My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:

I got a two-sentence e-mail from my father-in-law last Tuesday that cut right to my heart. Now, a two-sentence e-mail from me would mean that 1) I am sad/disappointed/angry about something or 2) I am sending the message while simultaneously wiping urine off our bathroom wall and my face (true story). However, a two-sentence e-mail from my father-in-law means something else entirely. It means that he is reaching out without wanting to seem intrusive. It means that he took time out of his work-filled schedule to let me know that he’s thinking about me. It means that I had better get back to blogging.

So, when I read, “How are you? Haven’t talked to you lately,” I knew exactly what he was trying to say.

And that’s why I’m back to blogging. Because if I don’t write here, I’m going to have to start calling my father-in-law more often to tell him all my fascinating stories about depression, shopping, and potty training.

And that would just be painful for both of us.

[Well, Katy just successfully wrote herself out of the will.]

In all seriousness there are few things that encourage me more than to know that people—particularly the people I care about the most—read my blog and actually miss it when I’m on an unexpected leave of absence.

Did you know I was on a leave of absence? Yeah, I didn’t either. It just seems more professional to say that. If I was being absolutely transparent I might say, “I have no idea why I haven’t blogged lately. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been outside in two months, and I’m working on padding the walls in our basement bedroom so I can save us all a trip to the Looney Bin.”

Okay, so that’s a slight exaggeration. I’ve actually been wonderfully relieved from much—if not all—of my depressive symptoms (more on that later this week, God willing). But I’m not kidding when I say that this Kansas weather is enough to drive even the sanest person absolutely bonkers. I am NOT cut out for this kind of extreme weather. But you didn’t come here to listen to me complain about the weather.

That’s why we have Facebook.

So, for the moment my father-in-law has been waiting for:  prepare to be severely photo bombed. I’m about to sum up the past month in a series of photos and short captions I like to call “Stir-Crazy: Like Being Crazy-Crazy…with No Meds.”

Below, you’d find a photo that perfectly (though not skillfully) captures this phase of our lives.


Averi and JJ are inseparable right now. I should spend one day counting how many times I hear, “Where’s JJ?” or “Averi, look!” It’s honestly an unexpected blessing given their close proximity in age (18 months).

I’m soaking it up for now because I know that the onslaught of puberty will completely negate everything I just said.

We spent Christmas Eve at Union Station in Kansas City because JJ wants nothing more than to eat, sleep and play with trains. Maybe next year we’ll let Averi choose where we spend Christmas Eve.


I’m scared to think where that decision would lead us…

We spent Christmas morning at home with just the four of us. It was truly wonderful.


I had my moments where I missed being with extended family and soaking up all the sights, sounds, and smells that go along with that.

But it’s hard for me to look at those smiles and say it was anything other than perfect.


So I won’t.

Christmas came and went in a hurry, but it left behind a blanket of pure, white snow.


And as it slowly melted away, I was reminded that seasons come and go (though some seemingly slower than others), but God’s mercy remains the same. What a sobering photo to remind me of that.


With the snow, of course, came one or two days of fun—for Brian and the kids. I kept my Southern butt inside where it belongs. JJ thought it might be fun to taunt me by launching snowballs at the storm door. So, I will be the adult here and retaliate by posting a photo of his flared nostrils.


We’re even.

Brian and I gave the kids some Little Tykes cars for Christmas, and they have been a HUGE hit. Of course, Averi wants to drive the one we intended for JJ, and JJ wants the one we bought for Averi.


And then there’s this arrangement. I call it, “Driving Miss Averi.”


I can’t imagine that anything you see happening in these photos is even the least bit dangerous.


Until we let Averi behind the wheel.


When the cars aren’t entertaining enough, we resort to bringing out The King. I’ll tell you more about him in another post because it’s just too bizarre to keep to myself.


“Excuuuuuuse me, peasant? WHO are you calling bizaaaaaare?”


Most of our days are spent figuring out ways to stay indoors without throat punching each other. That usually involves some sort of game where JJ does something he thinks is spectacular, and then he waits for Averi to copy him.


And she does.


Every time.


Without fail.


Which is cute and mostly fine as long as JJ makes up fake words and eats Cheerios off the floor.


Let’s just hope for all our sakes that he doesn’t use this power for evil.

“Who, meeeeeeee?”


Other times, Averi likes to explore her independent side as she dresses herself…


…like Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura. “I’m ready to go in, coach. Just give me a chance!”

And when she’s not playing in her dress-up clothes, she’s helping me with the laundry…


…by drying her sweaters. (Kidding, that sweater was on a teddy bear.)

There are times when JJ wants to be left alone to play with his trains.


Or to play with his trains while he watches trains.


Or to play with his trains while he watches trains and eats with his train silverware and makes us watch him watch trains while he tells Averi about his trains.

Of course, our children watch practically NO television…noooooo. Absolutely not. I have a regimented schedule of games and educational activities to fill 100% of that time where the wind chill is 14 below zero for WEEKS on end. We only resort to television in the most extreme cases.

The trouble with Kansas is…every day is extreme.

So, when we’re not watching television or listening to JJ talk about his trains, we throw on 65 layers of clothes, make our way into public, and infect ourselves with every kind of illness known to man.

This is Averi showing us her obvious displeasure with our decision to let her contract a highly contagious virus. (Seriously, I didn’t know she had it at the time I took this photo or I wouldn’t have had her in public.)


Later that night I had Averi in the bed with me so I could monitor her sluggish condition. I knew something wasn’t right. Her fever got so high that her body heat actually woke me up.


Y’all, I was terrified. Once her temperature reached 105°, I took her to the ER where they looked her over, handed me two pieces of paper about the flu, gave her some Tylenol, and discharged me 15 minutes later.

Typical trip to the ER for me. (NOT that I’m complaining. Thank goodness my baby is healthy now!) However, an ugly rash and a trip to the doctor two days later confirmed she actually had Roseola.

Sorry Kansas City Target shoppers. It was us.

I won’t even tell y’all about this past weekend when Brian and I were both sick with some kind of nasty stomach bug the kids brought home from church last Sunday. I’ll spare you the details because this post is technically for my father-in-law, and I don’t think he needs the image of me hugging the porcelain throne burned into his brain.

(Somewhere in the world my dad just tossed up his hands and said, “Why can’t she be so concerned about the images she’s burned in my brain?”)

When we aren’t all sick or glued to the television, we like to sleep.

In our closets…


…halfway off the bed…


…and in restaurant booths.


Friends, this is motherhood in all its guts, glory and glamour.

Thankfully, God has graciously provided one or two days in the past month or so where the temperatures were warm enough to let the kids play outside.

Can’t you just see the relief on their sweet, little faces?


[Actually, I’m having a hard time getting past JJ’s mullet.]

I know, y’all. It’s awful. Brian took him to the barbershop on post, and the woman butchered his beautiful hair. Believe me, that will be rectified the next time it’s warm enough for us to leave the house. Which may or may not come before JJ’s hair is long enough to braid.

Mullet or no mullet, this kid melts my heart. I’m so thankful for a new year with my precious boy…


…and his favorite cheerleader.


So…BOOM! You just got photo bombed.

Thanks for hanging in with me, everyone. God willing, I plan to blog more regularly again since I have lots of honest, exciting and new things to share. (No, I’m not pregnant, mom.)


Comments to "Photo Bomb"

  1. Dona

    January 27, 2014

    Well, this ol’ grani has missed you! Loved the photos…..you can bomb me all you want! Precious pics, precious kids. And today I get to go spend some time with MY favorite people….my granddaughter and her 2 ‘greats’…..Love you girl. Looking forward to more from you this year! Dona

  2. Karmen

    January 27, 2014

    I HAVE missed you!! Loved all the pictures of the kids and can’t wait to hear what else is new in future posts.
    Karmen recently posted…Silent SundayMy Profile

  3. Laura

    January 27, 2014

    That was great, thanks for sharing! They’re adorable.
    Laura recently posted…A Letter To My Kids – The Maid Will Not Be ComingMy Profile

  4. Katy's Mama

    January 27, 2014

    I love all the pictures. I did notice J.J.’s hair but didn’t want to say anything because I thought you meant to do that! Glad you are back to writing!
    Love you!

  5. Sarah

    January 28, 2014

    I could practically copy this post, swap out the kids’ names, and paste it on my blog.
    Climbing the walls with the winter crazies? Check

    Baby sister mimicking older brother? Check

    Sick baby? Lulu spent last night puking.

    I think padding the walls is a brilliant idea – but we don’t have a basement. We are trapped in our small, 2-bedroom condo. Pray for us that we make it to spring!
    Sarah recently posted…Lulu turned 2! Our Mermaid PartyMy Profile

  6. Susan

    January 28, 2014

    Glad you’re back! I’ve missed reading your “stories”.

  7. Robyn

    January 28, 2014

    It’s so great to read one of your blogs again, I’ve really missed them. I had no idea that the threat of a regularly scheduled phone call to your father in law was that motivating!

  8. lala

    January 30, 2014

    I’m a stay at home mom now so keep these posts coming! I depend on them to get me through the insane, dirty diapered, pudding on the floor, stop touching that, quit hitting her days 🙂 🙂 Welcome back!!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: