What do you do?

I keep people alive every day.

Some professionals call this a doctor.

I keep people out of trouble. Even prison.

Some professionals call this a lawyer.

I have a 24-hour food service.

Some businesses call this an all-night diner.

I make sure individuals are eating properly.

Some professionals call this a nutritionist.

I provide full-service cleaning of home and garden.

Some businesses call this Merry Maids. Others Lawn Services.

I organize an entire empire, guaranteeing the success of my subordinates.

Some professionals call this a CEO.

I listen to hurts and pains and help guide to a healthier and stronger emotional well being.

Some professionals call this a psychologist.

I pray with, for, and share scriptures with those in attendance.

Some professionals call this a pastor.

I even democratically rule my own country…with the strong use of Veto when necessary.

Some would say that I am a self-appointed democratic monarchy—ruling both the party and the crown. Therefore, calling me simultaneously Mrs. President and HRM the Queen.

Yes, many professionals and businesses may give me many names…

But, for those under my roof, they simply call me mom!

Murphy’s Law…Of course!

cutest summer interns

Listen, we just had the most adorable and awesome and BEST interns in the world literally leave our home less than a week ago.  These ladies were seriously the BEST!

And I know my home is NEVER empty.  Like ever. Like a day after they left, we had a friend of Adelyne’s in our home for TWO days.  Not one.  Two.

The week before the interns left, we had another friend of Adelyne’s PLUS the interns.

People were sleeping on the floors…Couches…Kitchen tables.  Bathtubs.

Okay. The bathtub was an exaggeration since it was literally our only ONE for nearly 10 people. Unless a garden hose counts as a washing tub?  Or a quick dip in a lake or hot tub?

If so, then I have 3 extra washing rooms in near proximity (smile and wink).

But I don’t think they do.

Let’s get back to the sleeping situations of our home.

Tomorrow, we have a different friend of Adelyne’s spending the night.  Then two nights after that, we have Rich’s sister and her family spending the night—which will make 5+5=10 under our little farm house’s roof.

And one bathtub.  (Oh, wait—that’s right: garden hose, hot tub, and nearby lake—three extra cleaning basins)

I do have a point with this…

MURPHY’S LAW, Baby!

Here as I have been handling large masses sleeping in ever nook and cranny of my home—I was getting all “laissez faire” about proofing my house.

“Baby proofing,” you may think?

No.

“Fire proofing,” may be your next guess.

Nope.

“Storm proofing,” you may try for a third time—and this one plus flood proofing are actually LOGICAL guesses considering a huge storm did some pretty nasty damage on our house last year and our basement floods.  Like ALL THE TIME (don’t worry—we are still working on water-proofing that one before winter).

The answer to both storm and flood, however, is still NIE.

MOUSE PROOFING!

Ever since my husband and our friend found the existing holes on the outside of our house a few months back, filling them, our house has been scratch, poop (unless you count stinky children), and food packaging hole free.

HEAVEN ON EARTH!

For some of you, heaven on earth may look a little differently…but, for me, heaven on earth has looked like a mouse-poop and chewed home free!

It truly was a glorious — albeit SHORT time.

Last night, however.  Last night it ALL came crashing down.

I was in a moment of solitude.  Just me and the TV.

What should have been peace was filled with scratch, scratch, scratch.

I sat up!

The scratching stopped.

I relaxed.  I am just hearing things.  Slightly insane, right?  Perhaps a little paranoid, eh?!

Scratch, scratch, scratch…scamper, scamper, scratch!

I take it back!  I am NOT INSANE (please, tell my husband)…I knew it!

I heard it.  It was like a bad record playing again and again and again.

And then my movie is ruined.  My forthcoming sleep is ruined.  MY NIGHT IS RUINED!

Thank you, MICE!

So, today…after HORRIBLE dreams (smile and wink), I went on a mouse walk around my house.

I know the signs of infestation.  I know the poop.  I know their favorite crevices.

And THAT is when I spied it…

The popped trap.

Now, I noticed this popped trap a couple days ago, but when I peeked at it, I didn’t see a mouse.  So, I just ASSUMED (and you know what they say about assuming) that the trap popped because something fell on it or it was faulty.  Hence I ignored it.

But what I could not ignore the last couple days was the STINK in our house.

Now, to be fair, we have kids.  So, I’ve spent the last three days shouting lovely encouragement such as, “You stink! Take a shower!  Make sure you flush the toilet!  Peeeeeewwwww—-eeeeeeee!”  Yes, I am a lovely mother like that.

On top of that, to emphasize my stinky children, I have been abusing Febreeze.  Like literally spraying it all around the house.  Like multiple times because my kids smell like the pig-farm of summer.

Or DID THEY???

Now, in what is VERY OBVIOUS hindsight, I realize that I may have overreacted a bit (extremely unusual for me, btw, just as my husband)…

It’s not the children at all.

The mice are back.

And now my mind is on FULL lock-down.

I gotta get to my rice before they do.

To the crackers.

The cereals.

I gotta gotta gotta.

I should have known.

Literally.

It was too good to last.

A mouse-free house…

BAH!

Hashtag Murphy’s Law, Baby!  #murphyslaw

 

That’s why Moms were invented…

he knows who is boss ;)

Disclaimer in case you like my husband better than you like me (smile and wink)… he knows I am writing this.

In fact, on the day that it happened, he was batting 0 all day long but my list of “What to blog” kept getting bigger and longer and funnier.

Hopefully I’ll come back to all of them.  But today I’ll start with this one…

The day started with me on the countdown: 3 more days until Richard leaves me in a little farming village and travels to the States for a month.  THEREFORE, I am going to lie in bed past time for kids to get out of bed…and daddy is going to get ALL 3 kids to school.

Now, to be fair to my husband, he is usually the one to feed, pack their bags, and drive them to school.

Wait?  What do you do?

I don’t know, honestly.

Maybe help choose clothes, comb their hair, and provide kisses???

I definitely get the coffee going.

In any case, it seems when moms are around (even if all we are doing is drinking coffee) the house just seems to be kept from burning down.

We notice things.

So, I roll down the stairs at a very lazy 9am.  Kids in school.  Husband back to work in his office.  And that’s when I smell it.

Plastic.

Burning.

On my kitchen table (that I painted, btw).

Yes.  The decade+2 daughter’s straightening iron was piping hot—burning a hole right through my adorable Easter bunny placemat (See, right there—that’s what I do!  I decorate for the Seasons and make the house feel “happy”.  Phew!).

I grabbed the iron, unplugged it (much too late, unfortunately, to save its life as the plastic had now become one with the iron), stuck it somewhere safe, picked up the placemat, got rid of the burning plastic smell by opening all the windows, made sure the wooden table had not yet become victim to the “iron” and walked past my husband saying, “That’s why moms were invented.”

Do you know what he said?

“I didn’t even know the iron was still on…”

Of course not.

Because, while he may be packing their bags, and second breakfast snacks, and feeding them breakfast and taking them to school, I am drinking my coffee and making sure the house is still standing.

And sending them off with kisses.

The best reason why moms were invented.

Now, back to my coffee…

(smile smile wink wink!)

 

The beats of my heart!

Life can be lived in the simple moments of family and nature, enjoying two of God’s priceless gifts.

I reflect, and often, on how my life was once full of sorrow at the hope destroyed of a baby we lost, bitterness at a marriage struggling, fear of a son dying, and exhaustion that it all never seemed to end. Seasons that seemed to toil forever.

Then I see these perfect mountains and I count 3 perfect children and I see a man I admire most on this earth and I realize that time can pull you through all things.

And God was there, steadfast, through it all.

Silence and struggle does not erase quiet, infinite care.

God bless you and yours, our friends, in your seasons of life.

#hisloveenduresforever #greatishisfaithfulness

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.

desperate-2293377_1920

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

 

Eyebrows Make A Man…

the crazy naked littles

Okay, we have had a lot of laughs on this particular blog site about eyebrows.  I, alone, am a living, walking, talking, breathing eyebrow failure of a woman.  BUT TODAY…today it was all about a lesson my son was teaching my youngest daughter.  And, I am willing to bet, it’s a lesson that YOU, AS WELL, didn’t even know 😉

Maxwell (age 4), sitting at our lovely farmhouse renovated table, messy hair, and slightly hoarse morning voice, eating the “talking” cereal with his little sister, GoGo Bean (aka Josephine Diane), looked excitedly at her and proclaimed, “JOSEPHINE!!!!!  You’re growing EYEBROWS!  Soon you’re going to turn into a MAN!”

And as excited as he was for Josephine to turn into a man, this newfound knowledge did not sit as well with his 3-year-old sister who then proceed to cry, “I DON’T WANT EYEBROWS!”

Entertainment abounds, my friends…

Even in the art of eyebrows!