Monday, February 27, 2012

The Lesson of the Oscars

I love the Oscars!!!  I make it a point to see all of the “Best Picture” nominated movies and even try to see some of the nominated performances in other movies.  My mom and I do this together which makes it even more fun!  We have a ritual.  Around November, we start making our list of “must-see” movies.  During awards season, we call each other and we plan each coming weekend.  If we both have a free afternoon or evening during the weekend (or even a decadent weeknight) we plan where we’ll see it and what time we’ll meet.  We buy our popcorn (sometimes) and our ridiculously overpriced water bottles and we head into the theater with great anticipation. 

After the movie, we often go out for a bowl of soup and debrief.  The movies often spark conversations about relationships, life, philosophy, and even turn us into amateur movie critics.  It is so much fun! 
Of course, we repeat this routine as many times as necessary until we have seen all of the movies on our list.  It is so much fun and we wait with great anticipation for the Oscars Ceremony.  It is truly our reward for all of our hard work and dedication.  Ok, really, it’s tons of fun and gives me a great excuse to spend time together with my fabulous mom!
Last night was the big night! We got together to watch at my house on the big screen TV.  I made us a big salad and put out appetizers for us to nosh on throughout the evening.  Literally, we made a mini party.  Just the two of us!  My kids came in and out during the evening, but their commitment level is clearly not the same as Mom’s and mine.  My husband timed a visit to his Dad’s perfectly, so he didn’t have to witness the silliness and our overly loud exuberance as our favorites won or lost. 
We loved the show from start to finish! We enjoyed every minute of the red carpet – commenting on the dresses and the hilariousness of the question, “Who are you wearing?”  We waited with baited breath to hear the end of the sentence, “And the Oscar goes to…”  over and over again.  It was truly a labor of love shared by a mother and daughter who typically don’t allow themselves the luxuries of indulgence.  We both work hard and clearly have our priorities in order most of the year.  This is our one “cheesy” indulgence and we cherish the time together more than any other ingredient of this whole scenario. 

Here’s the irony: Today, the day after the Oscars, the television stations are crazy with reports about last night’s ceremony.  “Billy Crystal was wonderful!” “Billy Crystal was terrible!” “Everyone looked beautiful!” “Everyone looked so old!”  The reports are flying and the critics are working overtime being overly critical, to say the least.  I can hardly stand to listen to them.

Here’s my take on the whole thing.  Just like everything in life, you get out what you put in.  My mom and I put our hearts into the whole experience and made it wonderful for ourselves all along the way and it paid off.  It was wonderful – for us!  The bottom line is that if you don’t make a big investment, you don’t get a big payoff.  The critics are paid to be critical and I don’t care what anyone says, Mom and I loved every minute!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Teaching Kids About Government and Civics

Happy Presidents' Day!  Read my article posted to LifeBound's website about teaching our kids the importance of having a voice in our government, community and our world. 

Happy President’s Day! In addition to celebrating the birthdays of two very influential presidents, we are also in an election year. Unfortunately, in recent years the election process has become a bit of a media frenzy rather than an interesting process and lesson in government. That’s why it’s more important than ever to keep things in a healthy perspective.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor said:

“Knowledge of our system of government is not handed down through the gene pool. The habits of citizenship must be learned…”

Click here to read the whole article.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Day

I love Valentine’s Day! I know that many call it a Hallmark holiday, but who wouldn’t love a day designated to tell those you love just how much you love them? Ok, go ahead and ask me, “What about those who get so sad on Valentine’s Day?” I say, that’s their choice! You don’t have to have a lover or a partner to enjoy the day. You also don’t have to be showered with flowers and chocolates and be taken for an expensive dinner in order for it to be magical. You simply have to MAKE it a great day.

As connected as we are these days, digitally, to everyone at all times, we are really so disconnected. We speak in “text” saying LOL and TTYL, but do we really CONNECT with each other? Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity, don’t you think?

Here are a few suggestions for making a real connection this Valentine’s Day:

Click here to read more on the website!