Friday, February 14, 2014

TToT13: All Hail the Mighty State!

FIRST OF ALL, huge thank yous to all who participated in the guessing game last week. Well done, you! And well done, Lizzi, for not guessing even when I had left my brain behind in bed. 

Seriously, well done, Weldons. Nearly all of you identified my eyes and Lizzi's correctly. And Dyanne's. But she guessed first so I bet you just cheated. And that's OK. It was within the rules. 

But who won?  Well, it was none other than the lovely preschool teacher and cat mama extraordinaire, Dyanne. With the very first guess of all, no less. Dyanne, send me your email address and your supercool prize will be on its way. 

And here are the correct answers for all who are curious:










But on to the Ten Things:

1. I am warm. So wonderfully warm. While The Dude is at home shoveling over a foot of snow (Who am I kidding? We hire neighborhood children.), I am basking in the pleasant temperatures of February in Central Texas.

2. I'm still high from running into Glennon Doyle Melton in an elevator in the San Antonio airport Read more about that here.

3. Then, I got to see her speak the next day at an extremely Jun-ya League event (get it, Lizzi?). Not only did I get to speak to her again, but I was prepared this time and possibly communicated how much her blog and her message mean to me. Possibly. I still stammered.

4. And then I accidentally stole someone's copy of Carry On, Warrior and had her inscribe it to me. Don't worry, I tattled on myself and paid for another copy. Cuz that's what GDM would do.

5. I pretty much gobble up every word Glennon utters (I really think she hangs the moon). But here's one line (more or less) from her speech has stuck with me.
When women give to each other and build each other up, then they overflow into their communities.
I love this. When you are full from others' support, you have more to give. Not to detract from the message of her speech, which was in support of a particular after-school service center in San Antonio, but this line made me think of blogging. How every comment left on my blog builds me up a bit more, and gives me more to pass out to other bloggers I follow.

I started blogging when I moved to a new state where I knew no one but my in-laws and had hardly a friend. It's hard to really push yourself out into the community when you're a Capital I-Introvert, and I started blogging to make friends without having to make the in-person connections. Maybe it's chance or coincidence, but I believe the supportive group of blogging friends I've found has made me more confident and comfortable as I (very slowly) branch out into in-person friendships in my new state (a year later--see? slowly).

6. Another Glennon take away was that the superficial conversations women too often have are not the safe zone so many of us believe they are (which is why many of us stick with them). At the superficial level we are too different, according to Glennon. We find commonality in the deepest of emotions, by sharing our grief and our joy and our real experiences. I found that message to be particularly moving, and later realized how the conversation I had with the woman next to me was such a wonderful tribute to Glennon.

This woman and I were talking about my children, and I asked if she had any. She said she did not, but then told me she was pregnant with twins! I offered my congratulations and as we talked more, I learned that she had had three miscarriages and had finally gotten pregnant through in vitro fertilization. We talked about her husband's joy and care of her, how her mother had already bought a double stroller, where she's gaining weight, and how the first ultrasound is next week. It was a joyful, real conversation at a joyful, real event.

I'm really not good at superficial conversations. I tend to jump right into the depths in person. I think that's something many introverts have in common, and why so many introverts don't like social interactions (the heavy role of superficial talk). Yet, I stick to a lot of superficial in my blog, because who knows who may read it? So, here and now, I am going to try to be less superficial. Sometimes. In between crafty posts.

7. This weekend is a mini-family reunion with my mother's side of the family, which was the original reason we traveled to TX this month (Glennon was a bonus). I think some people scoff at this kind of event, but to me, it's a highlight of the year. My generation is grown: myyoungest cousin is in law school, and most of us are heads of our own families now, but we've been getting together on at least a yearly basis since we were babies. I grew up with these people, and they're some of my favorites alive today. There is such comfort in visiting people who know you so well you never have to explain yourself. 

8. I've written about this before, but there is hardly anything that makes me happier than to see my children begin to form affectionate relationships with their cousins. I am overjoyed to see that the prospect of playing with cousins is an exciting one.

9. Any gathering of this family means really good food. It's an Italian family after all. Here's to prosciutto and parmesan, good wine, and Nona's chicken! And Tex Mex, of course.

10. So, to Texas and all the good that happens here! (And, go, Wendy Davis!) Please join me in singing Texas, Our Texas to finish out this list.

Texas, Our Texas! all hail the mighty State!
Texas, Our Texas! so wonderful so great!
Boldest and grandest, withstanding ev'ry test
O Empire wide and glorious, you stand supremely blest.
Texas, O Texas! your freeborn single star,
Sends out its radiance to nations near and far,
Emblem of Freedom! it set our hearts aglow,
With thoughts of San Jacinto and glorious Alamo.
Texas, dear Texas! from tyrant grip now free,
Shines forth in splendor, your star of destiny!
Mother of heroes, we come your children true,
Proclaiming our allegiance, our faith, our love for you.
God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long.
God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long.

Texas, our Texas, the land of 70 degree February days. We love you!


  1. Sounds like you had an awesome week! I was so close on the list! I kept working at it since I sent it (because I'm an over-achiever like that) and I only had three mixed up from the right answers.

    I'm making your corn soup recipe sometime this weekend. Can't wait!

    Have a great week!

    1. I'm impressed you kept working on it. You did a great job! I'm excited to see how you like the soup! I thought it was great.

  2. At first I couldn't think who Glennon Doyle Melton was so I followed your link. Now I know - I listened to her TED talk a while ago and it was brilliant, so I can see why you are so pleased to have met her.
    I really like your observations about her talk! I just love your point about us being too different at the superficial level an finding "commonality in the deepest of emotions." Yes, yes! I also love your observation that perhaps this is why introverts aren't comfortable in social situations. I veer towards introvert (or at least introspective, which is probably necessary to be a writer.) But I'm considerably more comfortable in social than I used to be and reading your post made me realise it's partly because I rarely bother with social situations where conversation is superficial.Your point about blogging is a good one too. To be honest I generally pass over the blogs that are mainly about the superficial. It's like a layer of protection but it stops real connection.
    Loved this post!

    Oh, and I have the same feeling about my kids getting along with their cousins - it's great!

    1. This was a great, thoughtful response, Yvonne. The kind that warms a blogger's heart.
      I think I actually read that about introverts somewhere, but it jives with my experience so I hung onto the idea.

  3. That last line not going to lie, so jealous of 70 degree February weather, when all we keep having is freezing and tons of snow here in NY in February. So sick of complaining about it too, because I feel like I am just more grumpy and definitely more whiny during this time of the year. Anyways, sounded like a perfect week to me. And congrats to Dyanne on her win, too!! :)

    1. This is such a tough time of year. We're all just waiting for some warmth. The timing of this trip could hardly have been better!

  4. Like you, I'm not too good at superficial convos either! It looks like you've had a pretty good week, and I must say that this is a cool guessing game you did!

  5. *side eyes you for the warmth as I look at the 10+ inches of snow in my yard.
    I'm an introvert as well. It's funny when people meet me and find that I'm actually not that outgoing. I guess I shine through written words.
    That also runs over into the superficial conversations. It's so hard to do. I have to think critically before I open my mouth if that makes sense so it always ends up being "Look at this weather eh?". I do much better when the other person strikes up the convo and runs with it.

    1. You know, people who actually know me are often surprised I am an introvert. Their surprise always shocks me because I'm a VERY introverted introvert. But I think I must have learned over the years how to put on a good show. And then just collapse afterwards. :)

  6. Ohhhhhh I SO ADORE GLENNON and that you MET HER *squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee* and that you, in all that, and all those miles, SHARED THAT WITH ME. You have been a high point this week for me, and I totally know what you mean about the people around us here making us more confident face to face. That's HUGE.

    JUNYALEAGUE! YES I GET IT *cartwheels*

    Oh I adore your post this week SO much. Love it. And that you had an Important conversation with the lady. And that you didn't steal the book. And that you're so lovely and doing SO WELL.

    And that there'll be more Real.

    *HUGEHUGS* to you

    1. Aww, that Ya-Ya reference was just for you! I totally thought of you at the event when someone urged me to join my local chapter. Ummm, no.

  7. Texas, huh? as in 'the place that doesn't have annoyingly persistent snow and cold? jealous? me? no frickin way
    …I don't want to know how warm it was, either!


  8. Just an awesome, wonderful post. Happy for you, fellow woman

  9. wow I blew at that contest... I think I got Dianne, Lizzi and K2 correct but only cuz I cheated! Damn! I suck! Oh well! I am not a big chicken fan but best I ever had was from a little Italian grandma that everyone was calling Nona... it was rosemary chicken... does your Nona make it that way?

    1. Points for trying, Zoe, points for trying!
      And, YES, rosemary chicken! You got it! Baked forever so it's juicy and falls off the bone.

  10. I WON! I WON! I WON! I WON! Great TToT list. I WON! I WON! I WON! I WON!

    1. Woohoo, Dyanne! I'm serious about your prize if you want to send me an address!

  11. Have no idea who Glennon Doyle Melton is but will have to have a look see and follow your link. Glad that you had such a great week! Happy belated Valentine's Day to you!

  12. We may have paid neighborhood kids to do our sidewalk, but The Dude was shoveling a foot of snow for his parents! And it wasn't a superficial snow either... I miss you and the kids. Come back soon. But not until Jordy and I get to play some Ticket to Ride.

  13. That is SO exciting you got to meet and hear a speech by Glennon! Seriously, that's a life event. And I love your takeaways, too. Both so true.
    And HEY, you're not that far from me! I thought I sensed you in Texas! haha. Actually you're about 4+ hours from me. I'm glad you're enjoying family and good food. nothing better than that. :)

    1. And that paragraph explains TX travel. You're not that far, just 4+ hours!
      The first time I ever drove through the NE, I was absolutely flabbergasted by how quickly we passed through states. It still is strange to me. But to a Texan, 4+ hours is no big deal. There and back in one day!

  14. That's AWESOME that you got to meet your hero in the elevator. I know Lizzi's talked about her before but I don't really read her. However, you've inspired me to so you can tell her that and she'll have to totally thank you for bringing her more people and stuff. It'll be like she owes you even. Except that she sounds like she's not into the owing so it'll just be all happy zen karma instead.
    I couldn't find any neighbor kids to shovel for us. What's up with that? Greedy little buggers. MMMMM TEX MEX.

    1. Umm, late, but I am replying. Yeah, what is UP with your neighbors? Are the kids too rich or do you just live in a retirement community?


Make my day and leave me a comment!