This Man Right Here

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This Man Right Here

We’ve been in and out of love, and everywhere in between. Sometimes we’re trudging through nightmares and sometimes we’re living the dream.

We’ve pushed and pulled each other hard. We’ve tested our limits more than once or twice. Sometimes we’re hotter than fire, sometimes we’re colder than ice.

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If Only

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If Only

Do you ever go to bed with the “if only” list running through your head? I do. Almost every single day.

It usually goes something like this. If only I had a little more money, I’d pay these bills on time. If only I were a whole lot thinner, I could buy cute jeans online. If only there were more hours in the day. If only my child <insert one of their names here> could just find his (or her) way.

If only the dishes washed themselves. If only I could go on a shopping spree at Lowes. If only I never said the wrong words. If only I could prove how much I care. If only I had the courage to try something completely new. If only I didn’t hate seafood.

If only I was an extreme couponer. If only I could stand on my feet just a little bit longer. And here’s one that I always say to the too-tired-to-sleep version of me, if only I won the lottery.

If only I had three wishes… for I’d surely make them in compound sentences! I’d cram three wishes into one, because that’s the way it’s cleverly done. If only I could speak three or four languages. If only my grandpa wasn’t gone. If only I could ask him one more time- about the oranges. He knows which ones.

If only my son’s stomach didn’t ache. If only my kids didn’t have bones that tend to break. If only I still had my great-grandmother’s ring. If only the whole world could hear my daughter sing.

If only I didn’t feel like I let my parents down. If only my house was a place where no one ever yelled. And while I’m dreaming up fairytales, pure unadulterated fantasies, if only my laundry magically gathered, sorted, washed, dried, folded, and put away itself for me.

If only my walls didn’t have so many holes. If only my car didn’t have so many miles. If only my smile never seemed to wear a little thin. If only I had been a better friend.

If only my prayers were answered in black and white. If only I held on a little more tight. If only I knew when to let go. If only all of this didn’t have to be so hard.

If only I could write the book that’s in my head. If only I’d been an artist instead. If only I could take back the wrongs I’ve done. If only I had taken a chance, just one. Or maybe I did, but if only I could remember when.

I guess “if only” is just a way to fret over things left undone, or things already done. And if that’s case, it’s too late to undo them. “If only” isn’t real. So why do I lay awake all night making lists of all the “if only” sentiments I feel?

High Fives!

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High Fives!

We recently celebrated my grandbaby’s 5th birthday. It’s hard to believe she’s already been part of my life for five years. Seems like yesterday, she was brand new. I take that back, it seems like yesterday when her mommy was toddling down the hall.

I remember when I was a kid, and people told me to watch out because time flies. I sure didn’t realize how serious they were. But I’ve definitely learned just how true that is. In fact, I think I realized exactly how finite time really is the day my grandfather passed away. He meant the world to me, and knowing I would never see him this side of Heaven again was possibly the most painful realization in my life.

My grandfather was magical. Seriously. He left no giggle unsolicited. When I look at my grandbabies, I sure hope they can say the same for me someday. And I hope I don’t just leave them things in a will. I want to give them things through a lifetime that mean something, just like my grandfather did. So, a few days before Presley’s birthday, I decided I really needed to make her birthday party outfit. Read the rest of this entry

A First Kiss

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A  First Kiss

It’s been three days, and I’m still giddy about my New Year’s Eve. I feel a little like a teenage girl with a brand new boyfriend, who just got her very first kiss. In a way, I did.

First, I think it’s important to note that I planned to stay home for New Year’s Eve. I’ve gotten over my fairy tale fantasies of the perfect night. In fact, I think I’d been married for about 20 years when I realized I never had one of those oh-so-romantic nights to ring in the new year.

Now, that’s not to say I’ve never had a fun New Year’s Eve. I remember a pretty kicking party at our house for the whole Y2K ring in. Of course, I had a ten-month-old and my sister had a one-month-old so somewhere halfway through the firecrackers popping and the sparkles in the air, I ended up in the nursery rocking two little boys in my antique rocking chair.

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One of the Worst Weeks

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One of the Worst Weeks

I’m going to warn you now. This isn’t a one minute read. But it’s not a novel either, so stick with me for just a few minutes.

Monday morning I had a plan. A plan to get this house back in order, or at least semi-order, because it’s been a disaster lately and honestly, I can’t even sleep when it gets like this.

I wish I could say it never gets like this. Or I wish I could just blame it on football season and say the chaos is short-lived. But the truth is, sometimes I’m drowning in a sea of dirty socks and since I can’t see the shore, I just retreat under the water and see how long I can stay down there without any air. Maybe that doesn’t make any sense to you, but it’s just where I’m at. Read the rest of this entry

Panic Mode

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Panic Mode

Yesterday I headed out on vacation a few days ahead of my husband.

I left with 5 of my kids and both my grandkids and an extra kid here or there.

Let me just say that on FB, I’m always agreeing with posts about kids and screen time and limitations – – but put me behind the wheel in a Suburban packed like a sardine can and all bets are off. It’s cell phones for everyone. Otherwise I have to bring my referee whistle and threaten to pull the car over every 19 minutes.

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Get Real

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Get Real

Have you ever found yourself reading through those sappy slideshows online? You know the ones, where they take a 400 word story and dice it up so that you click through page after page looking at pictures while your heartstrings are pulled?

I kind of hate those stories. I want them to get to the point before I’ve clicked through thirty pages. However, once I’ve made it through five or six, I feel I’ve committed myself. I need the ending.

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Driving Blind

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Driving Blind

Last week, my ten-year-old daughter rode with me to get her brother a new birth certificate. I have no idea where the original is. Out of seven kids, I’ve never lost a birth certificate. My only thought is that we used it for football registration when he still played youth football, and somehow it ended up in the wrong place.

But I spent weeks searching through everything and I couldn’t find it to save my life. Ironically, the missing document belongs to Tucker. And he’s the one child who needs everything to be ordered perfectly.

I remember when I was like that. All my paperwork was neatly filed and there were never dust bunnies under the couch. I’d say somewhere around 2003, my orderly nature started to crash and burn, exactly when Tucker was born. But it didn’t completely crash and burn until I added four more babies to the mix. Read the rest of this entry

A Real Writer

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I have a few ideas floating around in my head. Posts I’d like to write, pictures I’d like to take, projects I’d like to finish, but they’re all just stuck as ideas in my head. And why? Because I wanted to be a real writer.

Writer

What’s the mark of a real writer? Well, getting paid, of course. So, two years ago, when a job writing and editing fell into my lap, I jumped at the chance to “work from home.”

Work from home! Those are words few people truly understand. Clearly, my husband and kids don’t quite get it. I know this because I’m constantly asked what I did all day. Here’s the only advantage to working from home: You don’t have to brush your hair. Well, make that two advantages: You don’t have to wear pants, either. Read the rest of this entry

When The Challenger Fell

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When The Challenger Fell

I’ll never forget the year the challenger fell. I was in the 6th grade. Everyone was talking about the teacher who was going to the moon. And our classrooms tuned in that day, to watch history in the making.

Of course we weren’t at all prepared for what we saw. 10-9-8-7 clouds of smoke started to bellow at the base of the rockets. 6-5-4-3 anticipation was building. We’d seen space shuttles before. It wasn’t amazing that we were sending someone to the moon. 2-1-blastoff. It was amazing that we were sending someone “normal” to the moon.

She wasn’t an astronaut. She was a teacher. With students our age. One minute and thirteen seconds later, tears flooded my eyes.

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