What Cleaning Closets Has Taught Me About Life

I’m an out of sight, out of mind kind of girl. I think that’s why I love closets so much. Open door, insert stuff, close door….ta duh…the illusion of tidiness. And yet every now and then…(IOW: nowhere near often enough)…this love affair hits a bump in the road. I’ll open a door and either have an entire wall of junk crash down upon me or, alternatively, be forced to wade through piles and stacks and boxes and all sorts of other lovelies to (possibly) locate what I’m looking for. Most of the times I shove it all back…but this past week I decided enough was enough. It was time for action. So I settled myself in for several days of “doing the closets,” never expecting to find myself pondering philosophy, instead.

You see, when you get down to it, cleaning closets is a whole lot like life…

  1. Just because you shove something way to the back doesn’t mean it’s not there.  Shoes, scarves, memories or emotional pain. Hiding them doesn’t make them go away.
  2. You really can forget about things…things that were once a big part of your every day life. What once defined you may, easily, one day be less than a memory. An awesome necklace or a love of painting or nature walks. Maybe time has separated you. But love can always be rediscovered.
  3. Sometimes you gotta pull everything out, even stuff neatly tucked away in back corners–and make a way bigger mess–before you can really make anything better. Like old clothes, you’ll never truly let go of past old hurts until you pull them out and deal wtih them.
  4. We hold on to too much stuff from the past, stuff that only serves to clutter up the present. The longer you hold onto shoes that don’t fit or memories that drag you back, you’ll never have room to move forward…with new shoes!
  5. Wading through the mess may be painful, but the end result–getting rid of what you don’t need and discovering what you do–is more than worth it. It’s incredible how good it feels to let go of baggage, emotional and otherwise!.
  6. The secret to accomplishing anything, even something massive and monumental and completely mind-boggling, is to…well… start 🙂 Every closet can be cleaned, and every life can be rebooted. You just gotta let go of what seems overwhelming and go for it!

Bring a book – The Henry books by D.B. Johnson

I first stumbled on the Henry books while browsing at my local Barnes and Noble when my daughter was quite young. When I say browsing, I actually mean chasing after her while she pulled down books and stuffed animals and I frantically tried to undo the damage. Henry Works was face out. It had a bear on the cover. We like books with animals. In those whirlwind early days of shopping for children’s books, that was all it took.

It turned out to be one of those serendipitous purchases that I’ve been forever thankful for.  I read the entire book aloud (okay, probably more than once), before I thought, “Hey, there’s something familiar about this story. I wonder if I’ve read it before.”

Turns out the Henry books are based on the life and works of Henry David Thoreau. So, yeah. A little bit familiar. I’m an English major. In Henry Works, Henry spends the day walking through the woods around Walden Pond and through the village of Concord where he chats with neighbors, the Alcotts, and his friend, Emerson. When people ask, he says he’s working. When people ask what work he’s doing, he says he’s writing a book. At the end of the day, he returns to his cabin and sits down to write.

The writer in me loves the glimpse into how the creative mind works. (Um, not comparing myself to Thoreau, here.) The mom in me loves the unique drawings and delightful storyline. And I love being able to introduce my kids–in such a simple, palatable way–to the ideas of one of America’s great thinkers.

The other books in the series, Henry Hikes to Fitchburg, Henry Builds a Cabin, Henry’s Night, and Henry Climbs a Mountain are all in a similar vein. They feature great art, a dash of philosophy, and a focus on the delights of outdoor world.

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DSC_0786Emily McKay, aka. Hippy Chick mom,  lives and writes in the Texas hill country. She has two kids, two dogs, two cats, and 9 chickens.  She loves movies, food, yoga and books. And eggs. Lots and lots of eggs.

From the Land of Melting Princesses

They’re sitting there on the curb, the mother in her white Bermuda shorts with her hair in a high pony tail and her phone in her hand, the little girl in her fairytale dress with sparkly makeup and her hair all fancy. “Are you trying to make me miserable?” the mother snarls.   “Are you trying to ruin this trip for everyone?”

Quietly,  I continue walking

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The sun is setting and the water is cool and refreshing. Fifteen fountains shoot up from the one-foot kiddie pool, inviting little ones to play. Two boys and two girls, all somewhere between two and six, are running and splashing, while two mothers sit along the side of the pool with frothy drinks in hand. Suddenly one mom yells, “I said No. More. Splashing. Come here right now. Five minutes time out.” When one child hesitates, she grabs his wrist and yanks him down beside her.

Quietly I watch.

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It’s hot. The sun is beating down. They’ve been walking for hours, probably miles. The mother, father, and older daughter are surging toward something. The little boy is lagging behind, his head hung, his steps slowing. At first they don’t even notice, or if they do, they don’t slow to wait for him. They power forward, and he hangs his head even more. Finally the mother turns back.

Quietly I look at him, my little boy, shuffling through LegoLand like the most miserable kid in the world. This was supposed to be his day. We’ve talked about it for weeks. We’ve research and planned. We know exactly what we want to do. We’ve built it up to him, told him how amazing everything will be. But apparently we forgot something: him.

I stood there in the hot, muggy sunshine, with my husband and daughter continuing to hustle toward some attraction, while my little guy had just about stopped, and suddenly I found myself wondering what in the world we were doing. This vacation that we’d planned and dropped so much money on, this vacation that was supposed to make everyone so happy was, instead, creating a whole lot of misery.

In that moment I realized that all week long I’d been looking in unwanted, uncomfortable mirrors, that I was all those mothers. And then I found myself wondering why. That’s what I do. I’m a thinker. I analyze…everything. I ponder why things happen the way they do. And I found myself pondering whose vacation it was anyway? I mean, we say it’s for the kids (because really, would we  choose Orlando if it was for US?) But in hyper-planning our vacation to the Nth degree, in deciding exactly how things should play out and packing our itineraries chock-o-block full, we kinda forgot one key thing: kids are…kids.  Remove them from their home, their routine, their sleep schedule, not to mention healthy food choices, and drop them in the middle of extreme overstimulation, well, it’s next to impossible to expect them to be at their best.

kids disney

(For that matter, the same can be said for us, the grown-ups, as well!)

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“That’s it,” the extremely tired woman shouts, just outside the Dumbo ride. “I’m done. I’m over it. This is now the worst vacation ever.”

Somber-eyed, on the last day at Magic Kingdom, my daughter tugs me down so she can whisper in my ear: “Mom…” she says. “Why are there so many mean moms here?”

Ouch.

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Upon reflection, I realize we went into our trip with goals and plans and hopes, but maybe also some pretty unrealistic expectations. Sometimes you really do have to stop, take a deep breath, and smell the roses — and stop worrying about the quantity of roses you intended to smell, or if these are even the right roses.  Sometimes, in trying to make everything perfect, all we really do is miss out on a whole lot of fun.

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The Modesty Fashion Trend: What Do YOU Think of It?

Is modesty about being ashamed of your body? Does modesty mean hiding yourself away and looking like a grandma at age 16 or 25? Or is modesty about revealing your dignity? Letting your true feminine beauty shine?

Those are the questions posed by this articulate young woman in the video below. She used her MBA to create a bathing suit line with Audrey Hepburn as her inspiration.

I think moms everywhere eventually grapple with this issue when it comes to clothing their daughters. How much is too much when it comes to sexy outfits? Should Little Suzy wear that leopard-spotted underwear set when she’s five or six? I remember how hard it was to find my daughter dresses with hemlines below her thighs when she was 13 and I just wanted to get her something I thought would be appropriate for church or a wedding.

All over the internet modesty fashion sites are popping up not just for kids but for adult women, too. Some reference the Bible as their inspiration, but not everyone is into modesty based on religious principle. Some people are simply shy. Or not interested in sexualizing themselves for public consumption.

I myself have the goal of getting back into a bikini. Why? It will be my reward for exercising and eating right. And I like feeling free to bask in the sun–as much of me as possible–when on the beach. If and when I wear that bikini again, it will be for me. I can’t imagine that I’ll be torturing any man, LOL!

But hey, getting serious again: Are we women to be responsible for men’s reactions to us in bikinis or any other skimpy outfits? Or should men work on that themselves? Can they? 

I offer this video, “The Evolution of the Bikini,” as a springboard for discussion. Go to it, ladies!

Guest mom Hattie Ratliff (Robyn’s mom!)

We have a super special guest mom today. My mom! Please give a big welcome to Hattie Ratliff – Robyn DeHart’s mom. 

306469_241475839244581_1787699928_n-1Let me say that I am not an authority on raising children, but I have been at it for a long time.   I’ve made my share of mistakes but all and all I can honestly say that they all grew up to be awesome adults.

A little about myself; I married my high school sweetheart at the age of 17,  had my first child at the age of  19 , the second child at 21 and the last at age 30.  I attended every thing the three performed in, made costumes, baked thousand of cookies, took in friends of theirs with problems, even watched scary movies.

I seemed to always be on the go.  I believe I spent as much time in the car dropping one here and another there, than I did at home. But I wouldn’t have missed a minute of that time.  And they did repay me.  They all gave my husband and I grandchildren, five girls, one boy.   Just when I thought my job that I loved was finished, I was now a part of six more lives.

The oldest is my grandson, who turns 21 in August.  He is 6ft 5 now, but will always be my little man.  I have had the privilege of watching him grow and am so proud of the man he is becoming.

The three oldest girls are ages, 19, 18, and 16.  The youngest of those just became an officer for her drill/dance team.  The 19 year old just graduated as Valedictorian.  And the 18 year old graduated and is on her way to perform on Broadway in New York, and my husband and I will be there.

When they were all little starting at age 8 until they started high school I held grandma camp ever summer.  They would come stay a week and we would have a blast. We’d cook and do crafts and go shopping and to the movies. And we’d stay up late talking.

Now I have been given a third chance to be a part of two young lives. My two youngest grandchildren, ages 2 and 4 (Robyn’s kiddos). I look forward to once again opening up grandma camp and knowing even at my later years that I will have a blast.

The reason I have told my life story on this wonderful blog is to nudge you a little to enjoy the moments with your children.  What they say is true, time goes by so fast. Don’t waste your time thinking about your mistakes instead stop and watch in wonder as your child does something or says something just the way you taught them. Tuck that smile or giggle away and when they are all grown up don’t be surprised if you hear that giggle again and see that great smile. And this sit back and know you did good, mom.

Guest Mom Tracy Brogan: Are We There Yet?

Love this woman. Love, love, love! She’s funny. She’s brilliant. She’s kind. And I’m so happy for her success. Returning PBK Guest Mom Tracy Brogan is a star, and like many stars, she’s not taking her success for granted.

I do wish for Tracy–and for you, dear readers–dreams to race toward and present-day joys. Thanks, Tracy, for reminding us that both are essential to happiness. And congratulations on your new release!!! 

Are we there yet? How often have you heard that whined/moaned/screeched/caterwauled from the backseat of your minivan? It’s so ubiquitous a question, I don’t even need to explain it. Kids are impatient. Whether it’s a 15-day day road trip to Yellowstone, or a 15-minute jaunt to the grocery store, they just want to get there.

These days so do most adults. Our instant gratification culture has programmed us to want to be there. Enjoying the journey is less important than arriving at your destination. For me, that is proving to be true in my writing career as well. I’m not taking time to smell the proverbial roses. I’m not stopping to savor each tiny victory. But perhaps the biggest impediment to me enjoying the process of getting there is that I keep moving the target.

Let’s back up a little bit and start at the beginning. For most of my life I’d been one of those people who said, “I’m going to write a book someday.” I had all the requisite fantasies of becoming an international, bestselling author who frequented Oprah’s talk show, but no plan, and little real hope of that ever happening. Especially considering I’d started dozens of manuscripts and had finished exactly… none. Something always interrupted my grand scheme. A crying baby, a new house, an episode of Friends, you know.

When my youngest daughter started school, I realized it was time to put up or shut up. I had to either finish writing a book, or stop talking about it because my friends had taken to glazing over whenever I brought up the subject. So, step one – draft and polish a completed manuscript. Selling it wasn’t even on my radar at the time. I plugged away while my kids were at school and after they went to bed. The house got cluttered, bills were set aside, but in May of that year, I got’er done! I was so proud of myself!

For about 37 seconds.

Almost immediately, that goal was rendered meaningless. What good was a book, even a finished book, if no one would ever read it? Suddenly, the quest became to sell the book. And that meant getting an agent. I gave myself six months. It took three times as long. During the process, I became quite adept at dealing with rejection. Sometimes I’d deliberately slam my fingers in a drawer just to practice experiencing that sharp agony, although most days there was enough rejection and self-doubt to keep that pain fresh! (I’m kidding about the drawer slamming, of course, but it might have hurt less than some of the query responses.)

HoldOnMyHeart Best CoverI started attending conferences, and entering contests. Those seemed like minor accomplishments, too. I was networking, studying craft, learning that I had so much more to learn, And all the while I kept inching the bar higher. If I finaled in a contest I was pleased, but then I wanted to win. If I got a request for a partial, I wanted the request for the full to come soon after. I’d enjoy each moment for about a moment, and then it was behind me and I needed to leap the next hurdle.

As luck would have it, I managed to final in the holy grail of contests for unpublished writers, The RWA® Golden Heart. Not once, but twice. I was proud to sport that pink GH ribbon and I cherish every aspect of those finals. I am a Starcatcher and a Firebird. But by the second time around, I had an agent and my eye was on the prize of selling.

Once again, I’d moved my target. Rather than bask in the joy of the experience, I was looking to the next thing. In all that time, I never felt certain I was doing enough, or doing it right. I didn’t look back at the people just starting their journey and reminisce about how far I’d come. I only looked forward toward those ahead of me, and I wondered how to get to where THEY were.

It wasn’t jealousy making me ask that. Quite the opposite, in fact. It was respectful admiration for the effort they must have exerted to reach their place. It wasn’t envy. It was awe, and it still is. Surely those cool, fancy RITA girls know they have ARRIVED. Those authors with “best seller” added to their names must be confident in their abilities. They must have a system to their process. They must feel secure that they are loved by the masses and appreciated by their publishers. They must know the secret handshake.

Well, fast forward to today, just four years from when I started. I’m a RITA finalist for Best First Book, a double winner in the Golden Quill, and a finalist in the Book Sellers Best contest. My third book will be released tomorrow and I just signed my second three-book contract with my publisher. Although the NYT and USA Today won’t include my Montlake titles on their lists, both my books have sold enough copies to be considered best sellers. So I should be utterly confident in my abilities, right? I should be certain I know what I’m doing, yes?

Nope. I don’t feel it. Because there are more hurdles. There is the next book to write. Craft to hone. Marketing to master. Are we there yet? I’m starting to realize that as long as I keep moving the end-zone, I’m never going to stop to enjoy right where I am. And that’s a shame because I’m in a very good place. And this makes me wonder how many other writers create this same dilemma. Are you thinking about, and appreciating, all you have accomplished? Because you should! Or are you too busy looking at the road ahead and worrying how to get there? And then there. And then there.

I have a friend who compares this journey to sharks. If they stop swimming, they’ll sink to the bottom and die. I don’t want to sink, but I might need to pull over to the side of the ocean for a while and remember to enjoy this view.  Absolutely set goals, and absolutely continue to push forward toward new ones. But don’t forget to think about how far you’ve come.


Tracy Brogan 2013 RITAPast or present, Tracy Brogan loves romance.  She writes funny contemporary stories about ordinary people finding extraordinary love, and stirring historical romance full of political intrigue, damsels causing distress, and the occasional man in a kilt.

She is a best-selling author, a 2013 Romance Writers of America® RITA Best First Book Finalist for CRAZY LITTLE THING, and a two-time Golden Heart Finalist in both contemporary and historical romance.

Her next contemporary romance, HOLD ON MY HEART, releases June 25, 2013. If you’d like to see the trailer, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUB7zan3dCc&feature=youtu.be

Tracy lives in Michigan with her husband, her children and their overly-indulged dogs. Please stop by her website at tracybrogan.com, or visit her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTracyBrogan

Warning: Religious Post Ahead

I don’t usually write about religion or politics, but this morning something happened and I felt like I HAD to tell someone. I love to listen to Christian contemporary music. I sometimes sing with the band at the contemporary service at my church, and between Elmo and the Wiggles albums, I play a lot of Christian music for my daughter when we’re driving. She has a particular affinity for old Amy Grant, who is not one of my favorites.

One song I really do like is a song that came out a few years ago by Britt Nicole. It’s called Set the World on Fire.

This is kind of a lame YouTube video, but you can hear the song. Baby Galen really likes this song, so I play it once in a while when I can’t listen to “Wheels on the Bus” again. This morning, out of nowhere, she said to me, “Mommy, am I going to set the world on fire?”

It was one of those moments, where time completely stands still. I felt like my answer would really make a difference, so I turned to her, and I said, “Yes, You are going to do great things. You are so special. There’s no one else like you.”

She said, “Okay, Mommy!” and ran off to play. Ever have a moment like that, where you feel like all of a sudden you’re just given way too much power, and you’d better use it well?

 

Shana Galen, Multitasker Mama
I’m Shana Galen, AKA Multitasker Mama (and aren’t we all?). I’m a wife, mom to a three-year-old daughter I call Baby Galen. My parenting motto is, “Keep moving. Don’t pass out. Don’t throw up.” Or maybe that’s my fitness motto? www.shanagalen.com

Guest blogger: Callie Hutton

TheElusiveWife_500pixInterview of Jason, the Earl of Coventry, and his wife, Lady Olivia Coventry.

Interviewer: Thank you so much for taking time from your busy social schedule to talk to us today. The first question I have is for you, Jason. What was your first impression of Olivia?

Jason: I’m embarrassed to tell you that I was a little bit drunk at our first meeting. And−

Olivia: Ha! More than a little.

Jason (clasping Olivia’s hand): I know, sweetheart, and I’m still very sorry.

Olivia (staring into his eyes): Yes, dear. I’ve forgiven you.

Interviewer: (cough)

Olivia and Jason: Sorry

Interviewer: That’s all right. It’s nice to see how well you get along now. But I understand, Olivia, there was a time when that wasn’t true. Can you tell us how your angst with Jason came about?

Olivia: As he mentioned, my husband was quite drunk at our wedding. Since that was the first time we met, he didn’t leave me with a very good impression.

Jason: Can I interject here?
Interviewer: Of course.

Jason: My father arranged the marriage without my knowledge and consent. I was merely rebelling against his wishes. Had I known then what a wonderful wife I was gaining, I would not have been drunk, and certainly eager.

(Olivia sighs)

Interviewer: I see. Then, Jason, how long did it take you to fall I love with Olivia?

Jason: (shamefaced) Well, er, you see, that’s where it gets tricky.

Interviewer raises her eyebrows.

Jason: Yes. You see, I met my wonderful wife in a London ballroom, and was immediately taken with her.

Olivia: (patting his hand). Not ‘met,’ dear. We’d already met.

Jason: Sorry. (sheepish smile).

Interviewer: (clears throat) Perhaps we should move along to another subject.

Jason nods vigorously.

Interviewer: I understand, Olivia, you are an exceptional musician.

Olivia: (glowing) Oh yes. I play the pianoforte, and simply love it. I was trained by the best in both London and Rome.

Jason: And all her talents are beyond compare.

Olivia: Thank you, dear.

Interviewer: Oh, is she talented in other ways?

Jason: Yes. Very talented. Mostly at night. When we retire for the evening–

Olivia: (blushing) Jason! For heaven’s sake.

Jason: Bloody hell, I’m in trouble again!

Interviewer: (Running his finger around the inside of his collar). Well, I think I have enough for my story. Thank you both very much. And I wish you a splendid life together.

She makes a quick exit.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

0001I’ve been making up stories since elementary school, and writing gave me a way to turn off the voices in my head. After having a number of articles and interviews published in newspapers and magazines, I took on what I’d always dreamed of. Writing that book. I currently have a number of both historical and contemporary romance books published. Visit my website for more information. http://www.calliehutton.com

I currently live in Oklahoma with my husband and adult children who move in and out with alarming regularity. Add three rescue dogs and the household is complete—and full. I enjoy hearing from my readers, and would love to have you visit me on Facebook.

 

 

Working At Home and the Art of Saying No

Monday I said to my husband: That’s it. I’m getting back on a 9-5, 5 day a week schedule.

This was funny, mainly because I don’t think I’ve ever successfully maintained that schedule for more than a day, so ‘back on’ is something of a…dirty lie from the pit of hell. I’m not good with schedules. I’m sort of disorganized, I like to keep my options open. People sometimes ask me how many hours I write a week…and I rarely know the answer.

Because…well, because. Because I don’t keep track. Because I’m very fluid with my time.

This though often leads to me working evenings, and weekends so that I feel like I’m caught up. So NO MORE, I decided.

Monday came, and I did great!

Then I got invited out to go to lunch and shoe shopping on Tuesday. Also, Tuesday (it’s Tuesday as I write this) I had a book coming out, so I was already anticipating that my actual ‘word count’ work would be low because…well, because. I get distracted when I have books come out. And I flail. A lot. I flail a lot.

So already, before Tuesday even hit I had temptations to ditch the schedule.

So much of the problem is me, and I know this. I’m not not good at drawing a hard line and saying: I am WORKING because…well, I’m not scheduled for an eight hour shift at Starbucks. So when I say no to things I feel like everyone is thinking: But you could. IF YOU LOVED ME ENOUGH. (okay, maybe not that last part. But that I COULD)

And the things is, I could. Butt he problem with that is…well, it quickly devolves into seven nights a week of work where I feel restless and edgy all day because the THE WORDS are looming yet ahead of me. So I never have that feeling of: yayyyy done. Instead I have: not getting it done not getting it done finally getting it done sleep.

Add kids to all this and, well…yes, I CAN come look at that. Why yes, I COULD come and spread the jelly for you because you think I do it better than daddy (cuz, awww).

This is what happens to me as a work at home parent. I know that stay at home parents experience similar. The idea that, because they don’t have a ‘boss man’ putting their name on a schedule they’re completely flexible and FREEEE. Yeah, no.

But again, in my case at least, my real problem isn’t necessarily that everyone around me needs to learn that I have a fixed schedule (though…that would be nice) the real problem is that *I* need to learn to say no. I’m bad at saying no. Like really bad. I don’t like to disappoint anyone, and I agree to things often to my detriment. I have good intentions, but  often my perpetual need to say yes sees me either being drive crazy, or forgetting a million important things because…I’ve agreed to DO too many things!

I love that when I need it to be, my schedule is flexible. That when I want to pile in the car and go to the animal park and write while my husband drives, I can do that. When my son has a class party, I can do. I’m not chained to my office, and things shift, and I LOVE that. But the flexible nature of the job is often hard for me because I DO put that ‘people pleasing’ ‘yes man’ pressure on myself.

So I’m searching for the balance. Will I find it in this hard line, 9-5 schedule? (Which I have trumpeted to family and friends…) I don’t know.

One thing I do know about balance and schedules is that re-adjusting is something that has to happen. Often. Balance, once achieved, is not necessarily kept.

In the meantime…I said no to lunch and shoe shopping. It was hard. I didn’t want to. But I respected my OWN schedule, which is definitely something that has to happen before I ask anyone else to do it.

How about you? Is saying no easy for you? Or are you afraid of disappointing people like I am?

Father’s Day

Let me start by saying I haven’t forgotten this is a blog primarily for moms. Many of you may have the attitude that every day is Father’s Day. I’m not going to argue against that because I definitely know fathers and husbands whose behavior isn’t exactly celebration worthy.

But today I’m going to talk about my dad. Before you think this is going to be a blog about a perfect dad, think again. My dad certainly spent many years lying on the couch watching sports and tuning his family out. He stayed out late at bars, made very few of my theater or choir performances, and once told me he had no interest in kids until they turned 18. I think I was 19 at the time and probably asked him why he was talking to me all of a sudden.

But as my mom will tell you, after my sister and I went to college and moved out, my dad started to change. He actually told my mom that he wished he had spent more time with us when we were young. He started calling me just to chat. We formed a tentative friendship. When I was in my early thirties, I was running one morning near my house and fell forward. For whatever reason, my arms didn’t come up, and I hit the concrete face first. I was extremely fortunate I didn’t break my nose or any teeth, but I did cut the inside of my mouth up and scrape my top lip. I still have a scar on my lip from that fall. Everything swelled horribly, and I looked like I’d been beaten. The next day it still looked bad, and my dad happened to call at a point when I was feeling down. I started crying and said, “What if my lip stays swollen? What if I look like this forever?” My dad said, “Well, I guess you’ll have to join the circus.”

I laughed. It was such an unexpected thing for him to say. And it was perfect because I really needed to laugh at myself in that moment.

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Grandpa and Baby Galen

Years later when I told my dad I was pregnant with a girl, his response was, “been there and done that.” No secret that he’d always wanted a son. I didn’t expect him to interact with my daughter until she was eighteen or so. But from the start he made it clear he was going to be an involved grandpa. He takes her for walks, plays with her, swims with her, builds towers with her, buys her princess decals for her room at my parents’ house. Nothing is too good for her. He is an absolutely awesome grandpa, and my daughter has a special bond with him.

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Did you have an involved dad or was yours more like mine–a lot more interested in watching football than playing hide-and-seek?

Shana Galen, Multitasker Mama
I’m Shana Galen, AKA Multitasker Mama (and aren’t we all?). I’m a wife, mom to a three-year-old daughter I call Baby Galen. My parenting motto is, “Keep moving. Don’t pass out. Don’t throw up.” Or maybe that’s my fitness motto? www.shanagalen.com