Wednesday, August 23, 2017

18 U.S.C. 1702 - Obstruction of correspondence

"Tell your husband to keep coming up with things for you to write about," the man in front of me in line at our tiny hometown Dollar General said, as he grabbed his receipt and headed for the door. 

"Oh, it's not a problem," I told him. "I thought Cody was to be in northern California for five days, but today I got a snapchat of a sign that read, Welcome to Reno! I'm not sure what state he's in, but I know it's a different time zone."

The man laughed as he put the receipt in his pocket and headed for his truck. He probably thought I was joking. 

When I got to my car I searched for Reno on the map; it's not far from northern California. I've been there twice, you'd think I'd know this. The guy likely thought I was wacky and strung out on mashed peas and barn fly spray. Stranger things have happened.

I drove home from daycare thinking about the man's comment and why I haven't sat down to write in three weeks. 

I'd like to file a claim:

18 U.S.C. 1702 - Obstruction of correspondence
As follows:

One day Caroline brought me a finger nail - that didn't belong to a human (so is that a claw??) from under the clothes line. I blacked out for three hours. 

One evening I spent my time researching ways to soften toddler stools. The next evening I picked pears, tomatoes and apples from our yard and garden. The next evening was spent researching poisonous insects and invisible funguses that might live on pears, tomatoes and apples from our yard and garden. 

One evening was spent opening and closing the door that shuts off our stairway to the second floor.  Each time I did it, I caught a strange whiff of something that made me uneasy. Thirty-seven swings into the investigation, I realized it smelled like the AXE body spray the guy that remodeled our upstairs (four years ago) wore during that time. It made me wonder if he insulated our upstairs with AXE rather than actual insulation...?

One morning - before 6:00 AM - was spent scrolling through 497 birthday greetings on Facebook. If you want to begin a week well, begin it this way. 

One evening was spent reading through the agenda for the ladies' retreat I'm about to embark upon. The following hour was spent googling and shopping for "what ladies wear to go kayaking".  Then paying $18 extra to have it here by Saturday. 

Four evenings/afternoons were spent baking peach pies for a cookout, a birthday party or an ill neighbor. I estimate I only consumed 3/4 lb. raw dough during this time. 

One evening was spent sending Cody photos of this frog trapped in our living room window while he sent me photos of this:

Doesn't seem fair, does it? 
I could touch my subject while sitting in our living room. 
And he couldn't. 

The obstruction of correspondence in the last three weeks has little (or nothing) to do with breaking into mailboxes or bribing a postal carrier. I guess if I had time to put in that kind of effort, I would have written every day for the last three weeks. Instead, my obstruction of correspondence has more to do with navigating a season of life where there is very little sitting down and composing my thoughts, but rather living day-by-day (or hour-by-hour?) off a to-do list that requires attention and action. And lots of oatmeal kisses

At what age do we quit feeling like we're operating in survival mode? 
I hope you responded with "33". 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


When you realize how little time you get, 
you do more with the time you have. 

Beside a layer of dust, relics of our late (incredibly admirable) granddads and an ancient photo of our homestead, there is a jar of rocks sitting on a side table in our living room. 

Frankly, I don't pay much attention to the jar, until I hear Caroline moving it around and then I move quickly. A jar of that size and weight could surely hurt a girl so small. 

But when Caroline's activity forces me over to that area of our home,  the jar - and all that it represents - tends to hit me square on the chin. 

You guys. I need stitches.

The glass jar is filled with 936 rocks.

936 rocks represent the number of weekends you have with your child before they go to college. 
Our church gave us this jar and asked us to remove a stone each weekend, so that we can recognize the number of weekends we have left to teach and guide our daughter before she frequents a space where we aren't always around.

When you realize how little time you get, 
you do more with the time you have. 

I thank you for reading this blog right now.  Sincerely
You are supporting me in more ways than you know. 

But I want you to put down your phone, close your iPad or shut down your computer and look around you. 

(but not until you read this next part!!)

Time is so limited. 
Time is so, so, so, so, so limited. 
With those we love, and those we need, and those we miss in a way we didn't know we could. 

If we have 936 weekends with Caroline between birth and when she moves to college, and we received this jar less than two months before her first birthday, and I'm writing this more than a month later................I think we basically have 3 weeks left together as a family before I have to do her first college visit. 
But I'm not good at math, so that may be off a bit. 

The point is: time moves really quickly. 

And I know that days are long and you dread the Mondays and you crave the weekends but each minute of those long hours comprise your life and the time you have left with the really amazing people that make up your story. 

I haven't taken a single stone out of Caroline's jar. 
Honestly, I think it would give me anxiety to see the bottom of the barrel. 
I cry when the I see the bottom of the Rocky Road tub - add babies to this deal and I'm DONE. 
Instead, I skip blogs, I skip sleep and I use more dry shampoo than a 32-year-old mother should ---- it saves me time, darn it. 

But I don't miss first words and first touches and first bruises (we have a lot of those these days). 

Today I want you to put down your phone, close your iPad or shut down your computer and look around. 

Nothing on this screen is comparable to those around you. 


When you realize how little time you get, 
you do more with the time you have.

Quit lookin' at my rocks. 
Go love your own.