Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's a Boston Thing

I really have no idea what got me hooked on the Boston Terrier breed; I always say it was the Disney movie, Lilo and Stitch because I thought whomever designed Stitch must have been a Boston owner. No one I have ever known prior to me owned one, but I just knew throughout college I wanted one. After graduation and finally settling in Wathena, my mom and I went to KC for my job interview for an Extension job and hit the Independence mall when we were done. We should have known, as most of our shopping trips go, that we should have skipped right on past the pet store. Nope, of course we had to stop in and low and behold in the far corner they had a little Boston puppy. Oh, I wanted him so bad. He was so cute, loveable, and a licker. We ended up taking him home, and that was my first Boston, Tux. He was born on Christmas Eve and became the love of my life at the that time. Here is one of his puppy pictures:
Melissa's Lil Tuxedo was such a great little Boston.
He grew up fast, and summertime came. The "past life" gave me one of the best birthday presents ever, Miss Tillie Mae. I have to be honest though, I really didn't want her. I wanted my boy, Tux. She was not as cute as Tuxers and I couldn't care for two dogs. So she stayed with me, and Tux went with the "past life," and on weekends we'd see each other. Here is a picture of Tillie when she was a pup:
She is a sweetheart. She loves to snuggle.

That was a big mistake, though. When the "past life" did what he did as I mentioned in the previous blog post, he took Tux away from me. I was heartbroken since my parents had given me the dog for my graduation gift. I would never get him back if I didn't want to go to court over it, so I let it drop. Every year around Christmas Eve, I think of my little Tux man and get a little sad not knowing how he is doing.

I thought I'd be a one-dog-household for a while after that ordeal, and we were for about a year until Todd played one of his jokes on me for our one-year anniversary. We had wanted to redo the bathroom, and he had picked out a used vanity on Craigslist in Warrensburg and told me that was what I was getting as my present. I was pretty excited and waited all night for him to come home. When he did walk in the door, his winter coat was a little larger than normal and out pops this little black and white bundle of Boston love. I thought it was another joke as he had talked about "surprising" his dad with a dog for his upcoming birthday. I didn't realize the dog was for us. That is how Willie came to be in our home. Here is a picture of Willie and Tillie meeting the first time:
Tillie went crazy over him. They really do love playing with each other.
Needless to say, Tillie and Willie have been an absolute joy in our house. Dog lovers who don't have children understand that dogs really do become your children, and they certainly run the roost in our house. The Boston breed sure does have its idiosyncrasies like the snoring, farting, inability to stay warm or get to hot, running like a crazy man around the house and ah yes, the infamous shred of any toy that comes to the house. This is what I got to look forward to the last few days while putting away all our Christmas decorations:
The two amigos doing what they do best, shredding any toy they have. Look at their innocent faces.
But I wouldn't trade my time with Tux, Tillie or Willie for anything. They are just such a funny breed to have and so loveable. I think they are rather smart; some people beg to differ. Either way, I love them, and I hope Todd continues to let me have at least one of them around. Oh, and if you are a dog lover and want a great read about happiness and life, you have to read this:
Bostons like this one can be so ugly, but I personally think this is the best thing about Bostons. They are so ugly, they are cute!
Until next time!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reflection of the season

I will say each year I get older, I think the holidays get better. I find that kind of weird considering I receive less and the belief in Santa isn't as strong as it used to be (Ha!).

I think as we grow older we learn to appreciate the time we have with family and friends more and more. Gifts are nice, but time is so precious. I know the drive to Nebraska doesn't get any shorter, but I know my time with my grandparents will not always be there. I wish I had more time to visit them.

I especially loved this year as it is my second year celebrating the new life God has given me, and I know it's one year closer to marrying my best friend and being part of my new family, whom mean so much to me. I remember waking up last year and telling Todd on Christmas Day, "This is the best day of my life so far."

Two years ago my world turned completely upside down on Christmas Day, but I know the Lord had his hand in that. I believe I had to go through what I did that day to know how much my family means to me and to be led to the most perfect person I am supposed to be with in life, Todd. I know the other half of that equation is in a much better place too, and as time goes on, I begin to heal and forgive and accept what happened and learn God knew all along what was supposed to be. I didn't know those five years were preparing me to be a better friend, daughter, mother and wife.

I pray each of us do not have to "learn the hard way" but sometimes it takes a life-awakening moment to ground you and make you realize what you were doing, who you were with, etc., is not your life path.  I know several of my friends have had this feeling in 2010 and know this holiday was especially hard for them as they went through the season with a new life path. I know that God works in mysterious ways and often think He knows when to "unanswer" our prayers. I pray those friends find peace and clarity in the new year with new experiences.

I personally can't wait for the best year of my life in 2011. I know it will be. I know from what Todd and I have found through our marriage class and RCIA classes is that we have so much to look forward to and learn about each other.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's time for some holiday baking!!

Now that the crazy school semester is over. (I admit I am not one to always complain about school this time around simply because it really is my choice to go back to graduate school; no one else but mine. However, this semester has been hard with lots of writing and entire weekends devoted to writing, which I didn't sign up for! I guess that goes with the territory.) I digress..I wanted to share one of my FAVORITE holiday recipes that I will be working oh so feverishly on this weekend as a gift and treat for our family Christmases.

Banana Bread in a Jar. I have seen cookies and brownies in a jar, but never banana bread. And I LOVE the recipe. It is oh so good. Check it out if you want a great gifting idea on the cheap. I will be posting more as the weekend baking commences.

Yummy Banana Bread in a Jar


  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 2 2/3 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups mashed bananas
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease insides of 8 (1 pint) straight sided, wide mouth canning jars.
  2. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, bananas, and water. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Add to banana mixture. Stir in nuts.
  3. Pour mixture into greased WIDE MOUTH pint jars, filling 1/2 full of batter. Do NOT put lids on jars for baking. Be careful to keep the rims clean, wiping off any batter that gets on the rims.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, sterilize the lids and rings in boiling water.
  5. As soon as cake is done, remove from oven one at a time, wipe rims of jars and put on lid and ring. Jars will seal as cakes cool. Place the jars on the counter and listen for them to "ping" as they seal. If you miss the "ping", wait until they are completely cool and press on the top of the lid. If it doesn't move at all, it's sealed.
  6. Jars should be eaten immediately or kept sealed in refrigerator for up to a week.

Friday, December 10, 2010

She's a sweetie

My niece, A, is the cutest five-year-old out there. I may a little biased, but she really is a sweet gal. I went home for a short visit to my parents in Hiawatha over the Thanksgiving weekend. A spent most of the day with her dad and had dinner with us. B and I then took her to the movie, Tangled, in Hiawatha. Oh my goodness, it had been YEARS since I had been in that movie theater. It makes you think of all the "teenage" things you did in the movies. I digress, but I couldn't believe not much had changed. It was still only $6.00 for an adult to go; $2.50 for a popcorn and no crowds. Ahhh, it was good.

This little guy was a hoot! He had me laughing the whole time! Reminds me of me sometimes.
Aa few years ago on Halloween. She's the cutest little witch!
I also have to be honest when my brother called to ask if I wanted to go with them to the movie that evening, I had a slight thought of "I am not sure I can sit through an hour and a half 'kids' movie," then I also thought, "Melissa, you are far from ready for parenthood," just as I thought my poor parents sat through hundreds of kids movies without I'm sure really enjoying most of them. I then realized I don't spend enough time with her nor my brother so why not. We went and it was actually really good. Graphics sure have changed since Cruela DeVille in 101 Dalmatians (the animated one) made me cry in the movie theater at 5. A cracked a few giggles, enjoyed her own napkin of popcorn and was quiet the entire movie. We had a great time, and I hope we can do it again soon.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The run of my far

It.was.hard. I did finish; I walked a little, but I finished the 5K "Turkey Trot". It was also 19 degrees with a windchill of 6 degrees at 9 am on Thanksgiving Day.
Christina, Todd's sister, and I warming up in the casino before the run.
I also LOVED it. I felt so good after doing it. I thought it can't be too hard when the weather is actually tolerable. There were also hundreds of runners. I couldn't believe this many people really were into running.  And believe me all types of people, which gives us "beginners" some hope that we can eventually do okay at a race.

I finished in the last 25 percent I would guess. Christina and other friends I saw just blew me out of the water, but I know if I keep trying (I only had a few weeks of practice) and go to more races, I'll do better. Or as my brother said to me, "Well that's only a 10 minute mile Melissa!" Ha, coming from a marathon runner, I'd sure like to know his secrets! :)

And I finished!
Jessica Lackey, a good friend from Highland, wearing her T-day garb while running! She's such a sport!
I had a good time, felt great, and felt even better that I did some hard work before I ate lots of turkey!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm a lucky gal

This week has started off great! It actually, kind of, started Saturday when I was Todd's lucky charm for hunting. It was supposed to be my turn since he already got his biggest Missouri buck with his bow. We went out at 6 am to this little sweet spot perched up on top of a corn field looking down into a treeline and timber/CRP beyond that. Around 6:45 am, we spotted the first deer 125 yards down and I got the rifle ready. He looked into the scope, and literally said, "Oh, Melissa, can I please. He's a monster!" So being the "I-am-only-out-here-freezing-my-butt-off-for-you" gal that I am, I was like, "Go for it!" He  nailed him, and boy, I have not seen Todd that excited EVER. He was like a kid in a candy store. All he could talk about for 24 hours was that buck. Here is a pic of us back at the house. (And yes, I did wear real camo made for ladies!)

Unofficially, this buck scored 167. That's pretty good for where we live in Missouri.
I then had a great MK open house on Sunday with several very loyal and loved customers. I then headed to the annual Mayors' Thanksgiving Dinner on Sunday night. This was the event I put together for two years while at Second Harvest Community Food Bank and remember quite well the stress of making sure 500 or so guests had a good time. It was done very well and at the end, after putting in one ticket, I won the wine and cheese basket from Cabot Cheese and Smooth Endings (our new wine specialty store in St. Joseph). We haven't opened the Cabernet yet, but I'm thinking Friday evening might be a good day.

Who doesn't love Cabot Cheese? It is so good! And a good wine is extra special with it!

I then scored my first "win" with working for CAP. I got Starbucks donated to us for the Partnerships Tour next week. Yes, that is quite small, but hey you have to start somewhere in fundraising!

And lastly, for this post anyway, Todd made me breakfast this morning! What a sweet guy! He's so good.

God is good! Many blessings this week to be thankful for!

Until next time...

Friday, November 19, 2010

From Couch to 5K--The Transformation

I'm not sure everyone knows this but I am taking on a big challenge on Thanksgiving Day with my future sister-in-law, Christina, and her friends and running in the Turkey Trot. To be honest, I am completely scared. I have not run that far in years. Christina just finished a half marathon in October, and I want to try and do a mini-tri this spring/summer. We all know I have motivation to lose weight and be healthier. Food is my worst enemy, I love it! Thankfully, I just have a horrible metabolism so I'm trying to do some things to boost that a little since I sit at a desk 8+ hours a day.

I know, I's just a matter of doing you're best and getting healthier, but darn it I just pray I can do this. I've practiced 3 days a week for four weeks now and I still can only do about half of it, but I guess next Thursday will tell. I plan to still continue with the training since you're actually supposed to do it for 10 weeks, but we'll so how Mother Nature lets me. My plan is to run two days a week in the winter and cross-train with some Zumba or something else.

I'm curious what do those runners out there suggest for cross-training workouts and give me your best iPod songs! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

A great weekend with the best girls

My best friend and "Twin" Kelsey Pope and I after ordering the dresses.
Over this past weekend I got to see all but one of my bridesmaids as we went to pick out bridesmaids dresses. I was so so so so excited to see everyone, have everyone meet and get started on the wedding planning process. Up until this point, my mom and I have done everything without anyone else involved so I have been waiting for the "less than a year" countdown to say it was okay to do some other things.

Here's the lowdown of the girls' side of the wedding party:

Maid of Honor: Julie Kirmer, best friend and Mary Kay director
Bridesmaid: Kelsey Pope, best friend and "Twin"; she's also my Theta sorority sister from K-State
Bridesmaid: Ashley Olson, best friend from the 3rd grade when I moved to Hiawatha
Bridesmaid: Hannah Nelson, best friend from college, AFA and Mary Kay
Bridesmaid: Katelyn Landrum, best friend and true southern belle from Florida and also fellow National ACT officer
Personal attendants: Mallory Sheeran, best friend from the 3rd grade also
                               Christina Holmes, groom's sister and personal dietitian (hee, I may need to use her now!)

We were also supposed to go check out the reception place at the Platte County Fairgrounds to see if they'd let us do what our vision is, country vintage, with an antique chandelier, tons of candles, purple linens with burlap runners, old barn wood planter boxes with mums, old everything, but the guy didn't even show up! That stinker...guess we'll have to wait until after the first of the year to do all that. 

I saw this dress back when I picked up my veil in early October (thought you'd get a sneak peek of the actual dress didn't ya? Nope not taking any chances until I walk down the aisle with my dad!)

Sorry you have to view it from the side, it is being weird!
Turns out it is a mother-of-the-bride dress and I was told there would be no way we'd be able to get it for all my bridesmaids come November. I thought, "Yah right, you're David's Bridal for goodness sakes, you have tons of these somewhere." Turns out thankfully, all my girls loved it, it all looked fabulous on each one and they could get it!

Now it wouldn't be my wedding without a little bling and glitz added to it so when Julie and I head to Dallas next summer we'll be hitting up Sam Moon for some fabulous drop earrings and a brooch to accessorize. We are also thinking of wearing brown boots underneath...we'll just have to see what that looks like once the dresses come in!

Here is the link to the actual website if you'd like to check out the dress...

Until next time with another great update in the life of a Lipstick Cowgirl, have a great one!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

We're family...

I just got back from the St. Joseph area K-State alumni dinner this evening and all I can think about is family and my time at K-State. I try not to get too nostalgic and sappy reminiscing about my college days, but it's hard when you're surrounded by so many great people who genuinely care about you.

From my own family...(bahahaha which both Leander kids will be K-State grads despite the dismay of our Nebraska family.)
The Leander clan at Christmas 2008.

To my Theta sisters...
Room 12 gals during Theta recruitment, circa 2005.
To my College of Ag family...
Colleg of Ag Ambassadors Retreat Weekend Tailgate, September 2006.
One thing is for certain, we certainly know the importance of giving back. I was amazed tonight at our St. Joe event by how many loyal alumni there were in our area. The St. Joe group awarded $1,850 in scholarships tonight, one for every high school senior in the area attending K-State next year. That's such a gift to students! We truly care about carrying on the family, the legacy of our Wildcats.

Oh and P.S. as my good friend and fellow alumnae Crystal Young mentioned in her blog,, us Missourians need to speak our mind about allowing K-State alumni in Missouri the option of the same plates Kansans  have to support our alma mater (mind you I still faithfully pay KS taxes so I can have my K-State plate on the front until Missouri does this or I have to change my name). Well, we think our wish will come true. Amy Button Renz, director of the alumni association, said tonight they are in the works for getting Missouri ones! I believe mine will say "Chesnut" come next year!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back on the Farm

I went on the NAMA Ag Tour on Tuesday to visit west central Missouri and visit some agricultural operations. We first visited a hog farm that has been in existence since 1830, yes 1830! Holy cow (I mean, pig!) that's a long time to still be making a living for several generations, especially in pork production. They were super nice producers who really did take the time to share how they really care about their animals and want the best for them. They were a farrow to finish operation so they had their gestation barn, farrowing barn, nursery and finishing floor. Definitely different than some operations I had been to in that they still did things with minimal technology other than in their farrowing barn. They still fed by hand, ground their own feed and used boars instead of entirely artificial insemination. Here are a few pics of the cuties...

We then traveled to the Pence Airport where we saw first hand how agricultural aerial application works. It was pretty sweet! I don't know if a lot of growers around home use aerial application but they said about 60-80,000 acres in that area are usually covered with aerial application. These pilots have to go through some extensive training in order to be a certified pilot plus know their stuff when it comes to drift, what herbicide, insecticide and fungicide is which and where it can be used and when it can't be used. They also have to be cognizant of fields, obstacles, wildlife habitat and waterways. Not only all that, BUT these planes are not cheap to have or maintain. One of the Air Tractors costs roughly $1 million to get, and they only make a dozen a year in the entire United States. Pretty intense stuff, but I really thought it was cool to see it first-hand. Here are a few photos from that excursion...
We then went to our last stop, the Ray-Carroll Coop. This isn't just your run-of-the-mill county coop, these guys are HUGE! They do everything from seed selection to agronomic needs for your field to taking the grain you harvested and paying you for it (and they also have an ethanol plant right next door!)

In light of the recent Russell, Kan., grain elevator collapse this elevator is state of the art to ensure things like that don't happen. They make sure their grain is dried in a 4,000 bushel grain dryer before it even enters the elevator. They also have a 1,000,000 (1 million) bushel capacity ground bin, so their total capacity is around 4 million bushels, which is a LOT!

Just look at the size of this ground bin...

We then toured the ethanol plant, which is really  sweet smelling! :) A lot of people don't like the smell of fermentation, but it just reminds me of back home in Atchison.

They make fuel-grade ethanol and the by-product of that, DDGs, which are used for many livestock feeds. Here is our guide showing the two.
I have to say it was a long day, yet, I get so pumped to learn something new while in the field! It really, really makes you appreciate where you grew up and where your food, clothes and fuel come from. Go Ag!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm back! Now just hold me back...

Well I am back from the Big D with a HUGE goal in my heart! It sure was hard to contain myself yesterday while in the office working on a video script. I am not going to let you all in on my secret until it happens, but just know there's some BIG Godly visions going around in my head right now. And I just know it's in the daily discipline that God will grant me my dream. I got to play dress up on Awards Night, meet new friends and reconnect with some of my biggest mentors and relish in the BEST DARN COSMETICS and SKIN CARE COMPANY and everything this company has to offer women who really want to put God first, Family second and Career third. Thanks Mom and Dad for always putting our family first and instilling that's all we have at the end of the day to make us happy.

I also go to play a little on my mini-vacation at Sam Moon (a girl's best friend, seriously!), celebrate my best friend's birthday at Billy Bob's and drive the Pink Cadillac all the way home from Dallas. I cannot wait til our next trip to get bridesmaids and wedding stuff this fall (right, Julie?!)

Shout out to my dad yesterday for a very Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Welcome to the Big D!

I am on my way to Dallas, Texas, for the annual Mary Kay Seminar! Oh, and I DO get to ride all the way down in the PINK CADILLAC! I am SO excited to see what the company has in store for us this coming year, see my best girlfriends and get recognized for the year our team has had! I'm believing in positive, Godly new visions this week!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Salsa, anyone?

No, not the dance, but the glorious food (is it really a food?) It should be in my house or even its own food category like fats or carbs simply because I eat it so much and on everything.

This weekend I attempted to make my own. Right out of my own garden in fact. I used my 11 tomato plants, 5 green pepper plants, 2 banana and jalapeno pepper plants and the only onion I could get to make 26 pints of it! I should have enough of the veggies to get another two batches before the end of the summer and maybe even attempt spaghetti sauce! Todd's mom is amazing at showing me how to make things from scratch. No discredit to my mom (she's an amazing cook) and my Grandma Doris and my Aunt Deanna (they are the best darn bakers ever!). I just don't get to be around them all too often anymore.

So I sliced, diced and prepped the stew pot plum full of the abovementioned veggies along with some vinegar, a little salt, cilantro from my garden, and a premix of spices to make salsa. That cooked for about an hour on the stove to stew down and smell so delicious.

Then I took steaming hot pint jars, filled them to the just right capacity, put on the lid and cap and alakazaam, it's ready! Well, not entirely,  I still had to put the freshly filled jars back into a hot soaking bath on the oven for another 30 minutes to seal.

Then it was ready, and oh, boy was it good! I hope the people from the office enjoy this as much as they do the "At-office farmer's market" lady!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Found her...

I must say I am pretty excited to have stumbled across my obsession the last year, which is great photography! Of course, I appreciate great photos simply because I know a thing or two about them thanks to that piece of paper sitting on my credenza in the home office. I just love great natural lighting, the thrill of getting that perfect shot and then waiting to see how it all turns out while the card reader uploads those precious shots onto your Mac. I truly also love great photos of my other love, agriculture from a great friend, Crystal Young. You should check her out....

I have found a couple of great photographers in the area over the last year, but I must say none compare to a gal in my own backyard (well used to be while I lived in 66090). Her name is Laura Benitz. By day she is a full-time mommy and school librarian, but at night and on the weekends she can capture you for a few moments with her breathtaking photography that is oh so soulful and my favorite part, vintage.

That is why I am so glad she contacted me yesterday about setting up for our wedding photography. She is already filling up fast for 2011, and I don't want to miss out on her. There is just one slight problem...NO WEDDING DATE! Thank you for being the, ahem, certain denomination that I am for making me just be patient on that one.

But nonetheless, I pray that it will all work out and we can use her talent on our wedding day.

And just for peek's sake, take a look at  her

And one of my favorite pictures of her sister on her wedding day!

Tender Portraits Photography, St. Joseph MO Photographer

Friday, July 30, 2010

Okay, I have a lack of committment...

Sorry guys! I don't know what my deal is with blogs...I love to read everyone's but write on my own. I'm going to try and be better. Take more photos. Have more thoughts and be more intellectual. Or I might just post some randoms! :)

So a recap of the months between February and uh, July 30th! Where has this year gone?

+Survived a bazillion snow storms this winter
+Paved a new career path with agricultural public relations at Nicholson Kovac in KC
+Finished my first semester of graduate school with a 4.0
+Visited the Pirtle Winery in Weston for the first time with my Junior League girlfriends
+Went on a fabulous float trip to Bennett Springs, Mo.
+Paid off two credit cards and my car in July
+Todd and I decided to start our own wine making and snatched some wild blackberries out of the pastures
+Thought I was getting a pool for my birthday, BUT instead...

And with that, I am ready for the weekend and checking out more churches to have our ceremony in! Wish us luck! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's Super Bowl Time!

We are SO excited at the Chesnut/Leander household to celebrate this coming weekend!

First of all, I have almost the whole day Friday off so I will be doing as much studying before the big weekend as possible. Oh, and for those who don't know...yes, I am in graduate school! I just love it!

Second, Saturday I have to work, what's new? But Saturday night, is Todd's sister, Christina's bachelorette party and bridal shower. I am excited to meet some of the family I have not yet! :)

Third, SUNDAY is FUN DAY! It is the Super Bowl. All of us 20 somethings in Dearborn get together on this day every year and have a blast! This year our good friends, Matt and Nikki, are hosting. They just recently moved from St. Joseph back home and the only live less than a quarter of the mile down the road, so we're really excited to have an excuse to get together.

I'll be updating you later on, but as of today I am up to my eye balls in Hunger Study media releases. I just spent the last week of my life combing through 307 pages of research to create a 9 page abstract to summarize it all. If you'd like to know some VERY alarming statistics on the state of hunger in America, please check out or visit my website,

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Must Love Dogs

I must say our dogs have to be the laziest creatures on this planet! Todd says while he is working at home they are always snoozing, in the Snuggie of course, right on the couch with the sun shining on them.

As a recap for those of you who may not know, we got Willie for our anniversary on January 15th (a few days earlier), but he has been the life of the party at our house for a while now! He's so funny, but man, potty training, chewing adversvion and mistakes forgiving are hard work! I have had 3 puppies to fully potty train, etc., in the last 2 years and it's some work!

But as they say, must love dogs for a reason to let them snooze like this all day!
Tillie Snoozing...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another round...

Jason Aldean's line in "Amarillo Sky", "And he takes the tractor another round..." makes me think of new possibilities this year. So I am attempting to journal my thoughts, trials and accomplishments this year and start a new. It's been a long road these past few years, but in the end, I am better for it and thank God for the growth He has given me to be stronger than I ever thought I'd be...

2009 was the best year yet I believe, and I can't wait to see what God has in store for me in 2010, eventhough, it's the 26th day of January already!

So enjoy the next few posts and let me know what you're doing as well to "renew your mind in 2010!"