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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Missing The Moments...

When I resigned from work last April it was because I had let my career take over most of my life. I never turned my phone off. I answered emails at all hours of the day, seven days a week. I take full blame for not prioritizing things and putting my family first.

Some of you may not believe this but I never wanted children. I wasn't that teenage girl you called up to cover you on a Saturday night to watch your kids so you could get a break. I was the girl who understood why you need the break. I knew way back then that kids were a handful.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't mean I didn't like kids but I didn't seek them out to play with them or keep them entertained at big gatherings. It was never a natural thing like I see it can be with so many teenagers.

So, as I matured and thought about my life, I decided that I didn't think children were going to be a part of it. I never felt the warm fuzzies when seeing a newborn or the baby clothes in the stores. You never heard an "Awww, that is sooo cute!" escape from my mouth.

Then I fell in love (true love) for the first time. I was dating a wonderful guy who was really good with kids. He would put them on his knee and played "Buckin' Bronco". You know, where you hold the kids by their hands and bounce them on your knee. He would tickle them and make them laugh. He would chase them and make them squeal with delight. It got me thinking that maybe I was missing out on something.

Then I met and fell in love with my husband. The very first time I saw him work through the nervousness his 3 year old niece was having from not seeing him very much (they lived 9 hours away from each other) and winning her over...I was sold. I trusted this man enough to help balance what I was lacking in kid skills. I knew the two of us could be a team and raise happy and very loved children.

Somehow, I just always thought my career would come first though. I know, not the best plan but I had 24 years in of thinking I would never have children. I loved working. I loved bringing home a paycheck. I loved knowing I could do things on a project that no one could do quite the same. I loved having a start and an end date. I loved having annual performance reviews. I never thought that it would be any different...

Until I realized that I was missing the moments. The moments that turn into hours. The hours that turn into days. The days that turn into weeks. The weeks that turn into years. I was truly missing them.

They were happening right in front of me but I was too busy, too stressed and too focused on work that I let them go right by me with barely a notice.

When I resigned, I promised I wouldn't let that happen again.

I have though. I have turned this very computer that I am typing on right now as a distraction to those moments. At first, I had the excuse of, "Well, I am blogging about some of the moments." Then I used the excuse of, "Well, I need to grow my followers and then I can cut back." Now, though...I have realized that I have tried to turn blogging into my career when it isn't.

I will never make any money off of this blog. I will never turn any of my writing into the next bestseller. I will never be invited and sponsored to a blog conference. I will just continue to be a very small fish in a very large blog pond.

I have to find my happy with that. I started this blog with the best intentions. I started it to share who I am, to make some new friends, to find a creative outlet.

I just can't let it lead me to missing anymore moments.

My plan for just write as me, to write when only inspiration finds me, to remember that this blog is supposed to be about fun and not about work.

I'm not going to disappear from the blogging world. I imagine I will still be here 2-3 times a week and for the first time in a while...I imagine sitting here at this computer with a true smile on my face.

Thank you to everyone who supports me on this blog. I have never once regretted a single post or reply to a comment that I have ever taken the to write. I only regret that is that I didn't prioritize better. I hope that you will see the change in me and my writing very soon.


Monday, February 27, 2012

My Baby Turned Eight...

Over the weekend we celebrated our Bean's 8th birthday. It is hard for me to believe that my youngest is now 8 years old. Where did all of that time go?!

Bean is a girl that is full of imagination. She loves bright colors, butterflies and crafting her little heart out. I wanted to capture all of that in her birthday celebration.

I decorated with ribbons, flowers, butterflies and brightly colored candies. The birthday girl and her friends made ribbon hair elastics, tye dye butterflies from coffee filters and pipe cleaners and scratch and design butterfly ornaments.

Bean was in her element and I never saw the smile disappear from her face the entire two hours of the party. It warmed my heart to see that with each gift she opened she took her time to read the card first and then made several comments about the gift before moving on to the next. It warmed my heart even more to see that each gift was so thoughtful and represented all of the things my little girl loves. When I asked the girls if Bean had given them any ideas of what she wanted for her birthday they all told me no and that they just knew her very well.

My favorite part of the party was before we sang Happy Birthday to Bean. I asked each of the girls to share something they liked about Bean or liked doing with Bean. I wanted my girl to know how she makes her friends feel and what they like about her. Her face lit up and she giggled with some of the words they used to describe her and my eyes well up now as I think about them.

When I asked Bean what her favorite thing was from her party, she told me that it was hearing what everyone had to say about her and that her very favorite was what her big sister, Ash, had said about her in front of everyone. (It was pretty amazing. I wish I would've recorded it.)

My Bean is an amazing girl. Yes, she received some awesome presents but she knows what is truly special about birthdays...that they are all about love and friendship.

I count my lucky stars every day that I get to be the one she calls Mommy.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Pinterest Made Me Cut My Shirt...

I tried my best to stay off of Pinterest. I really did. I would just take a peek here and there. Then one day I needed a quote to go with my post and I wanted it to be all "prettied up". I knew where to turn...Pinterest.

That was the turn that has led me down a path of crazy. Now I turn to Pinterest for recipes, hair styles, garden designs, home decor...

Pinterest is full of LOVELY!

Lovely things that I will never be able to recreate because I just don't have the vision or let's face it...the energy. Like this outdoor party...

Lovely places I will only dream of going because I'm pretty sure I would need a lot of shots before going some place like this and I would be freaking out that the cave would collapse around me. Like this swimming cave... 

Lovely foods that I would love to eat but only if someone else did all of the prep work, cooking, serving and clean up. Like this plate of deliciousness...

Source: via Rita on Pinterest

Lovely outfits that look so simple to put together. Lovely outfits that I would love to wear but can't stand shopping, trying clothes on or the fact that when I get to the store I can rarely put an outfit together that even looks as simple as this...

Source: via Bianca on Pinterest

Lovely birthday parties that would make any little girl squee with delight. Like this amazing woodland fairy themed party...

Yes, I know that there are plenty of photos that are of your everyday backyards decorated for a cookout that scream, "We know how to party!".

Yes, I know that there are plenty of photos that are of the standard family vacation in a regular hotel on a nice beach without broken beer bottles and hypodermic needles.

Yes, I know that there are plenty of photos of that are of food that I can actually prep, cook, serve and clean up without much trouble (notice I didn't say that I still wouldn't be complaining about having to do all of it).

Yes, I know that there are outfits that are simple to probably copy in a cheaper way with little effort but those aren't the ones that make me say, "Oooh & Ahhh" and running to the mall.

The birthday party photos though...will someone please start pinning some regular ol' house parties with crepe paper, balloons and paper plates from Party City. (Oh, I also need the parents to be not so crafty. I am doing my best to decorate for Bean's birthday party tomorrow and I have stapled one of my fingers, burned another one, fell off of a chair I was standing on to hang something up and cut a hole in my shirt. Not sure how that last one happened but I am going to blame it on Pinterest!)

What are your favorite things to swoon over on Pinterest?


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wintertime Fun - Minus Heavy Coats and Snow...

We haven't had much more than an inch or two total accumulation of snow where we live this winter. I don't need a ton of it but I do feel we have been shortchanged somehow.

I mean if it is going to be cold (okay, we have had a few early Spring like days scattered here and there), I want at least one snow where my girls can go out and make snow angels, build snowmen, slide down our neighbor's hill and come inside begging  asking for hot cocoa with extra marshmallows.

Since that hasn't happened this year, my girls found another way to have fun...

Do you remember how much fun jumping off of things used to be when you were a kid? There wasn't hesitation. There wasn't thinking about the what ifs. It was just plain old fun.

I would've joined them but it looked a little high for me and I was worried that I would break something. ;-)

parenting BY dummies
This is my first ever Wordful Wednesday link up with Dumb Mom of Parenting by Dummies. So excited to be in the company of so many wonderful bloggers!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Honest Answers From an Almost Tween...

Ash, my first born, will be turning 10 and will become a tween in just a few short weeks. She has been practicing too! Just the other day I got the hand on the hip, roll of the eyes and sigh when I told her I was tired of tripping over her shoes and to put them NEATLY in her closet. I have to say, she did it perfectly on her very first time of throwing that whole combo together. Makes a mom's heart swell with pride (read that with some very heavy sarcasm).

Kristen - "Come on, Ash. Give me a pretty smile."
Ash - "I'm sick of getting my picture taken. Does this work?!"
Well, today my almost tween is home sick from school. When I told her that I wanted to write a post, while she took to the couch, she told me she wanted to help. So, we are winging a Q&A session.

Kristen - What is your least favorite chore and why?
Ash - Cleaning up my room because it takes forever.
Kristen - Do you know that it wouldn't take forever if you just put things away after you use them instead of piling them on every surface in your room?
Ash - Yes, you've told me that a million times. *SIGH*

Kristen - Why is it that you never wear a coat? Even when I tell you that you must have one, you either carry it or stuff it in your book bag.
Ash - I get too hot in it.
Kristen - Ummm...when it is 28 degrees?
Ash - Most of the time, yes.
Kristen - So your skin turning purple, the teeth chattering and the goosebumps all over your body are there because you are hot?
Ash - Funny, Mom.

Kristen - If you could meet any famous singer, who would it be?
Ash - Oh, that is so hard! Well, no it isn't...Adam Levine!
Kristen - Why Adam Levine?
Ash - He is just a really good singer. Also, he seems really nice.
Kristen - Okay, she hasn't matured that much yet because I would've said that he is just really easy on the eyes! (I said this in my head).

Kristen - If you could give every single human being on earth a present, what would it be?
Ash - A scrapbook kit.
Kristen - Why?
Ash - It would be a great present for every age because you could keep track of all of the special memories throughout your life.
Kristen - That's a pretty thoughtful present. That answer makes mommy pretty happy.
Ash - Thank you.

Kristen - What do you think about hitting the double digits?
Ash - I'm pretty excited!
Kristen - Why?
Ash - Well, it means I am getting older and can do more things. I'm a little sad though because I know I can't go back to the way things were when I was younger.
Kristen - What do you mean by that?
Ash - As I get older, I keep getting more and more homework and there is less time to play.
Kristen - My little girl is still in there. I love that she still loves to play :-) (I said this in my head too but I had a smile from ear to ear.)

Do you remember when you hit the double digits? Did you think it was exciting or just another birthday?

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Place of Calm...

It is that time again to join in with so many on Memories Captured founded by Galit of These Little Waves and Alison of Mama Wants This! 

I love the creativity that is inspired by this project. As life goes by us, we take lots of photos but do we truly capture the memories that were behind each one. Pausing for a minute and adding some words to a picture can make it come to life and never let is slip away.

The picture I chose is of my husband in a race on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Being on the water is my husband's true passion. I know it is where his mind can let go of the daily grind and find a place of calm.

My husband with his racing buddies


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Love Is...

There were so many Twitter, Facebook and Blog posts about "if" you actually celebrate Valentine's Day with your partner. I love the idea of flowers, thoughtful written words and a big box of chocolate but do I need those things? No. So snuggling into bed with my husband last night I realized something...

What I need are the daily reminders of what love is to me.

Love is...

My husband staying on the phone (speaker) with me to make sure I got home okay when our car was acting up. (I was sweating bullets! He made me feel safer.)

Love is...

My husband taking out our one trash can and our several recycling bins. (We have a long driveway.)

Love is...

My husband cooking an amazing dinner with my taste buds in mind. (I think he knows my taste buds better than I do because he has introduced me to so many wonderful food and spice combinations.)

Love is...

My husband scooping me up when he gets home from work to crack my back. (I can't tell you how much this releases the stress of the day for me.)

Love is...

My husband pulling the shower curtain back when he gets out of the shower. (I know, I have my issues but I can't stand when the shower curtain is open.)

Love is...

My husband putting his dirty clothes in the hamper. (I'm not saying this happens a lot but when it does...SWOON!)

Love is...

My husband telling me it is okay to put my deathly cold hands and feet on him to warm them up. (Note to self: make a doctor's appointment and see if there is some kind of blood circulation problem going on.)

Love is...

My husband on his iPad after a long day at work, reading my blog and either laughing out loud or telling me how much he loved it. (Because this blog was started at his push and still six months into it...he still gives it his full support.)

What is one of your reminders of what love is from your spouse? 

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Feeling Like A Third Wheel...

I read a post on Twitter this weekend from @FunnyXL that said "Dear Sidewalk, Please get wider. Sincerely, third friend walking behind feeling excluded." It really hit home with me.

I know that feeling. I've been in that situation. I am not the girl who will try to make myself more noticeable. I am the girl who will take the step back and fall behind so there is room for all three of us.

The problem with is really lonely walking behind your friends. You can feel your head begin to lower. Your heart starts to hurt a bit. Your mind starts to wonder if your friends would even miss you if ducked behind a tree while the three of you are walking along.

The worst part of knowing the feeling of being the third wheel is knowing that your child feels that way at times too. You want to take the hurt away. You want to teach them all of the lessons in friendship that you have learned throughout your many years. You want them to believe that they are worth making room for on the sidewalk but how? 

As you struggle to help your child sort it all out, you find yourself leaning on your own friends for comfort and advice. They tell you to show your child how you treat your friends and how they treat you. Your friends suggest sharing stories of how you helped your friend or how your friend did something to help you. They offer to include your child in conversations about supporting one another as friends at the next gathering.

They are all wonderful and helpful tips on friendship that are very welcomed but in the end you know that your child will only learn so much from you and will have to figure the rest out for themselves. You can guide, teach and listen but they are the ones who will need to believe in themselves enough to know that a true friend would never let you walk behind...only beside.

Source: via Erin on Pinterest


Friday, February 10, 2012

Saturday Morning Cartoons & Cereal...

Most children now have access to cartoons 24 hours a day if they want it. Between the cable channels now dedicated to children shows and On Demand where they can choose from hundreds of episodes...there is no shortage of cartoons.

When I was little though, it was all about Saturday mornings. I would anxiously await for the week to wrap up so I could plop myself down in front of the TV in our family room and watch some of my favorite cartoons.

The cherry on top of Saturday morning cartoons was that I got to eat a bowl filled with sugary, crunchy goodness and milk. Yes, I am talking about cereal...yummy, yummy cereal! I couldn't wait to choose from the boxes of Froot Loops, Lucky Charms, Captain Crunch and Honey Nut Cheerios in our cupboards.

I would carry my bowl cautiously from the kitchen to the coffee table in the family room. Then I would sit down with knees swung to the side because we had a coffee table that had open legs but that had a band of wood that went around all four sides. It didn't make for the most comfortable seating but with the first bite of cereal, none of that mattered. I was taken to another place...

A wonderful place with a mouthful of my favorite cereal and my friends Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, Tom, Jerry, Smurfette, Papa Smurf, Alvin, Simon, Theodore and all of The Super Friends.

I wanted to know what cereals people liked best when they were kids, so I went to Facebook and Twitter. Here are some of the answers...

This Gal's Journey - By far...Peanut Butter Captain Crunch!!!

Momma Made It Look EasyFruit Loops.

The Harried Mom - I loved cocoa puffs! Chocolate milk left in the bowl after the cereal, total score.

Illusion of Sanity Oooh, I liked Lucky Charms. :)

Cyndi Z. - Captain Crunch!!!

Fractured Family Tales - Quaker Instant Oatmeal Brown Sugar and Cinnamon

I Delight in You - Peanut Butter Captain Crunch

What was your favorite cereal when you were a kid?

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Luxury of a Nightmare...

Very early Tuesday morning, I awoke in sobs. My heart hurt like it never had before. I just yanked myself from the worst nightmare I had ever had in my entire life.

The nightmare started off as a sweet dream, with warm air surrounding myself, my husband and our two girls. We were at what seemed to be a two story outdoor mall. (I know, pure bliss, right?!)

That is where the sweet dream ended and the nightmare began. All of a sudden my husband was shouting that I needed to get down and pointed to a man in all black pointing a rifle into the crowd. It seemed to be aimed at us. The mass of people at the crowd started to panic and I reached out for my girls as I tried to also get myself out of harm's way.

I couldn't reach them. They seemed to be getting further away from me without evening moving their feet. I could see the sadness in their eyes and I could feel the racing of my heart and panic setting in. I started to scream to my husband that I couldn't get to our girls. I was crying, pleading, pushing through the crowd and calling their names. They were soon just a blur of the colors I had dressed them in. Then, all at once, they were out of my vision.

I screamed the most painful cry. I could feel it in every part of my being. My girls were gone. I couldn't find them. I couldn't do anything but dart through the crowd like a metal ball in a pinball machine in search of these two girls who were made out of the love that Chris and I have for each other.

People, that were my friends in the dream, were helping me cover the property. We were scanning for ponytails with preppy bows. We were listening for cries of distress. That is when my husband came over to me and said to me in tears, "They are gone, Kristen. The man in all black just drove away with them."

I fell to the floor of this outdoor mall that once surrounded me in warm air and felt so cold. I could feel my heart breaking in a million pieces. I was dying from the inside out. 

That is when I forced myself to wake up, to feel the softness of my sheets and remind myself that it was just a nightmare.

That is also when my thoughts went immediately to the pain I was feeling and knowing that it would all go away quickly because I had the luxury of it only being a nightmare. That is also when I took time to tiptoe into my girls' bedrooms and kiss their sweet foreheads and smell their jojoba scented hair.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Game of Pass It On...

Want to play a game of Pass It On?

Part 1. I will answer the following questions from a There's Just One Mommy post, where I was tagged.

Part 2. I will tag a few fellow bloggers in my post AND hope they answer my questions.

Part 3. A list of new questions for my fellow tagged bloggers to PASS IT ON…

Part 1:
1.  What’s on your nightstand? too many hair elastics to count, a phone, a book (currently Night Road by Kristin Hannah), Neutrogena lip balm (I put it on every night before I go to sleep)

2.  Have you ever been embarrassed by a child, either your own or someone else’s?  Share your story. Hmmm...there was this one time when Ash was in Pre-K 3 and we went in for a Mother's Day party. All of the kids answered questions from the teacher and the teacher wrote them down for them. There were about 5 questions each child had to answer. One of them was - What do you parents like to do together? Most children answered with a date night. Ash told her teacher (who then read it out loud to the party) that Chris and I like to snuggle up in our bed together and shut the door. The other moms that attended cracked up while my face went red.

3.  What’s your favorite Disney movie? Really, just one?! I'm giving you two..."Mary Poppins" is my ALL time favorite but "Up" really moved me.

4.  What’s your least favorite chore? Again, just one?! I would say scrubbing the shower and tubs. I never minded it so much when we were on city water but now that we have well water and I am constantly battling well water and rust stains...UGH!!

5.  Describe your favorite thing to cook. Tacos...hands down. It is one thing that I know Ash will eat and will ask for more.

6.  Name one thing you’d change about your house if you could.  What is it with the limit of one?! ;-) I would definitely go with kitchen. It is the heart of the home and ours just doesn't make me happy like the one in our previous home did.

Part 2:
Here are the bloggers I’d like to tag: (They are in random order.)
  1.  Fractured Family Tales - SAHM of three that is funny, witty and has a huge heart that is breaking because she is separated by thousands of miles from her husband who had to take a job in another state.
  2.  Mayor Gia - Single girl who cracks me up. She draws on her blog almost every day and writes her life like it is. (She can throw out some swear words so don't visit if that offends you.) She isn't hurtful with her swear words...just humorous.
  3. Mommy Inconsistent - Mommy to two boys who writes whatever pops into her head and/or heart. She has been incredibly supportive to me since I started blogging.
  4. Confessions of a Recovering Supermom - I look forward to this mom's blog showing up as a new post. I feel like I get to know the real woman behind the blog.
Part 3: 
My turn to ask the questions!

1.  What’s the first thing you do when your alarm goes off in the morning?
2.  What does your favorite date night consist of?
3.  What is your favorite comedy movie?
4.  What was your first car and how did you come about ownership?
5.  What is your go to snack while chilling in front of the TV?
6.  Name a famous person in present day that you would like to go shopping with and describe why.

If you were tagged, you can add your answers to a new blog post like I did or as a comment below.
Not tagged?  Pick one question from above and answer it in a comment. It's a great way to get to know all of my readers better.

Also, GREAT BIG THANKS to There's Just One Mommy for including me in this fun blog game. If you haven't checked out her blog, please do. If you have children...she is the go to for fun, EASY crafts. If you don't have children...she has a big heart, great sense of humor and the crafts may be fun for you too ;-)

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Flashback to High School...

On Thursdays I always try to participate in Kat's Writer's Workshop. It not only gives me writing prompts when I am having writer's block (like last week), it also sometimes gives me ideas that hadn't come to mind to write about. This week I chose the writing prompt about what I was like in high school.Back in September I celebrated my 20 year reunion from high school. I wrote about it back when my blog was only a few weeks old. I got one comment and it was from the friend that MADE me go to the reunion.

Broadneck Pride

For this writing prompt, I decided I wanted to do things a little differently and instead of writing about what I thought I was like, I would go on Facebook and ask people from high school what they thought I was like.

I opened myself up for any kind of response. My only rule...that people should remember I have two daughters and keep it G-rated (hey, you never know).

Anyway, the results came back better than expected. Sometimes, we are all just too hard on ourselves and our memories.

Here are the results. They are in random order. I have not embellished them.
  • I was the person who stood up for my friends (sometimes without thinking first).
  • I had a big heart (that sometimes got stomped on).
  •  Almost every response I got said that I smiled a lot, laughed a lot and made people laugh a lot too. I also got a few that said I was quick witted and could throw some serious sarcasm (maybe all of those things combined is why I was voted class clown my senior year).
  • I was a field hockey junkie and VERY team spirited (that sure stuck like crazy glue 20 years later).
  • I was one of those girls that went to a lot of parties and was a lot of fun to hang out with(my apologies to all of the parents' lawns that we all trampled back in the day).
The one characteristic that stood out the most and definitely means the most to me now is that I was "genuine". More people wrote that about me than anything else. Some said that I always said what I felt (sometimes without a filter...but that I was always honest). Others said I told it like I saw it or that I didn't sugar coat things. Several people even wrote that they admired that I was that way in high school. One friend was a total skate rat turned Dead Head and said that I proved you couldn't judge a book by its cover (meaning I was the preppy girl and I picked my friends by who they were, not what they wore).

I guess all in all, I haven't changed much. I've only matured. I am still that person that sticks up for my friends (I just think first and don't have a knee jerk reaction like I used to. Okay, sometimes I still have a knee jerk reaction. They are my friends and if you cross them...well, just watch out!) I still have a big heart (that still gets stomped on sometimes). I still smile and laugh a lot. I'm pretty sure I still make other people laugh (probably more at me than with me). I can still throw out some wicked sarcasm. I am still a huge field hockey junkie who wishes it was a year round sport and love the team(s) I coach very much. I am still one of those girls who loves a good party with friends.

Now that you can look back on things, what would you think was your strongest characteristic when you were in high school?

Mama’s Losin’ It

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Taking Straight As for Granted...

Ash pausing her walk for a snapshot
On Monday, Ash had a doctor's appointment. In the conversation she was having with her doctor he asked if school was still going well and how her grades were. She told him it was good and that she had straight As.

She didn't say it like she was bragging. She didn't even lift her head up or smile when she answered him.

He asked her if she was proud of herself because getting straight As is a hard thing to achieve these days with kids learning things a lot earlier than we did way back when. She just kind of shrugged her shoulders and said, "I guess so."

Is it my fault that she doesn't see what an amazing job she is doing with her school work? Am I letting her down by not rewarding her with as much praise as I should be when she brings assignments and report cards home?

I have been thinking about this a lot since Monday.

It is my fault. I have totally taken her great grades for granted over the past two years. I don't even think about Ash coming home with anything less than a A. I wouldn't be upset if she did but it seriously doesn't cross my mind. I sort through the papers she brings home with high scores and say, "Good job." (Notice that I didn't put an exclamation point there. I don't think I even show much enthusiasm when I say "Good job.".)

I used to shower her with hugs, excitement and sometimes a small treat. I used to tell her how proud I was and called her our little bookworm and mathbrain. I used to. What made me stop praising her and start taking these grades for granted?

I can't find an answer to that question but I can ask myself a new question to remedy the situation...What can I do to make this bright girl truly understand how proud I am of her?

I will work hard at making her see that she (and her sister) are my pride and joy. If there is anything in this world that I have done is bringing the both of them into it. I know it is a better place with them in it. I know my world wouldn't be the same without them.

The next time Ash is asked how school and her grades are, I want her to hold her head high, smile and say with enthusiasm that, "It is going great and my mom couldn't be more proud of me." because I couldn't be.

What do you do to reward your child for good grades and hard work? What were your rewarded with when you were in school? Or do you feel that your parents' took your good grades for granted too?

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