Going Zolo

1 06 2012

Quinn preparing for his launch

Ever wonder what it would be like to put your teenager in a life-sized hamster ball and then send it barreling down a hill? Me, too! In fact, that’s been a lifelong dream of mine ever since I brought babies into this world!

Well, fortunately, last weekend I got the opportunity to launch one of my kids as the gooey center of a big steel ball when we went to a friend’s house for dinner. This particular friend (his name is Zafod Beatlebrox, and yes that really is his legal name) is an artist/inventor and lives on 40 acres of his own private property, so he’s pretty much free to do what he wants. This wonderful isolation, as you can imagine, became the starting point for some raucous fun, especially after we’d all (the adults, I mean) pounded down a few drinks.

So sets the scene when my teenage son hopped into Read the rest of this entry »





A Love Letter to My Friends With Graduating Seniors

29 05 2012

Even though my oldest is only 17 and just ending his junior year in high school, most of his friends are seniors and thus getting ready to graduate and move on to the next phase of their lives, which involves bleeding Mom and Dad dry of every last dime they have; AKA college.

Many of my friends with departing seniors have mixed emotions about this change in family dynamics. On the one hand that parental bond makes it hard to let go, but on the other hand just think what you can do with that extra spare bedroom. It’s tears one moment, and “When are you leaving, again?” the next. The dichotomy is enough to make you want to have a (or another) cocktail.

But then again what did we expect? From the time your sweet baby boy pees on you while lovingly changing his diaper to when your overly-developed 16-year-old daughter curses you for not letting her wear a Fredericks of Hollywood black lace halter to a monster truck rally, you are in for a rough ride. Why should their extraction from home be any different?

Oh sure, Mother Nature does kick in with a little help. After your endearing cherub crosses over to the dark side somewhere around the age of 13, it’s sometimes hard to Read the rest of this entry »





“Picture This” At the Toastmasters International Speech Contest

21 05 2012

(L to R) Emmy Jones, District 15 Governor, Deborah Whitman, Contest Toastmaster, Stacy Dymalski, winner District 15 International Speech Contest
(photo by Gary Dufault)

Just this weekend I received my official Toastmasters pictures for winning the Toastmasters International Speech Contest at the District level on May 12th. As promised, I’m sharing one with you all now. (To jog your memory from a previous post, I’ve advanced to the semi-finals, where I’ll go on to compete worldwide at the International Speech Contest in Orlando, Florida, August 15-18.)

Also as promised, I’m sharing a video of my award-winning speech, which is entitled Wynton Marsalis Had My Back. It’s about the first and only time my older son, Derrick, met his idol, legendary jazz trumpet player Wynton Marsalis.

If you aren’t into jazz you may not know who Wynton Marsalis is, so let me enlighten you. Read the rest of this entry »





My Mothers Day Win!

13 05 2012

Well, I had an early Mother’s Day gift yesterday in that I won the Toastmasters International Speech Contest at the District level, which means I will go on to compete nationally at the Toastmasters Conference in August in Orlando. There I’ll compete in the semi-finals against the 81 other District winners. If I win this (which granted, is a long shot) then I go on to compete worldwide against the nine top International Speech Contest winners IN THE WORLD. That means I’m only two competitions away from the very top spot. Even if I get eliminated in the semi-finals I can’t believe I’ve come this far.

What was particularly sweet about this win is that my speech is about when my son Derrick met his hero, legendary jazz trumpet player Wynton Marsalis. It’s so nice to be able to take such a poignant piece of my personal history and deliver it in such a way that touches others. Every time I write something close to my heart, I’m always amazed by how many people can relate.

Also, it was a thrill to have my family and several members of my Park City Toastmasters Club there to cheer me on. I was speaker number four out of five, and when I finished my speech, my son, Derrick, Read the rest of this entry »





Have I Got What It Takes to Be a Top Mommy Blogger?

7 05 2012

This’ll teach me to clean out my inbox more often. I just read an email dated last Thursday that I was approved to be listed on the Top Mommy Blogs website. True, it’s something I applied for, but that was over a week ago, and quite honestly, I can’t remember if I put on underwear this morning, let alone which websites I recently visited and why. Those brains cells were immediately taken over by conundrums such as “What’ll I make for dinner tonight?” and “Did I remember to pick up my 8th grader from his clarinet lesson?” (Why they don’t allow 8th graders to drive in this state is beyond me. That would make my life so much easier if he could just cart his little rear end around on his own. Being he’s the second child I’m quite over that “Oh no! He’s sharing the road with other mental giants who scored 70% or higher on a government test that even sleep-deprived, drunk monkeys could pass!”)

Getting a listing on the Top Mommy Blogs website is pretty cool, because now I can win fabulous prizes like Read the rest of this entry »





Passion Makes Perfect

30 04 2012

This is totally going on their first CD cover

The UPS guy just dropped off a package, but I had to go outside to chat with him because there was a tenor sax and a bassoon wailing in the house. Actually, the latter was a tromboon, called such become my son took the mouthpiece and reed from his bassoon, stuck it in his trombone and then blew. That’s about as nerdy as you can get when it comes to band geekism.

But before he left the UPS guy asked me:

How did you get your kids so involved in music?

I get asked this a lot. And I always laugh inside at this question because my husband and I didn’t pick music for our kids. Our kids picked music for themselves…in a big way.

As I’ve mentioned before, our two teenage sons play a slew of instruments, mostly woodwinds. We don’t even buy them, and yet somehow the strangest noisemakers mysteriously show up in our house! (Although in the long run, we usually end up coughing up the cash Read the rest of this entry »





The ABCs of Being Versatile

23 04 2012

Me on a good day

I just read an article about how women tend to stretch themselves too thin—metaphorically speaking, that is. If all it took to be thin was to stretch ourselves then there’d be a run on those Medieval torture racks. I mean honestly, how painful can it be compared to a Brazilian bikini wax?

Eager to see if I fit this type A mold, I sat down this weekend and figured out that I have not one, but FIVE full-time jobs: I’m a freelance writer, I’m promoting my latest book, I’m a professional speaker, I’m working on my next book, I do my family and business finances (which takes more monetary juggling than a budget session in Congress), and I’m a mom. Actually, that’s six jobs. Chalk up the fact that I can’t count to having no brain cells left by the time my morning latte wears off. Ironically, the mom job takes the biggest chunk of my time, yet it’s the one I’m not paid to do (in terms of money, anyway—the other rewards more than make up for my dalliance with poverty). Read the rest of this entry »








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