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."