Playfullytacky.com turned two while I wasn’t paying attention! Happy Blogiversary to me!
In honor of this momentous occasion, let’s have a giveaway.
Playfullytacky.com turned two while I wasn’t paying attention! Happy Blogiversary to me!
In honor of this momentous occasion, let’s have a giveaway.
My daughter’s illustration of her family. Bo was the cat; you can tell because he has extra legs. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to date this so I can only guess she was maybe three years old.
She was never really interested in taking time to draw people, so everyone looked like this for several years. Dad kind of looks like Mr. Potato Head missing his parts.
I can’t have a nostalgia week without sharing some photographs of myself as a child. Turns out I don’t have a lot of photos in my house though; they are all still with the people responsible for my childhood. The ones of my mother and I that I’m sharing with you today come from a random album put together by my maternal great-grandmother. They may not be the cream of the crop . . . but you wouldn’t have known that if I didn’t just tell you.
So, three generations – my mom, me, and the daughter. I’m not including the little man because I’m not comfortable putting his baby photos online.
Click on it to enlarge our adorableness.
The thing that sticks out the most to me? My kid is posing; at three months old she was already a ham. Also, apparently hair skips a generation.
Looking through what little stuff I have in my house from childhood one thing became perfectly clear. . . I was always meant to be an archivist. Everything is sorted, labeled, and organized.
Today I’m going to share a few gems from my senior book. Did you have one of these things? I’m not much of a scrapbooker, but I actually filled mine full of stuff. For background – I graduated in 2001 from the school I had attended since kindergarten.
Top Left: The book, in all of its glory! Also my tassel and a pair of gloves that went with one of my colorguard outfits. I found all of this stuff in a plastic bin in my garage.
Top Right: Happy graduates in their fancy regalia. I’m the girl that shows up the most in the photos. Some of these people I still see occasionally. All of these people are Facebook friends. What would we do without Facebook?
Bottom Left: A handwritten poem from my grandmother. A quick google search tells me the author is unknown.
Bottom Right: This is part of a two-page spread that was supposed to be dedicated to sports. I decided to use it for this one time the colorguard had to paint boxes to stand on during a halftime performance. I’m not sure why I thought this random afternoon deserved two whole pages. That cute girl there on the left was my most-bestest-friend. I’m happy to report that I do still see her occasionally.
But here is the best part – the page they put in so you have something really great to laugh at when you look at the book twenty years in the future. The image isn’t really the best (I should have scanned it instead of photographed), but I’ll transcribe so you can enjoy without straining your eyes.
Favorite Restaurant/Hangout: Olive Garden
Okay confession, I’m still a fan of the Olive Garden even though it gets a lot of hate. It is probably listed as my favorite here though because the closest one was an hour away. I guess that made it special.
Favorite Thing to Order: Crab cakes, pasta, reese blizzard
Yum. All still up there on the list of favorite things.
Favorite Hamburger: BBQ sauce and swiss cheese
Now I’m more of a provolone and grilled mushrooms kind of gal. No sauce.
Favorite Pizza: Rods, always with pepperoni
Rods is a favorite pizza place in my home town, but the last time I had it was a major letdown. Still a pepperoni fan though.
Favorite Ice Cream: Texas Gold Chocolate Chip
I like the Texas Gold kind because it had chocolate shards/shavings instead of traditional chips. I don’t eat a lot of ice cream now.
Hottest Car: The new Jaguar – I love it but don’t why.
I feel like I was supposed to put down the hottest car overall, not just the one I liked best. Woops. I’m still a Jag fan [I drive a Mazda].
Favorite Song: Like a Prayer, Ghetto Superstar, Tocatta and Fugue
Oh Stephanie, did you feel like you had to throw in some Bach to impress your future self? I still like Like a Prayer and Ghetto Superstar was recently on my everyday playlist. I still love me some Bach, but I guarantee I just picked that song name off the back of a cd to write it here.
Hottest Group: Barenaked Ladies
Again, I think I missed the point here. I don’t listen to BNL anymore, but I’ll always be a fan. Their best songs are the ones that never made it into regular radio play and their concert was super fun.
Favorite Game: Monopoly
Favorite TV Show: Rugrats, That 70s Show, Dateline
Oh my gosh, I watched Dateline every singe night and forgot all about that until just now.
Favorite Movies: Rocky Horror Picture Show, Much Ado About Nothing, Schindler’s List, Dirty Dancing
The first two are still on my list of favorite movies and the second two are solid choices. I had good taste.
Favorite Clothes: my long black skirt w/ black dragon shirt
Yep, I’d still wear that. Through in combat boots and a tattoo choker please.
More Favorites: Colors – black, silver, red; Subway; heavy rain at night; smell of baking bread; yellow roses; Bach; Hamlet; Om perfume Gap; cranberry juice; dirt cake; my lace-up knee-high black boots; The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath; Paradise by Toni Morrison; people playing with my hair; Tim’s [the future husband] unique smell; snow; candles burning
I underlined those that still apply.
Nostalgia is fun.
Eh, the box value is good, but the products are a miss for me this month.
I can’t complain too much though; I got a BeautyBlender last month and traded it for a full-size bottle of the Redken conditioner my daughter uses (must protect the natural blonde!).
And I still argue that a huge portion of Birchbox’s worth is the fun of getting a box of goodies in the mail and trading with other box-enthusiasts.
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré ($1.87)
The reviews on this product are pretty good and it does feel pretty nice when it goes on your face. I’ll gladly add it to my moisturizer stash for use when my Dear by Enprani Bounce Cheese Cream (morning) and Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream (night) run out. [You’ll have to pry my Korean skincare products out of my cold, dead hands.]
It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product ($9)
I’m happy to see this product, but not surprised as I picked it during the sample choice time. It’s a 10 is great and usually pretty easy to come by free. This is my third free bottle from somewhere-or-other, I think. I recommend trying this one if you can get your hands on a sample.
Fekkai PrX Reparatives Shampoo ($5)
I was happy to try Fekkai, but the damn thing has sulfates. I’m still undecided about the actual effect of sulfates on my hair, but I’d rather just cut them out to be safe. Bummer.
Jelly Pong Pong GLOW GETTER Highlighter ($12.75)
While I will occasionally break out a highlighter (usually Benefit’s Watt’s Up), this one looks like a glitter bomb and won’t be coming anywhere near my face. It’s a shame though, as it is a full-size product. No, it is not unusual for highlighters to come that small. I didn’t even swatch this product as I know it will be added to my trade board, so I can’t comment on the color.
Temple Spa Peace Be Still Calming Face & Body Balm ($4.83)
Two lotions in one box, really? Okay, the Embryolisse is a moisturizer . . . but I’d still rather not see two cream-type products in one box. This does smell wonderful, so I’ll add it to our travel supply. Still a bit of a let-down though.
Total Cost: $10
Total Value: $33.45
A good, solid box; I’m pleased. As always, if you want to sign up for your own Birchbox please be a dear and use my referral link. Signing up for the first time? Use the coupon code JILLIAN to get 100 points when you subscribe (that is equal to $10 in the shop!)
**Whoa. I need a photo editor intervention. Too much, Stephanie. Too much.
Just a short little impromptu audio post today. I recorded this last night just before bed.
Enjoy my babbling and southern accent. Fun fact – the way I say “bye” at this is how I say it when I’m talking on the phone. Not usually in person though.
P.S. That clicking in the background towards the end is my paper-eating dog dancing around the bedroom door trying to get out. She didn’t realize it was already open.
Imagine you are starring in you own sitcom (sitcom, not reality show), what would be on your show’s soundtrack? Sure, a lot of us carry music around with us all day, but imagine if it played nonstop – and not necessarily your favorite choice of song. I spent a couple of days thinking about this question and came up with what I think is a pretty good playlist.
So here my regular workday, in song form. The links go to YouTube videos, listen/watch at your own risk (in other words, don’t blame me if you are scandalized by the content).
I like to feel a little epic in the morning – like I’m a real bad ass. I’d probably pick something like “The Kiss” from Last of the Mohicans or “I Fink You Freeky” by Die Antwoord. Two different kinds of epic, yes, but it gets the job done. Sort of a bring-it-on-world kind of thing. I usually think I’m much more amazing than I really am; like I would actually still be alive at the end of a horror movie and not the girl that gets killed first when she is stupidly separated from the main group or explores a house in the dark.
“Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane. Okay, pretty stereotypical, but still a great choice. I’m a huge fan of a classic road song. Since my grubby little hands wrapped around my first driver’s license, I have loved to be in my car. My fifteen-to-twenty minute commute every morning is one of my favorite times of day. I love driving, singing, watching, listening – being a part of everything, but still just an observer. So awesome.
Working, Part I
When I arrive at work in the morning I raring to go and optimistic.* This is the time for big plans and big dreams, so I think I’ll go with “Good Life” by OneRepublic. Anything is possible at the beginning of a workday (especially after pumping myself up with epic music and road songs), so I’d like the music to match that feeling, even if it isn’t always realistic. At 9:00am I am my best-work-self.
“Come Go With Me” by the Del Vikings. A coworker once jokingly referred to me as the guidance counselor of the office. That image is probably true – I naively think a reasonable argument will always win; I like for everyone to work together in a ‘60s free-love kind of happiness; I would probably keep a jar of candy on my desk if I could keep from eating it all myself. At lunch, I feel refreshed and slightly optimistic. I get a second wind.
Working, Part II
Without a doubt the second part of the workday gets “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Metallica. “For whom the bell tolls/Time marches on” – who hasn’t felt that way during the 2pm slump?
By the time I am headed home in the evening, I’m thrilled to be back in my car again. The music needs to be upbeat, but maybe with a slight edge. “Inside Out” by Eve 6 fits the bill. Fun to sing, but without the bubbly lyrics. This one also has the added bonus of having been one of my favorites when it was first released. It was overplayed and I never bothered to
download it from Napster buy the cd, so it quickly fell out of favor. I rediscovered it a couple of years ago though and was surprised to know all of the words.
I’m not typically a very deep person, so let’s go for something obvious here: “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Lyrics like “Alabama, Arkansas/I do love my Ma and Pa/Not the way that I do love you” are perfect for me. I love being home where the only crazy person I have to deal with is me. I’ve never been attached to a place, just people: “Home, let me come home/Home is wherever I’m with you.”
Wow. No one would buy that soundtrack.
*As Maury would say, “The lie detector test determined . . . that’s a lie.” I’m rarely optimistic.
Head on over to The Artcademy and check out the March Craft Madness Giveaway. You could win $500 worth of arts-and-craft-supplies-goodness. Plus, you get entries by following me on Instagram and Pinterest. Go check it out!
Poking around on the internet this week, I stumbled across this anti-bucket list post from Rock and Drool. You know, all of those things that other people want to do before they die and you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. I was inspired to create my own list. Share your anti-bucket items in the comments.
1. Run a Marathon/Half-Marathon/Around the Block
Nope, not going to happen. I have no desire to run/jog/walk with a large group of people. I have no desire to be left alone with my thoughts for that long. I have no desire to post a photo of me crossing the finish line. Marathons, in general, are just not my cup of tea. I’m not even really interested in cheering you on from the sidelines, but I’ll drop you off if you need a ride then treat myself to French toast somewhere.
2. Read/Watch 50 Shades of Grey
I have nothing against the BDSM community – you do you, yo! I’m all about experimentation in the bedroom. – but everything I’ve heard about this relationship just seems abusive. Plus, if I want to watch some porn I’ll just watch some porn. I don’t need it hidden in some watered down fantasy.
3. Go Skydiving
I get kind of nauseated going up steep hills, so this seems like a physical impossibility for me. I don’t think I’m missing out on much though.
4. Go to Burning Man
I see photos of Burning Man and people are always there, but I don’t know why anyone would want to go to such a dirty, sweaty, lack-of-civilization kind of thing. I am not that person. No, not at all.
5. Learn to Play an Instrument
I tried to learn how to play the piano as a kid (hated) and later learned to play the clarinet (it was fine). I’m not counting those now, as I probably couldn’t make much of any noise you would consider music on either instrument. I like listening to music; I don’t like playing music. I have a ukulele at home (hipster cred!), but disliked learning how to play it so much I abandoned it after only learning a couple of chords. I enjoy just plucking on the string when I’m alone. That is enough for me.
6. Complete a Year-Long Daily Photo Project
How many photos of cups of coffee can you take? Here is the view from my office chair. Here is the view from my office chair turned to the right. Here is the view of my office chair from the door. Here is my driveway. I don’t do enough to take daily photos. I’d give it two weeks before I get tired and abandon everything.
7. Swim with Dolphins
This one is a no because I fear it would be less “Look! Stephanie is swimming with those dolphins!” and more “Look! Those dolphins are attacking Stephanie! Somebody help!” I think dolphins are secretly evil. At the very least, they seem to take pleasure in occasionally humiliating their human guests.
8. Meet a Singer/Band
You know you are just going to be disappointed. That person isn’t the person you think you know from their music and they don’t want to be accosted on the street. If you happen to have backstage passes, they will just be sweaty and tied. Gross. I’ll stick with the music, thanks. I might make an exception for older musicians; they always seem to be fairly genuine when speaking/posing with fans. Not sure though…
9. Learn Spanish
This isn’t one of those “We speak English in America!” things. From what I’ve seen, if you speak Spanish you constantly get called over to help out when a Spanish-speaker and English-speaker are having difficulty communicating. I don’t want to be that go-to person.
10. Be Part of a Flash Mob
So what do you really have here? Lots of planning for five minutes of fun and a YouTube video. I’d rather order a pizza.
There is a major adoption controversy happening locally right now – a very sad story with many people in the wrong. I intended to write about that today, but had difficulty getting anything on paper. I’m too emotionally connected to improving the adoption system to communicate any intelligent thoughts. Still wanting to write about the subject though, I’m going to talk about some more things to think about when considering adopting. It is important to prepare as much as you can and listen to the experts giving you advice – an adoption failure is devastating.
Remember: When I approach the adoption issue, I’m thinking about adoption through the foster care system. This is what my family has experience with. Similar posts: 10 Questions to Consider When Thinking About Adoption and 5 More Questions to Consider When Adopting.
The following questions come from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.
Am I interested in adopting a sibling group? Would I consider adopting a sibling group in order to get the age of child I am interested in?
If you are going to be adopting through the foster care system, this question will likely come up at some point. Although I’ve heard some discouraging stories, we were never pressured to consider a sibling group in any way. I’ve mentioned before that our social worker sent us children outside our “specifications,” but they never pushed us. This is worth thinking about before though – really thinking about. Even if the child you are planning to adopt does not have siblings currently up for adoption, they may in the future. It is not unusual for one child to be cleared for adoption prior to their sibling group. Are you willing to consider taking more children? Are you willing to consider it if the issue arises in the future? If your answer is no, I advise staying away from children who have siblings in the system unless you are willing to continue to facilitate that relationship.
Would I be willing to have on-going contact (open communication) with a child’s birth parents?
Ties with the birth parents are severed once a child is adopted through the foster care system, but I want to talk about their foster parents. It is a thankless, wonderful job. Your child’s former foster parents can be a wonderful resource for you, if they are willing to be in contact (not are all). This is especially true if the child has been placed with them for a while or if they are the first placement for the child. Don’t shut the door on them just because he/she is “your” child now. Foster parents aren’t here to step on your toes.
Could I parent a child who may have been sexually abused, physically abused and/or neglected? Could I parent a child that has an on-going medical issue, may be developmentally delayed, or diagnosed with a developmental disability? Could I parent a child who may have been exposed to drugs and alcohol in utero?
I want to make something very clear. Unless you have dealt with any of these issues personally before, you do not know. Okay? YOU DO NOT KNOW! There is no book, no class, and no degree in the world that can make you an expert on working with abused, neglected, delayed, or disabled children until you have experience working with those children. Even that specific child, as everyone is different. You will need help. You need to accept help and prepare for help. You cannot shut yourself off from others just because you are sure you know enough. YOU JUST DO NOT KNOW!
The following questions come from the Adoptive Families of the Capital Region, Inc. (AFCR).
Is it possible to talk with families who have adopted from the program you are interested in? Can you talk to parents that did not have a completely positive experience with the agency?
Check into this for sure! If you are working with your local DHS, you will be able to find many people who didn’t have a completely positive experience (really, does a “completely positive” experience even exist in a situation like this?). Our local office has picnics for families considering adoption, foster families, and adoptive families. A simple call out to your friends on Facebook will probably turn up several people who have experience or know people who do. Follow up on these connections! There is nothing like hearing about the process from people on the other side. If nothing else, seek out blogs and articles where people talk about their experiences. Sure, the exact facts might not be the same, but DHS is DHS; it will be helpful.
What post adoption services are provided?
Let’s be honest here, probably nothing. When you walk out of the courthouse, you will be on your own to find a support system, find resources, and navigate the system (if you are still in it, like we are due to the little man’s disability). Again, don’t shut yourself off. Adoption is something to be proud of; you don’t have to pretend like it never happened and you aren’t still adapting to your new family. I mean, geez. We tell parents of newborns to seek help when they need it, the same applies to you.