Friday, September 18, 2015

I think it's called an Indian summer.  When August rolls into September, and the heat of the summer doesn't let up.  The days are still very warm but the nights are cooler and the mornings carry the crisp smell of fall.  It's the squirrels that fascinate me the most.  They know.  They know that summer's heat is leaving.  And they are quite funny about it.  Silly almost.  Skittering from branch to branch, knocking the dying leaves from the trees.  Wide eyed, searching...searching for food.  I like them. They work hard, but they play hard.  Most times, as I sit on my back deck watching them, I can't tell if they are working or playing.  We could learn a lot from them.
I recently turned down a job.  That's an ego crusher.  I went through three, yes THREE!, interviews. But in the end, after much prayer and fretting and discussion with Superman, I decided to decline.  I learned so much in the process.  I learned that I love being a nurse, but I love being a mom more.  I learned that money is no replacement for memories.  And I learned that what the world tells me, is not as important as what my instinct tells me.  And right now, in this very sweet spot of our lives, I may just be right where I'm supposed to be.  Go figure. As much as I fight and fuss and think that MY plan is better and makes MUCH more sense than what God has planned for me, I have been gently reminded that He is good.  I've wrestled with this most of my life...Forging down the path, thinking I can make a way all. by. myself, trying to see the big picture.  But the way is very dark, most times I find that very little of the path is illuminated.  A small glimmer of light to guide me in the dark..."Go this  Now...go this way."  I'm not a big picture sort of spirit.  God knows this.  I really WANT to be a big picture sort of spirit.  God knows this too.  I think it makes Him chuckle.  He is patient with me, guiding me one small step at a time.  He lets me wrestle with my faith and my future. But the Light is there, always.  A compass, an anchor, a light.
The decision to decline the job has been a tough one.  I felt like a coward, I felt like I wasn't living up to my full potential, I felt frantic and scared.  I felt like where I should be and where I AM weren't adding up.  Turns out, after I made the choice, it was the right one all along.  Follow the light...step by baby step.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The hard way

We moved.
Not like an "across town" move.
No. A cross country move.  From the comfortable midwest to the uncomfortable northeast.
With two children, two cats, a dog, and a hamster.
We don't do things the "easy way"
I remember my Daddy telling my older sister in his calm tenor voice "Emily, there are two ways to do things...The "easy way" and the "hard way"...and this time Emily, you have chosen the "hard way" 
But I think maybe that is just the "way" of mostly everything in life. 
The "hard way"
Change is never easy.
This move was no exception.
And this next thing I'm gonna say is so silly.  So human.  
I am continually amazed how God shows up through it all and weaves this beautiful tapestry out of my messy messy life.
Throughout the entire process, I've had to stop myself and say "God has always shown up, Kathryn. Even in the hard stuff, the stuff you thought for SURE there was no way God could weave it together for good...He. showed. up. And it has all been so very good.  Why do you think He won't show up this time?"
We have lived in our new home for almost 5 months, it has been almost 9 months since we got the call that Superman would be transferred.  And today as the rain falls in Northern Virginia and I reflect back over this time in our family's history, I am overwhelmed by my God.  
Not only did He show up....He showed OFF.
Why do I ever entertain doubt?
Why do I think that this time would be any different?
Let this stand as a reminder.
When you cannot see clearly,
When you give in to doubt and fear and uncertainty,
Remember you are a God that is always weaving it all together for good. 
Even the yucky stuff, and the hard stuff, and the stuff you did to mess it all up, 
Even when you don't understand the journey, 
He won't leave.
And He won't give you second best.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I'm in a pretty shitty place.  Can't exactly put my finger on it...Can't really explain why or how or who or what or when about any of it.  Because frankly I don't know myself.  I do know that I should be cooking dinner.  In fact, as I type, the ingredients that should be dinner are scattered across my kitchen counter in a state of disarray not normally seen in this house.  And I. don't. care.  I started dinner.  I put on my favorite Pandora radio station.  And then the day came crashing down on me.  And instead of opening a can of enchilada sauce, I opened a bottle of wine.  Music plays in the background.  A beautiful Celtic piece...a piece my fingers, dormant for oh so many years, long to play.  I watch my children from the window.  Playing in the snow.  They are beautiful.  I often can't believe they are mine.  Will they look back and remember this day?  What will they remember about me?... 
I think to myself "You really shouldn't be in such a shitty place"...but I can't talk myself out of it.  And so I decide to dwell right where I am.  Dinner halfway made.  Music playing that makes me weep.  Wine.  Snow shoveling, laughing children.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


It was harder the second time.  I was acutely aware of how quickly my babies grow up.  I kept thinking in my head "Did I DO enough?  Did I appreciate the time I was given?  Did I teach enough?  Did I hug enough?  Did I play enough? Did I savor the moments between the time my Samuel drew his first breath and the time he walked across the threshold of his Kindergarten classroom?"  Because that time is a gift.  A gift I didn't know I was unwrapping until he stood before me, unwrapped and headed into this big world to carve out a space for himself.  I know my job isn't done.  In fact, it's far from finished.  But now...well, now is the time he begins to form for himself exactly who he will be and what he will do on his journey of life.  And to do that, he must become separate from me.  My momma always said "From the moment they are born, we are preparing them to leave us."  And while this is a comforting thought (I will be quite joyous when he is a big hairy man, and he has a mortgage and life of his own), it is also one that makes my breath catch in my throat.  Samuel and Grace are not mine.  They are gifts.  And time rolls on and on, and I wonder "Did I DO enough?"

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I write something in my head almost daily.  And when I close my eyes at night, I compose a near perfect blog post, one that is sure get me mentioned on "What's Trending" on the Today show.  Then I fall asleep.  And in in the morning?  Well it's completely gone.  It's like some twisted modern day version of The Twilight Zone.
This blog is not private.  Although Superman would prefer it that way.  I'm much too lazy to set all that business up.  I'm just gonna let it fly, and hope that it doesn't offend.
My life is a revolving door.  Superman asks me almost nightly "What do you have going on tomorrow?"  I secretely twinge on the inside when he asks this question.  I know that he is simply trying to stir up conversation, and I often wonder if he even listens when I answer the question.  Because the answer is almost always the same.  "Laundry...Grocery shopping...laundry...some other form of homemaker drudgery"  I wish I could give him some exciting answer--"Oh, you know, I'm scheduled to bungee jump from the Missouri River bridge around 12pm tomorrow.  What about you?"
It has been snowing here for...well, it feels like forever...but I know in my head that's not true.  And while the first round of the snow broke up the drudgery of my life.  This second, seemingly non-ending round is CONTRIBUTING to the drudgery.  Shovel, sled, drink coffee, wash sopping wet snow bibs/gloves/hats/socks, repeat.  And I find it so odd that I can't remember what green grass looks like.  This morning, as I was shoveling the pile left by the snow plow at the end of our driveway, I started to list (outloud) exactly what I will plant in my garden when the time finally comes
Tomatoes...I would KILL for a summer ripe tomato
Ooooh, the strawberries are in their third season...they will be booming this year
Beets maybe?  I've never grown beets before.  Beets would be good in my juicer, I've never had luck with carrots.
Bell peppers
It was about this point in my one-sided conversation that Superman gave me a strange look and said "Are you talking to me?"
"No...I'm dreaming of warmer days"
Soon, the snow will be gone.  It's going to get above freezing at some point today.  That's promising.  And spring is just around the corner.  I've got to look past the drudgery.  I've got to enjoy this moment in my life.  And this moment.  And this one. 
And while I shovel...I will plan my garden and dream of warmer days and dirt beneath my fingernails.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Thoughts on a warm spring day

I'm not even gonna talk about how long it's been.
Long enough for my firstborn to turn 7 and my baby to turn 4.
Long enough for winter to come and go, and for spring to begin again.
It would take a lot of time to catch up.
I'm not gonna even try.

Our weather has been so warm.  The sun shines and the children play.  Their voices rise and fall, it is the music of our neighborhood.  My driveway is covered in chalk drawings.  The tree in our front yard has already leafed out, and is beginning to provide wonderful shade in the afternoon.  My tulips have bloomed and my flower beds are coming back to life.  Each time my shovel disturbed the earth yesterday afternoon, worms wiggled out.  They are HUGE this year!  I was so happy to see them.  I love worms.

My sister recently had a young friend that got married.  There has been  much excitement over the dress, and the cake, and the bridesmaids.  The talk of her marriage has caused me to think of my own, almost 10 years ago.   But as hard as I try, honestly I don't remember much from that day.  Isn't that strange?  It seems like I was walking in a dream.  And what I desperately want to tell this friend of my big sister is that the dress, the flowers, the is all very beautiful but it is not what defines a marriage.  I look at this man I married, a good and kind man.  And it is the sharing of our life, the things only we remember, the give and take of it all...that is what defines a marriage.  We have been through some fire in 10 years. We have struggled and we have cried.  We have lost and we have won.  We have laughed and laughed.  We have rejoiced and mourned.  We have walked through the shadow of death and we have witnessed the start of new life.  And the ceremony that started our journey was simply the beginning, the launching off point to what we have become together in 10 years.   I want to tell the new bride all of this, try to make her understand.  But there is no way to explain this mystery.  How you become so woven together.  How wonderful it is to know that one person on this planet truly knows you.  Knows your good parts and bad parts...and chooses everyday to love you anyway. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

A short post.
I've sort of abandoned this blog.
Not on purpose of course.
Life just gets in the way.
And that's funny,
because it's life that I like to blog about,
like to record so that I might remember.
All the little things,
and the big things,
that happen so suddenly.
And so I will start small
with grand hopes to go big.
Pictures and words to remember
my life as it was when my children were small.

Several weeks ago, on the coldest day of the year thus far, Sam and I stood out on the freezing tarmac to see this guy.
Do you see who I'm talking about?!  Behind the brown hat in the lower right corner of the picture?
Yes, we stood there for over 20 minutes in the bone-chilling cold, hand-warmers tucked into our gloves and hats pulled down tightly over our ears.
It was all an amazing dream for Sam, our little pilot, the little boy who takes toy airplanes into the bath tub and flies helicopters on our heater vents.   He has never been so still or so quiet as he was when he saw the largest aircraft he has ever seen, land on the tarmac right in front of him.  Sure he has flown on planes, and has seen planes fly over our house, but this thing!?  This beast?  Folks, it is HUGE!  Even I was left speechless!  And then....then...he got to see 5 military helicopters take off into the southern sky.  Talk about a dream!  We were so close our hats were blown off of our heads.  My little pilot, perched on my shoulders, remained quiet...still...awestruck...amazed. 
Oh and of course we got to see that guy.  But three year olds don't really understand who "that guy" is...even if they get a high-five from him.  Good thing we have a picture to show him someday when he does understand.  See?  In the picture below?  In the upper left hand corner, the little grey hood perched on my shoulders?   That's Sam...getting a presidential high-five. 
 It was a great day, cold, but great.  And, as I loaded my sweet red-cheeked baby boy into his car seat he looked at me and said "Mom, dat was cool!  Me wanna fly a big helicopter too someday!" 
Oh baby boy...I don't know if mama's heart can take that....