Wednesday, September 12, 2012


i am thankful that last week is over.
there was fear, panic, anxiety and more anxiety.

...a little background first, 
olivia has had severe stomach issues all summer.  
we have seen several doctors, 
hospital visits and specialists...
all summer.

these people here ^ are just the best kind 
of people you could ask for! 
 they were amazing with olivia!

after getting her on the right meds,
her stomach is finally starting to feel better!
but, then school started.

now, anxiety has kicked in, 
telling her that her stomach will start hurting all over again-
and a crazy, consuming, obsessive cycle has begun...
not to mention, when i asked 
the pharmacist if her meds might
be adding to her emotional state, he said yes. :(

the week before school started,
 we would run into the normal question 
of what grade she was going into...
as soon as she said, "First",  
these well-meaning, friendly people 
would get this huge happy grin on their face
and say, "What a big girl you are...
going to school for the whole day!
You must be so excited!"

 she would muster up a smile 
and return a quick nod.
i could see her conflict. 
she just told these complete strangers a lie.
going along with them just to 
get them to stop talking about 
how awesome a whole day away from 
her safe haven is completely spectacular.
it started her crossing paths 
she hadn't even considered yet.

the night before school started:
as soon as there was any mention
 of school, big, fat crocodile tears
made their way into hysteric sobs.
it broke my heart. 
 i always loved school!
art, reading, working on projects, writing
-they were my favs...
and then there was the complete social 
benefit of being with friends all day long.

not so for olivia. we were on two different tracks:
i was so excited to make her 
a healthy, beautiful breakfast. 
 she could hardly get the words out...
i think i am going to vomit. 
 it was written all over her face. 

 luckily, her daddy took her on her first day-
she is always brave for him.
i picked her up- expecting that things 
were sure to have improved throughout the day.
nope...she had cried all day long.

day 2...
10 minutes after i left the building,
 i got a call from the office.
she was lying on the cot...
covered in a beautiful quilt the principal had made 
and used to make her feel more comfortable. 
 i had them send her back to class
 as i went crazy waiting 
until i could get into my car to go get her.

day 3...
she was not having it. 
 sobbing, resisting, dry heaving...true anxiety. 
there was no talking her through or around it. 
 and yes, i carried her to the car, hoping and 
praying my neighbors down the street 
weren't going to call CPS. 

 she was so bewildered...
she could not believe i would force her 
into such discomfort. 
 it was as if i had performed the ultimate betrayal. 
 i got her into the building, left her in the bathroom 
and went down to the office.
the secretaries took one look at me, 
offered their support and a few kind words 
and i crumbled. 
 they suggested that i talk to the counselor
 and get him involved. 
 he immediately came to help.

i left that day without a hug or a kiss from my liv.
 that was a long day.

that night, we were reading Bible stories-
we had just finished the story about Jesus 
calming the storms with one command...

isn't that amazing olivia?
 that Jesus can command the winds and the sea 
to hush and be still?
mommy, please pray that i will stop crying at school.
i really want to stop, but i can't.

she climbed on top of me and just sobbed. 
on top of school stuff, she is really missing her amma.
the strength in me was gone, within seconds,
 i was joining her with my own tears...
missing her amma with her 
and wishing life could let up a bit for her.

 we both just laid there-
wondering where God was in the midst of this storm. 
 we kept asking Him to take this anxiety...
this fear- and hush it....
banish it from this little peanut of mine.

day four...
she willingly got into the car...
tears and heavy sobs the entire way to school. 
 she had an ounce more confidence 
than she had the day before. 
she had made 2 new friends...
her counselor and her first grade teacher.

when i picked her up after school, 
i got a thumbs up from her teacher..
which sent relief straight through my entire body.
relief that she hadn't merely survived the day, 
it meant that she ate more than 2 crackers all day, 
that she forgot about asking every 5 minutes when her mommy was coming to get her, 
that she enjoyed a game of bingo, 
found a friend to share a swing with, 
anticipated the end of a chapter book
 that her teacher was going to finish that day. 

 God has created olivia, all of us really, 
to be more than survivors...
more than just trudging through life 
begging for it to get easier.

{and believe me, i have been begging
-the poor pathetic-hands-and-knees kind of begging
for this to get easier.}

 more than likely, it won't.
we are still in the thick of it.
we are grateful for the help we are receiving 
and the way God is meeting our every need.
everyone at our school has been
incredible to us.  we are right where we should be!

in the midst of grief and tough, 
heart breaking moments...
there is no rescuer like our good God.

liv is at the beginnings of something really spectacular. 
i am confident of that.

 i can't wait to see how He shows up and surprises her.
because that is just like Him...
to show up with a better plan
than she or i could have ever imagined.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, July 8, 2012

50 Shades of Magic Mike

i am due for a post.  
not so much because it has been a while...
well, it has. 
but, more because i feel this stirring in my soul 
about some important things.
things that seem to be sliding through cracks.  
and, i'm letting them.
i am not even sure why i've been avoiding this topic for so long.
i did some digging and researching.
some soul searching too.
 if you know me...
you know that i am passionate about some things.
and one of these issues is a huge button for me.

first, i try-try so hard to stay 
out of controversial topics 
when they are
 based within a social media setting.

  my wise, slow-to-react husband will read
comments that i intend to leave about hot topics
and he will slowly shake his head.  
sometimes, i just squint my eyes and give him that
look, like "everyone who reads this will
know that i have the best intentions..."
and, again..with the head shaking.
oh fine.  delete.delete.delete.
he is spot on 99.9% of the time.

     so, last night, i was up until 3:30 a.m. 
        reading 50 Shades of Magic Mike...
along with a lot of the comments on this post

   MJ is my new cool blogging friend 
that someone on fb introduced me to.  
she doesn't know how great of friends we are yet.  
but, i think she is so very fab!  ;)
anyway, as of last night, 
there were almost 1500 replies to her post.  
and i was drawn in.  
this topic is important to me because it is an underlying current
that, with momentum, will begin a larger movement than 
i think any of us truly hope to bring our children
into when they are our age. 

i also am curious to know what women think on these topics.  
some men even weighed in...which, i appreciated as well.  
even little ole' me took a shot at chiming in-carefully and respectfully.  
my thought in talking about this momentum in our media
is to bring more awareness to the topic at hand.
i was considering reading this book 
and going to the movie as well.
i am thankful for MJ's post.  
she presented some facts 
that i wasn't aware of...i wasn't even trying to become aware of.

 it is also important for you to know my heart
when i write about a conviction of mine...
or, a topic that i am passionate about.
it really is personal to me-and i hope that
i am able to present clearly
 that my thoughts, values and convictions
are merely where i am-in my journey...
not where i expect or think anyone else should be.

after getting a general feel for some public
opinions on melissa's blog...i was interested to see how the media is portraying
"50 shades" and "Magic Mike".
 here is a quote from
just one radio host:
{and, btw...i found these similar statements across the board}

"Let’s face it gentlemen, we’ve been objectifying women for a LONG time.  They’re just taking their turn.  They won’t think “My man should look like that,” any more than we think “My woman should look like that,” when we see a beautiful woman.
Let them go see the movie.  Then gently let them know that them getting angry with you for going to the strip club is unwarranted.  The fact is, you’ve chosen each other.  Use this as a chance to tell her that you still want to see her in her lingerie.  She may not think she looks good, and she’s probably not a model, but that doesn’t mean we appreciate them any less.  You shouldn’t think they will appreciate you any less either.
See?  These pieces of entertainment aren’t threats.  They’re a chance for everyone to gain an understanding of each other.  Women are now seeing how men have viewed adult entertainment for eons, and men are getting a dose of how women have felt about it."

is this really the pitch?

the fact that is is our turn...
                  like, it's a once in a lifetime chance to objectify men on the big screen...
and because we go to see it..

good news men, you are getting a free v.i.p. to strip clubs 
and a lifetime pass to view porn from here on out. if there is no harm done to anyone
because the "fairness" rule was in play.

um, i'm not sure about you..but,
pretty much, 
anytime i have used the "fairness" card in my marriage,
it has never once ended with me feeling great about myself or my choice.
 it's a step in the wrong direction for me.  
and, somehow it brings my maturity to a 4th grade level-at best.

no thanks.  this girl is taking a stand 
and passing on seeing this movie and
reading this book.
taking this approach, or this stand seems small in the year 2012.
but, i'm guessing, that in 2032...when my daughter
is 37..and my son, 31.  they will have much larger stands to take
in the world of entertainment.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

my songbird and my little banjo

it has been one of those days.

the kind of days where you can't win for losing.
i think i cried uncle at least a dozen times...

my report card:

failing at our grocery anyone ahead on this one?
if so, what is your secret??

turned in 3 important papers for olivia's school
a week late.

haven't gotten back to the list of people i need to text
or call back...

miscommunication with mi espouso.  louso.

the dog dragged something unmentionable into our abode
from the great outdoors. 

i scorched our fajitas...torched-scorched.

my avacados weren't ripe enough
and i waited 2 weeks-really?
{hoping they weren't genetically modified somehow}
i forced them to work into my quacamole.
i really wish i didn't do that.
*force things to work*

i picked the wrong paint color
for this amazing project i'm working on.
it was supposed to be a pale smoke color-light grey.
well, in a warehouse full of windows-it hardly gives
the color i envisioned it would.

will has discovered that he has some really awesome pipes
and he loves experimenting with his range.
high screeches-to higher screeches-to highest screeches.

and, liv is feeling replaced.  

i am pretty sure i got a 

i cannot wait for the day to end.

with that said,
my songbird can't go to bed without me singing to her
and scratching her back.
and my little man has to be held
just so.  he enjoys back scratches too.
he is my banjo.  he strums his little lips and
is just right for drowning out my high notes.

liv asked for words tonight for me to scratch out on her back.
she asked for 6 1/2 words because-yep, you guessed
it...she is 6 1/2!

these were her words tonight.


i pray pray pray
that this phrase will be etched on both of their beautiful souls
f o r e v e r.

and, more importantly...
that they will grasp God's love for them.

 that He sees them...
when they feel like no one else does,
and He feels
the pain of their broken little hearts,
when little hearts break.
 He hears
the doubts that come
when they feel unimportant.

and He Promises-promises-promises
that He will take it all.
all of our doubt,
all of our failures,
our D- 's,
our past mistakes,
our feelings of inadequacy...
and remind us of these 6 1/2 words as well.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

when skies are grey

you are my only sunshine.
you make me happy~ when skies are grey...
you never know dear, how much i love you.
please don't take my sunshine away..

that's kinda how it feels.  
feels like someone took
our sunshine away.

tonight, i heard olivia start to cry a few minutes
after we tucked her in.
i thought maybe she was trying to stall 
and was going to tell me an old recess wound needed a band-aid.
and then, she started this pure sob.
i went in and laid next to her.
she could barely make out the words.
i knew what she would say before she even said it.

the sunshine song was playing on her cd player.

 she remembered that we gave amma a card 
with this tune in it last year for her birthday...

i asked her if she wanted me to change the song-nope.  
she wanted to hear the whole thing.  
so, we just laid there.
 we listened to it a few times
and just let the tears come until she fell asleep.

we miss our amma.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

for the love of linda lou...

i consider myself one lucky girl,
to be in this woman's life.
she didn't choose me,
her son did.
well, if she had known me first...
she probably would have picked me. :)
that makes her my

and, you know what they
say about in-laws.
"they say"
they are complicated.
you are told to make sure and
set good boundaries..
and the list of "helpful" suggestions is never ending.

that's why i consider myself lucky.
lucky.lucky.lucky me.
i love my in-laws.
my husband loves his in-laws.
in fact, we actually don't use the title, in-laws,
we did away with that term.
we call each other's parents
mom and dad,
and siblings-sisters and brothers.
we are family.
and terms and titles put no such boundaries
on the love we have for each other's family.

one of my first memories
with mom was when i broke
my leg playing soccer.
i was dating ben at the time,
and i lived in a house with 8 girls in heritage hill.
we had a lot of, ben asked his parents 
if i could move in with them for a couple weeks.
mom took care of me.
she brought me breakfast, lunch and conversation each time
she came in my room to see me.  
as i started to heal a bit and use my crutches,
i became very interested in our conversations...
so, i would head upstairs for more.
i was used to living with 8 girls-
there were always conversations to be had!
poor mom.  she didn't know what
ben was getting her into.
it seems a lifetime i had with her
and yet, i wish it were more.
only 12 years...certainly not enough.

in the last year and a half...
once we knew it was cancer
that she would battle with again,
i promised myself that i would
take in as much as i could
from her.

without her even knowing it...
she became my teacher, and i her student.
i watched how one ties up the end of their life.
how it is done.
it was as if she unfolded a message with
each conversation we had.  she would often
give me advice for olivia and will's future.
we would venture into unknown territories
as she would talk about what life must be like on heaven's side. 
i hope to be as intentional as she was
in spending time on important things...

when her cancer was brought up,
it was clear that though
cancer had wracked her precious body,
it did not have her.
He had her...her Lord and Savior.
He kept her in the palm of His hand.

i never heard a complaint out of her about her pain...
and, there was pain.
severe, chronic, exhausting pain.

after her 6th stint replacement for her bladder,
i remember telling her how angry i was
at the cancer for doing such damage to her 
once, very healthy body.
her response-
"this brings me closer to Jesus,
this all brings me closer to Him."
how am i coping?
most days, i tell myself that she is up north with her sissies...
visiting her brothers.
i really won't accept that she isn't with us anymore.
not now anyway.

every day, olivia tells me that she misses her amma.
and every night, she asks God to tell amma how much
we miss her.  she also asks him to remind jack, bailey and
our cousin aaron that we miss them too.

we are starting to write down her memories with amma.
so one day, she will have them-in her own words-
to be able to share with will, millie and sweet baby henry.
mom's other precious loves.

olivia's auntie gave her some necklaces that were mom's.
she asks to wear them all the time.
they make her feel close to amma.

yesterday, was will's official adoption day.
valentine's day.
i wanted to feel close to mom too...
so i wore a bracelet that she gave me
a few years ago at christmas.
it's one of my favorite bracelets.
i just needed to bring her into our day somehow.
she loved will so much.  mom and olivia were the only
ones that could make him bust out into a big belly laugh.

she would have loved yesterday.
and she would have been so proud of ben.
 hearing him speak so eloquently in front of the court
about our son and what his life means to us...

we had a small gathering after the court hearing-
and, i used her water pitcher.
{the place just needed a little touch of linda lou.}
 i also bought swedish coffee.
i don't think she ever made swedish coffee...
{i'm sure she brought some back from sweden
when she went with her brothers and sisters a few years ago.}
but, it reminded me of something special she would have liked.

mom always did something special for
ben and i on valentine's day.
one year it was white candles with red hearts
to decorate our table,
another year she gave us conversation date cards,
other times, she volunteered to take olivia
so that we could go out...
there was always something. special.
so, the swedish coffee was my valentine-something special
to mom...

anyway, she would have loved that will's special day
 landed on valentine's day.

we love you mom.
every day.  we love you.


oh. my. goodness.
i'm pinching myself...
for 2 separate reasons.

1.  that mom colored glasses put my article 
in their amazing online magazine!!!!
2.  that i wrote so candidly about something that
i have been dying to write about for the last 2
years...i just didn't have the words...
and maybe the courage, until now.

thanks MCG for telling my story...
for helping me find the courage to say more.

and, since we are close to st. patty's day-
and because i am oh, soooo irish.  i will pinch you too.

well, maybe i won't pinch you-i've never been
comfortable with that sort of thing.
but, i am comfortable in pinching you lyrically...

to be authentic. to write what you are really
thinking.  to give an extension of your story
so that someone else might take it and breath
in a new perspective.  do it.  do it for you and
do it for someone else.

p.s.  if you don't have a blog, or a place to post...
send it to me-i will post it here.  i would love to read
where you are at and breath in more of your perspective.