Wednesday, December 28, 2011







Christmas was good.  In a sad way.

I don’t think it will ever feel really right.





We are battling stupid colds.  An anniversary couldn’t get more romantical than falling asleep at 7pm with some Nyquil.


We need to get better.  This dude has a pre-op appointment next week :(





Want the quickest Christmas Day recap ever?




This kid… got up Christmas morning and didn’t even want to open presents.  He was all-consumed by his Christmas Eve Legos.

Goodbye Thomas and “I want my Percccccyyyyy”.  Welcome punctured soles and grinding vacuum cleaners.




You’re probably welcoming the absent crush of holiday pictures.  100,000 Freak Out points to me…






As in, I BROKE MY 50mm 1.4 LENS.



(Commence sobbing).



In true it could only happen to me fashion… the camera bag strap got tangled with my purse strap.  And as my purse swung around, the bag hit the floor with a thump to wake the deaf.

I managed to completely kill the autofocus motor… the rattle inside the lens confirms it.  Manual focus is off and refusing any tack sharp shots.

Now is probably not the time to try to talk Mr. Daddy into an upgraded camera, eh?




Many, many heartfelt prayers this season.


My friend who got married this year is facing the final decisions of her diagnosis.



We prayed she would survive to use the tickets to her first Nutcracker ever.  And she did.  Barely.

Literally as she was fading from a burst tumor, another one grew over it and stopped the bleeding.  Talk about God working in mysterious ways.


You couldn’t wipe the smile off her face as she sat there watching the same production that I’d danced in for years.  It was 26th season I’d either performed or watched it… I knew every scene.


But it was brand new to her.


As we giggled like juveniles over the men in tights, the curtain parted for the second act.  Fog swirled over the stage as little girls in white dresses floated on their tippy toes.


She was silent, misty eyed.


Without taking her eyes off the stage, she quietly said,


“I wonder if it will be like this when I go home”.



I had no words.


She will leave two boys and a new husband.  A family devoted to her.  I can only imagine how they are squeezing the most out of each day.


Hospice has been called.


And as much as I’ve asked for your prayers recently, I ask for them again.  She is ready, but the heartbreak is never easy.





And in choosing to be intentional about our time and the blessings given to us… I hated the thought of letting your efforts for the Morning Star Family Home be for nothing.


We were up to nearly 300 votes by the time it closed… THANK YOU.

darn me for unfriending all those strangers on Facebook Winking smile



A certain someone is a bit of a softie for those babies and the work Bill & Lynsay are doing… he volunteered to donate $1 for each vote.





Thank you, for walking through 2011 with us.  Through some sad lows and some beautiful climbs.


We cherish you and wish you the most amazing 2012.


Mr. Daddy, Rachel, and Itty Bit

Sunday, December 18, 2011

topics for his therapist



You know… it doesn’t matter when life slaps upside your head.  Because LIFE still happens.


Those crazy moments where your kid wraps a random item (soccer field cone) and puts with the stuff you just wrapped… and you can’t.tell.the.difference and you realize that you are going to have to open it all up because your wrapping skills suck that bad.


Let’s just pretend he’s that good, k?


Or when you count how many times your husband has unintentionally injured you in the last 24 hours (FOUR), and it  (That post to follow).


Those random hilarious moments?  Yeeeahhh.  I already assume that once Itty Bit finds this blog, we’ll be in for some hefty therapy bills.


Mr. Daddy put some tiny plaid boxers on the little guy today.  And totally missed the whole “welcome to manhood” initiation speech.

So this is what I got.  At Walmart, no less.





He simply could not believe what his Momma was telling him.


But Mommy… there’s a HOLE in my underwears!


(Hallelujah, he has finally stopped calling them panties – no thanks to all his little girl cousins!)



But when he truly realized his red-faced parent was not kidding him…





I died a thousand deaths.


And so did the three poor ladies who were apparently not hearing-impaired.  I am sorry that our conversation interrupted you mid-stream.




I did not feel one bit guilty over the spontaneous awkwardness that ensued when Itty Bit came home and yelled,

Hey Daddy!  Look at THIS!




And because I couldn’t leave all of you out from the loveliness I found on the Walmart website today… for your listening and viewing trauma pleasure (you’re welcome PamD):


This boy







was throwing stuff at his own face.



Like bouncing off his noggin, thumping his cute nose.


Like flinching and picking it up to throw at himself again.



And while I might tolerate a certain amount of “I have no clue why he is doing that” boy stuff…


I finally interrupted his self-flogging-with-a-full-water-bottle exercise.



Honey, why are you doing that?  Stop please.


But Momma!


Butter, why are you doing that?  You’ll hurt yourself!


But Momma… look!  My glasses are SAVING ME!





Holy cow kid.


$395 on a pair of indestructible glasses so you can pelt them with random objects… while they are on your head.



I’m scared to ask the kindergarten teacher why little Noah wasn’t wearing his glasses yesterday… please tell me this isn’t the newest fad in eyewear destruction?





And in other randomness… my kid still gets upset every time the farrier comes to trim Kona.  Because he still somehow believes that she is the TOOTH FARRIER and he feels gypped that he hasn’t lost a tooth yet.




And in non-Itty-Bit news… I cannot get this song out of my head.


Help me.


I have the enviable curse talent of making up new lyrics to songs.  Or applying them in really juvenile ways.  I’ll spare you some of our famous family songs that contain references to bodily functions, but this particular song doesn’t even need any lyrics work… just a topic shift.


See… my one concession to pregnancy cravings was a warm gooey brownie with all natural vanilla ice cream.


brownie with ice cream


And as I passed up a brownie at a Christmas party this week… I could not stop this song from running through my head.  Think of it in terms of that brownie with real milk chocolate Ghiradelli chunks.  It’ll make a lot more sense.




You’re welcome.



What are you craving?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011




It’s been hard not to be sad this week.


I’ve barely been online.  It’s too easy to think about things if I sit at the keyboard for too long.


Does anybody else love Christmas like I do?  This year seems especially sentimental.  So many reminders that our lives are so short – and that unwrapping the gift of a tiny baby is what makes it worth it all.


baby Jesus



I’m refusing to miss out on the miracle.  Refusing to let sadness overwhelm me.  Refusing to give in to fear without a fight.  Because seriously?  This dude is too ornery to quit.




(I had to look at this and LAUGH today.  Our beloved PamD did a bit of Photoshop magic on “Mr. Braddy” for his birthday – in retribution for the razzing he gave her about hers.  If you don’t hear from me for a few days, the prime suspect looks like the guy above… well minus the crown. I borrowed it ;)


Does anyone else think it might be slightly sacrilegious to have a picture of Baby Jesus, and then a picture of that?






So in an effort to keep some smiles on this here blog o’mine, I thought we’d play some more Etsy.


Confession:  I had such impressive intentions to do an Etsy giveaway before Christmas.  I’m asking y’all to forgive me because I’ve been thoroughly slapped around by life recently.  Howsabout we keep window shopping and then have some fun with it after Christmas – when the Etsy sellers are a little less frantic?


That being said… I encourage you to check these sellers out – most of them have a shipping deadline of this week to get things to you by Christmas.  It would be a wonderful way to support small businesses and give something one-of-a-kind.  Maybe to yourself?  Ahem


Because these make me smile:




Are you not totally cracking up?  I LOVE THIS!  From CollageOrama.




And one of my oldest favorites in my Etsy list:




This little cutie from TheWishingElephant would be utterly adorable on the little one in your life.  Heck… I’m kinda hoping someone makes this for ME :)




You think you know what this is…



And you’d be wrong unless you guessed it gets sudsy.

YES!  Soap from DigitalSoaps!





This one just turns me into a puddle of butter.  A puddle of butter who wants to go wake up and snuggle her 3, 4, 5 year old who is growing too fast.



Perfectly perfect, from BarnOwlPrimitives.




Isn’t this utterly beautiful and creative?





Maneggi is the artist behind these incredible pieces.  Makes me want to dress up more!




One of my very favorite photographers… I love the insane amount of talent that goes into these shots – and the story the end result tells.  Makes you think.  Makes me smile.





I feel like this right now.  Like there’s a certain amount of courage required just to get through the normal things.

Go check his other amazing work!




And for my crafty friends… AHEM Shana.  Here’s a DIY project that would be perfectly acceptable for a grown woman with a hunter husband, eh?



TinyOwlKnits makes the patterns for these terrific hats!




And just for that Dread Pirate Roberts of mine…




StudioMarshallArts – couldn’t have done it any better.  I think I need this.




I hope you enjoyed a few of my favorites.

Mr. Daddy, my Paypal password is under the phone book on the right side of my desk ;)




And please… the voting is not over until Friday.  If each one of our followers voted once per say, we could win this thing for the Morning Star Family Home.  You can vote once per day per Facebook account.

Please spread the word, please vote here - to help babies like Esther.




Whatever you do, please don’t stop praying.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

hard frost



The moon was huge.


It was the first big freeze.


And no matter my thoughts, I couldn’t help but notice the how bright the night was.

How it looked as if everything had been dusted with glitter.






I carried another steaming bucket out to the horses’ frozen trough and laid my hand against my girl’s soft nose.


It was utterly still except for the fog of our breath rising.



This is hard.


I don’t really want to do this anymore.  It’s hard to keep your footing when the blows keep landing.


Yet I couldn’t shake the feeling that that hushed moment of watching my entire world shimmer – was a moment of peace that was a gift.


I was reminded of what I said to my cousin, not knowing he was days away from horrific injury.

“Don’t waste the hard things”.



Reminded of what I watched Mom do as she struggled to against a 6-month prognosis.

She didn’t waste the hard things.



If this is the only part you see of me, I want you to walk away knowing that I believe in a bigger plan.


The news wasn’t what we’d hoped for.





I don’t even know where to start, except that I hate that the cells show this may be the dreaded “c” word.


Hate the word “suspicious”. 


Hate that they need to schedule surgery.


Hate that this brings fear into our lives.


Grateful that they are treating this aggressively.





The results were inconclusive.  But isn’t that how life often is?


I’m choosing – to really experience this Christmas.

Because God doesn’t change.



I don’t have the right

to say “Lord use me…

…but only if it doesn’t hurt.”


Not by sight

But things unseen

Will give life worth.


I don’t want to waste this.


Because if this is the only way

that You will be glorified

then take my pain

and use it for good.


If this is the only time

Someone will see my life

I want them to know

that You’re still good.


I don’t want to waste this.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

A little Etsy under the tree



I’ve had this post in my head for a long time… without enough actual minutes to sit down and write it.


Something about the state of the economy and how we can do our part to help small businesses and moms who work out of their homes.  And the words never made it to the keyboard – but it didn’t keep me from actually purchasing a few Christmas gifts from these artists.


Like many families, we’re reining in our holiday spending this year.  Not that we went overboard in years past; but that we have a deeper appreciation for the good we can do with the funds we spend.  And our focus has changed from MORE, to MORE MEANINGFUL.


I have something up my sleeve.

But let’s have fun with it for a bit, want to?


Etsy is my go-to source.  Am I the only one who says, “I can do that!”, then remembers the glue gun scar on my left arm, and that my art teacher asked if I was sure I didn’t want to take horticulture instead?


You might be able to do them… you might be inspired by them… but if you’re anything like me; you’ll drool over them, know you don’t have time to make them, and you couldn’t possibly do them as well.


(Well, unless you’re Brandi, but she’s got that crazy Martha gene)


Here are some favorites… some old, some new, and some already under our tree (shhh!)




Who doesn’t need a silhouette of their offspring?  (I’ve actually given these as gifts, and trust me – they are a hit!)  OutOfAlabaster draws these professionally, then sends you a digital image to print however you want.  Love the detail!




For a piece of jewelry that is whimsical and sentimental, I adore this:




Mandipity sold me on this perfect quote.  My great-grandmother used to sing that song to me before I lost my hearing.  This makes me smile every time I see it!




If you’re more about practicality… this one is a winner in our house:





Greenbubbleshome sells this laundry detergent.  Like knockyoursocksoff stuff.  Seriously, I have been using this for months, and it takes a TABLESPOON per load to get those stains out.


I was hesitant to use something new with our front loader, but this works perfectly in the High Efficiency machines – to the point of outperforming my liquid stainlifter.


I use a mixture of 1/4 vinegar to 3/4 water as a softener, and I am doing laundry el-cheapo.


Now… I need a cute jar label, cute spoon, and cute container for the vinegar :)







With all the money you save on laundry, you could spring for a superhero zebra for your favorite little!







Love this from easterstudios – lots of sock monkeys, puppies, and hippos too!




If you have a wedding gift to plan for, I adore these!




jessicaNdesigns… amazing work and perfectly personal!

(She’s super nice too… just saying)




And if you’ve got a wee one to dress up this Christmas, I cannot think of anything better than this package of adorableness.


I exaggerate not.





(As the rest of you are reading, Brandi has now left and is already sewing the second bootie)


AnimaliaRepublic crafts these goodies.  And they make my ovaries hurt.  Someone please go buy this and send me a picture of your little reindeer?  I mean, there’s even a hoofprint on the bottom of the bootie!




And last, but not least… anyone up for a good old fashioned game of Pirates vs. Ninjas checkers?




Goosegrease makes these wonderful little characters – and you can totally get sucked into their Etsy shop.  Insanely jealous of the creativity!




I promised I had something up my sleeve.


And I do.


You might want to just keep an eye out on our little blog as we share some more Etsy fun in the next few days.




Thank you so much to those of you who are voting in the photo contest to raise money for the Morning Star Family Home.


Bill and Lynsay are blog-friends-turned-real-life-friends ministering to babies who have some severe health issues – sometimes showing them the only real love and care they will receive in their short lives.


Please help me. If every single person voted who normally reads here, we would be in the lead.  A few clicks and you’ve just helped get us one step closer to making a difference halfway around the world.



My heart breaks seeing the pictures.  But reading the captions


Morning Star

Morning Star Family Home

It never, ever gets easier to hold a baby who is dying, or to hear news that one of the one that we were supposed to help died before she could get here.



Please, if you can, help us by clicking over daily to vote here.  The $1000 prize would go to Morning Star Family Home to help give these babies a Christmas miracle.

They matter.



Much love… and stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Nothing says Get Well Soon like…



So we hit the road this morning for Mr. Daddy’s biopsy appointment.


The entire procedure went perfectly…

and now we wait.


Which is all kinds of sucky because I’m just not good at that.



But truly, what says “Get Well Soon” better than this?




The Cabela’s Shooting Gallery!!!!


I’m pretty sure this was all kinds of against the rules.  But no one ordered Itty Bit off the counter, so he fired merrily away.




Then we headed home and I received a rather awkward text message from my Dad concerning Mr. Daddy’s recovery.


Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up.





Let’s just say that when the dust settled (and my hysterical rapid-fire interrogation of my husband was complete), there were a couple of earlier text messages from MR. DADDY’s phone that filled in the blanks…



I don’t know whether I was born into the weirdness or married into it.


phone msg orig


phone msg 1



And as a lovely finale, my funnier-than-heck Dad sent me this after my threat of publicity:








See what I mean when I say that blog posts just HAPPEN to me?





And you knew it was coming :)


We are a few votes behind in the Tiny Prints contest – the one where we are trying to win $1000 for the Morning Star Foundation.  The grand prize winner has to receive the highest total of all the categories.  We need something like 350 votes to catch up.


I know this isn’t impossible.  I know the greater blessing is that people are learning of these babies and praying for them.  Thank you to those of you who have voted, have spread the word, have prayed for them.


Can we do something for them from halfway around the world???


As I sat here trying to figure out how I could ask, beg, plead with you again to vote every day – without annoying you with it… I picked up my Bible and read:


“…because I rescued the poor who cried for help,

and the fatherless who had none to assist him.

…I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame.

I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger.”


Job 29:12-16          


If there is not a greater gift to give this Christmas, than to be the eyes and feet of Jesus to those who need most; I don’t know what is.


My heart breaks with the latest update on this beautiful girl.  Esther seems to be going into the early stages of heart failure.



Friends, I’ve watched what this can do to a one-day old precious girl.  As I cried anew with my sister tonight over her Gracie, it makes me want to fight even harder for these babies who don’t have the automatic access to medical care that we so often do.


Those 350 votes sound like a lot.  And they are.  But we have more of you listed in that Google Friend Connect box in the sidebar… if you are reading, please consider voting.  I would be so grateful if you were a part of a Christmas miracle for these babies.


Let’s do it.  It’s just another week.  Voting ends on December 16th.  One vote per day allowed for each Facebook account.  We can do this.


only one


Whatever you do, please don’t stop reading because this is awkward.  Because this is uncomfortable.  Because this is hard.

I promise that the regular craziness is still here… I just believe with my whole heart that God places people in the right place at the right time.


And this?

Will take all of us.



Please vote here.




A little humor at my expense first…


Twenty comments on that post about Itty Bit cutting my hair – and eleven of you want to see pictures of the damage???


Seriously you guys?  ELEVEN?


Y’all want to torture me and feel a wee bit better about your untrimmed by your kindergartener locks?


Let me just put it this way… when you have curls as crazy as mine… the only upside is that they can hide.  A. Lot.

Like when your kid goes Edward Scissorhands on the single curl that was sticking straight out.  Yeah, like that.


So imagine this… except that the “accidental black" is now lightened up considerably, especially on the GRAY.  Thankyouverymuch.



(see that curl across my face?  yep… gone)


But seriously… eleven of you oughta be ashamed ;)

(that includes my little sister who commented – girl, I’m gonna shoot your butt)


For the record… Itty Bit got a stern talking-to – not because I’m vain about that crazy mess on my head, but because I was terrified that he would be similarly “helpful” with a classmate.






And the thing that has been occupying the WORRY spot in my mind for the last month…

As you are reading this, we are likely on the road to Mr. Daddy’s biopsy appointment.



I don’t even like to see it in print.



This wife wants to see her husband happy and healthy and leaving snarky comments on her blog for a long, long time to come.  I can’t think much past that because I fall apart.


A sweet reader left this comment earlier and I re-read it tonight and clung to it:

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...."                                                                     Isaiah 43:1b-3a



If you would, please say a prayer for that stubborn redneck of mine.  We could really use some good news right now.



But let’s take a minute to appreciate just how much little kids take in… Poor Itty Bit, I lost it tonight when he asked me about the tests:

“They put a needle in his neck?”


“And then they take his head out?????”





But what is GOOD?  Is that your votes got us in the Top Ten for the Tiny Prints contest!  Now we just need to win it!

Christmas for Timothy


I know y’all are probably sick to death of me bugging you about it, but the voting only lasts a week and you can vote everyday.  If you only knew the story behind how we got this far, you would agree that it’s a miracle.


Right now, the lead card has something like 121 votes and we have 49.  We’re tied for seventh place, but I know we can get the word out and close the gap!


Please, it may be the most meaningful few clicks you do today… a vote that puts us one step closer to the prize money for the Morning Star Foundation Home.




Little Timothy has been released from the hospital but is not doing well.  Another baby girl is in the beginning stages of heart failure.


This is not a huge organization – these are personal friends of ours who are helping sick babies.  In the trenches - giving life-saving care to those who might otherwise not know any in their short lifetime. 


This money can go far… can you imagine it coming from bloggers all over the world?


Please join us and vote – each Facebook account can vote once daily.  We would love if you would share with your FB friends, tweet, blog, however you can to get the word out.


Please consider voting here :)


We love you guys – we covet your prayers and are thankful for you!




Monday, December 05, 2011




I can’t stop crying.




I received the email this morning.


We are one of the TOP TEN finalists for the Tiny Prints contest.



And by WE, I mean YOU.


I mean the Morning Star Foundation.



I mean Timothy.




I mean babies like Michael whose short life can be the seed for others to care about babies who need your help.





Please go here to vote!  We are about 20 votes behind the leader right now, and I know we can make that up quickly!


You can vote once each day for each Facebook user.  Praying that you will join us in giving these precious babies an early Christmas present!  The winner receives $1000, and this can go toward life-saving treatment for these babies.  How else can you help someone halfway around the world with a few clicks? :)


Many thanks to you for getting us into the Top Ten – you guys are the most amazing, compassionate bunch!


If you wouldn’t mind spreading the link love, here’s the direct code:



Look for this cute little troublemaker :)


Christmas for Timothy


I can’t stop crying… and it’s good.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Letter of Intent–Chop Shop




Dear Readers,







You think you know what’s coming, don’t you?




You are wrong… oh so wrong






Dear Itty Bit,


I was putting in some last minute Mom-of-the-Year bonus points, sitting crosslegged on the kitchen floor making a felt stocking with you tonight.

We were having a jolly time.



Until I felt a whoosh by the side of my face.


And saw you staring at me with curious/terrified/triumphant expression.

As the pieces slowly began to fit together, your expression turned to concern mixed with a hopeful, “I’m cute, right?”







You went all ninja and totally snipped a lock of my hair off before I realized what had happened.


I stared in shock at you for a good eleventy seconds (giving plenty of time for your life to pass in front of your eyes), and STILL couldn’t help stammering.  Each attempt a slightly higher and more panicked pitch.



Did you…?

Did you…?

Did you just CUT…???




I don’t think you were even breathing by then.  I think you were slowly realizing that you’d just broken a BIG BIG BIG rule.


Like bigger than the don’t say “shoot’ and don’t say “butt” rule.

“Mommy, shoot is a bad word.  Mommy, butt is a bad word.  Mommy, what about shoot the butt?”


(No lie, that happened today; and the only reason it’s a rule is because it’s so darn funny it’s dangerous when he says it at the dinner table).



So as I sat staring at you in unshakeable shock, you answered me.





Ohmygosh Boogie, WHYYYYYYY would you even do that?


And then… you broke out that ridiculous cute grin and I lost it.



I hope that you will remember our talk.  Because even if they’re going gray and they aren’t real cooperative… I’m kind of fond of those disobedient hairs.  Kind like you’re fond of Christmas presents…




The Momma Who is Afraid to Go to Sleep Tonight




Got letters?  King Julien’s got a carnival for you!  Join along!




Also linking up with Kmama & Emmy for Proud Mommy Moments!