Tag Archives: love

Spreading The Love

This post is pretty appropriate since it is Valentine’s day tomorrow. But I’m a believer on doing things outside of love day is just as good if not better! Getting a little surprise, where it’s completely unexpected, is such a treat! Sadly it seems that just trying to stay on top of our daily schedules, school, work, etc. I fall short on performing these small acts of kindness. But I am throwing that excuse to the wayside and going to try and be better. Monkey see monkey do, and if I can teach my kids to go above and beyond and be kind to others, I will be one happy mama. This little gesture is so easy and not expensive at all! We were at the grocery store and I had Nola pick out some flowers for her teacher and nurse (we adore our school’s nurse and she’s been so kind to Nola). I then found some encouraging quotes, wrote them on card stock, tied up the flowers, wrapped them up in kraft paper and there you have it! 

I had some dried hydrangeas from our tree so I added them to the flowers to add a warm touch The two quotes I used were: Nurses may not be angels but they are the next best thing and Thank you for your part in my journey. I cut out a rectangular piece of kraft paper and lied it diagonally and folded the bottom section over the bouquet. I then folded over the other side and then back to the other side.  Lastly I tied string around the bouquet and then added some colored ribbon for a pop of color.  Even though I feel in the winter the flower selection is lacking where we live, I think these still came out pretty adorable. Hope this inspires you to make someone’s day sometime soon. It really is a domino effect because doing things for others made our day as well.

A Letter to a Person on Their First Day Here

Remember Missy’s post on Kid President last year? Here’s a new video, an open letter to babies on their first day on Earth. I love this kid and the SoulPancake creators.

“You’re made from love, to be love, to spread love. Love is always louder, no matter what. Even if hate has a bullhorn, love is LOUDER.”

Dedicated to Baby Girl Wegner and all the new little souls out there:

 

 

Baby Girl’s Tea Party Shower

The darling shower invitation poem was written by Cindy's daughter, Kelsey

The darling shower invitation poem was written by Cindy’s daughter, Kelsey

A couple weeks ago, my wonderful boss Cindy and my friend Linda threw us and Baby Girl an incredible Mad Hatter/ Alice in Wonderland-themed baby shower in Seattle. When we revealed to our friends last summer that we were expecting, the first words out of Linda’s mouth were, “I want to throw you a Mad Hatter baby shower!” Cindy offered to help host and the event came together pretty quickly after that.

I’m used to being on the other side of planning, and was so touched to see how hard they worked on pulling all the personal details of the shower together to make it special for us. Cindy has the perfect house for entertaining and everything from the games, mimosa bar, bib station, and food and drinks (and the signage!) was so thoughtfully laid out. Linda even made hats for all the girls! My parents came up for the weekend and we celebrated BGW’s upcoming arrival with our Seattle friends and the people who have become our family here over the past few years.

Baby showers are usually a pretty female event, but I really wanted the shower to be co-ed so Nick’s fellow residents could come. We all got such a kick out of seeing our guy friends decorating bibs at the bib station and it was fun to see them get into the games, like measuring the girth of my belly and Nick’s as we hugged, or guessing the number of jelly beans in the baby bottle. (Guess who guessed the belly girth accurately? That’s right, the boys.)

We asked that instead of signing cards, if guests could come with their favorite children’s book with a note written inside. It was so meaningful for us to read these personal messages afterward, and I know we’ll be thinking of the individual whenever we read a particular book to our daughter in the future. We are lucky to be blessed with such thoughtful and generous friends and family.

Here are a few photos from the day. Thank you to my talented friend, Elyssa Freeman, for the photos!

Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Bib station, beautiful cake- Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Yummy bites, an amazing mimosa bar, and tea of course! Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Games- Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Gifts- Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

 

 

Some Perspective

I came across this op-ed piece in the New York Times this morning and thought it was a lovely read.

Hopefully it will give us soon-to-be parents perspective in the years to come.

The full text is below. Have a great weekend everyone!

The Passion of Parenting

By

I’ve been a single dad for 13 years. As with most single parents — and indeed with most parents — it hasn’t always been easy.

People sometimes say that parenting is the toughest job you’ll ever love. But I believe that parenting is sometimes so tough — and exhausting — that you don’t always remember to slow down enough to love it. Sometimes the love is registered in retrospect.

We jockey to give our children the best without giving them so much that they can’t appreciate what they have. We try to encourage them without coddling them. We lavish gifts upon them while simultaneously trying to nurture grit within them.

Parents walk a thin line between oppositional forces, never knowing if we are truly getting it right, judging ourselves and being judged by others.

And we are inundated by studies and books and advice: do this or that if you want your child to succeed and not spend his or her 20s on your sofa.

I try to tune most of it out. When I feel overwhelmed, I call my mother. She always seems to know what to say. I guess that’s why they call it “mother’s wit.”

When my three children were younger, and the strain of taking care of them seemed as though it would overwhelm me, my mother would tell me what an elderly babysitter once told her when she too felt overwhelmed: “Baby, one day they’ll be able to get themselves a cup of water.”

It was a simple way of saying that children grow up and become more self-reliant and eventually they set out on their own to chart their own course. You won’t always have to wait on them hand and foot.

She told me to remember that the more people a child has who truly loves him or her, the happier that child will be. So I work hard to maintain and expand their circles of love.

She taught me that parenting was a lot like giving a hug: It’s all about love and pressure and there is no one way to do it.

She taught me that sometimes you have to make time for yourself so that you will have energy to give to your children. Allow them to have a pizza night every now and then. An occasional treat won’t hurt them, but working yourself to a frazzle will surely hurt you. Rest.

She taught me that you must allow yourself time to find stillness and so you can be moved by it. Sometimes we are so busy that we forget why we’re busy. We have so many things on our list of priorities that we lose sight of what’s really important.

And she taught me that my children are not truly mine. They don’t belong to me; they’ve simply been entrusted to me. They are a gift life gave to me, but one that I must one day give back to life. They must grow up and go away and that is as it should be.

But as the time with my children in my home draws to a close — my oldest is away at college and my twins are 16-year-old high school juniors — I’m beginning to feel the pains in my chest that all parents feel when their children move away.

I thought that this would be a celebratory time, a time when I would relish the idea of getting back to me, of working late without worry and taking last-minute weekend jaunts.

But I don’t. Letting go is hard for me to do. I must let go, but my heart feels hollow. I can’t imagine me without them.

Lately there are times that I find myself just staring at my children, that kind of look that says, “I see you, really see you, and I love you with an all-consuming love, the kind of love that envelops you and sustains me.” It’s the kind of look that invariably draws from my children a “What? What are you looking at?” They speak the words through the slightest smile, a barely registered one, the kind of smile a teenager manages when they know that they are loved, but feel that they are too old for hugs or tears.

Life gave them to me. I’m preparing myself, as best I can, to give them back to life.

 

The Art of the Care Package

It's Halloween time!

It’s Halloween time!

My first care package was from my future mother-in-law when Nick and I were dating in college at USC. Living away from home for those first few years, I remember the excitement of coming back from class to see a package full of unexpected goodies waiting on the doorstep!

Margie, my ever thoughtful mother-in-law assembled the best care packages and always included something yummy and homemade (cookies, banana bread), seasonal treats (fall: Halloween candy, winter: hand lotion, Christmas ornaments, spring and summer: dishtowels, stationery, etc.), with a handwritten card, photos of our last visit, or a magazine article clipping about a travel destination we’ve talked about, or a fun new restaurant in our area to try. 12 years later, she still sends us packages every season and not only do these carefully prepared boxes make our day, they are a wonderful reminder that someone out there is thinking of us and is taking the time to show us how much they care, even if we are miles apart.

Things for my family have been very busy of late! My youngest sibling, Darlene, recently moved across the country to Orlando, FL to study in a Physician’s Assistant graduate program. It is her first time living out of state and long distance from any family. Chris, my younger brother, is a first-year medical intern at Loma Linda in CA and is working long hours with very little sleep these days. I try to call them once a week to see how they’re doing but very often reach their voicemails because they’re always studying or working! So to hopefully alleviate their stress and take their mind off of work for a little while, I sent them care packages last week. I probably had a lot more fun assembling the packages than they had receiving them! Going online for some help, I found the suggestions of what to send college students, and military members living abroad particularly helpful. I took some ideas (snacks, health and hygiene products, fun items), tried to keep the inside contents on the brink of junky/healthy and customized their packages to include the following:

care package 2

– Snacks (almonds, Goldfish crackers, energy bars, beef jerky)
– Halloween candy and chocolates
– Gummy Vitamins (the only way anyone in their right mind will take their vitamins)
– Homemade pumpkin chocolate chip bread (recipe post here)
– Starbucks gift card (for caffeine fixes)
– Herbal tea
– Lip balm (for Darlene, who always says her lips are dry)
– Men’s Health magazine (for Chris, who loves to work out)

The U.S. Postal Office has a wonderfully convenient Priority Mail Flate Rate Box service that makes shipping these a piece of cake. By mailing a Flat Rate box (which you can pick up at the local post office), you can pay one rate no matter the weight or where the package is going and delivery is usually between 1-3 days based upon where it’s being sent.

It was so fun to hear Chris and Darlene’s surprise when they received their packages. No matter how busy we are, it again reminded me that no gesture is too small as long as there is a little time and thought involved. And there ARE perks to living long-distance!!