Saturday, July 24, 2010

Preparing for Family Vacation - Old School Style!

Tomorrow we are heading up to Lake Michigan for our family vacation. My mom & stepdad rented a big cabin in South Haven and asked us to join them for the week, along with my stepsisters and their families. When mom asked if we wanted to go we eagerly agreed. The plans were made. Set in stone.

This week we found out there would be no internet. No cable. There is however an old T.V. and a bunch of videos. Videos. Trying explaining to two 7 year old boys what a video tape is and how it works. You feel ancient. Believe me.

Hubs was less than thrilled about the no cable thing. "Will there be electricity?" he said. Hardy-har-har. I married a comedian. A sarcastic comedian. But, he did perk up a little when my stepdad told him he would be bringing him a couple Cuban cigars. That should keep him occupied for a few hours, at least. 

Can I tell you a secret? I am kinda excited about the no internet and no cable thing.

This vacation is going to be OLD SCHOOL STYLE!!

So, how do you prepare for a vacation Old School Style? Here is what I have packed, besides clothes, toiletries, yada, yada, yada..

Beach toys
Paddle ball
Squirt Guns
Grown-up floaty-rafts

Car Toys
Coloring Book
DS & Games

We'll be in the car. With two 7 years olds. Six hours. Come on! You gotta give me a little leeway here on the video games. Ok?  Thanks. Now keep reading.

Board Games

Books - 4 of them, all for me.

A Deck of Cards

Writing Materials

Totally going Old School.

Margarita Mix
Bottle of Rum

Mama has got to keep her sanity somehow. Remember? NO INTERNET! 

This week of family togetherness will include walking on the beach, playing board games, talking - to each other, swimming, reading, suntanning, and building sand castles. This week my family will be unplugged.

God, I hope my phone gets reception! 

Family Vacation. Old School Style. Wish me luck.

Friday, July 23, 2010

ProBlogger Challenge Day #1: My Elevator Pitch

Since I don't have enough going on in my life between the kids, the hubs, working, blogging, dreaming about becoming a life coach, and working on my book proposal; I thought, what the heck, let's take the ProBlogger Challenge. What's one more thing on my to do list, right? It's not like I'm leaving for vacation tomorrow or anything...

(BTW I am leaving for vacation tomorrow, and I have a super-terrific guest blogging line-up all set up for y'all!)

What is the ProBlogger Challenge?
ProBlogger, Darren Rowse, wrote this really awesome E-Book called 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. Then he teamed up with SITS Girls Blogging Community, to bring the ProBlogger Summer Challenge to all of the mommy bloggin' world.

If you are interested in joining the challenge, the links above should be a good start for you, but feel free to post a comment or email me if you want more information.

How did the New Breed Mama got roped into this challenge?
I am so glad you asked! You can blame two of my favorite mommy blogging colleagues, Cate from Real Life With Kids, and Jessi from Mama's Got Flair. And since I relate everything in my life back to Twitter, you can find Cate @reallifewithkids and you can find Jessi @JessAriasCooper.

You can blame Cate because I just love this chick and I want to do everything she does. And she likes Cheetos. Cheetos are yummy! (You can read about her love of Cheetos on her blog. Hint, hint).

You can blame Jessi because she wrote this sweet-ass "elevator pitch" and I was all like, "Man, I WANT one of those!!" But, that wasn't enough... Then, she emailed me and gave me all the information I needed to get signed up! The nerve! Why does this Flairicious Mama have to be such a nice person too?

 The Challenge Day #1
The first day's challenge is all about writing an "elevator pitch" for your blog. An elevator pitch is a 100-150 word overview of my blog and what it is all about. Also, Darren's book talks about a "tag line", or a short, sharp, and descriptive, one-liner, that tells people what you're all about.

So here it goes...

Luckily, I already have a pretty good idea of what my blog is all about, because I wrote it all out when I started this blog. The long story is posted on my blog's home page. Also, my 'about the author' page has a little more information about my intentions for the blog. As far as a tag line goes, I created one a month or so back when I decided I needed business cards. Tag lines are great to put on your business cards. (BTW VistaPrint offers great deals on business cards and other self-promoting merchandise.)

My Tag Line:
A New Breed of Mom: Motherhood for the New Millennium

My Short Elevator Pitch:
A New Breed of Mom is a collection of articles, anecdotes, and advise for modern day moms.

My Long Elevator Pitch:
Moms today are different than ever before in history. We want to do it all! There are a variety of other roles we play in life besides being a mom. So how do we juggle it all? How can we be everything to everyone and still find time for ourselves? A New Breed of Mom is a collection of articles, anecdotes, and advise designed to provide guidance and inspiration to you, and other New Breed Mamas, as we traverse this long and winding road we call motherhood.

Feedback Wanted:
A very important aspect of the ProBlogger Challenge is getting feedback and constructive criticism that will help me to improve my blog. Do you like my tag line and elevator pitch? Is there anything you feel you get from my blog that is not mentioned here? Are there any topics that you would like to see me weave into my blog that are not already covered? Thanks for taking the time to read and provide feedback!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Life Coaching - New and Exciting OR New-Agey and Not for You?

Ever since I was a child I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I used to read the Peanuts Comic Strip. Lucy was my favorite. When people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say "An Advise-Giver". An advise-giver. Simplistic words out of the mouth of a child. Those words still ring true for me today.

I want to help people live better lives.

There were times along life's journey that I got lost and strayed from my path, but I have always ended up back at the same spot. My purpose in life is to help others.

I suppose that is what has drawn me to the social work profession. When I entered college it was my goal to become a psychologist. My undergraduate degree is in psychology. I loved it! I still love it! For me there is nothing more interesting that figuring out (well really theorizing about) how someone's mind works.

My goal was to become a therapist. In college I learned that if you go the psychology route you couldn't work independently until you obtained your PhD. So I decided to go the social work route. I've now worked in the field of children and families for over five years. But, my current job does not involve direct practice. And I miss, really miss, working with people.

Everything and everyone in life has a purpose. I am a firm believer in "what's meant to be, will be". It's easy for me to look back on my life and 'connect the dots', so to speak, and see how each event in my life has lead me to the next. Also, the older I get the more "aha" moments I have - meaning something comes up in my current life and I can look back, view my past in a different light, and say "oh, that's why God lead me to have this or that experience".

Some of you may have read about the Transforming My Life Project I am working on in my own life. One of the things I am currently being drawn to is the concept of Life Coaching. Basically a life coach is a cross somewhere between a cheerleader, spiritual leader, and a therapist. Life Coaching is NOT therapy though. Life Coaching, to me, is about guiding people through a process of self-discovery and helping them to develop the immense potential that they have always possessed.

I would (will?) make an excellent life coach.

There is one thing about life coaching that turns me off concerns me. It is not a board certified, skilled profession. Don't get me wrong, to be a good life coach you must be skilled at it, I'm sure. And there are agencies that proclaim to train and "certify" life coaches. Most of them probably do an outstanding job. Still, it is not globally recognized as a profession. For example, you can't go to college and get a degree in life coaching.

It concerns me that anyone can set up shop and proclaim themselves a 'life coach.' But I am truly considering doing just that. The difference, I rationalize, is that I am trained. I am skilled in my profession. I am educated about human development, mental health, the stages of change, and so on.

Please don't get me wrong. I am not saying that if you are a life coach and your training is not in psychology, or social work, or clinical counseling, that your skills are not of value. It's just a fine line. Life coaching is a relatively new field that is still in the evolution process.

Life Coaching, to me, is an exciting concept, I think I could do great things with it and truly help people to better their lives. I am a passionate person. I am passionate about life. I am a genuine person. I could never practice something that I didn't truly believe in. When I do something, when I commit to something, I jump in one hundred percent.

I think becoming a life coach could be a new an exciting way for me to fulfill my life's purpose. But, I'm still on the fence about it. Would you ever go to a life coach? If the person was trained? If they've developed a solid program that would lead you through a journey of self-discovery? If their fees weren't totally outrageous? New and exciting? Or, new-agey and not for you?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My First Ever Wordless Wednesday Post

Have you ever watched those bloopers shows? Or the outtakes at the end of a T.V. show or movie? That's what this Wordless Wednesday post is all about. My family's bloopers. Enjoy!

Mama Lindsay's New Do!

Papa John's Silly Grin

Khegan the Rapper

Riley the Rapper

The One With the Cows


The One With the Okapi Butt
 (Look in the background!)

Don't Talk to Me Until I've Had My Coco Puffs!

Don't Drop Me Dad!

Don't Drop Me Mom!

Did You LICK the Cake?!!

These Are Our Excited Faces

Liquid Courage
(wedding day jitters!)

It Itch's!
(look at Khegan's hand...)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Random Ramblings of a Tired Mommy

Today is day two of my writer's block. I've been sitting at my computer for an hour. I've checked my email. I've checked Twitter. I've read some blog posts. I've checked Facebook. Checked Twitter again. Checked email again. Still no inspiration to write. And I'm tired. And it's almost 10:30 p.m. (But you'll be reading this in the morning because I am going to use my nifty auto-post feature again.)

I'm ready to crawl into bed.

It's been a long day.

A normal Monday.

I woke up. I took my shower. I got dressed. I woke Khegan up. (We only have Khegan this week. Riley is visiting the grandparents.) I walked downstairs and poured my coffee. I packed my lunch. I gave Maxie a treat and put her in her cage. 

This is Maxie.

Funny story about Maxie... We've had her a little over a year. She still poops in the house. And when she is mad at us, then she pees in the house too. We can't seem to get her trained to do her business outside all the time. She knows better. I think she does it to mess with me. And when she is pissed off. John says it's obvious she is a female dog.

If I didn't know better I would say she was just a dumb dog.

She is not dumb.

She is crafty.

The one thing Maxie understands is how to get a treat. Every morning she gets a treat when we put her in her cage. We started this routine because she didn't like going in her cage. Now, every morning she is ready and waiting for that treat.

It's a free treat.

The only treat she gets that is not a reward for doing her business outside.

This is how it goes. Every. Single. Morning. I walk downstairs. She jumps up on me and barks. I lean down and pet her. She runs to the doorway of the kitchen. Then, while I'm pouring my coffee, packing my lunch, and taking care of whatever needs taking care of in the kitchen; she watches me. She stands in the doorway and watches. If I make a move toward the drawer where her treats are kept, she runs full speed into her cage and waits. For her treat.


That she's that smart.

And she still shits in the house.

Hmph. That made for a good little story. Writers block is resolved. But if you're still curious how the rest of my day went - it was pretty boring.


Then Khegan and I went bargain hunting for some beach toys. (Vacation next week!) We found some at Big Lots. Buckets and shovels. Frisbee. Paddle ball. Those curved, sling-shoty things you toss a ball and play catch with - I don't know what the official name is. Anyways. Beach toys. We bought beach toys.

I took Khegan to dinner. Just the two of us. He picked Burger King. Bleck.

At home I put away dishes. Reloaded the dishwasher. Went through the mail. Wrote out some bills. Had the "hi honey, how was your day?" conversation with the hubs. Sent the kiddo upstairs to shower and get ready for bed. Tucked him in.

And now here I sit blogging about it all...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Transforming My Life Project Day 10: Aligning Yourself With Your Higher Power

This post is partially inspired by Katie over at Sluiter Nation and her most recent post called I Saw the Sign. Katie's post talks about the universe being full of signs and if we don't pay attention to those signs, they get bigger, more pronounced, until they get so big that you have no choice, but to pay attention to them.

This makes sense to me. In life there are lessons we are supposed to learn. That is why we are here. I believe in God and practice my faith through the Catholic religion. Although, I don't follow, or necessarily agree with, every single tenant of the religion; I get a lot out of going to church and practicing my faith. I pray - usually daily, but to say I pray every single day would be a lie.

When I pray, I thank God for all of the blessings in my life. Then I pray for others and ask God to help them through whatever current life challenge/task they are facing. Next I pray for the things I want for me, my life, and my family. Finally, I ask God to help me to do his will and to help me recognize what He wants me to do. Basically, I ask Him to help me see the signs he is putting before me and to help me follow His lead.

Currently, my life is focused on change. Through the Transforming My Life Project I plan to dramatically change my current life situation over the course of the next year. A key ingredient in the Transforming My Life Project is the Law of Attraction. I truly believe that there is something to this law. It has worked for me in the past and it will work for me again.

The Law of Attraction says that people create their own reality through the power of thought. According to the law, whatever your dominant thoughts are about will be reflected in your life. Your current life is a reflection of your past thoughts and feelings. If you want to change your life, then change your thinking. The power of positive thinking can work miracles. When you think about what you want as though it is already yours, then the universe will realign itself to make your dreams become reality.

Initially, I thought The Law of Attraction was some new-age bullshit and stood in stark contrast to The Law of God. Now, after reading The Secret five times, and finding my way back to the church (another blog post entirely), I think that The Law of Attraction is actually a way of 'breaking down' what following God is all about - Faith, Hope, and Love. 

Ask. When you pray, you are essentially asking for God to grant your wishes. The Law of Attraction says, that when you think, you send off a frequency into the universe, and the universe responses by giving back to you things or experiences that are aligned to that frequency.

Believe. The key to The Law of Attraction is believing - Faith.

"Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." Matthew 21:22

"What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Mark 11:24

The Law of Attraction says that when you believe, the universe will realign itself to bring you what your heart desires. The universe, in these terms, sounds, to me, a lot like The Holy Spirit - God's invisible presence on Earth. The Holy Spirit is the means by which God answers our prayers.

You may be asking, if this is true, if God (or whatever Higher Power you believe in) is making your thoughts/intentions/dreams become reality - then why is it that not all of your prayers are answered? I believe that your prayers are not answered, your thoughts don't become reality, when you are not aligned with God (Your Higher Power).

 Receive. Feel good about yourself. Feel good about your life. Be grateful and thankful for the many blessings God has given you. By getting yourself on the frequency of gratitude and thanks you are opening yourself up to receive all the gifts God has in store for you.

Faith. Have Faith that God will provide. Look for the signs. See what God wants you to do. Align yourself with God.

Hope. Have Hope for the future. Hope that your thoughts/dreams/intentions will be returned to you through the power of The Holy Spirit.

Love. Of these, the greatest is love. Love is the frequency of receiving. Love breeds acceptance. Love God. Love yourself. Love your family. Love your neighbors. Love your enemies.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Boring Married Couple or Happily Married?

When two people become so comfortable with each other that they no long feel obliged to make small talk, does that mean that their relationship is really strong or really boring? When two people are physically together, but doing different things; are they content just being together, or are they avoiding talking to each other? I have spent the last 24 hours pondering that question with respect to my own marriage. Are we a boring married couple, or are we happily married? 

The hubs and I have been spending a lot of alone time together this summer. First, the boys spent a week away with John's dad. Then, just yesterday, Riley left to spend the week with my grandparents. Since Khegan is at his mom's this weekend, it's been just the two of us since about noon yesterday.

This is what we have done so far. John spent the afternoon (downstairs in the family room) watching baseball on T.V., or so I thought. I spent the afternoon (upstairs in the loft) on the computer blogging, tweeting, and surfing Facebook.  When I was finally able to tear myself away from the cyber-world long enough to pay attention to what is going on in my own house, I joined my hubby downstairs. He was watching the history channel and drinking beer. The history channel?! History was my all time least favorite subject in school. Anything that has to do with wars, politics, or government is not my cup of tea.

 After about five minutes of watching hubs watch the history channel, I pick up my phone and start tweeting and checking Facebook. At least we're in the same room, right?

This goes on for a little while, and I turn to hubs and say, "We are so boring. Here you are watching the history channel and I'm messing with my phone. We have no kids this weekend and look at us. We haven't even spent the afternoon in the same room."

Hubs turns and looks me in the eyes (at least he pulled his eyes away from the TV, right?) and says, "How are we boring? We are both enjoying this afternoon doing what each of us like to do. Yes, we have no kids today. We are enjoying it. And we are spending time together. We are in the same house, aren't we?"

Yeah, yeah. We are in the same house. At that point we were in the same room. But, we were hardly talking to each other at all. So I told hubs exactly that. (I have this habit of whatever I am thinking about, at that very moment, comes out of my mouth before I even have a chance to entirely process the thought myself.)

Hubs: "Why do we always have to be talking to each other? We talk to each other about everything! (Do we really?) I know everything about you and you know everything about me. What is there left to talk about?"

Me: "Yes, we talk about everything that has to do with the kids, the house, our jobs, and our schedules, but do we really talk to each other? About who we are as people?"

Hubs gave me that 'here we go again' look and said, "Yes."

I dropped it - maybe we are just really comfortable with each other. 

A few hours later, I find myself at dinner with hubs. We are at this restaurant/bar close to our house - one of our favorite spots to hang out together. He is looking past me watching the Reds game on the big screen T.V. I am looking past him watching the results of the Keno game (interactive lottery) on a smaller T.V. screen. Again, barely talking to each other.

Me: "We seriously are so boring."

Hubs: "Not this again."

Me: "Well, we are. Here we are at dinner together, hanging out, and we're still not talking."

Hubs: "What do you want to talk about?'

Me: Blank face. Heck, I really don't know what I want to talk about. I just want to have a stimulating interesting conversation with my husband. Is that too much to ask? Finally, I muster up the energy to say, "I don't know. I just know that back when I was a waitress I always pitted the couples that would come in to each and not say one word to each other. There were some couples, though, that would laugh and giggle and stare into each others eyes over dinner. That's who we are supposed to be."

Hubs: "Says who? Those happy, smiley, giggly couples - they were dating, not married."

Me: "No, they were married." (Hmmm, were they? I can't really remember looking for rings...)

Hubs: Dramatically staring into my eyes. "You are my beautiful wife. Doesn't that mean something to you? (It does, it so does.) I always want to talk to you. I always want to spend time with you. I am comfortable with you. We have fun no matter what we do. Now stop stressing about being boring and just have fun."

Me: I smile. I drop the subject. I feel childish. There was nothing else to say.

We ended up having a very nice evening. We didn't stay out too late. We came home and took our dog for a walk. John watched T.V. I sat beside him on the couch - tweeting from my phone. It was just lovely.

I've decided that being a boring married couple really isn't that bad. (And really isn't that boring.) What is important is that we are a happily married couple.