Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Think I Love You...

I visited a good friend last week and we discovered we had the same words on a wall in our family rooms, "This house is filled with dreams and love". Obviously, we are still soul mates in the word world.

I was telling her about my favorite 'word wall' in my house, a conglomeration of phrases about love from pop songs.

She suggested I put it up on my blog so here goes...

...keep in mind that it's not in the most photographable spot in my house...

...right at the bottom of the stairs leading to our family room, so the angles are not that great.
Who ever said I was a professional photographer anyway?

We feature lyrics from Donny and Marie, James Taylor, The Partridge Family, The Beach Boys, and (of course) The Beatles. Can you match the singers with their songs?

My goal for this wall was two-fold: (a) it makes a great conversation piece, and we love having people guess the songs. (b) it's a daily reminder to anyone who spends time in our home that there is a lot of truth in the simple phrase...


Monday, June 9, 2008

A few "must reads" for the summer...

So, I've taken a few days to step out of the cooking and cleaning and chasing kids-zone, and get back to one of my deepest passions. Reading! So, here are two book reviews: one is definitely a "must read" and the other is of the "if you want to be pleasantly entertained" genre.

Most of you have probably already heard of Randy Pausch, a professor of computer science who was recently diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer and only given about 6 months to live. He put all his thoughts together and delivered them to a group of students at Carnegie Mellon as his 'last lecture'. This book is a combination of that lecture, and also a lot of his philosophies on life. May I first say, that his writing style kept me going, page after page, as his life ebbed and flowed before me. Here is a man who, early in life, set a goal to publish something in the World Book encyclopedia, wanted to be Captain Kirk, and dreamed of becoming a Disney Imagineer and then became one. How cool is that? The personal and touching peek into the relationship he has with his wife and children are poignant and very real. The advice, quotes and thought-provoking passages are too many to share, and I wouldn't want to spoil anyone's reading experience, but I will guarantee you this: Set aside a few hours as soon as possible to read this book. You will walk away feeling inspired, uplifted, rejuvenated, happy, sad, and very blessed to have been given a glimpse into one man's ability to take the worst situation and live it with dignity and grace.

BOOK #2: THE PRIZE WINNER OF DEFIANCE, OHIO; How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less; Terry Ryan
I heard about this book a few year's ago, and after being on a waiting list for at least one year, my library finally called to say my book was in. This is the story of a family who spent years living in poverty, with an abusive, alcoholic father, and a very word-saavy mother, who spent all of her days and weeks and months and years, writing jingles and slogans for various contests that used to exist in America. I was extremely fascinated and amused at how lucky she was, and how most contests she entertained brought her family just what they needed to keep the family afloat through various financial tragedies. It was a quick read, and made me grateful that what I write for fun does not have to support my family. I am so lucky to have a bread winner, especially one who doesn't hit us, or break the furniture, and on a good day, might order a straight Coke without ice if he wants something strong!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Batter Up!

My friend Karalee has a quote from Dumbledore on her blog. "Numbing the pain for awhile makes it worse when you finally feel it." Today that quote fit my life to a tee. My only brother passed away unexpectedly in December. It made the winter seem even longer, and now it's taking forever for summer to come. There are still moments when I think, "If only the sun would shine, I would wake up from my bad dream and John would be on the other end of the phone, telling me his trademark jokes and making me laugh." Not to be. I spent the morning with my parents picking out a memorial stone for the sight where they have chosen to bury his ashes. It was weird. I always thought he would be with me, picking out the headstones for our parents, not the other way around.

It reminded me of when he used to play baseball. He could throw a mean curveball, and usually strike out his batter. I think the last six months have dealt our family a bad curveball, and we were the ones who struck out! Now it's time for me to get up off the bench, grab a bat, take a swing, and start playing the game again. The numbness has worn off, I've felt the pain, and now I'm ready to heal.