I remember, at nine years old, making a cake for my mom for her 30th birthday. There is a picture of it somewhere. I was so very, very proud of it. I remember a few things about that day: 30 seemed so very, very far away, I was giddy with pride over my creation and though I can picture it perfectly in my mind’s eye (so I am certain when I tell you it was a disaster), my mother treated it as though it had been made of the finest ingredients (not from a box) and crafted by a baker with the most perfect of pedigrees. (it hadn’t) I never suspected she was choking the cake down, though she may have been…..and her smile was anything but false.
It could be that I am now ‘over 40′. Or it could be that I really and truly enjoyed my younger years in sunny California. Either way, there are many, many things I see when I look in the mirror and while many of them reflect the wisdom I think I’ve earned these past 40+ years, I prefer the age spots and wrinkles weren’t quite so visible. I know I can’t reverse the aging process entirely, but I do know there are things I can do to take care of my skin the way I should have been doing all along. [Read more...]
I’m sitting in my office staring out my window. All I can see is snow. The cold is radiating from my windows like a living being. I feel it in my fingers. I feel it in my toes. I can’t get warm. There is nothing I detest more than the cold. You know the people who say they love the change of seasons, they love the snow – even for a little while? I’m not one of those people. I don’t even need to see pictures of it to feel complete.
And right now my world is white with the coldest temperatures I have ever experienced in my life. Friends, that isn’t hyperbole. I’m not exaggerating. The outside temperature in St. Louis, Missouri is -7 with the windchill registering at -31. That, my friends, is ALASKA COLD.
My good friend and co-author, Aliza Sherman spent a number of years living in very rural Alaska near the Canadian border as a result of her husband’s job. At one point my husband jokingly remarked, ‘Wow, she must really love her husband. You wouldn’t live there for me”. While I did smile and say, ‘No, I wouldn’t', (I am aware of my capacity for sanity), he and I both know that I did settle here, in his hometown, far away from the sunshine of Southern California, the friends and family I adore and the ocean that fills me up.
I came here to be with him. And I’ve stayed for him and because our family has settled in.
And we’re happy.
Or at least I am from April through October. I jest. Sort of.
The joking is one of the things that keeps us together and happy. I was reminded what a ‘secret’ this is to a happy marriage as I made my way through my friend Fawn’s new book, Happy Wives Club. Laughter is a thread that binds, it is a white flag in the midst of an argument and the broken ice when things are simply too serious. As Fawn detailed her journey – visiting 12 countries, 6 continents and visiting countless couples seeking the wisdom of their happy coupling – laughter and fun came up time and time again.
The book made me stop and think….just what IS it that makes a marriage work? What would I love to tell my younger self – that bride as she prepares for ‘the biggest day of her life’?
I came up with 12 Secrets to a Strong and Happy Marriage…as I am experiencing them right now.
Why 12? It’s more than ten since ten seems easy. (Marriage isn’t easy) Eleven seems too odd and well, twelve is the number of years I will have been married this year. I guess you could say I’m learning as I’m going. I’m ALWAYS learning.
Laugh Often and At Yourself – If you ask my husband, he will tell you he is ‘the funniest person he knows’. He may or may not be joking. Either way, he makes me laugh every day and he has taught me the value of letting go and laughing at myself. While I’ve always been a ‘happy’ person, you wouldn’t classify me as funny or goofy, but marriage has taught me how important it is to allow the ‘silly’ to take over. It’s hard to stay mad at someone while they are making you laugh.
Go to Bed Mad - I was raised to believe the sun shouldn’t set on your anger. Wrong. When you are in your marriage for the long haul, you have plenty of time to breathe, figure it out, forgive and forget. Early in our marriage, I would push and push and PUSH an argument…desperate for an immediate resolution. Sometimes you both need to walk away to allow for clarity to filter in. Things often seems less dire after both of you have had a chance to calm down.
Listen – Some people are naturally good listeners and well, some people aren’t. In each relationship there is usually one. So, for one of you, this isn’t such a challenge. But for you over there? Not so easy. Work at it. It is important to both of you to be heard and equally valuable to know what is going on in the other’s world. Take time each day to put the devices down, to ignore the TV, (maybe after the kiddos are in bed?) and just talk. And listen. You’ll be amazed at what you might hear.
Make Each Other a Priority – Even if you have children, in fact, especially if you have children, you need to spend time with each other. You need a date night, a vacation for just the two of you, time to cuddle, an opportunity to talk about something other than school, kid’s sports and work. When was the last time you said, ‘how are you?’ and meant it? Your small people are a manifestation of your love for each other, but one day, they’ll be gone and it will again be just the two of you. You will need each other then. Make the effort to prioritize each other now.
Fight fairly – There is nothing worse than a dirty fight – name calling, dredging up past grievances or wasting energy being hateful. Look each other in the eye, be respectful and stick to the topic. I know it isn’t possible to always stay calm and keep your voice down – emotions can take over – but TRY. Once said, words can’t be taken back.
Grow Together – I am not the same person I was twelve years ago. I’d like to think I’m a wiser, kinder, more entertaining version of my 28 year-old self, but I recognize that I probably have less patience, I’m getting a little set in my ways and all of the ‘little things’ that my husband used to find cute and quirky about me are likely on their way to becoming wretchedly annoying. I’m a result of the life experiences I had before my husband and the ones I’ve had since and likewise, he is the same. We are growing together. It is important we respect new interests and changes in our personalities as well.
Be Kind – This isn’t just a marriage rule, this is a life rule. When my small people were very small, I constantly reminded them to ask themselves a very important question when dealing with each other, ‘Am I being kind?’ My husband and I need to do the same. Even when we have had a bad day. Even when we are short on patience. Even when we believe the other is WRONG. Acting and speaking kindly to each other can prevent arguments, smooth over tough moments and fix a day-gone-wrong.
Give More Than You Get – In a word, this requires you to be selfless. And it isn’t easy. We often do it naturally with our children, but sometimes it isn’t easy to do for your spouse. Work at it. Marriage is hard work. Take out the trash, do the dishes, give the kids a bath, make the bed, put gas in the car, shovel the driveway – even if you did it last time. If you are BOTH giving more, you are both getting more. This is a good thing.
Go for the positive - Talk positively about each other. It is one thing to be kind to each other…but something else entirely to be kind ABOUT each other. How many times have you heard a group of women or men talk or joke disparagingly about their significant other? Be the opposite. Be the one who DOESN’T complain about Football Sunday, about the last time he made the bed, about her terrible cooking, her juggling of work and motherhood, her lack of listening ability, about his absenteeism. Find the positive. Share THAT instead. Happy begets happy.
Share the Love of the Game - or food, or wine, or the movies, or mountain climbing. Don’t misunderstand – I’m not suggesting you lose yourself in someone else’s loves and hobbies, that you take up water skiing when you are afraid to swim or watch horror movies when you are afraid of the dark, but express an interest in something because it matters to HIM (or her). Coming in to this marriage I didn’t pay much attention to baseball. Baseball is second to religion in my husband’s family. He had to memorize the inscription on Stan Musial’s statue (St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer) before being allowed to walk in to the stadium as a 4-year old. I am now a fan and yes, cheer right along as our family room mantle is converted in to a shrine for the St. Louis Cardinals each October.
Take Time Alone – When I married my husband, I chose him as a life partner, but I didn’t choose to leave myself, my soul and all of my interests adrift entirely. We both know it is important to continue to do things that matter to us – and sometimes alone. He plays on a baseball team. I take a trapeze class. He likes Saved By the Bell and I love The Princess Bride. Sometimes we have to watch alone. We both enjoy time with friends – together and on our own. It is part of being a couple and being individuals.
Choose It – A few years ago, if you had asked me about the most challenging thing I had ever done, I might have told you it was raising children. Now, I will say it is being married. It is work, but work that is well worth it. We both know that every day isn’t like the day we married: the best day of our lives…but rather some are amazing and some are challenging. Every day you need to choose it – your relationship, your spouse, your family. Every day you must choose to listen, to be kind, to give more than you get and to laugh.
The older I get, the more I’m choosing kindness and laughter. What have you found are the secrets to your marriage – your strong marriage, your happy marriage? For more beautiful wisdom from around the world, be sure to pick up a copy of Fawn Weaver’s new book – Happy Wives Club - it launches this week, so I’m certain you will see her lovely face everywhere! You can also check out her website by the same name: Happy Wives Club – which was the inspiration for this project.
I’m grateful to my friend Fawn for sending me an early copy of her book – I’m so proud of her and this journey she is on. I’ve purchased two additional copies which I know will be on their way to me this week and I’m excited to be giving them to a few friends who I know will love the book as I do.
Every single year, I make myself crazy trying to fit too much in to the 30 days surrounding Christmas. I always have these grand ideas about my personal capacity to buy presents and wrap them, to attend parties, to decorate, to bake and yes, to experience the magic in every moment.
I really, REALLY want to spend time just sitting and enjoying this time of year. I want to listen to the music, to eat the cookies I’ve made (and all the other food), to spend time with friends and family and to appreciate the joy I see reflected on my kid’s faces. I know the level of magic surrounding my small people won’t last forever, so it is important to me that I do my best to bottle some of it while I can.
I decided a few weeks ago that I would embrace the ‘awe’ of this season as much as possible as Christmas Day approached – and prioritize the things that matter to me the most – mailing Christmas cards, finding a way to help others as a family and sticking to some of our most cherished traditions – watching the ‘classics’ on TV, listening to holiday music together and baking.
When I was a little girl, my mom and I used to make holiday wreaths from Corn Flakes and marshmallows. Now, my small people and I do the very same. I love the tradition for its ease, for the sticky fun, for the messy imperfection and naturally for the way they taste when you are done (or…..how they taste as you are making them.)
Because I know you might enjoy a tradition like this with your small people, I thought I would break it down for you. They whole process took us about 30-40 minutes.
You will need:
4 cups of miniature marshmallows (easier to work with than full size)
6 cups of Corn Flakes or Frosted Flakes
1/3 cup of butter
Greed Food coloring
Red Cinnamon Candies
Pam Cooking Spray
What to do:
Get your small people fully involved. (So, have them wash their hands.) If you have more than one child, you can avoid fights by alternating tasks
Over low heat, melt the butter in a large saucepan.
Add marshmallows one cup at a time, stirring continuously.
When fully melted, add green food coloring. (the more you add, the darker the marshmallow mixture will become)
Add Corn Flakes to mixture, don’t stop stirring.
Spread wax paper on a clean counter, spray with cooking spray to keep mixture from sticking.
Drop large spoonfulls of mixture onto wax paper, spray hands with cooking spray to keep hands from sticking to mixture as well, and shape in to wreaths.
Dot completed wreaths with vanilla icing and red candies.
Enjoy!!Disclosure: I have a long-standing working relationship with Kelloggs and was thrilled when they asked if I wanted to share any holiday family traditions we might have with you…. this is, by far, my favorite. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Kelloggs for sending us some extra Corn Flakes and some sweet holiday PJs for my family for this post.
I’m sitting on my couch snacking on leftover Honeybaked Ham as I type this. I wish you were here with me to indulge as well – that’s how much I love you. The ham is leftover from a brunch we had yesterday here at home where I was able to introduce friends of ours to one of my favorite holiday traditions….a meal that includes HoneyBaked Ham as its center. The only thing I love more than the traditions of the holidays is sharing them and hopefully allowing others to fall a bit in love with the moment as well.
When my husband and I married, I learned fairly quickly that it would be important for us to combine the traditions we both loved growing up. Amazingly, they weren’t the same. His entire family would spend the night together on Christmas Eve and their morning celebration and gift-exchange with 15+ people was fast paced and over in less than an hour. Mine on the other hand, centered around Christmas morning, only ever included my parents, brother, grandmother and I and would take hours as we opened gifts one at a time. Our gift exchange was always followed by a brunch that included HoneyBaked Ham.
That meal has made me a certified ham-snob. If I was required to do a blind-folded taste-test, I would know my HoneyBaked Ham the second I tasted it. This also means other hams don’t even compare. So, when HoneyBaked Ham offered me the opportunity to host a small meal at my home, I was excited to do it.
The memories! The tradition! The food! The sharing!
I knew it had to be brunch as that is what I have always loved. We invited friends of ours and their children. I placed a simple order with the HoneyBaked Ham store closest to my home for a mini ham (it definitely would have fed more than the 4 adults and 4 kids who were here – hence the leftovers I am enjoying now!) sweet bacon, potatoes au gratin, and an apple carmel walnut pie.
I made a few other breakfast items – eggs and pancakes – and served juice and mimosas to round out the meal.
If the silence as we ate was any indicator (and you know I had to ask for thoughts) every drop of food was loved. My husband even went back for seconds. On everything. Maybe it’s the glaze on the ham, or that there is never any water added… or maybe it is that it just stays tender no matter what. Either way, it was delicious – and the company was divine.
When I picked up the food, everything except the ham was frozen (which did initially panic me, I will admit, since my guests were due to be at my home within the hour) but all of the items come with easy cooking and thawing instructions and can be cooked or warmed right from frozen. I popped the potatoes and the pie right in to the oven and used the microwave to thaw the bacon before cooking. So, do keep this in mind for planning purposes.
It is also worth reminding you, that all of the food we enjoyed can be shipped as a gift package for the holidays (of you could just do a ham, a dessert or any number of their treats)
Because I love you, I’d love for you to share my HoneyBaked Ham tradition – I have a $50 HoneyBaked Ham giftcard to giveaway. But I want you to get it before Christmas – so the giveaway will only run until this Friday, December 20th. at 11:59 CST
Enter below by simply sharing one of your favorite holiday traditions. Or for additional entries, play along with Rafflecopter….
No purchase necessary to enter. ExtraordinaryMommy.com is not responsible for prizes that are shipped from outside vendors or sponsors. All entries will be pooled together and one (1) winner will be drawn. The winner will have two calendar days to reply via email. Unclaimed prizes will be placed for availability to newly chosen winners after that time. Giveaway is open to all U.S. residents only, must be at least 18 years old to enter. One entry per person, entries accepted through Friday, December 20th, 2013 ending at exactly 11:59 CST.
You know that feeling you get in your belly when you find the perfect gift for someone you love? Double it. That’s how I feel about gift giving. I experience a giddiness that begins in my toes, bubbles up through my tummy and ends with a smile I have a difficult time tamping down – especially when I find that amazing gift early and have to wait for someone to open it.
I’m the kid that bounces up and down while you unwrap.
However, there is one little glitch in my gift-giving operation: the men in my life are notoriously difficult to shop for. And they aren’t any good at hiding their enthusiasm or lack thereof if I miss the mark when they pull the paper from my beautifully wrapped present. Which means that the butterflies in my stomach can go either way…. I am a great big ball of anticipation this time of year.
At least, I usually am.
What’s the difference, you ask?
I have a secret weapon: eBay Collections.
I have already used eBay collections to curate many things – including beautiful decorations for my home (note how I am addicted to holiday decorating!), for holiday dresses and for a new baby, but one of the places these collections have changed my world is on the gift-giving-idea front.
Especially when it comes to those ‘what-should-I-get-them-people’?
Like my husband. And my father-in-law.
So, what did I do?
I created an eBay collection that revolves specifically around the thing they (and my son) love most in the world: baseball. And then I began to search. And collect. And search. And collect. I searched baseball cards, baseball decor, baseball vintage, baseball collections, baseball gloves….and I even let eBay’s search populate for me and be my guide. As I found things I liked, (or more importantly – things I thought THEY might like, I added them to the collection, I entered a bid, or I purchased an item right away).
My ‘Put Me In Coach’ Collection, like all of my eBay collections can be followed by other people on eBay – just as I can follow my friend’s collections (which also give me other gift ideas!) Baseball fans – take note!
As an additional bonus…. for everyone who has asked me what I want for Christmas, that problem is also solved….I can now simply direct them to any number of the collections I have curated for items I love and find interesting. My adoration of all things Coach, Wine, the beach and the color red when it comes to decorating my home are all clearly documented.
No one can ever again tell me that it is hard to find me something for Christmas (or my birthday!) And since I can just as easily follow my friend’s collections, and clearly come up with ideas for everyone, my gift-giving is easier than ever. If you are looking to expand your collections, you can follow the #FollowItFindIt hashtag to keep up with some of your favorite people and what they are collecting.
Have you created any collections? (any you think I need to see? Let me know!) And be sure to follow me over on eBay.
Disclosure: My eBay Collections were curated as part of a sponsored collaboration with eBay though as always, the words and thoughts expressed here are mine and mine alone.
I have committed myself to embracing the awe of this holiday season. That means rather than focusing strictly on the go! go! go! of these last two weeks, I’m doing my best to embrace the presence of the season, the do less and be more.
I have found myself sitting in my family room instead of my office so I can be surrounded by the lights of the tree and the mantle, so that I can glance up and see the holiday cards that are arriving, so that our elf is frequently in full view. Despite a crazy workload (like all of you) I am refusing to work at certain times of the day so that I can just sit with my family and watch holiday movies or view this video of Little Drummer Boy (my favorite!) with my small people over and over again.
I was talking to my friend Alli the other day (who made a dynamite appearance on The Today Show talking about his very thing) about how my holiday memories from childhood don’t revolve around the gifts I received, but rather on specific moments – on sitting in my our family room in the dark, listening to the Carpenter’s Christmas RECORD, staring at the lights on our Christmas tree and of the meals – yes, the MEALS.
Growing up, we had two traditions – Christmas dinner was a meal my mom and I made each year….and it was a formal event. We started cooking mid-day, crafted each of our family recipes carefully and finished by dressing up and using the china and crystal. Breakfast was more relaxed, but always included one constant – HoneyBaked Ham. I will admit it, I am a ‘ham-snob’. If you have ever had a HoneyBaked Ham, you likely know what I mean because it is divine. It is sweet and tender and there are never any extra water or juices added. I always loved that we were able to have some left over after the holiday as well.
A few weeks ago, the amazing folks at HoneyBaked Ham asked if I would like to host a small holiday meal at my home…. this, my friends, was an easy yes. This ham is a tradition for me – and the opportunity to put it in front of people I love is nothing but FUN in my eyes.
So, I have this meal planned for this weekend – and to prepare, I was sent this extraordinary box of goodies – serving dishes and utensils, cake samplers, a carving board and even an apron.
I have chosen to host a breakfast, just as we always had at my home on Christmas…. I can’t wait to share the details with you – which will include a $50 giveaway to HoneyBaked Ham.
Be sure to check back here on Monday for some wonderful holiday HoneyBaked Ham goodness.
A treasured Guest Post from ExtraordinaryMommy friend, Katie Bugbee.
There was a time when my kids thought chicken only came in one form — nuggets. Pasta always had orange cheese on it. And everything had to be dipped in ketchup.
My kids eat at 5:00. My husband and I eat at 8. So either our nanny or we end up making two meals. One quick and easy one. The other quicker and easier.
But there’s a breaking point. A time when you realize your kids only eat “kid foods,” and are becoming increasingly difficult to work with – especially when they’re in public. For me, that came last year. So I worked with our nanny to figure out how we could get my kids to be more adventurous. Here is what worked:
- No kid food allowed. Sure, they’ll have mac n’ cheese or PB&J for lunch. But when it comes to dinner, it’s real food only. We’ll make pork loin, grilled chicken, pastas, crock pot dishes – and expect them to eat it. Or, at least have a certain amount of bites (one bite for each year they are old). My kids have never had big appetites for dinner, so getting anything in them is a success. When it’s healthy food, that’s double success.
- Fun forks and utensils. This might sound crazy, but eating with kid-friendly chopsticks has made my kids less focused on the food and more excited about the tool.
- Compromise on fun but not processed. I’m not a big fan of chicken drumsticks. They’re dark meat and have a ton of skin. But there was something about them that caught my eye at the grocery store. Still a finger food, but more nutritious than fried chicken. We bake them with barbeque sauce and now my son loves “chicken on the bone.” It must be the caveman in him. And you know the beauty about older siblings? Well, his little sister now devours “chicken on the bone” too.
- Use sauces and sprinkles. We use dips a lot. Ranch dressing. Barbeque sauce, honey mustard. My kids will eat most anything if they have “dip” or parmesan cheese “sprinkles.”
- Let them help cook. If they help grocery shop, cook – or even grow – your meals, they’re way more likely to be excited to try it. Chop veggies and have kids add them to the pan or crock pot. Let them mix and stir. The anticipation of what’s cooking will be drool-worthy.
- Add yummier sides. Baked beans, rice pilaf, pasta with peas and butter are great side dishes. Alongside fish or pork, they might be the highlight of your child’s meal. So they can devour the side dish – and even have seconds – as long as they eat three bites of the main course. This way you know they’re not going to bed hungry.
- Eat together. When we have family dinner, the kids watch us eat — and enjoy — our meals. This doesn’t happen every night, but on the weekends we aim for at least one dinner spent cooking and eating together.
Do you have any other tips for dealing with little picky eaters that have worked for your family?
Katie Bugbee is the senior managing editor and resident parenting expert of Care.com. A busy working mother of two, she’s an expert on many parenting dilemmas, from appeasing picky eaters to finding the perfect babysitter.
That’s how much time there is between now and Christmas.
I can tell you right now, RIGHT NOW, that isn’t enough time to do everything I had in my head that I wanted to do – present buying and wrapping, baking, mailing, online ordering, more decorating, card addressing….oh and everything life, family and work.
Not if I would like to be sane on Christmas morning.
Not if I want to enjoy any portion of this holiday season.
And not if I want to experience any fraction of the awe I see my children experience each and every day. They count down with glee….another day closer to the 24th and 25h. I’ve found my chest tightening every time they announce another day gone.
So, I’m saying no.
I’m embracing enough.
I’m allowing time for awe.
If I say these things to myself enough times throughout the day, it will make it so, correct?
Here’s how I’m really doing it:
Make a List, Check it Twice – Since there isn’t a ton of time left in this holiday season, but admittedly there is a lot left to do, I’m prioritizing. I suggest you do the same. Santa is doing it. He knows who is at the top of his list. Your small people are doing it – they know what is number one. It is time you do it too. If you could only do THREE more things between now and the 25th, what would they be? Make a gingerbread house? Order the annual family calendar online? Go holiday caroling? Sit by the fire and snuggle with your family? Make your list in order and put those items down in pen so you know they will get done. Add the ‘other’ things you want to do in around. If you get to them, bonus!
Ask for help – I know I’m not the only one who can shop for Christmas dinner, grab a gift for my child’s teacher, wrap presents or clean the house for visiting family and you aren’t either. You know this, right? Ask your significant other, your friends, and your kids to help out! I bet your small people would LOVE to learn how to wrap gifts – and their ‘touch’ around the holidays may make things less than perfect, but it will make it memorable. This is a good thing.
Let it go – This is a hard one, I know. But I’ve had to realize it simply isn’t possible to be everywhere, to be everything to everyone. You didn’t get the Advent Calendar together (I didn’t either) and it is OK. You wanted to put the Christmas lights up and then it snowed. And it snowed again? Or you just ran out of time. It doesn’t make you any less festive. It is ok. You were asked to volunteer for your child’s Christmas party and you just.don’t.have.the.time… IT IS OK – let it go.
Give good - There are few things that feel more centering, more spirited, more lovely this time of year than finding a way to give. This season is FULL of getting, of asking for, of being pulled in so many directions, it does the heart GOOD to dedicate energy towards good. Donate toys, adopt a family, sponsor a child, pay off a layaway, offer to watch your friend’s children so she can do last minute shopping, ask someone in your family what you can do to help them…. sometimes the gift of time is the biggest treasure.
Give In – This is similar to ‘let it go’, but, by this, I mean – I take the easy route: I buy the appetizer or dessert I need to take to the holiday party. Or I offer to bring the juice boxes to my child’s school event instead of making the craft. Participating doesn’t mean dedicating hours of your time – your presence alone is valuable.
Memory Lane – To put myself in the spirit of this season, I pull out some old pictures or reminisce over special ornaments that hold cherished memories. One of the reasons this time of year IS special is that it is steeped in family, in love, in traditions and the opportunity to create new memories. Take the time to remember why you work so hard to enjoy this time of year.
Allow time for Awe – I often spend so much time trying to create the magic, I forget to watch it happen. This year, I’m slowing down, listening to the music, looking at the lights, watching the movies, making hot chocolate, talking to our elf (YES, I LOVE OUR ELF… I’M WRITING ABOUT THAT NEXT!), and allowing myself to experience the awe that this time of year can create.
There are only 15 more days until Christmas.
There are only 15 more days until Christmas.…
And then it’s gone. Until next year.
Every year at this time, in the midst of the holiday chaos, gift giving and gift planning, I start hunting through photos and videos. Since my small people were VERY small – let’s call them itty-bitty, one of the gifts I have given my husband is a year-in-review video of each of our small people.
For Delaney, I have always used this Jimmy Buffet song, Delaney talks to Statues, as the soundtrack….it has always fit her so well. And for Cooper – well… anyone who knows him, or who knows my husband, knows that John Fogarty’s Centerfield may have been written for my small dude. Years ago, I slaved over Windows Movie Maker and then switched to iMovie when I made the move to this Mac. But friends, this process, this labor of love for these videos would take HOURS. And not five hours, but probably 10 or more.
But the look on my husband’s face on Christmas morning was always so worth it. The moments, the memories that photos and video from a year in your life can capture – well, it is remarkable.
It is extraordinarily simple.
You upload your chosen photos and video.
You select a theme from nearly a dozen options (you can see a sampling of each before you select one).
You then choose the music…either upload your own or select one fitted for that individual theme.
Then choose a title and Magisto uses ‘artificial intelligence’ – YES, artificial intelligence, to select the most amazing, the most compelling moments and shots from what you have shared to weave a story together….leaving you with what can only be described as movie magic.
That movie magic is just what I created with the highlights of my family from this year – 2013. See the brief, but beautiful video below: (<– click on the link if the video won’t play)