Monday, March 9, 2015

Spring Break

I might have missed my calling. I mean, I might need to get a job in manual labor. I totally just pulled a chest of drawers up the stairs in order to do SOMETHING other than type or read. And that's not the only thing I've been tugging up and down the stairs these last 3 days.

I am so stinking tired of reading. I am so stinking tired of typing.


I'm typing now. 


I feel as if I have senioritis, except I am not a senior. I still have AT LEAST a year left of grad school. 



I can't believe I just typed that.

 I remember when I was so eager to do homework, to read, to research, to type pages and pages and pages and pages that only my professor would EVER read.    I think I have written a book.  Yep. I'm pretty sure of that.

Tonight when the kids go to bed I SHOULD work on my midterms, in like TYPE a billion essays. But no, that's not what I plan on doing. You know what I am going to do? I'm going to PAINT. Yep. PAINT. As in paint a room.  Anna has moved her room, (I have moved her room) so now my office is her old room, which is PINK.  Yeah. Ummmm. I can't do pink.   I'm going to go with a bluish grey. The color says, "hey, I am serious, but not TOO serious."

To tell you the truth, I WAS going to work on my essays today while the kids were in school, but mr Paul got up at 4:30am sick. He's been chilling on the couch all day so technically I could have gotten some typing completed. But honestly, I can't use my brain at home. NO WAY.  I need to go somewhere to type serious scholarly midterm level stuff. I had planned on doing a town study hop, but that is a no can do with a sick kid at home. Thus the reason why I am SOOOOOO EXCITED about going to Home Depot tonight for paint supplies.  I GET TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!     I get to do what I WANT TO DO. 

I promise tomorrow I will be a better student. I hope.  


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Spring Break: Grad School Edition

Spring Break for Seminary is next week. I was planning on taking that week to dig through the piles of toys and clothes that the kids have scattered throughout the house and toss them.  But no. 

 I have 2 take home midterms, full of LONG essays, I'm talking 5 pages per question, to complete. I have an online lecture to watch and an extra article to read and research to do. On TOP of the normal class reading and research that must be completed by the Monday following Spring Break.

Can someone please tell me what the purpose of a spring break in Grad School is?  Because it is obviously not for a break.  "Hey, you're not coming into class so you will have an extra 17 hrs in your week"   How kind of my professors to make sure those hours of freedom are filled for me. I wouldn't want to get bored.  I mean, seriously, being married to a minister, raising 2 children, and working a part time job while going to grad school can REALLY be boring.  I'm tellin' you. I am beyond thankful for their thoughtfullness.

Okay.  Vent over.  I must get back to typing. I gotta get all this "normal" class work done before the spring break fun begins.

Good thing I turned down those Panama City tickets.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Voice of Grief: Two Years Later

Sunday night, while searching old documents on my laptop, I came across a folder that read "journal." Sometime in 2013 I decided that keeping a paper journal was no longer the thing to do and began typing my entries. In the end I went back to the old fashioned pen and notebook, forgetting the 3 months worth of entries.

Yesterday, Feb 23rd, was the 2nd anniversary of what is known in our family as "the tragedy." The day that 19year old Kody accidentally shot and killed his older brother Kyle, then in shock and sadness turned the shot gun on himself.

Sunday night while reading through the 3 months of journal entries, I came across this, one of the nightmares that I had shortly after the deaths.

Journal entry from 2013:
              Last night I had an awful dream about Kyle and Kody. I was at their funeral and kyle, in the coffin, had blood seeping from his eye. He then got up out of the coffin, took a seat beside me, and began asking questions.

What happened?
Where am I?
How is Mawmaw?

               In the dream I couldn't take it any more so I ran out of the funeral home. But wherever I went I was met with a TV that was playing the funeral. I woke up in a cold sweat and had Roger turn the lights on. I sat up in bed praying until I was comfortable enough to go back to sleep.

A few weeks after the tragedy Roger was working a shift as the on-call chaplain at the local hospital and was asked to come in because of a deadly wreck on 65. A family of four on their way home from vacation had been involved in a fiery crash. The parents were burned alive. The small children were the only survivors. When Roger arrived in the trauma room the nurses were prepping the kids to be flown to the university hospital. Roger prayed with the children, listened to their concerns, and helped explain what was going on. He told me of his heart break when the little boy asked prayer for his parents. Being that the boy was not yet in stable condition that information had been withheld from him. Roger, taking the little boys hand, lead them in prayer, knowing that the parents had not even made it to the hospital.

That story sticks with me because it helped bring me out of the "poor me" funk. When bad stuff happens loneliness sets in. We begin to feel that we must be the only people in the entire world to feel loss and heartbreak. Though our loss is unique to us, it is not unique to experience loss.  To be willing to love is to be willing to experience loss.

I do not think God took Kyle and Kody to teach our family a lesson, or test us, or punish us.  The God of my understanding doesn't do stuff like that. We humans have free will. Things just happen. Sometimes bad decisions are made and people get hurt . . . even killed. For me, the beauty of being a Christian is not that bad stuff doesn't happen to us, but that we are given the ability to see goodness even in the midst of despair. We have these things called church communities that consist of people willing to weep with us, pray with us, listen to our doubts and anger, and guide us through the rough terrain of grief. We have scripture to encourage us, as well as give voice to our pain. 

Though it might not be immediate, eventually the fog will lift, the face of God will be visible again, and we will learn that He was there all along, holding our hand through the tender care of others. 

In the hours, weeks, and months after the tragedy I feared another one would follow. How does father, a mother, a brother, a friend, an aunt, an uncle, a cousin, a grandparent, go on living after such a death? We all make choices in life. We can choose to stay stuck in the "poor me" rut, or we can choose to face grief head on. My family chose to face grief head on.

It is now two years later and we are still grieving, some of us more than others. Grief never goes away. We just learn to face it. Some days it knocks us down. Other days we knock it down. But it is always there.

 Keith, Kyle's twin and Kody's other brother,  has since gotten married to his high school sweet heart. He and his wife Lacey are expecting a little girl in June.

My brother, Jacob, and his wife Shannon are expecting a little girl this summer too!   I'm going to be an AUNT!!!!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Anna gets her ears pierced

I have bizarre parenting techniques . . . according to my mother. 

Today I took Anna (age 6) to get her ears pierced. 

My philosophy on the whole ear piercing thing is that I wanted her to make her own decision about it.  
I guess that is where my mother thinks my parenting is a bit bizarre.  

You see, my Mother  did not allow me to make that decision, nor the decision when to shave my legs. While all my friends were reaching the ear piercing milestone and the shave your legs milestone, I was stuck behind. It didn't feel so good. I would occasionally sneak to shave my legs, and yes, I ended up piercing my own ears. I was one determined little chick. I am sure it was rough to raise such a strong headed little girl. But I like to think that today, as a 30yr, I have channeled that stubbornness into a healthy assertiveness.    (I also ripped my braces off with needle-nose-pliers. But that is another story for another time.)

For Anna, I wanted to take the opportunity to teach her about making informed decisions. She, like me, is quite assertive.  

"Mom, will it hurt?"  

"How bad?" 

"What do they do?" 
They punch a hole in your ear with a gun. 

Yes, you are allowing them to punch some of your skin out.  

"umm. okay. Never mind. I don't think I am old enough."
alright, well let me know when you are.

For the past 2years now Anna has been back and forth about whether or not to partake in this female tribal tradition. Over these 2 years I have helped teach her how one goes about getting information in order to aid in the decision making. We have interviewed friends, watched youtube videos, googled ear piercing websites,  and discussed mother to daughter about the pros and cons of piercing. We have also researched how long the earrings must remain in and the work it takes to keep the earlobe from getting infected. 

So, when she said this past weekend that it was time, we set a date.

We both decided that Friday would be a good day so that she would have the weekend with them before heading back to school. 
She also decided, since she knew she would be a bit nervous, to take her special blanket with her for the piercing. 

her little neighborhood friend gives her a thumb up but still doesn't know why someone would get a hole in their ear

She did wonderful!  And the girl is so proud of herself for following through with the first big decision she has ever made.

When Anna called her Granny I could tell that Granny was not pleased. To help ease things with my Mother I expressed my desire to get a tattoo . . . on my FACE.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Overflowing With Personality: Our Daughter Anna

Anna, at the age of 6 1/2, is a character.  

Currently her favorite show is Good Luck Charlie. The main character in the show has a video diary that the  show is created around. 

One particular evening Anna decided that she too wanted to make a video diary. She asked me to curl her hair like the main character's and I agreed to film her. However, in her video diary she just made a bunch of stuff up. So no, I do not walk around the house drinking soda and eating popcorn, and Paul does not watch TV like crazy.

I asked her permission to post this video on my blog and she said yes. That is a BIG deal for her because  she is typically a private child. 

Because I like to encourage my children to do what they are passionate about, I asked her if she would be interested in trying out for the local play of Rapunzel.  Her response?  "But mommy, I don't like doing things in front of people. I'm too shy."

Fair enough.

So, for now, I will enjoy the mini glimpses of her performances that I eye as I walk through the house.   

Though she sometimes allows me to sit down and watch her "show," most of the time she becomes embarrassed when she sees anyone watching her.

It is such a treat to watch this little person's personality blossom.


Paul's Exercise Video

Last night I taught Paul how to do a plank. I told him that it works all the muscles in the body. 

I guess I might have exaggerated with the ALL statement.  

He promptly informed me that it did not work your eye lid muscles and would not put that to rest.

I sent a text to some friends about this child's need to always be right. One friend sent back that he should move his tongue in and out because the planks do not work the tongue muscle. Another friend sent back that he should breathe in and out through his nose while doing planks in order to work his nose muscles. 

Well, Paul being Paul, he did just that.  

Another friend sent message that she would need a video of Paul doing said exercise. 

Paul was more than willing to shoot a video showing how he can infact work every single muscle in his body at the SAME time.



Thursday, January 8, 2015

Living Fully In The Moment

“Time is a relentless river. It rages on, a respecter of no one.
And this, this is the only way to slow time: Fully enter time’s swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all your attention, you slow the torrent with the weight of being all here." - Ann Voskamp