Do you hear the Bell?

©2014 Dancinmoma

©2014 Dancinmoma

The sweet, clinking sounds of music notes to your ear…

“Ting, ting, ting” or maybe it’s more like a “CLAAANG, CLAAANG, CLAAANG!”

No matter how the “bell” sounds to you… It’s time to RING in the New Year. Okay. So it’s January 10th. The “new year” has already been “rung” in. True.  But ever since my daughter pulled out Great Gram’s bell on New Year’s Eve, I’ve been thinking about the significance of BELLS throughout my lifetime. So yes, we did. We literally RANG in 2014!! (Insert applause, bell ringing, cheers and an enthusiastic Woooooooo”)

Now the work for “2014 Pam” starts. Every year there is a theme for “New Year Pam.” This year it is about moving forward, one step at a time. Yes, we may step back at times, but as long as we keep moving. We are dancing!

Dancing with “bells on our toes” to this thing called “Life.”

Back to “BELLS.” Have you ever noticed that the actual sound of a “bell” ignites a physical reaction?  Sometimes bells ring to start something, while others ring to end something. That moment when the sound waves hit your eardrums, your brain tells you to MOVE. Do something.

DING. DING. DING. Round One. You can feel the adrenaline as you “fight” to get it right so you aren’t knocked out.

BRRRRING. The School Bell. (A timer of sorts)  Class has ended. Pack up your books and move to the next one. You have 5 minutes between class. Move it! Pretty soon it will ring again for the next class. (Note: I realize some schools have more of an electronic beep sound these days, but let’s keep it to the “old school…school bell”)

Ding, Ding. Ting. Ting. DOOOOOONG. Doooooong. The Grandfather Clock. I’ll never forget the sound of my parents old clock. It would ring on the hour the amount of hours it was. As a child, we always looked forward to the 12 o’clock hour. Why? 12 Bell Dings!

LIBERTY BELL – “the iconic symbol of America’s Independence” I am most certain that sound was incredible to hear. Isn’t that why we always say…. “Let Freedom RING!”

CHURCH BELLS/WEDDING BELLS. Musical notes and chimes permeate the air with celebratory sounds.

Other bells to ponder:

1.    The much anticipated BELL to ring at the end of a cancer patients final Chemotherapy.

2.    Bar bells (the clanging of a much appreciated tip) or the completion of a drink special.

3.    The goal oriented BELL at the top of a rock wall.

4.    The ting, ting text message ring from your teenager… saying “I LOVE YOU, MOM”

5.    The sailor-like celebratory clicks of your heels (referred as bells in the dance world)

6.    The sweet little bell that rings on your Christmas Tree that reminds you of the line from It’s a Wonderful Life. “Every time a bell rings… an ANGEL gets its wings.”

BELLS are all around us.

To start something. To end something. To send a message. To celebrate. To call us to action.

They are ringing right now. Can you HEAR them?

15 Definitions from a “DancinMoma.” Are YOU one too?

Are YOU a "DancinMoma?"

Are YOU a “DancinMoma?”

Are you a “DancinMoma?” No, not a trained dancer, but a parent on the move with a child (or two or three) in tow. If you are a “DancinMoma”, or know one who is, you should also know that there is a certain grace these individuals possess and masterful techniques they use to weave through a typical day.

Here are a few “DancinMoma Definitions” to ponder; have YOU experienced any of these?

The Pointless Pivot

Walking into a room with purpose.

Forgetting why you came there.

Pivoting the opposite way.

Remembering why you were heading there in the first place.

Pivoting again.

The Drop, Duck and Roll

The maneuver executed while walking through the living room covered only by a small, post-shower towel and hearing a loud knock on the front door from a delivery person!!

Maneuver is normally followed by a 30 second pause behind the couch, then a cautious peek.

The Trip Walk

Walking purposefully and alone to your destination, passing people and smiling confidently, then tripping, running three steps, and continuing as if you “meant” to do that.

The Tippy Toe Toy Hop

Inadvertently stepping on a Lego® creation or small toy.

Ow! Jumping! Hopping up and down holding your toe.

Happy S”hour”er

Extremely rare, uninterrupted time in your shower that feels like a frozen drink by a beach.

The Split Side

Stepping a flat, slippery object such as a magazine (Left by your spouse, no doubt). Then, while struggling to regain your balance, splaying the legs into an unconventional split you did not know you could still do.

Laser Spy Mission

Arriving from point A to point B in a playroom without hitting a toy.

The Baby Sway Stray

That side-to-side motion used to rock your baby that you do it even without your baby.

The Hip Dip

Closing doors or drawers with your hip while carrying a child in one arm, bags in the other, and cradling a phone in one ear. (Caution: only trained ‘DancinMomas’ should attempt this.)

Mac and Cheese Mambo

Stirring (and 1, 2) providing direction, repeating that direction (and 3, 4) without “boiling over.”

The Dip & Dunk:

Bending over to pick up item on floor and shoot a basket across room into the appropriate container or basket…. Score!

The Shuffle Shovel

Holding items in arms while maneuvering your foot to collect and slide things scattered on floor into a neat pile.

Cha Cha Chew Chew

The amount of time (1,2) allowed to eat your dinner — cha-cha chew chew chew — after everyone is taken care of.

The Splam

That moment when you walk away from a conversation only to run into a door or side stage wall… Splat is what it is normally called. If your name is Pam, however, like me…. the “Splam.”

Five Minute Flail Fail

The 5-minute warning that evolves into 15 to 30, or more, as you motion to

your child with flailing arms that it’s “time to go!”

Please Define YOUR “DancinMoma” moments below and add to the list!

Happy DANCING!

Dance with me, Daddy!

It’s a relationship like none other. From the moment that swaddled tiny human being is handed to YOU; your heart overflows with LOVE.  Then a precious, miraculous moment follows… the tiny baby girl opens her eyes and looks into yours. It will take your breath away.

You are a DADDY.

The moments are fleeting but so joyous. She will grow right in front of your eyes, with her unconditional love. She will wear her heart on her sleeve. She will fill your soul with an infectious laughter, and will turn to you with her tears. That precious baby girl, your daughter, is your biggest fan. Daddy's ShoesShe will follow you around in your big shoes, literally, and she’ll watch you. How you work. How you treat her Mommy. How you make funny noises with your mouth. How you take your pencil, circling it around to create beautiful drawings for her.  Your daughter is simply mesmerized with your being.

She puts on her princess dress and twirls in front of you.

“Look, Daddy!”

You pick her up and spin her around, again locking eyes.  You can see that in her smile is PURE JOY!!

“Dance with me, Daddy!”

As she places her tiny feet onto yours, the music starts and together you dance. You will treasure this moment for the rest of your life. In fact you will honor each moment that you are hand in hand swaying to music and twirling on the dance floor in your home.

Soon she gets a little older, she’ll still spin for you with a new outfit or new shoes, but her attention span has widened. She spends time with friends, listens to music, goes to dance class, and writes in her journal. She reads her latest book, watches her favorite television show, and becomes obsessed with the new boy band or singer. That baby girl, who eyes were only for Daddy, seems to be drifting, growing and blooming into a beautiful young woman. Soon she’ll ask you to drop her off a block early, or at the door of the mall, so no one sees you.

But don’t fret; you are still her one and only DADDY. You will always be a huge part of her ever-expanding heart. She will turn to you in times of need, she’ll ask for your advice, share funny stories, and laugh heartily when you play the old songs to which you danced.  She will always be your BABY Girl.

DaddyPammy

“Daddy, I made the cheerleading squad!”

“Daddy, why are boys so silly?”

“Daddy, sometimes girls can be really mean.”

“Daddy, a boy asked me to dance!”

“Daddy, why do bad things happen to good people?”

“Daddy, what would you do?”

“Daddy, I met someone!”

“Daddy, we’re getting married.”

The wedding march music begins in the church. It is time to walk your Baby Girl, your precious daughter down the aisle to her future spouse.  Memories of her childhood flood your mind as tears roll down your face.  She turns to you with those same eyes that met you for the first time a long time ago and says, “I LOVE YOU, Daddy.”

She always will…. Daddy/Daughter

To my Dad and all of the Dad’s out there…

Happy Father’s Day.

“Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a DADDY.” ~ Proverb

Rise up on your “Elevator” Ride!

Jesse Jackson QuoteHow many times do you hear the saying “rise up to the occasion?”

How often do you respond and actually do it? Does it take a sales meeting, a weather related emergency, a sporting event, an advertising pitch, a failure, or a creative session? Or perhaps it takes a minor emergency with your family or a loved one?

What motivates you to RISE?

In the dance world we teach “relevé” which means ‘to rise’. (re•le•vé [rel-uh-vey; French ruhluh-vey]) For the younger student, I often refer to it as their ballet “elevator.” It will get them from a lower position to an even higher one. We can learn from this, out of habit, do you usually go to the “same floor” in your “elevator?” You go there every day, well, because…. that’s what is expected of you. You are in your comfort zone. However, even YOU can use this dance ‘elevator’ to rise up to YOUR occasion. Stop and stand for a moment. Lift your heels off the ground, and then look around. Physically you’re a little higher; you’ve stretched a bit farther. You may even notice a subtle difference in the view of your world.

Today, I challenge you to rise to a different floor.

Feel the positive momentum of your floor rising, up, up, up until you have reached your new destination today. The elevator doors open on a new location with a new perspective. Exactly what you needed for that new idea, for that problem needing to be solved, that superb sales pitch, the book you’re trying to write, that team you will face.

Each morning the sun will rise, and each time the hues or colors will stir up new views. Each sunrise provides a new hope of the day ahead and a refreshing point of view. There are days it seems to go fast and there are days it is very gradual. But the sun will always rise and so should we.

Now sit down, pause and slowly rise to your feet. Now sit down and jump up even higher…. Rise up! Rise to the occasion whatever it may be. Stand strong to your convictions, believe in yourself, grab hands with your teammates in life and have faith in the possibilities.

Lift your heels and see the view…

You have risen to a new height!

What do YOU see?

Star Light….

YOU can be a STAR.

A star radiates light, beauty and twinkles in the darkness. To some, they hold our deepest wishes and thoughts. They don’t discriminate; they welcome all to see their beauty at any place in the world. That is the one thing that humanity shares… anyone, on any given night, can look up and enjoy the true celestial beauty above us.

“I will love the light for it shows me the way,
Yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”
Og Mandino quotes (American Essayist and Psychologist, 1923-1996)

Stars create PEACE.

Stars create LOVE.

Stars are all-encompassing and luminous.

Stars SHINE from within.

Stars create HOPE.

Stars can give us FAITH.

Stars have a power that can inspire anyone from any background.

We are all STARS in a sense, in this universe of amazing things. We radiate our emotions to others and we sit side by side in hope & faith. We can share love to our friends & family, and we can create a sense of peace among us.

Do you feel like a STAR? What can you do to radiate and sparkle in your life?

As dusk settles in, and the warmth of sunlight transforms into darkness, sit in silence and look up.

Star Light will always be present in any dark moments.

Be aware.

Be present.

Be that luminous STAR.

And

SHINE ON….

“To be a star, you must shine your own light,
Follow your own path, and don’t worry about the darkness,
For that is when the stars shine brightest”
– Anonymous

 “To be a star, you must shine your own light...."

A star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud.NASA/ESA image

“Hitch your wagon to a star.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson (American essayist, lecturer, and poet, 1803 – 1882

“Star light, Star bright,
first star I see tonight…
I wish I may, I wish I might, see that star I wish tonight.”
– English Nursery Rhyme (trad.)

When you wish upon a star,
makes no difference who you are, Anything your heart desires can come to you”
– Jiminy Cricket (Animated philosopher and conscience of Pinocchio) ®Walt Disney Company

Baby & Me Dance (New Ad from Evian Water)

In a world full of negativity, especially at the moment, I found this new video from Evian Water very refreshing. I believe there is a little dancer within each of us. So let’s tap into our inner child. Let’s choose happiness, imagination and peace. Let’s “Live Young” as they suggest. Simply put, let’s DANCE….

Get Jiggy in March!

“Dia Dhuit”

Top of the morning to ye, lads and lassies! Follow me to the end of our imaginary rainbow to search for a pot o’gold…’Tis time to get your “Leprechaun” on.

We step, we skip, we hop, we MARCH! It’s time to kick up our heels and dance a jig or two in honor of St. Patrick. You see, I grew up in an Irish family and married into an Irish family. So I’ll be knowing an Irish Blessing or two. St. Paddy’s Day is a big deal in our home, right up there with Christmas and Halloween. It’s not about the pub crawls (but that’s not to say a green beer or two wouldn’t appear.) 😉 To us it’s about Leprechauns sneaking in, leaving a bit of a mess, and maybe a wee lil’ gift or two. It’s about pots of gold and magical rainbow myths. We dress in shamrock-adorned clothes and carry banners as we march proudly in our local Irish parade. We sway arm in arm while harmonizing over “Oh Danny Boy” and yes, we know all of the arm motions to the infamous Unicorn song.

Aye. Kiss us. We’re Irish! 😉

20130317-083515.jpg I hope that you, too, will get your “Green” on…whether Irish or not. ‘Tis a fine time to clap your hands with the beat. Stomp your feet. Click your heels. Make some noise and celebrate!

On this St. Patrick’s Day — and everyday — count your BLESSINGS. Take a moment to look for the “four-leaved” clovers in YOUR life.

“Slån!”

I will close with one of my favorite Old Irish Blessings…

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

CUE THE ORCHESTRA!

One, Two, THREE! We dance teachers have a “thing” about counting out numbers with the music. “5, 6, 7 ,8” is a popular count to begin a combo and get all the dancers in synch. Each step or movement usually has an assigned count to it from 1-8. There’s “1 and a 2, 3 and a4” or “1e and a, 2e and a, 3e and a” Lots of options to remember and lots of music to be played. But these variations also make me realize that these counts in OUR own life go by quickly, as if stuck on fast forward.

THREE!

newborn

I’m “zeroing” in on the number THREE because in the blink of any eye…my youngest (our lil’ miracle baby) is turning three. She’s old enough to do ‘big girl things, but young enough to keep her childhood magic aglow during a simple day (even more during holidays and special family events.) She coaxes out the inner child in virtually everyone around her. She’s a little sis to two wonderful big brothers who are also growing too fast by the way. If I could only hit the “pause” button with my kids, as we do in dance class to repeat a combination. In the meantime, I will SAVOR the moments. I will pause. I will stop. I will watch. I will listen. Just as I do while rehearsing my classes for a big show. It’s about fine tuning. It’s about details. They have my full attention.

MOMENTS?

Can you think of moments you may have missed while you’re focused on a phone or iPad, while your child is experiencing a brand new fleeting childhood moment? I am guilty of that. Especially with my 3rd child. You see, not only is she three, she is growing up through social media. Although I am happy her life is well-documented on Facebook, on my phone, on instagram and now, this blog. There have been times where I’d take a photo, post it immediately, then check far too often waiting anxiously for “likes” or “comments.” Yet at the same time…

I am missing the authentic moment.

Right. In. Front. Of. Me.

Pause. Rewind. Start over.

One more time.

5, 6, 7, 8.

LIFE BY THE NUMBERS

1. Our youngest surprises us by entering this world, early
2. We were expecting a boy — we already have two — but ‘she’ surprises us
3. Welcome to this world precious soul
4. New words in the house, such as “she“ and “her”
5. A puffy cloud of pinks and purples came over our home
6. Time crawls by, yet suddenly she’s walking and talking
7. Our baby turns One!
8. Our baby turns Two.

1st bday

2ndbday

Clearly 8 counts of a song or combination cannot capture the numerous MOMENTS of wonder, joy, and pure LOVE we have celebrated these last three years of this precious, sweet, girl…..SIGH.

Time to add more music, more “steps,” more counts. So in class I could scroll down for a new song on the iPod or put in another CD. Ahhhhh…..the music continues….the counts go on….I pause, I rewind, I fast forward, then rewind. A “dance” is created. It’s a memorable one too.

Stop. TAKE A MOMENT TO “PLAY!”

Grab some type of material, even a napkin, in your house or office (we use scarves in dance class). Take your item and scrunch it up into a little ball in your hand. Grab a few family members. Now count down…..then toss it in the air, knowing that our family is laughing along WITH your family and friends. Hey. It’s even a simple joy by yourself. Feed your inner child. 🙂

Are you ready? 5.….4.….3.….2.…..OOOOOOONE!!! (Toss your object in the air, with all the joy you can muster!)

Cue the music! Now get on with your DANCE!

Football Food and Motherhood