Category Archives: lily


“there are all kinds in God’s pocket.”  that’s what my mom always used to say.  i find it to be one of the most true statements about having children.  most people, when they start trying to get pregnant, dream about having the perfect child.  one who is bright, well mannered, good looking and kind.  i admit that i am one of those people.

when i first got pregnant in 2006, i had such grand ideas of what motherhood was going to be like.  i would have an easy pregnancy, give birth naturally, and have a beautiful baby . . . girl, hopefully.  two of these things came true.  (i ended up getting the epidural in conjunction with my first c-section.)  i was so excited to have a little girl . . . one that i could dress up in cute clothes and paint nails with . . . one that would have dance recitals and tea parties that i could attend.  it was going to be magical but it didn’t exactly happen for me.

God had a different plan for her . . . and me.

“there are all kinds in God’s pocket.”  some that are princesses and some that are tomboys.  some that love doll babies and some that love blocks.  some that are quiet and demure and some that are loud and bold.  He always has the perfect one picked specifically for you, though it sometimes is hard to accept.

there is so much to my eldest, lily.  confident.  creative.  bold.  and extremely loud.  the latter being overwhelming at times.  i swear that lily has no concept of volume control.  even around her sleeping baby sister she is so. darn. loud.  i find myself saying “shhhh” more than anything else these days which annoys me to no end.  why can’t she just be quiet?  why must she always talk so loud when we’re in the same room or car?  why God, when you created her did you make her this way?

a few months ago i sat with my friend, andrea, at a local coffee shop discussing this very thing.  i was lamenting to her about how hard my life was with lily at times.  i was very pregnant and weary from so many life changes that were happening all at the same time.  (a new house, a new baby, etc.)  i was struggling to handle her at home and she was struggling to sit still and be focused at school.  it seemed like nothing was going well and that there was no end in sight.  lily was so different from every other little girl that i knew both at church and in her class at school.  i was really having a hard time accepting and cherishing who she was.

after talking about her for some time andrea said something powerful to me that i will never forget.  she told me that God made lily exactly as He needed her to be to bring glory to Him.  w o w.  i couldn’t believe that i had never thought of it that way before.  i mean, i knew that God doesn’t make mistakes but i hadn’t been able to look at the big picture until that point.  andrea continued to tell me that God gives us traits because we are going to need them in the future.  she said that there was a bigger reason that lily was such a loud girl than i could currently see or understand.  lily was given boldness and fearlessness because God knows that in the future He will use girls like her to better His kingdom.  she told me that we have no idea what lily will become but that she very well could use her loudness to reach people for Him.

who knows what she will do!  she is bold enough to lead an army.  she is tough enough to be a corrections officer.  she is confident enough to go out into the mission field.  and loud enough to preach to the masses about her God!

as i sit here writing this the day is drawing to a close.  she is outside happily playing with her brother and her doggies . . . and is screaming her head off.  i am resisting the urge to yell for her to quiet down for what seems like the hundredth time today, and instead find myself praying. i am asking God for patience for the moment while at the same time i am praying that the end result will be her using this voice for His glory.  i pray that this extremely loud little girl continues to fearlessly love.  that she might use her voice to proclaim the good news to all who she encounters and to speak against evil.

Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!  –  Zephaniah 3:14



Filed under life lessons, lily

out of the mouths of babes . . .

today while i was asking Siri for help on my iphone . . .

mom:  how many ounces are in a pound?

Siri:  I’m sorry but I am unable to answer right now.  Please try again later.

mom:  how many ounces are in 1 pound?

Siri:  Unfortunately, I can’t help right now.  I’m sorry.  (or something like that!)

lily:  mom, since she doesn’t want to answer you, maybe you should make your voice sound like someone else!

mom:  (stifling laughter) good idea, lil.

mom:  (in an exaggerated high pitched voice)  how many ounces are in a pound?

Siri:  1 pound equals 16 ounces.

good job at making my kid look smarter than me, Siri!

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out of the mouths of babes . . .

tonight when i returned home from work, lily couldn’t wait to give me a big surprise that she had created for me.  she brought me upstairs and asked me to close my eyes before entering my bedroom.  when she opened the door this exchange happened . . .

lily:  surprise!  i have a surprise here in your room!!

mom:  wow!  i can’t wait to see it.  where is it?

lily:  in your boobie drawer!

mom:  um . . . my what?

lily:  your boobie drawer!  you know, right over here . . .

(she proceeds to lead me to the drawer which holds my bras . . . opening it to reveal a card laying among my under garments!)

lily:  see?  surprise!


i’m still laughing about this . . . hours later!

i love my hilariously clever daughter.


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have a holly . . . Jolly . . . Christmas!

like many families, we had a fun visitor this past Christmas season . . . the elf on the shelf!  on Thanksgiving morning, the kids woke up to a special gift left by Santa.



the kids (Lily) decided to name him “Jolly”.  we were just happy that she didn’t name him one of her made up names like some of her imaginary friends . . . Kerndern . . . Lim . . . etc.  anyway, Jolly immediately showed that he was a mischievous little elf . . . tricking our family and hiding in peculiar places.  a few times he even left presents for the kids  . . . like Christmas lights for outside of our house, a cardboard gingerbread house to color,  flannel blankets for the trip back to Ohio, and a few sweet treats too.  we found him in many different places but one of our favorites was in the bathroom . . . in a marshmallow bath, wrapping our toilet in christmas wrapping, and inserting himself on our photobooth strip wall!  he even managed to find us all the way at Walt Disney World when we stayed for the weekend!

we know that Jolly must have been tired after the holiday season, so we were happy for him to go back to the North Pole and get some much needed rest . . . he’ll need it for when he comes back next year!!

check out the slideshow to see all of his antics!

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Filed under family, gus, lily

holding out for a hero!

this morning at 6:45 am my alarm went off and this is was my train of thought

yawn . . . i’m tired . . . i could sleep for another 6 hours . . . i should get out of bed . . . i need to make lunch and breakfast for lily . . . lily . . . i hope she has a good day . . . oh crap, it’s spirit week at her school . . . what was she supposed to dress like again? . . . oh, yeah her “hero” . . . oh CRAP!  now i have to come up with another costume! . . . well i guess she can just be willy wonka or an astronaut again . . .

then i hauled my tired self out of bed and ran downstairs to get things going.

when lily came down for breakfast i reminded her that this is spirit week and that today she is to dress like her favorite hero.  take it, Bonnie Tyler!

mom:  lils, you can either be . . . willy wonka, bert (from mary poppins), mary poppins, an astronaut, or an army guy, since these are the costumes we already have.

lily:  well, i don’t really want to be any of those.

mom:  well then you don’t have to participate because i don’t have time to get another costume together!

lily:  (looking defeated)  well, what i really wanted to be is God.

leave it to my daughter to come up with the perfect hero that not only doesn’t have a costume, but one that layers on the guilt if i don’t deliver!  i didn’t want to disappoint her though, and since God really is the greatest hero of all, i quickly set my mind to figuring out what i could put together to represent Him.  i did ask lily’s input and she said that she wanted a beard . . . actually, this is what she really said . . .

lily:  mom, i want to have a brown beard.  i mean, i kind of already have a beard i think . . . it’s right here under my chin (moves her finger under her chin).  at least i think that i do . . . it could just be a scratch!

brown beard?  check.  i hope i didn’t throw out my old mascara!

anyway, within a few minutes i realized that this would be easier than i thought.  i mean, given that it’s God, and since we don’t really know what He looks like, i can pretty much throw together whatever i want!  so i grabbed a t-shirt that she had splattered  with multiple colors, my great aunt gene’s old white pool cover up, and gus’ gold pirate sash, slapped on a mascara beard . . . and voilà . . . GOD!


i love my girl.  though i admit that i sometimes struggle because she has such a strong personality and because she is so different from what society says a girl should be (all sparkles and princessed out) . . . she is a unique being and is exactly the way that He created her to be.  what an honor it is to be her mom and that He handpicked her especially for me!  while helping her get dressed i had the opportunity to talk with her about why God is her hero.  she told me that it’s because he made everything.  it sounds so simple of an answer but it is so powerful.  He did make everything!  from the world . . . to each person in it . . . every animal . . . every flower . . . etc etc etc.  He is perfection!  i think Bonnie was right,  we should all be holding out for the One true hero!


Filed under life lessons, lily, lily-isms

out of the mouths of babes . . .

this week while driving lily to school . . .

mama: oooh, i like this song! (on the radio)

gus:  dance mama, dance!

(mama and gus both start “dancing”)

lily:  just don’t forget to drive too, mom!

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Filed under gus, lily, lily-isms

i WILL be in the picture!

i know this article has gone viral . . . but if you haven’t read “The Mom Stays in the Picture”,  do yourself a favor and read it now.

i LOVE this article.  i know that i often don’t feel worthy of having my picture taken when i’m feeling less than “beautiful”.  however, after reading this article i am absolutely convicted of how i should and will proceed going further.

this summer, when lily learned to ride her bike without training wheels, i couldn’t wait to break out the camera and capture the momentous occasion.  i wanted to have this milestone documented to show her in the future.  who wouldn’t want to see a picture of themselves as a child,  unsteadily pedaling as their daddy runs beside them?  this is what i believe every child should have . . . only did you notice i said daddy and not mommy?  i don’t know how it is in your house, but in ours i am the photographer.  this isn’t to say that my husband refuses to use the camera.  it’s just that i tend to be a tad bit neurotic when it comes to documenting memories and milestones.  rarely do i ask to be in the photo myself.  this is mostly because i’m not so thrilled with how i look and because i don’t want to have my less than stellar body recorded for time and all eternity in these important moments.  however, on this day i do remember asking tom to take a few pictures of me with lily.  admittedly, i was hoping that i might get a good enough photo to post on my facebook page!  when i loaded the photos on my computer that evening, i was saddened by how i looked, and quickly went about deleting all but two of the pictures . . . only one of them being facebook worthy.

this is the photo i chose to post.


while the photo above shows a mom running beside her daughter, beaming with pride at what she has just accomplished, deep down i know that this is how i wanted lily  (and the facebook world) to see this moment.  in my heart i knew that i was putting on a show for the camera.  yes, i was genuinely happy for what lily was doing, but i was also genuinely sucking in my stomach as hard as i could so the camera wouldn’t see my flab!  i was trying like hell to make running beside her look as effortless as possible, when in reality, i was sweating profusely and completely out of breath!

at the end of the article, they ask you to submit a picture of yourself with your kids.  immediately, i thought of the “good” picture.  but the more i thought about it, the more i realized that i need to break myself of the goal of seeming perfect . . . so i submitted the following picture instead.


here i am at a terrible angle  . . . no makeup . . . not sucking in my flabby tummy . . . and sporting my pajama jeans!  as crappy as i look in this moment, i’ve come to appreciate this picture for what it is.  this is who i really am . . .  a mom, running after her child and ready to catch her if she falls.  yes,  i need to be in the picture so that lily can see what true motherhood is really like.  it’s not a show for your kids or anyone else, but a real life!   i’m going to start handing over the camera  more often so that i can be included in the memories too,  with or without full hair and makeup!



Filed under family, life lessons, lily