Throw in the towel


That was going to be my post last weekend. You know … when the going gets tough, wash a load of towels and you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something big. A whole basket full of laundry, folded in 2 minutes. Ahh. That was my simple post.

But then life happens. I spend days posting what a nincompoop I am, all while people I know and love are suffering through some really hard times. It doesn’t make me any less of a nincompoop, but the fact of the matter is … nincompoopness doesn’t matter. Being able to relate to and loving each other does.

Before I could click that publish button for my mundane little towel post, my dear friend’s spouse has decided to do exactly that — throw in the towel on their 17-year marriage. Without warning. Without chances for making amends. It’s done. I’m not going to tell you their story or allude to anything to be read between the lines. That part is not my story to tell in this setting.

My part of the story is in my own disbelief. It’s all just too much to handle.

There are so many beautiful, happy lives just turned topsy turvy. The mere fact that my friend is hurting and her children are suffering is beyond heart-wrenching. This is not what we teach. This is not what we live. Nor is this what my dear friend and her spouse have taught or lived. She, specifically, has always been one of the best examples of a person committed to her spouse and to her friendships than anyone I’ve ever met. I find myself talking to myself (more than usual … I should add) trying to understand the why and navigate through my own emotions while offering as much support and love that I can. My husband put it best, he said thinking about their situation has become like breathing. Just something we do.

It weighs so heavily on our hearts and minds.

Here’s the deal. People are imperfect. I know. I get it. I guess episodes like this  are wake-up reminders our imperfect nature as human beings.  I really want to embrace this as part of God’s perfect plan. And I do actually. Because I trust in him. I just wish I knew what is supposed to be revealed through this pain to us mere mortals. Is this her part in sharing in the suffering of Christ? I’m pretty sure she’s shared quite a bit already. And I think whether my dearest girl knows this or not, this must be part of the emptying of herself only to fill herself even more with the love of Christ. I don’t know. Who knows, but God?

I do know, I am pretty sure she’s running on empty. And she’s been working so hard in her growth in her relationship with Christ through the church. I’m taking deep breaths and trusting. And praying for that same trust for her. Whenever she gets there.

For another dose of irony by association, when this was all happening last week–when my dear girl was first learning what was in store for her– Richard and I were at an event that celebrates the sacrament of marriage. It’s an event put on every year, hosted by the local Worldwide Marriage Encounter folks. It was nice. But felt somewhat surreal after the fact.

So, please, pray for my friend. Pray for her children. Pray for her spouse. Pray they recognize and are drawn to the healing power of our Lord and can trust in him.



I may be changing my superhero name to IRONic MOM.

Irony is sorely misunderstood. Take poor Alanis Morissette. She devoted an entire song referring to events as ironic, which were all really just bad luck. Rain on your wedding day is a bummer. Not ironic.

So, for those of you who need a little refresher on irony … ta da. IRONic MOM to the rescue.

Irony is:

Posting on your blog your three small successes of motherhood (yesterday’s entry) while your 22-month old is right over your shoulder sweetly singing as he is emptying (decoratively, mind you) an entire bottle of syrup on the leather chest and carpet.

Now, after your try to quickly (which with syrup is impossible) clean up the mess then scramble to get everyone in the car to pick up the older kids and you pick up that same 22-month-old darling and he pukes on you, THAT is just plain bad luck.

Got it? Happy to be of service.

Small successes

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After my last few posts of what a nincompoop I am, I’m here to post a few small successes. That’s a regular Thursday feature at Faith and Family Live. There is a little graphic, but linking to it is not one of my small successes. But wait, today, I’m focusing on the glass being half full…

1) This morning, I matched plastic lids to plastic containers and threw out (recycled, actually) the leftover oddballs, all while Cliffy napped. I got rid of enough to fill a Target bag. Yield: A Target bag full of space in my cabinet AND containers that will actually be useful!

2) I remembered one of the haiku I made up while up with the baby last night. I count syllables/sounds (or “on”) in my sleep instead of sheep. Stupid? Yes. But keeps my brain at just the right level of occupied and bored. Otherwise, I’d get up and start typing.

A haiku for a rotten night’s sleep
Mom mom mom old mom
Screams brown-eyed baby through the night
Coffee cannot save me now

Notice my nuanced reference to season? As in my season?

3) I stopped the baby just in the nick if time BEFORE he was about to put M & Ms in  the heat vent (to which he pried the grate off).

Those little things DO add up: More space in our crowded house. Feeling slightly creative AND not cleaning up melted chocolate. Score.

Remedial Mom


That should be my superhero name.

After this morning, I need a serious refresher course in motherhood. Whenever I think I do okay, my kids quickly remind me, “I don’t know nuffin.”

I'm a supa hero.

It started with an extra-early wake up. Followed with Lillian insisting I take her termperature because she was quite sure she (once again) had a headache and could not go to school. Why couldn’t she go? Because she was not going to wear a the skirt she had decided on yesterday. Because the pockets bother her. When she put on her second choice, she decided the waist band was “noying” her. And proclaimed again, she must have a headache.

While this is going on, the little man of the house is running at full-force with a toy shopping cart banging into closed doors. Which is every door, because we have to protect rooms from his wrath. As a diversion, he runs into my legs, as I stand attempting to make sandwiches for those heading to school. We’re planning to repaint two rooms, and I think for a moment, why? But water damage, child damage. Got to be done. Wait, is there rubber paint?

Out storms Lillian. With a summer dress in hand (which regrettably didn’t make it to the right spot after Florida), “I’m going to wear this.”

“No, you’re not,” I calmly reply.

“I said: I.  am. wearing. this. I will wear a sweater.”

“No, you will not.” I’m still remarkably calm. An audible hmph echos behind the slammed door, in the nick of time as the shopping-cart operator crashes into it full-bore.

I take away the cart. He squeals and runs off with his little padded jammy feet to find something else to destroy.

Lunches are packed. Gloves and scarves accounted for. Two out the door. (Not the two I wish were leaving …)

“When I have PE. I am wearing a DRESS!” I hear behind the door. The ultimate declaration of defiance in the world of my 4-year0ld who knows she cannot wear a skirt or dress on PE (physical education) days at Montessori school. She has to be able to clearly see her feet without the obstruction of a puffy garment. (And she’s all  puffy. All the time.) PE isn’t even until tomorrow. So, is this the set-up for what lies ahead?

After given some acceptable choices, she finally agrees to an appropriate dress. Chooses tights that don’t match. But who cares? Then insists that she wear her snow boots and take her school shoes. I should note that her snow boots are hand-me-downs from Henry that she has adorned randomly with little sticker gems so they could have “twinkle toes.” A sight, for sure.

Thrilled that she even got dressed and dropped the headache bit, when she orders me to go warm up the car and take her to school so she’ll have time to change her boots, I jump. Who cares that it was a half-an-hour early? I am just grateful to strap her in the car and unstrap her anywhere but home. (I know. I’m rotten.)

I take her to school and share a bit of my woes. Dear teacher thoughtfully reminds me to set out her clothes the night before. Which with Lil is truly an exercise in futility. After all, how can Lil make a decision about what she’s going to wear tomorrow when she changes her clothes 5 times a day based on which imaginary world she’s in. It’s what she does. And pretty much what she lives for. And a part of her I appreciate. Most of the time. Just not today.

Okay. But there’s the happy ending. Once in my van, I got a text from our oldest away at school. Reminding me she loves me. Thinks she’s lucky to have me. (Me? Remedial Mom?) Thinks I’m hilarious and sweet and misses me completely.

For that moment, until Clifford screams at me from the back of the van and chucks his sippy cup, I feel like a superhero. Instead of like this …


Who left me in charge?

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And what were they thinking?

I started my day this morning in the drive-thru at the local Starbucks to buy a pound of coffee.

When I got to the window to pay, I realized that my debit card wasn’t in my wallet. Called my spouse inquiring about said card, because I last used it while in his car buying Taco Bell last night. (I know. Judge me. Thursdays are tough at our house.) I drove to his office with now sleeping baby (who I am, obviously unsuccessfully, trying to train out of the morning nap).

No luck.

Drove home.

I was completely unable to place what in heaven’s name I did with that card. I remember getting it back at Taco Bell. Racking my feeble brain. I parked the van on the drive, looked down and noticed that the card was in my lap the whole time! I had taken it out — while in the drive thru mind you — only to FORGET that I had done that, in what? A two minute period? Needless to say, my head was just numb with the dumbness of me. (That should be a song.)

Still is actually. I think. I don’t know. The numbness thing …

I HATE when that happens.

The good news is, I got to call my spouse back and ease HIS pain. Just yesterday he couldn’t find his cell phone, had me call it … only to discover he was HOLDING it. Ah … the joys of multitasking …