Happy Thursday everyone! Yikes just a few more days before Christmas & I'm ecstatic to say I'm DONE...DONE..DONE! I even have 90% of my holiday menu planned & bought except the fresh items. I just have to start wrapping...James & I always do a marathon wrapping night while watching movies and eating yummy snacks since the kids were babies. Now that they are older I make sure everything is boxed up and covered up while we are wrapping...since they want to watch the movies with us. Course they want to do EVERYTHING with us nowadays which I think is hilarious since they are teens...instead both them AND their friends are always here, around us, going somewhere with us LOL. So James and I do not have much time alone anymore but that's ok...Alexa will be off to college in another year (YIKES...sniff sniff) so I'm trying to have as much quality family time as I can. I cannot believe in a few short months I will have a 17 yr old daughter & a 15 yr old son..my how the time does fly. But we have always put family FIRST...we call ourselves the Dean 4-Pack lol and we try to spend as much time together as we can, having fun, hanging out and making memories. In light of what happened in CT...awful, tragic & heartbreaking..it made me reflect a bit on things. Do we spend enough time with the kids, do we tell them we love them, do we show them we love them? And the answer to all those questions was YES, at the end of the day I know that the kids KNOW how we feel and they know they are #1 with us...I don't want to have any regrets about that ever...because you truly never know when it may be your last time with them. So even when they drive me nutters...and trust me they push my buttons like no one's bizness...I still love them, I let them know and they know it too. I'm not a push-over parent, I'm their mom FIRST, friend second, I practice a lot of tough love because the world I'm sending them into is tough and my goal is to raise good, happy, healthy, loving & vibrant citizens for this world first and foremost. But no matter what else I accomplish on this earth...nothing matters to me more than my kids saying they had a great life, great parents and lots of love...that's all I want. And may god forbid that NOTHING happens to them like what happened to those beautiful children/angels in CT or to anyone else...that is my holiday wish. I cannot imagine the grief, pain and sorrow of those parents and everyday I'm sending up a prayer for them that they may know peace, however it may come to them at some point..the road for them is going to be rough this we all know. And I pray that the US and the world come to some greater solution to change these things so they never happen again..wishful thinking...but everything begins with one..one person, one belief, one hope, and one change at a time.