Archives for August 2013

Obsession Confession – Office Supplies

A few months back, I made an obsession confession about toilet paper.  I’d like to make a similar confession about office supplies.

I am obsessed with office supplies.

I look forward to late July when the school supply displays go up.  I love the smell of a fresh ream of notebook paper.  I adore color coordinated file folders.  I even kind of like tax season because the stores all have these amazing displays of office supply stuff themed around tax day.

My latest obsession is ARC.  ARC has taken me to either (a) my happy place or (b) a deep dark place from whence I will never return.  The answer depends on who you ask.  I say (a) and my husband says (b).

Let me just warn you that if you have an office supply habit (you know who you are) and you haven’t heard of ARC, then you do NOT want to click on my Pinterest Board devoted to the subject of ARC. Or the one on Smashbooking.  Or the one on Washi Tape.  Just… look away.  

It was enough to make me unfaithful to my beloved 15 year planner brand of choice.  I have no regrets.  NONE! 

Top Five Warning Signs You May Have An Office Supply Obsession [Read more…]

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Back to school absurdities – pencils

Every back to school season I can remember, there has been one absurd thing.

I’m talking about the one thing on the supply list that you look at and think “seriously?”  Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like every year there is one item that just drives me to total distraction.   I get all worked up in a tizzy over finding whatever the elusive item is and drive my family generally crazy trying to find whatever “it” is.

Sometimes it’s been an item on the school supply list that is mysteriously absent from the shelves of every store in the tri-state area.  Sometimes it’s been their uniforms.

Last year, it was pencils.

Pencils almost ruined my back to school joy. [Read more…]

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Ch-ch-ch-changes….

Oh come on admit it… you remember the song about changes.  The one by David Bowie?

So what about the Turn Turn Turn song?  The one by The Birds that is direct from the book of Ecclesiastes?

In some ways, both are talking about the same thing.  Life comes at us in seasons.  At a certain point, there comes a time for change. You can either embrace it and move on, or you can fight it.

I don’t recommend fighting it. Just… trust me on that.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-changes?

It’s time to make some changes to my blog.   Again. [Read more…]

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Five Minute Friday – Small

It’s Five Minute Friday, hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker at The Gypsy Mama.  Five minutes of free writing flash mob goodness.

If you aren’t familiar, the rules are simple.  Lisa-Jo Baker gives a single word writing prompt every Friday.   Each of us have five minutes to write and post.  No editing, no second guessing, no fancy stuff.  Just plain writing – straight from the heart. (click HERE for the official rules and details).  Then we go visit other participants and shower them with comment love.

The last time I participated, the word was PRESENT.  That was a month ago.  The last month has been… challenging to say the least.

This week, the word is SMALL.

[Read more…]

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And the worst thing was…

When I pick my kids up from car line, they immediately start telling stories.  Invariably, one of them tells a story that includes the phrase “and the worst thing was….” followed by some tale of elementary horror.

They do NOT tell these stories to me.

My boys are only 16 months apart.  One of the best parts of going back to school is that they have time and space enough to miss each other again.  Sibling on sibling violence drops to an all-time low right after school starts.  Every afternoon turns into a best-friend reunion.

When the boys get in the car, they can’t WAIT to talk to each other.  If I try to ask them a question or try to find out more about what they are saying, they both look at me and say “we weren’t talking to YOU mommy.”

Nice.

So I listen.

Over the years, the phrase “and the worst thing was” has been followed by an amazing variety of incidents. Some are trivial.  Some are scary enough out of context that I actually ask the teacher.  Some are down right funny.  I figure it’s about time I shared my favorites with you.

Top 10 “and the worst thing was…” stories. [Read more…]

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Happy First Day of School to Me!

It’s the first day of school for my family.

I remember the first few years that the house would empty for the first day of school.  The first year or two, it was a shock.  I honestly struggled to figure out what to DO with myself.

The very first year I had both kids in preschool, drop off was at 9am.  By 10:30 I had gotten a much needed haircut and finished grocery shopping in peace.  The groceries were put away, dinner was in the crockpot.  I felt so…. lost.

Last year, I wrote a snark laden post on what to do for the first day of school.  In honesty, it was directed at my own former self.

10 ideas for how to enjoy back to school with thishappymom.com

At the very end of the post, I said

The first day of school should be yours to enjoy.

I meant it.   [Read more…]

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My kids are NOT making me laugh

I have to be honest. My kids are NOT making my laugh today.

Imagine me standing here with my hands on my hips. I’m tapping one foot. I have the “mom face” going.  I’m saying

I am not amused.

Yes. It’s Tuesday. The day I normally post a cute story about how my kids make me laugh. I normally make a statement that my kids make me laugh almost every day.

The key word is almost.  Today is… the other kind of day.

Honestly, it’s all my fault. To quote TobyMac,

I need some time with God and a mental vacation.

Sorry, I’m not much for conversation….

(sorry if that song sticks in your head.  giggle.) [Read more…]

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Drinking from the Firehose

I admit – I’d never heard the expression “drinking from the firehose” until the past 10 years.

But the instant I heard it, I knew what it meant.

I have fond memories of drinking from the garden hose as a child.  I remember the secret forbidden thrill of tasting as the water switched from warm and plastic tasting to cool and clean.

I also have fond memories of the few times I managed to prank my older brother by turning the water volume up to full while he was drinking.  The look on his face was… priceless.  I have a few not-so-fond memories of him returning the favor.  The water gets up your nose and it’s almost impossible to drink.

If you’ve ever drunk from a garden hose, you know there’s this magical water pressure where the water arcs gently out from the end of the hose by just a few inches.  It’s perfect for drinking.  Any lower, and you find yourself sucking on the metal hose bib.  Any higher and you’re gasping for breath as the water streams out of your mouth, across your face, into your hair, and down your shirt.

Remember?

(to the best of my knowledge, my kids have never drunk from the garden hose.  somehow, it’s just never come up.)

So when I heard the phrase “drinking from the firehose” for the first time, I had this mental image of someone standing there trying to swallow a single sip of water as they were drowning.  I saw them standing there, drenched from head to toe, unable to drink a single drop of the water that rushed by.

Yesterday I wrote about my summer of dry.

I wrote about a spiritual thirst, a longing for a stream in the desert.

Today I marvel that God never asks us to drink from the firehose.   He doesn’t respond to a season of drought with a torrential river or a tidal wave.  Time after time, He responds with a stream.   He gives us just the right amount of water for it to run cool and clear (so we aren’t sucking on the end of the garden hose) but not so much that it gets up our nose and runs down the shirt.

But streams came up from the ground and watered the earth. Genesis 2:6

Your help came from the God
your father worshiped,
from God All-Powerful.
God will bless you with rain
and streams from the earth;
he will bless you
with many descendants.  Genesis 49:25

You let me rest in fields
of green grass.
You lead me to streams
of peaceful water, Psalm 23:2

I will bless the thirsty land
by sending streams of water;
I will bless your descendants
by giving them my Spirit. Isaiah 44:3

As my summer of dry comes to a close, I’m thankful for the streams God has placed in my path.  I am thankful for the living water He provides me.

psalm 23_2

Care to share your favorite verse on the theme of water and streams?  I’m all ears.

 

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The Summer of Dry

Three years ago, I watched in horror as Texas burned.

Not the whole state. Just selected parts of it. It was…

A summer of dry. [Read more…]

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To my friend who doesn’t blog

to my friend who doesn't blog

Forgive me while I write an entirely self-serving post to my friend who doesn’t blog.

Given that I’ve had bits and pieces of this conversation with several friends over the past few weeks, I’m hoping my friend won’t recognize herself.

(and if she does, i’m hoping my friend won’t get her feelings hurt. girl – you know that’s not how i roll.)

See, my non-blogging friend thinks my blog is a waste of my time and talents.  She doesn’t even see it as a cute little hobby or an ego-centric online diary.

No.  She sees it as a giant time-suck… a distraction from important things… a total waste of my time.

This goes beyond her criticism that my blog does not make any money (it doesn’t – the rare gift card isn’t enough to cover my expenses).  It’s her assertion that my time could be better spent on activity that actually does make money.

My friend who doesn’t blog has me quite upset.

At one level, I understand what she’s saying.   Blogging is (quite frankly) a giant time-suck.  Writing, creating artwork, marketing my blog, spending time on social media… it can consume as many hours each day as I let it.  Even after all of that is done, there’s still back-end maintenance, the total redesign of how the blog looks, networking with potential sponsors… the list is endless.

So yeah, I get it.  On the surface, it looks like I’m wasting a LOT of time on something that offers very little return on investment.

I understand her point about there being only so many hours each day.  Trying to run more than one home based business (blogging and direct sales) demands more hours than exist in a week.  I get that.

Trust me.  I get that.  The juggling act lately has been insane.  Crazy.

I get it.

But….

There’s no way I’m giving up blogging.  Not now.  Not when it meets so many of my needs and makes my heart sing.  Not when it seems that every part of my life weaves together and makes sense because it all ties back to one little spot on the web.

The direct marketing thing?  I can give it up.  I have fun with it. I love being a bit more sociable.  I love how it lets me encourage other women and invest in their lives.   I love how it gives me more interesting things to blog about.  I love how it stretches and challenges me to turn weaknesses into strengths.

And…

Here’s the deal.  I know the juggling act is a bit much.  I understand that there is a limit to how effective I can be at anything because I just don’t have time for everything.

So I quit.

Yeah.   Just like that.

I quit.

You know what I’m going to quit?  I’m going to quit trying to survive without maid service.  I’m going to quit watching that vapid show on television.  I’m giving up pretending that I can do it all.

So there.

Problem solved.

One last thing?

Just for my friend who doesn’t blog.

How in the name of all that is rational and logical can you spend twenty minutes berating me for my giant time-suck of a blog and then turn around not an hour later and ask for my help starting your very own blog… because you’ll use it to make money?

How?

Seriously.

Did you not even appreciate the irony of my response when I referred to helping non-writers start a blog as a giant time-suck that didn’t seem like it would make me any money.

I really was taken aback when my response hurt your feelings.

After all, I was just quoting you.

why i blog

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