Six months… half of a year… 

today. She would’ve been six months old. Trying to sit up… starting to eat solid foods… laughing and trying to talk… 

six months ago I held her little body in my arms and wept like I’ve never wept before…. her tiny face engraved on my mind’s eye… the look on my daughter’s face as she looked up at me asking what she was supposed to do… 

something broke. Something in me broke. 

Part of me washed away with the tears… part of me was buried along with her a few days later… next to my great grandparents… 

my namesake. 

Gone before we even had a chance to know her. 

I’m not going to lie to you and say that the last 6 months have been easy.  In a way I hardly remember the last 6 months… it’s all a blur… I’ve been living in shadow… going thru the motions… 

I think I’m starting to wake up… it’s hard to tell. Some days are better than others. The thing is that I know I can’t stay in the shadow… that’s not where I live. I have to step into the light for my babies, for my husband, my family… they deserve so much more than a shadow. 

So why am I bringing this up now? Why 6 months later? … I need your help. Plain and simple. We are designed for community and I need my community to gather beside me and lift me up. I can’t do this alone. 

The Business Of Death

is messy

and hard

sometimes it come quickly

catching you off guard

sometimes it lingers

like an unwanted house guest

it’s not new

but it is different

for every person

some never take their first breath outside the womb

some live long full lives

some are cut short

but for this time

this time right now

we come

we sit

we sing

we cry

we embrace

we laugh

we speak in hushed voices

we “cause a ruckus”

we are reverent

we are rowdy

tears and laughter in one breath

we plead

we cry out

we rejoice

we search

we question

we stare at our phones

we watch

we remember

we lean in

we pray

we pat

we breathe

we wait

we watch

we weep

we wait

we smooth

we hold hands

we hold her hands

we say goodbye

we are thankful

the business of death is

messy and hard

I was fortunate to be there each time holding her hand

as she passed from one life to another

oh my sweet Gramma

I am eternally grateful

for the love you have given me over the years

you taught me so much….

more than I can put into words

I find great joy in knowing I will see you again

in knowing that you are surrounded

by such a great cloud of witnesses

by your mom and dad who you missed so deeply

by your siblings

by the love of your life

by our sweet Birdie

mostly…. I see you at Jesus’ feet….




Oklahoma Seasons

the sun peaks over the horizon to reveal


buds of purple open up on trees scattered along the countryside

patches of brightness against the grey and brown background…

signs that winter has overstayed its welcome

slowly and surely the world springs back to life

Indian Paintbrush splatters the hillsides

like a Jackson Pollack painting…

the sweet smell of honeysuckle swirls in the air

electricity lights the sky

thunder shakes the ground

the wind howls

threatening to send animals and humans underground

and then

the rain…

breaking free from clouds that held it hostage

it pours down for days and days until the Earth can hold no more

rivers and lakes breach the shores flooding plains

and almost as quickly as it started it rushes out…

green grass flourishes



red flowers paint the countryside

birds sing

leaves in the breeze

a symphony of creatures await the listener

all creation sings…

the sun beats down

burning the ground and our skin

air thick and suffocating

moisture evaporating beneath us

ground cracks and begs for relief

sunflowers raise glorious crowns to the Sun

fields burn away

brown overtaking the once vivid green

rain drops fall on the thirsty earth and stir the cinnamon dirt

brings refuge from long hot days

naked ladies appear on hillsides

dancing together unashamed

praise their Creator

chill breaks thru

leaves change





letting go of perches

drifting to ground

creatures big

creatures small

seek shelter



covered by a blanket of white

underneath it all


waiting to spring up again

“There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven: a time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing; a time to search and a time to count as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away; a time to tear and a time to sew; a time to be silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1-8‬ ‭CSB‬

**not all photos are mine.

Joy Henthorn allowed me to use some of her photos of flowers and some I found online & some are mine. 😉

Gramma’s Hands

i’m sitting in my Gramma’s room watching her sleep.

her chest moves up and down with every breath.

every trip to the bathroom threatens to be the last.

her frail body screams with every step.

her heart pounds within her chest with every step she makes.

there won’t be many more steps…

she’s so small these days…

i remember watching her haul my uncle around with so little effort it amazed me… she would lift him out of his wheelchair and into the car, then fold up his chair and put it in the trunk and then do it over and over again. she tells me now that when he was younger she would exercize his legs every morning for hours.

a week from today is her 95th birthday. she keeps telling me that she’s trying to hold on for it. 95 years is a long time to live…a lot of water under the bridge, as she would say. the world has changed so much in her lifetime. she didn’t even grow up with indoor plumbing and a couple of days ago she was able to video chat with my cousins in other states.  she just shakes her head in amazment.

i struggle to find the words to describe my Gramma. but if i had to choose just one word it would be strong. she has always been strong. she has navigated many rough waters in her days.

she has buried 2 husbands, her parents, all 9 of her siblings and 1 great great grandbaby.

her biggest regret in life is not knowing for sure that she will see her first husband in Heaven… she thinks she will, but she doesn’t know for sure… it hurts a lot. so she makes sure to tell everyone she sees, don’t wait. make sure you know.

over the last week she’s had around 40 visitors and she will have more over the next week, but for now it’s just the two of us. she’s sleeping and i’m watching.

there has been lots of singing and praying and crying and laughing this week,  i know there will be more.  there will also be be rejoicing.

there are 3 songs that have come up several times:

It Is Well With My Soul

I’ve Got a Mansion Just Over the Hilltop

and I’ll Fly Away.


i have been so blessed to know and love this woman. she taught me strength, courage, faith, love and grace. i think it is amazing that ALL of her grandkids honestly believe that they are her favorite (especially because we all know that I am her actual favorite.) she makes everyone believe/know that they are special and loved.  that is an amazing gift.

i am honored to be here with her on the hard days as well as the good days.

i will cherish them all.

i will take every opportunity to let her know how much i love her and how thankful i am for her.

i will use all of my strength to hold her when she can’t hold herself….

and i will hold those hands that have held me for so long… 28700861_10214230657054925_6843856871259177456_o

thank You God for my Gramma. Thank You for letting me be here for her. Thank You for letting me give back to her even a tiny portion of the love she has given me my whole life.

tell her Momma and Daddy that she will be there soon…. she’s ready to see everyone again.

She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25





Red Sox and The Kingdom 

i had to make a trip to Walmart the other day and as i was leaving the parking lot i noticed a car with a Boston Red Sox license plate. Most of you might not even notice something like this but as a HUGE Red Sox fan, i noticed. you don’t see a lot of those around these parts. Mostly Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals fans around here. at least as far as baseball goes.
around here sports is a big deal.
i know it is in other areas as well but it really seems to be a way of life around here. we start our kids out playing ball when they are barely walking. my oldest could dribble a basketball by the time he was 2. and all of my kids started cheering for OU as soon as they could say, “GO OU!”
we love our sports.

I recently posted on the Facebooks asking what everyone’s favorite sports team was and i was surprised at how quickly the responses came in. everyone has a favorite team and many people have multiple favorites, one for every sport. and most people are more than willing to tell you about their favorite team. you don’t have to dig a lot to find out, it’s a pretty quick and easy way to find common ground with someone. because even if the person you’re talkng to is a huge fan of say…. the Yankees. at least you have the fact that the you hate each others favorite team. 😉 
it makes me wonder though…
what would it look like if we were as willing to share about our faith as we are to share about our favorite teams? what if we were as excited to share about our love for Jesus as we are to tell others how well our team played last night?
if i love Jesus as much as i claim to love Him… then everyone should know that. people should be able to identify me as a Jesus Follower and not just a Red Sox fan. if my job on this Earth is to build the Kingdom, then shouldn’t that be one of the first things i tell other people about? 

we’ve been studying about Paul at our church and the last few weeks I’ve been really moved by Paul’s words…

”For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Phillipians 1:21

”And now i am on my way to Jerusalem, bound in my spirit, not knowing what i will encounter there, except that town after town the Holy Spirit testifies to me that chains and afflictions are waiting for me.” Acts 20: 22-23 

and we know that he meant it all. he was talking about literal chains and afflictions waiting for him. and he was willing to walk into the fire and face it head on because it meant more honor and glory for Jesus. it meant the opportunity to lead more people to Christ… 
i’ll be honest with you, sometimes i find it a challenge to even post on Facebook about my faith. i am afraid of offending someone… i’m not afraid to tell you all about my love for the Red Sox, even if i know you HATE the Red Sox (which i personally can’t imagine, but whatever.)
if you know me very well at all you know that i’m generally not afraid of voicing my opinion about most things, whether i think you’ll like it or not.
so why is it that when it comes to sharing my faith…. i hesitate.
i can think of maybe 2 or 3 people on my friends list that i know to be either agnostic or atheist. that’s it ya’ll, 2 or 3. there may be more that i’m not aware of, but seriously 2 or 3 and i still think twice before i post something of a religious nature. (And those people would just scroll on by what I have to say if they didn’t want to read it.) 
it’s dumb. and i am ashamed of it.
so i’m confessing it to you. and hopefully by doing so it will enable me to be more free.

my almost 6 year old said to me the other day, “Mommy, when we go somewhere and i meet someone new, i want to tell them about Jesus because i want everyone to know about Jesus!”  
THAT is how i want to be! i want the first thing someone knows about me is that i love Jesus and i want to share Him.
and then maybe we can talk about the Red Sox. 

Small Enough

i went for a walk tonight… alone.

that last part is important.


as a stay at home mom i don’t get much alone time. like ever really. (this is probably why this blog doesn’t see more action.)

I’ve never really been one to need alone time. i’m a middle child. alone time not needed.

until recently.

after Anya (the baby) was born something shifted. i don’t know if it was because i was absolutely overwhelmed or what  but something shifted.

i crave that alone time now. even a few minutes alone to go to the bathroom and breathe is kinda huge in this house.

i still feel guilty asking for time to myself. i shouldn’t but i do.

i feel guilty for riding the elevator at church sometimes but honestly… it’s a few seconds of quiet & that’s enough to reset from the drama of dropping babies in the nursery and get ready for worship.

i think it’s important for me because i need that quiet to reset.


our house is chaotic. 3 girls. 7,3, & 2. they like to scream. a LOT. they whine and cry and laugh and dance and sing and play and jump and kiss and hug and run and run and run! it’s non-stop from the time they wake up until the time they fall asleep.

i need some quiet. not in a selfish way… at least i don’t think it is. i think it’s the opposite. if i don’t get that time i become cranky, my temper flares more, & i raise my voice more.

it’s also in these alone times that i am reminded that i am not actually alone. and it’s in these times that i can hear His gentle whispers more clearly. it’s in these times when i see things with new eyes… perspective.

there’s a song from a several years ago called Small Enough. i’ve sung this song several times and it comes to my mind at different times in my life.  here’s what it says:

oh, great god,

be small enough to hear me now

there were times when i was crying from the dark of daniel’s den

and i have asked you once or twice if you would part the sea again

but tonight i do not need a fiery pillar in the sky

just wanna know you’re gonna hold me if i start to cry

oh, great god, be small enough to hear me now 

oh, great god, be close enough to feel you now

there have been moments when i could not face goliath on my own

and how could i forget we’ve marched around our share of jerichos

but i will not be setting out a fleece for you tonight

just wanna know that everything will be alright

oh great god, be close enough to feel you now 

all praise and all honor be to the god of ancient mysteries

whose every sign and wonder turn the pages of our history

but tonight my heart is heavy

and i cannot keep from whispering this prayer “are you there?” 

and i know you could leave writing on the wall thats just for me

or send wisdom while i’m sleeping, like in soloman’s sweet dreams

but i don’t need the strength of samson or a chariot in the end

just want to know that you still know how many hairs are on my head

oh great god, be small enough to hear me now

tonight while i was walking i got to see the sun set. it was magnificent. and i was reminded that the same God who hung the sun in the sky is the same God who created me.

the same God who walks with me every day.

the same God who stands me up when i don’t have the strength to do anymore.

the same God who holds me in His arms as i rock a baby back to sleep at 3 in the morning.

the same God who desperately wants me to spend time with Him. alone.

He is big enough to move mountains or paint a sun set. but He wants to be with me.

and you.

in a still small way. in the quiet. in the precious moments.

10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress   Psalm 46:10-11 (italics mine)
6 Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.   Ecclesiastes 4:6
it’s important.
it’s necessary.
take time alone.
just be.
just listen.
you may be amazed at what you hear.

labor pains

i’ve been thinking a lot about childbirth. it’s something i’m pretty familiar with, having experienced it firsthand five times. i wouldn’t call myself an expert. but i know my way around a labor and delivery room… well at least i know my way to the bed.

i’ve been pregnant five times. all successful. all ending with a healthy child right around the 40 week mark.

With the first two i had a shot of pain meds during labor (not an epidural.) the last three were drug free, well except for the pitocin to kick start the labor. i know a bit about childbirth. i know a little about the pain of childbirth.

this verse pops into my head on a fairly regular basis:

Genesis 3:16  I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. ESV

i think about this a lot. i feel like this isn’t the end of it.

sure. in pain you will bring forth children. gotcha. having kids hurts. a for real kind of pain like i’ve never experienced outside of labor. but that pain is fleeting. ask just about any mom what she remembers from her childbirth experience and likely the first thing they say will be something about hearing the baby cry for the first time, or holding the baby for the first time. i can hardly type the words without getting emotional about my own memories of these very things. i’m not saying you forget the pain because if prompted most women can give you vivid details of their childbirth experience. but the pain isn’t usually the thing that comes up first.

this is what i know:

when you bring that baby home and the first time you clip her razor sharp paper thin nails and you accidentally clip her finger instead of her nail, it hurts you more than her. and you cry. because you caused her pain.

when she is learning to walk and she trips over something and falls and scrapes her knee, you cry because she’s hurt.

the first time she gets sick, you cry because you can’t fix it. all you can do is hold her and pray she gets better soon.

the first time you leave him with a babysitter, you cry because you can’t stay with him. and it hurts because you’re causing him grief.

the first time your baby comes to you crying because of something someone else said, you will hold them and cry with them because you know how that feels and you can’t fix it.

the first time you see them drive off in a car, alone. you cry. knowing this is the first step towards leaving your home. and also because you know deep down there’s a chance they may never come back.

the first time someone breaks their heart, you will cry and feel those feelings all over again.

when they graduate high school. you cry. how can my baby be graduating?

when they graduate college. you will cry. they made it! but now. now they are actually moving away from home for good.

at the wedding you will cry like a baby. because that’s not your baby anymore.

when your baby has a baby. when she goes thru the pains of labor. i promise – you will feel every one with her. and you will cry.

i didn’t even mention the times when they do something wrong and break your heart. or make a choice that alters their life story in a dramatic way…..

i don’t think the pains of childbirth are so fleeting after all.

when your heart lives outside of your body and walks around in the forms of other people making their own decisions and living their own lives – that heart will break and be broken many times over.

and that my friends is the hard truth.

raising kids is hard. is the pain worth it? most definitely.

i didn’t mention any of the times that you’ll cry from laughing, or cry from the sheer joy of it all. honestly those times happen WAY more than the others.

but i’m in the middle of a childbearing pain. it will soon pass. just like labor, it ebbs and flows.

Psalm 126:5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!. ESV

that’s what i’m going to cling to on these hard days.



this is me right after our last baby was born.

the poop post

there are certain things that parents of toddlers don’t ever want to hear. there are also things that parents of toddlers only want to hear in the right circumstances.

case in point

yesterday i laid down the 2 babies (ages 2 & 1, going on 2 & 3) for their nap. nothing unusual there. i gave them kisses and shut the door to their room and went on about my business. i typically use their nap time to do things around the house, like pick up the mess left by the babies, help Maya with school work, ect. Yesterday though, i decided to sit down with Maya (7) and watch part of a movie.

we all know how this goes, right? you sit down for a few minutes and the next thing you know 2 hours have past & you didn’t get anything done!

so i’m sitting in the chair with Maya and i hear giggling from the babies. ah man!! i didn’t get anything picked up!!! so i jump into action picking up toys and clothes and random things in the floor. typically i have approximately 5-7 minutes after i hear giggling/talking before the giggling/talking becomes crying. they are good at entertaining each other.

so i’m cleaning up, i have my arms full of stuffed animals and i hear it.

“Mommy! I pooped.” i paused. i put a diaper on her right before i laid them down. no big deal. then i hear louder, “mommy! I pooped!” wait, was that two voices? i drop the animals to the ground and rush to the bedroom, opened the door and am greeted by a familiar smell. ewwww.

a survey of the room finds great and mighty horrors of toddler proportion. one baby standing in her bed sans diaper and poop on the bed. sigh.
a glance to the other baby finds yet again baby sans diaper but no poop.small blessings… wait what is that all over your hands?



ok. its fine. i can handle this. SERIOUSLY???

ok grab smallest baby (smaller mess) and hold her at arms length. take her to the living room and start trying to wipe off those baby hands. this is taking too long. to the bath tub. of course as soon as we enter the bathroom and i turn on the water i discover part of a plant in the tub. of course there’s a plant in the tub. Maya… why is there a plant in the tub? i didn’t know where else to put it! so i have to try to clean out the tub while holding the baby with one hand to keep her from not only escaping but also from putting her hands into her mouth. excuse me while i throw up. ok tub cleaned out. baby undressed. have i mentioned that Anya absolutely HATES to take baths? i mean, wailing and gnashing of teeth, hates it. so as soon as she realizes that the bath is intended for her she loses her mind which makes her want to put her hands into her mouth.


ok bath done. baby dried off and dressed again. Maya take her in your room and keep her occupied until i get done with this.

now Elyse is still in her crib. so i’m praying the whole time i’m giving Anya her bath, PLEASE don’t let her be playing in it! so i walk back into the scene of the crime to find my sweet baby still standing in the same place she was… just smiling at me. i pick her up and carry her to the door of the bathroom and let her walk to the tub. leaving poopy footprints along the way. bath with Elyse is much smoother and quicker than with Anya. so i take her to maya’s room, keep them occupied until i say the coast is clear.

time to don my hazmat suit (i wish) otherwise known as, plastic bags, trash can, carpet cleaner, rags and scrub brush.

closer inspection finds that Donkey and Bunny have been soiled as well. the world might end. even closer inspection finds that PACI, scratch that both PACIS have poop on them.

the world just ended.

we’ve been weaning from the paci for a while now. and we just got to a point where we only have paci in bed or the car.

so we come to an impasse…. do we throw away the pacis? do we wash them and sanitize them? do we buy new ones?


we throw them away and go cold turkey.

end of times, rending of garments, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

they cried for half an hour last night. and then sleep. sweet sleep. all night. no issues. they woke up alive and happy.

tonight, i pray will be easier.

so what is the silver lining to this poop-colored cloud?

this is a moment.

tiny and insignificant in the grand scheme. very smelly and really gross, but insignificant.

the poop washes out people. life goes on.

my sister-in-love said something to me recently that i haven’t been able to get out of my head. and every time i think about it i get choked up and my chest tightens. you wanna know what she said?

the days drag on, but the years fly by.


it’s so true!

as the parent of toddlers and adults, i have this weird perspective of parenthood. i feel this statement so much. it’s hard to live in the trenches of poop and pee and fits and “i do it myself’ and and and….. but it goes by so fast. right now it doesn’t feel like it. except on days like this. when i see the last paci go in the trash and i know that we’ll never have to wean another baby from a paci again. these little milestones keep popping up and i am trying to soak it all in…. because i know that tomorrow i’ll turn around and they’ll all be grown.

i’ll leave you with this, parenting is hard. whether you have babies, toddlers, little kids, big kids, teenagers, almost adults or adults, there will be difficult times. but you can rest knowing that you are not alone and on the hardest days HE will lift you up and carry you through it.

“but they who wait for The Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:31 ESV