My two feet hit the floor,

Somehow already behind.

There are school bags to be packed, 

There’s a library book to find.


The twins have been awake since dawn,

Frolicking like fawns around my bed.

At the simple mention of getting dressed,

Suddenly their feet turn into lead.


This one prefers runny eggs,

While that one asks for toast.

Judging by their orders,

It’s royalty I host.


Our daughter stands before me sobbing,

A dangling comb’s come to a halt.

Her hair is like a bird’s nest,

She lists off reasons it’s my fault.


I balance all their lunches,

Nutritionally sound in a bento box.

They tell me about ‘Fruit By the Foot Mom’,

And how much she totally rocks.

(If you’re Fruit by the Foot Mom, you DO rock.)


The baby is awake now,

And wailing from his crib.

I fed him thirty times through the night,

But he swears he sees a rib.


I breeze past the mirror in the bathroom,

Gosh, my dried drool looks sublime.

I shout a reminder to be getting dressed,

Certainly they heard me this eighth time.


I run upstairs to check progress,

I find them still in underwear.

But the good news is they’ve built a fort,

And left a trail of dog food leading there.


Our oldest makes a fresh batch of slime,

The baby goes toilet diving.

I threaten to throw all her ingredients away.

I pray his immunity is thriving.


At long last everyone is dressed,

And donning at least one shoe.

They haven’t even missed the bus,

Such hard things we can do!


“Can you sign this permission slip?”

“Can you build my Leprechaun trap?”

“Oops, my project is due today…”

“Ugh, Mom! We don’t say ‘crap’!”


Bus Driver Bob pulls up to the stop,

In his gleaming chariot of yellow.

The last one skitters out the door exclaiming,

“Remember to drop off my cello!”


I make my way back inside,

Grab the coffee I forgot.

How cute am I to believe

That I’d be drinking it hot 😉





Look at you. You’ve got all the forms signed, all the nut-free snack crackers purchased, the “Class of 2030” chalkboard ready to go…

You. are. rocking. it.

Perhaps your summer consisted of nailing down the survival skills necessary for your tiny human’s new season. Skills such as: counting (maybe even in proper sequence), recognizing letters, eating enough food to keep them conscience for the rest of the day in an 8 minute (entirely distracted) window of time, not licking people or things, not putting fingers in small holes (nostrils, pencil sharpeners, etc.), and wiping until the toilet paper is clean (just us?). You have spent months preparing for this moment physically and years preparing for it emotionally. You have counted down the days in both excitement and in dread. As your perfect little angel babe steps foot onto that bus or that playground, you will likely experience a thousand emotions and then ugly cry because you can’t handle them all.

As they walk away, you will be asking yourself, “What if they miss me? What if I miss them? What if they hate it? What if they love it? What if they hurt another kid’s feelings? What if another kid hurts their feelings? What if I, in turn, hurt said kids’ mom’s feelings for raising a Lanky Little Meanie Face?”

Here’s the deal. All or none of those things may happen and YOU WILL BOTH MAKE IT. Thank you for caring enough to ask yourself those questions.

You are doing good, good work, Mama.



I love your swagger. You have this thing DOWN. You attend open houses (or not) without a drop of sweat on your brow. You no longer fall for the “buy all the school things by the end of July or you’re going to lose your left arm and your kids will be shunned” charade–you’ve learned to hold back and scoop up the last-minute deals. Even if you are left with the ugly composition notebooks and (heaven forbid) white 3 X 5 cards instead of neon ones it doesn’t phase you because you claim it will “shape your sixth grader’s character and that’s what its all about, man”.

Thank you for proving that sandwiches don’t have to be shaped like a member of the animal kingdom for our kids to know they are loved. Thank you for showing us that there is still life after our kids find lives of their own. Thank you for being someone we can look to when it all still seems really new and scary.

You are doing good, good work, Mama.



Hallelujah and amen, you are an actual saint. You deserve a crown and many shiny things. To know that you are going from ‘Some-Of-My-Kids-Are-Wearing-Swimsuit-Bottoms-As-Underwear-Summer-Crazy’ directly into a role of teaching your and/or other people’s offspring makes my palms sweat. Whether you instruct from your dining room dressed in yoga pants or a classroom wearing a Christopher & Banks sweater vest, I salute you. You have the patience very few of us have. You are building memories that will never be forgotten and that’s a really big deal. And a really big gift.

Thank you for working tirelessly to educate these precious minds. You are shaping the future in doing so.

You are doing good, good work, Mama.



Typing that just made my vision blur. Tears well up as I think of you because I know it came so fast. And I know its coming my way just as quickly and I’m less than excited about that. I rest in the false comfort of being several years away but I know if I blink, I’m going to be standing there in your shoes. Standing next to a giant person you’ve raised from the ground up. You used to cradle them and rock them back and forth like that book with the boy who threw his dad’s watch in the toilet. But now they won’t let you cradle OR rock them. The disobedience and rudeness is astounding. You should probably just ground them for the next thirty years or something…they could use a little time out from leaving you.

A hot second ago, you were packing crustless sandwich lunches and now you’re packing a car with everything it takes for this precious person to exist away from you. Outside of your home. There’s now a backseat full of objects to begin the process of creating their home, their dreams, their story.

And, just like the kindergarten moms, you have a whole list of questions and worries you’re scrolling through. “What if I didn’t prepare them well enough? What if they hate it? What if they love it? What if they fail? What if they don’t do their laundry or hang the toilet paper roll the wrong way? What if they succeed and it goes to their head? What if they make unwise choices?” Time a million more…

But, in the midst of it all of these unknowns, you’re standing behind them. You’re looking out over the shoulder of this person you have poured your life into, and staring at the vast array of directions their life can go. And you are SHAKING IN YOUR BOOTS.

But you are cheering them on anyway. You have been shaping and guiding and directing and praying (oh my gosh, so much praying) for such a time as this.

Their independence is a reflection of your diligence. Thank you for going before us and showing us how this is done.

You have done and are doing good, good work, Mama.


So Much Love,








On December 10th of 2016, we were feeling adventurous. We had incredible new friends and one of Brent’s favorite professors in town and there was a clean sheet fresh snow on the ground. We thought we’d take a trip to our favorite little restaurant in Walla Walla a quaint little community several dreamy scenes outside of town. The 45 minute drive was beautiful and the snow on Main Street was sure to be nostalgic and adorable. Plus, we are always selfishly looking for any excuse to have our favorite pizza…so if we ever invite you there, I’m sorry to tell you it’s more for us than for you 😉

We walked the gorgeous, glistening  streets with coffee in hand. We popped in and out of a few sweet, little bookstores and cheese shops. We ate the dreamy pizza. It was spectacular. As we waddled our over-stuffed selves back to the car, we commented on how perfect the day had been for making the trek over.

We had been on the road a few minutes when Brent commented on the bright sun and the shiny, wet roads. He folded down his visor and that shining sun hung perfectly between the bottom of the visor and the top of the road.

And then came the sound. The worst sound I had heard to that point. A deafening eruption of metal and glass and plastic. Of airbags deploying and seatbelts locking. I smelled exhaust and gasoline and saliva and burning rubber. I tasted blood and dust.

And then it was excruciatingly silent. My new worst sound.

Although it felt like an hour of silence, I know it wasn’t because by the time I opened my eyes, I heard the voice of my sweet friend on my right. And then that of her husband seated in front of her and a frightened cry from their precious baby boy, safely tucked in his car seat ahead of me. And then my eyes were taken to the front of our car, unrecognizable and entirely wrapped around the two front seats. As I scrambled out of my seatbelt, I caught a glimpse of movement from our professor in the passenger seat, followed by his unfittingly calm voice and I let out a breath I didn’t  realize I had been holding. At that, I was overwhelmingly relieved and yet paralyzed with fear because there was still one voice I hadn’t heard, one movement I hadn’t seen.

My husband was still motionless and silent in the driver’s seat and for one second, I thought I lost him. For one second, my mind raced as it tried to wrap around the thought of life without him in it. A list of names scrolled though my mind. Names of people who have lost their people (if that’s you, I have so much to say to you here).

That one second is by far the most terrible one I’ve experienced.

By the time I reached his side, I was on my third round of panicky cries begging him to be okay. And then I heard him…through shattered glass, I heard him say, “I’m alive.”

I can still hear it perfectly. I hope I always do.

From there, time warped a little bit.

I remember being on the phone with the dispatcher. I don’t remember finding my phone or dialing 911, but I do remember that she was kind and soothing when I was being the exact opposite of that. I just kept saying, “We were in an accident and I don’t know where we are and it’s really bad.”

I remember the crazy incredible witnesses who helped some of us out of the crumpled car.

I remember our college friend, Bobby, showing up and removing Brent’s headrest and holding his head upright. Things I hadn’t been strong or calm enough to do.

I remember our sweet friends and professor being gracious and kind and comforting, even while they were shaken and in pain (and pinned under a semi truck in Blaine’s case).

I remember thanking God over and over again for the first responders. From Walla Walla and Pasco and Richland and Burbank, they joined forces.

I remember one of them ushering me to an ambulance parked behind the remains of our vehicle. And then I remember being ushered back there over and over again after I kept escaping to check on Brent. I’ve never understood my 3 year-old son as much as I did in that moment.

From the back of that ambulance, I crouched down and prayed out loud and watched through a tiny window as a swarm of people cut away the chunks of metal cocooning the person I love the most. This was my view.


And then they pulled him out.

He was free and I was already pulling on the handle for one final escape to run over and hug him. To walk back to the ambulance with him, arm in arm as we laughed and cried together about this whole, scary thing. But when I got outside, he wasn’t walking. He was being carried by medical teams and then being strapped to a stretcher and then being pushed the wrong way. Not toward me but away from me.

I ran toward the first uniformed man I saw and begged to go wherever Brent was going. He apologized and let me know there wasn’t room in that ambulance. The team working on Brent was large and they needed the spot I would have filled. He was going to Richland and I was going back to Walla Walla. I’m not sure if it was the fear on my face or just his pure kindness that prompted his next move, but that police officer then said, “We’ll get you there. I’ll take you. Come with me.” He yelled to his partner and they ran with me to his car. They turned up the heat for me and proceeded to follow the flashing lights of Brent’s ambulance for the 30 minute drive to Richland, offering words of comfort as I cried all along the way. When we pulled up to the emergency entrance, he opened the door for me and that was when I finally read his uniform. He was a Walla Walla police officer. He hadn’t planned to come here. He didn’t have any reason to drive me all that way. But he did. I wish I could have thanked him more in that moment.

When I walked in, I was immediately met by the safe and familiar hugs of nurses who are also friends. They were the ones who were with me when I saw Brent being rushed in. He was sleeping in a tangle of tubes and wires and patches and being chased by a man squeezing a bottle. I was later told that was their way of breathing for him.

Just minutes later I was joined by Brent’s parents and my sister and a few close friends who dropped everything and rushed there as soon as they heard the news. Doctors shook my hand and gave me updates. My mind was clouded as they informed me of his neck fracture and then his sinus fracture and then his scull fracture and then the blood they found on his brain. They educated me on severe brain trauma and counseled me through the reality that if/when my husband woke up, it was very likely he wouldn’t be “him” anymore.

The thoughts that wouldn’t leave my mind were, “But we were just sharing our favorite pizza. We were just heading home to see the kids. He just told me he was alive.”

I later followed a nurse up to the tenth floor, the ICU. At the time, I didn’t realize that little room, room 10113, would become my temporary home. I didn’t know I would do more praying in that room than I ever had before. I was unaware of the continued miracles I would witness there and of the love that would be shown to us. That I would be touched by the selflessness of so many who were working tirelessly to usher us through this. The unsung heroes who loved on our kids and our people and picked up our scattered pieces outside the hospital walls and the nurses who worked fervently inside them.

I sat next to Brent in that room and held his hand while he slept. I cried and asked him to stay with me. To stay him and stay with me. And I begged God to help him do that.

Three days later, Brent woke up. Smart, kind, funny Brent. Before they even removed his breathing tube, he gave me a wink. The wink. The wink he’s given me since we were dating. In the past, that wink always said “I see you and I love you” but that day, it also said “It’s me.”

I can’t explain the emotions and the gratitude I found in that moment. I find myself going back and re-feeling it, putting myself there over and over again. There was a new sweetness added to my life there. A level of thankfulness I hadn’t reached up to that point.

I have whispered “thank you” to God for a multitude of reasons since that wink. “Thank you for these miracles. Thank you for family and friends and strangers who love in ways that aren’t even humanlike. Thank you for police officers and fire fighters and doctors and nurses. And thank you for being beside me through this.”

Like the man squeezing that bottle over Brent, it was Him who kept me breathing.





To those who have lost a friend or sibling whose life was too short, I mourn with you. The shock and pain of having someone by your side one day and finding out they won’t be the next is immense. I know you must feel robbed of many things on their behalf and I am so sorry for your loss.

To those who have lost a parent, I cry with you. I haven’t walked through this, but I imagine the difficulty doesn’t take note of how young or old you are. Whether you were the caretaker or still the one being cared for, it’s painful and difficult and I’m so sorry for your loss.

To those who have lost a spouse, right now I weep with you as I just recently caught the smallest glimpse of what you’ve experienced. When you linked arms with your husband or wife on your wedding day, this isn’t what you pictured. The lifetime of memories you had dreamed up with this person have been replaced by excruciatingly difficult circumstances and I am so sorry for your loss.

To those who have lost a child, I ache for you as I write this. When I try putting myself in your shoes, I can’t breath. My heart and my eyes sting when I imagine how your arms must long to hold them, even if it’s just one more time. What you would give to hear one more giggle. To share one more hug. To say one more thing. I am so sorry for your loss.

In early September of 2016, Brent and I walked through our biggest loss up to this point. I’m sure I will write about it eventually, but as for now, I still haven’t come up with the words needed. In the tender days and weeks following, we had a small community of close friends and family who gathered around us and ushered us through. They delivered meals and flowers and hugs and cards and they spoke words they thought were small. But those words were big. They were life-giving.

All of this to say, I hope you can find life in these following, small words.

If you’ve been told the lie that God let this “happen for a reason,” I am so sorry. I wish I could have been there for you in that moment. To stand beside you and protect you from that.  We live in a world that is broken and some things that happen are just broken and terrible things.

Can God bring beauty and life from broken things? Yes.

Does He sit around, devising plans of severe pain to teach you a lesson or show you a reason? No.

My prayer for all of you is that you would feel and hear what I did this past September:

In the midst of the pain and loss we were experiencing, I felt the gentle hand of our Creator on my back. While crying over me like a father over his hurting child, He whispered, “I never meant for it to look this way. I never wanted you to feel this. That wasn’t my plan. I want to redeem this for you. I want to bring beauty from this. But please know I never meant for it to look this way.”




This little food-y murder scene showed up on my bedroom floor a few weeks ago. I walked over it about 7 or 28 times before it caught my full attention. How long had it been there? Lord knows.

Throw this starchy vegetable massacre at me in early November and I would most likely put together an all-hands-on-deck-this-means-business-no-more-corn-until-your-hair-is-gray family lecture.* It would be accompanied by charts communicating the location of trash cans in our home (one of them actually opens for you when you walk near it, making it virtually impossible to not be aware of it’s location) and graphs showing the percentage of delicious, golden kernels that can reasonably be left on a cob to be deemed ‘complete’. The proper answer is zero percent so imagine with me a slice-less pie graph, a bar-less bar graph and the like.

BUT, catch me in late July aaaaaaand it’s kind of awesome.

In place of a lecture, I go all ‘Ron Burgundy’ on my kids. “What? You pooped in the playhouse, flushed six dimes and a Shopkin, AND you managed to dig this out of the fridge then drop it like it’s hot on my bedroom floor?! Heck, I’m not even mad; that’s amazing.”

In truth, I tend to think I’m going to hold it together during the three months when our hemisphere takes a bow to the sun. I spend the several weeks prior dreaming up plenty of routines and schedules like ‘Make Something Monday’ & ‘Time to Read Tuesday’–I mean, if that doesn’t scream “This will be the summer of your dreams!” I don’t know what does. Gag. me.

And then, without fail it happens. The mid-summer switch flips.

A time of year when schedules go out the dirty window, daily fruits and vegetables are replaced by 1st popsicle and 2nd popsicle, and “educational play time” turns into straight-up screen time (because watching Daniel Tiger is basically the same as going to school and church at the same time, am I right?!)

Aside from the example pictured above, there have been multiple happenings in the last month that are only further proof of this phenomenon taking place.

Here is the condensed list:

  • I stopped wiping faces. I swear my kids have tan lines in the shape of crumbs and milk mustaches.


  • My son pulled his Spider-Man skivvies down to his ankles and peed in the middle of the yard. At the neighborhood yard sale. And at a BBQ. And at every park this side of the Mississippi.


  • I was making the kids PB&J for lunch yesterday and, after spreading the peanut butter, realized we were out of jam. I unashamedly subbed it with this. IMG_1919


  • One or more of us showed up shoeless at the following locations:
    • Costco
    • Coffee shop
    • Church
    • The hardware store (where ALL things sharp are just waiting to be stepped on)
    • More birthday parties than I can count


  • Going swimming = Taking a bath


  • One of the chores on our daily chart is to clean the playroom. It has looked like this for about one trillion days. (Not pictured: sippy cup of spoiled chocolate milk on the play kitchen. Because I wanted to walk away from this post with the teensiest bit of dignity.)IMG_1918


I could go on, but I’ll spare you.

All of this to say, post mid-summer switch is good. It’s stinkier, sweatier, sidewalk chalkier than regular ol’ summer and I truly think it’s where some of the best memories are made.


Much Love,



*If my children take after their father, they would be ready to partake of corn again at age 16. Sorry, Love. I had to.







I’m not normally one to brag, but I received an award today. It was dropped from the top of the stairs where our eight year old daughter resides. Like an autumn leaf, it softly fluttered and floated, landing perfectly at my feet. Precious.

I bent down to pick it up, expecting the usual, “i am sory for havin a bad aditude” or the famous, “Londyn loves mom and dad and wants to come downstairs now.” Instead, I found the first certificate of achievement I’ve earned since my college days:

Worst. Mom. Ever.

Actually, it said “Worst mom! Ever!” which is even more impressive (not to toot my own horn or anything). It’s like she started out by just giving me the ‘worst mom’ label, but then decided to up it by tacking ‘ever’ onto the end. Not only am I currently the worst mom living on this lovely blue planet today, but I’m actually the worst ever. Past, present, and future–I tagged ’em and bagged ’em all in one day.

How did I go about earning such an award, you ask? I have to tell you, it didn’t come easily.  It took plenty of effort and training, but it really paid off in the end. My steps to success looked something like this:

1.  Plan for a lemonade stand on the same day as the neighborhood yard sale (because an unnamed eight year old said that’s the ‘best day ever‘ to have a lemonade stand)

2. Visit my absolute least favorite store (okay…so we know where she gets her extremism) to purchase items for said lemonade stand.

3. Prepare treats for the lemonade stand after being told the customers will be hungry.

4. Stay up late saran-wrapping said treats for famished lemonade stand customers.

5. Wake up at ungodly o’clock to set up lemonade stand (whilst same unnamed eight year old lies in my warm bed).

6. Run inside searching for quarters when lemonade customers are only packing large bills. Bless their little souls.

7. Supervise lemonade stand while it’s mini manager runs across the street with her friend to check out a yard sale (because everyone wants to purchase lemonade from a full-grown human on the side of the road).

8. Begin to feel raindrops and let the incredible hubby and brother in-law close up shop.

And finally, the kicker…

9.  Let the precious little muffin cup know that, although she has fresh lemonade dough burning a hole in her pocket, we will not be able to visit more yard sales because it’s now raining like cats and dogs my favorite scene in The Notebook and everyone is closing early.

And just like that, I was nominated for the prize. The gold was in step number 9.

What really drove me to the top, the clincher you could say,  was when I sent her to her room after hearing, “This is the worst day…(you guessed it) EVER.” It was just a few minutes later that the award was bestowed upon me like manna from heaven.

And it made me smile.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of days where this would have crushed me or put me over the top. And, let not your minds be troubled, I won’t encourage her actions by letting her know I’m smiling. We will talk with her about being grateful and not using words to hurt others and how you’re only supposed to use one exclamation point per sentence and ALL the things. But for right now, I’m just letting it make me smile.

Because I know she’s confident that a silly little note won’t make me stop loving her.

Because I know she doesn’t mean it.

Because I know she’ll be down here in a few minutes to hug me and tell me she doesn’t mean it.

Because underneath all that fire and fight is the sweetest little heart I’ve ever met. Ever.

Because today I’m remembering that my identity isn’t found in being her mom but that I find my identity in the One who knit her together.

Because if you’re going the be the worst at something, you might as well fight for the ever at the end.


Much Love,











My husband, daughter, and I landed back home last week after a stay in Ouanaminthe, Haiti. We went to visit our incredible friend, Brittany, who oversees a malnutrition center she started up at Danita’s Children (an orphanage we’ve had connections with for a few years now), and a sweet boy named Ricardo. Brent and Ricardo became buddies when Brent visited Danita’s three years ago. He’s been on our minds and hearts (and plastered all over our fridge) ever since.



On our first full day, we enjoyed spaghetti from a breakfast buffet and later had eggs and toast for dinner. I love this on so many levels. Even though it was a perfectly normal meal lineup for Haitians, it made us feel crazy and spontaneous like when we were in college eating cold pizza in the morning and cereal late at night. It was like we were making a statement by rebelling against our own cultural norm (“Well look who just switched up the two most important meals! Take that…Mom and Dad? America?”).

Brent and our friend, Tim, who was traveling with us stayed in bunkbeds above the medical center and Londyn, our 8 year old daughter, and I got to stay with Brittany, her two daughters, and thirty of the girls living at the orphanage. It was a party. I loved the revolving door of girls coming through 24/7. I loved getting to watch my friend speak life into them and shape them by saying the hard things that moms say to their daughters because they love them. Watching her with those girls, the babies in the malnutrition center, the moms of the babies, the nurses, and everyone in between left me utterly speechless. So much love and life poured out by one single person. She’s such a sweet glimpse at the heart of Jesus.


Londyn took to Haiti like a fish takes to water. No joke. Barefoot, braided hair, mango in one hand a darker hand in the other–that’s a glimpse of Londyn’s entire visit. She was ALL about it. Loving life. She went to school with her new BFF, Marie, and experienced full days of classes taught in Creole. She ate rice and beans, homemade popsicles, fried plantains and chicken from a stand on the side of the road. She learned new recess games and how to dig up tarantulas. She drew pictures for her Ricardo and got to deliver them in person. She clung to babies in the malnutrition center and read them stories and tickled them until they giggled like crazy. Her heart took on the shape of Haiti.

During our visit, Londyn said she wished she were an orphan so she could stay there forever because she loved it so much. I wasn’t even offended.

I did’t know it at the time, but the little meal shakeup at the beginning of our time there, that act of basically turning the day upside-down by what we ate, paints a great picture of the shift that happened to my idea of what this trip would be.

I was expecting to go and be saddened by what I saw. To want to scoop up every child at the orphanage and bring them home with me. To bring them to the land of hope and opportunity. To show them what family is.

You guys, I was SO wrong. I was so upside-down.

Those kids know what family is. They are family. They walk alongside one another through every season of adolescence and they share everything. We had Ricardo and another boy named Lukinson over to for lunch one day and I had miscounted as I was dishing everyone up. I handed out all of the plates and poor Lukinson was left without one. I scurried over to Brent and Londyn before he noticed and scooped some of their lunch onto a new plate for him and as I did, I heard Ricardo whisper, “Can you give him some of mine too”?

NOT “you can”…but “can you.”  There’s a vast difference. I learned a little lesson about truly loving family well in that moment.

Every single one of them has lost someone and something…most have them have lost many someones and somethings, and they are there for each other through all that comes with that kind of pain. Speaking a language of loss and love. It was beautiful to see.

And when it comes to the hope and opportunity I was sure I’d be wishing upon them, come to find out, they have too. The leadership at Danita’s just blew us away.  They are truly equipping these children to become a generation that changes everything. They are casting  a vision of hope for Haiti and providing practical opportunities for those precious kids to do huge and amazing things. The heart behind it all is so pure. They are loving God and loving His children. They are the real deal. We feel honored to have gotten to see it all in motion.

All in all, we loved our time. Haiti, you made fans out of us. Tarantulas and all.



Here’s something about me: I grew up as a shy and quiet kid. Of course, to my family and those who knew me well, I was your average 7-year old chatter box. But to anyone not in that circle, I was painfully quiet and did my best to dodge any kind of extra attention.

I would force my younger sister ask the store clerks where to find the restroom because if I asked them, they would know I was the one who had to pee. I would rather have died or peed in my skort (shout out to the 90’s) than ask on my own. Geez. That saintly sister of mine always went along with it because she’s a bold and brave soul. Moving mountains one restroom request at a time.

I don’t know what happened or where the turning point was, but I now find myself chatting with Every. Living. Creature. People at the grocery store, doctor’s office, gas station, airport, public restroom…no one is safe. And speaking of airports, I’m everyone’s worst nightmare on an airplane. I’m the reason those ridiculously large headphones (a.k.a. the international symbol for “I don’t want to talk”) exist.

Don’t get me wrong, I still turn a bright shade of pink and sweat an ungodly amount when I have the eyes of a crowd on me. That’s a different ballgame. I’m talking about the one-on-one, chatting it up in the candle aisle at Target sort of thing. That’s where I come alive.

That is my jam.

With this social switch also came a large dose of my father’s sense of humor–which is wonderful because he’s the funniest person on the planet (although, I’ve been told by my family that I’m the only one who votes him into that title). My husband is often rolling his eyes while I’m hysterically laughing because I just said the “wittiest thing ever.”

So there it is, I think I’m hilarious (even if my dad is the only one in agreement), and I’m constantly trying to fling that into conversations with complete and utter strangers.

Last night, after a long trip to Costco, I made a comment to the lady marking my receipt as I was leaving. I don’t even remember what I said or if I was even trying to get a laugh. I most certainly wasn’t using my best material.

She stopped me and said, “You’re funny. I like funny ladies. Thank you for being a funny lady!”

You guys, it encouraged me to my core.

The truth is, I’m really NOT that funny. Like on a scale of 1 to 10, I’m an iffy 1.25. I actually tend to teeter a little more toward obnoxious than humorous but I’m okay with it. However, the fact that that teeny, little Costco lady called me out–that she thanked me for being funny…it made my week.

And it got me thinking too.

With all of the random little convos I get myself into, I was encouraged to be one who calls people out like that. To say something kind when it comes to my mind. To see something in someone and thank them for it. Praying that big things can happen in these little things.

So thank you, Costco, for the splendid deals on apples, milk, and toilet paper. And an even bigger thank you for the encouraging life lesson wrapped up in a precious, little receipt checker.





My daughter’s class went on a field trip this week and I volunteered to chaperone for the following reasons:

1. She turned eight last Thursday and it did something weird to me. Like, all of a sudden I’m a total mathlete when it comes to how much time we have before each milestone (“One hundred weeks until she’s in the double digits!” and “Lordy, she’s half of a licensed driver!”). I can’t stop scrolling through pictures and videos of when she was tiny. You guys, I keep petting her face. I’m telling you, I’ve gone WEIRDO. This explains why I viewed chaperoning as an opportunity to soak up a few more hours of the 85,200 that I have left to raise her (I’m telling you-mad mathletic skills).

2. Venturing anywhere other than Target or Costco these days feels the best kind of wild and crazy (not that I would ever dream of replacing your spots in my heart, Costco & Targ. Hugs to you both. I’ll see you after nap time!).

The students were field tripping to the high school just down the road to study agriculture and here are a few things I learned:

1. When you’re in second grade, a lesson in agriculture looks like this: hold a baby chicken, hold a baby pig, play with robots, form tissue paper into a flower, eat some toast. Boom. The future suddenly holds 21 farmers from Mr. Hernandez’s class. I mean, who wouldn’t want to farm after that? Even I went home and started Googling barns.

2. A healthy chicken’s body temperature is between 102-104º.

3. Baby pig poop is as awful as it sounds. Those little bacon seeds know how to clear a room. My heart actually softened a bit toward Fern’s dad in Charlotte’s Web. I may have second guessed Wilber myself if I was constantly cleaning up that business.

4. Kids today can watch a real life robot move around the room and NOT freak out. They are more impressed by a crazy mom who keeps squealing and referring to The Jetsons (figuratively speaking, of course) than they are by an actual robot.

5. It is fully possible for a small person to lose their coat twenty six times in a 3 hour window.

6. As an eight year old, it is socially acceptable to adjust a wedgie and indulge in the occasional nose pick.

7. Teachers are too incredible for words. They can juggle the individual needs of 20+ students and still find time to thank you for volunteering to eat toast and hold tiny animals.

8. The sense of wonder found in a child is contagious. Robots aside, everything else becomes so much more fascinating when you see it through their eyes.

9. When a second grader asks you how old you are, that is NOT the time to dig for a compliment. When you tell her to guess and hope that she, in her naiveté, will say 16, 19, or 24, she will most definitely guess  39, 47, and 52. No worries kid. You’re only off by the entire lifespan of a college student. Whatevs.

10. And finally, I have a reflex that I have never noticed until this field trip. Every time my daughter slips her hand into mine, I whisper “thank you” under my breath. She’s heard me before and has tossed out a chipper “you’re welcome.” But what my daughter doesn’t know (and may not until she’s on a second grade field trip with her own kiddo) is that I’m not actually talking to her.

God, thank you for this precious little life.

Thank you for her contagious sense of wonder.

And thank you for letting today not be the day she decides she’s too big for this.


So there you have it. It pays to volunteer as a chaperone. You’re never too old to learn new things on a field trip.

Even when you’re 39, 47, or 52…

Like me.







I sometimes feel bad for Tuesday. The poor thing typically gets a bad wrap. It’s unrightfully seen as the “armpit” of the week, am I right?

Tuesday can’t measure up to the attention Monday gets from dramatic haters and it fades in comparison to the Hump Day chants lifted up to Wednesday in offices everywhere.

It’s like the unintentionally forgotten third child (not that I’ve ever forgotten my third child…today). “Let’s see, we have Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and crazy ol’ Saturday…are we missing somebody? I feel like we might be missing somebody…”

But Tuesdays are kind of awesome around here.

They start at 5 AM (not the awesome part) when my husband leaves for a small group (yes, there are actually multiple people who are up before the sun. I didn’t believe it at first either). At about 7:12 AM, that same husband waltzes back in, suddenly looking like a superhero and carrying a cardboard box full of Spudnuts (if you don’t know what Spudnuts are, my heart actually breaks for you). I swear our neighbors wake up consistently at 7:12 every Tuesday morning to the “DONUT DAY!!!!!” screams that come from our house. Sorry Bob and Trudy. Much love to you.

I’m not sure if it’s the deliciously glazed potato-flour pastries that make the morning so spectacular, or if it’s the fact that we’re all in the kitchen together, smiling with chocolate-ringed lips on a day that is usually deemed insignificant. Either way, we’re in love with mornings like this.

So raise a donut to Tuesday. Treat yourself. Treat your family. Find something to make it stand out against the other 6 days. They’ve already found their glory, man.

And listen up, Tuesday. Thanks for being awesome. I can’t speak for everyone–but in our house, you’re a real fave.


P.S. Remember that little blip about never forgetting my third child? Well…EastLake Tri-Cities - Worship Night-65