Friday, January 25, 2013


"How old is she?"

"Two and a half"

"Wow! She's tall!"

"Yes. She is very tall."

I have had this very conversation hundreds upon hundreds of times since Meredith was born, the only thing differing is the age I state. It's true. She is tall. She has been long and lean since the day she was born. I imagine she always will be.

This conversation is wearing on me. Not because of the sheer redundancy of it. Not because people are trying to be mean. No, it's wearing on me because of what it implies. By constantly pointing out her height, people are highlighting what is different about her. This one physical trait that causes her to stand out. Right now it's not a big deal, but I think we can all remember the years when anything that makes us different is bad. The times when we feel like a freak because we aren't like everyone else.

And maybe one day her height will set her apart in a remarkable way. Maybe she will follow in her great-grandmother's footsteps and play basketball in college. Maybe she will be able to spike a ball like no other volleyball player ever has before. Maybe she will run with strides longer and faster than the women that surround her.


Maybe she will be just an average girl with exceptional height. Maybe she will feel awkward as she shops and can't find jeans long enough. Maybe she will feel uncomfortable around the boys she finds cute as she towers over them. Maybe she will wish she weren't so tall.

So the reason this constant commenting on her height bothers me is because she is hearing these conversations. One day, when she's feeling insecure, I don't want those tapes playing through her head.  

Wow, she's so tall. Wow, she's grown a foot since I last saw her.

Instead, I hope for her to have other tapes running through her head. The tape of her daddy telling her she is smart, pretty, strong and cool. Voices telling her she is able. She is clever. She is funny. She is kind.

Of course, as her mother, I love everything about her. I love every inch of her very tall body. But just because I do doesn't mean she always will. And when she is (inevitably, I think) faced with insecure thoughts, my prayer is that she knows there is more to her than height. That there is so, so much good both inside and out that makes her an exceptional, stand out girl.

Now, if you are one of the many (many, many, many) people who have commented on her height, fear not. I am not mad at you or upset with you. You will likely comment on it again without thinking. And that's ok. I just had to put this out in the world, so that maybe if you do think about it, you can comment on something she has more control over. Like her sense of humor or the way she bubbles with joy when her friends come over. The way she strokes my arm in comfort or excitedly greets her baby brother after his nap. Her heart, I guess. She has this beautiful heart that I want her to feel confident in. I don't want that to get lost in the trappings of her (beautiful, perfect) body.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

letters to my babies

My dear Meredith,
Today I watched you gleefully run after and giggle with one of your friends. It shattered my heart. Why? Because your little friend was completely unaware of your affection and excitement. He wasn't being mean or leaving you out intentionally. He was just oblivious. I nearly cried. The almost-tears are probably more because I've been extra hormonal lately, but regardless of that, I was heart-broken. Heart-broken because I know that today was not the first time this has happened and it will most definitely not be the last.

There will be a time, sooner than I wish, that you are left out and actually realize it. It will hurt and you will wonder why. It might make you cry. It might make you made. It might make you shrug your shoulders and move on. I'm hoping you'll do the last one.

Being left out is something you'll deal with forever, most likely. As you chased your little friend around, I stood there, grappling with my own hurt feelings. I was trying so hard to connect to someone and failing miserably. And just like you, this was not the first time this has happened. I remember countless times, especially in middle school and high school, crying with my own mom and dad feeling left out, wondering why I hadn't been invited, questioning why so-and-so didn't like me. Those feelings and questions still pop into my head sometimes, but the difference now is that I have your daddy and you and your brother. It makes me sad when people don't seem as interested in being my friend as I am, but I can brush it off. I can come home and snuggle with you, get kisses from your brother and talk it through with your dad.

Sweet girl, I hope you will do that with us those hard times come. I hope you'll talk to us vulnerably and know that we will listen to you and comfort you the best we can. I hope you'll come home and play with your brother, your best bud. I hope you will know that even if those kids don't treat you as you deserve, you are someone special. Someone with a clever sense of humor, intelligence, beauty, spunk and the sweetest heart. The people you do get to claim as friends along the way will be so lucky. Their days and sleepovers and phone calls will be filled with joy. The people who don't include you and hurt your feelings? It will be their loss.

You will always be our precious girl and we will always be a safety net for when you've wandered out in that great, big world and been met with rejection and frustration.

I love you, Mae Mae.


Sweet Mattias,
My chubby, smiley, cheeks-for-days baby, oh, how I love you. When I was pregnant with you, I never doubted that I would love you as much as your sister. Lots of mommies wonder how they could love a second the way they love their first. I didn't. I knew the connection I felt to your sister was instant, instinctual and consuming. 

When you were born, though, it was different.  I loved you, of course. I snuggled you, fed you and wanted to protect you. But that heart exploding, life changing jolt wasn't immediate.  I think my heart had been pretty stretched out by becoming a mama for the first time, so instead of shattering my old-sized heart to bits, you have hunkered deep into it and made yourself at home.

The love I have for you has been a slow burn. Day-by-day, week-by-week my love for you grows. You have won me over with those kissable cheeks, your giant blue eyes and a smile that lights up your entire body. Now I hold you, look into your eyes and get lost. The way you look at me- my heart stops. It's being in love. I am so in love. You make me feel like a million bucks. I don't remember that with your sister. Daily, I receive your kisses and smiles and stares and I am so deeply aware of how unworthy I am. How blessed am I to hold your heart in mine. I don't even want to think about the day when I am no longer the number one lady in your life, but, little man, if you look at her they way you look at me, she will be one lucky lady.

I cannot wait to see the little boy you will be. Already you have so much to say. You are the loudest baby I have ever been around. You are busy. You are constantly jamming toys and fingers and blankets in your mouth, soaking them. But you are also super easy-going. You sleep like a champ (at least in comparison to your sister!). I think you will keep us busy in the days ahead, but I also think you'll somehow manage to also be a calming force.

Mattias, I am so glad you are the fourth member of our family. Life feels so complete with you in it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

lessons from potty training.

We started potty training yesterday. We had given it a try a couple months ago and none of us were really read.y. This time we seem to be having success! We are doing the three-day method which suggests staying home for three full days and basically making yourself your child's shadow. She suggests not doing laundry, keeping cooking simple and not cleaning too much. Your attention needs to fully on your child so you can catch cues and make constant reminders to use the potty.

The result of this (aside from Meredith learning to use the potty) is that I have been forced to change my daily focus. Most of the time, if we're spending the day at home, I run around the house cleaning and occasionally checking my phone while Meredith plays. These last two days, I have instead played right along with her. I've let the dishes pile up. I've let the toys lay scattered across every surface of the house. I've ignored my phone, except for brief moments when I'm nursing or she's napping. We've played with play-doh, read books, watched movies, colored, jumped on our bed and made cookies.

It's not easy for me to let the tidiness of my house go. When I see those little sayings like, Good moms have sticky floors and happy children (or whatever), I know it's true, but it's hard for me to internalize. These two days have really helped me though. We've had so much fun playing together and it's felt good to be a little more detached from social media. I needed the reminder that these two kiddos are my job each day and they deserve more of my full attention.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


final preparations

One cross country move.
Two babies.
A few fights.
Some tears.
Hours of sharing stories, anxieties, fears, triumphs, hopes and dreams.
Countless moments filled with laughter, adventure and the quietude that comes from contentedly living along side your best friend.

Six years of marriage.

I love you, Chris. 

Some other anniversary posts: Five. Four. A little video. Honeymoon. Two.