mixed media

My take on the LEGO movie

by eringoodman on February 9, 2014

in essays+reflections, mixed media


On Friday night, with our obligatory $5 bag of popcorn in hand, we settled into the back row of the theater, which my seven-year-old thinks are the very best seats.

We were there — along with the rest of the packed theater — to see the LEGO Movie.

Prior to going, I had watched the trailer and had heard from my son how very awesome the movie was going to be. I was excited to be there with him on opening night and had an  open mind about the movie, which I’ll admit would not be one I would see if it weren’t for the gentle prodding of my son for weeks leading up to the release.

Over the years, my beloved son has helped me to stretch out of my comfort zone with his love for video games and all things “shooting.” A couple of weeks ago, while visiting Dave and Buster’s, I even joined him for a few rounds of a zombie shooting game, which previously I would have not allowed.

(We started with a “no shooting games” rule, which was later adapted to “no shooting humans” so a game that involves shooting ghost-like skeletons or animated robots is now on the approved list.)

Remaining conscious of the impact of violence, even animated violence, while at the same time respecting our son and his interest in being part of pop culture is a fine line – one that we are walking with great care.

And so there we were, on opening night, at the LEGO  Movie and when the theater darkened and the no cell phones reminders came on, the excitement was palpable.

Everything was great. The movie was hilarious and the children’s laughter in the theater was a balm to the soul. And then about 15 minutes in, the “bad guy” entered and things got a little, shall we say, intense.

I am a Highly Sensitive Person and I realize that I experience on screen violence in a way that is more intense than the average person, but still the basic story line of the movie is Armageddon in LEGO land.

It was animated. It was LEGOs. But still, I couldn’t help but wonder why the movie had to be so violent.

Are we not yet making the connection between the diet of increasingly violent images that we are feeding our children and our distraught over the increase of violent actions taken by teenagers and young adults?

* * *

So what was my son’s take on the violence in the movie?

The next morning, I initiated a conversation about it to see how he had been affected by the hundreds of explosions  and all the shooting throughout the movie.


“I was a little surprised by how violent the movie was. There was a lot of  ‘blowing up’ that happened. What did you think of that?”

His response:

“Seriously, mama? It’s LEGOs. If you blow them up you just put them back together again. No big deal.”

The truth — as it often does — probably lies somewhere in the middle of “no big deal” and “way too violent” and each family will have to make a decision that is right for them, but I do think this is a conversation worth having.

Your turn. Did you see the LEGO movie this weekend? What do you think?


* * * * *

When this month of November began, our family was in the midst of post-Sandy power loss.

I was trying to stay positive and be grateful for all that we have (because I really am) and to send love and prayers to all those who were were hurting so deeply.

I remember being very tired but not able to sleep and feeling a little lost and out of sorts when I reached for my iPhone.

Because honestly, that’s what I do, quite often when I’m lost or stuck or overwhelmed.

I stop moving, struggling, and trying to think my way out.

And I shift over to images and feelings. Breath and connection.

(You know, the ‘ol right side of the brain.)

And one of the places I like to “go” to nurture this part of myself — to connect, and grow, to breathe and get unstuck — is to my iPhone and the wonderful world of Instagram.

It was there on November 1, that I started seeing the hashtag #instagratitude and reading gorgeous words of heartfelt gratitude from some of the beautiful people I follow.

(Psst…Not sure what Instagram or hashtags are? See below.)

And I knew I needed to jump in and deepen my practice of daily gratitude. So I shared this photo and these words . . .

Running water. Heat from our woodstove. The roof over our heads. Tree and electric crews working around the clock to bring power back.

And I immediately felt a shift in my body and in my heart.

Using my iPhone, I took and shared a photo every day this month. On joyful beautiful, expansive days. On days when my head throbbed and my heart hurt. And every day in between.

It was a deep and powerful practice.

Click the images above (or right HERE) to join me on my 30-day #instagratitude journey!

* * * * *

What is Instagram? A photo-sharing app that is used with iPhones and Android phones. Little square snapshots with options for fun filters. Super easy to share and then send on to other online outposts like Facebook, Twitter, and a wonderful way to connect and share daily moments with like-minded folks around the world.

What is a hashtag? A hashtag is a quick way to give a larger context to a photo or words when sharing using social media. It is also a way to connect with other people who are interested in the same things are you. The number sign followed by words (with no spaces) are use to make a hashtag. Some of my favorites on Instagram are: #grateful #lifeisgood #backyardchickensrock #goodmorning #rightnow #fromwhereisit #fromwhereistand #starting

* * * * *

What do you think? Do you have anything to add about Instagram, iPhones, gratitude, the month of November — or anything else? I love hearing what’s on your mind and in your heart! xo



Fed Up With Frenzy {Book Giveaway}

by eringoodman on October 16, 2012

in mixed media

It was a happy day when Susan Sachs Lipman’s new book, Fed Up With Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, arrived in my mail box last month.

About a week before, while I was literally in the process of drafting an e-mail to invite Suz to contribute to my 10-Day Family Recharge, I received an e-mail from her inviting me to be part of the Fed Up With Frenzy Blog Tour.

It was a beautiful moment of synchronicity and connection, sweetened even more by Suz’s generous offer to send not only a copy of the book for my family, but a second copy to share with one of YOU!

Each chapter in Suz’s inspiring book, which covers topics like Slow Games, Slow Crafts, Slow Kitchen (and much more), is filled with simple, budget-friendly ideas of things to make, do and experience with your family.

But what really makes the book shine for me is Suz’s narrative.

Her words in the introduction, as well as at the start of each chapter, really speak to my heart and inspire me to take small steps each and every day to slow down and truly savor, celebrate and appreciate my beautiful family.

Lawrence Cohen, PhD, author of Playful Parenting, has the following to say about Suz’s book:

“The heart of parenting is connection, but how do parents and children connect when they are going a mile a minute in different directions? Read this book, stop the frenzy, and reconnect.”

I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Cohen’s words and highly recommend Suz’s book.

* * * * *

The Giveaway:

To be entered for a chance to win a copy of Fed Up With Frenzy (which will be mailed to you by Moi and may include a few other special things tucked into the package ;-) simply leave a comment below.

If you are inspired to do so, please share one way your family makes space to slow down and connect with each other.

I will close the comments and select a winner on Wednesday, October 24.

Comments are now closed. I’ll be back later this week to announce the winner!

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

chatting with caroline (and a giveaway)

by eringoodman on February 17, 2012

in behind the blog, mixed media

Oh my! I have so much goodness to share with you today!

The latest episode of Behind the Blog, with Author Caroline Starr Rose is up on my Podcast page and on iTunes.

Caroline Starr Rose, signing a copy of her debut novel, May B.

Caroline and I will be having a post-podcast chat over on my Facebook page tomorrow morning ( 8 a.m. MST / 10 a.m. EST) and we would love if you stopped by to join us.

And…I have a gift to share!

One lucky exhale. return to center. reader will win a copy of Caroline’s beautiful book, May B., along with a May B. Journal.

(Click on the book to peek inside, via Amazon.com.)

What people are saying about May B:

Heroes come in all sizes; my newest hero is a pint-sized girl named May B. Caroline Starr Rose tells May’s story in simple, moving verse that captures the joy of family, the gloomy isolation of a dirt soddy, and the determination of one scared but indomitable young person. May B. is a girl you’ll be proud to know.

Karen Cushman, Newbery winner


Writing with compassion and a wealth of evocative details, Rose offers a memorable heroine and a testament to the will to survive.

Publishers Weekly, December 5, 2011

* * * * *

To enter for a chance to win a copy of May B. and a May B. Journal, simply leave a comment on this post between now and Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. EST.

For a second chance to win, share this post using the Facebook and / or Twitter links below (or however you are connecting and sharing these days) and then come back here and leave a second comment saying where you shared and you’ll be entered a second time.

Comments are closed.

Congratulations, Melanie! (And many thanks to Caroline.)


{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Photo: Julianna Ricci

Wow. That was fun.

Thank you again to Tara Wagner (and Justin Wagner).

And to all the amazing people who stopped by last night — and are continuing to stop by and share thoughts.

All threads are open, so come on by — and join in if you are inspired.


As for me, I will be blissfully unplugged for the rest of today.

(Tomorrow I start tackling my out of control in-box.)