28 July, 2014  |   2 Comments

Nora Lea’s Lego Birthday Party

Our shining enigma turned six this summer.
To celebrate, we threw a Lego themed birthday party.

Nora Lea's Lego Party

Two days before the party, Nora complained of a tummy ache.
No problem! We agreed she would be fine by her party!

When she was still sleeping 30 minutes after the first guests arrived, we realized she was definitely not fine yet.

But the party is strong with that one, so she pulled it together and sat quietly while her friends bopped around and played hard.

We played “Guess how many Legos are in the jar!”
(There were 88. We realized Nora had the right answer because of an eavesdropping sister.)

Nora Lea's Lego Party

We made a Lego bean bag toss board — I’ll show you how we made it later this week. It was super easy and it occupied the children for at least 15 minutes.

Nora Lea's Lego Party

More than one child was disappointed in the contents of our goodie bags. (Lego eraser, a small notebook and a pack of Lego man shaped crayons.)

I crossed my arms smugly and said, “When I was a child we did not have goodie bags.

Nora Lea's Lego Party

Our friend Melissa made this amazing cake. Before serving, we covered the cake in industrious Lego people that we then removed before serving and are humans weird or what?

Nora Lea's Lego Party

James crafted the utensil holder from Legos. He is my favorite.

Nora Lea's Lego Party

Little girls picnicked on macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. They spent most of the party sitting on a blanket and talking about presents.

Nora Lea's Lego Party

We had lots of Legos laying about for grownups and kids to build together.

Nora Lea's Lego Party

Let’s all build together.

Happy birthday my Nora Lea.

22 July, 2014  |   Comment

Celebrating the Earnest at Y&YY

It was unscheduled, and positive and supportive. I’ve never been to an event like that.

Y&YY was 3 days in Palm Springs at the Ace Hotel and you are already rolling your eyes at this because it sounds so earnest.

It was earnest.
We could use a dash of earnest.

A Palm Springs Sunset

Good people gathered about 300 humans from their community to share what they knew. The sharing was powerful, but not for the “alternative to SXSW” reasons I’d thought.

The sharing was powerful because I discovered my hunger, our hunger for human connection. These lighted boxes are no substitute for hugging, touching, eye-connecting late nights in person. The sharing was powerful because I met people passionate about this internet that has lately reflected the worst in people instead of the best.

Blogging conference evolve, tech conferences evolve and I really hope the spirit of this event affects other educational/networking events.
My roommate was the foxiest. Also the mom-my-est.

Yes, there was a decidedly hippy vibe, supported by their rules for engagement. Yes, I ate up the respect and positivity.

I also ate up a lot of this kale salad.
Earnest kale.
Apparently I’m one step away from shag carpets and encountering sessions.
(Don’t judge.)

I have been on the RVIP since their first year. Apparently, this is something of which I shall now boast.

But if I hadn’t attended that watercoloring mandalas session with Shelia Campbell I wouldn’t have learned about my new favorite way to unwind with my girls.

I am earnest AND I wear a wig. Oh to be 39 in the year 2014.

Put a variety of chill people in a chill place.
Encourage them to share their expertise,
magic will happen.

And even though I didn’t return with a list of action-items, I came back with perspective that people can be great, that events can be rewarding and fun and that there’s hope for this great internet of ours yet.

This internet needs some hope.

21 July, 2014  |   3 Comments

Hiatus Complete. Epiphany-free.

Hello! I’m back from my hiatus.

A lot of things and a lot of nothings happened over the last 5 months.
(Lately I’ve made more peace with paradoxes.)

For my job, I got back into the wine industry.
More will come on that change.
In the meantime, it’s all vineyards and hints of oak.

"You can't hurry seasons. You just make the most of each one."

We made a lot of fun pictures around here.

djh-bloodytongue

djh-mama-cherrytree

hj-kitchenmonster

nlh-hearthead

Joanie Loves Bocce has played like pros.

Cause this is bocce night!  (Oh what a night.)

I keep planning meals, just like I’ve done for the last ten years.

This week @esully is taking care of a few meals - yay for nuptials!

Our little family keeps loving each other in the only lumpy, misshapen way we know.
(“Lumpy is pretty!”)

I Beckon My Family of Fire.

By attending Y&YY, I had a chance to prioritize. And think logically.
(It’s funny how a break will do that.)

the Pool at an absolutely joy-filled unconference

Speaking of breaks, I gave myself a break from my midlife crisis.
I turned my privilege over and over and couldn’t figure out what to do with it.

But now I’ve had enough looking hard.
And I’m ready to put that privilege to service.

Rainy Messy Awesome Day

I missed you guys.
It’s nice to be back.

18 March, 2014  |   3 Comments

February, March, April, May, June, July

So February’s Nablopomo was a bust. Grin.
Things changed and those things required attention.
Those things are still requiring attention, and it brings to mind how much I appreciate yours. So I’m putting this site on hiatus for 5 months.

Dottie Thinks

One of my resolutions was to cut down my to do list.
And I’ve realized I can’t possibly look at and leave,
“Update hj.com”
on my list one more day.

It’s sucking up some important creative energy.

Everything is fine, great actually.
I just need to cut “Update my internet web blog site” from my to-dos.

So I’ll see you in five months!
There are lots of wonderful writers on the internet.
There are nearly so many, you’ll never get through them all, not even in 5 months.

I’ll be on Instagram.
But not on any of the others. If I can help it.

Planning to be back around my birthday, in July, with something to say.
I can’t wait to see you then.

Sisters

In the meantime, I wish you tons of creative building energy.

You’re going to knock it out of the park.

 

1 February, 2014  |   3 Comments

February NaBloPoMo

Bothe

If you’re in any sort of job where you’re the go-between from the public to a product — like if you were a buyer for BevMo — I imagine that you would have a learning curve from “this is what I personally love” to “this is what’s popular in the world right now.”

For example:  thanks Target buyer, I’m glad you like Shabby Chic, but mid-century owl mirrors are what’s making the Instagram ladies say “Adorbs!” and you need to make sure there are 500,000 of them in stores.

Well, I sort of do that for my day job.
But for bloggers.

For my job, I recommend themes and bloggers for campaigns. In that I walk the line between recommending for paid content, what I, personally love (Long Rambling Narrative Posts About the Exquisite Joy/Pain Of Our Human Existence) and what’s actually going to work for the next campaign.

I see clients’ campaign whims swing back and forth:
We want storytelling!
No! Pinterest!
JUST MAKE THEM SAY THEY LOVE THIS NEW FEATURE!
Selfies are in/not in!
I’m SO over illustration.
Bigger Pictures!
Not THAT BIG!
Snapchat.

Wait.
What did they want again?

There’s always a good fit, but it’s mostly luck.
This person is the right age, this person has the right color hair, this person already drives this car. It’s rarely something you can prep for — this being in the right place in your life at the right time.

The places where sponsored content comes from changes fast. The requested media is all over the place. During this exciting time, it’s all crazy — you can make informed choices, but you can’t be everything to everyone.

There’s no one way to be the “top” right now outside of doing what you do.

Bothe

So this short month, I’m taking my own advice.
I’m having fun with this medium.
I’m going to be me.

I’m not going to stress out and worry about the next big social network, but I’ll experiment with those too.

Thanks for granting me the freedom to experiment.
I like your open point of view.

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