Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday Thanks Tank #205

Each week, in an effort to focus on thankfulness, I make a gratitude list. It's not a complete list. It is a great exercise for growing gratefulness. Sometimes I post it. I haven't been good at posting consistently for a while.

I am thankful for:

Cooler temperatures for running
A trip away without kids
My parents
My parents being willing and able to watch my kids
An allergy safe Halloween
An allergy safe week while I was away
Candles- just ordered some, can't wait to get them
Exciting news
Expectant moms
Coffee (because I don't wake up quickly)
New experiences
Confidence (exhibited in a child that once had very little)
An ability to let go
Being able to love the unlovable
the fun of college football (come on, Bama, we need this win on Saturday!)
Birthday celebrations
Amazon Prime (without it, an upcoming birthday would be more stressful)
My mom's fudge (which my kids have convinced her to make every time they see her... it's not just for the holidays any more!)
My husband (still hard at work...  love the Amazon!)
Crockpot dinners on  busy nights
Incredible teachers
Being able to recognize myself (my traits- both positive and negative) in my kids
Seeing my child persevere
School pictures
Snail mail
Direct flights

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wait, it's Wednesday? Words

Wouldn't it be weird if you realized on Wednesday that you posted Wednesday Words on Tuesday because you thought it was Wednesday?

Wednesday again.

Today's Words:

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."
Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Weird Wednesday Words

"Momma, it would be really weird if when the math problem said, 'You have 5 pounds of nails...' it meant finger nails." 

Yes, son that would be really weird.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday Thanks Tank #204

I am thankful for:

New friends.
New running friends.
New trails to run on.
A health assessment that indicates what I feel- that I am getting healthier.
Moments of Bonding with my teenager.
Fall. It's just slightly cooler- ever, ever so slightly.
My daughter's new friend. They've worked out our schedule. Last week, playdate at our house, this week playdate at her house, next week our house and on and on. It's precious.
New recipes, including this Pizza Casserole from Paula Deen.

A new favorite tree.

Rainbows in my backyard.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dumping Leftovers

Yesterday I had outstanding thoughts about goals and being proactive. Then, I had a terrible no good very bad day. It was the kind of day that ended with me feeling like a failure. Oh, how I hate days like that. I find it especially ironic this morning as I think about it.

I ended up with a bad headache and found myself unusually emotional. I had the kind of irrational emotions that often arise monthly but it wasn't time for that. I found myself thinking, "What's wrong with me?" as I got frustrated over petty things with my husband. It left me feeling terrible and I couldn't shake it. I went to bed feeling frustrated with myself and frustrated with my husband and even more frustrated that I felt that way.

I hear some days are like that, even in Australia.

What I hate most is how when I have a bad day I usually end up beating myself up for it.

This morning I am shaking off feelings of insignificance and regret.

I have to choose to let it go.
Cue the music.

While I was thinking about that I decided to finish loading the dishwasher. I cleaned out some leftovers from the fridge. Disgusting. I hate cleaning out leftovers.
How timely! Seems like that's what this morning is about. Alright, they've been dumped. The disposal was run. The fridge is clean. The dishwasher is running.

Today is a new day.

His mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I figured out recently that I need goals. I suppose if someone had asked me if I liked to have a goal to strive for, I would have said yes. I didn't realize how much I am affected when I don't have a goal until recently. How did I figure it out? Well, I set a goal and quite suddenly felt so much happier than I had been feeling during the weeks before.

I was surfing the net when one of my running groups posted that Disney had opened up more slots for the Disney marathon and half marathon. I had planned to eventually do a Disney marathon, figuring it would be a lot easier to work out after our recent move to Florida. I had checked on Disney races right after we moved. The soonest I had the chance to run the Disney marathon was going to be 2016 because, of course, it was full.  Normally these races sell out within hours of opening. New slots for the race was extremely unusual (unheard of to me) and a little hard to believe. I hopped over to the RunDisney site to see if it was true. It was. So after some consideration, I signed up for the Disney marathon for January, 2015. 

Ever since, my running feels more purposeful. It's not to say I wasn't enjoying my runs before. I was. I was running because I enjoy it. Each run felt good. But now, each run now feels like a small piece of a big puzzle. It feels good physically and mentally.

I am not sure, but I imagine having a focus will help my running improve.

I am pretty certain all of this could be applied to other areas of my life- managing the home, working with my kids, intellectual pursuits (reading is all I can think of here), and on and on.

I am often frustrated that I am not making progress. I feel frustration and lament that I am not getting anything done. I am getting things done but nothing is ever complete. I'm now considering that it is because I don't have defined goals.

It's time to set goals. It's time to look at different areas of my life and set some small (and maybe long-term) goals.

I imagine that having a focus will allow to feel more satisfied each day.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday Thanks Tank #203

I appreciate.

the rain.
my morning coffee.
my yard.
sweet tea.
the sound of the dishwasher.
the sound of my husband snoring
... okay, sometimes. only sometimes.
chocolate covered pomegranates.
(I do not appreciate that they come in a Costco bag. yes, I do. No, I don't. Um, ya.)
my kids' teachers.
online bill pay.
having a trip planned.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Sometimes I wish a Type-A, ultra organized person would come my house and give in to their extreme need to organize. But then again, that person might have a panic attack in my home. Still, the thought of someone else organizing my pantry sounds really nice.

Sometimes cheez-its taste good with wine. I guess wine just goes with everything.

Speaking of that. I have a love-hate relationship with myfitnesspal. We are arguing daily.

Sometimes I get tired of people my age talking about how old they are or how old they feel. They are not old. I am not old. I don't feel old. But I realized today that I don't feel all that young either. Maybe people talk about being old because being middle aged seems too mediocre. Hm.

Sometimes I laugh at things I read. For example, today I read that if you read one hour per day in your chosen field you will be an international expert in 7 years. Somehow I think I could prove that theory wrong. I am a stay-at-home mom.

Sometimes I wish we talked like the characters in Pride and Prejudice. It's just fun to look around the world I am in and imagine people talking to each other with such elegance. Sometimes, it is just hilarious to imagine... especially at places like Costco or Wal-mart.

Sometimes I wonder if I am the only allergy mom that has a hard time not stockpiling safe candy around Halloween. The treat size candy is out in stores and it took everything I had the other day to avoid that aisle at Wal-mart.

Sometimes I am acutely aware that I should cherish the things my kids are doing. My days of blanket forts and stuffed animals frolicking through my living room are numbered.

Sometimes there isn't enough time. So I am enjoying the time I have.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Today, Monday, June 16th

Today was a good day.
It was the first day of summer break. Okay, my kids and I discussed that and I don't know if we came to a consensus or not. Does summer break start on the weekend after school gets out for summer or the Monday after school gets out? Today was the Monday after school ended for summer break.

Ironically, I started the day by visiting two elementary schools. I needed to pick up records and books at both schools.

After that, I took my three youngest kids to a movie. We saw "How to Train Your Dragon 2." I accidentally picked the time for the 3D movie. The kids didn't mind. It was super cute. I didn't like the part where a favorite character died but besides that, it was really good.

Side note, when I told my 6 year old daughter that I didn't like the death part she said something to this effect: It's okay. When someone dies you are really sad at first but then you get used to it. Like with Logan.
It was startling that she put that all together.

After the movie, we started home. On a whim, I asked if the kids would like to go to the local hand's-on museum: The Discovery Museum. We have a year membership. Naturally, they said yes. So, we played there for about 2 1/2 hours. It was spontaneous and I loved it. I don't give myself the freedom to change plans near enough.

The evening consisted of a quick dinner, play time, and a little (just a small bit of pruning and sweeping) yard work.

I finished my day late. I couldn't resist watching 24. I should have been reading a book but I opted for a recording of the show- the only show I watch, aside from college football which hasn't started and doesn't count as a 'show'. The only problem with it is that I need to relax after it... which is probably why I am recounting my day right now.

It was a good day.

My oldest and my husband are backpacking in the Lassen Volcanic National Park. This is my oldest son's big 13th birthday celebration. I am anxious to know about the trip. They don't have cell phone coverage. As hard as that is for me, I imagine it is just perfect for a backpacking trip.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Embracing Milesstones

My youngest had a Kindergarten celebration this week. She was - well, is- the cutest thing ever.
I felt more emotional during the musical performance and slide show than I was when she started Kindergarten. Start Kindergarten? How exciting!  Finish Kindergarten? Oh my. And they sang "Happy Trails to You" which hit my heart strings. I am going to miss her school. I really am.

Tonight I realized that I've reached another milestone. I don't really appreciate it. I don't like it at all to be honest. And, I recognize it is only the beginning. There was a time when I thought that if I made it to the end of the day and the kids were in bed, I had made it. I could relax. The preschool days were so exhausting, ya know? Ha! I am not dealing with the middle school days happily. Now when I "make it" to the end of the day, the end of the day isn't over. This week, my middle schooler is working on final projects and studying for final exams. Wait until he is finally in bed for my relax before bed time? It's insane. I am already not getting enough sleep. This is a serious adjustment that I am not making. I have not adjusted. In all fairness, I used to do the same exact thing- waiting until the last night for projects. I realize it and it drives me crazy... oh shoot, I guess I better get used to it. 

I should have snuck in the other room and took picture of him typing away at the computer for his final report for Social Studies. Oh-so-cute!

Okay, really. Kindergarten is adorable. Middle school is tough. But I still adore him. It's just different. I marvel at how he is growing. I am amazed at how he eats. His body is changing. He has a little extra hair above his upper lip. He does. Oh my gosh, he does.

I find the juxtaposition of my Kindergartener and middle schooler fascinating and bit frightening. Oh so cliché, where does the time go?

I can't help but smile.

I smile at the memory of my 6 year old daughter covering up in bed, telling me "You are the best mom ever. You are the best mom in the whole entire universe." She was so incredibly sweet. She beamed with her precious smile and love in her eyes.

I smile at the memory of my 13 year old son cracking himself up by purposely putting in this erroneous fact for me to catch when I proof-read his paper: "All in all the Revolutionary War was a great conquest, led by the first President George W. Bush." He was so remarkably funny. He laughed so hard, proud of his joke.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Movin' On

Today my husband was a little over 2, 800 miles away looking at houses. It was both surreal and extremely real. We are moving in less than 4 weeks. I am not sure that I am ready. Well, no, I am not ready. I am sure of that.

Today my third son asked me how long we would live in Florida. I readily and honestly answered, I'm not sure. He doesn't care. He likes to move, he says. My oldest often wants to know the same thing but it is because he hopes not to live in Florida for long.

My third son prayed tonight that we would get the house that we want but if we didn't get it, we'd get a house that we like even better.

The house I currently live in was owned by a lady for 25+ years. She had a really hard time moving. She recently sold the house (and the new owner is renting to us until the summer) and she had the hardest time letting go. I can honestly say that I don't understand having an attachment to a house.

We should find out tomorrow if we get the house "we want."
I have only seen this house online and in pictures my husband has sent me. It occurred to me tonight that some people (wives in particular)  would never be willing to move this way.

This move will be an adventure. All moves are.

There are things that I am looking forward to and things that I am really, really going to miss.
And so it begins again. We're movin' on. There are regrets. There are triumphs. This place that we are leaving is going to be hard to leave.

I guess these are some random thoughts about our impending move.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

It's not easy being nice

It's 10:30 at night and my neighbor is outside with her kids and her dog. The dog keeps barking. That's pretty normal. What's unusual is me paying attention to the noise of her talking to her kids. It's 10:30 and she is outside with her kids. They aren't quiet. What's more, they aren't in bed.
Our kids have school tomorrow.
I'm struck with the realization, which I have had in the past, that her kids live much, much different lives than mine. Their environment is different.
One of her kids in particular is an extreme source of frustration to one of my kids. Eight times out of ten he is just mean to my son. Earlier tonight was one of those times. My son came inside in tears. The kid just couldn't be much more verbally abusive. And yet, those few times he is nice, they play and have the best time together. This son of mine is extremely social. So, he wants to be friends with the boy next door. The boy is either nice and fun or extremely mean. My son is nice to a fault. I think that and then I wonder- what the heck does that mean? Nice to a fault? Sadly, it isn't great to be the nice kid. It is great to be the tough kid or the cool kid but not the nice kid.

I was trying to comfort him tonight and I told him to imagine this boy getting picked on. I told him, I thought he would throw his hands up and walk away. I was telling my son that it is okay to walk away. But, he said, no- this kid wouldn't do that. He would be mean right back.
My son can't do that. So, the other kids call him a baby.

I hurt for him. I also realize that I went through this with my older son. So far, I am seeing a pattern. My kids are too nice.
I'm not even sure what to think about that. In this day, it's a not good thing to be a rule following, nice kid. It means you are an easy target.

 My kids have been in bed for a long time. They aren't getting chastised in the backyard by me at 10:45 at night.

I am not better than my neighbor. I am just different than my neighbor. I was trying to tell my son it is okay to be different (kinder) than other kids. It just won't always be easy.

Sometimes I feel unprepared. I don't have the answers to encourage his hurting heart. I wonder if honesty is enough. I just talk to him from my heart and hope that he senses I am being real with him. I encourage him, rub his back, hug him, and wipe away his tears.

I cannot stop the pain that he feels.
I cannot stop the inconsiderate person.
Intervening wouldn't' do anything. It would probably ruin a relationship.
I just wait and try to keep a pleasant attitude. It would be much, much easier to go off and say what I really think.
Sometimes people are so self-involved, they don't realize the impact they have.
It is true for these kids. It is true for adults.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

26 Running Lessons Learned

I started running in January of 2013. I was set to turn 40 in August and I was motivated to set new fitness goals. I decided to work toward running a 5k. I ran a 5k that March and then I kept going. Much to my surprise, I discovered a love for running. In April of 2014, I completed my first marathon. A week before my marathon, I was asked to share about my running experience with my running group. I've changed and learned so much since I started running. I am a better person because I run. I am in better shape. I am more confident. And, quite simply, I am happier.

In honor of National Running Day and my 1st marathon, here are my 26 Running Lessons Learned:

1. It gets easier.
The more you run, the easier it is to run. Running 3 miles now is nothing like it was when I was working toward my first 5k.

2. Forget the past.
Being a runner is a mindset. If you run, you are a runner. Yesterday's run, whether better or worse, doesn't matter today. Focus on today’s run.

3. Do not underestimate the power of a good pair of shoes.
When I started running, I had an old pair of tennis shoes. They were probably about 10 years old. I ran my first 5k in them. Shortly after that, my knees starting hurting. Then, I went to a running store, had a running evaluation done, which determined that I pronate, and I found running shoes that work for me. About halfway into my marathon training, I started having a pain in the bottom of my foot. I decided the support in my shoes might be wearing out. I bought new shoes and the pain stopped. Do not underestimate the power of  good pair of shoes. A lot of pain can be caused by ill-fitted or worn out shoes.

4. All socks are not created equal.
Swiftwick socks rock. While I prefer Swiftwick, other runners prefer other brands. I bought some running socks at REI and they make my feet sweat. The bottom line is do not buy cotton socks; buy a good pair of wicking socks.

5. You can achieve what you want if you have a plan.
I was able to do a 5k, 10k and half marathon without a plan but I was clueless. I was fortunate. Having a plan to run a marathon made all of the difference in the world. I was prepared and I was confident.

6. Having a training schedule is good.
Following a training schedule gave me confidence. Even more important, my body was prepared for the distance.

7. Be flexible within your running schedule.
It is okay not to run, no matter what the schedule says. Life commitments get in the way. Give yourself freedom within your training.

8. Mix up your running surfaces.
My first trail run was a Lake Tahoe 4th of July 5k Run to the Beach. I thought I was going to fall and break my neck. My 12 year old thought it was the coolest thing ever. Since then I’ve learned that giving my legs a break from pavement is a very good thing. Now my favorite runs are trail runs.

9. Listen to your body.
All of the pains I had were related to something I was doing- like needing new shoes or needing to tie my shoes better. When you are in pain, rest and evaluate.

10. Don’t compare yourself to other runners.
There are faster runners. It doesn’t matter. You are a runner.
“Running is not about being better than anyone else. It is about being better than you used to be.”

11. Without a goal, you won't go anywhere.
For me, goals create benchmarks for me to measure my success and allow a sense of

12. Nutrition matters.
If you eat junk, you will feel like junk, and you will run like junk. On one of my shorter long runs while getting ready for the marathon, I thought to myself, “I only have 12 miles so I’ll go to my book club, eat heavy food and have that 2nd glass of wine.” – I felt like I had a rock in my stomach during those 12 miles.

13. Judge the effort, not the run.
There are two parts to this-
a) You are never running “just” anything (“just a 5k”). RUN the run you are running.
b) It’s the effort that matters. I’ve felt amazing and had a slow pace. I’ve felt terrible and had a
great pace.

14. Warm up.
It helps me to take a warm up run (jog) before a race or long run. This does 2 things- I feel
the outside conditions and know what I need (long vs short sleeves, gloves, etc) and I can stretch

15. Ice baths are a necessary evil after long runs.
I hate them. They are great for muscle recovery. Adding bubbles seems nice but doesn’t help. A
martini helps a little.

16. Sleep matters.
The more I’ve run, the more sleep I’ve needed. It took me awhile to accept that.

17. Dress for 20 degrees warmer than the temperature.
I read this and learned the hard way that this is true for me. Running long distances with a jacket
around my waist isn’t my idea of fun.

18. Plan a Happy Ending.
End runs with something you enjoy. But realize that your desires might have changed during the
run. I liken my long run “happy endings” to pregnancy cravings. I plan for it- bring something tasty to enjoy afterwards but sometimes my cravings are unpredictable and intense. After one long run, I was literally scrounging around my car for change to get a specific candy at a gas station.

19. Rest days matter. A body needs rest. Rest days matter.

20. The only thing that holds me back is my mind.
I’ve learned that a tremendous amount of my running is mental. My mental state can make or break
a run.

21. Eat 2 hours before a morning long run and get upright (walk around).
Or else. I relearn this often. On my most recent vacation, I made it back to our place for a pit
stop but it wasn’t the most enjoyable run.

22. Sometimes it is more fun to run with someone.
Before joining a running group, I had not run with someone else (at least not since high school and that was 22 years ago). I didn’t think I would like it. It has been amazing to have the support. Long runs go by so much faster when you can enjoy a conversation.

23. My body is incredible.
This pretty much sums it up: “The more I run, the more I love my body. Not because it is perfect,
far from it, but because with every mile it is proving to me that I am capable of more than I ever
thought possible.”

24. Have fun. I set goals. I try to get a personal record (PR) at a race. But, I can't forget to have fun. If I am too focused to enjoy the scenery around me on a run, I am missing out. If I can't smile at some point, even if it is just when I have finished a run that I didn't feel like doing, I need to check my motivation. Running should be fun. If it isn't, I need to do something different- slow down, get more sleep- something.

25. Running is all about me.
It’s sounds selfish. It’s the healthiest thing I have ever done. It’s my run. It’s my health. It is okay, in fact, fantastic, to be selfish about being healthy.

26. I am stronger than I think. If there's one thing that running has taught me, it is this: I am stronger than I think.

I am linking this post to Works-for-Me Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

40 Years of Fun

To anyone that knows me, it is no secret that I love to celebrate.
I am not all that great at buying or picking out gifts but I get really into celebrations. I get excited about holidays. It doesn't matter if it is a big holiday (like Christmas) or a little one (like St. Patrick's Day- after all, we aren't Irish). I love doing little things to make special days more special.

For my husband's 40th birthday, I was hard-pressed for time. I could not get to the party store across town. There wasn't time. I had to make due with what I had on hand and what I could pick up at the grocery store.

We had two celebrations. My husband's birthday fell on Wednesday. It was a busy Wednesday, complete with our 13 year old's middle school band concert at night. He was also leaving town at 6 the following morning. We did a little decorating on his birthday and then really celebrated the Saturday afterwards.

On his birthday~
I set out items that turn 40 in 2014 as a table center piece.
Connect Four, Magna Doodles, Hello Kitty, Rubik's Cube, Dayquil, and Postit Notes all turn40 this year. Pop Rocks do as well, but I forgot to put those out.
I also set some festive drinks out with a 40th birthday message. It was a fun surprise when he got up to make coffee.

Drinks: Old Soul Beer, Kudo's Wine, Rogue Dead Guy Beer.

We didn't have much time that night but I couldn't let him go without a cake on his 40th birthday. I made an "Older Than Dirt" cake. It was simple chocolate cake with crushed oreos and gummy worms. It made him smile and the kids loved it.


Birthday Celebration~
My kids and I had a grand time making signs for him. Our theme? "Life is a Highway and you better slow down after 40." Alternately titled, "Speed Limit 40."

I'm not even sure why but we already had some caution tape. The kids had fun putting it up around the house. Daddy was greeted with it at the front door when he returned from his out of town trip.


We made him a candy bar birthday poster. It was sweet.

Our decorations had a "Life is a Highway" theme. The kids helped me come up with some of the road sign names.

The Danger sign was the kids' favorite. It was really funny when Daddy just happened to be sitting under the sign. We laughed so hard. (I didn't plan that, I promise...)

The cake was a blast! I made a "Crap, You're Old" cake. I saw the idea on Pinterest (of course). There are several versions but I liked the one I found on Sew Totally Smitten the best. I made mine based on that cake. I was happy with how it turned out. The kids couldn't wait for Daddy to get home from his trip so he could see the cake. They were over-the-top excited. The response from my husband hilarious.

The "Crap, You're Old Cake"~

First, my daughter covered Daddy's eyes and I put the cake in front of him.

Then, he opened his eyes. His reaction was priceless.

Celebrating 40 has never been so much fun!

This post is linked to Works-for-Me Wednesday. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Born in 1974

Today was my husband's 40th birthday.

I gathered a few items around the house that are also celebrating 40 years this year: Connect 4, Magna Doodle, Rubik's Cube, Post-it Notes, Dayquil and Hello Kitty.

I was happy with this little 1974 display. It was also fun to take turns playing quick games of Connect 4 after dinner.
We had a great day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Rainy day

I enjoyed a rare rainy Nevada day today.

It was funny. I guess I lived in the Northwest too long - 4 years in Washington and 4 years in Oregon. No one pays attention to the rain in the Northwest. I will never forget the first time I saw kids playing on the play ground in the rain. On the flip side, my daughter was sad that she didn't get one recess today. She was also unhappy when I showed up to pick her up after school without an umbrella. Honestly, all of the umbrellas caught me off-guard. In the northwest, you just grab a hat and go. That's what I did. It didn't make sense to my 6 year old today.

I didn't really enjoy the rain until later in the day when I went running. I guess I've gotten used to sunshine.

I did enjoy running in the rain. I ran 6 miles in a cool light rain. It felt fantastic. The clouds were mighty. I managed to run right through a few puddles. My feet were wet. I felt strong.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Enjoy the Simple

The flowers caught her eye and she stopped to examine them. She was adoring the white flowers. I smelled the lilies. They were so fragrant. "Smell these"! I said to her with delight. And she did. I had my phone out to snap a photo of the moment. Her face lit up with surprise and happiness. I wish I had a picture of that. She asked to touch the pollen, which she did, and then we went inside, marking the end of the school day and beginning of the afternoon at home.

So brief- those moments we shared smelling lilies. But it was the kind of moment that lingered in my mind all day. So sweet. So precious. Just taking a minute to enjoy the simple beauty around us.

My life feels like utter chaos right now. I cannot keep up with my overrun to-do list. My calendar is full and yet, somehow, I keep managing to add to it.

Enjoy the simple.
Enjoy the beauty around me.
Remember that it isn't happy people that are thankful. It is thankful people that are happy.

Monday, April 14, 2014

So much to say... and yet there are no words

I have so much to say, I don't even know where to start.

My week has been so full. So very full.

I will start with my heart's ache.

This week, a little boy- a neighbor- lost his life. He had just turned 5 in March. He ran into the road and was, tragically, hit by a car.

The devastation.
The loss.

There aren't words to describe it.

And, I am just a neighbor whose kids played with the boy and his older brother.
The pain his family must feel... I cannot imagine it.
His Nana brought flowers to our house today- because they have too many. The scent is almost too much- just so sweet.
The sweetness reminds me of his sweet innocence.

And all I can think is... He was just here...

He was here at my house last week, jumping on the trampoline... or trying to jump. It made him nervous. He would get on and off and on again. He kept trying. He enjoyed it most when his brother jumped with him but there were times when he would sneak in the back by himself, when the other kids were riding scooters and bikes. He'd sneak on the trampoline for just a bit and try it out. The boy was precious- just precious. He was full of spunk. When all of the kids were playing outside at my house, he'd try to come inside to play with the toys. If I met him at the backdoor and told him that everyone was playing outside, he'd try the side door. He did not give up. I'd lock the door so he wouldn't sneak in. And then, when he got in, which he did- everyone followed.

It shouldn't have happened.
It couldn't have.
It did.

And it breaks my heart.

My kids keep asking the kind of questions that kids ask. I am okay when they ask me... but, today, when my 6 year old asked Nana about the car that hit Logan, I just couldn't take it. Nana is a gracious, gracious understanding woman who worked in education for years. She is so good with kids. But it broke my heart to pieces.

There is no reason for pain like this.
It's just raw, excruciating pain.

I will carry his memory with me forever.
And his family- I just don't know how they are holding on.

His life was precious, everything that encompasses a five year old - energetic, mischievous, loving, curious. He had a zest for living.

We celebrated his life today.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

From the Leprechaun Chase

Before school this morning

Friday, March 14, 2014

Thankful Thursday #202 on Friday

Yesterday was the kind of day when nothing went well.
It started at breakfast when my tooth broke while I was eating breakfast. Apparently, my old filing was no longer sufficient and decay occurred under it. That was a really bad way to start a day. I scrambled to get the kids to school while I was panicking about my tooth. I got an early dentist appointment. I found out that my break was the worst kind of break possible. My mouth was numb for 4 hours. I wept at home. When I went to get my son from school, he was crying. We went back in to talk to one of his teachers. It wasn't the best impromptu conference with a teacher I hadn't met before. I am disappointed- not with my child but with the teacher that my son meets with once a week. Needless to say, my son came home in a grumpy mood. After a few shouting sessions between him and his siblings, I sequestered him in his room with a snack and a good book. Oh, and during the the shouting sessions, the relator called. The house we rent is up for sale. We are planning to move this summer. The house was shown on Wednesday. The relator was calling to tell me that they put an offer on the house and that she is going to try to talk them into letting us continue to lease for the next few months until school is out. And if that doesn't happen... no stress there.
My tooth was still hurting. I went to bed early after a glass of wine.
Yesterday was just a bad day.

Today is a new day and I am determined to be thankful.

I am thankful for:

My husband who lovingly took care of me yesterday when I wasn't at my best
My brother-in-law coming home from his 10 month deployment TODAY!
My son excelling playing the trumpet in jazz band. His second jazz band concert this week is tonight.
Sunshine. The weather here is gorgeous. Bring on spring!
Music. The best part of yesterday was the run I squeezed in. I really enjoyed escaping to the sounds of my music.
Coffee. A hot cup early in the morning is just perfect.
Flowers. I have some pretty annuals I am going to put in pots today. Again, bring on Spring!
Humility. I just volunteered in my son's class. The whole class was reprimanded because so many of them forgot to bring things to class today. My son was included in the group. He forgot a journal, which he was certain he had put in his 3 ring notebook. He was visibly upset. His teacher didn't buy his 'I think it fell out' response. Upon returning home, I found that I had taken it out of his notebook when I took out the 'leave at home' papers. I humbly went back to his class and apologized to him. Oh sure, I could have waited until he was home but I knew he would be relieved to know it wasn't his fault.
The local sandwich shop. About once a week I treat myself to a sandwich from the local sandwich shop. I love supporting local businesses. I also love a good sandwich.
Coloring pages. My new thing to do with my daughter is color. It's been a fun together activity. She's even willing to let me color on the pages when she is in school. I haven't done that yet but you never know what this afternoon will bring.
The weekend. I'm ready for the weekend. It is going to be a nice mix of activities and relaxing.

I am going to continue to focus on being thankful today.
I'm also focusing on this verse:

From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2

Monday, March 10, 2014

No blindfolds

I read this tonight-
When you are a believer — and you stop counting blessings?
It’s like blindfolding yourself and wondering why everything’s black.

Simple words. Such truth.

I cannot be who I am to be without appreciating who I am already and what I have been given. Too often, I just get wrapped up in the pain of life. I hurt constantly for those who hurt. It's an affliction. It's a gift.

It's the season of Lent. My heart is full of longing.
I am stretching myself.
It is good.

It's been too long.

I've only been participating in the Lenten observance for a few years. It's a great discipline for me. My heart is broken and longing and needy. It's a good place to be before celebrating Easter.

I am so far from where I want to be. Simply recognizing that- that is a great thing.
I am not going through each day full of the world. I was. It's easy to do. I am not blindfolded.
The light of the world. That's what we are called to be.
I want to shine.
Love shines.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday Thanks Tank #202

I am thankful for:

A new phone. Last Fall, I dropped my phone.
I got a new phone yesterday and I am just extremely happy about it. I can see the words again. And, wow- the pictures are so clear when they don't have cracks all over them!

A found blanket. My daughter's blanket -the one she has had since her first day in the hospital- was missing for two days. Tonight, she asked me to pray to ask God to help us find "Bobby." We found it shortly after she went to bed. She had hid with it and left it in her hiding place.

A visit with family. My brother-in-law is in town. It's special to see the kids get excited about seeing family. It's also just great to catch up.

A visit with best friends. Our friends that are close as family- so close that the kids tell people they are cousins- came to visit last weekend. It was refreshing. I laughed until I cried. We talked late into the night. We also did a little sight-seeing. I am thankful we got to take our friends to see Lake Tahoe.

Rain. Nevada needs precipitation. It rained last night and it was so nice. It's forecasted to rain again tomorrow and I'm pretty happy about that.

Dark Chocolate Pomegranate. Seriously. I am thankful for these and thankful when they are gone. I cannot stop eating them once they are opened. They are heavenly.
For my son's friend and his parents who are going out of their way to accommodate him and his peanut allergy. My son is going to a sleep-over this weekend. He is so excited. This is a milestone of sorts. While it isn't his first sleep-over, it is a new experience. They don't live next door and they aren't our super close friends or family. Tonight, as I went over all of the food that the kids will have at the party, I was touched by the mom's consideration and planning. Her son has been asking my son about food he can have and she has already bought him a safe alternative dessert he can enjoy when the other kids are having cake.

These are a few of the things I am thankful for tonight.
Take time to be thankful. It's time well-spent.