Thursday, January 28, 2010

Diarrhea or Diary

The minute the bus pulled out of sight at 8:09 AM, my afternoon kindergartener ran into the kitchen on a mission, he unlatched my daughter's fuzzy pink journal announcing, "I need to see if Sissy says anything bad about me in her diarrhea.” Typical little brother stuff, but the word diarrhea replacing the word diary certainly made me crack up.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Contest!

Yesterday on Facebook there was one of those little quotes (gone viral?) posted on wall after wall that I need to take heart of: Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget the ones who don’t. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.

I could go on and on with several examples, from just yesterday, that would support the notion of taking this quote to heart. I won’t share the details as we all have examples right in front of our nose! But it was a good day to be reminded with these words.

Speaking of “Gone Viral”… The World’s Greatest Husband was sweet to reference the “viral thing” when I proudly announced I had 40 hits to my blog. He said, “Wow, you’ve gone viral”. Now 4 weeks later, I am well over 100! So... who is reading? Is anyone enjoying this? Is it really only mommy therapy for me? I said I would give it a month and we are closing in on that timeframe. I’ve had a few of you comment off line and you have made me feel so good about my little project. Thank you for loving me and supporting my little version of self help.

YES or NO?

So here is the thing… vote YES by signing on to follow me. It is a little box over there on the right. It doesn’t mean much other than it feeds my ego and lets me know I may want to consider continuing this. There are no emails or nagging that exists because you sign on to follow. I think it is sort of like becoming a fan of a business or organization on Facebook. In an effort to make voting and following a bit more interesting… I am offering a PRIZE! Did your ears perk up? Anyone who follows me and signs on through FEB 14th will be entered in a contest! Yes, I said CONTEST…. This is getting hokier by the minute!!!! All followers will be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to Paperly. We all NEED personalized stationery, right? So, if you are attending a Paperly party this month, you will really want to sign on. If you are in love with paper, like me, you will want to sign on. If you are a friend of mine, you will want to sign on. If you are FAMILY, you have to, it’s your duty to love and follow fellow family members.

On February 14th, after a Hot Valentine’s Day Date, I’ll have The World’s Greatest Husband pull a name from those who participate. Good Luck.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Paperly Collection

Next month is a BIG Paper month for Paper Mom!   Paper parties will receive free shipping (four are booked so far!)  I am eager to show off the Paperly collection.  Check out my website for more information. 

Extended Family

Our kids think we have a super big family. I guess you can’t deny that… 7 people in and out of this house throughout the week is a BIG family. The idea of blended aunties, uncles and cousins make it even BIGGER. A few months ago we crossed all blended family lines when my five kids attended the birthday party of my former sister-in-law’s (my ex husband’s sister) son, my nephew. In blended families we always struggle with titles. I hate referring to my former sister-in- law as “former” as we were really “becoming sisters” when my divorce was heating up. She has always been a friend so to have the heartache of divorce impact that has never felt right. As for my nephews, I can’t even begin to come up with the proper title. It is still painful not to be involved on the front line of their life. Although we have done well with staying connected, cousin to cousin for sure… it still feels weird at times. Sweetly enough they have still referred to me as Aunt. So what is the right title? Sometimes we need to just leave it alone and let the kids find their way.

The issue of “cousin, aunt, and step family” came up at the birthday celebration. I had a good giggle overhearing the discussion between my step children and my former family. The kids seemed to be neutral on so many fronts, heck this party was FUN and nothing could spoil that, they quickly decided that they would be “step cousins”. That day we were all just one big happy family.

As for me and the World’s Greatest Husband, although our children have this HUGE blended family, we always feel like it is simply “just us”. I grew up with aunts, uncles, and grandparents right down the street. If we needed anything, someone was right there to help and visit. Our sisters, brothers and parents are all far away. We don’t have the “built in - down the street - support network”. I am sad that we aren’t all piling into my mother’s kitchen for a Sunday meal like we did at my Nana’s house. I wish I could load all the kids in the car on Halloween to show my aunts and uncles their costumes. And most of all, selfishly, I wish I could meet up at the mall and shop till we drop. My husband and I feel this loss, but the good news is, our kids don’t, they belong to a big blended family! For all of our kids the “other side of the family is local and connected” so there is no loss, only more folks to hang out with. Hopefully we are all providing a united front and supporting our kids in a way that makes them feel love.

I have always tried to spin the idea of being a kid of divorce with one perk: More people to love you.

**On Saturday night, I visited with family that I haven't seen in two years.  It was so good to recall our childhood family memories and laugh like kids again. To reconnect as adults is interesting. I hope someday our five kids crowd around in one of their kitchens telling funny stories with a ton of interruptions from the many grandchildren I expect to have.

Friday, January 22, 2010

NPR makes me feel smart.

When I listen to NPR I am eager to learn and have this weird feeling in my gut. My emotional response is often a combination of hopeful possibility mixed with a respectful feeling for whatever is being studied or discussed. It is the kind of radio that I wish the “World’s Greatest Husband” and I listened to together. I guess in retirement this will be a possibility but for today it is only shared through text messages. Which brings me to yesterdays show, my 11:35 am text : Listening to NPR about reinventing self and it is making me feel so much better! Now if that isn’t hopeful possibility rolled into one small text, what is? Does NPR seriously know how they are impacting lives?

So here is the quick low down on the show…. Sometimes being laid off from your job isn’t all bad. Most callers felt that the layoff pushed them to explore new opportunities and inventory skills and interests that bring them joy. Unfortunately this career change often meant a serious cut in pay, and many had to struggle to meet life’s basic needs, but honestly I heard the smile in their voices. Folks seemed more in control of their lives and had a lighter and happier heart. I am choosing to only see the positive in this show as a personal shift in situation is on the horizon for me and I needed to hear some positive self talk in my head. I’ve been down and out on the shift, not on top of my game for the last few days. Guess what? NPR (my new radio show therapist?) says that is normal. It is ok to feel cranky about the change. The part that really matters is…. What you do with it, what you do next …. I am not sure where my bright new outlook will take me but here are FIVE great things about today:
  • It’s Friday!
  • It’s Pajama Movie night at the elementary school
  • For the first time World’s Greatest Husband’s ex-wife actually included my name and contact number on a school form ( I am listed as step mo - I am thinking of this title with fondness...step mo, I like it.)
  • I am planning to see extended family tomorrow (most of which I haven’t seen in 2 years)
  • It’s a pay day Friday.
 Hey Paper Peeps, life is good! Enjoy the weekend.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Motherhood is a tough job

We need to band together… Motherhood is a tough job. So often I am amazed by all that I have accomplished before 8:15 am. If I am truly being honest, I have a love hate relationship with this role at times. I am not going to fill your head with fluff and say being a mom/step mom to five kids is easy, but I will say this… it is easier than my ex-husband and it is a job that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Yesterday we packed up our little army and traveled to my sister in law’s house for the day. I must admit, I view this little adventure as an escape. The pressure of the house and our life disappears because we simply are not on “our turf”. Packing the car is sometimes comical. Yesterday I made sandwiches for all of us so we wouldn’t arrive and ask “what’s for lunch?” I had to laugh, making sandwiches for this crew took an entire loaf of bread. I am not kidding, an entire loaf of bread! (and my sister in law still had to make macaroni and cheese – sorry P.E.)

Everything in our house of seven takes MORE of this mommy… more time, more energy, more dishes, more money, more patience, more love, and in an everyday example….more bread…. I am not complaining. I love our crazy life. If I didn’t choose to laugh, it would be easy to cry.

So this is what I think (or maybe I should borrow Oprah’s, this is what I know for sure…) Motherhood is not easy and “more” is ok when your heart is filled with love. We often fall into the trap of judging one another and situations. I think if we simply embrace the role of motherhood as a united front, understanding that we are all working hard to do the best we can, with what we have, we will be a stronger force in this world. We all know the power of motherhood, let’s make it work for us rather than against us.

Love the moms in your life. Sometimes we simply need to support one another, MORE.

Me and my two favorite moms....
 my mom and the World's Greatest Husband's mom.
We had a mom's only moment at an art show opening on Marco Island in 2008. This photograph actually appeared in the newspaper. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

What do your "Favorites" say about you?

Recently we invested in a new laptop. It is fabulous! My biggest concern when making the switch was about my “bookmarked Favorites.” I wanted to be assured that the “World’s Greatest Husband” would be able to transfer my favorite websites to our new machine. I’ve been creating my favorite lists and folders for years. I would write them in a pretty blank book before I learned how to bookmark. Now I am a pro and wanted to share a few with you.
Beyond my general favorites, I have folders named: life is so good, Rick Springfield, Places to see, job search, paper girl and shopping.

Here are some of my favorite, favorites, check them out: I’ve loved this guy since 5th grade. I think I’ve seen him 12 times. A few years ago I actually met him after a concert. It was clearly one of the best days of my life. I love getting new charms for my bracelet so I need to stay current to advise “The World’s Greatest Husband”  Amazing products that make island living grand. If I win lotto – this is one of my first stops.
Second stop?  This is an amazing resort, hotel….. I am not sure what you call this place other than really, really cool!  a dear friend turned me on to this guy. I always feel calmer and at peace when I listen.
Of course a paper girl needs a few paper faves, here are my top picks: , , ,  this company is absolutely about cool paper in a totally different way. Learn more.
I hope your day sparkles.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Paperly Passion

Shared Paperly with another Paper mom yesterday. It was fun to OOOooo and AAAaaahhhhh with another paper lover. It didn’t take long for her to pick a party date. If you are a paper girl, you too may want to consider hosting a Paperly Party! Not only do you get to visit with friends, ooo and aaaah over stylish papers, but as the hostess with the mostesst … get to receive super discounts and free products. Get a sampling of the paperly perfect collection at my website:

PS - We decided Personalized Clip Boards and Flat Notes are our Faves!

Friday, January 8, 2010

World's Greatest Husband

I am married to the "World's Greatest Husband" he is a psychologist. When we first started dating all of my girlfriends would ask, "Do you feel like he is analyzing you?" I've always replied, “No.” Honestly, I've never felt that my husband was comparing me to his Saturday afternoon patients. I think that may have changed yesterday. He announced that he had a book he wanted me to read. When he handed it to me, I proudly announced, “Oh, I’ve already read Who Moved my Cheese.” With a very serious look he said, “Read it again.”

The wonderful thing about my "World’s Greatest Husband?" At bedtime he suggested he read it to me.

I am sure you are familiar with the book Who Moved my Cheese, it is about how we handle change and opportunity.  Ok, so a lot is going on in my life right now... one thing that I hope will never change is the deep appreciation and care that I have for the "World's Greatest Husband." 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Calling all Paper Peeps...

It's an exciting day...
be sure to check out my NEW website.

all online orders placed this month receive 10% off.  Are you considering a party?  Let's squeeze it in for January so your "paper peeps" can take advantage of this offer too!

Baby it's Cold Outside!

As I get older, am I getting colder? Last night while talking to my dearest college friend we commented on how cold we are this winter.  It doesn't seem to compare to years past.  Yes, it has been cold, really cold - but our bones are cold, our toes are cold, our fingers are cold.  We have both been dressing like great grandmas wearing our heavy bathrobes over our clothes while we cook dinner and pick out school clothes for the next day.  I've been going to bed with two pairs of socks on (which really impresses the world's greatest husband).  We have concluded that although this winter (and it is only January 6th) has been a bit bitter - this cold thing is the down side of approaching 40... it must be age.  I must publically state - I will turn 40 six months sooner than my dear college friend.  She would want me to clairfy that. 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A 2010 Calendar - Not The Electronic Kind

This past summer I committed to going paperless and use my i-phone Google calendar, this is not easy for a paper girl. Hmmm…. I tried for 6 months and now proudly announce.... I am going back to good old fashioned paper.

As a paper girl, I love purchasing a new calendar. For years I asked for a new calendar each Christmas but in recent years I didn’t want to deny myself the joy of purchasing this important tool for success. I am a paper geek; I need a calendar that is a weekly calendar, one that has thick pages so the ink doesn’t seep through to the next week. Smaller than 5x7 seems to fit my purses best, a durable calendar but something a bit sophisticated too. A few years ago I had the ideal Mary Engelbreit pocket calendar; the paper was thick, the writing space - just right and the overall size - perfect, and the downside? It had a cutesy theme, don’t get me wrong, I love Mary’s work, but a bit of sophistication in a business meeting means something. To pull out a cutesy comic book calendar never felt quite right and my assistant proved it the day she boldly said – “look at you with your little cute calendar” a little smirk and a shrug of love in her shoulders, it was enough for me to realize I needed to burn the calendar.

So now in 2010 my life requires three calendars…. any “family events” into the i-phone because I am “synced” with my husband and if I need him to know an important date, that is the only way. A kitchen calendar for when I am on the phone making an appointment. And my perfect paper calendar book for everything under the sun, the one that makes me happy and feel grounded. Ahhhh, this year it is imitation alligator leather, a lime green little number with gold embossed pages found at my favorite paper discount aisle in T.J.MAXX. The idea of being able to see the year ahead in one simple little book makes me feel organized and ready for 2010. Sometimes it’s the little things.

Back to work and school in the morning.  My mom and I call Sunday nights... our "Sunday night poopie face."  Boy do I have a BIG "Sunday night poopie face" after being off for 12 days.  Tomorrow should be interesting.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Blog!

It's 2010! I've always loved the hope that a new year brings.  Last night we celebrated quietly.  The first time in quite a few years with no children wearing tiaras and blowing horns. I made crab meat manicotti (from Giada's book) it tasted too "crabby" for me, made yummy martinis and talked about the year ahead.  It's a big one for this paper mom. Many things are on the 2010 horizion.... I will turn the big 4-0, my job is most likely ending June 30th, I am giving blogs and paper a try and of course there is always the loving life of a blended family with two teenagers, two fourth graders and a kindergartener. 

When I think about why I want to blog, I guess it is to share the love of our life, create a few paper sales and keep paper obsessed people like me in the paperly know, and avoid therapy?  I am not sure, let's simply give it a try together, you read it and let me know what you think, let's see if we are still here a month from now. I started reading a blog about a blended family a year ago ( and I swear I cry and I laugh at that email more than I really want to admit. I read it because it is nice to know another family is going through the blended family blender - just like us.  If this blog creates a shared moment for you & me--- paper, family, hopes, wishes, frustrations or dreams it will be worth it.

To all my paper peeps, Best wishes in 2010!


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