Monday, December 28, 2009

Gotta love people!

Here's an email received in the Webmaster emailbox:

"new payment system is suck, i dont know what kind of stupid created."

Boy, do I feel dumb.

AZ Republic, Really??

I know. Times are tough for the print industry. Everyone is going online for their news - everyone thinks they can WRITE their own news - newspapers and reporters are hurting.

One would think they would really cater to their subscribers to keep them on board, yes? I get the AZ Republic in town. I've tried the daily, but while I have good intents most of it ends up in my recycle bin unfolded and I read what I can online with a few searches and quite a bit of skimming. I do subscribe to the Sunday delivery and occasionally the whole weekend delivery package. But I like to subscribe when I want to subscribe. I get the postcard deal, I subscribe and I pay in advance for usually a period of 5-6 months. Ideally, they may send me a NEW offer and ask me to renew my subscription OR perhaps call once or twice to upgrade me to a bigger package. I would go along with that. I might even put up with the calls in my oh-so-few evening hours.

What the Republic does instead of offering you the chance to re-subscribe is send you a BILL as if you already owe them for a service you haven't really asked for nor have you received any of it. And they hope you don't notice and just pay it and go on. I hate that. I didn't sign up for an autorenew, I made no commitment other than to receive what I already paid for. So I usually get stubborn and let it lapse and then sign up and pay in advance the next time I get around to it.

This last time I paid in July for a subscription that should have taken me into December. Sometime end of October/early November I stopped getting the paper. It took me a week or so to realize it wasn't a neighbor walking off with my Sunday ads - the deliveries just stopped. So I called them - it took me a while to get a person through their computer system (which did NOT have an account for me by phone or address and would NOT let me pass by until I entered information it liked!). The nice customer service boy discovered I indeed still had "credit" - he had no idea why the deliveries stopped and he put it back in motion. It took a full week or so to kick back in (so one would think I would be credited for the time lost and take my newspapers to the full end of year, right?). But no - the paper stopped around the first week in December. The new "bill" arrived in the mail and then the stalker calls began.

And by stalker calls, I mean the paper would call once a day and an agent would listen to my answering machine reminding callers I'm on the "do not call list" and then they would hang up leaving me a machine full of dial-tones or noises of a call center followed by dial tones. Then last week I got "the letter" - the letter which told me I owed them $22 and they have made efforts to reach me to no avail. Seriously?

So today I took a precious lunch hour and called them. I spent about 8 minutes wrestling with the machine who could not find my account. Each time the machine agreed to transfer me to an agent, it would hang up on me. 3 calls later, I went to the switchboard who had to transfer me (successfully, whew!) to an agent. This girl was a sweetheart. She looked at my account and told me I definitively owed them $22. I asked her to please read my record aloud and tell me when they last received payment and how long that should have taken me to. She then started reading starting with the July payment and then somehow my account showed I was down $92 and then even and then had a credit of $22 and then owed $22. After she got to that point she said, "You know? You're taken care of. I will even out your account and put a note in to stop the calls." I pointed out to her that the "attempts to contact me" involved nightly hangups on my machine, to which she said "oh, that's really bad."

She then tried to sell me on the much easier "Easy Pay" system (yeah, I'm giving you guys my CREDIT CARD to do whatever you will with!). I asked her to explain it better and this is what I got: With Easy Pay I agree to a $17/week fee. They take $17 from my account and each day the paper is successfully delivered, they remove an amount from my account. When the account gets to $0, they bill me again and I keep working my way to $0. If I want to cancel, I have to be sure to contact them BEFORE I get to $0. I asked if there was a tool to check my account balance - no. Seriously? It's this difficult.

She was very nice, I give her credit for that. I told her that while I enjoy the paper, the process is disturbing and for that, I cannot subscribe.

So long story short - don't blame the internet for the demise of the printed newspaper. I blame the muddy, poorly planned red tape. Sheeeeesh!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's a Very Bearded Christmas

This year went FAST. And my nephews are growing up WAY too fast. It pains me. Thank God I'm not growing up so quickly!

In November I started hounding my sister for "the list" from my nephews so I could start the shopping. I long for the days when we bought just fun toys that took up lots of room, made lots of noise and were all sorts of colors. And well, I could play with them. Now it's all about the video games and I find myself wandering around the video department clutching a list and looking as lost as every other grown-up there. We all take turns with the poor kid who works there: "What's the difference between a PS2, a PS3 and this PSP thing?" - "What do you do with this?" - "What ELSE do I need to buy to make this work?" - "Do you have anything that doesn't involve mass murdering?"

Anyway, so I got my list this year and it was the usual list of games for various systems that I know I'm going to need help finding. But then I got to William's list and it filled me with pure delight. He wanted some spy gear (which I discovered was actually Spy Gear™), some Ben 10 Alien Force stuff, a Nerf Gun (yea! simple! that can't be hard, right??); a Spartan costume and a fake beard. Yes, a fake beard. How random is that??

The Nerf gun was NOT easy - I bought 3 before I found the "right" one in stock. I went to two toys stores, 3 Targets and TWO Game Stops before I finished finding all their loot. (And now I have a car full of post-holiday returns to make). But the most fun was my trip to the Mardi Gras costume shop for the fake beard. I bought two one for William and one for his younger brother in case they want to form a bearded gang or something.

I'm happy to say that every time I heard him on the phone - the beard was in his top 3 favorite gifts. Yea! Still some fun in the holiday. And NO, the boys didn't let me break any of their video games.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oh television- how you shaped my world!

I admit it - I am a slave to the television. My parents tried to spare us. We were restricted to some cartoons on a Saturday morning and family-time episodes of Little House on the Prairie - occasionally we would throw in some Waltons and the Dukes of Hazard with some air popped popcorn. I read a million books and I think I was a pretty smart kid.

Then I got older - I was sick a lot and missed a large percentage of my grade school years where I discovered The Andy Griffith Show, I Love Lucy (she's still my hero) and the Dick Van Dyke show. I was studious in high school, dedicated in college and then became a crazy working girl led by the thump thump of the nightlife. Perhaps that's when I began my steady slide into loss of brainpower?

I took on more and more and eventually lost my ability after a busy day pursuing a career to sitcom episode concentration ability. If it took more than a few thoughts and a focus of longer than an episode, I checked out. Before I knew it, I had a tv in every room. My housework is slowed between trips pausing over the couch to catch the fight on the Housewives of Atlanta (for the 2nd time) - I lost hours over Rock of Love (although it did convince me too-short of skirts are now entirely age inappropriate for me!). I don't think I realized that it had taken over my world. Until now. Even though I cancelled cable over 4 years ago because I could "no longer justify paying for my own retardation" - they just never turned it off. each time I had a tech out for a internet issue and would point out that I still had cable, it kept pouring into my television. One tech even told me it was "passive crime" and it wasn't on him - is it really a CRIME if I keep telling them I have it??

Recently I noticed that my cable bill was exceptionally high. When I looked into it, I discovered that the last tech actually placed an order on my behalf and started billing me for the cable!! Needless to say, I had a small fit and told them to pull it out. They did - and it's weird - all those box things in each room silent and grey. I didn't realize how much comfort that background noise gave me. How much I liked to lay on the couch after work to "unwind" (shut down). How coming home and starting work all over again in my office didn't feel like "working" if I had Two and a Half Men playing on the tv next to my desk.

I really, really miss it! BUT I've read more books this year that I have in years! I wonder if I'm actually going to feel my brain working again? I wonder if I'll be able to finish complete sentences soon without grasping for the word I need to express my thoughts?

Now I'm not "free/free" - I have figured out how to watch episodes on my netbook while working on my laptop. I am re-discovering some old DVDs when I want to spend a little couch downtime (The Tick is seriously BRILLIANT how did I forget??)And if I want to take a class at the gym, I don't think "Oh hey, I'll miss The Biggest Loser tonight" (irony, eh?)

I've got a few more obstacles to overcome - for some reason my dogs find me sitting on the couch staring at the big box us spending time together, but me in a chair reading is ignoring them . . . and so we have lots of sighs and whimpers. They will adjust - heck they got an EXTRA walk in the park tonight! And I think I need to get more music making stuff in my house (maybe I use my savings and get XM radio in the house??) THAT might be it.

For now good night - and yes, that's the sound of my BRAIN working (mind the smoke).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Has it really been since July when I last posted to this blog? I have fallen victim to the information overload, social media mixed choices, work-life balance conundrum that I think many of us experience. Life has its moments - it's been a crazy year. I've had some major disappointments, some heart burn, some moments of sadness but am happy still for many many things. I'm still employed. I have a great family. My dogs are adorable. Got a new car. I've really realized some great friendships. I've had a lot of laughs. I am progressing although not at the rate I would *like* to progress. But I'm coming back around. I will post more. I will balance. I will FIGURE it out, right? We all do - and we all get smarter in this ever-changing world.

Now onto my easier goals of finding the perfect man and achieving a smaller waistline. HA!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Saying good-bye to Marsha

And I'm so sad!! We had good times, good times!

Could the paperwork take any longer for the new unnamed car?
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, May 17, 2009

See a spectacle or be a spectacle - bay to breakers 2009

Okay - so there still were naked people that shouldn't be naked - and lots of creative great costumes - but the star of this year's race was ... Swine Flu!! There were flying pigs, sombereo wearing fiesta celebrators in masks, and lots more more pigs! Oh and some naked pigs too!
I love this race :-)

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Can you cough a toenail off?

I know, I know - I've neglected my blog. But if it feels neglected . . . get in line!!

But check this out - I caught a HECK of a cold (the same one lots of people have caught this month, I think) and while the chills have gone, the cold has rested in my chest. Which means night after night of hacking up my lungs instead of sleeping. How are you supposed to heal if you can't sleep?

Friday night was no exception - when I got up in the morning, I felt a pull on my toe and YUP, the toenail fell off!

Your visual aid:

Perhaps it wasn't the cough. Years of running and pounding my toes into the bottom of my shoe. And now it seems like my running days are put on hold. The Plantar Fasciatis I suffered when training for my 2006 marathon might have been a tendinitis instead. I took time off and it got better, but I still had the occasional pain. My return to running has brought it back - and with a vengeance. After a doctor visit and an MRI - I'm told running and hiking are out for a while. (It's my favorite release!) I get fitted for a special orthotic tomorrow and see a specialist in a few weeks. WAH!

Friday, April 3, 2009


Tempe music fest - Amy, Dawn & cowboy mouth & refreshments! Good times!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Charity Chicks Adopt a Platoon boxes are packed and ready to go to Iraq!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, February 23, 2009

I love a parade!

This weekend was the Parada Del Sol parade in Downtown Scottsdale - and I got to ride in it! The annual Parada del Sol Parade is known as the World's Largest Horse Drawn Parade. No motor vehicles allowed!

As the Drinkwater Award recipient, I was privileged to ride with our City Manager John Little and his wife this year! My friend Frances - donning her Charity Chick t-shirt - came along for the ride. I didn't know, but she is already Parada royalty having marched in the parade many times prior in her junior high and high school band days. She grew up in Scottsdale and was a good choice to accompany me.

It was fun - I mean, no one really knew who I was - but since Big Red, the AZ Cardinals mascot, was just ahead of us working the crowd, they seemed truly excited to see us. I imagined when the kids and people were yelling "Yea, Big Red!" that they were talking to me :) I think my wave got a little limp at the end - but hey, I'm not seasoned at this stuff!

And John Little has been Acting City Manager most of the year and has recently removed the "acting" from his title is royalty in his own right. He's worked with the City for I think 30 years and MAN, he knows everyone! I was excited every time I saw a face that was familiar, just so I could try to stack up.

We had fun - and who knew? Parade Del Sol is apparently the biggest day-drinking day of the year! We drove home and came back on the trolley to enjoy the festivities the RIGHT way. A very good day it was!

Friday, February 20, 2009

First, "ewww" - and then: "I gotta buy these"!!

Check out THIS product brought to me by the folks at Daily Candy:

Tired of having your food stolen by sticky-fingered coworkers or roommates? Bullies taking your kid's lunch? Well, worry no more . . . Anti-Theft Lunch Bags are sandwich bags that have green splotches printed on both sides, making your freshly prepared lunch look spoiled. Don't suffer the injustice of having your sandwich stolen again! Protect your lunch with Anti-Theft Lunch Bags.

To view and purchase (or just gag):


Monday, February 16, 2009 Got a Makeover!

It's been time for our website to get a face lift for a while now - and I finally got around to it - and our Charity Chicks website went PINK!

I've got a lot more to do on it - and will try to squeeze it in over the next few weeks. I hope to change all of the photo albums to one consistent design. I'm torn, the last few events have featured a Flickr photo album which is AWESOME for me because uploading, labeling, creating and embedding a new album can be done pretty effortlessly - and it's important to get that stuff posted and on the site right after an event. BUT a lot of people view the site during their working hours - and a lot of business firewalls block Flickr, so I know those people just see a blank white box. I really want to do something with the Grey Box technology, which is I *think* the direction I want to go . . . but am happy for suggestions for new cool (and easy) photo album programs!

I also want to add some more images to our "About Us" page and add links to images and video of the various awards that I mention. I've started a YouTube Channel and am trying to look for more opportunities to promote Charity Chicks via YouTube . . . AND the last step is to expand our "Links" page. I want a partners/sponsors listing where we can highlight more of the venues and major prize donors. And what is UP with the white bar in the "Upcoming Events" sidebar when I view it on Firefox??

My last immediate goal is to expand on our Facebook group and try to maximize some exposure there. I created a group but am wondering if I should have created a Fan page instead. I really need to learn MORE about how to use Facebook as a marketing tool beyond my social uses of it.

Crazy weekend with a bunch of skirts

I can't believe I've fallen into yet ANOTHER week and have not accomplished HALF of what I needed to this weekend. Seriously, it's not like I sat around . . . where do the seconds go?? Come to think of it though, I did cram in a LOT this weekend and it was fun, fun, fun!

FRIDAY night - our band played so the girls went to dinner - had some wine, and more wine - and then went to the show. We had FUN - but we are a little too old to go that hard and that late - and not regret it a bit in the morning. I was not being conscious of having to get up early the next day, pack and set up a booth, run a race and network my brains out! BUT I was fuuuuuny and I can persevere!

SATURDAY - I had a very rough start but got myself packed up and dressed in my little running skirt and we headed out to Tempe Town Lake to set up a booth at the expo area for the Skirt Chaser Race. The Skirt Chaser run is a FUN 5k event that goes around Tempe Town Lake. It was started and is sponsored by a company called Skirt Sports who brought running skirts into the market and made them cool - and now they are everywhere! It's fun to run, sweat and STILL look a little cute! :-) In the Skirt Chaser race, the girls start 3 minutes before the boys (who wear shirts that say "Skirt Chaser" surprisingly enough). There were all sort of skirts - the official race skirts - and a whole bunch of homemade FUN skirts (on some of the boys as well).

This was my friend Diane's FIRST 5K and I think I've got her hooked. She has no desire to ever do a marathon - but I see a few more 5ks and maybe a 10k in her future! I'm happy to say that I was in the top 30% of the girl finishers - someday I might be in the top 20%?? Who knows . . .

The race promoter/organizer was kind enough to give Charity Chicks a free booth at the expo, so I bought us a pop-up awning (my garage is almost completely stocked with Charity Chick supplies at this time) and we set up a table and signage and managed to get some NEW peeps added to our email list!
Could we be any cuter in these matching skirts?

After breaking down the event and loading everything back in my garage, I spent another couple hours (still in that crazy running skirt - BRRRR) at the park with another group of old friends and co-workers. It was great to see everyone but I was BEAT.

Sunday was another whirl of tasks, responsibilities and me nursing a scratchy throat. My body just can't take all this excitement! My folks came over with pizza for dinner and then I spent the rest of the night trying to finish work - adding my NEW people to the database and finally sending the Charity Chicks email at 12:30!!

Does it feel like this blog is turning into a "Dear Diary: Here's what I did last week" thang? Must work on it!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Friendships that LAST

So. I was just filling out my eHarmony profile this weekend (more on that later, I think) and drinking champagne with my friend Diane. The profile questionnaire asked a LOT of questions about my biggest influences and the things I treasure and the things I can't live without . . . and it basically all came down to PEOPLE.

I have been TRULY blessed with an amazing family and fabulous friends. Some people are lucky to have one or two good friends in their lifetime - I'm not sure what I did that was so good - but I have much more than that. And now this crazy thing called The Internet ™ allows me to re-connect with friends after life has separated us, stay in touch with friends I wish I could see more often and even meet new ones!

The past month or so has been about re-connecting with old friends. My high school girlfriend Stacey - we MEAN to see each other more often, but it takes her dad to fly in from Iowa once a year who insists that I join the family dinner to prompt us to book something on the calendar. (Although I'm happy to say I'm taking a day off work this month and going to a Cubs Spring Training game with Stacey and her cousin Karena - yea!).

My "other" family @ dinner!

Then through the magic of Facebook, I found my friends Donna and Sheila. I think of Donna often and miss her contagious energy. Sheila - how I lived life without hearing the TRUTH from a Brooklyn tongue before, I don't know. (It was through Sheila that I met my other Brooklyn girlfriend Chrisann.) Sheila plays the violin (or is it officially a fiddle??) in several Irish bands and she is INSANELY talented! The minute we all connected online, we planned a girls evening and spent a LOT of time remembering some CRAZY stories - dang, I've lived a life!!! I can't wait for us to spend more time together - in fact, Donna is going to help out at a Charity Chick event THIS weekend!!

The gang - we haven't been in the same room
together all of us for 15 or so years!

Sheila and Donna!

This weekend I had the pleasure of going to my other high school girlfriend Kim's 40th birthday party. We have made our best efforts to stay in touch over the years - a lunch here and there - but time still manages to keep on ticking. Her baby sister is grown into a wonderful mother. Kim's kids are outgrowing all of us - and so grown up! And that fabulous husband I had the pleasure of donning a red dress and watching her marry 21+ years ago (almost to their 22nd anniversary!!) was the BEST host and made her party special. I'm so glad to still play a small part in their lives.

Approaching their 22nd anniversary and STILL smiling!

The birthday girl et moi!

Now I'm all warm and fuzzy!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Impressed my GLASS off

I've been wanting to go to the Desert Botanical Gardens and see the Dale Chihuly installation since I first read about it. This weekend, my friend Matt and I finally went. Man, it is impressive! Not like the Arizona landscape isn't beautiful enough - and they do such an amazing job at the DBG at presenting all of nature's desert beauty with some educational features and in a cozy park setting - but then you juxtapose that landscape with the amazing colors and shapes of this glass installation - pretty darn cool. (Those aren't the right descriptive words - but that's all I got right now!)

Most people are familiar with Chihuly's work from the Belagio lobby in Las Vegas (at least us commoners), but he's been stirring things up in the art world since the 60s - taking something that was often played with in small art shapes (glass scultures and such) and making it grandiose and colorful and with botanical shapes. I've always wanted to dabble a little in glass art (so many "I want to"s in my short life!) and want to visit a glass studio in Jerome one of these days and watch it.

All I know is I want to see MORE. I want to learn more and am in search of a documentary so I can watch the creation in process. But really, my unmet desire was - I WANT TO TOUCH IT!

Especially the blue crystal-shaped orbs in the pond. I'm pretty sure they were floating - or were they fastened to something and the water around them made it seem like they are floating?? Big pieces made of glass - floating? If you read in the paper some week about some crazy chick caught breaking into the Desert Botanical Gardens in the middle of the night . . . that would be ME in wading boots touching those darn things! I want to KNOW!

Anyway - some more pictures for your enjoyment . . .

P.S. My backyard is BORING! I need some color!!

P.P.S. I posted this - then went to NetFlix and VOILA! TONS of documentaries!! Which to start with . . . ?

Monday, January 26, 2009

And I raaaaan . . .

I'm a little delayed in my posting, but YES. I ran the PF Changs half marathon last weekend and YES I finished. I think this is my 4th time running it? I can't remember, need to rummage through my medals...

I was pretty worried. I had a rough year with my body and all the injuries. When I finally was able to run again my training was going GREAT and then the holidays came . . . so I only got up to 8 miles in training (I did a 10 mile day once, but it didn't count because I was having an "off" day and forgot my water and walked for about 40% of it). A jump from 8 to 13.1 is pretty drastic.

I predicted my finish time to be 2:30. And I finished at 2:23 - so yea, me! And I felt pretty good after all was said and done. Going from the canal to 13+ miles on city streets definitely impacted my foot/ankle issues. But I had MORE in me - so that was good. I have a 2 hour half marathon in me I'm sure of it . . .

This is what 2 hours and 23 minutes does to my face!

The good stuff also - I was the co-captain organizing a team for my city. We were team FitScottsdale and we had really cool shirts - and we won the GOLD RECORD for having the largest municipal team. My biggest stress was organizing and renting the trolley. I finally got enough passengers to cover the cost - then I ran my pickup and parking plan by the race organizers. And still all week all I could picture was the team standing in a parking lot staring at me at 5:30 am with our trolley stuck in road closures and traffic. But it went BEAUTIFULLY and I picked ROCK STAR parking at the start line. We had a warm trolley to hang in while others shivered at the start line. We had snacks. We were right next to port-a-potties (the secret ones for the ELITE athletes). It was awesome. And I was so stressed over that darn trolley that I didn't even worry about the run once everything worked out. So it was a FABulous day. And then the Cardinals got into the SUPER BOWL - crazy Sunday!

Next, I've talked my friend Diane into her first organized race. We're doing the SkirtChaser 5K on Valentine's Day. 3.3 miles - easy. But I need to practice so I don't look as deflated and sweaty at the end. It's a 2:15 pm on a Saturday in February. It could be perfect - or it could be toasty . . . we shall see. And cute boys? One can hope!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Whoa, Neti!

I can finally say it - I used my Neti Pot. Not that I didn't believe all the things G & B told me about it . . . it just took a bit of desperation for me to shove salty water up my nose . . .

On Thursday I was officially sick. Yes, right before a race. It figures. It happens almost every time. I had the sore throat, I was run down and I could not stop sneezing. As I went into a meeting Thursday afternoon at our Water Department with my roll of toilet paper, I heard once again about the powers of washing out your schnoz.

My mom gave this to me a year ago and I've gotten it out multiple times. Then I read the part about "be sure to breathe out your mouth" and "tilt your head just so . . " and it seems way too coordinated for me and I put it away again.

But Thursday night I pulled it out, made the warm salty solution and DID IT. Not so bad. I actually feel silly for avoiding it for so long. Two more times Friday morning. And I have to say: I FEEL BETTER. Mind you, I still have a little wheeze but a few more cleanses and a lot more Airborne and I should be good to go!

So now, it's all about me and my feet tomorrow. I can DO IT. I've done it before but I feel less prepared this time than ever it feels. I don't plan to set a personal record, but I'd like to also not do my worst time ever either!

My only fear left is that dang trolley. You see, I'm in charge of the team and we booked a city trolley to take us from the finish to the start line tomorrow. It will be nice to have a warm trolley to hang out on before starting the race. I only fear that all my planning - all the info I sent to the driver - that she'll get hung up in traffic and road closures and my team will be standing in the parking lot staring at me. Or that people are late and the person on the trolley who is running the full marathon starts an hour before us and I'll have to make a call whether to leave people behind. AAAAH. I could not have planned better so I will only THINK POSITIVE TODAY.

More tomorrow. Off to rinse the nostrils again!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Yea, me!

Last week had a very cool moment for me (and my parents). It was the 38th Annual City Manager Awards. Since the Scottsdale Center for the Arts is under rennovation, we held it at the Scottsdale Stadium. Yes, outside - in the morning - in January. Brrr. Only in Arizona, right?

It was pretty fun - and all baseball themed (you know, being on a baseball field and all . . . ) My friend and co-worker Kevin had saved seats in the front - with a blanket - and I was happy to oblige and share the blanket. Little did I know it was a ploy to get me up front and out of the way so my boss could sneak my parents into the stands.

Lots of cool people got cool awards. I'm never not interested in hearing all of the things people accomplish while at their city jobs. I mean, we serve people. Needs are met - and it's our JOB. It's really cool and there are some pretty amazing people I'm priviledged to work with.

Then they got to the Drinkwater Award. From the press release: "The Drinkwater award, in its 11th year, goes annually to a Scottsdale city employee or employees who set an outstanding example through their volunteerism and dedication to serving others."

Mayor Manross began to describe the recipient - and IT WAS ME. When I got up to receive the award, I heard my parents going crazy. They had a GREAT time and were so proud. I'm so happy that despite my crazy mid-20s, I still managed to grow into someone they could be proud of. My dad cried. I love that. I love them so much.

I'm pretty humbled. I mean, Charity Chicks has been my heart and soul for a long time. I'm so pleased at how people get energized and that I can help make a difference in this world. And yet, I don't do THAT much. I've seen Oprah's Angels Network - I don't do nearly enough. But I am driven to make 2009 an amazing year!

I am happy to be honored and it was a special moment for my family.

Amy on stage

Super cool award

Look what my parents had left in my house when I got home

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Boys

Had to share these of my fabulous nephews. Seriously, they don't MAKE kids this good anymore. I am so proud of them and my wonderful sister (you too Ken!!)



It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

December sure whizzed by didn't it? To wrap up the year I'll do a quick summation post and then we're on to 2009!!

I started a weight loss competition at work in December. YUP. Right before the holidays, how crazy is that? I was able to give them 2.5 pounds the first 2 weeks, but am not so sure about THIS week's weigh in . . . eek. But we go until Feb 24th so hopefully I can give a LOT more.

My cookie diet? It's going S-L-O-W. The doctor is concerned at how slow my progress is given the regiment and we're going to investigate OTHER internal issues after my half marathon in two weeks. I might need to switch plans. Luckily I was down fat but up muscle at this last weigh in, which is good. But the pounds are STILL there.

Me in the weigh-in line wearing our cool team t-shirt. Photo courtesy of Blair's snazzy iPhone.

Natasha and I took in the Art Walk Third Thursday in Downtown Scottsdale in December as well. It was VERY cool. A band, lights on the canal, some interesting time-lapse light photos, an ice sculptor AND we got to paint quilt squares for domestic violence shelters. Kind of fun to be sitting in downtown Scottsdale on a Thursday night PAINTING.

Natasha at work on her cool piece.
Me and the ice reindeer (recognize my Christmas card?)

Lots of fun stuff over the holiday weeks - Bailey's making party - spending the night at my sister's and waking up with the family on Christmas - my nephews and all their video games - I made Christmas dinner for my folks and my puppies got some GOOD gifts, too!

The girls and I decided to ring in the New Year at the Scottsdale Block Party this year. It wasn't too cold, the crowd was fun and we had a pretty good time! (Except for the nagging pain in my belly all night long . . . )

LOOK - we're HOT!

We took the trolley to the party and then barely managed to snag a cab home in the wee hours of the night. And then my hell began. That nagging pain? I either poisoned myself in the making of our pre-night turkey meatball and spaghetti dinner or I had the worst flu ever. I was violently ill for two days. But no one else got sick so I am happy to report that my culinary skills didn't poison anyone else. I either didn't wash my hands well enough after making the balls (good lesson, kids!) OR my little sample before I decided to further nuke the turkey balls was enough to almost kill me.

I look at it as a cleansing and starting 2009 FRESH. Sounds good, right? I am SO ready for a great year!