Daddy's Girl

My baby girl loves her daddy. I'm sure for some parents it's difficult when their child picks a favourite. I've read in numerous books & magazines how to handle possible feelings of rejection when you come in second place. Personally, I love it! I can't begin to describe how my heart reacts when I see the two most important people in my life together!

I will never forget watching my husband first fall in love with our girl as he held her in his arms at the hospital. After an emergency cesarean, he was lucky enough to give her her first cuddles & kisses. I've been told that when he said her name as she was being examined by doctors & nurses she immediately turned towards his voice. He has always been equally as effective with calming, soothing & putting her to sleep as I have been (unless she's hungry). Although bath times started rocky for our wee one who hated being naked (until only recently!), they've always been special times for the two of them as upon bringing our little one home daddy assumed the bathing baby role. 

After 13 months of enjoying our precious daughter on the outside, there are no words to describe how amazing it feels to watch her start to share affection with us! My heart has melted as I've watched the man I married, gracefully & confidently step into fatherhood. My heart now bursts as I watch my girl fall in love with the man who will for years to come be the most important male in her life. 

One of her favourite words to say is "dad," & she's so delighted to hear her dad call back to her. When she hears the door open when he returns home from a day at work, her face lights up & she immediately makes her way to his warm embrace. When the three of us are together she often favours being with her daddy. 

How could I possibly be jealous of their sweet relationship? It is so incredibly special to watch the daddy/daughter relationship blossom & grow. I also know that it's quite unique & different from my relationship with her. 

To the dad's out there, know that those moments early on make a difference. As tough as it can be with the screams & cries with a newborn, you're building an amazing foundation for a strong relationship as you head into life with a toddler. Learning your baby's preferences & little quirks not only help your partner out when everyone's tired, but it helps you bond with your baby from the get-go. 

For the moms, don't take the favouritism too personally. Enjoy watching the special unique bond form between your man & baby. Relish in the fact that there's someone who loves & cares for that little person as much as you do! What a blessed child to receive that much love & affection from both parents. 

How could I possibly be jealous of a relationship that I could never fulfill? What an incredible example my girl is getting at a very young age of unconditional love from her daddy. May she know that her Daddy loves her even more (I can't even imagine that's possible, but I know that it is!) than the both of us combined. 

Family is a sweet blessing that I pray my baby girl will always have, know, & be confident of. 


Dreary Days

Grey days are the best for hanging with my baby girl, enjoying excessive cuddles & warm beverages. The wet weather today called for a lunch date at the Calgary Farmer's Market with a lovely friend/family member, & her peanut, followed by Starbucks drive-thru for the drive home in the rain. Scrumptious food, gorgeous company, one of my favourite places to spend a few hours, drinks that warm from the inside out & special moments with my baby; it was an all around perfect day.

Grey, pink & sparkly make for a fabulous colour palette. Not only was my darling baby dressed in those colours today, but those are exactly the colours I'd use to describe the day. Grey for weather, pink & sparkly for the fabulous, glamorous girls I was privileged to spend the day with.

Everyday we have a choice to make; we can be tossed to a fro, or we can take control of the atmosphere.

Here's to making every grey day at the very least a little bit sparkly.


Sorry, not sorry.

If I'm honest, I'd have to say I'm an emotionally charged person. I can tear up in no time at all & I do in fact, tear up often. Often I apologize to those around me for these emotional outbursts. However, there is one thing that I will never apologize for getting emotional about...family.

I love my family! My immediate family is my world! (Being a stay-at-home mom & wife, I guess it would be impossible for it not to be.) My husband & I have spent the past 6 years of marriage building a life together & establishing our own family. Just over six months ago our family grew as we welcomed our beautiful little girl into our world. My two loves are of utmost importance. When one of them smiles, my life lights up & I can't help but smile too. When laughter erupts from one, it often flows from my lips too. In the same way, when there is sadness, hurt, frustration or tears, I share in that pain.

I was raised in a home where family was always a top priority. Thankfully I married into a family that also values family. As such, it's not unheard of us to make day trips specifically for birthday dinners, bridal showers & (soon!) baby showers, to organize our May long weekend around a birthday party, to host Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter, to plan summer holidays every third year around a family reunion & to make countless trips (even at really early & really late hours!) to the airport.

I have a large & fairly close extended family. We tend to rally together pretty well. We love to celebrate & cheer each other on & when there's crisis we send encouraging messages & prayers. Most recently there's been a death. One of our "best," who lived life to the fullest, loved large, laughed & was always up for fun. He was know to do a monkey dance in his boxers on a trailer. He climbed a ladder with Santa to do a bit of Christmas "decorating", disassembled & reassembled a green velvet chair all for the sake of a good laugh. It's hard, heart breaking, so sad & maddening as his death was caused by cancer. It happened too soon & no matter what any of us knew about the diagnosis, it's not easy to accept. Our family has a collective hatred towards cancer, which has been seen as two of my cousins have done phenomenal fundraisers to fight cancer, that draw numerous family members to join the fight. In light if recent events there will no doubt be many who will make a decent trek to join the twins fight against cancer this summer.

Family is so important. So don't expect an apology from me when it comes to emotional outbursts. Sorry, but I'm not sorry.


A dose of grace

If you really knew me, you'd know that words are so important to me. My primary love language (found in the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman) is words of affirmation. If you want me to know just how much you love/appreciate/admire/respect etc. me, just TELL me.

Recently I've been thinking a lot about grace. Being a new, first time mom, I've received quite a bit of advice & suggestions. All too often my response is defensive, as if I'm coming under personal attack by someone sharing their experience or thoughts. Poor, well meaning family, friends & strangers too often receive a snarky reply much to my embarrassment.

The truth is, I'm insecure. After spending 24 hours a day with my sweet baby girl, I like to think I know her pretty well. When I receive unsolicited advice, unfortunately I take it as judgement on how I parent & I respond with claws bared. Really what I need is a healthy dose of grace & to extend it to those around me.

I'm wondering if that's the problem with social media these days. I feel as though my news feeds are often full of articles justifying opinions, followed by comments for & against said articles. Grace is absent as conversations appear to become very "us against them." What happened to agreeing to disagree?

I tend to be an idealist & as such a definite optimist. Ages ago I made a choice to use social media for positive posts only. I'm sure there have been a moment or two that I've shared frustration or have pushed my opinion, although this is something I try hard to avoid.

On top of this position of optimism, I'm choosing to take a position of grace (although I need some practice). Rather than responding defensively, I will take a deep breath, smile & say thank you. AND, I will (attempt) to keep my unsolicited advice to myself. When someone disagrees with me, I will choose at times to agree to disagree, realizing that not every hill is one to die on.

Yes, realizing that I need grace, I choose to show grace.


Three goodbyes.

(I had unrealistic intentions of writing once a week after my last blog. I've since conceded to writing at least once a month. So far I'm right on track...barely.)

Today I'm so thankful that we have taken pictures of our baby girl with all of her great grandparents. In October my paternal grandfather passed away after a stroke. In November my maternal grandmother also passed away after a stoke, leaving me with no grandparents in the space of just over a month. Earlier in January Matt's paternal grandmother passed away peacefully, leaving us with no grandparents. Three significant goodbyes in four months.

It's been bittersweet. They all lived long, full lives. I'd like to believe they could each look back & see the great impact they had on their children & grand children's lives; knowing that in their own ways they've helped shape Matt & I into the people we are today.

I was never particularly close with my paternal grandfather, although there's no doubt in my mind that he cared for his family. Having adopted two children, he had a huge part in completely altering lives. I've heard how proud he was of all of his grandchildren & upon hearing the name of his first great granddaughter he responded, "that's a good, strong name," something she will no doubt live up to in her lifetime. Although he didn't meet our baby girl until after his stroke, the look in his eyes upon seeing her showed nothing but admiration. That look is what I believe he had upon seeing everyone in his family.

My grandma had a huge impact on my life & there are remnants of her all throughout my house in the form if quilts, afghans, ceramics, dish cloths, china & a cross stitch. I also believe there are remnants of her in my own character. My grandma taught me unconditional love in a fierce way. She had an incredible sense of humour & loved to laugh. She loved her family & believed in each of us, giving us the confidence to try & achieve anything we wanted. I'm without a doubt my grandmothers daughter in that I'm all about accessories & enjoy shopping & I like to believe that has already been passed on to my 5 month old daughter. My last memories of her are watching her enjoy my sweet baby. She was so in love with her great grandchildren & I'm overwhelmed thinking about the special, though brief, bond she made with my girl.

Matt's grandma probably never really knew who I was. Unfortunately about the time I came into the family she had developed Alzheimer's.  Even though she never remembered me, I will always remember her. Like my grandma, there are remnants of her throughout our home in the form if Japanese dishes, knickknacks & a prized cross stitch. Matt's grandma was incredibly resilient; her life story is laced with overcoming obstacles. She was an generous host & probably the single most strongest female I have ever met. In the few years she was in my life I learned more than my fair share from her.

I've been reminded yet again how precious life is as I watch the life of my sweet girl while she grows & develops & reflect on how things came full circle with our grandparents as they became dependant on others for care once again. With a sweet babe who is five months old, I realize that time slips by far too quickly. With no great grandparents for my girl to spend time with as she grows, I know that stories & life lessons are now up to us to share.

There may be three lives recently lost, but more importantly there are three legacies still to live on.