Life Lessons Day 31:: I Love You

I love our girls and Mr. Rosey. I love them with my whole heart and soul…with my whole being.  And they know this, because I show them each day. I speak the words every day.

Sometimes the drudgery (Isn’t that a great word?) of doing the laundry, making the beds, weeding the garden, brushing tangled hair, paying the bills… and the list goes on… isn’t sexy. Sometimes it isn’t fun. But I show them I love them, because I clean the house. Because I am the taxi driver from one basketball practice to the next dance rehearsal. Because I’m the Room Mom and Girl Scout leader. Because I manage our finances. Because Mr. Rosey knows everything at home is under control, he can focus on his work. I do all these things for them, because I love them.

I grew up in a home where we didn’t say I love you. Don’t know why. We just didn’t. And I missed hearing it as a kid. Three simple words. I love you.

I like hearing “I love you” from Mr. Rosey and the girls. I like saying “I love you” to them…every day. It’s normal for me to say to Mr. Rosey “Have I told you that I love you today?” And he’ll say “Yeah and I’d like to hear it again.” And so I do with a bonus hug.


I saved the most important life lesson for last and that is to love wholly and never take love for granted. Say I love you. Speak it freely. Show it often. Send it with a kiss and hug. Write it on a lunch note. Shout it as the car drives down the driveway. Whisper it in the night. “Sweet dreams. Sleep well. I love you.” And blow a kiss by the bedroom door.

To read Life Lesson Day 1 through today, just click here.


Life Lessons Day 30:: Tell the Truth

Truth and Happiness2I can’t believe this is the second to the last life lesson for our Girlies.  Well… in all honesty, it’s not.  I’m sure I’ll continue to add to my list as the wind moves me and as our Girlies grow.  But for now, let’s talk about honesty and truthfulness.

Be honest.  Speak your truth.  Daddy and I always say that you can tell us anything.  Good stuff.  Bad stuff.  It doesn’t matter.  We love you no matter what.  And for sure, we can’t guide you through the bad stuff, if you aren’t honest with us.  That is the truth.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf is one of Aesop’s Fables.  The boy yelled about a wolf attacking his sheep to play a trick on the villagers.  The villagers ran to help and found no wolf.  Several times the boy hollered when there wasn’t a wolf and the villagers went to help.  Eventually a wolf really did attack his sheep and when the boy cried “Wolf!” no one came to help, because they thought he was lying.

Moral of the story?   If you tell a lie, friends and family will question and wonder even when you are telling the truth.  If you are truthful, no one will ever question your word.  Invaluable.

Sometimes being honest is easy.  Sometimes it’s not and you’ll struggle with the right thing to do.  You may want to fib, because being truthful might be hurtful to someone you care about.  Stop.  Remember.  You can be honest with words from your heart.  You can be truthful with kindness.  You can lovingly deliver the truth.  Just choose your words wisely.

Honesty is best in any relationship.  Lies of are web of yuck.  Who wants the stress of remembering a string of lies?  Don’t you want honesty in return?  The truth will bring you peace.  Truthfulness is a measure of your good character.  A life of happiness is an honest one.

To read the Life Lessons Day 1 through today, just click here.

Life Lessons Day 29:: Be Yourself

IMG_2049Little Miss C wants pierced ears.  Well that isn’t happening anytime soon.  Nope.  No way.

Why?  In case you might be wondering…

Because in my crystal ball…. I see one panda earring on the kitchen counter and one on the desk.  I feel one stuck in my big toe, because I just stepped on it.  I hear Little Miss C asking me “Do you know where my earrings are?”  And I hear me saying “Well if you put your stuff away…”  I see Lucy eating an earring.  How do I know this?  Because she eats the Girlies’ ponytail holders, socks and such.  I don’t get it, but she does.  And don’t ask how I know this.  I can’t go there.  (Hint – What goes in must come out.  Another hint – rainbow poop.)

OK.  I went there.  Sorry.

For all the reasons I mentioned, Little Miss C is not ready to care for pierced ears… yet.

So what’s a Mom to do?  Hmmm…. We compromised and we got her one pair of clip on earrings.  She loves them!  She’s happy.  I’m happy.

Then we went to pick up Big Sis M from Girl Scouts.  Little Miss C couldn’t contain her excitement.  She showed her sister her new panda earrings dangling from her ear lobes.  Don’t all pandas dangle?  Anyway…

As I started driving home,
Little Miss C:  “Aren’t they pretty?”, as she shakes her head to make the pandas swing.
Big Sis M:  “Uhuh.”
Little Miss C:  “Do you want some?”
Big Sis M:  “I like my ears just the way they are.”
Little Miss C:  “Don’t you want them to be cute?”
Big Sis M:  In a defensive tone “They’re already cute.  Just like God made them.  Right Mom?”
Me:  In a placating tone “Yes, Big Sis M your ears are cute just as they are and Little Miss C, your ears are cute with panda earrings.  Everybody’s ears are cute.”

Whew!  Everyone is happy with her ears, as I pull onto our street.

The life lesson for today is be yourself.  Be true to who you are.   Wear earrings.  Don’t wear earrings.  And do it for yourself.  There is only ONE you and you are special.  Celebrate your specialness.  Remember who you are and stay true to your beliefs and values.  No one else can be YOU.  You do that the best.  Remember to always be yourself.

To read the Life Lessons Day 1 through today, just click here.

Life Lessons Day 28:: Give Back Generously

Hello Girlies.  We are nearing the end of the 31 Life Lessons.  Of course there are many more lessons I could add to the list and I probably will, but this is a good foundation.

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” ~William Shakespeare, The Merchant of VeniceCupcake red candleThe next lesson is one that is important to me – give back.  We are so fortunate in our life.  We are blessed with love, happiness, a roof over our head and food for the table.  Many others in our community, our country, our world are not as fortunate.  Please give back generously.

For me, I support charities that focus on issues impacting women and children.  Find causes that are important to you and support them.  Start now.  Don’t wait til you’re all grown up.

You can donate money.  You can donate your gently used “stuff”.  Donating is always a good and valuable thing.  Every little bit helps.  And…

There’s always an “and”, right?

And I want you to volunteer your time.  The reward from doing is immeasurable.  You will feel good about helping.  The people you are helping will feel better.  You will make that invaluable human connection with others.  Your community will be a better place, because of your efforts.  Your kindness and generosity will be an example and hopefully paid forward to help even more.

Michele Santa HandprintMy Grandma (your Nana) always volunteered her time in many different ways and she was the person who inspired me to do the same.  As you know, I volunteer a lot and give to causes that are important to me.  Your Daddy does too.  Hopefully, we inspire you to give back generously throughout your life.

To read the Life Lessons Day 1 through today, just click here.

Life Lessons Day 27:: The Golden Rule

Yellow pansiesIn life, there are rules to live by.  This lesson is about a particularly special rule.  It’s about kindness, generosity, compassion, empathy, goodness…many of the things we talk about all the time.  The 27th life lesson is to live the Golden Rule.  Girlies, I don’t call it the golden rule, but it is familiar to others by that name.  The golden rule is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Matthew 7:12.   Or in simpler terms, treat other people as you would hope to be treated.  Or as God also asks “…you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Leviticus 19:18.

As we’ve talked about, when someone at school asks to join your recess play time, you always say  “Yes, come play with us.” even if the friend isn’t your favorite friend.  When you see another friend playing alone, ask the child to come play with you.  If you hear someone say something mean to another person, where appropriate, step up and say “That’s not right”.  You don’t have to best friends with everyone, but you do need to be friendly and kind.  When you see your sister is making her bed, help her.  When Mommy is carrying groceries from the car, offer to carry a bag.  When Daddy is snow blowing the driveway, grab a shovel and clear the sidewalks.

We don’t expect perfection.  You will make mistakes.  Sometimes you will be selfish.  Sometimes you will criticize.  Sometimes you will be unkind.  But stop when you see these things creeping into your being.  Remember the golden rule.  You will be amazed how much happiness comes back to you with simple acts of kindness.  It’s infectious.  I promise you.  With each act of generosity, you will feel a warm, fuzzy feeling in your soul. No one can take that away.  You will grow in the knowledge that you are a good person.  Your friends and family will trust you, because of your goodness.  You will be a shoulder to lean on or a hand to reach for, because you’ve tried to live the golden rule each day.  They will know this.  You will know this.  Live the Golden Rule… it’s a very, very good thing.

To read the Life Lessons Day 1 through today, just click here.

Life Lessons Day 26:: Happiness Comes From Within

Snow HappinessOn Saturday, the Girlies were getting dressed for the Girl Scout Mass and Little Miss C was in a big fit over what to wear. Nothing I pulled from her closet made her happy. There were big tears. A lot of foot stomping. Some pretty good pouts, as only a 7 year old can do. Aunt Mary tried to help, but Little Miss C was having none-of-it.

I had to walk away, because I was getting sucked into the emotional tantrum. I needed a breather. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

After a few minutes of yoga breathing, I went back into her bedroom. With clothes strewn over the bed, I pulled Little Miss C onto my lap to comfort her. When her tears stopped, I asked “What is the real problem here? Why are you crying?”

{She}: “I want to look pretty.”

{Me}: Hmmm… as my mind is racing on how to respond and then this… “Little Miss C, you are already pretty on the inside and the outside. You don’t need clothes to be pretty.”

{She}: She’s thinking…. and then “Really?”

{Me}: “Yes, really. Pretty comes from within. You are already pretty. The clothes don’t make YOU pretty.”

She hugged me, jumped off my lap, changed her clothes, smiled and skipped out of her room.

My dear Girlies. This is an important life lesson. Happiness comes from within. Repeat that and really hear it.

Happiness, true happiness, comes from within you.

Happiness doesn’t come from stuff. It doesn’t come from clothes or food or a big house or from friends or your family. Certainly, people can disappoint you or do mean things. But it’s up to you to set boundaries for yourself and not allow toxic people into your life. It’s up to you.

Happiness comes from within you, because of who you are, not the stuff around you. Your life will be full of happiness, because you are a joyous, kind, grateful, considerate, faithful, compassionate, loving, forgiving, and generous person.

To read the Life Lessons Day 1 through today, just click here.

Life Lessons Day 25:: Show Compassion


The Webster dictionary definition for compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy or sorrow for another who is stricken with misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.  Some other words that mean the same thing as compassion are mercy, sympathy, empathy, and tenderness.  Girlies, all good things.

The life lesson for today is to ask you to show compassion for others.  Others can be people, animals, or anything in God’s creation.  Where you see a problem, help to fix it.  Where you see suffering, try to bring comfort.  Where you see pain, try to offer relief.  Try to imagine yourself in the shoes of the person who needs comfort.  How would you want to be helped?  Maybe a simple hug is all that you’d need.  Maybe it’s something more.  Be the person to give a hug.  Be the person to give more.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.  Without them humanity cannot survive.”   ~ Dalai Lama

To read the Life Lessons Day 1 through today, just click here.