“Luckiest” Girl in the World

I really hate the expression “he made me the luckiest girl in the world”. This man, this birthday man of mine, this good man, he works hard at loving me. I work hard at loving him. We work hard at loving our family. Of course there are easy moments, there are beautiful moments, there are hilarious moments. There are also, buckets and buckets of work.

This good man, this birthday man is celebrating his birthday today by hanging out with his family. That is hard for him to do. Being still is hard. Not getting jobs out on the farm done is hard. Being around the founts of energy that are our children, on a rainy day is hard. Prioritizing what is best, not what is easiest is hard.

It’s not luck. Our marriage, our 13 years together is not made up of luck. We challenge each other, we bring out the best –and the worst–in each other. We love each other madly, and sometimes, we love each other mad. This man, this good man, and I stay together because we choose to stay together.

I am so thankful for this man, this good man who chooses each day to carry on loving us in the best ways he can. This man has been by me through five pregnancies, and five births, and ten years of breastfeeding and diaper changing. He was there for me the times I had to be on bedrest. He stands by me when I’m sick, when I’m tired, when I doubt myself.

He comes along slowly, warily but surely, when I decide we’re not going to spank anymore. He tries. He supports when I start new ventures, when I try new things, when I dare.

This man, this good man, is celebrating his birthday today by going to Menard’s to buy things like brackets and bathtub plugs. He’s celebrating by corralling small children at the steak house. He’s celebrating by doing art with younglings. He’s celebrating by heating up leftovers, selling a mattress, getting a candle in his ice cream, and brushing teeth.

He could choose to be out with buddies, drinking at a bar, or flying thousand dollar remote controlled helicopters, or playing golf. He could choose to be at work and not be home for dinner.He could choose to look at other women, or flirt with them, or more. He could choose to be emotionally unavailable to me and our children because facing your feelings is a hard thing. He could choose dishonesty. He could choose distance. He could choose solitude. He could choose an easy peacefulness that doesn’t include five rambunctious children and a sometimes contentious wife.

But he doesn’t. He chooses me. Every day. He chooses us.

I am the luckiest girl in the world, but then again, it’s not luck. 
Happy birthday, my loving man.

Gratefulness 16 and 17

I am thankful for deep breathing. I don’t always remember to use it, but pausing, three ddddddeeeeeep breaths breaks the stress cycle. Try it.

Last night, Kevin and I got into a fight over…wait for it…boric acid. Actually the fight was because as usual, two pride filled sinners misplaced their expectations and got defensive.

But the deep breathing…helps to calm down and reassess. I learned something else recently. I learned that the anger hormone washes over your brain as you get defensive or angry or worked up, whatever you call it, and then is out of your system in 90 seconds. So then, after 90 seconds, if you’re still angry, you’re choosing to be angry. You can’t help getting angry, but you can choose wisely.

One of my favorite verses says, “In your anger do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:10) Knowing that it is normal to get angry, but that I have options on what to do then makes me feel more peaceful. Breathing deeply helps me to accomplish that.

So thankful for breathing deeply.


I’m also grateful for making up.

“But the makin’ up can be so romantic.” Truvy Jones, Steel Magnolias 


Gratefulness 11

I am thankful for change.

This morning getting everyone ready for church, by myself, plus we were leaving from church to spend the night in Chicago, so also getting every one’s busy bags packed and last minute paraphernalia plus trying to pick up so we don’t arrive home to toy bins overturned and congealed porridge on the counter led to … my freaking out on everyone. Like Chuck Norris.

Kevin finally got home and I went all ninja on him too. He was able to calmly tell me that I was out of control. Something I know, but still. can’t. stop. every time. I was able to hear him. I was able to stop.

I am so very thankful for change.


After all, tomorrow is another day…

Oh. My. Gracious. 

This was one of those days PRIME for Mama Meltdown.
Cadrian pester pester pestering to walk across the field to meet up with the combine (child doesn’t realize he’s only four). Finally after all the no’s, and he still won’t stop arguing, I tell him he doesn’t get to go at all. Tantrum. Tantrum. Tantrum.
Denton grab grab grabbing everything he can get his chubby little paws on. Cadrian’s card. Book. Car. Stick. He doesn’t care. As long as it isn’t his he wants it. Tears galore. Whining immense. Bicker bicker bickering.
Denton scream scream screaming after his nap for no reason.
Girls lose lose losing their free tickets to the play at the theater where they take ballet. I had decided I couldn’t handle the boys and the baby at the play, so asked a friend to take them. She willingly agreed and then it turned out we had no tickets. Aviana’s was lost lost, and Brielle misplaced hers five minutes before we walked out the door. I said that we couldn’t go then…I did not want to drive an hour to drop them off  with a baby who does not travel well (read: screams most of the trip) AND pay for the tickets! Tears, tears, tears. Brielle said she would use her own money and then Aviana cry cry crying because she had generously and thoughtfully given most of her money to The Great Commission. Finally we agreed they would pay half.
Denton poo, poo, pooing and pee, pee, peeing everywhere. Yesterday poo in his pants in the very top of the McDonald’s play place. Me crawling up there with bleach wipes and dragging him back down. Me ending up having to clean the bathroom floor, wall, toilet, sink, and diaper changing station, not to mention his legs and bum. Today poo on the cream living room carpet, with tiny brown footprints all the way to the bathroom. Me having to bathe him. Coming back from getting him new clothes to discover a bathtub of floaters.
Me cry, cry, crying because I have no idea WHY this kid is not poo trained yet or how to begin to clean this mess up. Me shampooing what ends up to be most of the carpet. Me running over the vacuum cord and shredding off the covering. Me feeling guilty because I should be getting dinner and starting bedtime, but I just want to get. This. Finished.
Me, never once losing it, until Dear Husband walks in and asks, “You’re shampooing the carpet?!” 
And then.
Let this be a world wide apology sweet husband. I’m sorry.   l love you.
Want to go get ice cream?

I don’t care

if his favorite meal is steak with a side of meat, and a potato, fried of course.

I still made soufflés for dinner tonight. They were awesome if I say so myself.
His response: “It’s not my favorite.”
(Kevin code for ‘puh-leeeeez don’t make this ever ever again’)
I bet he won’t like the salmon cudités either.
Maybe it’s just food with accents he doesn’t care for…

Birthday Surprise

My dear husband outdid himself this year. He arranged for the kids to stay the night with Grandma, and whisked me away to a surprise getaway. All he told me was to pack my toothbrush.

I forgot our toothbrushes. And a comb.

Oh well, packing three kids for the night, and packing us for unknown locales can be quite the hullabaloo.

We went to a charming B&B about an hour away. The breakfast was scrumptious and the accommodations perfect. It was decorated in the Victorian style of “too much is not enough” and the owners were as sweet as could be.

We then went and looked at furniture, did a little dreaming, and he promised to buy me some new stuff. Fun times!

After returning home, I took a little rest while Kevin took Aviana on a date to see “Annie”; the local theatre’s production. Then I picked up the other kids and we went over to our dear friends for some birthday fun and frolic.

At nine-months pregnant, I’m not really frolicking much these days, but I did take pictures of other people frolicking.

And all the Facebook birthday well wishes, birthday cards, birthday songs and
birthday emails made me feel incredibly special!

At 35 weeks pregnant and turning 35, a girl needs as much special as she can get. Thank you.



I am all excited to knit up this new pattern I got for baby cocoons and baby pods. They are so adorable for the newborn pictures I plan to take.

Kevin barely glanced at the photos I was gaga over, and made some comment like, “Oh, like the baby will really stay in the cocoon for you to take a picture of it.”

I retorted with something witty like, “The babies do for this photographer.

And he said, “well you’re not her.”



Then later, I asked him why he doesn’t like to watch homebirth videos like I’m recently obsessed with doing.

He said, “I’m a guy. That’s why.”

Oh, pish.