Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What Am I Doing?!

Cruising the web I happened upon this amazing HP giveaway hosted by Down to Earth Mama. I entered because I loved how she was encouraging entrants to donate part of the prize package to someone who needed it more. Beautiful.

She then had an option to earn a bonus entry.

"Write on a message board or your blog a post about how you have or plan to make the world a bit better."
And all of the sudden, I got to thinking.

What AM I doing to make the world a bit better?

I'm not sure I'm satisfied with my answer.

I spent the first seven years of my career working for a non-profit--it's why I moved to DC. I wanted to "save" the world. It was easy then to get involved with projects, to volunteer. Heck my job was one I felt was making the world a bit better.

But then I had kids and realized a savings might be a good idea.

I went to work for a company and what was I doing then? Sure I helped organize the annual Adopt-a-Family for Christmas project at work, but really?? I never felt like I had time. I had small kids. I worked full time. I was exhausted (okay I still am).

But my kids are a bit older now. I'm with a new company. I know I am more fortunate that most.

So what am I doing?

I volunteer a good bit of time as a board member for both the PTA and the little league. I am focusing on raising three boys to be good, caring, kind people. I make micro-contributions where I can. I participate in social networks because I hope that in some way I am helping to bring people together.

But is this enough?

What are you doing to make the world a bit better? I could use some good ideas.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

We Have a Winner!!!

Pulling in more than half of all the total votes, URBAN MAMA is the winner of a brand new Wii and Wii Fit w/Balance Board.

Sandie, I think I can speak for all of us when I say thank you for honoring us by sharing your story.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to post, because my reasons for wanting to lose weight aren't funny.

Two months ago, my mother died after fighting colon cancer for eight years. She's the second person in our family to die of colon cancer, which can be hereditary.

As I was searching through her files afterward, I found an odd collage of pictures of my siblings and me mixed with magazine clippings, play money and hand-written notes from my mother. It was one of those spiritual self-help, "wish list" exercises. She wished for us to have loving spouses, beautiful homes, successful careers, etc. But the pictures of me were pasted on the bodies of thin fitness models. Underneath she wrote: "This is Sandie happy because she's a healthy weight."

Finding that photo was such a heartbreaking shock. I knew my mother always wanted me to lose weight, but seeing that posterboard was horrifying. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized she was right. I need to do something this coming year to get to my true age's fitness level. I'm sick of looking 52 instead of 32.

So why do I need a Wii Fit? Because I need a way to work out at home (with three kids under 7 and a husband who's rarely home before 8:30, gym membership isn't feasible right now), so I can be healthy, not just for myself, but so I can ward off colon cancer and at the same time fulfill my mother's wish.

I hope you find hours of fun and health for you and your family in this Wii and Wii Fit.

Friday, December 05, 2008

YOU Pick the Winner!

Okay, here are the finalists for the Wii/Wii Fit package.

You, my dear readers, are in charge of voting for the winner.

Please read the six comments below (I know I said there would be 5 finalists, but there are six. It's my blog. I get to change the rules.).

In the comments, please cast your vote for ONE--and only one--commenter. No anonymous comments will be accepted on this post. You may only vote once. (I'd have used a poll widget but the comments are too long--man you guys are long-winded.)

In the case of a tie, I will put both names in a hat and select one.

I want to thank everyone who entered the contest. I wish I had enough to give away to each and every one of you. It was hard just to pick these. Thank goodness I had help. Love you Kris!! Seriously, I have a stomach ache just thinking about disappointing some people by pushing publish.

So without further ado...Get voting! Voting will be closed at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning and a winner will be posted.

Good LUCK!!

Lumpyheadsmom said...

My husband is worried he exceeds the recommended weight limit for the Wii Fit. A bit of a chicken/egg problem, no?

Let me throw in an entry for my dad. He was in a bowling league for years - every Wednesday night when I was growing up. He has battled rheumatoid arthritis since I was in high school; today Dad is not able to hold a bowling ball - his fingers have been deformed by the disease - and is not strong enough to throw a ball down the lane.

Lumpyhead got a Wii for his birthday. (Long story. But we think he's too young for it, so he doesn't know it exists.)

On Thursday night, thanks to his grandson's Wii, my dad was able to bowl for the first time in 20 years. He was almost giddy, and his reaction to bowling again was thrilling to watch. Now the minute Lumpyhead goes to bed, Dad starts pestering us to BOWL!

He needs his own damn Wii.

Christina said...

[To the tune of The Beverly Hillbillies Theme]

Come and listen to a story of a girl named… me
This last year, well, we grew our family (adoption, but STILL)
Then one day when I stepped upon the scale
I realized that I’d become a friggin’ whale.

Orca whale
Chubby fool
buffet bar (wth, I know. IT RHYMED.)

Well the first thing you know I slipped into a funk
My clothes got kind of tight and I retreated like a monk
I took walks around the park to get some exercise
But I haven’t lost much weight and that rubbing sound’s my thighs.

So now it’s time to say to you that I would like a Wii
If I won the Wii and Fit I think that I might pee
You’re all so kind to host this contest regardless of who wins
But if you choose me I promise to lose at least a couple chins.

Y’all can pick me, y’hear?


Okay, in all seriousness - I’d integrate this into my life by using the Fit during the kids’ naptimes and/or after they go to bed. I’ve put on weight since we’ve had both the babies (14 mos & 17 mos) because I’m not getting out to the gym anymore. I’m a stay-at-home mom - my husband is gone 13-14 hrs a day - and if I’m going to be here by myself when they’re sleeping, I think it would be FUN to exercise. Plus, I need to get more fit because carrying their heavy little bods is starting to take a toll.

Urban Mama said...

I wasn't sure if I wanted to post, because my reasons for wanting to lose weight aren't funny.

Two months ago, my mother died after fighting colon cancer for eight years. She's the second person in our family to die of colon cancer, which can be hereditary.

As I was searching through her files afterward, I found an odd collage of pictures of my siblings and me mixed with magazine clippings, play money and hand-written notes from my mother. It was one of those spiritual self-help, "wish list" exercises. She wished for us to have loving spouses, beautiful homes, successful careers, etc. But the pictures of me were pasted on the bodies of thin fitness models. Underneath she wrote: "This is Sandie happy because she's a healthy weight."

Finding that photo was such a heartbreaking shock. I knew my mother always wanted me to lose weight, but seeing that posterboard was horrifying. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized she was right. I need to do something this coming year to get to my true age's fitness level. I'm sick of looking 52 instead of 32.

So why do I need a Wii Fit? Because I need a way to work out at home (with three kids under 7 and a husband who's rarely home before 8:30, gym membership isn't feasible right now), so I can be healthy, not just for myself, but so I can ward off colon cancer and at the same time fulfill my mother's wish.

ZenMom said...

Oh, I would LOVE this. I was just telling The Husband the other day how great it would if we could afford a Wii and the whole Wii fit package so that we could all "play" together as a family.

As a working mom to two little boys, I'm learning how hard it can be to make time for healthy activity for all of us.

In the Summer, we try to go out to the playground or for a walk whenever we can for a bit of play and exercise.

But, in the winter, I'm afraid we are couch potatoes. I hate going out in the cold weather - especially having to bundle up the boys. :)

With the Wii fit, we could have some healthy play INDOORS! AND maybe Mommy could get in a bit of me-time exercise after the boys are in bed.

I think this would be a great motivator to stay fit and healthy - and it would set a good example for my kids, too.

I know I don't have much chance of winning. But I think it's great that you are doing this. Thanks.

Neil said...

My tale is a sad one, so you better sit down for this one. It also might disqualify me from this contest, because the truth is I already bought a wii and a wii fit, back in the old days when it was so limited that you had to wait for an email alert to tell you that it was available. For a few months, my life was complete and I was happy for the first time. I played tennis, bowling, and even got my aggression out of my system with some wii boxing. But then my wife, Sophia, fell in love with the Wii Fit. She became obsessed with it. This was a woman who had a membership to a gym for 10 years, but never walked inside, and now she had found the ultimate fitness friend -- the wii. Every day, I now found her exercising, her wii "age" decreasing daily. Our lives were never the same. One evening, I came home and found that the entire coffee table had been permanently moved into the garage. The Wii platform stood in the middle of the room, facing the TV, as if it was a religious shrine. The couch was covered with exercise clothes, towels, bottle water, and wii "numchucks." Sophia was jumping up and down, furiously.

"Hey, how about we have sex tonight?" I asked my beautiful wife.

"Not now!" she yelled, her eyes focused on the screen, "I'm in the middle of Dance Dance Revolution!"

I had lost her to a Wii.

A few weeks later, we separated. I moved to New York. She got the house, the TV, the car, and the Wii. I got... well, I got nothing.

I became depressed. I was living with my mother in Queens. At night, I would just eat cake and ice cream and bagels and pizza. And that was just for dinner. I would continue to snack all night as I watched these annoying girlflicks on Lifetime with my mother. Ironically, I would be the one crying at the end when the woman learned that the plumber she fell in love with was really a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Yesterday, in a dream, I saw my future -- and it was not a happy one. I was out of shape, still blogging for no pay, still watching Lifetime movies, and still living with my mother. It was a wake-up call. I looked at my pasty naked body in the full length mirror (first making sure my mother wasn't home, because that would be embarrassing), and decided it was time for me to get into shape. It was time for me to reclaim ME! (to be said in a very Oprah-esqe way)

But how? I thought of jogging, but it is December... and freezing outside. I could ask Sophia for joint custody of the Wii, but I didn't have the money for the legal fees. And I KNOW she would fight for it.

But I need to get back into shape. For my self-confidence. For my health. For the stamina to make love to a woman for hours like I used to do in my twenties (I'm just throwing that in, hoping to appeal to MommaLoves, who I know has a dirty mind, so I figure it will give me some brownie points). I wish I had the money to buy another wii and wii fit. But, you know, with the economy and all. Thank God Obama was elected who will solve everything! I am sooo glad that I voted for him and was one of his earliest supporters. Of course, that does not mean that several of the other commenters, who voted for McCain, should be dismissed from this contest. That would be un-American. But I am just saying.

Fiesty Charlie said... First let me bow down before the great give away Goddess (that would be YOU)and pay my respects... Ut oh, now I am stuck in a bowing position.

Oh well, nice shoes, where did you get them?

I could never wear shoes like that, because one they are way to pretty for me, and two both my knees are shot. I would break my neck.

Wait... sorry spasm in my lower back, because I am so out of shape.

I did not used to be like this, a long time ago I was rather buff so to speak. I was working as an EMT, out saving lives.... then one day, my knees stopped working as well as they once did and boom, my career was kaput.

A few surgeries later and I am at least able to walk, but not much more especially in cold, damp weather.

I am not going to look you in the eye and lie, mainly because at the moment all I can see are your shoes, because my back gave out...

I know there are many people more deserving than me, who should win this Wii.

I just want it, and unlike the people in Walmart, I am not willing to trample over others to get it. After all it is just a game. A game that might allow me to regain my buff status, and help me lose the weight that plagues my very existence.

A game that might allow me to regain my buff status, lose the weight that plagues my existence and might help me make a few friends, even if they just want to be my friend to play my Wii.

I will say that if I don't win the game, I can always get a job as a butler I guess, an overweight butler who is always bent over looking at cute shoes, and walks with a double limp.

Thanks for the chance to live above my destiny.... I need to go practice saying, "Yes Madame, how may I serve you?"


Monday, December 01, 2008

Starting the Holidays Off Right

Hope you all had a terrific Thanksgiving. We certainly did here.

I am so excited to tell you about this very cool giveaway that I'm hosting this week.

Due to certain rules, I can't tell you about it here so you'll have to click on over to my review blog and read this post:

Wii Love the Holidays

to get all the details.

Can't wait to see your comments!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Best of the Tweets--Thursday, November 20, 2008

I watch the Twitter stream flow throughout the day. One cannot comment on every one, but here are some that caught my eye today.

@ADDmoms Have you tried searching with http://www.summize.com It may help if you can remember what the Tweet said... [identity withheld to protect the guilty]

Really?? Did you really send this to ADDMoms??

My husband just confessed he wishes he was a superhero. He was being serious. LauralOutLoud

I think all of our husbands are serious about this.

@MomDot My mom died of cancer in 2004 and I felt MomFaves was the best a way I could preserve her memory. She loved sharing her faves . JoshUnfried

As a mom of three boys, this just made my heart swell. Follow Josh.

@mammaloves I believe the bell pealed and you peeled an orange, so it's eye's peeled, lol watkins_lady

I'm still confused.

If you laminated your laundry all you'd have to do is wipe it off. ilinap


@cckarl you just scared the shit out of me w/ that thing paullyoung

These types of conversations should really stay in the bedroom.

My SIL bakes 10 pies for Txgiving. One for each person. Here's her recipe for pecan pie. (it's easy) http://tinyurl.com/5vn7y8 sourwine

My SIL must not love us that much.

Pitch of the Day: Are your sperm strong swimmers? Um...wait...I know this answer...uh...probably...if I had any. thompsonclan6

And I thought the Viagra ads were bad.

Epson printer giveaway contest on SV Moms http://tinyurl.com/6xhay9 svmom

I have this printer. You should definitely enter.

Australian Man Arrested for Pleasure Via Pasta Sauce Jar http://tinyurl.com/5swuue truerumors

I can't even bring myself to click on that link.

Monday, November 17, 2008

You're Getting Warmer

Congratulations! You've found the sixth blog in the SHARE the LOVE Scavenger Hunt!

Can't tell you how happy I was to be asked to be a stop on the road to one of the coolest sites around. You just need to find one more blog for your final clue.

If you're just hearing about this scavenger hunt for the first time here, click on over to Mommy Needs Coffee to get started. There are cool prizes like goodies from Orville Redenbacher, Rice Krispies (wonderful treat kits) and Wendy’s and also handcrafted jewelry, bags; and more!

You have until Friday to finish The Hunt.

So let's get you moving on to the next awesome blogging mom.

To find her, you must travel to New Jersey, get past the chocolate lab and possibly wade through 2 piles of laundry. If that doesn't work, you could just ask John Stamos or the Olsen twins for directions.

Good luck!!!

Edited to add: HOLD UP a moment! Some of the other moms on the hunt are reporting that you're telling them they're beautiful. Why am I only getting "found you"? Is it my hair? Do you hate my hair? Wait, no! It's the eyebrows. I knew it. Guess I do need a wax.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"White Trash Mom" Not A Look, but a Way of Life

"White Trash Mom" You may bristle at the term.

I'm still a bit sensitive to it from time-to-time, but I've met Michelle Lamar in real life (oh alright, I love her). There isn't a mean bone in that woman's body (unless you're a member of the Muffia) so I know it's not a term meant to demean but rather to unify those of us who don't feel we fit into modern June Cleaver model.

Wait, you do? Why the hell are you still here?

I'm kidding. Relax. That's what being a "White Trash Mom" is all about.

I established yesterday that I never feel like I fit in. Do you think becoming a mother rectified that?


When my son first came to live with us at the age of three we were so green at parenthood that we took him to happy hour with us. That stopped with #2 because I was too tired to even consider happy hour.

What was our first son's first favorite song? Faithfully by Journey. You don't think he learned to love it by me playing The Wiggles in the car do you?

My youngest son has worn nothing but baseball pants every day for the past two years. Every. Day. I'm not phased because my middle son wore flip-flops every day for two years straight often on the wrong feet or mixing pairs for months.

Will my boys be permanently scarred by my approach to motherhood?

It's entirely possible, but pretty unlikely.

And it's not like they aren't going to dysfunctional adults one way or another. I mean look at our parents (of course, not you Mom). They grew up in the June Cleaver generation.

If the way I mother my boys qualifies me as a "White Trash Mom" according to Michelle, then RIGHT ON!

My oldest just made the Honor Roll, my second is reading ahead of grade level and my youngest has been helping me fold laundry.

Doesn't get much better than that.

This post was written as part of the SV Moms Book Club. Check out DC Metro Moms to see links to other posts about the book.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Naked JellyBean

Today I described how I see myself in my mind's eye as a naked, flesh-colored jelly bean.

I'm not sure that this is a description that will mean anything to anyone else. I'm not sure it's exactly the vision I have, but it comes closest. Maybe you'd get a better idea if I added that it's probably one of those gross booger-flavored jelly beans from Harry Potter--I've steered clear of Jelly Belly's in fear of getting one of those ever since I read the first book.

Why a naked jelly bean?

It's mostly the amorphous blob shape, I imagine.

When I told my friend this he laughed and shook his head at me.

Last night I had the chance to talk to a childhood friend who told me that she always thought I was the "together" one. We were in 5th grade the last time we saw each other. How could I have been "together" in 5th grade? I'll tell you what, I wasn't.

But this is a trend. People often think I look like I know what I'm doing. A lot of times I do. But many times I don't. Many times I feel like I'm the only person in the room who doesn't have it all together.

I don't know why I'm telling you this. I probably shouldn't, but I can't get the image of the naked, flesh-colored jelly bean out of my head.

Oh yeah, and I'm way jealous of people with good handwriting.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Your Blue Eyes

I have a feeling I'm only the first woman who will fall in love with those eyes of yours.

I don't know if it's their dark blue color, those ridiculously long eye-lashes or the ever-present sparkle that melts my heart every time.

Whatever it is, they will serve you well. Of course, you seem to already know that you little stinker.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Mobile Blogger Screw-up or Beer?

I wrote this post from a bar Saturday night and for some reason rather than posting here it created a new blog. Confusing...

It's NaBloPoMo so I need to post but I'm actually out on a Saturday night!!!

I know it's hard to believe.

We're celebrating Kris'(http://www.notyetawino.com) birthday. I am happy to report she doesn't look any older than last week--it might be the new cute haircut--and we're having fun.

Stop by her blog, wish her Happy Birthday.

Oh yeah, Devra (http://www.parentopia.com), Laurie (http://www.lauriewrites.typepad.com), Kim (http://www.kimsnotebook.com), and Ryan (http://theplatinumyears.blogspot.com) are all here too--plus many more.

Okay, i've written enough for doing this from a BlackBerry in a bar. I love you, but I love my night out more.


Friday, November 07, 2008

Summer Breeze

This was a FANTASTIC day. Simply fantastic.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

It's Starting as an Idea

Did you ever have an idea that you knew everyone would think was crazy?

Did you proceed with it or did you put it aside and always wonder "what if?"

Well I have an idea and I think I'm going to go for it.

There are enough regrets over missed opportunities in my past because I was too afraid to fail. Here I am trying to raise three boys to understand that failure is part of life and you have to just keep trying and yet I've been too afraid to fail.

Not this time.

So here it is.

I want to organize a HUGE tweet-up in conjunction with President-elect Obama's inauguration. I want to organize it entirely using social media and relationships developed through social media. I want it to draw main stream attention to social media and Twitter. Frankly, I want it to be so big that the President-elect actually stops by to say hi.

Who am I to pull this off? I'm a mommyblogger of three, an almost 40 year old woman with a full-time job and honestly that more than qualifies me to make it happen. Right??

I won't be able to do it alone.

I'll need the help and connections and sponsors of fellow social media devotees and those who want to reach them, but isn't that what social media is all about--one person starting with an idea, bringing it to the group and growing it from there.

Want to get on board?

Join up here.

I don't know if I'll really be able to make this happen, but I've been inspired by the words I keep hearing from our next President.

Yes We Can!

How can you help out??

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Backwards Experience Election My

Everyone gets doughnuts on Election Day!

Obama-supporting firefighters are very cool and will take pictures with kids visiting the polls.

See what I mean? Everyone gets doughnuts on Election Day!

And kids get special stickers from the poll workers at the Obama table--the last ones.

Obama poll workers are incredibly friendly--and they didn't even know the outcome yet.

Maybe it's because they had doughnuts AND all of these snacks to keep them going.

Oh yeah! Lots of snacks to keep them going.

I whispered "I hope so." when this screen came up.

By now the boys thought I was crazy for photographing every screen, but it felt important. I was voting for...

YES I Did!!

I had the boys check to make sure I selected all the right buttons.

These are the machines Fairfax County is phasing out. I used one to vote any way.

From now on you'll hide behind these cute little cubicles to fill in your paper ballot.

The poll monitors didn't seem to have a whole bunch to do.

All walks of life in line, which I may add wasn't that long.

I'm not sure of the point of carrying this easily copied piece of paper from one table to the voting booth, but I complied. I'm law-abiding like that.

We found the place! Also known as the 8th grade gym at my son's school.

We were out by 10:30 a.m.

Helpful signs on the school monitor.

Isn't that a friendly school? I waved back.

We had to put the brochures back after the picture because we couldn't carry them inside. All three of our candidates won. VA is BLUE!!

This just made me feel good. I knew they were looking out for us.

And we were out so quickly, because there were no lines when we got there.

The signs were crammed in all the way up to the last inch before the no campaign zone. Before you even entered the school you could feel the excitement of the day.

And it was an exciting day. Of course that's because it turned out the way I'd hoped it would, but I had a really good reason...

I'm so proud that they wanted to come with me, because my vote? It was all about them (and their sleeping little brother at home).

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Eight Years Ago Tonight

On Election night eight years ago, I was at a trade association poll watching party at about this time. These were the days when news outlets were still calling results based on exit polls.

I stood in a large crowd, one of the lone Democrats, when Pennsylvania was called for Gore. You could hear the collective groan as the news popped up on screen after screen throughout the

My heart started racing. It took everything I had not to let out a loud "Woot!" but I was surrounded by clients and I was new to my job.

With Pennsylvania over, the party started dying down which gave me the opening I wanted to head over to the party I REALLY wanted to attend--the Democratic Party party at the Mayflower Hotel.

I jumped in my car, raced through downtown DC wanting to be among my people--old friends to hug and new friends to high five. Throwing all caution to the wind, I pulled into the valet, threw the bell captain my keys and ran into the ballroom. And I was so confused.

It was quiet.

Had everyone cheered too loudly and lost their voice? Were they worn out from jumping up and down and just taking a rest?

No. The news outlets realized they had prematurely called the race. In the time it took me to get across town, the whole election had turned around. We stood in the ballroom for hours and continued to hug, but the hugs were not to celebrate they were to console.

It would be weeks before we all knew the "official" outcome of the race--weeks before I gave up.

Tonight I am far more hopeful for a Democratic win, but I'm far more cynical too.

I hope the main stream media doesn't screw it up again.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Potato Chip Pundit

You, mere mortals, may look at my kitchen table and see only a mess.

It's okay. Not everyone has "the gift."

Because the message I read in the chips; however, is so important I'm going to share it with you today.

You don't wanna mess with the force of the chip.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Spontaneous Trip

Today we were up with the birdies to head south for the last baseball game of the season. Waking up at 6:15 a.m. on a Sunday morning isn't my favorite thing to do, but the drive was beautiful with all the fall colors and it was just me and my boy.

It's not often we get to have that much time together alone.

We were done by 11:20 a.m. and ready to head home having just lost by one run in the bottom of the last inning. He just wanted to get out of there.

"I hate losing mom."

"I know but you got to get out there and play a sport you love with your friends. Think about M who played a whole season without winning and still had a smile after every game."

"Yeah, that's true, but it doesn't hurt to win every once in a while." "And you know what I hate about losing? It means we didn't do something right. We could have played better."

He was really okay. He doesn't take it as hard as some kids. And I love that he thinks about how he can make changes to affect the outcome next time.

Sorry--little bragging.

The terrific thing about living in Virginia is that we are surrounded by historical landmarks. How often do we take advantage of them? Not often. But we were up and out and it was still early and we actually had a Sunday afternoon with no plans, so I suggested a detour to Fredericksburg--just me and him--on the way home.

What a great day!

We visited Kenmore, the home of Fielding and Betty Lewis (George Washington's sister). It was built before the Civil War and is going through restoration right now.

Big A wasn't too psyched about the idea of taking a tour, but it was just the two of us on it and even without furniture in the house he was filled with questions.

He really was interested in how people lived, in how old things were, and had clearly paid attention to some of his history lessons being able to talk to the docent about Virginia history.

I walked around with a perma-grin the entire time.

Done with our tour, he then begged me to go over and visit the Fredericksburg Civil War battle site. How can you say no to a kid who wants to do more "hysterical" stuff as we joke in my family.

He could barely contain his excitement. He kept saying "do you think a confederate soldier stood here?" (I'd move one step to the left and say "no I think they stood right here.")

The Civil War has never been something that interested me greatly--until today. Walking along the trails and looking over the fields where thousands of young men were killed fighting to protect a version of their country, I was struck by how much we take for granted even in at a divisive political time such as this election.

It wasn't lost on me that those boys on that battle field could have been my boys. I owe it to those soldiers and the families who lost them to think of them and remember their sacrifice. And to be grateful for their passion to protect a country that really was still such a new experiment.

It's easy to forget sometimes.

There were plaques around the cemetery with stanzas from a poem(s?) (I still don't know which one, but will research it.) that say it better than I ever could.

I titled this photo above "hope." For the words are my wish for my boys, their children and their children's children.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Letters from the Future

I have quite a bit I'd like to tell this girl (other than the name of a good eye brow waxer and hair stylist).

There's so much she doesn't know. There's so much she'll fret over that isn't worth the energy. There's so much she'll miss because of unnecessary fear.

I'd tell her to spend more time enjoying the little moments. I'd tell her there are some people she should spend more time with and others who don't deserve even a minute.

I have so much I'd like to tell her, but I can't.

What will I want to tell this woman in twenty years?

The brunette, not the blonde. The blonde is already brilliant.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Mamma Loves Halloween Tradition


And no, that's not me. I still can't get all of the paint off from the balloons I had done for the hub's birthday.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Pumpkin Pictorial (with commentary)

Like all Great Pumpkins, our's started out something like this.

Though I just photographed this one and left it for someone else to pick.

Ours actually looked more like this:

Don't mind the warts (on the pumpkin, not my son) he had a very nice shape--until I performed the craniotomy...

Now if you're new here you might not know that I am surrounded by males. I'm currently shacking up with four men--okay three sons and one husband. Semantics.

Anyhow, I thought boys liked gross things.

But apparently not.

At least he wasn't as sad about pumpkin guts as he was about his lack of a black nose a few Halloweens ago.

And yes, despite the break from traditional Muppetry, I did give the poor kid a black nose--using make-up--so he could look like his brother. I mean wouldn't you? Look at that face.

But back to the pumpkins...and the wimpy boys in my house.

Like most men, he only wanted to help if he could use tools.

And soon he abandoned me when I refused, for the sixth time, to allow him to wield the knife. What? I think all 10 of his fingers may come in handy later (that was a bad pun and not at all intended when I wrote it, but now it's cracking me up so it stays).

And I don't know what's so gross about this anyway?

Doesn't everyone love the way pumpkins seeds feel when they're all wet and clean in the strainer?

What's with the crickets??


So abandoned to my pumpkins and with seeds separated from their stringy friends, I set forth to carve.

Hours later I ended up with this:

Why didn't anyone tell me how hard it is not to carve all the way into a pumpkin? There's GOT to be a trick I don't know. Should have googled it.

By the way, that's a white pumpkin, which makes the BOO more appropriate but I'm still figuring out all the settings on my camera.

And...my masterpiece:

Sure I used a stencil, but her nose?? I don't mean to be a witch or anything but that was a bitch to cut out.

Please don't focus on the wax pencil 12 above her. Why did the pumpkin patch mark the best side?? Oh and let me know if you have a trick for getting that off.

To top off the project, Vaseline has been applied and cinnamon has been sprinkled. We're ready for Friday night.

Hmmm...that didn't exactly come out the way I meant it to.