Monthly Archives: December 2009

Merry Christmas to all!

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:19

You're ONE?

We had your birthday party on Saturday.

You were so tired and grumpy by the time we got finished with lunch.

But you found joy in a plastic cup, and you were content as ever.
(You had more fun playing with that cup than with any of your new toys.)

You attacked your cupcake like you attacked that tart at Disney!

We spent your birthday eve on a hayride, looking at thousands of Christmas lights.
(I can’t believe I forgot my camera!  But watching you bounce up and down with so much excitement was so much fun to watch!)

And for your birthday we went to Jump City.
You hated it, but Carter and Lydia loved it.

And we went out to dinner where you got ice cream for dessert.

You hated it, so your brother and sister took care of it for you.

(Daddy may have had a bite or two.)

And as the day came to a close, I held you and rocked you.

You drank your milk(real milk, not formula) from your nighttime bottle.

You use sippy cups except for your nighttime bottle.

Because you’re not a baby anymore.

You can *almost* walk, which I love and dread all at once.

You can say “Mamamamama” and “yay”.

I think you have said “Maaa-geee” a few times, and I think you think all dogs are “Maggie”.

You transitioned happily from bottle to sippy cup and passed the baby food stage months ago.

You love meat, hate veggies-just like your dad.

You laugh and smile a lot.

You’re happy, so happy.

I can’t believe you’re one.

Happy birthday, little man!

Look at how you’ve changed:

The Isle of Misfit Posts*

*Forgive me for this post title, I’ve watched Rudolph way too many times this season.

Sometimes I sit down and write a post so intense that I can’t even force myself to go back and read it.

Sometimes I sit down and write a post so personal, there’s no way in hell I’ll ever actually post it.

Sometimes I sit down and and start writing, but never finish the post.

Because the words are coming, but they don’t make sense.

Because the things I’m saying wouldn’t make sense to you.

Because it’s the kind of stuff that I think about and struggle with and I’m just not ready to share, may never be ready to share.

Because it’s stuff so heavy and loaded that I don’t want to risk the fact that I might alienate someone, or piss someone off.

Because…well, just because.

And then…when I go back and re-read that post, I realize something.

It wasn’t meant for you to read anyway.

It was a prayer.

Thank you, God, for leading me to this space.
This space that is mine-quiet, still, a refuge.
This space that allows me to talk to you in the way I know best: writing.
A place where I can type, and you can listen.
A place where I can come to laugh, to cry, to struggle, to celebrate.
Thank you, God, for giving me the wisdom to know which ones to put out there for others to read and which ones to keep to myself; our secret conversations, our inside jokes.
Thank you, God, for not condemning me for my thoughts, for not judging me, for not doing anything else but listen.
God, I know you’re there…
But I need to hear you

(P.S. God? In case you aren’t top techno-savvy, there’s a place to comment right down there. ↓ See it? I’m still waiting on my 21st century Damascus Road experience.)

(P.P.S. Folks? I’m not being sacrilegious, so no mean stuff in the comments, m’kay?)

Stocking Vote

Ok, so I could never find stockings I liked (or was willing to pay for, would be more accurate), so I decided to make some.

I have so far made one.  It’s really plain and simple like this:

But now that I’ve made it, I’m second guessing myself.  Do you like it?  Is it too plain?  Too simple?  Look too much like a baseball?

I thought about making separate ones for the girls(with a scalloped edge at the top) and the boys(with white rick-a-rack on the top), kind of like this:

So…what do you think?

[polldaddy poll=2395085]

Happy Holidays

For the past 8 years I’ve sent out Christmas cards.  Usually homemade and usually with a letter.  And I try to add a personalized note to each one, too.  Because I’m an over-achiever like that.  Well, I was.  I’ve slacked off on a lot of stuff this past year.  Something about having a third kid and a job that just sucks the time into a vacuum, never to be found again.

So this year I don’t have time to make them.
And I haven’t yet written a “summary of 2009” letter.
And I still haven’t decided if I’m actually going to even send out cards.

I do love Christmas cards.

I don’t, however, love the post office.

I do love licking envelopes.

I don’t love addressing them.

I do love writing little personalized notes to each person.

I don’t love feeling rushed.

Just about the time my desire to avoid the post office at all costs had almost outweighed my desire to show off my cute kids, I saw that Megan over at AMomTwoBoys was hosting a bloggy holiday card exchange.  I can now solve my problem by posting a holiday card here!

If you’re lucky, you’ll probably get a 2009 wrap-up at the end of the year.
Because really?  I don’t write that thing for y’all, I write it for me.  It’s fun to look back over the year and see how things have changed.

Double Dip Chocolate Chip

Oh my heavens folks, have I found a great recipe!
It’s another Taste of Home favorite.
(They still have yet to let me down!)

Quick.  Easy.  Delicious.

She was ready.

***I totally planned on doing the {W}rite of Passage challenge today.  But Lydia, Asa & I went with Carter and his class to go Christmas caroling at a local nursing home this afternoon, and this is what you get instead.  A story not about my elementary school lunch, but a story about my grandmother, my Mama Jo.***

As I cross the threshold, the hot and stagnant air blasts into my face.  My eyes burn a little and I tear up, though I’m not sure if they are actual tears or from the heat.

The smell.

The smell rushes my senses and takes my breath away.

Stale.                  Heavy.

Frail.                    Old.

An odd mixture of comfort and fear colliding like hot and cold air, forming a tornado of emotions within me.

I have a friend who just turned eighty-eight
and she just shared with me that she’s afraid of dying.
It was easy to have faith when she was thirty-four,
but now her friends are dying and death is at her door.

She lost her husband after sixty years,
and as he slipped away she still had things to say.
Death can be so inconvenient.
You try to live and love.
It comes and interrupts.

I still pick up the phone to call her sometimes.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true.

In my dreams, the sound of her voice is clear.  The fine lines of her face are as they were.  But right now, right this very moment as I close my eyes, I can’t picture her clearly.  Her voice slips from my memory.

But one thing stands out above the rest.  One thing I remember with perfect clarity: her hands.  Knotted and twisted with the pains of arthritis.  Skin loose and soft.  Wrinkled and tender.  The slow, calculated, very specific movements.  As she held my hand, her index finger slowly moving up and down, rubbing the crook between my thumb and pointer finger.
Up.        And down.
Up.             And down.
Up.                Down.
Up.                     Down.

Many a night I’d spent in her bed.  After my grandfather died, she welcomed the company.  “Nights are the hardest”, she would tell me.  At the time I didn’t get it.  At night you’re sleeping…why would that be hard?  But now, as I’ve gotten older, I get it.  My demons chase me at night, and there is a definite comfort of having someone there beside me.  Someone who isn’t doing anything, but makes it better just by being there.  There is a certain wonderfulness of just being that you don’t understand until you’ve matured a little.  I’m hoping that I perfect the just being as I continue to grow up.


Early that spring morning, I arrived at the hospital to tell her goodbye.  I couldn’t miss another day of work.  “I’ll be back this weekend”, I planned on saying to her, not knowing if she would hear or understand me, but needing to say it none-the-less.

Walking in, there was a lot going on.  I’m pretty sure I was buzzed into the ICU by mistake.  There were doctors and nurses crowded in her room.  One doctor took me aside: “You’re her granddaughter, right?  We were about to call your dad.  Things aren’t going too well.”  He talked of DNR orders, comfort measures, and the phrase “not a whole lot of time” was mentioned more than once.  I only remember snippets of that day.  But those snippets are clear, fresh in my mind.


Breathe.  I had to actually remind myself to breathe.  Cliched, I know, but it all seemed so surreal.


It’s the first time I remember seeing my dad cry.  Both of his parents now gone.  I can’t, don’t want to begin to imagine.


And as I lay in the bed, curled up beside her.  Holding her hands and wishing that I’d thought to wash them.  They stink.  That would have bothered her.  She was always so careful to wash all the nooks and crannies, and to dry them well.  But now, ten years out, I’m glad for the acrid smell.  Specific to that day, that moment.


A group of us, far more than should have been allowed in an ICU room, gathered around her bed.  The hand of God upon us all, comforting like a heavy winter quilt.

Singing, slowly and quietly at first.
I heard an old, old story…
I don’t even remember how it started.
How a Savior came from glory.
I remember seeing Karen’s shoes.  She had on great shoes.
How he gave his life on Calvary to save a wretch like me.
I’m so glad my aunt got here.
I heard about his groaning of his precious blood’s atoning.
The first one here.  I was the first one here.
Then I repented of my sins and won the victory.
The nurses asked me so many questions.
Oh, Victory in Jesus.
Chaos around me, but an odd calm within.
My Savior forever.
I responded to them, my voice empty but steady.
He sought me and bought me with his redeeming blood.
His voice, the doctor’s voice.  Certain.  Sure.  Practiced.
He loved me ere I knew Him, and all my love is due Him.
A chorus of voices, strong and assured as we ended the song.
He plunged me to Victory beneath the cleansing flood.


She was ready.

I was ready.

I thought I was ready.

But today, as I watched my children interact with the seniors at the nursing home, I ached for her.  She never met them, my three little people.  They never met her.  She never heard them laugh or cry or giggle.   She never saw them rip into a present or sing a Christmas carol.  But they know of her.  They know the stories.  They know her name.  And she is more a part of them than they will ever know.

*Lyrics  from Sara Groves’ “What Do I Know”.

You're my favorite…

Yes, you.

That’s right.  You.

(Quit looking behind you, trying to see if there’s someone else back there to whom I’m obviously talking.)

(Ok.  So let’s be honest…maybe you’re not my favorite, but you’re in like, at least the top 10.)

(Maybe top 15.)

(You’re definitely no lower than #24 on my list.)

Anyway…I love how my kids say this.  Both of my “big” kids have their own unique way to say they love me.

Me: You’re my favorite free year old.  (My dislike for baby talk is trumped by my desire for alliteration.)
Lydia: You’re my favorite Mommy.  (I should hope so!  I’m kinda the only one ya got!)

Carter’s has changed a little as  he’s gotten older.  It used to be:

Me: You’re my favorite ___ year old.
Carter: You’re my favorite ten years old.  (I loved that he pluralized years.)

Now it’s:

Me: You’re my favorite four year old.
Carter:  You’re my favorite firty year old.  (He don’t care about alliteration, he just can’t say thirty.)

Firty, Thirty.  Ten.  Mommy.  I love it all.

And I’ll miss it when they don’t say this anymore.

There are words.

There are words right here on the tip of my tongue.  (Or is it at the tip of my fingers?)

They are almost ready to leap from my mind to the keyboard.

But something is holding them back.

I’m not sure what it is, but I hope it lets go soon.

It’s Advent, usually my favorite time of year.

But something’s missing.

And I don’t know what.

I want to be moved, to be inspired, to be renewed.




To all.

Because I have so much to do…

…I decided that I must sit down and share with you some earth-shattering, world-changing news.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I have no inspiration to write right now.  At all.  And Issa tagged me with this meme, and I thought, “What the hey…I’ll do it”.  So, for your reading pleasure: 25 things about me.

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you. Kathy Bates, but I never knew that before.  I do always remember that the day before my birthday is Helen Keller’s birthday.  Why do I remember that?  I have a habit of remembering random, useless facts and forgetting major events in my life.

2. Where was your first kiss? The one on the playground where I ended up kicking the poor kid in the nuts because I really wanted him to leave me alone?  Or the one in the stairwell in the high school band room?  Yeah…I’m ca-lass-ay and not at all a band nerd.

3. Have you ever seriously vandalized someone else’s property? Does forking count?  (That was funny!)

5. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people? Um…yeah.  Bridget = diva.

6. What’s the first thing you notice about your preferred sex? Attitude.

7. What really turns you off? Bad attitude, rudeness.  Don’t be an ass…nobody likes an asshole.

8. What do you order at Starbucks? I don’t like Starbucks.  (GASP!!)  I really don’t like coffee. (What’s wrong with her??)

9. What is your biggest mistake? Maybe not a mistake, but my biggest regret is that I didn’t go on the study abroad program that I looked into in college.

10. Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose? No…unless you count childbirth.

11. Say something totally random about yourself. I really love the California Raisins and the Christmas Claymation movie from the eighties.  We had 3 whole sets of the California Raisins that they used to sell at Hardee’s.  (Don’t judge me…)

12. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity? I get it all the time:  “You look so much like somebody…OH!!!  I know!  Molly Ringwold”.

13. Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows? Even without having kids, I’d watch Disney movies.  (My favorites are the tween movies…don’t tell!)

14. Did you have braces? Nope, but I always wanted them when I was younger.

15. Are you comfortable with your height? Yeah…it’s helpful when trying to get through crowds of people, I just duck and push on through.

16. What is the most romantic thing someone of the preferred sex has done for you? When Marshall proposed, he sent me on a scavenger hunt, followed by him singing to me.  Perfect.  Cheesy, but perfect.

17. When do you know it’s love? When you do.

18. Do you speak any other languages? Barely.  I can ask where the bathroom is in Spanish.  That’s what’s really important.  (I could probably have a conversation as long as I didn’t have to conjugate any verbs.)

19. Have you ever been to tanning salon? Not no, but hell no.  Have you seen my pasty white skin???

20. Have you ever ridden in a limo? Yep.  It’s not as cool as I thought it would be.

21. What’s something that really annoys you? Rudeness.  See #7.

22. What’s something you really like? Reading a good book while cuddled up under a heavy blanket and a hot mug of apple cider beside me.

23. Can you dance? Not well.

24. Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room? Nope.

25. Tag 5 people! Yeah, I don’t really tag people in stuff like this.  Do it if you want to, or leave tidbits of info in the comments!