Category Archives: blogging

Thankful #13 – #30

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I know, I know. November thankful posts have come and gone, and I am still stuck back at day thirteen! I could brush it off, but I hate to leave anything unfinished, so you’re getting the quick, quick version. If you don’t mind, do my work for me and imagine each of the following bullet points lovingly fleshed out into a fulsome paragraph of purple prose.

Today I’m thankful for:

13.  The snooze button. It’s a love-hate relationship.

14. Fleece sheets. November hits, the temperature plunges, and Paul and I change our pedestrian cotton sheets for the sublime slumber of the fortunate, fleece-encased few. It’s like sleeping on a cloud.

15. The self check-out line at the grocery store. When you need to get in and get out in five minutes, there’s nothing like self check-out. I am a leaf on the wind.

16. My library card. The most powerful piece of plastic in the world.

17. Willie Ford. If you know me, you probably know him.

18. Text messaging. With the brief exception of a few years in the nineties, I’ve always had a phone aversion. To the talking part, I mean. I love, love, love the ability to convey essential information in a few keystrokes without doing all that verbal massage on the front and back end of the communication. Wow, this really makes me sound misanthropic, doesn’t it?

19. Online shopping. Amazon Prime, we were made for each other. Thank you for your free, fast two day deliveries. Christmas shopping has been a joy since you came into my life.

20. iPhone.  Let me count the ways.

21. My chiropractor. It’s much easier for a girl to face the world once she has her head on straight.

22. Pentel Energel Deluxe Liquid Gel Pen with a .7mm roller ball tip. Pen nirvana.

23. Digital content. Movies, music, books–now that I can own them in digital form, I am no longer limited by the constraints of my bookshelves and CD racks. I can download ALL THE THINGS!

24. Christmas trees. Some people *cough*Paul!*cough* don’t like to put them up until after Thanksgiving, but you better believe it is going up the moment the leftover turkey is wrapped and put away! There is an unearthly peace that descends when you’re sitting alone in a dark living room lit only by a Christmas tree. It’s a little bit magic.

25. Cream, sugar, and Torani syrup. Without these things, I would never have discovered how much I love coffee.

26. The McDonalds drive-thru girls. They know my name at McDonalds, which is probably not something to be proud of. It’s the iced tea. I don’t know how they make it, but I need it. And the drive-thru girls are my delightful dealers. They are nearly always smiling, and they know exactly how I take my McTea: unsweetened, in a styrofoam cup. (Sorry, Earth, but it keeps my ice from melting so fast.)

26. Duolingo.com. My espanol lessons are going muy bien, gracias.

27. My new doorbell. At last, we can dispense with the post-it note by the front door that says, “Doorbell broken. Please knock!” It can play the Westminster chimes, but I was outvoted, so now it just goes “ding-dong”. I don’t care; I still love it.

28. Real, honest-to-goodness letters. I still get one occasionally, written in ink on paper, sealed in an envelope with a colorful stamp in the corner. Why are they so much cooler than email?

29. Pixel & Widget. A functional cat can serve as an antidepressant, a hot water bottle, a live stage show, an alarm clock, a therapist, and an exterminator. Ours also manage to be super adorable.

30. Idaho winter. The wind, the snow, the clear sparkle of stars through night air so sharp and cold that it hurts your lungs to breathe–my inner Jack London is roaring.

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Oh, hello, internets.

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I’m not a fan of blog posts that are just apologies for not blogging more. I ran across a blog the other day that was five posts long: one “Hurray, I’m starting a blog!” post followed by four apologies at six month intervals.

So I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to trick you into forgetting all about my little hiatus by distracting you with… a GIVEAWAY! That’s right. I will bribe you to keep you from mentioning what a sad excuse for a blogger I am.

Also, I must admit, I’m a little curious to find out if anyone still reads this blog. Maybe offering an amazing prize will flush out the commenters still loyally lurking, waiting for signs of life. And what, you are asking yourself, is that prize?

After digging around in my stuff for a few minutes much thoughtful and serious contemplation, I found the perfect thing! Well, things, actually.

Not only will the winner receive this awesome mix CD, lovingly compiled by yours truly and entitled “Songs You Will Definitely Like”:

but I will also throw in, as a bonus, this completely original and terrible never-before-published poem, written in 1994 by 21 year old Katrina Wright (Swaim)–The College Years:

How terrible is it? Well, you’ll just have to win it to find out.

To enter, leave a comment on this post before Friday, June 1st, and I will use this supercool random number generator to determine the lucky winner.

Dawn of the Ted

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Maybe it’s because of Halloween.  Or perhaps it’s the recent highly anticipated premiere of “The Walking Dead”, the first serial television show to explore the  zombie apocalypse.   Whatever the reason, I’ve had zombies on my brain lately.

Well, you know, not literally.

Zombies scare me.  I’m horrified by their relentless slow shamble, their ruined faces, their milk-white dead eyes.  Deliciously horrified.  I especially like the zombie movies of the comedy-horror genre.  There’s something delightful about laughing and shuddering at the same time.

So you can imagine how much I enjoyed this:

You’re welcome.

5 Reasons I’m Doing NaBloPoMo This Year

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After losing most of my October in a cough-medicine-induced coma, I almost decided to give NaBloPoMo a miss this year.  Too busy, I told myself.  Too tired.  Too wrapped up in what seems to be a losing fight against every bug that rides home from school in my kids’ backpacks.

But approximately seven minutes ago, I completely changed my mind.

I’m a girl.  I can do that.

Five Reasons I Decided to Go Ahead and Do NaBloPoMo This Year:

1.  Prizes. This year, like every year, I’m hoping to win that Sock Zombie.  It’s bound to happen eventually, right?

2. Paul wants me to.  When I told him I wasn’t going to do NaBloPoMo this year, he actually went to some trouble to talk me into it, even offering to help me brainstorm 30 ideas for my daily posts.  Could be he just wants a Sock Zombie, too.

3.  My friend Jen is participating.  And I am a joiner at heart.  When it came right down to it, I couldn’t bear to be left out of the fun.

4.  It gives me a chance to share the goodies I’ve found on the web.  I love to surf, and I’m always stumbling across cool stuff that I like to share.  Like this.  And this.  Oh, and this.  Aren’t you glad you clicked?

5.  I’ve been missing my blog.  Back when I was a stay-at-home mom, I posted several times a week, and it seemed I always had an abundance of energy and ideas.  Blogging was an effortless extension of the full-time wife and mommy gig that filled my days.  Well, I’m still a wife and mommy, but most days, by the time I get home from work, beat back the laundry and dishes, and put some dinner on the table (even if it comes out of a paper bag), there’s not much left for blogging–at least not for the kind of epic essay-style blogging I used to do.  NaBloPoMo gives me permission to take it down a notch and blog whatever pops into my head: lists, links, quotes, jokes, pictures–a single word copied a hundred times, if I like it.  Pure fun.  Who doesn’t need some more of that?

Update:  Paul has decided to do NaBloPoMo, too!  Woot!  You know what this means, right?  We just doubled our chances of winning a Sock Zombie.

I Did It!

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Strike up the band and throw the confetti!  Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo 2009, and I am proud to say that I didn’t miss a single day!

Sure, some of my posts were dryer than the Sahara, but that’s not important.  What’s important is that…um…well…

Hmmm…

Oh!  Oh!  I know!  Prizes!  That’s right–there are prizes!  And since I faithfully completed NaBloPoMo (boring posts and all), I am eligible to win a Sock Zombie.  Or a hand embroidered bookmark.  Or perhaps an angry mime rabbit.

Between you and me, I’ve been wanting one of those Sock Zombies for years now.

At the very least, though, I get a fancy new blog badge to put on my sidebar over there. Go ahead; check it out.  I’ll wait… *hums tunelessly* …

Awesome, right?  I know, I know.

It’s a prestige thing.

Confessions of a Mommy Blogger

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When I started blogging, I never intended to write a “mommy blog”. I just wanted to write. But they say to write what you know, and what I know in this season of my life happens to revolve around potty training and PBS television, cheerios and crayons–all the flotsam and jetsam of an existence defined, at least temporarily, by the two precious souls I have in my care.

So I write about boogers. About bedtime rituals and birthdays. I blog our sleepless nights and our busy days. I share my rare flashes of parenting insight and the cute things kids say. Sex talks, sibling rivalry, pancakes, puke (did I mention puke?)—nothing is above or below my purview as a member of Team Procreation.

I am mommy. Hear me roar.

There was a time, when I was younger, that I feared becoming a mother. I was afraid of losing myself—of having my love of great literature usurped by a cultish devotion to Dr. Seuss, of trading in my stylish clothes for a uniform of baggy sweats with permanent spit-up stains, of not recognizing the girl in the mirror as the one who dreamed of travel and adventure and changing the world in some sweeping stroke of divine inspiration.

I’ve been a mother for a decade now, and I can honestly say that I haven’t been lost, as I feared, but found—transformed into the self I never knew I always wanted to be.

There have been changes, true.

I’ve learned that love truly does conquer all, including my fundamental aversion to handling other people’s body fluids.

I’ve rediscovered my inner child. Also, my inner chef, my inner therapist, and my inner drill sergeant.

I’ve uncovered fears that far eclipse the loss of my skinny jeans.

But in essentials, I’m very much the same as I ever was.

I still love great literature, but my definition of greatness has widened to include the likes of Seuss and Sendak, sandwiched cozily next to Bronte and Browning on our bookshelf.

I still enjoy a beautiful pair of shoes, or the perfect little black dress, but what I’m wearing isn’t nearly as important to me now as what I’m modeling for my children in my choices and actions. (And judging from pictures of the good old days, I wasn’t as stylish as I thought I was, anyway.)

I still love travel and adventure, but now every adventure is seen through the fresh eyes of childhood, wonders piled upon wonders, a mystery around every new corner.

Most of all, I still dream of changing the world, but I realize now that the change I envisioned will not sweep through on a grand gesture of mine, but will creep tenderly in through the hearts that are growing beneath my care, hearts soaked daily in the waters of love, compassion, faith, and hope.

And the Divine inspiration? Well, I couldn’t do any of it without that.

So there it is.  I have a Mommy Blog, and I’m proud of it.  (But check back in fifteen years or so for posts about beautiful shoes.)

Scribbles

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*I’m having a little trouble jumpstarting my Monday. I’m not even sure I’m completely awake, although a peremptory sniff of my armpits tells me that my body at least walked itself through my morning shower and deodorant ritual. The sky is gray. The snow is gray. The air even smells gray. The chill of late winter is still needling through my clothes, sliding its unwelcome gray tentacles into the open sleeve, the unbuttoned collar. Come, spring!

*I just talked to my sister on the phone. She and Daniel moved to Georgia right after the wedding, in pursuit of better job opportunities and housing prices. With their week long drive across the country, they’ve already started writing the story of their marriage, and it’s great to hear the note of sweet contentment in her voice. But oh, how I miss her already.

*By the way, I tried to find a bridesmaid’s dress. I looked all over town, and all over the next town. Amber went with me into Spokane to scour the bridal shops and department stores. Finally, exhausted and about to concede defeat, we were lamenting the lack of dark green gowns on the matrimonial landscape (it must not be the “in” color right now) when Amber lit up like a bulb and asked, “Why don’t you just wear the same dress I wore in your wedding?” So I did. It may not have been the sassy green cocktail dress of my dreams, but it was sublimely satisfying to stand beside Amber on her special day in the same dress she had worn on mine.

*Friday night we had Girls’ Night Out in celebration of Jen‘s birthday. After falling upon a table full of Applebee’s half-price appetizers, we hit the theater to see Penelope, a warm-hearted fable about an aristocratic girl who is born with the face of a pig as the result of an old family curse. It sounds weird, right? I adored it. It probably didn’t hurt that James McAvoy was in it (and, as Kathy pointed out, who can better sympathize with a pig-faced girl than a man who very recently sported hooves?) The ending was lovely, and included a kiss which instantly catapulted onto my list of the Top Ten Movie Kisses of All Time (which I should share with you sometime.) I can’t wait to add it to my DVD collection.

*Paul and I just celebrated our twelfth anniversary! And as everyone knows, twelve is the Rock Icon Anniversary, so we commemorated it by buying Queen–The Platinum Collection: Greatest Hits I, II, & III. What? Queen isn’t your thing? Come on–you can’t tell me it doesn’t stir your blood to hear the opening stomp-stomp-clap of We Will Rock You or that kicking guitar riff from Bohemian Rhapsody. I know, we’ve got great taste. What can we say? We are the champions.

*Well, it’s time to go slice and dice some lunch. I’m trying to get back to my healthy meats and veggies after spiraling out of control on slices of leftover wedding cake. Fortunately, that delectable concoction is gone now, and I can once again eat a carrot without having to trick myself into choosing it over cream cheese frosting.

Checking In

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I’m alive.

I’m well.

I’m sorry, Internets, that I haven’t been a very prolific blogger lately, but I’ve been buried under a mountain of February to-dos and events that would make Martha Stewart weep into her hand-woven and delicately monogrammed hankie.

I need reinforcements.

Or at least refreshments.

You Make My Day

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I’d like to thank the little people, with their sticky questions and fossilized boogies. I’d like to thank my wonderful husband, without whose geeky influence I might never have known what a blog was, or how to use it to to spread amusing anecdotes, useless trivia, and dire warnings about impending alien invasions. Most of all, I’d like to thank Inland Empire Girl, of Gathering Around the Table, who so generously endowed me with this award. Her blog is a fresh breeze, full of thoughtful reflections and sweet stories that I always enjoy reading, and it is an honor to be singled out for her attention.

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The You Make My Day Award is given to bloggers whose blogs “bring you inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland.” All the blogs on my Blogs I Like list fall into that category! But I’d like to tell you about three that especially spring to mind.

Jen at A Butterfly Moment is not only a dear friend in real life, but an inspiring teacher, a devoted mom, and a talented writer.   She has a generous heart and a Spirit-filled way of looking at life that always lift me up, and her stories about the kids in her class are priceless.

No spin through the blogosphere would be complete without a stop at Tales From My Tiny Kingdom.  Anne Glamore frequently makes me laugh so hard I gleek.  (For example, check out one of my favorite posts of hers: It’s Natural But It’s Rated R.)  She is a superhero.

I’ve “known” Amy from Eliza Jane almost since the day I started my own blog.  A fellow believer, book-lover, and blog buddy, she has one of the most authentic writing voices I’ve read.  Her blog is a window into her experiences as a single mom, her walk with God, and her loves and beliefs.  I often stop by to see what’s up and leave with an unexpected dose of perspective.

So, this award is for you lovely ladies.  Thank you for blogging!  Feel free to nominate your own day-making bloggers, as many as you like, or just nod, smile, and stick it up on your virtual mantel next to your other crowning achievements.

(Also, if any of you lack the time to come up with your own acceptance speech, you might look here for a little help.)

Have a happy day!

Hail the Conquering Hero!

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NaBloPoMo Ends

Well, I made it!!! Thirty posts in thirty days. At last, I am officially a NaBloPoMo veteran. Shouldn’t there be tickertape and balloons and fireworks and stuff? Anyone?

How about a gift certificate to Starbucks, then? I could really use a good caffeine jolt after all that mad late night posting…

Seriously, thank you to all of you who read and commented and kept me going with your encouragement.  I couldn’t have done it without you!