These Are The Days

Smart ~ Writer ~ Mom

Month: July 2013

Finally Getting the Picture(s)

The closet in my daughter’s room is busting at the seams. I wish I could blame it on her incessant need for the latest fashions and accessories, but alas, she’s only two.

True, half of her closet is devoted to her petite fashions from the toddler section of Gap Kids, Kohl’s and the like.

But the other half is all mine, and quite frankly it’s consuming me.

I’m talking about photos, here. Photos and mementos and scrapbook-y stuff that I always meant to get to, but somehow didn’t find the time.


Oh sure, back in the day I was an avid scrapbooker. And by “the day” I mean 2007. Up until 2004, I had PLENTY of free time to document all the goings-on in my little life. And then my daughter was born in 2004 and suddenly I was taking at least one picture a day. Think about that for a second. At least one photo a day means I have a minimum of 365 photos, PER YEAR, stashed in cardboard boxes and envelopes. I tried diligently to keep up. I joined a scrapbooking group that met about once per month. I tried to get my pages done, but I got sucked into idle chitchat and before I knew it, two hours had come and gone and I had pasted four photos into my book. Barely a dent in my “stash.”

But I’ve since resolved to ditch the actual paper scrapbooks (for now) and see if I can’t produce some photo books from Shutterfly.

I picked a year at random – 2008 – and started going through my digital collection on my computer. The hard copies of pictures that are in the closet are from 2006 and earlier, before we had a digital camera. So, scary as it may seem, I took my daily photo(s) and then rushed to the local drugstore and spent money that we didn’t have back then to print out my copies.

And that is what undiagnosed postpartum depression can do. Cloud your mind and make you live in a fairytale world.

Aaaanyway, I scanned through my year of photos. I deleted duplicates and bad pictures and was ready to go. Out of 620 pictures taken that year (not bad, if I do say so), I narrowed it down to about 250 for my photo book.

It’s nice to look back and relive some fun memories back when it was just the three of us (my husband and my now 9yo and me). And it’s kind of strange, because I look at the pictures and I wonder where my 2yo is. But of course, she’s not even a glimmer in my uterus yet…

I have set three goals for myself. And since they say that once you write them down (or type them on the computer), and share them with someone (or post them on the Internet), then you’re more likely to stick with them. So here are my 3 goals:

  1. BY THE TIME SCHOOL STARTS UPI will download all the photos from my phone (good glory – I have nearly 1500 on my phone) and organize or delete them.
  2. BY HALLOWEEN – I will create, order and display on a bookshelf, photo books for the years 2007 – 2012. The photos are all online, so this task isn’t as monumental as it might seem. Also, I don’t know why I chose Halloween. Maybe because I’m a little scared.
  3. BY THANKSGIVING (I’m on a roll with my deadlines/holidays), I will scan the photos and mementos from at least one of the boxes in my daughter’s room onto my computer. And then give the hard copy photos to grandparents, aunts, cousins, random people on the street.  And then burn the box. And then do a happy dance.

You know that feeling when all the laundry is done? Or your kitchen sink is clean and empty? Yeah. That’s the feeling I’m going for. Peace of mind. Less clutter. More memories on the bookshelf than in a dark closet.

Because It’s Thursday

Because It's Thursday

Sometimes when I give my 2yo a strawberry frosted poptart in the middle of the afternoon because that’s what she feels like eating, I wonder if somewhere in the grander cosmos Gwyneth Paltrow is all, “Here Apple and Mosey, have some more kale chips.”
And then I hate her a little bit.

Because It’s Thursday

Because It's Thursday

Sometimes when I give my 2yo a strawberry frosted poptart in the middle of the afternoon because that’s what she feels like eating, I wonder if somewhere in the grander cosmos Gwyneth Paltrow is all, “Here Apple and Mosey, have some more kale chips.”
And then I hate her a little bit.

5 Things You’ll Never Find In Jersey (Or, My Review of Texas)

My husband is from a suburb outside of Houston, and his entire family still lives there. So we try to make a visit at least once a year. This time, we planned for nine days in and around the Houston area, with a three day escape to Austin for just the two of us.

Understatement of the year, but Texas is enormous. There are mega-super-multilane highways and two-lane country roads. There are billboards promoting guns and God as well as Planned Parenthood, country music and all the good Texas Shiner beer you can drink. There are big cities, small towns and everything in between.

I love Texas. And I love that with each visit, we travel outside our comfort zone and discover more of the Alamo State. This visit was no different. We started with family in Houston, traveled to Austin, stopped in Hockley (read: middle of nowhere), and then back to family in Texas City.

Along the way, I discovered 5 things I know for sure I’d never find in New Jersey. In no particular order – here they are:

  1. Cows and bulls roaming freely in the backyards of unsuspecting trampoline-jumpers. Here is my daughter and her cousin enjoying some jumps and tumbles on the family’s trampoline. I swear my daughter was mid-jump when she yelled to me from 50 feet away, “MOM! COW!” I ran to make sure she wasn’t being trampled or worse. Turns out, it was a bull. And I was the only one freaking out. Everyone else was Texan, so they wrote it off to being ‘just another Thursday.’

    Nobody yell "Charge!"

    Nobody yell “Charge!”

  2. Statues everywhere…of the living and the dead. Here in Jersey, Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen are considered heroes and local boys who done good. But I don’t think there are statues of them. Are there? And if there are, may I politely ask – why?
    Stevie Ray Vaughn. Ultimate respect, but a statue?

    Stevie Ray Vaughn. Ultimate respect, but a statue?

    Me with the ultimate Texas hero, Willie Nelson.

    Me with the ultimate Texas hero, Willie Nelson.

  3. Sunsets. Now, I realize the sun sets in Jersey too, but you can’t beat a west coast sunset. HOWEVER! You can come real close to the one we saw over Lake Travis in Austin. *in my best southern drawl* Sho’ was purdy!
    Side note: The Oasis in Austin is a lovely restaurant and a definite must-see on a visit to Austin. Mostly burgers, fries and fajitas, but you can get some decent Mexican food and some killer cocktails. But the reason The Oasis is popular is for its gorgeous views of Lake Travis. Due to the drought, the lake levels were low on our visit. But it was still beautiful. For those that don’t know, Austin is quite different from the rest of Texas. There are rolling hills and lots of trees you’d most likely see up north (like New England, not northern Texas). My husband and I shared yummy steak and chicken fajitas, a guac appetizer, margaritas and a kiss right as the sun disappeared from view.

    Sunset at The Oasis on Lake Travis.

    Sunset at The Oasis on Lake Travis.

  4. The flag. No, not that one. The flag of Texas. Yes, although Texans are extremely proud to be American, you can spot the Texas flag more often than the good ole stars and stripes. It’s everywhere from license plates, piano bars, Walmart t-shirts, strip clubs (don’t ask), and belt buckles. It’s a sense of pride and I admire that. Especially since I’m originally from Massachusetts, and I’ll be damned if I could pick the state flag of Massachusetts out in a lineup.

    At Pete's Dueling Piano Bar on 6th Street in Austin...great place!

    At Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar on 6th Street in Austin…great place!

  5. A pink Capitol building. This photo doesn’t do this beautiful building justice, but it is indeed pink. This was a drive-by photo taken as we sped furiously to take the above pic of me with Willie Nelson for my mother (his biggest fan). This is also a must-see in Austin. We didn’t take an official tour, but you can visit the rotunda and walk many of the floors. The historical significance of this building is reflected in the ornate decor…definitely worth seeing.

    The Capitol. At an angle. From a moving vehicle.

    The Capitol. At an angle. From a moving vehicle.

If you’ve not been to Texas, you must go. If for nothing else than the food. Mexican and barbecue are my top choices. The people are friendly, the drinks are always good and  – and particularly if you’re from the North – it can be like visiting another country. Which, I suspect, is just how Texans like it.SAMSUNG

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