#58 Accept That Life Is Messy

Life is messy…literally and figuratively. The sooner you accept the mess the sooner you learn to handle it. I don’t want you to live in a slob like state. Do your dishes, wash your clothes, tidy up your home for sure. However, you need to realize that sometimes in order to truly live you have to get a little messy.

Relationships don’t always make sense and fairy tale endings can happen but not usually in the wonderful linear method our story books tell us about. Jobs can be tense and school can be too! Things will happen that are outside of your control. Things that break your heart like the loss of a loved one, and things that vault you to new highs such as achieving a goal you have been striving towards for a very long time. If you spend all of your time trying to “tidy up” your life and control every element of it, you will be stressed and weary well before your years. I hope you learn at a young age that sometimes things happen, things that we don’t deserve, things that we can’t control–but we can control how we react to them. That’s the key. Accepting the mess and doing our best.

I love the age that you are at right now. When you make a mess, it is as if you are oblivious that the mess even exists. You simply alter what your doing to adapt to it..and any mess you can’t clean up or work around you just ignore. You have no anxiety or OCD regarding the messes you make and it makes you live and play without restraint. I hope you know how fabulous you are when you live without fear of the mess and how easy all the messes are to clean up, even if they take a little time.

Here you are painting at 15 months..you didn’t mind your hands looked like a priceless Picasso…and I would be lying if I said your stomach wasn’t painted to match 🙂



#57 Don’t Use The Distance Around Your Hips or Number On A Scale As The Value Of Your Worth

There is something to be said about weight and body size in relation to health. However there is no reason that you should let physical numbers determine your value as a human being.

Women (and men too!) are under pressure every day to look and be shaped a certain way. What that shape is, depends on a lot of things including peers, career, and the media. According to your father’s career he should be rather rotund from eating a lot of donuts but if you ask GQ he should be lean and wearing jeans that cost a couple hundred bucks. However neither of those expectations will ever define or fit your father.

I never want you to fall under the illusion that the only thing valuable about you is your size because it couldn’t be further from the truth. As you get older you will feel it–that pressure to fit some mental image of the way you should look that often times is unrealistic. I just want you to remember that value comes from relationships with friends and family, a faith in what you believe, leaving a mark on this world that will last forever, and living your life with your heart. Obesity isn’t healthy and it can lead to an early death, but plenty of young women have succumb to the illness and tragedy of going too far the other way. Every minute that you spend looking in a mirror criticizing your growing and changing body is one that you are missing out on a world of opportunity away from your reflection.

Already as your mom there is no value that can be placed on your head. You are irreplaceable to me and to God. You need to be irreplaceable to yourself as well. I want you to be healthy and I understand that neither you or I will always love our appearances–I also want you to know that there is much more to your life and to your worth than what you wake up and see in a mirror.

#56 Eat Dinner With The Family

Right now you eat dinner with us — largely because we strap you in your high chair and make you 🙂

However the time will come when you become increasingly busy. Sports practices, band recitals, friends whose mom’s make better dinners, will start to draw you away. I’m begging you now to please under every circumstance possible eat dinner with the family. Spend your days at school, your afternoon playing and doing what makes your heart sing, but spend an hour a day at the table with us.

Dinner together is more than just a chance to eat and refuel. It is an opportunity to talk, to catch up on the busy lives we often get caught up in running around leading. It’s a chance to vent, to argue, to laugh, and to spend at least one hour of your day with people who won’t always like you but I promise will always love you.

If you can promise to come to the table and eat–I can vow to keep attempting to make meals that don’t suck and turn off the TV long enough to listen to the sound of your chewing or hopefully the voice of your day. I’ll let you argue with your dad and maybe your future siblings, and ask for dessert even though you haven’t touched my attempt at a casserole. Sometimes I’ll even let you squeak out on dinner early if you will amuse me with a few minutes of your time–although it means you’ll have to stick around for dishes the next day.

Eat dinner with the family now, eat dinner with your family when you grow up…in a world of rushing here and there and everywhere you will be glad you did. Here you are eating leaves last fall…can’t believe how much you have grown since this picture..but I promise to never serve you leaves for dinner.