Tough Enough for Tea Parties

His heart is strong.
His hands are rough.
When it comes to his girls,
he gives more than enough. 

He can build with timber. 
He can build with blocks.
When his girls need love, 
his heart he unlocks. 

If it’s broken, he fixes. 
If it’s damaged, he mends.
His girls are his world.
His love knows no end.

Happy Father’s Day My Love!

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I found these on my husband’s nightstand, just like this. Pictures really do speak a thousand words.

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Moms: Show Your Daughters You’re Not a Weenie

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Fishing buddies for life.

Today, I took my daughter fishing. For the first time in her short three years on earth, she threw a line into the water, and watched with giddy anticipation as the bobber floated and danced. While I realize a child’s first fishing trip is usually a right of passage reserved for fathers or grandfathers, I felt it was my motherly duty to take her down to the creek.

After all, I’d like fishing to be “our” thing. Something for the girls, an opportunity to bond over waiting and watching. While we may enjoy side by side mani-pedis someday (that sounds pretty good about now), I’d like our quality time to have, well, a little more quality. She’ll learn patience, persistence and most importantly, how to be stronger woman than her mother. You see, as much as I love our country life, I’m kind of a weenie. I squeal when I see mice (and bugs, snakes or any other vermin). I don’t ride horses (too scary) and a rooster gunning for my heels brings on some kind of violent psycho scream flailing that’s really quite embarrassing. (We only have hens now.)

I spent half of my childhood in a rickety lawn chair beside some body of water. I was my father or grandfather’s sidekick on many a fishing trip, and I want my daughters to grow up the same way. I remember the first time I built up the courage to bait my own hook with a squirming, wiggling nightcrawler, the early morning hours when we’d “sneak” out of the house to hit our favorite fishing hole, and the taste of the day’s catch after mom fried it up in the pan.

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She insisted on “letting her piggies out” (going barefoot).

While we didn’t catch anything other than a good memory (I’m the least successful fisherwoman, ever), I consider it  one of my best fishing trips yet. I taught my daughter how to cast, how to reel, and how to be “very, very quiet” so you don’t scare the fish. After explaining to her the sensitive nature of fish ears, she leaned over and asked in a barely audible voice, “Mom, can I whisper something to you?” I knelt down and asked, “Sure honey, what is it?” She buried her lips in my ear and quietly said, “I love you.”

 

She Is

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Life with a toddler is a bit like living in the country. When it’s bad, it’s really bad. But when it’s good, it’s really, really, really good. Wouldn’t change it for a thing.

She is sunlight streaming through glistening Cottonwood leaves.
She is the tinkle of wind chimes on a summer evening.
She is a tepid breeze that lifts the hair off your neck.
She is the sweet smell of sun-warmed yellow roses.
She is my daughter. 

 

Dear Lord, Please Let My Daughters Be Awkward

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It's hard to imagine that these gorgeous girls could ever go through an awkward period. But I sincerely hope they do.

Believe it or not, this is actually a prayer I’ve offered for my daughters. Strange? Maybe. Genius? Definitely.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish for them to be permanently awkward (although I would love them no less). Rather, one of my greatest hopes for them is to suffer through a few awkward years, and survive. The key word there is survive. I don’t want them to be scarred, or cope with their awkwardness through immoral, illegal, or otherwise dangerous behavior.

Let’s face it, life is easier for pretty people. Right or wrong, those with symmetrical faces, straight teeth and lustrous hair seem to sail through life a bit more easily. Studies have even proven that women with well-applied makeup are deemed more trustworthy!

My Awkward Survival Story

Having been through many awkward years, I can attest to the positive experiences that can result from these trials. I was always a head taller than my classmates, and suffered from terrible skin, fashion choices, hair styles and wore some awesomely large pink plastic glasses to boot. I remember a time in middle school when I overhead the love of my life (I was convinced we would get married someday) making hurtful remarks under his breath about the blemishes on my face.

I was crushed…by my crush. Now imagine if I’d had clear, glowing skin. He might have actually liked me, and maybe we would have dated. Then, we might have stayed together in high school, and later gotten married. I shudder at the thought of this, considering what he’s doing with his life now (a big, fat, nothing). (P.S. I’ve never quite forgiven him for his cruelty.)

In addition to being an acne-prone adolescent, I was also a huge nerd (still am). I was captain of the Scholar’s Bowl team, sat in the front of the classroom, and was always the first to raise my hand when the teacher asked a question (I must have been quite annoying). Believe it or not, most guys don’t like smart girls. (Idiots.)

Fortunately for me, I survived these awkward years, and even had brief stint in college when I was almost hot. I say almost because my biggest modeling gig was as a butt model for jeans at Sheplers. Yes, a butt model. I was flattered until a friend of mine noted that they “didn’t want to see my face.” Ouch. (Some friend.)

So what lessons have I learned from the awkward times in my life?

– Humility
– Empathy
– Resourcefulness

What mother wouldn’t want this for her daughter, to be more beautiful on the inside than she is on the outside? I honestly feel that these attributes are best earned the hard way, through overcoming adversity and knowing what it’s like to be on the outside looking in. I hope my girls don’t hate me someday for this prayer. (They’ll probably hate me someday either way.) And if all else fails, I’ll stick some thick plastic frames on them, dress them in outdated clothes, and force them to learn random trivia (for all of those Scholar’s Bowl matches). Oh, who am I kidding? They’ll still look cute. I guess they’ll just have to learn the lessons above by listening to their momma. :-)