You are My Sunshine

You are my sunshine

Typography and hand lettering has become wildly popular. There are a million fonts and half as many very cool women making a very good living writing “Bride” on mason jars and “Let’s be Adventurers” on Cold War era atlases.

In case you have never heard of Pinterest, shun Etsy, or live in an isolated yurt, here are some drool-worthy examples just to get you up to speed:

As nursery decor, typographical prints of darling quotes has become an unimpeachably cute trend. It is rare that I walk into a child’s bedroom these days, or see a nursery inspiration board, that there isn’t a brilliant piece of calligraphy somehow, somewhere. I am a HUGE fan of this movement.



Of all the nursery decor, one stands above the rest. One quote seems to reign supreme: the lyrics to “You are my Sunshine” – made popular by Johnny Cash.

I take issue with this – or at least I think its bizarre.

Here is the thing. Telling someone, outside the trappings of beautiful typography and sentimental decor, that they are your sunshine, your only sunshine, is the kind of sad confessional I would expect someone to say in the confidential confines of my office. To me, it is not the cry of a happy mother, but the weepy mumblings of a depressed person, and yet it is getting spray painted on walls and cribs and onesies. How funny!

“You see Dr. Penry *sniff* the reason I am here today *sniff sniff* is because my child is *sniff* my only sunshine.” — Seriously.

And further, between me, you, and the psychologist in the room – your children really aren’t built to handle the pressure of being your only sunshine.  Although that song is sweet and I sing it to my children almost every night (with a few minor changes), the line “my only sunshine” is a little kooky. Why are we writing it on their crib pillows?

“Oh, its just a sweet sentiment”

True. But your children are literal and grounded in the realities of the actual words that leave your actual mouth. They are playful and wildly complex emotional little creatures. A baby or a toddler though, doesn’t understand the whimsies of sentiment.  They want to be your sunshine, desperately, and you are right to tell them that they are a special Grace in your life. But they need to know that when push comes to shove, if they are angry or feel like being disruptive, their mother has the fortitude and social resources to contain and survive whatever they are feeling. They do not need any kind of subconscious pause that approximates, “I am angry, I need to express myself, but I am my mother’s only source of happiness, if I rebel, she will be destroyed.”

So sing that sweet song, cherish those sweet lyrics, but maybe change a few things – Here is a clip of Lois and I singing our version…

And if you like the Featured Image with the funny little Sunshine lyrics (why would you, its ridiculous) – sign up below for access to our exclusive, members only web page with ever-growing number of free printable (including this little typographic number, minus the AFA logo)…..

Monday Evening Survival Guide

survival roundup

1. Christ Jesus

…and that isn’t a joke. I think Einstein said that “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” Well AFA redo: Religion without parenting is lame, Parenting without religion is a total shit show.

There are moments in my day when I have to say this scripture to myself to just keep from crying or maybe keep from [murdering]. God keeps this mama on course and in Love, seriously. Seriously.

2.  Seasonal Beer

Right after God, and I mean right after, comes an nice, seasonal cold beer. If you aren’t parenting without a couple of refreshing beverages throughout your week, you missed your calling as a Nobel Laureate. I have found, in my 3 years of parenting, that nothing goes so well with a long day of work and an apocalyptic poopy diaper, quite like Abita Spring’s summer seasonal. Moving on….

3. Pajama Pants

Taking off my pencil skirt and donning a really luxe pair of jams helps me transition into the kind of full action that greeting babies, cooking dinner, and walking dogs require. Listen, splurge on a pair of comfortable pants that simultaneously unbind your uterus and make you feel like the homemaking style diva that you are (I am talking to you fellas). These little ditties from Anthropologie seem to fit the bill quite nice.

4. Multigrain Cheerios

I have a baby less than a year old and I am not above, repeat: I am not above, putting him in the pack and play, pouring a cup of cheerios in there with him, and letting him have THE TIME OF HIS LIFE. Voila! Entertainment, nutrition, and you can make a meal without a baby on your hip for the first time in two months! Remember, you’re not trying to win any awards, you are trying to live in such a way that your kids see your smile.

5. Precut Veggies

If a recipe calls for onions, or spinach, or squash, or peppers – you go to the freezer section and find a sub that will do the trick. IF a recipe calls for you to make your own vinegarette, laugh and pour yourself a glass of wine while you open a Newman’s Own. Pre-cut, frozen onions, have saved my life (or at least 3 hours of it so far) and they will save yours. I am not exaggerating. I would cut a person if they told me that I couldn’t buy precut veggies anymore. Cooking short cuts are for winners.

6. A Hot Track – Faith covered by Lake Street Dive

Am I the only one that promises my kids a dance party if they will [let me pee, put this in the oven, finish my beer, sweep this floor, etc]? Dance party’s are fun and they are great way to reward your children with mama’s playful side. Mama or Daddy’s playful side, by the way, is the single most important desire of your child’s heart, so. I am really looking forward to shaking around the living room to Lake Street Dive’s cover of Faith this evening – available on iTunes!

Good Luck – A Friendly Affair has you covered. Mwah!