I have a friend who’s really good at something.
Actually, I have lots of friends who are freakishly talented at one thing or another. David and I float in a variety of accomplished crowds. We know alotof big-dreamers, sky-reachers, place-goers, and world-changers.
We – not so secretly – love living vicariously through them.
But to us, they’re just them.
We recently attended a party for one of these place-goers. Everyone who spoke about her mentioned her incredible talent.
I wasn’t surprised to hear how gifted she was. But the more I heard people refer to that thing, the more I thought, yeah, she’s really great at that, but…
…But to me, she’s just her.
‘I dread the idea of living uselessly.’ – Mary Electa Adams
Quick disclaimer: know that neither my husband nor I work for Amazon or have any connection with them.
No, really, we don’t.
Last Christmas my husband told me he wanted a Kindle for Christmas. I scathingly told him he was flying in the face of the spirit of reading and promoting an instant-satisfaction culture. I told him the point of books over television was the media difference of paper and words versus images and screens.
He eventually capitulated, claiming he just wanted to read more and thought the Kindle would help him do that.
After my purist monologue, I thought about what he said, and did some research.
And, I bought him a Kindle for Christmas.
Considering my previous rant, he was completely surprised on Christmas Day. Read more
A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. – Eleanor Roosevelt
Every time I go to work, I feel my heart rip out of my chest.
No, not really. But the thundering thump-thump-thump of my girls feet on the stairs, racing to give me a goodbye hug as I head out the door, always makes me feel conflicted.
I love my job. I love how much it connects to what I do at home: at work, I help women become mothers; at home, I try not to lose it with my own children.
Some days are more successful than others. Some days, I’m relieved to head out the door and deal with something else’s issues rather than my own. Other days, I wish I could curl up on the couch and read Biscuit books with my kids.
Some of my stay-at-home-mom friends tell me how they can’t believe I work outside the home. Others wish they had that outlet. Others (genuinely) wonder if I’m doing the right thing by working.
Sometimes I wonder the same thing.
And, other times, often only five minutes after I wonder if I should still be doing this, I’m so glad I do what I do. Read more
I know what you’re thinking: Oh my word, she’s done it. She’s run out of inspiring women to write about.
Not true. In the slightest.
In fact, it’s just the opposite. There’s so many I could write about that today, I got overwhelmed. I was reading about all these amazing women and couldn’t choose.
So I decided to write about all of you.
Hang on. Let me explain.
One of the groups of women I thought about today were my co-workers. I don’t say this enough, but each of you have my deep respect. There is a lot of room for talent in our job, and even though that means many of us are vastly different from each other, it means there’s a lot of room to respect each other, too.
And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from all of you, its that – more often than not – vulnerability invites respect.
Even in those people we really don’t think will understand. Read more
Do any of you have a favorite year in elementary school? Mine was Grade 4.
I loved my teacher. I loved the projects. I remember them with startling clarity: the ‘Fort Langley’ replica we built in our classroom (the one where I got too bossy and the other girls told the teacher to tell me to back off), the popsicle-stick buildings we designed with paper mache hills and lakes, the poster projects about our favorite animal and sea creature (I picked Koala Bears and Jellyfish).
And my favorite: the book review about a famous person in history. The girls read about women; the boys read about men.
I read this book about Abigail Adams.
You know that song, ‘Raise Your Glass’? There’s this one line that I love: ‘if you’re too school for cool…’
Ah, yes, that’s me.
I think I also asked for homework in Grade 4. You know, because I thought it was cool.
Don’t worry, I’m cringing too. And, smacking my forehead. Oh, what was I thinking?
Yesterday we had a crisis of Meredith proportions.
Noelle had written yet another illustrated story. This time, it was painstakingly drawn and shaded in pencil. She wrote of two sisters: Rachel & Noelley. Yes, the ‘y’ was intentional; its pronounced, Noell-ey.
Rachel is sensible, responsible, takes care of Noell-ey. Rachel has curly hair and pretty dresses. Noell-ey is silly, always getting in trouble, and the baby of the family. She puts her hair in ponytails and jumps around the house.
No symbolism there, right?
Little Elliana found the title page of this book and decided she’d add her own whimsical drawings. Those drawings included scratching out much of Noelle’s original work.
And then Elliana decided to reorder the story.
Noelle found it. And the screaming began.
Here’s the thing about great writing: we can actually learn from well-written characters.
Here’s the thing about being a mom: you rarely get to pick what’s on television.
That’s not a complaint. Just a fact. TV priority goes as follows: Kids (for a limited time per day, of course; I HAVE read the research, people!), Dad (once kids are in bed, of course), then Mom. And since I’d prefer to use my rare alone moments with a book,well, its sort of a losing battle to get invested in a TV show that really only I will watch.
Hence the reason I have just now finished the series finale of Friday Night Lights. Read more
My displaced Canadian tweep @jessiebellelane loves history so much she’s written about it. No joke, you’ll find it here (she wrote chapter 3). So, when looking for inspiration for a obscure historical wonder woman to write about this week, she was the first person I asked.
Her unequivocal answer: Victoria Woodhull.
I sheepishly admit I’d never heard of her. Afraid it was Canadian ignorance at play, I asked my American husband who she was.
He didn’t know either.
David: “Oh, but you know who they did teach us about? Betsy Ross.”
Me: “Who’s that?”
David: “She sewed the American flag.”
I sighed and passed him the drill he was looking for. We were assembling our IKEA wardrobes, that, after much finagling, had ALL arrived, with all the pieces – we think.
David: “Why the sigh?”
Me: “The most famous woman you can remember from school is a seamstress.”
David: (smiling) “What? You don’t consider sewing heroic?” Read more
Wednesday’s “Profiles in Courage” has morphed, my friends. I’ve found just too many amazing women in history, film, TV, and books that beg to be applauded for their pioneering efforts. So, here is the first installment of “Wednesday’s Wonder Woman.”
In an effort to rectify my poorly-chosen snap judgments against two women whose writing I once dismissed as “childish,” or “sappy,” I present you with two candidates for Wonder Wom-en today.
I urge you to re-discover the authoresses behind two of the most famous children’s books of all time: Louisa May Alcott and Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Stop! Don’t leave yet. I promise, should we really learn about these ladies, we’d find they would make the Real Housewives of Beverley Hills blush with their candor. Read more
Summer is here!
Okay, maybe its not. But today is a gorgeous day in southwestern British Columbia. So much so, that everyone is outside. Kids are giggling, squealing, playing in water. The neighbourhood moms are out chatting and soaking up the Vitamin D.
None of us are inside on our computers right now; who has time to check Twitter and Facebook and read blogs when its this gorgeous out?
Then there’s me. Hee hee. I’m typing in the sun. Best of both worlds, right?
Sort of. See, besides all the pool parties, BBQ’s, and outdoor gatherings of the summer months, one of the great things about these kinds of days is