Not caught in the goop

We have arrived at Crazy Time. Each year three of the five of us have birthdays.  Throw in Halloween, soccer, basketball, and international travel and we are heaving by the time November 2 hits.

20141011_161025_AndroidThe weather around here has been AH.MAZ.ING.  Seriously Colorado has delivered the BEST fall we could want.  Warm days, cool nights, lovely orangey leaves and no snow.  I am crossing fingers and toes that my North Face down jacket won’t have to make an appearance until January.

I have also transitioned from a consultant to a employee, taking me to Kenya in a few weeks.  I haven’t been there since 1994!

20141017_153053_AndroidAll this living has made me stop and think.  As part of Caroline’s confirmation homework, we as a family have to read the homework with her.  I have “cheated” a bit and listen to the chapters while running.  It amazes me that every time I hear something, I glean a thought I didn’t have when I read the same thing.

Caroline fielding ballI am so thankful for this busy time in our lives.  Each day the schedule changes. Matt and I recently looked at each other and said, “You know what, we are thankful that our schedule is NEVER the same. That means that we are living full and rich lives.”

Our kids are growing up before our eyes.  I am taking every single cuddle and sweet high pitch compliment from Desta, knowing that the preschool years are rapidly drawing to a close.

Tobin DefenseConversations with the olders are hard.  We speak of life gut awful things like a classmates mom’s having cancer and peers getting pregnant.  We have to talk about sexual assault commercials and guarding hearts.  Our kids have to grow up so fast these days.

We also get to cheer our kids toward greater things–soccer games, basketball (I LOVE that we have one player in our family!), math facts, pumpkin patch field trips and Halloween costumes.

It’s easy to get so muddled in the mess of life that the glory and good gets lost.

I’m not letting that happen today.  No, today is a day filled with the gift of family.  It’s filled with hard work and reward.  It’s pumpkin bread and chocolate chip banana muffins.  Life is good!


Friday List


It’s the first full week in October which means the race is on.

20140924_174720_AndroidTwo kid’s birthdays, fall parties, international travel for work, basketball and soccer season, band concert, school field trip…

Yep, it’s been a full week.

Today’s list includes hook ups to a few other lists.

  • I’d always wanted to attend an Oprah weekend.  After reading this, I feel  like I was there and saved myself $1000!  Hysterical.
  • Everyone seems scared of Ebola.  This article helps set the facts/myths straight.
  • I’m Tobin’s room mom this year.  Working on the fall party.  With a thousand allergies and a very tight budget, we’re doing this and eating this.
  • This song has been on repeat during my work hours.  I cannot get enough of the words.

  • Once again, Athleta comes through. These jeans are AMAZING.  and the price, winner!
  • I’ve started this new kettlebell routine this week.  I cannot lift my arms.
  • Her list is great.
  • Tobin ALWAYS asks for pie instead of cake for his birthday.  This pie made it on the table Wednesday night!
  • We’re making these this weekend.  Colorado has headed from summer to winter excluding fall.  I need fall colors around here!
  • I bought this oil at Whole Foods last week.  I cannot stop wearing it.
  • Her blog continues to inspire. Why do we make fun of things without first understanding? Cultural sensitivity at its finest!
  • This quote has been on my mind as I plan and think through our kid’s big birthdays this year…celebrating some HUGE milestones in their lives.quote



The 3 to 5 year theory

I’m headed home after a blitz trip to North Carolina. Celebrating my parent’s 45 years with SIM was a blessing and honor.  I was able to catch up with childhood friends as well as many “aunties and uncles.”

The morning of the ceremony, I had my speech prepared.  When I stood up front of all those who’ve walked this road with my parents; many having direct influences in my life, I became overwhelmed with emotion.

I am proud to say I did get through my tribute to my parents, though there was some snot blowing, warbled voice and long pauses throughout!

I had the privilege of spending some extended time with a family friend.  Eighteen years ago, while traveling for the mission, she was involved in a terrible car accident.  Her story is amazing; from how the Ethiopia people gathered around their car for the entire night, sleeping next to them to offer protection to how God allowed the light to remain just a bit longer to get a plane in to fly her out.

We talked about the surgeries, the recovery, the rehabilitation. I listened, amazed by her profound story of courage and hope.

Of the many things she shared, a few things stand out.  One in particular I’ve been mulling over in my brain.

As she began the painful, arduous therapy of living forever in a wheelchair, losing her ability to walk, they were told this.

“It takes 3-5 years to create a new normal after a life changing event.”

As she said those words, the first thing that popped in my mind was DESTA.

Desta first yearLosing your first parents, being placed in a new home, new language, new culture.  Being flown halfway around the world forever.  This is a life altering  event.

Here we are, 5 years later, feeling like breaths are finally being taken.  Five years later, laughter is more often heard than anger.  Five years later, routine is established.  While not perfect, while still struggling with bumps along the way, we no longer live in each moment, waiting for the Jekyll/Hyde roller coast of emotions to show.

20140924_175326_AndroidWe live in a world of RIGHT NOW.  We want everything to work out quickly. We don’t like pain and we certainly don’t like chaos. 

What if we lived in light of those therapist’s words; understanding that life altering events need to be slowly rewired?  

20140924_171909_AndroidAs I sat on the plane listening to this poor single mother absolutely frustrated with her loud one year old, I remembered those first day with Desta.

I wondered how she felt as she was placed in new arms; smells unfamiliar, touch different, even formula tasting odd.  Her whole world was turned upside-down.

For her, five years is not a long time.  It’s laden with layers of baggage, things she never asked to carry but has to.

I think we’ve all done a pretty stellar job of learning a new normal.  I’m no longer hitting myself up the side of my head.  I am no longer going to speak defeat and doubt.

Instead I am going to remember where we came from.  I’m going to celebrate how far we’ve come.  




I spent the day traveling to Charlotte.  I tried something new this trip.  I smiled at people and made eye contact.

Do you know how many people frown in an airport?  I hadn’t realized it until I started smiling.

Do you know that when you smile at people, they actually smile back?

Try it next time.

I’m here to celebrate with my parents– 45 years of missionary service with SIM International.  That’s a long time people!

They have lived in so many places, been on so many wild adventures (because we all know that when you live in Africa, there are lions in your backyard, you dwell in a mud hut and you definitely don’t eat real food right?), invested in so many lives.

It makes writing a 5 minute speech challenging to write.

So here I sit, googling as many proverbs and verses as I can in hopes that inspiration collides with succinct words.

Okay what I’m really doing is writing my thoughts down and sending the whole shebang to Matt.  He is an AMAZING writer and can always interpret my scrawls, helping me speak the words of my heart.

Bottom line tonight?  Make eye contact with people tomorrow.  Smile.  Think about your own legacy.  Write it down.  Say thanks.




My List

my list

  • This blog post is a reminder of the fragility of life. Dying gracefully.
  • We hiked in this park Wednesday–45 minutes from Colorado Springs with fall beauty spectacular.
  • This cake made another appearance this week.  Caramel frosting. C’mon now!
  • All things fall in Colorado Springs. Love this list!
  • I hit our local farmer’s market Wednesday.  The tomatoes are out of this world!
  • I love our local thriftstore. I love it even more when they have living social coupons. Thanks ARC!
  • I’m working on getting my photos on. Shutterfly has a great deal going right now–40% off books.
  • We watched this with Caroline.  Oh.My.Tears.
  • This burger looks amazing.  Black bean goodness.
  • OPI does it again. My current favorite color — DS Luxurious
  • Got my haircut.  Thank you Veda University Park for always coming through!
  • I leave you with this song.