Friday, August 28, 2009


I can remember the exact moment the pain began. July 21, 2008 only a few hours after giving birth to Lauren it started. I had finally made it to a room upstairs. It was dark, Shawn was trying to rest on the extra bed and Lauren had been taken to the nursery for the regular tests. I was trying to sleep but my mind was reeling. Giving birth had been quite the experience. My new body felt foreign, squishy, and alone. As I lay there it hit me that my life would never be the same. Oh I had heard people say it but there in that dark, sterile hospital room I knew. The pain started in my chest. It had fiery fingers that weaved and wrapped themselves around every part of me until I felt I couldn't breathe. My throat started to burn and for a moment I thought I was suffocating. I knew what it was - it was her. It was my overwhelming attachment, love, and need to protect this new little life that had me tied up in knots. As soon as she returned to the room I felt better. The pain was still there but it dulled to a slight ache. Was this the kind of feeling I'd heard so many people talk about? The kind of love that only a mother can experience for her child?

The pain hasn't gone away entirely over the course of the past year. It is still there when I watch her play pretend. It is there when she gives me a kiss or wants to cuddle. It is there when I sneek in her room to see her curled up so peacefully. It is there when I drop her off in the nursery at Church. It is there when I watch her walk and know that our moments together will too soon pass. It is there when I imagine the future and pray that we make it.

I have no hope that this pain will ever go away and even though it hurts I don't think I want it to. It is the kind of pain that keeps me real and challenges me to savor every moment of this life as her mommy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


...for her first Disney Princess pajamas and that adorable belly!

...that she has a daddy who teaches her how to live life to the fullest!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

play date

I love play dates. I love sharing the trials, fears, and successes that come along with raising a baby and staying home. I love knowing that I am not alone! I also really love watching Lauren interact with her friends. This mostly consists of stealing other kids paci's and sippy cups and then claiming them as her own. Seriously, we have so given up on trying to keep those things straight. Kids need exposure to germs, right? Right?

Most of our play group has been together since the kiddos were teeny tiny...back when it was WAY more for the mommies! It still is WAY for us mommies...but the kids are starting to really enjoy it more. They actually notice each other! It's great. :)

Lauren's car was the hit of the day. There wasn't a single second that thing went unoccupied. We tried hard to keep the kids from drinking (sippy cups) and driving or texting (play cell phones) and driving. We only had a few accidents...Lauren ran over Kendall's hand once.

Kendall loved Baby Isabelle!!!

This is what happens when mom's get together! Aren't these girls cute?

We had so much fun trying to catch the group shot! Let's just say there were a couple where babies were out of the picture or mommies were. What a fun day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

a day away

Lauren and I went to Nixa today to do some visiting! Our first stop was to see my friend Cara at her new office. Cara and I taught 4th grade together for 3 years and had some very memorable times. She is the new Assistant Principal at the 5-6 building and they are so lucky to have her! This girl is a loyal friend with passion and a heart of gold, plus she is a gifted educator. We had fun talking about her future plans for decorating her office! Isn't she the cutest?

Our next stop was to drop by and see Shari. When I student taught, Shari was my cooperating teacher. I had the best experience and learned so much more than just how to teach from this lady. She is kind, compassionate, wise, and wonderful. Isnt' she the cutest? P.S. Check out how her wall says - SHARI. Isn't that crazy. I don't know what it actually said but I thought that was funny!

Then, Lauren and I went to see Clark, Shari's husband. I had some things to drop off for Megan and it was Clark's birthday so we had to take him a pecan roll from Panera! Yummy!

After that we stopped by Alysia's new office. She is the new Assistant Principal for two k-4 buildings and they are so lucky to have her. She will spend two full days at one and then three full days at the other. I was soo proud of her because when I got there she was getting herself organized with binders. I feel like I have grown her up right! She will be an excellent principal. She is clear cut and confident, very motherly, and a wonderful friend. Isn't she the cutest?

Our last stop was to see Tammy, Leslie, and Kelly. I can't believe I forgot to get a picture with these ladies. I was so bummed. It was so good to see their super cute rooms. When you walk into their classrooms you feel so welcomed. It is obvious that learning will take place, but you also know it is gonna be fun. I want teachers like them for Lauren.

Tammy, Leslie, and I worked together with Cara and Alysia. I don't know if any of us truly realized at the time just how special our team was. We were colleagues who cared about each other's successes but more than that we were (and still are) friends. Kelly, we have just adopted you into the group! Crazy Kelly fits right in :)

My girls, I am thinking of you as you start a brand new school year. I know the work you have put in so far. Many hours that have been expected of you. Extra hours that you have logged because you are passionate about your profession. Tomorrow you will meet your kids...whether that is 20 or 200. I know that you will love each of them. I know you will make them feel they are welcome and oh so important. I know you will work your tails off and go home tomorrow night with aching legs and a headache. I want you to know how proud I am of each of you. I have seen you guys in action. How lucky are the kids under your wings. I love you all dearly!

Monday, August 17, 2009


I have been reading the book, In Praise of Stay at Home Moms, by Dr. Laura Schlessinger for the better part of this evening and I cannot tell you how wonderful and meaningful it has been for me. The tears have fallen and I feel like I am experiencing a revival of sorts. Just thought I would share...

little lady

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

feeling crafty


I've been in a funk lately. Many of you know this. I still haven't figured out exactly what is causing it, but I am about sick of it! I always feel better after crafting so tonight I decided to lock myself away for a few hours after Lauren went to bed and Shawn went to play poker and just get into my creative zone and out of my funk.

First, I finished up a tea towel I made for my mama. My friend, Carissa, gave me the idea and I am loving making them... If I were doing this one again, I would make the cursive embroidered letters larger.

Next I worked on some secret projects for my friend Megan. She reads my blog so I can't post pictures of those just yet! :)

Then, I made Lauren this blanket out of fleece. It is sooo soft and comfortable and it will be perfect this fall and winter!

I went ahead and added an applique "L" to make it more personal! :) It made me so happy!!!

Don't you want to curl up under that?!?! I fact, I am in the process of making myself one. Now, should I applique a "J" on mine or is it too much? Hmmm....We shall see!!!

I'm feeling better already!


With the help of my mom's sewing machine and my trusty coke I finished my blanket!!!

I really like how it turned out. I can already see this becoming my car blanket. I always get cold when we travel...yay!!!

P.S. Did it surprise anyone that I went with the initial, J? No? I didn't think it would.

the life

alligator tears and one runny nose

a child gate that separates the "fun" stuff from the living room

the "fun" stuff: mama's dresser drawers, the toilet (gross), her diaper champ (ewww)

toys covering every inch of our living room

reading a board book together

a suspicious smell coming from one sweet little lady

pink sippy cup

jammies still on at 10:45

finding random toys in my kitchen cabinets...hello, why is this toy birthday candle in with my pots and pans?

obsession with pulling out all the dvd's from the tv console

wobbly legs getting much stronger and faster. did I mention faster?

~this is the life~

Uncle Chad sent this sweet kimono and funky monkey from Singapore. She loved them!

How could I resist posting this her!

Monday, August 10, 2009

painting pictures of egypt

Today I spent the day with my good friend, Tammy setting up and organizing her classroom. It wasn't as bad as she tried to prepare me for. She just didn't give herself and her own organization enough credit! We had a great time going from drawer to drawer and closet to closet making sure everything had a place and that it really worked for her.If it didn't, we tried to find a way that would serve the purpose better. I loved it! Seriously, I love to organize....especially other people's stuff! :) Of course it helped that Tammy is just the sweetest person to work with...and we have so much fun together...and we listened to good music...and we had some sweet, sweet, iced tea! We were in the groove people and it never really felt like we were working. I couldn't believe how fast the time was flying by and how much we were accomplishing! We got enough done that she can go in tomorrow with her mom and get all the decorations hung and then on Wednesday (her first official day back) feel confident that she can have everything ready for her kiddos! Thanks, Tammy for letting me help! I had so much fun! I also got to see my girl, Leslie, and that is always a treat! What a blessing that these ladies get to work together again. The three of us were part of the fab five back in the day.

I have to tell you, I was a little nervous about going to help out. In no way was I worried about being with Tammy...I guess I was just worried about the attack I knew might be coming. I hadn't stepped foot in a classroom in at least a year. I was worried that just being inside a classroom, my home and life for three years, would be hard. I tried to prepare myself in advance. It helped for sure, but the enemy still found ways to sneak in thoughts that wanted to cripple me, demean me, and leave me confused and unsure.

I love, love, love the beginning of school. I love the newness of it. I love the kids in their clean new fashions and the lunch boxes that don't look like they've been run over by a bus. I love the notepads and the funky borders. I love the posters that teachers hang on the wall with encouraging quotes in hopes that the kids will actually read them. I love the smell of the school building. I love watching a child light up in understanding or gain confidence in some area or another. I love the friendships formed with other teachers and having them so close. I love all of these things and so much more. I love them so much that today I felt that dull ache in my chest as I realized just how far removed I am from it all.

The enemy spoke many words over me today. Most of them were not very nice. But, instead of caving in to them, instead of listening and believing those lies I am refuting them.

I am not missing out. Hebrews 12:1

I am not worthless. Matthew 10: 29-31

I am not only a stay at home mom. Proverbs 31: 28

I am not stupid. Psalm 139:14

I am not out of the loop. Romans 12:2

I will return to teaching if that is the Lord's plan for me. Jeremiah 29:11

I am making a difference in Lauren's life. Deuteronomy 11:19

I am contributing to my family every day. 1 Timothy 6:17

I do not need teaching to be my identity. Galatians 3:29

I believe that the enemy wanted nothing more than to destroy me today. To send me into a tailspin of self-pity, self-loathing, confusion, and fear. I am so thankful for a God who is merciful and for the lessons I learned through the bible study, Me, Myself, and Lies.

Everything comes back to a song, right? Isn't that what it has seemed like on this 'ole blog for the past great while? Well, I have another one. This song has been a song of healing for me in the past year since I quit teaching. It's another Sara Groves favorite of mine. So many times I have listened to this song and felt the truth of it wash over me anew. When I look back at teaching, I paint it in a beautiful light. I forget the long nights of grading, the parents who were quick to hurt, and the pressure that was always, always there to be do better. As I face the future as a stay at home mom, the waters are unclear...the path is not the very linear and purposeful path I stayed on to become a teacher. I knew how to teach. I knew the steps. I knew what it took. Being a mom is a completely different territory. I am not so confident. I suppose that is a very good thing. When I was teaching, I didn't rely on God like I do now. I had principals to give me evaluations, kids to hug on me, and parents to tell me I was making a difference. My affirmation was abounding - always there. Now, instead of relying on others to fill me up, I am learning to turn to God. It is just us on this journey.

Lord, please do not let me hesitate to go where you lead me or to trust you with this path you have set out for me. Let me live it to the fullest - facing the future without reservation, knowing that you hold my future in your very capable hands.

Painting Pictures of Egypt

I don’t want to leave here
I don’t want to stay
It feels like pinching to me either way
The places I long for the most
Are the places where I’ve been
They are calling after me like a long lost friend

It’s not about losing faith
It’s not about trust
It’s all about comfortable
When you move so much
The place I was wasn’t perfect
But I had found a way to live
It wasn’t milk or honey
But then neither is this

I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt
Leaving out what it lacked
The future seems so hard
And I want to go back
But the places that used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I've learned
And those roads closed off to me
While my back was turned

The past is so tangible
I know it by heart
Familiar things are never easy to discard
I was dying for some freedom
But now I hesitate to go
Caught between the promise
And the things I know

If it comes too quick
I may not recognize it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?
If it comes too quick
I may not appreciate it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?

Thursday, August 06, 2009


At Bible Study this week we were talking about songs that have impacted us or songs that we just love. You all know how much I heart Sara Groves. Seriously, the girl is fantastic. I love every single song she has written. They are all heartfelt, vulnerable, and true. Anyway, this song is one of my favorites by her. I couldn't find it on youtube....well I did but it was like pictures of someone's family so you can go there and listen if you'd like. Here are the lyrics...profound.

Generations - Sara Groves
I can taste the fruit of Eve
I’m aware of sickness, death and disease
The results of our choices are vast
Eve was the first but she wasn’t the last

And if I were honest with myself
Had I been standing at that tree
My mouth and my hands would be covered with fruit
Things I shouldn’t know and things I shouldn’t see

Remind me of this with every decision
Generations will reap what I sow
I can pass on a curse or a blessing
To those I will never know

She taught me to fear the serpent
I’m learning to fear myself
And all of the things I am capable of
In my search for wisdom, acceptance and wealth

And to say that the devil made me do it
Is a cop out and a lie
The devil can’t make me do anything
When I’m calling on Jesus Christ

Remind me of this with every decision
Generations will reap what I sow
I can pass on a curse or a blessing
To those I will never know

To my great, great, great grand daughter
Live in peace
To my great, great, great grand son
Live in peace
To my great, great, great grand daughter
Live in peace
To my great, great, great grand son
Live in peace, oh, live in peace

Remind me of this with every decision
Generations will reap what I sow
I can pass on a curse or a blessing
To those I will never know

Oh, remind me
Generations will reap what I sow
I can pass on a curse or a blessing
To those I will never know
Oh, I may never know

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

on my mind

I stumbled upon these statements based on bible verses while online today and I am claiming them.

Many times she has stumbled and fallen alone, only because she would not hold My Hand. So many lessons she has learned the hard way, because she would not listen to My Voice. (Isaiah 53:6)

I made her. She is different. She's unique. With love I formed her in her mother's womb. I fashioned her with great joy. I remember with great pleasure the day I created her. (Psalm 139:13-16)

I love her smile. I love her ways. I love to hear her laugh and the silly things she says and does. She brings me great pleasure. (Psalm 139:17)

I made her pretty and not beautiful, because I knew her heart and knew she would be vain. I wanted her to search out her heart and to learn it would be Me in her that would make her beautiful and would draw friends to her. (I Peter 3:3-5)

I made her in such a way that she would need Me. I made her a little more lonesome than she would like to be, only because I want her to turn to Me in her loneliness. Only because I need for her to lean to and depend on Me. I know her heart. I know if I had not made her like this she would go her own way and forget about Me, her Creator. (Psalm 62:5-8)

I have given her many good and happy things because I love her. (Psalm 84:11 and Romans 8:32)

Because I love her, I have seen her broken heart and the tears she has cried alone. I have cried with her and had a broken heart too. (Psalm 56:8)

She is mine. I made her then I bought her because I love her. (Romans 5:8)

I have to reshape and remold her, to renew in her what I want her to be. It has not been easy for her or for me. (Jeremiah 29:11)

I want her to be conformed to My Image. This high goal I have set for her because I love her. (2 Corinthians 2:14)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

and now for something lighter...

I have been meaning to post this for decades or at least the last couple of weeks. What is with me?

When planning and preparing for Lauren's big birthday bash, two of my very favorite people in the whole world offered some MUCH needed help! I wish words could describe these ladies. Selfless for sure. Kind and caring of course. The kind of friends you could call at 2 in the morning (they might still be up - silly girls) for a heart to heart chat. They are irreplaceable and so very dear to me.

Both these ladies gave up hours of their summer to help me get this thing right. I couldn't have done it without them!

Leslie was my creative girl. Together we went through about 50 different ideas and themes for the party. Even though I wore the poor girl out I am sure with my indecisiveness, she never let it phase her. Even on the day we got together to actually create the invitations, I made her go with me one more time to Hobby Lobby to make sure we had the right stuff. Wanna know something? I changed my mind while there again! We pushed through until we came up with the perfect invitations and theme for the party. Leslie, you truly are "the closer" and I loved working with you!!! I am so thankful for your gift of creativity!!!

Isn't she just the cutest?

Tammy was my technology girl. I shudder to think where I would have been without her. Or, maybe I should say I shudder to think where my computer would have been....through a wall perhaps? I knew I wanted to make a slideshow to play at the party of pictures of Lauren from birth to her 1st birthday, but let me tell you - I had NO idea how to get that done! Tammy got right in. She organized all my photos by date so they would run in the correct order and then figured out how to run the movie maker on my computer!!! We had to make a run to WalMart for dvd-r's and had fun looking through the fun organizational items. Wild and crazy....that's us! Tammy stayed until the dvd was done and then later helped me via phone with an issue of adding sound over the pics. The dvd was awesome, Tammy. I couldn't have done it without you. I am so thankful for your gift with technology!!!

Isn't she just the cutest?

Love you girls! Thanks a million for helping me out.

Monday, August 03, 2009


I am at a standstill. Breath held, chest tight. My eyes are downcast to avoid the deep. Questions I don't know the answer to linger unspoken. The numbness feels strange, foreign, yet familiar. Haven't I been here before? Didn't I promise I wouldn't return? I need the fire but I am hesitant...I am stubborn.

Failures scream my name and for a moment I listen, agree. Time passes and I dwell there. At war with myself I wonder if others know. Can they perceive the struggle within? . . . I hear the questions scream at me: When? When will I overcome this? Perhaps tonight. Perhaps.

Eager hands seek sacred pages. Desperate eyes roam truth after truth and I devour it.

"And if You are the war...let me be your casualty."

Hurricane - Jimmy Needham
I have built a city here
Half with pride and half with fear
Just wanted a safer place to hide
I don’t want to be safe tonight

I need You like a hurricane
Thunder crashing, wind and rain
To tear my walls down
I’m only Yours now
I need you like a burning flame
A wild fire untamed
To burn these walls down
I’m only Yours now
I’m only Yours now

I am Yours and You are mine
You know far better than I
And if destruction’s what I need
Then I’ll receive it Lord from Thee
Yes, I’ll receive it Lord from Thee

And it’s Your eye in the storm
Watching over me
And it’s Your eye in the storm
Wanting only good for me
And if You are the war
Let me be the casualty
‘Til I’m Yours alone
I am only Yours
I am Yours alone, Lord

Mr. Luke

Today one of my good friends, Cara, has to take her precious 9 month old baby boy to a pediatric neurosurgeon at 3:30. Luke has been diagnosed with craniosynostosis. If you didn't would never know that Luke was facing this. He is right on target with his developmental milestones and is just the cutest little thing! Thankfully, Cara's pediatrician caught it during a well child visit. A well child visit, people! One thing Cara has really stressed after this is to not take those for granted. GO even when you think that your child is progressing well and you really have no questions or concerns. Go.

Please pray for Luke and his family today. Pray that the doctor will be able to answer all of their questions. Please pray that if surgery is necessary they will get all of the details worked out quickly. Please pray for Cara and her husband as they are facing some big decisions in the days ahead. Please pray for their oldest little boy as well.

Lauren wanted to make sure Luke knew she was praying. Except when it came time to take the pictures, she decided to act totally uninterested. What a girl, right?!?!