Thursday, April 26, 2012

Many thanks

I thank you all who left such kind words here.

And for the emails that came to comfort.

The mailbox has been full of beautiful cards offered in comfort and sympathy.

We've been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love- casseroles, flowers, phone calls, cards, visits.  Blessings, each and every one of them.

We made it.  Everyone was dressed appropriately in ironed clothes with well fitting shoes.  Final words were read.  Prayers went up.  Flowers were moved from the funeral home to the cemetary.  Dress clothes were cast asside by children all to anxious to get outside and play with their cousins.  Food was prepared and served and cleaned up.  Desserts were eaten.  Laughs were heard.  Tears were shed. Table clothes were washed and put back into cabinets.  Beautiful serving dishes washed by serving hands.  All done.

And now the hard part begins.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Senior

He ate all the gross raw veggies.  I'm not kidding.  This man could not pass by a bowl of sliced raw potatoes without taking one.  I'll never understand.  He also would open a candy dish and eat just two M&M's.  I mean seriously, who can do that?  

When Dan and I were first married, we bought some kind of a new car.  I don't even remember what it was.  But I do remember Dan showing it to his dad, and seeing that he was proud to be showing it to his dad.  And the first thing out of his fathers mouth was 'Can I drive it?'  That never changed.  Every time anyone would get a new car, his dad always wanted to drive it.

He also always wanted to feed the new babies their bottle.

It makes sense now.  He was not okay to just 'see' something.  He needed to try it, to experience it, to have the whole thing for just a moment all to himself.

He never hesitated to start a game of something with anyone close.  Acey Deucy.  Sheep Head.  Darts.  I've learned more games from Dan's parents than I ever even knew existed with just a deck of cards. 

He would totally complain and avoid paying $2.50 for a soda in a restaurant but not blink an eye to spend a couple hundred on some kind of fishing contraption. 

He was the owner of the 'little man'.  I never met him until grandchildren started sprouting up, but he magically appeared on the end of his hand and he would always be at the dinner table teasing the children about taking their cookie, or their peas or tickling their belly.  I can't imagine never seeing the 'little man' again.

He built the book shelves that are upstairs in our home. I so appreciated it then.  I appreciate it even more today.

Over the course of the past 17 years, that man must have asked me if I liked sea food 3000 times.  And he would always ask it the same way, "You like sea food, don't you?"  And upon hearning my answer (always NO), he would give me the same confused look.  I will miss that.

He loved to play.  And play around.  And tease.  And dance.  And fish. And camp.

He kept giant cans of nuts hidden in his bedroom closet.

He was going to teach Allyson to water ski this summer.  And no doubt would have tried to do it himself.

He was the father of the man I married.  He raised a son who is respectful to his wife, patient and giving, excited to be a father, an excellent provider for his family, honorable to everyone he knows, does not eat raw potatoes or just two M&M's, who is respectable and kind, and can remember all 647 different games that can be played with a single deck of cards.

One time when I first started this blog, he squinched up his face and asked me why I was doing this- what it was for or what the purpose was.  And when I responded that I didn't really know but I loved writing and documenting all the little parts of our life and my thoughts, he shook his head.  He didn't get it.  Nor would I expect him to.  Blogs are more for a 'whole bag of chocolates' kind of person.

He was not emotional nor did I ever see him attach a bit of emotion to a single drop of anything. 

But he loved with his whole entire self.

His death was preceeded by months of slow suffering which was preceeded by almost two years of horrible treatments.  His body was slow to give up and shut down, allowing the cancer to take it over inch by inch.  I take comfort in knowing that God had grand purpose in asking him to do something so difficult, although I don't understand what it was now.

Our family has changed.  It will never be the same again.  Normal will not ever be what it was.  We now begin our quest for a new normal, the one that came the day Dan's dad died.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


My father in law is entering the final stages of his life.  It is so very painful.

Sam woke up throwing up.

Allyson's best friend from Boston is home for a visit.

My husband bought a new (used) car.  Again.  It is so not a convertible slug bug.  But it is a cute little thing.

I finally made the time to clean our house last night.

My heart is heavy.

Someday I will be more 'normal'- just not right now.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Amazing Grace

We had a program this week at our church.  It was called FREAC night.  I forget what that stook for- but it was fun.  This particular night was a family night (probably what the F stood for) for middle & high school families.  And it was awesome.

The middle and high school bands performed- I felt like I was at a rock concert.  Kids were dancing and singing and jumping and laughing- and they were all worshiping.  Together. 

We are new to this church.  We don't have a church 'family' here yet- but as I looked around at all the families who are also raising children, I felt comfort and peace.  For whatever reason, God needed us to be here.  And we were faithful, despite the pain and discomfort that it has caused.  And I rest in peace knowing that He needs us to be here.

There were funny skits, there was dinner, there was dessert, there was crazy chalk drawing on the tables, and there were two stories or short plays the kids acted out.  They spoke to my heart.
I wish I would have brought my good camera- but here is a snap from my phone.

The first boy- the one in the middle came out with a piece of poster board that read "What lies are you believing?".
And then one by one, the kids came out with a sign that had different strongholds listed. 
Liar.  Fat.  Stupid.  Ugly.  Worthless. 
Then- four fathers went up one by one, each holding a sign that read something they had learned through their faith. 
Jesus loves me.
Jesus gave me courage to live.
Jesus makes me strong.
Jesus died to forgive me.

And with each sign held up, the kids ripped their sign in half.

The family minister gave a short sermon that was given for the encouragement of us as parents, and for them as kids.  And it was powerful.

I was crying.  Mothers were crying.  Fathers were crying.

I know God needed me to hear what He was saying.

Parenting is not easy.  And now that Allyson is growing into a young woman, it is even harder.  She feels lost, abandoned by some of her friends, confused, she is struggling to find her 'place'.  And so am I.

Purposeful Parenting- that was what he spoke about.

I can do this.  But only through His grace.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sucks big donkey bugs

I try not to become too overcome by material things. 

That is not to say I don't treasure things for sentimental reasons.  Give me one of my babies newborn outfits or a preschool spring play dress and I totally could bury my head in them and cry.  But not because of the name brand or the particular store they came from.

Typically I try to stay clear of all that.  My coach purse aside.  Mind you- I would have never purchased it because they are a tad on the expensive side.  My husband bought it for a present, now it has sentimental value.  See?

Anyway.  The point it, I fell in love with that little orange beetle bug my husband drove home last month.  FELL.IN.LOVE.  It was fun to drive, cute, a convertible..........and bright freakin orange.  LOVED IT.

Yesterday, we had to give it back to the dealership.  That car was very very sick, sicker than we could handle (hello failing transmission- $5000).  And the dealer was so very very generous to try and fix the problem and then offer to just buy it back.

Which was truly a blessing that I believe God was delivering.

But I still wanted to wrap my arms around the wheels and cry my eyes out.


Everytime I would see it in our drive way, or that I would get to drive it, I would think how I couldn't believe it was ours.  How super cool it was that we had such a fun car.  Not only that fit our needs, was economical, but so cute and fun.  Did I mention it was fun?  My mini van is not fun.  It's nice.  But not fun.  Unless having french fries ground into the door tracks is fun.  Which it is not.

Dan and I went out on a date Saturday, in our the super cool little car.  Just so that we could remember doing it before we pick out another car to replace it with.  Something economical, cheap, good gas mileage..........and uncool.
Goodbye little beautiful fabulous car.  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Morning!

 Before heading out for church, the kids woke up to hunt easter eggs and see what the bunny had filled their baskets with. 
 I felt such an overwhelming sense of peace and joy on Easter morning.
 To celebrate Christ.  To have my children hunting eggs (happily) together.  To be safe and in our home with all five of us.  It just was such a wonderful morning.
The rawhide bone is not for emily- it was left for Rosie.  I could tell you were worrying.
 The way the sun was shining into our living room was such a blessing to my heart.  It just reinforced the joy I was feeling. 
 And I loved watching the kids look through their baskets of goodies.
 And hearing the excitement to see what kind of chocolates, beans and toys they had been left.
We didn't pick out fancy new outfits this year.  We all have so much, nothing was really needed.  I left the kids to their own devices and we all put on something 'nice' and went to church to worship as a family.  And by 'left the kids to their own devices' I mean I totally helped steer their choices- otherwise emily would be wearing a yellow t-shirt with a monster face on it and sweat pant shorts and sam would have had on a lego batman shirt.  So see- this really is nice.  We were running late (of course) so I snapped a quick picture in the living room instead of on the front porch.  I already regret not getting my front porch easter morning picture.  dang.
 The easter bunny also left a nice tennis ball shaped easter egg in Rosies tummy.
Either that or she has a hernia from her recent surgery.  Poor little thing, back to the vet we go this morning- she'll no doubt have to have another surgery and then I have to try to figure out how to keep her calm so that she doesn't do this again.

That is- unless it really is just an easter egg.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter

I sincerely hope you have a blessed and Happy Easter.  Easter is certainly a very special day for my family as we celebrate the gift that Jesus freely gave for you and for me. 
Because of Him, we are forgiven.
  Because of Him, our lives have hope. 
Because of Him, this life is bearable.
I am so thankful for Jesus the Christ.
 (Easter Cookies I made thinking I would share them with our neighbors and friends.  Except they took FOREVER to roll out, cut out, and decorate- and it only produced 16 pittiful little cookies.  So instead we will just keep them and let the kids fight over eating them. 
Note to self- I need a bunny shaped cookie cutter.
 Our colored Easter Eggs.
Jello Eggs- a tradition in our home.  This is instead what we ended up sharing with the neighbors.  They are kind of like the Hot Cross Buns of 2012.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

For crying out loud

I am having a rough week.  And I am cranky.

The end.

Except it's not the end because I have something I have to get off my chest.

Children are short- it's by design.  Otherwise, if they came out full size, not only would our who-ha's hurt a whole lot, they would be hard to get in and out of a crib.  Just sayin'.

Today I was leaving a store (Target- duh!) and preparing to back out of my parking space. I looked behind my car, looked in both mirrors, looked back again, and then I put the car in reverse and ever so gently took my foot off of the brake and slooooowly began to roll backwards from in between the two huge vans I was parked in between.

Just then, a woman appeared behind my car and I pressed lightning fast back down on the brake.  Her three little short kids were right behind my van, walking ahead of her.  Had I not seen her head, I might have backed over one of them. 

Now I know what you are thinking, she grabbed their little hands, scolded them for not being closer to her, lifted a thank you to God for keeping her little chicks safe and flashed a quick apology smile to me.

Except she didn't.

That woman rolled her head around on her shoulders and held up a hand to me as though commanding me to stop.  Then she continued to casually stroll on past my car through the parking lot with her three LITTLE children toddling on up ahead of her as she munched on popcorn and strutted herself and her bad attitude toward their car.

I wanted to run her over, just to prove that I could.  Then I wanted to tell her off, which I should probably do before I run her over.  Except I am not one for confrontation.  I will generally allow people to walk all over me before I will finally stand up for myself.  At school, if someone said they wanted to fight me, my heart raced and my elbows went weak.  They still do.  They are right now at the thought of jumping out of my car and demanding that sorry excuse for a mother grab the hands of her children.

When did we stop holding our childrens hands people?  When did parking lots stop being incredibly dangerous places?  When did our world quit parenting our children?


Now- that's The End.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

THIS makes me mad- lets plan a revolt

This is a photo that was with an ad for Udder Cover- a nursing cover up thingy.  Genius?  Yes- this product would have been welcome when I had nursing infants.  But realistic picture?  No.

Although it's been a day or two since I had a newborn, I faintly remember what it was like.  So allow me to point out the problems with this photograph:
Her hair is done.  Not just brushed and in a ponytail, but done- as in at a salon with a current hair do and highlights.  As if.

She has on make up.  And not just chapstick and yesterdays mascara.  Real honest to goodness makeup with foundation and blush.  Probably lip liner too.

She is visiting with girlfriends.  Fellow girlfriends who are model gorgeous with their done hair and perfect make up.  There is not a single stitch of time with a newborn for that kind of craziness.

Her collar bones are perfect.  That just upsets me.

They are all just too happy and well rested looking.  No new mother with a nursing baby looks that happy.  I mean they are 'happy' because they have that beautiful baby.  But they are physically and emotionally a giant train wreck.  Their hair is falling out by the handful, their nipples are bleeding, their stomach is giggly (does she look like a giggly stomached momma????), their hormones are wreaking havoc and their kitchens are a mess.

I remember sleeping for no more than 2 hours at a time- for 14 months straight.  I remember forgetting to brush my teeth in the morning because I couldn't remember what time of day it was.  I remember having milk soaking through my bra, pad liner and church.  I remember trying to go to the grocery for the first time alone and having to nurse the baby on the bench at the front of the check outs and actually using my shopping cart as a shield.  I remember having milk dripping on my feet as I walked to the restroom in the middle of the night.  I remember pumping forever to make a small baggie of milk for the freezer and then spilling it on my way to the kitchen.........and crying over it like it was my best friend who just walked out on me.  I remember wearing the same clothes for 2 days straight because there simply wasn't time to change them.

There just isn't anything glamorous about all that.

They need more real pictures so they won't make all the poor tired milking mommas feel bad.  It's just a thought.