Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This thing called love

Last night, like every night, I was giving the boys some hugs and kisses as I tucked them in. Sometimes, the need to tuck frustrates me when it's late or I'm busy or don't feel well, and I know they are perfectly capable of pulling their own covers up. They do it one or twelve times a night when they get up to go potty, but at bedtime they MUST have me to put their covers on. In fact, Ethan has been known to be fully under the covers (because, you know, it gets cold here, and they insist on sleeping in boxers), but as soon as I walk in the room he throws them off and says, "Mommy, I need you to tuck me!"

But, in my heart of hearts I know better than to wish it away. I know that all too soon, they won't want my hugs and kisses at night, and they will think they are too big to be tucked. I remind myself that these few short years of them wanting, needing, my affection will be memories before I know it.

So, last night I was tucking in Ethan, and I said, "I love you so much you don't even know." He replied, "I do, too, know how much you love me!"

As happy as it makes me that he feels so confident of my love, I know that it is untrue. He does not know because he cannot know. He has never been a parent. He has no idea what it is to love someone so much it hurts, to be willing to trade your own life in a heartbeat for another's, to feel not only his own hurts and fears and disappointments, but another's - three others' - as well. Though he loves, he can't yet comprehend the full measure of a parent's capacity for love.

As I thought about this, it occurred to me that I know as little about God's love for me as Ethan knows of my love for him. I know God loves me. I even thought when I became a parent that I understood His love completely now. "Aah," thought I, "I get it now. This is what truly, completely unconditional love feels like. Now I understand God's love." And, while I do understand it more than I did before, I suspect I am still as clueless as Ethan. What can I possibly understand of the love of the creator and framer of the world, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He who is without beginning and without end? I know only of the human's - the created's - capacity for love and nothing truly of Almighty God's.

I know what He tells me, which is this: "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17, emphasis mine.) And this: "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (I John 4:10, emphasis mine.)

I would do well to remind myself that it is a love beyond my ability to comprehend. And I'm okay with that.

It's good to be the beloved.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tomorrow's Forecast

Forecast for Wednesday, Sept 30

Rain / Snow Showers Overnight Low


Snow in September? Camelot this is not.

At least she never lacks for something to cry about

Lauren: Mommy, did Josh name me Lauren or Baby Lauren?

Me: Well, Mommy and Daddy and Josh all picked the name Lauren and named you that, but Josh called you baby Lauren because you were a baby.

L: Did I name Josh "baby Josh" when he was a baby?

M: No, you weren't born yet when Josh was a baby.

L: I wasn't here with you and daddy and Josh and Ethan?

M: No, you weren't born until after Josh and Ethan.

L (starting to use panic-voice): Well, mommy, who was with me?!

M: No one, sweetie. God hadn't made you yet, so you weren't here at all.

L (crying now): Mommy, I would be scared all by myself!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Don't Mind Me

I'm just playing around with my blog look.

I'm thinking of changing the name, too. All brilliant and/or witty suggestions welcome. Heck, all stupid suggestions are welcome, too. I'm no comment snob.

Friday, September 25, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


I've got to make these quick takes quick this week so I have time to go to the gym while Lauren is at preschool. I'm working on getting back on the wagon with exercising after having fallen off well over a month ago. In fact, it finally occurred to me this week that it is pretty stupid to drive 1/2 a mile to the gym and then wish I had a little extra time to use the treadmill. So I'm walking to and from the gym now to get that extra mile in.


What madness has taken over our media causing them to have Michael Moore on every singe news/talk show in the nation in the past two days? I don't know why I don't just turn the channel, but it's like watching MSNBC . . . sometimes I just can't help myself.

I saw him on the Today show a couple of days ago promoting his new movie (he would say documentary, but I would heartily disagree) Capitalism: A Love Story. In it he proclaims that capitalism is evil and that citizens should rise up and revolt against wall street. (He even has the camera pan one person's gun cabinet admirably. Apparently he has abandoned the "guns are evil" message of Bowling for Columbine since it's not convenient for his newest propaganda.)

So, on the Today show he says with disgust, and I quote with equal disgust: "Capitalism is basically legalized greed. Our economy should be a democracy, that's all I'm asking for. Make it fair."

Legalized greed? Since when was greed illegal??? Make it fair?? What happened to the "don't legislate morality" message that liberals love to sling around. Now we ought to make greed illegal and make fairness the morality of the land?

I should really move on to number three.


I put Joshua and Ethan on sweets restriction earlier this week. I've found that there are a few things I can deprive them of that are really unpleasant enough that it makes an impact on them: taking away all sweets for a few days and taking away their bikes. Yikes.

So anyway, they were misbehaving one evening this week, so I told them they could not have any treats the next day. Well, who knew that the next day was National Ice Cream Cone Day in celebration of the anniversary of the invention of the ice cream cone? Joshua came home from school and told me that his whole class got to have an ice cream party at snack time. He said he knew he wasn't allowed to have any, so he just ate an empty cone and was that okay?

I was so proud of him. How many six year olds would be able to withstand the temptation of his entire class eating ice cream and not having some himself?

We celebrated with ice cream cones after school the next day.


Oh, you know all that stuff I said about how I am improving at volleyball?

Lies, all lies.


I finally remembered to take a picture of these two rabbits that roam our neighborhood. We've been seeing them for months just wandering around people's yards. We probably see them in our yard about once a week. They're so tame that they don't run away the minute we go outside anymore. They just sit their until we get too close.


I really must go finish cleaning my house now so I can get to the gym. We are having company this weekend - today actually - and I'd hate to wait until the last minute to clean. I like to do things at least fifteen minutes ahead of time.


Check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This just in . . .

I've always been a newspaper junkie. In Georgia, I would always read the front page first, followed by the letters to the editor, the editorial columns, and the local news, in that order. (If you live in my hometown, and you're in need of a reason to get up every morning, start reading the letters to the editor. You'll realize that the world truly needs you. If you're an idiot, your letter will fit right in, and if you're not, it will be a welcome - though far less entertaining - addition.)

Sadly, the town we live in now is not large enough to require a daily paper, so I must settle for a weekly read. Every Wednesday I head to the store for my news fix, but my reading routine has been completely altered by my discovery of the crime section.

Yes, tinytown's* paper has a crime section titled "State Police Log" because not only does it report on crime in our town, but in all of the neighboring buroughs and townships. (You know how I love those words.)

Here for your enjoyment are some of the newsworthy items in this week's crime section. (I have copied these verbatim, so don't shoot the messenger for the punctuation choices. The additional quotes are things quoted in the reports.)

A Township: Police report they are investigating an act of scattering rubbish on private property located on MH road. Police reported JRG, 43, is the accused and reported that he "deposited on the land of another household rubbish."

K Townships: State Police have charged KWC with summary disorderly conduct. According to police, C "is alleged to have moved a large pile of dirt and rocks from the roadside onto the roadway of the UBS Road."

R Township: The theft of a prescription bottle, that contained over the counter medication, from a residence located on 3rd Street, is under investigation by State Police. According to police, on September 6 between 1-9:30 pm someone "entered the residence of SCH and stole the medication from the medicine cabinet."

R Township: A burglary at the residence of CC is under investigaion by State Police. According to police, on September 17 between 6:30-9:15 pm someone entered her home and "scattered cigarettes throughout the residence floor . . . (and) also used the cigarettes to spell vulgar words on the floor."

H Township: State Police report they "recovered a bicycle" on X Road.

Two more reports involve people "discovered to have been trespassing on posted private property."

The moral of the story, I guess, is don't move to R township any time soon because there is apparently a crime spree underway right now with two crimes in one week. Residents, lock your medicine cabinets.

And while you're at it, put your cigarettes in there.

* Note to residents of tinytown: I refer to the town I live in as tinytown to avoid broadcasting my whereabouts to the world wide web, not for deragatory purposes. Try not to be offended.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Memories

I was reading a blog the other day, and the author asked people to share something they have done in the past that they would not be brave enough to do again today. Her examples were diving with sharks and skydiving.

I thought for awhile about this. I'm not easily frightened by dangerous exploits. I love to rock-climb and white-water raft, I used to own a python, and I've rappelled Aussie-style several times. Living with roaches in my apartment in Virginia did prove to be too much for me, but I spent a summer living in the ghetto on the west side of Chicago.

Hmm . . . what have I done that I would not do again?

It didn't take too long for me to figure out that it would have to be something involving my two good college friends, Tim and Randy. The three of us were a few cents short of dollar when it came to good sense.

One afternoon we were throwing the baseball in my back yard and decided spur-of-the-moment to head up to Turner Field to watch the Braves-Cubs game that started in two hours. (It was about an hour and a half from my house.) It was game three in the series, and we knew that the first two had not sold out, so we hopped in my car and headed up.

We arrived to find that the game was sold out. We suspected it from the number of scalpers, it was confirmed by the parking lot attendant at the little lot we always parked in. If you've never been to Atlanta or Turner Field, let me edumacate you. There is no good section of Atlanta. There are good square feet. You're in nice upscale area one block and ghetto the next. Turner Field, like everything else in Atlanta, abuts some really bad areas to which you would not want to wander alone.

So, we get to this little makeshift parking lot about 1/4 mile from the field, and the guy working there tells us with darting eyes that he's got some tickets we can buy. Great, we said, we drove all the way up here, we may as well buy some scalped tickets and at least get to see a baseball game. Problem was we left in such a rush we didn't get any cash, figuring we would just use credit cards at the field. Mr. Shady Parking Lot Attendant didn't take credit cards.

No problem, he says. He knows where an ATM is . . . it's really close says he. "I tell you what, let me hop in, and I'll show you how to get there."

Our response? "Sure! Hop in!"

Yes, we picked up a random parking lot guy in a makeshift lot in ghetto Atlanta and drove him in my car . . . to an ATM.

Definitely something I would not do again, though I'm not sure "brave" is the most accurate term for what we did. Miraculously, he did indeed lead us to said ATM and did not divest us of our vehicle and our cash. We drove him back to the lot, paid an arm and a leg for tickets, climbed to the under-appreciated top row of Turner Field, and watched a good baseball game. The Braves even won, so I guess maybe it wasn't such a bad adventure after all.

Coming Home

It's no secret that I have not been in love with our church here in Pennsylvania. (Though I have very much loved and appreciated the people in it.) It just hasn't been my church. My church is in Georgia - the one with the songs I love and the people I love and the small group I love. And did I mention the songs I love? This church in Pennsylvania is David's church - where he grew up and loved and learned and worshiped. But, it hasn't been mine.

Until this weekend.

This weekend was Convention. I had no idea what that entailed beyond some guest preachers and some extra services and some meals eaten at 9:30 or 10:00 at night. (Yes, there are meals - entire meals - served after every service. I never heard of a covered-dish dinner at 10 pm before, but now I have. In fact, as I type this at 12:32 am, David is not home from the service I left at about quarter till midnight. It was near wrapping up then, but there was still food to be had afterward.) I had been to plenty of church services and had even heard plenty of speakers here, but I have heretofore held out little hope of ever falling in love with this church.

But, sometimes God shows up when and where you least expect Him.

When I entered the sanctuary Friday night for the first service, I had an immediate feeling of being in the presence of God like I have not felt in a long time. I am not one to cry or get emotional during worship very often, but I felt an instantaneous overflow of emotion from the first word of the first song. (Which happened to be a song I've sung at least thirty thousand times since I was about five . . . so I don't think it was because of the song.) I continued throughout the rest of the weekend to feel a peace that I have not felt in this church before.

Tonight as I looked around at the people with whom I was worshiping, I was literally overwhelmed with love for them. I watched them use their individual, unique gifts to praise our Savior. I watched them pray for one another for hours, crying with some and rejoicing with others. Experiencing each others joys and sorrows. Sharing each other's burdens. And, I loved them. What was David's church became mine.

In the course of a weekend, God graciously took the one thing that has kept me from feeling completely at home here, the one thing I have lamented, and turned it completely around.

I feel like I have finally come home.

Friday, September 18, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


This weekend is "convention" at our church. I've never been here for one of these, but best I can figure is that it's sort of what we call "revivals" in the South, except there's a lot more food involved.

I offered to go to the church and help set up this morning while Lauren was at preschool. I didn't really know what would be needed, but it seemed like a lot of people were doing stuff, and I like to be helpful, so up I showed.

I walked in and was handed rolls of white plastic material, scissors, and tape. If you know me, you know the only thing that could have been worse would have been if they'd handed me a hot glue gun. (Right, Jawan?) I don't do crafts; they frighten me and make me hyperventilate. Stores like Michael's and A.C. Moore cause me to become tense and anxious and have horror-filled daymares (you know, like a daydream that's a nightmare - there should really be a word for those, or am I the only one who has them?) that someone's going to ask me to, gasp, make something.

I realize that most people would not have been intimidated by being asked to wrap a white plastic sheeting around the bottom of the tables as a table skirt. Alas, I am not most people. I think I need a nap now.


I got the boys' hair cut last week. This haircut should last us a while!


I have been needing to get my own hair done for quite some time now but was a little nervous about finding someone here to cut it. And color it. I haven't highlighted my hair in over six years, but I've been really annoyed with its mousy brown color lately and with the way the bottom appeared a lot lighter than the top. But, who in tiny-town, Pennsylvania was I going to trust to cut and color my hair?

Well, R.J., that's who. Turns out a man in our church use to work in the Redken laboratory and was a professional colorist for them for years. Who'da thunk? And, wait, it gets even better. Know how much it cost to get my hair washed, cut, colored, and styled (and my eyebrows waxed) in tiny-town, Pennsylvania?

$47.50. Sometimes I love small towns.


David's cousin had a baby Tuesday, and now I have serious baby fever. Oh my goodness, he's so cute and cuddly and soft and shiny and new. I want a shiny new baby. I suspect that David and I having been spayed and neutered will be a hindrance to obtaining one. Maybe I'll just borrow Rachel's.


Several people have asked recently, so I've decided to share one of my holy-grail of recipes. Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I tell you, these things are like a little piece of Fall heaven in your mouth. Enjoy.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 c sugar
1/2 c oil
1 c pureed pumpkin
1 tsp milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla

2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

1 c chocolate chips

Mix first six ingredients in mixer. In separate bowl, mix dry ingredients; then, blend into wet mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes.

The consistency of these is not like ordinary cookies. It's sort of halfway between cookie and cake. Like I said . . . heaven.


Today is "Pirate Day" for the first graders at the elementary school here. (Don't ask me why; I have no idea.) Joshua, of course, came home and started planning his costume the moment he heard about it. He practically lives in dress-up clothes, so the opportunity to wear a costume to school is nothing short of thrilling.

But, he's always been more self-conscious than my other kids and getting more so as he gets older. This morning he said, "What if nobody else wears a costume?" I told him that was okay, and he should wear it if he wants to because the note home specifically said they could. I told him I would stick some jeans in his backpack in case at some point he wanted to change. He decided to go ahead and wear it, but he asked if David or I would drive him to school today so he wouldn't have to wear it on the bus. So, David drove them this morning, and I have been slightly worrying in the back of my mind all morning whether other kids dressed up, too. I don't think there are many more painful things than your child being made fun of, having his feelings hurt, for doing something he loves so much.

Please let other kids have dressed up, too.


Pops, Lauren wants to know when you're coming.

Check out more 7 Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

To know and be known

We had open house at the boys' school last week. This, of course, involved visiting their classrooms, checking out samples of their school work, and basically seeing what it is they do all day.

Ethan's class had colored pictures of scarecrows, and they were hanging on the wall outside his classroom. The pictures did not have names on the front, but after perusing them for a minute or two, I bet Ethan that I could guess which one was his. I pointed to the one I knew had to be it, and he was so impressed that I could pick his picture out of all the ones hanging on the wall.

I know Ethan. I know his skill level and that he is a perfectionist, so he would not have scribbled or gone outside the lines. I know that he does not press down so hard that the color looks waxy like some of them did. I know that he likes things to be the correct color, so he would have colored the straw hat brown or yellow not green or blue. I know him.

There are a lot of difficult things about being a stay-at-home mom. The hours are tough, the job unpredictable, and the sick leave non-existent. I've missed being in the courtroom and wearing suits and having conversations with other adults on a regular basis. I've grown weary of the whining and the fighting and the crying.

But, you know what? I LOVE how well I know my kids. Having sent neither son to preschool, I have spent virtually all of my time with them for the past five years. There are very few milestones that I haven't witnessed, not many skills they possess that I haven't taught them, few questions they've asked that I have not answered, and a limited number of funny (or brilliant) things they've said that I have not heard.

I have been here.

Now that my boys are in school all day, I am recognizing what a precious gift that has been. I won't lie - I'm relishing the freedom that comes with two kids in school. But, I do miss them. I hate that someone else is the eyewitness to their days now, and I'm relegated to hearing what few things they can remember at the end of the day. (Even Lauren, after three hours of preschool, when asked what she did there, most often responds, "I don't remember." Is it that their joy over seeing me overwhelms all of their other mental faculties so that they are unable to remember anything they did in school except eat lunch?)

Like Ethan when I spotted his picture, Joshua was equally impressed on Saturday when I told him I could tell which player he was even from several soccer fields away. I unexpectedly was the assistant coach for Ethan's game Saturday morning, so I did not get to go watch Josh's since it was at the same time. But, I told him that even from so far away, I could tell from the way he stands which player was him. "No you couldn't," he said, "How do I stand?" So, I showed him. And, I was exactly right.

It made me think of how well my Heavenly Father must know me if I, an imperfect human parent, can know my kids so intimately, can pick up on the most intricate details of who they are.

It feels good to know, and it may feel even better to be known.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ballet begins

There is a precious teenage girl at our church who volunteers to teach ballet to the little ones. She teaches them the basics and choreographs a beautiful, worshipful routine for them to perform in church. They performed back in June, and Lauren wanted so badly to get out of her seat and join them onstage. She has been counting down the days till they would start back up in the Fall so she could participate.

Today was the day. She talked about it ALL day long . . . how much longer till ballet? Is it time for ballet yet? Can we go to ballet now?

She absolutely loved it, and on the way home she said, "Okay, mommy, I know ballet now. Great!"

Monday, September 14, 2009

Someone wants her Pops to visit

Daddy, consider yourself warned: this is only part one of Operation Get Pops to Come Visit.

Friday, September 11, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


I've just gotten all three kids off to school, which is no small feat with my kids. One would think that getting ready for school would be a simple matter: eat breakfast, brush teeth and hair, and get dressed. That's it. That's all they have to do in the morning. How can that take 45 minutes and involve wailing and gnashing of teeth every single day?

First there's breakfast: Josh has more oatmeal than me. Ethan took the last maple & brown sugar. Hey, that's MY cup!

Then there's the seating dilemma: They sat on the bench last time! It's my turn! I don't want to sit next to him!

Next comes the toothbrushing issues: I hate that kind of toothpaste; it feels like my mouth is burning! No, that kind is girly; it's Dora!

Of course, all of those pale in comparison to the monumental task of getting them dressed, which involves locating one of the four items of clothing Josh owns that don't "irritate" him: This one feels scratchy, that one squeezes my arms. I can't squat in those pants, these buttons hurt. Those sleeves come up when I go like this, that one's too stiff.


Once we finally get the clothes on, we must find acceptable socks and then put them on inside out. You heard me. Inside out. Apparently, the strings are irritating if they're on the inside. And, naturally, since Joshua wants his socks inside out, Ethan must have his inside out as well. Never mind that Ethan's socks have that rubbery grip stuff on the bottom to keep him from sliding; they must be inside out like Josh's.

And so it is that 3/4 of an hour is spent on three simple tasks.


I'm beginning to think Lauren may be my smartest kid. Yesterday she was eating an apple and asked me if she could go outside and plant the seeds to grow an apple tree. I said sure. When I went outside to get something a few minutes later, she had buried the seeds and was sticking wildflowers into the dirt. We had this conversation:

Lauren: Mommy, will you help me plant these flowers?
Me: I'm cleaning up right now, maybe in a few minutes.
L: But, I NEED you to help me.
M: It looks like you're doing great. What do you need me for?
L: Um, I need you to water it for me.
M: But, that's your favorite part, why do you want me to water them?
L: I need you to water them and help me because I wuv you.

Well then . . . who can say no to that?


I got my Kindle last week, and I think I have died and gone to heaven. I would put it up there as one of the best purchases I've made in the past 10 years. It's small and light, so it's easy to take with me anywhere, and it takes less than a minute to download a book to it. Since it holds 1500 books, I don't think I will lack for something to read anytime soon.

Having lived in this tiny town with its even tinier library for four months now, I was desperate for a way to get my hands on books. The only obvious solution was ordering them online, which is what I've been doing, but then I have to wait for them to arrive. Day after day after day. Waiting is not my gift. Now I choose a book or ten from the Kindle store, and I can start reading it minutes later. I'm in love again.


I live in the Allegheny Mountains, near the Allegheny River. I take Alleghany Rd. to get to my house, and there is a town not far from here with the word Allegany in its name.

Did you notice that I spelled the word three different ways? Those were not typos; that's how they are spelled in regard to the various things I mentioned. The official spellings. How can the town and the road and the river not be spelled the same??!


I have mentioned on here before that I LOVED our church in Georgia. It was one of the hardest things to give up and without question one of the things I miss the most. Even more than Chik-fil-A.

However, I must mention that the people in our church here are absolutely wonderful. When I was in the hospital last weekend, a couple of people came up to the hospital to sit with David and to visit me the next day. When I got home, my kids had been watched, my kitchen had been cleaned, my pantry had been replenished, and food had been cooked. People I don't even know brought us meals. The people in this church are a genuine reflection of God's love, and I am so thankful to have found that here. I guess demonstrating the love of Christ is more important than good music anyway, right? Right.


Does Facebook try to get anyone else out there to be friends with Karen C? (I hate to put someone's full name on here, especially someone I don't know.)

Normally, when Facebook makes a friend suggestion, it tells me why it's suggesting that person. We have nine mutual friends, or she's in my network, or she also went to my college.

But not this person. Every two or three days, Facebook recommends her and gives no reason. Apparently, they just think we should be friends.


We finally got around to making goop last time Isabella came over to play with Lauren. They had a blast with it, and it was so simple to make. Thanks, Jawan.

Don't you just love chubby three year-old hands?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

1st day for Lauren

Lauren is the first of our kids to go to preschool. The boys would have clung to me and been very unsure about going to school at age 3, but not Lauren. She has been so excited to start, and this morning wild horses could not have held her back.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The next van Gogh

Okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but I'm really proud of the picture Joshua brought home from art class this week. He's been working on it for the past five weeks.

Weekend Fun

I have a really good excuse for not writing this weekend. I was in the hospital. That's right, the hospital. I didn't spend my holiday weekend shopping or barbecuing or partying like some people did; I spent it begging for pain medication.
Apparently, this has been a really lousy week for my body. On Thursday I was diagnosed with a sinus and kidney infection. I mentioned to the doctor then that I was having really bad stomach pains as well, and she said it was probably just from sinus drainage. (Never mind that the stomach pain started before the head cold.) So, she gave me a shot of antibiotics and a prescription for more to take at home, and I went on my merry way, albeit slightly less than merrily.

Friday night, not knowing at the time that I had a stomach ulcer from hell, I decided to have a little drink before bed. Let's just say it involved alcohol (bad) and orange juice (even worse).

Saturday I woke with a pretty bad stomach ache, but it was town yard sale day, and the kids were super excited about buying other people's junk to further trash our already disastrous-looking playroom. So, I took a shower and got dressed to take them yard-saling, but by the time I got downstairs my stomach was hurting so bad that I told David he would have to take them.

He wasn't gone five minutes when I called his cell phone and screamed, "You've got to come home!!" He walked in the door, and I put on one of his t-shirts from the clean laundry pile on the couch (admit it, you have one, too), stuck my feet in his crocs that were by the door, and got in the van. David and the kids weren't even all the way in the other door yet, and I was in the van - sobbing - ready to go to the ER without the slightest thought as to what he would do with the kids.

Fortunately, he keeps his wits about him a little better than I do, so he made quick arrangements for someone to come and get the kids (they were only 2 blocks away, thank God), and then he raced me to the ER. So I could sit in a wheelchair and wait. Then sit on a gurney and wait. Then sit in an exam room and wait.

In the end, they admitted me and ran all kinds of expensive, shouldn't-have-these-done-when-we-don't-have-insurance tests to rule out scary and serious stuff, and finally settled on an aggravated stomach ulcer. After a little over 24 hours, I was able to take my embarrassingly unshaven legs and washed-but-not-dried-the-day-before hair and head out of the hospital wearing David's clothes because it's what I had arrived in. It's amazing how much more self-conscious one is when not writhing in pain; the crocs that are 3 sizes too big for me didn't seem so ridiculous the day before. (I bet there's a spiritual lesson in there somewhere if I take the time to look.)

So, while I didn't get to spend the weekend partying and having fun, I did get to spend some quality time with my good friend Demerol, so I guess it was not a total loss.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Profundity from a five year-old

Tonight one of our bedtime books was Inside Your Outside, one of many fun and educational Dr. Suess-type books we own. The book ends with this paragraph:

Your brain and your heart
will guide all that you do.
Someone special is
inside your outside -- it's you!

Without skipping a beat, Ethan said, "Uh-uh. It's God!"