I am T – H – I – S close to finishing all my finals for the semester. In the meantime, here are some things I’m enjoying right now:
1) Diet Coke Lime – seriously, I look forward to drinking this. I told Dan I think I have an idea of how people say certain wines go with specific food, only, I have that with Diet Coke. In the morning I like an icy Diet Coke Plus (it’s fortified!). With lunch I like the pick-me-up of Diet Coke Lime.
2) This blog post by my husband and his siblings. They hijacked their mom’s blog to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day.
3) The knowledge that in a few days the stress of finals (the ones I’m taking and the ones I’m grading) will be over.
. . . talk amongst yourselves while I finish up some things? Thanks!
Just kidding. I thought I’d post this super short video that Ada recorded of herself instead of leaving you unattended. She made this video on the same night that a mysterious tweet from my Twitter account was sent to my friend, writer May Vanderbilt:
@mayvanderbilt jghggh6bfvfh5vhdbdnvfbnczbnv c cdbcnvvffhgdv n
Ada is the child of mine that most intrigues me. (I hope she appreciates this description someday; I totally say that as a compliment to her!) What I mean is, I don’t have her totally figured out. She surprises me the most. And I love that about her. In this clip she is saying a million and one things with her face, even in just a few seconds. In the comments section you could write a caption for what is going on in that pretty head. She’s a piece of work, I tell ya. Or maybe just watch a few times and smile.
Today – Thursday, April 20th – is Poem in Your Pocket Day! We almost missed it! If you go to this Poets.org page you can download pocket-sized poems to print. Apparently cities and libraries all over the country are hosting special events, but the main idea is to keep a poem in your pocket and share it with people you meet all day long. Tell me your day would not be seriously better if the person in line in front of you at the grocery story pulled a poem out of his pocket and said, “Would like to hear some poetry?”
I have some favorite poetry, from the Bible and from other sources, but I will admit that my not-quite-literary favorite right now is in Macy’s bedtime book, This is the Sunflower by Lola M. Shaefer. It begins like this:
This is the sunflower
tall and bright
that stands in my garden
day and night.
Our favorite part is this:
these are the birds
full of song
that crack the seeds
black and brown
found in the blossom
yellow and round
that crowns the sunflower
tall and bright
that stands in my garden
day and night
The poem in this book rocks back and forth like the chair we sit in every night. By the time we get to the end, I’m ready for bed too. (I was also inspired to create a sunflower fort in our backyard garden this summer . . . more on that later!)
I met Anne & May a couple of years ago after I read about them in Radiant magazine. They write “Christian fiction for the real world” and I felt at home visiting their blog right away (yes, we’re THAT kind of friends). This week they’re celebrating the release of their latest YA novel, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do. This post is part of their blog party! My role at the party is to tell a story about one of my friends.
In keeping with the novels for teenage girls theme, I’m choosing my friend Jill for this post. I met Jill at a get-to-know-the-new-girl party in my honor the summer before my sixth grade year. Talk about trauma. I don’t remember much from the party except a few warnings about which boys were already claimed and what to avoid in the cafeteria. But I know Jill was there, and she has stuck with me even when I, as her father kindly notes, have taken the non-traditional path in so many ways!
Here’s my short list of the reasons Jill was an awesome friend:
She indulged my love for Kirk Cameron.
She invited me to sleep over and always ordered Casey’s pizza for the occassion.
She kept me up on school gossip when I transferred to a private school.
She let me tag along on her trips to the out-of-town doctor and hit the mall afterwards.
She threw me a surprise 18th birthday party!
She never missed one of my important events.
She let me sing a Celine Dion song at her wedding!
She took care of me when I was stuck in the hospital with a very sick baby.
She kept pushing me to finish my college degree – I’m almost there!
She never stopped calling me. Even when I was (am) a jerk and didn’t return her calls in a timely fashion.
You simply cannot have too many friends like this girl! Love you, Jill! (I know you’re out there reading this but never commenting!)
I’m watching my DVR’d version of the Miss USA Pageant alternately thinking the girls would love this and wondering if I know how to explain it to them. I mean, really, The Biggest Loser already has my 5 year-old asking how many calories are in a Rice Krispie Treat. Do I need her comparing herself to what I’m seeing on that stage?
My sisters and I have already discussed the fact that despite my mother’s feminist oversight, we all played with Barbies (loved playing Barbies – would spend hours of our childhood divvying up the Barbies in an NFL draft-like fashion) and have made it to adulthood without an eating disorder or body image problem. And this pageant (or the other one, what is it, Miss America?) is a highlighted memory in my childhood. We got to stay up late, eat snacks, and hope our favorite made it into the top ten. Oh, the joy of that!
Watching alone tonight I had all the misgivings a mother of gorgeous daughters should have: what if they buy the lie that your body is something you should flaunt on national television? What if they see so many 5′ 10″ toothpicks they despise the beautiful 5′ 6″ athletic build they are more likely to have? I needed to reconcile these two dilemmas: my past joy in watching a show like this and my current fear of glutting my daughters on commercialized exploitation of women? (I can be nearly as dramatic as Seren, but I usually keep in quieter.)
Ellen to the rescue and My Favorite Part from the Miss USA Pageant. Ellen’s Cover Girl commercial played during one of the first breaks in the show. For me it was perfect timing.
I laughed at Ellen, I laughed at myself, and I saw myself laughing one day with my daughters. Like everything else in this life, the key is to keep the conversation open. We can enjoy a show like the Miss USA Pageant at the same time that we can discuss how ridiculous it is to dance across a stage in a bikini that is – no way around it – a bra and underwear. I mean, who does that? But still, the dresses, the music, the competition, . . . it is all part of a show. We can enjoy it. We can remember not to take life too seriously. And that’s My Favorite Part.
Lately I’ve been coveting Donald Miller’s new DVD series about the art of story. Here is a short clip of the presentation from Miller’s blog. I love the thought that story is what guides us, that story is what drives the Biblical narrative and stirs us to believe in something bigger than ourselves.
Then, remember how much fun we had playing the Seven Word Wisdom game? At least, I’ve been having fun! (And actually getting so pretty good advice.)
So what happens when I combine my new love of word games and the art of story? Mini memoirs!
Smith Magazine started a project called the Six Word Memoir. Their tagline is: “Everyone has a story. What’s yours?” (Get it? Six words. You can read this coverage in The New Yorker that is written entirely in six-word sentences!) Their most recent collection of these memoirs is titled Not Quite What I Was Expecting. One of my favorites was from comedian Stephen Colbert: “Well, I thought it was funny.” Or how about Food Network chef Mario Batali: “Brought it to a boil, often.” This one doesn’t have a named author: “Artsy married Fartsy had two kids.”
You can see there aren’t any rules beyond using six words to describe your life in a nutshell. Easy, right?