WEverb11: Befriend

Have you heard about WEverb11? It’s a site started by some of my online friends, and you can read a full description here. To summarize, WEverb provides a prompt, and then you write about it. I like the idea because it’s not only fun to see how many interpretations there are for the prompts (endless), but also because the prompts tend to be geared toward introspection and reflection. You can even include badges like this one in your post or on your site.

I wanted to kick off my participation (no guarantees on how frequently I’ll join in) with today’s prompt because I so appreciated Mandy’s Thanksgiving shoutout to me. I want to spend some time spreading the love as well.


Did you meet any new friends this year? How did they impact your 2011?

First shoutout goes to my in-person friend Paige. Iv’e mentioned her a few times. She lives 4 floors below me, has two kids (one who is T1’s age), and a husband in business school like mine. Somehow I don’t have a single picture of/with her, something I need to fix ASAP. We can talk for hours, and I really don’t know how I lived without her for an entire year. She’s passionate about natural birth (is currently 8 months pregnant with her third), teaching a Chicago Hypnobabies course and also somehow finding time to make and sell baby wearing wraps as well. We do babysitting swaps constantly and I’ll be sad to leave her behind next year when business school is over. Paige taught me that now matter how awesome my online friends are (so many of you are so incredibly dear to me) having someone in real life to depend on, laugh and cry with, is essential.

Recently I started emailing back and forth with Grace. Her blog title, Opinionation, fits her writing style and personality perfectly. She lives in Southeast Asia with her husband and baby girl, which of course makes for some really fascinating posts about culture, but what I love most are her thoughts on motherhood and marriage. Her writing style is  frank, extremely pragmatic, and at times brutally honest. I know at least once she has written a post in response to mine, directly contradicting what I said! At first that kind of annoyed me, but now it’s one of the things I love most about her. She probably doesn’t even know how much I love her blog since I never take the time to comment. 🙂 I was going back through to try to pick out a handful of favorite posts, and ended up opening like 30 tabs. Hand down my favorite is Sexless Marriages, but I also highly reccomend Marriage Is Not “Hard Work”, What I Don’t Like About MotherhoodI Love My Husband More than My Child, and My Parenting Style. She makes me think.

Emily Kate of Second Story Window lives in Las Vegas. We do most of our talking on Twitter, and I’ve told her several times I want her to become best friends with Mandy because they both live in Vegas. Apparently I have an interest in matchmaking friendships with my favorite internet ladies. I have a post filled with pictures of activities/games/toys I’ve been using with T1 lately sitting in my drafts folder, and most of them were inspired by her. She has several really fantastic Pinterest boards filled with baby and toddler activities if you’re looking for ways to entertain your kid. Interacting with Emily has caused me to think about new and different ways to maximize my one-on-one time with T1.

Danielle of my dear hearts loves food like I do. In an all-consuming “I’ll-devote-any-extra-money-we-have-to-ONE-unbelievable-dinner” sort of way. She taught me about Chowhound and drank single sourced cocoa bean hot chocolate with me in Boston.

Jackie of Blueberries for Me and I have one really unique thing in common. We both have been diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis. I haven’t dealt with any symptoms since my surgery in high school, but whenever she tweets about her struggles I feel her pain. We certainly aren’t the same though, as she is Catholic and writes about her faith similar to the way I use my blog on Sundays to share more about mine. I always enjoy her comments (she’s like Grace in that she’s not afraid to disagree with me) and when I think about her blog two posts in particular come to mind: Good food: how much more does it cost? and this supremely awesome one titled Ten things to donate to a homeless shelter besides your old socks that absolutely everyone must read (teaser: stop giving away clothing that is covered in stains or filled with holes, even the homeless don’t want to wear stuff like that).

Caitlin of Healthy Tipping Point has written several books, runs a website that has inspired an entire movement toward more self-love, blogs what she eats on a daily basis (she taught me about chia seeds!), and is a great resource whenever I have questions about running. Because she’s so busy I find it extra-special when she’s willing to email back and forth with me about the highs and lows that can sometimes come with blogging. I thought I was over pregnancy updates for the time being, but she’s expecting her first in June and I love the way her updates facilitate discussion on a range of topics.

I almost feel a little bit bad writing this list, because I’m of course going to leave people out. Please don’t think you mean any less to me if you aren’t mentioned here (especially long time friends like Sophia, Katy, Erin, Cristin, Janssen, Lisa, Christiana, EmmieKelli, Natalie, Nodakademic, and so many others who didn’t technically fall under the umbrella of “newly befriended this year”. I’ll stop because now I feel guilty thinking there are others I didn’t include in *this* list). I love you all (both listed and not listed*).

Are you going to participate in WEverb11? Don’t worry if you didn’t start at the beginning. You can either go back and catch up, start with today’s prompt and move forward, or just write about the prompts that interest you most.

*Seriously, last time I will ever clarify that I can’t possibly list everyone. I promise.


Thousands of Lanterns Floating Over Poland

I’ve got a big day planned for today. I’m trying to break into the high school senior photography market, but I as of yet don’t really have any sessions under my belt. So I offered to do a free session for a girl in the area, if she agreed to do it all on my terms. 🙂 We’re leaving the house at 5:30 am to photograph on a farm with bunting and a Yurt and laundry hanging on the line to dry and an Airstream and chickens and vegetables and a greenhouse and all sorts of other lovely things. Then we are going to come home and rest and recover before going outside for the evening shoot, complete with evening gown and (hopefully) an old house and lots of experimenting with off-camera-flash.

If I don’t want to get overwhelmed by all of that, I need to take a breather and look at something relaxing. This video, one of the most enchanting scenes I’ve ever seen, should do the trick.

11,000 Lanterns Floating Over Poland – Watch more Funny Videos

I absolutely must see something like this in person before I die. How can I make this happen?

Mean Stinks (Seriously)

Caitlin of Healthy Tipping Point wrote about the Secret deodorant Mean Stinks campaign, aimed at combating bullying by encouraging girls to “be nice behind someone’s back”. Caitlin is all about positive energy (have you seen the Operation Beautiful site?) and today on her blog she left me a sweet compliment, then asked her commenters to be nice behind someones back in the comment section of her post.

I loved her thoughtfulness so much I decided to participate as well!

The darling girl you see to the right of me in this photo is Anni of Lincoln Park on A Lark. I love her because of her sweet little blog, her interest in photography, and her fabulous fashion sense (as evidenced in her engagement photos). Oh and she is the kind of vegan that makes me think I could actually do being a vegan without suffering too much!

I’d love to have you help continue Caitlin’s participating in the Mean Stinks movement*. Play along on Facebook, write your own blog post saying something nice about another blogger, or comment below and be nice behind someone’s back!

*Secret didn’t ask me to write any of this. They have no idea who I am. 🙂 I just loved the idea and wanted to spread the happiness that Caitlin tipped my way when she posted about me this morning!

That Lovely #3: Sleep Mask

Do you own a sleep mask? If the answer is no, I would ask you to reconsider the way you are living your life thus far. I think between That Husband and myself we own at least 5. We each keep one under our pillow at home, I always have on with me when I travel… you get the idea.

This particular mask was purchased right before I went to Rome with That Mother. As soon as TH tried it out for himself he made me trade him! IMG_5434

It’s something about the silky material, and the sweet little eye pockets that help block out the light.


What do you use to help you sleep better at night?