Wednesday, December 02, 2009

For Your Reading Pleasure: Extremely Long, Rambling, Pointless, Transitionless, Sort of Depressed Sounding Drivel. Please To Enjoy.

Pin It The coat drive resulted in around 112 coats, 46 light jackets, several pairs of gloves and mittens, and a few pairs of boots. Thank you so, so much for participating and for being so generous and goodhearted. It was heartwarming and inspirational, like any Christmas service project worth its salt should be.

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.)
I looked around at all of the Christmas wreaths and porch displays and elaborate decorations and wondered exactly whose birth they thought they were celebrating? Certainly not the birth of little baby Jesus, the world's most famous shivering-in-the-cold refugee. (I mean, HELLO - "a child, a child, shivers in the cold, let us bring him silver and gold fleece lined sherpa jackets.").

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.

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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?

Gentle Ben
(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:

Megan

Emma

Jacob

and Joshua.

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?)

Cesar Chavez


Josh
FIGHT THE POWER!

(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.

93 comments:

  1. Give it time, the name will grow on you. I still ponder every now and then if I should have given my daughter a more unique name, but in the end, Hannah just works for her. My nephews name is Joshua and he is anything but a serious kid - hopefully that'll make you feel a little better. At least you didn't name him anything mean or weird. One of my good friends just named her son Rand. It's not a name I'd ever pick, but it's cute. Well, their last name is Page. So now their son's name is Rand Page. Say it really quick. (You know, like "Rampage") They did not realize this till AFTER they came home, birth certificate already sent off for. I tried to make her feel better...I told her that at least he has something to put on his letter jacket!! Cause I'm just an awesome friend like that :)

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  2. This might be my favorite post ever.

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  3. Nutcracker at Capitol theater, Dicken's Christmas Carol at U, Christmas Story at Pioneer, It's a Wonderful Life at Kingsbury, old-fashioned Christmas at This is the Place, festival of lights at Wheeler Farm, Zoolights at Hogle, lights at Thanksgiving Point, Santa's reindeer at Thanksgiving Point, Santa's elves at Gardner Village, live nativity in Draper, Small Town Christmas in Midway, Horse-drawn sleigh ride + dinner in Heber/Park City (lots of different outfitters host these).

    Check donwtownslc.org and www.lds.org/events/ to make a Temple Square trip great - there are performers practically every night somewhere downtown.

    That was a lot. Sorry to overload your comments there...

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  4. I've got nothing but love for ya (In a non-creepy way of course)! I just had quite the day from heck and reading your alleged ramblings gave me a much needed smile. So, ramble on. Smiles are always a good thing :).

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  5. I know people who have changed their babies' names. Reals. Can be done. (I'd recommend in the first year, though.) (My friend's parents changed her name IN HIGH SCHOOL. True story.)

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  6. Hi Sue,

    So glad you got some awesome coats. People are Rtards in that other neighborhood. I do have a friend that changed her babies name when she was about 6 months old. So it has been done.
    and I love love your new header. I chuckled when I read it. I am having a mega hard time with blogging. I'm not sure why.

    It was fun reading your post today. Thanks for a great read :)
    Shellie

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  7. Geez, High School's a bit late!

    I am proud of you for how well you did on the coat drive...ashamed of me that I didn't get to it.

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  8. CHANGE THE NAME! I went through this (albeit at 5 days, not 3 months or wherever you are at right now). Just CHANGE IT! I think, prior to 6 months, it's not too hard to do. Mamabird Diaries (I'm supposed to be working right now, so no, I'm not going to hyperlink that for you) did this, because she named her daughter the wrong thing and it haunted her. So you can mosey on over there (in your spare time) and see how she did it. Or just email her.

    And I don't get it - it's going to take you 18 weeks to walk 26 miles? Why? I am really tired of all these women who decide they are going to get in shape by running a marathon. Isn't that a tad extreme? Me, I'm going to get in shape (someday) by running up and down my townhouse stairs with full laundry baskets. Simpler, and more productive...

    I smiled all the way through your post. And believe me, I needed to smile right now. Thanks!

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  9. Just a thought---where I live the coat drives took place 2 months ago in anticipation of the cold weather, so perhaps folks already donated their spare coats before Thanksgiving. It's a comforting thought anyway...MIME

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  10. Maybe you should just call him Joshie. And then Josh when he's old enough, and he'll be Joshua when he's an adult, unless he falls in love with Latin American culture somewhere along the way, in which he will be Fernando Joshue (pronouced Joshway).

    And I think I have already mentioned my fondness for the new header.

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  11. Cousin Sue, I'm so glad the coat drive went well.

    And I love it when you blog. I say, to hell with being a famous blogger and selling out to the man! You are amazing and you should write what you want, when you want. You have fans because of that.

    He's a Benjamin. Just do it.

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  12. I will suggest going to Gardner village, they have such cute little shops, fun decorations, the elves are adorable...........
    Oh who am I kidding, I go there because Sweet Afton's hands out FREE FUDGE SAMPLES!

    When we met at the lunch, I thought you looked like your picture. I had actually planned on coming home that day and sending you an email to thank you for organizing the lunch because I had so much fun, but I kind of didn't because I'm lazy.

    You can change your baby's name, contact vital records in your area.
    Or you can just call him Ben as a nickname.

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  13. I'm so with you on the blog thing. Especially when I have people saying "You haven't posted in a WEEK."

    Heaven. Forbid.

    I tell my husband daily that I'm done SO DONE with it all. And then something comes into my brain and I have to post. So that's what I do. And then people comment and I think PLEASE DON'T COMMENT because it reminds me that people are reading, which in turn makes me feel like I need to write about something actually INTERESTING which, let's face it, is too much pressure.

    Yeah, I've got issues. Maybe that's why I love reading 'bout yours.

    p.s Sorry for commenting. Unless you don't mind. And then you're welcome.

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  14. My friend just changed the name of her baby and no one even thought twice about it.

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  15. I like Ben better too. I vote change it.

    And since you don't even know me, I can say the brutal truth.

    Also, I say, write what you think and screw the people who don't want to read it. Who do you blog for? You? or Them?

    Just the 2 cents from a total stranger.

    You did make me laugh though.

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  16. OK, I told you you looked great. And you do! I think you look a lot like your picture, except less pink. :)

    And I agree with what you told me about women being able to make money off their writing. But the reasons you gave are the reasons I don't do ads. Or giveaways other than the ones giving away stuff my readers sell. Even if I get a free sex toy out of it. :)

    I guess I get a bit disheartened when I see a fun, personal blog that I loved to read, turn into a review blog. And I NEVER enter the giveaways where I have to do more than leave a comment. To each their own, but I generally stop reading all together.

    Oh, and I am dropping off my coat tomorrow at the AAU, on my way to work.

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  17. I still like the name Parker ;) Even Benjamin is better than Joshua.
    In SLC, you can serve breakfast to the homeless every Sunday under the freeway overpass! Doesn't that sound fun?! I thought I would throw that humanitarian idea in there, just for you.
    I get excited every time you post. I have to sneak off into a corner to avoid my husbands strange looks when I giggle out loud. He always wants to know why and it is always too much work because I have to give him a necessary 15 min prologue, explaining some history that he has to understand before he can get why what I thought was funny made me laugh. "PHEW!" See?! it's exhausting! Long story short - YOU Brighten my day :)

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  18. oh, and the stuff to do in slc thing: the discovery gateway museum is really expensive but has some fun christmas stuff (we have a membership renewed by grandparents every year instead of lots of little toys--PERFECT). it's also kind of fun to go to that place in ogden where you can surf indoors and skydive in a tube and stuff, even if you just watch.

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  19. 1. I have two friends who changed their baby's names. Apparently you get one freebie change if they're under 6 months (or maybe a year? Can't remember).

    2. My eldest is Benjamin. It's a good name. Solid, traditional, yet cute.

    3. My sponsors dropped me because I voiced my opinions on certain subjects. So, I make nothing from my blog, but I'm happy and free to say what I like.

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  20. Why? Why can't one edit grammatical and spelling errors in comments. Sorry--it will drive me crazy if I don't correct myself. It should say babies' names.

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  21. My mother in law changed one of her sons names right after he was blessed, at about 3 months old. She said as soon as she heard the blessing, she burst into tears cuz she knew it was the wrong name.
    I changed my sons middle name when he was 2 or 3. But it was just his middle name, no big. I say go for it.

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  22. My folks changed my little brother's name from Daniel to Robert. He is SO a Rob, so it works good. He's your kid, so do what you want :)

    As for the coats...that is really sad. If I had gotten my stuff together in a reasonable amount of time I would have sent some in. bah.

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  23. Change his name! Although I love the name Joshua, he totally looks like a Ben.

    Also, I wish I had changed my son's name. When I found out I couldn't have any more kids I wanted to change his name to Andrew, but my husband wouldn't let me. Now I really wish I had ignored him - he is so not a Toby. Oh well.

    I want to do that marathon thingy with you! Sounds awesome! 09 was such a crappy year for me, I am determined to make 2010 awesome. And to not be fat anymore. That's my number one goal, right after I break the world record for eating the most chocolate in one sitting.

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  24. There's nothing wrong with changing the name, but another alternative is call him J.B. (like Joshua Benjamin). Of course that won't work well if your last name is Scabies, then again, there's no hope for him with any name if your last name is Scabies.

    I meant to order a coat and send it, but then I forgot, but now I feel horribly guilty. Maybe I'll go change a lightbulb to feel better.

    And lastly, just write whatever you feel like writing and pretend there are no readers at all (except maybe your mother in law, because she's probably checking in on you).

    And really lastly, if we ever met up in real life, I promise to never say you look fatter than you do on your blog if you promise to never say that I seem stupider than I do on my blog (not that you read it).

    The end. I figured it needed a formal conclusion since it turned into a novel.

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  25. I love the name Joshua! I battled with wanting to change my last son's name too. Samuel just seemed like such a big name for such a little boy. He was about 6-7 months old before it really started growing on me. Now I can't imagine naming him anything different.

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  26. Husband and I are debating names for child-to-be, and we are at a complete loss. Well, not complete, just without a compromise. So your name-regret kinda scares me.

    Totally get the the whole blog thing. (Love the header, bee tee double-you.) Wanna be bigger, be nice to actually make some moulah from the blog without selling out. And I hate feeling like I need to censor myself. Though really, I censor because my mom, MIL, and husband read. If I didn't have them, I'd be much free-er.

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  27. Wheeler Farm is always fun. Also, the last Wednesday of Nov.-Feb. is free at Hogle Zoo.

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  28. Awwwwwyeeeeahhhh...

    I'm totally feeling your publishing without reviewing first. I did not plan on buying anything on Black Friday, so I stayed home. BUT then I logged onto some shopping sites and just hit "Checkout" without checking out the item in real life, comparing it to one hundred other similar items, and pondering over it for hours (like I typically do).

    It was crazy. I don't know what I'll do next, but I'm sure it will be dangerous.

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  29. ya, per the blog names... I keep changing my kids names (especially the youngest) and I'm pretty sure nobody outside of myself and God can keep track of who I'm talking about anymore. :)

    Oh, and I like the walk the marathon thingy :) Good place to start! I personally think I may die of heart failure if I even so much as bounce enough while walking that some innocent (and mortified) bystander might, MIGHT, think I'm trying to jog.

    Need to work on that myself!

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  30. There's a grocery store out here that has a slogan of "Egads! That's a steal!" really has nothing to do with your post, but you wrote egads and I gave you my stream-of-consciousness reply.

    Maybe Joshua's name will grow on you. Or you could go to city hall and change it. I mean, he's only a few months old, it's not like he's going to remember. It can be your big, dark family secret and when he's fifteen he'll find out and scream that you've BEEN LYING TO HIM ALL THESE YEARS and he KNEW he wasn't really a Benjamin. Kind of awesome if you ask me.

    Also. I will donate toilet paper for the neighborhood over yonder. After I donate a coat. (Hides sheepishly.)

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  31. #1 - My friend changed her 2nd son's name - after his blessing and everything. She's never regretted it. My dad's name was changed from Delmar to Ben when he was 12 - and we're all the better for it.

    #2 - My oldest is named Benjamin (after Benjamin Bratt - what - you thought he was named after my dad?)so I'm all for the name change. And he's a Gentle Ben (although I think Gentle Ben was a grizzly bear)

    #3 - I'm also all for (did you catch the transition?) walking the SLC marathon - what a good idea! I'm feeling the itch to lose some weight but have no idea/desire to seriously go about it. Walking a marathon would be a good goal. April you say? I just may have to go for it (yes, I'm noncommital.)

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  32. Change the name!! I did it at 8 months and I did not have one single second of regret. I knew I picked the wrong name from the very beginning and should have just acted sooner. I happen to love the name Benjamin and Joshua. You can't go wrong. Here's my post on changing my baby's name.

    http://www.mamabirddiaries.com/the-mamabird-diaries/she-just-looks-like-a-summer/

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  33. I keep changing my kids BLOG names.... meh! :P

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  34. Every time I look at him, I have to stop and remember that his name isn't Joey. Of course, maybe that could be a nickname for Joshua. Joseph...Joshua...they start the same. Come on, Sue, give in. You know I'm right. Maybe that's what he's trying to tell you with all that babbling he's doing: "Grandma's right, Grandma's right."

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  35. Check out DrMcdougall.com
    Maximum Weight Loss is the diet I've been doing.
    Either his website on line or the book at the library.
    I just lost 10 pounds! My mom lost 10 so far and my dad about 18. Just do it! It feels good. I bet you'll lose 5 lbs the first week!

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  36. I changed my last baby's name - she didn't even look like the name we'd originally given her and somehow I thought she'd morph to take on the characteristics of it. The name we changed it to totally suits her personality. Anyways. it can be done.

    Your kids are beautiful. And you posted! Made my whole December, thank you.

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  37. My parents (immigrant, ESL) renamed my brother a few weeks after his birth, after being told that the name they picked (Kaye), while sounding great in Chinese, might not be so easy to endure as a Canadian boy. Legal fees were pretty stiff. But in the end, worth it. Though if they'd spelled it Kai (which is how it's pronounced in Chinese), AND if he was born 20 years later, he'd have a trendy yuppy name. Who knew.

    And for a Christmasy thing to do, how about a visit to http://sweetcandy.com/ ? Never been there, but since I discovered their salt water taffy, it's something I want to take the kids to someday when we come back to visit.

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  38. I always have several weeks of buyer's remorse on my babies' names (here is where you nod and say, well, look what you name your babies, of course you do dear) and in one case I kept accidentally calling the baby the alternate unused name, for weeks, and in the most recent case I kept calling the baby her older sister's name, for weeks. But I also have such a horrifically hard time choosing a name in the first place that at a certain point (that point being right after we fill out the birth certificate) I just make myself live with it. (Don't get me wrong, I do actually love my kids' names, it's just that it's such a terrifying responsibility to name a kid, and then I went and gave them old man and old lady names.)

    Oh, and I don't think Joshua's a somber name--I like it. But I also love love love the name Ben, so I'm no help.

    I periodically feel guilt for using my kids' real names on my blog but I also always thought pseudonyms would be beyond my brain capacity. Plus they would get in the way of stories about my kids that involve their names (which come up more than you would think). Also I feel guilty for blogging about my kids at all on a public blog, but otherwise I wouldn't have anything else to talk about--and then I feel bad about that, because just how boring am I, anyway?

    Oops, sorry, started pouring out my soul there.

    But as long as I'm at it:

    I bought some (much-needed) new clothes when I was about 3 months postpartum, and then my thyroid levels took a nosedive, and those clothes are all now too small, and nothing fits and it's all very depressing--so depressing, in fact, that I'm too depressed to muster the energy to call the doctor to get my thyroid checked again (which it needs to be because I'm *still* gaining). I do really truly believe in loving one's self and being grateful for one's God-given body at any size, but I also really don't feel like buying even bigger clothes, nor am I quite comfortable looking so different from how I used to look.

    I've started walking a few miles a week and haven't lost a pound nor an inch, but I'm *slightly* more flexible--the other day I managed to bend over to pick up a shoe without grunting out loud--so I'm clinging to that one scrap of evidence that there's any point in my exercising.

    (Hi, I'm Zina and I like to overshare.)

    I'm actually planning to walk in the morning, so I'd better sleep before I ramble even more.

    Oh--also I was sad to miss the blog lunch, but I had a croupy baby and couldn't have come anyway.

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  39. i just wanted to say that your post had me chuckling several times.

    and hello, from a lurker. :)

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  40. You don't exaggerate. Your title for this post is quite fitting. And when I first read it I was excited to read your "drivel" and after I read it I was happy to have read it and very glad that you posted and liked you more than ever (that happens no matter what you say, really).

    And your kids are beautiful.

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  41. your kids are so cute

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  42. My goodness you have gorgeous kids. But I'm crushed, cuz I believed the Carter myth and loved that name.
    I like both Joshua and Benjamin. I don't think Josh is a somber name--i think it's fun and cute. But I truly love Fernando. What about changing to that?
    And I don't make money off my blog either. Honestly, even if I put ads on it, I suspect I still wouldn't. Just not that popular.

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  43. I think he's a Benjamin too. And, IMO, Benjamin, Benjie, and Ben rolls off the tongue a little easier than Joshua, Joshie or Josh when combined with your last name.

    It can't be that difficult to legally change his name. Check with the Bureau of Vital Statistics.

    If you go ahead with this, just be sure you change it on his membership record of the Church as well. Your ward clerk should be able to help you with that.

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  44. Keep blogging. You're funny. No pressure!

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  45. One more thing, hasn't your Mom told you the story of finding out that the on her birth certificate was Doris?

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  46. So, I'm not the most fabulous of photographers, but I'll take pictures for you for free if you want. If we can do it next week on a day that's not snowing. :)

    Also, glad to see you back & did I see you on the news the other night with the coat thing??

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  47. I had serious second thoughts (too late) about my first daughter's name: Rebecca. I wished I had named her Madeline, but I couldn't because her cousin was named that. And I really love the name Benjamin and we might have named one of our boys that except that they have a cousin of the same name (yup, from the same family). The feeling will pass, for the most part. But I cried about it for several days after she was born---it's how I channeled the baby blues.

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  48. You are awesome! I loved your ideas in your email. Thank you, thank you! (BTW, I didn't think you took a long time to respond.) As I read it I realized if anyone asked me what to do in Vegas I'd have absolutely NO answer for them because we stay as far away from the Vegas side of Vegas as we can. I already copied down SLC ideas from your commenters thus far. :)

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  49. I had some regret after naming our first son. I really felt like it was the wrong name, that we should have stuck with the name we had discussed most of the pregnancy. Now I can't even remember what the other name was. I think it was Nathaniel. Weird, right?

    For what it's worth, I really like the name Joshua. I've always had a thing for J names.

    Also, my father-in-law's name is Ronald (technically) but he's been Jesse most of his life. It's even on his driver's license. And my Dad's cousin's name is Carmi, but for 40 years he went by Pete. So if you feel too unmotivated to actually go through the work to change it, just call him whatever you want.


    And my given name is Mary but I've always been called the less-formal derivative, Molly. It's fun. It's like having a secret identity. People can know me for years before they find out my real name.

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  50. There are few things that bring me greater joy then sitting and reading through a Sue ramble.

    I heart you.

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  51. How many soul sisters can one girl have? Great post! And sorry I didn't send a coat, thanks for the added guilt! LOL

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  52. You're awesome.

    YES you can change his name, if you so choose. Quickly, now, before he joins the basketball team.

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  53. "let us bring him silver and gold fleece lined sherpa jackets" ... and that, Sue, is why you ROCK.

    Must add that my 5-year-old daughter came in while I was reading. She saw the picture of your daughter and the man in red, gasped heartily, and said, "it's the real Santa!!!!!!!"

    Hmm.

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  54. I sent you Loraxes on facebook, because.

    I am astoundingly fat. We should get fake gastric bypasses together. (My last one didn't take.)

    Walk a marathon in how many weeks? I think I could get it in. 26 miles and 385 yards in a couple months--it's possible! I need one of those pedometer thingamabobs.

    Love ya!

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  55. Changing a baby's name is really easy ESPECIALLY if they're under 1. (Which he is.) Mostly it's just paperwork for a new birth certificate and new ssn.

    That's why I have a Danny and not an Ezra. I mean, he just looks like a Danny. And acts like one.

    At any rate, do whatever you want. My mom changed my sister's name when she was 11 months old. Because my dad took us swimming and there were 3 other girls with the same name so he stopped using her name and started calling her BABY. BECAUSE MY DAD IS AWESOME.

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  56. One of my friends - let's say her last name is Diddler - named her baby William, thinking that no one would be so crass as to shorten it down to "Willy Diddler." We all were exactly that crass and so when he was a month old, his name got legally changed to Joe.

    (we still think of him as good ol' Willy Diddler, though.)

    I know a VERY jolly little Joshy and a very dour little Ben. I thought my son's name was a big ol' mistake until he was 1 and suddenly, it was his PERFECT name.

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  57. Her last name, for the record, is EVEN FUNNIER then "Diddler." HAHAHAHAHAHAH.

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  58. Oh, where to start my bloggy friend?

    Some people suck. Even if they celebrate Christmas. Luckily, you reminded us of how many other people DON'T suck.

    Baby names? I called my little bun Rianna the whole time I was pregnant. In the delivery room, in the middle of a c-section, my ex-hub announced her name would be Jennifer. The medical staff rolled their eyes while we argued this out. Eventually, he pulled the trump card: "You named the last baby." Sigh.

    I would LOVE to do a "Walk a marathon" or anything else that gets me out of my office chair! Want to resurrect the "fight the fluffy" also?

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  59. You need a "like" button, facebook style, because I totally want to thumbs up this post.
    And give you a hug because you sound kinda sad.
    My name was changed when I was seven and I survived it, so I say change away if you want to.

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  60. I'm back to read everyone else's comments (I did get up this morning and walk, yay me, now I need a nap, but first to read everyone else's comments; I have my priorities) and I just wanted to thank Brandi for changing it to babies'. Thank you, Brandi. (And I agree, it's horrible to have to re-comment just to fix a mistake.)

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  61. Let us know if you decide to change the name. My last baby's middle name was supposed to be "Tuff" (my husband's name is Roudy and my firstborn's middle name is Roudy. How cute would it be to have a "Roudy" and a "Tuff"?) but my husband wouldn't let me name him that at the last minute. He was afraid kids would try to see if he lived up to his name. And what if he was a wimp? But, he's now 4 years old and really strong. So now my husband wants to change his middle name to Tuff. I kinda feel like it's too late.

    PS. I've been stalking your blog for quite a while. LOVE IT! I always know I can get a good laugh :)

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  62. I'm commenting just because I don't want to be responsible for killing off another piece of your soul.

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  63. My sister changed her son's name from jake to jack on his first birthday. But the birth cert. still says jacob...

    Am I supposed to know what feedburner is? And ads give me a headache. I am horrible at doing anything that makes money. Takes all the fun out it for me. Is probly why I majored in history. (No possible chance of making a living wage.)

    Good job on the coats.

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  64. Okay, now I feel really bad! I do believe I am the one who spouted that bit of drivel about you sort of looking like your picture...
    Actually, what I was doing was comparing the picture I had of you in my head because of the picture on your blog, but obviously you just got my open mouth, insert foot end of it. Sigh. You are a pretty lady and you have INCREDIBLY beautiful eyes.
    You and your hubs make really, really pretty kids.
    Here is what I think about the whole giving thing.
    I think, each and every one of us is being called by God, to do something to better the world. If we would all follow our passions about what we feel needs to change, the world would be an incredible place. I think what you did was amazing and because of you, children will be warmer. What a great thing.

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  65. First, about the coats, I would write an open letter to your newspaper about your coat business and that stinky neighborhood. Have them publish it in the opinion section and then that neighborhood can just live with what they did.

    Second, change his name! You can do it easily up to his first birthday. After that, it's really hard.

    I enjoy your blog. Thanks for making me laugh!

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  66. I know what you mean. And please don't start training for a marathon.

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  67. I know what you mean. And please don't start training for a marathon.

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  68. when my niece was 7 months old, we got an email message one day informing us that her name was going to be officially, legally changed as of the next day...and to please start using the new name again effective immediately.

    random!

    but then 2 months later, i gave birth to my first child, whom we named after my sister (at my DH's suggestion. i think he was regretting his choice of sisters. i jest.)

    about a month later, we get ANOTHER email from my re-named niece's mother, informing us that actually, though she liked the new name, it didn't have any personal meaning, that is to say, she wasn't named for anyone. so she was changing it AGAIN...albeit keeping the same first name and only giving making middle name after a relative.

    So YES, it can be done. And this kid was a year old by the time musical names ended.

    go with your gut. people will adjust.

    (btw, i recently mentioned in a post about my plan to legally change my middle name to my nickname. it's much bigger hassle when you're married, have a will, etc. as it turns out. so i'd do it sooner rather than later if you're going to do it! ♥

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  69. There's a kajillion or so things I could comment on but mostly I'm just grinning 'cause I've missed you and this post felt like a lovely, laugh punctuated visit.

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  70. I'd say change it to Benjamin - go with your gut. It's a great name, and not as common as Joshua in these parts (DD's first grade class has four Joshuas in it).

    True story - A family in my ward growing up had a baby three months early. Being so early, with a few other problems to boot, "David" was in the hospital for five months. They chose to wait and bless him in Sacrament Meeting, so he was almost seven months old when they blessed him. In front of the whole ward, his father named him "Nathan." Wait. Did he just say Nathan? For seven months we've been calling him David. I thought his wife was going to throw a hymn book at him. She was furious! But Nathan it was. His situation was a little more complicated than just getting a new birth certificate - he'd been in dozens of specialists' offices and had a medical file four inches thick by that point - they had to change it with every single Dr. he'd seen, every therapist, etc.

    What exactly does the marathon walking thing involve? I'd love to do that! Let me know if you need a walking buddy - I'm about one mile straight east of you and would love to have someone to walk with!

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  71. I know a gal that changed her son's name when he was THREE!!! So ya, if you don't want his name to be Joshua...change it. He'll never be the wiser. Naming our kids is one of life's few privliges. You might as well take advantage of it!

    And I knew it was you when I saw you. Whoever said you sort of look like your picture is flippin' retarded.

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  72. THIS IS LIKE SEVEN POSTS. You know, you could do this everyday if you took it one step at a time...kind of like your marathon.

    And congratulations on coming over to the non-paranoid side of blogging, now there's two of us. I put all sorts of personal information out there, names, social security number, just the basics. And I totally know someone who changed their kid's name, go for it.

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  73. If you do change your babies name, be sure to actually change the birth certificate. My brother's girlfriend's dad decided to call her Lara instead of Cassandra, which they had named her at the hospital. They never changed the birth certificate, so legally she's cassandra but everyone calls her lara. Very confusing.

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  74. My son's name is Joshua but I don't know that we ever really called him "Joshua" (maybe except for when he's in trouble). He went from being "Joshy" to just plain Josh now that he's 11. It's a good, strong name. Benjamin is nice too, but I am partial to Joshua. ;>)

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  75. I hear that this place http://www.titlenine.com/category/sports-bras-and-undies.do is great for bras that really support. If nothing else, the descriptions make me laugh.

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  76. oh blerg there is nothing wrong with making money off your blog. some people will have to learn the hard way and if they get fake will loose their readers. but seriously there are so many of us that need money and this we can do from home. i don't know i think i am getting tired of people complaining about it or i am just pms-ey today.

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  77. I'd love to walk a marathon with you! I'm googling the term now. I'll post on my blog about it and you better follow through:-)

    Seriously, your kids are adorable, and your blog is adorable, and I LOVE it!

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  78. I'm very excited to see what 2010 brings for you! (Oh, if you really did want to start running, titleninesports.com has the awesomest running bras for large chested women. Seriously. I have DDs and they do not move.)

    Also, your children are absolutely beautiful. And I could not agree more with your thoughts on blogging for profit.

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  79. I graduated in tech writing too!

    I did get several coats that are hanging around because I was too completely lazy to get them in the mail to you. Too late? Let me know. I can donate them elsewhere too. I'm lame...probably with a heart of stone.

    On the weight loss thing, if you aren't nursing you should try the HCG drops. I just finished a 3 week course and lost almost 20 pounds. Figure-wise at least, I am back to my old pre-marriage butt kicking self!

    My son's first name is after his dad, but we always call him by his middle name. Given my new situation, I am seriously thinking about legally flipping the two names (the original idea being that I wanted him to have his dad's name too so he would be inspired to be like him. Now, not so much.) Also, my bro in law had his middle name changed when he was three. It's just a matter of going into the social security office, I think, and then ordering a new birth certificate.

    This was long...

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  80. Congrats on the successful coat drive!! You did something important and loving. My family is gearing up for our 3rd Annual Blanketing Arizon (.com) Christmas Eve morning chilifest and blanket give away for the homeless here in Phoenix. It has become a huge deal since we started and we love doing it as it reminds us of the true spirit and meaning of Christmas.
    Also, Im with you on the character of the blogging world lately. I love the ones that say I need your feedback, I want to hear from you, I'm really bad about responding but I really love you. (I can anme names.) But, hey, when I get too irritated, I'll quit reading them and move on to someone else. It's just a pasttime anyway.

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  81. I agree about the bloggers who don't know how not to cross the line and just go into this real weird spot of kissing up and not really blogging. . . It drives me crazy to read a blog that tells about their family vacation and then ends with something like...and that's why we love Disney World (because they paid for our vacation, ya'll!

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  82. I had pretty much given up on your giving birth and haven't stopped by for a few months. I hope I don't have to feel guilty about not donating a coat, since I didn't know about the coat drive. Bless you for doing it. I suppose that now I am not going to be able to walk by the bell ringers without donating.

    As for your blog, it is my favorite. This post was amazing - I didn't know if I was laughing or crying at times. I will check in more often, in hopes that you will have another post.

    I understand the naming thing. My last (6th) child was named under duress. He went to PCMC and the nurses would ask his name. I would say, "Michael?" They would reply, "Oh. He looks like a 'Michael'" and I would say, "Does he?" And it has turned out okay. But he is definitely not a "Mike." I say do what feels best in your case. Yes, I understand your visit to Primary's - all too well.

    Looking forward to your next post, but no pressure, of course.

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  83. I love random posts. Makes me feel like we just had a nice chat. Which would be funny because this is the first time I've commented...I think.

    I changed my daughter's middle name after she had been blessed. I had given into pressure about the first middle name, but it never felt right. However, we hadn't gotten a birth certificate for her yet, so it only meant getting a new blessing certificate from the bishop.

    And I love your kids names...because three of them are my kids names.

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  84. You should change his name. I named my daughter Clementine when she was born four years ago. But I got a lot of crap for that name (too "wierd") My mother in particular was very heinous about it ("I told the people I work with at the temple and they laughed at her name!") Being post-partum and completely hormonal I caved and changed her name to Adelaide after a week.

    I really regret that. Clementine is the perfect name for her. But now she's four and it would be kind of confusing to change it back. I would like to at least add it as a middle name.

    My advice: don't listen to anyone. If you want to change the baby's name, do it.

    P.S. Adelaide tells everyone that her nickname is Clementine. They're like "your nickname? Huh?"

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  85. My parents changed my name when I was about 18mo old. I like my old name better.

    I thought you looked MARVELOUS when I met you at that thinger-ma-bobber. I would like Santa to bring me a reduction and Lift for Christmas this year. I doubt it will happen. I'll be lucky if I get an orange in my toe.

    And now I have to go hide in shame because I do believe you were referring to the shameless self promoting I have been doing as of late.

    Ta-ta.

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  86. This needed to be like 3 blog posts, because I have many comments.

    First, I have an Emma. Love the name, you should have just started with that from the beginning.

    Second, if you want a reduction for Christmas, call your insurance company. I got one a few years ago, and it was covered 100% by insurance. Sawweet. I will never ever regret it.

    Third, I have missed you so. I forgot how funny you are. And if we lived close, I would totally meet you for lunch, and not say anything mean to you. I'd totally talk about you behind your back when you went to the bathroom though, because that's what good friends do, right? ;)

    Don't be a stranger now, ya hear?

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  87. My friends parents disagreed on her brother's name. Mom won, but Dad continues to call him Ben exclusively. In fact, I have no idea what his real name is. He's 30. In many cultures the kid gets a new name when they turn 12 or 13 or something that reflects their grown-up personality. I say change it!

    Sorry about the coat drive. You still have a lot though!

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  88. This is an interesting post. So many things happened in it. The weariness is evident, too. Weary is different than tired. Tired is muscles and too much to do. Weary is discouragement, and is a spiritual thing - life becomes too complex, too many decisions too often, a yearning for the sweet clarity that must be around here somewhere - as though the mountain you carry is too dense to see through.

    Don't be too hard on the Christmas displays. You don't know that each of those families hadn't just given their fast offering or the perpetual fund or the humanitarian fund a thousand dollars. We don't know if their own kids are sick of body or spirit. We just don't know. You can be hard on me, because I waste a lot of time spinning my wheels, and time is what makes the diff in my participation.

    I don't know if this counts, but my take on your final bit about the blog thing is this: have I said it to you already? So many women have no voice. Even if they had the courage to speak, they don't have the words. When you turn the lens on yourself, when you struggle in that wry way of yours, with your flaws and frustrations, and with the vagaries of life - they read it, and they feel relief. As though they had said it, because it's been said out loud.

    This is a gift of the spirit, I think. It's up to you to balance your wanna-be-famous thing. Women need to connect - it's how we're made. We define ourselves by how many people love us, not by how many points we've scored. And that can get out of hand, because there are only so many people you can actually, responsibly befriend. But the blog creates a new kind of friendship - it's not logistical, it's potentially spiritual. The point is not fame. It's connection.

    Danger: connection outside the family is heady stuff, and addictive. Connection inside the family is the first and foremost thing. Writing when you should be interacting - playing, reading with, fighting with - it's an imbalance that is dangerous for the children and debilitating for the writer. I know. And those who choose writing over that interaction ultimately have nothing real to write about.

    I'm not expecting you to post this, by the way - too long and too serious and not gushy at all (in the way of so many comments - all throwing a line back at you, hungry for a two way connection).

    Sometimes we write, looking for ourselves. Mirrors are so limited. Spilling your brain on a page is much more real. And maybe, ultimately, the blogger is looking most for a connection with herself.

    These people love you. I have to laugh - the most hits I have ever gotten on anything were because of that giveaway - not because of the star, but because you posted it. They all came from you. Shoot, I got almost 200 hits. But I find that, if I could get 14 comments out of my thirty or forty family and friends, I'd die happy.

    Your readers find comfort in you. Some find comfort in comforting you. You make them laugh. And when that laugh is healthy, as the ones you generate are, that, too, is of tremendous worth. Have you seen that Christian woman on YouTube? The one who talks about her husband and calls him Left Brain? That's good stuff. Letting us laugh at an affectionately wry view of our own absurd but very valuable lives. That's what you do.

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  89. Thought I commented back when you posted this, but I must have imagined it. Thanks for sending out the book love and for making me laugh-- you're the best! :)

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  90. By the way, the kids are absolutely beautiful. Did you shoot these?

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  91. Hey, I meant to tell you that Jane had to grow into her name, too. Now she totally defines it and I dare someone to say the name, "Jane!" without all of us hitting the decks and covering our heads. THAT, my friend, is a NAME. But at first people (my mother) said stuff like, "Well, I hate that name but she's a cute baby."

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