Monday, April 16, 2018


Christmas this year came and went in somewhat of a busy blur.  I love blurs, but sometimes it ends so fast you can't even remember all that happened.  In true, Mom, form, Lily handed me a letter she had written for Santa with strict instructions to mail it to the North Pole.

I forgot.  

And foolishly thought that she would too.  So in February she came running out of her bedroom one day with the letter and alligator tears running down her face. "Mommy!  You never mailed my letter. I need Santa to know what I wrote!"  Oh dear......BAD MOM right over this way people.

I played it off and told her that I would get it in the mail just as fast as I could.  "But Mom, its not Christmas!"  I turned and smiled and told her, "Well Babe, if Santa can only get letters at Christmas then hes not a very good Santa!"

I hastily put Grandma Lynn's address on it knowing she would love to play Santa and sent it off.  I had no idea what Lily had written, but I knew that Grandma would know right what to do.

A few weeks later we got this, and some boxes of presents.  Lily and Evie were AMAZED, in AWE, and so EXCITED that "Santa" had gotten their letter.  But there was more to it than simply getting what she asked for.

Bob and I videoed the entire morning and sat delighted as Lily did just what Santa had asked. 

I am eternally grateful for the family that we have.  Whether in Vernon, Illinois, Florida, their love and support of our girls stretches far.

My girls are in a good place of wonderment about Santa and the real or not real belief.  This moment reminded them that the spirit of generosity, giving, and love brought to all, are what Santa, and Christ-mas are all about.

Windows and What ifs

Life is all about learning lessons and making decisions informed by those lessons. Let's face it, some lessons are easy, other lessons are hard. My girls are learning that very real lesson though that ALL decisions have consequences.  All decisions impact someone or lots of someones and all consequences are not awesome.  Growing up is hard.

About a month ago, as Bob and I sat inside, letting our children have the independence we dole out all too frequently, Lily and her girlfriend Emme decided that throwing rocks at the house was a good idea.  In one of our, "hey maybe we should check on the girls" moments, we did, discovered the infraction and instantly discussed all the reasons why we don't throw rocks at or towards houses with windows.  We were clear, we were sound, we were full of all the consequences that could occur, and Lily listened, nodded, and stopped.

Until a couple weeks ago when we were out and she was with Grandma.  Grandma was playing with Evie allowing Lily to once again have independence to make her own choices and she decided to disregard everything we told her and throw rocks again.

Bob and I were out on date night when the call came.  A near hysterical Lily was on the other line telling us how she broke our bathroom window.  Well completely shattered is more like it.

She was beyond aware of what she had done and she was reaping consequence after emotional consequence.  Although getting our window broken was not on our list of "awesomes" for the day, we are SO grateful for natural consequences and that parenting your child through their own consequences is one of the most blessed things.  She was distraught.

We told her we loved her. We reminded her of our conversation a month ago.  We asked her all the whys. And at the end she was responsible for giving us $20 of her birthday money and would be responsible to help fix it when we tackled it.  The loss of her money and the emotional drain of having broken something so big was all the consequences she needed.

We hung up after making sure she knew how much we loved her and continued our date.  When we got home the next day Lily came to us with this completely humbled spirit.  She told us that Grandma had helped her learn from her mistake.  "Mommy, Grandma helped me understand that I should have thought about 'what if'.  That when I want to do something that doesn't feel really right I should ask myself what could happen if I do it.  I didn't think about that and I messed up. Next time I am going to ask 'what if'."

Yes Lily Grace.  That is how you learn......THAT is how you grow up.  Always remember your windows and what ifs.