Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Quality Matters...

As I get closer to opening up my new store I concerned about a lot of things. The main one though is how I am going to juggle two stores and still be a good mom to Dotty. I know the new store will take up a lot of my time especially in the beginning but I don't want Dotty to suffer because I am trying to be successful in business. On the other hand...I want Dotty to know that in order to be successful in business you have to work hard.

It is a double edged sword for me.

My only consolation comes from knowing that it isn't quantity that matters but rather quality...and prioritizing the important things in life makes adding quality to it a lot easier.

This past Saturday Dotty and I spent a hour snuggling in bed watching cartoons...then we hung our plastic pumpkins in the tree outside our house...then we went and got our nails painted together. The whole time we spent together awake on Saturday was only about 6 hours then Dotty went to spend the rest of the day with Tony, Brittany, and Dylann.

Six hours doesn't seem long but we did a lot during that time.

We snuggled. We hugged. We smiled. We laughed. We carried on a Halloween tradition. We did girlie things. We kissed. We said I love you. We talked about the past, present, and future.

We made our time count.

It wasn't a large quantity of time but it was quality time.

Just the other day a friend of mine who just had a sweet baby boy and I were talking about how hard it is to leave kiddos of any age...but most of us have to do it. She was talking about how by the time she gets home from work it will only be a few hours before it is bath time and bed time for her little bundle of joy. I could sympathize with her because I remembered what it was like to leave Dotty the first time I had to go back to work. I cried the whole way to the Pecan Shed. But luckily even then I knew it was about quality...not quantity.

When Tony and I split up and we started sharing time with Dotty it hit me even more so how much I need to cherish the time I do have with Dotty. And now as I stand just weeks away from yet another big step in my life I have to realize that while my time might be limited with Dotty...the moments shared and the memories made are really unlimited.

Dotty won't remember how many hours I was home before she went to bed. But she will remember that we read stories and we said prayers and I sang her to sleep.

Dotty won't remember what we had for dinner. But she will remember how we sat at the table and talked about what she did at school and what was on her mind.

Dotty won't remember the Saturdays I had to work. But she will remember the Saturday mornings we spent watching princess movies and eating popcorn at 8am.

Dotty won't remember the nights I came home exhausted. But she will remember that she fell asleep in my arms.

Dotty won't remember the mornings I was up before 5am trying to get everything done. But she will remember how we talked in the car on the way to school instead of always just listening to the radio.

Dotty won't remember how I had to kill myself to make it to her school functions and her sporting events. But she will remember that I was there...always.

Quality matters. I may not know who wins the Voice. I may not see my friends as much. I may not ever see any movie above a PG rating for the next 5 years. But my kid will know that she was more important to me than all of that combined times a million.

I can't be with my child every night or every morning. A part of me hates that. But the nights and mornings I can be there will be good ones...for both Dotty and me.

Because when it all comes down to how Dotty remembers her childhood 20 years from now I hope she will remember that I was there...I was present...I was in the moment. I hope she remembers more of "what was" than "what wasn't". I hope she remembers the hugs, the kisses, the laughs, the giggles, the snuggles, the bedtime stories, the talks, the silly dances, the traditions...I hope she remembers the memories...the moments...that we made...and I hope she loves and cherishes them as much as I will.

I may not have a lot of children (quantity) but I have one really great one (quality) and I plan to make the most of every moment with her.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Prayers for Patsy...

Many times as a parent I wonder if the things I am saying are getting through the pretty head of my little girl. I seem to say the same things over and over and over again. I have to constantly remind Dotty to put away her shoes, pick up her toys, brush her teeth, say "please" and "thank you", have patience, try harder to color in the lines, stop talking in class, at bedtime, when others are talking, with her mouth full, during prayers (my girl likes to talk)...and so forth and so on.

Thankfully I was reminded that some things are getting through. The things that really matter in life...like caring for others and having a strong relationship with God and Jesus Christ...have started to grow and blossom inside her.

Yesterday afternoon when I told Dotty that Patsy had passed away Dotty cried for several minutes. She loved Patsy dearly and she was sad to know that her friend would no longer be around to sing and dance with, plant flowers with, or talk about how you can never have too much jewelry or lipstick on at any given occasion.

I tried to explain to Dotty that Patsy had been very sick and that we should be glad she was no longer in pain and that she got to go home to Heaven to see her friends and family who were already there. Dotty asked a lot questions about Heaven...some of them I knew and some of them I didn't. But what I did know and could tell her was that there were no tears in Heaven and Patsy was not in pain anymore. I knew for sure Patsy was glad to be there.

Then Dotty asked about Patsy's daughter Judy...she asked if Judy was sad. I told her I was sure she was. All daughters love their mothers and are sad to see them go. Next Dotty asked about her Memaw. I knew my mom was having a hard time with losing Patsy and I told Dotty Memaw was very sad but she would be fine in time.

Lastly...Dotty asked if we could say a prayer for Patsy...

With tears getting close to the surface I asked Dotty if she wanted to say the prayer of if she wanted me to. Dotty said she would do it.

We bowed our heads, clasped our hands, and in a few short sentences my child showed me what it is like to have the faith of child...the kind of faith I strive for daily...simple and pure.

Dotty said...

"Dear Lord, Please watch over Pasty as she goes to Heaven today. Make sure she has a nice house with lots of flowers and have all her friends and family there to welcome her Home. Please help Judy and Memaw and all Patsy's friends to not be sad anymore. And tell Patsy I love her and I will see her in Heaven one day. Amen."

Well of course the tears were pouring from my eyes by the end. I was so touched by Dotty's sweet words. I was so proud too. While she herself was really sad about Patsy's passing she was also really concerned about others...especially Judy and Memaw.

And the best part of all was Dotty knew that in life when things are hard and times are sad it is always best to go to God. Of all the things I have tried to teach Dotty prayer is one of the most important things I hope she will learn. I may not can quote scripture. I may not know all the books of the Old Testament. I may not have all the answers. But what I do know is that I am a child of God. I am loved by Him. And He is there for me in good times and in bad. I know that God listens even when He does not give me an answer...or perhaps the answer I want.

Dotty too knows that she is loved by God and that she can talk to Him whenever she needs to.

When Dotty opened her eyes after her prayer she wasn't crying anymore. I, on the other hand, was almost sobbing. Dotty leaned in to hug me and patted my back and said "It is okay Mommy."

It will be okay. We will all move on from losing Patsy because Patsy would want us to. She loved life and she lived it to the fullest.

Not to mention Dotty will be okay...she will miss Pasty but she will have wonderful memories to cherish. And Dotty will be just fine in life as well. She has a strong sense of faith...she has a loving heart...and she has me (and many others) to help to guide her along her journey. She may forget to brush her teeth some days...and she may get in trouble for talking at wrong times every now and then...but as long as she keeps talking to God...she will be more than okay. She will be blessed.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sooooo...it wasn't so bad afterall...

The best thing about the first day of school is it is so hectic and crazy that if you get caught up in the whirlwind of new clothes, shoes, and backpacks...taking pics in the backyard with the cute signs...without the cute signs...funny pics...serious pics...the "I have had enough" pics...getting all the school forms signed...taking pics by the car (because that is what Memaw did to Mommy every year)...running late...forgetting the name tag...taking pics outside the school...inside the school...in the hallway...

When it comes time to actually do the "have a great day...you will be great" part...it is hard to get all emotional...

Combine that with my kiddo who was so excited about meeting new friends, seeing new classrooms, and just experiencing everything about Kindergarten that she could barely hug and kiss me good-bye...

The end result is a Mom who could cry if I really sat and thought about it...but after seeing all of Dotty's excitement I chose to be excited instead of sad.

I am so thankful I am raising an independent, self-confident, fun loving, life living, friend making, risk taking, no fear kind of girl.

She is so amazing.

As I watched her take it all in today...and as I saw her so excited to start this new adventure...I couldn't help but bust with pride.

My Dotty has always been so full of life and has a true joy for living it...and that includes going off to Kindergarten.

So how can a Mom cry over something as wonderful as that?!?! Truth is...you just can't help but smile! :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Night Before Kindergarten

Tomorrow will be Dotty's first day of Kindergarten at Iowa Park Kidwell Elementary.

Where did the last 5 (almost 6) years go?!?!

I swear I can still remember the night before Dotty was born. I was nervous...excited...and ready!

Tonight once again...I am nervous...excited...but I am not sure if I am ready.

As a mother I can't help but worry about Dotty...it is what we mothers do best I think. I worry she will not find her way around school. I worry she will not make any new friends (although if I were being totally honest my child could make friends with a rock so this is really not that big of a worry). I worry a kid might be mean to her. I worry she might be mean to a kid. I worry she will miss me. I worry she won't miss me. I worry she will struggle. I worry she will not challenge herself enough. I worry she will get hurt, get sick, get tired, or even worse...get a boyfriend!!! I worry about ALL of it and more!

Then again I think of all the moms, dads, and folks in general that don't get to have this night...for one reason or another...and I thank God for the opportunity to worry about my child's first day of Kindergarten. I thank God for every moment of every day for the gift that is my Dotty.

Tomorrow will be both a happy and sad day...for me...and a day of new beginnings for both of us. Tomorrow I will watch Dotty head into a classroom to start school...and I will watch her do that year after year for many years...God willing.

Tomorrow I will smile and take pictures (too many for Dotty I have no doubts)...I will wish her luck and tell her she will do great...I will tell her to have fun and that I will see her soon. I will do all this without a crack in my voice...without a tear in my eye...without a single sign of sadness.

Then I will go back to my car and I will cry my eyes out. I will cry tears of sadness for my baby not being a baby anymore...for years gone by too fast...and for all the times I didn't pause to bask in the blessing that comes with each child. And I will cry tears of joy...for having a happy, healthy Kindergartner. I will cry as all proud mommas cry when their hearts burst with pride. I will cry for both Dotty and me...for the journey we have made so far and for the one still ahead of us.

Simply put...I am going to do one of those "ugly cries"...and I have no doubts it will not be pretty.

And when the time comes to pick her up at the end of her day...once again I will have a smile on my face and there will be no sign of tears. Because that is what moms do. Moms hold it together when we need to...and we let it all out when we have time to...we are both strong and weak...but we know there is a time and place for both.

Some day I will tell Dotty about how hard it was to let her go to Kindergarten...perhaps when she is about to send her own child off for the first day of school...but whenever the time comes it will be a long time in the future...because tomorrow is a day to celebrate.

Tomorrow Dotty reaches a milestone...one of many!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

In honor of "My Brittany"...one of the best stepmoms I know...

Today I want to give a special tribute to Brittany. She and Tony are getting married today and thus she will "officially" be Dotty's stepmom. But Brittany has been more than just a stepmom to Dotty for a long time now.

For a while when people would ask Dotty who Brittany was in relation to Dotty...Dotty would simply reply "My Brittany".

Several times when Dotty had "Mom's Night" or "Dad's Night" at school Dotty would ask me "When is there going to be a "Brittany's Night?"

Dotty has loved Brittany from the beginning...and to this Mom's joy and delight...the feeling is absolutely reciprocated on Brittany's end.

Brittany has always shown Dotty unconditional love and that is all I could ever ask for from anyone who is in my child's life.

But on top of that...Brittany has also shown me unconditional love...not to mention respect and friendship. Brittany never tries to be "the mom" to Dotty. She has never once stepped on my toes when it comes to parenting choices or decisions. She always keeps me in the loop. She is so supportive of the non-traditional co-parenting relationship Tony and I have and best of all...Brittany is the sweetest thing on earth.

I always say if I had met her earlier in life we would have been good friends...luckily we are now good friends AND parents to Dotty.

I know we five (Tony, Brittany, Dylann, Dotty, and me) make quite a sight sometimes...and no doubts many people wonder how we make all this work. The fact is...we choose to make it work and one of the main reasons it works is because Brittany is so great.

Today Dotty will be one of the cutest flower girls on earth (her and Dylann will share this title).

While today is very special...I must say that Brittany has always been very special to me.

I wish Tony and Brittany nothing but the best...and a long and happy marriage. I know Dotty is one lucky girl to be loved by so many...especially by "her Brittany".

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Just call me...

I have been called a lot of names in life...

At birth I was named Jill Pepper Montz.
My Grandma Montz liked to throw in an extra name on occasions when I was in a bit of trouble referring to me as Jill Pepper Marie Montz (her middle name).
Lots of my friends call me Pepper or Pep.
In sports sometimes I was just called Montz.
My uncle refers to me as JP.
My Dad likes to call me Sugar Pie.
In the past I have been called Sweetheart, Sugar, Sweets, Darling, Little Lady, and a few others by customers...some of them got away with calling me those names...some of them got corrected depending on how they said it.
Back in my hay day of sorts I got called names like Gorgeous and Beautiful from time to time.
Then there were those who were not so fond of me and I won't repeat the names they used.

But over the last few years I have been loving referred to many times by children (and even some adults) as Dotty's Mom.

This name above all others brings the biggest smile to my face and to my heart. I love to be known as Dotty's Mom.

Most importantly though...I love to simply be Momma.

When I hear that sweet voice of Dotty call out Momma...it is like music to my ears. (Of course when we are trying to get ready in the mornings and I hear MOMMA being shrieked at an octave only dogs and I can hear...for the 100th time in only 15 minutes...I do tend to think of the sound as less soothing than other times.)

Overall though I love to hear Momma being called out...whether it is to show me a drawing, to help her down from the trampoline, to kiss a boo boo better, to see a heart shaped rock, to calm her fears at night, to dance with her, to sing with her, to just be near her...being Dotty's Momma is the best name I ever got.

And it is a name I will forever be called.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mother Knows Best...

"Dotty don't slide on those pillows across the kitchen floor. You are going to fall and bust your head open."
No busted head but a hard fall on the tushie.

"Dotty don't climb on your cardboard table. It isn't stable and it will fall over."
The table didn't fall but Dotty did...and almost through the window.

"Dotty don't walk on the foot rest of the recliner. It will not hold you and when your leg falls in it will close on it and that will hurt."
Mom in shower...Dotty screaming...Mom runs out of shower...Dotty's leg is caught in recliner...no breaks but a minor heart attack was reported.

"Dotty don't touch the end of the sparkler. It will burn you." - Tony said this one.
Burnt finger....check!

Why is it that kids just HAVE to try to do things even though we as parents tell them not to?!?!

Do they think we just don't want them to have fun?
Do they think we are being mean?
Do they think we are stupid?

I just worry some day I am going to be saying "Dotty don't drive too fast" or "Dotty don't text and drive" or "Dotty don't go to that party" or Dotty don't date that boy" or "Dotty don't jump off that cliff"

And she is not going to obey me and it will be too late.


I know as parents we have to give them wings but sometimes I think I have given birth to a dumb bird...God love her!!!

Dotty just seems to feel the need to see for herself...to try it out. Tony says she isn't listening to us but I think she hears us...she just doesn't want to obey us.

A part of me wants my child to have an adventurous heart...to try new things...to have no fear...to seek challenges and rise to the occasions.
But a part of me wants to put her in a pink, padded bubble!

I love my sweet girl with every fiber of my being...more than I ever thought I could possibly love anyone or anything. I think that is why I try to hold on so tight. I think that is why I fear the worst. I think that is why when I lay down beside her at night and she drifts off to sleep I cry a little bit every night...because as I watch her sleep I pray to God to never take her from me...I just don't know what I would do without her.

The truth is though I know that the tighter I hold onto her...the more she will push to get away. I have seen it with friends and even at times in my own life. I know that as a parent I have to let her go...let her live...let her soar...and even let her fall. I have to be there when it is good and when it is not so good. I have to give her a helping hand up when she needs it and I have to stand by and just watch during the times when she alone must pull herself up.

I think that is the hardest thing to do as a parent is to watch your children suffer in any way, shape, or form...but I know there are times when even as a parent all you can do is watch...and wait...and pray.

Some day I hope Dotty will be able to look back and say "You were right Mom." Heaven knows I said those words to my parents more than once!

I do think she is learning some good life lessons at a young age. I have no doubt the next 4th she will not be grabbing the ends of sparklers...she hasn't slid across the kitchen on pillows for many months now...and after Sunday night I highly doubt she will go anywhere near the recliner for a while. Some lessons we just have to learn the hard way I guess. Childhood is tough at times...and sometimes it is even tougher on the parent than it is the child!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

This is officially my 6th Mother's Day to actually "be" a mother. The very first one back in 2007 Dotty was still "cooking" inside me...but hey...that counts!!! That Mother's Day of '07 was a great one. I was super excited...super nervous...and already super big! (And I had 4 more months to go!)

Now Mother's Day '08 was a bit different. At that point Dotty would have been 8 months old...she was still not sleeping through the night and I had more than once thought about inquiring what the hospital's "return policy" was in regards to babies! Overall it was great though...being a "new" mom was fun, exciting, and tiring...but it was the best job I had ever had.

Mother's Day '09 and '10 were still a bit rough...Dotty was STILL not sleeping all the way through the night. (So if you are counting...yes...she was pushing 3 years old at that point.) I was definitely sleep deprived and life had had its ups and downs. Overall it was great though...being a "not so new" mom was fun, exciting, and tiring...but it was still the best job I had ever had.

Mother's Day '11 was WAY better. Dotty finally started sleeping through the night when she was almost 3 years old. I was a whole new woman once this started happening. She would still wake up once or twice but nothing like the years before when it was almost every hour! Life was getting into a routine. We were living in Wichita. We loved our house. Life was good. Overall it was great...being a "not new at all" mom was fun, exciting, and still tiring...but it was STILL the best job I had ever had.

Mother's Day '12 and '13 were the best. Dotty sleeps AWESOME now. She hardly ever wakes up. She is a funny, sweet, beautiful, 5 year old...going on 6 (going on 16 sometimes). I love each and every moment with her. Overall it is GREAT...being a mom is fun, exciting, and still tiring (because Dotty is one busy girl)...but it is STILL...and always will be...the best job I have EVER had.

When Dotty was born I thought...I don't know that I can do this. There was no manual. No one really sat down and gave me a step-by-step rundown as to how this whole mom/baby thing worked. I was just supposed to "know". And the amazing thing is...in a way...I did. The greatest miracle in having a child is not so much the "birth" itself...although that still amazes me...but to me the greatest miracle is that God somehow just helps you to "know".

You see I was not a "baby person" before Dotty. In fact...I didn't even like most kids. I was scared to death I was going to scar Dotty for life in the first week of her life.

But I didn't.

When she cried as a baby...somehow I knew what she needed...(although sometimes it was a bit of trial and error at first). Now when she cries...I know what she needs. Dotty cries when she is tired, hungry, mad, sad, or frustrated...and during all those events I generally know how to fix it...with a nap, food, a hug or a kiss, some kind words, a little encouragement, or just a shoulder to cry on...but always I give it all with love.

Back on Mother's Day 2007 I was still wondering a bit if I could be a mom. Now...6 years later...I know I was meant to be a mom. Dotty's mom.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Memories...not Kodak...but mine

It was just about 7 months ago that Dotty and I went to Disney World. We just got back from Disneyland a few days ago. Both trips were great but both were very different from my point of view.

Back in September when we went to Disney World I had such high expectations for our trip. I had been to Disney World back in the early 90s. I did a lot of research online. I asked anyone and everyone what they did when they went to Disney World. I just wanted everything to be perfect. I wanted more than the postcard...I wanted the 90 second commercial. I wanted the trip to be like you see on tv...nothing but smiles, laughter, hugs, and helium balloons drifting up as the fireworks went off.

The truth is we did have smiles, laughter, hugs, helium balloons and fireworks on the trip...but we also had stress, tears, and a few rough moments too. I promise you...in my mind Disney World was not the "happiest place on earth" but rather the "most bipolar place on earth" when it came to my kid...and every other kid in that park. It seemed liked a kid was either crying or laughing. It seemed like a parent was either smiling or yelling. It seemed as if everyone was either full of joy or full of disappointment. It was a strange thing to experience.

Personally, I was just pushing so hard for the "perfect" trip...I was forgetting to just enjoy the trip. And I don't think I was alone in this struggle.

I had planned for so long...to do so much...in a place that was so big...that was full of so much wonder...that I began to wonder if I had lost my ever loving mind by bringing my 5 year old to Disney World by myself.

Oh don't get me wrong...we did have fun...but it was tainted with stress and disappointment...not on Dotty's part...but on mine.

Now fast forward to just a week ago when we were in Disneyland. I had no idea what to expect. I had never been there. I didn't do much research at all besides a few pins on Pinterest. I didn't even ask too many people about their trips. I just talked to April (Tony's cousin) and made plans to meet up with her family while we were there for the weekend.

I made no reservations. I didn't book a single character dinner...or princess tea...or a day in the Boutique...I didn't do anything but get us two seats on an airplane, a hotel room, and a park pass. I didn't even look at a park map until the day we arrived.

You would think I would have been stressed due to my lack of planning...but it was just the opposite. I had a blast! Dotty had a blast! She said numerous times it was the "best trip ever"...and I know why...we had no expectations. In fact we had little than no expectations...I actually thought it would not be nearly as fun as Disney World because we were not staying in the Disney Resort...just a regular hotel a few blocks away...there were only two parks...not four...etc, etc.

Even though all this is true...Disneyland is smaller...it is only two parks...the main thing was I didn't try to turn this trip into one Kodak moment after another. I just let it flow. I didn't check my watch a million times to see which reservation we had next. I didn't check the map 100 times to find the best route to see the next character. Dotty and I wondered around...sometimes we were lost...and sometimes we found just the attraction we were looking for...and sometimes we found an even better attraction.

The best part of the whole trip was Dotty and I got to experience it all for the first time together! I didn't put any pressure on the trip and it turned out to be a great one!!! I have so many fabulous memories and none of them are "brochure" worthy...but they will look great in my photo albums...and when I am 80 I hope I will remember them all as Dotty makes plans to take her grandkids to Disneyland.

I hope she and I will always laugh about "bacon...cook it"...and the best way for waiting on a late bus is always upside down...and Oreo cookies can be breakfast, lunch, and dinner (just not in the same day)...and the best pretzels are shaped like Mickey Mouse...in fact everything is better when it is shaped like Mickey Mouse...and so many more!

I learned a lot on this trip. I learned I love California and if I ever move it is #1 on my list. I learned my kid is 5...she is not an actor in a commercial...she is not a model in brochure. She has moments of great joy...and she tends to cry when she gets hungry or tired (like her momma). I learned the best trips don't have to be planned out so well...sometimes the plan is to just go and see what happens. I learned I love my little girl more and more every day...well I already knew that...but somehow watching her watch Tinker Bell fly over the Disney castle as fireworks lit the sky...I realized it even more!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Don't run from the bad...Run to the good

I stopped watching the news several years ago. It was just too hard to see the hurt and the pain that seemed to be the only things that were shown on the news. (Although being the typical farmer's daughter...I do still DVR the news so I can see what the weather will be like...but that is another story). As Dotty got older I still continued to avoid the news but it was mainly because I didn't want her to see the terrible things that were being reported. Like a lot of parents I try to keep my kid in a bubble...in every way I can.

Of course after a while I realized that not only did I not watch the news on TV...I didn't read papers...I didn't look at the "Top Stories" on the internet...I didn't search out information in any way. Then I realized I was trying to keep myself in a bubble too. I was trying to shield myself from a world that seemed to be full of pain, agony, hate, destruction, war, violence, abuse.

Of course some things I could not avoid (after all...even ESPN talks about the REALLY big stories...even those not specifically related to sports). I have heard about the school shootings, North Korea, Sandusky, Tiger's 2 stroke penalty (okay maybe that one is solely sports), and just yesterday the Boston Marathon bombings.

Like so many of us when I heard about Boston I wanted to find my child...hold her and never let go. I wanted to go home lock the doors, close the blinds, and have all groceries delivered via internet shopping. I wanted to get inside my bubble and never leave.

But I couldn't do that.

Because today Dotty went to what will be her new school in the fall. Tony and I signed Dotty up for Kindergarten today.

I looked over at him at one point during the many papers we were filling out and asked "Can you believe she is already going to kindergarten?" He just shook his head and said..."no".

After Dotty had her evaluation (of which she came out...got her sticker...and proudly told us "I passed!") we took her to Sonic to hear all about what she did while we were filling out papers. She told us about counting numbers, knowing her letters, hopping, skipping, and all sorts of things. She said it with so much excitement and joy!!!

Just 24 hours earlier I was thinking seriously about home schooling my child and when I saw the joy on her face I thought...how could I take "life" away from her (nothing against home schooling...by the way).

Dotty is so excited to experience new things...to grow and learn and hop and skip...to LIVE.

At 5 going on 6 she has no fear...and that is a good thing. She doesn't know that there are people so full of hate that they kill innocent people. She doesn't know that the world is full of hurt and pain. All she knows is the world is full of joy and excitement...in her eyes that is all she sees (well that and the fact that the world is mostly full of not having to wear a uniform...she is most excited about that next year).

I can't put my child in a bubble because then she would miss out on so much.

The people who ran in the Boston Marathon were people who lived life to the fullest. I can't imagine running 26.2 miles. I can't imagine the dedication and the strength that it takes to do that. But those people that ran yesterday...they saw life not as a finish line...but as journey that never ends. And the people that were there to cheer on family, friends, and random strangers...saw that joy for life too. No doubt they could feel that joy coming off the runners as they headed to the finish.

I don't want Dotty to take unnecessary risks in life...but I don't want her to be afraid to run towards joy either.

This world does have pain, hurt, agony, hate, voilence, destruction, war, abuse...and so much more bad things. But it also has joy, peace, excitement, growth, love, healing, faith, perserverence, success, strength, grace, mercy and oh so much more.

Today I appreciated the day that was a big moment for my child. But I appreciated even a bit more because of what happened in Boston. It is sad that it takes tragedy to make us slow down and be grateful and thankful for the good times.

I will never know why bad things happen in life...especially things like Boston. But I know that I am not supposed to have all the answers. I also know that God gave us this life to live abundantly...that is what those marathon runners were doing and that is what I try to do every day.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I Love Watching You Play

I am stealing a bit of this from "Hands Free Momma" but it has really made me think these last few days.

Recently on the Hands Free Momma site she posted about 5 words all parents should say to their kids....
"I love watching you ____." And then you fill in the blank...dance, play, practice, study, sing, etc.

This past weekend Dotty started her 4 season of soccer. I was so happy to sit on the sidelines this time around. Last season I tried to coach her team and I soon found out coaching is just not for me.

I didn't feel like I could give Dotty much of my attention when I was coaching...and I felt a lot of pressure to do a good job...even though they are just 5! I wanted to WIN!!! That is a flaw in me for some other post though.

After reading the blog about the 5 words I decided to try it out on Dotty.

Dotty did score 3 goals on Saturday (which was awesome) but when the game was over I said "I love watching you play."

Later that night Dotty was dancing around the living room and when she caught me watching I said "I love watching you dance."

As we went to sleep she said her prayer and when she was done I said "I love watching you pray."

Before we drifted off to sleep Dotty said..."You love me a lot Momma."
I said "Of course I do."
And then she said..."No matter if I am good or bad at something it makes me happy that you say you love watching me do it just because I am your daughter."
I kissed her goodnight and thought to myself...there will be some things Dotty is a GREAT at...a few things she is EXCELLENT at...and many things that she stinks at...simply because that is life. I hope no matter what Dotty will try them all and above all I hope she knows that no matter what...success or failure...I will love watching her...period.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Missing Your Kissing

A few weeks ago I had a fever blister on my bottom lip that should have been in the record books it was so big! It lasted (from onset to finish) a good 14 days...no lie! At it's peak it hurt to eat, drink, brush my teeth, and sometimes even breath in and out of my mouth! I am hear to tell you...it was a bad deal. Needless to say I could barely talk...I missed a lot of work...and I could not kiss my sweet baby girl!

Poor Dotty was not only grossed out by the whole thing but she was bummed out too. We do a lot of kissing in our house....
Kisses hello
Kisses goodbye
Kisses good night
Kisses good morning
Kisses because you did something great
Kisses because you didn't do something great but I love you anyways
Kisses for no reason at all
Kisses for every reason!

We love to share a smooch!

But going well over a week without being able to kiss my child made me realize two things...
#1 Never take my health (even my lip health) for granted
#2 Never take Dotty's kisses for granted

I know there are a lot of people out there that don't get to kiss their kiddos good night for one reason or another (tragedy, illness, etc.) and I know that I am one lucky Momma to have my sweet girl around to love and kiss on.

I also know that some day (in the not too distant future) Dotty will no longer want me to shower her with kisses. She will be too busy growing up...or heaven help me...being a teenager.

So I will cherish these moments...I will cherish every kiss!