because life doesn’t fit in a file folder


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I’m celebrating the one year anniversary of my website! Seems like a good time for a giveaway!

To receive $20 in credit towards any inventory currently in my shop ~ and, believe me, I’m stocked for the holidays, just follow these simple instructions:

To enter:

1) LIKE RASJACOBSON ORIGINALS on Facebook or FOLLOW me on Instagram at @rasjacobson
2) On either/both pages, LIKE this photo
3) TAG 2 friends

Giveaway ends November 25, 2017 at 11:59PM PST. Winner will be announced by November 26th on IG, Facebook and on this blog. Winner will be chosen at random. Fake or giveaway accounts will not be considered. Giveaway open to residents of the continental US & Canada only.

This giveaway is not sponsored, administered, endorsed or associated with Facebook or Instagram. By entering you confirm that you are 18+ years old, releasing Facebook and Instagram of any and all responsibility & agree to Facebook and Instagram’s terms of use. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary.

 Have fun!
Every time you share my post, you help me spread my reach! I’m so grateful to all of you!

A Positive Review & a #Giveaway

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For years, people have asked me if I have a website where they could buy my art, and I kept telling them that it was “in the works.”

Honestly, I thought folks were just being nice.

When I finally decided to gift myself a website, I figured my initial sales would be slow.

People told me not to expect too much, that it takes months for a new business to gain momentum, that many businesses fail.

Needless to say, I was amazed when I received such a positive response.

I’d ordered coasters — 10 of each design — a handful of magnets, a bunch of greeting cards, a couple of ornaments, pendants, and trivet tiles.

Just enough so people could see my inventory.

And then things started happening fast.

In addition to my online store, I also share a little gallery space at The Hungerford Building, a local warehouse that has been converted into lofts for artists and small business owners. With Thanksgiving just a few days after my website launch, I had to quickly learn how to send invoices via PayPal and how to wrap and ship orders.

A longtime subscriber to my blog, bfhenke wrote this:


Somehow, I seem to be finding my way.

So, dear readers, you’ve watched me move through the seasons. I don’t have much to offer, but I’d like to offer something. First, if you place an order of $50 or more from my website before December 10th, I’m offering free shipping & handling to anywhere within the continental United States, a $10 value.


I haven’t done a giveaway in a long time, but I’d like to do one now.


If you’d like to receive a FREE 11×17 print of the painting above, leave a short, fake review of my artwork or any kind of product/service. Tweet this post for a second chance to win. I’ll announce the winner on January 1, 2017.

tweet me at @rasjacobson

A New Bikini & Art #Giveaway

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Back in July, I decided I needed a new bikini, so I went to Target.

While in the changing area, I met a woman who was also trying on bathing suits. We discussed how short the swimsuit season is here in Upstate, New York and commiserated over our perceived physical imperfections. You know, all the things that make women feel uncomfortable about wearing bikinis.

Somehow, we got to talking about what we each did for a living.

“I’m not just a professional bikini model,” I joked. “I’m also a teacher. And an artist.”

“I’m a graphic designer,” she said. “And my husband is a web designer.”

Standing in next to nothing, Katie Hunt and I exchanged phone numbers, and a friendship was forged.

For the next three months, I worked with Katie and her husband David of Bleu Bird Studio, here in Rochester, New York. We had many conversations about my artistic vision. We discussed what the pages would look like, and how each page would function. As you can imagine, I was terrified that all my blog content would be lost, but Dave was confident that there wouldn’t be any issues, and — of course — he was completely right. Everything exported to the new site seamlessly.

Dave spent over 30 hours working on my site, and Katie helped me to retool my new logo – which is simple, yet stylized. The two offer free technical support for the first year that my website is up and running, and Dave seems to enjoy reporting on my analytics.

I encourage anyone who has been considering creating a website to contact the folks at Bleu Bird.

Meanwhile, if you would like to check out my website and offer any kind of feedback, I would be grateful. I really want the online shopping experience to be an easy one for buyers. What do you like about my website? What do you not like? Any comments of suggestions?

I don’t have much to offer, but I’d like to offer something. First, if you place an order of $50 or more before December 10th, I’m offering free shipping & handling to anywhere within the continental United States, a $10 value.


I haven’t done a giveaway in a long time, but I’d like to do one now.


If you’d like to receive a FREE 11×17 print of the painting above, leave me a comment about an invisible obstacle that you’ve have to deal with during your time on this planet. Tweet this post and receive an extra chance of winning. I’ll announce the winner on January 1, 2017.

tweet me at @rasjacobson

Short on Decor, Long on Miracles: #Hanukkah

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 Leave a comment for a chance to win some of my handcrafted stationery! 

I stopped into The Christmas Tree Shoppe to pick up last minute items for our Annual Hanukkah Party.

(I know, shopping for Hanukkah at the Christmas Tree Shoppe, the irony isn’t lost on me. What can I say? They have great papers goods.)

Traditionally, there isn’t much décor associated with The Festival of Lights, which – truth be told – is fine by me. I see friends struggling with wreaths and trees and ornaments and inflatables and lights. How do I get ready for Hanukkah? I go down in the basement and open up one blue bin, take out my three favorite menorahs and a couple of dreidels, and I place these items on a table.

That’s it. No fuss. No muss.

The extent of my Hanukkah decorations.
The extent of my Hanukkah decorations.

Now, you have to understand. I wasn’t looking for anything, so of course that’s when I found it: a colorful door decoration with the word CHANUKA printed boldly on the front.

CHANUKA? I tilted my head, confuzzled.

Because I’d never seen it spelled that way.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen Hanukkah spelled a lot of different ways. Because the initial sound used to pronounce the word Hanukkah isn’t a sound used in English. The gutteral h is pronounced at the back of the throat, and — when pronounced correctly — sounds like someone trying to hork up a loogey.

So I liked the decoration, but I didn’t want it if Hanukkah wasn’t spelled correctly.

“Okay Google,” I spoke into my phone. “How do you spell Hanukkah?”

Yummy, yes.
Yummy, yes.

As it turns out, the most common spelling for Hanukkah is “Hanukkah” with 8.5 million hits in the Google search engine. “Chanukah” came in with over 3.3 million searches, and “Hannukah” came in with 862,000 hits.

You might be interested to know Xanuka is considered a valid spelling.

And Channukka.

And Chanuqa.

So I’m still standing there, clutching this felt decoration in one hand and my phone in the other, trying to decide if I should buy it or put it back.

You know, because it was spelled weird.

(Or at least it felt like it was spelled weird to me.)

And then I laughed at the silly dilemma I’d created in my head.

Because Hanukkah isn’t about decorations or spelling. It’s about miracles.

As some of you know, I was sick for 15 months. During that time, I didn’t know anyone else who had ever been through what I was going through, and those months were terrifying, isolating and awful. Many times, I felt G-d was punishing me.

And yet.

Some unnameable thing kept me hanging on. Some little voice inside of me – perhaps the G-d part of myself – knew that one day the suffering would end and that I just needed to wait. And pray for a miracle.

What appeals to me most about Hanukkah is the idea that miracles can be found in every day moments, how big and small things that seem impossible can come to pass.

I appreciate the way we gather together to tell and retell the story of how people overcome difficult times, to celebrate the miracle of friends and family whom we love and are loved by; the miracle of having the chance to learn something new everyday; the miracle of our collective curiosity and kindness that inspires us to make meaningful connections with others.

These days, I can even appreciate the eleventy-seven jillion ways we spell Hanukkah.

So it’s decided. Starting now, I’m collecting decor where Hanukkah is spelled any which way.

Because why not?

(So do you think The Christmas Tree Shoppe still has that cute Chanuka door decoration? Or did I miss my chance?)

What are you celebrating this time of year? What kind of decorations, if any, do you set out? What do you love/hate about the holidays? 

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NOTE: I’m participating in #HanukkahHoopla with 7 other bloggers. In the spirit of the season, we’re giving away 8 gifts to 8 lucky commenters. Click on the menorah to find links to other writers’ blogs & increase your chances of winning!

tweet me for an extra chance to win handcrafted stationery! 

What does HOME mean to you? #giveaway

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HOME, a 4x4 canvas featuring acrylic paint & texturizing medium. Makes a great gift!
HOME, a 4×4 canvas featuring acrylic paint & texturizing medium. Makes a great gift!

Enough snow had fallen so Thanksgiving felt festive, but not so much so anyone had to worry about getting from here to there.

I was looking forward to going around the table and sharing with everyone all the things for which I am thankful.

How lucky I felt: to be there – all of us all together – in a warm, cozy home where there is always a comfortable place to sit and a plate of delicious food to eat.

I wanted everyone to know that it’s true what your grandma said: your health really is everything;

That being home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.

It’s a green toothbrush on the bathroom sink. It’s his bowl left on the kitchen table. It’s the sound of the garage door going up at the end of the day. It’s warm zucchini bread cooling on the countertop, the cat lying in that spot on the landing, the laundry twirling in sloppy circles.

If there’s one thing we share – no matter our race, income, religion or beliefs – it’s that we all want a place to call home, a place filled with love.

I’m getting back into the swing of the holidays by offering HOME  to one lucky commenter. how can you win?

Leave a comment in which you tell me what you think of when you hear the word “HOME,” then click HERE for additional information.

This contest is open to residents of the United States only. Enter as many times as you want between now & December 6th. One lucky winner will be announced on my blog on December 15th at 9 AM, so be sure to check back. If I don’t hear from the winner within 24 hours, Random Number Generator will select another winner.

tweet me @rasjacobson

Snacks For Summer Camp: A #Giveaway via @GoGoSqueez

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TechSupport poses with one of his favorite snacks.

When I went to overnight camp, we weren’t supposed to bring any food from home. Instead, we got to visit “canteen” once a week, where we could select two treats. I always selected one half-melted chocolate thing and a purple ICEE.

Of course, that single weekly visit was never enough, and we wrote whiny letters home begging our parents to send us food.

Once, my mother sent me a package filled with all kinds of goodies. Sadly, none of that delicious contraband made it beyond the office, as someone in there figured out that the lumpy Cookie Monster stuffed animal had been unstuffed and filled with all kinds of junk food.

That sucked.

In less than 3 weeks, my 13-year-old son will head off to overnight camp.

For seven weeks.

So long as it has one of these on it, we’re good.

TechSupport’s camp allows him to bring in food — so long as it’s kosher. This is always a bit of a conundrum as it’s difficult to find kosher snacks that are healthy, tasty, reasonably priced, and don’t require refrigeration.

But this year, I’ve got it figured out.

*insert happy dance*

The good folks at GoGoSqueeZ have nine flavors of applesauce that can be easily put into kids’ overnight trunks —  and they don’t even have to be refrigerated.

Not only is GoGoSqueez kosher, but it’s also all-natural, gluten-free, wheat-free, and vegan-friendly. It doesn’t contain any yucky stuff like high fructose corn syrup or added colors or flavors.

Listen, I know my kid is going to eat his fill of s’mores at camp.

Like every night, probably.

But I also know he loves GoGoSqueez cinnamon-applesauce.

So I’m stoked about sending him off with something homegrown that comes from a company that uses the best ecological practices to grow and harvest their fruit.

Good snacks are like currency at camp, so the kids in my son’s bunk are in for a treat if they want to trade.

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 10.18.21 PMAnd guess what?

Y’all are in for a treat too because the folks at GoGoSqueeZ are offering one lucky winner* a chance to try their 9-flavor sampler.

Your kids don’t have to settle for plain ole apple.

Oh no.

You can see which flavor your children like best: appleapple, applegrape, applecherry, apple-banana, applepeach, applemango, applecinnamon, applestrawberry and appleberry!

If you sign up for the GoGoSqueeZ newsletter and place your order online, you’ll receive 10% off your entire order.

I bought the 20-pouch sampler.

I figure that should hold my kid.

For about 3 weeks.


What do you have to do to win?

1. Leave me a comment telling me the kind of snacks you remember eating during the summer. 

If you went to overnight camp, which one did you attend? Did you have a canteen to raid? If you didn’t go to overnight camp, why the heck not do you ever wish you did? What other kosher snacks can I send to camp with my kid? Oh, and no, they can’t use hot pots.

2. For an extra chance to win, tweet MY POST:

Need help regarding what to say? Copy & paste this and make sure your handle is on the tweet!

Enter to win a 9-pouch sampler from @GoGoSqueeZ via @rasjacobson! #giveaway

tweet me @rasjacobson

*LEGAL STUFF: I received a 9-pouch sampler from GoGoSqueez for TechSupport to try. He still loves apple-cinnamon the best. Big surprise. As you know, I only do reviews when I really LOVE the products. Y’all, you can make appletinis with this stuff. And cook with it. What’s not to love?

*NOTE: Comments will be closed on 6/13 and one winner will be announced on this page on 6/14, so be sure to check back. If I don’t hear back from the winner within 24 hours, Random Number Generator will select a new winner. My apologies, but you have to have a US shipping address to be eligible to win.


NOTE: The winner of the GoGoSqueeZ giveaway is Brown Road Chronicles! Congratulations Steve! Send me your mailing address within the next 48 hours!

Don’t Lick The Minivan: A Review and #Giveaway

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When my son was an infant, I knew I was doing everything wrong.

I was sure of it.

Looking around, I saw smiling mommies bouncing quiet babies on their knees.

Meanwhile, I had The Screaming One.

I was failing Motherhood-101, and I had no one to confide in.

Leanne Shirtliffe’s book Don’t Lick The Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say To My Kids has hit the stores, and — boy oh boy — do I wish I had it 13 years ago.

While living abroad in Thailand, Leanne gave birth to twins, William and Vivian. After a bit of a rocky start, Leanne found the babies (she lost them on the way home from the hospital), the right nursing bra (not so easy in a country where boobies are slightly less bodacious than ripe Canadian ta-tas), and she started to find funny everywhere.

You know those days when you’re feeling like you’re the world’s suckiest parent with rotten-good-for-nothing kids?

Leanne teaches us to find humor in those low moments.

She tells us how:

  • Her husband left the babies with drunken strangers. (Sorry to throw you under the tuk-tuk, Chris.)
  • William liked to pee. Everywhere. On everything.
  • Vivian drew on the dining room table. Using a Sharpie. (The permanent kind.)
  • The twins carved their names into her minivan’s paint…with rocks.

She sucks at crafts.

She’s anti-glitter.

She let her son sleep next to a turd.

Leanne has this way of making us see the humor in the exchanges we have with our kids. When you are suffering through life’s most unfunny moments, remember we are all partners in this ordinary, extraordinary thing: raising tiny humans. And Leanne? She reminds us it’s okay to laugh with them – as well as at them.

Because Leanne is yummypickles, one person is going to be able to win a copy of Don’t Lick The Minivan.

What do you have to do to win?

Leave me a comment telling me a naughty thing you did as a child that you thought was hilarious OR tell me something naughty that one (or more) of your kids did that was heinous at the time, but you can look back at now and laugh. Kind of.

Can’t wait to win a contest? Buy Don’t Lick the Minivan on Amazon.

Buy Don’t Lick the Minivan at Barnes & Noble 

They even have an audible version. Listen to the sample.

tweet us @rasjacobson & @lshirtliffe

NOTE: This contest is open to residents of the US and Canada only. Random Number Generator will be helping me on this one. One winner will be announced on my blog on May 27th. If that person doesn’t contact me within 24 hours, I’ll select another winner. Don’t be that turd.

• • •

Ain't she cute?
Ain’t she cute?

Leanne Shirtliffe’s book, Don’t Lick the Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say to my Kids, has received glowing endorsements from Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess), Jill Smokler (Scary Mommy), Kirkus Review, and others. When she’s not stopping her eight-year-old twins from licking frozen flagpoles, Leanne keeps a blog at and teaches English to teenagers who are slightly less hormonal than she is. Follow her on Twitter at @lshirtliffe.

NOTE: Michelle from Steadily Skipping Stones recorded a fun interview video with Leanne on her blog! When you are done reading this post, click HERE to hear Leanne answer silly and serious questions from her fans.

In Memory of Lilly: Lilly Pulitzer Bag Giveaway

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Lily Pulitzer passed away last month, on April 7, 2013 at the age of 81. I’m confident her legacy of brightly colored fabrics featuring flamingos & seals & peacocks & turtles & elephants & hippoptamuses & flowers & flowers & flowers will live on forever. A believer in the power of whimsy, I like to think we would have been friends.

If you saw my post earlier this week about how I Have One Lilly Pulitzer Dress, you might want to go back and read it.



Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

If you are here because to hell with that you want to win the Lilly bag, you’re in the right place.


Today, as I enter my 4th year in the blogosphere and publish my 500th post, I need to thank you, my readers. I appreciate that you read my words and that you keep coming back. You’ve celebrated with me and held me up during difficult times. You laughed when I confessed to being #SoWrong, and you play my silly language games.

You help to quiet the critical voices that live in my head and remind me believe in myself.

Bottom line, you inspire me to write.

Because of you, I want someone out there to have a little Lilly in her life.

Because no one should ever listen to a flat-chested girl named Courtney. 

Also because this bag is adorable.

Men, do not be fooled. This is NOT just a contest for women.

Check out how much Lilly handbags and clothes go for. You can enter and give your winnings a a deserving woman in your life. Or  *insert evil grin* if you win, you can stick the thing up on eBay and use the cash to buy beer and motor oil! So this giveaway is for you, too.



  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me why you’d like to win this bag. (1 point)
  2. Read THIS POST and leave a comment THERE. (1 point) Did this already? Guess what? You already have 1 point! Yay!
  3. If you are a Lilly lover, email me a photo of yourself wearing/holding something Lilly. You can use Photoshop! Be creative. Include a short paragraph telling me why you need this bag. (5 points)
  4. Email me an image of your current sad-looking handbag. Include a short paragraph telling me why you’d like to win this bag. (5 points)
  5. Tweet this post. You can tweet your own way (just be sure to include my handle) or, if it helps, you can copy this text right into Twitter:  I just entered to win a @LillyPulitzer handbag. Check out this #giveaway via @rasjacobson! (1 point)
  6. Facebook share this post. If you can’t tag me, copy the URL of the page where you shared the post and put it on my blog in a separate entry. (1 point)

The Rules

1. The contest is open only to residents of the United States & Canada. Sorry, I can’t spend 11.3 jazillion dollars shipping this bag abroad.

2. Photos should be sent to rasjacobsonny {at} gmail {d0t} com by Friday, May 17th at noon, Eastern. Be sure to include your name. If you’re a blogger, include your blog URL, so I can link up to you. If you’re on Twitter, please include your handle  — as that is the fastest way to contact winners! If you are neither a blogger nor on Twitter, don’t worry, you can still win! Just be sure to include your name with your email!

3. Entrants agree to have their photos appear in a future post. (You know, if I’m actually that organized… Because I think it would be fun to show a bunch of pics!)

4. DISCLAIMER: I have no idea how big or how small this contest will be, but I’m mentally prepared to put all names and associated points into an ridiculously complicated Excel spreadsheet. Every name will be associated with individual numbers based on a point system based on your number of entries. Random Number Generator will select the winner. You can do as many or as few things to win as you’d like. Obviously, your odds of winning increase if you do more things to win! And yes, you can enter every which way. You can comment on both posts and tweet and Facebook share! You can send a photo of yourself wearing Lilly and send a separate photo of your handbag. Just be sure to send separate emails.

5. One winner will be announced on May 20th, on my blog. If the winner does not respond within 24 hours, I’m keeping this bag another winner will be selected. Please don’t do that do me. I think I may collapse after this giveaway.

tweet me @rasjacobson

I was not sponsored by anyone for this giveaway. I just want to make someone happy. Like Lilly did.  Also, please don’t be offended, but I’m not responding to people’s comments on this post. I have a feeling this is going to get crazy. You know, or not.

Interview with my Friend, Author, Kasey Mathews

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Click here to buy Kasey’s book via Amazon!

It is impossible for me to close my blogoversary month without celebrating my dear old friend’s Kasey Mathews‘ brand new book Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life & Motherhood, which is being put out on the shelves today at a bookstore near you! I’ve known Kasey since 6th grade. We were in House 3 together. We even went to Senior Ball together with our most excellent dates. (Hi Lenny & JMo!)

Anyway, Kasey’s book has been born! The premise? I’m lifting it from the back cover of her book:

In her early thirties, Kasey Mathews had it all: a loving husband, a beautiful two-year old son, and a second baby on the way. But what seemed a perfect life was shattered when she went into labor four months early and delivered her one-pound, eleven ounce daughter, Andie.

One pound and eleven ounces, people!

A can of Progresso soup weighs one pound and three ounces.

Here is my interview with Kasey. Subscribe to her blog, follow her @kaseymathews or via Facebook.

• • •

rasj: Kase, you are brutally honest in your memoir, especially about how you did not want to touch Andie when she was so tiny. You call her a “half-done baby” and admit that – initially — you didn’t even want to see her. I imagine in anticipation of this book coming out, you discussed these feelings with her. How did you explain things so that she could understand?

Kasey: When I began writing this book, I had to put aside my worries of “what will people think,” and that meant Andie, too. I just never could have opened up as much as I did, and I think the story would have suffered.  Of course that doesn’t mean I didn’t worry once it was all written down. But I decided it worth the risk of judgment to give voice to the thoughts and feelings I believe so many mothers have (not just preemie moms) but are too afraid and ashamed to say out loud.

As far as Andie is concerned, she’s such an old soul and just seems to “get” things on a different level. I haven’t read her the book yet (although I’ve recently decided to) but conversations around her birth and my reaction have been ongoing.  I remember a time when we were curled up in bed together looking at the photo album of her first year. I had pointed to a photo of her just after her birth and told her how afraid I was of her.  She had replied in a teasing voice,  “Well, that’s really nice, Mom. What kind of parent would think that?” To which I replied, “Well, me, I guess,” and we had both laughed. But when we got serious, and I explained to her that my fear of losing her was so great and so overwhelming, and that I ultimately had to learn to choose love over fear, the look in her eyes told me that she understood.

rasj:  You mention that a dog attacked you when you were 5-years old, resulting in 49 stitches and scars. You said that your father offered you plastic surgery to “fix” the scars, but you refused. Looking back now, what do your scars mean to you? And do you think you gained something from that terrible accident that actually helped you on your journey with Andie? 

Kasey: Some of us have scars on the outside, but we all have them on the inside. I believe our scars tell our stories. They make us who we are. Andie’s birth was such a traumatic event, and I think I referred back to my dog bite as a frame of reference, because it was the only other traumatic episode I’d ever known.  What I gained was the perspective of looking through my parent’s eyes and for the first time truly understanding how they felt not knowing what was going to happen to their child.  Although the circumstances were different, that perspective gave me the strength to know that they’d walked the path before me, and that I could do it as well.

rasj: During the darkest times, you found strength in homeopathic medicines. Can you explain how non-Western therapies (like energy work, Reiki and yoga) have helped you and your family?

Kasey: Until Andie’s birth, I hadn’t known about Holistic medicine and discovered that it was truly an “alternative” way of looking at a medical situation. It differs from traditional western medicine in that it approaches the body as a whole interrelated system, such as the lungs, gut and skin are all tied together within the human body.  These alternative therapies made so much sense to me, but I want to stress that we used them in conjunction with traditional medicine, and I truly believe that pursuing these parallel paths account for Andie’s tremendous success.

rasj. Did you ever contact the pediatrician who predicted Andie would always be small and that she would have learning disabilities? If you could talk to him now, what would you want to say to him? 

Kasey: For years I wanted to, but felt it wasn’t worth the stress it would cause me. Recently, however, after Andie’s 11-year-old check up where her growth was nearly off the charts, I used the device of writing a letter to release those pent-up feelings. The letter was never sent but the writing of it allowed me to tell him just how wrong he was about everything. And in that same letter, I also thanked him; because what I came to understand was that as difficult as he was to deal with, his doubt was ultimately a gift. He fueled our belief and conviction that Andie would prove him so wrong and show him, and so many others, that she would not be what they wanted her to be, but what she wanted to be.

rasj: I adore the way you show Tucker and Andie interacting with each other, how he becomes an unofficial part of her physical therapy. But it isn’t always perfect, right? They fight, too, right?

Kasey: Fight? Andie and Tucker?  No! Never! *laughs * Their bickering was so awful one day that I screamed at them to stop fighting and threw the apple I had in my hand straight across the kitchen. Fortunately, it missed both their heads, but… not the window! How’s that for perfect?

rasj: That’s awesome! Obviously, you have a great arm! Now tell us something wonderful that has happened to Andie since you finished writing the book.

Kasey: I think Andie would tell you the most wonderful event in her life as of late, was getting contact lenses.  She’d worn glasses since she was two and started asking about contacts when she was nine.  Her eye doctor (Dr. V. from the book) confirmed that she was a candidate for contacts, but needed to be at an age when she was responsible enough to care for them.  The contacts were her eleventh birthday gift.

rasj: Looking back, is there information you wish you had that you would want to share with parents of preemies?

Kasey: There are three vital pieces of information I want to share with parents of preemies. First, while in the NICU, cover your baby’s isolet with a dark, heavy blanket to keep him/her in as womb-like an environment as long as possible. Secondly, allow yourself to see a vision of your child in the future and hold on to that vision. And lastly — and this is for anyone who’s experienced any sort of event trauma  – remember you are not alone.  Know that most likely whatever you’re thinking and feeling, someone else already has thought those same thoughts and felt those same feelings and walked that same path.

There is Kasey now! Isn’t she cute?

• • •

Because Kasey is awesome-sauce, she is offering a copy of her book to one lucky winner.

For a chance to win:

Leave a comment about something regarding child-rearing that has been challenging for you.

Tweet us @rasjacobson & @kaseymathews

• • •

Other blogoversary giveaways you can enter to win:

The Write-Brain Book

Elena Aitken’s ebook Sugar Crash

A handwritten card from me

Tyler Tarver’s ebook Letters To Famous People

A hard copy of Tingo & Other Extraordinary Words

All blogoversary winners will be announced on June 2nd — at which point I will collapse in exhaustion.

Why Did I Stop Doing Yoga?

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A gorgeous day to do yoga outdoor. (I’m in the front row in the green yoga pants.)

I used to practice yoga, but when I started teaching again — I stopped.

I was too busy. I had papers to grade. I had lessons to plan.

Blah blah blah.

Recently, I found my yoga mat and attended an outdoor yoga session.

It felt good for a hundred reasons.

But especially because I did feel a mind-body connection that I haven’t felt in a long time.

I’ve been running on auto-pilot for a while now, planning my son’s bar mitzvah, schlepping to and from fencing lessons, to and from religious school, to and from meetings about things that feel important but really aren’t.

Going through the poses made me slow down and focus on my hands, my hips, my breath.

At one point, I started weeping and I curled up in a ball and just let it come out.

I didn’t even know I had all that sadness trapped inside.

The instructor encouraged me to just be with it, so I allowed myself to cry. In public. I wasn’t exactly quiet. But I wasn’t embarrassed either.

Later, I felt lighter. Ad I decided I’m going to try to continue my yoga – even if it means practicing alone at home to a DVD.

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