Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a time to embrace

It was just over 2 years ago that I separated from my husband. It was almost another year before I realized that our marriage was broken in a way that it would not be fixed. Since then, I have stumbled and tripped and baby stepped my way back into the work force. I accepted my new title as single mother and vowed to find a good balance of work, budget and quality time with my kids. I haven't done it successfully. But, I've done it in the only way I have been able to. I was completely unprepared for the emotional toll it would take on my heart to go back to work and leave my children in the care of others.

Thankfully, the Lord is patient and kind toward me. He has allowed me to take baby steps. Sometimes forward, sometimes backward, but continuously moving. I took a step today to move back into a career. It is time to stop doing jobs and re-establish my career. This will open up doors and opportunities to allow me to seek more stable employment. I hope to be able to secure a position with benefits for my family. Hopefully I can attain a position that my schedule can be more suited to Alivia's. I sat in the parking lot this morning wondering, why have I waited so long to pursue this? (I know some of you have been asking yourself the same question.)

The answer is complicated, as all matters of the heart are. But, the simplified version is this: In taking these new steps, I must let go of a dream, a dream I didn't realize I was still clinging to. I must release the dream of my past so my hands are free to reach toward a new dream.

The Lord was so gracious to show me this morning that it is time. It is time to embrace this new life that I live. The life of a single working mother. It is time for me to stop living in transition.

I am a single working mother. I am a divorced woman with 2 beautiful children to raise. I am financially responsible to support our family. I am responsible and accountable for the spiritual teaching of my children and their character development. (Do not misunderstand, I think their father has responsibilities to them as well. But, as the sole leader of our individual homes, I believe we bear these responsibilities fully, as individuals.)

Even as I type that, even as I have been living it, the words seem foreign. Foreign in ways that I can not seem to put into words. I keep thinking back to a poem, Welcome to Holland. (This poem is written about the journey of parenting a child with special needs. But, it expresses my feelings so well.)

I do not pity my new role. I have a happy and healthy family. My life is blessed and full of love. But, the truth is, it is just not the way I expected it to look. I thought it would look like Italy. It, in fact, looks like Holland. Holland is beautiful.


Sunday, December 4, 2011


12 years ago, we were just kids. We thought we were grown up, very mature and could conquer anything. Chris couldn't even manage to remember our marriage license, and I couldn't manage to realize that it's better to style dirty hair.

The days leading up to our wedding were hard. My grandpa had a massive heart attack while working graveyard at the post office. My dad quickly left and headed up to the Northwest to be with him. We questioned whether to postpone the wedding. We decided to go ahead, Grandpa would want us to. Looking back, that decision was probably more rooted in selfish desires than out of thought that that was what my Grandpa would want.

Tension between my mom and I was at an all time high. While she loved Chris, I'm sure this wedding was a harsh reminder that her daughter chose what seemed to be a different faith. She insisted on decorating and creating and I was too terrified to speak what I wanted. I don't think I even knew what I wanted - except to marry Chris.

But at 10:30 on December 4th, I looked down the aisle, my dad speaking softly to me after flying the redeye in to make it. I saw my Christopher, our friends and family around us, and I breathed deeply. I stood face to face with Chris, and we made a covenant with our God.

In 12 years, we have loved one another, we have hurt one another. We have made good decisions and poor decisions. We have laughed, and we have cried. We have worshiped alongside one another, and we have wrestled with God both individually and as a family. Even today, I am wrestling. In 12 years, we each have been unworthy of the covenant we have with our God. And in 12 years, our God has been Faithful. He has covered our lack, He has graced our failures, and He has loved us deeply and blessed us richly.

And I will cherish this covenant for as many years as the Lord allows it to stand.

Happy Anniversary to you, Christopher.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Memories in the making

We took the freak show to get their pictures taken this morning. Basically, we three moms went in hoping for one shot with all 6 kids in it.
Mission Accomplished :)

Here were some of the other highlights:

*Koleson cried and didn't want to get in any of the pictures. It took bribes of candy to even get him to sit near the others.

*Hudson dropped his pajama jeans while Addy tried to get him to smils.

*Alivia criss crossed her scarf and tied it around her back.

*Brody was temporarily unaccounted for.

Obviously, it was a great day with lots of memories made. I can't wait to get the pictures back!

Merry Christmas, from the Freak Show.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Because Dareth is Right, We should be thankful

I gotta tell you, it's hard to get into the Holiday Spirit when trauma enters your life right beforehand. I feel like I am still reeling. I do not like living each day without Kaye here on earth. I have vacillated between anger, denial, and a desperate prayer that says, "Jesus, please come quickly."

I know the reality is that there is MUCH to be thankful for. So without further ado:

* Brody blowing kisses to Grandma K in Heaven. And then singing, "I love you - a bushel and a peck..." to Jesus.

* A daughter who loves fiercely and dramatically.

* Chris, who has been a rockstar, not only these past 2 1/2 weeks, but for the past (almost) 12 years. There's nothing better than knowing you are mine.

* My momma. It has meant so much to me that my mom acknowledges the huge influence of K on our lives. She could've been jealous. Instead, she has been grateful we had her and is sadden by our loss.

* My Dad. Words cannot describe what it has meant to watch him grandparent my children. Redemptive is too small a word.

* Great Is Thy Faithfulness, sung on a Sunday morning. A sweet reminder that He holds it all.

* The BEST girlfriends. We have had some sweet times! Fun road trips, silent prayers, telling looks - it's been a happy and hard year - birth, divorce, surgery, loss. I love the miracles we have seen, and I am saddened by the ones we asked for, but were withheld. But the Lord knew. He KNEW you were the people I would need to lock shields with. The many years I asked for close friends, you were all there, developing what is present today. I want to put you all in my pocket.

* My riches. I cannot even express how wealthy I feel. That my family would be graced to live in this country - it blows my mind. I really have no idea what financial struggle looks like when I measure it against the world.

* My God, who has been so GRACIOUS to require more of this daughter. He has made me take a look at who I had become, where my heart had hardened, and then offer forgiveness and an opportunity to do better. He has been a gentleman and shown me the Truth in a tender, loving way.

* My Sister. I don't know what to say except I love her.

* Hope. Because without it, I don't know how I could make it.

* Starbucks Skinny Peppermint Mocha. Because I am shallow and adore a 100 calorie drink.

* Black Friday. Because I like texting Brandy and Dareth excessively and buying cheap pajamas.

* Kaye. And her family. They are SO MUCH HER. They radiate Jesus.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

another year

Today is my Dad's birthday. I wrote this post about my dad last year. He is the epitome of what a Daddy should be in my opinion. He is strong and caring and loyal and fierce. He stands up for what is right in a quiet manner.

Because my dad will never read this post, I can talk about him freely without embarrassing him. (He doesn't know how to use a computer and has no desire to ever try. He has probably never heard the term blog and he still calls social networking "the spacebook".) He is a simple guy who loves his family and wants to do better than he did in years past. He takes personal responsibility for his "stuff" and won't claim responsibility for other's. He has a quiet strength that I hope to emulate.

When I announced I was pregnant with Alivia, he became quiet and withdrawn. In my semi-hormonal state I was so disappointed that he wasn't more excited for me. He apologized the next day and told me, "I had a little girl, and she wasn't supposed to grow up." I knew in that one statement how deep his love for me ran. Watching me journey through a divorce was brutal. It ate him up. He made himself sick with worry. I only know this from others, he never wanted me to know. He offered his quiet support with a gigantic amount of self-control. I know he had much to say, but he allowed me to deal with any and every situation how I thought was best. He trusted that I was a strong woman who needed to own my decisions. He must have been terrified that I would make a choice he thought was harmful. But, he kept it to himself. He called me everyday to check on me and came by a couple of times a week just to visit. He never felt the need to fill the quiet with words. He just gave support with his presence.

I know the reality is that my dad won't always be here. Just typing that brings tears. I am ever so thankful for my dad. I am thankful for the father he is, for the grandfather he loves to be and for the example of loving, supportive parenting with boundaries. I will cherish every year the Lord sees fit to have you here with us.

Happy Birthday, Daddy! We love you more than words.


Monday, November 21, 2011


I somehow just looked up and noticed that the month of November is almost over. Wow. I don't want Thanksgiving to go by without noting some of the things I am thankful for this year.

*God's unwavering faithfulness...especially when I don't deserve it.
*The lavish love of God shown to my family through others.
*A church family that pulls together amazingly when we had some really tangible evidence of how much we need each other.
*People in my life who go above and beyond for my little family.
*Evidence that prayer can be answered...even in the midst of disbelief.
*A little blue-eyed guy who melts my heart over and over again with a gapped tooth grin.
*A girl that loves deeply and fights passionately, who is already starting to grow into her own little person.
*Friends who get me, that will laugh with me, and at me, when I need it most.
*God's provision. He has fulfilled our every need and so many of our wants.
*A gift of memories made from my mom in the shape of an awesome family vacation.

I hope your Thanksgiving week is spent loving your people.


Monday, November 14, 2011

My K

I have written about my sweet K before, right here. And on November 3rd, Gma K very unexpectedly went to be with our Lord.

All I can think about is that I want to smell her perfume on Brody's head again. I want to watch him love her, and I want to watch her love him right back. I want to hear her voice call him Brody Man, and I want to see her feet stomp at him as he runs to hug her.

I want to watch her love her AZ Addie Grace (as she had an Oklahoma Addie Grace, too). I want to hear her laugh at Addie and Sammy's antics. I want to listen as K and Addie sit down at the piano and play together while Papa Phil cracks jokes in the background.

I want to have the conversation that we planned on having when she got back from Oklahoma. I want to hear about her adventures on the Pioneer Woman's ranch. I want to know the advice she would have given me about my family. I want to have the cooking day we planned- the one where we make "our kind of food." I want to swap recipes, and laugh by the pool, and do Bible Study together. I want to listen to her Godly wisdom and laugh when she calls me her "fashion friend." I want to talk about our Goodwill bargains, and her grandchildren, and love, and travel, and most of all, I want to talk to her about Jesus.

I want to thank her for giving our children a place to look for their spiritual heritage. Kaye lovingly grafted our family into hers. She poured into us, always joyful, always giving, always in a way that modeled Jesus. She allowed the Lord to use her to create a spiritual history of unwavering Faith where there wasn't one in our family history.

Kaye and I always had a good laugh over my dislike of the Proverbs 31 woman. Funny thing is that the truth of the matter is I adored the Proverbs 31 woman - Kaye was her.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Kaye, thank you for your legacy. I miss you so very much.


Friday, November 11, 2011

In an Instant

Last week, the kids and I were so blessed to have the opportunity to go on a Disney Cruise with my mom. We had 8 days onboard to play and hang out with characters and most importantly, just be together. It was a fabulous time for my little family and so many precious memories were made. In preparation for this trip, I worked the month of October away. This left all three of us in tears, at one point or another, over the feeling that we had so little time together. (I could write a bunch of posts on how AMAZING Timmarie was during this time. But save that for another day.)
We spent each day leisurely deciding how we would plan our day: meeting characters, getting autographs, eating ice cream, swimming, playing in the kids center, watching live shows or movies, and napping. Don't want to forget the napping :)The rest and relaxation were so good for all of us.

I received message from Brandy on Saturday that I needed to call her. I tried to keep the panic at bay as I figured out the best way to get ahold of her. In the minutes it took me to get through to her, I had run through a list of possibilities in my mind. Internal panic! She went on to tell me that a good friend, a beautiful mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, spiritual mother and grandmother of our church, and just all-out fabulous Christ-loving woman had left this earth. Such a shock! I can't even begin to tell you what Kaye meant to me and to countless others.

I went back to the room and hugged my babies a little tighter for the next 2 days. My emotions vacillated between wanting to get home right.this.very.second and wanting to stay on that ship and pretend it was all a bad dream. But most of all, since then, I have just wanted to surround myself with the people I love and make sure that they know how very special they are to me. Life can change in an instant. And I don't want to miss any more of it's opportunities.


Thursday, October 27, 2011


This month has been probably the craziest of the year. OK, maybe July was, but I can't remember because July was SO HOT that it literally fried some of my brain cells. We have been bad bloggers over here, but this month it is with good reason. D is working her tail off (seriously, she is workin hard for the money), Chris is working himself into an early grave (75+ hour work weeks temporarily) and I am going to school and keeping the 4 kiddos as much as I can. Plus, did you think the A girls were going to take themselves to see The Band Perry? I have to proactively instill country roots where there are none!
Just for the sake of remembering some snippets about this month, I gotta jot down some of the good and the bad.

- I am so enjoying my time with Koli. With all the bigs in school, he and I get some quality one on one time. I'm not even sure words can explain how much I adore the time with him. He has a hold on my heart. We enjoy playing trains, sharing Diet Dr. Pepper and laughing together. He gave me the name Ree Ree and it makes me smile every. single. time he says it.

- Brody had a great report card and I was told at parent/teacher conferences that they use B as a peer role model. What a difference a year makes. I need to remember that as we face current and future challenges, the Lord is so faithful to grow B and me through the process. Next year we (most likely) will have conquered some of the issues we have today. That builds my faith!

- Alivia is such a sweet example of friendship. I love how she loves to create gifts for others. She is always so excited to see Koleson after a school day. Her giggle makes me smile. I am really proud of her continuing maturity - she is developing fruit of the Spirit right before my eyes. I love that when she sees a friend on the playground through the fence, she runs alongside the fence line until she meets up with them at the gate. It's the cutest!

- Addison is swimming year round and had her first meet this month. She had only swam 25 meter lengths before this meet, and she did a 50 and 100 meter. I love that she just went for it! The results were not what she wanted, but she is up for the challenge to improve and is working hard to do so! Addison is LOVING school and her teacher, and is learning not only academics, but great life skills, too. I am so sad that this is her last year as a single digit.

The biggest thing that I want to take away from October is the provision of my God and the power of prayer. Our family was facing a very unnerving situation, one that would've thrown us for quite a loop - primarily financially, but also a lot of other ways. Through that circumstance, I see the Lord's faithfulness - not because it turned out the way I wanted, but because of the immediate affirmation of my priorities. We are able to walk through any circumstance as long as my faith is intact and our marriage stays together. These are things I know, but I got the opportunity to walk out this month. And I know it's with a purpose. The Lord keeps bringing the poor to mind and is reinventing my thinking about those in need. The conviction is good. Hard to see things you didn't think were a heart issue, but good that I don't have to stay in that mindset.

All in all, as October comes to a close in a couple of days, it's been a month of growth in the desert.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Why I Love Dareth

A small excerpt from a conversation we had yesterday.

D: "OK, I'm curious as to why you are breaking up with chocolate."

T: (Explanation here.) Basically the US chocolate manufacturers have turned a blind eye to the child labor that gets them their chocolate. And then when it's brought to their attention, instead of changing it, they do a whole bunch of stuff to try and distract from the actual problem. I can't support child endangerment. Just because I don't have to look at it, that doesn't make it ok. Furthermore, I am tired of companies/government thinking that I am too stupid to figure this stuff out. (Please insert more ranting about healthcare reform, poverty, abortion, etc).

D: Insert awesome, encouraging response.

T: If I turn into one of those crazy social justice people, please laugh at me. You know the ones, the ones who make that their religion.

D: So when should I expect you to become vegan?


Sunday, October 2, 2011

in a funk

Ok. It is clear, we are in a major blogging funk. I often find myself wanting to write, but then, in all honesty, I wonder does anyone really want to read about my life? I struggle with what to say and what not to say. So many things going on in my life and I just can't seem to get in out on paper (screen). So here sits this sad, lonely little blog.

I want to snap out of it.

I really do.

Any suggestions??


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 12

Mommy Guilt.

It hit me like a ton of bricks this morning and I have been weepy all morning over it. I'd rather a punch in the face than in this fragile, self doubting place that I find myself this morning.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

days 6-10

This heat!

I just heard on the news last week that we had 35 days in a row over 110 degrees here on the surface of the sun. We have dipped into the low 100's. It looks like we have promise of Fall's arrival around December.


Friday, September 2, 2011

day 5


Enough said??

If you haven't met my girl, let me tell you, the girl could negotiate herself out of a hostage situation. I hope and pray that one day she uses those skills to further God's kingdom. But, using them to get out of going to sleep... yes, it makes me want to punch myself in the face.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 4

"I'm just nervous."

Said by Brody anytime he doesn't want to do something. Some examples: Cleaning his room, going to therapy, going to a doctor appointment. The other day he told me that he didn't want to go to speech because he doesn't like the stupid speech room and I was SO HAPPY that I didn't have to hear, "I'm just nervous." As his therapist said, I like that he used an appropriate adjective.

But I'm just nervous. It makes me want to punch myself.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

day 3

Emotional manipulation.

In all fairness, this actually makes me want to punch others in the face. But, I definitely want to throw punches over it. If you desire to have a conversation with me, I will be happy to have a mature discussion. But, if you think you can get your way by emotionally manipulating me, you picked the wrong girl. Emotional manipulation and I have a sordid history together and I have officially broken up with it.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 2

So, it's no secret that I am not an animal lover. Nor is Chris. It's not that I hate them, I just don't get over the top in love over sweet kittens and puppy dogs and such. In fact, I immediately delete those emails.

Chris and I got Addy a guinea pig for her birthday this summer, and for a few weeks this house went crazytown over some rodenty type creatures. We got a guinea from someone we knew, and unfortuantely said guinea was elderly and ended up having spinal cord damage and eventually passing on to guinea pig heaven. LOVELY experience. Don't worry, Addy has another guinea pig that is young and healthy, yada yada, blah, blah, we have a pet.

Brody has decided that he would like a pet too. And he would like it to be a pet bird. Now, I should mention that Brody LOVES the guinea, and by loves I mean pets it, and talks to it, and puts in on the skateboard and in rollerskates. Basically, we have to watch him like a hawk because he's a wee bit rough. Back to his pet: He wants a pet bird. Which means another cage. Not to mention that I only like birds if they are being served on my dinner plate. Also, WE ARE NOT GETTING ANOTHER PET. So, with this gift of autism comes Brody's ability to hyperfocus, rather obsessively, about a pet bird.

B: Mom, I want a pet like Sissy. How about a pet bird?
Me: No, buddy. A bird is a lot of responsibility.
B: I can be responsible.
Me: No, you are not ready. You don't even follow the rules about Sissy's guinea pig.
B: I can follow the rules. I want a pet.
Me: I know you want to follow the rules, but you just aren't ready yet. Can we talk about something else?
B: I want a pet like Sissy. How about a pet bird?
Me: No, we are not getting a pet bird
B: We'll see, Mom.

and on and on - the length of several car rides. Please, someone punch me in the face.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 1

Yesterday morning on our way to church my girl was having a rough go. Then she learned that her cousin would still be in school while we are there for a visit in a few weeks. Then everything that anyone said or didn't say was just adding to her angst. By the time we were within a mile of the church she declared it the WORST DAY EVER. "This is my worst day ever. ***** is going to be in school while we are there. She gets to be in the wedding. Addy is ignoring me. I have to go to my class and I feel like my mom doesn't even care about me!"
Does she go to school full day?? Um, Yes.
"This is my worst day ever! ***** is going to be in school. She goes full day. I won't even get to play with her. She gets to be in the wedding and I don't. Addy is ignoring me. I have to go to my class and I feel like my mom doesn't even care about me. Now Koleson is laughing at me. Stop it, Koleson! This is my worst.day.EVER."

Yep, just punch me in the face. It would be less painful than listening to this...


Friday, August 26, 2011

12 Days o Punching

We read this post and instantly felt a kind of connection. It seemed that Amy Beth had summed up the kind of week we had been living here on the surface of the sun. We love our people. But take the first week of school, mix in tired children, and stir in nuts (which is how we are feeling) then bake at 184 degrees (which is the approximate temperature here in our fine city), and you get some tough days. From reading her blog, we know that Amy Beth's heart is for every child. We are for all the people in our lives as well, but we thought we could have some fun with it.

So, we present you with the Days o Punching... a Festivus of sorts in which we can vent about our days free from guilt. Allowing us to laugh at our circumstances and keeping them in perspective. It's the small stuff...

*Note: It is titled the 12 Days o Punching because the "f" key is broken. And it makes me giggle a little :)*


Saturday, August 6, 2011

A most special addition

So, I am embarrassed to see how long it has been since we posted anything on here. Obviously, there has been way too much gone on in the past couple of months to document my absence. The highlight of our summer, that I can't not mention, is that we officially have a new family member!

My best friend of so-many-years-that-I-don't-want-to-mention-because-it-makes-me-feel-old and her family legally adopted a baby boy.

(I know, isn't he the most adorable thing???)

Hudson Matthew was born on my former anniversary, while my divorce was pending. It was such special timing to me to not only celebrate his birth, but that he will always be a reminder that new life is born even in the midst of mourning. After nearly 6 months of waiting, his mom, dad and brother are able to breathe a sigh of relief that, legally speaking, Hudson is forever a part of their family.

Hudson, we are so excited to have you in our family! Our God has lavished love on you and your family in so many ways. I, personally, am most excited that you get to grow up in a family that loves the Lord and is dedicated to teaching you about Him.

Some other highlights for me have been:

Watching Gabriel get to be a big brother again. He will always have your back, of that I am certain.

Seeing your daddy with another daddy's boy.

And of course, I will always enjoy watching the sister of my heart get to love another child of her own.

Seeing Alivia care for you since the day of your arrival. She has a special bond with you.

And I love, love, love that you resemble, in so many ways, your brother Burke.

Our God has such a big plan for your life, little Hudson. And I am so honored that I get to be your "favorite" aunt forever. I love you, Hudi.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Preschool Graduate

It hit me out of left field. My baby girl. So much has changed for her over the past 2 years that she has been in preschool. She has grown up and matured in ways that I couldn't have ever imagined that she would have to. Her teacher showed a slideshow of pictures from this school year. And I couldn't stop the tears. Then the last song on the slideshow was "Let Them Be Little". It was almost more than I could take.

Alivia, I love the girl you are becoming. You make me so proud. As I stood there and watched you await your journal, I could see the pride all over your face. You were about to burst with joy. You were so confident and big as you announced that you wanted to be a "baby doctor" when you grow up. Please keep that confidence in your life as you continue to grow into the woman God created you to be. But, please, be little for as long as you can. I love you more than there are words. I am so proud to call you my daughter.
Love, Mommy


Monday, May 2, 2011


My mind doesn't even want to acknowledge that you are 2 years old today. The thought of you getting big is too much for my heart.
I just want you to know, Koleson, that you bring joy to our lives everyday. You are a gift to our family and you make us laugh more and love better. We treasure you and the pure sweetness you are to your mama.
We will always love you, Koli. We will always fight for your best, love you in your worst, and celebrate everything about how God made you. Chris, Addy, Brody and I are so grateful that our Lord saw it fit to knit our families so close together. You, little one, are nothing short of miraculous. We couldn't be more crazy about you.


Thursday, April 28, 2011


I haven't shared a lot about Koleson on here. He is an outgoing little boy who loves his mama and his big sister. He uses sign and words to communicate. He is has recently begun enjoying playing with cars and trains. And balls. He is playful and a touch mischievious. His eyes are so blue that people comment on them just about every day. In addition, he receives early intervention services. He gets speech therapy and has recently begun occupational therapy. I work in this field and am familiar with the benefits that come with early intervention. I am so grateful for the advantages these therapists offer us. I also understand there's a certain process you have to go through when your child has any kind of special needs. I am in that process.

Last week we went to prayer service at our church. Koleson and I sat in the back with some toys. I was having a wonderful time watching my beautiful little boy play quietly.

We began to sing.
"We won't be satisfied with anything ordinary.
We won't be satisfied at all.
We won't be satisfied with anything ordinary.
We won't be satisfied at all.
Open up the sky, pour down like rain.
We don't want blessings, we want You.
Open up the sky, pour down like fire.
We don't want anything but You."

I stared at him as I sang. I realized that he may not be "ordinary". But, I wouldn't be satisfied with anyone else. That little boy brings unbridled joy. I don't want to live my life in such a way that I am always looking for the next blessing, always searching for more than what I have. I hope to live my life seeking Him and discovering the blessings as He sees fit to hand them out. And He does.
And, some of the time, they are extra-ordinary.
And this one is named Koleson.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

and my girl

Alivia is 5 and she seems to become more mature with every passing day. She is a spirited, social, has-her-mind-made-up kind of girl. She is a rockstar big sister and a really great friend. And, I know I am 100% biased, but can I just say, the girl is beautiful.

Here she is modeling her bedhead along with some Christmas gifts.

Love this picture of her in the mudpit. This is such a fun representation of who she is. She kind of tiptoed into the mud very cautiously. But once she had tested it out, she was all in.
Alivia, you light up my life. You teach me and inspire me each and every day. Your faith in the Lord is beautiful. And, I'm so thankful I get to be your mom!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

my boy


He is going to be 2 in a couple of weeks. I am in denial.

Playing the freaky face game with Aunt Brandy. It's a special bond these 2 have :)

Looking through the binoculars. Always on the forehead.

I didn't know how different it would be to mother a boy. I still don't really know, I am only beginning to figure it out. What I do know is that little baby boy stole my heart nearly 2 years ago in a very different way than his sister had 3&1/2 years prior.


Friday, April 15, 2011


I recently read MaryBeth Chapman"s book "Choosing to SEE". There is one scene she describes that I have reflected back on a few times now. She talks about the day that her daughter passed away. They left the hospital and headed to their church to be surrounded by their church family who had gathered to pray. She is met by a small group of friends who take her into the bathroom and proceed to help her our of her clothes that are stained in her daughter's blood. Her friends, were able to recognize her need in a time when she was completely unaware of what her needs might be. One friend gave her a shirt, one a bra, and one pants. She returned to her family. Those 3 friends sat in the bathroom in their literal nakedness while they waited for someone to bring them some clothes in exchange. And, for a moment, they helped clothe their friend in her most figuratively naked moment.

I sobbed as I read this passage. SOBBED. And I praised the Lord that I get to be a part of a group of women who will stand naked in a bathroom for me. Every.single.time. I strive to be a friend who does the same.

To all the girls in my life who are striving to hold on to relationships that are unhealthy at best: my prayer for you is that you will strive to surround yourself with friends who will stand naked for you in a bathroom. Friends who would not even consider their own embarrassment or insecurities during your deepest time of need.


Friday, April 8, 2011


We live in an era where few people are held responsible for their misbehavior. This statement was made by Steven Reiss, Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Ohio State University.

I reminisce back to when I was a child and think about how things were handled when I was young. I ask myself, was I allowed to blame everything I ever did wrong on someone else? After about 10 seconds of reflection, the answer was a resounding NO!!

I am choosing to post this because I feel like our families and homes are falling apart because adults are choosing to not take personal responsibility for their actions. To make it worse, these same adults teach their children to shun responsibility. We need to stop living a life of BUTS. I will give a few examples of what living a life of BUTS looks like....
I know I said this and it hurt your feeling, BUT, you did this....
I am sorry I did..... BUT, it was because.....

How about we adopt an attitude of personal responsibility? Why don't we just accept responsibility and say something like.... I am sorry for hurting you. It was wrong. Please forgive me. Wouldn't we all feel better about ourselves and others if we knew that we were willing and others were willing to own their own behavior?

All this to say....Life is hard and relationships with others is difficult. There is no magic formula to make things work out the way we want them. At the end of the day, I want to be able to go to sleep with a clear conscious, knowing that I have been true to my God and to myself and have owned my words and actions.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

take care

The past few years I have been so focused on others and their needs that I have really forgotten to take care of myself. I get the kids ready and only if I have extra time get myself ready. If not, I just throw on whatever is clean (or the closest thing to it), brush my teeth and usually toss on some flip flops. I have had some big dental issues that I have ignored due to lack of funds. And I will generally forget to eat something until I am on my way to work and end up hitting a drive through. Ugh.

Well, I have had a couple of challenges lately. My dad told me that I have to start taking care of myself because my kids need me well to take care of them. Hmmm, good point. Alivia told me the other day, "Mommy, my body is healthier than yours because you drink so much soda." Again, a valid point. During our last week of study of the life of David, I was challenged to take God at His word that I am His good choice. He has chosen me to live this life because He says I am the on He wants to do so. Okay. Here I am, ready to make a change.

These are my goals for the week:
* Drink more water
* Participate in 3 classes at the gym
* Schedule a dental appointment for myself


Friday, March 25, 2011

a light airing of grievances

For your reading enjoyment, a light airing of grievances. This list was composed with the help of Brandy. Any and all grievances containing incriminating evidence and possible curse words have been omitted.

-Women with man hands, for the love, wear gloves.
**This was Brandy's, since I happen to possess a pair. I'm headed out to purchase some gloves right away.

-People who drive 27 miles with their right blinker on and then make a left turn.

-People who drive cars worth more than their houses.

-Mom, mom, mom, mom, mooommm, mooommmmy, mooommmmmyyyy!

-Hearing people eat

-When people say, "I forgot to eat." In our world that is equivalent to "I forgot to breathe."

-Improper facebook etiquiette: STOP YELLING AT US!, We don't care to hear the minute by minute run down of your each and every day, writing about every detail of your dysfunctional relationship, cyberbullies.

-Calliou and Whinese in general.

-A lunch system that charges you full price for a lunch when you purchase milk. The same lunch system that charges your child for breakfast when she only goes to school from 12 to 3.

What's bugging you??


Things that made me laugh this week.

*Alivia, in all matters of seriousness, telling me she doesn't like the word turd because it means (in a whispered voice) "poop".

*That the term dum bass has taken off...see here.

*I laid Koleson down for a nap at Aunt Brandy's house. He was fighting sleep and crying. We hear from the bedroom: "Elp, Koka!" Translated "Help, Mocha!" (Mocha is their teacup chihuahua.) I'm sure she would be a great help in your escape attempt, Koli.

*This video that has inspired many a one liners that have cracked me up:

It was more than a week ago, but definitely needs to be noted: the shake weight.

What has made you laugh??


Thursday, March 24, 2011

We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, LORD,
even as we put our hope in you. Psalm 33:20-22


Monday, March 21, 2011

This day

Today is a special day. We haven't celebrated Brandy's birthday in a few years. Today we did. And last weekend we did. I love the extended birthdays...Especially when they include a vacation!

The top 10 things I love about Brandy:

10. She is a rockstar aunt to my babies.
9. She knows me better than anyone else and still chooses to hang out with me.
8. She laughed when I forgot my ID. And still laughs...
7. She has pictures of me from high school...tucked away in a box somewhere. And hopefully, they stay there safe and secure.
6. She came home from out of town when I thought I might be in labor with Koleson, just in case. Even though I insisted she need not since we had until at least tomorrow before anything would happen...And she and Timmarie made it to the hospital with very little time to spare. What a nice surprise!
5. She takes care of me when I need it. And when I am too proud to ask for it.
4. We laugh together. She almost made me hyperventilate once in college.
3. Our children love each other and do life together.
2. She possess an equal amount of flight response as I do when times get tough.
1. She thinks inappropriate humor is, sometimes, very appropriate.

Brandy, Thanks for being my sister and my friend.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dinner Conversation

I overheard the following statements tonight while Alivia and her cousin Gabe were eating.

Alivia: "What are your favorite things?"
Gabe: "Beefaroni and God."

Alivia: "I don't really like Beefaroni anymore."
Gabe: "You have gone to the other side. The side of the republic where they don't like beefaroni."

Alivia to Gabes: "I love Jesus and God a hundred million. I love you a hundred. I love you guys a lot. Just not as much as God and Jesus."

I have a smile on my face.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

a day in the life

These are some random happenings from a typical day when I don't have to work...

*currently listening to 2 little girls play "therapy". One is the therapist, one is the assistant. They are playing bubbles with "their students". It's so precious I can hardly stand it. I just overheard that the kids freak out if they get time out, so instead they just have to drink from a bottle.
That's a kind of therapy I can get behind, people...I'm kidding.

*My dad came over and brought the kids a gift from him and Gramma. It is a sand and water table. The funny thing is that I asked for a water table for Alivia's 2nd Christmas. They couldn't find one that year. Apparently Gramma Vera has a good memory, she called me a couple of days ago and asked if the kids would like one. Grampa brought it over today and Alivia helped/bossed him put it together. The kids played in that water for over an hour. Koleson was wet from head to toe. I think it is fair to say a good time was had by all.

*Brody just explained to me the many special qualities of a Giant Squid. He teaches me so many things, such as did you know that the giant squid uses his tentacles to walk along the surface of the sand as well??

*I may or may not have seen Chris pull out some swiss cake rolls from deep within their pantry. And I may or may not have assumed it was ok if I have one.

*And I got to go to the grocery store all alone while my dad and the kids played outside. This is a big deal in my life...

I love the days when I get to do regular things with my kids. It's where the special moments are made.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

they say it's your birthday!

Dear Timmarie,
I am so blessed to call you friend. Happy birthday! I pray that this year finds you even more blessed than the ones that came before it.

I asked some of your peeps what they appreciated best about you. Here's what they had to say...

Alivia said, "I like her dresses."
Gabes said, "She makes food for us."
Koleson said, "Thooba, thooba, thooba."
Addison said, "That she is nice and pretty."
Brody said, "I like that she cooks and stuff."
And I think Hudson would say he likes when you hold him.

Happy Birthday to you!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yep, still here, after all this time.

Life just keeps moving at warp speed, doesn't it?? I have so much to say and no idea how to say it, so here are some updates about my life these days.

*I have been doing Beth Moore's study of David, A Heart Like His. This is the second time I have done it and I marvel at how personal our God is. Each time it has spoken to me exactly where I was at on a personal level.

*We are still adjusting to me working and the kids being cared for by people other than me. Some weeks are better than others. But, I definitely sense the Lord leading me in a new direction once Alivia starts kindergarten.

*Um, my baby girl is going to kindergarten.

*I am beginning to accept the fact that it is time for Mommy to find a new career. This is particularly difficult being that I thought I was going to be a career mommy. But, I know the Lord will bless me with the ability and drive to enjoy both and do both well.

*Divorce is complicated. And hard. And maddening.

*I am taking a girls trip out of town in a few weeks and I am ever so excited! I can't wait to celebrate my best friends life and have 3 days of grown up conversation. Yippee!


Saturday, February 12, 2011


This morning, the kids and I joined some family and released some balloons in memory of their Uncle Scott who passed away a year ago. We read the scripture we used at his funeral.
Isaiah 55:12:
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.

This scripture is especially meaningful to me in regards to Scott's life. He was an avid camper/fisherman. I believe that Scott went out in joy and that Jesus led him forth in peace.

When the first balloon floated out of sight, Alivia said "That one is in heaven." Kevin asked her what would happen with the balloons and she said, "Uncle Scott will get them."

Scott, you are deeply missed. I pray that your legacy of a life transformed will live on. Your life journey was full of inspiration. I hope that you are enjoying fishing in the streams of heaven.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

A decade

I saw this idea on Elizabeth's page. I thought I would give it a try. My life has changed in so many ways over the past 10 years. I need to see it on paper (or on the screen as it may be).

2000-Bought a house with my best friend Brandy. Two single women with budding careers making our way in the world. This is the year that I really began building a relationship with Christ. This is the year that Timmarie and I met.

2001-Helped Brandy plan her wedding. We "Rocked the Reception" before it was coined. Contemplated how precious life is as we watched the twin towers fall on air.

2002-Fell in love. Got engaged. And met, for the first time, the family I now call friends- who live not close enough for my taste. Co-taught a teen girls bible study with Timmarie. Realized that I wanted her to become a life-long friend. Got the call that Addison had pushed her way into the world.

2003- Prepared for the fact that my future husband would probably be sent to war. Sold our house. Got married. Watched our country go to war and waited on pins and needles for "the call". Watched as my nephew, Gabriel, came into this world and moved straight into my heart.

2004-Began to understand what people meant when they told me marriage is hard. Went to marriage counseling. Came to rely on the Lord in ways I never had to before. Saw the Lord's hand move mightily in my life.

2005-Got the call that Brody was on his way. Wondered why I was always out of town when Timm had her babies...Discovered I was pregnant and became a little obsessed with all things fetal. Had a beautiful baby girl, finally agreed on a name, and discovered that all my years of training and experience had not prepared me one bit for motherhood.

2006-Became a stay at home mom. Sent my husband across the country to train for war. Tried to offer support to a friend when her world flipped upside down. Celebrated my baby girl turning one.

2007-Sent my husband to war and layed my fears at the Lords feet-repeatedly. Sat with my baby girl in the hospital while she struggled to breathe. Had my character built in more ways than I can count. Welcomed Brandy's second baby boy and had a blast watching the cousins get to know each other. Contemplated buying a house. Had an anxiety attack. Decided it wasn't the right time :)

2008-Welcomed my husband home. Transitioned from a family of 2 to a family of 3. Alivia got to know her dad with much trepidation. Kevin took a job across the state. Got a middle of the night call that rocked my world. Brandy's second son had passed away. Walked with my dearest friends through their darkest days. Knew my life had changed forever. I went back to work part time. Began training to teach military couples on the strong bonds of marriage. During this training, I discovered I was pregnant.

2009-Became the primary breadwinner-on a very small part time income. Experienced more stress than I should have tried to bear. My water broke prematurely and we welcomed a very small but very healthy son into our family. Tried to adjust to life as a family of 4. Discovered head knowledge does not equal heart knowledge. After much prayer and trepidation, I asked Kevin for a separation.

2010-Fought hard for my marriage. Learned a lot of hard lessons about the Character of God. Said goodbye to a brother-in-law and friend. Went to marriage counseling. Had my world rocked in ways I had hoped would never be. Watched the metaphorical house of cards fall. After much prayer, filed for divorce. Began to readjust to life as a family of 3.

My wish for 2011 is that I continue to grow in my relationship with the Lord and that I never grow cold to His unfailing faithfulness. Even in my darkest, loneliest day over the past 10 years, He has been with me. He is my comforter, my protector and ALWAYS has my best interest at heart. I hope that 2011 has less hard lessons. But even if it doesn't, I trust that my God is the same. Yesterday, Today and Forever.