are you that blogger?

Are you that blogger who celebrates when your kids return to school after Fall Break?

Are you that blogger with the cat who is literally the nosiest neighbor on the block always looking out the window observing everyone’s business?

Are you that blogger who’s daughter was in a Fall fashion photo spread in last weekend’s Manteca Bulletin?

Are you that blogger who joined the local PTA and received a thank you free ice cream cone from Baskin Robbins just for joining?

Are you that blogger who is soon to achieve “crazy cat lady” status downloading a cat toy app on your iPad?

Are you that blogger who wears fancy tights when she runs and does lunges and squats?

Are you that blogger who was excused from the jury box during jury selection when the plaintiff’s attorney asked you if you were that blogger named Laura Scarborough?

Good for her for doing a Google search during the two day selection process. Hopefully I didn’t bore her too much with my navel gazing ramblings.

Are you that blogger” status unlocked…and it only took me ten years.

subdued, simpler, smarter, selfiebration-ish

Back from BlogHer14, missing pretty much all the parties and the sessions yet my head and my heart are full.

For me, there was scarcely any time for pictures but plenty of time for meeting up with old friends; not all as life and commitments always are calling, but some…enough to fill me up with the love, inspiration and encouragement I have been missing…needing. And all together we were enjoying our time. Time to hug a lot. Time to network. Time to talk about our writing, our photography and what drives us to post and create on our spaces. Reflecting on the fact that, yes, we are the “veteran bloggers”. Time taken to realize that, OMG, our kids are growing (grown) up much too fast while we seem to be getting older, perhaps grayer, achier and a little creakier. No one really wants to talk about those hormonal hot flashes but thank goodness for the Yoplait Greek Yogurt fans one could pick up in the Expo hall along with some other swag.

side note: Today I learned that swag is actually an acronym for “stuff we always get”. So says my darling daughter, Abby….The more you know.

I do regret not planning to attend the full conference as it did seem to be getting back to the basics…the blogging, the writing, the putting ourselves out there because we are enough in everything that we do everyday.

Thank goodness for Twitter and BlogHer live blogging everything. I know it’s not the same but it’s almost enough.

Meanwhile there were still many opportunities to be engaged here networking, walking through the expo, screening a movie coming soon to a theater near you, enjoying delicious food while talking with incredibly smart people about that which they are passionate about, sitting together in a suite with an incredible view discussing women, health issues, politics, mid-term elections, changing the world, telling our stories, empowering and encouraging one another.

Meanwhile, Khloe Kardashian showed up in the Expo Hall.

Whatever.

This was a much more subdued, simpler BlogHer and I definitely liked it. I’ll write more about it later. For now it’s family circus time.

 

 

because when you blog it’s never too late to join the Selfiebration

Up until a few days ago, I was quite certain that once again I would not be attending BlogHer even if it is thisclose to me. Disappointed? Yes. But it’s reality I told myself. Then opportunity came along and, well, I’m going!

Ten years of BlogHer. Ten years of bloggers and writers everywhere putting ourselves out there laid bare, exposed for the interwebs to look at, examine, identify with, judge. It’s been ten years of me putting my self out there on this here blog. How appropriate that I will join in on the #Selfiebration as we celebrate and reflect a little on what it is that we do…why we do it…why we hit publish every time that we do. We all have our reasons. So many of the reasons here I identify with so much.

Before Adventures in Juggling, I never really had a voice…a voice that wasn’t shouted down or talked over or told to just be quiet. Ten years of expressing myself and saying the things out loud here that I could never say anywhere has been a good thing…a very good thing. I’ve weathered the storms of raising an angry teen…and a few more teens, perhaps just as angry or perhaps not. I’ve appreciated the good in my life as a juggling mom. I’ve worked through the tears and fears and frustrations and the incredible loneliness of caring for and raising a beautiful child whose daily special needs required even more intensive parental care if not more hours in the 24 hour day. I’ve even have survived peri-menopause and now menopause without going completely hormonal on the entire world…especially my circus and family. You who tried to shout me down, talked over me or flat out told me to be quiet should be thankful…really.

And with that voice that I found I also found community, a community with whom I look forward to re-connecting with, hugging on, encouraging and inspiring this weekend.

I can’t wait!

selfie love

As if this blog wasn’t self-indulgent enough, I have been participating in a 365 day photo project: the #365feministselfie project.

The what?

Why?

Go ahead and roll your eyes. I know you want to.

You feel better now?

Good.

Talking about one’s sense of self love and self worth, Tamryn Hall recently shared, “It was not a magazine that formed my opinion of myself, it was what my mother told me…“. Ms Hall’s statement struck a very loud chord with me. How true this is. Children learn what they live. She went on recalling all the positive words her mother, her father, her extended family have always said to her about her and how that has always been with her with every success and setback in her life.

When I started writing in this blog, I began because I needed a safe place to put my thoughts, my fears and frustration. My plate was overloaded raising my five children including a very angry teen pushing hard and breaking through as many boundaries as possible and a medically fragile toddler whose weekdays were busy with appointments with specialists, physical therapy, occupational therapy, feeding therapy. My brother had recently died and honestly, it seemed like I was the only member of my family who was mourning him. So much was rattling around in my head that I had to have a place to put it and here is where most of it went. Through the years this has been a place where I could write about what ever I wanted to write about…my thoughts, my fears, my tears, my joys, my opinions…and they all mattered here.

Pretty much my entire life, even now, I have been told what is wrong with me…how I talk, how I walk, the colors in my wardrobe, I’m too skinny, I’m getting fat, my career choice, my parenting choices, my opinions, my beliefs, what I read, what I watch, what I listen to, my thoughts…and on and on and on and on….and it STILL goes on because as I approach my 52nd birthday I still need the correction criticism like I am still a child. It’s hard, very hard to recall ever hearing “I’m proud of you for being you”.

Children learn what they live.

But as this blog grew through the years into more than 3,500 entries, I have evolved and have grown to like me a lot. I like the parent that I am. I like the NICU RN that I am and I wouldn’t settle for anything less. My thoughts, my beliefs and my opinions are indeed my own and they are most definitely just as important as anyone’s…maybe more so to me because they are mine. Ten years of navel-gazing writing has exorcised a lot of demons and damage. Of course, it is a work in progress.

Which brings me to my own #365feministselfie. Pretty indulgent and narcissistic of me, isn’t it? Oh, and definitely attention seeking too.

Enough!

Attention is power.

Of course, the self-portrait is an easy target for charges of self-involvement, but, in a visual culture, the selfie quickly and easily shows, not tells, how you’re feeling, where you are, what you’re doing.

In our age of social networking, the selfie is the new way to look someone right in the eye and say, “Hello, this is me.”

Hello, this is me.

I’m discovering that in this exercise.

I’ve never liked nor respected too much the image that reflected back in the mirror at me. I’ve never really seen what my darling husband has seen and still sees…I recently overheard him say that he has a hot wife. I don’t know if I will ever see what he sees or what my kids see; but I am starting to see things in these selfies that I do like…my curves, my edges and my perfect imperfections.

Self-indulgent.

Of course.

Still it is a very important part of my exercise in self-love.

Self-love is about taking care of yourself inside and out. It’s about reminding yourself that even on your worst hair day with a red zit glowing at  the top of your nose, your heart deserves to smile. A smiling heart and a passionate life will create a beauty within that transcends the standards of most. Only the weak and superficial among us will be unable to see the smile that shines from within because they haven’t earned the privilege to see into our souls.

Added bonus is the kids will have a few pictures of me for my memorial someday.

And if the daily blog ruminations and selfies aren’t enough to cluck one’s tongue over…

It’s my birthday month!

blogtography 2013 edition

You try picking your twelve favorite shots of 2013 when you take and post way too many pictures!

What does one do with a room full of statues? Hug them of course.

Sleep during a weekend of dance competitions? Are you freaking kidding me?!

Before the storms rolled in.

Amazing shit that pixie dust is!

Once you get them all together and lined up and get them to stay still it’s totally worth it.

A whole hand!!!

I love how one of the first pictures he took was of me getting ready to take a picture.

Oh humidity!

Love at the circus.

Epic. Stubborn. A beautiful mess. Just like her!

Yes, they’re real and they’re delicious.

It’s a wonderful life. Because…

Bring on the images of 2014!

Happy New Year y’all!