Be Strong, Be Strengthened, Strengthen Each Other

“A strong woman works out to keep her body in shape…
a woman of strength joins other women to keep her soul in shape…
A strong woman isn’t afraid of anything…
a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear…
A strong woman won’t let anyone get the best of her…
a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone…
A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future…
a woman of strength learns from life’s mistakes to create a stronger tomorrow…
A strong woman walks sure footedly…
a woman of strength knows her community will catch her when she falls…
A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face…
a woman of strength wears dignity and poise…
A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey…
a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong…
Women are charged to be strong…
women of strength are charged to strengthen each other…”

adapted by Rabbi Rick Sherwin
from a selection by Ruth Carter-Bourdon
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Acts of Kindness.

Via video monitor, I laughed to myself as I spied on watched Emmalyn hang her stuffed Mickey Mouse over the crib, as if she were reenacting Michael Jackson holding his newborn son, Blanket, over a balcony. After tempting Mickey’s fate, she laid down with her mousey friend, Eskimo-kissing his soft black nose. Awww, I thought to myself. I secretly watched my little one continue this *ritual* three more times, before finally nestling down.

It’s funny watching Emmy on the video monitor. She has no idea I’m doing it. I’ve caught her numerous times, sitting up, holding her Baby (Glow Worm), patting her back and saying: “Aww, hi baby, hi.” It makes my heart smile, witnessing such a sweet gesture from a young toddler. For all she knows, she’s completely by herself in her crib. She’s not trying to get my attention, or show off for anyone. She’s hugging and rocking her Baby out of the kindness of her own heart. 

It got me thinking about the acts of kindness others do. Or don’t do.

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” {1 John 3:18}

It amazes me that people can stand idly by while a young mom (aka, me) is struggling to hold open a door for a stroller with a funky wheel, while simultaneously shushing a toddler fussing for Cheerios that a certain someone left in the car. Really, Katie? Really? Rookie mistake.

But I digress.

What kind of people don’t offer a lending hand? A hand that God gave them. To do good deeds. That means for others. It amazed me that a waiting room full of people didn’t flinch at the sight of a struggling Me. Four of which were already standing up. Two of which literally just walked in through the same door. Sheesh!

Do they not know that God is watching them on His own *video monitor*?  




for the first time, i’m participating in [just write] @ the extraordinary ordinary.

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I’m Blank Because….

{FYI: This post was inspired by Ashley at Little Miss Momma.}
I’m weird because…
I break out into random dance.
I quote New Girl at least twice a week.
I love the smell of Emmy’s tootsies. 
I have an obsession with clearing out Emmy’s nose.
I love brushing my teeth.
My feet have to be covered when I sleep.
I don’t like Oreos.
I watch Secret Life of the American Teenager.
I have a specific way I have to sleep with my pillows.
I’m obsessed with my poodle pup.
I don’t mind getting shots or blood drawn.
If my hair is up, I have to have makeup on.
I’ve never eaten a Big Mac or Whopper. Never.
I’m a bad friend because…
I frequently forget to respond &/or hit ‘send’ to text messages.
I can’t commit to plans.
I sometimes use my daughter as an escape-route.
I’m a good friend because…
I pray for my friends everyday.
I would drop anything for them or their offspring.
I send random “I miss you” text messages.
I always lend a listening ear.
I send birthday cards.
I send ‘just because’ cards.
I hold their hair back when they’ve had one too many.
I’m sad because…
I don’t get to see people I love as often as I want.
I’ve lost touch with friends.
I threw out my high school journal.
I don’t always finish what I start.
We’ll be moving faaarr away from our family in less than a year.
I don’t take enough pictures/videos of my family.
I’m happy because…
God has blessed me!
Emmy’s hair is finally growing.
I get my yoga on.
My girl tells me she loves me.
I’m surrounded by people who care.
I see the greater good in things.
I’m a mommy.
We live close to both sets of parents.
I’m awesome because…
I’m ME.
I have a new-found outlook on life.
I go with the flow.
I’m a positive person.
I am capable of so much.
I’m excited for…
My little preschoolers’ dance recital next month.
Family vacation.
Black tea in the mornings.
‘Me’ time in the mornings.
Morning wake-ups with my little bambino.
Wednesdays’ back-to-back Pilates & yoga.
Couch cuddles with my hubby.
so what about you??
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Where Did My Baby Go?!

Words cannot justify how I feel about my kid. Totally cliche, I know. But it’s true. I love being her mommy. I love hearing her call for me when she wakes up in the morning. I miss her while she’s sleeping! & even though I hate it when she’s feeling miserable, I do love that she’s extra cuddly.

In just a few short days, my baby will officially be a toddler. Just the thought of that word, puts a pit in my stomach. It sounds so silly {and again, cliche} to be dreading my daughter growing up, but I can’t shake it.

Pathetic maybe, but lately I’ve been mourning over the loss of her babyhood. Girlfriend’s growing up, y’all.

While I’m smitten over her toddler abilities, I’m going to miss the days where Emmy would let me hold and rock her chubby little baby body.

Okay, let’s be real…. I miss being able to sit her on the floor and be 100% confident she won’t go anywhere because, well, she can’t. {Those days are loooonnng gone, my friend!}

But with this new toddler-life, comes many perks:

Like the fact that she can sing every.single.letter of her ABCs.

& can count to TEN, clear as day.

{The part where she then proceeds to launch herself off the couch onto the ottoman? Notsomuch.}

Her vast vocabulary amazes me. Life is easier in so many ways now that she can verbalize her needs and wants. Although, sometimes it backfires…. like when I ask her what she wants, and she throws a hissy-fit because she wants “more cheese? okay! thank you,” and I say no because she’s already had 234 slices!

But oh how I love listening to her little girly voice–especially when she sings. Which she pretty much does 80% of the day.

My favorite is listening to her sing the hymnal, Father We Thank Thee…

& it never gets old when she interrupts me singing the ABCs, to sing Edelweiss, from The Sound of Music. Yes. She knows all the words. Her daddy taught her.

{seriously, what almost 18-month-old knows the lyrics to Edelweiss?!}

Not only is she Little Miss Chatterbox, but she’s also polite. 90% of the time, she will voluntarily say “yes, please,” “thank you,” “more, please,” etc… Melts.My.Heart.

Her ability to retain information amazes + dumbfounds me. I can say something once, and she remembers it for life.

I die over listening to her talk on the phone. She’ll walk around the house with either my iPhone or her pretend phone and have a whole conversation. With her GG (my mom), Auntie, ‘Mick-Mouse’, Daddy….

She cracks me up! “Hi Auntie. Ummm… Lucas? Hello. Ummm… Yes. Love you. Bye-Bye. See ya!” Then she holds the phone up to my ear so I can chat with them, too.

Although I’m dreading the thought of saying the words, “I have a toddler,” out loud, I am looking forward to what toddler-hood has to offer… dance classes, potty-training {not the training part, but the no diapers part}, swimming, art projects, more trips to Disney, and hopefully (but I won’t hold my breath) hair growth! Ha! I can’t wait for the day I can put a precious little pony in her hair 😉

If anyone has figured out a way to slow down the speed of babies growing, please feel free to share!



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