Monday, September 28, 2015


It was a rare night last night. A lunar eclipse and a blood moon. 

At eight o'clock the sky was completely cloud covered and I resigned myself to having to watch the event through people's pictures on Facebook. Then, fifteen minutes later, the clouds parted and I got a beautiful and unobstructed view from my back patio.

I must say, I turned into a complete spazz as I watch the event unfold. I was so excited I was really geeking out. It was hypnotizing. I have never seen an eclipse that clearly, and definitely in such a beautiful color. It was amazing! Just what I needed to get me out of my weird funky mood that I had been simmering in all day.
By ten o'clock the entire moon was shadowed and a beautiful reddish orange. Todd practically had to restrain me from running upstairs and waking the kids. I really wanted to wake them up to see it. 
However, this morning I was pretty thankful I let them sleep. They were so tired even with a good night's rest. They have been pretty sleep deprived lately and the last thing they needed was me waking them up late at night to show them the moon. Besides, they were pretty happy with the pictures I took for them. A win all around.

As I said, the kids have been sleep deprived. This is why:
Football. And lots of it. We have football pretty much every night but Sunday. Ben plays flag football on Monday and Wednesday. Joey has practice on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and games on Saturdays. Tommy has football practice on Monday and Thursday and games on Saturday. The last couple of Fridays they have been high school football games where their teams were introduced. Football, football, football. It makes dinner times and bedtimes a difficult thing around here, but I must admit, I do enjoy watching them. Still, it will be nice when life slows down a bit and sleep isn't quite to rare.

Grace has been a super sport about trekking to her brothers' games and practices. The other night, while we were at yet another football practice, she mentioned to me that she doesn't know how to do a cartwheel so we decided that we should work on that. That is one determined little girl. For almost two hours Grace watched me turn cartwheels, practiced her own, listened to my instructions, and did her best. By the end of the night she actually landed a few cartwheels. It was very proud moment for her.
And it was a little surreal for me. When I learned that I was having a little girl that was one of the things that ran through my head. I don't really know why, but I pictured us practicing cartwheels in the backyard together. I always loved tumbling as a kid and I knew that would be something I wanted to show my kids. The boys never really had that much interest (although when Grace showed them her cartwheels they all begged me to teach them as well, and now we have a family of cartwheelers) and teaching my little girl how to do cartwheels just seemed really momentous. And it was so much fun!

Speaking of momentous. Joey got braces. Tommy will also be getting braces but for now he has headgear. Both kids have been super good sports about their new dental work. The first day their teeth were a bit sore but it has gone fairly smoothly. Joey even let me get a picture of his brace face.
He chose hunting colors for the rubber bands, orange and green. Whatever makes him happy. Tommy is being a great sport about having to wear his headgear to bed. I think he is just thankful that he doesn't have to wear the headgear to school. I snapped a really sweet picture of Tommy with his headgear on but he asked me not to post it, so I will honor his wishes. It is rare that that kid doesn't want his picture shown so I know he is a little self conscious.

Time has been scooting along at laser speed and it is rare that I can find the time to blog. But, I have been following the Pope's visit fairly closely. Just love that man. He is exactly what I hoped for in a Pope. I pray all religious leaders can spread the message of love as Pope Francis is doing. He is quite the inspiration. What are your thoughts? Are you a fan or are you sick of all the media attention? Of course, to some, I'm sure the hoopla seems excessive. I realize he is just a man. But it is exciting to see a man filled with so much love and compassion. I would much rather hear about him than the Kardashians or some other garbage. It is rare to find such a clear example of Christ's love. It is very exciting for me.

So tell me, what are you excited about these days? What is rare in your world?

Sunday, September 13, 2015


This past weekend I got to do something I've always wanted to do. I got to run in a color run. And it was a blast!
Thanks to the ladies I worked out with this summer I finally had some women who were game to get a little colorful. And boy, did we get colorful!

The run was held at the EAA in Oshkosh and it was a beautiful and easy 5k course on a gorgeous day.
We took full advantage of the crazy dj, the music, the powder, and the energetic crowd. 
We all had way more fun than we anticipated. We had so much energy after the run that we decided to go shopping for the rest of the day. In full color! What a fun bunch of ladies!

Thanks for the great time, ladies! We definitely have to do that again!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Weekend

I sit in the same spot on the porch where he used to sit. I can understand his fondness for this spot now. The sun's warmth pools in this exact location and it is a clear view straight down to the water's edge. 
I watch as the kids swim and splash and play around in the water. I think of how spoiled these kids of mine are. How spoiled I am. Spoiled by this little bit of heaven we get to enjoy whenever out schedules allow. 
Here it is, Labor Day weekend, and it is one of the only weekends we will be able to enjoy the cabin until football season is over and we are able to make our escape up north again. It is hot and humid but there is a strong wind that keeps it comfortably hot instead of stifling. It is the perfect weekend and once again I am so grateful I have the opportunity to be here. This eden.

Sitting in his spot on the porch I can't help but remember a conversation I'd had with him. It was a special conversation because the Alzheimer's had progressed and already had Jerry in it's grasp. Real conversations were hard to come by. 

We had all decided to go up to the cabin together, maybe for the last time with Jerry since he had become increasingly uncomfortable outside of his everyday environment. Even his pride and joy, his cabin, was no longer familiar to him. We stopped for dinner at The Long Bar and Jerry and I were sitting at the bar waiting for our Friday fish fry to be served at our table. Todd was talking to LaVerne at the table and the kids were preoccupied by the music in the jukebox. Jerry and I were the only ones at the bar. And in a moment of clarity Jerry told me how proud he was of Todd. How he couldn't have asked for more in a son. How he thought Todd and I were a good match and made such a nice couple. A good team. I sat stunned. Speechless. Afraid to say anything and break his train of thought. Jerry went on to tell me how he loved his cabin up north and always hoped his kids and grandkids would someday enjoy it as well. He told me how happy it made him to see us all up here making memories and having fun. It was what he had always envisioned and dreamed of. 

I think we made him proud this weekend. Early morning fishing, swimming and tubing in the afternoon, hunting and hiking, and bonfires at night. We did it all. I know he is smiling down on us as he watches his dream fulfilled.

My kids often talk about how they will take care of the cabin when we are older. They love it there. They know how good they have it. And so do I. Thank you, Jerry and LaVerne, for allowing us to experience this life.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

WW- The Return

It's good to have them home again.

Monday, August 31, 2015



I will have no problem filling the seven hours I have away from the kids each day. I will be able to take long runs, take classes, get the grocery shopping done in peace, clean the house and have it remain clean for more than 5 minutes, plan dinners, run errands any time I want without having to drag 4 unwilling captives with me, take a shower without 10 interruptions, actually fix my hair after said shower, weed the garden, clean out overstuffed closets, organize hundreds of photos in waiting, turn my blog into books, volunteer at school to my heart's content, and make appointments at ANY time during the day. Really, the possibilities are endless.


I really don't care about any of those things.


I'm heartbroken.
This is the first time in almost thirteen years that I will not have a little buddy by my side throughout the day. Part of me can't help but feel that I am having to say goodbye to the sweetest part of my life. A part I will never be able to get back again. I will never have little kids at home with me again. Part of me feels as though something has died.

Yes, I know there are more wonderful, fantastic adventures ahead. I know life will still be golden and lovely. I love my kids today more than I ever have and not as much as I will tomorrow.
I just can't believe we have gotten here so quickly. I'm not ready. Truly, I'm not. I want more time.

There is an ache in my chest. A hollowness. I can't catch my breath.
It is the end of an era. There they go. And go, and go, and go.

Dear God in heaven,
please be with my children as they start a new year.
Help them to work hard and do their best.
Keep them safe, happy, and healthy.
Give them a love for learning.
Help them to grow in confidence and independence. 
Show them how to be compassionate.
Let them be a friend to all, kind, and loving.
Let their failures motivate them to try harder.
Let their successes humble them.
Help me, Lord, to be patient, understanding, loving, and wise
in guiding them through this school year.
Be with my children, Lord.
Let your light shine in them and through them
and keep them close to You.


Friday, August 28, 2015

'Twas The Weekend Before School

It is the last weekend before the start of school. Luckily, it is a very busy weekend so I am able to keep my mind off the impending event. However, I know come Sunday night my preoccupied brain will keep me awake until the wee hours of the morning, just like in years past. But, this year seems especially rough. After 13 years of little ones by my side this is the first year all of my kids will be gone all day long. I am not a fan. Dislike. No me gusta.

All of the school supplies have been dropped off at school. Lockers were organized. Paperwork has been completed. We met new teachers. We explored new classrooms. All that's left now is the crying. Me. Not them.

Yes, I know all of the benefits of having the kids in school. I myself have gritted my teeth through a good portion of the summer as the kids drove me crazy. Sure, I will have time to pursue interests and get things done I have been meaning to do for years. Heck, I finally have time to focus on me. I can finally get into some hardcore training. I've always wanted to be the next American Ninja Warrior. Or maybe I'll try out to be on an Olympics team. Or not. Whatever.

Anyway, I know the benefits. I just don't care.

This is an end of an era. A closing of a door. The next chapter. The ending of all the little kid stuff and the beginning of all the big kid stuff.  Not that I won't love the big kid stuff. I know I will. I just will always miss having little kids. *sigh*

I'm sad about it.


As I said, it is a good thing I don't have much time to think about it this weekend.  (eyeroll)

It is NOT a good thing that I am currently reading a book called The Goodbye Quilt. It is a story of a mother who is preparing to send her daughter off to college. She is desperately trying to finish a quilt she is making for her daughter as they set out on a road trip cross country to drop the daughter off at school for the first time. I repeat, it is NOT a good book for me to be reading right now.
However, Susan Wiggs has quickly become a favorite author of mine and I can't seem to put the dang book down! Ever since Bijoux recommended The Apple Orchard and The Beekeeper's Ball to me (which I then read and now also recommend- thank you for the awesome recommendation, Bijoux!) I have really become a fan of Wiggs.

I also just finished Carry Me Home by Sandra Kring. The author is a wonderful WI writer I just discovered when a friend of mine was talking about her mother's book on Facebook. And I had no idea her mother was even a writer! I'm so glad I read it. It was Kring's first novel and it was beautiful. It is one of those books that you finish in a day or two because you can't put it down. It will stay with me for a while.

Perhaps I should put aside these touching family stories for now and read a comedy or something. These fantastic books are definitely not helping my heartsickness.

Cripes! I wasn't even going to write about school starting again.

I need to think about something else.

Quick! Tell me a funny story! Recommend a funny book!

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson