Saturday, June 23, 2012


My Olivia.

Olivia completed her first year of middle school. It was no easy feat. She worked long, hard hours on homework. She dealt with demanding parents who hold the bar at unreasonable heights. She learned to navigate friends personalities (& their hormones and their insecurities). And her own. She grappled to understand lectures, lessons, and teacher expectations. 

She came through it all victoriously. 

Images and captions below offer a glimpse of life as 6th grader Liv. 

buds bound for sailish expedition. 4 days out at sea.
Go Brighton Basketball.
snow day kisses. Charlotte.

American Girl. Marie Grace.

sweet supporters.

dear friends. end of year concert.

soggy sixth graders. field day.

sweet treat. smiles. 

beach day beauties.

school project with papa.

middle school dance.
dancing queens.

videos and vegging. afternoon ritual.
sister act. SCT audition.

destination imagination.

my joy. welcome home from sailish.

belly laughing bliss. 

my beautiful firstborn.

I am so proud of you, Olivia.  As you move through life as the loving, bright, talented, silly, sweet beauty that you are please know I will be right here on the sidelines (and sometimes helicoptering above ;) always supporting you.  

And forever in awe of you. 
My heart, always. 

Audrey E.

Life is very up & down for her lately as she heads into Tweendom and her hormones rage and  as a result her daily disposition is not nearly as bright as she (and we) have grown accustomed to in her nearly 9 years of life.

So it is critical now that she knows how perfectly wonderful she is even on the days when she feels anything but.

I will let images & captions prove it.

papa's girl.
mama's joy.

sweet forever friends.
trusty pooch. nail painter.
smart little star. KING TV shoot.
cute. caring. American Girl Fashion Show.

creative miss.
fun. fearless. frilly.
focused. fashionable.
beauty. (inside.outside)
brave. (fell on head. dr. visit. back to school)
friend to animals. touche the turtle.
dedicated. determined. darling.
baker girl.

tea sipping sweet pea.


My Audrey E., may you always remember the importance of taking time out for you.

breathe. pray. know you are loved. always.

Check your Pulse

Chatting with a dear friend last evening about our ongoing quests to let things go I once again was thinking about the state of one's heart.

As I mentioned in a previous post, intention is key. So are boundaries. So is treating yourself as you would a friend. Or offering myself the same guidance and grace in certain situations as I would my daughters.

Therefore, I have been checking my pulse quite a bit lately- or taking stock of my heart.

I've made a conscious effort (super recently so this is new territory for me) to listen to my inner voice and go with my gut more so than ever. 

I tend to want to protect others even when their behavior is hurtful to me. I do not want to embarrass them or shame them or face their questioning if they see that I pull away from them so instead I swallow it. I would never tell my girlfriends or my daughters to suck it up--so why do that to myself?

Let me be clear- this generally does not happen with close friends or family and it certainly does not happen with my husband. Ours is a very very authentic relationship- good.bad.ugly. We communicate A LOT and I love him. Madly. (That was a quick and necessary tangent for me to spell out as I am very proud of how hard we work together on our marriage).

My thoughts today about my boundaries and such tend to be with mainly acquaintances or more peripheral people (social media, work, daily life, etc.) While I certainly care about their perception of me and I absolutely strive to not offend them, I recognize more and more that things they say and do that sting me seem to be "their" problem. 

I make a conscious effort to keep my heart and mind and intentions in check.  This is not to say I do not mess up, but my motive is not to make others feel small and because these people tend to not be super close to me then their behavior does not deserve the time and energy I usually allow. 

I do believe that people can be very insecure. and insensitive. and sometimes cruel. 

So in the same way I tell my daughters to carry themselves with caring, confident hearts and protect it as needed, I am finally starting to do the same. 

For those that bruise my heart the boundaries are being established.  

As a result, my heart has never beat stronger.