Saturday, June 29, 2013

my real actual life

For a tiny breath this morning I felt like a normal adult.

Coffee + Brennan Manning + a house closing at our bank with Daniel before he went into MFD.

{makeup & skinny jeans & black top & cute scarf. . . you almost feel human.  People don't shout at you.  Life doesn't seem to be an emergency.  Well modulated voices.  Good morning. Just a moment. Would you like a pen to sign with?  No rush, we're just waiting on copies. }

After that meeting the real, actual part of my life commenced.  This pretending I can swim in the business world is really quite an illusion.  What I really do is stuff like this:

Eli throwing the jar holding the frog across the cement porch floor.  It breaks, oh yes, it breaks everywhere. Frog, shell shocked, realizes he's still alive, and finally free, hops off through the glass.

Cambria brings me Time magazine:  "Mom, wouldn't this be awesome?" I look down at Flo, the Progressive girl, surrounded by probably 389 white bunnies.  Yes.  Yes.  Just awesome. 

Jacob and I, desperate, dig his fave athletic shorts out of the laundry hamper.  He reasons: "You know, no one ever gets close to you and actually smells your shorts."  This reasoning is . . .flawed. . . but it will work today. 

JD and I work on painting and cleaning out a storage shed.  I forget that there are calendars up on the inside of the shed from the previous occupants. Fortunately the calendar subjects are (sort of) clothed, but he pops out of the shed, scandalized:  "Mom,  there are awful pictures in here!"  I remove them with him.  Well, here's the deal, it's not respectful to women to put up pictures like this.  Keepin' it simple. He thinks those women shouldn't be dressing like that.  True.  That too.  There are so many things wrong with this, I begin and he interrupts Yes, like girls don't even ride motorcycles! Seriously! Sure.  We'll stop there for now. 

I vacuum new carpet at our current rehab with Eli.  I turn my back to take a picture to email a prospective tenant and suddenly my day spins into a panic of how did you get that cleaner in your mouth?!!!  **gagging **coughing  ** spitting 

what if some awful chemical is eating away at his airway??  how did he even get this??

I definitely heart poison control.  I called Daniel, but it is a rule of thumb for firefighter wives everywhere that if you have a panicky question for your husband, he will definitely be tied up with some other panic. 

Anyway, Cheryl from Poison Control sounded just like a grandma and was just the perfect calm to my lil storm. 

forced bath time for Eli David

Daniel calls me back finally and I find that he was on a fire.  So yeah, definitely legitimate reason he couldn't answer my phone call. . . I process this through the lens of oh, yeah, I forgot I have him to worry about too!! Oh my. . . are YOU okay???

WORRY

I gotta kill it.

JD gets invited swimming with friends. I drop him off and chat a bit. I go home and discover my zipper was down. Yes. That's awesome too. 

Awesome like the way I was in the shower last night with Eli eating his supper on a paper plate next to the tub with all the doors locked and our small group meeting in twenty minutes in our living room.  I've got this.  WE CAN DO.  Except. . . I forgot. . . my sweet friends bringing food. . . early. . . bless their patient hearts.   

The two little kids and I finish vacuuming and painting and I get out the camera to dutifully finish my photo-emailing job.  Battery exhausted.  I scroll back with the bit of juice left.  Apparently while I was painting, Cambria was using the camera to video journal Eli's nap.  Well that explains a lot. 

YOU, my prospective tenant, are going to have to be happy with three pictures tonight because it is Friday and I am clocking out  and ordering pizza. 

Oh, weekend, I love you. . . .


and just for the fun of it I'm popping up some before and afters: 

before                                                                                             after

before                                                                                 after


How unfortunate that the real, acutal  part of life and motherhood doesn't show before and after results.  Sometimes only God sees the seeds we sow.  That's okay.  I love 'em anyway. 


Especially on Friday nights when they're all tucked in bed. 


Happy weekend to you!







Wednesday, June 26, 2013

[goodbyes are. . . not fun]

::Angela Wyatt Photography::
 
Tonight . . . down at the river with a ton of great food and music and drinks and friends a bunch of us threw a goodbye party
 
for some amazing people.
 
Can't even think about the reality of saying goodbye to these guys.
 
Our summer has been full of really tough goodbyes. 
 
Wow. Yuck. 
 
Don't cry because it's over,
Smile because it happened. . . .
said no one, ever.
 
 
So thankful for seven years of an incredible friendship and being able to serve under the direction and leadership of Pastor Jake and Loren. 
 
When I knew they were leaving. . . that God was calling them somewhere far from here. . . I literally threw up.  (I know. . . it's so needy.)  I know that they are human and not perfect and I shouldn't hang on so tightly-- yet they have been used by God in such mighty ways in our church, in our community, in our family.
 
I wrote the letter below to Loren for her birthday three years ago.  I guess it really encapsulates what I'm thinking tonight.
 
 
Well, Loren. . .

 

This isn’t my handwriting cuz I don’t have time and I know you will forgive the computer generated birthday card.

What a year.

Wow, I don’t know how to make you understand how thankful we are for you guys keeping us alive.

When we couldn’t go on there you were.  Wheh we were afraid you were strength. When there wasn’t any hope you believed for us.

Your life is a gift.

Your transparency is incredible

Your heart is so big

Your generosity blows people away.

Your laughter and joy makes people feel welcome.

Your family’s ministry is a.ma.zing.

You pour pour pour out your self for others.

You are a treasure to our church.

You are a treasure to everyone who knows you.

You are a treasure to me.

The more I know your beautiful heart the more I am in awe of how you allow God to work through you.

I love you like crazy, Loren. I cry as I type, thinking about all the hundreds of ways you have cared for my breaking heart this summer.

 

You have been the hands and feet of Christ to us.  We cannot separate your faces out of Gabe’s story.  You were with us from the beginning. 
If I close my eyes and see his gravesite, I see Jake kneeling with his arms around our kids letting the balloons go. 
If I close my eyes and picture coming home to that empty, empty house, I see your faces at the door with all of that DQ deliverance. 

If I remember watching pictures of my son for the first time since saying goodbye to him, I feel your arms around us, weeping with us as we watched his little life flash by in photos.
When I think about being afraid to go back to church, I see your compassion and your prayer and your “are you gonna make it, we’re right here, you aren’t alone, come over tonight.” 
When I see my husband at the table with cops and the medical examiner, I see your husband, too, not leaving.  I remember Daniel turning to him and saying, “Can you just sit here with me?” and yours saying “I’m right here, buddy, not going anywhere.” 
I see your beautiful chalk art on my wall every.single.morning and I think she is so amazing.  I’m never taking it down.  And if Cambria destroys it someday, you just gotta come do it again.  Your art Gabe’s picture it’s priceless, Loren.  Your thoughtfulness, your sensitivity are just incredible.


We are so blessed to serve under you guys & your leadership.

Thanks for supporting your husband, thanks for doing the very thankless, difficult job of being “the pastor’s wife”  You rock at it.  (Plus you are a very hot pastor’s wife.)

Love you, Loren.  You guys may end up at a church that pays you the million dollars a year you deserve, but you are a friend for life. . . wherever God takes you guys.

Hayley
 
outreach with teens

oh yeah, we all wore hats. . . (loren, miranda, me)

sanctus real concert

Loren named this picture "The Deacon Wives" . What a solemn name.  Ha ha. (me, Deeann, Loren, Brooke) 
 
 
 
 Ahhh!

You better love 'em, East Coast!

So thankful to have friends who say yes to God in every area of their lives but WOW they will be missed.

 


Monday, June 24, 2013

flexibility: key to serving others (africa pt.2)

Going to South Africa changed every area of my life.

It was like being blind and then suddenly being able to see.  How do you explain what you see?  I don't know, and there is my block.

I hesitate to share, humbled by the knowledge that this is only my first time seeing what God is doing outside of my small American box, hesitate to say what broke my heart knowing that many others have lived and seen much worse.

I hesitate to share because life is not something that is easy to Instagram.  Life is just something you have to live.  And yet. . . not everyone has opportunity to go and so many have prayed and besides i write to process life anyway. . . so I stumble on.

God changed my perspective of America drastically.  Before I left, I was nervous to leave the kids in the wake of the Boston tragedy and the horrific fire in Texas.  I'm a mom.  Two catastrophes in one week.  We're not used to that.  Eli threw up for three days straight before we left.  I'm not used to sick kids.  I doubted and was scared over issues that seem very, very small to me now.  I wondered if God had really told me to go.  I wondered (again) if my real responsibility was to stay and take care of my babies. 

I'd like to say I knew the minute we left that it was okay.  I'd like to say meeting the kids at Restoring Hope confirmed it.  But it wasn't until seeing what these little people have been rescued from that I knew that it was God, calling me to open my eyes to needs beyond my own little nest. 

Africa taught me that flexibility is key to ministry.  We all assumed we were going to spend two weeks loving on these poor little orphan kids. 

During our very first day there, we were introduced to happy, normal, crazy fun kids.  No one really wanted to voice it out loud, but some of us were just blown away by how stable the environment is at Restoring Hope.  Lois and Amber and Brian and Lois have worked so very hard to create families for the kids.  There are seven kids in each house, with houseparents with awesome names like Papa Revival (for real).  So we kind of backed up and regrouped and thought. . . maybe we aren't here just to give hugs.  What is it?  We wanted to have hearts wide open to whatever it was God wanted to show us.

Meanwhile Pam and I cooked for 18-20 people every night and 10-15 people for lunch. Loren cleaned and sorted and organized, we helped with homework every day from 4-6, our guys worked and worked putting two roofs on in the time that we were there.

And everytime we were asked, "would you like to_____________?"  we said yes, since maybe ________ was why God wanted us there.

Second day we were asked casually if we wanted to go along to the hospital to visit little Athlehang, the newest little girl at the village, severely malnourished and run down from the effects of HIV.  We went, eagerly. 

In the hospital, we met little people abandoned there with no one to care for them and no real plan to leave.  Babies in little cribs who have never left the hospital, let alone the crib or room.  Their physical needs were being met, but our hearts broke for their little lonely hearts, without a mommy to kiss them or and dad to protect.  We forgot about germs and HIV and our American worries of safety and sat on tiled floors and played games and cried and drew pictures and gave suckers (they call candy sweeties) and couldn't believe it was okay to just get up and leave them. 

It is one thing to look at youtube videos of abandoned children.  It is quite another thing to hold that abandoned child in your arms and realize her hair is black and curly and her skin is moist; the life ahead of her seems so dark at the tender age of seven days.

South Africa was full of extreme contrasts to me.  There was a lot of modern convenience, and then you would suddenly be in this whole city of tin shacks and cardboard shelters and squalor.  The effects of sin and death are so very clear. 

We are able to mask our deep need for Christ with money and things.  But money and things are not available there to hide behind, and so the need for the freedom that Jesus gives is so very clear.  Money is not the problem, safer sex is not the problem, social reform is not the problem, racism and education and medical needs are not the problem.  They are symptoms of a larger problem, the problem of living life apart from Christ.

Flexibility allowed us to visit the hospital several times, visit daycares, visit schools, go to a baby orphanage, visit a hospice house for little people whose caretakers are dying of HIV. Flexibility allowed us to see the need to encourage the staff and the missionary couples.  It is a lonely road and very thankless at times and it was a joy to try and scratch the surface of meeting their needs.  Pam and Loren took the ladies out one day and Taylor and I babysat their kids.  We chatted.  We asked about them.  Flexibility allowed us to be used by God.

I'm challenged with this every day.  Am I going to be so rigid in my life plan that I am unwilling to deviate from the schedule of Hayley to do what He asks of me?  If so, Africa is my reminder that I may miss the joy of meeting needs and the perspective change that obedience brings.

I said earlier that Boston and Texas made me nervous to leave my kids in America.  Seeing how the rest of the world lives made me nervous to return to America, nervous and scared that I will be lulled back to comfort and stability, back to allowing the mask of money to hid the real needs of the people around me.  Not nervous about catastrophe.  Bad things.  .  . awful things. . . happen around the world and why do I think that my right as an American is entitlement to endless safety and stability? 

Landing in Chicago was sad to me.  I wished that ministry here was as black and white as it was in Welkom.  I wished I felt a deep rush of pride to be in my own country.  But I didn't. . . I wished we wouldn't be so spoiled and blind and rejecting of God and selfish and arrogant.  I wished that we as a country would open our eyes to the needs of those.  I hoped that I wouldn't forget what I saw.  I hoped that I would be able to communicate this all to our kids. 

Two months later those feelings haven't worn off.  I wish that I could go back to Africa but instead God calls me to be here, to spend time sorting through the masks that we wear, seeing the deeper needs of the people around me and pointing them to Him. Humanity - African, American, Australian- is in desperate need of Him. 
little guy who was living in/near city dump



Saturday, June 15, 2013

sometimes i live for saturdays. . .

 
So the other day Pandora was playing Aerosmith's Don't Wanna Miss a Thing:
 
I could stay awake just to hear you breathing
Watch you smile when you are sleeping--
 
and
 
Don't wanna close my eyes
Don't wanna fall asleep
Cuz I miss you babe and I don't wanna miss a thing.
 
 
 
For real, someone needs to come up with a version of this song for couples who have been married for ten years, because while I definitely felt that way at one point in my life
 
like when I was twenty-one
 
I still don't wanna miss a thing
 
but I would really like to close my eyes. 
 
And I definitely don't stay awake just to hear him breathing. 
 
 
I made myself take the weekend off and just breathe.  
 
Pancakes and some menu planning and book reading 
 
Sent JD off on an afternoon fishing trip with his buddies
 
Ran errands with Daniel
 
Helped Cambria doll up for her daddy/daughter date night event
 
Oh. . . time. . . freeze. . .


She inherited my complete lack of organization skills and came up with two clip on earrings: one blue and one pink.  We got creative which is what organizationally challenged people have to do and colored the pink and blue stones GRAY with a magic marker.  Whew.  Disaster averted.


She was so excited to go off to her little date night.  Daniel signed up to bring potato salad {????} .  I never make potato salad, but apparently he likes it.  I didn't end up having any time so I invented a new recipe:  PotatoSaladAuDeliCounter. 



Does he look like mischief?  Oh yes, he does.

Off at Navy {SEAL- oh yeah, we're proud} boot camp, Daniel's brother Mark can receive mail now so Eli wrote him a letter today:
 Hi Uncle MArk!
I am writing this letter to you through my secretary while I take a nap. I have had a very busy week. I threw a library book in the trash, I got into markers, I escaped the house and went for a walk, I bought some swim diapers so I could go swimming. I also went to the zoo and saw some monkeys and rode on a little train. I threw my sippie cup in the koi pond and the orange fish sure liked that!
Also, while I was at the zoo, I emptied my mom's last water bottle into the pop vending machine when my mom wasn't looking. As you can see, some type of boot camp is in my very near future. I love you very much. eLi DaViD
After that busy week, Eli went to bed early tonight and Jacob and I called dispatch and let them know we were planning to have a little marshmallow roast.

We built a fantastical fire with about 5 matches (go, me) and then it started to rain. 

I told Jacob it didn't even matter so we put a little tent of plastic over our s'more ingredients and sat in our lawn chairs and enjoyed. 



Ahhhhhhh. 


Yes.  I do love Saturdays.

Friday, June 14, 2013

(emails from africa)

It is so overwhelming to know where to begin.  This was my first experience outside of the US and I truly felt blind and sheltered and ignorant with eyeballs popping, taking it all in. . . . the whole trip. 

Coming back and sharing with friends and family has been difficult.  It's so hard to communicate when I don't even have my mind wrapped around everything we saw. 

So I'm starting small, with some pictures and the emails Daniel and I sent the kids throughout the trip and our facebook posts. 





April 22, 2013


Hi you guys!

We made it here today at about 2 pm local time . . . So 9 pm your time. The landscape is similar to the I 80 corridor. Pam and I made dinner for 21 and we toured the village. The kids are precious. Daniel and I have both cried just seeing how happy and sweet they are and what a great healthy home environment has been created here. . . . As we know that takes a ton of work.

The kids are unbelievably lovable. . .they all go to Louie and ambers on Monday nights for a kids bible study which is really just a family bible time. We went too and they just pile all over you. I wish you were here Jacob and Cambria because you would love it. The kids all have chores and jobs. Jd, kamahelo showed us his goats and garden. That's his job.

They all love people to read to them.

There's a little guy here exactly the size of Eli named tumi. Except I think he's older cuz he can talk a little bit. I asked him if he was 1 and he said "1,2,3,4,5, 9, 40!" They're just the cutest. Abbie and Elizabeth wouldn't be able to leave without one .

I miss you guys but seeing how little these kids have makes me know that u will be fine with grandpa and grandma.

Louie said we could eat with the kids at their own houses with their "mom & dad " one night and we will but he warned us that's its authentic and we have to eat it or they'll feel bad. . . . Get this, Jacob, they eat chicken heads and feet as a dish. Louie and amber call it Walkie talkies. Ha ha.

Love you gotta go. . . Internet is hard to get and borrowed.

Love ya, mommy




 April 23, 2013
First of all thank you for the great emails! I love love love hearing from you jd & Cambria! Wow about your fish! I'm glad you're ok Cambria.

So today. . . We went to the hospital to visit one of the kids. It was incredible. There aren't really words. The kids are so alone in there. We went back to a room where abandoned babies stay b c there is nowhere else to go, won't get adopted bc no one cares about them since there is adequate care in the hospital. But then u have to define adequate care; we met little "binky" (sp?) she is two, was born in the hospital and has lived in her crib the entire time there. We took her out and played with her. She called me mama which was pretty cute. This other baby in there . . . Daniel held and would lock eyes with him. Later when I was holding her she would follow Daniels voice with her eyes. It was heartbreaking. Two little dudes in blue bathrobes with broken arms popped in to the room to see us. We got pictures of everything but I can't upload them . Some people have been uploading so you can get on fb and look. U can hack my account or ask Edith. 


The effects of sin are staggering here. There is wealth. . . But the contrasts are night and day different. When we left the hospital , walking through the corridor, a pigeon came flying through, banging it's head on the glass. One of the nurses was walking by and we said . . . Informationally, trying to be cool. . .we'd already screamed and jumped- "there's a pigeon in the hallway. ". The nurse looked back and asked "are you scared?!". Haha, not th response we expected.

So anyway. . . Jake, Cambria and Eli. . .when you learn to obey and follow God you don't even realize how good life will be for u.


Love u very very much.

Ps I got the time change wrong yesterday. . . So now I know it's nine here and two pm there.

Hayley



April 24 via Facebook
 
Loren and I got to visit a cr├Ęche (daycare) .
One incredible lady living out her love for jesus by pouring into 130+ kids
 . . .She does have helpers but it's obvious that Anne is in charge. 
Sweetest kids ever.
I think my hair got pulled in thirty five different directions cuz when I sat down there was a circle of kids five deep all the way around me. Loren got them all singing for her. So stinking cute. They have so little (one little boy is cheerfully playing with a broken rusty metal pipe) but they are so cute and responsive. Love it love it.
 
 
 
April 25
 
Hi people!

The guys are almost done with the roofing project;

 Daniel read to kids this afternoon and they just pile all over him. Monica is 9, . .she made us all coloring pages. Rose made you a bookmark today Cambria. 
 

Loren Pam Taylor and I went to house of hope where babies are cared for. It was incredible. We held babies all afternoon. And cried. Gave some baths too.

Just hard to put words to everything.

God is working in people's lives and it doesn't have to be us doing the work but it is pretty neat to be part of.

Love you all very much..

I loooooooooove reading your emails.

Love

Hayley
 
April 26 via Facebook
 
One room school at the end of a level b equivalent road this morning. In iowa the little trails leading to it would be from deer or coons. Here they are trails from children walking to school. Daniel  coached a pretty sweet kickball game. The school has. . . Nothing. . . Except a dedicated teacher. So so so different than the US. Humbling. So humbling. Hearing the kids sing " lets talk about Jesus " in English for us. . . Priceless.
 
 

 
April 26, 2013 (to JD)
 
Hahaha Jacob. Glad u r sleeping well. I miss ur little face. Dad and I want to bring u with us as soon as we can, either here or somewhere like here. U would be an incredible help and u would love it. The kids would all want to touch u cuz most of them never see white children. They don't even have soccer balls, Jacob, and they're so happy. I think u would have fun doing this. Save ur money, fill ur luggage with tracts and flat soccer balls and a pump and go pass them out in the villages. U would have a hundred kids around u.

Cambria could bring gum. , or suckers . It's so fun. We want u guys to see.
 
From Jacob:
 
I want to go to South Africa really bad, if we did go I would borrow Ezra's gas remote control car it would be awesome to drive it with the kids, but I would have to bring about 5 cans of gas along so it would not run out.
Hopefully we could stay for two weeks and then adopt one of the kids.
Love you Mom and Dad.
Only one week left!!!
Jacob
 
(To Jacob)
Love hearing this! Thank you! They would love your remote control car!!!

Tomorrow we will go into the ghetto equivalent. They keep trying to prepare us. It's hard to believe things could be worse than what we've seen.

The happy note is that we get to come home and throw a birthday party for the kids.

Love u. . .night night. Haha u probably just finished lunch.
 
 
 
::to be continued.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

(the real thursday)

It's not even midnight!
 
Woohoo! 
 
 
 


Hosting this small group in our home over the summer and we met tonight.  It's been so challenging to me.  Very few books/messages/ teaching actually bring me to tears - this does! I guess I'm just really raw when it comes to fmaily issues because I want so badly to be a good mom and I feel like I fail nine times out of ten.
 
I love our group and it's so fun to get to know people on a different level. 
 

 
We ran a little errand to Daniel. . . (who is not wearing a turban but . . . i don't know what is on his head?!)
 
Eli loves seeing his dad.  It's cute.

By the time our day finally stopped it was 9:45 and neither of us had eaten dinner so we made some pizza out of the artisan bread dough in the fridge and a lot of veggies and tomatoes and cheese.  It was pretty good. . . or maybe I was just really hungry. 

Anyway. 

Africa, coming tomorrow. :)  I can't wait to write about it.

wednesday. . .no, thursday?

My events are going to blur together this week. 

Who knows what happened on which day?

definitely not me

However

I think I remember

waayyyy back this morning. . .

taking the kids to butt in on a Ycamp tour of MFD.  I am ashamed to admit that I've never actually watched Daniel do pub ed and today is the very first day I've ever met Freddy. 



Eli loved every minute.  :)


 I gave the kids really strict instructions that today Dad was their teacher and not their dad.

So no stories (I invented this hypothetical illustration)  about say, your bike-

Cambria interrupts:  MOmoom but I fell off my bike this morning and I wanted to tell him!

That, my dear, was exactly my point.



Then there were swimming lessons and lunch and my mother in law came to my house to watch the kids so I could work here:




Who puts carpet in kitchens?  Who puts carpet anywhere?  *hardwood flooring plug*

Oh I can work fast when I'm trying to squeeze the kidless time for all its worth.  I finished painting the kitchen today, wiping cupboards, cleaned the stove, used half a bottle of windex on a small percentage of the windows I need to clean. . .  then moved upstairs to this little gem of a bedroom:



These people must have thought aqua looked restful.

Anyway, we didn't plan on keeping that color so after supper, more paint buying, friends over for lemonade and Aldi's lemon cakes (no picture of that) . . .

I went back tonight and painted until midnight.  Ahh it's not looking so aqua!  It's coming!  The Aqua Oasis is the last room to paint!

I can't even explain how much I love doing this. . . the yuckier the better.  It is soooo fun to make order out of utter chaos and the ugly beautiful.  I think I enjoy it even more because of the stage of life I'm in, where nothing seems finished and it's so rewarding to do something tangible that stays done!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

tuesday

It's a race to midnight and I'm trying to throw something up here each day this week.
 
*stained the deck
 
*ran errands
 
*went to zoo
 
*fell asleep zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
 
 

june is. . . licorice for dinner

While eating licorice for dinner at 11:45 I thought I should throw a few lines up here for the record of my kids existence and the two people left reading my neglected blog. (Hi Mom.  Hi Grandma.)
 
Licorice.  Yep.  Anyway.
 

Swimming Lessons. . . they started today.  Long awaited, much loved by JD & Cambria.  One more big kid activity for poor Eli.  We put a donut on his little bear to get him used to the idea of flotation devices.  It will be a long summer for an 18 month going on 21 year old. 

Things I notice about this picture:

Why is Cambria kissing for the camera?  Huh?  A bit premature?

JD looks caffeinated.  He's not.

Eli is still bald.

I'm not drinking the spray can there, I'm returning it to Walmart.  Hard to apply a popcorn ceiling patch if the nozzle is broken off the can before you even start.  Oh, Walmart. 

The green headband was inherited by me free, left by some hapless house guest that I can't track down.  They knew it was my favorite color and left it as a hostess gift, probably. Anyway I realized as I uploaded pics off of my camera that the green headband is in almost every photo of me.  One good reason for this is that it hides the paint in my hair that I was unable to remove. . . you'd hate to look grey at the young age of 31, y'know.

Yeah and my cute earrings?  Pretty sure they looked less cute as I left Walmart with one behind, probably in the animal cracker aisle.  It's kind of an ominous feeling wondering how many people I talked to with just one hoop in.  Hopefully only a few. I feel like I may have contributed to a People of Walmart photo. 

 
 Isn't that banner cute?  I made it on a peaceful summer morning  I made it while Cambria was upstairs wailing that she had to make her bed which in turn woke Eli up and I ground my teeth while pinning my banner up thinking that Kari Jobe song:

Wish it could be easy
Why is life so messy
 
Anyway,  the picture doesn't have audio so I had to supply a mental soundtrack just to give
perspective.
 
 
And then we got kinda crazy and decided we wanted to rehab another house just for the fun of it, you know, just because we can't get enough of deadlines and pepto-bismol-pink bedrooms:
 



And of course you wouldn't want to forget the lovely paneling.


This is me + the green headband and minus my kids. . . sent them to my mother in law's for three days so I could paint like a crazy lady.  I am saying ahhhhhhhhh here.  Translated: We are truly crazy. 



In other news look at the super cute firefighter I have at my house: Oh.my.word I could just eat him up.  When he isn't rising at the crack of dawn anyway. 



Speaking of which, dawn comes early around this place.

ZZZZzzzzzz.  more later