ūüėėThe Kiss Box ūüėė


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

Publishing. 

So, I’m finally gearing up to publish the children’s story I wrote & illustrated two years ago. 

 Going Through a Maze.  

 

When I was writing this story my father was diagnosed with cancer. And actually, it wasn’t a story it was a poem.   My father even had the opportunity to read that poem.  I turned it into a story after he passed away.  And every Wednesday when my mother in-law would watch McKinley I tirelessly sketched and colored my heart out. 

Unfortunately, I’ve sent it out and It’s not a story publishing company’s want to publish.  Mostly, because it’s a children’s story about Cancer and subsequently death.  Shocker.  But, it also happens to be a story about preserverence, love, friendship, and family. You know, like important shit?

Anyways, I wanted to read my daughter something to help explain what our family was going through at the time, and there just wasn’t anything on the market.  It’s important that there are story’s for children about cancer and death because many families experience this and death is simply inevitable– no matter how invincible you want to be. 

So,  I continue my journey and will be now be self-publishing!  I’ll be sure to let my readers know when it’s ready to purchase. I also plan to donate a portion of the proceeds to help fund lung cancer research.

-G 

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‚Äôt 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‚ĶI was able to get back to my roots‚Ķback 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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Wordless Wednesday

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Monday Milestone

McKinley plays guitar:

Everyday for the past two weeks McKinley has been going over to the guitar and strumming it. And in those moments, I’d think to myself, I have to start playing again— dad would want me to—I’ll feel him with me.¬†But I haven’t picked up the guitar.

When I drive, I sing. Ohh, and I get really into it. ¬†For the last couple of weeks while singing I’ve thought, I should learn this song on the guitar– it would be beautiful.¬†But I haven’t yet. And why not!?

It seems clear now, but my mother actually pointed it out to me in an earlier conversation.
I said, “I’ve been praying for a sign from dad.”
“Today McKinley strumming on that guitar, and being silly– that was dad,” she said. Then it hit me. ¬†All my thoughts from the last two weeks flooded my mind.

I havn’t been listening!

My dad once told me, “God speaks all the time, but very few know how to listen.” My dad believed that at certain times, in certain moments, God spoke through people—That someone could say something to you, and it could be God speaking, and if you weren’t listening, you would miss it.

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