Sunday, December 16, 2012


i'm not sure what i'm writing here,
i just know i need to write.
as i sat in church this am, holding my precious 6 year old on my lap and singing about sorrow at night, but joy comes in the morning, i really thought i was going to break.
it seems i've broken many times over the last weeks.
 i know of 2 young children just diagnosed with brain tumors, the suicide of a local father, my soon to be sister in law's loss of her young father to a stroke, the mall shooting in my state, the school stabbing in China, and then the New Town tragedy. 
While other people seem to get on with it, i can't seem to move.
i can't get off my knees.
i quietly, surreptitiously steal away a few minutes in the bathroom to cry.
i sneak respite in my room for yet another prayer.
i sit at this computer and pray for each family by name.
i can't move on.
there are mother's arms tonight aching with loss where mine are overflowing.  and i thank a merciful God that they are.
i am racked by the knowledge that life is short.
we know it, but we don't live it.
we are so stupid that we don't grasp that eternal wisdom. we hold onto it with slippery hands only to watch it slide into ignorance when life prattles on.
and then the next tragedy strikes, and we are once again stabbed with the reminder.
i was a junior in high school the year of the Springfield school shootings, just a couple hours away from my own school. with my senior year came Columbine.  while we planned our prom, there were girls like me being put in the grave.
i remember vividly, as i'm sure we all do, where i was when i heard of the tragedy September 11th brought. finally getting a rare chance to sleep in with my newborn son, my first child, hearing the phone ring incessantly begging to be answered and me frustrated at interrupted sleep.  only to hear my mom saying over the machine, "mandy, get up, they're attacking America, they're flying planes into buildings." and holding my precious baby all the day glued to the news.
this day of New Town, i will keep it with me.
i will let it sit in me to remind me how precious our one life is.
and remind me to live that one life well.
i know there are those who question God, who shake their fist at God and wonder why.
i know why.
it's not God.
it's evil.  the enemy of our lives seeks to kill, steal and destroy.
It breaks.God's.heart.
more than you and i can fathom.  but with free will comes choice.
with free will came the fall of mankind.
we invited evil in and he wants to take us out.
this is what i know:
i know God has a plan and a purpose {Jer.29:11}. 
 i know He makes all things new.{Rev. 21:5}
i know that  neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. {Romans 8:38-39}
i know that He will carry us, sustain us, and rescue us {Isaiah 46:4}
I know that His love DOES NOT FAIL, His mercy endures {Psalms 136}
I know that my GOD is big enough, loving enough, merciful and gracious enough to sustain us.
I don't know how.
i can only remotely glimpse the pain of these families and that alone is too much to bear. i can't fathom how they will move into tomorrow or the next day, but i know God's grace and peace can settle any storm.
i will carry these moments in my pocket, close to my heart, so that i can pull them out on weary days, on days of irritation and exhaustion and pain.
i will remind myself when my 6 year old, with his huge blue eyes and dark long lashes and 2 front teeth-missing grin, is trying my short line of patience that he is here.  he is here. other 6 year olds are being put in the ground, but he is here.
my 4 year old with his precious cuddles and surprising bright blonde hair and chipped tooth, my 8 year old daughter with her undeniable beauty, her dances, her chatter, her sweetness and my oldest son, my 11 year old, with his freckles, his quiet strength, his mature beyond his years spirit.
they are here.
i don't know how long i have them for.
i don't know the story God has written for us.
it scares me.
it's every parents worst nightmare.
but He is my God and i am His, and this life is but a breath.
this world is not my home.
we are but strangers in this land.
 the cross redeemed me, making my home in heaven.
death has no victory, death has no sting {1st Corinth. 15:55}
while my heart is broken,
and while i ache,
joy will come in the morning.
morning may mean tomorrow, it may mean next year, and it may mean the other side of eternity, but it will come.
i will praise Him in my sorrow, knowing that He hears and records every tear we shed {Psalms 56:8}
i will praise Him because He is still God, He still sits on the throne, and victory is His.
i pray these truths be known in New Town, in the grieving hearts around the world, in the heart of mother's who sit at hospital beds, in father's who cry out, in widows and orphans and the lonely.
i pray that these truths be known to those young men, who have not believed that life is a precious gift.  who have listened to the wrong voice, the enemies voice, that they are worthless and dirty and no good.
i pray the voice of truth speaks louder, that the church will shine brighter, showing these lost souls, who seek to harm because they have lost all ability to feel compassion and love, that there is a God who loves them and wants them to turn form their sins and let Him love them.
I pray this generation of young people would have conviction in their souls, that they have a soul, that they are made worthy, not by who they are or what they do, but by the God who has formed them in their mother's womb and knows every hair on their head and has redeemed them through the cross should they just believe.
 I pray instead of violence, that the evil inside them would be driven out by the love of the Creator.
i am purged for now.
i could write all day, but i am still too broken to put more words down.
He hears my heart and that's enough.
My prayers go with all those who are hurting.
You are loved.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

under construction...

I am currently trying to figure out how to get pictures onto the blog without paying for storage.
be back when we figure it out;) 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

if we're gonna be friends...

a single friend of mine {ang} and i were joking about how it's a dang good thing i'm not on the dating sites like she is cause i would be flat.out.pathetic.
it kinda cracked me up just thinking of the warnings i'd give about myself.
my neon sign would be blinkin' RUN!
thank God i'm not single and have never had to really date having married so young!
but i do like my friends, so i figured i should  warn you all the same way...
if we're going to be friends, i feel like there are just some things we should lay on the table.
you can decide from there if we're kindred spirits or if i scared you.
Last night i had only brussel sprouts for dinner.
tonight i had only grasshopper cookies.
{no hatin'}
i'm kinda addicted to Downton Abbey.
and i know something about season 3 that is KILLING me.
curse the blasted spoilers!
if you read the above, you know i occasionally burst forth with repressed British phrases.
if you find none of this funny, well, you have no sense of humor.   i've read them 30 times and i still need to pee every time.
if you don't read i will forgive you, but expect me to talk endlessly about my latest book.
if you have never seen/don't like anne of green gables, we'd best just call this friendship off now.
{and get some psych evals done if you saw and did not like}
and if you don't watch movies at all, we'll need some counseling to get through this.{les;)}
however, if you watch reality trash t.v., i will tease you endlessly and possibly roll my eyes at you occasionally if you try to talk to me about the KarTrashian chicks or how the couple on the bachelor are so perfect for eachother {PUKE} { i still love you though cyn and tiff }
i subscribe to this belief:
Pinned Image
 {via my oringinal source}
at some point in this friendship, you will see me reach into my shirt to rearrange the girls.
i'm sorry, it's a little awkward but it needs done y'all.
if i am in your car, and you turn on hip hop or top 40, i will be screaming at you in my head.

if your dogs jumps up on me or licks me or sniffs my crotch i may kick it when you aren't looking.  kidding.
but i'm not gonna tell you how adorable and sweet your pet is.
if you ask me where i want to eat, you might as well just decide, because i don't care.
unless you pick seafood, then i'll care.

if you understand chipping paint and how it speaks to your soul, we're golden {kathy}
my house is extremely girly and has dead deer heads on the walls.
if pink & lacey , taxidermy, or both make you nauseous, you'd best let me hang at your house instead.
a late and wild girl's night out for me means doing a costco run and stopping for dessert and getting home at 10:30.  i'm a party animal and you can't stop me.  i need a 12 step program.
no matter how much i love you, i will not come to your house party where someone is selling me make-up, kitchen gadgets, scrapbook stuff, purses, etc.
will. not. ever.
 { but you should still invite me because i am also insecure}
i have come to believe i am one of those women that other women automatically feel a kinship with, or automatically dislike.  there is usually no in between.
  love me or hate me.
i don't care if you are my grandma's age or my little sister's age, fat or thin, homeschooling your 10 kids or childless or public schooling your 2,  i don't care if you've been through a nasty divorce or married happily or single.
i don't care if you are a die hard paleo fanatic or feed your kids mcds once a week.
i don't care if you drool over shabby apple and modcloth like me, or wear hoodies and yoga pants everyday {um, also like me}.
i don't care of you bring in 6 figures or are on food stamps.
i have an assortment of friends from every walk of life and i love that all my friends don't look, think or act just like me.  so many women seem to only have friends that could be there twins in all manners of life.  i like my random group thankyouverymuch;)
so, can we be friends???
i will try not tell you what happens on D.A. season 3 but you should know i am also bad at surprises...

Monday, October 29, 2012


"Mom, they never let us out in the rain in regular school!"

tea time class.
"mom, guess who this is {before he wrote the name},"


Friday, October 26, 2012

when God flips you inside out and guts you like a fish...

God guts you sometimes.
i know it's not a pretty picture...
it's not supposed to be.
my heart has been stirred lately by a handful of events happening at once.
i have seen some of the most amazing, Godly women be chastised for their past sins or life choices.
and i honestly can't stop thinking about it.
the church {and by church i mean body of Christ} should be there to guide and direct and at times confront.
what the church should not do is make blanket statements without considering the person's life.
this pin yesterday said it perfectly!
Pinned Image
{unfortunately i am not able to link the original source}
as far as past sins...
i wonder if these churches would turn away King David if he were to walk through their doors?
would we admonish someone with a past who God himself has forgiven and set free?
just something to ponder...

i also have had my heart stirred by a friend's facebook status in regards to Christians slamming the president with rude and hateful and derogatory words.
that made me a little sick.
oh, i don't like the president either.
i laugh at the funny cartoons and quite honestly, i think the humor is fine.
but the Christians who are saying truly disgusting things that resort to name calling rather than stating their problems with the issue???
probably not the best way to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a nation already growing daily more hostile to Christianity as a whole.
it is such a fine line to walk between being firm in our faith with the political issues we feel strongly about and discussing them maturely, and resorting to a less than Christian way of expressing our frustrations.
we are called to be firm and gentle.
we should make every effort to behave better than the rest.
it is not an easy task but i would hope that we try to remember in seasons like this that we already have so much coming at our faith, let's not give them any more ammunition...
the battle is God's
as for the real gutting...
it is happening here at home.
it is happening in my heart.
i find that i have come to the very end of me,
only to find Him.
why oh why do i keep thinking i can do it?
i can't!
and i am finally resting in the fact that that's okay.
i have nothing left to give this child that presses me at every turn.
we are in the hardest testing stage yet.
and you wanna know what's ironic?
i am enjoying him more than ever.
God is providing grace through me to him, that i certainly am not extending on my own.

he is more maddening than ever and i am loving him more than ever.
it is not of me, but of the Lord.
i have been found lacking, but He is filling.  He is teaching me how little i really know, how incapable i really am.
this gutting me is quite humbling and yet so desperately wonderful.
there are seasons we all need to go through, battles we all need to win,
even if means God flips me inside out and guts all i know about me to conquer it.


Monday, October 22, 2012

a right of passage...

the # 1 monkey has just passed a significant milestone for his dad's side of the family.
he shot his very first deer!

i am so proud of him.
he really is a wise and old soul.
we have had several struggles with him recently and i know this is just the thing he needed right now.
my husband's family has been hunting these same places since the early 1900s and it is a family affair with all the men, uncles, cousins, grandpa, and distant relatives coming together each fall. i love that aiden gets to be a part of all that.
i know these memories will be with him a lifetime.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


i have a confession to make.
even though i've been a Christian for nearly 20 years it isn't often i hear God's still small voice.
perhaps it's because i tend to usually be the one talking and don't shut it often enough to hear Him.
maybe because He chooses to rarely move that way.
{ i know , i know, it's the first one }
so when i hear it i have to take heed.
and by hear it, i simply mean that note straight to your heart that is silent yet loud.
don't worry, i'm not hearing audible voices in my head where i need the loony bin...
at least not yet.
but at the end of the day, laying in bed,
when i feel like i've done yet another piss poor job of mothering my children, i beg God for answers.
what am i doing wrong?!
i feel like i'm doing it right but then,somehow not.
like something is missing.
and i ask God why i feel this way.
why i can look at them with their eye lashes against their pale cheeks sleeping and wonder how yet again i feel like i have missed something.
remorse courses through me as i ponder.
and i ask God what i am missing.
and then that rare still small voice echoes in my heart.
they need more of you.
and then i want to laugh.  or cry. or cuss.

are you kidding me God?
are you kidding me???
He doesn't tell me He's joshing me.
i don't hear anything.
it's a credit to His infinate wisdom He has not given this message to my husband to pass on to me.  after all, what is it i do everyday?
i wake up early to prep school for them.
then i make breakfast for them while i do their laundry and then i teach them and then i read to them and then i wipe them and then i bathe them... and, and, and - them, them, them.
but then what He said stirs my heart.
it starts to penetrate my sarcasm and shock at what He said.
and i wonder.
did we laugh today?
did i really look at them in the eyes when they spoke or did i say uh-huh while folding laundry or paying bills?
did i go play ball when they asked or did i tell them my back hurts or i'm busy making dinner?
did i rush through the end of the day?
rush to brush teeth, rush to read the book, rush to tuck them in only to rush to bed to start all over again?
did i let them know that this, this life is a joy for me?
do they know that i chose this because i love them?
do they really feel that?
do they know they are more than just something else to check off my list?
and i realize.
God is right.
{duh.  big surprise}
they do need more of me.
they need more eye contact and involvement and games that don't feel like i'm trying to push them   to the finish line to get to the next thing on my list.
there is a part in the Incredibles when the kids are all fighting at the dinner table and Mrs. Incredible screams to Mr. Incredible,
 " Do something!  ENGAGE!".
so today i will give them more of me.
today i will engage.
i may forget to tomorrow.
but then i'll try again.
and hope His still small voice at the end of the day whispers to my heart
 i am proud of you, for you are trying.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

first day of school...

i'm about 3 weeks late.


{we call him toothless now;)}

Monday, September 10, 2012

a girl's room and a vintage bargain...

well, my favorite day so happened to be last weekend.
a town not too far away {the most adorable, historic town}, had their city wide yard sale.
i feel all anxious-Christmas-morning-excited when this time of year hits.
and although each year i seem to find less and less,
i snagged a $20 shabby dresser i didn't really need.
because when else can you find a vintage dresser that is perfect for my shabby chicish home and only 20 bucks?!
since my small home is already filled to the brim with stuff for my imaginary 3,000 sq footer i'll one day have, the only place for the dresser to land was my daughter's room.
  and it looks adorable!
and of course, once i started taking a shot of the dresser, i just decided to go ahead and show her whole room.  one day she'll thank me, as i still try to recall my past bedrooms {yes, i was into interior design by 6, so i still think about these things}.
here's sweetie-pie's room!
 {excuse the crappy lighting and lack of a wide angle}
the yard sale dresser:

adorable, huh?!
ha! don't even bother to tuck in the curtain or straighten out the quilt mandy!



or shut the drawer...

lots of porcelain dolls. we don't discriminate. ugly? broken foot? ratty hair?...
all are welcome.

  every single ballet print was bought at goodwill or a yard sale.
and no, she doesn't do ballet:D


dress up box
"a busy day in dollville"

ebay years ago...

poor girl gets mama's treadmill as part of the decor...
i love, love, love that i decided to hang these Michael's and clearance shabby chic Target butterflies on her ceiling years ago, so fun!

 i picked up that gingham yellow and pink pottery barn quilt at last years city wide garage sale!
other one is target shabby chic.

kitty pictures framed for her animal lovin' heart.
thanks for touring her room and dealing with my awful shots! 
i'll share what else i nabbed at the sale another day!

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