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Sunday, July 21, 2013


Yesterday afternoon as I was painting the girls nails (we've decided my nail shop slogan should be "Mom's Nails, where your nails will always look just ok") one of the girls said that girls are born knowing how to sit still for nails and boys are born knowing how to play sports.  UGH!  I assured her that is not true and they both agreed that they knew that but sometimes it feels like that.    This led to a conversation about sports and competition.  It quickly became evident that the girls both feel that being competitive is a bad thing.  I told them competition is a great, that the definition of competitive as an adjective is a desire to succeed.  They both gave me examples of girls that they feel are competitive, they brag and are rather obnoxious in their pursuit to WIN!
Emma said, "It's like there's two ways to be, mean and crazy about winning or you don't care, there's nothing in between".  I was stunned that at 9 she already feels this way but her comment totally resonated with me, a person who for years has thought things like "I don't have competitive bone in me".  I remember feeling the same way about competition and I guess I was about Emma's age when I decided I wanted nothing to do with that kind of behavior.  A competitive girl is often seen as bossy, aggressive and mean.
Last night we had dinner out with a group of friends and a number of times we were told just how sweet, thoughtful and well behaved our girls were.  They are naturally this way but they also work hard at these behaviors. As I was laid in bed going over the day I thought about how much explicit teaching and modeling we have done so that our girls are well behaved.  How much teaching have we done so that they know how to be competitive?   I want the girls to know that it's ok to work for what THEY want, to have a desire to succeed and win.  It's a hard lesson because I never want them to have the attitude that winning means being better, or on some different level than other people.   Instead I want them to know the pursuit of excellence is everything and this looks different for every single person.  This desire to do their best will push them towards success and ultimately to their dreams. They'll learn over time that winning looks like all kinds of things and most of the time there's no trophy or  even a score in sight.  I can say this because right now I'm totally winning and I'm the only one in the game.   I also want them to know that there is something in between, a way of being that allows them to be courteous and thoughtful but tough, hard working and focused.
I'm thankful for these little moments with my girls.  It's in these moments that I see the lessons we still need to teach and the wide open opportunities before us.

The girls and their cousin Bella.  Plus a photo bomb by Atril :)!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Six hours at Six Flags and I feel like I ran a half marathon and forgot to rehydrate, eat and maybe even  sleep.  Ok, it's not that bad but it is 9:45am and I'm still in my pajamas.  I've designated today "catch up day", which means lots of laundry and cleaning and drinking of water, all while in my pajamas.  At least until 2:45 when Eleanor needs to be at dance.  I have to admit I'd happily do it again in a heartbeat.  Emma and Eleanor had a wonderful time and truth be told so did Kevin and I.

  The Shakespeare Festival, which happens to be much more my speed than a day at Six Flags.  Lucky am I to be a part of a family where we can do lots of things together, each of us with our favorites,  but all of us bending and compromising and trying to focus on the important part.....being together.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Perfection at 5:40am

Right now we're in a time of early morning running perfection.  The sun rises early enough that running outside alone is an option for me and there is nothing that beats a run in Forest Park.  But of all the wonderful sights I see and hear before 6 am... the golf course slowly waking up, the Art Museum ablaze with the sunrise, the crunch of so many happy runners feet, this is the one that makes my heart sing the loudest.  This little, cozy house, all the inhabitants save me, tucked in their beds getting a few last winks of sleep before their days begin.   This will be a good day.

Friday, July 12, 2013


We got the official word yesterday that Janie is indeed fixable!  It will be a few weeks and a lot of insurance money but we'll have our Janie back!  Yesterday as we were driving down Big Bend a Janie look alike drove by and Lucy screamed "JANIEEEEEE!!!!".  I think Lucy was worried someone else was having the joy of driving our old mini van around.  I assured her Janie was still broken and not being driven by some other family.  By the way we are driving a very nice brand new Toyota mini stinky smell, no dinged up doors, or roof, or hood, or any panel for that matter,  doors that close without even a little screech, super fancy blue tooth radio, I could keep going but you see it's no Janie.  We've not even named it. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Hi-Pointe

Yesterday evening we ventured out for our first movie in a theatre with Lucy---we had a test run a couple of weeks ago when we saw an American Girl Movie at the theatre, it was fairly short and free plus the theatre was full of little girls, it went well so we took our chance yesterday.
We have two theaters within walking distance to our house.  Happily, the theatre we like best, The Hi Pointe, was showing Despicable Me 2.   This theatre was built in 1922 and is simple but nice and a bit old fashioned.  Just one screen and the cutest lobby.  I like the theatre for all of that and its proximity to our house.  I now love this theatre because for $50 my entire family of 5 saw the movie and had snacks.  If you've not been to the movies in a few years (I went for at least a 3 year stretch of no movies in a was probably even longer, so trust me I understand) this may not seem like a deal.  It is.  A good ticket price is $4.50-$5 and it seems that rush hour shows and earlier are generally in this range no matter the theatre, unless they're 3D and then they're a couple of dollars more.  The only time we've ever enjoyed 3-D was a little Disney film at Disney World which was short and just enough 3-D fun, otherwise the couple of times we've gone to a 3-D movie about 10 minutes into the show we've all taken off our glasses and feel like we're going to be sick.  Anyway, our $5 tickets were a fine deal, it was the snacks that were a great deal.  For $5 each kiddo got a small soda and a small popcorn, and I mean small, as in a reasonable size for a person to consume, and they were not "kid packs" with a bunch of silly marketing for kids, just a plain old bag of popcorn and a soda.  And for the same cost I got a glass of wine and Kevin had a beer.  I only know that this is a good price because I spent $4.75 on a small (read, a half gallon) coke when we saw the American Girl movie.  I threw a lot of it away, I ordered a small because I wanted a small, I may be in the minority but I don't feel like I'm getting a deal because you're giving me 4 times as much as I want.
 After a hot, hot day sitting in a cool (but not freezer like....another thing we liked!) theatre at 5:15 was a lovely treat that didn't break the bank.

P.S. I know we could've skipped the snacks or brought our own to really make it a reasonable night out.  If we went to movies all of the time I might be convinced of this (might not, though!) but I'd rather go less and do it all than pack microwave popcorn and juice boxes in my bag.  Buying snacks at the theatre is all part of the fun!

Friday, July 5, 2013

At home

That is not a book of piano tunes she's reading, it's the seventh Harry Potter book.  I doubt it's long before I find her without the bench and instead playing piano, reading a book and doing ballet.  Her three loves.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


It's been a great week away except for this

Yes, we are all 100% ok and yes, all of the kids were in the van.....safely strapped into boosters and car seats and yes, that is a crosswalk we are on. We'd stopped for a bicyclist (who thankfully made it across) when we were hit by a distracted driver.  Janie looks pretty sad right now sitting in the driveway with a tarp draped over her ( no back window and the passenger sliding door won't close) waiting for the insurance adjuster to visit.  Looks like we'll be driving our rental van home on Friday, crossing our fingers Janie's back up and hauling kiddos around soon, and all the while being so very thankful.