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Showing posts from December, 2013

Day 23: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

Today we are sharing favorite books. Here are some of mine...





Favorite childhood book: Because a Little Bug Went Kachoo by Rosetta Stone (which is another pen name of Dr. Seuss's)

Favorite book from 2013: Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist - Part memoir, part cookbook. Yummy in so many ways! (You can see my review for more about it.)

Favorite for creating a happy life: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Favorite to read to my son at bedtime: How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

Favorite book about wellbeing: Living the Good Life by Ruth McGinnis

Favorite fun reading: The Southern Witch Series by Kimberly Frost

Day 22: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

Wee Me. Well, not incredibly wee, but still a much littler version of me.

I'm the happy little one on the left in the blue and white dress and, as much as it looks like I have only one leg, I must have hidden the other one while curtsying or skipping or something.

The other children in this stylish crew are my cousins.



Day 21: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

A favorite quote:
If you planted hope today in any hopeless heart,
If someone's burden was lighter because you did your part,
If you caused a laugh that chased a tear away,
If tonight your name is mentioned when someone kneels to pray,
Then your day was well spent.
I don't know who wrote this. I found it on a plaque in a home d├ęcor catalog years ago and have kept it written down in several places ever since.

I doubt that all of my days are well spent, but this is a good reminder of the right way to live.

What is your favorite quote?

Flecks #11

As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I'm learning and celebrating.
Things I learned this week:

Time with girlfriends (and no kids) is restorative.
If your mailbox is frozen closed and you attempt to open it, the door will bend in the middle and crack and you may need to buy a new mailbox.
It's possible to begin the week with snow, yet end it with mild and almost warm temperatures.

Things I'm celebrating this week:

Being offered a copyediting project.
Connecting unexpectedly with another writer who is beginning a fun new digital magazine.
The support of my fellow Kickin' It Old Skool bloggers. I'm blown away by their sweet comments.

Things that are resonating with me this week:
On Giving Up Worrying About What Other People Think (People-Pleasing) by Deb Owen

6 Habits That Flatline Your Business and Profit from Itty Biz

Day 20: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

Firsts...

First Job: I assisted the pre-school teachers at the daycare center where I had spent before and after school and summers. I remember being really excited to go to my first staff meeting.

The First Thing to Your Left: My phone. I guess it's always nearby.

Something You Remember About First Grade: I remember my teacher, Mrs. Ikeda. She was a kind, tiny, Korean woman who worked a second job at a department store in the mall. She used to give my mom a bunch of free perfume samples when we stopped by to visit.

The First Book You Ever Read: I have no idea! I remember my favorite childhood book was Because a Little Bug Went Kachoo. I also remember playing read-along cassette tapes and turning pages to the chimes…

Day 19: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

In my bag...

As much as I am drawn to purses and bags and, generally, things that hold other things, I've never much liked carrying them.

Now that I'm a mom, however, a large purse or diaper bag has been a necessity for some time, and I rotate between several.

On most days I carry a large purse containing:

wallet
phone
diaper supplies
small notebook or journal
several pens
chapstick and other uninteresting incidentals
camera (even though in most cases I'll forget I have it and just use my phone for pictures)

On work days and playdate days I use the M.O.M. bag pictured above, named for how a few fellow moms and I refer to ourselves- Moms On a Mission. Yes, we got matching bags. My husband calls them our dork bags.

To…

Day 18: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

We're casting wishes! I love that. My wish is for my son's Christmas spirit to fill all of our hearts this year and every year to come.

Jonas is two-and-a-half and, while he doesn't quite understand what's going on, he realizes Christmas is a special time. I was just telling a friend about his wonder today.

He has been fun to watch as he has pulled me toward decorations in stores to say, "Come on, Mommy. Let's look at Christmas!"

He helped me "set up Christmas" at home and the morning after we decorated the tree he asked if we could decorate it again.

Every day for a week Jonas has wished me "Merry Christmas, Mommy." Then he sings Jingle Bells during nap time (which I li…

Day 17: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

It's free association day, which means Jamie and Shannon shared some inspiration words and we are to share what they inspire in us.

River: I think of flow, movement, energy. I love going to the Delaware River, seeing the way it parts New Jersey from Pennsylvania. When I look across, the other side seems close yet distant. There is something magical about that.
Fresh: I think clean. I think of fresh linens, fresh produce, and fresh starts.
Escape: I think sneaky getaways and vacations. Escape has a certain excitement about it, don't you think?
Moment: I think special and fleeting. Anything can happen in a moment.
Night: I think magic and possibilities. I can dream big under the cover of night. Anything seems possi…

Day 16: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

Today we are sharing favorite songs. Here are some of mine...

All-time favorite: Soul and Inspiration by the Righteous Brothers

Of-the-moment favorite: Sweet Little Dreams by Jeppe Riddervold and Allie Feder

Favorite Christmas song: I Believe in Santa Clause by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton

Favorite genre: Country

What are your favorite songs?

Day 15: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

Who do I love? My parents, my friends, my extended family, and these guys...



Those are my boys. Jason is 16. Jonas is 2-and-a-half (young enough that those halves make a difference!).

Then there's this guy...



That's my husband Jeff. He's smart and silly and oh-so-dreamy.

Who do you love?

Day 14: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

It's another one sentence Saturday only this time we have specific instructions. Take the third book on your top shelf and share the first sentence.

Well, I have several bookcases and, therefore, several choices. As soon as I saw Edgar Allan Poe was an option, I grabbed his anthology.

Bypassing the dry introduction written by someone else, the first entry by Poe is the poem "Tamerlane" which begins...
Kind solace in a dying hour!
He had a knack for choosing just the right words, kicking off his poems and short stories with lines that make you want to read the rest.

Definitely one of my favorite writers.

Flecks #10

As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I'm learning and celebrating.
Things I learned this week:

Even if it doesn't feel like you are doing much to help a friend who may be hurting, your hug or phone call means a lot.

Things I'm celebrating this week:

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in the Hutchins household as of this evening. My 6-foot-tall 16-year-old stepson helped me lug boxes down from the attic and even put our fake tree together. He's so good.
Following last week's progress on selecting a logo for Live Wonderstruck, my graphic designer (the brilliant Laird Sapir) sent some mockups and I selected a design to move forward with. Aaaaaaaaahhhhh! SO EXCITED. It's beautiful. It's so me. You'll have to wait a few more weeks to see it, though.

Things that are resonating with me this week:
Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

Censored by Taylor Newman (a super short post that has me questioning why we don't spend more time bei…

Day 13: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

It's been a bit of a busy (i.e. productive) day. That being said, I haven't had much time to think of a "first" story for today's challenge.

So, since we have a lot of new visitors (hello, everyone!), I am going to share the post I wrote a few months ago when I went ziplining for the first time.

You can see it here, complete with photos: I Stepped Off a Perfectly Good Platform to Glide through the Air on a Small Cable

Enjoy!



Day 12: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

Today's topic: Ten Things You Know For Sure...  A Truth? A Constant? A Wisdom to Share? Your Superpower?

Is it just me or are these prompts getting harder? Let's see...

Simple is often better.
Comfort is important.
Comfort comes in many forms (people, places, soft things, warmth, favorite foods, pets, music, movement, stillness... the list goes on) .
I am loved.
You are loved.
Life is hard.
Life isn't as hard as we make it out to be.
A sense of humor is important.
Wonderstruck moments are all around us. We just have to look.
That I don't know anything for sure.

What do you know for sure? What are your truths?

Day 11: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

Today's question has me a bit more stumped: What makes me weepy?

Hmmm...

Other people's triumphs
Having my feelings hurt
Sappy movies
Bad parenting moments
Anger
Frustration
Cutting too many onions (I can handle one, but after that the burning tears begin)

What makes you weepy?

Day 10: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

It's Show and Tell day! Just like we used to back in preschool, we're bringing something to show and... um... tell stuff about it.

This is a toy wooden dog...



I made him. (Yes, really!) This little guy was our 6th grade woodshop project.

We used T-squares and French curls and probably some other instruments I no longer remember to draft the shape of the dog on green paper.



Then we turned a plain rectangular board into a dog with a coping saw and a lot of muscle power. We drilled a hole for the eyes and we smoothed out the edges with metal files, with our dogs clamped tight in vices.

Except when they weren't clamped tight as our teacher warned us might happen if we weren't careful. Then they would fall. Ma…

Day 9: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

Well, this is awkward. In last week's 10 Things post, I seem to have unknowingly answered several future questions including today's question about favorite movies.

But let's talk about them anyway. My favorite movies (in no particular order) are While You Were Sleeping, Jumping Jack Flash, and Die Hard (all of them, though #2 was probably my least favorite).

These are, perhaps, a bit all over the place in genre. The one common element? They are all funny. Funny may not have been their main intention, but it got worked in. I need a little humor in everything.

Let's talk a little about each one...

While You Were Sleeping

Synopsis: A single woman with no family (Sandra Bullock) fantasizes about a fancy-shma…

Day 8: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

Today we are sharing where we blog. For me, that answer varies. Sometimes it is from my desk (which is kind of dark on this cold snowy day)...



... and a fair amount of the time, I also blog from the kitchen table (sometimes during breakfast)...



...or some days it's from the recliner and other days it's from the playroom while my son plays with trucks or puzzles.

I find that I have to blog where and when I can, so there's no one place. If I wait for time and quiet, I'll never write.

Where do you blog?

Day 7: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

One sentence Saturday - capturing my day as best I can in one sentence...

Today was a return to real life after a night away, yet real did not equal normal.

Flecks #9

As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I'm learning and celebrating.
Things I learned this week:

All you have to do is ask. Yesterday morning I said I would love to bump up to 100 likes on Facebook before the end of the year and invited readers to click that button. They did. And by 5:00 p.m. the same day, I was at 100. WOW! Thank you so much for listening. What a gift you gave me. (And if you haven't yet, I invite you to like my Facebook page, too.)
My body is trying to tell me something. I'm not yet sure what and I'm doing my best to listen. I've experienced a lot of back pain this week. A LOT. Pain in my shoulders and even my right arm all the way down to my fingers. So now I'm being more cognizant of my actions and I'm spending some time moving, stretching, and resting.

Things I'm celebrating this week:

I've mentioned that I'm working behind the scenes on this site, right? I haven't said much, but I'm taking the next step in my li…

Day 6: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

It's funny to me that Jamie and Shannon ask us to share our very first blog post today because I just happened to mention it in yesterday's list of 10 things about me. Who knew?

When I first started blogging (back in February 2007), I named my site Life After Web. There I wrote about the internet, technology, and the effects on humanity. At one point, it's header image was this...



(In case you're wondering, that's my husband's feet on the left as he joins the bread line in a statue at Grounds for Sculpture.)

Earlier this year I imported all those old blog posts, along with posts from another blog I wrote about stepfamily life, to this site. Now my entire history of blogging is here.

As for that v…

Day 5: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.



10 things about me? Hmm... okay, here we go.

I have ducks. Two of them. Beautiful, white, silly ducks named Squackers and Buttons. Until they were big enough to go outside, they lived in my bathroom and swam in my tub.
My favorite piece of jewelry right now is a simple silver bracelet with a blue star, which I bought from a lovely woman on Etsy who donated most of what I paid to Make-a-Wish Foundation.
I believe in magic. Not like hocus pocus, and while I'm a big David Copperfield fan, I realize most of his tricks are illusions. But I believe that we can create magic for each other and that we can find magic in the world around us if we really look.
My favorite movies are Jumpin' Jack Flash, While You Were Sleep…

Day 4: Kickin' It Old Skool Blog Challenge

Throughout December I am Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Ridler, Shannon Ridler, and a whole group of other creative bloggers. We’re bringing back the days when blogging was fun and not just another chore on the social media frontier. Join in any time! The more the merrier.

Today we're exploring what the weather is like where we live and for me it was a chilly Fall day. Not cold enough to warrant winter coats, but cool enough to put our hoodies up as we moved leaves out of the open yard and into the woods.

The sky gleamed dull white most of the day until clouds pulled apart enough to let pale blue show through.

All-in-all, not a bad day.



How's the weather where you are today? Were you able to get a little outside time?