02-28-18 Friendship

Today was the kind of day that you get to the end of, not with some grand victorious flourish, but rather you scrape and pull yourself along the ground, arms stretched forward, broken fingernails digging at the packed dirt, praying the next handful of grass will bring you to the end. That’s what today was, a tower of small failures that grew so high it was hard to see around.

When I got home tonight I went straight to my room and cried and cried. Today was hard. There was no ONE thing that made it so, but rather a successions of blows that weakened my resolve as the day went on. We’ve all been there, right? And by the time I got home tonight I was hurt, and I was angry.

And then I got a text from my sister in law. We had left Baby E’s bag at the church and she offered to drop if off on her way home. I’ve known my sister in law since we were in middle school. In high school we were inseparable. Few people in the world know me as well as she does. And when I saw her standing there, every frustration unraveled from my tongue. She wasn’t expecting the barrage of emotion I poured out on her tonight, but like a dear friend she patiently listened and helped me walk through it. All the anger and sadness that had taken a day to build up almost immediately dissolved into laughter and smiles.

Suddenly it didn’t seem so bad that I had paid $18 for my children to eat almost none of their dinner, only to listen to them beg for food a few hours later, and blame me for their hunger. It didn’t matter I actually used the phrase, “Fine, eat the piece of napkin in your mouth, but don’t you dare take another bite of it.” The fact that my two older children loudly and proudly blurted out uncomfortable family secrets to a complete stranger at our dinner table this evening didn’t seem quite so overwhelming. And maybe no one noticed me make a beeline to the bathroom with Baby E under my arm like a football, because by goodness I’m not dealing with wet toddler pants tonight. All these things and more seemed to melt away as I unloaded the tragedies of my day.

I might have left that backpack by mistake, but I don’t think my sister in law finding it was one. I needed that interaction. I needed to dissolve that frustration before it landed on my husband and kids, or before it followed me to a restless nights sleep. I needed that connection. I needed to talk to another mom that struggles like I do. I needed her to laugh with my stories, to help me see the ridiculous moments for what they are, and what they aren’t. I needed her to hear me and she did.

I’m grateful for the friendships that have weathered decades of life. I’m thankful that most of my closest friends in the world share my last name (or did at some point.) I’m blessed to be journeying through life with the one’s I love most. So while today was hard, tonight was actually quite sweet, and I’m grateful for that too!

02-27-18 Savage Bedfellow

When Tim is away for the evening, it isn’t unusual for Baby E to make his way to my bedroom and crawl into bed with me. I usually don’t fight the process, and he settles in and sleeps soundly. Last night I went to bed at 8:30, in hopes of making up for the night before. Baby E wandered in around midnight. He brought all his sleeping accessories with him- his pillow, blanket, Creepy, Batman, etc. He fell asleep quickly, but I had a much more difficult time of it. I was finally drifting off to sleep (probably about an hour later) when Baby E decided to stretch and punched me square in the nose! He didn’t wake up at all, but it gave me quite a start and pushed any notion of sleep off for quite awhile longer. Sigh. I just need a good night’s sleep. Maybe tonight. We shall see.

When I picked the kids up this evening they chose the beach as their evening destination, so off we went. It was colder tonight, but we had the beach almost to ourselves. The kids spent most of their time climbing on the fallen trees and picking out seashells from the sand. Baby E is following his siblings in almost everything, which means trying to climb trees as well. That ended a few times with Baby E sprawled in the sand, wondering how he got there. For the most part I let him try unless falling would put him in danger.

On our walk back to the car the kids asked me to tell them another story. (Yesterday I told them Hansel and Gretel.) This evening I went with Rumplestiltskin, however I altered the part about how he got so angry that he tore himself in two. (That part always terrified me as a small child.) I’m going to need to brush up on some old stories if these beach trips keep up!


02-26-18 Twenty Two Sharks Teeth

I’ve been awake since about 3:30 this morning. The kids had woken me up because they had gotten too warm, so I turned off the fireplace and stumbled back to bed. I had hoped to fall asleep quickly, but instead a bout of insomnia hit me, and I spent the rest of the morning with my eyes closed, unsuccessfully willing myself to sleep. When my alarm went off at 5:30 I wanted to cry. However, I had a few cups of coffee today and powered through.

This evening I had hoped to take the kids to the library on the way home to stock up on our books, but the kids begged to go to the beach again. The weather was fairly nice, so I agreed. The library can wait for a cold, rainy day if need be. The walk down was pleasant and the kids picked up right where they left off playing the other day. While they played, I scanned the shoreline for sharks teeth. I hadn’t seen any the last few times we were there, but this evening I ended up collecting 22. 🙂


The kids ran through a trail, found sticks to use for digging, and became explorers. They went to most of their favorite hideaways or fallen trees and imagined all sorts of magical things. I enjoyed listening to them chatter, and joined in on a ‘camping’ trip by collecting sticks for a pretend fire.

By the time we made our way back down the beach, the sun was setting and it was getting dark. I’m getting impatient for the time change, longer evenings, and warmer weather. I’m done with winter- now it only remains to be seen if winter is done with us.



02-25-18 The Day of the Haircuts

Big E has been sporting John Denver hair for a few months now, so it was way past time to get a haircut. We’ve tried to get him to go to a barber, but he’s always been timid about it, so normally we just cut his hair at home- which means buzzing it all off. But I really like when his hair is a little longer, so I’m always sad when it gets chopped off. Today he said he wanted to go somewhere to get it done, so we made an evening of it and decided to get all three kids’ hair cut.

We started with C, who asked to get her hair cut to her shoulders. It’s never been that short, but we agreed to cut it just long enough to still be able to put it in a pony tale. She did great through the whole process and she loved the outcome. I think it turned out really cute, and will be much easier to manage.

Big E did really well, too. They cleaned up his hair cut without taking too much off. Thankfully the mullet is gone. Ha!

Baby E was a little more challenging, as he really didn’t want to stay still. But they did the best they could, and his turned out cute as well. He especially enjoyed the lollipop they gave him during the hair cut. 🙂

So my savages are looking a little more tame this evening. We ended the night with a trip to the grocery store, and a late dinner. Now on to a new week!

02-24-18 All the Oomph…

There’s a story that we used to read to C when she was little. The book had her first and middle name in the title. “C___ _____ Battles Bedtime.” In the story, the little girl doesn’t want to go to sleep in the evenings because she wants to get all the oomph out of her day.

Well today, we certainly got all the oomph out of our day.

The kids had eye exams this morning. They had been scheduled for weeks and since Big E recently didn’t pass the color section of his school eye exam, it was great timing. I was a little disappointed that the doctor didn’t really test him for it, said he was red/green colorblind, and sent us on our way. It was strange because they tested C, so I was pretty annoyed. Yes, I know he is color blind. I want to know what version and how badly, but I didn’t get those answers today. Sigh. Anyway, all three kids got their eyes checked and they all did pretty well. The big kids were nervous going in, but by the time we left they said it was a lot of fun.


After the eye appointments, we took the kids out for lunch and headed back home. Baby E had a date with his grandparents and his favorite cousin to celebrate their birthdays together. Their plan was to play at the house for awhile, go to IHOP for dinner (you can’t go wrong with pancakes), and then head to the store for them to pick out a toy.

With Baby E occupied for the rest of the day, we made a very impulsive choice to drive into DC and visit a museum. It was already around 2pm, so we knew we were cutting it close, but we decided to go anyways. We got there in time to make it to the Air and Space Museum, which we have tried multiple times to take the kids to, but it has always been too crowded. The kids enjoyed it a lot, especially the areas where you could go inside various aircraft, etc and look around. They have short attention spans, so we breezed through most of the museum in record time, but they had fun. We left right before they closed and then walked down to the Washington Monument so the kids could see it up close. They were pretty amazed by how tall it was. We ended the evening with a quick drive past the Lincoln Memorial and we headed home, where we found a very excited Baby E with a new Batman toy. It was exhausting to squeeze so much into one day and I am pretty happy that we will have tomorrow to recover before heading back to work. 🙂






02-23-18 A Stranger Kind of Evening

I should be in bed right now. I should have been in bed hours ago, but Tim and I have been trying to find time to finish the second season of Stranger Things so we stayed up this evening to make progress. Now it is midnight and we realized we have only one episode left. Now, we could be responsible adults and get ourselves to sleep, but I think we are going to play truant and stay up this once. We will surely regret it in the morning. While my sweet husband is making me some hot cocoa to sustain me through the next hour, I figured I would come here and say good night.

When I picked the kids up this evening I decided to take them to the library, we haven’t been in weeks. But it wasn’t until I pulled into the parking lot that I realized that they close at 5pm on Fridays. So instead we decided to take a trip to the beach. The weather was cold enough for coats, but there was no wind so it was actually quite pleasant and the kids had a fabulous time. I’m glad we snuck in that short visit to finish off our week. When we got home there were a few cousins here, so the kids played with them for awhile.

And once the kids were in bed, we started our show. The rest is history.

02-22-18 Night of the Hulk

I’m still on the fence deciding if Wednesday evenings are worth Thursday night meltdowns, but if you asked me tonight I’d say they weren’t. The kids got to bed late last night, and for some unknown reason the boys were up by 5:30 this morning. Ugh. Needless to say, when I picked them all up they were all in bad moods and an unpleasant ride home was had. When we got home, everyone went to bed while Mommy made dinner. They were allowed out for dinner, and homework and then back to bed.

While C was working on her homework, I helped Big E put together a paper doll of the Incredible Hulk that someone at work had given us. It was a calm, quiet activity that didn’t include television watching, so I think it was a success. Big E was pretty excited about the outcome. The book the doll came in has several other superheroes, so I imagine we will be putting those together in the days to come.


02-21-18 The Day Billy Graham Died

I was on my way to work this morning when I heard the news that famous American evangelist Billy Graham had passed away in his home at the age of 99. My first thought was, “Finally.”

Not “finally- it took him long enough to do it,” or “finally that man has been silenced.” No, it was neither of those, not even close.

It was, “finally, he got to go home.” It didn’t matter how good or bad my day was, I knew Billy Graham was having his best day, and that made me smile. Unlike many, I didn’t grow up on Billy Graham sermons, I never saw one of his big revival meetings, but his name has been present my entire life. They said on the radio this morning that throughout history, he was the one man that met the most people ever– and that statistic became even sweeter when I thought about how he brought Christ to most of them. Well done, sir, what a legacy to leave behind.

Most of us will not be called to go and preach the Word to masses of people. We likely won’t visit third world countries and translate the Bible into native tongues. Our spiritual resumes may pale in comparison to the giants of the faith, but each believer is called to minister in their corner of the world- their families, their friends, their place of employment, the grocery store, the gas station, the library, the local McDonald’s. Those are the mission fields most of us encounter. So while our legacy might not be millions of saved souls, let us strive to leave a legacy, one that’s worthy of a “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

02-20-18 A Tradition Revived

We were all saddened towards the end of December when we learned that our local fresh market was going out of business. The kids and I had made a tradition of stopping by there about once a week and buying huge apples, roasted peanuts, and cherry tomatoes. We would then walk down to the end of the boardwalk, find a place to sit, and have a picnic with our delicious treats. With the closing of the market, I mourned the end of an era.

But after a month of being closed, and some significant restructuring, they decided to give it another go! I couldn’t be more delighted. With temps in the mid 70’s today, I thought it would be a great opportunity to revive our old tradition. What I hadn’t anticipated was the 20 degree drop from the daycare to the seashore, so when we pulled up, it was actually quite chilly.

But we are a hardy bunch and decided to brave the temps anyways. We got to the store, chose out our apples, found a bag of peanuts, (there were no cherry tomatoes), paid for our treasures and headed to the pier. It’s been awhile since we have been there, the weather has just been too bitterly cold to try. And while I shivered through our picnic this evening, I could tell that the kids enjoyed it. We have one more day of nice weather before the cold and dreary returns. I’m so glad we got to take advantage of it. 🙂


02-19-18 A Very Special Woman

A very special woman is having a birthday tomorrow… my mama! My mom is one of my best friends and has been for many years. We talk almost daily, usually on my ride home from work. And today she got to spend the day with her grandkids. From what I can gather, Naona and Baby E even took a nap together. 🙂 I love that my kids enjoy spending so much time with their grandmother, and that my mother enjoys them as well.

I’m grateful that God gave me such a godly, loving, and industrious woman as my mother. I have learned so much from her throughout the years and I hope I do justice to her lessons as I pass them down to my children. She is a blessing.

So happy early birthday, mom! I’m sorry I won’t be there to celebrate, but the next time I see you we’ll get sushi and eat cake! I love you very much!!