March 29, 2013

Raising Daughters

I don’t know about you.  I don’t know how you do it over in your corner of life.  I only know that raising a daughter has taught me EXPONENTIALLY about myself.  Good and bad, beautiful and ugly.  Like a mirror reflected back at me over and over and over.  And it’s good.  It’s all good.

I don’t think I ever realized that having a daughter would alter my view of the world, my view of others, my self-worth, my life perspective, my ability to love and be loved.  No, see…..I didn’t get the memo that there was a sharp personal learning curve ahead with raising a daughter. 

Because now, when I tell my daughter “you can be anything you want to be” I have to ask myself if I believe that is true for me also.  Don’t I believe that for myself – even now – even in middle age?  Don’t I still believe that dreaming those big dreams can still bring great rewards to my life?  Have I let myself believe the “this is it for me” myth?

When I tell her “you are beautiful inside and out” and she turns those gorgeous brown eyes that bore into the fabric of my soul on me and says “you are too, Mommy” – I have to pause and ask myself…do I see myself that way?  Or am I constantly caught up in a self-deprecating trap of low self-worth?  How often do I let her see me content in my own skin?

When I teach her that life is full of adventures and journeys and that her gift will be in uncovering all of them…I hear that whisper in the back of my mind…”when is your next adventure and when did you stop uncovering those gifts?”

I remind her that some people are wonderfully good and yet, some people are not.  That she must learn over time to how to protect herself, create boundaries for herself – all the while loving as openly as she can.  But then I have to ask myself: do I love openly?  Or do I judge first and hope I’m wrong later?  Am I overtly guarded and have I built a fortress so strong around myself in the name “protection” that no one – not even those wonderfully good people – can venture past?

I see the way she loves others, and I am moved beyond explanation.  This little girl, so full of life, heart, and soul.  She oozes love out of her pores and it is such a privilege to be witness to her journey.  Sometimes when the good stuff comes rushing out, I look around to see if anyone else is watching…can anyone see all this beautiful stuff that she just IS?!?  Occasionally, AB will nudge me and say “she gets that from you”.  I instantly rebuff…nah…she’s just goodness inside and out.  She was born that way.  Surely.

But when I see her stubborn streak or she sets about to have a Texas-sized tantrum or she gets a bee in her bonnet to be right about something…then I can’t help but feel guilty.  Oh I recognize that girl.  That’s me.  That’s my temper and my flare for the dramatic and that right there is the bee that I’m always batting at.  She gets that from me

The reality is, she is her own person.  Imperfect and flawed and human and delightful and proud and smart and beautiful and all those things.  And she is loved immensely by a God so much bigger than our broken sense of self-worth often allows us to recognize. And yes, she reflects and mimics some of the good and some of the bad behaviors that I display.  I need to make sure I’m giving her the best things to mimic more often.  No doubt about that.

The more important question I have to ask myself is this: do I believe that what I’m teaching Keira is only valid and good and true for her…or it is truth for me too?  I am her first and most important role model.  The single most influential woman in her life.  Do I live that out in all its glory and full color for her to see? Do I show her what it means to be strong, loving, confident, and humble?  Do I exude the confidence of a  Princess of the King?

Because that’s where the real raising of a daughter begins. And it's so much harder to put in motion than just spurring her on to be all that she can be.

It has to start with me.

It just has to.

March 25, 2013

China Sisters

I hate to say it, but let’s face it – I’m so far behind on posting life type updates, that I could honestly go back two years and we still wouldn’t have covered all the haps.  So forget all that. Ain't nobody got time for that nonsense.  Meanwhile...

We took advantage of our holiday time off (and by holiday, of course, I’m referencing four score and seven years ago…or December) and decided to “road-trip” it.  First stop: off to see one of Keira’s China sisters, Miss R.  They’re from the same orphanage, and we haven’t had the opportunity to see R or her family since our China travels.  I’m sorry.  They’re ridiculously cute.  They just are.


We only got to stay with them for a couple of days, but what a wonderful time we had together.  The girls got along so well!  In no time, they were huddled together playing, hugging, and laughing.  My personal fav – hearing the girls refer to each other as their sister.  Melted my mama heart!  That and seeing them play.  That about did me in…I got all misty-eyed and fogged up my camera trying to snap off some shots of them together.  


What a lovely family they are and such GREAT hosts.  I’m still day-dreaming about the cheesy chicken.  Don’t ask me, I don’t cook. All I can tell you is that Dena had to make two pans of the stuff.  And I can neither confirm nor deny that there was any left.  That’s all I’m saying. Dreamy sigh.

They were just as fun and easy going as the 17 days we spent together all over China.  It was so good to reminisce, catch up, and even compare adventures and experiences.  Thank you for hosting us, dear friends!



I have said this many times, but we feel intimately bonded to the families we traveled with – both in China and Ethiopia.  When we see each other or talk or email, it’s as if no time has passed.  We pick up right where we left off and there is an ease and comfort that’s just unexplainable.  There is just something about sharing such a life changing adventure together, and if you let it, the experience and the bonds you make can last a lifetime.  That’s my hope anyway…

and not just for me…


March 22, 2013

Flash Back Friday - just because

I don't recycle much.  I mean, I doWe do.  We have the blue bin and we fill it every week.  Ish.  (cough)

But on the blog - I don't rely on recycling posts too often.  And that's likely because I haven't posted in for-freaking-ever.  But who's counting.  Or maybe you are.  (but don't...because I'm like the wind or...I'm windy...or...cold...whatever...nevermind.  This analogy is going absolutely no where really a car...that goes fas.....)  I blame this on too much coffee in the morning. 

I came across a post I wrote two years ago this month, and it resonated with me deeply (again) and so I'm sharing it (again).  In case you missed it.  

And in case you, like me, needed a gentle reminder...

Because I did.  I really did...

Smooches and Happy Friday!

(click this link to enjoy Flash Back Friday!)


March 20, 2013

A little outing

Well, it’s like I said yesterday…to all four of you…do I just pick up and start talking about what I did last week?  And you might recall…all three of you that are still reading today…that I answered myself and said “why not?”

Incidentally – last week was Spring Break for us – and while around this time last year we were gallivanting around Disneyland (sob, sniffle) having the time of our lives – this year we were mellow yellow.  Hanging around.  Not doing much.  Well, “much fun” anyway.  We did “much” if you’re counting cleaning, purging, catching up on day to day.  Yes.  We did all sorts of that.  Sigh.

But for one day, we committed to having a little fun and taking our kids out of town.  The only place we could think of that would even come close to being fun, easy, and an experience on a tiny budget, with only a handful of hours and two little ones in tow was Sleepy Sheep Ranch.  You’ll remember that because it’s where Anton and I took ourselves last November and where I got the proper motivation to post all about Trust.  One of the few posts from 2012 that had any depth, admittedly....

March 19, 2013

Hide your shock, if you can...

I know you just gasped, right?!  A post?  What in the world....who does she think she is, you say to yourself.  Disappearing for like a year and then throwing tidbits here and there and then posting some lame "I'm back" post every three months...

Well, before you go running to your window to see if the pigs are flying, just rest on your laurels for a sec.

I've got several posts brewing (could she be back?!?) and I keep thinking "what do I do - just jump in and start talking about what I did last week"?

Well, why not?  (I answered to no one in particular)

Why not.

So here we go...I've got some goodies up my sleeve.

To me anyway.

(taps mic) this thing on?

Here we go.