Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Beautiful scars

Every morning and every night I carefully apply a special scar gel to Garrett’s neck. I love doing this. It reminds me of when I was first taking care of him after he and David had their four-wheeler accident last September. After an hour and a half with a team of plastic surgeons he had 200 welcomed stitches holding together the slashes across his neck. It reminds me of the feelings I had after we got them home from the hospital and he was safe on the couch, where I seriously considered tying him down until he was grown. The journey of emotions from the surreal accident scene to that couch made me feel like I had just won the lottery. The feelings were overwhelming. Feelings of intense relief. Of God’s mercy. Of second chances. Each day as my fingers run over every centimeter of those scars I am reminded of how much I love my kids and husband. And how much God loves me. And how we never know for sure what we are being saved from. And how life is precious. Sometimes I forget between applications, but as soon as I touch those scars, it all comes back. Although I hope his scars eventually fade, I hope the reality of what they mean to me never does.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The good pasta

Last night we had to run by the store to grab a few things for our dinner. Of course I got the question “What are we having?” When my quick and simple answer was pasta, I was met with whines and complaining from a few cuties in the backseat. Ok, I’ll admit it, I probably make spaghetti too often. It’s fast and easy and it pleases most everyone in the family…so sue me, ya know?

But last night quite honestly, I just wasn’t in the mood. And I am easily put off by food complainers. So in my sweet (ha) and gentle (double ha) mommy voice, I launched into "the speech." You know the one…be thankful you are getting dinner…if you aren’t hungry enough to eat what I am making you’ll be fine until breakfast…it’s not an easy job, planning meals for everyone…and for extra emphasis I added that the complainers were free to fix their own meal tonight if they wanted and not eat what I cooked. The complainers readily agreed. So it was settled.

As we started through the store I began to get the items I needed for the dinner that I had planned. I stopped by the bakery for some of our favorite bread. I stopped at the seafood section for some shrimp. As we moved through the store a quick inventory of the cart revealed to anyone interested that my plan for dinner was shrimp pasta with alfredo sauce and buttery toasted French bread. A favorite meal at our house. Yeah, that’s right, the good pasta. Suddenly the complainers were backpedaling. “But you just said pasta! You didn’t say that kind! I didn’t know…”

Since I have had children God has frequently used my relationships with them to help me understand how He feels in OUR relationship. Last night as I pouted over the fact that I had planned this yummy meal and gotten complaints because I hadn’t immediately disclosed my full agenda, I began to see some symbolism. How many times has God laid out the beginning of His plan for me only to have me balk at it, thinking I knew a better way? How many times have I hurt Him by complaining instead of graciously accepting that He has my best interest in mind? How many times have I told Him “No thanks, I’ll take it from here,” and gone with my own haphazard ideas instead of His?

Ouch. I do not even want to know the number of occasions when I have taken off on my own and left God standing there waving my customized blueprint…never even realizing that I was probably about to miss out on the good pasta.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Peace out

Just a few words about the peace that I claim in my blog title.

Everyone got that I meant peace in my heart, right? Not auditory peace.
Oooooooooooooh no, not auditory peace.

Just wanted to clarify and show you Tyler and his new passion. Ironically, it brings me peace to watch him love this so much. Funny, huh?

By the way, I'll take heart peace over audible peace any day. Tylenol is cheap. Internal unrest is not.

...peace be with you.

Monday, January 21, 2008

One of those days

Oh, yeah, it’s been one. My day prompted me to send an email to David.

I regret to inform you that I will be resigning my position effective this evening . Please begin to make arrangements for a replacement. I will finish out my day of listening to your children deafen me with drum playing/screaming/loud rapping. I will also continue cleaning out your 6 year old's room against her will while she tries to stop me from throwing away small bits of trash. I will ignore the fact that your 5 year old is sabotaging my efforts and begging for the few things I am actually getting into the trash can. I will forgive your oldest son as he laughs at my fits while my computer is messing up. I will try to come up with something for your dinner and will attempt to clear a path for you to walk to the kitchen. I will be wearing the same thing you saw me go to bed in last night, as will be your children. It has been a rewarding time with you and your family and I wish you all the best.

If my day doesn't sound early retirement-worthy, it’s only because I edited out some hairy details to protect the innocent (well, no one was innocent..I should say to protect the guilty).

How do you think this wise and experienced man responded to my resignation? He brought home Chipotle for dinner. Veeeeery smooth. I’m actually thinkin’ about staying and trying again tomorrow.

So…off to unpack my bags.

By the way, if you haven’t been to Chipotle, for the love of mike drop everything and go immediately.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pajama run!

We just got home from a pajama run. I got this idea from some brilliant moms on a message board I frequent and it has definitely become a family favorite.

Here’s how it works. You tuck your unsuspecting kids snuggly in bed for the night. You wait about 10 minutes or so, just before they actually fall asleep. You yell “PAJAMA RUN!!!!!!!!!” and you move out of the way of your stampeding, giddy children. You head to Sonic in PJs and have whatever ice cream you want.

I highly recommend this activity. You will love how much joy the surprise and spontaneity brings to your kids and in turn to you. The first time we did this Riley said “I can’t believe other people are out this late!“ It was about 9:30. I know, I know, it seems so wrong to pull your small people out of bed when you have finally gotten them there. But trust me, it is so worth it!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Contentment killer

"Comparison is the death of contentment."

I don’t know for sure who said this, but it was someone smart.

This week a group of friends and I were discussing the danger of comparison. A few of them shocked the pants off of me by saying that one person they compare themselves to is me. Me? What?


I can’t tell you how this blew my mind. These are incredible women I love, who are beautiful, inside and out. These are women that I have felt inadequate standing next to, and all along they were feeling the same about me? As we talked they told me some of the things that they admired in my life and I told them of some of the ways that I thought my life would finally be complete if I was more like them. The whole experience was very enlightening for me. It seemed that we each had so many great qualities, but we were sometimes guilty of wishing for the others’ qualities. We talked about what a slap in the face that must be to God. He gifts us with these great attributes and instead of focusing on them, we turn around and wish for someone else’s.

How freeing would it be if we chose to only be inspired by people we admire, but to not let that inspiration turn into self condemnation? And if we recognized the beauty in our own lives and put all our effort into embracing and developing that beauty? Is it possible that God wants me to put my energy into appreciating my strengths instead of into obsessing about frivolous things like how I am not a certain jean size? I’m sure to most of you that revelation seems quite obvious, but somehow it has eluded me for some time. Too long. And contentment is not something I want to be responsible for killing. So for now, I’m hoppin’ off the comparison train. Care to join me?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

30 things that make my heart happy

One of the things I want to do more of this year is to really focus on all of the little blessings that make my life joyful. I want to remember that the feelings these things give me are really touches from God, carefully selected to make me smile. Tonight I started a list (in no particular order) of some of those simple things that just bring happiness to my heart.

  • photos of my kids that reveal their personalities

  • the sound of coffee grinding

  • handmade gifts from my kids

  • the first day of flip-flop season

  • downy-fresh, high thread count sheets on my bed

  • the threat of a huge snowstorm

  • an empty laundry chute (well, empty of clothes, there are always a couple of kids in it)

  • a lit up Christmas tree in the dark living room

  • the smell of freshly cut grass on summer evenings

  • when God directs me to a Bible verse that speaks specifically to my situation

  • the smell of sunscreen and chlorine on my children

  • thunderstorms

  • the nights David blows the hairdryer on the freezing cold sheets right when I get in (yes, he really does)

  • doing pedicures with Riley

  • a clean house

  • being outside late at night when it is snowing

  • true worship experiences

  • a night with my girlfriends

  • David on the morning we leave for vacation

  • the smell of a just-opened package of diapers

  • pulling our kids out of bed for a surprise ice cream run

  • campfire roasted marshmallows

  • redecorating a room

  • finding an incredible bargain

  • the smell of fresh paint (reminds me of a new baby on the way)

  • hanging out in the library with my kids

  • date nights with David

  • the sound of my kids laughing together

  • watching David karaoke (yes, Honey, watching..not you)

So, what makes your heart happy?

Friday, January 4, 2008


Riley trying to leave for a friend's house

David has nicknamed Riley and Cole “RiCo” because they are constantly together, scheming and playing. One of their favorite activities is playing house. They have several different “houses” that they play. Each one has a sort of outline that they follow each time. For example, in “Christmas house,” one of them goes to sleep while the other one puts on a Santa hat and leaves presents in the room, then the sleeping child awakes overwhelmed with surprise. In “basketball house,” Riley usually watches Cole play in the NBA and cheers for him. You get the idea. Here is a partial list of some of the “houses” they play.

Swimming house- ice skating house- ballet house- football house- P.E. house- workout house- pet house- globetrotters house- gymnastics house- Titans house- Houston Oilers house- house- Superbowl house- school house- park house- soccer house-guinea pig house- home school house- movie house- candy house- Christmas house- dog show house- cat house- game house -chucke cheese house- camp house- baby house -moving house -library house- Wal-mart house- sleepover house- office house- vacation house- basketball house- party house- picnic house- monster house- bowling house -church house- Hydro fair house- wedding house -wrestling house- super hero house.

And yes, that is a partial list. I love that God created these two personalities to click like they do!

Riley riding Cole down the stairs