The Best Cure

Waiting is hard.
It reminds me of how much control over the world I DON’T HAVE.

Today I was busy. There wasn’t a minute unfilled, a second un-taken-advantage-of. And any other day, today might have been just crazy enough to send me over the edge to The Bin -you know… the one with padded white walls and cozy jackets with straps?
But today, I am waiting.
And the best cure for waiting is GOING. Or, as I like to put it, goinggoinggoing.

With any luck, I will have GONE to the point that the second my head hits my pillow I won’t have time to worry about the test results, the possibilities, the unknowns.

About a week and a half ago, my Dad got sick. And then he got sicker. And then he said he needed to see a doctor which, directly translated from Dad to Standard English, means “I need to go to the ER STAT.”
But he went to the doctor instead, and then a few days later he finally went to the ER.

Dad’s been in the hospital since Friday, and I haven’t blogged about it because Dad wouldn’t like it. He doesn’t want people fussing over him or knowing what’s going on in his life.
And I love him, so I want to do what he’d like.
But I love him, so I want to ask for prayers for him.

I know prayers work. I’ve watched them work.
And I know that if you’re reading this, you have time to send one up -just one.

There’s tests being run, blood being taken, and family members waiting. There have been tears shed at Hansen’s Auto shop counter by grown men who love my Dad. There have been texts, calls, emails, messages! One magical bag of chocolate that appeared out of nowhere and landed on my desk right when I got the news that Dad isn’t getting better. Dad’s customers have stopped by to ask after him. Men with whom he does business have called. I can’t keep up with updating everyone who is worried about this very well loved and respected man!

John Waynes aren’t supposed to get sick.

And waiting is hard.


Pot of Gold

The nice thing (the “nice” thing?) about going through hard things is that there’s always some nugget of gold waiting for you to find. Trials are like gruesome treasure hunts.

Some nuggets are Knowledge Nuggets. Some are Wisdom Nuggets. Some are Strength Nuggets.

Have you ever stifled emotions? I have. I think I actually turned it into a sport and became a semi-pro. Here’s a Truth Nugget I picked up when I was 12 and came down with shingles because I wouldn’t cry:
If you stuff emotions down, they will find a way out of your body whether you like it or not.

(Please feel free to take My Nuggets and needlepoint them onto pillows. And then give me one. Ha!)

So I have some anger these days. I’ve never been an angry person. I’ve never really understood people with tempers because I don’t erupt or yell or scream or anything like that. It isn’t that screaming and yelling is BAD… it’s just that I didn’t DO it because it was easier for me to shove emotions down than let them out. Not everyone operates the same way I do.
*cough* thank goodness *cough*

I’ve picked up a lot of Growth Nuggets these days, and they’ve taught me that it’s okay to be mad. Is it okay to carry anger? Well, it isn’t HEALTHY. But you can go ahead and do it if it pleases you.
I’ve always shoved emotions down out of fear. I thought yelling was BAD. Screaming was BAD. Letting negative emotions take control was BAD. I was afraid of doing anything I perceived as BAD so I’d shove down, down, down…

But I’m not afraid anymore.
(“Did you hear me? I said… ‘I’m not afraid anymore!”)
So anger is coming out of my body and soul and mouth. It’s the wonkiest thing that’s ever happened to me. It feels so unnatural. The huffing and breathing and sweating and shaking. It’s CRAZY.
I polished my sink the other day. My anger took over my kitchen in a violent electric storm in the which anger BOLTED from my arms and the ending result was a polished sink and counter.

While I was thus (huffing and puffing and scrubbing my sink down), my phone rang. A dear, close friend asked me how I was doing and I told her truth. She listened.
“It’s okay to be angry,” she said, directly quoting one of my Discovery Nuggets.
“I just wish people KNEW, you know,” I said, “I wish they knew so they understood why I dropped the ball HERE and THERE and why I’m being the flakiest person in the world.”
“Because! It’s hard having people maybe think that I’m just not doing what I should be doing.”
“Alicia, what other people perceive is not your responsibility.”
She talked more after that. I promise, she did. But the thing is: I didn’t HEAR it. It was like background noise to the hallelujah chorus was singing as the heavens parted.

I’ve heard people say the cute quip, “What others think of you is none of your business.” And I think the same rule applies here, but to hear it like THAT.


I always thought it was. But you know what? Do you know what that MEANS? It means I’ve spent my entire life as one big bundle of excuses and apologies.

Is that REALLY how the Savior intended I live?
My usual pattern goes something like:
“[apology], [excuse].”
“I’m sorry the house is such a mess, it’s just that I’ve been so busy today.”
“I’m sorry I look like this, the baby was up all night.”
“I’m sorry there’s trash on the floor board of my car.”
“I’m sorry.”
“It’s just that…”

But it isn’t my JOB to make sure others think I’m good. It’s my job to do what the Lord has for me to do. One of the women I look up most to in this life is Mother Theresa, and it was her who gave me one of my Profound Nuggets.
“God has not called me to be successful. He has only called me to be faithful.”
And so yes, my house is dirty. It seriously could use a blow torch taken to the insides right now. But you know what? It’s okay! THAT is OKAY.
God has not called me to keep my house clean when my life feels like it’s falling apart. He has only called me to be faithful. And you know what? I can DO that! In fact, it is the ONLY way to get through the day… and not just because I’m going through hard things right now.
The only true way for me to get through each day is to take them one day at a time and turn each one over to God. Other people can have their thoughts, their judgements, their perceptions, and I can LET them. I can LET them have them without absorbing them and turning them into internal truths.
I don’t have to make excuses or apologies.

I can just look to the Lord and live.

And THAT, ladies and gents, is one of the best kind of nuggets there is: a FREEING nugget.

Here’s the other Best Kind of Nugget:


Today Be Like

I haven’t had a break today, and I actually only sat down to the computer to ask Google if I can safely add Basil to my chicken noodle soup.
Which means I’m in the middle of making dinner.

As I said.  Today be like:

…and just in case you were wondering, you CAN put basil essential oil in your chicken soup.

Candles, Cake and Cream (Ice)

I think I’ve already serenaded you with my ol’ “I love making birthday cakes but I’m not good at it” song.
My cakes are like those X-Factor auditions where the contestant is totally enjoying themselves while the judges are making the same faces they generally make when someone with long nails drags them the length of the chalkboard.

Kind of like THIS. Minus the rudeness and water throwing… because if someone told me I wasn’t a NATURAL cake maker, I’d just agree with them.

This year, Trenton asked for a Red Samurai Power Ranger Cake. I bought some red and black frosting (at Wal-Mart! When did they start carrying fancy frosting? Best day ever!) and whipped up my own batch of white. I introduced the kids to “The Emperor’s New Groove” while I free-handed his cake.

I don’t really BELIEVE in low expectations, but sometimes they’re awesome… like when you have low expectations of a movie and it exceeds them and makes your night or when you have low expectations of your cake making abilities and end up thinking every cake you make is good to go.
I was proud of my lopsided Samurai sign. What would I do without Google Images?

Trenton thought it was the coolest thing ever and couldn’t wait to plop his Red Power Ranger in the middle of it.

We sang to him:

And then he huffed and puffed aaaaaand!

***Disclaimer: Any abrupt subject changing in this post is wholly the fault of my helping my five year old build his new Chima lego set.***

At this point in the party, my husband took over on taking pictures and all the rest of the pictures have followed the fate of Alice’s goat petting pictures.
They’re lost.
In the Labyrinth.
Of Droidness.

Trenton was given a new set of Chima legos, a Chima movie, a Power Rangers shirt and a box of K’nex and a slingshot.
The K’nex were my idea. Trenton is always snatching up odds and ends and making weapons and equipment with them. One day in a mechanic shop can yield his a week’s worth of stray parts.
So I bought K’nex out of the goodness of my heart and the sincere longing to stop tripping over greasy old wiper blades Trent dug out of Hansen’s Auto trash.
In addition to our gifts, he got some John Deere legos from his cousins and some inflatable dinosaurs from his aunt and some amazing guns from his grandparents (of the Nerf variety).
As I was packing the party up, he came up to me with his irresistable big brown eyes and said, “May I have some cake?”

I MELTED! The BIRTHDAY boy had been so busy with his presents and cousins that he FORGOT to eat his own cake!

I had offered him some earlier and he claimed he wasn’t hungry.

Happy Birthday to my very favorite boy in the entire world.
Now I’ll get off the computer and we can build some serious Chima awesomeness.

Five Year Old Boy

This morning when Trenton woke up, I was the only one here. Danny took the baby to Flagstaff. Lacy was at school. I scooped him up in my arms and took him to get his own breakfast. We drove to his favorite “treat-getting” place just east of town (the truck stop) and he grabbed some Pringles and a container of Nestle Strawberry Milk.
Happiest. Kid. Ever.

I took him to work with me -part of his ROYAL birthday treatment. Where would YOU want to be if you were a five year old boy? A mechanic shop! As I loaded him in the truck to come home, he was sing-songing, “Five year old boy… five year old boy…”

I can’t believe it’s been FIVE years. FIVE!

Tonight there will be cake!
Tonight there will be ice cream!
Tonight I’ll prove to the world how AWESOME I am at throwing parties!
There won’t be any decorations or special invites or games or favors. BUT there will be family and friends and food and fun and laughter and memories and NO ONE will be stressed about whether or not the fondant on the cake is falling. Most of all? The guest of honor will be THRILLED to share his day with people he loves.

And I didn’t even need Pinterest to plan it all out *wink wink*

All’s Fair

I used to LOVE the County Fair. I looked forward to it every year… Dad always made sure I came home with a blow up hammer (or pony or ball or unicorn) and a bag of cotton candy. We rode rides and saw all of our friends. We browsed exhibits and came home exhausted.

As a parent, I couldn’t WAIT to take my daughter to her first county fair. Taking Lacy that first year was fun… it was such a novelty, and we didn’t CARE how much we spent. Danny forked over more money than he’d like to mention to win her a little stuffed horse.

But Lacy was adorable.  See?  See how bald and wonderful she was?  As we added Trenton to our family, so did we add the Demolition Derby to our “must do” list at the County Fair.








The fair always falls somewhere very near his birthday.

I am digging up old “County Fair” posts from my older blogs, and it’s making me remember what it felt like to hold my babies when they were babies.


“A few posts ago, I posted a picture of Lacy and I on the Carousel at the County Fair. I’m only telling you that because I have a few more pictures to post from the county fair and I’m not in any of them. Neither is Trent. But we were both there.

I was mostly behind the camera and Trent mostly hated the whole idea of the fair. I thought he was getting sick, but he wasn’t. He was just really angry that we hauled him to a place that was not only cold, but too loud and too busy as well. We went two nights in a row, and he cried two nights in a row.

Lacy, on the other hand, loves the fair. This was her third time going, and every time we go she goes nuts.”

Trenton always loved being home more than being away.  Lacy?  TOTALLY opposite.

This year was Alice’s FIRST year.  As the years have gone on, the fair has changed.  Prices have gone drastically UP, but our bank account has not.  Last year we spent close to $100 in one night.  We went home sick over it. This year, we seriously considered not going because

#1) The cost

#2) The grungy feel that’s hung around the fair lately.  It smells like fried stuff and smoke and feel like an alley in a dark street.

#3) We had a third kid and suddenly felt like getting out of bed required a strange amount of inconvenient EFFORT.

In the end, we gave into the kids begging.  Trenton has long since outgrown his desire to BE ALWAYS AT HOME and was wanting to go more than anyone.  He had his heart set on the Ferris Wheel and a bag of cotton candy (he is SO my boy).

Danny and I relented and pulled our life savings out of our bank account (kidding.  kinda).  We didn’t go to the rodeo or anything like that… no Demolition Derby this year, either!  We ended up saving a bundle and having the best time we’ve ever had!

Maybe it was because the older two weren’t into every pig pen and begging for toys.  Maybe it’s because Alice seems to make everything seem fresh and brand new.  Maybe it’s because every time I walk by the booths, I start humming the theme song from “State Fair” and that always makes everything better.

Maybe it was the fact that Lacy was the most popular kid at the petting zoo.

She could barely hold her food cup high enough!

Maybe it was the way Trenton panicked when he was rushed by a small gaggle of goats.

“I hate this!  I hate this!  I want to throw my food!!!!”

Alice, on the other hand, was THRILLED with the sheep and goats.  She couldn’t wait to get her hands on them, and because I was busy keeping her in my ARMS so she wouldn’t dive head first onto the back of a billy goat, I don’t have pictures.

Danny does.  He should give me one. But he sometimes forgets how obsessed I am with pictures of babies petting goats.

Prolly cuz I’ve never told him.

The kids tipped the Statue People and took a picture with them in the which they don’t look uncomfortable or creeped out at all.

Trenton was a bundle of fun, making battle noises and wandering all over the place.  He couldn’t WAIT to ride the Ferris Wheel, and when the time came he hopped on with Danny and Lacy.


I stayed on the ground and made a grown man very uncomfortable by breastfeeding next to him.

I used a cover.

But if you’re ever nursing a baby, you can have yourself a really good time by making eye contact with grown men as they walk by.  FREAKS them out.

I’m realizing I don’t actually have ANY pictures of Alice Michelle!  I most definitely have to get the goat-petting pictures from Danny…

After the kids and Danny got off the Ferris Wheel, we decided to make one last round of the fair grounds before heading home.  It was almost 10 in the PM, and the kids were just BEAMING with energy and happiness.  Trenton was twisting his bag of cotton candy and skipping along as happy as I’ve ever seen him.

“Who would have thought eight dollars would bring so much happiness?” my husband laughed, “Four bucks for the cotton candy, four bucks for the tickets to ride THE Ferris Wheel.”

We had a good laugh.  And then we had a good cry because we remembered how it used to cost half that for the SAME STUFF.

At the end of the fair, I talked Danny into a big cup of Homemade Mint Oreo ice cream from THIS BABY:

It was SO good!  Homemade ice cream at a county fair!  Mint! Oreos!  It was my own version of Cotton Candy and a Ferris Wheel.  After the ice cream was gone, we walked out of the fair and piled into our car where I took my ONE SOLITARY (sorry to be redundant, but I’m trying to emphatically make a point)… picture of Alice.

It’s of her wristband… we put it the only place it would stay, and stay it did.

The older two kids fell fast asleep as we drove home, forty dollars poorer.  We remarked what a good time we’d had, how enjoyable the evening was, and giggled as our littlest baby piped in her two cents now and then… because she DIDN’T fall asleep on the way home.  She refuses to be the weakest link.

We curled up as a family in the living room just after 10 pm and started a movie.  The older two woke up and downed enough cotton candy to keep the awake through the entire movie.  Mom fell asleep almost as soon as her head hit the pillow on the living room floor.  Dad made Ramen noodles.  Alice got her kicks trying to scale her mother.

And then at 2:44 in the AM, I woke up and found my entire family asleep in the living room together.  It was just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen.  There’s nowhere we’d rather be, really, than snuggled up on the living room floor -close enough to kick and hug and share cotton candy.

Today I feel like there’s lead in my feet and all I want to do is sleep!  Maybe I just need to put “State Fair” on to up my Motivation Levels.  Cheesiness has a way of delighting me.

Cheesiness and baby-petting-goat pictures.

Things That Make You Go

“Crap! Crap! Crap!”

(Lacy sang one of the songs she’s written to Alice while she fed last night. I was running late for an appointment, and Lacy helped to feed her. I came out and found a singing Lacy wiping a sleeping Alice off with a wipe. I sure hated waking that sweet baby!)

(You can’t see the loose top tooth she keeps wiggling at me. It makes me squirm.)

(They’re growing up!!! This wasn’t in my blueprints! I was supposed to have children! CHILDren! They weren’t supposed to grow UP. They’re not following my blueprint, and they’re not even sorry.)

(At least Alice is staying little. I can’t keep weight on this 13 pounder for ANYTHING. At least she’s doing her best to be obedient. If she could talk, I’d have her talk some sense into those OTHER two.)

(This is what happens when you ask Trenton to please put a banana in the diaper bag. He’s so thorough.)

“Get the camera QUICK!”
(This is what happens when you let the new dog out and there’s kitten afoot. They run atree.)

“Do I HAVE to?…”
(It’s officially time to give the kitties away. If they’d stay kittens forever, I’d keep them ALL. They bring so much light into my life. Having a gaggle of kittens is medicine to the soul. You should try it sometime. I don’t want to part with my babies.)

Independent Reader

Lacy already announced it, so this is very Old News of me.
But Lacy is an independent reader! Do you know what this means? My sweet little Barely-a-First Grader is officially reading at a second grade level!
This is a HUGE honor bestowed by the school… all independent readers get a shirt at the school assembly, and they get to ring a big, fat bell in front of the ENTIRE elementary school population.

Lacy earned her Independent Reader award a few weeks before the next assembly. She flew off the bus and onto the porch and announced with all of the grandeur a six year old can muster…
“I! AM AN INDEPENDENT READER!” And then she squealed and giggled and told me ALL about it.

Really, Lacy, if you could stop growing right now that would be best. Your giggles and squealing and beautiful singing are beautiful! I never want to lose the sound of your little giggles.
Thank goodness for video recorders.

Lacy announced her Independent Reader status to everyone of importance, and voiced her disappointment in forgetting to tell our Bishop.
“Awwww… Mom!” she said as we pulled out of the church parking lot, “I forgot to tell Bishop!”

As the day of THE assembly neared, Lacy counted down.
Five more days!
Four more days!
Three more days!
Before we knew it, it was THE day. We missed the bus on purpose and decided to take Lacy to school ourselves. With the extra time we had together, we curled her hair.
Special occasions call for curled hair, this we all know.

As the time came to announce the Independent Readers, Lacy grew very anxious. The principal announced that there was an Independent Reader in the audience that was VERY excited to get her award… that even her Grandpa had come out for the occasion.
And Lacy looked like this…

And when her name was said, the crowd went wild.
Have I ever told you how social Lacy is? Lots of school kids know who she is because she is so friendly. Since she was a babbling baby, that girl has known NO STRANGER.
Everyone is “my friend.”

She is a hard worker, and I am proud of her hard work, her dedication, and her love of learning.

School isn’t an easy thing to go through. Yesterday Lacy came home in tears, and I held her as she vented untruth from the depths of her sad soul.

Oh, how I remember feeling that way. We worked through what had happened -a situation that culminated in her writing a song (something she’s remarkably good at).
“My heart is glued.
I’ve never felt this way before.
I love my Mom.
I hate James* now.”

(*name has been changed to protect the guilty)

She didn’t want to go to school today, but she rallied her spirits with grace. And she wrote an “I’m sorry” card for a friend she’d hurt, and she BOARDED the BUS.
Sometimes it takes great strength to board the bus. You know what I mean… we all have our own versions of boarding buses.

(On a geeky side note, why is buses spelled buses and not busses?)

Here’s my courageous, determined girl.
She inspires me… really -as I watched her RUN onto the bus, my heart was full and it made me look inward.
Am I that brave?

And now we’re counting down days not to an assembly, but to a BIRTHDAY. FIVE more days until the boy is FIVE. When did this happen?!

(to answer your question: I downloaded a hair app and the kids and I had some good times. What color is Trent sporting in this image? I like to call it Iron Man Red.)


Thank you, guys.

I mean it. Really. THANK YOU.

I didn’t write yesterday’s post to initiate a wave of sympathy. I wrote it because I wanted to be real with you, and if I can’t be real and genuine with you I will (apparently) avoid you. Your comments (both here and elsewhere) buoyed me. Your words (both texted and said OUT LOUD) were a balm.

As I said, I’m learning a lot about love these days. More than anything, I’m learning that love IS the point. I’ve always wrestled with a love/hate relationship when it came to Valentine’s Day. But this last year was different. In fact, every year from here on OUT will be different.
Valentine’s Day is so simple and beautiful. It’s the perfect opportunity to make Valentines and deliver them to your neighbors. It doesn’t matter if you’re 30 or 3 or 15 or 9 or 76.  Apart from the religious significance of Christmas and Easter, Valentine’s Day ranks high up there with Christ-ish holidays.
Showing love is one of life’s MOST fulfilling experiences.
Case in point: Earlier this year on February 14th (to be exact) I put a milk-chocolate Cadbury bar in my daughter’s plastic bike basket. I taped a homemade valentine to it and had my Lacy ride to our elderly neighbor’s house. Lacy returned home a little later with two small stuffed bears: one for her and one for my Trent.

But the satisfaction beaming from Lacy’s eyes wasn’t from the stuffed bear… it was from GIVING.

You all give me so much. You don’t even know.

And as I read the news and see society taking heinous turns, the turn that horrifies me the mostest isn’t obvious. It’s subtle. It isn’t making headlines.
It’s simply this: love is waning.

We are doing almost everything we do out of fear: working out because we’re afraid of not being enough, of not being “beautiful.
We’re parenting out of fear: fear that our children will end up making mistakes, having sex too early or adopt an addiction.
We’re stocking our houses out of fear. Our finances are planned with fear.
Headlines don’t say anything about fear… the fear is hidden behind them. Wars, hate crimes, illicit activity!
It makes us all want to board up our homes and cower.

But I will tell you this -which is something I was told by a still small voice not one solid month ago:

A Daughter of God has no need of cowering.

Love will make you brave.
Work out because you love your body, not because you feel fear or self-loathing.
Parent with love and let the fear take a big ol’ backseat. Or a freight train to hell, which is where fear actually belongs.
Close the news feeds and open a quote book.

And as much as I detest fear and pray for it to be abolished from here to eternity, YOU gave me LOVE.
Love wipes out fear, and for that, I thank you.  While I didn’t need sympathy or attention and wasn’t seeking it, I was given love.  My heart is full.
And the best way to say “thank you” is to give you the gift of cuteness, compliments of my late night entertainment.
Never fear: my late night entertainment is wonderfully appropriate for all ages.

Reading Between the Posts

I never thought I’d ever see the day where I didn’t blog. Blogging is therapy for me. It is to me what running is to some people and reading is to others.

If I go one day without writing, I start to lose my balance.

A few years ago, I went a little while without blogging and I had someone email me and ask me if I was okay. They were generally and sweetly concerned. How perceptive my readers are. You is smart.
I’ve always lived in a glass bowl, so to speak. I don’t know how else to live! And while some folks may disagree with Glass Bowl Living, I tend to disagree with them… at least in the sense that all Glass Bowl Living is wrong. I am the way I am for a reason. I can’t spend my entire life trying to squelch me.
I talk.
I write.
I post pictures of my kids.
I tell you about what I eat and wear and do… why do I do it?

I don’t even know.

Is that sad? I don’t think so. I’m just naturally THIS way. I’m not looking for validation or attention or whatever. Showing you me is just what I naturally do all of the time to everyone, be they virtual or real life.
That’s why I haven’t been blogging.

My mind and life have been consumed with something lately. CON-SUMED. And when I’m consumed with something, I generally have to write about it. And then you generally get to read about it.
Remember when I went nigh unto insane over my haircut when I was pregnant? So yeah. You know what I’m talking about here.

But the thing is: I can’t tell you what’s consuming me. There’s actually a part of my life that is kept under locked black box in my Glass Bowl. And I feel all dishonest about it -like I’m throwing crochet afghans over it every time you stop by to read my blog.
Like, “OH! You’re here! *nervous chuckle* Come in and sit down. OH! NOT THERE, DEAR! ANYWHERE BUT THERE!”

I don’t like it. It’s hard for me. So I take the lower road of avoidance. I’m just avoiding my blog.

Maybe you haven’t noticed I haven’t been posting.
Maybe you thought I just got busy.
Maybe you’re reading this and going, “Gosh, lady. Who cares? Post when you can and don’t when you can’t but don’t be all long-winded about it.”

It doesn’t matter. I’ve been wrestling with feelings of ingenuity. I am busy -that’s true, but being busy has never stopped me from jotting down every tittle before.
Why is it stopping me now? That’s the question that has been plaguing me… mostly because I knew the answer and didn’t like it.
I also hoped that my being consumed with something else would be more temporary than permanent. But this is a lonnnng piece of temporary.
I’ve started this post a few times, erased it a few times, saved it as a draft a few times, scrapped it and wrote a fluffy pink cloud post about funny stuff my kids said instead.
But there’s something BIG missing from my blog.

And that’s me. Did I just call myself fat? *snort*

I’m going through a tough season in my life, and I’m learning a lot about grit and backbone. I’m learning that I have them in spades… almost as if they’ve been in reserve my entire life waiting for me to find them.
Life is hard. It’s supposed to be, you know. It isn’t about the weekend or the vacation or anything “stuff”y at all.
I’m learning that life is really only about love and learning which is another way of saying “charity and growth” which is another way of saying “I’m going through something hard right now.”

It’s okay. It’s my season.

And I might go so far as to say that YOU are going through something hard right now because, as I said, life is hard and here we all are… living it.

Someone has it harder than me. Yes. I’ve had this pointed out to me MORE than my fair share lately. But there’s a great saying out there that goes something like, “comparison is the thief of joy” and that applies to “stuff”y things as well as hardships. Comparing hardships is stupid.

I have no advice, no answers, no idea what anyone needs.
The only thing I know is that I really don’t know much about anything at all… except that I’ve got a lot to learn which is another way of saying I’ve got some growth ahead of me which is another way of saying “I’m going to make it through some more hard things in my life.”
Thank goodness I have grit. Thank goodness I found my backbone.

Thank goodness it’s my favorite time of year, when all the world (or at least, all of Northern Arizona) is green and grey all over… even the weeds look pretty with rain drizzling all over them.
The sunflowers are in full bloom, there’s kittens on my porch and a baby squirming in my arms.
There’s sunsets and pumpkin pancakes made on the griddle because our stove up and quit. There’s Anne of Green Gable marathons and afternoon naps. I’ve got a small supply of essential oils to apply and enjoy. I have a caring, independent daughter and loving son who makes me laugh at least five times each day.

And for all it’s hardness, life is also soft.