December 20, 2010

There is no Christmas to put Him back into...

I have NEVER in my life felt more apathetic about Christmas.

Before I go any further, I have a disclaimer:

Since I can remember putting sentences together...I have LOVED the decorations, the surprises, the Christmas story and of course Santa Clause. Who doesn't, right?

My mom and dad once let me sleep in their bed on Christmas Eve. I kept asking when? WHEN was Santa going to come? I couldn't sleep. Then I heard a knock-knock-knock. A tapping. Apparently reindeer had landed on our roof! (Or dad was tapping on the nightstand. Maybe.) best. night. ever.  MAGIC.

However. Now I'm over 2000 miles from our hometown. From SNOW. From my amazing parents. From my awesome little niece and 4 nephews. From 8 of my 9 siblings. (My sister will come down, and for that I'm pretty dang grateful.) Now it just doesn't seem as important. 

  Maybe it's 'cause I'll be thirty next year. Maybe it's part of being an adult.  

Maybe it's just cynicism.

Then there's the fact that I'm some 8000 miles away from father of my children.

The thought of waking up Christmas morning without I don't even want to think about it. He's been by my side for over 9 nears. I love Christmas with him.

So...I get that I am jaded this year. I'm not looking for pity. I'm definitely not trying to taint the season.

But here's what's bothering me:

The harder I try to find meaning in this holiday. The deeper I search, and the more I investigate...the less appealing celebrating it becomes.

How can we, "Put Christ back in Christmas," when He was never there to begin with?

 I mean. I get that He is everywhere. But this is not a biblical mandate we're talking about. Is it?

Why try to reclaim something that was a horrific, disgusting, and representative-of-Christ-in-no-way, celebration? (Saturnalia and Yule.)

I guess it's kind of like what Churches do for Halloween celebrations. And on one hand; it makes sense. I see the heart, I see the logic.

I just can't get over...

The Christmas tree. Mistletoe. Filling stockings. Even giving gifts. They are all pagan rituals for this season.

(Holly, evergreen  and mistletoe were all worshiped and thought to bring fertility. Kissing under the mistletoe was no joke baby.)

My very scientific research tells me:

Nicholas, bishop of Myra was worshiped by German and Celtic pagans. I know that he was a great guy according to history. But worshiping him is not so great. These pagans celebrated his death by giving gifts on December 6th. (Along with worshiping gods like Woden and Thor.) After some time he merged with the god Woden, gained his warmer clothing, a beard and a flying horse. Later, the Catholic church adopted this celebration of Nicholas, and changed the day of giving gifts to the 25th.
 Washington Irving (author of Rip Van Winkle) wrote Knickerbocker History. In it he mentions the guy riding on a flying horse, Saint Nicholas.

A few years a later, Clement C. Moore wrote Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Santa was getting better by the minute.

Sometime in the 30's Coca Cola ran an ad campaign featuring Santa drinking soda. When coming up with the ad, the thing they were most concerned about...was making sure his suit was, "Coca Cola" red. While he had been presented in those colors a few times before; I think the Coca Cola company solidified what is now his image today.


  • "Christmas," is a Roman Catholic word. "Christ +mass." 

  • Christmas was too pagan for the pilgrims. They didn't celebrate it when they came to America in 1620. And actually outlawed it for about 20 years (from 1659-1681).

  • Most historians think Jesus was born in September. It seems lame to stage the nativity with snow. With the star above the stable. And, with a Hebrew family as pale Ronny Howard. Do artists still think I won't relate to Him, because His skin is darker than mine?


  • The early Roman church almost always absorbed the pagan rituals and gods of newly converted.

  • Even after Martin Luther started the Reformation...paganism was still a part of church life.


It just makes me want to take my ball and go home. I don't  really want to play anymore.

I don't get it. 

I love the family gatherings.

I love giving gifts.

More than anything...I LOVE remembering the frail, beautiful, very real way my savior came to earth. I love thinking about Mary and Joseph. I wish I could have been there. I thought I was clueless with my firstborn! Can you imagine? A girl. Holding our Savior, knowing He was supernaturally placed in her arms that day. Giving birth by herself.  perfect.

I know that if we never participated in anything that was once wicked...well, we would never take part in anything.  I know that the reality is, we are all depraved. That nothing but Grace will restore us.

But, today...I just don't feel compelled to put, "Christ" back anywhere. He's right where He's always been. For some seems degrading to try and squish baby Jesus into our, "holiday" traditions. I would love  for my Savior to be remembered. I would love for us to have a sacred day to remember His birth. But to try and take traditions and (or more aptly) rituals that were all about self-gratification, idol worship, and murder...and say that they were,"Christian" to begin with. It seems wrong. It seems deceitful.

Maybe next year will be different.

Guess I'll just enjoy the food. Cherish the new friendships and family God has placed in our lives this year. Take my cues and remember the beauty of baby Jesus.

And, then come Palm Sunday...get really excited!

December 15, 2010

I'm sorry...

I added a music playlist to Petals of Zuzu

I know I shouldn't have.

I know that sometimes a person (mom) who reads this will be doing it late. When the kids are asleep. I hate that frantic feeling...trying to locate the, "mute" button when unexpected music starts.

I know it's annoying.

I don't really like music playing in the background of other people's blogs.

A few can pull it off.

But, mostly...
I can only do one thing. at. a. time.

Listen or read.

That's how simple I am.

I'm sorry.

I love music. Who doesn't? I miss singing. I miss being moved.

I don't know why God doesn't make us all rock stars.

(Ha. It's really funny to imagine all your friends and family as rock stars. Try it. The musical styles are endless.)

And, I just couldn't. Resist.

I'll probably take it down...someday.

 Please understand.

This lady is entertained easily.

The playlist was fun to make.


The life we live...

Today Lincoln brought me a picture he had colored.


Yup. That's blood
The "good guy" is shooting the "bad guys," and the other soldier is launching missiles at a fighter pilot. (Those poor guys getting shot look sad.) Honestly, my kids don't watch violent movies. They are kind of weak sauce when it comes to scary things. Seriously. The most blood and gore they have seen was probably while watching the Chronicles of Narnia or Star Wars. My first instinct was to give him a long talking to about the sanctity of life, violence, and just everything that makes me uncomfortable with something like this.

Especially when I found out he drew it in  Sunday School.

I was a little embarrassed. I don't want people to think that my son is traumatized or desensitized by trash we watch or experience. really seemed odd to see the words, "I will obey God," next to some guy shooting a gun on the other side of the paper. We are not fundamentalist crazies! (Okay. We are TOTALLY crazy. But not that kinda' crazy!)


But then, I remembered who my son was. I realized where this was coming from.

I was filled with pride.

Not in the violence.
Not that we are part of a war.

But just that this is my kid. And,  he's trying to process something that is VERY real to him.

Why should I tell him this is inappropriate, when in all  honesty... it's reality? 

War sucks. Evil sucks. Death and violence...are part of life.

So is honor. Bravery. The need for good men and women to protect the lives of the innocent. 

These things are reality, too.


I know that not everyone agrees with American men and women being sent overseas. I know that a lot of people even think that the men and women who do go, do so out of faulty logic. With ill-intent. With racist, or bigoted motivation. I get it. I know that it's complicated. I know that there is no easy answer. But what I've found in the men and women who I've met is... a deep, deep calling. There is a sense that, number one: there is something wrong in the world and they want to help fix it. You may disagree with how they go about that. But, a true motive to do good; despite the risk, despite the cost, is there. And number two: they are part of a nation that protects the individual more than most any other on the planet; and they want to help preserve that
 I respect that.

And, I respect the families who learn to live in dysfunction. Because it's an infinitesimal minority that ever wanted to spend their lives apart. I respect the men and women who learn to compartmentalize; who stay in contact with their families and hear about Christmas plays and report cards one minute, and navigate the convolution and details of being at war the next. And of course, I respect the children who stay behind and try to wrap their brains around something as broad and confusing as all this. Who trust that their parents love them despite their absence. Who trust in "good vs. evil." Who even want to be part of helping take care of the forgotten people of the world. The ones who need protection.

When I finally got brave enough to ask him what obeying God had to do with soldiers and war, he looked at me timidly and said:

Well mom. They just asked us to write, "I will obey God." I colored the rest on my own.
  I just want to be ready. I mean, if I had to...I would obey God. You know, if He ever called me into the Army like dad. I don't really want to. But, you know...if I had to, I would.

December 11, 2010

FRAWESOME Flag Football

Football's never made sense to me. I never went to a game in my life. Never watched it on t.v.. I'm totally clueless.

This year my two oldest played flag football.

I still don't really know what the heck they were doing. What positions they played. I just know...that I like it.

When kids are young and they first start playing's mind numbing to watch them run around the ball like a swarm of bees. Exceedingly cute. But boring. I'm sure once they gain some talent--it's a lot more fun to watch.

But football, football starts with a plan. Or a play? It involves tricking the other players. Passes. "Interceptions." ( I learned that word from my friend Annie.) It progresses in short little burst of effort and planning. 

I obviously have no idea what I'm talking about here. But whatever it is that has made men willing to have knee replacement surgery for decades. I think I get it.

Football is fun.  

Flag football, is fantastic, fabulous, freaky, fascinating, facundus, floriferous, forcible, fragrant, frisky, fortuitous, fastidious, and FRAWESOME!

(Okay. Maybe it's not all those things. Maybe I just looked up random "f" words...)

December 10, 2010

Cougar Bait II

Okay. So, as I said in my earlier post, my special guy has recently confessed to a fear of cougars. And, while there are no big tawny felines roaming around his FOB...there are some cute, older women cuddling up inside his computer.

THIS is the kind of cougar who makes her way via email to Afghanistan:

Okay, okay. Demi hasn't actually contacted my husband. But, he's just as cute as Ashton...and I thought it'd be a good illustration.

Apparently Mr. Deem has had quite a few letters from older women from the Adopt a Soldier program. Now, in the information that's given to them, I'm guessing it states that Mr. Deem is married with FIVE  (FIVE!)  children. All of the women have mentioned his children.  Apparently it does not say, "happily married," and this is where the gray area is discovered.  I always knew that a cute guy with kids was actually a turn-on to a lot of women. The proof is in the pudding. Or, in the long-vaguely- seeking-emails, so to speak.

On several occasions this man of mine has been out and about with the kids, say shopping on a Saturday morning. And, has come home SHOCKED because he thought a clerk or fellow shopper was flirting with him. "But, I'm sure I misread it...because, I had the kids with me!" Nope. Sorry buddy.

So back to the Adopt a Soldier program. Mostly, these letters of course, are completely well-meaning, and VERY appreciated. I just can't shake the feeling that a few are using it as some kind of scheme. Which is probably great for single soldiers. 

Humorous, and not so great for the guys separated from their families and...wives.


I've lost 20 lbs so far and looking to do more. But more than anything I love the feeling of being more fit. I'm definitely a girly-girl underneath all that and would like to eventually meet a guy who appreciates me :) I'm on the lookout. It's tough though being older and recently sort of back in the game.

If you'd like to know anything about me please feel free to ask. Also if you need/want anything just let me know and I'll do my best to get it out to you. 

My name is (OMITTED) and I have just adopted you. Aren't you lucky?  *Winking*  

If you have access to email, feel free to let me know what kinds of things you would like to receive in a goody box. Since I have never been deployed and it is way too long ago that my ex was(also, I'm old) I've totally forgotten what things are best.  Anything that you want and/or need and I will do my very best.

P.S. I'm attaching a picture because I feel it's always nice to put a face to a name.  Yes, that's actually me. I know I look much younger than 43. :) 

These are excerpts from (long) letters he's gotten from two of his pen pals. And...DANG if the last one did really look 30! I know that these aren't a big deal. And, I really am thankful that there are people willing to support and appreciate what our soldiers go through. 

But still...I mean. Come on! How can I not laugh? I think I need to write about boundaries next. Hedges people!

Mr. Deem told me he would not like to write back any (crazy) single ladies at this time, and since he knows I would get mad at him for asking for a big screen t.v., there's really nothing he would like to get from them in a goody box. 

His words, not mine.

Ah. Sometimes I'm really happy I married such a cold-hearted guy...

December 8, 2010

Cougar Bait

So yesterday's post was a little random. Bronchitis, sick kids, holiday crazies, and separation from family. It all added up to me feeling in awe of the road to our daughter.  I am so incredibly thankful to spend this Christmas with her. I realize I haven't gone into how our adoption processed all that much. And, rather than fill you in at this time--I'm going to completely change subjects.


Please bare with me. I want to talk to you about an interesting phenomenon:

My fear of cougars.

Having spent the past 12 years or so in eastern Oregon; I've had a chance to learn a little bit about this big cat. I'm not an expert. I've never been hunting a day in my life. But, what I know is from my own experience. People in Portland say we are lucky to have such a majestic creature in our back yards. They are right; what beautiful animals!  However, obviously they can be dangerous.  And, I harbor a totally exaggerated fear of them. One of my favorite things to do in our valley, was go on hikes with my girlfriends. Imagine waking up at the crack of dawn to meet up with a buddy. Walking five minutes and being surrounded by the sounds of the forest. To be able to stand back, as a herd of elk tramples across the path ahead of you. To hear the calves call to their mamas. The smells. The sounds. The beauty. *ahhhh* 

Part of the beauty of La Grande and the surrounding areas, is also the Mule Deer. They are everywhere. In your backyard, in your front yard, down town, at school. Everywhere. A couple years ago, I had just finished a nighttime jog. And, as I came around a corner to head home, very nearly missed running smack dab into a huge buck. He was hanging out in the middle of my street. I stopped about two feet from him, and slowly backed up.  I appreciate that he didn't go all postal on me, and instead just dismissed me disdainfully as he snorted and walked away. Deer, deer, deer.
They attract cougars.

The Grand Ronde Valley is one of the largest completely enclosed valleys in the world. Mountains are in everyone's backyard. It is seriously some of the most beautiful landscape I've ever seen. There are deer, elk, wild turkeys, and of course...cougars close by. My hiking buddies and I have walked along snow-covered paths with cattle, deer, dog, cougar and our own tracks all intertwined.  I've even seen the leftovers from cougar kills. 

Being a fairly small person...I often felt like I would be the prey in any given group. Cougar bait. When we would go on hikes, I constantly checked trees, made noise and scanned the horizon. There's just something SO creepy about the thought of being stalked.

I guess I'm not alone.
I found out that a certain guy I know has a similar fear in his new home.

"They have cougars in Afghanistan?" You say?

Well, no.

Not this kind...

December 6, 2010

We've been waiting for you...


We are not complete without you.
We love you now.

 Even with the love we have for you today. And, the love that will grow in tomorrow...our love pales to the powerful love and grace our Heavenly Father has for you! You are a miracle, and so beautifully designed by Him. He has placed you in our lives--and for that we are so humbled and thankful.

 We are broken-hearted with you, that you cannot be with your first momma and daddy.

 We think of you continually. Even though we are sad to be apart from you, we have prayed that God would fill you with peace. And, lots of smiles! We pray that you would know joy.

You are more precious than gold. We will come for you soon! We love you baby girl~

 Your Family
(March 2010)

Reagan found her stocking the other day, while we were unpacking Christmas decorations. It made me realize how long we have been waiting for her. I bought that stocking around Christmastime last year. We started with our adoption agency in October of 2008.

She opened the tub, and went straight for HER stocking. Something about seeing her hold it filled me with thankfulness and awe.

 I'm so glad she is spending this Christmas with our family, and not in a care center...

December 3, 2010

Shadows, shots and the best hugs on earth

Yesterday was just one of those days.

It started out with me feeling pretty pathetic, and ended with me feeling incredibly lucky.

I've had a cold for a couple weeks. Right after Thanksgiving, I thought I had kicked that sucker out the door! But, alas...soon I was coughing a ridiculous amount. Like, 30 minutes straight. I get light-headed pretty easily. I have really low blood pressure and think that must have something to do with it.(?)  Maybe my body is just too lazy to get the blood where it needs to be fast enough. Anyway, the coughing fits were freaking me out some, because I kept blacking out a little. Can you black out a little

During one of said coughing fits, a friend called and DEMANDED to take my children while I went to the doctor. Okay, she really didn't have to twist my arm at all. I really love my kids...but an hour or two away from them is heaven.

She picked them up and totally made Grant's day by letting him ride in her, "BYUE VAN wit a TV in it!" and then letting him eat apples to his gluttonous heart's content. By the way; what an amazing group of women God has placed in my life! All of them. Amaze me. The ones I've met through adoption. The ones I've met through the Army. The friends I left back home. The ones God gave me as family. I can't really wrap my brain around this as a world-wide phenomenon. I have to believe that I really know 50 or so of the MOST amazing women on the planet. 

Off the rabbit trail: Couldn't get an appointment. Walked into the ER, waited only a little while. Got right in to a doctor. I apologized profusely for using the ER for a cold, but said my husband's deployed and I had a sitter, blah, blah, blah, and by the way, this cough sucks! The doctor didn't lecture me. Told me I had bronchitis. Sent a nurse in for a shot in the rear (lower hip?), showed me how to use an inhaler, and voila! No screaming children. No irritated doctors. No stress finding a babysitter. It all landed on my lap. Miracles happen every day.

When I went to pick up the kids, I made a beeline for Reagan. I hadn't left her at their home before and was kind of worried about her being anxious. When she heard my voice, she ran to me and gave me THE BEST HUG EVER! We're talking, arms fully encircled around my neck, legs wrapped around my waist. She just doesn't do that. I have to show her where to put her appendages usually. She also kept looking up with the happiest grin and saying, "Hi," and then putting her head back on my shoulder. (super happy sigh) It was amazing. AMAZING. I know it doesn't sound like much...but when you've had months of sad cuddles, hesitant hugs, and owie cuddles only given because of obvious pain...this was truly awesome. Later that night  we had bottle time. I hadn't gotten the bottle off the stand yet,  and she was in my arms waiting. You know what? She waited. And snuggled. And smiled. With no bottle in sight. This is also a first.  She still was history as soon as the bottle was gone, and I know that we still have a lot of trust to build. Still. STILL! I am so thankful for those little gifts. Reciprocal love is pretty awesome.  If it's not there--there is no excuse for me to give up. It's just nice to see. To know that her little heart is melting, too.

Finally. While we were watching Ratatouille last night. I thought I saw a shadow in the hallway. Then I saw the shadow hop. Then I saw hopping. I remained calm.

"Jack, did I just see your toad hop down the hallway?"

"No, she can't get out."

hop. hop. hop. (menacing toad grin)  hop.

"JACK! I DID just see your toad hop down the hallway! GET HER NOW!"

(Jumping off the couch) "Okay! Where is she? Which one is it?"

"She's behind the couch, and it's your new toad."

(After a little frog rodeo) "Whoa, mom it IS the new toad. How did you know?"

(All mysteriously) " I told you when you got her, I had a feeling about that one."

"Wow mom. You really DO know everything."

(I didn't tell him that I had seen that stupid toad try to escape MANY times. I like him thinking I know everything.)

The things I do for love.

The Abomination of Fair

I hate fair. I don't like it in the context of social obligations. And, I really don't like it in the context of my home. I have to say, that I think parents who try and make things fair for their children--are doing them no great favor in life. I cringe when I hear little people say, "That's not fair!" But, I get angry when I hear parent's utter those same words.

e.g. "Sorry I'm late, little Jimmy ate the last of the Oreos at home, so I had to stop by the store and pick up another package for little Susan--so it would be fair." Barf.

"Here Johnny! We got you a present, too. Even though it's Susan's birthday--we wanted things to be fair." Double barf.

Life is undeniably un-fair.

And, I'm so thankful it is.

Something Mr. Deem pointed out is, when you teach your children that life should be fair at all costs...and move mountains to try and make it fair for them; one negative aspect of this is that you will train them to be scorekeepers.

Have you ever been around a scorekeeper? Is it pleasant for you? It's not for me. These children (or adults) are on hyper alert for any discrepancies in life.

Couldn't we give them more to fight for? Couldn't we give them better injustices to be on guard?

They aren't lookin' for the type of discrepancies that stand up to a bully. Or invite the unpopular kid over for dinner. Not the ones that ignite a passion to raise money for the starving. No...we're not talkin' that kind of fair.

We are talkin' equal time on the swings...down. to. the. second. We are talkin' the same amount of pets, play-doh, and parties. We are talkin' kids who cannot even enjoy life. Because they have been burdened with a craptastic shiny gold star that says, "Fairness Police," right across it.

Will these kids become adults who minimize the accomplishments of others? Are our little girls going to grow into the women who constantly compare themselves to other women? Who are never able to obtain the ideal beauty. Eying other women as threats. Will our little boys grow into men who have to put others down to feel good about themselves? Men who either give up because the thought of, "Keeping up with the Jones,"  absolutely crushes them. Or become workaholics, because the thought of not keeping up, terrifies them equally. Will we raise a generation of people completely unable to rejoice at the blessings of others?

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote about pride: “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others.” In the same sense, I'm not sure if people will ever really be content with fair. I have a feeling it's really MORE fair that they are after...

In all we even want life to be fair for our kids?

It's not fair that in the distant fogginess of history a baby was born, grew into a young man, only to be abandoned, sacrificed and nailed to a cross for me. To be spit on for you. To be beaten and mocked for your children. It's not fair that the debt for my sins has bankrupted me. And, it's aggravatingly unfair that NOTHING I do will ever relieve me of that debt. My own accomplishments mean nothing. It's only grace. It's only obedience to His word. It's only Him.

"Fairness ended in the Garden of Eden." Andy Stanley

I totally get that it is important to ensure our children feel valued. I do not look for opportunities to mock my children with a diabolical, "Haha, life's not fair," mantra. However, I do take very seriously what I feel is an obligation to take any opportunity in life to show them their true value. That it's not tied up in Happy Meals, or exactly matching jelly bean piles. But, that it's all about Christ's love for them. And, that their purpose is essentially to glorify Him.

I'll tell you something more: My kids get the concept. It's definitely not always sunshine and roses. But, deep down, they get it. That, hey! Sometimes this is YOUR day. Don't feel guilty about it. Next might be your brother's. Be happy for him. We give and take, and there is an enormous amount of freedom in that.

This is not an issue that is limited to children. It's been my own experience that the people who are MOST concerned with "fairness" for their children, are 99.9 percent (yes that's an official number) most likely to be people who themselves have a chip on their shoulder. They are the women who whisper bitter jealous, fiery words behind other women's backs. They are the men who reek of  inadequacy and must constantly make up for that.
They are the people who will NEVER be satisfied in life. never. ever...ever.

Because, you know what? There will always be someone with more. There will always be skinnier. Stronger.Smarter. There will always be someone who has a bigger house, faster car, and a better credit score.

And, now we interrupt this rant with a totally deep Babylon 5 quote:

“Wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair and all the terrible things that happen to us, come because we actually deserve them? So now I take comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the Universe.” Marcus Cole~


Give your children the gift of contentment. Teach them to rejoice when others receive. Give them spontaneous, unexpected, TOTALLY undeserved gifts. Give them the gift of time and attention; not guilt-bred material things. Talk them through times when they have disappointment. Don't always solve it for them. Don't encourage seeds of bitterness to grow; not by the things you say, and not by the things left unsaid.

December 1, 2010

Roses in December

"God gave us memories that we might have roses in December."
J. M. Barrie, Courage

(Lincoln 2007)

November 29, 2010

Let joy be unconfined

"  On with the dance! Let joy be unconfined."
-Lord Byron

Today I brought Grant to his dance class. An hour early.
For the THIRD week in a row.
I'm not even pregnant.
His teachers are great. But when we showed up at the wrong class again today, one of the ladies asked me with a steely politeness, "Will you be dropping him off now, or at the correct time?" That's when I had to sheepishly ask (again) what time his class was at? Amazingly, I've managed to write the wrong time, on every calendar, dateplanner and notepaper in the house. Somehow, every week I show up at the wrong time...I think the week before was just a fluke, and that I wasn't paying attention to my highly organized schedule.
After driving around town, stopping by the post office, and listening to bored kids in the back seat for an hour, I tried to take Grant to his class.  At the correct time. He was all fun and games until we got to the door. Then he did the cling and squeeze. I detached the little leach. We talked. I walked into the class with him. I paid his costume fee, along with the hefty late fee for not doing so earlier.  It was no use. He had his head buried into my thigh the entire time.
We walked out.

After driving around the block, the tears started flowing from the little ballerino in the back seat. "I WEALLY want to go to my dance cwass!" 

We talked about being brave, about how I would ALWAYS come back for him, and how much he loves dancing. We circled back to the studio. We got to the door.  Happy sounds of giggly girls, music and tap shoes stomping away carried from the room. We open the door. I give him a little push. A small victory starts tingling in my stress-filled shoulder blades. Halfway through, he bolts back to me and starts crying.

We drove home. 2 hours down the drain. Cranky kids all around. My wallet feeling pretty taken advantage of for the costume fee. And me SO angry at my little 3-year-old who can't make up his mind about dance and has suddenly decided he is shy.


On the way home he fell asleep. As I was carrying him to his room, with his little arms wrapped around my neck, and his head wobbling on my shoulders; I soaked it in. I thought about how stupid I was. On so many levels. Feeling dumb about never getting to his class like a normal mother. About missing the costume fee deadline. And, for even caring if he goes to another class. Ever. We can try again next year.

I've spent these past six months, grieving cuddles with our youngest daughter, and learning to love her better than comes naturally, and differently than I knew. God is helping make that easier every day. But, here I am with this little boy in the sunset of babyhood--trying to kick him out the door!
 His cuddles are pretty sweet, too, you know. 



For now, I'm content with my daily recitals at home.   

November 25, 2010

Happiness is...

A full tank of gas.
Milk in the fridge.

Knowing you're not alone.

Happiness is being thankful.

"A Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart!
I'm glad for what I have, that's an easy way to start..."

Junior Asparagus~

November 24, 2010