From Magic Mike To The Bottom of The Barrel: My 2012 Favorites (A Mama Kat Prompt)

After a long drought, I just may make it to two weeks in a row with Mama Kat prompts. She made it easy (and irresistible) this week via a template: 2012 Favorites (inspired by MomSmack)!

Here goes.

Favorite 2012 Movie:  The thing is, as much as I love movies, I don’t make it to them very often.  To start things off on an unpredictable roll, let’s go with the one that was the most funMagic Mike!

magic mike

Favorite Album: Gosh, I haven’t bought an album, on vinyl or digital, so I’ll have to pass on that one!

Favorite Song:  The last (and cooldown) song on my running playlist is “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. Something about this song reminds me of my daughter. It’s the line, “How old is your soul?” I love it.

Favorite Tweeter. There is one person I look for every day on Twitter. I know that what I will find will entertain, encourage, or do a little of both. So unless you’re a Lara Spencer fan, just trust me on this and follow @washingtina. She rocks.

Favorite Blog. How, oh how in a world chock full of incredible bloggers do I answer this one? I think I’ll reward Diary of a Mom for all of those super-early wakeups that she does in order to write for us (I know she’ll say she does it for herself too but……) about parenting, life, autism, and being true to yourself.

Favorite TV Show. Holy heck I am feeling shallow here with the Magic Mike intro and the reveal of my favorite tv show. I love My Fair Wedding with David Tutera. I love it most at 2 a.m. when I’m supposed to be sleeping and I am drifting off to the sound of him rescuing some poor inept bride from her bargain gown and putting her into the perfect couture gown; when he’s blowing off the industrial hall venue and migrating everyone to an opulent seaside setting. I love it when he makes that bride’s dream “his” for the duration and truly invests himself in the process.

Favorite Instagramer. This is a challenge because I just got on Instagram. That said, one instagramer I followed on Facebook before I had it as an app is “tifthegirl.” I met Tiffany when her husband was studying film at Florida State, and her picture-a-day for a year project that was posted to Facebook never failed to capture my attention.

Favorite Moment. Crossing the finish line of the Boston 13.1 race in September as part of the Autism Speaks team.

AS finish

Favorite conference. I went to an interesting conference in Baltimore in June related to Health Care Quality. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that one of the highlights was my extracurricular non-conference activity of getting together super early with my friend and PRS Fit teammate Ann Brennan. What a treat!


Favorite viral video. Here’s the thing. I am a huge fan of Bottom of the Barrel Comedy on Youtube and they’ve done plenty of viral videos (I met many BOTB members when they were FSU Film students). But a lot of them may not be appropriate for a mom audience. For that reason I am embedding one that is technically not from 2012 but is the best I can do for a PG13 audience. Little Chef has had over 343,000 views:

So there you have it. Magic Mike, Wedding Overkill, Kids Running Amok in Kitchens. Maybe it’s a good thing my word for 2013 is direction.

Mama’s Losin’ It

How Much Longer Will I Be Blogging About My Children?


Little_green_felt_tip_pens_biggerBy the time I finished composing my comment to Liesl Jurock’s Mama’s Log this morning, I realized that I had drafted my blog for tonight. Although I had seen the topic of “Have Mom Bloggers Gone Too Far?” a few times this week, I had not really paid attention to the renewed chatter the topic of mommy bloggers had gotten.

The topic crossed my radar screen when Kat blogged about the pros and cons of being a semi-generous sharer regarding how much of her life (and her family’s images/identifying information) she shares with her followers.

The topic crosses my mind every time I am on Jess’s A Diary of a Mom page and happen across the link to the explanation of her choice to use pseudonyms for her children, in order to give them as much online anonymity as possible.

The topic crosses my mind when I am casually conversing with friends about social media; some don’t like putting pictures of their children on their blogs but don’t mind putting them on Facebook. Some people bestow pseudonyms on their children in a practice that is apparently more prevalent than I realized. The choices are numerable, and the bloggers I know cover a wide spectrum. 

Liesl’s position, which I am hopefully summarizing accurately, is this: She writes. She parents. (She has a supportive spouse and a solid marriage). She infuses her experiences with her son (with his real name) throughout her blog, because to do otherwise would result in a) her losing a vital outlet that helps her figure it all out, and b) those of us who read her work losing a link in the “we’re all in this together” (apologies, High School Musical) climate that helps us stay sane.

Here’s what I said in response:

Hi Liesl, I am glad you wrote this. I had seen a bit of the “mom blogging controversy” over the last few days. When I read blogs by some moms who have thousands of followers, I do think (occasionally) about the exposure their children are getting, especially in pictures. Maybe someday I’ll be blogging for thousands -right now it’d be a banner day to blog for a hundred.

My absolute primary reason to blog is to keep my “writing muscle” fresh, and to leave my children out of THAT equation would be the most unnatural thing in the world. Therefore, when Sunday (my usual blogging day) rolls around and I search my brain for a topic, if one of my children is part of that topic, so be it. I have found that I am less inclined to write about my teenager, not because she is the less interesting of my two children, but because either she’s not involved in the “blog worthy” events about which I write or because I just don’t glean as much material from her since she’s often out of the house or behind earbuds.

My husband doesn’t read my blog. I sometimes wish he would because utter strangers know more about me (like why I stood in the middle of a major highway sweeping up glass from an auto accident) than he does, but it also gives me (and those followers) a tiny world in which I am quite independent. I can live with that for now, and it’s not like I could force him to read it, AND it’s his loss after all.

I often wonder what my children are going to take to the therapist’s couch with them as adults – I imagine in overcompensating for the things that sent me there, I am creating a bunch of new issues for them. I suppose with my blog, maybe they’ll have written backup instead of relying on their memory banks!

I want to make sure to reiterate that I respect every parent blogger’s choice about how they handle their chlid’s identity on their blogs. 

I suppose if my kids don’t want to be in my blog they can behave like angels 100% of the time, make perfect grades, never get into conflict with their peers, and always make consumer choices that defer to the abject poverty in many parts of the world compared to the relative luxury we have.

Hmmm……sounds like they’re going to be here on momforlife for a long, long time!

Sleep in Peace, Benjamin

This holiday weekend, I am awash in a sea of red, white and blue images, along with all kinds of patriotic verbiage. 

When I arrived at Greensboro, FL, yesterday morning to run the Firecracker 5000 Race, I was greeted by crosses lining the streets memorializing citizens lost in the line of duty.

This morning, Facebook bloomed with quotes celebrating freedom, and AOL offered a red, white, and blue “theme of the day.”  One of my favorite Facebook statuses was Jess’s, which featured a lyric from the Toby Keith song “American Soldier”: 
 “I’m out here on the front lines, so sleep in peace tonight.”
Tomorrow, Wayne Kevin will compete in the “Freedom Springs Kids Triathlon.”  Here’s a picture from last year:

I loved the “Americana” feel of my morning in Greensboro yesterday.  I loved the thoughts and sentiments shared among all of us in the Facebook community today.  I loved the family get-together in Thomasville and the minor yet fun backyard fireworks ceremony we shared.  I love the anticipation of sharing another gorgeous North Florida morning with my son tomorrow enjoying the kids’ triathlon and closing out Independence Day weekend.

Most of all, though, the one moment that moved me most this weekend happened this morning.  I had just turned on CNN, and the reporter was interviewing some soldiers in Afghanistan (at Bagram Air Force Base).  Had the soldiers not all been in fatigues, and the video feed not been so erratic, the scene could have easily been mistaken for some coworkers having a care-free get-together on American soil and daring each other to soak their boss in the dunk tank.  When the reporter gave a few soldiers the opportunity to say something to the folks back home, a female soldier sent all her love and wishes to “my five year old son Benjamin, in Wisconsin.” 

I’ll just say it plain and simple; I would find it almost unbearable to be a world away from my child, for months on end.  Agree or disagree with the politics of it all, my heart breaks for this mother and child who are separated.  That mom/soldier has my empathy and gratitude. 

Sleep in peace tonight, Benjamin.