May 10, 2013
We celebrated Fiona’s arrival last weekend with a few close friends.
An opportunity to share her and entertain. I’d forgotten how much we enjoy throwing a party. And I wanted to prove that I still have it. Even with the wee Fi hanging off me, I managed to make most of the food ahead of time. And decorate enough to make myself happy.
Terry, Fiona, and Me
Mark and his Aunt Barbara
Aunt Annette and Uncle Paul
Eamon got some presents too while Fiona was a hot potato
Fiona was the Belle of this Party
Eamon read to little Carolina from Super Diaper Baby
Pegeen and Caitlin
Shelly with her daughter Ginny and Gayle. Red headed babies!!
Lamb chop puppet from Lisa. Eamon grabbed her up and eventually made her annoying.
Daisies, Stock, Solidago, and Waxflowers were the base for my arrangements.I made the ceiling treatment from the darling paper lantern I got at Bella Luna in Rehoboth and the vintage lanterns which hung in a tree for our wedding.
So Many beautiful pink cards to add to the decorating. They are everywhere.
And Miss Pegeen got THE outfit. So now I have to stage the photo shoot.
And the perfect Christmas ornament from Miss Amanda.
Stolen idea from Decor8, ribbons on the light fixture.
And a last swag of this thrifted fabric that screams girl
We are so grateful to the powers that be to have given us both a beautiful daughter and a charming handsome son. And that we have so many to count us as dear friends and we them. And happy to have our house looking so dapper. Because there’s no surer way to get to all those tasks done than have a party. And to get some leftovers. And your kid clothed. And a fence built. And… Mark’s 50th is in October! Party Girl is back and she’s got a protegé.
Jan 24, 2013
I did the unthinkable recently. I asked for someone’s help to clean my bathrooms. She offered and I accepted. And while she cleaned my bathtub, I tried to stay away but ended up watching.
My friend used to freelance house clean like I once did. And I knew I would not hesitate to offer to clean a pregnant lady’s bathroom, so I said yes when she offered. I’m thinking we’re friends forever. Like holding someone’s hair while they puke, toilets are involved. And a “what happens in the bathroom stays in the bathroom” kinda thing wordlessly transpires.
Asking for help is an extraordinarily noble act. Not only are you admitting to your humanity and your inability of doing it all, but you’re inviting someone in to see your vulnerability. Or gross bathroom.
What we forget in our oh-so-egocentric fashion, is that asking for someone’s help is your gift to that someone. Your need is a chance for them to feel good about themselves. You offer an opportunity to know they made a difference in your life and put a brick in place as you were building your house. Or cleaning your dirty tub when you physically were incapable.
If it feels good when you support and aid others, it makes sense you can offer that opportunity to someone else by asking for their help. All it requires is a phone call or text or query to ask. I am grateful and proud to say I’ve done this a couple of times recently. More than ever, I feel worthy of care and concern to continue to ask.
Thanks in advance to my Baby Help Team.
Dec 31, 2012
As of a year and a half ago, I still couldn’t see why I should join Facebook or communicate with people I hadn’t seen in a long while. I was living in a lonely dull shell that I was used to. I thought, “What could I say that they’d want to hear? So long and far away from our pasts, what did I have to offer them that they would want? And why would I want to make friends with people I couldn’t see? Worse, maybe they’ll all scorn my advances.”
This would be the deafening roar of low self-esteem. As I started to turn the volume down and began to reach out to people everywhere, I connected with old friends and made new ones too. And suddenly, where I was used to being a little cold and lonely, I’m now hanging out in a warm shiny happy room with a mutual appreciation club full of people. Community is there in that room that you create in your hearts. You furnish it with well wishes and compassion and care. And it nurtures the creative.
I am so extraordinarily grateful for this growing group of people in my life and I thought my New Year’s Eve shout out would be to everyone I’ve reconnected and befriended this year. To Sarah, Nalisa, Melissa, Sian, Gwen, and Dig, you all have been in my heart for a long long time. And to my new blogging and online friends and acquaintances Kathy, Amy, Amanda, Tania, Amy, Jane, Maria, Sandra, Jennifer, Wendy, Sheryl, and the kind people on Twitter who address me like I’ve got something to say worth acknowledging ( and anyone who I’m forgetting, you’ll pardon my brain), I am truly grateful for all your well wishes and wonderful support. I never knew what I was missing and you have crafted my definition of gratitude.
And thank you to the powers that be for gifting me with a belly baby to share with my family, friends, and the world. Hope is a mighty powerful thing.
Love and Happiness for the new Year,
Oct 10, 2012
The world of blogging is integrally tied into the “social media thing”. I started my blog as a dare to myself and then found out my deeper fear. Every social platform I went to join, people were friending and following. What the heck did it mean? What did this really mean? What did they want and why? How could I not view myself as an ego maniac if I acted like this? Oh the issues that started to ooze.
I’ve just never been much of a follower. I was friends with both the preppies and the punkers. In my heart, I’m a leader yet I seem to have a huge blockage for making that happen on a large-scale. I guess I’ve been leading a life of my own or, call out the spade, isolating. I said I wanted to make new friends but I think I lied. There were risks at not being in control there.
As I created my blog, I didn’t even really know what a blog was. Then, I knew I should follow some people but finding the blogs that fit me to follow has been hard. And to keep my in-box from being glutted, I needed to not choose too many at once.
I began to follow some writing and design blogs. After 8 months, I am slowly starting to comment. Ironically, in person, I would not hesitate to tell you how I feel. But how you perceive me to be and who I really am can often be surprisingly different.
Why would I hesitate to reach out and say something? Maybe, you won’t care or might not get what I mean or read something else into what I’ve said? These are the only reasons I can think of but isn’t being ignored or embarrassed a good enough reason not to reach out? No. Because we won’t be alone for the rest of our lives as there’s a great big world out there. And these isolationist attitudes condemn us to unhappiness and stagnation.
Maybe, to be a leader, as good bloggers end up being, and to understand what people want or need from a leader, you first have to be a good follower. You have to support others in their endeavors and lift them up. Quote them, extol them, pin them, tweet them, and follow them. I’m about to get busy trying to figure out what that looks like. Because I haven’t done so much of this and I think I may come off looking like I’m all and only about me. Shyness often looks like snobbishness.
As humans, we head for our demise faster if we don’t recognize all the other humans as busy being human too. When I joined Facebook, I was surprised to gain a community. As a blogger, I’ve been acting like an island despite myself. No more. Even at the risk of receiving more nasty-gram, I will travel out of my comfort zone to reach out to the blogging community and a broader audience. And to listen. No hard feelings if my thing isn’t yours. Unfollow at will. Give your attention to those who give you what you need. We can agree to disagree.
PS. And if Facebook is easier to read my feeds, find me there at the Shalavee.com page. I’m a huge Pinterest fan but a lousy Twitterer. I guess learning that and Instagram will be next.
Aug 23, 2012
As I drove to do my recycling today, I pondered my summer and the extraordinary effort which made this season enjoyable. In the past, the much-anticipated summer season has dragged on like a deadly combo case of heat exhaustion and boredom. By the middle of August, I would beg for sweet mercy. Prior to my child, I considered the countless summers consisted of too much work, not enough money, and never feeling entitled to a vacation. That’s just plain no fun t’all.
But I swore not to squander this summer. If the opportunity wasn’t there, I looked ahead and jammed it in to break up the yawning schedule. We started off attending a Summer Party held by our friends Liz and Laura in Trappe. The party was a swell kid’s and community gathering. We saw Ellie hold baby Linden and pull her own tooth out. So sweet. And made new friends.
Then we enjoyed a visit from our friends Sarah and son Charlie, which I spoke of here, followed by the summer camps galore spaced out just right to give me some reprieve from the son’s seven year old mania. There was British Soccer camp at the High School, Lego robotics at Chesapeake College, and Karate camp at the Y. All got tremendous thumbs up. I was glad I eked the money out somehow. And then came our tripping.
There was a crabbing trip to Claiborne, described here,and a Fourth party at our friends in Pasadena that I’ve yet to post pictures for . One night in a mini cabin at the local state park was a random plan jammed in the calendar for something different. The post here I wrote about it summed it up perfectly. That was before our “Big” ticket trip.
My husband liked the idea we should take a trip that had educational value. Not in the mood for the Gettysburg large field of death thing or another trip to Philly so soon after the Flower Show, post here, I insisted on Williamsburg. Unlike trips of the past, I didn’t really over-think this one. We packed, glanced at an online site, got a Google trip-tick and off we headed. We had changed our overnight stay from two to three back to two nights. Mark was thinking about work, what else.
Williamsburg has lots of stuff to do. I asked all the living historians a ton of questions. My kid began to drag and complain. I promised him something really spectacular if he held his whining. So the best part of the trip for him was then the surprise Hagen Daas ice cream and pirate put-put. I became the best Mommy ever. Feeling pretty fine. So I was extra bowled over to bump into a long-lost best friend at the Williamsburg IHOP at 8:30 in the morning. She and her husband treated us to a lovely candlelight dinner at a historic Inn that night. We headed off to Jamestown the next day and made our 4 and a half hour trip via the tunnel bridge back home.
And so August went by in a whirlwind as the son and I left again four days later for a lovely short visit with another long lost best friend at her family vacation in OC, NJ. It had been 30 plus years since we’d been connected yet we clicked again like no time had passed. All so wonderful except where I hot a really bad burn in my bosom.
And finally, the final trip; an overnight at Rehoboth this week. We knew we needed our one beach trip fix. Ironically, living less than an hour away doesn’t guarantee a visit made. So I booked one night in a Comfort Inn which I liked and made sure to ask our girl Caitlin to come too. It was a family trip complete with beach time, arcade, ice cream, boardwalk fries, and another round of put-put golf. And the hotel movie Dogs and Cats accompanied by a glass of wine. Heaven. The kids slept in and we got coffee downstairs.
I can say, the only thing I missed this summer was the crab feast. Not sure how I missed it but I’m going to try to remedy that and throw a few oysters in for good measure since, in less than a week, it’ll be a month with an “R” in it! But I am definitely not saying, “Where did my summer go?” Instead, I am looking around saying, “I can’t wait to have some time to catch up on all the neglected projects”.
And since I am about to go into full tilt nesting mode, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a productive and happy fall for me too. I suspect every season of life is better than the preceding one. And instead of that old feeling of angst and anger for what I didn’t have happen, I am sporting an attitude of gratitude for all the wonderful blessings this season bestowed upon me. Old and new friends as well as old and new family. Happy Augusts’ End and Autumn’s beginning.