Her smile is radiant

Oct 28

Her smile is radiant

Me: “Maren, what do you want to be for Halloween this year?”

Maren:  “Hmmm.  Somefing with animals I fink.”

Me:  “Like an actual animal?  Or a veterinarian?  Or a cowgirl?”

Maren:  “Yes!  A veterinarian.”

The next morning, Maren burst into tears.  “Mom!   What if all my friends are in pretty dresses and I’m in a vet outfit?!  Everyone will make fun of me.”

Me: “What?  Just, what?  No one will make fun of you!  It’s a great idea to be a vet.  You love animals.”

Maren: “But I really want to wear a pretty dress.”

Me:  “Um, well, what if I promise to help you make a fancy veterinarian costume?  It can be a dress, and I promise it will be beautiful because you are beautiful.”

Maren:  “Okay!”

Me:  “If I make you a vet costume, though, you have to wear it.  No changing your mind if your friends are all princesses, okay?”

Maren:  “Okay!”

So that was me on Wednesday morning last week.  I committed to making a fancy, beautiful veterinarian costume.  Sheesh.  No time for cancer woe: forced Halloween creativity is upon us.

I was actually thrilled that Maren wanted to be a veterinarian.  Princesses have their place and all, but I was excited for her to identify an interest that spoke to her strengths and personality.  A veterinarian, unlike royalty, is an attainable aspiration… and Maren’s stuffed animals are covered with bandages and bandaids as a testimony to her passion for curing them of their ailments.  I have an uncle and a cousin who are veterinarians, and another cousin who works with animals, and there are several animal lovers sprinkled through our family.  Our month in Australia allowed Maren and Greta to experience living with a dog for the first time, and they were both smitten by the end of the trip.

So, behold: My fancy beautiful veterinarian!


I love her smile; she’s radiant.

The dress is a cheap nurse’s costume I got a costume store.  I ironed-on (and stitched) the letters and the puppy.  The idea for a cape came from my history nerd brain: nurses and female medical professionals in the early 1900s often wore capes as part of their uniform.  Interestingly, capes were in fashion among the well-to-do at that time, so the choice of capes by nurses was indicative of their desire to be taken seriously in a male-dominated culture.  I’m good at sewing very basic squares and rectangles, so sewing a two-sided cape with paw prints on it wasn’t too much of a stretch.

But, will you look at her face?  I love this girl to the moon and back and am so privileged to be able to delight her so.


  1. Lisa Smith /

    I love you Jen. I love the Mom and writer you are, but most of all I just love your heart. xo

  2. Maryann /

    I am so impressed!!! Maybe you can bring the costume this weekend??? I’m pretty sure we can arrange to have some treats ready for a fancy veterinarian and her sister… It will make us all feel about missing the actual Halloween night this year… XOXO

  3. Diane Allen /

    BEAUTIFUL!! She is so dramatically beautiful! I am from a tiny place, Rescue, Ca, and I have been following, and falling in love with, your family ever since my daughter discovered your blog at the beginning and shared it with me, knowing I would love you and yours. I believe the whole world has your back! As they should. 🙂 Everyone draws strength from you and I hope you are able to feel the strength we are all trying to send to you. 🙂

  4. Marlayne Skeens /

    WOW ~ I want to take Bella to Maren !!! What a GREAT COSTUME !!! I love it 🙂 My granddaughters play Vet & SPCA all the time ~ they are 9 & 11 <3 * What fun for your family 🙂 What a Great Mom you are !!!! 🙂

  5. Adorable! Great costume! I am praying for you and your family every day.

  6. Love this and how you love on your family. Praying for all of you!

  7. Kim Rourke /

    Joy! Joy! Joy!

  8. Newbe friend /

    Smile….. Great times!

  9. Marsha Vonderwish /

    I love your creativity! Such a good Mamma you are!

  10. Melody Smith /

    Jen – you knocked this one out-of-the-park! Great costume. Love reading your posts 🙂 You really do inspire others in ways you’ll never know. I’m sure GOD gleams too by the way you honor and trust in him. Peace to you today and always…

  11. Maren will remember her fabulous vet costume forever…and you’ll have that sweet, radiant face etched on your heart! That’s a pretty awesome duo! (BTW, Jen…you are a “Wonder Mom”…where’s the picture of you in your magical cape?)

  12. Adrianne /

    As a veterinarian myself, she does the profession proud.I would love to come to work looking as cute as she does in that costume. What an awesome MOM to make such a fantastic costume.

  13. Love it!!

  14. Bonnie J /

    How absolutely adorable. .. we can lend her Betsy is she wants to doctor a for legged doggie :-() woof woof

  15. Krista /

    I’ve been a follower from the beginning and love your “voice” but this post, this wonderful proud mommy and daughter moment, is my absolute favorite. Ever. Great job!!! She IS radiant. I’m proud of both of you! Wish we lived closer than 90 min away, I just know we would be friends! Sending all my positive vibes to you.