Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday Morning Happy Place

Yesterday I was one day post migraine - and a double whammy migraine at that!  I also had both babies AND an extra child for a couple hours AND Hattie was home all day.  By the time everyone had left the house looked like it had imploded upon itself from the sheer weight of toys.

'Cause, oh sweet mercy, the toys they were a'plenty.

Add to that the fact that the kitchen had not gotten cleaned - really cleaned - all week and especially in the last few days.

And, can I just tell you, the load I had put in the washing machine on MONDAY, it was still in the washing machine.  Still.  And stinkin.  (luckily it was white towels and the bleach, it will be flowing)

So, all that being said, when it came to the end of the day yesterday, hubby and I just looked at each other and said "forget it ... it'll be here tomorrow".

And, sadly, we were right.

I walked out of the bedroom this morning to a GINORMOUS mess.

Now, I am never one to tackle a huge task (or, ya know, a task of any size) first thing in the morning, so the girls and I had a lazy start while daddy slept in and we watched a movie.  Through the movie I kept reminding them that we were going to have to do some big cleaning when it was over.

And, we did.  We emptied out the toy box and all inner containers and started afresh.  We sorted everything out, threw away some broken items and found a few things we had thought lost.  We then vacuumed, dusted and swept.  Hubbs joined the party by tidying up the kitchen and sorting things out there.

When it was all said and done - and the house resembled a HOUSE again - I started another movie for the girls.  Meanwhile (before cleaning the kitchen floor), daddy decided to make use of the rest of our apple orchard apples and bake a pie.  Sophie immediately abandoned us on the couch to help him.

Cause that girl is a fan of all things cooking.

a few minutes later I sat on the couch with Hattie and took in the moment:

Listening to Sophie baking with her daddy was like witnessing sunshine - her joy FILLED the room.  Random giggles, thank you daddy's and her busting out in self applause found it's way across the room to my ears ... and my heart.  The smells of cinnamon, nutmeg and apples exploding in flavor and yummy scent were icing on the cake.

Meanwhile, I sat on the comfy couch cuddled up with Hattie - who rested one hand in mine while her other arm encircled my shoulder with that hand caressing my face as we watched Barbie movies.  Both as relaxed as we could be.

Now, as the sweet aroma of baking pie fills the house we are ALL FOUR piled up on the couch. Hubby holds remote in hand flipping back and forth between multiple football games as Hattie snuggles into the his side and moves his arm to hold her tighter.  Sophie has curled up next to me and snuggled herself in so comfortably that she is now snoozing away, deep in slumber and snoring softly in my ear.

And, here, with the ones I love the most as close as can be, I have found my happy place.

If this particular moment in time never ends it will be more than OK with me.

Friday, November 11, 2011


In honor of this once in a lifetime date (which totally cracks me up, cause ummmm, hello, 11.12.11 is only gonna happen once too, but where is everyone rushing to have their wedding and/or baby on THAT day?!), I thought I would tell you eleven things about me.

Oh ... wait ... three of you just left.

Totally understandable.

For the rest of you (HI MOMMY!!!), here we go!

1. I was a high school cheerleader ... when I was FOUR YEARS OLD!  Yep. My babysitter's daughter was on the cheer squad and they decided they needed a mascot.  I won!  Went they all ran out on the basketball court between quarters to do their cartwheels and flips, I took a wee pillow out there and stood on my head.  Kinda.  Only one foot up in the air.

Y'all ... I was FULL of the cheerleading skill.

2. In school, when we did those presidential fitness exams and we had to do the laps around the football field, I PAYED people to walk with me so I a) would NOT have to run and b) would not be walking in last by myself.

And now, at the ripe old age of 43, I actually crave running.  CRAVE it. Like, am lost without it.

3. I am slightly (read: out of my ever lovin MIND) excited about the new Muppet Movie!  Cause, y'all, I am a Muppet FREAK!  I have every one of their movies on DVD and the girls and I watch them all the time.

4. When I was little, we had the soundtrack of the original movie ... on 8 track.  Yes we did!

'Cause how else were we supposed to listen to it ... on the BOAT?!

(yeah, you know you wanted to be as cool as we were with 8 track players in our house, our car AND our boat ... Mm Hm ... yesiree!)

5. When I was little I wanted to be Laura Ingalls.  I made my mom make me a dress and bonnet so I could be her for Halloween.

6. A few years later it was Barbara Mandrell.  Loved her then and still do - what an amazing Christian woman.  My mom and I went to Nashville to see her very last concert ever. One of my very best memories ever.  We had a blast!

7. I have been to Hawaii three times - once for my senior trip after high school (yes, I was that spoiled - but to be fair, I didn't get the lettermen's jacket or any of that junk, so....), once with an old room mate and once with my grandma - we went on a cruise around the islands.  I learned to play the ukulele and to hula and I went para-sailing.  EPIC!

8. I am obsessed with grape tootsie roll pops.  I enjoy raspberry, cherry, chocolate and chocolate, but I am in LOVE with the grape.  In.LOVE.  To the point that when Hubby brought home the Halloween candy to pass out I was very tempted to have a hissy fit that it was not the tootsie roll mix.  Also, I begged borrowed and stole (yes, I did - head hung low) to get a grand total of six this year.

Well, seven if you count the one that Amanda brought me on Monday.

Have I mentioned that Amanda is my favorite?

9. I have recently learned of the existence of a Christmas tootsie roll pop ... it's peppermint.  I.must.find.this.  Seriously. I need to try this ... especially if it, in any way, resembles the taste of peppermint mocha coffee.

10. Coffee is my friend.

for realz.

And it's your friend too if you need me to function too early in the morning.

for really, REALLY realz.

11. I am BEYOND proud to be an American and am sooooo thankful for every single person who has ever served our country.

Especially THIS one.

SO proud of my handsome veteran!

OK, your turn!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful On A Thursday

It's Thursday. I have a migraine. So, ya know, gonna make a list.

(but hey, I AM blogging ... 10 days straight. Feels good.)

So, continuing on with our 30 Days of Thanks theme, here are days 6-10)

6: I am thankful for technology. It may sound nerdy, but since I couldn't go to church on Sunday, I was VERY thankful that I could do church online and worship with my computer library!  LOVE!

7: I am thankful for my health. Honestly, who would have EVER thought I would be running multiple miles a day ... in my ever lovin FORTIES?!?!?!  Thank You LORD!

8: I am thankful for coffee. Do I need to say more? (cause that time change thang, it is harsh ... Benjamin Franklin is NOT on my happy list at the moment!)

9: I am thankful for allergy meds. Heaven only knows how bad my ears (and migraines) would be without them.  Also thankful for them for Sophie - poor baby may never know a clear nasal passage. SO inspired by the way she is still the happiest, most joy filled person I know. LOVE that kid!

10 TODAY, I am thankful for praying friends.  In particular the lovely women in my Thursday morning Bible study group who prayed me through THIS Thursday morning!  LOVE these women!

So, tell me, what are YOU thankful for?!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Let's TWOG

***Well - haven't I just been on my little soap box lately!  I think it might be time to lighten things up around here!!!

So, today, I think I shall TWOG it ... that would be bloggin it twitter style!

Here we go!!!!!!***

Hubs was gonna clean the kitchen last night.  The sink still overflows.  As does my heart for this man.  And so, I shall forgive him......

Y'all, that is some mad serious love.

Today I am thankful for allergy meds.  Lord help my poor ears without it!

I admit I have already worn a Christmas T-shirt & watched Christmas movies.  But the Christmas commercials are already gettin old. Too soon people, much too soon.

coffee ... air ... coffee ... air ... coffee ... air ... coffee ... air ...

I think society, as a whole, owes Lindsay Lohan an apology.  I also think she needs a mama.  Perhaps Mrs Duggar?

The Compassion Ecuador trip blog posts are wrecking me.  WRECKING ME.  Lord Jesus, come.

When, as one walks across the kitchen floor, one loses a sock in the sticky, it may be time for one to mop said floor.  Or time for one to avoid that particular spot on said floor.

Veggie Tales: Rack, Shack & Benny ... yep. still good.

New House Requirement No. 432:  must have spot for comfy chair in corner where I can leave my Bible open and ready at all times.

Just played the word "sith" in words with friends. This move brought to you by Anakin Skywalker. (also, I had to google how to spell Anakin)

I could watch Sophie Lee dance  Girlfriend has some sweet moves.  She is currently doing the worm. To the Veggie Tales. Sweet.

We know what we have learned applies to our life today, God has a lot to say in His Book....

Listening to the rain and REALLY wishing I had gotten up this morning to run. Stupid belly ache.

sending Hubby cryptic text messages using emoticons and pictures. Trying to imagine his face as he tries to figure out the message! FUN!

Someone needs to scare the pinterest website server ... it has the hiccups ... again.

Sophie (4) is trying to play hide and seek with Alexis (15months). Very entertaining for me. Very fun for Alexis. Very frustrating for Sophie.

There is one stubborn rose on my bush out front. Stubborn enough to survive the frost and cold and go from bud to bloom while the other buds froze to death.

I love that God gives gifts of beauty to teach us strength and fortitude.

hypothetical house shopping (like on House Hunters) is much more fun than ACTUAL house hunting - especially when time & money rule out the ones I love most.

HGTV and DIY are starting to make me think I can turn a dive into a castle.  Hubby may have something to say about that. Since he will be doing the actual "turning into".

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.  Love classics.

Whatever happened to Charro?

I googled her ... she's fine.  Living in Hawaii. Or Vegas. Her website wasn't sure. And I have just revealed to the world wide web that yes, I AM a moron.

And "moron" is to be read in a Reba accent ... moe-RON.  Say it right y'all!  Say it right!

God is gonna rock my world with this James study ... I can already tell.  Mercy, it's good. MERCY! It.Is.GOOD.

Naptime ... nuff said.

Shhhhh ... do you hear that?  ME EITHER!  Isn't it GREAT?!

Hubby just texted back a smiley face.  I could judge, but hey .. HE TEXTED!  Never thought I would say THAT!

MAN, he is one cute fella.  I think I have a little crush on him.  SHould I tell him?

Seriously y'all ... God is good.  I really hope you KNOW that.  REALLY!

rainy days should be mandatory nap days.

I'm a little angry with Kate Middleton for this whole pantyhose resurgence.  Why Kate? WHY?!

(FYI - that one started quite the conversation on the actual Twitter ... one in which a total stranger told me I had no class and to call the "wah-mbulance".  Cause, ya know, calling out a total stranger on THEIR class says SO much about your own!!! LOL!)

I need Mexican food. Yes, yes I did say NEED.

I am reading Ann Voskamp's "1000 Gifts" - it is TOTALLY redefining gratitude, grace and joy for me. SO good.

(OK, seriously, Candace Cameron Bure (DJ from Full House) just joined in the conversation about the pantyhose ... Y'all!!!!  She re-tweeted my tweet. WHA?!?!?!?!?)

Why does watching Biggest Loser make me want to eat? It is all I can do to NOT head to the fridge right now!

SO thankful for good friends! So Blessed!

Also thankful for laughter - especially the spray water across the room, lost the ability to breathe, just cannot quit and , yes, even snort variety.  Love it!

Soph woke up grumpy. Alexis did too. Hattie had a rough day at school. NO one here is happy right now. I may need chocolate.  And possibly a margarita.

Net to the flix to the rescue.  We may just survive the day.

Hubby just texted me a picture of flowers.  Glad he loves me.

SOMEONE here needs to start dinner.  Guess since I'm the only one who can reach the dials on the stove it's up to me.  ***sigh***

Good worship music is the best pick me up EVER.  God is so ... SO ... so faithful.

*** so, there ya go ... a day in the life. I kinda like to TWOG! Maybe we'll do it again sometime!***

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Be Careful ....

I have a friend who is hurting.  Hurting in one of those senseless, needless CAREless kind of situations.  The kind that could have ... and SHOULD have ... been avoided at all costs.

Someone made a choice - a choice to look. Then to look again.

That person made another choice - a choice to THINK. And to imagine. To go THERE in the mind.

Then he made the choice to act.  And act again.

And these choices led to pain. To loss.  To destruction. To brokenness ... not to brokenness of this person, but brokenness of dreams, lives, families (yes ... familIES! plural), careers and so much more.

Brokenness of hearts and trust and love and home.

And the thing is, it didn't just happen. It never just happens.  It is a series of events, choices and changes.

You make a promise and draw a line.  The intention is to never even veer toward that line.  But it happened.  They did.  They were never (WE were never) meant to even look at or consider that line.  But they did.  And they certainly never set out to CROSS that line ... but it happened.  They did.

One choice, one thought, one look, one tiny movement toward that line at a time. And before they knew it, they were on the other side.

I know we ALL would like to think that our marriages are solid and strong. And that the love will last.  But it will not happen with out intention.  Without choices. Without care.

Be CAREful ... it's a slippery slope. It happens gradually. Over time. And then, in a moment, there you are.

It's a slow fade...

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day
It's a Slow Fade.

Be CARE-ful.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Day She Got Broken

I have always dreaded the phone calls from school.  Really, ANY phone call from school in the middle of the day is never a good thing.

Hi Mrs B, this is Ms C - Hattie is sick. Come and get her.

Hey there, Hattie is having a rough day.

Hi ... ummm, did you forget Hattie's lunch today?  (yes, sad to say I HAVE gotten that one!)

I hate to tell you this but Hattie missed the bus.  (do not even get me started on this one!!!)

But the one I have dreaded the most is the "Hi Mrs. B ... Hattie is OK, but............"

Cause, really, she is either OK or there is a "but".  Ya just cannot have it both ways.  It don't work!

And, the weirdest part of the day it happened is that I didn't even GET the phone call.  Because everyone thought she was fine.  At least until the bus hit that bump.

But I digress, let's start at the beginning:

Hattie was at school and the day was normal.  She had actually had a very good day.  So, when time to leave approached and it was time to get ready for the bus, Hattie did so without issue.  Now, in her program, not all of the children CAN get ready on their own.  So, this day they put on a little video to make the process run a little smoother.  Hattie was among the first ready so she sat on a chair to watch TV.  But Hattie has a bad habit of tipping in her chair.  And on this day, every warning she had ever been given about falling out of her chair, came to pass.

Her teachers ran to her aid, got her some ice and moved her to the bean bag (her usual cool down spot). But Hattie couldn't see the TV from the bean bag so she declared herself all better and moved back to the TV area with no other complaints.

But, somewhere between the classroom and our front door something went awry.  She cried a little when they put her belt over her shoulder (the special needs bus comes with carseat like 5 point harness things - which they had been looking into moving her out of anyway because it was too tight).  And she REALLY started crying when the bus hit a particularly big bump.

I watched the bus pull up outside and, as I opened the front door, I heard her crying.  I knew immediately that it was an "I'm in pain" cry. When I got to the bus and saw her pale face and the fact that she refused to move her left arm, I knew we were in trouble.  So, off we headed to the emergency room.

As it happens (by the Grace of God), the girls had watched a show just that morning in which a character had to be taken to the hospital and given an x-ray.  By this point she was calm and had started to mover her arm slightly, but I could SEE a bump and knew that it was either broken or dislocated.  After I all but BEGGED them to check it out, a nice young man came to escort us to the big machines.  And Hattie happily marched down the hall declaring "I'm gonna get an x-ray!  I'm gonna get an x-ray!" And, because they had portrayed it rather well on TV, she was not at all afraid of the machines and things went as smooth as silk! PRAISE HIM!

Once the break was confirmed and I managed to refrain myself from telling everyone in the place I TOLD YA SO!, we were given a sling and sent on our merry way.  And now, two and a half weeks later, I can hardly keep her IN that sling and she seems stronger every day.  The first week or so was rough - trying to keep her from certain activities, hugs gone wrong, forgetfully pushing herself up, etc ..., but we got through it all and seem to be well on our way to recovery.

Have I ever mentioned that the resiliency that this child is Blessed with amazes me every single day?  She is incredible and I am so proud to be her mama and to witness the beauty that is her strength!  I know that strength will serve her well ... because I KNOW that God has big plans for her.

I cannot wait to see her become who He created her to be.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


The word "home" ... I think it may mean something a little bit different to every one of us.  But, no matter what visions that it conjures up in your head, I can only imagine they are powerful.  I mean, really, just think of the phrases that come to mind ...

Sweet Home Alabama (OK, fess up, who else just had Reese Witherspoon's face pop into your head? Yeah, me too.)

A man's home is his castle

Home is where the heart is

Home sweet home

Home for Christmas...

And, maybe that one, combined with our current circumstances as a family and the season that has begun to come around again, is why I am so desperate for "home" lately.  Maybe I feel the need to put the Christmas tree in the same spot we do every year, hang the stockings in the same way (maybe even put up some PERMANENT hooks to hang them on EVERY year!), put up the nativity in the usual spot and be sure that the village is just the way it always is (until I convince Hubby to buy me just a few more pieces again this year).  But here, in this house we rent - although we have done all we can to make it a home, we still strive for the tradition that comes with "home".

And, as anyone in my family can attest to, I am a girl bent on tradition.

Traditions ... they're just a natural consequence of home.

That last Christmas in the last place we called HOME was perfection.  Sure, we had to dig out old forgotten toys and wrap them up for gifts (the kids had no idea - Sophie had never seen them and Hattie had only known them for a few weeks before the LAST time we had moved). Yes, we were in the midst of sorting through and packing up to move. And, no, we did not have ANY money for anything extra for mom & dad.  But it was sweet - sweet, because the tree was decorated just the way I liked it, the village upon the mantle sparkled, the nativity outside lit up just right and the house - as always - still smelled of the birthday cake we had just baked for Baby Jesus.

Yes, it was HOME.

And this will be our third Christmas spent without a true sense of home.

But, this year we can see a light at the end of the tunnel.  We have built our financial status back up, put our ducks back in their proverbial row and have learned that - at last - we can begin to make a home for ourselves again.  And so the search is on for a house to make into a "home". There is a little bit more time left on our lease here so we have just been "feeling the market out" ... at least that was the plan.  But, when you are desperate for a "home", that's easier said than done.  And, every time we see one we like, only to watch it be filed under that label of "pending", home feels just a bit further away.

This unknown is not for the faint of heart.

But then, I suppose, that is where faith comes in.  Because FAITH tells me that this world - this "unknown" - is not my home.  FAITH teaches me that this world is just a vapor when placed against the promise of eternity.  Just a blink of an eye - gone in a moment.

And, then, in that moment, we will truly be HOME.  And that HOME - that place in eternity that we were created for - that HOME will never end.

So, I guess I could choose to let the lost feeling in the unknown pull me down and drag me under.

Or, I could cling to the safety that comes with the Promise of my true HOME.

So, as long as I am here in this unknown, I will cling to the glimpses of the promise that He has given to see me through...

My husband - as long as I have him I can make a home anywhere.

My children - oh, the promise that I see in them.

His provision - we DO have a house to live in, even if it is not ours to create a "home" in.

Hope - hope that we will have a house to call "home" someday soon.

HIM - and the True Promise of our True HOME.

And, in that Promise, there is rest and peace and comfort and love ... all the things that "home" should mean.

HE is my HOME.