Kindergarten is Coming

Family Friday



She wore only a diaper and laid comfortable against my chest, slightly tucked inside my nightgown as I sat on the hospital bed still hooked up to machines.

I had had an severe allergic reaction to the bandaging used after my c-section, but that didn’t matter.  This little girl against my chest, all 7 lbs 11 ounces of her, was now my life.

I was now a mother and this was the greatest title I could ever take on in my life.  I was now responsible for a life beyond my own.

That was almost five years ago.


Now we are not only approaching her fifth birthday, but she will be starting kindergarten at the end of August.


I am amazed at the young lady she has become. She talks.  Oh, she can talk.  But she has a vocabulary you would never imagine from a child so young.  She uses words like “trepidation” properly.  She has also mastered the art of sarcasm… this could cause a problem.

She loves dancing, tumbling and soccer. She wants to get more into swimming and gymnastics. She loves music (we’re still not sure if she sings like me or like my grandma – if you know us you know the spectrum that is).  She wants to learn to play guitar. She loves art and has said that she would like to be an artist when she grows up and be a children’s book illustrator.  Maybe one day I will write a book and she will draw the pictures.


She is incredibly compassionate.  This past week I donated blood to the Red Cross.  I’m not sure she completely understood what I was doing.  After they hooked me up she came and handed me her beloved teddy bear and told me she hoped I would feel better soon.

She has an infectious personality. It is hard not to smile when she is around.


I am incredibly proud of the young lady my baby girl is becoming.  But as she nears her fifth birthday and the start of kindergarten, I struggle with being ready to let go of my baby and embrace my young lady.

I still see the tiny baby. I still see the little girl who would stand up from the middle of the floor and the when she lost her balance wouldn’t fall on her bottom but instead slid slowly to the ground using her face (she spent a good two months with rug burns on her face while learning to walk).  I still see the tiny girl who would stand in front of the alter while I helped prepare music for church.

And now standing before me is not a baby or toddler, but a girl. A girl who will grow faster than I am ready to accept. A girl with her own passions and interests.  I know I will always see that baby even when I watch her graduate from high school I will still hear in my mind her saying “uh oh, it dips-appeared” when something was no longer where she left it.

Where I once held a baby… I now have a beautiful, passionate, compassionate, wonderful young lady.



When Did I Blink?

Train up a child in the way he should


In August of 2009 I experienced a week that held as equally low lows as it did high highs.

August 6th my grandmother woke me up asking me to call my grandfather because she was having such abdominal pain she could barely take a full breath.  Papa came home and the two of use took her to the emergency room.

They did test after test and while they were waiting for results they suggested my grandfather and his very pregnant granddaughter go get something to.  Not too long after lunch I was struck with severe abdominal pain, though mine was much different than my grandmothers… mine were contractions.

While they were real (not Braxton Hicks) they were so far apart that the hospital wouldn’t admit me.  I was told to take it easy and come back if they got closer together.

They decided grandma’s issue was pancreatitis and admitted her.  Papa took me home to rest and then spent the evening with her until they had her settled into a room.

That night we received a call around 2am, there had been a mistake with her morphine button, it had been set to be a continuous drip.  She had been overdosed on morphine and while she could breath in, her lungs were so relaxed they wouldn’t expel carbon dioxide.  Grandma was moved to the ICU and put on a ventilator to help her to breath.

I sat outside the doors to the ICU praying grandma would be all right.  Hoping she’d get to see my daughter be born.  I held her hand for a few minutes before Papa took me home again hoping it wouldn’t be the last time I saw her.

It wasn’t. August 12th they moved her from the ICU to her own room.  They still didn’t know what was wrong with her but she was out of the ICU.

That night I couldn’t get comfortable in bed, so I went to the basement, turned on the TV and laid down on the couch.  Of course that’s where by very pregnant butt fell asleep.

I woke up at 4 am, thought “well that was smart”, and went to turn off the TV.  As I bent over to hit the power button I felt a pop, and then a lot of liquid.  I knew what had happened.  There was no question in my mind.

I changed out of my nightgown, stuffed my pants with towels (hoping to contain the puddle i trailed around after me) and woke my grandfather.

I knocked on my grandparent’s bedroom door and said, “Papa?”.  The poor stressed out man sat straight up and exclaimed, “Tessie!!”

I said, “No, Papa, it’s me. I need to go to the hospital now.”

The only night I have ever seen Papa get ready faster was when they called about Grandma.

At 5:58 pm on August 13th, 2009 my daughter was born



She is almost 5 years old, and today, I registered her for kindergarten.  I look at this person she is becoming and I feel like all I’ve done is blink and she has changed so much.


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I’ll be honest.  I’m not sure if I am ready for her to begin Kindergarten.  But I am proud of her.  She continues to amazing me daily.  She makes me laugh often.  She is compassionate and sensitive to other people.  She is just an amazing girl and I can not wait to see what an amazing young lady she will become.


But I’m happy with keeping her the cute little kid she is for as long as I’m allowed.


Manic Mommy Monday Revisited




So earlier tonight I was ready to call the night done.  It had just been crazy today.  I sucked it up, and switched up dinner to something easy to make, easy to clean up.  After dinner Ewok and I did her Mr. Pumpkin Heads.

No you didn’t read that wrong.  Mr. Potato Head makes pieces for pumpkins.  Last year Grandma Barb got Ewok a witch, this year a skeleton.  So two weeks ago we selected two medium sized pumpkins, actually Ewok picked her own pumpkins.  And tonight she got to decorate them.

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Then I worked to paint my little pumpkins, I still have my three big ones to paint.  However, my pumpkins are not yet done.  I need to get some sealant at Joann Fabrics tomorrow and I still need to use the puff paints to decorate them.  the white pumpkins will get black puff paint, half of the black pumpkins will get white puff paint and the other half will get glow in the dark puff paint.

Here is part one of my creation:

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My guys are not feeling well today so they both took a nap…. This provided photo op for Ewok and I who just goofed around with the camera…


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Family time has been awesome this weekend, though Ewok is still talking about Friday when we all went to a local high school football game.

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And in true Ewok style she photo bombed the first picture I tried to take of Mike and Tank


Needless to say she startled me and the whole picture is blurry.

I’m just glad this evening turned out better than today.

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My children are awesome!

Yeah, I know I’m biased, but I don’t care.

I love them and I don’t know what I’d do without them.


Dear Tank


Dear Tank

You’re only a month old, almost five weeks. They have been the shortest, sweetest five weeks of my life.

You have no idea how nervous your daddy was about you coming. We realized on our honeymoon that it wasn’t wedding nerves messing up my cycle. We’d only been married 7 months when you made your appearance.

Sweetie, he’ll argue it but I’m sure your dad was so nervous about having a baby that you still didn’t have a name until the week before your were born. Daddy refused to even discuss names until May (you were born in June).

Because your sister refused to come the natural way, the doctors wouldn’t risk it with you. As they prepared me for surgery the nurse handed your daddy a pair of scrubs so he could come with me. The scrubs were too small. I could see that easily but your daddy was so nervous he didn’t realize it until he was trying to put them on. I laughed so hard watching him try to fit himself into a medium shirt. When he finally realized the problem he turned to the nurse and says “um.. I haven’t been a medium since elementary school”. They brought him back a 3x!

In the operating room your daddy sat next to me still obviously nervous. I was numb from the chest down, awake and about to be cut open so they could go in after you, and daddy was the nervous one. I even had to ask him to hold my hand. I needed to feel his touch.. he needed to see if you were really in there.

Be prepared, daddy’s favorite story is that the moment they pulled you out you peed on mommy’s doctor and a nurse. Then you peed on the nurse they handed you to to get cleaned up.

They handed you to daddy, and you could see all his nerve melt away and this look of joy filled his face. He showed you to me, and then took you back to my room and called and texted everyone we knew. Only day in history daddy was more connected to social media than mommy.

I’ve watched you grow now for a month, and I can’t wait to see the man you become.

I’m going to tell you many of the same things I tell your sister, but there are a few that are just for you.

1.) Never start a fight — I say this instead of don’t fight because if someone threatens you or your sister, or your future girlfriend or wife, then by all means fight. Defend yourself. Stand your ground. You don’t need to fight to be a man, but sometimes as a man a fight is necessary.

2.) No matter where life takes you — Call me — Calling mommy doesn’t make you a wuss, it means you care enough about you mama not to make her worry.

3.) Treat ALL women with respect — An honorable man is kind and courteous to women. That’s not to say you need to stay with a woman who doesn’t treat you with respect, but after you break up with her, don’t bad mouth her. Forgive her, and move on with your life. Dwelling on such negativity can ruin future relationships.

4.) Wait — having sex doesn’t make you a man, it makes you sexually active. Wait for the woman you’d be willing to marry. If she’s not someone worth such a commitment then she’s not worth giving up the piece of your heart sex will take from you.

5.)Pray – prayer does great things. I told your sister that having God in your life doesn’t make life easy, just easier to deal with. Life still has it’s highs and lows, mountains and valleys so to speak. Letting God be your center and your guide will make the low points easier to bare.

6.) Keep faith – faith can move mountains (matthew 17:20). I pray as you grow that you will come to know God and let him lead your life, let Him encourage your growth and influence your choices.

7.) Laugh – laughter can heal even a broken heart. Do not let life become so serious that you forget how to enjoy it. — “What does it prosper a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?”

8.) Be Careful – the company you keep will influence what others think of you. It will also influence your choices. As I told your sister, Gigi gave me advice as a teenager that has guided much of my life. “Never do anything you would be ashamed to tell you parents or your pastor about”.

9.) Moderation – I’m not going to tell you not to drink. Once you’re of age i’m sure you’ll try it (i hope not before hand). However you don’t need alcohol to have fun. It makes people vile and sick. The craziest and best times i have ever had, even in college, i had sober. You don’t need it.

10.) Learn – never cease to learn. Be curious, forever exploring and discovering new things. Expand your horizons and feed your mind your entire life.

My sweet baby boy, there is a part of me that isn’t ready for you to grow up. It feels like just yesterday your sister was your size and would sleep on my chest, and now as i hold you I wish to keep you that way forever.

And then I look at your father. You are his mini-me, and I can’t wait to see if you become the same incredible man your father is. I am truly blessed by my entire family. We are all better because you are here.

I love you! We all love you!

Dear Ewok




Dear Ewok;

I love you with all my heart. It has almost been four years since I welcomed you into my life.

It was not how I had imagined it to be. I was single, just done with college, no real job. In fact when I found out i was expecting you I was terrified. I was terrified I could not be the mother you needed me to be. I was even more terrified at the idea of giving you up for adoption, and so i knew no matter what I had to make it work.

I saw the doctor, and did all the health stuff I knew I was suppose to, but I didn’t tell my family. I told only a few selected friends, and lived in terror of what everyone else would say and do. I feared they’d leave me too.

Your father wasn’t ready to be a daddy. He left when i told him you were inside of me. I didn’t have his support would anyone else support me?

Then I couldn’t hide it anymore, and not only did everyone embrace your coming with excitement, they surrounded me with love. Not just family, but everyone at our church. I had done many things i shouldn’t have, but they overlooked that, and poured out their love on me and on you.

Right before you came, your great grandma got sick. The day she went into the hospital I started having contractions. Then G-g got worse. I sat outside the ICU waiting to see her, praying God would let her live long enough to see you. I grew up with G-g, she took care of me when Nana N couldn’t. I wanted you to know her.

God answered that prayer. The day before you made your grand entrance they moved G-g to a regular room.

I would dream about everything being perfect. There is no perfect in birth. We reached a point where one or both of us could end up in distress and they sent me to surgery. The first time i heard you cry, i cried. I wanted to hold you but I couldn’t, i had to wait till they were sure i had the strength to hold you.

The first time the nurse put you in my arms was the greatest feeling in the world. I smelled your sweet baby scent, studied your face, counted your fingers and toes.

I was still afraid, afraid I didn’t know what I was doing, but fear didn’t matter. You were my baby, you were my life, and I would do anything for you.

Then we met daddy. No he’s not your daddy like he’s your brother’s daddy, but you are his princess. Blood does not dictate love and I can guarantee you he loves you just as much as I do. You were so pretty as a flower girl in our wedding. My favorite picture is of the three of us dancing because you felt the need to be a part of our first dance, and you should have been. It was our whole family together.

Now I watch you learn and grow, and I stand amazed. I am so proud of the little girl you’re becoming, and I pray you continue on this path. I see compassion in your heart, and empathy. I love to see you loving on your brother. You check on him, and kiss his forehead. You sing to him, and tell him stories. He smiles whenever you talk to him. I love to see how much you love your brother, and I can tell by the look on his face, he loves you too. I’m sure you two will fight with each other, but I also know you two will fight for each other.

Sweetheart, there are some things I want you never to forget.

1.) Mommy and Daddy love you — No matter what you do, you might disappoint us, but you will never do anything that will change our love for you… and so you know i’m sure we’ll disappoint you from time to time, no one is perfect.

2.) NO ONE IS PERFECT — don’t judge yourself and others too harshly. Mistakes happen. Learn from them, don’t beat yourself up over them. Like wise, your friend and family will mess as well, and though you may feel hurt or disappointed, don’t hold a grudge.

3.) Learn for forgive – holding a grudge does not hurt the person you’re mad at; it hurts you. Forgive, let go of the pain and live your life.

4.) Respect goes a long way- It is important to respect others, no matter who they are, treat them with respect. Also, respect yourself. Do not compromise your character for anyone or anything.

5.) Pray – prayer connects you to God and when you center your life on his will things are easier to handle. That is not to say that life gets easy. Life is still life. It is still a series of mountains and valleys. But with God in the center, the valleys don’t seem so intimidating.

6.) Hold on to your faith — you know that necklace I wear? The heart with the mustard seed in it. I wear it as a reminder of the importance of my faith. I don’t wear a cross, I shouldn’t need a cross around my neck to show the world the love of God that is in me. But I wear the mustard seed as a reminder to myself of what faith can do. Matthew 17:20 “And Jesus said, “o ye of little faith, do you not know if you faith even as small as a mustard seed you can say to the mountains ‘move from here to there’ and they will move. Nothing is impossible for you.””

7.)Laugh – see the humor in situations. never take yourself so seriously that you can have fun with the small slip ups. Never be so serious that you’re closed off to fun. This world can be a dark and scary place, but if you keep humor in your life you can be a light to the world.

8.) Be a friend — Be the sort of friend that you would wish your friends to be to you, even if they are not.

9.) Learn, Explore, Grow – Never stop learning, never stop asking questions. Curiosity may have killed the cat but it will open your world up to so many things it is unimaginable.

10.) Guard your Heart – Don’t let a boy treat you in a way your daddy never would. You are lady, you are not a game piece, you’re not a punching bag, nor are you his door mat. Any guy who does not treat you with respect is not the guy for you. You are a princess and should be treated as one. That said you are not a diva, as a lady your are to be humble, and loving.

11.) You can be proud and humble — You can take pride in who you are and what you do without being prideful. Approach everything with a humble attitude, but never belittle your efforts. Edison failed numerous times to create the incandescent light bulb. When asked about his “failures” he replied, “I did not fail, I found many ways that didn’t work, all i needed to do was find the one way that did”. Failure occurs when you stop trying, not when you miss the mark.

12.) Be Careful – Be careful about what you do. G-g gave me advice as a teenager that I have carried with me into adulthood. “Never do anything that you would be ashamed to tell your parents or pastor about.”

I love you, and I want to see you life soar before you. I want to be there when you marry. I want to be there when you become a mommy. I want you to be happy in all you choose in your life.

You are my princess, and you will always be my baby girl.



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