Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday favorites



Happy Friday!

Did you know that one of my essays is about to appear in a soon-to-be released collection? It's the third book in which one of my pieces will appear, and I'm very excited about it. It's called Mommie Diarist, and the official release date is April 7.

Here is an excerpt from the book; I hope you like it.

* * *
It is when I am going through a divorce, ten years later, that I see my mother’s gossamer fragility and steely strength, hand in hand. She is devastated that I am in pain, and she listens to me beg for strength on the other end of the phone, dissolved by tears, hundreds of miles away. Yet she stands up and tells me that I will survive this. She reminds me to remember the happy things in my life. She swears under her breath and calls my soon-to-be ex-husband every bad name in the book in both English and Italian.

And later still, when I remarry and have a child of my own, I realize that I have started bossing my mother around as though I am smarter than she is. I suffer from postpartum anxiety, and in the midst of the struggling, I forget that my mother raised two daughters already, and quite well, thank you. And yet, nothing she does seems to be right when it comes to my son.

“Why are you holding him like that? He doesn’t like that.”

“Please keep your eye on him.”

“Swaddle him like this, not like that.”

I’m not sure why I believe that I am God’s gift to mothering and she doesn’t have any idea what she’s doing. 

My mother and I take a drive to run some errands while I am visiting her in Florida. I am once again telling her what to do and how to do it, and suddenly I stop. I put my hand on hers as she drives and I say, “Why do I do that?”

“Do what?” she asks.

“Tell you what to do as if you are a child,” I say. I am sheepish.

She opens her mouth and a laugh peals out like a bell.  

“I did the same to my mother, too,” she says.


* * * 

Weekend reading

Do you remember what it's like to be in the muck? Christine Organ is right there with you
http://christineorgan.com/2015/02/17/to-those-in-the-muck/

Allison Slater Tate hits it out of the park again with this simple list of things she wants for her kids in school: The 5 things I wish for my elementary school kids

Leslie Marinelli, a fellow Listen To Your Mother alumna and all-around amazing woman published this post today, and her vulnerability speaks to me. No matter what you're doing as a mom, you're probably going to feel like you're not doing it right. 

I have to admit that we try hard to get all of our thank you notes out on time, but we don't always succeed in completing them. This post from Tracy at Sellabit Mum about teaching your kids how to do it right is spot on.

This slide show from Katie Hurley at Everyday Family is helpful and instructive on anger management for parents.

Adrienne Jones is a beautiful and honest writer, and this essay about learning how to be a stepmom is another example of her fantastic work.

Janelle, of Renegade Mothering, has a straight-up delivery that pulls no punches. This one really made me appreciate my mother, and also, my own way of mothering.

In case you missed it at my Facebook fan page, this essay from Wendy Bradford at The Washington Post is perfectly crafted and real; if you have a child with any kind of special needs, you will appreciate this.

If you have a blog, read this. I saw it on Nina Badzin's wall (and Nina always has excellent content to share) and it reminded me of all of the wonderful things that being in the online community has brought to me. 

This one at Salon about a woman's biological mother finding her was heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time.

Don't open this one in front of your kids, to save yourself from red-face syndrome, but if you have an appreciation for brands and what they do to mitigate potential disaster, this example from Groupon is fantastic.  

* * *

I want to celebrate my friend Rachel's book debut, Hands Free Life. She is one of the nicest, most thoughtful people I have ever met - she really is everything she writes about on her blog; she's the real deal.

Love,
Kristin

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday favorites: March 20

I'm back! We figured that since my son was still in preschool, it would be a perfect time to take a two-week vacation. My husband has been planning a Major League Baseball spring training trip for two years, and it was everything we had hoped for, visiting six ballparks in 13 days and attending eight games. Our son has loved ball-oriented games since he was a baby, and started using a tee when he was 2; watching his joy at retrieving a foul ball and watching the games was truly rewarding.

I haven't done much writing in the last month, with all of the winter germs rolling through and then vacation, but I'm ready to catch up again.

Happy first day of spring!

THE FUNNY

If you know Arnebya, you can actually hear her voice as you read this. If you don't, I feel certain you'll still find it hilarious. Watch out for the ruche

 This is why my nails are always unpolished: 10 tips to make your manicure last indefinitely

THE BEAUTIFUL

These images from mothers in Russia are breathtaking. 

Stories of little boys growing up choke me up. Thanks a lot, Kim.
As he prepares to take flight

Princess movies aren't just for girls. I loved the message in the new Cinderella movie, and this mom's story about how it resonated with her boys is very sweet. 
Cinderella, it's like how life should be

A lovely letter to a first child, on the eve of the birth of her little sister.
You'll always be my first

I found the honesty in this post from Julie of Next Life, No Kids to be both bracing and refreshing. It's real life with small children.I'm judging me enough for the both of us

Andrea, on connecting with her kids: The witching hour

For inspiration on parenting and life, you can't ever go wrong by reading any one of Rachel's posts at Hands Free Mama. Here is her latest. 

AND MORE

Nina is my writing sensei, and I love the inclusive attitude she has here. Great words of wisdom for any writer/ blogger.
The myth of blogging turf

Write, erase, do it over - fantastic insights from the amazing Toni Morrison

Have you considered writing a family mission statement? I hadn't either, until I read this:
Happy families have mission statements

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

One of my essays was chosen for a new anthology by Robyn Lane Books, based in Dallas, Texas. Mommie Diarist will be released next month!

Do you remember when I told you about the children's book I wrote for a TV show? It's been finished for a while, and we're waiting for (hopefully) the dedication of a whole episode to the book. Stay tuned.

HuffPost Divorce asked me to weigh in on why my second marriage is better than my first, and so that's me at #6.  I don't agree with the title of the post, because I don't think that second marriages are better overall - some people are lucky enough to get it right the first time. I was much luckier on the second one, and while I have certainly struggled with the shame of divorce, I am thankful to be where I am now.

Love,

Kristin





Monday, March 2, 2015

Friday Favorites: February 28, 2015

Photo by Ashley White


Better late than never, right?  Hope you enjoy these posts, some of my favorites on the internet.

This progression through time took my breath away at YouPlus2:
She is almost 11, I am almost 39

Jenny is raising two good men, and it's beautiful to see. 
Are you raising compassionate boys?

Go Team Gunner! You're in our prayers every night, buddy.
Team Gunner kicks leukemia's butt!

This post from Kim at Co-Pilot Mom is about a bread maker. And much more than that:
The bread maker

I found this to be true. Every bit of it.
The parenting myth I've finally stopped falling for

This article was so thought-provoking that it's going to stick with me for a long time. I want my son to enjoy just being a kid; not thinking so far into the future that he can't see the present.
Is your first grader college ready?

Blending families can be difficult. This honest post at Motherlode is worth reading:
He was ready to be a stepdad - was I ready to let him?

Amanda's story about focusing on her husband for a too-rare date night is gorgeously written and honest.
Dismantling the armor of busy

A beautiful post on marriage by Rebecca Woolf of Girl's Gone Child
We drove through, and kept on driving

I very much related to this post from Glennon; brave doesn't always mean doing something scary, sometimes it means not doing it.
The real meaning of brave

Estelle's story about her mother brought tears to my eyes: 
The case for the pregnancy mumuu

About a month ago, a camera was stolen that contained the first and last images of a baby who had died shortly after birth. I heard about the theft, and felt so sad for the family, who had their only memories of their baby stolen. Last week, the memory card was returned to one of the news stations that had aired a story about it, and the images were retrieved. So the camera is gone for good, but at least the thief had enough conscience to hear the story and understand that these precious photos cannot be replaced, and did the right thing.
Photos of family's last moments with infant stolen, then returned

In case you missed it, I was featured at BonBon Break this week with a letter to the woman I thought had ruined my life.
Dear other woman... thank you

Love, Kristin

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Featured at BonBon Break today


I'm honored to be featured at BonBon Break with an original post that I have been working on for quite some time. It has been sitting in my drafts folder for months, waiting to see the light of day.

It's a thank you note to the woman who, at one time, I thought had ruined my life.

In reality, she saved it.

Dear "other woman"... thank you. 

http://www.bonbonbreak.com/dear-other-woman-thank-you/

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Favorites: February 20



Once up on a time, I dreamed of visiting Italy. And then in 2006, I had the opportunity to take a trip to Rome for a business trip, and it was the best possible way to see the city - we stayed at a hotel overlook St. Peter's cathedral, we had a team-building exercise learning how to make Italian food at a bed and breakfast run by an American expat who had been in Rome for 25 years. On my days off, I roamed the city marveling at the beauty of it all and taking photos like the one above.

I fell in love with Italy, and I hope to go back someday when my son is a little older. And hopefully, he'll grow out of this egg allergy, because it's difficult to find food in Italy that doesn't contain eggs. Although there is gelato... and risotto... and...

I hope that you're staying warm, wherever you are. Enjoy these posts over the weekend!

LOVE

This sweet post Elaine wrote about her husband melted me this week:
My love

Tonya's ode to her daughter's tiny hands is perfectly beautiful:
My daughter's hands

I totally related to this post from Kirsten about being an older mom. I have friends who were young moms and rocked it; for me, having kids later in life was the best thing that could have happened to me.
Why I like being an older mom

"Kindness glues couples together" - oh, how I love this thought-provoking piece from The Atlantic:
Happily ever after

Speaking of kindness - Galit Breen is releasing a whole book on the subject. I can't wait to read it and share it with my son. Kindness + Action = Compassion
Kindness wins

Lisa wrote this as part of the 1000 voice for compassion event today, and it's lovely.
About Miss Trudy

And speaking of compassion, this sweet young boy has been in my prayers.
Team Gunner

FOR LAUGHS

Need a laugh? Wendi has you covered:
The worst children's party games ever

Also, this funny mock babysitter questionnaire from Robyn Welling is entertaining:
10 questions to find out if your babysitter is The One

I was catching up on Nancy Kho's Midlife Mixtape blog (she is a musical-knowledge genius and a very funny mama) and remembered this post she kindly asked me to write for her at the end of 2013. For those of you who don't know me very well, you might be surprised by my musical preferences.
Still in rotation: Bon Jovi
 
POP CULTURE

Harry Potter fans, you won't want to miss this one:
Every Snape scene in chronological order tells a new story

An 80s-movie mashup: how could I not love this?
Totally rad 1980s movie mashup

Love,
Kristin







Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Featured today at The Kindness Blog


I'm so glad to have found The Kindness Blog, full of beautiful stories to inspire the world to be kind.

They featured my post about my grandmother's legacy of kindness today, and I can't think of another site that is a more perfect fit. If you have a day that is looking grey and hopeless, start reading through the stories one by one. It's a great resource, and I'm honored to be here.

http://kindnessblog.com/2015/02/17/does-kindness-matter-my-grandmothers-legacy-of-love-by-kristin-shaw/

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday Favorites: The Friday the 13th edition

Happy Friday!

Here are some posts to take you into the weekend.

Taryn's advice on tending to friends in times of grief is well done:
A month from now on Tuesday

This, Wendy's first post at HuffPost parents, is so sweet:
Mama open up your hand

Stephanie Sprenger's essay at Brain, Child is a beautiful testament to the power of love between sisters.
They are not half sisters

A reader of mine sent me this post about her mother, and it's wonderfully entertaining:
My mom, Bob Barker, and the enduring power of dreams

My husband was my rock while I experienced Postpartum Anxiety, and it affected him deeply. This post nailed it: 
Postpartum Depression doesn't just impact moms

If you have a tween or teenager, this is important information:
Dangerous texting terms your child may be using

Because I am so close to my dad, this one hit me in the heart:
The time we get

Wow.
Carmen Dell'Orefice, 83-year-old supermodel

Great points from K.J. Dell'Antonia on letting kids change... because we all do.
Let children change

We have all made mistakes; this article on mistakes made online and how that affected the rest of their lives is great food for thought.
How one stupid tweet ruined Justine Sacco's life

As a domestic abuse survivor and the friend of two women in the middle of terrible divorces from narcissists, I back this post about 50 Shades of Grey with all of my heart.
A letter to my children about 50 Shades of Grey

And in case you missed it... my contribution to Mom Babble's "Worst Dates" roundup:
Hilarious Date Night Horror Stories

Love,
Kristin


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