Have a dressed up day!

Monday, January 31, 2011

One Thousand Gifts . . .

She wakes up sick around three Sunday morning.  Doesn't call me.  I later fuss at her about that.

Four hours later she's home and in my bed.  I feel her head, cup her face.  She's hot, really hot.  Never question if a mama can do two things at once, for while asking what hurts prayers are already leaving my lips.  Saturating my soul with comfort sought for my girl.

She still has her daddy's message on her phone from one week ago.  I love you, Shelby, and I don't want you to get sick.  So get the flu shot - today, he wrote.

She did.  But it's still the flu.  Doctor said.

My gratitude list continues . . .

kind doctors

an unexpected surprise - walls with brightly painted animals, 2 by 2, to smile by, even when sick

jackets when the rooms are too cold

warm blankets

all day movies

that empty bed not empty again

homemade soup

anticipated meeting with ladies I love

homemade bread

homemade mac and cheese

Sandra, freakishly weird about driving

Jennifer's sweetness

prayers for Donna

updates from Steph, makes me feel close

pride over my baby sister - and Bailey said . . .

the picture over my computer, the four of us girls

big, black trashbags

cake orders

her making friends

husband coming home telling me Cathi was back from being ill

cleaning the toilets (lessons learned)

bananas on the counter, bread in the oven, pennies in the bank

My Father meeting needs - as promised

My list, #'s 480-501.

Friday, January 28, 2011


And this is my struggle.  And this is my prayer.

They come through the door, their eyes and mouths smiling.  And I tense, again.  There it is again- anger.  I hold myself back just enough that I think will protect but it doesn't.  I feel smallness in me, the smallness that sits on my heart large.

I wanted this for them.  I raised them for this.  Their independence, their joy.  I prayed for this.

And now it is here and I tense.  Hold back myself. 

And fear.

What if I give myself fully to this part of their lives and I lose it, too?  Then the next step of their lives will begin and I'm needed even less than I am now and then I lose this time that I forced myself to accept now and lean into.

You gave them to me and my fingers are here saying I lose when I know I have really won.  But this house is so lonely sometimes.  Sometimes it's just so obvious what is gone.

And now this is the end of this.  For I saw this very hurt line my mama and I will stop it here.  I will teach and I will show different.  I take that last step out of my old life, that life of six breathing sleep at night all close, and into this new.

And this is my struggle and my prayer. 

I had written this.  It was in my drafts.  Between God and me.  Too pathetic to post.  Too embarrassing to recognize? 

Then weeks later I read words that tell me that life change comes when we recieve life with thanks and ask for nothing to change.

Ask for nothing to change.  Don't ask for them back - even on hard lonely harder days.  Don't wish their childhoods again, those days when just the three of us girls went about our lives in a world that seems like a lifetime away. 

And be grateful for the here and now, not just most of the time - but all of the time.

And change is defined twice.  This change - this wishing for something different - that I walk away from will bring about the change that transforms and converts into a new spring.

And this is my prayer. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What I know is that there is another project going on around here.  There is always a project going on around here.  AndIlikeitthatway.  There, I said it.  There is no point in denying it or shaming it or covering it.  I like projects.

I like walls that need painting and furniture that needs arranging.  I even like clutter that needs sorting.

The computer is now in the kitchen which means that section of the schoolroom is undone and needs doing.  But, then again, all sections of the schoolroom are undone and need doing - which is why I moved the computer in the first place. 

How do you complete a project with absolutely no money?  Have I told y'all lately how broke we are?  Well, we're broke.  Just trust me on that one.

Four years of design school with no class taught how to complete a project with absolutely no money.

I've completed projects while sorta broke, kinda broke, close to broke, and almost broke.  But never completely broke.

So what I know is that there is a project.  Good.  There is no money.  Bad.  This one's keeping me awake at night.  That's bad, too.  'Cause when there's a project, I'm in.

And around here there's always a project.  Some are simple, but most can't be put into words.  This house is over half a century old, which translate to lots and lots of work.

Would life really be any fun any other way?

Yeah, well, He's Too Good To Me assures me it would.  It definitely would.  But we'll probably never know.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Go Pact!

Can we make a pact?  The three of us?  Right now? 

What's a pact?

A promise.

He's silent, hasn't spoken yet.  He's watching her.

I explain to my daughter and husband what I want.

I search their eyes.  It's there.  They want it too.

Hands go to center of bed.  His upon mine, hers upon his.

We promise.

She lifts her hand into the air and smiles big.  Go pact! she says.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mommy? Can We Pray?

He quietly comes to me and leans his whole side into my body.

Mommy, he says quiet.  So quiet I can barely hear.

Can we say dat pray-er to Jesus 'gain abou da potty?

His eyes are wet.  He looks down, pushing into me.

Yes, baby.  And He will hear you.  And He will help you.

And we pray.

I lift him into me and carry him to the bath, not caring about the feel of his pants. 

Only the feel of his heart.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Who Ate the Last Oreo?

It's 3:11 in the morning and I'm standing in the fridge door staring at an apple and the last piece of Boston Creme.

I'm thinking two things.

 - what did I ever do that made my child want to be a baker of sweets instead of a dietician?

 - would Eve had eaten the fruit if there had been chocolate there?

Just imagine where we might all be - eutopia - chocolate eutopia.

I've swallowed the hype and jumped on the diet bandwagon of the new year.  Cause, well girls, I've let myself go.

Right now I'm hungry.  But more than that I want chocolate.  And it's keeping me awake.

I take a swig of milk out of the carton and shut the door, even as I remember how many times I've told Shelby not to do that knowing I do it a dozen times a day.  What I say and what I do . . .

I open the fridge.  Close it again.  I write this post on the back of a receipt -  because I think it might be funny later - and I chug a bottle of water.

Now I know I won't be able to sleep cause I'll pee the rest of the dark morning and who ate the last oreo?

An hour later and it's 4:20 and I'm standing in the fridge door again and
who ate the last oreo?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What the Word? Wednesday

It's been a long time since we've had a What the Word? Wednesday.

But the Maxster's back with a pretty good one.

Remember, comment on your guess and I'll post the winner tomorrow.

I knew it would stump y'all - cause it stumped me - and I knew what they were building.  Maxster says in only a way that he can -

We've been practicing our S's.

Emily got it right.  Smurf Clubhouse.  But there may have been a little unfairness going on there, since she was at our house.  But then again she understands him well, so who knows.  

He's been wearing that hat since we cut his hair.  He says his head is cold.  He even wears it to bed.

Thanks for playing and maybe I'll see you same time next week.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Making Dumplins' . . . Before the Haircut

That's his heart on the right.  He said we were married.  And the stories are true.  Little boys do steal a mama's heart.

Monday, January 17, 2011

she was all mine

And they brought her to me and placed her in my arms.  All scrubbed clean with ink stain still on her tiny wrinkled feet.

I remember it clearly.  I etched it in.  Determined. Still hurting from the memory of not holding my first born for almost twenty-four hours after she was born.  Still scarred from not seeing her brand new red and creased skin, the smell of minutes old. 

Not this time, I remember thinking.  This moment is not going to be taken from me. 

This time I stared - long.  It was wee morning hours and everyone gone.  A hospital quiet.  An exhausted husband sleeping in chair too small.

She was wide awake.  Big dark eyes.  A face as round as a saucer.  I said that out loud.  Gregg, her face is perfectly round, just like a little saucer.  He slept on.

Her skin was dry from fetaling in the womb two weeks too long.

Her hair was long and black.

She was daughter, sister, granddaughter.  

But most of all she was mine.  Arms stretching unfolding love right before my eyes.

So much to so many.  A gift.  Unwrapped nineteen years and ten hours and fifteen minutes ago.

And why is it that birthdays make us question time?  Do they know what they steal?   How little turns to big and young to older.

Can I accept what they offer? 

And the unwrapping never gives to an end. 

And the minutes tick.  Now nineteen years and ten hours and twenty minutes ago.

And I remember to thank.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

She's kind and beautiful and talented and her math gets better and better everyday.

I wake up proud and go to bed proud.

And . . . 

some days she gives me something really great to write in my box - and turn over in my mind on my ability to help grow a wise person.

Today after the orthodontist she asks if she can go swimming when she gets her braces.  Yeah, I replied.  Why do you ask that?

Won't they rust?  she asks back.

Yep, I almost ran that next light.  Belly laughs are good for the soul. 

Problem is - she wasn't kidding.

She's kind and beautiful and talented and her math gets better and better every day.

But . . .

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First Finished Project

I talked here about what was going to be my first craft project, and my first gift, of the new year.

After much time - it was quite time consuming - I finished the box in time for Rhonia's shower.  He's Too Good To Me made the box and it turned out even better than I had hoped.  Poor Izzy stamped for days.

Rhonia's an elementary school teacher, so I used some old alphabet cards to seperate the months.

And, of course, Shelby made a beautiful baby cake. 

Now we are just a little bit impatiently waiting on our new sweet baby to join the family.  Shower planning is over - I slept till 12:30 the next day - honest.

So . . . what's next?

Monday, January 10, 2011

One Thousand Gifts . . .

He turns four and there is no big celebration.  Just three days into this new year and all is still and quiet and he turns the double peace sign - four.

A cupcake, a balloon, and me telling him to slow down as he explains that big boys are four.

We sit at the table and eat cereal together.  Just me and this big guy.

I ask him . . .

Do you feel any different since you are four?

He slips off his chair and looks himself over, eyes move from chest to feet.

With heavy sigh he slaps himself on the forehead and pushes up those soft bangs I gently brush back at least a dozen times a day, he holds his hand there and moans,

Oh no, I da same size I was when I was thee.

No baby, I think you are a little taller.  It's just hard for you to see.

He grins at me as his hair falls into place and he sits, stuffing his mouth with rainbow colored cereal.  He knows my game and laughs.

I da same size Mommy, but dat ok.

And just days later I slip into my room hours after dark to see that he fell asleep with his socks on his hands.

Those hands that hold up four chubby fingers in the shape of a double peace sign when asked,

How old are you?

I fore, a big boy now.

My gratitude list continues . . .

quiet birthdays

the smell of homemade chocolate icing

blue candles

leftover birthday plates

Buzz Lightyear shirt too small, too dirty

quietly tiptoeing in the dark to gently remove a shirt worn for days, trying not to wake sleeping child

clothes washing at midnight

birthday cards and wishes from cousins

a boy too happy to mind the simplicity

memories of three

conversations over cereal

little feet outgrowing shoes - and shirts

laughter with mouth open big, milk spilling out

my little boy, four now

My list, #'s 466-479.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Turning My Back On My Blog

I've been wondering how to post about me turning my back on my blog in the month of December.  I still don't have it right in words, but here goes my try.

My friends, I pray for you.  I pray my words make you smile, or laugh, or think.  That if they make you mad or leave a bad taste in your mouth for me, that you will remember our world is made up of differences and you might try to forgive me and love me back.

And I know some of you are lost.  Rambling around in this world without a savior.  Going through your days thinking your goodness will open a door for you one day into a world called Heaven.  That beautiful and loving forever world on the opposite shores of this one.  Where you believe good people go.  Where you believe all those who believe in God go.

But you are wrong - good, loving, and kind - but wrong.

And the month of the year when we celebrate the greatest gift forever being given out of a love no human can comprehend, I deserted instead of left words that might help you find that gift.  Help you realize that a belief in a creator and an effort to live good will take you straight to hell.

But I thought of you everyday.  I thought of my blog and what I might be saying.  But this had happened . .

Every time we want you you're at the computer.

And I heard it and had crumbled.  Truth cuts your wrist sometimes and leaves you bleeding on the floor, your being draining as you know, really know, your wrongs.

I've never been a disciplined person.  I struggle until I fall and get tired of trying and just let myself be who I think I am - instead of who I can be A child of Jesus and He can take my shortcomings and failures and undisciplined self and create the being He desires me to be. 

A being who can do more than I think I can.  A being who can discipline herself to blog and then get up and walk away.  Not spend hours reading others which leads me to more and then more.  Which is what had happened to me. 

So, I walked away, from emails and blogs  . . .  and you.

I took the month to pray and try to break bad habits and love on my babies. 

I did get your emails and calls and texts.  Sweet loving words that made me cry at times.  Words that made me realize that this little blog of mine, small and written from the heart of a wretched and weak and unworthy and oh so wrong-most-of-the-time woman, has found its little niche, and you do laugh and cry and think along with me.

So I think I'm back.  And I know I can do this better, with all the help from above.  Will you pray with me and for me that I will be a better wife and mom?  Which in turn will make me a better, more disciplined blogger.

Because time is short and precious and many of you I will see on those glorious shores of Heaven one day.  But I want to see all of you.

His name is Jesus and He is the only way.  And believing in Him is not enough.  You must accept Him, turn from the way you live, seek forgiveness and confess that He, and He alone, is Lord and Savior - and you want Him to be yours.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

He Is

I'm standing over flame on the eve of this new year, watching butter melt marshmallows in a favorite pot.  The sirens have gone off and I listen to my babies playing Pick-Up-Sticks in the hall, surrounded by pillows.  I think of Delia, wish she were home.

All day I've watched the weather - me, who is not a weather watcher.  Unless Mama or Sandra tells me I never know till it gets here.  Except today.  Mama called early, said she and Daddy were coming to stay the night - bad weather coming, she said.

I had a hunch, and all day I watched.

He's Too Good To Me comes in from the porch, rushing me to the hall. 

As I lean over Izzy and pray all becomes still and quiet.  It is as they say.  Not a sound.  No wind, or rain, or loud claps of thunder.  Just quiet and a stillness like no other.

Glass breaks and she cries, terrified.   I lean into Izzy and tell her not to be afraid.  Shelby laughs as I tell them them that the worse thing that could happen would always be the best thing.  I tell Izzy to imagine pizza and a softball game with Jesus, with Josie catching the ball. 

 As I hear Psalms 23 coming from my mouth along with Delia's name I turn and look at Mama.  She gently smiles at me and places her hand on my back. 

And as the words spilled faster and louder to comfort my baby girl's fear, I was not afraid

I know what it is like to know no fear.  To know Whom I belong to.  To know what is in each next breath - He is.

Later that night in bed I would wonder - where is this courage in the simple events of my day?

I must strive harder to see Him in more than the face of weather that kills.  To see Him in the spills and hurt feelings and concerns of tomorrows.

And then it's over.  No touch down of angry funnel, just angry wind carrying fear on its hunches. 

Which is where fear belongs, on hunches.  Low to be trampled by sandaled and scarred feet.  

But don't we hunch our shoulders against the wind every day?  Wind that carries discontentment and dread and fear that spills tears and moves lips to prayer.  

And what does He tell us in Matthew 14:27?

But Jesus spoke to them at once. "Don't be afraid," He said. "Take courage. I am here!"

And what is in each next breath?

He is.

As this new year brings its fears - of weather, death, water, cancer, seperation, finances, heights, wars, or rats - I will remember . . .

When He proclaims Himself in my soul, all fear and sorrow and sin shall end.
No matter its size.  It is already defeated.

 "And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM'; and He said, Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’"  Exodus 3:14

He was yesterday, He is today, and He will be tomorrow.

Do not be afraid.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Let Nothing Be Forgotten

And a Happy New Year to you all.

I know there are tons of ideas out there to start off your new year, but this is my absolute favorite, from design sponge and Ashley.

It's easy to keep up with - which I need.  Short and sweet.

My sister-in-law, whom I love - and she doesn't read this blog - is getting one of these for her baby shower this weekend.  She can begin at the very beginning of our sweet anticipated Crosby's life. 

Record it all.  So nothing can be forgotten. 

She's twenty one and he's four, and I have forgotten so much in between and more.  If you read here often you know I'm constantly trying to find ways to remember. 

Make this your resolution.  Let nothing be forgotten.

So off I go, to make two of these cute boxes.  And He's Too Good To Me gets some strawberries out of the deal.
Drawing of me losing my cool courtesy of budding artist, Izzy.

Have a dressed up day!

. . . put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12