Living on the edge

11 Jun

After running a quick errand the other day, I came home to find my fourteen year old putting on her choir gear.

“Um, do you have a concert tonight?” I asked.

She looked at me, mirroring my “Oh crap” look.  “I told you last week….”

Shoot. I forgot. And to be completely honest, I’d been having a long week at that point and the last thing I wanted to do was sit through a concert.

“Oh, I have a solo in one of the songs!” she piped up.  “If you come…”

She babbled on excitedly about things but I had stopped at the word “If…”  My girl was giving me an out.  So of course, I doubled efforts to be there.  I dropped her off, went home, and decided to grab Maura.  Maura, who had decided dirt would make a good facial.  Five baby wipes and a sundress later, Maura was presentable.

We got there just as the choir was about to start.  Knowing Maura’s unpredictability, and not wanting to be that person who clambers through half the audience to get to the free seats, I decided we’d just hang in the foyer.  Maura wasn’t too thrilled to be there, but as soon as the choir started singing, she stood still, listening.

Music really does soothe the savage beast.

After the first song, Maura let out a whoop, and I saw her sister’s head peek out from her row with a smile.  Maura yelled “Mim!” at her sister, who I could image just rolled her eyes as she smiled.  Maura decided now was a good time to stomp about, and I had to remind her that even her feet needed to be quiet, even if the acoustics in the foyer were awesome. The singing started up again, and once again, Maura stood, transfixed by the music.

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And so we spent another thing where we stood just on the edge of the action, slightly in the outskirts.  Just close enough to enjoy, but just far enough away as to not disturb anyone and make a quick exit if need be.

So much of my life with Maura has been on the edges of things, in foyers and aisle seats and nearest to the exit.  Sometimes, it’s because I want to make sure others aren’t disturbed by us.  Other times, it’s because it’s the best place for Maura.  Most of the time, it’s a compromise – “Maura, if you let me sit through this, we’ll just stay out here so you can actually be happy too and I can actually see what’s going on instead of spending half my time convincing you to be quiet/still.”

We live on the edge, but not in the way the songs go on about. That night, at the choir concert, I stood out there with Maura in the foyer for the sake of her sister, so that Maura didn’t do anything horribly embarrassing.  Everyone would know it was her sister since Maura tends to shout for her whenever she sees her beloved big sister.  Case in point – when it came time for the soloists, the group of four stepped down to the microphones to start the song.  When their part was done, they turned to take their places discreetly…and Maura spotted her sister.

“MIM!” she shouted. And her sister just smiled, as she does when this happens. I’m sure at some point she was all “Oh, that’s just my sister, she does that.”

We may live on the edge of things, but we are not quiet about it.

Being crafty

4 Jun

So while wasting time perusing Pinterest, I came across this –

linked on Pinterest from Delicious Designs

linked on Pinterest from Delicious Designs

 

My first thought was “Wow, that would be cute in the girls bathroom or the teen girl’s room!”

And since I’m a crafty girl in all definitions of the word, my next thought “Why try to find the print for $20 when I could make it myself with $86 worth of craft supplies???”

So I did.

Step One - get ALL the things

Step One – get ALL the things

So I got a canvas and some rainbow craft paint and then coordinating glitter – because anything awesome should be sparkly, right?  I also got stick down letters, with the idea of being able to stick them down, then paint over them

Yeah, this would have worked better if the sticky letters stuck to the canvas better.  Instead, the letters kept trying to roll upwards, so I had to be careful with painting.

Step Two - slapping paint on...carefully...

Step Two – slapping paint on…carefully…

I did manage to get through that stage without screwing up badly.  FYI, it took almost an entire little bottle of craft paint and two coats of paint to get to this stage.

Step Three - reveal thyself!

Step Three – reveal thyself!

All in all, it came out decently.  There were little wobbly bits to the edges which my perfectionist side yelled “FIX IT!  MAKE ALL THE LINES EVEN!”  But then the other side of me said “Hey, being awesome doesn’t mean being perfect.  You can be imperfect and awesome.  Keep the wobbly lines in there!”

And so I did.

With that in mind, I added color.  Pretty color.

Step Four - Color!

Step Four – Color!

This part was probably the most delicate part of the process because I was trying to be very careful to stay within the lines and not screw things up at this stage.  But I didn’t screw up, so it was time to sparkle.

Step Five - Glitterbombing.

Step Five – Glitterbombing.

So in buying all the paint and all the glitter, I learned that Martha Stewart also makes glitter glue.  Not glittery glue.  Glue made specifically for glitter.  So I slapped on the glue quickly, then sprinkled the glitter on.  I did every other letter, waited for it to dry, then did the others, so I wouldn’t mix up the glitter colors.  Once dry, I carefully brushed off all the glitter so it wouldn’t look like a My Little Pony exploded all over my dining room table.

Step Six - Admire

Step Six – Admire

As I was finishing up, the teen girl came in and eyed it.  “Is that for Maura?”

“No.”

“The boys?”

“Nope.”

“For me?” she said with a hopeful edge in her voice.

“Yes.”

“Squee!”  (no, seriously, she made that squealing teen girl noise – which is okay, she’s a teen girl.)

“Not that you need reminding – you’re already awesome.”

“I know.” she said with a laugh and a hair flip, self-confident little creature that she is.

And looking at it now…I’m realizing there’s no apostrophe.  I wonder if it’s necessary….and if it should be glittery…

 

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“Don’t tell them you blog”

3 Jun

It’s time to admit – when it comes to blogging, I don’t know a lot.  I just sort of hang out here, in my own little couch fort of a blog, making shadow puppets with a flashlight for my own amusement.  Or at least, that’s how I feel lately.

Because after years of blogging, I’ve ventured out into the blog world.  And I’ve been surprised.  I really had no clue all of what happens in the broader blog world out there.

Like, for instance, I had no clue that you could sign up to get free stuff to talk about on your blog.  And by “free stuff”, I don’t mean a tester of soap or a new granola bar – but like a car.  A freaking car!  To use for a week or month, then talk about how amazing it was to have.  I’ve learned the definitions of “social influencer” and “lifestyle blogger” and realize I’m not really either of those – not by social media definition.  I’ve discovered there are tons of blogging conferences out there, way more than the three or four I thought there were, but they have sessions like “How to define your brand!”.

Of course, then I get distracted by all this.  A brand?  I’m supposed to have a brand?  What would my brand look like – a toilet with a high five symbol?  A person being nibbled to death by ducks?  Ironically, my brand wouldn’t have a single photo of a cat – but maybe my tiny dog dressed as a cat.

There’s also courses on how to take better photos for your blog…because apparently, one of the keys to blog success is having pretty photos.

*glances around at not-that-crappy iPhone photos…shrugs…*

But learning about all this suddenly makes so many things more clear to me.  Like why any blogger needs a “PR Friendly” info page.  Or why they feel the need to schedule posts three times a week, and schedule tweets and have the latest stats on how many followers they have on all the social medias. Or why they hashtag everything. #justpooped

It also explains why, a while ago, when I was at a writer’s conference, someone said “Don’t tell them you blog.”

At the time, I thought it was weird.  Blogging for me was just an extension of writing.  Part of why I started blogging was so I could keep my writing skills fresh, get into a more daily habit of writing.  I was quietly proud of my little couch fort on the internet, and had received a lot of lovely feedback on it.  Why shouldn’t I tell people I blog?

Because in some circles, bloggers aren’t seen as writers – or so I was told.

I still didn’t get it.  Maybe because the blogs I kept up with were more like mine – people writing.  I had no clue about the greater universe out there in the blog world.

I understand better now.

Does this mean I now have a superiority complex about my blog?  Good lord no. It also doesn’t mean I’m going to start promoting lip balms or sneakers in return for free stuff, mainly because I know I’d sound so fake…”Mmmmm…this cocoa mint lip balm was a delish bomb of fabulousness that made my lips feel like they were on a tropical cruise – I would totally buy this shit!”. (I took a couple advertising and PR classes in college, does it show?)

I’m also not saying that I’m looking down my nose at other blogs who do this – lord knows, my Pinterest board would out me, because I’ve pinned lots of stuff that comes from other blogs – recipes, crafts, diy stuff, how to do your hair like you’re an actual grown up. Sometimes, I look at a blog and it’s beautiful pictures of loveliness, and it’s just relaxing and inspiring and makes me actually consider getting out the real camera to take photos with.  Then I remember that right now, my choices are that I can either write or take pretty pictures, but I don’t have time for both.  So you get lots of not-so-crappy iPhone pictures instead.

My one hang-up though is the term “social influencer” – it seems like a social influencer should be someone using their social media powers for a greater cause.  To me, the social influencers are those bringing awareness to things, like mental illness or disability awareness or the plight of the homeless – not someone promoting the latest must-have for your home. But no one asked me about all that before coining the term.  They should have, obviously.  The fools.

It’s been a learning experience, coming out of my couch fort and really seeing who I share the blogging world with. What I’ve learned though is that, in a way, I’m not so much a blogger but a writer who blogs.  And that’s okay.  There’s a lot of you who like my messy corner of the internet, with its non-existent posting schedule and iPhone photos.  Thank you for putting up with me, and expect more of the same!

Cheers!

Even if they do sell them

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