Friday, April 27, 2012

Unplugged

For those of you who haven't seen on Twitter or Instagram, I've been in San Diego since yesterday!  Let the wedding weekend begin!

I've felt completely disconnected.  However, what will I have to blog about if I don't live life?  So pardon my absence, but I'll be unplugged until Tuesday.  I'll be getting my party on with some lovely people every day until then! 

Side note: I can't explain why, but my right sidebar and footer have traded places.  It's almost unreasonable how much this is bothering me (#bloggerproblems), but what can I do?  Blogger will do what Blogger wants to do, right?  I'll have my new amazing design by the brilliant Bobbi up soon, anyway, so I'll just let it be until then.

I wish you a magnificent weekend full of fun and rest!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Flaunt Your Cause!

Community service has been a huge part of my life. When I was young, I was exposed to so many service-related events. Fundraisers for the arts, serving meals in a soup kitchen on holidays, and just finding activities that interested us that helped others. Sometimes, I was doing community service without even realizing it. One example was that my dad organized for my sister and I to gather some friends to sing at a retirement home, just for fun. We got to do something we loved, and it happened to bring some adorable strangers a lot of joy. BAM. That's community service!

As I got older, it be came very apparent to me that while I didn't have oodles of money to give to various non-profit organizations and charities, I could always give my time. This greatly affected my college experience and choosing my major (B.A. Urban Studies & Planning). I had plans to apply for the Peace Corps straight out of college, but personal matters kept me in the United States, so I applied for an AmeriCorps program called City Year. Essentially, I did two years of service work in under-resourced schools and neighborhoods of New York City and Los Angeles while living on a stipend. (That was quite a feat!) Afterward, I joined the normal working culture but yearned for another volunteer opportunity, one that would be another long-term commitment. When the time was right, I applied to be a Court Appointed Special Advocate for a child in the foster care system through Voices For Children.


And now here I am in the blogging community where it's so easy to find people with similar interests. To my great fortune, I met my Blog BFF, Emily @ Emmy June {Born In May}, in February.

We have a lot in common which explains our bond and ability to chatter on Skype for much longer than a first date should be. For starters:
  • SoCal roots
  • vegetarianism
  • Dreamy older/wiser husbands
  • love of weird/creepy TLC shows
  • big, toothy smiles
  • uprooting our lives at exactly the same time
Do yourself a favor and check her out. She's awesome at life (and a total prankster)!


Emily and I have a deep interest in how others donate their time and money, and we want to hear from you!

On Thursday, May 17, 2012 (three weeks from today), Emily and I invite YOU to show the blogging community which charity you support. This is your opportunity to flaunt your cause, inspire other bloggers, and maybe even make some new friends. All you have to do is follow both of our blogs, post a button anywhere on your blog, and create a post (or vlog) answering the following questions. You'll only have to link up on one of the hosts' blogs, as our link-ups will be connected. We really hope you join us. You can grab the button below to put on your blog and start spreading the word to your friends! Let's spread the inspiration!

Flaunt Your Cause Link-Up
Tell us about your favorite charity.
What inspires you about the cause?
How do you donate your time or money to help?

Are you excited to join in? We thought so!

To make you even more excited...there's an incentive to participate. After the link-up, we'll use a random number generator to select the link-up number of a participant. The lucky winner will have $50 donated to the cause they featured! Let me repeat, Emily and I will be donating 50 hard-earned dollars to one lucky charity! Now help us spread the word! It's time to get inspired, people!

Flaunt Your Cause

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Singing Nanny Audition Video

Jamie @ The Letter 4 is awesome.  She has an adorable daughter named Sabrina.

Fact: I want to be her singing nanny.  Like, Mary Poppins.  But in real life.  


Jamie told me that Sabrina loves Disney's TANGLED, so I did some research, hoping to win her over.  This is my audition video that I thought would be a good idea to record at 10pm.  Keep your fingers crossed that I get the job!  ;-)  


Sabrina, have your people call my people.



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Denim Dilemma

Jeans: Macy's.  Tank top: Target.  Sweater: Kohl's.  Wedges: Aldo.  
Necklace: Boutique in Houston.  Cute bird bath: landlord.

** I'm not a fashion blogger, so I have no idea why I added the credits.  But they're already there, so I'm not removing them.  Oh, well.  Deal with it.  ;-)

Do you love shopping?  Most would answer "yes".  But do you love shopping for jeans?  Yeah, I didn't think so.  I don't enjoy shopping for more than one hour, and I gravitate toward individual stores instead of scouring department stores or malls.  My one exception is Kohl's.  I can do Kohl's, because I know exactly which section/clothing line I'm going to.  I get so overwhelmed by department stores and malls!  When I find a strip mall with a LOFT, Gap, Old Navy, Target, NY&Co., or Express in it, it's like I struck gold.

I had to find jeans this weekend.  I am the queen of keeping clothing for as long as possible.  My current pair of jeans were a hand-me-down from my friend Angela when I visited her at UC Santa Barbara in 2006.  Who knows how long she had them before that.  I borrowed them, I loved them, she didn't want them anymore, and I got them hemmed.  (Please note that this is how much of my closet has been built.  My fashionable sister and mom give me things when they don't want them or they don't fit.  Oh, the joy of being the smallest one in the family!  It's been this way since always.)  I've put off buying new jeans because of the great frustration I experience every time.  This past winter, I decided that come fall, I would buy new jeans.  Until then, I wouldn't need them in Houston's heat.  Well, I looked up San Diego's 10-day forecast for my trip this week, and...


... high of 62 degrees with few showers?  I'm perpetually cold, so I'm going to need some jeans, especially after living in the 80s here in Houston.  Luckily, Sunday has the best weather!  My hunt for jeans lasted all weekend.  Shopping with Mr. TBS on Saturday, and I headed out for two more hours that night.  No success on both accounts.  Evidently, I'm too small to wear adult clothes, but all of the teen clothes are super low-rise and overly embellished with a menagerie of rips, fades, and weird whiskers around the crotch.  (What the what?!)  And anything labeled "short" not included a shorter inseam but wider waist and hips.  I don't know why that is.

I hit the mall on my own on Sunday, and after two hours, I found a pair!  The last pair in my size!  I guess I shouldn't pass up the department stores anymore.  (Thank you, Macy's!)

Operation Denim Dilemma
Mission Accomplished
(photo above)

To all of my shopping addict friends out there, where do you buy your jeans?  Most importantly, if you are a "petite" (5'4" and under), where do you buy your jeans?  For reference, I am 5'2", and I weigh around 102-105 lbs.  After this weekend's research, I learned that I wear a 2P, 25 short/ankle, or 0 short.  I love a dark rinse, no embellishments, and a mid-rise.  I don't like my coin slot showing when I sit down.  ;-)

I bought the Esle Esme Bootcut in Dark Wash, but I love the look of the J. Crew Bootcut in Classic Rinse.

Fellow petites and others who wear "specialty sizing", where do you buy your jeans?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mommy & Me Photo Contest

I hope you had a lovely weekend and that you showed the planet some love on Earth Day.  Cheers to a new week!  I know that after this post, it may be true that my mom is becoming more popular than me on my own blog, but I don't mind!

San Diego Mission Bay Clean-Up in 2010


I've posted a few pictures of my mother recently, and you've left so many wonderful comments about how beautiful she is and how young she looks.  I know!  Thank you!  I got good genes!  *jumping for joy*  What you can't tell from photos is how great of a person she is.  I nominated my mom for the San Diego Union-Tribune's Mommy & Me Photo Contest.  While she's gorgeous, I was sure to include in my short blurb just how wonderful she is.  Please take 30 seconds to click on the link and read about her.  And if you have 60 more seconds, please register and vote!  And then you can vote every day until 11:59pm on May 10.  :-)

Click HERE to see my submission about her.

Thank you so much for your support!

Friday, April 20, 2012

High Five (+ 4) For Friday!

Happy Friday!  Oh, gosh.  Guys, I've got a problem.  It's Friday which means I'm linking up with Lauren to review my week's highlights.  Five of them, to be exact.  But I can't narrow it down to five!  I guess that's a good "problem" to have.  I'll take it!

Photobucket

Reese's Easter candy will be the death of me!  I just can't say no!


I had a Google Hangout with JamieKim the other night!  So great to chat with them in real life, to see their precious kiddos in action, and to meet two of Jamie's sisters, Julianna & Janae!  I have also learned that when I become a mommy, I will develop what I now call "mommy A.D.D.", the ability to stop mid- sentence, walk away from a conversation to for minutes to be with your child, and then return like nothing happened.  I was so amused at how well Jamie and Kim did this!

I was sad that my Google Effects app wasn't working, because I couldn't add a cool mustache or hat!

I happened to check my Traffic Source "Search keyword" category yesterday, and this popped up to give me an instant smile:

I'm so glad someone came upon TBS through searching those words on the internet!  How cool!
Most likely, they came upon THIS post.

It's official!  I'm definitely going to my first NFL game next season.  The Green Bay Packers are coming to town to play the Houston Texans!  I am not a sports fanatic, but I am a Packer fan by marriage.  (That counts, right?)  Tickets are on sale yet, but we are going to that game!


My LUSH order arrived!  It included: Trichomania shampoo, Jungle conditioner, Shampoo Bar Tin, None of Your Beeswax lip balm, and a sample of Sweetheart soap.  I'm so excited to use my new vegan stuff!


Bonus highlights:
I'll be in San Diego in one week!

Bobbi and I exchanged many a funny e-mail yesterday discussing my blog design, and I am so amped about working with her!  She's a true gem, and she is my favorite self-proclaimed awkward person in the world!

Houston had a few cool, brisk mornings this week which was a nice change!

I'm beginning to accept that my blog is slowly transitioning into a weird combination of modern tree-hugger blog and mommy blog.  I enthusiastically write posts like yesterday's Parental Intentions, and I seem to get more comments than usual -- lengthy ones, at that!  I love it!  I've also never used the hash tag #babyfever more than I did yesterday.


Life is good, people!  If you make my lemonade, it will be sweet too.  How was your week?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Parental Intentions

That's my mom and me at my bachelorette party!
Yup, I wanted her there!
Yup, naive young lads were fooled by her appearance.
Yup, she stayed out as late as I did.
Yup, she saw my ride a mechanic bull and pole dance.


I like mommy blogs.  I love eco-friendly mommy blogs.  I am not a mommy... yet.

I have a running list of things I intend to do during my pregnancy and parenting time.  I know that kind of thought isn't supposed to kick in until I see a little plus sign on a white stick and start reading What To Expect When You're Expecting, but what's the harm in doing some of that planning now?  I'm just being efficient.

It seems that my "5 Things/Ways To..." posts are a hit with you beautiful people, so today I'm sharing 5 of my parental intentions.


Have a natural birth.  


As much as I love the thought of going to a birth center, I'll probably give birth in a hospital.  However, I'd like to complete Bradley Method or Hypnobabies classes beforehand.  I intend to have a natural birth, but I reserve the right to change my mind.  I'm hopeful that I'll have the determination that my mom did.  She gave birth naturally three times(round of applause)  It was her first gift to each of us kids!


Use cloth diapers. 
 

Yup.  I said it.  I want to cloth diaper my kid.  Lucky for me, I have friends who have successfully used cloth diapers for well over the first year.  Not only did they feel relieved about the money they saved, but they also felt so much better about all of the waste they didn't add to landfills.  I want both of those things!  A little extra effort goes a long way!  Save money, help the environment, avoid chemicals!  I've heard the good, the bad, and the ugly, but I still think it's worth it to try.  And I don't know if you've heard, but cloth diapers have advanced far past the old days of rags and safety pins.  Enter: bumGenuis (among many other great product lines!)  Yes, Mr. TBS has already been warned!  He is either on-board or humoring me.  I don't know for sure yet.


Breast feed.  (No photo required!)

I know it's not for everyone, and I know it can be difficult, but by golly.  I'm going to try!


Make homemade baby food.

Source: Mommy Mosh Posh

My cousin did this, and I've planned on getting a Baby Bullet and doing the same for my kid ever since!  And since I'm a vegetarian, some people have already asked if I plan on raising a vegetarian or vegan child.  In a word, yes.  I think Caitlin explains it best HERE.


Use baby sign language.


Did you see my post about American Sign Language last month?  I professed my love for the language and my fascination of deaf culture.  Not only do I want to learn ASL, I intend to use baby sign language.  I've heard nothing but positive things from people I've talked to!


I intend to do so much.  It may not all be possible, but this is the time when I can dream that it will all come true.  Any helpful advice mommy friends?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Recipe: Homemade Lemonade

I'm not sure about your city, but Houston is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from summertime!  We're up to the 80s these days, so it's about time Mr. TBS and I break out our homemade lemonade.  (This lemonade adds serious flair to our refrigerator since we only every has water and rice milk.)  If you plan on having lemonade at home, too, don't waste your money on the store-bought, chemical-laden kind.  This is much simpler.  I promise.

This recipe uses stevia, not sugar or artificial sweeteners.  Friends, can you please do me a favor and never use Splenda, Sweet 'N' Low, Equal, or NutraSweet ever again?  (And stop drinking all of those diet drinks that have aspartame!)  Use stevia as your sugar substitute.  You can learn more about stevia at Livestrong.com, NaturalNews.com, and Stevia.com.


LEMONADE


Ingredients:
Water
Lemons
Stevia sweetener

Made By The Glass:
1) Squeeze 1 lemon into an 8oz glass.
2) Fill glass with drinking water.
3) Add stevia sweetener to taste.  (Note: I've found that the SweetLeaf brand pictured below is not nearly as potent as the Whole Foods and Trader Joe's store brands.)

To Fill a 42 oz. Pitcher:
1) Using a citrus press, juice 8-10 lemons and pour into pitcher.
2) Fill pitcher with drinking water.
3) Add stevia sweetener to taste.  (Note: Mr TBS and I make a pitcher of lemon water and then add stevia to our individual glasses.)

** If you're feeling extra fancy, add chopped strawberries and chill overnight.  You won't be disappointed!



Too easy, right?  Now go do it.  YUM!
Summertime, here we come!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Whew!


I am so excited Monday is over.  It was one of those days!  It was a great day at work but very busy with a quiet rumbling of chaos.  Have you ever had one of those days?  I work in a corporate professional environment where things must always remain calm, collected, and smooth.  It's really hard to do that when my head is spinning, because we may have over-committed ourselves today!  Live and learn!  It's all trial by fire sapphire.  (Oh, it was too easy.)  After spending a day with my inner-chicken-with-its-head-cut-off, it was nice to go out to dinner with Mr. TBS.  Ahhhhh!  Much better.

Luckily, I had a really low-key weekend.  Remember how I said sleeping in too late felt like half the day was wasted?  Well, I slept in until 10:00am on Sunday.  That will teach me to say such things on my blog after going to bed at 1:00am all week.  Other than hibernating this weekend, I also Skyped with my sister who recently had surgery on her wrist for tendonitis... and then got hit by a biker just as she was starting a 10-mile run and fractured the other arm.  2012 has not been her year so far, BUT I have this theory that she was allotted a certain amount of crap, and she has hit her quota.  DONE.  Moving on up (after both arms heal)!  My only solution at the time was to engage my best little sister artistry in the form of teasing my hair and making silly faces.  It worked.

Mr. TBS and I made a trip to see the cows Saturday evening.  I wish I had cool pictures to show, but they were so far from the fence.  I was so disappointed!  "They're always here at 5:45pm.  Why are they way over there?!  They're always at the fence for that old man and those cute little girls!"  They were there on Friday.  They were there on Sunday.  But not Saturday.  But be warned, cows!  I will be back to visit you, and you will like it.

A few other notes:
1) I finally watched Bridesmaids!  Loved it!
2) I need to reinstate bedtime, because I'm not doing so well with "winging it".  Am I the only adult who needs a bedtime to stay on schedule?
3) TBS will have a new look soon!  'Tis the season, as so many of my favorite bloggers are getting custom designs (or have recently)!

Okay.  Time to breathe.  Time to watch Smash.  Time for bed.

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Favorite Day

Happy Friday the 13th!

My favorite day of the week has always been Friday.  Always, always, always!  The feeling of going home after work on a Friday feels extra refreshing, and it still has the promise of two full days of "freedom".  (There's nothing worse than sleeping in too late on a Saturday.  Does anyone else feel like you've missed half the day if you sleep in?)

Friday means linking up with the wonderful Lauren who has been an awesome help to me over the last week.  From My Grey Desk got a makeover this week which is why I've got a new snazzy H54F button today!

Photobucket

 Here are five of my highlights from the last week.


ONE
We went to the local farmers market & an awesome antique shop last weekend!  If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you probably saw these beauties:
 


 
TWO
My spontaneous post Before You Knew Me got a lot of sweet comments, and I loved checking out the links you left for me!  I read them all!   Emily at Hope Squared encouraged me to do a link-up for something similar.  Anyone interested in participating if I do that?
 
THREE
I told Mr. TBS that I wanted a free-standing mirror for our master bedroom, and this lovely piece showed up on Wednesday!  (Bought in Espresso on Amazon)
 
 
FOUR
Major blogger love happened this week!
And both events were unplanned.  What sweet surprises!
 
I Skyped with my beloved Emily on Monday, and she is just as amazing as I had hoped!  We discussed all the normal Blog BFF things like online creepers, pregnancy/labor woes the magical experience of labor, ssssssnakes, and disturbing TV shows.  That's what you're supposed to talk about on a first blate (blogger date, for all you novices), right?
 
Yesterday, I met one of my favorite bloggers, Meg!  You can read yesterday's post for all the amazing details about how it happened and how we cheered up our dear Jessica!

FIVE
I'm getting a new windshield today!  No more 24-inch crack for this girl.  :-)


I'm thinking this weekend will include the farmers market, an antique shop, swimming (in my backyard pool, y'all!), bike ride, QT with Mr. TBS and our kitties, and recording another vlog (for Jamie)!  
Singing may or may not be involved.
 
 What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Everything Happens For A Reason

It's another impromptu post!  To preface, I must tell you that I'm on a blogging high right now!  On Monday, I Skyped with my Blog BFF/Blog Soulmate, Emily.  (I look drab in the picture in her post, but I have one that I'm posting tomorrow!)  It was so much fun, and I am even more in love with her.  I can't wait until she and her husband are back in the states, and Mr. TBS and I can meet them IRL!  I really think it's going to be amazing!  

Something happened today, and I must share it right now.  Gather 'round and pull up a chair.  I have a little Twitter tale to tell you!  I have to keep it short, because I'm on a break at work, so here it is -- short and sweet!

* * * * * * * * * *

The pipes broke in Meg's school district.
Everyone was dismissed for the day, including teachers!

Meg tweets about it, because she's so happy.

I see the tweet and wish that the pipes at my office would break.

Meg replies with:
(Note: I work in The Woodlands, TX.)

We get excited and plan to meet after her three-hour drive to the Houston area.

We meet!  We chat!  
Our first priority is to take a picture for Jessica, Meg's Blog BFF and my Blog Little Sister, using this really nifty prop I made.  ;-)

We take a lot of pictures (because we're bloggers). 
(Evidence I didn't wear a suit to work today.  Oops!)

We immediately tweet out numerous pictures.



Little did we know, Jessica was having a terrible day, but our picture cheered her up!

And now Jessica is seriously planning a trip to Texas for June.  (Eeeek!)


Isn't it funny how the pipes breaking in a small town outside of Dallas led to all of that?  What made Meg and I meet up today instead of tomorrow or this weekend?  Who knew Jessica would need some comforting today?   

Moral of the Story: Everything happens for a reason!

I think it's safe to say that the three of us believe that much more in the power of blogging!  
Meg & Jessica, I love you both!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Before You Knew Me

Here's something you didn't know about me:



I've been writing TBS for 2.5 months, but I started blogging last summer when only friends and family populated my audience.  I didn't plan to blog today.  But I was inspired by to share a few old posts.  I really love reading Jenni's blog, Story of My Life, and I was curious to read some of her early posts.  You know, before she had 2,708 readers.  I love her post called The First Anniversary of the Worst Day of My Life!  She is such an authentic writer.  A sad but funny story!

I think my blog voice has changed over time, and I'd like to get back to my more personal and journal-like ways.  I feel like I'm gaining new readers every other day.  It's exciting to meet all of you!  Whether you've been a reader since February or yesterday, here are a few posts that you probably haven't read yet that will tell you a bit more about me:


If you wouldn't mind, I'd love for you to leave a comment with a few of your old posts that you think really reflect who YOU are!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

We Have Our Own Language.

"Sisters, 
Sisters, 
There were never such devoted sisters..."
-- Irving Berlin, "Sisters" from White Christmas


I get to see my big sister in two weeks!  
Here's a little trip down memory lane with Little Lindsay Lou Who.

Who doesn't feel that way about Christmas (... other than people who don't celebrate Christmas)?

Summer (age 4) has a real-life Cabbage Patch doll (me, a few months old)!

With how much I love ice cream and frozen yogurt, it's amazing that I wasn't beaming in this picture!  But look at Summer!  Pure bliss!

I still have this dress!  Probably because, deep down, I know that I'll never be able to sew something like that for my kid.  And I'm one of those people who finds sentimental value in everything.

We've grown up, but we still speak in our "own language, " as Mom says.
My bro-in-law has been subjected to being our third wheel on a few occasions. Oops!
We can't help it.


I'll see you soon, Summ!  I love you!  *MUAH!*

Love,
Snot Face

Monday, April 9, 2012

5 Things I Learned From Mom & Dad About Parenting



"I need a lesson about parenting from your mom and dad, because that's how I want to raise my kids."


I've heard this a number of times since high school.  I think it's both a compliment to my parents and to my sister, brother, and me.  My parents have always gone above and beyond the call of parental duty, and they still do -- no matter how old we are or where we live.  I'm not a mother yet, so I can only imagine how proud I would feel if someone said that to me.  However, I still felt proud hearing that!  I guess I'm not too shabby at this "makin' my parents proud" business!  The latest person to say such a thing about my parents?  My husband.  :-)

I know it will be helpful to write down all the things I observe and learn from my parents, but instead of writing them in a journal, I figured this blog would be just as good a place as any to keep those notes!

So here are five (of many) things I've learned about parenting from Mom & Dad:


1.  Keep the lines of communication open.  Make sure you're always on the same page and that everyone in the family feels encouraged and appreciated.  Communication was key in maintaining the family schedule which was always packed with dance classes, voice lessons, rehearsals, school activities, shows, sports, piano lessons, Eagle Scouts, etc.  It also kept our family grounded and in tune.  We always knew where everyone else was.  We supported each other's activities.  Even scolding came in the form of discussion rather than lecturing.  Which leads me to #2.


2.  Conversation works better than yelling.  I was never grounded, but it wasn't because I never disobeyed or broke a rule.  My parents perfected the art of making me see the error of my ways through discussion which always explicitly included: a) what I did wrong, b) why it upset them, c) what I should have done instead, and d) that they loved me.  It sounds like something unattainable out of a parenting book, but when approached genuinely, it totally works!  I NEED TO DO THIS!


3.  Your kids are never too old to be encouraged.  My dad is the master of encouragement.  My mom is equally supportive, but my dad always verbalizes it.  Notes like "Have a grrrreat day, beauty!  We're so proud of you!" are now sent in a text message instead of taped to my bathroom mirror.  I'm turning 28 this year, and I still love those "just because" e-mails, text messages, and phone calls.

True story: We have home video footage of me (age 5?) telling my cousin Sara, "You can do anything if you put your mind to it!"  Thanks, Dad!  I also learned how to spell "victory" at a young age:

"Victory, victory is our cry!  V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!"


4.  Be involved but not overbearing.  Everything was a family affair.  My parents didn't just show up and clap their hands for me.  My mom was PTA president, Area Coordinator for CYT, show choir parent booster club president, dance studio office assistant, and national trip tour guide (Hawai'i, Nashville, New York -- she now leads international trips).  My dad, who worked full-time, assisted my mom in all of those endeavors.  He would drive dinner to the theater on his way home from work when I had rehearsal until 11:00pm.  It wasn't enough for them to show up; they always got involved.  I think they found joy in being involved in my life that way, and let's be honest, it was a productive way of keeping their eye on me too.


5.  Document everything!  There are collections of home videos and photo albums... and then there's my family.  We have a library of memories.  My mom made scrapbooks of all of our shows.  Our family photo albums are coded (A-Z, AA-ZZ, AAA-ZZZ) and are approaching the quadruple digits (AAAA-ZZZZ).  Our home videos span from 1987 to now -- complete with my dad's amateur cinematic skills of fading in and out and setting the scene with narration before capturing footage.  We love nothing more than watching those videos (now transferred to DVD).  And we three kids have memories to laugh about even though we were too young to actually remember them.


Parenting is an extremely personal journey, and I respect that!  You may or may not find this insightful.  But I wanted to document this for my own future reference too!

I hope you enjoyed your Easter, Passover, or regular ol' weekend!  I wish you a magnificent week ahead!

Friday, April 6, 2012

High Five!

One thing you should know about me is that I love high fives.  I really like hugs, too, but I don't want to encroach on the personal space of others'.  Thus, high fives are healthy alternative.

This week has been so great that I really wish I could high five Life.
(In my book, "high five" is also a verb.)

Did you hear that, Life?  You're really awesome, and I want to high five you.

Here are five reasons why:


{ ONE }

In three weeks, I'll be in San Diego!
A best friend's wedding and family time.  What more could I ask for?



{ TWO }

I now drive 40 fewer miles per day.
That's 200 fewer miles per week.
800 fewer miles per month.
(clouds part, angels sing)

 
{ THREE }
 
I received an incredible e-mail in response to my post about American Sign Language!

Excerpt:

 * Auslan is Australian Sign Language.
** I didn't ask permission to post the e-mail, so this person shall remain anonymous. 

This e-mail made me feel equally inspired!
Every day, I am amazed at how blogging connects and inspires people!


{ FOUR }

A new home is a clean slate.
A chance to rearrange furniture, visualize a new space, explore a new neighborhood.
It's also an opportunity to create new habits and routines.


{ FIVE }

These signs line some of the main roads near my work:


Of course, I'm linking up for...



I couldn't be more ready for this weekend.  Mr. TBS and I are going to try to make it to the local farmers' market tomorrow... if I don't sleep in too late.


What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How I Learned I Am Ophidiophobic

ophidiophobia: (noun) a fear of snakes

My skin is crawling.

I am sitting in our charming little den with a charming vaulted ceiling with nothing but charming candlelight and the cloak of night... and my skin is tingling with fear, all because of that first line.

I've always known that I didn't like snakes.  I would state it with the same displeasure as "I don't like the smell of Freesia" or "I hate it when toilet paper rolls out from the back of the roll."  While I love animals, snakes have always seemed unpredictable.  They're speed and power are not to be tested.  Exactly one week ago, I learned exactly how much I do not like snakes.  Scratch that.  Exactly how terrified I am of snakes.

Leading up to our move last weekend, I had gone to our place to drop off some things.  On both occasions, our landlords/neighbors were there completing landscaping, so I was able to chat with them about the property and the town.  I'd spent over an hour with them during both visits, because I wanted to get to know them.  While talking to Chris last Thursday, I remembered something that Mr. TBS and I had wondered about.

"Is there anything we need to know about in terms of bugs or critters?  Obviously, there are a lot of mosquitoes in Houston, but do we need to worry about ticks or anything?"

She explained that there would be more mosquitoes than in the city, because there is a creek nearby.  She said not to worry about ticks at all.  "Just wear bug spray if you're going to be outside all day."  And then she said, "But we do have copper heads."  Seeing my unaffected expression, "Do you know what copper heads are?"

"No."  I was expecting her to describe flying beetles.

"Snakes."

** Sweet baby pandas.  I am getting the willies just typing this.**

And this is where everything started to kick in.  I'm talkin' rising body temperature, a ball of heat dropping from my head to my feet and climbing again.  My impulse was to pull in all limbs like a tightly wound ball of yarn, but my legs wouldn't move.  My mind started playing tricks on me.  I felt the urge to move my feet, as if there were snakes on the ground to escape from, but my legs still wouldn't move.

Chris, who happens to love snakes, continued on to say that she has only seen one in the twenty years she has lived here.  That disappointed her, because "they have such a beautiful pattern!"  Vision started taking on a soft black frame.  "If you ever see one on a rock, just take one of the rakes and push it off.  You'll want it to know not to come back."  Tunnel vision starting.  Visualizing myself willingly approaching a snake, I could feel my heart screaming.  She continued to assure me that it wasn't anything to worry about but that she wanted me to know just in case I was lucky enough to see one.  Reality blurred by images of Fear Factor.  

As this conversation took place, I grew increasingly sweaty, and every hair on my arms reached for high Heaven.  I gave my best attempt at apathy to the matter, but I couldn't even muster a fake smile.  And flashes of black started swishing in front of my eyes.   

Wave your hand back and forth in front of your face.  That is what I was seeing.

I officially discovered how scared I am of snakes.

Even while telling Mr. TBS about the conversation that night, I felt like I wanted to cry.  Calm tears, mostly from feeling completely out of control.  Being proactive, Mr. TBS Google'd "copper head snake" to see what they looked like.  My feet were immediately tucked under me on the couch, and I only looked at the thumbnails from a distance.  Again, glazed eyes.

It's been five days since we moved here.  I know that the longer we live here, the more I'll get used to the idea that I might see a snake one day.  While everyone else in this neighborhood walks through grass and bushes without a care, I'm prepared to buy galoshes and an astronaut suit.  But then I started worrying that a snake might crawl in a boot even if I keep them in the house.  It's an endless cycle!

I love animals.  I don't want snakes to be killed.  But I don't want them within my line of sight.  Not even toy snakes.  Because I will scream and then cry.

Is anyone else ophidiophobic?
Do you have any true phobias?
Help!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

H-town Blogger Meet-Up {Photo Drop}

I finally have some pictures to share with you from the H-town Blogger meet-up on March 25!  It was fun to meet some bloggers I've followed and to meet new blog friends!  Most of us seemed to be fairly new, so it was a great opportunity to share advice.  Very helpful!  I was told that the meet-ups are typically more conducive to mingling which will be helpful the next time around.  I feel like I barely talked to the girls at the other end of the table.  But next time!

If you know of a blogger meet-up in your area, I highly recommend attending.  Get out from behind those computers and get to know other bloggers in real life!  Who knows?  It may lead to joint blog ventures or really great friendships.  You'll never know if you don't attend!

** All photos except the last one are courtesy of Michelle

 YUM!

 Fran and I were so excited to me IRL! We immediately got to chatting. 

 With (from left to right) Miranda, Savanah, Meg, Rochelle, Melonie
Lauren is hiding behind Meg.
Kristen was to Miranda's right but didn't make it in the shot!  
I "met" her through the vlog link-up I did in February.
I convinced her to participate in Part 2 three days after the meet-up. :-)

 The inevitable table shot.

With Rochelle, Melonie, and Fran 

Our wonderful hosts, 
Meg (of blog design and new mama fame) & Michelle (of "Oh, How Pinteresting!" fame)

Michelle finally got to be in a group shot!  :-)
Can't wait to meet more ladies at the next meet-up!

And just because I want to share it again, Fran and I had to take a picture together before we left.


Are YOU a Houston blogger? 
Click HERE to register & get information for the next meet-up!