A Letter to My Girls

To My Girls…

 

Life is an adventure. 
 
Many of your adventures will be well planned.   You’ll set goals, have clear directions, know what you want and what to expect.  Reaching your destination will bring you great pride and a wonderful sense of accomplishment.   

Other adventures will be unwanted.  They will be adventures you cannot plan for.  These may cause you pain, heartbreak, sadness and even delay your trip or stop you in your path.

Some of your adventures will be impulsive.  You will take them without thinking or thought.  You destination unknown. They will be unplanned, mysterious and exciting.  

Many of your adventures will be unexpected.  They will be an unplanned moment in your life.  They will not be forced or planned.  They will come to you when you are not expecting them.  They will surprise you, enrich your life and fill your heart in unknown places.    

Never be afraid of life’s adventures.

Your strength will drive you towards your destination and get you there when you think you can’t.  Your imagination will take you places others couldn’t see existed and find your way when others are stuck.  Your love of life will allow you to embrace any road you come to and enable you to jump right in to it.  Your attention to detail will help you connect with others, enrich your relationships and help you show others you care about them.   Your helpfulness will allow you connect with others, while your stubbornness will get you through roadblocks others would have given up on.   Your  love of language and easy understanding of words will soar you to places and amazing opportunities.   Your love for your family will ensure that we will always be there to celebrate your good times or hold you when things get rough. 

The adventures you planned may not always go exactly the way you want them to. The unwanted adventures will always teach you something unexpected and remind you of your strength.  The impulsive adventures might be the scariest ones but they will also be rewarding and the most fun.  And the unexpected adventures will change your life forever. 
  

This is your unwritten, wonderful, incredible life.  

Grab on tight and jump right in…because the adventure is all yours!

                                                                                                                
 Pictures were taken from  Kindred Adventures on Pinterest.  
 Their original source: moredesignplease.com and speeding-cars-x.xanga.com
This Just.Be.Enough Post was inspired by the 
new Just.Be.Enough Weekly Theme 
This weeks theme: A Letter to My Child*
I am writing, posting and linking up to share my voice.  
As a contributor at JustBeEnough.com I am doing 
my part to carry the weight of confidence, empowerment and sharing the mission of empower, inspire and 
remind women, parents and children that 
the time has come to celebrate ourselves… myself!
It’s your turn now… 

 *Next Weeks Theme: 
“What Fuels You?” 
 (Remember you can also write on a topic of your choice.)

The ‘Eyes’ Have It

It was Monday.  Elena did her usual link up motivational post.  This time she added something… a new something… a special something… an inspiring something.  She added an optional writing prompt for this Monday’s link up: Standing Taller.  It was more than a prompt to me.  I was inspired, I was all in and then it was my mission.  Wait… What does standing taller even mean to me?  How do I stand taller?  What makes me stand taller?  Do I even stand tall?  Do I need to work on standing taller?

It was my favorite day of the work week… The night of the week I get to stop and buy dinner.  The night I don’t have to cook.  I walked into Jimmy John’s to order sandwiches. “Hi welcome to do a Jimmy John’s. What can we get you?”

The girls were fantastic. Olivia crossed off the list and Francine pick things off the shelf.  No fighting, no whining… a small mommy victory, my own personal moment. Walking to the checkout line at the grocery store the cashier warmly says hello to Olivia and Francine. Olivia shies away at first. “You’re with me sweetie. It’s okay to say hi,” I say to Olivia.

I was busy answering e-mails and getting things done on the computer.  I was a machine and my To Do list was quickly dwindling… yeah me!  A colleague at work walked into my room.  She wanted to run some ideas by me and share an exciting new program she was using.  I looked up to say Hi and welcome her in.  I was on a roll… I was getting things done!  I kept working as she started talking.  I nodded, uh-huh uh-huh and I briefly looked up.

Then it all made sense to me. 

I started to place my order. My eyes instantly looked to the floor as I talked. Why was I you looking down?  I’m a confident, strong woman with nothing to prove or be intimidated by.  It was the freckin’ Jimmy John’s order guy for goodness sakes. I looked up from the floor and looked him in the eyes. I continued with my order.  My shoulders instantly went back,  my face lit up a bit and my 5’11 frame stood taller.

Olivia shied away.  A mom look and a friendly mom nudge was all it took.  She instantly stood taller, confidently looked the woman in the eyes and said, “Hi”.   A smile quickly came to her face and a hands over her head, 1 foot, spinning ballet twirl showed me how happy she was with herself. 

My collegue continues to share.  My head was still in the computer, but I was listening. I stopped. I looked up, closed the computer and looked her straight in the eyes.  A smile came over her face.  Her shoulders went back a little.  My attention was fully hers.

 

Eye contact can mean so many different things.  Some cultures value it, while some are intimidated or even offended by it.  Families put varying levels of importance on it. To me, this prompt, this challenge, this mission reminded me…My eyes. 
The simple act of looking someone in the eyes…
It requires confidence in me, confidence in who am and confidence in what I am saying.  Making good eye contact makes me stand taller.  Most importantly,  eye contact shows people I am confident in myself.  Eye contact shows people we are confident ourselves.   Eye contact shows others they they are important to us.    Eye contact gives us all a little more height.
                                                                                                              

This Just.Be.Enough Post was inspired by the 
new Just.Be.Enough Weekly Theme 
This weeks theme: Standing Taller*
I am writing, posting and linking up to share my voice.  
As a contributor at JustBeEnough.com I am doing 
my part to carry the weight of confidence, empowerment and sharing the mission of empower, inspire and 
remind women, parents and children that 
the time has come to celebrate ourselves… myself!
It’s your turn now… 
Come Share Your Story!! 

 *Next Weeks Theme: “I knew I had to…” or your choice
 


I am. I can. I will.

It is MONDAY and time for MY Story…
I am writing, posting and linking up to share my voice.  
As a contributor at JustBeEnough.com I am doing 
my part to carry the weight of confidence, empowerment and 
sharing the mission of empower, inspire and 
remind women, parents and children that 
the time has come to celebrate ourselves… myself! 

It was all Shirley’s idea really… this blogging stuff.  I only wanted to try out Twitter. And what are best friends for if you can ask them (sucker them into) trying something new with you. 

Elena from www.ciaomom.com sent out a challenge: 
“Fast forward to today. Today is all about celebrating who we are and what we like about ourselves. It is about sending a message to ourselves, to society, and even to our children, that finding the positives in yourself is an important and essential endeavor.  Maybe just maybe, thinking about what we like instead of what we would want to change, will increase our self confidence. Maybe it will help us see things that we have not noticed before. And
maybe it will send the message that we are ENOUGH just the way we are.” 
I was instantly hooked.  I wasted no time skyping Shirley and told her Elena’s idea.  The post was written. Elena’s new movement was just beginning.  I was certain I wanted to be part of it. 
One month after joining Twitter with Shirley it happened.  

Shirley excitedly exclaimed, 

“We should start a blog!”

We had a blast as hours of our day were instantly sucked away as we worked on and made our blog our own.  
As I wrote my Just.Be.Enough Kids piece for last Thursdays post, my writing seemed to come together. My words really felt like they were flowing.  And with the help of an editor (I have an editor… I have an EDITOR now! Can you believe that!)   The last minute tweaks made it a post that I was truly proud of (thank you Robin www.justbeenough.com editor also at www.farewellstranger.com). 
I read blogs, commented, and absorb which pieces I liked and didn’t like.   I started to follow writer’s blog.  I read their  tips and started trying to apply them.  A smile would come over my face as I clicked the publish button, happy with another story of a Kindred Adventure. 
Last week’s comments on my post: I am. I can. I will  were some of the most moving and meaningful I had received on the post so far.   It was also a new experience to have so many people read and comment on my post.  It was at that moment I decided to believe I AM a WRITER.  I have found my writing style… I have a writing style!  I love writing!   
Lavern’e Journal

Sitting at the table with my journal and pen my energy rises as my ideas become words on paper.  It all started with,  “We should start a blog” and a simple request for Elena

I am a Writer.  I can be a Writer.  
I will forever believe this!

                                                                                                                            

 
        

Every MONDAY join us… 
Write, Post, Link-Up, share your story and your voice.  
Be part of carrying the weight of confidence, empowerment and share our mission to empower, inspire, and remind 
 women, parents and children
that the time has come to celebrate ourselves! 

Bellflower Books will be sponsoring the Be Enough Me Monday link ups for ONE month, starting on August 22nd. For every 20 people that link up with a story of how they lived the Be Enough Me “feeling” that week, Bellflower will donate ONE $75 gift certificate to a family identified by Crickett’s Answer for the creation of a 20-page memory book. We will keep a running total of links over the four Mondays and hope to reach our goal of 120 links, 

which would provide TEN Bellflower memory books.

Just.Be.Enough: Happiness

It is MONDAY and time for MY Story…
I am writing, posting and linking up to share my voice.  
As a contributor at JustBeEnough.com I am doing 
my part to carry the weight of confidence, empowerment and 
sharing the mission of empower, inspire and 
remind women, parents and children that 
the time has come to celebrate ourselves… myself!
Since I joined the Just.Be.Enough team I have come to look forward to Mondays.  Mondays have become a chance for me to intentionally look forward and make certain I recognize that I Am Enough.  Shirley and I are never short of celebrations.  When it comes to our friendship we just click. It is an unconditional, thoughtful friendship, with a side of  I can read your mind.  Our families keep us busy and motherhood keeps us on our toes,  makes us want to pull out our hair sometimes and keeps life interesting. 
 

This week Olivia started kindergarten. My husband proudly played stay at home dad for the day. I called home during lunch, fighting the tears of pride and terror,  hoping her first day of school  was everything I wanted it to be.  My tears ran down my check as she told me about her great first day of school.

As I entered school, on my first day of school,  new thoughts, unexperienced thoughts, entered my head. Will I connect with this years students like I had so easily in the past?  Would I be able to see their potential and then be able to take them to a version of their future they thought unachievable?   Would this be the year I finally felt teacher burn out?  This would be my 13th year. Wasn’t I supposed to start being done, start not loving my job.

Friday came quickly this week.  I was exhausted.  Lying in bed to watch a movie I was too tired for the #wineparty (yet again).  I fell asleep before the movie title ever made it to the TV screen.

Saturday meant time with my family.  My mom energy was  renewed and my mom game was at its best! I waited for a moment, something, that would spark my Just.Be.Enough feeling.  Nothing!  Then from my unlikely source “Twitter” came Elena.  
 
My week was Enough! Enough doesn’t have to come from hardship, trial, hurt or struggle (it most certainly can though). Enough can be life being wonderful. 

I locked the door to my classroom on Friday.   A huge smile came over to my face.  I still have it!  I am going to do amazing things this year!  I am in no way near done with this life’s journey.  I am so very happy!  It was a wonderful week! 
                                                                                                                          
                                   
Every MONDAY join us… 
Write, Post, Link-Up, share your story and your voice.  
Be part of carrying the weight of confidence, empowerment and share our mission to empower, inspire, and remind 
 women, parents and children
that the time has come to celebrate ourselves! 
   
Bellflower Books will be sponsoring the Be Enough Me Monday link ups for ONE month, starting on August 22nd. For every 20 people that link up with a story of how they lived the Be Enough Me “feeling” that week, Bellflower will donate ONE $75 gift certificate to a family identified by Crickett’s Answer for the creation of a 20-page memory book. We will keep a running total of links over the four Mondays and hope to reach our goal of 120 links, 

which would provide TEN Bellflower memory books.

Just.Be.Enough: Usually Unusual Enough

It is MONDAY and time for MY Story…
I am writing, posting and linking up to share my voice.  
As a contributor at JustBeEnough.com I am doing 
my part to carry the weight of confidence, empowerment and 
sharing the mission of empower, inspire and 
remind women, parents and children that 
the time has come to celebrate ourselves… myself!
I have wonderful memories of the outings my dad meaningfully planned with each of us, every year.  He has always taken great pleasure in planning just the right one for each of his daughters and each one meant so much to him.  To spend time with each of us, individually, was done with great effort and purpose!  This summer he decided to give new life to this tradition.  At 36, 34 and 30, my dad decided it was time to start having Daddy Daughter Days with us again.

Friday afternoon, the girls were with Grandma for afternoon.  My Dad and I were on the Blue Line, riding to the Cubs game.  It as standing room only and the “L” car (Elevated Train… for non-Chicagoans) was sprinkled with red and blue.  The Cardinals were in town.  One transfer later we were standing shoulder to shoulder riding the Addison bus on our way to Wrigley.  My Dad was full of conversation, reminiscing and sharing stories.  There was the Veterinary Hospital I worked at in his teens (I’d heard all the stories before, but who was I to stop him! Besides each time he tells the story something new comes out). Next was the story of the man who claimed he could out ride (on a bicycle) a city bus. 
“Some claim to fame!”, I say.  
“Weren’t so many stops and the road wasn’t as busy back then.  He had to have been fast!” Dad says. 
His memory continues to flow as he shows off reciting the buildings on the corners with his back turned to the intersection.  We were in no rush, we had no set plans… I was me and my Day.  Daddy and daughter.
Way, way up to our upper deck seats,  Nose bleed seats we call them.  I was flooded with memories of why I love Wrigley Field.  A couple of beers and a hot dog later, my dad and I spent inning after inning remembering other Cubs games and displayed giddy smiles as the Thunder Birds do fly-bys over the stadium, practicing for the Air and Water Show the next day. 
Bottom of the 8th, the Cubs are down one.  It is my usual Wrigley experience… the Cubs losing.  A base running error in a clutch situation… usual Cubs game experience.  One hit and then another, they were back in the game.  Fifteen games out of first place, tie game in the top of the 10th inning… a less likely Cubs game experience.  Bottom of the 10th, a hit, a sacrifice bunt and a game winning RBI…. CUBS WIN!  
We left the confines singing, “Go Cubs, Go… Go Cubs, Go….” and smiling from ear to ear (can’t say I ever saw my dad sing).  We were relishing in the display of baseball we had seen and basking in the joy that our team had won! (an unusual Cubs game experience for me)

We oozed happiness.  The day could not have ended better.  This day, like most days spent with my dad, was Just.Enough The game, for the Cubs, proved what we long time Cubs fans always know… they are Just.Enough… they just need to start believing it too! 

                                                                                                       
Every MONDAY join us… 
Write, Post, Link-Up, share your story and your voice.  
Be part of carrying the weight of confidence, empowerment and share our mission to empower, inspire, and remind 
 women, parents and children
that the time has come to celebrate ourselves! 

How you have lived the Be Enough Me feeling this week?


Be more the Just.Enough for someone else…

Bellflower Books will be sponsoring the Be Enough Me Monday link ups for ONE month, starting on August 22nd. For every 20 people that link up with a story of how they lived the Be Enough Me “feeling” that week, Bellflower will donate ONE $75 gift certificate to a family identified by Crickett’s Answer for the creation of a 20-page memory book. We will keep a running total of links over the four Mondays and hope to reach our goal of 120 links, 
which would provide TEN Bellflower memory books.

Just.Be.Enough: 8 Miles

I am starting a brand new adventure.  It is an adventure that is so close to my heart,  that I am so passion about and that I am so overwhelmingly terrified and excited about….

“Just.Be.Enough… was founded in July of 2011 by Elena Sonnino. The idea for the site came to her as she was swimming laps, training for a triathlon, thinking about the importance of feeling confident and empowered. 

 

 It all started when she was reading a blog post about accepting ourselves even with our imperfections which led to a link up on her own blog C.Mom asking women to create a Things I Like About Me list. The struggle that followed for many was eye opening. The focus on imperfections and flaws had taken seed and had deep roots that were hard to change. But so many women did. And as a result, they walked taller, felt empowered, and took the Internet by storm. 

 

Just.Be.Enough. will share the stories, the voices, the truths of many. Its mission is to empower, inspire, and remind women, parents, and children that that the time has come to celebrate ourselves. We must. We must carry the weight of confidence and empowerment on our shoulders instead of allowing the burden of our flaws and imperfections to push us down.” About Us www.justbeenough.com 

 

Myself and eight others indescribably Just.Enough women have been overwhelmingly lucky to have the opportunity to share this adventure with Elena.  Every Monday, we will all be joining Elena at www.justbeenough.com to link up and share our story of the week about how you have lived the Be Enough Me feeling this week.  


This week Olivia drove me nuts. 

 
Crying, screaming, yelling, mad, more crying… tantrums. 
 
Olivia is five years old.  

More crying, more tantrums, hitting her sister.
       
I usually don’t go to Twitter vent about moments like this, but I just needed to lay it all out there. Suddenly,  I had two warm, responsive women asking me how old she was and happy to share with me what worked for them and their children.  They kindly shared. Their empathy for my moment reminded me that I was not alone.  

She made me crazy.

The girl made me crazy.

Wednesday came.  The girls and I packed up the backpack with snacks and water, put the jogging stroller in the back of the car and we were on our way to our favorite path by the river for a long walk.  It was a great eight mile walk with the girls in the stroller, the iPod playing our favorite tracks  and me pushing them along.  Two hours later (with a snack in between) and a new quarter sized blisters on my heal,  I smiled as I watch them play at the park.  

Today there was no whining, there was no crying, there was not a single hit,  there were no, “I’m MAD at you! “ or “You’re a MEAN mommy”,  there were no tantrums on the floor. 

There were pleases, there were thank yous,  there were smiles, there was, “Olivia can you help Mommy with this ?” and the response was, “Sure Mommy!”  

This week’s experiences reminded me that I am enough.  I am doing the right things with Olivia.   I do know what I am doing.  It reminded me that Olivia is her own person.  She has her own mind and her own will.  This reminded me that it is her job to grow up.  It’s her job to push me away.  It’s her job to test me and my limits.  It is my job to make her feel safe, give her structure and give her limits.  It is my job to teach her how to deal with these new things, new feelings, new situations, and new experiences.

So, with a little help from some new found friends on an unlikely source I realized that I was going to be enough.  My child, like all children, has her moments.  Sometimes the moment is an hour, sometimes a day and in my case sometimes it is three days, but it just means that they are growing up. So, even if it does make me want to lay on the floor, makes me want to pound my fists and makes me want to cry… I am Just.Enough! 

                                                                    


Every MONDAY join us… 
Write, Post, Link-Up, share your story and your voice.  
Be part of carrying the weight of confidence, empowerment and share our mission to empower, inspire, and remind 
 women, parents and children
that the time has come to celebrate ourselves! 

How you have lived the Be Enough Me feeling this week



We can not wait to hear about it!


I Relaxed!! No I Relaxed!!… It’s All in the Perspective

The garage door motor grinds as it opens.  The clock tells me it is my husband coming home from work.  Sitting at the kitchen table clicking away on the keyboard of my lap top I briefly consider that I probably should get off my a** and start dinner.  It is after all a swimming lesson night and that means less time to make dinner and eat it.  The girls are sprawled out on the couch, arms dangling off the side, eyes glazed over, still in their PJs.  The door opens and my husband’s “ I’m so happy to be home and see all my girls, I’ve missed you face” turns to a scowl of anger.

I had done NOTHING ALL DAY!!!!  WE had done NOTHING ALL DAY!
 
Sunday afternoon we arrived home from a weekend of camping.  It was Francine and Olivia’s first camping experience.  My dad was so happy and so excited to introduce another generation of our family to camping and to Point Beach State Park (our most favorite camping place… lost of family history. More to come on that later).  The girls had a wonderful weekend full of new experiences, adventure and unplugged family time.  It was wonderful.  I WAS EXHAUSTED… drag me to the door, take me out of the oven, sucked the life out of me… DONE!  
 
The hubs had not gone camping with us.  It just isn’t his thing (although we are working on him).  While I am sooo happy that the girls had a fantastic time, I did not get a break.  Being four and five years old they still are not completely independent.  Camping with them (though my fantastic, fabulous, kiss your feet sister and her hubs were with us and helped a lot) means: we go to the bathroom together, we shower together, we slept on the same blow up matress together, we sat by the fire together, we read together (they can’t just sit around the fire and read… they can’t read), we played board games together.  It was 24/7 me and Francine and Olivia!

I WAS EXHAUSTED!!!
 
My husband was furious.  Furious that nothing was put away from our trip.  Furious that the kitchen he had cleaned while we were gone was messy again.  Furious that dinner was not made.  Furious that I had done NOTHING!!!  In between the whirl wind of trying to get my a** in gear, trying to make dinner before swimming (did not happen… another thing for him to be furious about) and getting girls ready for swimming I tried to defend myself and explain that I just needed a day to do nothing.  I’M EXHAUSTED.  
 
“You had the entire weekend to yourself.”, I said.  
 
Daggers came shooting from his eyes.  
 
“I don’t consider a whole weekend by myself fun!” 
 
“Sh*t I would.  I would pay for that”, I think.
 
“Are you mad because we just got back from a vacation and I did nothing today?” I say to him.
 
Walking up the stairs he turns, looks at me and gives me the smile, head nod, shoulder shrug that means, “ Well yeah!” 
While he thought I was on vacation, spending time with family, sitting around the camp fire and doing hardly anything, relaxing … I thought he was sitting at home doing nothing, spending time alone in a quiet house, doing, eating, watching whatever he wanted, relaxing all by himself.  

Perspective is such an interesting thing.  
                                                                                             
“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” 
                                                                                John Lubbock

Family Vacation

Last Friday marked our first family get away, just us four, in four years. 
We were off to Michigan.  
Now I don’t know if it was the GPS, Indiana roads, construction of my lack of skills as a navigator using a GPS (deep, growling sigh to admit it might have been my fault)
We got lost!
I’m talking terribly lost. 
We got lost straight to beautiful Gary, Indiana… The “roll your windows up, lock your doors kids” nice part of Gary, Indiana.
  
After an hour of driving around and my hubs homing pigeon (I think a few lucky turns) like direction skills and we were back on the same ten minutes to go one mile (moving so slow someone at a slow jog could have gone faster then us), thirteen miles stretch of construction consumed road for the second time! 
{Cue angelic music} We were finally back on our way to Michigan!

So…
8 Twizzlers
1 Large Gatorade
2 Handfuls of Peanut M & Ms (ok large handfuls)
1 Watchamacall it
2 Ho Ho’s
3 Handfuls of Fruit Loops
2 Cans of Coke
1 Lost Zoople (and Zoople found and Zoople broke)
1 Stretch of 13 mile, move 1 mile every 10 minutes construction heavy strip of highway
Multiple moments of found, lost and found again sanity
45 minute nap
2 States
6 hours (of a what should have been 3 hours)
We arrived at the hotel! 
and the pound on the seat, laugh until you tear moment of the trip…
Hubs says :”Hey kids we are in Michigan.” 
Francine: “Daaaadddy!… We’re not in Michigan we’re still in our car!”

  

                                                                                                     

*Note to any concerned person regarding the quantity of unhealthy food consumed during this trip:  It was not all consumed by me!  We were on vacation people! We all had a nice healthy breakfast before we started this trip!










Half-Pint Post: WaNtEd

MamaKat has sent out her weekly Almost World Famous Writing Prompts.  This week I choose: It’s hot, the kids are home and crazy, our pets are panting, the days are long…share your number one Summer Survival Tip.  Of course I went right to work looking for the perfect Mommy Summer Survival Trip.  I came across this newspaper want ad  {wink, wink}…

I am lucky enough to be a SAHM for three months out of the year.  And while I am very aware of it during the months I work, my “Summer Survival Tip” becomes more valuable during June, July and August… TIME!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to sit on the couch, watch TV, Tweet, Facebook, blog read and write the day away or even sit on the porch reading more then a paragraph without being interrupted only to have to reread it because I forgot what it said! 
On the days I am able to be fully present, on their level, belly to the floor, knees full of chalk the whine factor (their whining, not my need for it… well that too), need for warnings, limits or consequences significantly lessens.  
I would still love to sit on the couch, watch TV, Tweet, Facebook, blog read and write the day away or even sit on the porch reading there are also days where I actually have to do house work, laundry, dishes, make meals (no comment hubs… not the best house keeper, but becoming a better cook).
TIME continues to be my Summer Survival Tip… my secret weapon. A moment in the kitchen table coloring with Francine elbow to elbow, the warmth of a head on my shoulder as I read Junie B. Jones to Olivia, the peek of a smile as I look up with star sun glasses and a hot pink boa on… Time is my Summer Survival Tip and it is absolutely priceless.

                                                                                        

                                                                                           

Just on Time. Never Late.

6:00 am
Up bright and early. That is my way.

7:00am
I got a great run in and Olivia and Francine were still a sleep. Bonus. I filled the pot with water and added two scoops of grinds. Soon I would be enjoying warm, coffee goodness.
“Moommmy I’m aaaawaaake!”, I hear from the monitor.
“MOMMYY I’M A-WAKE!”, I hear from the other monitor.
And here we go.

7:30am
It was play date day and as per our usual routine Holly and I had not quite decided what we wanted to do with the girls today. Typical. We would figure out something to do. Only hitch this day… she had to be some where at 1:30. No word from Holly.

7:45am
Second cup of coffee in my belly. Girls were on the couch watching TV and I was on the computer. I started to think to myself. I probably should start to get in the shower. I probably should do something to start to get ready. If Holly calls (well, actually texts) and is ready to go I won’t be ready.

8:00am
“How about the zoo”, the text reads.
What a great idea I think.
“Meet at 9:15.”, the next text reads.
Who is she kidding! No way I’ll be ready, pack lunches, get all of us in the car and drive to the zoo by 9:15. I offer 9:45 as a time to meet and it is agreed. We will meet at 9:45.

8:15am
With a little help from Francine and Olivia lunches are made. At least one thing I needed to do is done.

My skype starts to ring. It’s Shirley. I tell her I only have 10 minutes to chat. 10 real minutes, not 10 Shirley and Laverne minutes. Who the hell am I kidding.

8:40am
25 minutes later I’m barking out orders to Olivia and Francine.

“Pick out your clothes. Then get dressed. Mommies going to get in the shower.”

Francine, “Mommy can I sit on your bed? I won’t jump!”

“Ok!”

9:05
Out of the shower. Took me extra long. Sucks when you decide to wear shorts and then you realize that you haven’t shaved your legs in a couple of days. Shaving legs… not a time saver.

Surprise, surprise the girls are actually dressed! Yeah us!!!

9:20
Hair is done, mommy is dressed, lunches are packed, girls are dressed and pottied. One thing left… I probably should feed them breakfast. No time.

9:25
The award winning mommy I am… I stop for coffee and they get to have donuts. Thank goodness I at least didn’t have to stop for gas. That is generally my luck. I decide to text Holly to let her know that we are running late. She lets me know that they are just leaving their house. She’s running later then I am.

Driving to the zoo I think of my husband. Boy if he was with us this would drive him crazy. My mind drifts to the post I wrote: Misplaced, never lost. I think ya know: Just on Time, Never Late. would make another great post idea.

10:05
We make it to the zoo. I get the girls and our backpack out of the car. My friends car drives up. Who am I kidding…. I love to think I’m just on time. I’m Late!!

When Does it Begin? What will I Say To Her?… Reflections from The Pool

The sun is shining. Thank god we finally have a real summer day. 90 degrees, dry air, so hot if you are not at the pool you are not outside. Olivia, Francine and I head to the pool. This is definitely the summer I get to see if they finally have what it takes to hang at the pool. Wake up in the morning, eat breakfast, pack a lunch, swim, eat lunch and swim some more until it is dinner time, hang at the pool.

Bathing suits were everywhere. Duh we were at the pool. You know not many of us actually look good in a bathing suit. We can only be lucky enough to find a bathing suit that will hide some of our flaws. A suit that will hide just enough of our flaws so we feel good enough about ourselves to be at the public pool.

Still more bathing suits. Some of them really cute. Some of them really cute, but not cute or even flattering on the person wearing it. You know there are only a hand full of women that after say 30 and/or kids look good in a bikini. I often wonder do they know how they look in that suit? Is their body image off? Do they just want to wear the suit because they like it and they do not care how it looks on them? Doesn’t anyone that loves them tell them it is not flattering on them?
Bathing suits and body image began to make me think. Bathing suit shopping is never easy. My girls still have their boy like figures, no curves, still a baby fat pooch that comes and goes with each growth spurt. Never do we have to give a second thought in how they will look in the suit only what is the cutest one we can find. What would I say to one of my daughters if they were not so trim? When will my girls start to worry about how they look in a swim suit? What do moms say to their girls when they reach that stage when the baby fat starts to impact how clothes fit? How do moms balance ensuring their girls have a healthy self image but educate their young girls on what looks best on their body type?
Olivia: “Mommy, there is sand on my hand.”
Me: “Yes, that’s what happens when you play in the sand. Do you want to go back and play in the pool?”
Olivia: “Yeah!!!! Lets go do kicks!!”
Four hours later Olivia and Francine had proven to me that we were more then ready to hang out at the pool this summer. Towel dried, pink cheeked and still with a little smear of peanut butter on her face from lunch we were ready to leave. We were happy, exhilarated, excited for more pool days and exhausted! (Francine just barely made it to the edge of the parking lot awake) And for now we will embrace who we are without question and enjoy the the pool. Questions will come soon enough!






Summer Camp Rehab

Going into fifth grade I was still a thumb sucker.  I wasn’t a walking around with my thumb in my mouth thumb sucker.  I was at night in bed, sneak and thumb suck, thumb sucker.  Summer meant summer camp and I was still a thumb sucker.  It was never something that caused me crippling embarrassment, but I was smart enough to know that fifth graders did not freaking suck their thumbs.

First night came.  We all did our evening routines.  Shower, brush teeth, PJs on and into bed.  I had the top bunk.  I reminded myself that I would need to be careful.  I would need to be careful not to fall out of bed!  I would also need to be careful no one saw me getting my fix… my thumb sucking fix.  Lights out.  Wait for it.  It was safe.  Thumb in. Oh the guilt, the internal pressure.  Would someone see me?  Would someone see me or catch me sucking my thumb?  What would I do if they caught me?

Morning came and no one was any the wiser.  Feeewwwwwffff, addiction fed and no one is on to me.  I may have snored that night and may have drooled a bit, but those were minor.  I had gotten my thumb sucking in.

Why did I feel so incredibly guilty?  Could it be the fact I was in fifth grade and I still sucked my thumb?  Possibly I was scared shit-less someone would discover my secret? Maybe it was because this was a church sponsored camp and we were here to work on ourselves?  Perhaps it was the sheer fact that I needed to get my ass in gear and STOP SUCKING MY THUMB!

The second and third nights came.  I didn’t.  I did not put my thumb in my mouth!!   The fifth day  was my last day at camp.  My mom came to pick me up. I was over the moon proud of myself.  I had kicked my addiction.  Putting my things in the car, the drive home, stopping for lunch, unpacking my duffel bag… I didn’t tell her about my personal victory.  I was no longer a thumb sucker and it was my happy secret.




This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s Pretty  
Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop

Not My Mother’s Daughter

The warm water washed over me and as usual I began to think of all the things I needed to do.  I also started to think of all the things I wanted to do.  It was Saturday and I was told to take more time to myself.  Thoughts of my family began to drift into my head.  My own family.  How lucky I am.  My sisters, my dad and my mom.  My mom….

For eight years my memories of her have brought me sadness, anger and even embarrassment.  She had left this world losing her battle with depression.  The years leading up to her death were more then challenging, exhausting and something daughters should never have to do.  Up until last year if someone said, “Oh you remind me of your mom!” or “That reminds me so much of your mother!!”  I found myself overwhelmed with anger and embarrassment.  

“I was not like her!”, I would exclaim to myself.

Eight years later  it is just a typical Saturday morning. I am so happy with my life, happy with myself and so happy with the mother, wife, friend and women I have become.  I am strong and independent.  I love my job.  I get to go to work everyday and do what I have always wanted to do.  My daughters are polite, articulate, creative and love life.  My house is a lived in clean.  The laundry is done, but not folded.  The floor is scattered with toys and the markers and art work on the kitchen table always have to be cleaned up before dinner.  

I am not like my mother.

Yet,  still I find myself taken by the love and longing for my mother.  I am finally able to get past the wall of anger.  I love my mother.  I miss my mother.  I have always loved my mother.  I hate the illness she had, I hate what it did to her.  I hate what it made me have to do.  

I’m not like my mother.

Today I find myself suddenly in a much different place.  A place where I look back on the memories of my mom and they are fond and loving.   She was the most wonderful mother.  She was loving, gentle, selfless, she loved life and was passionate about being a mother.  Her greatest goal in life was to raise us to be well rounded, happy, successful women.  So today I find myself overwhelmingly happy to be compared to my mom.  Happy to be lucky enough to have many of my moms features.   Blessed to be able to share with my daughters traditions my mother gave me. Smiling that my daughter loves to have her back rubbed the same way my mom rubbed mine.   Lovingly, sharing fantastic stories and memories of my mother with my daughters… and with tears in my eyes and reflecting smile I find myself thinking:  I’m not my mother, but I will always be my mothers daughter.







Post inspired by writing prompt from Mama Kat’s 
Not your mother’s daughter…how do you parent differently than your mother did? 
Is it a good thing or a bad thing?


  
“Come here.”

“Why?”

“Put your coat on.”

“Why?”

“Come downstairs.”

“Why?”

“Eat that piece of cake.”

“Why?”

“Why?” is the token phrase for my Olivia this week.  I joke that I could tell her, “We are going to Disney!” and she would respond, “Why?”.  We work so hard to teach our children our morals, our standards and manners.  Our children take us through phases and call us to task.  They ensure that we will keep them safe with rules and boundries. We glow in our success when they show us what they have learned.  They are certain to remind us,  just when we are sure that they finally get it, that they will always test us. “Why?

She continues to test our rules, our standards and our follow through.  Soon this phase too will pass.  I remind myself.  “Why?”  If it doesn’t life will continue to be rough.

“Get your shoes on.”

“Why?”

“Get dressed for ballet.”

“Why?”

“Let’s go see a movie.”

“Why?”

“I love you”

“Why?”

It is just what I do sweetie no matter how crazy you make me!  

This too will pass, right?

Just training for when she is a teenager, right?

It will get easier, right?