List of things you probably don’t need but might like

I am gearing up to leave for Declare Conference on Thursday and I could not be more excited. Spencer has been an eye witness to my enthusiasm and yesterday morning said “I’m happy for you and your conference.” 😏

Ever since blogging was invented, I’ve had a blog. It has always lacked direction and focus and okay, also polish, but that’s because I didn’t know what else to do. I am hoping to leave the conference with a plan and a project to work on. I need something besides laundry. 

But, while we wait for Thursday to roll around, I thought I could share a few things I’m really into right now and you might want to be too.

1. First of all, #nsale. That is the Nordstrom anniversary sale and it is insane. I’ve never known about it before but this was NOT the year for me to discover it (#oilfieldprobs). Basically, you can buy fall stuff at deep discounts. And after fiveish years of pregnancy, breastfeeding and lying to myself about losing “the baby weight,” my wardrobe is so seriously lacking. So, my plan is to save money for this specific purpose this year and have an outstanding fall wardrobe next year. I may plan a trip just to shop in person. It’s that serious. 

2. Next up is my two shows I’m into netflixing right now. One is Crazy Ex-girlfriend. It was a CW show and it is really smart and very funny. I try to squeeze it in at nap time while I fold laundry or lay in my bed and eat cheetos in peace. It makes me feel cheerful. 

The other show does not make me feel cheerful. In fact, Spencer and I usually watch it before bed and it gives me nightmares sometimes. I know I’m way late on this boat but I was busy being out doing things in the world when it aired. And that show is Lost. I really see what all the hype was about now. If anyone else hasn’t seen it, start now and we can have a series finale watch party together.

3. Book Bub. It is a daily email that lists ebooks that are on major discount sale or even free. When you sign up you can set your preferences so the results you get are tailored. I am not typically one to read books on devices because I don’t like to involve complicated technology with simple pleasures but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. 

4. The first book I found from Book Bub is so so good. I think it was $1.99 and is called The Nazi Officer’s Wife. It’s an autobiography of a Jewish woman during WWII who disguised her identity and married a Nazi officer. It’s fascinating and at times eerie in the familiar conversations we hear Americans having today. Someone read it so we can talk about it.  But I’m only on chapter four so don’t get too hasty.

5. Yall know I love podcasts. I always listen when I’m doing my nap time chores or driving without Jack in the car. Or when he’s asleep. Because he’s a big conversationalist. If you want a list of podcasts to check out, holla at your girl. But my newest one I like and have never mentioned here is The Pop Cast. It’s about pop culture and is hilarious. And the female host reminds me of Jillian, one of my favorite and best friends who I never see or talk to. 

This is a lot of material for me to be consuming. In my current life stage it’s hard to make time to read or watch a show but my spirits are surprisingly improved when I have topics to discuss besides the weather and how I can’t get my kids to eat. 

6. Voxer is a voicemail app that is kind of like using a walkie talkie. So, you know how you have friends and associates who you want/need to talk to but your schedules are different and also you hate talking on the phone? Use Voxer. It’s very handy. 

7. Okay, I think this is the last one. Touch Retouch is a photo editing app that you need! It’s not free but it’s only a couple bucks and it is so cool because you can delete things from your pics EASILY. Really. With just the swipe of your finger, you can remove unsightly power lines or that guy in a speedo from your family vacation pic. 

Okay, my loves. That was more things than I anticipated. Everyone have a Monday that feels like not-a-monday and let me know your thoughts and feelings on all these great discoveries. Now I’m going to mentally prepare myself to take my children to the library and then the grocery store. Prayers are appreciated.  

Declare link up

​Hey, good lookin’! Guess what I’m doing in less than two weeks…going to Declare, a conference for digital evangelists! That is to say, a fun couple of days with Christian women who do stuff on the internet. In order for conference attendees to “get to know” one another beforehand, the conference organizers have come up with a few questions for us to answer in a blog post. 

So here they are.

1. If we were meeting in person, how would you introduce yourself? (job, family, career, ministry, where you live … share whatever details come to mind)

I stay at home with my two boys, Jack and Case, who are almost four and almost two. I say we stay at home but we actually do that as little as possible because we go crazy when we do. My husband, Spencer, is the best person I know and is an engineer who sells hydraulic components. Very technical. Before kids, I had my dream job of being a lobbyist here in the great state of Oklahoma. I studied communications and political science in college 67 years ago.

As my kids are getting out of the baby stage and I get a reasonable amount of sleep, I feel like I’m beginning to have real thoughts and ideas again and I look forward to finding an outlet for those.

I’m not confident in just what that will look like yet, but God is moving and I am watching and listening. I’m hoping it includes enough income to hire a babysitter because I’m the worst ever at working when I have kids with me. 

2. What is your favorite thing to write and why?

Funny or otherwise emotionally-moving stories about real things that happened to real people. Which mostly means I write about myself because other people don’t usually like their business being shared for the public’s amusement the way I do.

3. What is your favorite thing to read and why? (If this question is too broad for you avid readers, what’s a favorite book or blog you’ve read lately?)

I am not going to cop out and say “the Bible,” but I really do love to read it chronologically so I can see it as one big story rather than in choppy and disjointed bits. My favorite author is John Steinbeck and I love classic literature but I can appreciate many different genres and stories. 

4. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

Lay in bed as long as I wanted, drink coffee while I spent morning time with God, hang out on the beach, eat some good food, socialize with a bunch of people, take a family photo where we are all still, smiling, looking at the camera and I’m not sweaty, lose thirty pounds, go shopping and get a massage. 

5. What’s one thing you love about your blog and one thing you’d like to improve?

Here’s what I love about my blog: it’s always here when I need to share some words with a few hundred of my closest friends. I can pull out my handy dandy phone and type my heart out, click a button, and it’s out there and I feel relieved. Unburdened.

Here’s what I would change: the design and set up on the backside. I did it all myself with no understanding of WordPress and I don’t fully understand why I pay Blue Host  $160 every December. Someone help me. Example: the answer to the first question is in a different font and I can’t understand why but I also don’t care enough to try very hard.

6. [Lightning Round] Would you rather …

  • Read on Kindle or paperback? Paperback all day, everyday, no doubt
  • Drink coffee or tea? Coffee or iced tea. Hot tea is gross to me.
  • Go to a musical or a movie? Movie. Musicals are also gross to me.
  • Vacation at the beach or the mountains? Beach
  • Have an exciting night out or a relaxing night in? OUT. PLEASE.
  • Watch sports, play sports, or no sports? I like college football. Ok State Cowboys fan!

Also, they wanted a recent pic. I’m sorry about the selfie but I haven’t trained my kids to take my pic yet. 

#Jasmergency

I just feel like this needs to be shared. (Clearly, I feel like everything needs to be shared. Always.)

It is the story of the day Jasby, the precious miniature horse whom I love, tried to kill us all. While she did not succeed in killing us all, she did manage to humiliate me and possibly emotionally damage a few others.

One hot day a week or two ago, Jack begged me to please get in his kiddie pool with him while Case was napping. I put on this terrible tankini style bathing suit from WAL-MART fall-apart and hopped on out there. Now, in case you are not a woman with a large bosom (or if you are and you didn’t already figure this out), women who have a lot of chest acreage to fence in, CAN NOT wear Wal-Mart bathing suits in public. They are not made with the kind of skill and quality craftsmanship it requires, much less the sheer amount of material.

But I was in my back yard. So, when Case woke up and we had a snack, I put the boys in the car so I could drive back in the pasture and unload my mini horse and chicken feed I’d purchased earlier that day. Well, as I drove through the gate, Jasby came out of the gate and into the yard. Being that Jasby is generally very hungry and very lazy, I didn’t imagine she would do more than mosey around to the front yard and sniff the grass up there. Actually, I was surprised she didn’t follow my car out to the building where I was dumping the feed.

So I got done and since she still wasn’t back, I grabbed her halter and lead rope as well as a feed sack (for luring purposes, in case you’ve never had to capture an escaped farm animal). I drove us back up to the drive way where I expected to see her rotund body milling around, but no. 😮

I drove to the road and looked both ways, trying to determine which direction she had gone. I was still expecting to see her ambling along the ditch. Actually, she was on a distant hill to the north, just trucking as fast as her short legs could carry her (which is actually quite a lot faster than you might imagine).

I’m not sure where she thought she was going or why but I have to assume she believed there was a miniature stallion or an ice cream truck or something down the road. Maybe there was. We will probably never know what Jasby the dreamer was chasing with all her miniature heart. Anyway, I took off as fast as I could toward her, praying she would stay to the side of the road (she really didn’t at all). When I got pretty close I stopped the car and got out and tried to call her to me but after she stopped and snorted at me, she just took off again, as fast as ever. A person or two had driven past at this point but I can’t describe them to you because I was looking at the ground hoping not to be recognized because I was wearing an ill-fitting and wholly inadequate bathing suit while chasing my mini horse down a road with a 1-year-old and 3-year-old who was in his whitey tighties roaming around freely in my car. And my body would not be described by anyone as “summer-ready.” But that’s really a small matter in the whole scheme of what was happening at that moment.

Eventually, when I was starting to get nervous that Jasby might make it to the highway (and, oh, yeah, I didn’t have my phone so I couldn’t call for herding help), a kind and generous woman stopped and asked if I wanted her to head Jasby off for me.  I hesitantly and half-heartedly told her she could try but I really didn’t believe it would work. Well, she put that ford taurus in gear and whipped around quicker than you could say “yeehaw.” She ripped down the road and pulled some kind of stunt-driver in a cop movie move where she pulled sideways across the road and actually did head Jasby off. So Jasby turned and ran down a long driveway that blessedly had a cattle guard. So, she stopped, turned around and looked at me,  and dropped her head to start grazing. It was all very nonchalant at that point and I honestly was a little offended that she felt like she could pretend it was no big deal.

I walked up and she waited while I put her halter on. As I bent over to pick up the feed sack near my feet, I caught a glimpse of my chest. I noticed the left side in particular because it was not covered by material. At all. I adjusted myself, took a deep breath and stood up to wave and shout a “thank you” to the woman and her two passengers. I need to find her address so I can send her a sympathy card for what she must’ve seen.

At this point, you may think the circus was over. It wasn’t. Now I had a pony on a rope and a car with two little bitties and I was about a mile from my house. And it was really hot. I ran through my options rather quickly (as there weren’t many) and realized I couldn’t walk Jasby home and come back for the kids and I couldn’t take the kids home and come back for Jasby. We all had to go together at the same time somehow. I was wishing I had a trailer hitch so I could tie Jasby’s lead rope to it and lead her behind the car that way but I didn’t. And I might take this moment to say that Jasby is very calm but she is not so sure about being right up close to a running, moving car. So, basically, I had to hang my arm out the window and slowly slowly slowly  (she was tired from her journey) drive home with the kids going nuts (this was an exciting moment for them) and try not to get my arm ripped off because it’s very hard to match your car speed with that of a mini horse trot. I can only thank the Lord above that no cars came flying down the middle of our road on a hill as is not unusual. However, a car did come behind me and they did ride my tail (which I don’t blame them for because I was driving at a snail’s pace) but then I had to stop the car and get out and lead Jasby to the back of my car so they could pass so that was just one more person who got to see the Wal-Mart suit and the pale overflow.

I think I have to move away now.

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Tadpoles

So, this is a typical adventure with the three amigos. When we start getting bored, look out! That has always been my downfall and I may have passed that onto my offspring. One of them for sure. They start beating on me and wrestling like way too much and then I can tell I’m about to freak out so I look on the internet for something to strike our fancy. So, today when the restlessness began to turn to chaos, we went to “Tadpole Time” at the Noble library which sounded precious this morning and now just sounds absurd and annoying.

I remember taking Jack to these story time things when he was Case’s age and even when Case was a newborn. I’ll be honest, I felt like an awesome super mom those days when I could discreetly nurse a baby while helping a two-year-old do a craft. They were few and far between, believe me. But now that Case is getting bigger and can understand more, we are venturing out to do some fun stuff again that isn’t just a playground. Man, I get tired of playgrounds! Anyway, when Jack was younger, he wasn’t so big on the story time and would usually wander around the room but he liked the singing and the crafts. Well, the door was not shut for Tadpole Time and Case kept leaving. Or laying on the floor kicking when I didn’t let him leave. And Jack kept saying “I don’t like story time. I want to go play with the toys out there. This is boring.” Like, not in a quiet voice. So, we went out to the kids area so they could play with toys while I picked out a few books. Well, apparently someone has taught Case to read (maybe it was that Tadpole lady) because he kept running to the “quiet area” and squealing as he ran through rows of books while Jack chased me (as I chased Case) with some possum puppet he had found and was biting my butt with it. So, I gathered up my tadpoles and tried to pay my fines and get the new stuff and I was sweating as I retrieved Case from behind the counter where the probably terrified librarian sat.

So, at this point, I’m starving and felt like we might as well keep the fun going. A couple years ago when I was 8 months pregnant, we met a friend at the Noble library and then she suggested we walk to Kendalls and eat INSIDE. I was shocked (because she had three littles) but also intrigued at her boldness. So, we went. And I sweated an awful lot and breathed heavily and thought it was six miles. But when we got there, they had a blessed toy area in the back! So, I thought we’d do that again today. I’m happy to report that the

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walk as a non-pregnant lady was surprisingly short and all the dogs who tried to eat us on the way were confined by fences. But, alas, when we arrived, they were closed. JUNK! I could’ve eaten my arm by this point. Of course, the boys were well-stocked in snacks so don’t worry about the little angels. However, Jack was very concerned that we would now be forced to eat somewhere that didn’t have toys. Which we did, and that place is called Sonic and we have one of those in Purcell.

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So Tadpole Time+Kendalls= BOOOO. I would like to know where is the kids time where they have a child proof fence and they have races, climbing, jumping and wrestling with adult-friendly good food. I also need it to be free and climate-controlled. Is that a lot to ask?

Happy in the hard

We had a bad morning yesterday. Nothing too crazy, just a lot of whining and arguing and by nine, I was about to lose it. I could feel myself losing it. Little eruptions that are only indicators, warnings, of the major disaster.

“Get in the car!” That’s it! I’m panicking now, fight or flight and all that. We have to go somewhere. We have to reset or something, break the circle of this messiness that keeps doubling back at us like a snake held by the tail, fangs flashing. We are all in danger together and I’m the mom and I have to save us and all I can think of is to yell in an ugly voice “Get in the car!”

But, it’s better than what might happen if we didn’t get in the car, all strapped and secured not touching each other and hopefully distracted by the scenery even though it’s the same we see every day. Once we were in the car, I had to think of somewhere to go and it had to be quick because the questions, I knew, would keep rushing like a flooded river trying to drown me until I did.

“Walmart.” Tuesday is my normal grocery day- ugh I have a grocery day- but Jack didn’t have preschool because of voting so I might as well make it Monday and take them both this week. I don’t know why I thought that was a good activity to calm us all down. They had one of the carts that holds two kids and I thought our luck was really changing now. It had little seats that faced each other and seat belt straps like the ones in cars. “Ages 2-6 only,” it read on the safety label. Well, Case is almost one and a half and he’s tall and as I’ve said before, a genius, so that doesn’t apply to us.

We made it and it was hard and stressful and I tried not to threaten too loudly but just loudly enough that my fellow shoppers knew I was handling my business and not spoiling my boys. There’s a lot of pressure parenting in public. And in private.

And we had the slowest cashier ever. She read every label on every item. She seemed like a lovely woman but Case was climbing on my head and breaking the sticks on those little balloons on a stick and Jack was grabbing every plastic candy contraption and showing it to me and I was sweating. One day the evil, cold-hearted guy (yes, it’s definitely a guy) who puts all that crap right there at the checkout where you’re hemmed in by carts and bound to stand waiting will have to answer to an Almighty God for what he has done and I would not want to be him at that moment. No, I would not.

So, we head back out to the car and my gosh darn La Croix canned sparkling water falls off the bottom of the cart and the box breaks open and they roll everywhere and one gets a hole in it and sprays a fountain of cherry lime carbonation all over the place. And at that moment, as I am picking them up so we can hurry and get out of the street, and as Case is standing up on the seat, a passerby who I am sure is a precious, sweet person (really, I think she is) said “It’s a shame they can’t stay this little forever.” And all kinds of unholy things went through my mind but I managed to just eek out something corny like “boy, I sure would be tired.” And I got in the car and I wanted to sob but I didn’t because I have a three-year-old who still thinks big people don’t cry and to be honest, I just didn’t have the energy for that life lesson at the moment. Mercy, it feels good to write this.

The reason I wanted to sob is because (besides being mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted from a mere shopping trip) what I heard in her words was “life is worse when they get older.” Which is obviously not what she said as she peacefully pushed her cart after peacefully buying groceries alone and prepared to get into her car and turn on whatever she wanted on the radio and probably drink a delicious Coke without sharing and getting kid slobber all over the straw.

And also, no “Mama, you’re my best fwiend,” while little arms circle your mama thighs. And then we came home and they took a nap and everything was fine. There are so many sweet times and they are so so precious. I know them as well as they can be known right now, don’t I? And I love them more than I can express. I would kill for them. I would die for them. Please understand I do not take them for granted. But in ten years when I look back to these days, I’m afraid, terrified, really, that I won’t even remember them because I’m just so tired from all the trying. Which is why I know it’s God’s grace that I have them now in the days of Instagram so I can preserve their sweet faces because He knows I would never finish a page of a scrapbook. And I just described to you how intensely I can feel stressed on one beautiful spring morning when nothing in the world is wrong because I want you to know that even then, I know I’m on Holy Ground. I know I don’t get these days back.

And the hardness has made me softer and the difficulty beyond myself has forced me to Jesus. I have learned to kiss the wave, and all that. I have purposely gotten up at five am to have time with God. I sure never did that when I was handling things myself. I didn’t know my own need until I became a mom. I thought I did but I had forgotten Him in times of abundance (Deut 8:11). This is sacred time and I know it deeply in my bones. I didn’t know it until recently. Probably because I’m not in the hardest part anymore, when they don’t sleep and your hormones are a mess and you don’t know why they’re crying and you have spit-up on your shirt and your nipples hurt. Even when I think I’m going to drown, I know I’m not because I didn’t before (or I did and He raised me up better than I was)and this isn’t as hard as then. For me. It’s different for different people, I guess.

So maybe when I’m the older lady and I see a mom with kids climbing out of the basket and her third-day hair in a mess on top of her head, I won’t imply her life is going to get worse. Maybe I will say “Hang in there, honey. Jesus loves you and one day you will grocery shop in peace. Your children are the cutest I’ve ever seen and you look so thin!” Or maybe I will have a flashback and need someone to hold me. Or, maybe my kids will still be with me and I will still be threatening them. You really never know.

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Looking for something?

Spirit hunger. That’s the term she uses in this post I just read. I have that and so do you. 

Don’t you? Don’t you ever feel rushing water and pounding waves and you have to have air like NOW? Aren’t you ever flailing and grasping for a life saver that you can’t see? Don’t you ever feel an empty hole that you are in a panic to fill except you can’t figure out what goes there?

She calls those things, those life rafts and those things we use to fill up our empty spaces pacifiers. I can look back and see exactly which things I’ve used as pacifiers. I don’t even know when it started. 

 We don’t want to feel our feelings sometimes, right? 

I will spare you the story of every example I can think of (unless you need details and then please feel free to ask) but know that they run the gamut of options and include alcohol, food, sleep, men and nicotine. And those are just the ones I recognize. I’m lucky, I guess, that those distractions were good enough pacifiers that I didn’t ever get into drugs. But, all of it, every time, was because I wanted my mind to be at peace. 

And even though I became a Christian when I was eight, sanctification stalled out along the way and I never learned how to have His peace until I tried everything else. And until I didn’t have any other options. And sometimes, practically, it’s still hard to understand. Because I want to ask “How do I do that?” But I don’t do anything. I can’t get it for myself. I just have to ask God and let Him give it. 

This is a flag-waving post. Like, “Hey, that emptiness or restlessness you feel might not have anything to do with your job or your relationship or whatever other circumstance. It might be spirit hunger. And if it is, Jesus is the ONLY thing that can quench it rather than temporarily distract you from it.” 

I listened to a podcast the other day that might be relevant here. It’s the story of a man who tried every drug and every religion just to find meaning in life and who had suicide plans when he met the Lord. He’s also a pretty funny speaker. 

When I did realize I was spiritually malnourished, I had a hard time figuring out how to grow. Here are a few steps to get you on your way.  First, pray. If we will ask for wisdom, God promised to give it. It’s in the Bible. Next, read the Bible. I will help you find a Bible study tool if you want. Life church’s Bible app has a lot of options. And the other thing that’s important is to connect with other believers. Worship service on Sunday won’t cut it. You will need a community. Try Sunday school, life groups or group Bible studies. We aren’t meant to journey alone. That’s in the Bible too. 

I really love you. 

The Queen of Sheba

Yesterday I sat down during the boys’ naps and opened my Bible to catch up a little on my chronological in one year plan. And I thought/prayed kind of, “Okay, God, show me what you want me to see today. Don’t let me miss it.” Like I usually do when I’m in a hurry. The heading above 1 Kings 10 caught my eye, even though that’s not what I was supposed to be reading yet. “The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon.” Who do you think you are, the Queen of Sheba?! That’s my whole frame of reference for her story. That’s it. So, I read the eleven verses about her because I’m a rebel. No reading plan can hold me. 

Then, I got up to clean my kitchen and I turned on a podcast because that is what I do for enrichment- listen to insight whilst doing dishes. And I do enough dishes that before you know it, I’m going to be really really smart. 
Anyway, the podcast I turned on was boring because they were interviewing a person I’d already heard interviewed on a different podcast. So a couple minutes in, I switched to a different one. Guess what it was about. 

THE QUEEN OF SHEBA. Seriously. Never heard anything about the woman and then I’m bombarded with her yesterday. I’m not even so sure I would’ve known that she was in the Bible. 

So, I figured I should think on what I learned. I haven’t had an ah-ha moment or anything so I’m just going to note the things I now know about her and see where it applies sometime. No doubt it will. 

(If you’re playing along at home, read 1 Kings 10 first and this will make more sense.)

The trip from Sheba (modern day Yemen) to Jerusalem was about 1500 miles. On a camel, that would take about two months because apparently the camels didn’t really walk faster than people. AND they had to rest about as long as they traveled. So, two months to get there, rest for two months and two months back makes a six-month voyage. That’s a serious trip. Apparently she was pretty impressed with what she heard about Solomon’s wisdom and his God to make such a trip. So, I think she must’ve been a very curious type of woman who was interested in learning and gaining wisdom. 

I also think she was pretty bold. Maybe even brassy? She shows up at this magnificent palace to test the king with hard questions. But she was smart about it. She brought extravagant gifts including four tons of gold and the prized frankincense from her country. So, she’s boldly coming to quiz this man but she’s making it clear that she’s respectful and appreciative of his attention. 

My Bible notes in the sidebar that though she is impressed with the God of Israel, there is no evidence that she comes to know Him as her own rather than simply accepting Him as she would any other geographical God. However, others believe that when she praised the name of the Lord, she was announcing a dedication to Him. I don’t know. I think it would be odd, if she were not seeking after truth but rather just being nosy about Israel’s God to take a six-month trip just to hear about Him for the heck of it. 

Anyway, if you have anything to say about the relevance of the Queen of Sheba, please- lay it on me. 

Goodbye. 

Meet Minnie

Well, yesterday was a real heck of a day. We spent about ten hours driving across the Great State of Oklahoma, including breaks. And by breaks I mean pit stops in dirty gas stations (like when Jack started screaming that he needed to poop and thank goodness we weren’t far from an exit) and standing around in a WalMart parking lot. 

But all the chaos was worth it because we came home with this pretty lady.  

 

But let me describe the journey a little more for posterity. The fun began actually the night before when Case should’ve been sleeping but he felt like crying was the better option. So, we were a bit tired to begin with. Then Spencer asked me to drive so he could work on the way. I do not enjoy driving and I do not enjoy when a person is off work but still working but I realized it was for the common good so I complied. About twenty minutes into our trip, Spencer said “Boy, you’re gonna be fun today!” Which made me laugh inside but I kept the game face on so as not to encourage those kinds of remarks. So, that tells you how we began. 

But, the closer we got, the more we perked up at the prospect of having a vehicle for adventure and our (my) attitudes improved. 

The boys were surprisingly good. I really expected a lot more screaming about being trapped in a car seat the majority of the day, but they were real troopers. 

So, I drove them home amidst snack wrappers galore and Spencer drove Minnie home and by the grace of God we all made it. 

And now we just have to decide where to go. 

Let me tell you a little story. Not about a man named Jed. 

Today I took the heathens to Norman to play at an indoor playground since it was rainy. The first place we went was closed (And we got kicked out because after I read the “closed” sign and turned to leave, another mom came and told me she didn’t know why that sign was out but they were open. So I came in. And then got kicked out. I was so ashamed. I think that lady just needed me to fade heat for her.) so we went to the mall. After the kids played we went into the Best Buy to get me a car charger for my phone because I’ve never had one and that is ridiculous and my battery was low. 

At Best Buy, the sales lady told me we were in a tornado watch. To which I said “K.” Well, in my mind I did. I actually said something like “Oh, okay! Thank you so much for letting me know!” But I was thinking “K.” Because really a tornado watch means almost nothing to me. 

So, I check the radar, see some rain and head on home. About halfway there I get a text from Spencer’s cousin telling me to watch the weather. So, I called him and he said nothing tornadic but hail and crazy wind. Okay, drama queen! Then Spencer texts me “Are yall inside?” So I call him and he tells me the same so I book it on to the house because I didn’t want to carry kids from the car to the house in a hail storm. 

I come in and turn on the weather and as soon as Jack gets all his clothes off, they start talking about a hook echo and you could see the meteorologist switch and get a little nervous. Okay, get your clothes back on, kid! Your dreams have come true and we finally get to go to the cellar! 

So I did the emergency things like switch from flip flops to shoes, grab a blanket and the emergency bag, and threw everything down the stairs. Deposited children. Grabbed a bottle and parts and shoved them in my front pocket (this is when breastfeeding is handy), turned the flashlight on and crammed it in my back pocket so I could have a light as I pulled the huge door down and tied it closed. 

It was all fun times. The kids devoured every snack in the bag because goldfish crackers taste way better underground and as I fixed Case a bottle, I realized the nipple had been lost along the way. (There’s a phrase I never thought I’d say.) I had friends and family texting me updates since I couldn’t get radar down there but my phone died before I felt like coming out. So we waited a bit until my Okie instincts said it was all clear and I ran and checked the TV and got the kids out. In all, it was about 35 minutes down there. With no toys. Now I know what the pioneers must have felt like. 

But here’s the whole point of that crazy convoluted story: God was helping me. I left Norman at the exact right time. If I had been any later, I’d have been in the car with no warning and in town where the tornados were actually touching down. We would have been fine in the end but I’d have been terrified. If we had left earlier, I would have checked the weather when I got the initial text, seen it was no biggie and put it back on Disney Jr. Then I most likely would’ve gotten the texts telling me there was already a tornado which probably would’ve caused me to traumatize the children with my spazzing out. Also, I charged my phone on my new car charger on the way so I could get messages instead of being stuck down there with no phone. Also, the tornados were all super small and nobody got hurt so that was nice. 

But Jack did have to pee in the corner. So, it wasn’t all roses. 

Husband cleaning

Husband cleaning. Here to highlight the differences between the sexes. Today I got lucky/strategically planned and got synchronized naps. (It’s a joy and a gift I don’t take for granted. Thank you, Lord.) So, since my house is always in a special state of disarray after the weekend, I have been frantically trying to straighten it. I grabbed one of my dirty shirts out of one of the numerous toy bins I’ve placed around the house (in my quest for mess containment), thinking the Baby Monster put it in there. But, underneath the shirt was a sippy cup. And Jack’s cowboy boots. And one of my flip flops. Ah. Husband cleaning. 

I’m very grateful for my husband (I literally could not dream up a better one. Thank you, Lord) and his spirit of helpfulness. But he has this overwhelming aversion to clutter (unless it’s on his nightstand) that causes him to go on straightening sprees where he, obviously, just puts anything in his path into a laundry basket (just because it’s on the floor doesn’t mean it’s dirty), toy box or trash can. So, when I clean, it’s clean. But, current circumstances being what they are, no two parts of the house are usually clean at the same time. Now with husband cleaning, everything looks very tidy at first glance. But good luck finding anything, like that favorite bra that’s been missing for two weeks or the toddler’s other shoe. 

But when you do find something, it’s probably a sippy cup of milk in the diaper drawer that’s been there a few too many days.