Category Archives: parenting

Lilies for Looper by Rachel Foster Stuart

We had the pleasure and opportunity to  check out a new children’s book, because one of my best friends is the author.  Lilies for Looper, by Rachel Foster Stuart is a very cute, well-written book for young kids.  The illustrations are out of this world!  Mary Belcher did an amazing job of illustrating the creative thoughts and beautiful words in this book.

The book has messages for kids on adventure, taking risk, and exploring the world around you. It’s about feeling wonderment.  It’s a short read, and perfect for young readers.  With pictures that help keep them engaged, it’s a must read for toddlers and kids.  My kids are older, and read chapter books, but even they enjoyed reading it, reading the book to others, and it was fun to watch.

You can win your own copy of Lilies for Looper, just enter to win by leaving a comment to this post — answer this:  When did you recently feel wonderment – please share your experience with us.   Thanks for entering and good luck!  I will pick one winner on July 14. Happy reading!

 Feel free to check out the book here at amazon.com and read more about the author and see coloring pages here at I am My Life Facebook Page.

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For my mom – Mother’s Day 2016

Note: This essay is published at Mile High Mamas for their mother’s day essay contest, but I have permission to share it here too. 

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I love this quote from the Disney© Movie, Odd Life of Timothy Green, “There are 2 people in the world who want you more than anything. They will do their best, they will make some mistakes, and you only get them for a short time, but they will love you more than you can ever imagine….”

I only realized how much my mom sacrificed for us after I became a mom almost 9 years ago. She was 25, and married off to a man she hardly knew (arranged marriages back in the day).  Then, she was immediately setting sail (okay, she flew) to a country almost 10,000 miles away from her home for a new life.  She left behind all she knew, the languages she spoke and the people she loved.  Over the last four decades, she also moved all over the country for dad’s career, and stayed at home for us.  She shuttled us to all our activities and school events.  When we were sick, she stayed up all night worrying and caring for us.  Her love didn’t end when we went off to college.  She was always thinking of us.  Mom sacrificed so much for us.  She’s my hero, not just this Mother’s Day but every day.

This mother’s day is especially special for us.  Mom recently started a journey that will be both difficult and have its triumphs too.  Mom is private about her life so I won’t share more but we know she will do great! She is the strongest person I know because of all she did for us and all she sacrificed.  Only a strong person can do that! My mom is unique and special, and loved by all who meet her.  While I may not have mirrored everything she did, I am better off because of the choices she made for us.  This mother’s day, I want her to know that she is my hero.  Because of her sacrifices, I am here, living in a country with amazing opportunities.  I am all that I am because of what she taught me and how she cared for me.  I have her personality, her smile, and people often mistake me for her when I call them.  There is a saying that “we live on through our children.”  Well, if this is true, mom, I have lived and breathed you for 43 years, and will keep doing so as long as God allows.

Thanks for being one of two people who wanted me more than anything and doing your very best.  Your children and grandchildren are proof that you do more than your best.  Thanks for making mistakes along the way.  We made better choices as a result of them.  God has given you to me for 43 years and I pray he loans you to us for much longer.  After all, he still wants you to teach your grandchildren a few things we didn’t want to learn.   Finally, thanks for loving me more than anyone can ever imagine.  Now that I am a mom, I actually don’t have to imagine.  I only hope I can be half the hero for my children that you are for us.

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Milestones and Memories- Princess Party Fun!

20150222_121255Look who turned 6?  It’s hard to believe our little one turned 6 last weekend, and we decided to pull out the stops and held the party at our home.  Sure, the Queen (mom) was nervous about a party at the house, and yes, we had some pretty crappy weather for it, but we pulled it off.  And the princess was very pleased and happy with her party.  Hailed as the “best party ever,” I can definitely say it went very well.

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We called on Wands and Wishes in Denver, and were not disappointed with the lovely Princess Aurora as Sleeping Beauty.  She has an amazing voice, personality, and handled all the princesses we sent her way with grace and kindness.  She also led dances and read the girls a story.  The options are endless, but it was perfect for our little princess and her friends.  Milestones do not come around often, so it is nice to celebrate them with style and with all your friends and family.  Memories are cherished, and this event was no different.  Our little princesses had a grand time at our Palace.IMG_1071

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Milestones and Memories- Her First Sleepover

I am still up, wondering if she is okay.  Hopefully she is warm and comfortable.  Did she get enough to eat at dinner at her PJ party, and is she well hydrated?  Gosh,  I hope she brushed her teeth, and has a pillow to rest her beautiful head.  She is just seven years old, and here I am completely freaking out about her first sleepover.  Sure, many kids do sleepovers a lot sooner, but we all have different comfort levels.  This one is huge and almost her whole grade (girls only) is invited and in attendance.  Why am I so worried?  All the phones are on, and I rarely keep ringers on at night.   I slept, but kept waking up a few hours to look at the phone.  No missed calls or texts.  I am a worry wart – runs on my side of the family, but hopefully she is fine.  Her sister missed her too and woke me up at 6 am, asking when we’d go pick her up.

I couldn’t help but wonder, “is this how it will be when she goes out on a date, out with friends, or worse… leaves for college?”  Now I know and understandimage why a friend of ours keeps all his ringers on at night, since both his girls live away from home now.  I am not ready for all that , but thankfully, have plenty of time to get ready.  The best part is knowing that these little steps prepare us for the big ones that will be coming her way and ours.  I may never be ready for what it is to come, and may not sleep again, but it is good to know that all these seemingly smaller milestones and memories prepare me for what is to come — the day we send her out into this world.  Dramatic, huh?  Nah, I am just a mom, and this is who I am.  But, what a fun milestone this was for us.

She is home and she is fine, of course.  She had a great time and enjoyed time with her classmates.  Many of the girls were doing their first sleep over last night, so they shared that in common.  She didn’t even remember she had a family, except, of course, she missed her sister whom she is the closest to.  If she had her druther, she would have taken her along too.  Oh boy, I am not ready for an empty house just yet, not even for a night.

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I hope they say

IMG_9552* This post was written for Mother’s Day but alas, here we are a week later….

When I am gone and have left, I hope they say, “she was a good mom.” That is the only thing I hope they say.  Yes, I am ambitious, I am driven, I am successful in my career, and my profession, and I do so much.  Yes, I have made rank, earned a few accolades, received some awards, and traveled to far away lands.  I am told I am smart, motivated, driven, blah, blah, blah.  I am not sure if this is true.  But, I do not know if any of that matters.  So many women have made so many more sacrifices, so many women have done far more to make a difference in this world, to change the world.  I am not defined by my work and what I do, rather, I am defined by the choices I make, and the lives I have helped create, and the world I leave them behind in.  The world in which they can make a difference, the world I hope they can change, and ultimately, the world they can leave behind better than they found it.  This is what I hope they say.

I am defined by so much more.  I hope they say, “she was a good mom- she left behind these people who ultimately made a difference, who made the world a better place.”  Out of all the things they can say about me and who I am, I hope that is what they say.  Being a mom day in, day out, 24/7; nothing compares to this most important job in the world.  And, moms, don’t fret, you don’t have to be stay or work at home to know what a difference you are making daily.  Frankly, those who juggle the most often make the biggest impact.

Happy Mother’s Day 2014!  “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi

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