Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Like The Butterfly

You are
curious
like the butterfly
that flits from this
to that
hovering here
for an instant,
then whirling
to find a new resting place.

Bright in spirit
and color
you suck the sweet
from all you see
and leave behind
tracings of your delicate
feet
echos
of pitter-patterings.

I love
this curiosity
and never tire
to watch you fly
from delight to delight
your smile the sunlight
to my flower.

Why I Write

It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.
~Vita Sackville-West

This author captures it so perfectly... sometimes what I say might not seem so important at the moment. But I have a terribly bad memory. I go back and read pieces I wrote a year, two years, ten years ago, and I wonder if I really even wrote them, or if those things happened to me.

If I didn't write them down, I might not recall them at all. So I write.

Our Ideal Family Vacation!

It's the time of year when my husband and I start thinking about how we want to spend his February, April and Summer Vacation time (he's a teacher). With the rising costs of airfare, the added hassles at the airport, and a baby in tow, driving will definitely be our first option. What I like about driving also, is you can come and go as you please once you arrive at your destination - no waiting for cabs or trying to figure out public transit in a strange place.

As we plan for this year's trips, here are my top must haves for a great family getaway in the good old US of A!
  • Scenic Route - since we'll drive everywhere, it's important to take in the sights while we travel. Driving up Route 7 or along Route 6 in Connecticut is definitely a great way to go. I like how trip planners often offer "scenic route" as part of their mapping options. Plus, we have often found hole-in-the-wall restaurants and bookstores by taking the road less traveled by. My favorite stop was a restaurant that WAS a bookstore, and they even let each patron take home 3 selections from their used book collection every time you eat there! (Called The Travelers Restaurant - last CT exit on Rt 84 East!).
  • Locavore - Whether we stay close to home or far, we love to find local restaurants and stores that give us an authentic flavor of the area. You know, the ones still run by mom and pop? Where they hand make everything. And their children are working alongside them in the kitchen. And they get all their ingredients from local farmers. Yeah, those are our favorite kinds of places! Besides, we can go to the chain restaurants at home - when we're on vacation, we want an adventure!
  • Water Works - I love the water! So we typically vacation near a lake, river, beach, or at least at a hotel with a good sized pool! Our favorite places so far have been Westbrook, CT; Block Island, RI, Lake George, NY, Camden Harbor, ME, and various campsites in MA, VT, and NH. Having water nearby opens up a lot of activities, from the basic swimming and sunning, to canoeing, paddle-boats, sunset tours, and more!
  • Clean Bathrooms - no matter whether we camp out, stay in a hotel, or a bed and breakfast, clean bathrooms are a must-have for me. I actually check campground sites for photos of their bathhouses! I like there to be privacy, and room - with children running about, you need space to bring all their bath gear and to bathe them.
I have fond memories of my childhood vacations - we drove from New England to Ohio, to Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia and more... I remember playing in the car with my siblings, hoping out to look over the edge of mountains at rest stops, and the exciting feeling of being "on the road." I hope to plan lots of road trips for our growing family! So far, we have planned a trip to New York City for our baby's birthday, a tentative trip to Washington DC for cherry blossom season, and possibly a camping trip to Virginia in the summer. Plus, we want to take several day trips out to local farms to sample their produce throughout the growing season. Phew, that's a lot of driving, but I know we'll have fond memories and see a big chunk of the Eastern Seaboard in the process!

Where do you like to go on vacation? What makes a perfect vacation for you?

DISCLAIMER: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Writer, Where Art Thou?

I might seem delinquent on this blog lately. But I am not gone. I have merely shifted my energies... the irony is that in my rediscovery of blogging love, I actually neglected the blog that started it all - this one! I began this blog, A Writer Within, to motivate myself to do more writing, be creative, express myself, share my opinions. Sometimes this has been misunderstood, and even used against me (maliciously, and inaccurately). That is not my problem. As the years went by, I discovered I was writing a significant number of entries on sub-topics I felt were in and of themselves "blog-worthy," and I started other blogs to encompass those topics.

Today, I'd like to introduce you to my most prolific blog: A Year With Mom and Dad - a parenting and family blog that also features product reviews and giveaways for families and kids.

I wanted to start a blog primarily focused on our growing family - as we added a new baby boy to our lives in February 2010, I realized I had a lot to say about all things mommy and parenting! I wanted to write them down, but found my handwritten diary wasn't working for the topics I had in my head - I couldn't organize my ideas into categories, it was messy, and I wanted to SHARE my thoughts. I wanted to use my new motherhood experiences to help other moms, not merely to be recorded in a book for just me. So I started A Year With Mom and Dad in March 2010 to record milestones, photos, and of course talk about all the ideas, opinions, and products that come my way!

What I love is that my husband is so supportive of my new venture, and he also sometimes writes a "Dad's Log" feature that I love to read - it is a blessing to see how parenthood looks from his perspective (and he's been holding out on what a good writer he can be!). I also love doing product reviews. It's exciting to try new products - some of which have barely hit the market! I enjoy voicing my opinions and sharing ideas for how moms can use these products. I also needed an outlet for my favorite mommy topic: cloth diapering. Since I didn't want to bore my IRL (in-real-life) friends to death, I decided to have a weekly feature of cloth diapers on Fridays on my parenting blog. It's worked out really well, and I've done several "events" that feature and promote cloth diapering.

Overall, I am happy with the blogging strides I have made in the past year - I am writing more, I am writing for an audience, and I feel I am keeping my writing and editing skills sharp despite being away from the professional world of teaching. I wish I had kept up a bit more over here. It just seems all the mommy-thoughts crowd out other ideas! But I know I will have opinions, concerns and ideas that are non-mom that I will need to share here. So don't worry - I have not gone away... and with any luck, you'll be seeing more of me!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Evidence

Saturday, January 01, 2011

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