Anything You Can Do… I Can Do Better…

I kid, I kid. This is totally false.


But if I do end up doing something awesome, it is because I have access to the world wide web and some brilliant mind created something awesome and put it on said world wide web and it inspired me. Isn’t this true for most people though? In the age of the almighty Pinterest, it is very easy to find inspiration.

How do I re-purpose this ugly old dresser?

BAM!– Pin a 1001 pins on how to at 1:00 AM.

How do I make this plain ol’ Ikea furniture into something that looks like I dropped some big money on?

BAM!– Pin a 1001 pins on how to at 2:00 AM.

How do I get my kid(s) to eat their veggies?

BAM!– Pin a 1001 pins on how to at 3:00 AM.

I love Pinterest.

What I do not love is this:

People that do not give credit where credit is due. 

There are some hard-working, brilliant, and creative people that are kind enough to take the time to give us step-by-step directions on how to re-purpose that ugly dresser, hack that Ikea furniture, and hide those veggies in your kid’s dinner. I value all those creative minds because I am not one. I am not artistic. I cannot paint. I cannot even hang a painting straight.  I lack the motivation to sand a dresser for fifty hours and to stain if for another fifty.

Pinterest is a great resource but it is not a soap box for you one-uppers out there. I bet you that you were inspired. I bet that you took a gander at Pinterest and found some influences. Most of us do it. We are a big melting pot of ideas, thoughts, and inspiration. There is no harm in saying, “I saw this on Pinterest…” because I know you did. Per the site, so did 385 other people.

Anything I can do, you can probably do better… but don’t forget to give a shout out to the person whose blood, sweat, and tears went into showing you how.

And if you are just supernaturally creative– I envy you. I hope to tap into my inner “artist” some day.

It has to be in there… right?

Thanks for reading xo

Advertisements

Monkey See. Monkey Do.

If you are a parent– you know this to be true. Almost everything you do is mimicked by your little (or big) one. There are the obvious things that your child may have picked up from you like language usage, characteristics, habits, or even facial expressions. Have you thought about the not-so obvious things that your child will emulate? I have. It scares the crap (ya- I said crap. so poetic, eh?) out of me.

My kid is almost exactly like my husband and I… But better. She is kinder, more positive, more considerate, and more of all the good things I aspire to be but fall short of on the daily.

I have been noticing more recently her desire to be more like mommy. While I should be flattered; it is not necessarily a good thing.

You see…

I fear almost everything. I have a long list of irrational and bizarre fears that inhibit me from being the adventurous care-free person I know I can be. I am working on it. It is a slow process– but I definitely feel the pressure to step on the gas on this one because B is growing so fast and I don’t want her to be like me in this aspect. I want her to be more fearless, take more risks, and enjoy things without constantly worrying about the “what-ifs.”

Her eyes are forever watching me. Ever observant. Looking to see how I react. Watching my face to check for a wince or a snarl. That kid, I tell you, she is like Nancy Drew. Always asking so many questions, wanting to understand everything… she is one inquiring mind. I love her for it, but the pressure is on. I need to not fear every.single.thing. I need to be better. I will be better.

I will take chances.

I will take risks (within reason of course).

I will put myself out there.

I will try new things.

I want her to grow up to view me as an inspiration and not as a reason why she didn’t accomplish something.

My little monkey will see Mommy being brave and she will too.

My little monkey will see Mommy take risks and she will too.

My little monkey will see Mommy crush her goals and she will too.

My little monkey will see an example of what a healthy relationship is and have one too.

My little monkey will see Mommy fall but never give up and she will too.

My little monkey will see Mommy overcome and she will too.

***

Here’s an example of B doing what Mommy does. I love to plan and she just had to have a planner of her own too. My five year old is a total planner addict now and loves to write down all her play dates, performances, and anything else that happens in her life– all adorned with tons and tons of stickers. Between the both of us we do have a pretty gnarly pen collection. Maybe my organizational skills are good for her to copy 🙂

Thanks for reading xo

Teflon. Bleach. Advice. Oh My!

I recently came across an article about how bad Teflon on cookware is so bad for your health. I was concerned. I did some more research and then three hours later at 1 in the morning I decided that I had to rid my house of all things Teflon (PTFE) and anything with PFOA in it. I showed Chris the research and he agreed. The next morning it was gone. Chances are that nothing was wrong with my cookware that had Teflon. More than likely, I could have kept it and it would have been just fine, but this is how I am– I am crazy… I know.

Any who…

My next step was to find some new cookware. I am so crazy that I got rid of everything before I actually bought anything new. As much as I would have loved to eat at our fave Thai place every day in the meantime– it just wasn’t realistic. So I got back on my crazy train… did some research…  and then did some more research… and then finally settled on some new awesome pieces. I am all about monochromatic white in my kitchen so I was pretty stoked to find some enameled cast iron pieces in white.

Back on the crazy train… I started researching how to care for my new cookware. There are some people that do not like cast iron and there are some cast iron swear byers that wouldn’t use anything else. I started reading how so and so has this piece passed down from fifty years ago and that I can give it all to my daughter in twenty years and etc.

It got me thinking… 

In twenty years, will I give my old cookware to my daughter?  Then it lead to be asking myself if in twenty years will she even care what I have to say or even listen to even the smallest piece of advice like how cast iron is awesome?

I started thinking about my mom. About how the advice she has given me throughout my lifetime has become apart of who I am and I hope that B might take and apply the same from me as I have from my mom.

I wanted to share with you some simple advice that my mama has given to be over the years that are relevant to my every day…

1. Bleach

Just like Windex was the answer to everything that ailed the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding… Bleach is my mom’s Windex. I have gotten rid of all chemicals in my house recently and switched to all-natural cleaners but I cannot rid my home of bleach. After I cut up chicken– I need bleach to kill the salmonella that is probably not breeding in my sink and on  my counter tops.

2. Never Cross Contaminate

This one is obvious and pretty standard but the degree in which I go to to ensure that nothing ever touches another is insane. I cut my chicken on a cutting board that is specific for meat only and then cut my veggies/fruits on an entirely different counter top on a cutting board specifically designated for veggies/fruits.

3. Coupons

I am getting better at this. My mom has always been so awesome at saving money. She always clips coupons and shops sales. She can do a lot with a little and it is pretty awesome. I am trying really hard to be better. She actually clips the coupons for me. Haha. I just have to try hard to remember to use them.

4. Cook For Your Family

One of the many ways that my mama shows love is by feeding the ones that she loves. She has always expressed to me how important it is to cook for my family. I hold this advice really close to my heart because sitting around the table with a good meal and great company is one of the best feelings.

5. Pray

Prayer is the answer for everything when it comes to my mom. It inspires me to worry less and pray more.

6. Just Clean the Kitchen Before Bed

I love a clean kitchen. I just hate cleaning it after cooking for what feels like an eternity. I do clean the kitchen after we eat at night and I’ll tell you what… as much as I don’t like it, it is better than waking up to a dirty kitchen. That is just the worst.

7. Always Tell The Ones You Love That You Love Them

My mom will not say good-bye without a hug and an I love you. I realized a few years ago when I had B that I was the same way. I absolutely cannot leave without telling whomever is around me that I love them. You just never know.

8. Ibuprofen, Hand Sanitizer, Water, and Tissues. 

The basic essentials for your purse because you just never know.

9. Be Safe. Be Aware. 

My mom is super big on safety. Her safety speeches have impacted me so much so that this is my routine going into a store and leaving one: Park as close as possible (preferably under a light). Don’t park next to vans. Don’t lollygag in your car. Lock it. Look around you as you walk to store. Before leaving the store, have your keys in your hand. Look around you. Have your phone out but don’t stare at it as you walk. Unlock your car. Lock it as soon as you get in. You are alive. Yay!

(See… crazy. I know.)

10. Family Comes First

Need I say more?

***

There is much more profound advice that I hold close to my heart but these are the bits of advice that go with a lighthearted post about me and my crazy train.

I really hope that B can laugh at all the OCD tendencies her mama has/had and that she can apply some of them to make her laugh or to be of some help in the future because I doubt she will inherit my cast iron cookware but I hope she inherits just a smidge of the crazy. It keeps things interesting!

***

Curious about what cookware I went with?

Here you go 🙂

 Le Creuset Stock Pot in Caribbean. I went rogue. I needed one punch of color.

West Elm Dutch Oven 

 West Elm Saute Pan (On sale!)

 West Elm Skillet (On sale!)

West Elm Grill Pan (On sale!)

 Lodge Large Skillet 

Lodge Wok

Michael Graves Sauce Pot (On Sale!)

I bought a few silicon utensils from World Market and West Elm as well.

Aren’t they pretty? I love the clean white look. I don’t know how long that will last though. Maybe I will have to apply my mom’s advice about bleach to keep them pristine. LOL.

Do you have any advice that you apply to your every day from a parent or family member?

Thanks for reading xo

What is your story???….

Today was a great great day! What a wonderful Easter. It was full of church, lots of laughs, cat naps, food, jumping castles, water slides, candy, some more food, and games. I always love Easter. I always feel so blessed. My heart and spirit always feel renewed ❤

Miss. B had a wonderful day too. She isn’t the easiest kid to wake up but as soon as I mentioned something about an “Easter basket” she was UP! She ran down the stairs and found her basket of little treasures and she was elated. She rummaged through her basket and packed up some of her goodies for church.

After church we went to my parent’s house and basically was there the entire day. B was non-stop! Running from the water slide to the bounce house.. from the bounce house to the water slide… for hours. When we left my parent’s house and headed home, she was so silent in the backseat that I figured she was practically asleep.

NOPE.

We sat around for a bit because it was nice to just, sit. We sat. We recapped the day. Talked about how much fun today was and what our plans are for the week.

Then out of no where B says this:

“What is your story?”

The hubs asked her what she meant…

“What is your story?… Like how did you and Mommy meet?… What is your love story, Daddy?”

I looked at the clock and it was already thirty minutes past her bedtime. I looked at Chris as to ask if he is going to tell her. He said, “I will tell you…”

She flashed a big smile and scooted around in her chair to get comfortable.

Our Love Story

In May of 2006, I moved to Phoenix from Tucson. I started working at a bank. I didn’t know anyone. Literally– I knew no one. I was quiet and a little reserved so basically– I wasn’t the most approachable person in the world. Truth be told: I battle with a serious case of “resting (you know what) face.” I have gotten better in recent years but I just want to set the stage… So you can picture a really not outwardly friendly looking person. That was me.

Chris, meanwhile, was a trainer for new employees. He was always professional and smiling. He was training the morning shift and I was in the evening shift. There was a few hours in the day that our two classes would mix. This is when I first met him:

We were logging into our computers and testing out our ID’s when, according to him, he noticed me. He said that he especially liked my hair (I did have pretty cool hair then) and decided to find some excuse to talk to me so he asked me to try out my credentials on this particular computer. I had never met this person– but he was a trainer– so I just rolled with it. Didn’t think anything of it. Obviously I didn’t because the next thing to come out of my big stupid mouth was “I can tell I don’t like someone just by looking at them.”

A few weeks passed by and we didn’t speak again. In those few weeks, women were talking about Chris and his brother (he worked there too.) Always discussing about who was hotter, which one was available, if they are seeing anyone. They were basically the work “gossip.” I was young and super prideful so when women tried to get me involved in their conversations about them I had no comment. At first I was super annoyed by how all the women wouldn’t just shut up about these two brothers. Then, I remember one day watching Chris run back and forth between employees– helping them and answering all their questions all with a really big smile. He hustled. He seemed to have a really good work ethic and a sweet disposition. I was intrigued (plus, it’s not like his super good looks didn’t help).

Chris didn’t usually work weekends (I did)… But one Saturday he came to work dressed down versus the business attire I was used to seeing him wear. Man oh man– did he look HOT! Then the big “ice breaker” opportunity happened…

I was walking down the aisle and this guy that crushed on me called me over to his desk (which happened to be by the desk Chris was sitting at, at the time)… The guy had Chris’ sunglasses on and asked me…

***Disclaimer***

I used to be really forward and just plain rude at times. It usually got me in trouble but this time it worked in my favor.

Guy: “Do you like the way these glasses look on me?”

(I knew they were Chris’. I had seen them on him. I remembered because I was like ‘Damn, he’s hot’ in the inside when I had seen him wearing them earlier)

Me: “Not really, I like the way they looked on him better.” … Then I pointed to Chris.

The ice was officially broken. I had just put out there, that I was into him!

….

Over the next few weeks we would smile at each other in passing but I was really just waiting for him to make his next move.

A few weeks later he was passing by me on his way to lunch and he randomly asked me if I wanted anything for lunch. I didn’t really want anything but I wanted to say yes so I asked him to get me this particular pastry.

He did.

I just so happened to have brought fresh baked cookies in that day for my co-workers and I asked him if he wanted one.

Chris: “Save me one. Bring it to me later.”

I did save one for him. He explained to B tonight his reasoning for doing that.

Chris: “I asked Mommy to save me a cookie because if she did, I knew she was thinking about  me and wanted to save me one so that meant she possibly had a crush on me.”

(B loved this by the way. She giggled and told her Daddy that that was such a smart thing to do.)

Did I save him the very last cookie? Yes. I brought it to him. He was super chill and professional and thanked me.

I sat down at my desk a few minutes later and he instant messaged me. It went a little something like this:

Chris: Thank you for the cookie. 

Me: You’re welcome. Did you like it?

Chris: Yes. It was really good. Do you know how to cook or bake other things?

Me: Yes. I love to cook and bake. 

Chris: Do you know how to cook enchiladas? (That is his all time favorite food)

Me: Yes.

Chris: I will make you a deal. 

Me: OK…

Chris: Make me enchiladas and bring them and then I will take you out to dinner to thank you. 

Me: Haha. Okay. I can do that!

Chris: Here is my number xxx-xxx-xxxx. 

Me: Here is mine. I won’t call/text you first xxx-xxx-xxxx. 

Chris: Cool. Thank you again. 

Me: You’re welcome. 

It was over work instant messenger so it was super PG but obviously we were into each other.

We left work at the same time a few minutes later and I broke my stupid rule (and I am so glad I did)… I sent him a text first asking if he was stuck in traffic too. I can tell you right now I didn’t care about the traffic LOL. We started sending texts back and forth the rest of the day until he finally just asked if I wanted to just go out with him that night.

Internally I was like YES!!! but I probably replied with something super cool like… Sure or If you want to. 

We met at the movies. We watched Clerks II. We laughed sooooo hard. My belly ached from laughing so hard. It was the best movie to watch with him… there was no awkwardness like there maybe would have been with a scary movie or some rom-com. We just enjoyed the movie and each other’s company.

It was already past 11 pm when the movie got out but he told B and I tonight that he didn’t want the date to end so even though we both weren’t hungry we went to T.G.I Friday’s so we didn’t have to say good-bye. While we were there his friends kept texting and calling– wanting him to go out. He told B…

Chris: “I didn’t want to. I just wanted to keep hanging out with Mommy. So I told my friends no, that I wasn’t going to go.”

We left the restaurant at 1 am. He was a perfect gentleman. Walked me to my car. Hugged me. Thanked me for coming. Opened my car door and said good-bye.

The first thing the next morning: He texted me and asked me to spend the day with him.

I did.

The rest is history.

We dated for another month and a half. He proposed to me. We got married five months later. We have been together for nine years now. It has been the most tremendous nine years of my life. I have been blessed enough to wake up to his handsome face for the last eight years (it will be 9 in December).

I added a little something for B tonight to finish the story:

Me: “The very first thing Daddy did was text me when he got up. Every morning since then I have been the first thing on Daddy’s mind because he will say ‘good morning beautiful, squeeze me tight, or let me sleep a little longer and send me a text telling me he loves me.’ Now that you are here, we are both the first thought that comes to his mind.”

Chris: “It’s true. I really do live for you girls. My happiness comes from making you two happy. I will do anything for you two.”

That is our story.

Miss B. really enjoyed it and said, “I really like your guys’ story.” I found such joy in watching her laugh and smile while he was telling her “our story.” She really was into it. It makes me proud of the love story that we have. It makes me proud of every decision that we have made because it led us to being this family of three that I am just beyond blessed with.

Thank you for reading!

Happy Easter xo

Chris and I in 2006. Just a few days before he proposed. So young! I grateful my MIL captured all these moments!

Chris and I in 2006. Just a few days before he proposed. We were so young! I am grateful my MIL captured all these moments!

My Husband Loves Another

And her name is “B”…


My husband, Chris, and I have been married for 8 years now. I am blessed enough to say that I married the man I had always wanted for myself but never quite felt that I deserved. He is the kindest and most considerate person I know. He teaches me daily how to be a better me.

When I met Chris, I was not the best me. I was not the worst me either but I definitely didn’t have any frame of reference of how I deserved to be treated or any sort of standard of what a healthy relationship was. He changed all that.

We got married in 2006. I was hard to love. Very hard to love. I was dramatic and overly sensitive but what did the poor guy do? He.just.loved.me.through.it. And he did it without hesitation. He saw the potential whole self I could be when I felt fragmented… shattered. He never stopped loving me. I grew by leaps and bounds in our first year of marriage and for his patience and love… I am forever grateful.

In 2009, we welcomed our baby girl.

I was whole.

People told me that I would fall even harder for him… I didn’t quite believe it… But I sure did. I saw him more gentle and more tender than I had ever seen him before. The way she looked so tiny in his arms was mesmerizing. I would catch him staring at her in complete silence… just looking down at her… soaking it all in. I loved hearing his deep voice go to a high pitch when he’d baby talk her. I even loved watching his panicked face when he couldn’t get her to stop fussing.

He has been the best daddy to B these last five years. He is so attentive to her. He is her biggest fan. He tells her she is beautiful every single day. He praises her when she does well and encourages her through the rough moments. He faithfully takes her out on “Daddy-Daughter” dates. He dresses up for her and she does the same for him. He lets her jump, crawl, and sit all over him– basically like her own personal jungle gym. He calls her throughout the day if he is working and will always answer her with “Hello Baby” with a soft voice despite whoever is around.

My husband is in love with another girl and her name is B. I love him even more for it.

Chris was already an amazing man when I met him– everything above is a testament to that but the day when B was born; it birthed in him the desire to be an even better human being, husband, and father. And I am so blessed.

I am so blessed that I get to see the love between B and her Daddy firsthand. You see– I did not have a daddy quite like B. I had a wonderful father who raised me since I was five but unfortunately that didn’t undue the damage of feeling abandoned by the one that should have stayed. I feel that God is giving me a second chance to see this relationship through B’s and Chris’ relationship. I get to see them share all the things I only imagined for myself.

My joy comes from them laughing and cuddling when it’s way past her bedtime.

My joy comes from B snitching on her Daddy about him allowing her to put a little too much candy on her froyo.

My joy comes from her hearing the garage door opening and racing down the stairs to meet him as he comes through the door.

My joy comes from seeing her handwritten love notes to her Daddy lying around the house.

My joy comes from them.

Baby B

Chris holding baby B. May 2009.

The Awkward Silence

I know that I will have some explaining to do– as I write this I know that it won’t make absolute sense because you don’t know the back story but I will have to save that for another time.


I woke up and it was raining last Saturday. I had beat the sun that morning because I needed to study a little more for one of my midterms. Math. Ugh. I hate math. I am so bad at it. I have to strain every atom in my brain to barely achieve an A. A low A at that. I am talking, 90.1%. Okay… moving on. So– I was up early. It was raining. My intention was to get to a testing center as soon as it opened so I could take my test and then rush home to get B ready for her dance pictures. I wanted to ask El Hub to drive me because it was across town and the rain was pretty gnarly. I wanted to– but didn’t. I didn’t want him to have to wake up B to take me because I knew that she was going to have a really long day.

It just so happened my dad was in town. I have two of them. One is considered my step-dad and one is considered my biological dad. The biological one was in town. The step-dad who I just call “dad” lives in my city. He raised me and my siblings since I was six so for me to even write “step-dad” is weird to me. He is just… my dad.

I didn’t feel comfortable driving in the rain and that distance but I couldn’t ask my dad that lives here to take me due to an obligation that he has to his church every Saturday. So I asked my dad that was in town. I awkwardly texted him:

“Hey– are you up?”

“I am sorry to even ask– can you take me to my test. I am nervous in the rain and it is far.”

Of course he said yes. I was glad to not have to drive but we had only reunited three years ago and he lives in another city so things between us are still pretty awkward. We aren’t usually alone. I have my amazing husband and wonderful daughter as a buffer to avoid the really weird circumstances that can occur with such a new and naturally strained relationship. I got in the car and the air was thick with silence. The awkward silence. The silence was so quiet yet screaming in my ear. I tried to fill it with small talk. I started to feel indebted to him. I started feeling like he didn’t have to do this for me. I started feeling like I shouldn’t have asked him. I felt like I should have drove.

We arrived. I took the test.

B.

Ugh.

He was waiting in the car as I came out of the building. He opened the door for me.

I sat down. Took a deep breath and remembered who I was…

Even though he decided to not be apart of my life for twenty-something years… That was not my fault.

When I was a little girl and cried because I felt abandoned… That was not my fault.

I do not owe this man a single thing.

I am not indebted to this man.

Him leaving was.not.my.fault.

I will not sit silently–

“Dad, I am thankful you came and took me. I know there are some things we have to work on. I feel that you need to seek counseling to help heal yourself like I have so we can have a better relationship. I know that it is hard for you to be apart of my life because I am an active reminder of your guilt and shame. I get that I say things that are hard for you to hear but I cannot be silent at the expense of myself. I have gone too far and have done too much to regress to an unhealthy me.”

I will not sit in awkward silence; with a jaded smile and glazed over eyes– just grateful he is even back in my life. He has to do the work. He has to give 100% because although he cannot make up for lost time… all hope it not lost for something new. I have forgiven the man that didn’t choose us. And I have let go of the notion that it was ever my fault.

Healing is beginning. It is not easy. Never one line going up. Always a windy road of sadness, sorrow, happiness, laughter, and maybe some awkward silences. I don’t know what awaits me when my biological father and I get to a really good place. I don’t know what that looks like, but I am excited. I pray that God strengthens me to be kind, strong, and ever-forgiving.

I hope I can offer encouragement to anyone that may be experiencing the same thing.I will share more as I continue with this blog. I think it is a great thing for me and my continued healing. Thank you for reading xo

Mom Friends

I commonly joke that B “whores” me out because if she finds another little girl she wants to be friends with she will tell the little girl that I will be her mom’s friend and they can have play dates and be friends. So she will run up to me with said girl and in front of the other mom say something along the lines of, “Mommy, this is my new friend _______, get her mommy’s phone number so you can text her and we can have play dates.” Me and the other mom will awkwardly smile at one another and wait for the other to make the first move. I don’t think I am the only one that has ever experienced this but I could be wrong. Haha. It is so awkward for me. On the inside I am like, “Yay! A potentially new awesome mom friend!” But on the outside I smile and wait for her to ask for my number. Making new mom friends, for me, is just as awkward as dating. It’s a delicate tango of “how do I tell this person I want to be their friend without seeming desperate!”  I mean come on… B has been in dance for almost four years now and I am just barely getting around to being comfortable with making new mom friendships out of the blue with my fellow dance moms.

Being that I am on a journey to build friendships with moms of little girls that my kid just adores…I have compiled some truths for myself (and maybe for you) that I want to live by when it comes to dating making new mom friends:

1. I have a really good kid. I am not just saying that. She really is. She will be good to your kid. If your kid doesn’t reciprocate the kindness– I cannot see you for future play dates. It isn’t personal. It wasn’t a good fit. It’s me. Not you.

2. If you need to run to the bathroom or take a call– I will watch your kid(s) for you. Take your time. I got your back girl.

3. Put your phone away. Let’s chat. It’s okay if we aren’t going to be the best of friends, let’s at least be good examples of how people should interact with each other.

4. More than likely.. I do like you and I want to talk. Let’s talk. Not about other moms or about who you don’t like or why. Let’s just talk. Again, let’s be a good example for the kids.

5. Don’t be overly sensitive. I promise I won’t be. If my daughter or I do something that upsets you, please tell me. I will tell you if your kid does the same.

6. Approach everything with kindness and consideration.

7. Honesty. I will be honest. Please do the same. It is okay to tell me you want to hang. More than likely I do too. It is okay to tell me you don’t. I won’t get my feelings hurt.

8. Support. I support you. Please support me. We may not agree on parenting styles and that is okay but it is not my place to judge you or talk about you.

I have been very blessed to have met a certain few moms that have become my true friends. I think it is so important to have someone in your corner like a fellow mama. They usually won’t get upset if you don’t reply for a week to their text because your kid is sick. They usually understand when you are ten minutes late for a play date because you couldn’t find your kid’s matching shoe. They usually have a long to-do list like you do and feel overwhelmed like you might be also. I think it is most important to surround yourself with people, especially moms, that love and support you. Ones that don’t give unsolicited advice about what juice you give your kid or tell you what time they should be in bed by. We are moms… all just trying to be and do the best that we can.

I am excited to report from the front lines of “moms” that I do see a forward movement of support and love. I have seen in more recent years; mothers supporting each other versus judging and critiquing one another. We just need more of it. Being a mama is tough and rewarding but with the right people in your corner, it makes it even more rewarding and a little less tough xo

While at the Happiest Place on Earth…

… She had to see Abraham Lincoln.

We just got back from four fun-filled days at Disneyland and California Adventures. It was hands down the best trip that we have taken thus far. We have gone every year since B was one but this trip was just beyond anything that I could have hoped for.

We arrived at the Disneyland Hotel on a Sunday evening. Laid about for a while and ordered room service. It was B’s first time so she was super excited about it. We cuddled and watched the fireworks from our window that night. We fell asleep with so much anticipation for the fun ahead. We were also just hoping to feel better because we arrived with colds. Thankfully, we were much better the next day. Then four magical days flew by.

But what was really incredible to me was that on the last day at Disneyland, B really wanted to see Abraham Lincoln. She held that map of Disneyland and pointed to it and declared that we have to see Abraham Lincoln before we leave. I lived in Anaheim for a number of years growing up and we went to Disneyland quite a bit and I never was interested in this particular attraction but B sure was. So we went.

The attraction is called Great Moments with Abraham Lincoln. With technology and artistry– Abraham Lincoln comes to life and delivers excerpts from his most famous speeches. It was inspiring. I looked over at B… expecting to see her antsy to leave but instead she was completely still, wide eyed with joined hands in her lap.

We left the theater to find famous paintings like The Burden of War by John DeCuir Sr. and a huge replica of the Nation’s Capital. B loved everything about that room. She stared at the paintings and thought the Nation’s Capital was “pretty cool.” She asked to have her picture taken by Abraham’s Lincoln bust. She posed and we snapped a pic. There was a bench there that seemed very old and she wanted to know if he sat there because she wanted to sit where he sat. I told her I doubt it but she sat there and asked me to take a picture anyways. So we did. As we left I thought that she was on that ‘Disney high’ and maybe that’s why she was so excited about Abraham Lincoln. I was wrong. Later that night she said…

“First I was obsessed with dinosaurs, then volcanoes, and now Abraham Lincoln.”

Then it clicked.

The week prior, in American History, we talked about Abraham Lincoln. We had a really long discussion about slavery and what Abraham Lincoln had done for our country. In class, her eyes welled up with tears because she could just not grasp why anyone would believe slavery was right. She couldn’t grasp the evil that is racism. She is only five but she is very inquisitive. I feel as though she feels more deeply and with more compassion than most adults I know. So naturally, the girl who loves superheroes, strong women, and people who fight for what is right would be obsessed with Abraham Lincoln.

I am really proud of this little human being that is growing before my eyes. Along with the privilege of being her mommy, I get a front row seat to watch her become someone that will impact people someday. It also feels pretty good as a homeschooler to see her interest about what we learn in the classroom surpass these four walls into her world everyday.

B with Abe's bust. We opted to leave the huge camera at home so picture isn't the best quality.

B with Abe’s bust. We opted to leave the huge camera at home so picture isn’t the best quality.

Shopping Buddy

Grocery shopping. Ugh. I really do not like it. I try to motivate myself by making my shopping lists really cute with pens, markers, and even by paying money for a cute list template! I still cannot get into it. Some people, like my mama, are grocery shopping champs. My mama prepares for grocery shopping like a total professional. She is scouring the ads and clipping coupons the night before then she gets up early the next day and knocks it all out– all while wearing some kind of platform wedge (she’s cool like that). She does it without complaining… whining… procrastinating…she just does it… and does it well!

…Then there is me… well aware that I have to feed these people and I still cannot find the motivation to get out of the house to do grocery shopping. I should be more like my mom, I know. Today, however, was different.

I was putting on my makeup and I realized I didn’t make my list. I have to have a list — I will buy whatever looks good if I don’t. It was already 2:00 pm and I knew that I didn’t have time to make a list and finish up getting ready so I kindly asked my five year old to give her dear old mother a hand.

Me: “B, can you do me the biggest favor and pleeeeeeease make Mommy a shopping list?”

B: “Sure mommy. Can I use your papers and pens to make a list (she is totally my offspring)?

Me: “Go for it.”

She runs off. I can hear her digging through my desk to find exactly what she wanted. She came running in with my yellow notepad set and an orange gel pen. She has excellent taste in stationary 🙂

B: “Tell me what to write and I will write it.”

Me: “Sounds good to me.”

I began dictating the list to her. I could see in her face she was struggling with some of the words. She is a perfectionist like me. I put her at ease when I told her she can spell it the best she knew how and not to stress. She smiled and kept taking down my items. She meticulously filled two pieces of paper up with all the things I asked her to write down. As we walked out the door she said, “Mommy, I am bringing my purse so you don’t have to worry about carrying the lists. I got them in here.” So she did, folded neatly in her little black cross body glitter purse.

First stop: Target. If I am being honest, I didn’t mind this stop so much. Haha. That place is my mother ship. I may have strategically put Target first so we could have a little fun before the dreaded grocery store. When we got inside, she whipped out the list and that orange gel pen and started telling me where to go and what to get. Here are a few of the things she had down and how she spelled them:

1. Londry Sope

2. Apple Juice (Simply Balanced Organic Apple Juice for the kids is awesome!)

3. Mackin Cheese (because we say mac n’ cheese)

We filled our cart up with the few items we needed and with a lot of items that we didn’t need. I know I am not the only one!

Second stop: Sprout’s. I love this store. What I do not love is that it is forever busy. It is the closest one to a lot of people so all those people have no choice but to go there. Ugh. It was 4:something so it was busy like “I just got off of work and I need to feed my family… Move out of my way people.” I would normally rush B in this store. The aisles are narrow so I would normally tell her to not read every label because people are behind us. I would normally not have a conversation with her in this store because it is loud and I would normally want to get out of there as soon as possible.

Today was different. I saw her carefully going over the list. I saw her little hands work to find the item on her notes and put a check mark next to the bubble she drew for each item. I saw her curious eyes scan the products of the store, wondering what everything was. I saw my little baby girl as the big girl that she is becoming. I took a deep breath and slowed my pace. I asked her engaging questions; “what is next on the list?” “does this look good to you?” I wonder how this tastes, what do you think?” She slowed her pace too. We began taking our time. Talking to each other about something as simple as… groceries. She started being silly, laughing, hugging me, hanging on me, and saying things like “I just love you Mommy, I can’t even handle it.” We were no longer on a mission. We were just hanging. I realize so many of our errands together are more like missions versus opportunities to spend time together. I want more opportunities. I want her to always enjoy her time with me. Even if it something as simple as picking up groceries for dinner.

Today was different for me. Today was a great day. I found joy in the simplest of things today. I loved it. I love her. I love being her Mommy. I love the opportunities I get to love her. I thank God every day that He gave her to me. I pray that I see more opportunities to laugh and just soak her in.

PS: On her Sprout’s list; two of my faves were “letis” and “torteas.” Man, I love her.

B's Grocery Lists
I love her additional decorations and the arrow indicating that she needs to flip it over 🙂