You’re Gorgeous DAHLING!

We have a recurring conversation in our house with Emma – it generally goes something like:

her: “Look at me Mama! How you think?” {that’s her way of saying “how do I look?”}

me: “You Look BEAUTIFUL!”

her: “I know.”

me: “You do? How do you know?”

her: “Cuz you tell me I am all the time!”

I learn a great deal about myself from spending life with her, some of the things I learn aren’t very beautiful at all, and yet my heart truly does want to absorb her intense sense of self. Most days I feel as though Emma, at four years old has a stronger grasp on who she is and the wonder God created in her, than I do in all of my thirty-one years.  And it leaves me wondering, did I possess a similar confidence in my awesomeness when I was her age? And if so, what happened along the way to alter my perception? Where along the lines of my journey did the reflection in my mind’s mirror change from a beautiful princess to the ugly step-mother? And most importantly, how do I nurture the reflection Emma sees of herself to a place of greater beauty, one where she never cares or notices the imperfections life has a way of shining a spotlight on?

Last week my good friend Crystal pulled together a wonderful afternoon for a small group of moms with young daughters based around the “Fancy Nancy” book series by Jane O’Connor. I personally love these books, and appreciate them as a great alternative to the other “princess” rubbish products out there. Crystal’s idea was to surprise our girls with a dress-up, lunch, shop, parade-down-Main-Street extravaganza – with the sprinkles on top being all of the moms would join the fun and don their fancy frocks as well. I think it is safe to speak for the other three moms when I say none of us consider ourselves very fancy, well, EVER. We count the day a win if a shower has taken place, and our clothing is minus crusted-on goldfish cracker drool. Glamorous, we may not be – but we are open to public humiliation in the spirit of having fun with our girls.

As I watched the day unfold from behind my camera, I could almost hear the whispers from God into each of His little girls’ ears:

“You are wonderful. You are Beautiful and forever will be. I LOVE who you are. . .”

He whispered the same song over the mamas as they played and giggled with their mini-beauties.

How my heart hopes they felt it.

Crystal Dahling, got us in the fancy spirit with a story

Crystal Dahling, got us in the fancy spirit with a story

Then it was time to get fancified!

Time to get fancified!

Just fyi, you aren't considered fancified until you have sparkle glitter powder

Just fyi, you aren't considered fancified until you are covered in glitter powder

The Beautiful Mamas (Allyson, Crystal and Brooke) - who make fancy happen every day in their own style

The Beautiful Mamas (Allyson, Crystal and Brooke) - who make fancy happen every day in their own style

The ladies lunched and strolled through downtown Franklin - turning heads of course!

The ladies lunched and strolled through downtown Franklin - turning heads of course!

blueholdhands

handsandfeet

stonewall

My own Fancied-out Nancy

My own little Nancy all Fancied-out

onetiredredtutu

I love the look on Brooke's face as she takes in the moment with her sweet Britain

I love the look on Brooke's face in the photo on the right, as she takes in the moment with her sweet girl Britain

If you would have told Crystal six years ago she would not only participate, but organize a Fancy Nancy Day she would have walked away laughing. Cute Princess Nicole changed her mama's ways.

If you would have told Crystal six years ago she would not only participate in, but organize a Fancy Nancy Day she would have walked away laughing. Cute Princess Nicole has changed her mama's ways.

Allyson and her girls' have the funnest spirits to be around. It's amazing how Maddy, Ellie and Riley all have such individual beauty and personality.

Allyson and her girls have the funnest spirit about them. It's amazing how Maddie, Ellie and Rylee all have such individual beauty and personality.

I could seriously look at Emma's sweet face forever... Thanks Crystal for grabbing this shot.

I wasn't going to include this, but thought I may catch some heat from the other mamas if not. I could seriously kiss on Emma's sweet face forever... Thanks Crystal for grabbing this shot.

They are killing me with their CUTE!

They are killing me with their CUTE!

July 15, 2009 - 9:53 am

Robyn Sarah, this is sooo cute. Last night in the car Shawn was telling me about what colors she didn’t like, including green. I asked her why she didn’t like green and reminded her it was her momma’s favorite color. She said, “well of course you like green, momma, you look pretty in it” and I felt pretty. :)

July 15, 2009 - 10:07 am

Crystal I’m at a bit of a loss for words – you did such a tender, sweet, AMAZING job with this post! I love how you put it together – I’m sure to visit it over and over again for a good smile and giggle.

And yes, you are glad you put in one of yourself with Emma. Heat you would have gotten if not, my friend!!! 😉

Love you – had a blast. Thanks for blessing us with your talent of photography.

July 15, 2009 - 4:20 pm

Laurie Moses What a blessing to witness and such a beautiful record of the memories for the little ones to keep. Sarah,… I knew you at this age and you were just as precious to your mom as Emma is to you. You were always a princess in her eyes and in mine. I love you for letting me enjoy a shared moment with you. Bless you and your friends for humbling yourself as a “little girl”.

July 15, 2009 - 6:26 pm

sarahrichmond Robyn, Shawn is absolutely right. . . As I recall you do look pretty in green and not many people can pull green off.

Crystal, you are welcome girl- and thank you, again.

Laurie, thanks for sharing in our fun – I think all of the moms will remember the day we had and if we are lucky the girls will remember it too. Your words and encouragement are so appreciated – wish you were here so we could swap stories over coffee!

July 15, 2009 - 7:39 pm

Kristy Ok- so first, I think you know this but not sure, I don’t like to read, nothing really keeps my attention. But, I loved reading this post. I felt like I was actually there with you guys, you are such a great writer, very inspirational. By the end of it I was completely balling (not sure why, it is just such a sweet story) Thanks for sharing this, it really makes you stop and think about the right and wrong things in your life and I wish we could be as innocent as those sweet little girls are.
thanks again for sharing

July 16, 2009 - 6:04 pm

sarahrichmond Kristy – pretty soon you will be locking yourself in the bathroom so you can read the latest Oprah Book Club title. :-) You are so sweet – thanks for reading this!

July 28, 2009 - 12:58 pm

vanessa warren ok, this is CUTE! i love this blog post + photos. what a crazy/fun thing to do.
i wonder what a group of mom’s would do w/ their boys…? i’d wear camo.

March 27, 2010 - 7:07 pm

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