Friday, December 31, 2010

Changing My Perception...

It's January 1, 2011. That means a fresh start. A new outlook on life. At least that's what it means to me.

A new outlook on life.

I'm embarrassed to admit that even with all of the blessings in my life, I have a difficult time accepting them, appreciating them, and keeping a positive outlook. I want that to change this year. That's why I've chosen "perceive" as my word of the year.

Simply put, "perceive" is to attain awareness or understanding... to notice or become aware of something. It can be a mental process, or it can mean becoming aware of something through your senses. Both definitions work for me, as I embark on this new word journey in 2011. As I focus on how I perceive things, I hope to see through the worry and negativity and become more aware of the good things in my life. To count my blessings. I also hope to slow down and truly experience life through all of my senses. Listening to and appreciating the sounds that surround me... the laughter of children, the rustling of leaves in the wind. Seeing and appreciating the beauty all around me... the way the sun's rays break through clouds, the mist rising from the river. Acknowledging the soft comfort of an old t-shirt or warm blanket.

This will be my third year focusing on a word rather than trying to keep resolutions. During 2009, Annemarie, Peggy, Wendy, Julie, and I posted jointly each month about our words and how they were impacting our lives. Last year, left to my own devices, my word "fulfillment" fell to the side. I tried to think about it off and on through the year, but I often let the busy demands of life push feelings of fulfillment to the side. At least far enough to the side that I wasn't truly acknowledging how fulfilling my life was.

This year will be different. To make my word more a part of my life, I plan to share my journey here, and you're invited to join me.

Interested in choosing your own word for the year? I have two blogs for you to visit. The first one is Christine Kane's. She has a free discovery tool you can download as you think about the word you want to focus on for 2011. I also want you to visit Caroline at Constantly Evolving and Nowordz Photography. Not only will you get to see beautiful photography, but you will also read inspiring posts. It was Caroline who inspired me to choose a word in 2009.

Finally, I want to wish you an amazing new year... A year full of blessings and good times.

And the artwork at the top... that's mine! My first mixed-media piece of art. I was so excited to finally, finally, use canvas and paint and paper and embellishments and gel medium and gesso to create art. I'll be posting another one soon.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Was a Teenager's Mom Today...

Chauffering my daughter from
one social engagement
to the next one.

She watched a movie with one
set of friends, and then
she went ice skating
with another set.

Then dinner, and
I was invited.

We had other things
to do today, but
this was way
more fun.

Friday, November 26, 2010

'Tis the Season...

for list-making, gift-shopping, and spending time with friends and family. And while some brave Americans were out before dawn this morning to take advantage of post-Thanksgiving sales, my thoughts turned to a different type of gift. A gift that brings hope to the recipient. Click on one of the arrows below and see what you think. I've signed up. Maybe this is something you'll want to add to your list this holiday season.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks....

for the quiet moment at dusk as the day's light begins to fade * peppermint mocha frappacinos * being with my family * snuggling with my daughter * receiving hugs from Scout * and giving hugs back * the way the morning light filters into the sunroom * fulfilling work * the most wonderful daughter in the world * a home * a car that does what it's supposed to do * books that stop me in my tracks * beautiful photographs * peace * music that makes me get up and dance * the time I spend with my daughter * freedom and liberties that come with being an American * my education * the best mother- and father-in-law on the planet * the comfort of a cozy bed on a Saturday morning * the warmth of the fireplace during the cold months of Winter * starry skies at night and blue skies during the day * cloud pictures * rare snowfalls * sisters who listen * rich and creamy coffee ice cream * the sound of ocean waves crashing onto shore * family even though we're miles apart * friends and co-workers who brighten my day * a husband who makes life easier and happier than I could have ever imagined.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Okay, This Time It's Me....

Jumping for Joy....
It's a beautiful day,
and I'm on Thanksgiving break.
What could be better?

Maybe, just maybe, I'll accomplish something tomorrow.

Until then, I'll practice my leaps.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jumping for Joy....

Do you have any idea
how excited I am to have
Thanksgiving break next week?

Let's just say

that I am


for joy!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fall Beauty

Today began like many of my Saturdays. I stretched my arms over my head after I woke up, relishing the comfort of my warm bed. After a chat with my sister, I moved into the living room and settled into a chair by the fireplace to read the newspaper. Then, I did what I inevitably do... I pulled out a batch of papers and began to grade.

A little while later, that girl of mine asked if I would go outside with her. Not really in the mood for a walk in the woods, I took her up on her offer anyway. We made our way over broken logs and pushed past some of the last bits of fall foliage, stopping every now and then to take pictures.

It didn't take me long at all to enjoy the moment. The sky enveloped us in a deep blue; trees towered over us casting dappled rays of sunlight across our path. We climbed up hills and remembered days long past when the woods were a wild playground for a little girl and her mom.

It was a beautiful fall day.... A beautiful moment with a beautiful girl.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Maybe They're Growing Up...

Or maybe their teachers from last year exaggerated a bit to induce a sheer state of panic among teachers on C hall. Either way, I'm pretty proud to be teaching this year's 8th-graders at my school. In fact, after hearing all of the horror stories about what was headed our way, I'm really happy. They're really not so bad. In fact, I like them. A lot.

What makes things a little more difficult is the fact that we are short one teacher on our hall this year. Instead of dividing our students among seven teachers (or even eight as it was my first four years of teaching), we are dividing them among six teachers. I'm on the four-person team, which means I have ninety-nine students this year. Yes, that's ninety-nine. Or one hundred if I have one more student enroll. Let's keep our fingers crossed about that....

In the meantime, I'm still getting to know the ones I do have, and they're still getting to know me and what I will and won't put up with. Which isn't very much since I have a lot of teaching to do this year.

And I think they've just about figured that out. Maybe.

Monday, August 9, 2010

It Was Just One of Those Days...

when expectations and disappointment collided, leaving my hopes dashed and crumpled at my feet. No one likes to think of those two words together, yet invariably, they meet and crash as they did with me last Friday.

Talk about high expectations...! My airline ticket had been purchased months ago and plans had been made to spend the weekend with four of my blog friends. I had never met any of them in person; this meeting, this get-together, would be a first. I even left work early to keep from being late and missing my flight.

But once I got to the airport, I sat and waited and sat and read and sat and chatted for what seemed like forever. There wasn't just one flight delayed due to weather, but several, including an earlier flight to my same destination. And all the time as I sat there, I remained patient. I waited. I watched the hours go by, planes land, passengers disembark. Finally, my plane did arrive. But just as we began boarding, we were told there had been a mechanical malfunction of some sort. They grounded the plane. And while other flights continued to take off right there at my gate, I still had hope. I still had high expectations.

Then there was a new gate and the promise of a plane sitting and waiting for us. Another hour ticked by. More minutes, perhaps a half hour, passed, when finally, I noticed the captain making his way to the desk. He didn't look too good, I thought. He looked off. Tired. I wondered if he just got in from one of those flights full of delays.

And then, more than eight hours after I had arrived, they made the announcement. Our flight was cancelled. The crew had too many hours and couldn't fly. Cancelled. Finished. Over.

Rebooking didn't help. I was politely told that my new flight would land after 9 p.m. on Saturday. The few seats available on other airlines showed promise of an earlier afternoon arrival, yet there were lay-overs and plane changes. Even a four-hour layover before a 50-minute final hop to my destination. And what if I encountered all of this again on my way home... With ninety-nine students waiting in my classroom first thing Monday morning, could I risk it?

Oh, I wanted to keep going. I so wanted to be there with my friends. But by then, I knew it was over. And disappointment got the best of me.

I walked away and found a seat away from the crowd. As I leaned my head against my bag, my tears began to flow. I had been patient, and trusting, and filled with expectant joy all day awaiting this wonderful weekend with friends, only to have my expectations end in such finality.

Then she appeared.... This angel of a person. She came up to me and asked if I was okay. I couldn't speak, of course.... I nodded and managed to tell her that I was fine. "Are you sure," she asked. Yes, I nodded. I'm okay. Really.

And at that moment, it all came into focus. A new perspective had been found. While I was due my disappointment, I couldnt' stop my thoughts from turning to the other people on my flight and the one before it. I thought of the stories I hadn't been told. Of the man dressed in his Navy uniform heading somewhere... home, perhaps, after being away for a long time? To a waiting wife or an ailing mother or father? Who knew what stories each of those passengers held close to his or her heart.

It was at that moment that I had to accept the collision course of expectations and disappointment. I had to tell myself that a greater power was at work, that it just wasn't meant to be. Why? I'll never know. But it happened. And for whatever reason, I knew at 1:30 a.m. that I would not be visiting my friends. I headed to my car and drove home.

I confess that I did check flights again on Saturday morning. Bleary eyed from little sleep, I tried to convince myself that catching another flight and visiting with them for even a few hours would be worth it. From what I could tell from the rates, a rental car would add about $300 to my trip. Gulp. Or it would be a two-hour round trip drive for someone to meet me at the airport. That's when I closed the computer and tiptoed into my daughter's room.

Quietly I slipped into her empty bed and peeked over the blanket, just waiting for her to walk back into the room. And when she did, I smiled at her look of surprise. I was home.

Peggy, Annemarie, Wendy, Julie and I first met several years ago on We continued our friendship on our blogs and joined together last year to share and post reflections on the words we chose for the year.

Friday, July 30, 2010

I Know It's a Bit Incongruous...

to have a summer rafting picture on the same page as this winter header, but I figured that if I had limited time, I would be better off sharing about our recent trip to North Carolina than to worry over getting my header up to date. That's my thinking at the moment anyway.

Anyway, that's Hannah and me in the raft, along with our guide, Cotton, who is in the very back, and another guy who just happened to be put in the raft with us. He's the one who is definitely not paddling or attempting to paddle as evidenced by his outstretched arms and hands proudly hoisting his oar high into the air when he was supposed to be paddling forward. (Just between you and me, I think he knew where the photographer was standing).

We were on the French Broad River near Asheville. It's a slower trip than the Ocoee River in Tennessee, with a little less action, but the scenery comes close to that of the Chattooga River area. We also had a chance to jump off a cliff (okay, maybe it wasn't as high as a cliff, but it was at least a rock outcropping pretty high above the river) and picnic on a little island.

Craig, as you can see, decided to try his skills in an inflatable kayak.

Before I go, I'll have to brag on the food we ate while in Asheville. I'm not sure if it's my age, or what, but this is the first trip I've taken that turned out to be such a culinary delight. Our first dinner was at Bistro 1896 (or some number similar to that). The berry dessert there was scrumptious. At Vincenzo's, a cozy little Italian spot, the pasta was both plentiful and savory. During our shopping expedition later in the week, Hannah and I stopped in at Early Girl Eatery for lunch where we feasted on a grilled chicken sandwich. Did I mention that the sandwich had goat cheese on it? In fact, we were so impressed with Early Girl that we brought Craig back the next day for breakfast. Our two other dinner time triumphs were the Tupulo Honey Cafe where I ordered an appetizer of fried green tomatoes on a bed of grits and the Sunset Terrace at The Grove Park Inn. The food, and the view from the terrace, were excellent.

Honestly, I don't think I've ever carried on over food the way I have this week. In fact, I don't think I've been so gastronomically happy in my life!

How about you? Do you have a favorite restaurant that you always look forward to visiting?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I couldn't resist...

playing with more beach pictures tonight. Instead of creating my own layout, I decided to use two theme pages from Scrapblog. It was a very time-saving way to highlight a few of my favorite photos from our afternoon at the beach.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Shades of Summer

I would love to tell you what I've been doing for the past three months, but it's really rather bland.... I've concocted blog posts in my head many times but never seemed to find the time to sit down at my computer and compose them. I've kept them close and have been at home just being a wife and mother, a sometimes housekeeper, well, I'm sure you understand how life just takes over at times and pulls one away from keyboards and monitors and mice.

Pictures always seem to tempt me back to the computer though. Especially pictures taken at the beach. So, here I am once again sharing my favorite subject with you... my daughter. I think she's gorgeous, and sweet, and smart, and about 100,000 other wonderful things. But for now I'll just leave you with it.

I hope you're enjoying your summer. I am.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I escaped...

to Barnes and Noble for a little while yesterday. I've always found that I belong amid racks of books and magazines.... As I wander along, I touch a few book covers and hold some volumes in my hands, reading the back and skimming through a few paragraphs before placing them back on the shelf. I admit that I do judge a book by its cover. I love the texture and the feel and the images that were chosen.

I always find myself in the same areas of the store.... I browse the tables where 75% off makes it hard to resist buying something new. I scan the titles in the education aisle hoping for something new and inspiring. I take a peek into religious books, memoirs, and children's picture books, never sure what will capture my attention.

As a child, I had my own library system and would let friends check out my books. Each book had a carefully crafted check-out card in the back, and an index box sat close by cradling the cards that awaited reunions. I imagined owning my own book store one day. I imagined a seating area with coffee and cocoa close by. I imagined tables and racks of books and magazines, storytime.... I imagined The Shop Around the Corner from "You've Got Mail." I imagined a smaller version of Barnes and Noble.

When I was growing up, there were no independently-owned bookstores in my town. There were no Barnes and Nobles or Books A Million. Trips to a neighboring K-Mart helped me build my library.

Just now as I peeked into the green plastic bag, I smiled.... Good reading is ahead, although I will probably have to save it for spring break. I bought Sue Monk Kidd's collaboration with her daughter, Traveling with Pomegranates. As a mother nearing the 50-year mark, with a daughter soon to be entering high school, I'm sure it will make me stop and reflect on and savor the time I have with my daughter before college and work and a new family sidle in. I also bought a CD set of The Chronicles of Narnia. I've looked at this marked-down version for six months probably and finally tucked the last set safely under my arm.... It's a "just in case" purchase.... You know the kind; you don't really need it now, but you might one day. And the new issue of Somerset Digital Studio. It definitely inspires me to play with pictures and create.

But now, before Pomegranates, Narnia, or digital design, I have papers to grade and lessons to plan for next week. But the promise of what's inside the green bag lingers in my mind, the whisper of a favorite melody.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mosaic Monday: Winter Play

It was a snow day this past Friday. I think my students knew more than I did; several asked me on Thursday what time it was supposed to snow on Friday. Hmmmm. I couldn't answer that question, nor did I really, truly think we would have snow. But we did. And the official notice came in plenty of time for us to get ready to enjoy a four-day weekend.

We played in the snow on Friday and went for a walk, marveling out how so many snowflakes would join together in bunches as they fell from the sky. We would eye one cluster high above us, then stick out our tongues and try to catch them... giggling when they would land on our noses or splat in an eye instead.

I'm sure that if anyone peeked out of their windows as we walked by, they would have thought we looked a bit like Maggie chasing after snowflakes.

I'd like to order another snow day and four-day weekend.... Perhaps two weeks from now?

I'm taking part in Mary's Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. If you want a visual treat, click on over!

Friday, February 12, 2010

If you happen to see a heart floating around...

it's from us....
Happy Valentine's Day!


Hannah got this idea from the clever Color Me Katie site. If you haven't met Katie yet, you should go for a visit. But be prepared, you'll want to stay a while.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Getting it Right....

Have you ever thought, really thought, about how empty your life would be without certain people in it? How just knowing certain people helps you stay on an even keel during both smooth and tumultuous times? For me, that person is my sister, Traci. An idealist, a dreamer, a rock-solid realist all rolled into one.

With four years between us, she was often a little too old to play with her little sister, but I remember spending hours and hours in the floor with her, Barbies and Barbie clothes spread out before us....

I remember peering from the stairs to catch glimpses of "Dark Shadows," too afraid to sit out in the open without my sister close by....

I remember my sister slipping me money, so I could buy a slice of pizza at the skating rink.

When she went off to college, I remember writing her pages and pages of letters, many of which were recaps of the latest novel I was reading. But for me, it was a way of talking to her even when she wasn't there.

I remember how she never said one ill word toward me when I went to her house "to help her out" after her first child was born. Me. A skydiving, plane-flying, non-child-rearing person at the time. I got so lost on my way back from the grocery store, I ended up in the next town. She had to get out at night to help me find my way back to her home.

Not long ago, I posted a list of people and things for which I was grateful. Leave it to me to leave her off that list. My sister. My cheerleader. My confidante. My friend. I told her that she was in a realm of her own. That the gratitude list just didn't go high enough to include her. And she should know.

A couple of years ago when she was preparing to go on an Emmaus Walk, I wrote a letter to her that shared my feelings and made it clear how very special she is in my life. She never got the letter. It never arrived. And while I could never come up with the same words that I used that day, the feeling is the same. She is a precious person to me, and I can't imagine how empty my life would be without her.

I'm thankful to be a part of her world and that she is a part of mine... a big part that can't be filled by any other. You know the saying, "you're more than a sister, you're a friend?" It's absolutely true.

The photo is of Traci with her son as they welcome his baby sister into the world. Can't you just see the love?
I have another sister, Parris, who is also a dear and special part of my life. She'll take center stage soon in an upcoming post. xoxo

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nineteen Years.... Really?

I remember
the proposal at a University of Alabama football game
saying "yes," then immediately locking our keys in the car
I remember
finding the perfect dress, but then buying it a size too big in another town
the perfect shoes and veil all within my budget
I remember
walking down the aisle and saying "I do"
knowing it was the best thing that had happened in my life
I remember
Mom and Traci and Parris
Carson, Mikal, and Matt
I remember
how perfect the weather was that day... warm breezes and blue sky
and how perfect the weather was for our honeymoon
a ski trip where buckets of snow seemed to fall from the sky
But what I didn't realize then
was just how blessed my life truly would be
with a comfortable home
and a precious family of my own.
Happy Anniversary to us!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Today Could Have Been a Celebration....

We've been reading and studying poetry the last couple of weeks, a nice repreive from all of the essay-writing we tackled during the fall. It's such a nice change of pace as we peer into the words of poets past looking for examples of alliteration, personification, and imagery... the magic pixie dust of writing.

This week, as we read about Sidney Lanier, we realized that this is his birthday week, and that today, February 3, is his birthday. Oh how I wish I had thought ahead and bought a birthday cake in honor of this amazing poet. How fun it would have been to bring party hats to school and let my students partake in the festivities. But, I thought too late and wasn't too sure I would be willing to pay for a sheet-cake big enough for 93 hungry eighth-graders. And they wouldn't want me to bake one myself.

But it was a good idea. Maybe next year?

In the meantime, here's a favorite of mine...

The Song of the Chattahoochee
Out of the hills of Habersham,
Down the valleys of Hall,
I hurry amain to reach the plain,
Run the rapid and leap the fall,
Split at the rock and together again,
Accept my bed, or narrow or wide,
And flee from folly on every side
With a lover's pain to attain the plain
Far from the hills of Habersham,
Far from the valleys of Hall.

All down the hills of Habersham,
All through the valleys of Hall,
The rushes cried `Abide, abide,'
The willful waterweeds held me thrall,
The laving laurel turned my tide,
The ferns and the fondling grass said `Stay,'
The dewberry dipped for to work delay,
And the little reeds sighed `Abide, abide,
Here in the hills of Habersham,
Here in the valleys of Hall.'

High o'er the hills of Habersham,
Veiling the valleys of Hall,
The hickory told me manifold
Fair tales of shade, the poplar tall
Wrought me her shadowy self to hold,
The chestnut, the oak, the walnut, the pine,
Overleaning, with flickering meaning and sign,
Said, `Pass not, so cold, these manifold
Deep shades of the hills of Habersham,
These glades in the valleys of Hall.'

And oft in the hills of Habersham,
And oft in the valleys of Hall,
The white quartz shone, and the smooth brook-stone
Did bar me of passage with friendly brawl,
And many a luminous jewel lone --
Crystals clear or a-cloud with mist,
Ruby, garnet and amethyst --
Made lures with the lights of streaming stone
In the clefts of the hills of Habersham,
In the beds of the valleys of Hall.

But oh, not the hills of Habersham,
And oh, not the valleys of Hall
Avail: I am fain for to water the plain.
Downward the voices of Duty call --
Downward, to toil and be mixed with the main,
The dry fields burn, and the mills are to turn,
And a myriad flowers mortally yearn,
And the lordly main from beyond the plain
Calls o'er the hills of Habersham,
Calls through the valleys of Hall.

~ Sidney Lanier 1877

P.S. Happy Birthday!
Photo: Sierra Club

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Have you ever fallen in love...

with someone you just couldn't have? Years ago, during a college astronomy class, I fell head over heels in love with the constellation, Orion. That gallant hunter who fills part of the winter sky with his presence....

At the time, young and working my way through college, I felt a connection with Orion. I considered him a guardian watching over me. Even now with the passage of time, I find myself waiting for that first glimpse of him during late fall and early winter. Soon, he will be gone again, watching over someone else in another part of the world. But I know that as soon as the nights lengthen across the shadows of day, he'll be back to watch over me. And I'll send another kiss his way.

I wrote the poem during college and remember it still.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This is when I stop and wonder...

if all of the hard work will pay off. Today is the big day.... The day my students get to show me and show themselves how they have progressed as writers this year. And, oh, how I've worked them! I see myself through their eyes.... glasses perched on the tip of my nose, imaginary whip in hand as I have them write one more time... as I have them add details one more time... as I have them re-read that sentence to make sure it makes sense... one more time.

Since August, I've graded between 450 and 500 essays. The last batch over the weekend after my students had put pen to paper once again for a practice writing test. And as much as I love to write and enjoy seeing my students mature as writers, I'm ready for the push to be over. I'm ready to redirect our efforts toward literature and poetry. Toward rhythm and rhyme.

I bet you can hear the relief in my voice.

And hope.

Hope that my students remember what they've learned so far this year as they face the final prompt tomorrow.

Hope that they will capitalize the first words of their sentences and put periods at the end.

Hope that they will craft interesting phrases and call on imagery and figurative language to help them express their thoughts, their ideas.

That they'll know the difference between persuasive and expository.

And that they'll proofread their papers one last time.

I've been reminded more than once that our scores on the writing test don't affect our Adequate Yearly Progress. That they won't hold us back. That I really could get by without grading so many essays each year... without teaching so much about writing. But, you know what? My students will have to pass the 11th-grade writing test to graduate from high school. And I want them to be ready for it.

I want them to face a blank page with confidence and assurance, and then...

I want them to get out their pens and write.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Looking for Fulfillment...

It's time that I put 'fulfillment' to work for me. That means, today at least, fulfilling a promise to myself and to my students. I have to finish grading my students' essays!

Funny how we put some things off and let them hang over our head like a dark cloud. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy finding out what my students wrote, but having to do something, is what often makes me procrastinate the most. And essays take a.lot.of.time to grade. On the upside... I can choose from a rainbow of colored pens to mark with... I'm using one of my blue Staedtler triplus fineliners for today's grading marathon. And I can sit in my comfy chair in front of the fireplace as I work.

My husband is already up and at it with a full day of activities on his schedule... a work-out, some work at the office, drop off his dry-cleaning, a small bit of shopping as he prepares for a trip. I, on the other hand, have had a leisurely morning although I, too, have a full day of activities to mark off my list. I think this happens when you use January 1 as a day for yourself... doing what you want to do instead of what you need to do can pretty much fill the next day to the brim. (I can almost hear the school uniforms call to me from the laundry room in their wrinkled-sort-of-way... "Don't forget us. We need our wrinkles smoothed away before Tuesday!")

So, I'll be back late today to see what's been happening at your place. Until then, I'm on a quest for fulfillment. And it's got to come from accomplishing a few important tasks today.

Friday, January 1, 2010

And my word is...

That's the word I chose to focus on during 2010. Fulfillment. It doesn't actually roll off the tongue. It's a little awkward to say. But that one, simple word carries with it a lot of possibilities for the new year.

It's about "making full." Being fulfilled in all areas of my life. Relationships, work, creative endeavors.... It's about "meeting requirements." Fulfilling responsibilities as a wife, mother, teacher, and human being.... It's about "measuring up" and feeling a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day. Not trying to be perfect, but feeling at peace with the effort I put forth and the choices that I make. It's about "converting into reality" the dreams, desires, and plans that I would like to achieve. And, perhaps my favorite definition of the word, fulfillment is about "developing the full potentialities."

I like that.

Developing my full potentialities. Ending each day with a sense of satisfaction.


I first got the idea of focusing on a word from Caroline. The idea is to let go of resolutions that never seem to make it past mid-January and instead let a word help direct your life for an entire year. Last year, I chose "faith" and "joy" and teamed up with several other blog friends to post reflections each month. That experience was profound, as I unconsciously began to incorporate my friends' words into my own life while intentionally looking for joy all around me. Wendy has already chosen her word for the year, which you can read about here.

If you haven't chosen a word before and would like a little inspiration, I have two places you should go. First, visit my friend, Caroline, an amazing writer and photographer who inspired me to choose a word for 2009. You should also visit Christine Kane who, during the entire month of December, focused her blog on Word-of-the-Year to inspire and encourage others to explore this idea.

And then, come back and tell me about your word! I want to hear all about it and would love for you to share your journey with me this year. I'll continue to post reflections each month and hopefully provide a link to my friends' reflections. I'll be glad to include you on this journey, too.

Happy 2010! Let fulfillment begin!