Little girls


The Gift of Silence

AUTHOR: | POSTED: 09/9/13 4:18 PM
CATEGORIES: Blog, Decorating, Home Improvement Hell, Home Projects, Little girls, perspective

I’ve been painting.

Now that Drew’s been gone for three weeks it was time to get the great bedroom switcheroo underway which translates to a whole lot of work for me.  Making my schedule even more challenging this month has turned into a very busy month of freelance writing.  The freelancing is great because it’s how I get paid but to say that I don’t have time to be in the middle of a multiple bedroom renovation is an understatement of epic proportion.

Sometimes I wonder how I get myself into this stuff and then I remember how—I forget I have to sleep.

The thing is I love painting walls and redoing rooms.  An inherited trait from my mother.  An interior designer by trade, my mom not only instilled in me my love for beautifying a home but she also taught me to do as much DIY as I could to loosen my  budget for quality furnishings.

This is why I’ve never hired a professional painter in my life.

This past week I realized there’s another reason I love painting so much.  I have to do the painting when my children are asleep because their little hands would be willing apprentices… with undesirable results.  Because it’s either nap time or past bedtime I keep things quiet while I work.

Painting in silence gives me time to think.  I think about my freelance assignments.  I think about my family.  I think about discussions that have troubled me or details of my life I wish were different.  It’s during those painting sessions that I come up with story archs, choose courses of action regarding obstacles, and ponder how my life is moving forward and whether I’m content with the direction.

Heck, the simple act of painting walls screams progress.  Drew has left our home.  Ryan deserves a space free from the chaos of his little sisters.  Mary Kate has grown out of her nursery and the twins need their own space so they can sleep uninterrupted.  Our family is changing which means our home should too.

Of course I harbor many emotions about the changes at hand.  I’m sad and thrilled all at that same time.  That’s why a  little silence is such a gift.  It helps me check all these thoughts and get my reactions in order.

So, I’m painting…and thinking…and growing right along with our family.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some caulking to do!

*****

Some of the changes happening in our home…

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Ryan’s old room. Spartan green as he is an avid Michigan State University fan.

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See that Spartan S? That was a free hand exercise in art by yours truly…eight years ago. It was very, very hard to paint over that masterpiece!

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That beautiful wall paper border is actually pages and pages of Sports Illustrated photos. Ryan chose each one himself and then taped them to the wall.

Progress…

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Obviously not finished but the woodwork’s been painted white, the wall are a soft lavender, we have new bedding and…

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…the new light fixture is outstanding.

 

This is just a preview of this complete overhaul.  I promise to post pictures when the entire project is complete.  Until then, I’ll be up to my elbows in DIY that I shouldn’t attempt.

God help my family.

That “Cover Yourself Up Teen Girls” Post…Some Thoughts

AUTHOR: | POSTED: 09/5/13 1:15 PM
CATEGORIES: Blog, Communication, compassionate parenting, Daughters, Health & Safety, Little girls, perspective, Prayers, Resilience, twins

So, unless you live under a rock or don’t have access to social media, you have likely seen  the viral blog post written by Kimberly Hall.  It was all over my Facebook feed yesterday and it seems to have struck a chord.  A most unexpectedly divisive chord.

Read Kimberly’s post here.

Interestingly, not every reader thought the article was awesome.  Many took offense and pointed out the dangers of “slut shaming”.  Personally, I didn’t find the article to be shaming at all.  I thought it was encouraging young women to make better choices for themselves.  Frankly, the post read like something I could have written.

That being said, when I was perusing the comments on GivenBreath.com (Kimberly’s blog) I came across a link to a post about the same topic written by Nate Pyle.  It was a conversation that he hopes to have some day with his young son about how women should be “seen”.  The topic is in the same vein as Kimberly’s post, except Nate goes a step further by placing the responsibility to view members of the opposite sex with respect—regardless of what they are wearing—on the person doing the looking.

Please give it a read here.

I worry about the culture in which my three young daughters are growing up.  The all-to-common onslaught of  hyper-sexualized messages go against everything I want for the futures of my children.  I know that it’s my job, as their mother, to raise them in a counter-cultural manner.  In the Savage house we swim against the stream of provocativeness and disrespect that is peddled as acceptable in mainstream society.  So far, so good with regards to our sons, but these three little girls?

View More: http://photos.pass.us/savage

They scare me.

I know Sean and I have a lot of parenting ahead of us.  I also know our charge to guide them into an adulthood rooted in goodness is going to be a battle.  That’s why I’m so grateful to writers like Kimberly and Nate.  Regardless of whether I agree with them, they share their thoughts which causes me to hone in on what it is I want to teach my children.

I need all the help I can get.

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What a blessing.

****

More from the twins’ two year pictures.  They were taken by the amazing Allie Darr from Allison Darr Photography.  I love Allie’s work.  You can learn more about her photography at her website.

Isabella

Isabella

View More: http://photos.pass.us/savage

Reagan

Reagan

View More: http://photos.pass.us/savage

View More: http://photos.pass.us/savageView More: http://photos.pass.us/savageView More: http://photos.pass.us/savage

For Drew...

For Drew…

Yup...that's about right.

Yup…that’s about right.

Happy Thursday…the weekend’s coming!

A Mothering “Must Pinch Myself” Moment…A Fairy Garden Party

AUTHOR: | POSTED: 07/17/13 7:16 AM
CATEGORIES: 1015 The River, Blog, Daughters, Focusing on The Joy, Little girls, Stories

When I was an 8th grade teacher back in the 90s our parish school had a tradition.  Right around May Day the second grade class would plan an all school mass centered around their first communions. It was a special service that began with all of the first communicants processing in wearing their first communion garb.  The boys looked cute enough in their blue blazers and ties, but the girls.  Oh the little girls with veils and gloves and pretty white dresses.  They looked angelic.

That annual mass was always bittersweet for me.  I was thrilled to be the mother of two boys.  Drew and Ryan have been (and always will be) a joy to parent.  But there was something about watching those little girls that set off a soft pang of desire in my heart.

I’d always pictured myself with a daughter, and at the time I didn’t think she was ever going to come to me.

Little did I know what God had in store for us.

When I was pregnant in 2008 I had a feeling my baby might be a girl.  Sean was adamant we keep the gender a surprise, so when we heard those delivery room words, “It’s a girl” we were both over the moon.

One of the things I worry most about raising my three daughters is how to teach them to treat others kindly while bolstering  their self-esteem.  I make a point to search out activities for Mary Kate that will teach her the invaluable lessons of “do unto others” and a sense of self-worth.  I was so excited when I heard about a young woman in our community that is making it her business to do just the same thing.

A few weeks ago I took Mary Kate to a fairy-garden building party.  It was hosted by Laurel Lovitt (aka.  Princess Laurel) and oh.my.goodness…what a wonderful afternoon it was.

In case you've never heard of a fairy garden...

In case you’ve never heard of a fairy garden…

Princess Laurel in real life is a very intuitive and creative student at the University of Toledo.  She’s studying sales and marketing and my guess is…given her ingenuity…she’s got a great future.

When the girls first arrived Laurel gave them a lesson in everything fairy...including being kind and believing in yourself.

When the girls first arrived Laurel gave them a lesson in everything fairy…including being kind and believing in yourself.

 

Then it was time to build their own fairy gardens!

Then it was time to build their own fairy gardens!

DSC_0246DSC_0248Then each child picked out her fairy…or as Laurel explained…the fairy picked the child.  Vidya, the fairy of the fast, chose Mary Kate and she couldn’t have been more thrilled considering the slight emphasis on running in our household!

Admittedly...Mk wasn't too sure about Laurel at first.

Admittedly…Mk wasn’t too sure about Laurel at first.

 

But she and her friend Hailey warmed up right away!

But she and her friend Hailey warmed up right away!

Plus...Laurel had turtles.

Plus…Laurel had turtles.

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Of course, MK ate the whole experience up, but for me?  For me it was so special.  I get super sentimental sometimes when I’m watching my girls.  Like I’m watching a dream.  There was such a long time in my life that I thought I’d never have a daughter.

Now I have three.

So grateful…so, so very grateful for all five of my children (princes included…obviously!)

*****

My fairy princess…

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*****

Princess Laurel is currently accepting registrations for two fairy garden building parties the week of July 21st.  You can register here.  In addition, she has a full schedule of events coming up and is available to do birthday parties in your home, as well.  You can contact her here.