"Ellie, I still only count eleven pictures," I told a frustrated Ellie.
Heavy sigh. "Mo-om, I'm telling you, there are twelve pictures of me in the yearbook."
My daughter had brought her yearbook home from school and was excited to show me all of the pictures of her in the book. No matter how many times I looked through it, I only found her pretty smiling face eleven times.
"Why don't you come look at it with me. I'm obviously missing one."
Heavier sigh. "Fine," she huffed as she ripped the book from my hands. "My class picture - one. Chorus shots - two, three. Crazy Sock Day - Four . . ."
"Wait. Stop on that page," I said reaching for the book.
Ellie's picture wasn't on the Crazy Sock Day page. I bent forward and peered closer at the picture she had pointed to. Was that Ellie? I looked over at my daughter who was looking at me with her best "Are-You-Really-This-Stupid-Mom?" face and then back at the girl with the round cheeks smiling up at me from the yearbook page. I squinted a bit and held the book closer to my eyes. WAS that Ellie? That's not Ellie. Wait, is it her? Is that what she looked like several month ago? That WAS Ellie!
"Woo-Hoo!" I exclaimed throwing my arms around her. "Look at YOU! GO Ellie!"
Ellie tried to pull away from me. Her eyebrows arched high as her facial expression turned to one of "Why-Is-My-Mother-SO-Incredibly-Strange?"
This was the first time that I realized all of the hard work was paying off! All of the begging and pleading and arguments and frustration was worth it! The girl glaring at me in my family room had cheeks that weren't as round as the girl in the picture. The girl glaring at me in my family room was a little slimmer around the waist than the girl in the picture. I truly hadn't recognized the girl in the yearbook picture. Amazing!
As I continued to do my Happy Dance, Ellie grabbed her water bottle and gave me one more horrified glance before heading out the door saying, "I'm going out to ride my bike."
Yeah Baby! We're on a roll now! That's something that girl on the Crazy Sock Day page would have never done without some major prodding. GO Ellie! My Happy Dance got a little crazier as I continued my celebration.
A year ago I began to seriously focus on changing my family's sedentary, frozen-food focused, electronic device driven lifestyle. I chose FOUR areas of our everyday lives to make simple yet specific changes and dove in. Things did not always go well, especially at first. While I made it a point to purposefully celebrate every victory, it felt as if the challenges and bad moments far out numbered the good times.
I'm eager to share the four changes that I made, but first get up and join me in celebrating this moment. My fellow Moms know that it is important to cherish these moments of celebration even when you are dancing around by yourself while your daughter gives you one of her "looks" through the front window.
Check back tomorrow to hear the rest of the story!