Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Long Way

I go slow. I miss turns. I often have to loop back around. As a rule, it takes me longer than expected to arrive at my destinations. And I'm not just talking about how I drive.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Keep Going

"Nothing can take the place of persistence." ~Calvin Coolidge

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Monday, August 29, 2011

5 Days Away

The woman on the other end of the phone wished me a great weekend before realizing it was Monday. It bummed us both out.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Trouble in the Secret Garden

We could hear them in the vines. A high-pitched squeaky speak. We have never seen them, but we have suspected for months my parents' yard is harboring uninvited guests. Tonight, my dad declared war. He is going to attack the rats, even if it means getting cats.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Call HR

I just spent 7 hours conducting online "research." My computer is demanding a more humane work environment, one with mandatory breaks. 

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Fabulous Friday

I thought someone had died. It was clear on the voice message my mom was crying. Then she said, "I'm reading your blog ... and you are not a flourless cake." It was sweet, especially since I didn't think that post was sad. It must be hard to have a writer as a daughter.

Anyway, after that it was a little tricky explaining to my folks how excited I was that my cake talk ended up on Schmutzie's Five Star Friday list. How cool is that?!

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Never Fails

As soon as I come up with a plan, life comes up with a detour.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cake

I'm comparing myself to flourless chocolate cake over at Tired & Stuck. Totally related to fertility, I promise.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How-To Do

"You must do the thing you think you cannot do." ~Eleanor Roosevelt

I wish our dear Eleanor had told us how to do the thing we think we cannot do. That's what I've been thinking about all day. That's the problem, the puzzle, I feel I'm constantly trying to solve. It's the topic of many of my conversations. Coincidentally (or not), when I opened my neglected planner, the First Lady's words were quoted at the top of this week's page.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Rush Hour

With kids back to school, parents are going back to work. The end of summer is ruining our morning commute.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Silent Comfort

Except for a year or two in college and the 5 years I lived away from my home town, I've attended the same church since I was 15 years old.
If you go somewhere every week, you get to know the people there, even if you never really speak. Some people you know just by their kindness, their warmness, the way they smile at you, the way they look at you like you are family.
But if you never really speak, it can be hard to start a conversation when something really needs to be said.
Today, I wanted to tell this sweet older woman how sorry I am that her husband died.
I don't even remember when I met her and her husband. I was probably in high school. They have always been so kind.
I knew he was sick. He had looked frail for the last year or so, and recently, his name was being read during the prayers for the sick.
I couldn't tell her today how sad I am not to see her husband with her, how happy I am to still see her at church.
But when she smiled and waived at me from a distance, I decided I could go over to her and give her a hug.
Nothing else needed to be said.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Extra Novocaine

I've mentioned before I'm afraid of the dentist. It is my oldest fear, and it doesn't disappear even though I'm related to my dentist. 
So today during my appointment I reminded my father's cousin to be gentle with me.
"Don't worry. I'll give you a little extra novocaine," he said,
There's a lot of freedom in telling people what you need.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Traditions

Do you have a favorite Friday tradition? How do you celebrate the end of the week?

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Crime Scene

I've decided I need to use a search grid approach to organizing my home. You know, like the way police search for clues by dividing up a larger area into smaller parts. I need to go one imaginary grid at a time.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A New Danger

Him: "Biofilm. I've been worried about that."
Me: "What are you talking about?"
Him: "The Listerine commercial just said we need to fight biofilm or we are all going to die."

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jigsaw

Puzzles don't solve themselves.
Pieces need to be arranged and rearranged until the perfect fit is found. Just like life and furniture.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Special Election

Mondays are gross. I vote we skip them altogether.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Stupid Mondays

We ran away for less than a day. And I got all blissed out on our cross-town adventure. The only problem with escaping is eventually you must make yourself reappear.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Another Thought on Beauty

"If we think of our bodies in terms of how we can use them to help others, that would really change the conversation (about beauty)." ~Laura from "For Those About To Shop"

Laura and I were at the same BlogHer session on owning our beauty. She left this thought as a comment on my post about meeting Stephanie Nielson. I think Laura puts into words a radical idea regarding how we might look at our bodies, our beauty and our lives. 

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Planning Ahead

"I know what I'm going to tweet on Thanksgiving," John said.
"You know what you are going to tweet on Thanksgiving?" I asked confused, but not all-together surprised.
"Yup."
He told me. It's three words. You'll have to wait to Thanksgiving to find out.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Acts of Faith

Sometimes I feel like all I do is ask for miracles. And I don't mean small things like, "Lord, please keep me from breaking a nail or getting a run in my pantyhose."

I mean Big Ol' Life-Changing Life-Saving Miracles. The kind that absolutely, without a doubt require divine intervention.

Asking for this kind of miracle feels like a risk. And here's a trick: Only remember the yeses because the nos will break your heart.

PS: Today, August 11, is the feast of the foundress of the Poor Clares. St. Clare, please pray for us.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More On Beauty

Beauty is one of my favorite words, one of my favorite topics. So I was excited to attend the "Owning Your Beauty" session at BlogHer.

The discussion touched on everything: weight, aging, accepting our flaws, raising a confident generation of girls, finding peace with ourselves. For those of you interested, the transcript is here.

One of the most important takeaways for me was regarding how we judge ourselves and others in photos. I am highly critical of myself in pictures. Cameras make me freeze up, and more than once, an unflattering photo has made me spontaneously cry, which is such a shame considering I married a photographer.

For a long time, I have wanted to overcome my photo phobia, and this is my new standard: Instead of worrying so much about whether I look good or bad, pretty or ugly, thin or fat, I'm going to ask myself if I look like I'm having fun. Isn't fun beautiful? Plus I'd prefer pictures of me having a good time over no photos at all.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Meeting NieNie

I didn’t realize Stephanie Nielson would be at BlogHer until I was reading the program while waiting for our delayed flight to San Diego.

The excitement nearly killed me. To say I’m a fan would be an understatement.

As crazy as it sounds, Stephanie’s story has made such a deep impression on my soul that I’m not exaggerating when I say she is a friend of my heart. I often think of her when things in my life seem too hard. Her triumph over tragedy helps me put problems in perspective. Anytime I have the smallest burn, I think of her. Even tiny oven burns hurt, and I’m in awe of the pain she has survived. 

But what touches me most deeply about her story is the way she loves. She loves her kids. She loves her husband. She loves God. She loves her life. That kind of love is so powerful, so beautiful when I see her in pictures on her blog or in interviews on TV, I forget about her scars. I think there’s Stephanie as if she were a friend and not a stranger. 

I promise I don’t usually feel this way about people I don’t actually know. But I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way about Stephanie. In fact, I was kind of surprised when the conference hall wasn’t jam-packed with people waiting to meet her.

Stephanie was on a panel with four other amazing women: Karen Walrond, Jess Weiner, Kate Harding and Rita Arens. The topic was “Owning Your Beauty: If We Change the Conversation, Can We Change the Culture?” I was too excited to wait through the 75-minute session, so I approached her before the talk began. 

Me & Stephanie
“Hi, Stephanie,” I said, both nervous and beaming with excitement.
“Let’s hug,” she said with a smile. 

Then I burst into tears. I was overwhelmed by her beauty and kindness. I remember telling her, “I’m so glad you survived. I’m so glad you share your story and that you are here with us on this earth.” 

Someone else might be embarrassed to declare such love for a complete stranger, but I have a pretty high threshold for humiliation. In fact, I spoke to her again after the session and managed not to cry. 

During the session about beauty, Stephanie said and this may be somewhat paraphrased, “We spend too much time worrying about ourselves. We need to look outward to others. When we love others, we love ourselves.”

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Monday, August 8, 2011

On The Run

I'm back from BlogHer, but I don't want to be. I want to stay off the radar, under the covers, hiding out for a little bit (a whole lot) longer. I even planned my next escape. Saturday night John and I are running away. We will be back Sunday. In the meantime, try not to expect a lot from me. I prefer to exceed low expectations than fall short of high ones.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

San Diego, Here We Come

The long awaited BlogHer conference is upon us. Erin and I are headed to San Diego in the morning. I have no idea what to expect, but I'm happy to have good company for the journey. (By the way, did you see Erin's vlog? It is a must watch.) Be back next week.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Family Resemblance

I'm so used to freaking out that when I'm not freaking out, it kind of freaks me out. I come from a long line of worriers. It's what we do. But I'm working on breaking the cycle.

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Monday, August 1, 2011

One Five Zero Zero

I was a bit surprised when I noticed in Blogger that this is my 1,500th blog post.
Makes me wonder how many sentences it takes to write a book. Of course, in a book, typically each sentence has something to do with one another. Which isn't at all the case here.
Also, with a book, I don't think the goal would be to write just one sentence a day.
But, hey, it's my blog, and I'm OK with the randomness regarding length of posts and topics. 

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