Saturday, November 20, 2010

Shutterfly Plug

This blog post is brought you by Shutterfly - perhaps the most awesome photo related site on the web. We use Shutterfly to host all of Parker's pictures. We created a password protected cite so that our family - namely her Grandparents - can order whatever they want from the shots we took.

That was really the first reason we started with them. Then we realized all the cool stuff you can do. Their photo cards are SUPER-EASY to make and edit. We've used them for birth announcements and holiday cards. We ordered some big collage prints in Parker's early days to capture just how much she was changing, and now all the Grandparents get a Parker themed calendar for Christmas (sorry future cousins - we call dibs).

In a word, or really several - they are great. And best of all, they are running a promotion where if you write a blog about your Shuttefly uses, you get free stuff. Check out the links below and be sure to visit their website.

Christmas cards to

· holiday cards to

· Christmas photo cards to

· photo albums to

· photo mugs to

· birthday party cards to

· Choose your own card/invitation and URL from our Cards & Stationerypage

Monday, November 15, 2010

Am I Shameless


This is my first blog post in months, and it is mostly solely to earn free Christmas Cards. Thank you corporate America for killing my soul. - Click here to learn how you too can get free Shutterfly Cards.

Note - I do really love Shutterfly. We use them for everything.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Where was I?

Wed. 2/10 - Barn burner; pep band ensured win.

Thurs. 2/11 - More basketball; more tired; less pep.

Fri. 2/12 - Real teachers just do it, duh.

Sat. 2/13 - Parker loves her grandparents; I nap.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday 2/9

Snow Day, but not for Suellen.


Note - If I could some how make a smilely that looked like it was saying "Ha Ha", I would post that as well.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday 2/8 in six words

Brer Rabbit would beat Beowulf, barely.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

New attempt at blogging begins again?!?

So the other day, I read this article on about a book of 6-word autobiographies. I haven't read the book, but some of the excerpted ones were pretty cool, and since seeing the story, I've been trying to mentally sum up each day in six words. Here are my entries for this weekend.

Sat 2/6 - Saw many houses; please buy ours.

Sun 2/7 - Sitting on couch until big game.

Pretty exciting life huh? Not really.

Regardless, I think it's a cool writing exercise to try.

And...if you care about:

a. writing
b. me
c. all of the above

then you might be interested in a writing workshop I'm giving Tuesday night, February 16 at 7:00 at University High School (116th St between Michigan and Towne Rd). It's part of our faculty speakers series.

How's that for a shameless plug?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Untitled Rough Draft #1

It is 6:15, and I can already hear it. Grandpa’s bird song is a hard-to-miss melody of airy whistles, something that barely resembles a chirping noise, and the word ‘hey’, all compounded by the fact that he calls both of his parakeet’s JJ and consistently feels the need to personalize his morning tribute. It is summer. We are at my grandparent’s. There is no need for an alarm clock.

Enough sunlight filtering in through the yellowed curtains that I can see my way around the double bed where my mother still sleeps, past my brother’s cot and out onto the landing. In the winter, this is the only heated room on the second floor of a drafty farmhouse, but for now the breeze through the dormer window suffices for temperature control.

I pull the door shut quietly and tiptoe down the stairs as the song ends. Grandpa doesn’t see me as he shuffles out to the kitchen to finish his breakfast of Wheaties and prunes before strapping his feet into work boots and heading out to the shop and the long day ahead. I don’t notice it yet, but the signs of age are already tattooing themselves in his bones. The dark spots on his arms. The grunt as he lifts his leg to tie his boot. The imperceptible quiver of his hand as he raises the spoon.

But I am young now and think of him only as big and strong, a figure more than a person. One who rises early, leaves for the fields, comes back only to eat and maybe watch a little professional wrestling on TV before going to bed.

Grandma is much more real. A softer and quieter being. A practiced listener. She turns from the sink as I enter the kitchen and says ‘mornin’ while wiping her hands on the soft blue cotton of her housecoat. She offers to make me eggs, a rare morning treat given the terse quickness of suburban adolescence. I ask for two, but not ‘soaky’, as she calls them. At this point I’m still a food compartmentalist, someone who believes in the strict separation of toast and yolk. She pulls the fry pan out from the drawer beneath the stove and crosses the worn brown carpet to the refrigerator without another word.

The kitchen is bright with sunlight now. It is warm. Grandpa leaves the back door when he goes. I cross back past the birdcages into the living room and dial the antenna to pick up cartoons on the console television. I am happy now. Content. I don’t know that in another tens years he will slowly lose his body and mind to palsy. That in fifteen she will barely be able to walk across the rented trailer we move them into. That the January before I turn thirty, I will drive to visit them lying under a blanket of snow and break the ice off their headstone with bare hands as my own daughter sleeps in the car, never having met either of them before they died.

Instead, I think only of the smell of bacon frying and the sounds of the birds preening themselves, of the static on the television screen and the day ahead. Later that afternoon, my cousin will come over and we will kick stones along for a quarter-mile up the road to the main farm, only turning around to taunt my brother as he stands at the edge of the yard, telling him he can't come with, we are walking all the way to California.