The Weekend They All Got Baptized

As a mom of three kids who are so close in age, there’s not much my kids don’t do together.  When they were little, because two of them have birthdays a week apart, we often did birthdays parties, together, and in this current season of our lives they are learning how to drive together, exploring colleges together, and this fall – all three will experience high school tgether.  Continue reading “The Weekend They All Got Baptized”

The Most-Hated Parenting Advice

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When I was a new mom, it seemed like everyone had advice about parenting or babies or family life. Even though it stressed me out, I listened and I gave everyone the benefit of the doubt because I knew they only wanted to help me and see me thrive as a mother.

A visit to the pediatrician with my oldest led to a discussion about sleep habits and he stopped me in my tracks and said the most important thing any doctor has ever told me.

“Whatever works for you is the best way to do it.” Continue reading “The Most-Hated Parenting Advice”

What To Do When Everything About Your Thanksgiving is Non-Traditional

stress-free-thanksgiving-ig

It’s fall y’all! My excitement in writing those words is pure excitement because here in Texas (and across most of the southern part of the United States) the weather has been unseasonably warm. We were still seeing daily highs in the 80s and 90s until very recently.

But now, it has appeared to have cooled off. First the temps dropped down to the 70s, but now we are waking up to some frost. During the day, the sun is out and the temperatures are comfortable. This is totally cool by my standards because I do not fully appreciate the value of cold weather. Translation: I hate winter. In other words, fall is my jam.

I know for a lot of us the transition to fall happened when football season and pumpkin everything began, but for me it didn’t. During the months of September, October, and most of November, I felt like I was just going through the motions; claiming to love fall but not really feeling like we were truly there yet.

And now we are celebrating Thansgiving. And immediately thereafter, we’ll be into Christmas and Hanukkah and New Year’s. This year in particular, Thanksgiving is different. This year, my family is mourning an additional loss in the death of my aunt that just doesn’t feel right. Holidays were important to her, even the holidays that we didn’t converge at her house. And for lack of a better word, it’s just weird without her being here.

The current political climate of our country is full of tension, stress, and yes, even hatred. That does not bode well for giving thanks. It’s hard, and without going into why and how and healing and such we are forced to wait and see what’s going to happen next.

In a way, we are now forced to accept a new normal, not only for celebrating the holidays, but for living. The new normal signifies change. And change can be hard. But even in the changes, there can be fun. There can be rest. There can be a time for family togetherness.  Continue reading “What To Do When Everything About Your Thanksgiving is Non-Traditional”

The Grieving Inner Artist

using art to heal grief

This post is part of a series on grief. My family recently lost someone suddenly, and as a result, we we were faced with shock, sadness, and disbelief. It’s my hope that as I process our experiences in grief here on the blog, I’m able to help any of you who may be faced with the loss of a loved one. Click here to access more resources on overcoming grief.  

The month of April has been filled with revelations for me. Many of them relate to love and family and death. For me, an important one relates to my inner artist.

I bet that’s not where you thought this was going, right?

My inner artist has always been an under-appreciated part of my life’s experiences. She’s been neglected. She’s been suppressed. She’s been ignored. She’s been told that she’s only as good as the stick figures she draws. She’s never thought she could create something worthy of hanging on her wall at home. Especially while grieving.

Special thanks to Painting With a Twist in Cedar Hill, TX for partnering with me on this much-needed project!

The day after my aunt died suddenly I was at a lost for words. I threw myself into helping my cousins with funeral preparations and getting my family prepared for travel. My aunt died on a Saturday, and the day after she died was a Sunday. I’m not sure what happens in your part of the world, but here in Texas, not much is happening on Sundays. My family in Mississippi couldn’t make arrangements, we didn’t have deadlines from the printer, and I didn’t know what information would even be needed for my job as the family obituary writer. Sunday left me at a loss for what to do, where to go, and how to process my grief.  Continue reading “The Grieving Inner Artist”