My Highlights (Not About My Hair. Well, Not Entirely.)

My Highlights (Not About My Hair. Well, Not Entirely.)

I would be lying if I told you 2012 was one of my favorite years, but I do understand that gratitude, along with owning my perspective of things, are the secrets to happiness. It is true that no matter how hard or how many times Madame Universe decides to bitch-slap you, if you have these tools in your arsenal, you’re going to be okay. In that spirit, instead of wasting any time at all on pondering how astonishingly shitty 2012 was, here are some reasons it rocked!

1. My kids are healthy and reasonably happy. My little one started school and is obsessed with learning, and my big one has a teacher this year who loves and appreciates her, and makes her feel like learning maybe isn’t so boring.

2. After almost nine years of marriage, I am still crazy in love with a great guy who loves and appreciates (and puts up with) me.

3. And who made the entire dinner last night! (And poured a great wine!)

4. My wonderful parents have been able to help out again with watching the kids, and my kids are able to enjoy getting to know and love both sets of their grandparents. I hope to be able to post this one every year, but deeply appreciate the gift of being able to post it now, and for as many years as I can.

5. Despite how mediocre a friend I’ve been this year, self-absorbed at times in my own worries and woes, I have had wonderful “angel” pals show me extraordinary displays of kindness and caring. Very close friends pulling me up off the mat when I’ve been knocked down, others simply reaching out, letting me know they were thinking of me.

6. I went on a mini-vacation with a friend in Florida in June and spent four days sitting around, not focusing on anyone’s needs but my own!

7. I just got new eyeglasses after eight years and I can read highway signs again! (Talk about improving perspective…)

8. I discovered a whole world of new writing friends via social media–relative “strangers” who lend advice, share information, “retweet,” interview me and let me interview them, allow me to post on their blogs, invite me on blog hops and to join their promos, download and read and review my books. The camaraderie has been amazing. Thanks, guys!

9. And speaking of books–I still can’t believe I landed a publisher this year, Diversion Books, who put out not one, but two of my books. The second, The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything, acquired from a synopsis and a sample chapter. I’ve been in book publishing 20 years this year. The amazingness of this is not lost on me.

10. I just got my hair cut and highlighted after about seven months! (So just a little bit about my hair.)

11. I watched three great movies in a row with my husband last night! (Ted, The Help, Red.)

12. I got a Kindle and have already read two and a half great books since Christmas (A State of Jane by Meredith Schorr; Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey; started The Dating Game by Susan Buchanan) and I now have the ability to be able to give back more to my writing community.

13. I’m here. (And as long as I am, I can keep improving myself and my world. Doesn’t get better than that.)

So there you have it: Lucky 13 as we approach 2013! It’s amazing that no matter how crappy and down you may be feeling, forcing yourself to name some things that are going right can really lift you.

Don’t believe me? Try it yourself. And PLEASE, share just one of these with me in the comments section below.

And check out this great idea, which will make your next year’s inventory much easier to manage:

And here’s Steve Maraboli‘s great Facebook group you can join to keep you in the practice of being thankful for all you have:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/157468344270522/

So sayonara 2012. Don’t let the door slam you too hard in the tushie. And all the best to all of you in 2013!

xo

Francine

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Seasons Readings: 8 Fun Holiday Questions Answered!

Seasons Readings: 8 Fun Holiday Questions Answered!

Fun & Fabulous x 8!
Fun & Fabulous x 8!

I think I mentioned last week that me and 7 of my author pals are doing a group promotion this month, “visiting” with some of our best blogger buds, and keeping the party going on our own blogs by answering 8 holiday-themed questions. My turn! After I answer mine, I’ll give you a reminder of when the other gals are posting. Seriously, go check them out!

Ho, ho, ho–and have a great day!

1. What is your best (or worst) holiday memory?
I don’t think I have a best or worst, but for some reason the memory that popped right into my my head was the Christmas when my aunt and uncle (he’s no longer with us) came over to our house the day after Christmas with a giant cardboard “chimney” box packed with presents for me and my siblings, which was very cool in and of itself. But in that chimney for me was an inflatable house for my Bionic Woman doll! Anyone else have one of those (doll, house, or both)? Man I loved that thing!

I had the doll, too!
I had the doll, too!

2. What’s the most embarrassing/most disappointing gift you ever received?
This will be kind of terrible to admit… But here we go. You may not know that I’m a pretty passionate cook (not really baker, but I try sometimes). Anyway, I’m always reading food magazines, clipping recipes, trying new things. You get the idea. For our first Christmas, my new boyfriend gave me, as a gift, a Christmas GIFT, a powder pink William Sonoma apron (and matching potholders). Well I have to admit, I was appalled. I mean, here we were in the early days of our relationship, when you’re kind of expecting to open a red lace G-string or the like, and you get an APRON!?!? It was a really sweet gift though, and we did laugh about it right away. And that boyfriend is my husband, now going on nine years. And while I could probably only wear a G-string from back in the day on my wrist with this post-baby body, I do still have that apron! (Which, if you know how to wear an apron the right way, can sometimes be “lingerie.” LOL!)

Favorite holiday beverage?
Does Champagne count as “holiday”? Because I could (and maybe do) indulge in that delightful sparkly magic every week!

What would you add to a snowman to personalize it?
When my oldest was about three, we had a snowfall that was really a no-fall. But she was desperate to build a snowman, so we built a “snowgirl.” We gave her “lipstick” and a pink hat, and bling–some beads I had “earned” in New Orleans way back in another life time. Such a nice mingling of traditions, I know. They don’t call me “mother of the year” for nothing!

My daughter and the, uh, snow-slut.
My daughter and the, uh, snow-slut.

What are three things you can’t survive the holidays without?
1. Family.
2. Friends.
3. Booze (please see 1 and 2).

Santa – sexy or let’s just be friends?
Oooo, Santa baby, please hurry down the chimney tonight! LOL! Well, let’s just say Santa was never sexy to me before my husband became a dad, so now, well, SEXY! I have to say though, I’m not sure my little one will ever warm to Santa, friend or lover. Exhibit A: Her first Christmas:

The look on Santa's face says it all!
The look on Santa’s face says it all!

Favorite holiday song, album or movie?
It’s A Wonderful Life gets me every time. Full disclosure: I have a mad nerd-crush on Jimmy Stewart and I always have. I just adore him! But it’s also a really good story, that movie. I mean, here’s a guy that pretty much shelves everything he ever wanted to do for the good of everyone else in Bedford Falls, which is incredibly depressing. But then, when he needs help, everyone in the town comes to his rescue. I cry my eyes out every time!

It’s midnight New Year’s Eve – you can kiss any celebrity, living or dead. Who’s it going to be?
Please see above. Although I wouldn’t turn my head away if Cary Grant tried to kiss me at midnight. Or Clark Gable. But of this century? Hmmm. I thought Christian Bale, though my husband tells me Luke Wilson. You know what? I think he’s right! I am all about the nerds!

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Samantha Stroh Bailey – Mon, Dec 3
Francine LaSala – Tues, Dec 4
Libby Mercer – Wed, Dec 5
Jackie Bouchard – Thurs, Dec 6
Tracie Banister – Fri, Dec 7
Cat Lavoie – Mon, Dec 10
Lucie Simone – Tues, Dec 11
Meredith Schorr – Wed, Dec 12

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And please visit with our gracious, wonderful blogger friends!