When momma loves herself, daughter will follow.

Patterns, habits and long-term environments mold so much of who we are, but I’m convinced simple little encounters are powerful enough to change our outcome–for better or worse. Like this morning. As I was stepping out of the shower and scurrying to the bedroom to get dressed on time, my 4-year-old daughter made a comical observation. Giggling and wide-eyed, she pointed her little bird-like finger and said,

“Momma, your bottom SHAKES when you walk!”

Now, I could have responded with embarrassment, frustration, anger, or any combination of negative reactions. After all, as women we’re trained by society to do anything but embrace the jiggle. We’ve come so far with encouraging acceptance of fuller figures (and still have so far to go), but we rarely talk about the movement of these …

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This coffee cup (a favorite gift from my husband) pretty much says it all.

God rest my father’s soul. He always told me he would disown me if I ever drank decaf coffee, had a fake Christmas tree, or drank Dr. Pepper. (He said it was for “liberal college weenies.”) He was totally kidding (except maybe not about the Christmas tree), but I have to admit I felt disloyal to my family when I decided to quit my caffeine habit a month ago. When my family gets together (on both father and mother’s side), there’s a steady stream of coffee to be found nearby (and beer if you’re with the right crowd). But my health has been dismal for the past six months, and I was desperate to try nearly…anything.

My anxiety was derailing my already …

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Was that really a piece of dog hair embedded in dried snot on my child’s face? Yes. Yes it was. Unfazed, I reached up and pulled it off, and then thought I’d better clean that snot off, too. Gross. Only, not gross. Just normal. It’s weird how normal gross things are when you have kids. I’m nearly immune to the smell, texture and sound of bodily fluid as it drips, squirts and flies out of my children. Motherhood. Is this all?

I can still remember when my first-born nephew was around 18 months old (that would have made me 6 and a half). He was eating a cupcake (or something white, I can’t really recall). He had a smudge on his face, and my sister casually reached over, wiped it off with one finger, and licked …

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