June 30, 2012


Today I am doing laundry and picking up the post-it note mess of 2012.  

Today I am inventing my own recipe for pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches.

Today I am kicking my ass at the gym.

Today I am cleaning Tommy's room because it looks like a hurricane hit a truck dealership in there.

Today I am paying bills and doing responsible adult things because, well, someone has to do them.

Today I am going out with a girlfriend for a one-on-one girls night.  B.J's and a martini bar after - I'm expecting it to be epic.

Today I am irritated because my Instagram isn't working!

Today I am thankful for my husband who does things like drive an hour away to help my Grandparent's by building a lattice wall for their carport.  His selflessness always amazes me.

Today I am wishing I were at the beach.  Because it's summer and I should totally be there.

Today I'm admiring my stockpile of goodies for our fourth of July gathering and smiling.  Because we have plans with friends on Independence Day for the first time in a very, very long time.

Today I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the sight of a full summer calendar.

Today I am thoroughly enjoying a day at home even though I was woken up by my three-year old WAY too early.

Today I feel at rest, content.  Happy even.

June 28, 2012

Because I make mistakes

Last week, my ugly came out.  I mean, my super-nasty, roaring, frustrated kind of ugly. 

I don't want to go into all the details but parenthood has been a bit challenging lately.  We are feeling our son push up against things that he has been compliant with until now.  There is more fit-throwing and back-talking and all of this just feels amazing to me.  It caught me off guard because I thought we just had the kind of child who was just "easy."

I'm pretty sure I had some measure of pride built up in myself.  Thinking that I had done something all right because I had this super-well-behaved, polite, adorable son. 

Needless to say, I've had my share of humble pie.  It's not all bad, but it's hard.  It's very wearing and I feel a twinge of guilt for feeling relief that I get to come to work and not have to handle this all day long.  I honestly don't think that I could.

To all the stay-at-home-moms out there - I quite seriously salute you.  I don't know how you do it. 

This particular night last week, I reached my breaking point and he saw the side of me I swore I'd never let him see.  I totally lost it and my little almost-three year old saw my anger and fury.  He heard my words and my tone and saw my upset face.  I got big, really big.  And he got small.  Very, very small.

The scene ended with me slamming the door to his room and me weeping on my sofa. 

I felt like a mother-failure.  I only have a few hours a day with him during the week - why can't I hold it together?  What if he's afraid of me now for what he just saw?  

I would never be able to undo that scene.  It's there.  It happened.

I gently opened his door and I saw him stir a little and then lay still on the bed, as if he was trying to hide from me. 

"Hey, buddy."  I scooped him up and held his big-boyness in my arms.  He's so heavy now.  Far from a baby.  More than a toddler. 

"I'm sorry.  I am so sorry.  I should never scream at you Tommy.  That was wrong.  Mommy was wrong.  Do you forgive me?"

"Yes," he replied quietly, hugging my neck.  "I'm sorry I made you upset mama."  

Break my heart into a thousand pieces.

"It's okay buddy.  We are learning how to be patient and kind together.  It's okay.  And I forgive you too."

He squeezed my neck again and I laid him back down on his bed, tucked him in and kissed his forehead one last time. 

"I love you bud."

"I love you too mama."

With the challenges we've been facing lately, it's quite possible we could have another encounter where my ugly comes out.  And I hope not, but I'm human and raising a child is humbling and hard. 

The prayer of my heart is that we, both myself and Todd, would be the kind of parents that say I'm sorry when it's needed.  That we say, I was wrong, when we were.  And that often admits that, I make mistakes

Because I do.  Because I will.  Because I have. 

June 27, 2012

The Time of Your Life

Back in the day (I shamefully used this phrase the other day when talking to a teenage girl at my church) when I graduated high school, we had an epic class song.  Anytime I hear it I'm taken back to three ring binders and being seventeen and sounds of slamming metal lockers.

Green Day's (Good Riddance) Time of Your Life.  It will forever be a classic in my mind.  His nasally voice, the acoustic guitar, the soft orchestra in the background.  It's definitely on my top 25 of all-time favorites.

At the end of the school year, we had this big senior meeting.  The one where the superlative awards were given out.  You know - Most Likely to Succeed, Most Talented, Most Beautiful.  Yes, we had a most Most Beautiful award.  The thought of it still makes me want to gag a little.  The winners got to wear these large ribbon banners with glittery letters that exclaimed how incredible they all were.

The entire meeting felt sad and shameful for me.  I felt like a big nobody.  High school was something I merely survived. Granted, there were a few shining moments being in choir and some vocal competitions and performances.  But for the most part, high school was a drag.  I had a few friends, I was an average student, and it was just there. 

My senior year filled me with the anticipation of leaving, moving on and finding something more.  Hopefully finding some kind of life outside of everything I had ever known.

After the awards ceremony, they played a slideshow and the last song that came on was our class song.  I watched photo after photo of my classmates at various events that had been held throughout the year on a giant screen.  Football games and dances, friends with their arms wrapped around their necks laughing.  Pep rallies, 80's dress-up day and girls with krimped hair and blue eyeshadow.  Michael C. campaigning for Student Council President even though we all knew he had it in the bag.  It was everything I had missed out on.  I wasn't there for any of it. 

And even at the age of just barely eighteen, that realization hit me deeply.  I had missed it.  I had missed out on some big thing that could have been great.  It was the time of my life and I didn't even know it.  And there it was passing me by as I watched each picture come up on the screen reminding me of where I had failed, what had been taken from me, and what I would never get to have again.

A few weeks later, I walked the stage wearing my burnt orange cap and gown, took my diploma and slammed the book shut on high school, on being a sad teenager, and feeling like a nobody.  I only looked back to say....good riddance.

There have been countless lessons learned since I was eighteen and not voted Most Anything.  All that I had anticipated after graduating and leaving "the time of my life" behind me, led me to the discovery that there really was more just as I had hoped there would be.  I began to believe that I wasn't a nobody and that I wasn't late for this big something in life that I was afraid I had missed the boat on entirely. 

At thirty-one, I have a better grasp on truth.  One thing I know now is that I'm not missing it anymore.  Because really.....it is always, always the time of our life.

June 26, 2012


I just got Instagram - literally days ago.  I'm a little behind, I know. 

The beauty of the instagramness that I'm now in love with, is that it has the possibility to capture these little life moments.  These small things that maybe don't look like much, but they can tell a story if you remember why you captured them.

Like how I lost the post-it battle with Tommy.  Because if I were three and there were a stack of colored papers that stuck to other things, I would probably want to do go a little crazy and put them EVERYWHERE too.  And besides, there will come a day when I will miss three-year old post-it messes on my bedroom floor.
So it could just be a picture of post-its.  Or could be a picture that reminds me where motherhood is both wonderful and messy.

Monday night is usually book club night.  I've been hosting six women in my home to read through a book called Listening to Love by Jan Meyers and talk about it together.  However, last night was an exception.  One of my friends was in dire need of some non-focused girl time where we had nothing better to do than talk silliness and indulge in adult beverages and chocolate deliciousness.

This dessert is quite seriously an experience.  It actually gives me goosebumps.

So it could just be a picture of the most lustful chocolate dessert ever.  Or it could be a reminder of a rich, sweet time with women who are quickly becoming very special and dear friends.  They care well for my heart.

All that to say, I'm all about the Instagram.  Capturing the small, the random, the not-so-insignificant.  The things that remind me of beauty and life and every day blessings that I don't want to ever take for granted.

June 25, 2012

Monday Musings

Thoughts rumbling around on a Monday morning....

Anne Lamott is a genius.  

It's okay to be human.  
It's not okay to use that an excuse for being on-purpose stupid.

Marriage is both wonderful and lonely.  
And I simply don't understand how this can be.

I'd love to make a living being a personal shopper.
I'm pretty serious.  I have a gift.

Fifty Shades of interesting....

Two nights in a row of restless sleep = cranky.

Brown eyes and smiles.

Blog-friend conversations.

It's effing HOT.  Ninety-five at NIGHT is just unacceptable.

Instagram - I'm new.  And slightly obsessed.

June 21, 2012


For the days I feel like a failure.  When I don't think I have any more try left in me.  The moments I wonder if I'll ever overcome all that needs my overcoming.  And for the times I want to listen to the lies because they are always the loudest thing.

A bit of inspiring truth that lets me rest and moves me to keep going.

Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing. 
- Lucy Maud Montgomery

June 19, 2012


Summer tastes like sunshine brewed iced tea and glossy, red popsicles, dripping on to three year old fingers.  It's frozen margaritas, home-cooked barbecue and strawberry shortcake. 

Summer is the smell of sweet sunscreen and burgers on the grill.  It's chlorine soaked hair, freshly squeezed lemons and salty sea-air.

Summer is the sound of cicada bugs singing their long melodies in Texas sized oak trees.  Of water splashing, children laughing and crashing ocean waves.  It's country music and rollercoasters clinking, clattering up to the very top.

Summer is soft beach towels and warm summer breezes.  It's celebration and laughter and blowing up plastic orange floaties.  It's long conversation and coffee over ice, tan lines and surprise road trips.

Summer is red, white and blue.  It's parties and adventure and a little too much sun. It's for flings and romance and tall-tales told on camping trips.

Summer is wearing polka-dot swim suits and worn out flip-flops. It's big sunglasses and vibrant pink nail polish and no make-up.

Summer is Tiffany blue skies and bright fuschia sunsets, neon fireworks in dark July skies and eyes sparkling with wonder.

Summer is taking a break from the routine, from the every-day.  It's creating time for rest and space to just be.  It's long and slow, like a beautiful ballad.

May you all have a summer that feels just like that.

June 18, 2012

Ranting and Raving

Warning:  This is a complete rant.  But it's Monday and I've decided that rants are totally allowed.

So there was this one time that we were trying to save money.  We cut up our credit cards and put more thought into what we bought and what we didn't.  And for me the sacrifices look like buying less clothes, making more meals at home and taking less frequent trips to the salon.

It was about that time though.  My hair was full of fried-damaged crap and it needed to come off.  I realized this when my hair started looking like the "before" pictures from the dry or damaged hair commercials.  Which by the way, no shampoo to my knowledge has ever cured this ailment. 

It was time for a haircut.  So instead of going to my usual place, I decided to go the cheap route and get a cut at what I will refer to us Unfantastic Samuel's.  (Interpret my code name as you will).  I heard they were cheap and what I was getting done was going to be simple.

I waited for almost 45 minutes because apparently everyone gets their hair cut on a Friday afternoon.  I almost wish I would have left and kept my hair and my money.

What I thought was a $10.99 cut was really a $17.99 cut because I was an adult and not a child.  And because I wanted it shampooed (because ew, my hair needed it and how do you go get your hair done and NOT have it washed?) and blow-dryed, it came out to their "special" of $26.99. 

At this point, it was still cheaper than my other place so I decided to be okay with this seeing as I was still going to be saving money.


To have it blow-dryed with the round brush was an extra $5.00.  And because my hair was a certain length and cut so short, it was an additional $5.00 for that as well.  That brought it to $36.99.  And add a 20-ish percentage tip, it was $43.00 bucks.  FORTY-THREE dollars.

During my hair wash the woman kept getting water on my face and splashed all over my clothes.  It made me wonder if she had ever done this before.  And when she went to dry my hair with the sacred and holy round brush experience, she took over 20 minutes (and I'm not exaggerating!) to do it.  I was ready to grab the brush and the dryer and do it myself.

I only ended up saving $7.  I spend $50 at my other place when I go there, getting the exact same services.  Although I would never have to wait that long, nor would it have taken the stylist a billion years to dry a short bob.  All I have to say is that there was absolutely nothing fantastic about my experience, I will never go back, and I left wishing I would have paid the extra $7 at my usual place.

Perhaps I am just a salon snob.  If so, I am totally okay with this.  Sometimes, in extreme situations where my hair is involved, it's necessary to be a snob.

To add insult to injury, I kind of hate it.  It's much shorter than I wanted and I thought it made my face look like a big round ball.  So not only was my entire salon experience a complete joke, but my hair didn't even look good.  *sigh*  (I warned you I was ranting).

But of course there is a silver lining.  Because don't you know that when you're having a bad hair day, all you need to do is post a picture to Facebook and 20 of your not-so-closest friends will comment on how awesome you look and boost your ego?

At least my hair got some rave reviews.

June 17, 2012

What I learned from my father

I learned to appreciate all kinds of music from my dad.  I enjoy some of the greatest greats because of him - like The Eagles, Elton John and Fleetwood Mac.

I learned what it was like to be enjoyed.  To be the favorite, to be the apple of someone's eye.

I learned that it was more important to know why I believed something than just to say I believed it.  He taught me how to study scripture, how to use a concordance, and to ask good questions when it came to the Bible and doctrine.

I learned how to work hard and go the extra mile.  To not do things "with a lick and a promise."  To give my employer my best because God was watching even if they weren't.

I learned that I should (and I quote) "drive like everyone else on the road is an idiot." 
To this day, I still haven't been in an accident. 

I learned that music should be listened to at one appropriate volume.  

I learned how to be mindful and thoughtful when it came to celebrating holidays.  Especially Christmas, Easter and Halloween.

I learned that words can hurt when you don't use them with care and kindness.  I learned that some words can never be unspoken and leave a lasting impression on your heart forever.

I've learned that I can speak truth to my dad when I need to.  And he will hear me even if he doesn't like or agree with what I've had to say.

I learned that sometimes the people that love you the most can cause you some of the greatest hurt.  And sometimes, it takes a very long time to heal. But when the healing finally begins, it's pretty glorious.

I've learned that some of my greatest fears stem from making some of the same mistakes that he did.  I've also learned that we are more than our mistakes and his example has shown me that.

I've learned that the sweetest memories of our time together were when  he would play guitar and I would sing.  Music always connected our hearts together and I hope it always does.

I've learned that people change.  We never stay the same.  
And in that, there is always hope for more.

I've learned that our relationship as father and daughter has changed.  It needed to.  And I'm learning that we are still trying to figure out what it should look like.

I've learned that even with the hurt and the confusion and the questions, that I still wouldn't have wanted any other father.  God wrote my dad's story into my own, and the impact it has had on my heart is shaping me into the woman I was created to be.

I've learned that it's taken me a few years to come to an honest place where I am truly thankful and grateful for this man.  My father.  My daddy.

Happy Father's Day Dad.
I love you!

June 14, 2012


It looked easy.  Grab a hold of the rope, climb to the rock, swing off and jump into the water.
The water full of fish and turtles.  And maybe snakes and large catfish that could swallow me whole because I've heard of that happening before.

It was scarier than I thought it would be.  Both Todd and I were a bit fearful about how we would land.  If we would get hurt and what risking the jump could possibly mean.

"It doesn't matter how you land.  It just matters that you jump."  I said encouragingly to my husband.

Todd made the jump first.  His arm hurt a bit and his hand got torn by the rope and bled.  But he jumped.  He did what mattered.

And then there I was.  Terrified.  Standing on the edge of this rock and looking out onto the river.  It wasn't the swinging part that had me uneasy.  It was what I was jumping into. 

If you know me, you know that I'm not really a fan of swimming in water with other living things.  I prefer pools.  Predictable, safe, non-fish inhabited pools.  More than anything, I was afraid I wouldn't swing far enough and land in those lily pads and a water moccasin or some other terrifying creature would either eat me or cause some kind of horrifying bodily harm.  I'm a bit dramatic, I know.

After a few minutes of deciding whether or not I was going to go through with this crazy rope-jumping business, I took off and began my swing.  And when I let go, I landed right in those damn lily pads, just as I had feared that I would.

I may or may not have cried.  Which really just means that I totally did. 

Thankfully there were no creatures that came after me and I survived the entire experience, tears and all.  I was mostly disappointed that my landing sucked.  That I planted myself right where I hadn't wanted to.  Part of me wanted to feel like a failure.  And as soon as I began to go there, my own words that I had only spoken moments before to my husband echoed in my heart.

"It doesn't matter how you land.  It just matters that you jump."

Tubing-on-the-river-day, became risk-taking, fear-overcoming day for the both of us.  A day we can point to and remind each other of our guts and bravery next time life comes with something big and terrifying that requires a big jump and a huge river of uncertainty.

We may not always have the best landing.  Things in life can happen as we fear it might.  We will probably get hurt.  Risk is always a gamble.  But only those truly alive, are the ones who are willing to make the jump regardless of the outcome. 

Knowing that both Todd and I had it in us to make the jump in the first place, made the blood and tears worth it in the end.

June 13, 2012


I love superheroes.  I always have.  I'm very into the concept of good vs. evil and how good always wins because it's supposed to. 

I saw The Avengers in the theater twice.  Because it was totally worth paying full price to see it on the big screen more than once.  And because the story was epic.  All of the greatest heroes come together to fight the greatest evil they had yet to know. 

Some of my favorite stories are about courageous acts of bravery.  Where the hero in the story fights evil with all they have, either to death or until evil has been defeated.  These stories fill me with hope and make me feel more alive.  Maybe they're just comics or movies or make-believe.  Even so, they are still my favorite. 
Maybe because I believe that is really what will happen in the end.....evil will be defeated and Love will win.

Iron Man.  Batman.  James Bond.  Just a few of my favorites.  (And yes, James Bond is a super-hero in my book).

Since I found out I was having a boy, I waited for this very day.
The day where he wanted to be super-hero.

We made a cape out of a pillowcase.  He ran around declaring "Du, du, du, duuuuuh!"  Announcing his awesomeness wherever he went.
 My guitar loving, camo-hat wearing super-hero.

My little reminder that there is a brave, fighting, courageous super-hero in all of us.

June 12, 2012



The river, still and black, calm
Traces of blue sky catch on its waters
Before surrendering to the night

The river, like a mirror, liquid glass
Sees into my soul
Reflects what is really there
Not only what I see

The river, quiet and inviting
It whispers, my heart listens
Ripples of hope
Of promise

Poetry came out of me after sunset during a drive through the hill country on our little getaway this past weekend.  It's rare, very rare, for me to ever write anything poem-like. I guess I don't consider poetry "my thing." 

I've noticed that something happens inside of me anytime I'm near water though.  Words come to me in abundance and the writer in me bubbles up.  It just so happened that what bubbled up this time was a poem.

Few things make me feel the kind of alive I feel in my soul, when I get to experience nature and beauty because I'm surrounded by some magnificent body of water.   And when I'm near it, I want to write more than I want to do anything else.

I don't know what all of this means really.  But it makes me curious.  What unique and lovely thing has God planted in my heart?

Whatever it is, it's growing.

June 11, 2012

The Getaway

After six years of marriage, we've never really had any real trip together just the two of us.

*cue the violins to tell my sad little story*

There was our "honeymoon," which was really just a short stay at a bed and breakfast.  But after the first night, the AC died and we thought we might die too, so we left.  And of course, there was our vacation/road trip to Montana which was great.  But my sister came with us and that put a damper on some of the, um, fun stuff.  Last year, we went to Houston for a wedding.  But we stayed with my friend's parents because we couldn't afford a hotel at the time.  And well, that put a damper of some of the, um, fun stuff too.

With the difficult year we've had together and all we've been through, we felt the need to splurge and celebrate.  None of our anniversaries have ever been celebrated well.  And maybe it was because we didn't feel like we had much to celebrate as a couple.  This year though - this anniversary - was very, very different.  There was indeed much to celebrate.

We pushed through one of the biggest hurdles yet.  It changed us, grew us, and gave us strength.  This particular anniversary wasn't just about remembering the day we became husband and wife.  It was about extravagantly celebrating and rejoicing over what God had held together after a year of feeling like we were being ripped apart. 

To our amazement, we actually had a little bit of money saved to go somewhere.  So we booked a hotel in the Texas Hill Country and spent the weekend together - just the two of us.  

And people - there was no one putting any kind of damper on the, um, fun stuff.

Just saying.

But being that it was really our first getaway as a couple, we thoroughly enjoyed every moment.  Time went by so slowly.  We were able to rest and talk and just be together.  We ate and played and kept our hotel room too cold because we could.  We watched a movie and really, just did a whole lot of nothings - and it was absolutely wonderful.

A few of the highlights:

Hand holding.
My epic anniversary play-list which included both Frank Sinatra and The Black Eyed Peas.  
It's how we roll.
Todd learned something new about me:  I like to "unpack" when I get to a hotel rather than just leave everything in the bag.  He was baffled by this and I felt like I had won a prize for still having some mystery and intrigue up my sleeve.
Small town Texas sunsets.  *sigh*
Random antique miniature dolls in our shadow box-ish table at the steakhouse we ate at.  
 My life motto:  "Practice inappropriate adult behavior."  Just YES.
 Antique shopping.  Or really, antique looking.
Stonehenge.  In Texas!
After a margarita....
In all fairness to myself though, I would take a picture like this with or without a margarita.
 We jumped.  We totally jumped off that scary rope thingy.

And in the midst of the river floating and silly picture-taking, we took some time to reflect on what we remembered from the years we've spent together and from this last year specifically. 

It was the year God held us together and showed us that we can't do this well without Him.  It was the year we began to understand what marriage is really about.  It was the year we began asking harder questions and saying the harder things.  It was the year we thought our marriage was over, but then Love stepped in rescued us.  

It was the year that has left me with more hope for my marriage and our future together than I've ever had before.
To You...the maker of my heart, the author of my story....thank you for giving me this year.  This celebration, this anniversary, these precious moments to hold in my heart.  You had me in this all along, just as You promised.

June 10, 2012

Six Years

Our love story started with a shirt.  One that was over a decade old.  I raised my eyebrows at it and the man who wore it filled me with curiosity and intrigue.  I didn't know how significant he and his shirt would be to me that September night, but I did know that he was in dire need of some updated clothing.

Something drew me to Todd though.  His smile.  His ruggedness and how he was just good looking without even trying to be.  The slight limp in his step - it made me curious about him and what he had been through.  How he sat in the back of the room, quiet and waiting.  He had a gentle way of speaking and his presence exuded kindness because at his very core was a very kind, compassionate man.  And I loved how he looked at me.  His eyes, they sparkled when he spoke, and it made me feel beautiful. 

When we started dating, my favorite feeling was how he drew me into his arms.  How good it was to feel small.  How I felt safe when my head was tucked perfectly under his chin as if that space was made just for me.  And our kisses....they lasted for hours.

It was a whirlwind romance.  We spent every waking moment together.  For us both, it felt so good to not just be in love, but to feel loved by someone else.  For me, I needed his kindness, his gentle strength, and how secure and safe his love felt.  And perhaps for Todd, he needed the smitten look in my eyes, my adoring affection and the feeling of having someone who really and truly wanted him.

In a matter of weeks we knew that we were both "the one" for the other.  We looked at rings only a few weeks into dating (his idea, not mine).  And less than three months into our relationship, we were engaged.  It was as if we couldn't help falling in love.

Looking back, I think it's safe to say that we rushed in.  To marriage, to deciding that we could be together forever and always.  To vow for better and worse to someone we had known for such a short amount of time.  Though I'm not sure if more time would have kept us from making the same decision, because we were in love.  And sometimes, when you're in that head-over-heels, crazy-about-eachother kind of love, you rush into things.  You make rash decisions because your heart feels things it's never felt before, and you're convinced you will feel those things for always.  

A few months ago, I wrote about where our marriage has been in the last year - how it was on the brink of being over.  And since that time, we've had our share of ups and down. But it's been different.  There has been more understanding and passion and it's felt easier to enjoy each other again.  Things are starting to grow and heal. We have entered yet another new season together and it is recognizably full of grace.

I am reminded on this sixth anniversary with my husband, of the shirt that started it all.  Though I had taken him shopping and gave his dated wardrobe a makeover early on in our relationship, I saved this.  It reminded me of our beginning and how everything about Todd and our relationship was unexpected.  I couldn't bear to part with it and I don't think I ever will.

Happy Anniversary babe.  Some things were just meant to be.  Like you and me.

June 7, 2012

When writing is hard

Writing has been hard this week. 

Some days and some circumstances seem to suck the creative parts out of me that really enjoy writing, cataloging pieces of my life, and putting words to things that take up space in my heart. 

It's been one of those creative-sucking weeks this week.

Also, my blog-traffic is down.  I thought I didn't care, but apparently, I very much do.  I suppose for someone who has these budding dreams of being a real writery-writer at some point, having decreasing blog-traffic makes me feel like some kind of failure or as if I've been rejected.  I've never handled either of those words well and I've been curious about how being rejected or feeling like a failure has shown up in my story.   And how it will continue to if I am brave enough to pursue this dream.

That being said, I've been somewhat distracted this week too.

Todd and I are celebrating our anniversary this weekend and I'm not sure if I've ever looked more forward to an anniversary before.  It six years and it's not really a special number or a big anniversary by any means.  But, we are REALLY celebrating this year.  Not only do we have some pretty epic plans, but there is so much for us to really celebrate.  All that we've been through and come through together - it's worthy of some major partying. 

So because my writer is stuck somewhere and I'm slightly distracted by all the fun I'll be having with my husband starting tomorrow, I'm taking a short little break. 

Though there is a sweet little story scheduled to post on Sunday, and you might not want to miss it.

Happy Thursday.

June 5, 2012

Keepsakes and Dashes

Sometimes it feels like it wasn't long ago when Todd and I were aching to start our family.  The memories of getting pregnant and putting a nursery together and buying baby clothes feel easy to remember.  It feels a bit surreal to think that our long-awaited blessing is turning three next month.  THREE.

Over the weekend I did some cleaning and organizing.  Those are the never ending projects that seem to always be there.  I haven't quite yet put the finishing touches on Tommy's big boy room, but it is anything but a nursery now.  I have though, removed all of the "baby" things. 

It feels a bit odd to take memories and literally box them up.  It feels like the ending of something.  But this weekend, I felt where I was sad and where I was happy too, and boxed up my own little nest of Tommy's baby treasures.  Keepsakes.

Tommy's baby book.  His sweet little Santa suit that I had his pictures taken in for Christmas the year he was born.

The onesie my sister created for him.  His month-by month pictures.  A few special gifts made for his nursery.  Even the piece of paper full of stickers labeled "pee-pee" from our potty-training adventures.  I thought about how when he's ready to part with "Taggie, Bear and Blanket" (his sleep-time essentials), they too will be put in this same bin.

As I lovingly boxed everything up, images of his sleepy newborn face at 3:00am came to mind.  Even thumbing through his baby-book brought back the memory of his sweet baby smell right after his bath when I would rock him before putting him to bed.  When he would stare at me with wonder as I sang to him.  Oh those were some of the most precious times of my life. 

It felt a little weird; tucking away these little nuggets of my life that have come to an end - being the mom to Tommy the baby and toddler.  He's a big boy now.  I'm a mom to a big boy. 

I guess it's just one of those things I felt deeply.  It was more than just organizing and cleaning things up.  It was seeing where something that used to be a longing and a dream, to now be life lived and a piece of my story and his that is now behind me.  And it's in a box.  It's glorious and yet I want to grieve it too.
After I labeled the box and put the lid on, I smiled.  Because looking at it reminded me where my heart is still full of hope.  Baby keepsakes DASH Tommy. 

Perhaps, maybe someday, there will be a Baby keepsakes DASH second baby.  I simply don't know.  But clearly, my mother's heart is hopeful that there will be.

June 4, 2012

Life-long Friends

I was in high school when I first met the Senecal family. The two girls that were my age were quiet, and I - well, I was never quiet.   Needless to say, we didn't hit it off at first. I liked to shop and flirt with boys and wear clunky shoes that made me four inches taller than I already was.  And I was loud.  Heck, I'm still loud.

But my life changed because of my parent's divorce and my mom's drinking.  All of it ended up changing me.  

I'd like to think that one of the blessings that came from that hard time were these friendships - Sarah, Rachel especially.  Their family took me under their wing and loved me like I was one of their own.  It felt good just to be known by them.  In all of my pain and hurt, they were my haven.

My aching seventeen year old self needed their love and care.  A safe place to be, to cry, to talk about how I felt.  Their home, their family, their dining room table where we would play Chicken Feet - they were places I was allowed to laugh and play and talk. They delighted in my company.  Even if I was loud.

One Sunday morning at church, I was there alone.  At that time, my dad would drop me off and I would go to church by myself and my mom was almost completely out of the picture.  That particular morning, our pastor invited each family to go to the communion table and partake of the bread and wine together, rather than have it passed out and taken individually in our seats like usual.  I sat there and watched family after family huddle around the table at the front of the church.  I remember my heart pounding within me not knowing what I would do.  Where was my place?  Should I go up there by myself?  I wish they were here.  That should be my family up there.  I hate this.  I hate them!

As I sit here and recall this memory, I have tears in my eyes.  It's amazing how I can still remember the panic and abandonment I felt in those moments.  I was alone and watching these families....together, not broken....was simply too much.

Sarah sat next to me that day.  I didn't say anything and I didn't need to.  She knew what was going on for me.  She squeezed my hand and whispered, "You can come up with us if you want to.  You're family."

It was a beautiful offer and one I was hoping for.  I wouldn't be left out - they had remembered me.  I felt relieved, yet her words made the hurt I was hurting throb with more intensity.  Sitting there became more than I could bear.  And in dramatic fashion I got up from my seat and literally ran out of the church sanctuary.

I don't remember much after that point.  I think some ladies came to comfort me.  But I do remember that I spent the rest of that Sunday with the Senecal's - my surrogate family at at time where my own was falling apart.

Those were the formative years.  Since then, we've stayed close and developed deep, meaningful, and lasting friendships.  We've been through much of life together.  We've shared in a lot and journeyed along side each other for years.  Many, many pieces of my story are colored with their impact on my heart.  

The relationships I share with the Senecal's, and with Sarah and Rachel especially, are life-long.  We've been tried by time, distance, hurt, circumstance - yet our love for one another still remains.  

Yesterday evening, we had a little "family reunion" of sorts.  Rachel and her family were in town, so we hosted a little gathering at our house.

Our children - the ones we would dream about when we were teenagers - played in the mini-pools outside.
They laughed and screamed and played and created glorious chaos that only children know how to do.  I couldn't help but hear all of the chatter and noise and relish in God's goodness.  How He gifts us with life.  All of it felt surreal and beautiful. 
Us girls attempted to have serious conversation amidst all of the activity.  We had spurts of talking in the midst of the nose-wiping and diaper-changing and the picking up goldfish on the floor.  It was so different than how it used to be - when we would talk for hours and late into the night, uninterrupted.  About our faith and our dreams and where we hoped to be when we were thirty-something.  But it was so the same too.
Though Sarah is the only one close by, anytime the Senecal's are in town, I am still invited to be a part of the "family." Any time spent with them is sweet and memorable.  Last night was just another evening for the memory  books.
Life-long friends are rare.  Friends who feel like family are maybe even more rare.

Me?  I have both.  And I am very, very blessed.

June 2, 2012

What weekends are for

Weekends are for pancakes and syrup and mugs full of hot coffee.

Weekends are for unexpected dinners out with friends and chasing hyper kids.

Weekends are for adventures and trying new things and getting outdoors.

Weekends are for grabbing fancy martinis and taking two hours away to simply just be a woman.

Weekends are for laundry and vacuuming and cleaning dirty bathrooms.
Or for letting all of that sit there because chores can wait.

Weekends are for making forts out of blankets and pillows.  For crashing toy trucks into walls.  For watercolors and marker-stained fingers.

Weekends are for baking cookies and having purposeful family meals.

Weekends are for extra long workouts.

Weekends are for church and Sunday afternoon naps and a little bit of quiet.

Weekends are for get-togethers with the oldest of friends.  For conversation and catching up and sharing in real life together.

Weekends are for reading and movie-watching.

Weekends are for grilling and for swimming in mini-pools in the backyard.

Weekends are for sleeping in and taking it easy and getting back to you.

It's that kind of weekend.