Hot Heat

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It is stinkin’ hot here!

Ahem.

“forseattle,” she coughs into her hand.

In the Seattle area, we tend to worship the sun until we actually feel the sun and then we shrink and hide from it and ask each other “Why, why, WHY?!” while crying and dumping slurpees on our faces. When temperatures rise above 75, heat-induced whining takes over. Above 75 in Seattle is like below 65 in southern California. DISASTER!

It’s been in the high 80s the past several days and we don’t have AC and it just makes you want to start a nudist colony in a field of naturally-occurring free range ice cubes.

Unless you are my kids.

If you are my kids, you get home from church on Sunday and change into your fleece Christmas jammies before heading to choir.

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When I asked Magoo WHY HE WOULD DO SUCH A THING, while I mopped my melting flesh up off the sidewalk, he said, “I wore these so I wouldn’t have to use a blanket.”

What the what?! It is a BILLION DEGREES OUTSIDE. BLANKETS ARE NOT REQUIRED.

In other news, we are having fun jumping on the trampoline with all the ice from the freezer. We also get to spend lots of time in our air conditioned car because hot dry season also means it’s time to slap down all new roads. Everywhere. At the same time.

Today we were driving to swimming lessons and Wanda shrieked, “MOM! MOM! It’s an INSTRUCTION PINECONE!”

You know? Those bright orange pinecones, used by instruction workers when they’re doing the yearly road changing.

I did not correct her.

Posted in around town, blick, disasters, family fun, fashion, scaring the neighbors, weather | 1 Comment

Drops of Awesome LDS Resources

Wondering how Drops of Awesome is informed by my faith? You’ve come to the right place!

I recognize that most of my readers are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and many do not share my belief in God. This is why I created the Drops of Awesome Journal with a broad focus to reach a wider audience. The book really zones in on what each of us can do personally to shift our focus and recognize the good we are doing in the world.

However, I also find great joy in my belief that I am not doing this alone, that there is someone far greater than myself contributing to my Bucket of Awesome.

So, after several requests for LDS resources to accompany lessons and activities about Drops of Awesome, I’ve been slowly gathering scriptures and conference talks that will work as a supplement to the book, coming out in September from Familius. I will continue to update this page as I find material. Feel free to leave me a comment with a talk or scripture reference that helps you remember to keep trying and that our small efforts matter. Continue reading

Posted in aspirations, faith | 4 Comments

I Could Have Danced All Night

It’s jazz night at the Senior Center. Dan’s playing saxophone in the band and the kids and I are eating delicious gentle-on-the-dentures delicacies, reading middle grade fantasy novels, and periodically dancing like spasmodic maniacs.

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My feet move in a pattern somewhere between awkward tween shuffle and the jive. My arms twirl and throw Laylee around until she’s dizzy, grinning and confused. We’ve got moves. They just might not be sanctioned by any of the currently ruling international dance organizations.

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Out on the floor is a couple who knows all the moves. They’re probably in their eighties or nineties. She’s beautiful and he’s a little hunched over but incredibly strong and confident. They glide through turns and lifts like they’re still in their twenties and people applaud them whenever they take the floor.

Near the end of the night, the man taps me on the shoulder and asks me to dance.

“I don’t really know how,” I laugh.

His smile is warm as he gestures to the floor. “It sure looks like you do.”

“You are kind, but last time I danced with someone at one of these things, he was very disappointed.”

“I can’t believe he would tell you that. I have never in my life made a lady feel bad about her dancing.” He looks incensed.

“I’ll try if you promise to help me and be patient.”

His look says, Don’t be ridiculous.

It’s an understatement to say he’s good. He is A-FLIPPIN-MAZING! Hands down the best dancer I’ve ever danced with, of any age. I shuffle along at first but gradually start to pick up on his lead and find myself doing moves I’ve never attempted. My face is locked in a perma-grin.

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Between songs, I thank him for dancing with me. “My husband is in the band so I rarely get to dance.”

“And let me guess,” he says with a twinkle in his eye, “If you’re husband’s in the band, he’s probably not much of a dancer anyway.” He winks. This ninety-year-old man is flirting with me.

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I don’t let him lift me off the ground, although I can tell he wants to, and when the song ends my dip is not as low as he intends. At 35, I’m not as graceful or petite as his bride. But I feel amazing.

As he leads me off the floor, everyone applauds, and I realize that I didn’t once notice anyone around us while we were dancing. I’ve rarely been so absorbed in an activity. My cheeks ache from smiling and I’m drenched in sweat.

That dance was a gift.

I take a minute to imagine myself as a young girl in the 1940s, having a night out at a dance hall. Instead of Chacos and a t-shirt, I’m wearing pumps, hose, and my best dress, my hair curled in victory rolls. I wonder what my dance partner looked like back then.

Then, I laugh to think what senior centers will look like when I’m in my nineties. Will we be crowded around an aging DJ, cranking out Milli Vanilli and Dub Step remixes, while we imitate MC Hammer and pop and lock? Maybe one of my friends will teach krumping on Tuesday afternoons.

But no. We will never grow old so I don’t even need to think about it. I could better use my energy preparing for the hip hop class I’m taking with my friends later this summer…

Posted in around town, aspirations, family fun, save me from myself | 2 Comments

Pearls with Purpose

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I wore pearls to my wedding, my mom’s pearls. They’re classy and dignified and I love the way you can wear them with jeans or an evening gown or even yoga pants. And now you can do more than channel your inner Julia Child when you wear pearls. Pearls with Purpose is changing lives by giving women in underdeveloped countries opportunities to learn the art of jewelry making.

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The women use the training, resources and micro-financing from Pearls with Purpose to become more self-reliant and provide for their families. Learn more at their website, and consider taking their pledge to do more good in the world, donating, or ordering gifts for loved ones… or for you. You love you, right?

*I did not receive anything in conjunction with this post. I just like them.*

Posted in beauty, fashion, shopping, women | Comments Off

To-Do or To-Done?

“To-Do or not To-Do, that is the question. I have a wide pendulum swing when it comes to To-Do lists. There are times when I am obsessively writing, writing, writing everything I will do on a given day and checking off the items as I go. At these times, I will often add times to each item so my day is a series of overscheduled minutiae. At other times, a 43-day-old To-Do list languishes on a napkin in my purse or a neglected app on my phone and I’m flying by the seat of my capri pants, doing everything or nothing as the mood strikes me and forever missing deadlines in a house that looks like the seven dwarves’ cottage before Snow White kicked their butts into gear.”

[Read about my current answer to this problem at HowDoesShe.com]

Posted in all about me, aspirations, domesticality | Comments Off

Glad to Be Dad

As is seasonally appropriate, I’ve been thinking a ton about dads this past week. As part of my mental celebration of all things fatherly, I opened up the book, Glad to Be Dad: A Call to Fatherhood by Tim J. Myers. Tim is writer, songwriter, professional storyteller, and for several years he was a stay-at-home dad. I found out about him through Familius, the publisher for my upcoming Drops of Awesome book.

dadGlad to Be Dad is a thoughtful look at the joy, pain, and depth of experience that is fatherhood. It’s a call to action for fathers everywhere to recommit to fatherhood as a life’s work and it was beautiful to read.

When I say it was beautiful, I mean that in the most manly, at times laugh-out-loud funny way. The book is full of personal stories, research, and a lifetime of parenting wisdom that doesn’t come off as pompous. Tim Myers has lived life in the trenches and gives a very real perspective on parenting as a daily unending labor of love and somehow manages to capture a glimmer of the truly joyful nature of raising children. It is a book about the importance of “capital F” Fatherhood, fully realized.

Near the beginning of the book, Tim talks about how refreshing it would be to see a nativity scene in which Mary was asleep and Joseph was holding the baby Jesus. I first began reading the book in December and the same day I read that paragraph, I went to see a live nativity and was so pleased when I saw an attentive Joseph bringing Mary water, while tenderly holding the baby.

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Reading this book, I often recognized myself or my children in its pages and it motivated me to tune in more as a parent but also to cut myself some slack. There is no perfect way to be a dad [or mom]. It also made me grateful to be married to a non-helpless, non-zombie husband who engages with our kids and who never sees his time with them as “babysitting.”

It’s a book about how to be a more engaged father, but it’s not preachy. It’s a book about women and men better understanding and appreciating each other in family relationships, but it’s not trite. It’s a book about being torn between two worlds, the world dedicated to family and the world of everything else. Mostly, it’s a book about finding joy with the life you have and the people you love most.

Consider Glad to Be Dad as a last-minute gift for the fathers in your life.

Posted in family fun, holidays, I can read, Reviews | 1 Comment