12 Days: 7 Bloggers Blogging

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7 Blogs/Bloggers I Love

Today, I show you some of my guilty blogging pleasures and, of course, where I get some of my inspiration when I blog. Sometimes it’s when I read something that one of these cool chicks wrote and I am moved to write, write, write. And sometimes I just need a laugh and they are also good at giving me that.

Mama Bird Diaries

I learned about this blog from a friend of a friend and have never been sorry I read it. She’s witty, clever and a true Mama Bird— she’s pregnant!

Momma Be Thy Name

Check her out for the 12 Days of Christmas! Every day is a different post from a different guest blogger! (Yours truly included!) Enter by commenting on the posts each day to win an Elf Pack (aka awesome free stuff)

Mannly Mama

Hilarious and says things I wish I had said. Also, she has a series called Toddler Dinners. I want her to make my toddler dinner every night.

I Am Not the Babysitter

This is a Mom blog that has social relevance. I first discovered her on Twitter and have been reading ever since. You might know her from the cover of Time Magazine.

And Then We Saved

This girl baffles me. I admire her very honest and realistic approach to spending. I find that I have very much in common with her and enjoy her helpful tips. We can all benefit from spending less and saving more.

Mamatoga

This is a local blog that gives me all the information I need for upcoming events, kid-friendly activities and local Mom interaction. I am psyched to have an article in her Mamatoga Holiday issue. It comes out this Friday!

Whiskey in my Sippy Cup

Another ordinary chick who writes good stuff. “Mr. Lady” is just a cool Mom with self-deprecating charm. I love her.

 

What’s your favorite blog to read? Link it up below. I am always looking for something new!

Thirty Three: A Post About Me

 

Lake Placid shortcut girl

Me at our hotel in Lake Placid, NY

Anyone who knows me (and pretty much everyone who reads this blog knows me), knows I am very into my birthday. I blame my semi-only child upbringing and two great parents. Parents who celebrated everything. Every. Single. Thing. Let’s put it this way. We went out to dinner to celebrate my cross over the threshold of womanhood. My Mom grew up poor and liked to celebrate and reward good behavior, good grades, milestones, awards. My father was proud as a peacock to have a daughter who did anything well and was never really known for his modesty. “That’s my girl!” he would say. I lost my Dad in 2009. And I think it’s at my birthday when I really, really miss him.

So the product of all this: me. A big girl with a desperate, little girl trapped inside who wants me, me, me and more me. (You do know that’s why I have a blog, don’t you?). God help my poor husband at Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas and, of course, the only day that is about me all day long: my birthday.

So yesterday I turned 33 and have to say I was very lucky to be so spoiled by my husband and children. Mike took me away for a night and it was Just What the Doctor Ordered. Couple time, me time, quiet time and relaxing time. Much needed and much appreciated. Nine years with me, Michael has learned my affinity for my birthday. And although he doesn’t go all out every year (to keep me guessing, I suppose), he really made this year top-notch.

While we were away, I played the “question game” with Mike. A chance for us to talk about things we never get to talk about. With questions like, what have you learned most about marriage? and what have you learned most about yourself as a parent?, we ended up talking about things we never get to talk about—how we are both feeling about this whole “marriage and family” thing that we have been a part of. A time for genuine reflection and analysis.

It made me think of a list I started in July. I was doing a writing prompt activity with a local author who I follow on Facebook. She challenged everyone to complete one writing prompt a day for August. In this prompt, she asked you to write down things you’ve learned over the years. As I wrote, it kind of took the shape of advice I would give my children, but more evidently my daughter. Once I started the list, I could not stop. Here are some of my favorites.

  • Forgive and forgive often.
  • When you have a negative thought, don’t feel compelled to share it.
  • “Knowing who you are” is not always an accomplishment. Keep finding out more about yourself. Never be content. Keep changing.
  • Don’t mistake your husband as a best girlfriend. He can be your best friend but only a girlfriend can be a girlfriend.
  • Say thank you. For everything.
  • Be careful with your words.
  • Listen. Don’t just hear what you want to hear.
  • Apologize for your moments of weakness in life. Recognize them.
  • Pay close attention to regret. It’s a powerful feeling. It tells you when to be more kind, more gentle, more adventurous, most dutiful, more direct, more loving, more loyal. It’s those regrets that help program your future behaviors.
  • Be available. Even when you are busy, don’t tell everyone how busy you are. People who are too busy all the time end up very, very lonely.
  • Your sibling is the only person in the world you have shared your parents with. Value this relationship and its ebb and flow. It’s a rich and powerful one.
  • Take care of your money. No one else will.
  • Always drive slow in your own neighborhood.
  • In the tough times, take a 15 walk or a 15 minute shower and see how things look afterwards.
  • Travel. At every age. Not just when you are young.
  • A friend is not someone you want to be like. They are someone you like because of how they bring out the things you like in yourself.
  • Trust your gut- always.
  • Bake cookies from scratch. It’s what your Nana would want you to do.

As I write these down, I can pinpoint which ones came from my mother, my father, my friends, my own unique experiences and even my own children. Even at 33, I feel young. I have learned a lot, seen a little but know that the best is still yet to come. So, I thank my Mom and Dad for instilling a sense of excitement and need for celebration for silly things like birthdays. Because, without them, there might not be a chance to reflect upon how far you have come and how much further you have yet to go.

At last year’s birthday, I never would have thought I would start a blog that would be my primary artistic outlet and recreation. At Shortcut Girl’s inception, I was skeptical, even of myself and wasn’t sure it I would keep it up. But here I am, about to publish post # 87, and feeling really, really excited to have a new frame for my life. I always wanted to be a writer. And look at that. Here I am. “That’s my girl!”

 

Shortcut Girl is an official .com!

I just got www.shortcutgirl.com as my new blog address! I am so pleased it was available and suddenly feel more official. Please share and share generously with your friends. Anyone who already has, it’s much appreciated!

 

 

My new logo

Just spent way too much time when I should be sleeping creating this logo.

I used Paint. I’m pretty surprised by how it came out! Tell me what you think!