Thursday, May 31, 2012


"If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it."

— Jonathan Winters

As I mentioned before, I had the absolute privilege of working as a camp counselor at a Christian camping ministry called Jumonville. Seriously amazing two summers. Then I volunteered a couple of years with some of my favorite people for a week each summer until we started a family.

One of the adventure activities we would do was biking for an insane amount of miles, get off the bikes and have lunch, and then climb in a kayak and row for miles back. Good times. This was all well and good until one summer where we did not get enough rain. The river was really low, and we ended up pulling our boat over rocks and rowing way more than usual because there was no current. To say it made for a difficult trip was an understatement.

At one point, I quit rowing. I just couldn't anymore. My arms burned with fatigue, the sun was beating down on me, and I was finished. So I drifted. Some of the kids caught my lead and stopped rowing as well. We all began to drift...backwards. This little mutiny lasted only until our dean caught up with us. "What are you doing" he shouted. "Get rowing or we will be on this river until tomorrow!" I moaned and groaned. But knew he was right. There was one way off the river. I would only reach it by rowing.

Drifting can be dangerous. First of all, the pull of just stopping is awful temping. To drift seems so much more...comfortable. Let's face it-I will never "drift" into the gym. I never "drifted" in my running shoes or "drifted" into writing my classwork. I make a conscious effort to get out my Bible, care for my family, and hold my tongue. I make a decision and then my feet my follow. I need to row.

Truth is you will never get anywhere you want to be by drifting. As  Confucious says "It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop." (I am totally not kidding. Confucious said that) Even on days where I lay in bed thinking, wow I could have done so much better- Trust me, I have a lot of these- I still feel better knowing that I gave it a go. I rowed. I got up and did it. When it would have been so much easier to just...not.

I consider my life goals. To grow in my own personal faith, to build a strong marriage, and be a darn good mom. Other goals include being an influential teacher, work on my writing, and solve world hunger. :) Even in these topics of extreme importance, it is so easy to drift. To stop rowing and allow life to lead me where it may.

A clear example of this is in exercise. When not pregnant ( yeah, I know), I found that I really enjoy running. I began to run quite regularly. Making time for it. Planning around my husband and kids schedules so I would have time to run. I really began to do well and was improving daily. Then I had some stomach issues flaring up. I was not running as much as I would like. Excuses came more frequently. Drive and desire were met with indifference and disregard. By the time I stopped drifting and tied on my running shoes, I realized what all of it had cost me. All the progress I had made was gone. I was starting over. Drifting had stolen from me what all of my previous perseverance had given me.

This can be seen throughout many areas. If I stop rowing in my marriage, my family, my growing in faith, I will float backwards. It is not only that I am not making progress, although that is tragic enough in itself. Rather, if I am not making a daily conscious effort to row then I am losing everything I have worked for.

I don't want to go backwards. I want to continue to move forward. If that means rowing until my arms are ready to fall off, I pray I find the strength, drive, and my running shoes. Or an oar....

Saturday, May 26, 2012


A little late...our sweetheart graduated last Friday. But I figured some of you would like to see the dress. She of course was a doll baby. They played you are my sunshine, and my mom reminded me of how I always sing that to my babies. Sigh.... They get so big so quick don't they. But I am enjoying every moment with them. Will has an hour on Tuesday. I have tuesday and then Wed. After that...we are free. Although our days have been filled with swimming, playing in sand, watermelon, and camp fires. Ahh..summer. My favorite time of the year.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


A life without love is like a year without summer. ~Swedish Proverb

Thursday, May 17, 2012

And I thought I loved you then

I am a worrier. I am never sure about anything. I think and then rethink things. Doubt and ask questions. But one thing I never doubted was that I was going to marry Scott Demi.

I remember on my wedding day that people kept coming up to me and asked me if I was nervous. Nope. Scared. Not at all. I laughed and joked. Checked the clock. Not unsure. Not questioning. I just knew. I knew somewhere in me that this man would love me all of his life. I knew that we would live happily ever after.

Now, 9 years later, I am a different person. He is a different person. I know so much more now than I knew then. I know that love isn't always about the rush of excitement and emotion. Love is more important and way more lasting than that. I know that love is a daily commitment and sacrifice. I know the only way to make yourself happy is in serving and putting the other person first. I know that forgivness and grace is way more important than being right and first. 

And most of all....9 years later I know that I would do it all over again. I still would choose him. He still would choose me. I still would have no doubt that no one could love me like him and I hope he would feel the same. 

My prayer is for God's continual hand on my marriage. That we could grow in grace and mercy with each other. In learning to see each other as a perfect gift from God, we can life each day to the fullest. And when we fall we will have each other to help each other up. That our marriage would be a commitment and a testimony.  

I can't wait to see how smart I am in a couple more years....

THEN by Brad Paisley

And now you're my whole life

now you're my whole world

I just can't believe the way I feel about you, girl

Like a river meets the sea,

stronger than it's ever been.

We've come so far since that day

And I thought I loved you then

We'll look back someday, at this moment that we're in

And I'll look at you and say

And I thought I loved you then

And I thought I loved you then

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Will not looking...

What is Luke doing?

Will's eyes closed

I think they all gave up

Not too bad...except for diaper shot

Could be the best one

Just noticed my daughter wearing a winter glove....Happy Mother's Day!

What day isn't fabulous when it starts with breakfast in bed. 2 waffles, 2 zebra cakes, and a chocolate chunk granola bar. Wonderful flowers, cards that made me cry, and the best brand new camera ever! ;) My family is awesome.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Am I mom enough??

If you haven't seen the Time magazine cover, then don't. But if you haven't seen it I am sure you will google it. Go ahead....I'll wait. Here is my biggest problem.

No, it is not that I am staring at a woman's breast. Can I just say I have no desire to see your breast. Whether a baby is attached to it or not. Yes, I fully support your decision to breastfeed. Great. Super for baby. Hooray. I still would prefer that I not be looking at your nipple, breast, or anything else. Sorry. Just this thing I have. Should you have to hide in a bedroom, bathroom, or whatever. No. But can we try to avoid me seeing your anatomy? If I cover it with a bath suit piece, we teach in kindergarten that it is a private part. That is all. I am not saying you can't. I just would rather me...or my 8 year old son..not be staring at your breast. And I saw some woman comment that a breast is not a sexual part. It is for nurturing a baby. I won't even go there.

But that isn't my real gripe. I will not comment on the fact that I think I saw that kid in kindergarten....or the fact that we are being compared to third world countries who breastfeed toddlers. Because they don' You like how I didn't comment.

No. My REAL grip here is not the picture. It is the caption. "Are you mom enough?" Just what the sam hill does that mean? Here we go again. Drawing the line. So....if I make a choice, and my choice is not breastfeeding, I am not mom enough? I am currently pregnant with my 5th child. My children are 8, 6, 4, 2, and baby boy soon enough. Can I assure you I am mom enough. I have been puked on, stayed up all night with sick kids, held laughing children, crying children. I have sat for hours doing homework, cooking them meals, coloring pictures, and playing in the summer pool. I have been through pregnancy and labor four going on five times. I will give up hours of sleep and sanity to raise my children. I have been to the beach 33 weeks pregnant and played in the sand with my other children. I have sat in an er more times than I can count. I can assure you that I am mom enough.

Just a little background...although it is none of anyone else's business. I have tried to breastfeed with every child. I will probably try again. And for a variety of reasons, it didn't work. And I am ok with that. Frankly, I don't care if anyone else isn't. I have a very good friend who beat herself up with guilt because her milk wouldn't come in. She tried everything. Her diet, exercise, all kinds of torture devices. No dice. Her baby was still not gaining weight. She was in pain. So by golly, she did the unthinkable. She got a bottle. You know what I told her. "Good for you."I didn't tell her she was less of a mom. I didn't give her a pamphlet on breast is best. I accepted her decision and life moves on.

Why does it always have to be this way with women? We always are drawing lines and making judgements. What we think is best and what she should be doing. Why her kids are this way or that. What is the best way to feed, teach, potty train, or raise our kids. This isn't all about breast feeding. It is about making sweeping judgements of other women based on the fact that we think our opinion should carry more weight than it actually does.

Let's make a deal ok? I will make the very best decisions I know for my kids. You make the very best decisions for your kids. I won't roll my eyes. You won't talk about me. Let's all join hands and sing kumbaya. Then we can all be "mom enough."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Why did you pick him?

       Tonight Scott is on night shift. I am not a big fan of night shift. For one thing, I have to put the kids to bed by myself. And get drinks by myself. And prepare, serve, and clean up dinner by myself. When people ask me how I can possibly work and have so many small children, I always answer by telling them about my mom and husband. They are fabulous. My husband is an awesome father. The other thing is that I don't like to cook when he isn't here. Just doesn't seem worth it. However, I sucked it up today and made spaghetti for the kids. We sat around the table together, and as the boys ate naked noodles and Bella slurped hers, Rachel had a question.
"Mommy, when you saw daddy at the restaurant, what made you pick him?"
"What made you pick daddy? Was it cause he was funny or nice?"
"Actually I met daddy at church." Trying to buy time.
"Oh. Well what made you pick him anyway?"
       This question was monumental in a couple ways. First, I want to convey to my young daughter what was important. What is important when choosing a boy. I know she is only 6, but she is asking. Second, I want to remember. I want to tell her why I did choose daddy.
"I choose daddy because he loved Jesus." This is true. We met in youth group and began as friends. A long story I should share sometime. But he did love Jesus. And I saw that. And because of that I knew he would love me.
       "I also chose Daddy because he is the most loving and kind person I ever met." Which is certainly true as well. You would be hard pressed to find a more compassionate and warm hearted person. I have often told him he is way too nice to me. Way more understanding, forgiving, He would go out of his way for anyone and is the best hugger in the world.
       "And of course I chose Daddy cause he is funny and makes me laugh." Another thing that is wonderful about my husband is how he can light up a room with his sense of humor. He is the life of any party and can do many voiced at the drop of a hat.
       Rachel's face lit up and laughed. So very pleased with my answer. She loves to hear good things about her dadddy.  I pray that my girls find such a man someday. Someone who lights up their life with joy and supports them with quiet strength. A man who is so good, kind, and loving that he draws people to him. I pray my boys will continue to be such young men. But I am so glad that he picked me.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

in a dress

     We took her dress shopping today. Her dad and I walked into the store and pulled dresses off the rack. I carried an arm load in the dressing room and she skipped in behind me. She was so excited I thought she may burst. I put on the first one. A black and white one with a pink ribbon tied around the middle. "It is puffy," she said as she twirled in the mirror. I opened the door and she danced out to daddy to see how beautiful he thought it was. Strangers oohed and awed for her. Told her how beautiful she looked. She smiled shyly and then twirled back to me. We went for dress number two. Each time spinning in the mirror. Each time loving how mommy, daddy, and the sweet older lady cheered and clapped for her. She finally picked her dress. Her graduation dress. Kindergarten graduation.
     Then we went for shoes. A princess must have special shoes on her special day. They are rainbow. They sparkle. Not as much as her. Not nearly as bright as she does. And for the icing on the cake, she decided that today was the big day. The day she would get her ears pierced. She sat so bravely in the seat. My heart beat a little faster as I held her hand. Daddy held the other. One earring in and she cried. The lady asked if she was ready for the other and she nodded. Holding our hands a little tighter. After earring two was in daddy scooped her up. Just like when she was a baby getting shots. Wasn't that just yesterday?
     Putting her to bed tonight, she chatted about how she was going to tell her teacher and friends about her new earrings, dress, and shoes.
     Then I got on face*book and began looking at beautiful girls in puffy dresses. Handsome young men in tailored suits. Children of friends of mine. I clicked "like" on these gorgeous children. I think back to years past when these young adults were elementary kids and middle schoolers. Then I clicked on a friends page and looked through the prom pictures of her beautiful daughter. Then I saw it. One of the pictures was of her and her daughter from years past. It was her daughter's kindergarten graduation picture. I looked long and hard at the little girl in the picture. Cap on and smiling so bright. And the mama hugging her tight. And then I cried. Then I thanked God for my beautiful kids and this blessed season. And prayed for the day that we are twirling in prom gowns. Hopefully I (or her daddy) won't cry to much...or at least in front of her as we snap pictures and tell her to have a wonderful time. It helped me remember to squeeze a little tighter and breath a little easier. And to enjoy my puffy 6 year old princess.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Gift ideas

Scott- "What should we get mommy for Mother's Day?"
Luke- " Ummm..maybe we could listen to her on Mother's Day."
Me- "That would be a pretty awesome mother's day gift."
Luke- "But no cleaning up. No way. I hate to clean up."
Me-"Well, Let's not shoot for the moon or anything."