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Letters to my Kids | August

Each month(ish) I join a group of ladies to write letters to our children. It’s our way of saving memories, documenting all the little things that make our kids who they are. After you read my letter, be sure to hop over to Holli’s blog and read hers!

Dear A,

You have amazed me this summer. From going to your first sleep-away camp to giving a solo ukulele performance. You’ve pushed yourself past your comfort zone. You’ve proven how amazingly strong you can be when you set your mind to something. I’m going to remind you of all of these things when school starts in a few weeks. You’ve already started counting down the days and depending on the moment are either super excited or deathly afraid.
Things are changing around here – you and B going to school, me teaching part time and still trying to grow a business. And I know you like order and structure. Like me, you’re ok with change as long as it comes with a detailed plan and schedule. I promise to try to keep things as seamless as possible, but I know there will be times when we are all running like crazy just to make it through the day. I’ll forget to pack lunches, you’ll forget to do homework. It will happen.
But I hope we both remember the advice I give you while you practice your ukulele…. Ninety-nine percent of the time no one notices your mistake other than you. No one picks you apart like you do. So when you screw up, because you will, just keep going. Don’t stop, don’t let it drag you backwards, just keep going and no one will even notice. Acknowledge it, learn from it, but just keep going.
You made the bold move to dye your hair turquoise this summer. It should have faded completely out by now, buuuut, you hair is the color of seaweed. Not sure what we will do about that in a few weeks, but I am proud of you for making a choice that isn’t mainstream and being proud of it. It took guts.
You are smart and clever, determined and detailed. You are sensitive and thoughtful and are growing into a beautiful person, inside and out.

girl wearing skydiving goggles

Love you,
Mom

Dear B,

Well, you just turned 5. You got up and asked how much taller you had grown. You chose to go indoor skydiving instead of having a party. You did, however make sure everyone knew that just because there wasn’t a party, that didn’t mean you didn’t expect presents. You get funnier by the minute, with your immediate come-backs to hilarious takes on things. You are full of random questions about zombie polar bears and killer alligators. You drink white milk – not chocolate, refuse to eat icing, but still want the cupcakes, and have put the finishing touches on your very own accent. It’s a mix between British and redneck and it fits you surprisingly well.
You have become fearless with physical things like indoor skydiving and huge water slides, but the thought of school still makes you want to cry.
You refuse to say that anything is fun, instead pretending to be too cool for everyone around you. Yesterday I listened to a story about the “most hugest and scariest” slide that you had gone down. You were full of excitement and smiling and using hand gestures all over the place. When I said, “man it sounds like you had so much fun,” you replied “Yes, It was so much fun! Wait, I mean no. No it wasn’t. Just nevermind.” I laughed and you left the room with your arms crossed. Poor kid. You just want to be miserable and take everyone there with you. We just keep ruining it by taking you fun places.
You are inquisitive and imaginative. You don’t give up until you have a satisfactory answer and that answer usually needs to match what you’ve already come up with in your head. You are strong willed, but still a mama’s boy. You are the manliest kid I know, but you can’t help but be mesmerized by cute little animals.

 

blond boy getting ready to go indoor skydiving

Love you,
Mom

camobirthday

 

 

kids skydiving indoors

 

Filming your kids | An everyday approach to videoing kids

Sometimes I want to film my kids just for fun. No agenda, no special occasion. So a few days ago I told them to sit on my bed and let me film them. B’s birthday is coming up soon and I wanted to capture him just as he is right now. I didn’t want scripted questions, I didn’t want to talk about his favorite things. I just wanted him to get comfortable being filmed and for him to just start talking about whatever he wanted to. I knew anything might come out of his mouth! I didn’t set up any fancy equipment. Just the me and the camera. It took him a bit to warm up and he wasn’t in his most talkative mood, but I love the outcome. It’s him. It’s his sister getting bored with his story in the background. It’s him trying to tell a joke and knowing it was terrible the moment he finished it. It’s him.

Don’t wait for a special occasion to film your family. Every day is a moment you don’t want to forget. Call me and let’s talk about creating a film for your family to cherish.

Letter to my Kids | June 2016

Each month I join a great group of ladies to write letters to our children. After you read my letter, hop over to Holli’s blog and read hers!

OH Kids,

This month y’all get one letter.  I’m too tired to write two. Yes. I’m lazy. But I own it. I do think I can find the energy to get up make a mimosa, though. I’ve got my priorities straight, yo.

So, school is officially out. You are home with me 5 looooooong days a week, all by ourselves. Weekends are a little easier because we have neighbors and sometimes grandparents to send you to. But man, those 5 days are long days. I’m ready to get you guys signed up for gymnastics camps!

We went downtown to pick up my cameras a few days ago. We stopped at the Pie Shop for lunch and ate entirely too much. I’m not sure how B put all that food in his stomach. His dessert of choice was a milkshake, of course. A and I got pie slices. How could we not? And then just by chance I got lost coming home and saw a macaron shop. And of course, we had to stop there too. Somehow all of our trips, no matter what the main objective is, turn into sugary things trips. I’m not complaining, but I do think I was supposed to be on a diet that day.

You guys love swimming and we are lucky enough to have a neighbor with a pool and two kids that y’all love. B is finally getting it down enough that I don’t worry about him the entire time. He isn’t brave enough to just take off, but he is swimming well enough that he probably could. His preferred spot is the hot tub, sitting back watching the girls. When he asks for a silk robe for his birthday, I’m going to get worried. A has been a great swimmer for years, so I don’t worry about her in the least. And as a bonus, my kids are the whitest white kids you’ll ever meet, so I always look tan when I’m with them!

I’m sure I’m forgetting all kinds of fun things we did this month, but like I said, I’m tired. And rereading what I’ve written makes me cringe because my pronouns and point of view don’t match. But again, too lazy to fix it.

Love you guys!

 Mom

The lovely Pie Place we visited. It was like walking onto the set of a 70’s diner sitcom!

boy sitting at a table at a restaurant girl sitting in booth at a restaurant

The pool is home to a dinosaur, lobster, shark, and donut.

IMAG0271 IMAG0272

Let’s not talk about photo quality this month either. My phone works hard to capture blurry photos. :)

Letter to My Kids – May

Each month I join a group of wonderful mothers to write letters to our children. This month, be sure to hop over to Holli’s blog after reading my letter.

 

Dear A,

School is almost over for us! That means summer camps are just around the corner. I can’t wait for summer camps! Being a homeschooling mom means that I don’t get to miss you guys while you are in school. Summer days at home just mean unstructured time for us and you saying you are bored over and over again, even though I give you great suggestions like cleaning and laundry and multiplication work.
I refuse to continue school year round, so to keep you busy I stick you in summer camps. Costs us enough to put Ramen noodles on the menu twice a week, but still so much cheaper than the nut house we’d be putting me in if I had to spend the entire summer listening to you tell me you were bored.
You’re thinking about horseback riding camp. Even an overnight one. If you’re game, I’ll send you. But I better not have to come get you after two days. We’re going all in.
Maybe pottery. Softball camp again, too. You graciously told me you were keeping it to only three camps this summer. Nice of you and all, but you picked the three most expensive camps out there. I guess I shouldn’t blame you. You get your expensive taste from me. Caviar dreams, kid. Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.

Love, Mom

Moving Portrait of A from Michelle Roycroft on Vimeo.

 

Dear B,

At this very moment you are outside with your dad trying to make him make you a fire out of two sticks. You don’t understand why it’s so hard. You’ve seen it on tv. I’m pretty sure you’re talking too much, too. You’ve already informed me that I was wrong when I said wasps hurt like crazy. Because apparently, the only things that hurt like crazy are elephants, buffalo, dinosaurs (if they were still alive), rhinoceros, and camels. I feel like camels are the answer to the “one of these things is not like the other” question,  but I guess they can kick hard. I don’t know. I don’t question your logic anymore.
Also today you told your dad that I always always buy your cheeseburgers with ketchup even though you don’t like ketchup and you tell me that. That happened one time, man. One time and then I got my act together. Let’s not exaggerate so much.
You’ve taken to making weird noises. Like clucking. I have no idea why. But I’ve heard, “There are no chickens in this house” yelled at you too many times to count. You’re driving us crazy. So after you got in enough trouble for clucking, you started ribbiting. Really. I don’t know. Just stop.
I need to find you lots of summer camps.

Love, Mom

Moving Portrait of B from Michelle Roycroft on Vimeo.

Letter to My Kids | March

*Each month I join an amazing group of ladies who write letters to our children. After you read my letter, be sure to hop over to Holli’s to read her letter. Keep hopping to make your way back to me.

letter to my kids

Dear A,

We had an issue last week. You asserted your independence. I said I didn’t care. And then we stared each other down for over an hour. I did do my nails in the middle of all that, though. So there’s the silver lining, for me at least. Eventually you gave in and did what I told you to do.

Now, I’ve always tried to teach you guys that yes, you sometimes just have to do what you are told to do. But at the same time, if you can explain to me why you disagree, if you can give me a valid reason for why you don’t want to do something, then ok. We can talk about it. I’m not saying I’ll let you have your way, but maybe. But if your reason is that you just don’t want to? Nope. That’s not cutting it. And that was your reasoning last week.

I don’t ever want you to be a follower. I want you to think and question and make a decision that is yours alone.  If you make mistakes I want them to be yours. Own them. Own your life. See a theme here in your letters as of late?

You are doing awesome in school – both homeschool and enrichment school. And even in my class in co-op. I think you thought it would be cool to be the teacher’s pet in my class until the first week in, when you realized I have no pets and my classes are hard. You should’ve listened when I said you wouldn’t want to be in my class. :)

Love you kid,

 Mom

letter to my kids on bikes

Dear B,

Well, you are officially thinking about changing your name again. The front runner is Lightening Thunder. But I don’t think you’re giving up Camouflaged any time soon.

Yesterday you told your dad that you wished the two of you could live in an octopus garden so y’all could do whatever you want.

Last week you made yourself a sandwich and ate even the crust, because according to you, your sandwich crust is better than my sandwich crust. Well, the joke’s on you, my friend, because you will now be making your own sandwiches for the rest of your life.

You like to go to cat school with the neighbor friend. She is the trainer. You are the cat. Problem is that either me or the friend’s dad have to play fireman to get you out of the tree that you get stuck in every time. Cat school should include a lesson on getting out of trees.

You have become the most cantankerous 90 year old man I’ve ever met. You get angry at the drop of a hat and let everyone know how absolutely boring your life is. You get out of your mood relatively quick, but then get back into it even quicker. Much more of this and I will be hunting down a nice little nursing home to ship you off to.

Love you (even though you think I’m boring and make bad sandwiches),

Mom

 

 

52 Lists Project

The 52 Lists Project

It’s list time again and this is a fun one. It’s all about listing my quirks. I feel like this could take a lifetime to write, but I’m going to stick with just the top five.

  1. I eat pickles the right way. The right way being that I eat the skin off first and then the insides. And I only eat mini dill pickles from Clausen.
  2. I can carry on entire conversations all in rhyme. I do it all the time.     See what I did there?
  3. I can’t remember the lyrics to songs, so I make up my own. And they are usually better. And so, I refuse to sing the correct lyrics.
  4. I think – no, I know – Drumline is the best movie ever made.
  5. I like reading novels and watching movies that some would consider…not really depressing, but complicated. I like characters with flaws. Characters that you can relate to. Not those crazy superheros or the love stories where everyone gets roses and wedding rings and lives happily ever after. Ever read The Awakening by Kate Chopin? You should. It’s depressing as all get out, but outrageously good.

Bonus Quirk: I hate wearing shoes and socks. Socks make my toes feel constrained. Shoes make my toes feel in jail. I hate them. But, if I must wear shoes, I need super high heels. It makes me feel pretty. :)

There you have it. My top 5 quirks. Although they all seem pretty normal to me, so not sure why other people think they are quirks.

radish on a yellow table

Bonus Quirk 2: I took a photography class once and had to take photos of food. This is my best radish photo ever.

52 Lists Project | List 2

A week or so ago I finally ordered a book I’ve been meaning to for years. Literally years. Well, maybe not, because I think it’s been out for less than a year. But still. It’s been a long time. I wanted it, but doubted that I would ever finish it. I may or may not have a follow-thru disability. Anyways, I got the book. It’s The 52 Lists Project. How could I not have ordered the book?! It’s lists! And it’s pretty!

So to help with my disability, I’ve decided that I should post my lists on here each Sunday. But I’m going to need someone to hold me accountable. Someone to leave me nasty comments if I forget a week.

So, on to the list for the week!

the 52 lists book with pencil

List your favorite characters from books, movies, etc..

  1. Chief from the novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Please do not confuse this masterpiece of a novel with the movie. They aren’t even close to comparison. Chief is able to watch the world around him, not saying a word. Just soaking it all in. And my favorite line of all time – “It’s the truth, even if it didn’t happen.” That sums up Chief’s belief in the world. He knows that perceptions become truths. That a person’s history, experiences, emotions – those are what form a truth. And that is why no two people can ever have the same truth. It’s comforting to know that it’s impossible to be like anyone else. Impossible to believe or feel the same things. So why bother trying to be anything other than what you are?
  2. Scarlett from Gone With the Wind. A lot of people hate her. And yeah, she does some stupid stuff. But she’s human. She has faults and insecurities, and just sucks sometimes. But I still love her. Because she’s determined. She goes after what she wants. She makes a decision and sticks with it. I see myself in her – good and bad.
  3. Elizabeth from Eat, Pray, Love. Do I really need to say anything about this one? A woman who chooses to go find herself in spite of what the world tells her she needs to do.
  4. Rose Gardner from The Rose Gardner Mysteries. Ok, so this one seems odd because it’s a comedic quick mystery series, but I love them enough to have read them all. Rose overcame a shoddy mom and being an outcast to live a life full of complications, but one that makes her insanely happy. Plus she’s like a civilian spy with really good luck. How could I not love her?

The end of every list has a Take Action sections. This week’s Take Action asks you to find a common personality trait that you admire between your chosen characters and work towards that trait this week. While my characters are incredibly different, they do all believe in themselves. They don’t doubt their actions. They say screw it to the world and do what they know they need to do, no matter what it looks like to others. I need that screw it trait. I need to stop the doubt. We all do.