My Mother

I have something I need to say. It’s probably better written in a journal, but it’s my blog. I can say what I want to… I LOVE MY MOM. She continues be a kind, loving example for me even when I don’t give her enough credit.

In other news, y’all can pray for Ray. He lives with a crazy woman. He worked hard to come up with a Christmas schedule, pleasing everyone especially his bat poop crazy wife who thinks she’s the one trying to please everyone and not doing it with a happy heart. Did you get all that? When you live away from home, Christmas is CrAzY! I love seeing my extended family. Sometimes I just want to crawl in a hole and enjoy my own kids. You know?

My reaction to his plan was ugly. (Sorry Ray.) I reacted by throwing in the towel and going to bed before I allowed myself to wallow and get any uglier. I do need props for praying about it though. 

I made myself sick thinking I didn’t want to tell my Mom his plan. I assumed she would react badly. She hasn’t really celebrated Christmas in a couple of years for good reason. This is her comeback year. I was imagining her aspirations for perfection in my head. I thought I was about to ruin her plans. 

Bless my mama’s heart. I honestly don’t know how she and Ray put up with me. She was gracious and kind. She reminded me of the attitude we are supposed to have for Christmas. She was super thankful for what she was getting. Sigh. When I grow up I hope I can be my mother. I know if you knew me when I was 15 you are shocked to hear those words. 

These two people keep me grounded and that’s a hard thing to do… 

Aren’t they just the best?

Anyway… thanks Mom. I love you. Now it’s time to shake off my grinch and get ready for Christmas. As mom and donkey always say, “Christmas ain’t Christmas ’til somebody cries AND IT’S USUALLY ME!” I hope I’ve gotten my cry out of my system. 

P.S. Ray, I’m lucky to have you putting up with me and my crazy.

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I fancy myself a writer…even though I’ve never been published. Yes, Mom I actually have made submissions. That’s another blog post. I think I learned to love stories because of my grandmothers. I was watching their stories before I could even talk. I know Days or Our Lives, The Young and The Restless, Another World and even Santa Barbara better than most. I still remember my Gran telling me that if I brushed my hair 100 strokes a day it would be as shiny at Renee Dimera’s gorgeous black hair. Yes, I was born and raised to appreciate a good story, even a soap opera.

When Mom was visiting, I introduced her to one of my new favorites, The Walking Dead. Yes, Janice Kendall watched three episodes. Granted, she was peeking from behind her iPad or a pillow most of the time. Don’t let her kid you…she was born with a high appreciation of soap operas stories too. She hated the gore, but she easily loved the characters. 

I love these stories. You love the characters like they are your friends and family. You feel like you are involved in their lives…from the safety of your living room. In the early days when Judith is born on TWD, I would walk out in my alley on a Monday morning and yell, “The baby!” to my neighbor and she totally knew what I was talking about. You become vested in each character and need to know what will happen. Mom was here when one of my beloved characters may or may not have come to an untimely end.

Mom fell right in step with the story. We sat around the family room dissecting the scene. Is he or isn’t he? We watched the The Talking Dead. Mom stayed up late most Sunday nights to watch it with me. Oh my…

Here’s Your Spoiler alert…

Stop reading if you aren’t caught up with TWD.

Seriously…you’ve been warned.

I sent Mom this text.

She asked me how long it took me to set this up. Ha! Like I have time for that… I just have time to troll the internet to try to decide Glenn’s fate.

Mom clearly loves the story as much as I do. I got a voicemail from her a couple of days later that said, “Read Zachariah 14 right now! It’s The Walking Dead!” What on earth, Mom? So I ran and got my Bible out.

Here’s a snippet

12 This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. 13 On that day people will be stricken by the Lord with great panic. They will seize each other by the hand and attack one another.

Maybe Grandma is on to something! Of course I immediately sent a text to my other buddy that watches it. We may or may not be totally preparing for the zombie apocalypse right now. (You might want to purchase stock in Costco. Just saying…)

Am I the only one? Do you love it when a story stays with you? I love for my kids to love books. Arleigh still loves all things Hunger Games. There was a time when Hanan was Fancy Nancy. I’m curious. What stories stick with you? Is there something else I should be reading or watching? Until then, I’ll be searching for Glenn. He can’t be dead. Can he? 

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Veteran’s Day 1015

There are 685 students at Bria and Jack’s school. On Wednesday, Bria spoke in front of all of them and their parents. She told our little Virginia community that her Dad is “Awesome!” It’s something we need to celebrate around here a little more.

 This kid… She’s in 2nd grade. Someone needs to make time stand still for this mama.

After our flag pole ceremony, Ray and I got to join the Littles for a Thanksgiving lunch. How appropriate. We are so thankful for all that he does for us.

I’m always thankful to our country’s veterans. I hope I show it every day. Some pay all, all pay some. It’s always a heavy price. 

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Bria’s Birthday

This girl…

recently turned 8. I’m only almost a month late posting about it. 

A month ago, Bria was really missing Hawaii. She decided to have a luau for her birthday. You’d never know we were new here since there were 20 kids running through our house that night. Thank goodness we had a beautiful Indian Summer day to celebrate. 

We asked our guests to come dressed as tacky tourists. They obliged.

We did a little limbo.

We taught our new friends about hula.

We ate.

And then there was cake.

Ice cream was, of course, included.

It was a good day and a great low key party with all of our new friends. 

This kid… we didn’t know much she would change our lives or our family dynamic 8 years ago when she came along, my happy little rider while I took her sisters to soccer. She changed everything and we still have a hard time remembering what life was like before her. It’s amazing how that works. 

In honor of her 8th…here are 8 things about Bria.

  1. She is has leadership skills.
  2. She is brave but she seems to innately understand when to practice caution…most of the time. 
  3. She found her place here faster than any of the rest of us. She quickly made friends, found her place on a soccer team and basically thinks she’s running her new school. (Wait until she see what she’s doing this week.) 
  4. Even though she knows home is where her family is and makes the best of it, she has her mother’s heart and misses her island life. In the past week she’s told me it’s cold here and she misses surfing. She won’t let me play music in her at night anymore because sometimes Lava comes on and it makes her cry. She clearly has her mother’s heart. 
  5. The past few months it has been amazing to watch Bria develop her soccer skills. She is at that emerging stage where she seems to learn something new almost daily. When her heart is in it (which isn’t all the time) she is crazy good. She made the all star team which has been a new experience for all of us. 
  6. Bria is compassionate. She worries about everyone else and makes sure they are okay. I love that about her. 
  7. She still loves to snuggle and even at 8 has a bad habit of waking her parents up in the middle of the night because her mind is racing and she just doesn’t want to be alone. 
  8. Bria is Jack’s super hero. She is the one person who is with him almost everywhere he goes. She steps in and gets through to him in both good and bad ways when no one else can. She’s the perfect little sister for Arleigh and Hanan, looking up to them and pushing them to do more. She’s the perfect big sister for Jack, encouraging him to come along with her. 

If you can’t tell, we all love our little b to pieces even when she drives us to the brink of madness. Happy Birthday little b. You are so loved! 

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The Darn Red Cup

This morning we went to speech, then the bus stop then I left to head to the exchange for a winter coat because…OH MY WORD…these 7-8:30 soccer practices are cold. I almost never stop at Starbucks. The rushed morning and staying up for Talking Dead last night and…well, a sign for a salted caramel latte seemed to be calling my name. There was a huge line. Oh well, the commissary can wait. I opened Facebook on my phone for the first time this morning. What the what? All I saw was red cup this and red cup that. I’m all, where’s the party? You know, because “Red Solo Cup…I lift you up.” I had to google it.

So I googled it. I told you it was a long line. There is some sort of controversy with the Starbucks red Christmas cup. I looked up. Oh, all the cups are red today. Then mine came. It was a beautifully simple design. Yes, I worked with multiple graphic artists. I appreciated it. I love red. The ombre effect was clever. Red screams of Christmas. The Starbucks logo is in the middle. What’s the problem? Oh. I get it. It doesn’t write out Merry Freaking Christmas on the cup. 

So I looked into what Starbucks wanted to say with their design. Starbucks said they wanted it be simple. They wanted it to relate to everyone’s story. The designer’s were inspired by the fact that lots of people doodle on their white cups. Ok. I get it. They’re being politically correct. Honestly, call me lame but this bright red cup makes me thing of Christmas far more than snowflakes do. 

I didn’t remember seeing a cross on any Starbucks cups in the past so I googled that too. 

Here’s last year’s cup.

Yeah. That looks like those trees on the north shore in Hawaii to me. 

The 2013 cup had ornaments.

So I dug a little deeper. These cups have been around since about 1997. A new one is unveiled each year. The theme usually focuses on snowmen, ornaments and reindeer. 

Let me digress. As I was standing in the line googling what the problem was, I looked around. There were moms with toddlers, businessmen ready to get on with their day, a couple of service members. The diversity in that line, in a Starbucks on base was huge. Now, if I wanted to, how many people could I reach out to while I waited in that line. I put my phone back in my bag and started talking to the gentleman behind me. I told a mom how sweet her daughter was. I tried to look around and notice if anyone needed anything. Everyone looked pretty happy to me. 

As I walked my car I thought what if we would just go to Starbucks and be nice. Wouldn’t that go further than complaining about the war on Christmas? Here’s something else to think about.

Stop yelling about what companies are doing and start doing! If Christians were acting like Jesus we would be filling each other’s cups instead of complaining about the color of a commercial one. 

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There is so much for me to say about what is happening with our family right now. The list is long. None of it compares to what is happening to dear friends. 

My dad worked for Randal Wilson as a property appraiser. I happen to know that Randal was more than a boss for him. He was a friend, a confidant, and so much more. In some of my Dad’s darker moments, Randal was there for him. 

Last night mom called to tell me that Randal is missing. You can read the story here

This is Randal and his wife, Lana.

His last known whereabouts were on 464 close to Mom’s. I’m quite certain most people in my hometown already know about this because the search has been ongoing for more than 24 hours. I can’t really think or write about anything else right now. 

My prayers are with the Wilson family. If you have a second, please pray for the family for their peace, for Randal’s safety and that he is found soon.

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