Simply writing about faith, family, and life stories.


So, I have a question: sometimes you have to go to an unexpected funeral at the end of a heavy work week in the middle of writing curriculum at the end of summer while you are on day 63 of P90x3 with your oldest daughter (working out every single day) in the midst of the week of your local book signing. So, you’re distracted a lot. Your kids are soaking up their last bit of lazy at your house’s expense, your bathroom needs a good AJAX scrubbing, and you have callousy-flip-flop feet. I’ll bet you don’t know what AJAX is. Go ask your mom.

You call your big kids from work and ask them to take out the ribs from the freezer feeling good about remembering the dinner plan. But, you have church first and your last appointment at work goes well but longer than you thought. You rush in to get the kids for church and see the meat on the counter they pulled out for you. It ain’t ribs. And you forgot about this mystery meat wrapped in white paper. So, you turn it over, and it’s a pork shoulder from a wild pig your neighbor shot last year and generously shared. I love that neighbor. Except I didn’t receive any bounty from the hunting this year, so I don’t know what that means. And your feet hurt. But you have a book out, so that’s something.

What do you do?

It sounds like a bad riddle. Not clever at all. Here’s the answer:

Deep breaths help. Dude. Just take that pork shoulder, slap in it the oven with some olive oil and garlic salt, and go to church. You need to go to church anyways. Then when you get home, eat it with your kids (the ones who don’t know what ribs are, apparently). Then just sit and enjoy your family. That’s where it is anyways. Sit on the floor. All your pets will come see you. Then you’ll realize you’ve been so busy to even notice them much. And it’s fun because your kids will decide to do a photo shoot with you and the pets and then everyone is smiling even the oldest dog. If you’re lucky, you might have a little dance party with the kids before cleaning the kitchen.

And then there’s the book signing (Yay!), so maybe you should paint your toes, maybe, probably, definitely. And get some sleep because there is yet another workout tomorrow. Also, you can have ribs tomorrow.

What I Need to Write

1. Memories…and not just in the corners of my mind…not that my mind has corners…my head is round, isn’t yours?
2. Good memories that might be happy and sad all at the same time. Happy Birthday Mama!

3. Inspiration and wishes. This was her last birthday with us. Hope she is celebrating today. We are. So glad she was born.

4. A good candle.

5. A cup of tea, of course. Perhaps a biscuit. But there aren’t any account of our healthy eating right now.

6. A sense of adventure.

7. Support.

Keep Walking

   It all started in the checkout line when I was so hungry even the gummy bears were starting to invite. The guy behind me was chatty and so was the checkout worker. He said he was going camping and I didn’t listen very much because I was eyeing the Babyruth. I looked up and engaged the banter a little. My heart sank just a bit and I was sad some but after years of camping and hiking for our summer vacation, this year we opted to stay home and just go to the bay. I absentmindedly reached into my purse for my phone forgetting it was broken and I was waiting on the new one from the insurance. 

It was actually peaceful without a cell phone for a few days. It was kind of like 1982 though. I had to drive somewhere like my office or my house to make a phone call. Also there were a few folks who thought I was mad at them and therefore became mad at me for not texting them back. We made up. No worries. 

I finished with the checker and reflected on my sadness. I’m glad about our decision. It’s just different. Why do we not like change?

Did you read my book yet? It’s out there! This last year took a lot of energy and although always still up for a road trip we decided to just keep walking. Just like the old girl Tater at the end of the picture line, sometimes if you keep walking, you’ll have the time of your life. You might do Warrior 1 and 2! 
Then you might find some salt flats and a big red buoy abandoned in the pasture. And you watch with all smiles your kids as they frolick ahead of you in wonder.  Then in the middle of your “place revelry” reality pops up as your dog emerges from a hole in the ground burning your nose with the stench of skunk spray. 

Yeah, it was Dot. It was so strong we could see a green stripe where she was sprayed! She was clearly embarrassed and tried rubbing her body all over anything. It didn’t work. Two days later, she still stinks. And this prompted Matt to ask me why I didn’t tell you all the skunk story in the Waco chapter of Place Value. And I don’t know the answer except it didn’t come to me while I was writing. Excited that I had a working phone again, my children kept taking it from me to show off their photography skills. Claire took a picture of poop. It’s pretty good…for poop anyways. 

I will tell you the skunk story eventually. Maybe soon. In the meantime, keep walking, old girl. Seriously. Get out there. Don’t cry about your arthritis. Tater doesn’t…much. Dust off your shoes. Stand up straight. Get. Go on now. Keep walking.

So, I’m doing a little revamping around here since the old book is fin. Anna and I found this post I wrote a few months ago, and we laughed a lot. So, I decided to repost it for you while you are waiting not so patiently for me to finish my not so presto change-o. Enjoy!

Quoting on WordPress is weird. You can quote me on that. It looks like this.

But then you have to stop the quote. It’s like stopping the press. I’m picking up more quotes this week than the junk laying around my house. It’s been fun. Did you ever stop and think bloggers have it together? I think there are a million jillion killian blogs out there in the world. Lots. Heaps and heaps. I went to Australia once. They said heaps  a lot. They don’t say bunches. They say heaps and other words like yonks. I liked it there. Anyways, sometimes I feel like we (bloggers) are all trying to offer you advice. Maybe not. Many are just offering assistance or pleasantries or lists or their two bits. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of advice. We can sound like we have it all together. I’d like to break the barrier between us and tell you something. Nope. No. We don’t. We do not have it all together.

I’ll start by telling you about the hair balls under my bed. I dropped my work name tag somewhere in my room and got down on the floor to look. You could weave a rug with all the dust and hair and dog hair under there. Yep. It’s nasty. I commented on it. Then, I put my coat on and went to work and left that hairball to gather more bulk. Also, I don’t bathe my dogs enough. And last night was one of the worst dinners I ever made. I was dishing it out and everyone was asking me what smells so bad. I was talking up this bean soup that Mattea gave me and all I had to do was warm up and couldn’t understand all the fussing until I took my first bite. Ugh. It was so gross. I had burned the tar out of it. Burned kale all in that bean soup. Close your eyes and picture how my hairball house smelled. Maile went outside. I had a loaf of wheat French bread I had warmed too, and the girls watched me amused trying to wipe the burnt nasty off my tongue with a big piece of bread. I kept eating it. I wanted to be a good example which brings me to my first quote. They were yelling at me to stop eating it. I was cringing with every bite.

Waste not, want not.

I chimed this and Maile said:

Well, I want not any of that soup, so I’m good. And please don’t eat any more of it Mom!

We’ve been doing a lot of math homework around here lately. It’s been a little painful. I just want you to know I win the prize for the best in long-division in our family. :) I was thanking everyone for my accomplishment, and then I told the girls that I wasn’t great at math in school but I loved division. I also had a great relationship with algebra. I got along great with fractions and decimals, but geometry and I just didn’t work out. I told them I didn’t find trigonometry attractive, but I did connect with elementary analysis. And then one of my daughters stopped me and said:

Whoa, whoa. What is trigonometry…is that like shapes?

And then I had a little doubt moment with our public school system. And then I remembered homeschooling Anna. And then I remembered how much I love public school. But, sometimes we still teach at home. Tonight we had a political science lesson. We watched the STOU address with the kids tonight. Lydia came in and asked me to tell her who the men were behind the President. She ran out of the room and came back with the Wii microphone and kept getting in front of the television. We were fussing at her and then I realized she was holding the microphone out for John Boehner. “What are you doing?” I asked.

She giggled all sparkly and said:

Well, you said he is the Speaker, but he won’t speak!

We all laughed. I still can’t believe she’s so funny because she didn’t talk much her first few years of life. Before bouncing back out of the room she said:

I want to be the President! Hey! I’m going to be the first girl President everybody!

You go, girl. Go on now.

We always have clothing issues. I can’t keep up with all these little bodies growing. Claire doesn’t like to give up the clothes she likes even if they are too little, and Maile’s legs keep growing. We were talking about their jeans this week, and Maile said:

I guess we all wear high-waters now. You like my high-waters? I’m waitin’ for a flood, Mom!

I appreciate her comedic responses more than I can tell you. And don’t worry we are getting new jeans. Anna couldn’t find the right socks the other day and this is what she prefaced her groan with:

I know this is like…a first-world problem and all that…but I can’t find the right socks for my Converse.

Um, make that my Converse that she stole. Hmph. I love her. If she’s going to have a global perspective, she can have all my shoes. Well, that’s going a bit too far because I really like some of my shoes. But, you know what I mean; she is growing up. We went to the high school tonight for her 8th grade preview. High School. It was interesting. Her response:

It’s hard to think about the future. It’s so unknown and I don’t like it.

I said: Yes, but the unknown is more real than the known.

And then I paused to take in my own words. She stared at me. I mentioned something about taking hold of the unknown and braving the adventure, but it’s hard. We all hate to acknowledge our lack of control. I’ve been reflecting a lot on this little blog and the point of it and all that mumbo-jumbo. So, let’s be straight with each other. I’m not really here to give you advice. Maybe sometimes, but I’m a little broken just like you. I don’t always scrub my bathtubs as much as I should. I don’t always like doing my kid’s hair. I’m not always content, and I have days just like you where I doubt my faith and I kinda wish I was somewhere else. This is honest space here. We have to laugh. I want to be real. And I want you to know that there are dark spaces that everyone goes through. There is light there too.

And God is here with us in the real unknown.

And not just in quotes.

Crazy Places


Some places you find yourself in are just crazy. I can’t believe I’m here. It’s a great place! Thanks for journeying with me.

IMG_9130Okay, so this isn’t quite like the dream where you (mortifyingly and) accidentally go to school naked. But, almost. For two years, I have dreamed, thought, planned, and even more in the last 6 months have written and written and written. And wondered. And jumped up and down. And wrung my hands. And then I jumped out of the plane. I wrote to tell you about all the places I’ve been. This book as an experience and a journey to presence in the place you are. This is an experience of my stories and the way the places I’ve been have been used to shape me. This as a peek into places. This is a challenge (a gentle one) for all of you to be present, to move into the place you are in. In the end…well I shouldn’t give it away, but guess what?

TODAY, I am happy to tell you, this thing I created, this book, is just out there! Out There! Live on Amazon. You can buy it! And here it is…

Come journey with me!

Coming Soon…

So, I haven’t been around here for awhile. Lots of reasons for that. But I’ll tell you about all that later.

I have something very exciting to tell you….its kind of a secret…

…so stay tuned. 

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