April 27, 2017

Early morning stream of thoughts

Four o'clock this morning, Jacob came into my room sniffling quietly.  I called him over to my bed and asked him what was wrong and between my grogginess and his quiet whispers, gathered that he had some kind of bad dream about Oma (his grandmother) leaving him and that he had also fallen out of bed.  I tucked him back into bed with kisses and prayers and went to lay back down except that my mind was already alert and racing.

I need to look for a new home daycare.  He's not happy there and I've got to find something different for my boy.

Is Tommy's field trip next Thursday, or is it Friday? I've got to make sure to put his lunch in a brown sack and not his lunchbox that day.  I need to remember to text his teacher.  Ugh, I feel so out of touch with what's going on for him at school.  

Did he do his reading homework last night?  I didn't check it.  I wonder if his handwriting is better and if he is slowing down to write like I've been instructing him to do.

I can't believe school will be out in a month.  I still have to figure out what to do with Tommy on Wednesdays and Fridays.  What am I going to do?  I'm so bummed I won't have Fridays off in the summers like I used to at my old job.  I'm going to miss that time with the boys.  They're going to miss me.  I'm missing everything.

Gosh, summer is right around the corner.  Where has this year gone already?   Oh crap, I need to mail out that 941 form for my boss.  I need to get that done by Friday. That's tomorrow, shit.  So I'll do that today.  *sigh*

But yea, summer.  

Bathing suits.  

I've gained weight.  Damn bathing suits and bellies and double chins.  I hate my body.  Wait, no, I don't hate my body.  I can't say that to myself anymore.  I need to say kind things to my body.  Oh, I suck at this "being kind to myself thing."  Why does it have to be so hard to take care of ourselves and our bodies and minds?  

Oh I'm so tired, I wish I could fall asleep for another hour before it's time to get up.

I need to remind Todd to call the mortgage company to find out where to send our payment to.  How did I lose the bill?  Did I accidentally throw it out?  I'm such an idiot sometimes.  Oh and I need to pay that other bill online because if I mail it out now, it will be late.  I hate money.  I guess I don't hate money, I hate the lack of money.  We need to get out of debt.  Always feels like we're getting nowhere because we get hit with something else like Todd's new tires.  

I'm going to need new tires for my car this year too.  Ugh.  And I'm just waiting for our AC to break.  Dad made it sound like it may not make it another summer.  If I have to pay for tires and I still need a plane ticket for the conference in September and we still haven't replaced our fence, and what if Todd's truck breaks down again?  Or my car?  My car isn't under warranty like his is.  I feel like it's just a matter of time before that happens. 

Why do I always think that way?  Always waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I guess I think that because the other shoe always ends up dropping.  

How is that a saying?  Who drops shoes?  What does that even mean?  

Shoes.  What am I going to wear to work today?  I don't want to wear my sandals with that outfit because I need to paint my toenails again.  Can I wear flats with that?  I need to get some new brown ones.

Ugh, I'm tired.  This is stupid.  I'm just going to get up.

And so I did.  I made a cup of coffee and perused Facebook at 5am.  It offered me to the usual counterfeit for connection and gave me another list of things to do.  Another stream of thoughts flooded in about wanting to try a new facial product because my skin is gross and then wondering if everybody in the world is selling stuff on the side now and using Facebook to promote their products.  Why does that annoy me so much?  And who is Ann Coulter again and what side is she on?  And what side am I on?  I don't even know anymore.

April 22, 2017

Resurrection Day

As a girl, Easter Sunday was all about three things: the outfit, barbecue, and Jesus.  And probably in that order.

My Grammy sewed handmade Easter dresses for all of the grandgirls of hers.  They were the kind that came with puffy sleeves, a white apron, a dainty collar and a giant bow to tie in the back.  The whole outfit was always completed with lacy ruffled socks and mary-jane shoes, white gloves and a bonnet with the same color of ribbon to match my dress.  There was, after all, only one Sunday out of the whole year one could wear a hat to church and I looked forward to Easter Sunday every year for that very reason.  Oh, and Jesus.  Yes, Jesus too.

Growing up, Easter Sunday was called Resurrection Day in our family.  My dad was pretty intense about not letting us do egg hunts or have easter baskets so that we could keep our focus on Jesus and His resurrection.  And I was mostly okay with not having those things, except I had seen one too many Cadbury Egg commercials and I spent my childhood dreaming about having a basket full of them because they looked UH-mazing.  I remember years worth of Easters where my Poppy would walk in the front door, wearing a yellow, button-down shirt, his face all aglow and joyful declaring loudly, "He is risen!"  And we would all reply, "He is risen indeed!" We would grill fajitas or some kind of barbecue where my dad had perfected the art of charring the barbecue sauce on a link of sausage, that to this day, no one else in the world knows how to do but him.  We spent the day as a family - we would sing and worship and laugh together.  Sometimes, my Poppy would talk to us about the importance of this day and what it means to us as believers in Jesus. 

Even though I went without baskets full of candy and never dyed a single egg, the weight of the day always sat with me from an early age.  Jesus - He never sinned, but was put to death on a cross.  He knew every bad thing I would ever do and gave His life so I wouldn't have to give mine - all so He could spend eternity with me in heaven.  Every Good Friday we talked about the cross and the crown of thorns, and the beatings He endured.  How the nails were driven into His hands and feet.  He died and was laid in a tomb.  And Sunday was a joyful day of celebration.  Because Jesus is God, he conquered death and rose again.  He came back to life and still lives and I know He does, because I have seen and experienced Him first hand in my own life.

One year, I outgrew the idea of Grammy's puffy-sleeved dresses and my love for easter bonnets, and as I got older the holiday changed a bit, as did our family.  The year after my brother died, my mom gave me and my best friend Kelly small easter baskets full of candy and colorful scrunchies and CD's  which was the best surprise ever.  My dad seemed a bit grouchy about it, but I saw his eyes soften and sparkle as I excitedly went through my basket of goodies.  I think by the time I was 15, he knew what he had been trying to instill in me all those years about Jesus had already been done, and no amount of candy hidden in green, plastic grass would change that.

When Tommy was much younger, I made huge, elaborate toy-filled baskets for him, giving him everything I never had as a child, including Cadbury Eggs, which I discovered at some point, were absolutely disgusting.  But a couple of years ago when Tommy asked what he was "getting for Easter," I choked on my Robin's Eggs and realized my dad was on to something back then and maybe I had forgotten a thing or two with all that he ingrained in me from my youth.  Since then, baskets have become more of an afterthought.  I spend more time with the boys leading up to Easter Sunday, pouring over the gospel accounts in the Bible, because while I want them to have colorful and fun memories to look back on in their childhood, more than anything, I want them to know Jesus the way I have come to over the years.

As our Easter traditions evolve and grow over the year as a family, there are some things I hope always stay the same.  Like confetti eggs and Todd's barbecue ribs, and taking communion together as a family. And our annual family easter-egg nose picture.  Those are my favorite.  

It is a day of joyful celebration, because Jesus is alive.

Easter morning, Resurrection Sunday, my boys had left their small baskets on the coffee table and were sitting on the couch looking at the pages in their devotional about Jesus on the cross and His coming alive again.  I listened to them talk and ask each other questions. Tommy read and Jacob pretended that he knew how. To them, Jesus mostly exists in the form of story books and Bible study lessons.  He is but mere pictures on paper and they only know of Jesus what they are taught.  But someday, all of the stories and lessons, the church-going and song-singing, will hopefully become something more.  And as I stood in the kitchen watching my young boys touch the paper-Jesus, I prayed to the Jesus who is very much alive in my heart that He would become to them, what He is to me.

April 2, 2017


We have a rosebud tree right outside of our living room window.  Every spring it sprouts tiny pink flowers on it's branches, that in a few week's time, give way to heart-shaped leaves, bright green and silky.  I look forward to watching it every year.  It loses it's leaves in November and stays barren and gray for months, until early March when I notice that it's about ready to burst forth with it's tiny, beautiful blossoms.

Spring always seems to come with some kind of transformation, and not just for my tree.  All of me - heart, body and soul - knows that it's a season of beginnings and new birth. It's the time of year when I'm most accepting of change. I always have wished that the new year started in March rather than in January, because I'm more apt to setting goals and trying new things when the sun is shining and I'm surrounded by the beauty of wildflowers and things turning green and alive.  And my March birthday always feels like the invitation to a fresh start.

Recently, I quit my job.  The one super close to home where I worked part-time and only during the hours Tommy was in school so that I could be home in the afternoons.  For almost four years I had a pretty great schedule that allowed my life as a wife, mom and employee to feel more balanced.  But as some jobs tend to go, I grew out of it.  It no longer was a good fit for me, and so I quit and quickly found something new.  And while I had to give up a schedule that I loved, and would have to start over somewhere else and earn my way back up to having a paid vacation, I knew a change was needed and so, I made one.   I am starting fresh.  It is hard, and it is good.

One of my favorite blogger/authors, Kelle Hampton wrote recently on an Instagram photo, "I love the energy in fresh starts and the fact that we can create them as often as we like."  Kelle writes over at Enjoying the Small Things.  I have read her blog for years and her story-telling and writing style feels like an open window, spring breeze and sunshine pouring in.  And anytime I meet a person like that, I tend to surround myself with them - even if it's through written words, because I thrive on sunshine.

I've been thinking about fresh starts and where I can create a few of them this spring.  Making lists, and practicing mindfulness, paying attention to my daily and nightly habits.  Making notes, some on pen and paper, about where I feel angst or stress, peace, calm and joy. I find myself wanting to try new things too - a Bible study, a hairstyle, a recipe.  Maybe take a writing course or join a book club. New things always sound inviting in the spring, don't they?  My mind is buzzing with ideas, my heart dizzy with daydreams.

Springtime always comes with invitations to new life.  And I never forget to RSVP.