This is your one life.

17 Oct

 

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As I approach the “middle” of my one life, this is what I now know:

1)  Friendship is worth fighting for.  Preserving a good relationship is always more important than being right.  Even if you feel like it should be the other person’s responsibility to apologize, reach out to you, or be the bigger person, if the friendship is worth saving, you should do your best to save it.

2) That being said, invest in friendships, but don’t chase them.  I’ve learned that taking the time to notice my friends’ needs and priorities is worth its weight in gold.  Pay attention.  Be thoughtful.  Reach out just to check in, even if you have nothing to report.  But, by God, do not chase after someone.  If you are doing all of the planning and initiating all of the contact, it might be worth considering being quiet for a while.  If they care about you enough to miss you, they will realize and reach out.  If they don’t then you’ll know that things were way too one-sided to flourish into a fruitful, long-term friendship.

3) Friends are put in our lives for a reason, and sometimes only for a season.  Instead of viewing the fizzling or ending of a friendship as a “break-up”, treasure the good memories you made together and be thankful that the person was placed in your life for such a time as he or she was. 

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4) Rest assured that if something devastating hasn’t yet happened in your life that it will.  You will be stretched until you think you will break.  Instead of being constantly anxious about the inevitable, live in the moment and be grateful that you are experiencing a time of peace when you are.

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5) Children are blessings.  If you have kids, most days will likely be overwhelming and you will feel more challenged than blessed.  Instead of making life harder on yourself for feeling guilty about that, just accept that parenting is not meant to be blissful.  It is the raising of a human being, which like any work is going to require a lot of ups and downs and time investment, and will sometimes be less about joy and more about survival.

6) Having a spouse or a partner may very well be the hardest job you’ll ever have.  Instead of fighting that fact, embrace the idea that being in a full-time relationship is a full-time job from the moment you decide to spend your lives together.  That way, when the honeymoon is over and sh*t gets real you won’t be so shocked.

7) People get sick and die.  If you live past 30 (or maybe even before), you will likely find yourself staring at your phone or computer in disbelief when you get word that the unspeakable happened. That your best friend’s infant was stillborn.  That your colleague’s child committed suicide.  That your pastor’s wife has breast cancer and has a very low chance of survival.  That your neighbor’s toddler drowned in their pool.  There will be no words.  Don’t avoid those people because you don’t know what to say or do.  Bake a casserole, go to them, look them in the eyes to show you care, and hug them.  Just be there.

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8) Family are the people that you choose to show your true self and who seek to love you unconditionally.  Sometimes they might be related to you, but usually they aren’t.  Be open to this possibility.  Don’t buy into the “blood is thicker than water” B.S.

9) If you are connected to your family of origin, do not take them for granted.  Don’t wait to say “I love you.” or “Thank you.” or “Can we work this out?  You hurt me.” Your grandmother is still alive?  Stop reading this and call her on the phone right now.  Seriously.  NOW.

10) A good housekeeper, nanny/babysitter, or therapist are probably the hardest people in the world to find.  If you are lucky enough to have one, tip them often, thank them profusely, and treat them like family (or better).  When they eventually move out of your life for one reason or another, you will be heartbroken.  Don’t wait until then to let them know how much they make your life better.

11) Your body will fail you.  Stretch marks, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, gray hairs, hernias, wrinkles, and worse happen sooner than later…and not just to other people.  Take care of yourself, but don’t expect to be 20 forever.  Embrace the body you have; confidence is 80% of being attractive.

12) Love yourself.  Not just your body.  Your soul, your mind, your entire humanly being.  We have but just one life to live, so have a personal mission and vision and abandon anything that derails or erodes them.  Write your own eulogy now and then take all the steps necessary to live towards a life that represents it.  

13) Superstitions are nonsense.

14) Love someone else fully.  The person you shower with your fondness doesn’t have to be a spouse or child.  A dog, an elderly nursing home resident, or God count here.  Whomever you love, just give them your all.

15) Serve.  Do things for others without any expectation.  Being grateful and doing good are the shortest routes to contentment.

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16) Find a reason to laugh.  Daily.

17) Believe in something.  Sure, the Lutheran Christian in me hopes it will be the God I know who loves us all unconditionally and who provides grace through faith alone.  But, no matter what you believe in, stay grounded by being certain it is something bigger and greater than yourself.

18) Take my advice and shove it if it doesn’t work for you…your life is your own to be lived in a way that brings a little bit of better to the world.  Breathe.  Love.  Live.

Peace,

Amber

Text4baby: free health texting for pregnant women and moms with infants

26 Jul

Text4baby is a free public health texting service that provides pregnant women and moms with babies under age one, three health and safety text messages each week timed to her due date or baby’s age. Text messages are developed by trusted experts including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and include information on topics such as labor signs and symptoms, prenatal care, developmental milestones, and more. Know someone who might be interested? Signing up is easy! All you have to do is text the word BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411 and you’ll begin receiving free health and safety messages to care for both you and your baby.

Text4baby

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Check out the 2013-2014 Theatre for the Very Young Series at The Alliance

9 Jul

Parent’s of young children in Atlanta, take note.  We saw Waiting for Balloon last year and it was so good I can’t wait to take my boys back.  I am SO excited that there are now other productions in the Theatre for the Very Young series.  Check out what’s on board for the ’13/14 season below!

Atlanta’s nationally acclaimed Alliance Theatre and Rosemary Newcott, the Sally G. Tomlinson Artistic Director of Theatre for Youth & Families, are proud to announce the 2013/14 Season for Theatre for the Very Young.  Now in its third season, Theatre for the Very Young is an artistic experience for children ages 18 months – 5 years that overcomes age and developmental barriers, expanding the consciousness of the very young audience members.  Each production nurtures creative thinking, allowing the very young to experience art and culture on their terms.

“It’s thrilling to be offering the youngest members of our community a full season of our fully interactive, wholly original Theatre for the Very Young,” said Christopher Moses, Director of Educational Programs.  “This season will find us creating new work inspired by such diverse topics as Japanese culture to Woody Guthrie’s beloved children’s songs to Beckett.  As always, our Theatre for the Very Young program is committed to inviting these little ones into a true artistic experience and connecting them not only to the theatre but also to each other in a powerful and artful way.”

Beginning October 17, the season will open with an encore production of Waiting for Balloon, directed by Rosemary Newcott and written by folk artist TMarq, loosely based on the classic play Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett.  Through delightful trial and error, exploration and interaction with the audience, two clowns piece together what makes a balloon a balloon and celebrate all that is discovered while we “wait!”  Waiting for Balloon is a joyous introduction to gentle clowning and the joy of creating puppets from found objects, designed by the creative mind of Puppeteer Michael Haverty.

The next two productions in the season are brand new productions created for very young audiences.  Little Raindrop Songs is a whimsically theatrical and imaginative journey through an anything-but-normal day, with original music by the Japanese ‘pajama-pop’ band Lullatone. The audience is led through a fully interactive world made completely of brightly colored paper which transforms dramatically into multiple settings.  Combining unexpected puppetry, a vibrantly colorful and transformative two-dimensional set design, whimsically comic performances, and the catchy pajama-pop of Lullatone, this fully interactive theatrical performance will connect with the very young and invite them into the wonder of the artistic experience.  Little Raindrop Songs is directed by Puppeteer Michael Haverty.

The final production in the season is Songs to Grow On, directed by Rosemary Newcott.  Inspired by the fun and inventive children’s songs of Woody GuthrieSongs to Grow On invites children on a one of a kind journey across the country in search of the sounds of America.  A tale of friendship, travel, and most of all the love of song, this unforgettable experience celebrates the joyful noise of harmony.   Developed in partnership with Bright from the Start: Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning, this engaging show is fully aligned with GA’s pre-K content standards.

“Theatre hopes to enchant, connect and inspire an audience, and Theatre for The Very Young does all of these in such surprising and powerful ways,” said Rosemary Newcott.  “Watching the youngest of our community engage so completely and so joyfully in a theatrical experience reminds all of us the reasons we love this art form so much!  It takes us back to a time when we could allow ‘play’ experience to envelop us and invites the child of any age to know how powerful it feels to be part of the story.”

THEATRE FOR THE VERY YOUNG 2013/14 SEASON DETAILS

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WAITING FOR BALLOON

October 17 – 19, 21 – 26, November 2, 7-9

Written by TMarq

Directed by Rosemary Newcott
Two childlike hobo-clown characters are waiting near the railroad tracks for “balloon”. The problem is that neither of them knows exactly what “balloon” is. Through delightful trial and error, exploration and interaction with the audience, the two piece together what makes a balloon a balloon and celebrate all that is discovered while we wait! This is a joyous introduction to gentle clowning and the joy of creating puppets from found objects.

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LITTLE RAINDROP SONGS

December 27 – 29, January 3 & 4, January 6 – 11, & 18

Directed by Michael Haverty
A whimsically theatrical and imaginative journey through an anything-but-normal day, created especially for the very young with original music by the Japanese ‘pajama-pop’ band Lullatone. The audience is led through a fully interactive world made completely of brightly colored paper which transforms dramatically into multiple settings – from the bedroom where we wake and get ready for the day, to the kitchen where we learn to eat a healthy breakfast, into the big world beyond where we experience sunshine, birds, bugs, and animals, a garden, a playground, and finally a big rainstorm which washes us inside for a bath and bedtime lullaby.  Combining unexpected puppetry, a vibrantly colorful and transformative two-dimensional set design, whimsically comic performances, and the catchy pajama-pop of Lullatone, this fully interactive theatrical performance will connect with the very young and invite them in to the wonder of the artistic experience.

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SONGS TO GROW ON

March 10 – 15, 22, 27 – 29

Directed by Rosemary Newcott
Inspired by the fun and inventive children’s songs of Woody Guthrie, Songs To Grow On invites children on a one of a kind journey across the country in search of the sounds of America.  A tale of friendship, travel, and most of all the love of song, this unforgettable experience celebrates the joyful noise of harmony.

TICKETS

The Alliance Theatre now offers a season ticket package for Theatre for the Very Young. 

TVY Build Your Own Season –

  • 2-play package: $20/person
  • 3-play package: $30/person

In addition to guaranteed seats, all TVY season ticket holders receive:

  • 15% off additional single tickets to all Alliance Theatre Productions
  • 10% off acting classes
  • $5 off return tickets to enjoy Theatre for the Very Young performances again

Tickets for single performances are $10.

Learn more about all these performances at www.alliancetheatre.org/tvy.  Tickets may be purchased online or by contacting Olivia Aston, 404.733.4702 or Olivia.aston@woodrufcenter.org.

Free Braves tickets to Atlanta Summer Readers

26 Jun

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Atlanta Braves Announce “Home Run Readers” Summer Reading Program
Free Braves ticket in exchange for reading about sports or sportsmanship

This summer, the Atlanta Braves and the National Education Association’s (NEA) “Read Across America” and the Georgia Association of Educators are partnering with Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) for the 2013 Atlanta Braves Summer Reading Program, “Home Run Readers.”

This new educational outreach program encourages students to build a love for reading, as well as advance their reading skills during the summer months. Home Run Readers rewards students in grades K-12 throughout Georgia by providing one free Braves ticket for each participant who reads at least one book about sports or good sportsmanship. Discounted tickets for accompanying family members and friends will be available for $7 each. 

All-Star pitcher Tim Hudson and All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla will serve as Atlanta Braves ambassadors for the Home Run Readers program.

“We know that reading and literacy will provide a platform for success and the keen knowledge to make wise decisions not only in school, but throughout their entire lives,” said Executive Vice President of the Atlanta Braves, Derek Schiller. “The Atlanta Braves are proud to provide a reward for the hardworking kids in the state of Georgia.”

 Reward tickets can be redeemed for any of the five following games:

•        Sunday, June 30, vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

•        Tuesday, July 2, vs. Miami Marlins

•        Monday, July 29, vs. Colorado Rockies

•        Thursday, August 1, vs. Colorado Rockies

•        Sunday, August 11, vs. Miami Marlins

“We are extremely pleased and excited about this partnership and to be able to offer these wonderful reading incentives to young people and families across the state,” said Dr. Lamar Veatch, Georgia’s state librarian. “A program that encourages education while providing fun for the entire family is a true treasure. Home Run Reading and its related events will be excellent examples of our three organizations’ joint commitment to every community in Georgia.”

“Just because school is out doesn’t mean students should take a break from reading,” said Dennis Van Roekel, NEA president. “When students return to their classrooms in the fall, we want reading to top the list of what they did this summer.”

“This effort is a natural extension of our Read Across America programs held in spring,” said Calvine Rollins, president of the Georgia Association of Educators. “Although summer brings a welcome break from the rigors of the school year, it’s extremely important to ensure our children are keeping up with and enhancing their reading skills during their time off.”

Additionally, the Braves will host GPLS days at Turner Field on three separate dates. GPLS and local library staff will be on hand to enable those fans that don’t already have a library card to sign up for one at the stadium. The GPLS Days are slated for June 30 against the Diamondbacks, August 18vs. the Nationals, and September 15 as the Braves take on the San Diego Padres.

Home Run Readers is open to all Georgia students in grades K-12 and runs through August 11. Program rules, a list of suggested titles, registration information and redemption forms are available online at www.braves.com/reading.

It’s Summer…which in Atlanta means it’s time to CHOP!

13 Jun

Even though we are die-hard Penn State and Steelers fans, one of the first and best things we adopted when moving to Atlanta ten years ago was a penchant for the Braves.  They are our MLB team, no question.  Everything about it- the team, the stadium, the experience…just fit for us.  We love the Turner Field, have had great service and refreshments there, and always seem to have a great time, no matter where we find ourselves sitting.

It’s officially summer for everyone in Atlanta now, and with Father’s Day coming up this weekend, a Braves game seems like a great choice for a family outing.  Here’s some info about what’s happening with the Braves in the next week.  We actually hope to make it to one of these games, and if we do, I’ll be sure to post about our experience and offer some tips for taking kids to a game.  Let’s go Braves!

BJ Upton Bobblehead

Atlanta Braves Homestand Highlights Friday, June 14 – Thursday, June 20

San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves (June 14 – June 16)

Friday, June 14 at 7:35 p.m. vs. San Francisco Giants

  • ·         Braves Strike Out Hunger Fridays Presented by Kroger: The Braves will host a food drive prior to every Friday home game during the 2013 season to benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Fans can donate 20 cans of food or $20 at the Strike Out Hunger Tent and receive an autograph from a Braves pitcher. Limit of one signature per donation. On Friday, June 14, fans will have the opportunity to get an autograph from Braves pitcher Craig Kimbrel in Monument Grove from 6:35 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. For a list of items needed and future food drive collection dates, visit braves.com/hunger.
  • ·         Friday Night Rising Stars Series: The Atlanta Braves Friday Night Rising Stars Series provides an opportunity for up-and-coming bands ready to rock and entertain thousands of fans at Turner Field, a stage to perform prior to select home games as well as postgame during the 2013 season. OnJune 14, the Braves welcome Sundy Best, to Fan Plaza as well as a special post-game performance before fireworks on the field. With influences ranging from country, bluegrass, rock, soul and rhythm and blues, the duo produces music that, at times, is hard to classify. They are crowd rockers and party starters. The band’s visceral sound and incredible live shows have gained them a loyal following.
  • ·         Jerseys Off Our Backs Presentation: The Atlanta Braves auctioned off game-worn jerseys for fans to bid on with proceeds benefitting the Atlanta Braves Foundation. Winning bidders will receive two tickets to the game vs. Giants and will be presented on-field with the jersey by a Braves player immediately following the game. Each jersey will be authenticated and autographed for the lucky winners.
  • ·         Sport Clips’ “Chop”: Every Friday home game during the 2013 season, Sport Clips Haircuts is cutting hair for charity. Sport Clips stylist will give haircuts to fans at Top of the Chop for a $5 minimum donation to the Atlanta Braves Foundation. Enjoy a Braves game view from the Top of the Chop and a Sport Clips haircut while making a difference in our community. Sport Clips.
  • ·         Friday Night Fireworks, presented by Georgia Lottery: Enjoy the Braves game and a spectacular fireworks show set to music following every Braves Friday home game.

Saturday, June 15 at 4:05 p.m. vs. San Francisco Giants

  • ·         MLB Drawstring Giveaway presented by MLB Network: The first 45,000 fans will take home a MLB drawstring bag.
  • ·         Pitch, Hit & Run Presented by Scotts: The Atlanta Braves and Major League Baseball host the Team Championship level of the Pitch, Hit & Run official skills competition. Sixteen finalists from Local and Sectional skills competitions throughout Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, compete on the field in the skills of running, batting, fielding, and throwing. The finalist will be honored during an on-field presentation at the game.
  • ·         Live Music in the Plaza: Fans will enjoy live music in Fan Plaza as Braves Band of the Year contestant, Nine Times Blues, will perform. The critically acclaimed, Atlanta-based alternative rock band has been selling out shows all around Atlanta. While they clearly wear their influences on their sleeve, invoking the classic alt-rock and power pop that first inspired them to pick up instruments, Nine Times Blue has a radio friendly, modern sound that is all their own.
  • ·         Braves Country 4-Miler: Summer is finally here and to celebrate fans can put their best foot forward, literally, and race on down to Turner Field for the Braves Country 4-Miler on Saturday, June 15. The route, beginning at 7:15 a.m., will take racers around Atlanta and culminate on the warning track near the Braves dugout. Race entry includes a ticket to Saturday’s matchup against the San Francisco Giants and a short-sleeve performance shirt. Race entrants, and their family and friends will take part in a parade around the field before the game. Registration closed on June 12.

Sunday, June 16 at 8:00 p.m. vs. San Francisco Giants

***Please note the game time change to 8:00 p.m. due to ESPN Broadcast***

  • ·         Alumni Sunday: Braves alumni Brad Clontz and Mark Lemke will greet fans and sign autographs pregame in Fan Plaza from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • ·         In honor of Father’s Day, all dads and sons are invited to lineup at the Hank Aaron ramp at 6:30 p.m. for a pregame parade around the warning track.
  • ·         Hometown Hero: During the 6th Inning the Braves will pay tribute to a local “Hometown Hero” from the United States Military.
  • ·         Georgia Prostate Cancer Coalition: Promotes awareness of prostate cancer in Georgia – including the make of the disease, importance of early detection, treatment options and survival. The organization will be onsite in Monument Grove from 5 – 8:00 p.m. distributing information to fans.
  • God Bless America: During the 7th Inning Stretch, Atlanta’s fan-favorite Timothy Miller will perform God Bless America.
  • Kids Run The Bases: Presented by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, we invite all kids 14 and under to run the bases after every regular seasonSunday home game. Just meet at the Hank Aaron ramp at aisle 129 on the Field Level.
  • Prostate Cancer Awareness Day: The Atlanta Braves and Major League Baseball will host a celebration of survivorship honoring men who have courageously battled prostate cancer. Survivors will receive a free game ticket, commemorative t-shirt, and the opportunity to participate in a special on-field ceremony. During the game, players, umpires, coaches and on-field personnel will wear MLB blue ribbon wristbands and blue ribbon decals on their uniforms. Other blue ribbon elements include official blue dugout lineup cards and the logo will be affixed to the bases. For more information, visit www.braves.com/pcawareness.

 

New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves (June 17- June 20)

Monday, June 17 at 7:10 p.m. vs. New York Mets

  • ·         Braves Wives Oklahoma Disaster Relief Efforts On-Field Check Presentation: The Braves Wives will present to the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Disaster Relief Fund with a check for $13,000 that was raised through the Brown Bag Bonanza/Mystery Baseball sale on June 2.
  • ·         Sport Clips $8 Night: Get Terrace View seats for only $8 to any Monday game this season!
  • ·         Holeman & Finch Burger Ticket Package: New to Turner Field in 2013, the Holeman & Finch Burger is being served up at three locations throughout the ballpark. This widely popular handcrafted burger is guaranteed for fans that purchase the H&F Ticket Package. A $32 ticket (only 24 available per game) gets fans a reserved Outfield Pavilion seat on the H&F Burger Row and H&F Burger Pass (front of the line access and a guaranteed burger).

Tuesday, June 18 SPLIT DOUBLEHEADER at 1:10 and 7:10 p.m. vs. New York Mets

***The Atlanta Braves home game against the New York Mets that was postponed by rain on May 4 has been rescheduled as part of a split doubleheader on June 18. The first game will begin at 1:10 p.m. and the second game will start at 7:10 p.m. Fans holding tickets to the May 4game can use the tickets for the first game of the split doubleheader or exchange the tickets for any other remaining available 2013 game. Tickets can be exchanged at Turner Field box office or mail before June 18. Please visit braves.com/rainout for details. ***

  • ·        Coca-Cola Two-for-$30 Tuesdays: Two tickets for $30 in the Club Level Pavilion every Tuesday, fans save up to 50%.

Wednesday, June 19 at 7:10 p.m. vs. New York Mets

  • ·         All You Can Eat Seats: For as low as $50 for group tickets on Super Value games and $60 at the gate, fans can enjoy unlimited smoked BBQ sandwiches, chicken wings, all beef franks, potato salad, peanuts, popcorn, chocolate chip cookies, Coca-Cola products, and draft beer.

Thursday, June 20 at 7:10 p.m. vs. New York Mets

  • ·         B.J. Upton Bobblehead Giveaway presented by Delta Air LinesThe first 20,000 fans will receive a B.J. Upton bobblehead.

Every Week at Turner Field:

  • ·         Braves Batting Practice Experience: Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience from the field and watch your favorite players up-close while both teams take batting practice before the game. Visit www.braves.com/battingpractice for more details.
  • ·         At The Ballpark App: Fans visiting Turner Field this season can connect with their Atlanta Braves using the new and FREE At The Ballpark app, available for iPhone and Android users. Through the app, fans can upgrade their seats, access video highlights, listen to the Braves radio broadcast and much more. Visit http://www.braves.com/ballpark to download today!
  • ·         Holeman & Finch Burger Ticket Package: New to Turner Field in 2013, the Holeman & Finch Burger is being served up at three locations throughout the ballpark. This widely popular handcrafted burger is guaranteed for fans that purchase the H&F Ticket Package. A $32 ticket (only 24 available per game) gets fans a reserved Outfield Pavilion seat on the H&F Burger Row and H&F Burger Pass (front of the line access and a guaranteed burger).
  • ·         Friday Night Fireworks, presented by Georgia Lottery: Enjoy the Braves game and a spectacular fireworks show set to music following every Braves Friday home game.
    • ·        50/50 Raffle: The Atlanta Braves Foundation will be selling 50/50 raffle tickets electronically throughout Turner Field until the end of the sixth inning. Stationary kiosks can be found at aisles 132 and handhelds will be carried by the 50/50 team. 50% of the proceeds will benefit the Atlanta Braves Foundation.
    • ·        Coca-Cola Two-for-$30 Tuesdays: Two tickets for $30 in the Club Level Pavilion every Tuesday, fans save up to 50%.
    • ·        All You Can Eat Seats: For as low as $50 for group tickets on Super Value games and $60 at the gate, fans can enjoy unlimited smoked BBQ sandwiches, chicken wings, all beef franks, potato salad, peanuts, popcorn, chocolate chip cookies, Coca-Cola products, and draft beer.
    • ·        College and AAA Discount: Two Upper Box tickets for the price of one with a valid college or AAA ID card.
    • ·        Military Discount: Two Upper Box and Outfield tickets for the price of one ticket with a valid military ID.
    • ·        $1 SkyLine Seats: Available two and a half hours before every home game at the Turner Field Ticket Office.

Fans can purchase tickets by visiting braves.com/tickets, the Braves Ticket Office at Turner Field, the Braves Clubhouse Store at the CNN Center, all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Atlanta Braves games are broadcast on FS South and SportSouth. Radio broadcasts can be heard in Atlanta on 680 the Fan, Rock 100 FM, 93.7 FM and regionally on the Atlanta Braves Radio Network. Follow the Braves at braves.com,facebook.com/braves, and twitter.com/braves.

Bless your heart ;-),

Amber

Finding breathing room and seeing the light

9 May

ImageOne, of what will certainly be many, black eyes in the P house.

I’ve been struggling a little bit lot over the past few months.  Not really with my mood, but rather with the “voices” in my head.  No, I’m not actually hearing anything, silly.  I just mean the kind of self-defeating conversations you have with yourself when you feel like you have made a poor choice or you aren’t living up to your own expectations about what being a mom and wife looks like.

My boys (ages- a couple days from 2 & 5 and 7/12- his words, not mine) are having a rough go of the sibling thing.  They are at two completely different stages and have mostly different interests…except of course when one brother is playing with something- then it becomes absolutely the ONLY thing the other wants to do. ;-)  Anyway, I feel more like a referee than a mom most days, and I’m fairly certain that I’ve been about as sweet as rotten eggs as a wife since our second became mobile.  L2′s nickname is “the bionic child”, and for good reason.  He challenges me to my core with the physical intensity required to keep that boy safe.  While being extremely independent, he is also an expert climber, jar opener, mess maker, and sharp item finder.  Being awake means he’s at risk for injury and so I can’t leave him alone.  Even for a minute.  Even to pee.

L1 is at an equally delightful and challenging age.  The one where his curiosity has blossomed from self endangerment (which he never really suffered from) to research.  However, it also means that he asks a million questions a day and is incredibly sensitive because he is analyzing everyone’s words and actions.  What used to be wishy-washy playground talk by 4 and 5 year olds has become “the world is going to end because so-and-so told me he’s going to lock me in the squidapod…”.  What in the world is a squidapod anyway???

Yesterday was a random day.  My husband was out of town.  A couple of friends and neighbors stopped by.  The landscaper was moving mulch from some trees we had cut down last week.  It was sunny and warm, but not too hot.  The stuff of ordinary Wednesdays in May in Atlanta.

But, for me May 8, 2013 was extraordinary.  Why?  Because it was the first time in as long as I can remember that I felt like I was doing an okay job.  That my boys weren’t constantly in a competition to see who could irritate the other more.  That I didn’t feel the need to rush to beat the bedtime clock.  That we just were.

This morning we slept in a little.  We had just enough (but not too much) time before school to do the things we had to do.  We got to school on time.  Not late, but not too early for carpool, either.  L2 and I came home after dropping off L1 and he and I played a bit.  I cleared out my inbox a bit.  We ate a bit.  He actually watched part of a TV show!  He brought me a shirt out of his drawer and asked to get dressed.  He threw his own trash away and helped me clean up a few of his toys.  We hugged and laughed and giggled.  He fell down and bumped his head and instead of getting hysterical he walked over to me and asked for a hug.  We snuggled.

I found some breathing room in the past 24 hours.  For the first time in over a year my shoulders are not pulled up to my ears as an outward sign of the inward stress.  I am breathing a bit more deeply and peacefully.  I am seeing the light of what life will soon be like more regularly.

While I adore the infant phase and I am able to tolerate the toddler phase, by far, 5 years old is my favorite so far.  I miss the newborn smell and the ease of a child who can’t harm himself since he doesn’t move much.  But, I also miss being able to pee by myself.  And, reading.  Oh how I love books…and I miss them so.

My kids are growing older everyday.  Whether I like it or not, they are rapidly changing and developing.  So instead of living my life in mourning for their infancy, I am going to choose to be present and find the beauty in having older children.  The contentment and freedom that come with their independence and ability to communicate their needs.  The joy of finding myself again as I get to know them better.

Bless your heart ;-) ,

Amber

Center for Puppetry Arts offers unique opportunity to support the Arts and have a fun, affordable birthday party!

16 Mar
 Book your child’s birthday party at the Center for Puppetry Arts and you’re sure to be enthralled by these hilarious tales of a cunning rabbit, his infamous friends, and their amusing attempts to stay out of a briar patch of trouble. Featuring live music with a range of Southern African American styles, this sprightly competition of the ego invites audiences to see who is the swiftest, the strongest, and the smartest of this gang of friends.

Party spaces are available on Saturdays and Sundays and include tickets to the Center for Puppetry Arts’ original production of Brer Rabbit & Friends, your very own birthday party room, and the all-important birthday throne!

Extras like the Create-A-Puppet Workshop (make your very own Brer Fox Hand Puppet), balloons, hand puppets, and invitations add to the fun!  Just bring your party supplies, decorations, and food. Or call our friends at Papa John’s at GA Tech for a special Center for Puppetry Arts discount.

Birthday Parties are a special privilege for Members at the Family level and above, but don’t worry, it’s easy to join! Just click here.

If you want more information about having your party at the Center, then please contact melissahayes@puppet.org or call 404.881.5109 for more information.

We’ve identified some great dates for birthday party specials!
Get $15 off the room rental on these dates!

Birthday Party Discount Dates
Sun, April 14, 2013 (1pm & 3pm show times)
Sun, May 26, 2013 (1pm & 3pm show times)

Offer not valid for previously booked parties. Regular birthday party rules apply. Subject to availability.

 www.puppet.org • 404.873.3391 • 1404 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30309

 

Atlanta IEP Boot Camp

4 Mar

onthesameteam

Does your child’s program meet all areas of their needs? Do you understand your rights and how to manage the IEP process?

Learn how to participate as part of the IEP Team. Join us for small group sessions to address individual questions and concerns of parents:

Session 1: March 17, 2013, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Topic: IEPs: Creating a program, not just a document, including evaluations, present levels of performance, placements and services, accommodations/supports, and testing

Session 2: March 24, 2013, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Topic: How to write measurable goals and objectives, progress monitoring and data collection; and how to design ESY to meet your child’s needs

Session 3: April 21, 2013, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Topic: Program Transitions, preparing for the next big move, managing your IEP team meeting and avoiding IEP pitfalls

Where: 1202 Springdale Road, Atlanta, GA 30306

Cost:$50/session; $125/ 3 sessions

Janet Haury, Special Education Attorney, On the Same Team

Jill Bender, Special Education Advocate

*RSVP required, limited space available: jillmbender@yahoo.com

Atlanta’s World of Coke Offers Discounted Tickets Every Monday in March

1 Mar

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CELEBRATE NCAA® MARCH MADNESS® MONDAYS AT THE WORLD OF COCA-COLA

As NCAA® Final Four® excitement builds in Atlanta, the World of Coca-Cola is celebrating March Madness® with a slam dunk of an offer. Every Monday in March, the Atlanta attraction is offering $10 general admission tickets for NCAA® March Madness® Mondays. These tickets are available online at www.worldofcoca-cola.com/march-madness.htm and at the World of Coca-Cola ticket windows. 

What:                   NCAA® March Madness® Mondays

When:                 March 4 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m. entry)

March 11 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m. entry)

March 18 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m. entry)

March 25 (9 a.m. – 6 p.m. entry)              

Where:                The World of Coca-Cola, 121 Baker St. NW, Atlanta GA 30309

Additional Information: Mention NCAA® March Madness® Mondays to take advantage of this offer at World of Coca-Cola ticketing windows or visitwww.worldofcoca-cola.com/march-madness.htm to purchase tickets online. Tickets valid for visits on March 4, March 11, March 18 or March 25, 2013 only. For additional information including World of Coca-Cola hours of operation, visit www.worldofcoca-cola.com.

 About the World of Coca-Cola

The World of Coca-Cola has welcomed guests from six continents, more than 75 countries, all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Join more than 5 million people who have visited the Atlanta attraction and experience the history of the world’s most famous soft drink at the dynamic, multimedia home of the 126-year-old secret formula for Coca-Cola. Get closer than ever before to the vault containing the secret recipe, and see the fully-functioning bottling line that produces a commemorative glass bottle of Coca-Cola for every guest. View more than 1,200 never-before-displayed artifacts, take a trip around the world in a thrilling 4-D movie experience and tempt your taste buds with more than 60 beverages from around the globe. 

The World of Coca-Cola is located in Pemberton Place, adjacent to the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta, and is accessible via the Peachtree Center or CNN/ World Congress Center MARTA stations. Consumers with questions may call 1-800-676-COKE or visit our website at www.worldofcoca-cola.com to purchase tickets. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/WorldofCocaCola or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/WorldofCocaCola.

 NCAA, Final Four and March Madness are trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Big Red Ball Fundraiser…a great reason to get all dolled up, Atlanta moms!

11 Feb

Big Red Ball invite

50 Cents. Period., founded in 2010 by Atlantan Lorrie King to aid girls in developing countries who miss a week of school each month because of their periods,invites you to its 2013 fundraiser, the Big Red Ball.

The inaugural event will take place at the Old Courthouse on the Square in Decatur on Friday, March 8, 2013, from 7 to 11 p.m.  Lavish bites from Alison Lueker of Atlanta’s Sun in My Belly will highlight a convivial evening of dinner, drinks and dancing with Stiletto Dance Company and music from Atlanta Big Band at one of Decatur’s most lauded venues. Over 200 guests will convene to enjoy Lueker’s distinct dishes as well as the benefit’s signature cocktail, the Big Red Bev. Guests are encouraged to “paint the night red” as they dance and mingle at one of 2013’s most important charitable events. Sponsored by Team Red in partnership with Sun in My Belly and Stiletto Dance Company, tickets are $115 ($95 before February 18th).

50 Cents. Period. is comprised of Team Red, a growing group of volunteers  who believe passionately that women and girls must not have their educations and opportunities curtailed because of their inability to have access to  fundamental supplies during their periods.  Water and sanitary supplies are things women in the developed world often take for granted, but the international business strategists, public health professionals, writers, health practitioners and educators who make up Team Red know that girls in developing countries may miss a week of school – and life – each month.

Just 50 cents buys a month of sanitary supplies and an uninterrupted education. For women with no access to sanitary supplies, 50 cents provides the freedom to simply leave their homes and engage with life. The solution is simple; the impact lasts a lifetime. Team Red’s mission is to raise consciousness and much-needed funds for this important and potentially life-altering issue.

50 Cents. Period. focuses programs and advocacy in underserved, traditionally marginalized communities, addressing issues such as chaupadi – the forced, ritualized exclusion of women during their periods, and providing sanitary products, women’s health education workshops and curriculae, clean water and sanitation facilities.

50 cents can change the future!

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