Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fairy Tale

"I'm glad we don't have daughters," I said into my cell phone as I put the car in drive.

"Why," came the response?

There is a shop next to my son's preschool that sells blankets, among other things. Blankets with sports logos. Jolly Roger blankets. Princess blankets. On this particular day, flapping in the hideous wind that I will never get used to but which Utah insists on flaunting, was a fuzzy Tangled blanket. Rapunzel stared at me and a quote drifted lazily around her impressive load of hair. "The path to your destiny lies within the magic of your heart."

Say what now? I asked my husband what that could possibly even mean. If someone has an answer I'd really love to hear it because, frankly, I don't understand the bit about the magic in your heart. And I really don't get how I might conjure up this magic to get my feet on the path to my appropriate destiny.

So while I'm certain that, on occasion, I will miss having tea parties and playing Barbies and while I know that I'll miss pedicures and wedding dress shopping, I am incredibly thankful that I won't have to deal with the whole "princess" hullabaloo. I'm glad I won't have to explain that there isn't deep magic dwelling inside the hearts of any royalty deprived daughters of mine.

Cartoon fairy tales paint a picture of love that is insanely artificial. They idealize courtship and end with an, "And they lived happily ever after." Don't get me wrong, I love a good cartoon romance, I just don't think they prepare our children (especially our little girls) for marriage. The romance is great. The wedding, stunning. The ending, abrupt. And they sail/ride/frolic into the sunset to live in wedded bliss. Fairy tales certainly don't teach our kids to beware of sobering divorce statistics. They don't fast forward twelve years and depict a haggard mom chasing three filthy children around in a pair of old, white, Hanes Her Way underwear because someone just spilled grape juice on her only clean pair of pants. They don't show Prince Charming wary from years of public appearances and attempts at cutting through all the governmental red tape so that he can finally get something accomplished in the kingdom. We don't teach our children that marriage is only wonderful and amazing and unicorns dancing on gumdrops when we work at it. We teach them, instead, that their glorious destiny can be unlocked by using the magic in their hearts. We teach them that when the going gets tough, it's time to seek a new future. We teach them that anything short of a fairytale is unworthy.

And I certainly don't need any help from all the fake, cartoon Prince Charmings out there with their sparking teeth, their shiny black hair and their excellent equestrian skills. I'm going to have enough trouble teaching my sons to actually be the real thing. The real Prince Charming.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” -Ephesians 5:25-31

Deep down, I think we all want the fairytale. It's why I'd dreamed myself into Kate's place so many years ago. It's why I longed for the dresses, the tiaras, the grandeur. It's why I watched pieces of footage from the royal wedding this afternoon and thought about how very, very lovely she is...

How very, very normal they seemed despite the very, very abnormal pageantry surrounding their union. How Harry turned to watch her coming down the aisle and the look crossed his face that screamed, "My sister-in-law is straight up hot!" and then he mumbled something to that effect in the general direction of his brother and how I really would have expected nothing less. How William stared into her eyes and, for a moment, looked nothing like a Prince and everything like a smitten groom about to bumble his way through ever after. Sometimes happily. Sometimes tragically. Sometimes routinely.

We can get the fairytale. It just doesn't exist in the courting. It doesn't exist in the wedding. It's in the bumbling through. It's the way you look at the prince and know exactly what he's thinking. It's in the forging of a life together. It is in oneness, in open and honest love that withstands the storms, in communication and forgiveness. While the fairytale often begins with the white dress, the fireworks, the first kiss, it thrives on the comfort of the arms that hold it in a continued embrace. And I think, perhaps, the fairytale gets up in the morning and puts on a pair of old, white underwear.

And I simply wouldn't know where to start if I had to teach that to a daughter. Boys, I suspect, care less about the royalty in the first place. But what a challenge it will be to teach them to lead. What a challenge it will be to teach them how to bumble through.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Having More Kids

In just a short amount of time, my number of children will multiply.

I really thought about just leaving it there and making you all guess what on earth that meant.

You're having twins? Negative. (Huge sigh of relief!)
You're adopting a sibling set? Also no.
You've figured a way to clone the kids you have? Heck no. This world couldn't handle the insanity. In fact, sometimes I think it can barely handle just one of each of them. On occasion I feel it swelling and gasping as though completely ill prepared for what those two come up with on any given day.

We're simply inheriting two girls for the weekend. Our associate pastor and his wife are taking the youth group out of state for a conference. So for the next two days we'll have elementary aged girls to go along with our crew--yes, there are only two offspring in this house. Yes, it still feels very much like a crew.

The Rock Star has been bouncing off the walls since I told him. Thankfully I'd learned my lesson with the whole Lake Tahoe Experience and I didn't tell him until yesterday.

When is their school over? While Matthew is napping.
Where will they sleep? Probably in the playroom.
What will we eat? The same things we usually eat. Fruits, veggies, bread, protein, dairy. I mean, it isn't like we're housing two orcas and they're on a strict diet of Chinook.
How long are they staying? Two nights.
Two whole nights? WHOA! Oh man, Kid's excited.

So if I don't post again until Monday it'll be because, apparently, I can't handle four children and a blog. If I do post, I expect comments congratulating me on my accomplishment of keeping four kids alive and, with any luck at all, unharmed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Things They Say

G: This place gives me the creeps! (pause) Mommy, what's the creeps?

Me: It's the way you feel when something scares you a little.
G: Have you ever seen a creep before?

Seriously. The kid cracks me up. All. The. Time.

His jammie shirt says, "Mom's Rock Star." They were a gift from my aunt and The Rock Star loves them. The Seahawks pillow belongs to The Husband. Trust me, I'm doing my best to raise a good little Charger fan.

One of their favorite things to do in the morning is wrestle and giggle and hide under the covers on my bed and squeal and smile and get rowdy. That smile has nothing to do with the camera and everything to do with having gone an entire night without seeing his brother. "Oh Garrett," that smiles says, "how I've missed you in the past ten hours."

The brown monkey featured in both pictures is MonkMonk, Matthew's beloved. It goes absolutely everywhere with him. It might go along to college. And on the honeymoon. I'm just sayin'...

Speaking of sayin' things, Matthew climbed up on the couch today and said, "Mama, want TB. Want watch Timmy." Because that's how my children roll. They don't say anything at all until they turn two. Then they start demanding things in nearly complete sentences. Don't worry, Matthew isn't requesting a case of tuberculosis. He just wanted to watch Timmy Time on television. But, then, I kind of hope you were able to figure that one out all on your own.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cleaned Up

My mom (and dad) usually buy my boys their Easter clothes. Oh, who am I kidding, my mom (and dad) usually buy my boys about 90% of their wardrobes. Finding good deals and collecting things throughout the year, my parents typically bestow a big box of clothing upon my sons for their birthdays and Christmas. While the box may not be the boys' favorite gift, it just might be mine. Anyway. When they were here last, my mom and I went shopping. She said she'd buy them their Easter outfits and The Rock Star's one request was that he wanted a tie.

When I set their outfits out on Saturday night, Garrett looked with wonder at the smaller of the sets. "Matthew also gets to wear a tie?" He asked with excitement.

And I'm not going to lie to you, my boys clean up really well. Troy might not have any daughters but I'm going to have to buy a shot gun just to keep the ladies away. Sure, I have sons. Sure, they'll grow up and only think of one thing. (I can barely even type that sentence without breaking into a cold sweat, by the way. To think of my babies under the unfortunate effects of testosterone is almost more than this mama can handle.) Sure, they'll get *gulp* arm pit hair and facial hair and then they'll leave me but not before I point my proverbial shot gun at some unsuspecting female piranha.

Because when they clean up, they look like this...

And they're off limits, girls. Consider yourselves warned.

And I will consider the fact that all of us look a little better when we're cleaned up.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Resurrection Rolls

On Saturday, my mom sent me a link to Resurrection Rolls. I ran right out and bought the ingredients. Well, actually, I took my boys to the church Easter egg hunt, went to a worship team rehearsal, and then ran right out and bought the ingredients.

Basically you plop a marshmallow down on top of some biscuit dough, wrap the dough around the marshmallow, slap some butter on the dough, roll it in cinnamon and sugar and bake it. The marshmallow represents Jesus--in a sugary, camp fire food sort of way. It melts in the oven and an "empty tomb" is created. I thought it would be right up my four-year-old's alley.

I explained to him, as we placed the 'mallow on the roll, that it represented Jesus and we'd have to wait and see what happened to it.

"Well," he said, with a matter-of-fact tone, "the marshmallow will melt in the oven and the tomb will be empty." I blinked twice.

"Yes." I said deliberately, wondering how, a mere five years ago, he was a fetus and now he's explaining the effects of heat on a marshmallow.

"But Jesus didn't melt," he continued. "Because that would be creepy."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Then He rose again.

And our sins were forgiven.

Praise the Lord!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


We had an amazing Good Friday last night. Excellent worship songs, well spoken words from my husband, and an encounter with the cross. Each person had the opportunity to approach a wooden cross and slam a nail into it, signifying that our sin was hammered to the cross of Jesus.

In addition, we watched a very powerful short movie. I highly recommend viewing it. It isn't graphic but it will make you think about the Lord did for you.

2,000 years ago, the disciples were huddled together, wondering what to do next. They didn't know what was about to happen. They didn't know the glory that awaited them...

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Around here, April 21 may as well be someone's birthday. There aren't presents but there is some level of pomp and circumstance. We're going out to dinner.

Matthew was born on February 28. He entered our hearts a month before that, when we first learned of his existence. He entered our arms on his birthday. He legally entered our family last April 21. We promised to love him forever. We told the judge that we were certain we wanted to adopt him (and, oh, were we ever).

So today we're hugging and smooching on our son even more than normal. We're remembering the journey, the toll it took, the lessons learned. Garrett is parading around announcing, at different intervals, "Happy Adoption Day!"

Then he asked me, "When is my Happy Adoption Day?" I explained that he doesn't have one because he isn't adopted. He's alright with that, for the moment. I'm sure a day will come when he wants to have a day, other than his birthday, where we celebrate him.

With a smirk I suggested to Troy, "Well, we could have a Happy Conception Day for him. I'm sure that will go over real well when he's fourteen."

Me: Come on, Garrett, let's go celebrate your conception.
Him: No thanks, Mom, I'd really rather not.

But as for today, we celebrate the joy. We celebrate the weight lifted. We celebrate the day when we knew that Matthew would be ours forever. And, of course, we praise the Lord!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Do Not Forget the Cross

I'm passionate about Good Friday. I get really worked up about it and have to climb down off my metaphorical soap box at least once every Easter season. I'm so crazy about it that I just searched my archives, certain that I'd already given a lecture or two from this very platform. But I couldn't find anything. Which left me feeling a bit baffled.

They say that churches get the Christmas and Easter crowds. As a pastor's wife, I am thankful that people will at least walk into a church on these days. On Easter Sunday, I love to see faces rarely seen. This isn't directed at the sporadic church visitor or those who attend a quarter of the time. This is for the believer, the engaged Christian, the regular attender.

I flat out don't understand why people come to church on Sunday morning to celebrate the risen Savior if they don't first stare His hideous death in the face. It confuses me that so many remember the morning that Mary went to the tomb and saw the stone rolled away if they don't contemplate that it first rolled tightly into place, sealing in their crucified Lord. I can't fathom forgetting to walk the Way of Grief or brushing over a beaten King, a flogged Savior. I can't imagine traipsing over Friday as if it wasn't my sin that slammed nails into His wrists and His feet.

Good Friday is about remembering when Perfection bled. It's about being a woman, prostrate at the foot of the cross and a jeering crowd member all at once. It's about how that was my Savior and my sin was nailed to His cross. He was buried and that was that. Despite everything He said, no one knew that anything else was coming. Friday was it.

Yet we gloss over all of that because it was ugly and painful and we hate to examine our own hearts. We skip it in preparation of Sunday. We forget about it because we're ironing the Easter clothes, hiding the eggs, filling the baskets. We are so eager to announce that He is risen, indeed, that we forget where He is risen from.

He is risen from the dead.

From the dead. This week, do not forget the events that led to His death. Don't forget what He triumphed over. Find a church with a Good Friday service and attend. Stare His crucifixion in the face. Then, on Sunday, celebrate everything that this faith represents. Celebrate a risen Lord. A Lord who conquered death and then went to prepare a place for you.

Come awake, come awake, come and rise up from the grave!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Crush

I've got another confession to make.

When I was a young teenager I found myself head-over-heels in love infatuation with a certain boy. To my knowledge, I never mentioned the crush to anyone. I certainly never told him that I dreamed about our future wedding. I most definitely never told his parents that I wanted to bear their grandchildren and I made a point of not mentioning it to his grandmother.

But there was just something about his eyes, his quiet demeanor, and his brooding personality that I just couldn't shake. I didn't tell anyone because I knew that nothing would ever happen between us. I might have convinced him that we'd make cute children. I might have won him over with my personality and affection for things like tea and crumpets. Alright, truthfully, I don't think I've ever had a crumpet but I'm convinced that I'd like it. Crunchy on the outside. Spongy on the inside. What's not to like? He may have even fallen in love with my tiny hometown that smells--on any given summer day--like barnyard animals although, I suspect, it would have been a love bathed in charity and philanthropy. But nothing could ever come of my delusions of grandeur. Nothing could ever come of the tiaras I imagined.

Because he was a Windsor.

And I come from the above-mentioned cow town.

But in my dreams, it was great while it lasted.

I didn't wait for you, Wills. I guess I couldn't really have expected you to wait for me.

So have a nice wife, I mean life. Go be king or something. It never would have worked out between us anyway.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

China Bound

While watching Mulan...

Garrett: Mommy, are those people Chinese?
Me: Yes.
Garrett: How come people from China always eat rice?
Me: They like rice.
Garrett: Can I live there someday?
Me: If you want to. How come you want to live in China?
Garrett: So I can eat rice all the time.

Oh, I see. So, instead of just making a point of eating rice here in the United States, you are going to move across the world--probably taking my grandchildren with you--so that you can eat rice in China? That makes perfect sense.

Friday, April 15, 2011

One Year Later

I open the door to the bedroom and he looks at me with deep, delicious, chocolate eyes. "Good morning," I whisper. "I love you."

"I wub ew!" comes the response from the curly topped boy in the crib that we just converted into a bed. Every morning he wants to snuggle just until he realizes that his big brother is playing in the other room. He is his brother's boy, his daddy's boy but always and (sometimes I fear) forever a mama's boy. He is highly emotional--as though he is, perhaps, a teenage girl at heart. The highs are high. Hysterical laughter, ear splitting squeals, excited babbling and expressive finger pointing. The lows are loud. Sobbing, blubbering, unintelligible and slobbery moans. But the lows are getting better. Lesser. Fewer. His toothy smile and outrageous laugh melt all our hearts. His obsession with showing off his tummy and his hilarious "dirty look" keep smiles on our faces. The back of his neck, bending as he pours over a book, pulls me like a magnet and it is impossible not to rush to him and kiss the nape at least a dozen times. He's a garbage disposal--eating almost anything that is put in front of him with wild abandon. He's a ham--figuratively, of course. He's infatuated with shoes, monkeys, guitars, drum sticks, ice, anything his brother has, toothbrushes and dogs. He can out dance the three of us put together and is ridiculously strong. He is an amazing blessing.

I am so thankful for the past year with my second son.

One year ago today, Matthew's father agreed to the adoption. (Which was finalized a week later, on April 21). A heavy burden was lifted from my shoulders. Truthfully, it took months to lift entirely but steadily, breathing became easier, life reached a new normal and our family relaxed. I have not forgotten the fear of losing my baby and it permeates my parenting. I have not forgotten that He alone has done great things. I have not forgotten the journey. And I tell Matthew, with regularity, that his Mother and Father love him so much and selflessly gave us the incredible gift of raising him.

I dropped a check in the mail today. It was written for 5,800 dollars. Our adoption debt is gone. Our Lord has provided in miraculous ways. The remaining debt was paid by our tax return. The fact that today, exactly one year later, we've paid our bills in full is incredible. Our adoption totaled about 38,500 dollars. Just over half of that was donated by friends, family members, friends of friends, and people we've never even met.

I serve a mighty God!

If you have donated, whether 20 dollars or 4,000 dollars (that's right--a friend of ours donated over 10% of our adoption costs), we thank you. If you have prayed, whether once or daily, we thank you. If you have partnered with us in bringing Matthew into our family, we thank you.

A certain two-year-old just wandered down the stairs with a drum stick in his hand. He smiled and babbled something I couldn't quite make out. Then he crawled up next to me. "Do you have a poop?" I asked him after the smell hit my nose.

"Yes!" He said emphatically.

"Go get a diaper and give it to daddy," I whispered.

A new normal. Free of adoption debt.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


The Rock Star usually falls asleep in our bed. Otherwise, the boys have a party which involves loud, hysterical laughter. When we go to bed, we move him.

Typically I snuggle with him while he falls asleep. Because, you know, he's going to grow up and smell weird and have arm pit hair and go to college. Like tomorrow.

Tonight, he cuddled into my arms and whispered, "Goodnight, Cutie."

I intend to remind him of this. When he's twenty. And smells like a man. And has arm pit hair.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Sacrificial Camel

The Rock Star got a little toy camel out of the treasure box at Sunday school. He's been carrying it here and there ever since. Today he wandered into the kitchen and said, "Can I call Jesus 'Holy Camel'?

"That's disrespectful. So, no. You can't."

Looking dejected, Garrett replied, "Why not?"

"Well why would you call him 'Holy Camel'?"

"Well, we call Him the Lamb. Why can't we call Him the Camel?"

It was an opportunity for both a good laugh and a theology lesson. I think he has a slightly better grasp on what the term Sacrifical Lamb means.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Rant

I'm just going to take a minute to launch an all out tirade against individual insurance coverage. AN. ALL. OUT. TIRADE.

When we were praying through whether or not to move here, I did some insurance research. It culminated in my sitting on the floor of Garrett's baby room--oh how I miss that space--sobbing to Troy about how I absolutely would not move somewhere where our health care would be outrageous and awful. See, I'd been told by agent after agent that because we'd been through infertility, my health care would be through the roof.

Troy was able to get us covered under a group that is based in California. It doesn't really matter what, in the world, is wrong with you if you're on a group plan. Our monthly premiums are, indeed, through the roof and our coverage doesn't hold a candle to what we had at our previous church, but it worked in a pinch. And we fell in love with our pediatrician when we got here.

Recently, to make a long story short, we had some major changes in our health care provider and we can no longer see our pediatrician. We've been told that they're "working on it" but it's been many weeks and I'm not holding my breath. Since changes were being made anyway, we went in to see an insurance agent today--to talk about our options.

We explained that we were thinking about switching to an individual plan. We explained why we'd gone with this particular group plan to begin with. And then we mentioned the infertility. You know, the thing I had a year of treatment for over five years ago. Yeah. That. Apparently I'm still unable to qualify for anything that isn't even more through the roof expensive than what we already have. I find this incredibly super cool. As in, not cool at all.

Oh, one of us can get "fixed" and then we can apply. See, that way the insurance companies won't have to worry about us deciding that we do, in fact, want more children. This is insane. Number one, if we could have actually had more children, we probably would have by now. Number two, none of the plans cover infertility anyway.

But the very best part is still to come. Even once we shell out the money to get spayed or neutered--in this case, neutered--I might be denied on account of the fact that I have an ongoing case of PCOS.

I almost went postal right then and there.

In my case, PCOS doesn't have anything to do with my health--save my reproductive health. That I might be denied medical coverage for it is absolutely rage inducing.

So, at this point it looks like we're staying with our outrageous plan that is now with a company that may as well be called Joe's Insurance Shack because no one has ever heard of it. It appears that, what with my extreme health risks, it is our only option.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bloom Conference

I was super dead dog tired last night. So tired, in fact, that I fell asleep on my bed just after 8:00, woke up with the four-year-old's arm in my face at 9:00 and went back to sleep, for good, at 9:30.

But it was a very good day.

I've never spoken on the same topic three times in four hours. The biggest challenge was quite unexpected.

I started thinking that I was repeating myself. Well, okay, so I was repeating myself but to different groups of women. But as I spoke I started thinking, "Wait, did I already say that this time?" It was strange.

And guess what? I didn't sweat profusely or feel like I was going to throw up. I was just very excited to get on with the sharing of my Savior.

I was, however, still obsessed with the fact that my zipper was probably down.

I'm sure there were people who didn't love my session. I'm sure there were people who thought I was only telling them things they already knew. But I got a lot of positive feedback. I was in one of the smallest rooms but each session was packed full with people on the floor!

Apparently women really struggle with worry, fear and anxiety. Who knew? ;-)

Friday, April 8, 2011

To Speak

This speaking thing, well, I happened upon it rather unexpectedly. In 2008 I was planning a women's retreat and looking for a speaker. When woman after woman fell through, my friend and I decided to think about having three different people from our church each take a session.

At that point, I volunteered for one of the spots. Looking back, this may have been my first mistake. Or nudge from God. Depending on how you look at it.

I had a story to tell. It was a story that I hadn't really shared with the women at my church and I felt like God was leading me to tell them.

A year later I shared my story (which by then included a cocktail that was one part contested adoption and one part infertility, served in a glass that was all God and how He moves in my life. If, you know, one were to compare God--and what He's done--to a cocktail, which any good pastor's wife would tell you not to do.) in California.

Then there were more invitations to speak.

One of them is tomorrow, at a day conference.

It's not that I desire to be a speaker. I don't, really. Tomorrow I will undoubtedly wake up with my stomach in knots. I'll go through the motions of pretending I'm confident because an $80,000 dollar theatre education taught me to at least appear as though I have a calm assurance. I probably won't throw up. Emphasis on the probably, for obvious reasons. Just before it's time for me to start speaking, I will desperately wish that the worship could just go on and on forever and my arm pits will likely begin to leak, profusely. I will worry, with ridiculous persistence, that my zipper is down or that there is something in my teeth or, most likely, both.

But I will pray. It will resemble begging. I will ask the Lord to speak through me, to make this zero percent about me and 100 percent about Him. And hopefully, He will grant my request and I will feel covered in the joy of sharing my Savior and the very good things He has done.

You see, I don't desire to be a speaker. But I do desire to spread the Good News in any way that He will allow. And for that, I am extremely thankful for this opportunity. While the physical effects of speaking may include stomach knots and zipper obsession, my spirit is eager and willing.

But pray for me, please, because you never know when something big and green will be stuck in my teeth.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why We Moved

I believe we were called here, to this place--this place where it is snowing outside--by the Almighty God. That certainly doesn't mean that ministry is easy, especially ministry that happens all around us while we're raising two very little men. But it does mean that when the going gets tough, as it has before and, undoubtedly, will again, the tough remember that this was God's will. Even the not so tough remember this. People like, well, me.

Many weeks ago, Garrett asked me if we owned our home. I told him we were renting it. "Did we own our home in Riverton?" He inquired about our first rental when we moved here three and a half years ago.

"No. We rented that one, too." I explained.

He continued, "Did we ever own our house?"

"Yes. We owned our house in San Diego." (It wasn't actually San Diego but it's just easier to explain things that way. And, as far as I'm concerned, it was close enough.)

"Why did we move?"

"For daddy's job."

"He didn't have a job in San Diego anymore?"

I replied, "No, he still had his job. We moved here because we felt like God was leading us to our church here."

" that Mr. Bob* would come to church and know Jesus?"

I started to say something, closed my mouth, thought for a moment and replied, "Yes. That's exactly why."

Mr. Bob is Garrett's friend's dad. I went out on a limb and invited Garrett's friend to Vacation Bible School last year. To my surprise, his mom brought him. She was searching for something--faith, religion, something. Bob was not searching. He found his wife's desire to search somewhat annoying, at best. But, to make a long story short, after several weeks, they started coming to our church. Every. Single. Week. With much more regularity than many of our church's members. Last fall, Bob accepted the Lord as his personal Savior.

We minister to a lot of people. But Bob and his family, they're at our church because the Lord brought our kids to the same preschool and then spoke volumes as we quietly witnessed.

If we never did another thing here in Utah, our ministry would be more than worth it. God used us to meet Bob where he was. Christianity is not a religion of warm and fuzzies, but if his salvation doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside than nothing would.

For his salvation alone, I think I will always consider our ministry a success. And for his salvation alone, I think I'll get through the hard parts.

*Not his actual name.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Twenty Questions

I'm so not kidding when I tell you that The Rock Star will not stop talking about Lake Tahoe. Right now he's sitting at the table drawing a map for us to follow. You know, when we go there, in three months. Since I booked the campgrounds, he's asked me every day how long we have until we go. Ninety days is just, well, a lot for a four-year-old. Heck, it's a lot for me. And I'm almost thirty twenty-nine again.

I was doing some research on our first campground--while I'm very familiar with the lake, I've never camped there--and found out that they often have some very aggressive bears. And by "very aggressive" I don't mean that they rip unsuspecting campers from their tents at night and maul them to death but rather that they have been known to rip roofs off of cars in their pursuit of food and good smelling sundries. To this note, even toiletries have to be stored in the bear boxes. Thinking that Garrett would find this story humorous or, at the very least, exciting, I told it to Troy in the presence of the little boy. Not my brightest moment. He is now absolutely obsessed with whether or not the bears will rip our roof off or, you know, drag us out of our tent for a late night snack. "Mommy? Why did those naughty bears do that?"

"I don't know. They must have smelled something tasty inside."

"Did the people call the cops?" He asked. I don't think he understood that my laughter was the answer.

"What will we eat? Will we go rafting? Why are we only staying for four days? Can I swim? Can I roast marshmehwoahs? Will I be dirty? Can I fish for crawdads? How long will it take to get there?"

Ninety days and about nine hours, kid.

He found a photo album that has not yet been filled with pictures. He folds up all of his "maps" and drawings of the lake and carries them around in his photo album map book.

So what we've learned here is that we don't tell Garrett anything about going anywhere until we actually get there.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Worry Free!

I'm speaking at a conference on Saturday. About living a worry free life. Does anyone else think that's hilarious? Me? A worry free life. I could write the book on worrying.

Fear. Worry. Anxiety.

Truly, these are all areas that the Lord has been working in my life.

I'm just hoping to impart some small piece of wisdom to the women who come to my breakout sessions. I'm praying for the women and asking the Lord to speak through me. I'm preparing. I'm ignoring the nerves and embracing the excitement.

Please pray with me.

And, if you would, leave a comment telling me what your biggest fear or concern is. I'd love to lift that up in prayer.

Maybe once I'm finished I will write a post putting my research together--so that you can all practice worry free lives.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Trevor Update

Trevor update:

Trevor had a great day today - he was able to get a day pass out of the hospital so we could go to his team's football game. They won and also got him a jersey, football and a few other things - it was so nice! I went back to work last week and it went ok, very hard to be torn between two places. Kenny does so a great job with Trevor, so I am not that worried - just miss them.

As far as his health, he is progressing well. There are a few concerns about the weakness on his left side. His voice box is still only 1/2 way working on the right side and not at all on the left. The doctor's are having a discussion about whether or not to take out his trach. One wants it out and the other does not for a safety net. They are still concerned that his swallow is not strong enough to protect his airway, others say that when the trach comes out, his swallow will actually improve. We want it out and hope they take that route on Monday.

Please pray for:

1. Trach out

2. Strength for left side

3. Stronger swallow

4. Voice box not paralyzed

Trevor's life is not longer in danger, I am just praying for a full recovery now.

Thank you, Julie

Thank you all for praying for Trevor! God is awesome!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Apparently, my kids don't get out much. Our weeks consist of preschool and several trips to church. Throw in a visit to WalMart and our week is complete.

What happens when you take a couple of cooped up kids to Cabela's for a few hours? They act like they've been blessed with a week a Disney World, that's what.

When we told The Rock Star that we were going to a store for the morning he moaned and groaned like we'd just told him he was about to have a root canal. We assured him that he'd like it. On our way down to Lehi, I glanced in the back seat and discovered that my kids, who were riding pretty silently, were holding hands. That was enough to make the entire adventure totally worth it. When we pulled up in front he declared, "Those benches are like Tahoe!" Instantly, he was sold. The very first thing he saw inside was an enormous tent. He darted inside. "This thing is huge! Can we buy it?"

We went through the aquarium and The Little Buddy started squealing and shouting, "Ish! Ish!"

We browsed the fishing supplies, hunting gear, camping equipment, and backpacking stuff. Garrett decided that, rather than buying actual bunk beds once his brother is big enough, he'd rather just have these...
We looked in the discount room. We looked at coolers, sleeping bags and adorable little camping chairs. The smells from the cafe taunted us. And, of course, we looked at all the taxidermy animals*. As we walked by all the different heads mounted to the wall, The Rock Star would say, "A dead moose. That's sad." Or, "A dead deer. Too bad."

After mounted fish after mounted game after mounted fox, he started to simply declare what it was. We walked through the different museum style rooms. "Ahh. A dead bear. And a dead mountain goat."
"Dead deer."
"Another dead bear."
"Two dead horses. Oh. Too bad." Then we rounded the corner.

"A dead camper," he said as a simple matter of fact. Then he paused. "Mommy? Is that a dead camper?"

Troy and I could simply not stifle our laughter. To think about Cabela's having a taxidermy human was just too much for me to handle. We quickly explained that it was just a statue which was really good timing because, just then, it started talking.

Altogether, we spent $2.29 cents total (on a baggie of orange slice candy and a hunting game) and had a blast with our kids. Even Matthew seemed to really enjoy himself.

There is no doubt in my mind that The Rock Star inherited my father's camping gene and The Little Buddy will do anything that his big brother is doing.

*This blog does not advocate or endorse hunting/taxidermy. I feel the need to state that, for the record. I wouldn't want animal rights activists to start boycotting.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Eight Years Ago

"Happy Engagement Day!" I told Troy this morning as he was getting ready for work.

He turned to me with a funny look on his face and quipped, "Uh. Yeah. April Fools."

I smiled, "Eight years and two kids later, the joke's on you."

Troy, I'd say yes all over again. Thank you for putting my ring on my finger as we sat on the rocks overlooking the bay. You're my favorite.