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Showing posts from June, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jason!

Today my stepson Jason turns 15. Yikes! I met him as he was turning 9, so we've had six years together now.

It's been fun watching him transition from kid to young adult. We've had to get to know each other and learn to work together in a different way than typical mom/child relationships. I had to learn what boys like. It's all been quite the adventure.

Today's post is for him. Happy birthday, Jason!



Now, I am going on a blog vacation. Live Wonderstruck will be on break next week, but will resume the following week.

Wishing you wonderstruckness!

Teen Interview: Jason

Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

I'm switching things up a little this week with our very first Wonderstruck Interview: Teen Edition! Yes, we can learn from the youth around us and it's important to listen to what they have to say. Meet Jason, my stepson. He turns 15-years-old this week.



What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

I'm not sure what wonderstruck means, but I liked watching my brother Jonas learn to walk.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

I am grateful for every morning, because you never know if you were gonna wake up.

What part of your day is tough? How do you move through it?

School is tough. It's boring and sometimes the work is hard. But I have my friends there so we work through it together.

What do you wish you were more conscious of?

I wish I was more conscious of my attitude. Sometimes…

Put the iPhone Down

Hello. My name is S.M. Hutchins and I have a problem. I am addicted to my iPhone.

I'm not sure the amount of time I can go without looking at my phone, but I'm pretty sure it's not good.

You see, every job I've held has been on a computer. I was used to staring at screens for 8+ hours a day. Thankfully, I don't have that affliction anymore. In fact, I mentioned on Friday that The Little One makes it nearly impossible to use a computer in his presence.

But, now as a stay-at-home mom, my phone is always nearby for when my husband calls (or anyone else for that matter- we really don't use our house phone at all). It's all too convenient to check my email there, too. Plus, it's great for taking quick photos of cute faces or videoing new tricks.

Here's what happens. I play with The Little One. He becomes occupied with something. I think, "oh, I should really get something done while he's busy." It will take too long to run upstairs and pull tog…

Potentially Life Changing Posts

Using the computer is tough for me these days thanks to one grabby little one-year-old. He sees my laptop and can't help himself from trying to pull it closer to him and pressing keys.

One time I was typing some camera recommendations to a friend who was looking to buy a new one. I spent more than a half hour writing explanations of camera terms, what to look for, comparison of features, model recommendations, and even which stores had sales going on. Toward the end of that message, The Little One got restless so I pulled him on my lap. Five seconds later he wiped out my entire message with a single key stroke.

Gone.

Poof.

Never to return again.

So I pretty much limit my computer use to nap time, bed time, and the occasional strapped-in-a-high-chair feeding.  I'm not even sure how I find time to blog, honestly, but I enjoy blogging so I try to fit it in.

This limited computer time also means I don't read as many blogs as I used to, which is a shame, because there are many that I…

Interview: Julie Dellinger

Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

I met this week's interviewee in elementary school and, thanks to the internet, we reconnected about five years ago.  How fun is that?  Julie Dellinger is a marketing genius and new mama with a near permanent smile.

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

The kindness of people and their openness to saying nice things.

I guess this kind of needs a backstory: last Fall I was in a terrible position at my job – I was drowning in work for a company that didn’t value me as an employee or a person. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t make everyone happy and some of those meanies were apparently super loud in their complaints, because they decided to lay me off.

However, before getting rid of me, it seems that they made it their goal to try and destroy me. In a performance review right before the…

Moments

Moment (noun):

A brief, unspecified amount of time.
The smallest portion of time; an instant.

Our lives are made up of moments. Lots of them. Good, bad, indifferent.

Sometimes we notice them, feeling their full weight, recognizing that this moment is special. That this moment, right here, is one we will remember. Sometimes we don’t notice or remember them at all.

Sometimes a moment that seemed insignificant at the time, is one that returns with more importance later, in hindsight, like that moment when my husband asked me to distract his son by the Christmas tree while he went upstairs to search for a “missing present.” I might not remember that moment at all four years later except that it was all a ruse to surprise me with a proposal.

Then there are littler moments that we get to relive when we see them in pictures, like that time when I was a little girl and I got to wear a long nightgown, the length of which made me feel “like a bride like Aunt Sue!”

A week ago my stepson’s baseball team…

Warm Sunshine All Around

I have this friend, Marla, who I have seen since I was a little girl. She reads this blog, so you may have noticed her name in the comments.

She was my next door neighbor for almost 20 years when I was growing up. Upon moving in, she and my parents became friends. I babysat her kids a few times (both of whom are in their 30s now).

Our families used to go out for pizza together and it always turned into a laughing, singing, dancing good time which had other patrons wishing they were at our table and had my mother turning beet red probably wishing she were at theirs.

Marla has an infectious laugh. In fact, I can't think of a time I've ever seen her without a smile. She takes the good and the bad in stride, never letting it affect how she treats other people.

She has changed careers a few times, when she was ready to try something new. She doesn't let fear stop her.

She learned to play the drums at age 50. (This is where we should realize that now is the perfect time to study what…

Interview: Brandi Reynolds

Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

Brandi Reynolds is our interviewee this week.  Brandi is a yoga instructor and photographer, a rescued dog mama, a traveler, a soul diver.  I've been blessed to know Brandi through the blogosphere for a few years now.  She has a remarkable energy and light spirit that always put a smile on my face.

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

My yoga students. They are beautiful and strong and they don't even realize it. My photography clients. Their eyes make my photos come alive and they don't see it.

Honestly, I am wonderstruck by a lot in this world and sadly, I see most people dismissing their own wonder. I feel it's my mission to help them see it.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

I'm grateful for a lot of my life but there are few moments that stick out. When I fir…

Scaling Your Dreams (Bigger isn't always better)

Have you noticed all the people out there encouraging you to “play big” or “uplevel?” Generally, they are exciting, energetic people with a big following, a hugely profitable self-owned business, speaking engagements, and workshops that “will sell out fast, so reserve your spot now!”

Reading blog posts from these kinds of people or listening to their podcasts, I get really excited. From their blogs and free teleconferences, I have learned how to grow a business, how to market, how to price products. I come away thinking, “Yeah, I can totally do that!”

Shortly after tuning in to these sessions I start feeling like I’m not doing enough, or anything really. I actually start to feel like I’m failing in some way.

Instead, I stay in the dreaming cycle, perpetually studying myself to uncover my one true passion. If only I could figure out what that was, I could have my own mini-empire and be known around the world.

All of that sounds great, but here’s the thing: I don’t want it.

I don’t real…

Outdoor Adventures

What a wonderstruck week this has been! I was blessed to spend a lot of time outdoors and even more so to be with friends.

I started the week by meeting my friend Joules and her baby at a park in Delaware (which is kind of a halfway point for her in Maryland and me in New Jersey). We sat on the rocks along the river and watched geese dive and ducks float.

The weather was perfect- not too hot and not too chilly. I'm not going to lie... this is a much better way to spend Monday mornings than in the corporate meetings that used to be my routine.

Joules snapped this photo of me and The Little One enjoying the scenery.



Isn't he cute conquering a boulder?

On Wednesday I had less of a car ride. Less than a mile actually. My friend Laura, her baby, The Little One, and I went to the "u-pick" farm which is literally around the corner from my house.

You might think that with a farm so close, I would go picking quite often. And yes, moving forward, I plan to do more picking. However, …

Interview: Sara Walpert Foster

Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

This week's interviewee is writer Sara Walpert Foster.

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

I was recently wonderstruck by how amazingly kind and helpful people were to my naturally quiet 15 year old daughter as she nervously pounded the pavement looking for a summer job. She told me how random people in the stores helped her figure out who to talk to and told her about what they liked or didn't like about a store or store owner. When she came home feeling energized after two hours of asking people she didn't know to offer her a job, and she told me about the experience, I felt inspired and hopeful about people and our world.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

Every day is different but if I had to choose, I am most grateful for first thing in the morning, when I'm in…

Let Your Hair Down

“Let your hair down.” It’s a phrase that gets thrown around every once in a while, particularly in movies. Usually it’s used in context of relaxing, unwinding, loosening up. I never gave much thought to what it means. You?

My hair is often tied up. The Little One has been known to pull it both by accident and on purpose, so these days I consider my hair somewhat of a hazard.

Barring The Little One, though, there are certain days I really can’t stand having it in my face, so up it goes. And don’t get me started on wind. By the time I detangle from that kind of damage, I feel like I should have earned some sort of medal.

On a windy day not so long ago, I had plans to work in the garden with The Little One in tow, so I was especially thorough in securing loose ends. By the end of the day, all that tension pulling tight around my head had become pain.

That night as I pulled out the fasteners, my hair falling on my shoulders, I felt the full weight of it come down. The ache lifted as I brushed…

Wonderstruck Blogs & 7 Things About Me

I'm just rounding out my first month with this blog and I've been amazed by the acceptance, love, and encouragement you have all shared. Thank you all so much for visiting, commenting, conversing with me on Facebook and Twitter. You have all been so supportive and I really can't tell you what that means to me with this project. You have me wonderstruck.

So imagine how much more wonderstruck I was to find a message from Elaine Smothers and her froggy assistant Forrest saying they had bestowed upon me The Versatile Blogger award. Thank you, Elaine! This is special.



It seems this award has also come with work. Drat! But as I love to spread the love (yes, I know, that's love twice), I'm delighted to play along.

Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy. - Done! But just for good measure, thank you, Elaine and Forrest!

Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it. - Also done, but I'm presenting it…