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When Summer Gets Cloudy (Part 1)

As a kid, I still remember the magical feelings that stirred up around the start of summer break.  The anticipation of two and a half months of freedom felt like a potential eternity of freeze pops, sleepovers, family vacations and lemonade stands.   Scorching hot days spent living in your bathing suit and peaceful, dreamy nights camping under the stars.

My oldest son just finished kindergarten and as the school year wound down I was pumped for summer.  More than ready for moments like this:


















I was simply going to crush it this summer.  Freedom from The Schedule and the forecast of warm weather gave me visions of waking my kids up each morning by pulling back the curtains in their neatly organized room.  With the sun streaming in, a hot cup of coffee in hand and a smile on my face I would announce the summer-y activity for the day.  Their sleepy eyes would light up and we’d inevitably break into a dance party followed by a pillow fight, lived out in slow motion and forever engrained in their little minds.

“Wasn’t Mom awesome during the summer of 2015?” they would say to each other in 20 years.

Yes, kids.  Yes I was.

Continue reading When Summer Gets Cloudy (Part 1)

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Kitchen Mom

To anyone who pours into the lives of kids and still feels like they are not doing enough:

You might be wrong.

My son had to draw a picture for school of someone in his family who is making a difference.  I didn’t even think twice, knowing that he would draw my husband, the “Dean of Discipline” at an inner city high school and a soldier in the Army National Guard.  For a million reasons, he is clearly the making a difference guy in our family.

He came back to me a few minutes later with his proud face on and handed me this:

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That’s me, “Kinchin Mom.”

Somehow an extra kid got thrown into the mix here, but look how HAPPY everyone is with their steaming hot food!  Freshly microwaved.

I had two immediate reactions. Continue reading Kitchen Mom

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What We Learn from the Trees

I’m sitting in a coffee shop where I will spend the next precious hour doing three things I love: drinking coffee, writing, and reading something beyond a 5-year-old level.  I am crazy about the 5-year-old parts of my life, as well as the 4-year-old and one-year-old parts…but this escape is filling in a different way.  I’m surrounded by grown ups dressed in nice outfits that don’t involve sweatpants and I’m here alone and it’s the best.  Mind you, my outfit involves sweatpants but whatever, no one cares.  I also carried my laptop and books here in my son’s bright blue preschool tote bag because I like to keep things official and fancy.  I do what I can.

Being a mom continues to be one of my greatest joys in life.  I love it all, even the messy, crazy parts.  I think one day a hundred years down the road I might even love the getting up at night parts- Nope. That’s actually a lie.  But I love it because I can see how it’s shaping me, how the challenges mixed with rewards are refining me and teaching me not only about my kids or myself but about God.  

This doesn’t mean I’m floating around my house on a cloud of peacefulness and patience all day.  All the real emotions are felt and, um, usually expressed on a daily basis.  Let’s just say when trying to corral everyone and their 4,000 accouterments to get out the door for school, peaceful and patient are as lost as my son’s missing shoe, as his favorite thing is to take them off on different levels of the house. Every. single. time.

Continue reading What We Learn from the Trees