Archives for 2012

Monday Dare (& Giveaway): Even at the age of 7, I was an asshole

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(A Monday Dare on a TUESDAY? MY BAD. I’m finally on WORDPRESS, motherfuckers. How do you like the new blog design? Old comments are still transferring over, but don’t worry, I GOT THIS.)

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. Click on the link to see the complete list of Monday Dares or to learn more about its origin.

This week: More contentment, more of the time

I find holiday gift exchanges daunting. Now that I’m thinking about it, let’s replace “daunting” with “mentally draining and traumatizing to the psyche.” White Elephant swaps require the most emotional preparation because I know I’m going to be opening up some bullshit that’s been rolling around in the bottom of a linen closet or a storm drain. Not only will I muster up an audible laugh to seem good-natured, but I’ll make some kind of gesture with my hand like a thumbs up or a gang sign to let people know I’m really embracing the silly side of the holiday season.

Even when the participants are supposed to bring “good” gifts, I always end up picking the one item in the communal pile that would make even Jesus cry. When will it be my year to take home the snowflake-shaped gylcerin soap set smelling faintly of pine and happiness instead of the rubber balls I’m supposed to hang off the bumper of a truck I don’t own? WHEN??

I try to temper my dissatisfaction and urge to acquire a whole new set of friends by thinking about Sophia.

The last time I saw Sophia, we were both 7. At the beginning of our second grade holiday party, all of the kids sat in a circle with the gift we brought for the exchange. Mrs. Tubb played a Christmas carol on her tape deck, and whatever was in our hands when the music stopped was ours. No swaps. No whining. I didn’t care who’s gift I got, but I didn’t want Sophia’s. She was the only one who had wrapped her box in newspaper. It was the Sunday Comics Section, but still, I just knew in my little asshole heart that it wasn’t going to be anything “good.”

While the other kids ripped open their gifts right there on the floor, I took my comic strip covered box back to my desk and peeled back one piece of tape at a time. Inside, I found a pair L.A. Gear leg warmers. Sophia walked over. “My grandma and I picked them out together. They’re so pretty.” When I didn’t respond, she went back to her desk and starting coloring with her gift, a brand new box of crayons. I heard her singing softly as I folded the leg warmers in half and stuffed them back into the box.

Sophia didn’t come back to Mrs. Tubb’s class after winter break. I never saw her again. I still wonder why she didn’t tell anyone she was moving. I wonder if she even knew herself.

My L.A. Gear leg warmers are still folded in half in my sock drawer. I think of Sophia often. I think about how content she was with her gift. I think about how some people are able to find joy in small everyday things. I think about how even now, at the age of 32, I could learn so much from that 7-year-old.

Sophia, you’re right. They are so pretty.

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I FUCKING LOVE PRESENTS giveaway #5

I fucking love presents. Maybe you do too. To celebrate this holiday season, I’ll be doing a giveaway each week until the end of the year. Get connected on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page and on Instagram (username: flourishinprogress) for giveaway updates, not-posted-on-this-blog pictures, (t)hug life thoughts, and other random shit.

This week: Besotted Brand Custom Monogram Stamp

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If I’m being real, I can’t even believe Tristan, the creative GENIUS behind Besotted Brand, agreed to be part of the holiday giveaways. Her custom stamps and paper products are some of my favorite things. I love fancy shit, and Besotted’s high quality everything makes it easy to give beautiful custom gifts to others…and to myself. Tristan will create one custom-designed monogram stamp for the lucky winner.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment below with a holiday gift exchange item you’ve given or received. (P.S. What do you think of the new blog design?) Only comments left on THIS POST qualify.

LAST WEEK’S TRILOGY WINNER: Steph (the first part of your email is SCYLE) Please email me at flourishinprogress at gmail dot com with your address.

first image via blueq.com, second and third images courtesy of Besotted Brand

Monday Dare: Happy Birthday. I’m sorry I stole money from you. (& Cal’s Birthday Giveaway)

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. Click on the link to see the complete list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.

This week: Celebrate. A LOT.

Cal: Mommy, do you think we’re both going to become adults at the same time?

Me: Uh, what do you mean by that?

Cal: Like, by the time I’m mature, do you think you’re going to be mature too?

I wish I had better answers for all of Cal’s difficult questions. Do you think everyone can be happy? Can you explain quadratic equations? Why did you take money from my piggy bank without telling me so you could buy that lip-plumping gloss?

There is still so much I don’t know.

When a hospital nurse offered to take our first mother and daughter picture, she saw the apprehension in my face and assured me, “Don’t worry, you won’t break her.”

I asked to sit down first. I spread my arms apart and widened my fingers, trying to create a larger surface area. Then, I motioned with my head for the nurse to place her in my web.

Cal and I spent a minute eyeing each other. Her long eyelashes swooped up and down as she blinked, and then she went back to staring.

I leaned down and whispered in her ear, “It’s possible that I will never love anyone more than you. It’s okay if you break my heart, because I will still love you.”

I knew, I just knew, that I would never turn my back on her, that I would always believe her. I would never make her beg for acceptance or forgiveness.

I gritted my teeth as the nurse snapped our first picture:

(I am 19. Cal is just a few hours old.)
Happy birthday, kid. I always got your back.
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I F***ING LOVE PRESENTS giveaway #4 (Pretty sure Cal has heard the “F” word already, but I’m keeping it G rated this week anyway.)

I f***king love presents. Maybe you do too. To celebrate this holiday season, I’ll be doing a giveaway each week until the end of the year. Get connected on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page and on Instagram (username: flourishinprogress) for not-posted-on-this-blog pictures, (t)hug life thoughts, and other random shi…stuff.

This week: The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxed Set (Hardcover) aka Cal’s Favorite Books of 2012

Every year, when I ask Cal what she wants for her birthday, her answer is always the same. Books. Lots and lots of book. She carries a book with her wherever she goes. She reads her favorites over and over again. Cal asked if we could give away The Hunger Games Trilogy as part of her birthday week celebration. That kid is so nice. My parenting skills must be OFF THE CHAIN.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment below with the title of your favorite book(s) from childhood. Just as I did for last year’s birthday post to Cal, I’m going to let her read the comments. If you’d like to leave Cal a little note, I bet it would thrill her. Only comments left on THIS POST qualify.

LAST WEEK’S WINNER: Knotted Tresses. Please email me at flourishinprogress at gmail dot com with your name (unless that is your real name, in which case, my bad) and your address.
first image courtesy of Bonnie Tsang