Time to write again

It’s been far too long. I’ve let life and all the stress and business prevent me from writing much lately. But honestly, those are just excuses. My reasons for not writing are my own, but I think I’ve worked through them enough to start to put my thoughts back down.

I’ve discovered that short writings get more attention, so I’ll try that way. Just putting it out there is what matters right now.

Thank you for joining me again on my journey.

my writings and thots

To My Dad

IMG_5991Anyone who knows me well knows I don’t like Hallmark holidays. I dislike the idea of being pressured into buying something for someone simply because it’s a day to spend money on something specific.

However, I can appreciate the special days we celebrate in order to remember certain people in our lives. At the same time, I feel I could do a lot better at showing my appreciation for people every day, but that’s a subject for another post.

Today, I want to give honor to my dad. The man I can depend on to make me laugh when I need it. He sends the funniest post cards from half-way across the world that end up in my mail box just when I need a reason to smile. He’s a role model for my kids and I’m so glad they have the chance to get to know him better. My dad seems to accept me the way I am, the decisions I make; without judgment and without trying to change me. I want to be like him when I grow up.

Even though there’s a big distance between us, a lot of time zones, and we can’t be in touch as much as I’d like, he’s there. I count on his prayers, his words of support, and his love. He has been an example to me for years now of following a dream, of living life for others, of making the important things count. I hope he knows, not just on this day, but on all days how much I love him; how much we all love him.


My favorite quotes, songs and stories, my writings and thots


I got around to watching the movie, Rush, last weekend. I enjoyed the story as I knew Niki Lauda from back when I was following Formula 1. Although he was no longer racing at that time, he was often at the tracks and we all knew his history. I personally enjoy true story movies, especially about people I know of.

There is a very interesting element in the movie that goes well beyond the racing and the telling of Niki’s story. It is also the story of two men and their outlook on life. Two men who had entirely different ways of dealing with life and entirely pole different outcomes because of it.

Niki is hard-working to the point of being obsessed. He sees problems and works to fix them. He has long-term goals and fights for those goals. On the other hand, there’s James. He wants the win just as badly, but will do anything to get it. He knows little about the cars he drives and instead pushes those around him to make the decisions needed to make him faster and better. He spends all his free time drinking, sleeping around, and it’s suggested that he takes drugs. His motto is to live by the day and seems entirely happy doing so.

We see Niki in a position where he almost envies James’s lifestyle. James is the first to marry and to a model, no less. He’s popular, while Niki doesn’t make many friends because he’s determined and takes no nonsense. We get the impression that Niki would like to live like James in some areas, but at the same time he understands that as long as he wants to win, he has to act like a winner. He makes plans that he knows will affect the rest of his career and even his life. He eventually marries the woman he loves and continues to race against his greatest rival, James.

Then the unthinkable happens. Niki allows himself to not do what he knows is best. He knows it’s too dangerous to race, but he gives in to those who think they know better and races anyway. It results in an accident that nearly costs his life. At this point, he can choose. Does he accept his fate, does he passively sit back and accept that he’s not meant to do what he set out to do? Instead, he fights. He hurts. He makes himself get back in that car, fear and all, knowing that those he loves are just as scared for him, and he races anyway.

In the end, James does win that one race and he goes on to party like only he can. Niki warns him that if he wants to continue racing, he’s going to have to train, make modifications, and get back in right away. James says he will. Tomorrow. That’s James’ whole way of thinking. Just on the day. He thinks he’s having fun. He thinks life is where he wants it. Instead, he ends up alone. His friends leave him because he finds others to make the money for him. His wife leaves him because he can’t sustain the relationship. He dies young, almost alone, and without much to his name.

I know the feeling of wanting to live each day as if it were the only one. And there is some truth to that. We have to live each day as if it were our last, but at the same time, we also have to plan and fight for our future. I’m so done living passively and expecting that nothing more will come. I hate the expression “what to do?” almost as much as “that’s just life”. Our future is what we make it. I have the choice to just let things happen or to stand up and make a change, hurt as it may.

Sure, some things are “just life” and we have to learn to roll with the punches. But just letting each day go by without even trying to effect change, no matter how small, won’t get us far.

I read an interesting comment today that resonated with me in reference to this movie and what it made me think of. It went like this:

“The only reason why you’re staying where you are instead of doing what makes you happy is because you’re scared.

The only reason you are not doing what you want is because there is still some part of you which doesn’t trust in the part that believes.”

1536432_301348696680866_1884855014_nI’m aware that not everything portrayed in the movie was entirely the way things happened in real life. But for the sake of the way the movie affected me, I’m writing it from the standpoint of the movie, not real events.


my writings and thots, read this

It’s kind of obvious that I haven’t been writing for myself much lately. Well, I write in my mind a lot, and I have a fair number of unfinished posts which I just never posted.

It’s not just writing; I haven’t been as open lately in general. I avoid chats and discussions other than with my closest friends. Because of some comments that were made that I bother people with the things I say, I’ve been careful about what I say and to whom. My intention was never to get on people’s nerves.

It’s occurred to me though that this is my place to write. This is where I get to express me. I miss writing. I miss putting my thoughts down and expressing myself through the written word. When it comes down to it, no one is forced to read this and as such, it’s still my place.

In general, writing is easy for me. I can express myself better in writing than I can when I speak. Having an outlet where I can put those thoughts down also means I can edit and make sure I’m happy with the outcome. Why would I want to punish myself because there are those who don’t like me? I don’t write to get affirmation or approval, especially from those who anyway don’t see things the way I do. I’m happy to debate and discuss, but shutting up shouldn’t be an option, not as long as I’m not hurting anyone.

Not writing is only hurting myself. I like documenting the path I’m on and I enjoy going back over old posts to see how far I’ve come.

So for those who use my expression here as a means to judge me, just close the page and use your time elsewhere. I won’t mind.

As for me, I’ll continue to write about my experiences and the path that life takes me on. Feel welcome to join me or not, it’s entirely up to you.

my writings and thots

A Reason to Smile

Last week, I had dental surgery. Since I already had a few procedures done last year and I knew this surgery was coming up, so it didn’t entirely take me by surprise.

What did take me by surprise was the way my mouth swelled and bruised. Extra work was needed to extract a wisdom tooth which hadn’t grown out yet along with the other planned work. By the morning of the next day I looked like a chipmunk that had been in a brawl.

When CC saw me first thing in the morning, she couldn’t help herself; she burst into laughter. I had a quick look in the mirror and wanted to laugh as well. But alas, laughing, or even smiling hurt so much I had to stop right away.

Now for me, that’s kind of a big deal. I hadn’t realized it, but I do enjoy laughing and smiling—a lot. Now, I couldn’t use my humor to get through this time, I’d have to either keep my jokes to myself or try to laugh without smiling—which ended up sounding more like ah, ah, ah rather than ha, ha, ha.

Now I sit here, a few days later; the swelling has gone down some, and smiling no longer makes me feel like crying. As with most things that I take for granted, I appreciate the ability to smile and laugh all the more.

At the same time, I’m reflecting on how much I’ve changed in the last few years. I actually miss laughing when I can no longer laugh. I’ve learned to use a sense of humor to get through sticky or difficult situations. I like that I can make myself smile instead of dwelling on a negative situation. Little things make me happy, like a fresh cup of coffee in the morning, the moment my children walk through the door after school, or seeing the moon shine into my window at night. I feel I’ve learned to be more grateful for the little things, live in the moment more, and find the funny in more situations.  



Why I’m pretty sure my dental surgeon thinks I’m crazy

Today was really not my day. I woke up feeling feverish and tired and didn’t really want to keep my appointment with the dentist. But, knowing how difficult it is to reschedule, I took a short nap, had a cup of tea, and made my way to the dentist. I opted to walk, since it’s not that far away.

I get to the dentists and the receptionist kindly tells me she has no record of an appointment. Didn’t I get a letter from the surgeon saying why I needed to see the dentist and what procedures needed to be done? I smiled sheepishly and said I was pretty sure I was supposed to come into today for the measuring of the tooth I’m having pulled.

She sent me to the waiting room, but was back within a few minutes with a huge grin on her face. She told me that the appointment is indeed today, but I was supposed to be at the dental surgeon instead. Thankfully, there were people around in the waiting room and reception area who could laugh with me at my silly predicament.

I rushed home, calling in advance for my bicycle keys in order to get to the other office. I left my earphones in and put my music on because if there’s one thing that calms me, it’s music at times like that. Of course, I was on time at the dentist’s, but by now I’m dreadfully late. I decide not to let it affect me too much, they knew I was on my way, and getting killed in an accident wouldn’t make things better. I got there a good half-hour late, took my headphones off and tucked them into my pocket.

I breathlessly arrived at the dental surgeons reception area just as he was coming out of his office and spied me. Everyone kind of chuckled as I walked in and tried to explain that I’m just messed up today. You have to remember, in at least half the appointments I had with him, I was on meds and kind of loopy. Today I proved I don’t need meds to be loopy.

Of course, I didn’t see the last vacant chair at the end of the waiting room until someone pointed out that it was there as I was still standing. After stumbling over everyone’s feet to get to the chair, my name got called and I got to stumble back out. It was then that I realized I still had my headphones tucked into my pocket, and having my phone and headphones in my pocket was probably not a good idea when going for an x-ray. I pulled the headphones out just at the second I remembered I didn’t even turn off the music yet!

So, music starts blaring from my back pocket. I fumble with it, trying desperately to turn it off, dropping it on my toes and drawing out the time the music is filling the little office area. By now, I’m just laughing at myself. What else can I do? It takes me a good minute to tuck my headphones into my purse and remove my ear and nose stud. Just as she’s about to fit me into the vest, she looks at my head and reminds me that I’m wearing a clip. Oh thanks, I forgot I put that there.

Thankfully, I manage to get through the rest of the interview without messing up much more. Other than the little squeal of pain (which is a good thing, because it means my nerves are all still working!), he was pleased with how things are going and we worked out when I need to go to my dentist for real this time.

I really wouldn’t be surprised if their whole office sits and talks about the crazy lady who mixes up her appointments, stumbles around, and doesn’t even need meds to get loopy.


Down Time

It’s been a very busy last couple of weeks. I won’t bore everyone with details, but I haven’t forgotten about the blog. I have posts in the works, there are just other priorities at this point.

My new blog is up and running! After some serious glitches and a complete wipe, it’s back up and running with new posts regularly. Thanks to everyone who offered support and shared links to get me going. In case you haven’t seen it yet, check it out at http://www.idonotno.com

CC spent 5 days in the UK with her class–she totally rocked the experience and had so many great stories and pictures.

School is over, we’re finally having holidays and for a change the weather is playing along. This means I get to try and cram to complete all my work as fast as I can (or else stay up late) so I can spend time doing things with the kids. CC’s birthday was a success, though we’re still waiting for the swimming day 🙂

I got to travel as well, visit my sister in Frankfurt and take my exams at last. It all went well, but it ate a chunk out of work and energy.

Today a new emergency came up: I had to call the ambulance to take my mom into hospital. Things are looking a bit better, but she’s still very weak. Prayers for her and all of us are appreciated.

I’ll post more soon; I feel the need to express in writing again.

my writings and thots

Singing in the Rain

It’s been raining these past few days, raining a lot! It’s like April in May or something like that. Either way, it’s a lot more than we’re used to and it’s bringing some challenges with it. I’m aware that there is flooding in some areas, but thankfully it seems to be under control now.

Of course, it means some adjusting on our part, too. The girls have a newspaper route that they do on a weekly basis, with my help. Normally, we’d go by bike and get it done in about two hours. This week, the delivery of the newspapers was a day late, so we had a late start. By the time we were packed and got about a third of the way there, it started to rain. I’m not talking about a few drops–we’ve dealt with those before by sitting it out under a roof–this was a full blown storm. Lightning flashed, and it began to pour within minutes. We quickly turned around and made it back, drenched to the bone. We laughed the whole way home, feeling about as close to monsoon as we have in a long time.

The next day, CC and I decided instead to go by bus to the destination and walk the papers in case it started to rain again. It was dry when we left, but after about half of the route, it started to rain again. This time it wasn’t so strong and we had to complete the distribution, so we just kept going. It wasn’t long before we were pretty wet again, thankful that it wasn’t all that cold and that our coats kept us relatively dry for most of the time.

By the time we were done with the route, we were drenched, though. We had a 15 minute wait for the next bus, so we shared headphones and sat down inside the bus stop–thankfully completely dry inside–to pass the time. But this was CC and I in a situation that just begged for some crazy. We were tired, cold, and wet. There was no way we were going to just sit there and quietly think about our situation. Within a few minutes, we were singing out loud with the music and laughing as we tried to drip dry whatever we could. The bus eventually came and everyone turned to stare at the two wet girls grinning from ear to ear.

We made our merry way home, but needed to stop at the store for groceries before going home. Again, we were quite the sight, coming in there so wet our shoes were squeeking! We grabbed what we needed, laughing at anyone who stared and enjoying our moments of fun. As we walked back home, rain still pouring down, I had to break into song again. This is the neighborhood we live in, so I’m afraid I may have embarassed my daughter just a litte, poor thing. But since I try to say “I don’t no” more lately, I had to give in to the need to belt out a song. I added arm movements and did a bit of a double step as we crossed the street.

We warmed up quickly, I did get sick–thankfully not too sick, my body is fighting hard, but the experience was one of laughter and fun. It could have gone differently, we could have ended up getting negative about how cold we were, complaining about the squishy feeling in our shoes, and cursed the clouds for dumping on us. But we didn’t. We had fun, we created our own atmosphere and laughed, sang, and even danced a bit. It was a joyful experience in the end.

my writings and thots


One of the g-pigs is stressed out. What? That’s exactly what I said, too!

We had to take them to the petstore to get their nails clipped and asked the kind ladies there about the one g-pig losing hair. I thought it was a spring-time thing, nothing to be too worried about, but it turns out she’s losing more hair than normal. While it could be a lack of vitamins (I seriously doubt it, she eats fresh stuff like, well, a pig), it’s more likely that it’s stress related.

I had no idea little animals like that could feel stressed. I looked at them all comfy cosy in their cage. It gets cleaned out for them, fresh wood chips and hay for a bed. Cherise is meticulous about making sure it doesn’t smell bad and that they always have a fresh bed. She makes little toys for them, and they have a box to climb in and around. Food is delivered twice a day, including special treats and their favorite snacks. There is always fresh water. I mean, couldn’t be less stressful if you tried; it’s not like they have to work for their food and board, there are no preditors, and they have each other so they’re not lonely.

As ridiculous as it sounds to have stressed animals, I started to think about my life of late. Insomnia is such a part of my life, it’s almost routine. I find myself getting frustrated that I can’t get everything done in the time frame I want it done in. I worry, a lot.

But when I think of it, isn’t it also kind of ridiculous. I mean, I have food, a place to stay, my work, my kids, and wonderful friends all over the world. Of course, it’s important to have dreams, to want to better life in some way, and hope should never die. But maybe I need to rethink if I’m not being like a silly pet who doesn’t understand that everything’s in control. I know God’s in control, it’s something I tell myself all the time; but do I live it?

I think it’s time to step back and just relax a bit.

about the kids, My favorite quotes, songs and stories

Happy Mother’s Day

I’ve often said I celebrate Mother’s Day differently now that I’m a mother myself. Today, I’m glad I have this amazing piece to feature here, because, let’s face it, intense, constant pain doesn’t go well with writing amazing pieces. At least not for me. So without further ado, here’s a tribute to Mother’s Day from Stephen Larriva:

I was standing in line at the supermarket. Behind me in the line was a mother with her two teenage children: a boy about 13 and a girl maybe 15. The boy was sulking, arguing with his mom about some item that he wanted her to purchase for him. The girl was feverishly texting and at the same time nagging her mother to let her go to a party. Words like a dumb and old-fashioned were being used repeatedly on the poor woman. Everyone who was standing in line became increasingly uncomfortable with the way these two teens were treating their mother. I couldn’t take it anymore. I turned around and looked at them squarely in the eyes and said “This woman (pointing at their mother) at great personal expense,” I paused for affect “Pushed you both out of her vagina. Your arguments are invalid.” There was silence. An elderly gentleman stifled a cough. The cashier cleared his throat. Then laughter started and spontaneous applause. The old man slapped me on the back the tears streaming down his face in laughter. The cashier whispered in awe “Dude, you’re totally like, my hero.”

Then I woke up.

While it is highly unlikely I would ever actually do this in real life. (I admit it is fun to think about) it really got me thinking about how much we take for granted the tricky job of motherhood. Perhaps because women have been doing the difficult job of motherhood for thousands of years with such amazing grace and breathtaking finesse it’s easy to forget how hard it actually is.

For starters, just being a woman difficult – and not just metaphorically or historically, although both of those are very valid point in cases of how difficult it is to be a woman. The just the physical transition that a woman must endure to become a mother is mind bending.

I’m the first to admit that, as a man, I’m about as qualified to discuss this subject as an auto mechanic who has never owned a car. But I have assisted in a few births (and by assisting, I mean watched) and once delivered a baby when the midwife didn’t show up on time. (I’m still extremely proud of myself for not fainting.) I also have attended a Lamaze class as well as having repeatedly viewed all the drawings in the very end of the “144 basic book” during my teen years.

For those of you who may have missed sixth grade Sex Ed – and by missed I am specifically referring all us guys who actually attended the class but at first mention of the word ‘vulva’ started giggling like Japanese school girls in the back of the classroom and never heard another word that the teacher said. You can imagine my shock when I attended my first Lamaze class (which is basically sixth grade Sex Ed while you sit on the floor) where it was all re-explained with the use of flash cards and a video of a birth starring two completely nude and surprisingly hairy individuals. For those of you who may have missed Lamaze class I will do my best to recount what I learned.

First I would like you to take a deep breath, in through the nose and exhaled slowly out your mouth, as we take a moment to talk about the uterus.

The uterus:

The uterus is described in medical textbooks to be the basic size and shape of an inverted pear, a statement that uteruses worldwide resent immensely. In the months that follow conception, this little ball of inter woven muscle will increase its size by about 600%. After nine months the uterus starts to figure that looking like an inverted pear may not be so bad after all. So in a matter of hours it contracts, causing the cervix to dilate and forcibly expelling a fully formed human. Men cannot experience this. And that is a good thing. For if we could, the human race surely would have died out long ago. Here is a link for a video of 2 men who gave it a try. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A44oEcmDn1c . It is interesting to note that these guys simply had electrodes stuck to their stomach muscles so it was the equivalent of a couple hundred sit-ups. Not exactly the same as a disgruntled baby expelling uterus, but I feel they deserve a thumbs up for the noble attempt. While we’re on the subject things that women have that men don’t, let’s take a moment to talk about:


Ovaries are about the size of your thumb and are considered by the medical community the practical jokesters of the female anatomy. When they are not busy producing copious amounts of estrogen they take turns producing eggs. For reasons that science has yet to explain ovaries somehow have been left with the impression that it is one of their responsibilities to influence the woman’s behavior. For the most part they are fairly well organized. For example, one may take full responsibility for producing the acquiring new shoes hormone, while the other focuses effort on chocolate acquisition. Normally this works fairly well. Until a woman becomes pregnant. This upsets their schedule of egg making and throws the rest of the little ovaries planning totally out the window causing them to rebel and retaliate by making the woman’s feet swell so that she cannot wear shoes and forcing her to crave strange things like Marmite flavored gummy bears or peanut butter and pickle sandwiches.

I could go on and on because as I understand it there is at least a dozen other things that happen in a woman’s body when she becomes pregnant but I can’t remember right now because at some point in the presentation the Lamaze instructor said the word “vulva”.

Here’s the part where it gets really crazy. Pregnancy and birth is the easy part! That’s right the EASY part! Because after you have a baby it becomes your responsibility to actually care for the child.

How mothers do it is a mystery to me. Sleepless nights and poopie diapers, colicky babies and ear aches. Colds and coughs, tummy bugs and projectile vomiting, scraped knees and visits to the emergency room. Potty training and teaching to read. Meals cooked, dishes washed, mountains of laundry folded, of hundreds ouchies bandaged, thousands of tears kissed away…

Sure, there may be a tiny hiccups from time to time. A slip that gives you a glimpse into how difficult her job really is. She may occasionally make the same thing for dinner two nights in a row. Or perhaps skip eating her dinner all together and go straight for a glass of wine. Or for a brief moment forget a child’s name and work through the list of names of all her other children before getting it right. But these inconsistencies are so short and infrequent that if you blink you probably will miss it. And she goes right back to soldiering on, picking right up where she left off in the endless list and duties and responsibilities that she carries so bravely.

To be a mother takes superhuman strength. I have no clue how they do it, but they do. Day in day out with a grace and beauty and elegance that I find impossible to put into words. Watching a mother be a mother I think is kind of like watching a ballet. They make it look so easy, so effortless. And even though in theory we know it must be difficult you never really know for sure unless you actually try it. If you ever curious to give it a try, let me know, I will let you borrow my pink tutu.


Happy Birthday to my Princess

If there was ever a little girl who deserved the Princess title, it would be Cherise. When I first found the name and looked up the meaning, I found that it meant royal, little princess, and I felt it right for her. Now it’s hard to know what the real meaning is for a lot of names, as different sites will say different things. One meaning I found is Precious One, which I find equally fitting.

Cherise is prim and proper about how things are done and has decided that she is no longer a little girl. This year, she asked that no toys be given on her birthday and instead she got notebooks, art books, a purse, wallet, jewelry, and other “big girl” items. However, she’s got the cutest, childlike giggle that will make me smile every time. She retains her innocence while desperately trying to grow up.

Things need to be done her way and she’s the one to be very vocal in how that’s done. She is capable of talking a mile a minute and is rarely quiet for more than a few minutes at a time. She can be very good at showing empathy, and feeling for someone who is suffering actually hurts her. While she’s sometimes oblivious to her surroundings (she’s a princess, after all), when she does catch on, she’s quick to take action to help.

Here’s to another year of chattering, tender hugs and prayers, and wanting to be “big”.

about the kids, my writings and thots

Enjoying more moments

When my kids were babies, the sage wisdom was told to me often: “enjoy them while they’re little, they grow up too fast.” Many older mothers lamented not having taken enough time to enjoy their children while they were young and coached me in not just tending to the physical day-to-day care of the children, but in taking moments with them whenever I could.

As a young mother, I wanted to do my best to do this with my kids. I reminded myself often that they wouldn’t always be this young, that time would pass and I didn’t want to be one of those mothers that wishes she had been all there when her children were young. Sure, as a stay at home, sometimes working-from-home mom, that meant I was with my kids almost all the time. But really being there, that meant being there in my mind and not just with my presence. I wrote about the moments that count and that launched the beginning of my writing and blogging efforts.

Today, things couldn’t be more different than they were when they were little. I feel like I’ve joined a debating society. Everything is questioned and reasoned and has to be completely understood before embarking on anything. Clothes are changed over and over until the right outfit is found; by the time they leave for school, it looks like they’ve teleported out and left their shoes and clothes behind!

Now I get to buy deodorant and teen bras and Star Wars Lego. There are no more Barbies in the house; instead there’s a skateboard, bicycle helmets, and lip gloss. Life needs to be explained from a more mature point of view, and explanations about what is Playboy and define girlfriend and no, you may not dye your hair purple.

They’ve also become more responsible and capable. They all have things they can cook and like learning new things all the time. The girls have their first job distributing newspapers in order to up their allowance. Less time is spent teaching them how to clean their rooms; more time is now invested in decorating and crafts. They all have their alarm clocks to wake them up in a time frame they feel they need to get ready for school.

It’s a different phase right now and I’m enjoying it as much as I’ve enjoyed every year so far. Things change all the time, and this seems to be a ‘switch’ time from childish to teenager for all of them. I’m enjoying the ride and still enjoy the fact that they do talk to me, I am still able to guide them as much as I can, and I pray every day that they’ll grow up to be responsible, happy adults.

about the kids, my writings and thots

The Flower Project

Last week, CC was working on a project at school that required several sessions of work. It’s a beautiful flower that is made up of many smaller flowers, all folded in an intricate way. This is totally CC’s type of art project. She can be creative and artistic while following directions at the same time.

One day she came home from school, and from what I understood, had the majority of her individual flowers stolen. Apparently, they all have a box they can keep their projects in, but 8 out of the 12 flowers she had made disappeared from one day to the next. She was pretty upset and didn’t really feel like remaking the flowers in order to complete the project. She felt that since the teacher already saw her make them, that would be enough and she could quit then and there.

We had a discussion together and I talked to her a bit about life and the stuff it throws at us sometimes. Sure, it’s not fair for someone else to get credit for work she’s done, but there was nothing she could do about it anymore as the teachers couldn’t even find the culprits. She’s my daughter after all, we don’t quit.

In a way, that’s one of my strong points. I get pretty low, pretty darn close to giving up, but I always manage to pick myself up again and figure out how to go on. This is something I really want to impart to my children, because set backs are a part of life. It might be, like in CC’s case, something that someone did to us, or it might be something that is out of our control, like paper work that takes forever to complete.

She said that the teacher had given her the option to team up with a classmate and help her finish her project as she was a few flowers behind. “Better than giving up”, I said as she determined to still make something out of what she had left.

I was pleasantly surprised when she came home on Friday with a complete flower, all the little flowers done by her—again. She had taken the time to refold all the flowers, and didn’t opt to team up with the classmate after all. Something else I keep trying to teach them seems to have sunk in: If you’re going to do something, do it right and do it all the way.


I’m proud of my kids when they put into practice something I’ve tried hard to teach them. I also had a chance to check my own life and see what things I needed to focus on in order to complete properly. I’ve dropped so many balls in my life, I sometimes am a little unclear on what I need to pick up still. But step by step, and bit by bit, I’m picking up the pieces and hopefully, the artwork of my life will be something I can be proud of in the end.


Holding on

It’s been a rough last few weeks. And when I say rough, I mean really rough. I did my best to smile, to put my best foot forward, and to go on with life as much as possible “as usual”. But my kids tend to see through me far too easily. CC wrote this for me today. Things have slowly been getting better; anyone who knows me knows I don’t stay down for long and I fight hard to never go back into the pit of giving up. But what she wrote expresses so well, I couldn’t have said it better myself.


Sometimes all you want to do is run. Run and run and keep running. You already feel like you are; running, running, running, you cant stop, you can barely breathe. Your heart is screaming so loud and yet you are swallowed up in an impenetrable silence. You can’t let go and you can’t hold on. Tossing and turning, shaking your head as hard as you can, hoping that that will make the monstrous thoughts inside your head disappear. You clench your fists and try to hold back the tears that are burning your eyes with frustration and doubt, so much doubt; so much fear.

Just let them flow, don’t be afraid of those tears. Let them heal you. Just close your eyes and know that He is there. Beside you, like a waterfall of cool, clean water. Let His peace rush over you, unlike anything you’ve ever felt before.

When you are just lying there; inside your head and heart a war of confusion and pain is waging. But you are too weak to scream. His hand is there for you. You hold onto His hand and don’t let go. He’ll get you through it.

And just keep telling yourself, “it’s going to pass. Its going to all be a memory soon.” And memories can’t hurt you. Once its over, its over. And even if one day it comes back to haunt you, that will pass too. If you can hold onto Him, He will get you through it. And then it will be over and you can have peace. You just got to hold on for one more second, one more minute, one more day. You can do it, He will help you. He has promised to, and He never, ever breaks his promises.

So when you feel like a black sea is trying to swallow you, and you are just too weak to fight. You are too tired to move and your heart is too broken to beat. Just reach out and call His name.

Every time I do, He comes, He calms me; he tells me that everything is going to be OK. And most of the time, I do not believe Him, I don’t see how things could be OK. But every time, every time, they are. Everything is OK in the end. He keeps His promises. You just have to believe, because if you don’t believe, what do you have left to hold on to?

about the kids, my writings and thots

As my children grow up, there are times when I feel more than a little overwhelmed by the things that they go through, the things I need or want to do for them, the every changing needs they have, and the challenges they are faced with regularly. Anyone who has been following for any amount of time knows that I’m an overachiever and hate when I keep dropping the ball.

It’s only getting more challenging as they get older and things around me change in a way I can’t control. I have days when I can’t believe I can go on one more step. When I’m so tired I have to go back to sleep once the kids leave for school. When one of my kids comes home in tears after having their stuff thrown around their classroom by a class bully, saying, “when can we go home, mom?” When I get the piece of paper that says that it’s not up to me to decide where we live or what education my children will have. When I do my best to get work, to pile on the jobs, but it’s still not enough. When the washing machine acts up and I end up with a floor covered in sewer first thing in the morning.

The list could go on and on. I’m not even sure how many balls I’ve dropped today, and frankly, I’ve stopped trying to keep track. As a mother, I can give my best and I do, every single day. I keep looking for jobs and options to get back  home–eventually. I hug my kids, often. I decided to do fun things with them sometimes as well, because we all know, those are the things they’ll remember. We went ice skating and yes, CC is faster than me, but that’s ok because we can laugh about it. We play games together or make puzzles.

I’ll never be able to juggle all the balls that are thrown at me every day. Hey, I’m not even sure I can keep up making lemonade with all the lemons, so I’ll add a spritz to my gin tonic on the weekends and get back to it all again tomorrow. And I can guide my kids, guide by my words and guide by my actions. Teach them how to hang on through the rough times, that God gives us the strength for each challenge, but sometimes it’s ok to be weak and need help. Lead them as much as I can and hope and pray they’ll stay on the path that they’re meant for.