7.31.2013

i was asked in a comment to talk about our choice of schools and how we came to the decision on where to start elementary school for our oldest daughter.

well gosh it wasn't easy.  we are in a great school district with strong test scores and our house is zoned for an elementary school that some of my friends are happy with, some not so happy.  in my gut i just knew we needed to explore our options.  austin is nothing if not adventurous and well educated, so there is not a shortage of education options.  from unschooling to private to charter to waldorf, we have it all.  and we have it all nearby.

i talked to parents at all kinds of schools.   i quickly in the early fall ruled out the most common alternative choice for our friends and community- a hybrid homeschool, university school that was classical christian education.  kids go to school just 2 days a week in kinder and do 2 days of homeschool.  my reasoning for ruling this out was that my own schedule and abilities just made it seem too far a reach for us.

we applied to christian schools, we entered charter school lotteries.  we prayed, i cried.  i panicked.

christmas rolled around and i told kevin, we should at least go to the homeschool/university school open house.  we rsvp'ed and planned to attend.  then the truck ran over our lives and everything was on hold indefinitely.  she was accepted at a small private christian school.  i thought this seemed simple, safe, yes.

as we emerged from the accident fog, things seemed to shift a bit.  we went to the late spring university homeschool open house.  we knew that night, it was right.  it was our school.  i was terrified and peaceful at the same time.  this meant a lot of change, a lot.  change.

we applied and then held our breath.  the longer we waited the more i knew i would be positively devastated if she was not accepted.  then when we were lucky enough to be accepted i panicked that i was not sending my kids away 5 days a week.  haven't i been waiting for a chance to be the one with a place to send her kids 5 days a week for nearly 6 years?!

i made the choice to close a portion of my business indefinitely to accommodate this change and have cut back my work hours roughly by half to make space in my week for the homeschool days that we will have starting with the school year.

since making this decision about her schooling i have felt freedom, community, and am excited but also intimidated by the coming year.  i think she and i both have so much to learn and i am thrilled that we will be growing together.  we will be together.  this makes me the happiest mom.  i know it will be a stretch for both of us and i adore that we will go through it all together.

we have also decided to make our education decisions one year at a time.  this is our choice for this year and this year only.  we do not know what the future holds and will cherish being an active part of our daughter's kindergarten year.
there are just certain things in life that you don't know the depth of your passion for until pushed.  i have begun to realize how strongly i feel about the freedom of expression and worship lately.  it isn't something i have given much thought in the past and what a blessing it is to live in a country where i have been privileged to take this freedom for granted.

as a mom i allow and encourage my kiddos to worship every day- in songs, in dance, in our words, in the way we treat others.  it is all worship.  or rather it CAN all be worship.

i want my kids to be able to feel fully themselves in every environment.  to feel authentic and comfortable with all walks of people and in all places.  

we started at a new school this week.  kindergarten is becoming a reality very quickly.  i already feel fed and nurtured by our school choice and i am so so excited about this coming year.  as these random disparate thoughts were bouncing around my head this morning i sat in a lecture and heard a school leader say "don't reduce your faith to morals and behavior.  your kids need to know and trust the truth of the gospel" 

amen, hallelujah to that.  so here's to a year of character building.  i think lily and i both have a lot to learn in kindergarten, but my greatest hope is that she will feel fully able to be her true self, to find ways to worship in her own way daily, and to find a connection to the truth that is the gospel.

7.23.2013

do you ever see a new product and think 'i totally should have thought of that!'?  i saw a post on facebook about something called TILE and oh-my-goodness.  if only this had been around when i was a kid, it could have saved us some very tense afternoons of being ordered to search the house high and low for my dad's keys, dayplanner, and remote.  ha!


 genius.

5.01.2013

when did my baby get so grown up?? sniff sniff

3.29.2013

i sat down with lily last night to read about the lord's supper.  she was inquisitive and full of questions about passover and why feet were so dirty during jesus' time.  we were having one of our first truly open engaged conversations about the bible.  she begged me to go on once Jesus was arrested to hear what happened next.

we read and read and i cried while i told her what happened to jesus.  she wiped away my tears and asked such great questions. we read on until easter and cheered for mary running as fast as she could to spread the news.

and it was a glimpse for me into this huge responsibility and privilege of guiding her faith.  and not in a song singing, church attending way.  in a heart posture, broken with jesus, cheering for mary magdelene's joy way.  what a gift.

3.27.2013

one of my oldest friends in the world came over tonight.  we sat and talked and i just love the feeling of being with someone who has known me for nearly 20 years.

talk turned to the pool we are building in the backyard and i admitted i am having anxiety about the safety issues surrounding pools and my lovely friend had a wonderful suggestion.

so today before the pool is plastered, i wrote on the rough concrete the verse of isaiah 49:10.  so for those of you who plan to come swim in our pool this summer you can know beneath your floating feet are the words....

They will neither hunger nor thirst. The searing sun will not reach them anymore. For the LORD in his mercy will lead them; he will lead them beside cool waters.



3.20.2013

there are moments when i see a characteristic of mine in one of my kids when i'm proud, times i'm embarrassed, but last night i had the unique feeling of pity for one of these inheritances.  i was reading a book to annie when eve and lily came in to join us.  annie and i were in the rocking chair and lily perched on one arm and eve stood on the other side. 

as we were reading eve realized she was the only person in the room with her feet on the ground and freaked out, yelling 'i don't like being the only one with my feet on the ground, i'm scared!' and jumping into my lap (and on top of her little sister in the process).  sweet eve!  i can relate to her scardey cat crazy tendencies because i used to have them.

and by 'used to', i mean still do.  i'm afraid of the dark.  i'm afraid of lakes.  the tiniest unexpected sound when alone basically makes me scream bloody murder.  when home or in a hotel without my husband i wash my face half at a time, you know... so i can keep one i open for monsters and murderers.  i made kevin put a mesh wire housing around the inside of the air conditioning vent over our bed because i was convinced a spider or bug would fall down onto my face in the middle of the night. i mean, i'm just getting started here.  i could keep going... trust me.

so to see this paralyzing ridiculousness passed on to my sweet eve made me a little bit sad for her, but at the same time chuckle.  because just when i think she couldn't be any more like me, she jumps onto a chair to get her feet off the ground.

3.19.2013

we are dropping like flies over here.  another kiddo with a broken bone, another all too adorable brace!


3.18.2013

i do NOT want another baby.  repeat.  i do NOT want another baby.

i was ridiculously happy to get the baby 'junk' out of my house (bouncy seats, swings, exernightmare) but the crib?  i seriously may have to make a therapy appointment whenever we take it down (you know, when she's like 11).

annie woke up crying in pain last night and i rocked her in her room and i sat there thinking 'wow.  this rocker and her crib are all that is left in the house of babies.' as she fell asleep laying on my chest i looked down and realized that her legs were bent up like a frog and she barely fits on me in that position.  it was the first time in nearly a year that she has willingly slept on my chest.

so as much as i do NOT want another baby... this is harder than i thought it would be.

3.08.2013

newsflash:  i'm getting old.

as kevin so sweetly pointed out, we are 16 years from our high school graduation and it is 16 years until annie's.  as if that didn't make me feel old enough, this week in austin is SXSW.

SXSW is a music festival (come film, interactive, yadda yadda) that i used to plan my entire spring around.  planning out parties to attend, concerts not to miss, and hitting the town looking for cute single guys was the order of the day.  i took off days of work and stayed out until all hours.  the concept of it sounds a little like torture to me now.

i'll try to take the girls to a few daytime kid-friendly shows, but i am worried that will feel mostly lame.  then again, my girls love to get their groove on at concerts, so perhaps they will keep me feeling young?

it is hard to feel young when you turn on the radio in the car and after the first few bars of a song think 'oooh is this a catchy new song' and before the thought is even complete in your mind you realize its an old rod stewart song.  yeah.  so like i said, i'm old.

3.06.2013

i was jogging the other day while on a quick work trip to dallas and it was colder than weather.com had predicted.  i borrowed an extra layer of clothes and headed out to run.  now if you've ever been on a treadmill next to me at the gym or live in my neighborhood you may already be familiar with my propensity to throw in some jazz hands depending on the music of the day.

so there i was, heading down a pretty busy street and i found myself air drumming.  i had the decency to *almost* get embarrassed for a moment, but then i remembered i was also wearing my dad's 1980 dallas cowboys winter knit hat with yarn puff ball on top.  which, really if you're going for 'cool' you've already missed by a mile.

that's when i remembered a moment at a bowling alley when kevin and i were dating, maybe engaged.  there was some random song playing and i was dancing around the lane with a bowling ball and he just looked at me and said 'you are SO going to embarrass our kids'.  and you know what?  he was apparently right.

3.01.2013

kevin pointed out the other day that it was really time to change the images in my header.  seeing as i no longer have a baby and two toddlers.  i am in denial, but since annie had no teeth in the old shot and it looks like lily isn't far from actually starting to lose hers, he is probably right.

so here you go!  *tears*  my babies are growing up!

2.27.2013

i had the lucky pleasure of taking all three girls to one of eve's doctor appointments yesterday.  we were there for nearly three hours.  as i said on facebook, i don't really consider myself an emotional eater until i'm locked in a 8x8 room with my girls for that length of time.  then i'm ready to order a pizza.

when we arrived at the second of the two doctor offices, there was a bell on the counter to draw the receptionist's attention.  annie saw the bell and it was ON.  'ooooh!  bell!!!!!'  i immediately told her, 'no annie.  no bell.'

she looked at me, deadpan.  then in her shrill 2-year old voice she shouted at the top of her lungs...'DING!!!!!!  i'm a bell!   DING!!!!!!!!!!!!!'


life with annie can be hard to describe.  there are so many moments like this when i really really want to keep a straight face but it is nearly impossible.  we have called her 'tank' since she was old enough to crawl and we saw how she plows down life, undeterred by pretty much... well.... anything.  something in her path?  no worries.  she's 'tank'.

as she has gotten older her spunky style has certainly not waned.  she's the girl that yells 'DING!' when told not to ring a bell.

2.25.2013

i was standing in a friend's kitchen today thumbing through a catalog on her counter (because obviously when left in charge of seven, yes SEVEN girls, the first thing you do it chill and browse.) and as i looked up to say something like 'hey you guys all still alive?' i saw her phone on the bar buzzing with a text.

as the screen lit up i saw her phone background was a picture of eve in the hospital with her c-collar on, groggy from anesthesia, with her sweet sweet smile.  if i hadn't been the responsible party in the house i might have completely lost it.  to know my friend wanted a constant reminder of eve to offer up her prayers and good thoughts just moves me beyond words.

so i am totally stealing her tactic.  and i will change my phone background today to someone i want to be praying for.  i love this idea and i feel beyond lucky to have such amazing people in my life.

2.22.2013

as life returns to normal (thank god.  literally). i wanted to share this sweet sentiment a friend wrote about this whole crazy accident.

"The terribleness and glorious-ness that can happen in a single week is truly staggering. We've all learned so much from this accident, but here is what I'm focusing on this morning:
I cannot fool myself with the sometimes mundane feeling of my days. There are no ordinary days on this earth. The truth is, on any given day, somewhere within one square mile of my given location, someone is having an extraordinary day; either tragic or brilliant. This means I have an opportunity to either help someone in need, to celebrate something wonderful, or to witness an actual miracle. Every single blessed day. I just need to pay closer attention. Thank you, Eve Burpo.
"

2.17.2013

thank you for all the love and sweet notes for eve.  she is home, on the mend, and doing remarkably well.  as a mama it will probably take my heart longer to recover from the incident than it takes her bones.  she has been a shining example of forgiveness, patience, grace, and love.


2.13.2013

 just another day.  headed to my sister's house to take a walk we've taken many times before.  my parents were in town to help her through a husband-less week with her 4 babes and we wanted to celebrate fat tuesday with a pancake dinner.  kevin was in the midwest for work, we were ready for valentine parties at school the next day.

as we headed toward the playground on scooters, going south on the safe residential sidewalk, my sweet niece rode her scooter through a cross street without stopping for adult approval.  eve paused long enough to say 'mommy i bet you're proud of me for being safe.'  i assured her i was very proud.

one block later my eve was a house length ahead of me on her scooter when a pick-up truck headed down the street decided to hop into reverse and swing backwards into the driveway my little baby was scooting past.

in slow motion i remember my dad saying something under his breath about the driver.  i have a split second of memory thinking he was worried about nothing.  i didn't see what he saw.  i didn't see what was about to happen.  i could have never imagined it.

eve even saw him coming at the last second she hopped off her scooter to start backwards as i ran screaming down the street.  the kind of scream that a neighbor cringes to hear.  the scream of a terrified mother worried about losing the most precious gift she has ever been trusted to love.  as i watched her tumble under the car my mind went white.  i was clawing at my dad screaming 'call 911' so loudly i think it was nearly silent.

i climbed under the car to find her.  she was trapped beneath the running pick-up truck with the metal bar of her scooter pinning her to the sidewalk.  she couldn't breathe but she could scream.  it was the hardest worst saddest scariest longest shortest minutes of my life.  i couldn't stop the truck.  i couldn't get her out from underneath.    

i couldn't protect her but god did.  he held her safely in the palm of his hand while the world tumbled around her.  the accident was not a surprise to him and he held her tight and most of all SAFE.

once we freed the scooter from its wedged spot under the car, i clawed my way to her and i pulled her onto my lap shaking.  i laid on my back on the pavement with her on top, too scared to look at her face to see where the blood was coming from.  not ready to know if her face would ever look the same.  if her physical body was changed forever.  just holding her spirit i found myself praying out loud rocking on the sidewalk.

as the ambulance came the realization that i had two other children watching this horrible moment hit me hard.  i saw them down the block being loved by my dad, mom and sister and i was immensely grateful that if i couldn't stop their tears, they were with the people that love them just like i do.

the ride to the hospital.  the x-rays.  c-collars.  MRI's.  pain management.  retelling the one visual i wanted to completely forget over and over for each new professional who entered our room.  how can a memory soften and have grace when you have to remind yourself every hour?  hearing that cry.  remembering the panic.  my shaking hands.  her beating heart.

today she is healthy and in good spirits.  she has a skull fracture and three vertebrae fractures.  we will know more and we will manage it.  

us?  kevin and i have our eve.  my girls have their sister.  we are the luckiest people in town.  we have spent the last two days wrapped in the love and prayers of our friends in a way i never imagined possible.  we are blessed.

1.17.2013

having been someone who was the 'new girl' quite often in life and struggled to find my place among friends that felt like home, i cherish that feeling perhaps more than most.  moving from school to school definitely taught me valuable life skills and i can drum up a conversation with a stranger at the drop of a hat, but left me without a group of friends that i had shared my whole childhood with.


i remember in high school after moving my 9th grade year my parents sat me down and tried to gently talk to me about my lack of friends.  they were trying to encourage me to invite people over or ask classmates to do social things together.  i was one part embarrassed, one part apathetic to the whole thing.  luckily for me by my senior year i had finally found a group that felt like home.  mostly misfits and new kids, but they were my people.

as an adult it has felt infinitely harder to find my people.  especially with children who rightfully require the majority of your attention and love, it can be so hard to find and invest in true friends.  perhaps the only thing i hate about austin is the fact that wonderful people move here from all over the country but then eventually most move closer to their families when they have kids.

i woke up this morning thinking about starting my day and i felt this immense thankfulness.  i am in a period of life where i have my people and it feels so wonderful.  i have amazing friends at church, i have my sister and her family nearby, i have a fun group of social friends that i look forward to spending time with, and i get to have a sleepover every night with my best friend of all.  if life has taught me anything, it is that things can and do change in the blink of an eye so for today i want to say 'thank you' to the people in my life that make it so amazing.  to the people that make me feel loved and make me laugh, 'thank you'.

1.07.2013

happy happy new year to all!  yes, i have been missing in action.  life has swallowed me whole it seems.  i am trying to avoid 'resolutions' but it is past time for me to incorporate more wisdom into my daily life and infuse my girls with truth.

a long time ago i had an index card spiral notebook i took everywhere with a verse on each card to memorize and internalize.  i'm reverting to my 1995 self and picking up a spiral today.

so go to the comments and share verses, truth, and wisdom with me you think should be in the book!!