Delta Down

Early Monday morning Delta airlines went down. The entire system crashed. Normally, I wouldn’t care, I usually don’t fly. However, this Monday I was flying. I was flying in to see my father for the last time. His battle with cancer was coming to an end. We knew he had days left, and my sister and I decided to go. Every flight all over the world was delayed. I was delayed  by an hour, my sister was delayed by hours. We were both supposed to get in around 1:30 in the afternoon and drive to Dad’s place. She didn’t get in until 7:30. We finally started to make the two hour drive to his house from the airport, and we got the phone call while we were driving on DeMers Ave (his last name was Demers). We had missed him. He passed the hour before we got on the road. We turned around and went back to our grandparents’. On August 8, 2016 I lost my father to cancer.

We spent the rest of the week between North Dakota and Minnesota. The week was a fog. The week was a mess. The week was filled with anger, sadness, and lots of crazy. I’m not sure our family does anything but crazy. I can’t go into the crazy here. I guess I feel like I should protect the innocent, but mostly, you just wouldn’t believe it. You would accuse me of making it up, and then we wouldn’t be friends anymore. I can tell you that we didn’t get to talk to him the day he died, we didn’t get to have a service, a funeral, or a memorial, or even a burial for that matter, but I will tell you what I got out of this. I was reminded to count my blessings.

The majority of the week, I spent in anger. Not at the death of my father, I saw that one coming a mile away. I was angry that we wouldn’t get a service for him where I could talk to people who knew him, people who would tell me things about him I didn’t know. On Friday I spoke with the woman who knew him best, who was married to him the longest, the woman who helped raised me. She reminded me that this wasn’t about me anymore. She talked me down off the ledge and helped me find the peace that I so desperately needed. After that, the rest just didn’t matter.

I spent Friday night with my mom’s side of the family. My grandparents are 85 and a lot of fun. My aunts and uncles were over. We ate, we drank, we celebrated my husband’s birthday. We enjoyed beautiful fellowship. Saturday was a wreck, but Saturday night we ate burgers that my dad would have loved and we talked about how funny he was. My neighbor called, my church called, my girlfriends texted and called. My in-laws came and cared for my family. My dear friends brought dinner on Tuesday when we got home. Another friend took one of my boys for a day. Of course the dryer broke,(can’t use the laundry line when it rains for a week) the baby got croup, and the sleep I so desperately needed was at least a few more days away. Sports’ physicals and the orthodontist have taken up the rest of the week.

This doesn’t sound like me counting my blessings does it? Wait for it….. I hate Tennessee. Sound like a blessing yet? The heat, the bugs, my small town is growing is fast food restaurants only. It’s just not pretty. This place is like the fourth tier of hell in the summer, especially this summer. But I came home to my people. The people who wanted to call and text and make us food. The people who wanted to listen to a piece of my crazy and just wanted to be sad for me. I came home to my children who were sad for my dad and his wife, and were excited because he had left us “buried treasure.” (thankfully he moved it to the bank, because we would never have found that) But above all, I am married to a man who has known me for more than 20 years. He knew I needed him last weekend. He knew what I needed to start healing and he didn’t care if other people would be upset about it. He said, “You are my job. I don’t care what anyone else thinks.”

While nothing happened the way I expected it to, the unexpected happened. I held my memory of my dad from before he was sick. When my dad loved pizza and burgers and built things and grew things. I was reminded that I have family all over the place. Mostly, life is messy. Life doesn’t get easier, it just changes. I just want to try to embrace the mess. God knew I needed Jeff for this week and this purpose, and 20 years ago, he gave him to me. I’m home, to my crazy farmstead, my messy house, my off the beaten path friends, and my beautiful nut job of a family. Thank you God, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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19 Years and Counting

The secret to our marriage…….

19 years, 15 chickens, 7 kids, 5 acres, 3 states, and 1 dairy cow.

This month we have been married for 19 years. We’ve been together for 20 something and known each other for almost 22. I’m not sure where the time went. We went from a small apartment in North Seattle to a small homestead in middle Tennessee. Don’t ask me how we got here, there are days that I’m just not sure. We got married at 23 and 27, and now here we are at 42 and 46. I can tell you that neither one of us are the same. (thank God) In the summer of 1995 we had the privilege of attending Jeff’s grandparents’ wedding anniversary. I’m not even sure how many years it was. I think it was 60 or so. Grandpa Much had never met me before. Jeff and I had just started dating. I will never forget what he said after he met me. “You two make a great team.” We both laughed it off, and then we broke up after that trip. Months later we got back together, and nine months later we moved across the country together from Iowa to Seattle. A year later, we got married. It hasn’t always been easy, and there were a few times that I wasn’t sure we were going to make it. Like that time that he cut my bathtub in half and turned it into a shower so he could remodel the extra bedroom. (don’t ask) But we made it. Grandpa Much was right. I don’t know how he knew, but he did. We are a great team. I can’t imagine my life without him and our crazy messed up family. I’m thankful we didn’t call it quits. (so are 5 of our children) The first 19 has flown by. It’s been hard, it’s been fun, it’s been wonderful, it’s been rocky, it’s been life. If I had to be honest, I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Even though the world will often measure what we’ve done by the size of our house and our bank account, I just don’t care. I wouldn’t trade one day, one year, or one child for more money or more space. The good, the bad, and the ugly….we’ve had it all, and there will be more. But we will continue to do it together, as a “great team.”


There are no photos of the two of us here, but there are lots of our crew, just because it’s fun to have pictures of them. They are much cuter than the two of us.

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Keep On Keeping On

These past few days have been trying to say the least. Since my last blog post, life seems to have exploded. Do tell, you say….

Let’s start with the farm. We have lost 2/3 of our chickens this year. A fox got the more than half of the first round of our babies. Then we discovered a hawk had been making off with the new babies. We ordered close to 60 birds in February and May, we have 20 left. No, we have not used the chicken plucker yet, and there are still no eggs. In fact, we’re not even sure how many hens we have yet. The cow is dry while she is waiting to calve. That means no milk, no ice cream, and no yogurt. (it also means no flies while milking) The pasture is so overgrown that if it gets any taller we might lose the children or the steer. It’s rough when you don’t have a tractor. (what were we thinking when we started this?) We could have someone come and do it, but of course, we are out of money again. The garden is a DISASTER!!! I say this every year I think. The lettuce was fantastic, but it’s done. There are a lot of green tomatoes, but they are still green. We grew purple hull beans, but I’m not even sure we eat them. The cow stepped in the cucumbers, she ate the new strawberry plants, the green beans got too wet, and the squash bugs only left us two squash and two zucchini. I started looking at houses in neighborhoods. The houses with the pool in the back yard, about an acre, trees to line the property on one side and a nice little herb garden in the front. *sigh*

My oldest son spent a week at camp, my challenge child started a new schedule here at home so he could function, and I was harassed online, had a phone conversation recorded, was quoted on a Facebook page without my name, and told repeatedly to repent. I’m not sure I’ve been told to repent so many times since I went to Catholic school. My weight lifting went down the tubes between travel and just being a woman. (growl) My running went with it since if I don’t get up at the crack of dawn, I can’t run. Did I mention I’m a Yankee living in the south where the weather rivals that of hell for 6 months a year? My dad’s health is still bad, and everyone I know is either on vacation or went on vacation. (all except me that is)

Deep breath, what did I learn you ask? I learned the the old me is still alive and well. Even though I’m a 40 something year old mom, I still want to fight. Actually, I still want to fight them until I can’t. Anger boils just beneath the surface and I want to fight. I want to go down swinging until there isn’t any fight left. For a long time, I thought that woman was dead. Actually I thought she might be buried under a pile of laundry. However, the word temperance kept me going over the course of the last few weeks. It might not seem like I used it to some, but to me, I did. My husband and my wonderful friends talked me off the edge, and I listened. The fire and fight is still there. It’s not dead,  but it is tempered. I like that. I can rant and rage and vent, and then let it go and deal rationally. There is only Jesus to thank for that.

There other thing I found in all of this is the people that truly love me and our family. It’s summer, it’s canning season, it’s come on over and pick blueberries season. Our friends down one road and down another are always sharing. Blueberries in one place, blackberries in another, corn in another. Summer lovin’ comes in the fresh produce from those much wiser and better at gardening than I am. It’s in the wise counsel while you are picking blueberries and the hug from your 78 year “mom” up the road. It’s the church picnic where people smile and laugh and want to be near you. It’s sitting on your neighbor’s porch and having them tell you how much they love to hear your kids play outside. (seriously? our kids are so loud)


Why on earth do I do this? This is hot and hard and just plain crazy. I often feel like I can’t keep up, and honestly, I can’t. But the corn is so tasty in December. And the jam is wonderful in fresh yogurt. And the green beans will be delicious in November. And the little people that get all this fresh food by the sweat of our brows are worth it.

Be content. This is the life we chose, or maybe it chose us. There are days I’m just not sure anymore, but be content. In fact, just be. Be still. Stop and look at what is good, not what is wrong. Look at these beautiful beings with tanned skin, muscled bodies, good manners and gorgeous smiles. Look at how far we’ve come in this crazy homestead. There’s meat in the freezer and tomatoes on the vine. We’re still not good at it, but we haven’t quit yet. (maybe we’re stupid) And at the end of the day, broke, chickenless, and not on vacation, Jeff and I are still a team. Nineteen years and seven kids later, and it’s still us against the world. I’ll take it. I’ll take the whole lot of it, and be content.


Faith and Time

Three months passes faster than I realize. Yes, it’s been three months since I wrote. Life picked up with lightening speed. There was the spring musical that Jake was in. I lost a dear friend to cancer. The school year ended. I traveled to see my dad. Cross country practice started and fresh fruits and veggies started coming in season. (canning time of year) The new chickens arrived, were eaten by a fox, and so the new chickens arrived again. Jake turned 15. We have VBS and bible study. Mother’s day and then Father’s day came and went. Our Intex pool filter died during the hottest weekend in June (until this weekend) and the frogs took over. It was loud and really gross. In the midst of all of this we are still trying to maintain some semblance of a routine, but mostly we fail at that. So, time it seems, is not on my side lately. I’d like to freeze it just for a little while. I’d like to snuggle Max just a little bit longer. I’d like to hear Libby’s little voice sing just a little longer. But, time waits for no man. In a nut shell, that is where I’ve been since my last post.

With that being said, the other reason I haven’t sat down to write lately is I’ve been angry. It’s not good to write when you are angry. Writing helps me put into words what is bouncing around in my head. Once I’ve written, it’s much easier to let it go. Until then, it just swims, or mires, or stews, or whatever name you want to put on it. So I’ve been quiet. The anger is gone so I think that I can finally put into words what I was angry about without typing as if the keyboard were the whack a mole game.

Faith is a tricky subject for me. I didn’t come to Christ in some bottomless pit moment. There weren’t angels singing. I didn’t know God from the time I was five years old. Nothing that spectacular happened. I’m pretty logical. (hard to believe with some of my posts) I read The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, and realized he was right. That was it. I was pregnant with Libby and knew I should not have been pregnant, (God thing there) so I began looking for the reason. I accepted that Christ was my savior and fell asleep without any trouble for the first time in my anxiety ridden life. That was it, I was a Christian. Nothing spectacular, just a very quiet conversion. The biggest change for me, was that my deep anxiety was gone. My mind racing stopped, and I could sleep. My behavior didn’t change overnight, but that came too. With my new found faith, I started to realize I didn’t know enough, our pastor wasn’t teaching enough, and we found another church. That only lasted 2 years. I learned a lot, but mostly I learned that I’m NOT a fundamentalist. There were many aspects to the fundamentalist church that were cult like. I’m not alone in my thoughts and experiences on that. I left there shaken, and beat down. I continued to look for a church for my family, but wanted nothing to do with a Bible. That was almost two years ago now. When that experience was over, my faith was shaken. I was still new at this and it really bothered me that people could use the Bible in such a controlling manner. But people always manage to disappoint one another.

Fast forward two years and we may have found a church. There is never a perfect church, but there just aren’t any perfect people. We have found a place that works for us. We go to an early service with mostly retired people. My children love it, as do I. However, three weeks ago, my faith was shaken again. A group of local people have joined an anti abortion movement. I’m not going to name them or their group because I just don’t want to give them any more advertising. They have been making their way around the community “exhorting” churches to good works. What “exhorting” looks like is holding large signs with photos of aborted, dismembered babies in front of church entrances when people come for service on Sunday. They do this same thing in front of the abortion clinic during the week. They shout scripture at people and just generally stir things up. This alone is problematic when you live in a small town, but then the leader of this group videos himself interacting with pastors, and posts them to his Facebook page. He videos himself before and after these incidents and posts them as well. This has been going on for almost a year. I know these people personally, and knew that they were going to churches. I had a hard time getting my brain around it.

Three weeks ago, I was out of town. This group was coming to my church this time. I knew them and what kind of signs they like to bring, so I asked that my in-laws not bring my children to service. My 3 year old doesn’t need to see dismembered babies, and neither does my 9 year old that gets night terrors. There is so much more to this story, but I’m not going to play the game of explaining how they got there or what happened to get to that moment. That’s not what this blog is about today. What I want to tell you is how this shook my faith. The aftermath of their “good works,” was not good. Children were crying in service and Sunday school after seeing the signs at the entrances. Children were afraid. People were angry. A war broke out on the church’s Facebook page. (very stupid, but it happened) People left the church. Everyone was angry and hurt. There was a misunderstanding that caused an angry outburst. It was just a nightmare.

Here is where I struggle…..My husband is not a believer. We watched this go down and have been watching it for a while since these families are also part of our homeschool community. Jeff and I watched the videos that this group posts and read the written posts. They are filled with self righteousness, pride, and arrogance. Many of the posts and memes are filled with hate and disdain. Their group has a tract they pass out that reminds me of when I was waiting tables. On Sundays I would wait on a large table of people who just came from church. They would be rude, run me around, not tip well, and then leave their “gospel” tract very similar to the one I saw online from this group. I would read it, share it with the other staff, we would laugh about going to hell, and then toss it. Why on earth would I want to be part of something that treats people so poorly? They didn’t live their faith, they just beat people with it. Yelling scripture at me or my husband would not have converted us to Christianity. Watching this group and what they are doing reminded me of the Westboro Baptists. Both Jeff and I see no difference in these two groups. They are no different than the pastors that came out after the Orlando shooting and said gays deserved it. I went for several weeks questioning why I’m a Christian. If the Bible is such a hateful book, why would I want to be a part of it? My atheist husband is more loving, kind, and helpful than all of these “Christians” put together. I continued to pray, even though I wanted to stop. I just didn’t want anything to do with the same God that these hateful people worship.

Then I reminded myself that Jesus would not have been shouting old testament at the women as they went into or came out of the clinic. He would have held them after they made that horrible choice, let them cry, forgive them and tell them to sin no more. He would have met them quietly and reminded them they are just as important as the sparrows and will be provided for along with their child. He would have comforted the broken and wounded in Orlando and told them to go and sin no more. That is the Jesus I serve, that is the God I serve.

The God I follow is the same as the Chik-fil-a in Orlando that fed the people on cleanup and in line to give blood after the horrific terrorist attack. The God I follow is the same as Mercury One that shows up in disasters and cleans and distributes food. The God I follow is the same as the Open Door Pregnancy Center that guides women through unplanned pregnancies and welcomes their new babies with joy. The God I serve is the same as the millions of Christians getting up everyday and living their lives in a way that makes their neighbor think, “What does he have that I don’t? I want that joy.” Last week in Sunday school a man said, “If more Christians lived their lives Christlike, the hateful Christians would be dismissed. Because people would say I know Christians, and they aren’t like that.” Isn’t that the truth?

My crisis of faith is over. My faith isn’t strong yet, I won’t lie about that. I still question and wonder. Where I have been strengthened is in my resolve to distance myself from those that bring discord, those that bring self righteousness bathed in scripture. My world has no room for that. I’m not able to battle them scripture for scripture, and I won’t. What I can do, and will do, is live my life to bring Glory to God. Each day is a struggle to do the right thing. I want to complain, to be lazy, to hate stupid people, to yell at my kids, to argue on Facebook, to make snarky comments, to stay home Sunday morning, to sleep in, to put all my kids on a bus in the fall and go to the spa….(ok, maybe not that one). You get the point. I’m not perfect, I don’t claim to be. I’m not saying that each person doesn’t have the right to live their faith the way they see fit, as of today, you do. (see Westboro Baptists) I will fight until I can’t for you to keep that right, however, I choose to live my faith personally. I choose to grow my relationship with God and my family and my church. In that growth, in my walk, my hope is that my children will follow. My hope is that they will turn around and live a life bringing quiet Glory to God. If every family was involved in that, think about what a beautiful place this would be.


Alex The Lion……..

It’s been almost 10 years since we found out I was pregnant with our fourth child. I didn’t even have the guts to tell my husband to his face. I left the test, and the directions with the important parts highlighted, on his desk. We were broke, just started a business, just moved back to Seattle, and didn’t have health insurance. Needless to say, it was not a joyous occasion. Not to mention that since the first announcement of our first child, none of the announcements had been met with joy from those around us.

Fast forward, nine months later we added Alex to our crazy. Our first home birth, (my second favorite birth), and the loudest newborn cry you’ve ever heard. At that point we had a 5 year old, a 3 year old, a 1 year old, and a newborn, all boys. The first few months were really hard. Actually the last 9 years were really hard.

However, I digress. What started out as a “What on Earth are we going to do? How will we handle another baby?” has turned into unspeakable joy. (and irritation) Alex is the kid that everyone remembers. He’s the most fun to give a birthday gift to. Each gift he opens is the best gift ever. Everything is exciting and fun and joyful. His eyes widen when you tell him a story that he finds amusing. His incessant talking can drive you crazy, but his laugh is contagious. He’s nine today. He’s reading, which I thought would never happen, he does farm chores and tells jokes. He is an absolute gift. He is a gift that I didn’t ask for and didn’t even know I wanted. I am thankful for the surprise that was Alex.

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The Height of Crazy

There are times when I hesitate to tell people how many children I have. Why you ask? Maybe you didn’t ask, but I’ll tell you anyway. There are times when I don’t parent very gracefully. I realize that everyone has their not-so-graceful parenting moments, but when you have 7, your moments tend to stand out like a sore thumb. At least to me they do.

Back to Friday, the “height of crazy.” The day started as all of our days do, I milked the cow, school was started here, boys left for school, just the basic chaos. Friday was different though because Libby had to go to the doctor. She has a double ear infection. I know this because we own an otoscope. Of course you can’t just call the doctor and tell them your kid has an ear infection, you have to go in. I leave with the 5 and 3 year olds. Jake is home sick, Jeff is home, and the homeschool kids are too. As I’m sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for the 45 minutes it takes for her to come in the room, I get an email from school. Luke plays video games constantly on his Chromebook in school, and finally got busted. He got a write up. I got the email. First issue that puts me on the road to anger management classes. Then the doctor comes in. She looks at me as if I have grown a third eye when I tell her that Libby’s ear canal and drums are red. “How do you know this?” Cue me…..”I have 7 kids. Two of them had chronic ear infections. We bought an otoscope so I know when we have to come in.” The grilling continued. Then she looks. Yep, double ear infection with pus behind her eardrums. Thank you, just write the prescription so we can leave.

I take the smallest two to the fabric store for material for a baby shower gift. The baby shower is the next day. (Didn’t make it to that one, but dropped off a gift) Stopped at Target for cough syrup. All of the generic is gone. On my way out I get a phone call from my 14 year old. Jeff has left for work and they are fighting. He called me to tell me they are all fighting. Great! I yelled at them over speaker phone. Drove back to town and got cough syrup at Walmart. It was about time to pick up the prescription. Guess what, I have the wrong insurance card. Good grief. By now it’s lunch time. Thank you Wendy’s for providing us with burgers.

I get home and the place is a disaster. I’m not sure that school was finished, my (home sick) 14 year old was watching videos on his phone, and the three middles were in a fight. Lunch is eaten, I have some laundry to do and we have to leave by 3 to move chairs for our work study at school. I hand out tasks to two of the boys. They get in a fight. Alex throws trash at Jake. Jake pushes him into a glass of chocolate milk. Alex comes to tattle while I attempt to do laundry. He is still covered in chocolate milk. My directions to him, “Clean yourself up and take out the trash.” What he hears, “Go back to the kitchen and continue the fight with your brother.” The next thing I hear is yelling. Then it goes something like this….”Mom, the monitor is broken.” Alex had decided to pick up one of the Disney Infinity guys and chuck it at Jake. The kid has a great arm, but no aim. Black Widow busted our monitor. Of course, Jeff was at work. Everything happens when he leaves the house.


The offending Lady

I can’t begin to list all of the things these boys have busted when they fight. The other big one that stands out is the TV. The first three days we had it, we had a babysitter. Jake and Luke got in a fight over a water bottle or controller, or something else completely stupid and busted the brand new TV. Jeff fumed for a while.

Needless to say, Jeff needed to be told so he could calm down before he came home. I called him, after I stopped crying. Finally got myself together, gathered my crew, and headed to the school to move chairs, clean classrooms, and yell at my 12 year old.

Jake heads off to clean classrooms, I rip into Luke about his write up for the day, after I light into him about being on the computer that doesn’t belong to him while he is supposed to be moving chairs. I’m on fire. I’m angry. Everything sets me off. Jake has to leave for baseball, the littles are playing with the microphones, Luke is doing nothing, and I have no idea where these stupid chairs go. We finally finish chairs and head home. Jeff has more work. Work is good, but not at cow milking and dinner time. Oh, and I’m still fuming mad.

I get the cow water going, dinner is not happening, I’m here with 6 kids and still need to pick up the 7th. You’ve got to be kidding me. I take Luke with me since I can’t leave him at the house. I turn on the TV, and head out to get Jake. All kids at home, and still no dinner. I make a list of the leftovers in the fridge, give it to Nik to play “waiter,” tell Jake he is the “cook,” and head out to milk the cow.

By the time I come in there are only a few kids complaining about what they did or didn’t get to eat for dinner. The milk gets processed, the TV stays on, and the dishes finally get done. By 8:30 all kids are in bed and I’m slightly less mad. It’s time for beer, and my husband to show up. Why is it he seems to miss all the fun?

Where is the encouragement in this post? I honestly have no idea. What I do know is that when this day was over, and the weekend had passed, I was okay. I made it through the crazy. My three year old feels yucky too and he slept in my lap yesterday. My five year old is feeling better and just wants to snuggle. My 14 year old is funny and bright and turning into a wonderful young man. On days like Friday, even though I’m mad as hell, I wouldn’t trade a single one of them. As hard as it is to remind myself that it’s just stuff, it’s just stuff. It would be great to be upset about the fight, but not have to worry about the cost of replacing what they broke. Which one would I trade for that peace? Friday it would have been Alex, Saturday it would have been Luke, Sunday it would have been Indy or Max….but today, not a single one. So be encouraged out there Mamma, not everyday is Friday.


Where I Go….

I’m looking at my last post and realize it’s been a month since I posted. So much has changed in that month. Four short weeks can sometimes seem like a lifetime. In that time, we traveled, we worked, we met the butcher, and learned new things.

Last month I had the privilege of being invited to a very small, second wedding of a dear friend. Being part of her special moment was an honor and a blessing. She lives in the same area as my sister, so I was able to take the kids to see their cousins for the weekend. Of course it snowed right before we left, so there was concern about whether or not we would be able to go. The trip, however, was just as I feared. Having boys in someone’s very large, and very beautiful home is just not a good plan. At least not when it is my son. Of course in the first 24 hours my challenge kid broke the drum set for the wii, and then the light on the fan in one of the bedrooms. I was ready to go. My sister was understanding and kind, but I was mortified and ready to leave. Fortunately for us, snow was coming again, and we did have to leave a day early. It was a hard trip. My pride and envy really got to me. Here I am, living in a cracker jack box in the country and I’m visiting my sister in her crazy large home in the city where my crazy kid breaks stuff. I think if I could have cried all the way home, I might have. My pride took me to anger at God. Why me? I did everything I was supposed to. I went to college. I got married. Then we had kids. I’m staying home to raise them. Where did I go off the tracks? (oh right, I had more than 2.1 kids)

Then I called my dad. It’s in talking to him that the rubber always meets the road. He is my Budda, my Ghandi, my Paul. He is my spiritual guru through life. He reminded me that doing everything right, or better, or faster, or harder doesn’t put me in favor with God. He’s so right. The conversation was even deeper, and longer, but of course I can’t remember all of what he said. I wish I could because I could write a book just on his teachings. But this is the part that gets me…..he’s sick. He’s been sick for a while. That’s why I traveled again this month. My sister, her husband, and I went to see him the week after we were at the wedding. That was a hard trip. My dad doesn’t socialize for long periods of time. He never has. He’s an introvert, so it drains the energy right out of him. Not me, I could socialize all day. (I’m sure that shocks you) I sat with him. My sister sat with him. We both sat with him until he was tired of socializing. I enjoyed the company of my travel companions, and I ran my household from my cell phone. When these kids are grown, I could step into any CEO job anywhere and it would require less management than what I have going on right now.

My house was still standing when I got home, and my in-laws are coming back this month, so it couldn’t have been that bad. I got home Sunday night, and the butcher showed up to get my meat Monday morning. Jeff was gone, my in-laws were just leaving and it was me and the butcher and a flat bed trailer. How on earth was he going to get a steer and three hogs on a flat bed………you’ve got to be kidding me? That’s right, he shot them here. First of all, had I know that was going to happen, I would have been prepared to shoot them myself. It would have saved me $100. Second, I would have prepped my Nik a little better. We’ve butchered pigs ourselves, so that’s not such a big deal, the steer was. Nik decided to stay in the house after we moved the pigs to where they could be dragged out of the pasture. Being the good farm wife that I am, I stayed outside. (like I had a choice, all other adults bailed) Animals dead, butcher gone, life back to our normal.

My shoulder was in knots. I was exhausted. I couldn’t understand why. Thankfully, I have a husband who is completely tuned in to me. He reminded me that I had just come off of two emotional weeks filled with family, fun, friends, and travel. My heart was overflowing. It’s hard to describe just how. I think that might need to be a second post.

There are so many things I need to say, and describe, and share. For now, I have to make dinner. Know that I am still here. The storm that is my life is raging. The calm comes and goes. Peace and grace are often just outside my reach. But love, love is here all the time.

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