Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

When I was pregnant with my first, I admit, secretly I was hoping for a boy. I mistakenly believed that this is what my husband wanted, what every man wants. An heir to his throne, someone to pass down the family name, a little buddy to play football and hockey with. I imagined watching their matching blond heads, bobbing across the soccer field. I pictured them wrestling, camping and dirt biking together.
What I didn’t realize was just how amazing a father-daughter bond could be.
My parents divorced when I was a baby. My dad was not a regular feature in my life. He was a unicorn parent – a mythical creature that rarely made an appearance. My mom raised my older sisters and me by herself for years. And she was awesome. She was enough parent for all of us. She taught me what strength looks like. What motherhood looks like. What parenting well looks like. I did not feel shafted or left behind or abandoned. I felt loved.
The day our daughter was born I was overwhelmed with the enormity of becoming a mother. I worried about whether or not I could get the hang of breastfeeding, if I would be a good parent, if God really knew what He was doing entrusting this precious life to me. Her daddy? He was just overwhelmed with joy. With wonder. With love. On that day and every day since.
One day, when my daughter was about two years old, I watched my husband dance with her. Twirling her, holding her, laughing with her. Singing to her. 
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are grey…”
It was a common occurrence. One I had witnessed many times. But for the first time, my joy was replaced by sorrow. Not for me. For my dad. For all that he missed out on. For the life he could have had. The love he could have shared. The person he could have been.
My husband and daughter are every cliché. She is daddy’s girl, he is wrapped around her little finger, she is his princess, he is her superhero. But they are so much more.
They are two peas in a pod. They are the same amount of silliness and craziness. They giggle together, play together and have farting parties together.
He is her spiritual mentor, her confidante, her go-to guy, her person. At bedtime they spend hours hanging out and whispering. Solving the mysteries of friendship, life, the Universe, God. In the middle of the night when she wakes up scared, it’s Daddy that she calls to slay the monsters in the shadows and comfort her.
Daily, he shows her what it is to be loved and what loving looks like. In his huge bear hugs, the way he stops and looks in her eyes when he asks, “How was your day?”, the way he listens to her nonstop litany of stories. He shows her what it means to be valued. Respected. Seen. Heard. 
Daily, she shows him she is learning the lessons that love teaches. She knows how to treat others with kindness but also how she deserves to be treated. She has the courage to speak up when others put their heads down. She knows, in the depths of her soul, that she is beautiful. She knows that no matter what mistakes she makes, or wrong turns she takes, that she is loved. 
In all of it, she has learned that she can do and be anything. She is not limited by her gender. He has taken her fishing and to hockey games. He has taught her how to ride a bike, flip a pancake, throw a football, skip a rock. Everything he has done with our sons, he first did with our daughter.
And she knows, without a doubt, that if her earthly father loves and cherishes her this much, she can trust that her heavenly Father does too.
I watch them now. Still dancing. Still twirling. I hear him as he still sings to her,
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are grey…”
She is older, taller, wiser. She is kind, loving and so beautiful inside and out. She is her father’s daughter.

Heidi Hamm

Heidi Hamm is a writer, wife and mom of twin boys who are nothing alike, and their older sister, who won’t admit that she really does like 80s music. She loves bookstores, Starbucks and peanut butter. You can find her on Facebook

Brothers Fight Hard and Love Harder

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys play outside, one lifting the other on his back

The last few years have been a whirlwind. My head has sometimes been left spinning; we have moved continents with three boys, three and under at the time. Set up home and remained sufficiently organized despite the complete chaos to ensure everyone was where they were meant to be on most days. Living in a primarily hockey town, the winters are filled with coffee catch-ups at the arena, so it was no surprise when my youngest declared his intention to play hockey like his school friends. Fully aware that he had never held a hockey stick or slapped a puck,...

Keep Reading

Stop Putting an Expiration Date on Making Memories

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and son in small train ride

We get 12 times to play Santa (if we’re lucky). This phrase stopped my scroll on a Sunday evening. I had an idea of the direction this post was going but I continued on reading. 12 spring breaks 12 easter baskets 20 tooth fairy visits 13 first days of school 1 first date 1-2 proms 1-2 times of seeing them in their graduation cap and gown 18 summers under the same roof And so on and so on. It was essentially another post listing the number of all the monumental moments that we, Lord willing, will get to experience with our...

Keep Reading

When Your Kids Ask, “Where Is God?”

In: Faith, Kids
Child looking at sunset

How do I know if the voice I’m hearing is God’s voice? When I was in high school, I found myself asking this question. My dad was a pastor, and I was feeling called to ministry. I didn’t know if I was just hearing my dad’s wish or the call of God. I was worried I was confusing the two. It turns out, I did know. I knew because I was raised to recognize the presence of God all around me. Once I knew what God’s presence felt like, I also knew what God’s voice sounded like. There is a...

Keep Reading

Go Easy On the Parents Who Refuse to Skip Naps

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two little boys and their sister walking down a gravel road, color photo

Greetings from a mom who is done with napping children. It’s great to have the flexibility during the day for longer activities, meeting friends for playdates, or day trips to faraway places. It’s a new life . . . the life without naps. The freedom to make plans and keep them. But not that long ago, I was something very different than the flexible, plan-keeping, up-for-it woman I am today. I used to be the mom who refused to skip my child’s nap. Yep, that one. Here’s the thing, for a lot of parents, It’s so much more than just a...

Keep Reading

My Heart Isn’t Ready for You to Stop Believing in Santa

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy standing in front of lit christmas tree

“My friend doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, Mom,” my son said out of the blue the other day. We were driving in the car, and when I met his gaze in the rear-view mirror his eyes searched mine. Immediately, my heart sank.  This sweet boy, he’s our first. Thoughtful and smart and eight years old. A quick Google search tells me that’s the average age kids stop believing in Santa, but as his mom, I’m not ready for that—not even a little bit.  I can still hear his barely 2-year-old voice going on about reindeer as we lay together on...

Keep Reading

Motherhood is a Million Little Letting Gos and Fresh Hellos

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother sitting with child on her lap by the setting sun and water

I missed my grocery-shopping buddy the other day. Mondays are usually the days my littlest and I knock out our grocery list. In the past, we’ve dropped the kids at school and then headed to the store. I grab a latte, and she chooses a hot chocolate. But that day, they were all in school. That day, she sat in her kindergarten class, and I went to the grocery store. Alone. A new rhythm. A changed routine. A different season. I listened to a podcast on the drive. My podcast. Then I grabbed a drink. Just one. I got the...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, This Is My Wish for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugs three kids

To my kids, The world you’re stepping into is unlike anything I experienced at your age. It’s fast-paced, interconnected, and sometimes overwhelming. But within this chaos lie countless opportunities for growth and joy. My wish for you is that you find the perfect balance between embracing the modern world and staying true to yourselves. Change is one thing you can always count on. Embrace it because it’s often the motivation for growth. Embracing change doesn’t mean letting go of who you are; rather, it’s about evolving into the best version of yourself. Remember, you don’t need to have all the...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Stay Wild

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter on beach, color photo

I can’t really put my finger on it. Or manage to find all the words. But there’s just something about that girl. Maybe it’s the way her hair sits tangled. Curled up at the end. The way she moves. Dances. As if everyone was watching. Or no one at all. RELATED: There is Wild Beauty in This Spirited Child of Mine It could be the way she smiles. With her heart. The way only she can. The way she cares, loves. For everyone. For herself. You see, she is beautiful in the way only wild things are. The way they...

Keep Reading

You’re Becoming a Big Sister, But You’ll Always Be My Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Pregnant woman with young daughter, color photo

The anticipation of welcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting and joyous time for our family. From the moment we found out we were expecting to just about every day since, the love and excitement only continue to grow. However, amidst all the preparations for the new addition, I cannot help but have mixed emotions as I look back at old videos and pictures of my firstborn, my first princess, my Phoebe—for she will always hold a special place in my heart. As the anticipation grows, my heart swells with a mix of emotions knowing we are...

Keep Reading

Cowgirls Don’t Cry Unless the Horse They Loved Is Gone

In: Grief, Kids, Loss
Little girls Toy Story Jessie costume, color photo

The knee of my pants is wet and dirty. My yellow ring lays by the sink—it’s been my favorite ring for months. I bought it to match Bigfoot’s halter and the sunflowers by his pasture. Bigfoot is my daughter’s pony, and I loved him the most. The afternoon is so sunny. His hooves make the same calming rhythm I’ve come to love as I walk him out back. A strong wind blows through the barn. A stall labeled “Bigfoot,” adorned with a sunflower, hangs open and I feel sick. I kneel down by his side as he munches the grass....

Keep Reading