January 31, 2013

Weddennessday on Friday

I'm behind this week, Peeps.

Last Monday was our proposal-versary. If you’d like to read about that effervescent evening, please do so. I love the memories we’ve made and that night was amazing.

Over this past couple of weeks, we’ve witnessed a change in constitution in our middle girl. Earlier I blogged about how soft-hearted and trepidatious she often is. And while that is still overwhelmingly true, last weekend, the other side got stronger. Trevor was picking on Moo and Hayley came unglued and charged after him. Well, okay then.

Also last weekend, Hayley fluttered around my ankles and soaked up all sorts of momminess from me. I love that. She asked what baking soda was for. She asked me why you turn up the heat on the oil before adding the porkchops to sear them. She nuzzled and giggled. It was lovely. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for allowing me those moments of promise and hope.

So I’ve been overcome by a new television favorite: Chasing The Saturdays, on E! I realize, Peeps. Yes, yes, just call me Judy; I’m watching E! But I can’t help it because the Saturdays are fabulous. They’re a British girl band trying to make it in the States. They’re all totally sweet and wholesome. Two of them are married and one is a mama. They’re so stylish and look, if I can sit and listen to a British accent, I’m going to, okay? And Mollie’s hair is my ultimate. GAH. Love.

Andrew received a 95% on his most recent Science test. We were so thrilled for him to see the outcome of his hard work studying (despite how many nights he growled at us for making him read and reread, and reread again) that we took him out for chicken wings. Amen.

Mabel is in a new preschool. Prior to this, she attended a home daycare and went to preschool three days a week, for two hours each day. Her daycare provider is going to have her fifth baby, so she’s closing up shop this month. The new preschool is only a few blocks from the last and provides preschool every day, with daycare before and after. Perfect. She’s got her backpack packed with hat, gloves, and snowpants because unlike the home provider, they take them outside every day [every day that its above freezing anyway]. We love it. She’s the star of the week next week!

The boys have their winter concert this week at the high school. Both of them are a little rotten for the music instructor, but it’s the kind of naughty where she ends up loving them in the long run. I feel for her, I really do. Can’t wait to see them sing now that they’re reaching the age where boys and girls start to notice one another. Last year Trevor had his eye on the girl who stood 3 down from him on the bleachers. This year remains to be seen. And with a performance with middle-schoolers, it’s basically a test to see who’s kid is going to fart during the musical breaks and cause the whole lot of them to collapse in a fit of laughter. I just hope it’s not ours.

I had a migraine on Sunday. The weather fluctuation between 45 and -5 has my sinuses in total chaos. It feels like a football in my face. My wonderful husband kept me in the bed and brought me the heating pad, medicine, and snacks. Like, all day, People. He kept the kids relatively quiet, cleaned the house, cooked, AND doted on me. He rubbed my neck and turned on the television for me, and somehow I caught my favorite part of You’ve Got Mail. My migraine ended up being one of my favorite parts of the weekend.

ETA: the winter concert was quite nice, though it was lengthy. Nobody farted! And only in Da Plains can you hear a walleye reference AND a Walmart reference during a school musical performance. Made me smile with love for this place that we live.

Did you know that Pinterest has a comedy category? It does. And I’m warning you: take tissues  with you when you go, and tell your family you won’t see them for hours, because you will scroll and scroll and scroll and laugh so hard that you almost wake your husband up in the bed from the sobs. I spent about an hour there the other night and sent Mindy the best ones until SHE was laughing and bawling all the way in Texas. THAT is a great way to spend an empty hour, I’ll tell you what. Don’t shake your head at me; you know you’re going to go check it out. Be warned.

The downstairs closets are nearly complete. Husband and I have been working on them for the past month, during those little bits of time we have for home projects. I wish we had more time and I wish that I’d been receiving child support over the past year because the closets would be finished by now – but I’m grateful for the ability to spend a dollar at a time to get the closets done. I am. God has a plan and we’re all up in it. Anyway, the closets – yes. The girls and Trevor all have closets in their bedrooms now. With clothes and toys and books inside! SQUEEE. If you know me at all by now, you know it was making my hiney crawl up the wall to watch all 4 of them dig for clothes in Andy’s closet. And Andy’s toys alllllllllll over the floor as a result. Oh, no sir. Now it is BEAUTIFUL and organized. Glory!

Things are a-changin’, Folks.

Mabel visited the doctor last week and came out with a sinus infection. Poor Beezer. She’s almost all better now, but it kept her out of gymnastics AND everyone’s beeswax for a week. And she sounded like a man. There, I said it.

Tomorrow is Tomato Soupiversary! And yes, I plan to walk down the corridor, climb the white wooden steps, and slam a can of tomato soup down on his desk. Not going to tell him I’m coming, either. If you want to read about my brave and faithful burst of confidence 3 years ago (wow, really?), you should totally do it. It’s a great story.

For the past week, I’ve been playing with my natural waves again. I figure at the very least (and even though I use a GREAT leave-in protectant), it’s good for my hair to take a break from blow drying. I ran out of my Sebastian Whipped Curl Mousse, so I searched the internet for a drugstore version. So far, I’ve been quite happy with Dove’s version of the same thing. It IS heaver than the pricier stuff. And it IS oilier as well. Time will tell if I buy another can.

Also in hair news, I’m giving the Suave Dry Shampoo a rest as well. Not because it isn’t fantastic – because that shit IS fantastic. No… it’s because of something very sweet and personal. You know how at the end of a long day, if someone has been mean to you, or if you stub your toe 85 times in one afternoon, or your ex-spouse needs a high five in the face with a chair… you know those days? After those days when you come home and you see your person and you just collapse into their arms and breathe them in and feel them all gooey and protective around you? Yes. For Bryon, that is my hair. Bryon needs my hair smell when he’s stressed out. And right now is horribly stressful at work so he needs my hair smell more than ever. And dry shampoo gives it a grapefruity smell that is lovely, but not MY smell, you see. And so, I’m giving that a rest and letting my husband sniff my smell as often as he needs to. There are few things better than his arms around me while I stand at the stove, just… breathing me in. All of his stress melts away. Isn’t that the best?

Smell. There, I said it again.

-35 degrees today with the wind chill. Isn't that nifty?

January 22, 2013

A Difference In Constitution

[photo November 17, 2012]

I have mentioned a million times on this blog how my girls are different. I repeat it to remind myself, because it’s a part of storytelling, and also because I want to remember how wonderful the differences are between Hayley and Mabel. Because as they continue to grow and weave together as blended sisters are wont to do, some of these special moments might blur in my mind. And these special moments are the ones that stretch me as a mama.

Over the Christmas holiday uncle Bret came up for a visit with his little peeps. For the second year in a row, we went sledding before gathering for dinner at sister Gretchen’s house. We got several inches of snow just before Christmas and our favorite hill was just perfect for it [our favorite hill is minus trees]. And slick.

We arrived in the late afternoon because it took no less than an hour to get all six of us ready and geared up to leave the house. I had to remind everyone to pee and then forgot to go myself. My Jedi husband asked me if we should start getting the littles ready ahead of schedule and I assured him we could rock it out quickly. I was an idiot. I forgot; I am no longer the control freak mama who used to lay out clothes in an effort to be proactive (single mom method, see). Since I was not proactive, we were my very LEAST favorite thing: REactive. And late to the hill. So, it was the afternoon when we got there and there were already a hundred kids darting through the snow.

We found Gretchen and Bret and their kids, and our 4 scattered in the powder. They made snow angels, they linked up with cousins, and they were halfway down the hill before we were ready with the camera. Ahem.

Each child had their own sled. Mabel got a disc this time and she sat down on it and asked Uncle Bret to send her flying down. “Push me fast!” she squealed. She hadn’t seen Bret in almost a year, but she was there for FUN! The disc flipped around backwards about halfway down and her eyes got really big. But she smiled and screamed, “Whoooooooooo!!!!” until she came to a rest at the bottom with all the other Whoooo-ers. She stood up, climbed the hill alone thankyouverymuch, and repeated this eleventy seven times. Strong and fearless constitution.

Trevor and Andy were doubling up with cousin Will and flying down the smashed snow mounds before I could ask them to slow down and not put their eyes out, please.

Hayley got a long sled and found the perfect launching spot for her first go. She nestled her little legs inside the edges and we lined her up. We waited for another group of kids to finish their trip down the hill. Then as she began to slide forward, we reminded her to steer with her hands and to lean, avoiding the kids at the bottom. Unfortunately, she didn’t pay attention to us and pulled her hands into the sled instead. She also didn’t pay attention to the fact that there was a cluster of young children who had walked right into her spot. Hayley was over the hill hump by then, flying down at unknown speeds per hour. And I promise you, when she hit that little boy at the bottom, he had absolutely no idea what had catapulted his body 5 feet.

She hit that boy with a force of… oh my lord, I have no idea.

We all saw it coming. We all shouted, “Hayley, LEAN!!!” but lean, she did not. Aunt Gretchen grabbed my arm and gasped as Hayley’s sled hit the boy full on, going oh my lord, I have no idea how fast.

We all waited to see if the boy would have a head once Hayley flattened him. And he did. And then we waited to see if the lump of his body moved, which he also did. In fact, he looked up at us and blinked, shocked. Thank God snow is slickery! Hayley’s missile slicked right on over him. I’m sure he went home with a headache, but he was none the worse for wear. If you’re going to sled, natural consequences can include a collision.

Hayley on the other hand, did not fare so well, bless her heart.

She was not injured. She had landed quite softly upon the boy’s puffer coat and stocking cap, after all, and then coasted slowly to a stop about 20 feet later. She got off her sled, stood up, and crumpled up her little pink face.

Bryon ran down, dodging little people bullets the whole way, and retrieved our girl from the bottom. He walked her back up, pulling her sled behind. I knew she’d be scared and need hugging.

She was wailing.

Once we’d made sure she was okay, we cuddled and shook the scare off. It’s hard to be part of a missile! It’s hard to freight train a kid in the face, too, I reckon. I mean, she probably stared at the whites of his eyes with the whites of her eyes. Just because nobody was hurt doesn’t mean she couldn’t act wrecked for life is what I’m saying.

After we all knew everything was okay, we all went back to sledding. Mabel, Trevor, Andy, cousins, Uncles, myself (ahem). It was so fun! Each time the adults would ask Hayley if she wanted to double up and try again. Each one of us took a different approach: some soothing, some suck-it-up, some ‘we’ll go slow’, and some ‘let me steer!’ but each time, Hayley would start to wail and back away from the crowd.

Wail, People. Not cry, WAIL. Folks, I struggle with the wailing. This is a sound that better be reserved for the presence of blood or a kidnapper, in my opinion. Anything other than that, no ma’am.

We’d been there 6 minutes when Hayley had accidentally slogged the crap out of that little boy. Everyone was safe and healthy. There was no reason to end the day after this natural consequence of sledding. And so I comforted, I hugged, and in the end – I sat her down alone to finish her tantrum alone. The other 7 kids there were having a ball and I’d hoped that her curiosity would prevail. It broke my heart that she refused to try again, but only she could learn the lesson to get back on the horse. Or the sled, so to speak. And no complaining about being left out if you’re making the choice not to go again.

So she watched from the back. A couple of hours later we returned to the car. Everyone was covered in snow and exhausted, except for Hayley. Everyone went on and on for an hour about “did you see me spin, Mom? Did you see that?” except for Hayley.

Sigh. I WORRY about her life. Some boy, some car, some something is going to take her out and I cannot handle the thought of her just laying there at the bottom of life’s hill, and wailing. That’s it? That’s all there is? NO WAY. Sigh. I need to add that I’ve seen her have instances like this before: a crash, an argument, some type of accident where there is a choice on what to do next. Where she could let everything ruin her day or where she could pick herself up, dust herself off, and continue on. In some cases, she dusts off and keeps going. We are quick to tell her how proud we are of her then! But there are times that it sticks in her for good merit, and times she milks it for all its worth. And when she does, I have to remind myself of her kind and gentle heart, soft as a puppy lick. This gives me some pause and time to reword the same message: KEEP GOING. If she chooses not to, that is her choice.

I am used to aggressive. The boys, even Mabel is aggressive. Mabel wants something and she goes for it – backwards in this case. If she crashes (and she did crash on this day), she stands up to evaluate for blood, and then goes back to action. If she gets in trouble, she apologizes and moves on. There is no time for crying. There is more to life than licking your wounds. I am not used to this ‘stop everything and heal the little feelings’ mentality. I am not good at it. I am used to a stronger constitution. And so Hayley is making me grow, too.

And so while I am praying for Hayley’s constitution to strengthen up a bit, for the times when life will hand her a hot pile of crap [F on a test, flunked midterm, asshole boyfriend, lying friend, stained prom dress, death, accidents, miscarriage or divorce] – I am also praying for my own stretch as a mama.

January 17, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

1. I looooove this little dreamcatcher, made from upcycled materials and children's beads. What a lovely thing for the girls to make for their room!

2. These pants are a nice combination of denim and leather. *Faints*

3. I need to replace the legs on our Eames chairs. These wooden ones are lovely, especially with that fur scuff draped across. Maybe its because its a chartreuse chair. Maybe. Maybe that's why I hyperventilated just now.

4. These are so precious. Little busts of crocheted stuffed animals, mounted on embroidered doilies. Be still my heart. I went to the site but unfortunately, there is no English translation. But how inspiring!

5. I've wanted to do a boudoir shoot for my husband for years now, but I'm not sure how to set that up myself. This picture is definitely on my short list of inspirational photos.

6. What a great getup. The black booties and leather jacket totally punk up this dressy look. The sequins, the yellow clutch, oh my!

7. I really MUST find some smaller rings to wear every day.

8. Ladies, it doesn't get more simple than this: wear heels. Even to the grocery store. [My personal fave is breaking in a new pair while vacuuming the house.]  If you are able, heels truly lengthen every leg and flatter every body shape and size. They instantly lift your spirit and add a smile to your face. They command attention and make you feel pretty. Not many things can duplicate that feeling. Black stilettos are a must for everyone who can wear them!

9. While I love this whole look, my most favorite piece in this ensemble is the blouse. It looks vintage chic and delicate, which pops against the rougher denim and leather.

10. This idea journal made me slobber and stutter. It is ah-mazing. I have the tools, I could make the time. I just don't know if I could keep my head on straight enough to USE it to help me.

All images are Pinned for sources.

January 16, 2013


One night a while ago my husband laid in the bed and struggled with his heart. He had earbuds in his ears and was flipping through the music on his iPod like crazy, each one filling a dip in his soul. He said he was struggling with how to say what was on his mind. While I could hear the music, I let him be. I let him drift and ride through the music, filling up his dips, until he handed me an earbud. We listened together and he teared up. He said sometimes he forgets to love me enough. Sometimes he forgets that I need him. He promised to try harder during those times. How sweet is that?
I cannot find a pilates mat class here and that breaks my heart. We have a handful of pilates places, but they all use the machines for the entire class. I’m not interested in that; I want to use my body as its own weapon! I was up to class 2x a week (running 3-5 miles before each one) a few years ago. I’d love to get back to that.
Last Friday I got word that my uncle Billy went to meet Jesus. He was the anti-car salesman. He had 5 kids and was married to my Aunt Betty, who went home to see the Lord 6 months after my dad did. I lived with them when I was six and my mommy had breast cancer treatment out of town. Uncle Billy lived a very long and happy life, and I can’t contain the happiness I feel at the reunion that took place in Heaven when he arrived. I’m sure that his brother Harry (the chief of police in our small town), and my father (a deputy) all sat down at a table in Heaven for a nice, long game of pinochle. My goodness those men loved one another. They are all missed.
Recently my husband and I stood in the kitchen for hours and listened to music. We shared stories (something crazy happened in Alec, I can tell you that!) and hopes and fears and the whole lot of it. It felt like my pink kitchen all over again. We both cried and we danced on the wood floor to Into The Mystic and some Mumford & Sons. I love that reconnection and feel that it’s so incredibly important to do as often as you can – that RESET of life. God was there with us and Bryon heard Him easily and smiled a new, soft smile at the message: “she will figure you out.” Everything Bryon lacks the words to say, every bit of gratitude for me in his life that he cannot articulate, he said God assured him, I would figure out. How sweet is that? By the time we poured ourselves into bed it was very late and we slept glued together, my left side and his right, with my fingers twirled in his wolfy chest hair. I am so amazingly lucky.
Last Wednesday, the girls had gymnastics. After dropping them off, my husband and I went on a date. Our date was only 90 minutes, but boy howdy, a date is a date. And we were craving sushi. That’s my favorite kind of dinner date. I tried a spicy angel roll and eel avocado roll. Both were delicious. Bryon is classic and unwavering in his order, getting the same thing each and every time: spicy tuna roll and spicy salmon roll. And then he puts almost the entire ball of wasabi into his soy sauce dish and rolls them around in it. Weirdo. Last night, we sipped our hot tea [that might be my FAVORITE part of sushi date night, honestly] and enjoyed our maki. It was nice to go somewhere alone, to hear quiet, and to watch my husband perfect his use of chopsticks. Sushi date night 1: fork [in Cbus with BeckAY], sushi date night 2: fingers. He continued on for a long while eating his maki with his hands. To be honest, I stopped paying attention to his level of utensil proficiency and then last night, I noticed. Full on chopsticks. I swelled with pride. *burp*
Did you notice that Target now carries the most adorable heeled tennies? They are all over the runway and look so 80’s and darling, but I can’t bring myself to buy them yet. What say you on this trend?
Mornings are rough at our house, but one day I will miss the chaos. I will miss the arguments about cereal and brushing hair. I will miss asking Andy to take off one of his five shirts, and asking Trevor to wear a long sleeve because its 0 degrees out. I will miss stepping in melty, oozy toothpaste on the bathroom floor and flushing ‘nobody’s’ pee down the potty sixteen times a morning. I won’t miss yelling at them to hurry up, and I pray about that one all the time. But one day they will be big and I will be sad that I don’t have them at home to wake up anymore. Mabel likes me to sing her awake. And Trevor likes me to lay down and cuddle on him (wonder if that will change when he’s 16). Sigh.

January 15, 2013

Written Two Weeks Ago...

I got my b00bies squished this morning. Had to updated my baseline mammogram. Getting older and the whole bit, you know. Meh.

Having a mammogram is a necessary evil. It doesn’t hurt [it’s not fun to have your girls squarshed down to flat dinner plates, but it’s easily bearable], but for my human heart it brings worry; that’s the evil portion.

It’s necessary because I’m a woman, but also because Judy is a two-time survivor of breast cancer and even from an early age, I knew I wanted to keep the girls in check. While nobody wants to get a positive result, I’d much rather get one at stage 0, than at a more advanced stage.

I suspected today would tremble in my guts, so I asked Bryon for help. At bedtime we held hands and faced one another. I cuddled under the quilts and launched Kiki off of the bed. Then I asked him to pray for me, over me, something. Anything to reassure my stupid, human brains that everything would be fine, no matter what the mammogram said. When he fell silent, I continued to explain why I needed him and he said, “Be quiet.” He laid there for several minutes, holding my hands in his and breathing steadily.

Often we pray out loud so I waited patiently for my husband, assuming he was gathering just the right words to say.

Then he open his eyes, which were a little pink and wet, and said, “That one was just between Him and me.”

I gave my sweet man a kiss and that was that.

Now I am sitting here, only 90 minutes after the regular baseline scan and writing this post on my phone while its spinning in my head, and waiting for the results to be read and then communicated to my doctor, which will then be communicated to me. I keep picturing the gal on a local commercial who gets the ‘we found something’ call and wondering, will that be me today?

It’s ridiculous. God calls me to be full of faith, not fear. He calls me to rest in Him, to give everything in this life to Him to handle. And so often, I do not. Shame on me.

The Lord already knows what will happen next in my life. He already has a plan and has it under control. I cannot beg His forgiveness and grace without also recognizing His sovereignty in my life. Right? Right.

Edited: It was about two hours after this post was written that my nervous and overbearing self called up the office to check on the results, which were not in yet. Of course not. An hour after that, they called me. I looked down at my phone and saw the doctor's name in the caller ID spot and had a mini stroke right there at my desk. I remember answering but everything felt fuzzy until she said, "Your breast scans look beautiful!" I am humbled and ever so grateful. Thank you, Jesus.

January 14, 2013

My Traditional Monkeys

Christmas last year included the girls and I making monkey bread before opening presents. They loved it!

I was anxious to continue this tradition again this year and was thrilled with we were able to keep Hayley overnight before Christmas. The girls were up early and begging for monkeys.

It was just as yummy as it looks.

After monkey bread, the monkeys opened presents. Some of my favorite pictures of Christmas:

There was amazing Christmas music on the iPod (absolutely Elvis and the entire score of Love Actually), and Mabel's favorite present was the stack of tattoos in her stocking. That's a blue mouse right in the middle of her forehead, there.

That afternoon, I made a ham, homemade cheesy potatoes, green beans, and an apple pie. Grandma Sharon joined us and we had a lovely day.

We started and ended the day with Christmas traditions that are new and lasting.

January 11, 2013


While at the park in November, we asked Trevor to take some updated pictures of us. The stocking cap and sweatshirt was an accidental match, and yes, I do wish I'd gone with jeans instead of yoga pants that day. But honestly, we all wore pajamas to the part more or less, so I'm good with it. I aim to keep it real on the blog.

We've come so far in almost 2 years of marriage. We've learned more than we've lost, and we most certainly love one another about a million times more than we did when we were first 'all in.' It hasn't been easy because well, it's not designed to be. Marriage is hard. Christian marriage is so much harder.

This man loves me. This man wants to know me, to listen to me, and to understand me. And I am so grateful. And I want to be the best wife that God could give him every single day.

Man I love us.

January 7, 2013

Plussed and Standing

This is a story wherein I am plussed and take a stand. Prepare yo'self.

I was able to take a few days off after the holiday again this year and during that time I entertained Lulu and her little peeps, cooked and ate, celebrated my 36th birthday, and adjusted to being another year older.

In the past year, my skin has gotten drier and my lens prescription has gotten stronger, but who's paying attention to that beeswax? I wasn't... until this week.

Something else happened in that adjustment category, too. The other night I went into the bathroom to remove my stronger contacts and apply my dry shampoo before bed. After I sprayed the spray into my roots, I noticed that it was a bit wet at the crown of my head. Dry shampoo is dispensed sort of wet and then dries almost immediately as the warmth of your hands rubs it into your scalp to absorb oil. So, I rubbed it in like 'whoa!' but the silvery-colored wetness did not go away. Hmmm. I leaned in closer.

There at the top of my head were 3 hairs, gleaming with wet, white dry shampoo. How annoying! I'd already rubbed the business out of my roots to work it in. Why wasn't this stuff dissolving? So I plucked one of those hairs out and gave it the once over. I rubbed and scraped at the strand and noticed that the white dry shampoo only covered the bottom 1" of the hair, down to the root. The rest was brown. Also, it did not rub or scrape off. Interesting that it would not dissolve or rub away.

So I plucked a second white hair out and examined it as well. Again, only the bottom 1" of hair was white. The rest, dyed brown. I rubbed and, nothing.

Wait a second.

How long has it been since my last visit to the salon? Has it been about 5 weeks because an inch of growth is about 5 weeks-worth for me. And, and, and... ohmygod.

I took a deep breath and pulled that 3rd hair out of my scalp. I held all three of them in my hand and glared at their white roots.

White ROOTS.

Uh huh. You're thinking it. I know you are. Because it was at this point that my knees felt a little squeaky and I hollered for my husband and he came running. I made him promise not to laugh or poke fun, or bring it up ever again, amen. There in the bathroom where I also noticed I ate his booger that one time, I showed him my first gray hairs.

I mean, can I even call them grays? They were not gray, people. They were stark-assed WHITE. Gleaming. Shining for the world to see right there in the front of my freaking head. Apparently when my husband had his sweet vision of me in beautiful silver hair, my follicles took that as an order and the pigment vacated itself immediately.

My birthday didn't really bother me this year from an aging standpoint. But this - this bothered me.

As a woman this also means that going to the salon for an all-over color is no longer a luxury for me. Those 3 hairs undoubtedly have 100 friends that I haven't found yet. [Egads!] All over color is now a necessity that I need to work into our family budget, and I feel a little bad for that. Because no way in freaking hell am I going to just sit here and go gray at 36. Ahem. This also means that I can no longer wait 8-10 weeks between visits to stretch a dollar, either. I have dark brown hair! And apparently I'm going STARK ASSED WHITE, Peeps. I have to be on the lookout now. And no, I don't want to lighten to avoid this, though now I understand why women go with highlights. Ugh. The whole thing just has me bothered. I am plussed! I am SO plussed!

Makes me want to highlight pink again and pierce my nose. Or wear tee shirts with dress pants and spiked booties. Get old, my ass. I'm not ready yet!

January 4, 2013

My Helper

Before Thanksgiving, Mabel's babysitter was closed for a day. So we hung out, just us girls. Hayley was at school, so it was just the two of us and I'd set about to sew up a tulle skirt that day. Of course, Mabes wanted to help.

And help she did. She held the measuring tape, counted pins, and even practiced putting the thread on the needle.

I am so proud of her, and of how domestic she is already. She'll make a fine mommy and seamstress one day.

January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013

Wow, really? I can't decide if I'm excited 2013 is here or thoroughly depressed. Another year is gone; another one I'll never get back.

There are a few things I wish I could do over again, though I'm very happy with myself today and realize that everything I've endured and screwed up has brought me to this exact space. And I love this space.

And thank God Bryon loves me as much as he does because I am so hard on him some days. I am still afraid. Ever fearful that he will decide that I am not worth the investment of time, or that other things are more important to his heart than my love. Damn Shoes for that scar. It's ugly and I'm trying to heal it up, but there it is, raw and real. It's smaller, but it still exists, and some days, that really pisses me off. But then I see my husband is full of scars, too, raw and real. And that makes me love him even more for entrusting me with loving on his imperfect body. There is such beauty in imperfection.

Also, I sort of suck as a blogger right now. It's not intentional. My days have changed and I haven't figured out how to take the time to blog regularly like I used to. I can queue the posts up, but even I know that they don't have the same HUZZAH as when I take the time to write them when I'm feeling them. I need to work on that.

On the other hand, so many wonderful things happened in my life in 2012 and I am beyond grateful. I am marveled at this life that God has entrusted me with.

I got to see my mom this year. After a long recovery following her Judy Bovine surgery, my mother is back in the saddle as one of my best friends. I am beyond grateful for that soft and pink spot she holds in my heart.

I was able to lay my eyes on Mindy, too. Her family came just weeks ago and it was, oh my, soooo awesome to collide with her peeps again. Felt good to do girl stuff.

This year, Bryon and I made a habit of seeing awesome concerts and going on vacation together. We forced ourselves to bump God up to a higher place within our relationship and asked Him to work on our scars, and on us. We had a change in August that solidified our love for one another something fierce. My husband and I reached a greater level of intimacy and friendship than either of us has ever felt before. That's amazing and scares the hell out of us, and I can't wait to see where it continues to lead.

Also, with each passing year I feel closer to who I really am as a woman. My tastes are changing, maturing. I see beauty when I look in the mirror [most days, anyway].

I am happy. I am safe and loved and healthy. I am immensely grateful to my Creator God, my family, and my friends for loving me. I am more than blessed by the love of a beautiful husband, too.

I think 2013 will be another amazing year!