Monday, March 24, 2014

Sixteen

The time has come.


The time for tongue-biting and silent prayers.


 The time for imaginary passenger brakes.


The time for deep breathing and grey hair.


The time has come that I've dreaded for years.


And surprisingly...it's okay.


Congrats to my favorite 16-year-old. The boy who made me a momma and makes me prouder every day. You continue to impress me with your intelligence, amuse me with your wit, and bless me with your kind, loving spirit. Happy Birthday, Wes!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Love for the broken-hearted

This post is as much for me as anyone else. Someday a loved one will be grieving, and I'll want to make it better. The truth is you can't take that pain away. You can't heal the heartache. But I've learned that you can make a difference. I've been so blessed by so many. I wanted to share the things that really helped me through my broken days...

Reach out. Send an email, Facebook message, or text. Call if you're really close to the person. Let them know you're there and you care. I was flooded with Facebook messages, comments, and sympathy cards when my mom first passed away. Most were as simple as someone sending hugs, love, and prayers. I also found it comforting to hear from those who could relate to what I was going through...especially if they gave me hope that there were brighter days ahead.

Don't ask too many questions. Let them take the lead with the details. If they want to share the story of what happened, they will. Focus on just letting them know you're there. It can be so painful to discuss details, so give them space.

Show up. My mom's celebration of life service was packed with people who loved her and loved us. I had no idea how much it would mean to me to have loved ones there until I stood in the church that night. The visitation line was backed out the door and was slow-moving. Some came and stayed for the whole service. Some came for visitation only. One friend and her husband came and waited in line for an hour and had to leave for another engagement before getting to see me. An old childhood friend I sometimes interact with on Facebook came and waited in line just to give me a hug and then had to leave. Whether for 5 minutes or 3 hours, they all showed up. And I'll never forget it.

Do Something~ Don't wait to be asked. The popular thing to say is, "If I can do anything, let me know." Most likely, they won't let you know. It's hard to ask for help...especially when your head is spinning and you're consumed with grief. My dear friend from church set up a mealtrain for my family for those days we were planning the service and just trying to heal. My church family quickly signed up for meals and even provided the refreshments for the night of my mom's service. My friend took care of our dog when we were away, washed my full sink of dishes, put a freezer meal in my fridge (for us to bake or freeze for later), and then sent me colorful flowers just to brighten my day. Her parents sent me a Subway gift card. None of them waited for me to ask. Believe me when I say actions sure do speak louder than words. Being the hands and feet of Jesus is about doing. Prayer is powerful, so please pray for them. Then do something tangible if you can.

Follow up. The grieving doesn't stop with the memorial service. In some ways the days, weeks, and months that follow are even harder. For me, I did feel more peace. More strength. But I missed my mom more and more. I think of her throughout the day, every day. So it's comforting to get a random text, cute facebook sticker, or a phone call from someone who just wants to know how you're doing or just wants to remind you that they're still there.

Our family is close, so we held each other together and grieved together. We still do. But we've also been surrounded by so much love and support from friends, extended family, and church family. They took care of us, and it meant more than I can ever say. So I pray I can always find ways to give others this amazing love that was given to me.

 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I Can Do All Things...

I'm dusting off the blog today. Life has been sweet, and it's been bitter. But I've learned that it keeps rolling, regardless.
 
 Mine seemed to come to a screeching halt one week before Thanksgiving when my mom suddenly left this world for a perfect one. To say that I miss her is a gross understatement. My world will never be the same. It's easy to get swallowed up in that. But little by little, bit by bit, my family is healing. We're helping each other on difficult days and laughing together on good ones. We're learning what it means to take one cautious step at a time on this brand new, sometimes heart-wrenching journey. Because we weren't made to be stagnant. And we don't have to do it alone.
 
 My mom was turning into quite the potter before her departure. She made these ornaments and saved them as Christmas gifts for us. It feels like she's still here, pointing me in the right direction. I hung this at my kitchen window. I can't think of a more perfect verse to turn to every day.

I recently learned that Mom kept a journal. What a special gift for her loved ones! It made me remember that that's why I started this blog. I think I lost sight of that somewhere along the line and let it become a burden.

So, here I am. Again. Simply sharing my days.

 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Something New

Remember me?

It's been a while, huh?

Like a whole year.

I have more gray in my hair, more kids in my chaotic home schoolroom, and a year-full of stories. However, I seem to have less free time on my hands, so I'll have to fill ya in on the family stuff a little later. I did want to stop by and tell you about my latest adventure, though...

I started my own business~ Simple Whimsy Design

I tried out a few craft shows this past summer and opened an online Etsy store about two weeks ago. If you wanna have a peek at my shop, I'd love to show you what I've been up to! I'm also on facebook and try to update my page when I'm working on something new.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I've missed my blog friends!

 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Recent Randomness

I celebrated a birthday over the weekend. My terrific family insisted that I sleep in, and then they made me this...
Pancakes with homemade whipped cream and homemade strawberry syrup. 
It was sooo yummy.

And they made me this giant card...

 I think it's funny that they put their 'blog names' on it :)


This birthday was full of surprises...

We ended up having a snow storm...in October. 
8 inches of snow. 
We've had flurries in October before, but this was definitely a first.





And it was feeling so magical. Then, the power went out. For 17 hours. Now, let me just say that I feel super blessed that we were powered-up again after that point. There are many PA residents still without power. Trees were coming down and limbs were snapping off all over the place. The leaves are simply not supposed to be on all those trees when the snow comes around here!

Anyway, after nearly freezin' our biscuits with no heat overnight, we slapped on some layers, I pulled my hair in a ponytail, and we went out for breakfast around hour 15. Of course, that's when we see three different people we haven't seen since high school...when we're tired, un-showered, and sportin' layers...lots and lots of layers. Apparently, vanity is not part of the 32-year-old birthday package.

When we made it back home, I parked it on the couch. Our power was back on at this point, so things were looking up. Then, I opened my email and saw this in the subject line...

"You won the Silhouette Cameo on TT&J!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I know, right?! I still can't believe it! I am SO EXCITED! What a birthday gift! It was a random drawing giveaway on Tatertots and Jello. I have absolutely no clue how to use it, so I really hope it comes with some good instructions. Any of you crafty ladies have any tips or ideas for my first project?

So, there it is. Some recent happenings around here. Other than that, it's been a lot of school "stuff", errands, and bracelet-making. Oh...and some treehouse progress... But I'll save that for another post ;)

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