Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy Fall Ya'll

Well, we finally made it to the pumpkin farm and it was well worth it.  Seems like it gets harder to have a posed picture with Luke but you can probably tell he loved it.  I'm pretty sure I've got a little country boy at heart.

The petting zoo was probably the highlight for Luke :)

Anyone else think he's avoiding eye contact???

He was but then....

Not so much here...

What are yooooou looking at?

Two peas in a pod... But yes, thank you for the sign.  I'm definitely counting my blessings for these two.

Cuz what's a farm "petting zoo" without a longhorn?  Random, no?

Luke loved these goats!

Hmmmm...  too many to choose!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Is this too long to Tattoo on my forehead as a reminder?

If you're my friend "in real life", or even a "Facebook friend" of mine, it's no secret that I'm mildly obsessed with the blog Momastery.  I often email articles, save them to my "parenting e-file" or share them on Facebook.  And this, this is little nugget does not disappoint.... THIS is good stuff.


When we were little, many of us learned that God made a garden called Eden and God put the first two people there – Adam and Eve. Then God gave them everything they needed and one thing they didn’t need – which was a tree in the middle of the garden called “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” God told them not to eat from that tree. But Eve did, and her eyes were opened – and everything got all kinds of jacked up after that.
I was taught that Eden is a story about temptation. That our nature is to do the opposite of what God says to do, and that causes problems for us. But since I was little I’ve been wondering if this story is also about the dangers of trying to know what is good and what is bad. Maybe it wasn’t just defying God that screwed everything up for poor Eve- maybe it was that she insisted on Knowing Something Unknowable.
Maybe wanting to know what will be good for us and what will be bad for us causes all our trouble. Because we should all be ready to admit by now that we suck at knowing the difference between what is good and what is bad for us.
If you ask folks what their wildest dream is many would say: winning the lottery,  even though this is often the kiss of death for families. We want MORE STUFF- even though it’s been proven again and again that after our basic needs our met- more stuff doesn’t make us happier. We collect and hoard and hold on tight to our money- even though we KNOW that giving feels better. We want to be smart- even though happiness and intelligence are inversely related. We  trade our time for cars and fancy clothes and shiny houses and then we realize all we’ve gained is more stress and higher bills- and in the end – we just want all that time back. Stuff that tastes good makes us feel bad, but we eat it anyway. We say things that feel good to “get off our chests” and we feel awful about it later. We want to become famous even though we know that fame destroys. We are desperate for perfectly “typical” kids even though parents with special needs kids consider them the biggest blessings of their lives. We avoid poverty even though God promises us the Kingdom is there. We avoid heartbreak by any means necessary even though that’s where the peace and connection and meaning is. We act like we are perfect even though nobody trusts perfect. We really want to be loved but choose being envied again and again.
I  receive oodles of emails (from non-religious folks) saying: “Why do you think you’re so broken? Why do you wallow in brokenness? You are WHOLE.” And (from religious folks) I often hear: “You need more Jesus. Jesus is all you need.”
But for goodness sake. Jesus promises not to leave us ALONE, he doesn’t promise not to leave us HUMAN. And to clarify – I don’t want to be “whole.” I want to be busted up and beautiful.  While I’m still here, I want to be FULLY HUMAN.
I talk about my addictions because everything beautiful in my life right now came out of the ugliness back then. And still does. I talk about my Lyme disease because I didn’t become strong and peaceful until I learned to surrender to my weakness and mania. I talk about my intolerance and jealousy and sadness and neurosis because those things make me HUMAN and I think that being a messy hypocritical, busted up human is a brutiful honor.
I talk about my flailing marriage because ( and a year ago I’d have ripped your well-meaning head off if you’d predicted this to me) the truth is that my marriage had to be shattered before it could be pieced back together. My marriage was like a busted arm that The Doctor had to re-break before it could heal right. A year ago- it all fell apart. Yes it did. And I about died. But now. Just a year later – my marriage is excruciating and real and true and deep and GORGEOUS for the first time. For the very first time. It also still sucks. It hurts and burns and refuses to leave me in peace – like every crucible does. But damned if all that discomfort didn’t turn out to be the good stuff. Like the Velveteen Rabbit – maybe neither people nor marriages become Real until the shine and newness rubs off and they look ugly and worn out to the rest of the world but real and soft and comforting and lovely to the one who holds them. This past year has been a special slice of hell for me and Craig-  and I never, ever thought  it would get better. I had no outward hope for a long while– but I kept showing up, and so did Craig. We kept fiercely and relentlessly showing up. We did NOT commit to each other this past year. We individually committed to the Spiritual Practice of Showing Up.
And last week I looked at Craig and thought- Holy SHIT. I think I love him. For the first time. For the first time - I respect the hell out of this man. It took a year of tears and faith and sweat and therapy and prayer and more tears and it will always be hard. It will always be hard and that’s okay. We have proved to our kids and ourselves that We Can Do Hard Things.
And so- when I talk about this stuff- this messy stuff in my life – I have a PURPOSE.  I’m not “wallowing in brokenness.” I’m trying to suggest that maybe THE BUSTED UP STUFF IS THE GOOD STUFF.  We resist that idea because we really, really suck at being judges of things. God didn’t ask us not to judge so we’d be nice people. God asks us not to judge for the same reason Craig asks me not to cook- because We just plain SUCK AT IT. So we should just leave that tree to God.
I’m trying not to judge my own life by the world’s standards because my suspicion is that often – our bad is God’s good and our good is God’s bad. The last are first and the first are last. When we start seeing clearly- we learn that it’s always opposite day. In my life- the brutal ALWAYS transforms into the beautiful.  And so after thirty eight years I have learned this about what life is offering me: IF IT’S EASY AND SHINY- BEWARE. IF IT STINGS A LITTLE – SIT TIGHT, GET CURIOUS, AND THEN LEAN IN.

I used to say: I’m broken. Fix me. Then I grew up a little and said : WAIT A MINUTE. I’M NOT BROKEN. And now I’m a real grown up so I say: Of course I’m broken. And I love, love, love myself that way. If you’re comfortable with that – come sit with me and we can laugh and cry and be broken and beautiful together. But don’t try to fix me- I didn’t ask for that. I just asked for some good company in which to be human.
Be Still in your garden and trust that you don’t need to decide what is good in your life and what is bad. You can stop striving for good and resisting bad and instead –  surrender to all of it. You can stop judging your circumstances and your life and your people. Striving for good and resisting bad is the source of all of our worry, all of our stress. All our problems stem from our refusal to surrender to what IS. To what life is and who people are. Let it be. Let it come, whatever it is. Breathe deeply and know that if you let it come and feel it all – it won’t kill you. It will pass away soon enough and leave you better, kinder, softer, and stronger. Let the brutal make you even more beautiful.

Thank you, Glennon for providing a shred of light on some of the dark.  That little flicker is sometimes all that we need to get through the broken mess.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Today was going to be a big reveal here...  We were supposed to find out yesterday if Luke was getting a baby brother or sister.  Yep, at nearly the end of my first trimester, I’d managed to keep it quiet on both Facebook and this blog.  A major accomplishment for me to keep a secret, even if it was just a secret on the web.  But instead, our day yesterday was filled with tears.  Anger.  Sadness.  Rage.  Heartbreak.  And more tears.

Yesterday, we found out that we will not be meeting our baby in March as planned.  Luke will not be a big brother, at least not this spring.  A sonogram showed fluid on our baby’s brain and an ablation on his or her abdomen.  With those two monumental and most certainly life altering additions the sonogram, there was also one giant thing missing.  No heartbeat.  The baby measured gestationally correct and the doctor concluded that the miscarriage was extremely recent, likely even the day before.

Our baby that we watched on the sonogram just weeks before...the little heartbeat was racing as we gripped each other’s hands in excitement.  Gone.  In an instant. Visions of a family of four shattered and pieced back together as three.

Yes, we are heartbroken.  Yes, we are completely blindsided.  No, we don’t have answers.  But we will work through this.  Just like we have before.  Except this time, we have Luke to focus on, how extremely lucky we are to have him and we are trying to show him even more now how important he is to us.  And we are beyond grateful that he is blissfully unaware of the loss.

I can honestly say it’s with conflicted emotions that we celebrate his second birthday today.  He’s growing so fast and makes us proud each time he learns something new, gets excited, smiles….and we still think he’ll make an awesome big brother someday.  Yet we are downtrodden.  Worried about our future.  Worried about our little family.  The good news is, we’ve known since the second we laid eyes on Luke that he’s a fighter.  Now, given the repeating heartbreak, we are even more convinced that he’s also our miracle.

If you’re into praying, we could sure use some.  If you’ve got good vibes, please send them our way.  But most importantly, cut someone some slack today.  Cut yourself some slack today.  Maybe someone else is less willing to share what’s going on in their background.  Or maybe you're a little short with someone or can't live up to expectations.  Give everyone, including yourself, the benefit of the doubt and a *maybe* even a free pass.  We all have our loads to carry and some days it’s a little lot heavier than others.

Until we meet again…I’m taking a little bloggy break.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Summa Summa Tiiiiiime

Well, clearly we are loving this summer and spending more time outdoors than at the computer to blog! 

Last weekend, my little man became a road trip pro. 

We drove six hours northeast to Grand Lake 'O the Cherokees in the most NE corner of Oklahoma.  Ya'll.... I had no idea how beautiful this part of the country is!  There are these steep rock cliffs that drop down to the water.  Soooo pretty!

We met my sister in law and her family, and my "cousin in law"(???? is that a real thing, my husband's cousin?)  and his family.  In all, there were six kiddos including Luke and I must say, they all had a blast and got along so well!

I've decided Luke was born to be a lake rat.

He even went on the jet ski with daddy...SLOWLY since mama was standing on the dock ready to jump in to save my baby!

And for those of you who frequent the lake regularly, if you haven't invested in a Lily Pad (and it IS an investment), you need to do, now.  Luke had a blast running up and down this thing and it let me sort of relax a little bit.

 I mean, between the lily pad, and a life jacket and six adults watching him, I decided my nugget was safe.

We had so much fun that we want to make it an annual or monthly thing!   Thanks to my sister-in-law for the invite, the delicious meals and the hospitality... it was a much needed family vacation! 

Until next time, Grand Lake! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dodged a Bullet...

For a week or so we've been a little worried.  See, my handsome husband might, maybe sometimes talk like the military man that he was once was...aka swear like a Coast Guard sailor.  Well, seemed like our little parrot had picked up a naughty word.  One of the classics.  Anyone ever heard a nearly two year old say "shit"?  Funny the first time.  The second, third, fiftith time not so cute.  
We really were starting to think we had corrupted our son's (already lagging) language.  I mean, he can barely say "mama" ("ma") and "dada" ("da") but this was clear as a bell.  I fully expected a call from daycare every day.   

Until this morning, I was getting him dressed and he kinda freaked.  Pulled on his collar and said shit over and over. 

Ohhhhhh.  SHIRT, honey. You want your shirt off?

Get your head out of the gutter, mama.  Geez.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Videos of "the Bull"

This child!!!!  He's such a rough and tumble boy.  I'll let these speak for themselves since I really don't have any excuse. 

Yep, that's the body slam he mastered last week.  Makes this redneck heart swell with pride!  Ok, not really, but it's pretty funny.  He even does sound effects --- hahaha!

And please tell me someone else has a nearly two year old that has started headbutting?   <crickets, crickets>   No?  Just me?  Hmmmm...  Where does he get this stuff?!?!?!?!

Honestly though, he's just like his daddy...  on the exterior so tough (and a little rough around the edges) but underneath all that, he has the sweetest heart and is surprisingly sensitive.  Last night, he started whining so I pretended to cry.  He sat down next to me and just patted my leg.  Tough and sweet I tell ya, winning combo!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Well, well, well...

Long time no blog... Sorry 'boutcha.  Didn't mean to leave you hanging. 
Liars...  I know you didn't notice!   :)
Things have been a smidge hectic lately, but I've accepted that's just life.  BUT - I think I got in my ten acts of kindness, but lets list them out and see, shall we? 

1.  Left a bag of candy and a "have a great day" note on a co-worker's desk.  Just because.
2.  Sent a thinking of you note to a friend I've really missed but lost touch with lately.
3.  Helped a woman with a screaming child like mine to load her boxes from Costco.
4.  Left a note for the next person at Avis that got "my car"---  "Careful!  There were ants in here but I think I got them" with my can of ant killer just in case.  (Maybe not so nice if I freaked them out!?!?)
5.  Let a uniformed soldier take my place in the front of the line at security at LAX.
6.  Shared my umbrella to get someone to their car in the rain.
7.  Gave a snack size bag of chips and a bottle of water to the airport valet.

Surely I'm nice enough that I've done more than this but I'm really struggling.... maybe I'm just so "naturally" nice that I don't take notice of them...errrrr something.  UGH, well, I've got a little over a week to finish off strong!  Taking suggestions since clearly, I'm just not that nice of a person! 

Other than that, we've moved to the new house:

I'll give a tour of the inside soon...
but let's just say if I didn't have to move for forty years, it'd be too soon!!!!
Lots of landscaping is planned as the flower beds are pretty wimpy but we'll get it looking good in no time!

Played at the park with cousins:

Played in the baby pool and the neighborhood pool:

Clearly this is the baby pool in the backyard, but he LOVES the neighborhood pool!

Done lots and lots of breathing treatments:

Which means lots and lots of Thomas Videos... and somehow my almost two year old found a Snoop Dog/Thomas the Train remix.  Who makes this junk?  Anyways,  I'll forfeit my mother of the year award pride and share this video.  But please don't judge (or at least judge silently and don't leave any nasty comments!).  Yes, there are moving boxes in the back.  No, we don't make our bed when we are recovering from moving the day before every day.  We've joked about how someday our kids are going to be so embarrassed when their friends get in the car and we are "so embarrassing!" and play rap or whatever like we're cool.  Apparently, if this is any indication, we were way wrong.

I'm so tempted to delete this.  Does everyone hate the way they sound on video?  I hope that's not what my friends have to hear all the time.  Holy annoying.

I made a new wreath for our new front door.  Feeling crafty lately!

And after missing a week of "school" due to illness, Luke has learned all kinds of new, "great" tricks. And by cool tricks, we're talking a body slam.  I know, I know... we probably shouldn't allow it, but it's so funny how hard he works to throw all 22 pounds of himself on you. 

***I have video but just can't handle how annoying I sound. Maybe I can be quiet enough tonight to get a new one and add it in :)

I know this video is dark, but the intent was to be "calming down" before bed.  Instead, Luke decided the other night,  he'd rather play right up until the last minute and then he says when it's over.  From here, he just walked into his room and stood next to his rocking chair waiting for me to come in there!  Such a big boy these days!

I can't believe it's June already.... I feel a bit like we're driving through the mountains.  At 100mph.  Blindfolded... but so far we're all in one piece so... BRING IT ON!