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A slow fade

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Sunday morning: A video was shown during the sermon–Slow Fade by Casting Crowns. Here’s an excerpt from the lyrics:

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you’re thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It’s a slow fade
When you give yourself away
Its a slow fade
When black and white are turned to gray

And thoughts invade, choices are made
A price will be paid
When you give yourself away

People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

It’s a slow fade

Monday afternoon: After a mostly sleepless night, I’m dozing off on the couch, news on in the background when I hear the name of a local high school. This immediately gets my attention because it’s the national news. The high school has been evacuated because of a bomb threat. By the end of the day, close to 4,000 students have been released from the school and a 19 year old senior is in custody. Something called a zip gun has been found in a backpack thought to belong to him and there are news reports that another such device has been found in his car.

Before any official word came from the school district, I was exchanging texts with a friend whose kids attend the school. She gave me the name of the suspect. I found him quickly on Facebook. Nothing on his profile would indicate anything other than a normal, high school kid. His profile pic even reminded me a little of my own son’s last school picture. But somebody had to know he was in trouble. Like the song says, people never crumble in a day.

I’m grateful that no one was hurt. I suppose I could be outraged that something like this could happen so literally close to home.

But mostly I’m reminded that as a parent, I need to pay attention. That sometimes kids go through phases but at other times there are serious issues they’re wrestling with. There are times when kids–my own kids–just aren’t that pleasant to be around. And while it’s tempting to leave them alone and avoid the attitude, it’s those times when they’re least unlovable that they need love the most.

I don’t know what lead this kid to do whatever he was planning to do, but I hope it serves as a wake up call for other families who may be one or two steps away from the same scenario.

Families never crumble in a day…

Moving forward

Happy New Year!

Brand new year, same old me. Even though I try not to make new year’s resolutions, I do tend to think about moving forward this time of year. A big part of this thought process involves evaluating what’s not working anymore and what, if anything, I plan to do about it. A logical answer to “What’s not working anymore” would be either fix it or let it go. But we grow comfortable with things, don’t we? Change can be uncomfortable, and when faced with the worked involved with making things right, sometimes we simply choose to do nothing at all.

Take our master bathroom (please–ba-dump-bump!)

No one has used the shower in there for months. It seems there was a crack in tile where the shower door meets the threshold which caused everything to buckle. The end result being that the shower door no longer closes. Fortunately, this is one of three showers in our house, so we’ve been using the shower in the guest bathroom. This was meant to be a temporary solution until we fixed the shower in the master bath, but we’ve since decided to renovate the entire bathroom. Which is great, but now we’re faced with more decisions to make–new cabinets, tub, etc. Like I said, sometimes it seems easier to do nothing because doing something gets overwhelming.

But my husband got the ball rolling last week:

And honestly? Even though I still really like how I’ve decorated the bathroom

I think maybe I like it more for sentimental reasons than practical ones. The faux finish on the walls? I did it myself. Actually, probably one of the first times, if not the first time I’ve done so. The window coverings? My mom sewed them. She also made the bedding and window coverings in the master bedroom, which coordinates with the master bath.

If the bathroom gets redone, so does the bedroom. And even though these rooms have looked like this for 9 years, I’m still having a hard time letting go. Mostly because of the hard work involved in creating these rooms. Not so much mine, but my mom’s. But it’s time to move forward. There’s a loose tile on the tub held up by duct tape. Nothing says “elegant bathroom” like tile held together with duct tape.

And the cabinets have seen better days.

Soon begins the process of moving forward. I anticipate things getting a whole lot messier before the process is complete.

Change is messy sometimes, and almost always pulls us out of our comfort zones.

But I’m anticipating something better and more functional after the chaos.

I’ll let you know.

Got any projects that need starting?

The proper care and feeding of elephants, Part 4

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Family Reunion

It’s Sunday afternoon and the family has gathered for a very special occasion.

The boys and their families flew in from Colorado and Tennessee. The girls married and settled closer to home, neither one more than an hour’s drive from their childhood home.

The big occasion? It’s Mom and Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary. The house is small, so John, Kevin and their families chose to stay at a nearby hotel in town. Now gathered in the tiny family room, the brothers and sisters wonder aloud how they ever managed to all fit in this house, let alone grow up here.

While their parents are in the back yard playing with the grandkids–nine in all–John, Kevin, Janet and Kara catch up on each other’s lives. The brothers each left home after high school graduation. John set off for college on a football scholarship and Kevin headed for Fort Bragg and a career in the military. They talk about their kids; about how much has changed and how much has remained unchanged.

What they don’t talk about is why Janet’s husband has spent most of the afternoon taking private calls on his cell phone out of earshot of his wife, or the fact that no amount of make-up can cover the purple, swollen skin under Kara’s right eye.

The elephants in the room loom as large as Kara’s husband’s absence from this auspicious occasion.

But the biggest elephant of all–the one each sibling recognizes but none want to admit to themselves, let alone each other, is the old saying that in this case rings heartbreakingly true:

Both Janet and Kara married men just like their Daddy.

And the elephants feed and grow…

If you missed the first three installments of this series, you can find them here:

The proper care and feeding of elephants, Part 1: An Introduction and Explanation
The proper care and feeding of elephants, Part 2: Unspoken
The proper care and feeding of elephants, Part 3: Anniversary Gifts

Doing stuff

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Monday marked the first day of FREEEEEEDOOOOOOOM!!!! the kids going back to school after their week long spring break. It was nice to have everyone home last week, but I must confess that towards the end of the week all that togetherness was starting to harsh my mellow. Me likes my alone time.

Since it’s now officially springtime and whatnot, I decided it was high time to spruce up the front porch. I’ve been wanting to get some rocking chairs to put out there since we moved into this house. And since we’ve lived here for 8 or 9 years, I thought I would find some over the weekend, thereby missing the official 10 year procrastination mark. Besides, I figured I could enjoy my morning coffee out there for the next couple of weeks before temperatures and humidity rise to levels capable of melting my face off.

After two unsuccessful shopping ventures Friday and Saturday, I finally found two black arirondack rockers at Garden Ridge Pottery on Sunday afternoon. If y’all don’t have a Garden Ridge Pottery in your neighborhood, I suppose the best way to describe it would be Hobby Lobby meets Pier One meet Oriental Trading Company. Sort of. They sell furniture, plants, silk flowers, housewares and “miscellaneous”.


Once we got the chairs home, assembled and out on the porch, it became evident that the new addition didn’t really complete the look I was after. The term “putting lipstick on a pig” comes to mind.

The front door needed refinishing, the windows were dirty, the large pot of dirt out there needed filling and the impulse buy of two ferns from the grocery store needed to be hung. An ambitious project, but I was ready, willing and able to accomplish everything I wanted to accomplish on Monday. I went to bed Sunday night with every intention of getting to work on my project bright and early Monday (mid) morning.


That was before I woke up in-explicitly at midnight and couldn’t get back to sleep. I tried reading. That seemed to work until I turned off my book light, set down my kindle and shut my eyes. Wide awake again. I eventually got up and went to the couch, figuring I would fall asleep watching the television. Three and a half hours later, I was exhausted and a little perplexed why Animal Planet would devote a 30 minute time slot to Mike Tyson and his dream of pigeon racing. But I digress…


My point is (and I do have one), what I wanted to do was get the kids off to school and go back to bed. I was tired, grumpy and completely out of sorts. I didn’t feel like going to Walmart, buying hooks, potting soil and something to put in the pot of dirt. I didn’t feel like doing all that stuff I told myself I was going to do. And honestly, my world wasn’t going to come crashing down if I chose to go back to bed and leave all that stuff for another day.

But you know what?

I went to Walmart.

I refinished the door.

I potted a fern in the pot of dirt.

I hung the ferns.

I even dragged the spring wreath out of the garage.

I did all the things I set out to do. And yes, I was even more exhausted when all was said and done. But sometimes you have to suck it up and do the things you set out to do. You keep your promises and follow through with what you said you were going to do. Even if those promises are made to no one else but you.

Now, to get some flowers planted!

Sometimes especially then.

My first new visitor.

This post is part of the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival: Goals, hosted by my friend Peter Pollock. To read more posts on the topic, please visit him at

A long way to go

No twitter post today. Perhaps tomorrow. As random as I tend to be, I’m fairly disciplined when it comes to how I post for this blog. There is an order to this seemingly hodge-podge little blog.

But as the news began to trickle in about the goings on in Haiti, and then the news of Pat Robertson being, well…Pat Robertson, this song kept playing in my head over and over. The words of the song in tune with what was going on in my head and in my heart.

So much death; so much need and desperation. It’s painful to watch mothers and fathers grieving for their missing children; children searching for their mothers and fathers. I just wanted to shut it out. Turn it off. As selfish and self-absorbed as this may sound, I’m just not ready to process all of this right now. I’ll get there. Just not today…

If you’re so inclined, please visit my friend Sherri’s site, Matter of Fact, and read her post Hope for Haiti