Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ending the year with a bang! (read: finally posting)

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Started grad school.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't really make "resolutions". It's more like... a "Let's see if I can keep this going". But things like "I will lose 20 pounds this next year"?? Not so much. (although I'd like to lose more than that if resolutions are wishes and there is a fairy out there granting them...)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not to ME. But people who are close to me, had people die who were close to them. :(

5. What countries did you visit?
Alabama. Texas.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A clean house. More to the point, a clutter-free house.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Hmmm..... I'm not sure there were any significant single dates this year....

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
See #1. I started grad school.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I am a few pounds heavier at the end of the year than I was at the beginning. Clearly the Resolution Fairy doesn't exist.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing major.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hmmm.... I'm hoping it's the Pilates Reformer that's still in the box that came last week. I gotta clear a space for it. Hopefully I'll use it at least as much as my MacBookPro (which is also a really cool thing I bought this year)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Well.... I think both of the girls' behavior. They are well mannered, considerate and generally pleasant to be around. And since they are both teenagers, I think that merits celebration!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Wall Street.

14. Where did most of your money go?
The care and feeding of the house and the people inside. The IRS gets a mighty large chunk too.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I think the traveling I/We did. Alabama and Texas.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
"All Summer Long" - Kid Rock. Probably because of the one evening Emma's friend Brooklyn was with us in the car and the song came on the radio. The four of us started singing along and acting like our usual goofy selves. Brooklyn joined in. Brooklyn became my new BFF! Gotta love a teen who joins in with another family's goofy-ness!!!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? I think more apprehensive is the best descriptor. Job insecurity still looms.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter. Gotta get that Reformer out of the box!
c) richer or poorer? Holding steady.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercising. Those size 8 jeans are still mocking me from atop my dresser. I suppose I could put them in a drawer and shut them up....

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Wasting time.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
No. Just still am....

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Favorite? Hard to pick a FAVORITE. Big Bang Theory, however, is a new Must See TV.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I endeavor not to hate anyone. But yea.... Sarah Palin can go away now.

24. What was the best book you read?
For FUN? Well.... I DO have a thing for Alex Delaware. He's hot. But our affair ended when grad school began. Jonathan Kellerman sent me a new Alex Delaware novel and it's still in the box, sitting on the stairs.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I don't think I have a "great" discovery in 2008. I just keep collecting stuff I like. I did acquire quite a bit of P!nk this year. But that's not a "discovery"... that's just a new album. Although I did discover it is VERY fun to play something on my iPod and surprise my children that I like "that". It is even MORE enjoyable for them to eventually hear their peers play the same music and for them to say "my mom's been listening to that for MONTHS, it's not new....". Crack me up!

26. What did you want and get?
A new job.

27. What did you want and not get?
A job with benefits.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I can't remember what I saw in the theater this year....

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
We went to a Monarchs game. I was 42.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Norm getting a Job with a W-2, taxes withheld, paid vacation and benefits.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Must ask the resident fashion expert.... According to Emma it is: "Younger. Than yourself. Kinda like 20's or 30's." Ok....so there you go. She's the one to know these things.

32. What kept you sane?
My friends.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Besides George Clooney?? ;) Barak Obama.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Oh good glory..... How much time do you have? I think it can pretty much be summed up by the fact that I have a countdown to the Presidential Inauguration on my dashboard. We need a regime change like yesterday.

35. Who did you miss?
I don't think I'm missing anyone.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Oh wow. I met a LOT of people this past year. Maybe the biggest surprise would be Rene (cause I don't have enough Renee/Rene named people in my life). I didn't know her at all and now I'd count her as one of my best buds.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
I found this quote by John "The Wizard of Westwood" Wooden:

“Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts.”

I think that sums up how I've tried to live my life this year. Don't rest on your laurels. Don't worry about failing. Having the courage to try is what really matters. So I got a real job and I started grad school....

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"Count your blessings now before they're all gone"


"What do you feel when you see all the homeless on the street?
Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep?
What do you feel when you look in the mirror?
Are you proud?"

Monday, November 03, 2008

Election Eve 2008

Tomorrow, November 4, 2008, we will elect a new President. As I sit here on the eve of what appears to be a historical election I am realizing that for the first time I am voting for a candidate who truly inspires me to be a better citizen (and I think I'm a pretty good one to start out... I vote, I volunteer, I don't litter, I teach my children their manners and make them mind them, I obey the laws...only bending minor traffic ones... I donate to charity and my church, I pay my fair share of my taxes...).

I voted for the first time in the Presidential election of 1984. I volunteered on my college campus and I still (and probably always will) enjoy the look on people's faces when I tell them that I was a driver in President Reagan's motorcade during his last campaign stop before election day that year. (I was the driver for White House Press Secretary, Larry Speaks) (Can you IMAGINE college student being given the keys to motorcade cars NOW???) I have voted in every single election since. Every single one.

But never before has a candidate spoken to my heart and to my children's lives.

We are in difficult times. My own family faces an uncertain future. Employment is not secure. We are fortunate that we aren't upside down in our mortgage and our overall debt is manageable. But without a job that can change quickly.

In spite of that I have hope. I watched half of America feel cheated and defeated in 2000. Less than a year later we were grief stricken but we were united. We had hope amidst the destruction. We were a strong and proud nation with a world holding us up in our time of need.

I've watched that erode under the crushing weight of lies and misdirection followed by economic meltdown. Throughout the past 8 years my children have grown into teenagers with the values of their parents, their church and their God. While their leaders have lied and pillaged, they have given their time, talent and treasure to serve others. During this election season they have fought against the injustice of Proposition 8 - realizing that eliminating rights is not a Family Value nor a commandment of their God or their Savior. They know that true salvation lies in embracing all, not in hate. They have realized they can be the voice of the voiceless and that their opinions are as valuable as any other.

They will grow into adulthood under the new President. For the first time in several years, I worry less about the country they will be given. It won't be all sunshine and roses come January 2009. But it is my hope that on inauguration day, the man that takes the oath of office is the one that is looking forward with hope - not the man who cannot leave the past behind and move into a new era.

I wasn't a Kennedy Democrat - that was before my time. But I've head people speak of how he inspired them, gave them hope for the future and promised them a place in that future by "doing what (they) can do for (their) country".

Barack Obama offers that promise to my children.

It is why I have already cast my vote for him. It is why I pray for God's protection on him.

It's what makes me an Obama Democrat

Friday, October 17, 2008

Red Balloons

Sometime in the next few days hundreds, if not thousands, of red balloons are going to be released around the world. You may see one float overhead.

They are for Danny. A five year old boy who woke up four days ago throwing up and screaming in pain. By that evening he was in a coma following emergency brain surgery for the tumor on his brain stem. Overnight last night, three children received his organs.

On Monday he was feeling kinda like maybe he had the flu. On Friday his parents are making funeral arrangements.

I cannot imagine.

Our wonderful worldwide ScrapShare community will be releasing red balloons for Danny. Those who are even remotely close enough, are dropping everything to be at the services on behalf of us all. Cards are being sent with gift cards for groceries and other essentials so Danny's dad can take plenty of time off work to be with his wife and daughter and try to find a new normal.

One of our SS children is gone. Our hearts break.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happiness Is....

....watching our daughters walk into school together.

Kait is a Senior this year. Emma is in 8th grade and goes to the middle school that shares a campus with the high school. (our district does it this way for a multitude of reasons) Emma's first period class is at the high school.

Kait could be annoyed with the idea that her sister is hanging around. She could make her walk five steps behind. She could ignore her. She could tell her to go away. But she does not. Emma's first period class in 7th grade was at the high school too. Emma was invited to hang out with Kait and her friends before school. It was fine with Kait's friends because it was fine with Kait.

I know so many families with siblings constantly at each other's throats. They can't even imagine a world where their children would spend time together voluntarily.

Ours do.

It makes me happy.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Another PSA

Every Sunday, I read PostSecrets. This was there today. I thought it merited a plug here.

Monday, June 02, 2008


Just a few thoughts.....

If you decide to enter, say, a photography contest.... be aware of the parameters. If they are asking for "Animals" a Tiger Lily doesn't count. If they are asking for "Vegetables", grapes should not be submitted. Get a carrot and take a photo. If they want "Flowers", I can't submit my photo of moss on a tree. I could do that only if the catagory was "Plants".

If they are asking for "Flowers", your daughter Lilly doesn't count.

Shamelessly pimpin' your kid in the hopes to get the "awww vote"? Shame on you.

Only include photos of icky bugs if the contest subject IS "Icky Bugs". Butterflies and possibly caterpillars can be considered "Non-Icky Bugs" but be careful here.

Background counts. Pay. Attention. to what is going on in the background.

Dates don't count. PhotoShop or crop it out. Digital dates on the front of a photo is great to remember when you took the photo of the baby. They distract in a contest.

Lighting is important. Too much and too little are equally bad. Back lighting? Also bad. Unless you are INTENTIONALLY using it for effect.

If you are required to title your photo and the title you come up with is "Bug on Flower" and the subject is supposed to be "Flowers", your subject is the bug. You said so yourself.

And finally...... if you enter a PHOTO contest...... F.O.C.U.S.