#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.

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#38 Make Dessert A Priority–Sometimes

There is no hiding from it–obesity is a problem in America. That means you need to watch what you eat. I’m not saying you need to count every calorie, you are a kid for heaven’s sake. It does mean that you should eat big helpings of veggies and mix in those fruits you love so much too. It means you should run outside to play instead of run to the game console (although people are working on solving that little problem too).

That being said, sometimes it is COMPLETELY OK to put dessert first. The secret to life is moderation. It is knowing when to hold back and when to go ahead and indulge! Sometimes it is important to treat your physical body and other times its a great idea to serve your soul with a little bit of dessert.

Mostly this post is just a great excuse to post this picture of you learning about the joys of dessert…(we will be back to the “serious” stuff soon)…

OH and I can’t believe that the cute little sleeping baby at the top is the same one as the big girl below!

#36 Dress In Layers

I’ve heard the saying “You know you live in Iowa if you use your home’s heater and air conditioner in the same day”. That statement couldn’t be more true. With that being said, dress in layers. Every building in Iowa (and most of the world in my opinion) is a different temperature. It is hard to concentrate on work or enjoy a date if your teeth are chattering from the cold. It is also quite unenjoyable to sit with your arms pinned at your sides for most of the day because even though you put on plenty of deoderant you are so warm that you have swampy pits the size of Texas.

General rules of thumb regarding temperature:

– Movie Theater – Cold..I think they do this on purpose.

– Restaurant (minus Hibachi) — Cold to guests but HOT to the servers who are running around in a million directions. I know this because I was one once and whenever guests would complain of the cold I would try not to look at them like they were crazy.

– Car in Winter — Cold..Even with remote start these things are chilly.

– Grocery Store –Cold..The frozen food aisle often feels it is necessary to refrigerate the entire store.

– Concerts — Hot once everyone arrives

– State Fair – Forget layers everyone is sweating like pigs which actually don’t sweat. You figure it out.

– Car in Summer = Sauna

– School Buildings — Changes every 5 minutes–seriously wear layers.

When layering your clothes think of where you will be. MOST of the time a hoooded sweatshirt over a t-shirt or a light jacket will fit the bill. However if you are somewhere fancy please make sure you are wearing a nice sweater or a wrap. When I do manage to substitute teach I always wear a nice jacket, a pretty long sleeved item, and then either stow away in purse a short sleeved shirt or manage to layer that on too.

When you are older and start snowboarding you will see the ultimate challenge in layering. Currently I go for long sleeved thermal shirt, t-shirt over that, sweatshirt/hoodie over that, followed by coat. Many time I end up all the way down to the thermal/t-shirt combo before it is all said and done.

Be prepared for changing temperatures. Leave a back up coat/jacket in your car. Learn to layer so you don’t fall victim to uncontrolled human thermostat.

ONE last note. Sometimes it is also a good idea to wear layers on your heart. In everything you do you should use your heart and not be afraid to show it. That doesn’t mean however that you need to let everyone you meet close enough to you to crush you. Use your heart, express it, but also protect it. I know that is kind of an abstract thought and maybe some time I will go into more detail but for now I’ll let you interpret it on your own.

(I apologize for my absence sweet daughter, I have been thinking of you every day as you know since I am with you each one–life has just been busy)

#33 Never Get Sick

I know…that’s impossible advice. Still after the last few days of you having a fever–and crying every time I set you down–and only eating the bare minimum–I’m telling you to PLEASE never get sick again. I haven’t even been able to write you any advice between the holidays and your bad mood. How can you avoid getting sick?

1. Wash your hands. Our hands touch things–LOTS of things and then we touch our face and our mouths. This puts all of the germs directly into our mouths. Not so good. Wash your hands.

2. Drink plenty of water. Water cleans our system, it keeps it running correctly.

3. Get your sleep.

4. Eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. They get a bad rep–especially the veggies–but you really can’t go wrong with them. Broccoli is honestly del

icious in my own opinion.

5. Never leave the house…

Ok I’m starting to get over board. Truth is, you’re going to get sick. I’m going to get stuck cleaning up puke and crying because I wish I could make you feel better. The truth is also that I still wish you would never get sick. I don’t like your cheeks flushed with fever and I hate when you don’t eat because your throat hurts so bad.

For my sake, perform a miracle, and never ever get sick.

photo credit

#30 Take Care Of Your Feet

Yeah I know that sounds weird. This may also be advice that I am passing on to you from your Ba-Pa. He always reminds people how important our feet are, and when you stop to think about it–he is right!

Your feet walk you around, allow you to drive, allow you to stand and balance, allow you to horseback ride, snowboard, skip, stomp in muddy rain puddles and many other great things. They also tend to be very taken for-granted.

How do you take care of your feet? Well there are a lot of ways..

– Wear sturdy shoes (when you aren’t wearing the heels I previously mentioned). You need to wear shoes that are appropriate for the activity you are involved in. When I horseback ride I wear boots, if I go running I wear supportive tennis shoes, when I snow board I even have special boots to protect my feet and ankles! Shoes are important so its OK to spend a little extra money in that area to keep your feet well prepped!

-See a chiropractor. In my personal opinion Chiropractors are great. They keep my skeletal and nervous system lined up and ready to go. They can check to make sure that all the bones in my feet and ankles are in their proper places and function at their best.

– If you hurt your foot or ankle seek medical care and follow doctor’s orders. If the doctor says rest–REST. Don’t over do it.

– Get pedicures. The massage that many pedicurists give will support proper circulation to the legs and feet and who doesn’t love pretty toe nails?

Please realize that your feet are an important and over worked part of your body. Take care of them!