PUPPETPALOOZA 2013

7 Feb

…presented by the Atlanta Puppetry Guild and the Academy Theatre.

 
SAT, FEB 23, 2013 11am till 2pm
 
This is a “drop-in” event with continuous activities.Bring the whole family to this fun puppet variety show featuring the talents of the Atlanta Puppetry Guild!

 
In addition to puppet shows,  there will be concessions, carnival games and puppet craft activities for kids and parents alike.
 
There will also be merchandise for sale including one of a kind puppets!
 
Proceeds will go to the Atlanta Puppetry Guild to support scholarships and grants.
Don’t miss out on all the fun!
Kids $5 Adults $10

It is MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK in Georgia!

4 Feb

MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK
FEBRUARY 3-9, 2013!
 

Join us in making Maternal Mental Health a priority!

The Georgia Coalition on Maternal Mental Health (of which I am proud to be a part) promotes the well-being of mothers and families through community partnerships, awareness, education, and advocacy with regard to perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

We invite you to join us at the Georgia Capitol on February 6th at 3PM when Sarah Schwartz, Executive Director of MHA of GA, will be presenting to the Health & Human Services Committee to advocate with the Coalition in making maternal mental health a priority in our state.

Please join us to show your support for maternal mental health by joining us at this legislative presentation.

Contact Liz Smulian at liz@mhageorgia.org or 678-904-1968 for more information.

p.s. In case you have media connections, please share this with them.  Look for us on Weds…we’ll be wearing the green sashes and buttons with the Mama and Baby Green Ribbon logo!

Bless your heart 😉 (and mind),

Amber

Positive.

7 Jan

I want to have goals.  I do have goals.  I mean, really, who doesn’t…it’s just that many of us are good at keeping them and some of us are more mediocre.  Anyhow, over the past few years, I have chosen a word to meditate on, to direct my choices.

In 2011, as I approached the birth of my second son, after having survived (barely) horrible postpartum depression and anxiety with my first, my word was HOPE.  I had that word plastered everywhere.  I spent a whole weekend praying on that one word, in fact.

In 2012, after successfully avoiding severe PPD, I realized that while I was so proud and grateful for the blessing of being able to not only remember, but enjoy, my son’s infancy, that I was still fighting.  Fighting the demons of my past, and honestly, the demons of my present, too.  The difficult relationships, the imperfection of just being human.  I felt constantly disappointed and convinced that the difficulty letting go and finding joy in everyday life, not just special events, was the fault of others and outside factors.  And then I woke up.  I realized that my life was pretty good and that a big part of my challenges were about my lack of being able to cope when things weren’t exactly how I wanted them.  Ahhhh…enter ACCEPTANCE.  It began as a Lenten practice and then became a life practice.  Two steps forward, seventy five back.  I probably could’ve taken that one on as a five-year-plan, but instead in 2013, I have chosen anew.

This year’s word is POSITIVE.  I am anything but 100% certain that I will be anymore successful at this practice than I have been at others, but I am determined to try.  To become someone who sees with rosy glasses and always views the glass as half full.  It won’t be easy.  It will take lots of practice and mindfulness and thought-stopping or replacing, but I will do it.

Here’s to facing life each day with the calm, goofy, and upbeat perspective I had in this photo!

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Bless your heart ;-),

Amber

Warmest Atlanta Wishes…

26 Dec

to you and yours.

From mine…

ccard1

Bless your heart ;-),
Amber

Alliance Theatre for the Very Young Presents Waiting for Balloon

11 Dec

 

A highly interactive multi-sensory performance for very young children and their grown-ups is coming to Atlanta.  I can’t wait!  With an 18 month old who you all know is just about unable to be taken anywhere in public, this has me chomping at the bit.  We are planning to attend A Christmas Carol with our five year old  and have gotten a sitter to be able to do so.  As much as it pains me to do that, it’s become a regular occurrence lately because we are really making an effort for our older child’s life not to completely be put on hold until the baby can “behave himself”.  In any case- going to a show with both kids in tow, especially during their two weeks off school, is exciting for me and Mr. P.

Here’s the info you’ll need if you have little ones like ours…

ATLANTA, December 10, 2012 — Beginning December 27, the Alliance Theatre for the Very Young will stage Waiting for Balloon written by folk artist TMarq and loosely based on the classic play Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett.

Directed by Rosemary Newcott, Sally G. Tomlinson Artistic Director of Theatre for Youth, Waiting for Balloon tells the story of two childlike hobo-clowns 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!” 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.

Theatre for the Very Young is an artistic experience for children ages 18 months – 5 years that overcomes age, language, and developmental barriers, expanding the consciousness of very young audience members and integrating bi-lingual elements into each show.  Each production nurtures creative thinking, allowing the very young to experience art and culture on their terms.

“Theatre for the Very Young engages both parents and their pre-school children in creative experiences.  The fourth wall is dissolved as young ones willing become part of the experience,” says Director, Rosemary Newcott.

Tickets for Waiting for Balloon are $10 per person, no matter how young or old. Groups of 10 or more receive a discount of 25% off their single tickets. For additional information about Theatre for the Very Young or to purchase tickets, please contact Olivia Aston at 404.733.4702 orolivia.aston@woodruffcenter.org. You can also purchase tickets online at:

http://alliancetheatre.org/Education/theatre-for-the-very-young/Waiting-for-Balloon.aspx

Waiting for Balloon – – Alliance Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St, Atlanta, GA 30309 – Memorial Arts Building, 3rd Floor, Black Box Theatre:

  • December 27–30, 2012
    • Thursday-Sunday, 9:30am & 11:00am
  • January 3–6, 2013
    • Thursday-Sunday, 9:30am & 11:00am
  • January 12 & 19, 2013
    • Saturdays, 9:30am & 11:00am

Calendar Synopsis

Waiting for Balloon

December 27-30, 2012, Thursday-Sunday, 9:30am & 11:00am

January 3-6, 2013, Thursday-Sunday, 9:30am & 11:00am

January 12 & 19, 2013, Saturdays, 9:30am & 11:00am

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 clowns piece together what makes a balloon a balloon and celebrate all that is discovered while we “wait!”  An introduction to gentle clowning and the joy of creating puppets from found objects.  For tickets – please contact Olivia Aston at 404.733.4702 or olivia.aston@woodruffcenter.org, also available online at

http://alliancetheatre.org/Education/theatre-for-the-very-young/Waiting-for-Balloon.aspx


Theatre for the Very Young Season Ticket Packages

Season Ticket packages for the two upcoming Theatre for the Very Young productions are available.  When you buy a package for $20, receive tickets to both productions plus season ticket benefits.

  • Waiting for Balloon – December 27-30, 2012; January 3-6, 2013; January 12 & 19, 2013
  • A Child’s Garden of Verses – March 11-16 & 23; March 29-30, 2013
    Explore the sounds and sensations of nature as you journey through a magical garden.  Children will be actively engaged in this multi-sensory performance as they willingly become a part of the artistic experience.  A “cultural” garden in which children can grow their imaginations, and become gardeners themselves!

Producer Package – $20 (per person, no matter how young or old) –includes a ticket to each TVY production.  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 TVY performances again

For season tickets, contact Olivia Aston at 404.733.4702 or olivia.aston@woodruffcenter.org

Holidays: When Happiness and Hectic are one and the same

6 Dec

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I LOVE Christmas.  I mean, like really, really love.  Like mail out my Christmas cards the day after Thanksgiving, love.  Like my decorations MUST be up before the end of November, love.

But, I also recognize the emotional nature of this season.  I mean, by it’s very virtue the “holiday season” is meant to elicit images of extra activities, service projects, alternative (or even just regular) gifting, worship services, family obligations, remembrances of loved ones gone and experiencing illness…ah, the list goes on.

As an Atlanta mom, I feel blessed that weather is generally not an impediment to my task list.  I also find the distance between us and our families of origin, who live in Pennsylvania, a bit of a relief, in that all of that “over the river and through the woods” talk can be the stuff of Christmas Carols instead of my Christmas reality.  And, I would be lying if I didn’t mention the exhale that not being in the midst of the family drama, every family, no matter how functional, inevitably encounters at one time or another, allows us.

But, no matter what the reason or the season, life is way, way too short to let a busy pace, the worries of yesterday, or the anxieties of tomorrow take up the happiness of today.  Whether you are anticipating Hanukah, in the first few days of Advent, or simply appreciating the season, I wish you moments of peace, joy, and contentment in just being.

Bless your heart ;-),

Amber

Loud and Clear

8 Nov

I’ve been having a rough go of it lately.  There’s just a lot going on and I don’t seem to be able to successfully tackle much of it.  For every one step forward, I find myself three steps (at least!) behind.  My (mostly self-induced) to-do list is unbearable and I just want to hibernate.  This weather doesn’t help.  There’s a reason we live in Atlanta, right? 

Thirty minutes ago, I walked outside to take Halloween decorations to the basement for storage until next year.  Just. check. one. thing. off. the. list.  On my way down the steps, I glanced further out into the yard and discovered that the babysitter had allowed my son to leave his shoes outside over the weekend and there they had remained during the past three rainy days.  Where were they?  Next to the uncovered sandbox, which was now filled with four inches of mucky rainwater, leaves, and pine straw.  I gruffly walked over to clean up the mess, fully prepared to do so and then promptly stomp back inside to write about how life really had thrown lemons at me.  This was evidence.  Rotten lemons, at that!

Except, about 25 or so buckets of cold, stale, rainwater later, I found myself in a completely different place.  This mundane, uncomfortable, and presumably time-wasting task had revealed something to me that was becoming more clear with each and every scoop.  

I am so blessed, I thought.  My baby is so exhausting.  But also? He is the happiest, sweetest little boy ever.  And?  He’s sleeping peacefully inside while I scoop this water.  And?  He’s for the most part healthy and developing well.  My older son has some challenges that have been coming more to a head recently.  But?  He has more zest for life than nearly anyone I’ve ever met.  And?  He’s got the best teachers ever.  And, by a miraculous twist of luck, fate, or God’s grace, he’s in an environment that suits him so well for most of the day. I can be sure he’s learning, and growing, and even loved there.  Even more-so, I have a safe, dry home over my head.  

You see, instead of a silly, plastic sandbox filled with a few toys, I am so aware that I could be digging through a flooded home searching for salvageable belongings.  Instead of returning inside to a peaceful home with soft music playing and a white noise machine whirring from my toddler’s room, I could be mourning the loss of life of a loved one.  God spoke gently, but strongly, to me today through that yucky sandbox.  “Be grateful,” I heard, ever so firmly, but kindly.  “Even this task, this time, is a gift.  I am with you and you have so very much.”

Atlanta Teen Hosts Film Festival to Honor and Raise Awareness for People With Special Needs

5 Nov

Please come on Saturday, November 10th for the Dignity Revolution Film Festival in the theater of Paideia, which features films about people with “diffabilities,” and is the Girl Scout Gold Award for Susannah, a senior and the president of Paideia’s Diffabilities Club. What does that mean, “diffabilities?” It is a term that reflects the fact that everyone has different abilities, rather than focusing on what those with intellectual disabilities cannot do. The purpose of the Dignity Revolution Film Festival is to promote awareness about people with disabilities and their role in today’s society. Most importantly, it’s about understanding, inclusion, and equality.  The festival will start in the morning at 9:00 a.m. with the movie most appropriate for younger children and progress through the day with the last movie appropriate for high school students and adults. 

The four films are Finding Nemo, chosen because of its characters’ wide assortment of disabilities (9:00 a.m.); Praying with Lior, showing the spiritually rich life of a Jewish boy with Down Syndrome (11:00 a.m.); Door to Door, about a man with Cerebral Palsy who becomes a salesman despite discrimination (1:20 p.m.); and Snow Cake, chosen because it deals with a man coming to terms with the fact that a woman with Autism can live independently (3:30 p.m.).  Moderators from the disabilities community will lead discussions after each film to foster understanding and education.

 

The event is free and open to the public.  See the website, http://dignityrevfilmfestival.wordpress.com/, for the Viewing Schedule of each film. Please “like” the Festival on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DignityRevolutionFilmFestival?ref=stream. Join for one film, or for all of them!

My personal blog…an invitation.

1 Nov

Motherhood can be challenging.  Difficult, at times.  And at others absolutely blissful.  As you’ve probably gathered by now, I am committed to offering honesty and truth in the midst of the “Mommy Wars”.  If you would like a dose of that kind of perspective, I invite you to join me over at Beyond Postpartum, my personal blog.

Bless your heart ;-),

Amber

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Holiday Bazaar at Davis Academy in Atlanta Promises to Please

30 Oct

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

the Middle of Healing and the Beginning of a New Marriage

Divorce Doula

Welcome to the After Wife

The Forgiven Wife

Learning to Dance with Desire

Learning Parenthood

Read. Write. Inspire. Empower.

Motherhood is not for Sissies

Keeping it real...since 2010

Bipolar Mom Life

Writing my way through living with mental illness

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