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Through Your Eyes : Raising a Child With Self-Esteem

I often say that I wish for every kid (and adults too) to find that one thing that they love themselves while they are doing it. This is how self-esteem is built. That they find a community of people who will join in the mutual appreciation of these efforts and thus build their esteem further. That is some of the good stuff that life has the potential to hand you.

The converse of this scenario is a child who feels worthless and bored. Who can not see themselves in what they do or their surroundings or the faces of their family. And this leads to darker places and choices.Fiona and the azalea on shalavee.com

A mother of another three-year-old in our story group expressed her concern that our rural sleepy town didn’t posses enough interesting things for the teens to do. And she felt this boredom was what led to their use of drugs, alcohol, etc. I offered that these were just choices these kids make to squelch a deeper pain. One wrought from the sense of unworthiness from their family situations. I said even rich kids do heroine. She said her husband is a cop, she knows that.

From a person who experimented with illegal substances and took unhealthy risks, had I had any activities at all in my life where I felt valued, where my identity was more than a grade or a boyfriend, other choices would have shown themselves. But I was left to my own devices, to fend and survive and I chose the wrong things to kill my pain with. The wrong people’s opinions to value. Because I didn’t value me. I was invisible to me.Recital night on Shalavee.com

My son found the piano quite early in his life. And he’s gone from an anxiety riddled seven year-old to a confident piano playing 11 year-old. He has no stage fright whatsoever which blows my mind. What he sees in our eyes and the eyes of the world watching him is admiration and support. And he’s confident that he can fulfill their expectations if not surpass them. Wow!

You can do it. You can parent, you can run the marathon, you can start a business, art every day, lose the weight, make your amends, write a book, learn a language, ice skate, or paint. All it takes is the belief that it is what you want and you deserve to show yourself you can do it. You’re worthy of a dream that fulfills you and you deserve the unyielding support that gets you there. That is what I’m giving my kids and I discovered I needed to give this to myself too.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

A Heads Up For Oncoming Summer

I thought I’d write a little fair warning for myself for next Summer seeing as how June hit and I was blindsided by the inevitable craziness, again.  I promised myself I’d republish it this May. It’s June. I hope I’m not too late.

July 18, 2015

Dear Shalagh,

Just a little reminder about what you may be in store for if you don’t take some heed from previous Summers and get onto some pre-planning. The word of this year’s Summer is Proactive. The opposite of “ignore the inevitable and be very very sorry you did that” reactive.

If you have already signed Eamon up for his Summer camps, good for you. But just remember to write them down on every loving calendar you have. Last year’s oopsie with soccer camp nearly had you missing it. And make sure you buy a new bottle of Neutragena Ultra Sheen sporty sunscreen in a can and put it right in the car with the extra obnoxious baby sunscreen stick for faces. Eamon’s blistered nose last year will hopefully be another bad memory. Maybe in the Winter, have the kids come up with little recipes for fun un-bored Summer Days. Make recipe cards for them and make a special anti-boredom recipe box. Like “pack a picnic lunch and a craft and go to the park and ask a friend to meet us there”. Or “let her draw all over herself with washable markers and then Fill the Hello Kitty pool with pink bubbles and let her get a bath”. Well worth the advanced effort in entertainment and photo ops.

Bicycles on the tennis courts on Shalavee.com

Hopefully you have updated your Summer Supplies at the end of last season. New bubbles, freezie pops, bathing suits, and some other toys to pull out on the day when everyone’s bored. It’s never too early to put rendezvous and day trips on the calendar. Wednesdays at the beach is a great tradition and also request guest appearances from helpers. And send out pre-notes for play dates to see who is interested and ready to book.

sharing ice cream on Shalavee.com

Plan out some Meals for July when the fruit and veggies kick in. Sundays and Mondays worked out good for cooking double meals. Gazpacho, fish tacos, grilled meats and fruit salsa. And truly make sure there’s at least 3 things that are either already made or easy DIY for breakfast. Because Summer means you can have a break too. In fact, let go of the notion that everyone has to show up for breakfast at the same time. Vacation mode means it would be nice but whenever is good too.

Fiona the bathing beauty on Shalavee.com on Shalavee.com

Schedule a pedicure and a wine drinking friendship night right off the bat so you have something to look forward to. Wear your friendship bracelet, tell everyone to come over to your house and throw a party if you can’t get out. You need to be with your people more than once every 3 weeks.

And lastly, you need to ask that husband to pick a day and a half every week that he’ll be taking the kids. Away preferably. It’s nothing personal, it’s just a daft guy thing. And have him figure out a lovely date night for the two of you and arrange the childcare. OK?

sparklers on Shalavee.com

The biggest favor you can do for yourself, if nothing else, is to relax the schedule. Let the kids stay up, let them sleep in. Make it OK to take a little more time to get up, cook or not, clean the kitchen, and get out. And know that this way, when there’s no way in heck you are even making it to the gym for even a second workout this week, that’s OK. Because you’ve got two kids and something has got to give. Might as well let the Summer schedule give back to you too.

Good luck and I hope with a little forward thinking and mapping, your Summer will not be even half as stressful as the last two have been.

Take care of yourself please,

Love,

Shalagh

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Great Gatsby Garden Party

This past Saturday at the end of May, I gifted my services to decorate for our friends Paul and Peggy’s Great Gatsby Garden Party. I luckily was also an attendee so I enjoyed spending most of my day in their lovely garden. under the rose arbor on Shalavee.com

Mark and Shalagh at the garden party on Shalavee.com

Gatsby garden party on Shalavee.com

As I take my party decorations very seriously, in planning my decorations I went right to Pinterest and trolled around for ideas for this theme. The black and white and sparkle was definitely a nod to the Deco era and black tie fanciness but I also knew that this was a garden party and we needed some soft and elegant to balance the glitz.

decorations for the Gatsby party on shalavee.com

The croquet courtside on shalavee.com

A side table croquet court side was peopled with a flask, a fan, and flowers. And we chose to lay blankets and pillows on the ground for a lay-about feeling. The host organized a horse race game from 1930 which was equally entertaining with our friends as horses.

1930's horseracing game on shalavee.com

Dress dummy and mirror for the garden party at shalavee.com

I used a dress dummy and full length mirror as a vignette in the corner of the garden.

Draped rose arbor for the garden party on shalavee.com

arbor roses on Shalavee.com

The rose arbor was the food area and I felt it necessary to visually soften the supports by draping them and then I added a sisal rug to the patio for the indoors outside feeling.

I ordered a lot of flowers, “Ascot” roses, calla lilies, green button mums, and snapdragons to make arrangements for the food and bar tables. The florals turned out way better than I had hoped.

Big arrangement foe garden party on shalavee.comr th

bar table for the Gatsby Garden party at shalavee.com

Garden party food on shalavee.com

When we arrived, the host and hostess had us all open envelopes with secret identities of famous people of the 20’s in them.  I was Georgia O’Keefe. Why not Dorothy Parker I wondered. Thanks be I wasn’t Zelda. secret identity gatsby party on shalavee.com

The hostess and friends at the garden p-arty on Shalavee.com

Florals and lemonade on Shalavee.com

Blush champagne and sparkling pink lemonade, mini quiches, smoked salmon deviled eggs, and lemon bunt cake were all served with flair and care. The day was a little hot but we all chatted in the shady spots and the whole occasion was jolly and lovely. Cheers to a garden party effort well done by the host and hostess Paul and Peggy, and the supporting cast.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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