Family Mantras: Connection

Mar 26, 2015 by

What is the most important thing you want to help provide for your children as you are raising them?

Think about not what you want them to be, but ONE SINGLE THING you can provide for them every day that can foster their growth and development (other than food, clothing, shelter and education).

I see 100s of posts, articles and blogs about raising awesome kids and I feel like I ignore most of them. I don’t usually go searching for some advice on how to raise my children. I have been listening to a bunch of books-on-tape/audiobooks in the car during my commute and have occasionally listened to some quasi-parenting books that fit my mindset – not necessarily books that tell you how to parent but more books about what you want for your life and your family’s future. Much of what I’ve been listening to have resonated deeply for me and I will post about other things as they formulate in my head. But for me, I’ve been thinking about one simple question.

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Tweens: The Agony and The Ecstasy

Mar 25, 2015 by

I have one daughter who is officially a “tween” and another close behind. When we announced that we were having a girl (and then another and then another), people would often warn us about what would be coming. Boys are harder now, they ALL said, but girls will be your undoing later. One woman once told me that when her daughter entered fifth grade, “she almost instantly became someone new”. I laughed with these people. I nodded my head and sagely said, “Oh I know. It should be interesting” even though I secretly thought, “Nah. It will be fine. I’ve GOT this”. So here I am. I have a tween. I don’t HAVE this at all. I doubt my parenting skills now more than I ever did as a first time mother. I have no idea what I’m doing with this beautiful, hilarious, moody, and dramatic child of mine. Her sister is quickly morphing into this same creature. I’m terrified. Every day is an adventure with a tween.

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Parenting Without Parents

Mar 25, 2015 by

My entrance into this world was a bit controversial. My parents were well into middle age when they had me.  My father was 57 and my mom, 44 years young. Sure this may not be uncommon now, but back in the late 1970s, this was completely unheard of.  In fact, my mom’s doctor, upon delivering the news of her pregnancy and thinking I was an “Oops Baby,” said he could “take care of it” if my parents wanted. He was concerned about the health risks associated with her having a baby later in life. My mother was horrified at the thought and told him that she intentionally set out to have a sibling for my sister, who was almost five at the time. My parents beat the odds and the conventional wisdom at the time and had me anyway.

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Blogger Style: Capsule Wardrobes

Mar 25, 2015 by

Hi all!  I’m back for another edition of blogger style.  Recently the ladies were talking about style and I dug up my style questionnaire for them.  Christa bit and filled it out.  The funny thing about this is that I have always thought that Christa had a clearly defined personal style.  If I can picture what someone would wear or be attracted to fashion wise, then I think their style is clearly defined.  Also, if you go to Christa’s pinterest style boards you see a pretty consistent pattern.

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Fairy Godmothers

Mar 24, 2015 by

I sat in the darkened theater, watching “Cinderella” this weekend. It was the scene-no spoilers here, we all know the story-where Cinderella’s cruel stepfamily had left her behind, in torn rags, face streaked with tears. Then along comes her Fairy Godmother and everything changes. I saw tears dry with the swoosh of a magic wand and happiness and hope returned.

It struck me as I watched my own little girl’s face during this scene, that every little girl should have a Fairy Godmother. It would be really cool if I meant that literally, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Every little girl should have someone in their life besides their parents to make them feel special and listened to. I am her mom. I can make a lot of this kid’s dreams come true, but I am also the one to bring the consequences and dish out the responsibilities. A Fairy Godmother would have no such strings attached.

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Falling without Grace: The Messy Reality of Compassion Fatigue

Mar 24, 2015 by

ISIS, the Boko Haram, a lynching in Mississippi, a hung jury in a domestic violence homicide, the war on the poor instead of poverty, or the war on drug addicts instead of drugs, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, friends with Cancer, grief, a proposed bill to legalize killing gays in California:  ENOUGH!  Pain and trauma are spewing at us from every direction.  I am afraid to simply “log on” as the Yahoo, Google and MSN face pages are enough to confirm the ugly that resides in this world.  Even my Facebook news feed isn’t safe or exempt.  I hear trauma all day in my role, log into it with every electronic device, and come home to hear of my son’s struggles with stealing in his classroom, friends withdrawing friendship, and bullying.

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You win some, you lose some, you pee some.

Mar 24, 2015 by

I did two new things during a race last weekend.

First, I PR’d a 5k. Translation for my non-runner readers: I got my best time ever for a 3.1 mile race (PR means personal record).

Getting a PR was intentional. It started with a Christmas “gift” from my sister: a plan to shave a minute off my time from last year’s race. For a short 5k, this is no small feat. I’ve trained for many races, but speedwork is not my forte. It’s funny to be gifted a personal goal, but I was up for the challenge and grateful someone else did the research and tailored the planning for me. Especially in the depths of winter, I am more apt to be a dedicated runner with a specific target. With no races on my calendar, look for me under couch blankets watching Broad City and drinking Two Roads.

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