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Showing posts from 2009

Introducing. . . My Word for 2010!

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I've finally come up with My Word for 2010. It's taken me a little while to decide on it. My initial thought was to choose the word patience , because I feel that is a trait I need to work on. However, I finally decided that there is another word out there that really speaks to me right now. One that moves me. One that I need right now. And while patience is something that I want to strive for, I think there is something more inside of me right now that needs urging. So, in the New Year, I will am going to spend my time focusing on the word . . . create cre-ate 1: to bring into existence 2 a: to invest with a new form, office or rank > b: to produce or bring about by a course of action or behavior 3: cause, occasion 4 a: to produce through imaginative skill > b: design What a word! I have this feeling inside that I am going to try and unleash in 2010. I have these dreams and ideas that I want to grow. I want to create art. I want to create stories. I want to create p

I'm Older than I've Ever Been . . .

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I am getting old. Older. By the minute. Older than I've ever been. A few years ago I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond and bought one of those magnifying make-up mirrors with the additional light feature, so that I could SEE very clearly what I was doing when putting my make-up on. This past weekend, I wished that I didn't have the large magnifying mirror. I'm kind of wishing that I put my make-up on by way of candle light and small compact mirror. Even smaller than compact mirror. More like those little tubes of lipstick that have a small rectangular mirror on them. Yes, that is the mirror I wish I used to put my make-up on. Because, my dear friends, I am getting older. Ok, so I can hear you saying, "No, your not!" and "You look fine!" and all those wonderful things that good friends say to each other to cheer themselves up. But the truth . . . and the mirror . . . do not lie . . . I am getting older. I have wrinkles in places that I never had before,

Beautiful . . . just beautiful.

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The weather in Chicago last week included some pretty awful rain-turned to ice storms. While the roads were a bit treacherous and driving was not fun, it did produce some absolutely stunning photo opportunities. Here are some truly beautiful shots that PG took on Christmas Eve. I LOVE that his eye for truly magnificent pictures took him outside to snap these. They are stunning. I absolutely love how PG captured this photo (above) of the Christmas lights on the tree outside - how the ice has forced these two to become one - how your eye follows the line of the tree branch and the light cord - the movement in the photo - pure harmony - An incredible photo, to me. I am not the photographer in our house. My husband, Phil, is. He has had an amazing eye with the camera long before I met him, and most of the photos you see on this blog are taken by him. My husband could have probably had 10 or 20 really successful professions in his lifetime, and I am absolutely certain that "photog

Is it Wrong?

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Is it wrong that I secretly wish Ella's gift from Santa was all my own? Is it wrong that I am secretly jealous that she received such an awesome present? Hmmmm. . . .you decide. This is the present that I covet . . . It's not just the Art Desk. It's all of the supplies that Santa brought to go with it. . . It's the brand new Crayola Pip-Squeaks Markers Tower that hold 50 bright color markers! It's the 2 boxes of Crayola crayons that hold a total of 192 beautiful and never before used crayola crayons in awesome colors like Prussian Blue and Mountain Meadow . Brand New. Maybe it is the two brand new drawing pads of paper that Santa brought, clean . . . without finger prints or smudges - all ready for her to create. (sigh) Or perhaps it is just simply the fact that she has a dedicated space where she can create, dream and . . . simply BE. It's amazes me that I can own a home, yet I have failed to set up a little corner or desk area (or even a 2 x 2 foot space)

The Beginning of it All

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After the presents were opened, the food was served, the dishes were washed, the guests were gone, the garbage was taken out, the carpets were vacuumed, the toys put away, and the children were sleeping . . . I had a brief moment on the couch in complete silence. I looked up and saw Our Nativity, and I was reminded what it was all about. What a lovely way to end the day. My wish for you is continued Peace and Love this Holiday Weekend. : )

With Much Love and Thanks

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There comes a time when a girl has just gotta sit back, take some deep breaths, and go with the flow. Let it be (as the great Beatles would say). And just . . . . live. With all of your help, I am doing just that. And you know what . . . I feel really good tonight. After a night of UNINTERRUPTED SLEEP (it's amazing how much better I feel when I have sleep), I woke up a little clearer and feeling like I can tackle pretty much anything. I guess writing last night helped me put everything into perspective. So, tonight, I feel good. So, time to send a little LOVE out to all of you - my dear Blog friends. You have picked me up when I was down, laughed with me, cried with me, and just meant more to me this year than you will ever realize. I might not take the time to write anymore this week (as you know from last night . . . there is lots to do! For YOU, too, I'm sure!) So, I wish you all the VERY BEST CHRISTMAS with your family and loved ones. I wish you moments of pure love and

Need a little . . . . SOMETHING.

Before I start with the blahblahblah, I want to thank each and everyone of you for the thoughts and the kind words written about the Saturday post on My Dad. You have no idea how much your outpouring of LOVE filled my heart and how much easier the day was because of each of YOU! My Father really was just a wonderful, great, funny, stubborn, loyal, loving Man. And being able to share him with all of you was just so special to me. So, I thank you - sincerely. Now . . . . I have got to tell you . . . . here I am, once again, searching for the strength that I have come accustomed to each of your providing. . . because . . . AUGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I have completely and totally lost the Spirit (you know . . . the Big C Spirit . . . yes, CHRISTMAS) within the past week. I am exhausted. I am drained. I wish I could lay down and find that I've slept my way to 2010 . . . because 2009 has been poopy (that's my very official and technical term for the year, if you must know.) But I kn

My Dad

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This is a photo of my Dad, taken when he was a young man. I love this photo. It brings a smile to my face to see him in this photo. Seven years ago today my Dad passed away. I was just 3 months pregnant with Katie at the time, and I can remember that day like it was yesterday. He went into the hospital for surgery on December 11th (or close to it) with the plan to be home one week later. That week came and went. And Daddy never made it home. Loosing him was the worst thing that I've ever been through in my short 38 years on this earth. He was a great man. Today my immediate family (brothers, sister, kids and the in-laws) will be gathering at my Mom's for our Christmas celebration. When Mom first suggested this day for our annual gathering, I wasn't very happy that she wanted to do it today. But then I realized that I guess it is pretty appropriate that we do meet and CELEBRATE today. Not only celebrate the holiday - but I guess celebrate our family, and my father. So, to

Knock On Wood!!!

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We are beginning to return to the land of the living . . . and boy am I glad! So far - (KNOCK ON WOOD REALLY HARD FOR ME RIGHT NOW, will you?) - Ella has not caught the bug. She is fighting a bit of a cold - but we have managed to keep her free from Mr. Flu, and I am saying prayers each second that she is saved from it's awfulness. Katie is feeling SO MUCH better. On a scale from 1 to 10 (10 feeling the absolute BEST and 1 being the absolute WORST), she told me right before bed that she was an 11! That is a far cry from her "3" on Wednesday. She was such a trooper. And if any good can come out of having the flu - it's that she and Mommy (me) were able to spend the past 3 days in major Snuggleville and quality time together. And that was good for both of us. Since I have been doing the December Daily project this month, I have been in major "photographer" mode trying to capture memories for us each day this month. So, I wanted to share a couple pictures I

Quick Update. . .

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Sorry for the limited posts this week . . . it's been a crazy one. Mr. Flu Bug found his way to our home last night, at 11:30 PM. I'm just throwing out there a request for a little prayer to be said for Katie, who was up all night and is still feeling really crummy (even after trip to the pediatrian.) Luckily, it's NOT H1N1, but still not fun. Oh, and if you wouldn't mind . . . a little prayer for Ella, that Mr. Bug might STAY AWAY from her, is so very appreciated. She is in hiding at an undisclosed location ; ) . . . can't tell you where . . . . Mr. Bug might be reading!!!! Hope you all are feeling the spirit of Christmas in your home. I'm going to try and make the next 2 days a good one for Kate (flu and all) - so we'll be watching a Christmas Movie in a few minutes. Will write more soon! p.s. LESLIE!!! I LOVE MY PACKAGE! It was a wonderful PRIZE for my day yesterday and I can't thank you enough! YOU ARE THE BEST!!! THANK YOU for MAKING MY DAY!!!!

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

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I am getting ready for another fun filled weekend! How 'bout you? This weekend I am doing a couple things that are SURE to fill the spirit. I am: SCRAPBOOKING!!!! Visiting the Scrapbook Cellar to work on my December Daily, some Christmas related layouts, and to fill my soul with positive energy that I get from the ladies who are with me. SINGING CHRISTMAS SONGS!!! Remember the other day I wrote about my Top 20 Christmas tunes and how I was inspired to write that post after reading the Facebook update of an old high school friend? Well, guess what? 3 of us from my High School Glee Club (including the one who wrote the post) are gathering at my home Saturday evening to . . . SING!!!! Ok, I know how dorky this may sound to some of you . . . but others of you WISH YOU WERE WITH ME - I KNOW IT!!!! And it's ok that there will only be 3 of us . . . we are 1 tenor, 1 alto and 1 soprano - so we've got it covered! I don't know if I can convince by fellow Glee members to call u

How are you?

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So, something happened at work this week that really inspired me, and I'd like to share it with you. Part of my job is a client rep. The other part of my job deals with making phone calls to insurance companies. What type of insurance companies doesn't really matter (they are all kind of the same, aren't they?) Anyway, I can kind of tell you that dealing with insurance companies isn't always a * * FUN * * job. So, I find I have to make it fun whenever I can. I make it a habit, when calling said insurance companies, to always start my call by saying, "Hi! My name Leanne from [blahblahblah]. How are you ?" and the person on the other line usually goes on with their greeting - which is never really a greeting at all . . . it's more like a, "Your ID number? Where are you calling from? Your call back number?" Anyway, the other day I was calling a company and provided my usual greeting - except this time the person on the other line became flustere

What do YOU want to "follow" in 2010?

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So, Wednesday morning I was the " crazy mom " who had to follow her child's school bus all the way to the school. Yep, that was me! I realized, once returning to my house after seeing Katie get on the bus that morning, that her gym shoes never quite made it to her backpack (she wore her snow boots due to the weather). Knowing that the school does not want kids to wear their snow boots all day, I made a mad dash for the gym shoes, picked Ellie up (who was still in her coat/boots/hat/mittens from just coming in), ran to the garage, hopped in the car, and tried to FOLLOW THAT SCHOOL BUS! I started thinking about all of the movies out there that include the lines, "Follow that taxi!" or "Follow that car!" and then wondered if there is any movie that has the line "Follow that school bus!" Maybe there will be - once they make a movie about my life. ; ) I feel so scatter-brain this month. Who am I kidding, I've been scatter-brained most of my

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's HH Girl!!

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Ok, time for another Non-Christmas related post . . . because sometimes everyday life is just too good not to share. You see, yesterday I had . . . . Helmet Hair. Yep, Helmet Hair (now affectionately referred to as HH). I don't know what happened. I know it's football season, but I'm not even a fan (I don't even watch the games, I swear it!) Yet still, I had HH. See. . . Monday my hair was really "flat" and just blah (oh, no - another "blah"!) Today I decided to "Poof" it up a bit. But . . . HH occurred. Augh! The problem is that I am growing my hair out. Although, I'm not really sure what I am growing it out TO, you know? I mean, I don't know what my goal is in this quest for long hair. I know that I don't want hair like this. . . . . . because while this person above really loves her long hair - it just kind of freaks me out. So, I know I don't want that. Instead, I have this. . . Which, quite frankly, is not m

Christmas Story # 3 - My Top 20 Songs

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So, PG had to leave super early today for a business trip to Atlanta (sniff sniff) . . . I'll be pulling out the ol'Starbucks Amore mug this week (sigh). The alarm went off at 3:30 AM, he was showered and out the door by 4:00 AM, and I was staring at the ceiling at 4:15 AM. . . . with a little song in my head. It goes like this . . . Over the ground lies a mantle of white, a heaven of diamonds shine down thro' the night, two hearts are thrillin' in spite of the chill in . . . the weather. Do you know that song? It is actually the opening verse of "Winter Wonderland" . You know - the "Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening. . . " song? Most versions do not include that little beginning verse. But when I was back in GLEE (eh-hem, I mean, my High School Show Choir), we performed the song with that little opening part. . . harmonies and all. And it was pretty much - perfect (I know, I don't like to use that word b

I traveled to Bethlehem today . . .

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. . . at a little church here in New Lenox. It was breathtaking. I wept openly at the beauty of it all. The tears would not stop streaming from my eyes. Something touched my heart - and in this moment I felt the true meaning of Christmas like never before.

A Christmas Carol - One to remember!

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AMAZING!!! MAGICAL!! Absolutely INCREDIBLE!! Today we went and saw "A Christmas Carol" in 3D at the Navy Pier IMAX theater in downtown Chicago, and it was all of the above - and then some. You know the story - you've heard it, watched it and thought about it before. Let me tell you - this movie brought it all full circle to me today. I sat in this theater with my husband, daughters, sister, and brother-in-law, and I was in a state of complete disbelief that animated movies are able to look so completely real. I sat thinking about how talented and brilliant Robert Zemeckis is, to have created this film. I sat thinking about how gifted all the people involved in bringing this film to life must be - how I wish I had just one little teeny tiny itty bit of their creativity. Just brilliant. And Jim Carrey - he was awesome. I actually forgot it was Jim Carrey and became lost in this Ebenezer Scrooge. Just Fantastic. The movie did have a few "dark" moments in it, but

Christmas Story #2 - The COOKIES!!

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I don't know about you - but one of the fondest Christmas memories I have while growing up in my family (next to the obvious celebration of the birth of Our Lord), is CHRISTMAS COOKIES!!!! And, dear Lord forgive us . . . my family really OUT DID themselves on the Christmas Cookie front. We are the family who bakes cookies through the month of December (usually 2 weeks prior to Christmas) and freezes them in festive cookie tins, then brings them out on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day morning, and displays them in all their goodness on beautiful platters and plates. I have 2 brothers and 1 sister, so growing up there always seemed to be alot of activity going on in our house, especially around the Holidays. Mom would actually have to TAPE the lids to the cookie tins closed, to try and keep my brothers from going into the freezer and snacking on her hard work. One year I remember Mom pulling out a tin of these delicious cream cheese filled crescents, and the tin was EMPTY! Not even

Let's Change the World!

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Had another really cool moment today that I just had to share with you. This one is Non-Christmas related (can you believe it?), but has me feeling quite motivated to make the world a better place . . . starting right in my own home. You see . . . Something REALLY COOL is happening in our house lately. Katie is reading. My first born daughter is reading. How cool is that? I mean, I knew that she would some day read . I knew that if she was anything like her Mommy, she would LOVE books and read all of the time. But I never really imagined how I would actually feel when she would start this process in her life. I guess I never really imagined how completely and totally amazed I would be to listen as she sound out words and how proud I would be of her as I listen to her read a story. I never imagined "The big brown bear was tall" would be such a stimulating sentence to me. But it is. It's the most beautiful sound in the world - the voice of your young child reading to you

Christmas Story #1 - Santa and his Hot Air Balloon

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Ok - Not to stress anyone out - but as of today . . . .Christmas is 22 days away!!! 22 days!!!! SERIOUSLY!!!! I tell you this NOT because I want you to run out and get your Christmas shopping done (you already know that I am trying to make this years Holiday about so much more than the gift part.) I tell you this because I can't believe how fast the days are going and Christmas is going to be here (and gone - sniff sniff) before we know it. So, this is what I am going to do - I am going to make it my personal goal to make every single one of the next 22 days the very HAPPIEST and BEST days that I possibly can. As if EVERY ONE of the next 22 days is Christmas. Let me explain . . . You see, I can remember that feeling of "let down" that comes after every Christmas. Don't you? After all the lights are turned off and the decorations come down. After the radio stations go back to their usual line-ups and that winter chill really starts to set in. Bummer. But let's n

Sleepless Nights = Productivity at its Finest!

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I love sleepless nights, don't you? Let me start this over . . . I don't love sleepless nights - unless, of course, you can find a little Christmas Spirit in them! Which is what I just did. (Fa La la la la la laaaa laaa laaaaaa!) I found myself looking at the clock at 1:37 AM today - and then again at 1:43 AM, 1:53 AM and 2:05 AM. Then I stood up and decided to do something productive. I'm so glad I did! Over the weekend Katie drew the most wonderful Christmas picture for me, filled with Christmas tree, stocking by the chimney, and presents. ( SIDE NOTE: How in the world I could receive such an awesome drawing and NOT find some spirit this weekend is just beyond me.) Anyway, here is a little glimpse of her drawing: Totally perfect - isn't it? (Which reminds me - when she gave me the drawing, I said something to her like, "Oh, honey! It's Perfect!" and she actually said, "Nope, Mom. It's not 'perfect'. But it's the best I can do!&q

Blah Blah Blah Christmas blah blah blahhhhhh

So . . . . blah, blah, blah, blah blah blahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. . . . (I guess I'm warning you, in some way , that this is about to be a "Blah Blah" Post. I think I'll have to create a new "Blah Blah" Subject on the side bar here - to include any of those posts that are just down right blah - or when I'm feeling in a particularly blah mood.) Ok, here goes . . . . Here I am - at the most Wonderful Time of the Year (my words, exactly) and I'm feeling . . . . blah. My Christmas Club check came from work - and while most of it is going to bills and household "staples" (which included a trip to Costco for TP, paper plates, napkins, abundance of fruits and veggies, cereal, pepperoni . . . gotta have pepperoni . . . and cleaning supplies), I am able to actually put some of it towards Christmas gift purchases. The problem is - I'm having a hard time shopping this year. I mean - a really hard time shopping. The thing is, I think PG and I have bee

December Daily - are you ready?

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I almost am! I've been spending some last minutes on my December Daily book and am almost ready for December 1st! This project (created by scrapbook guru Ali Edwards - click here for a link to her site) has been such fun. The project is to prepare an album/scrapbook to hold photos and memories of this December 2009 for my family. Here are a few shots of the album so far: I'm really happy with the cover. I've decided to use an 8x8 chipboard album, and have added additional 6x6 plastic sheets, 8x8 plastic sheets, and 8x8 transparencies in between. My goal was to step out of the comfort zone (which would have been a standard album with same size pages inside). But I really wanted to do something different here. I also wanted to do everything with supplies I had IN MY OWN store! I didn't want to go out and spend any money (or - only wanted to spend very little), and I'm proud that I really followed that idea. Like most scrapbookers, I have a huge amount of supplies

Happy Anniversary, Honey!

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Twelve years ago, you asked me to be your wife. Eleven years ago, we said "I do." Thank you for sharing life with me. I love you with all of my heart! Happy Anniversary!

Happy Turkey Day!

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING! The girls and I just finished these little Thanksgiving bookmarks that we will be giving out as favors for our Thanksgiving festivities this year. We so look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving at my sisters this year - it's going to be a wonderful time! My Grandma Josephine used to always make favors for everyone each holiday celebration. From crocheted Turkeys and Easter Bunnies, to the Angel ornament I showed you earlier this week. Those favors are some of the warmest memories I have of my childhood and the holidays, and I decided that my girls and I will continue that tradition and make little favors for everyone in our family from now on. We had lots of fun making these for Thanksgiving (and the glue is almost off of Ella's fingers!) So Cute! I do wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share a bit of my life and thoughts with you in the form of this blog. I began this in July simply as a way to re

The Angels Among Us

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Isn’t it amazing how angels visit you when you least expect it? Recently my dear friend Peggy wrote about Angels in her blog (click here to visit her post) and I have to admit – when I first read it I was having a hard time understanding or relating to her story. I guess on that day I just wasn’t “open” to it. But, you know . . . since that day it's been rather funny to me that I’ve been visited by a number of Angels. My Angels . . . how blessed I am. We have had a rough financial year in our house. Don’t worry – we are completely fine and still able to enjoy our Starbucks coffee here and there! But we have to really budget our life right now, as late incentive checks and cut in salaries have caused a big strain on our pocket book. The economy has hit so many people – and we have fallen right in line with that. I always tell PG, though, that God always takes care of us, and it is so very true. While we may have struggles week to week with our cash flow, we always have a roof over

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

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So, the tree didn't quite make it up yesterday . . . turns out that cold both Phil and I have been dealing with took more energy out of us than I first gave it credit for (that, and, our kids took alot out of us, too!) It wasn't until around 4:00 pm that we thought we'd start - then I looked at the clock and said, "Are we crazy?" (You know the answer to that one already!) However this time we decided against the craziness and did not put the tree up. It's o.k., and as my dear friend PK reminded me - I haven't even had my turkey yet. So, looks like we'll have our Thanksgiving sans Christmas tree. Speaking of turkey (and since it IS Thanksgiving week) I ask you . . . Have you hugged your Turkey today? This photo was taken by Phil a few years ago, during a visit to a local pumpkin patch and farm. We stood watching this turkey for a quite a while when Phil braved getting up close and snatched this shot just in time. The second the camera "clicked&

Sunday Thankful Moment . . . . oh, and CHRISTMAS!!!!

Ok - I can't wait any longer! I am bursting at the seams with Christmas SPIRIT!!! The tree is going up today (yes, TODAY!!!) and I am having a wonderful day at home with my family. So today, I am thankful for LIFE . I am thankful for waking up, for Starbucks coffee and laughing little girls, for a husband who makes me laugh many many times every single day, for a loving home, for a mother who still tries to take care of me, for Christmas music and decorations, for art and being able to express myself in so many forms and ways, for a great sister who understands my craziness and still loves me, for a mother-in-law/co-worker who I can call my friend, for another mother-in-law who helps me at every turn, for lavender lotion, for Costco, for Mucinex and for going to sleep at 9:00pm, for days off with the family, for new internet friends ( Hi Kiki ! and Scrapwordsmom ! ) and great longtime old friends (Kath, Karen, Cindi and Pam), for baby dolls and fuzzy blankies, for twinkle light

My Coach and Me

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I ran into a dear old friend of mine tonight, who I haven't seen in many months. It was so wonderful to laugh and connect with her (thanks, Pam!) As we were talking, she saw my purse and said, "Hey, nice Coach!" and it made me smile. So, I proceeded to tell her the whole story about My Coach and Me. When I finished, I knew that it was something I wanted to share with you. So, before I begin . . . . let me show you my Coach. Eh-hem. . . . my Winter Coach, that is. She's a beauty, isn't she? And I can't even believe she is mine. You see, I am NOT a "Coach" kind of girl. Not that I don't LOVE my Coach, (this Coach is my most cherished purse), but I have never in my life owned a coach purse, until this one. I take that back - I do believe my sister gave me one of her's probably 20 years ago. But that is about it. So, now to my story of My Coach and Me . . . Last summer I visited a Coach Outlet with my dear sister-in-law, Maria, and her de