Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No Wrapping Required

I'm certain that everyone can relate to the dilemma of the trivial gift exchange, the ornament exchange or the Secret Santa.  You know... extended family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, groups you belong to and more.  So many people try to keep it trivial as in "You can't spend more than $5" while others keep it simple by making it a white elephant exchange.  It's all stuff.

And while I appreciate that it is all about the thought, I'm trying to get out of the habit of acquiring stuff that I don't need.  I'm trying to change my mindset and get rid of things when I'm emotionally ready to do so.

So when a member of Collective Bias inquired if anyone wanted to do a Secret Santa or an Ornament Exchange, I politely declined.  Instead, I offered up an alternative.  How about a virtual exchange where we take a little time to get to know a fellow member and share a little about that person.  After all, it doesn't cost anything, doesn't need to be wrapped, doesn't require shipping, doesn't leave a carbon footprint and it doesn't add clutter to a closet.

One member coordinated it and assigned each of us a colleague.  I was lucky enough to draw Eliza of Home Mom 3 who I didn't realize was so diverse!  In addition to The Life of a Home Mom, she writes for Tom Cruise Watch and Sales Weekly both of which she started in 2008 and Babies in the News which is a little younger.

But how did she get her start and when?  Well, Eliza has been freelancing for years and put roots into her blog in 2005 when she logged on to tell about the gifts her daughter received for her birthday.  Her blog has evolved in the years since that to include everything from Wordless Wednesday photo posts to giveaways to more personal stories

Why did she start blogging?  Well, Eliza was the wife of a deployed soldier - making her fill the role of both mom and dad.  Her blog was a way to share their life from afar.  (BTW - Mr. HomeMom3, Thank you for all the years of service you gave to our country.)

I've known Eliza for quite a while.  If I recall correctly, she was among my first blog friends.  She's one of those bloggers who leaves comments because she feels moved to... because she cares... and not because she's trying to improve the stats on her own blog.  She's someone who is a friend of mine on Facebook that I actually enjoy chatting with!  And she's among the people I look forward to meeting in person someday.

In order to participate in this roast, we were asked for some tidbits about ourselves and Eliza shared that she's inspired by frogs.  Actually, she specifically said "I believe my "muse" is a 6ft tall frog, at the age of 26 I went out and got a tattoo of a frog on my right shoulder blade. He looks very much like the WB frog but in a jester's outfit."  Frogs have been her thing since she was a kid.  Good thing, because with all the leaping and jumping that she's had to do as the mom of 4 and military wife, she's needed the role model!

Merry Christmas, Eliza.  You're a great blogger and a wonderful person.  I'm proud to call you my colleague but even happier to call you my friend.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Holding Hands 45 Years Later

Dear Mom and Dad - 

It's funny the things that stick in your head...

When I was in high school, I remember sitting at a wrestling meet at North Scott High School.  Donna D. and I were hanging out, chatting in-between matches when she said something that I think of often.  I don't recall the exact words but it was something like this:

"Your parents are so cute.  Look at them. They still hold hands."

We looked at the two of you from a distance and watched as you held hands while sitting next to each other on the bleachers.  You would chat and smile.  Donna and I talked about how obvious it was that you were still so much in love with each other.

That was some 25 years ago but I have no doubt that Donna and I could have that exact same conversation today.

At Don and Sandi's 50th wedding anniversary party, Sandy told me that we were one of the most memorable couples they had for marriage preparations.  Mainly because of something I said to her during those sessions. She asked me what I wanted in a marriage and my response was "I want one like my mom and dad."  Certainly I don't recall saying it but I absolutely can hear myself saying it.  It's something that I've felt for a long time... maybe spurred by the conversation Donna and I had so many years before that.

If there's one thing you've done, it's to be models for a loving relationship.  You hold hands, joke and giggle like a couple of newlyweds.

It's wonderful having parents who are still in love 45 years after they got married!

Happy 45th Anniversary.