Category Archives: Holidays

This Weary Soul Rejoices

Christmas time is upon us and I am not ready for it.  My shopping is nearly done but I haven’t wrapped a single gift.  I bought lots of butter in anticipation of a baking day, but it sits stacked up in my fridge waiting for my motivation to kick in. 

Honestly?  I’m weary.

Which should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed this blog long enough to know this has been a difficult and emotional year for our family as we have made major transitions.  I lived most of this year at a pace that was unsustainable.  Like trying to run a marathon at a sprint pace.  It simply can’t be done.  My emotions were all over the place, resulting in uncharacteristic temper tantrums.  My sister captured the pain of moving apart from one another here.

We got to Michigan and life settled down long enough for me to catch my breath and enjoy being home in my beloved hometown.  But, our plan to homeschool the girls fell apart and we were onto plan B.   I worked hard to finish graduate school and we celebrated when I submitted my final paper (and by “celebrated”  I mean “I took a nap”).

I’d love to tell you that life has been a breeze since we got to Michigan.  In many ways, life has settled down, but I guess the reality is that life is full of twists and turns and “Life is a Breeze” is a caption only for cheap vacation t-shirts.  So why the weariness?

I’m weary of making difficult decisions that have life altering consequences for our family.  I’m weary of watching my middle school daughters trying to make friends and fit into their new school.  I’m weary of figuring out the policies of the new school and always feeling behind the curve.  I’m weary of my youngest daughter melting down over insignificant things when I know that the deeper issue is that she is missing her friends in Ohio.  I’m weary of all of our emotions running high and someone in this household always seeming ready to snap at the slightest trigger.  I’m weary of being sick!  This family has gone from one virus to the next and it seems like at least one of us been sick in this household for months.

Perhaps you could make your own “weary” list and we could compare notes.  Perhaps you, like I, need a reminder that weariness is not forever.  In fact, this Christmas season is about hope amidst weariness, and hope that a new and glorious morning awaits us.  I wept in church when we sang my favorite Christmas song, Oh Holy Night. 

A Weary World Rejoices

So, my fellow weary friends, let’s take hope together that a new and glorious morning is on its way.  May the thrill of hope overcome you this Christmas season, and may we celebrate together the breaking of the new and glorious morn.

Picture Perfect Mother’s Day?

Things have been a little nuts around here.  I started writing this post over a week ago and am just now getting around to posting it.  More posts to come soon…

Another Mother’s Day has come and gone.  A day to celebrate the beauty that is motherhood, an opportunity to reflect on all that our mothers have done for us, a day to take lovely, meaningful pictures with our adoring children, and a day to enjoy the pampering, spoiling, and unending gratefulness expressed by our families.  

March, 2014

Or, if you’re like me, it’s a day to bask in all things motherhood: ibuprofen, tylenol, vomit, crying, whining, junior scrabble, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I was up twice on Saturday night to tend to a feverish and miserable 5 year old.  Conner had come down with strep throat – the same ailment that had me on my back one week ago.  It’s awful.  I thought I was dying.  At one point, I said to Jon, “I’d rather be in labor.”  Without missing a beat, he replied, “No, you wouldn’t.”  I glared at him and stated, “You don’t even know me.”

So, when Conner’s fever started, I felt terrible for him.  As I was tucking him in on Saturday night, his big eyes filled with tears and he whimpered, “Mommy, I just wanted to feel good for Mother’s Day.”  Heartbreaking.  I promised him that I’d love nothing more than to sit with him and watch TV all day. He thought that sounded fun, so he settled in for a restless night.  

On Sunday morning, he was no better.  At one point, he yelled, “I think I’m gonna puke!”  I ran through the house hurdling toys, furniture, and younger brothers just in time to stick a trash can in his face as he started to throw up.  His younger brothers were fascinated by all of this, and I had to keep pushing them out of his face.  Finally, Rylan muttered, “That smells really bad” and he walked off to find something more pleasant to do.  As I held the bucket for poor Conner, the front doorbell rang, and I could only assume it was Jon delivering my Mother’s Day present.  Mid-heave, Conner yelped, “Close your eyes, Mommy!”  And then he was back to the task at hand.  Jon walked in with beautiful flowers, having no idea what he was walking into.  The flowers were gorgeous, but I was a little too preoccupied to take in all of their glory.  And bonus: I realized a few minutes too late that I chose the one trash can in our house that had a crack in the bottom.  That was a messy choice. 

 Jon and the younger boys spent their day at church followed by Mother’s Day festivities with his side of the family.  They had a great time riding tractors, eating delicious food, and playing with cousins.  

G and R Tractor
The picture would be perfect if there were 3 boys instead of only 2…

Meanwhile, Conner and I stayed home, ate leftovers, watched TV and played scrabble as well as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  

Obviously, I’m the female non-turtle in this picture. I fit right in, don’t I? {Source}

It certainly wasn’t the Mother’s Day I pictured, but there was something really special about being home with my oldest boy.  I have learned that motherhood isn’t always flowers, sunshine, and celebrations.  Sometimes it’s gross, sad, frustrating, and even boring (when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are involved).  But, somehow it’s always sweet. Of course, it would have been sweeter had Jon remembered to bring me a piece of cake, but I’m over that.  I promise.  

Maybe next year Mother’s Day will look different.  But, either way, it’ll still be sweet.   Even if it isn’t picture perfect. 


Two More Things About Christmas

I have two more things about Christmas to share with you and then we’ll be done with Christmas talk (I think).

1.  Kim and I were astonished to find out that our brother had never heard of Sweet BrownWHAT?  How in the world did he miss out on that?  So Kim and I had the great privilege of introducing our brother to Sweet Brown:


As you might imagine, several of those lines came up throughout our weekend together. When Kim’s 3 year old looked at us and declared, “Aint nobody got time for that!” we all fell over laughing.  Frankly, I’d like to call Sweet Brown and ask if Kim and I could take her out for lunch.  I’m guessing she has lots of stories to tell and that she could keep us all laughing for a long while.

2. Chicken Soup. So, we mentioned a time or ten that we dealt with plenty of germs and vomit over Christmas break. In need of some serious comfort food that was easy on the belly, I found a recipe on Pinterest for lemon chicken orzo soup. I will go right ahead and tell you it was the best chicken soup I’ve ever had in my life. Forget your grandma’s recipe, this one is better, I promise.  I thought the zest and juice of two lemons would be too much.  It’s not.  It’s perfect.  I’m still dreaming about it. Please try it.