The Gift

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Six years ago today my life changed for the better. My identity was redefined and I became a new kind of person. Six years ago today my oldest daughter was born and never before had I felt the kind of love that I now enjoy everyday of my life. Grateful doesn’t even begin to explain how I feel about being a Mom.

So we celebrated! My girls and I got all dolled up and headed down to The American Girl store to have a day of sweetness and suspended disbelief. They each brought their treasured doll along (all four of them in matching outfits) and we treated them to a day of beauty, shopping and fancy dining. Oh yeah, we totally did. We made hair appointments for the dolls, bought matching pajamas for my girls and their dolls and had dinner in the cafe where they have highchairs and table settings for the dolls. It was ridiculously indulgent and my girls were so happy it looked like their cheeks may have been sore from smiling so much. That store is genius. The level of cuteness and happiness was off the charts and that’s a Mom-win.

While I was there, I began to notice the messages that were not-so-subtly being shared. I looked around at the displays of historical dolls positioned in installations of inspiration and noticed how empowering this experience can be for little girls. Written all over the walls were words of wisdom and historical significance such as….

‘Today I’ll use my heart to heal others’

‘Hope keeps my chin up. Family keeps my heart strong.’

‘Good friends are worth more than anything money can buy.’

‘Women fight for the right to vote’

‘Celebrating girls of yesterday and tomorrow’

Between these lovely messages,the dolls arranged in scenes of positive connotation, and the priceless hours of imaginative play that I knew would be born from this experience, I felt like I was in Mom heaven!

And as we left the store, I rode down the escalator with a daughter on each side of me and passed a huge message on the wall that read:

Shine.

Imagine.

Explore.

You can do anything!

When I read it aloud to my girls, I felt like this day had been as much of a gift to me as it was to my daughter for her birthday. I’m grateful that I can give my dolls a day of fun and insight that establishes a hopeful outlook and continued playful fantasy well after we bring our treasures home. What a wonderful gift.

Happy birthday Sweetheart, you make my life better.

Tea Bag Wisdom

A woman is like a tea bag.  You never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.  – Eleanor Roosevelt

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it. – The Buddha

The quieter you become the more you are able to hear. – Lao Tzu

My afternoon cup of tea has become the small bit of ME time that I can carve into just about everyday.  I’ve jazzed it up a bit by trying some new teas and even letting myself add a cookie.  It’s important to bring a snack on a long journey.  Heating the water, grabbing my favorite mug, picking a tea…all menial tasks that prepare me to have a few minutes to sit, sip and take it easy.  I find that while being mindful, I can find pleasure in all of those small steps.  Being in the moment and not letting my thoughts wander to past mistakes or future stressors is like a gift I can give myself in the midst of a busy day.  When I stop and feel grateful for the time I am taking for myself I feel like I have made a small step in the right direction.

Most of the teas I have discovered include a bit of zen wisdom to enjoy while I am idle.  The words on each tag can influence the thoughts I have during my down time.  Some seem cynical or sarcastic, but some actually read like an impressive Facebook status and spark my interest.  However you get your Zen inspiration, add a bit of mindfulness to create an opportunity to honor yourself and soak in the positivity.  If I take time off from my day and let all the negative thoughts seep in I would be wasting my time.  No sense in heating up water just to stew in my own negative thoughts.  No stew for you!  You’d just be getting yourself in hot water.

myhappypromise

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