Home from Rome

It was an amazing ten days in Italy and a rather hard jolt back to reality when I woke up yesterday morning at 3:00 am and couldn’t go back to sleep due to jet lag.  There was so much to do but Mac wanted Mommy to himself, away from the phone and computer and stacks of mail.  I ended up spending the day with the little guy but today I did confine myself to my office to tackle the massive piles of mail and bills and requests covering my desk.  I was supposed to start my new book for Harlequin today, as well as kick off a diet to help me shed some of the weight I’ve gained the past few months writing, writing, writing and then from eating lots of pasta and pizzas in Italy, but neither has happened yet.  It’s pathetic that it’s so hard to take weight off and so easy to put it on.

I had good news while I was gone, though.  She’s Gone Country finaled in two contests which is very fun.  (The details are in the news section on my site.)  And I know the film producers who optioned She’s Gone Country had a meeting with some important folks while I was away, and that’s pretty cool, too.

Something that isn’t so fun is that my move to California is on hold.  I’m hoping the snags can be worked out soon and that the move will still happen before kids return to school, but right now its out of my control.  I can’t move if my former husband won’t, and he’s no longer sure he wants to leave Washington so we’re in a wait and see.

And since I’ve been gone so long, I have a really special prize for my readers this week!  The contest runs through Friday evening and I’ll announce the winner Saturday morning.  It’s a late Spring Break prize consisting of a pink striped beach towel, a copy of Megan Crane’s brand new I Heart the 80’s (a fun fun fun novel that is chick lit and romance and sexy and wonderful!!!), a signed mass market copy of Flirting with Forty, a colorful Vera Bradley sunglass holder, Jane Porter water bottle, and lots more goodies.  Want a chance to win?  Fill me in one what you’ve been doing while I was gone and you are entered!  And then come back Saturday to see if you won.  The winner has only one week (7 days!) to get back to me or I’ll pick a new winner.

Now I really do have to start my new novel…even if it means I only write a paragraph or two.   Ciao!


  1. Glad you had such an amazing trip and I hope your move will happen and benefit all concerned.

    Don’t enter me in your contest, as I already have all the prizes. 🙂 But wanted to post that I’ve learned that for us in sedentary careers, the best workspace is where you are standing, not sitting. Yep, even my accountant daughter had her husband make her a standing workstation and there’s who companies that keep everyone on their feet.

    I’m going to explore this for myself because I felt a whole lot more alert and healthy when I was one my feet in retail than I do now. I’m also the type to get up and walk around often.

    Welcome home. 🙂

  2. I didn’t get to travel like you, I just had school and it’s midterms this week. Just study, study, study. It looks like you had fun, but sorry that the move is put on hold. I hope it all works out. have a great week,

  3. Glad to have you back!

    It’s been a busy couple of weeks workwise… end of seasons, galas, etc. at the university I work at. Busy on the personal front too… our horse finished his season in FL so he needs to be picked up and we are preparing for the jumping season on the circuit in the Montreal area. Kids are busy winding down their school years, looking for summer jobs and one is changing apartments so we have a move coming up in the next 6 weeks or so.

    Hope you get your move in order… not nice to have your plans SNAFU’d.

  4. Welcome home, Jane! Well, I was at a great nursing conference in Oakland, but got sick the last day, so I have been trying to get better. The kids start spring break next week, so we are all ready for for a little time to relax. That’s about it from here!


  5. Great picture of you and your young men! Glad you had a great trip to Rome…but very sorry to hear about your move to California being put on hold. Hope it works out for you sooner rather than later 🙂

    We didn’t travel over spring break because my husband couldn’t take any time off, but I had a nice relaxing week with my kids with no particular place to go. We were all ready for a break from work/school!

    Have a great week!

  6. Glad you had a wonderful trip! It’s been work, packing, and wading through my divorce. Some days are good, some are tearful! I did get to spend a great weekend with my sister, so that was one great thing. Glad you’re home safe – missed your updates!

  7. Welcome back home Jane!!! Very happy to hear that you had an amazing trip!!! I love Italy!!! Beautiful country full of amazing people.

    I had an amazing weekend with my husband. We went to CatchCon 2011 to meet all the captains and crews from the Discovery Channel show Deadliest Catch!!! It was great!!!

    Good luck with writing of your new book!!


  8. I know what you mean about it’s easy to gain weight and hard to lose. You are very dedicated and I’m sure you’ll get it off soon. I have had the same problem lately and even though I follow weight watcher’s, I’m still having trouble getting it back of even when I do what I’m supposed to. I think my body is changing once again. The joys of getting older aren’t exactly joys anymore. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been put on hold for your move. I know how much you wanted it too. hopefully your ex will decide to go too. I enjoyed the pictures and can’t wait to hear more about your trip. The news about She’s Gone Country is awsome news too. My week hasn’t been so great. My husband’s job has been very slow and we are barely able to make the bills. I have 6 months left on my car and hate to think we may lose it this far into it. But, as always we’ll do what has to be done to survive. Woke up yesterday to really bad storms and he got on the roof tonight to check it and there’s bad damage up there. So, now I have to get the insurance guy to look at it and see what needs to be done. Hopefully it’s more then the deductible so we can have it repaired without any out of pocket expense. But, after the storm, it’s been beautiful weather in Dallas.

  9. I finished up my surfing vacation in Hawaii. Many Thanks to Ty and his crew!! Back to reality in Boston. Took the Grad School exam for Psychology, helped put on a pasta dinner for the Non-Profit Blood cancer research charity I volunteer with. Oh and saw the Boston Redsox kick some Yankee butt on Sunday. First time seeing the rivalry at Fenway! 🙂

    Glad you had fun in Italy. Hope all works out with your move and the new book. I really enjoyed the excerpt from She’s Gone Country.. can’t wait to get it and read the whole book. 🙂

  10. Glad to hear you had a great trip, Jane. I have been working hard to keep as many middle school students as possible interested in writing & English with just 6 weeks left of school!!

  11. Glad you had fun in Italy – I’m envious as Italy is the next place I want to visit in Europe. I’ve wanted to go there FOR SO LONG! I’ve been busy working and volunteering for an organization that is close to work. The weekend consisted of spending time with family visiting a wild animal sanctuary here in Colorado. So interesting!

  12. Welcome back. Glad to hear you had a great time.

    I’ve been sewing for my girl and spring cleaning when I’m not looking at the next patterns to get.

  13. Glad you had a great time, Jane! I’m sure Italy was amazing and that your older boys loved sharing it with you! Great memories! And I’m sure Mac is happy to have Mommy home!

    Here, we’ve been playing baseball, running track, and practicing water polo. Busy busy, but Visalia was GORGEOUS today!!!

    Don’t worry about those extra pounds. We all have them, and there’s always tomorrow. Time spent with your kids I’d way more important!

    Take care!


    Take care!


  14. Hi! Welcome home! I bet Mac was glad to see you, and that he’s grown alot! I’ve been cleaning up from a storm that hit last tuesday morning wrecked my truck that I got from my dad and early birthday present, not a brand new one but a 2006 ford truck, getting it fixed but have no transportation, also a shed and alittle roof that was damaged but if the tree had landed differently I would of losted my daughter so I thank God that she’s still around, I can replace everything but not her. Also, study for exams, being back at college was a challenge this year but alot of fun and meeting alot of people. Sorry that your moved is on holed that sounds like my divorce my ex won’t sign the papers, don’t know why but I’m putting it all in God’s hands-as for the weight I started using Advocare and I love the products and I’m eating healthy and the weight is coming off, and I hate to exercise(I run after my 2 kids that are in my daycare and I walk alot) and I’m back wearing my size8-10 pants.Anyways, look-up Advocare and I have my own website if you want more information. Its so wonderful and I have lots of energy. Spark is great! Welcome back home and you’ll get back to writing…

  15. Welcome back, Jane! Hope you can work things out with the move. We have been enjoying some nice weather today. We have made reservations for a seasonal campsite at an RV park so we’re looking forward to getting the camper out and situated before the Memorial Day weekend.

  16. Bummer about your move:(…hope there’s not too much drama. Italy sounds awesome….some day! Read about the M. Crane book on Chick Lit is Not Dead….went to B&N (website) to order…they don’t have it???? Is it out yet? If I don’t win…where can I purchase the book, it sounds great.

    Boring spring break…no travels. But gearing up for the kick-off of Smith Family Road Trip # 2 – May 31st:)!

    1. Allie wrote: “Read about the M. Crane book on Chick Lit is Not Dead….went to B&N (website) to order…they don’t have it???? Is it out yet? If I don’t win…where can I purchase the book, it sounds great.”

      Hi Allie! Thanks so much for looking for my book. You couldn’t find it at B&N because it’s currently only available in the UK. You can buy it from amazon.co.uk if you’re so inclined:


      Or if you’d prefer to avoid the international shipping charge (but don’t mind a bit of a wait) you can order it from Book Depository:


      Hope you enjoy it if you decide to order it!


  17. Hi Jane!

    Glad you had such a wonderful time in Italy. I am sorry about your move to California. I was in the same situation with my Ex too. I relocated to California this past year and my boys stayed with my Ex husband in NM. They come out often to visit but they are both getting old enough to say where they want to live, within reason that is.
    I have been wanting to write for ages now and just finished a writing course to refresh things in this dusty old brain of mine. I am really excited about finishing and have a few prospects already. Girls rock! We can do anything we put our minds to: Be a mother, career woman, independant, self-sufficient, creative, inspiring…etc. We are woman, hear us roar! Take care and I hope that everything works out for the best!

  18. Busy time for you! Glad you are home safe and sound. Hope the new book comes leaping off the keys of your computer and your problems with moving all work out.

    Here we have been working in the garden and getting in as much face time with our grandchild as possible. They change so much this first year. She is almost six months old and we can’t remember what life was like before she got here. LOVE, she is just love in the best sense of the word!

    Keeping you in my prayers!

  19. Glad you had a good vacation. I went to Pigeon Forge over the weekend. Had a blast! Traffic Sunday was awful though. lol. It was worth it though.

  20. welcome back Jane! Your boys are turning into fine young men and oooo…i want some of the pizza. I’ve been busy getting my car, my apartment, my job in Colorado together. so far, so good 🙂 but this weekend i’m headed back east for birthdays and school events.

    glad to hear you had fun… now get to writing (kidding – go have some fun with Mac first(.

  21. ALOHA!!! so glad that you made it home all in one piece.

    Nothing new here. Just spent the weekend catching a couple of movies….favorite was Soul Surfer. go see it if you need a break from all the hectic dealings going on in your life!

  22. What an awesome, awesome giveaway! I’m glad your trip to Rome went well, I can’t wait to visit there someday!!
    Since you’ve been away I have been busy working on semester long projects, two huge papers and a resource binder. I have been substitute teaching and loving it! Also, I have been spending time in my practicum with the lovely 2nd graders and loving their adorableness! It’s all keeping me super busy and I am so excited for summer! 🙂

  23. Welcome Home!
    That pizza looked fantastic. What a privilage to be able to take your children–and yourself–to these amazing places.
    I wanted to add to what Terri said about the sedintary work stations. I saw a feature that showed one company that built desks over treadmills. The employees walk at about 1 mph while typing away or on the phone. They have less sick days, lose weight and feel much better in general.

    I hope your Cali days are coming soon and that everything gets sorted out.

    Thanks for everything,
    (no contest 🙂

  24. Great reporting!

    My week was spent getting everything organized before surgery- so much to fix! I’m ready now.

  25. Jane,
    Welcome back. Seems like Italy was the place to go. I know of a couple other people that just went or are there now. Hope to be able to go there some day. Sorry to hear your move is on hold even though we would like for you to stay here in Seattle. I’ve just been enjoying my new grandson. So much fun.

  26. I am so happy that you ahd an amazing vacation with your big boys! ANd I am sad that your Ex is being uncooperative with your move. I am certain it will work out. Nothing ever goes easy does it? Atleast not in my life!

    I have gone back to Zumba finally, hoping to get healthier and loose more weight. (And using my Ty Gurney Surf School water bottle!) I have been writing too, finally, and reading! Spring has finally come to S.E. Wisconsin but with that comes allergies too.


  27. Jane,

    You are beautiful, inside and out, and the pounds don’t change that at all!

    I have been working so hard at home-schooling my kids. They work so hard, too. We are looking forward to spring break.

    Mary N.

  28. I’m glad you are safe at home..love the picture!

    I don’t know the details about you and your ex. I do hope that you guys can work it out. I moved to Washington and moved away from my oldest daughter’s father in Oregon. I can’t imagine even discussing him moving. In our case it was for the best that he has always kept his distance. It seems to me that you and your ex are very mature and work hard at doing things right for the kids. Kudos to you.

    We’re planning on hitting Mt Rainier this weekend since it is free week at the National Parks..hope the weather is good..

  29. Hi Jane,

    Sounds like a lovely trip to Italy…while you were gone I was dealing with my beloved chihuahua, named Louie. He is in the late stage of his life with lymphoma & had a seizure on Sunday that really difficult to witness. He seems fine now, he’s eating, drinking, and going out to do his business…he even smiled at me today. We love him so much…I can’t put him down when he still has some quality of life. Oh, while hanging with Louie, I’ve been reading my library copy of The Frog Prince. I’m enjoying and near the end, Chapter 16….but the SF Giants are playing the LA Dodgers at home tonight and they are currently up by one; Go Giants!

  30. I just got back from a two week business trip to India and London so I totally understand the waking up in the middle of the night. In fact, I found your site when I was in London awake when I should have been asleep! I was up looking to buy “She’s Gone Country”. Anyway, since you’ve been gone and I’ve been home…my weeks have been filled with little league, more littel league, and then more little league to make up for rained out games. And in between I’ve done my taxes 🙂

  31. Welcome home, Jane. Sorry to hear about the delay on your move. We love having you in the Seattle area but know that CA is right for all of you!

    While you were gone, I spent 4 days with my 10 year old daughter in Seattle Children’s Hospital. She had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic or Toxic Shock Syndrome. She’s much better but we will probably never know for sure what caused her to get so sick. It once again reassured my devotion to the hospital through the Star Guild. Thanks for always supporting it too! I was able to read a new Jude Deveraux novel though! My escape into historical romance.

    Have a good week!

  32. Welcome home 🙂 It has been school and hockey as usual here. I am excited about Spring coming. Take care.

  33. Welcome back to the chilly NW.
    Haven’t done much myself but did get to go to a wildlife refuge last Friday and the sun came out, the birds were singing, and Mt. Rainier appeared in the afternoon to rule over the sky. Real spring weather must be coming soon!

  34. Hi Jane!
    Well, while you were having a fabulous time with your Boys in Rome, my hubby and I were having a fun time in Tucson and Phoenix Az! Golfing, shopping and eating. Isn’t that what everyone does on vacation? Spring break starts this coming weekend, so we will be heading off for 9 days to our vacation home at Pismo Beach! More golfing and shopping and eating. Oops, looks like I need to hit the diet train too!

    Good luck with the move. I hope it all works out and that your ex husband will see what is important. We would love to have you back “Home”.


  35. Wonderful that you had a good trip; not so lovely about the move on hold.

    While you were having fun I was travelling to doctor appointments 3 hrs. away from here. Yesterday I had an MRI which wasn’t as bad as I imagined. Had to lay still for 40 minutes and that was a bit awkward.
    Also we have been cleaning the yard up and getting rid of ice chunks.

    Welcome back.

  36. Hi Jane!

    Welcome home, I am so glad that you had an incrediable time in Italy. Italy is on my bucket list of places to travel to!

    I had a great trip to Salt Lake City to see friends and the weather could not have been better, nearly 70 every day, then woke up to 6 inches of snow the morning I was coming home to SO CA!

    My sister and her family are moving to Seattle next week! I am going to miss them so much. They had been living in Las Vegas for the two years, which was still close enough to see them often. I adore my nephew and nieces and it will be so hard to be so far away from them……

    I am super excited about reading more new books from you! I love, love, love your writings!

    Always remember that everything works out the way it is supposed too(your move), even we don’t think so……cheesy I know but true..


  37. Welcome home! The pizza looks delicious and I can totally sympathize with the weight loss deal. I always manage to put weight on during our miserable eastern winters, so I’ve just joined weight watchers online to give the points plus program a try. I like it better than the original ww because all fruits and vegs are free with the exception of potatoes and corn. So you can load up on that stuff and still have points left for your treats too. I know once I get in the groove I’ll be able to stick it out and not revert to my bad ways! Oh yes, and you get cheat points to use during the week or for one big splurge, which is also lovely. 🙂 Glad to have you back stateside.

  38. Hey there, Jane. Welcome back!

    I played mixed doubles in a weekend badminton tournament, and we won the “B” event (after losing to the top seeds in a close match).

    I played ladies’ doubles in our club championships last night, and my 23-year-old daughter and I won the “A” event (for the second of two years in a row).

    I’m feeling pretty pumped/jazzed for an almost 52-year-old overweight woman right now!

  39. I’m glad y’all made it home safely and had a fantastic time in Italy!

    I passed a test that proves I’m a highly qualified teacher; even though I’ve been teaching for 8 years and my students have always done well on standardize tests… all that was said with a LOT of sarcasms!

    My dh and I made it home for an Astros game. It’s been a long time since I’ve sat with my dh and watch a ball game in person. It was funny!

  40. Hi Jane, welcome home! I’m glad you had such a great trip 🙂

    While you were gone I got caught up on a ton of reading. I finally read some books I had been putting off. I also had a date night with the hubby which was really nice since he works two full time jobs and nobody is ever around on the weekends to babysit for us. But his mother came through and watched the children so we could go out to eat at our favorite restaurant and stop at a little used book store. It was a great day 🙂

  41. Oh I am so glad you are home! I will be absolutely thrilled to hear more about the possible release of another Jane Porter book to film. The pizza looked sinfully yummy. I love all the prizes you are giving away they sound so cool! Lets see, what have I been up too. Well, first with the snow days I really had to hit the books hard to catch up on my Algebra. Waiting for twenty years to go back to school didn’t increase my knowledge of Slope form that’s for sure! I have been finishing some other projects for my other classes as well since we are getting ready for the end of the semester. I had hours of interviews for a new job that my family desperately needed me to get and just found out yesterday that my dear John letter was lost in the mail but I did indeed get sent one. I guess it is back to the drawing board on that one. I am trying to stay positive and enjoy all the many happy and exciting things that are still going on around me. This weekend my senior has his Prom, I drive the RV to Salina for my eleven year olds first baseball tourney of the season and my thirteen year old has a choir competition in Holton. Having shopped with my son and his date I am not too sad that I will be out of town when they actually leave for the dance and I am really looking forward to getting my RV out for the first time this season. Camping is so relaxing!That water bottle and sunglasses sure would be nice when I am out walking this Summer.:)LOL. Have a great time being back home with your little one Jane!

  42. Hi Jane. I am glad you had a good trip. Congrats on finaling in the contests. The last few days I have been involved in planning a bridal shower and wedding reception for my nephew. Busy days. 🙂

  43. Jane,

    I’m your fan from Huntsville, AL. I have a business trip next week that is taking me to Hawaii for the first time. I had the option to rush home or stay over one more day. My best friend said to me “Hawaii! Are you crazy? May I remind you….Flirting with Forty!” So…I decided to take the extra day! Thought you would enjoy that story.

  44. HI JANE! so glad you are back with your little guy; and so glad you were on your fantastic trip with your big guys (love the pic of you and them). sorry your moving plans are on hold; i think it makes it worse when it is out of your control. hope it won’t take too long to get back into YOUR routine; good luck with the book writing. take care.

  45. Glad to have you back safely!

    Sorry to hear you’re on a diet as well. I started on Monday this week and blew it every day so far.:) Hitting forty wasn’t as much fun as I expected it to be (not that I expected it anyway) and my body decided it’s forty as well. I’ve started to get a lot more “fun with the kids-excercise” in, so the kids and I will benefit from it and maybe my body gets tricked into thinking it has the same energy than my 4/6 olds – or at least my 13y old. We’ll see.

    Have a great week everyone!

  46. Welcome back, Jane. Your trip sounds wonderful. Congratulations on She’s Gone Country. What great news. The photos are lovely and special. I am busy with meals, kids and appointments. Enjoy Mac.

  47. Welcome home, Jane!! May I begin by saying that those pizzas look positively STUNNING!! I don’t know how you held back long enough to take a photo. In my book, that is the perfect pizza: cracker-thin crust, lots of tomatoes with a splash of cheese. YUM-O (ok why am I so nuts about pizza at 9:05 a.m.?!)! I’m so glad you stayed “unplugged” to play with Mac; I hope he did well while you were away. Looks like a great trip.

    While you were gone I was running with my daughter’s track team. I volunteered and it has kept me busy. I’ve been doing my best to keep my little recurring aches and pains (related to running) at bay and so far, so good. The scale hasn’t moved but I do FEEL a little lighter and some clothes are going on easier/looser so I must be doing something right.

    I also planned an first-rate dinner party to celebrate my sister Jen’s 30th birthday (you met her in Laguna a while back). It was family and her BFF but everything was 5-star and I did it all myself (quite proudly). Loads of work but worth all the effort (and we have leftovers!). That is behind me now so I can get back on schedule with the rest of my crazy life.

    Rebecca’s first track meet is this Saturday. She’s nervous and isn’t feeling terribly confident; I hope it goes well for her.

    Great to see your post. Big hugs from Tustin.


  48. Glad to see you made it home safe and sound. I bet Mac missed his mommy bunches.
    Since spring has arrived I have been working in the yard.
    This morning we had gutters installed on the house. It seems like it never ends.
    I wish I could run away to someplace exotic and forget about the real world for a while.

  49. Hi Jane – Glad you had a great trip! Coming home to mail and stacks and bills, never fun. I really think the paper multiplies while it’s on the counter, I have yet to find the right organization system for it all.

    Sorry to hear the move is on hold. I hope the FH makes up his mind, so you know which direction you are going next.

    Last week was spring break. We did appointments and errands and a weekend trip to the eastern side of the mountains for a softball tournament. Lots of time outside in the wind and cold, with the sun only appearing in our last game on Sunday. Figures! Now we are working to get back to a normal schedule. Right off the bat I forgot about band on Monday morning! Bad Mom! 🙂

    Good luck getting over the jet lag!


  50. Glad to see you are home safely. I bet I know who can’t get enough of that little guy! A Mac attack for sure.

    I have been doing some classes and refreshing my nursing knowledge base. It feels good to be back where I belong. I never realized how much I missed the challenge and enjoyed learning.

    Also planning for our Spring break. It is really late this year. One is off to a leadership conference and the other can not make up his mind of what he would like to do. I know it will be fun either way.

    I think of you every time I go to the store and walk past the HUGE PEEP display. I swear they come up with new colors and shapes every year. Have you had your PEEP’s today??? LOL

  51. Welcome Home Jane! Congrats on the awards and i hope everything works out for California. I have been doing ….. nothing but the same old stuff. work reading reviewing on my blog and taking care of my kids etc. Spring break here was last week and it went by fast. My hubby made it home on Wed ( he’s a truck driver) to spend a few days with the boys and I. He just left again this morning. Finally getting some spring weather here in Michigan!

    that’s it!

    Lisa B

  52. Hi Jane!

    Sounds like you had a great trip. The picture of you and the boys is really cute! Those pizzas look divine!

    I’ve been trying to resolve my job dilemma and get more insight on other fields I might like to explore. I’m currently a teacher, but I’m just not sure I want to continue to teach. I took a careers workshop and when I got the results the career I matched most highly with is elementary school teacher so now I’m not sure what to do.

    Other than that things are pretty low key on my end. Hope you got off to a good start on the new book!

  53. Welcome back! Glad you and the bous had such a great time. Let’s see, what have I been doing? Taking the kids to school, gymnastics, working at the office with the hubby, trying to get the backyard in some sort of shape before Easter, laundry, homework, preparing for my final in my library class, reading to the kids and their classmates at the school library, more laundry, reading (only a little), going through my wardrobe and putting away winter clothes, getting rid of clothes I haven’t worn in a year (the old purge) book club coming up next week, preparing for our women’s retreat up at ECCO in Oakhurst.

    Hmmmm, I think that’s it for the last 10 days! I don’t need a prize, unless it’s one I can share with the bookclub girls!

  54. The big news that happened while you were gone on your wonderful Italian Vacation is my niece had her first baby. Little Sophia was born by C-section and both mom and baby are doing well. She is so pretty and has lots and lots of beautiful black hair….dad is from India, so I imagine she will keep that beautiful hair throughout her life. I’m glad you had a great trip. That pizza looks so yummy!

  55. Hi Jane! So glad you had a wonderful time in Rome! We took a family vacation to Disney. It was a blast but not too much vacation for mom and dad! Congratulations on winning 2 contests! That’s awesome and you definitely deserve it!


  56. I volunteered at Ever After Gowns, which is an organization that helps to make sure every high school girl, despite her income or family circumstances, gets a beautiful prom dress. It is so much fun to set up the boutiques & watch them take shape and know that I am helping do good. I also have had two surprise birthday parties to attend – one 40th and one 50th! And I put my dog on a diet–I signed my Pug up for my vet’s office version of the Biggest Loser. That is it from me. Glad you are back & had a great trip. Fingers crossed about the CA move!

  57. Hi Jane,
    Glad you guys had fun on your trip. Congrtas on the contest wins. I’m reading “She’s Gone Country” right now. I’m loving it just as I did all your other books. My 3 year old is sick with a cold and cough so I’ve been giving her a little extra TLC. I’m meeting an old friend that I haven’t seen since high school so I’m excited. We are enjoying the spring weather over here in Mi. It finally showed up!!! Take care

  58. Hey Jane,
    So glad to hear you had FUN!
    My best friend and I keep talking about visiting ITALY, I guess we should really take the time and go. But it’s harder for me to get away with hubby, kids, work, & school.

    So it’s funny you are talking about shedding some pounds… I just started a diet, hoping to get rid of few pounds too. We have been talking about it for a couple weeks now.
    NO coffee 🙁 , no sugar or processed foods. A friend of ours had great success so I ask my husband to do it with me, I was shocked he said YES!

    I ‘ll let you know how it goes!
    Hope your goes well too!
    So No peeps for us this year! 🙁

    Those are some great Pictures! I love pictures!

    We have been busy busy! I am really going to try to take time for myself and start a new book on Sunday.

    Good Luck on the move!

    Wishing you all the Best with your NEW BOOK!
    can’t wait!

    Thanks Jane for Sharing!:)

  59. Welcome back, Jane! The picture of you and the boys is great – where were you posed? And the pizza looks delicious!!(HUM….maybe that’s what we’ll have for dinner tonight – Chicago deep dish!)
    I spent the weekends of spring break stage managing a community theatre production of Apartment 3A which was written by actor Jeff Daniels. Very funny production and we had wonderful actors! During the week, I slept in relishing the extra time relaxing rather than at school.
    Hope you have some time to relax soon – European vacations are fun, but with kids they are rarely relaxing!

  60. Hi Jane and welcome back! OH, that pizza looks so good! I went to Italy back in 1983 and would love to return someday. My good friend’s grandparents and uncle lived in Northern Italy and we went and stayed with them for 3 1/2 weeks – great memories. Her grandmother made some awesome food.
    I am back at work after spring break – hard to come back after being off for a week. But, I’m only working half days right now so it’s not bad.

  61. Congrats on finaling in two contests. Didn’t do anything exciting while you were away, but hopefully the weather will be nice this weekend.

  62. Hi Jane!
    Glad you had a great time in Italy! It’s on my list of “Places to Go”. I’ve just been trying to finish my thesis for my M.A.–only 3 weeks left!

  63. Hi Jane,

    Welcome back!

    I have been busy unpacking the last moving boxes and getting over jet lag.And trying to feel at home in my new home.
    And now it´s also time for me to plan a baby shower and I´m exited about that. I´m getting ready to write the invitations.
    Have a nice week back in the northwest 🙂

  64. I’m glad you had a nice trip! I’ve planted some seeds (inside, of course), read a few books, done some gluten free baking and spent some time on the computer.

  65. Glad to hear you had such a good time in Italy. I was there twice and I’m really hoping to go there again soon.

    I’m sorry to hear your move to California is on hold, I really hope you’ll be able to work out the problem and move there soon.

    I got really good news at work about 2 weeks ago- my boss, which I really don’t like, is moving to a different department and my new boss is a man and I’m hoping working with a man will be easier than a woman.

    Also, Passover is just a few days away and I can’t wait for the days off from work to relax and spend time with my family.

  66. Welcome home, Jane! We missed you! It’s sounds like you had a great trip and judging by the picture, some awesome pizza! I’m so excited at the possibility of SGC to be made into a movie! That is awesome! I’m enjoying the beautiful spring weather, working, writing and feeling thankful.

  67. Congrats on being a finalist in both contests for She’s Gone Country!! I’ll look forward to seeing the movie version one day, too. Lots of exciting news your way, I hope the move works out for you soon, being in limbo is rough. Don’t enter me in the contest, I just won one from you (!!!) ;D

  68. Welcome home Jane. Today I kept my father in law and then mowed the lawn when i got home. Yes its that time of the year again and we have to catch the mowing between rains. We have had a lot of rain lately.

  69. Yum..yum, The pizza looks delicious 🙂

    I missed your blog, and *cough* the goodies actually 😀
    glad you had a great time in Italy.

    Nothing special happened, just stay at home and watched my 5 months old son growing everyday ! He’s become a smart baby.

  70. Hi Jane,
    Welcome home! While you were away all I did was work, work, & more work. I am so looking forward to my summer cruise.


  71. Hi Jane

    So glad you had a nice time in Italy. We are still hopeful to get there before our family stationed there leaves. While you were gone, my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. It has been a humbling experience to say the least. It was quite a shock and hopefully caught early. He has surgery in May and we are praying that is all the treatment he will need.

    We are still preparing for our trip over spring break to visit my ailing mother in Ohio and then a fun few days camping near our home. Looking forward to some time away!

  72. Welcome back…I don’t which photo I enjoyed more, the boys or the pizza. I’m sorry your moving plans are on hold; it’s so hard to be in limbo. Special thoughts are with you.

  73. Glad you had a good time. You’re such a busy lady, I don’t know how you do it!!
    Nothing exciting in my part of the world but as they say, it’s all good!! Life ain’t bad at all.

  74. Oh my gosh, that pizza looks sooo good! (I have the late night munchies) and like you, I am trying to lose some weight. It’s so dang hard!

  75. Hi Jane,
    How cool is that to eat pizza in Italy. It sounds like you had a great time. We have been enjoying some occasional warmer temperatures as we finally get rid of winter.

  76. I’ve not really done much of anything while you’ve been gone. Still trying to get over a cold and haven’t felt much like doing anything. I’m glad you had a good time.

  77. I love the pictures! It’s good that you have Mac or you might have experienced post Italy depression. Of course, I could just be projecting.:)

    I saw the new Jane Eyre. Michael Fassbender is the hottest Rochester ever!

  78. Welcome back. Being a girl from Venice, CA…I thought it way too funny when we went to Venice, Italy and saw how much people ate! My husband and I split a pizza and we were full and I could not believe that the standard is to eat your own whole pizza…o boy. Good luck with losing weight. Monday, I will diet…what color do you want it? Enjoy Mac, bet he missed you terribly, so cute.

  79. The past week has been a little crazy for me. I have spent two vacation days taking my teenage daughter to two doctors (ob-gyn and an endocronologist) with diagnoses of pcos and insulin resistance. It’s going to take lifestyle changes – eating a lower carb diet and more exercise – in addition to some medicine for a while but now that we know what we’re dealing with maybe we can actually deal with it. I’m glad you had a good trip but welcome back. You were missed.

  80. Hi Jane! Welcome home! So glad to hear about your wonderful trip. I just saw your contest and knew that I had to enter for a chance to win. Hope I’m not too late.

    Take care,

  81. Sorry Jane! To add to my last post (I totally forgot about getting to my own details Oops!), I spent the past week doing routine things – just working and then looking after my kids and hubby in the evenings, so not very exciting. I did, however, got to watch half of Flirting with Forty (finally) last night and will finish watching the movie this weekend. I love it so far!

    Are you and Ty in the movie? I’ve been trying to spot you but no luck yet.

  82. Good morning everyone! I’ll be heading to a lacrosse game soon and thought I’d better announce my winner for the Venetian red heart necklace and other fun goodies.

    #60 Jennifer F…its you! Congrats!!

    Please email me privately ASAP with your mailing address and I’ll get the prize out in the next mail.

    And everyone else, never fear, there are more great Italian prizes coming up this week!! Be sure to check back Monday morning on my Gladiator blog to see if you won!

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