Friday, April 22, 2011

“The earth is what we all have in common.”

Happy Earth Day, lovely readers! 

Don't feel bad if you didn't get to do anything awesome like plant a tree or recycle your car; every day is Earth Day, and every day is your new chance! There are a million trillion ways to start taking care of the environment, and some of them are easy. (Some others aren't, it's true--but losing natural resources because we didn't take care of them isn't any easier! Just think of it that way. :) )

I didn't get to do anything epic today, either, but I did see a woman at the Barnes and Noble Starbucks getting her coffee in a mug she brought from home, and that made me pretty happy. All I did was my usual--skipping the plastic bag when I stopped at Target, picking up a little trash here and there, and putting a cardboard box in the recycle bin instead of the trash. 

Here are some great lists of really simple ways to do your part:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Time to Rest

After creating the universe, all the stars, each grain of sand, the humpback whale and the soft-shell crab, even God tired and took a day off.
There's no argument that we humans, who at our best can only create opportunities and at our worst create havoc, need time to rest.

--Maya Angelou, 
Even the Stars Look Lonesome
People--women in particular--are sometimes pretty bad about giving themselves the breaks they need. We get caught up in all the things going on in our lives, all the responsibilities and to-do lists, and we start to think those things are more important than they are.
"I believe that should is one of the most damaging words in our language. Every time we use should, we are, in effect, saying "wrong." Either we are wrong or we were wrong or we are going to be wrong. I don't think we need more wrongs in our life."  
--Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life
I don't think we do, either; most of us already have plenty. I think it's important to learn to focus less on what we think we should be doing, and more on what we need. It's like we're juggling, and each aspect of life is one of the balls; we think they're all made of glass that will shatter if we drop them, but really they're made of rubber (or at least some of them are). We think there are so many things we absolutely must do, but the number of things we really actually have to do is a lot smaller.

It's okay to have to let some things slide every now and then, to take a break when we need to, and to give ourselves a little time to rest. After all, God rested; and who are we to be above his method?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Boxes for Ishinomaki

My friend Nicole, who was featured on this blog not too long ago, has been working on a pretty awesome project lately. It is starting to get some notice in the local news, and I felt like it would be good to spread the word.

Basically, Nicole has a friend at church from Japan. Nicole and her family set a goal to get 20 boxes prepared and sent to that friend's home town. Supplies, toys, anything extra you have around your house that could help families in Ishinomaki. Well, 20 boxes has turned into hundreds of boxes being sent. It's such an amazing thing.

Here's a video of her TV interview:

Check out Nicole's blog for more information or if you would like to follow the success of the project. Nicole posts photos and updates as they come in. There's even a post about the postman who gets to deliver all the packages, which must be an experience in and of itself. You can add a button to your blog or follow her Flickr page for updates and maybe even send a box yourself. What a fantastic (and easy) way to help people who really need it.

If you would like to send a box and would like more information, please leave a comment with us and I will do what I can to get the information to you. Also, see Nicole's blog, The Sleepy Time Gal, for information and links. She also has a Facebook page that she updates regularly, including lists of supplies that are needed in Ishinomaki.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Parents, don't dress your girls like tramps

I just read this article at about sexy clothes for little girls, specifically about Abercrombie and Fitch selling push-up bras for girls who should be too young to have anything to push up. Here's an excerpt:
What kind of PowerPoint presentation was shown to the Abercrombie executives that persuaded them to green light such a product?

That there was a demand to make little girls hot?

I mean, that is the purpose of a push-up bra, right? To enhance sex appeal by lifting up, pushing together and basically showcasing the wearer's breasts. Now, thanks to AF Kids, girls don't have to wait until high school to feel self-conscious about their, uhm, girls. They can start almost as soon as they're potty trained. Maybe this fall the retailer should consider keeping a plastic surgeon on site for free consultations.
It goes on to talk about the fact that Abercrombie would never make such a product if they didn't think someone would buy it - and little girls don't have cars or jobs or money.
I guess I've been out-of-the-loop and didn't realize there's been an ongoing stampede of 10-year-old girls driving to the mall with their tiny fists full of cash demanding sexier apparel.

What's that you say? Ten-year-olds can't drive? They don't have money, either? Well, how else are they getting ahold of these push-up bras and whore-friendly panties?

Their parents?

Noooo, couldn't be.

What adult who wants a daughter to grow up with high self-esteem would even consider purchasing such items? What parent is looking at their sweet, little girl thinking, "She would be perfect if she just had a little bit more up top."
The whole article is fantastic and sad and very necessary - especially in light of the study he quotes about the results of early sexualization of girls, "linking early sexualization with three of the most common mental-health problems of girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression." Read it. Share it with your friends. And let your little girls know they are more than sex symbols.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Guest Post: Mommy, If I Were You . . .

Today we have another guest post from Julie! Thanks for keeping us going even when we're slacking!

My daughter gets her hair in to everything. You see, she has low vision and so in order to see she keeps her head close to the task at hand. If she is eating, her hair falls into her food becoming sticky. If she is cutting paper with scissors, her hair often falls in the path of the shears!

My solution to this problem is to keep her hair up and out of the way. I love to sculpt masterpieces atop her head with her lovely golden locks. But ohhh, does she hate getting her hair done. It takes her away from playing. It takes too long. It is soo annoying to be hunted down by Mom every morning! She puts up a good fight.

This morning as I was tying a simple knot on her head, she told me, “Mommy, if I were you I would just do a ponytail.”

What aspect of life is more difficult and time consuming than it needs to be? What is stressing you out? Does it need to be the deluxe-do or can it simply be changed to the classic pony tail?

I think I may just take her advice today.