Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Review. — 2013 Report Prepared By Those Lil’ Monkeys Again.

Many thanks to the stats helper monkeys who put this 2013 annual report together for MommyVerbs.

They are the best lil’ flying monkeys around. Not at all scary like in the Wizard of Oz. Because they add fireworks. I do love me some fireworks.

MommyVerbs has really begun to grow into its own this year. What started out as a little therapy on the cheap, a few fun stories and a couple of reflections, has now turned into a good friend. A place to come and be. A place to question. A place to share. MommyVerbs has a few official fans now. Beyond my Mom and my Nonnie, even.  MommyVerbs is getting a reputation, and I’ve even heard from a few folks that I didn’t know were connected to it, share that they enjoy reading it. That always makes me smile.  I hope those who like it will continue to share it with others who may enjoy it, too.

And for me,  MommyVerbs continues to make me be intentional … to be real about engaging each day with action words.

2013 also included a few MommyVerbs pieces showing up on The Huffington Post. A highlight for sure. AND MommyVerbs was also Freshly Pressed this year, a goal since this blog began in 2012. I’ve met a lot of good bloggy friends and I appreciate what they add to the conversation, how their writing challenges me, how they help me with my bloggy questions and beyond.

MommyVerbs has much in store for 2014. Maybe a few guest posts. Maybe a new format or design. Maybe even a MommyVerbs t-shirt … or two. You’ll have to stick around to see what happens.

mommyverbs tshirt1

Which is exactly why New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday. It is a new calendar. A blank page. A fresh start.

And to quote my high school graduation speech (which was really quoting “Remington Steele” and “Say Anything”:

“Just think of the possibilities. And…Get ready for greatness, Lloyd.”

Happy New Year! Welcome 2014! 

If you are interested, here is a full report of MommyVerb actions this year.  It’s kind of fun and worth the tiny effort of the click. Besides, those ‘lil monkeys worked hard on this. 

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Question. — A Prompt to the Rescue!

mommyverbs questions

I have now officially been daily-blogging for 38 days straight. 38 days. I have 3 days left to meet my self-imposed countdown to my birthday.

NaBloPoMo says that I have 10 more days.

We’ll see, NaBloPoMo , … we’ll see.

So, it is 9:50 p.m. after a long, long day AND after just reading a work-related email that just raised my blood pressure by many points and annoyed me to no end.

But, I’m not one that quits easily, so I went to the record store WordPress Reader to check in on my friends. (Name the movie reference in the comments. Random, meaningless points and my endearing movie quote adoration goes to the readers with the correct answers!)

Thankfully, PhrogMom’s Weblog was there for me, to the rescue, with a link to Suzie81’s Blog and her challenge to answer a few questions.

With the clock ticking, knowing that this deadline is looming and being so close to this finish line…

I’ll take it. Thanks to both PhrogMom’s Weblog and Suzi81’s Blog for the inspiration tonight…and saving my bloggy arse at the last minute!

1. Why have you chosen your blog name?

I have always loved action words. Verbs are my favorite. I wanted a name that would help me keep my writing focused on engaging in action words every day. I’m a Mom and knew that most or many of my stories would be about this parenting journey. So, MommyVerbs was born.

2. When you have an hour of free-time, what do you do?

I write.

3. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what would it be?

I’m completely cool with where I am right now, counting down to 41. Bring it.

4. If you could learn to do something, what would it be?

I would love to learn to play the guitar. I regret not learning to play a musical instrument. What an absolute gift it is to be able to make your own music whenever you want it. This is why I am pushing piano lessons on the kiddos…trying to convince them that they want to do this!

5. What would be the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?

Plane tickets. For four. For lots of places.

6. What is the thing that makes you absolutely unique?

I am me. First child. Type A. People pleaser. Daughter. Sister. Wife. Mother. Teacher. Writer. Entrepreneur-wanna be. Book tour ready. Oh. Not unique?

Well then, here’s something else. I have become more and more claustrophobic as I have gotten older, but I love to have really heavy blankets on me at night. I feel like I sleep better if the blankets are ‘pushing me down’ at night. I think it is also a subconscious way to decompress and wind down after multi-tasky spinning all day long.

7. What is your favorite blog?

I don’t know that I have a favorite favorite….but I am thankful to many new blogger friends here in WordPressland: Rarasaur, Jenn’s Midlife Crisis, BonneVivanteLife, Lead Our Lives, who have made me feel so at home ever since I arrived. And I love and admire the work of Finding Joy and Momastery and I Want A Dumpster Baby and so many others…I could go on and on…and on.

So there it is. #38. In the books. A few questions answered.

It’s late. Call it done. As it is. Done.

Let’s all, Go. Do that.


Press. — That Almost Wasn’t. Now On To the Next Thing.

Soon after I first started blogging in the WordPress community, I remember stumbling upon the Freshly Pressed page.

I think back on it now like it was the mystery glowing gold suitcase in Pulp Fiction. I still remember the “oooohhhhh”s and “aaaahhhhs”s I mumbled as I marveled at how these amazing authors were selected to be highlighted on this page.

I was in awe. I loved their words. And I loved the look of their little blue circle W badges on their pages. So pretty.

I even wrote about wanting to be freshly pressed here, here and here. And Ok. Yes. Even here.

But it wasn’t happening. I wasn’t getting ‘discovered’. I wasn’t getting anyone’s attention.

And over the next few months, I began to fully realize and recognize just how…H.U.G.E. the WordPress community actually is.

It is B.I.G.

And with B.I.G., come complicated logistics, making it hard to find my lil’ ol’ blog.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I heard from a precious blogger friend of mine that she was having some struggles because of some unpleasant followers of her bloggy goodness.

So, I began to question whether or not it was worth it. To be Pressed or not to be pressed?

Maybe it was just too much trouble.

Maybe there is something to be said for growing readership organically. Not too fast. But one, by one. Making connections and friendships along the way.

Maybe I should just focus on what I can handle. In my crazy, need to take a pause, tired working Momma kind of life, I should just focus on what I can handle.

Maybe I should focus on  my blog as it is meant to be.

But then.


I got this beautiful email from WordPress Editors when I checked my phone like I do upon waking at 4:30 a.m.

From the lovely Michelle, telling me “Congratulations!”

And then


It was all different.

I remembered why I wanted to be freshly pressed after all.

I immediately felt butterflies in my stomach and resisted the urge to wake up the best friend/partner/hubby so early to share the news.

I ran through the internet to get to the post to make sure that there were no typos, no silly errors.

And then


I smiled.

I. Am. Freshly. Pressed.

I have a little blue Circle W. of my very own on my sidebar.

And I have so enjoyed the little diddleding that my phone has made over and over and over today as I meet new bloggy friends and respond to new bloggy messages.

It is every bit as mysterious glowy gold as I thought it would be.

I. Am. Freshly. Pressed.


Now. As I have been saying all day long, ” On to the next thing.”

Let’s all, Go. Do that!


Thanks WordPress. This is a super fun ride. I’m not getting off anytime soon.


Sock. — Saturated in Mismatched Colors.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturatedsocks

A bunch of new socks

together for the last time

in the girl’s drawer. 

Click here to learn more about our mis-matched sock MommyVerb Adventures. 


Fall. — Color it in…One Piece at a Time

I’ve always wanted to be an artist. I would love to be able to have the talent to pick up a pen and draw what I see or what I imagine. It would make my life so much easier because I have so many stories. Stories that are just waiting for an illustrator.

But I’ve never been an artist. At least not in the traditional sense.

Give me a pen. A journal. Some paint. A canvas. Some material. A sewing machine. Some magazines and scissors.

Then give me some TIME.

And then see what I can make happen.


In college, I was given an assignment. To this day, it is one of my all-time favorite projects.

The goal was to learn about color.

Not just learn about color, but really get inside color. Create color. Play with color. Make your own color.

I started with one of my favorite photographs.

fall photo picmonkey

A tree in New York City. In Central Park. In front of the Dakota Building. Where John Lennon once lived.

Then, I had to create a collage. One piece at a time. Cut out pictures and colors from magazines to re-create this image.

three fall pictures picmonkey

In a new way. Create a new image. Full of color. One tiny piece at a time.

Try it a few different ways. See what works and what doesn’t.

fall collage picmonkey

Then, I had to use only six acrylic paint colors to recreate this image.

Red. Yellow. Blue. Green. White. Black.

To mix. And try. And try again. And start over. And mix again.

To make every other color in life.

And then paint it. Recreate the same image in a brand new way.

Recreate it to see what you get.

fall painting picmonkey

It might just be my own personal masterpiece. Maybe no one else sees it.

But, I framed it and hung it on my wall along with the original photograph and the collage I created.

Because the process of getting there, was just as important to me as the final product.

It is and always has been a tribute to my favorite season.


Fall is a turning.

Fall is an opportunity.

Fall is another trip around this side of the Sun.

Fall is the colors.

Fall is golds and yellows and faded greens. Fall is oranges and maroons.

Fall is cool evenings and the possibility of campfires on the weekends.

Fall is sleeping with the windows open.

Fall is hearing the echo of the High School football game announcements of tackles and touchdowns, as I sit on the back porch with a glass of Cabernet.

Fall is the return of my favorite sweatshirts and jeans.

Fall is the chance to try again.

Fall is trying something new.

Fall is preparing.

Fall is practicing.

And fall never expects perfection.

It just wants you to really get in there…and play with its color.

Let’s All, Go. Do that.


Marry. — The Mantra Still Works…14 Years Later

The night before Felix and I were to be married, there was a task that needed to be done.  A task neither one of us wanted to do. In retrospect, 14 years later, it was SO not a big deal. But at the end of a few very long days that included running away from a hurricane and all of the preparations that go into a wedding and ceremony where we did most of the planning and preparation ourselves…the task seemed monumental and overwhelming.

I begged Felix to take care of it for me. He clearly didn’t want to and had his own valid reasons. Exasperated, I finally looked at him and said, ….

“Be nice and do what I say.”

I can’t remember if we laughed about it then,  because I’m sure it felt a little like an argument at the time.  But over the years, it has become the motto of our marriage. A mantra of sorts. A phrase that shows up to end silly arguments and discussions to this day.

Be nice and do what I say. 

Now that I reflect back on our vows, I wish we had just said these words:  “I love you. Be nice and do what I say. You may now kiss the bride.”  It would certainly have been surprising to all of the wedding guests that got all dressed up and brought presents for the big day.  But I think they might have all appreciated the short ceremony, so they could get right to the real party and celebrations… and … dancing!

I love you. Be nice and do what I say.”  Simple, yet powerful. “Be nice” … act in such a way that will make the other person feel good. Another way of saying this: Just don’t be mean.  Be intentionally… nice. Think before you speak. Know how something will impact your loved one. “Do what I say“ each other. Listen to requests. Do the things that the one you love hates to do. Try to make the other person happy.

These are not hard concepts.

And may be the secret to a long, happy marriage.

On the eve of our 14th wedding anniversary, I’d like to say…

To my best friend/partner/hubby, aka Fix-it Felix:

I love the way you appreciate a warmed bed and a warmed towel.

I love your waking up noises in the mornings.

I love that you pack healthy lunches and snacks for the kiddos and make yummy dinners for us all.

I love your entrepreneurial ways.

I love that we are equal partners in the Family Chore Wars.

I love that you do try to fix things…most of the time.

I love the way you love me. 

I love the way you love us. 

I love the way you love ours. 

Happy 14th Anniversary, Babe.

Now, Go. Be nice and do what I say.



Feel. — Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea


The sea brings magic.

I feel better when the tide

meets my toes and soul.


Free. — A Carefree Haiku and Weekly Photo Challenge


An impromptu trip.

Hurricane-like rains slow down. 

Then the sky cleared up. 

For a few minutes,

Free of trouble and worry

and care on the Isle. 


How will find a few minutes to be carefree today?

Let’s All, Go. Do that.



Search. — What do Holly Hunter, Violet Beauregarde and Ferris Bueller have in common?

Lately, I have been pondering about this blogging thing. Again.

Why do I do it? Why do I get up so early to get it done? Why do I keep notes all the time about it?

What is this obsession I have with verbs? Do I annoy people with my action word addiction?

What do I want to do with this? Can it be that book I always talk about?

Will I ever get ‘Freshly Pressed’? (Come on, now. It’s not dirty…it’s a WordPress thing!)

Who is…MommyVerbs? What does it all mean?

Who reads MommyVerbs (other than my Mom and Felix)?

And after a little while of pondering these big philosophical questions, I get all dramatic and overwhelmed and Scarlet  O’Hara-ish and decide to explore those answers … another day.

In the process of ‘moving on’ this morning, I did jump over to my WordPress Stats page and Search Terms for the answers to these questions…

What is the MommyVerbs reader searching for?

Well, apparently, some of you are like me and you enjoy the classic movies: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Broadcast News and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Because the top three search terms that brings folks over to MommyVerbs are references to Violet Beauregarde, Holly Hunter crying and the Bueller, Bueller scene.

I just feel so bad for these random people who end up on this blog about my family and my working motherhood angst and my wonderings because I am sure that they do not find what they went looking for.

violet beauregarde     broadcastnews    ferris-bueller-2

When they search for Violet Beauregarde, they end up landing on a blog about how my family gave up sugar.

Whey they search for Bueller, Bueller, they land on a post about showing up, really attending to life.

And when they search for Holly Hunter’s crying scene, they find themselves in the middle of a bit of a pity party where I describe my urge to cry as a way of avoiding therapy.

Those poor people, randomly Googling and Binging and Yahooing, looking for their favorite movie lines and they land on a Mommy Blog that tells them that they need to Eat less sugar, Show up more and… it is ok to cry.

Well, maybe those aren’t bad things for these random seekers to learn from MommyVerbs.

Actually maybe they are better off to have not found what they were searching for in the first place. Who knows…maybe MommyVerbs had an unintended good influence on the random internet searcher.

Which may be the answer to my “Why Do I Do This” question in the first place.

Don’t you just love how life does that sometimes. Gives us the answers to our questions…when we stop searching for them?


Those are just the top three search terms, but here are some of my other favorites that bring folks to MommyVerbs and how I make myself feel better about what they find here:

Compliments for Mom. Seriously, people are googling nice things to say to their Mom? And what in the world did they find on MommyVerbs that tell them what to say to their Mommas? I hope they found some good ideas, but if not, just tell your Momma that you love her. And that you are so glad she is your Mom. And give her a hug. She’ll appreciate that.

Glean in a sentence. I think ‘glean’ is one of those forgotten words. And it is such a great word. Glean needs to make a comeback in conversation. Here’s a challenge for us all today…use glean in a sentence. And in no reference to turnip pulling either. (also a popular search term!)

My Thumb Hurts. This is my version of a public service announcement for take good care of your opposable thumbs. It is what separates us from the primates. You will miss them when they don’t work. Or pop and crack like mine do. So, maybe get a notebook and pen sometimes instead of doing any major writing on your tiny iPhone.

Grape Hubba Bubba Bubble GumFirst, that is just fun to say. Next, this is one of those life lessons we all need to learn: Don’t lie to your Momma because she can smell nonsense from across the room. Seriously, she can. All Mommas can. And it is good for all Mommas to set boundaries and say No more sometimes, too.

How to Celebrate my 40th Birthday. There are lots of searches for folks looking how to mark this milestone. Early MommyVerbs readers lived through this saga in real time with me. And I thank you for hanging with me as I went counted down the days. It was fun. Birthdays should be fun.  And for those of you who are looking forward to a milestone birthday sometime soon…I really do have the book coming out on this one.  Possibly for purchase on Amazon soon. Let me know if you would like the advanced copy.

Then, here are some other good search terms that make me giggle…

Lessons Learned Tattoo

Keep Calm I’m Not Talking

Risky Business Bust (another great movie)

Prayers for April Fool’s Day

How to Say Shushing Hair

Is Pretend to Think Correct

Words to Describe a Sock Monkey

Thank you for coming to kid birthday party

Happy Calendar Day (this makes me happy!)

Honest Decluttering (that is so awesome and should totally be a book)

Ironman Cakes and Superhero Ties (well, you will find superhero stuff here, but I’m not baker or tie-maker!)

Drape Curtain Stand (poor thing was really disappointed when they landed on this blog, talk about being lost!)

What are you searching for today?

Go to MommyVerbs facebook page and Like it and name your search terms for the day!


Change. — What If Something is Different?! Gasp!

first birthday candle

Happy First Birthday, MommyVerbs!

One year ago, I started on a journey. I decided that I would tell a few stories. Spend a few minutes writing about my new found focus on action words and verbs. I jumped into WordPress and figured things out as I went.  I asked for help and learned about widgets and sidebars and SEOs and tagging.

I didn’t know where this year would take us. Over the past year, this blog has become something that I am quite proud of. I have watched it grow up. We have played together. We have been through serious times. We have talked about dreams and made plans. And over the past year, we have become pretty close.

So, it only seemed fitting that on MommyVerb’s first birthday, I would get it a present.

Yes, to celebrate, it was time to get it a new look. Update the theme and make it a little fancier as we begin Year Two together.

But as you can see here, I haven’t been able to do this.

I’m scared.

I want to make a change. I have spent a lot … a LOT … of time looking at themes, picking out fonts and colors. A theme where you can see lots of verbs at once. Words and pictures. Stories and images.

But I can’t. I’m scared.

I’m scared that something will go wrong. Scared that I will lose everything that we have worked so hard to create.

What if I don’t like it?  What if my stats page goes quiet?

What if I can’t get the widgets to work the way they have been? What if my media library is emptied?

What if it is … gasp…different?

But isn’t that what change is about?

Decide.  Believe. Trust. Leap.

Once again,  a great collection of wonderful action words.

Which is what MommyVerbs is all about after all.


Be on the lookout for a new MommyVerbs look…


if I’m ever brave enough to make … this kind of a change.

Happy Birthday, MommyVerbs. Thanks for the inspiration to Eat Well. Play More. Choose Happy. 


What about you? How do you find the courage to make a change?


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