To the Uptight Mom at Mom’s Day


I watched you sit with your five year old working on the gift for his dad. Our kids were the last ones at the table still working. It was no shock it was talking us a while – my daughter was continually grabbing more and more things and I was struggling to feed my upset three month old and also trying to help/ interact with my daughter. “Sure, that looks great!” “Let’s put some more glue,” “ooh, that’s a neat piece, where do you think that should go?” As my daughter jumped up and down to get more things to add to her creation, I caught snippets of your conversation with your son: “that’s a bit much Jason.” “Why don’t you try and line those up in a straight line Jason?” “Let’s make these into a pattern… That doesn’t match the pattern Jason.” I inwardly rolled my eyes. Man, let the kid choose for himself! It’s supposed to be his project and his gift to his dad! It doesn’t need to be perfect. It’s a craft for a five year old. Mellow out.

At that point my daughter finished and we moved over to the card making table, leaving you and Jason. I helped my daughter arrange the cut-outs on the cover and glue them, then she turned to the inside try draw a picture. As she drew, I looked around the room at the other moms. Most of the moms were in jeans and sweaters. A few had t-shirts or nicer slacks. Most had minimal makeup, if any – we’re talking either eye make up or lipstick, but not much more. Most of the hair was in pony tails or buns – pulled out of the face to make playing easier. They all wore sandals, flats or sneakers. I personally had a maxi skirt and T-shirt with my moby wrap and a pair of toms, with hastily pulled back hair and lipstick quickly applied. This was what the moms looked like. But not you. You were wearing a casual black business work suit.  Hair down, but cut short, continually falling in your face, somehow not a single stand out of place. Makeup immaculate – foundation, concealer, lined lips, not just color. You were even wearing heels.

Soon we were called to circle time on the carpet. The teacher told I’d about a song the kids had been listening to that they absolutely loved. It was a freeze sing. You dance and you dance and you FREEZE! So the teachers put it on for all of us to dance to. It was a ton of fun – the kids were hysterical to watch and it really was a silly song. It was funny to see the kids who love dancing and the kids who are just a little self conscious. The moms fell into two categories – those who had fun because it was fun and those who had fun because they were there for their kids tried to get over their embarrassment for the sake of their kids. (For the record, two years ago, I was the second type of mom, barely doing anything, but I’m now the first type because darn it, that was a fun song!) And then there was you – who just stood there, looking at everyone else, way too embarrassed to do anything at all. Okay, I thought, that’s it, you can’t even pretend to care? You can’t get over yourself for one little song? Wow.

Then I watched your son turn around and look at you. He hadn’t been dancing like the other kids. I assumed he was just shy. He turned and looked at you, and you started awkwardly dancing. You smiled big at him and said, “Dance Jason!” Then you kept dancing for him, looking mortified, but caring more that your son had fun than about your feelings.

Then I remembered your son from the day I had a classroom observation. He was the slightly awkward kid – you know, the one who might have ADD or autism or one of those other “isms” or something (no judgement, I promise!). He was a sweet boy, but just needed a little extra help. Suddenly I saw you in a whole new light.

Your outfit, hair, makeup? You were probably headed into work and took the time off to come spend the morning with her son. Not everyone is a stay-at-home mom like most of the moms at this school. The control over the craft? Your son might need extra help with focus and concentration and giving him patterns or ideas might be a way to help him focus. And the lack of dancing? Well, if I worked full time and had a kid with special needs, I’d be pretty stressed out too – I might even feel a bit judged. Just like I had been judging you. I felt awful. You were doing her absolute best for your son and just because you didn’t fit the mold of the other moms that morning I had been a Judgy McJudgerson.

Basically I want to say: Uptight Mom – you rock! You know what your kid needs, and you are awesome for leaving work to spend some time with him. You demonstrated love when you felt judged for your dancing, and if I could only offer one piece of advice, I’d say to dance a bit more; you deserve to let loose every now and then!

Exciting things have been happening…


Okay, well, mostly one.

I had a baby. I’ve been exhausted and recovering. But baby is now nearly 3 months old and I’m hoping to get back on track (and fill in some gaps here and there). Hey, no one is perfect. I’m human, flawed and my real life is WAY more important to me than my blog. But I will backdate a few things to clear up some of the where I was when I was stuff. But for now I’m back. (And my shop should be up and running in the next day or so.)

First Trip to major supply store


11263102_10104465685327626_3625651144698604592_nI did it. I actually survived a trip to a big box store (Sams/costco/etc) with two children, one of which is a baby, without any one of us having a total meltdown. It was touch-and-go for a bit towards the end, but we made it out alive. I am happy to celebrate the major milestones of being a parent.

School Observation


Last week I was asked to observe my daughter in her classroom for about an hour. This is standard at the school she attends, and this is the third year I’ve watched her interact with her classmates and teachers. This year I had the added layer of caring for my twoish month old, but he’s an awesome baby, especially when I wear him in my Moby, so it wasn’t a problem at all.

Watching my daughter in class was hilarious. She is by far one of the bossiest kids. She went to the home corner where three other kids were quietly playing and announced loudly, “Who wants to go on an adventure?! Grab your seat, we’re getting in the car!” She then took a chair from the kitchen table and set it up as the driver seat in an imaginary car. The other three kids quickly fell into place setting up the rest of the car. My daughter then decided to pack – throwing all sorts of stuff into the ‘trunk’ (floor) and giving her passengers ‘food’ for the ride. When the teacher called her over to work on her art, my daughter cheerfully skipped away, abandoning the mess she’d made. A few minutes later, the teacher went to check on the kids in the home corner and chastized them for making such a mess and throwing things on the floor. She told them they needed to clean it up and that since they couldn’t respect these things, they couldn’t play with them. NOT ONE kid threw my daughter under the bus! I was sure they’d all blame her, since it was totally her fault. Nope – they all just cleaned it up.

I watched my daughter play with nearly every kid in the classroom. When pushed to do something else, she responded, “No, I don’t want to do that. I’m doing this.” During music time, I watched her yell clarifications to the whole class (including the teachers, “You guys! The song said touch your nose – it didn’t say stop touching your nose, so you should still be touching your nose with that hand.” The teachers ignored her.

But the best part of my day was when I watched my daughter listen quietly during story time as the teacher related the story of the Ethiopian meeting Philip (in Acts). At the end of the story, my daughter raised her hand and waited patiently to be called. The teacher did her very best to ignore my daughter until it was clear she wasn’t going to give up. Once called on, my daughter stated, “And then he was baptized.” … The teacher had forgotten the end of the story. My daughter made sure that wasn’t going to happen, and I was so proud of her for knowing her Bible story.

But wow, is she strong-headed. She’ll make a fantastic leader, provided my husband and I help her learn how to soften her pushiness a bit. She knows what is right and is absolutely confident in who she is. I was very impressed with the time I spent at her school.

This being a Christian school, at the end of the teacher chat, the teachers offer to pray with you over your child. Each year I’ve appreciated their prayers and asked to pray for the teacher as well. I so enjoy being able to bless the teacher with an in-person prayer and have realized that this is something I might be ableto use in coming years at conferences as well. Next year my daughter will attend public school for kindergarten, and I anticipate parent/teacher conferences for many years. I hope that some of those teachers will allow me to pray over them as well, even if they do not share my beliefs. (Would that even be allowed at a conference? I guess I’ll be finding out!).

Happy Easter ’15


I’ve posted about my favorite Easter tradition – our Resurrection garden. You can read about it here. Here’s our garden this year:


10676206_10104344691734756_1589587076212510579_n11130187_10104347004874206_7713857094988189718_nDay one (left)- buying “Jesus” and giving him flowers.

Day two (right) – the flowers are wilting and sad, much like Jesus’ followers would have been.

IMG_4180-001Day three (right again) – the rock is rolled away, the tomb is empty, and there is new life!

Happy Easter! Our son got this great Easter Egg and I just had to pose him inside it! :)




IMG_3858Our daughter is 5 and fantastic, but when she was born, she did some time in the NICU (for fluid in her lungs and jaundice). With our second, they released him two days after he was born. We were shocked. When the nurse told us we were going to be discharged, we booked it out as fast as possible, just in case. It honestly felt like they weren’t going to let us out the door. like the nurse was going to come running after us shouting, “WAIT! We realized something is wrong and he needs to stay a few days.” When we made it home, it felt too good to be true. Our daughter hadn’t been able to come to the hospital to meet the new one (or see me), so going home was wonderful. The doctor did ask us to go back and have his Jaundice level double checked in a day or two.

IMG_3717Unfortunately, when I did, the hospital called me as soon as they got the results in and told me to bring our new baby back immediately. He needed some time under the Billie lights in the NICU. I thought I was ready having been there, done that, but it was harder the second time. I was already a mom and knew what I was missing and had a hard time tearing myself away from my new baby. At the same time, I had a 5 year old who was worried about me and missed me. I had to go through the same issues with nursing and pumping that I did with my first, though luckily, this time the NICU stay only lasted 26 hours instead of 6 days. Despite that, I was still a wreak. I cannot imagine how moms and dads cope with babies in the NICU for weeks. They are incredibly strong and I admire their ability to keep it together.

L & D


Ah, yes. The post of horror. No, really, it wasn’t that bad.

My labor/ delivery was a whole lot of interesting. I had several female nurses all making jokes about men being difficult (since my baby is a boy). The only consistent nurse I had was a male student who was nervous and wanted to defend men, but didn’t feel like he was in a position to do so. He finally said something and I told the baby (in my stomach) that he better hurry because the student was the only one defending him and was leaving at 3pm and wanted to see him be born.

At 12:30pm the Dr broke my water. At 1, i was telling another student how I was trying to go without 11018849_10104232503306266_7450755324130406730_npain meds. I went into HARD labor at 1:20. At 1:30, I was crying asking for an epidural (so much for med free). I was told 15 mins till the anesthesiologist could get there. At 1:45 my husband called the nurse who asked if the anesthesiologist had been by. I said nope, I feel like I need to push. They check, I’m at ten. My Dr runs from her office. There were like 15 people in the room – several students. One lady was trying to talk to my husband over me asking details about the baby as I was trying to push. I told her to save it for later and stop. A few pushes and baby is born at 2:05. The students were all excited. The one guy who was with me all morning thanked me with tears in his eyes and said it was a miracle. I told him the baby came just for him since he defended boys. He couldn’t even respond he was so choked up. It was a great birth – I even made it without the pain meds!

After, we found out baby’s head was 37cm. My nurse said, “you go girl!” The lady who was trying to talk to my husband while I was pushing came back after to help with nursing and kept making comments about my girls (boobs) and telling him that helping me nurse was as close to sex as he’d get for a while – while winking at my husband. He was crazy uncomfortable. I so didn’t care at that moment.

Baby’s Room!


I’m so very excited to show you our baby’s room. I was trying to figure out how I was going to decorate his room. I wanted something that would grow with him – not a “nursery.” I ended up thinking how cool a space theme would be, but too much was too cartoony. I finally found black and white realistic planets, then decided how neat it would be to have spaceships from our favorite series! Then, of course, we needed to add some scripture. Once I got the miscellaneous stars, I decided it would fun to make constellations instead of just randomly place them. I love the way everything turned out! (Plus, I got to support six different etsy sellers!) Click on the pictures to see a larger version.

Grandad’s 80th Birthday


My grandfather just celebrated his 80th bday. We ditched school to go have breakfast with him followed by cake of course. My mom baked a cake, but hadn’t decorated it, so we raided the pantry and found some random candy for decoration. My five year old had a great time and the final effect was personal and masterful, and my grandfather loved it!


My Grandmother


1928988_524720279216_4864_nMy Grandmother passed away on November 4 of this year. This Thanksgiving, I am incredibly grateful for the time I had with her. I am thankful for the times she spent taking me to parks and reading to me as a kid, then attending concerts and performances (all the way through college). I’m grateful for the support I’ve had from her from childhood through motherhood. I’m grateful for her gentleness, manners, compassion and unexpected quirks. I’m thankful for the trips (to museums, plays and even different countries), walks together, and conversations over lunch. I’m grateful for her advice, her wisdom, her stories, her friendship, and her love.

32466_10100107996810346_6869559_nMore than anything, I am grateful for God’s plan – I’m grateful that my daughter is old enough to have good, lasting memories of her great grandmother. And I’m incredibly grateful for friends and church family who prayed over her fast-moving illness and state of salvation, as well as for the rest of my family during this difficult time. I appreciate all of you, and I deeply appreciate every moment I’ve spent with my family and friends – those who have moved (or moved on) and those who are still around. And I can’t let Thanksgiving pass without mentioning how incredibly thankful I am for my wonderful husband and daughter, as well as for the baby boy we have on the way! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Beth Moore Conference


Beth MooreOn Saturday I got back from a real quick trip down to San Diego for a Beth Moore conference. This was the second Beth Moore conference I’d attended and somehow this one topped the first.

Our church bought tickets and reserved hotel rooms back in April, so I’ve been looking forward to it for a while. While many people like to choose their roommates, I often like to remain open and see where God places me – I’m always happy to meet new people and get placed in the random spots; so this time I had no idea who I was rooming with.

Whereas before we attempted to coordinate rides, this time was a kinda figure-it-out-yourself sort of thing. I was planning on sending a mass email asking for a ride/people to join me when my daughter got hit with the flu. Feeling like it might be likely that I might come down with it by the time Friday rolled around, I decided that if I was still well, I’d just drive down myself. This turned out to be a great decision! I had the 3 hour drive down and the 2 hour drive back completely to myself. I got to listen to the news, a trivia book on tape, music, and simple silence. It was fantastic.

I arrived about an hour before the conference started Friday night. I was the last one to check into the hotel. After figuring out where my wristband was, I headed over to the venue. Thankfully, I ran into some of the other ladies at the hotel who were leaving, so I knew where our group was sitting. Even better, as I was leaving my car in the parking structure, I heard someone call my name – it turned out it was one of my favorite friends from church – along with her mom and my other good church friend. Of all the people to happen into run into…

Beth Moore ConferenceWe made it inside and found our church group, but there weren’t enough seats together, so we moved towards the back. If you don’t know who Beth Moore is, she is a fantastic Bible teacher and writes great Bible studies that really dig into scripture (and usually involve a lot of homework). If you don’t know about her conferences, each one is unique. She prays about the specific location and what message that place is supposed to receive. So even though she tours for several months, the message at each location is different.

The message over the course of the weekend was about the Greek word “symphoneo” meaning agree, accord, or harmonize. Beth pulled scripture from various locations utilizing the word agree, disagree or even harmonize and used them to make points varied and poignant about arguments, forgiveness, marriage, purposeful prayer, the lost coming home, etc. I think my favorite phrase was early on referring to Matthew 18:15; she said “it’s about winning relationships, not winning fights” (paraphrased of course).That’s a thought I will be rolling around again and again, especially when dealing with my husband and family members. The other thing that struck me was her comment on Matt 18:19-20. Basically, we need ‘to stop thinking we all need to be pianos banging on middle C. We are different instruments playing different notes. We need to harmonize and follow the conductor (God)’

IdentityBesides enjoying the awesome message, I was able to spend time with my friends, as well as get to know my roommate (my daughter’s friend’s mom) a bit better. It was a great time – 26 hours from the time I left home to the time I drove back in the driveway. I enjoyed the entire time and deeply appreciate the ability to relax, reconnect with friends, and rejoice in the Lord.

Back (with a really good excuse for my absence)


Well, I’ve been away from my blog for a while. Unfortunately, when a million other things are going on, my blog falls to the bottom of the to-do list. Fortunately, it’s for a very good reason! If you don’t know me personally, the reason I’ve been MIA is because I’m pregnant! Yay! Many backdated posts being composed in the next few days to make up some of the missing time. But I’m back … for now.

It’s a …

I just wanted to share our announcement! It’s a …
 it's a boy
Yes, we did this partly because of the irony. We do not like shopping. We do not like spending money. And what’s more, I (as a girl), happen to like football, Batman, and a lot of the other stuff in the cart. Plus, I much prefer blue to pink. However, this picture sure was a lot more fun to take than releasing blue balloons into the air. Even my daughter, who looks miserable in the photo, was pretending because it was more fun that way.
And in case you were wondering, we put almost everything back where we found it. We used a gift card to buy a set of outfits and bibs (plus the Batman shoes because they are awesome!)
And, because we really are happy to be having a boy, here’s the first picture we took – SMILING, you’ll note.
We're really happy it's a boy