Golden Bird

A Reflection Of Thanks – Photo Friday

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Reflection of Thanks

This year I found a way to keep the act of being thankful going all month in our home. November 1st, I pulled out a set of dry erase markers, gathered the family around our hall mirror and asked them to write one thing they were thankful for that day. After a couple of (Mom has lost her marbles again) looks, they each wrote something.

The beauty of this activity as the month progressed was in the moments I came upon one of my children, standing before the mirror, deep in thought, reflecting upon what they were thankful for that day. And, while early on they had to give it some thought, later in the month they had a couple of items a day they wanted to add which made my heart smile.

The mirror became not only a reflection of thanks in words, but in images and memories.

If you look closely at what is reflected in this great big hall mirror covered in words of thanks, you will all see what I am most thankful for… the home and life we are blessed to live every day.

Here are a few more images of our Thanksgiving.

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you and your family enjoyed it.

Whether you do or you don’t, the lesson here is that there isn’t one day or one month a year to give thanks.

We can and should find something to be thankful for each and every day.

I’m tempted to keep our words of thanks on the mirror permanently!

What is one thing you are thankful for today?

The Search For Life’s Magic Editing Wand

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Stereograms are multi-dimensional, computer-generated, graphic images that contain hidden content (images and text). The hidden content can only be seen when viewed from the proper visual and mental perspective. Stereograms contain multiple levels of reality. The surface level usually contains a variety of colors and patterns that make stereograms appear chaotic and disorganized. Once we penetrate into the deeper dimensions of the hidden content, we discover the real meaning of each stereogram.”

Photo Credit: eyetricks.com

Photo Credit: eyetricks.com

I think I might be a human Stereogram.

Allow me to break it down. I wasn’t the kind of little girl who enjoyed playing dress up. As a matter of fact, I was such a tomboy that I was most comfortable in my jeans with a torn knee and a t-shirt. However, as I got older I started to enjoy it. Maybe because dressing up then also entailed an evening out and the good time that accompanied it. I love going in my closet and searching for just the right outfit for the occasion, and twirling in front of the mirror once I’m dressed. Herein lies the problem…the mirror. At first glance, I’m usually happy with what I see, but much like the stereogram it seems I contain multiple levels of reality. The more I stand in front of that mirror, the closer and longer I look at my reflection, the unhappier I become with what I see. Much like the stereogram, I believe I start to see “hidden content” in my image I didn’t originally see. Unlike the stereogram however, the longer I look the more chaotic and disorganized my reflection appears to me. And, once I see those flaws it is all I can focus on, leading me to doubt the whole ensemble, making me question my exercise plan, and ultimately sending me spinning back into the closet to change outfits. When did I become such a girl?

I am much the same when presented with a photograph of myself. Again, at first glance I think it’s not bad, but upon further inspection I can’t keep my finger from gravitating toward the delete button. There are very few photos of myself that I really like, and even then that photo is probably the fifth photo taken because the first four were deleted. Anyone who takes a photo of me, knows there is an approval process before it can be shared through any social media. On a recent trip to NYC, some strangers offered to take a photo of my husband and myself in front of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. I disliked the photo so much, I asked the police officer standing on the corner (much to my husband’s embarrassment) to take another photo of us. Then, I had him retake that photo! Thank you Mr. NYPD!

I’ve always wished I had a magic wand that would allow me to immediately edit those photos, and ultimately the reflection I see in the mirror. My husband doesn’t understand my warped perception of myself, and quite frankly I don’t either. How can I see the results of my hard work from running and weight training one day, yet not see it another day? I see what I see though. When my son was around two years old, he was crying one day and could barely get the words out when I asked, “Why are you crying?” Between breathes he said, “I cry because I cry!” Well, I see that warped image because I see that warped image!

This week, I’ve held an editing wand in my hand though not one I could use on my image. You see, I’ve been editing my soon to be published book, Red Circle Days, and do you know what I’ve discovered? I have come to the realization that my reflection isn’t the only thing that can generate self-doubt. As I read through my writing once more, I begin to doubt the quality. I start to feel that no amount of editing will ever make it good enough in my eyes. I start to envision my book sitting on store shelves collecting dust after a handful of copies have been purchased by my mom, other family members, and good friends. So…I struggle to move forward in the editing process until it is complete, much like I struggle to turn away from the mirror and head out the door in search of something good. I know I will keep trekking along on my road to a fitter me, and I know I will keep trekking along on my road to publishing my first book. I will continue because I can’t give up on either journey. My son may cry because he cries, and I may see a warped image because I see a warped image. However, magic editing wand or not, I write because I write!

Do you have any aspects in your life, where you search for that magic editing wand?

“This Gun Killed Someone”

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The instructions read: Connect the dots to see the picture, then draw something you might see in it. He drew a picture of a gun floating in white space, with the word “News” above it. When asked to explain his picture he said, “The news is on TV, and this is a picture of a gun.” As his homeschooling teacher and more importantly his mom, I asked him to elaborate. He went on, “The news is reporting that this gun killed someone.”

(Insert screeching sound of tape rewinding)

When the heart wrenching tragedy occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary, in Newtown, Connecticut I made a decision to shield my children from that news. I don’t watch the news often. I don’t enjoy it and seek my news updates via other channels. I didn’t feel the need to unnecessarily scare my children with the details of a man who took it upon himself, for reasons unknown and that will never be justified, to take the innocent lives of those children in the very place they felt safe and surrounded by people whose job it was to care for them. Since we started homeschooling this year outside the United States, our social interaction is limited. I have no idea where my seven year old son got this idea, nor if it is even related to the same horrific event. We spent the holidays in the states and they had plenty of time with other children and grownups so it is possible that he heard something then. That’s neither here nor there.

When I saw the picture of the gun my son drew, it didn’t faze me. When he made the statement, “this gun killed someone” my heart stopped. I don’t normally discuss politics, religion or other controversial and divisive topics, and I certainly don’t blog about them. Maybe it’s because I don’t feel the need to change others views or maybe it’s because I don’t feel the need to open myself up to others who might want to try and change my views. I don’t know.

What I do know is this. I don’t want my children to grow up believing that a gun is responsible for hurting or killing someone. I don’t want my children to believe that a piece of metal is responsible for taking lives. I want them to understand that a gun is a weapon that can only cause harm if someone takes that gun in their hands and makes the conscious choice to hurt someone with it.

gunnews

He added the person after our discussion on choices. Gotta love the extra long left arm.

Our lives are a series of choices. Coke or Diet Pepsi, tropical or winter vacation, the red dress or the black dress. Each choice we make sets off a series of other choices down a path whose direction can change in an instant when another choice is made. From childhood we are presented with choices on a daily basis. PB&J or ham and cheese sandwich? Apple juice or milk? Swing or slide? As we grow so do the choices we are presented with in our lives. We must choose to go to college or join the work force. We must choose with which friends we will spend our time, and which of those friends we will choose to share a lifetime. Some choices we know will be life altering the moment we make them such as whether or not to say “I do” or what career path to take. Others appear to be so inconsequential that we often make them without much thought at all, never foreseeing what kind of domino effect that tiny little choice might set off.

We all have at least one friend who prefers to leave things to chance, roll the dice, take a gamble. However, in doing so hasn’t that friend already made a choice? I have heard folks say, “I had no choice” and think to myself that there’s always a choice. If you think someone else has made a choice for you, then you have made the choice to give them that right. We are responsible for the choices we make, no one else. We are responsible for the smallest of choices that can be made in the blink of an eye…sugar or sweet n low? And, we are responsible for the gut wrenching, heart twisting, choices that cause sleepless nights.

I choose to teach my children to understand human beings choose to get their hands on a gun, choose to aim that gun at someone else, and choose to pull the trigger, ultimately choosing to end that life. I choose to emphasize the fact that the gun by itself doesn’t kill. A choice was made.

Regardless of my stance on gun control, as a parent it is my responsibility to help my children understand the importance of their choices and the effects and consequences those choices may have. Those parents who lost their sweet children that fateful December afternoon had no choice because someone took it upon himself to strip them of the opportunity to teach their children about religion, politics, guns, and their right to choose the path of good vs. evil. Those children will never get to make those choices because of someone else’s choice. I know the topic of guns will be controversial to some, but this post isn’t about gun control or the Second Amendment. It is simply about a mother choosing to teach her children about personal responsibility. At the end of the day, I choose to be confident in my choices and let the chips fall where they may. Let the domino effect begin. What do you choose?

Did you choose to discuss the incident at Sandy Hook with your children? If so, how did you handle the role guns and people played in it?

Will The Real Little Miss Wordy Please Stand Up?

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I think it’s clear that I love to write. The more I write, the more I want to write. I am flattered to have hundreds of followers in the short time I’ve been blogging…only three months actually. I am taken aback by the kind words, the encouragement, and mostly that there are people all over the world (some in places I couldn’t point out on the map) with nothing better to do than read my random thoughts. ;-) In all honesty, when fellow bloggers think of me when it comes to award time, I feel like somewhat of a farce. I almost look over my shoulder to see if there’s someone else standing up to be recognized as the real Little Miss Wordy. There is so much talent out here that I am just pleased as punch to have snuck in the exit door when no one was looking. Shhhh…don’t rat me out! Stick around and hopefully I’ll write something that will touch you in some way. If I can make one person truly feel something in the process of sorting out my own thoughts and feelings while doing something I’m passionate about, I will view that as icing on the cake. Thank you for reading!

I also want to thank those who have awarded me the following, but more importantly awarded me the encouragement to continue doing what I’m doing here.

Thank you The Broken Road!

Thank you Vina’s Delicious Recipes!

Thank you Joy is Now!

Thank you Chatter Master!

Thank you Lantern Post!


Check me out using the new photo gallery feature! Go me! :-)

In the spirit of giving, I am not going to select the limited number of bloggers, which fall in the right number of followers range etc. I figure if I’m following your blog, it is because something you have posted has spoken to me at some point. I have probably already mentioned many of you in my Holiday Sharing Blogger Challenge. For those I couldn’t work into that post without becoming Little Miss Way Too Wordy, you should be listed below! ;-) Share the love in the Bloggerhood! Pay it forward! Use the ping backs! Link back to other bloggers! Spread the word! Oh, and Happy Holidays!

The broken road Followed 4 hours, 34 minutes ago

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How Much Stuff Do We Really Need?

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Every year we kick off the holiday season with Thanksgiving, a day when we stuff the turkey, stuff ourselves and give thanks for all the people and stuff in our lives. We’ve barely had time to digest the Turkey before we’re out the door to be the first ones in line to get more stuff to place under the Christmas tree for our family and friends, more stuff to ensure we are the most decorated house on the block, more stuff to find a place for, more stuff to dust, and more stuff to ultimately ignore. When is it enough? When is it too much?

In this video, Father Scott J. Brown references a family in Ethiopia who seems content with twenty-eight possessions in a 360 square foot hut, a very different picture from the average 2500 square foot American household. At what point do we have enough stuff in our lives?

Sarah Book Publishing

Sarah Book Publishing

Scott J. Brown is also a children’s author. His latest book, a must read, tells the story of three kings who face the dilemma of (gasp) having to come up with a personal gift fit for a king when the shops were already closed for the day. Purchase The Gift of You here and share the story with your children this season.

Holiday Sharing Blogger Challenge

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Challenge: Write a post that mentions other bloggers while also mentioning some of your own posts as well. The trick is to incorporate it into your post in a meaningful way. It can be in the form of a story, a letter, a conversation…get creative! Then post a link to your post in the comments below. Don’t forget to link to the bloggers and posts you reference so everyone can reap the benefits of just a few of your favorite things. Give the gift of sharing and share this challenge with other bloggers!

A Blogger By Any Other Name…

Photo credit: just-call-me-frank.blogspot.com

Photo credit: just-call-me-frank.blogspot.com

I’ve only been blogging since September 11 of this year. I had been jotting down some random thoughts and sharing them with a few folks, but that day I was compelled to share my thoughts with a wider audience in a formal way. Maybe it was the significance of the date since my first post here was about the meaning behind the red circles on our calendars. Maybe I just wanted to be around more people like myself, who have thoughts or a moment of joy we need to share in order to de-clutter our brains for more stuff. Regardless, I started blogging and never looked back becoming so familiar with other bloggers that I refer to them by “name” even when conversing with friends and family.

For example, I love to share my Milk Duds story with other people and always mention that Chatter Master had an equally sweet story about Milk Duds which is how she found me. Speaking of treats,when I told my girlfriend that Keeping it Real Mom’s son knocked over and shattered a wine glass while reaching for a Halloween sweet, she audibly gasped. The sweetest part was his apology and her beautiful display of patience to the incident. I would have pulled out my Emergency Contact list because I’m a control freak like that. Although, I have exhibited some patience of my own as I waited for Coastal Mom to rejoin us while she worked on her book. It’s okay I was still eating, still praying, still loving while Sass and Balderdash was still looking for a job, Ad- libb3d was still writing jokes, and Creative Liar was well still lying but in a creative way that would make us all proud.

This arena of ours provides a courage by keyboard that encourages our right to share, our right to learn and even our right to bitch because let’s face it parenting is funny, motherhood is an art, and we brave, smart, bold people have every right to help the world see things from our mom’s eye view or whatever your perspective may be. I’ve got a story and you’ve got a story or fat lies and fairy tales or an organized chaos of thoughts that should be heard. No matter what we are sharing, we are touching people, making them smile, making them laugh, making them angry and leading them to that special point when crazy meets exhaustion and you feel like your shoes are on the wrong feetall while watching a clown on fire like a train wreck of thoughts on the run you can’t peel your eyes from.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t know what to call most of you other than your blog names, and to me they roll off the tongue like the name of an old trusted friend. Funny how that works. I’m sure most of you refer to me as little miss wordy when you spend countless hours enlightening/boring folks to tears with my musings much like I share Charlotte’s musings too. Strange how you can feel like you know someone when you’ve only seen glimpses of their lives float across your screen, and you don’t even know them by name. Well, except for Danny Breslin and Cristian Mihai who are the king of states but also the opposite of Madonna, and went the route of embracing their real names. If those are some form of stage name guys, I’m not gonna be happy. I’ll have to explain to everyone that I now have no clue where all those sticky notes and quotes I shared with them promising a new free life came from. They’re going to tell me to piss off and there goes the celebration. No daddy drinks or shanpagne all around! I’ll be the sadder but wiser girl. It’s okay…I’ll take it like a grown up.

What? You Like My Blog? Piss Off!

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“Nice shoes.” “Great hair.” “Love your outfit today.” All fine compliments, and all compliments that would bring a smile to our face, brighten our day, make us stand a little taller. I’m five foot two and half and I’ll take any opportunity for a little more height, but it’s more than that. A compliment is a positive thing to be shared and received in a positive light. You wouldn’t respond to any of these compliments with a “Piss Off” or a “How dare you?!” would you? Okay, well if you would then maybe you should stop reading and check out my top posts on the right side bar.

In the blogging world there are awards. I’m sure you’ve seen the One Lovely Blog Award or the Very Inspiring Blog Award, to name a couple. When I first started my blog, I was fearful the blogging world would be an extended gripe session for those whose friends banned them from Facebook, a larger canvas for those from Twitter who couldn’t describe their gripe in 160 characters or less, or those from Pinterest who just didn’t think one photo would do their gripe justice. Well, Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong, I mean Little Miss Wordy was so wrong!

In the short time I have been blogging, I have encountered some really kind, friendly, positive people who just happen to be extremely talented too. They are positive folks who go out of their way to welcome, motivate, and encourage each other. They share their thoughts, their knowledge, and even their tips for a more successful blog. That’s right! These folks are willing to share their followers and ultimately the spotlight. Not something we often see in our daily lives is it?

Which is why I was surprised when I saw a newbie blogger (even newbie-er) than myself, ask what such and such award meant because they were just awarded one. The response posted in the comments read, “it doesn’t mean anything at all…just like a chain letter.” Well, that’s encouraging (no really it isn’t)! The award may not be the Nobel Prize (no really it isn’t), but it is still a compliment.

It means someone did something every blogger/writer looks forward to no matter how long you’ve been blogging or what your ultimate goal is in doing so.

A) Someone actually read something you wrote.

B) If they are giving you an award, chances are they chose to follow your blog and have read multiple posts.

C) They like your writing so much they have taken the time to go through the award process just for you.

D) Did I mention they actually read what you wrote? Let’s not kid ourselves, if we didn’t want others to read our writing, then we would just keep a diary, with a key, and lock it and hide the diary under the floorboard in the closet, and guard the key with our lives. 

Let’s be honest here. When someone hits that “like” button on your post it makes you smile, unless you’ve had one too many Botox visits. When someone chooses to follow your blog, it makes you feel warm inside unless your Depends are leaking. And when someone decides something you wrote is worthy of being Freshly Pressed, I imagine you feel all the above and then some, unless you’re dead inside!  A compliment is a compliment!

So to those who have decided my blog is worthy of these awards, I say “Piss Off!” (no not really)!! I say THANK YOU from the bottom of my little writer’s heart for taking the time to read my thoughts, my stories, view my amateur photos, and encourage me to keep sharing! To the rest of the blogging world and readers out there, I say “like” my posts, leave your comments, share my writing, and follow me…there is no greater compliment!