Monday, June 28, 2010


This post is inspired by my dear mother. When we were young and would inevitably say those whiny words that are fingernails on a chalkboard to a mother, "I'm bo-red!" my mother would stop her task, raise her eyebrows and say, "I'm so glad to hear that because I have things for you to do."

A few window washes, car vacuums, or toilet scrubbings later we would vow to never say "I'm bored" within earshot again. Ironically, it taught me that if I'm listless or have completed my regular tasks I should start a project, clean something, or invest time into whoever is sitting in the kitchen.

I am observing that perhaps other people's mothers weren't so wise. I say this because in the last month or so I have heard a handful of mothers say "I'm bo-red". The first time I heard it I stopped in my tracks. The second time I thought, "That's strange." The third time I saw it broadcasted on facebook.
I am miffed.
How can you be a mother and be bored?

It's a good thing my grandma didn't hear them say that. My Grandma is a different level of a work-hard mom. Her spring cleaning involved removing every item from every drawer. She initially washed things by hand (and I complain about the pile in my living room after an automatic washer and dryer completed it within an hour?! I should be embarrassed!). My Grandma canned her own vegetables from her own large garden, made her own applesauce, and made 3 hot family meals a day because Grandpa was a rancher who needed lunch for himself and his ranch hands. Of course in between meals there was a pie in the oven, bread cooking, or fresh cookies for coffee time. She pressed clothes for all 6 members of the family every week (uh...doesn't 10 min. in the dryer cut it?). Quick trip to Wal-Mart? Yeah right, she sewed the holes in the clothes, people. She ran tractors, helped with calving, raised 4 kids, did all the yard work/house chores/bill paying because farming took all of my grandpa's time. And she did it while looking great. I, in fact, have 2 friends (they shall remain nameless) who have crushes on her because they've seen her "younger-year" photographs. She did it all. I don't think my Grandma has any idea what "bored" even means.

I'm not even going to speculate what "bored" would have meant to my Beppe when she was a missionary in Nigeria with 4 and 5 small children; mentoring natives, caring and supporting a husband who battled malaria and poured his life into the natives there.

After contemplating bored moms I thought "Maybe as a mom in my generation being bored is justifiable. After all, we do have 5-minute recipes, close grocery stores, appliances, and far less kids than generations past. Maybe moms today really don't have enough to do." We really are wimps. Over-committed, over-scheduled, probably over-primped, over-indulged... wimps. I mean, let's be honest. Most of us don't have to stress about frost that will take our crops which will in turn take our livelihood. Most of us stress about the matching Easter dresses we want for our daughters.
We are so used to having our events scheduled, and our work/school micromanaged that we have a hard time when no one is instructing us or structuring our time for us. We lack work ethic and discipline, an ability to self-start, the desire to truly train up our children (We honestly leave it entirely up to public education? Eesh.). We aren't researching health options for our kids, providing healthy meals at home, playing, teaching, deep cleaning or maintaining what we could replace down the road. I suppose cutting those corners has allowed for more time on our hands.

But no matter how hard I try I just can't imagine being a bored mom. I don't know how it happens. My problem is the opposite. I sail through a room with laundry basket in hand and see 10 things to do as I go.New handprints to wash on the window... should have Darla practice reading aloud with that book... argh, still haven't returned that e the coffee pot still on? Not to mention my children beckoning for band-aids, help with legos, and "Mom is it snack time yet?!"

By the time I have a cleaning day, a running errands/grocery day, a paying bills/paperwork day, an outside/weed garden/clean up/wash windows day, a Bible study/ministry/see a friend or sister's time to have another cleaning day! Of course laundry, meals, reading to kids, baths, squeezing in my own quiet time and workouts are daily tasks.

However, if I ever wake up and think "Huh. What should I do today?" I have decided to make a list. My mother will be happy. I am prepared for the occasion that I may plop down on the couch at a time other than 9pm and say, "I'm bo-red." If that day happens I just might:

* sand and paint the picnic table
* have Logan Gage make me a reading list and actually read my way through it
* work on letters and numbers with Hudson (even if I'm not bored this needs to get done.)
* organize my laundry room
* more family bike rides
* fix the wallpaper border in Everett's room
* have coffee with any of the people on my list that I haven't had time for since moving back to Lynden (there's at least 12 people on this list and yes, if you are reading this and have wondered why I haven't called you back- you're on the list).
* paint my nails
* clip coupons
* sit in a lawn chair and take out the crows and squirrels that are nabbing my cherries
* do some science projects with the kids (there are some really cool things you can blow up in the name of science).
* Write love notes to my husband
* balance the checkbook on time instead of the next month
* sew the stack of ripped stuffed animals that Darla has been patiently waiting for

I also asked my family what they would do if they were bored. Here are their lists:
* projects!
* read
* lay in the grass and stare at the blue grass through the a stream, even better,
* learn an instrument
* build a fort for my kids

Darla's ideas:
* Play barbies
* Sit and talk to Jesus, like I do if I have a time out.
* Write (ahh yes, this tops my list, too.)
* Make a list of things to do (oh, a woman after my own heart! Is this my daughter or what!?)

Hudson's ideas:
* Swords
* Play polly pockets with Darla
* Watch movies
* do nothing

Everett's idea:
* Daddy! (Me: play with Daddy? Everett: "Yeah.")

If boredom ever threatens the Taylor family...we are prepared.

Friday, June 25, 2010

5 Hopes for Shilo's 40th Birthday

Guest Blogger: Sean Taylor aka. S

Now I know I am a decade early and for some people this kind of title could get me in serious trouble, however, my wife was quoted a few years ago as saying, "my thirties will be my best decade yet." Therefore in anticipation of the coming ten-year, I hope to forecast a few highlights from the decade yet to come. So sit back and enjoy 5 predictions from the future:

1. Great Adventures of the Amazing Taylor 7. Here we are sitting around our kitchen table in our, cottage white, kitchen reminiscing on family vacations while looking at photos on our iPad 9.0. Darla is 15, Hudson 14, Everett 12, and two more kids 10 and 11 respectively. We remember the family trips to Montana, visiting Grandad at Longbeach, Aunt Megan's wedding, the adoption of the additional Taylor kids, bike ride trips, that one year where I didn't have a job for a long time, sunny days laying the yard telling funny stories, and all the trouble the kids got into playing with their cousins.

2. Bodies for Life. I picture Shilo coming in from our bonus room gym sweat glistening on her slightly tan skin and hearing her look into a mirror and say, "Dang this is the best I have ever looked." Now let us leave the rest of the imagining of glistening sweat covered skin to me, and btw did I mention, in this future, I have the body of a mythical Greek-god.

3. A Well Balanced Check Book Now this would truly be a miracle from the Lord, but I can see Shilo sitting at her desk with furrowed brow, pen gritted between her teeth wondering how all the numbers could add up and there be extra just sitting there in the bank. I believe they call it "savings". Bills paid, checkbook balanced, and all expenses accounted for. Yes, it will be glorious. (she smiles just reading this prediction)

4. A Present Husband Now this is where I have lacked in the first ten years, but here we sit, decaf coffee and angel food cake with strawberries between us. A vibrant conversation about life's happenings, the books we read, the plans we make while we play some scrabble and I kick her butt for the twentieth consecutive year. We reminisce about the anniversary to come and all the evenings for the past decade spent just like this (minus the angel food cake every time, in reference to reason "2").

5. A Healed Heart We know pain, my wife and I. My pain is mostly from life-circumstances, Shilo's however is usually caused by others, myself included. This prediction stems from a hope much deeper than my ability to make it happen. But may the Repairer of the Breach restore her heart. My hope for Shilo is that trust will be restored, her heart would be filled, and her hope renewed. My hope for her is not a painless future but a present God. That he would always be near her and she would hear his voice in the stillness, comforted in the shadow of His wing. To see my wife function from the abundant love of God is something I have long taken for granted and now I am consumed with prayers for this to return to her fully.

So Happy Birthday Shilo Danielle may this be the first day of the best decade you have ever known. I am glad to be your partner, friend, love, in this endeavor and I love you deeply and choose you every day.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

48 hours from 30

The day after tomorrow I turn 30. I had someone say "Wow. Almost 30. How does that feel?" as though they expect me to crumble in a pile of wrinkles before their eyes. I've also heard people talk about leaving their 20s as though the party is officially over.

First of all, 30 is not old! It's my Beppe's birthday today and I believe she is 81. In her last couple years she has traveled much (including a trip to the Netherlands). She learned photoshop, she is currently growing her vegetables and working on projects. She facebooks and e-mails her grandkids and has embarked on adventures to visit us all with her husband of 60 years. She has 50 years on me and has partied it up more than I have this year! Sure, her joints ache more than mine and she probably wouldn't be excited about getting up with small children in the middle of the night, but she doesn't sit around lamenting about growing old.

My other Grandma had hip surgery this month. She had surgery on that hip 20 some years ago and when they told her it would need another replacement when she was in her 80s she figured she'd probably be gone by then anyway. Well, surprise. She's the hottest widow in Churchill, MT (seriously these poor gentlemen would love to score a date with her but she is downright picky!) and she's gritting her teeth, healing from a hip surgery at age 82. If these women can be this gracious in their 80s, how could I ever talk about 30 like it's any kind of "old"?

Secondly, there are plenty of things I detest about our culture but at the top of the list is the idea that getting old is unappealing and depressing. Obviously the choices we make are impossible to ignore as we get older. In your early 20s it's hard to tell the difference between the girl who eats healthy, exercises, and has healthy priorities versus the girl who drinks too much, sleeps around, and makes self-serving choices. See the same girls 40 years later and it's quite obvious. Laugh lines look nothing like lines of alcoholism in a face.

We have been reading through some Proverbs as a family and it makes me excited to grow old as we discuss the beauty of the Lord's wisdom as it grows in our hearts. Every year of my life I gain a little more of His discernment, a little more understanding of His character (and a few laugh lines...proud of those). It grieves me that our culture values sexy and perky over wisdom and experience. Shouldn't a marriage of 60 years be sexier than hormonal teenagers anyway?
All of these thoughts were what led me to tell S. last year at this time, "I can't WAIT to be 30. The 30s are going to be the best years of my life. I'm going to rock the 30s. The energy and excitement of my 30s is going to catapult me into my 40s! Before I know it I'll be cultivating my tomato plants and visiting my great-grandkids in my 80s. I love getting older!"

I cringe slightly now at my bold proclamation because this year at 29 has been the hardest year of my life. Not quite the precursor I was hoping for. I'm understanding a little more Solomon's words "For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow". Ecclesiastes 1:18

I am still resolving that my 30s will be my best decade thus far: not because I'm going to have my act together (I seem to get further away from that as I go), not because I will look a-mazing (my body was stretched out 3 times in 4 years), not because I have awesome plans (every plan is thwarted, changed, or on an altar at present time).
My 30s will be my best decade thus far because I am still holding fast to Christ. He is not content with my present state and is speaking to me about sweeter things He wants to establish. I would love it to involve defined biceps, thriving children, a healthy husband, and a savings account. But even if it only involves deep dependance on my Lord, a softer heart, and a listening ear... it will be gain.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A fun-packed weekend

The fun began on Friday night with my brother-in-law Lance's graduation from Fire Academy.
We left the house in a hurry: all 3 children were crying (okay, screaming bloody murder) and Megan was attempting to calm them since she was going to be baby-sitting for the evening. We hurried to the ceremony. 10 min. in, S. looked down and realized he was still wearing his slippers! Needless to say, I had out of control giggles for most of the ceremony.

So proud of Lance- not only did he graduate from a ridiculously hard program, he won a leadership award in the process.
Also incredibly proud of my sister who juggled her own work, 3 young children, and preparing travel to Ethiopia while Lance worked full-time and completed Fire Academy.
And apparently side pony-tails are a turn on. Who knew?
...and my personal favorite of my handsome his house slippers.
Saturday morning we went with our wonderful neighbors to catch some fish. (Pictured are Julianne and Sara: the best neighbors in the world).
Kyle helped Darla catch her first fish and is now her hero. She loved the idea of fishing. She hated the way fish wiggle when they pop out of the water.
Hudson was beyond giddy. This is the moment where we said, "You got something! Reel it in!"
Hudson caught 3 fish and talked about little else for the rest of the weekend.
Everett felt quite left out so we had some fun play time (which I prefer over retrieving hooks from fish mouths anyway).

Hudson won a brand new fishing pole for second largest fish.
Our catch: Hudson caught 3 and Darla caught 2
That night Hudson managed to fall of his bike and fall onto another bike- hitting his head on the bar. This picture does not even do justice to the size of the goose egg he sported.
Yes, we caved and spent too much money on a tractor pinata for our boy.
...and we caved and got him the guns he wanted. We realized immediately that we'd have to set up some ground rules for the new toys!
And the topper for our weekend-o-fun: cupcakes with strawberries. Ahhh.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hudson is 4!

Hudson at four can be summed up by his birthday list. He wants swords, guns, a bigger drum set, a tractor pinata, and a battery powered tow-truck so that when cousin Pearl's battery powered Jeep runs out of battery, he can hook her up to his tow-truck and bring her home.

Hudson's determination is paying off. He has been working hard to pronounce "f". If you've ever heard Hudson you know the only consonant he consistently uses is "d". When he said "fresh" today he wrinkled his nose a little but then said it perfectly. Also this week Hudson figured out how to start pedaling on his 2-wheeler without a boost from us. He has been outside constantly, not fazed by knees full of scrapes and bruises.

I am constantly amazed that while Darla steps back at anything scary or menacing, Hudson's instinct is to step forward in confrontation and complete confidence in his own abilities. He absolutely believes he can run the weed eater without Sean's help.
He decided to "fix" Everett's bed and managed to sneak some screws and tools from the garage (pretend tools are no longer good enough).
When we set a mousetrap in the kitchen he was thrilled that we caught one. He is my official "trap checker". (I pretend I'm letting him as a privilege but really I'm just squeamish.)
This week I ran/jumped/soared into Everett's room when Hudson yelled to me, "Everett pooped! It's ok, Mom. I can change his diaper. I know how." Whoa! I intervened right before I had 2 boys, 1 dirty diaper, and new carpet all mushed together.

The favorite movie of the month at our house is Disney's Robin Hood. Hudson has asked to only wear green and brown like Robin Hood and has mastered the bow and arrow, to my surprise and Darla's terror.

This little man (okay, not so little. When I tell people his age I brace myself for the surprised looks.) intrigues me. I can't keep from squeezing him; his Veltkamp eyes, his endearing dimples, his missing tooth. I think by nature he is more reserved but being part of this family has made him social. I keep reminding him to tell me before he spontaneously visits neighbors. He is deeply sensitive but tends to internalize his hurts- or act goofy or aggressive to mask them. He struggles to articulate some of his thoughts but when he's excited I can hear him on the other side of the house expressively shouting, "Thank you, Lord!"

I'm excited for this next year in Hudson's life. I pray for God to give S. and I discernment as we parent him, particularly because he is not like either of us. I pray that we will be sensitive to his unique blend of personality, gifts and interests as we help him discover who he is in Christ. I often feel compelled to pray for him as a defender of the defenseless. I don't quite know why or what that looks like but I know there's a reason it's on my heart.

Today we celebrate our four year old Hudson Aaron & thank God that he is exactly what we need in an oldest son~

Friday, June 11, 2010

1-2-3. Eyes on me.

As I was getting the kids ready to get out the door and into the car (which often feels like herding cats) I heard Darla attempting to help. "Everett? Everett! 1-2-3, eyes on me. 1-2-3, eyes on me, Everett."
My eyes widened at the perfect little teacher voice I heard come out of my 5 year old. To be clear, I have never said "1-2-3, eyes on me" to any of my children. Apparently this is something she picked up from Sunday School.

I have been praying for my responsible oldest daughter because I know the weight she is putting on herself as a pre-schooler. I saw it when she drug Everett home from the neighbors by his t-shirt, refusing to let him suffer the consequences of disobedience. I saw it when she tried to ask Jesus into Hudson's heart for him because he didn't feel it was as pressing as she did. I heard it when a neighbor commented, "She sure does take care of her brothers, doesn't she?"
As the mom I am torn. Part of me loves having a mini-me to help keep the family in line. The wiser part of me knows that it's not healthy for her to carry everyone's burden or to believe that it's up to her to fix everything and everyone.

The wiser part of me has learned from experience. She's not the only person in this family who tried to control two little brothers...right down to their salvation. I spent many years trying to boss around my siblings. I would have told you "I know they aren't my responsibility" but how I felt was something else, entirely. I agonized over their choices and fretted when my sister dated guys I didn't approve of. I was convinced that if I said the right thing the right way they would have to receive it and change their lives.

My wake up moment came from my wise Aunt Nancy. I was lamenting to her when my brothers were running around the world breaking their big sister's bossy heart. They were teenagers and I was technically an 'adult'. I was hurt that my attempts at relationship and truth speaking were ignored or resulting in confrontation.
Aunt Nancy said simply, "Shilo, do only what God has asked you to do. If God tells you to bake them cookies and drop them by the drug it. If He gives you Scripture to give them, do it. But don't do anything that He doesn't lead you to. Then their response is not your responsibility. You can say, 'I did it out of obedience to God, not for an expected response'."

Really? That easy? Everything controlling in my body stood on end during our conversation. I stewed on it, prayed on it, and ultimately started surrendering my need to "fix" my brothers. I began asking God to compel me instead of my own good intentions. Not to say my heart wasn't broken. I just recognized that God is able to take care of his children and I needed to let Him, whether it involved me or not.

The amazing thing is... the Lord managed to grip both of their hearts without my input. I think my role was supposed to be a lot less preaching and a lot more praying. Oops.

Poor Darla truly has the odds against her because not only is she an oldest child, but both of her parents are oldest children.
When I met S. he was counseling people out of his dorm room and often putting off homework because of someone's personal crisis. His mom had died the year prior and his desire to be at home to "fix" his family was a constant battle as he finished school.
His open door policy in the dorm became our open door policy at our one bedroom apartment as newlyweds. Soon we were immersed in youth ministry where the need is high and emergencies are commonplace.
S. would say, "I know they don't need me. I know I'm not responsible for them." Oh, but it's hard to see straight when texts come in during the middle of the night. And how much more dangerous the trap when someone literally says, "I need you." (and even scarier if you've ever believed such a statement!) When you are surrounded by many people who have sincere, severe needs and are desperate to unload them, it fast becomes cloudy. If we forget to ask, "Lord, what are you calling me to in this situation?" our default response becomes, "I can fix it!" We then are overwhelmed when we can't adequately meet other's expectations. We find ourselves in boundary-less, unhealthy relationships and pretty soon are having anxiety attacks and passing out in the bathroom (can you tell we've been there?).

There is so much freedom knowing the Lord doesn't need me. He is quite capable of doing His work whether I am cooperative or not. That being said, it brings me exhilaration, joy, and gives me understanding of His character when I get to be part of His work. Therefore instead of running around like a chicken with her head cut off trying to fix everyone's messes, I am learning to ask and be intentional about the opportunities He puts in front of me.

A few years ago S. and I both felt clearly that God was telling us to ask S.'s sister Megan to live with us. She had rough years behind her and we weren't certain she was ready to change. Yet, we wanted to obey and we knew it was the Lord. Megan moved in and we got to be a small piece of her story; filled with redemption, beauty, restoration, and an authentic relationship with Christ. Our time with her was not filled with attempts to "fix" her or pick up the pieces of her life. Our time was spent letting the Lord work and being available to share Truth, to ask hard questions, to simply be a haven for her to rest. Sometimes the Lord brought hard things to my mind to talk to Megan about and sometimes He called me to pop popcorn, watch American Idol and just enjoy being sisters. Aunt Nancy was right! I experienced freedom and Megan became one of my best friends.
My prayer for Darla is not that she would be more responsible or less responsible for her brothers. My prayer is that she will learn (& that we will model!) to encourage, serve, and speak truth in love while understanding that ultimately her brothers are accountable to their parents and God... and very little of that has to do with a bossy sister.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Big Oak

I am slightly tentative yet also excited, relieved, and hopeful to share that S. is employed! The tentative part comes because we are still working out the numbers, but our main investor assured S. this morning that we "will make this happen".

A few years ago S. started a ministry called "Big Oak". The name comes from his favorite passage in Isaiah that I shared in a previous post. Isaiah 61 tells of what Christ does; binds the brokenhearted, proclaims freedom for the captives, comforts those who mourn... and in verse 3, "They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor".

There is much we could share about the aspects and projects involved in Big Oak but to give you brief understanding, the goals are: 1. To create teaching & discipleship materials that are biblically sound and culturally relevant (includes a devotional for students that we wrote together and are preparing to market). 2. Communicate Gospel Truth through S.'s speaking engagements; church services, retreats, conferences. 3. Consult leaders in growth principles for a sustainable impact in youth ministry. 4. Cooperate with local ministries in outreach events and conferences (includes leadership & gifts training).

Big Oak was something we knew we had to let die in January when we laid all of our dreams and ideas out on the altar. In pursuing other jobs, it has not even been on our radar.
However, in the last couple months it kept surfacing without us bringing it up.

In May S. mentioned to me a certain individual he wanted to meet with. He said, "I don't know him well but I think he might have some connections and ideas for a job."
The next day we were going to get take-out from a restaurant. We drove up and spontaneously decided to eat inside instead. As we got settled S. realized that individual was at a booth near us. They talked briefly and the man said, "Come by my office sometime this week."

S. did and the man asked him "What do you want to do?" S. said that he really just needed a job but the man said, "I'm not interested in just a job for you. What is your vision?"
S. ended up sharing his vision for Big Oak and the man told him to make a business plan.

We talked about it and decided we might as well work toward something. Everything else was a dead end. S. learned everything he could about business planning. As he started working, he kept running into people who wanted to know more about Big Oak... which turned into meetings with potential investors... which turned into more ideas, connections, and money. Suddenly the very idea that S. surrendered and walked away from was back on the table.

This morning S. met with the individual who got him started. He told S. that he will be annually contributing to Big Oak so that it can be full time for us. The details have not been worked out but it will be enough for us to take a salary and jump in!

It's been so interesting to watch this unfold. I have watched God answer protests I have had to doing Big Oak full time. Funding was the biggest hurdle and He is answering that beyond our expectation. S. has grown immensely in priorities, time management, and discipline in the last five months. That alone has squelched half a dozen "buts" from me.

Much is still unknown but what is known is God's faithfulness to us and our family. We know that we are together in this next adventure. We are both excited, both dreaming, and both hoping for a really cool office that S. discovered last week! We know that for the time being we can call Lynden home. We know we are abundantly blessed by those of you who have been committed to holding us up in prayer, sending us encouragement, and loving us through a turbulent season.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

About to get our world rocked

One year ago this month my sister Jasmine felt compelled to begin the adoption process while sitting in a Sunday church service. Sure that her own mother emotions were being stirred and wondering if it might have to do with recent miscarriages, she asked the Lord to tell her husband Lance the same thing if it was truly supposed to be.
One week later to the day Lance said, "I think we need to look into adopting."

They did. And like everything that Lance & Jazz do, they went at it full force (somehow over-acheiving and excelling even in this).
I could fill up pages of the amazing things that have come to pass through the process; from funding, to the process itself, to the way Ethiopia has been changing adoption laws which hurried along placing these boys with them.

On Monday Gage Moses Tafesse (age 4) and Jude Harrison Abush (age 2) became legally my nephews. We are now waiting to hear about an embassy date which will determine when Lance and Jasmine can go to Ethiopia to pick them up and bring them home.

Their siblings, Pearl (age 5), Eve (age 4) and James (age 2) are counting down the days and spend much time staring at their pictures and picking out toys for them. Jasmine just got a rocking chair recovered because you see by one look at these little faces that they are going to need a lot of snuggling. (Not just because they need it but because who could see these faces and NOT smother them?!)

Gage Moses

Jude Harrison

This brings the count to 12 kids on the Tadema side... all of them from 2-5 yrs old. Par-tay!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Muddy Buddies

I was feeling quite productive last week as I deep cleaned the house. Then I discovered what my children were up to while I was scrubbing inside...
(Note the mud smears on the side of the house.)
The best part of this was our good friend (& fantastic photographer) Mark French was over meeting with S. He pulled out his camera to capture a few moments & made the mess look somehow beautiful.

Obviously I wasn't going to let them come in my newly clean house so outside baths it was!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gone Fishin'

The beginning of a new month, a new week, new hope on the horizon... ?

Last week S. found out he did not get the job with an investment company he interviewed 3 times with. We were at peace with letting it go and hopeful that something else might be around the corner. ("The corner" being this week.)

He was prepared for a meeting today that could mean big things for some dreams. How fitting to have a significant meeting on the first day of June as we kick off our fifth month of "what the heck are we doing with our lives". We woke up and had coffee & our own quiet time before the kids were up. Over breakfast I tried not to over talk about the building hope in what this month might bring.

As I started on my big to-do list and S. got ready for his meeting, he got a call saying the meeting was cancelled until tomorrow. Normally not a big deal but when you spend five months feeling constantly let down... there comes a point when even 24 hours feels completely overwhelming.

"I'm going fishing. Hudson, want to come fishing?"

The big birthday present for S. this year was a pole & license because he has wanted to take up fishing with Hudson. As Hudson excitedly jumped did everyone else. Everett threw his blanket on the ground, grabbed his "fire boots" and said, "Bye Mommy. Bye Mommy."

What was intended for S. to have a couple hours to clear his head turned into a full on family event. I ditched my list (& the guilt that accompanies throwing a day out the window... I am getting used to this!) We packed a lunch and headed out.
The van wouldn't start.
After a quick prayer & a few tries we got it going and called the mechanic to get it in tomorrow. Determined, we ventured on.
We got to the lake and for whatever reason, the new fishing pole wasn't working properly.

After too much time and frustration, S. put his own pole down and we all fished using Hudson's Toy Story themed fishing pole.
While waiting for her turn, Darla fished with her hands.

(Yes, I can have coffee time anywhere.)

At the end of our morning all 3 kids had removed their pants and were splashing in the cold lake water. It was sprinkling off and on, windy, and not quiet or peaceful. S. and I sat watching without words. I noticed he had a funny smile/smirk/I-could-laugh-cry-or-punch-a-wall look on his face.
"Are you thinking about what a screwed up and yet slightly charming life you have?"
Now he did laugh. "That sums it up perfectly."

*No, we didn't catch anything. But we decided on the drive home that catching a fish would have been in direct contradiction with the rest of our lives. It was fitting and appropriate to come home with three wet children & no fish.