Thursday, April 30, 2009

How Marketers Tick Off Bloggers

Believe it or not, Eat Play Love was created as an outlet for me to write about anything happening in my life, a place to call my own, a place to vent, a place to laugh, and a place I desperately needed to get me through good days and even some bad. May I add this place is mainly a happy place (except for those bad days), where I have stayed true to my original intent. Along the way I've met some fabulous people and feel like a real part of a community of bloggers! My experience has blown away my expectations by a million.

Now let me be the first to say, I don't take that community for granted.

Today is a day, where I'm feeling a little frustrated. My pet peeve, the infiltration of clueless "new media" PR people trying to change a good thing, a well established community. In case you have never noticed, I don't run ads on my blog. Go look around over there on the left, not one ad. A badge to donate to the March of Dimes or a family coping with tragic loss, yes. Advertisements, no. Am I opposed to advertising, absolutely not. Have I found a company that speaks to my philosophy and lifestyle to advertise, no. I have given away a product or two on here, but one of them I actually purchased with my money.

Lately, I've been receiving a handful of emails daily from companies asking me to write about their websites or their company blogs or for me to link to their websites. Hello, doesn't that seem odd? For example one email I received yesterday said, Dear Webmaster I am looking for websites to promote "our client's websites". First of all, Dear WEBMASTER? Ok, I know how to tweak like ten things with HTML and use a Blogger Template. Hardly a webmaster. Believe it or not, right below my picture you'll find my name, it's Denise. If you really want to pitch something to me at least pretend like you read my blog.

Another favorite of mine yesterday was a major company that was running a contest, the marketer thought I would be just delighted to share the contest to my readers. Umm, yeah I'd love to share with you a contest just for the heck of it. Didn't you see under my header, Eat Play Love, it makes you smile because I link to a shitload of clueless companies just for the fun of it!

I understand most of these emails are harmless, but when I am constantly opening my email to companies that hire marketers that don't have a clue, it puts me over the edge. Oh and to top it off many of them graciously add me to their email list so then I start receiving their crappy junk mail! Then I have to say, please remove me from your list THAT I DIDN'T OPT INTO!!!

Where am I going with this?

This little piece of cyberspace that I call my own, is exactly that. I write what's in my heart, not what a marketer casually throws at me on a whim. When I link to products in a post it's because it's a part of my story not because I was asked. I promise, it's not because a multi-million dollar company threw me a free sample to pimp their products. Quite frankly I am offended that many companies think throwing a product or two at a blogger is enough compensation for our time and exposure. Well, it's not! I don't take for granted you come here to read my writing and share in this thing I call community.

Which leads me to opportunity. I can't make a blanket statement saying I would never advertise on this blog. I would write about products that are a part of my life, that make sense to be writing about. I have written for the Crocs Blog because Crocs are a part of my life, a local company, and they truly understand the blogging world. When I am approached by understanding clued-in marketers, their ideas make sense and are a fit for me, I consider the inclusion. But those riding the wave of new media, look around, read blogs, take a moment to understand what's happening here. Don't offend me by asking me to write about your company for free, it just doesn't work that way.

As for you, who stick around to the bottom of posts like this, I've got your back. When Louis Vuitton, Whole Foods, or Club Med come knocking, we are in this thing together!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Denver Museum of Nature & Science: Expedition Health

A few weeks ago, we woke again to another stormy Saturday. Although we had been graced with a mild winter, as soon as Spring hit the Rockies the weather seemed to take a turn for the worse. J and I decided to take the girls an indoor adventure to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. We needed something to break up the monotony of being indoors for what seemed like every weekend for the past month. 

I had been hearing the buzz about a new exhibit that was opening called, Expedition Health, which replaced the space in the museum that once housed the Hall of Life. I don't recall how many field trips I went on to the Hall of Life, but that exhibit was quite popular when I was teaching fifth grade. Funny enough on our way down to the Museum, I asked J if he'd every been? I didn't recall us ever taking the trip together. Then I remembered, J actually joined my class of fifth graders on a field trip the museum. Pretty funny. 

When we arrived at the Museum, we were given tickets to the new exhibit, Expedition Health, set for a particular entry time. I didn't quite understand the purpose for a reservation time, until I experienced the exhibit. When you enter Expedition Health, everyone is given a Peak Pass to use at various stations through out. The Peak Pass records the activities that you participate in and then uses the information to compile a unique user print out at the very end before exiting the exhibit.

After logging in with our cards and taking in all the sights and sounds, we decided to walk around with the girls before participating. Our girls were instantly drawn to a section designed for children called, Tykes Peak. It's an informative play space with fun activities like a backpack station, a built in slide, and many hands on features with delightful facts and learning opportunities built in. After pulling them away from Tykes Peak, we went to see what other exciting features the exhibit had for us.My hubby and I were each drawn to different aspects of the exhibit. For example I wanted to see what I would look like when I was 70 years old, with a computer generated image of my face. There were stationary bicycles that gathered your heart rate, which of course J eagerly waited to participate in. I just adored the Size Up Your Stride component, where you are filmed walking. Then your image is shown on a computer and a few monitors in the exhibit. You can insert your Peak Pass and find out the length of your stride, your energy level, and how long it would take you to hike around a lake.Honestly there are so many components of Expedition Health that my best advice is to head over there and experience it for yourself. The girls did well for their age (2&5), but the exhibit is definitely geared for older school aged children and adults. They were excited to walk over a simulated creek on a wooden beam, learn about germs on their hands, why their eyes dilate, how tall they are vs. their arm span. There was also an interactive program that we saw about stomach bugs. Eew. 

I can't wait to go back and check out Exhibition Health again. Best part of the exhibit is that it's part of the entrance fee to the Museum, no extra charge. After we left E.H. we spent hours exploring all the other delightful nooks and crannies in the museum. We ended our day with a trip to the T-Rex Cafe where I was blown away by the great deals and quality of food. I think my experience there could be a post in itself, but I have to admit any place that serves Wild Salmon is top notch in my book.

Take a break from your normal routine, visit the DMNS, trust me you'll be surprised at how much you learn while having a fun filled adventure!

Monday, April 27, 2009

It Was The Juice's Fault, No The Water's Fault, No My Fault! My Poor Digital Camera...

The other day the girls requested juice in the morning. Considering orange juice is thicker than most juices I decided in a momentary lapse of reason, to take out the stopper from the girls' sippy cups. (Yes, the girls still use sippy cups, why because I hate spills all over the place and quite frankly I don't care that my daughters still use them, they can drink out of glasses just fine, fyi) Anyway, so I was packing my delightful Live Simply whale emblazoned tote bag for a little park outing to meet up with friends. I placed the girls' sippy cups full of water in my tote bag, slipped my camera in the bag along with lunch and a diaper or two. I thought to myself gosh I haven't gotten a picture of Sj and her buddies in awhile, it will be nice to get some shots at the park.

Do, dee, do, driving to the park. (can you imagine what's happening on my drive to the park, any guesses?)

We start to unload for the park, when I discover one large sippy cup empty in the bag with all water being spilled out on our, happy singing along to Elizabeth Mitchell, drive. Upon further inspection, I discovered about 2 inches of water puddling at the bottom of my happy whale tote. Then I find my camera sitting on it's side, resting in about the same 2 inches of water.

Insert anger. I mentally hit myself on the forehead thinking, hello you forgot the damn stopper in the sippy cup. Sigh.

Digital camera that I received for Mother's Day last year, let's say digital camera that's not even a year old, not happy with it's bath. Anything digital combined with water spells disaster. Luckily for me, it was a blazing sunshine filled Colorado day. I placed the camera in the sun and hoped for the best. Slowly it seemed to be coming back to life after the battery and memory card slots were dried out. The lens even closed and it turned on and off.

Fast forward to 24 hours later and the camera was making improvements. Now I could see a display of the last photo taken, although it still wouldn't take any pictures, I had hope. I plugged my camera my computer in an attempt to download the photos off of my memory card. It wouldn't work initially but then after a pressing a few buttons on and off, up and down, it beeped and photos began to download.

Miraculously hooking my camera up to my computer helped it to start working again. I downloaded 81 photographs, to my surprise they weren't the most touching photos I have taken. Granted I had about 10 photos that were great, but honestly Sj was responsible for about 50 of the photos, photos I may have never missed.

Let's take a look, thank goodness they were retrieved and my camera was saved, for they are gems:

Our lovely Orange painting & clock. 

The old icky toaster oven, which now resides with some recycling.

A close up of Sj's thermal shirt, nice texture may I add. 

The classic photo of Sj taking a photo of GL taking her photo. 

A fine assortment of chipping play kitchen food.

Oh, little too close, zoom of Sj's Hannah Montana Build a Bear.

Yes, I am happy my camera did not get destroyed by the sippy cup mishap. I do have a special folder in my iPhoto library of photos Sj has taken. These will definitely make the bunch. It's interesting to look at photos from her perspective, to catch a glimpse of being five years old. I see the world through 5'11" eyes, much differently than my daughter.

Even though they are silly, I am glad they weren't lost.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Adopting a Dog...

Well, did it happen or not? I wrote about my experience trying to find a new furry companion today over at Rocky Mountain Moms Blog! Oh and you can see a picture of my darling beloved Guinness, we sure do miss him still five years later. Find out the story here...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Memo To Husband, Ski Sweaters Might Not Be My Thing...

Today is the day my husband set off on an adventure. Once again, he's traveling the globe to chase down some snow. He gets paid to chase snow, he's very lucky in that regard, well that's if you love snow like he does. So he'll hop on three airplanes, hop in a handful of cars, and then a boat to get to his destination, Norway. North of the Arctic Circle, in Tromso. You can find Tromso on the top of the map just right of where it says ARCTIC OCEAN.

Now let me be the first to share, my husband loves an exotic location. To me, north of the Arctic Circle is definitely exotic and probably not on my top ten spots of places I need to see. Well, I guess if you were paying me, I could find it in my heart to make it through all that travel to get to such a spot. But I'm more of a white sandy beach kind of girl. More like Greece on the other hand, contending for spot number one on my list.

Which brings me to my research. When ever my hubby travels to an exotic location, the girls that stay back home in Colorado expect a gift. My hubby is very good about seeking unique items as a little token to remember his trip and show us how much he loves us and missed us (cough, cough). Earlier in the week, I started poking around online for popular souvenirs and handmade goods from Norway. I like to pose potential suggestions to my hubby, you know to make his job easier. Considering we have gotten the last minute airport purchases and let's just say they weren't duty free Louis Vuitton.

Well to my surprise Norway is known for a vast array of delightful items that I hope and pray my husband refrains from buying. Take for example the coveted Scandinavian Ski Sweater, while they are adorable, not sure if it's just my style. Maybe cute for the girls in the, I'm forcing you to wear this for a photo, kind of way. But for me, meh. But the matching bandanna sure is classic!

Then I found a huge collectors market for the coveted Trolls from Norway. Aren't they just delightful. I am really wishing my husband will bring home one for each of us. So I can have nightmares about their presence in our home. EEK.

But in all seriousness, I did find some very redeeming photos. Like of these lovely two ladies shopping among some gorgeous wool items, all in bright bold happy colors. Very modern, very okay in my book. When I saw them, I realized my hubby will do good. Then I came across tons of websites boasting the gorgeous yarns found in Norway. So I'm thinking, J go with the yarn! As for the girls, I couldn't come up with any hot Scandinavian kids toys, but I am sure he'll find something they'll adore and cherish. A doll or stuffed toy they'll sleep with and drag around from place to place incessantly for a couple of weeks until it falls into the regular old toy pile.

In the meantime, my husband will be enjoying a view, such as this. Working hard having to hike four to six hours a day to find the camera perfect snow.Eating exotic food (think pickled fish), meeting locals, and sharing a beer. Alright maybe the Arctic Circle doesn't sound so bad after all.

Don't be surprised if you get our annual holiday photo in December and we look like this: Now you'll know why.

photos from google photo

Monday, April 20, 2009

Remembering Columbine: The Impact on a Student Teacher

Ten years ago I was a student completing the last of my courses before receiving my license to teach in Colorado. Ten years later, I am a Master's Student at the same University (please don't let me be a student in ten years at CU). That very day I was home in my peaceful cabin in Fourmile Canyon, when I flipped through local breaking news coverage of a school shooting. School + Shooting didn't go together very well in my mind. I watched wide eyed for at least twenty minutes before the reality of what was happening hit me. I called the School of Education, where I worked to urge them to catch the news coverage. Before I knew it, national news had picked up the story and broadcast nothing but the same images for the next twenty four hours. Those images I can still recall, those images which I wish had never been created by hatred.

We all remember that day, in our own way, how it impacted our lives. I've read recently that our memory fades, we hold onto things that may be distorted from the truth. Ten years later, many are making it their duty to get the truth of Columbine out to us. Do I hold onto a distorted version of the reality of that day, I am sure I do.

The words Trenchcoat Mafia, loners, thirteen fatalities (plus the two killers), Hitler's Birthday, massacre, high school shooting, emblazoned in my memory, forever. The sadness hits so close to home for a few reasons, my profession was shattered at the core and it happened in my state, just a few towns away.

This local tragic event was one of my first memories of news stories playing images repeatedly, over and over again. Desperation and sadness poured through the screen. Mountains of flowers, notes, and mementos began to fill Clement Park. The outpouring was so great that heavy machinery had to be moved in to clear out the debris. Today a memorial fills the space, a place to gather to remember the loss, the thirteen lives that have forever left a mark on our hearts. The thirteen lives taken too soon, where would they be ten years later?

I still sit wondering to this day, how two teenage boys could be filled with so much malice and hatred. We don't know what happened in their short time on this earth, but we do know they lived in an affluent community and were given what seems to be only the best. They "seemed" to be living the dream. Obviously it wasn't, but what have we learned?

The impact Columbine had on me was profound as an educator. I was at a pivotal moment on my career path, planning on entering the work force the following school year. I never took for granted the opportunity to look every one of my student's in the eyes and let them know how important they were. Or how they made me smile. It was my job to bring fun into the classroom as well as discipline. In fifth grade, I talked to my students about setting goals for a brighter future and how they could achieve them. I talked to them about college, which many of them had never thought of before. The bottom line was Columbine made me reinforce in my students that I valued them and our conversations. To think two boys possibly went through life, not knowing how precious life was, how important they were to the greater good of our society. I'll never forget that, ever.

My former students are high school aged and beyond. I've run into a few of them, it's like a little life blessing seeing former students grown up. One was a senior applying to college and another was already in nursing school. I always wonder how the rest are, what path life is taking them on. I often wonder if they are kind and caring, values I believed were just as important as long division and reading comprehension.

Today I picked up my daughter from school. She noticed flags flying at half mass and inquired why. Tears welled up in my eyes as I remembered yet again that day. I told her there was a tragedy ten years ago right here in Colorado and this is how we honor those that were lost. She wanted to know details and why. I simply said, I'll tell you in a few years when you can really understand, but I promise you someday you will.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Where Are The Comments? In The Community...

Blogging it's easy, right? Maybe picking the name or the template is the hard part, but the blogging part we all think is easy, in the beginning. Often we read blogs written by people that make it seem so easy, so effortless. But in reality blogging is not effortless, it's work, it's time consuming, and sometimes it's hair raising!

But I'm still here. Not as often as I was a year ago, but hey I'm still here.

Which brings me to one of the biggest hurdles for new bloggers, comments. Maybe you read a blog and they get 10 comments or 28 comments or hot damn maybe they have 100's of comments. You sit in front of your computer, hit publish and expect people to flock to your post. But you hear crickets. You write a test post or comment making sure it's "working". I've been there a month into starting my blog, I thought it was broken.

The first few months I wrote my blog, barely anyone read it. Okay there were like 5 of you and I probably bribed you with homemade blueberry muffins. But I kept on pushing through. Then I realized, people aren't just going to find me out of nowhere. Even though I have become quite popular on my knowledge of children swallowing plum pits (one of my more popular posts), I was still figuring things out.

Then it happened. I opened the door and found what was missing. I started reading other blogs. I mustered up the courage to stop lurking (reading blogs and never commenting is lurking) and start commenting. I was scared to comment on posts. Two of the first blogs I started commenting on were Never A Dull Moment and A Mom Two Boys. I still read their blogs faithfully and funny enough one of them lives about 6 miles away from me, talk about the law of attraction. Then there was no turning back. It all started from there. After I found my way and comfort with commenting on blogs regularly, people started finding their way to me.

Blogging is a community. I've never felt more strongly about that then in the past week, when the community experienced a tremendous loss. We share a part of ourselves in our writing, sometimes people relate and sometimes they couldn't imagine, but that's the beauty of community. I have blogging friends from DC to NYC to Texas to California to Washington State, and all sorts of little places in between. I have blogging friends that live the next town or two over and I have met them in person. They are no longer strangers, they are my friends.

After finding your niche, reading blogs you enjoy I highly recommend Google Reader, if you don't already use it. It allows you to put all of your favorite blogs into one place, they just arrive after being published, that way you don't have to visit a site to see if there are updates. Or subscribe via email to your favorites.

One little tidbit I'd like to share is my own personal take on commenting around here at EatPlayLove. If someone comments on my blog, I always like to click through their profile and give their blog a read. Typically if I enjoy what the writer has to say, I just add the blog to my reader. But if you don't comment, I won't ever be able to return the pleasure of getting to know you. I will admit, I'm no longer a daily commenter (or comment on every post) but I do read all posts in my reader.

Even though I am fairly new to all of this, I've learned so much from blogging. It's been an adventure that has enriched my life so many times I can't count. I appreciate all of you that stop by to see what's happening in my corner of the world. Say hello and I'll do the same.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I May Have A New (pms) Buddy

A few times a year after giving birth to my second daughter I feel like my hormones are totally out of whack or on overdrive. I'll never forget one day I screamed at the top of my lungs, driving in the car with my husband, fuming. Yelling. It all came out of nowhere really, but in the moment it wasn't controllable. A few days later, my friend arrived. By friend I mean, my monthly visitor, Aunt Flo, or the ever popular from my teen years, on the rag. 

Then it just all made sense. That episode in the car was hormone induced.

Now I'm not placing the blame of my actions on PMS or hormones, but it certainly did provide clarity for me. After that episode I deeply reflected on my behavior and couldn't really grasp why my emotions felt so out of control. Must be the hormones.

Since then I've had my good months and bad. Like a few months ago, I had those dark days before my friend arrived which I would definitely consider to be depression like symptoms. I cried and cried, didn't want to change my clothes, get out of bed or shower. Then boom, I get my period and the clouds lift, the clarity becomes apparent. I'm not even going to go into bloating or how my jeans fit, let's just say happy with an elastic waist band!

More recently, I've wanted to become proactive about the hormone situation. I feel like my symptoms are heightened by diet and lack of exercise. Honestly since starting the 30 Day Shred, it's had a positive impact on my PMS, so far no outbursts. When I refer to my diet, I mean just keeping everything in moderation, not overdoing it on salty or sweet foods during that same window of time. Although I notice my energy levels drop for the first few days of my period, I just can't bring myself to exercise. I'm trying to work through that.

So what about my new buddy?

Well it's called PMS BUDDY. It started with a website designed for men, helping them track their significant others monthly cycle. Personally I am not offended, I find it brilliant. They even suggest flowers, etc during what may be the high time hormonally (sign my hubby up, too bad he doesn't read my blog)! There's even a PMS BUDDY iPhone application which is how I first heard about this. I think I'm going to download it.

Why PMS Buddy, why not just look at the calendar? Seriously sometimes I don't have a clue about the window of time that makes me more vulnerable or irritable during PMS. I would love to see if the application would help me recognize patterns and change them. I've had several 9pm hormone induced baking sessions which I never give a second thought to, until my friend arrives. Aha I think, that's what that was.

Maybe even this post the other day was slightly hormone induced, but I am glad I wrote it. I want to thank everyone that had something to share. I learned a lot from that post, I learned that I am not alone, that sometimes writing the hard things are for the best because so many of you could relate. My phone rang off the hook that day. It was a wonderful thing. I got weepy. Oops, hello hormones!

Maybe in a few months, I'll write a follow up post about my experience with the PMS Buddy. I feel like I need some help getting clarity and recognizing patterns, the buddy may just be the key.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Madeline Alice Spohr

Today is the day, friends and family will gather in Los Angeles to say good bye to Maddie. We're wearing purple today Maddie, thinking of everyone that's been touched by your life. 

Thanks for sharing this beautiful idea.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Eating Out With Kids: Steamboat Springs

Labeling myself as a foodie, it's very important to me to seek out quality dining experiences when traveling. We spent the weekend in Steamboat Springs a town we've visited numerous times over the years. We like to seek out restaurants that the locals eat at, rather than the packed touristy spots. To be quite honest I am not huge on dining out with the girls. They are exceptional diners, but when it comes down to that last 20 minutes when meals are just being nibbled on and the check needs to arrive and signed for, sometimes chaos ensues and I can't handle it. Really those last crucial moments dining out can make or break it for me.

Obviously when seeking out quality food, it has to be kid friendly. Must. What does kid friendly mean to me, sometimes it's cutesy plastic cups, coloring sheets, crayons, and a speedy check. Service is key to maintaing the balance. So which establishments received our business closing weekend?

Freshies is a local's favorite. It's always been a hit with our girls and with us. Their menu has a great offering of breakfast and lunch. They serve all natural beef and Red Bird chicken. Freshies is the kind of restaurant that you wish existed in your home town. The food is prepared to order, a wonderful offering of healthy items that don't compromise taste. Our girls ordered chicken tenders that are not frozen, but rather freshly made with a side of fruit that was so big we took half of it home for an afternoon snack. They have amazing cinnamon rolls that fill the pastry counter when you walk in the door. Most of the time you'll find a short wait, it's well worth it. The prices are reasonable as well. Two thumbs up!

One night we had the opportunity to dine out with a very old friend (we went to grade school in NY together) and her family. We had four girls under 6 and four adults. We decided on Fiesta Jalisco, which is a bit off the beaten path meaning you won't find it downtown. Fiesta Jalisco is the mountain version of our locally well known Three Margaritas, the menus are very similar. The service is wonderful and the basket of chips is always nonchalantly refreshed. We ordered house margaritas, delicious queso, and your typical mexican offerings such as enchiladas, shrimp fajitas, and fish tacos. Best yet, it's affordable and time efficient, something that makes the tops on my list.

Because I sometimes can't stand the thought of dining out over and over again, we found an alternative. There's a wonderful place called the Drunken Onion which offers pre-made meals that you can heat up back at the condo. We purchased a range of dinner foods, meeting the needs of the girls and us for a reasonable cost. All of the items were made with very fresh and quality ingredients. Our Greek Salad was one of the best i've had from a restaurant in quite sometime, it had kalamata olives, artichokes, roasted red peppers, cukes, and freshly made dressing. You can pick and choose side vegetables that are most appealing to your mood and family's needs, for us it was broccoli the girls' favorite. J and I had a blackened chicken with lemon chive aioli that was served on polenta squares. I am not a huge polenta fan, but this particular polenta was delicious. Although I refrained the Guinness Stout and Chocolate freshly made in house ice cream was rather tempting. They also have a great offering of desserts. You can find the menu here. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Drunken Onion if you are looking for an alternative to take out, with out having to do all the work yourself to have a delicious home cooked style meal.

Steamboat Springs is a great place to take your family, it's definitely family friendly, and affordable. As far as lodging, there's nothing better than The Steamboat Grand. I must add, their beds are amazing, too bad I had to share it with the girls. That's a whole other post in and of itself.

Please leave a comment if you find yourself at any of the above establishments, I'd love to hear about your experience.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Having The Courage To Say What's Missing...

For a few weeks I've been mulling over some thoughts in my head. Thoughts that really just need to escape because they are all bound up and reeling. Do you know those thoughts? But writing them is hard to do. Sometimes words can be taken differently than conversation, misconstrued so they say.

I've been feeling really bummed out about my friendships. Now let me first say, I have a really great group of friends. Some I could call in the middle of the night (and have), some that are my personal therapists, my personal pediatricians, and a few that wear all those hats. I've known most of them for years, they take the good with the bad.

But something is missing.

At this phase in my life, I very much put my family on the top of my list. I feel that's how it should be. But a girl needs girlfriends. Like last month when I was in a funk so deep, I barely got out of bed for days, and none of my friends knew it. I wore pajamas to pick up my daughter, tucked into my jeans. I was in a bad place. None of them knew. Does that seem normal? But I did have a few blogging friends that knew exactly how I felt and emailed me to check in on me. Now, does that seem normal? You don't know how desperately I wanted someone to just drop by and shake me out of the funk.

But I just couldn't pick up the phone and say hi, it's 4pm, I'm in my pajamas you available. That's part of the problem.

Most of my friends live within a ten minute drive of my house, but I see them maybe once a month. Sometimes in a group setting sometimes not. Now that I think of it, I haven't seen most of them in longer than a month. Ten minutes away?

I guess my feeling is, if someone is a priority in your life, you make the time. You want to see them. I invite people over to hang out, enjoy a cup of tea, but then there is no follow through. I need to be penciled in advance. I crave something other than being penciled in or being lied to or avoided, maybe avoided is harsh, maybe forgotten is a better way to say it. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the "I'll call you" lately, but my phone doesn't ring.

Please let me be the first to say, I understand life gets in the way sometimes. But I crave to be the person that gets right there in the middle of it all, good and bad. If there was a time when I wasn't there when one of my friends needed me, I am sorry.

I'm working on being more open, but it's hard. I want to let go of feeling disappointed and hurt. I want to accept my friendships for what they are and not crave something it's not going to be. But it's hard when you feel like somethings missing. Sometimes I daydream how my life would be if some friends didn't move away or if some friends didn't leave this world too soon. I guess those daydreams are the bottom line, that I need a little something that I haven't quite found yet.

I need a friend that wants to drop by even though my house is a wreck most of the time, I want someone to get crafty with me, or fill up the kitchen with messes from baking. A sponteanous phone call for a trip to the park or a cup of tea. Someone who wants to meet me out to help get through the long days when J is out of town. Maybe it doesn't exist. Maybe I'm fooling myself. But at least I finally had the courage to say it.

Life, always complicated, I wish things just got easier.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Loss In The Blogging Community

This morning, I woke to find out Madeline Spohr passed away. November 11, 2007-April 7,2009. Her mother Heather Spohr has a beautiful spirit and personality. Those of us in the blogging community knew Madeline's story. This month there is a walk in Los Angeles for the March of Dimes, a huge passion for Heather.

I feel heartbroken for the Spohr family and their friends and family. Please hug your babies today, love them and bite your tongue when you feed mad.

Please don't hesitate, make a donation today to the March of Dimes right now in honor of Madeline's life.

Walk Information:

Exposition Park
April 25, 2009
700 Exposition Park Drive
PARKING: $10/vehicle - CASH ONLY!
Los Angeles, CA 90037

Heather's Site is up and running, thanks the effort of some incredible women. Please go comment and share the love with Heather & Mike, tell them how you feel, it will make a difference, I promise.

The Spohrs Are Multiplying

I've disabled comments, please just act and donate!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Abandon the Cart Now, Phone Call...

Yesterday morning I was in a grocery shopping groove. Sounds kind of funny, but it's true. I was off to Whole Foods and Costco, before Costco even opened. My list was in hand, I was comparing prices in the produce section of Whole Foods, pre-bagged versus loose per pound grapefruit, brussel sprouts, and potatoes. Doo, dee, doo. Next stop meat counter, while deciding what I wanted my phone rang. I was texting my hubby back and forth so I just thought he wanted me to add another item to the list.

I picked up my phone, watching my ground turkey breast being weighed out. Some other employee from the meat department is trying to talk to me, as I previously inquired about chicken thighs.

I hear screaming in the phone.

Sj closed her hand in the door. From what I gathered it was really swollen, bleeding, and I should come home right now. Like abandon the cart and speed home?


Two meat department employees are trying to engage me in conversation at this point. My mind is racing. I tell them I'm all set and grab a gallon of milk and hit the registers. Even though I knew there was an injured girl waiting at home, I knew she was upset more from the trauma of it. I did not abandon my cart. Thank goodness there was no wait at the registers or I may have abandoned the cart, the market was practically empty at 9:30 on Palm Sunday. My cashier was trying to engage me in conversation, but I was distracted by my need to get home as soon as possible.

Of course I hit every light imaginable on my way home. It felt like the longest drive ever. I arrived to a hurt and still crying daughter. I assessed the situation. Ouch, it was a good one. I guess she closed her hand in the door and it got stuck, she was yelling for J, but he was down stairs. Poor thing. I later asked J, if it was a decipherable cry, the one where you know they aren't just playing around. The I am really, really hurt cry. I know the difference in my mind and reaction time. He confirmed it was. Sigh.

I could tell from her movement and where the swelling was, the injury was basically a really intense scrape coupled with the pain of a pinch. The fatty part of the palm, below the pinky is what got caught, and then scraped when she pulled it out. It looked gnarly, reminded me of the days of seeing skateboarding injuries. We avoided emergency care, but spent the day giving her plenty of TLC making her take it easy. She received a Littlest Pet Shop, hope you feel better surprise. I felt grateful it wasn't much worse. Now she's wearing a bandage on her hand to protect it during healing, more than anything else my hubby explained to Sj it was a sympathy bandage. She's a bit embarrassed by it for school, but I think it needs to be covered. Now we are off to finish shopping as I only got to about 1/3 of my list yesterday. Best way to save money at Whole Foods, get an emergency phone call demanding you race home at once. My total yesterday was $49, I am sure i'll have that beat today.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Break Out!

Well friends it's Spring Break around here. The girls and I are keeping busy, so I'm taking the rest of the week off from blogging. I am too tired at night to write after they are asleep with my hubby traveling! See you next week!