Lucky #7

Dear Emma Gracie Girl,

Today you turn seven. Lucky number seven. I know I say this every single year, but I can hardly believe how fast time is flying by. I can’t believe that it has been seven years since you made me a mommy.


But what a seven years it has been.

Emma Grace, you are a true dichotomy. And I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if you already know what that word means. It definitely keeps me on my toes not knowing what you will bring to each new day.

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Some mornings I have to practically sit on you to get you to open your eyes. “Mama, I’m too tired…,” you’ll groan as you cover your head with your pillow. Other mornings? You’re up with the birds, you’ll bound into our room, climb into bed with a sweet cuddle and you are ready to tackle the world.


At school, sometimes I don’t even get a backward glance over your shoulder as you skip into class leaving me standing at the doorway watching you go. And then other times you smother me with goodbye hugs and kisses and then turn around to make sure I get an extra squeeze and an “I love you” before you head off.


You can recite entire chunks of dialogue, word-for-word,  from movies like The Fantastic Mr. Fox, but you still love to sit with Addie and giggle at “poop” jokes from Fanboy and Chum-Chum.

You have memorized most of the Shel Silverstein poems in all three of his books you own (I love how you turn down the corners to mark your favorite poems – except nearly every single page is turned down!) but you cry if we start Addie’s bedtime story without you – even though it is a “baby book” or the Little Mermaid for the 10,000th time.


You long for the sparkliest, gaudiest,  rhinestone-encrusted (only fit for a teenager) outfit at the mall, yet at the same time you squeal with delight when I hand you a homemade, sweet, (little-girl appropriate) sundress.


I sometimes worry that you are growing up way too fast, but then again, I think I don’t really have anything to fear. I know you are trying to find your way, spread your wings, test the waters – but I also know that you are so incredibly smart you already feel when too much is just, well, too much. You seem to have a pretty good handle on where the line of a seven-year old is drawn. And I sure am happy to have a front row seat while you figure it all out.


I hope seven is a very lucky year for you, Gracie baby. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Happy Birthday.

All my love,

Crafty Tuesday


Seriously. Please send help. Immediately.

Have you ever had one of those days where your to-do list is so incredibly long, you just feel overwhelmed so you spend your free time cleaning out random kitchen cabinets?

Yeah…me neither. But wouldn’t that be incredibly insane to clean out a china cabinet and all the silverware drawers when you should be figuring out what to get your almost 7-year old for her birthday? Or planning an intimate garden tea party for that 7-year old and 22 of her closest friends? Or paying bills? Or putting together the PTA newsletter? Or making signs for the Silent Auction?

I did try to find teacups today, unsuccessfully. And am on my way to the fabric store for the rest of the party favors tomorrow. But I have nothing to show today.

I’m serious about getting some help from you though, my friends, I need ideas for fun tea sandwiches, scones, and treats to feed these hungry girlies on Saturday. I am doing cupycakes instead of a cake, and it is just a little afternoon tea…not full-blown lunch or dinner.

Also we are going ladybug hunting and playing pin-the-dots-on-the-ladybug, but do you have any other fun ideas?

And because I missed Best Shot Monday yesterday and this is my favorite shot of the week, I will leave you with this…



Yeah, now I remember why I do all of this. She is the best big sister. Ever.

Finally Friday.

It has been a long week.

No really. A loooooong, never-ending, why-isn’t-it-just-Saturday-already kind of week.

I guess it technically isn’t even Friday yet – still Thursday night, but after I magically post-publish this, fall into bed and get a good night o’ sleep, it will indeed finally be Friday.

I mercifully just shut my oven off. It had been on and baking away for nearly 3 hours and now we have over 7 dozen cookies (three different types) for the Pajama Party at Em’s school tomorrow night. I thought how nice it would be to bake them afterschool tomorrow so that they would be fresh and gooey for the party, but it just isn’t going to happen. For as crazy as the past four days have been – tomorrow is even worse.

Em had a lot – A. LOT. – of work to do this week. Just normal homework, a special little book club, the first part of their habitat diorama project, and her showtime are all due tomorrow. (Yes, this is first grade, folks!)


Granted, we have known about her “showtime,” since last week. And I was very worried and kept suggesting ideas for her, for they are supposed to take 5 minutes and teach the class how to do something.

“How about doing some ballet?”
“No. I don’t want to dance.”
“How about doing some magic tricks?”
“No. I don’t want to. Eric already did one.”
“How about how to draw an animal?”
“NO! Mom! I’ll think of something. Don’t worry.”

Ahem. Ok, then. Of course I did still worry, but then she decided she was going to talk about why plants are important and show the class how to pot a plant. Nice! I can help with that! We can make posters and visual aids and plant some flowers!


Now, while I am very, very good under pressure. When I have a time crunch or a lot of things on my plate, I can shine. I can pull it all out and make it look relatively easy.

Emma? Not so much. She has not yet learned the tricks of the trade, multi-tasking shortcuts and such. In fact, when she has a lot of things to do, she actually moves slower. Like snail pace. I have been Nelly the Nag all week long and it is exhausting.

But I must say she has practiced her show a few times for me, once for Addie, and even once over Skype for Daddy (traveling again – yes, over the weekend! Boo.) and she has it down. She is pretty darn good. I’m excited to see how she pulls it off tomorrow. Oh, yes…I will be videoing it.


And at the other school, we have a Pancake Breakfast fundraiser on Saturday morning that I was “helping” with, but have kind of ended up co-chairing, I guess. I love Addie’s school and think it is a very worthwhile cause, but there is always something to be done. I can’t wait til Spring Break when the somethings are all done!


I am actually working on a website for our friend and realtor. So that really hasn’t left much *free* time for doing things like, oh, say…laundry? I used to have this great schedule and by Thursday all of the laundry would be done. But these days it seems to just be on a continual cycle. Literally. Our washing machine is constantly on. Or has clothes in it to be moved over. Or clothes on top of it to be put in. It is never-ending.

If we can get through the busy-ness of tomorrow (today) and get through the Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, I have promised the girls some beach time on Sunday afternoon. So we’ll more than likely see you back here on Monday. Have a great weekend!

It’s a scene, man.

No really.  It was a crazy Girl Scout cookie scene around our house this weekend. Still kind of is, at least until we can get all these cookies delivered and out the door.


Look one way in our dining room, and there are piles of cookies…


Look the other way, and more cookies…


And in the other corner? We have…yep, more cookies…


I know I have been bragging a bit, ok, a LOT about my Emma lately. And if you can stand it, I just need to do a wee bit more. I am so very proud of her. It really is very fulfilling to watch her literally blossom in front of our eyes. She worked so very hard  to get the cookie orders put together. She read the orders and filled out the thank you and payment slips, while J. and Addie pulled the cookie boxes together and then I bundled them up all pretty-like. It was a nice little assembly line we had going on.

But then, while J. and I were out yesterday afternoon, Em went and made special thank you notes for all of her customers who bought a lot of boxes. And that is why I have to make this my Best Shot for this fine Monday.


Beyond the chaos, Em’s bedhead and jammies, and the hundreds of boxes of cookies we have to get delivered, I only see my sweet little girl working so hard to become a responsible big girl. And it just makes me smile.

Just Remember ~ Best Shot Monday


Dear Emma Gracie -

I know it is hard sometimes, but here are a few things I hope you will always remember:

  • When she goes into your room and messes with your stuff, remember it is just stuff and she often shares her things with you, too.
  • When you get mad and want to snap at her, remember you are one of her most important role models. She is always watching you and how you handle things.
  • When she wants to borrow your clothes, remember some day you’ll be able to wear hers too, and then you’ll have double the wardrobe.
  • When she wants to tag along and play with you and your friends, remember she looks up to you “big girls” and just wants to be like you.
  • When you feel weary, sad or lonely, just remember you have a built-in best friend who is always there.

Just remember…she will always be your sister. And I hope you never forget what an incredible gift that is.


They’re here….


…Girl Scout cookies, my friends. Would you like to buy some from this sweet, little Daisy?

I remember selling cookies when I was a Brownie, or…rather, I remember my Dad selling boxes and boxes for me at his office. So I coached Em into flashing her puppy-dog eyes at the breakfast table this morning while she asked her Daddy to take her order form to the office. Of course we were successful on that front. And now she and I have to hit the neighborhood streets, too.

And be prepared Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles – Emmy will be calling to read you one of her famous scripts.
(Wait for it…it is pretty funny but might be hard to resist!)

Eye-Opening ~ Best Shot Monday

I just realized that within the last six days, she has made me sob in frustration and she has nearly pushed me to the brink, but she has also made me tear up with pride, and howl with laughter.

I know I’m hard on her. I always expect more, and the best, from her. She pushes my buttons faster than you can say “Time-out. Now!” And I often forget that she is only six – that she is still a little girl.

But then I get a glimpse of her through the eyes of one of my friends. And my eyes are opened. Singing Taylor Swift into a spatula at the top of her lungs in the middle of the kitchen. Helping the younger kids as they all dance around. My friend looks at me through teary eyes and says, “She is awesome. That is the sweetest thing!” And then I look, I mean really look at her.

And then, I wonder. What other little moments do I just take for granted each day? What else am I missing as I’m impatiently asking her to do something for the tenth time? What will I miss the most when she is all grown up and gone?

I just need to be reminded that every bit of drama that comes with having a six-year old girl, is rewarded two-fold with love and fun.

I’m vowing to head into this week with my eyes wide open. I don’t want to miss a thing.

belly laughs


A Peek at the Future ~ Best Shot Monday

Dear Emma Gracie -

This weekend I had a very surreal peek into the future. It was as if we had fast-forwarded a good twenty years and I got a glimpse at what kind of Mom you will become. It was exhilarating and a bit frightening all at the same time to sit and watch you practically age in front of my very own eyes.

We were watching the neighbor girls and you are completely smitten with Sydney, (which is totally understandable since at six months she is at that great, adorably sweet, and delicious age). You are just fascinated with every aspect of her, even down to the diaper changes!

“Mama, I think Sydney wants to play with this.” “Mama, Sydney likes it when I hold her like this.” “Mama….” and so it went all afternoon. Addie and Madison tried to get you to play with them but you kept telling them, “No, I want to help Mama with baby Sydney.”

When I laid her in your arms and she started to take her bottle from you, the pure joy you were radiating was unmistakable. You were positively beaming. And then you sighed, “Mama, look. I think she really likes me!”

Oh, Gracie. It is so bittersweet. On one hand I love seeing that amazing, caring side of you and it verifies my belief that you are becoming a beautiful (on the inside and out!) girl. And I have no doubt that you are going to be the absolute best mommy someday. But, it wasn’t that long ago that you were Sydney’s age. I mean it was just yesterday wasn’t it? And so my internal struggle continues. I want nothing more than you to grow up happy and healthy, but it oh sometimes it really hurts. Thankfully you are happy and healthy, so it takes a little of the sting off.

So let’s try this. You keep that enthusiasm and readiness to help – but do me a favor and stop growing up for a few years. Let Mama catch up.

I love you, my sweet Big girl.

Em & Sydney

(I wish I had focused more on Em’s face in this photo – albeit Sydney is scrumptious, isn’t she? But I love this photo because it reminds me of my view the entire day. Em gazing adoringly at Sydney.)


It takes one to know one ~ BSM

My little bookworm. I don’t know that my love affair with books started as early as first grade, but every time I looked at Em this weekend, I was transported back to a time when I was in the middle of a good book. Impatiently rushing through the other stuff I “had” to do, so I could get back to my book. Making myself sick because I wanted to read in the car. Trying to walk, looking over the top of the book, and read at the same time.

I think I probably said “Let’s just put the book down until we get there and then you can read,” at least five different times over the past two days.

Her class has been reading the Magic Treehouse books aloud. They have a chapter or two left in the first book of the series, but Em came home and finished it on Friday. Then she started book two on Saturday, and finished it during church yesterday.

Yes, I know. Part of me wanted to tell her she needed to pay attention in church, but she is reading. READING! Full on chapter books on her own. And I’ve been kind of quizzing her along the way – she is comprehending it, too. I just can’t squelch that. Plus Sunday school starts next week, which is much easier to focus on than “Mama’s church.”

Then last night we started the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ series as our “bedtime reading.”

FINALLY! The Little House books were my all-time favorite books when I was a girl. I’ve been patiently waiting until she was ready for them. We got through a few chapters last night and when I went to wake her up this morning, she rolled over, stretched and said, “Mornin’ Mama. Tonight can we read Little House on the Prairie again?”

Yes. Yes. YES!

While I was making breakfast, she started on the third Treehouse book.  At this rate I think we are going to blow through the entire public library by the time she is in 3rd grade.

My little bookworm. (Yes, I’m beaming. I could not be more proud.)