Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Happy Birthday to the woman who lets me be me, even though I'm rather annoying. The woman who taught me to use my voice to stand up and be counted. The woman who showed me that you can love books just as much as you love your family (and sometimes even more). And the woman who survived raising me. I kinda think she needs a trophy for that one.

Happy Birthday Mom, Nana, Edwards.
I can finally take you everywhere I go and get a senior discount. Sweet.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Death And It's Lessons

Death is not a word I use often. It's physically hard for me to say. Six years ago, I could speak it with ease. But now? It bothers me. I guess that comes from having a life and soul that death has touched in ways I don't often think about. Even typing the word floods my mind with memories and brings a longing to see my dad so fierce, it consumes me. All of me.

I have a lot of opinions about death. Everyone does. Most of mine aren't nice, fluffy, hopeful opinions. They're edgy and harsh. They may soften over time, change into something more positive. But then again, maybe they won't. The ripple effect of death is long and broad and changing.

A friend of mine left this life Saturday night in her sleep. I just found out last night. She was in her 70's (I think?). And her death seems to have brought this topic front and center in my mind. I'm still in a debate with myself over that being a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe it's a little of both.

In the quiet parts of my heart, I find myself taking inventory of all the beautiful things this woman taught me. So many lessons, it's hard to catalog them all. The greatest gift she gave me was the knowledge that we have a Heavenly Father who sees us with 20/20 vision. Every minute, every day, with detailed precision. He watches over, guides and loves endlessly. The joy that brings really can't be described.

My friend offered me a quiet porch to sit on and an outside view of the courage it takes to change your life. Quite exquisite gifts. I have a profound gratitude that I was given a chance to be a small part of her life. Because she had a large effect on mine. Life is beautiful when it works that way.

Thank you Paula for filling a small corner of my life with grace.
May rest find you well.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Run Down and Some Links

I'm grumpy. That's saying a lot considering my usual demeanor is borderline "not pleasant". But, here's the deal-- I need a root canal. If that wasn't enough to make me smile, the right side of my back feels like it's being squeezed by a giant. Oh, and I don't like chiropractors or dentists. Like, a lot. So I've just settled down into my grumpy and coated it all with pain killers. Nice, no? Want to sit down and join me?

Since you probably won't join me, (because honestly, who would) create some down time and read these posts. Does anyone really have down time? I think the last time that naturally occurred in my life was an hour before Child #1 was born and I was in epidural heaven. Since then, down time only happens if I create it. So, make your own and read these:

For those of you who have daughters...

For those of you with teenagers...

If you're a mom...
 If you want to read an article I wrote...
(If you just want to see a cute picture of my girls when they were little...)
This is a new mom website that is just taking root. 
It was created by a mom I passionately admire. Take a look around.

And last, but not least, I give you the cutest fisher-girl you've ever seen. Take a cue from her today. Let go of your busyness and let your 'To Do' list rest. Just for a few moments. And soak in the quiet.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Most Ridiculous Fun I've Had In A Long Time!

We won't even talk about what my laundry room looks like now.
It's like a rainbow exploded. Which, it actually kindof did.
Best. School. Event. Ever!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spread The Word

The Husband, The Sister and I gathered our like minds for a philosophical discussion over the weekend. When brains like ours combine together, genius is born. Because here is what we talked about: cool words.

See? I told you. Genius.

After our intellectual debate, we decided to bring 'Slacks' back. Cool word, right? Not used nearly enough.

So, I used the word all weekend. I asked the teenager if she liked her slacks. I even commented that her slacks were too tight. After asking her if she wanted to go shopping for more slacks, she said, "Just like we are NOT bringing back your hair style from high school, we are NOT bringing back the word Slacks!" She's such a Debbie Downer.

My determination is still going strong. I'm inviting you to join me. Slacks. Say it with me. Use it in a sentence. I'm telling you. It's a cool word that isn't being used to it's potential. The Sister and I are considering making t-shirts. "Team Slacks" is kinda catchy. We've even decided to make the word edgier, more 2013ish, so we'll call ourselves "Team Slax". Wicked.

Within our genius debate, The Sister tried to convince us that 'Gerbil' is a cool word. I just couldn't put my brain power behind something that describes a rodent. Pants? Absolutely. Furry, little creatures? Nope.

We're bringin' it back. For reals.

That's what I'm talkin' about.

(If you happen to mention slacks and gerbils together, I'm cool with that too.)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Create and Breathe In Your Moment

Again, I'm giving you something to do this weekend with the creative side of your brain. I have no idea which side that actually is, but I am fairly certain my brain is missing the other half. You know, the half that is smart and stuff.

I want to make this wreath so bad, I can hardly stand myself (click here for the details). I will make mine with dictionary pages instead of a phone book. I bought one a few weeks ago at Goodwill. Child #2 looked at it and immediately said, "Ohhh, it's something old fashioned." When I brought up encyclopedias, it blew her mind.


I saw myself at the library yesterday. My younger self, that is. It was toddler story time, and moms with strollers were everywhere. Little ones in tow, with babies on their hips. I remember being that mom.

Now I feel like a fermented mom. One that's been around so long, she just feels old and tired. The teenager mom feels totally different than the toddler mom. My younger self longed for the days that everyone was in school and people could feed themselves. Back then, 8:00 bedtime couldn't come fast enough.

Now, there is no bedtime and people can lift their own forks, but they do it while complaining or asking for money. I don't even feel any wiser now. In fact, I think I've gotten stupider over time. More seasoned and jaded. If I'm honest, rougher around the edges. The toddler mom was sweeter, softer (some of the time). The teenage mom feels worn down and just wants everyone to stop talking (all of the time).

But, here's what I saw through my younger self at the library-- Breathe it all in. This moment. This season. This now. This right now. Soak it all down deep into your skin and hold it there. The good, the bad, the hard and the joyous. Because, no matter what stage you're in, own it. Hold it all in your hands and imprint this moment with your children in your heart.

Because tomorrow it will change. The good will become the bad and the hard will be light years easier. And there will be new stuff you didn't even know would come along. But those souls, the ones you love to the moon and back, they will be there. Right there. With you. Remember every single bit of it. Don't wish it away. Because it does go away. Just don't let your heart forget.

Monday, April 8, 2013

He Hates Attention

Happy Birthday to the man I adore.
Nothing screams "Birthday Presents!" like bi-focals and a weed eater.
Although, today is also our anniversary. Kinda smart of me, wouldn't you say? It's his birthday, but he gives me a present. It's an all around celebration. If you want to get technical about it, I'm the gift that keeps on giving. M'kay?

Feel the love today, Farmer Todd (you do remember that he grew up on a farm, right? Even after all these years, that fact is still shocking to me).

In his honor, hug a tractor and eat cake today.
Oh, and shower him with attention. You know, because it loves it and all.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Reason #405 Why His Self Esteem Is Still Shockingly In Tact

7:24 pm.
The Husband and Child #2.
Lounging on the couch watching TV.
Child decides to squeeze/hug her Dad:

"Wow. Your tummy really does feel like a pillow."

This doesn't even phase The Husband, because he will go to work the next morning and at least 25 people will tell him he's awesome.

Feeling like a moron (with a little bitterness on the side). Again.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Reason #405 Why My Self Esteem Is In The Toilet

7:24 am.
Standing at my front door:

"Mom. Please don't come outside when I get on the bus.
Your hair is embarrassing."

Made to feel like a moron by a 10 year old.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Sanity Trickles Back In

So, the offspring have been back in school for 2 days now. And I'm finally feeling like I'm no longer crazy. Because that's how I feel when they're surrounding me All. Day. Long. Oh, and I'm pretty sure I scream more when school is out.

I still haven't figured out the whole 4-day break for Easter. Which happens right after a week off for Spring Break. What? Why is that ever a good idea? Child #1 informed me yesterday that there are only 8 more Mondays of school. I almost vomited. Right on top of her.

Let it be known that we did survive. All our togetherness. I'm inclined to believe that copious amounts of Easter candy can make any situation better.

We had cousins in town. And here's what we did-- we ran them ragged. And once that was all done, we let them trash my mom's house. Good times.

Note for the future: If you put Angel Baby in a go-kart, she will freak out! Happiness exploded right out of her body. It was delightful.

And my kids practiced writing my signature. Apparently Child #1 doesn't need the practice because she's "got it down". While some families were talking with sweet voices about Jesus and the Resurrection, mine were refining their skills at forgery. A nice weekend wrap up.