Friday, October 25, 2013

Together (five minute friday)

Here is my post for Five minute friday from Lisa Jo Baker's blog. I recommend these prompts to anyone stuck in a rut or if you just want to remember your life.


I had a feeling of ultimate togetherness this morning.  I went to get my 18 month old, William out of bed.  He was happily jumping and babbling in his bed, so eager for the opportunity of a new day.  I pulled him out and smelled his new head, though not the same smell as brand new baby, he still has the smell of a new soul.  A toddler about ready to become a little boy.  The smell of heaven and sweaty head and just that sweet baby smell.  I laid him down to change his diaper and hugged him and as I hugged him, I just couldn’t stop hugging him.  We pressed our cheeks together, left cheek on left cheek.  He began sucking his thumb and making his happy sound, “mmm, mmm, mmm”.  The one he makes when his whole world is perfect.  I found myself tearing up because the sweetness of baby is one that is so fleeting and so short.  It is that smell, that soft baby skin, that happy gurgling and babbling and the clumsy walking. That is what makes my world a happy one.  His only interests are playing trains with me, sitting with me, running, laughing and eating applesauce.  For that moment, our warm cheeks pressed together and we were alone and still, it was the ultimate feeling of togetherness and I hope I never forget it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall (five minute post)


I haven’t experienced many “real” Falls in my life. I have seen Fall leaves, but I have never lived in Fall.  I have discovered that I need Fall in my life.  There Is nothing like looking out the window to see a downpour of golden leaves, whirling towards the ground.  I can almost hear the sound of chimes as they gently move.  It is something everyone should see in their lives.  

I love knowing that we get a reprieve before the bleak winter.  Fall is a gift to us from an all knowing and all loving God.  One who knows that the stale white of Winter can certainly get old.  So before the Winter, He puts on a show for us.  A colorful show of purples, red, golds, yellows, browns.  When you rake and see the mish mash of colors in a giant pile, just begging to be jumped into, you know that there is nothing more perfect than this time.  Coming across a bright red tree, stretching so tall and wide that you when you take a picture of your 4 year old in front of it, she looks so tiny.  Then you hear her say in the back of the car, “Gold, yellow. Gold, yellow.” and you know she is naming the trees she sees.  Then you take a picture of the river with Fall trees in the background but no camera can perfectly picture the amazement that you feel.  And that is why I hope I will always have Fall in my life.

Listen (five minute post)

I have learned a lot about listening over the years. Not hearing, but listening.  They are two completely different things.  
Blake and I went on our first date on January 30, 2002.  We went to an Italian restaurant, Johnny Carinos, and talked until they closed.  Meaning, they turned the lights on and said they were closed.  We were so busy talking that we didn’t notice that we were the last ones there.  I wrote in my journal that night something like, “He really was interested in what I had to say. He really listened to me.”  And that is when I knew he was my perfect match.  
Over the years, he has continued to listen to me.  Sometimes better than others.  But on the important things, he has listened.  Like knowing, when I am about to lose my mind and needing a break.  Knowing that my secret dream is to open a bakery in a little nook of a small town and offer hot chocolate and treats and a calm atmosphere.  Knowing that I love writing and literature and my favorite poet is William Wordsworth.  Knowing that cala lilies are my favorite flower.  Knowing that I want to live in Ireland and experience that green, lush country. Knowing that our family is my number one priority.

He listens and hears and cares about what I have to think.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Laundry (five minute friday)


When I am folding the laundry, a routine and “boring” task, I come across

A baby sock, yellow with stripes

Why is this in here? This is size three months.

I don’t have any three month olds in the house anymore.

I take a smell of it.  It is so small, it is so sweet.

That baby smell remains.

When I am folding the laundry, a routine and “boring” task, I come across

Spencer’s favorite gray jacket.  

It is faded and getting too small. But don’t tell him that.

He would wear it faded, dirty and shrunk.

When I am folding the laundry, a routine and “boring” task I come across

Hailey’s jeans, the ones she wrote on in 2nd grade.

And I told her we weren’t getting rid of them and she said:

“That’s ok, I write on them when I wear them still.”

When I am folding the laundry, a routine and “boring” task, I come across

Brooke’s many pairs of underwear(s)

Because she changes them five times a day or more.

She changes them every time she goes potty.

But I am ok without because underwear(s) are a small piece of laundry.

When I am folding the laundry, a routine and “boring” task, I come across

William’s blue rag quilt that my mom made him

Before we moved to Iowa and knowing she wouldn’t meet him till he was much older.

I smell it and it has the smell of new baby, fresh, soft, real.

And I wish my kids would stay these sizes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rhythm (five minute prompt)


I was young when I read in a book that “rhythm” is the only word that has no “real” vowels. I thought that was amazing.  I have always loved words.  I have favorite words.  I love “luscious”, “wonderful”, “spectacular”, “smooshy” and many others. I do not enjoy the word “moist”. It has always grossed me out and my husband thinks that is hilarious.  I love that words put together in the right order make the most beautiful music.  That I can cry over words.  That I can become angry over words.  That I can feel excited over words.  Words can make a nation rise or fall.  Words determine how we feel about ourselves and our lives.  Words can make a person have confidence or tear them down. The power of the word is long lasting and never ending.  No matter if we have fancy clothes or houses or cars, words are the things that last forever.  I will always remember the words to the song my Grandma sang “Jack was a lonely cowboy.”  I remember my husband’s words and my kids praises. I remember any praise from my mom and mother in law.  Sadly, I remember negative words as well.  Sometimes those negative words are helpful and sometimes they are not.  But words said cannot be taken back.  Words create and break relationships.  Words are the foundation to families.  And words shared over dinner, bedtime, bathtime, playtime, while walking, while working, while hugging will be the words that shape us.  And hopefully those words will also shape future generations and they will understand the power of words.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In Between (5 minute post)

In Between

I have had issues recently with my life.  I have got stuck in the “humdrum” tasks. You know how it goes. Suddenly, you are just bored by things!  Which is not a good thing to be when you have four kids and lots to do.  And suddenly I am on a kick to get the house cleaned to pass the time because my 4 year old is driving me nutso and my 18 month old is so clingy.  And cleaning up is the only thing I can control and manage.  Because those two little ones are so wonderfully needy.  And that is their job.  And to teach me patience and empathy, but it can get so routine somedays.

My point is that in between laundry, wiping noses, making food, reading books, cleaning, hugging, blocks and puzzles, life happens.  In between the day to day “boring” tasks I need to do, life is happening.  It is in between the laundry load and the little conversation I overhear about toy cars.  It’s doing the dishes and looking down to see William banging with spoons and knowing that someday he won’t want to do that.  It’s bath time and the splashing explosion and the sudsy faces and hair and a “Santa face” on accident.  It’s the snuggling in bed and it becomes a family affair in a twin bed, where everyone is squished.  

I just don’t want to spend too much time on “tasks” that I miss the very important “in between” moments.  The ones that matter the most.

Monday, October 14, 2013



Beauty depends on what you think is beautiful.

Beauty, to me, is a wrinkle.  Or many wrinkles.  I remember looking at the hands of my grandmas and noticing the wrinkles and the stretchy, worn, smooth skin and admiring them.  Because you can truly tell a person by their hands.  You can tell if they are a gardener, a nail biter, a carpenter, or a helper.  You can tell if a manicure is a weekly occurrence.

Beauty is a wrinkle next to your eye.  When you smile, it crinkles and your eyes twinkle.  Your forehead has thought lines and you have smile lines alongside your mouth.  Wrinkles tell a story, your story.  If you smiled, if you laughed, if you had the time of your life while you had your life to live.  I celebrate wrinkles. I celebrate that you can keep your wrinkles and who cares if people know you age.  Who cares if they know you didn’t have time to put anti-wrinkle cream on your face.  If you look your age when you are 81, like my friend Jo Ott does, then you are blessed.  She looks as though she has lived a life of glory and kindness and happiness.  You can tell that she was beautiful as a young woman and that she is beautiful now, because of the life she led.  And the wrinkles tell that story.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Present (five minute prompt)


Being present is part of life.  It is a harder part of life than one would think.  Before I became a mom, I knew I would be present in every moment of my kid’s lives.  I would notice everything.  I would look them right in the eyes every time we talked.  I would watch every amazing thing they did.  However, the reality of motherhood is that there is laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, tantrums, sheer exhaustion!  It is hard to always be present.  It is hard to always want to be present.  

I don’t disappear on facebook or pinterest or anything like that really, but I daydream. I daydream sometimes when I could be more interested.  When I could be more present in what is going on in my kid’s lives.  I am not sure they would ever know that.   But I know it.  Every night, I go to bed thinking I am going to be more present.  I spend one on one with each kid every day.  I look at pictures, somersaults, puzzles, lego buildings, bike ridings. I give hugs, kisses and laugh! I guess I just want to feel more excited about them all!  And most of the time, I am pretty dang proud of my kids. I love seeing their creations and learning about them and hearing their stories and being present!  But there are times when I am not.

I know I am only human and that I do deserve to be “Heather” sometimes and not “mom”.  I wish I didn’t feel guilt over this. Someday I hope to figure out how to be present, but also have time alone without feeling guilty about it.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ordinary (five minute prompt)

Ordinary (Five minute prompt from Lisa Jo Baker)

A red radio flyer tricycle, plastic, not metal like those from my childhood.

A small girl, dark bob flying behind her

Shoulders hunched, legs circling wildly, laughter flowing

Hands grasping handles and holding tightly,

Wheel moving haphazardly, carelessly

Occasionally raising her legs into the air, screaming with laughter

At her wild and adventurous ways

“That is so cute.” an older man says one day

And smiles.  I am sure he is remembering days with his own young children.

An ordinary tricycle made extraordinary by a raven haired four year old

No inhibitions.  No pretentions.  

No knowledge of flaws or of an audience watching her.

Captivated by her free spirit and lack of concern for others impressions of her.

A cherry red tricycle, symbol of childhood and a growing girl.

One who can make an ordinary object become extraordinary.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Belong (five minute post)


Chubby fists, not quite a toddler, yet not quite big girl.  Still small enough to hold.  She turns my face to hers and whispers in my ear, “I belong with you.  You belong with me in my sweet heart.”  She nuzzles her button nose into my cheek and says, “Now say it to me, mom.”  And so, I do.  “I belong with you. You belong with me.  In my sweet heart.”  Her sweet innocence is one of her greatest qualities.  My round faced, raven haired, sweetheart.  She is a riddle and an open book.  You will know when she is angry, but still more when she is happy.  

She is young and innocent and wants to sing this song most nights and asks for it continuously in the car.  And she sings it in her own words, not the correct words, but her own words.  Which makes it all the better.  Because I know I will never regret whispering a sweet song to my Brooke and I won’t regret taking the time to let her whisper it to me.  Her little girl arms hugging my neck and spreading happiness and love to anyone who will accept it.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Broken (five minute prompt)


I use a faded, holey, torn and well worn patchwork quilt to sleep with each night.  Ever since June 15sh, 2002, when Blake and I got married.  My best friend since 4th grade’s parents gave it to us for a wedding gift.  It is blue and white with stars throughout.  It is no longer my style, but I can’t seem to let it go.  It hardly covers, definitely doesn’t warm.  In the winter, I have to use two blankets, my holey patchwork and another less important blanket.  
I have never had a blanket attachment.  My sister did and I never could understand it, but I can now.  My mother in law tried to convince me to get rid of it when she came to visit and saw it’s condition, but I stood up for myself and for the broken blanket.  I couldn’t let it go.  It was the smell, the feel, the worn blanket I had slept with for 11 years.  I had grown accustomed to it.  Then my husband tried to convince me to get rid of it.  “Every time you move, it rips.  I wake up at night to a ripping blanket.”  But I still can’t do it.  It’s my security blanket, if you will.  

Now, Hailey has grown attached to it as well.  I was going through things in her room and found a piece of the patchwork.  I was bout to throw it in the garbage, when she grabbed it and said she slept with it at night.  I will hang on to this blanket until there is nothing left to it.  It will shrivel and shrink to a size that might not even be useable anymore, but I am using it and that is all the matters.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Write (5 minute Friday)

This is my prompt from Lisa Jo Baker.  Write.


Writing makes me a person.  My world is constantly constant, meaning I have four small children and one great husband, but I am a very needed person.  I am rushing and running and doing and cleaning and washing, like so many others out there.  I am frazzled, exhausted, frustrated, happy, excited, and so many more emotions.  

But when I am writing, I am an idea or a thought.  I have duties beyond the day to day.  I have  duty to share what I think and feel.  I have a still mind, spewing out words quicker than I can write them.  My mind clears and I understand myself.  My emotions are allowed to come out without consequence, without stopping.  I am not cluttered.  I asked a friend what he thought of my writing and he said, “You seem still.”  

I have been writing for years, since college and before that.  It has always been a place of tranquility and peace for me.  A place to commune with myself and with my Heavenly Father.  A place where I can say what I need to, without judgment, without anger, without retribution.  It is a safe and happy place.  It is a peaceful place.  One I enjoy going to.

Lonely (take 2)

Lonely (take 2)

I originally wrote my five minute prompt on “lonely” here, but when I got to the end, I realized that I had found my truly loneliest time in life, so going to write that now.  Although, it is hard to write about this!  So many emotions and feelings and really, a very sad, yet growing time in life for me.  I have always wanted to write about it, but am overwhelmed with it all. This post might make Blake look like a bum, but he was so great and very involved and this was all part of my growing experience. Here we go.

Waiting in a hospital room with my new baby, William, happy and healthy and a wonderful blessing.  Blake is nearby, resting, but who can rest with a new baby to love?  

I look out the window, a rainy gray day in Iowa.  I don’t even know where I am really.  I have only lived in Iowa for two weeks.  We went to the wrong hospital for the delivery! I couldn't find my way home if I tried. Yet, we found our way and here we are.  

No regular traditions this time.  No grandparents with a birthday cake for the new baby.  No friends to come meet him.  Texting and calling just isn't the same.  No In N Out, a tradition we started in Las Vegas, when I was so starving after delivering that I could eat a whole meal AND the chocolate shake. Nobody to share this new spirit with.

The rain is sad.  The moment is a bit tainted by loneliness and I cry.  I usually cry because of the joy of the baby, the fear of the baby, the excitement and feeling of success!  But this time, it is a pitiful cry of loneliness and wondering, how am I going to do this?  How am I so alone in the stark, sterile hospital.  

Yet, I know I am not alone.  I have never felt so carried in my life.  Never have I felt the presence of Heavenly Father guiding me so much, carrying me, guarding me.  I am lifted and honestly carried.  Given the strength to do this hard thing.  And knowing, but not knowing that I am doing this.  I am doing a very scary thing for me.  But I am not doing it alone.  Without my God, I would surely be alone.

And this is my lesson, I am supposed to feel this loneliness so I will know that I am not alone. I have never felt true loneliness, because I have always had my Heavenly Father to help me.  And He, who created my spirit, knows me perfectly and knows just how to calm me and help me to grow.  Growth, a painful state, but necessary to reach full potential.  And I am grateful for that time, because without it, I wouldn’t know my own strength or the strength of my God.

Story (5 minute prompt)


My first story and one I love the most is one of

friendship, shared by two young girls

in the depths of fear, in the depths of trust.

A short story, around 100 pages

yet, so much information fills those pages.

Reread so many times and opened a door for me,

A door that could not be closed.

Learning about the Holocaust and first feeling:

How could something like this happen?

Then feeling:

The triumph of the human spirit.

The saviors, the rescuers, the risk takers

And the believers.  

Those who helped out of love, not out of glory.

Those who helped because they knew it was the

right thing.  Then I wonder: What would I do?

Would I help or ignore or pretend?

Would I put my safety on the line knowing,

Knowing that my life could be at stake

Knowing that my family’s life could be at stake.

Knowing that this story must continue to be shared.
To avoid repetition.  To avoid closed minds.  

To share it with my 8 year old daughter, but thinking

I don’t want this ugly world to taint her mind.

But knowing that sometimes ugly things have to be told

To help the world to heal, to help the soul to rise up.

To teach my children to think:

What would I do? Would I help or hide?

And what kind of legacy will I leave?

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lonely (five minute prompt)


Lonely is standing alone in 7th grade because your two friends are gone from school.  7th grade was a lonely year.

Lonely is a heartless 2nd grade boy (who will remain nameless) reading aloud a love letter you wrote him for Valentine’s Day to the whole class.

Lonely is finding out that the boy  you really liked asked a different girl to a school dance.  And because he is your friend, he gives you a picture of him and the girl at the dance.

Lonely is being completely surrounded by upset children.  You are never alone, yet you feel very alone sometimes.

Lonely is hearing about a party that your kids weren’t invited to but everyone else was.

Lonely is showing up at a playgroup in a new area, but nobody knows you, so nobody talks to you.

Lonely is looking out at the rain of the hospital window with your newborn baby, 24 hours away from any family.  And knowing that nobody will be coming to see the new baby at the hospital.

Lonely is recognizing who you are and what you are about.  That you are a strong and independent person.  That you realize that you don’t need anyone else’s approval or other people to hold you up.  Lonely teaches you that you will never make those same mistakes that have made to make you feel so alone.  Lonely equals strength.


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