First Grade Thoughts

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 1 Comments A+ a-

I love Hudson's teacher!  Every so often she'll send small glimpses of what its like to teach her class: stories, a class project, or a small quote from one of the students.  Its obvious that she loves what she does and in turn, has given me a new appreciation for this age group.  If I were a teacher, I'd want first grade too.

Yesterday, along with her weekly update and wishes for a happy Thanksgiving, she sent along a list from her students.  The question posed was: "What are things that we (people) should say more often?"  They came up with eleven things.

1.  You are optimistic. When people are optimistic it makes people feel good!!!!!!!!!!!!

2.  Great Job. That person is doing a great job!

3.  You are a great person. You are the greatest person because they need to hear it.

4.  Yes ma’am. You should say yes ma’am because it makes girls happy.

5.  You are awesome is a good thing. It is the greatest thing to say.

6.  I am glad to know you. I am glad to know you because you are a friend.

7.  You are nice. You are nice because you are my friend.

8.  You look the best. You should say this because they will smile.

9.  I love you. We should say I love you because it can make someone smile.

10.  Thanks for being a great sport. That tells a person they are great at sports.

11.  You are the greatest kid in the whole wide world. If there is a kid in the whole world that is sad, we could tell them they are the greatest.

Numbers four and ten are my favorite.  I'm now further convinced the world should be run by children... For the simple fact that they seek to lift others up, without ulterior motives, prejudices, and not yet jaded by life.  

When I grow up, I want to be a first grader.

To Be Real and Authentic

Monday, November 18, 2013 4 Comments A+ a-

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that my friend, Amy, and I are hosting a photo challenge this month titled “Keeping It Real November”.  It stemmed from a picture she posted on IG last month of her kitchen counter covered in school papers.  And I loved it.  I instantly felt the pressure of being perfect, doing perfect, and portraying perfect melt away.  I was reminded of this post.  And thus, Keeping It Real November was born.


I can’t say whether the photo challenge has been a success or not, how do you measure that?  Success wise?  Amy and I weren’t doing it to gain more followers or become IG famous, because we surely aren’t.  And my account is private, which kind of defeats the purpose of these things, right?  We did it because Amy and I like being real.  We like being authentic.  And maybe we were hoping to connect with other mothers from the internets whose homes look as messy as ours.  Maybe we wanted to shout out into the abyss of pinterest-perfect homes and see if anyone answered back.

There’s something to be said about being real and authentic.  My most popular posts are the ones in which I’m putting myself out there and saying, “Guess what?  This life?  Its hard and messy.  Sometimes I don’t want to do it anymore.  And sometimes I feel like I’m drowning.”  Now I could assume that women read those posts to make themselves feel better about their own lives, and hey, I don’t blame them.  I’d probably do the same.  But if the emails and texts I get are any indication, there’s a lot more women out there saying, “Thank you!  I get it.  And this post makes me feel less alone.”

Don’t get me wrong.  I think the beautiful homes and the delicious food images are needed!  They’re great motivation for decorating, cleaning, and creating.  We all need those outlets for ourselves. 

But please do us a favor and post about some of the real in your life too.  I need to know that in the dark of night, you also have moments of doubt and fear; that you wonder if you’re doing this thing called life correctly.  I want to know if you get take-out for the fourth time this week because you’re not in the mood to cook, or if you spend three days in a row in your yoga pants and t-shirt.  I want to know what makes YOU tick.  Not the public “you” that is portrayed in social media and on your blog.  I already know the public “you” has a gorgeous home, a to-do-die-for wardrobe, and sous-chef like skills.  But that’s just the outside...  What are you not good at?  What do you wish you could do better?  In the middle of the night, when its just you, what are you lying awake thinking about?

Its scary being real.  It calls for a vulnerability that can maybe, possibly be used to find a weakness.  But I can relate to the weaknesses much better than I can relate to the perfect.  And I know a lot of other women who feel the same…  I loved this comment on yesterday’s Keeping It Real November picture.

shawnadovetail - This has been one of my favorite posts so far. I'm under this silent shame that my kids rooms are messy and cluttered and not 'photo worthy' but this is where life happens. I love seeing other moms bare it all, being real, being messy, being honest about the 95% rather than the 5% that is 'photo worthy'. Thank you for doing this challenge. It sounds so simple but it has already meant so much to me #ihaveenoughidoenoughiamenough #lengthycommentersunite

That is why we did it.  Because yes, the homes are pretty, the outfits are gorgeous, and the little ones obedient, but then there’s the rest of us and we want to feel less alone.  Mamas, repeat after Shawna.  You have enough.  You do enough.  You are enough.  And guess what, you’re not alone! 

Our Annual Photo Session

Friday, November 15, 2013 5 Comments A+ a-

Three years ago we had family photos and a maternity shoot taken with my talented friend, Becky.  It was the first, and last time, I’ve done maternity pictures and I’m so thankful that I have those images.  You can view previous years here: 2010, 2011, 2012 pt.1, 2012 pt.2.

Last month we had our fifth photo session with her and I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, she’s spoiled us for other photographers.  Thank you, Becky, they are gorgeous!