Sunday, November 30, 2008

Some Light Housekeeping

I've been a lotta busy lately... so rather than continue to go to bed every night with this horrible feeling that I left the stove on or the front door unlocked... I figured I'd take care of a few items and maybe -- just maybe -- this OCD feeling will go away...

1) I was recently tagged by the ever awesome Brian Carter. Brian is a competitive optimizer who married his teacher. Seriously... he is really an optimizer... Anyway, if he was an avid reader of this blog, he would know that I had already been tagged with this meme. But I figured I'd lead him to the answers to The Six Things he doesn't know about his buddy, Sugar Pants. Especially since he was nice enough to do this to me:

2) The ladies over at One 2 One Marketing, Barbara Jones (no relation) and Arianne Segerman have been so kind and generous. They are the energy behind the Seal giveaway and were the Angels that bestowed me with that awesome Epson Artisan 800 that I love so much. They were also waiting for me to review a phenomenal voice recently, and because of my lack of structure in my life of late, I missed the date. So now, two weeks late... let me tell you... I am totally enjoying this CD, The Other Side of Me, by Linda Eder. I have been listening to her music all week. The first track, Let It Rain just makes me want to dance and be joyful. Track #11, Ghost reminds me of The Indigo Girls, which if you are fans of theirs, you will likely enjoy this CD. ((Haha... turns out Ghost was a remake of The Indigo Girls' song... told ya it sounded like them!!)) When I first heard the music samplings, I thought... this is a little bit country, but not really. Tell me what you think after you've given her a listen at:

And if you want to share your opinion with others, sign up with One 2 One. You can land there by using the link on the left hand column... go on... they don't bite!

3) This HP Giveaway is an amazing opportunity to win $6,000 worth of products, but don't forget... there are 49 other blogs who are giving the same package away. While you are only eligible to win one package, you can enter as many of the contests as you'd like. I have to leave you in suspense until I'm allowed to tell you MY start date, but there's nothing stopping you from checking out all the other sites for a chance to win their package. Many are in full swing RIGHT NOW! So check out the other 49 of the Fifty Bloggers who get to be Santa this year!

4) I'm looking for a room mate. No, not to live here, you freaks!... one to share a room at Chicks Who Click in Boulder this January. There will be lots of learning, networking, and chattering. This event is the brain child of Gwen Bell and Denise Smith and is being sponsored by Walmart, Metzger Associates PR, and Kirtsy. There will also be a day on the slopes. Although I've always stayed safely on sticks, I'm thinking I'm going to try a day of boarding this trip... we'll see... If you are considering making the trip, let me know. I'll need to know that you've never been acquitted of any kind of manslaughter-ish crimes, but other than that, I'm thinking we're good.

5) and if you are one of my friends "in real life" who is just now starting to read my blog that you used to think of as Shoog's Diary but now you're thinking "hey, I want in on this HP package..." yeah, hate to tell you but you aren't eligible. Please refer to item #3 on this list to link to the other 49 bloggers that you CAN win from. And before you start getting all like "We're not THAT good of friends, here is the deal:

If we've had a beer together, we're friends.
If I've ever held your hair while you puked, we're friends.
If I ever had to wear a ridiculous dress in your wedding, we're friends (sort of).
If I sent you or received from you a Merry Chrisma-Hannu-Kwanza card, we're friends.
If we've prayed together, laughed together, cried together, we're definitely friends.
If our husbands fly together, we're friends.
If we ever worked together, we're friends.
If you are the bastards I worked for a few years back, we are not friends, but this is my contest and you are SO not eligible...

All righty people... be well.


Friday, November 28, 2008

The Girl Effect

I cried when I watched this... because this is where my heart is right now... I have a couple of things going on behind the scenes... and those things are very much in the spirit of this video.

My projects will involve you because changing the world is more than I can handle on my own. Changing the world? Yeah... seriously. It's not a special super power... but it is magical. Wanna help me?

Stick around.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


There's a lot I can complain about, but that gets old. The harsh realities of life will always be around, nagging at you, telling you to come down here and have some anguish for a while... but what purpose does that serve other than to drive you stark freaking mad?

There's just too much to be happy about...

Friends - I have so many good friends that have brought me through a really difficult year. There are my virtual friends in Twitter and on the blogs, of course. Wow... some of you are just insane and awesome! I've laughed and learned so much with these "friends in my head." Then there are my churchie friends that I've reconnected and grown with. They have been so supportive to a woman who will bawl uncontrollable at the song He is Mighty To Save... And of course, this crazy group of Latin Ladies Plus One (we're all Latin except Beth, but she's brown enough, so she's cool). In this last group, I get to be as Mexican as I want to be and it has been so much fun!

Family - I could wallow here in the things that have not happened, but instead I'll celebrate what has. We have all been physically healthy... nobody has broken a bone or been in the hospital this year. {{knocking hard on wooden desk}} I'm thankful for the love of all my family, but mostly, I am just so honored and grateful to be the mom of four really cool kids. Although I haven't hugged my seventeen year old since her sixteenth birthday, I have had some limited communication with her. I miss her and look forward to the day she decides to come back for a visit. My little ones have grown so much this year. The things they say and do blow me away often. They love God. They love family. And they love learning. My City Girl will be here today to bake for us. I'm excited to see what she has accomplished in Pastry School so far... I mean, in between all the partying I see on Facebook, anyway...

Life - Every day, I live a little better. Every day, I feel a little more whole. Every day, I peel another layer of the onion back... I am so eternally thankful to the many people that helped me get to the place where I don't feel like a fragile piece of glass that will break if you tap me just once. Some very special women have come into my life and have helped me to see the magnificence in me... it is the same magnificence that is in all of us. If you look hard enough... behind the smoke and the mirrors of perfection... you will find it, too. And amazingly, if you look past the preconceptions you may have shrouded others with, you'll see it in them... the trick is just to look.

Thank you for coming here.

Thank you for listening.

Thank you for your magnificence.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Well, so much for Wordless Wednesday…

Unloading from Sugar Jones on Vimeo.

Wordless Wednesday 11/26/08

Monday, November 24, 2008

Magic in the Air

Okay, so out of nowhere, I get this call that leads to another call and then nothing. Until a couple of weeks ago. And POOF!

I’m in the middle of HP’s Magic Giveaway!

HP is spreading the spirit of magic by asking fifty bloggers to set up giveaways that will enhance the lives of others. The package itself includes far more hardware than one person could possibly use on own… though if we all tried hard enough, I’m sure we could make it happen in our heads… but that’s not the spirit of this giveaway.

Anyway… lots of stuff… lots and LOTS of really cool stuff.


  • HP TouchSmart IQ816 PC w/Windows
  • HP HDX 18 Series Premium Notebook PC w/Windows
  • HP Media Smart Connect
  • HP Pavilion dv4-1143go & dv4-1145go Entertainment Notebooks w/Windows
  • HP PhotoSmart C6380 Wireless AIO Printer
  • HP 564 Series Photo Value Pack
  • Microsoft Office Home & Student 2007
  • KungFu Panda Widescreen DVDs

I can’t tell you the WHO and HOW part yet… damn rules! Just know that it will benefit moms with a dream. I’ll announce the start date for my part of this fantastic giveaway very soon and then it will be fast and furious! Until then, make sure to subscribe to Living – In Theory to get the info as soon as it’s up and not miss out on this awesome opportunity.

I’m so incredibly excited about this chance to be a Christmas Angel and pay it forward. I hope you are, too!

Thanks HP!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I wish I could tell you...

I am doing my best not to blurt out some fan-stinking-tastic news.

No, I am *not* pregnant!

The news is amazing... for me... and for other moms who could use a little help to keep things going without going crazy. You don't have to be a mom that's going crazy to get in on all the fun. But chances are, you likely know one. Maybe even two... cuz you could help two... and yourself...

Damn those rules! Must. Stop. Typing. NOW!

Check back in tomorrow... it's going to be magical!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

What do you mean they can't read that?

Banning Books from Sugar Jones on Vimeo.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lost in Translation

I hope I haven’t kept you in the dark about my family issues. If so, let me sum up…

My husband and I currently live separately but are dating.

One of my kids doesn’t talk to me.

My mom and I are like oil and water.

Okay… so now you know that behind this perky exterior, there’s a bit of a wounded soul. Don’t worry. I’m learning. One of the main things that I’m realizing is not only do I get misunderstood, sometimes I do the misunderstanding.


Yes, it’s true. Apparently, I am human. {sigh} I hear what I want to hear and say things in a way not taking into consideration the wounds of others. I’m not a callous bitch. I’m just guilty of being too raw for the people that are closest to me. My honesty, it seems, is not always welcome. But not wanting to live a life of make believe with those I love, I’ve been trying to come to terms with how my mom or husband or daughter hears the words I am saying just as I am trying to let them all know what it is that I heard.

It’s all very Dr. Phil without the annoying moustache.

I think it’s always that I am being understood. It’s also really good to avoid inadvertently offending others when I mean to come across as helpful or compassionate. You know, like when you mean to feel someone’s pain but because of your snarky tone, you just come off as patronizing and disrespectful. You know…

Like Motrin.

Oh boy… I walk away from Twitter for like half a day and POOF! There’s a new topic trending called #motrinmoms. If you are unfamiliar with Twitter, you clearly don’t visit here often enough, but let’s move past that and catch you up real quick. Twitter is like an instant message, worldwide chat room, friending type place that is similar to the office water cooler. You can follow my “tweets” to find out what I and others are reading, doing, watching, blah blah… You can also use Twitter as a way to syndicate your on-line business or blog. But the best thing about Twitter? It’s THE place to get the latest info on just about anything. The efficiency and speed with which information is passed on in this medium is like a shiny penny to a kid. Heads up is good luck. Tails up… well… let’s just call it “unfortunate.” Motrin learned that very important lesson the hard way. Apparently, they forgot to ask their target market what they thought about this:

Rule #1. Never piss off the Mommy Bloggers. NEVER!

Within hours, the patronizing tone of this ad became the downfall of a household name. If Advil or Tylenol know ANYTHING about marketing, they will be all over this debacle. Remember this incident. It will be taught to your kids in business and marketing classes for generations to come under the chapter of what NOT to do.

Knowing what to say and how to say it are truly an art. Unfortunately, sometimes, saying sorry just isn’t enough. Thank God, family is a lot more forgiving than the market.

Just for fun, check out the Motrin Moms Twitter Stream.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wanna Play?

***In honor of one of my favorite hobbies (procrastination), I have extended my little contest until midnight this Wednesday, November 19th.***

Let's have us a little fun...

As some of my friends know, I love a good scavenger hunt. City Girl had a great one for her 10th birthday. The Bug had a crazy one on her 13th. But my favorite was the time I was sent off alone to find more booze and food and a parrot at the Jimmy Buffet concert in Irvine.

Yes, I did bring back a parrot.

So, I have a little game for you all to play. The reward? Oh just Seal’s latest CD, Soul… seal_soul_album

and the cutest iPod speaker!

LegoIpodSpeakers-376 While the Lego-like iPod speaker is absolutely adorable, the lucky lucky reader is in for some smooth and sexy rhythm and blues from the ever so dashing Seal. If you loved being Kissed By A Rose back in the 90s, you will absolutely love what he's done to the R&B classics in his current album, Soul. I've been swaying to these stylings for the last few nights. It's all I can do to not put on a little something special and go for a spin on the dance floor with a handsome man. Well, until I look around and realize I have a family to feed and laundry to do... but you get what I'm saying, don't you? Seal just puts me in the mood.

Okay, so here's how we'll play this game. I'm going to give you a few tasks and questions to be answered. You will answer and display in the comments section. Easy enough, right? These are your scavenger hunt items:

1) A picture of you in the 90s when we were all first making out to singing Kissed By a Rose.

2) A Lego creation. It can be your own, one that your kid made, or one that you find on line. My engineer-in-training four year old will be much obliged if you can include directions and moving parts.

3) Your favorite song from the new Soul album. You can find the videos down there... down at the bottom of the blog... we're scrolling, we're scrolling, we're THERE! There it is! Which one do you just want to hear over and over?

That's it. Just those little items. You have until Sunday, November 16th to get those in. Not too long, so don't pull a Sugar and go procrastinating and not get your chance to win.

Shoot, I almost forgot! An extra entry will be given for any referred readers. Tell your friends to come play along and you will get an automatic second chance. Make sure they give you credit in the comments, or to make it super easy by grabbing my WidgetBox thingy near the bottom of the left hand column. (just click and follow directions) Sitemeter will let me know how they came to visit LIT and you will get that second entry.

Alrighty then… let the games begin!

For those that don't know how to post a pic, just load your pictures on Picasa or Flickr or any other photo site. Copy the link for that picture and paste it in the comments. The URL will be linkable, so we can all have fun checking out your awesome 90s hair!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Minor Details, Major Regrets

There's a story I've been wanting to tell. It's inspired by the women of my family. It goes back to a wildly beautiful woman who has a baby out of wedlock at the turn of the century in a desert land that was full of buried riches. It follows through to a young lady enslaved by life and rescued by fire. Just one thing...

I'm a big chicken.

I kept coming up with a million different details that were holding me up. They were just excuses. I kept hearing that bitch, Nagging Doubt chatting in my ear. But louder than that was a siren... a glorious woman yelling at me to get off my doubting butt and frickin' write! Screw grammar and missing dates. That's what research and rewrites and editors are for right? Editors. Like real people... to read my crap... and laugh... {{sweating}} In creeps the horrible, awful doubt.

I hate that!

Recently, I've been surrounded... accosted practically... by amazing writers... beautiful women. They have encouraged me to just slice through the fears. Who cares what the eventual outcome is? This is a gift from me to me... and to my children. A story doesn't need to be published. It just needs to be told.

And then, one of the final details... the last real excuse hurdle I had to leap over was dessimated with one random tweet about an old ghost town and the right date of a particular event. Wow. I just sat there and tried not to cry. I wasn't looking very hard for this little piece of information, but there it was... on my screen. I could have just glazed over it and kept on my road of pretending I didn't see it. But that would be a regret I would have to deal with on my death bed. I am NOT going to do that to that poor little old lady that will one day be "Mizz Shoog" to all the other residents of my old folks home.

What the hell. Here goes...

Much thanks to these beautiful women. Please go visit them and be inspired:
Thanks Gayle -
Thanks Claudia -
Thanks Loretta -
Thanks Trisha -
Thanks Trish -

Monday, November 10, 2008

Living Simply

Sometimes, I wake up and wonder... where the hell am I?

I still find myself waking up confused about the home I am in. Why is my room so much smaller? Why are the kids sharing that walk-in closet of a room? Where did my custom kitchen with double ovens and bay windows go? Where is my big ol' quiet yard and why am I not at the end of a quiet cul de sac anymore?

And then I remember that we sold that house and moved.

It was a move that needed to happen. Our priorities had been out of whack, but we woke up. Living simply has been so rewarding in so many ways. But boy has this move come with quite a bit of adjustment. We lost about 1,000 square feet and along with that, a ton of storage. In order to move down, we first had to get rid of all of our large furniture before even moving over here. I found myself holding back tears and repeating "It's just stuff" over and over. *sigh* Even after purging a bedroom set, an antique chaise, a washer and dryer, and other sundry items, we still came here with too much. Our wrap-around sectional that floated in our old bonus room was grossly oversized for our new digs. Our farm house style dining table came along with us, but takes up all the designated space making things kind of tight with the hutch. I'm still working on that one. I repurposed our garage and made it a toy and game area. It's not that spacious family room, but it works.

Today, I came across this Better Homes article today. I can't do half of these because I'm renting. But there are still many things I can do without risking my deposit. For instance, letting the light in all over the place gives the impression that the space is larger. We don't have too many dark spots in the townhome, which is amazing considering our attached neighbors on both sides. Aces! Another tip is to extend living quarters to the outdoors. Check! I have a small sitting area out on my patio that I enjoy every morning as the sun comes up over the hills. It's not my big back yard, but with all my plants and trees surrounding me, my little space is quite pleasant.

I still dream of our house. I still wish the kids had a big yard and could ride safely in a quiet cul de sac. But the reality of my simpler life is just as nice as a canyon view. Being home with the kids and building my photo business would be impossible if I was a slave to a mortgage. I'm happy to have pared down our life... even at the cost of all that space and storage. No matter how much I complain.

It's totally worth it.


If you have any examples of how you have turned your limited space into cute and cozy quarters, please leave a link in the comments. I could use some new ideas and inspiration!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Promise Yourself...

I have this on a magnet at the side of my fridge that is right next to my Senseo. While I wait for my frothy cup of joe, I read these words:

"Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. Live in the faithe that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you!"

--Christian D. Larson

This bit of simple wisdom along with my coffee are the perfect morning attitude adjustment. Gives me a great perspective for the day. Some days are tougher than others, but I have strategically placed enough great quotes and bible verses all over the house and office so that when I begin to lose any belief in myself, I can be reminded... reassured... and revitalized.

What are the quotes or verses that get you through your days? Please share them here in the comments. You never know who will need to read those words.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Funeral Potatoes

What does this Southern California girl know from Southern cooking? Butkus, that's what!

Once a month, a group of friends of mine get together for a sort of Family Dinner. The person in charge of coordinating it has gone all crazy with our themed meals. I mean, what else would you call it when we were asked to bring a Southern dish. The midwesterners were all, "Do you mean a hot dish" (but they said it with that cute little Meenah-sooo-dah twang) and I was all, "Do you mean like Southern, like South of the border?" Our coordinator was like...


I wasn't about to go looking for a recipe. Not when I had access to real live Southern people (like REAL ones!) in my Twitter stream. Within five minutes of asking for a good southern recipe, I had my choice between all kinds of really great casseroles, but I needed something easy. You know... since I waited until the morning of the party. Then popped up a tweet that said: Hash Brown Casserole.

High Carb Heaven!

I have been really enjoying hash browns lately... way too much. So when this recipe came across, I was incredibly excited. I'm serious. Excited about potatoes. How sad, yes? You don't understand. I live in the land of Low Carb. Having a reason to eat a food item that is equivelant to base jumping just got my insulin pumping! And you know what? All my other Low Carb friends agreed. This casserole, aka Funeral Potatoes, was gone in like five minutes. Next time I'll make two!

Please enjoy this Southern dish courtesy of Sugar via Jess, aka Triple J.

1 32-oz bag frozen shredded hash browns (you can use real potatoes, too. boil, peel and shred about 6-8 potatoes and use 4-6 cups shredded potatoes)
1 can cream of chicken soup (you can use any cream soup but mushrooms are gross and i always have cream of chicken in the cupboard)
1 small onion, diced fine (i'm usually forced to leave these out. damn kids! use onion salt or powder if you don't wanna use an onion...)
1 16-oz container sour cream
1-2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (depends on how cheesy you like your potatoes
4 T butter, melted
3/4 to 1 cup crushed corn flakes (you can use crackers - cheese crackers are good, too!)
salt and pepper to taste

preheat oven to 350. in a large bowl, combine the soup, sour cream, onions, cheese and salt and pepper. stir in the shredded potatoes, coat well. put potato mixture into a greased 9x13 baking dish. in a separate bowl, mix the crumbs and melted butter together. sprinkle evenly of the top of the potatoes. cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. remove the foil the last 10-15 minutes of baking so the top can get crunchy.

I made some modifications, because I'm just a crazy rebel. Instead of chopping up an onion and getting my hands all smelly, I tossed in a packet of Knorr Onion Soup. Also, instead of the Corn Flakes topping, I crushed up a bage of Kettle Sour Cream & Onion potato chips. That was soooo yum!

Now back to my regularly scheduled low carb lifestyle... until Thanksgiving, of course!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Okay, I’m Serious Now…

Last year, I was snapping families’ holiday shots all the way until the day we left for our road trip to Albequerque. It was all I could do to pack while rushing all over the world setting up my mobile studio in peoples’ homes and to the beach and to the lab ~ back and forth, back and forth ~ for six long weeks before leaving. I got it done, but at the cost of losing at least like, what, ten months at the end of my life. I didn’t have any “studio” space at the time and I was kind of out of the way from most of my clients, so I really didn’t have much choice as far as having to set up on the fly. But why didn’t I save myself some time and print the proofs at home? Because I was still working with my former printer who shall remain anonymous…

But this year… THIS year is different.

Because of my new circumstances, I am confident in my ability to handle a load of clients. First of all, I am now centrally located to most of my clients and have carved out a decent amount of studio space should my clients choose not to do beach shots. Plus, (and this is the best part) there’s the blossoming of a new, healthier relationship… with a new printer. And guess what? This one loves me way better than my last one. And maybe it’s because this new printer was made for a great relationship with photographers… with me...

I love love love my Epson Artisan 800 and it loves me back!

Still, after so many disappointments with my last dysfunctional printer, I held my breath as the first proof was being created. Would I really be able to avoid wasted trips to the lab for a handful of images at a time? My stomach was quickening… I swear… it was like PTSD from last fall. I caught myself rooting for the printer thinking it couldn’t possibly do what I needed it to do. And then POOF! Out came a magnificent photo!


I feel like I’ve stepped into a new era of my photography business. I can focus more on my sessions and my clients and not worry so much about the lab. The nagging doubt on the production side of my business life is handled. Awesome! Now, I can take myself more seriously. I’m excited about this holiday photo season. I’m excited that I have Epson on my side. I’m excited to hand these proofs to the families and watch them smile as they see the vivid colors of their life. I’m just plain excited!

But wait!!! There’s more! {{always wanted to say that}}

You’ve got to check out all the awesome features of this bad boy! It’s like a cool assistant that always has your back. Not only am I printing fantastic proofs, I’m even restoring old photos from my childhood that have long yellowed. I thought that would take a while to figure out. Turns out, my new assistant (the best Printer ever) told me exactly what to do from the touch screen. I tapped Menu and up popped my options. I touched Copy/Restore and hey, look! I’m at the Color Restoration screen! Why, yes, I would like Color Restoration ON, thank you very much. What’s this? You show me a diagram on how and where to place my yellow photos? Oh thanks, Artisan! Okie dokie… now just touch OK… and…


IMG_8288 Restored

My mom was so happy! And making that woman happy is not an easy thing to do. Ask my therapist. After seeing these results, she came over with like thirty of her photo albums and guess what? Oh yeah… bonding to the Restoration of the Seventies, Baby! You know what? Bring it on!

I’ve got my Epson Artisan 800!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What grade is she in?

What grade ARE my children in? That's the weirdest question anymore. They are technically enrolled in specific grades, but because they can move on once grade specific subject matter is mastered, their curriculum is more of a spectrum. My pre-school son is following along in his sister's second grade science. She is so excited about history, that it appears we'll be moving on to the next grade history after Winter Break. It's not that my kids are geniuses...

Well... they *might* be.

The beauty of homeschool is that grade levels are really very relative. I used to see that as a danger. I didn't really trust myself to know if my kids were getting the right information at the right time? In reality, I found that being at home teaching them was the best way to make sure that they do get the right lessons at the right time. Because all children develop differently, both physically and emotionally, it's hard to keep a room full of kids on task, let alone on the right path for each student. My kids get stuck on any number of things just like they would in a traditional class room setting. However, because of this close arrangement, I'm able to stop and pay full attention to my struggling student in order to find the learning path that works best.

Recently, my daughter was having a tough time with the concept of writing The Lion and the Mouse from the perspective of the mouse. After watching her eyes glaze over listening to my explanation of perspective, I realized I had to get down on the ground. Down on the ground is the term I use to describe how I see things from my kids' perspectives. While I was down on the ground, wondering how I could get her to see this from the mouse's side, I realized she needed to be down on the ground. I pulled some scrapbook paper and curling ribbon out... add (or rather, take away) some holes, secure some tape and VOILA!

As much as I would love to have simple answers for those homeschool questions, the truth is that it's not that simple. And another truth is that it's not that easy. But it's great and I love teaching my kids. It's a joy to see their faces light up when they "get it." Certainly end of the year testing will verify that the state requirements were met and that my children/students have completed a grade and will move on to another.

But there is no single grade to attach to the experience of living and learning like this.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Three Faces of Shoog

In honor of my monthly self-portraits (and unwavering narcissism), I thought I'd take myself in three different angles, literally and figuratively. Like you, I wear different faces at different times in my life. It's not that I'm trying to be different Sugar's to different people... not anymore, anyway... It's just that different environments or groups of friends tend to coax one part or another out of me. I enjoy having all those facets to myself... even if every now and then it gets a little crowded in here.

Please ignore the fluffiness of a month's worth of cookie dough and merlot indulgence...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Congratulations President Obama

Let me say it once again, just in case you weren't here yesterday... I have hope for our country. And just in case you didn't read this, please know that I do not lay my hope at the foot of one man or one party. All that aside, tonight is a bittersweet night for me, and I'm sure for many others.

I am not an Obama fan. I can say that without so much as a twitch in my typing hands. I can also say with the greatest confidence that it has nothing to do with the color of his skin. It makes me happy to see that we, as a whole, have moved past that ugliness. I know there are still some cancers in this world... haters that will say awful things, but for the most part, we are really becoming the melting pot that so many of us have always dreamed of.

So yeah, it's a bittersweet. I'm pleased in one regard, yet disappointed in another. One thing is for sure... Senator Obama played a good game and brought many to the rally. I hope that the next four years prove to move our country forward...

Well played, Barack.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I have hope in life. It's a hope that comes from knowing that whatever the outcome on Tuesday... or Wednesday... or God forbid, later than that... whatever the outcome, my hope for this country and faith in her people remains. It is the people of the country, after all, that send representatives to Washington. It is the people who rally behind a man. It is the people that have the power to say enough.

In these last few days, as the election tightens up, some rats have been jumping ship, just in case. That phenomena is always amazing to me. Those are the people that I wonder about. They go where they think they will have the most to gain. They were not undecided. They always knew who they were backing. Themselves. But the real undecideds... the ones that have been courted for so many weeks now... the people that some wonder how they could not already have a decision... they are the reason I feel a renewed sense of hope.

I know that I am not on one side or the other merely for the sake of sticking to a party. I even took some quizzes with multiple questions on issues. I wasn't 100% in lock-step with my candidate of choice, but we were only separated on two questions on the same issue. I know of one undecided who also took an issues quiz. She was split right down the middle. I don't envy her tomorrow.

But I wonder, with so many people's beliefs about life and the role of government falling on both sides, left and right, is the notion of red states versus blue states going to hold much longer? How many times have I heard the talking heads on news shows call some states purple? A third camp is becoming more identifiable and making for a great conversation. I know there will always be crazies from the far sides of both the Republican and Democratic parties. But the ones that want to have logical conversations on how we are going to be good stewards of this country for the next generation? Who is representing these purples?

And that's where my hope lies... in the people that will come up to speak for those that are not getting their questions answered... the people that know that this is more than the next four or the last eight... the people that love this country more than one party or one man. My hope lies in the real change that is coming. Not the one that we'll vote for or against on Tuesday. The hope in the people and the palpable change in the air...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Nights

I always dreamed of a home that all my children would come to dinner to on Sunday nights. They would come first with friends... then with serious boyfriends... then with families of their own. And each time I opened the door, I would be a little older, but always with the same smile seeing my children and their children bloom and thrive in life.

That's what I'd imagined.

I'm still sad that I don't have that traditional life for them to all come home to. We are, after all, unconventional. In our family, Thanksgivings have been spent at amusement parks and restaurants, sometimes at the homes of our friends and families. Christmas decorating is put off until the last moment so that we can have birthday cakes for the babies while their actual parties happen in June on half birthdays. We just do things a little different at our house. It's not that crazy... just not conventional.

But Sunday Nights. I always imagined that would be a tradition that we could build on as our family grew. The weekly habit would bring us together not only physically, but emotionally... spiritually... and became stronger as a unit. That's not how things are right now.

But that doesn't stop me from hoping...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

NaBloPoMo or NaNoWriMo?

Always up for a challenge… that’s me…

So this month, there are two Get Up and Go challenges happening. The National Blog Post Month and National Novel Writing Month. The first is about posts – one a day for the whole month of November. The second is geared more towards the completion of a novel. I’m not really sure what kind of book you could write in a month… and I’m sure there are nuances to this particular challenge. There *have* to be… Anyone? Well, anyway, I think I might just write a few thousand words a day as a writing exercise, which I had originally intended to do with this blog.

And that leads me to my question and poll:

When I was at BlogHer08 in San Francisco last summer, I met and heard from many women that had started their blogs as a way to get to the book inside of them, either as a writing exercise or a platform builder. I am happy to admit that I fall into that category. But there were also tons of blog writers that do product reviews, travel blogs, and social forums, as well. Each of us had a primary reason for jumping in to the blogoshpere. Like many projects, some have morphed into something that is a glimmer of that first spark. Others have stayed the course, but may be the third, fourth, or fifth project of a blogger.

So what about you? What got you going?

I’m going to attempt a post a day. Maybe in there, I’ll talk about the story in my head and how my month of writing is coming along. Anyone else feeling up to the challenge? Share your links in the comment section so we can all follow along.

FYI: I’m also going to see if I can get NaMoSleMo off the ground. That’s National Month to Sleep More. I made that one up… ;-)