Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Crazy Backyard Neighbor. Do YOU have one?

As a little girl I would daydream about building a house on the family farm. I had a spot all picked out. It was near the back fence-row on the main field, right under the massive tree and beside the trail that leads to the top of the property. I would drive the little stick shift Toyota out to that spot and pretend I was pulling into my drive.

I was never much for inside play, so I mostly daydreamed about the yard that I would have, the wrap around porch, the goats, the children, and yes, the clothes line. I blame my grandmother for that last one. I always loved watching her hang her clothes on the clothes line. I told myself that I would one day have one JUST LIKE HER.

Well, as you already know, I don't live on the family farm, or have a goat, or even a clothes line. I live 2 hrs away from the farm, in another city, right smack dab in the middle of downtown. But you know what? I love it! We have just enough house, and just enough land. We have 2 wonderfully crazy children and beautiful plans. We even have some pretty cool neighbors with wonderfully crazy children and beautiful plans!

However, we do have this one neighbor. Does everyone have that ONE neighbor? You know. The ONE neighbor that is, as 20/20 says, the neighbor from HELL.  Don't answer that. I know you probably don't so don't say that you don't and make me feel even more awful than I already feel. OK!

Anyway, to not go into too much detail, this neighbor's fence backs up to our property and he enjoys climbing over the fence to yell at us about any and everything. Yes, you read that correct. The man puts a ladder on his side of the fence, then a ladder on our side of the fence, and climbs over the fence to stand in our faces to YELL at us.  You see, the way the town in laid out, there are alley ways that run behind the houses. It was an alley that was used a LONG LONG LONG time ago. Now it is just grass and LOOKS just like it is our yard, especially with his fence up. So even though it looks like he has climbed the fence and is standing in our yard, he is actually standing on city property. Out yard starts 10 feet from his fence.

The problem? The man is OCD. And I do mean that FOR REAL. He has some mental health issues, I just know it. Yes, this is the man that climbed over the fence and cut down the 2 evergreens that were "in city property" and started yelling at us when we said "well, then let the city cut them down."  Have you all watched the Crazy Ruhbarb lady video?  Here it is if you haven't.

The man yells at us like this. But we don;t provoke him like these people do. Roger and I flip into our pastor/chaplain mode and start counseling the guy, trying to get him to calm down.

But last night got WAY OUT OF HAND. The man would NOT calm down and at one point said, "you know what I ought to do? I ought to go in my house and get my gun." That is when I picked up the phone and called for back up. I guess maybe I should have called 911, I don't know, but I called a lawyer friend.I wanted a witness, a legal witness, and I really didn't know what the police would be able to do, the man was standing on "city property".

Today Roger and I are going fence shopping. We sat up last night looking at options and prices, and the deed to our property. I want a fence. The man is crazy. CRAZY. He sits outside looking through the fence, listening to the kids and I, watching us. And when he finds something to get pissed about, like me having trimmed a tree and left the tree trimmings on the "city property" because I had to leave to take my child to gymnastics, and had planned on getting to the limbs later in the week, he will climb over the fence and threaten violence on my family while throwing limbs at us. 

So yes, I am done.  And yes, we will take out a loan to get a fence.  And yes, the next time this happens Roger and I have already promised each other that we will walk in the house and call the police. No more trying to talk to the man. He clearly IS insane, needs mental health help, and is a danger to us. 

It is just so sad that this is happening.  Last night I had a crying fit until about 1am. "Why me God? Why us?" YEs, I had one of those kinds of fits. Yes, pastors and their spouses have THOSE kinds of fits too.  I've just been through a LOT emotionally these past 2 years. I really still haven't gotten over the family tragedy and the after affects of it that are rippling through so many, I'm getting ready to start an emotionally rough internship, and the kids are, well, kids, and emotionally and physically exhausting.

As I was sitting on the front porch typing this blog, one of our neighbors walked by. An elderly couple out for a morning stroll. The old man yelled out "well there's our friend, still sitting on the front porch! The only thing that would make that better is if you had a Highball to drink. But I guess it's too early for that. Maybe a martini or a rum and coke!"    You see, that is what I LOVE about living downtown. I love people, and I love the random encounters that you have when you live downtown and sit on your front porch.   I have to remind myself of that when I have a crazy backyard neighbor who likes to scale the fence, throw Fbombs at us, and threaten to get his gun. 

The good thing is that we do live within walking distance of the police department!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Chauvanistic Redneck Men

 I was just thinking the other day how aweful country music has gotten. I mean, I have always had a heart for country music, but lately it is just WAY to rappy and WAY to sexist.  I find myself looking up the oldies like The Judds, George Strait, Randy Travis, Johnny Cash, and Loretta Lynn.  I am madly in love with my Lorette Lynn station on

Anyway, I have recently fallen in love with Kasey Musgraves and often while cleaning the house blast her Pandora Station.  This afternoon ,while scrubbing the toilet, this song came on by Maddie and Tae. Although I am not that into the music part of the song, the lyrics stopped me in my tracks.  What wonderfully funny lyrics!   Hilarious!

There's nothing that I can't stand more than a chauvinistic redneck man song. 
You go girls! 

A Girl in a Country Song

 Well I wish I had some shoes on my two bare feet
And it's gettin' kinda cold in these painted on cut off jeans
I hate the way this bikini top chafes
Do I really have to wear it all day? (Yeah baby)

I hear you over there on your tailgate whistlin' [*whistle*]
Sayin', "Hey girl"
But you know I ain't listenin'
Cause I got a name
And to you it ain't "pretty little thing", "honey" or "baby"
Yeah it's drivin' me red-red-red-red-red-red-red neck crazy

Bein' the girl in a country song
How in the world did it go so wrong?
Like all we're good for
Is looking good for you and your friends on the weekend
Nothing more
We used to get a little respect
Now we're lucky if we even get
To climb up in your truck, keep my mouth shut and ride along
And be the girl in a country song

Well shakin' my moneymaker ain’t ever made me a dime
And there ain't no sugar for you in this shaker of mine
Tell me one more time, "you gotta get you some of that"
Sure I'll slide on over, but you’re gonna get slapped (Hah!)
These days it ain't easy being that

Girl in a country song
How in the world did it go so wrong?
Like all we're good for
Is looking good for you and your friends on the weekend
Nothing more
We used to get a little respect
Now we're lucky if we even get
To climb up in your truck, keep my mouth shut and ride along
And be the girl in a country song (Yeah, yeah baby)

Aww no, Conway and George Strait
Never did it this way
Back in the old days
Aww y'all, we ain't a cliché
That ain't no way
To treat a lady

Like a girl in a country song
How in the world did it go so wrong?
Like all we're good for
Is looking good for you and your friends on the weekend
Nothing more
We used to get a little respect
Now we're lucky if we even get
To climb up in your truck, keep my mouth shut and ride along
Down some old dirt road we don't even wanna be on
And be the girl in a country song

("Yeah baby, I ain't your tan legged Juliet. Can I put on some real clothes now?")

Aww, no

Monday, June 30, 2014

The past 3 weeks have been crazy and exciting. That's pretty much how our life goes. Roger and I have been married for 10 years now and each year consists of crazy AND exciting. This year  is no different.

Saturday we got back from a week long conference. We took the kids with us this time (that's a first) because Roger's mother, Scarlette, was being commissioned as a missionary for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. We wanted the kids to be part of the celebration. With Roger being in a program called the CBF Fellows, me being a CBF Leadership Scholar, and my mother in law being a new field personal, we were all crazy busy at this General Assembly. The only free time was forced between the hours of midnight and 3am. I am EXHAUSTED and detoxing from life lived out of a suitcase. On a side note, the kids did REALLY well at the conference. Paul and Anna tagged around with us through the meetings and were traded off between family members whenever one of us was free. I am beyond proud of those two!

Before we headed out to General Assembly we celebrated the wedding of a dear friend and while at General Assembly heard news of a terrible car crash that took the life of a friend's 19yr old niece. Just this morning we got word that the brother of the young girl who passed away was in a terrible ATV accident and is in a bad way at the University hospital.

Also, I woke up this morning to a man on our roof. Turns out the roofer decided to come today. So, I guess we are getting a new roof this week. We wrote a check, a BIG check. I thought I was going to pass out.

In all of this my emotions have been all over the place. Such is life. You take the bad with the good and try your best to focus mostly on the good.  At any second things can change drastically. I find comfort in soaking in the simple mundane tasks of life and feeling that sense of thankfulness that I have children to make dinner for, a husband to comfort, friends to pray for, a house to clean, clothes to wash, and a yard to tend to.  If I don't look at life through an eye of gratitude, life becomes too overwhelming.

While at General Assembly I picked up this book:
Laura Barclay is a sweet person that we first ran into at an out of town conference several years ago. When I first met her I was infected by her smile, you can't help but smile when she is in the room with you because she is just so bubbly and kind and funny and wonderfully down to earth. Since then she has become a family friend and I look forward to many dinner dates with her and her husband.  (she has, thank the Lord, moved to the town right beside ours)

This book made it into my hands at just the right time.  In the world wind that we are currently in, it has been a blessing to have this book to escape to the front porch with. Her stories resonate with me, through her words I can hear and see her smile. Every time I pick the book up to read I feel as if I am getting my own personal therapy session with the one and only Laura A. Barclay. "All of us struggle with a desire to belong, and the only thing that can soothe it is to love one another in community. This means not hiding our struggles but sharing the burden so that it is easier to bear." (pg 40)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


It has been hard for me to slow down. A million things fill my brain and I find myself restless. Summer is always a busy time for us, lots of traveling and church work. But there are times that we find ourselves in the peace and quite of home with one another, and those moments usually give me the rest that I need to continue on in our busy schedule of parenthood and ministry. However, I have been having trouble turning off on those days of leisure. The tension inside of me has been unbearable. I've taken to running more often, but even that has not seemed to work the magic that it usually does.

This past Sunday i was so frazzled, having struggled to get the kids and myself up and ready for church knowing that I was to be the deacon stand in, that I almost ran over a man. As I was backing out of my driveway, the kids screaming in the back seat, a man ran by the car and smashed onto the windshield. I stopped, in shock, but he continued on his lovely Sunday morning run as if nothing had happened.  To the kids: "this is why you both need to be quiet while I am driving. I ALMOST KILLED A MAN."

Summer with the kids is fun, extremely fun, but oh so exhausting. At 6 and almost 9 these two have an insane amount of energy.
our redneck wonderland
Roger and I do our best to keep the kids outside and active during the summer months.

We realize these are the golden years of parenthood . . . or something like that . .  and we are doing our best to suck the goodness out of everyday.

These kids, they are too smart for their own good and Anna, let me tell you about Anna, that child has a wicked good sense of humor.  That girl is HILARIOUS. And Paul, well, that child thinks WAY TOO MUCH for a 3rd grader. The child refuses to go in the kid section of the library. He insists that he choose something from the history section.  And can you believe that he actually READS the books all the way through AND remembers everything that he has read?  Yep, he gets that from his father, not his mother.

Last night I met some lovely women for prayer. For about a month now a few women from the church have been gathering together on Monday evening to pray. It is a time for us women to get together to share the joys and burdens of our day to day lives and to pray. No bible study. Just time spent together in prayer. Last night I went even though I felt dry and numb. It has been hard for me to pick up scripture or to even pray. I'm pretty sure that is where my restlessness in coming from. It's my inability to spend some much needed time with the one who made me from mud.

After prayer and conversation I headed back home with a beautiful sunset to gaze at. It was stunning... and peaceful . . . and all together heavenly.

That drive home was a worship experience. A worship experience that my soul has been longing for. The honeysuckles, the cows, the corn, the horses, the country road, and the lovely breeze. It  was all a reset button on life that I so desperately needed.

This morning the scripture reading in my devotional was Revelation 21: 14-27. Yes, I was finally able to read scripture. I read those verses with awe, remembering the simple pleasure  I had the night before on that long curvy country road. When speaking of his vision of heaven the author of revelation writes. "The city had no need of the sun or the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light"

The beautiful setting sun that forced me stop my car to enjoy its splendor, is nothing compared to what the author of Revelation saw when he was given a glimpse of heaven.  The thought of that has humbled me and inspired me and given me peace today. 

When I am overwhelmed with internal tension I must remember that I need God and that most often I reconnect with Him/Her on long stretches of country roads.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Head Lice

Last night Roger and I were sitting on the couch after a long but fulfilling day, it was about 10:30pm, we had just finished binge watching a comedy show and were on the verge of heading to bed.  Anna emerged from her room scratching her head and talking nonsense. I gave a little giggle, "she must be sleep walking," and carried her back to bed. About 5 minutes later she walked through the living room scratching her head with both hands and headed towards the bathroom. That's when my heart dropped. "Oh my gosh Roger, I think she might have head lice."

What you need to know about me is that I always jump to the worst possible scenario. I figure if I jump to the worst I will be prepared. For example, if someone comes knocking on our door at 11pm at night, unexpected, when I open the door I ask "who died."  I guess it comes with being a pastors wife, it seems as if any unexpected phone call or house visit consists of a complaint or some tragic life/death thing. It comes with the territory I guess.

So, back to the head lice. Roger rolled his eyes at me, told me to calm down, and got a good laugh out of my insisting that Anna was in fact infested with head lice.

On her way back from the bathroom to her room I tackled her and began searching through her hair like a momma monkey.


I threw Anna in the bath and began washing her hair and yelling to Roger for help.

Convinced that I was a complete lunatic, Roger calmly walked into the bathroom rolling his eyes and doing his whole pastoral care thing that he does with crazy hysterical irrational people. Being one of THOSE people, he brought out his handy dandy smart phones and googled head lice. Yep, it was head lice.  Roger started flipping out and yelling "call my mom.  AAAHHHHH" 

As I attempted to get Roger's mom on the phone he headed to the store to get a lice treatment kit. After several calls in which the answering machine picked up I switched my plan and started calling my mom. My brother answered the phone, "she's asleep. Is this an emergency?"   "YESSSSSS!"    Mom came to the phone. "Listen mom, no one is dead, but anna has head lice. WHAT DO I DO?"  My breathing became shallow as she described all the tasks that one must undertake to rid the house of the dreaded head lice. It was at this point that I began to hate all the people who have parents that live close, ours live 2hrs away.  Aren't the grandparents suppose to come over and help with this kind of stuff?  

When Roger got home we had a brief team meeting. "ok, we can do this. lets do this." We sat for over an hour on the floor in front of the tv plucking lice out of Anna's hair with the lice brush. We washed bed clothes and clothes, we vacuumed everything, we bagged up stuff we couldn't wash and took it out, and we ate cupcakes. Because that's what you do when life gets nutts, you eat cupcakes and 3am."hey Rog, you know those God hates fags people? We should call them and let them know that God doesn't hate fags, he hates us."

So far today Anna seems to be lice free. It says on the box to keep checking her and to possibly do the treatment over again in a week. "Please Lord let them be gone forever."

I have no clue where she got lice, but I do know it is a pretty common thing for kids to get. I was just hoping we would be lucky enough to never have to got through what we went through last night.

 Naturally I dreamed of lice all night and checked Anna's hair first thing this morning. No Lice!

Parenthood, right when I think I got this gig down pat I'm kicked in the ass.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


You all, it is OFFICIALLY summer break!
The view of our back yard through the windows of the master bedroom.

The kids had their last day of school today.
photo before heading to school for their last day

Anna is now a 1st grader and Paul is now a 3rd grader.
 That. IS. Crazy.

Anna's kindergarten graduation.

 Here's a video of the kindergarten class singing the fight song at the end of their graduation ceremony. Yes, they indoctrinate them with Panther pride even at a young age. But you must admit it is pretty cute, especially that little guy in the front with the bow tie and glasses. Oh my gosh he was cracking me up the entire time. 
Paul's 2nd grade awards ceremony.
Paul with his 2nd grade teacher Mrs. Watts.

Where has time gone?
Paul's 1st day of preschool

Anna's first day of preschool

Oh these kids, they crack me up and drive me crazy.  Summer should be a BLAST. . .  and utterly exhausting. These kids, they talk NONSTOP and have an insane amount of energy. I swear I get plenty of sleep and pop a multivitamin everyday, but I still can not manage to keep up with them.

Oh boy.

Happy summer break you all!!!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pacemaker Checkup

Today was my office visit with Dr. Christopher Johnsrude. 

He's the doc that is in charge of my pacemaker.

You see, I actually have 2 cardiologists.

Dr. Keller focuses on the actual functioning and structure of my heart.
the doc and I in March 2014

 Dr. Johnsrude tends to the electrical system that has been added to help my heart function.

I know!  Technology is so cool.

 Every 3 months I am seeing 1 of the 2 cardiologists.

Today was the day to get the old pacemaker checked.

The pacemaker likes to act up every now and again so Dr. Johnsrude and his team have had a good ol' time managing this hunk of medal that has been strategically placed in the left side of my chest.

The drive up to Louisville this morning was lovely. 
When I was a wee little girl the drive to see the cardiologist was a whole day affair. At that time we lived 3hrs away from my pacemaker specialist and 2 hrs away from the heart function specialist. 

But since then I have married and moved closer, by the act of God, to both of my cardiologists.  Going in for checkups every 3 months isn't that big of an adventure anymore. 

And, on top of that, if I ever need to go to the ER I simply drive up to the hospital that already has all my information. 

 It's pretty perfect!!   

They know me, my docs, my medical history, and I am sent on back in a flash.

Today was my first checkup since making it to the milestone of  30years old.

I AM 30!!!!!!!!

Saying that out loud puts a smile on my face every time.

I have been so bubbly lately that I'm even pissing myself off.

You know those people that are just happy all the time and joyful in every situation, to the point of absolute annoyance?   


I have been like that this past month.

I want to skip everywhere I go and show off my coffee stained 30 year old teeth by smiling until my face hurts.

Today's visit was celebratory. This lovely team of people have helped me to see 30.

my pacemaker tech holding up 30, me, my pacemaker doc, and my cardio nurse

They, along with Dr. Bradley Keller, have helped me to birth 2 children and to have the energy to thoroughly enjoy those 2 children.

age 6 and 8

The song Girls Chase Boys by Ingrid Michaelson has me dancing around lately.
I love specific lyrics throughout the song that I have made to be my little 30yr old anthem.
Here are the lyrics that I have plucked from it to give the song a whole new meaning for me.

"All the broken hearts in the world still beat
Let's not make it harder than it has to be"

" I'm a little let down but I'm not dead
There's a little bit more that has to be said"

" I got two hands, one beating heart
And I'll be alright
I'm gonna be alright
Yeah I got two hands, one beating heart
And I'll be alright
I'm gonna be alright"

Here is a link to the song if you would like to take a listen.  But you have to promise to dance if you click on it.

In regards to the pacemaker checkup, all seems to be well and I am set back to see the team again in 6 months.

(click here if you are interested in knowing a bit about my heart condition and the reconstructive procedure I had at 3months of age)