Category Archives: Family Life

Growing, and Learning, and Stuff

That stab.  That cut.  When you realize past faults have not been forgotten or forgiven.

It’s that sting only a loved one can give you.  When they take your past and hold your heart hostage with your transgressions.

“I don’t trust you.”

“It’s just like when you…”

And you know to shrug it off, because, it’s a low blow, below the belt, they meant it to sting like hell… but they forget you’re not as stone as you seem most days.  They just wanted to jab, they forgot they were throwing a punch to the gut.

They forgot.

But all you can do is remember.

So you try and grow, and build, and learn.  Because that’s all you can do.  You know who you are now.  Shaken, but steady.  You won’t crumble, you’ll fortify, and hope not to become so absent minded.  You hope to never deliver the same sorts of blows.  Never.  Don’t stoop.  Stand Tall.  Chin up.  Keep on, Keeping on.

Thank God for those faults that made you fall, made you learn, made you grow, and made you better.  Thank God.


Cabin Fever

Sneaux-magedon date 9, January, Twenty Fourteen.  We’ve found ourselves in an alternate vortex where Christmas Vacations never end, and the crew is growing weary…

Let’s recap.  Week one, I was in intense pain running around, with a huge inflamed cyst on my leg, trying to get ready for Christmas, and last minute company, which all ended up with a trip to the ER.

Week two.  Christmas.  Post Op.  Lots of pain killers.  Company.  All last minute shopping.  No drinky treats because of said meds.  HELL.

Week Three.  New Years.  Cold.  Kids gone wild.  Meds wearing off.  Car broken down.  Sneaux-magedon approaches.

Week Four.  SNEAUXMAGEDON STRIKES.  Just about got in a fist fight at the store.  Made it home, and haven’t been able to leave since.  Brains are oozing, the world is frozen.  And I can’t eat one more damn sandwich, or watch the Croods one more flipping time.  Someone refill my flippen meds from week one PLEASE.

As I look out my window, and my vision is blurred by freezing rain, and more falling snow, I can’t help but wonder if we’ll ever make it back to sanity in one piece, or if we are doomed forever to live in this harsh realm of frozen hell forever… and I want nachos now.  Snow plows should totally deliver mexican food.

To be continued………………………………..



Life. We’ve heard it before, it’s not about the finished work, but the individual strokes that created the finished piece. That doesn’t make things easier to swallow. Because sometimes you have to see the finished piece, so you know where to lay that first drop of ink.

There has to be a vision, somewhere, somehow, to get you moving in the first place. Especially when life locks your soul up in a cold, dark basement. It’s the chicken and the egg. What comes first? Movement or direction? Doing or being inspired? Some days it’s neither, some days it’s both. Like moving a huge piece of furniture, where you ease it forward, moving one corner forward at a time. Doing. Living. Doing. Living.


And it’s all so exhausting.  The pushing and the pulling.  The constant reminders of mortality.  The mistakes.  The blemishes.  The still having so much to learn, and do.  And the overwhelming need to have a fresh, new, blank canvas to start all over again.  Because if I only knew what I know now…


Had I known…

Perhaps I wouldn’t have cared so much about the masterpiece.

Maybe I would have held onto those scrap pieces of time.  Those scribbles in my life…

Maybe I wouldn’t have left so many blank pages lying around.

Yet it’s the masterpiece that drags me back up off the floor.  The need to get somewhere better than here, better than the now.  My blessing and my curse.  The delicate lines drawn by the fragile lives, and tear stained water colors.  The need to make this life beautiful once again, not in spite of the hurt, but because of it.  To always remember.

And to accept the here, right now, is where I’m supposed to be.  Today is my Masterpiece.


This Broken Heart

I’ve been told that we’re supposed to grow from pain. Learn from the past, forgive, grow stronger, gain wisdom and character. Take to our faith in troubled times, and embrace it.

There’s truth in those beliefs. We’re always growing, moving, and changing. Even when we dig in our heels, and hide under the covers. Because you can’t stop life, even when you’re broken, even when your caught in bliss.

If only there was a way to dump out all of the emotions life forces out onto a table and sort them all out. “Here. Here is my pile of what I am mad about. Here’s the stack of happy thoughts. Over there is my sad. There’s a basket of things I need to forgive. There’s the box of what I wish to be forgiven for.” Clear cut, simplified, and sort-able. manageable. Instead of the jumble mix of jealousy, hurt, anger, fear, happiness and so forth that flies back and forth like a dust storm.

Because life keeps moving, and there’s little time to fully embrace each emotion and handle them properly. It’s saying goodbye to one family member who you knew would soon be parting from this earth, to having another one taken without warning before you hung your funeral dress back up in the closet, the awkward heels still in your car. It’s the dying inside while you’re rushing another family member off to the ER, while keeping the kids busy and quiet in the waiting room. Topped off with another family member coming back into your life, that you might not be ready for, because are you still mad, hurt, angry, scared, or morning them? All the while just trying to save every dime to keep your home, and gas in your car.

If only life would just provide time to breathe.

There’s so much to think about, to feel, to deal with. There’s so many words to say. But when you know others are hurting so much worse, you can’t risk that one lonely minute in which you might lose control and fall apart 100%. Because life demands you keep moving.

Oh but this tiny little broken heart is tired of this age of loss it has found itself in. And it’s mad at the mess one family had created. It’s desperate to see one soul once again, even for a moment to say good-bye. It wants to move on, it wants to be ticked, and it wants hurt. And it wants others to let it just be. Alone, hidden, trembling, until it’s too tired to weep anymore. Then maybe it can move on, and deal with the million other demands put in front of it. Maybe then it can love despite the past without judgement. Maybe.

Yet life waits for no one, not even this broken heart.


I’m Cancelling Summer


I couldn’t be more excited.  I’m cancelling summer!  Yup, you read that right… I’m cancelling the whole dang thing!

Okay, so I’m not actually cancelling the season known as summer, that would be crazy talk, and it’s my favorite season.  I’m cancelling MY summer, my demands, my expectations, my normal go-to plans.

I’m calling off the usual spring rush of starting seedlings, and buying new chicks. I’m calling off summer camp for the boy.  I’m calling off the massive dreams of finally fixing up our yard.  Done.  Deleted.  Ain’t gonna happen.

I’m letting the sunny days free fly around here.  We’re gonna do, or we’re gonna do not.  We’ll sip lemonade, and not worry about catching that dang bus for summer camp.  We’ll roll in the grass, and practice our taekwando moves in the sprinkler.

I’m going to play in my garden, and flip the bird to the dang drought we’ve been predicted to have, once again.  No buying seed, no buying plants.  It’s a season to create pretty walkways, and fences, and dance with the kids.

We’ll doodle in notebooks, and color with chalk on the driveway.  We’re gonna grill, and burn our tongues on marshmallows.  That ugly coop, it will get finished someday, and when it does, we’re gonna paint murals in it, with finger paints… because we can.

I’m going to create.  And I’m going to have that date with me, under that big shade tree, while I throw that stupid to-do list into the bonfire.  Because I am cancelling summer.




‘Cause Life Keeps on Happening

The weekend started normal.  Way too many plans, way too many things I wanted to get done.  Hanging out with my mom, the usual.

After a week with my son being in and out of some stomach bug, that was minor, but still icky, and then our daughter ending the week with it, the weekend was welcomed.

And then I got it.  This stupid stomach bug.  Which is bad enough, because your stomach swells like you’re 7 months pregnant, and you contemplate moving all your belongings into the bathroom, and eventually your body just runs out of steam… but then it gets worse.

Then I get a panicked phone call from my mom.

My jack russell, the last of the two dogs she had kept from my days in dog training school, is sick, very sick.  And she’s rushing her off to the emergency vet.

So then it’s tossing and turning, from a stomach that’s trying to birth a 20 pound alien of sickness, and not knowing if your very young jack russell is ever going to be okay, and wishing you weren’t an hour away to comfort your mom, and a little bit of prying to God wondering what the heck He’s trying to do with taking your two best dogs, your goat, and now another pet in less than two years…

And then it’s biting your tongue as the rest of the family need this and that, and right now, all the while you’re just trying to stay in one piece.


She passes in the middle of the night.  Heart failure out of nowhere that they couldn’t stop.  And I’m thankful that it was a pet, and not a human, but the emptiness grows.

So I do the stupid and make a coffee date, just to get out of the house.   As I’m rushing to make one stupid bagel before I leave, dying from hunger.  And then the cream cheese is frozen and won’t smooth out.  So I pull out a stick of butter and try to microwave it for a second to soften it up, and then the microwave shoots sparks out at me.  Then the toddler, laughing the whole time, just takes my bagel and runs off with it.

Hungry and now late, I rush out to the car, and it’s on empty.

I get gas and hit traffic, because a bear is standing on the side of the road…

And I laugh and cry, because this stupid life, just keeps on happening.


The “P” Word

Potty Training.

It’s time, it has been time, for the bebe in this house to pull on some big girl panties, and join the ranks of the big girls.

But I’m not ready.  I might have been avoiding this, purely for my own benefit.  Oh sure there are benefits, like not changing/buying/packing diapers.  But the downfalls are many… oh so many.  I have a list:

  • Pee/Poop everywhere. 
  • Laundry, laundry, laundry
  • 500 hours spent in the bathroom

I don’t wanna.  But I have to.  I mean when the bebe prefers to change her own diapers and wipe herself.  And when the bebe is potty training her baby dolls. 

But, BUT, the boy took forever, and he was nowhere near ready at this age… and, and, and…  And then the nights of wet sheets, and other horrors that I won’t even embarrass him on now…  It was awful.  Of course he was a boy, and we moved to a new house in the middle of it, and I made the mistake of using pull-ups at night and at nap times…

Oh the naps, the naps and bedtimes that will be destroyed, once the miracle of diapers come off.  The games of staying in bed and calling “potty” to make a break for it.  I miss you already nap time!  *whimpers*

And you dear pull-ups, my dear diapers with a fancy name that allows you to charge me twice as much, I’m going to miss you too.  I don’t think I can handle the games of waiting for the pull-ups to go on to relieve one’s tiny bladder.  Even though you have awesome new commercials with glow in the dark princess pull-ups!  Oh you tempt me so.

But no.  It’s time.  And such poor timing too, as I am out of coffee, well unless you count those little cups that just aren’t as helpful as a full pot sitting just waiting for your every topping off desire.

I best go give the washer and dryer a tune-up.

If you don’t hear from me in a week, please send help.


~Going Home~

When the prodigal son returns, he’s afraid.  Very afraid, as the bible tells us.  (keep reading, I’m not getting biblical on you)  He wasted his entire inheritance, abandoned his family, and screwed up royally.  Yet he goes home, faces the truth, and prepares to beg for forgiveness. 

Because at some point we all have to go home. 

But life doesn’t always follow the story.  Or maybe it always does, but it’s the path that becomes entirely different. 

We’re not prepared for the hill that lays in wait just before the doorstep.  The hill built out of fear, hate, spite, revenge, hurt, and denial.  The hill that our home has not built, but the one that the prodigal son has built himself.  And we can’t see our loved ones standing in circles around that hill with shovels, and spades, and even explosives, just waiting for the words to be spoken, just waiting to help tear down that hill.

Yet we choose to add to the hill.  Always heaping on more and more, making it seem impossible.

Until we despise the idea of going home all together.

But you see, going home is not an option you can choose to ignore.  Denying truths only eat at your soul.  One way or another you will climb that hill, eventually.

And just know you have a family, waiting to hold your hand…

Switching Gears

Sometimes in life, when we don’t take the time to slow down, life will make us slow down.  And sometimes life slows us down by giving us more, by testing our resolve and our priorities. 

Schedules and plans are ment to be disposable, or at least bendable.  Dreams and hopes need to allow enough wiggle room for sick children, heat waves, injuries, mood swings… and other dreams.

Somewhere along the lines my gears got rusted together, stuck in moving forward, stuck in impatience, and unable to switch back to just living for the today.  The brightness of tomorrow always made the today look dark and gloomy.

It’s time for something a little different.  It’s time to switch gears, ever so slightly, ever so slowly. 

Maybe you would like to join along?

I’m calling it, “July’s Camp Slow the Hell Down “… or something like that.

It’s going to be filled with grand things like coffee, pen and paper on the deck in the mornings, instead of coffee and emails at my desk.  One day freezer baking, instead of fighting with the bored boy and terrible two’s toddler, trying to get dinner ready before the husband comes home and before the toddler chews my leg off.  There’s going to be that thing called exercise, with the moving of body parts and sweating.  Heck lets throw in some arts and crafts too!  And lots of reading. 

It’s time to make time, and enjoy the time we have. 

It’s time to enjoy where I, where we are at.

Are you in?

How could you change things up in small ways?

Do You Waste Moments?


As I was waiting for my 6-year-old to come home from his “Summer School” camp thing, the local radio station was playing a clip from the incident between thirty students and the bus monitor… you already know what I’m talking about, I’m not getting into it.  What peaked my interest was when the host said, “My son is the military and I still want to rush home and drill him over this, I want to make sure somewhere, at sometime I taught him better than this.”  (paraphrased, my toddler was also singing at that moment.)

Which got me thinking… How can I use this incident to better my own family?  Or will I let the opportunity slip us by…

Life gives us tons of chances, millions even, for learning.  Some harsh, some don’t even sting. 

Like my close friend dying on his sixteenth birthday, from a drunk driver… himself.  That lesson was crushing.  One I will never forget, one my children will learn very soon before they have to feel that pain or even worse, cause it.

Or taking a series of tremors here on the New Madrid Fault line, to remember for the first time EVER to teach my kids about earthquake safety.  There hasn’t been a destructive earthquake here since the 1800’s, might never be one in our lifetime… but we live on the biggest fault line in the nation… doesn’t hurt to be safe.  One day we might be glad that we took those tremors as a lesson…

Every single thing that happens around us, every little news clip and reality show is a opportunity.  Do you seize it?  Do you jump on the chance to make your world a better place by learning from the mistakes, the pain, the heartache of others? 

Do you hear about a woman being mugged, and just thank your lucky stars it wasn’t you?  Or do you play out the scenario in your head, drill your self on safety and make sure that it doesn’t happen to you (within reason of course)?  Do you hear about bullies on the news and hope it doesn’t happen to your child?  Or do you sit down over and over again with them and teach them how to handle themselves… and more importantly make sure they aren’t a bully themselves? 

I’m not saying I’m a perfect person who learns from everything the way I should…  I’m just saying, maybe we should.  Maybe we need to seize those moments, the good and the bad, a little deeper, a little closer, a little longer, and take a little more action.

How about you?  Do you waste moments?