Life: Version 2.0

happiness is a simple life




Who am I?
Why am I here?
What is my purpose
Get rid of my fear

Where am I going
How far will I go
Across the universe
I just do not know

Which way do I turn
When I cannot see?
What’s in front of me
is it who I should be?

How do I know?
Right here and right now
What path I should take
Which way I don’t know

What came before me
I must leave behind
Step into the darkness
What will I find

To let go of shackles
Of a life I once knew
Set out on a journey
Become I don’t know who

Raising children & remembering what is truly important

Raising children is really hard sometimes. These days, whenever I get caught up in the day-to-day struggles with grades, chores, and other stressful challenges – I try to remind myself of who my children really are:

1. They are kind, caring and insightful.

2. They are respectful of others

3. They are not mean-spirited, or obnoxious

4. They are kind to each other, and animals

5. They find joy in their world

6. They have great imaginations

7. They inspire me every day

8. They have a good sense of humor, and know how to laugh

Check out my new semi-serious blog

I am still working on a better domain, and better categories. All suggestions are welcome.

Why is my blog so random?

I have been reading back through some of my blog posts and realize how extremely random this blog is. I think I have something that a coworker calls “IDD” – Information Deficit Disorder. This blog is proof of my inability to focus on any one thing for long. I read blogs by other folks that have a theme or topic. When I try to figure out what that would be for me, I am at a total loss. What is wrong with me?

Technology and a day in real life

There is something very un-Zen about all of this. No wonder why I want to move to the mountains and live like a hobbit.

It is probably questionable whether the spiffy electronic coffee pot can be considered technology. Or the microwave. Or the high-performance dishwasher.  Either way, these are just one example of a day in my oh-so-plugged-in life.

5:00 am: cell phone wakes me up with ringtone: ‘Hedwigs Theme’ from the Harry Potter soundtrack

5:30 am: spiffy electronic coffee pot begins to grind n brew all on its own, gotta love that self timer!

6:00 am: audiobook on iPOD gets me through my commute, hopefully arriving at work a little bit smarter than when I left home earlier that morning

6:15 am: built in navi is on just in case I need am exit strategy

6:15 am: cell phone wakes up the teenager (at least it tries)

6:45 am: arrive at work, plug in iPOD, Laptop and Blackberry (side by side, of course)

6:55 am: Microwave oatmeal

7:00 am: Check email, RSS feeds, Blog Comments

7:00 am – 3:30 pm: Do cool stuff on the Internet (it’s my job)

8:00 am: text message from teenager re: no lunch money left on card

8:01 am: Log on to and put money on the card

8:02 am: Text message back to the teenager: lunchmoney now full

10:00 am: high-performance dishwasher starts at home on its own (due to 4 hour delay setting)

10:30 am:: in the office kitchen pressing buttons on fancy-pants keurig coffee machine (not because I like the coffee, just because it’s fun)

12:00 pm: eat lunch, track points so far today on

2:00 pm: receive mail from my childs school “keep in touch” alert email system regarding potential inclement weather

3:30 pm: get ready to leave, check the DMV website to see which office has the shortest wait time (yes! Virginia DMV actually has connected its take-a-number system to their website, with calculated wait times based on the number of people in the lobby – so you can choose the best branch to visit. This is genius!)

5:00 pm: get recipe from, cook dinner while listening to favorite podcast

7:00 pm: Blog (if the muse visits)

10:00 pm: TiVO records Ace of Cakes

List of things to look forward to in 2008 (version 1)

  • Personal overnight retreat in Middleburg with Marybeth to work on plans for the future
  • Annual Lord of the Rings Trilogy marathon at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse
  • Birthday weekend trip with my best friend Dawn – vineyard tours, hikes in the Shenandoah, day at the spa, shopping, and staying at a B&B built in the early 1800’s.
  • Learning to use my new Canon Digital Rebel XT and taking amazing photos
  • Hiking more
  • The 2008 summer Olympics
  • Finding a cause to support with my time and skills
  • Weekly shopping at the farmers market starting in May
  • Taking long walks with Jasper
  • Electing a new President
  • Weekend adventures with my kids
  • Reading more
  • Growing a garden in my back yard
  • Watching my daughter play soccer, and my son skate

The Book of Bad Choices

I was working on my laptop at the dining room table the other day when my 9 year old daughter came running downstairs with some paper in-hand, asking if she could talk to me. She sat down in the chair next to me and told me that I needed to pay attention for this.

I looked up from my laptop, giving my undivided attention as she proceeded to ask me “now Mom, what bad choices did you make today?”

I quickly noticed that she was wearing a home-made badge that said “Bad Choice Police” and chuckled to myself. My response was that I did not exercise and I had a soda instead of water at lunch. She was very focused as she wrote in her book – and then flew off into the living room.

Later on, I noticed that she was giving the cat a stern talking-to about the fact that he was chewing on the electrical cord behind the Christmas tree. She wrote something down and quickly ran upstairs where later I heard my teenage son kicking her out of his room. She probably asked him what bad choices he had made that day, and being that he is 15 I am sure he must have given the “have you lost your mind and do you EVEN think I would tell you?” look.

Later on she was on to another activity and I noticed her stack of papers on the table. As I looked closer I saw that she had made it into a book and on the cover it said “Book of Bad Choices“.

When I looked inside I saw that she had taken notes during the day, and actually deducted points to each of us for the bad choices we had made. She is the only one in my life who keeps me on track, she is the most awesome (and funny) daughter ever!

Why can’t life be like

I am a junkie – I spend hours on that site browsing shoes, adding things to my favorites, sharing with friends – who knew that there could be a ‘social media’ outlet for the shoe-obsessed? Don’t get me wrong – you will not get the best bargain on shoes here, what you will get is competitively-priced shoes and great service.

But That is not the only magic that Zappos delivers. What they do deliver is just-about-instant-gratification by delivering shoes the next day for free, the most-awesomest selection of shoes ever, absolutely no-hassle returns, and customer service as if I am their only customer – and they act like they care. Why can’t life be more like this in general?

If you search Google for Zappos and Customer service – you will find countless love stories about Zappos. My absolute favorite is the story of the customer service rep who had flowers delivered to a customer:

I am loyal to Zappos and can’t stop shopping for shoes. This is becoming a problem.

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