Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's 100 Degrees, Dude!

It is going to reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit today.  Yes, it is summertime in Central Ohio.  Meaning, typically the temperature will rise, producing an unexpected, uncomfortable heat.


Did I say, “Unexpected”?

I knew the heat wave was coming.  It was the talk in Dairy Mart, the grocery store, and at the last two softball games.  In fact, regardless of the season, I don’t ever check the weather because I know someone will be talking about it.  It is a bit of a phenomenon.  Is it like this in your part of the world?  Is everyone running around spreading the news of global warming?

I recently came across the number 100 in another hot place—over at Dude of the House.  He celebrated his 100th blog post by honoring awards he was given and by handing some out.  I am delighted to tell you that I was one of the recipients.

Not sure which award to claim, so I’m just calling this the Dude of the House Shout-Out.  With any award comes responsibility.  Here’s what I have to do:

I.  Thank and Link back to the blogger who awarded you.

Thank you, Dude of the House!  I was surprised and thrilled that you thought of Sperk*.  Great to know you here in the blogosphere and congratulations on your success.  Maybe we'll cross paths in the Buckeye State someday!

II. Answer the 7 questions below.

1) What is your favorite song?
My 13 year old daughter asks me this every day and every day I give her a new answer.  Maybe that’s why she asks?
Today my favorite song is “And  She Was,” by the Talking Heads

2) What is your favorite dessert?
3) What do you do when you are upset?
Talk to my significant other and write.  Boring, I know.  I used to throw things.  I do not recommend anyone do that.  Talking, writing, or going for a run cause less physical and emotional damage than tossing a vase across the room.

4) Which is your favorite pet?
I prefer any pet that loves me and is loyal. 

5) Which do you prefer, white or whole wheat?
Whole wheat with no high fructose corn syrup.

6) What is your biggest fear?
My girls suffering in any capacity--physically or emotionally. But I don't have fear at the base of my parenting.  Worry dissipates when I am present, I mean really there and in the moment, and able to find the teachable moments within time spent together.  I recommend every parent be present.  From there, parenting is personal, relative and an exercise in letting go.

7) What is my attitude mostly?

III.  List 10 random facts about yourself.

I recently listed random facts in a fun post here: Head over Heels with Happiness

IV. Pick 11 bloggers to pass the award onto.

This is the difficult part—not because the blogosphere is lacking in amazing voices, but because I can name more than 11, quickly, right off the top of my head.  And then, I’ll go back and realize I missed this one and that one, and then I will look to see if they have an award, find them on Twitter…you see where this is going?

It is 100 degrees here.  I have no air conditioning and a kid's sleepover is eminent.  I need to clean-up and possibly go out to purchase toilet paper so that our guest isn't relegated to tearing paper towels into quarter-size strips.


Did I say “Optimistic?”

Nevertheless, if you are searching for some excellent blogs, go here.  yeah write is full of ‘em.  No lie.

And with that, I bid you a fine afternoon with plenty of sunshine and shade.

photo credit: PIX-JOCKEY via photo pin cc

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wednesday's Woman: The Child Life Specialist

“I’ve had a lot to say and plan to say a lot more.” ~Kimberly Pugliano

When she is not out for her daily run with her dogs, today’s guest blogger, Kimberly Pugliano, is writing.  Kimberly is a prolific blogger.  I can barely keep up with her, which is not surprising as my rate of reading and writing is equaled to the pace of a snail sliding along the sidewalk.  Nonetheless, when you visit Kimberly's space, The G is Silent, you’ll quickly figure out why I so desperately want to keep up:  she’s as generous as she is generative, compassionate and funny, authentic and real.

In the midst of her writing, she is a dedicated wife and mother, daughter, friend, and more, so much more.

When I received her submission for this week’s Wednesday’s Woman, she just completed the process of welcoming a new member into her family—officially and beautifully.   It’s a story you do not want to miss--read it here--one, in and of itself, worthy of being honored in Wednesday's Woman.

I thought, “How in the world can this woman be in the the middle of a life changing event and yet still be so generous as to submit a piece for Wednesday’s Woman?”

I can’t answer that question and I will not give up trying, aspiring to emulate her honest and giving heart.

The person Kimberly chose to honor today, Ana Vega, is one that shares her generous spirit and one that, like Kimberly, betters our world through her interactions with others—very human interactions requiring a brave and compassionate spirit. 

Thank you, Kimberly, for sharing your kindness and compassion today at Sperk*.  


I’ve heard many times that it takes a special person to be a hospice worker, and that they are like angels on earth.  They take care of a person who is dying, and in addition help the family prepare for what is to come.  When the family member does pass away, they take over everything that needs to be done, allowing the family to grieve – and helping them do so.

Enter the Child Life Specialist. 

Ana Vega, Child Life Specialist,
Children's Hospital, Los Angeles
My friend, 29-year-old Ana Vega, originates from Ojai, California, and upon graduating from high school she attended California State University,Northridge, majoring in Child and Adolescent Development with the intent of becoming a teacher.  However, when taking an Introduction to Child Development Professions, she was introduced to a Child Life Specialist and she knew immediately this is what she wanted to do.

After graduating, Ana started her internship in the fall of 2007 and finished in 2008.  She started her first job as a Child Life Specialist in July 2008 in Las Vegas, at UMC.  In the summer of 2010, she took a position with Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, where she remains.

Ana’s definition of a Child Life Specialist (CLS) is as follows:  

A person who works to provide normalization for children in the hospital, they promote effective coping through play, age-appropriate medical preparation and education. CLS work with doctors, nurses, social workers and other staff to meet the emotional, developmental and cultural needs of each patient and family.” 

When she first started working in this field, her simpler explanation to me was that she helped children adjust to being in the hospital and also helped children prepare to leave or to die.  Like a hospice worker, Ana has spent many hours with dying children.

According to Children’sHospital of Los Angeles (CHLA), “A Child Life Specialist is a professional who is specially trained to help children and their families understand and manage challenging life events and stressful healthcare experiences. Child Life Specialists are skilled in providing developmental, educational, and therapeutic interventions for children and their families under stress. Child Life Specialists support growth and development while recognizing family strengths and individuality, and respecting different methods of coping.”

Growing up a sick child herself, in and out of CHLA coincidentally, Ana has an entirely different perspective of her responsibilities.  She’s been that child trying to adjust to being repetitively admitted and discharged from the hospital.
When I asked Ana if she could see herself doing this for the long-term, she said emphatically, “Yes!”  It’s fulfilling and satisfying providing for her patients and families, but she has spoken to co-workers who have been in the field many years and it makes her wonder if she’ll still be as enthusiastic down the road.

Does it wear her down?  Of course it does.  She says, 

“Anyone in this field is a compassionate, caring and children-loving person. To see children day after day suffering, in pain, depressed, withdrawn, isolated, alone, etc....those things take a toll.”  She then countered, “My job is SOOOO rewarding and important (to me and the people in our field) that I keep going…my patients and families keep me going. To see the progression, milestones and achievements, makes this all so worth it. There are sad days and there are extremely exciting days! It’s definitely an emotional rollercoaster, that I never want to get’s fun!”

Regarding coping, Ana talks with her colleagues, the people who share her passion as well as her sadness.   She shares her feelings about the day, discussing what worked, what didn’t, and where to go from there.  She is also blessed to have resources for the staff such as yoga, massages, support groups, etc.

I have been in awe of Ana since she started her internship many years ago, and she slowly moved around and up until she ended up in her current position.  She says she has a Bachelor’s, but her position now requires a Master’s degree and she hasn’t been doing this THAT many years.  I think Ana is more than just an amazing woman.  I think she’s an angel here on earth.  I’ve always said I could never work with sick children or the elderly; it’s too heart-wrenching.  Precious Ana, she works with sick children every day, with the sole purpose of helping them have a good day when they are sick, scared, frustrated and possibly dying.

This is why I have chosen sweet Ana Vega as today’s Wednesday’s Woman.  

photo credit: Lynda Giddens via photo pin cc

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hope after Divorce

Hope is around us and within us.  Always stirring and sometimes ignored.  Sometimes, when I get to the other side of an obstacle once thought insurmountable, I look back to discover what brought me to the other side.  It’s always the same thing—hope.

It was a day like today—sunny, warm and breezy—that I walked out of the court house no longer married.  During the brief hearing, the judge asked me to confirm that I wanted to keep my married name, Speranza.  I responded, “Yes.”

At that moment, I thought I was keeping my married name because I wanted things to be as simple as possible for my daughters.  Maybe I wanted things to be as simple as possible for myself?  I mean, what kind of paperwork was involved with going back to my maiden name?

Although brief, my divorce hearing was tense, sorrowful, and sickening.

What was I doing?  Was this really me standing here confirming the beginning of a new life in which I had no idea how to navigate?

Confirmations of child support, number of days with children, and financial awards.  Confirmations that I made a mistake, could not figure it out, and basically failed. 

I felt small.  He in his business suit, accessorized by an expensive lawyer and tears, me in my in inexpensive black slacks and a barely-crisp white blouse left in my wardrobe from the days before babies, when I worked.  I looked down; my black shoes could have used some polish.  His were shiny.  He cried and I didn’t.  I looked like a heartless, money-hungry conniver but knew I was just a lost middle-aged mom who didn’t know what she was doing or going to do.

When it was all said and done, I walked out of the court house, alone, onto the busy sidewalk and expected tears.  Instead I felt a swift breeze hit my face, looked up toward the sun and smiled. 

My last name was still Speranza.

Speranza, literally translated from Italian, means hope.

Some days, I do not know what I am doing.  Things my ex-husband used to take care of still baffle me.  But I try.  I have to.  Someone has to take care of the grown-up things—things other than caring for the girls, cleaning, and grocery shopping.  Those were the things I was good at before my divorce.

Today, I’m good at more.  I pay bills (sometimes on time), I have a degree, and I write.  I do figure out the grown-up stuff, even when I’m scared to death.  And I’m still a good mom.  Maybe better.

I remember one night this past April, because it was National Poetry Month, I wanted to read some poetry to the girls at bedtime.  I stumbled upon Emily Dickinson’s poem, Hope Is the Thing with Feathers:

Hope is the thing with feathers. . .

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity, 
It asked a crumb of me.

I read it aloud to the girls, twice, and cried. 

It was a soft cry, not one of those sobbing, guttural displays. 

I think the girls understood. . .something.

I understood.  We have hope.

Linking up with Flicker of Inspiration Linkup #56  

photo credit: kira.belle via photo pin cc

Friday, June 22, 2012

Celebration of Life

Celebration of Life, sculpture by Alfred Tibor, downtown Columbus

I have to be at Antonia’s softball game in five minutes.  But I can’t go until I share.  Compulsive?  Impulsive?  Lacking ability to prioritize?

It’s been a crazy week.  Lots of ups and downs.  More downs than ups.  But that made the ups really vibrant.

I was driving on West Broad Street yesterday because I missed the exit for I70 East which would have gotten me home much faster.  

It offered an opportunity to take in the scenes that are Columbus.  The old neighborhoods.  Poverty.  Insanity.  Bulldozers.  Old cars. Shiny new cars.  Brick buildings. Dirt and concrete.

Sitting at a red light I looked north to shiny blue letters on a barely visible building because of the trees.  But I could read the words the letters formed.


I don’t have cancer.  I have never had cancer.  My kids are healthy and thriving. I didn’t need to put on my turn single and pull into that lot.

Gratitude entered every cell of my body.  And I felt it.  Really felt it.  


Maybe not spotless.  But living.

Thank you for your comments this week.  They’ve lifted me up.

Now, I’m going to a softball game.

Disclosures and Policies

Sperk* is a personal project of Kimberly Speranza.  All views, thoughts, and ideas expressed are solely Kimberly Speranza’s and do not reflect the views or opinions of any organization or business.

Kimberly Speranza is not paid or in any way compensated by the companies whose products and services are reviewed on Sperk*.

There are Google AdSense units on this blog. Those ad units and widgets may contain tracking cookies.
Google AdSense does track user interaction with advertising units.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Vyvanse is a Bitch

I have ideas. One is to tell you about the day I went downtown to the court house for my divorce. Another is to tell you I have been depressed all week.  And yet another is to tell you my Chihuahua’s nails need cut.

I can get it together.

I will get it together.

I have ADHD.  I was diagnosed three years ago, maybe four.  I was prescribed Vyvanse and I took it.  And it worked.

But last week I started having chest pains.  So I stopped taking it.

I am in the midst of devising a plan to manage my ADHD. There are ways and resources.  I’m checking them all out—twice.

In the meantime the withdrawal from the Vyvanse has been a bitch.  I'm, like, depressed.  And can't get anything done.  And the thing about ADHD is that it affects the self-esteem because I don't, like, finish anything and I start a sentence, insert the word like, and forget what I was saying.  At the end of the day I feel like shit.  Nothing done.

Stay tuned.  We’re going somewhere from here.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Head over Heels with Happiness

Yes, it’s summer. Yes, my girls are awesome.  Yes, I’m going to BlogHer ’12.  But I’m kind of in a frump-grump mood.

I know just the thing to get me out of it—Contemplating Happiness.

Yes, the act of contemplating happiness is sure to move me towards joy, but I’m talking about the person behind the blog Contemplating Happiness.  

She chose me for the Very Inspirational Blogger award.

And yes, the award has inspired me.  Her blog inspires me, too.  It’s one of few that I subscribe to via email.  You should, too, or at the very least go read a bit of it.  Or better yet, all of it.

Accolades and awards come with responsibility.  Here’s the rules for accepting the Very Inspirational Blogger award:

I.   Share seven things about myself
II.  Pass the award on to 15 other bloggers

Seven Things about Myself

I. I have not yet planted my summer annuals
 and it bugs me

II. I hate wearing underwear

III. I am a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan

IV. I have been to over 25 Dave Matthews Band concerts 

V. I was first runner-up in
1987 Senior Miss Dance Ohio

VI. I can walk on my hands

VII.  I wish I could get away with dressing like

And now, I bestow the Very Inspiring Blogger Award upon the following:
The Mommy Padawan
The G is Silent
Stacey Gill Ink
The Dose of Reality
The Pish Posh
Holding Hands with the Muse
This Weblog is Unique. Just Like They All Are.
Angela Shelton
Taking It On
House TalkN
My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog
Scribblesaurus Me
The Authentic Life
South Main Muse
Pohlkotte Press
aidan donnelley rowley

If you have already gotten this award, congrats on getting it again.  You deserve it.  If it's your first time, congrats, you deserve it.  If you haven't gotten this award, but you're reading Sperk*, congrats, you deserve it.

Note:  all blogs contained in this list I have come to know through yeah write.  Erica, you rock and I love you.

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photo credit: mtsofan via photo pin cc
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Wednesday's Woman: Zainab Salbi

Women for Women

This week’s Wednesday’s Woman comes to you from Sperk*’s monthly contributor, Anna Mahler who writes at The Mommy Padawan.  She shares my passion for recognizing women who have seen suffering and have taken it upon themselves to do something about it.  This week her choice for Wednesday’s Woman is no different.

Anna Mahler
I consider Anna my friend—a friend who not only shares the desire to bring these amazing women into awareness, but also a friend who is always there for me, even when it’s tough for me to accept and reciprocate. 

After you read her Wednesday’s Woman submission, visit her space in the Web, The Mommy Padawan.  Padawan means student.  But she is also a teacher, a teacher who has taught me a lot and I am grateful.

Wednesday’s Woman – Zainab Salbi

"I find it amazing that the only group of people who are not fighting and not killing and not pillaging and not burning and not raping, and the group of people who are mostly — though not exclusively — who are keeping life going in the midst of war, are not included in the negotiating table.” (Zainab Salbi on women and war)

Zainab Salbi

I was introduced to Women for Women International after learning about Lisa Shannon and the work she has been doing to women in the DR of Congo. I wanted to learn more and find out what I could do to help. This is where I learned about Women for Women International and the programs they have for sponsoring women in the Congo and other countries in need.

Reading through the website, learning about their programs and even the vision of the organization is truly inspiring:
Our VisionWomen for Women International envisions a world where no one is abused, poor, illiterate or marginalized; where members of communities have full and equal participation in the processes that ensure their health, well-being and economic independence; and where everyone has the freedom to define the scope of their life, their future and strive to achieve their full potential. (source)
Screenshot via TED
Once I dug a little deeper and started reading about Zainab Salbi, I was truly blown away.
Zainab Salbi is the founder of Women for Women International and has served as the CEO from 1993 to 2011.

Zainab was born in 1969 and was no stranger to living with a war at your doorsteps.  "I was born in Baghdad and lived there until I was 19," she says. "I learned to coexist with war. You wake up with the sound of a missile hitting a neighbor, and you say, 'OK, it's not me today.' And you go back to sleep." (source)

Zainab started Women for Women at the age of 23 with $2,000 from her wedding. A newlywed, she and her husband skipped their honeymoon and flew to Croatia after hearing reports on the news of refugee and rape camps.  Once there, they spent months helping women survivors and Zainab gathered information to help her create Women for Women International.

I personally can't imagine being that young and having the strength, maturity and bravery to make the choices and take the actions this woman did. And if that is not inspiring enough, visit the home page of her website,
I was born and raised in Iraq, I lived and worked in many war zones, I encountered displacement, I tasted loss, death and pain, and I believe! I believe in the possibilities of change. I believe in joy, in laughter and in dancing until the end. I believe in love and in forgiveness, and I am a witness to the possibility of healing. It is TIME for the new story to emerge. Welcome to my website.
To have lived and seen so much pain and loss and still have that much hope, positivity and love in your heart is incredible, it is a miracle and a blessing for each person who comes across it.

From Women for Women:
Since 1993, the organization has helped 316,000 women survivors of wars access social and economic opportunities through a program of rights awareness training, vocational skills education and access to income generating opportunities, thereby ultimately contributing to the political and economic health of their communities.

Zainab Salbi: Women, wartime and the dream of peace

photo credit: WeNews via photo pin cc
photo credit: WeNews via photo pin cc

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Save It for Later: Father's Day and Jerry Sandusky

Save It for Later is a weekly roundup of items I find around the Web that I find worth sharing.  I use the term  "weekly" lightly, as I have not been exactly consistent it getting this posted.  In an attempt to turn over a new blogging leaf, I am back at it and on Father's Day.

Father's Day is not a fun one for me.  As some of you know, my father is a child molester and I was one of his victims.  I know I am not alone in experiencing mixed emotions during Father's Day and some have different reasons than my own.  However, there are some great dads out there and they deserve to be honored.  If you are one of those dads, and you know who are even if you did not receive a new drill or tie, Happy Father's Day.  Keep up the good work.  Your kids need you.  You are significant in their lives and you must never forget it--even on your worst of days.

Father's Day and Money

According to the History Channel American’s spend 1 billion dollars each year on Father’s Day gifts.  That’s a lot of money.  I am sure many dads deserve to be honored with gifts on this designated day to honor, but I can think of many more deserving ways to spend that much money.

If we took the money we spent on Father’s Day gifts and gave it to an organization that supports the prevention of child abuse, we could make an impact on moving towards eliminating child abuse.  This would result in world full good dads, dads who as children grew up in supportive environments.

I am not saying the good dads out there do not deserve to be honored.  They do.  But how about cooking up a good breakfast with items you already have in your refrigerator and finding a piece of paper and pen and making a handmade card with a poem authored by the kids?

I think the same should be done for Mother’s Day, too.  Little girls who grow up in supportive environments grow up to be supportive moms.

Also, preventing child abuse is good for the economy.

According to the Pew Charitable Trust, child abuse costs our nation 103.8 billion dollars a year:

The $103.8 billion cost of child abuse and neglect includes more than $33 billion in direct costs for foster care services, hospitalization, mental health treatment, and law enforcement.  Indirect costs of over $70 billion include loss of productivity, as well as expenditures related to chronic health problems, special education, and the criminal justice system. (source)

Loss of productivity impacts the economy as does tax dollars spent on foster care services and the criminal justice system.  So what would happen if we all took just a little of that Father’s Day gift money and donated it to an organization that works to prevent child abuse?  What would happen if we all took time after making our donations to learn how to prevent child abuse?   We could make a difference. 

The financial costs of child abuse is substantial, but let’s not forget the cost that is immeasurable—pain and suffering that lasts a lifetime:

. . .it is impossible to calculate the impact of the pain, suffering, and  reduced quality of life that victims of child abuse and neglect experience.  These “intangible losses”, though difficult to quantify in monetary terms, are real and should not be overlooked.  Intangible losses, in fact, may represent the largest cost component of violence against children and should be taken into account when allocating resources. (PCAAmerica)
Here are some organizations that work to prevent child abuse, could use your donation, and can provide you with information to learn to prevent child abuse:

Jerry Sandusky Stands Trial

Jerry Sandusky
Jerry Sandusky who is accused of 52 counts of molesting 10 boys over 14 years maintains his innocence.  His trial began on Monday June 11 wherein testimony from The Sandusky 8, the victims in the trial, was damaging to Sandusky at best.  At some point in the coming week, Sandusky himself is to take the stand in his own defense.  The defense is claiming the victims are in pursuit of financial gain and plan to have an expert testify that Sandusky has a psychiatric disorder—histrionic psychiatric disorder—that caused him to seek the boys attention.  Meaning, he wasn’t really grooming them so that he could rape them he just needed friends.

As uncomfortable as it is, it’s important to stay aware of what transpires during the Sandusky trial.  The Pennsylvania Coalition against Rape (PCAR) has invaluable resources available that parents, school officials, government officials, and anyone concerned with the effects of child abuse on our society should read.  It’s not a short list, so if you just have time for one, be sure to read Talking Points: Child Sexual Abuse.  At the very least, we all should be talking about it.  You can also follow the PCAR blog and real time updates via Twitter from PCAR during the trial.

Keep in mind, although difficult, incredibly difficult, it is possible to heal from child sexual abuse.  In response the hearing victims testimony during the Sandusky trial, Chris Carlton wrote an inspiring piece expressing support for the victims:

So, where does that leave me? Well…hopeful. Not for me—I feel like one of the lucky ones; I’ve found help. I’m hopeful for the men who have yet to reach out for help because what they need is right at their fingertips. The resources they believe are unattainable are within sight. The next three weeks of media bombardment need not be sustained alone and without defense—the bunker is much stronger, much larger and much fuller than anyone might think. To feel less alone and to get a glimpse at some of the millions strong in this bunker, visit
 Be sure to click the link above and read the entire post.  After, visit 1 in 6.  Learn about child sexual abuse.  Information is empowering.  When empowered, we can be a force of prevention.

Happy Father's Day.

read to be read at

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday's Woman: Being of the Same Journey

Kindred Adventures

Laverne is creating her own path in the blogosphere along with her best friend at Kindred Adventures—trying not to get lost, breakdown or run out of gas . . . embracing life’s adventures, collecting souvenirs (lots of them) and sometimes expressing her penchant for humility by asking for directions.

Kindred Adventures
The journey analogy is apt for Laverne.  Through her writing, she allows us to be witness as she grows, changes, and becomes the woman she aspires to be.  Her Mother’s Day inspired post, Your Gift to Me, clearly illuminates the fruits of her journey and our important role within it as readers.  

However, sometimes, we stand alone, facing ourselves in the mirror, forgetting where we’ve been and how far we’ve come.  We forget to honor ourselves.

Today’s Wednesday’s Woman is a reminder from Laverne and I am grateful she chose to provide it for us.

Honor your journey.  

Celebrate it. 

You are today’s Wednesday’s Woman.

Wednesday's Woman
by Laverne at Kindred Adventures

The rising sun’s glowing rays snuck through the blinds.  While its embrace warmed her face it was a bright reminder that morning had arrived.  With a deep sigh she sat up rubbing the remnants of last nights sleep from her eyes.  She sighed again.  This time it was long and deep.  It was another day.  She lazily turned toward the edge of the bed placing her feet on the floor.  She sat a moment longer still letting it all register. A new day was here.  Wasting no more time with sighs, she embraced the day she headed to the bathroom.  She entered the bathroom and her reflection in the mirror suddenly grabbed her attention. 

Her reflection brought pause to her routine and caused her to stare back at herself. The small circles under her eyes reflected the nights she had spent writing and sharing parts of herself.  The strands of gray hair that peaked out from her hairline reminded others of her years of experience.  The wrinkles that floated on her skin had not been come by easily.  They had been earned by survival.  Her lips still red and rich with color showed the youth and energy she still possessed.  Her eyes held a spark that no amount of time could remove.  Their gaze ensured she would always see the inner strength in herself and in others.  Her breathing slowed and deepened.  The mirror sometimes teased her and played games with her confidence.  Today it told the truth.  It told her exactly who she was.

Today it told her she is strong, she is resourceful and she is a fighter.  She has a story that is worth being told.  That it didn’t matter if her job was being in charge of keeping world peace or teaching a stubborn toddler to use the potty.  We all start each day the same.  It reminded her that she is a survivor, passionate, supportive and compassionate.  Most of all it told her she is important, she is special, she has value and no matter what she matters.  She is Wednesday’s Women and her life and her story makes each of our lives richer, stronger and more incredible!  

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's Good to Be Curious about Mister Rogers

It's time for Monday Listicles, the blogging meme hosted by the beautiful photographer extraordinaire, Stasha at The Good Life!

Today's theme for the list comes from writers Erin and Ellen, over at one of my favorite blogs, Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms.  The theme is Things that Make You Go Hmm.

I had several lists for this one.  I cannot emphasize the word several enough for you.

Then I thought, "Well, how great it is to be curious about so many things."

And of course, my next thought was Mister Rogers.

Remember his song, Garden of Your Mind?

PBS digital studios recently remixed  the tune and created an accompanying video using the Symphony of Science favorite formula of pitch correction of spoken words over an original music track.

The video made my 13 year old go, "Hmm,"  not because of the fascinating pitch correction, but because of the vintage television footage.  Her words exactly?

It's creepy.

I have to agree with her.  Although, it does bring back fond memories of the days when my older sister was away at kindergarten and I was keeping my eye on my mom napping on the couch so I could sneak into the kitchen, climb on the counter, and steal a Hostess Cupcake out of the cupboard.  With that chocolate goodness and Mister Rogers as my pal, everything in my world was right.

I digress.

Although, the video brings back fond memories of TV-time as a tot, it made me go hmm.

What do you think?  (don't let my 13 year old's judgment scare you)

The best way to spend Monday in the blogosphere!

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Friday, June 8, 2012

However: I'm Going to BlogHer '12!

It’s Friday! And it’s the first official day of Summer Break 2012. 

This morning I drove from Bexley to Dublin and back to Bexley (Ohio, not Europe) carting the kids from a sleepover to their dads for some swim-time in his fabulous pool. 

As I traveled the outerbelt of Columbus, I was thinking, “I hope I don’t spend my entire summer driving I-270.”

Then I remembered.  I won’t.  At some point--in August to be exact--I’ll be in New York City for BlogHer ’12.

I am finding words to describe how it is I became able to attend BlogHer ’12 difficult to attain.  The “feeling” side of my brain wants to tell you one thing and my “thinking” side wants to tell you another.  Typically I can get them to converge in a space that triggers my fingers to type, but today, that’s not the case.

I’m not one to ask for help.  I should be.  Everyone should be.  In fact, I often tell my girls, “If you need help, ask.”

After this experience, I’m sure I will be a pro at acquiring help.


Fear is fading.  Fast.

Oh yes, Sperk* is the Fearless examination of life with two adolescent daughters and I have been fully committed to truth in this space.  Bringing it honestly requires confident clicks of the tab labeled “publish” and, thanks to your supportive comments, your rally of empathetic cheers, I am used to braving that task. 

However, in life without a computer screen . . . let’s just say my confidence level doesn’t quite mirror what you read.

Soon, however, I will have no choice but to be fearless in person.

In response to my post describing my experience of being named a BlogHer 2012 Voices of the Year Honoree, I was offered, via a Twitter direct message, a BlogHer ’12 pass from a blogger who cannot attend the conference.

I did not say “Yes” right away because although I was thrilled, I was also confused and afraid. 

I came up with excuses to say, “No,” and I had some good ones—accommodations in New York City are expensive and traveling to New York City is expensive.

Then I received an email from a blogger who lives close to New York City.  She offered me her couch.

The one last excuse, the cost of travel, became irrelevant because I do own a car.  

No reason to say "No."

But I still wanted to.

Then I engaged in a fearless self-examination of the inexplicable fear driving me to shy away from these kind, self-less offers.  I was lead back to PTSD:

For them, the excitement of success feels uncomfortably close to the feeling of arousal they experienced when subjected to a traumatic event or multiple events . . . People who have experienced trauma may associate the excitement of success with the same physiological reactions as trauma . . . And many of us-especially if we've been subject to verbal abuse-have been told we were losers our whole lives, in one way or another. We have internalized that feedback and feel that we don't deserve success. (Susanne Babbel, Ph.D., M.F.T.)

I said “Yes,” to both offers.

I won’t let it have me.

It’s had me too long.

I’m still afraid.  I’m still confused. 


I’m willing to be true to Sperk’s tagline and be fearless.  In person.  For real.

Thank you, Ashley Taylor (A Dose of Reality), for offering me your BlogHer '12 pass.

Thank you, Stacey Gill  (Stacy Gill Ink), for offering your couch.

I accept with gratitude for you both and for my readers.  I accept with gratitude in honor of my truth.

photo credit:  freya.gefn via flickr cc

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