Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Of course Mother's Day is around the corner and it makes me think of wonderful women I have been blessed to have had in my life and continue to have.

First of course, is my own mother.  I certainly do not give her the credit she deserves.
My mom is full of grace, kindness, braveness and never ending love.  She loves her children fiercely and her grandchildren with a passion that matches no other.  I hope I half the great qualities she has, and I definitely do not tell her enough how much I love her and I am so thankful for her.

Each year I tell myself I will get better, and this year is no different.  She is a rock that I do not want to take for granted.

It amazes me how fortunate I have been.

I have had amazing women in my life.  Some for long seasons, some short seasons, but all made very lasting impressions on my life and their footprints remain forever on my heart.

Their names are many.  And I hope they know who they are.  From the wonderful women in the babysitting co-op I was so fortunate to be in, to co-workers, to family friends, to neighbors, to coach's wives, to family members, (in-laws, outlaws), to daycare providers, to hairstylists, to greeters at our churches we've attended, to my children's teachers, to parents of my children's friends, to our Pastors, to friends of friends, to other moms, to women with no children of their own, the list is long and never ending.

I don't believe in the "Mommy Wars or Women Wars".  These wars only exist in the media, not in reality.  I believe we are all here to help one another, whether we work full-time in the home, outside the home, part-time here, part-time there, or whether we have children or not.  I know I have done all of the above and I couldn't of done it without the help of some amazing women to help fill the gaps when needed.

These things come to me when I am driving and sound so "poetic" in my head, but by the time I am able to get pen to paper - they seem to come out jumbled, but here they are anyway.

My words of gratitude and thankfulness and hope.  The world is a crazy place, but I believe there is always hope.  And much of this hope comes from women.  Women who have it together, and those of us that don't.  Women who show up each and every day to do whatever the day asks of them.  Now don't get me wrong - men are important as well.  Very important, they have a strength and leadership that is meant for another writing.  This is about women.

We have nurturing hands and loving courageous hearts and no time to do everything - but we make the time to do what is needed now.

Salute yourself this week and remind yourself you are good enough each and every day.  Because you are.

To Brandy - who would of been 40 this year.  I miss you, and think of you every day, and selfishly wonder what it would be like to still have you here.  I really would love to see you roll your eyes at me.  Really.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Dizzy from so much going on.  At home, but most importantly in our United States of American and our world.

I decided to start watching the news to become more aware of what is going  - and quite frankly, I was all too soon reminded why I don't watch the news - too much negativity.  Like 24/7 negativity.

And with the Boston Terrorist Attack - information - given too soon - before the reporters really know what they are saying is factual or not.

People you really need to let the dust settle.  I would rather not know anything for an entire week, month, whatever it took - than to be misinformed.

Reporters do like to hear themselves talk - and sometimes they aren't talking facts.  Hearsay can be so damning, once the spoken word is out there - it is hard to get back.

Dizzy, from images played over and over.  Dizzy from politicians being "political" and using a terrorist tragedy for their own agenda.

Lives lost, lives forever changed.  This is a time for communities to come together.

And they have and they will continue to rebuild long after the politicians and sadly maybe the rest of America will start forgetting.

Dizzy that what keeps being played on airwaves is subjects that divide, not unite us.

We are the United States of America, we must not forget this.

Let's remember yes - there is great evil in our world.  Great evil, but there is also great joy and love and kindness.

And I will always believe the latter will triumph.   Always.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Inner Conflict

Well so much for Wednesday's being my standard writing day.
It's been awhile.  It's called life, distractions, lack of balance at times, work, family, friends, school, schedules, sports, etc., all of the above - which causes my thoughts to be jumbled and in turn this post will probably be jumbled as well.

I found, thanks to BFF, a fabulous natural sleeping pill, that was working wonders - every night - take two - an hour later boom - asleep, sleep such a wonderful necessary thing to rejuvenate ourselves.  

But now my mind is working on triple time - and the pills aren't working so hot any more.  

So now the trick must be - to truly put my mind to sleep.  Sure there is a lot going on, but I need to train my brain of mine to shut up - and let me sleep.  :-)

So driving today I was thinking what I need to do - and first thing that popped up was distractions - I need to weed out my unnecessary distractions.

First on this list came my phone - do I really need this phone?  Everywhere I go?  I surely not the President of the United States, I don't need to be reached every second of every day.  And surely I do not need to be watching an episode of Burn Notice on my phone late at night, cuz I can't sleep.  Probably not helping my mind turn off - I mean it starts thinking how it can help burned CIA agent Michael Weston on how to save the world.  LOL

I have tagged blogs like the Happy Family Movement, Organizing Made Fun, Money Saving Mom, Hands Free Revolution and Momastery to name just a few - which have wonderful insights that pop up on my FB newsfeed, but I know what to do, this isn't my first parenting rodeo and we are about to celebrate 24 years of marriage, so maybe I got this, maybe I need to put the phone down - stop pinning (I mean I would have to live about three lifetimes to actually DO the 2664 pins I have pinned!!!)

Then when I think yep - that's what you got to do - cold turkey - put the sucker away - then the other thoughts start to creep in - 
what about the cool running program I have on my phone that logs all my miles?  And tells me what days to run and how much.
What about the group texts sent out to various parent groups I am involved in? What about the pic messages with positive messages I send my kids every day (they probably voting I throw away the phone!)  What about the calendar and the lists that are on my phone?  And oh my gosh - the camera - I use that camera on my phone EVERY day, what about that?  And the GPS, everyone knows I am direction-ally challenged, that GPS has saved me from being lost on many, many occasions.  And the O'Reilly Factor that I watch on my phone?  And keeping current with long distant family members?

Oh the turmoil.

One thing is for sure - something has to give.
I surely don't need this phone.  It is nice.  There are some very cool helpful apps that make life "easier" - but I think my answer is if I don't have the self-discipline to turn it off - or leave it home - then it is going in the trash.

That is the trick, we must "own" the things of this world - not the other way around.

Thankfully I haven't become like some of the parents I see daily - out at the park with the kids, but not really engage with their kids - cuz they are on their phone.

In trying to do it all - I think we are missing the here and now.  And the here and now is what is important.

So don't be surprised when it takes longer to answer a text, or you don't "see" me much on FB.

I need to turn off some distractions and "plug" into some right thinking and positive thoughts of my own - through doing what I used to do a lot of - and that was read my Bible.

And I need to call people.  I know we have a generation of texters and even my parents and my husband's parents are getting into the "texting game" - probably just to stay in the know - and be able to relate to their grandkids. 

Texting is great and serves a wonderful purpose, but sometimes with the more ways we have to communicate - we actually communicate less.

Friday, February 1, 2013


One of the bloggers I follow asked the question recently - "if anyone has read or seen anything moving about the topic of female friendships and social dynamics and how difficult scary and wonderful that all can be?"

It got me thinking about my own friendships. 

In the beginning growing up you have friends that you pal around with, and then you hit high school and you talk about being "Best Friends Forever".  But mostly that forever ends a few short years later, and then for some college comes and you form bonds with your fellow roommates and classmates.  Then it seems we form friendship bonds with those that we work with.  

Some friends come and go.  But some friends do become forever friends.  I have had the pleasure of having both type of friends.  It sometimes makes me sad to think that I am not in touch with important people that meant a lot to me - but then I remember one of those people said a very smart statement to me - she told me sometimes people are only in our lives for a particular season.  So true.  I know people in my life have left lasting positive impressions on my heart.

Then if you are like me - you get married - and start raising a family.  And then suddenly there really is no time/energy/resources left for friends.  I have never viewed this as bad.  When my husband and I first got married - for whatever reason we thought it was funny to hear other people say they married their best friend.  We mocked it and found it very silly.  But the past 24 years we have realized this to be true.  I did marry my best friend and confidant.  My soul mate - the awesome father of our children.  Those words still sounds corny to me, but I have learned the valued truth in them.  When push comes to shove - Soren and I can count on each other.  We married each other to be with each other and to raise a family together and to play together.

Now don't get me wrong - I love girlfriends, and wouldn't have survived without them over the years.  And I have been fortunate enough recently to find a close circle of friends to be silly with, laugh with, have fun with and cry with.  My girlfriends over the years have been a lifeline.  There really is no words to write that can significantly convey what girlfriends mean to one another.  If you have ever experienced the wonder of girlfriends it is just an unwritten code.  You just know.

I do have a BFF.  And because of her and our children we have a close circle of friends.  I actually met my BFF through our children.  I guess we should be thanking our kids.  Thank you.  :-)

I have thought long and hard on many occasions as to why we are BFF's.  And what has made us remain so close over the past 16 years - where others have come and go?  I don't really have an answer. I know our kids played an important role - but our kids have other friends as well - and I am not BFF's with their mothers.

We relate to one another.  We can be together and talk non stop, or say nothing at all.   One of the biggest keys I think - is we know even when we aren't together the other one is just a phone call away.  Because really over the last 16 years even though we have been neighbors and friends we really haven't spent a lot of time together. Up until recently our lives have been very full with family and work - and we didn't see each other much outside of mutual kid events.  It hasn't been until the last few years where we can actually be together and hang out.  For we have had the same priorities - our families.  

We know no matter what we are there for one another, whether we talk every day, or once a week, or once every other week.  I do know, that I prefer seeing her and talking to her at least twice a week-this would be super ideal.  But this rarely happens.  But we just know, we know when we see each other next - we will have not missed a beat.  And we do know beyond a shadow of a doubt that one is there for the other.  Day or night.  Most friendships take time and energy.  But BFF friends know that sometimes there is no time nor energy left.  :-)

My BFF is truly amazing.  She is personable, like able, easy to be around and puts up with me.  The later being an important ingredient for longevity of our friendship.

I wish I had something profound to say as to why we have lasted so long.  But we work.  We just do.  We relate to one another. Our childhood upbringing was very different, but our history from about age 19 on is very similar and I know I have someone who gets "it".  I have someone besides my husband and family that puts up with me.  Cuz trust me, there is a lot of "putting up with".   

My BFF is the common thread in our awesome circle of friends.  Which has led to each of us meeting other awesome people and sometimes not so awesome people, but in the end we remain.  Different backgrounds, different stories - but we get each other.  We love each other.  And for us maybe our recent tightness stems from the loss of our dear Brandy.  

I am grateful for my friends.  I appreciate the fact in this stage of my life I now actually have more time to do things with my friends.  Yeah, at times it is still very difficult to get together, but whether it has been a week, a month, or a couple months, we always seem to be able to pick up right where we left behind.  We know our families are first, but girlfriend time is a close second.  And our families benefit from it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Kindess does matter

I read this somewhere a few years ago, so I cannot claim it as my own.  But I have tried to put it into practice in my every day life.  And sometimes that is not easy.  Sometimes I don't feel like being kind.

It sounds so simple.  Maybe too simple for some.  But it is so true.

Kindness matters.  Kindness requires slowing down a little, having a little more patience with one another.

It links us.  It makes us feel better.  In a world that can be full of fear, bullies, and downright evil - kindness is an an arm of hope.  Hope that we can make a difference - hope in each other.

Kindness develops community.

What is kindness?  Comes in lots of shapes and sizes - letting someone cut in front of you in the grocery check out line, volunteering at a shelter, at your local school, opening the door for someone, a smile, a smile can go a very long way.  Kindness can be contagious.

I was reminded of this just recently - we recently re did our will - it had been over 10 years - and the last time we did our will, our lawyer friend did it for free - this time I made a point of saying please charge us (side note, you might want to find out what a will cost PRIOR to getting one done and opening your mouth and saying bill us).  He did bill us - and I am not very savvy in the lawyer world - but apparently wills aren't cheap, even if you don't have much to will behind in the event of our death.  :-)  Well shortly after we got our original bill, his office sent another bill - saying "pay it forward" and again doing our will for NO charge.  I love this idea of paying it forward.  And at first felt very weighted down for we are not able to pay it forward in the same regard as our lawyer did for us.  But we do have the ability to do things to pay it forward.  And I strive every day to find ways that I can.  We all can.  And when each of us do kind things, this world starts to become a better place.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


As those close to me know - I am a "to do" list junkie.  I have to do lists for my to do lists.  I have calendars, and lists and more calendars and more lists and then add to this I have journals.  Journals from high school, college, early married life, then of course I have journals on each of the kids.  And better yet - I have kept most of these lists, these calendars, these journals.

Yep, I have notebooks full of them.  Why? You ask.  Well I was going through all my stuff last year and was ready to toss and toss AND toss.  For those that are close to me - also know - I am a tosser - I like to purge and get rid of stuff - lighten the load of clutter.  But instead of tossing these particular items, I decided to organize them and keep them.  Again, you are saying - you haven't gotten to THE WHY?  Why in the world would I keep these lists, these calendars, these journals?

Well it really is a memory problem.  I always think I will remember all the treasures and the heart aches gone by, but unfortunately my head is not big enough nor smart enough to collect all those tidbits gone by.

So I organize and keep - and then when I want to I am able to stroll down my memory lane - and with each list, or calendar or journal entry I read - my heart remembers.  And my heart is large and full and it loves to remember.  Like for example one journal entry May 4, 2009 - I had written three joys of the day 1.  Boating with the kids.  2.  Time off from work.  3.  Talking of the future with Soren.  Sometimes its hard though, real hard.  Like October 8, 2008 - I wrote - Saw Julie and Brandy today.  Julie seemed like she had the life back in her.  Looked calm and restful and hopeful for the future.  Brandy has to do difficult chemo - harder actually, for the one she was on attacked her heart.  And then looking through and wondering why the gap from May to August 2009, and realizing not one entry during those times - when we all lost Brandy.  Then my heart gets heavy.  But I am glad.  I am glad I have kept my tidbits of my history.  My story.  We all have a story.

Mine is woven in my to do lists, my calendars and my journals.

Sometimes the lists and the calendars are the biggest window into our life we have led.
some of the excerpts from April 2007 Calendar/Lists -
BFF apt., drop off books at library, pick up pictures @ Costco, take Nanna to practice, thank you cards, scrapbook, Circle Journal for Kyle, paint the hallway, call paintball places, register Kyle for SAT, Nanna softball game, take Grandma to apt., Kyle track meet, work meeting, Kyle and I to Culinary Arts, Kyle Jesuit, Nanna Wallace.

Some of the calendars and lists are color coded.  Not sure it helped - but the idea was each member of the family would have their "own" color - for a quick glance at the calendar.  Yeah, that was just a phase for us, didn't last long.  Not sure it was helpful for us.  We have tried many systems over the years - but the one that has never gone away - is pen to paper.  And a central calendar on our refrigerator   We have had this since the beginning of time.   This is our command center.  The kids will tell you if they had a nickel for every time I have said - if it is not on the calendar it does NOT exist - they would be wealthy individuals.  :-)

More random confessions I am sure to come.

Friday, January 11, 2013


One of the reasons I have not allowed myself to write - is my thoughts are always so scattered.  I look at other writer's - and they seem to have a purpose - a theme.

Not so much me.

And my "best" material always comes to me in the shower, where I can't take notes.  Or when I am trying to go to sleep.

And then when I do try and put pen to paper - poof - those wonderful "tidbits" seem to be gone.

But one of my scattered random thoughts of late has been Motherhood.  Or rather people's perception of what a mother is.

See most know I have seven children, but when those seven children were all little and around me all the time (insert "sigh" where did the time go?) people would CONSTANTLY ask - are THOSE ALL YOUR CHILDREN?  Why yes they are.  Thank you.  But it never would end there, some people would be as crass to say (mind you IN FRONT of our children) do you not know what birth control is? or better yet, you must be Catholic? or you must be Mormon? (as if either of those things would be bad) or some must be "his" and some must be "hers"?  My younger self just would pretty much slide away with my little chicks and say no they are all OURS, not his nor hers.  On better days I might get out - Yes, I do know what birth control is. But I would not say much.  My much more wiser self today would say yep, I am Catholic and my Husband is Mormon and walk away.  :-)

But see our story isn't skin deep.  (most people's stories aren't).

When the kids were real young - people would press - so which one's are "really yours" and which ones did you "adopt".  Mind you - IN FRONT OF OUR CHILDREN.  I would try and politely say - they are ALL ours, but some people just won't take a clue.  - Often I would hear "oh I know, but really which ones are which?"  My younger self would oblige-  but my much more wiser self today would say - "you know I just don't remember".  :-)

If I had a nickel for every time I heard "you gave birth to ALL 7" children, I would be one wealthy mom.
Depending on the day, or situation, I have said yep, and left it at.  Who really has time for the "real, whole story"?  I have tried to shorten it, but there really is no shortening a life story - but I have gotten it down to "well I have given birth five times, and have 7 children, 3 of which are adopted".  But see that doesn't really answer the question for most - because that math doesn't really add up correctly, so people press - and then it is "well our first child was stillborn".  If I was smarter I would of just said I have given birth five times, have 8 children, 3 of which are adopted, but then that poses the question where is the 8th child? and see it just not that simple.

And why does it matter to people?  As if giving birth to all 7 children makes them more mine.  I don't advocate lying, but sometimes you get tired of putting yourself in a place of explanation.  It's just not a short story.  And it's a very personal one.

But looking back I now realize - I had many opportunities to share God's love and grace and courage.  For that is the only reason this wife and mother is still standing - and standing strong.  Because God's handiwork has been woven ever so delicately throughout our lives.  It wasn't me that was holding it all together - but it was and is and will continue to be - God.

Thankfully in the last ten to fifteen years or so - I started to realize we have something awesome to share versus just cower away at people's bizarre stares and crazy questions.  That it hasn't always been pretty, but it has been covered by God's love, grace and mercy.

More scattered thoughts I am sure to come . . . .