Thursday, September 9, 2010

Plans...and News

I have been a single mom for the past six years...and for any of you counting, yes, my baby is six years old. He went into first grade this year. sniff, sniff.

I knew this was coming and have been planning for this day for years. You see, as a single mom, almost every decision I have made has revolved around that date - when I went back to graduate school, when I graduated, what jobs I have taken. Because not only would I be able to work full time and not worry about day care (worry as in I HATE it), but my alimony also ended on that date. So being able to support us was pretty high on my list of priorities...

Max started first grade on a Monday...and on Tuesday I got a baby.

I wasn't looking for one. I wasn't on a list. But a young family member made a completely selfless and courageous decision to offer her little girl a better life...

What do you say when someone puts a baby in your arms?

Yes, I took the baby. I'm scared. For lots of reasons and not the least of them being whether or not the mom will change her mind. I'm not sure I could handle losing another daughter.

My sister and her kids live with me because she is fighting breast cancer. After chemo and radiation for almost a year, she had her other mastectomy last week and is starting to move around better, but she still has several surgeries and a lot of recovery time. She will need a job. She's scared.

I'm very scared. And the bottom line is that I'm really afraid to trust God. The week before the baby, the bank denied our modification, so we will have to find a new place to live soon.

If all of this sounds like I'm looking for pity, I'm not. Life happens to everyone, I hear a lot of it everyday! But, sometimes you just need to say it all, so someone can witness that you are struggling.

I know that God is bigger than all of our circumstances and I trust him more now than I have in years...but I feel it is still leap years away from where I want my relationship to be with him. Anyone have any suggestions?

And a final, completely unrelated note, I have no idea where I want to take this blog!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Hanging out on the walkway to my front door...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sand Crabs, Sea Glass and Sand Castles

A foggy day on the beach was perfect for taking pictures!

I have been looking for sea glass for years, with no luck. However, this day - I found some! It was a wonderful, welcome blessing.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Last Days of Summer

We are down to the last week of summer vacation here, and I have to say I am sad to see them go back to school. I know a lot of parents can't wait to get back to the routine and structure of school days, not to mention that the kids are occupied most of the day! But, I like my kids with me. I love watching them explore and create and seeing their little minds expand.

We went to my parents last week and they spent the entire time outside. Riding bikes. On lizard hunts. Exploring. Climbing trees. Occasionally, posing for mom and the camera. But they never asked to even turn on the TV.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blog Hiatus

You may have noticed that I haven't been writing much...Summer is here in full swing and with some very active boys living under the same roof as me, we are pretty busy. Not to mention that I've had jury duty, a nasty ear infection that laid me out for a solid week, vacation Bible school, and I got a new job!
As I was reading my previous posts to see what I had been talking about, I realized that my dreaming post was a little depressing. I didn't mean it to be, and in fact I do have a lot of dreams - just not the huge, life culminating in one moment type of dreams like climbing Everest.
My dreams are more of the everyday, living life variety. I think that these dreams are sometimes harder to sustain over the long run, because they are not necessarily recognized as dreams. The day in and day out of becoming a better person, a better mother.
Becoming the person God created me to be.
Using my creativity.
Learning to love with my whole heart.
Making a beautiful, peaceful home.
Training my boys to become strong, men of God with integrity.
Raising chickens.
Growing food.
Eating wonderful homemade meals.
Loving my children. Laughing everyday.
Bringing joy to my life and my kids lives.
Deepening my friendships and developing new, creative and enduring relationships.
Opening myself to possibility of finding someone else to share my life with.
Completely giving my life over to God.
Resting in His peace.
Keeping my house clean for more than 15 minutes. (Okay, this may be a pipe dream until the boys are say 30...)
Selling my creations of furniture, paintings, crafts....inspiration of the day.
In other words, I have LOTS of dreams. Some big. Some small. Some not yet spoken. Some I'm not even aware of yet. But, it's important to dream. It's important for my soul. It's important for my daily existence. Even though sometimes the dreaming process might be a little scary - it's important to dream dreams. If I only allow myself to hope for things that I can easily accomplish, where is the mystery, excitement, striving? Hope is critical for my survival.
"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." - Isaiah 40:31

Beach Dreaming

It's been over 105 degrees for the past week and right now I'm dreaming of being at the beach with the boys!

I found these pictures when they were little...I can't believe how fast they have grown up.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I feel like I have lost the power of dreams. When faced the question of:

“What would I do, if I knew I could not fail?”

I don’t have a response. I have no idea!

Have I lost the power of dreams?

Or have I just been too afraid to dream in the first place?

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Quote of the Day

"It is easy to be brave from a safe distance."
- Aesop

Monday, May 3, 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Quote of the Day

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.

- Margaret Young

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Before and After

I picked up this great dresser at a thrift store last week. I have been looking for something to go by the front door to replace the chest for the boys shoes.
Sorry, for the bad pictures, but you get the idea - this was not a pretty piece of furniture! I stripped the paint off, painted a pink undercoat, white and then distressed it.

I love the way it turned out! Both of the boys have their own drawer for their shoes as well as their backpacks and so far it is keeping my entry way much neater. Which makes for a much happier mom!

I painted the pulls turquoise and it fits perfectly!

What do you think?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Quote of the Day

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” -- Lao-Tzu
This is one of the hardest things for me to do - just be myself. I have spent so many years listening to the voices that it has been difficult for me to just relax and be me. You know the voices - the outside ones from other people, the running script from your parents, and then the nasty little voices that subtly put you down...
And then there is the direct comparison to other women - they have it more together than I do, they handled that parenting issue better than I have, they keep their house cleaner, more organized, have dinner ready on time, have a cuter haircut...
What does it takes to stop the voices? Stop comparing? Stop judging myself? What does it take to learn who I am, relax and settle in to becoming the best me I can be?

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Date!

I have a date this weekend!
Not a romantic date, but a friendship date. It is no less exciting and in fact I am probably even more excited!
You see, one of my goals over the past year has been to increase my friendship base. For lots of very legitimate life reasons, I haven't developed that many close friendships in the past 8 years. And the amazing friends I do have - most have moved away to other parts of the country or do not live close to me. They are still incredible friends, but we can no longer just hang out or go to the movies without a plane ticket being involved.
Although I was seriously dating someone for almost three years, I have been a single, stay-at-home mom and just finished graduate school. As a therapist, the people I meet on a daily basis could never be friends...So, I found myself finally lifting my head up and looking around thinking I need to work on this!
What do you do when you decide you want to make friends as an adult? It's not as easy as when you were in school, or even working in a larger office. There you see people on a daily basis.
How do you meet new people? Then moving a relationship from an acquaintance to friendship takes effort. First of all there has to be some sort of attraction - similar interests, similar views on life, or for some reason you just want to get to know them better.
But then what? Do you ask them out? Do you keep calling? What if your kids don't get along?
Juggling work, kids, husbands, boyfriends and families while trying to develop friendships is much harder than it once was! Because in addition, the time I spend with my friends is time something else is not getting done - laundry, housework, yard work, painting, reading...and really I have a fairly tenuous grip on those things anyways!
I recently ran across a new blog that is asking similar questions. And even though I had been thinking about this issue and in fact had written something last year, I never wanted to publish it because I felt a little, well, crazy. Even though we talk about making friends, and wish for deep connections with others, we don't really talk about how or why. Reading her posts on her own search for a deep friendship made me realize that deep down, we all have the same feelings. We all feel isolated and alone, scared and lonely, and even a little bit crazy.
And sometimes, sharing these feelings brings us closer together because we realize that we are not alone. We are not crazy. We are not isolated. We all long for someone to understand our own personal brand of crazy. Someone to make us laugh. Someone that can honestly say that your outfit isn't the most flattering on you and we appreciate it! Someone that can make us laugh. And someone that we can call up and be with, just because.
Husbands and boyfriends are wonderful, but nothing can replace the fellowship, friendship and love of other women! (Oh, and I have realized that friends are directly related to my goals of joy!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Skate Park

The city recently built a skate park by our house. The boys wanted to go check it out the other day, so I naively thought, "Sure. Let's ride our bikes over and leave the skate boards at home until we know what we are dealing with." In other words, mommy is not ready for this. And I don't want to go to the hospital today.
Turns out it is for bikes and skate boards. All at the same time. Adults. Teenagers. Kids. Chaos.

My little one, who is barely six and just lost his first tooth (I want the rest to come out of their own accord) decides to take one of the bigger ramps on. (He is also on a bike that is slightly too large for him...)

Yes, that is a bandanna across his face...well, actually it's a napkin...

He's almost up...

...not enough speed...I stayed and watched from the sidelines, but a very nice teenager was immediately their and helped him get his bike out.

Boys make moms nervous. It's their job. And they are good at it. Unfortunately, my job is to let them.
and that's why they wear helmets!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Birthday Projects

Last week was my mom's 70th birthday! You would never know it form looking at her or even spending a day with her. This woman has more energy than I know what to do with!

The boys and I went down and spent Easter break with them and helped her get a few things done. We installed her vegetable garden which this year is a mix of raised beds, container and straw bales.

We sanded down and oiled her badly dilapidated porch swings.

Papa took the boys fishing. (Which gave mom and me a nice day to be with each other.)

And Ryan got a new dog.

Ok, so this last one wasn't exactly a birthday project for mom - but it did get rid of one of the dogs currently living at her house. Which makes her very happy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lost tooth

Max lost his first tooth last week. It was a very happy occasion for him as it marks yet one more milestone towards growing up, it marks one more milestone for me that he is growing up...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Quote of the Day

“You can never predict what little things in the way somebody looks or talks or acts will set off peculiar emotional reactions in other people.”
Andy Warhol

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Max's Birthday

A little late, but Happy Birthday Max!