Some People, Like Books…

wildmindpics 013 Some people, like books, grip you from the minute you, after noticing the engaging and artistically designed cover, open to the first page and begin reading.  You are instantly drawn in to the enchantment, the story, the drama.  You read these people books hungrily, passionately, from cover to cover without so much as a break for food till the story is over.  When the end ultimately arrives as you knew it would, as you knew it must, you read the last pages and the last words with a bittersweet sentiment.  These are the people books that bid farewell when you wish they could stay forever, yet you understand they cannot.  What’s more, you understand why they cannot.

Other people, like other books, fail to capture your imagination or ignite your passion , yet they provide valuable information and knowledge that you need.  These books you keep on the shelves of your life at the ready should you need to refer to them for the wisdom and knowledge they contain hidden among the pages of their past.  These books you don’t give up, nor do they  ever make it to the book exchange box. wildmindpics 016 Instead, they inhabit a familiar and handy place on your bookshelf, ready and willing at any moment to be of service. These solidly familiar and resourceful books are always present though only occasionally does one take advantage of the vast store of knowledge contained inside the worn cover. The value in these people books is knowing they are there and knowing them well enough and long enough and closely enough, to feel comfortable tapping into their knowledge when the need in your life arises.

Still other people, like other books, are divided into segments and must be read in parts.  Some short inspiring bit here to begin with, then later, possibly the opportunity to read a longer, more heart wrenching piece later. These are the books you rarely read from beginning to end, feeling free enough with them that you can move around in any particular order not caring, if, or when you read the entire book.  These people books might sit in your life for years only being read a segment at a time as the opportunity or mutual interest arises.

Still, other people, like that rare book, are magical somehow. That outside cover, while certainly attractive enough, doesn’t jump out at you right away, but something about it won’t leave you till you’ve picked that book up off the shelf.  Cautiously, hesitantly, you study the cover more closely.  Internally, maybe, you even dare the book to interest you. wildmindpics 019 After all, you just finished up with the best passionate read of your life and you are tired of looking for another story.  You’re tired of reading.  You dare this magical book, which you do not yet know is magical, to interest you.  You look at the front cover, you look at the back cover.  It looks interesting enough, as though it might be a good read, but you’re just not interested.  You put the book back on the shelf.  You mosey on your way.  Except now, you cannot leave that book.  You must return to it and glance at the first page.  You  begin, ever so cautiously and carefully to read.  The first few paragraphs and pages certainly don’t ignite your passion like throwing a match on a gasoline soaked burn pile, but something about the way the author has crafted this particular story draws you in.  You continue reading.  With each page you find happiness, you find surprise, you find adventure, and, yes, there buried among the pages you find heartache, sadness, tragedy.  You continue reading and find that this book contains plenty of its own passion, plenty of its own wisdom, plenty of its own strength.  Before long you realize that you’ve been reading this book for a while and you’ve enjoyed every minute, every chapter, every page.  These are the people books that come into your life gradually, and before you know how it quite happened they are an everyday fixture in the landscape of your life while never for a minute being relegated to the mundane-ness of the everyday.  Continue reading

Those Little Breaks in Life: Give Yourself Permission to Take One…or Two

There’s part of me that wants to call out in a high pitched, annoying, nasally voice, “I’m baaaaack!”, but how cliché is that? Instead, I just say I feel like doing it, instead of really doing it.  If you are a detail person, you’ve noticed that the last post before this one was dated April 6.  If you’re a relational person and you liked The Wild Mind, then you noticed I haven’t been writing and you missed me.

j0442825I Took A Little Break from Blogging

Well, not so little.  It was a big enough break to get me kicked off some of those rating sites and blog lists since I didn’t post anything in over 30 days.  It was a big enough break for me to finish up the onslaught of work projects, demands and deadlines I had going during the first half of this year. It was a big enough break to give me time to rethink things. A lot of things. Continue reading

Old Dogs and Spinning Plates

Spinning_Plates1_760 Some people are simply amazing in their ability to accomplish a ton of stuff in less time that it takes most of us to get dressed.  You have people in your life like this, I’m sure.  Maybe you are one of them.

For me, back in college, it was the sorority sisters who could hold an office in our house (a demanding and time consuming leadership position often requiring additional meetings outside our own membership meetings), work, hold student body leadership positions on campus, carry a 4.0 GPA in a fairly rigorous academic course of study (or maybe even two) and still manage to have a social life.

Currently, it is those folks who can juggle more things and accomplish more things in a day than I can even think about.  I’m a plodder.  I’m a deliberate person.  I have to plan then I can do.  I’m great as long as I don’t stretch myself too thin, but once stretched things start, well, falling apart. I can only keep so many plates spinning in the air for so long.

I’ve never been one of those people.  When overbooked, I tended to crash and burn…or I felt like it from my perspective.

Things are different these days. 

Currently, I’ve exceeded my limits, both in terms of number of plates spinning and the duration of the spins on each plate. 

In short, I’m kind of surprising myself.  I’m overbooked and I’m not crashing and burning.  I’m flying.  Okay, tonight I’m hobbling, but most of the time it is more like flying than hobbling so I can’t complain.

I love to work hard and have my game on.

I love to play hard and enjoy doing nothing related to work in the off times.

(I’ve been accused of not liking to go to work.  This is so not true.  I love the work I do.  I simply hate the process of waking up every day!)

And today, after an especially long day, where I slept fitfully, at best, the night before, I am glad to be home.  I am glad to be done.  I am also glad to have done it all, and I am pleased to have done it well. 

Tonight, I finished the seventh night of working with parents. 

My computer froze during the presentation.  (Last week’s presentation was even more humorous, but that’s for another time and place.) I had no presentation for the last half hour of the session and had to wing it once again thanking my experience in debate and theater for helping me to get through without appearing flustered though I felt very flustered.

My body cramped up and I could hardly stand. (I’m an ex-theater person so I can fake it through almost anything and I did tonight.)

All that, after a day with kids who have no idea the weather is gloomy and are experiencing Spring Fever anyway, in order to come home to more of the same with my own four children. (Who by the way, really were amazing when I got home tonight.) 

I’m exhausted.

My body hurts.  (Starting up a workout routine can really bite.)

But I read feedback forms from my presentation that were positive and encouraging in spite of the glitches I experienced.j0436588

It all goes to show that things are not always what they seem. 

Things you might think are bad are not always unpleasant.

And sometimes, we are quite capable of surprising ourselves.

This is why I will always believe that old dogs can learn new tricks if the dog is motivated enough to do so.

Sometimes, it just feels downright good to step out of the comfort zone and attempt something, to risk failing, to succeed instead, and to simply enjoy how good it feels to have done what you set out to do, in spite of frozen computers, aching bodies and too many spinning plates.

Photojournalism? Not!

j0382857

 

I do not feel like this today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I do not feel like this today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

j0402632

 

I do not feel like this today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I feel more like this.  j0427604

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The reason is because when I tried to do this:

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I ended up with a wonderful (to me) post about my upcoming high school graduation.  And then somewhere between writing it, proofing it, reworking it and looking for pictures for it (who would think finding pictures of my small home town back in the 80’s would be so tough?) I decided against posting it.  I had second thoughts.  Something inside me said wait a day or two.  Something else inside of me shrieked, “But I need a post today!”

Now, I am out of this:

Deadline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I have so many of these:

j0174882 

My writing time expired long ago and my day is mostly gone. My butt hurts and as any good writer knows, no good writing happens with a sore butt. I must give it up for today.

Further, Number 3 still wants to go to the skate park.  I still need to work out.  Fortunately, I have dinner figured out for tonight.  I won’t be getting that load or two of stuff to the Goodwill today, I’m afraid. Did I mention I haven’t showered in a long, long time, like days.  I can’t remember…

I’ll just have to try again tomorrow, because I promised Number 3, I’d take him to skate park if the weather is good.  The weather is good and a promise is a promise.

Some days are just like this, I guess.

A Healthy Lifestyle? Yeah, About That.

j0442430Several months ago (wow, has it really been that long?), I began my journey toward fitness and a healthier lifestyle. The idea of Looking Good Naked was not the goal, but the catalyst that drove me to consider more than just getting skinny but getting fit and, more importantly, healthy. 

I had a great start.

Just as I anticipated my schedule during the month of February killed it or slowed my progress so significantly it…well…killed the forward or downward progress I was making. 

I can make excuses for this and, as an excuse for making excuses, say that I’m attempting to analyze where I went wrong in order not to make the same mistakes from here on out.  But, let’s get real.  I’m going to make some excuses here.

First excuse, my time, or schedule got away from me. 

It did.  There were days there were I was working 16 hours a day, not getting home until 8:30 at night and then having to deal with attending to three children with their various needs for attention and care.  Fortunately, the two older ones were able to fend for themselves, but they still needed some contact time and the nine-year-old really needed the whole bath, bedtime routine thing.  By the time all that was done there was no time for workouts for me.  Furthermore, I was wiped out, which leads to excuse number two.

I didn’t plan ahead for meals. 

j0399199Poor scheduling or over-scheduling led to poor shopping which led to inadequate or poor meal  preparation which led to more eating out than I should have or quick, unhealthy meals (like spaghetti) that didn’t quite move me in the direction I wanted to be headed.  Furthermore, they made me feel lethargic. Excuses number one and two combined, led to excuse number three.

I got sick, several times.

I’m not normally a sick person, but the crazy existence I was living especially during February eroded my immunities, I think, and left me susceptible to every cold or virus the kids brought in the classroom.  Of course, I wasn’t keeping up on either food planning or workouts at that point and that gave rise to my fourth excuse for not making progress toward my goals.

I started missing workouts.

Yeah, well, everyone who ever began a workout program knows how this slippery slope goes.  Skip one, then the next time it becomes easier to skip then the next is even easier until you are merely looking at the fitness video case instead of pushing play.  Pass another bag of that really unhealthy popcorn disguised as a healthy snack and let me down the whole thing as I ponder whether or not I have enough energy to even change into workout clothes let alone do the whole routine.  Yeah, you get my drift.  By the middle of February, the Journey to a Healthy Lifestyle so stopped. 

Enough of the excuses.

Fall down.  Hurt self.  Sit down for a minute and get bearings.  Get up.  Look around.  Refocus.  Keep walking.

j0145598Enough.  I’ve vented, got it off my chest, I’ve bemoaned my fate long enough.  I can’t beat myself up over it.  As Rafiki, from The Lion King, would say, “It’s in the past!”  Yes, it is in the past.  What is done is done and I am done making excuses or beating myself up because I failed. (It actually feels good to get it out there.) I made the choices I did and my healthy life isn’t over, just delayed. I didn’t go backwards, but I made progress and then stopped.  I’m moving forward today, right now.  I have a plan.  I will…

  • Plan ahead for the busy weeks (and there are plenty of them coming up).
  • Plan ahead for meals.  This includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Plan workouts in advance so I can schedule around those coming long days when I am out consulting in the evenings after a full day in the classroom.
  • Drink water and get lots of rest and keep up on my supplements.
  • Make the most of Spring Break by working out and eating smart.

So, with that being said, I’m done here for today.  I have to go work out.  I’ve been momentarily distracted, but I haven’t caved and given up.  That’s definitely a good thing. I know I can do this!j0402666

The Beautiful Blogger Award

Beautiful-Blogger-Award-from-BLW

I received this beautiful award from my favorite blogger Big Little Wolf at her Daily Plate of Crazy!  This humbles and delights me for so many reasons.   

If you write it, they will come, is a saying I use when I think of blogging in general.  I don’t know if it is true, but it seems that the most successful bloggers write something every single day.  In particular, this truth applies to my own blog.  My stats go way up when I write.  When I don’t write, well, the stats reflect my absence by reporting an absence of visitors to my blog. It’s the reality of blogging, but as every blogger knows, the writing is the easy part.  Assuming the writing is decent, all other things being equal, what makes or breaks a blog is visitors who comment.  Well, that is, if you are actually writing for an audience instead of talking to yourself online. 

I’m not really much of a blogger. I admit it.  No, that’s not a self-effacing comment, it really is true.  I don’t know a thing about SEO, I don’t pay attention to optimizing my posts, my titles or my subtitles.  I don’t even write daily, and there are many, many people out there who write far better than I do.  I can take it.  It’s the truth.  It doesn’t mean I’m a poor writer (though, I’m definitely sloppy at times), but I have no grand illusions about my ability.  As for the blogging end of it, I neither have time and knowledge (yet) to do what it takes to drive traffic to my blog in big numbers.  Because of all this, it is especially rewarding when someone comments on my blog about something that resonated with them.  It is even more gratifying when I get a blog award from someone who enjoys what I write.  It is completely humbling to receive an award from someone I admire so much. 

So, Big Little Wolf, thank you so much for the award.  It means a great deal to me to even be read by you let alone considered a Beautiful Blogger!  I’m incredibly pleased and humbled. You are, to me, one of the most beautiful people I know. So, again, thank-you.

Now, as for who to pass this award on to?  That’s going to take some time and thought.  There are so many beautiful bloggers out there to choose from!

Elton John, Weather, and Oops! There Goes The Last of My Sun

 “Don’t let the sun go down on me”…

album-elton-john-greatest-hitsI can hear those words now just as I heard them during the summers of my childhood blaring out of the community swimming pool loudspeakers. I haven’t heard them in a while. Those old Elton John lyrics are running through my mind this morning.  Southern Oregonians this last week experienced a beautiful week of sunny weather in the high 60’s to mid 70’s.  It was a definite precursor to the wonderful sunny and dry weather we usually enjoy during our summers.  Contrary to popular folklore, not all parts of Oregon are soaked in rain most of the year.  I live in one of the sunnier regions.  Less populated for sure, but it’s worth the wonderful warm dry summers and mild winters and the year round outdoor activities we enjoy. 

sunshineblogaward1 This morning, however, the weather abruptly changed.  Lower temps and some rain welcomed me upon waking.  I figure now is probably as good a time as any (and probably long overdue) for me to reveal my last three picks for the Sunshine Award.

There is one particular blogger I especially enjoy.  She’s the first I check on my iPhone, when I do have time to check and won’t risk being interrupted.  She’s an excellent writer and she’s set the bar for me in writing, blogging, and enduring all of life’s craziness in stride.  Hopefully a stiletto adorned stride, but in stride none the less.  She’s an amazing person and if it fits within the parameters of the Sunshine Award to receive it twice then BigLittleWolf at Big Little Wolf’s Daily Plate of Crazy gets it from me for sure!  C’mon, she should win the award for her blog title alone, but read her stuff.  She writes daily and it is never the same ole, same ole.  I love this woman.  

Next on the list is a fun foodie mom with a big blog I like to visit called, The Kitchen Witch.  She cracks me up and, well, one of these days I’ll try one of her recipes…maybe.  Those burgers she had posted today looked pretty delish.  I’d rather use her personal chef services but, well, post divorce finances and all, I’m going to have to just suck it up and learn to cook.  Ugh.  But seriously, go check her out if you haven’t already.  The picture on her blog is hysterical! Are you kidding me?  Who would think to do that?  Props for that!  I think TKW already got this award from someone somewhere but WTH she’s getting it again.   

The third source of sunshine for me on this day (oh, my the sun really is coming out again!) is a new blog for me.  Not a single mom blog, but definitely a fun read is Gabrielle at The Wifey Blogs. She’s funny, and takes me back to the days when my own children were young.  She’s starting out on some amazing adventures in her young married life and you can read about it all at her blog. She’s also got an amazing blog roll so when you get done reading Gabrielle’s stuff you can go visit the many other amazing bloggers she’s listed there.  I intend to do just that, even though for me it could take thousands of years and cost millions of lives.  

So, that wraps it up for the Sunshine Awards, for me, anyway.  Whew! Now, blog friends and award winners, go spread your own bit of sunshine by awarding this award to ten other bloggers of your choosing.  I look forward to visiting you and those wonderful sunny bloggers you pick.  Enjoy the sun while it lasts! 

Sandra Bullock, Jesse James & Weightwatchers

THE BLIND SIDE I just read an article that Momlogic posted titled, “Sandra Didn’t Believe the Background Check”. I love Sandra Bullock.  I’ve seen just about every movie she is in since way back in the Speed and Hope Floats days.  I am sorry to hear about her recent disappointments as I am when I hear about anyone in The Land of Fame Excess, as Miley Cyrus puts it, experiencing heartbreak or humiliation.  I do feel for our celebrities when it comes to the fact that they live in a fishbowl and not necessarily a kind one.

The article at Momlogic, however, made a generalized statement that I take issue with.  I thought about posting a comment to the thread on Facebook, but decided this would make a great post.  So, here I am.

The statement, "It’s an old adage, but if you want to predict someone’s future behavior, look no further than their past behavior" is a  broad generalization that doesn’t take into account the vast potential each human being has at any point to turn their life around and make radical changes.  Clearly, I don’t agree with it.  If it were true, AA wouldn’t work, Weightwatchers would have no success stories and a boatload of therapists would be unemployed in this country instead of making good money. We certainly know that AA and Weightwatchers possess numerous success stories that speak of changed lives. As for the therapists, I live in a very small city of 60,000 people and we have no less that two city blocks filled almost exclusively with counselors offices.  The locals call it Therapy Row. 

I also don’t agree with this statement because the experience of my own personal history which, were I to be judged by it, would condemn me to a lonely and loveless future because my future consists, according to this flawed logic, of me repeating the same very serious and sad mistakes I once made and, one would infer, who is going to want to be part of that?  Now, while I am single, I am anything but lonely.  My life is certainly not loveless, and I will in no way repeat the same sad mistakes of my past.  In fact, if anything, I am the person standing in the middle of the road before it drops over the edge of the cliff telling drivers to turn around and go back.  The logic of this particular adage simply doesn’t jive with the fact that human beings do have the ability to learn from their mistakes and to decide to behave differently.

Whether Jesse James had any desire or inclination to change or even said so, is anyone’s guess.  My take is there were probably other more current clues indicating that things really hadn’t changed which Sandra Bullock might have ignored.  Who knows?  Sandra made whatever decisions she made, based on whatever information she had, did not have, or chose to ignore.  People can and will speculate all they want about celebrities and Sandra and Jesse seem to be top of the list these days.  That’s probably something that will never change. Only Sandra and Jesse know the complete story.  Why should the rest of us care?

While I agree that the past is significant and should be taken into account, I disagree that  one’s past automatically predicts their future. I know too many people personally who prove this theory wrong by their present existence and their stories of conquering their past mistakes, poor choices, addictions, or horrors, and changing their lives for the better.  I am one of them. 

Children and Divorce: And Now For Some Really Depressing News

I awoke early Tuesday morning with my throat so swollen and sore I couldn’t swallow, mucous streaming from nearly every orifice above my shoulders. I could not utter a sound that was even recognizable as speech.  My daughter felt much the same.  I knew I needed to call in a sub.  Two days later, most of it spent sleeping and reading (I certainly had no energy for anything else and the reading was pushing my limits), I think I might be well enough to return to work tomorrow.  The book I managed to devour between naps was, The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce, by Wallerstein, Lewis, & Blakeslee.  I’m warning you.  It isn’t a cheery read.  In fact, I had tears streaming down my cheeks at points.

wallersteinbookimage I stumbled across this little find at my local book exchange.  I’m always up for reading some research (yeah, I’m kind of nerdy like that), especially about families of divorce, stepfamilies and how all of this impacts children. (Maybe because it is just a little close to home for me?)  This one billed itself as a landmark study because it was the only one that tracked children of divorce from the time their parents split up until they reached full adulthood. It was a 25-year-study. Since I work with kids and their parents many of them divorced and re-married, and since I myself am the child of divorce as are my own children, I thought this might be an interesting read.  It was indeed interesting, but it was not cheery. Wallerstein’s findings are sobering, relevant, deeply saddening, and yet more hopeful than one would expect.

I would recommend that anyone considering divorce, in the process of divorce, or now in the post-divorce family read this book.  I wish I’d read it 4 years ago.  It would have helped me support my children more effectively through the divorce process. Of course, to be honest, I was so stressed and fragmented (as many who undergo divorce are) that I’m not sure I’d have read it.  Which just underscores a significant aspect of this research.  The book also details children’s perspectives of parenting plans, remarriage, step-parents and life after divorce.

The most salient point of Wallerstein’s study, for me, is that no matter when the divorce occurs, no matter what the reason for the divorce, and regardless how amicable or not the divorce is, risk factors for children significantly increase while protective factors that were in place when the marriage was intact are diminished. I don’t think this is new news for any of us, but Wallerstein was able to get behind the eyes of the children in this study and reveal how that reality impacts and shapes children of divorce. She (Wallerstein) does not draw from this conclusion that divorce should never happen.  The author does conclude that we’ve just not been aware of the impact divorce has on children from the child’s perspective until now.  Maybe now, we can begin thinking more about divorce from the perspective of not just what works for the parents, but what works for the children throughout all their developmental levels. Wallerstein goes on to mention that the debilitating impact of divorce is often not evident until children reach adulthood and begin to enter into relationships and marriages of their own.  In other words, divorce has lasting effects on children, no matter how good things appear on the outside. (Personally, I suspect most of us parents know this. We just feel uncertain as to how to deal with this reality.)  These are just a few of the highlights I’ve gleaned and tried to summarize, and which were significant to me as I devoured her over 330 page book.  Oh, and the book does include specifics about the research design and the statistical results of study for those who are interested.

As for me, it was impossible for me to read this book casually without some serious personal introspection.  I am, after all, the mother of four children, all of whom experienced divorce, two of them when they were in elementary school and two of them when they were in preschool.  This book forced me to look at myself and my parenting since the divorce.  I’m asking myself questions because, if I’m to be the best support for my children that I can (and diminished parenting is cited by Wallerstein as one of the biggest perils of divorce), then I must take inventory. 

j0410095 Some of the questions I’m grappling with are:

  • Given that children often tend to either act out or stuff their feelings behind an ultra compliant approach, how are my children really doing?
  • Am I giving my children opportunities to express their fears and their anger (and yes they have both) about the divorce?
  • Am I taking the necessary time to parent them or am I so preoccupied with survival and keeping the family afloat that I am unintentionally neglecting their very real emotional needs.
  • Are any of my children taking on the parenting role?  What am I doing to reinforce this if it is happening?
  • How do I balance the stresses and demands of my adult world, the needs I have for adult love and companionship, with my children’s needs for protection, comfort, care and emotional connection with me…and…when do I get any rest?  (I say that last a little bit tongue in cheek, but fatigue is a big stressor and leads to illness as I’ve learned of late.)

And there are more questions lurking within. 

I’m really not depressed and I’m not beating myself up as a parent after reading this study, but, like the veil being lifted, I certainly see some areas I need to work on for my children’s sake.  I also see some areas that I’ve done well, which is reassuring. It has certainly given me a great deal to consider regarding my parenting, dating as a single parent and, if it ever arises, the idea of remarriage. We grow a little at a time all throughout our lives.  This book just revealed some areas that I think I need to check up on.

As I re-read this post, I realize I’ve only shared the down side aspects of the research.  There is much cause for hope and encouragement as the result of Wallerstein’s work.  I don’t want to be a spoiler, so you’ll just have to read it for yourself. 

The Next Installment of Sunshine

sunshineblogaward1 This next installment of The Wild Mind’s picks for the Sunshine Award, will, like the last be completely astounded that they received an award from me.  They will likely not even know I’ve been reading them and, well, an award from me to them really isn’t going to change their blogging world all that much.  However, since the whole point of this venture is for me to name others that have shone a little light in my world, I’m picking them whether they like it or not. Hopefully, they like it instead of not.

The first up tonight is Amy Whitley, over at The Never True Tales.  Incredibly fun to read her anecdotes of life with young children is really enjoyable to me.  Plus, I really like her writing style and her blog layout and, yeah, the title doesn’t hurt her blog any either.  I have The Never True Tales on my iPhone and I read her whenever I can.  Good times.  Go see for yourself!

My next pick for the evening is another fun mommy blogger who’s been on my blog roll for quite some time. In fact, she was one that I crossed paths with early on in my blogging efforts.  She’s Mir at Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda.  She’s funny, creative, and she’s traveled the divorce route like I have.  She’s now remarried and writing about her adventures in her own heartwarming way.  She makes me laugh and inspires me to keep going though I really can’t hold a candle to her (and many of these other bloggers I esteem) in the writing department.  Well…at least not yet.  Just wait.  I will grow up into my writing self someday.

New to my blog roll is a single gal who certainly has it going on.  Jolene at To Be Determined shares her single journey in a candid, honest, forthright manner.  It is like reading her personal journal and that’s pretty fun.  I find that her experiences in the dating world are similar to my own though we have some very different demographics between us.  I hope you’ll consider paying her a visit or two or three.

laugh My last notable of the evening is Mrs.. Squirrel over at Hollow Squirrel.  She is really one of the very first mom bloggers I stumbled upon in my web wanderings.  She makes me laugh till I hurl every time I read her.  She isn’t afraid to call it like it is.  I love her blog.  I hope you will too.

That’s seven of the ten Sunshine Awards announced.  Stay tuned for the final three sometime later this week.

P.S.  Really, I’m not intentionally dragging this out, but it’s killing me to do this and get an entire household ready for a week, not that I mind.  I actually love having the privilege, but I have to budget my time.  I’ve got to do some lesson planning somewhere in here too.  Oh and dinner, yeah.  Somehow I’ve also got to figure out what I can quickly destroy for dinner tonight.