Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Imperfectly, Perfect Life

The following post I wrote almost 3 years ago. I needed to read it this morning for many reasons. I needed to share it for many more. Somehow we have come to a place in our lives in which people look to WB and I for inspiration, for guidance in their own marriages. I am humbled, but also frightened by this. No marriage is without hard times. No family picture perfect. I could do a series of posts on “What kind of wife not to be”. Those would be easy, I had years of experience at it.

This post written 3 years ago gives you a glimpse of our life in the early years. A very condensed version, I must say. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves and others where we’ve been in order to fully understand the blessing of where we are in the present. Welcome to my imperfectly, perfect life.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Counting Blessings Even In Our Failures

When WB and I had Em, our first born, she came into the world in crisis. I would spend a week in the hospital, which was an hour from our home, with her before we could go home. WB visited us when he could, but it was mostly my mom and I that stayed with her that first week. Then I had to have major surgery in Houston when she was just four months old. Again, my mom and I would take care of her while WB remained back at home working for most of the time. It was no wonder that bonding was difficult at times for WB and Em. Even though she looked just like him and resembles him in many personality traits. The road was a difficult one to say the least. Being a new parent is like being thrown overboard without a life preserver...sink or swim. Many days you do both!

WB was having a difficult time in many ways. He'd gained 40 lbs since we started dating, he had a job that was thankless most of the time and stressful to say the least. I'm sure the signs were there that he wasn't happy, but I was too busy to see. I was a new mom. Breastfeeding what seemed like 24/7 , not sleeping, not thinking my husband might need my attention as well, and adjusting to staying at home while all of my friends went off to work each day. Family was far away and we rarely, if ever, had a babysitter or went out without our daughter. Life wasn't exactly picture perfect, but at the same time it wasn't the end of the world either.

Then came our second child, I knew things would be different. It wasn't that WB was a bad father, it was more like he just needed more time and more practice. Unfortunately, our second came about the time his work situation was at it's melting point. He was laid off, things looked dismal. But at your darkest moments your faith seems to shine the brightest.

The same company that laid him off hired him back for consulting on a project. So now we not only collected severance pay, but also his consulting fees. We still had insurance and benefits and a little bit of the weight was lifted off our shoulders. We suffered through the whole finding a job and interviewing process. Had our hopes dashed a few times and then WB was offered a job. A job a half an hour away (no moving) and with a company that was thriving.

WB loved his new job. People listened to his ideas, asked him for input, and LISTENED. Something that had been severely lacking in his last job. He started exercising, eating better, and slowly began to shed those 40 lbs. We had our set backs, but we managed to weather the storm. The girls left their baby stages and WB had more time to concentrate and be comfortable in his fatherly skin. I learned to relax, not be so critical, and listen to that inner voice. I learned to sift out some of the other voices. The ones that might mean well, but didn't live in your marriage day to day. WB blossomed into fatherhood and I into our marriage.

Life was good. WB loved his job and began to move up the career ladder. The company he used to work for slowly began to fold and now 5 years later is no longer running the plant he worked at. Blessings, yes. We were bestowed many blessings, even though at the time they felt more like punishments.

So when I learned I was pregnant with my third child, I cried. I asked God if he was serious, three pregnancy tests later told me he was. I wasn't prepared, I had things to do, and I was not ready to start over. I was trying to finish a novel for heavens sake, on top of being a director of a school that had some major issues!! I cried to my sister like a big baby. I struggled with the gift I knew I had been given, but pouted with the timing never less. I dreaded telling WB. We weren't expecting this right now. In fact, I had cried months earlier over the fact I may never be able to get pregnant again. So I had moved on, told myself to suck it up, it just wasn't in the cards. I made other plans.

I told WB over the phone. I was in Houston and he was at home. I held my breath and listened as he said, "No way...Really. That is so wonderful." Really, even though it wasn't planned. He reminded me none of them really were and this would be great. I'd like to say it was all happy times from there but it wasn't. It was a difficult pregnancy, we moved an hour away to a new house. A fixer upper at that. WB buried himself in projects to prepare for the new arrival and for the whole family. I tried not to be miserable and to enjoy each day. Some days I was a huge success, others a terrible failure.

Blessings, they sort of sneak up on you. I sit today and watch my 22 month old as she holds her big sisters hands as they walk around the yard and my heart melts. I smile when her daddy lifts her up each night as she rushes to greet him at the door. I see the ease into which he handles all three of his children, an ease I have to admit I wasn't sure would ever be possible. He is an awesome dad. And I have become a much better wife.

God has blessed us in so many ways. Many of which I probably am not even aware of. He gave us everything we needed, He put people in our lives that have taught us so much. He steered us through the toughest of times. One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that even in our failures there are blessings.

So as I sit here today I am overwhelmed when I start counting my blessings. They are many. So are my failures. But thank God He has found a way to lift us up even when we fall flat on our faces!!



How we’ve all grown in just 3 years!

When you look back at your life do you tend to see only the good things, only the bad, or do you find a way to focus on both?

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Conflicted Chef–Not Your Momma’s Spaghetti



So WB declared a few weeks ago that he’d like to try to cut out as much pasta from his diet as possible, as he leads up to his first half marathon. A few pounds gained during the holiday season has him determined to get back to his optimum training weight. Hmm, yes I understand, but pasta around here is served quite often. Spaghetti and meatballs is a quick and favorite meal.

Soon after this discussion I found myself speeding through the aisles of the grocery store, stopping at every sample table to appease my 4 year olds desire to try everything the sweet grey haired ladies had to offer.  Imagine my delight when one was serving up Spaghetti squash. I hadn’t eaten that in years. But it brought back memories of my mom serving stuffed Acorn squash with a sausage filling. Yum.

My 4 year old devoured the sample. That is always a good sign. So the girls and I bought a Spaghetti squash and we tweaked the grocery’s recipe a little and here is what we had:

Spaghetti Squash with Sausage and Greens

  • About a 2 lb. spaghetti squash

Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Scrape away the seeds and stringy stuff from the centers with a spoon. Place halves in a pan and cook in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes. You can speed up this process by placing it in a microwave-safe dish with the cut sides down. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 7 to 10 minutes or until tender. My grandmother didn’t own a microwave, and so when I have time I prefer not to use mine for cooking. Just part of the whole conflicted thing.

While the squash is cooking you will need some low calorie sausage to cook up. You can get turkey sausage, light pork sausage, or chicken sausage. Just find something you like, but that has less fat and sodium then the regular variety. I found some chicken/spinach sausages at the meat counter that looked good, so that is what I used.

  • 1 pound low-fat pork, turkey, or chicken sausage

Cook in skillet until no longer pink and set aside in a bowl.

  • 1 bag or 9 oz. of fresh spinach

Place in the skillet in batches and cook down until it’s just wilted. This will only take 30 to 60 seconds. The wilting of the spinach is a fun trick and impresses small children, so gather them around. Place in bowl with the sausage and stir.


When the squash comes out of the oven it will look like the one on the left. Take a fork and gently scrape it along the surface and it will magically begin to shred and look just like spaghetti. Notice the shredded one on the right. This my friends is an “ohhh, ahhhh” moment. Gather the kiddos around again and let them help (be careful of the hot pan). I’m telling you it never fails to amaze.

After you have the squash all spaghetti- like put it into a bowl and add:

  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (remember the cheese rule, it is okay to eliminate to save some calories, but this is really not that much cheese so I say go for it.)
  • sprinkle of salt and pepper

Place a heaping mound onto a plate. Add some of the meat and greens. And there you have it! And if you’re my husband you add a glass of wine, which must be a part of the training regimen.


“But Momma, where is the sauce?” You, might hear this from a little voice at the end of the table. By all means, add a little spaghetti sauce to the meat mixture if you desire. Eliminate the spinach and add a side salad instead. That’s what I love about cooking. One time we might serve it like this, and next time we’ll use different sausage, add some sauce and try it like that. It’s your creation, experiment and have fun.

This dish received 5 smiles. (I decided thumbs up was too overused)

Have you tried Spaghetti squash? Do you have a favorite way to serve it?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Confessions, Kilts, Ghosts, Sleep- Blog Mash-Up Time!

First of all I have a confession. Okay, I find myself saying that a lot. I blame that on the fact that I am Catholic. Forgive me Father, but I am WAY too wordy. I have a hard time telling a short story. I have an equally difficult time editing my words, each one is so precious. But you know the saying “sometimes less is more”, I need to practice that a little more often. That’s why Coleen’s post hit home. I dare you to head over to her blog and just see if you can sum it all up in 6 words. 6 little words people! I was amazed at what an long story just 6 words can tell.

Have you ever thought of trademarking yourself? Well, to be honest I haven’t really given it much thought until today. But I began to think I might be a little irritated if someone else began calling themselves Eskimo Kisses and Air Hugs. I mean, who else would do that? But someone might try to steal  it and it would be a whole new kind of identity theft . It would be my online identity and that wouldn’t be good. I was happy to read there is a way to prevent this on Jeannie’s blog. She’ll give you the low down on how she did it.

I recently just finished a book about ghosts I found from the author of this blog.. I’m not normally a paranormal kinda gal, but these ghosts hailed from Scotland over 700 years ago. I’ve got to tell you if my hero isn’t a cowboy, it’s a Highland Warrior. Stetsons or kilts, doesn’t matter they both work for me. So when I stumbled across this link from Mike’s blog about Ghost reviewers it grabbed my attention. Sadly, no kilts are involved in this post, but he does bring to light how some book reviews may not all be on the up and up. Something to think about as we read reviews and allow them to influence whether or not we buy the book.

I know that my eldest daughter’s birthday is just around the corner when the Oscar nominations are announced. We keep saying we’re going to throw her a red carpet birthday celebration since her birthday is always near the Oscar ceremony. This year one of my favorite actresses is up for an Oscar, again. And she starred in a movie my girls and I love to watch and then go around the house for days singing, “I work all night, I work all day To pay the bills I have to pay Ain't it sad?”… Fabio blogs about this favorite actress and all her nominations on his blog today. You should check it out.

It’s been a rainy day here today and really I just want to get under the covers, read, do some writing and dream so my Highland ghost can pay me a visit. Thanks Ginger for posting about sleep, dreaming, creativity and the such today. Now I won’t feel getting for getting some much needed sleep.

I’d love to hear what you have to say about any of these topics, especially the Stetson vs kilt question. And if you are a man, which would you rather wear?

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Conflicted Chef- Eggs Please

Here we go, the first actual posting in my Conflicted Chef series. If you missed the introduction to this series you can reread last weeks post here. Basically, I’m cooking for a family of 5, trying to keep it as healthy as possible, yummy, and meet the needs of everyone in my family. I find myself cooking meals that my southern grandmother would be proud of (wearing pearls and my mother’s beautiful handmade apron) and ones that I whip up while still wearing my running shoes and heart monitor. That’s where the conflicted part comes in.


That’s the nifty blog badge my husband made for this series. Thanks hon! And that beautiful apron, my Momma made that. I wish I could channel her sewing abilities more, but that’s another story. And yes, every morning this is what I look like while cooking. You don’t doubt that do you?

Anyway, this week I decided to start at the beginning. Breakfast. In my house on the weekends breakfast is a big deal because everyone is home. Recently I’ve been in the kitchen pondering what healthy, happy food I can make while waiting for my husband to come in from his run or bike ride. But, I’m usually trying to catch up on some writing or reading too, so if I can make something fairly quick that’s a plus.

Eggs. Quick, easy, and healthy. They are, I promise. Awhile back eggs were getting a bad wrap. But here’s the low down, if you don’t eat fried eggs every morning for breakfast you shouldn’t have a problem. I’m going to hit you with one of my favorite phrases, “everything is good as long as it is in moderation”. I even checked with my little sister, I’ll be doing a lot of that in this series. Her resume reads like this: registered dietician, fitness trainer, personal chef, and triathlete.

Enough, what did I make? Muffin Omelets! Quick, easy, and yummy. I was inspired by this recipe.  Of course, when I went to my fridge I didn’t have all the ingredients. Another confliction, do I go to the store for the fifth time this week or make do with what I have. You already know the answer to that, right? So here’s what I put in my Muffin Omelets this time.

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2  TBSP egg whites ( I used organic egg whites in a carton that you can find at the store by the real eggs)
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Put that all in a bowl and whisk it up.

Next get out

  • 8 oz of lean pork sausage ( I love turkey sausage, but pork is what I had this time) 

and cook in a skillet until you see no more pink. Remove and set in a bowl to cool.

Next you chop up:

  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 of a large onion.

Throw that in the skillet with a splash of olive oil and sauté until soft, a couple of minutes. Add the pepper and onion to the sausage bowl.

Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray. I used about 1/4 cup of egg mixture per tin, Just make sure they are all about even so they cook at the same time. Then add a spoonful of the sausage mixture to each egg filled tin. At this point you can sprinkle a little low-fat cheese on top of each tin. Here’s a tip from my little sis, “If you don’t need the cheese, don’t add it.” There is plenty of flavor going on here so you don’t have to have it, on the other hand a little sprinkle isn’t going to put you over the edge either. Remember, moderation.

Okay, pop them in a preheated 325 degree oven and bake for about 22 –25 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean they are done. Place on a cool rack and let them cool before you flip them out.

For breakfast we serve with a fruit salad. But last night we made them for dinner and served with a side salad.


Em plated it up for me, she’s very artistic, while hubby took the pic.

This dish gets 4 out of 5 thumbs up. My Little One can not stand the smell of eggs. So she had salad and left over noodles. Next week I’ll try for that all elusive 5 thumbs!

*you can make a whole bunch of these and freeze. Just pop in the microwave to heat up.

Will your kids eat eggs? What healthy ingredients would you put in your omelet?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Meditative Monday–Some Blogs That Inspire


Monday. First day of a new week. If I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, or hurried, or upset, my whole week will be thrown off. I need Monday mornings to be a time of calm. I need to start the week with a list of goals and be excited about the prospects of getting it all done. The less stress the better. Monday, is my day of planning for the school week ahead. It is our day of errands, swim lessons, and horseback riding. It is the perfect day for me to reflect and take deep calming breaths.

This Monday, I wanted to bring you some of my favorite blogs that I love to start the day with. These blogs inspire, motivate, and start my Monday’s off on the right track.

I’ve been following Wendy’s blog for awhile. She is an amazing writer, but more then that she is an amazing person. Her thoughts so often fall right into step with my own. She lifts me up with her words when I’ve needed it the most and she gets me to thinking. This Monday is a word tribute to being Free, right in time for MLK day celebration.

When I need a little pick-me-up on the writing front I head over to author Jody’s blog. She inspires me that it is possible to homeschool your children and write. Not just write, but be a published author with two books out and more on the way. I remember when her first book came out, it made me realize with hard work anything is possible. She also shares wonderful tips and advice on the whole publishing industry.

I recently took a class offered by Kristen Lamb, that has exposed to so many wonderful writers. I’m still getting to know and explore all their blogs, but I’d like to mention two today.

I took to Myndi’s blog right away. She has humor, but she can be serious. She is a writer, yet she homeschools. Another one of those that makes me realize, it is possible.

And August’s blog is full of inspirational posts. Her writing is beautiful and she inspires you to make the most out of your life.

I need lots of inspiration for my writing, but I need it for my homeschooling as well. Lacy, inspires me to get creative and do all sorts of fun things with my preschooler and her big sisters too. She has given me fun and educational ways to incorporate our faith into our homeschool days.

Whenever I feel overwhelmed with my family of 5 and think I just can’t do all that is on my plate I head over to Connie’s blog, my former neighbor and friend. She never ceases to amaze me as she raises her beautiful family, which includes 8 children, a great hubby,  and a growing cast of animals.

And last, but certainly not least my hubby’s photography blog. He is an amazing photographer. This is one of the things he does for fun, but he does it so well. Many of my posts are inspired by one of his pictures. When I have writer’s block I find myself scanning through his photographs and an idea always comes to me as to what I can write about. Best part is, I get to use his pictures for free. Fringe benefits, love them.

Okay, I have many more. But I don’t want to overload you. I’ll save them for another Monday. I hope you enjoy checking out these new blogs and Happy  Monday!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Chef Conflicted

Okay, I’m not a chef, but I am a mom that feeds a family of 5 so that is close enough. I love to cook. I love to be in the kitchen with my family working along side of me. And for me cooking is love, it’s not just my chance to fill the bellies of my family, but to put a smile on their face. Our time together around the kitchen table is precious. Stories of the days events are being told, we are sharing laughter, and memories are being made. Eating at my house is an event.

So where does the conflicted part come in? I’ll tell you. I can’t just serve my family any old food anymore. I have to consider the needs of all my family members. Granted, we are lucky. We have no food allergies to date, or intolerances, but each member of my family comes to the table with their own appetite. Here’s a quick run down:

Em- aspiring chef. Every meal is a reenactment of the Iron Chef. Prepare to undergo a detailed account of what works and what doesn’t for the dish being served. (always in a nice way, mind you). She is an accomplished cook at the age of 11 (I'm talking Julia Child) and makes many of our meals.

Soph- semi-vegetarian. Her love of animals and her belief that all of God’s creatures should enjoy a good life, no matter how short or long, has encouraged her to become an advocate of free-range, pasture raised animals. If the meat on the table doesn’t meet that criteria, she will pass on it.

Little One- Not a huge fan of fancy. She prefers her meat on one side her veggies on the other without the impediment of sauces or too much spices. Lover of salads and uncooked veggies. Not a fan of the “mushy” vegetables that sometime appear on her plate.

WB- not your typical male (we’ve already established that in previous posts though, right?) More often then not in training for the next half-marathon, 150 mile bike ride, or triathlon. Food is fuel, but being a fine cook himself, he has a delectable palate. He is looking for meals that contain all the nutrients he needs, but that won’t add inches to his middle and taste good.

Me- conflicted chef. Most days I channel my grandmother’s and mothers down home southern cooking, which is at odds with my need to put healthy, sustainable food on the table. I find myself cooking meals that my grandmother would be proud of (wearing pearls and my mother’s beautiful handmade apron) and ones that I whip up while still wearing my running shoes and heart monitor. (I’m currently trying to get this, almost 40 year old, body back  into fighting shape. Wait, it is questionable if it was ever in fighting shape…okay, I’m just trying to see my waistline and abs again and be able to run.)

Which brings me to an announcement of sorts, are you ready for it? I’m going to start a new weekly series to appear each Friday (God willing) about my family’s adventures in the kitchen. We’ll explore old recipes, some with a new twist, and we’ll be trying new healthy recipes. And I'm hoping you'll chime in with advice and recipes of your own!


I seek balance. I seek inner peace. I seek full, happy bellies around my table. Tune in next Friday to see if we're acomplishing this.

What is it like around your kitchen table? Are you ever conflicted ?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It’s Not About Me

One of the mantras I have adopted for this new year is “It’s not about me”. My mom and I were having a conversation around the first of this year and she was recalling a homily the priest at her church had given. She spoke these words and I immediately latched onto them. It was just what I need to be reminded of, just what I needed to hear at that moment. Moms are good that way.

How many times do we plow through life and our sole focus is on ourselves? We become consumed with someone’s rude remark towards us. We worry that we aren’t getting all the “things” we deserve and then moan and complain to anyone who will listen. We’re jealous when someone else succeeds in an area we are desperately trying to master. We find ourselves upset when we don’t get all the credit we think we deserve. Me, Me, Me.

It’s so easy to forget, or maybe just ignore, but this life isn’t about us. Crazy concept, huh? It’s taken me almost 40 years to realize that my faith tells me that we are just one person in a huge family, or if you like sports like I do, part of team.

Think about it, what do we really accomplish alone? In our professional life we have a team of people that lift us up, get us through, and support us. My writing friends are amazing this way. Everyday they get online to help, guide, or encourage other writers. Writers that are hoping to sell books, writers whose novel might sit right next to yours on a shelf. Doesn’t matter to the writing family, because they know that for individual success they need to support the group as a whole first. And if their book sells more then yours, it’s okay because their success becomes yours.  You are a team.

Which brings me to the move Miracle, about the 1980 USA Olympic hockey team. In one part of the movie Coach Brooks is fed up with his players. Their focus is not on working together as a team, but rather on themselves. My favorite line is when Coach tells his players:

“When you pull on that jersey you represent yourself and your teammates. And the name on the front is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back!”

I play on a lot of teams, writing team, friend team, my family team to name just a few. But my all encompassing team is my Faith Team. My jersey reads Flathouse on the back and God on the front. Yep, my team is God’s team and I’m not talking about the Dallas Cowboys. I  play for the man upstairs, and my teammates are all of God’s children. We’re a pretty impressive team, especially when we work together and remember we’re not the only player on it.

And when we forget, maybe we need to be put through this little reminder drill.

And the homily that inspired this post can be found here.

Have you seen the movie Miracle? What would your jersey say?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Princess Bride And The Marcarena

I wasn’t exactly a Princess Bride fifteen years ago today, but I felt pretty close to it.  I didn’t have hoards of people at my wedding, or walk down the aisle of a huge Cathedral, or wear a designer dress.But, I did have all my family and close friends around me, a sweet old church that my husband and I attended while in college, and a beautiful dress. That was princess enough for me.

He couldn't believe it. "Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches! If your love were -"
"I don't understand that first one yet," Buttercup interrupted. She was starting to get very excited now. "Let me get this straight. Are you saying my love is a grain of sand and yours is this other thing? Images confuse me so - is this universal business of yours bigger than my sand? Help me, Westley. I have the feeling we're on the verge of something just terribly important." –Princess Bride

Pretty much how I felt walking down the aisle. That we were on the verge of something terribly important, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it yet. Not to mention that my husband is always giving me great explanations about something and I always have to ask him to, “please slow down, I’m still processing your first thought”. He seems to always be a few steps ahead of me. And as he waited for me at the end of the aisle his  face told me he knew the importance of this day. He got it. Either that or he was grimacing because I managed to cry my way down the entire length of the church. I’m not a crier, really. I have no idea what came over me.

“This is true love... you think this happens everyday?”

Nope, it doesn’t. I know now,  years later, that true love is a gift. It’s a gift you give someone and if you’re lucky they return it. I have no doubt it’s a blessing from above. It’s a gift you have to treasure, treat with respect, and realize the newness of the gift may wear off over time, but it’s still a gift to be cherished.

“Mawwage is what bwings us togwether today....”

Marriage brought my husband and I together 15 years ago today, but love, understanding, forgiveness, compromise, and faith is what have kept us together. Being a Princess Bride is only for a day, feeling like a princess in your marriage, well, that’s a lifetime of work.
So happy anniversary to my sweet WB. Thanks for making me feel like a princess on most days, and reminding me I’m not on others, ha. Like at our reception when we busted out doing the Marcarena. Pretty sure that’s not a princess- y thing to do.


Any favorite quotes from the Princess Bride you’d like to share? It’s one of my favorites!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sunsets, Clawfoot tubs, and Cowboys

This is an old clawfoot tub that my husband’s parents brought back from the homestead and refurbished  for their guest bathroom.

Note:I love sinking into a deep clawfoot tub filled with bubbles. They are much better then those modern Jacuzzi things.
This is a picture of our old backyard. Well, actually, this windmill sits on top of the canyon that ran along the back of our property.

Note: I adore sunsets and sunrises in the Panhandle of Texas. The sky stretches as far as you can see and the light, well, it’s like a window into heaven.
Cotton-Top Posse
This is WB. He’s a Texas man, tough and smart as a whip. And he makes killer chocolate desserts.

Note: I love this man with all my heart. He is my always and forever.

Now, if you could drop that clawfoot tub down there beside that windmill for me. That’s it, thank you. Oh,while you’re at it if you’ll hand my WB a tall glass of Hefeweizen with a squeeze of lemon in one hand and a bottle of bubbles, bath bubbles that is,  for the other. One more thing if you will, we’ll need a couple of horses for the return trip please. Wonderful, thank you.

Now, I’ll just sink down into those bubbles, while my hubby tends to the horses and scares away any coyotes. And I’ll lift my glass and wish you all a Happy New Year. One filled with all the the things dreams are made of.

What are your dreams for 2012? And if they involve cowboys or bubble baths do tell!