Wednesday, October 29, 2008


**Free writing-Write about a coincidence

I remember standing in the kitchen talking to Josh about my conversation with Jenny and then running into Susan at the store. Jenny called earlier and we talked for awhile about adoption. At the time, Jenny longed for another child. Her youngest, Kyle, now over a year and life slowing down a bit, she felt ready to take another one on, ready to enjoy that closeness with another child. Scott felt a bit differently. He did not share any of those particular maternal/paternal desires. Freedom tasted sweeter than reproduction did. Jenny hoped to convince him otherwise, but I think she knew that most likely, there would not be anymore children.

Earlier in the day, the phone rang and I answered, knowing it was her. There are a couple people in my life that I almost always seem to know are calling before “Hello?” My sister is one of them. A smug sense of “ I knew it” washes over me each time my guess proves correct.

“Hey, I have some news about adoption for you.” Jenny said excitedly.
“I talked to Dr. Anderson about it and she said that it really isn’t that expensive.”
“How can it not be that expensive?” I interrupted.
“She said that you pay the fees a little at a time, not all at once. Like, you pay for the home study first, then part of an agency fee, then for the paperwork as you get it done. You don’t pay the rest until you get your child, which can be awhile anyway.”
“Really? I never even thought about that? That makes sense though.”
“Yeah, well, I told her, you know in a perfect world, I would want to adopt, but it is just so expensive.”

“I know it is just so frustrating and overwhelming. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten on the computer to try and research it all. But I just end up feeling so overwhelmed that I get off. It seems impossible, but then I think, “Well, other people do this, there has to be something that I am missing here.” I said, looking out the window into our backyard. The cardinals were hopping around the ground pecking at it for food. When we first moved into this house in the middle of December, the cardinals seemed to flock to the umbrella like oak tree out by our shed. They were like Mother Natures’s neighborhood welcome wagon.

I tried to draw birds to the barren back yard of our townhouse to no avail. It turns out birds really do need trees, since our complex had none, I rarely saw anything outside of a sparrow or house finch outside our windows. This house signified a new beginning. I lost my second pregnancy in the townhouse, now we left the townhouse behind and a flock of ruby red cardinals had flown out to meet me. Surely only good things could await us here I thought, only to lose another pregnancy six months after moving in.

“Her daughter is adopted.” Jenny went on as she does when she gets on roll, in her big sister way, needing to push forward and share all she knows because it will help you. You’ll see. “They adopted her from India. I guess her husband is Indian, so they really wanted the child to be from there. I’m not sure if she had any miscarriages, or trouble getting pregnant or not, but she is also a part of this infertility board that gives seminars for people dealing with infertility.”


“Yeah, and they have one coming up in April, I can give you the website if you want it.” Jenny shared.

“Sure, couldn’t hurt to look at it.” I said, not wanting to get my hopes up too high. I wasn’t ready to climb the ladder of possible babyhood again quite yet. Ironically, I knew all too well how much it could hurt to even ‘look into’ adoption. Previous researching efforts left me feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, feeling that perhaps Elizabeth was just meant to be an only child.

Josh and I talked at length about this possibility. Usually I ended up researching being only children soon after looking into adoption. It turns out, statistically, only children turn out pretty good, high IQ’s, positive social skills, usually high achievers. Each time Josh or I met someone who was an “only” we questioned them about it. “How did you feel about being an only child?” “What was it like?” As if being without siblings were similar to living alone in a mud hut in India, singular, foreign and exotic in nature. Time and time again, each person assured us that being an only child was not a bad thing at all.

After taking down all the information my sister had meticulously gathered, we hung up. I needed to go the grocery store, get some food in the fridge and think. So, I packed Elizabeth, then 3 years old, into our car and headed off to Meijer.
As I approached the dairy case, I recognized a familiar face. Susan Backer and a beautiful little Asian girl about Elizabeth’s age riding in her cart. I babysat for Susan in college during my breaks from school and over the summers. She and her husband had two little boys who were now in junior high. After our initial hellos and how are yous, I asked her if they had a new family member?

“Yes!” she said proudly. “This is Ellie. We’ve just arrived home from China about 10 days ago.”

I couldn’t believe it. Just minutes before my sister and I were discussing adoption, her telling me how Dr. Anderson recommended China for various reasons, and running into Susan at the grocery store, who I hadn’t seen for years, and she just happens to be fresh off the plane from China with her new daughter!

We spoke for several minutes. I shared with Susan that Josh and I were considering adoption but were concerned about the cost, process, etc. She answered many questions, recommended her adoption agency, gave me her number and email for follow-up questions and advice, and then went on her way, changing my life forever in 10 minutes.

Later that day, when Josh returned home from work, we talked in the kitchen, me sitting on the counter top, Josh standing before me. I recounted the story and what a coincidence it all was. Before this moment, when I brought up adoption, Josh seemed hesitant. “Well,” Josh said in his typical way, making huge decisions with apparent ease and with total confidence, “I think we should do it. Let’s just stop everything else and focus on adopting then.”

“Seriously?” I wasn’t so sure I was ready to go that far yet.

But the next day I started the calls and filled out a form for Susan’s agency, and we were on our way. It still amazes me to this day, a chance encounter with a woman I used to babysit for, came at just the right moment, essentially bringing us to China, to toddler adoption, to Kai, our son.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hilly Hundred 2008

"I like the way you talk when you are riding your bike Elizabeth"-Josh

When Elizabeth gets onto her bike, her whole demeanor changes. She talks excitedly. Her feet whirl in circles, and she laughs at her own ability to create such speed. Funny, I still feel the same way as an adult.

Dad and Jenny and I rode the Hilly Hundred this weekend. As usual, we had a blast. There is something that happens when all three of us get out on our respective bikes, well, something other than Jenny not being able to shift the gears correctly! (Just kidding Jenny! You have already paid your dues for that one. That bike is out to get you!)

People talk about the simplicity and freedom associated with bike riding. I could not agree more. All I think about is the next hill, what I will eat at the next stop, and being able to clip out of my pedals so I don't fall over!

My sister and Dad and I chat up different people. I always say, "Gosh, we meet the nicest people here every year." To which Jenny answered, "Yeah well, we're pretty nice ourselves!" Which of course we are. Something I have always admired about my Dad is his ability to walk into a room of strangers and make conversation, tell stories and have people laughing in no time. Jenny and I can hold our own as well. When you put the three of us together at a biking event, we're ready to make anyone our friend, and we do!

I wore my old RAGBRI jersey to breakfast the first day of the ride. A woman excitedly ran up to me and said, "Did you do RAGBRI?" I answered yes. "Did you just LOVE it?" To which I had to answer, NO. I felt badly, as she had the time of her life. (Ragbri is a week long ride across Iowa. It is known for the party atmosphere and is held in the hottest week of July! You end up riding a little over 500 miles. For me it was too much testosterone, as the ride is also 95% male, and way too much heat, 120 degree heat indexes.) When she found out I rode it with my Dad though, her eyes teared up. "I wish I had known about rides like that before my Dad was gone. I am guessing she was about 50 or so.

And that is just the whole thing. My Dad is the one who took us on all of those bike rides from picnics in Minnesota, to the long weekends on the Sparta-Elroy trail. He bought me a French racing bike for my first 21 speed. I never did have a 10 speed. Then he went shopping with me for "Goldie" my lovely Trek that I got for college graduation.

More than the bike, the Hilly is about time with my Dad and my sister. Time when all we have to do is haul out our biking gear, hope for good weather, ride the given route, and eat some food.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


**This post is a little late. I meant to get it out before we left on the Hilly, but that did not happen.**

Instead of typing here, right now on this pink laptop of mine, I should be getting my bike and the related weekend gear together for the Hilly Hundred this Friday. My pile of jerseys, sports bras, biking shorts, warm socks and riding tights, once stacked neatly under on the floor are now thrown about after last night’s impromptu sleepover with Kai. For some reason, he has adopted an intense fear of all things surrounding storms, the rustle of leaves through the trees outside our house, the sight of heavy gray clouds, the soft pats of rain on the roof, and of course the dreaded and more than a little obnoxious crack of thunder and flashes of lightning.

After hopping out of bed four times with his heart fluttering like a startled bird, and looking past my face towards the ceiling crying, “…fraid… I ‘fraid…” I gave up trying to convince him that he was safe alone in his room and grabbed the slick red sleeping bag and laid it out for him on the floor next to our bed. I tucked him in and felt his chest rise as a deep breath of security filling him, allowing sleep to settle into his muscular body. Josh and I try to keep the kids in their own beds, to keep our bedroom the one room that is really just for us, but I my own body screamed for sleep. I needed to squeeze out every drop of sleep out of this wet night. Climbing into my own bed, I listened as Kai’s breathing slowed. In the dark, though my own eyes were closed ,I knew his mouth now hung open, slack against the antique white embroidered pillow case. Before releasing my own body into the pull of my bed, I marveled at my own ability to provide such peace in the face of his intense fear.

A few weeks ago, during one of my swim workouts at the pool, I couldn’t help but notice the father and son pair swimming in the lane next to me. The dad looked to be somewhere around my age, his early thirties I guessed. He was Asian and had thick, almost wavy black hair. His body reminded me of the Ken dolls of my youth, smooth, rippled with muscles, not a hair on his body. They must have all migrated to his head! The son bore a striking resemblance to the father, except with much softer features, his babyhood not yet completely chiseled away. I guessed the son to be about 4 years old. I watched from the privacy of my goggles, as the young boy doggy paddled with all his might down the 25 yard lane. His hands and feet churned the water, creating small wakes behind him. His eyes remained focused on the other end of the pool. Not once did I see the child’s gaze fall to anyone or anything outside of the approaching wall or his father. He lifted his teacup chin up clearing the water line. Straining his neck and puffing out small gasps of air as he went along, he worked his way down the lane.

The father swam ahead, gracefully stroking his way to the other end, as if pulling on imaginary rope which drew him to the opposite side with ease. Then he waited patiently for the boy, his elbows propped up against the smooth edge of the pool. Judgment never crossed the father’s attentive face. When the boy reached the father, high fives were not exchanged, technique was not discussed. Instead, the father simply pulled the boy up out of the turquoise water and placed him on his bare chest. Then the two leaned back into the water, as if stretching back in an invisible recliner and floated together, back to the other side of the pool.

“He’s quite the swimmer!” I said as they reached my side of the pool.
The father smiled gently, “He’s a hard worker.”
Proving the point, the boy took off yet again, puffing his way through the water, ready to ride his father’s silent approval back and forth for as long as the father offered it up.
The father/son team were in the pool when I arrived and continued their pattern of practice after I climbed out, wet and tired 45 minutes later.

I thought of my own children. How often does the answer to troubles and fears reside in a moment or two of silent floating when they can no longer keep their heads above water? Whether it is a night sleeping in our bedroom when the sounds of the house haunts the expansive techno-colored imaginations of their minds, or quietly dismantling a frustrating, foot stomping day with a couple stolen minutes spent plopped on the couch reading brightly illustrated picture books. I forget in the daily rush, that as a parent, sometimes all I really have to do is harvest those moments of rest. All I need to do is encourage my children to lean back. I can pull their heavy bodies close to mine, inhale their sweet honey scented hair and we can float together, our heads tipped up towards the sky. I can buoy them up for awhile, allowing both of us to rest for a few moments before starting the next lap.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dr. Dream-Come-True?

This past Monday I tried another doctor regarding my knee and feet pain. The foot pain resulted from a wake boarding crash this summer, but the knee pain I’ve dealt with on and off for awhile now. Anyway, some of you may remember my entry a few weeks ago about the doctor who seemed to believe that I was just a silly girl that should just go for nice walks admiring my neighbors’ finely manicured lawns, instead of training for athletic events.

What I said in that post was that I just wanted a doctor to take me seriously as a female athlete and work with me to see what could be done. So, I almost slid right off my chair when Dr. Helms, a runner himself, looked at me after much discussion and actively listening and examining and said, “We’ll get you there. It may take a multi-faceted approach, but we’ll get you there.”

So there you have it. I am amazed at the different opinions you can receive from doctors. My mom has always told us that you have to be your own advocate when you do to the doctor. I am so glad that I didn’t just throw in the towel. A friend of mine from Cardinal suggested this doctor. I told her, “Kim, if this guy can help me, I am taking you out to dinner to celebrate.” I feel pretty optimistic that I’ll have to ante up on that offer.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Today I will remember the three of us sitting together, lined up across the red brick steps. The October air hangs above us, crisp this morning. The cottonwood leaves flutter across our feet as we wait together on the front step. Kai wears his kelly green dinosaur footy pajamas, the ones I bought at Target right after we returned home from China. He was always cold. They still fit, but barely. In a few weeks I will pull them out of his closet only to find his body no longer matches their size, his feet will stretch past the fleece companions. I will fold the yellow, green and blue dinosaurs up neatly and place them in the pile on the top self of his closet, clothes to be placed in the attic.

Elizabeth, freshly bathed 30 minutes earlier, carries her backpack. She’s stuffed the outer pocket full of miniature books. I can hear her reading them at night after we’ve tucked her into bed. It seems no less than a miracle that she can read all by herself. Years of teaching other people’s children to read failed to prepare me for such surprised joy.

Kai holds a squirrel puppet in his hand. His teachers cut the squirrel out of card stock yesterday at school. He apparently ran a brown crayon across the animal’s body enough times to label it “brown” and then quit coloring. Several squares of fake brown fur are stuck to the squirrel like the small circles of toilet paper haphazardly pressed upon a bleeding nick while shaving.

Kai presents his furry friend to us,moving the stick up and down, dancing the rodent about, as happy squirrels do. He stops the show frequently to reassure Elizabeth and me over and over again, “Not real, not real.” Giving both of us a telling glimpse into the past. Perhaps the garish fake fur looked a little too real for Kai when he first laid eyes on it yesterday. In order to illustrate to him that we are indeed not at all scared, Elizabeth and I admire and stroke the thick, heavy swatches. Kai keeps his hand firmly wrapped around the stick. This squirrel has been domesticated.

Earlier this morning I cut up pancakes and syrup, painted fingernails, red and pink, every other nail with the special sparkle polish on top, sang to a new children’s CD telling us to “Take care of the earth, take care of the sky, take care of the water while the waves roll on by,” doled out snuggles in our over-sized navy blue chair, and grabbed a fistful of toilet paper for a bloody nose. I fielded questions, “Where is Daddy?”

And tossed out the answers, “He had to leave early for work today.” We discussed schedules, “We’ve been visiting the library on Fridays lately guys...should we head there today after school?” To which they both clapped and shouted, “YES!”

A few minutes pass outside, as the gray sky yawns open above our heads. “I hear it!” Kai shouts as the grumbling bus rounds the bend, lumbering up to our driveway, where it groans to a halt. Elizabeth slides off the step, throws Kai and I kisses, and runs down the pitch of our driveway to climb the steep steps leading her up into the bus. Kai follows her, his wide, almost black eyes tracking the white and pink saddle shoes of his big sister. All the way down the driveway, he slices the squirrel through the air in smooth figure eights for the bus driver to see.

As a parting gesture, Bob the bus driver, waves good morning from his lofty chair and then proceeds to fold up the door and my daughter, as she finds her little partner and sits down. The bus hungrily surges ahead, ready to sweep up the rest of the students who wait patiently at the curb. Kai waves excitedly until the bus slips completely out of view. Cars passing our house slow down, smiling up at my pajama boy through their passenger side windows. His exuberance must remind them of their youth, their dewy children, their own small nephew, their wide smiled neighbor boy. It is a good way to begin the day.

With my daughter safely sealed inside the warm bus on its way to her kindergarten classroom, my son raises his hands, he stands ready to lose contact with the ground and wrap his arms around my neck instead. One child leaves,while the other remains. Kai remembers his puppet and smiles at it, “Not scary!” he says, finally convinced. “Nope,” I say kissing his plump cheeks, cool and smooth on my grateful lips, “Not scary at all.”

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Obama rally

My friend Heather. We drove to the fairgrounds together, loaded down with kids, carseats, strollers and of course, plenty of snacks!

Kai and Isabelle-They were sooo good! Kai wasn't such a huge fan of all the yelling, which was so ironic considering the kid lives to yell in the house! We were really proud of both of them!

High points of the event:

• I have never been around so many Democrats in Indiana in my entire time living here, that alone was pretty incredible. Sometimes, I fear opening my mouth when it comes to politics. I can usually assume I will be outnumbered.

• The African American woman and her Caucasian mother in law sitting behind us. During the wait in the stands these two women played, “I got your nose!” with Isabelle and Kai in between the constant snacking on whatever Heather and I could give them to keep the pair happy and quiet. They both cried as the flashing lights of the motorcycles leading the motorcade for Barrack Obama drove into the fairgrounds. “I didn’t expect to get so emotional,” she laughed as we all cheered and screamed.

• The wonderful cross section of people we saw, parents with young children in strollers, elderly men and women in wheel chairs, African Americans, and Asians. I have never attended any political event and I found it so inspiring to see everyone making their way out in the middle of the day on a workday to hear Obama speak.
Having Kai there with me, I don’t know, there was something about exposing him to all that is possible here in the United States. I wanted to say to him. “This is how we do it here. You have a say. That could be you someday. What you do in this life does make a difference.”

I couldn’t help but think that just a little over a year ago, Kai had rarely stepped out of the orphanage doors in China, and now here we were together at an Obama rally in the United States. Interestingly enough, that is just what Barrack Obama said after a protester raised a bit of a ruckus. At the beginning of his speech someone in the crowd yelled something and it created a loud stir in the section nearby. Obama stopped his speech, held up his hand and said, “Ok, now, what do we have going on up there?” in his classic, calm voice. With the question addressed and Barrack standing there, looking up, ready to address the protester, the commotion stopped. “That is the beauty of a democracy,” he said, “Everyone is allowed an opinion.” Then he shifted his weight and said, “Ok, now where was I?” Which was greeted with relieved laughter.

On our way out of the stadium, after the speech ended, Heather strapped Oliver into the baby bijorn . He grinned and kicked his legs happily. She held Kai’s hand as we weaved through the parking lot. Isabelle, now losing steam, wanted me to hold her. I gladly placed her on my hip and she gratefully snuggled her face into my neck. I couldn’t help but think, we are all in this together, all of our children, everyone’s family, no matter who wins the election next month.
As soon as we had them all strapped into the car Isabelle started asking for more food. “Honey, we’re all out of snacks.” No snacks, no problem, we’d heard Barrack speak, and it was time to go home.

If you look closely, you will see him standing at the podium.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

“Hey, so are you up for an adventure today?”-Heather on the phone 15 minutes ago

“Hey, so are you up for an adventure today?”
Of course I am! I have paperwork to do for work, need to go grocery shopping and just completed a to do list two pages long, but I could not turn this particular offer down.
My friend Heather is on the Obama mailing list and she just found out that he is speaking that the fairgrounds today. So we are packing up our kids, two three year olds and a 7 month old, and heading out to the fairgrounds.
I am so excited! We are throwing all kinds of snacks in backpacks to keep the kids happy for hopefully long enough. I’ll let you know what happens. I have to be back in time for Elizabeth to get off the bus. Hopefully we have enough time to hear his whole speech. I would be so excited if Michelle Obama was there too! OOOHHHHHH exciting!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Power of Red Shoes

“Just where do you think you are going, walking through my area,” she paused to look my straight in the eye in order to convey her absolute annoyance. Oh man, here we go again. A team lead told me to go ahead and take my cart through the meat cooler to the back room. I proceeded with caution. Often times I need to watch my step, as many retail workers grow extremely territorial about their spaces, how they are arranged and who tromps through them at what times. This is specifically the case in many Whole Foods grocery stores, where I swear the lack of sugar and processed foods creates an overriding atmosphere of crankiness, as they all work tirelessly to “detox” their bodies. The heavy set butcher held my gaze and then broke into a pleasant smile, “…wearing those adorable shoes!” she laughed at her own ruse. Breathing a sigh of relief, I once again marveled at the sheer power of a cute pair of shoes. We stood over her cart of organic, crimson burger patties and I talked about red shoes and how everyone needs a pair, don’t they? In her white pants, shirt, apron and hat, surrounded by knives and meat, I could certainly understand her desire for perky footwear.

Despite my newly evolving view on shoes, I tend to favor running shoes over favor cute ones. I’ve never been one to ascribe to the, “Damn, these shoes make me look good!” philosophy. In fact, I hold a pretty impressive record in the athletic shoe department, if that record were to include the number of pairs purchased. I also am fairly well versed in the highly technical jargon surrounding the running shoe genre. Talk to me about over and under pronation and I’ve got you covered, yet move onto boot styles for this year or peak-a-boo toes and kitten heels, and watch my eyes slowly close up shop.

As a mother of two small children, it is easy to fall prey to the sweat pant syndrome. Moms out there, you know the feeling. Your wardrobe consists of worn out t-shirts from Target, jeans that were in style 3 seasons ago, and grass stained running shoes. Sure, I always have a few outfits I can pull together to look half-way decent in an emergency. But, hang around me long enough and you’ll see those very outfits make several appearances. While I do love a cozy pair of tennis shoes and a nice pair of jeans as much as the next gal, I also fear the day I turn 50 and find myself wearing peach tracksuits out to lunch with friends who resemble Mrs. Doubtfire. A fine line exists between laying low on the fashion continuum hanging on to the belief that I convey a sporty, casual style and looking like I’ve completely fallen off the “I care what I look like,” wagon.

I learned long ago from my mom and sister that accessories “make” the outfit. I long for the days when I lived at home and browsed through three different wardrobes each night before selecting the perfect outfit, a shirt from my sister’s closet, the belt and earrings from my mom’s massive mirrored closet and black pants and shoes from my own closet. Never again will I find myself as well dressed as I was in high school, unless or course my mom and sister come to live with me someday.

I enjoy looking nice, I just don’t necessarily want to put in the leg work required to get there. One day, heading my mom and sister’s timeless advice, I decided to focus on shoes. With about 30 minutes of free time before I needed to pick up Kai and Elizabeth, I swung into The Designer Shoe Warehouse store, known as DSW. I made a beeline for the clearance section in the back of the store. This store isn’t kidding with the name. It is a huge warehouse full of shoes. Many women might refer to such a store as heaven. Me? It looks more like hell. How am I supposed to work my way through that entire inventory by myself?

I wear a size 9 ½ shoe. That tends to limit the degree of cuteness that will work on my cruise ship feet. I’m looking for a minimizing shoe. Give me something that makes those puppies look at least slightly dainty and feminine, or I might as well throw my money into another pair of running shoes. When I walk into a shoe store, I look for what I to call, “The big girl” section. These sizes tend to be pushed back in the farthest, and darkest corner of the store. As soon as I stopped in front of the 9 1/2 sign, I saw them, waiting right there for me like Christmas in July, the perfect pair of red shoes. I loved them right away for a few reasons. First of all, I knew my sister and my mom would both approve. I could hear both of their voices chiming in my mind as I slipped them on, “Well, you can dress up just about any outfit with those shoes! Get them! “ Hesitantly, I turned the box over to check the price. They were only $24.00! BINGO! We have a winner! I checked myself out in the full length mirror, sure enough, I was already feeling better. Fueled by my initial find, I spent the next several minutes scanning the racks for more bargains. In a rush of optimistic bliss, I tried on dozens of different styles and colors of shoes. In the end, I purchased 4 pairs that day, two of which happened to be cherry red!

Like a shiny merichino cherry perched on the top of a towering sundae, the red shoes rang up at a further reduced price. I only paid about $14.00 for them, when originally they were listed at $60.00. Smug and loaded down with the bulky shoe boxes, I figured I only needed to wear them once or twice to make the purchase worthwhile. Looking back, I had no concept of the hidden power of the cute shoe, but I would soon find out.

I wore the red shoes later that day when I picked up Elizabeth at preschool. I weaved my way through the crowded hallway and waited at her classroom door along with the other mothers. The minute she spotted me, her eyes zeroed in on my feet. “Mommy! “ she squealed. “ You got new shoes!” Pride flooded her face, as if she had been secretly whispering this very prayer at night, pleading with God to help her mother understand the power of the shoes, to finally purchase a note worthy pair, like the mommies in the magazines. As we made our way back down the incense scented hall, we squeezed past tiny kids gripping their parent’s hands, laughing, “Excuse me,” as we bumped into each other along the way. Elizabeth eyed the director at the end of the hall. She was dispensing cheerful good-byes to her flock as we floated out the door.

“Mrs. Barb!” Elizabeth called out. “Look at my Mommies new shoes!”
Mrs. Barb, looked down and shared her approval, as did another mom right in front of to me. “Aren’t those cute!” I thanked them for the compliment and pushed Elizabeth out the double doors and into the sunshine. I can take my daughter to dance class, read to her, play board games and ride bikes outside with her, but apparently, in her mind, the gold medal goes to the mom with the cutest shoes. It looks like she and the butcher from Whole Foods have something in common.