Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Sticking your neck out sucks when it doesn't work out.  But sticking your neck out is what I believe in.  I feel, with all my heart, that life is for taking chances, stretching your limits, leaving your comfort zone and above all, trying hard.  And I guess, life's about failure, too.

I can't explain the unfathomable joy and utter shock that I felt when contacted by the producers of a new show for OWN six weeks ago, who had found me through my weekly column and asked me to throw my hat into the show's casting ring.  After thinking it over and deciding if I might be a good fit, I jumped in head first and loved the excitement of filming video footage, doing Skype interviews and imagining all the possibilities that might lie ahead if it all worked out.  It was so crazy fun and thrilling, then the wait was grueling and now the end result just plain stinks.  For whatever reason, I didn't make the cut.

So, I want to cry, but just a little.  I'm now forced to give up these OWN-related possibilities, but on Thanksgiving Eve, I am very thankful for the opportunity to get outside that box of mine and imagine more for myself.  Even though it didn't work out, I still see it as a sign that I'm working within the flow my life is supposed to have; that I'm on the right track. 

Pardon my self-preservation for a second, but I can't help but think (and desperately hope) that I'll watch this show someday soon and think, "THANK GOODNESS I DIDN'T MAKE IT!" because just I wasn't a good fit for it.  I wholeheartedly believe that things happen for a reason.  Just look at all the times J.K. Rowling got shot down; ANYTHING is still possible!  Ideas have arrived and creativity birthed that might never have surfaced if this experience hadn't fallen into my lap. 

So on I go.  Bruised today - but not for long!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

so it's true

I must be 40.  I mean, the other day I stopped in HomeGoods to look for a mirror for above our piano.  I quickly learned that what I want is sitting in an antique shop somewhere, not in a retail store.  Nevertheless, I looked around the rest of the place, hoping to find some clearance-priced diamond in the rough.  I did.

For $9.99 I got the absolute-coolest collapsible step stool to slide into my pantry.  For pretty much 40 years this vertically challenged gal has hunted around the kitchen dragging chairs or bar stools to the cabinet she couldn't reach, but those days are (finally) over.  There will be no more begrudged trips to the laundry room to drag out the loathed heavy and broken metal one.  Nope, this little lightweight durable cutie is all I'll ever need.

So now the reason I associate this delectable find to my age.  Years ago, I wouldn't have looked twice at this stool, would have never been bothered enough by my daily inconveniences to search out a solution.  But times have changed and this insignificant purchase leaves me feeling as if I've won a little bit of the lottery. 

I think 40 makes it easier to find the good in every day!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

career day

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to go to Logan's class and talk to the kids about writing as a career.  I was nervous that I'd struggle to gain their attention or keep them interested and did some research in order to present it in a way that would speak to them.  Some things I think I hit on the mark, while other efforts were lost on them completely.  I quickly learned that the best script means nothing, even in the hands of decent speaker, when kids are allowed to ask questions.  As soon as it began, my time with them took on a life of its own.  Here are a few of my favorite questions:

"Do you make lots of money?" (No)

"Have you written about any famous people?" (Not anyone that you'd consider famous.)

"What is your favorite type of poem to write?"  (In my dreams I sit around writing poetry, not content on Smart Analytics integration for utility companies!!)

"This is not a question, but my mom has a company that sells cute hair bows she makes.  Would you like to buy some?" (Ummm, I'll have to check that out!)

These are just a few of the fifty questions they asked.  The only one that matters was probably the one about whether or not I ever have to edit my work. We had a great conversation about why editing makes you a better writer and how ALL good writers have to do it.  It's actually one of my favorite things to do!  We also talked at length about finding a way to turn what you love, whatever it is, into a career.

And the day ended with one child asking if I ever wrote for AT&T.  Another asked about PWC.  The next about White & Associates.  Soon, every child in the classroom took their turn at asking me if I'd worked for their mom's or dad's company.  It was pretty funny.

And Logan silently smiled the whole time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

and so it begins

The new season of gymnastics kicked off with the purchase of a decent camera that has allowed us to capture our first inside, low-light images of our girl.  Riley had an awesome meet!  Can't wait to add to these with shots of Logan at her swim meets and Finn playing hoops!


I just love this shot of Dempsey watching her beloved human who is just beyond her reach.  The tree isn't so bad either.  This picture just feels like home.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


How time flies!  It was a slightly less rainy day 14 years ago when this lucky girl married Superman at the Little White Church on the County Line with everyone we love squeezed in tightly around us.  It's unimaginable that it could possibly be 14 years later, but it is, and we've got the three kids, three houses, four dogs, numerous vehicles, multiple careers, umpteen trials and tribulations and countless blessings to prove it.  Happy, happy anniversary to the man of my dreams.

By the way, that's same man who signed his last name in the card he gave me this morning!  (Just in case I didn't know....)  Oh, how I love him so!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"pit stain" steelers

Finn now opts to watch football with Mike and I, rather than watch a kid-show with the girls on Sundays.  It must be some genetic specific desire that begins at such an early age, a desire that I don't really have, I just want to hang out with Mike!  It's so cute to see him glean an understanding of the game and learn the teams that he is supposed to hate (Dallas) and love (the Steelers), based on his father's opinions.  Even that gets handed down, I suppose.

On Sunday, when we were all jet-lagged from our 3 AM rising to catch a plane, Finn was beyond exhausted.  He wasn't crabby or anything, just constantly finding hilarious ways to let us know that we had pushed him beyond his five year old limits.  He kept falling down randomly, or running into things, even doing this sort of trance-like dance out of the blue.  But the best thing he did, twice, was to scream out game-related excitement or frustration about the "Pit Stain Steelers."  Even after our chuckles and corrections, he even went so far as to correct his sister:  "That's not the Bears Riley, that's the Pit Stain Steelers!"

Considering that's one of the teams he's supposed to like, I wonder what Pittsburgh would think of their new nickname?

He passed out on the couch at 6:30.

halloween 2011


for the birds

Our North Carolina trip was great for many reasons, but one of our favorites was a trip to the Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park in Scotland Neck.  Our guide was amazing and our group, made up of all interests and ages, totally enjoyed every minute.  The highlight was a nameless two-month old crane out for a walk with one of his caregivers.  He bobbed up and down on skinny legs with knobby knees, with the same undying curiosity about everything around him that our three kids had while there.  We spent about ten minutes getting acquainted and learning about each other.  I don't think I've ever felt more connected to nature than at that moment, when I could barely tell a difference between the humans and the birds - we all just felt like "beings."

This place is so cool, supplying training, rehabilitation and more for zoos all over the country.  They're personally responsible for keeping some species off the Endangered Species List.  Kudos to them for a job well done and for an experience like no other.