Thursday, October 31, 2013

His love.

I am a romantic.

In college I majored in communications/ journalism.  I was going to be famous.  A fancy, trendy, Barbara Walters if you will.

18 years old, and not a limit in the world.

I so wish someone would have pinched me and harnessed my dreams into reality.  Gently steered me into nursing, or teaching, or a tangible major.... a job with a difinitive job description that exists, not just a pipe dream.

I've always struggled with the fact that I failed.  After I earned my big degree, I never found a great career/job/profession/ that defined me.

I never arrived.

Somewhere along the way, however, I did learn that I have an artistic side, and took a liking to graphic design.  I  actually found a pretty great job doing so for a company.  Naturally, they went out of business 2 months after I was hired.

And then a little while later, we started having kids. An average of 1 every 1.6 years for almost a decade.

A time of wholeheartedly knowing my purpose in life.

I am thankful for every long, mentally draining yet equally rewarding day that I've been home with them.  I wouldn't change it for anything.  I am blessed.

And somewhere along this kid journey I remembered my creative side, my love for graphic design, and my tendency to turn everything I touch into a box of Trix. While home, I've dappled with selling my little handmade creations on the internet, and have taken on random graphic design jobs.

But could creativity ever define me?  Even in the crafty realm, I haven't arrived. Is there really any redeeming value in being crafty anyways?  Surely there is nothing noble about selling little handmade creations for mere dollars?   Doesn't God have greater plans for me?  There's no denying He created me to notice details and appreciate color the way I do.

As the kids are starting to get older, I wrestle with God's plan for my life.  Does he really want me to make lunches, hold little hands at recess duty, and dink on my computer making art?  Surely there's got to be more?  Something grander?  Clearly I'm not listening, or do I even have what it takes?

Every time I see a chubby little baby with chocolate skin and untamed hair, tears pool up in my eyes.  I want one so bad. I think. My heart is surely big enough to adopt one more, but is my sanity? Is there even room for one more wrinkle on my forehead?   I ran into a friend who is fostering a child.  And I think to myself, could there be anything more noble or God ordained than helping a child in need like that? And I am so caught up with the goodness of it all, that I don't really take the time to really let the reality sink in.  Is that a prompting from God or just another one of my romantic notions?

Discernment is not high on my list of gifts.

Tim and I were on the "crazy cycle" for the better part of last week. That delicate balance of love and respect, completely out of whack.

I like to blame it on the concrete.

When the days are long, patience is short, I blame and cry, he's short and cold.

And with the lack of time to resolve, it cycles on....we feed off of each other with guarded cold conversation, until we both choose to make it right, talk it out, re-commit, and resolve to keep on trying.

These are some pretty scattered thoughts I'm sharing, aren't they? Welcome to my head case.

Well, an irrational combination of these questions...and so much more.... were weaving through my head non stop, coupled with the "crazy cycle" the tail end of last week.  I allowed the devil a pretty strong foothold.

I was in this crazy state of mind Sat morning, and I couldn't settle.  My marriage, purpose in life... everything was off balance. My thoughts were swirling, and I was worrying about so many things out of my control.

After dropping Sydney off at basketball, I decided I would go for a run.  Surely the fresh air and endorphines would help clear my head from all of my unsettledness and give me a little break from the kids.

I hit "run" on my Nike app, and hit the pavement.  It's exactly the same every time.

I turn right out of our driveway, and Brit Nicole gets my legs and lungs pumping just as I cross the road with the same opening song every.single. time.   I only have 1 music playlist programed into my Nike app.

Well as I hit the pavement Sat. morning, and waited the 5 seconds for my music to start playing, a different, yet familiar beat warmed up and began slowly pelting thru my earbuds.  A familiar beat that I soon recognized.  As the words started up, the song hit me.

"One Thing Remains" by Jesus Culture.

I was puzzled by the error of music, but as the chorus began to refrain, I knew that this was a gift from God.

8 solid minutes and 40 seconds of hearing  "Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me" stream through my earbuds over and over... and over again.  It really is the longest song ever.

A message straight from God, just for little old me, in that moment, exactly when I needed to hear it.

Tears of joy filled my eyes as I ran, because I knew it was no coincidence, or musical playlist error.

For almost a mile I heard His truth whispered into my ear.

"His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me."

Even ME.

I just had to share my little story. A song, God's gift to me.

Happy Thursday friends.  More random animal pics coming soon.....

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bunny Brothel

Remember that cute little bunny that Sydney bought with her very own $10 last May?

Maggie, the adored bunny that looks spittin' image identical to the pesky one who sits under the tree outside my kitchen window munching on my beloved flowers, taunting Dylan to sneak up and pop him.

Well, to catch you up to speed, somewhere mid August as summer droned on, it was brought to my attention that Maggie needed a friend.

I think back on it now, and I really don't even know how it happened.  A moment of weakness?

Was I actually feeling bad for this lonely bunny?  Was I feeling bad for my boys who told me that they wanted one too?  Was I trying to keep the peace?  Am I truly a glutten for punishment?  Had I actually found a pet that I could get on board with?  Had summer just worn me down?

Whatever the case may be, we aquired this little guy about a week before school started. The kids named him Oliver.

A friend was looking to give him away, and he had the soft floppy ears of the bunny I always wanted.  Childhood dream of my own perhaps?

Well, it was love at first sight.  Oliver had his eye on lovin' Maggie, and naturally, she just wanted to bite him whenever he came near :)

The kids would squeal with delight... " Olivers giving Maggie a piggie back ride again, and he keeps shaking!"  "Oh they love each other!" "Awe, Oliver's just hugging her now...oh wait, he wants another piggie back ride!"

Tim and I rolled listening to the kids innocent dialogue and excited bursts.

And I knew what our future held, and truly thought it would be a fun adventure for the kids.

In my ignorance however, I neglected to google a time frame.

On a cold September morning, just 4 weeks after their first date, Sydney ran back into the house crazy hysterical, spewing out little sentence fragments "7 bunnies on the ground" and "fur everywhere" before she could catch her breath.

I grabbed my coffee and ran out behind her, as we literally had 4 minutes til the bus was scheduled to roll over the hill and swallow up the kids.

Sure enough. 7 tiny, ugly, hairless, baby bunnies lay on the ground on a pile of fur... still warm from birth. Because they were so tiny, and we were unprepared for their arrival, they fell through the chicken wire bottom of Maggies cage.

Maggie was a wild eyed frantic rabbit, ripping her fur out and letting it fall through the cracks for them to stay warm.  I felt so bad for her mental state.  To watch your babies be born, and them have them fall out...tragic. (Tim may have thought I was crazy for adding a rabbits mental state to my list of concerns for the day).

We quickly gathered up the bunnies, put them back in the cage, and ran down the driveway to catch the bus. 

After the kids were gone, I gathered more straw, put some leftover tiles from our bathroom underneath so they couldn't slip through, and left the bunnies in a pile of straw just inside the door....trying to handle them as little as possible, so Maggie could resume her rightful role as mother and put them where she wanted.

Well the day wore on, and she wanted nothing to do with them.  And they were getting cold.  My only short term goal was to keep them alive until the kids got off the bus, so that they would have a chance to see them in the light.

Every time I would peak in the door, Maggie would stick her head out looking around frantically at the ground as if searching for her babies she knew that had dropped to the ground below. Wanting nothing to do with the pile of skin that lay just inches from her.

In the afternoon, I finally took them all and put them in the far corner of the hutch and buried them in the straw.  And somewhere in there, Maggie started to care for them.

And at the end of the day we still had 6 live bunnies.  One had slipped through the cracks and died while I was out for the afternoon.

A few weeks old, their eyes finally opened and they grew some fur...

And now 4 weeks, they are thriving and doubling in size every day!
1 brown, 1 white, 2 black and 2 polka dots... Annie, Penelope, Daisy, Nico, Shadow, and Powder Puff...aka creepy vampire.

It has been quite a nice little experience for the kids.
Sharing duties, catching escapies, and lovin' on animals that go back in a cage at night :)

And the best part, I think they are all sold :)

Friday, October 11, 2013


I start out each week thinking I can conquer the world.

Keep the house clean, get the laundry done, update this blog, spend meaningful time with the kids, do my devotions, organize 15 years of junk, make stuff for my shop, repaint the old furtniture in the garage, update photo albums, pay the bills, clip coupons, find healthy meal options and prepare them, watch another one of Stella's shows...the list could go on for a mile with the expectations I put on myself.

And somewhere around Tuesday evening after driving in a continuous loop for 3 hours shuffling kids with water bottles and stinky shoes, Dora playing a continuous loop in the van, killing Ellery's brain cells off one adventure at a time, spilled tears and angry words over fractions, milk cascading onto the floor, but stopping along the way to soak itself into the Little Caesars pizza box laying open on the counter, my laundry pile still bellowing over, but now that one and only pair of shorts that feels right can't be found, tripping over wet barbies that somehow managed to be the only ones in the house that got clean on the bathroom floor, worrying about every aspect of my kids being x 5 ... I feel defeated.

Like really defeated.

And in those moments of defeat, nothing is right with my world.  The idealic picture that is painted and sadly sealed in my head of how it's supposed to be always takes over, and this ain't it.  In the hustle and bustle of getting through the day, I sometimes lose sight of just how amazing my life is.

Crazy blessed amazing.

I start each day with this profound sense of gratefulness to my Maker, but somewhere along the way I let the smell from the kitchen sink and the looming schedule that I can't quite figure out the logistics of steal my joy. And ungratefulness sneaks it's way into my heart.  And I feel like I'm in this alone, because that has proven satan's most effective lie to me.

And I hate that, because I know in my head and heart the truth.

So this Friday morning I once again choose joy. I don't want to get through this day, I want to live this day. With a grateful heart I am thankful with a list of praises a mile long.  The sun is coming over the horizon in all its splendor and majesty reflecting light and dancing shadows, as the birds soar between the trees and peck away at the last remnants of summers finest without any concern.

Great is Thy faithfulness.

And I sit and stare at the crumbs on the kitchen floor in a new light.  Thankful for their presence and the  tangible reminder of the goodness from above.

A few pics of my blessings from lately...

Happy Friday all~

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Labor Day

A much anticpated long weekend away to our favorite town, amidst the hustle and bustle of back to school and work... making summer's final ovation spent with family and dear friends that much more special and bittersweet.

And aside from one flat tire, this holiday weekend began textbook perfect.  Fabulous weather, and we hit the road in daylight, on the day we were supposed to!  Modern day miracle.

We brought along kayaks, and took turns enjoying Lost Lake....

We made our annual bike trek out to Big Sable Pointe Lighthouse.
It's amazing how much easier and quicker the biking gets every year!
No complaints or stopping to rest in 2013!

It was also the first year that we could all climb together as a family!

Made it!

We climbed and ran through the dunes...

Ack!  Some of us enjoyed the reptile show one afternoon in the beach house...

The highlight for me was watching the eyes of the very passionate reptile guy bug out of his head, as our kids very matter of factly told him that their mom hates snakes, and their dad kills all the blue racers at our house.  We wound up walking out mid heated lecture :)

Ice cream, naturally ...

A little early sunrise fishing at the dam...

Tim, doing what he does best...

We enjoyed the beach...


Sat around the fire...

Went on our annual Lost Lake hike with Uncle Kevin...

And once again ended the weekend with football when the lots cleared out...

...great memories.