We Need A Little Christmas

Jr is earning stickers on his “good choices chart” toward the goal of setting the Christmas decorations up for the season.  The kid loves him some Christmas decorations, so the incentive to make good choices and fill that chart is strong.

I am glad, and I am being very generous in rewarding those good choices, because I REALLY want him to get there.

Frankly in this family, to borrow from one of my favorite Broadway show-tunes: We need a little Christmas, right this very minute.

Actually, I think we need a Christmas explosion to  spread throughout this house – we need every reminder of the joy of this season, and why we celebrate it.  We need the togetherness, the songs, the warmth, and the reason to recall and be consumed by the love of a God who sent his son to be born in a barn and save the whole world.

The last few months have been kind of a lot.  Heck, the last year has been kind of a lot.  Good and bad, but very fast paced and intense.  I feel like we are all on overload – puzzle pieces that should fit together, but we are all turned just slightly in opposite directions or something.  A kiddo who is growing up fast and parents who are trying to help him navigate big kid joys and frustrations, with varying degrees of success.  New interests and activities and friends intertwining with the older ones, changing schedules, all whirling around each other.

Like I said, it’s been a lot.

Christmas always brings the focus back to everything central and important – family, community, giving to others….  and most of all, the story of Christ’s birth.

I am ready to see my sweet boy playing with his manger, eager to hear him asking for us to read the Christmas story over and over, longing to see his sweet face by candlelight at Christmas eve service.   I am so ready to just bring it all back to that.

Have you seen Star From Afar ?

I love the idea of it, and I am considering adding it to our family Christmas traditions – too cute.  You hide the star in a different spot each day, and as your kiddos find it, they move the wisemen to it. You can share some scripture as a family each night, and on Christmas eve you move it to the top of the manger so that Christmas morning the wisemen come to the end of the journey.   Such a simple but powerful way to bring the story to life, isn’t it?

Come on kiddo – earn those last few stickers, I cannot bring myself to Respect The Turkey this year.  I am bursting to bring the light and the love and the healing of Christmas into our home, and our hearts.




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Filed under Thoughtful Thursdays

Each day, begin again.

I guess I have Timehop to thank for my being here now.
For months I have seen past SOP posts popping up on my TimeHop feed via links I had posted on Twitter or Facebook, and each time I sigh wistfully as I read a piece of my past. My heart has been so called to break the silence here – but self-doubt can be an unbelievably loud internal voice.
“It’s been too long. No one cares. Leave it as it is. Who are you, at this time above all others, to take on more and speak to a relationship with God?”

It is that last one that kept me most away – but also that finally today brings me back.

This week I found myself Googling “Praying for my angry son.”
Praying. For. My. Angry. Son. On GOOGLE. On THE INTERNET.

It isn’t laziness. It is desperation. It is also, I quickly realized, the ultimate expression of self-doubt.
In the past few weeks, my sweet son has been so often full anger; of something pent up and out of his four-and-a-half-year-old range to process. It is frustrating to deal with extreme tantrums, sure. It is also heartbreaking to not be able to help.

I have prayed. Oh how I have prayed – for insight into him, for peace within him, for a wine truck to crash in to a liquid cheese truck in front of my house and spill their contents on to my lawn after a particularly rough bedtime. (Just kidding…. No serious.) I have prayed with him, I have prayed while holding him on my lap so he didn’t hurt himself (or us) as he raged. Endlessly have I prayed.

Then I stopped. This week I stopped. Because all of the different practices and distractions and rewards and punishments I have tried have fallen short of helping my sweet, angry son. So why, WHY, would I think that my prayers would fall any less short. Now my heart knows that this is just not at all the way it works, but it was full of sadness and the shame of failing my child.
My head ? My head always goes right for Google.

My search showed I was not in a vacuum – there was a good amount of content out there. Being reminded that the human experience is not one of isolation is comforting. It snapped something inside of me as well – the cloud of shame lifted a bit, and I could see the light at my feet again. I could see that broken and praying for my son is enough. I could see that who I am now is enough to speak it here.
I don’t have to know the right way or the right time. It is His way. His time. Each moment is a chance for renewal. My prayer today has been about giving thanks for the possibilities.

So we begin again.

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Filed under Empowering the Spirit

Or not.

SOP has been purposefully silent this summer.

You see – I acomplished what I thought I set out to do when I started SOP – I improved my family’s situation:  Had Jr,  Moved us to a new casa where I felt safe and secure and welcome,  Got myself an appropriately upwardly mobile shiny new job…  mission acomplished.

Kind of wasn’t sure there was more to say.

Like I said in one of the last few posts – get in alignment with God’s plan and watch those doors fly open, right?

Maybe.  Maybe constant trials really are God’s plan for us.  It never says anywhere that if you follow Him everything will be rainbows and unicorns and sunny-every-day fabulousness.

We are teetering on the precipice of a life altering setback that we have no way of preventing.

I am lost in admittedly selfish panic and adrift in a sea of hurt and shame and sadness.

I look at my son and I worry that I can’t give him what he needs.

I see my plans and our work and my hope crumbling – I don’t know if anything can save it.

I don’t think I ever really embraced the meaning of the verse that this blog was named for – doubt creeps constantly into my faith.  Not doubt of His existence, but almost constant doubt of His plan.

All I want us to do now is to concentrate on giving our son what he deserves and needs.  At this point I think that hoping for more is a fool’s errand.

I want so much to be wrong, but it feels impossible from where we are.


Filed under Uncategorized

When exactly is it…

When exactly is it that we stop understanding the truth of the world, instinctively in our souls, as we do when we are children?

Sweet little Noah never will.  His family is in my prayers tonight – and I have been reminded of what has to be The Truth because of his sweet little eternal soul.


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Filed under Be in prayer


The Tree House has been under contract for a few weeks now, and we have been frantically searching for the next casa for the fam, and ALMOST hitting the mark with a few places.  (But ALMOST really doesn’t cut it when you are talking about where you are going to live at least through your 1year old’s college, so….)

Yesterday we found THE house.

I got girly and ran around taking extra pics and getting teared up, The Hub told Alyssa The Wonder Realtor to “write up the offer.”

The trigger was pulled.

And then somewhere, at the bottom of the whole set up, someone in the chain started to pull at a thread in the fabric of the whole thing.

By last night we were facing the horrifying and heartbreaking fact that it seemed everything was slipping away from us, just when it was so close we could practically reach out and touch it – grab it and pull it to us and make it ours.

So we wait. Half in mourning, half in shock – but not nearly numb enough and touchy like raw exposed little nerves.  Moving and existing in a space we were already thinking of as someone else’s and holding our collective family breath.

Praying, crying, clock-watching – hoping we aren’t really watching all the plans we had for our family slipping away out of our grasp and off to a place where reaching them is next to impossible.

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Filed under Be in prayer

Oh, and there is this too…

Jr is walking.  He has taken a few steps here and there on his own, but he is mostly still holding on to things.  But that does not stop him from walking all over.

And he is starting to talk.

And I think it is making him not want to sleep.  EVER.


Well, really it is that he doesn’t want to slow down to go to sleep.

Rocking in the rocking chair had become part of our routine since he learned to stand on his own, since every night after that looked like high holy mass in his crib – he would sit, kneel, and stand over and over again, and I would sing and pray.  A lot.

So rocking worked for us – stories in the chair and rocking and cuddling was the ticket.  But now it is a new sport in our house, Rocking Chair Wrestling.

And mommy loses every night.

I think it is time to move on to find the next “something” that works for the final parts of the bedtime routine – and I think it is probably going to involve some crying for Jr, and probably for me.

It is SO trying being in the nursery, sitting in that chair with him, just praying so hard that he will drift off to sleep.  He is so tired, and frankly at this point by the time he actually falls asleep he is over tired from an hour of being up and pushing with his little limbs against anything he can feel to push on.

So hard.

I am starting to dread bedtime every night, because I know it is going to be a battle.  :(

I am fairly anti-Ferber – but I also want to foster a little independence on the journey to sleepy town.  I doesn’t help that I seem to have packed my copy of “the No Cry Sleep Solution” in the pre-market packing frenzy at The Tree House.


So tired.


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Filed under Day to Day


When you get in alignment with God’s plan for you – it is almost dizzying how fast everything starts to fall in line.

For years I struggled in the wrong direction – and then one day it hit me that I was trying for things I no longer wanted in a place I no longer wanted to be.

We made a new plan and I prepared to begin struggling up that path as well.

BUT NO – doors opened, opportunities lined up and in the blink of an eye I am at a new job in my home town, the Tree House is under contract, and we are searching for the perfect little house to within sneezing distance of where I grew up to become home for our little family.


Just wow.


(but please excuse the absence – just trying to get myself and the fam migrated over into the whole new world.)  :)


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Filed under Day to Day, Empowering the Spirit

Dear Tree House

Dear Tree House,

I love you.

And I actually (for how much I say it,) don’t say that lightly at all.

You’ve been the best house, and it was totally a love affair between me and you from the moment you became our home.

Sure, we had another “married” home before you – but not one we picked together.  Not one where I was considering someone else when I thought “this is PERFECT.”

You have been so perfect for us.

Your flowing floor plan has embraced countless friends as we celebrated birthdays, holidays, and Saturdays-with-no-other-good-reason.

Your high-and -lonesome location way above street level has allowed us to woop it up with burgers and dogs on my supah sweet Patio Caddy (google it, highrise folks, it will change your life,) and also to close ranks and “raise the draw-bridge” in times of crisis.

I adore you.   I have from the second I walked into you and prayed that The Hub would love your generous, bright rooms, and GIANT balcony the way that I have – because I didn’t want to do without you.

I am not abandoning ship because I had this tiny person and everything I ever thought about you changed.

I adore you more than ever.

You are where my son lived the first year of his awesome life.  You are immortalized in my mind.  I will drive him by – like my parents have done with our first little house on sweet little Mason Circle – and I will point towards your balcony and say “there was your first house, Jr.  I was SO proud of it, and of the family we grew while we were there.”

He will roll his eyes.  He will demand to go to the Cherry Cricket for burgers like I promised him.

And some day – long after – he will get it.   He will know that it was pretty cool that he was a total urban highrise kiddo back then.  He will marvel at my mad parallel parking skills the way that my best friend  Misty and I did the first time we came looking for my first apartment with my mom (who was raised in the city,) and she parallel parked the car in a tiny little city space like she was pulling a Yugo into a handicapped van space.  (we were mesmerized, I assure you.)

I digress.

You’ve been the best house.

Whoever buys you had better love you so much…  and know of your fabulousness.

Oh how I have loved you so.

You are the best house.  Let’s find you a fabulous next inhabitant so you can make fabulous memories for them too.

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Filed under Day to Day

Happy Birthday Jr!

From this:

and this:

To This:

And this:

Happy Birthday Junior – from the luckiest, proudest Momma in the whole wide world!


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Filed under Day to Day

How was this a year ago?

A year ago I was 3 days away from the arrival of Jr and I posted this (now semi-hillarious, considering the timing,) little ditty.

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Filed under Day to Day