Category Archives: Family

I Was Just Excited

I knew as soon as I saw the light bar I was getting pulled over. A quick glance at the speedometer showed 70 and the two-lane was empty of vehicles minus mine and the Trooper’s.

I had my license, insurance, and a smile ready by the time he got to my window.

I was just excited I explained.

We were on our way to celebrating a weekend away for my boy’s birthday.

My eldest. My first-born.

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Long weeks until we’d been able to finally get away, but we were all getting to go now and wasn’t I thankful for this family God gave me?

As I waited for the Trooper to run my information, I remembered back to my dispatching days when there was another time I’d been pulled over.

Just over fifteen years ago it’d been.

I was excited then too, and as my red truck came to a stop on the side of the road that day, I laughed at the irony of being pulled over by a co-worker on my afternoon off.

His big smile in my window had matched mine and I showed him the picture from the ultrasound appointment I’d just left and told him “I’m sorry JohnJohn. Are you going to give me a ticket? I didn’t even realize I was going fast, I’m just so excited.”

His laugh is still in my ear and he told me “Of course I’m not gonna give you a ticket. Slow down though, you want to live to see that baby grow.”

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That day was two years before his life was cut short, and when the Trooper comes back with a smile and a warning I think of my fallen friend and offer up the unopened bag of chocolates I’d just bought at the store because it was the nicest thing I had to offer as a thanks for keeping me safe and a thanks for wearing the blue and a thanks for reminding me.

I want to live to see my babies grow.

He couldn’t take my candy back to the station, but he could take a thank you and I slow down for the rest of the trip and think of John and years and babies and gifts.

The baby that we were celebrating today was the baby I was carrying then and how does fifteen years go by just like that?

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How do friends come and go and babies grow up and grow mustaches and muscles and compassion and how does cancer change lives forever and tragedy take loved ones too soon and how do wrinkles appear even as hair disappears while faith grows strong and steady and quiet and true, and how does it all happen in a way that makes you feel like you’re flying when you don’t even realize you’re going that fast?

And the only possible conclusion is the same now as it was then…

I was just excited.

But I’ll slow down again.

I’ll remember my reminders.

I’ll stop when I need to and listen to the warnings.

I’ll smile back at the friendly faces in my window.

I’ll cherish friends while I have them here.

I’ll show my thanks with what I have.

And for all the days I’m given on this journey…

I’ll live to see my babies grow.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

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In Memory of John P. Watson 

EOW 12/25/03

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In Sickness and in Health

So…it seems tough gal is okay giving horses shots but isn’t tough enough to give herself shots, so her tough guy does it for her.

Isn’t it always something new in marriage? I bet over our twenty-two years he never figured he’d be pulling meds and hovering over syringes and working up the courage to stick two needles into his wife’s left leg.

As we sat in the bathroom and he figured out his alcohol wipes and his game plan, he told me about his dad and how Hoss could cut his own finger off and probably not even flinch, but would practically pass out when his wife was hurt.

“I feel like my dad right now.”

I told him to hurry up and get it over with, that I was just fine.

And it didn’t even hurt.

Ok maybe an eensy little bit but don’t tell him that.

The older I get, the more wee glimpses I see of what the preacher man meant when he said “in sickness and in health”.

And the more thankful I grow with each passing year for the one who honors that promise daily.

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If you are experiencing ANY of the symptoms of a diseased or low-functioning thyroid, or suspect your adrenal system is not working efficiently, PLEASE begin the big work of researching this little organ that controls so much and make an appointment to see a functional, integrative health doctor to have your blood levels checked.

Start on the road to healing and don’t let a malfunctioning thyroid and/or adrenals take any more time or joy away from you and your loved ones.

*Chronic exhaustion*Always feeling foggy*Cold all the time*Tired upon waking*Unexplained weight gain*Inability to lose weight*Unexplained muscle pain*Achy joints*Hair loss*Dry, brittle hair*Skin/nail changes* (There are many more, these are some of the most common.)

I am learning so much about this disorder that affects so many today, and along with the weekly B12 shots, a wonderful functional health doctor, the love and support of my precious family, a good supplement program, extreme diet changes, and a low dose of natural thyroid replacement, I have begun the path to healing. It is my prayer for you that you too, will be able to find a diagnosis and begin your healing journey as well. Our years are numbered…let’s spend as many of them as we can in good and balanced health.

I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. 2 Kings 20:5

Library Day

Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to live at the library. The smells…the shelves…the order…the WORLDS.

I wanted to read every single world that was tucked between all those covers.

When my babies were little they’d kick off their shoes and curl up on the floor with a stack of books as tall as they were.

I taught them how to find books, how to love books, how to write books, how to learn with books, how to lose books. (Only $22 in overdues this trip!!)

What.a.joy when my eldest hunts the aisles for a title he’s been dying to read, one of my favorite books of all time, a 900-pager of an epic, Lonesome Dove.

How my heart smiled when my ten-year old comes to find me with two copies from the grown up side that relate to her latest science curriculum and the passion of her heart, animal care.

To hear my youngest politely ask the librarian if she could help him find the latest release from an anime series his big sister introduced him to made me beam. My big little boy is a bona fide biblovore now too.

My eldest girl brings the wish list she prepared on her iPad and busies herself finding them.

And when she makes her way back to the table and I ask her if she found what she was looking for, she says “No. But I did find some. Just a few this week, but it’ll hold me for awhile.”

And I think yes…yes, that’s exactly what these good stories do.

They hold us for a while.

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“I have always imagined that paradise will be some kind of library.” -Jorge Luis Borges

Do you love the library as much as we do? Tell me what you’re reading this week!

Bigger and Tireder and Come Unto Me

He said Come unto Me all you who are weary and I will give you rest.

He didn’t say Come every Wednesday or Come unto me even though you’re exhausted or Come unto me or else we won’t be friends anymore.

He said Come unto me all you who are weary…

And they don’t tell you in the pregnancy books that there comes a time, way past the first roll-over time, way past the sitting up time, way past the solid foods time, and wayyy past the first-steps time…

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There comes a time when it seems a little like it did when there were babies in the house, and a little like it did when there were toddlers in the house…

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But it’s all a little bit different and a little bit bigger.

Because they’re bigger.

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You should be tougher but you don’t feel much tougher.

In fact, when you talk to mamas just a wee bit older than you, you might whisper it to them quiet and confidentially and maybe even with a hint of a doubt in your tone while you secretly hope that maybe they’ll understand.

You really hope they’ll nod knowingly and that they won’t tell you that you’re wrong. You hope they’ll hug you and say OH HONEY YES.

It’s harder than it was.

It’s just a different hard.

You feel somehow weaker than you did even though you never ever thought you’d feel weaker and more vulnerable than you did with no sleep and no makeup and milk streaming down your chest and soaking through your shirt and onto your mattress and into your days while the beautiful baby just screamed and screamed and constantly needed a new diaper.

You’re tired.

And that just seems so wrong because they sleep all night now, a long teenager’s sleep late into the morning for their growing bodies if your day can spare it, so a full eight or nine is your delight, and most mornings even a leisurely cup of coffee is yours before they arise…and they do work now, real work that makes yours easier.

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But they take more of you now.

More mind muscle. More money. More miles.

They take up more space.

In your house.

In your head.

In your heart.

There are more of them and they are bigger and it’s just all bigger and a little more overwhelming but you’re older now and wiser now so you handle it better but handling it better makes you tired sometimes and it’s a different kind of tired.

And sometimes coming unto me looks a lot different than what a mama thought it would way back when they still napped in the middle of the day and still needed you to buckle them into their car seat.

A quiet time isn’t always ever a quiet time, and me-time doesn’t work and long ago when they were toddlers I cut out a magazine piece that said me-time comes when the babies are grown and now that mine are almost there I see.

I see how it is that I don’t really feel like taking that me-time anymore unless they force me, and now that more than two of them fill a room while college and jobs and future fill their horizon…

I’m glad my me-time revolves around them.

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It means saying no sometimes.

It means that I actually had more time for friends when my babies were babies and we could all get together over diapers and coffee and Cheerios and Boppies.

It means that pulling in to them instead of pulling away needs to be my daily priority.

It means that I may lose outside opportunities in order to stay inside the circle of these years.

It means that my growth might actually be watching them grow and that is what my job is right now.

It means that I might have to work through the new ages and stages and grow right along with them.

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It means that I might be lacking for folks outside of here and seem shallow when in truth, I’m growing deeper and broader in my care and attention.

But a mama still needs come unto me and thankfully, He stands and He knocks, and what a comfort…what.a.comfort. to know He’s there.

That He is always there.

That when my quiet time is driving-down-the-road time, He doesn’t abandon.

He’s there.

That when I’m extra busy or frazzled or full, He doesn’t condemn.

He invites.

That when I forget, He doesn’t write me off.

He gently prods.

That when I’m exhausted, He doesn’t shame.

He comforts.

That He loves.

That He forgives.

That He encourages.

That He holds.

That He stays.

And that unlike this time that rushes…that goes…that hurries…

He doesn’t.

He still says come unto me and when I’m weary and when I’m burdened and when I’m heavy laden…

He doesn’t pressure but He waits.

And He gives rest for my soul.

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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing remains
One thing remains

Your love never fails and never gives up it never runs out on me…your love…it’s your love…

On and one and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never ever have to be afraid
One thing remains

In death and in life I’m confident and covered by the power of your great love
My debt is paid there’s nothing that can separate my heart from your great love

Your love never fails and never gives up it never runs out on me…your love…it’s your love…God it’s your love.

~Jesus Culture

Short and Accurate Post on Life With a Teen Boy

Snapshot of a Week in the Life of Being the Mama of a Teen Boy:

Scenario 1: (Watching the garbage truck pull out)

Me: “Well hm. I guess I didn’t need to go into all that with the garbage guy. Sometimes I think I just talk too much.”

Teen boy: “Yeah.”

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Scenario 2: (In the hay field)

Teen boy: “Man mom, a cold lemonade sounds good right now.”

Me: “You want ME to fetch drinks? Hey I’m buckin hay here, not fetchin drinks. I’m not just a pretty face ya know.”

Teen boy: “No. You’re not.”

Me: “Uhhhh?”

Teen boy: “You’re the PRETTIEST face.”

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And that, folks, pretty much sums up how it is living with the wild and growing creature we all call a Teenager.

 For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother. Proverbs 4:2-3

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The Haying

Our haying for 2016 is done.

Over the past two days we’ve moved 200 bales of hay, a small haul for a small farm, just over five and a half ton. We’ve spent over ten hours in the amazing bake of Alaska sun. We’ve laughed, we’ve snarled, Mama secretly cried a few times over memories and tiredness and quiet grief over a pony we don’t need to buy chow for any more, Daddy not-so-secretly got a sunburn on his bald spot, and we’ve bonded as a family.  

Tucked in alongside hay trips, we’ve learned how to put stitches in a lamb’s leg, we’ve met new people who love 4-H and want to support us in small and big ways, we’ve reunited with some favorite music that speaks of the Great North like no other, and we’ve gone out to eat for the first time in forever.

I thought after Beau died that maybe we weren’t meant for the farm life.

I thought maybe we weren’t good enough for this life with animals and farm folk and feed stores and hay fields.

But after this weekend I realize that the farm life isn’t a matter of who’s good enough or not good enough.

It’s a life that changes those who choose it.

And that with each passing year, with each turn of the season…

you buck bales a little quicker and you learn to steer a little straighter and you get more efficient at driving the field and your muscles get a little bigger.

And just like the hay…

you reach toward the sun and you grow.

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