pack up the moon

when you were very small

and the world seemed so big

I held your tiny hand with the perfect pink fingernails

no bigger than a pencil top

and whispered in your sweet little ear,

“I love you to the moon and back”

when you started dreaming 

of who and what you wanted to be,

big dreams and small about 

your name in lights

or with letters behind it

I sat you down, looked you in the eyes,

told you I believed in you and said, 

“Shoot for the moon baby girl, you’ve got this”

when a smile turned your heart

and you dreamed of what might be,

could be

I wished for one who would

never hurt you or betray your trust,

for the one who would love you

as you should be loved

and send you over the moon

and now as the time is passing

more quickly, as it picks up the pace

and the days and the years speed by–

because of all you have put into 

your life and your story, 

you are not far off from those hopes 

and dreams coming true

I watch as you begin to pack your bags

for the next leg of your journey,

the next chapter in your story

which is not so far away anymore

and I remember so many of the joys and sorrows

and tender moments

in the quiet of the night as you lay sleeping

worn out from all there is to do

I pack up the moon and tuck it into a corner 

of your bag

carefully wrapped in the fabric of my love 

and my hopes and dreams for you

so that you will always have light in the darkness

and no matter how far apart this life takes us

I will always love you to the 

moon

and 

back

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The One About Cleaning Up the Trail and Sitting on My Pity Pot

But first, a warning:  If you have a weak stomach or strong gag reflex or if you’re recovering from a tummy bug, you might not want to read this.  Save it for later.  When you feel better.  Okay, so here goes–

Friday night I came home from spending the entire day and evening at my alma mater, Wesleyan College.  I started my day off sharing what it was like for me as a student then and as a Mama now with prospective students and their Mamas.  I love sharing my love of my second home with these families who are mapping out their next steps on the journey.

After lunch my fellow classmates, my Purple Knight sisters, started arriving.  It was an emotional and wonderful day full of, as my oldest who is a sophomore there would say, “all the feels.”

When I pulled in my driveway that night, it was already past my littles’ bedtime, but I let them stay up a little bit longer sharing their stories with me.  Cooter was so happy to see me he did that laugh/cry that comes from being so relieved you just about can’t stand it. Our Princess greeted me with a big hug, a beautiful smile, and a little “Alouette” on the piano.  (It’s her favorite–she plays it.  All.  The. Time.)

After they went to bed and I was sitting on the couch writing, Cooter came back into the living room and plopped down in the recliner.

“I’m just going to sit with you for a few minutes, okay?” It was sweet that he wanted to be close by.  I said okay, and we sat together quietly.

After a few minutes, he told me he wanted to sleep in the chair.  He was almost half asleep as it was, so we got him a pillow and a blanket and he was out in no time.  It being a Friday night, I figured there was no harm in it.

By 1:30 I’d been in my own bed and asleep for over an hour.  I woke to him whispering for me.  “Mama.  Mama.”  He tugged at my sleeve a little.  I was sitting up and getting out of bed before his words registered with me.

“I threw up.”

Oh me.

He told me he’d tried to get down the little hall to what we call the garage bathroom (it’s by the door to the garage).  “But I threw up on the floor a little bit, Mama.  I’m sorry.”

Bless him.

And when I saw what his definition of a “little bit” was, I blessed myself.  I was blessing things under my breath left and right.

Here’s the thing.  I can clean up vomit.  I can.  It’s not my favorite, but my gag reflex is pretty strong.  I can do it, but I don’t enjoy it.  I sighed and grabbed a roll of paper towels and the spray.  And I got to work.

For the next ten minutes (not kidding) I was all but standing on my head.  I was bent over spraying and wiping and tossing paper towels into the trash can.  All. The. Way. Down. The. Hall.  He didn’t miss a spot on his little trail.  If that was a little bit…..

well.  Moving on.

It was when I wasn’t having to come up for air (literally and figuratively) but kept going bent over without my legs aching or my head spinning that I realized all the working out has paid off.  I’m not sure that being able to clean up my child’s upchucked supper is why Justin from my Daily Burn class keeps wanting me to focus on strengthening my core, but it worked.  When I reached the end of the hall, I figured the worst was over.  I made the 90 degree turn into the bathroom and oh my.  More trail.  Leading up to the goal–the toilet bowl.

I kept my head down and kept working.  When I got to the toilet I finally let myself stand up.

It too was NOT pretty.

Suffice to say that child had nothing left in him at all.

Okay, so my goal in sharing this story is not to gross you out.  Thanks for sticking with me this far.

As I was cleaning up the mess and worrying about my little guy and wondering if it was a bug or something he ate and how long it would last,  I was also busy getting comfortable on my pity pot.  I just KNEW I wouldn’t be able to return for my second day of our reunion.  I mean, what kind of Mama leaves her son sick like that and goes and plays with her friends?  I just couldn’t do it.  But my oldest was getting an award at the Alumnae meeting that morning.  What kind of Mama doesn’t show up to cheer her daughter on?  I had no idea how to make this right.

I thought about what all I would be missing, and then I thought of my friend who had not been able to come in on Friday night because her father had an unexpected medical emergency.  I thought about the ones who weren’t able to come because of living too far away or expenses or obligations or insecurities.

And then it hit me how selfish I was being–feeling sorry for myself.  I’d already had a wonderful day with my classmates.  That was more than many would get.  It put it all into perspective.  Life happens, plans change.  The good news was that eventually my little one would get better.  He just wanted his Mama close by while he was doing that whole getting better thing.

I tucked him back into the recliner, giving thanks that his trail had happened on the hard floors and not the carpet in his bedroom.  I fixed myself up a comfy spot on the couch close by, settled in, and we both went back to sleep.

Early the next morning he woke up with a smile on his face and a story to share.  That he still wants to share stories with me at age 8 is precious to me.  I asked him how he was feeling.  He beamed, “Great.”

Hmmm.  Well, that was good.

Then I asked him if he would be okay with me going back up to Wesleyan.  He thought for a brief second and then said, “Yes.”  And he smiled.

I talked with my Fella, and we decided I would go and that I would check in to see how Cooter was doing.  I could come back home at any time.  We planned out what he could feed him and have him drink and what to watch for.  He assured me they would be fine.

And you know what?  They were.

Tonight I’m thankful for the realization that just because something happens doesn’t mean the world is out to get me.  Even though it felt like the Universe was working against me, it wasn’t.

Sometimes little boys get upset stomachs.  And then someone has to clean it up.  This time that someone was me.  That’s just the way it is.

Wishing you all a “trail-free” week, but if one does come along, don’t stress.  It’s not someone or something out to get you.  Life is like that.  According to the words in the Good Book, the sun rises on the evil and the good, and the rain falls on the just and the unjust.*  It’s life.  And it’s okay to cry over it.  Just don’t fall apart thinking the whole world is out to change your plans, to steal your joy.  You might just be surprised.  Often the world can right itself almost as quickly as it fell apart.

There’s another thing Justin says a lot besides the “build your core” stuff.

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Yeah.  That.  We’ve got this.  One step (or paper towel) at a time.

Love and best wishes to all.

*Matthew 5:45

A Weekend With the Gardeners

Treasure your relationships, not your possessions.  –Anthony J. D’Angelo

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One is not done growing or grown “up” when she leaves Wesleyan College as a young woman.  When she returns “home,” Wesleyan and all her sisters will continue to feed her soul and empower her to bloom and to continue becoming more–more of whom she was created to be–with love, laughter, and shared stories.  Tonight I am thankful for those gardeners who came into my life almost 29 years ago.

I love you, and I treasure you–your laughter, your hugs, your compassion, your frivolity, and your hearts.  I love that the women whom I started growing up with will snap pictures of you up to mischief one minute and then help you put things right in another.  They laugh over silly and joyful things, they tear up over injustices and hurt, they stand together and are strong.

May you each find yourself blessed with a charming gardener.  It’s planting season, y’all.  Let’s go love on some folks and grow some blooms.

Love to all.

to the next chapter

A star in the dark is thy glorious past.....

A star in the dark is thy glorious past…..

 

her past is my past

we are all like threads interwoven into the story that is hers

each bringing our own color and beauty and gifts to the tapestry

of all that has gone before

 

we are us

the ones who came young and left younger,

not quite ready for what the world might hold

but eager to take that step and fly

only just realizing that to fly one must leave the nest and

forge ahead

 

tonight the star in the dark was shining brightly

as we returned to the nest,

the stories were told once again

with laughter and tears

and the hugs hello lasted so much longer than

those goodbye hugs of so many years ago

 

as I saw her smile

and heard her voice

I realized how much I had missed her

 

and that with her

the light was brighter

and the melody more beautiful

and my heart was full

 

I had forgotten what life was like

with her

and in the remembering,

the tears flowed

for the time apart

 

but as we listened and laughed and shared

with so many things that didn’t have to be said

because this one who knew me well

smiled

and I knew

our stories would always be bound

 

and we set out to write another chapter

together

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dancing With Myself

Cooter recently got a new CD.  He is convinced that listening to it helps him get his Math done quicker and easier.  Me, not so much, but at least he doesn’t WHINE while he’s doing his math, so hey, I’m all for it.  Studying to music is a technique his oldest sister uses, and it seems to work well for her, so I’m waiting to see how it goes.

This morning he started playing it while I was in the kitchen.  Some of the new stuff has such a great beat, you know?  So there I was, cutting up an apple and moving around the kitchen, minding my own business, when suddenly I was all “My hands are in the air like I just do not care”*–I was dancing.

Now I’m no professional and I’m not sure how much moving I would be doing outside of my own home, but y’all, the beat was good and I was in my own home.  So I put that knife down and I danced.

Our Princess still wrapped up in her favorite golden blanket, off to practice the piano, looked over at me as she passed. That look and then, “Thank goodness none of my friends can see you, or I’d be VERY embarrassed.”

Y’all.  She’s TEN.

I’m not sure, but isn’t that a little early to start this kind of attitude?

I looked at her, and then decided to forgive ignore her.  My feet had a mind of their own.

I remember my Mama dancing around her kitchen.  She loved to dance.  She could do the Twist like nobody’s business.  Seriously impressive.  I don’t remember being embarrassed, but I could be wrong.  I probably didn’t dance with her, which I regret, but I didn’t shudder at the thought.  Seeing her dance was actually a glimpse into who she was, other than Mama.  It was intriguing, like seeing her Prom picture with someone who wasn’t my Daddy.  Mama was a real life person before she became my Mama.  And even harder to process, WHILE she was my Mama.

I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around that.

But here’s the deal, my precious young’uns, I didn’t check my “Tara” card at the door of the hospital when I first became Mama.  I can be me and still be your Mama.  I can dance and still wipe your nose.  I can sing at the top of my lungs riding down the road and still get the spaghetti stain out of your clothes.  I can laugh so hard while telling a story until you can’t understand a word I’m saying and still help you with your Math.  I can cry over a movie and still cook your supper.

Just like my Mama did.

Tonight I’m thankful for the joy that music stirs up inside me and for the ability to move my feet [somewhat] in rhythm.  I love that I can still surprise my children, just as Mama did us.  She was always our rock and yet she could still surprise us in wonderful ways. I give thanks for moments with my children like we had this morning.  The one where I glimpse myself through their eyes, and it makes me giggle.  I even give thanks for the almost eye roll I got from our Princess.  I’ve been on this teenage roller coaster already, so I know to buckle up good, because for the second time, I’m in for a bumpy ride.  The reason I’m giving thanks is I know how it turns out–eventually they come around and become really awesome people.

Another preteen in the house?

Yeah, been there, done that.  Bring it.

In the meantime, I’m gonna keep on dancing.

Life’s too short not to.

Love to all.

I kept hearing this song in my head while I was writing tonight.  You’re welcome.

 

*Yes, this is a line from the movie “Home.”  It was really, really good by the way.  I highly recommend it.  Lines from it are already becoming standard around here.  Like this one.  Now y’all go dance.  

 

 

There Are Better Things To Talk About

Genetics being what they are, I have three children all different shapes and sizes.  Just as my Mama had four children who, while similarities could be seen, have grown to be four very different looking people.

It happens.

The one thing that all of mine have in common, according to my sweet Cousin, is their eyes.  She says they all have my eyes.

I love that she thinks so.

However, my oldest is average in height and has an attractive build.  My middle one, our Princess, is tall for her age.  She wears a shoe size bigger than mine and she’s ten.  She is of a thin athletic build.  My little guy, bless him, inherited my height–so he’s shorter than his cousin who is younger than he is.  I try to soothe his frustrations by imagining with him all the wonderful things he can do–like spying–if he stays on the shorter side.

It’s a hard road to walk, and it requires a sensitive heart and carefully thought out words to parent each one of them.  To help them to feel good about themselves.  Because I want that so much for each one of them–for him or her to be able to look in a mirror and say, “Hey, all right!  Looking good!”  No matter what.

Because I can tell you–each one of them is beautiful, inside and out, in his or her own way.

And it’s not just because I’m their Mama.  Or maybe it is.  But that shouldn’t matter.

I grew up worrying over weight.  I remember counting calories as a young teen.  WHY DID I DO THAT?  I am sad for myself thinking back on that.  I wish I had loved ME more.  It’s not something I let go of easily either.  I’ve tried to put the scales away, but sometimes they call my name.  Usually frustration follows, so because those scales do not bring out the best in me, I need to choose my company wisely and kick those scales to the curb.

Because our Princess is built differently–tall and slender, I guess we’ve always assumed she wouldn’t have body issues.  People look at her and see a tall, thin girl, something that is lauded in our society.  No problem, right?

Wrong.

We got to swim practice early, so she had been playing on the playground with her brother for a few minutes.  When she came up to get ready, she climbed up on the bleachers where I was sitting, and slipped off her playclothes that she was wearing over her swimsuit.  An acquaintance sitting close by called her name and said, “You are getting so tall.  And too thin.”  And she laughed amiably.

I teach my children to speak when spoken to.  To reply when asked a question.  To say thank you in response to praise or a compliment.

Y’all, I got no idea how I should have prompted my girl to respond to that.

Apparently she didn’t either because she gave the woman a long look with question in her eyes, and then went on about her business of putting on her swim cap and goggles.  She hopped down and flitted (she’s a butterfly in a people body I’m convinced) to the pool.

She loves to swim.  I doubt that the comment stayed in her mind or heart for any time after it was released into being.

But for me, I was in the shower when it hit me.  That’s where I do my best thinking sometimes, and as the water poured so did the tears.  I don’t want her to suffer body issues.  Bless her, she will wind up with body issues because of folks telling her they’re jealous because she has no reason to have body issues.

I can’t even.

I don’t want her to be self-conscious about her body just like I don’t want that for her brother or her older sister.  If I could prevent it, I would, but I’m afraid I have our culture, our values, and folks sitting on the bleachers working against me.

Can we all just sit down right now and agree that we need to stop talking about bodies–our bodies, other people’s bodies, all the bodies?  Can we agree that there are much better things to talk about–good food, old stories, the best bargain we’ve ever come across, or how to join yarn when creating an afghan?  Seriously, there are so many better things to spent our time with others talking about, don’t you think?

Tonight I’m thankful for all the variety there is in Creation–color, shapes, sizes…..and I’m thankful for each one of my beautiful, healthy children.  I’ll be dog if I want any one of them counting calories as a teenager.  It’s not okay.  I want them to look at the world and shine like the stars that they are, not stare in a mirror woefully wishing things were different–that they were different.

Just for this day let’s let go of the old standards of beauty, and let’s focus on the things we can control about ourselves–kindness, wisdom, compassion, honesty, fidelity, persistence.  Let’s be our best selves, and my hope is that the next time we look in the mirror, that’s who we see–our best selves.  It’s time to put a stop to holding ourselves up to a glossy page in a magazine and hold ourselves up to a higher standard.  One of the heart.  To be beautiful from the inside out.

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Now go be your beautiful best self, and sparkle on.

Love to all.

“Owww”

Last week I was visiting with my friend Shirley, and she told me about her grandson’s day at school.

Sam has autism and apraxia.  As I know very little about the different aspects of autism, I apologize in advance for any terminology I get wrong here.  Sam doesn’t communicate verbally very much. With apraxia, Sam knows what he wants to say but the brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements so that he can say them.  Thankfully, after quite a wait, he now has a device that he can type in what he wants to share, and it voices it for him.  He can then practice repeating after the voice box on the device.

Shirley says this is a huge help.

So at school one day last week, Sam’s teacher heard him say “ow.”  He said it several times. “Owww.”  She became concerned, so she asked him if he was hurt.  No.  Was anyone else hurt?  No.  She asked him why he kept saying it, and he replied with his device two words.

Michael Jackson.

Wow.

I love this story so much.

Shirley says that Sam is crazy about Michael Jackson.  Being of a certain *ahem* age, I know my Michael Jackson music, and if you do too, you know how much he says “Owww” in his songs.

Bless it.

Thank goodness for music and how it reaches beyond walls that others think might separate us.  I am thankful for teachers who ask questions, and for teachers who share good stories like this one with the families.  I am especially grateful for technology that is opening doors that otherwise never would have been open.  And for little guys who embrace music and know their favorite artists–well, I just love it.  I love his spirit.

I also love that Sam’s teacher took the time to ask questions and to hear his story.  She didn’t ignore him.  She didn’t just assume.  She asked.  And what a surprise that answer was, I bet.  I hope it made her day.  I know it made mine.

May we all be just as willing to sit and listen and not to discount ANYONE.  We all have a story and a smile to share.  We just need someone willing to receive it.

Owww!

Love to all.

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The Stick and the Stalk and Their Stories

Six or seven years ago I was at the Super Savings Store with the littles.  I remember going in through the gardening section and seeing they had a lot of “plant type” things on sale.  I saw that they had Iris bulbs.  For less than a dollar.  I grabbed them up–a couple of packs.  We paid for them, brought them home, and as a part of my daughter’s school project, she planted them in little shallow holes in the ground.

So much that could have gone wrong.

Old cheap bulbs.

Amateur planting.

The fact that we had no idea what we were doing.  At.  All.

And yet, they grew.

And they have every year since then.

I love the Iris.  It started with the Fella bringing me some when we were courting.  We had one printed on our wedding napkins.  And when we had to travel to Okinawa to have a Level II ultrasound done in anticipation of our Princess’ arrival, the room we stayed in for that trip had a painting of irises on the wall.  It just seemed…..right.

This year.  This year the green stalks came up out of the ground.  They looked weak and wimpy and were easily blown over with the wind or rain.  I just knew that it wasn’t happening this year.  It had been a good run.  I mean how long can those little brown knots keep growing such beauty?  Surely not much longer.

After all, everything else has long bloomed and moved on.

And then yesterday–

The tea olive, a gift from another sweet friend, has grown up so lovely, and the irises seem to be happy rising up amidst its branches.

The tea olive, a gift from another sweet friend, has grown up so lovely, and the irises seem to be happy rising up amidst its branches.

they took my breath away.  I forgot how elegant they are.  So graceful.  And that color.

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Perfection.

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They bring me great joy and what an amazing story they have.  Each one of those lovelies can claim a little brown knot as part of  her family tree.

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That gives me hope.

So does this.

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This “stick” came to us in a box.  It was a gift from a friend who can grow anything.  And her heart is as big as her green thumb.

She told me to put it in some dirt and pray.

So I found this old pot that was Mama’s in its previous life.   I put some soil in and planted the stick with the long root.  I gave it a home on my back porch Roost, and I waited.

It has earned its nickname “Hope Plant,” because each morning I walk out there to check on it, hoping to see some sign of life.

And then two days ago–voila!  That’s exactly what I found.

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Have you ever seen such a beautiful shade of green in your entire life?

Not me.

Today that little leaf was unfurled just a little more.  I shared this picture with friends on Facebook.  It’s been quite entertaining hearing everyone’s guesses as to what it might be.  Hydrangea?  Fig?  Mimosa?  All I know is it is not a Mimosa, because my friend said it’s not.  I promised to keep everyone abreast of its growth through #HopePlant updates.  To see how intrigued this has everyone is too much fun.  I am looking forward to the big “reveal.”  I can’t wait and yet I can.

It’s all about the journey too, isn’t it?

Tonight I’m thankful for the joy and hope that new life brings us.  I love the message that nature shares if we only pay attention.  Beauty can come from the plainest of things.  Good things come from dirt.  And from friends with giving hearts.  And what looks like a stick or a wimpy green stalk might just be filled with a wonderful story.

Just like us.  And our stories.

There is more than meets the eye.

May you find a message of hope in something that crosses your path today.

And everyday.

Love to all.

The Stranger and the Orange Chair

Tonight at Evening Prayer we were talking about strangers.  In the middle of listening to the story of Abraham and Sarah greeting a stranger and the story of the men on the road to Emmaus coming upon a stranger, one thing came to mind.

The orange chair.

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My rendition of our orange chair. It was given away years ago.

 

In our little five-room house on Boy Scout Road that we lived in from when I was not quite three until I was nine (when we had six people living there and my parents decided enough was enough), we had an orange chair.

Perhaps I should explain this was back in the 70’s.

Orange was the old black back then.

It sat by the door to the little hall in the center of the house.  The one where the space heater sat.  The chair was upholstered in a lovely fabric.  I’m sure it wasn’t silk but it had a neat feel to it.  It was built all square and quite comfortable.

One rainy (Sunday?) night, we heard something outside.  The edges of this memory are hazy, but I know I was very young.  I remember the open door revealing a dark night, with the exception of the street light, and the rain pouring down.  And the young man who was coming into our house.

We didn’t know him.  Only that there’d been an accident.  Right in front of our house.  He had been riding his motorcycle and what with the rain, he’d laid it down right about the time a station wagon was coming from the other direction.

I don’t remember there being anyone there at that time besides him, and I don’t think it was a hit and run either.  I guess the station wagon wasn’t involved in the accident, but it was a part of the story.

Mama led him to sit in the orange chair.  He was pretty shaken up.  And hurt.  I remember a bustle of activity.  Mama went to nursing school before she started college, so she knew the basic things to do for him.  Or maybe that was just her Mama know-how kicking in.  I think she or Daddy must have called for an ambulance because I vaguely remember others coming in, and I don’t remember Daddy leaving to drive him anywhere.

What I remember most is him sitting in the chair.

And I remember what I saw after he left.

Little drops of blood.

Over the years the chair had one or another “chair cover” thrown over it.  I guess it was because of those little blood stains.  Or because it was orange.  Maybe a little bit of both.  We had some fancy ones–ones with fringe and that foam backing so it didn’t slide.

(Respect the chair cover.  Mama could redecorate anytime she wanted.  Well, when there was one on sale.  Not that she did. But she could have.)

Tonight when I remembered that chair, I realized that was the first time I remember seeing my parents help out someone they didn’t know.  Giving.  Caring.

But it wasn’t the last time.  Not at all.   And the lesson stuck.

When it comes to someone in need, there is no such thing as a stranger.  When someone is hurt or lost or broken or hungry, you sit them down in an orange chair and you do what you can with what you have to change their circumstances.  For the better.

And never mind how messy it gets.  As Mama reminded me on many occasions, “They’re just things.  Things can be replaced.  People can’t.”  And so she threw a chair cover over the orange chair and kept on–helping, caring, and making this world a better place.  (And not just by hiding the orange.)

May we all have the opportunity and heart to welcome a stranger this week.

Love to all.

 

 

Two for the Price of One

When the unexpected words came out of her mouth, I almost wept.

Oh, the grace.

I was so thankful for it, and I thought to myself, “I’m not the only one.  I wonder if there’s more of us out there.”

The bad ones.  The parents who didn’t.

Complete.  A.  Baby.  Book.

Last night though, after 19 years of guilt, I was freed.

It felt so good.

Last night my dear friend of many, many years, my oldest child and I went to hear Theresa Caputo speak.  She has a dynamic personality and is an engaging speaker.  As she was talking to one of the audience members about a lock of hair, she said, “You know, like in a baby book maybe.”

Then she turned to the side and with her dry wit said, “I didn’t do baby books for my kids.  I was a little busy.”

I laughed out loud while my soul was fist pumping, “Yes!”  Oh me, what a relief it was to hear that.  I’m not the only one.

And yes, I remember being a little busy too. Which is why there exists only one scrapbook that covers about six months (from 1 year to 18 months I think) of my oldest’s life.  It took me a while to put it together too.

Ah.  Well.

I am not knocking the parents who are diligent and keep a wonderful record of their child’s first and big moments.  My hat is off to you.  You are awesome.

It’s just that I never could get it together and make it happen.  (I’m sorry, my little people.)

But I did try my best to make the moments we had together scrapbook/baby book worthy.

I hope that counts for something.

Tonight I’m thankful for a beautiful evening with two people I love very much.  I give thanks for a wonderful speaker from whom love and peace and laughter and grace exude.  Most of all, I’m thankful that through Teresa’s confession I found grace.

I hope she knows the good she does.

I wonder how many of us have had that same opportunity to be honest about something in our lives that would give relief to another if only they knew.

Be truthful.  Learn from it.  But when you tell your story, you offer someone else the opportunity to learn from it as well.  So if you have the chance to share, do.

Two learning for the price of one experience.

I love a bargain.

Go love on someone today, and give them the grace you can easily give and they so need.  Share your truth.

Love to all.