Wednesday, August 16, 2017


I started this week coming off an emotional weekend; the details something I cannot share but Greg and I found ourselves thrust into unchartered territory for someone we love. It was brutal.

I had the nerve to complain Sunday when I came down with a head cold because I don't have time for that right now. This must be the part where God laughed. You see, I have been spinning my wheels all year. As in ALL year dealing with on-going seasons of challenges, loss and change. I have experienced very real moments with God where I am surrendering, crying, angry or depleted. In other words, He is working on me.

I woke Tuesday completely convinced it was Wednesday. No matter how many times in the early hours of that day, one of the kids corrected me, my brain would not accept reality and I was off kilter all day. That evening, I walked with my neighbor to talk through some of my tougher thoughts and while on that walk, I fell. I still can't figure out how it happened but by all accounts, it appears I literally tripped over my own foot. On a flat road. Seriously.

I no longer bounce. I was in a state of shock in the immediate moments and thank God Leah was able to call Greg and hold Layla's leash for me. I busted my face on the pavement and was taken aback by the amount of blood pooling under me. Both Leah and I feared I had just knocked out my teeth. I did feel them jar but nothing is loose. Amen. My face has seen better days but that was true before I fell.

I realized; however, something was very wrong with my right arm. Greg took me to the emergency room while Leah waited with the kids until Makenna could be called out of tech to relieve her. I broke my wrist but had a doctor with a sense of humor, making the experience as enjoyable as possible. (I don't get out nearly enough.)

However, my right arm and hand could very well be the only arm I need because my left only serves to secure babies to my hip. Some things are about to change! Not only is the left hand lazy and under utilized, but it too is swollen and bruised. I have managed several tasks despite the odds of an old klutz learning new tricks and can apparently even chicken peck a keyboard long enough to find humor in an otherwise unpleasant experience.

I followed up with a surgeon today who surprised me by saying my wrist was close enough to being considered aligned, he was comfortable watching it with weekly xrays for a few weeks. Obviously I hope to avoid surgery so I will baby it as much as a busy mom can. And then he shocked me by not casting my arm! I went from a splint holding my arm at a 90 degree angle and covering my fingers to a brace! He anticipates additional swelling and doesn't want to cut off circulation. Freeing my fingers and increasing my range of motion had me fighting tears of relief.

Don't worry though. My family has been supportive. Greg has navigated meals, cut my food and talked me off a ledge or two. He is awesome even if he is a little bossy.

Ty willingly offered Benjamin to clean the bathrooms and Makenna questioned, "real talk. Are we going to starve?" Taylor suggesting I toss some essential oils on the broken wrist and then sharing encouraging lines like, "suck it up Buttercup" resulted in a call from Lauren today assuring us that Taylor will not make it out of labor and delivery alive if his response to seeing someone in pain doesn't improve!

In other words, all is normal here.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Weekend Review

Greg and I found ourselves alone with only one kiddo Saturday evening so we took him out for dinner and then to Lana's to swim.
He makes a pretty cute pool boy. His supervisor isn't too bad either. I have a little crush on him.
Sunday afternoon Benjamin came back and a wrestling match ensued. Greg was feeling like he lost by the time this ended. Two boys working together are a force to be reckoned with.
He returned ready to build muscles to impress some girls. However, he called my pink weights, "weak". We are still friends anyway.

Lauren lost eight pounds in four weeks so her doctor put her on medication to help get her through this first trimester. She has found herself surprised by her ability to cry easily. She asked me how long she will be crying and I asked her if she saw me at her wedding! Get used to it kiddo, motherhood is emotional.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

We have news!

Our baby is having a baby!

That little bean right there, is our first grandchild. We are so happy the word is out because it was not an easy secret to keep. Lauren is due in March. She has been pretty sick and has questioned several times how she has so many siblings. I laugh and assure her we forget these details after that sweet baby is laid in our arms. She does not believe me.
We selected our own names, Mimi and Pops. Ty was told on his birthday he was going to be an uncle and he was pretty excited; however, realizing that meant I was going to be a grandma, literally had him doubled over laughing for twenty solid minutes. Obviously this is hilarious.
We are quite excited and cannot wait to love on Lauren's baby. Our baby is having a baby. Life is rich.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Weekends are for togetherness

This weekend started Friday with the addition of some bunk beds to host our little friend Benjamin who has been spending a lot of time with us lately. His parents are a bit down on their luck and he is such a good kiddo, we are happy to have him hanging out with us.

Greg smoked both whole chickens and also turkey breasts this weekend as we celebrated Grandma's upcoming birthday. We also had smores around a bonfire since the weather was amazing and slightly cooler. Back deck conversations lead to vacation dreaming on the couch once the rain started.


I think it is safe to say, Benjamin fits right in around here! These two were smack talking during a rowdy game of Uno at bedtime tonight. This weekend was relaxing, peaceful and perfect.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

My Happy Place

Lauren and Taylor arrived at 11 Friday night with their fur babies in tow. On Saturday we had brunch with all our kids and their significant others.

With the exception of a security breach at Mimi's Pup Park where a wild pack of dogs greeted a neighbor walking their dog, the day was perfect. Having all the kids together at the same time is rare. I treasure this.

We had a bonfire and spent time with the telescope Saturday night. Sunday morning we reluctantly sent Lauren back to Georgia before tackling the walking bridge with friends.

Ice cream completed our outing and then we joined Greg at home for ribs. Have I mentioned how much I love him and his hobby? He feeds us oh so well every weekend.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Back-to-school Week

This week we celebrated Makenna's birthday, finalized a car purchase for her and started a new school year. It was a busy week which is apparently the only kind of week we know how to have. But I once again have sole custody of my van and know exactly where the tanks of gas are going.

Greg and I, not wanting to lose momentum on the closet project decided to tackle the top shelf one evening this week. We were both shocked to locate Brutus' medical records from Ohio in our stacks of paperwork. Greg was quietly processing while I fell apart. This shouldn't still hurt this much I tell myself, willing it to be true.

But that same project produced gems like this and the images bring back so many sweet memories.

The kids returned to school. We have a senior, a sixth grader in a new school and a second grader too. Kate and Ty ended up sleeping with me the days leading to their first day, both very unsettled about change. Every new school year leaves me a little anxious too. Trusting strangers with my babies isn't easy for me and I always watch the clock those first days waiting to hear all about their new teachers and friends.
Kate started the 6th grade at Lanesville Elementary in Mrs. Cole's class. Her new school is small and feels like a family. Elementary through sixth grade is a serious bonus too. She even gets recess unlike her friends in our local middle school.

Ty is a second grader at Georgetown Elementary in Mrs. Shiner's class. He hoped to return from the first day able to read comic books. His best buddy Kellen is in his class for the third year in a row.

And this is Makenna on the first day of her Senior year holding a photo of her kindergarten self. I shed all my tears the night before when I pulled that photo out of the album. Time is precious and fleeting.

And mid afternoon I received the following text from Makenna, "Senioritis is so real and it is really bad. The only class I haven't wanted to fall over and die in is tech". I shall stock the wine and chocolate accordingly. It just might be a long year!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Seventeen years ago, our slightly sassy, usually bossy and highly entertaining third child was born. She has added a lot of humor, a little drama and a fair amount of wisdom to our family.

She knew she was the middle child long before we did and she fills the role well. She will roll with the punches until she won't and then she demands being noticed. She has served as the balance between her polar opposite older sisters and then navigated being a big sister well too.

Makenna is seventeen today, starting her Senior year this week and has ambitious goals for the future. Not only does she hold a part time job, but she carries an ongoing leadership role in her technical theater program. She balances her workload well with a healthy side of silly fun with great friends.

Happy birthday to you Makenna Grace! I hope you are celebrated and feel special today because you deserve nothing less. I love you!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Vacation Week

We started off strong, Greg and I. This past weekend we went to dinner with friends and then walked the Big Four Bridge over the Ohio River. We spent hours together and it was glorious. This was the kick off to Greg's vacation of "let's not plan anything". And so we didn't.

On Monday, Kate returned from her Florida vacation with my parents with an ear that was raging with infection. I worked with my friend who happens to be an infectious disease pediatrician to get Kate proper treatment because the urgent care they visited two days before clearly didn't know what they were doing. I had five extra children and several school related phone calls to make in preparation for a new school year starting next week. Kate was feeling miserable and her mother was pretty unhappy swimmer's ear reached this point.
It isn't often he snuggles with me anymore so I tolerated Sunday morning cartoons and sipped tea with my favorite 8 year old. 

On Tuesday Erin called me crying. She hurt from head to toe and was so tired she couldn't keep her head up. Her doctor's office ran into an insurance glitch Greg worked on from our end until all the proper channels were informed she was in fact covered. That process took thirty minutes and according to the doctor's office, policy states she had to reschedule her appointment at that time. She fell apart so I gathered her up and took her to Urgent Care with hopes we would meet someone smarter than the moron who treated Kate's ear in London, Kentucky. Fortunately we did. They immediately dosed Erin with meds for nausea, a sprite to boost her bottomed out blood sugar, drew blood and did an xray of her back to eliminate an injury since it was her primary source of pain when we arrived. She was diagnosed with a UTI she never had symptoms for and believe she is suffering from a tick born illness. A culture was grown and her urine later came back positive for strep as well. The kid was sick. She is still recovering and likely will for some time. We kept Erin with us until we felt she was strong enough to drive herself home Wednesday afternoon.

On Thursday night, Kate and I attended orientation for her new school and came home to my antsy husband looking for something to do. He used his truck to pull the neighbor's rose bushes because she was having a difficult time getting them out herself. When he is restless, he gets in touch with his inner redneck and is entertaining, to say the least.

On Friday we ran to Home Depot with three kids for a doorknob.........and the floors in the master bedroom closet were finished today. We had to pull everything out to make that happen and I tackled that mess with brutality. The result looks like a hoarder intervention for the trash men. We will be out helping them load it up in the morning when five extra kids arrive to start our "not a vacation" week.
This was our 2:15 a.m wake up call this morning. Maybe we should have made plans for Greg's vacation week after all?