The Art and Science of Dreaming
Jan 21 2013

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King

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Thanks For Dreaming Mr. King was the post I wrote last year on MLK day.  I posted it verbatim below. Many of our dreams have come true because of the risks he took.  Why are people so scared of some people’s dreams that they feel the need to kill them?  Many of us are still dreaming and our dreams don’t always come true in our lifetimes.  Maybe one day all of us will dream of good things happening to everyone instead of dreaming of killing others based on their beliefs, ignorance, or desire to change the world to something slightly different.  I’m glad my light brown kids are growing up hardly thinking about the color of their skin.  How much more they should be able to feel and do without someone judging them based on something they were born with.

***

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a big dream. He had more courage and vision in his pinky than most of us have in our whole bodies. Here is an except from his speech “I Have A Dream.” (Go listen to the recording of his speech at this link).

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

Thank you for dreaming Mr. King. You helped changed the world with your courage and the risks you took to make life better for all of our children. Today I will remind the kids what dreaming big can mean.

Author: | Filed under: national holiday, success, success story | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

Thanks For Dreaming Mr. King
Jan 16 2012

 

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a big dream.  He had more courage and vision in his pinky than most of us have in our whole bodies.  Here is an except from his speech “I Have A Dream.” (Go listen to the recording of his speech at this link).

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

Thank you for dreaming Mr. King.  You helped changed the world with your courage and the risks you took to make life better for all of our children.  Today I will remind the kids what dreaming big can mean.

 

Author: | Filed under: national holiday | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

Life Imitating Art or Art Imitating Life
Jul 3 2011

An age old debate for sure as to whether what we see, read, and hear on TV, radio, or film influences our behavior versus our real life behavior influencing the media.  I enjoy watching movies and certain TV drama shows.  It gives one perspective on what’s potentially going on in other people’s lives.  Hopefully no one is doing all the weird things they do in soap operas, but sometimes based on the stories I hear from every day people, I’m astounded to find that some of those crazy things do go on.

Thanks to a co-worker who has tons of DVDs, I’ve now watched all but one of the Jane Austen movies, the Twilight series, Baker Boys, a bunch of other older movies, Avatar, King’s Speech, etc.  With little kids in the house it was very hard to see movies when they came out so now I have to catch up on DVD.  I think she’s going to loan me the Harry Potter series next because I’ve only seen one of those I think.  On the big screen, I’ve seen Hangover 2, Larry Crowne, Cars 2, Bridesmaids, Mr. Poppers Penguins, and probably a few other kids movies.

Watching “art” gives you insight into humanity and vice versa.  As a leader or manager, understanding the people you work with is a critical piece of helping them realize what they are capable of in the system they are working in.   Although people try to separate their work and personal lives, it rarely (in my experience) is possible.  We are human and everything is connected.  We aren’t vulcan, borg, or robots who can turn off their emotions at will or check them at the proverbial door.   We are illogical, irrational, crazy, sensitive, brilliant human beings.

Some of the best leaders I’ve seen realize how fragile we all are and take that into account when building and motivating their teams.  The not so successful, in my opinion, tend to be self absorbed and really don’t care or maybe it’s just that they don’t know how to care or show they care.  Sometimes they are so dang smart they realize their shortcomings and they hire managers/leaders who do care to compensate for their lack of ability in that area.

Happy 4th of July weekend!  Yes, I know the content of this post is not directly related to the 4th of July other than there were some great leaders who helped with the independence of our great nation…so that will have to do.

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Memories On Memorial Day Weekend
May 30 2011

I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend.  I certainly spent a lot of time reminiscing about old memories with long time friends while the kids played during the day and into the wee hours of the morning when the kids were asleep.  We created new memories with old and new friends.  My kids had fun playing, swimming, playing games on the iPhone and Wii, eating hot dogs, seeing Kung Fu Panda 2, etc.

It’s great to have old friends to ground you and remind you of who you were back then and talk about how we have all changed and/or stayed the same.  It’s good to have new friends who  know you now (i.e., after kids).  New friends open you up to new and different experiences because they don’t know who you are supposed to be, and they don’t let your old self hold back your new self.  Under their influence you may be able to see and experience things you never have before.

But Memorial Day weekend is about remembering those Americans who died for our freedom.  So, thank you to those who serve, who have served, and whose families support them while they continue to protect us so people like me can hang out with our friends during this long weekend.  I’m ever so grateful that I live in the United States and have had the opportunities that I have had, including the ability to express myself on this here blog.

Author: | Filed under: blogging, national holiday | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

Happy New Year – It’s Gonna Be Grand!
Jan 1 2011

2011 will be a great year.  It will be.  It has to be.  I say it proudly and loudly, so it must be so!  The economy seems to be getting a bit better (at least here in Texas) and many people are excited about the new year of the Rabbit (starting Feb 3, 2011 to Jan 22, 2012) and us leaving the hard Chinese year of the Tiger behind us.

My resolutions this year are to believe/trust in myself, believe in my kids, believe in the kindness and beauty in others, smile/laugh more, make others smile/laugh more, create songs and sing a song (Carpenter’s lyrics link).

Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud, sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last your whole life long
Don’t worry that it’s not good enough
For anyone else to hear
Just sing, sing a song .

Oh and LOVE more!  As Hugh McLeod (@gapingvoid) cartoons Love, regardless of cost.  For those curious folks, here is what I wrote for Resolutions Past:

Once In A Blue Moon – It’s Complicated – 2010
Resolutions Anyone? – 2009
One Entrepreneur’s 2008 Goals – 2008

Happy New Year to all of you my loyal readers and everyone else who happens upon my blog when searching for something to help them with their life, their posts, their kids, or their businesses.  May you find the courage to follow your dreams…in other words your heart! <3  <— that’s a heart symbol for those of you who didn’t know that. :mrgreen:

We’ve all heard the saying “You only live once,” so may you conquer your fear just a little bit at a time to live life (at least next year) grandly and to it’s fullest.  It’s not easy but it’s worth it…even if you get what “it” means for a few short minutes…you will never forget, can never go back, and will never compromise to the point that you lose yourself again.

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Merry Christmas To All
Dec 25 2010

I hope you are all having a great Christmas Day.  Ours was full of presents and things in our stockings…well at least the kid’s stockings.  They already tangled up their slinky’s that I got from the dollar bins at Michael’s.  Even mom got a gift from Santa (from a very talented cousin) and from the kids (a camera and a tool kit!). :-)  They got some gift cards from Grandma so they will get to buy even more presents!

The kids are surprised that Santa came and gave them more than one gift and ate the cookies/sweet breads we left for him overnight.  My 8 year old kind of knows but wants to believe anyway because he knows if he believes he’ll get presents…smart kid.

The kids got more than they needed/wanted and are already playing with their gifts.  One required some C batteries, which I don’t have.  Most toys don’t seem to use C batteries these days.  The Husky Powertek screwdriver has come in handy to open all these battery compartments!  Now, I have to find some tweezers to get something out that my son got stuck in his new soccer ball that he gets to decorate!

So Merry Christmas to you all.  No matter what religion you might follow, ’tis the season to be jolly, giving, and take some time to enjoy the excitement generated by the children in your lives.  Oh and eat some Japanese food since all the other restaurants are closed.  Our favorite is Kobe steakhouse so we’ll be there later today.  Ho, Ho, Ho!

Author: | Filed under: holiday, national holiday, parenting | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

Trees Are Planted – Hope They Grow
Dec 24 2010

Baby Oak Tree

Thanks to the generous help of my neighbor, the trees I mentioned in my Planting Trees post have now been planted this Christmas Eve morning.  It took almost a couple of hours to plant both.  It was the first time my kids and I had ever really planted trees and it was a fun experience.  And as if to say the timing was right, it rained for about an hour a couple of hours after we finished to give those tries a nice drink.

I think it’s a good skill to have to learn how to work with the earth.  I used to mow our lawn when I was a kid and lived in Lubbock, Texas when I say about 11-13 years old until I accidentally ran over the power cord a couple of times.  I think my mom decided it was safer to hire someone to mow the lawn then.  Although, I drove her crazy as a teenager, I think she still wanted me to live. :-)  I like to have plants around the house…even though they are in the background. It’s nice to have green living things (with no pollen) in the house.

I told my kids that when they were older they could drive by the house in the neighborhood and tell their kids that they helped plant those big Oak and Elm trees because my guess is we probably won’t be living in this house by the time the trees we planted are as big as the other trees in our neighborhood.  The process got me wanting to plant another tree where the one we had rotted/fell down a few years ago. There are deer in our neighborhood so it will have to be a tree (maybe a flowering one like a crepe myrtle) that they don’t like to eat.

Merry Christmas everyone.  Here’s to planting of new things and growing of new businesses in the New Year!  (Yeah, I know that was an entrepreneurial stretch!)

Author: | Filed under: environment, holiday, Just For Fun, national holiday | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Once In A Blue Moon – It’s Complicated
Jan 1 2010

Last night, December 31, 2009, we had a blue moon.  Most years have 12 full moons but every 2 to 3 years we have an extra full moon and it’s called a blue moon.  We saw it coming back from the airport after a really nice visit with my cousin and her family.  On the way out, after getting up at 3:30 a.m. to make a flight that was 3 hours delayed, we ended up being almost 7 hours late getting to our final destination because of an issue we had leaving Austin having to do with de-icing our plane.  Just before they had us get off the plane to wait it out, my son said loudly “I knew we should have flown Southwest!” which caused all the people around us to laugh.  He doesn’t even have to try to be funny…this wonderful kid of mine. :-)   This was the first time I traveled by myself by plane with the kids, and they did really well.  I told them how happy I was with them because despite the delays, it was one of the least stressful times traveling with 2 kids that I’ve ever had.  We even had a 4 hour layover in Memphis, TN and by a stroke of luck some of my long time family friends who live there (who I hadn’t even told we were flying through Memphis because we were only supposed to be there for 45 minutes) interrupted their plans to come hang out with us for a couple of hours at the airport!   I was so happy to see them…kind of like seeing land when you’ve been lost at sea for a while.

My favorite aunt and uncle (we spent summers and other times with them growing up) were supposed to have left earlier in the day from my cousin’s place, but they waited for us before driving back to their city a couple of hours away.  I was so grateful that they waited…kind of felt like a pilgrim lost in a fog coming home.

So back to the blue moon.  It’s a rare event and thanks to Erin, who picked us up at the airport, it was probably the first time in my life that I was aware we were having one.  He had seen something about it on CNN, so I looked it up on my trusty iPhone.  The moon last night was uncharacteristically huge and bright and to me seemed full of hope and promise.   I started singing the song Blue Moon by Ella Fitzgerald (lyrics) and thought about the upcoming new year and new decade that was upon us.  Although I was invited to a friend’s New Year’s eve party, I was so tired I called it a night at 10:30 p.m.  Lame I know, but I figured it was best to start the new year rested so I could think about whether I should make some new year’s resolutions.

So today is the first day of the new year and last year I made non-resolutions:  “So my non-resolutions for 2009 are to sing more, laugh more, write more, make more funny faces at my kids, be less repressed, empower people, unashamedly love people, continue to take yoga, find a purple hat (any suggestions?), make some life changing decisions (I already got my hair cut short), and move the ball forward one day at a time on Babble Soft and at ATI.”  The funny thing is that I think I achieved all of those to varying degrees with various outcomes and some I didn’t even do consciously (a higher power at work).  I guess I should be careful what I non-resolute!

One of my friends, Julie Fergerson, who happens to be a leading expert in identity theft, got me a purple hat.  I transferred majority ownership in Babble Soft to my fabulous partner, Nicole Johnson, who I finally got to meet in person while visiting my cousin because she lives in the same city.  My cousin had met her before I did.  Nicole also runs the Baby Sleep Site and our online meeting has got to be a case study (GigaOm) in successful partnerships between two people who have never met in person.  It was like we were old friends catching up when we met with our kids at a nearby mall.  As far as writing more, I didn’t write more on the blog, but I wrote song lyrics and did a lot of personal journaling (I’m already on my second spiral notebook).  My daughter likes to hang out with me when I write in the mornings and, of course, add her personal touch to my pages. :-) Maybe she’s a budding writer despite not being able to even read yet…

So I think I’ll stick with most of the same non-resolutions for 2010 and maybe add something about making upward progress in my career and doing more cardio exercise.  I’m not planning to eat black eyed peas or kiribath (rice cooked in coconut milk – yummy), a Sri Lankan new year’s tradition for auspicious occasions, so I’m throwing caution to the superstitious winds and hoping for the best.

And in case you are wondering why the title of this post includes the words “It’s Complicated.“  Well it’s because I saw the movie today with my movie buddies Michelle Ewalt (a great business/life transitions coach) and Cindy S. (she’s an offline kind of gal).  We see a lot of movies together and our next one might be Sherlock Holmes.  It’s Complicated was hilarious and included fabulous actors and actresses including Meryl Streep, Steve Martin (so cute & funny), and Alec Baldwin.  It was much better than the Alvin and the Chipmunks – The Squeakquel movie my cousin and I suffered gladly sat through for the kids.  While watching “It’s Complicated,” I kept thinking, while laughing out loud, that although my life seems complicated, thank God it’s not as complicated as that!

Happy 2010 everyone…

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, entrepreneurship, holiday, national holiday, random stuff | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Happy 4th of July – eMail Our Military
Jul 3 2008

 

 

I hope everyone here in the US enjoys their long 4th of July holiday weekend.  We’ll be heading to a couple of parties with some fireworks and sparklers so I know the kids will enjoy themselves immensely and we’ll be making sure they don’t burn themselves on the sparklers. :-)

Since we no longer have a tree to put our US Flag on, I’ll have to do an extra patriotic blog post! 

By now most people around the world know that July 4th is when we here in the US celebrate our Independence as a country.  We celebrate our freedom by getting together with friends to watch fireworks. 

I’m not sure what our troops overseas do on July 4th or even if they will get to see fireworks in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere.  I bet they miss their home and would look forward to communicating with people back home. 

So, if you would like to share emails with someone in the military, you should sign up at eMail Our Military and have them assign you an active duty military personnel to communicate with.  I signed up and hopefully soon I’ll get assigned someone to share experiences with back home.  It only costs $2 plus a couple of stamps! 

Also, my company, Babble Soft, partnered with eMail Our Military to offer free subscriptions to active duty military personnel with newborns to help them stay connected while they might be separated by thousands of miles. 

Happy 4th of July!

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, national holiday | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Memorial Day – Babies and Our Military
May 23 2008

I met a gal on twitter who tweets by the name of @MailOurMilitary and @Dayngr.  Her real name is Trish.  We got to tweeting and emailing and then talking. 

Since Trish had gone through the hardship of being away from her husband when her first child was born, we both thought it would be a great idea to join forces to offer members of her non-profit organization, eMail Our Military free subscriptions to Babble Soft applications as well as access to a discount code for 20% off purchases for non-active military and friends.

So please let the military families you know about our offer and encourage them and others to sign up at eMail Our Military.  We know there is no way to make up for the lost time and touch of a parent who is away but now they have access to a free tool that can help bridge the unavoidable physical gap between two parents of a precious newborn.  We wanted to give people another reason, which is often overlooked (i.e., being away from their baby), to remember all those men and women who have put their lives at home on hold and/or laid down their lives to protect our freedom.

You can see the press release below, on our site, on PR Web, and on eMailOurMilitary’s blog.  Trish also wrote a more personal blog post called Baby Memories, Milestones, and Our Military where she mentions her experience as a new mom whose husband has to leave one week after her baby was born!

Happy Memorial Day everyone! 

Babble Soft and eMail our Military Join Forces to Offer Free Subscriptions to Babble Soft Applications for Active Duty Service Members with Newborns

Just in time for Memorial Day, Active Duty Service Members with Newborns now get free access to Babble Soft’s web and mobile applications through their membership at eMail Our Military.

eMail Our MilitaryAUSTIN, TX; MIAMI LAKES, FL – May 22, 2008 – Babble Soft and eMail our Military are partnering to offer free subscriptions to Baby Insights and Baby Say Cheese for active duty service members with newborns. 

“We are very excited about the opportunity to partner with Babble Soft.” said Trish Forant, Founder and President of eMail our Military. “My husband was called into service only one week after our first child was born.  I had very few friends and family to turn to for support where we were stationed and it was difficult for me to convey to him what I was going through with our new baby.  I would have loved to have the online tools Babble Soft provides to communicate to him how often and when our baby was feeding, sleeping, etc. as well as important picture milestones!”

 ”Our goal at Babble Soft is to help strengthen and enhance connections between family members during that wonderful, yet chaotic time after a baby is born.” said Aruni Gunasegaram, founder and president of Babble Soft. “We support our troops and know how important it is for new parents who have to be away from their newborns to feel connected to what is going on at home.  Partners can share experiences and photos with each other through Babble Soft’s unique web and mobile applications. As an added bonus, members of eMail our Military will have access to a discount code to purchase gift subscriptions for their other family members who may or may not have military ties.”

Baby Insights helps caregivers keep track of baby’s breast & bottle feeding, sleep periods, diaper changes, medicine doses, immunization records, as well as mom’s breastfeeding, pumping and medicine intake. Having important information stored in one location makes communication between parents, their nanny, babysitters, grandparents, or doctors seamless and reliable and gives new parents insight into their baby’s patterns to help with crucial baby care decisions.

Baby Say Cheese lets you create a wonderful online baby’s first year photo album with milestones such as ‘first crawl, first smile, first word’ and family tree that you can share with friends and family.  You can even send a fun, cute picture postcards of any of your baby’s milestones to anyone with an email address!

About eMail our Military, Inc.
eMail Our Military was created in 2001 as a response to the DoD’s cancellation of the “Any Service Member” and “Operation Dear Abby” mail programs. As a safe alternative, eMOM picked up where these programs left off. eMail Our Military is composed of volunteers from all walks of life who understand that regardless of our political views, our military service members deserve our respect, support & encouragement. Website visitors can join and take part in a number of support projects ranging from sending eMail on a one-on-one basis with a service member to year round support projects that are open to the public. For more information on eMail Our Military, please visit http://www.eMailOurMilitary.com

About Babble Soft, LLC
Babble Soft is based in Austin, Texas and creates products that help make the transition into parenthood babblesoft-babyeasier.  Whether you need breastfeeding support, are experiencing baby sleep issues, are expecting twins, or taking care of a premature (preemie) baby and would like to create your baby’s first year album, Babble Soft offers unique, easy-to-use Web and Mobile software solutions that improve communication between caregivers.  Babble Soft makes a great baby shower gift that you can easily send via Email to any new parent anywhere in the world!  To learn more and purchase Babble Soft applications, please visit http://www.babblesoft.com.

For more information, please contact:

Trish Forant
eMail our Military, Inc.
(786) 228-7096
Info(at)eMailOurMilitary(dot)com

Aruni Gunasegaram
Babble Soft, LLC
(512) 961-6002
aruni(at)babblesoft(dot)com                                                                                   

 

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, baby, baby insights, baby say cheese, baby sleep, breastfeeding, diversity, entrepreneurship, father, FYI, national holiday, parenting, twitter, working father, working mother | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »