A lesson in loyal love and Shelby girl.

Dearest Brent,
One day, when you’re older, I’ll remind you of that precious time when sweet tears rolled down your devastated face at the mere thought that one of “your girls”, Shelby, didn’t see you as her “bestest friend” too. I’ll show you these captured moments and affirm that she did in fact cherish you, VERY much so, like a second mama- from the moment you graced my womb, no less. She just, well, she more so prefers now that her love be spilled from a safe distance (we can discuss your short-lived probing and riding phases another time) or at least until you’re motionless and asleep- then she’s always there, always, your faithful “bestest friend”, our Shelby girl.

The same girl who sat in my very full, very pregnant lap while I heaved and worried profusely for 9 months straight. The sweet pup who laid up all those sleepless nights with me (huffing, no less) as I battled and conquered so many fears attempting to seed and grow in my heart, while we, as a family, embarked on our new journey with you and Epilepsy. A compassionate girl who, three times over, has always sought out and loyally found her mama, tucked away, alone, where she then stayed, curled up into my own ball for sometimes days- allowing my sobbing tears of loss to drench her coat as they steadily fell, slowly making a way for peace and healing.

This girl of ours, B, she isn’t much of a talker, so don’t take her lack of a reply as any indication of her heart for you. For you see, our Shelby, well she’s mastered a silent kind of love, a listening love, a loyal love. She’s changed us, mended us, and protected ALL of us time and time again without one single word… and that, well, it just speaks volumes, my love, volumes.

Sometimes, B, love screams out of the smallest gesture of just being there, silently, while we, her family, venture through the hills and the valleys of this life. A faithful sailor when the sea is calm, fierce, or three… That’s our girl: always there, always loving, no matter the season. Loyally present.

your Mama- her other bestest friend


paw holding snuggles


A lesson in forgiveness, from Brent.

Some days, this kid… he just, well, he gets it, more so than his parents, truly.

(Over breakfast today)

“Daddy, I needs you to repeat after me!”-B

“Okay, buddy, shoot…”-J

“I forgives you!”-B

(We both instinctly shoot a “what the…” <I only curse in my mind to Josh, in the groggy, early morning> glance at one another as he replies back…)

“Brent, I didn’t say sorry, bud. Are you upset?”-J

“No, daddy. Say it too: I forgives you!” -B

(So, still looking at me with a “your the mom, clue me in” look, he repeated after B.)

“Okay, GREAT! Now, mommy, says ‘I forgives you!'”-B

(Okay, now I’m thinking maybe I totally forgot that Joshua and I are fighting, but B hasn’t… jk, but still I sat there totally oblivious to why we are apologizing over coffee and morning eye rubs, so naturally I stare back at Josh, urging him with my eyes to do his normal “I’m a more perceptive listener” trick- we must figure out this little, we must stay ahead… We. Are. Behind!!!!)

“I forgive you!”-Me

“Okay! Perfect, now one more… And his name starts with ba, ba, B!!! Asks me!!!”-B

“Okay, B, do you have something to say?”-J

“Yes! I forgives you too!!! There… Now we can all have a faberlously great day with no fusterbates (frustrations).” <cue the biggest, most satisfied grin his sweet little cheeks could muster>

For you see, Brent, at three, apparently already grasps that if you start your day with forgiveness and grace… It’s BOUND to be FANTABERLOUS!!!! Some days, okay, most days, this little is WAY AHEAD, but we two parents, well we are just forever grateful that he’s a great sharer!!!


A lesson in friendship and denial.

Brent just came to me BAWLING, so I asked what was wrong, obviously.

“Shelby doesn’t like me!”-B

Brent, yes she does.

“No!!! NOOOO!!! She told me she didn’t.”

Brent, how in the world did Shelby tell you that?!?

“I told her she was my bestest friend and den when I asked her if I was hers, she just stareded at me and den walked away, back downstairs!!!!”

B concluded by dramatically bawling louder at the release of such traumatic news. Y’all, how do you bottle such adorable. That Shelby, soooo desired and so choosy.

shelby girl

A Lesson in accents.

sun beamsToday, over my first cup of coffee (so early), my little, clear as day, belts out:

“CRAP! CRAP! CRAP! Crap!…starts with ‘K’, Crap!…starts with ‘K’,… ca,ca, Crap!… CRAP. STARTS. WITH. KKKKKKK!!!!”-B

“BRENT! Who taught you that word?!?!?!”


“Yes, Brent, Crap!”….

“The lady at school…”-B

?!?!?!?!?! (my face led on that I needed more explanation…)

“You know, hands are for crapping (claps hands), hands are for crapping, crap, crap, crap!!!!”-B

“Brent, it’s CLAP-PING, hands are for clapping, like clap!”

“Ohhhhhh, I thought so too!”-B


*WHEW, deletes open email draft and takes another sip of coffee…

A lesson in transparency and grace.


I. Am. Not. Perfect…

Like at all, it’s quite laughable, now, thinking of my pursuit to be, BUT here is some truth:

I am, however, loved, redeemed, and carried by a PERFECT Lover and Creator.

My past, even my faults from yesterday, my distracted heart today AND before my Jesus… they ALL try to haunt me, consume me, and poison me.

BUT, now, let’s talk REAL: the fact is, it is MY choice (your choice) to grab up those darts and dig them in, collecting spiritually fatal wounds, OR to deny them, each and every one, any ENTRY in the name of Truth, of mercy, of a grace filled love that meets me (you), here, in the now and transforms me, daily. The pursuit of perfect is a lost cause, y’all, because it’s ONLY found in Him and His endless love of us. We can wear masks, but the latter is SO much more freeing.

So, yes, I can be crabby, guarding, doubtful, and selfish. My days “sometime” (read between the lines, lol) messy, chaotic, and hard, BUT He meets me there- relentlessly cleaning house, refocusing His child, and growing in me selflessness, faith, community, and peace. Through out all of my seasons, He’s never, NEVER denied me love or entry into His arms, never. I can’t say the same of people, myself included, but He…never, y’all.

So here’s to real, because He’s found in the real and in the raw… Where one cries out in surrender, sometimes from a closet, in the dark, eating chocolate, with heavy tears streaming. (No personal experience there, none, but I’ve heard of such.) Masks, my collection especially, they bore me, and worse they hide my never-ending need for Him and His faithful redeeming, so much already present.

<exits closet>

not perfect

A lesson in bowel movements.

Brent: (n.) one who proudly tells his teachers and classmates that you MUST eat whole apples, some oatmeal, and drinks wots of water to avoid the rock poops. You know, he probably rescued someone from constipation today, now THAT’S true love. Every mom wants to pick-up their little to the news that he’s a great “sharer”, so, I’m going to call it a mom win, Ha!!!


A lesson in crazy… crazy grace, that is.

Y’all, real life:

I’m still in Josh’s PJs (lol), my hair…done by Brent and yet I’ve kept it all day (normal, crazy normal). I haven’t bathed (truthfully, either of us), I’ve likely made a TON of mistakes today, BUT I’ve done two things “just right”:

(1) I’ve loved this kiddo (my current season) with a fierce, “eye kinda twitches some days” love AND

(2) I’ve lived in grace, really, I’ve lived out His grace.

Some days that looks like a scattered map of mistakes, tears, apologies, mercy, and release (okay MOST days here), but He’s always there, reminding me I can do a billion things wrong by earthly standards but still do it mercifully okay in His book- by simply living for/loving Him first and then others, second.

Y’all, love today (yourself and others), forgive today, be REAL today- it’s a beautiful mess of a life we live, just gloriously beautiful, even in the mess…He is down there in the mess with you and I and LOVE.

#‎grace‬  ‪#‎motherhood‬ ‪ #‎momlife‬  #REAL


A “small” lesson in opened eyes and silent, present hearts.

Sometimes encouragement isn’t providing another outlet of advice, sometimes it can be found in a pinch of “zen”, an ounce or ten of chocolate, and within a “lot” of unspoken love, prayer, and being just, well, there. I don’t always have the best advice, many times I don’t. I’m often awkward and scatter brained, but I care, I love, and I have this particular way of showing others through small tokens of:

“Yep, I do carry you with me. I think of you, like I think about Target, and I love you both, A LOT.”

People, keep your eyes and your hearts open for those weary and in need of encouragement, even if only heard through hidden heart whispers. Love, extended love, it really can make all the difference, it can.

target candy

A lesson in content, grateful love and it’s tracks throughout our life.

This rug and I, we two, are one. When I first found her, I beamed. EXACTLY what I wanted, EXACTLY what we could afford. I did my ENTIRE decor around this very rug. A rug that holds so much of our life, as three, within her threading. I sat today apologizing to her for always frantically vacuuming her- attempting to “cover up” all of the life she proudly possesses, all for appearance sake. For throwing “life less” accusations her way and envying other new rugs, rugs surely void of her love. She’s ever faithful, this one. She’s taken on potty training, crumbs, more dog hair than what currently resides on our two dogs, three different vacuums, viruses, naps, snacks, and movies. She’s our crash, the center of our home, she’s reliable. Her ends might be fraying, her color faded from the sun, and her “new” long worn away… but now she offers me so much more. She smells of my little, she’s full of all of our snuggles, and she’s the very road map of our life here… one I’ve tried often to curse and plead to replace for trendy sake, but yet she still loves me and always welcomes my collapse, yes, loving collapse, daily. It’s you and me girlfriend- a bit worn and tattered these days, never quite as fresh anymore, but stocked FULL of love. Happy, we are happy.