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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Type-A Conference: 140 Characters

If you've ever read my post-conference posts you already know I tend to take a lot of notes by using Twitter. I just do. It's a great way to promote the conference and to ensure that you don't lose your notes. I started after my very first blog conference back in 2011 (which, psst, happened to be Type-A!).


Because the Internet is forever - right?

A few of my own tweets throughout the weekend that sum up new information, intense thoughts and more of what I walked away with. #typeacon hashtags removed because, well, redundant!

And I'm working backwards because that's the way I'm accessing my twitter feed. It's how we do!

At the town hall: 

My personal experience is mine. Much of what I write is for me. The worst thing I could do is compare my content to someone else's.

At Thom Singer's keynote:

I challenge myself to find three NEW people to connect with post-conference. I have many in my network and expanding that is always critical.

Somebody has to put the pieces together for there to be a "wow" moment.

Face-to-face engagement is exactly what brings me to Type-A. I need my peeps.

Networking is not really a bad thing. People have different perceptions of what networking is.

During Sonja Foust's VIP session:

Getting tips on how to get yourself unstuck and avoid/clear up the writer's block.

Cut out the things that distract you, that you do not need, so you can get what you need to do done.

Have a routine for yourself when you sit down to write? Create or maintain one to help get yourself in the zone.

During David Griner's session on clickbait:

Learning about clickbait, headlines and why they need to be legit. No false promises, no teases without substance. Be intriguing but be real.

Community Building Panel (comments I've tweeted quoting panelists are attributed to said panelist): 

Don't close your comments. Didn't you start blogging to talk to people? It's not all about Facebook.

Our incredible panelists encourage us to start our own small communities. Micro-communities.

Tauni Everett: 

I wish I would have looked like a CEO from the start.

If you are truly a member of your community you will know where they are and know where you need to go. 

Every email I send has a call to action. I don't send an email that doesn't have relevance to my audience.

Walk away with a group of 5-10 people to network with so you can support one another.

Adrianna Domingos-Lupher: 

Before you create a community, LISTEN online. Bring something new to the table. Elevate conversation.

Expect, as a community leader, to get some backlash.

Everybody likes to be an expert on something. Don't be afraid to follow your community and allow them to solve something for you.

Use Facebook to promote things that will get people OFF of Facebook.

Anne Parris:

If it doesn't benefit your reader in some way you won't get engagement. It's not about us (the leaders) it's about them.

I'm uncomfortable having my community based on land I don't own (ie: FB).

You have to make the person who is not happy with what you are doing feel heard. Take interest in that negative comment.

****

I definitely did some learning at some of the other sessions I attended and a lot of that is in my handy-dandy-trusty-notebook. Despite all this social media business I am still very much a pen and paper kind of girl.

So - stay tuned. I still want to write a post about Women Get Social, also, because that section of the notebook is beyond full and I'd love to share some of that wisdom with y'all.

In the meantime, were you at Type-A? What tweet best sums up the conference for you? Share it here!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Wrestling with G-d.



The new year is coming.

A new year without you.

I find this to be unacceptable.

I find this to leave me wallowing in my head and heart in a place where grief lives.

I've been out and about these last few days.

Traveling.

Smiling.

Enjoying myself.

I had you with me. Always.

I wear your "name" on my neck.

Like I've been branded, perhaps?

Dad.

People see it.

They smile.

Some know. Nod knowingly.

Hug me.

Others - surely unsure - say nothing.

That's okay.

I don't need everyone to ask.

I'm the only one who really needs to know.

I'm rambling now.

I'm trying not to get to the point of expressing how much I miss you.

Rosh Hashana starts tomorrow.

The first time without you.

I can't.

I just can't.

I suppose I will.

But I just can't.

I have so much to say. So much that I am thinking.

I know you wouldn't want me to think it or feel it.

But how can I celebrate a new year. The Jewish new year. Without you here?

I'm angry.

I'm mad.

I'm still Jewish.

But you're not here.

You're not on the other end of the phone to wish me a good year.

Happy and healthy.

We said it every.single.time.

Took it for granted.

Be careful, I told you.

Be careful.

You walked.

You returned.

So many words. So many prayers.

Recited days and nights before.

The days. The nights.

So many years of so many words.

So much love. Blessings.

Hands held.

Laughs stifled.

These days are you.

You are these days.

How am I supposed to even feel them without you?

I end here.

I could write forever.

But I end this here.

I love you, Daddy.

And I miss you beyond all the words in the world.

L'Shana Tova.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New York will always be home.

I was born there.

Raised there.

Went to school there.

Many schools.

Elementary. Junior High. High School.

College. Undergrad. Graduate school.

I worked. For years.

I interned.

I took continuing education classes.

American Sign Language.

Spanish.

I interviewed.

Found jobs.

Turned down jobs.

I wandered the streets.

Ate lunch in the park. Many parks.

I met up with friends.

For lunch, halfway between offices.

At great restaurants.

On park benches.

For many happy hours.

Cigarette breaks in back rooms.

On curbs outside of office buildings.

In cafeterias.

Smoke breaks when I didn't even smoke.

Walks around the building.

Fresh air near the water.

Coffee breaks.

Sneaking off to the movies.

Extra long lunches.

Playing pool during overtime.

Flirting with the bartender.

Stumbling to the train.

Hailed cabs late at night.

Calling for a car.

Cried tears of love lost.

Wandering through neighborhoods with a broken heart.

Holding my husband's hand before I really knew.

First kisses. Stolen. Quietly.

Broadway shows.

French restaurants.

Gloves lost on snowy nights.

Diners after midnight.

Shots at the bar.

Sparks flying.

I got married there.

First engaged.

Central Park.

The zoo.

The polar bears.

We got married.

Moved around the boroughs.

Found our way.

Found our fur-babies.

Years later - I left.

We left.

Came home for visits.

Met my niece.

Returned home with a baby girl.

Introduced her to a place like no other.

Years later - I returned again.

Said goodbye to my father.

A piece of my heart, gone forever.

New York is home.

Always will be.

Today I choose to remember the moments that I will never forget, beyond those imprinted in my brain forever. Beyond those that the entire world watched with me.

These moments find me happy, sad, aching, longing, loving.

In some ways they're similar to those that occurred so so many years ago tomorrow.

And in many ways they're not.

I try to forget the smoke. The tumbling. The walking mile after mile.

My shoes.

Scrambling for phone calls.

The tears.

The forever change in my view.

Instead I recall the moments of MY New York.

And I remember. And I pray.

Because in my heart of hearts I know.

New York will always be home.


* Linking up with Pour Your Heart Out today over at Things I Can't Say. *

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Matter of Mercy, Lynne Hugo ~ book review



I'll start right off with saying that A Matter of Mercy was an enjoyable read.

CiCi (Caroline - our primary character) returned home to take care of her mom - who was dying. Her life outside of "home" had been falling apart.

After a brief stint in jail - yes, I know - she found herself trying to figure out where she stood.

Where were her strengths?

Who did she have in her life to support and love her?

What would she do without her mother?

I know, I'm not doing a great job of selling the story just yet, am I?

But it's good to know that although there are so many negatives happening in CiCi's life that she can find her way out of the darkness with the right support.

CiCi reconnects with an old acquaintance from high school. Rid is someone she knew, but barely. Their paths cross as she stumbles through her return home.

Watching them reconnect was a strong point of the book for me. The overlap in their stories, enjoyable, but not overly predictable. Rid had his own storyline. His life was not dependent upon Caroline's. Not her life. Not her decisions. Not at first.

I did find the culmination of their relationship to be a bit rushed as it seemed to come to fruition towards the later part of the book. Certain steps became predictable - although still enjoyable.

I suppose at close to 300 pages the author deemed it important to wrap things up. I would also guess that to drag out the ending of the story would be just that - draggy. It wouldn't work for the book and could lead to frustration. But I would have liked a little bit more.

I also held issue with a secret that CiCi kept from Rid. It, too, wrapped things up nicely, but didn't bode well for their relationship if he ever finds out. Unfortunately (or fortunately, maybe?) he doesn't - not within these pages - so we don't see what happens there.

Regardless of these two points I really did like the book. The setting was perfect, and I often found myself picturing it clearly in my mind. Hugo did a beautiful job of detailing the surrounding areas for this story. The community was enjoyable and I could picture myself hanging out with Billy (bartender Billy!) at The Oyster. There is another critical aspect of the storyline that was really intriguing, but I can't introduce you to it without giving a lot away - so I'll have to hold back!

Overall A Matter of Mercy was a mostly non-stressful read, despite the occasional heavy topics, and is worth looking into. A Matter of Mercy is available on Kindle and in can also be purchased in paperback at: A Matter of Mercy for your enjoyment.

* I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours. All expressed opinions are completely my own. I was not compensated in any way for this review. *

Thursday, September 4, 2014

StrollerThon for Postpartum Mental Health!

* Please note, the content of this post is not meant to be medical advice. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of a postpartum mood disorder please reach out to your doctor as soon as possible. There is help. You can feel better and the appropriate support is out there. Allow yourself to reach out for it. 


I'm going to talk to you a little bit today about an organization I volunteer with regularly. It's a really important organization and we could use your support. So if you can take a few minutes to share and then possibly spread the word? I'd love you forever. 

But seriously, I'd appreciate it. Really. 

Many of you know how important postpartum mental health is to me. From a personal and professional perspective, my goal is to help mamas everywhere get the support they need, when they need it. 

Postpartum Education and Support (PES) is an organization that is local to the Triangle, NC area. An organization that offers unconditional and FREE support to moms who need it. No questions asked. 

It's a support system for new and expectant mothers who need that reminder that they are not alone. It's completely free. All of it. The weekly peer support meetings (Moms Supporting Moms - MSM), the phone support line, the email support. All of it. 

PES is a nonprofit organization that works hard to ensure we can continue to offer this kind of support to new and expectant mothers. And so I'm thrilled to update you on a huge event we're having that will be loads of fun for you and your family, AND will help support this incredible organization. 


Our upcoming StrollerThon is always tons of fun, and no stroller is required! Admission is an affordable $10 for an adult and $15 for an entire family! The event is happening on Saturday, September 13th in Bond Park in Cary, NC. 

There will be the main walk (it's not horribly long - we promise!), a Tot Trot for the kids, live music, food, kid-friendly activities and an incredible raffle! You can purchase raffle tickets online to support the organization and do not need to be present to win. Find out more on our StrollerThon Registration Page. 

If you have any questions about this event you can email our executive director, Caroline Pence, to find out more. 

The following links will help you find out more and will direct you to information on how you can support PES:



AmazonSmile (shop on Amazon to support PES at no cost to you!)


* If you feel that you're experiencing anxiety or intrusive thoughts, please stop here and do not continue reading - as this post could be potentially triggering. Consider calling Postpartum Education and Support (Triangle, NC area) at 919-454-6946. Or contact Postpartum Support International at 1-800-944-4PPD. *

Women in the postpartum period often find themselves overwhelmed beyond words. Many women experience the Baby Blues. I'm sure you've heard that phrase before. And I'm sure you've heard it used to describe women who have been emotional after giving birth. 

And while it's true, hormones are adjusting, a new baby and the early days (and NIGHTS!) of motherhood are exhausting, mamas feel stretched too thin - that's all true - but there are often things happening beyond that. 

Beyond the sleepless nights, the nursing issues, the diaper rash and the reflux. 

Mamas sometimes find themselves too anxious to leave the house with their baby. They sometimes find that they don't want to go near their baby. Or that the crying is so awful that they hole themselves up in the bathroom and can't move. There are sleepless nights when the baby IS sleeping. There are intrusive thoughts. 

Most of all? There is that feeling of being completely and utterly alone.

Nobody tells you that this could happen. Nobody gives you a manual to pregnancy and early motherhood with the disclaimer that this could happen to YOU. Postpartum mental health is a concern for other moms. You'll be just fine. 

And chances are you will be. But if you're not? Support is out there. PES is one place you can find it.