MiTunes

For a few months, I’ve been working on a “Happy” playlist… songs that you want to crank when you’re waking up (or trying to and can’t), songs you want to crank when you’re cleaning (or trying to and can’t).

This morning, I polished it off.
It’s an hour and 40 minutes long -that’s alotta happy. I know there’s songs missing. The playlist will shift constantly -just like me. But this morning is the FIRST time I’ve put down my paintbrush and took a step back and sighed, “It is finished. Probably. Mostly.”

Believer American Authors
Beverly Hills Weezer
Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) Mika
All About That Bass (feat. Kate Davis) Postmodern Jukebox
Respect Aretha Franklin
Brave Sara B.
Button Up Your Overcoat Music from the Prohibition Era
Lemonade Alex Boye
I Will Survive Gloria Gaynor
Fidelity Regina Spektor
You and I Ingrid Michaelson
Wishful Thinking The Ditty Bops
Sister Kate The Ditty Bops
Shake It Off Taylor Swift
Chicken Fried Zac Brown Band
Come On Get Happy The Partridge Family
Down Came a Blackbird Lila McCann
Get Happy (Summer Stock) Judy Garland
Good Morning (Singin’ In The Rain) Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly
Honey Bun Music From South Pacific
Pea Rabbit
Grace Kelly Mika
Roar Katy Perry
Unwritten Natasha Bedingfield
The Weight The Band
If You’re Wondering Balkan Soul
Why’d You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That Dolly Parton
Folding Chair Regina Spektor
Hey Man (Now You’re Really Living) The Eels

There’s really so many more songs I can and and will add. So many I’ll take away. So many that take me right back to when I was 5 years old and dancing the day away in front of CMT (I’m looking at you, Dolly Parton).
But right now, it’s done.

I’m telling you this because
1) I’d love to hear what you’d add to the list
2) I’d love to give you a copy of my MiTunes

Just let me know if you want one -leave a comment.

Now I’m jetting off to have breakfast with one of my favorite people in the world -one of my Young Women who isn’t a Beehive anymore but a full on cheerleader who dates and everything. She’s getting a CD. Because high school is HARD and she needs to Shake, shake, shake it off.

Taking Care

Once upon an evening, I was left alone with 7 cats (one sick), 1 dog, 3 stinking (I mean that literally) children, two loads of laundry, and one unmade dinner.

It sounds typical, I know. But for some reason, I couldn’t shake the overwhelming emotions that were hitting me from all angles, and as the now-bathed-and-not-stinky kids ran circles around each other both fighting and laughing at the same time… I pulled a load of wet laundry from the washer and moved it to the dryer. It seems simple enough, but I had an outright BREAKDOWN.
I can’t do this.
I can’t do this.
I CAN’T DO THIS.

My emotions took over reality, and I bought it. I gave into them and sat in the OVERWHELMEDNESS of it all. It felt something like this:

(PS: anyone want a cat? It’s obviously adorable?)

I stepped over the clothes left on the floor by the kids, the pencils, crayons, toys, dolls, and various kitchen utensils left on the floor by my littlest and I pulled dinner out of the oven. Dinner was tostada shells covered in cheese with a slight sprinkling of green chili because HEY! veggies.
Gotta feed the dog before the sun goes down. Gotta get the kittens food away from the bigger cats… gotta keep the –
“HEY, get the kitties OUT of the house!”
Make sure the reading is done. Did we read? Did that happen? Check homework. What’s for breakfast? Remember to check the cupboard for applesauce for Lacy’s lunch tomorrow.
“Alice, no choking… the kitty is sick.”
Pick up the bath towel… what’s it doing on the table?
“Turn the TV OFF. I didn’t say we could turn it on. Is your homework in your folder?” I repeat my rhythmic instructions, “Homework in your folder, folder in your -”
“Back pack,” the two older kids drone out methodically.
Open the door to feed the dog, the kittens run inside. Put them back out. Close the door quickly. Don’t step on them…
Gotta let the dog out, hope Alice isn’t choking the kitty inside.
Open the door to go back in, the kitten sneak in. Catch them, put them back out.

I put a tostada on a styrofoam plate and put it in front of my son.
“Oh, EW,” he shook his head.
The sick kitten cried out from her box.
The healthy kittens cried out in reply from their cheeky little hiding spot between the screen and front door.
Alice cried out. Because that’s what Alice does always.

I can’t do this.
I can’t do this.
I can’t do this.

I washed dishes because there weren’t any clean and promised the kids they would FINALLY have a pair of clean jeans in the morning. They rejoiced.
I stared at the wall, unable to either eat or ask the kids what their favorite part of the day was.

“I want to go to bed and not eat,” my son said, turning his nose up at the green chilies, which AS WE ALL KNOW are FAIRLY FATAL.
I looked at the clock. 7:30.
“Okay, but you can’t get out or get any kind of treat,” I said.
“That’s fine!” He popped up and bounced into his room.
I don’t understand boys…

I sprayed the girls’ hair with detangler and brushed. They hated me. I hated hair. They needed to get in bed, and Alice refused to sleep. But it was 8 pm and I NEEDED SLEEP. If you put Alice in her play pen (her bed), she will climb out. She will kick one little leg HIGH up until it catches on the top bar of her play pen, and then she’ll hoist herself up and slide right on out. She’ll walk proudly into the living room, VERY awake and say, “HI, HONEY!”
Who can put her right back to bed after THAT? I’m not able to, as yet. I decided to buckle her in her high chair and put a movie on until she drifted off. She KNEW what I was doing and openly rebelled. Kick, scream, flail.
She reached her perfect little hand up and FORCIBLY PINCHED whatever she could get it on, and all I’m going to say is that NO MAN will ever understand the pain a child can inflict on a woman’s chesticles.

I can’t do this.
I can’t do this.
I can’t do this.

Kids were finally in bed. ish.

I needed to email my husband…
We try to “check in” with each other every day. We run through a list.
How are you physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially? What victory have you had today?

He’s out of town, so I email tonight’s check in.
Physically:
TYPE TYPE TYPE
I can’t do this. Children. Kittens. Cheese.
TYPE TYPE TYPE.
Laundry. Out of baby shampoo. Pencils.
TYPE TYPE TYPE.
NOT ENOUGH. INCOMPETENT. TIRED.
TYPE. TYPE. TYPE.
TTTTYYYYYPPPPPEEEE.

I let out a ragged breath and signed off.
Then I took a deep breath back in and reread what I’d written, and everything became clear. The cat pee, the art supplies, the microwave dinner. I highlighted My Gigantic Rant and hit “delete.” I started over.

Physically: I am overwhelmed and haven’t done anything to take care of myself. When you’re home tomorrow, I’ll need you to take the kids for the evening so I can go away.

I spent the next evening lapping the track at the school, shaking off the emotions that had piled over the course of a week and a half of no self-care. I went with a buddy, and we laughed and talked and laughed and talked. I drove away feeling the wonderful effects of the emotional detox and then drove straight to a convenience store for chocolate.
But when I pulled up, I realized the inside of the truck was SILENT. So I just sat there. I took a breath and no one hit anyone. I closed my eyes and no one pinched anything. There were no hungry kittens, no dinner needing to be made. NO ONE NEEDED ME BUT ME.
I opened up my gospel library app and read Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians, took screen shots, texted them out. He is wonderful with words.

There’s a few authors that are SO WONDERFUL with words that my heart speeds up when I read them: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, Nora Ephron (why are all of these people dead?!)… Paul is one of those people.
2 Corinthians 5: 6-8
6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Does anyone else laugh when an emoticon shows up in ancient books? For we walk by faith, not by sight. SMILEY FACE.
Reading those words brought on a sort of pep-rally from inside of my soul, and I decided to go home WITHOUT chocolate. I knew what I really needed, and it was dinner. I went home and ate steamed broccoli and baked chicken. I drank filtered water. I went to bed by 10.

And the world makes sense again. I’m BOSH at remembering to take care of myself, and when I don’t, my emotions take the driver’s seat and I end up having a melt down in my sweats in the middle of the laundry room while the baby chokes the sick kitten and my two children choke each other.
Or something like that.

My goal this week is to spend at least 30 minutes each day taking care of myself: eating something healthy, going for a walk, taking a shower (yes, that counts. These days, that counts).
What am I going to do today? A nap. Why? Because I stayed up past one watching an 80′s cult flick.
It happens.

In other news, here’s some words to make your heart speed up:

...

Makes me think of my sweet little Lacy who tells us each night who she gave smiles to :)

Thomas Moore--inspirational quote

Flannery O'Connor

#BiggestLoser motivation!

Mother Teresa

Anais Nin

 

There's no place like it.

one of my favorite quotes

Simplicity

Okay, I need to stop.  I could go on like this forever.  What is it about words that makes me go nutsy?  There’s so much magic in words.  So many right answers.

Maybe for self-care I should WRITE instead of sleep?  Survey says? YES.

(but because I want to add a million more, I’ll pacify myself with linking up to my pinterest board with ALL THE WORDS.)

Language Arts

Communication is what holds us together around here: finding out what one person needs, how they are feeling, who got kicked at recess. It’s all vital. All vital.

Alice has been pretty good at communicating. As an infant, she had a special way about her that made it somewhat easy and clear to understand exactly WHAT she was wanting or needing. As she’s grown, her vocabulary has blossomed. She apologizes, thanks, asks, and even, “okey-dokey!”s. She sings and screams. She fights and fits.
The thing is: she is VERY particular. She likes to have certain things JUST SO, and if you don’t get the message, she blows a frustrated raspberry, pancakes herself onto the floor and shakes her little head and back forth.
See, SOME kids would just say, “no.”
But Alice? She wants to make darn SURE you know she asked for a sippy but didn’t want THAT sippy nor did she want WATER.
Raspberry, pancake, shaking, crying… Mom puts the sippy next to her and quickly walks away because she will not be manipulated by raspberries or pancakes only to find that as soon as she leaves, Alice has quit shaking her head and is sipping a sippy.
Women.

As hard as she tries (my great-grandmother would say, “bless her heart”), she still can’t get some messages clearly across.
Like, “meh meh.”
WHAT does that mean? Can you translate? It took me awhile…

Alice is very selective (this we know) and her TV choices are no exception. First, it was ONLY the movie “Frozen” and then it was ONLY the television show, “Good Luck, Charlie.” Since coming home from Disneyland, she would only watch, “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and now it’s moved on to “meh meh.”
Please watch the first six seconds:

It took several sessions of
“Charlie?”
“MEH MEH!”
“Mickey?”
“MEH! MEH!”
and me scrolling through icons on Netflix and watching her reaction (tossing herself as far DOWN as she could in her high chair when I pulled up Mickey and Charlie and perking up and wiggling her little legs when the penguin popped up).
“Is THIS meh meh?” I asked, clicking on Pingu. The theme song rolled and she cried out in joy, “MEH, MEH! MEH, MEH!”

Translation victory.

In Kindergarten, Trenton was given a little stack of “heart words.” They are heart-shaped flashcards with words on them… words he will learn by heart.
Love.
Like.
Can.
To.
The.
Dog.
Cat…

He’s been working diligently to memorize his heart words by heart, and two days ago he sat at the table mumbling and writing and giggling.
He’d only peek over his shoulder at 20-second intervals to call out, “Don’t look, Mom!”
And the ending result? Only one of the MOST ADORABLE LOVE NOTE I’VE EVER GOTTEN:

I’ll be one sad lady when my kids get too old for construction paper.

We all know there’s more going on around this place than just PEOPLE. And even the pup struggles sometimes with how to communicate.

His eyes pretty much got the message across. Poor, gently puppy who just wants his food but not as much as he wants to NOT HURT THE HUNGRY KITTEN.

Me Too

After posting yesterday’s post, I received a host of beautiful responses that while different in the EXACT wording basically said the same thing: me too. It reminded me of Brene Brown’s quote:

"The two most powerful words when we're in struggle:  me too." - Brene Brown | Repinned by Melissa K. Nicholson, LMSW www.adoptioncounselinggr.com

I’m sure I’ve blogged about Brene before (I just got a tiny thrill from the way that alliteration fell seamlessly into place), but just in case I haven’t, I’m about to. If you haven’t heard of her before, today is the DAY. The day that will go down in your personal history!
You think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not.
I might also spend an entire day waxing rhapsodic about Glennon Melton, but putting references and tributes to BOTH Brene (Bruh-nay) and Glennon in one post would probably make your brain explode from Awesome Overload. And I care about you, so I won’t do that.

Let’s get started with my favorite quick clip… it’s funny and true and will make you nod your head because YOU’VE BEEN AT LEAST-ED at least once or twice or 350 trillion times.

This one is actually TWENTY minutes long, but it’s gone viral. Probably from just a few of us watching over and over and over and over…

If you’ve taken time to watch those, your life will be richly blessed and probably changed.
If not, here’s a few amazing Brene Brown quotes to convince you to scroll back up and watch the videos.

Brene Brown: When perfectionism is driving, shame is riding shotgun, and fear is that annoying back seat driver.

For the non-feeler in me that wants to escape feeling pain, fear, and sadness. | Repinned by Melissa K. Nicholson, LMSW www.adoptioncounselinggr.com

.

Some wisdom from Brene Brown | Repinned by Melissa K. Nicholson, LMSW www.adoptioncounselinggr.com

Courage - Brene Brown | Repinned by Melissa K. Nicholson, LMSW www.adoptioncounselinggr.com

And just because I CAN’T NOT DO IT… here’s one quote from Glennon:

Brave-Kind

I don’t think a hearty dose of Brene with a splash of Glennon will do too much exploding…

The Concrete Box

Depression looks different for everyone because everyone is different. Hello, I’m Captain Obvious, your blogger for today.
For me, depression is different on different days because I differ a lot from day to day (say it ten times fast).
Because it isn’t something I battle with on a chronic basis, I always assumed that depression was an Eeyore-state of living where days were gloomy and clouds were grey and all the other people bounced around you on their tiger-striped tails, eating honey, picking carrots, and laughing in the sunshine.

Sometimes it is.
But mostly -for me -it’s feeling like I’m trapped in a thick concrete cube. Accessing the outside world -connecting with my environment and the amazing people around me -takes monumental effort. It is absolutely exhausting, and takes ALL of me.
It’s so much easier to sit in my quiet cube and watch a movie or two. It isn’t rewarding, but it’s much easier.
Of course it’s more rewarding to CONNECT with people… myself, God… the concrete walls keep God out just as firmly and resolutely as they keep other people out. Accessing the heavens feels like running a sort of marathon: my prayers need to be constant, methodical, sometimes giving me more energy, sometimes making me feels as if I can’t. send. one. more. up.

I’ve been taking supplements, this is true. And they help, this is also true. But not everyday. Yea, not every WEEK. And this past week, I’ve been battling The Concrete Cube. And by “battling” I mean pounding firmly against the walls, shouting loudly at my family on the other side, and then sitting with my back against them and sleeping as long and much as possible because IT IS TIRING.
I’m not sad. The skies are not grey.
I’m just very tired, and my box has no door.
I can hear life swirling around me. I know God is out there. I know because I don’t ALWAYS live in the box, and I’ve had powerful experiences with Heavenly Father by my side. I’ve connected deeply with my friends and family.
I hold onto hope that this box will eventually get up and move on. I mean… I have hope TODAY because yesterday I was starting to believe -as the blank unholy walls of the box would have me believe -that I AM LIKE THIS ALWAYS AND FOREVER. THIS IS ME. I AM TIRED. I AM DISCONNECTED. LIFE IS PASSING ME BY WHILE I WATCH DOWNTON ABBEY.

But something popped up in my facebook feed yesterday, and it hit me. I see quotes everyday, read them and think, ‘oh, how nice.’
This one, though, this one -made it through the concrete and touched me.

It isn’t that I’m ignoring God. It’s simply that feeling His hand in my life these days has had more of the “ebb” feel and less of the “flow.” As my day went on, it seemed out to get me and included a stranger showing up on my porch asking for directions to other people’s houses and then asking for ALL OF MY CATS.
No, no. Not even The Horrible Mother can go to strangers. Not Sickie. Not Toothless. Not Cheeky. And please leave my porch because even through all of this concrete, I can feel my gut screaming that I AM NOT SAFE.

After the sun set and the world turned chilly, my phone vibrated.
A text.
It was from a woman I’d briefly met and exchanged phone numbers with five months ago. She thanked me for being me and told me how much she appreciated my writing.
Random?
Was that random?
I don’t believe anything is random.

I took her words to bed with me -they felt just as warm as my thick blanket. I checked facebook from my phone and found another message from another precious friend, letting me know that she missed me and loved me.
Coincidence?
Was it coincidence?
I don’t believe anything is coincidence.

I believe I can’t evade the presence of God, not even in my box.
And yesterday God let me loudly know that He’s here, His angels are just a text and message away, and The Box is not me.

Week End

It’s been a whirlwind of a last few days. I can’t seem to sleep enough to catch up with life, and that’s not just because Alice is crawling out of her play pen when she gets tired of sleeping in it.
*yawn*
I went on a quick trip to Flagstaff with my youngest in tow. She wiggled around on the floor of a waiting room and eventually passed loud and obvious gas.
“I part,” she explained to everyone around, thereby exposing our family’s frequent use of grotesque words like, “fart.”
Because it was just the two of us, we indulged in some chocolate cookies. Alice got fairly drunk on them.

We won’t talk about how many I ate, and will only say that I MAY have opened up a gallon of milk and swigged (swug?) it while driving. I’ll let you guess how many gluten free Oreos you’d have to eat to get to that point…
Our sweet neighbor has a modest pumpkin patch and invited my kiddos over. They each picked one out and took it home free of charge. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but we have the best neighborhood.

Here’s Alice wearing her latest favorite outfit: her sister’s shirt, a diaper, and shoes.

She must get her fashion sense from my little brother, Jim. I stumbled on this picture this weekend while cleaning:

He doesn’t look like that anymore, but I will say… there’s part of me that will ALWAYS see him that way. This weekend, we had a reception for the wedding we attended last weekend. Jim came into town looking nothing like he does in that picture, but I had just as much fun with him. The kids were excited to see him, especially Alice who gushed over his green hair, “pretty!”
My brother Mike and his wife Brittany came over as well, and I was so happy. Growing up with all SIX of us together always seemed like chaos and crazy. I never would have believed that I’d DIE to have us all together at the same time again.
Jim watched Pirates II with Lacy while Mike made a bow for Trent and Brittany showed me her new website:

WEDDINGS DEFINED

which is amazing if you are planning a wedding or helping plan a wedding in Arizona, YES, but it is also amazing if you want some tips on floral arrangements from one of THEE best florist in the state.

And there’s natural hair and make-up tips that always come in handy -especially if you’re planning on being photographed anytime soon (*cough* family pictures *cough*)

We ended the evening by eating WAAAAAAAY too many caramel-covered apples at the reception. They were delicious. I don’t even want to work them off.
I didn’t take any pictures because I was too busy eating. But I didn’t swig any cider, in case you’re worried I carry my bad habits OUT BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. I do not.
“I only swig when no one is looking.” ~Alicia Deets

To round our weekend out, I’m throwing in a picture of our “Sickie” -the kitten who seems to eek each and every day out. We should probably name it properly… something stronger, perhaps?

Perchy?
Percheous?
Suggestions?

The Dotter Report

Here’s the latest on the Dotters.
The daughters.

First, Alice got her first French Braid last night and sat happily through it.

I make my own hair detangler with water, a small bit of conditioner, and a few drops of rosemary essential oil. I put it in a cheap spritzer from the “trial and travel” section at Wal-Mart. The girls love it and our relationships have been saved.
Because the after-bath brushing was seriously killing our bond.
Last night, Lacy got two braids before bed so she could wake up with what she likes to call “spider hair.” Alice felt left out, and I was so happy she let me get my fingers all over her long hair!
Usually the only time I can get her to hold still is when she’s doing this:

Yes, she’s in my bed.
Yes, I took that first thing in the morning.
No, I did not sleep that night.
Yes, she did pop up on one elbow, smile brightly at me to say “night night!” and then collapsed onto her arm and fell immediately back asleep… and that’s when I snapped the above picture. She’s priceless. One of a kind!  Just like her sister: Lacy, the Animal Whisperer.
Animals are drawn to her. She’s a real-life Disney Princess.
“Mom, I’m TRYING to get in the car, but the kittens won’t stop FOLLOWING me!”

Lacy is really awesome, and there’s this quiet little streak in her that comes out now and then. It does crazy things like color on bus seats.
“Why did you do that?”
“I. DON’T. KNOW. MOM. But will the bus driver give my marker back?”
“Probably not, but I wouldn’t worry about it. What can we do to make it right? Write an apology?”
“Mom, I want to walk instead of riding the bus now.”

Our first try:

“Lacy, this isn’t about getting your marker back. This is about saying you are sorry for what you did.”
“But I want my marker…”
“Well, there’s consequences for choices like that. You may not get it back. Let’s get a nice clean sheet of paper -one that isn’t crumpled up -and try again.”

Our second try:

“I want to walk, Mom.”

I’m proud to report that SHE DID IT. She got on the bus and handed it to the bus driver, and she is BRAVE. and naughty.

Last weekend, we went to my cousin’s wedding. My Aunt Cat snapped a couple pictures of The Dotters which I’ll share in a bit. First I want to share another brave Lacy moment. After the wedding, there was a dance. Lacy wanted so badly to be part of it, but was terrified to ask anyone that wasn’t her Dad to dance. I helped her dance with the groom during the dollar dance, and then I danced with her for a bit until her Grandpa walked by.
“Do you want to dance with Grandpa?” I asked as he approached.
“Yes!”
“Go ask him!” I said.
“NO! NO!”
“Dad, want to dance with Lacy?”
“with LA-CY?” He scooped her up and that was the end of that.

Is it possible to bottle ALL OF THIS JOY?

Grandpa has a soft spot for all of the GRAND DOTTERS.

(seeing Cat’s pictures next to mine is bringing on some camera shame in me. Maybe I need to upgrade my camera phone?)

And here she is. My first born in the wilderness of LIFE.

Thanks, Aunt Cat, for the sweet shots.
Thanks, Heavenly Father, for my sweet daughters… for ALL of your sweet daughters.

(Thanks to my brother, Steve, for editing out the pipe that looked like it was coming straight out of my head.  Kiddo, you’re sweet.)

Heartwarming Turned Horrifying

A while back (years?) I read “Charlotte’s Web” with the kids. I read with gusto and employed different, distinct voices for each character. The kids adored Charlotte and wanted to have their own sweet, talking spider for a pet. One night, I noticed that “Charlotte’s Web” was on Netflix. I promised the kids if they’d get all of their chores done, we’d watch it together.
It was stupid.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Why? Because we hadn’t finished reading the book. Meaning the kids didn’t KNOW THAT CHARLOTTE DIES.

I didn’t even THINK of that. I just turned it on and watched in glee as the kids saw their favorite characters come to life on the screen. About halfway through the movie, I realized I’d truly made a mistake. Halfway through the movie is when I remembered: CHARLOTTE DIES, ALICIA.

I really realized how much I’d mucked up when the movie ended and Lacy cried out through her precious tears, “REWIND IT TO WHEN SHE WAS ALIVE!”
She ran to the bathroom where she could safely put her feet in the sink and her head in her hands.
The children that come from my genes are VERY tenderhearted.

You think I would have learned. YOU’D THINK.
But
(you were waiting for that word, weren’t you?)
I mucked up again last night.

I found “The Mailbox” on youtube, so I streamed it as part of our Family Home Evening last night. About halfway through the short flick from 1977, I REMEMBERED.
“Danny,” I looked over at him in a half-panic, “Does the sweet old woman…?”
“Yeah, pretty depressing.”

And 15 minutes later, I was cradling TWO sobbing children.
“IF I WERE THERE I WOULD BE WITH HER! I WOULD WRITE HER LETTERS EVERY DAY!” Lacy sobbed and sobbed and resolved at that minute that the next day’s most important TO DO was write her grandparents.

If you’d like to scar your children as well, here’s your chance:

Maybe let them know ahead of time that the adorable and utterly love-able woman dies at the end?
My sentimental children may very well perish from repeated shock.

Beautiful Differences

When God has a message for me, He sends it SEVERAL times in several different ways -because He knows me. He knows that I’ll hear it once and shrug, twice and shrug, three times and then go, “Wait… maybe I should pay attention.”
God has to use 2x4s with Alicia. I accept this as truth.

Throughout this last week, he has let me know through different faucets that He NEEDS me to be the way I am.

I always thought that my openness -the way I talk about myself and my life so MUCH -was a terrible weakness.
As a small child, I literally -LITERALLY -used to chant to myself, “children should be seen and not heard… children should be seen and not heard…” But it didn’t help. I still talked openly and vulnerably to everyone. Anyone!
To this day!
(evidence: blog)

My brain doesn’t think in compartments or in any kind of organized way at all.
I assumed it was one of my “to be conquered” weaknesses.

But this last week, the Lord has shown me that while there is definite extremes to talking to everyone and letting my colorful brain take over, HE NEEDS ME TO BE THIS WAY.
What’s more: I need to STOP trying to change my God-given personality traits so HE CAN BEGIN TO USE ME for His work.

In Corinthians, Paul teaches the people about unity -a unified body. The foot functions as a foot and the ear needs it. The ear can’t be upset that it isn’t a foot because the body needs an ear.
The body should rejoice at the triumphs of the legs!
The body should mourn with the trials of the arms.

How can we function at our full capacity if we’re worried about being something we are not?

These are things I KNOW but don’t always FEEL, but to have God send this message to me FOUR TIMES in two weeks? That’s pretty incredible. He really wants me to be vulnerable -the way He made me.
He really wants me to be animated.
He really NEEDS me to have the brain I have because my colorful, disorganized creative brain works all kinds of magic (especially on kids) when I slack the reigns on it.

Life is hard.
It’s impossible when you reject your true self.

Be an ear.
Be a foot.
And BE FULLY THAT TODAY AND ALWAYS, and you will glorify God therein.

In other news, I’m longing for THE WEEK where I didn’t have to AGGRESSIVELY FIGHT FOR TIME WITH MY FAMILY:

My crazy brain rejects schedules and routines.
And wants Disneyland and uninterrupted family time… my phone only ringing because my husband is holding a spot in the Peter Pan line while I’m crown shopping with the girls.

Witchy Woman

Sunflowers are dying. It’s officially time for my annual mourning of late summer which involves decking my walls in black and scorn for light and life.
Okay, actually it’s just Halloween time.

I actually REALLY hate modern horror films but LOVE Halloween time. I love putting black bats on my wall.


(that’s an old picture. The kids aren’t allowed to help me with bats this year until their room is clean.  There’s a good chance there won’t be bats this year.)

This year I splurged… like SIX BUCKS… and bought creepy fabric which I foresee as doubling as pirate decor in the future.
As a family, we’ve staked claim to Halloween and Valentine’s Day as “OUR” holidays. There’s no traveling on these days, and no family to visit. No gifts to be giving, no hosting, no candles to blow out, no turkey prep.
There’s just us and candy and cold weather.

Valentine’s Day has it’s own fun Deets Family Traditions, but we’re not worried about love right now. We’re worried about DARK AND BLACK AND ZOMBIES and traditions, of course.
We make witch hat cookies together.

We make what our kids have named Carnival Apples (a remix of “caramel” by my son who couldn’t quite wrap his tongue around saying “caramel” but “carnival” was easy as pie).

And we watch “The Wizard of Oz” which Santa brought me on Blu-Ray last year -thanks in large part to our old DVD dying in the middle of the poppy field. Cause of death: scratches. or kids. probably both.

The kids and I love decorating together, and I’m not afraid to make a mess with them. I’m not a perfect mom, but I’m perfect at letting them make messes. They help me paint jars and blocks of wood:

They help me eat chocolate and bake pumpkin seeds. We stuff pumpkins full of food and bake them and EAT RIGHT OUT OF THEM. We make homemade hot chocolate and sometimes float ice cream in it.

hotchocolatefloat1

It’s great. I love doing stuff like that with my kids.
But I have a little after-hours secret… during this creepy month where the sun goes down earlier and earlier over wilted sunflower stems, I wait until everyone is in bed and then I stream old horror films… then laugh-cry myself to sleep.

Which of these traditions is best? ALL.
If sunflowers have to die, I’m glad October’s stepping in to fill the seasonal void.

Free Halloween Printables I know I already have this quote but I also like this typography!
(via Pinterest)