Friday, September 30, 2011

No shame in dying



It’s a hard balance to find.

Pouring yourself out onto your blog, soaking in comfort from friends who leave comments promising that they are still praying.

Then wanting to share those little and huge things that are changing your life daily – and wanting to preserve someone’s privacy and dignity… how do you carve that fine line?


There is no shame in dying.

Not after a life well-spent.


But somehow I find myself more protective than ever.  Wanting to spare her the indignities of not being able to care for herself.  The indignities of anyone  remembering her as anything other than beautiful, capable, encouraging, and quick to laugh.



Grief comes before the final loss.  When you realize that your time is short and that things you thought would always be there… are slipping faster than you can reach for them.  Then the grief becomes mixed with your gratitude.



It hurts to learn that lesson that life is made up of those million little things – and that the “big” things are not what you miss at this very moment.



I didn’t take it for granted that I had a truly wonderful mother-in-law.  I took for granted that I would always be able to walk next door and borrow a cup of cornstarch and the advice to use it to fix the dinner that flopped.

first down load 030


I didn’t take it for granted that she’d always be there to talk to.

But I took for granted that she’d always be there for Itty Bit to talk to.



I can smile through tears when I look at the pictures… so many of them of her with the youngest members of our family.  It is no secret why they love her sense of fun.



And the images Dana captured – of the real family moments, are ones that show this abiding joy.

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It made it doubly hard to bear when cancer brought pain.  Watching her muscle through, clinging to her innate cheerfulness.  Holding tight to her faith.


I was struck wordless when she made it in to church shortly after starting chemo.

Not that she’d come to church, but that the children would not stop climbing into her lap.  She was swarmed.



It spoke volumes to me that when Mr. Daddy saw one of the police officers on the side of the road, he pulled over to tell him about Mom’s diagnosis.  The heartbroken officer also called her “Mom”.  I don’t know why I was surprised.



The daughter who arrived this morning from hours away… isn’t related by birth.  But rather by love and kindness.  Her entire life transformed as a teen by the heart and home of the woman she now calls “Mom”.



I am keenly aware that we are in a painful and bittersweet period of Lasts.  I am so grateful to you who have stood by us and prayed for this woman who poured out her life into grown men and women who would still call her “Mom” one day.




In sharing with you that our time with her is likely short, I want to do well by her.

I want to tell you what I think she would say.


That dying is not a sign of little faith.

That living well is far more important.

That time is a gift.

People are worth it.


and Love Wins.




I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

                                                                                           2 Timothy 4:7-8

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Only in my life



…would my five year old bust into “Pants On the Ground” in the living room.




And even better?


Only in my life…

….would my husband bust into “Pants On the Ground” at the doctor’s office.





Somebody help me.



Don’t say I never gave you anything…

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Bummer and a Yippee


Every played it?  For every Bummer, list a Yippee?  Or the other way around?


Bummer:  It’s Monday and I’m still sick.

Yippee:  Nyquil now has Barftastic Berry.



Yippee:  I’m not throwing up anymore!

Bummer:  I lost my voice.        (Mr. Daddy -  if you say that’s a yippee…)



Yippee:  I finally felt somewhat conscious yesterday and braved the outdoors.

Bummer:  I was rewarded by being soaked to the bone in the most punishing 10-minute rainstorm I’ve ever experienced.



Yippee:  It was worth it to let this poor kid FINALLY go on the rides.



Bummer:  I saw waaaay too much inappropriate boobage and cheekage from teenyboppers there.



Bummer:  The tables were turned when my entire in-law family decided to stop by while I was dressed an I’m home from sick and have a fever outfit (aka swimsuit coverup).  There was waaay too much boobage.  Sorry Dad.

Yippee:  I have boobage?



Yippee:  The wacky weather meant for a late harvest… time to enjoy!

Bummer:  The wacky weather did some weird stuff to the veggies.  Anybody else doing the alphabet with theirs?


(I am now officially afraid of the comments on this post.  I have spooning cucumbers)



Bummer:  Ever had to wait for your kid to stop making faces at himself in the mirror so he could brush his teeth for bedtime?


Yippee:  Hanna Andersson on eBay!

Extra Yippee:  10,000 Miracle points if you spotted those double eyebrows.



Yippee:  Itty Bit sees the specialist tomorrow about why he keeps going down.


Bummer:  Itty Bit sees the specialist tomorrow about why he keeps going down.



And when all else fails?

ice cream

Friday, September 23, 2011

Letters of Intent–UnFair


Dear Autumn,

On the very first day?

Knocking me flat with throwing up?





Too Busy to Be Sick




Dear Kindergarten Teacher,


They don’t pay you enough…

Nineteen kids.

Wandering, distracted, new to the whole obeying the teacher thing.

At the fair.







The Paranoid Mom Who Counted to Nineteen Every Few Seconds




Dear Itty Bit,

When the teacher said to make a funny face… without fail, every single kid did this:


Except you…



And without fail, every single parent cracked up.



The One Who Laughed the Loudest




Dear Fair,


It was wildly UNFAIR of you to switch out the animals just before our arrival.

Thank you for leaving the baby pigs at least.

And thank you to the Barn Lady who totally photobombed this shot :)



You know how tough it is for 19 kiddies to go to the fair and be told that the animals are gone and they can’t go on the rides???  Yeah, unfair.



The Chick Who Wanted To Go On the Rides Too




Dear Kindergarteners,

SWOON!  Though I can’t show your faces here so as not to freak your parents out, I love that you are such a friendly bunch.




The Chick Who Ate Up Every Single Exuberant Hug




Dear Parents of Blake, Eastin, and Ethan,

Sorry for teaching your kids the “I Know and Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly” bit…

But I guarantee you that we had the funnest car in the caravan…



The Mom Who Grinned At Hearing, “Can we do that song about the lady who eats stuff again?”




Dear Mom & Dad,

Thanks for driving that car full of kids singing.

And for taking your grandson for a motorcycle ride in the yard.

You rock.



Stay tuned for everyone telling you how young you look.



Mom To the Lucky Grandkid




Dear Mr. Daddy,


Next time you wanna laugh at my horse-sneeze spattered outfit

I’ll send the avenger!


IMG_4909 copy


That’s right baby!  You’ve been NERFED!  Boy’s got aim.

(and too big pajamas)



One Well-Defended Momma




Do up your Friday right and go check out King Julien!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Your Daily Public Service Announcement



You have not lived until you step outside in your brand new fancy for work sweater…

…and a giant sorrel sneezes all over it.




Did I do thaaaaat?!?!



(and because it wouldn’t be MY life if it were “only” that… you REALLY haven’t lived until you realize that the POINT BLANK alfafa/mucus attack is also all over your pants and has soaked through the beautiful first-time-you-ever-wore-it sweater to your undershirt.  You’re welcome)

(and you REALLY REALLY haven’t lived until you run in the house shrieking and your husband assumes it’s the 5-year old and hollers at him to be quiet.  But you might NOT live if you are said husband and you fall out of your chair laughing at the equine accessories dripping off your wife’s new outfit.  At least wait until she quits screaming.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kinder Kid Know-it-all


Momma?  I already know everything about animals.


Oh really?  You do?  How many legs does a spider have?

Momma… spiders aren’t animals.


Come on… what’s four plus four?

Five, six, seven, eight!


Okay, and how many stomachs do cows have?



Nope… they have FOUR!

(as he looks at me with the most skeptical expression a booger-eater can make)


No really, they do!  How many legs does a cow have?  Two plus two…

No Momma, my turn!  Two plus two is?


Umm… four?



My turn again Momma… how many rubbers does a cow have?






Did you just say rubbers?


And that, my friends, explains this look:






Friday, September 16, 2011

While You Were Hunting - Part I


Tis true…

my least favorite part of the city girl marries redneck story…

The part where redneck douses himself in this “stuff”…


wanders around making odd noises and sneaking up on things…

and comes home with something that requires four hours of samurai knife work…

to stuff the freezer full of stuff I refuse to cook.


(Gasp!  That’s the redneck wifely duty I have yet to succumb to!)


(and I just typed “stuff” three times)


It’s also the time when I get a wild hair and suddenly think I’m crafty.

(Ohmyheck, you guys already know this only leads to bad, bad things!)


It’s inevitable when I look at fabrics… I get sucked in by dreams of how together my house would look if only I had these wonderful patterns.  And I look at how insanely grody my current stuff is and a 50% off coupon pushes me over the edge.

Oh, you don’t know how grody… this is just a peek.



A 5-year old who still likes to KNEEL on his seat at dinnertime means lots of spills.


I thought recovering the chairs would be an easy DIY project.

I ordered some awesome fabric (50% off makes just about anything awesome, no?)  And I ordered way more than I needed, with the pipe dream that I would suddenly channel Martha and whip up some darling pillows and trim some curtains.  Because then my house would be together, yo.


(Confession:  If my HOUSE is together, you won’t notice so much if I’m not, right?)


Except, that I was a monumental dummy when I ordered it, and I completely and utterly forgot that I have SIX chairs, not four.



Who does that?!?!




So I literally ended up having just enough for ahem SIX chairs.


After a staple gun that wouldn’t staple,

An extension cord that wouldn’t fit,

A chick who couldn’t count…

Here’s the difference:

(Flee the GRODYYYYYYYYY!  I’m gagging too.)




Here’s my Super Mom who stayed up until 3am to put these suckers together (because after I “helped” with the first one, she had flashbacks of ER visits and rescued me)


And after we were done, I had enough fabric left to make a pillow for Stuart Little.  She’s that good.


Here’s some action shots of Super Mom!




























Told you she was cool.

But now you know why I don’t sass that woman.



And would you believe… curtains are next on the list?  And the crazy woman talked me out of pom pom trim?!?!?  We may yet duke this one out.




See why I normally spend $$ on someone else’s craftiness (instead of an ER bill)?

It’s been way too long since we’ve done an Etsy feature!


See how sweet this is?

Dreamy Ivory and Grey Dasmask Print Ruffle Clutch


Y’all know that there’s no way a big first aid kit would fit into that cute thing – and this chick doesn’t hit up too many fancy events.  But I fell in love with the fabrics and Sweetharts was willing to make me a camera strap in the same combination!


(pardonez the quality… taken in the wee hours and before coffee.  even my camera was confused)

She also sent a matching set of rosettes – and I’d take pictures if my hair wasn’t also confused right now.  So I’m cheating to show you how they look on well-behaved curls!

Sweet Sorbet Rosette Headband


Nikki is super easy to work with and I love my new camera strap cover.

Does this mean I’m a bit more together now?


Or that the man shouldn’t leave me alone with a PayPal account?

The While You Were Hunting chronicles to be continued…

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pushing back


I know everyone got their summer and y’all are ready for pumpkins and cider.

But our summer started late… and y’all, it was NINETY-TWO DEGREES today.







I’m pushing back.

Because fall doesn’t start until September 23rd.

Google told me so.


So bring on the sunshine – because I’m holding on to these last golden moments.


And this is how you do that in a small town:


Another day at the quarry…




(where the water really is that color, and my husband only shoots my best side)


Where we stayed past dinner and sunset and came home with wrinkly toes.



And there is nothing like a county fair:



Where your kiddo finally gets to take the wheel all by his little bad self.




And you get a heart attack realizing he’s in a REAL one in nine years…

We’re screwed–aren’t we?


After the myocardial infarction, we passed up this awesomeness:



Because NOTHING beats a big ol’ tractor:



Except about 20 big ol’ tractors…





Umm seriously… see his face???



And I don’t know why they even put those “do not touch” signs out there…


Because my kid is more than willing to lose a finger or two just to TOUCH THEM.


But no county fair is complete without the HAY competition.




And it wouldn’t be a fair without some motorized entertainment, no?

Doesn’t this sound reassuring?



I have approximately 26,000 photos of my kid inspecting fair rides.

Not even kidding.

I can hardly get him to wave because he is so engrossed in all the moving parts.

Still think I’m kidding?






(blurry pictures brought to you by I Never Said I Was A Good Photographer)


Love that I’m still cool enough to hang out with.



Yay for a kid who is not afraid to spin the snot out of a weenie ride!


I mean, that teacup was about to come loose, yo.


The intrepid Mr. Daddy couldn’t even stomach the swings.

I was deeply upset.




Our four legged friends:




(it did too make you laugh)


And the sheep dressed up as…

nevermind.  Even just typing those letters gives me the heebie jeebies.



Bet you never saw an equine busted for Public Intoxication?



What better way to end than with fireworks?



School or no school… I’m grabbing the last of summer with both hands.

Because it ain’t over yet!



Joey wants to know what you’re up to?

And if he can have any of that award-winning hay?