Tag Archives: Daughter

Not a Single One…

I am so grateful for this man…

…a man who has been by my side through everything.

Katie recently had her 3-year check up and Craig was there.

He has always been there…

He didn’t miss a single prenatal appointment with any of our three pregnancies.

He never missed a single of the 837 classes we took while pregnant…he even attended the breastfeeding class, as he recognized that his support would likely be what got me through those early days of nursing.

He has been at each and every one of the kids’ appointments with the pediatrician.

His committment to our family and his desire to be there for all of the moments, big and the small, fill me with love and gratitude.

Thank you, Craig. I truly love you.

This post is linked to the Thank You Journal at Alli ‘n Son.

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Beautiful Reluctance

An Open Letter to Those Who Are Quick to Label:

Our daughter Katie is the most observant person I’ve ever known.  As a newborn, we were amazed by just how alert she was and how she would track anything that was going on around her.  As she has grown, she has only continued to surprise with us with all that she catches on to.  Honestly, we can slip very little by her.  Her sparkling hazel eyes take everything in.  She picks up on nuances and subtleties that many adults miss.   

She is also rather reserved.  This is her personality. She watches and tries to figure everything out before she will participate in most activities.  Once she understands how things work, she joins in and giggles and acts silly like all kids. 

Until then?  You have to earn her trust.  Let her get to know you and give her room to figure you out.  When she decides that you are someone she is comfortable around, her heart opens up and she is generous with her smiles, her laughter, and her affection.

In the meantime, please don’t refer to her as shy. 

Don’t label her shy. 

Don’t ask us in front of her if she is shy. 

Please, don’t even use the word shy around her.

Here’s why:

The labels that we place on children impact how they come to see themselves. If we tell her that she is shy, she will soon tell herself that she is shy, and that won’t do. If she believes herself shy, she might possibly hide behind that label, rather than continuing to observe until comfortable and then participate.

Being reserved is not a character flaw.  She is not defective. 

So instead of calling her shy, perhaps you could say that she is discerning?  Or observant? Or reserved?  Or reluctant.  You may even call her hesitant. 

But, I would prefer that you just call her Katie. 

She is lovely and she is our daughter.

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Does Google Make You Real?

I grew up in a time just prior to the Internet explosion.
If you needed to gather information, you relied upon the library, encyclopedias, and microfiche.  I was taught the Dewey Decimal System and how to use a card catalog.

Now we just Google our questions. It’s remarkable what you can find on the Internet. The most obscure information is at your fingertips. We can even Google ourselves.

There is nothing that you can’t find if you search for it.

Or so I thought.

The other night, in a moment of sadness, I Googled my father.

I typed his name in and hit enter.
Nothing.

I put his name in quotations and hit enter.
Nothing.

There was no mention of his murder.
There was no record of those he left behind.
There was no mention of  his parents’ tears, their baby boy taken from them.
There was no mention of his siblings, devastated by their loss.
There was no mention of his widow, left to raise her two-year old daughter alone.
There was mo mention of me, a fatherless child.

I spent a day when I was a young adult, reading everything I could dig up about him at the local library and newspaper.

He was real and he did exist. The articles told in great detail the story of his murder and the heartbreak of the family left behind in its wake.

I know the story.

Why does it bother me that I can’t Google him? Why do I want so badly to read it all again, whenever I need to remind myself?

Why would it make him seem more real if I could see his name returned by an Internet search?

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Reason #63 Why Having a Preschooler Rocks


This morning we were running errands when Katie spotted a huge fountain and wanted desperately to get closer.

We didn’t have a ton of time to finish our shopping before we had to hurry home for lunch and naps, but she asked so nicely that I indulged her.

We sat and watched the fountain for 15 minutes and she laughed with glee every time the water shot up.

There was no errand more important that seeing how happy that little bit of time in front of a fountain–a fountain that I’ve looked right past more times than I can count–made her .

Lunch was delayed, naps were late, but we were happy.

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Going Home

Kicking off Small Moments Mondays, a series of guest posts focusing on the little moments in life, the moments that can be so easily taken for granted if we don’t slow down to savor them, is Kris from Pretty All True.

If you’re really lucky, you meet a handful of people in life with whom you feel an immediate connection.  These people are a gift, whether it’s because they make you feel comfortable, encourage you to stretch yourself, help you to laugh, or offer you tremendous kindness that simply envelopes you.  Kris embodies all of these qualities and I can’t believe my good fortune for having met her.

One of the things that I admire most about Kris is the way that she fully embraces each moment of life.  Perhaps as a result of a childhood that offered her far more than her share of heartache or because of the beautiful little family that she has built, Kris savors life in a way that I truly admire.  When I was in the early stages of brainstorming this idea, she immediately came to mind, as she, though sarcastic and quick witted, appreciates the beauty in her life.

Though the first thing I noticed about Kris was her amazing sense of humor and her ability to tell stories that pull you in and make you feel as though you are somehow a part her world, she has a quiet tenderness and ability to make you feel as though you are important and loved that continually surprise me.

Thank you, Kris—for guest posting, for sharing your story, and for being my friend.  I am grateful for you.

Here’s her reflection on a small moment from her life…

Going Home – by Kris

Some of my saddest memories from childhood are of going home.

My home was broken and jagged and filled with sharp shattered bits of unexpected pain and sorrow. It was my reality. And most of the time? There was just acceptance.

And so, at the end of the school day . . . at the end of a trip to the grocery store . . . at the end of a trip to the library . . . I would just go home. There was sadness and fear, but also a sense of inevitability. Resignation. This was my life. This was my family. This was my home.

I would go home.

There were a few times in my childhood when I left our home for more than just a day. It didn’t matter where I had gone . . . the contrast between this other place and my home sometimes seemed more than I could bear. My heart would ache with longing for this other that I could not have.

Then, always, there was a going home.

And as I stared out of the window on the journey back home? My throat would clench so that I couldn’t breathe. The pain was so tight and jagged it felt as though I was swallowing glass. The increasingly familiar landmarks would blur before my eyes.

Going home.

Sigh.

A long time ago.

Today? I drove my daughters to a nearby state park and we rode our bicycles through the luscious humid green. Rode until we were exhausted and sweaty . . . in an enormous loop back to where we had parked the car.

Climbed in.

“Daddy’s making lunch for us, right?” asks my older daughter as she clicks her seatbelt.

My younger daughter answers happily, “Yes! He said he was going to make hamburgers on the grill!”

I start the car. I crank the air conditioning. I switch on the radio.

I drive down the tree-lined path out of the park.

We haven’t lived in Oregon very long, and I still get confused about directions. So I sit at the park exit, trying to remember if I am supposed to turn to the right or the left. Honestly? I have no idea. Everywhere I look, everything is just green.

Hmmmmm.

The GPS in our car? I love it. My favorite thing? There is this helpful touch-screen prompt, and when you select it? The car will give you directions home from wherever you happen to be at that moment.

And so I push it. The little prompt that says GO HOME.

I love going home. Every single time.

And that GO HOME prompt. It makes me smile. Every single time.

So I turn to the right.

“Ready for lunch, girls?”

“Yes!” My daughters yell in unison, “Let’s go home!”

It’s a small thing, really . . . it’s just going home.

But for me? Every single time?

I love to go home.

Stop by and visit Kris at Pretty All True.  Take some time to poke around, read a little of this and a little of that, and wait, some of this too.

Sprinkled in here, and here, and there are posts that take your breath away and stay with you, challenging you to truly think and appreciate life.

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My Would-Be Husband

Goodbyes are always so difficult for me.  My aunt and uncle have been visiting for the past ten days and left this morning.  We live on the opposite coast from my family.  Time spent with them is precious and slips through my fingers every time.

I was two years old when my father died.  Growing up without a father is life defining.

When you are a child without a father, you see them everywhere.  Holding hands with their children, teaching them to ride a bike, tossing them in the air.

When you are a child without a father, you ache for what you don’t have.

Your heart breaks when you hear the term “Daddy’s Girl,” as those words will never be used to describe you, no matter how much you wish it were so.

My uncle, my godfather, was just a teenager when I was born.  He was so incredibly cool and handsome; I was sure that I would marry him.  I followed him everywhere and knew that he’d marry me just as soon as I could convince him how wonderful a plan it was.

We watched football together, he taught me to ride a bike, he took me for rides in his car, he played his Foreigner and Styx albums (yes, albums!) for me.  I adored him.

All this time, he was giving me the one gift that no one else truly could.  He was being my dad.

His kindness, compassion, and presence are gifts that have lasted me a lifetime.  They are gifts that ultimately led me to my husband, as I knew that I could settle for no one less wonderful.

What a lucky woman my aunt is!  I sure hope she’s enjoying my guy.

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