August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Random pics in the car (while parked in my office parking lot) before heading to church on a Wednesday night.

The bottom 2 were taken by the 5 year old herself. She loves to take pics.

(After) Day 3 of Kindergarten

And yes, we are front facing now.  I don't want to hear anybody's views on this.  It's a personal preference and that's a blog for a whole other day.

And yes, she's chewing on a bag of apples from the Golden Arches.  Don't judge.  I gave her one once we opened it.

August 28, 2012

Tip Tuesday

Disclaimer:  I am no expert at anything, except NOT being at expert at anything. These tips are just something that have helped me, or someone else, or could help me, or you. That's my goal. I'm not all about the telling you what to do. So take them as you will.

I know we've all done it.  I am guilty as well.  But please, don't text and drive.  Especially don't if you have kids in the car.  And please don't smoke a cigarette, talk on the phone, and try and drive. Where exactly are your hands?  Or is that your knee your taking that turn with?

Don't bash me either.  I've done it.  Well, not smoking and texting or talking on the phone.  But I've texted (is that even the right term?) or talked on the phone while driving.  So NO, I'm not perfect and I know it.  This is a tip for me too.  

It just realllllly annoys people when people are smoking in their car with the kids in the backseat.  Or front seat.  In the car period.  Just don't do it.  And especially don't do it while on the phone and trying to drive.

And while you're at it, just quit smoking all together.  I am not a fan of going to an eating establishment and having to smell smoke while I eat.  

Ick.  Just ick.

We all will thank you for that.  And so will your lungs.

August 27, 2012

6 Reasons Why You Will Fail at Blogging

My friend LB sent me this article last week.  I think it's fascinating.

Click here to read on his site, or if you are too lazy, I've copied and pasted below.

Blogging is not a spectator sport. If it was, I think that most observers would rate it right up there with watching paint dry.

6 Reasons you will Fail at Blogging

To the naked eye not much is happening. The keyboard is pecked and caressed…. accompanied by a furrowed brow with the occasional sigh and maybe a quick visit to the kitchen for that sustaining beverage. There are the occasional distractions of checking emails and Facebook updates and Oh.. yes, the Twitter stream!

If the ideas and words aren’t flowing and creative constipation has struck, then blogging timeouts can blowout and be lengthy and hard to recover from. The dedicated blogger though will always find a way to hit their publishing deadlines… even if they move out beyond the publishing comfort zone.

Blogging and Narcissism

The activity of a blogger is mainly of the mental kind but it also requires writing, marketing and a certain level of narcissism.
It involves putting your ego and credibility on the line every time you hit the “publish” button. This awareness can lead to a potential blogger writing 10 or 20 articles offline and they never see the light of online day.

Blogging when embraced and focused can be a synthesis of your life’s passions, innate abilities and undiscovered talents. It can be a facilitator of both personal change and self development. It can transform both your life and your readers lives but don’t let that awful responsibility stop you.

The thought of potentially 2 billion plus people reading your imperfect ideas can be the barrier to blogging your way to a brilliant career and maybe a more fulfilled life.

So what are the reasons you  are going to fail at blogging before you even cross the start line?

Reason #1. The Impossible Goal of Perfection

Unless you are Jesus then perfection is not going to happen. You are not in most cases going to create a blog post that is free of grammatical errors. In your mind the concepts will often seem flawed and your article structure clunky. Wrestle and wrangle your article into shape, check it, shut your eyes and then hit publish.

Your thoughtful nakedness is now visible and it is yours.

There is one distinct advantage of the digital world over the printed word. After it is placed and published before the world in all its glory, you can also go back and punch the edit button and update your masterpiece. I do.

Reason #2. My Ideas are Not Original

You are afraid that what you say and write will be seen as redundant and superficial. I am sorry to say but there are not many original ideas under the sun. Many people’s work, who we perceive as geniuses, such as writers, painters and musicians, are in fact mashups and remixes with a twist. Even the genius of Bob Dylan wasn’t immune from this.

Henry Ford – “I invented nothing new, I simply assembled the discoveries of other men behind whom there was centuries of work.

Be prepared to stand on the shoulders of giants and of ideas past and present. Put your creative spin and slant on them. The art of creativity starts with copying, then transforming and finally combining with your own remix.
Add your own snowflakes of creativity.

 Reason #3. Passionate People are a Bit Weird

Succeeding at blogging does in most instances require a certain degree of passion to drive the activity and the dedication required.

You will be saying to yourself “I am not weird, I don’t want to let this passion thing turn me into a weirdo“….”My friends will disown me“. Don’t be afraid to wear that passion and purpose on your sleeve. Be prepared to be different and let that passion become an integral part of you.

Weird is good, in what can be a big bland sea of  homogenous humanity.

 Reason #4. My Relationships are Too Important

Blogging does require time and commitment. Potential bloggers who never start sometimes can use the excuse of “it will take me away from my family and friends“. This is a cop out.

Make the time. Stop watching so much TV. Get up early or stay up late when the the house is quiet. You owe it to yourself and guess what?.. You may earn a lot of respect. (Yes, I'm looking at a few of you right now!)

Reason #5. I am Not a Genius

I am sorry but the word genius is overrated. Many people who achieve a modicum of success are sometimes seen as gifted and lucky. Don’t let this urban myth stop you from achieving what may seem from afar as an impossible dream.

Dream away.

The US President, Calvin Coolidge had this to say about genius – “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

Couple up your passion with your innate abilities, add some determination and persistence and then magic can happen.

Reason #6. I am Not a Writer

This one gets rolled out time and time again. If you go and read my first posts on this blog (and I am not going to link to then as they are just too embarrassing) then you would break into laughter and state “what was he thinking.”

Competent writing can be learned, if you don’t believe me then go and buy Stephen King’s book on the basics of writing, titled  ”On Writing“. It has some great simple tips.

Still you might say "Nope.. this writing thing is not my gig." Well, I am still not going to let you off the hook that lightly.

The web is a multimedia playground. There is nothing to stop you video blogging (Gary Vaynerchuk was a champion at that). The rise of  a visual web is also making "visual blogging" a reality. Many areas of interest such as travel, food and fashion are more about communicating with photos more than the text.

The Solution?

Just ship it!

Don’t wait for perfection to strike or genius to arrive. The time has come to buckle up, turn the key and hit the accelerator.

I look forward to hearing your stories of success and adventure.

August 25, 2012

1st Birthday Party

Thanks to all the family that came to the 1st birthday party Friday night.  We all had so much fun and were honored to spend it with you all!

Here are a few pictures from the big event.  We went with the owl theme.  The main reason I picked it was that when we found out we were expecting, we bought a shirt for Big Sister that said, "Whooo's got a secret?  I'm going to be a Big Sister" or something like that but it had owls all over it.  This was by far one of the least stressful birthday parties ever.  I think because I took the entire day off and left the kids at school and with the babysitter so I could work on everything and hang out with my parents.  But still, next year I am voting for her a beach birthday party.  Anybody want to join?

Party favors

The banner I made

Cupcakes, courtesy of my sis in law. I made them, she decorated them.
She's pretty awesome.
The set up
Another view
Close up
The picture frame we had everyone sign for her!
Sweet boy without training wheels.

Full speed. Always.
LOVE. He's smitten. It's mutual.

Best I could get

So Dad took over the camera at this point but most every picture is blurry.  Opening presents was like a train wreck.  She only wanted my Dad, her Papaw.  She could care less about most of the presents, just wanted the paper out of them.

And then, this is also the point that my camera died.  Yep, forgot to charge it.  Had all day to do it and never even thought about it. NOTE TO SELF: Always charge camera before milestones!

Luckily, my awesome sister in law had her camera.  She has the rest of the pics of the cupcake 'smashing.'  I'll share when I get them.

It was a whirlwind but I'm so glad I choose to do it on a Friday night. I had all weekend to recoup and everybody else still had their weekend! We hope everyone enjoyed. 

I still can't believe my super sweet and loving and tender and beautiful in every way possible baby girl is now 1.  It's official now that we've sang Happy Birthday and she's blown out the candle!