9/11 – Reflections

It’s once again Tuesday, September 11. 11 years have gone by and I STILL have a clear picture of what happened that day.

A few weeks ago, I spent part of a Sunday afternoon with my pal Danielle and her beautiful family. They were coming in from Connecticut into the city and wanted me to join them. One of our stops was the 9/11 Memorial.

Ever since it opened, I had not thought about going there. In fact, I wondered if it would become yet another tourist trap like all of the other places in NYC. And so, I avoided it. I didn’t need to see it (so I thought) because I was here that day. I walked home on 9/11. I thought my mother died on 9/11. And I wept on 9/11 when I finally arrived home that night and watched video of that horrible day.

Yet, when my pal invited me, I went. Having support really does make a difference.  Here I am reflecting. Danielle (Elwood) took this picture of me looking out over the pool. It was so quiet and peaceful. As if nothing had truly happened.

But, it did. We then went to the gift shop, which also had items of that tragic day.  And that’s when I fell apart. I saw a powder covered fireman’s helmet and burst into tears. I instantly remembered my mom’s powdered sneakers (which were black originally) and thought about that Tuesday, 11 years ago.

I thought that I was okay, but I realized that for me 9/11 will NEVER be okay. It’ll be a part of me always.

9/11 Memorial in NYC

Reflecting over the reflecting pool. (Danielle Elwood)

In loving memory of all those who lost their lives that day, those first responders who’ve lost their lives since then and for the rest of us left behind. “We will never forget” 9/11/01

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Glam Me: Long Island Edition

Mommy’s Links is back with the fourth installment of Glam Me this time in Long Island and the last one of 2012. With a variety of vendors and sponsors,  Mommy’s Links provides YOU with the pampering and fun you deserve.

This time around Mommy’s Links makes it easy and affordable to get your glam on while sticking to your budget. Check out the details below and get your Glam Me ticket today! See you there!

Saturday, September 22, 2012
6pm-10pm

Long Island Children’s Museum
11 Davis Avenue, Garden City, NY 11530

Directions

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My #BlogHer12

This year’s BlogHer was my first ever. I had only been to one smaller blogging conference before, so I was really looking forward to seeing what BlogHer was all about.

It literally blew my mind. I’ve lived in the city that never sleeps my whole life, but the Hilton Hotel was like NYC on New Year’s Day at midnight. Madness surrounded me with attendees, sponsors and helpers all around. It took me awhile to blend in with the crush of people.

But, when I did, I had a blast. I went to breakfast and then a session. The rest of my day (I only went on Saturday) was spent running around the hotel meeting with various sponsors. I also connected with many of my twitter pals in real life and realized why I loved them so much. So, thank you BlogHer for such a great experience. Until next year!
Special shout out to my twitter pals who rocked and made me feel so welcome. You know who you are. 🙂

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Why I should win a free year in Freelance Writer’s Den?

Note: This contest is now over. Thanks for all of your support!

Because I’m a damn good writer who needs lots of support, that’s why. I’ve been writing for a years and have a few print and online clips under my belt. But my ultimate goal (has been for the last five years) is to break into magazines. I’ve been struggling with this goal while having achieved others along the way – grad school, becoming a licensed bilingual therapist and being a blogger in my own right. But, breaking into a nice glossy, shiny magazine is the one writing goal that hasn’t happened yet. My hope is that a year in the Freelance Writer’s Den will get me there. So what’s my problem?

My struggle isn’t having the money in my budget to join the den. It isn’t putting words together that make an impact. My struggle is simply that I need more cheerleaders and accountability partners to keep reminding me that I need to get out of my own head and get my head in the game. I can write, but I’m afraid of succeeding.

I go through this with anything new I try. I get anxious, then need support (sometimes a lot of it) then get comfortable and confident. It’s my pattern of behavior. I’m confident as a mom, therapist and blogger. I want to be just as confident as a freelance writer – seeing my name in print magazines that I can show to my dad and my son who are my two biggest cheerleaders.

So please, if you think I deserve a free year in Freelance Writer’s Den, share my post via Twitter, Facebook, Linked In (anywhere else you can think of is great, too thanks!). Then check out this contest courtesy of Carol Tice & Linda Formichelli. Thanks friends.

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Featured on MamaDramaNY

Well, don’t I feel special? I sure do after being featured on MamaDramaNY. Yesterday, MamaDramaNY had ME (can’t believe it – thanks for the honor) as a featured network member. I was so excited when I received  the invitation, so please check me out! 🙂
Thanks MamaDramaNY.

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New Job: First Month Report

Well, it has been a whole month since I started my new job. I’m a child & family therapist with a small non-profit in my hometown.
It has been quite a learning curve since I was out of the workforce for four months. Yes, only four months. It was the first time since age 19 that I’d not worked at all. I went back to work when kiddo was six weeks old. (Another post on that some other time.)
So after four months of being home, bummed out because I felt so rejected (even spent 2 weeks so depressed my social work bff was so worried about me) and feeling like I wanted to quit the field entirely – a job came my way.
And I’ve been working it.
The hours feel long, but I’m slowly adjusting to it. I’m getting used to having a work routine (though I think it’ll take longer because I’ve not worked this schedule before) and because I’m putting pressure on myself. I know this will get easier with time (have to repeat this to myself everyday; several times a day in fact).
In the meantime, early bedtimes and lots of coffee will keep me going. Lol Wonder what next month will bring?
PS – thanks to all of my pals online and off that supported and carried me through this challenging time. Couldn’t have done it without you! Love you! 🙂

Proud Mommy Moments

Just had to share that my son ROCKS! This year has been full of challenges, but also many amazing moments. As mother to a child with ADHD and a smartypants to boot, I’ve been challenged to step up and be a better mom. And while I’ve felt like the world’s worst mom sometimes, my son shows me how amazing he is and how truly blessed I am just to be his mom.

For the first time he received second honors in school with a 90 average.  He earned a ribbon also for “Most Improvement.” See how proud he is? I’m so very proud of him.

Even more awesome is his generous heart. Last Thursday, he won his class spelling bee and won two tickets to tonight’s Yankee game. And what did he do with them? He took his father to the game for a Father’s Day gift. And no, I’m not jealous that he didn’t take me. It’d be nice to go to a game with him someday, but I’m happy with knowing my son is a sweet, persevering kid who just doesn’t quit.

Mommy loves you kiddo!

Tribute to Mi Papi

This is weird for me, but it’s the first time I’ve thought to do a tribute to my father. Now before calling me a horrible daughter, let me share about this father-daughter relationship.
My father and I weren’t very close during my childhood. He worked many hours as a truck driver and only came home to have dinner and then sleep. We (my younger brother and I) tip-toed around the apartment to avoid getting into trouble (from both parents) for disturbing him. Summers were great because we took family trips to Lake Welch (NYS) and had a great time. Or we’d plop on the living room floor to have a crab picnic.
I spent even less time with him as a teen. With my parents arguing often, avoidance was my defense mechanism. My father left during my freshman year at college. Really, there was no relationship.
And there wasn’t one until after I had my son AND my mom died. Something happened inside of him when she passed away. A nurturing instinct kicked in. He began calling me, looking for me, coming to visit. WTF? I’d forgiven Papi years before and made peace with the fact that this was the father I’d been given. I didn’t expect him to change. He told me, “I need to watch over you because you’re the only girl and your mother’s not here.” At first, it was weird. I didn’t know how to react. It took me awhile to start calling him and visiting him more. I didn’t know how to feel. For years I didn’t even know HOW I felt about Papi. He had surgery for blood clots in his left leg six years ago. When I saw him unconscious in the hospital bed, I realized that I loved him.
And I do. Now that I’ve been single for over 2 years, he’s even more of a presence in my life and my son’s life. Over the nearly 10 years since Mami’s been gone, he’s slowly wiggled his way in my heart and redeemed himself for my youth. The fact that I had already forgiven him was what helped me see that I do love him SO very much and am blessed to have him in my life. So happy Father’s Day, Papi. This ones for you. From your negrita. 🙂

Glam Me: Bronx Edition Success!

Hiya readers! I just had to come back to share my thoughts on Glam Me: Bronx Edition presented by Mommy’s Links and Zumba Mamas.

Glam Me was AH-FREAKIN-mazing! And I’m not saying it just because I attended. As Mommy’s Links Mombassador, I had a great view of all the glammed up action.

With over 25 vendors and sponsors represented, it was no wonder that so many women came out to get their glam on! One of our divas made a stop at the make-up table and look at her after:

This diva’s cookin’ with her good-lookin’ self!

She and so many ladies came out to glam up, do Zumba and have fun. And being a part of Glam Me is so much fun that it doesn’t feel like work for me. The best part? We’re doing it all over again on July 7, 2012 at the Long Island Children’s Museum! Check Mommy’s Links for details & tickets. See you there!

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Memorial Day Reflections

As I sit here sipping my coffee, I’m thinking of all of my plans this weekend. Appointments, family events, barbecues. So much running around to do. I also think of the men and women of the armed forces.

Countless, faceless people who have served our country over the years that I’ve never met, but still pray for. My family has been lucky. We’ve had several members (and still do) serve in three branches – Army, Navy and Marines. And thankfully, the ones who’ve served in the past are home. I still have family serving in different places around the world. And they’re okay too.

As a life-long New Yorker, I’ve known for the last 11 years the impact of September 11th. I’ve noticed changes in the city – the servicemen and women located in strategic places in the city or the police officers with their gas mask gear. Or the landscape of this city and how new buildings are slowly being built. But, one thing I don’t forget is the service and sacrifice made by American families. I pray for peace in the world so that soldiers and their families don’t have to suffer. And I am thankful.

So thank you to all of you serving right now, those of you home with your families and those angels who have given the ultimate sacrifice. This Memorial Day, I remember you and am grateful.