>I hope she welcomes me back…

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Its Sunday, the last day of a 5 day break from “work”, and I was up at 5:30…all for yoga!  Mind you, the class isn’t until 8…but I haven’t been in what feels like forever.  Actually, I think it might be very close to forever.  I hope she is kind today.
But I think I’m catching cute little Emma’s cold…which is fantastic for the family and friends who have been waiting for me to lose my voice.  That should happen in a few days… Just be patient!
Hopefully, yoga will help…as will my hot water and lemon in my awesome new LL Bean mug!
Big afternoon ahead – my high school friend, Erika, who I haven’t seen in at least 10-12 years is coming over with her company, Thirty-one gifts, for my Sweet Bead & Co. open house.  I think I’m more excited to see her than to sell some of my latest pieces!!!

Have a great day!!
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>I’m so very thankful…

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Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Its so easy to get caught up in the blech of every day life…the stresses of work and relationships, keeping up with all that’s going on, trying to be everything to all people.  Today is one day where I try to put that all out of my head and focus on what I DO have in my life that is so good.  So amazingly good.  And I am blessed that there is more than plenty for me to be thankful for…
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason.  Not necessarily because of a reason, but for a reason.  Often its hard to see the reason right away…sometimes it takes a while.  But for me, today is a day not to think too much about why things happen, but just be thankful for what is.  Not wishing or wanting, but grateful for what we have.
For example…Thanksgiving morning Jason, Shannon and I went for a run.  Now, the motivation for my running isn’t really important – whether it was to let off steam or to make room for pie…or both – what really matters is that my husband, sister-in-law and I got to spend some time together, they kept it slow for me, and I was able to run the whole time, even though it was so bitter cold that it hurt my lungs like there was no tomorrow…and I wanted to quit.  But my post-run refreshment made the pain more tolerable…
All day yesterday, I wanted to make a list of things I’m thankful for.  Its cheesy, but lately, I’ve been in a frame of mind I can’t explain…which the control freak in me is not pleased about.  So here is an attempt at the top 10 things I am thankful for…
1. My patient, loving, caring, understanding, extremely handsome husband, and he’s also the best dad in the world…

2. Our two beautiful, healthy, smart and funny daughters
3. Murphy, the best dog ever
4. Our family: My parents – without them, life wouldn’t be the same, my In-Laws – they are the best that anyone could ask for, our siblings – everyone needs someone to put them in their place and keep their head about them…, our nephew and my soon to be niece.  Unconditional love is an amazing feeling.

5. Our health –  sometimes a rocky go in our family…but its been a pretty good year and I’m very thankful that my family has been supportive of new healthy habits..and willing to try new foods!
6. Reconnecting with family and friends – Some people are meant to be in your life.

7. Caitlin…She cares for our girls like they’re her own.
8. My meaningful job – its stressful sometimes, but I love it. Which leads to 8b. My ethic, drive and ambition…I want to work hard and play hard.  It can drive me crazy, but I’m thankful I have it.
9. Our home, food on the table, clothes on our back… which are made possible by #8
10. Real friends.  The ones who don’t judge.  The ones who care about you no matter what.  The ones, near and far, that you may not talk with often, but the quality far outweighs the quantity.
11. Love.  It comes in many different forms, and each bit of love teaches us something.  I’m just thankful to have so much of it in my life.
OK, I’m thankful for more than 10 things…forgive me.
This holiday season, I’m thankful for tradition, even the ones that have sugar in them.. and with that – here is a little recap of Thanksgiving Day at the Websters.  I love traditions…


Post-dinner, Pre-dessert time…

Uncle Sean showed Neeny how to make cannolis.  They were soooo good…

Thanksgiving is like Christmas at the Websters.  Dinner concludes with giveaways 🙂  This year, Webster Peach Jam and ornaments.  YUM!
And one last thing…
I’m thankful for the support in my life…my parents who help us raise our children while we work, my colleagues who understand that together we save lives and that family trumps all, and you, my (I’m hoping faithful) blog followers, that have given me motivation to keep this up.  Thanks for sticking with me as I get this thing rolling!!!
Question: What are you thankful for???

>Girls Just Wanna Have Fun…

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Sometimes, we all just need to get away.  The stresses of everyday – work, bills, family obligations, running the house, managing multiple schedules, etc. – while by themselves don’t seem to be too much…throw the upcoming holidays into the mix, and you may very well encounter some explosive women.  So…8 of us pack up for the weekend and head to the woods to avoid the messy potential of a minor breakdown…and it works!  We all get a chance to clear our heads, escape the craziness and negativity, and remind ourselves of all the good that’s waiting for us back home…at the very least – we have some great fun, laugh until our stomaches hurt, and hope the hangover isn’t to bad…

What a weekend!  Any time it starts with garnish in your shirt…

 Or bowls of love…

 You know that what’s coming is nothing but some harmless fun…

Here is the Mirror Lake Lodge – in the middle of nowhere, just what we all needed!
This weekend was perfect – We took turns doing things we don’t get to do often, at least on our own terms and time frame, while at home with kids, husbands and work!  I started reading a new book, made some jewelry, went for a hike…it was a little break from reality and it was perfect!
We started day one with a short hike – well, those of us who didn’t go running at the crack of dawn went for a hike!
 Diane, Nicole, Danielle, Joanie, & Lauren bundled up and ready for some fun!

 The girls getting up close to nature…

We came back and thought about taking out the kayak, canoe and paddle boat…but only DG and Joanie had the guts to brave the wind and get on the water…the rest of us headed into the roaring fire that Alycia and Amy had finally gotten going!

 Di on the dock…sticking her tongue out I think.  She does NOT like to have her picture taken…
Before a quick trip to the hot tub with the disco ball – and Amy’s personally warmed reese’s peanut butter cups – Saturday night started off on the right foot with a trip into town.  We browsed the 4 stores, and then stopped to restock refreshments at the gas station.  
**The same gas station that bragged, “You can’t beat Wayne’s meat.”** 
Need I say more???

Good quiet book/magazine time.  What was it, Parenting and People’s hottest man of the year? A good combo…
Personally, I started the Jennifer Weiner book I bought as beach reading this past summer.  Yup, its the end of November, and Thanksgiving is this week…but that’s ok.  I finally started it…
No real hangovers, and ready to head home!

Already looking forward to the next girls weekend!  The possibilities are endless… as long as we have hot buns fresh out of the oven, a roaring fire, hot tub, beer sign, and each other…add a little craziness…it is guaranteed to be a blast!
Thanks, Girls!!!!  Happy Thanksgiving!!!

>Team Meetings 2010

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That makes it sound so official, doesn’t it??? 
Last month, we had our first Affiliate Communications and Health Strategies Team meetings in over 2 years!  It was so great to get everyone together (some of us had never met face to face…or it has been so long that we didn’t actually remember ever meeting!)  The creative genius we have on our team is incredible…very energizing and empowering!
Jason and I hosted dinner for the Comm team the first night which was awesome 🙂 We love hosting, and the company was great, so it was a great night!  Here’s a shot of the party animals hanging out on the porch…
The following are some of the rock stars that helped plan our 3 day meeting…
Brooks clearly fits the part.  He almost looks like she should star in an 80’s movie, right?
Upstate New York Rockers, Amit and Kathy
David Day, without whom my experience in the meetings would have had much less insightful conversation!
Brenda – our CD from Maine – with her peer-nomimated integration award.  Seriously – she is one of the greatest people to work with (and not just because she’s on my team, either!)  Proof positive that a smile and a fantastic attitude will forge any relationship!
Vicki, who I just met, is driven to get the message across – she has some serious spunk!!
Allyson – one of the hardest working people I know – and she’s a blast on top of it all!  Clearly, she integrates like no other, and I love working with her!
The Big Hearts pre-dinner.  Its really fulfilling when the people you work with and for are so committed to the people and the work of the organization.  Passion for what we do it a common thread, and it makes getting up for work in the morning a great thing!
And of course, we bring it all back to saving lives.  Dr. Chuck Pozner, our Affiliate Board Chair, is from Boston, so he brought his friend, who just happened to collapse (and is a fully controllable CPR training dummy).  This is the end of the exercise, when he said he was alive, so that is why there are so many smiles and Angela looks psyched.  Luckily, if I go down, I am surrounded by people who know how easy CPR can be, and aren’t afraid to act!  Another day at the office – another life saved!  Nice work!
A phenomenal few days of learning, re-energizing, and connecting with colleagues from Maine to New Jersey, Buffalo to Boston.  Can’t wait to do it again…

>Hockadoo!

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Is that dirty?  
Coming back to reality is a struggle after such an incredible excursion!  This weekend, mom and I headed to NY to meet up with Kathy (my Mother-In-Law) and Shannon (my Sister-In-Law) at Aunt Chris’ house (Kathy’s sister) to then meet up with Janet (Chris’ daughter, Jason & Shannon’s cousin…you get the picture) to see Memphis in the City!  
We arrived on Friday night, got comfy, and Saturday morning headed out to catch the train from Katonah.  The photo snapping began!
Despite the signage, Shannon, the resident rebel, was in fact, smokin’.
We arrived at Grand Central station and met up with Janet at the clock.  It was totally cool to meet up with everyone on Pop’s birthday weekend at his train station.  Yes, his.  That’s what you get for being a legendary Station Master!
Here, the paparazzi (moi) managed to get a clear shot of the city girls in their city jackets!  They even smiled!!!
First drink of the day – Starbucks assorted lattes.  Clearly, the addiction is hereditary.
There are many amazing things in New York City.  Impressive architecture, crazy good people watching, fantastical theatre, food, fashion, etc.  But honestly…Pop Tarts World?  What about Veggie World?!?!  Can’t we try to get corporate america on board with healthy eating?  OK, I’ll step off the soap box, but this was kind of disturbing.
Although, don’t get me wrong, I am a reformed pop tart eater.  And frosted strawberry was my fave.
Mom & Me in Times Square…that is trouble waiting to happen.
Scratch that, THIS is trouble waiting to happen…
I think I’ve fallen for the City.  I’m not sure what it is about it. I actually never really liked NY, but the experiences keep getting better…
Finally – we arrived at the Shubert!  It definitely was award winning!!!
Awesome musical – the music, dancing, and the message – all amazing! 
Then, it was off to The View on the 48th floor of the Marriott Marquis.  The room spins.  Seriously, I get sick on teacups and tilt-a-whirls.  I had the signature drink “View From The Top”…I then stopped spinning while the bar kept going…
Capturing sunset and smiling faces!
A very happy Neeny!
Off to Carmine’s for dinner.  I have to issue a disclaimer.  I did not eat well on this little excursion.  But, everything in moderation, right?  And keep in mind, the following foods were shared between 6 people!!!
Nonna had been wanting to tell me how much she loved me all day!  Finally, it came out.  I am number one in her eyes!
Impromptu birthday celebration for Auntie Shannon – we ordered her the Titanic.  Oh my…
We all went down with the Titanic…
I had never seen Bryant Park before, at least not that I could remember.  So, I found a great spot for a date (Note: Jason, this is a hint.)  Drinks under heat lamps and then ice skating!  I like doing things that I’m good at…skating, that is.  We may never have a basketball date…
The walk back to Grand Central..we had some time to kill before the train, so the ladies got to strut their stuff!
And back where we started…
I liked the last message I got from NY – we should all lean forward…

What is your favorite girls weekend?

>Halloweekend 2010

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Halloweekend this year has come and gone…Friday we missed the Horribles Parade by about 2 minutes…they started a bit early, but we managed to somehow appease two princesses and a yoda with pizza for dinner!
Uncle Brian had grownup of the afternoon locked up!
Cutest he is, yes.
While we were on Main Street for only a few minutes, the Belles managed to meet up with their friend Tiana! (Tara!)
We ran home after a quick stop at the Vin Bin, where the kids posed one more time while waiting patiently for dinner…
Fast forward to Saturday afternoon.  While waiting for our friends to come over, this little rodent (which is a nice term compared to what Nonna calls him!) scoped out the trick or treat scene.
Maddy, Lauren and Katie getting ready to hit the neighborhood with their sweet smiles.  Who could seriously give them tricks?
This is what it looks like when it takes 6 adults to herd 7 kids from candy stop to candy stop.  If you are curious to see what chaos looks like, give me a call.
Luckily, our brood was excited to come home and find just enough of our non-candy items to keep for themselves.  That made my night!  a) it meant that kids took the non-candy stuff and b) it meant that my kids wanted the non-candy stuff!!!
A note:  When you are shopping for Halloween candy to give out, consider something that isn’t totally loaded with sugar and please, for goodness sake, leave the gummy body parts like fingers and eyeballs on the shelf!  Those hit the trash as soon as the girls went to bed!!!
All the sweet stuff behind us, we headed into Election Week (and Uncle Sean’s birthday) armed with enough chocolate to get us through!
Here is a shot of Uncle Sean with his boss, Governor Deval Patrick, Beppo and Nonna.