Don’t force Sunday school on the three year old…

Look.  Let’s get real.  The title should actually read:  don’t subject your screaming 3-year-old on the Sunday school teacher.

I’m right, right?  Can I get a holy Amen in here (Whoa, now…that was a little too loud. Smile wink smile).

But, in all honesty, my three year old fled and panicked today and did not want to be left in the huge Sunday school room alone.  So I did what I needed, I scooped her up, plopped her on my lap, and sat through church with her while I got to give her a million unappreciated kisses (as she loudly proclaimed in the service to Stop Kissing Her), cuddle her in my arms, hold and dance with her in worship, and take communion with her on my hip.  

And she was happy.  And I was happy.  And the Sunday school teachers were most likely ecstatic.  

Best of all????

These lovely selfies she took during the sermon time (insert scary laughter from evil selfie).

Praise Jesus???

My daughter the DJ???

Look.  I have really big plans for my daughter’s life.  Good plans.  Like:  I want her to be an amazing doctor and rock the science world plans.

She wants to be a Music DJ.

My family loves this idea and encourages her independent and creative spirit.

Will someone please tell my family to stop talking (smile and wink).

She is 11.  I am sure her passions will change another 100 times—and while I will be cheerleading her medical future (???), I am so glad there will be another crowd cheerleading her creative passions.  

That means, in the end, my daughter is surrounded on all sides by a bunch of really great peeps that want the ultimate BEST for her.  

To be whomever God has created her to be. 

And that is exactly as it should be (insert heart emoji here).

Mic drop.  I mean—earphones off.  

Future DJ Medical Doctor Momma out.

Beep.  Beep.  Beep.

The Midnight Bullfrog!

Seriously.  I was having so much fun hanging out at a friend’s house that it was just before midnight when I gathered my 3 and 5 year old kiddos up and stuffed them in the van for the ride home.  We barely made it out of the neighborhood when I saw the BEST thing I could have ever seen…a humongous bullfrog hopping across the road in front of me!

I pulled the car over, put on my hazards, and then took off after the bullfrog in the dead of night.  

A car came around the corner.  I don’t think they knew what to do.  Stop and help the lady and the van or just watch as I chased this bullfrog down the street?  Apparently they figured I was not in need of assistance as I grabbed the bullfrog and let out a loud whoop of delight.  So they continued driving on. By this time I’m slightly far away from the van with my kids (bullfrogs are FAST little buggers), so I begin a quick trot back to them—a proud trot.  An “I am an accomplished mom because I have captured a bullfrog.  I am a bullfrog capturer,” type of trot!  

And just as I go to open the passenger back door to show my triumphant capture, the bullfrog squirted (urine—yuck) ALL OVER ME!  My hands.  My arms.  My legs.  The bullfrog pee was running down my leg.  I kid you not.  And, as the bullfrog’s number 1 was covering me in disgusting wetness, all I could do in that moment was hold this midnight bullfrog high in the air and proclaim, “Look what I caught for you, children!”  

The kids?!  

They squealed and laughed and just thought that a mom covered in froggy pee-pee was the BEST gift anyone in the world could have given them.  I don’t even think they even saw the bullfrog through their laughter.  

As I finally released the bullfrog in the greenway for its freedom, I returned to the car to hear Max, my 5-year-old say, “I thought you caught me a present.  I didn’t know you were going to bring me pee.” 

Neither did I, Max.  Neither did I.

But, in the end, sometimes laughter is the best present after all!  

Does this look like vacation?

I am fairly sure I don’t even need to write a lot.  

We are on vacation.  

But really???

Hashtag: life; reality; parenting; humor

No rest for the wicked…

Oh, wait.  I mean the mommies (smile and wink).

Greetings from La Jolla sunny California!

When you go through trauma, you are never the same. Nor should you be.

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We remember many days and events of history and our own lives each and every year.  Many are celebrations of excitement.  Like birthdays, anniversaries, announcements of babies, and so forth.

But we, collectively as the world, also remember the other days around the world.  The ones where great sadness took place.  And they are remembered for the ages in different ways.

While the first celebrations usually include cake and balloons and banners and shouting and laughing and running and clapping, the second are usually remembered with flags, marches, speeches, wreaths, memories.

My family has lived trauma—where everyone has miraculously emerged on the other side of it.

But to say that we made it through okay would not be accurate.

We made it through.  Our son is alive.  And we get to watch him grow.

But this trauma has changed me in a million and one ways.

The first being gratefulness.  I look at my living, breathing, running, crazy happy boy and rejoice that I get to walk life with him.  And every moment he is alive, I hold him tight.  I don’t ever want to let go.

But that brings me to my second feeling.  The one that makes me cry.  Sadness.  Sorrow.  Heartbreak.

I received my baby back into my arms to live another day.  And I know that this is a gift.  A gift beyond.  Not every mother nor father gets to receive their child back into their arms.  Alive.

Sometimes those arms get to only hold their baby one last time.

And, as tightly as they hold their baby, they have to let go.

I know, one day, I will have to let go of Maxwell, but it is not the same.

At all.

Which brings me to now.  My last feeling is “It’s okay“.

That’s what I hope the mommies and daddies are telling me.  The ones that did not get their babies back.  The ones that had to let go.

That’s it’s okay to celebrate my son.  And his life.

That’s it’s okay to be happy.

That’s it’s okay to hold him tight.

And it’s okay to not want to let go.

That’s it’s okay.  Because that is what they would do had life been different for them.

I can’t even write this without sobbing.  My three year is sitting next to me constantly touching my “creers” as they are running down my cheeks, touching them lightly, somehow sensing these tears carry a heavy weight:  Sorrow and guilt entwined with personal gratefulness.

Yet, I still hope in my ears I hear the words, “It’s okay.”  Because I know for their own lives it is not okay.  And never should have been.  Yet it is for them that way just like for me it is a different way.

A way I will never understand…

The other day, my husband and I were discussing “This time of year”, and that’s when my son, Maxwell, heard us praying, “Thank you, Lord, for giving us back Maxwell.”

After we were done praying, Maxwell looked at us with wide eyes and a goofy grin, saying, “Mommy, you’re silly.”

Because, to him, he is fine.

He doesn’t know the great battle that was fought for his life.

He just knows he lives.

And I just held him.

Trauma has changed our family.

Trauma nearly broke our family.  Not just my son’s life nearly being ripped from our lives but our marriage, too.

Trauma has made us work a lot harder.  Trauma has made us think a lot more.  Trauma has opened up our hearts to a bigger world—a world of immense suffering.  Yet overcoming.

Trauma has made us more empathetic and understanding.

Trauma has taught us how to cry freely.

Trauma has caused us to put on glasses of reality.  That life will not always deal you rainbows sprinkled with sugar.

And it has made every day of our living, breathing, walking, talking lives more important.  More beautiful. More fragile.  More.

Trauma has taken judgement out of me and made me crumble.

Trauma has made me a mess and yet picked me up.

Trauma has torn a huge hole in my soul and then healed it up.

Trauma has shown me the harshness of the world and then the compassion that surrounds the world.

And trauma has taught me that I am not alone.

Trauma has changed my very core.

Maybe, just maybe, one day I will say thank you to God above for this trauma.

Until then, I’ll simply say “Thank you” to God for bringing me through it.

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23. 

Here are some sites you can click on to help you understand your trauma:

1.  Healing from Trauma

2.  When Trauma Strikes

3.  Understand Trauma and PTSD:  A Christian Counselor’s Perspective

 

Get busy trying…not dying.

ada on the paddleboard

Photo caption reads:  And she’s OFF!

So, unless something super funny pops into my life in the near future or something that just hits me where I super feel it, you won’t be seeing too much of me on this page for some amount of seconds, days, weeks, months…I’m getting my writing on…chapter book style!

Yep!

I am on chapter 2 of my first book for youth.   It’s a lot harder than one would imagine.  First of all, I gotta create a character those tweens want to read.

So far, my biggest of all my brood is my judge.  I look to her, as she reads it, for her laughter or tears (ah-just kidding…no tears.  yet!) and I especially hone in those moments when she raises her eyebrows in confusion.

The thing driving me crazy about an 11-year-old critic…she doesn’t understand that writing is writing and editing comes NEXT.  She is over there correcting so many mistakes I wonder if she is even reading anything at all 😉

But—good news in the 11-year-old world—she sat next to me this evening and asked if I had written any more.

Whoop-whoop.  Chalk that one up for the mom score!

When do I write this said book?

When my two littlest are at Polish preschool on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  I have 2 hours of me time.  Okay—that’s stretching it a bit far.  It’s more like, take away the 50 interruptions, I have about 1 hour and 10 minutes to write.

I never knew my brain could work so fast.

Then, on occasions, when the brain isn’t in the fuzz-bucket, I try and write a bit when the stars come out and the snoring commences around the house.

Unfortunately for me, I am not a sharp-witted night owl anymore.  Those days left me once I had #3.

My goal????  You may ask.  Even if you don’t, I’ll let you know…

1 Chapter a week.

I have already scoured the net for all of those newbies looking for new authors, and found most are not interested in my super cute children’s books that I have written—but many are interested in chapter books for middle-agers.

We’ll see how this goes.

One of the sagest pieces of advice I read while checking out all of the peeps out there looking for writers:

Your first book is just that.  Your first book.  Keep writing.  Edit.  And write some more.

This wisdom brings me back to what my good ol’ ma and pa always said, “Try and then try some more.”  Or “Try again”

In any and every case, you gotta begin somewhere.  Today I choose to begin.

Therefore, unless life throws me a major hilarious curveball that just is a MUST for this blog, or I find some piece of psychological wisdom that is a MUST share for the sanity of parents … or if there is just too good to pass up cultural experience that lands in my lap—or I just feels (yes, I wrote feels as it was how I said it in my head) as if I must write to bring the lot to tears…

I hope to not see ya from here too much in this present day.  No offense and hopefully none taken.

Here’s to words.  Brain power.  Creativity.  And bringing imaginations to soaring heights…Or just simply entertaining kids because I love both of those things:  kids; entertainment.

Best of all—through written words.  Where they have to close their eyes to soar into their world of imaginations…

Which, as we all know, is the best way to fly!

Here’s to up,

b

***

If you’re not already following this blog, I hope that you’ll hit the follow button and join my journey—even if it will be randomly sporadic!

“I don’t think you’re going to need a translator for this…”

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Amazing.  Tears.  Beauty.  Gumption!

“So I will try…”

“So I will try…”

Let me tell you, beautiful souls out there.  Maybe, just maybe, you are walking through a dark moment in your own lives.

A moment where perhaps you have given up on your dreams, let them slide, or thought they died.

There could be a reason why.

You are sick.

Your marriage is in trouble.

You lost your job.

You are running out of money.

Many big, strong reasons to put something to the side.  At least for some time.

But, take the heart and voice of Mandy Harvey and realize that even if you put something to the side for a moment DOES NOT MEAN that you should not revisit it later…

When the time is right.

“The only thing in the way is me…So I will try.”

And when that time comes, make sure that you do just that!  Try.

Enjoy the watch.  Bring tissues.  You’ll need them.

xoxo b

Here she is, Mandy Harvey!  May your heart be touched!

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