Parenting via The Sandlot

We’ve been watching a lot of The Sandlot lately. A lot. In typical 3-year-old style, my son watches and re-watches a movie until something new comes along. Thus: watching The Sandlot at least twice a day.

We can both recite it by heart.

It’s flat out hilarious to hear a 3-year-old say “She knows exactly what she’s doing… I can’t take it anymore” only to get out of his kiddie pool in our front yard, stomp around to the other side and jump in the deep/er end. Entertainment at it’s finest, folks.

In watching this movie back to back for … about 3 months now, I can’t help but wonder what little Scotty Smalls’ mom would think of our approach to parenting today. A prime example:

Early on in the plot, before the boys of the Sandlot have accepted Smalls as one of their own, his mom sits down with him in his bedroom and asks if he’s made any friends. Smalls claims he’s still new, but she’s not buying. She wants him to get out in the fresh air. You know, be a kid. Lamenting his friendless fate, Smalls says he’s not good at anything – he’s just an egg head.

His mom’s response: “You’ll always be an egg head with an attitude like that.”

Holy catfish! Can… can we say that?

Here’s how I surmise that same situation might play out in a 10-year-old boy’s bedroom across America today:

“Face it, I’m just an egg head.”
“Oh, honey. NO! You’re not an egg head. You’re so smart. They’re just jealous. Some day the kids will realize how much fun you are, until then it’s their loss! They’re missing out because you’re awesome.” And then secretly (or maybe not so secretly) the mom finds out these kids names and talks to their parents. Which could result in a pity invitation or even more teasing. If I were the betting sort, my money would be on the latter.

Ya killin’ me, Smalls!
(Oh stop. You knew it was coming.)

Such a fine line between being empathetic and entitlement. Kids are so intuitive. They know what their peers think about them without a word ever being spoken. I’m no psychologist but teaching them the other kids are just wrong makes them feel better about themselves but it’s just a band-aid. It doesn’t teach them what to do with it. It doesn’t teach them how to deal, especially if you create the solution for them too.

Kids need to know they are not defined by what others think. But even more so, they need to realize they hold the power to change the outcome, to change the perception – if they want. Smalls mom managed to do all that in a single sentence. I suspect it’s far easier to teach that lesson over childhood spats than it is over larger, more real life issues. Who’s going to be to blame if they get a bad grade? Or they don’t get accepted to the college of their choice?

“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.” – Charles Swindoll


Gas and doughnuts

Since the morning routine went smoothly, I was on track to be really early for work. I pulled into Kum and Go (a local gas station) to fill up my Jeep. Normally I pay at the pump. But today was different. Special.

It’s National Doughnut Day.

When the pump clicked off I headed inside to buy a doughnut for myself and the two other ladies in my office. I didn’t recognize the cashier, but she had a grandma quality about her. Little wire framed glasses. A friendly smile and soft eyes.

“Three doughnuts and gas on number 14.”

She punched keys on the register. As I swiped my card, she asked “Where’s Lake Travis?”

It took me a second to realize she was asking about t-shirt. I chuckled and told her I wasn’t sure but it might say on the back. As I turned around I explained to her that my husband travels a lot.

“He brings back t-shirts from so many places I lose track of where they’re from.” (A sign I have too many probably.)

Noticing it was a fire department shirt, she asked what he did in the fire service. I explained he was a wildland firefighter and travels to different states to fight wildfires every summer. She nodded. An unusual response from someone in Iowa. Turns out her brother lived in Alaska and was on an air tanker crew for many years. (Air tanker = the big planes that you see dropping red fire retardant on wildfires)

As we chatted, I learned she was an instructor for the law enforcement academy here. In no more than five minutes I could start to see her personality. Driven. Intelligent. Hard nosed. Grandma leaned more toward G.I. Jane. But as quickly as our conversation started, it ended. A line was forming, and I didn’t want to hold anyone up.

This is what happens when you stop paying at the pump or put your phone down.

You meet people. People with incredible stories.
You just have to be willing to listen.

… missing …

I miss writing. Photo sessions are planned, so there will be more to come. But just as much as I enjoy creating photos, I love words.

I’ve been focusing on┬áliving since October when I last posted … but writing has always been a part of my life.

I miss it here.

Mueggenberg: Family


I love this family. Love. Them. I’ve known Holly and Jeff for years. Over a decade. And it is INSANE to me that Emily is five. The little girl I first photographed is five. Unreal. And since when is Drew no longer a toddler? Ugh. Makes a girl feel old.

We slipped over to Big Creek State Park to get a few photos in all of our light set with the sun. The huge playground was the perfect backdrop for some photos of the kids. You know, doing their thing. And then a quick wardrobe change, into some rocking super hero t-shirts and we cranked out a few family photos.












I mean how much better can you get than Spiderman, Captain America, Batman, and Superman?

You can’t.:)


Crannell & Harrleson: Families


A quick set of mini sessions had me back at Ledges State Park! First up…

Jenny and Brennan!
Jenny informed me Brennan’s smile is her fault. After seeing a football picture, she told him never to smile that way again because it looked funny. So now he does not show any teeth when he smiles. Such a shame because you have a terrific smile, B! Just like your mom.




And this is the Crannell’s! They’re officially our neighbors now. Josh, Hailey, Landen, and Cassie! Get this… they were in a wedding the day before. So they spent several hours smiling and then turned around and took family photos the next day.






I had big fun, guys. BIG fun. Hopefully you did too. Can’t wait until Josh sees Cassie’s new photoshopped cardinal and gold t-shirt.:)

Go Cyclones!


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