Tag Archive for Happiness

Done Trying to be a Perfect Mom


My husband is in the military, currently the National Guard. He’s gone one weekend a month, two weeks a year (at least in theory… because sometimes he’s gone a lot more and he occasionally travels for his full time job). He was recently two weeks and I swear he took half my brain with him.

It has been busy, crazy busy. In addition to finishing up one of the biggest projects I have ever worked on, an art history textbook for a program in California, we have had all of the end-of-the-year carnivals, field days, parties, preschool graduations, piano recitals, and gymnastics expos.

Oh, and we also had our Daisy troop bridging to Brownies at my house. This was supposed to happen on my deck but it was the one rainy day all month. So, we set-up in the basement.

Did I mention I am also over 5 months pregnant with baby #4?

Maybe it was because I was feeling like such a super mom after shuttling all the kids to all their various events, generally staying on top of the housework without my husband there, and throwing a magical Brownie Bridging that I overreached.

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You Make Me So Angry

If I may, without sounding too twee, or too much like a motivational speaker, I have a paradigm-shift suggestion.

Let’s drop the phrase “that makes me angry/sad” and all its variations from our speech.

Hear me out, please.

The idea encoded in the language is that someone or something else is making you angry or sad. As if you have no control, no choice in the matter. You are passive, acted upon.

Instead, how about, “I feel sad when…”

Which acknowledges the feeling but then opens up room for: “So to feel better I am going to…”

My generation of women, especially mothers of young children, seems so disaffected…angry…sad. As if all we do is not enough, and then somehow we are not enough. There’s this sense, somehow, that destiny had greater things in store for us, that life is somehow passing by.

As a member, however peripheral, of this community of online women, I’ve been chewing over the role bloggers play, big and small, in defining modern motherhood.

We’ve shattered the glass windows of the dollhouse, revealing how honest, witty, and smart we are. And with our sledgehammers, axes, and picks, we’ve let in the fresh air to clear the miasma and achieve the catharsis. And then with a charming, kind, and generous spirit we breathe new life.

I want to find the courage to take responsibility for my own dreams. And embrace joy, unabashedly, giddily, wholeheartedly.

Being Thankful

First and foremost, I am thankful for my wonderful family. I feel so blessed to be married to my husband, a veteran and a hero, and to have two beautiful and sweet children. We are lucky to have been born in a time and place where the surgeons could fix my daughter’s heart so, instead of helplessly watching her fade, we can enjoy watching her blossom.


Welcome to the third edition of the (hopefully) growing Military Family Carnival.

Being part of the Military Family makes me thankful for…

Thanksgiving can be a beautiful celebration of all the blessings we enjoy. Many families lay the best table they can, express gratitude for the best of the year, and enjoy the company of family and close friends.

For many military families, this Thanksgiving will be spend apart from those they love most.

Last year on Thanksgiving, we had much cause for joy. My husband had returned home from Iraq, our daughter’s heart condition had been successfully repaired, and the rest of the soldiers from his unit were either home or on their way.

Since baby was still recovering, we could not yet travel. So, we invited the unit soldiers who had no where to go to come join us.

Baby was still having major anxiety about being separated from mommy, Captain Dad was experimenting with cooking a turkey for the first time, we had never hosted Thanksgiving before, and we had no idea how many guests to expect.

In the end, I held the baby while passing along words of encouragement and instructions about the side dishes to Captain Dad, we pressed another spouse into service, and we had plenty of good food.

Although I certainly missed being around our extended family, I think that impromptu celebration will always be one of my favorite Thanksgiving memories.

Being a part of the military family reminds me what really counts in life. We have freedom, continually renewed for us by our active participation and the efforts of our warriors. And we have each other, a gift made even more precious by the times we spend apart.

I hope you are spending this Thanksgiving with your soldier…but if you are not, you have my prayers for a safe and quick reunion. May this Holiday and others be filled with blessings for you.

Toddler Empathy

We had a fabulous day today.

First we went to a “Soccer Tots” demo. We’ve been joking all week about what a 1-3 year old soccer clinic looks like. We imaged half the kids sitting on the floor, a quarter of the kids crying, and a quarter accidentally kicking each other.

Despite my high expectations for humor value and low expectations for organization, the class was actually quite fun for the kids involved.

Baby LOVES kicking the ball around so I was hoping it would be a big hit. She’s been getting better and better at being around new people and today she participated like a champ. A little boy her age wanted to share with her which is just about the cutest thing, but Baby isn’t quite at that stage yet. I was very proud, though, that she managed to throw the ball as well as kick it in the right direction. Here’s another picture…faces blurred to protect the cute little people who aren’t related to me.

After her nap, we ventured out again to check out our local libraries. We have a choice of two and as a Libra I am incapable of reaching a quick decision.

At the library was the calmest, sweetest dog and Baby actually got close enough to touch the dog (though she stopped short of an actual petting)! This is huge for us. Usually she doesn’t even want to be in the same room as a dog, although she is fascinated by plush dogs and dogs in books. All the way home she kept telling me, “Mama, Woof Woof!”

Just for fun, here’s another pic of my cutie:

Finally, at bedtime tonight, my daughter gave me a glimpse of the caring young woman I hope she will become. We were reading Babar, one of her new favorites, and when we got to the part where Babar cries because he misses his mother (who was shot by the hunter), tears started streaming down my little girl’s face. She pointed to me and said, “Mama!” I hugged her and told her that I was fine and mumbled something about trying my best to avoid getting shot by a hunter.

Then I reminded her that the story had a happy ending and asked her if I should keep reading. I made sure to keep my tone upbeat through the rest of the story as we followed Babar’s homecoming, wedding, and coronation. Her smile grew as we continued the reading and then she burst out in applause as Babar and Celeste rode away in their beautiful balloon.

The End.

A Little Blue Box and Peaches for Mother’s Day!

Millions of peaches, peaches for me Millions of peaches, peaches for free …

On Saturday, Super Dad gave me an impromptu Mother’s Day celebration. We were going to take Baby Diva out for a walk, then we decided to hop in the car to go to a local festival. As we were driving, we realized that what we really wanted were fresh Hill Country peaches. Why not? We drove down to Hill Country and got our peaches–fresh peach ice cream, fresh peaches, and peach chipotle sauce.

Baby Diva enjoyed her first taste of yummy fresh, local peaches.

Then we continued onto one of our favorite local wineries. On the way back, I got Indian Food–my favorite! I was nervous, but the music was not too loud for Baby Diva and just loud enough to cover up happy baby noises and any minor fussing. As it turns out, Baby Diva was so good and two other couples with babies were seated while we were eating.

We put Baby Diva down to bed, and then at midnight I got my Mother’s Day gift–a dragonfly keyring from Tiffany!

Way back in the BC (Before Child) Era, Super Dad and I loved to travel. On a vacation in Hong Kong, Super Dad purchased me an opal dragonfly necklace. Then, we traveled up Victoria Peak and were surprised to find thousands of shimmering dragonflies darting around. Apparently Hong Kong is renowned for its dragonfly population.

Ever since then, the dragonfly has been very special to us. Now, I can carry one with me wherever I go…and it came in a little blue box! I know if Baby Diva were a little older, she would approve. How thoughtful of Super Dad!!!