Dear Scott,
We are writing a story.
I love drinking coffee with you.
You know how I take my coffee.
I love that you are a talented writer and are dedicated.
I love that you read a bedtime story to our daughter.
You are committed to me.
You are an awesome homeschooling dad.
You are passionate.
When you play the piano it is like you are giving me a gift.
You are succeeding in life.
You are rich.
You have strong morals that do not waver.
I love holding your hand in the car.
You are handsome.
I love cuddles.
I love sharing my dreams with you.
Thank you for giving me a beautiful, precious daughter.
I love that you talk to Trey on the phone everyday.
You are following God and are a good leader and example to me daily.
You are fun and funny.
You are wise.
We are growing old together.
You play with our kids and grandkids.
We are making memories and traditions together.
You are an amazing chef and baker.
You know BIG words and random facts.
You are good at mental math.
You are my own personal exhorter.
I love the way you look at me.
You took away my loneliness.
Even though you are down to Earth, you let me dream BIG.
You care about our marriage; it’s important to you.
You are strong: physically, mentally and spiritually.
You have a good taste in clothes and design.
I appreciate that you don’t ever cut me down, but do a lot of building up.
You forgive me when I mess up and still love me.
I trust in you.
You care deeply about others.
We both love to travel…Road Trips!
When you eat lunch with me, I get excited when I see you coming down the hall.
I am proud to be your wife.
My life is better because you are part of it.
You have taught me a lot about love.
I cannot imagine my life without you.
Thank you for loving me and teaching me about life.
You are everything to me.
I love you.
Your Babycakes,

Love Note to my husband

Wordle: staceLOVESscott


Do You Love Your Body?

I am reading a book that is making me mad. Scott asks why I don't stop reading it. Simple enough, but the curious part of me wants to hear what other garbage/lies/bad advice these two moms can dream up. 101 Ways to Help Your Daughter Love Her Body seems like it would be a helpful tool for the mom of a daughter in today's culture, right? Sort of. I agree with a lot of the ways, but as Tom Dugan would say, "There's just a little bit of doodoo in the brownies."

If you don't get the reference, let me explain: Two 12 year old girls are wanting to see a PG-13 movie and are begging their dad to allow them. They explain how it only has a little bit of cussing and a little bit of nudity. They'll cover their eyes on those parts. So later in the day, he makes brownies and offers some to the girls. He holds back the tray of delectable treats and says, "Wait. Before I give these to you, I want you to know that I put just a tiny pinch of doodoo in this batch of brownies." They're gagging and freaking out and refuse to eat them when Dad makes the comparison between the brownies and PG-13 movies.

Our society is feasting on doodoo brownies every day. In fact, yesterday, when we took Liv and our niece to see Toy Story 3 we saw a prime example of this. I always anticipate the pre-movie animated short, but was unimpressed by Day and Night. Clever idea. But it had a little bit of poop in it. Why does the dopey night figure have to gawk over a sun-bathing beauty? Normalization of lust makes me nauseous. I often wish my life had not been infiltrated with people I love being sexually abused. I wish I didn't know human sex trafficking exists or that I could live blissfully with my head in the sand. But I am sensitive to the these innuendos. Especially when the message is being force-fed to millions of little kids (a.k.a. The Future).

Off the soapbox and back to the book...apologies. The book has common sense advice (that I often slip-up on). For example:
  • Don't obsess about your weight in front of your daughter. Guilty.
  • Don't weigh-in daily; weekly is sufficient. That's part of my morning routine and then I track it on my calendar. Guilty.
  • Don't make negative comments about your body. Guilty.

Okay, so upon further retrospection, maybe I dislike this book because it is convicting.

But here's the part I disagree with. The crap. You are out shopping with your daughter. She chooses an outfit that is inappropriate for her age. You compromise and buy half of the outfit. The skirt, but not the shirt and then proceed to use the school dress code as your authority. No, here is what you do. In the southern wit and wisdom of Celia Rivenbark: Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like A Skank. You, the parent, say, "No, daughter you may not have this outfit. There is not enough fabric for the price or to leave any mystery. Go pick out something else or we can go home." Be the empowered parent.

Another negative habit that I am thankful I do NOT suffer from is comparing your old/flabby body to your daughter's youthful/thin one. Some moms do this, apparently. #13 Understand where your body ends and hers begins. Really? I have, however, compared my legs to my mom's legs and she wins! See...I probably shouldn't say/do that kind of criticizing.

So here lies my inner turmoil, my challenge: I must work extremely hard to be at peace with my body especially in front of my daughter because it is integral to our well-being. So yes Husband I will finish the book, even though it may infuriate me at times (and convict). In the same way, I will live in this world and I will speak out against injustices against women where just a little bit of doodoo is enough to make me vomit out a blog.

Mothers of daughters, any wisdom to impart? How do you show your body some love?


Five Things to Do in a Thunderstorm

1. Nap. This is my favorite idea and how I plan to reward myself for writing a blog.

2. Write. Does thunder inspire your creativity? Remember to unplug your computers though. Brakers are supposed to protect this from happening, but as Scott says, "Ya never know."

3. Cover your ears, curl up in a fetal position, and pray. HaHa. This is exactly what I used to do in my early twenties due to pathological fear of bad weather passed down from the women in my family. Thanks, Mom and Granny. I was forced to hide my fears when babygirl was born so as to break the cycle. Yay me! Faked it 'til I maked it.

4. Light candles in case the power goes out (but blow them out before the nap). Warning: this may induce romantic feelings in your spouse.

5. ________________________

You tell me. What's your favorite thing to do during a thunderstorm?


Was I This Smart in Third Grade?

Lots of the blogs I follow write about their children. I occasionally (not near as much as when she was itty bitty) write in a pink journal about the miraculous and mundane things my daughter says or does. Now that she can read, she absolutely loves reading said journal. And I think to myself..."Self, you should do that more." And demanding as she as, she also tells me I should. Write. More. About her, of course.

So...here are two vocabulary words that my 8 year old has used to impress her doting parents.

My husband and I are on a "diet" called Feel Great in 8. There's a good food list for which you earn +1 points (limit 10) and a bad food list which deducts 2 (no limit, go figure). On Saturday, the day where you honestly get to say, "My diet starts tomorrow," my already-moping husband says, "I guess we don't get to eat donuts for breakfast tomorrow?" This is a Sunday, pre-church family tradition. Sacred. "No, hon, donuts are on the bad list." This piques daughter's interest, "WHAT?? did you say?" I reply, "Momma and Daddy are going on a diet and we can't eat donuts." And she immediately responded, "Well, you don't have to sabotage me!" We just looked at each other and thought, or maybe said aloud, "That's our girl." And yes, she slipped her teenage brother a few bucks and he picked her up two plain cake donuts. No parental sabotage afterall.

Today's Vocab Moment of the Day:
We watched the epic AVATAR. Two hours and 42 minutes. And yes, I know it's PG-13 and she's 8. I never claimed to be mom of the year. Although her first grade teacher, Mrs. Coatney, frequently called me that. Sarcastically. Can't imagine why?

Anyway, after Avatar was over I asked her, "What did you think of Avatar?" And she responds, "It was perilous!" I do a wide-eyed doubletake. "Is that a bad word?" she asks. "No. I am so impressed that you know that word and used it correctly. Where did you hear that?" The National Anthem. Ha! She's amazing! And inspiring.

This blog officially inducts me into the league of parents that blab about their children. I hope I don't sabotage my writing career before I've even published my tenth post.


Promises Emerge in (almost) Tragedy

Have you ever experienced one of those slow-motion moments? Your brain knows what is happening, but your body does not respond at the same lightspeed rate.

I was sitting across the picnic table from my teenage son eating birthday cake. My daughter Liv, not a fan of cake, was the sole jumper in the bounce house. I knew it was windy because the cake was blowing off the plates and the presents' tissue papers were taking flight. But sometimes I am simply stupid and did not make the connection between windy day and the event that would unfold.

The bounce house came unstaked and immediately took flight, flipping through the air twice before I could get my hands on it and pull with 200% of my strength. I was screaming, "Olivia! Olivia!" My voice must have triggered my son's teenage brain: "Sister inside flying object. Must dive in after her."

And this was the moment I knew everything would be ok. Not merely because I could hear Liv's little voice, but my teenager who claims he can't stand his sister, instinctually went to her rescue. This boy, the source of so much stress and heartache, became my hero. The hero.

In that post-adrenalin plummet, I knew I had a promise that I will cling to when the winds of life feel like they make blow me over.

Lessons learned: my son can't stand his sister, but ultimately loves her; don't let your child play in a bounce house on a windy day.