Sunday, November 30, 2014


If you'll permit me to just jump right in and start fresh that would be great y'all. It's been so long...

First, Charlie just turned 7 Saturday. She hasn't had her party yet so she said she doesn't feel older yet, (typical Charlie,) but we had a fun weekend doing things to help celebrate her. She's just so easy to love, that girl. 

I sold a ton of stuff at my first ever go-round at junk in the trunk, a sale in my hometown that happy every few months. I got rid of so much stuff and it was my first time to sell anything I've painted or made. I had a blast. This picture was taken that morning but to clarify: I didn't sell any of my children. After a week off from school, though, I may have thought about it. Ahhh routine I've missed you. Who ever thought you'd hear me say that? 

Today was a beautiful warm day here so it was perfect to try an outdoor shooting range. We came. We saw. We tore it up. Such a fun thing to do with somebody you don't mind acting and looking like an idiot around...I may have loaded the magazine for the gun I was using, (one of my dads .22 pistols,) with the bullets facing the wrong way and then when it didn't work I insisted the gun was messed up. It was Mary. It was indeed. 

A fun weekend to end a fun Thanksgiving break. I'm happy to be back here, where I can tell funny stories and I don't have to worry about being better or more on top of things than I am. December, it's good to be here. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

First day of school

Not a tear was shed. They all walked into the same building for the first time on the first day of school and I was so glad there were no tears.

They were excited and I think only Ty was a little nervous. Joy got all of her tears out during meet the teacher night I guess. I gotta be honest I was worried about her doing a repeat performance this morning but nothing but smiles!

"Mom you can go now I'm gonna color."

Bless her heart this was my only picture of her first day of first grade.

Here he is...big man on campus compared to his sisters. He was nervous but assured me he wasn't. He got in the car after school and said he loves second grade because they do science in second grade and he's awesome at it. Well that's a relief.

I had a wonderful day on my own and didn't get sad about them going to school. I think that one of the blessings of coming back from a dark place like where I've been is that things don't hinge on events like they used to. Will I cry during this school year about the kids being there? Probably. Will I miss them? Yes. Will I have anxiety about their safety there and as issues creep up will I worry? I'm sure I will. But today, I just enjoyed the fact that they were happy to go into school together. For the first time in almost 8 years I was able to decide what I wanted and needed to do without factoring in another person. For like a lot of hours.

The last 2 1/2 years the weight I carry has been very heavy. Even though life has gone on and we have great joy and fun, the weight has been there, resting solely on my shoulders. I've answered so many questions, thought through so many responses about why their dad isn't here anymore. It still gets too heavy sometimes, there I said it. I don't tell everybody or cry necessarily on bad days anymore because, well, it is what it is. Messy, hard, confusing, raw. It's not easy. It's really good and really worth it, this job I have, but it's not easy.

I've thought a lot about why my main emotion today was gratitude. Relief even. Yikes. We aren't supposed to say that out loud, huh. Well, I've come up with something. Maybe today marked the beginning of me being able to rest a few hours each day from carrying that weight. Maybe I felt relief because I didn't have to hold it together for anybody for those hours today. Maybe I could relax and take a deep breath by myself and see what I wanted to do...then go do it. Call it selfish, maybe it is. I loved it though. I was so refreshed after today that I was genuinely excited to see the kids at pick-up. I played more with them tonight than I have in weeks. I felt lighter, like I could take care of me today and that helped me take better care of them. Am I making any sense?

Tonight when I said goodnight to the kids I kept thinking, "Lord thank You that we made it this far, this long without Sean. I wasn't sure I'd ever see this day and I wasn't sure I'd feel whole again enough to engage with the kids and do life. You never left me or made me feel like I carried the weight of this thing alone. Just keep these kids in Your hands Lord. Keep me there too."

I'm going to bed full of peace tonight. It was a great first day.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


The circus goes the the circus

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Being still is hard

Being still is hard. For anybody who has known me a while you know I like to be out of the house on the go, and with as many friends as possible. I love having fun plans to look forward to. I love the thought of moving, starting fresh, meeting new people all the time. I'm a believer that there's only one life and we might as well make it an exciting one. I've looked forward to moving and starting a brand new life with the kids for about a year now. 

Yet here I am. Forced to wait. After praying and trying and figuring and begging God to make things happen, here I am. How can this be happening again? It took a year and a half to sell the old house and move here. Lots and lots of showings. Same story, different house. I feel like I'm being punk'd. 

Except I know this time a lot better than the last time that God is in control. I had never known the pointlessness of my own strength/knowledge regarding the prediction of God's will when trying to sell the last house. Now I know that I can lay out my plans and do my part and that's about it really. My plans aren't what matter. His are. So here I sit. Again. Lord help me I hope not for another year and a  half but maybe this is where He needs me to stay. The waiting room, as some call it. Waiting for His direction and a clear picture of where to go next. 

I've surrendered my timing for sure-I'd have been halfway to Heaven by now if the house had already sold. I'd have finished my initial plans for the move and possibly already been ready to move again. That's the thing...the restlessness is what He's working on. Shoot, I guess He really knows my heart. When it hurts I want to run. To retreat, to turn and run. 
Sitting and waiting isn't what I want. It isn't what I've asked for. 

Lord, I did not sign up for this. 

(How many times have you thought that?) We all have! Waiting and being still, Lord, it's just so slow. I wanted fast, I wanted easy. Not any more of this slow stuff. Healing. Restoration. Ugh...peace. 

That was supposed to be funny. 

Will you pray for my willingness to meet this waiting period with an open heart? And forgive me for the absence. Now you understand where I've been :) 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The one where I make a plan to move to Colorado

I feel like we're still coming off the high we were on last week in Colorado. I feel so at home there which really makes no sense. I feel secure there and I feel safe. Emmy went with us this year and was a huge help of course, not only with the kids but also just with processing what I was feeling during the long drive to and from there. I told her I crave the safety of the mountains-the stability, the concrete boundaries that God so beautifully put together there. You can stay outside all day and never get tired of looking around it's so beautiful. Ugh worth mentioning is that you don't sweat very much even in July. I write that as I picture myself earlier painting outside in the garage wiping my forehead 2400 times because I was (literally) melting. Texas, I love you but REALLY. The two things that are deal breakers for me I live with here: thunderstorms and extreme heat. Ahhhh someday I'll live at the foot of one of those mountains and laugh about the days I'm living now. I'll be laughing wearing a coat in July too, you better believe it!

New books to read, new schedules to make, new plans unfolding. I love this time of summer where you're not ready for it all to start again but you're not wishing for 3 more months of summer either. Gotta run. Y'all be good. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Here there everywhere

Pretty much sums it up...we made it! Two trips down, lots of summer to go. It's been a whirlwind, (as usual,) and God is certainly teaching me some hard lessons...but He's with me, I'm sure of it. I'm happy to be where I am, which is something I haven't said, (or thought!) in a very long time. Hope can do that for you :) 

More pictures coming. Pinky swear.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


We made it! I'm as excited as they are but there was nobody available to take my picture. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

When moms and daughters shop together...

Sometimes this happens at baby showers.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


We loved it. It was exactly what I needed after a tiring few months. Trying to move, trying to make sense of events that took place over the last few months, you name the rug and it was pulled out from under us. A family vacation right at the end of school? Yep, sign us up!

He may have loved it most out of all of us.

So so grateful that Sean's family invites us and gives the kids such fun memories with their cousins. All of my kids loved the waves and the sand this year which made the trip a lot less chaotic than the last few years...I went on long walks this year while they played happily with people within our group and when I got back I didn't find someone in tears yelling, "THERE'S SAND IN MY EYE WHEN CAN WE GO HOME MOM?"

Not even once! I hit the jackpot this year I tell you. It's just so much easier than it used to be. I say that a hundred times a day now I bet. Life overall, it's just much more calm now than it has been for us the last two years. There have been surprises, heartaches, sure, but we are secure now. We know that God has a plan and we trust it, even when it seems mysterious. Somebody remind me of this when I start to panic in a few weeks over something silly okay? Great, thanks. Y'all are the best.

Monday, June 16, 2014

What I see

(Plus one selfie with my niece Emily)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Because He IS greater

Watching the kids play on the beach tonight I finally took in a deep breath-after driving here and dealing with the details that go along with a road trip...well I just overlook a lot of other things. Things like prepping myself for another Father's Day.

It is a decision I make each holiday now-do I do what's easier for me and distract them so the day goes by quicker and painlessly...or do I tell them and allow the floodgates of questions and memories to come in? Before I could decide today Joy yelled from the back seat, "Hey Mom I heard a lady in the hotel say today was Father's Day! What are we going to do for daddy in heaven? Should we throw him a party or send a present?"

So this year we talked about Father's Day, how we all wish he was still here to be celebrated. How we all wish they didn't have to know about heaven the way they do-how they long for it-and how I wish they had a dad to love them through all of this. It got to me tonight, even though we had fun and no one knew the weight of what I was feeling as I watched them play.

How am I going to make this okay, Lord? How can I do this job without him? Do you see me, us, praying for guidance? Are You there? Are You listening? Do you see me so overwhelmed with longing for a shoulder to lean on right now? Do You even hear me?

I looked at Ty and realized I was missing some beautiful moments having my pity party so I took some pictures of him. I looked at his shirt. Yep, He is greater.

Than this. Even this. He is greater. Ok. Ok I get it Lord. You are my Father. You are theirs. I am forever indebted to You because You love me so well, so thoroughly, like a daddy does.

My heart simply overflows remembering that tonight.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

What I've been up to

DIY projects, my very favorite thing to do!

An ombré headboard in the making...

"After" pics soon...

I've been feeling great thanks to a new discovery--Plexus. A Facebook friend kept mentioning it so I researched it a bit and tried it and have never felt better thanks to the blood sugar regulating properties. I wish I'd had this stuff all along! I liked it so much I started selling it so that I got it cheaper and now the business side of it is crazy fun and busy. I've had a blast helping people kick sugar habits and I've...y'all won't believe this...I've stopped drinking diet dr pepper.

Moment of silence.

I know, I know. You don't believe me! Every once in a while I drink one to see if I really don't "need" them and I barely even like the taste. As my friend Gretta says, "Mary likes water now that outta speak volumes about Plexus!" It's so true.

If you see me in real life you probably see more of this now.

The biggest thing I've been doing is cleaning out, moving out, and reorganizing my house so it will sell. It's time. Past time. I'm so excited to start over!

Friends came over for two weeks straight to help me stage the house and I have never liked it more...but I still want to sell it.

Downsizing, new start, the whole thing is just plain thrilling to me.

Oh look what else we've been doing...

Miss Joy graduated from Pre-K...

Complete with diploma and all!

She was so proud.

So was I.

The next week Charlie graduated from Kindergarten...and yep this is my circus in their element.

Ty hanging in there even though he was ready to leave, Charlie trying to convince him to hug her, and Joy being Joy.

Life is crazy. I'm really gonna try to blog about it al more often. I've missed y'all terribly. This is my outlet, and not writing leaves me too full of emotions! Ha. Be back soon :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Danger stranger

Last week while in a pretty safe place with my kids Ty asked me if he could go in the men's bathroom even though it was a big place. He knows I'm fine with him going on his own for the most part since he's not a baby anymore but he also knows to ask in case there's a family one or I'm just dead-set against him going without an adult. I'm a little worried sometimes but I've learned to trust my instincts. Plus we have a code word he can yell and I will come running. Men, consider yourselves warned. 

Well, this particular night Joy needed to go at the same time as Ty, (shocker,) so I told him to come to the women's bathroom right after he washed his hands to find me. A few minutes later he walked in--it was actually more of a saunter--smiling. I asked him what he was so happy about, because, well, it's Ty. This was his response.

"Momma I told that man who tried to talk to me that I was NOT gonna talk to him because I'm not supposed to talk to strangers anyway but really not supposed to in the men's bathroom and FOR SURE NOT HIM SINCE HE LOOKED KINDA SCARY!"

His smile could not have been any bigger. Mission accomplished buddy. Now since we may know the poor man that he just labeled a scary predator I said a quick prayer that he find humor in the situation and move on. I mean if he was just trying to have an innocent conversation with my son he came to the wrong place. Ha! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Too tired for a title

The week started with a bang. Monday morning on the way to school this one said she didn't feel so good. A few hours later she was so sick she fell asleep on my lap which hasn't happened since...I'm thinking since she was 2. High fever, nauseous, the whole shebang. Strep. Lovely.
As we drove home I wondered how long the other two would be safe, so when I heard my phone ringing and saw that it was the school I knew. I knew the way you just KNOW. Another one bites the dust. Sho'nuff Ty had gotten sick during lunch. 

Let me stop for a sec and just say that there are people who don't mind vomit. They just move on and clean it up and carry on with life. I'm not one of those people. And yet, my kids, all of them actually, vomit when they have strep. And they get strep kinda often.  I'm blessed indeed. 

This one has stayed well, thank goodness. He's my favorite.

Look at him. I mean y'all. LOVE.

Tis the season for swinging and swimming, dance recital prep and of course snow cones. In other words, it's my happy season. I love Spring. Minus thunderstorms. No thanks on those. I hear there are people who love to sleep during them. I'm not one of those people either and I now know that Blue isn't a fan either. At least I've had company watching the weather in the middle of the night. 

Bright side, there's always a bright side. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ann said what I was thinking

I've had this picture on my phone the last few days and keep re-reading it. So true and honest. Loss and death are gut-wrenching. Both are around me again, it's just not me dealing with them. It's people I love. I pray I can remind them of His faithfulness during their stormy season. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

We did it. I'm not gonna say "never again," but I hope it's true. Friday was a success but my mind was elsewhere. 

My heart is burdened for two people close to me. It's not my place or right to tell details but it's just burdened and heavy. Lord have mercy. If there's anything I've learned these last few years it's that life is short, and we may never have tomorrow with our children, our parents, our spouse, our friends. Only God knows how long we live here and unless we want to go through life numb, we will know pain. Once we love somebody it's gonna hurt when we lose them. It's gonna hurt when people we love lose people THEY love. It's tempting to try to make myself numb again, but God says there's nothing to fear. Joy will come in the morning. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The one where I'm done with soccer

I'm about done with soccer. It started last week and we go to practice every night, well not every single night but it feels like it. The girls are on the same team and Ty is on a team that practices at the same time but clear across town. 
Yesterday on the way home from soccer practice (at 7:45 pm,) ok wait. 


7:45 in the PM. Almost dark. Past bedtime. In the car with stinky kids. This just ain't right. 

When your kids are normally in/on their way to bed at 7:30 it's just not right to be in the car with ALL THE STUFF hanging over your head that has to be done when you get home at 7:45. Baths, stories, Sheriff Callie episode that makes them all laugh til they cry, brushing teeth, etc. Throwing the night schedule off by hours. Soccer, you're not my favorite. You're messing with my happiness. 


Last night in the car on the way home (7:45!!!!!!) Ty announced that he finally decided what he wants to be when he grows up. This is how it all went down:

"Mom can you turn the music down? I need to say something."

"Sure." (Braced myself)

"Well. I have decided I want to be a soccer coach AND a baseball coach AND also a PE teacher when I grow up. Man I'm gonna be great at all of those don't you think?" 

Me: "Oh yeah Ty that's a great plan." 
Charlie: "Ty you will be a super coach you're really good at soccer." 

He's had two practices in his life.
Two practices. Zero games.

Joy: "Ty you're a really good baseball player so I think that you will have the best baseball team in the world."

Those who watched the last few baseball seasons know this is questionable.
Now let me say that I was pleasantly surprised at how kind the girls were in their responses. I mean, ok good for all of the positive stuff flying around in the car, right. 


Charlie: "Mom I finally know what I'm gonna be now." 

I knew this was coming. Nobody better put Baby I mean Charlie in the corner.

"Yep I'm going to be a school teacher when I get big." 

Joy: "Good Charlie you'll be a good teacher!"

Charlie: "No Joy I said a SCHOOL TEACHER not a teacher. There's a big difference. I'm gonna be a SCHOOL TEACHER Joy you got it?"

Joy: "Got it."

Ty: "Yeah Joy you won't get to go where Charlie is teaching. You're too little. And you for sure can't come to where I'm the PE teacher my school isn't for LITTLE KIDS."

Now they've stirred the pot. 
Awakened the giant or whatever. 
I don't blame her for getting tired of hearing it. I was #3 too. I was "too little, too scared," too and we're sick of hearing it YOU OLDER SIBLINGS YOU. 

At this point I usually shut it down since bad things can come out of Joy's little mouth. She gets scrappy when challenged. 

This time, I was just too tired. Half asleep.
Remember what time it is. (7:45!!!!)

Joy: "Oh yeah well one day I'm not gonna invite you to my birthday party!"

Now she's done it. Below the belt, that one. She has two speeds: happy and scrappy. Not much in between. 

Y'all thought I was gonna say she already cusses or something, right? Nope. Not yet. Just the threats that can cut deep into the very souls of the other 2. The dis-invite to the parties of the future. 

Cut back to the scene

Charlie crying, Ty processing

I say ok stop it guys and I make all necessary threats to shut it down. I'm internally cussing soccer because, why , WHY do we need so many practices before the first game when we all know good and well they'll get out there at the first game and just stand there anyway. 

The season doesn't really even get going until about game 3. 

We turn into the driveway and I politely ask, "Joy, what do YOU want to be when you grow up?" 

"A mermaid."

Y'all she is in a whole different league.
Charlie and Ty just sat there stunned. Why hadn't THEY thought of something that cool? It's like Joy can turn the tables faster than they can come up with a response to match hers. Before they could grasp of the absurdity of her comment they found themselves envious of her answer. 

"Wow Joy. Good one."

I couldn't make this stuff up.

Friday, March 21, 2014

WIW: One Time Wonder

What I Wore: 

Cardigan: Target (old)
Dress: American Eagle
Belt: thrift store
Leggings: Ross
Boots: Old Gringo (eBay)
Earrings: One Little Momma shop on Etsy

Off to a fun night with friends! 
35, let's do this! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

A smaller table

I read a blog post yesterday that hit the nail on the head and explained so well why I want to downsize. Not just downsize, I want to start completely over. The blog is called One Fit Widow and yesterday the author wrote a list of things she regrets. It's a list that touches everyone, anyone, no matter the season of life. Here's a screen shot of what hit so close to home for me.

Keeping things the same was never an option for me--so many things triggered sadness so I painted everything I didn't get rid of. I kept a ton of Sean's things, mostly preserved for a time when the kids can actually appreciate seeing, holding things that were his. I tried to give them things right away and there was an immediate threat of ALL OF THE SAID THINGS GETTING LOST OR COLORED ON so I did what any parent of little kids would do-put it up on high shelves. There are pictures up of them with Sean and that is what I understand to be healthy for them. As far as for myself and my grief, though, every time I passed certain things in the house it caused flashbacks. There weren't many memories with him in the house because he only lived in it for two weeks...slowly but surely though the flashbacks came. To this day driving into the driveway brings back hard memories, clear as can be, from those weeks following his death. It's just the way my brain works. I can't watch scary previews much less scary movies. I can't get images out of my head easily.


Much has been changed, painted, moved, sold, and traded but there are a few pieces of furniture I have that were originally his or from our first few years of marriage. The kitchen table. I repainted the chairs a long time ago. I recover them all the time. Duck cloth from Hobby Lobby and a staple gun=new kitchen chairs. Easy. A few months ago I painted the brown kitchen table white. I thought that would be enough. I sanded it, I repainted it. A different color white. A new stain. Nope. It's full of memories. Dang. It's not that I avoid memories-y'all can imagine how many times a day I see him in an expression or a look from one of the kids! It's just that for me, to go out into the world as a mom and face the future head-on, I need a new start with fewer things, fewer chances to feel less-than. Less than a "full" family, less than a unit. Less than what I once was. It's more than the way things look. I can change all that. Clearly I have already! It's like I've had this internal struggle-my old self vs my future self, and I'm stuck mediating and pacifying them both as long as home stays the same.

I've set our table over and over, (we're talking with plastic decorative placemats and paper napkins, nothing fancy,) and each time I look at our table and think, "This is too big for us. It's too many places, not enough people to fill them." Another reminder. Four placemats, not five. We only need four. We only have four. Four of us. For the rest of our lives, there are only four. We ARE ALL HERE, this is our family. We all pray and hope for more people around our table someday but for now I want to just switch to a smaller table. Less to long for, more to be thankful for. Less pretending everything is the same when so much is not at all the same. Pretending to be okay with the struggle between my pre- and post-loss self, hearing it was normal, etc was fine for a while. Like two years a while. Not anymore. For our family, a new start is exciting and promising, not scary anymore. It's so fun to imagine what life will look like in a few years for us. I don't dread it, I don't wish it would go by quickly, and I don't fear it. Do y'all know what a miracle that is? I know that you do!

Please pray for me as I make decisions and plans. I don't want to be careless, just fearless. Perfect love drives out fear, and God loves perfect love. When fear or timidity creeps in it's just my past talking and I'm tired of listening to it.

It's late so I'm sure I stopped making sense a while back. Oops.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What have I done to deserve this?


This morning Joy came downstairs in her Ariel PJ's shirt and panties. I told her to go put pants and shoes on before we took Ty and Charlie to school. I didn't pay attention to her or her outfit, what with all the chaos that happens here between the morning greetings and school drop-off. Somebody really outta put a nanny cam in my house.

So...we got home and got out of the car and...this.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The game changer

It came on Saturday. For two years I've said, "No," to what I knew God was urging me to do. I knew it the way that you know something you'd bank your whole lot on. The inexplicable peace that only comes from Him finally soaked into my heart. For two years I've asked for this very peace, this very desire to surrender...but I kept it at arms length.

It goes against my prized possession that has camped out in my heart and in all areas of my life-fear. It's finally leaving the building. With it goes bitterness, questioning "fairness," and deep deep (did I mention it's deep?) anger. Oh and also a very raw pain that was accessible at a moment's notice. Goodbye to all of that, not for a season. For forever.

I'm saying "yes," to what comes next. Not that I really know fully what that is. That's the best part of this revelation. That's the best part of what Jesus is doing now in the spaces I've finally let Him into. He can reside there and tell me what comes next when He's ready. It's not about me and (gasp!) it's not even about the kids anymore. The whole thing, the pain, the out-of-the-loop-of-life season, the uncertainty of my own ability to DO THIS LIFE without a partner--it's all what He needed to use to get me here.

He allowed a few extremely hard days and one final blow to my very core because, well, I'm stubborn. At the end of those days came Saturday. Throughout the course of that day, I vividly recalled when I started down the path I've been on. I remember saying, "No," to a life of helping other people through their loss and pain because I felt like I'd always be the one needing to be helped and put back together. The truth is that He may put me back together every day from now until He comes back which He's perfectly able and willing to do. What's still missing from my story is what may be missing until I see Him face to face...and I'm okay with it. Finally. I don't care to understand "why," because He knows. When He shows me or tells me I will be no less or more complete for it. I am complete because once I said, "yes," the hundred of "no's" didn't make Him question me. Just as He said, "Follow Me," I'm jumping at the chance to leave all that i know behind and get out there with Him. Man it took Him a lot of trouble to get me here!

He found me in the storm.

The same storm that I was beginning to think would never EVER let up. Turns out I just needed to stand up and say, "I'm coming." Doesn't matter where, and it doesn't matter when. My life, my kids' lives, they're His and for Him. The One who made us all and allowed me to hold Him back in my little bitty plans for my little family can have His way.

Am I nervous?

Not at all.

I couldn't be more certain that it's the best decision I've made so far as a parent. To show the kids that following Him means stepping out before we know the plan seems like a pretty great lesson for them to learn at a young age, don't you think?

Gotta run y'all. I'm so grateful I get to share life with you!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It's gonna be okay

It was a perfect day with the kids. Well, a perfect day following a rough patch.

Those dang rough patches.

They're still frequent, even when nothing big or visible happens. I'm kinda used to telling myself that it's gonna be okay. Starting when the alarm goes off at 5:49 (??) am until I actually get up, (a hair later,) I go through a mental list of why it'a gonna be okay:

A new day
Can I sleep more
I love sleep
What is today
Two to three lunches/folders/sets of shoes
Got it
Who am I
I'm starving(every.single.morning)
Was it all a nightmare
Ok no
No it happened
It's gonna be ok
I'm still here
That's good
Ok the kids are all here
At least they were at bedtime (I kid. Like any parent it's rare for me to sleep all night without checking on somebody.)

Ok back to my list. Sorry. Dang ADD.

The dog is here, thankfully sleeping and not chewing on something he's not supposed to
We have a cozy place to live
We have food downstairs
Dear Lord let there be watermelon in the fridge
And milk
Both of these things are for Joy, and she's gonna ask for both immediately upon waking
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY but it's been this way for about a year
Which one should I wake first
depends on who actually fell asleep first
That's the best kid to wake Definitely Joy
99%of the time she's first
Ok then Charlie because, well, she always wakes up happy and cuddly and we all need someone like that in our corner
Then Ty since he's a morning person unless the stars are not aligned and then you just never know
By the time I get to him I've had at least part of my breakfast so I've got a good fighting chance.

Before I know it the mental list is overtaken by the actual real-life list and the morning starts.

It's gonna be okay.

My pep talk. It's second nature, such a habit. Most people have a running list from when they first wake I think. Or maybe I'm a crazy nut and if so y'all need to speak up. Does your list resemble mine? Do you immediately start your day in prayer because I so wish I could retrain myself to! I'm trying to set my list aside to do just my lists, my anxieties in Him from the get-go. It just usually doesn't work. I know that if I can release all of the day's plans and challenges to Him first thing that my morning would go much more smoothly. I'm just telling y'all the truth-it doesn't happen most of the time. I prep myself mentally and THEN realign myself spiritually. What's the secret to switching them? I'm all ears. See, I know the truth. I know the difference it makes.

A little info about me, (like the years of oversharing here leave anything to be discovered,) I don't JUST LOVE being alone. There, my secret is out. I have always preferred being with people but especially so the last two years. I go to movies alone. I can go out to eat alone. I love to shop alone and even go on walks alone. That's about it. When the battle starts to rage, I do better when I have someone to talk to. It can even be a kid-but preferably um...not. I like a perspective-check, someone who can talk back, and agree with me that yeah, this one could be a doozy, but hey,
It's gonna be okay.

My point is that I make a conscious effort to be okay. I've trained myself to be okay. I had no choice but to figure out how to be okay. So I'm okay. I'm strong, I'm good with change, I adapt fairly easily. And I'm a glass half-full type. I've had to be. Had to be okay. Being a momma means I've got to make it okay not just for myself but for their sake too.

It's just got to be okay.

The last perfect day, (when I took the picture,) was last Sunday. It was perfect indeed. On days when I feel most alive and ready for whatever lies ahead, I'm overcome with gratefulness. I live moment to moment, constantly seeing the day with my kids as a gift. I move slower but with more purpose. And I smile a lot more as a result of pure joy, not happiness. The days like this are almost too-good-to-be-true.

Except they aren't.

Those days are those few and far between ones when I wasn't able to talk myself into being okay. They usually follow a night full of tears and praying for relief. In short, (you're welcome,) I'm not okay at all those mornings. The loneliness and dread hits immediately when I wake up. Those days, like I said, are few and far between. They're desperate days, when I could no more talk myself into being okay than I could talk Joy into being excited about going to school. NEVER HAPPENS. I'm out of tears, reason, logic, and will to do it all so I just say, "You there? I need You. You're the only One who sees me right now, the only One who knows how sad I was last night. Please lift me up today and help me find You right now, because I don't care to even face today. My kids need me though, so staying here not being okay isn't an option. Will You take over?"

So it begins, one of the perfect days. Joy-filled, not always happiness-filled. He starts my day with a "Yes I'm here. I've got you," and it carries over into every aspect of my life. Things don't fall into place magically and weird stuff that only happens to me still happens. I just know I'm not alone from the get-go...or a few minutes after. It makes all the difference in our family. When I'm hopeful the kids are too. When I'm looking for blessings around me the kids notice that I'm happier. Then they are happier too. Then they don't whine quite as much which, CAN I GET AN AMEN, is just a game-changer.


Not sure what y'all may take from reading this post but I think it all points to this: I'm gonna be okay. And maybe, hopefully better than okay. If sometimes only two years out I can feel such joy that I don't feel guilty smiling and laughing because its coming from the most genuine and joyful place, I can only imagine what lies ahead. Perfect days are ahead of me I'm sure. Teary nights, yes, but then perfect days spent watching and showing them how far God can take us if we hang onto Him. From desperation and mayhem to calm and purposeful. From dwelling on death and the defeat it threatens to life and hope.

Yep, it's gonna be okay.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Two peas in a pod

He sleeps anywhere. Usually in unexpected places.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

So maybe I DO believe in love at first sight

I saw him and instantly knew

He was the one

My buddy I've been wanting

And they're pretty crazy about him too

Bless his heart.

He's not perfect, but love never is, right? Technically love can be a little blind to certain faults. In his case I am a little blind because even after he shredded (?????) Charlie's DS (Nintendo thing she got for Christmas from grandparents THIS YEAR WHICH WAS TWO MONTHS AGO I still love him.

So does Charlie. When we walked in the door and discovered it Joy started wailing and saying, "he ruined Charlie's life," and "why did we have to get the worst dog ever?" This went on for a few long seconds. Then Charlie walked over to Blue and wrapped her arms around him and said, "It's ok Mom he didn't know he couldn't chew on that. It's fine maybe someday I can get another one."

Cue to Joy. (Very puzzled.)

I couldn't make this stuff up.