Sometimes We Wait…


It’s been a long time…in fact, the longest time I’ve gone without writing since I started the blog.

And probably at least twelve times in the last week…Twelve. That’s a lot. I’ve sat down and tried to write something. Anything.

You know, words.

Let’s be honest, I don’t always have something incredibly profound to share, but I usually have Words. Stories. A piece of the journey that has taught me something.

In all of the up and down that has been life during the last month, the one thing I never thought would disappear is the ability to write. And yet, for all of the writer’s block I had before, it’s a hundred times worse lately.

I hate that.

But I seem to always write better with coffee, so we’ll try. It’s always worth a try.

And? Well, no matter the season of life, coffee is one of those welcome constants…I always like coffee. :)

So, a few random things about life…lately…ish.

This girl…she is headed to PK4. And though she’s been four for Two. Whole. Months, I still can’t wrap my mind completely around the fact that she’ll be in school three mornings a week. Which means, pretty much, that I’m going to cry, and she’ll tell me to stop. 😉

1stDaySelfie-finalHere we are, bad lighting and all, before her Hello/Goodbye Day at school yesterday.
She is cute. And I need more sleep. 😉

I started running again. I took a necessary (but too long) hiatus, and can I just confess that even running three miles now feels a bit like torture? And not just physical, either. Honestly, I spent so many miles on the familiar, close-to-our-house, bike path…while I was pregnant. And during those miles, I talked to God, I praised Him, I sang along with my playlist, and I dreamed dreams for our new little one.

And so going out on that bike path now is just raw pain. I’m choosing to face the pain because I need to…I need to go there and move past it. Because there are certain realities…like the fact that our house is less than 100 yards from the path. Even if I never go back to the path, it’s still going to be there.

It’s my next step forward.

And people still ask…how are you?

And if I’m in a blunt mood, I’ll probably tell you how much I dislike that question before I say anything else because, the truth is, I don’t know how to answer it.

I always feel like people want to hear, I’m great! Or, even just good.

The truth? Is that I ache and cry far more than I want to. I’ve gone exactly one day without crying in a month. One. I don’t even remember what day that was…I just remember that it happened. And thought it sounds a bit crazy…that one day out of 31 gives me Hope.

I need Hope. Lots of it.

And maybe, right now, that Hope comes in different ways. Small ways. Through coffee with friends and heart chats, through park adventures with my girl and a late-night Google hangout with a sister.

God gave me a word last spring as we flew over oceans and crossed cultures, and even in a moment of uncertainty and even fear, I knew that He was telling me that my purpose was to share my Journey.

I had no idea that this…loss…was supposed to be part of that journey. I didn’t want it to be.

But I think I forget sometimes that the journey twists and turns. We can’t always see what’s next.

And there are other times when the journey seems to stop. It doesn’t, really…but He does ask us to wait. Trust. Breathe…knowing that He has us where we’re supposed to be.

And that’s where life is right now.

There are blessings…and I’ve tried to be intentional about seeing them. Counting them. Giving thanks for each time a smile comes.

And there are hard moments, too…and rather than throwing them away, I try to remember His promises. We know JOY comes in the morning.

And so we wait for it.

And we find reasons to smile along the way, too. :)

Photo Credit: Motiqua


A Small Act


We walked with her through the crowds several Saturdays ago, her hands joining us as a family of three. Amid the chaotic scenes of ferris wheel lines and bouncy houses galore, the permeating scents of greasy, delicious cheese curds and deep fried Oreos, and the musical sounds leading up to Mandisa, I felt myself breathing thanks again.

Thank you, God, for this moment. For today…that we can be us.

And I had no idea that He was going to take that moment and etch it in our hearts forever.

You see, as we walked through the Freedom Fest, held every year in Janesville, Wisconsin, our sweet four year-old daughter stopped. She let go of my hand and turned to her daddy.

“Daddy?” She pointed toward two middle school-aged girls sitting on the ground, having a snack. “Daddy, those two girls are so beautiful! Can I tell them they’re beautiful?”

He smiled and released her hand, and in all of her 40 inches of tallness, she bravely walked over to them.

“You’re really beautiful!”

The girls smiled back and returned her words. “Thank you. So are you!”

And what my husband noticed, that I somehow missed, was the true reaction of the two girls our daughter had bravely approached. Her simple words had made their day…and he could tell it just by the looks on their faces.

Our sweet girl had taken the time to go beyond herself to make someone else’s day.

Today I’m over at God-sized Dreams, talking about doing for others in the middle of our dreaming. Will you join me? :)



On Life…and Monday and Coffee. But Mostly Life.

day lilies-final

About a week ago, I walked outside…and what I saw made the tears drip almost immediately.

At the beginning of the summer, my dear friend had given me some day lilies to replant in our yard. Being the awesome, motivated, person I am, they sat in a wagon for two days before I got around to actually putting them in the ground.

And for several weeks…I wondered. Watched them turn brown-ish. And figured they were probably beyond hope.

But when I walked out and looked at them on that Friday afternoon…

HOPE. In the form of beautiful, orange blossoms. And I knew God had sent me a little hug, a reminder…that He can always bring beauty, even on the days we feel like we’re dying.

And that’s where I am right now…in that place of waiting on Hope. Of trying to live even though, honestly, some days it feels like the life is being sucked out.

And writing…well it’s such a huge part of how I live. And so there are days, like today, when I just pound out the words and hope they mean something in the end. 😉

And? It’s Monday. Oh, Monday. How I looooove thee.

Can you just hear the sarcasm dripping? In fact, I think it’s dripping right into my coffee… 😉

What is it about Mondays? Seriously. Even as a stay-at-home mom, I don’t generally embrace them happily. Or, even embrace them at all.

But the fact that they can come with coffee, so long as I can find my way to the kitchen to actually make it…well, that might make them look just a little better.

So let’s have a coffee chat, since it’s waaaaay early on Monday and there is coffee in my mug. Thank you, Jesus, for that.

I was telling my hubby that time feels like it’s crawling right now. It’s been such a long two weeks.

In some ways that’s good. I mean, I’ve said often how bittersweet it is to watch my girlie growing up so quickly. The years are FLY. ING. And, yet, somehow, the days that have made up life since July 22nd…well, they’ve been plenty long.

The truth is that the ache is an ever-present thing. I’ve had to find distractions, sometimes purposely creating them. Loads of laundry that aren’t quite full yet might just get washed anyway to fill some minutes. Cleaning underneath the couch, (oy…) yeah, maybe that happened, too. Sort of. And I don’t forget to water my plants and flowers anymore, either. 😉

I find myself desperate to make the days go by.

Maybe that’s normal?

But by Friday night, I was so ready for something to be different. I’d been out one other night that week for the every-28-days haircut/color. (Totally serious.) But I needed…to think. To just be. In a quiet place where talking didn’t need to happen unless I felt like it. So I called my favorite nail salon and made a pedi appointment. Of course, I arrived and the place was busier than I’d ever seen it. Goodbye quiet and hello, woman next to me loudly proclaiming her joy that her friend was pregnant.

I went home that night, cute mint green toenails and all, and cried. Probably more than I’d cried yet.

And so on Saturday, we ventured A.W.A.Y. Downtown away, via Portillo’s because Chocolate Cake Shake. Enough said. 😉 And then we sat in traffic for a small forever and found the zoo. A fun day for Mae because she needed it…and she declared it the Best. Day. Ever. We were glad for her, even if we might not have shared her sentiments. 😉 Seeing her excited was fun, though. We needed fun, and we needed to smile. Even laugh, especially when she announced to several people that the wild hog was “SO cute.” Golly, I love her. :)

And yesterday. Let’s just say it’s not how I imagined we’d ring in 12 years of wedded, up-and-down, bliss. We’d had plans to go downtown overnight but decided not to leave for that long and had even debated whether to really celebrate…that word just doesn’t work right now. But our sweet, amazing friends had offered to take Mae to church and hang with her for the afternoon, and…who turns that down?

So we bummed around an area about 30 minutes from us. Drank some really bad coffee. (Seriously. I think this former-barista girl should’ve gone back behind the bar to teach them how to Make. A. Latte.) Walked and wandered a lot. Ended up at a really fun flea market and bought a bookshelf and two trinkets for the porch wall.

That might have been what made me cry for the first time that day…and in front of a complete stranger, too. But sometimes…yeah.

And we found a pizza place for an appetizer and a water (because I’m boring when I drink liquid) and played cribbage and talked about life. About how we’ll never forget the crazy trip to South Africa or the Thailand adventures. About parenting and how it’s filled us and left a huge hole all at the same time. About a little girl who has brought so much joy to our days, a kind of joy for which we will be eternally grateful.

And we talked about our sweet baby, the one who has been gone just shy of two weeks and it feels like two years. The one we named Carly Kristine…and we talk about her in our house, and it just feels right even though it makes us cry.

And I was reminded again that even in the ups and downs, there’s no other person I’d rather walk this journey with. Happy anniversary, Tobin…I. Love. You.

Tob & Mel 12 years-final
And I thought a little, too, about how writing is how I cope right now. It’s how I process life, and I don’t worry so much about how or what I write but more about where my heart is when I write the words.

And it goes back to my Father. Because He knows and He loves…and though there are times I have to remind myself of His love, it’s always there.

And maybe in all of these words and stories, I’m just trying to survive. And He’s giving me a way to survive. To live. It’s important.

And some days we just breathe…and figure it out as we go.

Thank you to all of you who have been praying…you need to know that your prayers mean the world to us. And that we’re ok…because He’s holding us.

To Monday, a new week…and the adventures that are waiting. :)