A little heart(s) can go a long way

I am your run-of-the-mill Pinterest-Fail mama.

No, really.  

I am.

On my daughter’s first birthday I attempted to make an ombre pink floral three-layer cake that I found on Pinterest.

Somewhere a picture of that disaster exists, but my mother and my sister can attest – it. was. a. failure.

Charlotte 1st birthday
first birthday proof

Not to mention the fact that I made it a chocolate cake to find out a few weeks later – our daughter was ALLERGIC to chocolate (she’s fine, and no longer allergic, thank heavens!).

So, yes, I’m the Pinterest-Fail Queen.

And yet, I keep looking.  And trying.  And keep failing.

But this…this my friends, this has been a Pinterest SUCCESS.

Somewhere on Pinterest I saw this idea to put little hearts on your kiddo’s bedroom door starting February 1st, leading up to Valentine’s Day, listing many reasons why you love your kid(s).

I tucked that idea away as something to try and then promptly forgot about it. Until one day I was in the craft store (clearly I’m a glutton for punishment) and saw some pre-cut paper hearts and was reminded of the Pinterest Valentine’s Challenge (what I’m calling it.)

And so I bought those paper hearts and we did this.  

And in a million years I never would have thought I would have loved my decision as much as I have.

It has made my day every morning and, I think, made hers.

Each morning we read the new reason, reaffirming why we love our child (there are SOOOOO many reasons, of course), and then she takes some blue painters tape (gotta preserve the paint), and decides where to put the heart on her bedroom door. 

Before bed each night or before we head off to school (or both), she points to each heart and I re-read it off (she can’t read yet). Sometimes, she just turns to me and smiles.  Others, like for “you give the best hugs” she rushes over to give me one her famous hugs before returning to the door and pointing at the next heart.

So. Many. Feels.

As far as reminders for why she is loved – why, yes, this is amazing. 

As far as knowing that I’m sending her off on her day filled with affirmations of those reasons – real, concrete reasons why we love her – (like, she’s always kind, or she has a great laugh…you know, cute little things she can hold with her) yes, that is amazing too.

But, as far as slowing our morning or evening down and reconnecting — this has been the best thing ever.  

And it has taken NO time and hardly any money, and zero effort — it’s NOT difficult for me to think of reasons why I am in love, over the moon, beyond happy that this kid is ours —— why would I NOT want to share those reasons with her all the time?

Our kiddo knows we love her.  We say it all the time.

But we don’t always take the time to be specific.  And remind her in every moment that we not only love her because she’s our daughter (which we do, unconditionally), but for reasons she might forget, or reasons it is always great to reinforce:

She is kind.  This is true. She’s one of the sweetest little creatures ever.

She is also brave and creative.  Those aren’t things everyone will always notice – and those are qualities we want her to be proud of, to hold tight to, to grow with.

These little hearts became more than a silly little Pinterest craft. They became a way for us to reinforce with our daughter, not just all the reasons why we love her, but reasons why she should be PROUD of who she is, who she is growing into.

So yes, this this little Pinterest idea from some amazingly creative mom (not me) has won my heart (pun intended).  We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in our home – we forgo flowers and chocolate and fancy dinners out –  but I will keep doing this every year until our kiddo moves out on her own, and heck, maybe even after that!

Truthfully, she will NEVER get too old for me to list, for 14 days in February, some very real reminders as to why we love her so much.

*and these heart-shaped pancakes on Valentine’s Day morning were an after-thought, a spur of the moment purchase at Paper Source, and were also a sweetly smashing success! #momwin #winning #illtakewhaticanget

Morning Blessings

My precious gift:

You start every day off with a smile and a little made-up melody. This morning is was your rendition of “this little light of mine” with some words changed to fit your world view.  

Do you know, that when you share those with me you help start my day with joy beyond measure?

And you remind me that my job in those early minutes of the morning is to keep that smile on your face and that song in your heart.  

Despite feeling rushed. 

Or cereal spilled on the floor.

Or toothpaste dripped on your clean clothes.

Or not being able to find that matching shoe.

How blessed are we that we get to wake up happy every morning?  

Blessed beyond words, for sure. 

I know that not everyone is that fortunate.  And I know that even when it is difficult, one of the most important things I can do for you every morning is to make sure that a piece of happiness stays with you as you head out the door, into the world…without me by your side.

If I help that happiness stick all morning long, my hope is that it helps you muddle through some of the harder, less happy times, you may face in your day….

(…and my darling, I hope beyond hope you don’t have to face them, but I also know…the world isn’t always a ‘nice’ place…)

As you grow and blossom into this wonderful not-so-tiny human, please know my love for you knows no bounds and is not just reserved for mornings.

I want so much for you in this world.

I want to encourage you and cherish your bold sense of adventure.

I want to travel the world with you.

I want to share in your joy of learning new things.

I want you to know the feeling of an enduring love (like your dad and I have found with each other).

But for now, all I want is to watch you smile and hang on to each of these small new moments one at a time.

For now, I want to make sure every morning starts with happiness.

The rest will come, too quickly perhaps. 

So I will give you happy mornings. 

And cuddles whenever you want them.

And stories before bedtime.

And head-rubs as you fall off to sleep.

And I will let you sleep next to me as long as you like, enjoy your toes curling against my legs, and hold your hand every moment I can.

You see, my sweet, strong, creative, bold girl, I know you are growing – minute by minute, day by day, year by year…and I know that while you will always and forever be my baby, you will only be little for a little while longer.

And yes, you will without a doubt keep growing, but the blessing you give me each morning with your songs will never grow old. 

~ mamaimg_2651