Merry Christmas 

Emmanuel. God with us. 

  In the middle of our traditions. Under our trees. Behind our smiles and within our reach. Giving good gifts. The best gifts. The “from above” gifts that aren’t bought in stores. 

God with us.
  Unwrapping His great heart and giving us gifts of family and beauty and people who love us even in our imperfection.  

  When the tree is crooked and the flour is in our hair and the paper bits leave a trail through the house. 

God with us.   Loving us even when we’re distracted with christmas.      

    Christ in the midst of our mess and making it the most wonderful.

 Merry Christmas from our family to yours!



He’s my “Yes” child.

Not that the Pickle was a “no” child. She was a faith child. An “okay God… You’re nuts, but whatever you say” child.

His arrival was not that clear. Not that expected.

He was that quiet whisper on a cold winter night. God asked, “Will you trust me?” And all we could answer was “Yes.”

And now he is our yes.

He’s having trouble sleeping, should I just keep him with me?


He doesn’t like solid food. Do you think he’ll like a nibble of birthday cake?


He seems to be wide awake… Should we let him stay up longer until he’s tired?


He wakes me up three times a night. Should I keep going in to him?


Yes. Yes. Yes.

Yes, I will cuddle him and squeeze him and kiss his face.

Yes, I will help him find comfort when he is distraught (even if ‘comfort’ is a paci)

Yes, I will pick him up when he crawls to me and climbs up my leg and smiles.

Yes, I will hold him while I get dinner ready, if for no other reason than to save my own sanity from his crying.


And in the middle of the night when I’m pushed past my breaking point or late in the day when I can’t move a muscle and I have kids climbing all over me…

Even then I find myself gazing at him – so perfect and beautiful – and I say yes. 

Yes. Yes. Yes, Baby Boy.

Sometimes I Regret Having Children 

Shared my heart on the Knoxville Moms Blog today.

It’s been a rough year. So much pain and suffering in the world, so much darkness, so much sadness. And sometimes I just can’t even turn on the news.

And then I look at my children. And the knowledge that they will grow up in this world, quite possibly an even darker version of this world than even we have known, is too much to bear. BUT…

But I put my hope in Christ. And I know this world was never meant to be our home and there is no peace and no light apart from Him. And I look at these precious little ones who I would give my life for…

and I am so thankful that He already has.

Click to read.




There was a time once… When going to the beach meant something different. It meant getting away. Catching up. Long walks. Deep thoughts. Early runs. Brilliant mornings. Starlit nights. For me it was a time to clear my head and pour out my thoughts on salty damp paper. But now? Now it’s something I barely recognize. 

 Now it’s three people in one bed. Millions of wakings. Sand… Everywhere. Needing shade. Needing snacks. Needing sunscreen. Needing a nap. Needing entertained. And never quite getting enough of anything. It’s tantrums. And laughter. And catch me one more time. Don’t let me go under water. Watch me jump. Watch me run. Watch me throw. Now it’s who has the baby? How much can you carry? What’s for dinner? And breakfast and lunch and… What time is it anyways? 

  I confess there are times I miss the old beach days. The days of peace and reflection. When I gazed out past the crashing waves of childhood and sank deep in that elusive horizon. But now each time my eyes wander out there I hear a squeal and am forced to look back. Back to the crest. Back to the turbulent and adventurous and unpredictable and wonderful crashing of these little tiny waves that seem so big. And my feet keep slipping out from under me until they’re buried in this new day. 

  This new beach experience. The one I will miss in ten. Twenty. Thirty years. When I sit and stare out at the horizon and wish I could see the frolicking little waves once again. It’s different now. Not better. Not worse. Not easier. But not harder either. Just… Different. And these little waves are stripping away my desperation for what the beach should be and making room in my heart for what it is. 

  Ever-changing. Ever-new. Ever full of memory-making and dream-catching. And I weep sadness over my lost horizon but weep joy over my found shore and can’t believe my heart could stretch so big. So wide. To grasp the uncontainable joy of my #pirateprincess and to get lost in the curiosity of my #littlebuddE with eyes like the ocean. It’s wonderfully different and exhausting and I just don’t know if I’m doing it right but I’m doing it. This new beach. This new life. 


How Going Back to Work Saved My Sanity

Saved my Sanity (2) (640x338)

I had so much fun sharing this reality last week!

Going back to my part-time job after having Baby E was daunting, to say the least.  I wasn’t sure what to expect or how it would work.  I wasn’t sure if I would love it or hate it.  I wasn’t sure if it made sense financially.  I just had no idea!  It’s one of those things that you don’t know (about your kids, your time, or yourself) until you step out and do it.

But like most tough decisions in my life, this one was no less amazing and eye-opening!  There is oh so much to learn about yourself if you just take the time to step into the unknown and try it.  Change is where we grow.  Taking risks is where we become… more colorful.  More aware.  It’s where we LIVE!

Knoxville_Contributor_BTNWhen we keep doing the same thing over and over, that’s when life grows stagnant and unfulfilling.  Don’t get me wrong… having a baby was a HUGE change!  I lost myself for a while there in those first few months of finding a new normal.  But going back to work helped me find myself again…

Even if it was just for a few hours a week!

What Really Matters

Happy New Today

While my life with two has not made it onto these pages as much as I had hoped they would, I have been privileged to share a few fleeting thoughts now and then on the Knoxville Mom’s Blog!  This post was from New Year’s Day.

I’ll be honest, Christmas was a bomb this year.  As was New Year’s and Valentine’s Day.  It’s as if my brain is only wired enough to get through daily life.  The special moments and Pinterest-worthy life has escaped me for this season and I constantly have to keep reminding myself that it doesn’t matter.

Knoxville_Contributor_BTNMy little girl doesn’t remember that Baby Brother screamed all through Christmas Eve and we almost didn’t get to watch her open her presents.  She doesn’t even care that I failed to do a New Year’s countdown with her (or that Daddy and I were both in bed well before midnight).  And even though I completely forgot to hang up decorations, set the table, and make cherry turnovers for Valentine’s Day… my favorite tradition.  Instead I just ran upstairs while she was playing a game and grabbed a Hello Kitty gift bag to throw her My Little Pony in with a box of heart-shaped chocolates.  It doesn’t matter.  There will be time for all of that another day.  In another season.

But for now, I’m trying to breathe and remember that this is all that really matters.

And Then There Were Two

And then there were two

It’s been a wild ride these last few months.  Wild and wonderful.  But have I ever mentioned just how much I miss writing?  How I hate when an idea comes into my head and because of life I just can’t ever get it down ‘on paper’ and then it’s gone?  It happens all the time.

If I could write everything that I wanted.  If I had the time and the peace.  There would be a thousand posts a week.  And my life would be divulged to the world because there is just so. much. to share.

But I don’t.  And I can’t.  And there are babies and dishes and laundry and work and basic needs that must be met first.  And by the end of the day, writing gets lost.  Sadly.

Knoxville_Contributor_BTNBut maybe someday.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to do it again.  Bare my soul.  Fill these pages.  Because to write is to breathe.  And sometimes I feel as though I’m suffocating.

Thanks to the Knoxville Mom’s Blog I have a deadline once or twice a month and I get my wiggles out.  (and of course forget to share them here)  So in the name of writing and breathing and living, here is our welcome baby post from Christmas.  Back when the fog of newness was finally beginning to clear!