Kids: Becoming ‘Beautiful in the Heart’

Every time I open my top dresser drawer, I see it. It pokes out from underneath a red bra I hardly ever wear and a plastic baggie filled with my kids’ baby teeth. Sometimes I push these things further aside so I can see it better. It’s a simple frame, with a card inside – decorated pastel brushstrokes around a single quote:

“What is important is that my children grow up to be beautiful in the heart.”

Beneath is a line and attribution to “an African Nyinban woman.”

Now, I’m not sure who the African Nyinban woman is (or if it’s really some grizzled white-haired writer at Hallmark), but I’m thankful for the simple words, which have brought me comfort for upwards of 13 years.

I received the card from a coworker when I was pregnant with my second child. I sometimes wonder if she was struck by the simplicity of the statement too, or if it was just the first card she saw when she was rushing into the market to buy a half gallon of milk and a bag full of apples. Either way, though, I’m grateful she found it. I’m grateful she connected me with such a powerful concept.

The sentiment isn’t complex, nor does it seem particularly profound when I see it here now. But I know it struck me as profound when my children were born. Continue reading

Secret Society of List Addicts: Unite!

I’m in a link-love mood tonight, so I’m throwing out a little love to the Secret Society of List Addicts. …

Now, I don’t know about you, but any blog with the phrase “list addict” is going to get my attention. I’m a frenetic list-maker (the 27 Post-it notes strewn across my desk should convince any nay-sayers), and I can hardly imagine life without an endless series of lists: things to do, calls to make, e-mails to return, home improvements to tackle, gifts to buy, books to read, birthdays coming up, things to get at Target, things to get at the grocery store, places I want to go, possible weekend getaways, etc., etc. … The list (of lists) goes on. ….

But the fine ladies at the “secret society” have converted what feels like a crazy compulsion into something … well … fun. They’ve put together a blog that’s lovely to look at, fun to read, and really makes you appreciate some of the finer things in life – like your favorite album cover titles or the silly traditions you create with your significant other. Their list of “Things I Love About My Home Town” really made me think of all the loveable things about Placentia (the water tower, Rosa’s pizza, the 1920s adobe homes, the Bradford house, the old Music Plus, etc. …) and it just gave my heart a little lift for the rest of the day. And the list of “Things At My Desk” made me think about how all the little things you surround yourself with can really add up to tell quite a story about you …

So go on over and check them out! I think I’m going to have to join the society myself. I wonder if they’ll give me one of those cool little blog buttons. … (I’ll add that to my list of things to do today.)

What about you? Are you a list-maker? Give me a list of your lists. …

Let’s Make Non-Resolutions

img_2282I hate to be one of the five gazillion bloggers blogging about new year’s resolutions this week, but … well … I am.


Do you guys make resolutions?


According to some statistics I came across this week, about 40% of people make resolutions, which actually seems a bit low to me. I would think it would be higher. It seems like just about everyone I know is talking about their resolutions for the new year (usually involving some sort of food deprivation), and it’s not that I don’t want to join in, or that I don’t admire the fact that they’re doing this, it’s just that I tend to avoid resolutions. To me, resolutions end up feeling like a big ol’ long list of things I haven’t managed to accomplish. And who wants to go into the new year reading that?


Instead, I actually make a list of things I accomplished in the previous year. Now, lest you think I’m just making that up for the sake of this blog, I even ran upstairs and got my lists from previous years to prove that I really do (and took a photo for you, right up there in the corner!). My lists say things like “Got new garage door,” “Reorganized makeup drawer,” “Got photos organized.” One of my lists even says “Great trips for the kids: Catalina, Yosemite, Palm Springs!” because I was really proud of the fact that I got to take my kids to all those places one year. Continue reading

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