Showing posts from February, 2010

Permission to Try

Each week Jamie Ridler, one of my favorite bloggesses, leads Wishcasting Wednesday. She invites people to answer a new question each week and support each other’s wishes by leaving a comment that says, “As (insert name) wishes for her/himself, so I wish for her/him also.” It’s a beautiful thing.

Yesterday’s question was, “What do you wish to give yourself permission for?”

I wish to give myself permission to try. Even if it means failing. Even if it means succeeding.

As weird as it may sound, I think I am equally scared of succeeding and failing. If I fail, it will hurt. It will feel like a waste of time. People might think less of me.

If on the other hand I succeed, people might expect more of me. They might expect me to be an expert, then decide I’m not one. What if I can’t live up to their expectations?

So this week, I wish to give myself permission to try. Permission to try whatever it is my soul longs to try on whatever given day it desires to try it on. Whatever the res…

Happy Post

I am once again partaking in The Next Chapter book blogging group, led by our fearless bloggess, Jamie Ridler. (You may recall our previous Wreck This Journal adventure last summer.)

Life got crazy and I've yet to contribute to the Friday discussions. No more! Today I am joining in the fun.

The book for this new adventure is The Happy Book by Rachel Kempster.

We're playing a bit differently this time around. Rather than everyone having their own copy of the book and going through it at the same time, we are doing a round robin. There are four books making their way from bloggess to bloggess. I am part of the Giggle group. How great is that? We each get to contribute to The Happy Book for a week before sending it on to the next person. In the meantime, Jamie posts updates every Friday and invites us all to share hat is making us happy this week.

So here it goes. Things that are making me happy this week...

Being deemed a fairy godmother by the lovely Samantha

Girls weekend!…

Nipping Negativity in the Bud

I'm trying to change how I handle things at home.  I realized I had gotten myself to this bad place of thinking "what is it this time?" when dealing with my stepson and even my husband.  That kind of negativity only leads to bad outcomes.

Yesterday at work I returned from a meeting to find a missed call from my stepson.  In true "what is it this time?" fashion, I thought "don't tell me he's locked out of the house again."

Then I caught myself.  How was I to guess the reason for his call?  Besides, even if that initial theory proved true, my stepson was probably scared and frustrated.  The last thing he would have needed is for me to be cross with him.

So I changed the thought.  I put myself in the "what can I do for you?" mindset and gave him a cheerful, "Hey bud.  What's up?"

His disappointment carried through the phone line as he replied, "I didn't do well on my math quiz.  I left a message for dad, too."


Fairy Godmother

As little girls a lot of us dreamed about what it would be like to have a fairy godmother. Someone to help us out when things got tough and help us feel special again.

Never did I wonder what it would be like to BE a fairy godmother. Until the other day.

My best friend sent me a message saying that her daughter was going around telling people I was her fairy godmother because I make all her wishes come true. I don't know what her wishes were. I can assume they involve getting colorful mail covered in stickers- I send that every month or two.

Aside from that I don't know what I might have done to be bestowed such an honor. All I know is it makes me happy to know she is happy.

That little girl delivers wonderful messages like these at just the right moments to brighten up my days. I wonder if perhaps she is my fairy godmother (fairy goddaughter?).

Either way, I get to visit this beautiful fairy beginning tonight. I will be cheering her on as she competes in a gymnastics to…

Kindness and Not Taking Things Personally

Ask and ye shall receive. Even if the question isn’t seen by everyone, somehow putting it out there prompts a response from the universe.

Before publishing yesterday’s post, I was aware of a call that was happening at The Stepmom’s Toolbox about not taking things so personally. I still haven’t had a chance to listen to the recording, but I plan on saving it to my iPod tonight to listen to during my train ride to Virginia tomorrow.

I can’t wait to listen to it, especially after Stepmum of the Year’s comment yesterday wherein she linked to a post on CafĂ© Smom’s blog called, Don’t Take Things So Personally Pledge. Thank you, stepmum, for the link!

In the post, chief smom (as the author calls herself) reflects on the Stepmom’s Toolbox phone call. She says:

My greatest takeaway is that I am actually gaining power over my own emotions and life when I give up the power to know everything and control certain situations. When I choose not to take something personally, I am empowering myself to h…

Where I Wish to Make a Difference

Jamie Ridler, one of my favorite bloggesses (I completely just made that term up and I love it), does this thing she calls Wishcasting Wednesday. She invites people to answer a new question each week and support each other’s wishes by leaving a comment that says, “As (insert name) wishes for her/himself, so I wish for her/him also.” It’s a beautiful thing.

Today’s question is, “Where do you wish to make a difference?”

I wish to make a difference in other people’s lives by showing kindness.

It sounds overly grand. What people? Anyone. Everyone. Whomever crosses my path. We all want to know that someone cares about us. If I can help someone feel that, even in just a few short minutes, I feel I will have made a difference.

Last year I came across a poem that expressed this idea wonderfully. I don’t know who wrote it (it was on a plaque without citation), but I memorized it:

If you planted hope today in any hopeless heart,
If someone's burden was lighter because you did your par…

When the Stepmom Becomes the Teenager

One of my challenges in life is learning not to take offense to things. I think I’m improving, but there are times when I let things get to me rather than taking them for what they are and letting them roll off my back. Often there isn’t any offense intended, so it’s just my own sensitivity getting in my way.

As an example, this weekend my husband, stepson, and I went on a spontaneous ski trip. One morning as we were headed down to breakfast, my stepson was leaving the room without shoes and wearing a knit cap. I asked him to get his shoes and remove his hat. He whined about the hat and said he didn’t want to take it off because he hadn’t brushed his hair. (I think it was probably that he thought the hat looked cool, which it kind of did.)

My husband said, “Does he really need to take it off? This is a ski lodge. There are probably a lot of people down there with hats on.”

Though part of me agreed that he had a good point, the part of me that replied said, “Ok. Overrule me. Wha…

Photography: Cat Drinking from Faucet

With today being a holiday, I am at home again with all of the snow still holding strong outside. It has been a great day to catch up on laundry, straighten up the bookcase, drop off library books, and go to the grocery store. Even better, it's been a great day to play around a little. I did some writing and played with my camera for a bit.

This morning one of our cats, Romeo, was following his usual routine of requesting water from the faucet on the bath tub. I'm not sure what is so exciting about that particular faucet, but Romeo LOVES it.

I've been meaning to photograph him and never got around to it. This morning was the perfect time. The late morning sun was shining through the window above the tub, setting a cheerful mood.

Here are some of my favorite shots:

Valentine's Day Journal Entry

No typing today. Just a picture.

[caption id="attachment_1080" align="aligncenter" width="477" caption="Today\'s journal entry"][/caption]

More Snow Pictures

The snow ended late last night and the sun is out today making the forest sparkle under the ice.

We spent four hours this morning clearing out the driveway and the front steps as best as possible. The mailbox is still packed in very tightly and the mailwoman told us we would have to clear it out better or she won't be able to deliver our mail for a few days. After all that work we decided we were okay not receiving bills for a few days.

After all that work my husband came up with the brilliant idea that we should go skiing, so he is now doing a little research and we will be on our way soon for an afternoon on the mountain.

In the meantime, here are a few more photos from the snow.

[caption id="attachment_1073" align="aligncenter" width="477" caption="Sun shining on a snowy forest"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1074" align="aligncenter" width="476" caption="About 3-1/2 hours into snow clearing and the…

Snow Day Phenomenon

There is a strange phenomenon occurring on the east coast. It’s not the snow exactly, although these blizzards are a little out of control. The blizzards also brought with it a day off from school for my stepson and a day of working from home for my husband and me. For some reason we have hit some magic point where it seems to be wreaking havoc on our home.

Find out what happened in my post on Working Mother.

Anyone else dealing with extreme weather?

Snow... Lots of it

Snow is pounding the east coast for the second time this winter. We can usually count on a few inches here and there, but two blizzards?? It's giving a whole new meaning to Winter Wonderland.

Speaking of which, why don't we keep some of those holiday songs around throughout winter? That one, in particular, still seems very appropriate.

Anyhow, my friends in Maryland and Virginia are trying to dig out from 3-4 feet of snow, I think we are closing in on 2 feet. Here is what my backyard looked like earlier this afternoon:

[caption id="attachment_1064" align="aligncenter" width="477" caption="Snow in my backyard"][/caption]

Just a few minutes ago, I took this photo of the snow piling up on our deck. There is about 8" balanced neatly atop our railing and the snow is still falling.

[caption id="attachment_1066" align="aligncenter" width="477" caption="Snow balanced on the deck railing"][/caption]


Meticulous Mom

My stepson lovingly joked with me that I should be “one of those meticulous moms that keeps everything super organized.”

Though I haven’t perfected this parenthood thing, I do the cooking, the laundry, general tidying up, clean the cat litter, make sure homework, chores, and sports activities happen on time, and tuck the blankets tight at bedtime. Not too shabby.

When I mentioned these things to my stepson he said, “Yeah. Me and dad are lazy bums.”

I laughed and hugged him. Then, I did what any meticulous mom would do: I called dibs on the Xbox.

Overcoming Fear of My Own Family

One thing I learned in January is how important it is to find the good in what feels like an otherwise bad time.

When I lost my grandpa three weeks after losing my dog, all I could think is what next? How much can I take? What is the universe trying to tell me?

What I learned is that my family isn’t as weird as I envisioned and I am not a disappointment. That is a monumentally huge step for me.

Let me explain. I spend a lot of time worrying about other people. I worried about seeing family I haven’t seen a while, mostly about whether they would see me as a failure. A failure for taking too long to finish college, for already having a divorce behind me, for being in a second marriage already (with a stepson), for not going to church every Sunday, for the photo I sent at Christmas time which prompted a letter from my grandpa about having “breasts more modestly covered”- talk about humiliating. It’s an unbelievable amount of baggage I carry to any family meeting.

My family is quite sp…

Finding Gold

In a Joy Rebel Mission Monday two weeks ago, Brandi challenged her readers to choose a color and then go out in the world to photograph things you find in that color.

I chose the color gold and headed to New York that Thursday toting my point-and-shoot camera. During my walk to the office I was keenly aware of how many gold things there were in the city: doors, signs, hydrants, lights. I'd never really noticed that before.

In just a few blocks, I took a dozen photos. A few of my favorites are in the collage below.

Because I was on a mission to seek out a color, I noticed things I hadn't noticed in my two years of working in the city. I became more aware of details on the path I follow several times a week. It just goes to show that no matter how familiar you think something is, there is always something new to learn.

I plan on repeating this mission with other colors and in other places. Imagine all of the treasures this world is waiting for us to find.