What I’m Thankful For – Heart of Haiti

by Miranda on November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving is upon us once again. Soon we’ll be rocking our stretch pants and lounging in food comas while we digest copious amounts of turkey and pie, the drone of parades and football games (or really, really bad movies) in the background.  We’ll be crazy thankful for leggings and comfy sweaters and naps.

Some of us, maybe even most of us, will be thankful for the family and friends surrounding us on Thursday.

The past year has been one of upheaval for us, of making choices which we believe are for the good of our family, this little unit of four. We’ve weathered my anxiety. We’ve sold a house and moved. We’re working to build a new, forever home. The fact that we’re together through it all, that all of us are sacrificing, makes this easier than it would be if this choice hadn’t been one we were free to make.

That’s why programs like Macy’s Heart of Haiti are so dear to my heart.

When the 2010 earthquake shattered Haiti, entire communities were left with even less than they had before, which wasn’t much. The decision to start over wasn’t one Haitians chose to make, but that’s where they found themselves once the aftershocks stopped and they began to clear the rubble.

From that rubble, they began creating works of art and things of beauty, like these sustainable tobacco leaf trays made with papier mache techniques.

Tobacco Leaf Tray - Heart of Haiti

Through creations like this, usable yet decorative pieces, Haitian artisans have been able to support themselves and their families. Slowly, they’ve been rebuilding an entire country through the artistry native to their villages and heritage, and Macy’s has helped sell those creations on a global scale, raising awareness of issues in Haiti beyond the devastation left by the earthquakes and sending money back into the places where it is needed most.

Through relying on one another, their friends, family, and fellow Haitian artisans, these men and women are making a difference in their communities. They are able to provide food, shelter, education, and healthcare to their children, all of which are taken for granted daily here.

Heart of Haiti is changing lives, and you can be a part of that.

When you’re shopping for those on your list this year, that family member who has it all, consider giving the unique, handmade items from Macy’s Heart of Haiti collection. Your gift recipients will receive one-of-a-kind pieces of art and you’ll be giving back to the artists who created them in the process. Each piece is created using raw materials found in and around their communities through sustainable techniques handed down from generation to generation.

We spend a lot of time thinking about the tangible stuff we have, and what we don’t. We’re constantly seeking more, more, more to fill our lives and we make flippant purchases without thinking about where that stuff comes from, who made it, or how. Now we can change that, and that’s something to be thankful for.

I am a  member of the Everywhere Society and they provided me with this product for review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Tobacco Leaf Tray Heart of Haiti

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Let’s Play a Game

by Miranda on November 16, 2014

When I wrote about being all stopped up on Thursday, Jennifer said that reading blogs, for her, has always been like having a conversation with a friend. I miss that. That’s what it always was for me too. I came here and said what I was thinking and people responded and then I responded and it was nice.

Friends were here.

Then things happened on my side of the computer and conversations were had and people were hurt and I got a little scared to have those public conversations anymore. I didn’t mean to stop writing here, but I did suddenly find myself second guessing everything.

But the truth is that I’ve missed this space. It’s sitting here, empty and sad. It’s time to do something about that.

Since I’m wading back into the blogging waters, I thought we might start by playing a game, just to make things easier for me everybody.

I’m going to ask five questions. Pick one and answer it below. This week I’ll come back and answer them myself.

See? We’ll have a CONVERSATION.

  1. What’s on your Christmas list?
  2. What’s your favorite holiday?
  3. Where would you go on your dream vacation?
  4. Shaken or stirred?
  5. What are your thoughts on black licorice?

Yay! Let’s have fun!


Unblock Me

by Miranda on November 13, 2014

Lately every time I sit down to my computer and open ye olde WordPress dashboard I feel…silly. Like this blog is frivolous and there are far too many important things in my life and in the world for this to even begin to matter. (But on some level it does matter. It’s six years of my life.)

It’s been so long since I’ve made time for myself and written regularly here that I’ve forgotten how, or at the very least I’ve forgotten what to come here and say. I feel like I’m having an identity crisis lately.

Do I write about mom stuff? Do I pour my heart out about living with anxiety? Talk about the good things happening in our life? The chaotic? The not so good? Share information about the things I’m loving right now?

All of the above?

Sure. I could talk about any and all of those things, but do they matter?

What could I possibly say right now that anyone would want to read? Should it even matter if anyone reads it?

I have ideas and I have some time in which I could write those things down but they all feel trivial. Fluffy things that aren’t important in the grand scheme of things. I want to do more than write fluff.

I feel like I’ve forgotten how to write for myself.

At Type A, I mentioned to Megan Jordan that I’m stuck. There are lots of things I want to talk about but none of them are things that I can talk about. They’re not my stories alone and sharing them could cause hurt to people I love, or at the very least misunderstanding. So I haven’t written because I can’t and it’s causing everything to back up inside me.

I’ve been word-blocked for so long it’s like I don’t even know how to start again. How do you get back on the horse after falling off when the horse has run away?

I need help, writer/blogger friends. I need to know how you keep going when you feel a compulsion to write but can’t make yourself do it.

Help unblock me.


Five Things

by Miranda on November 1, 2014

Hey, it’s November 1! Even though we gain an hour tonight there’s a very good chance I’m going to pass out from wine consumption soon and miss the extra hour, so I’m taking the next 10 minutes to tell you five random things about me. Because Jana told me to.

And it’s the beginning of NaBloPoMo so YOLO and all that. Are the kids still saying YOLO? (Do I care?)

1. I’m named after my maternal grandmother and great-grandmother. The kids both have my middle name, but Joshua’s is the masculine version.

2. Once upon a time I wanted to be a voiceover actress person and voice Disney characters. This all began with The Little Mermaid and I’m still coming for you Jodi Benson.

3. My elbows are weird. Like, seriously weird. I cant lock my arms or my forearms bend at a weird angle and my arms look broken. It’s called “double jointed” but that’s dumb because it would mean I have four elbows, which I don’t.

4. I hate tomatoes. Being a southerner makes this damn near blasphemous. I think they’re beautiful when cut and arranged on a plate but come near me with a slice of one that isn’t green and fried and I’ll cry.

5. When I was 8 I wanted to be a pediatrician because I was the only kid in my 3rd grade class who could spell the word. That desire to be a doctor stuck with me until high school when it dawned on me how much I hated needles and shots.

And that’s 5 things about me. I’m not tagging people because, well, lots of people find that sort of thing annoying. I don’t want to be annoying. But I do want to hear five things about you if you want to tell me five things about you. So go and do that. (You know you want to.)

Cheers to Day One.

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I’ve been blogging in the parenting world for over 6 years now. That’s crazy to think about and even harder to believe. What started as a way for me to dump out my thoughts about pregnancy, motherhood, and postpartum depression also served as a record of Joshua’s, and later Emma’s, life.

Pictures and anecdotes spilled out onto the electronic pages of this blog not only so that I could remember them through the haze of postpartum depression and anxiety but also so that I could share them with others. Friends and family flung far and wide who wanted to see snippets of the kids came here to keep up with them. Slowly, other people started reading too. People we didn’t know personally.

What’s happened over the course of the past 6 years is that my son, the one for and about whom all of this began, hasn’t stayed a baby. Much to my dismay, time has marched on and he has grown up. We added Emma to the mix and life got more hectic and this blog took a back seat because all of the stories have suddenly become more about him than about me and my role in them.

I’ve watched as fellow bloggers have had their pictures and identities stolen and while I truly think those instances are fewer and farther between and the vast majority of us will never be targeted like that, it still gives me pause. Thinking about what Joshua and Emma’s tech-fueled futures will be like also make me wonder what the line is when it comes to what I share here.

I have hard and fast rules about what I will and won’t share here (no stories I wouldn’t tell them in the company of their friends one day, no nude-bootied pictures), but some days I wonder if those are enough. While they have s no idea what it is I do online (yet), I find I’m very careful to write his parts of their story in a way that they’ll hopefully be okay with.

I’m sure I’ve failed in some instances, and I’ll deal with that when the time comes, but for the most part, I think I’ve done okay.

Even though it’s impossible for me to know what their digital futures will look like or how a person’s online activity will factor into future equations, but it’s still something worth thinking about, you know?

(It’s part of the reason for things being so radio silent around here lately, to be honest. I’m trying to flesh out my identity outside of motherhood and figure out what it is I want to do here independent of always talking about them.)

But I’m so used to having an electronic record and there are still people with whom I want to share things, and truth be told, it’s just convenient to have everything in the palm of my hand. Pictures, records, appointment reminders and notes about said appointment all in one place? Yeah. That doesn’t sound terrible.

Now there’s an app for that.

KidsLink is the app for moms.

KidsLink is an invitation-only social network designed to allow only those you know personally to have access to the parts of your life you want to share with them. Facebook used to be that way (sort of) but their algorithm and model seems to inhibit privacy more than it protects it. (Just take the recent uptick in friend requests from Instagram for example.)

KidsLink is the anti-Facebook when it comes to privacy.

Because it’s invitation-only, you’re only being requested by or requesting people with whom you have exchanged phone numbers.  If you’re like me, while there are a lot of phone numbers in your contacts, there aren’t nearly as many as the number of friends you have on Facebook, and chances are, you really, really know the person whose phone number you have instead of just squinting at a profile photo, looking at your mutual friends, and going “Sure. Let’s be friends.”

KidsLink is also completely free. No ads, no cost to download. Just free. You can activate the app and your account with my referral code: KLMIRANDA.

Give it a shot. Download the app, start storyboards for your kids, and feel confident and comfortable with the fact that you’re protecting your privacy and your children’s by making your life more organized and secure.


I was not paid for this post. KidsLink is an app I believe in created by people I believe in and they asked me to share. I happily obliged because I like it when good people are doing good things for moms.

You can find the KidsLink app in the app store or download it here. Use the referral code KLMIRANDA to get started!


The Other Side of the Table

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Mabel’s Labels: A Must Have for Moms!

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Signing Our Life Away

September 6, 2014

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When Mom Guilt Strikes

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