The Popular Girls

So, I was cleaning up my blog and found this post that was never published. I don’t even remember writing it… and I didn’t! Big thanks to Amber Page from Amber Page Writes for creating this awesome and inspiring post.

In high school, the popular girls always seemed to be a little…more. More stylish. More beautiful. More in tune with what the world wanted them to be.

They were always ready with a snappy comeback when a cute boy teased them.

They always had their bangs curled just so and their jeans pegged just right (80s fashion was sooo awesome).

They listened to the right bands, belonged to the right clubs, and sat at the right lunch table.

I tried to play along.  I curled my bangs and pegged my jeans, but it never looked right on me. I tried to like the popular bands, but really? I was neither goth nor preppy, and just wanted to bang my head to hard rockers like Bon Jovi and Nelson (well, 15-year-old suburban me thought they rocked hard).

Nothing could propel me even close to their level of fabulousness, and truth be told, I hated them for it. In fact, I spent my entire high school career burning with jealousy barely cloaked as disdain, snarking to my friends about the emptiness of their brains and souls.

I vowed that someday I would have revenge. That someday, I would be just as beautiful, just as charming, just as fabulous.

Then we all went off to college. And you know what?

I forgot all about my plan.

I mean, sure, I tried to step up my game when I first arrived on campus. I got a new haircut and some new clothes. Went to parties and even attempted to mingle. I talked louder, laughed harder and lived larger than I ever had before.

But I couldn’t keep it up. It wasn’t me.

Besides,  no one else cared.

Sure, there were still popular girls around. But they didn’t dominate the landscape the way they did in high school. They were just there—sparkling a little brighter than the rest of us, but not obnoxiously so.

And once I stopped trying to be someone else?

I figured out how absolutely awesome I really was.

Because I? I have a great smile. Gorgeous eyes. Even decent knockers. I have a knack for drawing people out…and a talent for making people laugh. I’ve got my own sense of style and a hair style that works for me.

So while there will always be women who are more glamorous than me, who have more friends, better jobs, more money…

No one is better at being me than me.

And that? Is fabulous indeed.

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Capture Everyday Moments with the Olympus PEN Ready Project

I’m in the Mamarazzi.

You know who we are. We’ve got big cameras, long lenses, and we shoot EVERYTHING. I take so many photos of my kids, my daughter says, “Get my good side, Mommy!” while other kids say, “Cheese!”

One of the challenges is that I love capturing every day moments and making them extraordinary.

Capturing tiny hands sneaking a treat:

Or catching a Superhero getting ready to take on the world

To show how easy it is for everyday people to take amazing pictures, Olympus gave more than 1,000 people a new Olympus PEN® E-PM1. It’s all part of The PEN Ready Project—more than 1,000 cameras, over 1,000 people, 6 cities.

The photos are amazing. Everyday moments – simply, but elegantly stated. To see what they shot, visit the PEN Ready Project.


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Snow White – The Gateway Princess

If you ask my 2 1/2 year old what she wants to be for Halloween, she’ll tell you one thing:

I’m not sure how she even knows what Halloween is, but she wants to be Snow White.

The problem is, I don’t want her to be Snow White.

For the last two Halloweens, she’s been something of my choosing. In other words, something super cute that makes me look at her like the little baby girl she is.

Now, it seems like Snow White is the first princess to infiltrate my princess-free fortress we’ve worked kind of hard to build.

And she wants to be Snow White for Halloween.

We’ll have at least 10 or 12 years  – at the most – of her dressing up for Halloween, and already, she wants to jump into princesses? As far as I am concerned, a Disney princes costume is a gateway drug…it opens the doors for costumes like this:

And I’m not ready for that.Wait- I will never be ready for that.

I want to keep it cute. What’s wrong with these?

How long can I keep the Disney Princesses from entering my castle?

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Is Two Too Young for Disney?

I want to take The Girl to Disney World. I know she is only two, and most of you would tell me it’s too young, and she won’t remember anything about the trip, but I don’t care.

I’m selfish. I want to see her hugging characters, singing songs and dancing to the parade music.

What sealed the deal for me was a Disney party we went to, The Disney Summer Social. The Disney Summer Social was sort of an “on the road” Disney party for adults kids. We danced. We ate. We played. And the girl? Got her favorite Disney character painted on her arm.

It was a blast. And it reminded me of how much I want to take her to Disney.

I went to Disney for the first time when I was about 3. Do I remember a lot of the trip? Not necessarily, but I have photos like these to help me.

In fact, it’s the photos that have made the memory last as long as it has. And, Disney gets that. That’s why their new experience, “Let the Memories Begin” is so impressive.

“Let the Memories Begin” takes the photos, or memories, throughout both Disney parks, and makes them larger than life, shining the images on Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World, and “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Resort.

Disney PhotoPass photographers will capture guests caught up in the Disney experience – a memory in the making – and as many as 500 photos will be used in each location. The nighttime show will use the latest in high-intensity projection technology to create vivid visuals that seem to defy the architecture of the building.

How cool is that?

So, I am ready to “let the memories begin” with our family.

How old were your kids when you first took them to a Disney Park? Did they love it??

Disclosure: I was invited to the Disney Summer Social party. All opinions are my own.

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I am The Luckiest

I’ve been in a mood for weddings. Maybe it’s because my friend Celeste just got engaged, and I am so happy for her and her hubby to be… Maybe it’s because I see my awesome wedding photographer posting wedding photos on his blog… Maybe it’s because I was missing my man while on vacation… but I had to pick this Writing Prompt from Mama Kat this week:

Write about your wedding song. What was it and why did you choose it?

Choosing wedding music in general is pretty tough, but this song… that first dance with your new spouse holds a lot of pressure.

When we were trying to pick a song, we had requirements: It had to be some sort of alt/indie/rock band or artist. It couldn’t be about death, it couldn’t be about breaking up. But that was tough, because all the pretty songs are about death and breaking up.

After pouring over music libraries for hours and running songs and artists through our minds for days, we chose a quiet, lovely song by Ben Folds called “The Luckiest.”

Photo by Douglas Benedict

As the title implies, it’s about feeling like you are the luckiest person alive because you found the one person who makes you wholly happy. It’s about standing by someone and imagining what life would be like without that person only to realize it would not be life at all.

It’s a beautiful song. And though it was a quiet song (I am pretty sure no one heard or knew the lyrics but us) it made us feel good. It made us realize how lucky we are.

And you know what? Listening to these lyrics still brings tears to my eyes.

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What’s Your Reason?

Things have been a bit challenging for me and my husband these past few days. It’s one of those situations when you think to yourself:

“God, it sucks to be an adult and deal with adult things!”

but somehow, you need to just get through it.

And through this, one thing keeps getting repeated over and over:

Everything happens for a reason.

I know it sounds cliche, but I really do think it is true. As my father-in-law reminded me, when one door closes, another door opens.

Yet, sometimes when you are in the thick of all things horrible it is hard to remember that. So, this post is dedicated to a few of those “reasons” for which things have happened to me.

Reason #1 – Missed connections

Back in my single days, there was a guy who kept trying to get me to go out with him. We never could find a date that worked for us, and our plans kept falling through. Days later, I met my future husband. Score!

Reason #2 – I was mugged

Once upon a time, I was working nights at a television station. I was mugged while walking to my car. It wasn’t horrible, but it gave me the push I needed to get off of night work in television, and from there I changed careers into healthcare marketing. Changing careers was one of the best decisions I could have made, as the television industry (well, local news) was changing a lot, and chances are I might have gotten laid off in the months/years to come. Plus, I love what I do now.

Reason #3 -I was robbed

I know, within months of each other, really, I was robbed. I was living in an apartment – just moved there, actually, and my place was broken in to. Nothing earth shattering, but enough to make me reconsider my move into this neighborhood. I broke my lease, said “See ya!” to my security deposit, and months later, my now-husband and I bought our first place. One could argue that it was a bad decision based on the housing crisis a few years later, but buying rather than renting was one of the best decisions we could have made. Plus, our mortgage payment wasn’t much more than what we would have paid in rent.

See, doors closed… and opened.

So what are some of your “Everything happens for a reason” stories?

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