Morgan's List Of What NOT To Wear To BlogHer

While I'm still enjoying a little R&R in Hawaii (I'll try not to rub it in), my friend, Morgan of The Little Hen House is here to keep you company.

I'm happy to say that Morgan is a IRL (In Real Life) friend and she is simply darling. Her writing is everything mine isn't; witty, sarcastic and laugh out loud funny.

Morgan is also a mother to two adorable little girls whom Lucas loves spending time with, she raises chickens, writes for several mommy-centric Web sites, shares great advice on blogging, hosts a weekly Dr. Mom feature featuring her own mother and because she doesn't have a TV, spends A LOT of time scouring the Internet for sometimes bizarre and always hilarious items. 

The other thing Morgan does really well is Top Ten lists and here is one that she'd like to share with all of us...

There has been a lot of talk about what to wear to BlogHer ’11 this year, and shoes are no exception. If you’ve ever been to a blog conference before, then you know one thing is for certain: There are going to be many, many bloggers wearing really cute shoes.

If you are shoe-challenged, then have no fear! Sometimes the process of elimination is the best way to decide what to wear. So, here is a list of the Top Ten Shoes You DON’T Want to Wear to BlogHer ’11:

Butt-Toning Sandals: 
Because this isn’t the “special” look you want to be going for. 

Teeva High Heels:
Just don’t even go there, ok?

High Heel Flip Flops:
 There will be people wearing high heels and there will be people wearing flip flops. You can’t have it both ways.

Nike Clogs:
 Wear Nikes, wear Crocs, just don’t wear these.

Thigh High Converse:

Pink Leopard Wedge:
 The quickest way to take a little black dress from “day” to “street walker”.

Stripper Shoes:
 This shouldn’t need any explanation. If it does, I think the conference you are looking for is in Vegas.

Five Finger Running Shoes:
 I don’t care how comfortable they are, they just creep me out.

Scary High Heel:
 These take the term “spike heel” to another level. 

Pony Heels:
 There are no words.

I hope that gave you a little direction! Stay away from any of the ten styles above and I can guarantee that you won’t be the worst dressed person in the room. You’re welcome!

I urge you to follow Morgan on Twitter and Facebook and look for her epic posts on hosting a celebrity baby shower, Top Ten Reasons I Suspect My Children Might Be Trying To Kill Me and Celebrity Guest Post: My Summer Plans with everyone's favorite gal pal, Gwynie.

post signature

Ever tempted to give someone the silent treatment?

I was awakened the other morning by a girlfriend in tears and very distressed by something I can relate to. The silent treatment.

We discussed that while we can understand taking time to cool off and walk away, just not addressing the issue and ignoring the other person involved just didn't make any sense to us. And well... its just plain cruel.

I decided to look into literature about it and came across a great article out of Purdue University by a Social Psychologist named Kipling William. He says "Excluding and ignoring people, such as giving them the cold shoulder or silent treatment, are used to punish or manipulate, and people may not realize the emotional or physical harm that is being done."

He speaks of ostracism in the animal kingdom, the workplace and in families. He also describes what it does to the brain in saying "When a person is ostracized for even a brief period of time, the anterior cingulate cortex, the part of the brain that detects pain, is activated and people experience the same initial pain when excluded by strangers or close friends, or even enemies. He says that thats why 'time outs' work so well while disciplining children. But in adults? Its bullying basically. Passive aggressive, manipulative, unnecessary bullying.

As much as I don't recall ever really giving anyone the silent treatment for more than a day/hours etc (although I've certainly been tempted to) I always decided that if I loved/cared for the person and the relationship mattered to me I'd try and work it out, and if I didn't it might just be better all the way around to end the relationship/break the ties. Anyways, I think most people out there have experienced either giving, or getting the silent treatment at some point, and by now I hope that my gal pal has dried her tears because life goes on! And I am sure that whoever was giving her the silent treatment is in pain as well, as we are all experiencing our own reality in each moment. And relationships are tricky for all of us, and sometimes we just don't know what to do, or how to respond. I don't think that everyone who gives the cold shoulder does so to purposefully hurt others. I think that it might be a way of protecting themselves as well, but maybe learning what it actually does to the brain might make someone go about things a little differently. Or I hope.
Its my long held belief that a little kindness goes a long long way, and most situations (no matter how crappy) can be worked out among people who love truly one another. In spite of everything is a really beautiful world. Namaste.

park silly, utah

our first day in utah:
we loaded the mini-van up bright and early with stoyan boys, a pretzel-girl, my mama, and auntie gina. we listened to gavi's high pitched squeals (and some brandi carlile, too) all the way through parley's canyon and into park city. off to have lunch at ali's with her boys. at her beautiful home in the mountains. her beautiful home. 
they met us on the front steps and invited us in for the happiest afternoon. 
we trip-trapped across the creek bridge. we dig-dig-dug in the new sandbox. we soared on the swing-set and filled our bellies with delish. 

am wishing for a home next door. to wake up to those mountains. and that sky.  
am wishing to be neighbors. for a million minutes more to sit and visit without chasing boys. to talk gavin's (she has one, too) and birth stories, and get those recipes. to snap more pictures of jumping boys. and brothers.

i almost lost my gavin to that landscape. pretty sure he was seriously contemplating a jump over the creek in those wheels. he'd reach the mountains in no time. pretty sure he is still talking about that trampoline. in the living room. and how seriously awesome that was. yup, he is. 
so grateful for new friends. we'll be back for sure.  
love, lin


Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime. 

From the moment I read this on the Home page of In These Small Moments, I knew Nicole and I would be friends someday.

Her writing is eloquent, touching and magical. It doesn't matter if she's writing a letter to her daughter's teachers, allowing us a glimpse of the beautiful love she and her husband have for one another, sharing her grief for a father she never knew, or showing us a small moment spent with her son, Nicole writes purely, deeply and from the heart.

I am very honored to have her here today.

Please follow Nicole on Facebook and Twitter and look for her at BlogHer '11, where she and I will most certainly be sharing a glass bottle of wine.   

I’ve known for all of my life that my father was dead.

I was told that he was in Heaven…that he loved me very much and one day I would join him.

I’ve also known for my entire life that my brother was dead…that he was with my father and they were waiting patiently for me.

From a very young age, I felt that tremendous, consuming weight of death.

It became my responsibility to care for my mother and younger brother, as I was petrified of losing them too.

I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t struggle with anxiety…with fear.

My father was dead and fear of losing my mother was truly paralyzing.

My older brother died as an infant, so losing my younger brother wasn’t an irrational fear.

Tonya asked me one day, nearly a year ago, how I will explain my father’s death to my children.

My mother was faced with the choice between telling me the truth, as appropriate to my age, and distracting me with half-truths.

She chose the former.

And I’m not sure if there was a right answer.

For as long as I can remember, I have known bits of the truth that came to form a whole by the time I was a teenager.

I knew that my father’s best friend shot him. Twice. At close range.

And for my entire childhood, death was real.

It lurked behind every car trip.
Behind every scary face.
Around every corner.

I lay in bed at night, nearly every night of my childhood, bargaining with God.

I’ll be a good girl, God…please just don’t take my mother. I have nothing else.

I won’t sass, God.

I will keep my room clean, be nice to my brother.

Just please don’t take them, too.

When my daughter turned two, I felt as though I could breathe a little easier…that she was finally at an age when she could begin to store her memories…just in case.

That’s how I’ve lived my life, gathering small moments and stocking them away, just in case.

So, as my daughter approaches the age where she’s making connections, seeing where she fits into a larger whole, her little wheels are spinning and it won’t be long before she asks me where her grandfather is.

And it will paralyze me.

Because he is dead and I’m not as certain of that Heaven as I once was.

What will I tell my children?
Will I be as honest with them as my mother was with me?
Will I tell them comforting stories of Heaven and being together as a family one day?
Or do I have some other choice that I can’t see in this moment?

As the months since Tonya’s invitation have passed, I hoped that I would reach some conclusion…that the answer would take shape in my mind.

But it hasn’t.

And as more time passes, I’m not certain that there will ever be an easy answer.

post signature 

Wordless Wednesday

Now heres a cool Guerrilla stunt. Its at the corner of Georgia and Thurlow.

A friend just brought a really interesting movie on plastics to my attention this morning as well. I just finished watching it and its great. It would be a wonderful little flick to show children (although its likely not the children who are the problem, its us adults.) The movie is by Ramen Bahrani. Here is the link: FUTURESTATES : Plastic Bag By Ramin Bahrani For more info on plastics and the environment go to The Plastic Pollution Coalition website here

A Tot In Tow

Lucas' first time on an airplane was August 14, 2009. He was just nine weeks old.

Lucas' First Flight! SAN ---> SJC en route to Monterrey.
Thank goodness my mother-in-law was with me to help out because Lucas had a blow out of the yucky disgusting nature (his one of only four EVER) mid-flight and I was stuck in the bathroom with him and left his diaper bag with a clean change of clothes back at my seat. Such a rookie move!

Even so, Lucas was A LOT easier to travel with back then (he used to sleep the entire flight) than he is now.

Since that first flight, I have flown solo to the Bay Area (an hour, 20 gate-to-gate) with Lucas a dozen times to visit my in-laws and Todd and I have taken him to Europe and Australia. At this point, I consider myself an expert at traveling with a tot in tow.

Now, having said that, as we are getting ready for our summer vacation, a week in Hawaii (!!), the thing I'm most stressed about is the flight there and back. 

Five hours in a confined space makes me crazy enough, but add an energetic toddler to the mix and it could be a nightmare.

I am not claiming to be an expert on any of this, but here's what usually works for us: 
  • Book your flight for first thing in the morning, when children are usually at their best or around nap or bedtime, in hopes that they will sleep.

  • Before you even get to the airport, explain where you're going and how you're going to get there. Airports and airplanes can be scary for small children; there are lots of people scurrying about, long lines, loud noises, etc.  

  • Let your child be a part of the packing process. Allow them to pick out a couple of favorite items to bring on the plane in addition to having something stowed away in the suitcase to "meet" them at your destination.
    • Once at the airport, spend a lot of time walking around. You want to tire your child out and burn off some of that extra energy so they can sit still for some of the flight.   
        • Load up your iPhone, iPod, iPad or other favorite electronic device with photos and videos of your child. Lucas loves seeing footage of himself. Just don't forget to completely charge your device! Many airports have outlets at the gate, so plug in before you board.
        • Download your child's favorite television show to enjoy mid-flight. Most episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Chuggington and Sesame Street are $1.99 - $2.99 each.
        • Download tried and true toddler-friendly apps, such as: Talking Tom Cat and Toddler Puzzle Shapes, which are both free and ABC Train and Voice Cards, which range from $.99 - $1.99 each.
        • Be sure to bring your child's favorite snacks and lots of them. You never know if you might get stuck on the tarmac waiting for a gate or have an unexpected delay before even taking off.
        • Buy some inexpensive books and toys to introduce to your child during the flight but not all at once, spread them out and don't forget to hold on to a couple of new items for the plane ride home. It's very important that these are items your child hasn't seen before. The Target dollar bins are great for this! Avoid anything that makes noise so as not to disrupt fellow passengers or items that are round, as they may roll down the aisles. I don't like crayons or markers for this reason.
        • Make sure to pack an extra change of clothes, not only for your tot, but you too! At the very least, a clean t-shirt. Kids get messy, drinks spill and inevitably it all ends up on mom.   
        • It should go without saying, but carry extra diapers. Just before we got on the plane heading to Florence, I forgot to calculate our layover time in Paris and while I know European babies wear diapers too, I panicked fearing we wouldn't have enough or be able to find them, so we scoured LAX looking for a small package. $20 (for 10!) later we were covered.  
        • Airports and airplanes are crawling with germs, so carry Wet-Ones and hand sanitizer and use them frequently while traveling. I wipe down the arm rests, the tray table and hands all through our trip.

        • And speaking of germs and other yucky stuff, pack a couple of zip-lock bags for soiled clothing in case your child throws up. No one wants to smell that! 
          • In my experience, the ground crew, TSA and flight attendants have always been very helpful. If you need help, just ask! Fellow passengers are typically sympathetic to your situation too, especially if you are traveling with your child alone and will help out if you need them too. 
              • If a flight attendant doesn't offer, be sure to ask for a set of wings and if it's your child's first flight, most airlines have keepsake certificates.
              • If all of the above fails, go through the SkyMall catalog page by page together and look for pictures of cats and dogs. Trust me on this. And please remember, you aren't ever going to see the people on your flight again, so whatever happens, happens. At least you did it!

                I hope these tips help you prepare for your next flight with your child, and if you have any advice to share, let me know!

                This is a post that I have been thinking about for a while and just hadn't gotten around to writing, so a big thank you to Jessica of My Time As Mom for sending @camgosha of Bibs & Baubles my way on Twitter the other night seeking advice on traveling with children. I hope you had a great trip. 

                 post signature
                Queridos Avós

                A vocês
                que nos cercam de muito carinho,
                de muito amor.
                Que nos fazem todas as vontades.
                Que nos dão tudo sem nada pedir.
                Que nos amam mais que a si próprios.
                A vocês, meus queridos avós,
                que Deus os abençoe cada dia mais.
                Que nos dê a bênção
                de sempre tê-los conosco,
                nos dando muito amor,
                nos passando experiências,
                nos ouvindo com carinho,
                nos "dengando",
                nos orientando,
                nos aconselhando,
                nos suportando
                sempre com muita paciência.
                Vocês são para nós, seus netos,
                um grande exemplo de experiência,
                de trabalho,
                de honestidade,
                de paciência,
                de fé,
                de firmeza,
                e principalmente de muito amor.
                Amamos vocês...
                (Sandra Mamede)

                Feliz dia dos Avós, é o que lhe deseja a congregação São Lucas...

                My Summer Reading List

                Try as I might, I could not get this under four minutes so thank you for watching!

                Please let me know if you have questions about my recommendations and definitely share your thoughts too.

                In order in which I discussed, my summer reading list includes:

                One Amazing Thing - Chitra Divakaruni
                Sing You Home - Jodi Picoult
                Room - Emma Donoghue
                Up From The Blue - Susan Henderson
                Incendiary - Chris Cleve
                The Writing Circle - Corinne Demas 

                What are you reading this summer?!

                This post is for Vlog Talk. The prompt I chose was #1 Your summer reading list.

                post signature

                home, again.

                back to stoyan house.
                slept in my own bed last night.
                woke up this morning to our regular old everyday:
                swimming lessons
                lawn mowing
                laundry baskets
                nap times
                vacuuming the roadtrip crumbs
                and neighborhood errands.
                i missed my space.
                i missed the smell of this place.

                but right now:
                i'm missing them.
                the steady stream of loves that collect themselves at larson house
                during the day - and during the night.

                i told my dad:
                "that says something about you, ya know.
                that people want to be here. 
       your home. and don't ever want to go."

                The Royal Flush

                Well I have been really slack at up dating the blog and I am long Behind in updates.Well I have made it back to cali and the shits going of here.I was lucky enough to get thing started well, by putting on The North Forth of the American River-Royal Gorge, with a very stout crew of 12.I was feeling fired up and ready to stout!!!!!!!

                Fred Norquist dropping heath 2.Having a sick line.11 of us ran this stout,with a very of lines.I had a pretty good line of this stout,but my decked poped what was a bummer,EG was down there and throw me a bag and all was good.I dont have any pics of myself running heath 1 entry or heath 1 falls.I had all pretty sweet lines, through out the hole Heath Spring Gorge.

                Mr Ben brown dropping heath 2

                Myself running the gorge above Rattle Snake Falls.Getting a good tail stall!!

                Fred Norquist Droping Rattle Snake Falls.We camped above this stout,I Ran the stout that avo,had a good line tossed the paddle.The next moring a few of the boy ran it,Rush and I decided to gainer the rattler at the same time as the boys paddle off it,made out for quiet a sick shot!!

                Myself dropping the crux of the Royal Gorge Scouts drops.This thing massive and scary as hell.Rush fired it first,followed by Evan then skippy.Then I was up I was pretty nervous but fired up to run the biggest stout of my life!!!!.I pluged the top drop having a soft hit,roled up quick and booked it right,I was in the right place I wanted to be and air out of the bottom drop,stomped that shit!!!

                mid way down scout on line and ready to fly of the bottom drop!!!!!!

                Flying of the bottom drop of scouts.I was so stoked to stomp this drop,its been on my mind for a long time!!!!!

                The seiler bro's doing what they do!!!!!! BROWN

                Myself running the last big stout of royal gorge,Wabena falls 70footer.10 of fired this stout up.It was on the low side but we were all fired up to run this thing.I took a massive hit,went over the bars,deck poped and all,was feeling real dizzy for awhile but all was good,I was stoked. The royal flush was complete!!!!!!.Well stand by for some more up dates,coming at you soon!!!!!

                I would like to thank Rush Sturges for sorting me a boat as my mystic broke a few days before we put on,chur bro!!

                All photos take by Robby Hogg

                Going away is nice but coming back is really nice too...

                Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair- Khalil Gibran

                Green Things

                1. Kermit the Frog - the cutest frog I know.

                2. Food - kale, Granny Smith apples, green beans, edamame, tea, cucumbers, jalapenos, limes (okay, now I'm thinking about margaritas!)

                3. Emeralds - although I prefer sapphires.

                4. Ireland - a place on my must visit list.

                5. Grass

                6. My BFF's eyes

                7. The last shirt I purchased:
                The Gap Satin-Trim Tank - $29.95
                8. Shades - kelly, hunter, camouflage, moss, chartreuse, olive, neon

                9. Mother Earth 

                10. Show me the... No green list would be complete without it ...wait for it... MONEY, moolah, dough, bacon, bucks, bills, dollars or cash!

                This post was inspired by Stasha's Monday Listicles, a linky right up my alley!

                post signature

                Retiro de Casais 2011

                É isso ai gente boa....

                Mais uma vez tivemos o nosso retiro de casais, o qual contou com  participação de 14 animados casais, que tiveram a oportunidade de refletir sobre o tema, "Você é importante para mim.". Onde vimos o quanto somos importantes aos olhos de Deus, e também, o quanto o nosso(a) companheiro(a) é importante para nós, tendo a oportunidade de dizer a ele(a) o que sentimos.

                O retiro aconteceu nos dias 9 e 10 de Julho, contando com momentos de estudo, passeios, brincadeiras, e muita animação.

                Estendemos o nosso muito obrigado a todos aqueles que fizeram parte deste gostoso momento, especialmente ao Deomar e a Clarice, que foram os responsáveis pela organização. 

                Aqui vai algumas fotos que ja recebemos...   se você tiver alguma foto que gostaria de compartilhar com todos envie para .

                What I'm Wearing To BlogHer '11

                Last year this time I was bitter about all the BlogHer blog posts and tweets because I wasn't going, so if you aren't able to attend this year or couldn't care less, please bear with me as I share one of my own...

                Even though I know it doesn't really matter what I wear to BlogHer '11 or any blogging conference for that matter, I do want to look my best and let's face it, as a stay-at-home mom, I don't get the opportunity to dress up very often. 

                Plus, I was feeling the pressure when I saw Nichole of In These Small Moments had a Pinterest board dedicated to her BlogHer '11 attire wish list and upon further research discovered she wasn't the only one. 

                Then I read all three of Morgan's (The Little Hen House) posts, What Not to Wear: The BlogHer '11 Fashion Edition, Weekend Post: More BlogHer '11 Fashion and BlogHer '11 Fashion: For the Curvy Woman and decided it really should matter how I dress for the biggest blogging conference of the year. 

                Enter: my friend, Nancy of Inside Out, Wardrobe Rehab.

                If you missed my post on Tuesday, My Wardrobe Rehab Experience, Nancy helped me go through my closet, buy some new, much needed items and has helped me get geared up for BlogHer '11.

                The only requirements I gave Nancy were: I want to be comfortable, especially in the shoe department and I need looks that can take me from day to night. 

                Here's what we've come up with based solely on what I already had in my closet, in other words, I have NOT purchased anything new to wear to BlogHer '11.
                DAY 1: Striped CAbi blazer, light green Ann Taylor Loft blouse, Ann Taylor Loft tailored jeans with tan (both Aldo) wedges (haven't decided which pair yet).
                DAY 2: Red Ann Taylor Loft blouse, black-and-white floral A-line Ann Taylor Loft skirt with black wedge.
                DAY 3: Ann Taylor Loft grey stripe seersucker pants and matching blazer (or white cardigan from The Gap) and navy Ann Taylor Loft blouse with TBD shoes. I am bound and determined to find a pair of silver flats!
                NIGHT 3: Same seersucker pants as above or white trousers and hot pink tank from Old Navy with silver heels.
                All outfits are subject to change and yes, I am aware that NIGHTS 1 and 2 are missing. A girl's gotta have some secrets.
                If you're going to BlogHer '11 too, please let me know, I'd love to meet you and in the meantime, please visit Nancy's Inside Out, Wardrobe Rehab’s Website/blog, follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

                post signature