Thursday, September 30, 2010

dream big.

i make no bones or secret about it:
i heart barack obama.

he is not unflawed. he is not infallible.
he does not have the magic wand we all wish someone had
to wave over the broken parts of our country
& fix it.

but he is smart. he is thoughtful.
he is compassionate. he is kind.
& he is trying. he is working hard
to make the broken parts better.

& man, he gives a hell of a speech.
inspirational. visionary. & seriously well-crafted.

a couple of weeks ago, he gave his annual
back-to-school speech to the students at
philadelphia's julia r. masterman middle-high school.

i read through it last night, & discovered words
of inspiration for not only my children,
but also for myself.

my favorite excerpts:

nobody gets to write your destiny but you.
your future is in your hands.
your life is what you make of it.
& nothing - absolutely nothing - is beyond your reach.
so long as your willing to dream big.
so long as you're willing to work hard.
so long as you're willing to stay focused.

you may wonder if some people
are just better at certain things.
& it's true that we each have our own gifts & talents
we need to discover & nurture.
but just because you're not the best at something today
doesn't mean you can't be tomorrow.
even if you don't think of yourself
as a math person or as a science person -
you can still excel in those subjects
if you're willing to make the effort.
& you may find out you have talents
you'd never dreamed of.

excelling in school or in life isn't mainly
about being smarter than everybody else.
it's about working harder than everybody else.
don't avoid new challenges -
seek them out, step out of your comfort zone, &
don't be afraid to ask for help;
your teachers & family are there to guide you.
don't feel discouraged or give up
if you don't succeed at something - try it again
& learn from your mistakes.
don't feel threatened if your friends are doing well;
be proud of them, & see what lessons
you can draw from what they're doing right.

life is precious, & part of its
beauty lies in its diversity.
we shouldn't be embarrassed by
the things that make us different.
we should be proud of them.
because it's the things that make us different
that make us who we are.
& the strength & character of this country
have always come from our ability
to recognize ourselves in one another,
no matter who we are,
or where we come from,
what we look like,
or what abilities or disabilities we have.

yes, we need to work hard.
yes, we need to take responsibility for our own education.
yes, we need to take responsibility for our own lives.
but what makes us who we are is that
here, in this country, we not only
reach for our own dreams,
we help others do the same.
this is a country that gives
all its daughters & all its sons
a fair chance.
a chance to make the most of their lives.
a chance to fulfill their god-given potential.

thanks, mr. president, for the pep talk.
middle-school or middle-age,
we all need one now & then.

p.s. i heart you.

click here for the full text of president obama's 2010 back-to-school speech.

image source: kelly rae roberts.

signposts for happiness.

i likededed [as gayle king might say] a piece featured this a.m. on yahoo! shine ...

it's titled "nine signs you're happier than you think," but
it's really about some unusual factors proven to affect happiness.

[how can you be happier than you think you are?
if you feel happy much of the time, you're happy, right?
it's not like you're feeling blue & then you read an online article
& say, 'hey - i've got a sister; i feel so much better all of a sudden!"

anyway ... ]

according to the article, here are some indicators you can improve upon to feel happier:

1. put down the remote. no shocker there - the happiest among us spend a third fewer hours as couch potatoes.

2. get up & go. along the same lines, exercising more means greater life satisfaction & less stress. [only 15-35 min/day makes a happy difference.]

3. get up & go have sex. again, no surprise here - physical intimacy makes people happy. duh.

4. have two best friends. besides your spouse. & don't have sex with them.

5. hang around positive people. make sure your best friends are optimists, & hang around with them often - frequency of get-togethers matters most for happiness purposes.

6. while drinking cocoa. ok, here's a new one: holding a cup of coffee or other warm beverage helps folks feel more appreciative, generous & trusting.

7. put up some memorabilia. photos or mementos of good times remind people of their "happiness potential," & promise it will be fulfilled again someday.

the other two happiness indicators may be a bit beyond your control ...

well, if you're a college student or younger, then you can mind your pose:
folks with the biggest grins in their college yearbook pictures are five times less likely to be divorced decades later than their gloomier peers.

& if you've got a sister, then thank your lucky lot:
people with one or more female siblings feel better supported, more able to cope & more optimistic.

i'm lucky times three sister-wise ... but if you're on your own or
burdened by brothers only, i feel fairly sure sister-friends or sister-mamas count!

image source:

bikini & yogurt. forgiveness & peace.

i'm thinking this morning of
carrie fisher & jamie lee curtis.

yes, princess leia & the activia woman.

both actresses of a certain era
who have lost their famous fathers
within the past week.

carrie fisher's dad was eddie fisher,
a popular singer from the fifties,
probably most famous for his 1959 dumping of
carrie's mom, girl-next-door debbie reynolds,
for va-va-voom-vixen elizabeth taylor
[he was husband #4 of taylor's 8].
he died last week @ 82.

jamie lee curtis' dad was tony curtis,
a popular actor from the same timeframe,
possibly most famous for the cross-dressing role he played
opposite marilyn monroe in 1959's "some like it hot."
he allegedly once said smooching with monroe was like "kissing hitler."
really?? this from a boy born with the name bernard schwartz. hmmm.
he died yesterday @ 85.

both actress-daughters had difficult relationships with their dads.
both dads were unfaithful to their girls' moms.
both father-daughter pairs worked it out in the end.

& so i'm thinking of these celebrity women today
as they grieve their famous, flawed fathers.
& wishing them the same sort of peace their forgiveness
no doubt gave their dads.

image sources:,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

fashion first.

no, no. "fashion first" is definitely not my motto.
["comfort over fashion" has, in fact, been my credo for many years.]

but just in case you weren't following every high-drama haute-couture
moment of new york fashion week 2010, it featured a full-figured fashion first.

[i'm tempted, as a big girl my own self, to note
the event was too weighty to ignore, but i'll refrain.]

yes, u.s. retailer onestopplus sponsored the first-ever
fashion week show dedicated exclusively to women with curves.

with sizable celebrities like nikki blonsky & gabourey sidibe
seated front-row at lincoln center, & model emme hosting,
the show featured over a dozen plus-size labels showcasing their designs
via 18 magnificent size 12-&-up models.

said onestoplus president stephanie sobel,
"sixty-two percent of american women are overweight.
these are customers who want to see women of diverse sizes
respected, celebrated & embraced."

amen, size-parity sisters.

click here to read sobel's huffington post about fashion democracy.

image source: people style watch.

Monday, September 27, 2010


hello, monday. wtf?

& i mean wtf? in the best possible way. really, i do!

because my confusion comes from waking up to dry, cool weather -
a courageous soul might even be inclined to categorize it as fall-ish -

in austin, texas. on september 27th.

this sort of autumnal weather rarely appears for us prior to november,
much less within a week of the actual autumnal equinox.

& while i realize the likelihood of it staying around long enough
to count as a real third season [aside from our typical two, summer & not-summer]
is slim to shady, this respite from the searing, steamy &/or
tropical-storm-induced-random-rainshower weather
we've been experiencing for the past five months is
glorious. energizing. such a throw-the-windows-open-&-let-some-fresh-air-in relief.

i just want to run out & buy a big ol' pumpkin
[or 'punkin,' as we texans are sometimes wont to say].

wtf. wonderous. tenuous. fahhhhhhll.
ah. :)

image source: not sure, but it's a remarkable representation of football season here in a college town.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


it's midweek . . .
& i'm feeling the need for a little
trust | gratitude | inspiration

a la brene brown,
in celebration of the publication of her latest book,
the gifts of imperfection.

i'm trusting of the universe's infinite wisdom,
& whatever happens is what should happen.

i'm grateful for new opportunities, incredible
friends, & ceiling fans out on our porches.

i'm inspired by the myriad mama bloggers
out here in cyberspace . . . it seems i discover new
amazing women telling their stories online
every day.

happy hump day, all!! :)

image source: stacy julian & her porch.

Friday, September 17, 2010

where i've been.

ok, so, it's been a whirling dervish of a time.
& no, i still don't know whether i'm a chosen ivillage contributor. i'm waiting for word as i type.

i put a whole lot of time, energy, blood, sweat, tears, migraine medication,
you name it, what have you, into my three-minute-six-second "audition" video.

& i like it. it's a good, real reflection of who i am, what my life is about & what i can do.
so if they don't choose me as one of their top ten, then it's ok, because
i gave them authenticity. i gave them me. & if it's not enough or not the right fit for what they're doing, then ok. so be it.

still, i'm hopeful.
& so, so sleepy.

past ten days:

submitted my video.
spent the weekend up in dallas celebrating my big sister's milestone birthday,
single-parenting with dogs along for the ride.
began weekly hula dance class.
went through a 24-hour severe depression.
survived big girl's bigtime meltdown.
accidentally upset little boy's teacher.
slept through india.
unpacked. worked. did laundry. exercised. did dishes. worked. packed.
spent three-day weekend down in san marcos
scrapbooking with my girlfriends.
worried about my money, my brother, my to-do list.
played catchup. catchup. catchup. still not quite caught up.

breathing. breathing. breathing.
b r e a t h i n g.

just today:

race for the cure.

leftovers. homework. cleanup. bedtime.
dancing with the stars week 1 elimination.

be trusting. be grateful. be inspired.
just be.

& it will be

image source: "owl friends & a bird with a hat," by marisa haedike/creative thursday @

Monday, September 6, 2010

where i'll be.

i won't be blogging the rest of the week.

last friday, i was chosen as a finalist for ivillage's search
for ten national "everywoman" contributors

which is thrilling.

now, i've got to put together
a three-minute video

telling all about me,
interviewing someone important to me,
& offering my best "tip" for women/moms
by next friday.

which is frightening beyond belief.

so i'll be writing & coordinating & shooting & editing
& freaking [already there!] for the rest of the week.

meet me here next monday
for a peek at my completed video!

image source: Alex Koplin & David Meiklejohn

Friday, September 3, 2010


following the amazing ali edwards' lead today . . .

HOORAY for the everyday.

HOORAY for the rain, the thunder & the lightning.
HOORAY for the wet mess all over the foyer floor.

HOORAY for terrific teachers.
HOORAY for pep rallies.
HOORAY for the oreo cheer.
HOORAY for new friends.

HOORAY for powerwashing.
HOORAY for front porches.
HOORAY for haircuts & pool parties & babies.

HOORAY for fiestaware.
HOORAY for unimagined opportunities.

HOORAY for the lonesome bluejay outside my window.
HOORAY for the cop who caught the ass flying through
our school zone [weaving motorcycle, no helmet].

HOORAY for the three-day weekend!!

image source:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

celebrate the everyday - september.

it's september, 2010. how will you celebrate being a woman?

september 3national lazy moms day
sadly, this applies to no one i know.

september 10stand up to cancer day

september 11pay it forward 9.11
do three good deeds for strangers.

september 13international chocolate day
chocolate & caramel & salt. o. m. g.

september 18international eat an apple day/
international coastal cleanup day
ah, fujis by the sea ...

september 19talk like a pirate day/wife appreciation day
no swabbin' the decks for pirate suzy the dagger. arrrrrr.

september 21international day of peace
what will you make peace with today?

september 22 - autumnal equinox
" ... a second spring, when every leaf's a flower." ~ Albert Camus

september 23 - full moon [the harvest moon]
otherwise known as the full backpack moon ...

september 24love note day/punctuation day/hug a vegetarian day
hug the vegetarian & hand her/him a grammatically correct note of affection.

september 26national good neighbor day
leave a little produce out on the porch.

september 27family day
what's for supper, mom?

remember, where there is connection, there is power.
where there is power, there is hope for change. for ourselves, & for our world.
we are all connected. we are all powerful.

until my next post, be well, be happy & be hopeful.

image source: