Back-To-School Time!

GapKids

This post is sponsored by GapKids. Check out all the fun Shine On activities at your nearest Gap store. For event dates and locations, visit Gap’s Facebook page and join the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #ShineOn.

I’m super excited – not only is Jack going back to school in October (YAY!), but I am going to get help getting him excited about it with this neat event hosted by GapKids: “Unleash your inner artist! Join us for a series of special art projects by Merrilee Liddiard of Mer Mag. These projects were inspired by the GapKids and babyGap fall collection, including the best new 1969 denim – Jewel Box Skinnies for girls (the new skinny jean updated in bright stretchy denim) and Action Stretch Denim for boys (designed for play all day- it’s denim that’s made to move).”

Jack LOVES art – has been drawing since he got a magnadoodle when he was 2 and he just recently had his first piece of artwork put on display in a local studio. An event where he gets to use art to prepare for going back to school is right up his alley! Not to mention that he’s also quite particular about his clothes and one of his favorite pieces is a skeleton hoodie we bought from GapKids before he started Kindergarten. I can’t wait to see what they have this year.

Here are the details for you guys if you want to check it out! Throughout August, select GapKids stores across the country will host Shine On Saturdays events. From creating geometric masterpieces on canvas using paint and tape to colorful, custom journals to get kids ready for back-to-school, the projects help kids express their creativity!

If you are in the SF Bay Area, here are the three upcoming events you’ll want to check out:

Saturday, August 11, 10am-1pm
GapKids @ The Village at Corte Madera
1554 Redwood Highway, Corte Madera, CA

Saturday, August 18, 10am-1pm
GapKids @ University
35 University Avenue, Los Gatos, CA

Saturday, August 25, 10am-1pm
GapKids @ Broadway Plaza
1139 S. Main Street, Walnut Creek, CA

And let me know if you plan to head to one of these – maybe we’ll see you there!

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

BlogHer12 Recap

I’m really glad I got to go to BlogHer this year. It was a great event and I loved seeing New York City again, as well as my many friends who live in the Internets. This BlogHer, as opposed to BH10, was much less overwhelming for me. I don’t know if it was the fact that I had a buddy (Jana), that I knew so many more people this go-round, or if it was the fact that I went in without any expectations or set plans; it all worked out well and I just happened to run into pretty much all the people I had hoped to see!

This is just a brief recap that does the conference NO JUSTICE. But please consider checking out the posts I’ve linked below and enjoy the pics. Maybe I’ll see you in Chicago next year!

Voices of the Year I particularly enjoyed:

Jana: From a Pecan to a Majestic Magnolia (Identity [read at Open Mic])

Jana VOTY

Elizabeth at Flourish in Progress: To the Person Who Stole My Taco Bell Gordita Savings Fund (Humor)

Neil from Citizen of the Month: The Poet at the Geek Bar (Humor)

Dresden Shumaker: Welfare Queen (Heart)

Arnebya Herndon: Walk This Way (Op-Ed)

Best Party:

RobinPlemmons

Come As You Are – It was hosted by Aiming Low and Mouthy Housewives. I got some pretty sweet artwork drawn on me by Robin Plemmons, plus I got to give out all kinds of compliments on stickers (and got a few myself). And there was the most amazing chocolate covered peanut butter ball dessert thingy…

Connected with and/or hugged (in no particular order and possibly not all-inclusive):

Jana, Issa, Dawn, Cathy, Nona, Alecia, Allison, Katherine, Tanis, Anissa, Julia Roberts, Liz, Andrea, Jenny, Lauren, Frelle, Stacey, Bossy, Christine, Stacey (who also likes ewoks), Robin Plemmons, Angie, Jenny Grace, Julia, EmmieJ, Megan, Kristine, Jenna

Favorite conference moments:

In the “Blogging After Life Change” session, I spoke up to tell my story and was able to connect with another mom whose son had just recently been diagnosed with Leukemia.

When the lovely Robin Plemmons wrote on my arm, “He will be healed,” we both teared up.

Dancing with the very talented Cathy at Sparklecorn.

‘Fancy’ breakfast with Jana and Lauren.

When I drew a schlong on Allison’s moo card during a keynote.

What I did offsite:

Rode the subway, then had ‘fancy breakfast’.
Ate breakfast for lunch at Serendipity3.
Visited Tiffany & Co.

Things I’ll do differently next year:

Go out to dinner.
Buy a memento.
Attend more than 2 sessions.
Pack a suitcase in a suitcase (for swag).
Share a cab to/from the hotel to save cash.
Take an incoming flight that is NOT a red-eye.
Drink more champagne.
Take more pictures!

Six Years Ago Today

Jack’s birth was not an easy one. At 41.5 weeks, I was induced and it took 30 hours of contractions before real labor kicked in. Once there, it was another 9.5 hours until the kid was born. Until the very end, he refused to drop and hung out in my rib cage. He also did flips the entire time, so when he was finally born – purple – his umbilical cord was wrapped around his body three times. You can see his still-mottled coloring in this picture, which was taken after they gave him oxygen:

Can you believe that hair? That kid has the craziest amount of hair I’ve ever seen. He was born with sideburns! Even now, after six months of chemo, he’s hanging on to a bunch of hair still! He’s totally my fuzzy little ewok. (He was born up where they filmed the ewok scenes, you know!)

Jack was so aware right from the beginning. He often had a wrinkled forehead and looked so serious. He stared at me with those big, serious eyes early on:

Jack at 5 days old

He smiled and babbled early, too – he was *JACK* right from the beginning. It was easy to see that this little guy had a big personality just waiting to burst out.

Jack smiles at 5 weeks old

We had so many nicknames for him. Jackie. Jackazoid. Jackonaut. Jackington. Jackaroo. Bubba. Mister. They all fit, even today as he dresses up constantly and pretends to be a super hero or an alien or a sea creature.

I can’t believe he’s six. And yet, I feel like my life didn’t exist before he came along. He changed the state of things, that’s for sure. It’s because of him I’ve come so far in therapy. He’s made my life exponentially better and I don’t know what I would do without him.

Happy birthday, sweet boy!

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