Are you in a book club? Does your book club actually discuss the book? Mine does…most of the time! Don’t get me wrong, there is wine and appetizers and talking about kids, the weather, vacations, dating, etc. What I love about my book club is the diverse group of women, who have one thing important in common. We love to read.
You may have some extra time over Spring Break to read. Oh, the joys of “extra time” in life. You want that time to count! So here are my suggestions on some must-reads:
When someone asks you, “Have you read any good books lately?” What do you tell them? My book club is always looking for recommendations so please share!
It only took about 15 minutes of my three-year-old’s rage to realize I’d crossed into new territory and was totally lost. “Boo” was throwing and epic fit. It started when she didn’t want to put on her jacket after preschool so we went out into the frosty evening… and she wanted her jacket on. I got her jacket on and Boo safely buckled into the car seat and she didn’t want her jacket on any more. And she didn’t want to go home. During the 1.5-mile drive home she took her shoe off and threw it at me, hitting me in the shoulder. When I informed Boo that she’d be serving a time out for that offense she started screaming and things devolved from there.
Fast forward 15 minutes and she’s on another time out (for having hit me), behind the closed door of her room, raging like a caged bull and screaming like a wild hyena. It dawned on me that I had no idea what to do or how to break through her rage. I was out of tools. I didn’t want to spank her (I’m firmly in the anti-spanking camp) but was honestly considering a swat on the bottom to try and change the script.
Frantically trying to consider additional options, I performed my own “Phone a Friend,” and thank goodness for friends who have walked the path before! I picked up my phone in the kitchen while Boo continued to kick, scream and throw things in her room. Chelsey picked up the phone and I blurted, “I need help. I don’t want to spank my kid but I don’t know what to do.”
Chelsey and I have been friends for 20 years, ever since I moved from Wisconsin to the Twin Cities suburban neighborhood where she lived (I still remember out first conversation on the school bus, but that’s a different story). Now she’s a health care industry executive and a mother of three kids, two of whom have already passed the “terrible threes.” I knew she had been down this path before, I continue to respect her parenting style, and I knew she knew more than I did.
Indeed, she had tips. Tips that gave me tools and kept me from swatting my kid. Can I tell you how wonderful it is to have a friend who doesn’t judge you for wanting to spank your kid? And who is wiling to talk you through an ugly parenting situation?
Later, with Boo calming and eventually returning to her usual pleasant and communicative disposition, Chelsey and I traded some texts:
Chelsey: Hope things have simmered down there. You’re a good mama, mama!
Me: Thank you so much for your help! I really didn’t know what to do!
Chelsey: What, they didn’t give you that pamphlet at the hospital? J
Though extreme this was a good reminder of “Phone a Friend” and how valuable it can be. I remember Christy (of Pink Tambourine Club) calling me for some first-aid advice when she had a run in with a kitchen knife. I’ve called my artist friend with questions about crafting materials and my uber-smart friend Greg who talked me through changing the hard drive on my Mac.
How have you used “Phone a Friend” to help you? Or how have you helped a friend?
A few years ago I found a Valentine’s Day card that said, “Happy Singles Awareness Day!” That sure spoke to me! Oh, I know, it’s a day to tell your friends and family you love them. Although I think we should try and do that more than one day a year.
I decided rather than concentrate on being single on Valentine’s Day, I’d gather my single friends and we’d celebrate our solo status. And guess what, we have a blast! It’s a time to get together and embrace the advantages of not having the pressure to get your significant other that special Valentine’s Day gift. It’s a chance to talk about dating nightmares or successes. It’s a time to appreciate your friendships and laugh!
I used to call it Singles Awareness Day Dinner, but I’m not sure I like the acronym S.A.D.D. I “borrowed” the name Galentine’s Day from one of my favorite TV shows, Parks and Recreation. Valentine’s Day isn’t a time to be sad. Tell your girlfriends you love them. Because without them, who would you share your highs and lows. And who else do you call after the horrible (or awesome) blind date you just had?
So, I encourage all you single ladies to get together and throw your own Galentine’s Day party. Heck, you could even invite your married girlfriends (their husbands will thank you). We need to take any chance we can to just say thank you to our girlfriends and partners in crime.
Happy Galentine’s Day! What do you do to celebrate this Hallmark holiday? Please share!
When the Oscars air on March 2, I want to be an active viewer. With just over 5 weeks, I must be strategic in my movie selections. If I’m lucky I’ll get to see 2-3 movies before the Academy Awards. So, what’s a girl to do? You ask your girlfriends, right? Thankfully, I have a friend who is a movie fanatic. Movies are her ‘thing’ — and she sees them all! I’ve asked her to give us her absolute “MUST SEE” top 3 movies before the Oscars.
From movie enthusiast, Mary Beth Sinclair, her Top 3 Must See Movies for the 2014 Award Season:
Nebraska – terrific performances by Oscar-nominated Bruce Dern and scene-stealer June Squibb, with some sensational Midwest, small town storytelling.
Philomena – based on a true, disturbing story out of 1950’s Catholic Ireland, and Oscar-nominated Judi Dench is – as always – sensational.
12 Years a Slave – a true original, and my favorite movie of the year. There are several outstanding performances in this movie, especially by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o (both up for Oscars), and Sarah Paulson (not nominated, but should’ve been). [WARNING: there are some incredibly brutal scenes in the film, but it’s well worth a viewing.]
With theater releases and scheduling challenges, it may not be possible to see these three, so she has included 10 more of her 2013 favorite movies (+ 3 favorite Documentaries). I hope you can get to one of these so your participation in the Oscars goes beyond the superficial, but oh so fun, fashion reviews. (If nothing else, you can start adding these to your Netflix list!):
Next 10 movies (+ 3 favorite Documentaries) to see from 2013 (In no particular order):
We survived the holidays. Traditions continued that my father and my mother created many years ago. Did we miss him? Terribly. But, we carried on because that’s what he would have wanted. He worked hard to create great memories for us. He worked hard to provide for all our needs and more. He worked hard so we could carry on his legacy: A legacy of love, kindness, generosity, and full life. So our responsibility this year was to continue with his traditions and create new memories. That’s what he would have wanted, and that’s what we did. And, truth be told, we had some laughs and some fun along the way. And I’m sure that made him happy.
I was excited to start a fresh new year. I thought about resolutions, goals, and themes for my 2014. I was struggling to focus in on anything. I was mainly hoping for a healthy year for my family, friends, and self.
In the last few days, the hope for health has been slightly derailed. On Tuesday, my mother had a battery of scans to determine why her parathyroid isn’t functioning properly. We will not get the results until next Monday. The waiting truly IS the hardest part. The waiting causes your imagination to go to scary places. The waiting taxes your faith. The waiting challenges your hope for good health in 2014.
Last night, feeling slightly helpless, I sent out a call for prayers to some “prayer peeps.”My “prayer peeps” responded back with messages of support. I tried to stay present and positive. As I checked my email before heading out the door this afternoon, I got this message from one of them.
As I drove to an appointment, I thought of those words. What did they mean? They are powerful words and when strung together they pack a punch.
I started to break it down, word by word.
Stop, take a deep breath, and be present in the moment.
When you intentionally fill your lungs, everything around you stops. A deep breath has the power to completely focus you to the here and now.
Say a quick little prayer. Seek some help with whatever issue might be facing you. It could be as simple as “Please take care of us.” Or “May the best thing happen.” Or “Thy will be done.” Short and sweet… just give it up to a higher power.
Trust that your prayers have been heard and everything will work out.
I thought about the last word I wrote: Smile. I couldn’t figure out why I wrote that word. While I drove, I purposely smiled. I raised the corners of my lips to see what the smile felt like. Why would I choose to smile? It finally dawned on me. I would smile out of gratitude. I would be grateful to relinquish the fear facing me and know that it would be ok. I thought about how I could remember this little 4-step process and I decided I needed to change the word Smile to Gratitude & Grin.
Gratitude & Grin
Be grateful that you can release your fear. This feeling will cause you to grin.
Breath, Pray, Trust, Gratitude & Grin
BPTG – I like it. It’s simple. It’s easy to remember. It’s quick. And I do believe it will help me get through any challenges I face. I may not have any fancy resolutions, goals, or themes for 2014, but I think I’ve found something more important. I’ve found a “practice.” It will be nice to have this tool at the ready for any stressful situations this new year may bring.
O.K. 2014, I’m ready for you!
Give it a try. Let me know if the “BPTG Practice” works for you.
Full Disclosure: I knew my mother would be apprehensive about me publicly sharing her health issue in this blog. Like many of us, she does not want to call attention to herself or receive any pity from people. I have to be honest… I wanted to share this with you for two reasons.
With a bit of persuasion, she has reluctantly allowed me to post this blog.
This Favorite Find can be found on the AnnMade in Minnesota Etsy site. You can also see what’s she’s working on by liking her Facebook Fan Page.