11-30-16 I’ll never leave you behind.

“I’ll never leave you behind,” Big E whispered over dramatically right after he kissed my shoulder. I laid on the floor of their bedroom, somewhat bewildered and trying not to laugh at this late night confession.

Right back at you, buddy!

This evening I am feeling especially thankful for my children. Feeling their arms and legs wrapped all around me as I laid on the floor between them, once again reminded me that they are growing up quickly.

11-29-16 One Month

Today marks a month since my surgery. 

When you are going through something difficult, it is often hard to see the good things that are happening around you and to you. This past month has been hard and there were times that I felt lonely and insecure. And when I glance behind me at the past four and a half weeks, it is easy to see it as one big, painful blur. But the reality is that when I stop to take a look at the individual pieces, I recognize there were some very special moments tucked into that huge mess. These were the moments that helped make moving forward a little bit easier, the moments that God was answering my prayer for healing.


1- Spending time with my sister in law watching “Austenland” and catching up on life.

2- Having Big E ‘tuck’ me in for a nap on the couch.

3- Spending a ton of time with Tim.

4- Getting to visit C’s school for parents’ and grandparents’ day.

5- Painting a picture.

6- Getting to spend more time reading my Bible.

7- Visiting both sides of our family for the Thanksgiving holiday.

8- Seeing friends and family a lot more often than we normally would.

9- C losing her two teeth.

10- Going out to dinner with my sister in law, and coffee with a friend.

11- Spending time with my mom during her visit.

12- Talking to family on the phone that I haven’t seen in awhile.

13- Tasty, tasty food.

14- Tim putting up our little Christmas tree weeks early.

15- Learning how to make a chicken pot pie.

16- Taking a family picture with my kids in matching outfits.

17- Going for a long walk with my family.

As you can see, this past month may have been horrible, but it was pretty amazing too.




11-28-16 Thankful

Twenty Six Things I am Thankful For

It’s November, the traditional month of thankfulness. So in honor of being thankful, I have decided to make a list of things I am thankful for based on the twenty six letters of the alphabet. Ready? Here we go!

A- Almond Milk- The kids and I are dairy free, so I love that we have a dairy alternative that doesn’t break the bank and is also pretty tasty. I’m also excited to see that more coffee shops and restaurants are offering dairy free options. 🙂

B- Bacon- Need I say more?
C- Craigslist- Ok, so I know there are some shady, serial killer types that haunt the dark recesses of Craigslist, but thankfully I’ve never had a bad experience. And happily when I sent my mom and sister to do a Craigslist transaction for me, they were able to purchase the bulk legos I had been eyeing and they didn’t get killed!!! Yay for surviving another Craigslist transaction!

D- dictionary.com– I visit this site a few times a week just to look up words I run across that I have never seen before. Case in point.. today’s word was liminal, which I learned means “relating to the point (or threshold) beyond which a sensation becomes too faint to be experienced” Now to use it in a sentence. She was liminal, no longer a child, but not yet a woman. 

E- Electricity- this one is kind of a given. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that I adore classic British literature, but I would gladly forego being a heroine in such a novel if it meant having to give up electricity.

F-  Forgiveness- Not to get too deep here, but seriously, forgiveness is a pretty amazing thing. Hard, especially if you are the one that has been hurt, but it completely has the ability to restore what has been broken.

G- Goats- When I was a little girl, I really, really, really wanted a goat. I was small, and I figured riding a goat made more sense than climbing up on a large, fast horse. However, despite all my supplications and detailed rationalizations, my parents never actually got me a goat. It’s ok, I forgive them. 😉

H- Hospitals- We live in the shadow of some pretty major medical power houses, and even our smaller, local hospitals are a thousand times better than other places around the world. What a blessing!

I- Inchworms- I hate bugs. Spiders freak me out. Roaches are so gross. But inchworms… well, inchworms aren’t so bad.

J- Jude Law- I’m thankful for Jude Law because he provides countless amusing conversations between me and my husband. Why, you ask? Because I absolutely cannot pick him out of a crowd, but Tim thinks he is one of the most distinctive looking actors out there. My husband spent a half an hour the other day quizzing me on which picture was Jude Law…  I have no idea.  That man could commit murder in front of me in broad daylight and I wouldn’t be able to give the sketch artist anything to work on.

K- Kittens- If Tim would let me, we would be up to our ears in kittens. I love their furry, adorable goodness and cuddles. Side note- I once had a dream that Tim could make kittens by rubbing his feet together. Rub… Rub… *POOF* a kitten!!! Best super power EVER!

L- Lights- Christmas lights, to be exact. We’ve entered my favorite time of year. If it’s going to be dark so early, we might as well make the best of it and put lights on everything! 

M- Mapquest- Before Google Maps, Waze, and GPS devices, there was mapquest. You don’t understand, before the early 2000’s if you wanted to take a long trip you had to use actual, physical, impossible to fold and unfold maps. If you were lucky, you had a road atlas in your car. Thanks to mapquest, navigating became a whole lot easier, safer, and faster. (Sorry, mapquest, no one uses you anymore, but I’m still thankful for your historical contributions!)

N- naps- Hands down my favorite past time.

O- olives- only black olives. Green olives really gross me out.

P- Prime (Amazon Prime)- Two Day Shipping?!? If it doesn’t ship Prime, it won’t be mine! 🙂

Q- Quilts- Nothing beats a comfy, well used, well loved quilt. If I knew how to sew, I would make you all quilts!

R- Redbox- Redbox helps to fill the void that Blockbuster left behind.

S- Sundays- Sundays are my favorite days… Church, naps, family time. So grateful for that day of rest!

T- Timothy- Is this too sappy? Three more days until we celebrate our nine year wedding anniversary. Time flies.

U- Umbrellas- They keep you dry and your hair a little less frizzy… Don’t forget yours tomorrow!

V- Vectrex- Our family’s first gaming system. It came in its own stand alone system. You had Super Mario Brothers? We had Armor Attack.

W- Winter- I may complain about the shorter days and the frequent illnesses, but I really do enjoy the wintertime. I like snow. I like hot chocolate. I like fires roaring in a fireplace.

X- xylophones- Seriously, my options are limited here. But I’m thankful for xylophones because they make beautiful, delicate music.

Y- Yellow- when I was a kid, I hated the color yellow. It reminded me of vomit. Thankfully I outgrew my disdain for that color and learned to appreciate the fact that without yellow, we would have no green.

Z- Zippers- My kids aren’t good with buttons, or anything that ties. Velcro is good, but in the absence of velcro, you can’t go wrong with a zipper.

Wow, that took way longer than I expected it to. Some of those were pretty silly, actually. In all seriousness, though, I am so thankful for so many things this year. I am thankful for my dear husband and three lovely children. They brighten each of my days. I am thankful for my family and friends and church family that have really been such a support to us during a very difficult time. And I am thankful for God’s grace in my life, without which, I would be lost.

11-27-16 It’s okay to cry…

It’s okay to cry. 

I sat in my hospital room the day after my surgery, in the same hospital gown I had been wearing the day before. The socks they provided reminded me of ugly Christmas sweaters, and the thought of them on my feet made me smile from time to time, a little glimmer of happiness in an otherwise sad situation. The doctor had released me, and the nurse came in to read over the discharge papers with me. As expected she ran down the lists of do’s and don’t’s, being sure to remind me to follow up with the surgeon and fill my prescription if I needed it. When she was done she set the paper down on her lap and stared at me. I wondered what she was thinking as we studied each other’s faces. Her face softened and she leaned in a little, “Don’t let anyone tell you you shouldn’t cry. Don’t let them say, ‘Look, you have three beautiful children at home, you should be happy.’ Don’t let them say that. You just lost your baby. It’s ok to cry.”

Up until that moment, Tim and I had been using the term baby, but I noticed the medical staff were reticent to do the same. They had called it my pregnancy. They had called it an egg. In all the paperwork, the baby was referred to as products of conception. In fact, when I had asked the surgeon if she had been able to see the baby, she looked a little taken back at the terminology.

And while everyone had been very kind and understanding, this was the first medical person that had given humanity to our baby. And when she saw me start to cry at this kindness, she came over and hugged me and held me as I cried. The enormity of what had happened had been hitting me in waves and to have this kind stranger confirm what I already knew deep in my soul, that I had just lost my baby, made at least some of my pain feel a little bit vindicated.

I don’t remember her name, I wish that I did, but her words blessed me more than she will ever know, and I will carry them for the rest of my days.

11-25-16 Thanksgiving 2

Like I said, Thanksgiving spans two days now, and today we are visiting my parents. A visit to my parents’ house is everything that I visit to my in-laws is not… Sedate… Quiet… Calm…

Both houses have their virtues and I enjoy them both so much.

But of course, there is nothing like being with your parents. I look forward to the time I get to spend with them and I am happy we are staying the weekend. We got here late last night and after letting the kids run around for awhile, we finally got them to bed near 11pm.

Today we decided to stick around the house, and only ventured out for a lengthy walk after lunch. We had a delicious dinner this afternoon and hung out for the rest of the evening. The kids love playing with their Aunt Julie. Baby E got a few belated birthday presents, C worked on some crafts, and Big E played with cars.

On our walk, the kids wanted to explore a tunnel that ran under the nearby highway. Big E had his bike and C had her scooter. They were very brave and conquered the tunnel.


11-25-16 Thanksgiving 1

One of the things that I love about being married is the opportunity to celebrate all the major holidays twice! When we were first married we used to try to hit both my parents’ and Tim’s parents’ house on the same day. This led to some pretty chaotic travels, and as our own family began to grow, we decided to still visit both sides, just not on the same day! This year we spent Thanksgiving Day with Tim’s side of the family. With about twenty-five people in attendance, it was loud, boisterous, and a lot of fun. The kids spent nearly the entire day running around outside with their cousins, playing games and making memories. They would come in to eat or get a drink or hunt down dessert, but then they would be right back at it. That gave the adults a chance to hang out inside without being swarmed with kids.









11-23-16 I Love You Food

From the first day that we came home from the hospital, our little family has been showered with food. Family, friends, and church members stepped up and for three weeks, we didn’t have to worry about how we were going to manage our evening meals. Many of the meals stretched for lunchtimes and I was even able to freeze some for lunches for the next week or so! I can attest that this was such an amazing help to us. The outpouring of love and concern for our family was truly heart touching.

There was one evening early on that my children turned up their nose to one of the meals. Of late, my children have taken on the unpleasant habit of being picky eaters, and I decided there was no place for that our table. So that evening I sat them down and informed them that the food on their plates was ‘I love you food.’ That there were people out there that knew that mommy had surgery and they knew that mommy would have a hard time making meals for the family, so they decided to make meals for us because they love us! So, when people bring ‘I love you food’ you have to eat it, because them sharing food with us is an act of love, and us eating it is an act of love as well.

Honestly, I expected a little push back from the kids, but they didn’t. They sat down at their seats and ate the food on their plates… and they didn’t complain!

So every day, Big E would ask us if we were getting “I love you food” again, and I would say yes and he would say, “Ok, I’ll eat it.” There was one night where he was disappointed in his option and he said, “I don’t like this food, mommy, but it’s ‘I love you food’ so I’m going to eat it!”

I was amazed how well and how much the kids ate over the past few weeks.

As for me and Tim, we really enjoyed each of the meals. If you sent a meal our way, feel free to share the recipes, because seriously, you people can cook! 🙂

As the food train was winding down, I took the opportunity to remind the kids that every meal that mommy makes is an ‘I love you food’ and I expect them to eat it like they ate the “I love you food” from the past few weeks. So when I set dinner in front of them this evening, they didn’t complain. They’ve made huge strides in this area and I am very proud of them!

11-22-16 Another Visit Already?!?


She was fidgeting a lot while I was reading her her new book this evening. It was very unusual, because typically she is glued to a story to the very end. Her fingers were in and out of her mouth. Finally she announced, “I can’t believe I have another loose tooth already!” She’s had a second loose tooth for a few weeks, but the last time I looked it was still in there pretty sturdy so I was surprised when I glanced over and saw that it was bending straight out of her mouth, being held on by a small piece of skin. “I can’t stand that it is still in there!!!” she whined.

Like any good mother at the possible onset of another milestone I quickly googled the best way to pull a loose tooth.

When we were kids, my parents would tie string around the tooth and yank it out. I wondered if this was still common practice.

I didn’t get the opportunity to learn the answer to that question, because no sooner had my google results displayed on the screen, she let out a gasp and displayed her tooth in the palm of her hand. With a big, gappy smile she couldn’t stop giggling.


For the second time in two weeks, we placed a tooth in a baggie and tucked it nicely under her pillow. And for the second time in two weeks I get to sneak in and switch it out for the promised reward.

If you happen to see her, give her the opportunity to share her big news. She can’t wait to let people know. 🙂

To make her day even more spectacular, it was Grandparents’ Day at her school. I went for the first little while, along with Tim and his mom, both of whom stayed for the entire event. When I left them they were standing in line at the book fair with a couple of books C had picked out. She was pretty excited to have her grandma there to see her at school.