Family · Parenting · Perspective

Fire – Home Alone Style

giphy4En Fuego. Seriously. It’s like we are living like we are on fire around here. It’s not pretty. Not the kind of nice little fire pit flame or the warm happy tables with flaming pots you find in fondue restaurants.

giphy5It’s more like this.

I knew we’d been feeling the heat for awhile. Juggling sick kids. Sick adults. A tonsillectomy. School. Birthday treats. Cleaning out and donating an entire carload of clothes that are too small for my fast growing kids. An upcoming dance recital. Busy season at work – only it has continued an extra two months at this point. A new volunteer position. 90% good things!

However, the poo hit the fan this weekend when I realized that I can’t locate my son’s birth certificate. I found out a few months ago that I had “misplaced” his social security card at some point in all our home renovations… but I didn’t know I couldn’t find his birth certificate. The all-important certificate is necessary for him to be allowed to play baseball this spring.

giphy6At our Sunday afternoon parents’ meeting, the mom organizing the coaches and kids announced that she wants a copy of the certificate by next Sunday. Apparently all the other parents actually KNOW where their children’s important documents are and many had actually brought the birth certificate with them.

That’s right folks. It’s time to take away my “Mother of the Year” badge.  I guess you could if I’d ever been awarded one in the first place!

Which I haven’t.

For the record, I don’t really buy into that line of thinking. My kids are loved, cared for, provided for, and as safe as I can make them in this uncontrollable world.

I could have probably spent Saturday afternoon looking for the missing document. I didn’t. We played baseball out in our yard as a family. Then the kids helped me transplant the roses and live forevers from my winter garden location to their new homes in the beds next to the house. To finish the night, we all put on ever-stylish bowling shoes and enjoyed more time together at the local bowling alley.

It was a fun day. I regret nothing.

I should probably start looking for that birth certificate though… after work, dinner, and bedtime for the kids…

Much love — Jen


Side note — if you search giphy or google for fire images… WHOA. That’s some weird stuff for your Monday!




Family · Perspective

There’s a Blender in my Purse

giphy1Me. When my husband sprung it on me this morning: “We need to get to the office 30 minutes early. Let’s ride together.”

Ummm….. I haven’t brushed my hair or my teeth. I’m not wearing makeup. This will be a 10hr day at the office, so I need to pack a lunch or something edible.

But yes. Thank you. I am already wearing pants.giphy

Has he prepped anything for the day? Men have it so simple. He’s dressed with shoes and wearing his coat to walk out the door. “Where are your keys?”

I slide the keys across the floor while I simultaneously shove an entire blender and a banana in my oversized purse.

“You can either wait by the door or out in the truck, but I’m going to need a couple more minutes!” Irritation…

He starts to tap his shoe on the floor and does that ‘I’m waiting for you body posture.’

giphy2At this point, I literally stick a full-size carton of almond milk in my backpack. Running into the bathroom, I swipe my small makeup bag off the counter onto the carton of almond milk. Jogging back to the kitchen to pick up my oversized purse, I tell him to move it. “Let’s go!”

Five minutes and we are out the door. Man is he lucky that I love him or this might be tomorrow morning….



Fitness · Health · Perspective


Swim. Run. Bike.

A couple of weeks ago, I completed my second indoor sprint triathlon.


300m lap swim- this is actually only 6 down and backs in our local Wellness Center’s pool. 78 laps done in the previous weeks before I completely fried my hair with the chlorine and purchased a swim cap. Pink swim goggles and my navy one-piece- I felt pretty official! I managed to cut 1.5 minutes off my previous race time in swimming.

2mile run- Running is my jam. I like to get into a rhythm and just go for miles. However… sprinting is NOT my jam. Nerve pain and numbness in my leg plagued me most of the winter. My mileage was dialed way back. I didn’t expect the time to be good. Vomit was close to erupting, but I beat my previous two mile triathlon sprint by about 20seconds.

12mile bike- After the fall sprint tri, the organizer decided to add 4 miles to the challenge. My spinning seat wasn’t set correctly… my fault. Shredded legs and a little rub discomfort. About 2:10/mile.

Overall, I took 3rd female. I thought I would feel proud of my physical accomplishment.

Upon reflection, all I felt was humbled. Two days before this, I laid in the tube for two and a half hours. My annual MRI: brain and thoracic spine, with and without contrast- a yearly peek into my neurological system.

All stable. Nothing new. I’d have loved to hear that my lesions miraculously healed themselves. Same white dots in the same spots.

Randomly, I’ll have weird nerve and muscle symptoms. For years, I thought everybody did. Apparently not. MS does odd things.

Have you ever considered how fortunate you are to have working legs, fingers that feel, and a spine that doesn’t “buzz?” This isn’t for sympathy. These truly were not situations that I’d considered prior to about four years ago.

Humbled to be able to swim. Amazed at running. Grateful for biking.


Creativity · Family · Perspective

Grasp – Free Fall

via Daily Prompt: Grasp

Some mornings just need a moment to fall into place. I’m not grasping life by the horns today. That was yesterday’s chaos. Let the chips fall where they may!

My desk is fully visible, sans the mountains tackled yesterday. My to-do list is relatively short.

Instead, I’m choosing to sit back in my desk chair and listen to some acoustic John Mayer.


Free Fallin' Acoustic
Tom Petty original was a favorite song to sing along to in the car on the way to high school with my sister.


Early morning devotions. Kids dressed and off to school. Connection with my husband. 10min FitSugar abs workout. My gallon jug of water and a bag of snap peas prepped for snacking at my desk. Mascara and lip gloss applied. Quick drive to work.

Ready. Set. Go.

Grasping life as it comes, but taking a moment to sing a classic.

Isn’t it all about balance? The push vs. the pull? Catch and release? The firm hold and the free falling moment?

Grasp. Free Fall.


Faith · Family · Parenting · Perspective

Family Hike

Today we walked away from it all. The piles of laundry, unwashed dishes, shoes scattered across the mud room floor, and the business phone- we just walked away.

It was glorious.

For 1.5 hours, we hiked a nearby pasture. Up the hills and down the draws, my husband, kids and I walked the deer paths. High up in a tree herons were nesting. The wild turkeys and owls made their presence known.

Paying special attention to avoid the honey locust trees, we found a grove of walnuts. The kids collected turkey feathers. The big prize would have been deer antler sheds, but we didn’t find any.

Crossing the creek multiple times, we either walked a natural log jam or found a fallen tree to place across the shallow water. I can firmly say that none of us will be tightrope stars.

My phone came out once to take one picture. Neither my husband or kids know I took a snapshot of this moment. It was a joyous reprieve from connectivity. No service meant no intrusions into our family time.

Be still and know. Nature has a way of cleansing the mind and opening the soul.


Family · Health · Perspective

It takes a village

It takes a village… and I still hate tonsils. Ugh. Complications make this healing process slower…IMG_3101

Day 10 post tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.

Sweet girl tried school for 3 hours yesterday morning. Her brother rode the bus, but I drove her in so I could talk to her teacher. 8am-11am she quietly enjoyed Kindergarten. Instead of crackers for snack, she ate an entire string cheese stick! <—- This is BIG news! She has barely eaten anything in the last week unless by force. Her little denim jeggings are now baggy and falling down.

She was absolutely wiped out when I picked her up. I gave her a choice to eat whatever she wanted for lunch. She chose a corn dog… so I drove thru Sonic and ordered her one on our way home from town. It took her 30 minutes to eat it, but HALLELUJAH! She ate the whole thing. Don’t judge on nutrition. The kid just needs to eat something.

After some serious “angry tired” attitude, I rocked her until she fell asleep for 15 minutes. We enjoyed a couple of hours of rest time after that until she crashed again in a blaze of tearful fallout from 4-6pm and for the night at 8:30pm.

This morning, after she slept all night for the first time in 10 days, she rode the bus to school for another 3 hour session. Maybe tomorrow she can attend the whole day?

Could it be that we are finally turning the corner???

It truly takes a village to orchestrate a sick/recovering child, another child, a job, and the rest of life’s little details.

I couldn’t have done this without my amazing husband. He tag-teamed our all-nighters with her. He takes over holding her when she’s droopy and I need to use the bathroom. He does homework with our son and has helped with household chores. He hasn’t said a word about me being out of the office (thankfully I’m able to work from home and be flexible with my hours IN the office).

Grandparents have been a life-saver! My father-in-law is seasonally employed and this is his off-season. He’s only a mile and a phone call away. D is hands-on and loves to be involved with his grandkids! My mom spent two days and a night helping at our house. She also took M for a day at her house so I could work. My dad was happy to hold her at our son’s 2nd grade program. Obviously from the amount of cuddles necessary, this has NOT been a smooth recovery.

Our neighbors and church family have volunteered to help get our son places. A couple friend of ours brought a crockpot of cheesy ham and potato casserole, salad, and cookies. Another neighbor picked up an order from the pharmacy.

My sister brought coffee one morning on her way thru for work “just because.” Our friends have checked in with us just to say “Hello” and “We are thinking of you guys!”

It takes a village. We are blessed to have a good one!

Family · Health · Parenting · Perspective

I hate tonsils

Tonsils and adenoids. My sweet little girl had her “monsters” removed Tuesday.

Months of chronic tonsillitis predate this surgery. The last round wasn’t just tonsils; her whole body was covered in a viral rash and the skin on her hands peeled off. We also discovered her drug allergies to the most common bacterial antibiotics.

Since Tuesday, we’ve been walking a fine line of OTC pain meds, timing, staying hydrated and trying to keep something soft in her stomach. Exhaustion, patience, bribery, and a lot of board games and coloring fill the hours.


At 4am today when I got up to give acetaminophen, she was restless and complaining of a stomach ache. Then she vomited. Then her fever shot up above the threshold the surgical discharge papers allowed.

We tag teamed holding her and checking her fever until my husband was able to convince her to sip some water and the fever reducer.

Days 5-7 are the toughest according to our surgery discharge  information. Well Hello Day 5!

I’m keeping a countdown. Halfway there. We are now approximately 5 days from having this all behind us. Slow and sure. Healing. Hoping for a healthier little ‘sugar bean.’