Thursday, November 24, 2011

'tis a season.

i've been considering christmas.

of course, it's difficult not to
think of the holiday of holidays,
since it's been beginning to look a lot like it
since mid-october.

so i've been thinking about
how it's called the holiday season,
this annual span from
thanksgiving to the new year.

so this year, i'm trying to treat it as such.

rather than a timebomb-like countdown
to a single explosive day
of extreme merriment & overindulgence,

i'm trying to think of it as a season
that starts with abundance & gratitude,
& finishes with a fresh start,

with some giving, receiving & caroling in-between.

at the risk of seeming banal,
i'm trying to enjoy the journey.

avoid getting caught up in the
anticipation & expectation
as much as possible.

just be here now,
moment by seasonal moment.

live it like it's
more about the presence
than the presents, yo.

so here's my mantra for holiday 2011
[feel free to adopt or adapt as you like]:

find the joy.
share the jolly.
breathe deep

& believe.

image source:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

obama likes girls.

a few months ago, the winners of the
inaugural google science fair
were announced.

from over 7,500 entries
from over 10,000 students
from over 90 countries,

three were chosen.
& they are all american girls.

how cool is that?

lauren hodge [above left]
won the 13-14yo age group
for studying the different levels
of carcinogens in grilled chicken,
depending upon the type of sauce used.

naomi shah [above right]
won the 15-16yo age group
for working to prove that
tweaking indoor environments can
improve air quality &
lessen dependence upon asthma medication.

shree bose [above, center]
won the 17-18yo age group & grand prize
for improving ovarian cancer treatment
for patients who have developed
a resistance to some chemotherapy drugs.

how cool is that?

earlier this month, these three amazing young women
visited the white house & the first couple.

about the same time, the president addressed a dinner
hosted by the national women's law center honoring
the women freedom riders of the civil rights movement.

he eloquently spoke of the importance of
continuing the fight for equality for women & girls.
"when women succeed," he said, "america succeeds."

sadly, american women still lag behind men
overall in science & math, & we still earn
only 77 cents for every man-earned dollar.

but, as the president duly noted,
this trio of bright, innovative girls
proves how america is still
"a place where ideas are born, where dreams can grow,

& where a student in a classroom
or a passenger on a bus
or a legal secretary in an office
can stand up & decide to change the world."

how cool is that??
really, really, really cool.

you go, girls.

image source:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


two days ago,
for the second time,
we walked the austin komen race for the cure.

5K with my family & fellow jazzercisers.

our oak hill jazzercisers walk-for-the-cure team
came together for the first time last year,
spurred by the loss of one of ours --
a dear friend of mine --
following a brutal battle
[is there any other sort?]
with breast cancer.

it took her breasts.
then it took her eyebrows.
then it took her life.

but it never took her spirit.

irmtraud fought to the bitter end, february 2010.

then last summer, one of our instructors
was diagnosed & began treatment.

rosi had completed chemo &
was scheduled to begin radiation the day after
she walked with us a year ago.

it was a long, hard 3.1 miles for her.
followed by a long, hard year.

but she wasn't alone.

here she is during the last leg of last year's walk,
getting a little help from oak hill jazzercise owner,
fearless leader & fabulous friend, grace.

breast cancer has sadly touched so many lives . . .
do you know anyone who doesn't know someone
who has suffered from this dread disease?

yeah. me, neither.

but it seems for every story of surrender
there's a story of survival.

happily, that was rosi's story this year.
here are she & grace again, at the 2011 walk.

what difference a year makes, huh?

blessedly, she's in full recovery &
we're all praying she stays there,

for next year's walk
& many more to come.

or for the cure & ensuing celebration,
whenever it comes.


a huge shout-out to
my amazingly generous family & friends,
who contributed $1,080 to support us & the cause.
i owe you. & you awe me.
thank you!!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

monday morning mirth.

mommies come up with such clever ways
to showcase their babies nowadays.

i've been enchanted by mila's daydreams,
as captured by her amazing mama, adele.

& i've been envious of clara's photo project,
as captured by her amazing folks, sherry + john.

but today, i'm lol'ing at young arthur,
apparent movie buff in-the-making,
as captured by his amazing mum, emily,
via the blog "arthur recreates scenes from classic movies."

fairly self-explanatory, really.

at top is arthur's recreation of, yes,
the godfather.

here's the blair witch project:

& alien:

for more giggles, go to arthur + emily's blog.
so very clever, & faster + cheaper than netflix.

happy week, all!! :D

Thursday, November 3, 2011

what i've got.

still thinking about gratitude today . . .

& focusing on being grateful for what i have
rather than concentrating on what i lack.

i'm so very thankful i have . . .

:: a sweet & loving husband.
:: two beautiful, bright & loving children.
:: two still-healthy septuagenarian parents
who brought me up to be who i am today.
:: a close & caring relationship with my sister & brother.
:: many, many birthfamily members who are bonus blessings.
:: a extra-special connection with my birth-aunt & half-sister.
:: three good, spotty dogs.
:: many, many fabulous friends, both near & far.
:: overall wellness & some wonderful folks who help me keep it.
:: a dream house in a great neighborhood.
:: my honda element, aka the happy-mobile.
:: a flourishing freelance career.
:: a cache of exceptional clients.
:: so much inspiration, i don't know what to do with it all.
:: oprah. gayle. ellen. rosie. renée.
:: ann. molly. ladybird. linda.
:: michelle o. elizabeth w. gabrielle g.
:: ella. sara. ingrid.
:: martha. pat. irmtraud.
:: my natural talents.
:: my god-given gifts.
:: aha! moments.
:: music, music, music.
:: a seeking spirit.
:: a well-developed sense of optimism.

& much, much more. but this is a good beginning.
so, how about you? what have you got that you're grateful for today??

image source:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

awww & awe.

& it's november.
the month of gratitude.

i'm kicking it off with
three things i'm grateful for today:

1. the power of the internet to connect our world
with fabulous, fascinating & fun information,
especially via video.

2. this hilarious, poignant video of
a little birthday girl's extreme dedication & love
for her puppy pinata — just under two minutes of

3. this beautiful, spiritual video of
a murmuration of european starlings signaling the beginning of winter
above ireland's river shannon — just under two minutes of

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

& you're welcome. :)
so, what are you grateful for today? please share [videos welcome]!