Friday, September 30, 2011

Pampering+Chocolate+Praise=Amen & Amen

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a free 25 dollar Sam's Club card! Click here. Or just copy this link= . I know 25 dollars doesn't get much this days, what with cheese costing approximately one firstborn child and three cents, but every little bit helps. You can boost your chances with multiple entries.

Tonight, the conference begins. Of course, it's my understanding that tonight is a pampering time and free dinner for ministry wives followed by prayer and praise and chocolate! What about that doesn't appeal to my heart? Nothing. All of that just sounds like a little slice of heaven on earth.

Pampering=Even better.
Chocolate=Now we're talking.
Prayer & Praise= Hallelujah!

Few things warm my soul as quickly as the gathering of evangelical Christian believers in this valley. I'm so excited for this weekend. Several days ago I was praying and I just kept asking God to show up this weekend. In the quietness of my heart I felt Him impress upon me, "Expect it." It was a somewhat startling response, actually.

I started thinking about it. Why wouldn't I expect Him to show up? Why would I feel like only my heartfelt begging would make the Lord present? He's going to have the captive attention of 125+ women, to think He might not show up is preposterous. So I'm expecting Him to make His presence known in a powerful way. And I'm praying that He'll use me to accomplish His will.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Some 25 Years Ago

I wonder if there was ever a doubt in my parents' minds that I was going to be dramatic.
I think I was five in that picture. In fairness, I also think that I would have been incapable of sporting that head wrap on my own. My mom must have helped. I totally look like some incognito famous child. Add the ridiculous sunglasses and I simply reek of the theatuh. Dahling.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Battle Belongs to the Lord

Last night I ended up at the after hours clinic. Late in the afternoon I called to ask the nurse if she thought it was a reaction to the flu shot. She suspected that it could be but thought the doctor should see me anyway--especially when I mentioned that I had a conference this weekend. The doctor looked in my ears, which weren't hurting. He looked at my throat, which wasn't hurting. He listened to my lungs--which felt fine. Then he asked whether anyone in my house had been sick and diagnosed me with, nothing really.

He said he thought I was trying to fight off a common cold and having some kind of slight reaction to the flu vaccine. I left with a prescription for Prednisone but when the doctor started explaining side effects to me I asked if I might take Ibuprofen first and see if it worked. He thought that sounded like a good idea. He'd already told me that Prednisone might cause me to have difficulty sleeping and might make me bloated.

I had an image of myself, extremely swollen and bearing dark circles under my eyes, shuffling up to the stage on Saturday morning. In the image I was also incredibly disheveled, although I think that was more a product of my imagination than anything.

I did fill the prescription today just in case I needed a heavy weight in my corner come Saturday but I have no intention of taking it. I looked up all the possible side effects on the Internet and I really don't want to deal with any of them.

Headache- I don't want one. I've had enough lately.

Dizziness- Onstage? I'd likely topple off. I'm not coordinated anyway and falling off the stage is always a distinct possibility.

Difficulty falling asleep- I don't want to be tired. Enough said.

Inappropriate Happiness- The idea of inappropriate happiness makes me inappropriately happy. I have images of hysterical laughter while everyone in attendance shifts awkwardly in her seat and gives a sideways glance to the woman seated next to her.

Extreme changes in mood- "Which conference was that again?" Betsy asked her friend. "The one where the speaker laughed hysterically for no good reason and then burst into tears," Wanda responded.

Changes in Personality- See Extreme changes in mood.

Bulging Eyes- Yeah, that's, just, never good.

Acne- I still deal with a honkin' zit here or there as it is. I do not need acne. Although, this conference is open to teens so maybe they'd feel more connected.

Thin, fragile skin- I'd have to make sure not to talk too animatedly with my know, out of fear that my thin, fragile skin might go flying off.

Red or purple blotches or lines under the skin- I'd have invest in a lot of flesh colored concealer to handle that one.

Slowed healing of cuts and bruises- I'm not planning on getting cut and/or bruised while speaking but, well, you never know.

Increased hair growth- Where? A long luxurious mane just in time for the conference would be fine. Unless it was on my face.

Changes in the way fat is spread around the body- Sign me up. Not.

Extreme tiredness- See Difficulty Falling Asleep

Weak muscles- "Can I get a chair up here? I've been speaking for five minutes and my muscles are incredibly fatigued." And, wait, this is like a side effect akin to what I'm trying to cure.

Irregular or absent menstrual periods- I have PCOS so what else is new? In this case would two negatives come together and make a positive?

Decreased sexual desire- Well. Now. This one wouldn't really effect the outcome of the conference. To my knowledge.

Heartburn- I get heartburn with some regularity and I can say that I'd prefer for it to stay completely away from me during any and all conferences.

Increased sweating- Okay so we've established that we're not taking this little gem of a medication. I'd much rather have an aching body than be known as Pit Mark Girl.

Since the doctor didn't really diagnose me with anything to speak of, I diagnosed myself with a case of Spiritual Warfare. Sometimes Satan doesn't even try to be subtle. When I said aloud that I wasn't going to let some severe muscle pain stop me from preparing, he threw something else at our family. I might have to put oil on my socks and walk circles around myself. But my God will have the victory.

2 Chronicles 20:15 "...Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Aches and Pains

Do you all not have a Sam's Club membership or do you just not need an extra 25 dollars to shop with? Head over to my giveaway blog and enter already!

And then come back over here and cure me of whatever is making me ache from my neck to my knee caps.

I've had a hunch all day that it's some kind of weird reaction to my flu vaccination but I'm not having any fun yet. The majority of the pain is located in my back and arms but it radiates to, well, everywhere else. If I sit still enough I hardly remember that I hurt. Then I jump up to do something and I feel like I'm going to topple over, dead.

Maybe there was a little bit of Satan in my flu shot and he's trying to thwart my plans to bring the Word of God to the conference this weekend. I have news for him, my God is a whole lot bigger and I expect Him to show up in a mighty way.

If I still feel like the living dead this weekend I'll have pop some serious pain killers so that Satan doesn't win the battle (just the battle, never the war). Although, perhaps popping pain killers and then public speaking is not the very best idea I've ever had.

Monday, September 26, 2011

How's the Painting?

Every time we drop The Rock Star off at school and his teacher is the one unloading kids from cars, she says something like, "He is so sweet."

Today she said, "He's just the cutest. I have to tell you a quick story. The other day his table was working on writing and the other table was painting. He turned around in his seat and said to the other table, 'How's the painting going guys?' I mean, who does that? He's adorable."

I smiled and said, "Thank you. He's never met someone who isn't a friend."

She replied, "Well, I just love it."

When I picked him up from class today she looked me right in the eye and said, "Thank you!" I raised my eyebrows. "He really adds so much to my class!"

"Oh," I said, "Well, you're welcome."

Garrett has always received a lot of attention in preschool. He's been the energetic one, the one who says random, funny things, the one in the transracial family, the one who talks nonstop. I am thrilled that this year his teacher is loving how friendly and sweet he is. And I see his confidence with school boosting almost every day. I couldn't be more happy with our decision to send him to that particular preschool to begin with and I couldn't be happier with our decision to put him in a third year there.

Today we were walking and he reached up and took my hand. I looked down at him and smiled, "Do you know that I love you so much it sometimes hurts and my heart feels like it might burst?"

He nodded. "Yeah, mommy. I know you love me."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Head Over to Givin' in a Fishbowl

Head on over to my giveaway site for your chance to win a $25 Sam's Club gift certificate. If you don't have a Sam's Club card, enter anyway and if you win you can give it to someone who does.

Click here --> Givin' in a Fishbowl

Friday, September 23, 2011

He is Here

Suddenly, yesterday, it hit me like a tons of bricks outta nowhere. I could have lost my baby. I could have lost my baby. I could have lost my baby. And, you know what, I don't know that I ever really processed that.

I spent thirteen and a half months repeating, "Who of you by worrying can add a single day to his life?" I spent over a year clinging to the truth that God knows the plans He has for each and every one of us. I spent nearly 60 weeks living a nightmare. In that time I tried not to think about what it would be like to hand my son over to a social worker.

I don't know if I ever explained that our case wasn't as simple as Matthew growing up here or with his father. The case was simply to decide whether or not to allow the adoption to continue. If we'd lost in court, Matthew would have been removed from our home and placed into the foster system. We may have been able to petition the court to allow him to stay with us instead of being placed in a separate foster home but, as our case was being heard in California, the court may have wanted him in that state. There likely would have then been a custody case between Matthew's mother and father. If his father had won that case, Matthew would have remained in foster care while his father completed a series of necessary steps, classes and evaluations before he could have custody of Matthew. It's possible that those steps never would have been completed or that, after further evaluation, custody never would have been granted. Had that been the case, Matthew would have, again, been placed for adoption. But I don't think we would have been allowed to adopt him because our process would have already been stopped by the court.

Those are the facts as I understand them. Clear as mud?

Back then, I couldn't allow myself to think beyond the trial. I had to simply take life one day at a time. When it was over, and Matthew's father had agreed to a settlement, I tried to pick up the pieces, rejoice, and work through everything that had happened. I never let myself think about what might have happened. Maybe that's okay. Maybe there's no point in speculating--especially about something so painful.

Or maybe we should confront such emotions so they don't sneak up on us. Yesterday the thoughts piled up on each other one after the other after another.

What if I'd never heard that sweet voice? What if I'd had to hold that one-year-old's head in my hand, whispering that everything was going to be okay and that I was going to love him forever even though I would never see him again? What if I'd had to trust someone else not to lose his favorite monkey? What if I didn't get to watch him fall in love with a kitty named Cupcake at Petsmart? What if he picked dandelions for someone else?

What if he wasn't here?

The thought was suffocating. Matthew is such an enormous part of what makes us, well, us. The days with a toddler are long and filled with foot-stomping, button-pushing fights for independence. But he is here and I couldn't be more thankful.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hanging Out

It was picture time for tee ball so Troy took The Rock Star last night. They headed off to get photos taken and then went straight to Kid's Club at the church.

It was just me and a very spaghetti sauce covered boy left at the house. After his bath, we got ready to head over to Walmart to pick up a new shower curtain liner. As I put The Little Buddy into clothes he asked, "Where daddy go?"

"He had to leave," I said simply. This kid hates when his daddy leaves. He hates when his daddy leaves and takes his brother even more.


"Do you want to go to the store with me?" I asked.

"Ye-ah!" He squealed, emphasis on the ye.

We had a great time together just walking through Walmart. Usually he has to ride in the cart but since we didn't need a cart last night he got to toddle. He pointed a chubby finger at anything and everything. "Yook ah dat!"

At one point, while I was deciding which liner to get, he laid on the floor. Gross. I know. He started wiggling around. "I foating mommy! I foating." I'm still unsure exactly what he was doing but I'm pretty sure he thought he was floating.

After about forty minutes, we returned home. As soon as we entered the house he looked around and then asked, "Where Gehwit?"

Oh, you know, he's upstairs, livin' it up. I decided to be a horrible mother and leave him home alone for nearly an hour. "He left with daddy, so we get to hang out together" I said. It cracked me up that he actually thought we'd left Garrett.

"Oh. Okay. Gehwit wit daddy. We hang ow."

I love watching his little mind working.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Screaming

My boys sometimes play adorably well together. Their happy sounds drift down the stairs from the playroom or through the window from the backyard and my heart is content.

But usually there is squabbling and shoving and choruses of, "That's mine!" or "I had that first!" or "Give it back!" And then there's the shrieking.

They both do it.

And mama's had it.

Had. It. Said in a southern accent for dramatic effect.

One of them yells. I don't know if the yeller is yelling because he's being mutilated by the other or if the yeller is yelling because it makes him seem more fierce as he yanks a toy out of the other brother's hand. It's hard to know who the offending party is when one of them screams, is what I'm trying to say.

In this regard, Mary had it made. Don't get me wrong, this is probably the only time Mary had it easy. I mean, trying to explain a virgin pregnancy doesn't sound like a picnic in the park. Watching her son and Savior being brutally killed because of her sin--and mine--had to be the worst thing any mother has ever endured. But parenting. Well.

"Mom! Jesus hit me!"

No, he didn't.

"Jesus is lying!"

No, he's not.

"Mama, Jesus stole my toy."

James, he did not. Go sit in the corner.

"Why do you always think Jesus is so perfect?"


Sigh. It might have been difficult to be one of Jesus's siblings. But his mother, well, she always knew it wasn't Him.

I can identify the screamer but beyond that I'm at a loss. Garrett points his finger at Matthew. Matthew points his finger at Garrett. They both go to their room. Because the shrieking thing is making me insane.

Today I told them that the next time they started yelling, they were getting separated. Sure enough, several minutes later, they were both howling at each other. I told Garrett he was no longer allowed to play with his brother and to go in the backyard. "I don't want to! It's hot out*!" I gave him my most hideous glare--the one that I've fine tuned to specifically say, I mean serious business--and he started to cry. But he went outside. Matthew toddled down the stairs a moment later.

"I go owside. I go owside wih Gehwit." He went for the door.

"No," I replied. He looked at me, bewildered. "You aren't allowed to play with your brother until you can stop screaming." He burst into tears.

Garrett was in the backyard wanting to get in. Matthew stood inside wanting to get out. But they weren't yelling. And that was blessed bliss.

*I think it was about 75 degrees. I wasn't torturing him. I promise.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Needle Mania

Today we were all inoculated with the flu vaccine. I just typed fly vaccine and thought about how wonderful it would be if there was a shot that repelled flies. The Little Buddy would be all over that because he's not a fan of flies. Although, really, who is? Also, inoculated is such a fun word that I think I may need to integrate it into my vocabulary with fervor.

Troy went first. I followed. The Rock Star, who could seriously go by The Shot Star just as appropriately because he is an incredible little trouper who isn't scared of needles at all, was third. Seriously. Troy is the biggest needlephobe I've ever met. I would question paternity but I'm 110% positively sure that my husband fathered my son. Although the doctor did insist for quite some time that I became pregnant on a specific day. A specific day that I was all the way across the country from my husband. For real. I insisted that, no, I actually didn't get pregnant while I was in New York City. Without my husband.

My point. Garrett is Troy's biological son but they couldn't be further apart on the needle to fear continuum.

We all sailed through our vaccinations with flying colors. Even Troy. All the while, Matthew was standing in the middle of the room quietly saying, "I want one." Every time one of us received our Band-Aid he pointed and asked politely. We kept assuring him that he'd get one.

I sat on the table and held him on my lap. The nurse cleaned his leg and stuck the needle in. And that is when all the pandemonium in all the world broke loose. Matthew is strong. I mean really, incredibly, sometimes frighteningly, strong. As soon as the needle went in he yanked his leg ten inches in the opposite direction before the nurse or I could do anything about it. Vaccine sprayed and blood trickled. The violent jerk of his leg had sent the needle grazing across his skin. And he sobbed.

The nurse was confident that we got enough vaccine in and that it would be better to let it be than to give him another dose and risk him getting too much. She covered part of his scrape with a Band-Aid and went to get another one for the rest of it. When she walked back in he freaked out and started flailing--terrified that she was going to administer another poke of death. We assured him that he was just getting another Band-Aid. When she put it on he quietly said, "Thank you."

And it broke my heart just a little.

In the car Garrett (the weird little freak) said, "Matthew wasn't that fun?"

Matthew, still looking pathetic and clutching his favorite stuffed animal, responded, "Yeah!"

Someone needs to teach him that he doesn't always have to agree with his brother.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sweet Weekend

I'm speaking at a conference in two weeks here in the Salt Lake valley called Sweet Weekend. If you're in Utah (or anywhere nearbyish) and want the details, shoot me an email or comment. I would be glad to send you the link to the online brochure. The event is an equipping and encouraging weekend for women. There is also a teen track for those in sixth grade and older. The conference begins at 7:00 pm on Friday the 30th of September (unless you're a pastor's wife and then it starts at 4:00 with spa time/dinner). It resumes again on Saturday at 8:45, ends at 3:30 and includes a luncheon.

The cost is 30 dollars and includes breakout sessions, two keynotes, and an incredible time of worship.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Funny Business

I didn't have kids so that I could laugh out loud on a regular basis. But it's certainly a perk.

The other night Garrett fell asleep in my bed. When I crawled in, a couple hours later, to snuggle with him before Troy moved him to his own bed, he stirred. For a moment or two he mumbled and repositioned. Then, he suddenly sat straight up, looked into my eyes and shouted, "Mom, how do you say mantis in Spanish?"

I began laughing hysterically as I answered truthfully, "I have no idea."

Yesterday we were driving in the car and The Rock Star saw a digital sign. As it changed pictures he exclaimed, "Well, that's an awfully flashy sign." I think it was advertising car service. If he thinks that's flashy, it's a good thing he seems to have his head buried in a book every time we drive through Vegas.

Today, when I picked him up from school, he got in the car laughing. "What's funny?" I asked. There is another Garrett in his class and the other one had already been picked up. Apparently, when Other Garrett's ride arrived they called my Garrett and ushered him toward the door saying, "Your Grandpa's here." I imagined that there was a moment of extreme elation followed by a very big disappointment when my boy realized that his grandpa wasn't waiting for him. "Did you think your Grandpa came to pick you up?" I asked him.

"No," he said, still laughing. "I looked out the window and said, 'That's not my Grandpa.'"

Not to be left out, Matthew caused quite a stir in Target last week when he saw a frog themed bathroom set. "Fuhgk! Fuhgk!" He screamed in excitement. Turns out his word for frog is very similar to his word for fork. A man walked by. If looks could kill he would have slain me for teaching my child the mother of all cuss words.

"Yes, Matthew," I said. "It is a frog. Let's maybe not be quite so loud about it though."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Friend, Eddie

Death sucks.

There's no way to sugar coat that, no word that describes it more adequately, no way around it. Death just sucks. It stinks. It bites.

And when you work in ministry it seems to suck/stink/bite even more because we're given such a big platform on which to love people. We get to know them. We worship with them. We dine with them. We care deeply about them.

We know. We know the believer is in a better place. We know that they closed their eyes on a disgusting, dirty, perverse world and opened them in glory. For them, death is the first moment of eternity with the Lord. So, for them, death is unending joy. They close their ears to sadness and pain and reopen them to the angels singing, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty who was and is and is to come."

But for those of us still here, death sucks.

Our friend, Eddie, went to be with the Lord today. Never again will I turn around during worship and see him standing behind me plucking his bass guitar. Never will I see his bright smile zooming toward me in his wheelchair. Never will I watch as he wheels my children around the sanctuary. Never will I feel the rough edges of his mustache as he presses his cheek to mine on a Sunday morning.

My son fell in love with Eddie the moment we moved here. Eddie had lost his legs in an accident so even back then he wasn't a whole lot taller than my toddler. This intrigued Garrett and they became fast friends. Every Sunday my son would beg Eddie to zoom him around. Eddie would wrap an arm around Garrett's torso and, with his other arm, fly as fast as he could around in circles or up and down the hallway. My son's laugh could be heard throughout the building. Only within the last year has Garrett gotten a little too big to ride with Eddie--but he still tried, balancing on the edge of the seat, his giggling matching Eddie's deep chuckle measure for measure. Garrett thought it was so funny when we told him that, from the back, it looked like Eddie had a pair of new, wispy, little boy legs hanging off the front of his wheelchair.

We went to see Eddie in the hospital on Monday and we took Garrett. I wasn't sure if we were making the right decision but when I'd tried explaining that Eddie was probably going to meet Jesus soon, Garrett had replied with, "I need to get up to the hospital to see him." It sounds like he's been listening to our end of a lot of phone conversations. I know that Garrett is five and I don't want to put the weight of the world on his shoulders but I also don't want to tell him that because he is five--because is young, little, small--he can't say goodbye to his friend.

Troy and the boys were a few minutes behind me and Eddie was asleep when I got there. I walked in, took his hand, and said, "Hey, Buddy." He opened his eyes, smiled, and fell back asleep. But when my son got there, oh, the blessed sweetness of that moment.

I lifted Garrett up and he whispered, "Hi."

Eddie rolled his head to the side, opened his eyes, took a deep breath, chuckled and said, "Hi, Garrett!"

This morning I asked Garrett if he knew that Mr. Eddie probably had an appointment with heaven today. He nodded and then said, "And when Mr. Eddie gets there he's going to say, 'I'm home!'" I smiled.

"Is that what he's going to say?"

"Well," Garrett replied, "I don't know for sure what Mr. Eddie is going to say when he gets to heaven but when I get there I'm gonna walk in and say, 'I'm glad to be home!'"

There are moments when it becomes abundantly clear to me that I am the child in our relationship. So often he reminds me that we're just passing through. That this is not our permanent residence.

I had the job of telling him, just a little while later, that Eddie was with Jesus. I expected a flood of tears. Gone are his days of riding around the church with his buddy. Gone are his days of standing next to him and plucking a string on Eddie's guitar. For me, the images of Eddie are causing chest constrictions that can only be relieved by a bubbling of tears. But my son looked at me and said, "Okay. I'll get to see him in heaven. And now he has a new body so he has new legs! And that, Mom, is pretty cool."

Death sucks. For the living.

But my friend is walking around on a brand new set of legs. And that is pretty cool. Who knows, maybe they are a pair of wispy little boy legs. Maybe they look a lot like the pair that used to hang off the front of his wheelchair.

Rest in the peace of our Savior, dear friend. We'll see you when we get there.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oh What A Morning

I need a moment's peace and in that moment's peace I need to get my everlovin' mind focused on the Lord. It's only 9:05 but the last hour was crazy. It involved yelling. And being late. Two things I don't really enjoy.

A dear friend of ours from church is nearing the end. He will very likely be walking with the Lord soon. Last night, my husband and our associate pastor stayed very late at the hospital. Troy got home around 3:30. Our associate pastor's wife is out of town so he brought his daughter to spend the night while he camped out at the hospital.

She needed to be at school--about ten minutes away--at 8:25.

So I got up at 7:00.

I got all three kids ready. I fed them. I curled Madi's hair. Three sets of teeth got brushed. I started a load of laundry. I cleaned out the litter box. I was doing good. We were ahead of schedule so I let them play for a few minutes. Apparently I needed a good humbling because I was starting to think I had this motherhood thing down pat.

When it was time to go it took forever to get Madi buckled in between Garrett and Matthew's car seats. So we left a couple minutes late.

I took the shortest route to the school. This involved passing two other elementary schools and the traffic was terrible. I grew up in an area that had one elementary school until I was in the sixth grade and they opened a second. I'm not used to school traffic.

Then, despite looking up the directions to the school last night, I assumed that I'd be able to see it from the main road. Well, we all know what happens when we assume. People are late to third grade. That's what! So I ended up in road construction--that I would have missed altogether if I'd turned at the right place--and I'm sitting there, not moving. At this point my boys get loud and I yell at them to pipe down immediately so that I can think. It's been a long time since I've been in elementary school. Was I supposed to walk her to class? Walk her to the office. I needed to process what I was supposed to do with her now that she was late. I was acutely aware that I hadn't yet put make up on.

The road sign changed from STOP to SLOW and the line of cars in front of me continued on their merry way. But just as I was about to go through, the angry red STOP sign showed its face to me and I had to cease moving once again.

Once I was finally allowed to go I went straight, since, you know, I hadn't yet seen the school from the road. "Why didn't you turn?" Madi asked me?

"I was supposed to turn back there?" I questioned.

"Yes," she replied. I flipped the car around. Now I was stuck on the other side of the road construction. Neat.

"Okay, Madi, do you know where to turn after that?" She agreed that she did. So I turned onto the road that I previously didn't know I was supposed to turn on. I continued driving. "Make sure you tell me where to turn." I drove for a few more seconds.

"You should have turned back there," she said, suddenly.

Oy vey!

So I flipped the car around again. Within seconds I had pulled up in front of the school. "I'm afraid we're late," Madi sighed. I explained that, yes, we were late but I would walk her in. Exercise clothes, no make up, and all.

Of course Matthew had taken off his shoes and thrown them about the car. Of course I had to find them and put them on him before we walked in. Of course he didn't want them on and he screamed and kicked his feet in an effort to accomplish his goal.

We walked in and got stuck in line behind some kids who were having some sort of rental instrument crisis. Once that was all figured out I simply said, "We're family friends of hers. She spent the night last night. I didn't figure in the road construction on my way here. Does she need a pass or something?" They smiled at me.

"She's okay, just go straight to class."

So the moral of this story is that, apparently, I don't have this motherhood thing figured out. Or, at least, I don't have road construction figured out.

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Handle

If I were a super hero I think I might be WonderMultitasker. My uniform would involve combat boots. And many pockets filled with lists.

My kids would likely be Terrible Two Man and Superloud.

What's your super hero handle?

Sunday, September 11, 2011


The phone rang. It was early. I was just thinking about getting ready for my first class. My roommate's mom was on the other end of the line. "What channel?" I heard my roommate say. When the answer to that question is that it doesn't matter, you know something is very wrong.

Even with the reporters explaining what had happened, it took several minutes for anything to register. I kept thinking that it didn't make sense that two pilots had miscalculated so badly. But then it registered that we'd been attacked by terrorists. I ran into my friend's room and woke her, on her birthday, with, "Terrorists attacked New York!" We ran back into my room and the three us stood, glued to the repeated video of planes flying into buildings.

And then we watched, live, as the tower fell, rapidly, window by window by window, to the earth below.


Stunned silence.

Overwhelming sadness.

I remember being terrified. I remember being devastated and angry and confused. I remember wondering how we just went off to class or rehearsal when the weight of the world was now sitting squarely on our shoulders.

More than any one image imprinted on my mind, I remember watching footage of people leaping from the tower to their deaths.

I simply cannot believe that ten years have gone by.

Because, as though it was yesterday, I remember.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Well, the twenties are gone. So far thirty feels a lot like 29 and 11 months.

I suspected it would.

Now let's just pray that my flight doesn't go down this afternoon. Because I think a tombstone that read: September 8, 1981-September 8, 2011 would just be exceptionally depressing.

Right now I'm trying to type and both of my boys are entertaining me with bizarre dance moves. It doesn't get better than this...

Special thanks to my friend, Joelle, for revamping my blog as a birthday gift.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

It has come to this.

Tomorrow I turn twenty again.

Personally, I think recycling is a grand idea. Don't you?

I'm leaving tomorrow night for the Women of Faith conference in southern California. My parents treated me to the event and bought my airfare to commemorate my thirtieth birthday commitment to recycling. I won't technically be thirty twenty again until 8:33 pm Pacific Standard Time and by that time I'll probably be in a hotel room with my mom and my friend, Shannon--who is making the trip with me. I trust that they'll provide a much needed diversion.

In the form of liberal amounts of alcohol.

Okay, they won't. I wouldn't drink it anyway. I'm a pastor's wife. And I'm turning twenty. Not 21.

I've enjoyed living through my twenties. They were eventful, to say the least. I graduated from college, got married, successfully raised a golden retriever, experienced the birth of my two children, moved away from the only place I'd ever called home, went to New York for the first (and second) time, relaxed on the white sand beaches of Hawaii, toured Israel, taught, learned, and grew in ways I never thought possible.

It was a good decade.

Might as well do it again, right?

Happy re-twentieth birthday to me.


Monday, September 5, 2011


Yesterday we took the boys to the pool after church. The weather was wonderful. It was sunny and hot and there was barely a breeze to make mention of. We had a great time.

When I got home I felt completely and utterly zapped of all energy. I'd been fine at the pool but something happened between leaving the water and arriving at the house that changed all that.

In the evening, I could hardly function throughout our small group Bible study. I just wanted to climb in bed and sleep--for several days at least. I didn't feel sick, just exhausted. I was asleep before 10:30.

This morning was a lap swimming morning but, thankfully, my friend had pushed our time back from 6:15 to 8:00. When I got up at 7:30 I still felt like I'd been hit by a truck. While the swimming actually helped, I'm still feeling energy deficient.


No, I mean, really.

Am I dying of sun exposure or is this the new normal?

Three days left and counting...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Swami's Shark

Swami's is a surf spot in the San Diego area. It's incredibly close to the area we went beach camping a month ago. I mean, a couple miles away at best.

Several days ago this photo was taken:

A shark expert says that it's a 10-12 foot great white.

It didn't attack or even bump anyone.

One lifeguard on the news report said that it's another surfer duck diving, with his leg up. I'm not a surfer but I feel like the dude would be lower on the wave if it was a duck dive. I also feel like he's probably missing a foot. And he seems to thicken up around the waist. In general, if this is a surfer, he's trying his hardest to resemble a shark.

It could be photo shopped, I suppose.

But if there's a great white hanging around Encinitas, I'm kinda glad we were beach camping last month instead of this month. Because I can't keep my five-year-old out of the water and I like it better when white sharks aren't lurking about.

I'll take him to the pool tomorrow. I've never heard of a white shark being there.

Friday, September 2, 2011


I was at the store today. On the one hand, I'm glad that Quaker actually puts minorities on their cereal boxes.

On the other hand...

I'm not sure what to make of the fact that the African-American kids only appear on the box labeled Brown Sugar.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Getting Ready

Last night was The Rock Star's preschool orientation. Being that this is his third year at the same school, it wasn't like he needed a lot of information on how the year would go but it's always exciting to meet his new teachers. This year, the school added another classroom upstairs so we were eager to see what it looked like.

He asked me all day, "Is it time to go to preschool yet?" This is the same kid who, two years ago, violently kicked the director and screamed for me when I tried to leave him on his first day thus causing me total and catastrophic humiliation. Of course, this is also the same kid who was scared to death that we weren't going to get to keep his baby brother and terrified that he'd be given to someone else as well. So I'd cut him some slack. Not a lot. But some.

When it was time to leave I told him to go to the bathroom. I finished a conversation I was having with my husband and then wondered aloud, "What is he doing up there?" Just then I heard the familiar sound indicating that he was finally using the toilet.

"He's going to the bathroom," Troy supplied, "like you asked him to."

"But he's been up there forever."


Garrett appeared at the top of the stairs. "What were you doing?" I asked him.

He grinned at me. "Do I look better?"

He looked the same. "Um," I began cautiously, "Yeah. What did you do?"

"I sprayed my hair and smoothed it down like this," he demonstrated with his hands. "And I shaved." He rubbed his face. "Now I'm ready to go to preschool."

Let it be said that Garrett has a plastic toy razor that my parents bought for him. He busts it out on special occasions, when he wants to look really nice. His father and I caught each other's eye and the look that passed between us spoke volumes. We have the most charming kid. Ever. Period.