Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Give Away!

Well today is the day that I am supposed to have my drawing for those people who took the time to stop and give my brother a little encouragement on his new blog. His first post on A to Z Photo will be June 1st, so please head on over.

The winner of the random drawing using the random number picker is Becca. How fun is that?! I have put together some nice goodies from my Mary Kay stash since I don't have a scrap stash. Included in the prize package is a Satin Hands Set and other gifts from the Coastal Colors Collection.

Thanks again everyone and remember to check out A to Z Photo's inaugural post on Monday. I can't wait to see how this turns out. And Becca, PM me at SIStv (mommyvictory) so I can send you this awesome prize package.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

In Response to Octamom's "Me TiME"

I know my chaos is only 1/4 of my friend Octamom, but I was giggling as I read her post today, relating to just about everything she wrote about except the part about homeschooling.

When my husband went to the Philippines the first time (supposedly for 5 weeks) I thought "this won't be so bad." But as 5 weeks SLOWLY turned into 4 months, I thought I would lose my mind because we didn't ave a babysitter, and my mother and aunt were slowly losing patience with my son. Errands came down to the last minute decision of, "Is it worth dragging a hyper three year old along." Dance lessons and the like were non-negotiable, but trips to Target and the grocery store would begin with questions like, "How long can I really go with this last roll of toilet paper?" (a problem I know Octamom doesn't have) or "Can the kids survive on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for another couple of days?"

When Gary returned from his extended trip, I gave him a kiss, opened the gifts he brought me (a ton of Coach handbags,) and "disappeared" for two days, coming home to sleep and shower. One might ask, "What does one do for two days?" Mostly I did nothing and enjoyed every minute of it. I did escape to the Fountain of Beauty (yes that's its real name) and considered asking for every service they had. I wandered Target and drove to Austin and enjoyed walking up and down the aisles of all places - The Container Store. I called a couple of friends to join me but they had prior engagements, so I even did the unthinkable. I went out to eat at the Cheesecake Factory and ordered everything I ever wanted and was never able to enjoy because of antsy children. I stayed as long as I wanted and even considered not going home, but in the end my Buick LeSabre quietly wound its way through the countryside, finding its way back home.

Currently, I am going through the same situation. This time, however, I managed to find a babysitter who likes my son, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel as Gary will be home in three days.

I know there are single moms out there who do what I have been doing everyday without fail, and there are moms who are "geographically single" who wake up every morning and faithfully support their husbands who are defending our country's freedom. I see these ladies everyday where I teach school. I am certain I could learn a lot from many of them. I am not them and I thank God everyday that I don't have to worry about whether my husband is not going to come home because of some IED.

This time when Gary gets home, he will still be greeted by a kiss. I will open my Mother's Day gifts and then I am going to call the Fountain of Beauty, but this time it will be for his Father's Day gift - thankful that his 5 week trip didn't turn into a 5 month trip. Then I am going to find my mother and take her out for her long awaited Mother's Day shopping trip sans children.

I'll be thinking of you as we enjoy the Cheesecake Factory. Oh and Octamom, you are more than welcome to meet us there.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Musical Memories

If your five year old came home and said, "Mom, this is my new favorite singer,"
what would you do? My parents bought me a baby piano.

For those of you too young to recognize this ukulele playing icon, it is none other than the incomparable Tiny Tim.

My favorite tune of his is "Tip Toe Through the Tulips," but just today, I was watching the first episode of Spongebob SquarePants (1999) - yet another media icon with an uncannily positive attitude. Spongebob had just returned to the Krusty Krab having bought a special spatula just in time to rescue everyone from a mob of hungry anchovies - in his usual happy go lucky way. As he slings krabby patties out to the crowd, the viewers are entertained by "Walking in the Sunlight." Suddenly, I began to get this strange "flashback" feeling as one can only do as a child of the 60s and began my regular Googling of the tune and found a familiar friend.

I had a fondness for music as a child. (I still do.) Tiny Tim was the first of many musical crushes. He was quickly replaced with Charley Pride, Glenn Campbell, Andy Williams, Johnny Cash and finally the Jackson 5.

My dad was quite the audio/mediaphile. He owned this amzing reel to reel, cassette, 8-Track combination that we would use everyday. Dad even recorded our landlord, Mr. Stewart, playing the bagpipes on the reel to reel as a goodbye gift to me when we had to leave Alaska. I must have worn out that Jackson 5 cartridge listening to it over and over again. My parents got quite a kick out of my version of Eddie Arnold's song "Big Black Cloud" which I changed to "Big Black CLOWN." I still hear a four year old singing the words to Charley Pride's "Kiss an Angel Good Morning" even though she had no clue what "love her like the devil when you get back home" meant.

Music speaks to us in so many ways. It cheers us when we're sad. It helps us cry when we need it. It even relieves the stresses of daily life.

What was your favorite kind of music when you were younger? What moves you now? Do you still like the same music or have your tastes changed significantly? Share your musical tastes. The world wants to know.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Brother The Photographer

This is a copy of my brother's post. I thought those who come by my blog might be interested. Andre is a photojournalist. He had lost his inspiration for his personal photography, and in effort to help himself, he has decided to help others. Please spread the word

And anyone who goes to his blog and posts a comment on his Closer to Fine blog showing support by May 31 will be in a drawing for a Mary Kay gift set. International girls/guys included.

Inspiring others

My sister suggested I make A to Z Photo a challenge blog for her photo friends (and others, too) who would love to have another place for inspiration.

I like the idea.

I also like the A to Z idea because of its simplicity. Coming up with photo assignments all the time is hard. I figure that's why many of the photo assignment sites I checked out yesterday hadn't been updated in a long time.

With A to Z you have a lot of room for creativity. For example, I've been pondering "A" a lot today. I could take a self portrait, since my name is "Andre." I've thought about figuring out how to get an "aerial" shot. "Azaleas" are in bloom now. I suppose a photo of someone sneezing could be of "achoo," but maybe also "bless you," in addition to "sneeze."

The possibilities are endless. Plus, there are 26 letters in the alphabet and 52 weeks in the year, so that basically leaves you doing each letter twice a year.

Anyway, anyone interested in a little inspiration feel free to participate. Hopefully sis will cross post this on her blog and let people know.

Good luck.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thanks Aunt Pam

My cousin Pam (aka Pamela) and I are more like sisters than cousins. Shortly after I was born, my mom moved to her sister's house in Long Island until my father returned from Viet Nam. (Did I just date myself?) Pam is my mother's niece. She is just a year older than I. (Did I just date her?)

From the time I was five, Pam's father sent for me for the summer, and Pam and I were inseparable. As time passed, we were in each other's weddings, and each had the corresponding girl then boy.

Pam is the only one of the innumerable cousins I have that I regularly keep in touch with. My kids don't have any real aunts, so they call her Aunt Pam rather than Cousin Pam which sounds kind of weird.

Today, my son received the best package ever in the mail from my delightfully insane cousin. This what we found.An abundance of Gymboree shorts, shirts, undies and swim shorts. He is definitely going to be the best dressed kiddo on the playground.

We just wanted to say, THANKS AUNT PAM!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Crazy Morning Routines May Be Worth a Giveaway

My brother directed me to this interesting product review that is giving away a $250 gift card to one reader of their review of a new Capri Sun product. Go to A Work of Art: Reviews. Read and follow her directions and you can receive up to three entries in her drawing. You have until July 9, 2009 to enter.

Who couldn't use an extra $250? My only request is if you win, take me for a cup of Starbucks!

Good luck!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Danger in Unexpected Places

I'm not sure what your morning commute is like, but I will venture to say that my drive to work is far more hazardous than yours unless you are driving to work in ... let say...I don't know...BEIRUT!

Recently, the powers that be felt it necessary to inform us that we might encounter some danger on our way to work by posting this lovely sign!

This is in addition to the already existing:I better keep my wits about me as I drive to work in the morning. Not that my drive needs any more excitement than it already has!

Just today I was laughing at the DJs on an Austin radio station that had people call in to talk about odd package warnings people have seen. A woman called in to say that her sleep aid box said, "Warning! May Cause Drowsiness." Um, isn't that the point?

Wouldn't it be nice if all of life's pitfalls came with such a warning sign. I would have loved to know that my bachelor's degree in psychology wasn't worth the paper it was written on in the eyes of my future employers. How about a sign written on the person sitting next you on airplane that states, "I will not stop talking for the entire international flight from New York to France," or "I have an uncontrollable cough from an unspecified disease that I will not only spread to you but to every one else on this flight." What would those signs look like?

I think the most important requirement for a warning sign however is that it is understandable to those who need it, unlike this sign

Photo from Flickr by Ben Beiske

All I am walking away from this sign understanding is, maybe I should just turn around.

While looking up signs to share with you, I found this site that tracks various stick figure warning signs like the ones you see on the side of ladders. Good for laugh if you need one.

When in your life have you wished there had been some sort of warning sign? Or was there one and you were just too focused to see it. I am sure that has been the case for me many a time.
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