Monday, February 28, 2011


We love this trampoline.
I had one growing up, but it didn't have the fancy net or pads to cover the springs.
In fact I remember the day we said goodbye to the trampoline. I was a teenager & my teenage cousin jumped up ...... & then straight through the trampoline to the ground.
And that was that.
When my dad inquired about the safeness of this trampoline just before we gave it to the kids I politely asked if he had all of a sudden become concerned with the safety of trampolines. :)
We laughed.
A different day for certain.
I'm glad we had that thing growing up.
So much fun.
And I'll say that the net & the pads are a nice addition.
There is just no way to not have a good time on a trampoline - I mean, you can almost hear them laughing through these pictures....I can.
And springtime....thank you for giving us little whispers of hope that you really are just around the corner. Days like today are just amazing

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journal entry

This is me literally journaling outloud. Sorry.

I will never forget the day I realized that all the rules & the getting better & doing better was never what God was looking for in me.
I remember things coming into focus & understanding for the very first time that God had taken care of that & loved me so much that He carried that burden for me.
A breath.
Total relief.
And I wanted to tell everyone!
Because it's a-mazing news!
I still don't understand why it's so controversial, but I know full well that it is.
I think we are the problem.
I think Christians get it wrong.
I think people get it wrong.
We forget about the moment we were relieved of that enormous burden. That moment we were picked up, dusted off & told that we were loved - all the time, no matter what.


And the danger of forgetting that moment is that we tend to put that burden on others after a while.
Why do we do that?
Why do we like to make it hard for people to live under this law of love?
We get so afraid of other people's 'dirt' getting on we start to believe we are so clean?
Because even if we are.....we didn't make ourselves clean.

I have heard the term a lot lately of being 'insider focused' - when I hear it I think about middle school & the natural hierarchy that happens with the cool kids table & the smart kids table & all the tables.
People trying to find their spot to fit in & whatever group they 'fit' into - we tend to make it a little uncomfortable for someone else to be a part.
What is that?
We make judgements based on clothes, hair, church affiliation, family, books people choose to read....we label people.
And in a way we put ourselves in the seat that only God belongs in.
He sits there.
I tell my 6 year old almost daily, "Quit trying to be his mother. Be his sister"
Love him.
Encourage him.
Come to me if you are worried about him.
Their relationship will suck forever if she keeps trying to be his mother.
She was made to be his sister.

Let God be God.
And when it comes to His creation.
When it comes to the people He made on purpose.
I forget daily to recognize that.
I mean, it's easy to hold that 2 year old in my arms & look into her eyes & tell her that she was made on purpose & with a purpose & pray that the Lord would show us what that plan is....
That's easy.
I know her.
I already love her.
But what about that other person. The one I don't know or more likely the one I just don't really get along with. Do I believe the same is true about them that I believe is true about my kids?

He loves us wildly & He has a lovely story - one that does not require that we read certain books or go to a certain church or hang with certain people or blah blah blah.....
We are no different than the pharisees making rule after rule after rule.
These are our rules.
And I show my lack of faith every time my chest tightens in fear that God is not big enough to love them.
I pray that I will not forget that moment when I "got it" because if I refuse to forget.....I will never ever be ungrateful or selfish with the endless love He has already given.

Friday, February 25, 2011

following directions

Humor me with all the shots I got from the garden the other day.
This one makes me laugh.
I asked the kids to put their arms around each other.....

And this is what I got.
:) How adorable is she?

There you go.
Learning.....always learning.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

really. way too fast.

These days are numbered.
I am well aware.
There is very little time left for me to have all 3 of these little suckers for mornings like this one.
Free to be together & laugh & do what we will.
Three of my very favorite people.
And I have prayed that they would be the very best of friends for one another.
I have prayed it for a long long time.
As long as I've known them. :)
And wouldn't you know that it's the boy who has begun to tell each of us.....
"You're my best friend"

I don't want to forget these moments.
Ever ever ever.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

my boy & his buddy

What do you think they're talking about?
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

man down!

Our washing machine is broken.
If you have seen my boy at all in the last week you will understand why he has been sporting the same pair of camouflage pants every single day. I dropped the rest of his pants to be laundered last week & kept trying to pick them up after closing time. Which is not an efficient use of time. So we washed them in Woolite in the sink & dried them, along with a little girl's uniform. We're doing what we gotta do.
And as my dad would say, "I've heard sadder stories"
I believe it's fixable - even without a repairman, but maybe I'm being a little optimistic. Or cocky.
But the internet has saved us before in the appliance fixing department & I'm counting on it pulling us through this go 'round.
It's the time we can't seem to find. We have been so over scheduled lately that to find an evening to set aside for this seems impossible....and not what we really want to do when there's already limited time.
So, we spent this morning at the laundromat.
I was actually looking forward to the experience. The kids were great & helpful & all in all we had a good time.

I would have never planned an outing to the laundromat had we not needed it. But it was a little adventure for us :).
And though we had a great time......I'm not selling the washer & dryer.
It's time to get that bad boy up & running.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

heart day

Valentine's Day was really very sweet.
The kids sat down to a candle lit dinner with the votive she made at school thanks to a super crafty mom - I was not that mom.
I was the mom who provided the chicken nuggets & the grapes. And then proceed to eat most of the chicken nuggets & the grapes.

We gave the kids their valentines.
They ate some candy & went to bed.
Then Lee & I ordered out......and it was just perfect.
And, in fact, Lee may have made a romantic lover of Valentine's day out of me yet.
He cheated & got me a gift. He's getting the house cleaned. And I. am. thrilled.
Absolutely over the moon about it!
Didn't see it coming but if I could've asked for something very specific .... it would have been this exact thing.
And reese's peanut butter cups.
And he covered that, too.
He's pretty awesome.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

the valentines

We spent our Sunday afternoon doing this....and it was a blast! I love doing arts & crafts.....but I have to admit that there is something in me that has to hold back the control freak that wants certain colors to be together & things to be placed in certain places, etc.....
And I've gotten much better.
In fact I have been blown away with the creativity that comes out of them - and the skill that girl has - she cut those letters out FREE HAND!

And the boy tore & cut those pieces of paper & glued them on the heart (i did draw the heart) all by himself.
So I don't totally hate Valentine's.......

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

As we get ourselves into the Valentine's Day spirit of things.....I thought we would play with the blog a little bit. It has been a while & as it usually happens if I don't check up on things for a week or two I find that technology has simply passed. me. by.
Blogger has definitely upgraded some stuff & I have enjoyed my Saturday night of figurin' it all out.
I have never been a huge fan of Valentine's day & I recently read a friend's facebook status read, "if your woman says she doesn't like Valentine's Day it probably means you're not doing it right..."
But I don't think that's it in my case.
See, I love the candy, I love making valentine's, I love hearts all over the place, I love the candy, I love my man, I love Reese's peanut butter hearts & if they only made them in dark chocolate, I love gushy romantic love, and the candy...have I mentioned the love of the candy?
I do not like true love being used as a marketing tool.
And I do not like feeling like you have to cram all this romantic whatever into a night when you CANNOT get a reservation anywhere & if you DO you feel forced to try their 'prix fixe menus.' A babysitter is next to impossible to find. I do not like that flowers that will cost $12 on February 15th cost $30 on Valentine's Day and most of all I do not like wondering if the only reason that my man brought flowers home & took me to dinner was because he felt like he should.
Am I the grinch who stole Valentine's?
Maybe I am.
Sue me.
But just know that while I'm at home eating take out from wherever we choose in the comfort of our own home, because I may not be a fan of Valentine's but I don't see that me cooking is a grand idea either, we will have pocketed the $125 that we would have otherwise spent in going along with the whole shabang.
And man I feel like a bucket of cold water....especially with the hearts all over the blog and everything.
But like I said.......I love the hearts.
And trust me on the candy thing...a big ol shoutout to the sweettart gummy hearts, especially from the Rite Aid where they are on sale.
5 pounds later.
Here I am....obviously a little bitter.
I'll go deal with that now.
But thanks for sticking around for all the drama.

Friday, February 11, 2011

center stage

What does one do about that right there??

It was somewhat of a crazy morning - trying to cram a few errands in on a morning when all 3 needed to be at the dentist office by 9:45.

That little girl finished her breakfast, I put her clothes on her & then she brought me her "princess dress" & declared, "I want to be a princess now."

Who cares.

I don't care if she wants to prance around in that thing for the next year or so because this will come to an end.
You just can't do things like this forever & it be called 'adorable'....I mean, people judge me when I do it.
But just to keep her humble she wore her fuzzy slippers because I could not for the life of me find her shoes.
Another thing you can't get away with when you're in your, say, 30s.

She owned that place.
And probably because everyone in there had her 'spin around, you cute thing' - & she is nothing if not an entertainer.
For me as well, obviously.
I mean, I was packing the camera.
And I'm glad I did......because that right there sums her up.

Actually, what would have really summed her up would have been to capture her full on temper tantrum out by the elevator just 30 seconds after we left center stage....aka the dentist office.
She's something, y'all.
And I am loving every minute of her drama filled toddlerhood.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Back in the days of my early 20s when I had this amazing career, can I call it that? It never felt that way but it was definitely more than a job. I loved it. I had this totally amazing opportunity to work along side my very best friend at Johns Hopkins Children's Center with teenagers - she worked with the school aged kids. JHCC does the best thing, in my opinion, by separating the hospital floors by age rather than diagnosis. There were certain diagnoses that didn't work that way for their own health's sake. But for the most part they allowed kids/teens to not be defined by an illness.
Now, I happen to adore the teenage years. I love the honesty & the pure hard-core drama & emotion that comes with it. I love chipping away at a wall of insecurity or fear & I just think it's a fun age of opportunity. When I would walk into a room of a patient I almost always brought play dough or clay with me. If nothing else it relaxed me & took my attention off the fact that this kid really didn't want me in there.
But usually they would take some too & once we were both occupied, the conversation tended to open up pretty quick.

We kept play dough around our house until I felt like I was just smearing money into my carpet/rug/whatever.
And what is the big deal about snapping that lid shut? Playdough that lives in an open air container becomes a borderline weapon & I am certain that I have sliced my skin with it.

But this past weekend, at an absolutely amazing retreat, a precious lady had me sit with play dough & her assignment for me was to sculpt a gift that God wanted to give to me. And it was one of the most spiritual experiences for me.
I lean towards the creative side of things & so I naturally began to think about what I wanted to make. And stopped.
I just rolled it around in my hands.
And I prayed.
And I began to make something.
Something beautiful.
And He whispers to my heart from time to time when I dare to sit & listen. And He was changing my sculpture. And I pushed back. I was already in process. I had my colors picked out. I was almost finished.
But I remembered that this was His gift to me. Not my gift to myself.
And so what He had me make visible was Him changing my heart & holding me in His big mighty hand.

It was a sweet thing to hold that sculpture in my hand.

And then to show it to my kids.
& then the baby destroyed it.
Oh well.

We bought some play dough today & I had the kids sculpt a gift that God has given them that they are thankful for.
I played too .....

This is our far.
the kids were very concerned about which one was which - which just makes me laugh.
It's play dough!
And I say that.....but I definitely am the green one.
It's my favorite color.

The boy really really tried to explain this to me & I desperately wanted to know because I believe it is absolutely beautiful. But it turns out that he's not so sure as to what it is either. Nevertheless......there it is.

And my big girl. This right here is her love. I hope she never lets go of this special thing. Lucy is a part of our family & has made the wall of pictures. We do love her & hold our breath every time she has to head to the washing machine.
Scary times.

These are the hearts we the shape of a heart :)
We're crazy y'all.

Thank you sweet Andrea. And thank you Jenni. It was amazing. He is doing amazing things in this heart He has given me. And I know because He told me so.

In His Word. On the Cross. And with play dough.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


the praise of man elates me and his blame depresses me; if I cannot rest under misunderstanding without defending myself; if I love to be loved more than to love, to be served more than to serve, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
Amy Carmichael

I had the opportunity to do a short study on Amy Carmichael a few years ago & I learned of these "If.." poems, statements, whatever you call them.

I heard a friend say recently that she can only read one of these a day.

I agree.

They can be very convicting & thought provoking. And she is one who went before us. Who blazed the trail that God invited her to & she was a mommy to many children in harms way in India.

And though I do not believe her specific purposes in life are the same as mine - I want to gather all I can from what she knows. She was one who walked hand & hand with the Father & when someone does that it seems only wise to tune in.

This quote takes me & throws me to the ground on a daily basis.
Being misunderstood is so very difficult for me.

When I feel that I am misunderstood I am always tempted to pick up the phone or shoot an email or whatever to simply explain myself. To make myself 'right' in their eyes.

And there are times when explanation & apologies need to be made & then there are times when sitting in the simple defense of the Gospel is all we are asked to do.

I pray daily to seek to understand. My baby's name means understanding & it has become a prayer for myself.

That one seems easier than to simply rest in the light of being misunderstood.
Understanding is not so easy, as it actually makes you step out of what you stand firmly on & see things from another point of view. Or in terms of the Gospel, it is often times letting go of lots of things that culture says "makes sense" & seek to understand outside of a comfort zone.

Both understanding & being understood require seeing people & circumstance through a focus that we will not understand clearly on this side of Heaven.

Accepting & embracing the truth that there is a God in Heaven that loves you unconditionally all the time & that is ultimately what matters.

I should be living this life for an audience of One.
I should find comfort solely in His attitude and opinion of me & my actions.
And yet I am constantly overwhelmed with how 'undone' I can be in the state of misundersanding.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


My girl got a fischer price camera last year for Christmas & loved it. She took it everywhere & I honestly felt like the paparazzi was following us around.
But the pictures were terrible.
I mean, not a big deal. She was 5 & it was fine.
But last Christmas the love of my life gave me a camera.
A rockin big girl camera that I still don't completely know how to use. But I love it & for a while it went almost everywhere with me. She noticed.
And for Christmas this year she asked for a "real" camera.
And Santa gave a thumbs up. He brought her a nice used digital camera.
She has it with her often & has recently learned how the video feature works, which I consider a total invasion of privacy.....but I'll go with it. Memories in the making.
We looked outside the other day & she was lying on her back snapping pictures of the trees & the sky.
Seeing the world through her eyes is super fun. And I plan to show some of the awesome shots to you real soon. Because there's a real chance that you are featured in these shots as that flash is burning it up in the car on a daily basis.
Or maybe we'll help her start a blog.
Or not.
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

the RED card

I do enjoy a starbucks from time to time.

It's a ta-reat. For certain.

And I'm not one who loves to justify my ways that may need changing by adding a benefit to the end of it.

What I'm about to say does not justify the fact that I used to have a full on addiction to the coffee. And my additcion may or may not have included the word "latte" which gets purty 'spensive. But if I am going to enjoy a cup o joe & I really do just lean towards a plain ol cup o black coffee these days....but still...if I am going to partake, it might as well help others in the process.

Especially if that option is available.

The RED card from Starbucks donates 5 cents towards the Global Fund to help fight AIDS every time you use it - and isn's it lovely to look at? And did you know that you can register your card online & with each purchase you get a point & the points add up to free drinks. And now I can know that each time I earn a point I am also helping a big organization do big things for people who simply can't do it alone.

No one's paying me a dime to say any of this.

I just think....why the heck not?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

dirty words

Well. I don't exactly know how to say this & to be perfectly honest I am not totally sure why I am sharing this....except that I know it's a nugget of information I will want to remember later on down the road.

My baby is a cusser.

I don't understand it.

We are not cussers - in fact the words that come out of her mouth make me cringe - I don't hear these words on a regular basis. Ever since I left college I would say that this type of language has not been something I am around very often.

And 2 year old drops the F bomb.

Whenever we are driving down the road & we see a firetruck.....there it is.

Or just a truck.

Or if she wants a fork at dinner.

Or when she wants me to help her put her shirt on - we get another choice word.
Even when we pass church she says it - and I really do not get that one.

It's embarrassing.

And innocent, I know, but still.

So....... we are dramatically phonetic around here.

Ta-ruck. Ta-ruck.

Fork is still a hard one. But we are all over it.

I don't notice her leaving certain letters out of other words, but that's probably because any other word that her 2 year old self can't quite spit out correctly is not grabbing my attention quite as much as these do.

So if you see us out & you hear her profanity yelled excitedly as the firetrucks drive past....don't judge. Know that we are as bothered as you are about thie situation.

And we are wide open for suggestions.