Friday, November 30, 2012

Uncomplicated Purity

Like many of you, hubs and I have some sappy stories from our days in the beginning our life together.  Every year when we break out the Christmas decorations, one story in particular takes us back to the days when we were “living on loans and love”.  Grad school had started for him, I was finishing up my education degree, and we were freshly married. Our parents were extremely generous and supportive, providing us with enough money to pay our rent and put groceries on our table…but the rest of it was up to us.  Life was good. We were oblivious to the realities of being grown-ups, because our reality was the little cocoon that we had created in the tiny apartment we called home.  Our days consisted of going to class, coming home and cooking dinner together, and spending the evenings studying or watching TV or taking walks together in the neighborhood.  It was a time of sweetness and uncomplicated purity.

After only a few months of marriage, it came time for the holidays.  I was so excited about having our first Christmas together as a married couple, and looked forward to everything about the season.  I remember asking him about a Christmas tree and he reminded me that we would need to look for an artificial tree due to his allergies.  So my mom and I set out on Black Friday, early in the morning, and found a tree on sale…I think I paid $20 for it.  I assure you, there was nothing glamorous about it, but I brought it home like a hunter with a 10 point deer.  Hubs insisted that we put it up immediately and after the ten minutes it took to assemble it…we stopped and looked at one another as the obvious question crossed both of our minds.  What in the world were we going to put on the tree?  (Refer to the above mentioning of just how green at this thing called “life” we really were)  That was the moment when I popped off about how I would just run to Hobby Lobby the next day and pick up some decorations.  Hubs looked at me and sweetly said, “Honey, we really don’t have the money for that.”  Gasp.  I remember looking at him…puzzled…and thinking, “is he serious? We can’t have a naked Christmas tree…”  (This would be a good time to explain that hubs and I grew up with different backgrounds, but that’s a whole other blog post for a whole other time…but you get the picture) I don’t remember the rest of the evening or how that conversation all played out that night but I do know that I didn’t run to HL the next day, or the next.  Our little tree sat in our living room…naked…for 3 days.  And then the magic happened.

Cody came home from class with a plastic sack filled to its brim with pinecones. He had a friend at school that had offered him as many as he could find out of his yard that day. Seemed sweet enough…but  I was slightly taken aback when he whipped out another sack…this one from Wal-Mart…and began removing ribbon, paperclips and spray paint.  He proceeded to explain that he had come up with an idea of how to decorate our Christmas tree.  He presented the idea, I was skeptical to say the least, but was weary of looking at the bare branches, so I agreed to help. 

That evening, we spray painted every one of those pinecones with gold paint and let them dry.  After they dried, we carefully pulled apart dozens of paperclips to make hooks.  And finally, we hot glued the paperclips to the pinecones, and completed the look with a tiny bow.   We laughed and told stories of Christmas’ growing up while we worked on the project.  I quietly remained skeptical, honestly, but enjoyed the process of my new husband’s handiwork. 

When they were all completed, we began to place them on our little tree…and one by one, they adorned that tree until it was covered in handmade ornaments.  I was amazed at how precious they turned out, how amazing our tree looked, and in total awe at the man that made my dreams come true of having a beautiful tree for our first Christmas together.  Those ornaments were nothing special to an outsider, but to us, they represented so much. 

Needless to say, over the years, our lives have grown and our Christmas decorations have grown with it.  Cody works incredibly hard to provide our family with a beautiful home that we enjoy decorating year after year for the holidays.  But every year, when it comes time to decorate our tree, one thing always remains… our pinecone ornaments.  We have kept them for 12 years and will continue to do so as long as possible.  They have hung on every Christmas tree, and every year, our geese have to listen to the story of when “we became an us”.  We remind our babies of our meager beginning, and it is a precious reminder to us as well.  Those silly pinecones remind us of simpler times…of resourcefulness…of the extravagant happiness we felt that first year, and yet by the world’s standards, we had very little. While I don’t necessarily long for those days (because after all, those were pre-baby days) I sometimes long for that ME.  I long for the girl that hadn’t tasted tears of grief and loss.  I long for the girl that didn’t know what it was like to stress about the unknown.   I long for the girl that was satisfied with making something beautiful out of simply “making do with what we have”.  I long for uncomplicated purity. 

While the reality stands that that “season” of life has passed, I pray that our little pinecones may be a reminder to all of us to embrace the season we are in…regardless. A season of joy.  A season of chaos.  Most of all, a season to celebrate the One that gives us life abundantly that came to the earth in the rawest form of uncomplicated purity. I am incredibly grateful that some things never change.  

Merry Christmas~



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Car Connections

A week ago today, my geese and I got into the Suburban to head to school like we do every morning.  Upon turning the key in the ignition, I came to the realization and horror that my vehicle was not responding to this command.  In fact, it was ignoring it completely. There was no response…no guttural utterance, no choking, no sound…nothing. This vehicle had begun to give us fits about 3 months ago, and things just seemed to be getting worse.  I gasped out loud, and quickly grabbed my cell phone as I glanced at the clock.  Great, I thought…12 minutes until the babies are late to school.  Without even thinking, I began to dial the phone number of the one person in the world that has consistently rescued me from any possible car woe that has come my way. 

My daddy. 

Upon dialing the 4th number in the sequence, my heart sank and the tears emerged.  Claire looked at me sweetly as I brushed the wetness from my face.  A couple of phone calls later, and the kids off to school, I sat on my couch with a cup of coffee and began writing the plan…  the plan for my pity party that was inevitable and imminent.  You see, my daddy was the one that showed up with a (new to me) car on my 16th birthday just in time for me to drive to my first Winter Formal.  He was the one that took the day off from work and took me car shopping on my 18th birthday, as we celebrated my acceptance into the college of my choice.  He was the one that sat me down and explained how to purchase insurance, why it’s important, and how much it cost.  He loved cars, even going as far as owning his own 1968 Camaro where he dabbled in the sport of drag racing.  He changed my oil every 3,000 miles like clock-work, he rotated my tires, and he was the first one I called at the first sign of problems. He made me feel protected and when I married Cody, he continued to do such.  Cody embraced this safety net, and developed his own dependence on Dad’s knowledge.  He shared this knowledge with Cody, and they did their own bonding under the hood of many vehicles. 

I have inherited his love of cars, and am constantly looking at the make, model, and features of new ones as they roll off of the assembly line. I am limited right now in my choices, due to the gaggle of geese I tote around to every dance rehearsal and soccer practice in Small Town America.  But one fact remains: I have never, ever purchased a vehicle that he was not a vital part of the process. He was always my road trip traveler in the past when I have trapessed across Texas in search of a “mommy-mobile” suitable for this tribe.  He was always full of advice, full of opinions, and full of banter about whether or not I was getting a good enough “deal”. 

I knew that it was time to begin looking for a different car, and I knew that this was just going to be one more “first” to add to the list of “First ____ without Dad”.  It’s been a full year of those, and I am beginning to glimpse the finish line as we quickly approach the anniversary of his passing at the end of this month…Thanksgiving Day, to be exact.  I got online and began looking, and two days later, found myself travelling…alone…to a nearby city to obtain a new car. 

And I bawled the entire way there. 

But after pulling myself together, blowing my nose, and putting on some lipstick, I got to thinking:  Seriously? Are you really this sappy? It’s a car, for crying out loud! Get it together! But it did get me to pondering my relationship with my own babies.  What will they remember about me? What will they grieve for when they do it for the first time, alone? What will be the one thing that makes them feel like an “official grown-up” when I am no longer around to share in the experience? My daddy probably had no idea that I paired this experience with him in such tangible, heartfelt ways…I honestly didn’t even know myself.  Of course you expect the “big” ones to be painful…holidays, anniversaries, etc.  But it’s truly the little things that make an imprint on the hearts of the ones you love the most that will stay with them for an eternity. 

What “little things” am I imprinting on the hearts of my baby geese today? I have to stop and ask myself this question as life carries on. When it’s easier to just cook dinner myself, I have to pause and remember that my girls are going to someday be deemed responsible for providing meals to their own families.  I need to expose them to this skill, which requires timeand taking the time to do it, requires intention.  Am I being intentional in the opportunities I provide my children each day to learn things about life that only their mama can teach them?

The good news is that I did not bawl all the way home from the car dealership that day.  I walked away feeling good. Feeling empowered. Feeling confident.  I’d say he did his job, and did it well. 

And yes, Daddy…I got a good deal. 


Monday, October 29, 2012

October Optimism

One of the most endearing traditions of this Small Town America we call home, is our ability to allow our children to enjoy Halloween in all of its glory, in a safe and family-friendly environment. Now I must admit, I am a bit of a Halloween “scrooge” as one of my friends so eloquently named herself…I hate dressing up, I’ve never been a big candy eater, and you already know how I feel about arachnids…so why would I get fired up about a “holiday” that combines these characteristics? It has always been a bit of a conundrum to me why people find this experience to be so enticing.  Once I had babies, my feelings on the subject didn’t change much….UNTIL the first time I laid eyes on THIS: 



I cannot even put into words how much I love this picture.  Seriously.  Somebody needs to get me some crackers so that I can smear these babies on them and Eat.Them.Up.

I digress.

So over the years, I have grown more willing to be more enthusiastic about Halloween and “Fall Festivals” and Trunk or Treats (insert eye roll here…sorry PTO) for the sake of the children.  Because isn’t that what it’s all about anyway?  Isn’t that what spending gobs of money and time and stress are all about…for the children? So we can dress up and eat gigantic amounts of teeth-rotting candy and blah blah blah….? Ok, maybe I’m not more enthusiastic about Halloween…but let me tell you what I AM enthusiastic about.  I’m enthusiastic about relationships.  I’m enthusiastic about my geese forming relationships with people that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to form a bond.  I’m enthusiastic about asking questions and getting to know others and my children learning the important skill of looking people in the eye when they speak to them. Im enthusiastic about my kids knowing that the building that we attend every week called the "church" is not what makes being a Christian's the God we serve and worship that makes it special. Its the people that make up the Body of Christ inside that building that make it special. And I want them to know those people.

Our church has begun somewhat of a tradition over the last few years that has really blessed our family.  The baby geese of the congregation are invited to dress in friendly costumes, and the adults without young children are asked to bring a couple of bags of candy and some lawn chairs and everyone goes out to a Girl Scout Camp outside of town.  We meet for food and fellowship, and before we break for supper, the children are invited to walk around to the adults who have spread out among the camp in their lawn chairs.  The geese are given a list of questions to choose from to ask the adults …instead of saying “trick or treat”…my daughter might ask the widow that sits across the aisle from us every Sunday, “What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?”  or “What is your favorite Bible story?”  And before the child receives a piece of candy from that adult, it is asked of them to listen to the adult’s response and then politely respond to a question that the adult has for the child in return.  A simple exchange between two souls that might not take place otherwise.  It is and was priceless.  I stood there last night and just tried (really hard) to close my mouth. I wanted to soak up the sweetness of the moment. I felt like I was eavesdropping on intimate conversations while I listened to the answers that my babies gave to some of the questions that were asked of them. I was moved to tears more than once as my friends got to know the hearts of my favorite little people on earth (our babies) …as our fellow believers, our church, learned about our babies as people…not as “those P… kids”. I learned that my son’s favorite Bible character is David and that Meredith’s favorite story is about Creation. I would spend a small fortune on a Minnie Mouse costume any day of the week, month, or year to be able to share in the magnitude of those moments.  You can’t put a price on that stuff.
Having said all of that, let me share a little bit of what my babies learned as well….

Meredith learned that Mrs. Hall has one of the most beautiful smiles in Small Town America. Bar None. 
Meredith has been learning from these two since she exited the womb.  Literally.  But lately, she has learned what tenacity and strength and courage look like. She and others are being taught that neither cancer nor any other earthly struggle can separate us from the love of God.





This precious couple teaches my little family about commitment. They teach us about being willing to be uncomfortable for the sake of others. They teach us about humbleness. And I’m not even kidding when I say that their smiles start at the depths of their souls and come forth like a spring…and that is why they smile like that. Like that.   I don’t know anybody that doesn’t need or want some of what they have.


These two stopped long enough to have their picture taken. Lesson learned? The days of having their picture taken (together…voluntarily) are quickly becoming numbered. Sigh.


Mere consistently learns that life is more fun when Gigi is around.
"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." L.M.Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables  


Monday, September 24, 2012

Thelma and Louise Theology

We had quite a little situation at our house this weekend.  Saturday night, the back gate was left open in the yard, and our two dogs ran loose, like Thelma and Louise with fur.  Me, being somewhat fickle in my parenting of animals, didn’t sweat the escape, because I figured they would return when they were finished with their frolicking.   Their pattern had been established.  They would get out, run around the neighborhood a couple of times and flex their muscles to all the dogs still imprisoned behind their gates, and then show up in the driveway, thirsty and ready for bed.  I knew the drill, and didn’t have the energy to resist their rebellion.  The geese were panicked, but I assured them that when we woke up in the morning, Abby and Sugar would be present and accounted for.  Looking back, I see that I should have been more concerned, but I had more important things to worry about that night…like whether or not Kansas State was going to beat the OU Sooners. You gotta have priorities, people.

The sun came up on Sunday morning, and as I stumbled to the Keurig (speaking of priorities) I noticed the lack of two nose prints on the glass window of our back door.  20 minutes and 5 different “oh no…they didn’t come home last night” statements later, Captain Obvious left the premises and I began to feel annoyed.  Where could those little jailbirds have gone?  And then it happened…annoyance gave way to panic…panic gave way to guilt (it was me, after all, that opened the back door after hubs had specifically put them in the house while he worked in the yard) and then guilt gave way to tears.  Tears are the official place that hubs figures out that any given situation is serious.  After some reassuring hugs and some “we can look for them after church” salve applied to my guilty wounds, I got dressed and the five of us headed out the door. 

My sweet friend, Heidi, made the mistake of asking, “How are you?” and you would have thought that Armageddon was near due to the high-pitched, unintelligible squawking that came from my mouth.  I think I sputtered out something about my dogs being missing and that it was all my fault, and anything else neurotic you can think of.  I made the decision to spare the souls sitting around me of this mess and go look for my animals.  My kind-hearted son overheard this conversation and offered to come along to “help and keep you company, Mama”.  (I kid you not that some days I fantasize about smearing my children on crackers and eating them up because their sweetness overwhelms me)  So off we went to search for the dynamic duo.   

When I say that my little and I drove through the trenches SEARCHING AIMLESSLY for those animals, it would not be an exaggeration.  We hollered their names, we whistled until we were hoarse, and we brainstormed on their direction of departure.  We prayed out loud, we prayed silently, and we may or may not have stopped once for refreshing beverages to fuel our journey.  About half-way through our pilgrimage, I received something from the Lord that took my breath away.  I received the words from God that said, “This is the kind of searching I do for my children every single day. You search for your dogs with great fervor, and I search for my children.  I will drive up and down the streets, I will holler their name, I will go to ends of the Earth to call every single one of them Home. “   Leave it to the God I adore, to go with me, as I left the church building.  Leave it to Him to quiet my heart in my moments of panic and anxiety, and understand that while this may seem small to some, it was a really big deal to me.  He knew to go with me because He knew that this was more than just my dogs being missing. He knew to go with me because He knows that when I screw up and make mistakes (aka ALL THE TIME) I hear another little voice in my head that blames, accuses, and slaps on the guilt.  A voice that is undoubtedly, not His.  “You are so irresponsible…you let your kids’ dogs run away…what kind of mother are you?” OR “you know that Abby is Meredith’s best friend, right? Are you just the cruelest parent ever to dismiss your kid when she cried last night for her dog to be found?”  The voice of an enemy that wants to see me wallow in shame and guilt for something as simple as letting my dogs out; but he uses the simplest of things to destroy the most convoluted of people. How many times do we as mamas hear that voice instead of the One that proclaims Life abundantly? How many times do we spend our days beating ourselves up for the mistakes we make with our children instead of celebrating the One that redeems them all?

At this point, my hubs had called and left word that upon his arrival home, he discovered that there were two exhausted, thirsty little mutts in our backyard, waiting by the door, nose prints in-tact. I cried again, this time out of sheer thankfulness that I didn’t have to watch my daughter’s heart physically break when I broke the news to her that Abby and Sugar were gone.  Selfishly, I had decided that I would rather have had my spleen removed with a bread knife than have had that conversation.  I came home, grabbed those stinkers (the dogs, not the children) and hugged them in-between scolding’s.  Abby got a bath, complete with the adorning of her Halloween dress, and a snausage.  I honestly kept looking at her and thinking about the Prodigal Son story. How melodramatic is that?   How could this little being with fur tug at my heart in such a powerful way?  Is it because of what she represents…ultimately my kids laughter and joy at the end of a long day? Probably.  But deep down I know it’s more than that. It’s the way that God uses everything around us…everything… to teach us about His love.  If I will drive down a weed-infested alley to look for a little animal that smiles with an under-bite and smells other dog’s backsides to say hello…what in the world would my God do to find me? That, my friends, is theology at its finest.


So…where is God revealing Himself to you today?    

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Procrastination Pedigree

As I have become a somewhat seasoned mommy, I find myself saying things I swore I would never say…for the simple fact that they first came from the lips of my own parents.  What is it about the innate fear that we all carry that we will one day become duplications of the ones who raised us?  Is it because we are so much smarter than them? NO.  Is it because they didn’t do a wonderful job? Absolutely not.  I believe it is because deep down, part of being part of a family, is seeing the good, the bad, and the ugly in the souls we love the most.  And at the end of the day, our fear of becoming exactly like our parents must be rooted in the fact that we are all too familiar with those traits…especially the bad and ugly ones.  I wish I had a pair of shoes for every time I muttered the words, “when I have kids, I am never going to...” only to actually have kids and eat those words, complete with hummus and a healthy dose of humility. So all of this to say, I have come to an alarming conclusion. 

Procrastination is hereditary, three generations deep.

I practically break out in hives to simply type that sentence, but I honestly can’t deny the reality another day.  My (sweet, precious, wonderful) mama is a rock-star procrastinator.  Why do something today that you can put off until tomorrow?  Life is full of enough things…why add to your plate by being ahead of schedule?  I honestly wish I could tell you that I did not inherit this characteristic…that I grasped all of the other amazing things about my adorable mom. She’s the kindest, gentlest, most precious human on earth.  But the truth is, I did. I didn’t just inherit it, I have embraced it.  I have paraded it on the porch and handed it a cocktail.  Granted, all of this embracing was done against my better judgment, but sometimes you just can’t avoid genetics.  So here I am, a second generational procrastinator, watching my offspring carry on the family tradition. 

And it completely stresses me out. 

My middle goose informed me this morning at 15 minutes until time to leave the house that he “forgot to read his story”.  So I did what any self-respecting procrastinator would do…I told him to grab it and read it to me while I curled his sister’s hair.  The non-procrastinating mom would have used this as a “teachable moment” and told him that homework is to be done in the afternoon/evening, and that he needed to accept the consequences of not finishing his homework and this would teach him not to postpone his responsibilities.  Obviously, this was not the time for “teachable moments”…we had a story to read. 

It goes without saying that the hubs has adapted to my genetic mutation as best as possible.  But it also goes without saying that he is doing everything in his power to fight the overwhelming force that is called DNA.  Procrastination is not a defect that he is familiar with, and I’m confident that he would prefer our geese inherit other characteristics from their mother.  When I was pregnant with our oldest, I remember precious moments when we would lie in bed, his hands placed firmly on my ever-growing bump, and talk about our dreams for this beloved child.  He would say super sweet things like, “I just pray our daughter looks just like you, honey.”  And I would respond by saying, “and I pray our daughter acts just like you, sweetheart.”  For those of you that know our Claire, it’s obvious that God got those prayers mixed up. He’s funny that way.

I recently lost my beloved father to cancer, and it has gutted me like a fish.  But I will say, that one of the most amazing things about losing someone you love so dearly is that you can begin to feel them living inside of you when they are gone.  So many of things that I adored about my dad are finding ways to manifest themselves in my life.  His zest for life, his playfulness, his JOY…they are contagious.   What a blessing to have been his only daughter!

So I guess there’s hope.  There’s hope that my baby geese will grow up to be functioning, contributing members of society. And there’s hope that growing up to be just like our parents is not the worst thing in the world that can happen.  This is one tidbit of knowledge that I will not procrastinate in passing on. 


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hidden Rules

This is the darling new sign I scored at an adorable little shop in a town about 10 miles over from Small Town America….it could feasibly be called SmallER Town America.  Isn’t it cute? 

 It is strategically placed in our kitchen to remind our darling geese of the way that a group of people that live together and share a bathroom and holidays should treat one another.  Another word for this group is called FAMILY, and we most certainly have days when we do a better job of “rule following” than others.  Upon glancing at this list of “family rules” one might agree that it covers all of your basics…being respectful, putting others first, etc etc. But if you look closer, you will notice that it does not leave room for all of the “hidden rules” that families seem to acquire over the years.  You know…those things that are unspoken amongst the residents, yet understood to be gospel. Things that make the family tick…understandings and agreements that keep the peace.   Every family has them. Some are more unspoken than others; some more sacred than most.  All important, nonetheless, to the ever-changing, ever-developing dynamic that exists in each of our homes.  Here are ours in no particular order:


1.      All arachnids, rodents, insects, or reptiles are to die upon discovery. 

I don’t do bugs, mice, lizards, or spiders in ANY capacity.  The geese know not to bring these creatures home in a shoebox, and if one of these critters makes the daunting mistake of appearing in this house…all motion comes to a screeching halt until the creature has met it’s Maker. When the hubs and I first moved to Small Town America, I called him home from work to kill a spider that I swear was the size of my head.   Last month, there was a cockroach that found its way into the kitchen upon the geese and I returning from the pool.  I hollered for my son to come rescue this damsel in distress, much to his chagrin, because honestly the roach was the size of a submarine.  After flushing it down the commode, my 7 year old prince looks at me simply and said, “You know you’re the only one in the world that I would ever be that brave for.” To which I replied, “Yes…and that is why you are going to live with me until you are 85.”  His daddy has raised him to be a mighty warrior…especially when it matters.


2.      All words spoken amongst sleep-deprived adults between the hours of 11pm and 6am are to never, ever be repeated or held against one another in a court of law or the bathroom the next morning. 

When the hubs and I had our oldest goose almost 9 years ago (!!!!!), we discovered what true sleep-deprivation was all about.  He was wonderful about helping me get up with our newborn baby…often doing diaper duty and bringing her to me to nurse for our middle of the night feedings.  And on those rare occasions that she would not return to sleep quickly after filling her tummy, her father would take her into the other room sometimes and rock her to sleep or watch infomercials until the wee hours of the night so that I could be a functioning parent the next day.  Super sweet, right?? Yes…it was.  But sometimes the sweetness would give way to resentment and the hours of sleep-deprivation would creep up and cause both of us to say crazy, hurtful, resentful things to each other between the hours of 11pm and 6am.  It was like Satan himself would come into our home, take up residence, and see what kind of havoc he could reap on our otherwise peaceful home.  Comparisons of who had been up with the baby more; snide comments about who had the harder job-the one who left the home and went to work with adults, or the one that stayed home with a newborn…the list goes on and on.  And then miraculously, we would wake the next morning, and after we had both showered and had our first cups of coffee…it was like Satan had left the building, and we went right back to being sweet and cooperative with one another.  Bizarre.  So here we are…9 years and 2 more geese later…the rule still stands.  And even better, the babies have grown accustomed to this “hidden rule” and do a pretty good job of just not speaking to me before my first sip of coffee is consumed.  I’m convinced God made the Keurig coffee maker on Day 8 of creation.

3.       When asked the question, “where do you want to eat?”  suggestions are simply that….suggestions.  Mama picks.

I can’t explain why I’m the moodiest food consumer EVER, I just am.  Funny thing is, my besties have taken on this “hidden rule” even in our own relationship.  Jen just smiles and waits for me to “suggest” where we eat just to save time.  Some call this bossy pants. I call it having an opinion. 

4.       If something is important to you, it better find a home…clutter is a cuss word. 

I would rather have needles stabbed in my eyes than live in a state of clutter.  I often walk through the house with a large trash bag and just begin chunking things in just to rid ourselves of the stuff.  My kids are often mortified as they discover that I have trashed their latest graded math paper or candy they collected from the Small Town America parade we attended on Friday (Small Town America parades are a blog post in and of themselves…)  This practice seems great to have a kitchen countertop free of junk, but the downside is that the geese’s rooms become spaces devoted to their hoarding practices.  My oldest daughter hoards like nobody’s business.  She has every picture she’s ever drawn for every friend she’s ever made at every birthday party she’s ever attended.  It’s wrong on so many levels.  So their unspoken, hidden rule has become “put it up before Mom throws it out”.  Works for me. 

5.       The geese will never, ever become too big to rock in the laps of their parents.

There is just NOTHING better than lifting one of your babies up into your lap in a rocking chair, and just attaching your lips to their face.  My bigs are becoming quite large and sometimes quite awkward, but I mean it when I say that someone is going to have to sedate me the day by babies become too big or too cool or too busy to sit and rock with me for a few minutes each day.  Time simply stands still in these moments and my heart fills up to the very brim…almost to the point where I fear it will explode.  Good thing that son of mine is going to be here until he’s 85. 

Well, there you have it…The “hidden rules” of this little family of 5. There are days that I honestly worry that my children will grow up and tell stories of their neurotic mother freaking out over a “harmless” spider.  Or their father taking out the trash that included their book report and first lost tooth because the “Tooth Fairy accidentally left it on the kitchen counter”… But when the rubber meets the road, I know that our kids won’t remember the laundry piled up or every time we made a mistake as parents.  But I hope they do remember the security that they were wanted, they were adored, they were cherished, and they were loved. So very loved.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Over-Achievers Unite! Slackers Meet Me at Starbucks!

My youngest has asked me no less than 385 times if Halloween is tomorrow. Seriously?! Can't a mama simply savor the beginning of Fall by sipping my Starbucks Pumpkin latte in peace before facing the avalanche called "the holidays"...? For those of you over-acheivers that have costumes picked out and are now planning the goodie bags for the 287 friends that your children will be handing out candy to, head on over to my dear friend Kristi's blog and snatch up these adorable Halloween *free* printables. The rest of us slackers will be printing them on Halloween eve. Don't judge.
This blog is ridiculous! (that's ginger-code for amazing!)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Here We Go!

In the fall of 1997, a cute college senior found his way into my heart and I was never the same.  I, having not always been known for my stellar relationship choices, recognized ridiculously-close-to-perfection-as-humanly-possible when I saw it, and we were married 2 ½ years later.  After the wedding, this cute boy moved me to Small Town America, and we have lived here ever since.  I might add, I came here slightly kicking and screaming…I think my exact words were, “I will move there as long as you never give me grief for online shopping” or something equally shallow. Twelve years later, I am still online shopping and he is still as ridiculously close to perfect as humanly possible.  The best part? He shared the love and now our home and Small Town America have 3 little people to watch make the world a better place.  In this journey of parenthood, we have tried out many nicknames for these little people that we instantly became enamored with…and some of them stuck.  The most prevalent in our home is “baby goose”.  Just writing it makes me cringe a little at the sheer SOUTHERNESS of it all, but it is what it is.  My three littles have answered to “baby goose” at the end of our sentences since they exited the womb.  I would like to tell you that I do not sound as country as an egg when I say it, but that would be a bold-faced lie. Their daddy, on the other hand, sounds adorable and dignified.  Of course he does. 

The giggling geese…a place where I will share the joys, laughter, and fascination of parenthood.  The place where being a mom is full-time job and there is no sugar-coating our lack of tangible paychecks.  The place where childhood is celebrated, and Small Town America is embraced.  And don’t forget…lots of online shopping!


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