Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

My newsfeed this week was filled with stories about Mother’s Day being painful for some people (I know) and how we should temper our celebration of this holiday by honoring all women instead of just mothers. I read an article by a well-known pastor who said his church will not be focusing on mothers with their service today. Fair enough. I wonder if he’ll do the same on Father’s Day. Should we not single anyone out to thank them for their service lest it offend someone else?

When did saying thank you to one person mean you were leaving another person out? Is this a political correctness thing? Do they really mean by honoring mothers today we’re being exclusive instead of inclusive? What a load of crap! I don’t know how or where this new trend began, but it sucks!

Before you think me cold and indifferent to the pain floating around in the world, let me share a bit of my own story.

I struggled with infertility for seven years before I had my first child. I spent many Mother’s Days dying on the inside as I cooed at the baby sitting in front of me at church, and played with my friend’s kids. I know the pain of hope and wishing I was a mother.

I lost a baby in 2008. It’s the single most shocking and horrifying moment of my life, and I blogged about it here and here. My heart aches for all of the other women who’ve experienced such tragedy. I know the pain of all of those missed birthdays, hugs and kisses, and the little girl I’ll never know.

I grew up the daughter of a single mother with multiple mental illnesses. She’s no longer in my life, not because she died but because we cannot be in relationship anymore. I know the pain of not having a mother who could mother me. I meet women all the time who deal with that same pain, and I love several women who are missing their moms today because they’ve already entered eternity.

I get it. We are surrounded by wounded women. Many of us ARE wounded women. We should be sensitive to the experiences of others, but lessening how we honor mothers today doesn’t erase those wounds OR rub salt in them.

When we celebrate Father’s Day, we’re honoring the dads in our lives. Some biological and some not. We honor men who have fathered us and also the men who we admire how they father others. There are father wounds around us too, but celebrating fathers does not make men who are not fathers lesser in any way. It’s just not about them on that day, and that’s okay.

When we celebrate Veteran’s Day, we’re honoring the brave men and women who have served as military veterans in our armed forces. I’m not a veteran, so Veteran’s Day isn’t about me, but it doesn’t take anything away from me or cheapen my role in this world in any way to spend that day thinking about and honoring the veterans in my life.

Why can’t we look at all honoring holidays this way? Why do we have to perpetuate a self-centered, victim mindset? Sometimes it’s just not about you!

I am a mother. I’ve mothered hundreds of people in my lifetime and it hasn’t subtracted anything from the three children who live in my house.That’s the beautiful thing about love – it expands to fill the need.

Today is about celebrating who I am as a mother. It’s about honoring the sacrificial lifestyle I’ve chosen as a mom. It’s a time for my children, husband, friends, and family to acknowledge who I am and what I do.

Mother's Day card

Today is a thank you for the thousands of meals I’ve cooked and the mountains of laundry I’ve washed, dried, and put away for them. It’s a thank you for cleaning up vomit in the middle of the night, and my amazing splinter-removing skills. It’s a thank you for spending weeks reading the Harry Potter series aloud, and months teaching them phonics so they would someday be able to read Harry Potter on their own. It’s a thank you for the late night talks about navigating friendships with people who hurt your feelings, and puberty, and frustrations with school. It’s a thank you for the many miles I drive every day to get them to work and back home or connect them with their friends.

While I am grateful for the ways my tribe honors me on other days of the year, today is special. I get two days a year that are all about me, Mother’s Day and July 29th – my birthday. Let me have them! Let me be celebrated by my loved ones how they see fit and don’t tell them their actions are insensitive to the wounded women around them. That’s not fair. To those who think by honoring moms you’re being insensitive to other women, I ask you to rethink your position.

If you are a mother, I honor you today no matter what your circumstances are:

Those who have birthed a child, I honor you.

Those who have given a child a better home through adoption (both the giving up and the taking in), I honor you.

Those who chose not to keep their child and hope to be reunited with them in eternity, I honor you.

Those who have no children of their own but choose to love other children in their lives, I honor you.

Those who have lost a child, I honor you.

Those who wish they had a mom who cherished them, I honor you.

Those who are navigating difficult mother/child relationships, I honor you.

Single mothers, I honor you.

Married mothers, I honor you.

Widowed mothers, I honor you.

Happy Mother’s Day, Moms!

You are seen. You are loved. Thank you for who you are!

For everyone else: Choose to honor a mom in your life today! Kind words, a text, a phone call, a card or letter, flowers, chocolate, or time spent with them and for them. They deserve it.

kiddos

These three each gave me a dozen roses, a box of chocolates, and the rest of the day to do whatever I want…by myself. Happy Mother’s Day to me! 😉

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I know the title says a random person but the person I chose is anything but random. I’ve already blogged about Zoe and Pete. Now it’s Max’s turn.

me and Max

He’s my first born, my fellow night owl, my handsome, strapping sixteen-year-old son. He’s strong, and strong-willed. He’s protective and fiercely loyal. He’s a natural leader – how could he not be when he was born to two first-born children. He’s bigger than me, but I know how to take him down because I’m the momma and I know where he’s ticklish.

 

He’s a comic book and anime geek. Having people ask to take their picture with him at Denver Comic Con might have been the highlight of his weekend. As I mentioned in an earlier post, he’s a fan of both the DC and Marvel universes, but leans more towards the DC side.

12191402_10153761427289749_7289091659467275482_n

He’s also a drama geek, like his parents before him. He has a lot of hobbies, but his life right now is mostly about finishing high school as soon as possible, Kainos – his youth group, and his girlfriend Sarah.

max and sarah

He spends his free time designing and creating things out of raw materials and duct tape. We gave him an iPad mini for Christmas last year and his favorite gift was still his dremel. He’s a creative kid, and he uses what he learns and knows to teach others. He started his own youtube channel when he was eleven years old to teach other kids how to make things.

kiddos

Max calls me “Mommy” and gets frustrated with the other two when they call me “Mom.” I love that. I love him, this giant man-child who made me a mommy for the first time. He’s amazing and I’m proud he’s my son.

There are a few more random people to read about:

Don at https://donhillson.wordpress.com/

Beckie at http://free2b2much.blogspot.com/

Tracy at https://countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com/

Read Full Post »

Zoe Grace

Zoe Grace.

She’s my sweet girl, my mini-me in so many ways.

She’s my reminder that what I say and do matter because she is always watching. Always.

She sees when I choose to love myself and when I don’t.

She watches when I hold my hands out in acts of kindness, and when I silently put them in my pocket as I exercise self-control through boundaries, and so I don’t bring physical harm to the idiots in my life. 😉

She’s aware of the times I use my tongue for good and when it gets the best of me and I wield it in anger.

She asks me difficult questions, making me think hard before answering because my words hold weight.

She seeks my approval and affection because I am the first woman she looks to for a glimpse of who she is and what she is about.

She values my opinion because she knows I’m a thinker, a researcher, a lover of people, and her momma.

We laugh together, cry together, and talk about life a lot.

Life. It’s what her name means and boy does she live up to it!

I get to mentor, parent, teach, train, and love this beautiful child as she grows into the woman she is becoming. Lucky me!

june 9 2015 390

Go catch up with my fellow challengers and see who they mentor:

Don at https://donhillson.wordpress.com/

Beckie at http://free2b2much.blogspot.com/

Tracy at https://countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com/

Read Full Post »

It occurred to me that I should occasionally follow the rules, so though I have three beloved children and they’re all my favorites, today I’m going to choose only one to write about.

kiddosI chose Pete. He’s my youngest. My last. My baby. The one who tags along with me a lot because he’s not as social as his brother and sister. He’s my mischievous child. Just look at that face! I shot this a few minutes after I told him he couldn’t walk in the stream.

Mt. Evans (40)

“I didn’t walk in it. I only stepped in it.”

Pete has his own sense of style and doesn’t care what people think about it. His socks NEVER match, he wears camouflage every chance he gets, and his latest fashion craze is his women’s fuzzy polka-dotted robe.photo(9)peteSee? I was serious! This kid makes me laugh with his punny jokes. He asks me astoundingly intelligent questions that are difficult to answer. He says he’ll never stop cuddling with me. Eventually that might get awkward, but at eleven years old, he can’t foresee a day in his life he won’t want to cuddle with me. I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts!

june 9 2015 655Pete is a pretty amazing kid!

Read about more amazing kids on my fellow  challenger friend’s blogs:

Read Full Post »

I was whining to Benny about today’s post – how I can’t pick just one person as my best friend. That’s not how I live my life! He suggested I do a Weird Science thing and combine all of the best and most desired traits to make the perfect best friend. After I stopped laughing, I realized there’s a nugget of truth to that approach. I’m complex and so are my friends. There is no one person that meets all of my friend needs, not even Benny. I’m connected to different people for different reasons and circumstances, but there are some things all of my closest friends have in common: Mutual trust, loyalty, humor/silliness, and depth. With that as my criteria, allow me to introduce you to my best friends right now. (I stole their pictures from Facebook.)

I’ve already written about Benny, Lennie, and Tawnya, so I’m moving on.

ksKaren is my best friend in Denver. We met at church several years ago. I was actually friends with her husband first and he introduced us. Thanks John! She is my reading buddy, movie date, and we henna each other’s hair. She’s the one who went on vacation with me and Tawnya a few years ago. She is so unlike me in all the right ways. She’s Spock to my Kirk – more logical and level-headed where I tend to be more cocky and fly by the seat of my pants. She has two green thumbs (maybe more) while I joke about growing people, not plants. She does that too – grow people! She’s amazing! We share a birthday month, so we celebrate together as long as we can.

heatherHeather and I speak the same language. We both grew up in difficult situations but are overcomers and we’re thriving now. We are not only fluent in sarcasm and witty comebacks, we speak the same dialect! Ha! Before she moved to Texas, she was my movie buddy, and writing buddy, and pina colada buddy. I flew to San Antonio to see her twice this summer. I’m trying to convince her Colorado is her real home. We’d spend less time on the phone, and I have the mountains on my side, enticing her. 😉

don and matthewDon lives too far away! I can’t put a French number on speed dial, so I am especially grateful for Facebook Messenger which allows us to connect almost every day. He’s my partner-in-crime for these challenges we take on, and he’s a fellow geek/nerd. We both prefer Star Trek over Star Wars, go head to head on trivia games, and have a sort of brother/sister relationship. You know, because my five brothers don’t tease me enough. I wish he’d move back to Colorado, but I know that’s not happening anytime soon. I’ll enjoy his friendship from afar for now.

beckBeckie and I have known each other the longest since we met in college. She’s older, wiser, and funnier than me. We didn’t know each other well back then, but we sure do now! Beckie and I grew up in the same faith heritage and we’ve struggled with forging our own paths, which is a nice way of saying we own matching sets of baggage. She is a fellow homeschooling mom, we both have a Max under our roofs, and she might as well live near Don in France for as often as I see her. Still, I adore her. We talk about deep stuff – stuff that almost requires oxygen masks and reminders to breathe. Those chats are balanced out by bouts of silliness sisters might share. She’s like the older sister I never had.

cherieCherie is my best friend from church, and my dealer. She supplies me a good portion of the Chai I consume. 😉 She’s a fabulous lunch date! We have a regular booth at Chili’s where the server knows our appetizer and drink order by heart, and greets us by name. Cherie makes trips to American Furniture Warehouse seem like a day at the circus, and dreams about future projects with me as we treasure hunt at thrift stores between our houses. I love spending time with her, and not just because she spoils me.

RebeccaRebecca is my best friend from FACE, the private school for homeschooling families that meets once a week. Though we’ve both been there for years, she and I connected a few years ago when I taught a couponing class to the moms. I’m so glad our friendship has grown because Becca has such a sweet spirit and she’s hilarious! Her daughter is in my drama class and good friends with Max and Zoe. Becca spoils me too.

I noticed another common thread with all of these people. All of my best friends are introverts. How did that happen???

Want to read more? Check out my fellow challenger’s posts too!

Don at donhillson.wordpress.com

Beckie at free2b2much.blogspot.com

Tracy at countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com

Read Full Post »

I don’t have just one favorite of anything, especially people.

My best childhood friend? Easy! My cousin Jodee. We didn’t go to school together, but we went to church together and more importantly, church summer camp. We were the Wood girls, and we were inseparable most of the time. She was my first true friend. We trusted each other with our secrets and had halves of best friend necklaces. We laughed, prayed, cried, sang, crushed, served, dreamed, and grew up…together. I don’t know what I was to her, but she was my rock. I wish I had a picture of us together when we were little. The only one I know of is the two of us standing in front of the fireplace and I’m wearing my underwear over my pants. I’d share it if I had it. 😉

High school best friend? This is where it starts getting tricky. Jodee was still at the top of my list, but I also had my best guy friend from school – Tim Ranis, two best girl friends from school – Lyanna Steers and Lisa Bashaw, and two best friends from camp – Rob Martinson and Jeremy Harness. Three guys. Three girls. Through the magic of Facebook, I’m still connected to them all! Lucky me! If I had planned better, I could have shared pics of all of them, but that requires tracking them down in photo boxes, or stalking them on Facebook.

DOE CollageCollege brought a whole group of best friends into my life in the form of the DOE Club. We were a small group of dorm girls who bonded over Oreos, Tropicana Twister, and hours-long conversations about all aspects of life. What happened in DOE meetings stayed in DOE meetings. Secrecy and trust are essential when you’re splaying open your chest so everyone can see your heart, so we never allowed new members to join us no matter how much we loved them. Too much had been shared. It sounds selfish, but it was self-preservation. I love my DOEs!

Even within this AMAZING group of girls, there was one I was closer to than the others, and she’s still one of my best friends today. Since our college days, Tawnya (Widel) Hart and I have traversed many of life’s mountains and valleys together. We live ten hours away from each other, but still manage to stay in touch. We’ve traveled to see each other many times, and a few years ago my best friend from Denver and I met up with Tawnya and flew to the east coast to vacation for a week together in the Berkshires. What a fabulous trip!

kntLast but not least, my college guy best friend and favorite nerd/geek on the planet – Kevin Lewis. We traveled together for the singing group we were in, met weekly to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation, and he walked me down the aisle at my wedding. It’s really a toss-up which guy was more influential in making me see my worth as a woman in a non-sexual way – Tim or Kevin. I adore them both! We got to spend some time together this summer and it made me so happy to watch our daughters become friends. So what if there’s a ten-year age difference.

NK CollageI can’t even get into all of the best friends I’ve had in the last 23 years since college. There’s one or two in every city I’ve lived in, every group I’ve been part of, and every season of life I’ve been through so far.

All of my friends are the BEST!

Go read about my friend’s friends here:

Don at donhillson.wordpress.com

Beckie at free2b2much.blogspot.com

Tracy at countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com

Read Full Post »

Me: Hi Dad! So…I’m doing a writing challenge this month and YOU are my topic for today. Is there anything you do or don’t want me to tell the world about you?

Dad: (Long pause) What is this for? Facebook?

Me: No, it’s for my blog. A couple of my friends and I have taken a writing challenge for our blogs this month. So…this will be public.

Dad: Do you have to interview me?

Me: Um…sure! I can do that! What do you want to be when you grow up?

Dad: (Laughter) I don’t know if you’re being serious or not. I’ve actually joked about that recently.

Me: Dad. This is very serious business. (Holding back a giggle) Let’s start with an easier one…What’s your favorite color?

Dad: Well, when I buy a car, I tend to go with blue, but I really like green, you know the color we painted our office? It’s also the color of money. (He laughs again)

Me: Good answer! I love green. It’s my favorite too. Okay…Tell me something fun on your bucket list.

Dad: Aruba. I’d like to vacation there sometime. I always thought that would be interesting.

Me: Well, I know you’ve traveled a lot, any chance that will become a reality?

Dad: I don’t know…maybe.

Me: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done so far on your travels?

Dad: Shari made me go parasailing with her. I didn’t want to go, but now I’m glad I did. We also really enjoyed snorkeling in the Bahamas.

We chatted for a bit longer about Max’s girlfriend and what I’ve written about so far with the challenge, then my friend Cherie showed up to surprise me with Chai (YAY!) so I had to wrap it up…

Me: Okay Dad, I’m going to write this post tonight and tomorrow I’ll send you a link to it…and a picture of Max’s girlfriend.

Dad: Can you use an alias?

Me: (Laughing) I think the title of the post will make the use of an alias a moot point. Okay, what would your alias be, Dad?

Dad: Uh…Elmer.

Me: Elmer???

Dad: I supposed Fudd would be too obvious.

Me: Hahaha yeah, probably.

Dad: Elmer Johnson, then.

Me: That sounds like a very Wisconsin-ish name. Okay, Elmer. I love you. I’ll chat with you soon!

He cracks me up! 🙂

Since I didn’t record the conversation, I may be slightly off in the details, but this was fun. I love my dad. He’s a funny man. I don’t get to see him very often, but I really enjoy our time together, and we do have our phone conversations to look forward to. He’s good to me and he’s a good grandpa to my kids. Then there is my wonderful stepmom, Shari. My dad has a treasure in that woman! She’s a spunky, fun grandma!

june 9 2015 346Every year or so when I venture back to Wisconsin, my dad throws a huge party for me. My siblings and their families, aunts, uncles, and cousins all come over for a family cookout and we eat northern food, talk about the Packers, and tease my dad about his pride and joy – his impeccable lawn. 😉 It’s one of my favorite things about “going home.” After these parties, I go to bed feeling like I’ll burst – not from the food, but from the overload of emotions. I feel wanted and accepted and loved. My dad does that for ME. Wow.

We got to spend Easter with them this year. It was the first time in ten years all of my kids were in Wisconsin at the same time, so we did the “Grandpa tour”. He showed them the houses he lived in and his old school, he took them to the skate park and watched them do their tricks on their skateboards, and he showed them his model train and let them run the controls. We also introduced them to the wonder that is blue moon ice cream, and I drove them all over the city on the “Mommy tour”. It was a great trip!

Isn’t he handsome? Every Father’s Day I pull this photo out and post it on Facebook. It’s an older one, but I love it. I didn’t grow up with my dad, but he’s been in my life since I was in college. I’ve known him much longer than I haven’t. I don’t tell him often enough, but I’m crazy about him! (Even if he needs a better alias. We’ll work on that.)

Check out these other Dad posts:

Don at donhillson.wordpress.com

Beckie at free2b2much.blogspot.com

Tracy at countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: