Monday, March 12, 2012

Proud Mama

There are times in a parent's life when they watch their child do something that is mature beyond their years. It's humbling and beautiful and gives them a glimmer of hope that we are actually doing something right.

There are also times when the same child acts like a complete immature baby and you shake your head wondering where you went wrong and when the rapture will occur so that we can all live in heavenly bliss forever and ever amen. 

But that's a topic for a different post.

Friday and Saturday, I watched Mary Emma struggle with something, dig deep and find some determination, and grow up about 10 years in front of my eyes. I am still in awe.

As always, our worlds revolve around softball. Especially this time of year. All 3 girls are playing and loving it. But Mary Emma has a passion and a focus for it that she doesn't have for anything else in her life. She's a pitcher, so she practices with her team 2x a week plus weekly pitching lessons and daily workouts. She breathes softball. She plays travel ball in the fall and rec ball (where all of her friends are) in the spring. This is her last year playing rec ball - she's going full travel after June - so it's kind of her last hurrah. Her team right now, the Pride (named after the Profastpitch USSSA Pride - Mary Emma's dream is to play Pro Softball), played in a tournament this weekend. Many of her best friends in the world are on this team. She has a ball on and off the field with these people. I love the parents. They are my closest friends and a complete JOY to be around.

Our 1st game was Friday night. Mary Emma was on the mound as usual - she was KILLING IT in warmups. She was confident and ready when the game started. And then it all fell apart. She spent the next 75 minutes desperately trying to find the strike zone. It was freezing and she couldn't feel her hand. The more she struggled, the more she fell apart. She walked batter after batter - most of the time going to a 3/2 count on all of them. We ended up losing 2-0. The other team didn't put a ball in play - their only runs came from being walked in. After the game, she was sad and frustrated. But mostly she was furious. She knew that the loss was her fault and she was not happy.

See, Mary Emma has recently struggled with her confidence. She is constantly questioning everything in her life - from friends, to abilities, to intellect, to size (she's really small - especially for a pitcher). We have been talking with her and loving her and working on her confidence for MONTHS now. But we can't maker her see what we see. We can't make her recognize her own talent. She has to realize it on her own, no matter how many times we tell her that she's good. (And y'all, she's GOOD.) I fully expected the Saturday games to be a repeat of Friday - that she would tell herself that she couldn't pitch well and it would be a short day for the Pride.  I even went to the ballpark with no cooler, no snacks, and about $9 cash. (For anyone who has a kid who plays in all day tournaments, you know that you pack your entire kitchen plus about $50 for a day at the ballpark - you OVERPREPARE.)

However, she woke up Saturday with a determination that I haven't seen on her in a while. Actually, I haven't seen this level of determination ever. She was READY. And to the ballpark we went. At 7:30AM.

We ended up playing 4 games Saturday. We finished 3rd in the tournament - crawling our way out of the loser's bracket. We lost our last game 3-2 in an International Tie Breaker. Mary Emma threw 218 pitches (not including warm-ups) all day. She walked 7 (SEVEN!!) people all day. She struck out 35 (!!). She got stronger as the day went on and performed at a level of someone twice her age. She gained confidence with each hour, and was on cloud nine when we left at 8:30pm. She was exhausted, dirty, and happier than I've ever seen her. EVEN AFTER A LOSS. She recognized her own talent. Finally.

I watched my baby girl grow up on Saturday. I watched her reach down and find something in herself that Spencer and I knew was there, but couldn't get her to realize. I watched her quote Phil 4:13 to herself before she threw every single pitch. I watched her have a BALL with her teammates. She cheered for them and they cheered for her.

I don't know if she'll ever realize her dream of playing Professional Softball. But today, I know that she knows that it's possible. And that is a huge step in the right direction.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Yo Yo Yo, We Need Some Snow!

Last night, there was a hint / mention / small possibility of 13-15 snowflakes to fall in Birmingham. Since meteorologists are always completely accurate in their snow forecasts down here (ahem), the girls decided to work their snow magic and help bring the snow a little further south. A couple of years ago, the folks at the weather channel were also predicting snow, and my little southern girls wanted to guarantee it - so we searched online as well as talked to our friends to the north and asked for superstitions that helped bring snow.  I think we got 8 or 9 flakes during that time. But my kids are resilient and don't give up on their dreams of wearing 20 layers of clothing to play in wet, cold, slushy, mud. So again, pajamas were worn inside out, ice cubes were flushed (seriously, DOZENS of them - Camille fully embraces the "go big or go home" mentality), and spoons were placed strategically under their pillows. Actually Camille had a fork under hers. Apparently the "go big or go home" mentality is a little lax on rule specifics. They also made up a song to further their chances of snow. Spencer filmed it. Because he puts them to bed every night (praise the Lord - mama's work is done BEFORE bedtime) and because he rocks and wanted to share the awesome with me.

So, without further ado, I present to you "Yo Yo Yo, We Need Some Snow" - written by Mary Emma. Sung (and rapped - yes rapped) by Mary Emma, Tait, and Camille. Please excuse the cell phone quality - Spencer didn't want to miss the moment. :) Also pay close attention to Mary Emma's sah-weet beat boxing skillz, Camille's rhythm section (pat clap pat clap), and Tait's (my shy one) complete embrace of the gangsta attitude. You would never believe they are blonde headed little girls sitting on a Pottery Barn Kids bedspread if you didn't see it with your own two eyes. I KNOW.

Untitled from Robyn Davidson on Vimeo.

And just so you know, we didn't get any snow. However, after seeing this video, my happiness is complete - snow or not. :)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Raising Girls

Here are my notes from the Raising Girls breakout session at DotMom - lead by Melissa Trevathan and Sissy Goff. I will blog more about the conference later, but wanted to get these notes out asap. What a LIFE-CHANGING session.

I highly encourage you to also buy the book, All You Need To Know About Raising Girls by Melissa Trevathan and Sissy Goff. The notes from the session are basically a cliff notes of the book. The book is much more in-depth and specific than the notes are. But I was writing as frantically as possible in the hour long session. I could have sat there for 10 hours. GOOD STUFF.


Raising Girls

The Discovery Years - Girls 0-5 Years
  • She is…
    • Relational
    • Caretaking
      • Baby dolls, mothering instinct
    • Imaginative
  • She needs from me…
    • Boundaries
      • These makes her feel safe
    • Freedom
      • Show her that you trust her by giving her some distance from you – like in a Chick-fil-A playground – but always stay near as she will constantly look for you and needs to be able to see you at a moment’s notice
    • Delight
      • She wants you to think she’s FANTASTIC
      • When she walks in the room, she is WORTHY of my attention.

The Adventurous Years – Girls 6-10 years
  • She is…
    • Fearful
      • Literal, concrete in their thinking
        • Teach her that God is BIGGER than her fears
        • Do not be grey – speak in black/white language only. (i.e. don’t shine a light under the bed to scare away the monsters. Teach her that there is no such thing as monsters. And then teach her that God will always take care of her)
    • Relational
      • Friendships are IMPORTANT
    • Responsive
      • Point this out to her when you catch her caring for a friend, being sweet to a sibling, etc. She needs to know that you notice.
  • She needs from me…
    • Opportunity
      • They need something they can feel confident in (soccer, softball, art, piano, choir, chess…)
    • Unity
      • Especially between mom & dad
    • Grace
      • Teach her how to succeed AND fail.

The Narcissistic Years – Girls 11-15, 16, or 17 Years
  • She is…
    • Relational
      • She needs friends.
      • They are a POWERFUL force in her life. Help her choose them wisely and steer her away from bad influences. We still control where they go and who they hang out with outside of school.
    • Insecure
      • When guys fail, they blame others. When girls fail, they blame themselves.
    • Ambivalent
      • Her lack of decision-making skills is NORMAL.
      • She will switch from loving you & hating you in a matter of seconds.
        • As grown up girls, we will blame ourselves for this behavior. This is NOT our fault. Her brain is malfunctioning, and is a normal part of growing up. Love her through it – she will realize that she can count on you even when she isn’t nice to you.
  • She needs from me…
    • Space
      • PRIVACY
      • She’s working very hard to make and keep friends.           
      • She needs time to decompress
        • Allow her an hour or so in her room alone after school.
        • Then require her to come out and be social with the family.
        • It is not good for her to never have privacy. It is also not good for her to not be required to emerge and be social.
    • Strength
      • She needs me to be stronger & more powerful than she is.
        • If she feels stronger than me, she will feel unsafe.
      • She needs me to be her mother. NOT her friend.
        • We want her to be excited about the day when we can be friends (not till after age 23ish)
    • The Back Door – Sissy wrote a book about this. The Back Door To Your Teen’s Heart: Learning What They Need And Helping Them Find It  - Can find it on
      • I need to be unpredictable in the way I communicate with her. If she thinks I’m looking for info from her, she will shut down. (i.e. have a friend pick up siblings from school one day. Take her, alone, to “run a few fun errands.” Stop by Starbucks (which she will think is cool) & just chitchat. She will tell you so much during this time because she won’t feel like she is required to.)

The Autonomous Years – Girls 16-24 Years
§       She is…
o      Relational
§       She will gravitate to 1 friend – often a guy. She wants to belong to somebody.
§       This is where some girls experiment with homosexuality. When they gravitate to a GIRL, who shows a special interest in them – some of them mistake this for love.
§       SHE NEEDS STRONG VOICES SPEAKING TRUTH INTO HER LIFE. This needs to be another adult. Not you. Youth groups / small groups are KEY here. She will listen to what she hears. We need to make sure the right people are talking. It’s key that when they are children we steer them toward friends who have parents who raise their children like we do.
o      Post-pubescent
§       Her body will be curvier
§       EMBRACE THAT. No girl has ever heard her mom say, “You need to lose weight” and has thought, “she’s right. I’ll get right on that.” This is where a lot of eating disorders start – when their mother tells them constantly that their body is wrong or should be changed.
o      Her own person
§       She needs from me…
o      Respect
o      Room to learn
§       Give her a few more privileges. We want them to make mistakes while they are under our roof where we can protect them, instead of sheltering them and then sending them off to college where we can’t protect them when (not if) they make mistakes.
o      Wings
§       Be CONFIDENT in her.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

All About Me. In ABC Form.

A. Age: 36
B. Bed size: A king. Spencer and I had a queen forever, but switched to a king when we moved to Bham. We have topped it with super soft mattress pads and awesome sheets - we often lay in bed at night and say "I love my bed." It's the best bed in the world.
C. Chore that you hate: Cleaning the kitchen. Hate isn't even a strong enough word for it. HAAAAAATE.
D. Dogs: Piper. Adore.

E. Essential start to your day: Don't really have one. I hit the ground running every morning. I would love to have my quiet time before the kids get up, but that never happens. So I have it after everyone's at school.
F. Favorite color: Pretty much anything in the blue family. If you sit outside on a cloudless day and look straight up into the sky, that's my favorite shade of blue.
G. Gold or Silver: Definitely silver. But gold is making a comeback in my heart. Slowly.
H. Height: 5'3". Shorty McShorterson.
I. Instruments you play: Well, I took about 200 years of piano lessons, so I play piano. But Mary Emma is taking guitar, so I'm learning that with her. So far, I can play B,C,D,E,F,G and the G chord. Go ahead. Be impressed. ;)
J. Job title: Mommy, wife, taxi driver, team mom, cheerleader, nurse, homework helper, cook, housekeeper, & dog sitter. My favorites are mommy and wife.
K. Kids: 3. My heart.
L. Live: Birmingham - I have always wanted to live here and I love it now that I do.
M. Mother’s name: Gini. Short for Virginia. Named my middle daughter after her. Love her!
N. Nicknames: Don't really have any. Have been called Rob or Robby in the past. Had a friend call me Bird for all of high school. Lisa calls me Hosay. My maiden name is Hose. Yes, I've heard every possible joke about that one.
O. Overnight hospital stays: 3 kids, 1 gallbladder, and 1 food poisoning. Boo on the last 2.
P. Pet peeves: Shallow people, rude people, and food smacking.
Q. Quote from a movie: I don't know that I have a favorite quote. I definitely have favorite movies. But not really a quote. Lame. Sorry.
R. Right or left handed: Right hand all the way! Not sure why God even gave me a left hand. It's basically useless.
S. Siblings: One brother, Adam. I adore him. I also really really REALLY love his wife, Lindsay. I'm also a HUGE fan of Spencer's brother and sis-in-law, Stuart & Angela. Good people.
U. Ultimate Vacation: Australia. Or one of those houses with a glass floor that sit out in the ocean in Bora Bora.
V. Vegetable you hate: Cauliflower. It's broccoli's mean cousin.
W. What makes you run late: See letter K.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Nothing exciting. Broke my foot once. BORING.
Y. Yummy food that you make: I can make a mean lasagna. And the white BBQ sauce that I make has been known to make grown men cry.
Z. Zoo animal: Giraffe. Or lion. Fascinating. Why? No idea. But just roll with it.

Thanks, Lindsee, for this idea! It was mindless and fun!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Let The Deliciousness Commence.

We are currently 3 days from the start most wonderful time of the year for most people in the South. College football season technically begins tomorrow night with a couple of Thursday games, but REALLY begins Saturday. And as you already know, last year was a pretty successful year for my Tigers, so I'm really looking forward to this year.

My real life friend, Boomama, is hosting a DipTacular bloggy event where bloggers post their favorite dips on their blogs and then link over to her blog. Football Saturdays are about football watching, but are also about fellowship, neighborly get-togethers, and tailgaiting. And none of these can happen without food. The better the food, the better chance your team has to win. I fully believe that. So there's a LOT at stake here. Bad food = bad game = you will most likely be excommunicated from the next game day party. And that would be A SHAME, friends.

So I'm participating. All to keep the Tigers winning. And because it's fun. :)

My first dip was one of those "required foods" at every youth group event when I was in high school. The parents always served it with fruit, but let's be honest -we just wanted a spoon. It's that good. I've made it for many wedding/baby showers as well. It's pretty, and it's best served with strawberries (or, again, just sit down with a bowl & a spoon). And you won't believe how easy it is.

1 large bowl Cool Whip
3 Butterfinger candy bars

THAT'S IT. To make it, put the unwrapped Butterfingers in a ziploc bag and smash them with a hammer or a rolling pin. They crumble easily, but not if you hold them - they melt. Once crumbled, mix them in the cool whip and place it in the refrigerator overnight. The Cool Whip makes the Butterfingers almost dissolve - leaving the flavor and only a few larger pieces. It's DELICIOUS on fruit - we always ate it on strawberries. Your guests won't know what they're eating, but they will LOVE it.


My 2nd dip is one that I can't possibly improve upon. So I'll just link it. The Pioneer Woman's Queso - here's the link. It's DELICIOUS and lasts for a while in the crockpot. It also freezes beautifully (name that movie). It's a required food on game days at my house.

Be sure to link over to Boomama's DipTacular '11 and let the good times roll. And, of course, I hope you have a successful football season - unless you're Alabama or are playing Auburn. Then I just hope no one on your team is injured during the game.

Happy dipping and War Eagle.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Catching Up.

Sweet mercy it has been forever since I've posted anything. I always say that our summers are going to be quieter and less busy, and they are always jam packed and full of obligations. But even though we run non stop, we love it. So here are a few pics to catch you up.

Mary Emma & Tait both played All-Star softball this year. This was ME's 5th year and Tait's 1st year. We had a BALL!

Daddy turned 37! I would call him an old man, but I'll be 37 in October. :) So I'll refrain from doing that...ahem.

This sweet one turned SIX in July. She also lost 3 teeth, including 2 at the same time. She's growing up FAST!

Camille finally conquered her fear of the ocean and is now a queen of the Boogie Board. She's also pretty cute.

These 3 continue to make me laugh, warm my heart, and thank God for his blessings in my life. School starts in less than a month and our days will be back on a routine and our bedtimes will be early. But for now, we're enjoying being together and making memories as a family.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Radical Together

This officially releases today.

Radical | A book by David Platt

If if changes my life like its predecessor, then I'm. In. Trouble.

But an awesome kind of trouble. Looking forward to that trouble. To God be the glory!