More On Parenting The Strong Willed Child (Plus a Few Tips)

It's An Ordinary Blog

Several months ago, I wrote about electing to view parenting a strong willed child as a gift rather than a challenge.  I would encourage you all to go back and read my post here, if you haven’t already.  While every word that I wrote back then still holds true today, I’m learning (as a parent) how I can help alleviate some of the day to day stresses associated with raising a highly independent individual.

I have the luxury of holding a job that I love and am able to do out of the comfort of my own home and so I spend a couple of days each week and every afternoon at home with C.  It’s a great balance between being a ‘working mom’ and a ‘stay at home parent’ and it works for me.  But it’s not always sunshine and roses.  My daughter, who will be three years old in February, attends a Montessori preschool part time.  If you’re unfamiliar with how the Montessori philosophy works, it’s geared towards allowing children the individual freedom to learn at their own pace in ways that are best suited towards their style.  It’s such a wonderful program and I’m happy that my child has this experience.  The only problem is that we don’t have a Montessori home.

I try to be somewhat organized in my parenting style…making sure to pick out clothes for the next day before bed each night, ensuring that toys are put up before new ones are taken out, and other things of that nature (read: mommy might be slightly OCD).  My parenting style doesn’t always jive with my child’s personality.  She wants to be independent, to pick out her own clothes, to have the freedom to do the things she wants to do when she wants to do them and it’s hard finding the right way to make both of us happy.  I want her to learn boundaries but I also want her to feel free to be the person that she is.  Most days, I fluctuate from feeling like I might be a contender for the “Mother Of The Year” awards in my household to feeling like a complete menace when things aren’t as perfect as I’d hoped they might be.  But I’m learning.  I’m learning to let go of the things that don’t matter and to focus on the things that do…like teaching my child responsibility,  compassion,  respect and love for others and the world around her, and how to try new things and explore all while allowing her, in the best way that I can, to be herself (a sweet, energy filled, independent toddler) in her most natural state.

I wanted to share some of the things that we’re doing in our home to encourage our child’s independence.  I’m finding that, more often than not, when I’m more organized (for her) many of the stresses we were experiencing before are no longer issues.  I’ll keep you updated, as I try new things with my toddler, as to what works for us and what doesn’t.  In the meantime, I hope that you find these ideas useful in your own life.  Enjoy.

1. Give Her Options

One of the biggest struggles I face in parenting an independent child is balancing her strong desire to decide for herself with my own will for her. I’ve discovered that if I pick a few options that I would be okay with before presenting something to her (like clothing options, food at a restaurant, etc), it makes situations that might otherwise be stressful feel like a breeze. It’s a win-win. She has the freedom to pick something for herself and I’m happy with any of the choices she has to make.

2. Stay Organized 

You might think that being organized for your own sanity is a no brainer but it took me a long time to figure this out on my own. Living with a child that is picky, changes her mind about things, and won’t let it go when she decides she needs something can be a struggle. Having a space for everything (extra blankets, stuffed animals, certain towels that she loves, etc.) has been a tremendous help in avoiding some of the issues we used to face.

3. Remain Calm

Even when I give my child options and I stay organized, we still have frustrating moments with our daughter (who doesn’t, am I right?!). The best advice I can give when your strong willed child throws a fit is to stay calm. Stay calm. Stay.Calm. Take a deep breath, count to three, do whatever you need to do to prevent yourself from getting worked up because, believe me, it does absolutely nothing to help the situation. When C is being a monster having a moment, I have to take a step back and realize that the best thing I can do for both of us is to help calm her down. How? Breathe, stay focused, give her a hug and tell her it’s going to be okay…in a moment or two, she’ll start to calm down, too and all will be right with the World.

4. Drink Wine

Okay, maybe this last part is sort of a joke (but not really). After a long day or a hard, stressful battle with your child, take some time out for you to relax. Spend an extra few minutes in the shower before bed, drink a glass of wine, read a book, do whatever it is that you do to rejuvenate yourself. Above all, let it go. Let all the stresses from the day go. What’s the point in carrying them with you anyway, right?! 

Always remember that you’re raising a child. You’re raising an independent person who will one day grow to be an adult. You’re helping to shape the future of this planet. I’m pretty sure that makes you a superhero. 

 

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International Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day: This Is Our Story

I vividly remember the day I found out that I was pregnant.  I had this strange urge to grab a home pregnancy test on my way back from work. It hadn’t missed my period and, other than feeling tired that week, I wasn’t exhibiting any of those “tell tale” symptoms associated with pregnancy (I would later come to discover that most of those symptoms don’t even surface until around week 6-8). The next morning, I quietly took the test in the comfort our our master bathroom and was shocked to see a positive result. It was a happy surprise. Joyful tears flowed down my face as I realized that life was stirring inside me. In the weeks that followed before our first prenatal appointment, we shared our happy news only with close friends and family. It wasn’t until after our first ultrasound that we shared the news of our impending arrival with our extended network of friends and co-workers. Like many new expectant parents, we were under the impression that our baby would be one that we would take home from the hospital and love as he or she grew into an independent person. We were mistaken.

In early November, my husband and I headed to a routine prenatal visit where we were excited to hear our sweet baby’s heartbeat via doppler. Elation soon turned into worry as my OB doctor referred us to a prenatal imaging center for an ultrasound. It was there that we would discover that the child we thought we would take home would never be an outside baby. For parents who have never experienced a loss, it’s hard to fathom how heartbreaking that news can be. For several weeks I had developed this relationship with the child I thought would be mine and it was stripped from me. It hurt and I didn’t understand. It was the worst moment of my life. My doctor recommended a D&C in the days that followed after we received the news and I was told that we were clear to start trying again at the end of December 2009 or early January 2010. The prospect of “trying” was scary. There are so many uncertainties associated with getting pregnant after a loss and the thought of losing another baby can be overwhelming but our loss made me realize how much I wanted a healthy baby and I knew we would have to eventually move on and try in order for that to happen.

By April 2010, after months of charting, ovulation tests, and negative home pregnancies, I was losing faith. If I could get pregnant without even trying the first time, why wasn’t it happening this time?! Everywhere I looked, it seemed, other women were getting pregnant, having babies, and enjoying the life that I thought would be mine and I wasn’t. By the first week of June 2010, the realization that our due date was upon me. My husband and I decided to take a couple days off of work to spend together, doing something fun, in memory of the child that never made it home. Later that month, on the 22nd, I found out that I was pregnant with my daughter.

I had just arrived at a good place, emotionally, after mourning the loss of our baby, and I was scared that it might happen again. I feared every cramp and ache fearful that it might mean the worst. I took home pregnancy tests periodically (pretty much throughout my first trimester) just to make sure that they were still showing up positive. Thankfully, Charlotte Grace came into this world in February 2011 after a healthy and relatively text book pregnancy. Not a day goes by that I’m not thankful for her presence in my life. The takeaway that I gained from my experience in loss is that it’s hard and it’s okay to be angry, heartbroken, and sad. It’s okay to mourn the loss of something that should have been yours.

I was certain that our first baby was a boy. So we named him Elijah Steven. I keep a box with his first ultrasound picture, a few congratulatory cards we received from friends and family, and a little teddy bear we had purchased as a gift for our baby shortly after we found out we were expecting. These keepsakes are likely things that I will share with my own daughter one day down the road as we talk about life, loss, and family. If you’re mourning a loss of your own, know that you’re not alone and that it’s okay to be sad. Sometimes sharing your story is a good way to let other women know that they always have support.

In honor of International Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day, I wanted to share with you some information about “Count The Kicks“, a campaign that aims at saving the lives of unborn children in late pregnancy.  Although stillbirth is vastly different from what I experienced (which was a miscarriage), I think the Count The Kicks mission is important and I encourage you all to take a look at this video: 

To join the movement, start by visiting and liking the Count the Kicks Facebook page. 

 

 

Staycation All I Ever Wanted: Kansas City’s GRAMMY Music Experience

If you’re like me, as Kansas City begins its descent into cooler weather, you’ll be looking indoors for activities to escape the Winter cold. GRAMMY Museum Experience, located inside Sprint Center in Kansas City, offers a musical adventure for kids and adults of all ages. I recently had the opportunity to spend some time touring the GRAMMY Museum and found it to be a unique and wonderful early afternoon spent downtown.

Upon entering the facility, guests are invited to become part of the band. No auditions necessary. Each station is set up with its own individual headset so that the musician can hear his or her own talent (or lack thereof) while at play. This stage, which features various instruments and a vocal station, is the perfect opportunity for people to explore. I imagine that it’s especially useful for students who think they might be interested in playing in an actual band later on down the road. One thing I learned during band practice? I probably shouldn’t quit my day job…unless, of course, someone wants to offer me a job singing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” or “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” for a room full of toddlers.

As visitors continue to navigate through the experience, they’ll find themselves feeling rather groovy as they’re encouraged to take part in dance lessons from one of the two major music legends of the 20th century. This interactive area comes complete with bright lights in alternating colors that create a fun, playful atmosphere within the GRAMMY Museum Experience. Even though I was the only person in the room at the time (thanks for the special tour, GME!) I still didn’t muster up the courage to dance on the floor.

Also available within the experience is an abundance of information detailing Kansas City’s rich history with music, a timeline of the Grammy’s in America, and an incredible opportunity to witness how modern day hip hop has been influenced by performers in decades past. Guests will be blown away by the connections between modern music and musicians who paved the way in America. Additionally, visitors have the opportunity to listen to tracks of by artists who put meaning behind their lyrics. I personally appreciated being witness to the meaning behind the words, it’s something I enjoy most in music.

After dropping a beat at one of the mix stations available within the GRAMMY Museum Experience, guests will have the opportunity to take a peek at some amazing artifacts from their favorite musicians. Including costumes worn on stage, instruments, and awards. All in all, the GRAMMY Museum Experience offers a mix of education and fun right in the heart of Kansas City.

One of the best ways I recommend enjoying this experience is to grab a ticket to Rock The Line, offered at select Sprint Center events, which includes access to the GRAMMY Museum Experience, red carpet fun, and a spot at the front of the line during your favorite concert or event. For more information or to purchase tickets, head on over to the GRAMMY Museum Experience website. Be sure to check them out Sprint Center on Facebook and let them know that It’s An Ordinary Blog sent you.

Happy Birthday, It’s An Ordinary Blog! (Come In, Come In!)

Unless you’ve been following my blog from the start, you may not realize that It’s An Ordinary Blog turns 1 TODAY!

It's An Ordinary Blog Turns One

On October 4, 2012, I published my first ever post on It’s An Ordinary Blog. In case you missed it (which I assume applies to 99.99% of you), you can re-visit the post here: A Weighty Issue, What Makes a Role Model? Looking back on my year, I feel incredibly humbled. With just a few readers (mostly family…okay, pretty much just my husband and mother) and a whole lot of ideas, I started on this journey. Even though I’m still working to develop who I am as both a blogger and an individual, I feel that I’ve come into my own as a writer. I love having a place to share my adventures in parenting and in life with all of you. Even more than that, I feel blessed beyond measure that there are people out there who are even remotely interested in reading what I have to say. This day is so meaningful to me in so many ways but mostly because I’m grateful for my readers.  Let’s take a look at this past year:

It's An Ordinary Blog Goes On Vacation

We took an incredible trip back East and stayed in Jekyll Island, Georgia.

Downtown Disney

We spent some time in Downtown Disney.

Door Jammer Giveaway

I hosted my first giveaway from Bumblefly~N~Butterbees!

personalized birthday gift

I shared about meaningful gift giving.

Toddler Visits Santa

My daughter hated Santa.

It's An Ordinary Blog

I hosted a baby shower…

Classic Pooh Diaper Cake

Or two.

It's An Ordinary Blog - Copyright

We played in the snow.

Minnie Mouse Theme Birthday Party Table

We celebrated C’s 2nd birthday!

It's An Ordinary Blog

We celebrated Spring.

Stuffed Pepper Recipe In The Oven

We ate some food…

Johnson Family Farms

And spent some time on a farm.

Guest Room

We re-did our guestroom for less than $15.

Corydon Indiana

We traveled to Corydon, Indiana

Succulent Sundays

And enjoyed some comforts of home.

It's An Ordinary Blog

Most importantly, we had the wonderful opportunity to share all of our experiences with you. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of my journey. Words cannot express how immeasurably thankful I am for this blog and can’t wait to continue sharing with you in the coming years. To you, to me, to It’s An Ordinary Blog…Happy Birthday!

Warmly yours,

Holli Ann

Potty Training: We Did It! (Plus Some Helpful Tips)

It's An Ordinary Blog

As you might remember, we’ve been working on potty training our two year old daughter. Several months ago, I had it in my mind that we were supposed to be aggressive when it came to potty training. Now that I look back, I’m glad that my (somewhat) relaxed parenting style overshadowed my internal desire to push my child into potty success. A few weeks ago, something just clicked and she got it. It was one of those incredible, amazing moments where you’re immensely proud and completely blown away by the small child that lives with you. She’s so smart and allowing her to lead the way (with our help and encouragement) was one of the best parenting decisions I’ve made to date.

You might remember my post about utilizing a potty chart as incentive to get your child to use the restroom. While I still advocate the use of sticker charts to help motivate young children (we use a sticker chart for ‘daily activities’ that C is expected to complete and she loves it), I’ve also learned that sometimes children will figure things out on their own in time. Some children might prosper having that ‘push’ for potty training but, in observing my child’s behaviors, I learned that she is more motivated by independence than she is by my encouragement. I found myself asking her, time and time again, until I was almost blue in the face, if she needed to try and use the potty and she never seemed to want to…on my time. So I stopped. I wasn’t going to make her feel guilty for eliminating in her disposable pull up and I wasn’t going to punish her for not sitting on the potty. Eventually, I knew if she wanted to try to go…she would. And she did.

About a week into it, we abandoned the potty chart (but we still used a chart for daily activities) and decided that we would take a break and re-visit potty training when C seemed to be more ready. Fast forward a few weeks when we toured a preschool that we were interested in part time. One of the stipulations for enrollment is that the child must be in underwear. So I sat down and explained to her that if she was big enough to attend preschool then she must also be big enough to use the potty and not wear pull ups anymore. Not wanting to push her too hard, we tried again.

We took the leap of faith and simply stopped putting her in pull ups. Much to my surprise, the transition into underwear was really easy. We didn’t try giving her an absurd amount of juice. She didn’t run around naked. We didn’t make her sit on the potty all day. She just got it. We had a few accidents the first day, a couple the second day, and one or two occasionally ever since. My husband and I are always encouraging of her, almost to the point where we embarrass ourselves when we’re in public with the “Wow! You did it! Good Job!”  and the “You went POTTY?! AWESOME!” but I am so proud to announce that my child, at two years and seven months old, is fully potty trained and it was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done with her. Hooray!

horray

I wanted to share a few things that I learned in our potty training experience with you…

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff 
  2. Give it time
  3. Children should never be made to feel guilty for accidents
  4. S#it happens
  5. Celebrate each accomplishment

More than anything, I want you to know that potty training doesn’t have to be stressful. It can be enjoyable and it can be simple. Knowing your child, stopping when something’s not right, and letting your child lead the way are the best things I’ve learned in this process and they’re things that I will take with me in other parenting adventures down the road. If you’re preparing for potty training, I wish you the very best with your little one!

 

Succulent Sundays: Fried Zucchini (Recipe & Mouth Watering Pictures Included)

Yummm! It’s Sunday! A few weeks ago, at my local Farmer’s Market, I picked up (for the first time) green tomatoes. And I fried them because, let’s be honest, nothing says “let me enjoy these nice, healthy vegetables” like dipping them in batter, frying them in oil, and eating them with some ranch dressing. So naturally, I wondered what other would-be healthy items would taste good fried. It still counts as a vegetable, right?! So today, I want to share my recipe for fried zucchini. In case you’ve missed some of my previous Succulent Sunday posts, you can find them here:

Homemade Stuffed Peppers

Pulled BBQ Chicken Bake 

Homemade Lasagna (Don’t tell my mother I shared that one!)

Homemade Zucchini

For this recipe you’ll need: 

  • 1-2 Medium Size Zucchini Squash
  • 2 Eggs (Lightly beaten)
  • Milk (Aprox. 1 Cup)
  • Wheat Flour
  • Italian Style Breadcrumbs
  • Oil (Preferably one with a high smoke point)
  • Paper towels on a plate

Homemade Zucchini Recipe

Zucchini

 

Nothing beats fresh, locally grown produce. I was excited to find some great, seasonal, vegetables. I think the farmer who sold me the zucchini thought I was a little weird. Of course, my vague sexual references surrounding the size and shape of the produce probably didn’t help. Kidding (but seriously). Once you’re done thoroughly washing your produce, slice it into “chips” (see the picture below for reference).

homemade fried zucchini

Begin heating your oil (with just enough to cover the bottom of the frying pan) on medium to medium-high heat. You’ll want to remember to reduce the heat to medium (even medium-low if you need to) depending on whether or not your zucchini slices are frying too quickly.  I recommend leaving your zucchini in the breadcrumbs until you have enough for the entire pan. Speaking from experience, trying to place them into the pan one at a time, turn them as needed, while trying to be mindful not to burn them can be a daunting task for one person. If you have all of them ready at one time, it makes it just a little (okay, a lot) bit easier to fry them.

By now, I hope you’ve figured out that your milk, beaten eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs need to be in different bowls (/plates) set up in a station for easy access.

Step One:

Homemade Fried Zucchini

 

Dip zucchini into milk

Step Two:

Fried Zucchini Recipe

Coat zucchini with flour (I used wheat flour…you know, to make it healthy)

Step Three:

Homemade Fried Zucchini Recipe

Dip zucchini in beaten eggs

Step Four:

Fried Zucchini Recipe

Coat zucchini in seasoned breadcrumbs 

Step Five:

Fried Zucchini Recipe

Fry it up! It takes a few minutes on each side (or until brown)

Once you’re done frying the zucchini, place them on a plate of paper towels to ‘dry’ them off (get rid of that extra grease). Then repeat, repeat, repeat until you’ve fried up your desired amount of zucchini. Serve with ranch, or marinara, and enjoy!

Homemade Fried Zucchini

Succulent Sundays

 

Treat Bags for Traveling With Toddlers

Travel Map

 

2 Adults | 1 Toddler | 486 Miles | 7 Hours | 1 Road Trip 

We recently spent an extended weekend in historic Corydon, Indiana and I’m proud to say that we made it through the road trip with our two year old unscathed! I will admit that my husband and I were both a little nervous about the prospect of spending nearly 8 hours on the road each way with a two year old passenger in the car. Toddlers, by nature, can be unpredictable in their mood and we weren’t quite sure how our daughter would react to our long weekend. All that said, she was an incredible travel companion. So much so, in fact, that we’re planning another long trip this Autumn with her (wish us luck!). I’d like to think that my impeccable planning skills played some small role in our recent road trip success and so I thought I’d take a couple of minutes to share what I did with all of you.

The week before we left, I hit up my local Target in search of some great deals in their ‘cheap toy / items you’re probably going to end up tossing’ section (the one that’s generally at the front of the store as you come in). I went in without any real expectations for what I would find but I was on the hunt for some small toys, books, or games to keep my daughter busy in the car. My plan was to pair a couple of the items with a small snack and drink in a special bag that we would present to her at various stages throughout the trip. A half hour and about $10 later, I had what I needed to get started.

If you’re like me (a planner) who will be traveling with small children, I highly suggest taking the time to prepare these bags ahead of time. I found that they really helped make our trip so smooth. Each bag contained:

  • A fresh diaper
  • A small baggie of wipes
  • A small snack
  • A drink
  • A small book
  • A small toy
  • A glow stick

We presented a bag at each of our semi-planned (within a desired time frame) pit stops and found that it was a great way to introduce something new to capture her attention for long enough that she wasn’t bored in the car. I don’t know about you but I call that a win. Here’s what the bags looked like:

Treat Bags for Kids

Travel Treat Bag

Treat Bag 1

Pit Stop Treat Bags

With a little planning and preparation you, too, can enjoy (yes, I said enjoy) a road trip with your toddler. Happy Travels!

Potty Training: An Update

It's An Ordinary Blog Copyright

Two weeks ago, I posted about our journey in potty training. As it turns out, teaching a two year old how to use the bathroom is more difficult than I imagined it would be.  C will be two and a half next month and, logically, I know it’s time to get serious but my child doesn’t seem to want to sit on the potty.  That’s where the potty chart came in. In case you missed my first post…here’s what the chart looked like:

Potty Incentives

I thought (and still think) that using charts for toddlers is a great idea. So much so, in fact, that I started a daily activity chart in C’s room with a list of things we need to accomplish every day (like getting dressed, brushing our teeth, reading books, rest/nap time, etc). At the end of the day, we go over her chart and she gets a smiley face for every completed task. When she fills up the chart, she gets a reward. As wonderful as the daily chart is, I think I may have had a bigger vision than we’re capable of right now for our potty time chart. That’s not to say that it won’t be a great resource for later on down the road (or for children who have more interested and are willing to actually sit down to use the bathroom) but, for now, we need to try something different.

Someone on my Facebook page suggested giving her little toys or treats whenever she sits on the potty. So that’s where we’re at now. Per the usual, I’ll keep you guys updated in a couple of weeks on our progress. Until then, I’ve got a great Vitacost review and Zaggora giveaway coming down the pipe tomorrow and Tuesday and am excited to share both of those with you!

It’s Potty Time (Getting Started)!

 

Potty TrainingRemember this picture that I posted over on Twitter the other day?!

It’s official: We’re Potty Training! 

When my daughter turned two, she was so excited to sit on the potty like a big girl. Like any parent of a toddler, I excitedly purchased a potty of her very own. All of this, of course, under the assumption that potty training would be a breeze. That hasn’t so much been the case. Now that she’ll be two and a half next month, I know it’s time to get serious about potty training but every time we ask her if she wants to sit and try to use the bathroom, she cries. Logically, I know that forcing her to do something that she clearly doesn’t want to do isn’t going to do any of us favors and so I decided to turn potty training into a game (of sorts). The other day I went to my local Target (my home away from home) and purchased some poster board, a ruler and incentive stickers all with the purpose of creating a potty chart.

How To Make A Potty Chart

For each day of the week (from Sunday to Sunday) there are nine boxes. The game is simple: For every attempt to use the bathroom, she earns a sticker. If she fills out nine stickers every day for 8 days, she gets to have dinner at our local T-Rex cafe (it’s a pretty big treat for her since we don’t go there often).

Its Potty Time

I tried to make the chart bright and fun. What toddler doesn’t love a good sticker?!

Potty Chart

Potty Incentives

I hung the potty chart on the mirror in the bathroom and there it will stay until next Monday morning.

How To Potty Train A Toddler

Although she earned her first sticker this morning, she didn’t seem all that interested in going. I love the idea of using a chart but if this doesn’t work by week’s end I’ll try a different approach (a pre-purchased gift that she can only have if she tries to use the bathroom all week). I’ll keep you updated on our progress on Twitter and over on Facebook. In the meantime, what are your tips for first time training?!

 

Happy Father’s Day!

Father and Daughter walking on beach

Happy Father’s Day!

We’ve had such a busy week that I’m just now playing catch up. The early part of the week was spent down in rural Kansas visiting my dad and the latter part of the week was spent enjoying some time with a good friend of mine who was visiting from out of state. I feel guilty that I haven’t posted but I promise that I’ve got a lot coming down the pipe for next week including a review for a mail order coffee company called eKoffee (and it’s so good!) and a giveaway from Keira’s Kollection.

I spent a lot of time this year thinking about Father’s Day. You might remember my top pick for Father’s Day 2013, a gift for dad from Man Crates, so I wanted to talk today about the greatest gift of all…The older I get, the more I realize that of all the gifts in the world that you can offer someone, the greatest one is the gift of your time, energy, and love. I think that’s why I enjoyed my time with my own dad earlier this week. Unlike material objects that can be replaced if lost or broken, time is something that we can’t ever get back and the time we spend with our loved ones is what creates those memories we carry with us throughout our lives. I could go on (and on and on) about how important I think family moments are but I think you probably get the gist so I want to close with a few little notes.

To My Husband:  

I don’t possess words that are eloquent enough to fully express how incredibly grateful I feel for your partnership in parenting. Not only are you a hard working individual in your work life but you’re also a rock star at home. The energy and devotion you have to C and I is unparalleled to anything I’ve ever known and we love you so much for it. You’re patient, kind, compassionate, and loving. The qualities you naturally possesses are ones that I believe will help to shape and steer our daughter to do great things in her life. You’re my partner for life, a rock star Dad, and an all around great human being. 

To My Father: 

One of the things I love most about my relationship with you is the fact that we’re not only father and daughter, but we’re also friends. Watching my own daughter’s eyes light up the room when she sees you or talks to you on the phone warms my heart more than you’ll ever know. I’m thankful for your presence in our lives and wouldn’t trade it for the world.

To All Dads Out There: 

Fatherhood is such an incredible responsibility and gift. It’s the opportunity to help create a better future and to teach another human being those important lessons in life like trust, what it means to be a family, and unconditional love. I hope not a day goes by that you don’t stop to see that spark in your child’s eye when you walk through the door after work, or pick them up for a hug. I hope this day has been special for you, in some way or another. 

Happy Father’s Day