Thursday, March 27, 2014


This is Hank. He's new at our place.

He's very sweet. We love him to pieces. Little Hank is a Cheweenie (Chihuahua + Daschund).

Monte and I started discussing a house dog quite innocently. We were both raised with pets and want our little people to have the same experience. As a couple, Monte and I have had a few pets as well... mostly dogs; big dogs. But when thinking about a pet in our home,  a big dog seemed like something we just couldn't handle. The thought of another body in the more congested parts of our house was something I just didn't want to deal with.

We though small would be much more manageable. And a little less intimidating for Ellie, who is still very cautious around animals.

So we started looking for little-ish dogs and spotted Hank's picture on a pet-rescue site. With parents in the 9-12 pound range, we though he looked like a great size; someone we should meet.

Long story short, Hank lives with us now.

As with most puppies, Hank loves to chew on shoes (or favorite slippers). He doesn't have manners yet (although he's working on that). He doesn't like the cold (which doesn't help with the manners, specifically as it relates to doing his business OUTSIDE). And he loves to eat crumbs (and anything else) off the floor.

Even with all of those things, he's just what we needed (although I could do without the messes in the house). Some days get the best of me. Some days I'm able to give the best of me. Hank, like so many other things in my life are an exercise in patience. In my head, I hear Mr. Miyagi... "Patience Grasshopper."

Some days, I'm able to listen to that internal voice and dig a little deeper, finding a new reserve of patience. Other days.... well, let's just say, there are days when the well seems to have dried up. Those days make me sad, but we all have them. It's best to just go to sleep that evening and vow to do better the next morning. That system re-booting always works wonders.

It means everyone at my house is learning... learning to adjust... learning to be patient... learning to just stop and enjoy life, as it happens before us... mess and all.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I think a lot of things in life can be compared to floating in a pool. The more you struggle and tense, the less you float. The amount of stress in your body is directly related to floatability.

But relaxing in the water is not always an easy thing to do... especially when you don't know the depth of the pool. When the water is cold. When there are a bunch of other people splashing around you.

I'm trying to believe that I'm not out of my depth, trying to relax myself and let the water support me... warming me through and rejuvenating my spirit.

That's just life. Some things are certain, and other things are not. The trick is to enjoy the time that we have in the pool and just go with the flow.

Teaching that to the little people requires daily practice. More on my part, to lead by example, than on theirs. They have the beautiful ability to lean back, relax themselves and let the water and their doting parents support their bodies as they navigate the waters and those other splashing bodies.

I suppose at the end of the day, they have more to teach me, than I them, when it comes to floating.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


There was something about being the parent of a three-year-old that made me feel like my children, and family I suppose, was a young one. We no longer have babies in the house, but somehow three seemed not so far removed from all of that baby stuff.

Now Miss Ellie is four. And when I stop and look at her, she seems so grown up to me.

The truth is, Ellie has never acted her age. She has this amazing vocabulary. It's her gift. Don't ask her to walk a straight line, or across a room without bumps or bruises... she's as klutzy as ever. Rather, ask her to describe or recount a scene and she'll do it beautifully and elaborately.

Just last week she was explaining her "opportunity to spend time swimming at the hotel." I was unreasonably giddy to hear those words... I tried to get her to say it again, this time with film rolling; I wanted so badly to capture that moment in full audio. But she was on to me. I had missed my "opportunity."

Even without the audio, she looks older. More than anything, that's what strikes me. Ellie is as tall as some of her school-aged cohorts at daycare. She looks as though she's ready for school. Combined with that amazing vocabulary, it prompts people treat her differently... people, including me. She looks older, she should know better. She should be able to do those big-kid things. She shouldn't be so emotional.

She looks older, but doesn't know better... can't do all of those things and four IS emotional. (For everyone in the vicinity.)

Reminding myself that she's just a little girl is something I do frequently. Despite how fast she's growing and changing, she is indeed a little girl. A little girl who could use some slow, quiet words of comfort, designed in size for a four-year-old.

I love being a part of her growth and witnessing her change. (Although some days are easier to witness than others.) She's so delightfully different from her brothers and in many ways doesn't act like a sibling... she has a mothering personality. I love the way she'll hold someones hand or stroke a cheek the way only a loving mother can. The way she calls the subject of her affection "honey" makes my heart melt.

She's four now. Still young. Still my little girl. I don't think any of that will change, no matter how big her words or how old she looks.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Sometimes life is tough. Not fair. There are times when parts of life seem all out crummy. 

But just when things feel like they're never going to go "my way" again, something happens to highlight the preciousness of it all. As if God came through and highlighted a single line on the page of my life to show me what was right before me.

Highlighting the part that is worth fighting through the tough stuff.

Highlighting the part that is never crummy, no matter the situation.

Highlighting the essence of life... purpose.

Life doesn't always go to plan, following the straight and clear route that it "should." It winds and drifts, taking detours along the way. Introducing us to new people and places and experiences. Changing us along the way.

That process can be exciting... or frustrating... or scary... depending on the day and what's at stake. 

What doesn't change is the purpose. Keeping that purpose... essence... in full and clear view is the tough part... but the part that is never crummy, no matter the situation and at the end of it all, it's what we cherish most.