I was honored to be asked by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility to help promote their program for Teen Driver Safety Week. I Know Everything is a program designed to encourage conversations between parents and their teens to help teens stay safe while behind the wheel. Please check out my public service announcement below – otherwise known as my first ever vlog! (And don’t ‘cha just loooove the screen shot it chose for the video preview? Duck face gone wrong?? Also, if it is just a blank screen when you press play, expand it to full screen.)
Please take time this week to have conversations with your kids. Below are the four questions to get you started. Perhaps ask one per day and then make up your own! Would love for you to comment with the scenarios you come up with!
The I Know Everything survey results show why these conversations are crucial:
25% did NOT know how to handle a passenger who is drinking in the car
27% do NOT know how to safely get home when their driver has been drinking
38% are NOT sure how to handle a friend distracting them while driving
Half (53%) of teen drivers say sometimes they find themselves in a situation behind the wheel they are not prepared for.
And I know I said it in the vlog, but it is worth repeating…Motor vehicle crashes remain the number one killer of teenagers ages 15 to 20, even though underage drinking and drunk driving among teens is down across the nation.
Even though it is illegal for people under 21 to drink any alcohol and drive, one-third of all teen drivers killed in vehicle crashes had a .01 BAC or higher in 2011.
Everyone shares the road – teens, adults, law enforcement, first responders – and we believe this education effort will save lives, making the roads safer for all.
Just like the reality singing show, droves of bloggers will audition and judges will narrow the contestants down to the top 12. The finalists will submit a weekly post based on a specific writing prompt. Each week someone will “go home” until a sole “Blogger Idol” remains. The winner gets a grand prize package, but more importantly…bragging rights!
What can you do to help?Go to Blogger Idol’s Facebook Page and Twitter and let them know you want to see Momopolize in the top 12!
There is an impressive panel of judges (I’m totally NOT above kissing up!). Please go visit them and let them know what you love about this blog!
Yesterday in a pond in my neighborhood, a newborn infant girl was found dead. Even typing those words makes me shudder.
I truly cannot wrap my head around this news. So many “if onlys” whirling around in my thoughts.
If only she didn’t get pregnant.
If only someone noticed her growing belly and offered assistance.
If only she was able to get medical care – physical and mental – during her pregnancy.
If only she went to a hospital when she was in labor.
If only she took the baby to the fire station that is a mile down the road from the pond. The “safe haven” law would have offered impunity.
If only she put the baby on the doorstep of one of the houses surrounding the pond. She walked by several before getting to the pond.
If only she didn’t feel hopeless and terrified as she stood at the water’s edge.
If only she felt she could go to a parent, or a friend, or a minister or ANYONE who let her know everything would be ok. That she had options. Good options. Options resulting in her baby being happy and healthy right now. Options other than a pond.
If only a baby didn’t die.
I am not trying to judge. I’m trying to understand. But I just can’t. I can’t understand what could bring someone to the point that they thought this was their only choice.
I was adopted as an infant. The thought of my birth mother making this choice… I can’t even go there.
The medical examiner will determine the cause of death. Part of me can’t help but pray the baby was still-born, and didn’t drown in that pond. Not that the outcome would be different. Or less sad. But perhaps it would seem a bit less horrific. I don’t know. I just don’t know.
This is the second tragic event that has happened in my community recently. A couple of weeks ago a local teen was fatally shot while sneaking in to his house after a night of drinking. Only it wasn’t his house. In his incapacitated state, he mistakenly entered his neighbor’s home.
If only he didn’t sneak out to attend that party.
If only he wasn’t able to somehow buy alcohol.
If only the police drove by and caught him walking home intoxicated.
If only he didn’t hop the fence into the wrong yard.
If only the window wasn’t unlocked.
If only it was light enough for the homeowner to recognize him.
If only he ran back out through the window when he heard the warning shot.
If only he didn’t think he was running upstairs to get help from his own parents.
If only the homeowner didn’t think he was running upstairs to hurt his own family.
If only the gun shot wasn’t fatal.
If only the homeowner didn’t have to live with the guilt.
If only a teen didn’t die.
These tragedies are weighing heavily on my heart. I have a hard time accepting things when it seems as though the stars are just so mis-aligned that misfortune after misfortune ends in a catastrophic outcome that only God can try to understand. I can’t understand. And I can’t seem to let it go.
If only ONE of these “if onlys” could be changed to “thankfully…”
THANKFULLY she didn’t get pregnant.
THANKFULLY someone noticed her growing belly and offered assistance.
THANKFULLY she was able to get medical care – physical and mental – during her pregnancy.
THANKFULLY she went to a hospital when she was in labor.
THANKFULLY she took the baby to the fire station a mile down the road from the pond.
THANKFULLY she put the baby on the doorstep of one of the houses surrounding the pond.
THANKFULLY she didn’t feel hopeless and terrified as she stood at the water’s edge.
THANKFULLY she felt she could go to a parent, or a friend, or a minister or ANYONE who let her know everything would be ok. That she had options. Good options. Options resulting in her baby being happy and healthy right now. Options other than a pond.
THANKFULLY he didn’t sneak out to attend that party.
THANKFULLY he wasn’t able to somehow buy alcohol.
THANKFULLY the police drove by and caught him walking home intoxicated.
THANKFULLY he didn’t hop the fence into the wrong yard.
THANKFULLY the window wasn’t unlocked.
THANKFULLY it was light enough for the homeowner to recognize him.
THANKFULLY he ran back out through the window when he heard the warning shot.
THANKFULLY he didn’t think he was running upstairs to get help from his own parents.
THANKFULLY the homeowner didn’t think he was running upstairs to hurt his own family.
THANKFULLY the gun shot wasn’t fatal.
THANKFULLY the homeowner didn’t have to live with the guilt.
If only I could say THANKFULLY a baby and a teen didn’t die.
Please consider donating to Birthright.org. They have a 24 hour hotline to help “…any girl or woman regardless of age, race, creed, marital or economic status, who feels distressed by an unplanned pregnancy.” They have over 500 locations in the US and Canada so you can donate to the one nearest you.
I’ve never offered a giveaway before and I’m starting out with a doozy!
Hardcover copy of Carrior On Warrior SIGNED by Momastery’s very own Glennon Melton!
5 Copies of Life Well Blogged’s book, Parenting Gag Reel, Kindle Version. A portion of the proceeds will go to Autism Speaks!
Life Well Blogged’s Kindle Fire giveaway
I was fortunate enough to go to the first book signing event for Carry On Warrior and have a signed copy to give to one lucky Monkee! I had planned to write more about the book signing (which was amazing) in this post, but will have to tell all in another post. You know, because life is hard. And today I’m not feeling up for doing hard things. So I’m doing easy things…like giving things away.
Five lucky winners will receive Kindle downloads of the 4th book in Life Well Blogged’s popular series. “Parenting Gag Reel – Hilarious Write and Wrongs” contains hilarious (i.e. the title) stories from 40 fantastic popular bloggers (well, 39 fantastic bloggers…plus me. But hopefully my stories will make you giggle as well. 😉 ). I’m very excited about the book and know you will love it too!
In honor of the Parenting Gag Reel Release, Life Well Blogged is also giving away a Kindle Fire when they reach 1000!!
I am doing an “old school” giveaway. I will write all the entries on pieces of paper, put them in a basket, and choose one for each prize! Now that is REALLY old school!
To enter the giveaway for the books (any or ALL below…the more you do, the more entries you get):
1. Facebook – Become a fan by going to www.facebook.com/Momopolize. Click “Like” AND leave a comment about one of my posts you read (other than this one). Once you click the like button, hover over it and select “Get Notifications.” (If you do this from your personal FB account AND a Blog FB page, you get TWO entries! Just make sure to comment as both.)
2. Bloglovin’ – Follow me on this blog reader by going to http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/6028789/momopolize. You can sign in using your Facebook account or sign up with your email address. Once you log in, simply click the “Follow” button for Momopolize! No comment necessary for this entry.
3. WordPress – Follow me here (at the top of this page) and comment below about one of my posts you read (other than this one).
To be eligible to win the Kindle Fire, you must also:
1. Sign up for Life Well Blogged’s email list at http://www.lifewellblogged.com/contact/. Abbey from Life Well Blogged will be randomly choosing the winner for the Kindle Fire and will notify the winner directly.
Book giveaway entries will be accepted until 11:59pm EST 4/11/13. Then watch for a new post on Friday April 12 to find out the book winners! (The winners will have until 4/19/13 to respond with contact information for me to send the prize.)
(The end date for the Kindle Fire will depend on when Life Well Blogged reaches the 1000 requirement.)
Need some giggles NOW? Go ahead and download Parenting Gag Reel today! It is only $2.99! AND the best part is that a portion of that goes to charity! What if you buy a copy and then win ANOTHER copy? You can make someone else’s day brighter by giving them the gift of laughter! Click on the link below to purchase. Paperback version of the book should be out next week!
“I was lying on the grass on Sunday morning of last week
Indulging in my self-defeat”
“And of course you can’t become if you only say what you would have done
So I missed a million miles of fun”
Before I started writing a blog, I must admit I didn’t even really read blogs. I had a few I read sporadically, but for the most part blogging was foreign to me. Even though I had wanted to write one for years, I was pretty much clueless.
The past month I have started delving further into the world of blogging. I’ve been reading more and more blogs. Awesome blogs. Insightful. Thought provoking. World changing blogs. And hilarious. Laugh out loud. Pee your pants blogs.
And I’ve loved getting to know these wonderful bloggers. Incredible women (and men) that are pouring their souls out for cyberspace to see. Bloggers that can express their innermost thoughts in a way that I feel like I’ve known them forever. Or feel as though they’ve been peeking in my windows because they seem to be describing my life. Ladies that I’d love to meet in real life because I just KNOW we’d be instant friends.
BUT…there’s always a but…the more extraordinary content I read, the more extra ordinaryI felt.
I let them take my sparkle away. And by “them” I mean me. (Only those of you that admit to watching the Bachelor will understand the sparkle reference. Google “Tiara” and “Bachelor” and watch any video clips that come up. She’s a trip. But I digress.). As I read, I yearned for their loyal followers gushing praise in their comments. I felt completely inferior.
I lost my confidence to write.
Every time I try to blog, the dark cloud of doubt hovers.
My life is too ordinary.
My words are too ordinary.
My ideas are too…ordinary.
See, I couldn’t even come up with words other than ordinary!
I’ve had so many things I’ve wanted to write about, but I sit and stare at the “Add New Post” screen and all that goes through my mind is “my writing isn’t good enough.”
So I’ve remained wordless.
But I miss writing. Really miss it.
Tonight when I signed on to Facebook, the first thing in my news feed was this photo…
Eureka! By comparing myself to others, I was taking away something that brought me much happiness.
So I will try to get the words flowing again. Try to view the fabulous blogs out there not as competition, but as community. To not be concerned whether I’m better or worse. To embrace that we are all unique.
I will try.
I will continue to write my blog. AND I will continue to read other blogs. Because that’s what I enjoy. Will I still long for the ability to attract 10s of thousands of followers that comment endlessly and freely press the like button and share all over every social media avenue because my writing is just so inspirational or helped them feel like less of a failure or made them split their sides laughing because it contained the world’s longest run on sentence? Will I have doubts in the future when I press that publish button that people will yawn and say b-o-r-I-n-g when they read the post? You bet ‘cha.
But hopefully I will be able to stop comparing and keep the sunshine thief at bay.
Because I don’t want to miss a million miles of fun.
I may not always choose the most eloquent dialogue, or come up with a ground-breaking concept, or be changing the world (yet!).
But my blog is changing my world. And that should be enough to keep me versed and on my feet.
status quo (kw) n. The existing condition or state of affairs.
The existing condition of my state of affairs this month has been mostly suckishly sickish (Spell check, please stop underlining suckishly. It is so a word.). Lots of illness, time in bed and foggy headed days.
This current status quo also makes for a suckishly empty blog. Hard to spend much time writing posts when you are sleeping or can’t keep a clear thought in your head!
BUT, the good news is that even when I can’t coherently put a paragraph together, I can still manage to post FACEBOOK STATUSES!
So JOIN ME ON FACEBOOK to get tidbits of funny when my Blog Quo is a no go.
Click HERE, “like” the page and then hover over the like button and click on “get notifications.”
(You could also join me on Twitter or Pinterest but Facebook is my social media “home.” I haven’t ventured out of my Facebook comfort zone much. In fact, I don’t even know the link to send you to my Pinterest page!)
Also, thanks to everyone that has still been voting for me on the “Best Mom Blogs” and “Top Mommy Blogs.” Was surprised to see I still have the #1 spot on Best Mom even though I haven’t been begging for votes posting often! You all rock! (The banners to click on are on the right side bar)
I feel the fog lifting…so hopefully a new post will soon emerge…
I slept in this morning since I am getting over being sick (shocker). When I came downstairs after everyone had left for school, I found this on the dog bed…
Are our Labs living up to their name? Did they really retrieve the bowl and spoon off the kitchen table and manage to drag it to the dog bed? Cookie can already open doors and unlatch gates. I guess I should add carrying a bowl to her list of talents.
Or perhaps my kids are tired of having oatmeal every day. But I think they would be a little more discreet about ditching their unwanted food. I realize the “veggies in the napkin” trick would be tough to do with oatmeal, but I still don’t think they would have been brazen enough to leave it out in broad daylight for me to find. And I doubt they would add a cat food can lid to “throw me off their tracks.”
Either way, I now have photographic evidence that my kids don’t know how to put a dish in the dishwasher.
See the cute little pink circle? I hate putting it in my post. I really do. I have always sucked at asking for help or favors or feeling pushy. Even just asking for something that takes a few seconds. But, it is contests like this that increase my readership. Circle of Moms has over 10 million subscribers so the higher I get in the ranking for their contest, the more exposure I will get! The writing part of blogging is the fun part for me. The promoting part is not.
The top bloggers in this contest are well-known and have exponentially more followers than I do (and most have been blogging for years). I’m definitely the under-dog trying to hang with the Big Dogs. The Mom&Pop shop next to the Walmart (actually I would be the Mom&Op(olize) Shop. Read that a couple of times. You’ll get it. LOL). But wouldn’t it be SO COOL if EVERYONE reading this voted for me every day until the 13th and skyrocketed me up to the top 25. And all the big wig blogs were like “Woah, who the heck is this Momopolize person and how did she get up here??” I’ve always said I have the BEST readers. You can now prove that to the blogging world. Let’s show them it isn’t always quantity. We have QUALITY readers here people.
Yeah, yeah, I know. It probably wouldn’t be all that cool for YOU. But could you still click the cute pink circle?? And THEN CLICK THE THUMBS UP BUTTON in the box for the “Top 25 Funny Moms 2013” contest. I don’t want to stay on the porch.
I don’t want to end my post pleading so watch the cutest video. It will definitely make you laugh…
I attended my first twitter blog party last night. It was quite fun and I enjoyed meeting some other bloggers. I’m really trying to get with the times on this whole social media thing. What happened to the “good old days” where everyone was just on Facebook and you actually decided which posts you want to see instead of Facebook selecting for you???
The blog party was to celebrate the launch of the eBook “Bloggy Moms Guide To A Better Blog” by Tiffany Noth. I don’t know what the rules are for posting excerpts (need to get with the times on that also) so to avoid any violations, I “x’d” out all but one part (yeah, I need to get with the times and get a good photo editor too).
Recognize any names??
I’m so happy my voice is authentic. Wouldn’t want to sound like Alvin. But I will do my best Chipmunk impersonation to say “time for joy and time for cheer!”
Honestly I am honored to be one of only12 blogs mentioned in the book as examples! And I’m so happy that others view what I write as the real deal, and not fake. That is a huge compliment in my book (no pun intended).
Thanks Bloggy Moms for the mention! Can I say I’ve been published now??
I feel like I’ve been so fortunate lately (in the blogging world, at least), that I almost didn’t write about this. I didn’t want to cross the brag line. But I’m excited…and I write about things I’m excited about. So if I didn’t write about it, that would be fake. And they’d have to take me out of the book. So there you have it.
If you would like to read what is crossed out, head over to bloggymoms.com to purchase and download the ebook. No, I was not compensated for, nor asked to promote sales in exchange for being named in the book. Just want to help Tiffany and…I want people to buy since I’m in it! 😉
Time for a daily click. Thanks to everyone that clicked theses banners in my other posts. I tried to be all computer savvy and put them at the end of each post (instead of the side bar, where WordPress does the coding for me) but I didn’t do the link properly so none of those clicks counted. Story of my life… So much for that college degree in computers (that I haven’t used for 10+ years). I *think* I have the links correct now. Time will tell…
(P.S. After I hit publish, I realized the link was still incorrect. I think I need to give my diploma back. So you should REALLY click on the buttons below. You just don’t know WHAT surprise you may get since I obviously don’t have a clue what I’m doing. Maybe a cute little animated snowman will pop up.)