Does mom really want that?

Mothers-Day

It’s a rainy day.  No, a STORMY day.  It’s raining so hard outside that I can barely see out my windows.  The wind is howling.   The trees are bent in half.  There are warnings scrolling across the bottom of my television screen telling us that there is a severe storm warning going on.  NO JOKE!

Well, that settles it.  I can not possibly go out in this mess to the gym.  Hurray!!  A Valid excuse for NOT exercising!  What a great day!!

I have had a bit of writers block lately.  It hits me off and on.  For all different reasons.  And then just like that, I get inspired.  The source of my inspiration this morning? A blustery, severe thunderstorm outside my window.  Now if I don’t lose my power I’ll be all set!!

With storms blowing just outside my front door and Mother’s Day right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start putting a little thought into how to make mom’s day special for her.  It’s reallllly not so hard to please mom.  We moms are happy when someone else cooks for us AND cleans up.  We are happy as can be when surrounded by those we love.  That means you… who we have birthed and raised.

It really is that easy.  We don’t need fancy, expensive gifts.  In fact, the gift of your company is the best present everrr!  We don’t want you to spend your hard-earned money on us.   And, here’s a little secret.  There is most definitely a little list of gift ideas you probably should avoid.  To help you out, I’ve compiled a few of those things for you here.

 

 

What Not To Get Mom.

1. appliances

…We love getting them!!!!….at our wedding showers.

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2. generic mug

This gift screams – “I didn’t want to put any thought into your present this year….”

mug

3.  last minute gift

Honey, we’ll be right back…….

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4. coupon booklet (easily confused with last-minute gift)

Really?  And here we thought those were just your chores.

coupon

5. health club membership

“No honey, those jeans don’t make you look fat!”

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6. dinner to YOUR favorite restaurant

The world’s best buffet is generally not our favorite fine dining spot.

buffet

7. certificate

What can I say – FAIL

worldsbestmom

So speaking for moms everywhere ~ Do not get caught up in the commercialism of the day.   The gifts are lovely.  However, just spending the day with you is the best gift of all!!  Not to worry tho, if you are guilty of giving these gifts in the past, Mom still loves you.  And, the good news is, you can redeem yourself because Mother’s Day comes around every year.

 

And if all else fails………

margrita

Easter

 

* reblogged from my own blog – One of my very early posts.  My style of writing has changed a bit, but the message is timeless.

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Happy Easter!!

easter-eggs

I sit in my kitchen early in the morning drinking coffee before anyone else in the household wakes up. It has always been my style. It has always been my favorite part of the day. The house is quiet. It is the calm before the storm. Raising three active boys, I knew it was only a matter of time before the storm came. Each day. And it usually did. Not in a bad way. But, in an active, chaotic way. I loved every part of it. Bring it on!

Today, tho the habit is deeply rooted and I still wake up early, the chaos is mostly gone. My children have grown. One married. One graduated from college and working. One living away from home at college. It’s mostly just Bruce and I these days. I think back on Easters past and how exciting this holiday used to be for our family.

Stay up late to fill Easter baskets. Hide them in the house. Get up early in the morning to three little boys racing from room to room trying to find their loot.

Then church. It was always a battle to try to calm everyone down. The prior weeks leading up to the big day, I would go out and shop for new outfits for each of them. When they were young, the outfits were always coordinating. They usually included suspenders and knee socks. Something they cringe at now. As they got older, they each developed their own sense of style. I still felt the maternal need to get them new duds for the holiday. So, I did.

Half the time on the way to church, a brawl would break out for some reason or another. There they would be in their new clothes, sitting strategically in our mini van to ensure the least damage to their appearance by the time we made our 10 minute drive to our destination. They knew how to push each others buttons. Inevitably, the buttons would be pushed. I would get stressed out. Clark would threaten to pull the car over.

We always made it to church in one piece. We would plant forced smiles on our faces so that nobody would know that 5 minutes earlier world war III was breaking out in our car. It was not until years later that I found out that most of our friends had that very similar experience on their ride to church. It was not unique to us. It was normal. It was the American way!

After church, the boys would find their friends in the church gym while the adults would gather and have coffee and talk for a little while. I loved this part of church. I still do. Time to catch up with everyone. This group of people end up being your church family. In a way, every Sunday after church felt like a mini family holiday or gathering. You are not born into each others lives. You find each other. Bonds form. A family by choice.

I was raised catholic. Irish catholic. That is a strong combo. Irish blood runs deep and loyal. Both of my parents worked at Notre Dame and because of this, we had the special perk of being able to attend Notre Dame at a deeply discounted price. You paid for room and board. The education was free. My friends think that for this reason, it was ironic that I ended up at a small, private, expensive protestant college.

I frequently tell my friends that I know it was not ironic, but rather, Divine Intervention. God knew exactly what he was doing when he plucked me out of my environment and plopped me down in the middle of Hope College. There, I met Bruce who I ended up marrying. There I found my true faith. A deep faith by today’s standards. Maybe it was the freedom that you experience while in College or maybe it was my age, but it was then that I realized that faith is a choice. You choose to be a believer or not. You realize that in the end, we are all worshiping the same God. We are just going down different roads and paths in our journeys.

Many Easter’s later, as a mom of three boys ~~ and now a beautiful daughter in law ~~ I think back fondly of all of those Easter mornings. The wild beginning, the chaos of trying to calm everyone to get ready for church, coming home to our big feast. I Love family holidays. I love being all together. It is my favorite thing in the world. We sit down for meals, sometimes for hours. I Look around my table and know how truly blessed I am. I have a beautiful, healthy family. My boys are the best of friends. They all love Bruce’s wife, Lauren. She fits in perfectly. They look up to their father with such respect and love. Today they might even admit that, yes, he did know what he was talking about most of the time when lecturing and giving advice.

So, however you choose to spend your day tomorrow, whether you choose to celebrate privately, with a family of choice or the family you were born into, on this day before Easter, may you all feel the special blessing that family brings to your life and of Easters past and present. And may you feel the deep meaning of the sacrifice given up for you through the cross. Happy Easter!!

happyEaster

it’s all in the name

branding_cow

Branding.

What’s all the fuss lately?  I seem to run across article after article referring to “branding yourself.”

I started my blog casually. I saw my handsome hubs, Clark, doing something witty one day and just decided to write it down for all the world to read!

OK, not true.

The real story ~ I was prompted a bit by my dear friend, Bonnie, to write.  Well, prompted a lot.  Come to think of it, she was borderline abusive about it.  But I digress.  Sweet Bonnie encouraged me to write.  She saw something in my stories.  Thought I had a gift and should be using it rather than letting it sit stagnant.  So, I wrote.

Who in the world would have ever thought it would have turned into this little obsession of mine a year later?  There’s so much to think about.  Who knew?   You don’t just sit down and toss out some thoughts onto your keyboard and hit “post.”  You start to live and breathe it.  (Yes, I know, never end a sentence with a preposition)

Creating a brand means essentially to think of some cohesive core values that represent you and your blog.

Branding.  You must start off with a catchy title!

Huh?  How about Twenty Thirteen!  Hmmm.  Not so catchy, but hey!!… that was the year I started!  So there’s that.  It will be self-explanatory years from now!  People will identify that I have been blogging since wayyyy bacckkk thennnn!

To-blog-or-not-to-blog_943_426068_0_14072635_500I certainly do not take myself too seriously when writing a post. So why in the world do I want to work on creating a brand for myself that speaks to my audience?

Well, I guess because the longer you blog the more you become obsessed with it.  You slowly start to want to build an audience.  Blogging grabs a hold of you and all you can do is think about is your next post.  I constantly have blog material going through my head.  I can be out do anything, with anyone, and think to myself (and often out loud… ) “oh, that’s great blog material!!” It becomes your mantra.  And part of your daily routine.  Especially when you find humor in simple, ordinary events that happen on any given day.

Face it people!… you are just one huge, humorous blog post waiting to happen.

So, as I often do, I have caved in to the pressure.  *shame*   I have decided to create a fab, new title for my blog!!

Will this create an identity crisis between myself and my readers?  Will they still recognize my blog if the old “twenty thirteen” is replaced by something shiny and  brand new?

Or, Is it actually really necessary to change my title?  I havvveee become a bit fond of it.  Even tho it is a bit vague and generic.  It just feels like….mine.  It feels like home.

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Hey, wait just a minute.  Maybe I AM home!  Maybe Twenty Thirteen IS my identity and my brand.  It does feel comfy like an old sweatshirt.  And, people have already become wildly fascinated with it.  OK, I exaggerate.  But they DO know it’s my blog title.  : )

So, maybe all the fuss about creating a catchy title and developing your brand is just hot air. Maybe, with time, you DO develop a brand simply by being consistent with posts, writing good, solid content and taking care of your site on a day-to-day basis.  Perhaps your brand evolves into something spectacular all by itself just by being yourself and blogging your little heart out.

 

Hmmm, I must give this more thought.  Is it too late in the game to change my title?  Is it even necessary now that I have been blogging for a year?  Do you all know what you are coming to read when you visit my page?  Do you feel you have a handle on branding?   Do you feel you’ve branded your site well and has it served you in a positive way?

Thoughts?

old-typewriter copy

 

Feeling Fifty in Fifty

Nothing says to you “I feel old” faster than a few innocent comments from young men.

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Young Men: “Woah, Mrs B.  Did you MAKE that Chex Party Mix?”

Me:  “I did”

Young Men:  “We’ve never knew you could make it homemade!”

Me: “It’s a recipe from the olden days.”

Young Men: “Woah!”

 

 

Slow-Cooker-Homemade-Chex-Mix-Recipe

 

 

 

 

-written in response to DPchallenge

Mama told me, there’ll be days like this….

Some days are just like that.

As a matter of fact, some weeks are like that.   Stressful.  And nightmarish.  Where you just want to say “forget it!!”…and sit and drink coffee all day.  Or Wine.  And scream at the person who is causing your blood pressure to rise.

In this case, it was an old blog service I used when I first started writing.  I will refrain from mentioning their #%$%#$ing name because they are evil.  (BLog.com).

After about one week of using their site when I first joined the blogosphere, I knew immediately that it was not going to work between us.  That union was anything but healthy.  I wanted a divorce!   So I jumped ship and made my way over to WordPress.

Jumping-ship

Ahhhhh.  WordPress.  They were like a breath of fresh air.  Reliable.  Professional.   And, most of all, they knew what they were doing.   They even had an amazing support network.  One that was actually available to me when I needed some help.  Afterall, I was new to this blogging bit and I had questions.  Lots of them.  Yes, switching to WordPress was joyous.  And smart.

I was sitting in my kitchen last week, lighthearted and happy, ready to log onto my blog to write about something witty that Clark had said or done,  and – BOOM –  Just like that, tragedy!

I was redirected to some foreign, evil-looking page that tells me my Margber domain is no longer available to me. Therefor, I had no access to my blog.  Huh????  What-the-%&$&$&%##*!!!!  What’s this nonsense??  That’s MY blog!  MY hard work went into it.  Someone was trying to take control.  It was like a mini-hijacking.  I was the captain of the ship and it was going down.

domain-name-expired-help

My heart started to race and I did what I do best in those type of situations.  In a slightly high-pitched, louder than normal tone, I yelled at Clark for it.  Then, I took a deep breath, or two, and started to deal with the entire mess.

I had left the incompetent Blog.com after only one week of association with them, and they were still haunting me a year later.  I could not believe it.  Hadn’t I jumped the ship to avoid just this kind of disaster?  I thought I had done everything right.  I was diligent in following the rules and renewing fee’s.  But, one had slipped through the crack.

I had my WordPress upgrades set to auto-renew and was well aware that my renew date was approaching.  I had checked it a few weeks before the payment was due.  I decided to override the auto-renew and pay early because, well, that is just how I am. I worry.  I did not want anything to happen or come between myself and my uber awesome domain.   If it were to lapse, my readers would not know where to find me.  My email subscribers would be lost to me.

And, that is exactly what happened.pulling-hair-out-2

I was so focused on the WordPress end of it all, that I had neglected to even considered that the evil Blog.com side of it needed attention as well.  After all, My domain originated over there (evil place) and because of that, I was linked to them.  Forever.  And ever.  Until death do us part.  OYYYYY.  My divorce to the miserable Blog.com had never been official.  I was still at their mercy but didn’t even know it.  Ohhh, how disastrous!!!

So, after weeks of unsuccessfully trying to contact and get a reply from Blog.com (the trail went cold) I finally turned to the accessible and willingly available support team at WordPress, With a special shout-out to auxclass (Woot woot!!) and after hours of guidance, the entire mess has finally been resolved.  Sort of.  It did not come without casualties.  While I have finally and completely cut all ties with the vile Blog.com (they’re evil!!!) it came at a high price.  I had to temporarily give up my domain Margber.   (SOOO sad!!)  For the next few months, I will sit and wait and stress over its release.  And then I will grab it again!!  YaY!

Until then, I can be found at https://margber.wordpress.com/ and I gladly and proudly accept the WordPress name snuggled right in the middle of my shiny new URL.  Temporarily.  Until I can once again regain control my original domain.

So what does all of this mumbo jumbo mean?  It simply means that if you are looking for moi, I can be found at the URL

margber.wordpress.com

It might also mean that you may possibly need to re-follow me by clicking the follow tab again. (it’s down there in the right hand corner.  Go ahead, click it!)

So sorry for the inconvenience, folks ~ Feeling a bit like a block head.  : )

At the time of press for this post, I had still not heard from the evil Blog.com to help straighten the domain mess out from their end.  I had tried, unsuccessfully, for-everrrrrrrrr to contact someone from their (non-existent) support network.  It has now been 3 weeks and counting.  Im not going to hold my breath….

allaboutme

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 MaMa was right.  There’ll be days like this…..

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Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin’ town….

Something worth sharing….

NYC16520

This past week, while looking out the window at the once again falling snow, I smiled to myself.  I Love Snow!!  I am always the one talking up it’s finer points and telling everyone within earshot ..I can’t wait for it to snow.”  And, “I hope we get bucket loads of it, this year!!” Those brave and loud statements are usually met with grunts of disapproval and gasps of horror.

Guess what?! It’s winter, people!  (Well, at least for a few more weeks.)  And when you live in the northern part of the USA, Winter = Snow & Cold.  Hurray!

<> on January 2, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.

OK, so this year we have been hit hard and have been experiencing an unusually bitter and frigid season.  We have been tested to our limits.  We have survived the evil Polar Vortex.  We have shoveled our way out of mounds and mounds of snow.  And, we have been (somewhat) patient through record air traffic cancellations and delays as well as ridiculously long and treacherous commutes to and from work.

Chicago Blizzard 2011

We Love Chicago!!  Don’t we?

Time Out Chicago, (Chicago’s guide to what’s new and next on the city’s arts and culture scene) took to the streets asking the age-old question..”if it’s so bad, why do you stay here??”  And the answers that were given not only warmed my heart and reminded me of why I have such a deep love for this great city and would never leave regardless of the severe and somewhat unpredictable seasons, they are something most definitely worth sharing…

Yes, We Love Chicago!!

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16 reasons why we can’t leave Chicago, even after this evil winter.

We’ll admit this winter has made us question why we live in Chicago, but the answers keep us right where we are – By Laura Baginski

Why do you stay? Tell us in the comments.

16. All the messy toil and sting of the cold season seem to disappear on that one magic day—it usually comes in the second week of March—when the early afternoon clouds part, the sun beats down with intensity you haven’t felt in months and suddenly you’re overdressed. You shed your bulky coat, stuff it in your bag and smile. It’s not quite spring, but the worst of winter is behind you.—Jake Malooley, senior editor

15. You don’t need a car to live here. The CTA is slow, clunky, late and often full of putrid smells, but it will get you where you need to go. Eventually.—Laura Baginski, editor

14. The people are what make Chicago great. Here, I can hang out with good friends all the time and it is easy to do. My friends who move away tell me that maintaining friendships in other not-to-be-named cities is really hard, and building a great network of friends in nearly impossible. In Chicago, I know if I stop at my local favorite bar or restaurant, I will know the bartender (a friend), an old pal will already be at the bar, and another friend will walk in the door a minute later, all unplanned.—Martha Williams, photo editor

13. There’s a lot of talk in the theater and comedy scenes here about “paying your dues”—appropriate for this union town. And this brutal winter especially has felt like dues paid. But paying dues pays off, whether it’s getting in on the ground floor with future comedy legends, or reaping the riches of Chicago in summer. The work we have to put in makes the rewards all the sweeter.—Kris Vire, associate editor, Theater, Comedy, LGBT

12. Because the beach is 15 minutes from pretty much anywhere you are in the city.—Erin Delahanty, senior digital marketing manager

11. The location. Being located in the Midwest means that I can hop on a plane and in about two hours be in New York, New Orleans, New England, D.C., and other spots my friends and family live. Plus, being driving distance from Milwaukee, Madison, Michigan, Indy, Louisville and other places means getting away for the weekend is super easy.—Amy Cavanaugh, Food & Drink editor

10. In some ways I think the winter slog makes us better appreciate Chicago’s good points, in a self-reinforcing fashion: If we’re willing to put up with this bullshit weather, this city must be pretty damn great.—KV

9. The 4am bars. And the White Sox.—Jessica Johnson, senior online producer

8. It’s a city filled with driven, motivated people who also happen to (mostly) be friendly Midwesterners happy to give you directions when you’re lost.—ED

7. Chicago is still reasonably affordable. New York magazine recently published a feature laying out what its city’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, can possibly do to make NYC affordable for the middle class. Here in Chicago, we don’t have the same dire need to write those pieces. Not quite yet, anyway. That could change given Mayor Emanuel’s fixation on making Chicago what he loves to call a “world-class city.” Our city is world-class, we don’t need the sky-high rent to prove it.—JM

6. ​I can live alongside a massive body of water in a major metropolitan area—without paying a fortune.—Brent DiCrescenzo, managing editor

5. Chicago is now the place to set shoot your new TV show (Chicago PD, Crisis, Mind Games, Sirens, plus less-new shows like Chicago Fire, Shameless and the new season of Orange Is the New Black).—JJ

4. The beer. Confession: I hardly ever drank beer before moving to Chicago three and a half years ago. I’ve always been foremost a cocktail girl, but the vast number of breweries here and the availability of great beer has opened my eyes to all of the different styles available. I still have a ton to learn (and drink), but the beer scene has been one of the most exciting parts of living in Chicago.—AC

3. Every musical act in the world seems to play here, at some point. Sometimes it feels like every single last one of them is here in June, July and August alone.—BD

2. Chicago has all of the cultural richness of a major metropolitan city, but is very livable.  You can buy property or find a cheap apartment fairly easily, and live off very little if you need to. It was the perfect city for me when I was a broke college student, and it is still the perfect city for me as a first-time homeowner.—MW

1. The civic pride here is real. People here love to talk up their city, both the good and the bad (and then defend the hell out it when a non-Chicagoan dares to say something negative about the city). When I travel and people ask me where I’m from, I’m so proud to say I’m from Chicago.—LB

Dear Mom

the-beautiful-heart

Dear Mom,

Last Saturday I was signed up for a computer class.  I grabbed my laptop and headed towards the front door.  As I walked past the front room to turn off the TV, the Olympic Hockey game caught my attention.  The USA was playing.  There are a few Blackhawks on the team and I saw Kane whiz by.  So I sat down on the arm of the chair and watched the remainder of it.   For the life of me, I now can not remember who the USA was playing but I remember that it was an amazing game.   We ended up winning in a shootout.

Sitting there and watching that game made me late for my class.  But it didn’t matter.  As I turned off the TV and stood up to leave, my phone rang.  I thought about not answering it because I was running late, but something prompted me to pick it up.  So I juggled the heavy things I was carrying, freed up my right hand and answered it.  It was Tim.  I could not understand him.  Something about you.  He was talking in broken sentences.   I caught bits and pieces of it.  Panic started to rise in me.  And then, my heart stopped.

I don’t think I could have ever been prepared for that call.  I don’t understand how this could have happened.  You did everything right.  You exercised and ate right.  You lived an active lifestyle…..

The week was a blur of emotions.  The phone calls started immediately.  The txt’s came, too.  And the condolences via social media.  Isn’t it odd how fast word spreads now-a-days?  It’s rather comforting to know that when tragedy strikes, we are instantly lifted up in prayer.  Amy immediately jumped on a flight from Houston to Chicago.  She got in late.  (Well, late for me. You know how I love to be in my pj’s early.)  So I picked her up at the airport and we drove together in the dark to get home.  Home to Indiana.  Home to where we were raised.  Home to gather together with our other siblings.  The drive was hazardous.  I was white knuckled by the time I got there.  I’m not sure if it was because we were driving through whiteouts on icy, snow covered roads or if it was because I was holding onto the steering wheel a bit too tight for fear of what lie ahead for all of us.

Bruce took the week off of work.  He was by my side every step of the way.  Tim, Bobby, Nancy, Amy and myself – along with our spouses –  all found comfort in being surrounded by each other.  All week.

I miss you so much.  I can’t believe I’m never going to see you or talk to you again in this lifetime.  There’s so many things I still want to ask you.  And talk to you about.  And tell you……

Scottie got the job.  Remember I told you about his interview?  You said you would start a Novena for him.  Did you have time to start it?  Bruce and Lauren are going on a long weekend somewhere.  They are waiting to see which flights are open.   Remember the first time Bruce Robt. flew in to see you and take you to lunch?  He talks about it often.  That visit was the first of many trips back and forth to visit you.  In his words, “Grandma is the coolest!!”  Brian has a lead on an internship this summer.  He’s working hard and continues to keep his GPA up.  And he loves the college life.  He has become so independent.  It’s hard to believe he is almost done with college.  You were right.  Time does go fast.  Too fast.

You were taken from us way too soon.  The thought of never seeing you again or talking to you in this lifetime is too much….

Me?  I miss you more than words can describe.  My heart is heavy and I walk around with a pit in my stomach and a constant feeling deep inside that something is wrong.  I know you always told me that your prayer was that when your time was up, that the Lord would take you quickly.  He heard your prayer, Mom.  But I have a huge hole in my heart because I did not get to say goodbye to you.  I did not get to tell you how blessed I was to have you as my mother.  I wanted to be next to you when your time came to leave this earth, holding your hand and telling you how incredibly much I love you.  To tell you that I will miss you.  And that I will see you again one day and until that day, pray for me.  But God had a plan for you and He decides when our time on earth is done.  He decides when to call us home.  And in my heart I know you are in a better place.  You are at peace.

So Please, Don’t worry about any of us.  Right now our hearts are heavy.  But through our faith and in time, our feelings of sadness and devastating loss will be replaced by happy memories of our time spent with you.  I’m going to miss you so much.  I already do.  I can not thank you enough for the strong faith you instilled in me and for the unconditional love you showered me with.  I’ll pray for you everyday.  And I know you’ll pray for me, too.

I Love You,
Peggy

“We never really get over devastating loss. In the thick of it, we almost stop breathing; sometimes even wishing we could. And we know deep within that we will never be the same. Yet, one day we feel the sun on our face again. We find ourselves smiling at a child or a joke or a memory. And at that moment, we realize we are finding our way back. Changed forever? Yes. But also softer, deeper, more vulnerable and more loving too. And we are breathing again…..”

mother_love

Oh my goodness….

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To those of you who are my age or older (50-Something….) the words “oh my goodness” – spoken so often by a young, curly topped Shirley Temple – might conjure up memories of childhood.  Of a time when you may have spent a Sunday afternoon with your family or friends gathered around a big black and white console television. That was the day that Family Classics, hosted by Frazier Thomas, aired.

Each week, Thomas would come into our lives from the set of his show.  It was staged and arranged to resemble a family room.  Or maybe it was a living room.  I remember book shelves, filled with hard bound, leather books sitting on them, in the background.

We’d gather around the tv and the show’s theme would start to play,  Then he’d walk onto the set and into our fafamilyclassics1mily rooms.  He’d sit down on a big wing chair and tell us about the movie we were about to see.  Sometimes holding the leather bound book in his hand.  He’d choose a different classic film each week.  Treasure Island, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Lassie Come Home, My Friend Flicka, Old Yeller…..Just to name a few.

And of course all the wonderful Shirley Temple movies.  Bright Eyes, The Little Colonel, Heidi.  She sang and danced her way into our hearts.  Watching her movies and falling in love with them are some of my earliest memories.

It was so bittersweet waking up this morning to the news of the death of Shirley Temple.  Memories of this iconic child star instantly take so many of us back to a simpler time.  An age of wholesome innocence.  She was a wonderful, and quite possibly, the best example of a child star who came out the other side sane and used her fame for a great 2nd act.  Leaving behind a permanent footprint on this world.  She was a true Hollywood legend.  A legend who will be missed and forever loved.

 

R.I P. Shirley Temple Black.

shirley Temple

what were you doing one year ago today?

blogaversary

Happy Anniversary!!…. to me?  Yes, that’s right!  This upcoming week marks my one year anniversary of blogging at WordPress.  It’s my Blogaversary!

One year ago today I sat down in front of my beloved MacBook (I really need to give my Mac a name – any suggestions?) and I created my blog Twenty Thirteen.  It was my friend, Bonnie, who had suggested that I write.  She was always -and still is- encouraging me to do new things.  Things that I would never think to do.  Until prompted.  Or pushed.  Thank you, dear Bonnie!

I sat down in February of 2013 and stared blankly at the welcome page on the WordPress site.  It was foreign to me.  I took a quick tour around and was amazed at how other Blogger’s sites looked so organized and professional.  They were interesting and pulled you in.  I stumbled upon intimidating words like “Menu, Page & Links.”  And came upon odd terminology and functions like Tools & Webhooks  And Dear Lord, what was a widget??  I was definitely in over my head.  I knew that I had to get in touch with my inner geek!

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And then, a month or so later, something extraordinary happened.  I found my rhythm.  I got into the groove of writing.  And with a little prodding and a few shameless plugs, I found my audience.  Ok, mostly my Hubs.  And my Mom & Aunts.  And my siblings.   But hey, I had an audience and that’s all the encouragement I needed.  I had not only gotten in touch with my inner geek, I had embraced it.  And I liked it!  And my family audience liked this new blogging side of me!

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I found myself blogging day and night.  Learning all the tricks that other Bloggers before me had found.  I was really getting the hang of this tech-aged  phenomenon and I was sharpening up my skills!!

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I started adding pictures to my posts.  And Videos & Links.  I was constantly thinking up new topics to write about.   I’d see Clark eating something in his lovable & abnormally noisy way that he tends to do and think AHA!  I’ll Blog about that!!  I’d be going about my normal activities in a day and a notion would pop into my head that I felt the need to blog about immediately.  It was all very thrilling!!  Exciting!!  And Exhausting.  But I found ways to recharge and go at it some more!!

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Last week I celebrated my 10,000th visitor.  I could feel my chest puffing up as I looked down at the counter on my front page.  When it ticked past 10,000, I wondered to myself – how in the world am I ever going to get my big head through a doorway.  I could feel my ego being catapulted into orbit.  This must be how it felt to be The Bloggess.  (Every Blogger’s wanna-be)

What a great anniversary.  I Love blogging.  I love the audience I have been introduced to over the past year.  I also love all of the amazing blogs I follow on a weekly basis.  They are numerous.  I will never get tired of reading what other people have to say.  Or blog about.  Everyone has a little different spin on their idea of what blogging is.  There are so many platforms out there.  Each one special in its own right.  My wish for each and every one of them? To find the joy in their blogaversary, the way that I have.

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something worth sharing….

Weekly Challenge: Creativity

Creativity: The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination: 

Being an avid Blogger, (my new hobby!) you tend to come across blogs, videos & photo’s that are brilliant.  You can’t help but wish that you had come up with that idea first.

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Like, for instance, Brandon, the guy from New York who created the Facebook and Tumblr pages, “Humans of New York.”   Each day, he randomly picks strangers out of the blue, takes their photograph and writes a one or two sentence blurb about them.  A super condensed version of “their story.”  He has about a gazillion followers.  He has been featured on every news show from here to the end of the earth.  And has been written up in The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal & CBS New York…just to name a few.  All because he had a great idea.  Well Shoot!  I could have done that.  But he thought of it first.

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And how about that  Jenny Lawson – The Bloggess ~ She has millions of followers and fans.  She’s an accomplished blogger and a published author.  She’s amazingly witty.  (Cracks me up!!)   “She’s like Mother Teresa, Only Better.”  Well, shoot.  I could be like Mother Theresa!  She thought of it first, tho.

tumblr_static_bloggesslogo__1_For the past week, I have been stuck in the house.  Mainly because I am not feeling my usual 110%.  But also because the Polar Vortex has caused our tempts to plummet to about -100º and has dumped about 200 feet of snow on us.  Ok, I exaggerate.  But man, we have a TON of it.  It’s all very stressful!!

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Since I have been hibernating indoors, I have been spending just a tad bit more time online.  I’ve been surfing WordPress.  And boy oh boy I have found some amazing stuff!  There’s more creative people than you could ever, ever imagine.  It’s truly amazing!  (How do they do it?)

I consider myself a blogger with impeccable taste.   An Über Blogger, if you will.   Brilliant, even!  (I kid!!… it’s the cabin fever setting in.)  And because of this, I am going to share with you a little Vimeo I ran across.  I think you are going to be as blown away from it as I was.  So, Rick Mereki, Thank you for your brilliance and for sharing with the world, your creative Vimeo.  I wish I had thought of this first!!!

Enjoy!!