Learning That It’s OK to Fail #GirlsNeedGoldie

This post is sponsored by GoldieBlox and TheMotherhood.com. All opinions are my own! 

Recently we’ve had some issues with Sophie where she’s balked about doing activities she’s required to do in school – specifically writing a story and drawing pictures. She loves to read and is pretty much a voracious reader, but she doesn’t like to write stories or draw pictures because she thinks it’s “too hard”. Translation: what she comes up with is not good enough for her standards. She wants it to be perfect, and she sees her efforts as failure. So, she’d rather just not try.

UGH. If you’ve  been reading this blog for awhile, you know that Sophie has conquered some pretty difficult obstacles already in her young life. Therefore, her mother thinks she can do ANYTHING! The truth is, the girl who I was told would need 3-4 years of speech therapy stood up in front of a room full of strangers at her district speech meet a couple of weeks ago and got a Superior rating – the best you can get! So she’s definitely an overcomer. And she’s motivated to do something she wants to do.

I’m afraid now I’m going to have to teach her how to overcome her mindset. Now I am going to have to teach her the value of working  hard and being willing to fail, to learn from failure and that it can make you so much better.

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I recently shared two things with Sophie to help  her understand how failing is only bad if we let it keep us from trying again. One was this awesome trailer about girls and failure from GoldieBlox. I love the message – and to be honest, Sophie is more prone to believe something from her favorite toy maker at this point. If Goldie says it…it must be true. Check it out – it’s awesome and inspiring, and a great conversation starter for you and your girlies!

The other thing I shared with Sophie was my own personal story of failure. I am sure this is *shocking* to you, but I have a few. Ahem. One that I thought might resonate the most with Sophie is the story of the first test I ever failed. First and ONLY, I might add. Because I definitely learned from it!

So I told Sophie of how when I was a freshman in high school, I signed up for Honors Algebra II. I had taken Algebra I in 8th grade, and had gotten an A with no problem so when the guidance counselor suggested I sign up for Honors Algebra II, I did with no qualms.

Well. Up until that time I had never had to study for math. It came easily to me. But I found out real quick, on our 2nd test that I was going to have to study REAL hard for Honors Algebra II. I got a 64% on that test. I was COMPLETELY shocked when the teacher returned it to me, and very ashamed. I cried the rest of the day at school. I was shocked because I don’t think I knew I was capable of failing. It hit me really hard – both the failure and the fact that it was possible. I know that may sound crazy, but I was 14 and school had always come easily to me.

As upset as I was by that failure, I was determined to learn from it and get past it. What I learned was that if I wanted to do well in this class, I was going to have to work really hard to keep up. I was going to have to get my dad (a math teacher, thank goodness!) to help me after school with homework and I was going to have to study really, really hard for test.

That test did set me back the first quarter, and I think I got a B, but I pulled it up the second quarter and my semester grade was an A. Whoop! I really, really worked for that grade. It was the first grade I worked super hard for and I was so proud. I found out that what I lacked in natural ability in that instance I could make up for with practice and hard work.

Math in high school got harder, and I had to work harder. I took Trigonometry and Probability & Statistics the next couple years and I had to study and work really hard in those classes. But I knew I could do it if I wanted to do well – and I did. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. And at the end of my high school career, I was one of our class Valedictorians, with a 4.0. I didn’t let math stop me from achieving that goal.

So, I told Sophie this. And I told her that maybe writing stories and drawing don’t come a naturally to her as memorizing a poem or learning her math facts do, but that if she wants to do well, then we can practice together and work hard so she can do as well as she wants to. My mom helped out by getting her a book that teaches how to draw animals, and we’ve already had fun approaching her drawing obstacle from that angle.

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As Sophie and I built with GoldieBlox the other day, we encountered some failures, too. The instructions were simple and easy to follow but we had some other obstacles in our way. For instance, when it was time to put up Goldie’s zipline, we had trouble finding a good surface in our  old house that the suction cups would stick to (we have plaster walls and woodwork galore!) It took us quite a few failures, but we finally figured it out!

First attempt looked great, but the suction cups wouldn’t stick to our woodwork for long!

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So, we had to get creative!! After several failures we realized there just wasn’t a good place for two suction cups to go in our downstairs. The solution?? One suction cup stuck to our glass front porch door:

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And one end of the rope tied – not stuck – to Jonah’s basketball hoop. We made it work – even though we had to think outside the instructions!

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Goldie enjoyed her ride on this zipline! She got a little crazy, too!

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We had a blast putting together GoldieBlox and the Builder’s Survival Kit, learning from our failures, and playing with the Goldie action figure, too – and Sophie and I want to pass the fun along to you!

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First of all, we have a special 20% off discount code good through April 5 on your entire order from GoldieBlox.com!!! Order through this link and use discount code Spring2015-s2se3t6a and WHAM! You’ll get 20% off these great toys just in time for Easter!

Secondly, we also have a GIVEAWAY for ya! One lucky lucky winner is going to get the GoldieBlox action figure with zipline as well as GoldieBlox and the Builder’s Survival Kit, so you can build with your daughter and teach her about learning from failure, too!

To enter, simply comment on this post telling about one of your biggest failures and what you learned from it.

One winner will be chose at random at 6pm EST on Tuesday April 7, 2015. Good luck and GO Goldie!


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Everything is Awesome.

I’ve been saying for awhile now, “When Jonah goes to kindergarten [in 2 years] I’m going to have to do something more…” meaning, I’m going to have to get a job. After all, we send the kids to Christian school and it ain’t cheap. When I went to kindergarten my mom went back to school and got her master’s degree and then started a new job when I went into 1st grade…so my parents could afford to send us to the very same school where I send my kids. (History repeating itself, much?)

Not that I’m considering getting a master’s degree. GIRL, PLEASE you know I am too lazy for that. I mean I tried my darnedest to convince Emily it was too much effort when she got hers, but she NEVER LISTENS TO ME, as you all have seen many, many times. But anyway.

I’ve done freelance work, both blog and non-blog-related, for a couple of years now. This spring I started a new job working just 5 or so  hours a week for the video website, Faithit.com, and I really liked it. I was good at it, it paid well, and it didn’t take too much time away from my kids. Win upon win!

Everything was flowing along quite smoothly until sometime in early July when I got an email from my Faithit boss telling me about another opportunity with the parent company. Although still part-time, it would be lots more hours, and basically, it would be a real job. A big-girl job, the likes of which I’ve not had for many years. What he proposed is that I would be the editor of a new site the company is launching specifically for moms. My first thought was There’s no way I can handle it.” The first words out of  my husband’s mouth were “It sounds like it was made for you.”

Can I just say I am thankful for my husband? Those words forced me to accept the possibility that I might be capable of more than I think I am. And also that yes, when Jonah goes to kindergarten, maybe I will need a job, but maybe I will already have one. Because as I should know by now, everything in life does not happen on the time table that I thought was right. 

Anyway, after lots of prayer, talking, emails and a few phone calls, I’ve accepted the position of editor of an as-yet-unnamed web site for moms. {Update, it has a name as of yesterday but I am not at liberty to say yet.} It’s going to be awe-some, y’all. It will combine humor with faith, hacks, and practical life stuff. It’s going to be funny and helpful and basically a big slice of mom awesomeness on the interwebz. I can’t wait and you can better bet I’ll be directing you that way when the time comes.

But back to the subject at hand, which is ME. I have a job. I have an awesome babysitter for Jonah (and the big kids briefly after school) 10 hours a week. I have a home office and a mobile office in various and sundry coffee shops in the Dayton area. (And a Macbook Pro, praise the LORD!!! I love it so much. )

And so far, I’m loving it. And thankful to Him who has given me exceedingly and abundantly more than I could have dreamed or asked for.



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Look! Mobile office! Also, another gratuitous selfie for Emily’s benefit!

And I’m glad to have you riding along on this new adventure with me, too!


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Near Misses


This evening, I stopped for gas on my way home from work. The station was crowded, and I crept along at a snail’s pace as I exited the parking lot. As I passed a truck parked in front of the convenience store, a little girl about nine or ten ran right out in front of my van. I was going slow, and I stopped in time, but I could tell by the look on her face that in that moment she and I were equally as terrified.

It was a near miss, thank God, but it got me to thinking about how life can turn on a dime. A few seconds, a few inches could have altered the courses of both of our lives.

That’s somewhat melodramatic, I know, but it’s true. Everything can change just like that.

And I don’t like it a bit.

What near misses have you experienced?

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