Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The DVR of Life

Have you ever been in a moment of your life where you wished you could hit 'pause' on the DVR?

Or rewind?

Maybe choose an alternate ending? Watch deleted scenes?

Really, life doesn't always feel like a High School Musical. Why do Disney ...or Hollywood want us to think it should?

Now, that is not to say that life cannot be filled with joy and abundance. That is what He desires for us.

But it doesn't come from hitting pause. Or rewind.

It comes from knowing Him. Loving Him. Following Him.

Just push 'play.'

Lenten List

Happy Lenting, Y'all.

Here's my list, with God's help, and to Him be the glory...
  • no eating out (read: no Bread Co; no Bread Co coffee; no, no, no)
  • limit computer to one hour per day (read: no checking emails, FB, or blogging more than 1 hour. per day)
  • Love Dare

I'm not Catholic. I just believe God's sacrifice to me was so great that the least I can do is spend a few weeks sacrificing my coffee and my computer, and loving my husband as He first loved me.

I've given things up before --- Bread Co. tops the list. Yearly. (Guess where we are every Easter morning??) And one year, while pregnant, I gave up all sweets, including chocolate. That may have been a mistake. I made a LOT of cookies for my kids that Lent. Why do I do that?? Tempt myself unnecessarily??

What are you giving up for Lent?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Overwhelming

What do you do when you wake up one day and realize this is the fairytale you've been awaiting? You pray to God, then open your eyes.

And the toddler your husband laid beside you in bed to try to coax a few more minutes of sleep from head butts you in the lip and draws blood. Your blood.

And the daughter you woke every four hours for overnight to give those precious breathing treatments to begins a coughing fit that reminds you, really, you slept through that last treatment.

And the playtime you promised the kids turns into seven people talking and demanding your attention all at once when there are only four standing before you. One of them actually lying on the ground screaming because you told her "no." An hour and a half ago.

And you remember in high school when you did your teacher work-study program and vowed never to work with more than one child at a time --- which was why you went into speech pathology instead of teaching and fought so hard for the hospital to stick with individual therapy, not group therapy. Yet God gave you twins. And then two more after that.

And you realize you play board games and read them books for a very good reason. (It's quieter.)

And you also realize you aren't writing a blog as a memoir of your life with them, but instead as a reminder of how they tortured you as children, and you want them to know it.
I'm just saying, what do you do?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Explanation

I've really battled with what to write here. You all know this is basically my journal. Yet I want it to serve as a ... a memoir for my kids, a tale of what life was like for me in order to help them when it is their turn to raise a generation... And I want them to see that life as a Christian can truly be a battlefield, and we all do the best we can. Well, we should be doing the best we can, within the confines of our earthly selves.

Today, our pastor shared with us that 'the laws' (10 Commandments) were not written for us to try to please God, but instead for us to follow until we reach the end of our means and realize we can't really make it without God.

98.8 is the percent of myself that I have discovered I am giving in an area that I truly and unequivocally should be giving 100% (or more...)

It came to me last week in a lightning strike. My women's Bible study is currently discussing Life Management for the Busy Woman. I am loving it. And one afternoon, as I sat in my husband's comfy leather chair in front of the roaring fire while three kids were at school and Little Sleepless in Sasha was actually napping, I worked diligently on my study. (What a blessing--- when will I have these moments again yet be in such a glorious season of my life with these little ones surrounding me?!) And I reached that part where David confesses his sins and asks that the Lord uncover the secret ones within his heart. And for the first time in my 35 years of life on this earth, I felt a sword pierce my heart and my breath escaped me in a sob.

And I realized.

I realized that I have been giving 98.8% of myself. And for years, I have had no idea. And it was devastating to realize why.

And then I saw the weaving that had begun months ago for all of this to come to me as it has. And I fell apart. That God would take my hand and slowly, methodically, lovingly walk me through to the place that would bring me here. To tonite.

And I love Him for it. And I thank God for the choices He has allowed me to make - and I step forward in faith with Him that I will be who I am supposed to be...everyday, with His help.

May God make it so.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Have you ever read a blog post that made no sense to you?

Well, today you have. This one's for me, Girls.


Hey Grandpa!

Kiss our candy lips!

Whoa, Pookie - say no to Botox, Girl!

Thanks, Pops! They're yummy :)

(and now you've been featured on my blog ;)


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Life with 2 Dogs

We brought home two puppies last summer after losing our sweet but - oh - so - bad dog Riley (he was really a good dog - in a hyperactive-crazed-never-grew-up-gigantic-puppy sort of way). Which brings me to these two.

Life with puppies is fun. And having two? Well, it's like having twins, right? Have a GINORMOUS preggo belly? Tell people you're having twins and STAND BACK! No, seriously, stand back. Cuz people will pet you. Your belly, anyway. And I'm not a puppy, people!!! Put two carseats with newborns in your WalMart shopping cart and run. I said RUN. Because people will chase you down to touch your babies. Fortunately for heart moms nowadays they have stickers you can put on your carseat that read: DON'T TOUCH MY BABY WITH YOUR GERMY FINGERS! (OK, it says something much sweeter - but that's what I always wanted to say...) But my point is attention! You get all kinds of attention! The kids walk the puppies and everyone's their best friend! The husband walks the puppies and girls of all ages swoon (I'm not bitter...).

Then those puppies turn into ... well, puppies in grown up bodies! Because everyone pretty much knows that golden retrievers have stunted maturation, right? Which basically means they stay puppies for a looooooooooooooong time.

Take, for instance, the afternoon I brought the puppies (well, they're as big as dogs now) home from their pleasant stay at the neutering joint (lovingly called the vet - he's currently in the Poconos after we funded the trip, but again, I digress).

Kind Mr. Vet patiently explains to the mom with two dogs and four kids clamoring around his tiny portal of an office, "Try to keep them calm. Don't let them fight. They need to be good dogs for about two weeks (after their procedure....) {oh good...I thought he was talking about the kids}. Here are some tranquilizers." I gave that doctor a once over. Were those meant for the kids or for me? OH!!! The dogs! Then I rolled my eyes and walked out. With every good intention of being the good dog mom. Good intentions, I tell you.

Before taking our half-drugged puppies home, I had to run one errand. On a busy highway south of our home.

Rewind. Have I told you that we have one good dog-puppy. And one not-so-good dog-puppy? My husband and I laugh - because we've had one good dog and one really not-so-good dog before. And God reincarnated those two dogs (if I believed in such a thing) into the form of these two brothers living with us currently. It's uncanny.

Fast forward. Running an errand. With the four kids and the two drugged dogs who are supposed to remain calm for two weeks riding along in the van. I open the door to run into the store. Bad Dog escapes. But he doesn't just escape. He leaps four paws in the air out of the driver's side door onto the icy pavement below. He careens several feet into the face of a cement curb. He doesn't miss a beat. He bounds up and takes off running down the highway after a truck. A four lane highway. A very big truck. My half-drugged freshly neutered dog-puppy.

I stand there. Paralyzed. What? What? What the - ? How much money did I just pay to have a chip strategically placed into your backside and your private parts removed? What?!?!

LUKE! I screamed. LUKE!


I half run out into the street before realizing cars are zooming past me in both directions. My dog/puppy weaving in and out of traffic at cheetah-like speeds, fruitlessly pursuing an uninterested vehicular love prospect.

When suddenly, he turned. He skidded to a stop. He turned his body lithely in the opposite direction from which he had been going. And now That dog had the goofiest, happiest, (drugged??) expression on his face that I had ever seen on a dog in my life. And that dog ran like it was dinnertime all. the. way. back. to. me. And then he sat. At my feet. Tongue hanging out. Panting.

And when I opened the door to the van, he climbed inside.

The end.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Me & the FB

I don't relish every aspect of FaceBook really. One thing I do love is looking in on the lives of those people I cared about the most in my 'youth' and seeing their faces smiling and their lives unfolding happily in the pictures before me. I know poignantly that there is trouble in this world and the pictures don't tell it all. But still, it warms my heart to see them all these years later, to see how they've grown. Maybe I say hello. Maybe I don't. But it impacts me. And I turn my head and smile at my own sweet brood and realize yet again that God's plan is divine, and I am blessed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fine Lines & Fragrance

I've been out of it lately. I don't think I've been myself, and I am desperate to improve. I've contemplated the fine line between being a "good" parent and being the parent you see at WalMart yelling at her kids and stomping around in ill-humor. (I don't know what the relationship between the front doors of that store and my little angel going squalling ape are, but I've seen it enough to know the correlation exists...)

I am burying myself in the Bible. At least, I'm trying to. Our church is diligently encouraging us to be in the Bible daily. Then, my sweet Wednesday Bible study group began this book last week, which further prompts daily, early morning communing with our Maker. And the kids were sent home with daily devotionals this past Sunday. So, I'm making the effort. My $1.99 book also came in the mail in the midst of all my internal and subsequent external conflict, as well. So, you'll note in my photo what I am sitting with currently. My mom brought the tulips. My sister-in-law planned the photo shoot with all the grandkids to celebrate my MIL's birthday, and this morning I framed the one we took of just our kids while Mother Earth fed Little Roo. And the candle, well, it's a cheap-o WalMart one that is setting the fragrance in my home. My home needs a new fragrance (as opposed to o'de'dawg that has begun to permeate in very bad ways...)

So, please forgive my apparent absence here again lately. I've been visiting, but haven't much to say for myself. I will answer my interview questions, Gramma; and I will definitely be sharing my take on Family Fragrance. Because it is one of those books you pass around to all your friends and take valuable insight from even after just the first few pages. Then, of course, you have to live it. And fail at it. And learn. And live it again.

Because that's life, after-all.
(Trial + Error) x Grace.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I feel like I need to scrub the toilets again. I've invited some dear friends to visit my little spot in the world. These are the people who keep me sane with regards to hearts. These are the moms and dads (and kids, too, --- shout out to Z, if he stops by! One of the coolest 16 year-olds-to-be, evah!) who have walked a rocky path alongside me and continue to amaze me with their strength and their compassion.

I cut 346 circles this week for 7 of these photo albums:

February is National Heart Defect Awareness Month. We take time this month to tell our doctors and nurses thank you. Along with heaping platters of cookies, brownies, and candies, these photo collages will serve to visually remind our beloved cardiologists, nurses, and ancillary staff at three local pediatric hospitals that we appreciate the jobs they do.

We also made plates for the perinatologists who often diagnose our children's heart defects before their birth, to affirm that early diagnosis leads to improved health of the baby at birth as well as increased success of initial heart surgeries.

Tags attached to the side of each photo identified the diagnosis as well as the child's age. The doctors may refer to these photos to bring hope to an expectant mom and dad with a newly diagnosed heart condition.

Thank you for being who you are, Friends.

Hope you enjoyed the photos!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Friends, I have a son who gives 110% in everything he does. And he sees the world with such a unique perspective, we often find ourselves marveling at how 'they broke the mold after they made that one!' He flings his hair to the side like a carefree surfer. He goes without underwear. Daily. He prefers buck naked, actually. Upon seeing the traditional small, rectangular-shaped piece of tabular furniture gracing the middle of our living room - he prefers not to sit with his feet upon it - but, rather, to stand within its middle-regions and leap, flying-squirrel-esque into the air with reckless abandon. Do not light saber fight him. I repeat: Do Not. But do get into a kissy face contest with him, especially if you're me. Cuz he loves his ma. And his baby sister. And he can play with either twin with equal suave. He just lives life to the fullest. And he seems to handle it all pretty well one action-packed day at a time. He's a roll-with-the-punches kind of kid. The one who could be mid-flight on his way to impale his nether-regions onto the pointy end of a rake, yet he will be yelling the whole way down, "I'm OK! I'm OK! *thud*"

I give 110%, too. Usually to about one thing per day, week, whatever the case may be. And for that period of time, absolutely everything else falls apart around me. The laundry. The hair I mean carpet. The parenting. Sometimes I wish I could be 4 again. And run wild down the halls and pee into a cup in the car because I insisted I did NOT have to go before we left five minutes ago, even though I was doing 'the happy dance' on my way out the door...(please remind me to wash that cup, about 4 times, since it is my favorite coffee-from-home cup...OK, add that to the WalMart list, which is the length of Kentucky right now, since I've been working on something else...)

I just wish I could give 110% to everything all the time. And that the things I worked on with 110% of my being turned out as though touched by the very hand of God. Golden. Yet, it is with imperfect hands that I touch. Perhaps for today, my hands will work good enough. That what they work on will turn out perfectly - or at least good enough. And that even the imperfections will satisfy me - and Him - 110%.

For today, that is my prayer.
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