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Month: August 2010

iheartfaces – Photojounalism

When I first read that this week’s iheartfaces challenge was “photojournalism” I had no idea what I was going to do for it. But, as often is the case, the perfect opportunity came up Friday night.


My family was given tickets for the Kansas City Chiefs preseason game and I decided to go ahead and tote my camera along. These moments were caught while an injured player was on the field. A hush came over the crowd as his teammates went down to their knees to pray for him.

I am really loving the photojournalism photos this week. To see more, be sure to check out the list at iheartfaces!


Do Fun Stuff — A Kids Record For Parents

One day as I was reading online, I came across a link to Pacing the Panic Room. I was immediately sucked in. At first, it was Ryan’s photography that interested me but soon I was reading all about LB, Ryan’s step-son, and his diagnosis of Smith Magenis Syndrome. When he was first diagnosed, there was very little information available to comfort his family. Instead of sitting back and just accepting it, Ryan decided to do something about it. He put together a really great cd of kids music to help raise money so that more case studies can be done on Smith Magenis Syndrome to help researchers and families seeking more information.

I’m not doing him any justice by trying to summarize his story. You can read all the details by clicking the “Our Cause” link in the widget below. Do Fun Stuff! is available on iTunes now. I urge you to click around on the widget below, give the songs a listen, and then head over to iTunes to buy it. Not interested in the music but want to donate? There’s a link at the bottom of the widget for that too.

Thanks in advance for checking out the album, or even just reading about it here. If you would like to help spread the word, just click on the “share this widget” link for the code.



A couple days ago I was scanning my Facebook feed and noticed a link to a post titled Texting Leads to Discontent.  I thought it sounded interesting, so I clicked through to read more.  It hits on a topic that is often discussed regarding texting and our constant need to be connected to others, but the way it was put really struck a nerve for me:

“I looked around the room and there were all my friends… texting other people, and I thought, ‘so this is what it looks like’.”

She asked, “What WHAT looks like?”

“DISCONTENT,”  he replied.  “There we were having our own get together and everyone was looking for a better place to be, a different party.”

That thought has really stuck with me since I read it.  I’ve played it over and over again in my mind.  I’m not one to spend a lot of time texting, but I do spend quite a bit of time on my iphone reading through my Twitter stream or commenting on my friends’ Facebook posts.  Does it mean I’m not content in that moment?  Not necessarily, but maybe sometimes it does.  Maybe I am searching for something more interesting, something new to grab my attention, a way to escape the mundane moments.

Even before reading this, I’ve been backing away from the social media sites I used to obsess over.  My hubby has commented that he misses my Twitter updates throughout the day.  I wonder how many of those nearly 900 Twitter followers actually care about my infrequent updates?  My guess is that I’m not missed, at least not by many.

Lately, I find that when I’m engrossed in the online world, I am less content with my everyday life.  I love the internet for what it is – an amazing source of information, a way to keep up with friends and family across the country, and an opportunity to express myself creatively when I choose to.  There’s a bad side to all of that too.  I compare myself to others.  I get jealous of others because they are smarter, prettier, have a better camera, have a better house…and on and on.  I hate myself for being so petty about it, but at the same time, I can’t stop feeling that way.

Maybe I am looking for a better place to be, a different party.

Sometimes I think about what life was like nine years ago, shortly after my husband and I had started dating.  I was perfectly content to curl up in his arms and watch TV or movies for hours at a time.  There was no need to check my phone.  There was no web site to repeatedly update.  Of course, there were no children to distract us either.  There really were no distractions at all.  It was just the two of us together.

Nine years later, it is nearly torture for me to sit through an entire movie without doing something else at the same time.  I’m constantly checking my phone or have my laptop in my lap.  If not, I’ve got yarn and knitting needles to keep my hands busy.  If I’m not doing something else, I can’t focus on the movie because my mind is shooting off in a million directions, thinking of other things.  Always moving, always thinking, always letting the good moments pass me by.

Maybe this is what discontent looks like.




My brain is not working so well these days.  It seems it is constantly running in a million directions and I can’t seem to concentrate on any one thing.  I have a running list of to-do items flowing through my brain, yet can’t seem to accomplish any of them.

I’m forgetting important things, ignoring things that I just don’t have the energy to deal with, yelling at my kids when they just want some attention because I just can’t take one more thing.

I drove past the turn to Zach’s school three times in one day because my mind was wandering.

I did manage to make sure Zach had clean school clothes and helped him complete his homework every night this week, so that’s something.

For the last two weeks I’ve been unbelievably tired.  I’m blaming it on allergies/sinuses/stress, but there has been more than one night when I’ve put myself to bed just after the kids are tucked in.  Yet, I still can’t seem to get enough sleep.  Then there’s the headaches, which I haven’t had in years.  They come nearly every day.

I’m making lists – trying to get back on track.  I bought a new notebook and pens to motivate myself at work.  (Funny how a new pen can change my mood)  I pulled out my Busy Body Book that I haven’t used since February to motivate myself at home.  I’m hoping that new to-do lists and schedules will help keep me on track a bit.

I haven’t really been running since Race for the Cure.  I got a couple of runs in this week, but can’t seem to find the motivation I need.  There’s the tiredness, and then I found a strange bump on the top of my foot that (maybe) explains the dull pain I’ve been having for quite a while.  I miss it, but I can’t seem to motivate myself to get out of bed in the mornings.  I should have gotten up to run today, but I chose the extra hour of sleep instead.

I know part of it is just the change in routine.  We’re all adjusting to a new schedule with Zach starting school.  Plus, whether I like it or not, I’m pretty sure the stress of him starting school is still causing a bit of an emotional drain on me.

There’s just a lot going on and I would really like for it all to just stop, so I can get organized, rest, and catch up.  I’m tired of my head and my life feeling so scattered.

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First Day of Kindergarten


I sent my boy off to kindergarten this morning. I thought I would break down and cry when I dropped him off, but I didn’t. I think mostly I made it through because he had such a good attitude about it.


Before I tucked him in bed last night we set out his new school clothes on his desk. As soon as I opened his door to wake him up this morning, he jumped out of bed and started getting dressed without even being told. He was ready to leave in record time.


We grabbed a quick breakfast, stopped for some pictures (even though little Sis shrugged his hugs off and refused to smile), then loaded up in the car. I could tell Zach was a little nervous, but I think he was more excited than anything.


When we got to school he jumped out of the car and had his backpack on before I even had the car shut off. We went inside, signed him in (he’s attending the before/after school program), and I sent him in with the other kids to wait until it was time to go to his classroom. He seemed a little uneasy when I dropped him off there, but I figured he needs to get used to it since this is where he’ll be dropped of every day. I took his four(!) bags of supplies on down to the room to give to his teacher and waited for him to make his way down there with the other kids.

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Once the kids got to the room, it got a little chaotic. They had all the kindergartners in the same room and then called their names to go with the correct teacher. When that was all sorted out, the kids got to go find the seat with their name on it and begin tracing their name. Then they were asked to draw a picture of themselves. Zach got right to work on his.

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When they finished their drawings, the teacher asked them all to go sit on the carpet. I took that as my cue to go ahead and leave. I told Zach good-bye, gave him a quick kiss, and headed off to work.

It wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected and the only time I even teared up was when another little boy started crying. I felt so bad for him! Zachary had a big smile on his face as I left though, so I’m not the least bit worried about him. I think he’s going to love school.


Review: Pop Weaver Microwave Popcorn

Movie night just isn’t movie night without a bowl of popcorn in your lap to munch on.  My 5-year-old never lets us forget that, so I was happy to have a sample of Pop Weaver’s new microwave popcorn on hand as we settled in for our most recent family movie night.  As soon as I announced we were going to watch a movie, I heard, “Yay! I want popcorn!”

I had recently received a sample Pop Weaver’s Light Butter microwave popcorn cooked in their newly formulated canola oil blend to try out so I tossed a bag in the microwave.  In addition to tasting great, the popcorn popped up light and fluffy with just two minutes in the microwave.  Plus, with only 210 calories per bag popped, it is a snack I don’t feel bad feeding my children.  That isn’t the only benefit though.

Pop Weaver’s Canola oil blend is primarily comprised of “heart healthy” polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and supply Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids, helping to protect against coronary heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. And the popcorn provides other health benefits, as well, since it is a good source of whole grains. Not only does it contain fiber, but a study released this summer found that popcorn also provides healthy antioxidants. In fact, because it is unprocessed, according to the study, popped popcorn provided more antioxidants than any other snack food tested.

What more can you ask for in a quick, tasty snack?  I have to admit that I would like a little more butter flavor on my popcorn, but Pop Weaver has that covered with the Butter and Extra Butter flavors for just a few more calories per bag.  I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for it the next time I’m strolling the aisles at the grocery store.  At only 21 cents per bag, it’s a great snack to have on hand!

Giveaway Time!

If you would like to try out Pop Weaver’s new microwave popcorn made with canola oil, you’re in luck!  I have two 8-count boxes of popcorn to give away to two lucky commenters! 

How to enter:
All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment below. I’d love it if you would tell me what your favorite healthy snack is or what you like to munch on during movie night. Be sure to leave an e-mail address where you can be reached if you win!

Contest will close Wednesday, August 18th, at 11:59 p.m. CST. You must be a U.S. resident, or have a U.S. postal address to participate. Two winners will be chosen from all eligible comments via and notified by e-mail.

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