Saturday, December 29, 2012

On a day like this

There are days filled with memories and longing and there are days with joy and hope. The best are the combination of all of these. Memories help teach the kids about who Sean was. Longing keeps me in the mindset that I need Jesus. Joy helps me when I don't feel great or feel overwhelmed and hope is crucial for my outlook.

I look for ways to celebrate, (I always have,) and soon we will celebrate the ending of one year and the beginning of another. I hope for a happy new year, like all of you. I can hardly wait to see what God does this next year! I've dreamt lately of new beginnings, new people coming through my path. Dreams like this are happy. Some of them involve ministry in the sense that I will devote working hours to helping people. I feel more ready to return to counseling, though not in the same way I did before. Sometimes in the dream I am getting dressed up to go somewhere new, and I can feel butterflies in my stomach...

You know where this is going. I have dreams about going on a date. In my dream I feel unsure, insecure, and like I'm 12 again. I always wake up and think, "What am I gonna do if this ever happens?!" I confided in a friend a few days ago and I asked her what she thought. She laughed and said that she remembers me telling her about one of my dreams soon after Sean died. In the dream he told me he wants me to get married again and have a full, happy life. She pointed out that I've already had the conversation with him about it and now it's just between me and God. And that it's okay to think about. So I'm thinking about it. I'm praying about it and hopeful that the Lord has plans for me to know love again. I'm putting this out there now while there is nothing to reveal, and I will be careful and thoughtful about going into detail here when it does. I'm believing fully that my life is complete as it is but I'm hopeful that there is more in store in the future. Now in my normal honest way I'll go ahead and tell you that it will be a clear God thing for me to even find time to date! Well and who in their right mind would take this circus on? (I say that with a smile...I'm a circus all on my own as you've learned.)

Enough about that...on to new projects:

Painting some, trying to copy others...the Italian painting is from Pinterest. I don't have a talent like that that I'm hiding from you. The "Let her sleep" sign is from a blog and I plan to copy it for the girl's room. Give me paint and I'm a happy girl.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Great Wolf Lodge

Wow. What a fun place. We are all taking naps now for like 3 days. Thank you to the Wilborns for such a fun trip!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Those people took my chair

I'd tell you about meaningful things if I had any more brain power left tonight. Instead, a few things I've heard around my house this week:

"Is today my birthday?" "No, not until May." "Is tomorrow my birthday?" "No your birthday is in May." "Is yesterday my birthday?" (Joy)

"She is trying to scare me with her bobo." (Ty) Joy has turned into a mooning offender. I'm not sure what to do about this.

"If you say that one more time mommy I'm canceling your party."
(Can you guess who said this? Her party was almost cancelled 213 times last month and her name starts with a "C"

"Uh mom the kitty is eating a bug." "Is it dead or alive?" "It's legs aren't moving anymore so I think it's dead...yep he's a goner. I'll call the Orkin guy he'll be excited." (Charlie)

"I don't go to school over Christmas break? Well you should tell my teacher mommy she will wonder where I am." (Ty)

"I told Santa what I wanted but I forgot the most important thing." "What is that?" "What I really want is guinea pig." "Too bad if you didn't tell Santa that's not happening...EVER." (Joy)

"Mommy did you know I like fruit now?" "No, which kind of fruit?" "grape Popsicles." (Ty)

"I'm sick I can't go to school. I need to just sit with you at home and eat ice cream." (Charlie)

Reported from Ty's teacher..."Ty, what's your middle name?" "Well it used to be James but now my name is Ty Brave Wilborn since I did so much brave stuff Popeye said we need to change my middle name to brave."

"Guess what! If you look up at the sun in the day it makes you be able to see circles all over the place." (Joy)

And finally, oh wait, you need a little back story first...

I sold all of my bedroom furniture. I gave away some of the living room stuff too since it brought back memories so I found a couch and needed to get rid of this oversized chair I've had since grad school. It had words written in red permanent marker on it. (Thank you Joy,) and it was just old and ugly. Anyway, Dad and I moved it up to the road and put a "free" sign on it. I was out running errands when mom called to say someone stopped and talked to her about taking it then loaded it up and went back toward the house to pick toys up and then looked up to see Charlie and Joy walking hand in hand in the middle of the street. They know how big if a deal this is and they know how big of trouble they get in if they cross our DO NOT CROSS THE BLACK LINE mark...but they were doing it anyway. Mom ran after them and got them back to the yard and asked what in the world they were doing.

Charlie, "Well Nattie Joy was just so sad that somebody took our chair so she was chasing after their car and I came to help her." Then Joy chimed in, "They stole my chair I want our chair back! I go catch them and say give dat back!" Joy cried about the chair for ten minutes. She watched us carry it out of the house and I told her we were giving it away. I mean it wasn't a surprise. The drama runs deep around here.

So the final thing I've heard around my house...

"Those people took my chair!"

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A year later

Last December 19th started out an ordinary day and ended far from ordinary. It started out like many days before it: Me sleeping late (7:30!) thanks to my early-rising husband. He got up with the kids and let me sleep. I woke up to laughter coming from downstairs. A new house, a fresh start in my hometown. We were sore from putting the brand new trampoline together two days before. My first two steps down were so painful I yelped. He laughed.

We ate breakfast and got ready for the day. He was happy. Carefree. More carefree than he had been in a long time. I told him I was glad he was happy and joked that he finally settled into the slower pace of life in a small town. He said he'd fully settle in once he could get Uverse or Fios. Oh and an In-n-Out.

We played outside around the trampoline. The kids jumped without a care in the world while he picked up the extra springs we'd left out on the grass. It was his nature, picking up as he went. He hated leaving something unfinished and hated leaving a mess after finishing something. The kids kept laughing and jumping when I went inside to make lunch. I made grilled cheese sandwiches and cut up apples for each plate. Such a normal day.

While the kids were finishing their lunch I washed dishes and unloaded the dishwasher. He was working in the office putting things in their place. I sent the kids back outside because I knew it was supposed to start raining mid-day. They ran straight back out to the trampoline.

He came into the kitchen and said he had to go to the bank to deposit some checks. The bank was always his thing, and when I had to go to the bank he had to give me a tutorial. I handed him a check from my purse, (have no idea where all the checks were coming from now,) and kept washing dishes. Then I remembered that I'd opened the mail already and there was a check in it so I ran out the door to my car to get it. As soon as I came outside I saw him kneeling beside Ty talking to him. I yelled that I had one more check and he looked at me then said something to Ty and hugged him. I said, "Uh you're just going to the bank, right? Why are you hugging Ty?" He said Ty wanted to come with him but he'd said no so Ty was sad. "Oh well then can't you just take him?" He said it'd be a quick trip and he knew Ty would rather be jumping. At that moment Ty remembered the trampoline and ran off. I turned back around to go inside without another thought.

Twenty minutes later I got a text that started the upheaval of everything I knew. It was full of torment and pain, leading to disbelief and shock. It was a nightmare that stood still. It was the lowest hour I've ever known. The darkest day. Darkness, fear, abandonment.

By the end of that day all that I knew changed except for one very crucial thing. God was there with me when I started that day, He was with me throughout the entire day, and He was with me when the darkness in my heart finally matched the darkness of the night. He was, and is, my stronghold.

Jesus came to save the world on Christmas day. People often tell me they wish this had not happened so close to Christmas. I disagree. There is no good time to experience loss of course but in my heart I know this to be true: Christ came to redeem the mess and the anguish that this world has in it. There is no more direct reminder of this gift of hope and new life than that baby on Christmas Day. He came to save us, to give us a chance at knowing abundant life if we'll let Him in. We need a Savior and there is only One. His name is Jesus. I am here, a year later, because of Him.

Friday, December 14, 2012

He has promised

God hath not promised
Skies always blue
Flower-strewn pathways
All our lives through.

He hath not promised
Sun without rain
Joy without sorrow
Peace without pain.

But God hath promised
Strength for the day
Rest for the labor
Light for the way,

Grace for the trials,
Help from above,
Unending sympathy,
Undying love

There are no words for today, for tragedy, that will make sense of it. There is only God, who never sleeps or turns from us. He restores what evil destroys. The evil in and of the world says nothing can come from horror or pain, that fear is our only option. But for anyone who believes in Jesus Christ, hope abounds.

Come Lord Jesus. Be near.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


A little different from picnics when it's warm outside. If you ask my kids what their favorite restaurant is they say Target. And IHOP is becoming a new regular. Nothing like smelling like maple syrup all day.

I woke up at 9:30 this morning. Glory.

Mom and Dad have moved back in until Christmas. I'm so thankful. They help in practical ways but more than that it's fun just having their company. I knew that I'd need extra help around the anniversary and they were quick to offer help. I am blessed indeed.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

All Clear (kind of)

What happens when you say, "Joy, smile."

I can't explain this.

I got the call from my dr that my blood work is all clear-no diabetes, thyroid problems, mono, or blood disorders. So relieved that my body is healthy! So...why am I so tired all the time?

Depression. You've seen commercials and heard about what depression can do to your body, even if you feel able to face things emotionally...well even though I'd say I have more hope and joy now than 11 months ago, my body still feels the depression. It's shutting down energy-wise. I have aches in my neck all the time too, which I thought was something related to how I sleep. Nope, that's depression too.

I've been open here about having anxiety attacks in the past. I see no reason to hide the depression either. I'll switch my "crazy pill," as we call it in my family, to one more geared toward depression and go from there. I'm also supposed to rest when I need to and exercise, drink water, you know the drill. I think that a trip to a beach is somewhere in my plan of recovery too but I may have made that up. ;)

Busy weekend around here so I'll go get things started. More pictures from last week to come...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Mom and the cats

This picture is not staged at all. This is what happens every time Mom is at my house. Georgie, (the gray cat,) comes to see her and she scoots or runs away. Mom, not the cat. The cat likes Mom and meows at her like, "Uh...I know you love me so pet me." Mom is terrified of her.

It's like a bad blind date.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Elf on the Shelf


This year I bought an Elf and got the book all ready to read tonight at bedtime. When are you supposed to start setting up scenarios for the elf around the house? Anyway. Not my point.

Tonight after we brushed teeth, combed hair, and found blankies I told the kids there was a special treat for them in the girls room.

Off they went and then I heard Joy say, "Mommy it's a little boy!" I walked in to find them all crouched around the Elf and the accompanying book. I opened the book and started reading. They stopped me after each page and asked questions. "How does he talk to Santa? Do his eyes move? Does he talk?" It went on every time I turned the page. I finished the story and asked them what they thought we should name our elf. All very normal, right?


Joy started crying first. Then Ty. Then Charlie. Suddenly no one could even talk because of all the crying. Am I missing something? I thought about what they could possibly be crying about and finally Charlie said...

"We don't want the elf to be alive Mommy he might scare us!" Ty started in about how much he didn't even like the elf because "WHAT IF THE ELF GETS ALIVE WHILE I SLEEP AND GOES IN MY ROOM THEN I'D BE SCARED FOREVER MOMMY."

Something is wrong with my parenting y'all. I've never heard of kids being anti-Elf on the shelf. I mean where have I gone wrong?

I finally got them to calm down when I promised them I'd call Santa and ask him to make sure we got a toy elf, not a magic one. Even after this promise they prayed during their bedtime prayers that God would keep them safe from the elf.

I'm not kidding. Good night.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I've said it a million times...

I could not make this stuff up.

Thursday morning I took the cats, (still not sure why I have cats after a lifelong love for dogs,) to "fix" them and then went to the Chi Omega Christmas craft show. We had a really fun day and then came home in time to pick up the kids from school. All went fine that afternoon and night and then Friday morning I went to help at Ty's Kindergarten PowWow. It was so fun to watch them sing their songs they'd practiced and I got to meet the other widow whose son is in Ty's class. Turns out we were in school together and I can tell we will be friends. So this is the normal, happy parts of the last few days.

After the PowWow the girls and I went to pick the cats up from the vet's office and once we got in the car I thought we were at the beginning of a smooth weekend. Charlie was talking to the cats telling them how sorry she was that they had to have surgery and that's when I smelled it. I asked the girls what the smell was but I knew it pretty quick. I checked for a visual and that didn't take long either. One of the cats had pooped in the carrier they were BOTH riding in. In the car. Windows up. On a ten minute drive home. Naturally I did what any person with a sense of smell would do and pulled over. I dumped the cats out of the carrier onto a towel that I magically had in my car and cleaned the carrier with...what wipes. Then it got really interesting. The cats have never been in the car without being trapped in their carrier. They've also never been under anesthesia. The combination of those means that for the ten minute ride they made about 25 running laps in the car. The girls thought it was hilarious and I think I would have too if I'd not been driving. One of the stops on their race track was under my pedals.

Halfway home Charlie said she was carsick from watching the cats run around so I rolled down her window. Peppa, (the cat,) almost made it out the window before I caught her back leg. Windows rolled up the rest of the way. Got it.

When we got home I parked in the garage and closed the door so I could just let everybody out at their own pace. This went better than expected. Everyone was happy to be back home and I got ready for our slumber party with Audrey. She's in Ty's class and he has the most innocent, pure, sincere love for her. The girls love her too and to help her parents who are good friends of ours I offered to keep Audrey while her parents went Christmas shopping. All three of my kids made fun plans for what they were going to do when Audrey was here and when I picked Ty and Audrey up from school all four of them were squealing. Fun was ours for the having. I painted their faces and fed them junk food. We watched Tom and Jerry and talked about what we wanted for Christmas.
We all had a slumber party in my room so they were all lined up in a row beside my bed. I got them to bed pretty early and settled in for my usual 10+ hours of sleep. At midnight the game changed.

I heard the dreaded noise and knew immediately it was Ty. I jumped up out of my bed, scooped him up, got him into the bathroom as far away from my room as it gets and started a five hour process of helping him through the vomiting virus. Once I got him settled in his room I sprayed everything in my house with Lysol and put a hefty dose around the (still sleeping) other kids. All I kept thinking was not only is our weekend looking rough but also Audrey's and probably her whole family's as well. Oh wait I forgot an important part.

My mom has the flu. She's been in bed for two days and can't get up without spiking a fever.

Okay so I made myself a bed in Ty's floor and alternated helping him, spraying Lysol, doing laundry, and checking on the girls for the next 5 hours. I called for back-up at 5:30 so at 6 Dad walked in riding a white horse to rescue the girls in the hope that they might be spared from the virus. Stay tuned on that front.

Ty and I have both slept on and off all day and I think he's on the mend. Apparently the cats recover from hysterectomies in 24 hours so they're taking turns knocking ornaments off the tree. Life is good.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Last Christmas

Last night I started decorating our Christmas tree. One by one I took the bins off the shelf in the garage, having no memory at all of putting them there last year. Maybe mom or dad put them away. Probably. They still lived here when we took the stuff down so that's what happened.

I have very few memories of Christmas last year. I remember sitting in the hallway outside my room before the kids woke up. I sat with my head on my knees and just asked for strength to get through the day. I was still in shock then, which is a common blessing in the aftermath of a sudden death. I felt numb, unable to go to the depths that I knew were lurking in the distance. There weren't any tears that day, which I constantly felt guilty about. People sent texts and messages but I couldn't focus on anything. I pressed my head harder against my knees and kept repeating, "Just get me through today, just today before the pain takes over." I remember planning the day in my head while I was sitting there, imagining the kids' excitement about presents, then getting them dressed to be with family. "Just for today..." There was such a long scary road ahead that I didn't want to start yet. "Not today, not Christmas Day, Lord, please."

Suddenly I heard somebody wake up and start squealing. My thoughts vanished. Autopilot kicked in. I'm a parent. I can't stay here. Have to get up, get moving. So I did. Autopilot served me well that day. It served me well for quite a few days.

It's imperative that you hear this-even in the foggiest of days when I didn't consciously seek God out, He showed up. I tell you this because often people ask how we got through those days. How did we get through Christmas? The answer is not that I had some great faith. Not at all. I was held together by others' faith and prayers. People interceded for me when I couldn't form coherent thoughts. When I had no desire to pray for fear of what might happen once I started to feel anything. Plus there was an awareness in my heart that Sean was able to hear my prayers and I wasn't ready to talk to him at all. I was so mad, felt so betrayed, so abandoned.

That night we drove around the neighborhood to show the kids the lights for the thousandth time. I thought.


Christ came.

He was born.

He came to save us from ourselves, what we do, what we have the potential to do.

We have a chance.

It brought me a deep sense of peace.
Not all people have the chance to cling to the very breathe of life He came to give. I can. I have nothing else to hope in. Nothing else to save me or protect me. He is for me this year. Every year. He came for me.

That day I started feeling peace. Not happiness, not closure. Nothing even close to either of those. But there was peace.

I consciously paid attention to the details of each ornament last night. There are some from my college days, one of the bonfire. Today is the anniversary of when bonfire fell. I lived near the campus that year and woke up to sirens and helicopters. A very different tragedy than the one we lived through but I can grasp a bit more what family members must have felt. It's no coincidence that I saw it last night. Another reminder that life is fragile. It isn't a given, it isn't promised. It's time to make the most of what we have been given. For me this means enjoying the lights, the excitement of Christmas with the kids but also being grateful for the Truth that He came to us to save us. To give us the promise that one day the pain will stop and we will get to be with Him forever. If I can focus on that leading up to Christmas I will be able to to enjoy the other things.

Ty has been so sick. Last night's decorating was a good break from tending to him. (He was asleep when I started the tree.) He is finally able to keep liquids down so I'm hoping he's on the mend. Nothing like a virus to keep you praying right? Y'all have a happy Sunday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Oh happy day

Last night

I made a fire. It was magical. The kids have no memory of last year when we built fires in the fireplace.

That's the awesome thing about kids. Every day is magical.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Early bird gets the worm or the wisdom or whatever

Hey y'all. Is Joy inheriting my sense of style or what?

Taking a few deep breaths last week was good for all of us. Rest has always been good medicine physically for me and it turns out its really good spiritually for me too. Not resting like secluding myself and staying away from God. Rest as in just burying my head in a safe place and pushing pause on my plans. My solutions. My longings.

Lately I've had the opportunity to trust the Lord for everything that I hold dear. My fear for our safety has been in full force. My anxieties about the future went through the roof. Facing life as a single parent head-on, I decided it was time to saddle up. The first half of the week I did all that I needed to do tangibly to keep us safe. Realizing that a tiny thing can wreak havoc in a woman's mind I stopped short of hiring a sniper to sit on my roof. I mean, every now and then we may blow things out of proportion. Just putting that out there.

Anyway, none of that is the point. The point is what I did the second half of the week...gave up control of the need to control. I figured out that for a non-control freak giving up control for just about everything isn't hard. I've got that down. But. Giving up control that I'm the protector of my kids, putting our vulnerabilities out there for the taking-that's something I just couldn't do. Last December 19th my role as a mother changed. No longer could I protect them from heartache and fear. That changed in an instant. My role became protecting them from harm, the way their daddy had done before that day. And became the one people have to answer to on all accounts. More important that any of that, though, it's my job to show them who God is. How He is our shield, our defender. He is good enough and safe enough to put all of our eggs in His basket. If they see me choose the freedom God offers me every day then they will want to do the same thing when life isn't easy. Even more important than this (very important thing I can teach them,) is that I make time to BE WITH HIM to learn these things. My kids benefit far more from seeing me pray and read my Bible than from me telling them they should do those things. Let's just put something else out there-it's hard to read anything with little kids in your vicinity. I mean y'all I've already used all of my brain cells today and it's noon. But last week was so refreshing for my spirit and heart that I'm gonna do what I said I'd never do.

Wake up earlier than my kids.


They wake up early. To their credit the go to bed early so ill take it :) But I love sleep. I've relied on one of the kids to wake me up the last six years.
Who doesn't want to wake up to a little pair of eyes staring at you at the edge of the bed? The bonus is when they bring presents. My gift-giver is Joy. She thinks its okay to wake up before her princess alarm clock as long as she brings me something. It goes like this:

"Mommy is it time to wake up?"
"But I brought you dis bewtiful neckwace to wook at."
"Did your alarm clock go off?"
"Then it's not morning."
(By now I'm fully awake)
"But it is Mommy it's a tiny bit wight outside see?"
"That's the moon."
"Oh de moon is bewtiful mommy."

Yep that's almost every morning.


I'm gonna take Proberbs 31 more literally. Oh look, I'm already doing the sewing part...



Not really sewing I guess but fabric and staple guns count. They totally count.

I have lots more to tell y'all but I've gone on long enough. For today anyway.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Flashback Friday

Rest. It's time. After spinning my wheels and trying to stay ahead of the surprises, I'm out of energy. The aftermath of what happened almost a year ago can still wear me out. It keeps coming. Chases me. Haunts me in my dreams where my defenses are down. So for a little bit I'm gonna rest. Nothing drastic, nothing to worry about. Just rest.

Matthew 11:28
"Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Not even bullet points would help you with this one

Halloween costumes this year were so easy I kept waiting for one of them to rip or something. Mine would be the most likely to rip for obvious reasons. Well maybe not so obvious since I strategically placed a kid or two in front of me in this picture. Cheerleading uniforms don't give a whole lot and they sure don't hide anything related to three pregnancies. The whole night I was mortified that we used to walk around in these without the layers I added underneath. Yikes.

We have had fun going to parties where candy and bounce houses abound. I'm still in shock that my kids didn't have cavities last week at the dentist so I'm letting them have at it candy-wise. Y'all have I told you about the dentist visit? Grab a chair.

I made appointments for all of them at the same time. Misery loves company right? Ty and Charlie have been to the dentist before but this was Joy's maiden voyage. I took Mom with me and at some point she brought Dad in to help. I think he came somewhere between Ty grabbing onto the light fixture and Ty grabbing onto other various permanent objects he could find. He cried. He begged. He freaked. I had flashbacks of Sean holding him down the last time. Mom had a silent heated exchange with Sean at one point because it was yet another thing he should be here for. Those things, they don't stop. We plow through, we are having a fun, full life, sure, but things creep up. Things that are hard like the dentist and shots at the doctor. Donuts with daddy days, and when they see their friends learn to do things with their daddy's help. Every day is another chance to teach them about counting blessings and thanking God for what we DO have: grandparents, four of them, who would do anything for them and to help me. Godly, loving men in our families and even family friends who can put their bikes together or help me with car issues. A God who they're learning about that cares for them and hears their prayers.

An obvious answer to one of my prayers that I learned at my teacher conference last week--there is a little boy in Ty's class who lost his daddy in an accident. His teacher told me about the day that the boys realized that they both had daddies in Heaven. The light bulbs went off and they talked to her about it. She told them that her dad is in Heaven too and that they all know each other up there.

Does that show you how The Lord works? Y'all, He knows. He knows that I was heartbroken imagining my kids as the only ones without a daddy to brag about. They're not. Not only that, Ty's teacher is just the funniest, sweetest thing. The "little things" of our lives are not always overlooked.

I love the song, "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross." Sunday morning our pastor talked about the man who wrote it and the rest of the sermon I thought through the words.

"See, from His head, His hands, His feet. Sorrow and love flow mingled down. Did ever such love and sorrow meet? Or thorns compose so rich a crown?"

It changed everything. It still does.

Seasons are changing...(praise Jesus,) and life is going and moving on. The year mark is around the corner and we've celebrated almost every holiday in the year already. Thanksgiving will be the last one and so far I have no plans to skip the country. Now I may be in talks soon after this year you never know. I still entertain the thought of moving and starting over. I've always wanted to live in Colorado. Ooh or Montana. Or I might stay put. Probably.


Y'all be careful tomorrow and remember to try your kids candy to make sure it's safe ;)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Go on

For them, because of them, focussing on them. It has worked to a great extent. Going on, moving on. Life makes it happen. Physically it's taking a toll that I can't ignore anymore. Whether or not what I'm experiencing is tied to emotions is yet to be determined. Fatigue is constant. It's hard to function at times so it's time to figure out what's going on. Heading to the doctor in the next few days to see. I appreciate your support and prayers!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Flashback Friday

I'm not sure where my girls get that drama. Yet another mystery...

Cold weather date

There's something about a big cold front that makes you giddy. We woke up to take Ty to school and planned our girls' day-o-fun. First stop, donut shop. From here, the sky's the limit.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hello Fall

Notice we're still all in shorts...

Oh and it was windy. My hair is big but its not that big.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Ty has been jamming with his drum teacher, Tony. He's got "crazy hair," so we thought Ty should get some too.

The cats are surviving constant attention, (torture.) The girls are so crazy about them and I'm loving how easy they are to take care of.

Ty has decided that PE is his favorite thing.

Charlie's favorite thing is still being in charge.

Joy's...her blankie. Well, and her momma. That girl will try to take both of us to kindergarten.

And maybe that'd be okay.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I bought this magnet last Summer. It sits on my fridge and I see it maybe 400 times a day, (as many times as I retrieve cups, snacks, treats.) Does anybody else want to ditch real plates and cups and use disposable stuff full-time? Wouldn't that be a game changer! I'm fine washing dishes. Really I am. Putting them back where they go is a bit of a challenge. Stuff never fits where it's supposed to. This is not even what I meant to talk about. Sorry.

Okay so rainbows. Thunderstorms. Magnets. Back on track.

I saw Amy yesterday and she looks like herself, sounds like herself, and cracks jokes like herself. God is healing her--slowly---slower than any of us would prefer. She's getting better though. I cannot imagine the frustration she feels going from a very fit strong athlete to a fatigued patient. I told her yesterday that if anyone can beat the odds and improve quicker, go home faster than they expect, it's her. I believe that The Lord is doing things through her situation to bring good and emotional healing to her and to the rest of Sean's family. Will you pray for something specific with me? She told me yesterday that what they give her to sleep is causing her to dream a lot. (I know a lot about crazy dreams...different post...sorry) She dreams that Sean is there with her in her room laughing and making fun of her, (totally what would be happening--I mean he was her older brother and as much as he loved her he'd have never missed the opportunity to poke fun at how she's feeling,) She teared up telling me that every day she lives through the process all over again realizing that he's gone and isn't coming back. It's like her grief is frozen because she can't stop dreaming. She has not told anybody about the dreams and I told her that from now on people would pray specifically for her dreams to be peaceful and that if he's in her dreams it would be healing, not a reminder of losing him. Bless her heart. If y'all wake up and pray will you pray for Amy? Thanks. I used to have the same dream as her but thankfully don't anymore. Now if I dream about him it's more of a conversation about the kids, what they've learned or done, and he always says, "I know! I saw it!" It's happy and light-hearted, kind of a catch-up with him and its peaceful. It's as if I am permitted inside Heaven for a little bit sometimes. What a gift resulting from prayers of people who support me and our family that I never wake up in torment anymore! God is so good. I want this so badly for Amy, his sister who misses him so terribly too.

Rainbows offer hope-and like I told an old friend this week who asked how I was doing, hope is great medicine. Yes, there will be more storms in my life. I'm not big on comparing things we go through, y'all know that. Your hurt and my hurt-its all just pain. Doesn't matter what brings it or what causes it. It's what you do with it that matters. How I use it to retreat, withdraw or blame. How I use it as an excuse to cut people off and go it alone. Or hopefully how I trust Him with it. Only then is there a chance at healing, moving through it, learning from it, and keeping your heart open.

A long time ago a client told me she was done exposing her heart to people. She had been hurt by the person closest to her and no one believed her. People accused her of making it up for attention. She came to me as a last resort at trusting someone. Every week she'd talk about how mad she was and how betrayed she felt. Then one day she sat in front of me and asked why I didn't endorse what she was doing. Why wasn't I giving her the go-ahead to write everybody off. I told her I knew she was just hurt and afraid. "I'm not afraid," she said. "Yeah you are." "No I'm mad! I'm not treated fairly! How can you not see that?" She was about to leave. Mad mad mad. I told her that retreating, cutting off, putting up walls, it's all just fear. Fear of being hurt, of never recovering from it. I reminded her that the truth always comes out if you pray for it to. In God's time, it always comes out. If you're falsely accused or getting away with lying, it always comes out. So she sat there, thinking and then crying. She didn't talk for a long time. Then, "I know that it happened. I will try to trust that God will keep me safe. Is that really all it takes?"

That's where it starts. Then, as childish as it sounds, you count the rainbows. The promises, the Truths. You cling to them during the storms. When hope is lost you find it again in Scripture. You realize and embrace that you were made for a reason. You are loved and provided for by a loving Father who will give you what you need, against all reason this world will give you. Safety. Rest. A place to belong.

Lord I am grateful for Your protection of my heart. Only You are able to give me the peace that I have and the hope for more rainbows in the future.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Flashback Friday on Sunday

And yesterday...

So we cheated by two months. Ty kept telling me he's 6 now so he couldn't wear the 5 shirt. I mean the kid doesn't miss anything. And bless your heart of you try to get him to lie about something. "It's okay Ty just pretend you're still 5..." "But I'm not mom not at all I'm 6." "Ty just act like you like that since somebody gave it to you..." "But I don't mom I don't want to tell a lie."

He makes me question myself sometimes.

It was a fun weekend around here. Two birthday parties where I had as much fun seeing my friends as the kids did seeing theirs. Lots of cleaning up the house (my mom saves me,) painting, and I got to go to a movie. Y'all, I'm 90 years old.

But I'm a happy might-as-well-be-90-year-old. Thankful that today is better than yesterday and there are bright things on the horizon. God is good.

Friday, October 12, 2012


If we are friends on Facebook you saw my post about Ty facing his biggest fear this week. I had a talk with him on Tuesday night about being brave. We went to the fair on Monday and he liked parts of it and then was afraid of other (predictable) parts. I told him that I knew he didn't like parts of it but that if he'd stayed home because of fear he would have missed the fun. He said he wasn't sure if he could be brave since his daddy was who used to tell him about being brave. Oh Lordy can I take that over please. I will not bash their dad to them because it's not helpful and it's sure not something that will be redeeming for anyone. They've got enough to face in the future without trying to sift through my anger at their daddy.


It's time for ME to tell them about facing fears. Not that I'm an expert or anything but well I kind of am. My way of life now is based on the Truth that if I really trust God to stick with me I don't have to be afraid. Things will come up that scare me, sure, but living in's life-zapping. I work hard at resting in God's perfect and "with-it" plan for me. I do work at it. I'm not trained all the time yet. I guess once I'm there I'll start sky diving and leaving my doors unlocked. Until then, I'll work at it.

Okay so anyway. On Wednesday around 1 my phone rang and it was the school.

(dun dun dun.)

It was his teacher. She said Ty had some news. He got on the phone and this is what I heard:

"Mommy guess what you'll never believe it guess what I did today I stayed in PE the whole time the PE in the gym mom I did it and it was fun mom not scary well a little bit scary at the beginning but then it was fun I was so brave!!!!!" One sentence. Not sure he breathed between words. I dang near cried.

It's been a big deal at our house since PE was the only thing he didn't do at school. He went to a resource room and played a Wii (awesome, I know,) instead. Other than things that come up inside his classroom that his teacher modifies (I'm giving her a kidney if she needs one,) he does what the other kids do. PE was the big hurdle and he did it. He's gotten tons of praise, a few prizes, shout- outs on's been a big deal.

I just overheard my dad and Ty having the best little conversation. Dad said, "Ty I am so proud of you because you overcame a fear this week. You were scared and you faced your fear and then you got to do something great! Most people just give in to their fears and stay safe. You didn't do that and I'm so proud of you."

That alone is like the best conversation ever...but then Ty said,

"Ummm...yeah I was afraid but then I was brave so that's a good thing."


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The fair and the Fall

State fair 2012 was a huge success. Other than a few loud noise hiccups, (unavoidable at the fair,) Ty and the girls really had fun and we ate our weight in tornado twisters. Those are fancy fries in fair language. Yum.

When I was little we went to the fair every year and I don't recall if it was more fun then or now. One of the great blessings about motherhood is reliving everything through their eyes, isn't it? Everything old is new again, even Big Tex. He was a highlight until he started talking then Ty wanted nothing to do with him of course. Charlie kept calling Big Tex the cowboy. "Hey there big cowboy I'm Charlie and I'm a cowgirl. Hey there yee haw!" (Yelling)

Life may be lots of things at this point but dull isn't one of them.

Switching gears...

Amy is steadily improving but still has a long road ahead recovering. There is a caring bridge site for her that I'm gonna link here once I learn how to do that. Help with that is, of course, welcome and appreciated.

The calendar is full of fun things in the next few weeks and months. Fall is in full swing and I'm loving it. God is good to give us great hope for the future. We are making new memories and able to talk about old ones without getting too sad. I'd have struggled to believe it if you'd told me that life right now could be so JOYFUL. Christ is the reason. He is the giver of life, the Savior of this broken world. And His desire is to give all of us the peace that passes understanding, this peace that I have. If you're resisting Him take it from me-He is worth it!

Monday, October 8, 2012

The road to the fair is paved with antibiotics

The great sinus infection of 2012 is finally on its way out if my body thanks to a steroid shot and two days of antibiotics. Maybe I'll stop going to bed at 7 once I'm healed.

Or maybe I'll keep 7 as my bedtime this winter it's hard to tell.

Y'all, Amy is improving and we are all so grateful for your prayers. She's still pretty sick but she's gotten much better. Still in the hospital, still weak and nauseous. There's a treatment plan for once she goes home so I'm taking that as a big step-she gets to go home one day on the horizon. The latest diagnosis is that she has had West Nile and viral meningitis at the same time. Bless her.

Today is fair day for Ty and we are about to pack up and go. It's cold outside and most people who planned on going will just stay home and get cozy but not us. We are going, cozy or not. I'm thinking not.

I have a feeling that once we find that first funnel cake stand all frost bite will be forgotten. To this day that's all my girls remember about the rodeo-"Mommy remember that place that had the funnel cakes?" "You mean the place with the animals and the tractors?" "No mommy just the place with funnel cakes."

I don't know where they get it.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mini me

Me at 2 1/2. Joy is stomping her feet right now saying, "No mommy dat not you dat is me!" She truly thinks its her. I was a little chubbier but I think it's clear she's my kid.

The agenda

Amen and amen

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sleep: it's what's for dinner (and breakfast)

Okay y'all either I'm having psychosomatic symptoms after seeing Amy or I've contracted my own debilitating illness. Or I have allergies for the first time in, oh, 33 years. Or am I 34? I forget.

Today during my free day (all kiddies at school,) I tried to sleep. Like from 5:45-9am all I thought about was climbing back into bed and sleeping until pick-up time. I couldn't sleep so I caught up on some news and paid the bills. Then I ate lunch with some friends and laughed about how we have turned into the ladies from Steel Magnolias. My life, it is a fairy tale.

My real reason for a post tonight is to tell you that Amy is slowly but surely improving. Her eyes still twitch but not as fast and she has been able to get up a little bit to move around. Truly an answer to the prayers of so many!! She has gotten some of her spunk back too, which is so encouraging. I can still hardly believe how sick she has been. Use OFF people. You don't want to feel the way she has felt!

Most Thursday nights I think through the weekend plans and more than ever I'm thankful we don't have any this weekend. Making pumpkin whoopie pies and painting pumpkins, yes. Sleep, sweet sleep, yes.

Okay bye.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Update on Amy

I kinda left y'all hanging didn't I? Here is an update on my sister-in-law Amy. As of today she has been in the hospital for 8 days. After tons and tons of tests-bloodwork, lumbar puncture, MRIs, CT scans--their best guess is West Nile.

I have never seen someone so sick without knowing why. Amy is spunky, a triathlete, a fighter. She can do everything and is always helping other people. Seeing her now you'd never know how healthy she is on a normal basis.

Today I had a free day since all of my kids are back in school. I'm sitting beside her. She's in the fetal position, asking for help, asking to feel better. Please pray for healing. Her eyes have twitched non-stop since last Monday. Severe pain in her head, nausea, fatigue. Her whole body is tired. Up until now they have tried to treat the symptoms as they come but they have not lessened or gone away at all.

Thanks y'all. Believing that today will be the day she turns a corner!

Welcome October

Bring it on October. We are so ready for you!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Flashback Friday

They've grown and learned. They've changed. So have I. Looking back through pictures and blog posts I can see the progress. We went from, "How will life go on?" to, "One day at a time," and now we are settling into, "We are here, we are hopeful, and this life can be joyful so let's live it."

Slowly moving from death to life, day by day. Even more slowly saying goodbye and freeing our hearts from the pain and despair. Even still more slowly accepting what happened and forgiving him. Trusting and hoping--no BELIEVING-- that God is redeeming this season for good.

Sean's sister Amy is very sick and we aren't sure what is causing her pain. She has been in the hospital since Monday and has not gotten any better. Doctors think it may be a virus that has wrecked her body so they are treating her and we hope that she starts to improve today. Will you pray for her with me? This family has seen healing this year but all are worried and weary. Thanks y'all.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The trouble with barking

When it comes from your 3 year-old instead of a dog or a seal.

Croup, welcome to the party. It was only a matter of time. Please only hit one at a time and if you're feeling gracious, just move on. My girl needs to feel better. Momma needs sleep.

I went to the dentist today for the first time in...uh...that's the problem...and I have 3 cavities. Dang bubble gum.

I still drive an hour to go to the dentist. And the pediatrician. I go there tomorrow.

I know, I know. I have breakup issues. But I love them. There is history there and if you haven't noticed, I love the comfort of history.

Ty thinks that being 6 means he can do his own thing. I've told him that if he can feed, dress, drive, and discipline himself that yes, he can in fact move his drums into his room so he can play them to help him fall asleep. Until then they stay put, tucked into another room.

I've decorated for Fall and Halloween. No comments. If I have a bad day I might decorate for Christmas.

I did the exact opposite of what you're supposed to do and abruptly stopped taking my anxiety pill about two months ago. I told my inner circle to tell me if they thought I needed it again and this weekend--in a matter of 2 days--it was clear that it wasn't time to get off of it yet. We have had a couple of challenging weeks around here. Spiritually we are in a battle, (we always are,) but this one is specific to my anxieties. This weekend I hit my wall. Fear came in. I felt small. Loneliness overwhelmed me.

The magical thing about admitting that you feel lonely is that while admitting it the feeling shrinks. After all, once you confide in someone about it, you feel understood. Less lonely. So I bounced back. Actually, I got back into my place.

God stepped in, back to where He belongs: the One telling me which step to take next. Not thinking too far in advance, just for today. And today, we are gonna be alright.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Flashback Friday

Since Ty was about 2 he has gone to the Home Depot kid workshop the first Saturday of every month. Usually just the two boys went but sometimes I wanted to go too I mean the girls wanted to go too.

This was one of those times. Even if I hadn't taken this picture I had the presence of mind to save this scene in my memory. Home Depot was Sean's happy place. Sometimes he'd go all the way there to buy stuff I know good and well he could've gotten at Target. When things were looking rough at Delta we talked about him getting a job at Home Depot, which I think he would have liked. He loved actually flying but hated everything else about his job, but the main thing he hated was being gone for four days a week.

Now I can see how that work schedule prepared me to be a single mom. I was used to doing it on my own a few days at a time. Four days of cereal or sandwiches for dinner, four days of wishing I had someone to talk to after bad dreams, four days of solitude...minus the circus of course.

The solitude isn't a bad thing, not always. I love being by myself sometimes. I've always liked going to movies by myself and walking around new places by myself. This phase is not as scary as I thought it'd be.

Thankfully Ty has gotten to go to the workshop since we moved back here, and the great part about a small town is that it's not very crowded. Dad has taken him, (because Ty says when you go to Home Depot it's "man stuff.")

Wonder who taught him that?


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Strike a pose

All was well during the walk to ballet. It was a beautiful day and the girls loved strolling around downtown. Life unplanned, unposed.

Until she noticed.

She saw me with my camera (phone)

It all changed.

Who me? Oh yes you're taking my picture?


I love being a mom.