I am discovering that I would make a total emotional wreck of a humanitarian aid worker. I don't know how people like Amy handle it. I stood in Walmart the other day trying to decide between a toddler parka and an infant coat. I could not stop picturing little round cheeks turning red with cold all because I CHOSE THE WRONG COAT, and I burst into tears right there in the baby aisle.
(I struggle with humanitarian stuff the same way that I struggle with caring about the environment. I mean - does it matter that I recycle my cans if I drive an SUV too? Do I really have to switch all of my bulbs over to those awful flourescent ones? Should I stop buying name brand whifflesnatchers so we can donate more to people who have nothing? Is it all or nothing? How much is enough?)
(Man, where is the Lorax when you need a little help focusing your middle class guilt?)
Anyway, we went out on Thanksgiving morning to hang doorknob flyers about the coat drive. We went to a neighborhood a few streets over, because my friend Jess had already hit up our neighborhood a few weeks prior. I knew our haul would probably be a little on the small side since many people were gone for Thanksgiving, and they might have already donated to something else, or they might not have children, or they might have given at the office, or they might have no coats because they are actually space lizards in disguise - or, you know, blah blah blah excuse excuse WHATEVER.
I wasn't counting on huge participation is what I'm saying.
But what I didn't expect was that not a single household would donate a coat. NOT. A. SINGLE. HOUSE.
(This baby's picture was on my flyer. COME ON. How do you resist that?)
(A heart of STONE, that's how.)
(A heart of STONE, that's how.)
But I know that one neighborhood does not represent the world - Jess and her kids gathered up over 70 pairs of mittens, and look how incredibly great and generous YOU all were during the coat drive. So I'm not turning cynical on you, but I am fighting a serious urge to toilet paper certain Christmas displays in the neighborhood over yonder.
Can I just tell you that I'm having post-baby-naming regret? We named him Joshua (although Fernando he will always remain in my heart). His name doesn't fit at all. It seems like such a serious, somber name, and when he is feeling good, he is such a jolly, happy, little (Frosty approved) soul. I wish we'd named him Benjamin - he seems like a Ben to me. Is it a big deal to change a baby's name? Has anyone actually done it?
(Er... I've never read/watched that, so I'm not actually sure what I'm implying about my child)
Speaking of blog names, I am abandoning them, because it just feels stupid. Put me on the bad parent list, but - I don't think anyone will be any more or less likely to kidnap my children if they know their names are not Sarah, Abby, Carter and Fernando, but are actually:
If you think I just used that little naming exercise as an excuse to post cute pictures of my kids, well, then YES. YOU GOT ME.
We haven't had professional pictures taken of the baby yet, partly because we are broker than broker than broke (as per usual) and partly because pictures make him angry. (Doesn't he look kind of like a little mini-Cesar Chavez, all "Babies Against Flash Photography!" and such?)
(Ummm.... PLEASE IMAGINE TRANSITION TO ENTIRELY NEW TOPIC HERE.)
I am EXTRAORDINARILY fat this year. I met a few blogging friends for lunch the other day, people I'd never actually met in real life, and even though I warned them my picture was photoshopped and I was actually horribly troll like and multi-chinned, I think they were still unprepared for the reality. One of them dubiously said "well, you SORT of look like your picture," and I had to limp around with my ego on the floor for the rest of the meal.
Aught Ten is going to be my year though, I can FEEL it. I'm sick of myself, ready to be strong and powerful and not weak and sluggish and sloth-like. Thinking about times when I've successfully lost weight in the past, it was usually when I had a goal or a deadline or something I was working toward, like a revenge meeting with an old flame or something like that. I am fresh out of old flames though (unless you count my husband) (KIDDING), so I need a different kind of goal.
I would like to someday do a triathalon like a lot of the other women in my neighborhood, but I really struggle with running because of my chestage. (If Santa would like to bring me a reduction for Christmas this year, I'd be seriously in favor.) Sans that particular Christmas miracle, my big plan is to start training to WALK the Salt Lake City marathon in April. I'm following this "Walk a Marathon in 18 Weeks" program I found online. If anyone wants to do it with me, let me know. I could use a friend to help keep me accountable.
Speaking of friends (SEE? A TRANSITION! I CAN TRANSITION! HOWEVER AWKWARDLY!), my friend Michelle is coming to Salt Lake City during the holidays and wanted suggestions for fun things to do. I gave her the standard list, stuff like the lights on temple square and going tubing in Park City and skiing and the Christmas thing at the pioneer village, but honestly - most of the stuff we do is based right in our neighborhood - church parties and stuff with friends and neighbors and things here at home. So I'm throwing it out to you guys - do you know of any fun Christmasy things to do here in SLC during the holidays?
We took the kids ice skating at the Gallivan Center's outdoor rink last week and the kids had a ball. Here's Megan, who told me she was pretty sure this guy was not Santa, but she wanted her picture taken with him "just in case."
And speaking of the HOLIDAYS (JUST GO WITH IT), my friend Aubrey Mace just wrote a really cute, charming, LDS Christmas romance, Santa Maybe. You should go buy it. Buy a cupcake while you're at it, because the story is set in a bakery and my mouth was constantly watering. It's a very sweet book - it'll make you laugh and smile and feel warm seasonal fuzzies.
(Aubrey's one of my critique partners - or she would be, if I ever actually wrote anything. Right now my participation in the critique group is pretty much limited to congratulating Aubrey and Melanie each time they get a new book published. It's mostly just a great opportunity for me to feel like a big loser...)
(Per the FTC, I should probably now disclose that Aubrey is not a sponsor, she's a friend. Thank you, FTC, for making the blogging world a safer place. /sarcasm)
I made myself a new header, have you seen it? I should probably spring for a blog makeover, but... eh. Caroline mocked up some seriously cute headers for me once upon a time, offered to makeover my blog for free, and guess what I did about it? NOTHING. I would just sit there and look at them, pondering which one "captured my essence." (Mea culpa, Caroline. Please to forgive.)
I guess I am having another blog-life crisis. I enjoy writing stuff here, and love the friends I've made and continue to make (although I struggle with responding to my email, I just never know what to say - especially if it is a POSITIVE email because then I feel like a fraud, and so I think about what to say, and think about it some more, until I completely forget about the initial email, only to discover it in horror three weeks later, lather-rinse-repeat) and all of that, but I am increasingly bugged by the self-promotional aspect of blogging in general, even though I am guilty of it myself (hello feedburner count, how are you today?).
Don't get me wrong, I have NOTHING against women making money from their blogs, nothing at all, but there is this weird line that it sometimes feels like people cross - from real blogger to trading-on-relationships-for-cash blogger. Plenty of people know how to mix sponsorship with remaining themselves, but it seems like more and more people get this really commercial, tie-it-up-with-a-bow sound to their posts that doesn't ring true, and it seems to correspond with getting ads. Maybe that's because you usually get ads when you are starting to get more readers, so you become more guarded and careful about what you post. I know there are plenty of times (seven times during this post) when I had to veto myself from saying certain things, because what would fly when I had ten readers doesn't fly now that I have slightly more.
I don't even really know how to explain what I'm talking about.
(AND THAT, my friends, is why I'm a technical writer. Because I explain things SO CLEARLY.)
Must cease rambling, Joshua is awake. I haven't proofed this and am pressing publish anyway. Egads. LIVING ON THE EDGE, I AM.