What I Think About Today

There’s so many good posts out there today. There’s a lot of meaningful writing, hilarious videos, and there’s even some movies out there about Mother’s Day. But I want you to know what I think about on Mother’s Day. Perhaps it will resonate with others of you moms out there who loved your mom but she’s gone. And you can’t rest in her soft hug today. Or smell her. Or be annoyed by her. Or get advice from her. Or get her to hem your pants by asking really nicely. Not anymore.

Truth be told, I don’t love this holiday. But it is holy. Flowers, cheesy songs at church, and well meant greetings just remind me that my mom’s gone.

And yet, here’s these four daughters wanting me to feel special. They know I’m sad today and I love them more because of it. I know some look at people like me and just wonder what I am thinking on this day.

So here’s what I’m thinking…

About her.

Her hair. Her smell. Her hugs.

Her voice. Her hands. Her legacy.

Her quirks and annoying habits. The way she said my name. Nobody says it like that.

Fighting with her moments of hate and moments of love.

Laughing with her. Feeling the weight in her face when I held my first baby.

Watching her live and watching her die…

About each of the days I became a mother. How magical and painful those days were…each of those births created a new me….

About the baby I lost…

Being real with each of the girls….

What they need from me, each uniquely.

What they don’t need from me…

How they have helped me mother….

How we change each other…and the gift that is for me.

Also what they have forced me to face…in letting go of myself and keeping it all the same.

And as I watch their hands grow….

Hug them…

Smell them….

Laugh with them…

We live.

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3. Streaks


If you have teenagers who Snapchat, then you know what streaks are. Streaks in that world are daily snapchats with the same person. It doesn’t matter what you chat or snap. As long as you don’t miss a day. Well you and I….or rather the blog and I planned this 30 day streak and it only lasted a few days. So much for consistency in 30 days! But so much has happened since Day 2!

The good thing about streaks is that you can always start again and do better the next time! So I’m just picking right up where I left off with a Snapchat of my own. 

That photo up there…may look like a street sign to you. Well…it is also a true statement. I saw it this weekend on the way to a rodeo. I laughed out loud while the children made fun of me. Then I proceeded to pull my truck and trailer over on that country road and push my daughter out of the car to snap the pic. 

She laughed at me but was game for it especially bc the pic I took from the truck just wasn’t working. 

Rodeo is the best streak we have right now…and it’s good sweat producing, grit building family fun. I am so thankful for the experience of it with the girls. You should go experience it…at least once. I’ll see you tomorrow. 

1. I had a baby yesterday 

She said this is Clickbait. But I really did have a baby yesterday 17 years ago. And look at her now! Also, do you see that cake?  I made part of it before work yesterday morning and finished the rest when I got home. She picked it from some website called Sally’s baking addiction and said, “only if it isn’t too complicated Mom.” It was certainly worth the effort that I got because of it. 

That’s the reason I didn’t blog yesterday. So today is day one people. This day I became a mother. What a magical day that was! Truly it was. 

And every day since has been magical! Not. Someone told me the other day that I made parenting look fun. Yay! I was so happy. 

Then I thought about all the things that aren’t fun. And I pondered about the evidence that caused my friend’s conclusion. 

Parenting is fun. But you have to make it fun a lot of times and I work hard at that. I truly enjoy my children but I also have to help them learn to be enjoyable to be around. A wise woman told me the other day that making any situation fun is a poor man’s therapy and the way to cope with the hard parts of life. 

So Day 1 of the story of 30 days:

Make it fun….what ever it is. 

P.S. Goodness! Look at her 17 year old face…she’s having fun. 
 

She would…

 

She would have been proud of us…for growth, change, accomplishments, pain…while she also worried if we were okay.

She would smile big at that new driver’s license, Anna.

Her chin would raise in support for that first golf tournament, Maile.

Her blue eyes would sparkle at how tall you are, Lydia,and she would comment on how straight your teeth are.

Her thin hand would run over your shiny, blonde hair, Claire as she pulled you into her soft hug showing her love for you the youngest.

She would widen her eyes and open her pretty mouth in wonder at how all four of you race in on your horses and ride hard to win. 

She would be glad I’m not as thin as I used to be while she clucked her tongue at the training for the marathon….shaking her head…”too much.”

Her other thin hand would rest on your shoulder Matt and rest there in the joy and the pain of the switch in sails.

She would delight in all the new great-grands born lately.

She would laugh hard at the silly family pictures we take.

She would look around at her large family and sign happily, proudly…and hope all in one breath that we are all really okay.

Rewriting Your History (Down to Studs)

Raise your hand if you look around and find surprise in how your life looks. Not what you expected? Yeah, me too. It can be good.

See, I have fluctuated between knowing living life like Mother Theresa is the right path and simply wanting to enjoy life with new shoes and a dress. This life and place and path has shifted and weaved and moved around it can be hard to be proactive and responsive. The feelings come and we “feel” thrown around by life circumstances. Faith is hard, and life direction can be confusing. So much of our life gets shifted by emotions and feelings and perspectives.

We all have our moments where we stop and look around to try to figure out if we are where we set out to go…or are we just a long way from home. Perspective is powerful.

Our life has changed a lot in the last few months. My husband transitioned out of his position at the church, and he is onto a different adventure. My oldest child is driving a car now. I’m training for a marathon. We have two high schoolers. We are finding our way in peace. Schedules, goals, all has adjusted and we are shifting our perspectives.

The things I knew when I was young, some were true, and some were wrong. -Lumineers, “The Gun Song”

Last weekend, we took the kids to Baton Rouge and we cleaned out a few flood homes together. One house we were in had nothing by the curb, and by the end of our time there everything 4 feet down we had hauled out to that same curb. I stood in the middle of the elderly lady’s bedroom overwhelmed by the stuff ruined…so much gone of her life. But, it was all just stuff. We drove away looking at all the piles of everyone’s things on the curbs. Everyone was the same….everyone down to studs.

My kids worked so hard. I was proud of them. They saw into the experience too. No one complained or fussed about sweating or working hard. Maile looked at me and said, “I don’t have any problems,” during one of our breaks. They aren’t perfect, and the situation we put them in on purpose wasn’t perfect. We talked about what we were doing and why. And then we drove home to our dry house with all the stuff in tact.


And so today, I find myself in the middle of all these memories while I shift through all the things 4 feet and down in my house to ensure that I am taking care of the stuff in my life and letting go of all the stuff that doesn’t need to be there. Reflection, perspectives, change all around me as I sort through high school senior pictures, my baby pictures, my babies’ baby pictures.

Bill and me

I’m not just in this life. Maybe maturity and experience always lead to this place of realizing how much I don’t know. I look around me and I find nothing is what I thought it was; I’m glad, mostly, it causes wonder to continually born within.

It’s my life, and I have a responsibility to lead in it. So do you. We are rewriting our history…maybe you should too. Hear your breath for a minute.

Slow down.

Look.


But don’t just look.

See. Have faith in God. Know that faith is not always what you think it is. Too mystical for you? Knowing what you don’t know may be an area you want to explore.

Get into your life. Are you there? Don’t just make it. We are meant for more than surviving….although there are moments when its all you can do. Everyone is gutted to studs at some point. That’s a tough moment, and no one would ever wish for it. That’s never happened to me physically, like these flood victims.

But, it has happened to me internally, and somehow everything gets clear in that moment…what’s important, what’s worth keeping, why you are just thankful for your people. Survival breathes gratefulness…and that’s good too. We aren’t meant to stay in “just making it mode.”

Do what you need to do to…clean out the wet and moldy. Dry out. Get ready to rebuild. It could be better than it was or what you expected.

Time to do more than survive. If you’re tired, go rest. If you’re sad, be sad. If there are problems, address them. Don’t be afraid to dig deep, to take a risk, to sit down into your funky feelings….resolution, redemption, peace will come. Inhale, exhale. Pray. Live.

Don’t worry about doing it perfect….always simply begin. 

 

 

 

Desert View Picnic

You know what I realized from my VLOGGING? I’m a dork. I love being silly, but I just didn’t realized how much I comment on life and how silly I am. My brother recently told me this, but I didn’t know. It makes me laugh. You should laugh at yourself. It’s good for you.


Desert View is much more than its name. I don’t think we went there the last time we were at the Grand Canyon. It was beautiful. There’s a Watch Tower there that was also a design of Mary Colter (more on her later), and we climbed all the way to the top of it to get an expansive view.



These cuties are pushy. They pushed the picnic lower and lower toward the edge. And I’m so glad because they help me to see views I might have missed.

After we had our picnic, we hiked back up and drove to another trailhead to Shoshonne Point. The hike to this place is a nice long dirt road with plenty of trees. It is the perfect setting for lots of laughter, some serious discussions, and family fun.


Speaking of edges, I like them too…did you know? While I was close to the edge and there were few children watching, I just had to lay down and hang my head over the side. My pic I took then did not turn out well, but it was breathtaking. We hung out there for a moment, and then we walked around to the other side where the cliff point went out further into the canyon.

We hiked out there and I had my nephew John holding my hand. We decided that just maybe, with all our strength, we could push down a rock. It didn’t work. Bu, I gave it my all.

We headed back with cooking on my mind. I was the cook for the night, and my green chile macaroni and cheese with chicken was tasty. I think I had 85% satisfaction in the camp. Campfire time is valuable, and somehow everyone staring into a fire just makes a magical night.

It was a great day, and we decided that the next day we would tackle the Hermit Trail all the way to Dripping Springs as a test run for the big hike down. Dripping Springs coming up next….

Camp on Sunday

Sunday morning we took it slow in camp. We still had a few days before the big hike down and so we just chilled, cooked a good breakfast and enjoyed a morning fire. And then, the kids planned church for us. And we had some Sabbath together. 

I’m not sure why adults think they always have to lead. You should’ve seen the kids take over when we told them they should plan church. We had an invocation, 2 songs, 4 Scripture readers, a sermonette, and a benediction. Kids are great leaders and they can plan without your help. Just let them know you’ll wait for their plan and leave them alone. Don’t underestimate them. 

After church we got ready for the day. No rushing. Just slow by the fire….

Then we made some plans…A Desert View picnic coming up…..