All posts tagged: life

Why :: Write

I had a recent conversation with someone I love & respect, and in this conversation I was being prodded and challenged to consider why I write what I write. I was taken aback that my loved one didn’t understand the backbone of my writings. It was jarring to me and I’ve taken a backseat to think things through. Why DO I blog? What am I trying to convey to readers? What do I care about in my own life? Why do I verbalize the raw parts of my life? So, I’ll share my journal notes to myself about why I blog and then you can comment about what you think of it. How’s that? Discussion is good. Feedback is good. Sometimes I feel like I’m just blogging out into the void, but then some of you write to me privately about your own stories and your own inspirations. That means a lot to me. I think that most of the time I write for therapeutic reasons and as a form of artistic outlet, but I …

Who’s :: There

I’ve been working my way through a Beth Moore Bible study titled Breaking Free. I chose to host a study group in my home this year, because I knew my availability as a stay-at-home mother would be limited; and I also wanted to invite anyone in my community to share & fellowship. Despite having good reasons for it, I was also hesitant & apprehensive. I thought, “Break free? Do I even want to know what this sort of study will entail? I think I just want to stay in my corner of grief & sadness. I don’t think I can ever break free from the fact that my firstborn daughter died in my arms.” So, in case you think I’m a goody-goody Christian girl, think again. I’ll tell you the truth before you read the rest of this post- I haven’t broken free from my pain & suffering. I’ve actually come to accept it and live with it and see God there with me in it. I think sometimes that’s all those of us who …

Parenting: Tips & Tricks

I’ve been thinking this morning about some of the tips & tricks of parenting that were modeled & taught to me the years before I became a parent. I’m no expert on parenting, obviously, being at the beginning of my journey. But I appreciate those who’ve shared their stories of trials, failures & triumphs with me. I try to think of the bigger picture and life principles as I build into my family. I’m surely not always good at that. But hey, what else can you do as a parent than put your best foot forward?  My mom (one of my many role-models) is in her 70s and, boy, does she have some pearls of wisdom (raised three boys and a girl, how could she not!). She’s one of those that’s made herself a student of life, and when we were kids she made herself a student of early childhood development. In my opinion, that’s a subject she’s well-versed in and can share a good deal of wisdom about. Something simple she taught me concerning …

Be :: Mine

Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day? I don’t actually know, I’m embarrassed to admit. I know of Saint Valentine and I know of the old practice, spreading love to all. What that morphed into in my family was Daddy bringing flowers home in a crystal vase for Mom, boxes of chocolates, Hallmark cards with sappy sayings, and stuffed animals for me 💕 What it has looked like in my marriage is another thing… Manly, truthfully, sucks at holidays & gift-giving. It’s just not his thing. And he’s not trying to be rude. He just doesn’t think of it ahead of time, and then when it’s rolled around he asks, “Oh is that today?” If left to himself, the holidays would just roll on by. But he’s not left to himself 😉 Enter his sentimental event-planning sappy-card-writing ENFP wife! 🎉 I look forward to every holiday on the calendar with all they entail, the crafty ideas, the fancy recipes, the silly traditions, the obligatory photos. SO, here’s the deal: Manly is married to me and those …

The Mama Diaries 

I’ve been mulling over the coming new year and what that means to me as a mom. What it means to me as Everley’s mom. Naturally, I think about the new shoes and outfits she’ll be able to wear; the dresses I bought her when she was tiny and she probably won’t fit them till this summer; the dolls she’ll play with more than she does now and the skills she’ll discover the more she plays; the bigger smiles and the louder giggles that she’s sure to produce; the adventures we’ll take together on play dates and family vacations… It will be a whole new year of exciting discovery with EveyMarie, and I am ready! More than just the fun stuff… I’m mulling over what I want her to know about the world around her, even at this early age, and what I want her to understand about herself and others.  One simple little thing that I’ve been noticing lately in our interactions – which does have to do with the world, herself, and others- …

Through: the Forest

You know that phrase, “seeing the trees through the forest”? We referred to it often when I was a Vision Therapist. Sometimes we are so focused on the tree in front of us and the tree to our left and the tree to our right that we become overwhelmed… as a result we’ve lost perspective and we’ve gotten lost in the forest of trees. We’re no longer seeing the trees that make up the whole forest. (In Vision Therapy this is known as central focus and parafieral awareness 😉)  The holiday season for us is much like this phenamanon. We tend to just see all the trees -sadness, despair, loss, misery- and no forest -God who is sovereign over these emotions. Or we see a thick dense forest of pain and anger that will consume us and we miss the individual trees of blessing and hope.  It is difficult to explain to those who have not suffered during the holiday season how much resentment, turmoil, and bitterness is wrapped up under the cheer, lights, ornaments, …

Honey :: Bunches 

Dearest Little Person, You amaze me. I marvel that you’re here. You and I both made it through your traumatic birth, and those incubator days, and nursing around the clock, and NICU visits, and sleepless nights, and wailing episodes, and crazy Costco runs, and Christmas living-room dance jams, and all the rest of it. We’ve been through a lot already and you’re just 15 months!  You crack me up, too, you know that? You’ll look like your dad with that low scowl as if “caution” is written across your forehead and then the next minute you’ll look like me with a Cheshire grin and a twinkle in your eye. So are you both stubborn and charming? That’s okay if you are…. I’m already trying to understand you and we’re nowhere near the 15 year old eye rolls.  You know what your favorite thing to do is every morning? Or really this applies to any time you wake up and I lift you out of the crib- You love to wave and say “Hi!” to all …

Clay :: Lessons

Winter is setting in and since I currently keep my kick wheel on the front porch I have fewer and fewer opportunities to throw. This makes me rather sad. Such is the plight of a small country homeowner and young mama. A)Tiny house + big wheel B)Busy mama + bustling baby. Both factors are limiting.  However, I try to throw and trim and glaze whenever I get the chance. I love working the craft. It’s a satisfying process for me.  Pottery has become a deeply spiritual experience for me. I ask God before I throw, “Show me yourself. Show me how you are the Potter and how I am the clay. Mold and shape my life.” This poor little pitcher was a flop. Chubby wubby was a pitcher, chubby wubby was its handle. If you ever make a handle, don’t do it like that. I keep pieces like this so that I can examine my mistakes and experiment with the firing process; on this pitcher I’ve experimented for the first time with my underglaze watercolors.  …

Forever :: Friendship

It is difficult for our friends – who have not lost or suffered greatly – to understand and enter into the pain of those of us who are grieving. What can they do to lighten our darkness? What can they say to give hope? How can they unlock the cold devastation that has quarantined us? — My best best friend and I have a unique and unusual friendship. We have literally known each other our entire lives. We’ve never known life without each other. Born two months apart, our parents members of the same church, growing up the first five years in the same county, remaining pen pals half a world apart for eight years, living together part of high school, meeting our spouses online and marrying six months apart qualifies us as the most bonded best friends ever. In our opinion 😉 We’re quite obviously sisters from another mother since we’re a foot apart in height, she’s the natural beauty and I’m plain jane.  But when Heidi died I didn’t hear from her. My …

a Fair Story

This time last year we were reeling from Everley’s sudden birth, still grappling with Heidi’s sudden passing just seven months prior, knocking holes in our bedroom walls to make room for a bassinet, and grasping for breath in the midst of crises and change and chaos.  My body felt like it’d been hit by a Mack truck after the caesarean and  I was still being wheeled to the NICU two weeks postpartum.    So we decided to go to the Fair. “What?” Yes. It sounds dramatic because it was kind of dramatic.  But we were desperate to do something normal, to spend time just the two of us, to let our worries go, to relax and blend into a crowd. We’d had tickets to a country concert at the county fair. We got the green light from nurses and doctors who were overseeing Everley, and though some said I’d never make it up the grand stand because I was still too weak, I not only made it…. I climbed (hobbled actually) to the very top.  …