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Well its been a while since my last post so let’s catch up. Here’s what I’ve been up to since my last post..

– I Started a new job as Outreach Development Manager at Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois where I am trying to bring our  Girl Scout programming into schools, community centers and housing units.
– My husband and I took a trip to Chicago and I crossed U.S. Cellular Field off my list of stadiums I have yet to visit. (And got to see good friends..always a plus)
– I took a week-long trip home to attend my hometown music festival, Steamboat Days, which I haven’t been to in 3 years.
– During that week-long trip I held a yard sale at my mom’s house for which I went through boxes and boxes of childhood memories.
– I rode a Segway. The same segway, actually, that Justin Beiber rode when he was in St. Louis and apparently crashed because he was texting.
– I started a 5 day cleanse which lasted 2.5 days.
– I attended my husbands 10 year high school reunion.
– I found out one of my best friends ever is going to have a baby. (So happy but yet…so scary)

OK, Now that you’re caught up, I’ll go back to the new job part.

My supervisor and I have been doing a program at a Children’s Home in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. From what I’ve read the home originally started as an orphanage a million years ago and since the needs of the community have changed it is now a home for runaways and/or troubled youth. I’m not exactly sure how the girls get placed there…If the parents send them there or if the system does. And I’m not exactly sure what the girls do to get placed there (they aren’t allowed to talk about why they are there to anyone but their therapist…not even each other) But the girls range from probably 14-18.

Now..I’ll admit I was a little hesitant about going there. After all…I had NO IDEA what these girls did to get in there, AND they’re teenage girls which is a whole other kind of dangerous. I thought they would be mouthy, have a bad attitude and sit with their arms crossed rolling their eyes at the thought of doing Girl Scouts (much like I would have been at age 16.) But after being there the first week it was very clear these girls were nothing like that. I was more than surprised.

These girls sat quietly, were engaged, answered questions, laughed, all got along and respected us and their surroundings. A few even gave us hugs as we left and thanked us for coming. Really?  I thought. I guess a change of surroundings can change anyone. Some of these girls I could see that in the right surroundings and situations they could be problems, maybe being egged on by their peers. But other girls were quiet as can be, polite and even seemed innocent.

Ever since I was younger I had this fascination about why people are the way they are. I people watch ALL the time. Make up stories about people and families in my head. Try to determine their life story. I want so badly to know the stories of these girls so that I can understand why they are in the position they are in. Have they had a horrible home life? Were their parents really strict and now they’re rebelling? Was everything at home perfect and they just ended up with the wrong crowd? Have they been abused? I know I’ll never know the answers to any of those questions but I still try to figure out their story in my head when I’m there.

I’ve now visited the home 6 or 7 times and actually enjoy going there. I like watching the girls continue to learn life skills that will hopefully help them when they leave the home and go out on their own. I like to think that we are instilling some values in them that they can use in the real world. After all….that’s what Girl Scouts is all about, right? I guess the old adage is true…don’t judge a book by its cover. Noted.

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I’ve recently been a co-host of a couple of baby showers and have of course made some Pinterest projects. And have actually invented a couple of baby shower games that I thought I’d share since I’ve had many requests.

Catchphrase: Celebrity Mom Edition (Pin)

So this is a mix between Catchphrase and Taboo. Everyone splits into teams of 2. Each team is given 5 cards with the names of famous/celebrity moms. One person on the team will be trying to describe the name on the card without saying the names of the kids, husband, or father of the kids while the other person has one minute to try to guess as many of the 5 cards as they can. Once the minute is over, assess who has guessed the most and trade the cards. You can eliminate teams or continue the rounds as many times as you want, keeping track of each teams cumulative score and then the team that has the most wins.

TO DO:

I’ve provided the Word Document (So that you can continue to add names as more celebrity moms have babies.) You can get that here. The font may not show up so you might want to either download Broadway font or make it any kind of fun font you’d like.

Once you get it printed and cut out you can just glue them onto any colored card stock. I did multi-colored pink cards. For extra durability you can also laminate them if you think you’ll be using them over and over.

Don’t Forget the Lyrics: Nursery Rhyme Edition (Pin)

This one’s easy, if you’ve seen the show Don’t Forget The Lyrics. Basically everyone gets some kind of noise maker (whistle, kazoo…). The first 2 or 3 lines of the nursery rhyme are read off and whoever blows their whistle first can finish the nursery rhyme. You can keep track of who had the most and that person wins. Or you have give out little prizes for each person who gets one right. There’s probably a lot of different ways to play it so feel free to experiment!

For my noisemakers I used lip shaped whistles like these:

And the the Word Document is here

Personal WELCOME BABY Sign (Pin)

I simply made letters spelling out “WELCOME BABY LASTNAME” each being a page big. I printed them on white card stock and had crayons available for when people arrived. Each person would decorate a letter then we hung them up with string and clothes pins. It serves as decoration for the shower and then the sign is the mom’s to take home with her. The Word Document is here.

Now for the Pinterest projects!

I made these “cupcakes” out of receiving blankets, washclothes and bibs. Pin is here.

And the grand finale…something that never in a million zillion years did I think I could actually make..a Diaper Motorcycle!

Boom! I actually had a BLAST making this and was so proud when I was done that I actually did it. I also have to give credit where credit is due. Although I found the idea on Pinterest I used this tutorial.

I had a great time being a part of these showers and am excited for more chances to be crafty and creative!

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First off – my apologies for the lag in updating posts. Life has been busy and quite frankly shits been crazy

So in honor of Labor Day this last weekend and the official end of Summer, I’d like to share my 25 favorite things about Autumn (and yes,
I call it Autumn and not fall…it just sounds classier, ok?)

1. BOOTS! (be ready – a lot of these involve clothing items)
2. College Football
3. The utility bill (compared to Summer)
4. Trees changing colors


5. The return of Merlot Season (I’ve missed it so much)
6. Tailgating (or any kind of outside day-drinking)
7. Fantasy Football
8. Sleeping with the windows open
9. Jackets
10. TV season premiere week
11. Leaves crunching under my feet
12. Blankets!
13. Carmel Lattes


14. Flannel sheets and electric blankets
15. Hoodies
16. Slipper socks
17. Smell of pies baking (I swear I’ll try to make one this year)
18. Sweatpants.
19. Hot coffee on the patio
20. SCARVES!


21. Bonfires
22. Homemade Hot Chocolate
23. My Snuggie (quit judging me)

24. Soup/ Chili Season
25. Carving Pumpkins

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As my 10 year high school reunion is fastly approaching (say what?! it’s only two months away now?!) I’m beginning to reflect a little on the last 10 years. Hard to believe it’s been a decade since we’ve all walked across that stage. I think about my close friends back then who remain my close friends to this day and how little of an idea we had of what was in store for each of us.

Almost as if the universe knew what it was doing, while visiting WordPress the other day this post popped up – Old…It’s the new young. – It’s about a woman who attends her 40th high school reunion. She talks about the bond that she has with those peeople who knew her when she was young. Those people who knew and remembered all the same things about growing up. And I realized that I felt the same way about my graduating class. That no matter where anyone ends up or what they end up doing- we all started in the same place and all call the same place home.

When talking with some friends about if they would attend the reunion I mostly got the classic answer anyone gives when they don’t want to go to a class reunion “I see the people I want to see already” And well yes, I guess I see the people I want to see too. And I guess there’s not really anyone specific I’m looking forward to seeing besides everyone as a whole. And of course there are some people I am speficially NOT looking forward to seeing. But, quite frankly, I’ve never been to a class reunion before so I wanna see what it’s all about. Maybe I’ll hate it and know that I definitely DON’T want to attend another reunion…then fine. I will have at least tried it. Maybe it’ll be a blast and I’ll end up being even more excited about the next reunion. Either way I’m looking forward to finding out.

And now..off to see if I can find Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion on Netflix…I’ve got my fingers crossed.

I’m also leaving you with a little treat – one of my senior pictures.

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Leisurely scrolling through my Facebook news-feed as I usually do while sipping my coffee on Saturday mornings, I came across a post from a girl that I had went to grade school with. She had started a blog and had just made her first post. While I usually end up reading blogs by strangers, I’m always intrigued to read blogs written by people I actually know. The blog is called The Fullest Expression The author, Dailah, writes about a phrase Oprah used in an interview with Barbara Walters that phrase is: “”I am seeking the fullest expression of myself as a human being on earth” At the end of Dailah’s post she asks: “How would you describe the fullest expression? Do you have any mini regrets?” After a long journey into myself, I’ve attempted to find my fullest expression. In order to find the fullest expression of myself, it definitely took a lot of time to reflect on things and dig deep into myself to find what exactly encompasses THE fullest expression. Find out what I’m made of, if you will.

And I’ve come to two conclusions. 1) There are the stable things in my life that never change. and 2) There are unstable things in my life that always change. It’s kind of like moving. Everything inside the house is the same but the view out of the window is ever-changing.

The stable things in my life that never change have helped developed my core personality. Where I grew up, childhood experiences and family. They all worked together to provide an inner hub of person and personality.

The unstable things in my life chip away and build up little niches that help define that core personality. Collegiate and adult life have worked in unison to help make a further definite idea of who I am. People I’ve let into my life…and then let out of it have also changed me. Whether I wanted them to or not – it’s a risk taken when you let yourself get close to someone. No matter how hurtful,  I’ve chosen to embrace those changes because I believe everything happens for a reason. The views out of the different windows has always changed and everything outside of those windows has changed me and will continue to help develop a more clear definition of myself. I embrace that also because I know that I am ever-changing.

I love that life is a mystery. I love not knowing what is around the corner. And I love that the view from the window is always different. While I may not have a solid grasp on the “The Fullest Expression” of myself just yet, I look forward to finding more pieces to the puzzle to help complete the idea of ME.

Oh and as for mini-regrets? I’m sure I could look back and find some things I wish I could do differently and situations I wish I could have handled better but what good will ever come of that? You learn from every mistake you make. Life moves on and I can’t change those things anyway. There’s no use in looking back.

Life and finding yourself is an evolving and ever-changing process. Embrace it and Enjoy the ride.

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Re: “My Son is Gay”

RE: My Son is Gay

It’s still sad to me that parents feel the need to judge other parents. I can only hope that all of the accepting and open-minded mothers end up at whichever school my future children attend. This story got my blood boiling and made me seriously think about having children someday (O.K. that’s a little rash..but really..what kind of world would I be bringing them into?) I hope that I instill the “think for yourself” gene in them and that they are able to stand up for them selves. And by-god if my 5 yr old son wants to be Ariel from the Little Mermaid or Barbie for Halloween he WILL be. And if my daughter wants to be a football player or Batman – she WILL be. Who cares? I hate to think that we still live in a world where gender stereotypes are still so widespread – and that people feel the need to VOICE their opinions to strangers. What compels a complete stranger to judge another parent? How are we supposed to raise kids and teach them critical thinking if we never let them think and make decisions for themselves? I say – let the kid wear whatever he wants. Let him BE who HE is. Because, in the words of the great Dr. of Suess, those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

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