Have a dressed up day!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Max Says . . .

Here's your Hershey bar Daddy bought.

Oh, eh, dank you, Mommy.

Do you want toast instead?

Yeah . . . oh, no.  What?

Do you want toast instead?


You're gonna have to eat something else soon.

K.  Ou scared me, Mommy.

About what?

'bout toast instead of the Hersee bar.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's been a long time since I've bragged on Shelby's cakes.

Too long.

This was Mom and Dad's birthday cake.  All six grandkids sitting on the front porch - which is Nana's favorite spot to take photos.

Along with some dear families we started a new homeschooling cover this past year.  This cake was for our end of the year program and party.  Love it.  Congrats CLIF (Christian Learning in the Family).

This one I have shown before.  But I'm showing it again 'cause it is my favorite.  Those edible crayons hit me right in the proud spot.

Need a cake?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Starling Center Road

Can the weekend ever come soon enough?

When I was young Friday was magic.  Saturday and Sunday were coming which meant in short hours I'd be on that dusty red dirt road to the sweetest place on earth.

Where young met old and childhood held hands and hearts with those whose lives were closer to the end than the beginning.  Those who cherished us and gave us all that their lives had given them to offer.

Down Highway 35 past the dream homes on the left and Daddy's shack past those. 

Miles felt like hours and rarely was there a moment of broken yellow line and log trucks and old men made it not matter anyway.

Past the railroad tracks and the first turn into Walnut Grove with the Ten Cent store and icecream at the drugstore and Mama's dresses at Nell's. 

Just minutes away past the second turn, yards before Kit Lewis' store faced Rogers Appliance we would make the left at Starling Center Road, flanked by rundown homes and the small black church.

Around the curve where pickup landed in ditch when Mama wrecked with Aunt Charlene while learning to drive and on past the Allen's grand land on the left.  Land that raised cows that lined up and mourned their dead.

And the pink baby roses trellised and clusters of small white flowers joined buttercups to grace the small home on nine acres of heaven on earth.  The mimosa tree was worth climbing and the scent of earth strong and the air cold underground in the storm shelters that moved from spot to spot when boredom found Pa. 

Everywhere was hollerin' range.  Everywhere was poor country folk and we were ignorantly bliss.

Quilts stacked from floor to ceiling with gun nestled in the middle and we knew what not to touch.  Six foot length of double closet was the scary place and mac and cheese was only served on weekends with grilled cheese under the broiler after Saturday night singings.

Where windows fogged and there was always a shadow of our doodling and I slept next to the best and we talked till Mama's words thru paper-thin walls hushed our mouths.

Storage shed to playhouse and storage shed to playhouse and storage shed to playhouse till playhouses stood three doors wide.  And where was the storage shed and did Pa know the word no?

He did and so did she but I only remember the yeses and dirt on my bare feet and my imagination working overtime till Hee Haw's Roy Clark and Buck Owens beckoned us to Kornfield County.

Is that road paved now?  I can't remember from the last funeral years ago.  How I can't remember few years ago but childhood is yesterday?

And the spot is still there and so is the fence line behind where we couldn't cross. The Allen's pasture is full of pines and the pear tree is gone.

But my mind can go back and I can hear I'll Fly Away and see only two front teeth and beg for a ride in his truck or on his knee.  I can remember all these things here.

And still - can the weekend ever come soon enough?

Pa, turn off your blinker.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Isabela darlin',

I want to tell you how very proud of you I am because you slept in your own bed last night, all night, without tears and with less fears.

But if I do I'm afraid you might think that when you can't manage to do that I am not proud of you.

And that is just crazy.

So, why don't I just say Congrats for last night and that I am always, always, without reason, so very proud of you.

for this, and this, and for forgiving me for this, and for hoping this

 For choosing girls like this and for your friendship to me like this.

For moments of joy like this.

Love, Mama

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


It's time for a good belly laugh?  Don't you think? 

Thank you for this . . .

it makes me laugh to remember it.

You have a tickle date with Daddy tonight - 9:00 sharp.

You'll be worn out and sleep soundly.

And you are beautiful when you sleep.

Love, Mama

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dear Izzy love

Izzy love,

Remember all the fruits of the spirit in Galations 5 that Paul writes about? 

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Remember how I am always trying to work on that patience part?

Sometimes different versions of the Bible will use the word longsuffering in place of the word patience.  God understood that there would be things that make us tired, or angry, or confused.  He knew we would need to have the help of the Holy Spirit to suffer through those things with the ones we love.

So the ones we love we have patience with.  Patience shows the great things that can be produced if we exercise it with others. 

You and I both know that I'm not very good at it. Remember how often you have to forgive me for my patience failing you?

But you love and cherish me anyway, right?

Forgive me for the nights that I begin to fall asleep first or say things that hurt you.  Forgive me for not always remembering to understand that this is out of your control right now?  Okay?

Can you see?  If you forgive me and love and cherish me then you must believe that it is the same for me. 

There is no need to doubt.  That is just the confusion making you feel that way.  It is not real, my sweet.

When you cry and say you don't understand why you are afraid I will hold you tighter, okay?

And you will believe me when I tell you that this will end soon.

And then you will enjoy more of this movie stuff with Daddy again without being afraid . . .


Your fingernails here . . .

they are realllly cool.  Really, really, really cool.

Love, Mama

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dear Izzy, Love Mama

Dear Izzy, my little sack of baby bones, 

I am not sick anymore. Stitches on the inside of a body must heal as stitches on the outside. This takes time - and that time is our friend so health can return. Nothing is being hidden from you. Daddy and I are not keeping any secrets. 

Yes, I will be here when you wake. And no, I don't tire of telling you that. And no, I am not tired of you and what you need. 

I love you.

You were brave and smart on that day. Do you know that?  And God sent us that day - so that what needed to be found could be found.  

Can you try to look at it that way? As a gift from the One who holds you and loves you above all. He who knew and knows the strength that lies within you. He who gave you that strength when you said, I love you, Jesus. Be mine.

And He said, I've always loved you child, and you have always been mine. And always will be. You have never been alone and never will be. 

Sleep between Daddy and me is where you will be as long as you need it. Till safe comes to you again.

And it will - Daddy says so - and isn't he the smartest man we know?

This week this white space on this blog is yours. 

And as you read it each day remember that present time is as alive and as happy as the past.
Love, Mama

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tomorrow Begins

It would be really hard and difficult on this Mama's heart to explain with just keys and a screen why this week my blog will be dedicated to my darlin' daughter, Isabela.

Some of these will be reposts.  Bear with me.  Time at the computer lately has been very limited. 

Time holding her hand and brushing back her hair from teary eyes is marked in red on each square calendar spot lately.

But she needs to see what once was and can be again.  So I'm giving her center stage in every way I can think of.

And to all you mama's out there raising girls - be careful.  They are not tough as nails.  They are not always resilient.  Their minds are young and not always strong.  Their hearts are like china.  Easily broken and hard to find all the pieces to put back together again. 

And we - we can be neglectful and blind and deaf and mute.

Fear sits at their doorstep and rushes in like the wind if given only a crack of space.

There are three of us in the bed now.  Lights normally off are on.  Sleep comes by two each morning if we are lucky.  Every night my eyes fall to her shirt - I see her heart beating through it.  She quivers and even in her sleep her brow is creased.

So tomorrow begins with a letter to my Izzy-B, my Queen Bela, my Heart.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What Did He Just Say?

I climb into the car for church empty handed.  No purse, nothing.

Feels strange so I say,

I feel . . . blah.

What Mommy?  From the Maxster.

I feel blah.

Mommy, what is blah?

I don't know, baby . . .

I struggle for words 'cause I'm not really blah in the sense I know, but I think it doesn't matter 'cause this is just one of those conversations that come and go and make no matter.

Just . . .  just - empty handed, son.

In a few moments we all get out of the car - all of us empty handed - and walking across the parking lot he says,

I feel blah, Daddy is blah, Sisi is blah.

I laugh until I loudly hear . . .

Mommy, see that lady?  She is blah.

Proposition: Name that musical? (Come on, Janice - name that musical?!)

I'm a mother - and a very civilized one at that. 

So never ever again tell myself anything with the Maxster doesn't matter.  Be a better Mommy?  Be a walking dictionary? 

Keep my mouth shut?

Yeah, that's the one.  Keep my mouth shut.  'Cause sponge is listening - and he never keeps his shut - and I'm really tired of crouching behind cars or bushes.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hey you - you who are too good to me,

An old friend since first grade called me the night before I married you and he asked me if I was sure, really sure.  Rie, are you sure you know what you're doing?

A former boyfriend came into the bridal room moments before I walked the aisle to you and asked me if I was sure I wasn't making a mistake.  Rie, are you sure this isn't a mistake?

Neither knew you.  Neither had met you.  They only knew time had been short.  

But if they had known then what my heart knew -

that all the boys before had been replaceable - I had been replaceable - until you.

If they had known that when I was fifteen, someone - an adult - had looked at my then boyfriend and said these words to him - I guess love really is blind - about me.

And that I had carried those words around for years and let them take me places I should never have gone and that they often marked my path and haunted my mind - until you.

Only I knew that on the night I had tried to tell you some things I didn't think I had the nerve to say that you had fallen asleep listening - because you just didn't care, it just didn't matter.  That you had said now and to come are the only moments.

Honey, my feet hurt in those eighty dollar shoes and you had seen me on our wedding day and our honeymoon had been cancelled and one of the candles wouldn't stay lit.  Remember?

We laughed through the prayer and got Allan tickled and he forgot the words to the ceremony.  Remember?

You went through the first carwash you could find and washed off the Just Married and I got mad at you and I lost the key to the cabin and you got mad at me.  Remember?

August 6 twenty three years later just came and went again and I forgot - again - just like last year and the year before.  You say it first every year and pardon and forgive every year. 

It's 12:42 a.m. on August 12 and I'm saying it first -

I love you.


Happy 24th, Handsome.

 I said it first.  A little early - okay, a year early - but still first.

Remember that, Okay?

And you, my love, I'm still sure about.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Carry Again, Father

In November of 2009 I posted this.  Written for one daughter.  I can't remember what the problem was - what her hurt was.  Is He not good this way? 

Whatever it was the reason has been lost.  And today she smiles and laughs and hopes and lives life with this in her past This trouble is gone. 

And now another daughter hurts.  She seems to be walking in the shadows now instead of the light.  Struggling to grasp hold of promises and believe. 

And her mama understands.  For if I could touch my heart fingers would move along the lines of scars, feel the pull of how open wounds heal and close and leave, my love.  With wisdom in their wake.  And this you must believe.

For my darlin' girl remember - our troubles, even though we are tempted to question God about them, must drive us closer to Him. 

So, today I post this again.  For I feel my arms ache heavy with the desire to pick up my first and rock away the pain. 

First in my womb I prayed for this one - and isn't a mother pregnant forever?

There is something about the power that comes from the feeling of being able to pick your children up and hold them in your arms. The WonderWoman complex that comes with rocking them and making everything better. Carrying them always made it better, for both of us.

There is a misery that comes with the helpless feeling of knowing your child is hurting, feeling lost, lonesome, and a little scared. The day you know there is no more picking them up, snuggling them as you kiss bobos or tend wounded hearts. When they are too old - but not old enough.

And I remimd myself - Misery is our enemy - isn't it?  And we are never helpless - are we? 

There is a grief that comes with knowing, as Mama and Daddy, that you are not WonderWoman and Superman. That your child now knows this. You no longer can fake answers, no longer can just say, "It will all work out," - even though you know it will.  Things are not so easily fixed, tears are not so easily dried, and pain is not so easily wiped away.

And I remind myself - grief is foreign.

There is a pain in the gut that comes with watching their faces as reality hits them that life is hard. That life is unfair. That life is an unending struggle between good and bad, right and wrong. That patience no longer involves just the simple count-down to Christmas, but now involves the wait for wisdom and the never ending search for knowledge.

And I remind myself - pain is fleeting.

From the time we knew a little one was growing in my womb we prayed for them. We gave them to our Lord. We prayed for the wisdom to know what to tell them to do. We taught them of Jesus' love - immeasurable and unending. We taught them to have faith, to trust in the Lord's timing and wisdom. We tried to demonstrate that faith.

And I remind myself - when I failed I was forgiven.

We have never been good enough. We have never been powerful enough or smart enough or strong enough. Which is why we lean.  We have always known this and now our child knows this. Mama and Daddy have no magic wand.

But - there is a joy that comes in knowing that our Lord has never and will never fail to be more than sufficient. There is a relief that comes from knowing we have done our best to teach our children this. An even greater relief in knowing that they have received it - and the greatest relief is knowing - even in an uncomprehending way -  He loves them more than we do.

Why, then, is it so indescribably hard to still my beating heart, calm my churning stomach, and soothe my pounding head when my child is hurting? Why do my arms physically ache to pick her up and take it all away? Why does it feel so new and raw, even when I've been through it before?

Remind me, Father, once again, why I can't be the one to fix it.

And I remind myself - there is no One better than You.

Carry her, Father.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

More Crosses

. . . but this time they are on my walls and doors.

I know he is thinking about Jesus alot, but it is time for the SIN talk, y'all.

all the movement around the three crosses?  It's God, he says. 

Maybe I could lighten up a little on the sin talk - God on my walls might be a good thing.

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