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July 2014

Yesterday it rained...

I had a truly awesome experience with divine intervention yesterday* and wanted to share it.

After a day that seemed to feel like it would never end, my husband and I got into an argument.  Not an argument that was uncalled for...but we never really get heated, so it felt huge.  

Afterwards, he brought my daughter to soccer practice leaving me alone with all my angry thoughts that lingered after our discussion.  I walked to the kitchen to clean like I always do when I'm upset.  I got to the sink and started washing the dishes.  Halfway through the first pan, I glanced up to see that it was raining.  This was peculiar because it really didn't look at all like it was supposed to rain out there.  

The rain called to me and I walked outside.  The first thing I noticed was my favorite smell in the universe: rain hitting hot pavement.  

This smell always reminds me of happiness.  Of being a child playing in a sudden sun shower on a summer day.  Of eating watermelon on a beach towel in the driveway afterwards.  It has stuck with me my whole life and has always made me smile.

But last night, that wonderful happy smell took a back seat to my emotions.  I couldn't help but think about the argument my husband and I had only an hour before.  He was wrong.  I was right.  He was out of line.  I was perfectly stating my points and he wasn't hearing me.  

But then all of a sudden, I realized I couldn't smell my favorite smell anymore.  It was gone.  If I took a big sniff in, I could get a tiny whiff of it.  But that was it.  

And then I heard God.

He said to me, "Notice that you can not smell even your favorite smell in the universe right now?  It is because you have gotten used to it.  Even your favorite things can become commonplace if you experience them too long.  It can happen with ALL things in your life.  Think about it."

So I did.

And it clicked.  

God was trying to get me to see that my husband WAS right.  I was wrong.  And I have been for a long time now.

I became so comfortable in my actions over time that I didn't see that I may be upsetting someone - my most important someone-  in the process.  I had been treating him a certain way and not even realizing it because I was used to it.  Being used to it does NOT make it right.  And I felt sorry.

When my husband came home, I told him about my talk with God and apologized for our argument.  We hugged and talked and smiled and became fine again.  

Then I went upstairs to put my son to bed and prayed thanks to God for letting me see. 

*For the record, this didn't actually happen yesterday.  It happened many yesterdays ago, but I never hit Publish on it for some reason.  After re-reading it today, I thought maybe now was a good time.  


Some thoughts on Blogger Bash 2014...

Blogger

If you are not a blogger, you may have been wondering what the heck Blogger Bash is and why I've been posting a million and one pictures all over social media the past few days.  Well, to sum up Blogger Bash is a huge event for bloggers to meet, greet and socialize with many different brands, bloggers and other social media influencers to hopefully make connections and bring more information on products and services to YOU.  

This year's Blogger Bash was held in New York City in the really cool Location 05 building and hosted several events within.  First up was the famous Sweet Suite event which introduced me to MANY cool games and toys that are both available now and coming out very soon.  The after party was hosted by Angry Birds Stella.  

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The next morning, we were invited to have breakfast with Lego Batman to learn about the brand new Lego Batman 3 game that is due out in November.  After that, there was a fantastic media panel, speed "dating" with brand representatives, Bloganthropy awards honoring bloggers who use their blogs for social good (I am honored to call one of the nominees Trisha Adkins from Yoke my friend), lunch with Johnny Rockets complete with ketchup artistry, Mommy Tech booths scattered throughout the venue, and Babypalooza including the lovely Anne Geddes who I could listen to for hours.   Suitesweet1

Next we entered the Elements Association Social Suite where we were able to meet Smoky the Bear, get makeovers by Covergirl, and talk with many other exciting brands.  We then saw a cooking demonstration from Chicken Soup for the Soul and got to sample some of their new delicious line of foods.  There was also a great party set up by NickMom to keep us all awake and excited.  The fantastic two days ended with a huge party by Kidzvuz where we got to meet even MORE brands and learn about what's up and coming for our kids.

 Now that you've got the jist of the event, here are some things I learned during the fabulous two days:

1. Bloggers are my peeps - I have never felt more comfortable with a huge group of people than I do when I'm with other bloggers.  Being together at Blogger Bash with all the wonderful people I've met online was like a dream come true.

2. More people want to support me than I ever thought possible - Since this was my first event like this, I had the whole small fish/big pond scary feeling.  But when I got there, I realized that there is no such thing.  Everyone I met was very supportive and encouraging.

3. There are a LOT of toys out there! - WOW.  I don't even know where to start with that one.  My brain was filled with sensory overload from start to finish.  There were huge names like LEGO, Hasbro, Kurio, Crayola, Disney Infinity, LeapFrog, McFarlane Toys, USAopoly, RnR Games, VTech and many many more offering their latest products for us to test.  (For a full list of brands, check out bloggerbash.com)

4. When you see bloggers in person, they are not the heights you may have imagined - If you think about it, how often do you see pictures other than headshots online?  You can't tell how tall someone is by a headshot!  In fact, I was told on many occasions that I am MUCH taller in person than anyone ever thought.  

5. Zipz wine may be the best invention in the world - portable glasses of wine with lids?  Yep.  

6. Getting complimented is one of the best feelings in the world - There was a lot of talk about what to wear to Blogger Bash beforehand in the online forums.  I stopped listening after a while about what would be acceptable, etc. and decided that I wanted to go all out.  I dressed up more than I normally would and felt GREAT.  I don't think you can be too dressed up for an event like that.

7. Interacting in person is nowhere near as intimidating as I thought it would be - In fact, it was SO much better than I expected.  I loved interacting with actual people and learning their ideas about how we could work together.

8. Making real connections at a huge event is completely doable - Not only was interacting with people great, but making actual connections that went deeper than just small talk was wonderful.  Yes, it was busy there.  And yes it was loud.  But no one made me feel rushed.  I commend all the brands for making us feel like we ALL are important.  

9. McFarlane Toys' Walking Dead figures are absolutely amazing- They are tiny, but have every single detail down to the floating heads in the Governor's den. Amazing.  IMG_4761

10.  Taking the time to find the perfect pair of comfortable shoes really paid off- Not only were my feet happy, but look!  I'm FAMOUS!  haha!   2014-07-17 22.21.00

 Blogger Bash was a great experience for me.  I feel like I've only scratched the surface with this post.  I can't wait till next year!  To learn more about Blogger Bash, check out BloggerBash.com or follow along with the conversations on Twitter and Facebook using #BBNYC, #SweetSuite14, #EAEvents, or #BTBBaby .

 


I'm going to Blogger Bash! #BBNYC

 

Blogger

I am so excited to be going to Blogger Bash - my first ever blogging conference - in NYC next week.  It is going to be SO much fun seeing and actually talking to all the wonderful people I have met online through blogging, meeting representatives from brands I love, and just getting into the City again after a waaaay too long hiatus from visits.  

Before the big event happens, all of us attendees are asked to participate in a little bit of a Q&A about ourselves.  A Coffee Talk, if you will, where we can get to know a little bit about each other. 

Well, here ya go..

1.Name - Cindy

2. Where are you from?-  Good ol' New Jersey

3. How long have you been blogging? - My first ever blog post was on June 23, 2011 on my friend Jamie's blog loserpie.  The title of the post was 'First Time Out of the Box' and it explained how I didn't know what I was doing.  After 3 years of blogging, I'm sure some could argue that not much has changed.

4. What is the meaning behind your blog name? - I have two blogs 'Whatever Works' and 'What the heck's a bonbon?'.  'Whatever Works' is what I find myself saying in most everyday life situations because as I stated before, I really don't know what I'm doing most of the time.  

'What the heck's a bonbon?' is my response when someone asks me if I sit around all day eating bonbons as a stay-at-home parent.  I figured that would work AOK for my recipes especially since I never have all the right ingredients.

5. What are you most looking forward to at Blogger Bash?- I am looking forward to the entire package.  I have never been to a conference like this, so I am planning on taking it all in as much as possible.

6. What three words describe you the best? - Giggly, Tall, Mom

7. Got kids? How many? - Yep.  I've got 2.  Both are one of a kind.

8. We all have a pet peeve. What is your #1? - Inconsideration of others

9. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? - My family.  We have great conversations at the dinner table.  It's my favorite time of day.

10. Show me your face!  Cindy

Can't wait to meet you next week at Blogger Bash!


We deserve it

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Yesterday was my birthday.  I turned 40.  

I know it's supposed to be this milestone birthday.  Forty.  It used to sound old to my naive ears.  But in truth, it's just another year.  And I feel better than ever.  

Every birthday, I spend time talking with God.  Once you leave school, you don't really get report cards in life, so I feel like spending time with God is important.  It helps ground me and make me understand what I need to improve and what I need to keep up with.  He tells me what I'm doing right and what I should be doing better.  

Sure, I pray every day and give thanks for all that God has given us.  But these talks are different.  They come from deeper within me.  They come out not as full sentences...more like parts of my soul that whiff off like mist.  God grabs those bits and processes them and returns them to me more complete.  

Yesterday, I was sitting in the middle of the most beautiful botanical garden staring at all the foliage and flowers.  I started my conversation then.  I always know when it will start, because I well up.  I can feel God's presence and just know that it's time to chat.  So I immediately thanked Him for all that I could see.  So many greens and colors.  So much quiet.  So much time and effort put into this beauty by loving hands.  

Then I asked Him why?  Why do we have all these beautiful things on earth?  Why did he give them to us?  

Some days it is so hard to see beauty because it is drowned by news or sadness.  But when it is all around you, like in a botanical garden, you can't see anything else.  It's almost blinding.  

As I shielded my eyes from the beauty, He spoke an answer to my 'Why?':

"Because you deserve it," He said.  "People deserve it."

The first thought I had was, "No, we don't."

But He replied with a smile and said, "Yes.  You do."

It took some time for me to accept that.  Why should we deserve anything beautiful when we do such bad things?  We hurt each other.  We corrupt the land.  We pour smoke into the air.  We hurt ourselves.  

But we DO deserve good things, too.  Because we ARE good.  And we can BE good.  And beauty is there if we look for it.  It is everywhere.  

Yesterday's beauty was so concentrated, it was hard for me to see anything else.  But now I know to look for it no matter where I may be.  Because it is there.  And we deserve to see it.  God told me so.

Yesterday was the best birthday I have ever had.  The good news is I have said that every single year since I can remember.