Back to Blogging

I am dropping by this blog for a quick minute to say hi and see if anyone is out there? Anyone?

Actually, I’ve been thinking about doing this for quite sometime, but something always got in the way, namely me and my so-called life. So much time has gone by and so much has happened—really good things, and some really-not-so-good things. I have allowed these things to keep me from blogging.

I woke up today and turned over a new month on the calendar. How did it get to be August? And how did so many months go by without me stopping to enjoy, reflect and blog? Everytime I thought about blogging, I would get so overwhelmed about how many things I’ve missed writing about, and how much I still needed to process before I could write, that I would get overwhelmed about the thought of blogging. I didn’t know how to catch up. I didn’t know how to start again.

I took my lunch hour to check in on some blogs which I enjoy reading, and which I haven’t read in many weeks. Just as I was finished and was about to turn back to the pile of legal documents on my desk, my husband walked through the door carrying gifts, fresh flowers from the farmers market, and broccoli. The flowers are for me and the broccoli is for tonight’s dinner. Maybe it’s the flowers, the blogs, the passing summer, but I decided I just need to get to back to blogging. I guess I’ll just start out blogging about today. I’ll catch you up later,

So, here I am. Is anyone out there? Anyone?

Flowers for Today

Happy Birthday to My Blog

Today my blog celebrates its one-year birthday. This has to be some kind of record for me, because while I have started countless journals in my life, I have never written enough to keep them going for more than a couple of months before I abandon them to other pursuits.

But blogging has been different. I have posted something just about every month. Some months more than others, but baby steps, right? I  didn’t know it then, but when I started  this blog shortly before my birthday last year I thought I was checking something off my bucket list, and fulfilling this little writing fantasy of mine. It turns out this blog has been more than that to me. Besides finally being able to say that I “write,” blogging has taught me a few more things about myself:

1) I am creative.

When I was younger I would make doll clothes, do needlework, knit, and craft. I would write short stories, and poetry. Over the years I stopped being creative. Except for the occasional scrap booking party, or kid’s school project I stopped making things, I stopped creating. I also stopped writing. Maybe it was when I realized there was a lot of technical craft to it. As much perspiration as inspiration, perhaps? Maybe it was later when my writing was critiqued for poor grammar, and misplaced commas. Whatever. I stopped enjoying it, so I stopped doing it. Blogging has helped me remember of how much I enjoy being creative. And how a little perspiration isn’t such a bad thing after all.

2) I have something to say.

It may not be profound, or funny or amusing, or even interesting, but in my blog I get to say it. Enough said.

3) If you write it they will come.

Even though I had something to say, would anyone listen? I mean, besides my husband who has to listen to me. Based on some of your comments and my growing number of subscribers, someone out there is listening. Thank you.

3) I am (more) present.

My day flies by with work, kids, family, and chores. I am in a state of constant motion and I rarely stop to appreciate a moment, to capture a thought or preserve a memory.  Blogging has allowed me pause and take it all in. Sometimes my thoughts and ideas are fleeting and they leave my mind before I capture it in a post, but more often now I find myself jotting it down and taking time to preserve these thoughts and construct words and phrases about an experience or event in my life and the life of my family.

4) There is community in the blogosphere.

Sure, virtual contact is not the same as human contact but I have built some relationships with other bloggers just by reading and commenting on their blogs. Blogging also has given me a reason to attend blogger events and meet some of the bloggers whose blogs I’ve read, which leads me to my next point…

6) Its a small world after all.

The world is a lot smaller than we think. A few of the bloggers I’ve met ended up living only a few miles from me!

6) You can teach an old dog, new tricks.

Before I started blogging I was pretty good at navigating my way around MS Word and surfing the net, but launching my own blog? I did not know the first thing about it.  Well, it turns out am not as technologically challenged as I thought I was. I have actually had to learn two blogging platforms. I started out on Posterous and then moved to WordPress. Even though WordPress blogging platform is user friendly, it took me over a month from the time I decided to launch my blog and actually posting something. My husband teased that you would have thought I was launching a major website. In reality, I was working up my confidence and familiarizing myself with WordPress. Now that I have been doing this for a year I have learned just enough to be dangerous and throw out words like, URL, domain name, posts, tags, RSS feed.

So, that’s my year in review. I hope you’ve enjoyed something here at my blog. I know I have enjoyed doing it. I look forward to writing more posts and hearing from you with your comments and subscriptions. Thanks for stopping by and sharing this anniversary with me.

Here are a few of my top posts from the past year:

What’s Good About Good Friday?

Mischief Remembered

Tres Generaciones

Date Night Without my Husband

Sunday Offerings – The Body/Mind/Spirit Connection

Yesterday I went on a women’s retreat put on by the Women’s Community at my church.  I was a little hesitant about going because the last time I went to an all women’s retreat the retreat was organized by a very bible based church,
I was in my 20’s and the women who attended were nearly all  (gasp) women in their 50’s.  Yesterday’s retreat was very different.  The average age of the women was still probably 50+ but somehow now that I am closer to the average age, that wasn’t such a big deal. The bigger difference was the theme and feel of the retreat–no bible thumping, hallelujah-shouting, blue-haired women here. The theme of the retreat centered on the body-mind-spirit connection, and the ritual we all use in getting our bodies in a place to open our minds, and our spirits.

Zelda, a female Episcopalian priest from my church,  led the retreat.  She  helped to show us how some of our daily rituals open our minds and spirit. Something as ordinary like stretching in the morning, or like me, washing my face at night. As I listened to the other women offer examples of daily ritual I realized that I could use some more ritual in my life, something other than the washing-my-face-at-night-before-I-go-crashing-into-bed-and-falling-asleep-as-I-try-to-get-through-my-nightly-prayers. All, too often I don’t even get to the nightly reflection part because I am so tired at that point all I want to do is lay down and SLEEP!

One of the ways we were supposed to use our body’s on yesterday’s retreat was to walk around this amazing retreat center in the San Gabriel mountains very close to my house. Yesterday’s springtime temperatures and clear skies made a glorious day to be walking about the mountains.

Zelda had set up the walking labyrinth, and she set up a trail with small stations along the way.  We were asked to walk the labyrinth or walk along the trail (the body connection).

The labyrinth set up in the shade of the trees.

A steep part of the spirituality trail.

Along the trail Zelda set up “sacred stations,” which were meant to be places where you could stop and wrap yourself in a prayer shawl and meditate on the writings that were placed at each station, or meditate on some of the questions we were given at the start of the retreat, then we were asked to write or draw our thoughts in a journal, (the mind connection).

One of the sacred stations along the spirituality trail

At the end of the two-hour walking and journaling period, we returned for lunch and, if we wanted, we shared our thoughts, and had communion, (the spirit connection). It was a transformative day.

I came away with many thoughts and revelations but one of my thoughts was that I should really practice this more often.  I need more ritual in my life so that I can get to the mind/body/spirit connection. And, as Zelda said, if you say it aloud for the universe to hear then it often works. So, I’m saying it out load to the blogosphere–“I am going to get up a half hour earlier to walk and meditate and journal.” This is huge, because as my husband Juan says, my daily ritual is trying to sleep in as long as possible before I have to start my day. Please pray for me.

Checking In with NaBloPoMo

 I signed up for National Blog Posting Month on November 1. Today marks the halfway point. I almost didn’t make it.  You see, it’s 10:00p.m on the 15th of November and I have gone all day without a post. I am tired and my brain is fried.  I started my day at 5:30am to take Olivia to school, made it to work at 7:00 where I put out about 3 fires. Then,  I raced off to Diego’s  parent teacher conference, picked up Nico from school, worked with Diego on homework, returned to school to pick up Erica from Girl Scouts, returned home to pick up Diego and take both of us to the dentist where I learned the unfortunate news that he would need a tooth extracted. Then I returned home to make dinner.  Simultaneously I ate dinner and quizzed Diego on his vocabulary words, did the dinner dishes and proceeded to bake two items for tomorrow’s bake sale. Just when was I supposed to blog today?  I almost gave up the NaBloPoMo, but I didn’t. I didn’t because I am kind of  enjoying this. I like the discipline it’s taking for me to sit down with my thoughts and actually produce something. Apart from the two things I baked today, the banana loaf and a carrot cake, I really did not create anything. This blog allows me to be creative, sometimes. And I produce something, from start to finish.  Too often my job does not allow me to create a finished product for months, if at all.  The responsibilities of motherhood can be mundane, exhausting, and garner little recognition.  So, even though I am tired, it’s late , and I nearly missed today’s post, I am still on track. And I get to do it all again tomorrow.  Fifteen more days to go.


What is it? It’s a challenge to bloggers to post everyday, for a month. Everyday. For one whole month.  In November. Novembstarts the day after a late night spent walking through the neighborhood with kids, trying to keep them from getting run over by cars as they traipse house to house looking for candy.  November. The month that has two holidays, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Okay, so I am not a veteran, like my dad. (thanks,Dad), but this year Thanksgiving is MY holiday. November, the official kick off to the December holidays. November, the month that has not one, but two parent teacher conferences in it, two weekends of houseguests, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Oh, and did I mention that I have two cases with big deadlines this month? This would be a terrible month to try posting everyday. For a month.

 Did I mention I have a competitive spirit?  See you tomorrow.

Much Ado about (Almost) Nothing

After reading yesterday’s post on this blog, Juan made the comment that I am the Jerry Seinfeld of blogging. I asked him to explain, and he said that Seinfeld was an amusing show about nothing. He thought my post about Silly String was like that.

Well, I guess Juan is somewhat correct.  But, it is my blog so I can write whatever comes to mind, even if it’s something as silly as Silly String. I read quite a few blogs and many of them are about nothing profound, just the stuff that makes up life. One of the blogs which I enjoy reading is Pioneer Woman, by Ree Drummund.  Ree is an amazing blogger. If you haven’t heard of her then you should check her blog out. It will make you feel like you are an under-achiever.  Some days her posts are quite touching,  like when she writes about her developmentally disabled brother Mike. Other days her posts are just about as innocuous as Silly String. I am new to this blogging thing, but writing about the stuff that makes up my well blended life, is kind of the point of my blog. 

Last night, Juan and I tricked Diego and told him we were going to visit grandma, but instead we treated him to the Mickey’s Halloween party at Disneyland. Diego is all ours.  By that I mean  because we have a “blended family” Juan and I share Olivia and Erica with their mom, and we share Nico with his dad. Many times the other kids get to do things with the other parents that Diego doesn’t get to do. Juan and I occasionally try to do something special with Diego on our own. It’s difficult because when it’s just the three of us, the house is quieter and it’s tempting to just stay home and chill. But last night we made the effort, and I’m glad we did. There were no crowds or lines. Disneyland was decorated for Halloween, entire families were dressed in costume…Peter Pan and company, Incredible families, grown men dressed as Star Wars heroes accompanied by a Princess Leah wife and Yoda babies. We had a great time. In case you think Juan is not supportive of me and my blog, Juan took pictures for my blog all night. I told him I wasn’t sure what I’d write about and then he said, “Are you kidding? This night is full of good material. You could write about Silly String, but not this?”  I told him to get his own blog! Still, he was right. It was a night of good material. I am just not sure I want to write about it. So, instead I’ll post his pictures and close this post with photos from an evening that was special, even though it may not have been profound.

By the way, if you would like me to write about something in particular on this blog, leave a comment and let me know.


Hammer Nail Post

Day Two of this expanded blog experiment.

I am the kind of  person who likes to research something pretty thoroughly before I do it. After I have read all I can on a single subject,  I throw caution to the wind and jump in, head first.  Blogging is not much different. I did a fair amount of research into this blogging thing by looking at other people’s blogs. There are a lot of blogs out there, There’s a lot of advice on blogging too. But a couple of rules kept popping up about successful blogging. One of these rules came out of one of my favorite blogs.

Rule #1: Blog a lot. Post often.

So you can imagine my panic when I approached Day Two and I was frantically looking for material.  I needed some inspiration. Where to get it?

Rule #2: Write about what you know.

My family. My job. My husband. I was discussing this dilemma with Juan while we were walking out of work. We were waiting at the intersection to cross the street. He kissed me. In public. Ha! Maybe a post about how he usually doesn’t like to show public displays of affection. We began walking across the street and talking about the kids waiting for us at home. Ha! A post on how anxious the boys were for us to get home since they could have their long-awaited X-Box time. As we walked towards our car, we noticed the big thunder clouds over to the North and realized we would probably have to change our date night plans. Ha! A post on how to work in a little alone time with four kids in the house. I shared these possible post ideas with Juan. He smiled and said that my ramblings reminded him of that expression, “To a hammer, everything is a nail.”

Ahhhh….. Hammer…Nail….Post!!!

Which reminds me of something I read on another favorite blog

Rule #3: Don’t blog about blogging.

Maybe I need to do more research.