Thursday, March 13, 2008

When You Wish Upon a Star...

We're off to the most magical place on earth. I admit it -- I absolutely LOVE Disney and can't wait to get there. I think I may be more excited than the kids. Needless to say, I won't be posting for a while. I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter, and I'll look forward to catching up on everyone's blogs when I get back.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Gift of Giving

Yesterday a friend told me that I was such a creative "gift giver." I had to chuckle a bit to myself as my most "creative" gift ideas seem to come at the eleventh hour the night (or hour) before I have to give a present. I've been able to come up with several easy & very meaningful gift ideas that have proven to be real "winners." I thought I'd share a few...

-Give a "tree." Visit and click on the Nursery Store. Here you can purchase the offspring of trees connected to famous people, events, and places. From George Washington to Johnny Appleseed, Walt Disney to Mark Twain, these trees witnessed the birth of our nation-and all aspects of its history thus far. The trees are very reasonably priced and proceeds benefit American Forests, the nation's oldest nonprofit conservation group. For Christmas last year, we gave my brother-in-law and his wife a "Williamsburg Golden Raintree" as they met as students at William & Mary. I promise this gift is a sure winner and you'll feel good knowing you've done something positive for the environment.

- Making a donation in someone's honor can also be very special. I suggested to my friend, who was struggling as to what to get her mother for her 75th birthday, to donate a book in her mother's honor at the library of the college her mother attended. Since her mom is an accomplished artist, I suggested an art book. You can simply visit the website of a college and usually get the information you need on the development page or alumni site.

-For the last several years, we have made donations in honor of the kids' teachers either at the teacher's alma mater or to a cause that means a lot to them. For instance, one year we made a donation to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation as my son's teacher had a real fondness for Jefferson and Monticello. Another year, we contributed to the Smithsonian to celebrate a wonderful Social Studies teacher. With the internet, it is so easy to just visit the websites of these organizations and find the "donations page." Don't forget, those donations are also tax-deductible.

-We love to give magazine subscriptions, particularly when you can get them very easily and inexpensively on eBay. The kids often give these as birthday gifts think Sports Illustrated for Kids, American Girl, Nick Jr.. We simply buy the current issue of the magazine and include a cute poem letting them know they'll be getting a subscription. I give them as housewarming gifts think Veranda, Southern Accents, Architectural Digest. New parents think Cookie, Wonder Years, Parents.

Just a few ideas that are simple, meaningful and as easy as a mouse-click.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words...

I couldn't have said it better myself! This is my life....
cartoon from

This cartoon is by artist Dave Walker. He's got a real knack for finding the humor in the everyday. Find more of his cartoons at We Blog Cartoons.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

We Are Family...

You saved me once, and what is given is always returned.
We are in this world to help each other.
The Adventures of Pinocchio, C. Collodi, 1883

Almost four and half years ago I suffered from a serious bout of postpartum depression after Bonus Baby was born. My wonderful sister helped me navigate those treacherous waters with her care, nurturing and unending optimism and friendship. I am eternally grateful for her help during that dark time which is why I didn't even think twice when she really needed my support over the last week and a half as she faced some difficult times of her own. She's doing great now, and I am finally getting back to some of the stuff that I had put on the back burner - like my blog. I must admit my perspective on life has changed a bit over the past couple of weeks, and one thing I know for sure is that nothing is more important than family and the gift of unconditional love.