Sunday, May 8, 2016

a mothers day message

i am so thankful i get to be their mom

she saw me through the car window, then spontaneously opened the passenger side door. i smiled politely from the driver’s seat, surprised by this bold stranger who seemed intent to deliver a message, concerned that perhaps i hadn't navigated the school drop-off line correctly. reaching for my hand and clasping it in both of hers, she gently said thank you. i lifted my sunglasses to the top of my head, wanting her to see she had my full attention. with now tear-soaked cheeks, in a quivering voice, she cried, thank you for raising up your boys to be so respectful and well-behaved. i don’t know what you’ve done but your kids are amazing.

i thanked her but attempted to rebuff the compliment if you came home with us you’d see they aren’t quite the gentlemen you think they are. she persisted and shared that her own son is one of the tough kids in the 3rd grade class.

i had received previous praise regarding what sweet boys harrison and graham are, but this time was different. what impacted me about this brief conversation wasn’t the kind things this beautiful woman said to me, it was her BRAVERY. i have frequently seen her at the school - she’s a mama who shows up for her son. her son isn’t quite like the other kids - she’s a mama who loves her son no matter what. through tears and pain she encouraged me - she’s a mama who chooses to speak life into others. 

i drove toward home praying for this incredible mother who took the time to express gratitude and share her story with me. it’s the prayer i have for every mom, for every woman - let us stop comparing ourselves to others, let us be KIND to ourselves, let us recognize the good in ourselves and our children, let us celebrate all the amazing strengths we find in each other, let us find a sister who will hold us up as we deal with difficult times, let us keep showing up to mother ourselves, our kids & each other, let us see ourselves as the brave heroes we are, let us choose joy & life & love…even when it’s hard.

to each of the lovely women in my life - those who are moms and those who are not - i send you love today.

happy mother's day

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

real life conversation...about brotherhood

the scene:  while sitting at the breakfast bar eating a snack; out of the blue.

graham: life is so disappointing.

me: (chuckling) really? why is life so disappointing?

graham: always having to take care of my older brother.

me: (no longer chuckling)

the bible says "how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity."

lately i question the balance between the good and the pleasant...

the things that don't feel good nor pleasant...

and the unity that can be found between the two. 

graham truly has been gifted with the unique ability to read a situation and adjust it to meet harrison's needs. this intuitiveness is special and will serve him well his whole life long. 

conversely, graham has become harrison's guide - looking out for, standing up for, speaking on behalf of, leading the way for, a comforting sidekick - starting when he was very little (younger than two). a job he took on himself and one i, admittedly, placed him in a few times too many. 

what does a mother do when her son expresses discouragement that his gift has become a burden?

 schedule counseling appointments then write a blog post, of course. :)
 ponder it; put the question out into the universe and pray for an answer. 
 sit with him in life's disappointment. 
 teach him to think on the positive aspects of his relationship with his brother. 

show him unity isn't a treasure to be found...

it is beauty we must create.

Friday, August 14, 2015

a real life conversation

me: you have rockstar hair, bud.

g: that's what i'm gonna do when i grow up.

me: what? be a hairstylist or a rockstar?

g: no, just be a regular man. no job. no college.  then i'll have my hair like this and walk around.

me: then what will happen?

g: maybe a girl will see me and walk up to me.

me: then what?

g: she might ask to be my girlfriend.

me: what will you say?

g: no. but maybe if she begs me too much i will say yes.

me: but what are you going to do for money?

g: i'm not going to have any money. i'm just gonna play video games.

me: and that's it?

g: yeah.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

new house photos - entry, guest bed & bath, hall, dining room, and a couple more

i cleaned up the dining room today so to celebrate here are a few more unedited pictures of the interior...

view of the formal dining room from the kitchen:

the dining room is round. i'm not sold on keeping this rug in here especially because i think it would be too small once a table is in the room. if anyone would like to donate a round table and chairs to the white family i'll be your best friend forever:

a peak of the kitchen from the dining room:

the staircase is across from the dining room. real life = dirty clothes on the stairs and vacuum cleaner at the ready all the time:

entry. i had to stand outside to get enough light behind the camera in order to get this shot. the house is dark and difficult to photograph because the ceilings are so tall thus the canned lighting is too high to truly illuminate the rooms:

oh hello lamp cord, bare bulb and empty wall (it's a work in progress). that little window with the wrought iron is part of our wine room, which is waaaaay too dark to photograph. but i'll try someday. because i love you:

here is our huge iron door and my homemade "no solicitors" sign. we had three people a day knocking, welcoming us to the neighborhood, then trying to sell us stuff. annoying:

in the hallway, a place to keep all our files:

the guest bathroom:

i set out a few candles and hung paintings the boys made:

the guest bedroom with pillows that will eventually go on the bed:

the room has a large, lovely window:

a view of the hall from the opposite direction. the french doors lead to jer's office with the guest bathroom and bedroom beyond:

a straight-on view of the living room (and backyard) from the hall. hard to photograph but you can see the whole back wall of the house is windows. i'm considering keeping them bare, no curtains. we'll see.  off to the right you can see the eat-in area of the kitchen with chandelier:

y'all are motivating me to continue getting things put away - thank you!!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

new house photos - kitchen, living room, family room

hello all! for those of you who do not know, we moved to texas! i'll have to write the story of that decision and how it came to fruition at some point BUT for those of you who do know (and have been begging for photos), this post is for you.

these first two photos of the kitchen are from the first week we were in the house:

the house came with dark brown stained cabinetry (which i'm not in love with) to coordinate with the dark brown stained hand-scraped hardwood floors (which i am in love with).

we purchased a new cream colored sofa to complete the seating in the living room.

i managed to get some things hung on the walls. his lindsay letters art was special gift from my sweet friend sara.

this is the monstrosity hanging above the fireplace. it came with the house. jeremy and i are "negotiating" about whether this beast should stay or go. lord help me.

last week we had the kitchen cabinets painted so this is what it looks like now. i love it! this area is SO much lighter and brighter now. the grey glass subway tile finally looks pretty instead of out of place.

the family room upstairs is pretty well finished.

the white door behind the sectional leads to a large unfinished yet pre-wired storage room. at some point jeremy would like to add drywall and use that space as a media room (basically an extension of the family room).

the roald dahl books were a gift for the boys from my dear friend leslie.

the boys' bedroom is in the distance; you can see harrison if you look closely. there is also a bathroom and another bedroom (currently being used as a play room) upstairs.

that wraps up the house tour for now. jeremy's office is slowly coming together, as is the boys' bedroom.  the master bedroom is a mishmash of random pieces we are using to get by for now. the guest bedroom is empty. the dining room is empty too unless you count all the art and accessories being stored there. the back patio and garage still need some love (and hard work).

even with all the odd jobs that have yet to be done we love the house and feel very happy here.

Friday, June 12, 2015

a real life conversation about father's day

the scene: sitting in the living room, trying to figure out what to get daddy for father's day.

me: okay, graham, you need to make a father's day gift for daddy.

graham: no i don't.

me: you don't?

graham: no. because do you remember a long time ago when i was born?

me: mmm hmm.

graham: yeah, so when i was born i was a gift. so i don't have to make him a gift because i'm already his gift.

you are everyone's gift, sweet boy.

you're also pretty knowledgable about how to get out of work...and definitely not lacking in self-esteem...i couldn't love you more.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

quotes i love

with regard to exercise, lena dunham said, "it aint about the ass, it's about the brain."

amen, sister.

with regard to being overweight and still wearing a bikini, angela was quoted on the momastery blog saying, “Listen. I’m a little fat. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about that because I’ve got stuff to do. So to make the world a better place, I wear this bikini to the pool. You know, so other women who DO worry about their weight will feel awesome in comparison. No skin off my nose. That’s my good deed. Done. Check.”

i love that so much.

from the book essentialism by greg mckeown (quote found at, "When people believe that their efforts at work don’t matter, they tend to respond in one of two ways. Sometimes they check out and stop trying, like the mathematically challenged child. The other response is less obvious at first. They do the opposite. They become hyperactive. They accept every opportunity presented. They throw themselves into every assignment. They tackle every challenge with gusto. They try to do it all. This behavior does not necessarily look like learned helplessness at first glance. After all, isn’t working hard evidence of one’s belief in one’s importance and value? Yet on closer examination we can see this compulsion to do more is a smokescreen. These people don’t believe they have a choice in what opportunity, assignment, or challenge to take on. They believe they “have to do it all.”

this hits true to home when i think of how hard my hubby works (and why???).

on motherhood, julie beck said, "Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world’s goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all.


i agree.

have you read any good quotes lately?