Mom Blogger Events

A Brief Encounter, With a Doorman, In New York City

Creepy Mannequins
I hate fake people  ~  Yeah, me too!!!

Day 1 into NaBloPoMo...[scratches head, blank stare]...and NOW I remember why I haven't NaBloPoMo-ed since 2011...this blogging every day (even on weekends) thing is hard...YO!!!

The really cool thing about NaBloPoMo-ing is that there are daily prompts to help get my blogging juices going, but today's prompt was a little too hard (i.e. made me think more than I really care to) for a Friday.

Instead, I'd like to tell you about a brief encounter, with a doorman, in New York City:

Continue reading "A Brief Encounter, With a Doorman, In New York City" »

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

The Afterglow of Giving Back: Helping Us Get Past Hurricane Sandy

It's been a month since Hurricane Sandy made landfall here in New Jersey (I blogged about our experience, once we got power back) and although the news crews and Weather Channel folks have since moved on to other more immediate and pressing matters (sadly, there is bad stuff happening in the world, all the time)  reminders of just how cataclysmic this storm really was remain and, well, the devistation isn't going away anytime soon.

I realize that some folks may be growing tired or even a little weary of hearing about yet another Sandy story (I'm looking at you, dude on my Facebook stream who insisted that Jersey should just get over it already) trust me, we get it.

On the other hand, a large percentage of my husband's customers are small business owners who lost both their homes AND their livelihood, excuse my Jersey when I tell you:  he hears it ALL friggin' day.  In fact, there are people STILL living it, every day.

Either way, the sense of helplessness is incredibly overwhelming.

Elizabeth and her son at Samaritan's Purse
So, when my good friend, and fellow NJ Digital Mom, Elizabeth Norton  (that's her up there with one of her adorable sons!)  suggested we get together and help give back by volunteering to serve dinner to the good folks of Samaritan's Purse (a non-denominational Christian organization providing relief to victims of war, poverty and natural disaster) I was all, like, FRIGGIN'YAH!

Holly and Me at Samaritan's PurseI got to share the experience with my oldest daughter and, honestly, she and I were a little nervous about how the evening would play out. 

Continue reading "The Afterglow of Giving Back: Helping Us Get Past Hurricane Sandy" »

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Color Me 50 Shades of Surprised, In Katie's Green Room!

A week ago (today) my oldest daughter and I traveled into NYC to tape a segment of Katie Couric's new daytime television show (never thought I would say that OUT LOUD...right?...me, either)!

Headed to hang with Katie Couric

We were both super-excited to be able to share in the experience of my being asked to blog during the taping (I'll be the one hiding behind a borrowed laptop) the subject matter, however, left us both feeling emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted.

Katie's audience
I am not at liberty to share with you what the show was about (not yet, anyways, it's airing next month) I can tell you, however, that the entire audience was made up of mothers and daughters with a pack of tissues strategically hidden under everyone's seat: enough said.

Holly and me in the green room
Holly and me hanging out in the green room (it really IS green)!

The best part, besides the fact that Holly and I got to hang out in Katie's green room together and pretend we do this sort of stuff ALL the time, was the conversation leading up to and after the taping.

"Does it matter that I've never been on a date?"

My husband, Garth (not his real name) and I have this unspoken rule about allowing our kids to date at 16.

"Because, you know, the show is about teen dating and everything."

Shhhh, don't tell anybody...okay?!?...and now that our oldest girls are turning 19 and 17 in a couple of months (pausing to let that sink in...still pausing...looking for the friggin' rewind button...Holy Hannah Montana...where DOES the time go?!?) would you believe that neither of our daughters have had a boy ask them out...on a date...or whatever...EVER?!?

"But, you do intend on dating...eventually...right?!?"

I can't say that either of my girls are very happy about it (not as much as their father and I, anyways) or never wondered, "What the heck is wrong with me?" and "All my friends have had boyfriends!" out loud, once or a bazillion times, either.

"There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with you."

Long story, short (you're welcome!) teenagers don't date -- they hook up, meet up, whatever, no strings attached -- and, well, pardon the 70's reference, it's just NOT their scene.

"How old where you when you started dating Mom?"

Okie-dokie, here we go.

"18...no WAIT...19!"

Okay, so I don't remember EXACTLY.  It was a while ago.  I started working full-time a week out of high school and dated a string of LOOOOOOS-SUUUUUUHS (seriously, my parents will tell you) before a swearing off dating ALL TOGETHER after finally putting an end to a REAL BAD relationship.

"I remember you telling us about him."

Although I can't claim to know EVERYTHING there is to know about raising teens (besides the fact that the rules do tend to change, quite frequently, sometimes within seconds of each other, depending on which kid we're talking about, I mean) because they feel comfortable enough to talk to their dad and me (mostly me) about almost anything (or, at all even) has remained my constant proverbial golden ring of parenting.

"I'm SO GLAD you met AND then married dad!"

Me, too (a.k.a. understatement of the century) and yet I cannot, for the life of me, wrap my head around the fact that we will be celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary this weekend!

50 shades of garth
Enough said.

© 2003 - 2012  This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

#Blogust: Leave a Comment, Save a Child, Enough Said.

Blogust12This post is my contribution to the United Nations Foundation's Shot@Life Blog Relay for #Bloglust:  31 bloggers, one each day in August, are writing about people from our communities who have inspired us.

TODAY, IT'S MY TURN TO HELP:  EVERY SINGLE COMMENT LEFT ON THIS BLOG POST RAISES $20 TO HELP SAVE THE LIFE OF A CHILD IN NEED.    

Here's my story:  I started blogging back in 2003 (when blogging was still in diapers) to connect with other parents, share stories and feel a little less disconnected with life outside my front door, beyond all the dust bunnies and diapers.

It was a different time, social media was in its infancy and success was measured by how THRILLED someone felt whenever someone else (besides their mother) actually read and/or took the time to leave a comment on a blog post.

Not many people in my real life knew I blogged and those who did seemed troubled by my writing into all hours of the night:  as a mother of four young children, I should be sleeping.

Still, I continued to share my stories, kept up with online friends on my blogroll, laughed along with them, offered a sympathetic ear, an empathetic virtual {{{hug}}} or participate in a meme (or twenty) and maybe even share a blog post that moved me in some way.

The internet continued to grow and, not unlike my kids, the blogosphere experienced its fair share of growing pains.  It seemed as if a new controversy would arise with each passing year and I tried,  really hard, to focus on my tagline instead:  helping to make OTHER mothers feel a little better about themselves, since 2003. 

Today?  Social media has EXPLODED as new online communities continue to evolve on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (to name a few of my favorites) and while I also contribute to these forums (turns out, so do A LOT of my friends and neighbors IRL) they are but a small snapshot, a teaser if you will, of the stories I continue to share here on my blog.

Sadly, many of my longtime online friends are questioning their place on the internet and some folks are even considering the fact that perhaps it is time to step away from blogging:  truth be told, me too.

As a mom of teens and tweens, I too can't help but wonder:  is anybody really listening?  Does anyone still read blogs anymore? 

Until, I received this comment on a recent post (entitled "My Kids Think I'm a Stupid Mommyblogger, I Prefer the Term Family Chronicler" ironically enough) from one of my newer blogging friends, Tracie:From TracieThank you, Tracie.  You will NEVER know how much I needed to hear this, right now...OH, WAIT!...I just did, okay, NOW you know :)

It's folks like you (yes, YOU!) who continually inspire me to contribute to my online community in the best way I know how:  by sharing my stories, hopefully, helping to make OTHER mothers (and dads) feel a little better about themselves and THANK YOU SO MUCH for the reminder, my friend.

Okay, now it's YOUR turn.  Want to help save a child in need?  EXCELLENT!!!

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post: 

  • Tell us a little about someone who supported or inspired you 
  • Share a story about a meaningful comment someone made to you
  • Or maybe even let them know about it, right here, right now

Here's the REALLY AWESOME PART:  every comment left on this post will be matched with a $20 donation (up to a maximum of $200,000) I mean, really, not for nothing, but what an awesome way to help bring home the fact that comments really do matter, right?!?

Just so you know, $20 is what it costs to give one child four life-saving vaccines to help protect them against measles, pneumonia, diarrhea and polio.  That's 10,000 children and we can help them ALL with a simple comment.

Shot@Life
Yesterday, the amazing Anissa Mayhew of Free Anissa shared her story and now I'm going to hand the virtual baton over to the awesome Jenny Eckton of Formerly Phread...GO JENNY, GO!!!!

You can learn more about Shot@Life by joining their email list, following them on twitter or liking them on Facebook.

OH, AND FEEL FREE TO TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS:  A child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine preventable disease. We can ALL help stop this.  Comment today, comment tomorrow on Jenny's post, heck you can comment every day, if you'd like, we'll leave the porch light on for ya!

Why?

Because comments really do count, nice matters and even old-blog-timers like me still have a story or twenty to share, just sayin'.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Stranded in San Diego and What the Heck is Jamba Juice, Anyways?

  Headed homeI've been on the road for the last 3 days, spending about half that time either in the air, probably flying right over your head or waiting here on the ground, hoping to get back into the air, like, REAL SOON!

In fact I'm supposed to be in the air, RIGHT NOW!  Headed to Denver, CO.

Instead, I'm sitting here, in San Diego, in front of a large bank of windows, next to 2 old-ish gentlemen comparing their medical alert bracelets (where are you, when SaveHer needs you, BusyMom?) and some lazy schlub's empty Jamba Juice cup (dude, really, this is NOT your living room!) while I watch other people take off and head onto their next destination.

My luggage, on the other hand, is headed to Denver. 

Long story, short (you're welcome) the outbound flight was delayed and I would have missed my connection in Denver, anyway.

You know, where my luggage is going, RIGHT NOW!

Instead, the really nice people at United were able to get me onto a direct flight back home which leaves in less than 3 hours [knocks on wood until knuckles bleed] and gets me in around the buttcrack of dawn.

They call it "the red eye" for a reason, I think.  I'm about to find out, for sure.

More importantly, I will make it home in time to shower, grab a HUGE HONKING cup of coffee (or cawfee, if you're from Jersey) and watch my youngest play 2nd clarinet in the Central Jersey Elementary School Honors Band concert.

WHOOT!!!!!

In the meantime, for your viewing pleasure, some lovely pictures from my trip, just in case MomoFali's gotten over hating me, just a little.

View of San Diego, CA

I woke up to this, every morning, sheesh, what's with all the boats?

Forced Myself to Eat Outdoors

Still, I forced myself to eat lunch...outdoors...and it...you know...hurt.

Home Away from Home While in San Diego, CA
And then spent an afternoon walking along the harbor surrounded by an annoyingly shine-y blue sky.

Picked Up a Few Trinkets

And the sound of seagulls and wind chimes, carried along a cool breeze and you know, more sunshine.

San Diego GasLamp District

Really, I don't know how you SoCal people stand it?  Aaaaaand, they have free WiFi here at the airport?

[insert sh*t-eating grin, here]

My luggage should be REAL jealous, right about now.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

3/21 #BBRadio Interview With Liz Thompson @ThisFullHouse (Hey, yeah and WOW! That's me!)

I had the EXTREME pleasure of being invited, along with Rita Pacenta (a.k.a. Look It's Megryansmom) and Kat Tierney (a.k.a. Sassy Irish Lassie), to speak with the amazing Beth Rosen  on the #BBRadio show -- a SocialRevUp brands blogger show -- that aired LIVE last night...like...NO, you won't have access to a delete button...you BIG dork...GULP!

Just in case you missed it, here it is:

Listen to internet radio with SocialRevUp on Blog Talk Radio

Frankly, I was a little nervous.  Okay, I was >this< close to wigging out.   Honestly, this is not an every day sort of thing for me, you know, exposing myself on an internet radio show (figuratively speaking, of course)!

So, after I got home from softball practice with my youngest, my husband sent me to my room with a glass of wine and two telephone handsets, you know, just in case:  SCORE!!!

So, yeah, it's a fun way to get to learn a little more about why and how I started blogging in the age before Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest...etc...you know, around the time they invented the wheel, or something...and why I split my blog in two as This Full House and This Full House Gone Shopping.

Did I mention, I'm a Gemini?  Oh, and apparently, my Jersey was showing...just a little.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

Cross-posted on my gone shopping blog and proudly flying the "I am a dork" flag.

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Random Acts of Zhu for the Holidays: New Jersey & Zhu, Happy Together!

It's been a crazy, busy year -- even Santa doubts my being able to finish EVERYTHING on  MY to do list in time for eggnog o'clock -- then, my youngest daughter (she's 9) asked if she could practice her writing skills and wrote a wonderful post about Christmas.

It made me realize just how GROWN UP she's getting and, sadly, Kris Kringle won't be needing my services, for much longer, after all.

[pout]

Good thing Hope and I got the chance to play Santa, this week!

I am very proud to be one of bloggers chosen to participate in Cepia LLC's Random Acts of Zhu holiday giving program.

Each of us were given 104 Zhu Zhu Pets to donate to the charity of our choice, with no compensation OR strings attached.

Why?

104 Zhu Zhu Pets in the House

Hope and I were THRILLED with the prospect of being able to help families in need and perhaps make another child's holiday a little brighter, too!

Hope Donates Zhu Zhu to Toy Drive
Our first stop was the Herb Young Annual Toy Drive held at Hope's elementary school where we donated 7 boxes (56 Zhu Zhu pets) to the children at Spring House in Eatontown, NJ:

"We provide services to break the barriers of homelessness and reinforce self-dignity, independence and self-awareness for women with children."

The toys will be distributed to the families staying at Spring House, tomorrow, Christmas Eve!

Hope at K Hovnonian Children's Hospital at Jersey Shore Medical Center
Next stop, Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, NJ -- they took GREAT care of my middle girl two Christmases ago (okay, me, too!) -- we made an appointment to deliver the remaining 6 boxes of Zhu Zhu pets, after school on Tuesday.

Jara Ferrante, Elizabeth and Hope behind the Zhu Zhu Pets

We were greeted by Jara Ferrante, a Child Life Specialist and her Assistant, Elizabeth (nice name, btw, heh!) two SUPER friendly ladies with an AWESOME sense of humor (see picture above) who make it their business to help even their littlest visitors at K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital feel warm and welcome.

Jara and Hope

Hope was THRILLED to learn that the Zhu Zhu pets will be put into the "magic closet," so, whenever there's a birthday, or a child is having a particularly difficult time adjusting to their journey, they will be gift wrapped and, hopefully, help the children left in their care feel right at home.

I know, Hope did!

Thank you SO MUCH, Jara, for allowing us to bring some of that warm and fuzzy feeling home with us, along with Hope's new bff, Hopscotch (she's Dr. Bernard's bouncy buddy) too!!!

Special thanks to Cepia LLC for allowing my family to help spread a little holiday cheer, this year!

Why?

Because, nice matters and being able to give a little back to our community, via This Full House of sticky floors and crunchy socks, feels REAL GOSH-DARNED GOOD, too!

LINKY LOVE BYTES:

Jersey Shore University Medical Center's Website

K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital Social Media Center

K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital on Facebook

K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital on Twitter

Happy Holidays, everyone!!!

(Cross-posted to my review blog)

© 2003 - 2010 This FULL House (Re)Views / This FULL House Blahg'd 

Disclosure: No payment, or product was received for this post or for my participation in this program.

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.