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Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments

Writing a book is a monumental task. Without the support and understanding of those close to me, my dreams for this book would have never come to fruition. Special thanks go to the following special people who helped to make this book possible:

Dan Balter (my incredible husband) for his ongoing support, love, encouragement, friendship, and for, as usual, being patient with me while I wrote this book. Dan, words cannot adequately express the love and appreciation that I feel for all that you are and all that you do for me. You treat me like a princess! Thank you for being the phenomenal person you are. I enjoy sharing not only our career successes, but even more I enjoy sharing the life of our beautiful children, Alexis and Brendan. I look forward to continuing to reach highs we never dreamed of. There is no one I'd rather spend forever with than you.

Alexis Balter (my precious daughter) for giving life a special meaning. Your intelligence, compassion, caring, and perceptiveness are far beyond your years. Alexis, you make all my hard work worth it. No matter how bad my day, when I look at you, sunshine fills my life. You are the most special gift that anyone has ever given me.

Brendan Balter (my adorable son) for showing me the power of persistence. Brendan, you are small, but boy are you mighty! I have never seen such tenacity and fortitude in such a little person. I never imagined that one little guy could render hours of expensive baby-proofing worthless! Thank you for your sweetness, your sensitivity, and your unconditional love. Most of all, thank you for reminding me how important it is to have a sense of humor.

Charlotte and Bob Roman (Mom & Dad) for believing in me and sharing in both the good times and the bad. Mom and Dad, without your special love and support, I never would have become who I am today. Without all your help, I could never get everything done. Words can never express how much I appreciate all that you do!

Sue Terry for being the most wonderful best friend anyone could possibly have. You inspire me with your music, your love, your friendship, and your faith in God. Whenever I am having a bad day, I picture you singing “Dear God” or “Love Thy Neighbor Blues,” and suddenly my day gets better. Thank you for the gift of friendship. Thanks also to Kim (Sue's better half) for all of your love and support.

Roz, Ron, and Charlie Carriere for supporting my endeavors and for encouraging me to pursue my writing. It means a lot to know that you guys are proud of me for what I do. I enjoy our times together as a family. Charlie, I am very proud of the man that you are becoming.

Steven Chait for being a special brother. I want you to know how much you mean to me. When I was a little girl, I was told about your gift to write. You may not know this, but my desire to write started as a little girl wanting to be like her big brother.

Sonia Aguilar for being the best nanny that anyone could ever dream of having. You are a person far too special to describe in words. I can't tell you how much it means to know that Alexis and Brendan have someone so loving and caring with whom to spend their days. You are an amazing model of love, kindness, and charity. Hugo, Claudia, Gaby, and Hugito, you are all special, too. Dan, Alexis, Brendan, and I are so very lucky to have you in our family.

Doug and Karen Sylvester for being the best neighbors and friends a couple could have. You are loads of fun to be with and are always there when we need you. We are so glad you are such an integral part of our lives. We look forward to watching Alexis, Brendan, Nathaniel, and Noah grow up together.

Greggory Peck from Blast Through Learning for his contribution to my success in this industry. I believe that the opportunities you gave me early on have helped me reach a level in this industry that would have been much more difficult for me to reach on my own.

Edie Swanson for being a great assistant. You did a great job keeping all my other responsibilities to a minimum so that I could focus on the completion of this book. Thanks for making my day-to-day work life easier.

Diane Dennis, Shell Forman, Joyce Milner, Chuck Hinkle, Scott Barker, and all of the other wonderful friends that I have in my life. Diane, you have been my soul mate in life since we were four! Shell, my special “sister,” I am lucky to have such a special friend as you. Joyce, miles can't keep our hearts apart. I only wish that we could see more of each other. Chuck, you have a special place in my heart. Scott, you have always been a great business and personal support.

Jack Gupton, Lisa Dosch, Ellen McCrea, David Cummins, Bob Hess, and all of the other special clients and work associates that I have in my life. Although all of you started out as clients, I feel that our relationship goes much deeper than that. I am very lucky to have people in my work life like you. Thank you all for your patience with my schedule as I wrote this book.

Kim Spilker, Sondra Scott, Audrey Doyle, Elizabeth Finney, Krista Hansing, Karen Gill, Jon Price, Chris Thibodeaux, Shimon Mordzynski, and Rosemarie Graham for making my experience with Sams a positive one. I know that you all worked very hard to ensure that this book came out on time and with the best quality possible. Without you, this book wouldn't have happened. I have really enjoyed working with all of you over these past several months. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and your sensitivity to my schedule and commitments outside of this book. It is nice to work with people who appreciate me as a person, not just as an author.

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