Today is a good place to be.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Dear Kathryn!

Our BABY isn't a BABY anymore!  She is a BIG GIRL!  And She will be the first to tell you this!

I recently started a job and had to work on her birthday, but when she came into our bed around 4 AM both Daddy and Mommy were able to to sing to her and kiss her.  Thankfully she went back to sleep until wake up time! 

For dinner we went out to Red Robin with Grandma and Grandpa(Forgetting my camera! Poor poor third child!). We were SOOO lucky to have our good friends Garret and Haylee join us! Haylee is one week younger than Kathryn so we had them sing to them both! It was fun to pretend to be a family with five kids.

 At home both of the girls were too full for any birthday cake, so we opened presents and played games.

The REAL FUN was on Monday at the Sweet Shoppe Birthday Party!
My AMAZINGLY TALANTED Friend and Neighbor Erica, aka Haylee's Mom, put on a magical party for the girls.  The kids had so much fun!  I lovingly stole some pics off of Erica's blog-- but you should check it out to see her post and posts in general to see all of her amazing talents:

Cakes by Erica!  One for each Sweetheart!



Pin the Gum on the Gumball Machine!
Make a WISH!

Cake is SOOOO Good!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I love you with Food

How do you show love without using food or other edible/consumable items?

My family has always loved to love showing food.  Growing up we had family parties that revolved around treats.  Mom expressed her love by making us something from scratch when we were sick, or when we succeeded and needed to celebrate, or if we were down, or if we just felt like being together in the kitchen creating together.  Spending time in the kitchen with my Mom or my Sisters are very fond memories.  Memories we still create.  Ever wonder why most parties end up congregating in the kitchen?

I personally love the feeling of being with loved ones AND eating.  Its a natural activity and it feels good.  I love to cook and bake and like to think I am pretty good at it.  I love it when my loved ones enjoy what I make.  When I can make a successful meal and have my family sit around the table and share it, I feel like I have accomplished something very special.

But, there are times I wonder how I can show my love without food.  I went through Weight Watchers years ago and that was when I really noticed the above statements.  Since then I will try to meet friends for walks instead of lunch(even though I always want to go to lunch after the walk!), or deliver a cute card instead of a plate of cookies. 

Now that my husband is diabetic I wonder how I can show my love to him in easy fast ways.  In the past I could buy him a box of Hot Tamales, or a bag of Aussie Licorice and it would make him happy.  He was physically gratified and emotionally as well.  He knew I had thought of him and he knew I knew he would enjoy the little treat.  Now if I buy him something like this too often, am I handing him nails to his coffin?

What else could I get him to let him know I think about him, that isn't too expensive, that won't be a detriment to his health?  My mind goes to making/buying him a card-- I have made him many.  I know he appreciates these, but how many cards does a guy need?  I am thinking maybe taking a picture and sending it to him at work.  But I'm not sure that gives the same effect as a consumable.

I don't think its a bad thing to show your love WITH food.  Nourishing and comforting each other happens with food naturally.  But in this day and age there needs to be a balance.  I will try to find it-- until then I will do what I think is right.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Love Phrases

When do we stop loving ourselves with reckless abandon?  When we do start realizing we need to not boast about our accomplishments, our favorite things, our happy treats?

I remember my daughter Leila as a small child playing in the backyard singing:  I love myself!  I LOVE MYSELF!  This made me chuckle at the time.  Watching this little girl with her fine blond hair flitting through the grass filled my heart.  I was so GLAD she loved herself and ACKNOWLEDGED that love.  I always ask my children if they know how much I love them.  They usually say yes.  Nathan has realized he can get a little more attention if he says "no" and turns it into a game that requires our conversation that we both agree on how much I love him.  We start talking about HOW MUCH I love him until he finally agrees he knows how much. 

Each kid has their own love phrase with me.  I love Leila one hundred billion million times eleven.  I love Nathan more than all the BLANK(insert word like STARS or LEAVES) in the BLANK(insert corresponding word like SKY or TREES).  I love Kathryn with my whole heart.  Its a fun game.

Today I asked Kathryn if she knew how special she is.  She smiled her amazing smile on that beautiful face framed by curls and complete with dimples and put her hands in the air and said YES MOMMA!  I'M SPECIAL!

I don't want her to stop feeling this about herself.  I know she will one day.  One day all of my children will(and have) start to compare themselves to other people and see the comparisons and shortcomings as their own faults.  I would do anything to keep them from feeling this inevitable pain.  They will even look at each other and see where their talents fall short of the others.  Its much harder to see where their talents are stronger.  Especially when they are looking at themselves critically. 

At some point we learn its not politically correct to love ourselves out loud.  Its not OK to dance around in the backyard singing I love myself!  I guess this is OK.  I just wonder, when we stop singing and dancing, do we stop believing how wonderful we are?  I certainly hope not, but am thinking we do on some level.  At least I think I did.

As a mother, I want to know how to combat this phenomenon so my children will love themselves and know how amazing they are for their entire lives.  I am not sure, except continually cultivate a loving and happy environment where I can freely tell them many love phrases a day.  Hoping each love phrase sinks in a little more and will allow them to carry  my love around with them a little bit longer.  So on a day when words or actions hurt, I hope they remember my words, my smile, or my  hands flashing the I LOVE YOU sign at them. 

Because I do love you my sweet children-- more than you will ever know.