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The Ultimate Blog Party 2013! #UBP13

Ultimate Blog Party 2013
It's here, y'all! The 2013 Ultimate Blog Party, sponsored by 5 Minutes For Mom! Woot, woot! And, I'm giving away an awesome prize:
Jafra Melanie
A $100 Gift Certificate to shop through my personal JAFRA website - anything you want, shipped free (US only, please)! You can choose from state-of-the-art skin care, cosmetics, baby or toddler care, tween or teen care, men's care, spa products, and much, much more. Go look and tell me what you'd love to win!
Of course, I do want to introduce myself to those of you stopping by for the first time. My nickname is Smellyann. My real name is Melanie (Ann), and my dad always called me "Mellie Ann," but my fun older sister switched it to Smellyann in middle school. That rat! I loved it, though, and owned it. Haha!

I am the wife of Rob, on the verge of retiring from 20 years of service in the US Navy. I am mama to Chloë, 11½, Jack, 10, Sophia, almost-8, and Robby, our angel-baby and Jack's identical twin. We're also cohabiting with six cats, five of whom think they're dogs in that they're not remotely aloof and who run to greet new visitors instead of hiding like they're supposed to do! We recently moved to Miami from Virginia Beach, so Rob could go to college here after his retirement. I went to college here as well, and I loved living here, so this has been both a new adventure and a reliving of some great times for me in the past couple of weeks.

As you can see on the right, in the category cloud, I cover a wide range of family-related topics. I started this "blahg" in 2007 as a way to keep our far-flung family and friends connected with our ongoing adventures in traveling, homeschooling, military life, organic living and gardening, my mystery shopping and crafting, and so on and so forth. I also cover my struggles dealing with bipolar disorder, family and parenting conflicts, a daughter who is undersized (but strikingly gorgeous, IMNSHO, and who acts and models fairly regularly), a son who is diagnosed with pituitary dwarfism and, as a 31-week preemie, several delays, and a very active (some would say hyperactive, but I don't), brilliant, right-brained youngest babe.

I hope you'll stick around, comment (I LOOOOOVE comments!), and leave me with a link to visit you as well. You'll find some meme posts on the weekends, peppered with the occasional giveaways, but mostly your run of the mill "we're cray-cray and we love it" daily life posts. 
Sit back, grab a cuppa Joe, and tell me where to find more about you - after you read a few posts, natch.

I love that you stopped by! Thanks!

Ultimate Blog Party 2013
Oh! And a few more bits of business about the 2013 Ultimate Blog Party, duh me: 

*~* There will be live events, including a Twitter Party and a Google+ Hangout, this week.

*~* There will be PRIZES! Over $20,000 in prizes, in fact. Check 'em out and then fill out the prize form.
*~* Link your blog up to the UBP post here, if you want the chance to win more prizes. Make sure you get a badge!
*~* Visit old friends and make new ones on blogs, Twitter, and Facebook from the Linky lists!
*~* It all ends on April 13, 2013 at 11:59 PM (hey, so does my Sophia's 8th birthday), so get started now!
Have a great time. Don't forget your party hat!