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My baby is starting kindergarten, and I’m a hot mess.

My oldest son is my mini-me. (Poor child.) He is nerdy and passionate. Sensitive and serious. Fun-loving and kind. He loves baseball and music. He has crooked arms with the little bumps on the back them and knobby knees. He has long legs and a contagious smile. Even to strangers, he is undeniably my son. He is a momma’s boy, too. And honestly, I’m just as smitten and obsessed with him. My mini-me–my heart–my baby–is starting kindergarten next week. And I am devastated. To be honest, I have always been a pretty tough mom. I’m the type of mom who will force her kids on the ride at the amusement park no matter how much they cry because I know in the end they need to experience the world and learn to push through fear (and I know they will end up loving it). When my child falls, I’m the mom who stays in her seat, looking up long enough to say, “Get back up! You are fine!” when I don’t see any broken bones …

The Four Reasons We’ve Lasted Nine

DISCLAIMER: Before you read one word of what I am about to say, please understand this.  This is DEscriptive—not PREscriptive—meaning this is how WE survived, but this isn’t everyone’s story or me saying this is what you should do in your life (for more on this… see #4.) Chase and I are in a loving relationship free from abuse and infidelity, and we share spiritual convictions.  I am NOT writing this to say that all divorce is wrong.   Nine years ago today, I wore fake eyelashes and a poof that was probably too large on top of my head.  I wore flip flops because I wanted to dance at my reception, and “no one will see them anyway, Mom!”  I wore a black sash around my waist, which I loved then but I now think just looked super weird.  And nine years ago today, his hair was an odd color because some random lady tried to cover up his grey hair, swearing it wouldn’t actually color his hair, but alas, it did.  He wore a …

What Christmas Means for a Child Abandoned by Her Birth Father

Kentucky is the allergy capital of the US, and I am certainly not immune to effects of pollen that blanket our state.  I try to avoid the doctor at all costs, but my nose had had enough.  I knew if I wanted to ever breathe normally again, I would have to go back to the allergist. I sat on the examination table feeling like a grasshopper under a child’s magnifying glass while the nurse asked a dozen questions. “Why did you come in today?”  This is the office of an allergy doctor.  Why do you think I came in? “What all are you allergic to?”  Isn’t that what you are supposed to tell me? “Have you experienced any considerable weight gain?”  Since when?  Yesterday?  No.  Since high school?  No comment. “Do any of your blood relatives have heart disease?” My stomach leaps into my throat. I look away from the nurse and choke out a lie, “No.” Well, maybe that’s a lie.  But maybe it’s not. Here’s the truth. The truth is I hate that …

Long enough, God—you’ve ignored me long enough

Long enough, God—you’ve ignored me long enough.  I’ve looked at the back of your head long enough.  Long enough I’ve carried this ton of trouble, lived with a stomach full of pain. Long enough. Okay, so you are likely having one of two reactions right now: The first is, “I can’t believe she is talking to God like that!  Steer clear because she has a lightning bolt headed her way.” Well, I didn’t actually say that. David did. You know, “the man after God’s own heart.” King David.  The man responsible for writing most of the psalms in the Bible. Yeah, that David.  And this idea of “how long is God going to ignore me?” is how he starts my favorite psalm of all time.  So, now that you know no one is getting struck by lightning, the other reaction you might be having is: “Me, too, girl. I feel the same way.”  Because the truth is that nearly all of us have wondered where He was at some point or another.  Wondered why He …

To the girl who feels as though she will never be good enough: listen carefully.

To the girl who feels as though she will never be good enough: listen carefully. You are right.  You will never be good enough. You can pause and read that again if you need to.  It may not have been what you were expecting, but sometimes the things we need to hear are not what we had hoped to hear. I mean, let’s just be honest.  Your life is far from perfect.  It is full of disappointments.  Full of weaknesses.  Full of mistakes.  Full of hurt.  You have this idea of what the perfect life would be, and you picture that girl in your mind.  Deep down you know you will never be that girl.  Sure, you try.  But you always fail.  Because you just aren’t good enough. While this is all true, you have to understand this: you aren’t that girl because she doesn’t exist. I know you’re probably thinking of someone right now and saying, “But she exists.  And her life is perfect.  Just look at her Facebook profile!”  Sister, hear me say …

That Stubborn Heart

Three nights ago, my husband received the phone call.  You know the one you always hear about but think will never happen to you.  Yes, we know life is fleeting, and we knew we would lose his father someday.  Just not that day. “You know,” my husband said to me when he returned home from his parents’ home that night.  “I always tried to prepare myself for [my father’s passing], but there is just nothing you can do to ever prepare yourself for something like this.”  It was midnight at that point, three hours after he heard the sound of his desperate mother’s voice on the other end of the line telling him she couldn’t wake his father.  His best friend.  His sage.  His idol. My father-in-law struggled with heart issues for years, long before I joined the family.  In fact, more than 20 years ago he underwent quadruple bypass surgery, and just a few short months ago he had received a pacemaker and defibrillator .  And really, we shouldn’t have been surprised with all the heart …

It’s Not Fair.

“But that’s not fair.” Oh my goodness, if I hear that from my four year old one more time, I think I might cry.  Life with a new little brother has been tough on my son–especially because his little brother arrived at our home at the age of 20 months.  Everything my oldest has, my youngest wants (and will do nearly anything to get). So now, my oldest has a newfound obsession with “fairness,” and it is wearing me out! “But this toy is mine.  He can’t just take it.  That’s not fair!” or “But he didn’t have to take three bites.  Why do I?  That’s not fair!” I would love to chalk this up as a phase, but I know better.  It seems as if humans were born with a craving for justice, and we never quite outgrow it.  Just turn on the television and count how many court dramas will air on network stations tonight alone.  We love justice–our country was founded on it (with liberty and justice for all!).  We love to see the …