Tuesday, December 29, 2009

almost right

so today, while attempting to call my brilliant and talented friend, natalie, i relied heavily on my crazy good memory. i recalled her digits from deep within the depths of my tired mind...a number i had not dialed in over 2 years (because im THAT awesome at keeping in touch). often wrong but never in doubt (as my incredibly perceptive dad likes to point out), i dialed. ring ring. ring ring. so a few more rings later and the voicemail kicks in. this message was so outlandishly stupid with the thickest, weirdest accent and strangest names imaginable, that i, remembering natalies adorable sense of humor, proceeded to ramble on a 5 minute message. no joke. of course i mentioned the 'clever' voice mail message noting the weird accent (afterall, she lives in south dakota) among other numerous details of my life before laughing once again at her creativity with the voicemail and finally hanging up. a few minutes passed when i thought to 'double check' my crazy good recall skillz with my contacts list. yes, i had her number in my contacts all along, but my phone was charging and i was so very sure of myself. blah blah blah. once i checked the number (merely for some ego stroking affirmation) i realized i was off by one number. just one. but...we all know thats really all it takes, right? so im waiting for freak show voicemail people to call me back anytime. ill keep you posted. sometimes i really impress myself with the level of dumb i somehow reach. good job, katie, that memory is almost as awesome as your judgment.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

something brilliant

if you were hoping for something brilliant to read, join the club. im simply hoping for coherent thoughts that fit like puzzle pieces rather than one of those stupid staring pictures that were oh so popular a decade ago. the ones where if you looked at them long enough and let your eyes glaze, the most wonderfully obvious picture would come into view. ive never ever been able to see one. maybe im not patient enough to wait, maybe when my eyes glaze my mind quickly follows or maybe my failure to recognize the obvious in those pictures is one more facet of my life where regardless of the time i spend, the obvious hidden meaning eludes me far longer than id like to admit. clarity for me, im afraid, simply takes more time, effort and experience than one of those eye glazing moments. the truth is, it sometimes takes years.

and here i am, finally soaking up a bit of clarity in a house that is strangely silent except the soft hum of our heat and im staring at the most perfectly imperfect Christmas tree with ornaments crammed on the top third so the littlest of the little people can no longer reach/choke/break them. i cant help but think of this most glorious season of giving and receiving and what i have to be thankful for. ive had this pervasive thought over the last few weeks as certain people have crossed my mind that you can tell so much about ones priorities by how they spend their time and how they spend their money. i know of some of the most generous people who sacrificially give to so many with their time, talents and finances. i know of others that while they have much to offer, are mere sponges in life. soaking up excessive amounts of attention, love and possessions without so much as giving a trickle of themselves in return. one is incredibly inspiring, the other nauseating. i have the profound privilege of spending one night a week with a group of high school girls from our church. its a life group of sorts where we share our days, questions, concerns, thoughts and prayers for one another. we had our Christmas party last night and one of the girls on her own had asked if we could collect money and purchase something through world vision. her generosity moved me. her thoughtfulness inspired me. at 14, she has a sincere consideration and compassion for others. and so in the midst of laughter and comfort, we stopped and shopped for those who this Christmas (as well as the other 364 days of the year) have very little. we are financing the education of 3 kids for a year simply because one person thought of someone else.

priorities tend to shift over time with the demands we place on ourselves or have placed on us. while we tend to say our priorities are the same...many say faith, family, friends and others....like who really wants to admit theyre number one priority is themselves? yet, i know people who live out their faith in the most dutiful of ways, see their families with the leftovers of themselves and rarely make time for the friends in their lives. and others? what others. sure, while the idea of helping and serving those in need is a lovely thought, it is just that. a thought. a thought that crosses the mind, camps out long enough to conjure up a grateful thought, maybe even a quick tear and then leaves as quickly as it entered, never leaving a trace it was ever there. and if im being honest (which i tend to do here) i empathize with this more than id like to admit and while its easiest to point the finger at the biggest sponges i know, the truth is i have had countless moments where i found myself caught up in the overwhelmingly sad reality of others only to simply move on and back into my own world where things are much easier to stomach and the blessings are too numerous to count.

and i want to do more and be more to those most in need. if i truly want to raise selfless children with hearts of compassion and gratitude, they have to see it first with me. and regardless of what we do already, i know we could do more. when i think of the money spent at this time of year, this glorious time that began with the greatest gift of a Savior, born bloody and crying in the arms of His mother, i think of what all of these purchases have to do with His birth. sure, we give gifts to celebrate His arrival, the sacrificial gift given to us so many years ago...but what do our gifts say about His gift? what am i giving this year that glorifies and honors His life changing gift to me? and im not suggesting we stop the gift giving. im simply giving more than a moments pause and thought to the idea that if all i do is give to those i love rather than those in need, perhaps i am missing the message of the greatest gift of all. surely He did not come to simply save us, but also to redeem us and change us. to bend our hearts toward loving, living and serving others with our whole lives, not simply in the fleeting thoughts of occasional compassion.

this Christmas will not be about me. about us. or about the amazing family and friends i am blessed to share life with. it will be an opportunity for my life to reflect my priorities with more than easily spoken words. my hope and prayer is that i am a good steward of the time and finances so generously given to me. that the way i spend the minutes of my life will accurately portray what i value most. faith. family. friends. others. clarity can be an elusive, beautiful and often times challenging thing, but always always worth the wait. merry Christmas.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

thanks peach

i can always count on georgia to lighten my mood. always. except between the hours of midnight and 6 am at which time my mood is on 'irritated' if im awake regardless of who you are. last week as a result of a routine check up at the eye doctors and not so routine appointment at the pediatricians office for 14 consecutive days of green snot, we were booked for both appointments with an hour and half between them. so doable, but not so much fun as i have become completely insane with the kids touching things in public places (i blame the media for my swine flu paranoia) and i have taken to hand sanitizing them at minute intervals in every waiting area imaginable. first up was the eye doctor where we were quickly ushered back from the waiting area with windows and armchairs (and finding nemo on the tv) into the dimly lit exam room with thousands of dollars of breakable eye equipment and one big chair that incidentally goes up and down if you dance around the pedals long enough. not a huge deal, we were after all the first appointment past the lunch hour (score!) and both kiddos are typically pretty awesome at this kind of thing. pretty awesome for awhile. not so awesome for an HOUR. no joke.

within the hour, we had successfully given the exam room an extreme kid makeover complete with 233 cheerios on the floor, an elmo phone, a sippy cup and several pacis, all of which i was picking up, wiping off and handing back to the bored lump while simultaneously trying to pick up the shower of cheerios and hide the evidence we had broken the absurd 'please no eating and drinking in exam room' rule. i was mildly distracted (read all but standing on my head to keep jack happy) when gk gets my attention with, 'mommy, the chair is way up high.' why yes it was. way up. as in i thought we may have broken it for a brief minute until gk showed me how to make it come down. apparently we had been in there long enough for her to learn the ropes on some of the equipment. im guessing a few more minutes and she could have given herself, jack and i all a thorough eye exam. so, an hour into it with me now sweating and swaying with the 25 lb jack in my arms while ripping open every fruit snack in my purse in an attempt to make all the eye crap seem less tempting to the peach, id had enough. as in...so sick of practicing my patience i could just about scream. and then i made a huge mistake. i opened the door. the one that they close immediately after putting you in there. the one that provides a layer of protection between you and them when youve had enough of the insane wait time. the one that offers an element of privacy and mystery while your left there to simply check your watch and count the minutes until you hear the footsteps finally stop outside your door and the chart finally get picked up and then...then the door knob turns and you are seen at last!! well...i opened the door. when my look of 'please help me, im dying in here with the little people' didnt get anyones attention, i started walking down the hall toward the waiting area. i had the appearance of someone just venturing off a deserted island where there was plenty to eat but the conditions were brutal. as we turned the corner into the bright shiny happy waiting area that now smelled like freedom, gk yelled, 'they have nemo out here!'. yes, gk, they do. but we have a really expensive chair that goes up and down...isnt that fun?

at this point there is no one heading my way with a life boat or cocktail and i reluctantly head back to the exam room where we happen to pass the good doctors office. where his door is open. where he is on the phone. scheduling a TEE TIME for the upcoming weekend. it is on. we get back to the cell and wait another five minutes until the doctor finally joins us. he was so chipper, probably imagining the fun hed have on the course in a few quick days while we on the other hand were now resembling survivors of some horrible experiment where they put you in a room full of germs and crap that could cost you money if you break it with little light and nothing to do with small children by yourself for over an hour. and for added fun, they add in loads of snot dripping from the children. nice. anywho i explain in the nicest tone i could find (which is always fast and unnaturally high pitched when im hiding my livid side) to the tiger woods wannabe that i would love to chat but we now had 15 minutes to make it to our next appointment to check on ear infections, pneumonia and other fun stuff. he kindly rushed through his exam, kept the dumb jokes to a minimum and assured us the peach is doing quite well. as he was turning to leave he tells gk 'goodbye' at which time she says, 'goodbye. now we're going to see the REAL doctor.' he mentions that he is in fact a doctor. she laughs. literally laughs and says, 'no, i mean the doctor doctor. the one who makes me feel better.' normally i would have corrected her. normally i would have fallen over myself with some witty explanation. not after an hour. nope. this time we just left it like that and headed toward freedom on the outside of the exam room.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

the perfect time

so ive been waiting for the perfect time to blog. to throw something out there that might let all 4 of you know at least one of the countless blog worthy experiences ive had over the last 6 weeks. let me know if you figure out when the perfect time is. as of right now, i have laundry in the dryer, laundry on my dining room table, a baby covered (its even in his ears) in pasta sauce and a 3 year old spinning in circles until she falls down (at which time she sheds a quick tear, grabs a boo boo buddy and begins the process over again...the intellectual curve is beginning to even out). from where im typing i can see no less than 3 dust bunnies, a to do list that now includes showering and a menu for thanksgiving that needs some tweeking. ive got $100 for the first person that can cross my living room floor without tripping, falling or slipping on any number of choking hazards laying around left by two very inquisitive children...who prefer taking EVERY item they own out first and THEN deciding which ones they dont want to play with...preferring instead to head butt furniture and empty kitchen cabinets. so the perfect time continues to elude me, one minute, one day and finally one month at a time.

and its not that i dont have something brilliant to share (although that information is unfortunately jammed between the song 'i know an old lady who swallowed a fly' and the adorable ring i noticed on the receptionist yesterday that i keep thinking ive seen somewhere before) its just the ongoing dilemma of finding the time and then of course finding the words to tell you about it. on a side note, i have no clue as to what the hell that old lady swallowed except for the fly and while that in and of itself shouldnt have killed her, georgia has been requesting (badgering, nagging, demanding) we discover every possible thing she could have swallowed. i suggested we start and end with an elephant...making for a sure death and quick song, but ive now heard her rattle off no less than 15 different objects that old lady could have swallowed. and i digress.

i once thought id write in the morning but unfortunately as one who cant even speak well before 10 and a pot of coffee, i quickly realized the coordination to type and or think is not accessible in the early hours. the truth is that now my eldest child has begun boycotting naps and my youngest has begun training as a professional wrestler (complete with diving leaps off of furniture and head butting his sister), ive needed to be on my A game when it comes to parenting during the waking hours. and then of course the night time rolls around and while i consider myself a night owl, im more of the owl that enjoys chilling on the branch relaxing rather than hunting around full speed in the sky.

so there hasnt been time and really i havent made time. the time i have has been spent loving on my little people. wiping noses, folding tiny clothes and soaking up as many crisp fall days at the park as possible. although, now that i know the high chair works to prevent injuries to the little one and really, how dangerous is spinning and falling...i may have a plan shaping up to carve out the perfect time.

Friday, October 16, 2009

ordinary us

there will come a day when our kids, in spite of all our tall tales of life before them, will insist that we are fairly ordinary. memories of shark diving and sky diving will be part of our distant past and they will be forced to see us as parents. two people lucky enough to be sharing our days and years together, building a life moment by moment and doing our best to leave a legacy for the little people. there will be fun family trips and inside family jokes, but the truth is the vast majority of our lives will be lived in the ordinary way that all lives are, with memories and joy lying in the smallest of everyday moments. and what i want you to know more than anything is that after 11 years of we, in light of highs and lows and all that could be...i find you, wrapped up and caught up in the ordinary nothing shy of extraordinary. i am left simply overwhelmed by your abundant generosity, palpable sincerity and the film of kindness left on everything you touch.

you, extraordinary you, lead our family with love and integrity, faith and wisdom and a heart that continually puts us first. and we can never thank you enough or love you enough or tell you enough just how proud we are to be yours. how thankful we are that you, in the mundane rhythm of yesterday and today give us countless reasons to love you tomorrow. we are yours. and the ordinary is simply beautiful with you in it as you continually mold it with joy and love, kindness and respect. our minutes can be filled with chaos or peace, uncertainty or grief, but you, extraordinary you, always show up with confidence and faith wrapped in love. you protect and provide for us in a way that leaves me dumbfounded. and grateful. in the still of the morning as you leave quietly and i begin the quick drift back to sleep, i simply roll over and thank God for you. for a man that humbly serves his God, country and family with an unwavering commitment to putting others first. we are just 3 of the lucky others in an incredibly long and growing list. and so, in the dark and quiet of the morning, i smell the coffee you dont have time to drink but always brew for me nonetheless, and i raise up the most ordinary prayer of thanks to an amazing God who so graciously gave us extraordinary you.

Friday, September 25, 2009


i was told once a long time ago from some well intentioned holy rolling christian (the kind that had me seriously considering leaving church for awhile before i had a chat with God and He kindly assured me it really wasnt all about her and her types) where she, in her vast knowledge and perfect interpretations explained to me in the nicest of ways why we, as followers of Jesus, are not to ask God why He does what He does. i remember smiling politely and nodding my head all the while feeling a bit sheepish and guilty because i had asked God on countless occasions why.

why were nearly 3,000 innocent people allowed to die when a few crazy radicals thought it best to fly planes into buildings.

why didnt mr. woods from my home town blow his own head off before hunting down his wife and young children as they ran for their lives around their house while dodging the inevitable plan of death he had for them.

why the tsunami.

why are their children sold for sex for a few dollars to a multitude of sick bastards who are more than willing to pay.

why andrea yates.

why darfur.

why. why. why.

i have a million whys for God. something i read or hear or see on a daily basis has me asking Him why. He doesnt owe me an explanation or an answer. He doesnt even have to listen and truth be told i have far more questions than i have answers. i know of children in need of love. of orphans in need of parents. of kids caught up and tossed about and lost in a system that while full of great intentions is horribly broken. and i know of women who were born to be mothers, women who would make incredible mothers and if not for the overwhelming pain and heartbreak of not being able to conceive a child of their own would never meet the divine fork in the road where they, in their grief and longing for motherhood, would forever alter the life and future of a baby in desperate need of them and their love. children born of their hearts not of their wombs...most certainly after years of asking why.

and i mean no disrespect when out of disbelief i come to my Father and question Him. im not trying to fill the role of the right hand man, not trying to second guess Him in all His perfectness or imply He owes me an answer. i just cant imagine Him creating each of us with our sense of reason and logic and our minds full of natural curiosity only to ask us to spend our lives simply void of questions when it comes to what lies under His control (which is incidentally everything). my trust and faith in Him easily coexist with my questions of Him. much like georgia asking me if im going to catch her while she jumps, i can ask God 'why' while simultaneously trusting Him and His plans. i can have my faith shaken by the heartache and grief around me and be left grasping for answers and clinging to Him for the hope and peace i long to steady me. i have spent the better part of this week in a tailspin of questions for Him and while i have been honest and confused, fumbling for ways to articulate my bewilderment to Him, He has met me where i am and calmed me reassuring me once again that He is present. if God the Son, while fulfilling His purpose and having all of the answers can still cry out to His Father in immeasurable pain and ask why from the cross...certainly we, His children, when witnessing or consumed by our own suffering can ask the same of Him with the same certainty that He is listening with compassion and comfort in our time of need.

so i wonder. and i ask. and i wait for answers that usually never come or that i simply do not recognize or understand. what i do know without question is God is present and accounted for in every situation that gives me pause. sometimes Hes most visible in the midst of the storm, other times in the aftermath. but He is always there. so ill continue to love and to trust and to ask why, eagerly anticipating the day when we are face to face and all of the hope and all of the blessings that remained unseen to me in the living years are revealed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

the not so great outdoors

let me start by admitting in complete and total honesty im a total poser when i appear to be enjoying myself in the great outdoors. i own northface and merrells. i can rock nothing but chapstick for a day or two and ive been known to take a shower with nothing but a few baby wipes, but i pretty much hate every second of it. its not my thing. sure, i have romanticized the crap out of the IDEA of camping...campfires, shooting stars, crisp mountain top sunrises with nothing but the birds keeping me company. the problem is the reality of it...bug bites, crappy coffee, a hard ground, gear to haul around like mules, limited wardrobe changes, non existent shower facilities (and let me just say right here for you crazy 'oh there are campgrounds with showers and bathrooms...i say boo to you...really? i know theyre not clean, and while running water may constitute a shower to you, i require a bit more, like steaming hot water, clean tiles and soap that smells good enough to snack on). and of course theres the beginning of time dilemma of where and how do you pooh in the woods...and why of course you cant pooh for days on a camping trip. ah yes. and tava, we cant all have fifth wheels. soooo, back to why camping sucks and more importantly why its on the brain tonight...

i once thought patrick and i should go camping and like all new ideas of mine, i got overly excited and eager about the accessorizing part. i spent loads of time researching tents, perusing up and down aisles everywhere from rei to target wondering what the perfect tent would look like for us. thank God i had the opportunity to go camping in a tee pee in aspen for a few days because i immediately realized that our perfect tent looked identical to a room at the hilton. there were porta potties (which are really just little caves i refer to as hell deterrents as i imagine hell is one big giant porta potty that everyone in hell has to use and spend all their time next to) and sleeping bags and of course baby wipes. it was a fabulous opportunity to spend time with amazing students and it saved patrick and i a boatload of money because if it wasnt for that trip we would be the proud owners of all things camp like and it would all be brand spankin new.

needless to say, our sweet kids will get their love of the outdoors from some other people which remain unknown to us at this current time because we pretty much roll with people like us. however, this week i did have a brief opportunity to share with georgia a camping experience. on our way home from running errands, i, in an attempt to reward some outstanding behavior suggested we travel to a new playground. one far from our house and in the woods. brilliant. we arrived at the hidden playground to find one mama watching over her 4 year old little boy climbing on the slide. georgia was thrilled, i was thrilled. fast forward 20 minutes into our excursion. other mama and i have made enough small talk that i know she is tired and relieved to have 2 of her 3 boys in school while monkey child hangs and swings from every piece of playground equipment. jack is happily swinging in the swing and the peach is enjoying the tunnel slide. all is well. at this time the peach mentions, 'mommy, i have to go potty'. i said, 'okay, no big deal. lets pack up and go home and i promise we can come back later today or another day.' to which my natural born used car salesman replies, 'actually, i really dont have to go.' fast forward 48 seconds....'mommy, actually, i have to go poop and i have to go right now.'

several things flashed through my mind and i was left with only one choice. i looked to the other mama and said something like, 'can you make sure no one takes my baby from the swing while i take my daughter to poop in the woods?' these are words i really never thought id utter and yet, here i was, leaving my infant in the care of a stranger to take my peach into the woods to poop. i hate camping. once in the woods, the ever inquisitive georgia asked, 'what do i do?' to which i answered, 'well, honey, you just poop. right here. under this lovely tree.' she looked at me like she was waiting for me to say just kidding. when i didnt, she said, 'well, i guess im fine with that.' so she pooped. and of course she wanted toilet paper. geez, georgia, right now toilet paper and some hand sanitizer would really make my day too, but what we have is a leaf, so here you go. double eww. at this point all i wanted was a hot shower in my clean bathroom with this whole disgusting experience behind me. so we headed back to the swings to find jack happily, obliviously swinging. he was laughing at us like, 'i get to poop on myself. its so much easier.' i thanked stranger lady profusely for preventing any abduction of the lump and we called it a day. and while im no camper, the peach may just be...on the way home i overheard her talking to her baby doll and it went something like this...'so, baby, one day when youre big like me, you can poop in the woods too. its really pretty cool.' ugh.

Friday, August 21, 2009


every now and then i have a few things to share...some isolated incidents that are worth mentioning. and while none of them on their own is worthy of an entire post, when combined, i think they just might be. first of all, i just spent a wonderful weekend in williamsburg, va with my 3 college roomies. i took away a few things from the 24 hours spent together drinking wine and reliving days that are further behind us than any of us would really like to admit. williamsburg really is a nice little city full of pancake houses and historical reenactments. woo. instead of getting our history swagger on, we opted for laser tag, a visit to the winery and a record trip down to a bar on the one hip strip in the burg. laser tag:: super fun. ive played before and had a great time, but this time was even more fun thanks to the group of 15 8 year old boys out for blood. at one point one of them yelled at me when i missed an open shot on my best friend (on the opposing side) by screaming, 'shes blue shes BLUE!!! this isnt boys against girls, lady, its red AGAINST BLUE!!'. awesome. gotta love that enthusiasm. at that moment i was relieved that we werent in real combat (hed clearly be way too trigger happy) and of course that i have a son who i hope to one day have running around with guns yelling at random strangers with the same adrenaline filled conviction.

also, i know williamsburg isnt that southern by southerners standards, but seriously...i have a suggestion for all of you southern drivers on the highway....are you listening? rain is not the same as ice and you are not driving sugar cubes. please stop flicking boogers on my happy place behind the wheel and proceed at the speed you were just lollygagging at prior to raindrops falling on your windshield. this is not dangerous. this is not reckless. it is actually keeping you safer because those of us just passing through are raging at your sudden braking over the precipitation.

after spending the afternoon and night at the winery, we were tired and thankful for malena, our rockstar server who not only gave us great service with free wine and cookies, but also safely delivered us all back to our hotel when our lame cabbie never showed. at this point we all wanted to put on fat pants and relax in our room. that would make sense. but like a group of convicts just escaped from prison, we didnt want to waste even a minute of our precious freedom. so we boarded the bus to abilene, called another cab and ventured downtown with some nice turkish driver from istanbul here on a student visa at william & mary. i know you dont care, but being the big loser that i am, and having just watched patrick spend an entire year working on his thesis on muslim extremists, i was actually really curious to know what this guy thought of the terror threats abroad, specifically the extremist views in his home country of turkey. thank goodness i had a fleeting moment of situational awareness and simply shut up and color. i find it thoroughly amusing that my situational awareness on my girls night out now keeps me from chatting up the cab driver with current topics as opposed to other things. lets just say we've come a long long way.
once comfortably seated on high barstools created for the arse of a 12 year old, we promptly ordered waters and some bar food. this began the 30 minute litany of complaints and criticisms of our server by each of us. he was rude, rushed, didnt make small talk and rarely visited our table. hmmm. after a brief moment of clarity it occured to me it could be because we are at a BAR....ordering WATER....with a server who is serving, bartending and probably trying to pick up the table of COLLEGE chicks over there. im going to go out on a flimsy limb here, but i think we could finally be moving beyond this stage of our life at last. i mean really, when our topic of conversation at a bar revolves solely around our crappy service, we may be out of our zone. so we ate our crappy food, drank our tap water and called mr. istanbul to pick us up. home sweet home by 11, just in time to catch 9 hours of sleep before hitting a pancake house. an altogether great weekend with the best of friends. and no rain on the way home. perfect.

Friday, August 07, 2009

7 am

patrick made coffee this morning as he has done countless mornings before. its not that im incapable (i did make it yesterday with jack on my hip, trying to feed him a bottle with one hand without dropping the holy grail of brew with the other), its just that its hard to make coffee when i havent had any yet. my judgment is blurred, my reflexes nonexistent, my ability to speak temporarily unavailable. yesterday was a perfect example...who really tries to hold a baby and a bottle in one hand and a huge pot of coffee in the other?? someone who is clearly not yet awake and is in desperate need of the bean, willing to risk dropping the baby or the coffee in a crazy attempt at multi tasking. my sister in law lisa, (who btw is full of valuable tidbits and insights that you actually WANT to hear) once wisely summed up new parenthood as not really that difficult. i mean really, how hard is it to keep a newborn (lets throw in colic free) baby happy? its not. but doing it with 2-4 hours of sleep...thats hard. im figuring out slowly but surely its always the factor you didnt think of that makes tasks the most challenging. like navigating your way via taxi with a significant language barrier between you and cabbie. and in my case and my days as of late, its the fatigue factor.

im blaming most of my fatigue on georgia who continues to summon us to her room at all hours of the night for the most obscure reasons. a few nights back she, in a rare switch that had me smiling, called for her DADDY at the top of her lungs. when he got to her room, he immediately scolded her, 'georgia, why are you yelling like that??' to which she replied, '2 things, daddy. 1, i love you. 2, could you please put my blankie back on me?' good thing hed done his stretches that day, otherwise it would have been difficult for him to wrap himself entirely around her little finger. im also blaming shark week on the discovery channel which i cannot seem to pull myself away from regardless of the predictability (of course the guy talking on camera didnt get eaten by a great white shark unless hes giving the interview in the afterlife) or the hour to which it lasts (most recently to midnight).

and ive always been a night person, able and eager to spin my wheels at all hours of the night but im realizing as of late that the little people have not only their dads amazing blue eyes but his inexplicable internal alarm clock as well. and this, in a horrifyingly unfair twist of fate, has my night owl self being beat down by the morning people in the house. i have always reserved early mornings for God and birds, neither of which needed my attention during those sleeping hours. but now...well, now theres God and birds and children, who incidentally do need my attention at all hours. so im thankful that some sleepy ancient incans or mayans or egyptians or some other 'ans' discovered the magical bean and then had the idea to grind it up, heat it up and drink it. i imagine with so few interesting things going on back then and so few tasty beverage choices, they really persevered with the coffee idea. and im so glad they did. and that while my husband is annoyingly chipper in the morning, hes also wonderfully capable and willing to brew the best pot of pure joy imaginable. im off to refill.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

save second base

so this is one of my best friends, amy and i on the morning of the race for the cure. she is easily the most highly motivated person i know, always up for challenging herself and more than willing to find a few ways to challenge those around her (fortunately, not in that annoyingly overzealous way like richard simmons). years ago amy and suzy (who im sure ive mentioned on here before) ran a race in honor of my beautiful mama and her victory over breast cancer. since that time patrick has run one as well and yet, i, being reluctant to take on any real commitment to fitness in my life continued to watch the races come and go, reminding me just how much i wanted to participate, but never actually doing it. with my new goals in place i figured this was the year to finally run the race for the cure. its now been 13 years since my mom completed her last chemo treatment and the race was long overdue. this became THE year when amys amazing mother was diagnosed and began bravely battling breast cancer as well.

i cant help but feel like my moms cancer was a defining moment in my own life. At 18 in my first year of college while happily occupying the center of my own universe, i remember feeling invincible one minute and gripped with an all consuming fear the next. i attempted to make incredible deals with an incredible God always under the guise of 'if only You will take this from her, i will do (insert completely outlandish and impossible promise)'. at the time i remember feeling completely out of control and desperate, unable to shake the reality that there was absolutely nothing i could do to shape or shift the outcome of this reckless, indifferent and unsympathetic opponent. in an instant, i became the smallest and weakest person i knew on my knees begging God to just listen to me. to simply hear my cries and feel my overwhelming need for more time with my best friend. fortunately for me, who had laid out every possible promise to live an altogether perfect life rivaling that of mother theresa, in order to have my mothers life spared, God isnt really into deals. what He gives and what He takes away is not determined by my ability to emphatically beg, plead and promise.

after months of recovery, chemo and sickness, the prayers of anyone and everyone who has ever met my mother were answered and she was still with us. there will always be life before cancer and life after cancer in my mind. it completely shifted the terms in which i view life, the sacredness and joy of it as well as the potential brevity and injustice of it. before cancer i knew my mother was beautiful and kind, warm and patient, gentle and loving. i knew she embodied contentment and joy and had given me a glimpse into the kind of mother i hoped to be someday. after cancer i learned that in addition to what i knew to be true of her before, that she was also the strongest person i had ever known. and brave. and courageous. and hopeful and faithfilled and optimistic and unbelievably grateful. i remember her calming my fears and attempting to steady a foundation that i could feel shaking under me by reassuring me that 'if this cancer was the most challenging thing we ever faced as a family we were incredibly blessed.' and that the same God who was in control yesterday when life was cancer free is the same God in control today battling with us. these words and the loving wisdom that poured freely from them gave my weak and trembling soul hope. the kind of hope that was able to sustain me as i watched the chemo wreak havoc on her already sick body. the kind of hope that comforted me in the quiet moments of solitude when the tangible feeling of doubt surrounded me. she has always painted the future with broad strokes of hope and it is what i believe kept all of us looking ahead with the same optimism and faith in spite of the difficult journey.

it was during her months of chemotherapy that i began to see another hero emerge in my life. my father had always been brave and strong, honorable and wise, a man with conviction and integrity. and yet as i watched him stand along side her, sometimes with the strength of his love and commitment holding her up, i began to witness a love and adoration i didnt know could exist. i saw what for better or worse looked like, what in sickness and in health could mean. it was painful and exhausting, its toll brutal and yet, it was and is the most beautiful love i have ever seen. my parents get commitment and i am eternally grateful for the living example of it and for the profound impact it has left on my life and the legacy that will be passed on and on. and i wouldnt wish this disease on anyone. i would fall to me knees in an instant in prayers for you and yours to overcome this ugly threat and yet, it was through this unbearable disease that i came to see the entirety of the two most amazing people in the world, each possessing the strengths of the other and trusting in the same power of the same God regardless of the day.

so i ran. and ran. and ran. for you, mom. and for you, debby. and ill run again...to save second base, to save the ta tas, to find a cure and to hopefully spread hope in the meantime as i run in honor of you, mom, with your name proudly on my back.

Friday, July 17, 2009

duck duck goose

we are officially at the beach in duck, north carolina and after my first night of uninterrupted sleep i am feeling downright grand. ive heard that you are either a mountain person or an ocean person, a division so clear and easy to recognize it rivals the over or under camps of toilet paper rolls. and while i do know a few people who clearly fall into the mountain side of things, loving the hikes, the peaks and the views and then of course the beach freaks who long for the sand, surf and sound of the waves....i have to admit i feel like i have one foot firmly planted on both sides of this fence (no surprise to those of you who know my gemini split personality). i remember traveling through new zealand and feeling like God must have been showing off when He created the mountain ranges there and having the same feeling of wonder when i stood at an overlook in kaui gazing at the na'pali coast. it was the same feeling of awe and amazement. im fortunate to have had that feeling many times...patrick and i spent the first 5 years of 'we' traveling our tails off to as many awe inspiring places as possible finding heaven while diving the great barrier reef and in the views we took in skydiving over oahu's north shore.

but what im realizing most about my love affair with both sun and sky is that as hard as i may try to claim a strong affiliation with one, i simply cant betray the great love i have for the other. and i dont really want to. we spent some time at glacier national park a few years ago and extended our visit to check out realty in the area. i suggested that as much as we loved it there and as excited as pat was to buy our forever land, we might want to visit it in december just to make sure. needless to say, visiting montana in december doesnt have the same allure as it does in july and we have yet to return. theres also the element of height and our shared phobia that appeared while traveling on the road to the sun...pats white knuckles and inability to speak in complete sentences paired perfectly with my shortness of breath and verbal petitions to God to please keep us from falling off the edge. super fun. and yet, when we arrived at the top (with anxiety attacks behind us), we were ready to buy land and stay forever. the view and feeling of wonder was all consuming. i didnt even want to share it with a camera lens...i didnt want to squint one eye for even a moment and crowd the landscape in front of me. it was and is one of the most spectacular places in the world and i long for the day we can visit again.

but as much as i love the mountains, i could curl up next to the sound of waves and only be moved by the changing tide. i fell deeply in love with the half of the world that lives and thrives mostly in secret underwater when we started diving. i am completely captivated by the ocean, effortlessly drawn into the rhythm of the waves and wrapped in the warmth of the sun. i have freckles marking all of my dates with the ocean, one by one reminding me of time spent in its familiar company. they are evidence of times shared and memories made in the presence of one of my greatest loves. and so the beach beckons and i, eager to create more memories that will not fade over time, answer. only this time, the 'we' is much grander and much greater than before.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

decisions decisions

let me throw out this quick disclaimer...after a month of craziness (busy in a good way) i have had zero time to blog. when i finally did squeeze in a few minutes my flippin blog deleted my post as i was posting it. therefore, as this is my second go at this post, there may some additional cynicism accompanying it. i am bitter to say the least that i lost my first post when spare time is the hottest and rarest commodity in my life right now. that being said, i recently had a big decision to make...one that had me weighing pros and cons, doing quick checks of the finances and discussing time management (or my lack there of) with patrick. i was weighing the option of hiring a housekeeper (how i long for korea days with ms.hong drying my jeans on high heat and waking gk with the unbelievably LOUD noise of the plastic bag that carried her dust rags), joining a massage club (a little weird and self indulgent, but SO tempting after gamal, the wonder egyptian gave me a fab massage recently) and finally a gym membership. what i wanted most was a couple of hours a month with gamal....where i wouldnt be thinking of the laundry that needed to be done or the muscle buried far below the layers of flub gamal was massaging. ive decided to work my way backwards...starting with the fat and working my way to the housekeeper and finally the reward of a massage club someday. however, in order for me to fully embrace the gym membership, i had to come to terms with several key issues and move beyond them.

i am certifiable when it comes to working out and dieting. i admit it. it has been a cycle of sorts over the course of the last 15 years that has drug me through bouts of self loathing and tendencies toward the extreme. of course 15 years ago i was trying to be a size 2-4...that would now only be achievable if i were willing to have one leg amputated and wear the size 2 jeans on my remaining limb and even those better be stretch denim. i realized in a moment of rare clarity that i have to completely change my perspective on the entire way ive been approaching this aspect of my life. for the life of me i cannot understand why being content with my body is so damn elusive...i am truly content in every other venue of my life with the exception of this. i find it horribly arrogant and self centered to focus on it and let it (with it being so trivial in the vast scope of life) occupy as many thoughts as it does and yet, its a struggle. part of my issue is how i have always viewed exercise...it has ALWAYS been a means to an end. always. for a dress, for a boy, for a bikini, for a vacation...you name it, if its shallow, its been a great motivator for yours truly. the problem with this (okay...many problems) is that once said shallow event or relationship has passed, i go back to slugging my way through life and relying only on occasional adjustments in diet to drop the pounds. that being confessed, this is my new mantra...at least its the one i am trying to convince myself of when i feel those self loathing thoughts come up.

i will choose to view exercise as a blessing...how lucky am i to be healthy enough to work out?? there are SO many people who would love to have the opportunity to run but are unable to for a variety of reasons. and my reasons are the lamest of lames....dont feel like it, too tired, choose to not make the time, dont feel like washing my hair today...the list goes on and on. the second part of my mantra is that regardless of the results (how timely or not) i will do this for a year. with the goal of five times a week. ugh. all this being said the most important part of working out is the wardrobe. so i bought new clothes to make myself look like im a worker outer even though my out of breathness will sell me out within a few minutes. i dont need to buy new running shoes because the ones i bought 4 years ago have conveniently only been worn a handful of times for marathons...of the shopping sort.

once the big decision was made, the new threads were ready and my new mantra was playing in my head, i decided i needed to seek some professional help (read someone to hold me accountable and force me to show up). so i met with the super fit fitness manager who discussed with me a few concepts...the first being that this would take sometime and the second being that it would be hard work. great. my two least favorite things. he insisted on setting goals (something i typically resist doing...like i really need tangible benchmarks to fail at) with the short term goal of fitting into a closet full of clothes (even while knowing that once i fit into all of them again, i will still continue to rotate between black and white crews and jeans i cant remember washing) and the long term goal of making this part of my life a habit. so i signed up for a race, hired kathy the wonder trainer and got to work. once super fit fitness guy had assessed my goals and mental health he matched kathy and i up. she has assured me that over time, a lot of people experience a runners high...im beginning to think she may have a drug problem herself.

with lots of progress to be made, kathy and i began the death march toward health and fitness. she is fabulous, really and very knowledgeable with a wide stocked arsenal of pain inducing moves. ive seen her smile once and i believe with enough time i could squeeze a laugh out of her, but what shes really a master at is carrying an entire conversation on her own. similar to a dentist chatting you up with your mouth pried open, kathy can hold down an entire conversation while i simply sweat and catch my breath wondering the entire time how she can really talk and keep track of reps at the same time. its very impressive to say the least and a skill that im sure only comes after years of watching countless victims struggle to talk while completely distracted by the fire that is racing through every muscle in their body. i dont think i can recall any part of any conversation we have ever had...and we've been meeting for 5 weeks. its not that im uninterested, im just a wee bit preoccupied with the level of concentration i have to simply not fall over and quit breathing. yep, its been fun.

so, im on my way. im running 20-30 miles a week and lifting a few times as well to try and build that muscle that will hopefully be unveiled at a later date when the cardio has done its job. there will be more on this to follow...like how ive chased those unruly exercise balls all over the mats or how ive memorized the exact location of the emergency stop button on the treadmill.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


let me assure you my next post will have nothing to do with the little people...it will most certainly be about my recent decision to pay to have my arse kicked on a regular basis....yes, i have in fact hired a personal trainer and have been unable to brush my teeth since our first workout. the perk is that it is also difficult to get the spoon full of dublin mudslide ice cream to my mouth as well.

however, as anxious as i am to share my riveting and painful gym experience with you, today i have to tell you the position i found myself in just a few short hours ago. three days ago, while playing with jack, georgia informed me that the plastic clips that hook toys on strollers, carseats and trays are in fact called, hookers. i found this pretty funny as any mother easily entertained by her 3 year old would but didnt think much more about it.

but, today, at the eye doctors (gold star for anyone who knows what theyre called AND can accurately spell it) georgia mentioned to the kind doc that her brother likes hookers. yep. AND that he shares them with her because (of course) hes a good sharer. sure, this is amusing. this is entertaining off the cuff at its finest, but she saved the best for last when she blurted out, 'yep, when i lay all the hookers out on the blanket, my brother loves playing with them.'

the doctor mentioned he thought he could finally retire as he had in fact finally heard everything. nice. thanks gk....the smiles never end and we are eternally grateful for every last one of them.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


real faith in action is helping
those who cannot help you back.

something shiny

i knew this day was coming. it had to with my overly inquisitive wicked smart 3 year old who spends her sleepless nights dreaming up questions that i dont have answers to only to watch me grasp at words that arent there as i try and satisfy her curiosity. she has started noticing pictures around the house that she isnt in...baffling im sure for her as she comes to terms with the reality that as hard as it may be to imagine, there was life before gk. the other evening she noticed a picture of patrick and i in italy. she immediately came to discuss it with me...it went like this...

gk: did you take me to italy with you?

me: no, sweetie, you weren't born yet.

gk: where was i?

me: remember how before jack was here it was just the 3 of us? well, its because God was making him in heaven. thats where you were when we were in italy. God was busy making you in heaven, knowing one day He would give you to us.

gk: oh. and then He gave me to you.

me: yes.

gk: how?

me: He put you in my tummy to grow just like jack.

gk: silence.

me: feeling pretty awesome at the ease of this conversation and a bit overly confident that her question had in fact been answered to her level of satisfaction.

gk: mommy, if God is all the way in heaven, how did He actually put me in your tummy?

me: hmmm. thats a great question. do you want some ice cream?

gk: sure!

and that concluded our talk. i never thought id be that person that avoided the tough questions, but here i am offering anything to buy me more time and better answers.

Monday, May 25, 2009


this weekend has been a complete and total blur. we have been swept up in a frenzy of activity that has given us time with friends for dinner, weddings with a reception floating down the potomac at sunset (yes, it did not suck), a korea reunion bbq (really just a time for a bunch of us living in the area to come together and recap our time in korea...unanimously agreeing on 2 things...smelled like sewage and had great opportunities for retail therapy) and of course some family time. i havent until this moment had the time to even think about this day. this one small day that gives us a 3 day weekend and 4 day work week. a day that inevitably gives millions of people a reason to come together and grill out. grab a boat and head to the lake. sip margaritas and sleep in one extra day or catch up on yard work and chillax with the family. im a fan of 3 day weekends and of holidays in general. i love the extra time allowed for relaxing (or not) with family and friends. but, theres a part of me that longs to just sit and reflect on this day. this day that means so much to so many. it is a day of great significance. a day to remember and memorialize the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in serving our country and helping so many others along the way.

today, while we were surrounded with great friends and fabulous food, where the laughter of kids on a slip and slide permeated the air around us, there was a family laying their 26 year old daughter to rest in st. louis. she was tragically killed in afghanistan this past week, a young woman courageously leading her troops in the midst of loneliness and danger. we only know of her story because she was stationed with patricks brother in hawaii and he had the privilege of working with her. her sacrifice (like the sacrifice of most) went largely unnoticed by the vast majority of the country. im not implying that we as a nation should know the names and stories of all of these heroes, i just wish we would thank them appropriately for their sacrifice. a parade will not soothe the pain of the loved ones left behind, a folded flag will not comfort the half of the heart now alone, kind words from a grateful nation will not heal the wounds of a child longing for one more moment with their dad. but, we can simply remember. we can choose to not forget that while we exist minute to minute consumed by nothing more than our own existence, there are people bravely giving their lives for strangers just as thousands of men and women have done before them. it is awe inspiring. i am completely captivated by their stories and cant help but feel honored to even live in a country that produces these kinds of men and women.

when my dad was here visiting last month we made our way to the vietnam wall and then to the korean war memorial. we spent some time in a light rain on a gray day waiting for my dad to find the names of friends he had lost during his tour in vietnam. we listened closely as he retold a story i had never heard about men ive never known with families ive never met. i could barely breathe as i imagined my hero as a young man leaving my mom behind to face the most difficult of circumstances a world away. i know of no greater man than my dad. he possesses a bold courage, an unwavering integrity, an unabashed love for my mom, his family, his God and his country. he is everything i think of when i think of the word hero. he is the kind of man who is such a natural leader that he instinctively makes others better when they are around him. we took pictures of the korean war memorial to send to my grandfather who left my grandma for years to serve his country. i realized as i was snapping pics and preparing a note to send with them that i had never thanked him. i thank the lady who bags my groceries, the guy holding the door at the bank, the pharmacist filling my script, but id never thanked this man who gave so much. so, we did. gk drew a picture and i finally after all these years thanked him for serving his country with honor and for leaving a legacy of service for my dad to follow. i realized that for all the years id spent focusing on his shortcomings, id completely overlooked the fact that he had a huge hand in raising the greatest man ive ever known and id never thanked him for any of it. ive been so horribly short sighted and overly critical that i failed to ever recognize that my dad is my hero not in spite of my grandfather, but because of him. i am so thankful that God, in His mercy and goodness let me thank him now in the living years for his service and sacrifice.

so i dont know what to do with this 3 day weekend, this bonus day after sunday to fill up with additional social commitments, but i do know that at the end of this day i am simply left remembering and reflecting and realizing how unbelievably thankful i am for the thousands who have given so much. and to my dad...you cannot possibly know the depth of my gratitude, love and respect. thank you for your service and your friendship.

Friday, May 15, 2009


i know ive been lazy and neglecting the blog...its not for lack of want or material, its merely a lack of time issue. the precious minutes that i usually carve out for my therapy on this site have been spent reading (how ive missed it!!) and napping (which btw has become so rare, im not even that good at it anymore). however, this week we were able to sneak down for a quick visit with good friends who happen to live in a colonial paradise just outside of williamsburg. we thought we would cram in one final trip before they move south to alabama in a few short weeks. how quickly and easily i forget the fun and convenience of guests who choose to visit right at the peak of a stressful move...yes, i have become that friend.

within the hour we arrived, gk managed to lose the battle with her top button and pee right next to the toilet while jack peed through his diaper for the first time in months. finally after getting the little people bathed and quietly in bed (no small feat when they are sharing a room and the oldest is convinced that no bedtime routine is complete without a minimum of 10 questions and the little one is desperately trying to cut his first teeth) i came downstairs to see patrick enjoying a relaxing conversation, glass of wine and none other than a brookstone shiatsu massager on his back. (this is not to imply he wasnt helpful...he had just beat me back downstairs by a mere 5 minutes and while i was amazed at how quickly he managed to assume the 'happy and relaxed' position, i knew that with the same determination i, too, could achieve the same euphoria within moments).

once the shiatsu massager was available (guilted from his hands no less) i positioned it right between my shoulder blades and located the on switch. let the stress melt away and the relaxation begin. listen, this thing is no substitute for a great massage, but the two round balls applying strong pressure in a circular motion on my shoulders was pretty darn nice. for almost 2 whole minutes. this would be a good time to mention that im growing my hair out for locks of love...it is annoyingly long...even longer than usual and while im tempted on a daily basis to cut it myself, i am committed to doing this locks thing with a close friend whose mama is battling breast cancer these days.

so just as i was beginning to enjoy this shoulder massage i felt a slight tug on my hair. the slight tug grew into a strong pull and within seconds my hair was being wrapped around the balls of the massager. i yelled S***...how do you turn this thing off?? patrick, all relaxed and what not, jumped over to where i was and attempted to locate the off switch. thankfully, he momentarily did before accidentally pushing it too far which merely changed the direction of the rotation. at this point my hair was wrapped so tightly around the balls that they were at my scalp and i was straight up panicked. jason (co owner of the torture device) ran over and turned it off. i had not been this relaxed since the moment before my epidural took effect and i began to wonder if i was going to be cutting my hair off at the scalp. this would be another good time to mention that rayna, (primary owner of torture device) is an incredible photographer who so kindly was planning on shooting some family pics the following day. perfect. newly shaven head just 15 hours before professional pics. jason began to try and extract mangled mane while i lay still with shiatsu massage securely attached to my head. are you kidding me?? who does this kind of crap really happen to? pat assisted with 'oohs' and 'ahhs' and 'oh crap, katie, that looks really bad' while jason continued to try and extract all 16 inches of hair from this thing that i now felt had actually attempted to take my life and could only get to my hair.

jason suggested we try and disassemble the killer balls and set my thoroughly relaxed self free. with a little gentle pulling (similar to some beach tug of war) the balls were removed and i was FREE. i was a tangled and tense mess, but i was at least finally separate from the device that moments earlier had made a noteworthy attempt on my life. within a couple of minutes i, too, was in possession of a glass of wine enjoying a fabulous conversation that consisted of no less than five references to how thankful i was to be free of the shiatsu massager. jason, thank you again for saving my life.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

q & a

so about 10 years ago while happily and blissfully (and completely naively) engaged, i asked my beloved fiance if he believed in the concept of having a soul mate...one true love in the world...blah blah blah. pat looked at me and said definitively without even a moments hesitation, 'no'. NO?? what?? you cant think that way, can you?? he followed up my immature outrage with, 'i think its a ridiculous idea and pretty stupid. how do you account for people being married more than once or a widow who finds love again?' he then continued on, 'katie, please dont ask me honest questions that you dont want honest answers to'. (insert awkward silence while i pouted and processed the truth in love that had just been thrown at me). however, in the past decade, not only have i come to completely agree with him (its amazing the clarity a little life experience and age can give you and seriously...of course there is more than one person out there to love), but from that day on i have never asked questions i wasnt prepared to have honest answers to. and let me just tell you there have been some shockers. some answers i wasnt prepared for because they werent the answers i was expecting, but nonetheless, i have tried not to criticize someone for simply answering something i have thrown out there. fast forward to the miss usa pageant that i proudly didnt even know was happening (its hard to keep up with the beauty queen thing when i myself am knee deep in pageant drama of my own kind with miss georgia) but keeping up with the headlines, i became familiar with at least the most interesting portion of the night when miss california answered a gay marriage question thrown out there by none other than perez hilton. i was outraged by the back lash she received for simply giving her honest answer to an honest question. when i came across the following commentary on cnn (by someone i dont necessarily love, but enjoy reading from time to time) i felt like he was spot on in his assessment and that it was worth sharing...a first for me on the blog.

By Roland S. MartinCNN Contributor

(CNN) -- A lot of folks are always saying they like to keep it real, that they want authenticity and straight talk. Yet when someone actually does it, there is hell to pay.
Welcome to the world of Miss California, Carrie Prejean, who, since she answered a question regarding same-sex marriage in Sunday's Miss USA pageant, has been savagely attacked by those who oppose what she had to say.
Leading the burn-her-at-the-stake parade is media opportunist Perez Hilton, the self-described gossip queen, and the individual who kick-started this controversy by asking the initial question as to whether the issue of same-sex marriage should be left up to the states.
It seems that Hilton, who is gay, was none too pleased that Prejean chose to actually give her personal opinion on the issue, and ripped her on his blog after the show, using crude obscenities as he continued to attack her at every turn on his media blitz.
Hey, Hilton, from a real journalist to a wanna-be who traffics in gossip: Never ask a question if you're unprepared for the answer!
Frankly, this whole story is pretty stupid. Isn't the whole point of asking a question to get someone's true feelings, rather than the plastic and superficial answers we are all used to receiving?
Sure, Prejean could have gone the safe route and given one of those answers that reveal nothing and is hard to decipher -- you know, the ones politicians give all the time -- but no! She actually gave her real opinion, and is now being torn to shreds for it.
She opposes same-sex marriage. OK, fine. So what if she had said, "Hey, I'm in full support of same-sex marriage." Would she now be celebrated on gay-focused blogs, magazines and Web sites? Would her detractors actually be saying how open she is and that she's a great person?
Same-sex marriage is undoubtedly a hot button issue. And being from California, the site of Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that voters approved outlawing same-sex marriage, Prejean has surely had to hear the debate go back and forth. But her remark isn't outside the mainstream. A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll shows that 55 percent of Americans are against same-sex marriage, and Proposition 8 did pass in her state 52-48 percent. iReport.com: Prejean 'should step down'
What's interesting about this is that many of the same folks who are slamming her for her remark voted for President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who both have the same belief: that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
Even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it clear that she has the same view, and it was her husband, President Bill Clinton, who signed the In Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that forbids states from having to recognize gay marriage in other states.
In other words, four of the biggest liberals in the country have the same belief as Prejean, but a beauty pageant winner is being torn to shreds. Hello, hypocrisy!
Those who criticize Prejean have the same right as she does to express their viewpoints. But enough with all the political correctness, where someone says she should have danced around the issue, smiled and move on. iReport.com: 'Thank you, California!'
At the end of the day, we all have to be true to ourselves. Whether it's a gay gossip writer who favors same-sex marriage or a heterosexual woman who is against same-sex marriage. The day we condemn folks for speaking honestly is the day we become a bland society.
Maybe we're already there.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

choose them

i am saying this in love. in truth. in a moment where i have more compassion than i think i should and more concern than i thought i could. you are simply put and without hesitation, wrong. you are missing the boat and not just some small, flimsy, worthless dingy, but the aircraft carrier type. the type that moves so slowly and so steadily, so massively carrying the most precious of cargo, that for you to be missing it, your vision has to be so thoroughly clouded that you are completely blinded to what lies on your horizon. how can you miss this? how can you not see what is off in the distance and right in front of you? are you this consumed with you??

being a mother is so much more than mothering your children. i only know this because i have failed miserably on multiple occasions. patrick and i have journeyed down streets of indifference, drowned in seas of hurt and forgiveness and all the while believing the lies we told ourselves. the lies that convince you of the paramount importance of work, the inability to achieve success without sacrificing your family. the lies that tell you mothering is only about your children, meeting their needs for love and affection. for meals and fun. and while providing for your family is critical and caring for your little ones imperative, meeting their basic needs includes meeting their fundamental need for a family of stability. a home with love and support for the day, the week, the month and the next 50 years. to believe that you are taking care of your children while neglecting the vital relationship you have with their father is understandable. and forgivable...thank God. but its wrong. they deserve more. they deserve honesty and forgiveness and work. the kind of work that is exhausting, overwhelming and discouraging. it may seem impossible to repair and reconnect, but thats what you owe, yes i said owe, your children. you are running up a bill so alarmingly high that they will be left to pay. the ones who have nothing to do with you or the marriage they were brought into. born, without their consent out of a deep, real beautiful love i might add.

it does not matter how deep the wounds or how wide the chasm between how you feel today and how you used to feel is. it does not matter the weight of the hurts buried deep and the ones lying fresh on the surface, reminding you how angry and sad you are. there is plenty of disillusionment to go around, you dont own the rights to all of it. but to fail at this, this God given union, with God given children, to simply crawl away into a new life, an easier one (so you think) is failing them. you know, the ones that have done nothing wrong. and you may have convinced yourself of your justification for this and you may have lobbied really strong arguments to all that youve shared them with, but time has a way of bringing truth into the brightest of lights and while a jury of your peers may loudly side with you, there are little people who will one day be big people who will ask you why. why you gave up. gave in and let their dreams of happily flawed, but steadfastly committed ever after go.

what will you say to them? what will you try to tell them? and more importantly, when they have asked others the same question, what do you think the answers will be? what will they believe? your marriage is worth more than you realize and your children are worth whatever it takes. and it will take more than you have. it will cost you more than you realize but it will be the greatest gift you will ever give them. they havent asked for it, because they dont know its in jeopardy. but if they could, they would. they would beg and plead and pray that the choice between the life you have and the life that beckons would be an easy one to make. choose them. choose them. choose them.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


believe people when they show you who they are
the first time.
~maya angelou

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

road trip

i have about a gazillion posts in my head right now which is a pleasant switch from the usual ideas that center solely around thoughts of 'did you remember to wash your hands?', 'remember not too many wet kisses for your brother', 'please stop calling for me. i cant hear you because i am in the shower and the door is locked. please stop trying to break in. mommy only needs 4 minutes and i will buy you a pony if you step away from the door NOW', and so on. but, at this moment in time there are a gazillion. yep. that many. i have thoughts from good friday (which i again refused patricks suggestion to watch the passion every year as a tradition), thoughts (and pics!) from easter (still my fave holiday just ahead of fireworks on the 4th) and of course a few highlights from our 17 hour road trip cross country. if my family has EVER doubted my love for them across the miles, they neednt look any further than me hopping (oh so effortlessly) back and forth from front seat to back 432 times to pump and feed (no time to stop and nurse...nope, we have best times to create and then try and beat on the return trip), snacks to open, dvds to switch, toys to retrieve, water to refill, pacis to locate, babies to change (on the console no less...we are hard core), and of course the repeated explanations of why it takes soooo long to drive to missouri.

the best part of the early hours had to be the conversation that took place less than a mile from our house as we exited our development.

me: pat, so, how are we going to get there?
pat: i have 3 different options based on mapquest, trip planner and garmin.
me: great. so we have 3 different choices? which one are we using?

gk: dont forget we could also go on a plane. thats a choice too.

me: thats right, peach. and i can tell you already, that is how we will go next time. promise.

a few memorable moments::

everything you hear about west virginia is true. we stopped for 7 minutes to refill on gas and let the peach pee and im telling you, its just as you would imagine. the bathroom was a one stall type of thing with a sink right outside. it was a pretty small space, so imagine my surprise when we exit to find 4 very interesting grown women waiting in the 2 square feet of space outside the stall. it was so bizarre how they were all crowded on top of each other just waiting and watching us as we left, not even pretending to not be staring. i cant do the whole experience justice except to say it reminded me of twin peaks. enough said. what people somehow always fail to mention among the no teeth, weird mountain families comments, is that it happens to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. okay, country. fine, eastern part of the country (since colorado and montana are in the u.s.). still, a gorgeous place to drive through if youre not required to spend the night there.

kentucky is where i belong. i think. or colorado. but if i cant have colorado, ill take kentucky. the most spectacular green hills dotted with beautiful farms and pastures with more horses than i could count. it made 64 not seem as long as we drove past mile after mile of katie heaven.

fill up before you get to east st. louis so you dont have to fill up there. or make sure youre participating in the 'conceal and carry' law.

jack in the box is just as disgusting as it was when i had it in the middle of the night in hawaii 6 years ago. only worse because it was daylight and i was really really hungry and hadnt been drinking or dieting.

georgia and i could both happily substitute animal crackers (whatever, theyre still cookies), cheeze its, and fruit snacks for all three meals. everyday. i think.

jack is a rock star. he only left his car seat once in 8 hours at which time he grabbed and dumped the tray of food at jack in the box. its almost as if i could hear him saying 'you leave me buckled in a straight jacket for 5 hours...youre lucky this is all i can do'.

there is a reason our kids arent allowed to watch television. okay, theres a million reasons, but i swear, after watching dvd after dvd for hours on end, our typically well mannered peach was the most distracted, bossy and easily the rudest shes ever been. and we will happily make that trade for the trip home as well.

between the garmin, cell phone, dvd player, pump, ipod, and headphones, i was ready to throw EVERY cord and charger out the window. i was on the verge of a major meltdown every time i had to try and find anything near the console. it looked like our car was hooked up on life support and at any moment i was going to carelessly rip one of the seemingly 30 different cords out. highly frustrating for a person who likes things orderly and hates clutter and who is so challenged when it comes to anything electronic. not fun.

lesson learned...do not tell your child when you have finally entered the state of said destination if your city of destination is still over 3 hours past the state line. and you have forbidden anymore movies for the remainder of the trip for your highly inquisitive child.

other lesson learned...always check the hotel room extra super good for anything of value you may be overlooking. particularly if the things of value are white, personalized, treasured baby blankets that blend in perfectly with the white bed linens. ah yes. just a few moments of trauma while we dialed up vincent at the front desk who assured me they are in fact on their way here. we hope.