Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Best Gratitude Wreath Ever Made

 Y'all know that art created by children
makes my mama heart go pitter pat.

I just love it when they proudly
present to me what they make at school.

Most of their artwork 
ends up hanging by a magnet
on the fridge gallery
but Griffin's Gratitude Wreath
is so special
that it's hanging in the dining room.

It may not look pretty
but it's absolutely perfect to me.

What Griffin is thankful for...
1. Dreams
2. Books
3. Clash of the Clans
4. Videogames
5. Friends
6. Water
8. Entertainment
9. Nature
10. Me
11. Food
12. Pokemon Cards
13. Parents

I'll always treasure Griffin's
8-year-old perspective on gratitude.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 40

Something incredible happened to me.
I finished the first draft of my novel!!!

Last week I quit cleaning the house
and wrote as much as I could.
I quit playing with my kids
and patted them on the head when they pouted
and told them that mommy had something important to do.

I didn't cook dinner.
We ate sandwiches every night of the week.
 I wrote and wrote and wrote
until all the words came out of my head.
In the end,
it took me 11 months 
to write 104,924 words.
I've been dreaming of typing the words
"The end" and I can't believe it actually happened.

I called Roger at work the second I was finished.
He was so excited that he stopped on his commute home
and bought a bottle of cheap champagne to celebrate.

After the kids were tucked safely into bed,
we clinked our glasses in our messy house.

Now the empty bottle sits 
in my dirty window sill in my kitchen,
next to the bottle of champagne 
we drank on our wedding night.

Hopefully the next bottle will be popped
when I land an agent.

The hard work is just beginning.
There will be more drafts,
query letters,
edits, edits and more edits.

I'm not letting any of that stop me.
 I have faith that this novel
will be published.

For now,
I will bask in the glow
of my first draft being finished!


Want to join me in my quest
to scout out happiness for a whole year?
Simply post a photo of something that
makes you wildly happy and tell us all about it.
Then, steal my button and include it in your post.
Don't forget to link up to Mr. Linky.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

An Oldie but a Goodie :: Back to the Future Part XXXIV

Originally posted 08/29/08

A friend of mine recently posted this photo of me on Facebook. I was 16 years old when it was taken and it's hard to believe that it's been 18 years since I stood beneath that tree during lunch period in the courtyard. That was a lifetime ago.

I look at this photo and wonder if I had a Back To the Future moment and that girl could see me now, what she would think of who I've become? Would she climb back into the Delorean traumatized and vowing to do everything differently or would she wake up in her pink canopy bed and hope that the beautiful future that she saw for herself wasn't just a dream? Would she be proud of the ladybug tattoo I got when I was 18? Would she hate my haircut that I hate now that I'm trying to grow out? Would she be shocked to see that I am no longer wearing blood red lipstick and Doc Martins? I swore that I would wear Doc Martins until the day I died. Would she see my two boys and marvel at how fantastic they are?

I think that as she hid in my hall closet (because we all know from watching Back to the Future that the me from the past cannot, under any circumstances, be seen by the future me) that she would be shocked to watch me successfully cook dinner for my family. She would gasp at the image of me folding laundry and putting it away without anyone forcing me to do it. She would see my husband and have to force herself from running out of her hiding place and giving him a big o'l kiss. I think that she would watch me rocking my baby to sleep or reading a book to Griffin and cry with joy that she would one day become a Mother.

Yeah...I think that I would make that young girl proud.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Koen's Big Day

It's no secret that I love educators.
A good teacher can make
a huge difference in a child's life.

Koen's class had a sweet little open house 
where we were invited to join him
in the classroom and allow 
him to share the work he does everyday with us.
 I just love this picture that his teacher sent me.

The huge grin on his face says everything.
It's so important to foster a passion for learning
and I just love how proud he is
to show us is work.

The best teachers are the ones
that let the children shine
and I'm thrilled to see my 
little guy beaming in the classroom.

Do you have a teacher in your life 
that goes above and beyond
the call of duty for your child?

Be sure to thank them.

If you want to learn about
other teachers making a difference
be sure to check out the Milken Educator Awards.
They surprise amazing educators
with a $25,000 thank you.

Be sure to bring a tissue with you, though.
It's pretty moving to see these great teachers
get the recognition they deserve.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 39

I've had one of those weeks
where I had to be creative in thinking about 
what was making me happy.

I came down with Strep throat
and everything in my life pretty much grinded to a halt.

Luckily, my mama came to the rescue
and sent me to bed.
She cared for me
and took care of the boys
until I was on the mend.

So, I'm happy that I have such a supportive mom.
I'm happy that I was able to take care of myself.
Too often, I put myself last
so it was a good thing, I suppose,
that I found myself in bed.

Restorative sleep is the best kind of sleep there is.
I'm happy that I have a good doctor
and that the medicine worked quick.

Mostly, I'm happy to be feeling better.


Want to join me in my quest
to scout out happiness for a whole year?
Simply post a photo of something that
makes you wildly happy and tell us all about it.
Then, steal my button and include it in your post.
Don't forget to link up to Mr. Linky.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

An Oldie but a Goodie :: Blogging Outside of the Box

Originally posted 07/07/10
I am declaring my Manifesto.

I blog because I love to write.
I'm not here to make money
or find fortune and glory.

I refuse to Twitter to promote my Blog.
I need to spend time with my family,
instead of updating y'all about the fact that
I am spending time with my family.

I have declined sponsorship
that has been offered in the past
I doubt if any of y'all really
are looking for a pay day loan.

If I ever sale ads on this page
it will be for something or someone
that I can stand behind.

I love my readers and celebrate when
people show up to read my posts.
Yet, I don't check my stats.
I am not a slave to the numbers.

I am here
because I love to write.
I love to take photographs.
I love to have a creative space.
I love to have a place
to remind me to not forget
the little moments in life
that pass too quickly.

I write for me and
I write for you,
if you choose to show up.

I have a Blog
because there are moments
in life that are too beautiful to not document.

I have this Blog
because life is full of humor
and joy
and I need a place
to let it simmer in my life.

I show up here
day after day
and type away
because there is something
unobtainable driving me
to document
my life
my thoughts
my spirit
my fears
my celebrations
my inspirations
in hopes that maybe
you feel these things too.

This is my manifesto
and I'm sticking to it.
Unless, of course,
you are Oprah or one of Oprah's people
and you love my blog so much
that you want to make
me a household name
because you think that I am fabulous.

Maybe I'd Twitter about that.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I lurve eshakti

I always love to partner with eshakti.
They have the most adorable retro styles
and you get to customize your clothes
to your exact measurements and specifications.

I ordered this fancy little black dress
and I have to admit that I feel
like a bombshell in it.

It hugs me in all the right places.

If you're looking for a dress
to wear over the holidays
you should check out eshakti!

It's simple to order and
they get your selection to you quickly.

Visit eshakti today.
You'll love how sassy the clothes 
make you feel.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 38

Oh boy, my 39th birthday was on Saturday
and I had a weekend long celebration.

I had so much fun, in fact, that
I forgot to take pictures of all the action.

We had a small party at my parents' house.
Then my BFF Erin came into town
and Roger watched the boys while
Erin and I went to the flea market, just us girls.

Then we met up with my dear friend, Scarlet 
and ate a yummy lunch and 
drank white wine in the middle of the afternoon.

Then my parents took the boys
and Roger and I went to dinner
and saw a double feature at the movies. much fun and nary a picture.

I did manage to photograph a few of my gifts.

A lovely napkin angel from my mama.

A huge bouquet of flowers
from Roger and the boys.

A purty new lamp for my living room.

A vase I found at the flea market for a steal.

It was an AWESOME birthday.


Want to join me in my quest
to scout out happiness for a whole year?
Simply post a photo of something that
makes you wildly happy and tell us all about it.
Then, steal my button and include it in your post.
Don't forget to link up to Mr. Linky.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

An Oldie but a Goodie :: When I was a kid...

Originally posted 09/24/09

When my parents said it, I would roll my eyes incessantly. We would hear one of them say "When I was a kid..." and my brother and I would cut them off with "We know, the only thing you had to play with was a stick and a box. You could buy a Hamburger for a nickel and go to a Movie for 25 cents!" We really had a way of bursting their bubbles.

Well, now I'm the Mama, and I find myself telling my son about when I was a kid. Luckily, he finds it wildly entertaining at this stage and will ask questions like..."Mom, when you were a kid did people drive cars?' I'm not that old but I have found myself telling him some really hilarious facts about being a kid in the 70's.

Things like...

"When I was a kid, we didn't have a remote control. I had to sit on a pillow in front of the TV and actually turn a knob to flip the channels. My dad would make me sit there and be the human remote control. There was no such thing as cable yet so luckily I only had about 8 channels to have to flip through."

"When I was a kid we didn't have cell phones. If we were not at home and needed to talk to someone then we had to find a pay phone. A pay phone is a phone that anyone could use that was sometimes in something called a phone booth. You put a quarter in the phone and then you could use it for as long as you wanted. did spread germs."

"When I was a kid there was no such thing as Cartoon Network. If I wanted to watch cartoons, I had to wait until Saturday morning. We would wake up at 7 am and watch cartoons until noon. Saturday morning cartoons were the best!"

"When I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we needed to learn about a subject we had to go to the library or read and Encyclopedia. An Encyclopedia is a book that is filled with information about topics, kinda like Google but in book form."

"When I was a kid we didn't have DVD players that you could watch in the car. When you were riding in the car you would look out the window or play car games for fun. A car game is when everyone in the car agrees to look at the world around them and make up a game to play. Like Car Bingo or looking for the letters of the alphabet in street signs."

He thinks that these are fascinating facts. He just can't imagine that a world like the one I speak of ever existed.

Ah...the salad days!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

On The Fridge Gallery :: Griffin's First Poem

Griffin proudly presented me a poem he wrote at school.
It had to be displayed on the most esteemed spot in our home,
the refrigerator door, or as I like to call it "The Fridge Gallery".

I present to you...


Fall is falling. Leaves are
falling. Running. Rattling. 
Playing in the sun and just for fun
and run. Halloween fun!

by Griffin
Be still me mama heart!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 37

So I know that it seems like Halloween
happened one-hundred-years ago
but it makes me happy
so I'm talking about it now.

The boys dressed up for a 
little parade at their school.
Griffin was a viscous dragon
and Koen was a sneaky ninja.

When it was time to get dressed up
for trick or treating,
Koen suddenly abandoned his ninja costume 
and found a Spiderman costume in our dress up box
that was a size too small and had a hole in the back.
I couldn't convince him otherwise.

I was a Whoopie Cushion.
My mom bought the costume
at the flea market for $2.00.

I had a little bit too much fun
making toot noises with my mouth
when people hugged me.

This was the first year that Griffin
wanted to be something scary.
He was a toxic wasteland insane person.

We met up with friends for trick or treating.
Roger put the fear of God in the boys
and told them that they couldn't run ahead
in the dark streets like they always try to.

If they did, they would have to hold our hand
and if they cried then they had to go home.

It worked. I've never seen Griffin walk so fast.
So there ya have it,
our Halloween 2013.