Sweet Clarity Alise.

February 20, 2011


This is my precious niece, Clarity Alise.

She’s four years old.
Her favorite colors are pink and purple.
She loves turtles.
Her current obsession is Scooby Doo.
(She’s wearing glasses “like Velma” in the pic)
She’s very imaginative, energetic, and funny, too.

Every-other Sunday, Clarity comes to church with me, as she has done since she was a little over a year old.  She attends Bible class where she enjoys seeing her teachers and friends.  Then, I pick her up and we go to Worship together.  After communion, our church has “Munchkin Minute” in which the children go up to the front to talk about a Bible verse with our pastor, who usually prompts some discussion with a question.  This morning it was, “What is something that you’re good at?”  Many children raised their hands to answer.  Running, soccer, and other sports were common.  A little girl said she was good at drawing. Another boy said he was good at building things with legos.

 Then Clarity raised her hand to answer…
“I’m good at SINGING!” she exclaimed.  Our pastor, sensing her enthusiasm, asked her if she wanted to sing something. Of course, she obliged.  She belted out 2 verses of Frosty the Snowman, her favorite song.
On a stage, into a microphone, in front of over 200 people.
She received an auditorium full of applause.
Today something struck me as I sat in awe of my sweet niece. 
At only four years old, she is boldly individual, comfortably quirky, and a free spirit.
Things I often wish I was brave enough to be.
I am so proud of this little girl, and so thankful that I get to be her aunt :)

Okay…so, the first thing you should know is that the above title is not entirely true.  I can speak, technically,  but my voice is much more akin to the Marlboro Man’s than my normal 27&golden-girl-self.  And to be sure we’re on the same page, I’m not talking about this Marlboro Man.  More like, a 50-something-year-old-gritty-cowboy-2 packs-a-day-smoker kind of guy. (If you didn’t just click that link, you really should.)

It’s not pretty.  I may even hack up a lung, so be careful not to get too close.

But, before you poke fun, you should know that my man-voice is accompanied by a fever.  So… pity me just a little before making me laugh, K? :)  Because laughing kind of hurts, too….

My fingers aren’t affected by this rather serious illness yet, so I better get to bloggin’.  It’s been quite a while…I must’ve totally jinxed myself when I wrote in my last post “maybe I’ll attempt to write every other day…”.  That was one very short-lived attempt.   Sometimes life just gets a little in the way of my plans ;)  So, while I’m scrambling around (like any true-blue procrastinator does) to accomplish my golden goals for this month, here is another little glimpse into the world of L.  Not that I presume that you’re uber-curious, but because this is one part of my life that I love to chat about.  My JOB.

It’s actually just a fraction of what I do…

 …but it just so happens to be one of the parts I like the best.

It’s all about car seats, you see… here’s 27 things I bet you didn’t know (but should!)

BTW- I promise the next post won’t be another list….

1.  Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children. (and teens, too)

2.  Car seats keep kids safe…or are supposed to.  Stats show that up to 9 out of 10 are misused.

3.  The American Academy of Pediatrics and a lot of other very smart, important people want you to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible.

4.  This is why rear-facing is best: 


5.  Did you know you can test out seats in your vehicle to make sure they fit before you buy? Babies-R-Us is one place that will let you do this.

6.  Paying more money for a car seat does not mean your child is better protected.

7.  That little plastic clip is called a harness retainer clip.  It goes at the child’s armpit level, like this:

8.  There are 4 major steps to follow in regard to safe transportation for children.

9. Boosters are for big kids.  A five-point-harness is the safest way for your child to ride until he or she outgrows it.

10.  Prematurely moving a child into a booster seat can result in this in a crash:

11.  That strap on the back of the car seat is called a tether and hooks to an anchor in your vehicle.  It is designed to reduce forward head movement in a crash….movement=injury! (See #21)

12.  It’s Oklahoma law for children to ride in an appropriate child restraint until 6 years old, but for most kids this still isn’t quite long enough.

13.  Best practice for booster seat use is 8 years old and 4’9″!

14.  See #10 again. (Same injuries may occur).

15.  Air bags are not for children, especially babies. NEVER put a rear-facing seat in front of an air bag, here’s why:


16.  Riddle:  What turns a 20 lb human baby into a 400 lb baby elephant?

Answer: a 20MPH car crash.

Weight x Speed= the amount of restraining force required…smart guy named Newton came up with that.

17.  Did you know that you’re 4 times more likely to survive a crash if you wear your seat belt? (Ejection does not save lives, people)


How are you liking my soap box? Eh…? (I love babies, remember??)

You get a special prize if you’re still reading.


18.  And for you smarties out there who just thought, “eh, the airbag will save me”… they’re called “supplemental restraints” for a reason. :)

19.    There are different seatbelt systems.  Typically, simply buckling in a car seat is not going to be enough.  Something must “lock” it in place.

20.  Most vehicles have what’s called the LATCH system.  It stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren.  You can choose to use this instead of a seat belt sometimes but be sure to follow the instructions.

21.  Speaking of instructions…your two BFFs when installing a car seat: your vehicle owner’s manual and the car seat manufacturers instructions.  If you’ve lost one, trust me, it’s on the internet somewhere. OBEY the manuals!

22.  Frontal collisions are the most common type of crash.

23.  Side impact collisions are the deadliest.

…It’s also why we like to keep kiddos in the center of the back seat, if possible.

24.  Infant seats are not made for SHOPPING CARTS!

25. Those fancy covers that may be super cute (and expensive) can void the safety of your car seat.

Car seats must meet lots of safety standards, including resistance to flamability…

(as a rule, if it didn’t come in the box, don’t use it!)

26.  Car seats expire, usually 6 years after they’re made.

27.  I am a CPSTI…a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and Instructor….a fancy way of sayin’ I know some stuff about car seats (and continue to learn more every day!)

Ask me to help.  If I don’t know the answer to a question, I definitely know lots of other wonderful people who will!

Don’t forget to Buckle UP, friends! (Every single trip!)

…Because I love you.

And the babies.


Apparently in the world of blogging, you are supposed to try your best to blog daily. I can understand the advantages. I’m sure it strengthens one’s writing skills, which is a primary reason I started 27&Golden in the first place.

However, blogging every day is a challenge. It’s difficult sitting down for long enough, to write, proof, and publish a post with all the other things that are going on throughout the day and evening. The other challenge, for me, is overcoming the feeling of being too exposed. You can’t really write about life from anywhere but your “authentic self”. Therefore, the more I write, the more people see me.

As I think I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I am not one to offer much in the field of self disclosure. That is, with one exception- I am pretty much incapable of lying, so if I’m asked a question directly, I answer rather honestly.  I probably won’t elaborate until prodded, but it will be the truth, nonetheless.  It’s not uncommon for a bold acquaintance to know more about my personal life than a good friend.   Pretty backwards, huh?  I’m not proud of it.

But, see?? You know more, already.

…Unless you’re someone who already knew that about me.

Here’s another little tidbit of info:  I love making lists.  Like, an OCD kind of love. 

Grocery lists, to-dos, things to pack, people to call, chores to accomplish, songs to download….

And then, in a non-OCD fashion, I tend to “hide” them from myself.

In my attempt to start blogging more frequently (perhaps a post every-other-day?) I thought sprinkling a list in here and there might be a fun and simple way to fill in some gaps…

List-makin’ is not nearly as satisfying without pen and paper, but given this is a blog, I’ll try to overcome that OCD-ish quirk.  So, here it goes:

27 of My Favorite Things <as of now, my Golden Year>…

1. Double-tall vanilla lattes

Starbucks rules.  I could stop the list here and be happy because I really, really like coffee. Really.

2. Grey

New fave color. It’s a recent change. Green got bumped to #2. Grey is the new black…er, green.

3.  Fossil Brand Clothing

I’ve got this incredibly adorable dress that I’m dying to wear, but haven’t quite found the right time or occasion.

4. Banana Republic

I couldn’t leave out the ONLY place I can find jeans that fit, because let’s face it, jeans are a necessity in life.  Like, water.

5.  Cougar Town

You really shouldn’t judge this show by its crappy title.  Seriously, it’s so funny. SO funny.

Here’s a good clip:

Actually it’s just the least-offensive one I could find…

6.  Republic Gastropub

Regardless of getting food poisoning from here last weekend- I’ll leave it on the list.  I’m a loyal patron. But I probably won’t be capable of ordering the Rotisserie Chicken Salad ever again.  Or any other salad.  Ever.

7.  Kellogg’s Special K, with milk and  Quaker Oatmeal Squares, without

I’m not above having cereal for dinner.  Or any other meal, for that matter.

8.  Braum’s Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, but as far as ice cream goes, this rocks my world.

9.  Breakfast!

French toast, eggs, bacon…the works.  Bonus points if it’s for dinner.

10.  Crest 3D Advanced White toothpaste

Why? Because my last favorite was discontinued, and it has to be whitening and a paste, not gel.  It’s called toothpaste, not toothgel.

11.  The Wheatfield by Katie Daisy at Etsy.com

My favorite shop changes nearly weekly the more I get to explore the site.  Exploring is the best part of Etsy. 

12.  Light Blue by Dolce and Gabana

Love it. But for an “everyday (more affordable) scent” I wear…

13. Japanese Cherry Blossom from Bath and Body Wx

Not to be confused with their plain Cherry Blossom scent. Totally different.

14.  http://ThingsWeForget.blogspot.com/

Cute new blog.  Makes me happy.

15.  Landslide by Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac

It will always be my favorite amidst all my seasonal faves.

16.  Adele’s Rolling in the Deep

Current seasonal fave.

17.  Dark nail polish

I love nail polish, but it doesn’t love me.  It makes me really sad when it starts chipping 2 days later.

18.  Wine

Drinking good wine with good food, in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures. /M. Broadbent

19.  Moleskine notebooks

It’s the Trapper-Keeper of adulthood.  There’s planners, lined and unlined notebooks…and my new investment, a recipe book.  Very European.

20.  Sharpie Pens

Best when paired with Moleskine notebooks, but if you love to write in any way, shape, or form, try these.

They’ll change your life.

21.  Allrecipes.com

If you’ve asked me for a recipe in the past year, it’s probably been from here.  I sort by those that with the highest rating and then sort through the top ones with the ingredients I think sound the best.

22.  Anthropologie

There are no words.  But guess what.  They are unveiling their new bridal collection on 2.14.

Finally, a legitimate reason to have a wedding.  Kidding.  

23.  My bed.

Goose down mattress topper.  High thread count cotton sateen sheets.  Down-filled comforter.  Stacks of pillows.

It really is my favorite place.  So peaceful.

24.   Doves

As a symbol, what they represent, or the bird itself.  I’m drawn to them.

25.  Famous quotations

And un-famous ones too, I suppose.  I adore how one eloquent phrase can capture so much emotion.

Finding one on occasion that expresses what you’re feeling, when you thought there was no way to put it in words is one of the most reaffirming moments.

26.  1 Corinthians 13

I don’t think this is overused.  I actually think it is not used enough.  We hear it at just about every wedding ceremony, but love is not something that is only reserved for a spouse.  I read and repeat these verses nearly every day as a reminder and guide.  We are called to love every one, which is a challenge in so many ways, but these verses break it down into simple steps…at least I think so.

It’s also helpful to be able to recognize what real love looks like (or doesn’t look like) when it’s returned. 

27.  Babies!

There’s no shortage of these around- my friends are popping ’em out like crazy…

Speaking of which, welcome to the world Emma Claire Stearns!

The End.


Man, the theme of “27” kind of makes for long lists!


’til next time, friends.