A colonoscopy made him think of me... a Christmas message

To spread some Christmas cheer, let me give you a list of things that make me the most Scrooge-like.  

1.  When Kid 2 uses all the hot water in the shower and I only get to shave my left leg before the water turns icy cold.  

2.  When people get so Christmas crazy that they're mean to the sweet ladies in the return line at Kohl's.  

3.  When people honk for absolutely no reason.  And then there's so much rage honking that I get confused about what the heck is going on.  Please tell me that you're not a honker... ever.  If you are, we cannot under any circumstances be friends.  

Anyway, that's my short list... there are far more than that, and sadly, that's usually how I feel around the holidays.  I find it more than interesting that Christmas has become such a huge part of our culture, when really if you break down all the pieces, most days are about the shopping and the rush to get to the actual day - and more often than not, to get through the actual day.   Seriously, did Mary and Joseph ever run out to the Walgreens 30 minutes before a White Elephant gift party to buy a gag gift? 

Yes, I'm a little grumpy today.  Because I really wanted to shave my right leg along with my my left, but also because it's 20 degrees outside and I'm opposed to that in every way.  And I woke up last night at 3AM to put the dog out and found the back door unlocked.  But it was perfectly timed because all the murderers and thieves were too cold to get out and take care of business anyway. 

And I lost my keys last night which sent me into a fuss.  And not because I needed to go anywhere  - but because we may need to go somewhere.  Like in an emergency.... say an alien attack or as my kids predict, zombies.  But really what if we had just a regular old kind of emergency like sickness or accident or whatever?  I like to be prepared.  Anyway, Fireman Dave hung up the phone telling me I was making him nervous about the keys, and Kid 2 tucked his crazy mom safely into bed as he proceeded to hunt for them.  He also told me my shirt was on backwards and reminded me to put in my retainer.  Because I'm obviously showing signs of needing elder care.  

Today I'm trying my best to spread a little Christmas joy and cheer around the house - be it in small batches.  I've put out a portion of the decorations because I specifically asked that we have a minimal theme this year for my sanity.  And thanks to Kid 2, the tree was up the weekend after Thanksgiving.  And today I decided it would be a grand time to switch out my comforter set to the one that smells like musty linen closet.  So I'm doing all that laundry while making fudge and in between telling the kids to study for their final exams and put down their damn phones.  And I am, as you can see, making zero progress in my efforts to stop saying damn. 

I am a picture of jolly. 

But this is good.... the weekend after Thanksgiving, I got a text from an old college beau wishing me and mine a good holiday.  Something about shopping at Walmart always stirs fond memories of me in his mind because this is always when he reaches out.  Maybe it's the cheap prices, the harsh lighting and the all around warm fuzzy feeling we all get when we shop a Walmart super store.  But how sweet of him nonetheless. 

But holiday wishes and stuff aside, he also told me to think of him the next day as he prepared for his upcoming colonoscopy.  And that message,  my friend, is a sign of a long lasting bond.  But more than that, it's an example of how even the smallest amount of reaching out and sharing with others builds relationship.  I told him that it warms my heart to know that a colonoscopy made him think of me, but y'all, it's something.  And those little somethings speak volumes about what's in a person's character and in his heart.  

This year I lost my dearest friend, and Christmas just won't feel the same.  I'll miss our annual Christmas Eve church service followed by pizza party.  I'll miss comparing lists and shopping, and trying to fit a big TV into the back of my car under the cover of darkness.  But what makes it better are the people who say to me, I know you miss her.  Because those words mean they know me and they care enough to feel hurt alongside me.  

But here's the plain and simple fact about Christmas.  In fact, take this as fact all year round and feel free to use me as a reference.  To celebrate Christ, all we have to do is look at ourselves, recognizing our long lists of faults, ailments and forgotten places;  Look at our small efforts to spread joy and create a home for the people that we love;  Look at the day to day relationships we build by being the hands and feet of Christ in the world - (y'all, in plain English, that just means to be nice and good to others);  Look at the gifts that you give others every day in word and in deed, and especially in thought and prayer - and you are, even without gift wrap, sharing the love of Christ.

The greatest gift is that he came to the least likely of families, and in the least perfect of places.  And he came into our lives without a whole lot of preparation on our part.  He just came - into our busy lives, our messy homes, our less than sincere observance of his sweet birthday.... and he said helloThen he said, I love you.  I love YOU.  Just the way you are, as the Elton John song says. 

And he asks only that we give of what we can and do it for his glory.  So that when others see?  They won't say, Wow Kristi, look at your gorgeous holiday decorations, they'll see a home where my family finds a resting place, where we watch silly Christmas movies, and eat an entire pan of fudge in an afternoon. 

Today I give my small efforts at shopping and giving and cooking and preparing.  And then I'm resting in the knowledge that all those things are already a gift to someone.  I don't have to give the greatest, because that's already been done.

Some days it's more of a mountain.....

Y'all.  Okay, so I posted a quick Thanksgiving review a while back.  And every bit of it was true because I absolutely did go fishing and found that fish adore smoked sausage and brisket as bait.  That was my top secret fish technique in the family fish-athon.  It's also true that I hurt my arm but it's feeling on and off again better or maybe I'm just used to that ripping sensation in my shoulder every time I try to move it.  And I may or may not have told you that I was sick all over Thanksgiving break with a cold that Kid 1 shared with us all.  Now it's all moved into my ears and I can't hear anything and people fuss because the music in class is too loud.

And it is also true that I have a kid head over heels in teen love and the worst part is that I don't really know what to do about it.  And I think all of this comes at a time for me that is magnifying all the changes going on in the boys' lives, all the growing, all the not needing mom for nearly as much anymore.

I may or may not be in crisis.  And I'm worried that I'll be tossed out like an old toy - like in those sad Toy Story movies that  make me cry every darn time I watch them because Andy grows up and doesn't play with Buzz Lightyear and Woody the Cowboy anymore.  And of course Facebook shared a memory with me today of when Kid 1 sang in a school choir concert  - and it was the most angelic, sweet voiced song -  and I looked at him in the video when he was 12 and I wanted to yell at the whole bunch of them to stop singing songs that make me sad.  And Kid 1, stop growing up.  And stop only talking to me when you need money. And stop being in stupid love with a girl that I've only seen twice and stop making me think about what and where my future may lie.  

Fireman Dave tried to comfort me last week with a trip to the arboretum.  But it was cold so we sat down in the sun and talked mostly about the boys and even more about me and my impending crisis.  And he tried to remind me that we've been working toward these days for the last million years  - trying to grow these boys into men of character and strength.  Add to that the ability to pay their own  bills and we'll call parenting a success on all counts.  Of course, right then was when I noticed that we were sitting in the Dallas Arboretum's Garden of Memories.  Because it's all just a big plot.  Maybe the government.  Maybe the devil.  Maybe just me battling against my very own self. 

Anyway, I told  him that I know what our goal was all along but that I didn't hear it running up behind me so fast.  And speaking of, ....where the heck did the time go?  Did I do everything I wanted to with the boys before they run out of sentiment enough to humor me and ride go karts like we did the Tuesday of Thanksgiving break?  Did they go with me because they wanted to?  Or because I hold punishment powers?  Or did they go with me because I told them I would take them out for lunch.....  I'm depressing myself even thinking about it all.

Oh my gosh, this past week brought an ugly case of cyber bullying at the high school level, another terrible hair color situation, and a trip to the dentist for me.  And I am proud to report that I had zero cavities.  I must've gotten better control over my deep tooth grooves.  Anyway, the dentist looked to be about 15 years old and I did stop and check his credentials before he was allowed to use any sharp instruments in my mouth.  He reminded me of the little elf in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - the one cast away to the Island of Misfit Toys because he wanted to be dentist.  But that elf may have been older and more experienced.  I say this strictly to point out that as much as the Dallas Fire Department has been in the news of late about a handful of firemen retiring as millionaires - we will not be one of the lucky few.  We are and may always be the kind that go to the cash pay dental clinic and hope for the best. 

So here I sit, writing this after one of the biggest parenting battles of my entire career.  And it involved the teenage Romeo and Juliet.  Mostly, the Romeo - aka, Kid 1.  Last night I visited with the girlfriend for approximately 60 seconds in the school parking lot, and Kid 2, after witnessing it,  announced it's awkwardness in a sort of embarrassed for me way.  I, on the other hand, probably proved the young girl right in thinking I'm scary and mean. Bless us one and all. 

This is all a new chapter for me.  And I'm in the process of polling those that I trust to find out how they have handled similar situations.  I need valuable experience and input and encouragement.  And hopefully I'll have it all figured out by the time Kids 2 and 3 find that romance is alive and well in these here United States.  

But really, the conversation with the kids has been ongoing for almost forever.  But this week it was at least 3 times with Kid 1  - speaking of battles and all that life will send his way.  But mostly we spoke of battles that I am willing and committed to fight on his behalf. And that's not always going to make him or his brothers happy.  I've tried to explain to him the dangers of words and the things that a young lady can say to harm the reputation and the future of a young man.  I just don't know how to handle the shaky grounds of modern romance very well anymore, and trying to be an advocate for a teenager with stars in his eyes is proving to be a fight that goes an indefinite number of rounds.  

I finally fell asleep last night and slept the sleep of an exhausted person, body and mind.  But I woke up with the idea in my head of parenting being a little like this.... I feel like I've just spent the last 16 years of my life carrying a large load up a hill.  Some days it's more of a  mountain.....  And along the way, I've picked up rocks to add to the load.  And along the way I've also tossed out a few that I no longer need.  But the climb has been long and winding and sometimes even with a great big flat part to walk easy and be fooled that I've got this mothering thing figured out.  But when I've finally gotten close to the top, I drop the Kid  ...... out of a mixture of confusion and needing to rest.  And he's rolling away so fast that I can't chase him fast enough.  And at that point, all I can do is hope that all the climbing and adding to his life up until this point, has already made a difference.

Oh, there you are. There's the girl I've waited a lifetime to become.

I guess the funniest thing about our Thanksgiving trip was when the entire 15 of us played charades.  When it was my turn, the topic was barbecued ribs.  Which I don't eat and thus didn't know how to act out because of it.  Anyway, I chose to focus on the rib part.... so I put my hands on my ribs and did the wanna be runway model pose.  Not a soul guessed it was my ribs I was talking about at first, but our sweet 13 year old nephew guessed even better - and paid me the compliment I had been hunting for all weekend.  His guess was SKINNY.  And I stopped dead in my acting tracks and was taken aback by how I felt like I had been unknowingly complimented by a kid.  Then I got it back together after telling him I love him and his sweet innocence, and resumed my charade -  and it turns out I am not a good actress.  They finally guessed it but had to pretty much list off the entire menu from a barbecue restaurant to get it in time.

All weekend I had been struggling with how I thought I looked in all our family pictures.  And all weekend I felt like the people who hadn't seen me in a while were all asking themselves if I quit the fitness business and became a food taster.  Or something.  Because y'all.  I'm so hard on myself.  And all y'all..... I have always been hard on myself. 

I also, our first night of the trip, was overwhelmed by the togetherness of it all and went up to my room and cried.  Not for long, but still.  Because you know what?  It's just wrong on a million different levels to not have a family of your own that claims you.   And I miss my wonderful friend, Debi, more and more of late it seems.  The holidays without our annual Christmas Eve together is going to be rough.  I think we should all cancel Christmas this year and return when all is merry and bright.

And I struggled with the teenager in love all weekend as he couldn't make eye contact with anyone because his dang eyes were glued to his phone.  And it all came rushing toward me - that things aren't the same as they were.

I understand in my mind that I'll probably never be the small, near weightless beauty that I was before kids.  And before too many birthdays and birthday cake.  But I don't understand it in an accepting it sort of way.   And I know I'll never be the same person I was before marriage and jobs and my share of heartbreaks and battles.  But I know that years from now I'll be reading this and say, YES!  Hallelujah to it all, Kristi...you aren't the same as you were, and you're not the same as you're going to be. 

I can't speak to this subject for the men reading this, but for us girls, I can, and am a living, breathing example of how we spend our lives in constant battle within ourselves - trying to figure out who we are.  Trying to figure out if we're good.  Or even good enough.  And trying to figure out our worth and what all the required pieces that play into that big equation may be. 

I would dare say we are always in a state of waiting.  I am, anyway.  I'm waiting to be the one in the cutest outfit at the whatever.  I'm waiting to be the one that has the article that goes viral on the web.  And I'm waiting to see what I'm supposed to do next.  That's kind of a big deal weighing on me right now.

Maybe this is it.  Maybe I'm supposed to be the one that writes about things that encourage and may or may not be funny.  Maybe being the me I am today is exactly what I've been waiting for all along.  I just need to take it all in and say, Oh, there you areThere's the girl I've waited a lifetime to become.   Maybe each day is my own advent of change - constantly in search of what God has in store for me next.  

Did you notice I said advent of change? Which occurred to me today -  is exactly what the season of Advent is all about.  Y'all, I thought it was just a word that I use a few weeks before Christmas.  But Advent - the season of waiting, is also the season that we are to take note of all that's going on in our lives, and wait for what can and will change because of the birth of Christ. 

Boom.  Now it makes sense.  

Advent blessings to you. 

post script:  a little southern language tutorial...

Y'all - the word I use to mean, you and you and you.  It could be a small group or large.  Doesn't really matter.  But it's not definite that it includes everyone within earshot.   For example:  I just love Y'all. 

All Y'all - what I mean when I mean every one of y'all, no one excluded.  Everyone being part of the y'all that I am speaking or referring to.  Example - All Y'all are invited to follow along on the blog as we observe Advent together. 

All Y'all's  - something that belongs to everyone.  For example -  I love all Y'all's sweet comments that you leave on my blog.  

Got it Y'all?

typing something out really quick so y'all don't think I'm dead

First of all, I am wounded and a little mad about the whole thing.  And I couldn't type to save my life for about a week.  It's a high level deltoid strain, and I'm thinking even possibly a tear.  But I swore off doctors years ago when that young lady doctor sent me to the ER and told me not to wiggle around too much on the way or my scary pulmonary embolism might explode and kill me between her office and there.  Y'all, I didn't have a pulmonary embolism  - and I had just spent the better part of two hours trying to convince the fresh out of med school doctor of that.  Add to that the fact that I had a 4 month old at home and I wasn't ready to die.  It was just plain old respiratory stuff like I get all the time and I didn't have to go to med school to make that diagnosis.  Anyway, I'm gonna ride this shoulder injury out on my own as long as possible - just in case you were wondering why I look like I want to cry when I reach for something or try to do a pushup.  And lesson learned,  I won't be bandaging anymore because it was totally like a kid wearing a bandaid today for the sake of getting bandaid attention.  

Here's a quick review of our Thanksgiving festivities. 

It involved a whole lot of football and fish.  I could just wrap it all up there and you'd get the picture.

I didn't know I was going out of town to go fishing.  But when you rent a house and there's not a whole lot around but a lake, fishing wins over endless football watching every time.  My daddy would be so proud. 

We drove to Austin to meet cousins, in-laws, and the like.  There were 15 of us on the trip - and it went a little something like this:  Out of the 15, 11 were male.  7 of those were teenage boys.  One of them love sick in the worst possible way and borderline miserable to be around.  Do with that whatever you want, but then send me tips on how to handle such a situation.  Said kid happens to be mine.   

The order of events rolled along like this....play charades, eat a little, go fishing.  Have a no-hands-allowed cake eating contest, shoot a potato cannon out into the water, eat some more and go fishing again.  I also sat in on a catfish cleaning lesson which has now turned me into more of a vegetarian than ever.  And I got carsick for the first time in forever because we all know Fireman Dave has it out for me on long drives. 

But I had some nice visits and some quiet time to reflect.  And I've proven that I can sit on a boat dock for hours, fishing pole in hand, and not think about a single thing of importance.  Maybe that's the magic of fishing.  Maybe that's the magic of being thankful.  

post script... I still love my job, injuries aside.  And in the grand scheme of work injuries, I've had worse.  I think I just need a fashionable sling to coordinate with my outfits.

But I can't

THIS is happening right down the street from us.  

Y'all,.... in the very next block;  and we're about to have a stretch of several just like it right there with it very soon.  The picture doesn't do it justice.  Add about 3 more stories to the construction and you'll have a more accurate visual.  You, too can be my neighbor for close to a million dollars..... no joke.  Thank the real estate gods above for a clever buying decision from us years ago. 

And THIS happened at our church and has been in the news almost daily since those news camera men were up in the balcony last Sunday morning hoping to see something odd and interesting going on.  But they just saw the regular ol' thing, .... singing, praying, and a whole lot of people willing to withstand a bunch of criticism and questioning in order to do the right thing.

And this morning there were a handful of protestors carrying signs out front of the church and pretty much in their own Sharpie Marker and poster board kind of way, damning us to hell or whatever.  But what I would like for these people to know is this:  

#1 - if you were going to protest something, you should've done it years ago... because this church has always done what we're still doing today.  Loving on everyone, despite the opinions of others.   It just happened to be put down on paper this time.   And, #2 - it's much warmer inside and if you would just come sit with me in the balcony, you and I can talk about all the things wrong in the world, together, and try to find our place in them all.  Because we're all in there, mister.  If I tried to count the bad decisions I make on a daily basis, I would surely tire from trying.  If I even tried to remember all the bad choices and things on the Do Not Do These Things list in the Bible, that I have done in my undisclosed number of years on this earth, the angels would run out of hallelujah choruses and have to resort to a simple orchestral background for the duration of my meditation of sins.   And finally, #3, you probably just need a hug and so do I, because I'm feeling a bit under the weather today.

Y'all, it was just two years ago that the news cameras were filling our balcony the first time - flash back to the Ebola crisis here in Dallas.  Because shockingly similar to today's news, back then Wilshire was also the church doing the most courageous and unexpected thing since man walked on the moon.  Or that time when that guy leaped from one roof top to another to impress a girl, but got stuck in the middle of the two and the fire department had to spend hours saving him.  One of those examples is exactly like what I'm trying to say.  

When I was invited to be one of the church bloggers a couple of years ago, I think surprise would be the first word that came to mind.  Honored would be the second.  But I'm another example of a church stepping away from the same old, traditional Christian stories.... and instead, seeking to share stories of Christians out and about in the everyday.  

I guess a good rule would go something like this:  Try to remember that Jesus spent quality time with folks that others said he shouldn't, and let that be our guiding vision in the world.  Thanks be to God that he did and still does, right? 

I think our responses to change are a direct reflection of our personal willingness to accept it.  I happen to be a quick change artist in a gym locker room.  Off with the sweaty, on with the dry.  And I can change moods with the wind.   But in the big things?   I don't care a bit for it.  Ask Fireman Dave and he'll tell you that I resist change with all my being, as evidenced by my tendency to hang onto worn out underwear far past their expiration date.  It's an attachment issue, in an odd sort of underwear attachment way.  I also don't fancy travel or anything else that upsets my routine.  For breakfast I like to eat peanut butter on toast, then go to work, praying my way down the road, continuing on from there in my routine way of doing things  - and in all the same, predictable places.  I may stop by the Stein Mart instead of the TJ Maxx on the way home, but that's about as carefree as I get. 

But everyday is  a lesson and I've learned that I can't hang onto much because time won't let me.  And  I can't stay the same with the intent of trying to make everyone and everything else around me freeze alongside me.  I'm getting reminders of that all the time with the boys.  I couldn't find Kid 1 one day after school last week.  And when a teenager doesn't answer his phone I immediately think he's either dead, or doing something he probably shouldn't be doing.

And I hated to, but I ended up contacting the girlfriend... Y'all, what should I call her on the blog?  Help me out with a name that describes adorableness, peppy energy and young love for my son... For now let's call her Contestant #1 - like in the dating game?  Lord, how old am I to remember that...

Anyway, Contestant #1 knew where Kid 1 was and it made me so mad and jealous that she knew something I didn't.  Because, remember... in my jealous shade of green eyes, change ranks right up there with a bad hair day on an occasion when people might see me.  

I'd like to hang onto my boys like an old pair of underwear with the elastic all stretched out, but still safely tucked inside my top drawer.  I'd like to keep driving the same road every day.  And I'd like to slow the world down long enough to let me speak my mind about the way I think it should be.  

But I can't. 

Growing up is hard to do  -  for all of us. 

She's Still Got It.... says the strange man at the eye doctor

Okay everyone.... look around and note the beauty that is my new blog.  Then breathe in the clean, white space air and explore the entire page.  If you're on your laptop you'll see a big giant picture of me.  I actually think this one accentuates my years of tanning myself on the roof, but I did it and the dermatologist told me I would pay the price for my choices one day.  My teenage self just didn't believe him.  #TeenagersAreStupid

If you're reading from your phone, scroll down through meadows of soothing colored words and lots of pink and enjoy what appears to be a walk through early spring.   And my picture down below, this  time looking like I just laid out on the trampoline in my backyard.  That was my favorite sunning spot. 

I love it.  

The change comes with a reason and an even bigger dream.  Y'all, I've come to realize that as the kids grow older, my stories have to be more about my own journey than theirs.  The boys have to become characters in my play, in a way - while I remain the author.  And I want all my fun stories and experiences to be spread into a true life guide that can make someone else feel like they're doing the most okayest job at parenting that they can.  I want to write a book.  And it is, as I type, rolling all around in my head.  But don't ask me when... because that's totally like asking me what's for dinner.  I just don't know right now. 

Now... today's big news..... 

I went into the eye doctor and came out with a man.  No, really.  No, not really.  I left him in the eye place looking at new glasses frames, and I snuck out all sneaky like hoping he wouldn't see what car I got into.  But for an ego boost, a girl can't go at all wrong with a man in the eye doctor who tells her She's Still Got It....  

Yay for me still having IT !  First he complimented my hair and my smile and told me that contact lenses are a much better idea with eyes like mine - you know - don't hide that light under a bushel and all that.  And I was totally like, Keep talking, mister,... you had me at good hair.  Then he asked me out on a real live date.  And I panicked and I think I waved my wedding ring around all nervously and told him Fireman Dave doesn't like it when I go out on dates without him.  

Then I came home and made my kids cringe at the thought that their mother is an actual girl and not invisible like they like to imagine.  And I told Fireman Dave that I am wanted by strange men in eye doctor offices everywhere.  And then when I got over myself, I heard my wonderful husband's words in my head, repeating all those same sweet words to me all the time - except for the recommendation of contact lenses over glasses.  That was a first for me.  

But the truth is that I far too often ignore my own husband's words as words of necessity and obligation, and act like they're not genuine.  I  guess the dynamic of men and women is often too much like that of kids and parents.  My kids always believe things more when they come from someone else than when they come from me.  Dear Me,.... lesson learned.   

Oh my gosh, it was another rough week of mothering at the Walters house.  You may have felt it far and wide, especially last Tuesday morning when the ground shook with distress over the goings on in our home.  Again, short version..... a missing rubber wrist band, two bad kids, and all of us trying to get out the door before 7:45 in the morning.  I was exactly two inches away that morning from taking out a FOR SALE  ad for the worst two pirates in the bunch.  But I totally know how that works - the two that are bad today are the two that are good tomorrow.  It's a total grab bag of children.   

Which is a perfect transition for us this week.  Let us pray....

Dearest Lord in Heaven, as you watch over us this week, making fools and asses of ourselves with all our political might, please help us to remember this.... 

We don't know what will happen.  But you already do.  

Voting, not fussing, is the only way to bring about change.  Help us vote not only with our hearts but also with our heads.  And then take it away, it's now yours to work with and ours to support.   

Bless and empower the winner, bless and empower the loser, as we're all in this together.  

And help us to remember that we can contribute to the good of your world or we can take away from it.  


Now everybody go vote and be proud that you did something good.  Have a good week, friends.  

(I voted early because #1, I'm smart that way.  And #2, the voting day weather forecast includes an onslaught of heavy crowds mixed with a hail storm of grumpy people.  I'll be at home watching it all on TV.)

desperate times call for desperate measures.... says me every dang day.

Happy Anniversary, Fireman Dave, now can you go pick up three picnic tables I just found outside at a restaurant and take them to the school?  Then take me to lunch to celebrate our love?

And he said yes to both.  Which, in short, explains how we've been married 17 years.  17 years plus countless ones before that when we weren't actually married, but were in our hearts.  Plus the ones as kids when we knew each other and laughed at all the crazy things teenagers laugh at without a clue that one day all those things would become the building blocks of a lifetime of love...


But I don't  have an anniversary picture.  And remember I don't even have a wedding picture.  Only the pictures in my mind.  And I wore something not so wedding like that may or may not have involved a sweater and loafers.  

But I do have this picture from about a year ago at Cowboys Stadium - the night I got separated from everyone in the world that I know in a crowd of 10 million people and had no cell phone service.  So I asked a little boy if I could use his phone to call someone to rescue me and I think he reported me to the stadium police as stranger danger.  Anyway, Kid 2 finally found me because he was smart enough to look where the upscale ladies restroom is located and knew deep in his heart that I would be close by.  

Y'all, I try to write on the blog about once a week, if I'm lucky.  Sometimes I write even more - IF - I actually have something to say.  Thank you to the sweet friends who asked where I've been the last few days, and for checking into my online home to see if you might find me doing something fun.  Or not.  Or maybe just something weird and life-like that makes you think you're not the only one that's living in a crazy world.  Here's where I planned to share a picture of me and Boris the Hog at the State Fair of Texas - but Boris didn't look too good in the photo so I deleted it. 

I've actually been in a struggle of motherhood known as Kid 1.  I sit here at the desk writing, and on the desk is an old picture of him helping his daddy fix the garbage disposal in our first little house.  And I think to myself, Oh how cute and sweet that little angel was.  Then I think, Where the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks is that sweet baby now?  Then I quietly, in my mind, wish that I could give him a half lobotomy surgery because I hear things like that return the patient to a more child- like state.

Y'all, desperate times call for desperate measures.... says me every dang day.  

Anyway, it's been a busy week as the mom of teen boys.  And in short, I can tell you there have been intimidation tactics, fit throwing, a pair of missing pants and a trash bag involved.  Remember that verse somewhere in the Bible that says that there will be gnashing of teeth and some other bad stuff?  Well, the Bible does not lie.  It happened in my house this past Monday morning and nothing good came of it.  Except for when we made the guilty party express his regrets through the scrubbing of bathrooms and vacuuming of floors.

Then that very same day I sat out at Kid 3's middle school football game and I watched the opposing team in their surprisingly new, matching jerseys and color coordinated helmets.  And they arrived with double the number of players, a few thousand cheerleaders - and a band.  And a half time performance of Michael Jackson's Thriller dance.  

And our boys were just our boys.  Wearing the uniforms that have been passed down from year to year, some better fitted than others, and mismatched helmets  - probably collected from whatever sources would agree to donate so there's enough for all the boys to play.  They also each have their names masking taped to the back of the helmet to make sure each kid gets the one that belongs to him for the season. God bless them. 

Our team lost the game.  And from the beginning Kid 3 already had the nerves of a first year middle school athlete going in to face his giant.  His giant not being so much the greatness of play of the other team, but their image and their reputation, the flash of new uniforms and the strength of numbers.  The loudness of the cheerleaders and the Zombie costumed band didn't help. 

And for whatever reason that night as I watched the boys play, and I watched Kid 3 give his coach a big ol' no thank you nod when told to get out on the field - I thought of the verse in the Bible that says, .....  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  

And yes, my Bible scholar friends, those words are taken right from the middle of the verse and possibly out of context.  But the words spoken to me that night were just those few.  Let us run the race set before us.  

I've tried to explain to the boys how I hear God.  I've never heard his voice and am so very curious what that might sound like.  I think a deep, southern drawl with a side of understanding and a whole lot of love.  Can't you just hear that in your head?  I also think he and I will one day exchange a giant love hug and then he'll look around Heaven and say, Hey Y'all - look who's home!

These days I think I mostly hear God when I write,  and when I read something so powerful that makes me feel like it was meant just for me.  Maybe that's how Moses felt when that bush caught on fire right next to him that day - a message just for him.  I think I've also been sent some very strong messages through experience.  Funny how just the other day I had been feeling all sorts of lonely about the boys growing up and suggested to Fireman Dave that we need a new baby to try out some new and better parenting techniques.  How maybe we could get one to turn out right if we just keep trying.... I had just held a friend's new baby that day.  

But then God sent me the wrath of Kid 1 and his missing pants to set me back on course.  And I felt like a loser all day.  And I maybe came to work and told a million people about it, asked their advice and if they could please trade lives with me.  

So that's where I've been.  I've been busy being married for 17 years, I've been busy being three boys' mom - though it be all trial and error - And I've been waiting to hear the encouragement that comes from within when it's time for me to share.  

I try not to be the person in an ill fitting life helmet with my name taped to the back of it, hoping to be as good as my more impressive and better dressed opponents.  But sometimes I am.  Today I feel like texting one or two of my kids and telling them that I don't like the people that they are right now.  But that I always love the people that they are - no matter what's happening right now.  

And I want to be the mom that runs the race set before me, and the mom that runs it in front of these boys and the world, so that one day I can say that I did.  

I needed those words whispered in my ear that day.  Perfect timing once again.   

post script - Kid 3 did go out on that field and played his best.  Good for him and for his opponents to see that there's always a challenge before us.   Here's to running this race together Kid 3. 

And the picnic tables?  The luckiest PTA president find of the century, y'all.  A local restaurant is replacing all their patio furniture as money allows, and had already put 3 great picnic tables out behind their building.  I was driving by, thought the tables were probably out for the trash, but took a chance and called the restaurant.  And now I love the owner and all the staff for donating their used tables to the students at Bryan Adams High School.  Here's a picture of what the kids are sitting on now if they want to eat outside at lunch

I've wanted to replace this for them all year - and now I can at least start. Yay for nice people!!

Enough is enough. Volume whatever.

This week is another bullet point week, probably with it's fair share of poor grammar and typing errors.  And right now, that's perfectly okay with me. 
Where oh where to begin....


  1. Taught 4 classes, got my flu shot, and found out I had to attend a mandatory work meeting if I wish to keep getting paid.   
  2. Skipped the teacher conferences for Kids 1 and 2 to attend the mandatory meeting, but emailed teachers selling the idea that I'm a good mom anyway.  
  3. Got phone call from numberless Kid 's Spanish teacher saying he decided to share his quiz answers with a kid named Samson and now is forever labeled in Spanish class as Cheater Walters.  Rethought the idea of me being a good mom. 
  4. Finally sat down and took a Facebook break  - and found out that when not fighting fires, Fireman Dave can be found in public discussion of all things controversial   Here was my contribution to the discussion:  

  6. Took Kid 1 shopping for Homecoming clothes and had a blood sugar crisis so sent Kid 2 to the dollar store for an emergency Snickers bar as we tried on a variety of ties and pocket squares.  

  1.  Taught 3 classes, got my hair cut and highlighted then went to SAM'S to buy food for the football team.  
  2. Picked up Kid 1 from football practice, felt unappreciated and borderline flight risk, and put Kid 1 out of the car and told him to find his way home if I'm all that annoying.  He obviously did because there was a trail of potato chip crumbs leading to his bed.     
  3. Fed everyone else frozen corn dogs for dinner and me a bowl of cereal.  
  4. Decided that enough is enough and went to bed as early as possible.  
Date Day Wednesday:

Fireman Dave and I went to the State Fair of Texas and took lots of fun selfies.   I forgot everything else.  


  1. Taught 4 classes and was starving.  
  2. Remembered that I forgot to order the corsage for Kid 1's Homecoming date and begged the florist at the grocery store to help me.  
  3. Went to Kid 1's football game, felt once again unloved and unappreciated and threatened to never feed him and his team mates again.  
  4. I also wrote this post for the church.

  1. Taught 3 classes then went to a luncheon with some of the sweetest ladies a gal could teach aqua aerobics to each week.  
  2. Argued the finer points of Homecoming mum gifting with Kid 1. 
  3. Became borderline enraged with conversation about mum gifting and threatened to wear the girlfriend's mum myself.  
  4. Reminded myself to keep trying not to say damn so much.  
  5. Went to the Homecoming game, got ditched by our friends, so left and went to Sonic with Fireman Dave.  Decided to drown our sorrows in fried foods and chocolate malts.  
  6.  Ate boneless hot wings for the first time in my life because I'm always late to the party.  

  1.  Dreamed that I was paying the cashier at some restaurant and she looked at me all disappointed like because I was obviously supposed to do something for her but I wasn't sure what.  Turns out I was supposed to make tons of dream ham sandwiches for her.   
  2.  Considered it odd to be dreaming of sandwiches.   Two more team meals and I plan to take a long awaited sandwich vacation. 
  3. Woke to Kid 2 telling me I gave away his underpants to Kid 4 and the world is ending because of it.  It was actually his baseball sliding shorts that he needed for a double header in about 20 minutes and so maybe his world really was ending at that moment.  
  4. Checked to see if Kid 3 actually spent the night at a friend's house or if we accidentally left him at the football stadium.  Found him safe and sound.  
  5. Went to Kid 2's baseball game, but snuck out early because I had a post due for the Dallas Moms Blog that I waited till the very last second to write.  Drove out of my parking place at the game and got a phone call from another mom saying Kid 2 was having a health issue at the game... and hurry, - come back now.  Ran like any scared mom would to the side of her ailing kid to find out that it wasn't my kid at all, but another kid named Jose', bless his heart, who was in full panic attack mode with Fireman Dave by his side.  Got bit by fire ants as I held Jose's hand and talked to him as a person who knows all too much about panic, and promised him I wouldn't let go till it passed. 
  6. Had Homecoming corsage drama. 


um.... wrong answer Kid 1... 

But I obviously didn't give up because then I ran to the fabric store to get stuff to make Kid 1 a make shift pocket square for his suit... Then got the house all straightened up since Kid 1's girlfriend and her dad chose to meet him at our house to travel to the Homecoming dance.  I guess to make sure we're not maniacs.

Found these items on the side table by the couch.  Probably wise that girlfriend and dad did some fact checking before the date.  (fyi... that's an air soft gun, but a real knife.)  There was also some sort of brown goo on the front door that I discovered later.  Maybe we really are maniacs.

And presenting the cutest couple at the dance....  She even brought me flowers to soften the blow of her stealing Kid 1's heart. 

Y'all, it's been one of those weeks where I wore my bra inside out all day and wondered when I got so lumpy  and why I never noticed it till now.  It was one of those weeks where fast food became the norm and no food was the only other option.  It was one of those weeks that became a check list of items to mark off the list.  

And it's times like this that I completely understand why the body rebels against us and puts us into a panic, whether that be the kind my new friend Jose' and I experience, or whatever your body uses to get your attention.  

Dreaming of sandwiches was a good reminder for me to slow down.  It was a good reminder that it's okay to say no.  And for Jose', I prayed for that young man, that he will see at his young age that we are the hardest on ourselves.  And that we don't have to be.

This I know for sure... nothing is easy

I wrote this post last week for the church.  Actually, that's a complete lie.  I wrote most of those words two years ago and saved it in the draft folder of my blog - for a rainy day.  Last week was that rainy day because I had nothing else to give and the post was due.  So I updated the first paragraph and hit publish. (The post?  you should totally read it... but short version, in case... it talks about my efforts at homemaking, and the value of it in the bigger picture of family.)

But then in church Sunday morning a new friend told me that she liked what I wrote.  Yay!  for new readers and new friends.  But then she said she felt bad about her own home.  Because of what I wrote?   Lord, y'all.  I hope not. 

Because people, that's just a NO.  In fact it's a triple NO wrapped in bacon  -  because nothing I ever write is supposed to make anyone feel less than, or worried, or self conscious about his or her own state of affairs.  Except for the occasional post where I might talk mean about an ex boyfriend and/or his current lady.   (sweet baby Jesus, a while back I saw the new Muppet Show and in it, learned that Kermit the Frog has left Miss Piggy for a new floosy pig named Denise.  And it just reminded me too much of past heartache.)  I'm aware that I'm awful and I know I have a problem.

So this week let's talk the truth.  The fresh truth, not words from two years ago.

Nothing is easy.  And a whole lot of the time it isn't all that pretty.  Let's take a pictorial tour of my week......

This is the wall in the entry hall.  I thought I could paint it quickly while Fireman Dave was at work and not home to tell me no.  Then I learned that I can't paint fast and that I get tired trying to.  It'll probably be like this forever.  There are two matching spots just like it in the den. 

This is a shed that I saw in the Home Depot parking lot and made a u-turn in the street to go take a tour.  I'm seriously considering this for the backyard and whatever children are taking up the most space in the house. 

These are my legs wearing Kid 2's sweatshirt as pants.  Because the mosquitoes at Kid 1's football game were terrible and I wore shorts that night.  Kid 2 is a  hero of epic proportions, and if you see him.. tell him happy 15th birthday.  Yes,  that happened. 

And this is me after teaching 4 classes on Monday and I desperately need a shower.  But I did put a filter called warmify on the picture - I think that means it gave me a tan.  I did that to save you from bad dreams.  I usually just end up putting on dry clothes and trying to comb out the dried sweat waves that have made my hair crunchy - and spend the rest of the day like this.  And if you look closely, you can see that the bedroom chair is used way too often as a laundry holding area.  And my kids are all scared of my childhood Raggedy Ann dolls sitting on that shelf back there.  Mine's the naked one.  My sister's ended up with a dress.  

This I know for sure..... things are messy and dirty, and all too often, all kinds of mean.  And sometimes out of the blue, what started as a normal day can steal away my blogging words.  

Kids are hard.  I'll tell you the dishwasher story another day.  But it made me consider the possibility that Kid 1 was switched at birth. 

And marriage is hard.  Y'all, I mean it.  It's just so hard sometimes.  Every now and then hard enough for me to wonder how we got to 17 years and if we'll ever make it to 18. 

And getting older is hard.  So is trying not to eat carbs.  And finances, and balancing work and family and time to sleep is a complicated mix of difficult and frustrating. 

Sometimes I just want to go shopping for cute shoes to make me feel better about this game called life.  

And sometimes I write pretty words that inspire and encourage.   And the words come easy.  And then on days like today, I find myself trying to drag the words onto the page, but they come out sounding harsh and desperate.

But I'm thankful for the good that comes before the bad, so I can mix it all together like soup.  I'm a huge fan of soup.  

I'm thankful for the stores of faith that the easy days bring, because more than I would like to admit, I have to pull from the stock piles of plenty to fill in the gaps of the empty. 

post script:  for the curious out there, I've always taken pride in calling myself a housewife or homemaker or whatever.  Because loving on my people through cookies and cute throw pillows happens to indeed be my love language.  

post post script:  yes, a while back I really did watch one episode of the new Muppet Show and the whole dumping of Miss Piggy and the suggestive nature of the conversation between Kermit and his, um... friend, brought me back to places of darkness.  It also disturbed me deeply to know Kermit has such relationships.  My muppet interest ended that very day.  
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