Sunday, August 14, 2011

Loaded Question

A few weeks after Ramona was born Matt and I decided to take the younger set to a gun show. Isaac was very excited while the other boys?   Not so much.

We are a family infatuated with weapons of all kinds but the idea of an afternoon of "don't touch", "slow down", "hands to yourselves" might have had an influence on their indifference.  But Isaac?  He was absolutely giddy!  He even dressed for the occasion:  Full mismatched camo, vest included.

We perused aisle after aisle of displays when, out of the blue, Isaac tugged on my sleeve and asked...

"When does the gun show start?"

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Do Hard Things.

On the way to the soccer tournament this morning Hayden asked me, "What if I asked to play goalie today?".

"What?!?!?! No way!" was the first thing that escaped my mouth thinking he was kidding.

I made it through my entire educational career with only one formal speech under my belt.  I don't know how I weaseled out of them.  I think I feigned sickness and took the "F" once, probably didn't take classes that required them... 

That's pretty much how Hayden has avoided the goalie position for the last 13 years.

"Well, it all depends on who we play... it's my last day, and if we're really far ahead... Maybe I'll give it a shot."

He played his usual defensive position for all but the last 10 minutes of the game... they were down 3-0. 

From the sidelines I saw him donning the long sleeved green and black striped goalie shirt.  I fumbled for my video camera.  Ramona started crying.  I opted to watch instead of film.

So, with Ramona bawling on my hip and me pacing the sidelines the game commenced with him in the goal.

It wasn't pretty... In fact, their first drive on goal ended in Hayden picking up the ball out of the box and being called for handling.  Then shortly after, they scored on him.  He made a valiant dive to try to block it though.  The ball never made it in his vicinity again.

He was smiling when it was over.  He had given it a shot and had failed.  Twice. 

But he was still smiling.

I was proud. And inspired.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Special Bond

While watching the 3 banded armadillo yesterday at the zoo, a mom stood by and listened as her two young sons, I'd guess ages 2 & 3, engaged in typical bathroom humor conversation.

As if she suddenly realized she wasn't alone, she looked my way, apologized and said "I'm sorry, I've got two boys... I don't even notice it sometimes."

"It's okay" I reassured her "I've got 4."

We shared a knowing smile and went our separate ways.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


If I had to sum up my emotions for the day... I was cheering and feeling a little sad all at the same time.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cutting the Crap

Honesty.  With yourself.  With others.

That's my definition of personal responsibility.

A couple of years ago while talking with a friend about weight loss, we came to the conclusion that, in all honesty, we were overweight because we ate more calories than we burned. 

That's it.  Cut the crap.

Not because our thyroids were out of whack, not because we had too much to do and not enough time to exercise or cook healthy foods, not because... blah blah blah.

The excuses can be endless and overwhelming.  And in the end, that's all they are... excuses.

I've since taken that approach  to just about every issue I've encountered.  Sometimes with the help of that close circle of friends that reminds me to cut the crap and sometimes I can pare it away myself.

It's funny how we can try to excuse our way out of our own selfishness, laziness, greed or whatever happens to be your weakness.  Your real weakness, when you cut away the crap, is hard to hear. 

My kids, for example, don't always do a good job at the task they've been assigned.  Is it because they're bad kids? No, they're great kids.  But they are kids and kids will only do what is inspected not what is expected.  If I'm being too lazy (or selfish) to drop what I'm doing to inspect the job, I can almost always find myself disappointed with the results.

The kids, on the other hand, cannot use that as their excuse.  They all know how to correctly accomplish the task at hand.  Personal responsibility dictates that they cut the crap and fully do what is expected of them.  Period. 

In society today not many people can cut the crap and put the blame on their crumby circumstances on themselves.  

I was listening to the radio the other day and I heard Mark Gungor's Better Marriage Minute.  I can't find the exact quote but it went something like this:

100% of divorces happen because one or both spouses become selfish.

Talk about cutting the crap.  

I came across a book that was title something like Get Off Your Butt and Parent.  Needless to say, I didn't need to read it... I knew all to well what my problem was.

It's rather easy (if you're willing) to chisel away the excuses to get to the real issues when you're studying the 10 commandments (again?) with your children.  Go ahead, dust off your Catechism.  Give it a whirl.  We've clouded even the only 10 commands God has given us to obey with excuses.

Yikes!  I could list something under every commandment that I deal with regularly.  Murder?  Not me!  But always being patient, kind, and forgiving from our hearts towards everyone?   Once again, not me.  

Recently I've begun praying for awareness of my sins.  Yikes again!  Without awareness, how can I ever change?  If I can't cut the crap, see my sin for what it is, how can I truly repent?  I thank God every day for His grace. 

Although, I don't think all crap is sinful.   My personal convictions may not be yours.  BUT if you are lying to yourself... allowing yourself to be a victim of your circumstances... you may be missing out on a lot of opportunities.  Opportunities you never thought were available to you because of your thinking.

A single word can make a difference in your whole outlook.  Take, for instance, Want and Need.  If you can differentiate between the two your whole life could change.

scrape   scrape   scrape

The sound of my soapbox coming to the front.  There are only two things that I'm outspokenly passionate about in life, and this is one of them.

Moms That Say They Need To Work. 

Before you load your catapult with rotten tomatoes, hear me out.  

One little word could put you in control of your situation and give you peace or hope or whatever it is you think you might be missing.  One little word could change the way you think.

Moms, do you really need to work outside the home?   If you want to, that's your choice, just quit telling everyone (and yourself) that you have to work to make ends meet.

In all honesty, if you cut the crap, making ends meet can be defined as maintaining the standard of living that you are accustomed to. 

Are you standards too high?  If you really thought things through...

Is cable a necessity?  Do you really need 2 vehicles?  Is there a bus route close by?  Do you eat out more than in?  Do you need a cell phone?  Is your cell phone plan the cheapest out there?  Do you have internet on your phone and at home?

These are only a few (and the easiest) categories to  simplify.  I've got a ton of them up my sleeve. 

When it comes right down to the wire... Are you sacrificing your children's need for direct parental involvement to your own selfishness?

Ouch.  I know right?

If the answer indubitably is NO then you can rest assured that your choices are working for your family.  Kudos to you... most people can't successfully juggle it all and come out unscathed.

If NO doesn't come so easy... or if you can whisper yes... redefine your situation.  Assess your wants versus your needs.  You can make a change, you do not need to be a victim.  Take a stand, do it for your family, you'll never regret it.

If you're stuck, I'd like to help.

Let's talk.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

There Is No One Else...

 I... take you, 

to be my husband,

 to have and to hold from this day forward,

 for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer,

in sickness and in health, 

to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part. 
There is no one else I could imagine spending every day of the last 21 years with.

Happy Anniversary 

Friday, January 7, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you’re inspired to do the same,
leave a link to your ‘moment’ over at SouleMama for all to find and see.