Category Archives: Zoo Crew

Let Love In

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Let Love In

As parents, it’s easy to see where our children need love. They need love when they’ve had a bad day at school. They need love when they missed the ball at practice. They need love when their brother tore the head off their favorite baby doll. And they need love when the dog won’t play with them after they spilled their noodles on the floor and when they lied about finishing their homework. The job of a parent might include the roles of chef, chauffeur, nurse, counselor, teacher, preacher, laundry-doer, and referee; but no matter which role you’re taking on, being a parent always involves dishing out love.

As moms and dads, we’re consumed with the needs of our children. We want to build their self-esteem and their character. We want to foster creativity and inspire faith. We try to teach them to play fair and share. We spend every waking moment creating this list of things to do just make sure we’re hitting the mark. But there is one thing we sometimes forget, and it’s really simple. We’re people too!

Just because we’re parents doesn’t mean we don’t have our own inexplicable bouts of grumpiness. Being moms doesn’t make us exempt from overwhelming loneliness or feelings of failure. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to stop ourselves in the middle of our own destructive patterns and just let love in.

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Do the Happy Dance

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I did it! I survived the summer! I know, some of you moms are weeping in your Frosted Flakes this morning as your little ones made their first journeys to kindergarten. Some of you are just sad that summer and all your extra time together has come to an end. I have been both of you, but today I’m the mom I never thought I’d be. I’m the mom that shouted “Hallelujah” at the Silence of the Zoo!

Don’t get me wrong, I love lazy days and lemonade and picnics by the pool, but with these kids at home, the grocery bill is somewhere around $500 a week, and I think a whopping $50 of that is just toilet paper, so YES! Enjoy them Tigerland. I will pick them up at 3pm. Read the rest of this entry

No More Shadow

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No More Shadow

Seventeen years ago I was a young mama full of enthusiasm. We had just moved into our house and I absolutely hated it. It was so small, so bland but the landlord offered to sell it for a rock-bottom price and I had HGTV so we started making it our own for our little family. We had a bubbly little girl, a bundle-of-joy baby boy, and a black Labrador retriever that was never meant to be our dog and she’d just had a litter of puppies.

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We weren’t going to keep any of them. I swore it up and down as my little Dyl Pickle toddled through the hallway saying “puppy” for the first time. Then Blondie started getting attached to the runt. “But Mama, this one is so tiny…..” Read the rest of this entry

Two Pieces of Pie

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It’s been quite a week here in the zoo! Partly because today is my birthday, and I’ve been celebrating all week long. I often get the birthday blues because I shared my birthday with my grandfather for 27 years. Losing him still stings like a swarm of bees straight to the heart.

My life is chaotic. I spend half my time hoping he’s up there watching me, and the other half praying he didn’t see that… you know the moments- the ones where the house is gross and the kids are grosser, or when I forget to hold my tongue, the days when I accomplish nothing. How many times do I say to myself: “If Softy were here, he’d know what I should do…”? Read the rest of this entry

Blessings, Not Bee Stings

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I have to admit it. I’m one of those people. I love inspirational quotes. Yep, I do. I try my best not to over-share them on Facebook or pin too many on Pinterest but sometimes a good ole quote is exactly the boost I need!

This morning as I walked up the stairs at the high school, I noticed some very profound words hanging on the wall. They went something like this:

Respect

It was a good day for that reminder to cross my path. I was on the verge of spewing some highly disrespectful thoughts. Sometimes it’s very hard to face ignorance with kindness. Read the rest of this entry

Still in Shock

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Still in Shock

I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been captivated by Anne Frank. To me, she embodies the kind of optimism I try so hard to cling to. Despite being locked in an attic during her coming of age, despite being a victim of one of history’s darkest moments, she still held true to the idea that really the world is made of people who are genuinely good at heart. Whenever I go through tough times, I try to remember that even when faced with the holocaust she believed in the goodness of humanity.

Sometimes I feel like maybe I’m just a little too naive when it comes to believing in people. I always say to myself “we’re safe here” or “nothing bad is gonna happen” and then when I’m wrong, it’s a devastating feeling. Read the rest of this entry

Swing Batter, Batter, UH-OH!

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For the past decade I’ve spent every Spring (except for one) on the baseball field. I love to see my boys in their little uniforms- cleats, belts, baseball caps, chewing gum in the dugout, wearing the wrong socks…

When Dyl Pickles was little I took being a player’s mom very seriously! “Eye on the ball” I would shout, or “level swing” I would say.

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Love is Not Genetic

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For a while my kids were so into Duck Dynasty that we had it saved on our DVR. I didn’t even realize a new season had started until I noticed three episodes were saved, so I turned it on. It’s one thing my husband and I don’t argue about. He doesn’t love my HGTV obsession and I seriously cannot stand watching someone hunt or fish on TV, so Willy and Jase give us a little sliver of neutral ground.

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The ZooCrew in Monroe, Louisiana. My grandpa use to say you can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose… but you can pick the nose of a Robertson.

So, I hit play- as the show ended I realized there were actually two episodes saved together, one was Duck Dynasty and the other was a new spin-off, Expanding the Dynasty, which chronicles the new journey of Jep and Jessica Robertson, as they venture down Adoption Road.

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Old Dog, New Tricks

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So this is Macy. She’s sixteen years old, which according to our calculations makes her roughly 112 in doggy years. If there were an AARP for dogs, she’d be card-carrying member. I’ve always heard you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but I can assure you this isn’t true.

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Recently Macy figured out how to have a warm snuggly night at my expense. She grabs the corner of my down comforter with her mouth and pulls it on the floor in the middle of the night and she even takes a pillow if there is one close enough to the edge of the bed. For a while I thought the kids were tucking her in, but one night I woke up and there she was- dragging the blanket right off my feet. Read the rest of this entry

The Last One to Hug Me

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Today my son turned 1o years old. You know what birthdays do, they send you on those journeys of reflection. I don’t think I’ve ever made it through a birthday for one of my children without glancing back at the baby pictures.

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For a long time I didn’t want to talk much about the way we adopted our youngest four children. I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes or hurt anyone’s feelings. I especially never wanted to acknowledge the fact that they are all considered “special needs” kids. Read the rest of this entry