Monday, January 27, 2014

A picture of a picture is worth lots of words

I'm the shortest one. The Joy lookalike. This was my first church. It's the church I wore my red cowboy boots to when Dad was in charge of dressing me. (Mom was in charge for this picture.)

I'm amazed at how young mom and dad were and to us they seemed invincible. I'm amazed at how similar my kids are in age to how old Emmy, Graham, and I are in this picture. Makes me wonder what my kids will be like at my age. Yikes.

Today I ate lunch with them, (Charlie first, then Ty.) I had some bad dreams last night and Satan messed with me a lot this morning. Once I got to the school I kicked autopilot on and waltzed in with Joy trailing behind me. We ate. We laughed. I was on my phone trying to make sense of my anxious morning and hoping to be distracted from my thoughts and in a split second I looked up to see Charlie's face. She was looking right at me and smiling. I wonder how long she'd been watching me. I felt bad for not being fully present with her and told her I had a hard morning and was worried. She threw her little arms around me and said, "That's silly momma I'm right here! There's nothing to be worried about silly."

Shouldn't the roles be reversed?

I've never been more thankful to be her mom. I needed her today, to snap me out of it and get me to reengage. How blessed I am.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I still mourn

There are really good days

Easy we-got-this days

Time has healed quite a few fears for the kids

They don't cry when I leave them or ask me if I'm coming home

They feel secure and hopeful for our little family

Last week Charlie told her little K friends at her table that she's looking for a dad and wondered if they knew anybody. She wasn't expressing sadness-actually hope. It's not wrong for her to hope that, (as she says,) someday she will have a dad to dance with and have tea parties with. Sean would want that for her!

They don't worry when I am sick and have to go to the doctor

They don't ask when I'm going to die

We are worlds ahead of where we used to be

Worlds above the pit of darkness and hopelessness

But I still mourn.

I mourn when I hear that Charlie tells her friends that while she's "looking," (I can't begin to imagine what this means in her little mind,) for a dad she has to tell her little friends that her daddy isn't alive anymore. I mourn that she has to hear their responses to that.

I mourn when I hear Ty say he doesn't have someone like him living in our house "with all the crazy girls"

I mourn when I hear Joy ask Charlie in their room, (when they don't know I'm listening to their HILARIOUS recap of the day,) "Charlie what did daddy like to do? I don't remember."

I mourn when I imagine them getting ready for a dance or (God help us all) a date and it being big bad ME they look to for guidance.

I always imagined my girls having a loving, strong daddy to go on little "dates" with, who could teach them how to date. A man who could treat them in such a way that they never doubted that he loved them wholly and completely. I know the value of a dad in a girl's life. I mourn the loss of that for them even though they will never know any different.

An old friend told me yesterday that God trains really strong women to be single moms, even when they don't feel strong. (Hand raised) He never wants us to feel alone in parenting-but to trust Him more because the thought is just so overwhelming. I hope I can do this job well, I do. It's enormous. All-encompassing. Huge. Valuable. Irreplaceable.

I mourn having a partner to look to

I mourn having a pinch-hitter when I'm sick or tired

I mourn having arms to fall into after a hard day

I still mourn what he's missing, what he lost and what he never saw

I mourn the loss of my happy cookie cutter life

And I mourn my old life...that it was never perfect at all but I was so wrapped up in my little bubble that even I started to believe it was

I mourn the people I didn't try to help through their grief because I "couldn't relate"

I still mourn

I still have hard days, days when i cry in front of the kids because I can't hold it together until bedtime. But I have good days, really good days, even great easy we-got-this days. Somewhere between the two we are making a life. Lots of memories and lots of fun, and a million little jokes that only make sense to us-the four of us.

Our family.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Trip pictures

First, the trip down south to see my brother and his family. On the way there I started coughing. The next morning I felt so bad I went to the hospital where I was promptly diagnosed with the flu.


But we still had a great time complete with a Santa visit, (which really rocked the kids' world since he knew we weren't at our house!)

The day we drive home from their house was the same day I packed my bags to go to South Carolina to visit Maggie, my oldest/lifelong literally from the womb friend. To say I was exhausted is an understatement. I had taken meds for the flu for four days by then but I still felt sluggish. All I wanted to do on the trip to SC was sleep.

Y'all won't believe this...

I slept on the plane.

Moment of silence.

I've never slept on a plane before. Like ever. Sleeping required relaxation on some big levels and we all know I don't do that. Except apparently when I have the flu and I've driven a thousand miles all within a four day span.


Ashley, my other lifelong friend that travelled with me couldn't believe it either. She'd prepared herself to hand my my brown bag to breathe into. Bless her.

So to the SC recap. First, time to fix breakfast for the hoodlums. I'll be back later y'all.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 in one word?

How about "Joyful"

Yeah that describes 2013.

Sadness, loss, loneliness, grief, they were all there. It isn't the absence of those things that determines joy though. It's the realization that on a hard day there is something to hope for and a reason for it all. Don't ask me what the reason is, I'm not there yet. I may or may not have felt raw anger--a maddening level of it--this year too. Yikes. He still loves me and lets me be their momma. He still gives me what I need every day...

Just enough to be joyful.

Lord, this year show me how to yield to You without putting up so much of a fight. This year, show me how to live by faith that YOU'VE GOT THIS in the palm of Your hand. I can just relax and listen. And try to be joyful.

Here there everywhere

I like to escape.

I hate feeling trapped. Planes, tunnels, small spaces I hate. Confined to a certain plan, a certain schedule. Ugh.

I'm a grown up though. I'm getting there. This is not new information for you.

Once school ended for the year we packed the car and drove down to my brother's house for the break. It was partly to distract us from potential sadness and partly to just satisfy my desire to disconnect from the stress I've been under. Big decisions aren't my best time to shine historically. Ahem.

Santa knew where we'd spend Christmas so the kids were on board to leave home for as long as I was. God love 'em I have one always ready to pack a bag and go with me and then I have two homebodies. Can y'all guess who is who?

I have time you can think about it. I'm actually in the air flying home from the trip I left for the day after we got back from the Christmas trip. High five for me getting away from reality! I will tell y'all more about this trip soon complete with pictures...they're all trapped on my phone. I'm pretty fancy as you know. I have Sean's fancy camera sitting at home and I even (kinda) know how to use it, but I don't. That thing is heavy and it usually draws some attention when I pull it out. Then people assume it's mine and that I know anything about it which I don't. They ask why I'm not familiar with it and I start to tell them and then things get awkward. See, I can't just say, "It was my husband's and now it's mine." Oh no, not me. Y'all know better than that. I launch into one of many life stories and before I know it I've given them much (MUCH) more info than they asked for.


So anyway back to what I was talking about. Anybody know what that was?

Time. Do you know who likes to go anywhere at a moments notice? Which kid is just Iike me?

This kid...

The other two? Home bodies. Twenty minutes into an outing I hear, "When can we go home?" Every time. Well except if we are at a water park. Or build a bear.


We drove down to Graham and Ana's in one day and it's a long drive. A. Long. Drive.

We made it and had a glorious time playing in the sun and doing things we haven't done in months at home because of the cold weather. Parks, playgrounds, and more parks. Cousin time rocks. So does time with siblings.

We ate lots of candy too. Can't leave that out. Oh and Lord knows we found a bowling alley. The new obsession of Ty's actually suits all four of us. Who'd have thought? I do wish bowling alleys wouldn't all play music so loud you can't hear anything else though. Do people bowl a better game, (Is that proper bowling lingo?) when loud rock music is blaring? Is there scientific proof of this?

I gotta get out more.

You were thinking it too.

Bye y'all. We're landing. My palms are sweating. Thank goodness for Xanax or I'd be in a heap of am anxiety attack after this flight. It was one of those where people probably had their hands up like it was a roller coaster.

Not my favorite kind of flight.