Tag Archives: vlog

On Gratitude. And Magic.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and like most others, I’ve been thinking about gratitude.

A couple of months ago, my good friend, Anna lost her twelve year old son in a flash flood. And it was yet another reminder to live in the moment – be grateful for everything I have right now, this very minute. I thought I had a good handle on those priorities before…but this? THIS?? This was an invaluable lesson on appreciation for what truly matters in life. I would give it back in a heartbeat if I could…but since that’s not possible, I’ll settle for the wisdom. And I’ll be so, so grateful for this one more day with my children.

On the flipside though, this horrible loss was a sledgehammer blow to my already cracked and crumbling belief in magic. I know that I once thought anything was possible – that magic could always intervene at the eleventh hour. But I’ve become more cynical over the years. For both good reasons and bad, I stopped believing in magic. And this senseless tragedy offered some serious validation of that attitude.

But leave it to the children to help us find magic in the world.

Anna’s ten year old daughter, Margaret is a bright, shining sparkler of a girl. And even in her own crushing grief over the loss of her only sibling, she’s managed to find ways to make her parents smile.

One day her Dad asked for a list of things she wanted from the store. Here is what she gave him:


The last, most important item on the list isn’t possible. Not even magic could bring her brother back. But the one before that….

When Anna posted that picture above, she had no idea how many people would take it seriously. Take it to Twitter. Write e-mails. Beg favors… People really thought this was possible. And that’s one of the things I like about people: they believe in magic. They make me want to believe too.

It’s a long story – and many of us have written various parts of it. But the end result was this:


In response to the outpouring of tweets and e-mails – or possible because of just one called in favor (who knows – and does it really matter?), Coca-Cola and Dick Clark Productions arranged for Margaret and her parents to fly to California and attend the American Music Awards. And as if that wasn’t enough, there was even an opportunity for Margaret to meet Justin.

I don’t know about you – the the fact that this seemingly impossible thing ACTUALLY HAPPENED makes me believe in magic.

It also makes me willing to make good on ridiculous promises.

My friend Minky Moo sent out the following tweet…

…and in the heat of the moment, I said “I’m in!” Because, you know – that was really going to be the effort that pushed this movement forward…

Sigh. So without further ado, here is my very amateur, very poorly lit (despite those extra lamps I strategically placed in the room!) thank you vlog to Justin:

I’ve said before the camera doesn’t love me. But seriously – I’m not doing myself any favors here. Why didn’t I apply a little lipstick? Perhaps some concealer? They say the camera adds ten pounds, but how about ten YEARS! Oh well – my lack of star quality isn’t the real story here (just a riveting sub-plot that we can discuss later). I’m posting that silly video in honor of the seemingly impossible actually happening.

In honor of magic.

I’m so grateful that something good and hopeful and magical happened to my friend’s daughter. Her family needed it. Their story isn’t over yet, and this is tangible proof that good things can happen too. That they will again.

And that is a very good reason for giving thanks.

*The “Belieber” posts are already going up! Mama Mary was the first. Funny Girl, Lizz actually used a “live impersonator” in her vlog! Minky will post her’s tonight or tomorrow. I’m going to link to all of them here – so let me know if you have one too.

**In full disclosure, I have to admit that the Justin Bieber poster is no longer on Eleanor’s door. She felt it was a little “too boy-sie” for her girly room. So instead we donated to a teenage neighbor named Emily who was eager to give it a good home.

***In case you are wondering where you can buy a Justin Bieber poster, I found mine at Michael’s. I first tried Target, but they don’t sell posters. I also burst into tears in Target while explaining to the twins why we needed a Justin Bieber poster. They both thought it was a good story, but due to my being a bit choked up while telling it, George now believes that beavers were somehow involved.

The Double Dutch Snap OR Punishment for a Michael Jackson Dance Party

For anyone who thought I was an MJ basher, I have to say, I was honest when I claimed that in spite of any vacillating opinions I might have about the scandals in his life, I still love the music.

In fact, we had an impromptu Michael Jackson dance party at our house this past weekend. An experience that proved God really does choose sides. I decided to make fun of my husband’s dancing (which was a pretty stupid thing to do since he already hates dancing and rarely agrees to more than one or two slow dances at the odd wedding or event we attend…).

And almost immediately after this transgression, one of my children knocked over a full glass of wine on the dining room tablecloth. Then another child fell off the side of a couch (where he shouldn’t have been climbing, but that’s neither here nor there…). After which a general melee of confusion and hysteria ensued.

So yeah – I get it. Persecute Chris and suffer the consequences…at least I know where I stand. But in my own defense – it was too funny not to imitate. He has one signature dance move that just begs for some good natured roasting.

I wish I could show him doing it – but I fear that something truly cataclysmic would happen. Like an earthquake swallowing my entire closet, or the extinction of the cocoa bean…or Freaky Friday-like body swapping with a teenager right before midterm exams (am I the only one who still has nightmares about this kind of thing?)

BUT I do have the next best thing. I made Chris record me doing my imitation of him. I suspect that he only agreed since I look awful and have a big pimple on my chin, but he was a good sport nonetheless.

So without further ado, I bring to you, The Double Dutch Snap:

*Disclaimer: Never combine a Michael Jackson Dance Party and an early happy hour without first consulting your doctor. Side effects may include destroyed dining room tablecloths, inattention to children in peril, loss of integrity, public exposure of a bad complexion, general fate tempting, ashtoiejast[t0 shidsni[-gi90sej, skijgs0ejtr0e-atje09 sasgtehigtn snjigaejgti0e, snit0aejti0, shte0ahtei0 ashio-00jdas0era0ew0rekk and shaieta0e[ije.

BUT you could possibly come up with a kick ass new dance move to join the white man’s overbite hall of fame. Move over “lawnmower,” “sprinkler” and “shopping cart” – you’ve got competition!

Seriously – I dare you to NOT Double Dutch Snap the next time the opportunity presents itself…

Have You Ever Wondered What I Look Like?

I don’t know about you, but I really like to know the faces behind those blog posts. So I love pictures and vlogs. And of course, I never post pictures of myself and I never vlog. This is mainly because I’m never in any pictures (I’m generally behind the camera) and I never have anything to vlog about.

But that all ends today! Chris asked me to take some pictures of a little sous chef work I did for his cooking blog, Dad Can Cook yesterday. When our crappy camera started acting up (you know – the one George semi-broke at the beach), I decided to vlog it.

So go HERE to see the face (and voice, god help me – just as bad as on the voice mail greetings…) behind The Big Piece of Cake and Wishing True.

Before you go though, a few disclaimers/lessons learned:

1. Our kitchen is a hideously outdated galley, so you will most likely see flashes of cheap cabinetry and decorative tile.

2. People with thin lips should really splash on a little color before vlogging. I make Morticia Adams look like Angelina Jolie.

3. A low chignon-like pony tail is not a great look on camera – particularly in bad lighting (see makeup issue above).

4. It is absolutely time to get that deviated septum corrected. My nose looks like it’s on the side of my head.

5. The issue with still images featured on vlog windows when not playing being horribly unflattering seems to apply to me as well. Times 100.

6. This is my first ever attempt at a vlog – so treat it as you would a preschooler’s Mother’s Day art project (“Oh, that’s VERY good! Not quite sure what it is…but it’s very special.“)