Saturday, November 21, 2015

Happy birthday to my sweet Cee!!

We celebrated last night - she wanted to try a Hibachi grill, and that's exactly what we did! Both girls loved it, our chef was exceptionally entertaining, and I caught a piece of shrimp on my first try. :)

This morning, we woke up early to open presents, went to her favorite place for breakfast (Spicy Bite rocks!), picked out paint colors - because all she really wanted for her birthday was a bedroom update, and then we headed back home.

They gathered a few things they needed, and this is the only pic I got of Cee on her actual birthday...one of my favorites!

They headed to Steamboat this afternoon, and I'm already counting down the hours until they're home next weekend!

I'm not even kidding you - this was the scene when they left, and I felt the same way.

This will be my first Thanksgiving without Cee and Jay at home with me, and I am navigating my way through it. I know they are going to make memories that last them a lifetime while they're in Steamboat this week, and I am so excited for everything they are going to experience! And I'm going to miss them terribly.

While I was mentally preparing myself for not seeing them on Thanksgiving, I realized that Thanksgiving is all about family and giving thanks for the things that mean the most to you, and we will celebrate our Thanksgiving together when they are back from their trip. In the meantime, I'm going to keep myself reasonably busy - I have so much I want to accomplish while they're away: 3 books on my iPad just begging to be read. A whole bedroom to redecorate. Holiday crafts to begin. Fall decorations to put away, Christmas decorations to get out (of course I won't decorate a thing until they're home...family tradition). A puppy to train. People to see, places to go. Goals to achieve!

Sometimes I look at both girls, and I just can't believe how incredibly lucky I am to be their mom. They are amazing, thoughtful, appreciative, and kind-hearted. And let's not forget funny - Cee's quick wit combined with Jay's newly-acquired rapping (yes, without a w) skills keep me laughing! I just don't think I could be any more blessed by each of them.

Here's to a great week of projects, sleeping in, watching movies, and catching up on some much needed rest!!

Happy holidays!

Excess and Tragedy

Sunday, November 15, 2015

 $40; 1,933 tickets; 2 hours. I think we have earned honorary mention for pictures that define excess...I mean, who wouldn't pay $40 bucks for a couple of sets of redneck teeth and a little bit of candy?

Jay's end-of-season soccer party was nothing short of a great time, and I am so proud of those girls for the great season they played!

In the meantime, I'm completely overwhelmed by all things Paris.

I spent 2.5 weeks in France when I was 20. Ten days in the French Alps, and the rest of the time either in Paris or on a train going to/from Paris.

Paris is a place that, if it's "for you," you just instantly fall in love with - hard and fast. What an amazing city - full of beauty, history, and culture. I will never forget my day trip to the Palace of Versailles, riding a double-decker bus with a melting pot of cultures, and feeling completely safe and like I couldn't possibly soak in enough of Louis XIV's residence (after having just learned all about him in Western Civilization, coincidentally my most favorite college course ever).

I walked around Le Seine, visited the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Catacombs, the Tour Montparnasse, Sacre-Coeur, and of course, the Eiffel Tower. I saw David and Le Musee national Picasso.

I wanted to move there, live there, start my life there. I still love Paris with my whole entire heart, and I am shocked, saddened, and overwhelmed by the tragedy that hit one of my favorite cities last Friday.

Obviously my love affair with this incredible city isn't abnormal - the world has truly come together to support the City of Lights and wrap their collective arms around it during this incomprehensible time of tragedy.

Prayers for Paris, prayers for all...


My Dad

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I have the greatest dad in the whole world. Seriously. I'm not even kidding.

He has the ability to be proactive and pragmatic, diplomatic and realistic, all at the same time, and for that I am ridiculously grateful.

I admire his ability to see the big picture from all sides as opposed to only one side of any given issue. I love him for his ability to see the larger picture in seemingly isolated situations on life's path.

When I ask him for advice, I don't receive instant gratification. Instead, he takes the time to prepare his response... a reflective response that he shares with me when he's ready. I would never expect him to defend me; instead, I am grateful for all the times I've learned from him due to his ability to teach me to learn from my own mistakes instead of glossing over or completely ignoring my mistakes.

In other words, he doesn't rush to my rescue; instead, he takes the time to evaluate every scenario from an impartial, third-party-set-of-eyes. Could I possibly be any luckier?

As a single mom who gets to play both roles in the parenting scene, I admire this quality in him more than he'll ever know.

I understand that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a dad with this level of reflection and insight - I understand that it's much easier to jump to the defense of your kid, protect them at all cost, and instantly profess your loyalty regardless of common sense. Easier does not mean better.

The harder and more challenging part of parenting is letting your kids know when they are in the wrong and providing them with the opportunity to truly learn from their mistakes. I am forever appreciative that my dad taught me from an early age how to recognize when I was wrong, and I have tried my hardest to take advantage of teachable moments with my girls. The beautiful part of this is such an incredible bonus: you get the opportunity of teaching your kids how to better themselves; you have the opportunity to teach them how they can learn from their mistakes instead of telling them you will be in charge of helping to conceal their mistakes for them.

If you're covering for your kid, nobody wins in the grand scheme of things.

It's funny to me how life repeats itself. I see so many circumstances in children's most formative years where the parents choose to gloss over their children's attempts to buck authority and instead place the blame on adults who choose to hold their child accountable for learning, behavior, and respect. I can tell you with pretty solid confidence that the parents who 'let it fly' and 'put the blame on the educator/adult' are doing favors for exactly no one. Eventually the child has to learn the difference between respect and disrespect, right and wrong, and growing from mistakes through trial by fire.

Yuck! Why not learn and grow together as you navigate this road called life?

My dad has provided me with so many truisms throughout the past 41 years, and I will always be thankful for the lessons I learn from him and the opportunity to share those lessons with my girls.

This guy has had my heart for as long as I can remember, and I wish there were more like him! 



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