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Friday, January 23, 2015

Currently: Oh, Snap

Linking up with Lindsey and Randalin again this week, sharing what is currently going on around here. This week's theme words are: starting, looking, listening, snapping, making.

I'm finally starting to get into the groove of things again. I took a bit of time off from blogging, photography, and TV during the holiday week and into January so I could get more rest and just take care of myself for a while. I'm doing some personal journaling and trying to get some clarity on where I am and where I want to be. Good, good stuff. I did not take a break from social media, however, so I probably spent a few too many hours surfing Facebook (and definitely Instagram). At least I still made some progress, so it's all good.

While I was looking around Jo-Ann's last night (getting crafty), the Spring decor was actually making me feel depressed. I think there's something wrong with me. I am sad about the lack of snow this winter, and was actually really happy when the temps were below 20F. I think it's time I moved to the South Pole. I love penguins, so that could work.

I'm currently listening to a few new albums I purchased recently by Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, and Little Big Town. They are all great, but I especially like the one by LBT. They are just amazing, and if you ever have a chance to see them live -- do it! Speaking of seeing people live, my friends and I have plans to see NKOTB, Nelly and TLC this Spring. Hollerrr! (Yeah, I'll never grow up.)

If you hear the sound of snapping, that would be me, putting together the millions of pieces to the Playmobil sets Joshua got for Christmas and his birthday. Don't get me wrong, the toys are amazing and have already gotten several hours of play, but holy smokes, it took me an hour just to put together the camper. I guess that means I get to play with it, too!



All this bickering between Republicans and Democrats is making me crazy. I keep getting emails from one party asking for money to fight back against the other. Seriously? I pay enough taxes for you people to get things done. I'd rather donate my money to people who are actually going to help other people. As the Patriots football team would say (their post-season motto): "DO YOUR JOB!"

And that's all the soap box I have in me for today. Have a great week, everyone!

Writer's Workshop: Heart, Melted

Following the prompt: 1. The last time my heart melted was because…

My son is a total sweetheart. He's always telling me how much he loves me and worries about me when we are not together. With pride, he helps me around the house and at the store. He's a mama's boy, and my right-hand man.

(Well, left-hand, I suppose. He has to stay on that side because he's a lefty; otherwise we'd be bumping each other's arms all the time.)

I love to see how he treats others. He held open the door, unprompted, for a woman in a wheelchair when we were in Disneyworld. In addition, he struck up a conversation with her, smiling that great big smile he has, and made her smile, too. A card from one of his teachers included the line, "Thank you for always being so polite." He gets along with nearly everyone. He truly views everyone as his friend, and is very kind and outgoing.

(Well, most of the time.)

I love age six because he can do so much, and is getting old enough to have really interesting conversations with me. We're reading and doing math problems together, and it's a really exciting time in his life. He was a great baby, but in all honesty, I don't miss the infant stage at all. However, I do have a confession to make.

I was looking through some of his toddler photos recently, and my heart completely melted. Like mini marshmallows in a cup of hot cocoa.

Cases in point, from age 2:

Joshua - Sept 2010

Joshua - Sept 2010

Joshua - Sept 2010

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There was a video, too, which was the real kicker, but I can't find it now. Anyway, he's still a cutie, but ermahgerd. Can't he go back to being that little like, once a month or something?

Mama’s Losin’ It

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: The Good Ol' Hockey Game

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Since Josh didn't have hockey this weekend, I treated him to a P-Bruins game.
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He snagged a front-row seat and made sure our lucky pig had a seat on the boards.
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Hey, where did that puck go?
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Caught it! (Well, it fell down a hole and the guy next to us got it for Josh. It was gross down there, so I don't really blame him for not wanting to hold it.)

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There were a lot of goals on both sides, and the Bruins won, 5-4.
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The lucky pig worked!
Linking up with Ruchira for Wordless Wednesday

Friday, January 16, 2015

Writer's Workshop: Letting it Go

This week, I am following the prompt: "2. If there was one thing you could change about yourself, what would it be? Why can’t it change?" Actually, there are a lot of things. But lately I am choosing to concentrate on the things I can change, and accept the rest.

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I love the song "Let it Go" from the movie Frozen.  I know, it's one of those songs that everyone's kids have sung a million times, ad nauseam, but I have never gotten tired of it.  The words really speak to me.  In fact, Elsa's personality really hits home for me.  And not just because the cold doesn't bother her (yeah, I'm possibly the only person around enjoying the below-freezing temps right now).

Elsa is different.  She has something about herself that she doesn't want anyone to know, so she stays hidden.  She is also afraid of hurting others, and most likely of being hurt herself.  But the fear makes things worse, and she is caught in a cycle of hiding and berating herself.  She even hides from her dear sister and best friend, and once her parents are gone, she is left alone.

I can relate to this to a degree.  I don't have any secrets or magic powers that I am hiding, but I understand what it's like to be afraid to express myself, to hide from others or not speak because I am afraid others won't like me.  But as I avoid eye contact and social situations, I alienate myself, and the more I do that, the more I feel alone.  The more I feel pity for myself and feel like no one likes me.  In reality, I am just sending out signals that I don't want to socialize or even that I am not friendly.  That isn't who I really am.  I want to break free from that cycle.  I'm actually working on it now, and making some good progress.

There is part of me that feels I need to "be the good girl [I] always have to be."  Manners and proper behavior and saying the right thing and being pleasant and neat are just some of the things drilled into my head.  I find myself extremely self-conscious, judging myself constantly, but really, I am watching through someone else's eyes.  "I should" is really "they would think I should."  As soon as I feel a pang of guilt, I now know the drill.  Where is it coming from?  Is it because you think someone would disapprove?  More than nine times of out ten, that's the issue.

I want to be like Elsa.  I want to let it all go, I want to be free.  I want to slam the door on what no longer serves me well.  I want to stop worrying, stop feeling guilty, stop stressing out.  I don't want to feel awkward and shy anymore.  I want to go out into the world, to explore and be myself.  I want to live this life to the fullest, because, quite frankly, I am not getting any younger and it's about time I did something with my life.  Most importantly, I want to feel like I have good something to offer the world.  I want to find what that is.  I don't want to be afraid to love and be loved -- in whatever form it comes.  Because I know that love heals and overcomes and will always win.

I want to feel more like "I don't care what they're going to say," but to let the storms die down. (Unless a fight needs to be fought. Sometimes, that is necessary.)  Let's be kinder to ourselves, and to others.  Let's celebrate the parts of each other that make us all special so no one ever feels like they have to hide.  Let's live happy and fulfilling lives, and allow others to do so, as well.

And let's get some more snow over here in southern New England.  I haven't even gotten to build a snowman yet this winter! ;)

Mama’s Losin’ It

Side note: After I wrote this the other night, I got an email from Sandy Hook Promise about their "No One Eats Alone" campaign to help end social isolation in middle schools. In theory, it sounds great, although if some kids are just introverts, it may not make them feel very comfortable. At any rate, sometimes just feeling accepted and knowing someone cares is enough to relieve the feeling of loneliness. To find out more about the program, please click here.

Wordless Wednesday: Shmorgishborg

I have no idea if I spelled that word right, and I realize it's rather lame to create a Wordless Wednesday post when it's neither wordless nor Wednesday, but I have really missed Ruchira's link-up, so I am gonna do it anyway!

Holy run-on sentences, Batman.

Here are some random photos from my week. I have been slacking on photographing as much as I've been slacking on blogging, so please forgive me. I'm still in holiday mode. At least, that's what I tell myself to justify the fact that I haven't put a single Christmas decoration away. I'm really digging this fake tree.

Anyway.

Little Man had his birthday party on Saturday. We had it at a local gymnastics center, so the kids were able to run around and release some energy, while my cleaning was kept to a minimum! Definitely the way to go. The birthday boy wanted donut cake, specifically a maple-frosted donut cake in the shape of a pumpkin with orange sprinkles. You got it, kid. We also got a vanilla frosted snowman cake for those who weren't fond of maple (ie, the crazy people).

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I cannot believe he's 6. And I think he grows a little more every night.

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In other news this week, we got a little bit of snow. Just enough to make things pretty.

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And while I didn't see any hockey last weekend (besides Joshua's practices), I did get to go on a road trip the weekend before with one of my friends. We went to Portland, ME, which was probably crazy considering we had to drive through a snowstorm, but the game was great -- a definite battle of the goalies. They both had shutouts in regulation and overtime, and the game was decided by one goal in a shootout. My friend and I are both goalies, so we appreciated the showdown. Also, I was excited to see snow (a significant amount, at least) and I really don't mind driving through it (especially in a state where people actually know how to drive through it). Well, except when tractor trailers come hauling at you going 60mph. Then you just get out of the way and hope for the best.

Here are the goalie photos.

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Have a great week!

Linking up with Ruchira for Wordless Wednesday

Friday, December 26, 2014

Writer's Workshop: Where I'm From

This week, I am following the prompt: 1. Complete the “Where I’m From” poem. (template here)

This was a hard one, but something I wanted to complete once I saw the template and examples, as I am on a journey toward higher self-esteem and self-image. There are so many pieces that add up to form who I am, but I tried to think of the main things that have really shaped me, or that have been important, interesting or endearing to me. I'm sure I'm missing something, but here's my attempt at it.

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My birthplace
I am from the calculator and the computer bought for me at a young age by my Papa and my father, who both recognized my love of math and technology, and encouraged it.

I am from the cross-stitch, the paint, the pencil, the joy of creating, handed down by my Nana and my mother.

I am from the music: the dance parties or the soothing sounds, both putting me in the best of moods.

From the many choruses I enjoyed being part of for over twelve years. From the love of harmony, the vibrations that blend us so perfectly that it feels like Heaven on Earth when we hit them just right. From never wanting to sing the melody or be the star, but always wanting to be the supporter -- in other areas of life, as well.

I am from leftover scraps of pie crust sprinkled with cinnamon, rolled, and baked just for me. From Christmas cookies, especially the rum logs and gingerbread bells. From broccoli casserole and Swedish apple pie. From fantastic bakers, and excellent cooks.

I am from every other weekend at my father's house. From chili burgers, burritos, and banana splits. From midnight walks and strolls along the beach. From Newport Vanderbilt mansions and fancy restaurants and playing croquet at Clement Moore's old summer residence.

From put your napkin on your lap, sit up straight, and keep your elbows off the table. (Though, sometimes, I forget I'm from there.)

I am from quiet people who can tear up at just about anything on television -- both happy and sad.

I am from the funniest people, the "smart ankles" who can't keep quiet if something strikes them as hilarious (bonus points if it's punny). From impersonations and belly laughs and getting in trouble in school for laughing too much -- not out of disrespect, but because funny things are everywhere. (Just ask Dr. Seuss.)

From "you can be anything you want when you grow up" and "you're full of bologna."

I am from "Jesus loves me" and "love one another" and "the greatest of these is love." From a heart of service, compassion, and respect toward all my brothers and sisters, regardless of who they are and where they have been.

I am from Rhode Island via relatives from Colorado, Connecticut, and North Carolina. From Native Americans (Apache, we think) and ancestors from Mexico, Ireland, Scotland, England, Denmark, and Germany -- many of whom were here before the United States was even a country.

From the Pearl Harbor survivor, the Civil War families fighting against each other, the American Revolution patriots.

I am from Little House on the Prairie and other history books and biographies. From a great interest in politics. From watching C-SPAN with my Papa and working as an intern in the State House.

I am from the fascination with and appreciation of other countries and cultures.  From the love of traveling, seeing new places, and meeting friendly people.

I am from the skier and swimmer and one-time Colorado State Champ Little League catcher, and from the avid sports fan, who somehow together created a hockey goalie.

From baseball players and Red Sox fans. From summer nights on Papa's porch, sitting on the swing while listening to the crickets and the ball game.

I am from the countless photo albums opened at the holidays, the laughing at outdated fashion trends, the perfect capturing of both everyday and special moments.  From the love of both reliving and capturing those moments.

From black and white photos of Irish teenagers with wide grins and curly hair and cheerful commentary written on the back. From beautiful, posed women with dark hair and fancy dresses. From men in military uniform. From big family parties, once held quite often.

I am from my father's slide shows, and the first camera he gave me in elementary school. From my step-father's SLR camera, which I used to take a photography class in middle school.

From, as long as I can remember, constantly framing new photos in my mind whenever I would see something beautiful or interesting. From spending hours looking at other people's photography in magazines, especially National Geographic and Sports Illustrated.

I am from these places and so many more. Now it's time to discover where I will go next.

Mama’s Losin’ It