A Meaningful Children’s book–finally published. 

Dear bloggers and faithful followers! My book has finally been published!  It’s been a long and slow two years. BUT with my newest publication Going Through A Maze I thought It would be a good idea to venture down memory lane–Why I wrote the book and how it came to be.  

  
For those who havn’t followed me in the process– I wrote this children’s book during a difficult time, while I was caring for my sick father. 
This book is based on the love and friendship built between a grandfather and granddaughter. It depicts the reality of a family member or friend struggling with cancer in a simplistic way that is appropriate for young and older audiences. The story ultimately is meant to help prompt difficult conversations with children relating to cancer or any serious illness. 

Here are a few past blog posts I wrote from the time my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, to his passing, and then my grieving. 

Please fellow bloggers I need your help.  Repost this and help me spread the word.  Portions of this book are donated to cancer research.  
You can purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other participating bookstores. Available in paperback or ebook. 

All my love & many thanks in advance,

G

😘The Kiss Box 😘


Many parents work long hours through the week.  And as much as we don’t want to believe it–it’s just hard on our little critters.  They miss us. Constantly.  At least in our household McKinley misses her father day in and day out.

The book, The Kiss Box by Bonnie Verburg and Henry Cole is a great story that illustrates to children how as parents our love is just as strong even when we’re away.   And nowadays so many parents have to work outside the home.

The story helps initiate conversations about feelings, and in this case feelings of “missing.”   And, it  provides wonderful ways to send each other love, or in the book “kisses,” when being a part from one another.  In the story Mama Bear and Little Bear create “kiss boxes” as a way to send each other kisses when they were a part from each other.

McKinley and I decided we wanted to create our own kiss boxes, as a way to send each other love when we needed it.  This turned out to be a truly meaningful, engaging, and fun project– Naturally, I had to share.


Inside the boxes we put random things.  McKinley cut up fabrics and different textured paper as little sheets to represent love and kisses. I cut tiny hearts out of tissue paper.  When it comes to love the possibilities are endless.

~g

Okay, so the apple doesn’t fall far. 

“Hiiiiii Momm! Guess what? I bothered all my friends today during rest time!” McKinley excitedly pronounces this to the world first thing when she sees me in the car pick up line. 

Her boisterous attitude reminds me of someone else I know. Hmmm.  Yup, I remember the good ol’ days. 

I remember vividly laying on a blue rest mat using my headband as glasses and pretending to be an alien.  ?  Yeah, I’m not sure why either—I didn’t get a “fuzzy ball” that day. Or all the other days I bothered my friends.

McKinley’s loud and spunky attitude (now that she is in school) has been bringing back a flood of memories.  But, I’ll have to touch more on that later, because she’s litterally starting to strip down to her birthday suit outside. 

-G

One thing at a time.  

It’s days like yesterday when I miss dad the most.  The long grey-color-pallet days of winter and the feeling of 1,000 things gone wrong. Just wrong. All my mistakes and shortcomings and the mistakes and shortcomings of others.

I just need to talk to him. “Dad, I’m having a hard time,” but that’s not actually what I would say.  

It would be a phone call and he would pick up, “Gorrrrdita!” rolling out the “r” for an exaggerated effect. (I forget how, where, and when that nickname actually came to be). His excitement to hear from me is warming, but my heart accelerates and my breath is heavy–

“Hey Dad,” with an exhale.  

“What’s goin’ on?” he says casually to not be presumptuous. But come on–he knows. He always knows. The wooshing wind from his rolled down window distracts me.  No matter what season it is his window is down and  he’s driving—always driving.  

“I dunno. Not much,” I mumble. 

“Uh-huh, well don’t put too much stalk into what other people say.”

“I know.  It’s just…I know. You’re right dad.”

He continues, “Seriously Don’t let other people dictate things for you.  Fuck em.” 

Dad had a way of making things seem OK again. I remember a night 3 years ago after the birth of McKinley.  My anxiety level was at a new high.

I called to talk to mom first, because they worked best as a team.  

“What’s the matter?” mom asks softly. 

Working through my sniffles, “I don’t know if I can do this. It’s too much.” 

“Oh Georgia, of course you can.  I know It’s not easy–trust me!  But, you are going to be an amazing mother.” 

Then dad.

“What’s goin’ on?”

“I don’t think I’m ready for this.” 

“Well, shit–you never are.” 

“What am I gonna do when she’s 15? How am I supposed to teach her right from wrong?” 

“Well, just take it one thing at a time. Don’t think about 15…She’s not even 1 month.  Every age and stage is different.  Don’t think or worry about it until you get there.”

I also miss dad on days like today– when the sun is finally starting to break through. When something happy happens and you get that good news

We’re moving into our first home. No extended family this time.  Just our immediate family unit. 4 elements under 1 roof.  And a dog. 

Dad would have embraced me in his tight hug, kissed my forehead, and whispered, “I’m so proud of you kiddo.”  And, he would have said that on my worst days too. 





My Digital Detox

I didn’t need another gluten free diet or UltraClear detox.  I needed a digital detox.  A virtual cleanse from the Web World.  And, it was an amazing journey.

I was checking Facebook status updates every 10 minutes. Checking Instagram photo feeds. Taking pictures of my own, editing, then posting them. Reading blogs. Creating blog posts. Reading NPR news. Looking at Birchbox videos. Youtube videos. Facebook videos. Twitter feeds.

Ahh! You get the point.

I needed a new kind of ‘reality check.’   I swear, you can legitimately lose yourself in the Web World. I know, because I did.  I became someone who cared more about looking at a screen than having a conversation.  I became more sedentary.  And more irritable.

At night it was mostly the television. First, I would put McKinley to bed, and then turn on the TV. Real Housewife trash. And I was addicted. Disturbingly to the point where someone would ask me a question and it would annoy me if it wasn’t commercial time. Seriously? How sad is that?  Yeah, definitely a low point.

I started feeling lost.  And NOT connected.  Facebook and Instagram and all these other social media devices portray this illusion of a collective ‘connectedness,’ but the more you indulge– the more alone you become.  I was desperate for conversation and human interaction. I wanted to feel alive again.  So, I began my digital detox.

 

  • First, I deleted most of my apps from my iPhone.  This way, I wouldn’t have immediate access to social media at any point at any time.
  • Second, I initiated new interactions with my husband.  We started playing card games at night and reading together.
  • Third, I now leave my phone upstairs in my bedroom for most of the day and night.  The only time I have my phone with me is if I am ‘out and about.’  Periodically I will check my phone for missed calls and respond to text messages.
  • Forth, I decided to watch specific television shows–and limit my television time to those shows.  Right now, it’s Survivor and Parenthood.
  • Fifth, I tried to only used the computer to check Facebook once a day and respond to emails.
  • Sixth, I completely stopped blogging.
  • Seventh,  I allowed myself to still look at and post to Instagram.  However, I did not attach my photos to other social medias.

It was a well worth it experience.

  • I was able to connect closer to my husband
  • Spend more quality time with McKinley
  • Be more present in the world
  • Realize the importance of doing a digital detox
  • Appreciate the small things again
  • Become more active
  • Understand the slippery slope to social media
  • Best of all…I was able to get back to my roots…back to being me.

I think this is an awesome exercise.  Try out some of these methods for 1 week-monitoring your social media and screen time.  What can you learn from doing this? And do you think you’ll notice any differences?

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