I wanted to take a second (or two) to wish you all a very Happy New Year.  I hope that 2009 brings all that you wish for.

This year marks my 4th year of blogging.  This year will also mark a major milestone for me — one that is really hard to get my head around — the fact that I’ll be turning 50.

God, it’s hard to think of myself being that age.  I don’t feel it.  Emotionally.  Physically. Any way at all.  By age 50, my mother was already old.  She had had a couple of strokes and a host of other health issues.  But she also smoked two packs of non-filter cigarettes a day and didn’t take good care of herself.    So healthwise, I’m in much better shape.

I’ve learned in this nearly half-century (gah! there I go again with the freakout!) on earth that I don’t have to surround myself with people that I don’t care for.  Whether they are shallow, insensitive, bigoted, opinionated, whatever, I don’t have to be around them.  I can instead surround myself with people that I care about.

And that brings me to the point of this post — and yes, there is a point.  In my four years in the blogosphere, I have discovered a whole other world.  I’ve made friends – real friends.  And they are all over the world.  These are people I otherwise never would have known existed.  These people are you.

And these people — young and old — gay and straight — living anywhere from Destrehan, Louisiana to Sydney, Australia — conservative, liberal, insane — you people — are my friends.

We’ve been through it all.  We’ve been through marriages and break-ups.  Health crises and clean bills of health.  Childbirth and empty-nest.  We’ve cried.  We’ve laughed.  Laughed some more.  We’ve cooked.  We’ve watched a lot of football.  A lot.  Of. Football.

Some of you have gone through major life changes.  Some of you met right here in the blogosphere and are beginning a new life together as a result (you know who you are, and it’s your story to tell, but I’m so damn happy for you two that I could just about bust!).

I’m just so happy to have been a part of it all.  I’m happy to have shared even a part of your lives with you.  I’m happy to have cried with you and prayed for you and laughed when you did something stupid.

I’m happy to have shared my ups and downs with you, too.  From catching my nose on fire to almost breaking my wrist punching the washer.  From sharing memories of my mom and dad to complaining about being the parent of two teenagers.  You’ve all been there for me, giving me way more credit than I deserve and making me feel infinitely better about myself.

I’m looking forward to a wonderful 2009.  With all of you.

Happy New Year!  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  Mine was top-notch, for a million and one reasons, none of which can be measured monetarily or materially.  It was an emotionally good Christmas.  The little Wordnerd family  (that’s me and Miss Priss on the left, by the way) was healthy and happy, and a visit with the extended Wordies was stress-free and enjoyable.

I don’t usually talk about gifts — we all get some really great stuff combined with a couple of WTF’s thrown in for good measure.  But my family received a gift this year that moved me to tears.

Right after Thanksgiving, my brother went on a trip to Rome and the Vatican with his priest (and boss, as it were) and a tour group from their church.  I expected a trinket or two, for sure.  But what I got was so much more.  On Christmas Day, I unwrapped a framed “apostolic blessing” from the Pope.  Literally.  It has my family listed, by name, along with the Pope’s blessing for our family.

Now I don’t know how many of you are Catholic or even how many of you are religious.  And I don’t profess to be the best Catholic myself.   But all the parts are there and working, so to speak, so this is a gift of incredible proportions to me personally.  The fact that it came from my brother, whom I feel so close to despite the crazy that’s been going on with us and around us for the past couple of years, AND who returned with an inner peace that I envy immensely, makes it that much better.

And? Honestly? Regardless of what your beliefs are, this ranks at about a 110 on the Ain’t-It-Cool Meter.

Wishing all of you the merriest of Christmases. My special Christmas gift to you? Click here.   Love y’all — MWAH!

Wishing each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas!    (Particularly any of you who would like to volunteer at this point to come sweep up three pounds of green and red sugar sprinkles from my kitchen floor.  Because, you know, I can’t just spill something once.  I have to do it a couple of times.)

Ok,  WordPress has seen fit to redesign their dashboard.  The problem is, I can only see half of my post.  So I have no idea how the right side of the post looks.

That said, I’m leaving you with this.  It’s good for a laugh.  Particularly if you’ve ever been the recipient of a less-than-ahem-thoughful gift.

Enjoy.

I’ll be back when I figure out how to work this thing.

My nine-day vacation.

The gluttony of Thanksgiving.

The ability to sleep in.

Homework-free evenings for the kids.

The balmy temps we experienced all last week.  It’s cold!

And one other thing.

NaBloPoMo.

I did it, bitches.

P.S.  Go vote, if you haven’t already.

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. . . so guess what time it is?

Yep.  It’s time for this.

My favorite.  This year marks the movie’s 25th birthday.

And I’ll probably watch it 25 times.

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