Monday, January 31, 2011

you will find me

I'm gonna be there near or far...

My friend Martha posted this soothing song.
It stirs up a lot in me.
As we pray to sell our house,
as we prepare to move our family of five into a tiny space,
as we face the unknown,
and live on student loans and whatever gigs I can get,
as we embark on a fresh new journey,
Fear quietly seeps into the edges of my excitement and wonder,
ever so cunningly,
threatening to mix gently with my joy,
silent but deadly.

And then,
I remember my family and friends... you will find me.
God will find me.
I will never be lost,
we will never be without the One who truly adores us, each and every one of us, no matter what.
No matter where we go, what paths we choose,
we can lay our troubles down.
Nothing is too big, nothing is too small.

We will be held, supported, cheered for, loved.
Mercy is real,
and I am thankful.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

it's official...

The papers have been signed, yall.
The first part of this "traveling" thing has officially begun... our house is on the market!
I was thinking about putting the links up here, just in case anyone was interested in buying it.
But then I thought about how weird and creepy that could be. There are a lot of crazies out there, so you'll just have to settle for looking at how awesome the inside of my house looks right now, and praying that someone coming to live here will want to buy this cleanliness for themselves. It's a miracle, I tell ya.

(our backyard in the dead of winter... still pretty green and sunny... i'll miss this the most!!!)

Friday, January 28, 2011

25 years.

I still remember exactly where I sat in my second grade classroom.
We were all on the floor, and I was sitting next to my friend named Lisa, and my other friend named Beth.
We were all allowed to watch it on TV, because our little school, Foothills Elementary, was just down the street from the Air Force Academy. My teacher was good friends with one of the astronauts. Everyone at the school knew the Air Force guys, because the military is a small, tight-knit community.

We were excited, squirmy little kids as the shuttle took off. We were awe-struck. I remember feeling so amazed, and a little confused, that a rocket was being shot into space.

Then a big cloud appeared where the shuttle had been. I remember we all looked at our teacher. We were 7 years old, and had no paradigm for a rocket launch. Our teacher's hand flew to her mouth. She gasped. That's when we, her students, sensed that something was very, very wrong. She turned around with tears streaming down her face, and ran out of the room. We sat their motionless. I remember looking at the floor, frozen, waiting for a grown-up to come and tell us what had happened. I remember a boy in my class saying "something made the teacher really sad. Something bad happened." And that's all anyone said. We were the quietest, most serious second graders in the history of the world for those few minutes.

Our Principle came in and told us that something very sad had happened. The shuttle had broken, and caught on fire, and the people inside were gone now, in heaven.

This was the first time that I understood the fragility of life, and how lives affected one another, and that it was possible to lose people to death, and to never see them again in this life.

Rest In Peace, brave souls.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

daily dose of "becca's a moron"

I was being such a good mommy.
making batches of cookies while Leah was in school and Sam napped.
letting Pete help with the creation of cookie dough.
heating up the oven in plenty of time,
while working on the delicious dough.
which usually doesn't smell like strange chemicals.
a smell that grew stronger
and stronger.
I asked Pete
"do you smell that?"
and of course he answered
"yes mommy, it smells like fire."
except it wasn't exactly fire...
more like melting plastic.
What could be making that terrible smell?
the memory popped into my head...
of the realtor's photographer calling a whole 24 hours earlier than planned, and stating "I'm on my way!"
and me replying "NO PROBLEM!"
except that it was quite a problem,
and I went into a crazy frenzy and hid everything in sight...
including throwing a sippy cup...
into the oven.
which was now three hundred and seventy five degrees.

I *almost* ruined our oven just before entering the real estate market. *almost* :).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

have mercy: clean water.

I have this idea about life... that we should all have a cause. We should all commit to one or two things that we're passionate about. Nope, we can't save the world, but we can certainly make it a better place.

Are you looking to plug in somewhere? To share your resources? If you're already working hard on a cause, specifically helping your brothers and sisters in need, THANK YOU. If you've been thinking lately about where you could put your extra dollars, or simply raise awareness if you personally don't have extra dollars, then check out my friend Erin's blog. She's presenting the opportunity to help people have clean water. Clean Water. That's it. That's what some of our fellow human beings are struggling to have right now. Not the newest minivan or a scholarship to the nice private school... nope... they simply need CLEAN WATER. The fact that they don't have it could swiftly destroy my sense of goodness in the world... it's unfathomable to me as a mother. But, as so many wise ones have said, never doubt that a small group of determined people can change the world. So, if you're looking for a way to be a part of that change, I encourage you to participate in bringing clean water to this group of people in Uganda. Again, see Erin's blog for more details.

Thanks friends.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

for the record...

this is what we did aaaaallllllllll weekend. We beautified the yard. That curb appeal is important, we've heard. As leah says... the yard now looks "beauteous"... word courtesy of her Junie B. Jones books :). ps- spreading mulch is hard work. So is unloading lots of heavy stuff. My butt hurts.

Also, I did this thing called "cleaning." but check out these pictures... this is like "extreme cleaning" in order to make your house look like a catalogue so that someone will want to buy it. This is hard (nearly impossible) to do with children. I may never want to own a house again... this is kicking my arse, all this work... but here's a sampling. I KNOW, it's a MIRACLE:

Just a sampling. But there you have it... evidence... Of weeks' (months'?) worth of blood, sweat, and tears. This better be worth it :).

Friday, January 21, 2011

confession friday

So. Hello there. Helluva week. B-U-S-Y.
My deary Erin and friend Tova reminded me that I used to do these fun little days called "confession friday." I don't know if I'm up for a regular schedule of these confessions, but today feels right, so I'm jumpin' in.
-call me an idiot (actually please don't call me that, I might cry), but I have a really good feeling that someone will want to buy our house. I know, sounds crazy with the market the way it is. But I'm going to allow myself to feel positive about this and not be afraid. So, this good feeling is going to stay. Now someone confirm it and buy my house :).
-I'm currently working 4 part-time jobs. Luckily there are only a few more days of overlap here, and I'm back down to 3 again. This is most likely the reason for my extreme exhaustion and slight fever/sore throat. Don't tell myself I'm sick though. I don't want her to get any ideas in her head about "resting" or any nonsense like that. Anyway, I'm now providing afterschool care for my neighbor. Soon I will reclaim my mornings after that job ends, and I'll be able to exercise again. I haven't had time do do that as much. For me, that equals depression. Booo.
-I'm convinced I no longer have friends because I rarely get to see real, live, human beings. I'm buried in work and home projects and paint cans and cleaning and OH YEAH, making sure my kids are still alive. That is key.
-I really do think that money buys at least a degree of happiness, and I feel incredibly guilty about that. I don't really want nice stuff. For me it's more about the traveling and adoptions that could happen, or you know, not having to live on incredible amounts of loans while the husband goes to school. I know, I know, life isn't about money. But to have some sure would make it a little easier. Don't be mad at me!
-I try to have grace for everyone, but some people just suck and need a good kick in the arse. Like the lady who glared at me today in the grocery store. Why lady? Why did you glare at me? Sammy was being perfectly well behaved. If you glared at me because of the color of my son's skin, may the universe dump bird poo on your head today. If you glared at me because you were in a bad mood, well, okay then. Go take a nap or eat a cookie. I forgive you.

Lots of love and mercy to all of you today. HOORAY it's the weekend! I'll be spreading mulch and cleaning. And painting. (SHOCKER!). Oh and here's a new one... going to the dump! Feel free to confess if you need to!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

oh daddy.

This is the kind of thing my husband allows my blond-headed child to buy at the dollar store. Which isn't entirely appropriate, like ever. I'm sure the neighbors REALLY like us now.

This is the kind of outfit my husband allows my children to wear while the snow is melting and it's still around 35 degrees outside. Teaching "natural consequences," I suppose.

This is the kind of sunset produced off of my back deck in the wintertime... drinking this in with my eyes makes life grand, no matter what the circumstances. Beautiful, despite the air horn going off in my ear :).

Monday, January 17, 2011

MLK Day!

Below is what I wrote for the local mag blog I write for:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

We celebrate our civil rights hero, Martin Luther King Jr., at this time in January because his actual birthday was on January 15th. While King was assassinated in 1968, his sermons, writings, and teachings are still incredibly relevant today, and reading his words encourages me in every walk of life.

“Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: / we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

King had a way of flushing out the truth. Of seeing what our founding fathers had written, and making sure we followed through with these promises as a nation. That we really were going to treat all people equally, and that we could allow all people freedom of speech and nonviolent ways to have their opinions heard by our leaders. He had a way of peacefully and clearly explaining what the Bible says about all people, and how God created each human with equal value, and therefore we should respect every person’s human rights without question.

Above all, he unified us as a nation, and his words continue to inspire us towards peace and understanding in our communities. He gave us the gift of love for one another… knowing that on the inside we’re all the same, and on the outside our different colors should be celebrated!

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Nothing too incredibly deep, but it's for a wide audience :). Happy MLK day everyone! I'm so grateful for the work of our civil rights leaders and the impact they, ESPECIALLY Dr. King, still have on our society today!

Friday, January 14, 2011

special day...

January 14th, 2008
We saw a the most beautiful picture, of the sweetest little boy, on our computer screen...
The caseworker on the phone said "This baby boy needs a mommy and daddy"... and we said "No! WE need HIM! What a special, strong little boy, who has already survived so much trauma.... oh how he will bless us... we would be HONORED to be his mommy and daddy! What a miracle he is!"

And so we said YES to our sweet Sammy, and it was the best decision we've ever made! Three years ago today, we saw the face that would change our lives for the better, and teach us what love, grace, commitment, and family really means... Just a few months later he would be in our arms forever...

Sammy exudes light and hope, and he brightens our lives every single day. I can't believe it's been three years... We love you Sammy Sam!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

deep breaths

I can do this.
I will not completely freak out. I will remain calm, and hopeful.
School is canceled for the fourth day in a row. Ice storm. Yes, it is fun for the first few days. Then it starts to suck. Yes, I said Suck. if that offends you, you can suck it.
See? I'm losing it. But that was funny, you gotta admit.
We've watched all the movies, played outside, baked a lot, made it up the icy hill to go visit my mom, played her games, ate her food, watched her TV, drank a lot of coffee, and I may possibly be drinking a glass of wine right this minute.
Tomorrow the kids will be here (most likely plotting to take over the world, or steal the moon, whichever comes first) while the painter is finishing some projects, while the realtor and her friend measure, and while I magic eraser more crap off the doors. They will not be in school, because 5% of the roads are still icy. That's okay. Not complaining. Gotta play it safe.
WE HEART STRUCTURE. And School. And Teachers. OOOOh how I love teachers.
And I yearn to go back to work. This week was a bust due to ice and realtors (ha). Worked from home (love being a writer these days... post on internet=day is done). Counseled one client on the phone, and one through email as they arrived in Moscow.
Need to return to real world.
Ice and Cold, go away, come again another day. Or never.
the end!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snowed in...

We had a snow day today! I was glad. I can drive on snow, no problemo... but ice? No thank you. So we just stayed put. The morning began with the 47th viewing of Despicable Me and a snowball fight with tin foil balls. I was not pleased with the theft of my foil, so the playing moved outside. Icy snow makes for perfect, and FAST, sledding!

I had a good time fooling with my new camera. Which I am in love with. I have a lot to learn, but I love messing with the focus...
Then it was inside for lots of crafts. I'm not a crafty mom. But I can handle some play-dough and painting.

Then, of course, we had to bake. Because that's what you need on a snowy day. Cookies. I make good cookies. That's sort of a problem for my butt and thighs. I'm not quite willing to stop the cookie baking though... life's too short :).
I'm adoring the tons and tons of snow that NC has gotten in the last two years. Way more than we've had in the past. It reminds me of my childhood in CO. Problem is, I get the travel bug and want to go skiing... like REAL skiing out west. Sure, we have slopes here, and actually some pretty decent ones for the east coast/south. Buuuut, well, it's not "real." Not for me, anyway. Maybe Zach will want to be a dentist in CO someday... time will tell.

I have lots of thoughts swimming through my mind and not much time to write them out... maybe later this week. Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I'm struggling with a few things today, but mainly I'm struggling with cleaning cabinets. Who knew this would be the most annoying thing to do on the entire planet? Also my skin is falling off from the magic eraser. Next time I'll take that "wear gloves" advice. oopsies.

The next struggle is way bigger than just a struggle... it's one of those life injustices that you plead with God or the universe or SOMETHING that's bigger than yourself... to overcome. The injustice = a child doesn't have a family... but the child can have a family NOW... only $14,000 stands in the way. Not just any child.... a child named Moses. This child is already a part of our community... we've been trying to get him home to his mommy and daddy, our dear friends Abby and Daniel, for a long time now. They are our neighbors and in our church community. If you have even $10 to spare, please consider giving to their adoption fund. Go to their blog, HERE, to find out more. Thanks so much for your support, in any form, for our friends.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

life speeds onward...

holy cow.
slow down! slow down!
this weeks = insane. not bad though. More house painting, more packing up, new carpet installed. It looks Amazing. Someone will want to buy this adorable house, I just know it! The upheaval of getting a house ready to sell, while trying to keep life happy and normal for the kids... HARD WORK! But, it's worth it. Behold, the pretty new carpet:
The carpet was installed upstairs and in the basement, and makes a HUGE difference. I love it. and it smells good. Anyway, the carpet was installed on my blond headed child's birthday. He's FIVE. 5! There's something very strange about a child turning 5... it's just such a real person number. No more baby! I remember feeling the same way when leah turned 5. Like, "has it really been half a decade since I gave birth to you?? WHAT???"... so yes, life speeds quickly on. unbelievable. We celebrated first at the local restaurant of Pete's choice, Hero House, with my parents and sisters (brothers and their wives were there in spirit from Wilmington and Alaska):
The party moved on to my parents' house... where my mother-in-law, and Zach's sister, and my father-in-law and his wife, and their two kids, and my grandparents, all came to celebrate Pete! Yep, all these grandparents and great grandparents live in the same town. It's pure crazy. And fun. We had a completely gross, processed, fake dyed grocery-store spiderman cake, which most of the adults chose to (wisely) avoid. Other than my grandfather, who cannot refuse sweets. and my dad. the good doctor loves fake grocery store cake. he otta know better!

Before having cake, of course, birthday boy had to try out his new motorized scooter from Mama Dede and Papa Doc. Oh boy. New level of danger for Pete. Just what we needed.
Check out all these people... these are ALL Pete's grandparents and and aunts and uncles (minus some, too! i was trying not to overwhelm the poor dude... crowd still huge!) and siblings. No friends here... we have a huge family... Pete is very loved!
Pete with my PopPop... his GREAT grandfather... I think they look alike :).

So that's what we did this past week! Lots of things going on... warp speed! Glad that we were still able to celebrate my sweet boy... and looking forward to slowing down a bit, if possible... happy weekend to all!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

music therapy

what i wouldn't give to be in that room... to record with them... i love the morning benders and their endless creativity... by the way, i somehow need to share with you the song i got to record (sang harmony) this past september that was released before christmas... it is a very cool jam written by my friend austin. LOVED being a part of the project (raised $ for local arts in schools). aannnyway. Enjoy this video. it is free therapy. happy wednesday to you and yours.

Monday, January 3, 2011

less serious, more funny

okay, so the last post was on the serious (yet happy) side. I'm feeling like everything is so INTENSE right now, and need comic relief. I'm getting this from four sources:
1) Leah declaring she's "as smart as her papa doc" because she figured out before he did that she "has a hearing infection [ear infection] and needs medicine."
2) Pete declared one day in the car: "Mommy, when I die, I'm gonna PUNCH King Herod in the face."
3) Upon asking what he had drawn, Sammy answered, "My fart!"
4) the video below. Try not to laugh. Gets me every time :).

Sunday, January 2, 2011


My thoughts are but a large swirl within my conscience...
So much to think about, so much to plan, so much to paint, so much to prepare for, so much to schedule, so much to do.

I am, surprisingly, quite happy with the swirls going on. I'm such a weird person (I'm sure you've figured that out already). I get overwhelmed quickly, but I also get bored quickly. I believe I'm standing right in that sweet spot... I have enough being thrown at me to create a really interesting (if not fear-inducing) challenge (aka "selling our house while living in it with three young kids and working three jobs and cooking and cleaning and and and...), but so far it hasn't overcome me. Sure, I've had my panicky moments, but for the most part I've become a commander of sorts, and I'm enjoying the role (yes, I love being bossy ... oldest of 6...). Paint this! Carpet that! Throw this out! Give this away!... Zach and I are running around like maniacs, but we're hoping the stress and activity causes us to lose a few of those "holiday" pounds (here's hoping). Anyway, I'm actually enjoying this, because it means we're moving our family forward. It's hard to watch your husband do a job for so long that he hasn't really liked much. Seeing him move toward his passion, his dream... and knowing that I, as his partner, have helped him to get there? It's a really good feeling. He's happier and more joyful about the future. I've had the privilege of waking up every day and LOVING my career choice (social work) AND staying home to raise my kids. Now he gets to experience that joy too. This is what life is all about... I love it.

I'm also taking this well because others are helping me take this well. Meaning, our friends and family. Our friends, especially our "people" the Duncans, are walking us through this. They truly are our people. They won't let us fall, and they are here for us every step of the way. We are so incredibly blessed by their friendship (definitely more of a family status now). I need to get some good pictures of them... You should know them. They are so very dear to us. And our families have been incredible too. Offering up attic space to store our extra stuff, helping us with cars, telling us we can actually live with them (thanks mom and dad) if our house sells (please dear lord jesus) before we move this summer. Deep love for us. None of our family members will let us fail, either. Our siblings are being so sweet and checking in on our progress all the time. Zach's sister is even going to let our dog live with her when our house goes on the market. These people, our people... are rare. Life is no cake walk, and none of us is perfect, and we all have our problems... but still. We are so lucky.

I'm rambling on because I want to remember this. This support. From all of you, too. Our cheerleaders. Your prayers and good thoughts? We feel them in this season of our lives. You are buoying us up.

2011... already one for the history books.
Happy New Year!
(ps- here's a pic of our dog, Zoe. She's very neglected on this blog, but she's beautiful and smart and sweet. the problem involves her hairiness. HAIR. everywhere. all the time. no matter what we do. we'll miss her for awhile...)