Archive for July, 2013

July 31, 2013

Big Brother – XP

Original here.

My 2 girls have received many blessings in their short lives, but 1 stands out among all else.

They have THE BEST big brother ever. Seriously, ever.  Sure, they bicker, fight, and they drive him crazy, but never for a second do they doubt how much he adores them.  But you don’t have to take my word for it, see for yourself…

Christmas '09 114
Thrilled to have a new baby sister ❤
Family (14 of 89)
Credit: Tania Sones Photography

Fall 2011 390

Fall 2010 107

Credit: AKD Photo
First Day of School 053
Too cool to hold hands with little sis at school? Not this kid!

First Day of School 042

This next series totally gets me. No posing – he didn’t even know I was watching – just him doing what he does, day in and day out.

The baby fell and needed a hand getting up.
Have no fear, big brother is here!
Am I the only one teary right now??

Ptown 2011 220

Ptown 2011 216
The adoring? Yeah, I’d say its mutual.

Thanksgiving 2011 030


kisses goodnight
Story time


3 kids is no sweat when you’ve got one like this!

“Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.  ~Marc Brown”

One of my top 10 favorite memories of all time comes from when my son was 3 years old.  His sister’s birth shook up his world in ways unimaginable to most (landed him in foster care, first and foremost) but his love for her was immediate, deep, and raw.  We struggled a lot with many things in those early days, but no matter what, our evening would end the same.  Every night after we brushed teeth, he’d walk over to the baby monitor from which we could hear his sister’s rhythmic breaths.  He’d press it up to his mouth and whisper, “Goodnight sweet baby.  Have good dreams and I’ll see you in the morning. I love you.”

He never did figure out that the monitor didn’t go both ways.  And that is just fine by me.




July 11, 2013

Sassafras – XP

Original here.

Oh my.  Where do I even start with these daughters of mine?


They are living zest.  Spunk and zeal with a dress and a bow (the twirlier the better thank you very much).  Every moment is lived to the max.

They will absolutely let you know what they think, feel, like, want, need, and dislike any moment of the day.  Sometimes, they “forget” to use their manners.

In a word, these children are SASSY.  (said with jazz hands)

They wear me out with their tantrums and demands, floppy arms and spaghetti legs, picky palate and wild independence.  But then they throw their arms around my neck, eyes squeezed shut, and plant a gentle kiss on my cheek and I’m back.  Fuller than I ever imagined I could be.  These girls are my match, my karma (I may know a thing or two about sass myself…), and my pride.  They are the daughters I never dared to dream of.

I remember when my older daughter was 18 months old.  I joked with her daycare teachers that I was not cut out for a girl.  It was 8am and I was already exhausted from the 5 different battles we had forged over everything from outfit selection to brushing teeth to walking into the building.  Please tell me, I said to them, how do I raise a daughter who is strong, determined, independent, comfortable with her feelings and voices her opinions, but who also listens and always does what I ask her to?!

They laughed, and with understanding eyes they gave me the answer I knew I would get: you don’t.

Of course they were right.  Everything that’s driving me crazy right now is everything I want to raise them to be.

It is such a fine line, isn’t it?  Opinionated and strong-willed so often teeter-totters on the brink of rude and stubborn.  I want them to be well mannered, but I certainly don’t want them to be meek.  So that is the challenge I face in raising these girls so full of sass.  To keep the spark and fire. To stand up for themselves.  But to do it without throwing elbows.  And to be nice…most of the time.

I’m still not entirely sure I’m up to the challenge, but I’m honored to try.  I remind them daily to use their please’s and thank you’s and re-frame their sass into something a bit less ::ahem:: abrasive.  But mostly?  I hope they keep at it.

I hope they keep striving and voicing and running against the wind.  One day those “NO!”‘s, “I don’t want to!”‘s and “I’m doing it myself!”‘s will serve them well.