Category Archives: Linking Up

October 2012 Challenge

I’ll be linking up with The Nester again this year for the 31 Days Challenge — and what better travel destination to choose than my own beloved city? I’ve combed through my archives and I have lots of beautiful Chicagoland sites to share with you, as well as a whole bunch of restaurants. Some will be new to you and some may be old favorites.

If you’d like to join me as a cheerleader for the home team, I’d love some guest posts about your experiences in our fair (but sometimes windy) city. Just email me — my link is in the contact box on the right. Just send me your photos and text, and I can format the post for you.

Last year I just about killed myself with magazine-style articles about places in Europe that we visited. I’m hoping to keep this year’s posts shorter, with lots of photography. You know that I love a challenge; I think I’m ready to introduce you to my Sweet Home Chicago. See you Monday!

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Writer’s Workshop: Just Listen!

I’m linking up with Mama Kat again this week. As usual, the prompt pretty much jumped off the page at me as something I needed to say.

Prompt: Share something your child taught YOU about parenting.

I think I was a late bloomer when it came to understanding that my children had something to teach me about parenting and about adult relationships in general. I’ll admit it; I’m kind of a control freak. I generally feel that I have figured out the best way to do something, and I am also happy to share my opinion of YOUR problem. I know for sure that my general bossiness has sometimes been detrimental to relationships in my life — and I’m sorry about that.

My understanding of what my children had to teach me probably started about the time my daughter was sixteen and has built since then. At her ripe old age of twenty-seven, I understand fully, but I don’t always perfectly apply the concept. After all, I AM the mom, as the saying goes.

So what is the lesson I’ve so painfully learned?

The lesson is that most of the time, my kids don’t want me to solve their problems; they just want to vent their feelings.

That’s a difficult lesson for a mother to learn because we spend their childhoods fixing boo boos, protecting our precious ones from bad guys, and keeping them safe in the world. We know best, not them. The transition to allowing them to know best is difficult, but obviously is a rite of passage that we all go through in our path to adulthood.

Apparently I’m not the only one who has trouble with this; does the term helicopter parent ring a bell?

In a lifetime of teaching, I have seen too many children who were crippled by their inability to make choices and solve their own problems. Parents stepped in much too early and never allowed the children to build the skills that lead to resiliency.

I’m sure you’ve read the parenting material on this; it has been everywhere in the media. The problem starts in the elementary school and is even reported in the workplace. Parents are not allowing children to grow up and become responsible for themselves.

It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. It’s the job we signed up for when we became parents.

When my daughter calls in tears because she doesn’t feel well and still has to maintain her commitments, I sympathize, but I don’t generally offer to drive the 30 miles to her house to bring her cough syrup. After all, there is a store right across the street that delivers. Usually she doesn’t really want me to give her medicine; she wants me to listen.

When a relationship is rocky, she needs me to listen to her complain. Without offering a solution. I’m not the one in the relationship, she is, and she’s the one who will figure out how to fix it or how to go on. She just needs me to listen; sometimes talking through a problem will also bring about a solution.

When a situation at work is not going as planned, a story about a similar situation in my life is probably not going to help. I just need to shut up and LISTEN.

The wonderful thing about learning to just listen to one’s children rather than trying to fix things for them is that it allows an adult relationship to grow between you and your child. Hopefully, I’ve laid a groundwork for success that allows them to take control, own their own problem, and fix it themselves.

I’m not perfect at being a good listener, but I know what I SHOULD do.

I learned that lesson from the children in my life, both my own son and daughter and the thousands of sons and daughters of other parents that I’ve worked with over the years.  Just listen and let them learn to fix it themselves.

I’m eager to see what other lessons my friends at Mama Kat’s write about. I hope that you’ll check them out as well.

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Saturday Linky Love

I know — it’s Sunday, not Saturday.

We had a busy day yesterday with a funeral and some touring in an area we don’t often go to. The wind was blowing and it was a beautiful sunny day. I tried to catch the movement in these flowers.

But I’ve been saving up some fun stuff for you to look at. I’m linked up today at Vanderbilt Wife; I hope you enjoy reading these curated lists of goodies!

  1. The post most likely to make you make some changes in the way you spend your days: “How to Carve More Time Into Your Day”
  2. The post most likely to make you feel inadequate, boring and/or stupid: List of 21st Century literature written by women that you should have already read.
  3. The post most likely to make you read a book and eagerly anticipate its movie: Top 12 Fall Movies Based on Books
  4. Most ridiculous claim of the week: Prends Moi perfume will help you to lose weight. Don’t forget to click into the Enorme link. :)
  5. Video of the Week: Miami University (my Ohio alma mater) Men’s Glee Club performing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.
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Writer’s Workshop: My So-Called Garden

Writer’s Workshop Prompt: You were supposed to start a garden this summer…share the fruits of your labor.

I had big plans for the garden this summer. I really did.

I had dreams of lush shrub borders underplanted with flowering perennials that kept my flower vases full all summer.

I had visions of freshly made pesto and caprese salad direct from my organic garden.

I had in my daily planner a dip into a cool summer grass of morning while I tended my yard and pots, but that would require there to actually be dew on the grass, for the morning to actually be cool, and for me to get up early enough to see said dew. And apparently I also forgot to stake the tomatoes in recent weeks.

Reality sometimes bites.

I’m linked up with Mama Kat’s Losin’ It this week. Stop by and visit some other delicious garden stories — I’m sure SOMEONE got veggies this year.

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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Photographers do the craziest things.

I chased these white horses around the field in Sauder Village trying the get the perfectly synced photo.

It turned out that the first one I took was the best… isn’t that always the case?

P.S. After I prepared this post, I realized that those rocks in the corner were actually little horse pies and was aghast. Then I decided to keep them in as proof of a photographer’s folly in not cropping one’s photos. :)

I’m linked up today with Project Alicia. Be sure to stop by and visit the work of these talented bloggers and photographers.

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Wordless Wednesday: Antique Cookware from Sauder Village

This photo was taken at Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio.

I’m linked up today with other bloggers; be sure to stop by their sites and check out their work!

Worth a reblog… WWSD (What Would Scarlett Do)?

One of my favorite bloggers writes and writes and writes… and it’s all worth reading.

This post just hit the spot when I reread it the other day. Jillian at A Room of One’s Own writes a conversation between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in which Scarlett discusses Jillian’s blog. I’ll warn you, though, it’s important to know the story to get all the jokes. Don’t you just love being an allusion monster?

Jillian has also written a similar conversation between Elinor and Marianne Dashwood from Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.

If either of these books are on your “save for eternity — don’t you dare put that in the library sale” shelf, you’ll love Jillian’s interpretation.

I’m off to the family reunion; have a wonderful weekend!

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Writing Workshop: Lessons from Dad

I’m linking up to Mama Kat this week –

My prompt: Share a lesson you learned from your father.

On Friday, while visiting our son in Oakland, California, we also visited a salvage store. I had been struggling with this week’s prompt, since I’m also struggling with poor internet connections at the hotel, and wasn’t sure I could do my father justice this year. Then the visit to the salvage store made it all clear.

My father taught me to value the unlikely, to see the beauty in the ignored, to have the joy of creating something out of nothing.

Today I met another dad — one who would have loved being friends with my dad. It was hard for me to see all of his work, because it reminded me of my dad and how much I miss him. It was, however, a powerful reminder of how important it is to keep the memories of our loved ones alive through the legacies they leave behind.

Thanks to Grandpa Nick for the new memories I have of Father’s Day.

Linky Love and Happy Birthday

While not precisely a link, this youtube video is worthy of a post of its own.

Happy Tuesday. Thirty-four years ago today, God said, “Let there be Timothy Andrew, and it was good.”

Linky Love: Friday’s Child Is Loving and Giving

This week I’ve decided to hook you up with blogs that I follow and love EVERY day. Using the ancient British nursery rhyme, I’ll take you on a tour of my favorite blogs.

When I learn that a young family member or friend is going to have a baby, I think to myself, there goes twenty years of your life. It’s not easy giving up the self and couple-centered activities that young people enjoy, and I’m not sure that everyone who chooses to have a baby is actually ready for the just-plain-hard work that goes along with being a parent of a young child. Thank goodness the joy of having kids usually outweighs the bad. I’ve been blessed to see my two children grow up to be wonderful adults, but there were moments along the way that I would have easily sold them to the gypsies (JK, kids). Images like this one make me remember those first steps and that first Easter egg hunt. These were times when I loved my kids so much I could barely hold it in — and I still do.

Today I’m featuring the blog of my niece, Jessica, who writes as Vanderbilt Wife. Her honest appraisals of her life as the mother of two toddlers have made her popular among “mommy bloggers” but she is more than that.

As the nursery rhyme goes, Friday’s child is loving and giving, and I think that Jessie epitomizes that in her relationships with her little family, with her sister, with her father and mother, and with her many cousins and aunts and uncles. She was a dedicated and thoughtful granddaughter to my mom and dad, and in her role as houseparent to boys in a private school, she is a mother figure as she bakes her way into their hearts.

If you want to connect to a real person who writes about real life and is honest about the trials and joys of being a parent, try out Vanderbilt Wife. She also shares a lot of recipes which are all delish! And then there’s the photos of my adorable grand-niece and nephew. :)

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