Happy New Year! Now about those essays...

My New Year's Eve consisted of a sleepy toddler in bed by 8 p.m., a crabby Husband off to work by 9 p.m., and a fire pit in the back yard where my mother, sister, and I toasted in 2010 with a glass of sparkling apple cider. Champagne for three seemed a waste of money since it would have gotten thrown away before anyone finished it, so we partied hard with the light stuff. Now the festivities are over and the world over is in full New Year's Resolution Mode. I have sworn them off on principal, but I'll tell you what is going to happen this year, regardless of any promises I won't make in the spirit of welcoming in the New. These are just plain facts. So read, digest, and then just freakin' DO.

Remember this essay contest? I happen to think it's a kick-ass concept that I know I'd be all about writing about if I hadn't thought up the concept myself. This is all about reality. Not the sugar-coated bull-shit we see on celebrity magazines where Hollywood Moms are magically able to morph back into their pre-baby skinny-than-possible jeans the minute the baby pops out. Not the infomercials promising fat loss or the millions of products and programs that blame the person and not the concept for lack of success. Not the pre-baby thinking we all had fairy-tale dreams of where breast-feeding saves the day and the laundry and life's other responsibilities pile up making us wonder how in hell we all believed we'd have the time or the energy to go back to the gym 6 days a week once the doctor gave the go-ahead for activity.

This essay contest, and the anthology I hope will one day come from all of this, is about where we are now. As mothers. As women. As people.

And really, isn't that what you'd want to read yourself as you deal with screaming kids and too-tight jeans and Husbands that can't find the hamper and promises of tomorrow? Something that you can relate to? By someone who has been there? And is there?

So come on, already. Write your story and submit it to my contest. The holidays are over. The craziness has passed. Now is the time to sit down and relate.

You game?

My prediction for 2010? The Baby F(Ph)at essay contest is going to get a serious jump start. So you better get in while the gettin's good. How's that for confidence?