am soooo ready. It is again in the 60's here today and we have a winter weather advisory for tomorrow. Mother Nature needs to make up her mind.

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MOMINE 3/15/2014 6:57PM

    These pictures are ADORABLE!!! I especially like the second. Hahahahaha it actually took me a couple of seconds to "get it".

Our weather was good this morning, but has turned on us. However, it at least isn't the white stuff. The winds have picked up, the temperature has fallen and it is trying to rain. I would love the moisture, just do NOT need the winds!

Thanks for sharing these!! emoticon

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NHES220 3/15/2014 3:00PM

    Love it! So darn tired of this weather. I keep looking ahead to the forecast to see what the weather is going to be like for my runs. I heard my friend call it the bi-polar vortex.

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MSHEL7 3/15/2014 2:58PM

    Love them, it's snowing here again today. I'm starting to wonder if spring will ever sprung.

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Just more random laughs!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TREE57 2/25/2014 8:03AM

    Oh these are so funny!

What a great way to start the day! Thanks for posting.

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KML410 2/23/2014 10:42AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MOMINE 2/19/2014 5:53PM

    What a welcome ray of emoticon Your blog brought a much needed smile! Thanks for posting it!

emoticon YA

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TINADEE86 2/19/2014 12:01PM

    emoticon Thanks for the laughs!

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JUDYERAE 2/19/2014 8:50AM

    Love it! Thanks. Just what I needed.

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NISSANGIRL 2/19/2014 7:10AM

    emoticon blog! too funny!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CASTIRONLADY 2/18/2014 9:11PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MSHEL7 2/18/2014 7:09PM

    OMgoodness those are great. I had to read them all to DH and he even chuckled a little-a lot for him. emoticon

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TMRGRANNY 2/18/2014 6:44PM

    Definitely brought a smile to my face

I love the background as well. Tale as old as time...

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MALAMI518 2/18/2014 4:00PM

    Thank you for the laughs! emoticon

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MRSP90X 2/18/2014 2:46PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MATTEROFHEART 2/18/2014 2:12PM


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