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Inspired by Katie as she tried out Artisan, the new digital scrapping software by Panstoria, I’m trying to get back to scrapping.  I’m only 4 years, 8 months and 13 days behind on scrapping P’s life…

Pretty cute eh? I used templates and the Smarshmallow kit from The Shabby Shoppe for this layout, and I can’t wait try my hand with Artisan. Katie is giving away the software to one lucky Family Friendly Cincinnati winner, so head over there to enter and get creative yourself!

Monday P is officially anointed Bluebird of the Week at preschool.  In addition to writing her biography, we put together this collage to show off her favorite things:

 

This blogging thing has been very lucrative for me.  What?  Did my ’97 minivan have you fooled?

Yeah, not so much in the financial department (sorry Doug) but I have found riches no bank account could hold in the form of friends.  Jennifer, of the ever-famous, uber-fabulous Playgroups Are No Place For Children, comes to mind easily when I reminisce about my journey on the highways of the interwebs.  I call her Playgroupie when I’m shooting the breeze with other bloggie people as in “Did you read Playgroupie today? She cracks me up” or “Wow, I wish I could take photos like Playgroupie” and occasionally “why is my head so much bigger than Playgroupie’s?” (see below)

I have the lovely Meghan to thank for the introduction way back at Blogher 2008 (before conferences started to frighten me) and I’ve been stalking Jennifer ever since. We both have “spirited” children around the same age.  For the non-kid folk out there “spirited” is PC for: a sweet, lovely child who in addition to being the great love of my life, has the ability to drive me to the brink of insanity at the drop of the hat/what the hell am I doing wrong? That is a bonding issue for Moms – someone else that is willing to stand there and say “yep, I got no clue either dude” – free of judgment, full of love.

She is an amazing writer.  Every post is a treat leaving me with a nugget or two of some sort that I laugh about or think on in the days ahead.  And so it was with her recent post about her emerging reconnection with faith. It was such a powerful post for me because I’ve been feeling similarly of late and her beautiful words have helped me verbalize the ramblings that have been floating in my head for a while.

After some soul-searching last year, Doug and I decided to leave the Parish we had always been a part of, the same Parish P was baptized in.  It was very difficult to make such a decision – leaving friends behind and ultimately disappointing so many.  But there were distractions that were frustrating and keeping us from the real reason for religion: a place to celebrate your relationship with God.  I was playing any “get out of Mass free” card I could find and even when I did go, I found myself lost in my own thoughts sitting there in the pew.  I couldn’t hear God’s voice because of all the noise.

On a whim one Holy Day last year I popped in at the Parish that is located near P’s preschool.  I know it sounds silly, and perhaps I was vulnerable and anything would have felt better than where we had been going, but this new Parish – St. A’s – felt like home.  And I heard Him for the first time in a long time.  We joined shortly after once I got Doug on board and have been “faithful” (har har) members ever since.

Don’t get me wrong, there are weeks I’ll sit there and get very little from the readings or the sermon or the experience, I feel God and I feel good that I’m present and open to Him, but some Sundays it is what it is.  But then there are other Sundays you sit there and you have a Dr. Gru moment: LIGHT BULB!  He’s talking right to me and THIS, THIS is what I needed to hear at this very moment.  For me, the exercise of one’s faith is a crap-shoot, but when you hit, man it rocks you.

This past Sunday was one of those Sundays.  There was a reading from Isaiah (58:7-10) and the homily which followed that has had me thinking ever since.

“Thus says the Lord: Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own…you shall cry for help and He will say “Here I am!”…If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday.”

Since becoming a parent, I’ve often wondered, what exactly does a parent need to do to raise a spiritual, faith-filled child who is…good.  What do *I* need to be doing to be…good.  And I’m not talking the big ones – I know we’re not to kill, covet, commit adultery, etc. – those are the easy ones.  What do I do daily to show my love for God and find peace and contentment within?  I must have been in that place on Sunday because this reading and the songs that followed might as well have been NEON LIGHTS alerting me “HERE, HERE IS YOUR ANSWER”.

Will you love the ‘you’ you hide if I but call your name:
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around?
Through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

from “The Summons” by John Bell

And I wonder if my ears and heart would have been opened to HEAR this were it not for reading Playgroupie’s post earlier in the week.  And THAT my fair reader is the power of friendship…

and the internet.

 

The data is in folks, there is NO good lane to drive in on 71 South heading from my ‘hood through Downtown.  I’ve researched this the last four days, trying one of the four available each day.

I’m really not sure how the potholes (or as I like to call them – the sleeper cells) are big enough for my four year old to swim in, yet are virtually invisible until I hit one and see my front left tire drifting off into the distance.  And you can’t swerve in rush hour traffic because:

  • 1) odds are the dude in Lane 2 (which you tried yesterday) has sleeper cells nearly identical, yet opposite, to those in Lane 3, though it would be a lovely performance of synchronized driving right up until the point when you crash; and
  • 2) too much swerving and people assume you’re drunk (which is so unfair, as those of you that know me, know I don’t drink until I get.to.work.geez)…there is so much judgment in the world

Even if you get warning (because you hit the same damn one three days last week), there is nothing you can do about it – just hold on to the steering wheel and pray.

WEREN’T WE ALL SUPPOSED TO HAVE FLYING CARS BY NOW?  Damn you Jetsons.

hey good lookin’

Yesterday afternoon, Doug and I, along with the other old people that go to matinees so they can be home before the street lights come on, saw Next Fall at The Ensemble Theatre.

In a word, this play is lovely.  A treat of storytelling through conversations and memories, it was wonderful.  Doug and I rarely have such a shared reaction to anything, but we both agreed this was one of the best plays we’d seen in a while, if not ever.

Please Note: The run has been extended until February 19th.

It’s hard to explain, but the intimacy of Ensemble lets you inside to hear  and feel, and ultimately relate to these characters.  This intimacy is one of the  (many) things that makes this location THE BEST PLACE for live theater in Cincinnati.

Themes of love and family and what it means to be comfortable in one’s own skin; appreciating the beauty that is within another even if we don’t agree or even understand it.  Simple themes, and the complexity life lends to them.

After the show, Doug and I went to Lavomatic for dinner and had the first real conversation we’ve had in a very long time.

The run has been extended til February 19th – don’t miss it.

After my post on Saturday about the crappy experience at my local Target store, I was very pleased to receive the following email the other day.  I waited til I received Target’s permission to reprint it.

Dear Amy Cribbs:

I’m glad you’ve taken the time to write us about your experience. We’re sorry you didn’t receive the type of service you’ve come to expect at Target.

We know the importance of having well-trained team members, and I know it can be frustrating if you receive inconsistent information about our services. Hearing your comments is very important to us, and I’ve shared them with the Cincinnati Central Leadership team for further review.

Additionally, while we require a receipt dated within 90 days for all returns or exchanges, we also know the unexpected can happen. That’s why we’re able to offer our guests an accommodation when you don’t have a receipt. This is intended for gifts under $70.

We use your feedback to help us make our stores, merchandise and services even better for every guest. I’ve mailed you a Target GiftCard to reimburse you for the boots and because we want you to come back for a better experience. With your comments in mind, we’ll keep working to improve our service commitment to you.

We look forward to serving you again soon at Target.

Sincerely,

Terry
Target Guest Relations
www.target.com
(800) 440-0680

My hope is that the store management is made aware of this so everyone has  the quality customer service we all deserve.

 


 

Primal – that is the only way to describe my reaction to this video and the articles surrounding it.  I screamed, then cried and then got so angry.  I may not be the perfect parent, but I know the difference between violence and discipline.

This is child abuse, and I’m glad to know that the State of Alaska seems to agree.  One thing they need to fix though is their stance that child abuse is a misdemeanor offense.  There is nothing minor about the abuse of a child and perhaps the tone of Alaska towards this issue needs to be escalated.

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Go ahead, GET LIPI!

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Digi-Scrapping Done Right

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Tweet Ya Later!

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LOSING IT IN CINCINNATI

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Why get so riled by the events of the world, you ask? Because…

"Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate." Charlotte Gray
February 2011
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