Archives for December 2009

Happy New Year from Modern Media Mom

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2009 marked Modern Media Mom’s first complete year and it proved to be a success, thanks to you, dear Readers!

Thank you to everyone who sends me feedback and suggestions. Please keep them coming so that I can make this site as helpful as possible for you.

Here’s to a wonderful 2010!

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What 2009 taught me

nothing is certain… we all know that. i’ve had to relearn that lesson many times and this year it seemed to be a monthly lesson; the ‘Groundhog Day’ version of my life.

i don’t want it to be for nothing, so i’m making this list to help me pretend i’ve got this all figured out.

what i’ve learned in 2009:

• family will always have my back.
• finding a job of ANY kind is a full-time job and the pay sucks.
• love doesn’t see age
• my kids love me regardless of my status
• things that seem as though they’d be simple never are
• i will never be someone who has things fall into her lap
• priorities are easy to figure out but harder to implement
• true friends can be found online and may never get to meet in person
• there is more to life than attention
• life is sweeter when shared
• i am stronger than i was 12 months ago
but,
• i’m still prone to pouting
• being called ‘over-qualified’ doesn’t make getting passed over for a job any easier to swallow
• living out of boxes and maintaining your sanity takes dedication
• being 38 and living with your parents to be able to make a better life for yourself and your children is humbling
• some people really do make an impact on everyone they meet
• there really are people who care about me

Here’s to 2010 being a good one…

Amazon Associates now integrated with Blogger

As of today, if your blog is hosted on Blogger.com,  you can easily add affiliate links to all of your posts.

With this integration, you will be able to link relevant text to products sold on Amazon directly within Blogger, while crafting your posts. No need to open a separate tab to hunt around for products.

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To add links to your site:

1) Open an Amazon Associates and Blogger account, if you don’t already have one. If you already have a Blogger account but not an Associates account, you can create your Associates account directly within Blogger (so create your Blogger account first)

2) You will need to create a gadget associated with your account. Blogger provides simple steps for doing so.

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(click images for more detail)

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2) Once the gadget is created, your post area will now look like this:

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Write your post as you normally would, including any text regarding a product.

3) Highlight the relevant text and the Product Finder will recommend the ones most closely associated with the text.

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4) Choose to either insert the product link or an image of the product. The link will automatically include your Associate number.

Amazon wants to hear what you think about this, so they’ve created a hashtag (#AMZN4BLGR) to use on Twitter. Or you may contact them via the contact form.

Revisiting Cozi.com

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Earlier in the year I wrote about Cozi and gushed about how fabulous I though the site was for creating lists. I’ve long been a fan of their clean, simple design and layout, their useful and relevant ideas and “how-did-I-live-without-that” tips.

Amazingly, the site just keeps getting better. They have added more content, including an online magazine (Live Simply) and menu planning (Nourish), but have still managed to do so in a way that is easy to navigate.

Two other new features:

Still not convinced if you should try it?

From the site:

Wish you had some help organizing your busy family life? Cozi is a FREE online family organizer that helps you manage the family calendar, organize your shopping list and to do list, share favorite memories in a family journal, and enjoy family photos—all in one spot. With Cozi’s mobile access, your information is not only available from any computer with an Internet connection, but also from any mobile phone. All you need to get started is a Cozi account and signing up is quick and easy with no downloads required.

Using Cozi has really helped me stay organized and keep track of my children’s busy schedules. Having it all in one place, without the mess of scratch paper, crumpled notes shoved in my purse has saved my sanity many times.

Let me know if you’ve used Cozi and how it’s changed how you organize your time and family.

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Christmas, where are you?

 (originally published December 21, 2007)

I’m usually very transparent on my blog. I figure, if I can’t tell it to a group of strangers who I probably won’t know this side of Heaven, who can I tell? It is harder, now that I know some of you and have established friendships with many of you.

That’s my round-about way of saying that I’ve gotten a little more opaque lately and good at keeping things more fluffy.

Not today. Today, I am hurting and trying to work through some things. I know that as I write this, I will keep wrestling with myself, telling myself to just delete it, once I write it and get it off my chest. But I wonder if others can relate?? So, I’m rushing through it, misspellings, poor sentence structure and all… before I can change my mind.

The best way to explain, is to sum up how my morning went:

Abbie was allowed to not wear her standard school attire to school today because she has had no violations in her dress this year. The note home said “jeans and/or a holiday shirt”. Abbie had no holiday shirt. She was upset, but she worked hard to get over it. I was frustrated because I would have loved for her to have a holiday shirt. But, even a cheap one wasn’t in the budget. I raced her to school. She got out of the car and ran towards the school.

Suddenly, she went down. And landed in thick gooey mud… I got her to the door and then raced home to get her clean clothes.

In the meantime, her teacher called and said that Abbie was crying and embarrassed. My poor, sweet, forlorn girl.

And I barely had enough gas in my car to drive back over.

I started crying because of the frustration of the gas, the no-holiday-shirt, the mud and the child trying to be okay with it all.

But I wasn’t okay with it.

Why? Because this Christmas we’ve struggled with getting presents, let alone extras. We’ve got medical bills that have to be paid and we are still trying to take care of bills that went to collections when we lived in Maryland. We’ve been poor stewards of our money in the past. We’ve been trying to catch up from our year of constant errors and times are especially lean. When we do have extra, it’s like a gorging feast that gives you indigestion when it’s all over. It’s not frivolously spent – but in the lean times, our list of things we need when we have extra money grows longer and longer.

So I’ve cried this morning. I’ve cried for my daughter who is so sweet and tender and wants to be wearing a cheery Christmas shirt at school today, but isn’t. I’ve cried over the fact that were it not for other family members thinking of us and sending gifts, the tree skirt would be showing all of its un-hemmed glory. I’ve cried over the simple frustration of day-to-day life.

And then I remember Jesus.

And I remember His words.

And I remember what He gave me and what He did for me.

And I remember that Mary and Joseph and the shepherds didn’t have festive holiday attire at that first Christmas.

Rather, they were in a smelly, cold stable. And it was still the most perfect Christmas in the history of the world. No festive lights (other than that shining star), no shiny bows and trimmings, no Ho Ho Hos… 

The Gift that was laid in that manager so long ago is still my gift. It is far better than anything that could be under our tree or that my daughter could be wearing to school. Because of Him, I am redeemed and justified. And no one can snatch me from His hand.

Not bill collectors.

Not grumpy holiday shoppers.

Not advertisers that tempt me with all of the things they say will make my holiday perfect.

I am beginning to remember the real reason for this Holy day. The reason my home is decorated and presents are wrapped.

And I’m praying my heart will be filled with His peace and love.

And I pray the same for each of you.

Merry Christmas, friends!

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

~ Luke 2:8-14 (the Message)