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!

the tenth year

Officially this blog is nine years old today which means it is like one of those old frontiersmen kind of blogs.

Wow!

A lot has happened since I first started that little AOL journal and a lot remains the same as I still hang on to that relic of an AOL email address, I’m still married to my darling husband – 30 years, the mother of five great kids and still privileged to have the best job in the world caring for the tiniest but mightiest humans in the NICU.

Daniel, that sweet little two-year old- 20 months adjusted age boy has grown and changed so much managing to go over, under, around and through practically every barrier laid before him as a former 24 week micropreemie. All the while his fan base has cheered him on. I remember the very first comment I received was from someone who just loved his twinkly, dimpled smile and declared him to be such an amazing baby. Well, he is not a baby anymore. OMG, he is going to be TWELVE in two weeks!

Twelve! Hold me!

My girls are grown. Well, one is still is in high school and another still lives at home working hard and going to school. But yes, my girls have grown up. I survived one, then two, then three, then four teenagers during their turbulent, unpredictable adolescences…is that a word? I guess so because my spell-check seems to be okay with it. But yes, I have survived thanks to wine, running and a a lot of writing about it all and you all got to bear witness to that fact. Now my girls are making adventures of their own including marriage and parenthood for one…some of which I do write about and the rest, well, the rest I don’t because I mostly do try to respect them when they declare, “OMG, Mom, don’t you dare blog about that!“…mostly being the key word here.

So what is there left to say or write about? I don’t know. I think as long as I feel like writing, no matter how good or bad it might be, I will because I started this blog, this Adventures In Juggling for no one but me. Of course I am more than thankful for those of you who have been a part of this journey, this adventure with me. Some who might have found yourselves here searching for something or another like these real, actual search terms over the last nine years.

  • one hundred days of school hat
  • 18 weeks pregnant
  • Felicia Crowton…Whatever happened to her anyway? Maybe I will Google that. Maybe I won’t since that’s NSFW.
  • cute couple picture
  • NICU nurse blog
  • baby feet tattoos
  • teenagers
  • is working nights bad for your health…probably as bad as raising teenagers is
  • fear of scissors
  • micropreemie blog
  • meningococcal meningitis
  • thick glasses
  • Natalie of the 30 Day Shred…she cheats
  • dance moms
  • how to get kids to help around the house…heh! let me know how when you all figure that one out.
  • shelf life of poptarts
  • running tutu
  • how to speed up prodromal labor
  • how to paint pointe shoes black
  • dirt in the bellybutton
  • side effects of juggling
  • juggling milf
  • what is it like working as a male nurse in the nicu
  • work hard, be kind and amazing things will happen

Yes. That last one. That.