Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Peace On Earth....

I have tried, like I've done so often the past few years, to walk away from the thoughts running through my head.  To walk away long enough to get the "real" to do list completed and leave the blog for another day, but, alas, this one won't leave me alone...not today...So, I ask that you LISTEN to this video...that you take in the words and the message.  Let it sink in to depths of what you believe...what you believe about God, about Faith, about humanity, about YOU.


What if we each truly believed in Peace on earth?  What if we each examined our own thoughts and feelings and beliefs about each other to see if they really brought Peace?  What if we each vowed to bring Peace to our small corner of the world?  What if we each vowed that Peace would reign in our own souls, our own homes, our own neighborhoods, our own towns, until Peace reigned everywhere?

What if we truly believed that "God is not dead, nor doth he sleep."?  What if we surrendered our hatred, our need to be right and, most of all, our fear?  What IF????

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A letter to my daughter

I really hemmed and hawed over the title of this blog post...there were so many things running through my mind....how God uses my children to teach ME...how God truly does care about the littlest parts of our lives...how he TRULY cares about the LITTLEST lives....how he reveals himself to the smallest among us...how prayer REALLY is the solution...or simply a letter to my daughter.

My Dearest Legare,

An amazing thing happened last night.  Since you are only 4, I'm afraid in such a short time you won't even remember what transpired, but I want you to always carry this FAITH/life lesson with you, so I'm writing to you that you may have this with you.

See, you have been having such a hard time sleeping alone in your room.  This has been going on for weeks and no matter how much your daddy and I encourage you, comfort you, and talk to you about it, you just won't stay in your bed.  At first you were coming to our room, you'd get to stay for a minute or two, then one of us would hug and take you back to your room, only for the process to repeat itself at least one more time during the night.  You would cry and talk about being scared, and we'd assure you all is well.  After a few weeks, you realized that if you go to Collin's room, he'd let you stay.  Well, "let" is a strong word, he wouldn't know you were there 'til morning, but you could be close to someone and that was enough.

This concerned daddy and me.  We couldn't understand why you wouldn't stay in your room, and, frankly, Collin was getting bothered by sharing his bed all of the time.  So, we began to encourage to stay in your room.  As you talked to us about your fears we learned that you have bad dreams every night and that's why you don't want to be alone.  Daddy suggested we pray, and, if I'm being honest, I laughed.  It seemed such a small, insignificant thing to pray about.  And despite of my unwavering faith, and a strong prayer life, I really thought it was such a silly thing to pray over and that, well, what if you had a bad dream anyway and felt like you couldn't trust God.  SHAME, SHAME on your mom.  When it felt like there was nothing else we could do (bad timing) we prayed.  As part of your night-time prayers you asked God to give you only good dreams.  I laid with you in your bed, held your hands and prayed out loud that God would be with you that night...that he would enter you thoughts and fill your mind with wonderful dreams...that he would make your room feel safe...and that he would reveal himself to you as your protector and your comforter that you would KNOW and BELIEVE HE is always with you, and always listening.

Then I asked others to pray too...petitioning God on your behalf...

And sweetheart, this morning, you were sleeping soundly in YOUR BED.  You had not stirred all night long.  When you woke you were excited to tell me that you only had good dreams.  God was with you.  God answered your prayer.  He honored, what to your mom was such a mundane, little thing, but to you was so huge and because it was important to you it was important to him.  While my intention was for this lesson to be for you, I find, once again, God using you to teach ME.

Hugs and Kisses, and all of the love in the world!

Sunday, February 14, 2016


I grew up knowing “home” as most civilian children do.  It was the structure I lived in for most of my childhood.  It was the town where I went to school and church.  It was where I played, rode bikes, participated in sports and danced.   I lived in the same house, in the same town for 12 years.  To this day I know it well, and have never lived anywhere as long as I did there.  I have great nostalgia about that town, that house.  I smile each time I think of the friends and the memories.  I’ve probably even romanticized it all a bit over the years.  There’s a comfort in knowing that one place, some sort of solace in the uninterrupted monotony of it all.  And it has left me to wonder if my own children will ever know home.

Over a decade and 3 children into this military life, we have moved 9 times.   To date, our youngsters don’t really remember the moves.  They know we talk about a house in Jacksonville and that we haven’t always lived in the same place.  But there are moves to come that they will experience with all of the adventure a PCS holds; in addition to all of the stress and emotion.  I have to admit that there is a part of me that is pained when I think that my children may never return to a town (whether in their minds or in their travels) and instantly be transported to a place in their lives, long past, that was fully of joy and discovery and family and love.

As I wrestle with this thought I am struck by something my mother-in-law said years ago.  My mother-in-law is a military brat, specifically a Marine Corps brat, just like my own children.  She never knew home in the sense that many civilian children do.  Yet, as a mother herself, years after leaving her last base, more years in fact than she had ever lived on base, she found herself at MCB Quantico for her son’s OCS graduation.  She had never been to Quantico before.  My father-in-law joked, asking if it looked familiar.  With the same gleam in her eye, the same nostalgia, the instant transport to another time, she said, “No, it just feels like home.”

In that simple statement I have found such great comfort and truth.  My children’s sense of home may not be my own, but it is no less strong.  In the midst of an ever -changing lifestyle there are still constants for them to cling to, even if it’s an MP checking IDs, little red signs with gold lettering, old brick buildings, a salute, a uniform or Taps in the evening.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Vaccinations and the Continuing Mommy Wars

This seems an odd post for my first one in 6 months, especially considering that I haven't even introduced Miss Adley, but this one is sitting heavy on my mind and the only way to let it go is to write.  So, here are my thoughts on vaccines and the mommy wars.

Just a day after watching a new video (forget it's a commercial, and for formula, oh dear!) about how parents (moms specifically) should give each other a break and stop the warring,  

I read an article that, I think, sets the conversation back to zero.  Not because I don't understand that he's trying to stir the pot, but because he is choosing to stir the pot on such a sensitive subject.

Dr. Jack Wolfson, who has gotten a lot of attention in the past few days with his adamant stance opposing vaccines, chose to respond to his "haters" with a knee jerk, arrogant tirade tearing down everyone from food companies to doctors (not him of course) to our own parents - yes, he thinks we should be angry with our own parents for not co-sleeping and for allowing us to eat pizza.  Instead of simply making his case against vaccines, giving the facts, and asking that we stop vilifying those who choose against them he feeds the frenzy.  And why?  To what end?
The reality is that there is a reason money and research were committed to creating these vaccines, and while I'm a conspiracy theorist, I don't believe it was just for profit. They were created because the disease was considered awful enough that there was a need to eradicate it.  They are given because the risk of death/maiming from infection is higher than the risk of a reaction to the vaccine.  I would dare those who find these diseases to be benign to speak with someone who has suffered through one or someone who lost a child because of one.  Check the facts on flu deaths, because they do exist.
The biggest issue with vaccinations, different from breastfeeding or crying it out, is that it impacts everyone, not just your child.  I agree with the father in the following blog, "your child does not live in a bubble, when your child gets sick other children are exposed..."

The other dangerous issue at hand is a complete distrust of doctors.  Somehow google and social media has us all thinking that we know more than the people with medical degrees.  While I don't think doctors are without flaws, I do believe that as a parent you should find a pediatrician you like and you trust and you agree with.  If not, why have one?  What's the point in taking your child to a doctor you don't believe?  If you are using a pediatrician who supports your method of parenting (whatever that may be) you should trust the information you are getting and NOT blow him/her off as a close-minded quack, and then proceed to take the advice of Jenny McCarthy (who has no medical background at all) or even a cardiologist, who seems to think he is the only doctor who isn't a quack and is not your child's pediatrician.

The bottom line is, as Papa Bear in the aforementioned blog post said, "I assume you love your child(ren) just like I love mine.  I assume that you are trying to make good choices regarding their care."  But when it comes to vaccines your choices impact others.
As far as your decisions (or mine) regarding breastfeeding or formula, co-sleep or cry it out, free-range or helicopter we are all simply doing the best we can for our children.  To judge what another is doing is not only to assume your way is the only way, but is to imply that somehow you must love your child(ren) more, and that, I take issue with.  Even Papa Bear assumes you love your children and are just doing the best you can.

Friday, July 25, 2014

What I Should Have Said...

I am an emotional person, who does NOT like to be emotional.  This is particularly the case when something, whether happy or sad, is going to make me cry.  So, I typically avoid it at all costs by either ignoring it, running away from it or covering it in sarcasm.  Apparently, this also applied to my sister's wedding.  I subconsciously covered every emotional moment in sarcasm or just flat pretended it wasn't happening.  In the end, I realized that I cheated her out of hearing what I really wanted to say when it came time for my toast.  So, for her and Marshall, and everyone else, here is what I should have said (and yes, I'm going to cry as I type)...

Kelly was blessed, or cursed, with having two mothers.  There is her mom, who actually gave birth to her and then there's me, the older sister, who has always felt an almost maternal need to protect her, watch over her and push her to be her best.  As her other mother, I'm not sure I ever really believed we'd see this day; not because Kelly has a fear of commitment (though there was a point we weren't sure), not because she didn't want it more than anything, but more because I didn't think anyone would ever be good enough and because I am selfish and didn't want to lose my time with her.
Over the years the guys have come and gone, some more serious than others, but, inevitably, they'd always be gone.  And, if I'm being honest, that's how I liked it.  But then, there was Marshall.  The first guy Kelly didn't try to push away, and the first guy who wouldn't run if she did.  There was all measure of critiquing from me, some of which Marshall heard first-hand and he still didn't run.  Then there's actually meeting the family and realizing that this family can often be a little more than you bargain for, and he still didn't run.  Of course there's Kelly's crazy side too.  Yes, even that, Marshall saw and was still hanging around.  I'm not sure when it dawned on me, but I remember it hitting me like a ton of bricks...this man loves her.  This man loves her like my dad loves my mom.  This man loves her like Robert loves me.  Most importantly, this man loves her the way SHE needs to be loved...what more could I ask for for her.  In return, she loves him...she loves him like my mom loves my dad, like I love Robert and I hope and pray that it's the way Marshall needs to be loved.
My marriage is one of God's greatest gifts to me and I hope, today and years from now, that Kelly and Marshall can say the same thing.
So, here's to the bride, my sister, my confidante and friend.  Here's to the new couple and a lifetime of faith, love, devotion, selfless giving and happiness. Here's to a new family, one I am excited and blessed to be a part of.  Here's to the new Mr and Mrs Connor.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Slumber Party!

I never feel like it happens often, but every now and then I have a great idea that leads to a "good mom" moment.  Whenever Robert is gone I try desperately to make the time pass quickly (and keep everyone distracted) by keeping us very busy doing things that aren't necessarily normal.  I'm learning that these things are as beneficial for me as they are for the kiddos.  So, in the week he's been out of town we've had two dinner dates, an evening with a babysitter (yes, I left the house), a play date and...a slumber party. 
I couldn't have imagined the excitement of a slumber party that takes place in your own home, with your sibling and mom.  When I initially suggested it, I expected a disappointed reaction from Collin who would be hoping to have a friend over for the night or hoping to go to someone else's house.  Instead, they both started squealing and making plans for our slumber party.  It couldn't have been better.  All of a sudden our leftover dinner and bath time were the best, just because it was part of the slumber party.  Even going to bed was fun!  So, with ice cream in hand we headed to my room for dessert, games and some basketball.
It was a great night, and one I'm sure they'll ask to repeat often.  I'm just glad that, for now, the best sleep over ever is at home with family.

Monday, March 24, 2014

My Sister Ate My Homework

Yes, as only our family can do we have topped the old adage of my dog ate my homework, and swapped it out for "my sister ate my project."

I don't always share these stories, well, because they happen daily, usually infuriate me and blogging just doesn't ever seem to make it to the top of the priority list.  However, this one made me laugh outloud and rendered me completely unable to discipline my child.  Those two things made it worth noting.

For those of you who know us well you know that we have children with personalities as different as night and day.  For those of you who are also parents, you know this means throwing out everything (well, almost everything) that worked for the first and bringing in a whole new world order with the second.  So, there we are...a new world order...learning to be 2 completely different moms...and trying to stay ahead of 2 very intelligent little people.  Today, I apparently was not so successful.

Before Collin left the house this morning for school he removed a pretty neat object from his bookbag.  It was a 3-D figure he had created with marshmallows and toothpicks.  He was excited showing it off and said he wanted to keep it.  He set it on the steps and we left to take him to school.
Upon our return Legare found the very interesting object and noted that it was made of marshmallows.  She politely asked if she could have one.  Obviously, I said, "No, that is Collin's school project and you may not eat it.  You need to put it back and leave it alone."
Fast forward about an hour or so...I was working on the computer and Legare was playing quietly in the playroom (yes, I realize that should have been my first warning).  She came walking into the dining room and announced, "I ate one of Collin's marshmallows.  That wasn't being a very nice girl."  I asked her to bring me the rest of his project and one by one she brought each EMPTY toothpick.  She hadn't eat ONE of Colllin's marshmallows, she had eaten them ALL.  When she brought me the last toothpick with the ziploc baggy, she told me, "I need to tell Collin sorry."
By this point I was rolling on the floor laughing.  That little girl knew EXACTLY what she was doing the whole time and then even had the nerve to let me know that it was wrong and she needed to apologize.  Good grief!!  If only I could imagine what will happen next.