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Yup, I went there.

Call me crazy, wacko, batty, kooky, nutty, screwy, fruity, or whatever. I don’t care; I totally believe in this stuff. I also believe in ghosts, goblins and ghouls too. But, that’s neither here, nor there.

Here’s the thing: I don’t know any pet owner who doesn’t talk to their animals. I talk to my boys constantly when I’m at home. And I think I’ve got somewhat of a grip on what they’re trying to communicate to me … sometimes.

Lovie

For instance, I can usually understand Lovie’s actions & meows. When he meows and reaches his paws to my thigh, he wants to be held and snuggle. When he sits next to the couch just looking at me, he wants me to make space for him so he can snuggle. When he follows me from room to room, he wants to snuggle …. Actually, he’s waiting for food. But then it’s right back to snuggle time.

Yeah, Lovie and I, we get each other.

It’s Loki I have trouble with.

Loki

Loki … *sigh* I think of him as my little goth teen who hates when his mom hugs him or gives him a kiss and just wants to be left alone, because nobody understands the angst. I haven’t learned his language yet. It’s getting better – he now demands a little love fest when I get up in the morning and sometimes curls up on the couch or bed by me. He’s a bit skittish sometimes and a little aggressive at other times. But, I love him to death and wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world.

So, just like any mother, I sought out someone to help me understand my kids better. Little did I know this would help me understand me better.

I met up with Asia Voight at Botanical Indulgence in Neenah and had a fantastic session with her. I learned my boys are very preceptive and know exactly what’s going on. Loki, surprisingly, was my little chatterbox and jumped right in to the conversation with had a LOT to say … or rather, ask. (And here I thought I was going to be asking the questions!) He wanted to know why he couldn’t go outside (because it’s dangerous); what happened to Scott (we separated and he moved out); are we moving (some day, but yes, possibly soon); and can we get a screened-in porch (um, sure?). Lovie, my sweet baby, let Loki chatter away – cause he would have interrupted anyway – and then chatted about his past home (apparently there was a screened-in porch and he’s been telling Loki about it) and how happy he is here with me.

What I wasn’t expecting was for Asia to tell me that they are proud of me and that they think I’m doing the right thing. Could that have been hype? Sure, but I like to think my boys know what’s going on and can sense the change in me in the last few months.

Two funny things that came from this (both from Loki, of course): 1. Please don’t date anyone anytime soon. (Selfish little buggers, huh?) and 2.No babies, please. The visits from the neighbor’s little girl are great, but screaming kids are not welcome.

Did I get all the answers? No … I still don’t know why Loki feels the need to wake me at 6:30 every morning when he has food. Or why he doesn’t want to be held. But, I do know that yes, they are just playing – most of the time – and how very special they are. I’m trying to be more aware of my feelings and how they act around me. I’ve noticed that Loki seems to seek out snuggles more often and actually has started following me around sometimes.

Would I do it again? You betcha. In fact, I told her I’d be calling her after I moved – to a place with a screened-in porch, of course.

I did this last year and thought it’d be a good idea to see what has changed in the year since.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

  • Traveled outside the country.
  • Ran. Even did two races – a 4-miler and a 2-miler.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I had some foodie resolutions that I kept, and I’ve got some resolutions for outside the kitchen this year:

  • Run 150 miles
  • finish my gram’s cookbook
  • start my health counseling practice

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My friend Laura had a little one on April 15. She’s so precious.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thank God, and hopefully no one will die this year.

5. What countries did you visit?

Spent a week in Ireland – it’s a beautiful country.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Work/life/friends balance.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Several events will be etched in memory, but the specific dates elude me.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Losing almost 20 lbs and learning to have a healthy relationship with food. Making the choice to go back to school and get certified as a holistic health counselor.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Relationships.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Not personally, but family members continue to battle that evil monster called cancer.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Digital camera & a CSA share.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My mom – for battling breast cancer with a smile and a laugh; My dad – for taking care of my mom without too much complaining. All of my family – for being so supportive.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The way corporate companies treat their employees.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Bills.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Starting school at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I’m about a third of the way through the program and I am LOVING every second of it.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

“If today were your last day” by Nickleback

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier – I’ve done a lot of soul-searching this last year.

b) thinner or fatter? Almost 20 lbs. lighter!!!

c) richer or poorer? Poorer when it comes to money, but richer in experience.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Called friends to see if they wanted to do something – even if it was just hang out and watch a movie.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Work 🙂

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Working – but I spent the week before in North Carolina with my family and it was fabulous.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Yes … with myself & I hope to help others learn to love themselves.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Hm, I really don’t know. Nothing new really jumped out at me and I’m quite behind on the shows I do like. I did spend a day engrossed in Nip/Tuck season 4, though 🙂

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I’m trying to eliminate the word “hate” from my vocabulary.

24. What was the best book you read?

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I’m so musically illiterate it’s not even funny.

26. What did you want and get?

  • My two beautiful cats love me unconditionally. One is even growing out of the awkward rebellious years and starting to like snuggling – on his terms, of course.
  • Got to visit my parents – twice! – and got to see my sister – twice!
  • Support from my family and friends in my somewhat crazy healthy living adventures.

27. What did you want and not get?

A new job.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Julie & Julia, though I’m sure Food, Inc. will be up there too once I see it.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 29 and I honestly can’t even remember what I did on my birthday – probably worked 🙂

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Less stress.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Laid-back … and smaller 🙂

32. What kept you sane?

My cats, Zhena’s jasmine dragon tea, running and the light at the end of the tunnel.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

The clusterf*ck that is our Veterans Affairs Department and their inability to provide basic needs/treatment for soldiers returning from war with PTSD symptoms.

34. Who do you miss?

My parents and my sister. I wish they lived closer.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

I’ve met some of the most wonderful, encouraging, supportive people through my studies at IIN. I love being connected to like-minded people!

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

Listen to your heart. No one knows what’s best for you, but you. It’s never easy, but you will feel more at peace and balanced when you listen to yourself.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas.” – “Waking up in Vegas” by Katy Perry

One of the few perks of a crazy schedule is having a Tuesday – Thursday ‘weekend’. This weekend, I drove 5 hours north to visit my grandma and all her guests – which included my aunt and two baby cousins, my sister, three sets of great aunts & uncles, another aunt, another cousin and a second cousin. It was quite the group. I brought the camera and was able to get a few fun pics of the girls and the sights.

Here are some pics we took with our new camera .. I’m quite impressed! 

 

Lovie

Lovie

Lovie

Lovie

 

Loki

Loki

 

Loki

Loki