Monday, May 25, 2020

Careful & Courageous

Poppies photo by Edgar Laureano on Unsplash

As we enter week 11 of stay-at-home restrictions, our county is in reopening phase 2, so yesterday we were able to go to church in person. Saturday, our pastor posted a video walking through how things would look - single entry door, communion in stacked cups for one touch point, no more paper and pen for filling in connect cards - just digital sign in, etc. But before that, he talked about Deuteronomy 31:9 and how Moses told Joshua to be strong and courageous as the Jews finally were able to enter the promised land. And now, as things are reopening, and there's a full spectrum of response from insistence that it's too early, to uncertainty, to people partying at the Lake of the Ozarks this first weekend of summer, it's important to be careful but also courageous like Joshua. I think that's good advice. We can't keep living the way we have, but we certainly can't go back to how things were. And with there still being a lot of unknowns about this virus, we need to proceed cautiously, but we also shouldn't live in constant fear.

Careful and courageous.

It's the approach soldiers protecting our freedoms have taken, and as we honor those who sacrificed their lives today, Memorial Day, it seems fitting to keep it in mind for us as well.

Saturday, May 16, 2020


Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash
At work I'm on our Social Committee. It's been tough to keep morale up while everyone is working remotely. This week we decided to do a fun series of throwback photos - Wednesday was high school pictures. Yesterday was photos from milestones in life. Suggestions were first job, graduation, marriage, kids, etc. Of course I immediately thought of the births of the kids. Someone posted the first time they went to a Super Bowl game. I got to thinking outside of the suggested areas. What were pivotal moments in my life?

Falling off my bunk bed and breaking my nose in 1978.
Starting kindergarten in 1980.
Taking my first dance class in 1980.
Starting softball in 1981.
Taking my first ballet class in 1982.
Meeting my lifelong BFF in 1984.
Royals winning the World Series in 1985.
Witnessing the Challenger crash in 1986.
Breaking my hand in 1986.
Getting stitches in 1987.
Watching the Berlin Wall come down in 1987.
Winning 1st place at a national dance championship in Disneyland in 1988.
Becoming best friends with the rest of my HS girls in 1988.
KU winning the national championship in 1988.
Accepting Jesus as my Lord in 1989.
Going to my first concert - Bon Jovi - in 1989.
Dad having triple bypass open heart surgery in 1990.
Watching kids in my high school stage peace sit-ins opposing the Gulf War in 1990.
My first kiss in 1992.
Graduating high school in 1993.
Meeting my future husband in 1994.
Moving to Colorado for college where I knew no one in 1995.
Making a new best friend in my dorm roommate in 1995.
Pledging Theta in 1995.
Graduating college (the first in my family) in 1997.
Starting my first "real" job in 1998.
Moving into an apartment with one of my HS BFFs in 1998.
Meeting the SPC kids and moving into a duplex with 2 of them in 1999.
Stocking up on a few things for Y2K in 1999.
Celebrating a new millennium in 2000.
Going back to school and finding a career in 2000.
Witnessing 9/11 in 2001.
Traveling to Hawaii for 3 weeks with my newest BFF from work in 2003.
Being sexually assaulted in 2003.
Getting married in 2005.
Taking a family trip to visit my mom's home in Canada in 2006.
Getting to travel to China for work in 2006.
Having to put down DH's dog, Scorpio, in 2007.
S being born in 2007.
KU winning the national championship in 2008.
Barack Obama being the first African-American to win the presidential election in 2008.
Joining Facebook in 2009.
Getting vaccinated for H1N1 swine flu in 2009.
Buying our first house together in 2009.
R being born in 2009.
Starting this blog in 2009.
Totaling my car in 2010.
Opening an Etsy shop in 2011.
Getting laid off in 2012.
Having a miscarriage in 2012.
V being born in 2013.
Mom being diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2014.
Royals winning the World Series in 2015.
Finally being baptized in 2016.
Taking the kids to Disneyland in 2016.
Dad passing away in 2018.
Having surgery in 2019.
Getting our dog, Judy, 2019.
Chiefs winning the Super Bowl in 2020.
Going into quarantine due to COVID-19 coroanvirus in 2020.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Staying Connected to Loved Ones in Memory Care During COVID-19

Since the company I work for does marketing for senior living, I was able to write a post about how this is affecting me personally that they shared on their blog today. So hop on over and check it out.

Saturday, April 18, 2020


One of the highlights of the shelter-at-home order is that I have nothing on my schedule that prevents me from attending virtual happy hours with my SPC friends.

When I was working at my first job, I became friends with a girl, Red, whose sister worked at Garmin. There were some guys there who played volleyball, and since Red played in high school and was new to the area, her sister suggested she join them to meet people. Not wanting to go alone, she asked me to go with her. We had a blast and started hanging out with them and their friends.

The group grew to encompass 25-30 people from Garmin, K-State, Sprint, volleyball teams and people who were only connected through other members. Because there wasn't one factor that linked us all, a girl started referring to our group as the Social Planning Committee, or SPC for short.

We were all single and in our 20s. Many of them weren't from KC. We played volleyball a couple of nights a week, went out dancing on Saturday nights, and grilled out together Sundays. We became roommates with each other, took trips together, celebrated Thanksgiving Eve with drinks around the world at a local bar, went to concerts, and did life. We became each other's family.

As time went on, we went through weddings and divorces, miscarriages and death of parents. Some people moved away. A few new people joined the group. As our kids got older and more involved with activities, our schedules filled up. We saw each other less and less - a couple of times a year instead of a couple of times a week.

Despite those obstacles, over the last 20 years we've still managed to keep in touch. We set up a Facebook group page. We still hung out on Thanksgiving Eve and got together for birthdays when we could. But I felt a real sense of loss. I love my husband, kids, mom and sisters, but I still miss my SPC family.

Since the first week of shelter-in-place though, we've had a weekly Zoom happy hour. And it's been awesome. There've been 10-15 of us log in and chat for an hour or so. It's been a bright point in a storm, and I'm grateful for it.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

He Is Risen

Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash

A lot of my focus and posts have been on the anxiety and negativity caused by this quarantine. I've felt lonely and frustrated and stressed and irritated and tired and wanted to scream. It's created strain in my marriage, impatience in my parenting and tension at work. But there are good things. It's forced us to slow down. We used to run from activity to activity. And I do actually feel like those were good for the kids - they didn't have that many things each - but 2 activities per kid is 6 for me to shuttle them to. So not having anywhere to go on the weekends has helped me get a little more done with housekeeping (though admittedly not as much as is needed), and to have time to rest and not feel guilty. And to start to ask the question - what does God want me to learn from this?

This quarantine has been a time of seclusion and reflection for many. I've not spent as much time in  the word as I should, but I do pray about it often. It's a season of waiting. It seems as though there should be a growth of some kind. Easter was today. The resurrection. Death of the old; birth of the new. I'm praying to hear God's will for me in this time, so I can emerge from this season in alignment with Him.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Lord of the Flies

Art class color wheel assignment

School started this week. Which basically meant that the kids got away with murder because I just needed them out of my hair so I could work. It's like Lord of the Flies here. They're going to have fond memories of the quarantine. "Remember when Mom didn't have the capacity to discipline us so we got to do whatever we wanted? Good times."

The house is a mess, V did no school work (the girls were good about it), the lunch menu went out the window and they may have had pizza 3 days in a row (I think?), the dog is stir crazy, my body aches from typing in weird places because I have no office/desk and none of the tables and chairs are the right size for me, we found out that our office is planning for us to work from home through the end of May, and V got stung by a wasp - that was somehow in our house on a 30 degree day?

But my anxiety has lessened amid the chaos, so feeling grateful.

Sunday, March 29, 2020


In the gloom and doom, we're trying to find ways to have fun. Even with the rain, the dog needs to go for a walk, so when it was mostly dry, I took her and V around the block. He rode his scooter, and along the way noticed all the birds chirping. He said, "Mom! I can here that hoo-hee bird all the way at our house!" He was talking about the blue jay. So cute.

A little while later he said, "I need to pet Judy. My hands hurt from riding my scooter. (From the vibrations of the sidewalk bumps) She's soft. This is why I wanted to get a dog!" Pretty sure that wasn't your original need, but glad it's working out for you, buddy.

Side note: I haven't posted yet about getting our dog! She's a black lab mix who we rescued in September. We had planned to change her name, but V called her Judy about 500x in the first hour she was home, so there was no going back. She just turned 1 a couple of weeks ago. She chews on EVERYTHING, so she has to stay in the kitchen. (We've lost 2 dining chairs already.) She usually was in her kennel while we were at work/school, but now that we're home all the time, we leave her out, but then she whines if we're not in the kitchen with her. And she's figured out how to open the gates, so we have a bit of a struggle on work days. We need to install a fence, but are trying to be frugal right now just in case. Overall, she's great and we love having her as an addition to our family.

Speaking of our family, I haven't updated the blog Cast of Characters in a long time, so I did that today. It still said:

Our 9-year-old – spunky, contemplative and sassy.

Baby R
Our tenderhearted 7-year-old loves dancing, princesses and dreaming of ruling the free world.

Our son. He's a big boy now, and all of the highs and lows of being 3 years old.

It's funny because my dad is the only one who called V Cinco. I've updated the sidebar to say V now since that's what we use for his initials when labeling things. Crazy to think of all the things that have happened since I last changed it. 

One of those things was that the Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV. It's been FIFTY years since we've been to the Super Bowl. It was crazy and awesome and I'm still somewhat in awe that it was real. We got our new Super Bowl bags yesterday, and it was sunny and gorgeous out, though still muddy, so we played on the driveway. 

Today we participated in online church for the second week which is so awesome. If you are looking for a place/way to worship, you should check it out:

After that R was doing an assignment for her music teacher - tomorrow is when remote learning officially starts for us, but some of the teachers have been keeping in touch with activities to keep the kids busy. She was supposed to make her own music video of her singing along to a song she likes. After she finished, she asked S if she wanted to do one with her. They were so sweet together, I had to record a few seconds. The girls are in a stage where they fight a lot, but have fun together a lot, so trying to capture those moments when I can.

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