Dear Daughter (Part 3)

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Dear Daughter,

It’s been a hard week. Long days have led to tantrums and meltdowns. Emotions are high and tears have been shed by both of us. Growing up is hard for Mommy too. Giving you the freedom to be who you want to be and make your own choices is tough. Knowing when to step in and offer my help is even harder. I’m learning to let you make mistakes–how else can you learn? But at the heart of it all, I love you.

You are a strong girl and I am so proud of you. You stand up for what is right and you spread kindness like an infectious disease. Your laugh is contagious. Your heart is huge. And there’s never been a challenge too big that you didn’t at least try to take on.

I needed to confess to you today that I don’t always get it right. Some days I wrestle with wanting to hold on too tight, and other days I let go too soon. I’m learning just like you are. Being your Mommy has been my most important job and I try very hard to do it right. Once I start to get comfortable and get the hang of it, you’re off to something new. Every day is a chance for both of us to learn.

You are my princess. I love you.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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One Happy Player

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I remember the tears and wailing of last winter. Upward basketball season had begun, but my daughter was a few months too young to participate. We took her to several games to watch her four year old cousin compete. It was torture to a toddler who had been dribbling since she could stand. For an entire year she has looked forward to playing in the Upward league and this past weekend ended her wait.

To fully understand the sanctity of my daughter’s basketball experiences you should know that my husband is a professional basketball trickster. In 2015 I wrote a post entitled My Husband, the TV Star in which I explained a little bit about what he does. Check this out if you don’t know him or haven’t heard of the Sizzla.

Before her first birthday my daughter joined my husband on the stage of an Upward Ceremony show. He spun the basketball on his finger and passed it to her small, delicate one (with my assistance of course). She giggled and the crowd let out an “Awwww” in unison.

By the age of two she was dribbling one ball fairly consistently.

By three she was making shots on lowered rims.

And now, at four years of age she is able to dribble two basketballs at the same time, make a shot on a 9 foot rim, and execute a talented spin move.

My husband has been awaiting her opportunity to compete longer than she has. Five years ago (this weekend) we found out that we were expecting. Amidst the shock and nerves I can clearly remember the spark in my husband’s eye as he dreamed of teaching our future child the fundamentals of basketball.

All of those moments made her first Upward basketball practice that much more special. My husband enjoyed coaching her and radiated his pride in her abilities as they began the drills of the sport. I’m so excited to watch her play this season and in the many more seasons that I’m sure are to follow.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Holiday Door

Our family tradition is to deck the halls on Black Friday.

We spend the weekend following Thanksgiving putting up the tree and setting out our annual decor. Each year we like to buy one or two new pieces to add to our collection and we also enjoy decorating our front door.

This year we decided to take on a painting project. My daughter is pretty artistic and loves any excuse to use paint, and my husband is fairly crafty as well. We went to the nearest craft shop and purchased everything we would need to make giant ornaments to be hung on the front door. Each of us completed our own giant bulb which we made from Wilton cake boards. We went with a simple color scheme of red, green, and blue and each of us chose a different inspiration for our creation.

Once dry, we fastened the bulbs to the door using 3m hooks and red ribbon. We wanted them to all dangle at different heights so we varied the length of the ribbon to give it that look.

I really love my front door. It may not be a page out of the Pottery Barn catalog, but we took the time to put each of our personalities into the finished product. I love my unique front door this holiday season.

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The Ameri Brit Mom

“Another Opening, Another Show…”

The Pumpkin Show is an annual festival held in my hometown of Circleville, Ohio. This is the greatest FREE show on Earth and one of the largest local festivals in the country. Each year, the schools shut down, the roads are closed, and people travel from near and far to enjoy some days indulging in Pumpkin-everything and watching parades. Tuesday night was Local’s Night which means that stalls were opened and people crowded the streets prior to the official opening. The weather was beautiful and the festival was packed. Our church group which normally meets on Tuesdays decided to meet this week at the Pumpkin Show. We spent our Tuesday night with great friends and the locals of Circleville.

On Wednesday, we rode rides, overate, and went through the parade on a float. Every year I pine for a box of bourbon chicken, one of the most popular non-pumpkin items. I also have to get a slice of pumpkin pie, a pumpkin burger, and fried Swiss cheese on a stick. We got a snapshot with the traditional pumpkin pyramid and the locally famous Pumpkin Man. For the first time ever, my daughter was in a parade riding on a float representing her pre-school. It was a late parade and she was almost asleep by the end of the route, but she enjoyed riding through the parade with her teacher and classmate. It was a great opening to another Pumpkin Show!

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Five Minute Friday: Mail

This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Mail. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:

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We pull into the garage after a long day apart and my daughter perks up and starts to chant, “Mail. Mail. Mail…” from her car seat in the back of the car.

Checking the mail together as soon as we get home is one of our new routines because my daughter has started writing and receiving mail. For weeks she would throw tantrums every time I checked the mail because “only Mommy and Daddy get letters.” It was a hassle to cross the wide road to the mailbox each day and I oftentimes dreaded the fits that would come with that task. There were days where I gave in and days I conveniently forgot to check the mailbox.

One day after school my daughter and I were crossing the street hand-in-hand when she stopped just short of the mailbox with one of her most mature ideas thus far in life. She turned and looked at me and with the most serious and sincere expression she said, “Mommy, I think I want to ask my grandparents in England to be my pen pals and then I will get letters like you and Daddy.”

We got to work right away crafting letters for her beloved grandparents. Since they live separately we wrote two different letters and sent two different pictures. And before long we began to receive letters in return. It’s been so fascinating to teach my four year-old about the way mail works. She asks how it gets to England and we have even tracked letters before to trace the journey they make.

Who knew mail could be so much fun?

 

German Village

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Over night the weather went from sunny summertime to cool autumn. Every part of me was itching to get outdoors from the moment the rays of sun poked through the curtains. I poured myself a hot cup of coffee and browsed through events going on in Columbus. After a few minutes of deliberation we decided on a family stroll through German Village, our favorite corner of the Columbus area.

Brick sidewalks, Schiller Park, The Brown Bag deli, and Pistacia Vera all made their way onto our itinerary for the day. This was one of our first long walk outings where we decided not to bring a stroller. It’s been four years, but we may finally have a big girl! I was so proud of my daughter who trekked over 10,000 steps without one complaint (although we did have to stop and add to her ‘acorn collection’ every time we passed one on the brick sidewalks.)

We picnicked in a shady corner of the park as we ate our sandwiches from the Brown Bag. The park was bustling with families, runners, and dogs. From there, we walked several blocks to Pistacia Vera, a french cafe, where we sampled macaroons. They are so delicious and I highly recommend the Mocha Hazelnut flavor. After a little snack we walked back to Schiller Park and of course we couldn’t leave without a few minutes on the playground. It was a perfect day with perfect weather.

Here’s a glimpse at our family adventures through the streets of German Village.

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The Ameri Brit Mom

My Baby is 4!

After a fun-filled weekend of celebrating Arianna’s birthday we are finally able to say that she is four! Over the weekend we hosted our first ever birthday party for Arianna at a local church. Inside of the commons of the church is a play place with a connecting party room. We rented the room, decked it out in Finding Dory decorations, and invited all of Arianna’s friends and family to join us. I was so blessed to see that nearly everyone we invited made a point to stop by the party. Arianna left her party on Saturday feeling loved and cherished by the people in her life.

Here’s a look at the festivities this weekend.

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I’m so proud of the happy and kind little girl that Arianna is becoming. She made an effort to thank each person who came to the party and even gave out some hugs while opening gifts. She is my ray of sunshine. Even the hardest of days are made more bearable with her in them. Being her mother is one of the greatest joys in this life.

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The Ameri Brit Mom