Celebrations, Menopause

A Can’t Miss Holiday Toast!

Presents

 

The best present

Of all this holiday

Is the presence

Of all of you!

 

This toast is easy to remember! Say it slowly with gusto.

If you use it, let me know how it goes…

Happy holidays and plenty of presents to one and all!

Thank you so much for your presence and for reading Friend for the Ride!

TOASTS cover - FINAL

My toast will be included in an anthology compiled by June Cotner and Nancy Tupper Ling, to be published Fall 2014 by Viva Editions.

Photo: The pretty packages  above decorate Virtue Feed and Grain in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia. When I was a little, I was shocked when my mom told me  packages like these were empty boxes covered with paper and ribbon. But alas, we can pretend!

Celebrations, Children

Holiday Patience! Let Little Chicken Be Your Guide

Little Chicken's Big Christmas

Need a little patience? Or better yet, do the folks around you need a little patience? Download Little Chicken’s Big Christmas. (And of course, this post is especially for you grandmas, moms, aunts, and teachers out there.)

Writer and Illustrator Katie Davis tells us the story behind this brand new holiday picture book:

My husband Jerry and I decided to follow our traditionally published picture book Little Chicken’s Big Day with our indie published Little Chicken’s Big Christmas for a few reasons.

An indie book can be done quickly, and that worked for us in this case.

It’s a holiday book, so we had to get it out fast. I suddenly had this vision of Little Chicken in a Santa hat and I just had to get him out there! A traditional publisher couldn’t have done that in this time frame.

I asked Jerry to tell me why he loves Little Chicken so much and he said, “He has a lot of attitude.  He’ll go along with his mom’s agenda, but his patience wears thin in about a nanosecond. And from a kid point of view, the holiday season involves all this adult craziness while kids are focused on the presents. So it was fun to imagine Little Chicken amid the holiday bustle.

Of course he’s impatient at times, but he can’t help enjoy the traditions in spite of himself.

When we discover that Little Chicken’s impatience comes from a purely loving and selfless place, we get to underscore the importance of giving and expressing love during the holiday season, no matter how crazy things get.”

The link to get Little Chicken’s Big Christmas is : http://amzn.to/1dktx0S .

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still get it because there’s a free Kindle for Mac app available right on that page which you can download for your iPad, laptop, or desktop.

Plus, if you buy it between Dec 5-12 and submit your receipt to support@katiedavis.com, you will get a gift with every purchase: a downloadable Write Your Own Coloring Book version of the book! We’re having a different enticing promotion at different times through Christmas. You never know what you might get and nothing will be repeated, so you’ll have to take advantage if you like what you see at the time!

Bookmark: To download and color!

Little Chicken Bookmark

Katie Davis has written and/or illustrated 10 books for children, and two marketing guides for writers. 

Katie’s a “writerpreneur,” a writer in business helping other writers. She does this through her newsletter, products, courses, and #1 podcast, Brain Burps About Books.

After winning the School Library Journal Trailee Award, Katie launched Video Idiot Boot Camp: For People Who Think Videos Are Hard To Create. She’s passionate about the power of video to connect writers to their communities.

Katie has been honored to speak everywhere from a maximum security prison, to schools around the world, to keynotes at conferences and fundraising galas.

Learn more about Katie on her website, Katie Davis.com

Katie Davis

Celebrations, Menopause

The Sisterhood! From Sea to Shining Sea and Across History

Can you name these great ladies?

Betsy Ross

Martha Washington

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Susan B. Anthony

Annie Oakley

Amelia Earhart

They are:

Besty Ross

Martha Washington

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Susan B. Anthony

Annie Oakley

Amelia Earhart

They reside on a shelf in my kitchen.

They call to me.

They whisper to me.

They sing to me.

They talk to me.

They remind me

That the sisterhood from sea to shining sea

And across history, is brave, creative, and energetic.

Happy Fourth!

The Dolls:  They’re from two different series of collectible dolls put out by Hallmark in celebration of noted Americans.  I’ve got some of the men, too, but they’re off helping with the grill. They weren’t overly keen about appearing on a menopause blog anyway.

Celebrations, Fashion, Grandchildren, Grandmother

Final Update: The Wedding!

Laura from Balcony

I’ve been mulling for a few days…

What can I say about being Mother of the Bride that is

profound

practical

witty

and/or

enlightening?

I’m either in too much of a glow because things went well

or still so worn out from a frenetic week

to bestow wedding-changing MOB wisdom (if I even have any);

therefore, my best advice is this:

You’re the mom,

but she’s the bride.

This is her dream, not yours.

Trust her

when it’s time to select the MOB dress

B's Dress

and her own.

943279_526848194017715_1251481016_n

Trust her instincts on the bridesmaids dresses, too, and her shoes with lucky blue bows.

Bridesmaid dresses

She gets final call on what her nephew sports.

600761_639307216198_263075660_n

 Up or down with the hair?  The bride knows best.

IMG_6620_thumb

When it comes to her dad’s bow tie,

Martin and Cliff edit

the design of the cake,

Cake

the added touches to the back of her dress,

Laura and Matt Tasting Cake

the napkin fabric and the menu design,

Napkins

the paper lanterns to brighten the ceiling and the flowers to grace the tables,

Lanterns

she gets to decide because, after all, isn’t this the daughter who, when it was time to pick a groom, made an excellent choice?

Laura and Matt (2)

May they have happy days, festive nights, and in time, the pitter patter of energetic little feet.

But don’t tell the bride I mentioned that last pitter patter part.

I promised her I’d trust her instincts on that, too.

Bald Head Island

Laura and Matt were married on June 1 in the chapel on Bald Head Island off the coast of North Carolina.  Wedding photos courtesy Matron of Honor Katherine Younger and wedding guest and blog reader, Lisa Wolfe.

Celebrations, Children

Wedding Update: Advice for the Back of the Church

Me and Dad

Years ago, my girls and I watched a TV show called  A Wedding Story. 

One day, when Kath had a friend over, I heard her announce:  “Listen to my mom during the show. She’s going to pick at everything. She thinks the only good wedding ever was her own.”

Not true!

Well at least not all the way true.

But isn’t it sort of okay for a bride to be partial to her own wedding?

Now it’s Laura’s turn.

I’m resisting giving lots of last minute advice.

And as mother of the bride, I won’t be there at the very last minute anyway.

Hopefully, I’ll be in my seat in the front pew.

However…

My last minute advice would be twofold:

Put your bouquet at your waist and keep it there.

Brides often carry their bouquets too high, covering the bodice of their lovely gown.

(I made this mistake, which proves, once and for all, that my wedding was NOT perfect.)

My other piece of advice is this:

The time at the back of the church is a dad’s moment too.

Remember the cool bike in fourth grade.

The Duke jacket I thought cost too much.

The checking out colleges trips.

The emergency earring repairs.

Right before you start down the aisle, say something sweet to your dad.

If I could sail back to August 20, 1977, that’s just what I would do.

Candace & Dad 2

Top Photo:  My dad helping me out of the car at my wedding in Towson, Maryland.

Bottom Photo: The mother of the groom-to-be with her father at the back of the church in Durham, New Hampshire some years ago.  Note that the bride is holding her bouquet correctly!

In some traditions, both parents walk their daughter down the aisle. To those daughters, I say, “Double your chance to say something sweet!”

Aging, Celebrations, Menopause

A Wedding/Menopause TMI Post

Wedding Purse

My friend Carol Baldwin says I sometimes write about gutsy stuff  (which I’m hoping is a compliment, Carol). Since she has a daughter’s wedding coming up, I’m dedicating this post to her!

The purse above is the purse I carried on Katherine’s big day.

For Laura’s upcoming nuptials, I thought it would be fun to get a new one.

But alas, pennies are spilling from our pocketbooks like lucky rice tossed into the wedding wind.

Carrying the same purse again would save a few of those pennies.

And the silver sequins match the silver beads on my royal blue dress.

So I plucked the purse off my closet shelf.

Look what I found tucked  inside…

A tampon and two safety pins.

Inside Wedding Purse

Don’t need that tampon anymore.

Toss it to the wind!

So…

My encouraging words for those of you in the throes of iffy, spotty, who-knows-when periods or still having plain old here-it-is-again periods:

You’ll get your chance to smile when you see a tampon tucked inside an old purse.

And that, Dearly Beloved, will be a day to celebrate!

P.S. The safety pins are coming along with me. I’m in charge of bustling the dress. Olga, the wedding dress rescuer who created the bustle, demonstrated the process to me.  Be still my spinning head.

If worse comes to worse, I’ll abandon the hooks and eyes and just pin up the fluffs of tulle.  That’s my plan, but of course, I haven’t mentioned this to the bride…

Aging, Celebrations, Children, Menopause

Wedding Update: Speed Childhood

Laura One

Laura Two

Laura Three

Laura Four

Laura Five

Laura Six

Laura Seven

Laura Eight

Laura Nine

Laura Ten

Laura Eleven

Laura Twelve

Laura Twelve

Laura Fourteen

Laura Fifteen

Laura Sixteen

Laura Seventeen

Laura Eighteen

Laura Nineteen

Laura and Dad

Laura Twenty-one

Laura Twenty-Five

Laura Twenty-four

Rehearsal dinner slide show in the works! Laura’s childhood photos were my job.

When you’re a mom, some of those days are long, but the years sure are short, as Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project reminds us in her quick but insightful video.

I only wish I’d understood it then.

Now I tell every young mother to relax and enjoy.

They’re probably not finding my advice that relaxing, but I can’t help it.

The years really are short.