Thursday, December 20, 2012

One Piece is Not Enough

Dear Claire,

I haven't been able to write all week.  Something awful happened one week ago in the United States and twenty-six innocent people were killed while at school.

Since then I've been thinking about those little children who were taken from their families.  I've been thinking that this is my favourite time of year and I bet it used to be for those families too.  I've been thinking that when it comes to tragedies like this; I have no advice.

I don't know what to tell you.  I don't know whether I'll know what to say when another tragedy like this one happens and you're old enough to ask questions, and to worry, and to wonder the same thing we're all wondering: why?

I don't know if I'll tell you the truth either.  If I'll have the courage to tell you that sometimes, there isn't an answer, and we may never know why.  And even if we did know why, would it make it any easier?  Can we find peace without having the answers we're looking for?

When I started this blog, I would sometimes think, that God forbid, anything ever happened to me, at least you would have this.  You would have this blog, my pictures, my belongings, and most of all you would have Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa who would be able to fill in so many pieces for you, about me.

Since Friday, I've been thinking...what if it was the other way around, and you were taken from me?  I don't have enough of you yet.  Your artwork is not enough yet.  There aren't enough home videos of you.  I don't have all your report cards, your graduation cap or your wedding veil.  We haven't played Barbies yet, you haven't been to a sleepover, and we haven't even argued about you spending too much time on the phone.

The pieces I have of you right now are not enough.  I want more.  I want every single piece to the person you are meant to become.

In my paryers to keep you, and all children safe from these types of senseless violence, I will continue to think about the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School and how they no longer have the same dreams they had seven days ago. I will keep mindful that the pieces they had hoped for have been stolen.  I will pray for them, and wish them peace and that they will hold onto as many pieces as possible of their beautiful children.  

Love Mom

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Two and Ten-and-a-Half Months

Dear Claire,

Today I thought I'd write and tell you how absolutly adorable you are!  You are at such a cute age (almost three) and I think I'd better record some of your cute antics so we never forget them.

One day, about four weeks ago, I called you a 'maniac'.  Since then, if I call you a monkey, silly girl, or just about anything else, you correct me and say "no, I'm ma-mi-ac'.

Also, you seemed to have found an imaginary friend named 'Wolf'.  Sometimes he's very tiny and you carry him in your pocket.  Sometimes he lives with you in the backseat of the car.  And sometimes, he gets very big, and runs alongside the outside of the car growling.

Right now you call your little brother 'Jackie' and 'Hubba Hubba'.  Mommy calls Jack 'Chubba Chubba', but you just can't seem to make the "ch" sound, and in this instance - it's pretty funny.

You love to crawl and pretend to be a kitty, you'll come "drink milk" out of Mommy's hand and let me pet your head.

You love to "make" us hot tea and always make sure we blow on it to cool it down before sipping.

You love dancing around the room and have just learned to do sommersaults - I think you've done about one hundred of them in the past week.

You like to show Jack everything you can do; yesterday you were very excited to show him that you did up your coat zipper all by yourself.

Do you really have to grow up?  I have a feeling the day will come when you won't want Mommy to cuddle you in bed, Jack will drive you crazy, and you won't let Daddy throw you up in the air. 

So i'm going to enjoy every moment, because one day you're going to go your own way for a little while, but I'm not worried, because I know that "your way" will lead back to us.

Love you right now and for all the days to come,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Have a Best Friend (or two or three)

Dear Claire,

Having a best friend is crucial.  Find one immediately.

Okay, maybe that's a bit dramatic, but here's the thing: you are going to need someone to talk to.

There are going to be days (and maybe even months) when you don't want to talk to me or daddy about things that are bothering you, exciting you, or just weighing on your mind. You'll need a bestie to talk with.

There are going to be times when your boyfriend or husband is driving you crazy and you'll really need someone to vent to.  Call your bestie!

There are going to be times when you're own children are slowly pushing you towards the insane asylum.  Call your bestie!

One of mommy's dearest friends in the world is Leanne and she's not feeling well today so let's dedicate this post to her and maybe it will cheer her up!

Here are some great reasons to have a best friend (and some silly things that Mommy and Leanne have experienced)

#1) Someone to plan your life with!  You can throw out all sorts of wild and wonderful ideas about where you want your life to head and this person will support you 99%.  I say 99% because a real bestie will tell you when you've really lost the plot and help you get back on track. (ask Leanne about the condo with the fire-man pole...we may still purchase one for our retirement years)

#2) Someone to have sleepovers with!  Horray for sleepoves!  Sleepovers are the best time to share your secrets, your hopes, and your hangups.  You can laugh, watch cheesy movies, and maybe even gossip for a few minutes. (ask Leanne about our very first sleepover)

#3) Someone to shop with.  Nothing else needs to be said about this one.

#4) Someone to plan your wedding with.  Let's be honest, chances are that your finace isn't going to care about flowers, place cards, or the proper etiquette for hosting a bridal shower.  Insert your best friend who will gladly obsess over each of these details with you. (ask Leanne about all the crazy wedding mishaps...including Mommy throwing up 4 times the morning of Leanne's wedding due to a teeny-tiny Claire in my belly)

#5) Someone to gently tell you the truth.  This person will kindly let you know when they're worried about something you're doing.  They'll be honest with you when you ask them to be, especially about a precarious haircut or boyfriend who you know, deep down, you should probably break up with. (I'm sure Leanne will happily tell you about a few duds I dated before meeting Daddy)

#6) Someone who will never judge you because they love you!  Your best friend may not always agree with everything you do, but she will love you regardless.  She won't judge you, or remind you about past bad decisions, she'll just be there for you.  So make sure you're there for her too!

Love you Claire, Love your best friend, and Love you Leanne!

Mom and Lindsay

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Save A Tree, Not A Boyfriend

Dear Claire,

If you end up anything like me, you're going to have a bleeding heart for people.  You're going to want to help others, you're going to stick your neck out for friends, and you're going to do try to lift people up.

This is (I think anyway) a great way to be.  I like helping people, I like seeing people succeed and I feel best about myself when I'm helping others reach their potential. 

So....I followed my passion and found a job that lets me do this five days a week.

If you want to help people, then help people.  Just make sure your boyfriend (and definitetly not your husband) is not the person who needs to be helped. 

Obviously, we're all humans and we've all got baggage.  But be attracted to someone who can carry at least a few of their own suitcases.

Obviously, when your partner is down or going through a difficult time, you've got to be there for them.  But be attracted to someone who actually wants to solve their problems, overcome their issues, and aim to be a better person.

Because, you can't save people.

You can help people, you can guide people, you can provide opportunities for people.  But you can't save people.

And all that helping, guiding, and providing takes a lot of time and a lot of energy.  Your home should be your soft place, your easy place.  Life, marriage, and mothering will be hard enough on it's own without having to save your husband too.  So my advice, find someone who needs a shoulder to lean on once in a while or an ear to listen, not someone who needs you to be their life preserver.

Love you when you've found your match,

Thursday, November 8, 2012

People Are Good

Dear Claire,

Today I was overwhelmed by the kindness of others.

Right now, I'm working with a young girl, who is living in awful conditions.  She has lost over fifteen pounds in the past two months, not because she is dieting, but because she can only afford to eat one meal a day.

Now that I have you, it's just unbearable to see young girls living like this.  I can't help but imagine what I would do, if suddenly, you were forced to live like this.

In speaking with this girl, I learned that she needs some winter clothing and a few things for her house - a pillow and a blanket.  I know that she needs more, but is too proud to ask.

I quickly posted her needs on my 'Facebook' page and within minutes, several people contacted me with everything from clothing, to food and giftcards for this young woman.

So, whenever you're with a group of people, or watching the news, and everything is doom and gloom, remember that is not the whole truth.  The truth is that, time and time again, people are good.

I know that you will know this instinctively.  Because, you, my sweet little girl, will be good too.

Love Mom

Thanks to all those who are helping :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Someone To Look Up To

Dear Claire,

I don't know what things will be like when you're a bit older, but right now, it seems really hard for young girls to find a decent role model.

Obviously, there are amazing young women out there doing amazing things, but they seem to get a pin-head of media attention while the women who are spiraling out of control, are on the front page of every magazine.

However, once in a while, along comes a woman who graces the covers of magazines because of her talent, humility, and grace.

Enter Kate Winslet.

Most important, Kate is one sheer force when it comes to her acting chops.  I mean seriously, she's been nominated for SIX academy awards and even won for best actress.  The best part about Kate, is that she takes on serious roles.  She's not afraid to play kind women, lost women, cruel women, broken women.  Love her.

Kate is also fantastic because she's comfortable and honest about her body.  So many women, especially ones in the public eye, force themselves to remain rail thin, and after awhile, they really all seem to look alike.  Kate is different, she's a natural beauty who has made the decision to remain, naturally beautiful.

And in the spirit of giving and taking advice...I promise to take this nugget from Kate:

"I accept my body. I accept how I am and make the best of what I am given. Children orientate towards examples. That's why I talk solely positive about my body in front of my daughter."

Love Mom

What's your favourite Kate Winslet movie????

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Room of One's Own

Dear Claire,

Every woman needs a room of her own.  A place she can go to unwind, to explore something new, to read, to write, to think, and to 'just be'. 

A place where you can listen to your favourite song again and again without interruption.

A place where you can sing into your hairbrush without being watched.

A place where you can sprawl out and daydream.

A place where you can create something beautiful.

Last weekend I made a little place for you....

Love you,

Empty, Dull Closet

Claire's New "Closet Club House"

P.S. Our house was built in the 1940's so we have a couple of "funny" closets which have slanted ceilings and aren't really that great for storing much.  So...might as well do something fun with them!

Readers - Did you have a special place of your own when you were little? 

P.P.S. - If you liked this post, please hit the 'facebook' button below and share it on your facebook page :) Thanks!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Timeless Tuesday - New York City

Dear Claire,

Today there was a wicked storm that has destroyed so much in New York!  It has been awful to watch on the news, especially since it is the place that Daddy and I went for our honeymoon.

However...NYC is timeless!  The people will, as always, join together, pick up the pieces, and move forward.

I Love You New York...and you too, Claire!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

S.E.X. Part 1

Dear Claire,

I don't know why, but writing this to you is sooo scary!  I realize that right now, you're just a little girl, and the "real" sex talks will come later one.  But..I kind of wonder if I'd be more likely to tell you the truth while you're little and it feels so far away.

There's so much to think and talk and wonder about when it comes to sex, so this is definitely going to be a series of tidbits that hopefully, you'll take pieces of when it comes to the decisions that you make.

Okay, Mom, breathe. know I love hanging out with the girls right?  I'm always off to "ladies nights" and "book clubs" and really my number one hobby is chatting the night away with my girlfriends.

In all of those hours, and hours, and hours logged, dishing all the dirt, sharing all of our stories and secrets, not one woman has ever said this sentance "the best sex I ever had was in high school".

Just sayin'.

Love you even though you're going to grow up one day.

To my readers - if you liked this "post", scroll down and please share it on your facebook page, Thanks :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Love At First Sight *sigh*

Dear Claire,

Since I'm your mother, you probably know by now that I'm not really a "romantic" person.  I find some of it so over-the-top that it makes me cringe and feel icky.  It's just not me.

But I do belive, one hundred percent, in love at first sight.

All sorts of people will say "there's no such thing", but they are wrong.

On January 25, 2010, a tiny, naked, precious, baby girl was put onto my chest.  I looked down at her and a flood of one emotion came over me - love.

I didn't know you.  I had never seen you before.  And yet I loved you immediately, I loved you in that moment and in all of the moments since.

Even when I'm tired and impatient.  Even when you've said "Mommy" eighty-three times before nine a.m.  Even when you put your whole hand in your cup of milk causing it to overflow onto the table and then onto the floor.

I still love you.  You are my favourite little girl in the whole world.

And if someone ever tells you "there's no such thing as love at first sight"; just let your heart smile, because you know there is.

Love you forever,


You Love Me, You Really Love Me!

Imagine my surprise when I found out I had been nominated for this blogging award: (so happy!!!)
Thank you  for the award

The Liebster Award is given to bloggers by bloggers. It's given to up and coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. It's a way to acknowledge and encourage each other, and its a great way to spread the word about smaller blogs who deserve a larger audience.
Here's what I (the recipient) have to do:
1) Each person must list 11 things about themselves.
2) Answer the 11 questions that the tagger has set for you PLUS you MUST create 11 questions of your own for the 11 people you will nominate with this award.
3) Choose up to 11 bloggers linking them to your post.
4) Go to their pages and inform them of the nominations.
5) Absolutely NO tag backs.
6) Remember to ONLY tag bloggers with less than 200 followers
Here are my 11 Questions:

1. Name one thing on your bucket list
Eeeek - I don't have a bucket list!  I'm really bad at thinking ahead...or really good at living in the moment!  However...There are many cities I would like to visit (I won't bore you with that list)
2. What is one article of clothing you could not live without
Comfortable, stretchy blue jeans.
3. Who is your favorite woman of all time?
If I had to pick just one (not including family members) - Barbra Streisand.
4.What is the worst TV show you have ever seen?
'I was pregnant and didn't know it on' TLC
5. If you could go back in time and witness a historical event in person, what event would you want to see?
Okay, it's really not that long ago...but I would want to be in the room while Kate Middleton was getting ready for her wedding to Prince William.
6. If you could meet any one in the world who would you meet? (Living)
Gloria Steinem
7. If you could change one thing about your country, what would it be?
That our government would use common sense and think long-term in all that they do.
8. What's the furthest you have ever been from home?
I went to Greece for my best friend's wedding.
9. What was the last song you listened to?
F.U.N.'s 'Some Nights' - This song is so catchy; I love it!
10. If you could buy anything regardless of cost, what would you buy?
Private education for my children (even though the public schools are really good in Canada, they're are certain advantages they just can't offer)
11. What's the last thing you ate?
 Chicken Pot Pie and, of course, Diet Coke
Now here are my questions for those I've nominated:
1. Where and when do you usually blog?
2. Who is your current celebrity crush?
3. Who was your celebrity crush when you were a teen?
4. What is your favourite book of all time?
5. If you could re-decorate any room in your house right now, which room would it be and why?
6. Cottage or Road Trip?
7. What is your favourite movie of all time?
8. Romance: Super Cheesy or Super Sweet?
9.If you could improve one thing in your community, what would it be?
10. What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?
11. What is your favourite Reality T.V. Show?
I now pass this award on to the following go check them out too!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Do Something!

Dear Claire,

One thing people love to do is complain about the state of the world. 

Lord knows why, but people love to sit around, talking about how awful young people these days are (guess what people - your grandparents said the same about you!), how violence is out of control, and everywhere you turn people are out of work, living in poverty, or struggling with addiction.

It's like a constant moan of doomsday.

Well, in your mother's humble opinion, it is okay to complain about the world...but only if you're willing to do something to help make it better!

That's right, if you're upset about poverty, than you need to be volunteering at a shelter or collecting donations for the local food bank.

If you're worried about people dying from curable diseases in third world countries, than find an organization that offers free immunizations and donate money to them right now.

If you think young people are going down the drain than become a "Big Sister" and make a difference.

It's really important to volunteer and there's always a need for more, so I really encourage you to find a cause that you're passionate for and help out in any way you can.

It doesn't matter if you can't donate thousands of dollars, if you can collect ten pairs of mittens and donate them to a local school or homeless shelter, than you've made a difference in the lives of those ten people. 

Love you so much when I see you helping someone else,

To my lovely readers...what causes are you passionate about?  Do you volunteer or donate to a favourite charity?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Timeless Tuesday - Houndstooth

Dear Claire,

What is it about this pattern of black and white repeating itself that is just so wonderfully endearing?

I can't explain it - it must be the eighth wonder of the world.  All I know is, it's not going anywhere.  So buy a houndstooth scarf, pencil skirt, or purse, and you'll get years of use out of it.

Love ya when you're wearing black and white!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pants That Fit

Dear Claire,

Please, buy pants that fit.

I know that you're going to go through some phases where you wear clothes because they're trendy and all of your friends are wearing them.  These clothes aren't always going to be very flattering and will often make you look awkward.  I get it.  This is part of growing up.

But, if you could just buy pants that fit, I promise it will make you cringe a lot less when you look back at pictures one day.

If your pants are too small, they won't look right.  If your pants are too big, they won't look right.  If they're too short or too long, they won't look right.

Flare.  Skinny.  Ripped.  Dyed. Bell-Bottoms.  Harem.   Even Acid-Washed.  

I'm cool with all of the above; just buy the right size.

Love you Girl,

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bite Your Tongue - And Hard Too!

Dear Claire,

Because you have a pulse this is going to happen to you at some point...listen carefully.

One day, a boy is going to break-up with one of your good friends.

Some boy, who is kinda useless, often annoying, and definitely not reliable is going to end a relationship with your amazing, wonderful friend.

You are going to want to shout "horray" from the rooftops!  Don't.  When your friend tells you what has happened, do not say that you never really liked the boy, that she could do a lot better, and do not list all his terrible qualities.

You will be sooo tempted to do this, but trust me, it's a bad idea.


Because there's about a 75% chance that they're going to get back together and if they do, your friend is going to know how you really feel about the guy.  Talk about putting strain on a friendship.

Honesty is not always the best policy, especially during a break-up.

So, what should you say to your upset friend?

Just tell her that you love her, that you understand, and that you're here to listen.  Eat ice cream with her, go shopping, listen to her complain about the guy, just be there for her.  Don't worry about him; worry about supporting your friend.

But seriously, don't bash him, because they'll probably be kissing in the school hallway again by the end of the week.

Love you when you're there for a friend,

Poor Sienna....Jude slept with the Nanny and they still got back together?!?

Everyone is glad these two got back together...I mean who else can you picture Pink with?

This is youth-in-so-called-love-train-wreck at it's best.  It won't last, but I'm not going to be the one to tell Robbie.

Claire - hopefully you have zero idea of who these people are.  If so, the world has been re-stored to it's rightful order.  (But it was really fun while it lasted!)

Even my favourite couple once broke up!  But we all know that was Kate showing him that he needed to hurry up and make her a princess.

The 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremonies proved that, yes, anyone, can get back together. (Especially for the right amount of money)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Just Do It

Dear Claire,

Boys.  Boys are going to consume your thoughts for at least a good ten years straight.  Something tells me that through much of high school you're going to be talking and thinking about boys a lot.

Here's my advice...stop talking about boys and start talking to boys.

That's right.  If you see a guy who you think you would like to get to know better - then go and talk to him.  Don't just stand there and hope he talks to you; make the first move.

Seriously, I wouldn't just let the salesgirl pick out my clothes for me!  I want to take a look around the store and choose what I like too!  The same goes for boys.

Besides, most guys are beyond thrilled if any girl approaches them, so just realize that you're doing the guy a huge favor just by saying "hello".

Here's the trick though...
You have to let the guy think they're making the first real move.  I don't know why, but as we all learned from watching 'The Flinstones', men like to think everything is their own idea.

So...approach the guy, say "hello" and introduce yourself, but then let him make the next move.  Let him offter the drink, let him ask for your phone number, let him suggest a date.

If he doesn't ask you out, no biggie, you only have to find one guy, everyone else is just practice.

Love you brave girl,

p.s. - I used a special technique with Daddy - talked to his friend first to see if he'd join into the conversation (lol - it worked!)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Timless Tuesdays - Burberry

Dear Claire,

What is it about those three, somewhat bland colours, that when put together in such an organized fashion they just look classic?

All hail the Queen! Gotta love Burberry, and trust me, it's definitely timeless.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Don't Date a Doormat

Dear Claire,

At some point in your life, you may get the idea in your head that the perfect boyfriend is one that will do anything and everything for you.

He will buy you exactly what you want.

He will always let you pick the movie to see and the restaurant to eat at.

He will say, exactly what you want to hear, whenever you're upset.

In theory this sounds wonderful; in practice, it's a disaster.

You can't be in a successful relationship with someone who gives into your every whim. 

You will not grow as a couple if you get to win every arguement and things always end in your favor.  And, after some time, you will lose respect for this boyfriend because he has discouraged you from maturing and becomming half of a true partnership.

What you need is someone who will challenge you to become a better person.  Someone who will stand up to your faults and support you in improving them.  Someone who insists that he gets to pick the movie and the restaurant sometimes.

In other need to date someone who has a backbone that is equally strong as your own.

Love you when you're with your equal,

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What Do You Stand For???

Dear Claire,

There will probably be at least, a few times in your life, when something just doesn't sit right with you.  You will witness something that just feels wrong - in your heart and in your gut.

It will be your decision whether to speak up.  You won't always speak up and that's okay, but sometimes you will.

In order to speak up, you have to know what you stand for.  What do you believe in?  How do you feel people should be treated?  Do some people deserve to be mistreated?  What bothers you?  What keeps you up at night wondering?

What you stand for will change and grow as you do.  Your perspectives and beliefs may widen at times and narrow at others.  This is okay.  This is part of life.

You'll also learn, that in life, there is very little, that is black and white.  Almost everything lies somewhere in between, in the gray area.   

Once you figure out what you stand for, don't focus on shoving it down everybody else's throat.  You have your beliefs, and they have theirs.  Share you feelings, ideas, and opinions and allow others to share their's.  Listen to them.  Really listen.  It is often that there is no wrong, only different areas of right.  So just listen and learn from the people you know and the people you meet.

Some of the things I stand for:

1. People being treated with respect and kindness regardless of how they look.
2. People choosing their religious, or lack thereof, beliefs.
3. People having second, third, and fourth chances in life, but not neccessarily with the same people.
4. Healthy relationships where both people are safe, happy, and thriving.
5. Listening to someone's story to get the full sense of where they have been, where they are now, and where they hope to be going.

What do you stand for?????

Love Mom