The Best Gift You Could Ever Give To Your Parents

I’m sure there’s been several moments when my parents have said to themselves as they raised me, “Some day she’ll thank me for that!” Their parents probably had the same experience! So here’s my question: have I thanked them for that? Have I thanked them for teaching me humility? For allowing me to make mistakes but always holding my hand through the process of mending them? For pushing me in school (and paying for it)? Have I thanked them for always answering the phone when I call? For always providing me with new school clothes, a cute childhood bedroom, and yearly tours with my dance team? The list of what I need to thank them for is incredibly long, and as I have grown into adulthood, I have truly been able to acknowledge the love and sacrifices they continue to make for me day by day. But one I have felt so strongly about lately is to thank them for the gift of allowing my grandparents to be part of my life. That’s not a typical thought you’d have to thank your parents for, right? The last few years though I’ve had the strongest yearning to build a deeper relationship

From a Father to a Daughter, These are the Lessons I’ve Learned About Real Love

I’ve spent many of my recent quiet moments reflecting on my father and my special relationship with him. Some of his lessons come from conversations, but most come from observing how he interacts with the world, and with me. From a father to his daughter, these are the lessons I’ve learned about real love. Real love was making me Minnie Mouse pancakes on Saturday mornings. Growing up, I’d often have cousins or friends sleep over on Friday nights. My dad would pitch up the tent in our backyard (or we’d camp out in the living room) and he’d stay up late with us teaching us about the constellations, telling us funny stories, and wake up early to prepare our favorite pancake breakfast.  He’d pour the batter by hand in the specific shape each kid wanted: monster trucks, letters, and soccer balls, but I loved my Minnie Mouse pancakes and I loved even more that my dad would make the time, and the mess, to cook them for me. Real love was sneaking a note in my lunch when he knew I had an important test at school, a dance performance, a late-night shift at work, or simply felt I needed a little extra

The Babysitters Club

here I am at the stove top making mac & cheese. Chicken nuggets are in the microwave for the other hungry three. My shirt is stained with baby drool, my hair? What a mess. Camryn loves playing dress-up & has now tried on her third princess dress. The toddler pooped his pants even after I took him to the potty. Can my day be over now? But the kids, really, they aren’t being naughty. The neighborhood is over making ruckus all through the house. Keeping track of all of them clearly is not the simplest – sometimes I feel it’d be easier with my spouse. “Underdoggie” is their favorite – we play for hours in the heat. Sand in their shoes and sweat on their sleeves, finally! we go inside. A glass of kool-aid, please? Nap time means reading stories. I love to cuddle them close. They come to me for comfort and I kiss away their tears. They proudly show their work to me, I give the loudest cheers! Austin practices his first grade math. I laugh when I help him, still using my fingers to see what number comes next. My “office” is a room full of brightly