03-22-16 Days Like Today

Days like today are hard. The bombings that ripped through a busy airport and metro station in Brussels this morning keep taking me back to memories I would rather not visit, but it can’t be helped. These events are happening more frequently these days and with them comes a foreboding sense that it’s only a matter of time before it hits close to home again, though thankfully it has been years since my mind has been daily imagining the worst.

But still it creeps in, usually unexpectedly… A news report, a photo in my newsfeed, a passing conversation. This morning it came on my commute… music giving way to somber voices retelling the horrific details of the attacks an ocean away. And so today my heart breaks for the people of Brussels- their chaos, their fear, and their uncertainty.

But this I can say for certain…

In the midst of the carnage, God was there.

He was in the airport.

He was in the metro.

He was there.

If He was there, why didn’t He stop it? Why would He let this happen? Is He so cruel and aloof and detached that He just did not care? He could have stopped it, so why didn’t He?

I ask these questions now on behalf of those people in Brussels, because 15 years ago it was me asking them- standing under a blackened sky, smelling the acrid smell that haunted me for months, and hearing ambulances and firetrucks in the distance.

If He was there, why didn’t He stop it?
I pleaded for weeks as I dodged ash that drifted in the air, as I avoided the countless posters of missing people in subway stations, and as I stared at the twisted metal that feebly reached for the sky.
Why would He let this happen?
I asked as I laid in bed at night, feeling the room gently shaking in response to the digging being done mere blocks away or while watching the two beams of light shooting into the sky at the onset of dusk.
Is He so cruel and aloof and detached that He just did not care?
I pondered as I sat behind a woman on a bus a year later… a woman I recognized from tv the night before when I saw her recounting her story. That same woman sitting in the seat in front of me, whose arm was wrapped up, yet the scars creeped from beneath the cloth to betray her story.
He could have stopped it, so why didn’t He?
And after fifteen years of asking… this is what I can tell you.
I don’t know. 
I don’t know the mind of God. I don’t know the details of His plan and I don’t know why some are saved and some are chosen to die. But this I know… He has a plan. It was set in motion at the foundation of the world and it climaxed on the cross (The very event we celebrate this week), but the story isn’t over and bad things still happen.
So today, was He detached? No. Was He surprised? No. Did it hurt Him? Yes. Was it pointless? No. Somewhere in Brussels there are people crying out to God, running to His comfort, and seeking His peace. Yes, some hearts will be hardened, but even more will be touched. He will provide. He will carry burdens. He will comfort. I know because I have 15 years of experience to prove it. And if 15 years has taught me anything it is that time moves on… sometimes drudgingly and sometimes swiftly, but move on it does, the tempo of a drum we can’t hear, but know deep in ourselves that it beats us ever forward. And while much like that woman’s arm, the scars remain, they are made easier by our Father in Heaven. His grace, His provision, His faithfulness has been ever present since that day, even when I have been too distracted to take note.
So tonight my prayers are for Brussels. They are for the parents’ that fear for their children. They are for the husbands and wives that grieve their spouses. They are for the sons and daughters that did not get to say goodbye. May the God of Heaven and Earth be their comfort. May He dry their eyes. May He carry their load. May He heal their hearts. And may He draw them ever closer to Himself.


For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV)

03-21-16 Just me and Baby E

I remember after C was born and I had to leave the house and I found it so very intimidating. I would get overwhelmed with all the things I needed to bring with me, and I’d hurry around gathering all of my supplies. When we went out in public and she would fuss I would start to get anxious as I felt everyone was staring at me. And if she started to cry, I would high tail it to the car. It was such a stressful experience.

Fast forward to this evening. The two older kids are visiting my parents so Baby E and I went to the grocery store. Instead of being a stressful, anxiety inducing episode, it was so peaceful… after all I only had one child to look after! And even when he started fussing and crying (as he was both hungry and tired) it wasn’t at all upsetting. I just distracted him with goldfish crackers and silly little games.

It’s funny how time and perspective change things!

03-20-16 Brothers

It’s starting to happen, that silly roughhousing that happens between brothers. Big E will start to goad Baby E on and the next thing I know, Baby E has thrown himself on top of his brother and starts to pummel him with his little hands as they both shriek and laugh in utter delight. Big E has taught Baby E to chase him around and try to tickle him. Both Big E and C will call him The Giant Baby as they scream and run away from him and Baby E will wave his hands in the air as he squeals and follows them!


03-19-16 Happy Birthday, Big E

At 6:52 pm this evening, my little boy officially turned four years old. It’s been four years of cuddles, snuggles, laughs, tears, smiles, fits, and silliness. Big E is one of the most incredible kids I have ever met and I am blessed to call him my son. He is compassionate, selfless (at least for a small kid!), affectionate, and kind. He goes out of his way to cheer people up and he is never too busy to tell you that he loves you. He thrives on hugs and affirmation. He loves superheroes, transformers, ninja turtles, and trains. He can’t wait to grow up and be strong like daddy and grow his own facial hair. He wants to be a mechanic and tree cutter and a daddy. He wants a dog for a pet. He likes to sleep with Christmas lights in his window. His favorite food is peanut butter and jelly sammiches. He also enjoys pizza (but not the crust.) He likes waffles, eggs, and goldfish crackers. He enjoys cotton candy flavored Rita’s Italian Ice. He loves riding his tricycle. He isn’t terribly coordinated and often trips or runs into things (he comes by that naturally! He’s just like his momma!) He’s quick to apologize when he has done something wrong and gets embarrassed easily if he thinks he  has messed up in front of someone. He gets shy and silly around girls and women. He loves to crawl into Baby E’s crib each morning and cheers him up. He is very competitive with his sister. He has a wonderful lap and he loves being tickled.

I think I could spend the rest of my evening going on about how great this little guy is, but I will leave it with this. I love him greatly and he has brought such joy to our lives!

Happy Birthday, Big E! I pray that you will continue to grow in love and compassion. That you will never lose your positive attitude and your desire to connect with the people around you. I pray that as you grow, you will draw ever closer to your Creator and desire to pursue Him as He pursues you. I believe you can and will do great things with your life and I hope you always remember that your Mommy and Daddy love you and are always rooting you on!


03-18-16 Double Ear Infection

So I’ve been fighting a cold for the past three weeks! And this morning on the way to work I figured I would just suck it up and stop at the Minute Clinic and get checked out. My throat has been tight, not scratchy, but it hurts to swallow. It hurts mostly at night, during the day it is pretty tolerable.  My nose has been stuffy, but not runny. And I have a cough that bothers me at night and early in the morning making it difficult to sleep.

After dropping the kids off this morning I swung by CVS.  I got there 10 minutes after they opened, so I figured I wouldn’t have to wait long. Except when I arrived there were four people in front of me. *sigh* So I called my doctor and begged to see if they could see me this morning and they could take me if I could get there in five minutes. Done! The appointment was quick. Not strep throat (which I figured because I’ve had strep before several times and this didn’t feel like strep.) But I do have a double ear infection. So antibiotics it is!

Hopefully they kick in soon and life goes back to normal quickly!

C’s Spring Break has officially started and they spent time dying eggs and pretending to be bunnies! What a fun afternoon!! Rebecca took some great pictures that I am trying to post, but WordPress is being finicky tonight so they might wait until tomorrow.

I am still processing that tomorrow Big E will be four! I’m looking forward to celebrating my little man!



03-18-16 The Scary Movie

The other day C came home from school and told me that they were watching a movie in class that really, really scared her. She went up to the teacher and told her that she was scared, (I’m pretty proud of her for speaking up about it… I wouldn’t have as a kid.) The teacher seemed surprised that it was scary to C, but then asked her if she would like to go for a walk instead. So C and her teacher went for a walk while the rest of the movie played out.

As she was telling me this story the my first thought was gratitude to the teacher for taking my daughter’s concern seriously and providing her an “out” for her during an uncomfortable situation.

My second thought was, “What could they possibly have been watching to freak C out so bad. It’s kindergarten for goodness’ sake!”

After pressing C a little bit, and getting some more description from her we learned that it was an episode of The Magic School Bus. Yup, my kid was terrified of the Magic School Bus.  I admit I was pretty perplexed, so I started asking more questions. According to C, she has seen multiple episodes and had never had a problem with it before that day. That particular day they watched the episode where the school bus is shrunk really small and goes inside the teacher’s body via her nose to see how her breathing and circulation works.  After C was in bed, I tracked the episode down on Netflix and watched the first ten minutes of it. The bus travels around in her lungs and arteries and gets itself into a few dicey situations. After watching it, I’m still kind of confused as to what had her so worried, but I know it was bothering her pretty bad because she woke up multiple times that night crying about that movie! Poor little girl. She has a crazy active imagination and a scary good memory, so I know I have to be vigilant about what she watches.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind my kids watching tv. But due to some of my own childhood experiences with reckless babysitters, I try to be very aware of what my children are watching. It’s not that I want to shield them from everything, because I really don’t. However I do want to shield them from subject matter that they don’t need to be dealing with at an early age. (For example, unless it is a British Drama, I really don’t watch adult shows in front of the kids. And by British Drama I mean something more along the lines of Pride and Prejudice and not Downton Abbey.) But I also want to know what they are seeing so that I can have an informed conversation with them. If I’ve seen a movie before they have then I am better prepared to answer any of those questions that inevitably pop up when kids watch things for the first time. With that said, there are plenty of movies and shows that I would deem “safe” before needing to watch them, and honestly The Magic School Bus falls pretty squarely into that category, so the fact that it frightened her so badly was surprising to say the least!

03-17-16 St. Patrick’s Day

Today was St. Patrick’s Day- otherwise known in our house as the day Mommy forgot to dress C in green for school. There seemed to be some confusion among the kindergarteners as to whether the punishment for not wearing green was pinching or punching. Thankfully for C the teacher announced that no such shenanigans would be taking place at school today.

Tomorrow is a two hour early dismissal and then C is off for more than a week for Spring Break!


03-16-16 Tim’s Two Lost Hours

I have a little man that is turning four in three days. I still remember the first time I held him, not sure how I was going to handle parenting a little boy, but excited to feel the weight of him in my arms. For the first twenty four hours of his life his ears were completely and perfectly circular, like little quarters stuck to the side of his head. He was the heaviest of my babies, coming in at 7lbs 9oz. I had hoped he wouldn’t be a C-Section but after his heart rate dropped one time they decided that they weren’t going to let me try anymore. I was disappointed, but once the decision was made, I was eager to get it done. But I kept getting pushed later and later until finally he was born in the evening. 6:52 pm. I was exhausted.

That first night around 1 in the morning Tim handed me Big E so that I could feed him. Our visitors had all left and the only thing to do was to get the suitcase out of the car. As I was feeding the baby, Tim went down to get the bag. And for a long time he didn’t come back. I mean a long time. I waited and waited. I was holding Big E in my arms in such a way that I could not reach the call button to contact the nurse, so I sat there waiting… and worrying. Two hours later Tim walked back into the room with the suitcase behind him. What happened?!? I practically yelled at him and he stared at me with a look of surprise. “What do you  mean?” he said.

“You’ve been gone for nearly two hours!!!” I said, glaring back at him as I passed him the baby.

The look of confusion on his face was priceless.

“What do you mean? I just went to get the suitcase!” He had gone to the parking garage and gotten into the front seat of the car. He closed his eyes (he thought he was doing little more than blinking.) He opened his eyes, got the suitcase and came back to the room. He had no idea that he had fallen asleep in the car for two hours!!

That story always makes me smile. We were so tired. I think that’s the thing that has surprised me most about parenthood. I had no idea you could be so tired for so long and still (semi) manage to function! I hear that one day you get sleep again. I sure hope so, because I was so tired the other day I almost put deodorant on my toothbrush.

03-15-16 Spring Break

Spring Break has come and gone all too quickly… Probably because it was only two days long! Ha! I actually wrote a nice little post here, but the computer deleted it and my Tylenol PM is kicking in. Maybe tomorrow I can recreate it. Oh well.



I did something the past few days that I would never have done before. I had two days off from work and instead of keeping the kids home with me, I sent them to daycare. Usually the thought of doing this would have sent me into complete mommy-guilt mode, because I spend so much time away from them during the week, but I have been fighting a cold for the last two and a half weeks, have barely gotten any sleep, and I have just been run down. I was just telling Tim the other day how much I need a break. So I decided to take advantage of the time off to get some quiet time. After dropping the kids off with the sitter I came home, opened the door, walked inside and just listened. Know what I heard? Absolutely nothing…. and it was lovely! 

I spent the past few days doing chores and other things that are impossible to do when I’m home with the kids. I’m sure you’ve seen the meme- Cleaning a house with small children is like trying to brush your teeth while eating Oreos. So true. 

I also got to have lunch again with C, which was of course a huge treat for us both! Sitting at a crowded lunch table with kindergarteners if very amusing. By the way, they offer way too much information! Ha!

In the evening we met up with my mom and sister and we took a walk to the stinky bridge. I am so glad the evenings are longer now and we can start enjoying some much needed outdoor time after I get home from work! We’ve all missed it!

03-14-16 A Very Special Date

I am officially on Spring Break! Before you get too excited, my spring break is only two days long. I go back to work on Wednesday, however I feel very blessed that I have a job that offers the benefit of a few days off in the middle of March! Since my spring break didn’t line up with C’s I decided to surprise her at school this morning for lunch.

I saw her coming down the hallway, laughing and joking with the kids around her and when she saw me she got the largest smile and ran over to me to shower me with hugs. With a huge grin on her face she grabbed my hand and pulled me into the cafeteria. She chose a table for us to sit at and as her friends started sitting at the table with us, she cuddled in close to me, staring at me with a huge smile. I’ve seen C laugh and be happy plenty of times in her life, but this might have ranked up as one of the happiest moments I have experienced with her. She was flying… and so was I. As I sat there with my little girl I was once again reminded that this is all happening way too fast. I wish I could have frozen today and stayed there awhile. Unfortunately, lunch was only a half hour. But for that half hour we were the happiest two girls in the world, eating PBJ’s and ELFudge cookies. Life is good!