Friday, April 13, 2018

Men of the Mountain

Arkansas was as beautiful as you may imagine. If you're not from there or haven't traveled to Northwest Arkansas before, may I suggest you give it a shot? I'm totally biased and admittedly love the whole Arkansas Traveler image, but honest to goodness if you get off the beaten path and let yourself wander you will come across scenes you would never believe. In fact last weekend Cash got to experience some of these fascinating views and learn all about what backwoods can really mean.

West Texas is a desert. It is dry and barren and just today we suffered through a terrible dust storm all day long. When I dream about a new flower bed in our front yard, in my mind I toss around the idea of cactus and yuccas. So you take a guy from this geography and plop him in the backwoods of the Ozarks, and you have the making of a pretty comical reality show on your hands.

Because I genuinely love North Franklin County so much, my dream is to have a second home there even if we only get to go a handful of times a year. I had been homesick something fierce a few weeks ago and told Cash about this dream. He saw the pain I was enduring and assured me one day we'd consider it.

The next day I found out a cabin close to my parents' was up for sale. I could not contain my excitement and did not sleep a wink that night. The next day I called the owner and set up for us to go look at this cabin when we were there last weekend.

So we did. The view was stunning. I love trees and water and mountains. Currently I live around none of these, but this cabin has it all.

The day I found out it was for sale, I would've written a check. But Cash thought if we were going to entertain this idea then we needed to look at other cabins too. He found one on a road called Cat Holler. Note to self: if something is deep in the holler, maybe that's the first sign it isn't the place for my desert dweller.

Before dinner we drove over to Cat Holler and started down the road. We came to a creek. Now it had been raining for several days, and even though I had grown up in the area I had never been on this road. I didn't know if the creek was high, and Cash certainly didnt have experience fording a river. I also should say I get super psyched out about driving through water as my best friend in college died doing such. So it was another early sign that maybe our hearts couldn't get on board with this cabin.

At that time we decided to just go to dinner. We were meeting my sister and her family for dinner at the new Stockyard Feed & Grain Restaurant at County Line, so we just turned around and headed that way. At dinner my brother-in-law started getting curious about this "river crossing" and cabin up in Cat Holler. He decided he could guide us. So off we went back to Cat Holler with an army in tow.

Once we got to the creek crossing, I thought my brother-in-law was going to lose it. It was absolutely laughable to him that his West Texas brother-in-law was scared of a little stream.

What do you think? Major waterway or shallow creek?
We passed, with ease, the first crossing. Then we came to another. Then another. And yet another. We finally decided to turn around at a house we had come to when the owner stepped out of his truck in the front yard. He had been out there listening to the Razorback baseball game (because of course) and hopped out when he saw us turning around in his driveway.

He was super friendly and told us we had about 4 more creek crossings before we got to the cabin we were looking for. My brother-in-law concluded we had come this far and should just try to find the place. So we kept going and came to a fork in the road. We chose our route and plunged full steam ahead.

A minute or two later we passed a cabin on the left and a clothesline on the right. I thought it was odd that the road just split his front yard like that. It was maybe about this time we heard banjos in the distance and thought we should turn around.

In rain and the dark and soft ground on top of a hill Cash made an Austin Powers maneuver and finally got us turned around. We came back up to the cabin/clothesline and the closer we got the more we realized the owner was standing in the road, beer in hand, waiting for us.

A few F bombs later, he finally caught his breath and asked what we were doing on his property. We tried to explain we were looking for a cabin for sale. Once he calmed down, he told us we were only halfway (HALFWAY!!!) there. Then he looked at Cash's Titan and said, "And I dont know if you can make it up there in this thing." Ouch.

We apologized immensely. Look, I get it. It's dark on a Friday night and a random out of state truck just barged through his front yard. And considering this cabin is for sale no telling how many times that has happened lately. Luckily, we got out of there but decided that even if it was the most perfect cabin in a whole world of cabins that it most definitely wasn't the cabin for us.

The next day we headed out for Turkey Camp in the snow and freezing rain. What?! It was so stinking cold, but it was all worth it when we cozied up next to the fire and ate that famous camp breakfast.

Huddling around the burn barrel

Camo & coats for days

Camp comedian Rocky Joe

Sorry to rush you, horse, but we are trying to get back to camp

Mountain creeks 😍

View coming off the mtn

The whole weekend the kids played and ran and laughed and went for walks and looked for sticks and rolled around in the dirt. They had the time of their lives. It was awesome to see my kids playing with my Hub sister Heather's kids. Heather and I spent our entire childhood together, and after moving so far away I often feared our kids wouldn't know one another.

Hub friends
I love friendships like that. Those that neither time nor distance can stop. I cherish my friendships in Midland, those that help me get through day to day life. But those friendships of years gone by are so sweet and special. I hope everyone has at least 1 of those friends.

After a weekend at camp it was time to head back to Tejas. This was my last week before I officially start my new gig as the Children and Women's Ministry Coordinator at our local Anglican parish. I also serve on the board at our local Boys & Girls Club, and our 2nd annual gala was this week. Between wrapping up silent auction donations for the gala and trying to find a sitter for staff meetings, this week flew by.


Girly girl πŸ˜‚

Getting in all my cuddles

And all those giggles

I love how this metal print turned out! My former colleague did this. Check out his gallery!
I also was so proud of this Farmer's Market basket!

with our friends the Rules

Sunday brings about so many changes for our family. I have worried about our kids as I begin a part-time job, but I also worry about myself. I've never had to leave them. I've stayed home even before Henry was born, and in my heart I never thought I'd go back to work. But this opportunity came up and felt like the perfect thing at the perfect time. So here's to new beginnings...and hoping that this new path doesn't lead us to a cabin and a clothesline somewhere deep down in Cat Holler.

Be blessed,

Friday, April 6, 2018

Stories of Miracles and Hardships and Life

Back in March we went down to Houston for AL's checkups. We decided to make it a vacation of sorts, see family, and enjoy a week out of town together. In that we (me) wanted to take the kids to the Houston Rodeo. But come to find out the whole week was our own personal rodeo.

Cash's brother lives in San Antonio, and most of his extended family lives just south of there in these small Texas towns. We were able to spend a weekend watching his nieces play sports, visit with his Mamaw, and go to dinner with his aunt and a couple uncles. His Uncle Bobby used to be the sheriff down in Karnes County and loves small town politics. Uncle Bobby and I got to talking about Franklin County (my old stomping grounds in AR) and just the small town way of life. I could've sat there for days living in those memories, but Cash pried me away for our final stretch to Houston.

The Bug & Henry

Softball days

Mamaw and the youngest great-grandkids

Henry and his namesake

In Houston we had all kinds of things planned: children's museum, rodeo, zoo, train. We went to the zoo and rodeo on Tuesday, which was a blast, but the kids were acting terrible the next day. We thought they were just tired, so we stuck with dinner plans at some friends' house on Wednesday. These are old CWEI friends who were kept by Noble after the sell and transferred to Houston. We were so excited to see them, their new house, and their little man.

What's better than room service in your undies?!

The lion at the zoo got to hear some real roaring.

Not his first rodeo!

AL was acting lethargic, so she ended up just sleeping in their crib much of the evening. Henry was doing pretty good playing until he suddenly started crying. I was trying to calm him down and hold him when he threw up all over the both of us. I could've died. Our friends are super sweet, but here we were in their brand-new, 5,300 square foot, all white decor home and my kid is throwing up. I shutter. I cannot imagine them moving back to Midland now; I'm certain they will want to keep their 1 year old as far from us as possible.

The next day AL had her appointments. Instead of an ultrasound this time, she was scheduled to have video urodynamics which would measure her bladder, bladder pressure, and kidney reflux. We sat at the hospital in the medical center for an hour and a half before the doctor called and said the radiologist had canceled. I am breathing fire just typing it.

So we were told to travel out to Memorial City where the radiologist there would do a VCUG. This only measures the kidney reflux. However, we got GREAT news! Her kidney reflux had been grades 4 and 5 last year in the NICU but had lessened to grades 1 and 2 now. The reflux is no longer up to her kidneys; it stays in her ureters.

Through this her urologist decided to take her off the daily antibiotics and begin discussing closing her vesicostomy. We kept looking at each other in shock because we didn't know these were even up for discussion! The doctor also said he received a text from the radiologist saying although the VCUG doesn't measure bladder pressure, she did visibly see urine come out of the urethra only once her bladder had pressure.

This was huge. We knew she could urinate from her urethra. We've seen it ourselves. We just didn't know if it could hold urine back until enough pressure built up. With her vesicostomy plugged during the VCUG, her urethra held urine until the bladder was pumped almost full. So instead of going back into her kidneys, she peed! I have never been so proud of my kid peeing as I was that day! (And we are potty training Henry so that's a bold statement.)

Then at the nephrologist an hour later he noted that her bladder had shrunk. Let me repeat that. Her bladder had shrunk! That wasn't even supposed to ever happen. I think the exact words I had been told in the NICU were, "Her bladder will never shrink."

Despite feeling crummy much of the week, we left Houston excited and confident and Rx free. Cash and I were on such a high that we drove the entire way from Houston to Midland at 5:00 in the evening. We stopped once at Buccees because of course. And we stopped once more for gas. I think we rolled in about 2 AM. Exhausted.

When we woke up, Henry was running fever. I took him into the pediatrician. Strep.

Of freaking course. The night before we had thrown AL's meds away. That day we were going to pick up more from Walgreens. A nice 10 day supply.

On Sunday AL woke up with a fever. They finally saw her on Monday. Strep. Of freaking course. Another nice 10 day supply from Walgreens.

We finished both of their rounds of meds. About three days later AL started getting a fever. We were able to manage it pretty good with Tylenol and chalked it up to teething. But by the third day of this Tylenol could no longer sustain us. She got up from her afternoon nap blazing.

A quick call to my friend Meredith, and her husband came over to pick up Henry for the night while we took AL to the ER. I have always been so anxious for this moment. Our first ER trip. Our first big Prune Belly scare. It was finally here.

The ER staff was pretty quick for an ER. Isn't it ironic? We go to the EMERGENCY room knowing it will take a long time.

Brave & Strong

The ER got everyone to sleep
But within 3 hours they had drawn blood, taken an urine culture, done an Xray, performed a full body exam, gave her meds, diagnosed her, and discharged us. UTI. Her very first one.

On Monday I got on the phone with her pediatrician, urologist, and nephrologist. The plan of attack was set for another round of bloodwork and ultrasound in a few weeks. For now she gets to stay off the daily antibiotic, but if she gets another one she will go into surgery to close the vesicostomy.

It was Good Friday that night she was diagnosed with a UTI. As Cash and I held her down on the bed for 5 sticks to get blood, I kept thinking about sacrifice. 2,000 years ago on that very day Jesus was held in the same position. He was mocked and beaten and crucified. Yet not the cross nor death could hold him down. His ultimate sacrifice saved our eternity. It also saved our present. I could not help but think without the love of God and his miracle in AL, we wouldn't even be able to be in this moment. God did not take His own Son off the cross and save him from crucifixion. Yet He saved my child. I cannot comprehend that love.

Going through the heartwrenching yet miraculous pregnancy with AL then receiving the diagnosis of Prune Belly Syndrome has opened a new world for us. From the people we've met to the medicine we've learned, I would never take away what we've gone through to get here. I've had chances to speak and write about this miracle from God, and I've seen my own faith increase 1,000 times over.

Recently I got to talk with another mom going through a pregnancy with a PBS daughter. It absolutely crushed me when I heard they lost their daughter this week. It has brought back pain and memories that many times I try to keep hidden.

We see this miracle of AL and think anytime this platform gives us a chance to share about it, it will all be good. But this time when I was contacted about PBS, it wasn't good. My platform (if you can even call it that) was used to share our experiences and give what little wisdom we have in that arena, but for this family their world crashed and did not have our same outcome.

My mom and I were talking the other night when I told her about this family. She said, "I can't imagine what they're going through." My response was, "I can."

Every day of my life I think about that month of planning my daughter's funeral. I think back to those nights I stayed awake feeling her kick and wondering was I going to hand her back to the nurses. I could picture the delivery. I could picture holding her. I could even picture the funeral. But I could not picture handing her back to the nurses.

The last month has met us with sickness and sadness. It has also met us with miracles and hope. If nothing it has been a reminder to me to appreciate the quiet days. The days where we are just living. The days where I beg my kids to just let Mommy finish her coffee. The days where I cry because their naps didn't line up at the same time. The days where I boldly ask myself, "Do they want breakfast and lunch today? Or do I think they'd be cool with brunch?" We all know the answer. They want all 3.

Living her best life

Helping Daddy

After this month I am ready to have my own momma. Sit in her house and drink her sweet tea. As we finish up the last 50 miles of this 600 mile trip we are on, I can honestly say I've never been more ready to be home. I have longed for Franklin County more in the past 3 weeks than I have my whole married life. As I look in our backseat at the 2 tornadoes waking up from their nap, I wonder if they'll find comfort in us like I do my parents. If one day they'll drive 600 miles just for that feeling of home. If they'll say, "Remember when you took us to Houston and had it all planned out? Yeah, we just wanted to swim in the hotel pool." If they'll sit in church on Easter Sunday and the other 51 Sundays of the year and thank God for this breath, His love, and the ultimate sacrifice of His Son that gave it all to us freely.

Be blessed,

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Taylor, 27, Arkansas

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year when Kelly over at Kelly's Korner hosts her Singles Day. As many of you who follow Kelly and read her updates on the 12 couples know, it was [seven] years ago when I met my man this way. So I'm always encouraging my single friends to JUST LOOK!! You never know!

Recently I wrote about our trip back to Arkansas and mentioned my long time friend Natalie Jo. She is one of those friends that I don't get to see very often, but when I do get to see her it is like no time ever passed. Well, Nat has a little sister that we absolutely adore (we being everyone Nat has ever been friends with). Today I wanted to write about Taylor!

Taylor is stunning, super down to earth, and just downright fun to be with! She loves to be outside enjoying life. Whether it is hiking, sports or concerts at the AMP, you can usually find her hanging with her friends doing life right. Beautiful doesn't do her justice. She is gorgeous in the city or the country, on the inside and the outside.

Taylor (left) and her sister Natalie
She also loves sports (woo pig sooie!) and tailgating with her friends. She's a true SEC girl and always looks like a million bucks, especially at football games. She does love the Razorbacks, but for the right guy she might buy two TVs. Maybe. πŸ˜‰ Taylor also likes to travel and loves spending time with her perfect little niece Crawford.

Taylor and Crawford ready to call those Hogs!

Hanging at a Razorback game with fam

She works as a special education teacher at an elementary school in Northwest Arkansas. She has a heart for others, and you can't help but have a good time when you are with her!

Taylor has a certain set of standards for a guy she's interested in. You have to love dogs and kids. You need a sense of humor. And you can't wear screen tees. Ever. πŸ˜€ (Seriously though.)

Taylor is open to meeting guys from various places. She is hilarious and so much fun! If you know someone who may be interested in getting to know her, leave a comment!

Be blessed,

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Momcation and Goodbyes

Oh, sweet week you are going so fast. Last Friday I met my parents in Frisco where I dropped the kids off to them for eight solid days. Blessed freedom! DFW is halfway between us and my parents--5 hours of driving for each of us. Needless to say it was another 5 AM start for my clan.

Let me explain what a trip like that looks like for us. I get up at 4:30 and get us all out the door by 5 so that I can count on 3 hours of sleep from the backseat. Then about 8 when the rugrats wake up and decide that even though we are on the road they still would like breakfast, I like to find a small grocery store. This time we were at a gas station. It worked but not quite as well.

Once I have them both in the store with both backpacks full of the day's supplies on my shoulder, I start with little sister. I get her diaper changed, put clothes on, the whole works. Then I change Henry. This is tricky, because I have to keep AnnLouise off the floor of the bathroom while I do this. Of course she can't stand yet, so I put down her pajamas I had just taken off and try to get her to sit still while I work with Henry. She continually tries to crawl off her pj's, and I just have to reset every 10 seconds or so.

I brush both of their teeth. (To be honest I'm not totally sure how that should be worded to make it sound correct. They both have lots of teeth. I'm not saying that each have one tooth. I get these Arkansas jokes enough I try to get ahead of the game.) That's really fun and interesting in a gas station bathroom. It feels super clean too.

Then I have to weigh my options: do I hold AnnLouise while I pee or do I hold my pee for 2+ more hours until we get to Frisco? This time I chose to hold my pee.

After all are changed and clean and almost dirty again from crawling around on the bathroom floor, we go out to find something fairly fresh for breakfast. This is why I like a small grocery store better. In a grocery store I can put the kids in the cart and shop for breakfast. In a gas station I have to carry AnnLouise, hold Henry's hand, carry both backpacks, and somehow juggle breakfast in there too. Needless to say I got Henry a banana and chocolate milk, AnnLouise had oatmeal in a reusable pouch I had made that morning at home, and much like my restroom pit stop I decided I didn't have enough hands to get myself breakfast that morning.

Back in the car the kids eat while I wonder if this trip is worth the eight days of freedom. It is.

Once everyone is back in their seat, I take off only to realize Henry wasn't buckled in his carseat. Brakes. I get him buckled in and try to find somewhere to drive through and get breakfast for myself. I try Dairy Queen. It isn't open. I end up waiting until we meet at IKEA because I am certain of one thing and one thing only: Swedish meatballs.

We met at IKEA mainly so we could eat but also so I could pick up a new desk we had been eyeballing for a few months. I could go crazy in IKEA. That's probably the purpose of their setup. When I walk around the showroom and see these small rooms arranged with such efficiency, I start planning out whole houses of tiny rooms and what IKEA furniture I want. Well, until we put a piece or two together at home...then I forget how much I want all those kitchen cabinets.

After my shopping spree, I had a 5 hour drive home by myself. I don't know if I've ever spent 5 hours by myself since we had Henry. Y'all. Do this. Take a 5 hour drive. Don't turn the radio on. Listen to podcasts the whole time. Stop and eat Taco Bell. Go inside to use the bathroom just because you can. Stare. Blink if you want. When the first podcast is over, turn on 4 more. If they're about The Bachelor, even better. (Okay, side note, the Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous podcast is actually really, really good...if you're a Bachelor fan. If you're not, maybe Dave Ramsey is another solid choice for you. I used to listen to The Art of Simple, but I do not know what she has done in 2018. Momma doesn't like it.)

I got home, and we immediately turned on the Olympics and started putting together my new desk. We got it finished in 2 hours which is perhaps an IKEA record. But we were too tired to put everything up, so it just sat there all weekend as we kept saying, "We'll pick it up tomorrow."

It eventually came together.

When the kids are gone, we like to go out to eat simply because we can. We don't have to worry if we packed 7 boxes of Cheerios just to go to Chili's, you know? Saturday night we went to see 1517 to Paris. unprofessional review is that it is pretty good. The acting could've been better (not the 3 guys..they did just fine. It was the actual actors that were pretty bad.). The storyline, however, was interesting to me. Cash thought it was slow, but it was a good 90 minute movie to go watch.

On Wednesday I had finally cleaned up my act and got busy. I picked up the house and made dinner (almost from scratch) for my boo on Valentine's Day. Of all the going out to eat we've done this week, I can still say my favorite is when we stay in. I made a 3 course meal that was on the table when he walked in the door that evening. I am a huge fan of charcuterie, so any excuse to have it on the table is a winning day in my book.

Course 1: charcuterie with balsamic vinegar and honey
(also, note the savings of at least $5 with a handwritten card)

Course 2: simple pork loin with fresh asparagus

Course 3: dessert cream cheese ball
*Note: Cash thinks it is hilarious when I blog about food because I've only been cooking for 2 1/2 years. But I felt this was a huge feat, so here you go.

It has been a relaxing week around here. No stress. Nowhere I had to be. No one to demand I cook breakfast. After a week of it, though, I am starting to get a little bored. But just a little. (It has been nice to look at my husband and be like...oh yeah, you're pretty cute. If I had to choose again, I would totally choose to marry you.)

The rugrats are having a big time in Arkansas. They love the farm and playing outside as much as they can. Henry especially loves Bumpy. He tries to imitate him every chance he gets. And man. They say you marry a man like your dad, but no one ever warned me my son would be just like him too. So that's fun.

Henry doing whatever Bumpy does.
feeding {some} of the animals
Next week is our baby's first birthday. Bittersweet. Bitter because she's my baby, and it went just like *that*. Sweet because she's my baby, and it went just like *that*. That first year is rough, man. I literally do not think I will shed a tear when I put up the bottles for the last time or when I get the grassy drying rack off my counter. I had those on my counter for a year, down for 3 months, and now back up for another year. Bye, Felicia.

So here's to all the goodbyes:
Goodbye to pureed baby food that I can't buy at a restaurant.
Goodbye to the bottles and the cleaning brushes and the wayyyy too expensive formula.
Goodbye to the crawling phase where everything looks like it is candy, including but not limited to fuzz under the dishwasher.
Goodbye to the playmats that are so worn out they bundle up and suck your child into a blackhole.
Goodbye to the unnecessary crib shoes.
And, sadly, goodbye to the coos and the long naps and the sweet nature of a baby looking at her momma.

Goodbye to my little baby who was never supposed to be here but fought so hard to make it to this big world, and hello to the little girl who is now fighting so hard to keep up physically. Goodbye to the blood tests where she doesn't know it's coming, and hello to tears when we walk in the doors. Goodbye to our laughing off of a stranger saying how cute her belly is, and hello to the awkward moments when it's not just baby fat anymore. Goodbye to the mom who was young and innocent and naΓ―ve to the world, and hello to the mom who is learning how to show her kids it is okay to cry or keep it together or jump or fall...but you better always laugh too, because by goodness we used to change clothes in a gas station bathroom on a road trip while Sissy crawled all over the floor and Momma doused everyone in Thieves afterward. Life goes on, and we better laugh at it or those years won't seem so short or fun after all.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Sorry, Kids

In two weeks we will be celebrating in big style the birth of our wee one. One whole year of loving on this miracle of ours, and I can hardly believe it. It is no denying we have learned our way through life with Prune Belly Syndrome, but as I begin to reflect on this year I have realized I learned so much more than a rare condition. I have learned life with 2 kids under 2. So here is what the first year of *almost* Irish twins has looked like from my seat:

the poop threshold

The poop threshold. Ahh. Some of you moms are nodding your head as you read this. And some of you are going back to see if you read that right. What is the poop threshold? For us this is our back door. We will be ready to leave (maybe even a few minutes early so Mom can stop and get Starbucks), yet when my kids cross the threshold of our back door they poop. Both of them. Without fail. Every. Single. Time.

So. Back in we go to change little sister only for big brother to think he knows how to do it himself. And then Mom slips and falls while running into his bathroom. She soon discovers it was his poop he smeared on the floor that she fell on. 

So. In goes everyone into the bathtub. (Baby girl has to take a bath too, because I'm only running bathwater one time today.) Mom calms down a little bit with the smell of that lavender baby shampoo. All get washed up, redressed, and out the door no more than 30 minutes late.

literally, about 5 seconds later I bet he pooped
like brother, like sister

AnnLouise (Scout...what are we calling her? A year later we still don't know.) is nearly 1 year old. She thinks she can do what her brother can do. Naturally. She loves hammering on his tool bench, driving trucks over your feet, and riding 4wheelers. My mom gave her a very sentimental doll for Christmas handmade by my old Amish friend I used to hang out with in Arkansas. So thoughtful. I could've cried. Yeah, AnnLouise has driven trucks over that poor doll, but though I try my best she has yet to care if that little thing is covered up with her matching blanket.

Friday night family movie & popcorn
driving Sister around

monogrammed clothes

These are super popular...for the first baby. When Henry was born, I wanted everything monogrammed. He always looked so cute, and his 4 generation pictures were perfect with his monogrammed onesie. 

Pullin 4 generations
Little sister came along, and she has everything monogrammed too. It is just kind of weird on her to say HVP and be in blue. She rocks it though.

(We won't talk about the 4 generations pictures with AnnLouise. Oops. It slipped my mind. Then my grandpa died. I'm kind of regretting not getting on those pictures now. I'm mom failing the mess out of this first year.)

We're no longer 5 minutes late everywhere we go!

Nope. We're not 5 minutes late everywhere we go anymore. It is more like 30 minutes. On a good day. (See "the poop threshold" above.) I don't even apologize anymore. Those words are lost on my friends and folks at church. They don't believe I'm sorry. Mostly because I'm not. I can't be sorry that much of every day and still have any self-confidence left.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Henry is at that ripe age that he likes to run away. He's not yet packing his bag and purposely wanting to leave his parents' house. He just runs away from me without consideration of any consequence from either me or the outside world. He literally believes the world is his playground.

Last week I was going to ENSURE they didn't get out of the house while I took a shower. It was one of those days. I didn't feel well. Cash was busy at work. It was Tuesday, and we don't go to MDO until Wednesdays. Henry had already tried the runaway method that morning. All the things.

But I was leading Bible study that night at church and had to get in the shower so they wouldn't kick me out when I got there. To keep the kids from running out the door when I was in my 45 second cold shower, I locked both my bathroom door and my bedroom door and kept them in the bathroom with me. I was pretty impressed with myself as I washed my hair for the first time in a few days week. 

Well, until I peeked out the shower and saw 4 tiny hands having the time of their lives swirling around in my toilet. Four tiny hands and my towel. 

So. Into the shower we all went. The rest is history. 

sorry, kids

All this to say, I'm sorry, kids.

The family that has it all together. All on the same page at the same time. Obviously.
Mom is sorry she doesn't make the cute Mickey Mouse pancakes like your dad does on Saturday mornings. I'm sorry I simply give you oatmeal and a banana every day.

Mom is sorry that your closet on Pinterest looks better than in real life. The good news is Mimi brings new clothes over fairly often. (Thanks, Mimi.)

Mom is sorry that she has semi-lied about why we go to church. It is very true I take you to church because we all need to love Jesus more. It is also very true, and I'm sorry I never told you, that Mom will give more than 10% to the church to keep the nursery open.

Mom is sorry she has a mere 3 episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse recorded and pretends like it is a new one every time she wants to sit down and taste the bottom part of her coffee.

Your dad thinks I should apologize for not giving you actual medicine and pouring essential oils all over you instead. I don't know I'm sorry about that. Give Mom a little bit of a break.

Mom is sorry that she wears high-waisted mom jeans and cut bangs and has the Armada and not the Infiniti. I know I'm not cool. But, really, something you need to know now is that Mom was never that cool. So you were kind of setup to have an uncool mom to begin with. (You can mourn with your dad. He was tricked too.) And before you think it is all okay because mom jeans are popular, let me admit something: I wear them for the comfort. I tuck my t-shirts in too because I just like it like that. And gosh, I know wearing tennis shoes with straight leg pants is not going to win any fashion awards, but I have to chase you both a lot. Right now it is not about thriving. It is about surviving. And let me tell you two something, your mom is surviving comfortably.

Scout & Mommy

Mom is sorry that she kisses you all the time. My older friends say this goes so fast. I had a dream one night that Henry was 18, and I woke up scared that it really had gone as fast as they said it would. I love you little things. You are a lot of work. I only have one year down with the two of you, so I know I will learn even more. But my goodness. If you could know how much I love you, you wouldn't squirm away from me when I kiss your face 57 times. 

I probably have a lot more I could apologize to y'all for, but you are 1 and 2 and there are a lot more things in life I'll do wrong. Undoubtedly, I will embarrass you at Kindergarten drop off when I cry, the night your prom date comes by the house and I take 384 pictures (and will be posting them to Instagram even though it will be irrelevant by then), the day we move you into your dorm and I call the Hogs even if you don't go to the U of A. (But you will.) There will be lots in life I do wrong, but probably a thing or two I do right too. So give your ol' mom a break. And, seriously, quit playing in the toilet. I could really embarrass you one day with those pictures.