Wednesday, June 13, 2012

what I want my daughter to know {guest post}

[EDIT: The blog links to Young Nesters don't function anymore, so please scroll down to the bottom of the post to find the list here on my own blog! Thanks!]

This week, Margaux at Young Nesters is doing a series of posts from guest bloggers all about the lessons they want their little ones to learn. Today, she's featuring my list! Coming up with my "top 25" was difficult, but it was a meaningful exercise to do right after Lorelei turned one.

Go visit Young Nesters today to see my list -- and in the meantime, check out a few more photos from Lorelei's first birthday shoot, all taken by the amazingly talented Chrissy Deming. (She just had her second baby a month ago -- I could barely get out of the house 3 weeks post baby, let alone create something beautiful!)

Here's my original post below. I'd love to see your 25 lessons list -- let me know if you post your own!

Hi! I'm Courtney. I'm a violin performance major turned high school English teacher turned stay-at-home mama to my baby girl, Lorelei, and wife to my philosophy professor husband, Jason. I blog about books and motherhood at (she always loved) larking and sell handmade goods created from repurposed old books at my shop on Etsy. Since Lorelei just turned one in May, I was especially excited at the chance to take part in Margaux's "25 lessons" series in honor of her own sweet Darwin's big birthday!

(all the pictures you see here except the last one were taken by Chrissy Deming Photography right before Lorelei's 6th month birthday -- to see what she looks like now, stop by my blog!)

The teacher in me has a hard time limiting my list to just 25 lessons (sorry in advance, Lorelei, for the many future lectures you'll endure!). But here's my best effort to keep it short and sweet:

25. Remember that your family loves you and wants what is best for you -- keeping this in mind helps to stop lots of arguments before they start.

24. Put on sunscreen in the morning and floss at night. (I hate doing it too.)

23. Every day, make time to breathe fresh air, read, create or learn something, and embrace someone you love.

22. Give up your need to be right and embrace your ability to be kind.

21. You are indescribably beautiful -- so much that looking at you makes me want to cry sometimes -- and you should never let anyone tell you otherwise.

20. Seek out people who make you laugh, especially at yourself. (You have such a lovely laugh, and you should share it with the world as often as possible.)

19. Dark chocolate and killer shoes go a long ways towards solving most of even the worst problems.

18. Think occasionally about the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight. (That was first said by a man named Albert Schweitzer, but it bears repeating.)

17. Comparison is the thief of joy. (This one was said by a few famous people first -- and now by me.)

16. Family should come first.

15. If someone doesn't love music and animals, s/he isn't someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. And if someone doesn't think you are the most amazing person s/he has ever met, you definitely don't want to spend the rest of your life wishing it were true.

14. Always have a camera and something to write with/on in your bag or pocket.

13. It's okay to not know the answers so long as you know the important questions.

12. If you don't love it, you don't have put it on your shelf.

11. If you don't know how to change a flat tire, make sure you are riding with someone who does. Alternatively, keep your Triple-A membership up-to-date. You never know.

10. Be confident in your style. This will save you from a lot of bad sale-rack purchases and make looking in your closet every morning a whole lot easier.

9. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't draw, can't sing, or can't dance. Everyone starts life being talented at all of these -- the problem comes when we forget that.

8. If you want your Dad to be somewhere on time, tell him you actually need to leave 15 minutes earlier than you really do.

7. Don't try to cook something fancy for company if you haven't tried it before. Better yet: learn how to make a delicious main dish and a great dessert and always keep the ingredients on hand, just in case. Also, invite people over -- often. They don't care if you haven't vacuumed this week; they just want to see you.

6. If you receive a gift, send the thank you note before you use it. Make sure it's handwitten.

5. Create traditions and celebrate them, whether they're on big national holidays or times that are only special to you.

4. Learn how to be happy when you're alone.

3. Apologize when you do something wrong. Don't follow it with a "but."

2. Home is wherever I'm with you.

1. Call your Mom.


  1. These pictures are so beautiful of your family! I love Lorelei's pretty dress!

    and I loved your 25 lessons! I wrote one as well, it was a bit of a challange for me but I'm glad I was able to take the take and really think about all the things I want Chloe to know!

  2. What a beautiful post you wrote! And these photos are so gorgeous!

  3. They are all good, but I liked number 8. ;)

    The photos are amazing - miss you dearly.

  4. Let's also talk about how beautiful your haircut is!