Wednesday, May 18, 2016


I walk around our home, trying to pretend everything is normal.

Ryan goes off to work.

The baby wakes and I breastfeed her.

I put her back to bed, then crawl back into bed myself for a few hours of sleep before both kids wake up again.

I make breakfast. I do the dishes and clean the house, bit by bit. Do some laundry. Read to our girls.

But my thoughts are peppered with death.

Ryan's are too.

Then I feed the baby again - down for the afternoon nap. Feed the girl. Have quiet time.

Time to myself means I'm alone with my thoughts and feelings.

I have been reflecting on life without my mother lately.

She knew me from the beginning. And now she's gone.

Ryan's known me since the beginning of my walk with Christ.

And when my best friend in the whole world is gone...

I sleep. Text some friends. Talk on the phone to Ryan.

Then everyone's up from quiet time. I feed the baby. Make dinner. Ryan comes home.

We eat together. Talk together. Pray together. Love each other.

So much.

Bedtime routine happens.

I feed the baby the last time for the night. Put her to bed. Snuggle that baby tight.

I am grateful she's alive and mine. Not all mine. But still...

Then I crawl into bed with my other favorite people. We finish the night with songs of praise and thanksgiving.

The girl goes off to bed with her furry sleeping buddy.

At last it's us two... We made it through another day!

How was work, Dear?

Tell me your heart, Dear...

We talk until the wee hours of the night. The conversation is captivating because it's him.

My heart is so grateful for his every word of love.

We laugh and joke. It's so fun going to bed with your best friend! We hold hands.

He falls asleep. His breathing changes.

I am listening. I keep listening.

I don't want it to end. But I know it will.


Until then, I hold on tight to each day and soak it in for all it's worth.

God's given us another day. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Gratitude Journal

I am so grumpy with my kids lately, I lamented to a friend a few weeks ago. I just don't know what to do in order to make it better.

My friend suggested I start a gratitude journal and document each of the new things I can be grateful for every day. This friend recently lost her husband. She said she just came up with 48 things she was grateful for in her life while waiting for me to meet her for lunch!


I was highly convicted and wanted to change. So I've been sitting here thinking about so many people in our lives who have been such a blessing to us. Friends and family. Strangers. And of course, our church.

Here's just one example of how we've been blessed recently:

I got a voicemail on my phone from an air conditioning company.

It sounded fishy to me.

So I deleted it.

The girl called back and I played it for Ryan and asked him what he thought about it. He suggested I just call and see what they want.

Well, I did and it was a life changing phone call! The girl said a man named Brian from BWR Heating and Air wanted to come to our house and replace our air conditioning unit that had just broken, without us paying!!!

It seemed too good to be true. I told Ryan and he was as excited as I was because without air conditioning in Corona during the summer, you will melt it's so stinking hot here.

We met Brian, the owner and I attempted to find out how we were getting this "free" air conditioner. He said someone from our church offered to pay for it and BWR wanted to put it in for us.

He flat out refused to tell us who it was.

From the beginning of our journey with Cancer, there have been many, many blessings along the way. This was, by far, one of the coolest (pun intended!)

Only 47 more to go, tonight...

2) Every single person who has prayed for us along the way.

3) Enough food to eat each day.

4) The fact that Ryan is still here after four years since his diagnosis and still is going strong.

5) Stories about people like John Kohlenberger, who had Stage IV Prostate Cancer for 13 years and lived well.

6) Encouraging texts I get from friends telling me they are praying for me.

7) Play dates for the girls to go out and be friends with other kids.

8) The beautiful sunset we saw over the beach the other day.

9) Twelve glorious years of marriage.

10) Two great kids.

11) The ability to freely worship God and read my Bible in public.

12) The way cool website called Superbook that lets kids learn about God and Jesus.

13) The DVD series called Owlegories that is filled with puns and God's love.

14) The legacy of love my parents left me, especially my Mom. Happy Mother's Day, Mom, in Heaven!

15) The promise of Heaven.

16) Three running vehicles

17) My wedding ring

18) A computer to type this out on

19) Toys for Talitha and Joy to play with

20) Wall hanging quilts, lovingly handmade by my aunt

21) Clean air to breathe

22) Working lungs

23) Couch pillows

24) Tomato plants

25) A green thumb

26) A working phone

27) Gas in my gas tank

28) My Mom's groups and the lovely friends I've made in each of them

29) The meal of the day called breakfast (YUM!)

30) Quality time with my family

31) The Coffee Bean

32) Pictures on my walls

33) Both girls sleeping through the night

34) A lovely place to call our home

35) Birthday presents

36) An excellent relationship with my in-laws

37) A chance to start fresh every day

38) The ability to help others

39) A chipmunk in a tutu

40) New clothes

41) A baby that's gaining weight

42) Baby lotion

43) LED lights

44) Ryan's amazing sense of humor

45) Talitha's art

46) Tea parties

47) Being so incredibly loved by my Creator and my husband

That only took me about 20 minutes and now my heart is full. Your turn!!!