Sunday, November 30, 2014

Looks Like We Made It - #NaBloPoMo 30

It seems like just yesterday that I wrote the first post for National Blog Posting Month, full of inspiration and hoping it would pull me out of the rough fall I'd been having. Now that we're at the 31st day of writing every day, I do think it helped some, but perhaps not as much since I lost so much steam in this last week. Hoping to write something worthwhile every day when I'm so far from my usual routine is a huge challenge, and I know that's part of the point, but it didn't mean I did better knowing that it was a challenge. It just meant I could write posts and be okay with not bothering to promote them or care if they were read at all, which is actually ridiculous. Of course I care if people are reading, and to pretend it's worthwhile otherwise is silly.

Part of what made me get through this month was that most of my blogging tribe was doing it with me. Thank you Kimberly, Phyllis, Lisa and Danielle (and Melissa for her encouragement!) for pushing on every day. It's been fun doing this with their support, and it solidified our little group.

This is my 125th post this year, and I'll need to write seven more in December to break last year's record. Fortunately, it looks like I've got an exciting month ahead of me, and I'm sure there will be lots of great things to share with you all. Just not every day. :)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight - #NaBloPoMo 2-freakin'-9!

Greetings from the lovely Dunkirk, New York!

Okay, it's pitch black outside right now, I have no idea how lovely-or-not it is. We're on our way back to Boston, stopping here for the night to gain a bit of a head start for the rest of our trip tomorrow. But I slept some on our way here, and I'm not ready to fall asleep again yet.

We had a really lovely visit to Ohio. This morning we had our annual visit with my high school friend Betsy, her husband Bill and their son Simon, in their new home, and enjoyed a beautiful breakfast together. Then we met my parents, Ryan and Allison, and Allison's parents and brother in Ohio City for a visit to a brewery for lunch and a stop at the West Side Market. The food at the market is so fantastic-looking, it's hard not to buy everything. But I enjoyed a bubble tea and a tiny corner of a piece of maple candy that Max abandoned. Here are a few photos Hannah took--it's fun to get things from her point of view.

Marc and me with a replica lamp from "A Christmas Story"

West Side Market
West Side Market
We capped off the day with pizza from Geraci's, our family favorite, and cannoli and other desserts bought at the market. Hannah sang one of her songs from her upcoming "Seussical" performance, and Max arranged everyone for a family photo...which he then accidentally deleted. But we got a great group selfie with most of us in it instead.

The Pollock-Miller-Stobers, less Max
And then the songs that come up in the car are speaking to me. "Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight" by Amos Lee:

"We all need a place so we can go,
And feel over the rainbow.

But sometimes,
We forget what we got,
Who we are.
Oh who are are not.
I think we gotta chance,
To make it right.
Keep it loose,
Keep it tight.
Keep it tight."

Friday, November 28, 2014

Limping Along - #NaBloPoMo 28

Another puppy photo, this time Max with Truffles. 

Limping along towards the end of my month of writing everyday. I brought my laptop on my trip, but haven't opened it. I have taken two naps. That's a win, I think. Back to better content, most likely in December. :)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! - #NaBloPoMo 27

The Macy's parade has been watched. Turkey, and more importantly, peanut butter ice cream cake, have been consumed. Ryan and Allison are helping Max build a space craft, and Hannah and my mom are cuddled up with the dogs. There's just a bit of snow on the ground. We are warm, safe and happy. 

I hope the same can be said for you. 

Thank you for reading and giving me this platform for sharing who I am. I'm grateful for all of you. Happy Thanksgiving. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The View - #NaBloPoMo 26

We left our hotel in Albany, NY, around 7 am this morning. It's now 4 pm and we're finally entering Pennsylvania shortly. The view right now is actually pleasant and pretty. But I'm sick of being in the car. About two more hours to go. 

Safe travels to all of you hitting the road today too. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

All Lives Matter - #NaBloPoMo 25

It doesn't feel appropriate to blog on any other subject today. I will just say this:

Black lives matter.

All lives matter.

I am talking with my children. I am reading and listening. I hope you are, too.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Why I Hate Packing: Decision Fatigue - #NaBloPoMo 24

Despite the load lessening on every passing trip, as my kids become more responsible for themselves, one thing remains very clear to me: I absolutely detest packing. I LOVE unpacking. I've been known to tackle a suitcase, start laundry and get my life back in order within 30 minutes of arriving back home. But the packing to go makes me miserable.

I don't know what I want to eat for breakfast each morning, much less what I'm going to want to wear five days from now. Even if I like all of the clothing I'm bringing on a trip, I still would prefer to have more options than be confined to whatever fits in my luggage. And there are just so many decisions to be made. There is science behind the fact that the more decisions you have to make, the poorer your choices will be, so you should try to make your most important decisions earlier in the day. I find I'm almost always packing at the end of the day, and while I haven't had any true packing disasters because of it, I know it takes me longer and requires more thought than I'd like.

Tonight I at least need to make sure Max gets packed up for our Thanksgiving trip. I'm working from home tomorrow morning, so I'm thinking I might wait to pack for myself until then. Maybe I'll feel more inspired to pin down that Thanksgiving Day outfit in the morning.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Less-Than-Crafty at the Craft Store - #NaBloPoMo 23

We are inching ever closer to Hannah's fifth grade play, Seussical, and that means it's costume procurement time. This has been stressing me out, because it's not easy to get Hannah and I to agree on clothing items at times, but I also worried that we'd need to please another girl and her mother too, since Hannah shares the role with a friend. Fortunately, the other mom also works full-time, and agreed that we should buy as much as we could. Not make. I was definitely on board with that sentiment.

But when it comes down to it, you just can't buy wings and tail feathers, so some crafting is going to be required. I hit two different craft stores this weekend, and in addition to a feather collar and hair accessory we've already purchased, I bought turquoise boas and sparkly foil leaves that will make great tail feathers. Max was actually the one to find both items with his eagle eyes--I go into a craft store and my vision seems to get blurry from the overwhelming amount of STUFF in there. I swear I stood in front of the elastic ribbon I needed for a good five minutes before seeing it.

So we're getting there. Paired with a turquoise shirt, black leggings, and hopefully sequined black boots, our Gertrude McFuzzes are going to look gorgeous. Now on to hair and make up.

Picture it: wings and a tail feather

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Smallest Gesture - #NaBloPoMo 22

Hannah, singing at Camp Yavneh
For the first time since Hannah has attended overnight camp (she's now gone for three summers), we attended a local Friday night Shabbat dinner organized by the camp. It was supposed to be a taste of what Friday nights are like at camp, with services, a festive dinner and singing. The only downside? Well, from a camper's perspective at least, the downside is that your parents are there too. But from a parent's perspective, it's a chance to see a bit of camp life, and who our children are when they're there.

There was a bit of uneasiness among the campers when they were called up to lead the closing prayer of services. Most kids had been sitting with their families, and they weren't unified as a group when they were called up. Hannah stood by her friend, but they hadn't really said hello yet. It was that awkward moment, where you haven't seen someone in months, and you're not sure if they feel the same way you do. And still, those parents are watching. But by the end of the song, the dynamic had shifted. Hannah and her friend went sailing through the crowd to find a table on their own. 

I kept stealing glances at that table behind me--they graciously allowed Max to join them, and I think it was the longest uninterrupted dinner stretch we've ever had--but my focus was on Hannah and her friend. There was a moment during singing when hand motions accompanied the song, a short hand clap with the person next to you. The girls didn't hesitate at all. Of course you grasp your friend's hand. Of course you do.

Just like I am with my friends, even my camp friends I hadn't seen in 20 years, there was a familiarity there, an intimacy that's almost hard to describe, but that can be felt. It was so gratifying to see that Hannah has that too. I hope she always does.