It’s amazing when life comes full circle!

richard and jarek_together!!!!!!

This beautiful soul with my husband is one of my favorite people in the entire world.  And I know a lot of people all over the world.

This man, let’s call him the English name Jared, hugging Richard is one of the FIRST men that ever walked into our soup kitchen in Poznan, well over a decade ago.  LONG before I even had my first child (and she is a decade plus 2).

In fact, after we returned with Adelyne to Poznan/Poland, at around 5 weeks old, bringing her to our soup kitchen around 6-10 weeks old, HE was actually one of the first to hold our baby.  At our soup kitchen.  In Poland. It was the Holy Start soup kitchen (HS closed a couple years ago).

This beautiful soul that ALWAYS brightened my every day that I saw him…He is now the AMAZING volunteer at an unbelievable SOUP BUS located in Poznan, Poland, with the charity christianer.org … (find them on Facebook—it will BRIGHTEN your life)

Isn’t it AWESOME how you can watch one man go from served to SERVING!

Life — in full circle — makes my heart burst with joy.  Tears. Happiness.  And just an overwhelming sense of #itiswell .

It truly is.

It is well, with my soul.

Jared reminds me of that!

May Jared be your reminder to always invest in the beauty and hearts of others.  Your full circle will come.  And it IS worth it!

God bless.

So Forty!

nunsintorun

Like I am so overwhelmingly 40 that someone could write a book about 40 based upon my life.

I bloat—and automatically 3 people ask if I’m pregnant.

I say—“No.  I am not pregnant.  Just 40.”

One kind man looked confused and said, “Thirty?”

And I said, “No, 40…And I am not having any more  (bold and underline this, please) children.”

He went on to tell me I still have time for one more…

I went on to tell him a thing or two…(Okay—nice things 😉 ).

I have two small kids and a 10 year old.  The ten year old is an angel because she can shower and brush her teeth all alone.

The others—it’s like, “What’s that?  You need to go on the toilet AGAIN????  Aren’t you still in diapers??????????”  And then I remember that he is officially 4.  So I follow him into the toilet and wipe his little bum after he goes number 2.

The last is like “NOOOOOOO!!!!!!  I do it!”  And if you enter her presence without her permission, she is like “THIS IS MY ROOM!!!!!!”  And if she was not so RIDICULOUSLY the cutest thing walking this earth, it would just not be so cute (smile smile wink wink)  Okay, okay…It’s pretty typical 2 and cute.

And then there are those that days that my little son brings me cookies and I ask, “Did you eat lunch?” And he’s like “No, my tummy is not hungry for food.”  So I open his cookies and send him on his way just so that I can have a spare moment alone to eat my own cookies.

Friends…I am SOOOOO 40!  Beyond, totally 40.

And while I mostly handle it fine—I realize that the babcia in me is starting to sneak out (grandma for those that don’t know what babcia means)…And then I realize that these are not my grandkids but my kid-kids.  I am suppose to be MONITORING their sugar intake —NOT increasing it 😉

Oh me oh my oh my oh me!!!!!

I am Brooke.  And I.AM.FORTY.

Can I take a nap, please?????

Happy Mother’s Day #failblog to Me!

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“YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ME, MOMMA!” My 3-year-old son shouted at me today.

Yes.  On Mother’s Day.

The sacred day for Mothers.

Why would a 3-year-old shout that he is not understood?

Well, for starters, his 2-year-old sister slightly colored on his Spiderman coloring picture and I told him it was going to be okay.

I even cut around the pencil scratches she made…

But, apparently, it was NOT OKAY!

I don’t understand…

And then he wanted crunchy toast for lunch.

So I made it.

Buttered bread, into the oven, voile!  Out comes crunchy toast.

But NOOOOOOOOO!

He wants the bread in the oven first to get crunchy…THEN…And, apparently, only THEN…can I butter his toast.

“YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ME, MOMMA!!!”

Yes, Maxwell.  This is where you are 100 million 25 billion 49 quadrillion 237 gazillion correct.  I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOU!

Happy Mother’s Day to me?????

Absolutely!

Because just when all sanity was lost, a dear friend showed up delivering flowers on behalf of my husband who is 1 trillion kilometers away…

Flowers…on a day when I was LOSING.  Like BIG TIME!

Flowers…for me!

mothersdayflowers

Winds of change…This surprise uber lovely visit shuffled all children AND crying 3-year-olds outside where they began to ride, run, and play in the great outdoors.

Lunch still untouched—but, hey!  Who needs lunch????

Friends…I don’t understand my kids.

My 10-year-old…A mystery!

My 3-year-old…A puzzle!

My 2-year-old…A NO Monster!

If this was baseball, I would be STRUCK out!  Out of that Old Ball Game!

But that’s the thing about mommies.  We don’t strike out.

Well, technically, we MAY strike out…BUT WE DON’T leave home plate.  We make sure that they pitch it again and again and again…hoping for a hit!

Which sometimes we actually make.

The crack of the bat.  The connection of the ball.

We run and run and run…And round those bases so that we can bat again.

Recently I had posted a picture of my 2-year-old trying to escape out the front door to find daddy (who is a trillion miles away).  Her diaper sagging.  I called her #soggybottom.  My soggy bottom baby.  And I captioned the photo: Because sometimes we fail at parenting.

But then an angel wrote and said, “It’s not a parenting fail…It’s well hydrated!”

That’s when it hit me…

I didn’t fail.  I succeeded.  She was well hydrated.  That meant she wasn’t dehydrated.  Which meant, I could avoid taking her to the doctor for fluids.

Complete victory!

My daughter was well-watered.  Forget the soggy bottom baby trying to escape.  At least she was trying to escape hydrated!

More power for her long, long journey!

parentingfail

I absolutely LOVED how that perspective changed my entire view of the situation.

And, so, I’ll leave you with the same advice my mom used to give me when I’d fall, “Hop up and get going again!  You are fine.”

Dear Moms out there…

You’re not failing.  You are hydrating your children.  Forget all of the details in between…

And, when you need it, remember the words HOP UP!  GET GOING!  YOU ARE FINE!

Because you are…

Happy Mother’s Day to you!

workinprogress

A masterpiece of work in progress!

“He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it…” Philippians 1:6

boy mom…fail????


i am a mom of one boy.  he is 3—nearly 4.  here is the current conversation in my home between my 3-yr-old boy and his 10-year-old sister:

“max—stop pretending to pee on me!”

“MOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!  max is pretending to pee on me!”

i giggle just a bit…mom fail.

10 year old again, “mom, did your brother pretend to pee on you????”

“probably and i survived.”

so then 10 year old logic tries to kick in with the 3 year old brother:

“max—you can’t really pee on me because you are wearing underwear and that means the pee will go in your underwear.”

3 year old ignores his sister…

THE NEXT THING I KNOW…

“mom,” says the 3 year old, “see that beetle!”  it appears he has moved on from harassing his sister.

i look…”sure max.”

“no, that beetle..”  he points again.

in the itty bitty crevice of our home, i spy a beetle.

“kill it mom, we don’t want a biting bug.”

i kill the nasty looking beetle that only his boy eyes apparently could spy and give him the killed beetle in tissue, it’s limbs sticking out, and say, “go throw it away.”

no hesitation.  grabs the dead bug and throws it away.

the next thing i know, “more PEZ in my ninja turtle, mom…” he says bringing me his candy, where he then proceeds to climb on my lap while i am literally typing this and says, “YEE HAW cowboy!”

and now, as i finish this last sentence, he is curled up into my lap with his head against my shoulder sweet as syrup…

wait, i take it back.  he is now pretending to eat my computer and encouraging the 2 year old to do the same.

they are making monster noises with some snorting.

this is my life in the last 3 minutes.

no wait..they are now blowing raspberries at each other.  i am wiping the spit off of the table.

oh wait.  he is back to kissing my shoulder.

no…now he’s dressing like a fireman.  and my 2 year old is now on the table.

SOOOOOOO…

so, my 10 year old may wonder why i laugh when my 3 year old is a boy being a boy…

it’s because i can’t keep up with anything else.

😉

***

okay, seriously…i have just lost my coffee in the last 2.3 seconds.  like it has disappeared somewhere into thin air.  the physical cup.  and this is how the ending of my attempt to type this blog looks… 

HAVE A GREAT DAY, FRIENDS!!!!

Had I Known…

Had I known that my husband’s knees would go out on him this year, I would not be living in this house.

Had I known this fact, in advance, there is no way I would have even considered living in this house—nor be in the process of purchasing it.

I mean—this house is a second marriage to start.  It requires endless renovations.  And it’s okay—but we knew that going in.  So THAT (the need of endless renovations) was upfront with us and quite visible.

As was the coal furnace.  But I am married to a man that takes care of the coal for me.

But then life hit us and sat my husband down.

Which has left me lifting 200pounds of coal every couple days.

This morning, my hair did not feel like hair.  It felt like ashes.  It smelled like coal.  And my nose still blows black.  Wonder what the doctors would make of that?

You see, though—This thing “HAD I KNOWN” is just what we don’t know.

And, therefore, we enter life with a whole bunch of unknowns.

Perhaps you have so many HAD I KNOWN moments in your life:

Had I known my marriage would not work…

Had I known my loved one would not be here this year…

Had I known my health would not always be with me…

Had I known my job would not be secure…

Had I known…Had I known…Had I known…

My friends. We don’t know.  And that’s a certainty we can be sure of.

Sure, in some situations in life, we can be aware that something may go in a certain direction…But in many HAD I KNOWN situations in life, we just don’t know before it happens.

So the question is—What are you doing about it?  What are you going to do about it?  What will you keep doing about it?

You are here.  In this place of HAD I KNOWN and now it’s your turn to realize that you can’t look back and change the past…You are here.

What are you going to do about where you are?

Encouraging_Bible_Verse_LHT_Strength_Psalm138_3_472_446_80

Mud Boots


There was a time in my life—barely six months ago—when I couldn’t get out of my car without first changing my shoes.

You see.  We live where it is VERY muddy.  Mud mud mud.  Everywhere.  All day.  Everyday.

And we didn’t have any sidewalk.  Therefore, I had to put on my mud boots to exit outside, while carrying my shoes for the day.

I traipsed back and forth from the house to the car, loading all 3 kids, so they wouldn’t get stuck in the mud…

And then, before putting my muddy boots in the car, I would sit in my seat and slip on my every-day shoes.

After that, I would have to figure out what to do with those muddy boots, eventually placing them somewhere in the car, usually getting mud all over everything.

Mud muddy boots.

But you see—I had to do this.

I had to wear mud boots.  I had to carry my children.  I had to then change shoes again.

I didn’t have a choice.

If I didn’t have my mud boots on, I would get stuck in the mud.  Our other shoes would get destroyed.  And there would be endless mud everywhere.

We lived like this for five years.

Five years of changing in and out of our mud boots.

But this past summer changed EVERYTHING for us.

We got a sidewalk around our house.  And a gate that opened, leading to our front door.

And our life, although muddy, became a little less so.

Friends, in life, sometimes we feel like we are deep down stuck in the mud.  And it does not seem to get any easier.  Nor does it seem to go away.

You feel as if you are trudging, daily, through the mud—not just for yourself but also for your loved ones.

And you probably are.

It is messy.  You must be strong.  And it is daily.  Daily.  Daily.

But, I am here to tell you, be patient.  Be persistent.  And trudge through that mud.  Because a day will come when you no longer will need to slip on and off those mud boots.

Encouraging_Bible_Verse_LHT_Hope_Jer29_11_472_446_80

 

There is no magic to turning 40—just a good salon


There are no magic beans for growing older nor any fountain of youth.  And Tuck Everlasting taught us that, even if there was such, we should desire it not.

So I have succumbed to aging.

40 is nothing in today’s world—especially since 40 is the new 20, right?!  But, it’s not entirely true.

Forty is something.  It’s 40.  The big 4-0. The number that defines something monumental.  Your first half of life has passed.

Yes.  Today’s world is living longer.  Healthy.  Traveling.  Enjoying life…seeing many decades more than previous generations.

It’s amazing and I am so thankful.  It’s encouraging and makes me happy to know that I have a great chance to live so many decades more.

But 40 is still hitting me.

Take my eyebrows for instance.

You already know how famous they are 😉

But really, let’s come back to them.  My eyebrows—they grow—long.  Like old man long.

What????  I had no clue I would one day wake up, look in the mirror, and see an old man on my face.  Yet there he is, in my eyebrows.  Old man.

And nose hair.

And my chins.  It doesn’t matter that I’m not a large woman, my grandma chins are still there.

Why?

They are there for a reason.  They are my reminders that I am nearly 40.  And it is a milestone.  And it means something significant:  I am completing my first half of life.

And this brings me into a place of better perspective.  One that reminds me that life is precious and fleeting.  There is not anything we can do to stop or slow it.  So today is my day.  Today is your day.

Make the most of each day.

Even if that day involves a moment at a salon—artificially refreshing your youth 😉