Category: Children (page 1 of 2)

Who is this kid?

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girls diving boards

Hello Friends!

I hope you have been enjoying your summers.   I have been absent from my keyboard as I have been soaking every minute up that I can with the family.  I find myself pausing often to have a quiet moment of gratitude for the riches in my life. Those riches are not measured in material things, they are my loved ones.  I am so blessed.

My youngest, Ciara has never been an avid swimmer.  For some reason, she hated getting her face wet.  As a baby, she would scream and wail during bath time.  She failed swim tests.  Nothing seemed to help with this.  Lessons, her big sister, me; no one could get through to help her over come her fears.  She constantly said she couldn’t do it.  I became resolved to the idea that she might never be confident in the water.

Until this week!

CiCi and I had spent a lot of time practicising her swimming in our backyard pool, at the beach and this summer we discovered our local out door swimming pools.  The first hurdle was the swim test so that she could go in the deep end.  After her first visit, she failed the swim test and declared “I am NEVER going to pass so I am NOT going to take it again”.  The next trip to the pool, she practised with me all afternoon.  I knew she could do it but her mind was set on “CAN’T”.   FInally, 5 minutes before the end of the rec swim, CiCi told me she was ready.  She passed her test in the first try.

The next time we came to the pool, CiCi was proudly donning her deep end bracelet and I was inwardly nervous.  I told her sister to keep a close eye on her whenever I wasn’t in the pool.  My worry was for nothing as she impressed me with her strength.

This past weekend, she told me she wanted to try the diving board.  I knew she had come a long way this summer but I was worried.  Parents cannot get to close to the diving area and so she would have to swim all the way across to me before she could have a break.  After a few false starts, me inwardly freaking out while telling her she CAN do it, she was finally ready to take the plunge.  She pranced to the end of the diving board, looked at me for a thumbs up and then her sister on the diving board next to her and together they jumped.  My heart stopped as she hit the water.  My pulse raced as she surfaced.  I realized I had been holding my breath the entire time.  The ear to ear grin as she swam towards me with little effort melted my heart. She DID it!

Since then, I have not been able to keep her out of the deep end.  She has been diving off the diving boards, off the side of the pool, under water to find things and doing laps!  LAPS!  The kid who could not swim 5 feet without stopping at the beginning of the summer is doing laps in the deep end.

To say I am proud would be a grave understatement.  I am overflowing with love and amazement at this kid.  She just needed to get out of the world of “CAN’T” and dive into “CAN”.  I knew in my heart she could do these things.  She just could not work through her negative self talk until it all just ~clicked~.  I am so thankful I was there to witness it.

I hope you can learn from CiCi’s story.  Are you living in the world of “CAN’T”?  What is it that you REALLY want to accomplish but continue to tell yourself you won’t?  I challenge you, my friend, to take the plunge!  Once you do, it will all ~click~!

Spread Love,

M

 

Love My Girls

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Hi Friends! Here are my girls.  I have always adored them however this weekend I found myself saying quite a few times that I love this stage with them.  They are 8 and 10 and I can’t help but enjoy how independent they are becoming.

Today was a great day with my girls.  I got one on one time with both of them.  Ciara and I went grocery shopping where I was thinking how nice it is to have company and help running errands.

Sades and I went for a bike ride and played volleyball in the backyard.  I was impressed that she could keep up with me.  It is a lot of fun actually getting to play rather than running around making sure the girls don’t hurt themselves or each other.

We went to the movies with Ciara’s friend and his mom to see Rio 2, which was such a cute movie.  His mom and I were talking about how nice it is that they are now able to go to the bathroom when we are out and about without needing us to follow.  Ciara and her friend now can ride bikes to each other’s houses (no roads to cross since he lives just around the block).  He escorts her home every time which I think is so cute, he is such a gentleman.

My girls were adorable babies and irresistible toddlers.  I have loved every stage of their development but I would be lying if I said I missed the days of diapers and total dependance.  With less time spent taking care of their every need, I feel as if I have invested that time in getting to know the little people they are becoming and, so far, I am very proud of what I see!

Every stage has it’s pros and cons, I always like to focus on the pros.  I have seen a lot of blogs and articles lately where moms are declaring that their children are not their universe and therefore will not grow up to be spoiled and entitled. There are websites and communities for women who share stories of how they wish they had never become wives and mothers. I can respect their stances on parenting and my hope would be that they can respect mine.

My kids know that they ARE the centre of my Universe.  I adore them, I am their number one fan.  That does  not mean I don’t discipline them.  I also teach them to care about others and that just because they are the centre of my Universe does not make them the centre of everyone’s Universe.  I let them experience failures.  I do not bubble wrap them literally or figuratively.  When they experience problems, I am their shoulder to lean on but I don’t fix it for them.  Part of parenting is letting them experience disappointment and learn from bad experiences.  My girls know I waited a  long time for them.   I love them wholly and without conditions or limits.  Everyone should have at least one person in their life who loves them that much.  Parenting is tough but I love being mom.

If you have kids,  what stage have you enjoyed the most?

Spread Love,

M

 

***after a talk with husband about this post, I feel I should clarify some things.  When I became a parent, I   did not sacrifice my identity.  I am still me and I do take time for myself and my marriage.  I still have my own interests although my kids are adopting some of them and it is fun to share these interests. To me, a Universe is made up of many many things (in this case being a wife, a woman, my career, my hobbies, my friends and acquaintances) and the centre would be the heart.  At my heart is my kids and therefore they are the centre of my Universe.***

Frozen Family Fun

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Frozen.  Yes that pretty much describes the past few days in Southwestern Ontario.  Frozen.

Hello friends.  I hope you are keeping warm and toasty on this crisp January day!  I understand that temperatures are colder than normal not just in my world but all over Canada and the US. I wish I could have a meteorologist explain to me what this all means.  Weather patterns seem to be getting crazier and less predictable.

This latest cold snap resulted in our family being housebound an extra couple days as the girls had not one but 2 snow days in a row.  Our home was unfortunately struck down with the flu over the holidays so housebound was fine with us as we all snuggled in our pj’s and stayed warm by the fireplace.

Temperatures in our neck of the woods plunged as low as -41 with the wind chill.  Again I am so not a meteorologist so I cannot explain it all, though I do have the general idea.

During this deep freeze, I had time to reflect.  One morning I had a fabulous nap with Ciara the ENTIRE morning.  Another afternoon, Sades taught me all about Minecraft.  We would gather under one big soft blanket and watch our favourite movies and shows.  We were not worried what time it was or day for that matter.  We just enjoyed the now.  I mean truly enjoyed it.  Had we not been so ill, I am sure we would have gone sledding in all that glorious snow.

The night the storm started, I opened my front door and stepped out on the porch.  I love that magical feeling when there is a new snow.  Watching these beautiful white flakes dance their way to the ground, glittering like a zillion diamond chips.  In those calm moments, I felt thankful to have this experience, grateful that my family had a warm safe home to live in and unbelievably blessed to have such an amazing family.

I was truly overwhelmed with emotion.  No matter where life takes us, we are a family that sticks together and loves to the moon and back.

In 2014, I plan to continue my practice of putting my book down, delaying my chores and not over-scheduling us in favour of family time.  Honestly, on those horrible, terrible no good days we all have, coming home to my loves makes everything better.

Friends, join me in putting your family first.  Enjoy a lazy Saturday morning watching cartoons with the kids.  When they want to show you something they have been working on, put aside whatever is occupying your mind and really listen to them.  A few things will happen:  1) your children will feel heard and valued 2) you will likely learn something cool about them and 3) you will  lay a foundation now so that they know they can turn to you when life turns topsy turvy as they get older.

One of my favourite lines in Cheaper By the Dozen 2 “there is no 1 way to be a perfect parent but there are a million ways to be a great one”.

Spread Love (especially to your family),

M

A Lesson In Mommyhood

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1385160_10152022377166802_1651234960_nHello Friends!  We have a lot of catching up to do!  So much has been happening, including getting Norwalk which has kept me away from my keyboard for a week,  UGH.   None of that is consequential at the moment though.  Last night I learned something very important.  Last night was one of the best and worst nights I have had in a long time.

After a week of each of us taking turns being sick, we were all looking forward to Friday!  This Friday was especially exciting because the girls were getting to sing the National Anthem with their school mates at the London Knights Game.  Ciara had never been to a hockey game so I was a little nervous about if she would last the entire game or not.  It turned out that was the least of my worries.

Everything started out great.  The kids were pumped and as we stood outside waiting, the excitement of 30 or so Grade 3 – 8’s was absolutely contagious.  One sweet girl told me she was so nervous.  I told her to go out there and have FUN.  I even got called “the cool mom”.  I have to admit I enjoy being the cool mom.  I have high expectations of the girls and their friends as far as behaviour goes and they have learned I do not mess around about that.  They seem to like that.  They also like that I can joke with them and have fun on their level when it’s appropriate.  Later in the night, I would feel anything but cool.

The kids got out on the ice and belted out “O Canada” with all the passion and heart they could muster.  It was fantastic.  Tears sprang to my eyes as I thought of how I have seen so many of those children grow up from toddlers to tweens.  I was filled with pride.  I thought this was the start of a perfect evening.

First period went by and both girls and their dad seemed to be enjoying the game.  Then intermission hit.  Ciara started to sass her dad because he offered to buy her a drink but everything offered was a no.  She started to petulantly stamp that little foot as her little lips formed a pout she could trip over her and smoke came out of her ears.  Ok there was no smoke but it was bad.  I told her she could chose to have nothing then and told her to come with me.  She did, reluctantly.  Then we ran into a friend who she adores and wanted to say hi to.  All of a sudden in the middle of chatting, Ciara turns to me and crossly states “I didn’t want what we had for dinner”.  I said “but you ate it” This turned into a totally irrational argument and I waved my friend and her husband away so they could enjoy the fact their children are now grown up and not prone to public displays.  I tried to make sense of the whole thing.  I tried to hear her out but she was having none of it and then something happened.

She hit full on rage.  She started stomping and yelling and crying.  If I tried to hold her hand she screamed “YOU’RE HURTING MEEEEEE”.  At this point I was starting to lose my cool “Ciara you cannot say I am hurting you when I am not.  I am trying to help you.  If you say I am hurting you, that security guard is going to call the police who will have a lot of questions for mom”.   I was totally mortified.  I told Norm he was taking her home.  Most moms will know what happened next.  I received the pleas that she would be good.  The guilt trip that this was her first hockey game.  Promises she was done and she was oh so sorry.  I looked her right in the eye and said “Ciara, you have broken my trust.  I am extremely disappointed.  You are going to go home right now and hopefully next time you will remember this and it won’t happen again”  After a few more exchanges and allowing her to hug her dad goodbye, my husband took Ciara home.

I waited until they were out of sight and I went to the bathroom and cried.  I let it out.  I was humiliated.  This giant scene happened in front of the other parents and teachers of the school.  Thoughts that have plagued mothers everywhere raced through my mind “They will think I am a bad mom” “Maybe I shouldn’t have sent her home, it was her first game and her friends are here”  “Maybe I AM a bad mom”.

Next, I took a deep breath and walked back to my seat.  Sades could see I had been crying.  She looked at me and told me I am a great mom and I should not feel bad.  My ex told Sades she should follow my example when she is older and told me I did the right thing.  Norm texted me to let me know he had gotten Ciara home and everything was fine and he was proud of me for sticking to my guns, that he knows that is real love.

I am thankful I stayed instead of going home.  Sadie and I had a blast and the Knights won!  More importantly, Ciara learned that just because her behaviour was inappropriate does not mean that everyone has to miss out on the fun.

Something changed in me last night.  I have never tried to be the girls’ friend instead of parent but sometimes I have eased up when I should have stuck to my guns because it was easy.  I realized last night that easing up is not loving my kids the way they deserve.  Being consistent and delivering consequences as promised is the way to love them.  Easing up because it is “easy” is lazy and dangerous.  I want what is best for my kids and they deserve nothing less.

I did not tell you this story to shame my daughter, she is 7 and had been sick all week, acting out at times is normal.  I did not tell you this to make you think I am a great mom, I make tons of mistakes as we all do but I hope that the love I give them outweighs that.  I told you this story because it was a changing point for me.  If you find yourself in a similar spot, I hope you remember this and know you are not alone.  It is ok to break down after you’ve had to be the bad guy, just do it after the punishment has been followed through.

By the way, Ciara may have given me the cold shoulder all night but she woke up bright eyed and snuggly, wanting her “mama love”.

Being a hard ass when necessary does not mean you don’t care about your kids, it means you love them enough to parent them, even when it is not fun.

Spread Love,

M

Full Moon

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full-moon-worm-moon-008Hello Friends!  So tonight after taking the girls to karate, I had to run some errands.  As we walked through the grocery store, the kids started acting wacky.  They were giving each other piggy back rides, touching everything in sight and they kept going off in the opposite direction of where we needed to go.  15 minutes felt like 2 hours and we left the store with me feeling frustrated and grumpy and wondering what the heck was wrong with my usually fairly well behaved kids.

Then I looked in the sky.  Staring down at me in all of it’s gigantic glory was a full moon!  As we continued about our errands, the kids got wackier and wackier and mommy got grumpier and grumpier.

When we got home, the guilt set in.  I felt terrible for being short with them but their behaviour was absolutely not okay.  The whole thing wore me out.  The girls looked up at me and apologized.  They suggested a quiet night with snuggles on the couch.  Ciara fell asleep before I could even get to the snuggling and Sades even turned the tv down to help my headache.

The full moon can make us all crazy but I have found the cure!  Snuggles!  Take a breather and snuggle up and you are bound to feel a whole lot better.

All of the frustration of this evening has melted away and I am once again convinced that my girls are amazing, wonderful little people to whom I am proud to be MOM.

Do you get frustrated when life gets hairy? That’s ok.  We are all human and everyone loses their patience sometimes.  It is important that when that happens, we apologize and find a way to make things right again.  I suggest snuggles.

Spread Love (and snuggles),

M

Parents and being thankful

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1150921_447778882006242_754823916_nHello Friends!  How are your weekends going? It is definitely a crisp fall weekend here in Southwestern Ontario.  I am hoping to get the family out to the apple orchard next weekend.  It is a family tradition that we missed last year thanks to the weather destroying our apple crops.

I saw this illustration a few weeks ago and it spoke volumes to me.  We live in such a self centered society, especially when I was growing up.  We asked things of our parents all of the time.  We didn’t think about money of course.  It was wanting to fit in.  In my day it was about have a real cabbage patch doll, coconut joe sweaters and real converse, not the knock offs that you could get for $5.  There was no thinking about the fact that spending $40 on a sweater would lead to less groceries or putting bills off that needed to be paid.  My mom never talked to me about money.  I knew we did not have a ton of it and i tried not to complain about “what I didn’t have”.

Now that I am an adult, I realize there were probably a number of times where she sacrificed just to give me something I wanted.  I know this because I do it for my kids when I can.  I do strive to give my girls the things in life I didn’t have but for the most part they aren’t the material things.

I am involved in the school, supervising field trips and knowing their teachers and friends.  I sit down and go over their homework with them.  I try not to be too busy to play or “watch this” or snuggle on the couch when they want me to.  I try to keep my promises. I apologize and explain why if I have to break one.

I hope when they look back over their childhood as adults, they will see that I would have given them the shirt off my back and that I did all I could be be involved in their lives.  I know I am far from perfect but I do have the best intentions. I want them to know they are loved.  I want them to know that even when I lose my patience, I never stop loving and believing in them.  My love is unconditional.  They are great kids, I am a very lucky mom.

They may not have name brand everything and all the latest gadgets but hopefully they learn that none of that is truly important.  Hopefully they know that I have loved them with all that I have and all that I am.

Squeeze those kids tight today.  Remember that the most important things you can give them, money just cannot buy.  Give them your time, your attention and your love.

Spread Love,

M

 

Good Routines

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Hi Friends!  I hope your days were good today as the kids headed back to school.  A whole new year with lots of change and potential in the air! Here are my darling daughters all set for grade 3 and 5.  Notice Sades is rocking awesome Perry the Platypus shoes!  I loved seeing my Facebook flooded with pictures just like this of all my friends’ kids, set to embark on another school year full of adventure.

My girls are very happy with the lot they were dealt this year.  Sades is excited to be a junior now and her teacher is funny which pleases her but also has high standards judging from his letter home which makes this mom happy.  Of course, she is with her BFF’s which makes her extra excited!

Ciara got the teacher I wanted her to have.  The same teacher that taught Sades in grade 3.  She also has expectations of her students and rewards them in fun ways that make the kids want to please her.  An added bonus was that it is a grade 3/4 split.  She was in a 2/3 split last year and really enjoyed the opportunity to learn more.  She got split from her BFF but has some other great friends in class.

As we set back to school, this mama is wanting to do things right this year.  I want to get the girls – and myself – into good habits quickly.  I am having them pack their backpacks and lunches the night before and choose their outfits so the morning is easier.  They know now to look up the weather network so they can choose something comfortable.  While they pack their lunches, I am now going to pack mine.  I have spent too much time running like crazy in the morning and out the door with no food leaving me to buy something less healthy at lunchtime.  I need to set the example.

Once they are home, they are to come in, empty their lunches, take out any notes and planners for parents to sign and sit down to do any homework they have.  If they don’t have homework, they can read.  Norm is refereeing this as it will be in the time between school ending and them picking me up at work.  When I get home, my job is to read the notes, sign the planners and check their homework.

If this is done right, that leaves us the evening for karate or friends to come over or just to relax as a family.  After dinner we start all over again.

I am really hoping we keep this routine up.  It looks like it will fit into our schedule perfectly and help things run smoothly from day to day.

Do you have a routine? Are you working on starting some good habits this school year?  I would love to hear any tips and tricks you use to keep on top of your busy lives!

Spread Love,

M

Determination

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Hello Friends! This week marked a very proud moment in my family.  My oldest daughter Sadie has been taking karate since she was 6.  From her first class, she loved it.  When Sades was 7, she started at a new dojo.  Her first one just was not a good fit for her and someone highly recommended I take her to London Shido-Kan Karate Dojo and Larry Bowlby.  I have watched Sadie blossom under his teaching into a confident, talented and determined student.  Watching her focus amazes me. Here she is with her trophy from the yearly tournament in February.

sadesWhile Sades was in class, often Ciara would come and watch.  Since she was always interested in dance, I never thought she would want to join in.  One day she said, “Mama I want to try karate with Sades”.  I spoke to Sensei and he agreed to give her a trial run.  She was only 6 at the time and after a month or two, she said it wasn’t for her.  Never being one to force my children into anything, I agreed to let her stop.  When I talked to Sensei about it, he said to give her the break and she might come back to it.  I have some rules for the girls about anything they participate in.   They are to make sure they are serious about it and they have to try it out for at least a month (you can’t make a decision after just one class). Finally, I tell my girls that if they are not going to focus and work in class, they need to sit out.  I feel with any sport/activity, the instructor is dedicating their time and expertise to teaching the children and they deserve the child’s full attention.

Because of my views on how to behave in class, Ciara sat on the sidelines for quite awhile.  She watched kids who started after she did advance past her level.  Late last fall, Ciara wanted to rejoin the class.  Sensei was not only willing to let her back in class but very supportive.  In February, Ciara competed in her first tournament and she did very well for her level.  We were proud and I told her afterwards that that is what happens when you apply yourself.

This June, Ciara again took a break but it was relatively short, only a month.  Sensei never gave up.  If she came with us to class, he would ask if she wanted to participate.  He always reminded her and me that she was welcome back any time.

In July, Ciara returned to classes.  This month, she attended every class she could and she worked HARD.  Sensei discovered she enjoyed teaching the newer kids things she already knew so he used her to demonstrate and help the newer students.  Her confidence grew, as did her happiness.  Sensei has a system so students can see when they are eligible for a belt upgrade.  They have attendance cards that get stamped each class if the student remembers to pull it out.  Once a card is full, the student is eligible for a belt test.  This does not guarantee them an upgrade, they need to show technique and meet the requirements but without the time committed, you cannot be graded.  This was a great tool for Ciara.  As she saw she was getting close to a full card, she attended every class, she focussed harder and showed determination to reach her goal.

Wednesday, that goal was achieved!  Ciara earned her yellow belt and her dad, step dad, Sensei and I are all so proud of her!

cici yellow beltWhen she watched the video her dad made of her receiving her yellow belt, Ciara got teary.  She said “Mama, I am so proud of myself”.  Ciara told me she will continue to work hard in class while proudly wearing her yellow belt!

Thank you Sensei Larry and Will for never giving up on her.  Thank you for using positive reinforcement to teach your students.  You are giving them confidence in themselves and teaching them the importance of commitment and determination!

Ciara learned a valuable lesson and I feel I re-learned it with her.  When you are determined, you can accomplish anything!

Spread Love,

M

 

Sunny Days

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Hello Friends!  I hope you have enjoyed your weekends.  Here in Canada, it was a long weekend as today is Victoria Day.  The picture above was taken this afternoon from my zero gravity chair where I was reading in the back yard.  I had just turned to Norm and said this was an absolutely perfect day, sunshine, no clouds and a breeze to cool things down once in awhile.

As I was sitting there, thinking about how nice it was to enjoy the outdoors again, I could feel my whole body and mind relaxing.  There is nothing like taking time to enjoy a nice warm sunny day.  We put the pool up for the kids, they even got to play in it before it started to get darker.  Norm got the hammocks up so the girls would stop stealing our Zero-g’s.  Our back yard is now summer ready and we couldn’t be happier.  I found myself wishing the day would never end.  We just finished running around the house closing windows as it is getting windy out there and a storm seems to be approaching. That made the weekend coming to an end slightly more bearable.

What I loved more than the weather was all the family time we had.  We truly slowed down and just enjoyed being together and hanging out.  I even held off on the laundry for now just to enjoy the time as much as I could.  It was another weekend where my priority was my family and I was so thankful for all the fun we had!  Maybe next weekend, I can rollerblade 😉

I hope you enjoyed your weekends and spent time with those you love.  My facebook feed was jumping with posts of friends spending time with friends and family this weekend.  This always feels like the first weekend of summer here in Ontario and Mother Nature did not disappoint.

Friends, I encourage you, do not get so caught up in a million tasks that you forget to enjoy the sun.  Put aside tasks in favour of family time.  Whatever it is can wait, make sure to stop and enjoy the now every once in awhile!  One of my favourite quotes is “a messy house is the sign of a good mom”.  My house is not in crazy disarray but I learned when the girls were toddlers to put aside the chores for down time and play with the kids.  I still do this.  They are my priority and the laundry and dishes can wait until the kids are on the phone or computer ignoring me!

Spread Love,

M

 

Perfectionism and Authenticity

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Hi Friends!  How are you doing tonight? I hope all is well with you and life is rolling along as it should.  I keep revisiting the same topic in my head today and everywhere I visit virtually tonight is sending a message and so I feel I must share this with you.

Friends, I get so frustrated sometimes when I look around and see that every message sent is confusing for young people.  We teach them to love themselves just as they are.  We teach them to love others for who they are.  We teach them that they should never be ashamed of who and what they are.  We teach them that if you are not a size 6, you can buy spanx to hide your imperfections.  If your hair doesn’t grow fast enough, you can buy extensions.  If you are charismatic, you can be a superstar, no talent required because it all gets fixed in editing.  If you want to get your name out there but cannot express yourself, hire a ghost writer.  Are your breasts too small? Buy a gel bra or get implants.  Too many wrinkles? Try botox.  White hair? Colour it! Loose skin? Get a tummy tuck!  My daughters know the jingle to the local surgery clinic by heart because it is on the radio constantly.  This drives me crazy because it is the wrong message.

Oh yes you can be anything you want to be, as long as you fake it!

Can you see why young people of today may be confused?

Now I’m not saying you should never enhance what you have, just that you need to embrace what you ARE. Really show love to yourself.  This is not Madonna’s Material World.  Men and women are showing more appreciation for the natural.

One of my favourite illustrations of unappreciated misrepresentation is from Fresh Prince of Bel Air when Will and his date get trapped in the basement after an earthquake and he quickly discovers his gorgeous woman was all illusion.  At the end of the clip, she is still beautiful but she looks incredibly different from the start of the evening after taking off her hair piece, her contacts, her nails etc.  Will is not too impressed and I find most men are not when they find out they have been “Duped”.

Check out the clip here.

Friends, I am far from perfect but I am authentic.  Everything you read on my site is my work, unless stated otherwise as I always give credit for anything someone has submitted.  I am a one woman show at the moment but I love it.  I believe my “realness” shows in my writing. I am not a size 6, more like a size 10 but I am not ashamed.  Real women have curves and while I work on self improvement physically, I have learned to appreciate myself as is.  I have learned to look in the mirror and treasure my smile lines because they are just that, lines from years of laughing and smiling, years of fabulous memories of cherishing life’s fabulous moments.  I have accepted my white, yes white, streaks as they come in.  It shows I have lived and I have experience.  I love my freckles as they are a part of me.

I do strive to be the best me I can be and to put my best foot forward.  I just will not go to great lengths and expense to be a polished, too perfect version of myself.  I am authentic and I thank those in my life who love me as is, flaws and all.  You know I love you the same way.

So friends, I ask you, no, I plead with you to love yourself as you are.  Show your children they too should love themselves because we are all fabulous.

Spread Love,

M

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