My Amazing Hubby

Just wanted to share my husband's amazing idea to encourage our children to help out more around the house. Since our 9 year-old has been doing just that for the last week, he made her a "Get Out of Trouble FREE" card (that can also be redeemed for staying up an extra 30 minutes at night). This just might be the best new invention in our family. Yay for the man that helps me stay sane! You rock, hubby!


Life is a Poker Game: Why I Always Pay to see the Flop

You can’t change the cards you’re dealt, but you can change the way you play the game.

I have no poker face. All of my emotions show on my face and I cannot hide them. A career in acting was NEVER on my list of things to do. I simply can’t lie. I can’t even pull practical jokes on people because I can’t keep a straight face. Because of this, I have to learn to play my game. My other weakness is that I tend to always trust people and feel that most people are basically good. While I feel that is a worthy way to think, I have learned that many people do have a good poker face and will always play the game while bluffing. Some can, and do, lie very well. This continues to be a hard lesson for me. Now my game strategy has to change, but I know that whether you win or lose is determined by your decisions, not the decisions of the other players.

I have also realized that you won’t win every hand or every job or opportunity, but if you don’t play, you’ll never win at all. If you fold every hand before you see the flop you’ll never know how good your hand really was. You’ll never know if that opportunity would have been the one that wins you the millions.

Some are in it to be 1st or nothing. I’m perfectly happy with winning just a few hands here and there – as long as I know I tried.

I look at every opportunity or major conversation as a new hand. Typically, I will pay to see the flop – I want to see how the opportunity plays out. Yes, in life this tends to involve risking something, either money or my time, but if I never paid to see the flop, I definitely wouldn’t win…or learn, or grow. However, I am ok with folding after the flop if it doesn’t end up the way I want. I am ok moving on to the next hand or next opportunity. I know that I don’t have to win every time.

Some feel that if you have to pay, then the opportunity is only worth pursuing if there is a guaranteed payout. If that were the case for me, I wouldn’t have gone to the game in the first place. But I came to play. Let the opportunities abound. Deal me my cards and I’ll see what I can do with them.

Some people can take horrible cards (or horrible circumstances) and turn them into a winning hand. Others can be dealt the bests cards possible (or have everything given to them), and still manage to lose. It’s all about how they play the game. It’s how you read and interact with the other players that determines how far you go and how many friends you have left when you get there.

How do you play your cards?


Today and Tomorrow

~ Written when my 9-year-old was only 3. ~

What can I say? My 3-year-old is smart, quick and can stump me any day with her questions. How did she get this way at such a young age? I’d like to take all of the credit for her personality, but I know there are many factors other than my genes that influence her to be a strong, confident toddler.

While my talkative girl seems to know her mind and is ready to speak it in a moment’s notice, I can’t help but see what her toddler traits my one day bring her.

Today she is : Tomorrow she will be…
An instigator : A leader
Stubborn : Determined
Strong willed : Confident
Opinionated : Charismatic
Messy : Creative
Loud : Vocal
Energetic : Outgoing
Self-reliant : Independent

So, while at times I tend to stress the little points, I know that these toddler traits will lead her in the right direction to adulthood with complete confidence in who she is and what she stands for. Does her ability to fight to make her point and get her way lead to law school? Does her sensitive, caring side that worries when anyone gets hurt lead her to medical school? Or does her incredible ability to copy me with her baby sister and take care of her dolls when they are “crying” lead her to be a multi-tasking mom who can handle anything (well, almost anything)? While any of these or any other direction is fine with me, I hope she doesn’t take the easy road and instead will challenge her own mind, follow her heart and find her dreams. She, her sister and their dad have definitely helped me find mine.


Soccer Fall

Crisp air and blue sky always remind me that Fall and soccer season are in full swing. Screaming fans and the directions from the coach push them on to victory. The team cheers in triumph, congratulates their rival team, and asks the coach, “Where’s my snack?”

Youth soccer is one of my favorite things to watch. I may be a little partial since both of my daughters have played since they were 4 and I have since been forced – loving, of course – into the world of shin-guarded snack-mongers. Moms want their kids to play to have fun. Dads want their kids to play to be the best. Kids want to play to get snacks after the game. Ok, so mine do LOVE playing and never want to be taken out of the game, but the more snacks you bribe them with, the harder they’ll play.

The excited squeals of little girls running around the wide open field chasing each other – for reasons so innocent that they don’t even know what the next few years of hormones will throw at them – are by far some of the best sounds I’ve heard.

Knowing what is ahead for my little girls (coming very quickly for my 9 year-old it seems), I tend to appreciate that they can solely concentrate on one thing and do that one thing with all their passion and no worries of being judged on what they look like or what boys think.

So for the time-being, here are the beautiful thoughts of my little soccer players while they are on the field playing their heart out…
~ Where is the ball?
~ I want the ball. Don’t care that my teammate has the ball, I want it.
~ Get the ball, keep the ball, lose the ball, take the ball back and RUN.
~ Get the ball into the goal. SCORE! I rock!
~ Is the game over already?
~ Where’s my snack?

Innocence – An amazing way to spend a crisp Fall evening.


Go Figure

As a first time mom, I had all the same worries that any other first time mom has. Will I be able to tell what my child needs and when? Will my child be healthy? Will I be comfortable nursing in public? Will I ever be able to get back to that pre-mom shape??? My head flooded with questions that multiplied by the hour. After two and a half years, I feel confident in my ability to know what my child needs and when she needs it. We survived nursing and it was almost a breeze. No, my child is not completely healthy with the multiple bouts of ear infections she has had to deal with. But, as these issues arise, my husband and I are able to conquer each task and are proudly raising a very happy, outgoing and smart little girl. It is the last question of getting back my figure that seems to have gone unanswered.

As I think back to what my figure was in high school, when my (high-school sweetheart) now husband and I first met, I wonder why I hadn’t relished in the days of jumping, flexibility and eating anything without gaining an ounce. With the new metabolism that graciously protrudes itself around my mid-section; I can’t help but feel that those skinny days were just a dream. Of course, I have the pictures on my fridge and my husbands’ memory of cheerleader skirts and skinny legs to remind me that, no, in fact, I have gained quite a bit of weight. And while I have tried many diets, I quit drinking soda pop, and I exercise during my only hour to myself most days, the weight seems to cling to me as much as my daughter does when she has a high fever and an ear infection.

Why can’t I lose this? I have no idea. So, this is what I propose…A new way of looking at what I have “gained”.

~ I have gained a wonderful daughter who looks more and more like me everyday and who, for the moment, loves her mom terribly and wants to do everything she does. I know I’ll miss these days when they go.
~ I have gained the admiration of my husband who does remember to tell me what a great mom I am when I tuck in our little girl in the middle of the night and read “Good Night Moon” for about the millionth time.
~ I have also gained admiration for my husband who, before our daughter was born, would not dance in front of anyone without a nice amount of alcohol in his system. Now they constantly entertain me with their many new dance styles. Let’s hope these days last as long as possible.
~ I have gained a sense of pride at how happy out little family is and I wonder in amazement what Samantha will say and do next.
~ I have gained patience that I never knew was possible. Food dumped on the carpet…no problem…just get the vacuum. Crayon pictures on the wall…well, I guess we did need a little redecorating.
~ I have gained a new kind of love that every new mother gains. It’s not the kind of love you have for your husband, your parents or your siblings. It’s a protective kind of love where you would do anything to keep this little person happy, safe and healthy. This came only with a new addition to our family.

So, while I may have gained a little around the middle, I have also gained many wonderful emotions and memories that take my mind away from the fact that my stomach is now and forever lined with shiny stretch marks. To that, I say…”Go Figure?!”