NaBloPoMo July 31: Causes

BlogHer July NaBloPoMo

BlogHer.com July NaBloPoMo

This post is brought to you by the NaBloPoMo July prompts from BlogHer. This month, I am writing about connections. 

Today’s Prompt: What causes are you connected to?

I am sure it shouldn’t be a surprise to you, but I connect with causes for feeding the hungry, education, equality, domestic violence (and programs that help the kids), and cancer (especially in kids).

Rather than me write more about these causes, I invite you to take a look back at the times I wrote about the causes I am connected to.

NaBloPoMo July 30: Timely Connections

BlogHer July NaBloPoMo

BlogHer.com July NaBloPoMo

This post is brought to you by the NaBloPoMo July prompts from BlogHer. This month, I am writing about connections. 

Today’s Prompt: Do you connect the most with the past, the present, or the future?

This is another easy one. I connect most with my feelings from the past simply because we cannot know the future, we aren’t sure what impact the present has on us, but we know how the past formed us. Right?

Since I like to not talk too much about the past, I think I’ll just move on…one more day of NaBloPoMo!

NaBloPoMo July 29: Feelings

BlogHer July NaBloPoMo

BlogHer.com July NaBloPoMo

This post is brought to you by the NaBloPoMo July prompts from BlogHer. This month, I am writing about connections. 

Today’s Prompt:  Can you connect easily with your feelings and understand where they come from?

My feelings. Ah. Evan and I are so much the same with our feelings. We easily get hurt and pout and cry. I’m learning to accept my emotions and not internalize everything, but it’s been a long journey of learning. I wouldn’t say I connect with my feelings, nor do I understand where they are coming from.

Do you ever question your feelings? Do you think that feelings are genetic? I see a lot of me in my kids, and I know Greg sees himself. It’s tough to know how one ‘lil thing will impact us when we can’t connect with our feelings, isn’t it?

NaBloPoMo July 26: Writing

BlogHer July NaBloPoMo

BlogHer.com July NaBloPoMo

This post is brought to you by the NaBloPoMo July prompts from BlogHer. This month, I am writing about connections. 

Today’s Prompt:  Mike White admits: “I guess I’m trying to write stuff that I, as a viewer, would connect to.” Do you think you do this on your blog?

While I try to write posts that I think my readers would want to read, I have to go back to why I write.

I write for…

* My Kids – I used to seriously journal and have stepped away from that in the digital world. I want them to remember everything–the good, the bad. I want them to know me, and be able to hear my voice even when I’m gone.

* An outlet – I have my guard up, yet I am not so afraid to spill my guts on this here blog. It’s because when I write (or type in this case), my heart opens up. Sometimes I shed tears, sometimes I laugh. Regardless, I get it out and don’t hold it in.

* To share – As a family, we have some unique experiences, often ones we do alone. I like to share the things we do so others can enjoy, too.

I guess with those things in mind, I do write with my viewers in mind, even if that viewer is only me.

Dayna Steele, who writes a daily blog with success tips for professionals, shared this week:

Even when no one is listening (or reading, or watching), every outing is a bravura performance, because you as creator are happy.

I couldn’t agree more.

NaBloPoMo July 25: Seemingly Unconnected

BlogHer July NaBloPoMo

BlogHer.com July NaBloPoMo

This post is brought to you by the NaBloPoMo July prompts from BlogHer. This month, I am writing about connections. 

Today’s Prompt:  William Plomer defined creativity as “the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.” Discuss.

Creativity surely brings the least likely pairs together for connections. Today, for instance, I am off to Chicago to celebrate creativity bringing people together. While I am at BlogHer, I will be connecting with women who are creative like me, but that we may not have otherwise have been connected.

It is going out on a limb, especially before going to a conference where people are social media addicts like me, but I will just say it anyhow. Creativity expressed through blogging and social media gives otherwise introverts an outlet to connect with others like them. I will admit, I am a bit socially awkward when it comes to meeting new people. But, get me comfortable and I chat away. Blogging and social media will give myself and others a means to connect.

I am grateful for the ways creativity helps us connect, aren’t you?

BlogHer
Source: blogher.com

Pittsburghers Blogging for Justice

Today I will be teaming up with fellow Pittsburgh Bloggers Blogging for Justice. We’ve been prompted to share our thoughts based on last weekend’s verdict in the Zimmerman trial. While I try to keep out of the politics  in this blog, there are just some things that hit all too close to home and I feel like I need to share. 

As you know, many people in the country are up in arms with the verdict of the Zimmerman trial in the death of Trayvon Martin. As a mother and an accepting person in general, sure, I have my opinions when it comes to what I think happened, but those are just opinions. It wasn’t up to me to decide what did or didn’t happen the night that Trayvon was approached by Zimmerman. I wasn’t there, but the media gave us bits and pieces of the truth throughout the journey to a verdict.

Rather than get up in arms about what may or may not have truly happened that sad night, I want to focus on justice. I want to help call to attention the fact that we as society need to understand that without 100% proof, and since we are not God, we cannot be the final judge.

When I look at the definition of justice, I get two things:

1. Just behavior or treatment.

2. The quality of being fair and reasonable.

When I read those definitions and think about the Zimmerman trial, I cannot help but wonder if the police gave the case just treatment–would the evidence have been put together differently if Trayvon had been a white male instead? What if he had been just a few years younger? What if he had been a woman? Would the evidence have been brought in the same manner? Would his killer be allowed to be free and get his weapon back? Is this fair and reasonable? 

It’s not just looking for justice in the legal system. I’m looking to raise my kids in a world where there is justice everywhere. No bullies. Fair and equal treatment regardless of race, sex, orientation, faith, education, age. I want to be sure my kids are comfortable in their own skin and are welcomed anywhere they go.

My hope is that regardless of your position on the Zimmerman verdict that you’ll do your part to bring justice to our world. In turn, I promise to teach my kids to be fair, to be welcoming, to treat everyone the same with hopes that they’ll be sent out into a world full of people with the same beliefs and without fear of our justice/legal system. Can you do that with me?

+++++++

[inlinkz_linkup id=297761]

++++++

NaBloMo July 24: Entertainers and Connection

BlogHer July NaBloPoMo

BlogHer.com July NaBloPoMo

This post is brought to you by the NaBloPoMo July prompts from BlogHer. This month, I am writing about connections. 

Today’s Prompt:  Joe Nichols said, “Being an entertainer includes knowing how to connect with an audience.” Can you be a good entertainer without the connection?

Sure, someone could be funny or talented, but without having an audience to connect to, what is the value of the entertainment content? Personally, I don’t think you can entertain without having a connection.

Think about it, if you are not engaging with an audience, regardless of how awesome your material is, there is no value. You have to be able to read your audience and know what is working and what isn’t.

I say that…and here I am, trying to engage you readers but can’t get a complete read on what makes you want to come back for more. Some of you love it all. Some of you are here to keep connected to the kids. Some of you want recipes or Pittsburgh stuff. But, most importantly, you come for the entertainment my words provide.

Okay, I will be honest. If you didn’t stop by, I would still write. I do it for my kids, but mostly for me to clear my brain. But, I love seeing that you keep coming back for more. For that, I thank you.

As I think about the things that entertain me, I definitely stick with the things I am connected to. Twitter. Fellow bloggers. Bad TV to zone to. Country music. Drake. Billy Hill’s tattoo work. Deals. And in the end, it boils down to the makers and creators of this content have something that keeps me coming back for more…a connection.

NaBloPoMo July 23: Facebook and Connections

BlogHer July NaBloPoMo

BlogHer.com July NaBloPoMo

This post is brought to you by the NaBloPoMo July prompts from BlogHer. This month, I am writing about connections. 

Today’s Prompt:  Mark Zuckerberg has said about his site: “The thing that we are trying to do at Facebook is just help people connect and communicate more efficiently.” Do you think he succeeded?

Facebook, admittedly, has brought me a heck of a lot of drama. But, above all that, it has connected me in so many ways. I have to agree that the site met the goal to connect others.

+

In 2008, Facebook kept my parents close to Arianna’s growth during our two months apart. They were able to instantly see photos and comment on her changes.

Friends “from the past” have been able to re-connect with us.

This here blog has been able to connect with readers on Facebook.

We were able to stay in touch with Nurin while she was in Morocco.

I have been able to connect with other bloggers as we prepare for BlogHer (this week!).

Katie, Rachel, and I were able to promote tonight’s Family Friendly Tweetup.

+

Moving past all of the drama, I have to say I am glad to hit the “blue F” on my phone every once in awhile and see that red circle with a number on it, letting me know someone connected with me, caring about my content. Thank you, Facebook, for your ways of keeping us together in this techie world.

PS, are you connected with us on Facebook yet? If not, perhaps it is time to give us a Like!

Facebook Cover
Our Facebook Cover Photo

10 Things You Should Know About Me

Today, in preparation for BlogHer 2013, I am linking up with Steph over at “A Grande Life” with 10 Things You Should Know About Me. This post may help break the ice with some of my new blogger friends, but most importantly it will give my kids at least 10 things about their Mama.

1. I am no longer considered obese after a good 15 years of being so. Granted, I am 0.1 into “Overweight” in the BMI calculator, but I am there. It’s been a long journey, and I have a few more things to work on, but after dropping 102 pounds, I feel pretty darn proud.

2. Do you really need this post to tell you I love the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates? Well, just in case. I bleed black and yellow.

3. Water buffalo. That’s me. I consistently drink around 125 ounces of water a day and then a coffee or two.

4. I have lived in three states–Pennsylvania, Ohio, and South Carolina. My favorite place, hands down, even after living at the beach, is Pittsburgh.

5. I hate running on a treadmill. I hate running in my neighborhood (perhaps due to this?). However, I love running. Give me a track or the beautiful city and I am all over it. You know, like the Half Marathon. On Friday, I’ll be doing a 5k in Chicago during BlogHer and have inspired my kids. Arianna, who will be five, really wants to do the Kids Marathon next year. I say YES.

6. Flip flops should always be on my feet unless I am running, see number 5.

7. I have only broken two bones. One was a finger and the other a toe. Even though the finger was severely broken (by an ex), I didn’t realize it until the next day. The bone was busted off the joint, it was so broken. My toe was broken at the Half in May, but I didn’t realize it until June 22. Related, I never felt any contractions while in labor with Arianna. High pain tolerance, perhaps? (I did feel contractions with Evan for three weeks leading up to my C-Section.)

8. Bright pink is my favorite color. I even tried to use it in our wedding, but settled for “watermelon” instead.

9. My daughter is a super hero in so many ways, more than just wearing a cape every now and then. She really saved my life and brought me to my husband, Greg.

10. I tried to sleep train my son while I was on maternity leave. His daddy and his Pop Pop both are night wakers. They stay awake most of the night and sleep chunks of the day away. While on my leave, I had ‘lil Man trained to sleep at night and wake in the day. Within a week, Daddy had him on the Willis man schedule. I gave up.

And those are 10 things about me that make me unique. If you’re coming to BlogHer, perhaps these will be conversation starters. What should I know about you?

DSCN7086 (Copy)Me tubing last weekend

 

NaBloPoMo July 22: Connect the Dots

BlogHer July NaBloPoMo

BlogHer.com July NaBloPoMo

This post is brought to you by the NaBloPoMo July prompts from BlogHer. This month, I am writing about connections. 

Today’s Prompt:  Steve Jobs said: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” Discuss.

As I mentioned on Thursday, this is definitely a family that believes in connection. The dots of our past have definitely shaped our present. So, can you connect the dots of the future?

A firm believer in my faith, I trust that God is the one connecting the dots of the future. The dots that connected in the past make us who we are today. We don’t have control over how those dots will connect, but just have to trust and have faith.

Sure, I would love to have a hand in how the dots will connect. There are goals, like losing a few more pounds (and Greg gaining a few), working a dream job, having another baby (we are mildly crazy in the fact that we are willing to risk being outnumbered by small humans), and buying our dream house. There are things I hope we get to do and experience (like Hawaii, watching the kids graduate and get married, becoming grandparents, retiring to a beach). But, as we have learned, we have no control over the hands we are dealt and have to put the trust in the Creator. He connects the dots so we don’t have to.