Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Social Media, who is missing the boat?

In the past few weeks- I've been tasked with looking into how SM can help the company I work for in the areas of channel marketing as well as retention of customers and leveraging our colleagues to reach out to others and "spread the good word". - wow! I couldn't have known the depth or the weightiness of that request- I'm glad I didn't! This article is one that really hits the nail on the head for social media guru's such as Jeremiah- (look left and click on his blog!) and people who are using SM to reach out to others from a grassroots perspective. If only the people who are speaking about and using SM could articulate it and the necessity of it to the leaders of our corporations... We try- and someday- we'll hit the right nail- and drive it right in! I'm lucky. I work for a relatively small company (in the whole scheme of things) and having a constant influx of incoming employees helps with the whole idea of being "connected". We simply will not- (cannot) ignore the importance of social media in the space of business. When you look at companies like Starbucks, McDonald's, and Apple there is a presence that makes them more of a way of life than a company. You're not just getting a cup of Joe at Starbucks- you're buying an atmosphere, and experience. The really lucky ones can accomplish this type of brand presence and its not come by easily. The influx of wi-fi and wireless hubs into the Houston area is staggering! Companies WANT you to come, stay a while and "connect"... Hard to believe- but my favorite little wine bar is one of those places! (Luv you- Corkscrew!) Why, you can even step up to the counter at McDonald's and buy a Big Mac and get your wifi-on while you eat. Seriously- the problems this presents are more than just lack of attention to driving while you whip out your Blackberry whilst getting on the 45 to head downtown from the Heights- (umm.. personal experience??) to getting some guy to ask you out on a date and LEAVE the damn thing in the car while your eating dinner (thanks for that little nugget Chrissy!) I cant IMAGINE dating now! The "need" to know right now- has trumped the idea of a little "mystery"- (Have I mentioned that I'm thrilled that I no longer am in the dating arena?? ;) Attention to details like calling in advance (The Wednesday rule) - have kind of flown out the door with the Tweets ;) Still- I believe that there is value in this new marketplace. I think that although it deafens some folks to the necessity of social grace- (which, inevitably some folks will always possess a deficiency of) it also connects us like no other generation has ever experienced. We're lucky- now lets figure out how to unleash this in the marketplace.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

So CLEARLY Brilliant!

"So what, if anything, can businesses do at this juncture? They can begin by searching out people within the organization who understand what’s going on. In almost every case, they’re there. Make friends with them. Make friends with the marketplace again. Start listening. Find your voice. Then start talking as if your life depended on it. It does." WOW! http://www.cluetrain.com/book/

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Adorable little Family

Oh little "wee ones" - will you always hold eachothers hands?
Will you always love to steal bubble gum out of my purse- and claim that you "accidentally swallowed it"?
Will you always say "I love you so much that my heart breaks" any old time?? :)
Will you always like pink nailpolish- little belle? and leave it on for precisely 15 minutes after I polish your tiny little nails, then ask me to re-do them?
Will you always try and sneak into mine and daddys bed at 2:45 am- just to "have a snuggle"?
Will you always proclaim- "mama- I AM a big boy- I'm almost bigger than daddy, and someday- if I eat my ve-geee-tables, I'll grow up to go to A&M" ;>
I hope you always will do these things, I hope my documentation of these things serves as a constant reminder of these sweet, precious times with you- my lovely family. I cherish you- (all three of you!)
Each day is another delight- another realization that you are in fact growing and are the family I always dreamt of.

There Aren't Enough Words...

Crushingly, over the past few weeks, there have been several instances of heartbreak for me. Not the kind of heartbreak that collapses you- but the tiny little "tink, tink, tink" of a hammer and chisel that in some cases can bring down a mountain. I had a dear childhood friend recently (a next door neighbor and his dad) that I grew up with, that were senselessly murdered. Its a long drawn out story- but my point is that its amazing what the mind will remember when someone from your past is brought up again. You'll be going along with your busy hectic schedule and all of the sudden- "WHAM"- your mom calls and tells you about something tragic. (She emailed me actually) Heres an exerpt from the notes we exchanged: Obviously- we grew up in the country- so keep that in mind as you read it! ;)
"Ugh- I just got done reading the article about David and "Big David" -- and
I'm really choked up... I can remember fishing with him
on the banks of our stock tanks and he would always catch
grasshoppers (or at least help Lisa and I) and eventually, we'd
end up in the tank swimming and getting yelled at because there were
always snakes sunning themselves and you were afraid
we'd get bit. I can see him in my mind, running around in the
pasture with him when I was little. Thirty acres was the world to us
three. Even more than that was the additional land we would run
around on over their side of the fence. ;) I remember when dad
got so pissed when we went up on the holding tanks for the oil well?
(Im sure that was mine and/or Lisa's idea) I think that was the only time
I remember us ALL getting our asses beat! Dad was having NONE of that! Remember Dot (the truck? was that the name?) we'd all crawl up in her
and I can see David turning the wheel with Lisa and I sitting next to him
on the long vinyl, cracked bench seat that would poke our legs with the
jagged edges and we would pretend we were driving to far away
places... Like Bryan- I suppose? ;) We would climb trees and he would hold my hand to help me up
them and to climb up on "mountains" of brush that daddy would
stack before he burnt it off- we would pretend we were adventurers. His daddy was always pretty quiet- and soft hearted. I
remember being over at their house a very few times growing up -
and although I think I had an idea that Big David didn't have much
(neither did we for that matter!) I could always see his love for little
David. He adored his son- would have given anything for him. I don't
ever remember him yelling at little David for much- just to get inside for dinner
or yelling across the pasture for him to come home at dusk. What
I see in my mind is this wiry little kid with platinum blonde hair that flew
in the air by the end of the summer because his daddy would buzz cut
it at the first of the summer-and it would grow out. I remember him being
able to whistle with grass blades, and Lisa and I never could.
(I think Lisa got some remedial training in that department- because
she eventually learned to do it too I think- but I never did.) He could whistle
with two fingers too- we never could- it always made us jealous- and he
would be patient and still try and teach us how to do it, I can see him smile
this huge white toothed smile, right now, laughing at us. I guess we were
probably about 7 or 8? I can remember him crawling through the
barbed wire fence, mostly barefooted and wandering over to the back shed
when dad used that as a house for his tools and stuff. Remember,
I would wander down there and watch daddy and Little David would
wander over too and just hang out and have the occasional
question about what daddy was doing. He never did have anything bad to say about anyone-unless he was complaining
about Lisa and I (we probably weren't playing nice or something.) I don't
EVER remember him not having a smile on his face. I always thought of him
as an angel.. (And Lisa and I were the devils ;)-- (I mean that jokingly ;)
I don't know that we three played much together after we were past about 10-and
I know he had a much different life than I've had- but there's something to be
said about the children we spend our time with growing up. We grow
up- but those sweet memories are always there. I'll always have good memories
of our childhood. Its unfortunate that his and his daddy's life had to end
so abruptly and so violently. I cant tell you that I wouldn't have handled an
email from my daughter the same exact way. He did what he HAD to do as a dad.
He should always be her hero. I know intimately what I would do to save
my children from even the slightest pain. I wonder what will happen with the
kids now that they are gone? I pray they don't place them back with their mother.
That would destroy everything he stood for in getting them back in a safe place
where he could raise them surrounded by love and safety. I love you- Amydell" Additionally- I got a call from mom that a high school buddy died from breast cancer. She was a couple of years younger than I am. I'm telling you- not because I want to depress you- but because I want you to breathe today- I mean REALLY take a deep breath and whisper sweet songs to your kiddos tonight when you tuck them in. I really want you to hug someone you love and smell their hair and grab their hand when they dont expect it. Tell those you love how much you do love them and really be happy that you had today. Today will be a memory tomorrow and all we really have is today. On another note- just a few weeks away is Fathers Day!! I wanted to post a few pics of the kiddos at their first Astros game last night. It was a fun game- although the 'stros lost to the Cubbys. The kids ate hot dogs and popcorn and drank sodas. Bill and I split a beer. Bryce couldnt figure out WHY the train didnt just chug around Minute Maid Park the whole game. (or just once!) - which incidentally doesnt happen unless a batter hits one out of the park. Me thinks they are a little stingy with the train!!! ;) videoThere arent enough words to explain how much I love this little family, this little life of mine and this great big town, Houston.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Swimming Through Space

Today was the day! My wee-ones had their first swim lesson! I was able to find a local gal that is going to teach them privately- at a local pool that doesn't open until after Memorial Day. She is AWESOME! Little did I know at the time- some folks at work had been passing around her info- and she is the "gal-pal" of one of my co-workers! So- it all worked out splendidly! She took the "b's" on - for 10 lessons and arranged to meet me tonight to have their first lesson! She was kind, gentle and happy- but firm- which I think is necessary with two- 4 year olds. She even mentioned that next lesson- we may want to step to the side- and wait in the wings- while she schools them. UGH! Wasn't dropping them off with Mrs. Cooper (Their PK3 teacher) enough- last year? I wanted so badly to be the "hover" parent- but I know that my mom wasn't that way- and I'm pretty sure my mother in law wasn't either- and somehow- B & I survived our childhood- relatively unscathed- so I backed off. So- Here's the video of my princess ROLLING over like a champ-while her brother screams from the other side "GET ME OUT MOMMY!"

videoThis is how Faith first teaches them to float.

videoThis is how she teaches them to kick and blow bubbles.

One lesson down- NINE to go!

I remember growing up- my dad would keep me in the summers. One of the reasons he picked the house he did off Meyer St. was because it was basically a block and a half from the neighborhood pool We all (all 5 of us) would walk to the pool each day (alone) and walk home for lunch, a nap and go back almost always in the afternoon for another swim upon my dads arrival home from work. Those are great memories- I even life guarded at Seabrook pool when I was 17 for a short part of the summer. It was lots of fun. I wouldnt trust my children to walk outside my front door now without supervision- but hey- those were different times I suppose. Seabrook was just a sleepy little fishing town with a bay- (This was WAY before Tillman ever hit the scene and built the Kemah boardwalk. Just the same- I love those memories. Good times, good times!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dear Laura

How I've grown to love you over the past year and a half. You've befriended me and had countless glasses of wine with me- you've been a confidant and friend. (Thank You!) I know how hard it is to be 25, (you are TEN years my junior my love) and I remember ultimately 11 years ago- how my arrival back in Houston sparked many turning points in my life. Most of which led to extreme failure, after failure- (relationship wise) and it seemed that I would never reach my stride with a man and a job- but I did... There were people who made promises to me- which led me back to Houston in the first place- from a "dead-end career" with Delta- and there were people that I fell madly in love with- that I look back on now- and know could never have loved me back... I led to a lot of loneliness. I say this- because I want you to know that I've been there. You are unique- but you're feelings are not. Everyone my dear- reaches a turning point in their life- that leads to paths which previously were unclear- each a building block to the next. Hang in there! Know and love yourself- know we are here to love you and honor your friendship. ITS HARD to be new in the 4th largest city in the country- and know your place immediately. You will- with time. Get to know yourself. Get to know what YOU like. You may never have another opportunity! When fate sends the person of your dreams to your door- they usually aren't waiting to "get to know you"- they want you to have figured out where you are in life prior to their arrival. - Children and adulthood dont help this evolution much- so take the time you need now to get to know what your dislikes and aspirations are- you may never have another quiet moment in your life to hear yourself talk! (Believe me- I feel this way now!)- Know that you are loved! and certainly not alone! Dell~

Thursday, May 08, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Darlings!


IMG_4987, originally uploaded by amydell.

How can it be? My precious little ones are growing before our very eyes! They laugh- they giggle- they sass- they say bedtime prayers and sing "Jesus loves me-this I know"- and they love cake and cars and bicycles. They cant wait for mommy to get home from "her skyscraper" and they see the word "Reliant" or a logo and say "mommy!!! THATS YOU!!!" -- Happy birthday!!