Do You Know About These:  Journaling

January 21st, 2011 — 1:08pm

I haven’t been very good about sharing things I find while surfing here on the blog.  I tag sites on Delicious and they auto-post on my FriendFeed, but I want to make an effort to highlight some of my better finds.

Today’s find is from Grace Is Overrated.

Christie has been creating these free, downloadable journaling pages for months.  (I’m fairly certain I’ve snagged every single one.)  I love the pages because they offer prompts and thoughts that might never occur to me as I stare at a blank page with a pen in my hand.

Plus??  She offers a version that you can color yourself.

I think we all need to take some time to stop and color a little more, don’t you?

I’d love to see a version of these for kids.  I know my little guys are loving the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do It Yourself book they got for Christmas.  Anything to get them reading and writing more.

So hop on over to Christie’s site and take in the goodness.

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You Know That You Are…

January 18th, 2011 — 10:33pm

This is what we woke up to this morning.

It was covering everything.

Nature made interesting sounds.

Ice skating on the sidewalk was possible.

I may or may not have finished clearing out the garden this fall.

The world was brown and grey.

But interesting in the details.

Who was clipping papers on my deck?

Probably those meddling kids.  No school for them today.  Made working from home–well–challenging.

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Love Comes in Many Forms

January 17th, 2011 — 10:12pm

Love can make you feel incredible.

It can warm you like a cozy sweater.

Sometimes it can break your heart.

But love–real love–is unconditional.

Like the love between a boy and his dog.

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The Sleepover

January 16th, 2011 — 8:36pm

Is there a rule about mixing birth orders when hosting a sleepover?

My youngest and his good buddy from next door are having their first sleepover at our house tonight.  It’s the first time my little guy has invited a friend of his own over.  For our neighbor?  This isn’t his first night with a friend.

But here’s my fear.

I am the parent of three boys.  My oldest is in high school.  Things I would have NEVER let my oldest do at the age of 6, well…the children have beaten me down.

Not only did my oldest take naps well into Kindergarten, I was adamant about things like professional wrestling (or other inappropriate TV shows) not being on the television when my oldest was on the same level of the house (you know cause I can’t go without my WWE </sarcasm>).

Why were my kids exhausted on the first day of school this year?

Cause they went downtown to watch a live WWE match.

[insert eyeroll here–and don’t forget to hand over that parenting award]

What does this have to do with sleepovers and birth order you ask?

Our adorable neighbor–he’s the first born AND he only has one younger brother.  His sneakers are always clean.  I’ve never seen a rip in the knees of his pants.  I’m fairly certain he gets a bath EVERY night and I know his mother packs his lunch for school.

[sigh]  I remember those days–sorta.

So here’s the question.

What kind of damage am I going to unwittingly subject this child to while he is in my care tonight?

I remembered to tell the teenager to turn off Family Guy if the little guys go downstairs, and his parents have already fed him a wholesome dinner.

I do have ice cream though, and it IS after 8:00 p.m.


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Just Write

January 14th, 2011 — 11:57am

I just wanted you to know.

It’s just that…

I just wanted to apologize.


I hate that word!

And yet, it appears in my writing all the time.

It’s like I’m begging you to give me a chance.  Every time I use it, I feel like I’m pleading for the opportunity for my words to have meaning.

Why can’t they stand on their own?  Why do they need further explanation?

I was just hoping that you would…

Say what you mean girl.

Is it a lazy writing habit or a cry from the little girl inside who still wants approval–who wants to be accepted in this world as she is?

It can be frightening to spill your thoughts onto the page for others to read.  Of course, I could hide them in a journal and burn them when I’m through, but how does that start a conversation?  How does that allow for connection?

I mean if the words are just for me…

(that’s the little girl again, afraid to ask for what she wants)

Just has a different definition of course.  Used in its alternative it is strong and truthful and powerful–it has right on its side.

And that is what it all comes down to.

Do I just right?  Or do I write justly?

I want to sincerely thank my thoughtful friends Tanya, Amy and Jenny for inspiring these thoughts.

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Never Trust a Man with Long Skinny Feet

January 11th, 2011 — 8:06pm

A handsome gentleman stepped on the elevator as I was heading to the garage in my building tonight.  I smiled at him and he gave me a kind smile back.  As he busied himself with selecting his floor, I glanced down at his shoes.

And then it was ruined.

He was wearing these shoes.  They were long and pointy and I couldn’t imagine what kind of foot could fit in them comfortably.

What long odd toes would fill up the tips of those things?

All I could imagine is lying in bed and being attacked by snakes.

Maybe it was my inordinate obsession with the Guinness Book of of World Records when I was younger.

Photo courtesy (?) of Scholastic

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Crap I’m Going to Miss Christmas Again

December 16th, 2010 — 12:07am

Seriously!  When I was a kid it took for-ever for Christmas to come around.


Christmas day comes and I’m left feeling sad that I didn’t get to really enjoy the season.

When am I going to be organized enough to enjoy the holidays??

I was in Target tonight and saw Ree’s book and thought “I bet she has all these amazing holiday traditions and everything organized and labeled and already wrapped AND she has a New York Times bestselling book!”

Ya know…

I’m clearly not doing this whole thing right.

I was supposed to start in February, wasn’t I?

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Too Many Mothers

December 9th, 2010 — 12:18am

For about a year after the birth of each of my children I would have occasional panic attacks that left me bereft.  It always happened as I was trying to go to sleep.  I would suddenly be overwhelmed with the idea of dying and leaving my babies without a mother.  My heart would race.  My thoughts would spin out of control.  It was terrifying.

It’s not that I feel that I’m the best mother who ever lived.  I’m sure my sons would survive without me, but no one would love them–every cell of their being–with the blinding love that I have for them.  I grew them (well two out of three of them).    I know every inch of them.

When Elizabeth Edwards died yesterday, I could feel the panic creep around the edges of my heart.

photo credit: NY Daily News

My respect for Ms. Edwards was established long ago–long before I knew she had cancer.  Her brains, grace, love of life, love for her children, self-awareness and seemingly honest self-acceptance were all so admirable.  She’s the very kind of woman I would have loved to have worked for or had as a mentor.

Learning she had cancer was sad.  Realizing she might leave young children behind was much worse.

Hearing of her death yesterday was devastating.

You see Elizabeth Edwards is but one woman, but she represents so many more.  Too many more.

Elizabeth Edwards is the public reminder of the women–the mothers–in my life who are battling breast cancer right now or living with it as a looming shadow in their recent past.  It feels like every month I’m learning of another friend who has been diagnosed–another mother with cancer.

And much like those panic attacks of early motherhood, I’m sitting here today a mix of crazy emotions.  I’m sad for the death of this wonderful woman.  I’m sad for her children.  I am afraid for my friends.  I worry about my own health.  About my children.  I am angry.  I AM SO ANGRY for each child that will be left without a mother this year.

And yet I feel helpless.

We can give money.  We can raise awareness. We can participate in studies.

But I won’t be happy until we don’t ever have to mourn another mother with cancer again.

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An Old Community is New

December 7th, 2010 — 11:38pm

I joined Twitter in 2007, but fell in love with it in 2008.  The love affair continued in 2009, but waned in 2010 as what I have since discovered my thyroid decided to give up the ghost.

Coincidentally, Twitter became crowded.  I didn’t find the information I used to when I went to Twitter with a question.  Everyone was pimping something and the conversations that seemed to happen without hierarchy appeared to be lost to me.

I’m back on Twitter and trying to sort through the noise, but it isn’t as cute as I remembered sorta like that boy you had a crush on in high school–the one you imagined aged into a George Clooney only to find at the 25th reunion he went more in the direction of George Costanza.

Still lovable, but not one you want to rip your clothes off.

Oddly, the online community where I have found more conversation this year is Facebook.

You know what…

I started writing this in my head earlier today and now that I put it on “paper” I’m calling bullshit on myself.

I’m responding to a writing prompt that I received through social media, but that doesn’t mean I need to think about a social media community.

And as much as I do believe in online communities and the amazing connections that can bloom from them, I still need for a community to become personal and occasionally exist in my real life for it to have meaning for me.

So where did I discover community this year?  I’m not sure I found any new ones.

I’ve always been someone who liked to be part of a community–someone who almost needed a community to feel valuable.  This year I think I’ve discovered (and I’m not entirely sold on this thought but I still have three more weeks to solidify it) the community in me.  Dare I say I am finding more confidence in myself without a community to reinforce my worth (or make me feel even worse about myself).  This is still a new concept for me, so don’t rush me into buying it completely.

Is this new discovery a factor of turning 40?  Not sure.  I’ve always assumed everyone else was completely well-adjusted and supremely self-confident by the age of 18.  Like I said yesterday, I think I’m a late bloomer.

This is a completely rambling and nonsensical post that probably should have been saved for a private journal, but I won’t because I have nervously admitted to the world that I might actually care more about what I think about myself than what others think.

And if you were my therapist from my 20’s, you’d be blown away.

Today’s post is inspired by #reverb10 and the following prompt.

Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

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The Last Thing I Made

December 6th, 2010 — 11:58pm

The last thing I made?  A hat!

It wasn’t this hat, but a blue one–and it’s ribbed (yes I’m giggling like a 14 yo).

I used soft worsted cotton in a beautiful jewel-toned blue.  I’m not in love with the way the pattern turned out, but I MADE it!  A hat!  And you could wear it and it wont’ fall apart.

Why am I so proud?  It’s just a hat.

But it’s more than that.  I finished it.

The perfectionist in me begins many projects but is often too afraid to finish them for fear that they won’t turn out to my standards.  So if I don’t finish something, I didn’t fail.

Yes I’m 40 and still battling with this.  Hoping I’m just a late bloomer.

Do I have something I want to create next year.  You bet I do.  I’ve been working on setting up a photography business for about eight months now.  Every new session is an opportunity to be creative and improve my skills.  But there is more, more I need to do to really turn it into a real business.    There are forms to fill out, forms to create, a website to build, products to try.  So often it all seems too overwhelming to accomplish with a full-time job and family and other responsibilities, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to take my logo–once finalized–and blow it up huge to remind myself of my goal.

And of course I want to make more hats.

*And I know that I’m talking about a photography business and posting fuzzy pictures of myself, but I assure you my real photos are much better.  This was a quick self-portrait on my cell phone taken after I finished my first hat.  What?  I was excited!

This post was inspired by the #reverb10 project.  The prompt for today was this.

Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

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