1. Apparently all I needed to do to fill up my comment box was to say the word “dog” and people start coming out of the woodwork! Thanks for all the helpful advice! Julie will be thrilled. (And I’ll keep you posted.)

2. I’m a little ashamed of myself for not having made any effort to go over and meet the new neighbours who moved next door in November. My goal this weekend is to go say hello.

3. For those of you who miss her witty and “spit-beverages-at-your-screen” hilarious posts, I spoke with Whippersnapper this week. She is alive and well and just doesn’t have much brain power left after teaching and parenting to formulate posts. But she’s reading this one, so if you beg and plead in the comments, we may be able to convince her to come back. (Please, PUH-LEASE Whip! Just do what I do when I’m drained – type the first 13 random thoughts that pop into your head.)

4. I finally wrote something and submitted it to an editor yesterday. I don’t think I’ve managed to do that once in the last year, because all of my energy (and then some) was consumed with a crazy year at work. Even if it doesn’t get published, I’m just happy I’m back in the game.

5. Speaking of work, I updated my workplan last week (wherein I identify my progress on the goals I set a year ago) and MY GOSH I accomplished a lot last year! No WONDER I was completely exhausted by Christmas!

6. I didn’t put it on my workplan, but one of my goals this year is “friendship”. With all the craziness of last year, plus the ongoing craziness of parenting, I invested very little energy into friendship. This year, I’m making it a priority.

7. Remember the creativity retreat I was going to plan? Well, it got put on the back burner last fall (see #5 for the reason), but after I get back from India, I’m going to try to pull it together. One of the people who is eagerly anticipating it bugged me about it yesterday and I committed to her that I would follow through.

8. Did I mention that we managed to hire someone into the vacant position on my team? Woohoo!

9. The pieces are beginning to fall into place for my trip – one week in Bangladesh and one week in India. We have a weekend of spare time in between, where we’re flying from Dhaka to Kolkata to Patna. If anyone has been there, can you tell me which of those three places would be the most interesting to spend the weekend?

10. Either my daughters REALLY like muffins or they are so surprised to see mom suddenly bake that they’re humouring me just to make sure it happens again. Two batches disappeared faster than I could make more.

11. There’s a stack of about 300 receipt letters sitting on my desk waiting to be signed. I think I’ll have a sore wrist by the end of the day.

12. I love picking Nikki up after her practices with the developmental soccer team. She’s not normally very talkative, but there’s something about these practices (I think it has a lot to do with good, encouraging coaches) that turns her into an animated, chatty girl.

13. A year ago, I was in Ethiopia where it was SOooo warm. Unfortunately, around here this week, it’s SOOooo cold.

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