Friday, April 29, 2011

anonymous schnonymous

So this is what it's come down to?  It's strange really.

Just hang with me while I ramble about this because I think we need to start a dialogue.  I think people need to start really thinking about this.

I've been fairly lucky in my blogging career to have had fairly few nasty comments left on my blog.  It seems to me, that if you have more than your mother reading your blog, you are a target.  And these nasty comments are, almost without exception, left anonymously.

This is what it has come down to.

I recently had the displeasure of taking a highly annoying flight from Houston to Denver.  I had the window seat and just as I was getting settled in, I looked up to see the biggest wannabe gangsta headed straight for my row.  Now I don't know, maybe he was a true gangster.  Maybe he was drug running. Who knows. But I wasn't happy when he sat down in the middle seat next to me.  And I was even more unhappy when as I was bending over to get my book, the girl in front of me quickly reclined her seat right into my head. Then she proceeded to turn on rap music without headphones.

The isle seat in our row remained open and I kept thinking that gangsta boy would move over but he wasn't budging. In fact, he was getting closer to me.  And then someone started farting.  For real.

So I'm setting there, crushed up against the window, with my shirt over my nose trying to read my self-help book with rap music playing.  I was getting so annoyed I actually thought in my head "Hey Snoop Dog,  you are soooo up in my grill. Yo bettah step off and scooch on over before I pop a cap in yo ass."

Sadly yes. That is what I thought. Shameful.  But I didn't say it, because well, he was right there, up in my grill.

But I might have texted it to him.


So I stewed the whole flight. And then when the plane landed and we were waiting to get off he turned to me and said, "Can I ask a question?"  I said, "Yes" hesitantly. I thought he might ask if it were me farting the entire two and a half hours, but he said, "Does this plane go to Sacramento?" And I happened to know that it did so I told him yes.

He then said, "So I can stay here?" and that's when I noticed his hands were shaking. And so I said, "Yes, you can, but depending on the lay over time you might want to go to the terminal and get something to eat."

Blank stare. So I said, "You can get off the airplane and go into the airport and get something to eat if the plane isn't leaving for a while."

And then he got it and I got it. He was scared to death.  He had probably never been on a plane before. He didn't know that he could move over to an open seat.

So maybe he was scared because he was running drugs. But my mom sense told me he was just a kid, trying to be cool.

And I was so glad I hadn't been cruel.

Because I very easily could have been. I'm never going to see that kid again. He didn't know my name or where I live or anything about me. I was anonymous.

The thing is there really isn't any such thing as anonymity. When you do something cruel or kind to someone else anonymously, you join a collective group. You become part of a whole that is known as either the "The Kind" or "The Jerks".

So we don't know your name. You are still a member. And chances are, your family and friends already know you are a member.

Can you hear your children playing in the other room? Is you spouse out in the yard? Are your friends across the street?

You are on the other side of your computer screen, but you aren't alone.

Some of my friends have turned off the comments on their blog.  They just don't want to deal. But I like feeling connected. I like feeling like I've created a cyberspace where people come and talk. I like to think of it as a vertiable "Cheers" on the web.

You know, where everybody knows your name.


This post is dedicated to Leslie Sutter, who might very well be the social media director for "The Kind".

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Out with it


The time has come to tell you what I've been up to these last few days.  I can't stand when people allude to a secret and lead you along for days on end.  It's just like- out with it already.

So here it is.  I got a job.

Ha! Are you dying? Like I have time! Like I have any business having a job!

I know. I know.

But I'm already doing what I'm going to now get paid to do.  Blog.

I was approached by a new company to be their offical blogger.  Not just any new company.  Like a really, really cool company.

I peed in my pants just a wee bit.

So this company can be described as "memory catchers".  Their main company value is living authentically.  You know that soooo speaks to me and it's why they chose me.  I have a tendancy to let it all hang out.  I like keeping it real.

So you will find my ramblings on the Paper Coterie blog starting next week.  Just what you needed right? More of me. Ha!


The launch party is next week. 

Why am I telling you all this other than to toot my own very happy horn?

Because there is something in it for you.

When you join the party on May 4th, during the Open House Event, all of my readers will get:

1.     $40 credit to spend that day (you only pay for shipping)
2.     An inspire-y message from Dr. Brene Brown (my newest hero) that most of us can use
3.     All new content and inspiring ideas

You can start working on your projects so you don't have to do it all on May 4th...but, don't check out,  finish it up that day and enter OPENHOUSE to use your $40 credit!!!!

Go go go. Go capture some of your family memories.  

note to self

Dear Self,

Just who do you think you are?  Word: You can't do everything every time.  

You can't be baking all the time if you want to loose weight.

You can't  be good at any one thing if you try to be good at everything. Choose.

Stop signing up. Stop apologizing. Stop with the guilt.

Focus, focus, focus.

News flash! You aren't Wonder Woman.  You can't deflect negative comments like bullets off wristbands. As much as you think you can.

You need to process your feelings.  You need to call your best friend and have a little therapy session.  

And one more thing, you really need professional help with those brows. They are way out of wack.

That is all for now.



Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Sometimes bliss is work.

This is true.  Did you know that Van Gogh painted some nine hundred paintings during his lifetime and only sold one?  Nine hundred paintings people.  No wonder he went insane and ultimately took his own life. I believe he literally painted his heart and soul out onto the canvases.

A few years ago one of his sunflower paintings sold for close to forty million dollars.  That's the going price for heart and soul these days.

Unless you read this blog. Then you get heart and soul for free.

I'm in Houston, following my bliss.  I've been blogging for a long time.  A door has opened and I thought I'd come in and take a look around.

I'm not sure where this path will lead but I do know one thing.  When I write I don't loose my heart and soul. 

I find it.

“When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.” -Joseph Campbell

Monday, April 25, 2011

easter at our house

So Easter happend.  That was good.

We did the whole shebang. Big dinner, egg hunt etc. etc. etc.. The food was to die.  Ate too much.

We have several days throughout the year that we give our kids carte blanche regarding candy. Easter is one of them.  They love it. It makes for a very exciting day usually ending with crying hateful children.  This is parenthood as we know it.

I tried to get a photo of The Boy before he shed his prescribed Easter outfit, but the kid was on a veritable hummingbird sugar high.  All photos were a blur.

Birdie and Frankie had special Easter outfits made for them by my good friend Jen Vu.  Jen and I have the exact same taste in almost everything.  So when she sews my children something I know it will be something that I would have dreamed up in my own  head.  Love having a friend like that.

She embroidered their initials on them.  You know how I love monograms.  They will go in their keepsake boxes when they outgrow them.

This is Jen. She's a keeper.

Hope your Easter was nice.  

I'm off to Houston today to start a new project. I'm pretty excited about this one.  

Details are coming. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

for her

Why do I carry on?  I ask myself this on day's like yesterday.

Why add more things to do? Why this blog?

At the end of the day, when I laid my head down and stared at the slanted light on the ceiling, I asked myself this.  And then came the still small voice that speaks to me when I am lost and I stop to reflect on my path.  I'm my mind, it is God the Llama. Monocle and all.

You know why.  

And I do.

The answer is my great-great granddaughter.  I'm banking on that girl.  I'm assuming she will care enough to want to know.  About me. And the minutiae of my life.

So today my post if just for her.  This girl I'm banking on.

I want to tell her that I love the sound of water lapping the side of a boat.

I want her to know that after family dinners, my grandpa finds a comfy chair and nods off to sleep with his hands crossed over his belly. And when he does this, it makes me feel that everything is right with the world.

I want to say that I've learned that following the zeitgeist of your time will only make you feel as though you are never enough.  Strike out on your own.

She should know that I love to run my fingertips through the whispy ends of weeds in a meadow.

And that I am painfully shy, but fighting to overcome it.

I want her to know that if the best day of your life is your wedding day, you are in trouble.  If done correctly, the best days are yet to come.

I want to tell this girl so much more. About love and life and how I'm learning to love life.

So I'll keep writing it all down.

For her.

Kelly snapped these photos of me on the sly while I was scouting out spots to shoot our model.  She sent them over as a surprise. That's why I love her.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

life with this boy

Thom:  Mom! Look! Look! Look! That lady looks just like you. Like exactly. She's like your body double!

Me: Where? Who are you talking about?

Thom: That lady. Moooom. See where I'm pointing? That lady by the elevator.

Me: (looking)

Thom: Right there with the white pants.

Me: (shocked and appalled) That lady?

Thom: Yeah. Yeah. She looks just like you mom.

Me: That lady is fat. Thom, that lady is really fat!

Thom: Uh.

Me: You think I look just like her? Is that what I look like?

Thom: Uh.

Me: That's great. That's just great.

Thom: No mom her hair. See her hair? It's your color and she has a bum on the back of her head just like you.

Me: A bum?

Thom: Yeah. You always have a bum in your hair.

Me: Thanks.

Thom: You're welcome.


Yes, I do favor the messy bun look.
No, I do not usually point out people's weight to my children.
Yes, I have some weight to loose myself.
No, I did not buy him the Captain Underpants book he asked for shortly after this conversation.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

happy makers

Don't you just love the great big thirty-six inch balloons?  They just scream happy. Happy, happy, happy. No fighting or poopy diapers or stubbed toes. Just happy.

I knew there was something I could do with one other than just skip around and, you know, be happy. 

And yes, indeed, there was.

A pink hot air balloon to float your easter basket? I say yes to that.

Photos were taken by my good friend Kelly at Bubba-Loo Photography. Check her out.

There are more fun Easter ideas on the SPARK blog today too.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

here's a hint

Yeah, I have a few projects goin'.  Tis true.  Always with the projects, this one.

People ask me all the time, (seriously like all the time, it gets a little old) they ask me how I do so much.  Other people, mostly women, seem to think I do a lot more than the average mom.

I say emphatically for the billionth time- tis'nt true!!!

Here's a little hint. A, dare I say, lifestyle hint? Yes, I think it is. Quite.

The hint is simple. Just start.

So you have a project you really want to do.  You've been thinking about it for ages. You are waiting for the time to do it.  

News flash: there will never be time to do it.

So start already.

Sign up for those lessons, put pen to paper, go get the supplies you need.  You owe it to yourself to do something with all your cool ideas. And I think you will find that what you want to do isn't as hard or as frustrating as you thought it would be once you break it down into steps.

Except exercise. That will be exactly as hard and frustrating as you think it will be. Quite.

Monday, April 18, 2011

perfect makes me throw up a little in my mouth

I used to think that being a perfectionist was something to strive toward.  Can you even imagine?

I think you all know that although I love the pretty look of a Pottery Barn life as much as the next person, it isn't something I buy into. Anymore.

When I was younger I thought that if I worked hard enough and long enough I could live in those rooms and have children that played sweetly together under the christmas tree with a gorgeously groomed golden labrador by the fire.

Here's the thing about Pottery Barn. Even if I had a humongous budget to decorate my life with all of their products it still wouldn't look the same.  For one thing, have you ever noticed how much gorgeous wood work is in the rooms they shoot?  I swear, it's like they have layers of pretty starting with the bare room. As a general rule, track homes do not come standard with wainscot, let alone twelve inch crown molding.

Second of all, there are no children running around the shoot breaking things and getting everything sticky with grape jelly hands.

Thirdly, there is no Manic Extrodinaire farting and generally stinking up the place with doggy smells.

Pottery Barn is a fairy tale for adults.

Now. I have been known to go and sit in some of my favorite stores.  I just sit there and soak in the pretty. I like to step into the fallacy every so often.  I even, yes it's true, love to go to Pottery Barn.  

And I love to collect gorgeous photos of beautiful places and things.  I love the fairy tale.

But I love the sticky jelly hands that are connected to little beating hearts much, much more.

Having said all that, is there anyone out there that can come help me redecorate my living room? I'd like it too look like this one room out of Restoration Hardware catalogue...

Friday, April 15, 2011

pinch me baby

I just keep thinking that the economy is going to turn around and then another friend calls to tell me their house in is foreclosure.

It's down right depressing.  It's like before you learn to swim as a kid and you tip toe along the bottom of the pool with your head cocked back keeping your chin above water. When will America swim again?

But I have found a silver lining in all this.

I have these friends. Two great guys that I know through.... oh okay, it's the Brothers Record.  Every time my phone rings and I see on the caller ID that it is one of them I know exactly how the conversation will begin.

Me: Well hello, hello!

Adam/Shawn: Hi!

Me: So how gos it?

Adam/Shawn: Great. I'm great. How are you?

Me: You know. Crazy.

Adam/Shawn: Yeahhhh (awkward pause).  So I have something to run past you.

Me: Hit me with it.

Adam/Shawn: Well I have this idea...

Eighty-nine percent of the time they call this is how it goes.  Because, quite frankly, they always have an idea.  They are idea guys.  They have amazing, terrific ideas. They have more ideas for new ventures than they will ever have time to execute.  But, they dream a lot and talk more.

And I love them for this.

I love that during this time that I've deemed "The Big Pinch",  people are becoming more innovative.  I am surrounded by friends starting up new companies.  Etsy is what it is today because people are being forced to put their talent and hands to good use.

I love it. I love the creativity that is in the air. I love the ingenuity. I love that people are reaching out to others for help.  Ideas are being bounced around like hot potatoes.  It feels a little magical to me.

"The Big Pinch" has sucked big time, this is true, but what an amazing thing to live through! Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the projects I am working on but, by damn, I refuse to miss the chance to jump on this wild ride and see where it takes me.  I've got big dreams. Do you?

There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose the ventures before us
 - William Shakespeare

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

it's good to be queen

When I quit my job and became a SAHWADANM (Stay-at-home-work-all-day-and-all-night-mom) I quickly came to realize that had joined the cast of women toiling away in a thankless, promotionless, very stinky occupation.  But I also realized that I had become Queen of my domain. (Stop it right now all you Seinfeild fans.)

Baring unforeseen tragedy, I vow to never punch another time clock. Dress code, schmess code. And you can take your performance reviews and stick em where the sun don't shine, thank you very much.

I stand in my living room and look out at the world.  Terrible things are going on all around us.  War, famine, abuse.  I can't change these things.  I can't even do anything about the port-a-potty my neighbor put in her front yard for the guys she has working for her.

A good queen is a public servant.  She works relentlessly to bring peace and prosperity to her land. Queen bees spend their entire life giving birth.  Can you even imagine?  My friend Rachel has six kids. Maybe she can relate.

These queen bees work day and night.  They don't get out much. They hardly have time to brush their hair and heaven knows they never get to go to the bathroom without some other bees hanging around talking their ear off.

If a queen bee is taken from the hive, the hive ceases to exist.  Such is her importance.

Being queen doesn't mean I rule my house.  No, no. It's quite the opposite. I only wish my people would listen and obey.  That's a pipe dream.

Mostly they dictate how the day will go. If I will be allowed a shower or a sit down meal.

But that's okay, because I know that my position here is secure.

Even if my performance reviews suck.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

blood is thicker than water

Do you think we look alike?

I want to say something to everyone today.

DNA dosen't mean crap.

And I have a little story to illustrate my point.

Some years ago, even before The Boy was born, The Sugar Daddy and I were starting to consider adoption.  And I was down with it. Except

Except I was sad that my children wouldn't look like me.

One day I was home alone thinking about this and feeling a little upset, shuffling around the house in my pajamas.  I went to get a cheese stick out of the refrigerator.  At the time we had the kind of fridge that you can hang stuff on with magnets and we had the whole front covered with photos and what not.

So I was getting this cheese stick and one photo in particular caught my eye.  It was a photo of my younger brother, The Rooster.

Now, The Rooster and I, well, we don't look a thing alike.  We share the same DNA, but you'd never know it.

Matter of fact, I don't look a whole lot like any of my siblings.  We are a strange family that way.  Do I love them less?  

So I saw this photo and I was struck by the fact that DNA doesn't mean crap.  It may get you your grandmother's nose, and a kidney if you need it, but it doesn't make you family.

A body is made of cells.  Dust to dust, ashes to ashes.  It's all just matter.  Crap, if you will.

People tell me my babies look like me.  I think people want my babies to look like me.  I don't know why. Maybe it's some underlying way of reassuring themselves that these children were meant for our family.  That the universe got it right.

I get that.

But let me ask you this.  I have a friend who's father was a serial murder.  She is a beautiful, amazing person. Did the universe get that wrong?

Blood is thicker than water, but blood is just blood.  

Just sayin'

Monday, April 11, 2011

web work

I've been working on a custom blog for my sister's new company.  She is going to be offering kids fitness camps this summer and she needed an online presence where people can register and get information.

Teaching yourself how to edit html is one of the most frustrating things a person can attempt. At least in my book.  There was much weeping and waling and gnashing of teeth from me last night.

Someday I will know all this stuff and I'll be able to do all the things I want to do.  Until then, I struggle on.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

a fun little spring craft you might want to make

Oh I do love me a fun Easter craft? How's bout you?

I design for The Twinery so I have gobs of twine to play with. I know. Don't hate.  I lucked out.

So who dosen't love little flowers made with twine?

And Easter boutonnieres? Just stop it right now because the cuteness is killing me.

You can read the full tutorial on The Twinery blog today!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

you scream, i scream, we all scream

This may come as a shock to you, but my kids fight.

Like the dickens.

And what may be even more shocking to you (it is to me) is that I say things like, "I'll turn this car around right now!" and "So help me, just wait until your father gets home."

I hate that I say these things. They just come flying out before I can stop them.  They are so cliche'.  So housewife. You'd think I could come up with something more original.  

But really. The babies are only one.  I thought I'd have a little more time before they grew to hate each other.   

It seems to me that we have an exponential amount of screaming in our house.  And I used to work in a book store. Because I like quiet. And peace.

Oh and did you know that babies have tiny little vocal cords can reach a pitch at the very tippy top of the human audible zone, right before the sound turns into a dog whistle?  It so happens to be the exact frequency used by the military in devices that cause victims to become dizzy and vomit.

So if you happen upon me in the fetal position, covering my ears and rocking despondently, in a puddle of vomit, you can assume there has been a baby smack down at the Meeker house.

Please Lord, grant me patience.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

a true friend stabs you in the front

I have some pretty freaking amazing friends.

No kidding. I have a capital set of cronies.  I'm just lucky I guess.

Some of these exceptional people are navigating rough seas in this wild ride we call life.

And I just want to say to them- damn it all.  I wish I could lift your burdens.  

Problem is, I'm short on wisdom.  

But I got some chocolate and a listening ear.

And I will always tell you the truth as I see it.  Always.

A true friend stabs you in the front. -Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


I entered a contest.

I feel a little like I'm ten years old again. You know like when you enter to win the contest on the back of the Froot Loops box.  Yeah, my mom bought us Froot Loops.  Don't judge. I turned out bionic, remember?

So I entered an art contest.  With the above picture. It makes my stomach flip flop just a wee bit thinking about it.  I hate to be in competition with anyone. If I don't compete then I can't lose. And if I don't lose then there is no proof that I'm not all that I think I am in my head.  No, I'm not a competitor.  So this is a stretch for me.

Funny thing is, I don't even know what the prize is exactly.  The instructions were pretty vague.

And I don't really care.  I just entered because, well... now that I think about it, I'm not really sure why I entered at all.

Well wish me luck anyway.

And in case you are wondering, I purposefully didn't tell you what contest I entered so you won't go enter yourself.  I hate competition remember?

Maybe I'll be the only entry.  

Monday, April 04, 2011


I almost didn't make it back to blog and I bet you didn't have an inkling of a clue that I was even in peril.  

Here's what happened:  We took all three kids to Disneyland for two, count them, two days.  I'm not a huge fan of crowds. Especially fun park crowds. Where do these people live in everyday life?  I've never seen exposed flesh in such vast quantities on my trips to the grocery store. Hell, I don't see it at our community pool.  Call me a prude, but please, people. If you have large gigglies, let's keep them contained. Just sayin'.

Anyway. It was pretty harry carry. No pun intended.  There was a fair amount of whining and screaming.  Some from me, most from the kids.  The Sugar Daddy just walked around and looked like the sexy hot dad he is that is willing to schelp his kids around the ant hill known as "Disney".

But the memories! We are building memories right? Well, the kids can sort that out with their therapists later.


Work Life. Yes. That's what this post is supposed to be about. My art in Work Life.  Uppercase published this book which is chalk full of amazing artists.

And then there's me.  I feel like such a poser next to so many of the other people in the book.  

Thom flipped through the book then he looked at me and said, "Mom, you're so good. You're like the best."

And this is how we ended up at Disneyland. See how that works?

Here's the piece I did for the book.

And here's a look at the entire book.

You can purchase the book here if you are so inclined.

I'm off to get caught up on the laundry and spend the entire day trying to get "It's a Small World" and some awful mental pictures of Disneyland people out of my head,

Sunday, April 03, 2011

two things

Two things:

A) Spark registration opened Friday.
B) I had the best birthday to date. Ugly thirty-seven. Who would have thunk it?

Birthday collage by Alisa Holland.