(Girl) Power of Us

Cheers to Friday, friends! What are your weekend plans? We’ve got a few kid functions, but mostly our sights are set on cleaning the garage. That whole ‘car incident’ with the teenager left a bit of a mess. #wompwomp He’s also got his first Sadie Hawkins dance Saturday night, so I’m looking forward to seeing him dressed up! I’m sure I’ll embarrass him and his darling date on my Instagram Story, so be sure to watch all that cuteness.

This parenting gig is not for the faint of heart, is it? I remember when they were newborns, being so exhausted and overwhelmed, and someone told me, ‘Enjoy this phase. The real work begins in about 10 years!’

I thought they were crazy….how could it get any harder than no sleep, round-the-clock feedings, cracked nipples, and dragging my uterus around behind me? #tmi? I was in the trenches, and the light at the end of the tunnel was teeeeeeeeny tiny!

But what they meant was, that was the physically exhausting phase. All I had to do was keep them fed, bathed, and rested. The most demanding role as the parent was to shower them with love. #done! A few years later, my job was to teach them to share at playdates, stay out of the street, and not eat their boogers. (Among other things, obviously, just go with me here.)

Now is the emotionally exhausting part…they can feed and bathe themselves…so my work is to make sure they’re growing up to become kind, compassionate, giving, and functioning humans! People that tell the truth, think of others, work hard, and give back. I have to show them how to live a life full of gratitude and to choose joy. #therealwork

We teach both our kids the same core values and life principles, and raise them as equals. I want them both to be leaders, and rely on their faith to make the right choices in life, and I pray they love themselves and respect others.

But even in this day and age, the specifics are different for our son and daughter. I want him to be a willing and able partner someday, one that contributes in all aspects of his home and work life. And I desperately want our daughter to stand up for herself, work for what she wants, and demand what’s fair. I encourage her to set big goals and dreams, and know that they’re attainable with hard work and kindness.

And the only way I know how to teach this life, is to try and live that life. It’s overwhelming when I think of it in terms of a lifetime, but I can handle one day at a time. Today I can lead with kindness and gratitude.


On Little Miss: Tee | Jeggings | Similar Necklace | High-Top Sneakers
Fringe Sandals | Tote Purse | Off-the-Shoulder Top (on sale!) | Favorite Jeans | Earrings

And with my daughter turning 11 next week, and starting Middle School next year, it’s more important than ever that I show her the power of friendships, empathy, and self-confidence. She needs to know life is not a competition, and there’s strength in lifting up other women, and giving back.

One of our favorite activities to do together, is volunteer at the Heritage Farmstead Museum, a local living history site depicting life in the late-1800s. We sweep out the barn, wash the tables, weed the garden…and all the while, she’s chatting away, sharing her dreams and school dramas. I mostly listen, but look for opportunities to talk about tolerance, patience, sympathy, and gratitude.

So when Sole Society invited me to be part of their ‘Power of Us’ campaign, in honor of Women’s History month, I knew immediately it would involve my favorite Little Miss, and this special place. How can I resist her little face, and darling fringed sandals?!


On Little Miss: Tee | Jeggings | Similar Necklace | High-Top Sneakers
Fringe Sandals | Tote Purse | Off-the-Shoulder Top (on sale!) Favorite Jeans | Earrings | Sunglasses

My go-to sandals last year were these, and it looks like Sole Society has done it again with this new fringed style! They are super comfy, and a great go-with-everything neutral color (although, the red are fun, too!). I carried this bag on our recent Spring Break trip, and don’t see my swapping it out anytime soon! It held everything from my phone and wallet, to my laptop and snacks!

Fit Tip: The sandals are true to size, but if you’re in-between sizes, I’d recommend going down half.


Circle RingFringe Sandals | Tote Purse | Off-the-Shoulder Top (on sale!) Favorite Jeans


Fringe Sandals | Tote Purse | Off-the-Shoulder Top (on sale!) Favorite Jeans


Tee | Jeggings | Similar Necklace | High-Top Sneakers

I found this darling one-shoulder top in my latest Dressing Room Diaries, and it’s a good one (plus, it’s on sale right now!!). And I can’t rave enough about these jeans!!! Comfortable mid-rise, dark rinse (no distressing!), lots of stretch, and a great weight for Spring and Summer. Under $60 doesn’t hurt, either.


Fringe Sandals | Tote Purse | Off-the-Shoulder Top (on sale!) Favorite Jeans | Earrings | Sunglasses


Circle Ring

I treasure my kids, love spending time with them, and think they’re the funniest people around (next to Mr. SP, of course), but I am not their best friend. I am their leader, their conscience, their ethical meter. Until they can do it for themselves, it’s my job. I screw up more often than I get it right, but I’m honored (and terrified) by the responsibility.

What’s the hardest part of parenting for you? Do you have advice for empowering your kids, especially young girls? For those of you with older kids, please tell me this stage gets easier! Happy weekend, lovebugs!

{Shop Our Styles}

{More Fun Fringed Sandals}



{Flirty One-Shoulder Tops}

These treasured photos by the darling and talented Mary Summers.

 

*Proud to join Sole Society in their celebration of Women’s History Month, but all ideas, opinions, and grateful heart are my own. Thank you for supporting Hi Sugarplum sponsors.*

 

 

Leave a Comment

34 Comments

  1. This was such a sweet post. The pictures are adorable, and I love your tote purse!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
  2. Jennifer wrote:

    What a great post! This year my oldest is a freshman or “plebe” at the United States Naval Academy. Watching her strength and courage over this very difficult first year and the challenges she has faced and overcome makes this Momma’s heart swell! So hard to let them go, but I sent her off with a hug and many prayers hoping I had prepared her for this big world!

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      You must be so proud, Jennifer!!! What an amazing accomplishment! xo

      Posted 3.25.17 Reply
  3. Sharon wrote:

    Parenting… the toughest job that I have had by far. Also, the most rewarding. It is really important to me to teach my kids about diversity, kindness, fairness… We talk about heavy topics, in kid appropriate ways, all the time. I want my kids to be a citizen of the world. Compassionate citizens of the world. This is an interesting and tough time to be teaching these things.

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
  4. Sheaffer Sims wrote:

    YES to all of this! To Everything! Such a beautifully written post (and such DARLING pics)!!!!

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
  5. Lynn Thow wrote:

    Great post!! I enjoy watching the relationship you have with your daughter. She has such a fun and confident personality!! Some of my favorite posts that you share are of the books that y’all read together!!

    Having 3 teenagers myself, I couldn’t agree with you more about this stage of life compared to when they were babies. It’s defiantly not for the faint at heart!!

    Have a great weekend!!

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thanks, Lynn! That bedtime ritual with her is one of the fave parts of my day!!

      Posted 3.25.17 Reply
  6. Robin Firestone wrote:

    You and your family are so cute! It does get harder before it gets easier!!! My daughter is 23 and in her 1st year at Penn State Law. I was always her mother before I was her friend – I have always tried to lead by example and tell her that there is NOTHING she can’t do in life!!! I will say during those 13-17 years, there were tears, fights, and disagreements, but in the end, it was all worth it! Sara is a strong willed and determined young lady who goes for what she wants! She stands up for her beliefs and is kind to others! She and I have an incredible bond and I am so proud to be her mom! Hang in there – you are obviously “doing it” right!

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thanks so much, Robin…I’m excited and a little nervous about the coming years with her. I know it could get patchy, but hopefully she knows I’m always there! xoxo

      Posted 3.25.17 Reply
  7. Stephanie wrote:

    I’m a school counselor at an all girls school and I love seeing parents that empower their daughters and teach them what is right and that there is a right way to stand up for yourself.

    We try to teach it in schools, but so much of it needs to be reinforced at home, too.

    http://aneducationindomestication.com

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
  8. So sweet! I love your thoughts on parenting, and it makes me even more excited to become a mom in the future and to take on all the trials and triumphs. Your outfit, as always is adorable. Loving those sandals, and also the top with those fun earrings. Too cute for spring. Your daughter is beautiful!

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
  9. Angela wrote:

    I love this post! My daughter will be 11 in July and we have had a rough year with “mean girl” issues. I told her that she should never ever let someone treat her badly for the sake of fitting in because true friends will love her just as she is! I also encourage her to look for kids that are being excluded and reach out to them. I want her to have friends, but also have an open seat at the table for anyone who needs it! My girl is sweet, kind, funny and really smart – she just does not believe it yet! Lots and lots of prayer help me through it!

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      We’re dealing with the same thing, and it breaks my heart! We’ll keep trudging through, giving the best advice and lots of prayers! xoxo

      Posted 3.25.17 Reply
  10. laura wrote:

    When my daughter started middle school friend drama was a part of the curriculum. I always told her (and my boys).. “Someone is always looking for a new best friend.” So when alliances formed and tears flowed I just remind my baby girl of the above.
    PS what’s the nail and toe polish.. crushing on pink on this snowy morning in Denver. laura

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      I love that, Laura!! They blow through best friends every week, I can hardly keep up with the 5th-grade drama! I tell her, ‘I can promise you it will get easier and better.’ Girls can be brutal…and we do it to each other, that’s the worst part!!

      Posted 3.25.17 Reply
      • Jen wrote:

        I hate to say it , but my girls are in 7th grade now, and it pains me to see how mean and entitled so many of their “friends” are. Its honestly been the most painful year of my life.I cant wait until its over 🙁 and i hate to think like that.

        Posted 3.29.17 Reply
  11. Denise wrote:

    That pic of Sloan just sitting on desk…Did she just grow overnight?

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
  12. angi wrote:

    Mom daughter girl power…it doesn’t get any better or tight knit than that! Cherish these photos forever! Dynamic duo! Keep her close. Love that baby doll…and I’m buying those flirty sandals ASAP! Maybe they will make me look FIT! http://www.abercrombieandfitness.wordpress.com

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
  13. Andrea MT wrote:

    Well said and THANK YOU! Lovely post. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thank YOU, Andrea, and happy weekend to you! xo

      Posted 3.25.17 Reply
  14. Monika wrote:

    What a great post! I have two daughters, ages 12 and 15 and I feel like I’m “deep in the trenches” every day. Especially with my freshman in high school, I am constantly reminding her of her positive traits and to be accepting of herself and others. Tolerance of others is key! And although I find social media to be amusing, it has become my enemy. How do I teach my daughters that naked selfies are not the way to go when many celebrities are doing just that? I don’t have sons but if I did I would remind him to be respectful of the girls in his life…every day. I check in with you every day, the outfits are adorable (I wish I was your teeny size) and I love reading what you have to say. Thanks for being you!

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thanks so much, Monika!! I’m thrilled you find inspiration here, and I appreciate your kind words! I’m right there with you about social media! So hard to find the right balance with how much we allow it, but for now, we keep a heavy eye on all they’re posting!!

      Posted 3.25.17 Reply
  15. Gail Wilson wrote:

    What a lovely post. Although I do not have kids, its wonderful what you said. An open mind and a kind heart will take you far in life and you are leading a fine example.

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      We’re trying…some days are better than others! 😉 xo

      Posted 3.25.17 Reply
  16. Emi Cooper wrote:

    This post is so precious! I’m expecting twins (my first two ❤) and it made me teary to experience the grace and responsibility of motherhood through you today. Thanks for your heart for family!

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      I’m so glad you liked it, Emi!! Congrats on your babies, and enjoy the ride!!!! xo

      Posted 3.25.17 Reply
  17. Denise wrote:

    My husband and I have raised two sons, ages 32 and 27. They have grown into kind, respectful, and loving men who are also very much leaders at home and work. One of the things I told them over and over again, was to have respect for girls/women. I asked them to remember that the girls they dated would one day be someone’s wife and mother. They should treat those girls the way they would want guys to treat the woman who would one day be their wife and the mother of their children. We talked of these things often, not just once. Our oldest son is married with a preschool daughter and a son of his own. He and I still talk of these lessons, but in a different way now, as you can imagine.

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      That’s so inspiring to hear, Denise! That’s the joy of having a boy and a girl, we can teach them about the other gender, and respecting and understanding them! xo

      Posted 3.25.17 Reply
  18. Tammy Stoker wrote:

    My baby is 14 years old today and my oldest will be 17 next month. I 100% completely agree with you. Looking back, it was SOOOO much easier when they were 4!!! Now I am emotionally stressed out all the time with the boys, driving, more independence with friends, etc. They are steps away from being out on their own and you gotta get all those life lessons in! Good luck! I’m right there with ya!

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Driving!!! That’s going to be the death of me!! I worry so much when he hops in the car with a friend!!!! I’m on my knees morning and night praying for their safety! xo

      Posted 3.25.17 Reply
  19. Jenny wrote:

    What an awesome post! I love your pictures with your cutie daughter. I have two daughters (16 & 15) and I totally agree with you. We do teach them a lot about faith and choosing to do the right thing. One thing I have always downplayed is the whole “need to have a boyfriend” situation. I think it’s ridiculous the pressure the little girls get to have a boyfriend. I want my girls to be confident and secure in who God made them to be…not needing a boyfriend to be complete. I swear these years have taught me to pray much more than before…and trusting and letting them go is HARD stuff. Nevertheless, I feel so grateful to have them and be their Mom!

    Posted 3.24.17 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      All so true, Jenny! We steer clear of the boy talk as much as possible, too! She’s pinky-promised her dad that he gets final say on future boyfriends, too! 😉

      Posted 3.25.17 Reply
  20. Shelly wrote:

    Beautiful piece Cassie! As a mom who has raised two to adulthood I can tell you living the life you want to see them lead is so huge but you definitely hit the nail on the head…you are not their best friend you are their leader. Little by little that will shift to mentor and then on to the much coveted friend role when they are “on their own”. My youngest is 11 as well and I’m soaking up the last few years before things become just a bit more exhausting…and also starting that driving thing with my 15 year old. Soak up the time you have together! Emotionally parenting adults has been the hardest for me….to keep my mouth shut unless asked for advice, to watch as their hearts are broken or they struggle with big life decisions but I’m also overjoyed when I witness just a teeny bit of something they learned from me pull them through! Parenting….it’s not for sissies!

    Posted 3.25.17 Reply
  21. Michelle wrote:

    One piece of advice i was given years ago when i married and received a ready made family ‘when u worry if ur doing it right, just know you are.’

    I have a 28 stepson (i’ve raised since he was 8) and an 11 yo son, and no it doesnt get easier in the mental sense but in the teaching sense it does (with the 28 yo). But u learn to live with the fact that u raised them right and at a certain age they choose. But u still worry ur heart out about them and their choices.

    I’m in the trenches now of teaching the same things (respect, dignity, truth, faith) in a different stage of him growing up (the 11 yo). Every child is so different, but only consistentcy is the same and key for any kid.

    Posted 4.9.17 Reply