Tag Archives: childhood

My little secret

8 Jan

I love wearing an outfit for the first time, and today was one of those super special days. For Christmas, my sister Macayla gave me a mauve/maroon sweater and two scarfs to match and I was waiting for the weather to turn chilly again so I could wear it.

With today’s high being the low 40’s, I couldn’t pass it up! I layered the sweater over a long, lacy black tank top and paired it was jeans and boots. Then I opted for the blue, purple and gold scarf as an accent. Can I take a moment to express my love of jeans Friday – they happen every week at my new job and you don’t even have to donate $5 or wait for payday! It’s the little things in life that excite me!

While I was styling my hair, I remembered a pair of delicate sapphire earrings I had received for my birthday one year hiding in the bottom of a jewelry box. They have slight gold trim around the gems and would match my outfit perfectly and tie everything together! I’m honestly not a big fan of gold, I don’t wear it often because I don’t like the way it looks with my coloring, but I made an exception because I love these earrings.

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When it comes to earrings, I have a love-hate relationship all because of an innocent that happened when I was 4-years-old…

Way back when, when I was in pre-school, it was a few days before Christmas, and this little boy who my mom tells me was my very best friend, gave me a pair of dangly horse earrings. (Side note, my mom had my ears pierced on black Friday when I was a baby.) According to mom, I loved those earrings and wore them all the time, but I also had a tendency to tug on them. Now I don’t know if that’s because I was a little kid and didn’t know better, or if they were hurting my ears because they were heavy than the plactic studs I typically wore of teddy bears, but whatever the reason, I ended up tearing the hole in my right ear. To this day, it’s a little slit and not a nice hole like the left side, but I may be the only one (until now) who has noticed. 

So after I ripped my ear, my mom took out my earrings and let the holes heal and close. I didn’t think anything of it until I was about 10 or 11 when I discovered a pack of earrings in a desk drawer and decided to put them in the random holes in my ears. (For years I had only worn clip-on, pretend earrings.) I remember the sting of pushing through that thin layer of skin that covered over the holes and then the earring was in, and ever since, I’ve worn earrings intermittently depending on my mood. 

To this day, earrings still someetimes bother my right ear if I leave them in too long or if they are made of cheap metal or if they are too heavy. I have to be very careful selecting earrings for this reason. But the adorable sapphire earrings weigh nothing – it would be as if I was wearing no earrings at all, which has been my mood lately, I honestly just can’t be bothered to do my hair and choose cute earrings all before 9 a.m., it’s gotta be one or the other, because I am not, I repeat not, a morning person by any means. But for whatever reason, the need to feel completely put together because of my new outfit, I opted for styled hair and adorable stud earrings. 

These earrings are dainty – you look at them too strickly and I fear they will fall apart on the spot, so I was trying very hard to be careful as I put them in. I started with the right ear and it went in smoothly, I even got the teeny tiny back on on the first try. Time for the left ear….not so smoothly. As I was putting on the earring back, it went on crooked and got stuck. Slightly panicked, I tried to remove the back for 10 minutes and even consider waking up my sister, who was the only other person home at the time, to help me, but I didn’t think she would appreciate that very much, so I lovingly let her continue to sleep.

FINALLY, I got the back off and removed the earring to give my ear a moment to breathe. There was no way I was going to go another round with that earring back and risk the same thing happening all over again. I removed the other earring and started searching for a different set of backs that would work. No such luck. The backs I found wouldn’t fit and I was running out of time before I needed to leave for work.

That’s when I remembered, my mom once told me that she had lost an earring back while at work, and instead of taking out the earrings, she simply used a piece of eraser to hold the earring in place until she got home. GENIUS! I  ran for my desk and found a pencil with an unused eraser that I proceeded to cut into quarters. Taking two of the circles, I used them as makeshift, comfortable and secure earring backs. Best part… no one at work was the wiser! It was my little secret!

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Do you have a hack for creating custom, comfortable and hidden earring backs? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

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Nap time tactics

30 Dec

My mom is an evil genius when it comes to putting little kids down for a nap…I should know, of course, I was the first genernation she got to torture.

You see, here’s the thing, it’s actually a really smart, and super simple idea, and very little set-up and planning are required to make this scheme effective. One simply needs a Yanni CD and a repeat button on the CD player and it works every time!!!

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When my sisters and I were younger, we didn’t like to take naps. To “compromise,” my mom would tell us we didn’t have to go to sleep, we just had to lay there and listen to the pretty music, and when it stopped, we could get up. But here in lies the evil genius part of her plan…WE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE REPEAT BUTTON!

I swear, that was the world’s longest CD ever to a little kid. My mom tells me that we usually were out within 2 – 3 songs, but that may have well been 2 – 3 hours of listening! Once she knew we were out, she’d let the CD play through 1 – 2 times and then turned it off so there would be no music playing when we woke up. Did I mention my mom was an evil genius?! šŸ˜‰

Today, we are watching my cousin’s little boys for a few hours, and once lunch was over it was the most hated moment of the day for kiddos – nap time! The youngest didn’t have much fight left in him once he was all snuggled up in his blankie.

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His brother on the other hand, was having none of it, he only cared about watching Paw Patrol. So when my mom took him for a strategically timed potty break, I turned off the TV and busted out Yanni. Does this make me an accomplice to the evil nap time plot?!

He was given the same instructions I once received, lay on the pillow and listen to the pretty music. The little man cried and tried as best he could to fight the sweet, sleepy sounds of Yanni, but he, too was lost in dreamland before the end of song number two.

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The CD is still playing in the background as I type. It really is soothing, calming music. My mom and I were laughing about how at bedtime my sisters and I would sometimes ask her to play the Yanni CD. To this day I still fall asleep listening to soft music, my favorites being Jim Brickman and Celtic music. I guess some habits from childhood never fade. And someday when I have children of my own, mom has already told me she’s giving me a Yanni CD of my very own so I can torture the next generation of nap-haters! I must say I am looking forward to pulling the same trick on them that my mom pulled on me!

Adventures with Dad

21 Jun

Anyone can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a DAD!

For as long as I can remember, I have always looked up to my dad…. and no, that’s not just because he’s managed to remain just barely taller than I am. 

As I was thinking earlier about what I would write, I recalled a conversation at lunch about how my parents would never understand the struggle of being the oldest child, as they are both the youngest in their families. But that also got me thinking about how special the role of the oldest child is – we are the ones who break in our parents, and in this specific post, our dads, for the siblings who follow.

I consider myself very lucky as a daughter because my dad has been a key player in my life from the very beginning. I have never once doubted his love for me. Just look at these early photos – it’s clear as day!

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From an early age I showed him I was going to be trouble. When I was one year old, he was watching me while my mom was at school, and it must have been one heck of a time because she came home to find this sticker on me. It cracks me up that this sticker survived 20 something years and two moves; I found it a couple of years ago and scanned it for safe keeping…and if you’ve been lucky enough to know me through my teen years like my dad, you will understand how foreshadowing it was. Lucky for him and everyone else, I mostly grew out of that stage!

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Over the years we’ve had some great times – when I was in kindergarten he would pick me up and when we’d get home we’d laid down with a story book until I fell asleep…or so he thought that’s what I’d do. According to the story I’ve grown up hearing, I waited until DAD fell asleep, then I got up and went into another room and played. What can I say, I was a very stubborn and independent little kid!

And then when I got a little older, pretending to be a hairstylist was all the rage! And guess who my number one client was, good ol dad! Countless hours he spend sitting on the floor up against the couch while I combed and brushed and styled his hair. And, like every good hairstylist, he was subjected to my endless chatter or singing or storytelling – whichever I was in the mood for that day. He was a really good sport, I’m sure I pulled out more hair than he’d care to admit (maybe I’m the reason it’s a little thinner on top?? Hummm???).

Older still and there’s this great photo of my sister, Megan and I tackling him right after he got home from work. I’m not sure why we did, but it’s clear we missed him while he was away.

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One of my all time favorite memories with my dad from my childhood would have to be our “Daddy-Daughter Date Days.” These could be anything from going to the park, bowling, eating at Pizza Hut – as a little kid it felt like the sky was the limit. This was my special time, and having two little sisters running around, it was nice to have his full attention if only for a little bit. It was in these little moments, when I would ramble on about who knows what, he would listen. And that was the start of a special connection, I knew no matter what was going on, if I needed him, he would be there to listen to me and to help me figure out life. He may not always have the answers, but he’d always do his best at helping me solve whatever problem I was facing.

Another favorite memory would be when he was my soccer coach. During this time in my life, I learned a very important lesson – even though I was the coach’s kid, he wasn’t going to treat me any differently, I would have my time sitting on the bench and playing my least favorite position – goalie. There was one game in particular I remember clear as day, I DID NOT want to play goalie because the other team was really good and they were already up by a lot of points, and guess who was up to be goalie at the start of the second half – me. I tried every trick in the book to make him switch me with someone else, I even through a temper tantrum right there on the field and got a stern talking to in front of my teammates. I CRIED THE WHOLE WAY TO THE  GOALIE BOX AND DURING THE WHOLE THIRD QUARTER. I don’t remember how many points that team scored against me, but I know now looking back it doesn’t matter. What my dad taught me is that life isn’t always fair and that I’m not entitled to anything just because I have a connection. I have to pay my dues (or play goalie) just like everyone else, and I’m a better person for learning that.

Over the years my dad has taught me many things, some he knew about, others he may not even realize I learned from him.

He is one of the most loving and caring people I know, but he shows it quietly through actions. There are many times I’ve seen him help someone in need, and countless other times I’m sure I don’t know about. He’s taught me compassion and service to others.

From my dad I have also learned good work ethic and to strive to keep learning and improving. I was impressed when he went back to finish his college degree when I was a senior in high school, and though it was tough, he never gave up. I’m sure there were things he would have much rather been doing, but he was determined to do this for him and his family. If he (and my mom when she went back for her Masters degree) could do it, there’s nothing in this world that can stop me from achieving my educational dreams either.

I have watched over the years as my dad’s faith has grown. I’ve seen him be our family rock and stand firm when things were hard, but I have also seen times when it was too hard to stand, so he’d kneel and ask for guidance or strength or peace or understanding. I know that he prays for each of my sisters and I, and we for him.

I have watched the way he treats my mom with love and respect. He adores her and she him, and I won’t settle for a love less than that. Together they are teammates, friends, the head of our family. He has set the bar high for the characteristics I want in my future husband and father of my children.

My dad is a goofball, there’s always a joke not far off. Most of the time I roll my eyes in exasperation, but secretly I love it. He’s always up for silly times with my sisters and I – anything to get us to laugh! And to think it all started way long ago when I thought he could pull a quarter out of my ear! He has a unique sense of humor, and though I don’t share that same trait, I have learned over the years not to take it for granted. My high school friends loved coming to my house, partly I think because of my dad – while there’s weren’t always invested in their lives or were more serious personalities, my goofy dad could always cheer them up and brighten their day. I lost track of the number of times they told me how cool my dad was!

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He has been there for every important event in my life, from my birth to sports games, choir and band concerts, graduation from high school and college, flying with me to Florida to help get me settled when I started working for Disney, and even helping me make connections that landed me my job. My dad is awesome, and I don’t tell him that nearly enough! Just tonight he even unclogged our tub (thank’s dad, you rock!).

So on your special day, I want you to know how blessed I feel to be your oldest daughter, to be the one who got to first call you daddy! No matter how old I get or where the winds may blow me, I will always and forevermore be your little girl.

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And now for a few highlights from Father’s Day 2015…..

And last but not least, the video of him opening up my awesome card!

Wordless Wednesday – 3/19/14

19 Mar

Before there was WordPress, there was Lisa Frank and pens……20140319-214959.jpg

Super Shark

2 Aug

If you know nothing about me, know that I am a fish out of water. I LOVE swimming and have enjoyed being in the water all summer long for as far back as I can remember.

One of my very first swimming instructors was my mom. I was 4 years old and she was a teacher at the preschool I attended. But our story tonight happens about four years later at day camp….

Summer Day Camp was held at the houses of the Co-owners of the previously mentioned preschool. They are sisters who live next door to each other and also happen to go to my church. And, because it will be important to my story later, my mom is now the director of day camp.

What’s not to love about Day Camp? Crafts, hiking, fishing, free time, seeing friends who attend different schools and…swimming lessons in a beautiful in-ground, shallow end and super deep end pool. My favorite times of the day were spent in that pool – swim lessons in the morning and free swim in the afternoon.

When campers arrived at the beginning of the summer, we were each given a swim test and placed into the appropriate swim class for lessons. You’re going to love the names of the swim classes, I have a smile just thinking about them. Here we go:

Beginners – Advanced

Tadpole
Goldfish
Shallow-end whale
Deep-end whale
Shark
SUPER SHARK

As I mentioned, I am a fish out of water so I easily tested out of the beginner groups and quickly found myself as a “cool kid” swimming in the deep end of the pool. I was learning things like standing diving from the edge of the pool, more advanced swimming strokes and how to tread water.

Now, Day Camp was held outside on the combined property of the two preschool owners. We had an all sides open shelter where we met as a camp every morning and evening, however it didn’t provide proper shelter during thunderstorms and other extreme weather situations. During these times, the campers were divided between the two houses – girls in one, boys in the other, to watch movies or play cards/board games until the storm passed.

It was on one of these days our story actually begins. It had been raining most of the day and we had been cooped up inside. We missed our swimming lesson, but as luck would have it the skies cleared in time for free swim! I was so excited to get in the pool that I didn’t bother putting my tennis shoes on all the way or worrying about tying my laces. After all I was only heading to the changing room in the basement of the house we were in. I just kind of shoved my feet in and started doing the shuffle down the cement driveway – which is on a slight hill.

I bet you can see where I’m going with this, I was being reckless in my excitement to get to the pool and I tripped on my own shoelaces, down I went. I tried to brace myself on impact and broke both bones in my right wrist in the process. OUCH!!!

Tears streaming down my cheeks and pain shooting through my arm like I have never experienced before I went to find my mom. She just knew by the angle at which I was holding my arm that it was broke, but as she was the camp director she couldn’t leave or do anything more for me at the time than give me some pain killers, luckily there was only an hour or so left in the camp day. And then she had a brilliant idea – go sit in the pool with your wrist in the cool water for BOTH free swims. (Awesome, except for the fact the pool was filled with kids running and splashing and jumping and bumping – not ideal for a girl with a freshly broken wrist, but I went anyways and it did help it feel a bit better.)

Went to the doctor and he confirmed it, a very nice clean break. Lucky for me it was summer and I’m left-handed! Phew! And I managed to get myself a lovely hot pink WATERPROOF cast! It was as if they wrapped my arm in bubble-wrap before putting the cast on.

Now, near the end of the summer each year, the camp had an overnight event which was kicked off with a swim show for the parents to showcase what we learned. The show begins with the tadpoles and works it’s way up to the most advanced swimmers with the coolest routines, the SUPER SHARKS! I was determined to be in that group for the swim show, and no cast was going to stop me. This was my year.

I don’t remember everything required to pass the test to be a Super Shark, but what I can remember is: a running dive off the diving board, fireman’s jump (don’t let your head go under), tread water for twenty minutes without stopping and swim the length of the pool without stopping. You can imagine how exhausting that, plus everything I can’t remember, would be for a normal little 8 year old, now try adding a 10 pound fully-soaked cast.

I am pleased to announce that on the VERY last day of testing, cast and all, I became a SUPER SHARK!

It’s one of the proudest moments from my childhood and to this day it gives me great pleasure to be counted as a day camp top swimmer!

Zebra Garden