It’s a cliche, how history repeats itself.
It’s true, at least in our family, as life motors on I see glimpses of my past squished with my present or projected in my future.
Time truly is liquid.
My daughter started ballet a few months ago. She loves the pink outfit, the tights, the shoes. She prances around the house doing pirouettes now. “Watch this move!” she’ll yell gleefully as she swiftly glides by the family in our living room.
I vaguely remember doing that myself.
I marvel, wondering if it’s all little girls or only those in my family. If we all dream of tutus and ballet shoes and eating disorders and men in tights.
Or if it’s simply the art of attention. Of feeling pretty. Of being graceful.
And if we ever grow out of that.
I watch as her face fills with so much glee. So much pride.
Her once two left feet carrying her in circles, her arms raised. Her smile lit.
Feet landing softly.
Out of order.
On their own.
Hearing a different music.
Than the others.
I smile at my husband, as he beams at his daughter. We laugh and look at our son. How one day he, too, will be performing for us. Music, sports, art.
I can not remember when they grew. I do not remember when I did. In my heart I am still the little girl dancing.
Her feet to a music all alone.
A smile wide and bright.
I don’t remember the day I gave my ballet recital exactly, but I do remember the smile on my face.
Simply because I saw it again, on my daughter, just the other day.
I stepped off the plane in Seattle to a cold wind and sun. When I left, only four days earlier, summer was still raging and children played in sprinklers. However, fall noticeably bustled in during my absece, taking over the breezes and leaves, making the air chilly and my unused jacket necessary.
I felt just as different as the weather.
Four days ago I stepped on a flight to Ashville, NC. The 48 hours I spent at Type-A-Mom was a transcendent experience.
I met some fantastic women. I found some wonderful opportunities to grow and expand, both in my career and in my personal relationships. I held deep and wonderful conversations with some of my most favorite bloggers. These women, plus some new favorites, and old friends, friendly faces, and encouraging smiles, gave me the courage to stand up during the “Town Hall Meeting” and say something that is near and dear to my life as a blogger:
Be who you are and you will find companies who will want to work with you because of it. You can dress it up a touch, maybe make it a touch classy, but don’t change yourself. The companies that love you for who you are will be a much better, long lasting relationship than the ones that require changes to you or your blog.
Photo copyright Rick of Tiny Prints used with permission
My first experience in this was after Blissdom 09. After speaking in the vivacious, charismatic way that I do, I wondered if my client in the audience would rather work with someone more professional looking, sounding. I have a wealth of knowledge behind this trucker’s mouth. A ton of wisdom behind this post-child body. I have more to offer if I truly love working with you than if I don’t. But I didn’t know how she would feel after watching me “cracker it up” on stage.
Turns out? Molly is not only a client, but became a good friend. She not only stuck around after seeing me be myself in a professional setting, she clung to me like a lover and I to her. Ok, lover is a touch strong here, but you see what I’m saying.
Be yourself and your audience and sponsors will reflect who you really are.
After the Pioneer Woman linked to me, a (few) hundreds of people came by. Many were not my typical audience. Those who were, however, those who I found just as engaging and wonderful as they enjoyed what I had to say, stuck around and became new online friends. I couldn’t change my type of writing simply to accomidate a larger audience. And so I didn’t. But I did remain true to my own voice and those of you who are STILL around, are not only crackertastically adorable, but people I connect with on many levels.
For which I am grateful.
It is with this knowledge that I entered Type-A-Mom-Con this weekend. I became empowered to be the person I’ve always been, outgoing, loving to laugh, and silly. Friendly. Possibly too much so. But I felt accepted and met so many wonderful ladies that I truly couldn’t change who I am if I wanted to.
I’m thankful to Rob from Cozi for his wonderful input in the ad session. I’m grateful for MomDot for being so open and honest and infomational. I’m always thankful for my friend Alli who’s encouragement is never-ending and to Mishi and Rick for their photography inspiration and photos. I’m especially thankful to Dress Barn for the fantastic evening and outfit and to David for giving us the opportunity.
I will always be me. I hope you enjoy it. You? Are wonderful just the way you are.
I hope you know that.
Dress Barn Models
Copyright Rick of Tiny Prints
Copyright Rick of Tiny Prints
Copyright Rick of Tiny Prints
I went to a private school for first grade. My mother and father had decided I learned enough in preschool to advance in to First Grade and combine my Kindergarten-First grade year together. I was an October baby and it was the best way around the school’s August 31st Cutoff.
I envied the children getting on the school bus each morning. I waited and watched and each child waved good-bye to their mother, got on the bus, and laughed joyfully, right in my little 6 year old face.
There was a party on that school bus. Every morning I saw the children have a parent-free party while I had to be carted across town to the Catholic Elementary School I was attending. The nuns did not allow a school but in the parking lot. Or at least that’s what I assumed. Most everything bad in my 6 year old life was because of those nuns. Surely they took away the party bus, too.
So it continued through the entire school year. Children gloating on the bus while I got in the car for Catholic School.
Finally the Texas School District said I was qualified enough to enter Public School (Ironic, isn’t it?) I stepped on the bus on the first day of second grade.
I sat, wide-eyed, in the middle of the bus, gaping, staring, watching. I could hardly breath I was so excited. The bus stopped to pick up kids, mostly older than I was. I sat in awe as the light blinked each time the bus stopped.
:: click click click click :: Yellow :: Click Click Click Click :: Red :: Blink Blink Blink ::
It was mesmerizing.
The Bus Driver got on the PA and announced that after we stopped at Wedgewood, we’d be late to The Other Elementary School. (Sidenote: In Texas, there is Primary School, k-2, Elementary, 3-5, Jr. High 6-8, and High School 9-12. Or at least there was in 1983.) I assumed I was just going to be late and thought I’d just hang out and watch the lights. Click Click Click.
The students filed off and I realized I was alone. I was scared. The bus driver started driving back to the bus barn. BUT WAIT! I thought we were picking up more kids! Where are all the kids!
The Bus Driver asked what grade I was in. “Second” I said shyly. “Is this your first bus ride?” Yes, I confessed.
She took me to school an hour late. I missed the introduction to my teacher, my classroom, my school. I remember the principal walking me to the class giggling. “So you never got off the bus, hu?”
My mom had the same reaction at the end of school when she was called and told about my incident.
She still laughs about it to this day.
“I forgot to tell you to get OFF the bus! Of all the things a parent needs to say, I didn’t realize that was one of them.”
This story flashes in my mind when I glance at the clock and realize it’s time for my flight to take off. I look around at the people sitting comfortably in the gage seating area. Most are working. There’s not a sign of a boarding anywhere.
Suddenly I gasp, get up, and book to the next open counter. The one stating that my flight to Ashville, and thus Type-A-Mom, is closed. “I missed the flight?!” I gasp. “Is it boarding?!” “No, you missed the flight.”
I look at the large man, wondering if I should be honest, picturing his giggle when he says, “You’ve been sitting at the other gate this whole time?”
What I hear in my head is, “So, you never got off the bus, hu?” and I realize how much I am the same.
:: click click click click ::
As part of establishing your “brand” as a blogger (or marketer, business or commercial website) you need to pay special attention to the consistency in which you present your image. This includes what people see in the tab of their browser when they are on your site.
The “FAVICON” or Fave Icon if you’re a human, helps identify your site in the URL and in a tab. Originally Favicons appeared on the bookmark menu when you “favorited” a site. (Thus the name)
To make a favicon there are several methods and tutorials you can use.
If you already have an image or logo that would look ok at 16x16 pixels:
Use these online tools to create your favicon out of an image
http://www.html-kit.com/favicon/ *note, this tool also uses your twitter icon if you’d prefer.
You’ll notice your file becomes a “.ico” file. This is an “icon” file that IE requires in order to display the icon correctly in the toolbar and bookmarks menu.
You can also DOWNLOAD A PHOTOSHOP PLUGIN to create your own favicon.ico (Be sure you save it with that file name. You know how IE is when you don’t do what it needs.)
Be sure you size it at 16px x 16px
*Note: You can also save it as a 32px x 32px icon for bookmarking purposes. This will automatically get scaled to 16x16 for the URL bar.
*This is the method I used on my site.
If you don’t already have an image
You can use some online tools to create a new favicon.ico:
Or you can download some of the ready made ones.
Placing the Faveicon.ico on your server.
Use your FTP program to place the image on the root level of your domain. (Example: http://blogher.com/ or http://mrsflinger.com”)
You’ll be able to acess it by going to http://yourdomain.com/favicon.ico
*Yes, it is possible to put the image elsewhere on the server like some Wordpress Themes do. However, browsers don’t always recognize this method so for consistency, it’s best to place your icon at the root.
Placing the Faveicon.ico on your server.
Place this code between the
< head >
< /head >
tag in your header template.
<link rel="icon" href="/favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon">
If you want to use a GIF or PNG instead, use this format instead (just remember that it won’t work in IE):
<link rel="icon" href="/favicon.png" type="image/png">
<link rel="icon" href="/favicon.gif" type="image/gif">
The children played together all weekend.
They are growing so quickly.
My daughter barely fits, all knees and legs, on my lap when I snuggle her.
My son has full sentences.
I feel like a person most days. A person with a job, a life, and a family.
It felt so far away at the time, when we started this, nearly five years ago.
Now I can hardly remember my daughter’s reflux.
My son’s premature birth.
My daughter’s inability to sleep more than 2 hours.
My son’s long battle with ear infections.
Now all I can think of is the family that sits at the dinner table, each in a chair.
The children that wrestle.
The people in the backseat who sing Old McDonald.
People I grew.
Little people, still, but people.
Opinionated, Joyful, Sorrowful, Reading, Playing, Loving, Jumping.
My mind whirls when I think of the past, the emptiness, the wondering.
These people are the people I didn’t know I needed.
Now I couldn’t be without them.
So sometimes, in the very quietest moments of the days when everyone is happy and well, I wonder….
Is there someone else I don’t know I need?
And would I die without knowing them?
James Lipton: “What is your favorite sound?”
Mrs. Flinger: “The sound of my children playing.”
James Lipton: “What is your least favorite sound?”
Mrs. Flinger: “The sound of my children fighting.”
I grew up in a suburb of Houston in a neighborhood with sidewalks and manicured lawns. I have fond memories of children riding our hot-wheels on the sidewalk, zipping up each driveway to someone’s house we all knew. Denise, Paul, Mercy, Carol. Kids spanning from 2nd grade to 6th, all mingling in the street playing basketball, riding bikes, coloring with chalk. The caste system of maturity as the older kids teased the younger and the younger kids gathering around toys.
This is my childhood and I love the memories. I can almost smell the air of a humid Saturday morning in October when the children begin to take to the sidewalk playing, knocking on doors, asking if so-and-so can come out to play.
My husband has a different memory.
My husband grew up on acreage in a tiny town in Washington State. Where rain and mud and large trees dominate his childhood. Where boys could explore for hours in a barn, watch the horses, and roll down large hills. He smells the pine and fresh air and instantly turns 8 in his head, playing trains and bikes and GI-Joes.
Each of our experiences influence our expectations for our own family. I see my children enjoying the company of others, playing in the front yard as I make dinner, calling to me that the neighbors are out chatting. My husband sees our children roaming a field of land, running in pine cones and leaves and mud.
We’re now looking for a house. It’s become evident we have a short opportunity of time to leave our tiny condo, expand our legs, and give each child a room of their own. It is now or never, in the words of our agent, and we have to move quickly.
It is now.
But as we look, searching, for the right place to live, the home we will keep for 10-15 years, for the duration of our childrens’ schooling and thus the majority of their childhood memories, we can’t get past our own happiness as a child. Land vs. Community. A newer home vs space.
We visit homes and the children marvel at the bedrooms. “It’s PINK already!” We watch as the kids run circles in the large yard running up and down the small hill. Laughing. Rolling. Smiling. We see neighbor kids playing and our children watching, wishing they could join in.
I know the lesson here. I know the conclusion. I know we are our own family, influenced by our parents but not tied by their experiences. We are a new family, full of new needs, new expectations. But we’re not so different from the family we belonged to back in 1979, or the houses we occupied. And in the end I know it’s the family, not the house, that creates the childhood memories to hold on to.
I just hope this family gets a house with a new kitchen. And a skylight.
And maybe a bit of land with large wet evergreens, because I believe in the American Dream.
We’re dreaming big. And the kids are dreaming with us.
I was recently reminded of a promise I made to myself to get in shape.
oooOOOOHhhh, sighs the Internet. THAT again.
Well, yes, that. THAT.
However, instead of making lofty goals, promises, and pubic announcements, I’m just going to share with you one or two things I’m going to try this week. Will I do this again next week? I can not say. Mainly because one of the things I’m trying to cut back on, aside from booze (god, the excess sugar!) and processed meats, I’m also giving up making promises I know I can’t keep.
So? Here are two things I’m doing this particular week.
1. Doing this DVD twice this week. It’s a ballet conditioning workout and in some ways? It is harder than The Shred. Dearlawd my abs! MY ABS.
2. Making this hearty Minestrone soup one night.
Quick Fall Minestrone
This easy soup brims with fresh vegetables; canned beans and orzo make it hearty and filling. Use a vegetable peeler to quickly remove the skin from the squash.
TOTAL TIME: 35 MINUTES
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups vegetable broth
2½ . cups (¾ .-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
2½ . cups (¾ .-inch) cubed peeled baking potato
1 cup (1-inch) cut green beans (about ¼ . pound)
½ . cup diced carrot
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ . teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ . teaspoon salt
4 cups chopped kale
½ . cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
½ . cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 2½ . minutes or until tender. Add broth and the next 7 ingredients (broth through salt); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes. Add kale, orzo, and beans; cook 5 minutes or until orzo is done and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with cheese.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1½ . cups soup and 1 tablespoon cheese)
CALORIES 212 (21% from fat); FAT 5g (sat 1.6g, mono 1g, poly 1.2g); PROTEIN 9.6g; CARB 36g; FIBER 3.9g; CHOL 5mg; IRON 1.9mg; SODIUM 961mg; CALC 164mg
This recipe is from CookingLight
In the words of Bob, “Baby stepping toward healthy….”
I purchased a book about a year ago for programming iPhone Apps. That book? The spine still isn’t broken; which is a sure sign that I’m either a) complete slacker or b) too anal to break the spines on my books.
Clearly it’s not B.
I tend to learn better through interaction so when I found out I could participate in a class at STANFORD for FREE?
I felt a little giddy.
So I’ll be participating in the Stanford iTunes U iApp Building. There is a series of podcast downloads with associated PDF slides of the lectures.
I’ll be downloading these files as quickly as possible before word gets out that I can get smart FOR FREE from STANFORD.
Maybe someone was completely baked when they thought this was a great idea, because it was. It is. And it feels a touch illegal, wrong, and a little dirty. Me getting smart off Stanford’s lectures.
Raur, baby. Just… Raur. Bring on teh sexy code!
10 guests here now.