Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy last Monday of 2009!

This year has been a challenge for all of us, for me, it's been especially difficult this last quarter. As tough as it's been, it would be easy to write the whole year off as "bad" when in fact there have been many victories as well. Here are a few of the bright spots from 2009:

--ZipperBack Gloves were launched for sale in retail stores as planned. Many said the time was too short for the work that needed to be done, but I did it! I certainly have help on many fronts, but for the most part, it was my tenacity and optimism that kept the project moving.

--Dave is back in school! Hooray! Dave has been dissatisfied that he has not finished his college education and finally took action to get back in class. To say I am proud of him is an understatement. He lights up my life everyday and I still thank heaven that we have each other.

--Our family took a wonderful vacation this summer to Windsor, CA. Julie generously offered us a week in her timeshare and it was time together that we are still talking and smiling about.

--I joined Toastmasters and can see my speaking career coming to life, even if it's only at my weekly meetings and a service club here and there! We all have to start somewhere.

--We welcomed a new puppy, Spencer to our family and a new kitty, who has yet to be named as well. Losing Riley and then Inca just a few weeks later was really hard, but the joy of our new furry friends is certainly something to be grateful for!

--The biggest highlight of 2009 is the recognition of how many true friends we have. Dave and I have spent many days expressing our gratitude for how many people we have in our lives that are true friends, the kind of people you can call at 2 AM when you need to talk and they won't think twice about waking up to hear what's troubling you. Maybe you all feel okay about getting that call because you know we would never wake you unless it's extremely urgent! In any case, each and every one of you is a bright spot in our lives and when I say, "I love you" it's heart felt!

On a fun note, Dave's dad came to visit for Christmas. Last night we celebrated the new year a little early. We had a lovely delicatessen dinner, played some board games and then right at Mason-Midnight (9 PM), we put our hats on, blew horns, popped poppers and shared hugs and kisses! You can see the pictures below!

I hope you can find lots of things to be grateful for in 2009 and even more to look forward to in 2010. Happy New Year! With so much love, Kathy (Dave and Mason, too!)

Early New Year Celebration

This is our new kitty, the one with no name. Any suggestions?
Our early New Year celebration dinner.
Dad, Mason, and Dave getting ready to make some noise!
The Partak's
A very happy Mason!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

This week has been so hectic. I'm hoping that you have been so busy, too, that you've not noticed that no Monday Motivator was sent. No matter, it's just that time of year. We're trying to make sure all the details are tended to before Christmas and New Year celebrations, while still managing to work, run our households, and all the other daily tasks that consume our every minute. I'll share all about our Christmas on this coming Monday, pictures and all!

With that said, let me share with you my annual Christmas wish. This Christmas mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Think first of someone else. Be kind and gentle. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it still once again.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Only ten more shopping days until Christmas! Are you ready? I'm not. This year has been such a challenge that the material part of the holiday just seems inconsiderate. I mean, so many people are out of work, struggling to keep their houses, and food on the table to buy gifts just because it's Christmas seems in poor taste. If you have the funds and want to give a gift, it makes more sense to me to bake a pie, pick up a turkey on sale, or just make time to visit. I'm in the mood for a more personal holiday.

Things have settled down for us after losing Riley and then having to surrender Brando. Dave reached out to all of you in a time of deep grief and many of you responded with such love and kindness that to simply say "thank you" doesn't seem like enough. Some of you chipped in to help us purchase a new puppy and I want you to know your love is now licking my face! His name is Spencer and he is a total character! Our house feels so much more like home with a dog. I don't know exactly how right now, but I will pay your generosity forward. Smiling.

Happy, happy birthday Lisa A., Terry L., Eric C., Chris H., Olivia who's 1, Brenda P., and Paul D. who shares my birthday exactly! All of us December babies get to celebrate during the most festive time of year!

I hope you are feeling joy this holiday season and not the stress that can easily overtake you when you least expect it! With all my love!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Record Snow in Auburn

"Baby, it's cold outside!" I'm loving this winter weather. The news is reporting that we may get snow tonight and by the way the wind is whistling, I'd say I believe it!

Dave has been fighting a cold and with work, school, and See's for Soldiers, it seems there just isn't time to get our Christmas decorations up. He's been putting them up one here, another there so I'm sure they'll all find their way up eventually. I'm not feeling the holiday spirit the way I usually do, but as I unpack our indoor decorations and decorate cookies, it's a little easier to make it fun for Mason.

Other than the busy-ness of our full life, things are good. The gloves are getting rave reviews, sales are up, and Christmas cookies are under way.

I wrote this on Sunday night planning to write the rest on Monday morning. Little did I know we would be waking up not feeling well, to more than six inches of snow, broken limbs on both of our oak trees and several olive trees, and no Internet! The Internet connection being down was the least of our worries. So after several hours on the phone with AT&T and a new wireless modem, here I am! Though I wasn't feeling well, Dave and Mason loved, loved, loved the snow day. I hope your Monday was as much fun as Mason's "school is closed for snow" day!

Snowy Pictures

Early AM pictures of the snowfall, not quite 2 inches.

A little later, but still dark...4+ inches.

One of the broken limbs from the gorgeous oak in our backyard.
The Subaru is under that branch! Unharmed, thankfully.

Mason and the snowman he and Dave created.