Blog design – Mama's wearing a new outfit!

Every girl I knew in the 8th grade spent the ENTIRE year planning for grade 9. That may sound strange if you have junior, middle and high schools but around here we do primary school (kindergarten-grade 8 ) and high school.

In this style of system, here in suburbia many of us had been in school together since we were 4 years old. While this brings some strong friendships, it also breeds social boredom. When this style of boredom sets in; when we can predict each other’s responses and experience this high degree of boredom…..well I can only speak for the girls….we tend to look for excitement and create it ourselves if necessary. Which can lead to people not being very nice and conflict which resonates loudly in this very small pond.

If and when the other girls have become bored and you’ve made some sort of gaffe in the eyes of the social ranking of the day, your life can become miserable quickly. It’s really the nature of the beast; anyone stuck in a room together for 9 years will eventually tire of one another.

The idea of moving schools in grade 9 becomes like the finish line at the end of a marathon. At the time when I ascended the ladder, I went from a school of 140 students to one with 1500 potential friends!!

In the 8th grade when the move was so close we could taste it, my friends and I invested much of our time observing our older sisters and other friends who had achieved this lofty status. We noticed their hairstyles, clothing, social activities and seeming freedom.

The most important of these seemed to be the clothing. A person’s choice of attire often determined which social circle they fit into. We had the “preps”, “the head bangers”, “the Gina’s”, “the B boys”, the Tree people (like flower children), “the Skaters”. It felt like the choice of clothing for that crucial first day of school would outline our social life for our entire year!!!! It was a massive decision, not to be taken lightly.

The feeling of that pressure to choose remains with me, the indecision and the hope. Knowing that high school brought me one GIANT step closer to the freedom of adulthood and the Loft in Toronto I’d seen myself living in since watching Kevin Bacon in Quicksilver.

The old feeling of anticipation is one that I’ve been living with for a few months, I began the process to redesign my blog with Jessica from the Frilly Coconut months ago. There were a lot of decisions to be made and frankly I wasn’t entirely certain which look I wanted. It smacked of my high school choice of clothing, how my blog appears will either pull readers in or put them off.

But here it is!!!!!

What do I think?

I love it, I think my new blog look fits my content well and is a bit quirky….like myself!

What about you, ARE YOU LOVING IT????

Twitter Profanity – Guilty!

This week I was asked where my blog inspiration comes from…..my response came easily, I didn’t think about it before I Tweeted: “I draw inspiration from the world around me, so many interesting things!”Take a moment there folks, drink in my wisdom….ha.

This was then retweeted and I felt awesome, when I re-read it I felt it to be an accurate statement which I was kinda proud of!
Then this morning I retweeted something without carefully reading it, it was funny to me. This is what I thought it said: “There is a fine line between social networking and wasting your life.”
I think it’s true and worthy of a RT. (don’t lines like that bring back memories of Elaine on Seinfeld deeming things Spongeworthy?)
In reality the tweet I sent included a profanity, said profanity used to be my favorite….I’ve worked hard to drop and I was totally unaware I’d used it. Listen, it’s not like I’d killed someone but I had such a colorful vocabulary that I take some pride in my achievement cleaning it up.
How did I find out you ask?
I received a Direct Message that said:
“hey Julie-I love your blog &tweets but found the retweet w/ the “f” word offensive I know we have freedom in Christ but we also need respect”
My heart dropped instantly and I searched for the message I had sent.
And there it was…oh man that sucked.
I wondered if it happened because I hadn’t taken the time to read it properly…..or was it that I am just so accustomed to hearing the word that I don’t notice it?
I thanked my friend for the message and apologized for offending as that wasn’t my intent.
Some might have taken the stance that I hadn’t really done anything wrong, that all of us have different levels of “filters”. Some may have been offended at this person messaging me.
I wasn’t.
I appreciated the display of an honest person, she gave me the opportunity to see her boundary. I wasn’t tarred or feathered but she extended her heart to me and allowed me to come close.
That is pretty brave in my mind.
And so on this Friday I’ve been given a lesson in attentiveness, setting boundaries and love.
While I cannot promise I won’t make this error EVER again, I can promise that I will be more conscious.
I seek progress rather than perfection!
I’m glad of that and hope that if something a friend does offends me, I too would be courageous enough to talk to them about it, rather than just changing my opinion of them.
Would you say something?

This Week's Blogroll

I have decided to share some of the blogs I read this week with everyone in case you’ve missed it. My reader numbers are ridiculous and I cannot read everything so if I missed an awesome post please share it with me in the comments.
Lizz at Am I a Funny Girl writes in response to a prompt on jealousy between a mother and a woman without children here in That Green Grass, this was a great display of our inner thoughts.
On Crying Out Now Diana explores the stigma which alcoholism has these days, exposing the fact that it’s a disease which many of us live with. Stigma
Edenland shares a beautiful exerpt from a book with us, exploring our perspective of wealth here with You are Royalty
Get Unwrapped! does a great day of challenging us to be ourselves here with You’re the Only You You have be You!
Sue on Inner Dorothy was discussing the Gweneth Paltro movie Country Strong this week and how we should acknowledge our achievements with Strong
GiGi on Kludgy Mom shared about a women’s writer group she attended Words Became Butterflies tells us about the beauty of our words.
Chantelle wrote about the dreaded sick man on Mom Went Crazy, any wife can relate to I’ve Finally Found It
On One Crafty Mother Ellie shares a very raw event in her life with us, Look will have tears streaming down your face.
Personally I want to smack Alexandra from Good Day Regular People with her post titled Never Act Irrisponsibly in Front of Family Members because she’s such a great Mom she’s setting the bar too high.

Syndicated on BlogHer you say?

On December 7th I began blogging, my first post was called Initiating.

I didn’t expect to fall in love with blogging, or to finally understand the fun of Twitter. It only took me 3 months to “get it”.

So here I am an offical blogger (2nd post and I claimed that) and today is a HUGE day for me!!

Today I’m being syndicated on BlogHer!!!!

Oh Yeahhhhhhhhhhhh!!

BlogHer is an amazing site featuring articles from women from around the world.
I have spent more time on this site than I’d care to admit, there are just so many topics I cannot get enough.
This is a pretty HUGE deal to me and I would truly appreciate if you’d show me some love by stopping by there, reading my post and commenting.
I’m begging here folks, throw me a bone or summit.


Inept….blog design grrrrr

I knew I was in over my head when I began trying to learn to edit HTML….duhhh.
So I’ll be tweaking my blog here and there as the mood arises, my bloglist is missing for the moment, please fogive me 😉
Any critiques are welcome, right now I think my Header pic is too large so I’ll play with that first when I’m in the right frame of mind.
I certainly wish I could retain information, that would make this much smoother.

There are rewards in wearing an electric bark collar

This week has been rough for me, the pain was worse, I’ve been fighting a stomach bug or some bloody thing, spending alot of time resting in bed feeling like I’m missing life and today I’ve been emotionally down. Mundane tasks which I complete in the blink of an eye seems like huge mountains to scale.
These days being emotionally down is no fun at all for me. Why you ask? Because I know when I’m down. There is little pleasure or release in it when you just know you’re being illogical. I know in my heart that I am grateful to be alive, to share this journey with my funny faced remarkable girls, loving and supportive-beyond-humanly possible husband. Blahh blah blah…not helping my pity party.
So then I’m ticked because I can’t cry….by the time I feel a tear beginning to well up I feel a bit like I’m having a lecture with myself, come on Julie you’re going to end up with puffy eyes, a worsened headache and incapacitated because if you really give it a good sob you’ll get back/neck spasms.
And what the Hell is soooo bloody bad in my life anyway?
Is this growing up?
And the fact that for some bloody reason I’m not using swear words as adjectives anymore is really firing me up lately. I specifically recall praying on it, I had developed a flair, an aplomb with the use of vulgarity, slipping it in slyly to add to the umph of a statement. Years of working within male dominated industries honed these skills well.  So I had prayed early on, realizing that my message may be lost to some folks if I continued using my potty mouth as often as I would like. Now it’s like I’m wearing an electric bark collar or something, God lifted the ability from me and I feel naked when I’m this angry.
I digress.
I think you can visualize where I was in my head without beating it to death here.
This evening I stopped by Crying Out Now which is a blog written by women that I dig. There was a post titled Jigsaw which struck me. The author, Deb, is a Mom, who drinks alot and on the journey to finding out if she drinks too much. She explains how she is currently seeing herself as 3 people. READ this blog friends, it’s enlightening.
It brought me back to my old way of thinking of myself, wife, mother, employee etc. I’ve blogged in the past about my early life and how I lived my life in boxes of “who” I was at the time/situation Early Days Blog.
So what Deb wrote was something I could relate to, over the past year I’ve been learning who the “authentic” me is without having to deal with my life in pieces or boxes or different sides to me. And digging it. I’m good with me now, well there’s always work to be done but I think you get my meaning.
When I gave over my life’s Purpose to God I began to stop worrying about who I was.
I knew.
So yes it’s frustrating when I’m angry not to be able to throw a tantrum anymore, to see the anger and negative feelings for exactly what they are. But I’m glad in the end I do because it reflects to me that God is working on me and I must be doing something right.
I think I am going to try meditation tonight, I’ll let you know how that one works…can I remain focused long enough? Let’s hope so….when was my blog on PMS? I think about a month ago….interesting.
I am thankful for the blogs out here in cyberspace, for all they teach me or don’t. It’s an amazing resource we have here folks, blog on.