first things first, I’m the realest…

WARNING: This post is graphic and not for the weak at heart.


There’s nothing quite like having a song stuck in your head and then realizing you have a platform to share that song.  Just about the time I thought my brain would burst with all the words I haven’t had an opportunity to put on paper in the last week, all the words started disappearing.  At some point over the last two days, in Ms. Pac-Man fashion, song lyrics started chomping away at all the beautiful things I planned to put on paper.  So, instead of having a brilliant opener to discuss the circle of life,  we’ll just have to settle for being fancy. ;)

Fancy or not, life is a doozy.  I’ve always been a big-picture kind of girl.  While pursuing my business degree I went the macroeconomics path.  When I begin a writing project I start with the overall theme and then fill in the details.  I rarely (if ever) catch the local news, but I can usually tell you what’s going on across several continents.  Being a big-picture kind of girl is downright painful at this point in history.  Humanity has watched in horror over the past few weeks as the world has embarked on a journey to hell in a handbasket.

War is everywhere.  Airplanes have fallen from or been shot from the sky.  ISIS may (or may not have) issued a fatwa ordering that all girls and women have their genitals mutilated.  The media is softening the perception of what happens in that process by calling it FGM.  I have nothing against acronyms.  But in this case, the acronym does not do justice.  It should be called what it is: Female Genital Mutilation. If it’s a foreign idea to you, click that link above and get educated.  It is barbaric and horrific and the fact that it still happens all across the planet just proves that mankind is still far from being civilized.

While chewing on all the big-picture ugliness I’ve been dealing with a few little-picture challenges.  For starters, our local school system has declared that the public schools can no longer meet the needs of our darling daughter.  The good news is that the county is going to pay for private placement at a local autism day school where her needs can be met.  Next, I’ve been pursuing a full-service publishing contract all summer.  It’s a long, drawn-out learning process and the biggest lesson has been that yeses to query letters do not always equal yeses to a book proposal.  I may have a business degree, but I do not like the business side of publishing and I’m kinda ready for this step in the process to be done already.  Lastly, a few months ago I shared that I had a biopsy done on my uterus.  This week I’m having the whole darn thing removed (my genitals will remain intact).  Over the last few weeks, as the world hopped in its handbasket, I’ve embarked on my own hellish journey.  My emotions have been all over the place.  Every little detail of life has been hard.

Lamentations 3:28-30 MSG When life is heavy and hard to take,
    go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
    Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
    The “worst” is never the worst.

I have talked to countless women who exclaim, “My hysterectomy was the best thing I ever did!”  When I ask them if they were sad or experienced grief before surgery, the common response is, “Yes.  It is so final.” or “Yes. I grieved the end of my fertility.”  With each of these responses I have resisted the urge to scream, “NO!! THAT’S NOT WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!!  I’M GRIEVING MY BABIES!!”

If you don’t know, my first two babies are not here.  The last place I had physical contact with them was in my womb.  Losing that place where five of my babies became life is what I’m grieving.  I know that I know that I know that I am done having children. Just the thought of caring for a newborn makes me need a nap.  Besides, if our family were to ever grow again it would be through adoption.  No.  I’m not sad about losing the ability to reproduce.  However, I am incredibly sad that the only home my first two babies lived in will soon be gone.

In all my sadness and in torrential rains I showed up at the hospital for my pre-op appointment.  My doctor told me in June that surgery would be on August 15th and her nurse called me to schedule the pre-op for the 12th.  About halfway through the pre-admission process I learned that the surgery is actually scheduled for the 14th.  As I tried to mentally process how to get everything that I planned to do over the next two days accomplished in only one, I missed the name of the young soldier who asked me to follow her to her office.  I was still trying to sort out our family calendar in my brain when I sat across from her and she began to laugh-cry. Like that crazy kind of laugh-cry that makes you wonder if you need to quickly move far away from someone or prepare to tackle them.  Her outburst of emotion immediately cleared the family calendar from my mind and made me wonder what I was witnessing.  In response to whatever crazy look I gave her she said, “I’m so sorry.  I’m four and a half months pregnant and I just felt my baby move for the first time.”  And so it goes…. the circle of life.

Because I really do care about each person who reads what I write, I will be gracious and replace the song in your head.  You’re welcome.  And… you’re still fancy. ;)



it’s all about perspective.

My dear hubby has two history degrees.  When we discuss “historical fact” I often push his buttons by reminding him that everything we know about history is based on perspective.  And… there are other perspectives than the one we usually accept as “fact”.

For three years we have lived in a house I adore that looks out over the Potomac River.  Quickly after moving in I established a 3.5 mile walking pattern and a 1.5 mile walking pattern.  I fight routine in every other area of my life, but when it comes to walking, I’m a creature of habit.  I leave my driveway and head south and continue to where I make a slight turn to the east and then quickly turn north.  I walk along the river, turn west, and then back south to my house.  Whether I’m walking the short route or the longer route, I have always gone in the same direction.

Until last week.  For three years, this has been the view as I travel south at the beginning of my walks… photo 4And this has been my view when I catch my first glimpse of the river… photo 1

Last week I decided to spice things up and head north out of our driveway.  That decision changed everything about my walk.  I actually noticed a house that I can’t ever remember noticing before.  The same spot where I’ve caught my first glimpse of the river for the last three years, was now the spot where it slipped from my sight… photo 2

Little did I know that last week I would have to work really hard to see things from a different perspective.  My new walk was really just a launch pad for how I would have to get through the week.

You see…

On Sunday our vacuum cleaner died (while cleaning the house for dear hubby’s birthday bash/pig roast).  On Monday, our second refrigerator died (filled with leftovers from the pig roast/birthday bash).  On Tuesday, our empty breaking-the-bank house in Georgia went on the market.  On Wednesday, the engine light came on in our only family vehicle.  On Thursday, dear hubby pulled the code and discovered that we’ve reached the end of the lifespan on our Honda Pilot’s transmission.  By Friday, I was throwing myself a not-so-pretty pity-party.

And then… I took a beating from the Apostle Paul.  Paul and I have often had a love/hate relationship.  My coming back to Christ as an adult was a direct result of realizing just what a bad guy Paul had been before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.  Jesus didn’t remind him of his screw-ups or ask him to do any sort of penance in order to be forgiven.  He simply told him to “Get up and go.”  That’s where my love affair started with Paul.  I’ve screwed up too.  A lot.  I required much grace and I was given much grace.  The flip-side of my relationship with Paul is that I think he has some serious issues with women.  His opinion that women should “Cover up and shut up.” did not sit well with me.  Until… I had a teenage daughter.

Even when Paul’s words bother me, there is one thing about his writing that is undeniable: The man had God-glorifying perspective.  While sitting in a prison cell that we can assume had no modern creature comforts, the man still managed to praise God and find ways to choose gratitude.  I have a confession, as hard as I try to be like Paul, I usually go the way of my walking pattern.  When walking through hard stuff, I have a tendency to see things from the most obvious perspective and totally miss out on what God is doing behind the scenes.  Please tell me I’m not alone!

But you know what?  God is always at work.

Long before we started draining our savings to carry two houses and while the vacuum cleaner, refrigerator, and transmission were all in good working order, my dear hubby and kiddos signed me up for a writers’ retreat at God’s Whisper Farm.  Today is day one of that retreat.

Here’s my attempt to be a little more like Paul, y’all:

I’m choosing to see green pastures and fur attached to farm animals as opposed to thinking about the dog fur I cannot vacuum off the floors in my house.

I’m choosing to be thankful that all the groceries I bought this week fit in the refrigerator in my kitchen and to be especially grateful that we have insurance that covered all the groceries we lost in our second refrigerator.

I’m choosing to turn up the radio and open the sunroof as I drive our new (to us) vehicle and not think about that bright orange engine light on the dashboard of the car in our driveway.

I’m choosing to be thankful that we had some savings that it made it possible to carry two houses for the last two months and to not think about how we will do it next month.

And… I’m choosing to see the next three days away as a date with my maker.

See.  It really is all about perspective.

Hoping that each of us finds countless opportunities to choose a God-glorifying perspective today.  Walk a new path.  Change history.  Count your blessings.  Give gratitude.  Rather than half-full, may your cup overflow.

Psalm 23:5… My cup overflows with blessings.





I published this post more than four years ago. It’s one I need to reread periodically. And who knows? Maybe you need to read it too.

Originally posted on Waving a White Flag:

You might want to sit down for this one.  I’ve got a week’s worth of purpose to find in this post.


Pronunciation: li-ˈji-tə-mət

Function: adjective
1 a: lawfully begotten; specifically: born in wedlock b: having filial rights
2: being exactly as purposed
3 a: in accordance with the law

This word and it’s many applications have been on my mind for quite some time.  My parents divorced when I was five years old.   I was born a legitimate child, but by definition, I was illegitimate from that point on.  I still had a Dad and I still had a relationship with him, but the minute my parents stopped living together, I lost my filial rights.

How’s that for a word of the day.  Just so you don’t have to open another tab and look up the meaning of filial (like I did), it’s…

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special families and “the church”

I’ve written before about my frustrations with “The Church” and it’s relationship with families that have children with special needs.  I’m not posting the links to those posts in this one because I included some raw emotions and I don’t want this to be a “bash the church” post.  Fact is: I LOVE THE CHURCH!  I love church.  I love communal worship.  I love a great sermon.  I love belonging to a group of people who share pain, victories, defeats, and faith.  I believe Proverbs 27:17 to be true.  We NEED to be surrounded by people who share our faith in order to grow!

All that being said, I do believe The Church (as a whole) has a loooong way to go in the way it cares for families in crisis.  I believe that if we as Christians are going to protest abortion, we need to support adoption and we need to support adoptive families after the fact.

Without saying anything more, I ask that you click this link and read what my friend Tara has to say on the matter.

fire is hot.


I’m in the process of writing a new post that won’t make much sense if you haven’t read this one. So read. And be blessed.

Originally posted on Waving a White Flag:

When my kids were little, during bedtime roundup, I would often say, “Shadrach, Meshach, and ToBedYouGo!” It’s a cute saying.  But after spending some time in the footsteps of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, I no longer use it lightheartedly. Those boys walked through fire. They may not have been burned when they came out and God may have been right there in the fire with them, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t experience the heat while they were in the furnace.

December 5, 2011 my husband returned to his job at the Pentagon after two weeks of leave. At the time he worked in a secure location where cell phones had to be left outside. An hour after leaving home he called me from his cell phone. I answered with a joking, “Why aren’t you at work?” Him – “I was fired.” Me – “Yeah, right. They can’t fire you…

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and it keeps getting better…

miracle-jar-cancer-freeOn top of basking in all the goodness of my hubby being exonerated and God giving our family a little time in paradise, we have something big to celebrate.  Five years ago today I received a phone call from my doctor that changed everything.  That phone call played a huge role in our faith that God would deliver on His promises during the last thirty months.  My doctor called to say that although she could not explain it, I was (still am) cancer-free.  Happy C-Free Day to me!!

I wrote a post a couple years ago about what cancer taught me.  I could probably add to this list, but the beach is calling my name. :)

Originally published June 18, 2012.

June 18, 2009 I paced my kitchen and wiped up every single fingerprint and crumb I could find.  Willing the phone to ring.  Willing the phone to ring.  Why wouldn’t the phone just ring?!?!

The call I was waiting on was one of those fork in the road calls.  After two years of living with thyroid cancer, I was about to find out if my summer would be spent undergoing surgery plus more radiation and isolation, or celebrating freedom from the big “C”.  The phone finally rang and the doctor said something like, “I can’t explain it, but you’re cancer-free.”  God will always get the glory for that moment.  I was healed.  I am healed.  I am cancer-free.

Since that summer day in 2009, I have had the opportunity to share what I learned on my cancer journey with a few other people battling it themselves.  The first thing I always say to someone recently diagnosed with cancer is this… If cancer doesn’t change your life for the better, it was a waste.  Hearing that I was cancer-free was a defining moment.  Hearing that I had cancer was a refining moment.  That’s what cancer should always be.  It should refine you.  For me, the physical healing that was confirmed on June 18th was simply a reflection of the spiritual and emotional healing that had taken place over the two years between my diagnosis and that phone call.  God used cancer to clean out my junk.  He took away layer after layer of scars and wounds until I was something worthy of being used by Him.  And then He set me on fire for purpose.  I don’t want to ever again lay my head on my pillow and wonder what my purpose was for the day I just lived.  Be it parenting, loving my husband, writing, cooking dinner, or weeding my garden, I want to live a life of purpose.

Now… all that gooey life-changing for the better stuff aside.  Here are a few unexpected bits of wisdom that came with thyroid cancer.

1. radiation + sunshine = instant age spots

2. iodine is in almost everything you eat (thanks to the 3-week low-iodine diet required before my annual scans)

3. What I once thought was my highest weight… Not even close!

4. I now know the exact weight when my muffin-top appears.

5. I now know the exact weight when my bought and paid for chest is a size bigger than I bought and paid for…. And two sizes bigger.

6. In the absence of a thyroid, without synthroid, it is actually possible to gain a pound a day while eating absolutely nothing.

7. The rut left in your neck when your thyroid is removed can actually help disguise all the weight gain mentioned above.

8. Every dentist office has a thyroid guard that can be used to protect your thyroid during x-rays.  Yet…not a single dentist I know of actually asks if you would like them to use it. ~ Soapbox moment: Federal law only requires dentists to have a thyroid guard in the office. There is no law requiring that it be used.  Helloooo?!?!

9. Once you’re placed in the cancer corral, you will forever hear a little voice suggesting that every ache or pain or odd feeling just might be….

10. There’s a lot of other really awesome people in the cancer corral that I may have missed out on if I had never been placed there myself.

So… what are your defining/refining moments?

fire is hot.

When my kids were little, during bedtime roundup, I would often say, “Shadrach, Meshach, and ToBedYouGo!” It’s a cute saying.  But after spending some time in the footsteps of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, I no longer use it lightheartedly. Those boys walked through fire. They may not have been burned when they came out and God may have been right there in the fire with them, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t experience the heat while they were in the furnace.

December 5, 2011 my husband returned to his job at the Pentagon after two weeks of leave. At the time he worked in a secure location where cell phones had to be left outside. An hour after leaving home he called me from his cell phone. I answered with a joking, “Why aren’t you at work?” Him – “I was fired.” Me – “Yeah, right. They can’t fire you. You’re an active duty Army officer.” Him – “I’m not joking.” He wasn’t.

For thirty months we scratched our heads, lost our minds, and came to the end of ourselves. We were thrown in a furnace and it was hot. onfire

My husband went to military school at age 14. He went to military college. He went straight from college to active duty and has worn a uniform to work every day since the summer of 1994. What started in him on December 5, 2011 was the extreme version of an identity crisis. Wives, if your hubby is in the middle of losing his identity, don’t get excited and tell him that you can’t wait for God to redefine him. Just don’t. Trust me.

What started in me that day was a different kind of crisis. Although he had been escorted from the Pentagon and had all of his keys and badges taken away, he was not told what he was accused of or who had done the accusing. The only information he was given was that he had indeed been accused of something and that he was under criminal investigation.

My crisis went the way of a writer’s imagination. My husband loves right and hates wrong. There is no gray in his world. He was working as the acquisitions adviser to the Army’s director of intelligence. The intelligence world and the government acquisitions world operate in the gray. I wish it wasn’t so, but it is what it is. My very black and white husband made quick enemies in that position and there were people who had much to gain financially by getting him (and his very loud Italian mouth) out of the office. So began my crisis.

In the first few months I wrote things in my journal like, “God, what are we going to do if he goes to prison?” I planned out what I would take with me if someone showed up and whisked us off to witness protection. I made sure our extended family knows that they are loved just in case we disappeared. I FREAKED OUT.

When the crises eased somewhat, depression set in. We stopped doing much or interacting with many people. We weren’t sure who we could trust and we didn’t feel free to share our situation with many people. So there we were. Together. All the time. Depressed. With little hope that anything would ever be okay again. We sat on the couch. We ate too much. We watched too much tv.

I used to think my love language was quality time. I was wrong. We’ve been together almost every minute, of every day, for THIRTY MONTHS. Any married person out there who thinks they want to spend every minute of every day with your spouse, you may be right. But I would not suggest that you initiate all that togetherness in the middle of a very hot furnace. When one of you is dealing with losing an identity that you have physically worn every day since you were fourteen years old and the other is freaking out over all the possibilities at the end of a criminal investigation, things can get downright ugly.

Somewhere around the twenty-month mark we received news that the investigation had been transferred from the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) to the Justice Department. As my husband freaked out internally and tried to keep me calm, well, I just freaked out. I’m not saying I actually did this, but I’ve heard of a woman who looked up what federal prison her husband would go to if he were to be convicted of a civilian crime by the US Department of Justice. I also heard that she calculated the distance to said prison from her home. And then looked at possible housing around said prison just in case she needed to move the kids there so that they could visit their Daddy in jail. Can you imagine? That woman must’ve had zero faith in the American justice system.

The same day that we hit the two-year mark (December 5, 2013), I received an email from an organization that provides therapeutic retreats for military families. We were chosen for one of their retreats in 2009, but we were unable to go because my hubby could not get the time off. When I opened the email, I cried. I had honestly forgotten all about the retreat, and I could not believe that God was giving us such an amazing gift at a time when we were so desperate for a little bit of hope. The icing on the getaway cake was that the organization providing the retreat was also offering to sponsor our travel to and from Colorado. And… they agreed to fly us out a few days before the retreat so that we could spend some time with my husband’s family. He grew up in Denver and many of his family members there have never met Sofija. For the first time, in a long time, we had something big to look forward to.

We planned our entire summer around the trip. Our teenagers found jobs that would allow them to take ten days off in June and we filled out the paperwork to withdraw Sofija from school a week before the end of the school year. The behavioral therapist that works with both of our stimmers began preparing them for flying and horseback riding. All the while, communication with the retreat organization was sporadic and giving me doubts as to whether or not it would actually happen.

Eleven days before we were scheduled to fly out, my husband was alone in a rental house we own in Columbus, Georgia. While waiting on contractors to prepare the house for sale, he received a phone call from an angel at the Army Inspector General’s office. He was calling to say that the Justice Dept. had found “no evidence to substantiate the accusations made against him”. No charges would be filed. All would be restored. He would walk out of the fire unscathed.

The next morning I received an email from the retreat organization saying that someone was calling that day to finalize our travel arrangements. God’s timing is so frickin’ unbelievable.

But… that phone call never came. For the next week none of our phone calls or emails were returned. Two days before we were scheduled to travel we received a phone call from the founder of the organization. They screwed up. Someone/multiple people dropped the ball. The retreat was overbooked and they had no space for our family.

For four days we processed our emotions. Processing emotions for us looks a lot like exchanging nasty email and phone calls with the people who dropped the ball. It wasn’t pretty, but we’re human. After being told that they were trying to “make it right”, I sent a message that simply said, “The only way to make this right is to honor your word. We have two teenagers who planned their entire summer around this trip, two children with autism who keep asking why we didn’t get on a plane and go to Colorado, and military leave that cannot be restored.” The recipient of that message responded with six round-trip tickets anywhere that JetBlue flies. An hour later, we had flights booked to one of the few places that had six seats open on the same day… Puerto Rico.

So here we sit, 35,000 feet above the Atlantic ocean, marveling over the fact that God truly does restore all that is lost.

When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked out of the fire, King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished to see that they were not burned. He had asked his groupies to make the fire three times as hot as it’s normal heat and then watched those groupies burn up in the process of throwing the boys in the furnace. He also witnessed that although only three people were thrown into the fire, there were four in the furnace. When the boys stepped out, King Neb proclaimed that their God was indeed the one true God. He promoted them and gave orders that they should be exalted. God had taken what was intended for their destruction and used it for their increase. He did the same with Job. And the same with Joseph. For thirty months, when we weren’t in crisis or depressed, we’ve claimed that this was my husband’s Joseph season. That all that was lost would be restored in multiplicity. That someday he would have the chance to bless his military brothers who set out to destroy him.

We are out of the fire. We are not burned. God was ALWAYS with us, especially in the ugly. We are ridiculously excited about the future. If God could replace our lost retreat with a week in paradise, He must certainly have an A-MA-ZING plan for my husband’s career.

To each and every person that has stood by us and prayed for us and drug us off the couch and spoke hard truth to us, thanks isn’t a big enough word. I’m not certain that I/he/we would have survived this journey without God using you in our lives.

Now for a little time in paradise. :) flamenco-beach





Monday Mayhem



1.  Law. the crime of willfully inflicting a bodily injury on another so as to make the victim less capable of self-defense or, under modern statutes, so as to cripple or mutilate the victim.
2.  random or deliberate violence or damage.
3.  a state of rowdy disorder:

See that third definition?  The one in bold print?  Yeah, I’ve got a lot little of THAT going on mentally today.  It’s not yet 11am and I have already started and walked away from at least ten different tasks.  While loading the dishwasher I noticed a dish towel that needed to go to the laundry room.  Tossing the towel in the laundry room I realized I had not yet folded the clothes I dried last night.  Attempting to clean my bathroom I picked up a pair of yoga pants.  After putting away the yoga pants I spotted the basket of clean laundry at the foot of my bed.  Before I could empty the basket I realized that Seth only had an hour before his BCBA arrived and I needed to get him to knock out an exam.
So….  Half of my dishes are in the dishwasher.  Half the clean clothes are folded.  My bathroom is not quite half clean and there is a half-empty basket of laundry at the foot of my bed.  Get the picture?
My counselor said I may be ADHD.  I don’t think she knows what she’s talking about.
In the midst of half-completing my to-do list, I’ve also had some heavy things occupying space in my mind.  So many people I care about are walking through hard things.  So many are feeling a little forgotten by God …
While wrestling with my own God-abandonment, I ran into a local Christian bookstore that was going out of business.  The place was a mess and I didn’t feel like digging so I just grabbed a couple of things that were on top of piles and left.  One of those things was a new phone case that says, “Blessed”.  As I was putting the case on my phone I spotted the fine print….
photo(21)Luke 1:45 “You are blessed because you believed that God would do what he said.”
One of the other things I grabbed off the top of a pile…
I may have trouble conquering my to-do lists, but God never has trouble conquering His.
Just by believing that God will do what He says, we are blessed.
I may be just a little ADHD.

the bitter, the sweet, the laughter…

Warning: This post contains bad words.  If you’re easily offended, please stop reading NOW.

I lost my Mother in 2007.  Every Mother’s Day since has brought with it a mixed bag of emotions.  If you haven’t read that post, click the link and read it.  It’s good.

This year is not different.  I WANT to feel nothing but joy on this day.  I WANT to spend every single second of the day embracing the joys of mothering the children I get to spend my day with. I want to sing and dance and skip down the street over the fact that my children signed me up for a writer’s retreat (that will give me a few days off from mothering-Yippee!)  at God’s Whisper Farm.  But my wants have learned to walk alongside my grief.

Immediately upon waking this morning I shed tears for the woman on the other side of the world who gave birth to the precious girl I get to mother.  Our baby girl walked into our room this morning and yelled out,  “Happy Birth…  Mother’s Day!”  Yes, Baby Girl.  I also hope your birth mother is having a happy day.

At brunch I looked around and shed a few more tears over the little old ladies that my mother would never be.  Never growing old is truly a tragedy.

And after the little old ladies, I choked back a few more tears as I thought of my firstborn who is away at college.  And then my two babies who never made it into this world.  I miss them.

And then, laughter.

Our dear, dear Seth rode to church and to brunch with our friend Kim.  Seth is thirteen, has high-functioning autism, is home-schooled, and has a penchant for using new vocabulary inappropriately.  While stopped at a gas station, he looked over and saw two guys with long hair and said, “What a bunch of pussies!”  Kim asked him if he thought that was appropriate and he said, “Well, if they’re going to dress like that they should know people are going to call them pussies.”  After Kim shared with us and before I could explain to him what that word means and how inappropriate it is to use, our seventeen year old realized that he was scraping a spot off of his shirt and said, “Oh, gosh.  Our whole family really is a bit autistic.”  To which Seth added, “Yeah, we’re all just a bunch of pricks.”

I explained what the words meant.

He nearly died of embarrassment over the discussion of anatomy.

We all laughed.  Really hard.

Today is bitter.  It is sweet.  And by the grace of God, it is filled with laughter.

P.S.  We’re looking for a new vocabulary teacher at the Calvaresi Academy.  If interested, please apply in comments. ;)



the most bitter-sweet of days…

Originally posted on Waving a White Flag:

Throughout the evening the words, “This has been my favorite Mother’s Day.” have escaped my lips more than once.  As I speak those words, they are true.  In between the times they’ve been spoken, this has been my most painful Mother’s Day.

me and my Mommy

This is my 7th Mother’s Day without a mother.  The pain has come in waves.  I look at pictures of my Mom and listen to recordings of her voice, but the teasers are not enough.  I long to feel her arms wrapped around me.  To feel her cheek pressed against my own.  To feel the warmth of her breath and to inhale her scent.  I want to hold her hands and look into her eyes and thank her for all the things she did right.  Thank you, Suzi, for the voice in my head.  Thank you for blue-green eyes, the no-gray-hair gene, and mad cooking skills.  Thank…

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