Snail Mail Smile

So, my friend Morgan is pretty amazing. She’s fun, gorgeous, sweet, and smart. She’s got a wicked sense of humor and one of those laughs that can catch your attention from across a crowded room and before you know it, you’re laughing along, even if you’re not quite sure why. She’s got a big ol’ heart, a flair for the dramatic, and a creative streak that runs deep. She’s the sort of girl who can make your day better just by walking in the room and flashing that million dollar smile.

Morgan is the type of girl who sees beauty that might otherwise get overlooked, and she has a knack for finding humor in even the most mundane situations. She has the soul of an artist coupled with something of a…well…an interesting sense of humor and somehow that has developed into her own little line of honest (and hilarious) greeting cards that are guaranteed to make you smile. Check her out on Instagram @snailmailsmile and her Etsy shop etsy.com/shop/SnailMailSmile1

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I got my first card in the mail just when I needed it the most. Love you Morgan!!

Family Fracas

Henry was very uncertain about this card game…

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Elf on the Shelf 2015 – Day 6

Just recently (within the last year or so) Cadence has gotten interested in board games. She’s been really into cards for awhile now. We’ve been playing Uno with her since she was 3, and this year she has gotten really good at War, Old Maid, and Crazy 8’s. And she’s freakishly good at Go Fish. Sometimes we wonder if she’s figured out a way to cheat.

But as far as board games, she hasn’t really been all that interested until more recently. Maybe it’s finally that she’s old enough to really understand all the rules and formulate a strategy to emerge the victor. See, here in the Romano house, we don’t believe in letting our kids win. My friend Kara wrote a great article for Good Housekeeping recently that pretty much sums up our views the that subject, and you can read it HERE. Sure, there are times when we will pause a game to explain a strategy to Cadence or to advise her to look closely before she makes a move, but mostly, we believe in letting her figure it out for herself. After all, these games we’re playing and the decisions she is making today are laying the foundation for the way she is going to tackle much bigger problems later on, and we would be failing her if we weren’t teaching her that failure is a part of life.

It has been awesome seeing Cadence grow through the process. Instead of crying or quitting when she loses, she takes time to think about why she didn’t win and immediately asks to play again. She’s incredibly resilient, and these days, she’s even winning more often than she loses. Her current favorites are the aforementioned card games (hell, maybe we should start teaching her a little Poker and Blackjack now), Connect 4, Zynga (which is sort of like a cutthroat Bingo), and a game called Bugs in the Kitchen where you have to strategically lead a skittering little Hexbug through a maze and into your trap to win the game.

We bought her the Minion Operation game last Christmas, thinking she might get a kick out of it, but the first loud buzz freaked her out and it has been collecting dust ever since. Cosette and Leo noticed it sitting on the shelf and figured they might put it to good use. And wouldn’t you know it, Cadence suddenly seems very interested in learning to play.

Game on!

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Elf on the Shelf 2013 – Day 23

Life is all about what you do with the hand you’re dealt. Let’s face it, sometimes you manage to draw some really shitty cards, but you just never knew what’s coming next. So, you gotta keep playing. And if you’ve got some good friends beside you, you might even have a little fun.

Both Cadence and Cosette woke this morning, feeling a little better so what better way to celebrate and spend a Sunday than learning to play a little UNO?

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And wouldn’t you know, our little card shark caught on quick and kicked Daddy’s butt in her very first game. Yeah, that’s our girl. 🙂

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Elf on the Shelf – Day 16

After returning from her late night visit to the North Pole, Cosette rounded up the gang for a little after hours game of poker. And by the time Cadence woke this morning, Cosette had amassed a fifty-cent fortune.

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When she came down for breakfast, Cadence looked for Cosette in all the old usual haunts, and was tickled when she found her and the gang in the middle of their game.

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Of course, she wanted in on the action, so Cosette bowed out gracefully and let Cadence have a turn at the table.

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Now, I’m not one to spread rumors, but I’m pretty sure Cadence was stacking the deck.

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And if she wasn’t, she just might be a card counting genius. Either way, by the end of the game, Cadence left the table with everyone’s money and promptly deposited it in her piggy bank. Someday, we just might have to take our little gambler to try her luck in Vegas. 🙂

Excavation 2012 – Day #48 – Please Mr. Postman

It’s probably not surprising that I’m the kind of girl who saves cards and letters.

I mean, with my book and photo addiction, it sort of makes sense that I would also be committed to saving all sorts of handwritten correspondence. And as I continued sifting through my photographs, I came across one of my boxes filled with all sorts of things that have been mailed to me over the years.

I’ve got Christmas photo cards and letters…

Letters from friends…

Letters from family…

Birthday cards…

Graduation cards…

Call me crazy, but I just can’t get rid of any of them. See, to me, these are works of art, pieces of history, my history. At different times in my life, people took the time to sit down and put their thoughts on paper, tuck them into an envelope, and send them to me. In today’s world of email and texting and social networks, good old handwritten letters are a dying art form, and I will do what I can do preserve them, even if my husband rolls his eyes and asks me why the heck I’m wasting space saving it all.

What can I say? I’m addicted to words, and I’m proud. 🙂

And  just looking through all of these old cards and letters again tonight made me seriously nostalgic for the good old days when I used to sit down with a pen and paper and write letters, and get so excited when I found one in the mail. So, I’ve decided I’m going to challenge myself to write one letter a week to someone I care about. It might be someone I’ve been thinking about. It might be someone I haven’t talked to in ages. It might be someone I think could use a little pick-me-up. Heck, it might even be just a name I draw randomly out of a hat. I’m already looking forward to the challenge because, for all the convenience of things like email and texting, there’s nothing quite like opening a mailbox and seeing a letter that’s been thoughtfully written just for you.

So, get out there, people, and start writing.