Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Happy 40

Most people plan on getting married for forever. My parents were pretty sure it was going to last two weeks. It wasn't always easy and sometimes it was downright impossible, but with love and the Lord's help... they are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary today. I could not be more proud. There aren't award shows for this kind of achievement, but you get something even better. You get a wonderful life, filled with love and the miracle of seeing something you started with a simple promise, continue to grow to the eternities. Thanks for loving us, loving each other and being willing to do hard things. Sorry I don't have more pictures of you guys as young-ins, but did life really start before me? I love you both so much!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


I took the boys to McDonald's.  Ash had his two year well child visit and there happens to be a McDonald's, with their unmistakable golden arches that work like homing beacons on small children, right across the street from our pediatrician's office.  After deflecting chants of Donalds, Donalds, Donalds the entire visit, I caved and we went.  Seriously, someone with more money than me, please start a chain of healthy restaurants that have a play land?  Please?

Anyway, we were having a grand o'l time-The kids rocking that play land like champs and me, quietly obsessing over how many french fries is too many french fries, when out of nowhere a little boy, slightly smaller than River, so I am guessing about four, kicked Ash right in the face.  That's right.  Out of nowhere!  Ash wasn't blocking him.  There were no toys involved.  He just happened to be the smallest kid at the play land and looked the most kickable I guess.  I  ran over to pick  Ash up, but before I could get there River let out a mighty roar!  "Don't kick my brother!!!  It hurts!!!"  His face was flushed and his fists were clenched by his sides and his whole body was shaking.  Then he just yelled, "AHHHHH!!! I AM SO MAD!"  I helped Ash up and grabbed River tight, and just let him breathe into me for a second.  The other boy fled into the arms of his very embarrassed grandmother and they quickly left.

When everyone's heart rate returned to normal, I began putting their shoes on and two moms came up to River and told him they thought he was awesome for protecting his little brother.  He shut down the way he always does when he gets a compliment.  It really embarrasses him.  Then when I tried to tell him how proud I was, he told me, "No.  Don't say that."  So I let it drop, but I just wanted to write down how proud I am of him.  He was brave and acted quickly.  He was not passive and his mighty yelp got the attention of everyone in that play land.  He could have hit that boy.  He wanted to so bad.  It took every once of impulse control he had, not too.  All the adults would have thought it pretty justified too, but he didn't.  He was assertive, not aggressive and that is a hard path to choose.  Look how many adults can't do it.  We either say nothing and complain later, or completely over react.

I am a fighter.  It's taken my whole life to calm my temper and I promise you, I would way rather hit somebody, than tell them, "Stop!  I don't like it when you do that."  When I finally learned I shouldn't be hitting, I thought my only option was too squash my feelings, walk away and complain about the unfairness of it all later, but it is not true.  Assertiveness is a skill and it can be learned like any other, but no one is teaching it.  It is hard teaching skills to your kids that you don't personally possess, but maybe, just maybe, if I keep trying to teach them, I'll finally learn something myself.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


You guys... they just grow up so dang fast!!! It is Ash's second birthday... aka... 730 Days SINCE I'VE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT! I don't say that lightly, in a cliche' kind of way. I very literally mean Ash wakes up three to six times a night like a newborn baby! It has been hard and I'm pretty sure the ongoing exhaustion has permanently affected my intelligence, capabilities and appearance, but Ash is my ray of sunshine. 2014 has been a pretty crappy year for me. Sorry for the negativity, but it is true. Don't worry, nothing to start a Fund Me account over, it's just been one of those years you have to just get through. That being said, I wish everyone that was having a hard time had an angel like Ash to help them get through it. From the way his upper body and lower body swing to opposite sides in his awkward toddler run, to his declarations of "That So Fun!" when we do anything from crunch leaves, to blow out birthday candles for the sixth time in a row, he constantly reminds me of the source of real joy. Failures, struggles, disappointments... they all end, but Family is Forever. I am so, so, so very blessed to be his mother. Happy Birthday Ash Phoenix! You have my heart.

Photos by Melissa Sue Photography

Friday, October 31, 2014

Blue October/October Blues

I am hear to tell you-There IS crying in baseball.  I should know.  I was sobbing buckets last night.  Today I woke up feeling like I had been through a really bad break up.  My eyes were red and puffy.  My throat was hoarse and I had a heaviness in my chest that could not be lifted, in spite of my rubbing essential oils on it and adding flower essences to my water.  (I know... I'm such a hippy.)  

I had a horrible night of sleep, in part because of Ashy waking up 6 times to be nursed.  Does that even leave me any time to sleep?  And in part because of my reoccurring nightmare of Gordon rounding third base and not stopping.  He runs for home instead, but as soon as he passes third he switches into the slow-mo dream run, like he's stuck in goo and all of the giants are still going full speed and he can't go fast enough!!!!   It was the worst!

By the way, I am not capitalizing giants on purpose.  It's the little things that get me through... umm kaaay.

Much like a bad break up, you end up focusing on the end result and forgetting all the good times and there were good times... lot's of them  In fact, this post season was pretty much perfection.  I can't figure out if that makes it better, or worse.  The Royals playoff run was historic.  We were so far down in the Wild Card game that I know people were turning off their tvs and boom, magic happened.  It didn't matter, they said, because no one was getting past the angels... best team in baseball, they said and boom, magic happened.  The orioles are going to out slug us, they said.  We didn't stand a chance against their heavy hitters and boom, magic happened.

The Royals are the team of destiny.  We are the better story.  Three World Series wins in five years... yawn... is The Voice on?  First post season appearance since your World Series win 29 years ago and you sweep your way into the World Series.  You battle it out with a fierce opponent, going round after round of high highs and low lows.  Then at the bottom of the 9th inning of game seven, you are down by one run, with two outs  and facing a pitcher that no one can score off of,when boom, magic happens.  Yeah-I'd see that movie.  I'm Miss Frugal and I'd even buy that movie.  Can Hosmer play himself, because he ain't too bad to look at.  Amirite?

Anyway, it didn't happen.  Gordon got to third, not home and as much as I would have loved to see Perez hit a home run and limp around the bases for the win, after he had been nailed in the leg by a fastball earlier, he got out and that's that.  I'm supposed to say, good game giants, because it was and you guys were worthy opponents, because they were, but I'm not to that point in the break up yet, so it will have to wait.

I do have to thank my little boys for not allowing me to wallow too long.  They are such empathetic little fellows that my tears were rubbing off on them. River promised to cheer for the Chiefs, to make me feel better and said he was just pretending to cheer for the giants.  Ashy just kept saying, "I sad."   How could I teach them the more important lessons of perspective and picking yourself back up after a loss, if I caved into the disappointment I was feeling.  At the same time, I think it is okay to be honest about your feelings and passionate about your choices.  Games might just be games, but that doesn't mean they can't be important to you, so we agreed to be sad till tomorrow morning and then we would need to think about the games we won, instead of the one we lost.  Time may not heal this wound, but the memories of Blue October will stop the bleeding.

Thanks to my husband for always wearing the rally cap.  It worked wonders against the A's and I thought you had them in the 9th too babe.  Thanks to River for finally cheering for the Royals in game 6.  We won 10-0 honey.  I told you, you are the lucky charm.  Thanks to Ashy for sometimes cheering for the Royals, but mostly saying, "Go Dolphins."  You can always make smile.  Thanks to all my friends that could care less about baseball, but were cheering for the Royals because they knew it was important to me.  Thanks to all my friends that LOVE baseball and have other teams, but were cheering for the Royals, because they hate the giants and they love an underdog story.  Thanks to my family for being loyal, true blue Royals fans.  It was so fun randomly getting to meet in Wyoming to watch the Wild Card game.  I'll never forget it.  Thanks to my one friend that is a giants fan, for being a gracious winner and not rubbing it in.  It's okay Rob, because you're a Raiders fan too, so the universe has a way of balancing things out.  And finally, thanks to the 2014 Kansas City Royals.  You could not have been more fun, or inspiring to watch.  Life can be hard and a lot of good people needed a boost and you were that boost.  Lets go Royals... Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap!

Saturday, July 12, 2014


I braved the free food day at Chick fil a... yes we dressed like cows...  It was pure chaos inside and River was having a blast sword fighting with his balloon sword with any random child that had one too.  There was one pretty aggressive little fighter in the mix that I almost asked to calm down a few times, but held off, because if River didn't mind... maybe I shouldn't mind either.  Anyway, as luck would have it, River's balloon sword popped and the balloon guy had already left.  He was heartbroken... head instantly hung low and huge crocodile tears pouring out.  The little ruffian walked right up to River and said, "Here you go... have mine." (He was five people.)  River was in shock.  He bawled tears of gratitude and said, "Mom, I can't take it.  It's too nice."  I told him nice people look for the chance to be kind and this was this boy's chance today, so say thank you and you'll have to look for your chance too.  We get in the car and Ash is throwing a fit, because he has no balloon and hates being buckled in his car seat and it is a million degrees and my boys hate the heat as much as I do.  As I am struggling with the buckle, River gets in the other side of the van and says these exact words, "Ashy, I believe this belongs to you." He then hands Ash the balloon and bursts into tears.  I start crying too and we both just hug and I tell him how proud I am of him and that he melts my heart.  Ash was happy as can be with his coveted balloon sword and my faith in humanity was restored by two little boys... a five year old stranger who was loving and giving and set a good example and my sweet, sensitive four year old that understood the gravity of the sacrifice and then wanted to pay it forward.  Okay, gushing mom moment over... you can continue about your day.