Stacey Loscalzo

Latest Posts

Jun 27

A Step Back in Time

by Stacey

IMG_2294Caroline had a soccer tournament this weekend in Albany (well, really Schenectady, well really Scotia) but the point is, it was far away. Caroline joined a new club this summer and with the increased rigor of this club comes increased travel. This weekend’s tournament was already the second of the summer. Caroline and Rob went to the first tournament on their own but this time, we decided we should all go to support her and because if not, we were going to have a lot of weekends apart which made us sad.

Traveling two hours to watch two soccer games was tough to see to Katherine so I promised her an adventure, telling her that at some point during the day, we would leave the field and explore. I wasn’t sure what I would find in Scotia, NY. In fact, I never had heard of Scotia until we arrived but I figured we could find something interesting. Truth be told, I had imagined a lake or a waterfall or a park but instead, we found a library.

We drove away from the field to find ice coffee and adventure and as we left Dunkin Donuts, I spotted the library above. This tiny building, erected in the 1700’s, houses a few small rooms and many, many books.

Initially, it felt like a step back in time. The children’s department had a Fisher Price school house and Playskool puzzles that had to be as old as I am.

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IMG_2298But they also had shelves and shelves of books.

IMG_2297I’m not sure where our next tournament will take us but we certainly enjoyed our first adventure.

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May 05

8 Reasons Why People (and I) Buy Books

by Stacey

The other day, while listening to the Book Riot Podcast (one of my favorites!), I was directed to this article, 8 Reasons Why People Buy Books. While I agree with the hosts that the categories aren’t perfect, I still thought it would be fun to see if I could think of a time when I had purchased (or borrowed) books for each of these reasons.

Here goes…

1. Entertain Me Now

I recently e-mailed a friend who I share book tastes with because lately I haven’t really loved anything I have read. She recommended The Nest and while I just started it, I can tell it will be the definition of entertaining.

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2. Entertain Me Later

I can’t quite figure out how this is different than an impulse buy but the article seems to put e-book purchases in this category. You know, those books you buy and then totally forget are even there. Thank goodness for the ‘sample’ feature on my Kindle or I would have run out of money long ago.

In scrolling through my Kindle the first one to pop up that I had forgotten getting was Sorcerer to the Crown.

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3. Inform Me

Whenever I start a new adventure, I turn to books. The launch of my Rodan + Fields business was no exception. I have found a whole new category of books to provide practical business tips and also pure motivation and inspiration. My favorite so far is Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of your Own Way by Steven Pressfield.

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4. Obligation to Read

Text books are in this category and sadly, I don’t need these anymore. I used to love going to the college bookstore and buying all those new books. Dorky, but true!

5. Social Pressure to Read

The writers of the article include titles like 50 Shades of Grey in this category. Books that everyone is talking about. I definitely do read these books when they come out because I love nothing more than talking about books with lots and lots of people. I wish I could think of a recent title that would fall in to this category but I can’t. Where’s  the next big thing hiding I wonder?

6. Makes Me Look Smart

I’m not sure I buy books to look smart but I think I do keep reading books that I might otherwise put down. I recently started reading The Little Red Chairs which I had heard amazing things about from lots of people who I respect. Little Red Chairs was actually one of the books that came to me by way of the Parnassus First Editions club that I am loving so I really, really wanted to enjoy this book. Just a few days ago, after reading it slowly bit by bit, I finally decided to stop. I know I ‘should’ love this book but I don’t. Perhaps I kept reading for so long because I felt like if I didn’t, maybe I wasn’t smart enough to read it…

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7. Need a Gift

I buy books as gifts all the time. I guess maybe a bit too much. Just today as Katherine and I read titles from my latest picture book haul thanks to the The Curious Reader she said, “What are we getting me teachers this year as teacher gifts? And no books!”. I might have to go for books despite her plea because This is Not a Picture Book is just about the perfect gift for all the teachers in your life.

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8. Impulse

I would say the majority of my book purchases fall in to this category. Rarely do I think for a long time about whether or not to buy a book and even if I do, that’s what the library is for. Just this morning, I reserved a few titles I had heard about from our library and downloaded a few samples on to my Kindle.

The Outliers was the first to catch my eye today.

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I’d love to hear which books fall in to these categories for you!

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May 02

On Writing

by Stacey

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I learned a lot last week. I learned that there is a lot of heartache in this world. I learned that people are kind and generous and loving almost all of the time. I learned that community trumps all else. And I learned that writing is what gets me through. I’ve had a bumpy few months of blogging. I’ve been swallowed up with volunteering, parenting and the launch my Rodan + Fields business. All these things have felt big and all consuming and I have let my writing slide. My writing always has seasons in which I will write more and then less but these past few months, I have written less than I have in a long time.

Last week though I realized that I process and think and work through writing. I hate that it is often the yucky stuff that makes me understand more about life but that certainly seems to be the way it is. And I know that the message won’t necessarily stay with me but for now, I hope to remember that I am a person that needs to write. I work better, think better, live better when I am writing.

Because…

“Writing is thinking on paper.”

Thanks for the reminder, William Zissner.

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Apr 27

To Find Peace

by Stacey

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On Saturday night, an 8th grader at our middle school committed suicide. I have sat down to write multiple times this week and just haven’t been able to do it. The words were too jumbled in my head. I think I feel ready now.

I have felt both blessed and cursed to be president of the home and school association over these past few days. Cursed because I have been in such frequent communication with the school and with my fellow parents that I can’t stop thinking about Alex and his family. I found that if people started talking to me about ‘regular’ things, I was shocked. How could anyone have any other thoughts?

But I feel blessed for two reasons. The first being pretty obvious. I was able to do something to help. Our community feels so helpless right now but I was able to act. I could ask and answer questions. I could arrange for meetings. I could communicate with parents. I could do. I feel lucky that I could.

And I  blessed because I was reminded again of how amazing our community really is. We are going through a lot of contentious discussions in town right now about parking garages and teacher contracts and hospital expansions. And village council elections and baseball fields. It has been easy to see the negative that surrounds us but this week I was reminded of the good. Everyone just wanted to help. We wanted to listen and to talk and to learn and to hug each other. We just wanted to be together. Differences aside. We were together as parents and teachers in a community that needed a lot of extra love and we were all there to give it.

I was reminded that the teachers and administrators at our middle school are an amazing group of people. They have loved our children and us as parents each day this week. Every parent I have spoken to has talked about lucky we are to have these adults in the lives of our children. They have let the children talk and they have brought them back to routine. They have listened to what the children need and they have provided it.

Alex’s services were today. A special service was held this morning for children, teachers and families. The chapel was overflowing. The rabbi asked for all the children to fill the seats while the adults stood in any space they could find. I had debated not going. It sounded hard. I know the family but only a bit. I told myself they would be glad if I was there but would’t miss me if I wasn’t. I was thankful that a friend convinced me go because it was a truly special time.

We heard from Alex’s friends and teachers. We laughed together hearing about his ability to beat his math teacher at chess, how he could solve any math equation given to him and how he could make his friends laugh. We learned about his wry humor and his smirk-ish grin. We learned that he is a soul who will be missed by all those who knew him.

And then the rabbi spoke and his message was beautiful and so important. He did not dance around the fact that Alex committed suicide. Instead he told the children about a secret he himself had kept for 25 years, feeling unsure that there was an adult in his life with whom he could share his truth. He told the children that no one will ever know why Alex chose to take his own life. But he told the children that they all need to know there are adults ready to hear whatever might be heavy in their hearts. He told them that their parents will forgive them if they choose to take their secrets to someone else. Your most trusted adult does not need to be your parent. He told the children that one day, a long time from now, when they are grandmothers and grandfathers, they may just be there because they learned from Alex that sharing your hurt is better than holding it.

This community will miss you Alex. Rest in peace.

 

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Apr 10

And Now She Is Ten

by Stacey

IMG_4028I have been quiet in this space lately. As the girls get older it is harder and harder to decide what to write publicly. My life still circles around theirs but we are beginning to write our own stories. More and more, it is important for them to decide what becomes public and what doesn’t.

I miss writing here though so I am glad that a yearly tradition has pulled me back. Even when the girls are mad about something I have written, they still say, “But you can always write our birthday posts.”

So now…

Katherine is ten.

Each year, these posts seem more and more surreal. And each year, I feel compelled to use more and more cliches. Time flies. Where does time go? How is our baby ten? The list goes on and on.

So here goes…

Dear Katherine,

Today you turn ten. For the past few weeks, you have felt pretty confused by this change. You have thought a lot about leaving the world of single digits and how you can never go back to it. You are feeling the passage of time and the truth of getting older and all that brings with it. I think ten feels pretty old to you. And while you are becoming older, there is still so much of the sweet baby I remember within.

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You are such a sweet daughter. Daddy and I love you with all our hearts. You make us laugh every day. You are clever and smart in your humor and we see bigger and bigger glimpses of the adult you will be one day. You don’t love if we ask you questions but you ask very wise ones. When I look at the picture of the baby above, I still see her in your hugs and kisses and love of time spent with your family.

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You are a great sister. Sometimes you struggle to share the air waves with your talkative sister but you love her so much and she loves you. When  you say goodnight to each other, I get teary eyed. As an only child, watching your relationship with your sister is pretty amazing.

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You are an amazing friend. Girls flock to you and your list of friends grows each day. I love how you seem to have friends from all pockets of your life. You aren’t confined by groups or favorites but truly love to surround yourself with the girls who make you happy.

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You are a thoughtful student. Each time I talk to your teacher, she shares a story of how you have grown as a learner. She especially loves how descriptive your writing has become and how many smart questions you ask when you read.

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You are an energetic soccer player. Your coach loves seeing how much you have improved as a player over the years. I love watching your tall legs run down the field and I love all the smiles and laughs you share with your teammates.

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You are a gorgeous dancer. Watching you dance is one of my favorite things to do. You are poised and graceful. More importantly though you are dedicated. You work hard each day to make yourself stronger, more flexible and more confident in your movements. You would dance all the time if you could.

And now you are ten.

Happy Birthday sweet girl. We love you more and more each day.

 

 

 

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Mar 30

The Books of My Life

by Stacey

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The best part of blogging (and the part I miss the most when I take breaks) are the relationships that come from writing. I can’t remember when I first got to know Allie of The Latchkey Mom but it’s been awhile. I love traveling vicariously on Allie’s family road trips and I get a little teary every time she talks about the successes experienced by her son Barrett who is diagnosed with autism.

You can imagine then how happy I was when she asked me to participate in a new series she is running on her blog called The Books of My Life.

Please click here to see my answers to her great questions.

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Mar 04

This Week’s Favorite Reads

by Stacey

 

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I love other people’s Friday tradition of curating their week’s favorite reads from around the internet so I thought I’d give it a try myself.

Here are some of the pieces that got me thinking this week…

Misty Copeland Channels Edgar Degas. I am so glad that I saw this on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Links I Love. I can’t wait to show it to Katherine!

Chocolate Chip Cookies by Macho Tweens. I’m not sure that she intended for there to be tears but my friend Vanessa’s post about her son and his friend’s chocolate chip cookies made me a little teary eyed.

Conversion Stories: Books That Made Us Love Audio Books. I have been trying to get in to audio books for years. I am listening to John’s Krakauer’s Missoula now and it is a fascinating story. Hoping this list might keep me listening.

I’d love to know who here is an audiobook listener. Love them? Hate them? Recommendations?

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Mar 02

Great New Books: My Name is Lucy Barton

by Stacey

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As I have written in this space before, I would like to be Ann Patchett when I grow up. Therefore, when I learned that her bookstore, Parnassus Books, offered a book subscription service, I signed up immediately. My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout was the first Parnassus First Edition Club selection to land on my doorstep. I did not read Olive Kitteridgeor Burgess Boys, Strout’s earlier works, so I probably would not have picked up Lucy Barton on my own. And that would have been a terrible mistake.

Please go to Great New Books to read the rest of my review.

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Feb 26

This Week’s Favorite Reads

by Stacey

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I love other people’s Friday tradition of curating their week’s favorite reads from around the internet so I thought I’d give it a try myself.

Here are some of the pieces that got me thinking this week…

There seems to a be a theme this week. Technology, social media, girls, me. How does it all fit together?  How does it work? How do we possibly do it ‘right?’ Caroline got a SnapChat account recently and this is the first time that I am truly baffled by what she is doing on-line. Texting and Instagram, I get. I enjoy them both as forms of communication myself. But this one put me over the edge. Perhaps this explains why all the links I saved for this post center on a similar topic.

Tech Addiction: A Parent’s Biggest Fear. This piece is written by Michelle Ciulla Lipkin, the wisest media literacy expert I know. And I feel truly lucky to actually know her. I think I need to put her on speed dial. Or speed snap or whatever…

How Social Media is Destroying the Lives of Teen Girls. If that title doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will. Yikes.

How I Quit My Smartphone and Really Started Living. Worth a try, right? Or maybe not? Or wow, I really have no idea.

I would love to hear your thoughts on all this. Social media and technology have obviously been on my mind lately. Let’s talk about it.

 

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