Friday, March 23, 2012

Does Your Soul Dance?

Pop, Country, Heavy Metal, Punk. If you're breathing and have a pulse, chances are there's a type of music that has you nodding your head, and tapping your toes whenever you hear it. A good beat, some fun lyrics, and the next thing you know, you’ve got your own private dance party.

Or, if your childhood was anything like mine, a dance party in the kitchen during after dinner dishes. Seriously, the best party in town, just ask my siblings!

Music plays a vital role in the human experience. It connects us and helps us express feelings and ideas in a way like no other. Yet even knowing this truth, until recently it hadn’t occurred to me how truly powerful a force music can be.

Have you ever felt your soul dance?

Just before Christmas, Mr. Man and I attended our first Mumford & Sons concert. Fans since first hearing their music on the radio, we impatiently endured the opening acts, until finally the big moment arrived.

The stadium lights went dark, and the jostling crowd was left in total darkness, excited, anticipating, breaths held.  Then, slowly out of the darkness the voices came.

If you can, click the link below before reading on. They opened with this song.

For the first two minutes, we all listened in the dark.  There were no fancy theatrics, no lasers or smoke, just the dark and the melody.  I felt the goose bumps rise, and a strange aching begin in my chest.

As the rhythm quickened, and the beat grew stronger, the stadium flooded with light. There, standing before the crowd, were four average guys, with simple instruments, and strong melodic voices. Singing of love and redemption, singing from their souls.

Love, it will not betray you,
Dismay or enslave you,
It will set you free.
Be more like the man,
You were meant to be.
The beat, the cadence, the words, as I listened the ache in my chest spread to my throat.  My heart raced and I felt close to tears. Nodding my head and tapping my feet, I was struck with a clear and brilliant certainty.  

My soul was dancing.

My background is Scottish, Irish and English, but I never lived in these cultures.   I lived in Newfoundland as a small child, but I don’t remember much.

Yet, this music.  So rooted in the places of my heritage, stirs a longing homesickness in me that I can hardly explain.  The beat of the drums and jig of the fiddle connects to a memory never realized and long forgotten.  When I hear this music, I feel the need to dance and sing and laugh.  To be surrounded by friends and family, raising a glass to health and happiness.
So, the next time you are mindlessly swaying to the rythm of your favorite music, take a moment and really listen.  Maybe, just maybe, if you pay close attention, you'll feel it too.

The pure joy of your soul dancing!

Enjoying the nuances of life,


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bedtime Stalling Tactics

I love L'il Critters! 
As I write this Miss M is yelling my name from the bedroom. This has become the nightly norm.

For many of you the phrase, “Someday I hope you have children, and they’re just like you!” might ring a bell. Not that I was a perfect child, but I can honestly say I never actually heard this uttered.

Yet, here I am. With a child, and she’s JUST. LIKE. ME.

For as long as I can remember I have always had a love hate relationship with sleep. My parents used to say it was my fear that I would miss something really fun that kept me awake. Whatever the reason falling asleep quickly and easily has always been a struggle for me. It seems the minute my head hits the pillow, my brain goes into overdrive, concocting brilliant creative ideas, that leave me plotting and planning late into the night. 

Up until about a year ago Miss M was a champion sleeper. If she was tired she would announce to whoever was listening that she wanted to go “night-night”. Then suddenly some vital developmental switch was flipped and we were introduced to the  Bedtime Stalling Tactics.

Perhaps you recognize a few?

Questions: Once tucked into bed, with parents backing out the door the child will have various life or death, must know the answer now, or they couldn’t possibly go on, incredibly important queries. Miss M’s favorites have to do with if she will be going to her sitter’s in the morning, what we are having for dinner the next night, and most importantly if she will have to take a nap the next day.

Like I said, LIFE OR DEATH!!!

Stuttering: Your previously speech capable child will suddenly develop a stutter while asking the aforementioned “life or death” questions, or in Miss M's style, 

“Wait, Mama! I have to tell you something… um… um... but, but, but.”

Sure that the longer she draws the statement out, the longer she’ll get to stay awake, my cool response is, 

“Enough! Get your BUT to sleep!”

Excessive Affection: Your child will suddenly crave affection as if you were leaving town and never returning. This one’s a tough one, because what parent can possibly turn down a hug and kiss from their child.

Especially one with Working Mom Guilt! Can children smell guilt as well as fear?

As Mr. Man and I are tucking the blankets around her and turning off the reading lamp, Miss M will plead for one more kiss, one more hug, “a BIG hug this time”, lots of kisses…. *sigh*

The Perfect Sleeping Conditions: Suddenly every single aspect of your child’s sleeping environment must be perfect, or they won’t possibly be able to fall asleep. Have you ever heard of "The Princess and The Pea"? Well in our house, we have a Princess, but instead of a stack of mattresses, and teeny tiny legume, we have,

“Mommy the bathroom light needs to be on, and the hallway too, and don’t forget the nightlight... Daddy, door open please, oh… but not that wide, and No! More, that’s not wide enough, and actually I changed my mind, please turn the bathroom light off, and where is my teddy-book-dolly-flashlight-water…”

Then finally we come to the slam dunk of all bedtime excuses,

The Nightmare: Having fertile imaginations and a limited understanding of the world, all children are prone to nightmares. When your child is scared and screaming, any parent will find themselves on their feet in a heartbeat, racing to save the day. Except, when the child figures out it’s an easy way to dodge actually going to sleep. With a stunned look on her face the message is,

“How can you possibly send me back to bed, when I just dreamt of killer teddy bears trying to eat me alive!” 

While Mama’s "heartless" reply is,

“It's only been 3 mins since I kissed you goodnight for the 1 millionth time.  You haven’t had time to  even fallen asleep yet. Nice try short-stack! GO TO BED!”


How about you? Can you relate? Are you a parent who has encountered some seriously ingenious bedtime excuses? Or do you remember throwing some zingers your parents’ way?  The stage is yours, I love hearing your stories!

I’m thinking of investing in a stack of mattresses. At least they would keep her in bed!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy Taboo Tuesday!

It's my very first Taboo Tuesday over at the SKORCH Network, and I'm so excited! This is such a big step for me, and I can't wait to knock it out of the park!

For its debut post, Taboo Talk is challenging the idea of Flattering. Good, bad, empowering, destructive? It's a whole big can of worms, so be sure to pop over and join the conversation!

Jessica invited me to write a column for her online baby, SKORCH, months ago. When she first brought up the idea during one of our bestie lunches, I felt honored. SKORCH has a massive following, and the idea of being trusted with creating content for this well-known brand was thrilling.

And terrifying!

Did you know that procrastination and fear often live together?

Every time I’d start writing an intro, or article for SKORCH, I’d end up snarled in self doubt. Hating every single word I put on the page. Judging, judging, judging….

See over Christmas I had an Ah Ha moment. At a party with family I hadn’t seen in forever, I was making the small talk rounds, participating in the “Where do you work?” and “What are you up to?”, when something inside me kind of clicked.

While listening to my cousins talk about finishing their medical residency, or entering into their masters program, I realized, I wanted something BIG to share.

More than just working as an office assistant, more than just being a wife and mother. I wanted to be a published writer. Someday, I wanted my parents to have the opportunity to brag that their daughter was a published author.

So, starting Jan. 1st, I got serious.

It started with taking a fabulous writing class, that helped me let go of my judging, and get back in touch with my love of writing. It’s amazing how much more easily everything comes when you are having fun!

Then finally, after working hard to build some content, I was ready. Taboo Talk launches today, and I have a few more reveals coming later this month. For the first time in a long time I feel in the zone, inspired and on the brink of something big!

So, in honor of flattering, and all good things to come, I thought I’d share the outtakes from the Taboo Talk photo shoot Jessica and I did on Friday.
Enjoy the laugh,


Waiting during light check... jeez modeling is boring!

Hmmm... how shall I take over the world?

Ohhh, robots! Of course!
Ack!  My nose is itchy!

Must not destroy my make up!

SERIOUSLY! We didn't get the shot yet?!?!
I like to think this is a picture of my soul.  Look it's even glowing!
And then, after all was said and done, an unexpected gem.  I love this picture!  Thank you Jessica!!! XO