Happy 15th Birthday Josh!

April 30, 2009
Or how I managed to ruin my son’s birthday

Yesterday Josh turned 15. Last night I was all set to tell the world about what a great, yet small and simple celebration we had. I guess I’ll start with that.Last year and this Josh didn’t want a party because the majority of his friends are in OR and he wants to go back there for summer. He has friends here in CA, but still considers OR to be his home.

The Setup:
Josh asked me to pick him up a cake, I told him that I was stuck in traffic. What he didn’t know was that I had already ordered a cake and it was safely tucked away buckled in the back seat. There was traffic, but after I passed it – smooth sailing home. During the day Josh had also asked if he could open his present. I told him that he had to wait. Luckily he didn’t press the issue.

Cake and Presents:

We had cake and presents and Josh gave me a hug. Pretty good since he has reached the “Mom is not cool” stage. My son does love me and I love him and everyone knows it. He only shows it in private now, and rarely at that. He had asked for and gotten a new mp3 player.

From Good to Bad:

After cake and presents Josh went back to his room to play WoW. And dropped an F*Bomb in front of his grandmother. So, S.O.P is to wash your mouth out with soap. My kid hasn’t had to wash his mouth out with soap since he was five. I guess it was time to re-learn his lesson. That would have been fine and dandy except he chose to smirk at me and even talk and ask how long he had to keep the soap in his mouth (we have two hand soaps and he chose Bath and Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom Foaming Hand Soap). He shouldn’t have smirked. After rinsing I told him to drop and give me 40 pushups.

“But Mom, I can’t do 40 pushups.”

“Too bad, you’re not getting back on WoW until you do 40 pushups.”


Mom counting: 1,2,3, … 20. Josh collapses and says, “I really can’t do 40.”

“Sure you can, and you aren’t getting back on WoW.”

“Ok” does 5 more. I can see his arms shaking, but when you get me to the end of my patience I can be a hard-ass (pardon my French). He got to 29 and practically collapsed.
I finally have mercy on my poor child, it is his birthday after all, and tell him he can do the rest girl-style. All cocky-like he says “Oh that’s easy” and proceeds to have the WORST form I have ever seen on a male or female. I proceed to try to adjust his butt with my foot. My foot connects and down he goes.

But not with his butt. My son is a flat-assed as I am flat-chested. There ain’t nothing there. I had accidentally got my poor son right in the family jewels. And then I made him do 5 more push-ups.

I did get him an ice-pack…


He’s cussing again. I took away the mic. Apparently it’s hard to go on raids without a mic.

Happy Birthday, Josh. I love you. Really, I do.

Review - Hannah Montana The Movie

April 17, 2009
hannahmontanathemovie_238x257Try it, you’ll like it!!!

My daughter is the big Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus fan in the family and she really, really, really, to the nth degree really wanted to see this movie. And since we didn’t make Shark Nights like I had planned, I promised to take her to see it. I was pleasantly surprised.

Truth be told, I would see it again just for Billy Ray Cyrus and Rascal Flatts. The story flowed well, with a well-written plot. A sweet teen love-story sans sex and (not too much) drama. There's a plot-twist or two to keep you interested, some the physical comedy that the TV show is known for, and plenty of songs to warrant me buying the soundtrack for my daughter. Being a Disney movie with a music star in it I wasn’t sure if I was expecting a bad musical or a large screen version of the show.

Blessedly, it was neither. The music scenes carried the movies along like any good soundtrack and enhanced the country feel of it. It was more emotionally mature than the TV show on many levels, but still enjoyable for the 6-8 crowd.

If you have someone in your life in the targeted age group, this is a good movie to take them to. Even the boys in the audience like it. Happy

Last, but not least, the next dance craze

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Wordless Wednesday: Hannah Montana Obsessed

April 15, 2009
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NAB Show Free Pass Offer

Did you know there is still time to sign up for this year’s NAB Show -- April 18-23 in Las Vegas.

Tuvel Communications has a sweet deal for you, too. My readers can get a free exhibits-only pass.

(My bad for posting this so late) here is the offer:

Free Exhibits Passport Code: TP01
This pass includes access to the exhibit floor and the opening keynote - a $150 value.  Please pass along and visit
http://nabshow.com/passport to redeem!  Make sure to register by April 9th, or an additional on-site registration fee will apply!

Twitter - http://twitter.com/nabshow
Facebook - http://cli.gs/nabshowFB
LinkedIn - http://cli.gs/nabshowLI


And yes, I will be there!

When the darkness closes in

Contagious Joy - Women of Faith Starting sometime yesterday and continuing into today I have been feeling increasingly sad, overwhelmed, down, but not anxious. I am feeling off emotionally, and usually will listen to Christian music to "reset". I was listening to Women of Faith's version of "Blessed Be Your Name" and couldn't stop crying. And I repeated it three or four times hoping that a good cry was all I needed to reset. Unfortunately, I am still out of sorts and on the verge. Verge of what? I don’t know. An emotional breakdown or eruption for sure.

Even in the darkness, my heart will choose to say, "Blessed be your name"

I have to hold onto that. I am emotionally at the end of my rope, and there’s no knot to hang onto. I woke up sometime in the night with a picture in my head and the question “What does your soul look like?” The picture in my head was … it was as if I could see inside myself and see my soul. Perhaps too much Bujold -- recently finished Horizon (The Sharing Knife, Book 4) -- and … the closest I can come to describing it is like Dag’s ground when he takes in all sorts of crap that he’s not supposed to. All messed up, and cloudy, and tainted by malice (go read the book, you’ll get it). It just reinforced the idea that I am messed up inside and out.

When I'm found in the desert place, though I walk through the wilderness, Blessed be your name

I know God exists, but I feel like I’m walking around like the Israelites. Lost. I don’t know where to turn, where to get help. His voice is silent. Even when I am still. Or so it seems. I’m not very good at being still.

Blessed be your name when the sun's shining down on me

It’s easy to praise when things are going good. Things aren't going so good for me right now. On the surface I have my health, wealth, and family. But, I’ve been suffering from chronic pain again, bills and taxes are due and I really have no idea where I stand financially (after almost 20 years of making a buck and I still can’t keep my checkbook balanced!) and my family life is a mess.

When the darkness closes in, Lord, Still I will say, blessed be the name of the Lord.

Is there anything else I can do?

Blessed Be Your Name (Blessed Be Your Name Album Version) - Matt Redman

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I won a photo contest!

April 13, 2009

I’m stoked, and should have posted this weeks ago when I got the message from @LBMatt that the Port was sending me something. Things have been (insert favorite phrase here) – CRAZY BUSY.

©Annette Holland – This photo was taken at the Long Beach Photo Tweetup on March 7, 2009 from the Admin Building rooftop.

©Annette Holland – This photo was taken at the Long Beach Photo Tweetup on March 7, 2009 from the Admin Building rooftop.

Thank you, Matt and the Port of Long Beach for such a wonderful opportunity.

The contest was for the top three spots in this contest. @Oakmonster won one of the spots too.

Filed under: Better late than never

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Joy to the World - HE IS RISEN

April 12, 2009
Just listen. Even after all these years, Keith Green is still a powerful witness. And this is my favorite Easter Song
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You know you tweet too much when …

April 11, 2009

A total stranger knows things about you like:

  • you’re a night owl
  • you only watch Castle
  • you have two kids, their names, hobbies, and ages
  • you are a photography nut
  • you tweet a lot

Now mind you, this person mostly just follows me during the day, or I thought she did. We found it quite funny that she could tell her friends things about me and yet tonight was the first time we had met in person.

Just more proof that I need an intervention. Or that this new policy of transparency is something that I am really, very, extremely good at. On the other hand, I could just tweet too much information.

What I need …

candles - copyright Annette Holland

is some rest, peace, and quiet.

And I got it. Out of the blue. Out of the kindness of a stranger’s heart. Tonight I was offered hospitality, and I took it (partly feeling like a heel, but would it have been ruder to reject the offer??).

I felt a little weird accepting such a gracious and spontaneous offer, but you know what, I’m glad I did. Joy is not too thrilled though. She wanted another night in a hotel, which was my plan for this weekend.

My current situation makes everything harder on everyone. I don’t know how to fix it (anyone want to adopt me and then leave me a small fortune?) One of these days I will get things figured out. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy this time of respite.

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More proof that I am a Trekkie

April 10, 2009
Create Your Own

I couldn’t resist. Resistance was futile. I remember on my very first website (hosted at UCSD and probably so far gone not even the wayback machine can find it) I had a Trek badge. This is so much cooler!!! I need a different picture though. There is a reason the app says “no hair in the face” which I didn’t pay attention to until I saw the finished product.


Go Trek yourself!

Get a Free Pass to DirectBuy

April 9, 2009

So you’ve seen the commercials and may have even wanted to go to the showroom. Now you can. DirectBuy of California is offering a free visitor’s pass to any of their 17 locations.

Visit the site: http://www.directbuy.com/About/directbuy-california.html to sign up for your free pass.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post

Be an Inspiration - #GNO

April 8, 2009

I missed #GNO again, but @Carissa_MomIF, wonderful woman that she is, got me the questions. Seems last night’s guest was @inspiremetoday.

  1. In your everyday life, what inspires you the most?

    Nature. The colors, the smells, the peacefulness of it all when you can get away from the craziness of our busy lives. Nature inspires me to rethink my plans, goals, etc. Inspires me to re-center myself so that I can be the best person possible, for myself and those around me.

  2. What are you the most grateful for in this moment?

    For all the help my mom has been giving me over the last two months, especially with my son. He’s not a handful, but I work far from home and she’s taken up a lot of tasks that I should be doing.

  3. What is the kindest thing you've done for someone else today?

    I honestly don’t know.

  4. What is the kindest thing that someone has done for you today?

    Image of Henie from TwitterImage of Henie

    I met @Hennartonline for lunch, but she treated. So kindness was heaped on me.

  5. We all know that we are not what happens around us. How do you stay grounded to who you really are?

    I wouldn't stay grounded without my friends.

  6. If you could do anything in the world and you knew you couldn't fail, how have the greatest +impact on the world?

    That’s a biggie. I have no idea what my potential is to do good. Infinite I would assume, given the parameters of the question. I would probably go back to my dream of being a doctor. My motivation was always to help people, especially children, to have a better quality of life. My paternal grandmother (God rest her soul) accused me of being too kind-hearted and that I would most likely end up a “hut doctor” practicing in some impoverished country. It didn’t sound like that bad of an idea 16 years ago and it still doesn’t sound that bad. So long as I have an internet connection….

  7. In what way do you allow fear to be a roadblock to your success?

    I am terribly afraid of failure. I don’t tend to try things that I know I have at least a good chance of succeeding at. Again, friends to the rescue. Rightly or wrongly they build up my confidence till I get up the balls to jump. Oddly enough, I think it’s getting easier with age.

  8. What is your biggest obstacle to success?

    There is nothing to fear except fear itself. But it’s an awfully big thing. Especially fear of the unknown. So, my biggest obstacle to success is myself and self-doubt.

  9. If you could have 1 thing now to skyrocket you to success, what would that be?

    Like everyone else, funding Big Grin. Money is always an obstacle when you don’t have it.


A Break in the Storm

Mouthwatering Monday: Lentil Stew

April 6, 2009
lentil stew / lentejas

Image by kattebelletje via Flickr

In honor of all the belt-tightening going on around these days, here is a pretty tasty and filling low-cost stew. This is also a protein-rich, yet meatless, meal. (Don’t faint Rachel, there’s got to be a few vegetarian Texans by now Cowboy) .

Serves 6.

2 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 cups water or broth of your choice
1 cup dried lentils, sorted and rinsed
2-3 medium carrots, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1. Sautee onions and garlic in the oil
2. Stir in remaining ingredients
3. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer about 40 minutes.

Serve with bread or rice.

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Wordless Wednesday: I need some inspiration

April 1, 2009


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