Archives for January 2011

The problem, you see…

Like everyone else in the country, my heart breaks at Saturday’s horrific shooting in Arizona.  There is no sense to be made of six deaths.  There is no sense to be made of the gunman’s frame of mind.  There is, of course, plenty to debate, but in the end, no sense can be made of it.

I understand the need for dialogue.  It is only natural to want to disect and pull apart the layers of what happened Saturday to find a reason.  Seeking blame gives momentary solace, I suppose.  But it doesn’t change that fact that there are parents in Arizona whose arms now ache with longing to feel the weight of their child.  There is a spouse whose ears strain for a sound of her husband’s voice.  There are children who watch the door that their father will no longer walk through.  Blame only gets us so far, you see.

There are families walking through fires that most of us will never know.  There are tears being shed that are more bitter than the majority of us will ever understand.  There is a depth of sorrow more harsh than most of us could possibly imagine.  There is anger and pain and heartache and yes, fury.  Answers are longed for, many of which will likely never be found.  We can point fingers and accuse this person of saying this and that person of saying that, but is it truly productive?

I vowed awhile back that I wouldn’t delve into politics on this blog again and, for the most part, I haven’t.  I don’t think one can avoid politics altogether, particularly as a parent.  Parenting is political.  Politics matter because they determine the forecast of the world laid before our little ones.  So politics is not to be ignored.

However, I’m not a political writer and I don’t like confrontation (makes my stomach get all fluttery) and politics are confrontational.  So I steer clear when I can and today is going to be no exception.  This post isn’t about politics.  It’s about respect.  The way I see it, our country doesn’t have a problem with political philosophies that are “hateful” so much as a problem with respect.

There’s a word we don’t hear enough, right?

There are crazy people in this world.  People who think it’s okay to buy a gun and open fire in a crowd.  People who think it’s okay to hurt another in the name of a cause – any cause.  People who think it’s okay to fly planes into buildings.  The list could go on and on.  You can’t characterize evil and hate by any one group, any one religion or any one political party.  And no religion, no political party, no one place or vicinity should be tainted as a whole because of a crazy person.  Evil is evil.  Hatred is hatred.  Trying to pass it off as anything else misses the mark.

Instead of pointing fingers at each other, slinging accusations and political barbs, perhaps we could instead examine the need for respectful dialogue.  You know, the kind without name calling and back-handed jabs.  And it would do us all good to remember the families in Arizona whose lives will never again be the same.  Is jaded arguing and combing through each political figures’ every word with a fine tooth comb getting us anywhere but further steeped in the same back and forth jabbering?

Joe stated it well when he wrote, “When an event like this happens, our natural instinct is to reach for labels that allow us to separate ourselves from the ones who committed the evil. At this moment it may be liberals blaming conservatives, but in other instances it’s Christians blaming Muslims, whites blaming blacks, the poor blaming the rich, etc. (or the other way around). If instead, our first instinct is to see the evil that lives inside ourselves we will recognize that our lines of demarcation collapse and the ones we seek to marginalize are actually our own flesh and blood.”

It’s not that I’m not angry.  I am.  I hate what happened in Arizona.  Every time I see a picture of Christina Green my heart breaks.  And it’s not that I don’t want answers.  I want to understand what would make someone do something so horrible.  I want a reason as much as anyone else for what he did.

But I’m not going to find it in a political ad from two years ago.  And I’m not going to find a reason for it by slinging accusations into the great, wide nothing using words like vitriol and rhetoric.  All I can do is control my emotions and my anger.  And I would like to see others do the same.  It’s okay to disagree.  It’s okay to dialogue.

I do think a lot of people are dialoguing well on this topic.  There are many healthy discussions going on.  Unfortunately, the conversations getting the most attention are the sensational dialogues.  I’m glad we’re talking.  I’m glad people are examining motives.  I just hope that we can be productive in doing so.






We know.


Alternately Titled: I’m Goin’ to the Spa Today!

That’s right.  I’m headed to the spa today to unleash my inner girl.  The one who likes to be pampered and waited upon.  Who wants ice cold water with cucumber slices delivered to her outstretched hand in a slender, cylinder glass.  The one who likes the smell of essential oils.  The one who gets downright giddy at the thought of a facial.

You do remember my post earlier in the week don’t youI know you are all reading my posts diligently each day…

After the spa, I’m going to a hotel where I plan to take a short nap.  Then eat a snack before going to a movie and heading back to the hotel where I plan to sleep blissfully all night without an alarm clock or coughing child to wake me.  From there I plan to meander through getting ready then head to the mall and endure some retail therapy before heading to a swanky dinner. 

Then it’s back to the hotel for a second nights sleep, another lazy morning and the cherry on top: High Tea at the Ritz.

And the best part?

I get to do all of this with my mom.  It’s a little girl’s getaway, only we aren’t going away.  We’re staying in town, which means no travel stress.  Just total relaxation.

My mom and dad leave this month for London where they will spend the next six months galavanting and schmoozing and seeing the world through rose colored glasses…

Okay, that might be a stretch.  Dad’s working in Epsom, about an hour outside of London and mom will be the rock by his side.  Or the wife who takes off on daily adventures whilst he slaves away, anyway.  The glasses may not be rose colored and I’m not sure if my parents know how to galavant, but I do think they’re pretty good a schmoozing.

Or are they good at galavanting and bad at schmoozing? 

At any rate, I am going to miss them.  So mom and I are having one last hurrah before she heads out to conquer the world.  And it couldn’t come at a better time given the fact that I’ve been nursing a sick, sick little boy all week.  Can someone explain to me how Whooping Cough makes it’s rounds in kids when they are vaccinated for it?  I don’t get it…

Yes, Landon appears to have the good old fashioned ‘Hoopin Cough.  We won’t have the official lab results back until Monday, but all of the symptoms say that’s what it is, so that’s how it’s being treated.  Thankfully he slept all night last night because the night before last he was up all. night. long.  It was miserable for everyone, but mostly for him, poor kid.

So mom and I will be out this weekend, acting girly, shopping for clothes.  I also plan to buy up a few essentials for Tia’s fifth birthday party.  An idea is forming in my head.  It involves lots of pink and polka dots and lollipops and mason jars and ribbons.  And tea.  Naturally.  And a group of giggly little girls.

It’s gonna be fun if I can pull it all off, of course.

So with that, I bid you all adeiu.  I’m off to be pampered.  The angels – They are A-singin’!

Wrestling with Daddy

It’s just too much fun…





Hi, My Name is Kelli…

And I’m addicted to skin care products. 

Hmmm…addicted makes it sound serious.  Perhaps I should just say I’m in love with skin care products.  But that makes my relationship with all things skin related sounds healthy.  You know what?  Let’s just not qualify it. 

Hi, my name is Kelli and I have a lot of skin care products.  So much so that my husband recently commented how ten years ago when we got married, had he known how much “stuff” girls put on their face, he would have required me to open and stock a seperate bank account just for all my “stuff.”

And incidentally, can we not call it “stuff?”  It’s heaven’s nectar.  It’s youth in a jar.  It’s what’s making sure that when I’m 50, I’m still going to look 30, baby!

To which Lee would reply, “Well that’s gonna stink for you because when I’m 50 I’m gonna look 50 so you’re gonna be stuck with an older man.”

Hmph.  I’m holding out hope for Zac Efron.  Or Ryan Reynolds…

I’m kidding!

*a little*

So.  What was I talking about?  Facial products!  I love them.  I would wash my face five times a day and put on a different moisturizer if I knew it was good for me.  But it’s not, so I settle for the more common twice a day washing.  Then I pull out my awaiting stash and breath in its lovely scent.  I have morning mositurizers with antioxidants.  I have a nighttime moisturizer with some kind of ingredient that’s supposed to keep me looking young.  Plus, I think it wards off vampires.

I have masks, my newest being a Vitamin C peel and it’s A-to the-MAZING.  It might be my new favorite.  I love how my skin feels when it’s been scrubbed and slathered.  I feel refreshed and awake and ready to conquer the day.

Okay, I think it’s safe to say I’m an addict.

Here are a few of my favorite products.  You know, just for fun…

Arbonne NutrimenC – I order a full set almost once a year (at a discounted price) and it usually lasts me a whole year, which is why I feel no guilt.  NONE.  Why would one feel guilty about wonderful, glorious face products?

Neutrogena – This lotion smells amazing, has antioxidants in it – which, I don’t really know what that means but it sounds like it’s really good for you – and has spf 15 to keep the sun’s rays at bay, but not out completely because who doesn’t look better with a tan, right?

Philosophy: When Hope is not enough – This is my new vitamin C peel.  Actually it’s called a Microdelivery Peel.  Doesn’t that just sound amazing?!  Seriously, this stuff is spectacular.  I love it.  Love it, love it, love it.  This may be an unhealthy love… 

Hugo Naturals – I was recently introduced to this product line for the kids.  Particularly Landon who has got some pretty nasty exzema issues.  As in the pediatrician told me, “His skin is going to be your job.”  Lucky for Landon, I LOVE SKIN.  Their products are 100% natural and organic.  They’re gentle on his skin and the lotions are amazing.  I also got a couple of the sugar scrubs and body butters for me and Sweet mercy!  I’ve found a new love.  You can find these at Whole Foods and I highly recommend them, especially if you have kiddos with problem skin…Or if you are addicted to skin care products.

Wexler MMPi: I don’t know what is in this stuff but it makes my skin feel as soft as the day I was born.  Or as soft as I imagine my skin was the day I was born.  It’s a jar full of magic made by fairies at the base of rainbows.  Hint: You can get it at Bath and Body Works on special several times/year. 

This is not, of course, an extensive list of my facial loves.  You don’t even want to get me started on eye cream, or on the When Hope is not Enough oil I got for Christmas that makes me feel like I’ve been swimming with the gods.  If I believed in ‘the gods’ of course…

Is there a 12 Step program for this sort of thing?

Never mind.  Don’t answer that.  I don’t want to give it up…

So with that, I’m going to hop out of bed and scrub my face.  The excitement I got from writing that last sentence is almost embarrassing.  Except, I LOVE TO WASH MY FACE! 

If any of you have skin care tips or products you love, do share.  Because clearly I’m a junkie who needs more. 

*Incidentally, I was not paid or asked to write about any of these products.  I share my skin care secrets out of the goodness of my heart.  You are SO welcome.

Sometimes He Calms the Storm

New Year’s Eve brought unseasonably warm temperatures around here.  St. Louis is the arm pit of the United States.  We get a conglomeration of everybody’s weather.  Which means it can be 60 degrees at 9:00 and 20 degrees by 2:00.  We get the snow and ice, the heat and humidity.  We live with weather whiplash.


So the unseasonably warm temps were not all that unseasonable…or at least they weren’t unreasonable.  However, the warm weather mixed with the frigid temps immediately following made for some contemptuous weather.  And this set up quite a disaster.

Sloan’s terror of all things weather has been well documented over the years.  Remember this post?  So when the skies turned nasty Friday morning, he grew all aflutter with nervous energy.  Thankfully the kids were having friends over.  A brother and sister who are the same ages as Sloan and Tia.  It was the perfect distraction. 

Before the friends descended upon us, Sloan got more than worked up about the impending weather.  So he asked Lee to pray with him and pray they did.  Sloan pleaded with the Lord to stop the storms and keep the tornado away from our house. 

It turns out Sloan’s friend may have him beat in storm terror.  Around 11:00, the tornado sirens went off and so did the boys.  There were tears, there was quite a bit of jumping around and then the neighbor begged us to call his parents.  And the girls stood in the corner protesting loudly.

“We’re not scared.  We don’t want to go home.  We want to keep playing.  No!  There’s not gonna be a tornado!”

After the kids left, the sirens went off a second time.  Hmmm…we turned the TV on to see what was going on, but that sent Sloan into a freak out of massive proportions.  So off the TV went and we delved into distraction mode.

The sky turned ugly…green.  Rain pelted sideways.  And yet, there was not wind.  The trees weren’t bent.  No limbs fell.  And then – it was over.

The sun came out and Lee ran out to the store.  A friend called shortly after.  “Are you guys okay?” she asked.  And suddenly I panicked.  What had I forgotten?


“The tornado touched down in your back yard.”


I flipped the TV on to see if there was any news on our area.  I called Lee and told him to drive by the nearby golf course where the tornado hit.  He came home shortly after with the news that the golf course had quite a bit of damage.  Huge trees uprooted and lying on their sides.

“Sloan and Tia come with me.  Let’s go see the tornado damage.”

So off they drove to survey the damage.  Driving down our street there wasn’t a limb down.  No debris.  And then they turned left off our street where branches lay scattered.  Driving past the next street, a large tree lay on it’s side.  Driving past the second street, several houses were missing shingles and more trees and limbs lay strewn about.

Lee turned down the third street down and was shocked at what he saw.  The tornado had come right through there.  Cars lay flattened by trees.  Houses were missing large sections of their roofs.  There was extensive damage.

But no wind blew past our house.

As the crow flies – or tornado blows – that neighborhood was 300 yards from our house.  And it appeared as if the wind stopped blowing right at the threshhold of our street.  As if some invisible source was holding it back…

Did God withhold the winds and tornado from our home because Sloan prayed?  I think that’s a tricky question to answer.  Because there very well could have been people who were affected who prayed for protection as well.  I don’t claim that God chose Sloan’s prayers over another.  I do think, however, that God revealed Himself in a mighty way to my seven year old.  I do think that God held even a whisper of wind at bay so He could show my son that He is, indeed, the One who controls the wind.

We were also able to show Sloan the grace of God’s protection as we pointed out the damaged homes and the people who were not harmed despite the tornado’s passing.  We were able to point out that God’s protection does not always extend to the material things we have on this earth.  But He protected His people that day.

Sadly, six people were killed (none in our area) by the storms that came through the Midwest on Friday.  Does this mean that God’s protection wasn’t extended to those who died?  No.  It does show that our days are numbered and life is never a guarantee.  We didn’t get into those truths with Sloan just yet.  We’re trying to dispel fear in his heart.  But we were able to confirm to him that God hears and answers prayer.  This is a lesson I want my kids to know and trust without wavering as they grow older.

Had the tornado come just 300 yards to the North, we would have been able to confirm in Sloan’s heart that God is a God of protection and grace.  Had our home been destroyed we would have been able to show Sloan that God is One who remains the same, even when our circumstances change. 

More than anything I’m grateful that my son’s tender heart was given a valuable lesson on New Year’s Eve.  I’m grateful we were spared.  I’m praying for our neighbors.  And I’m thankful that we have a God who says Let the little children come to me.

A few grainy cell phone images of the damage near our home:

tornado pic 1

tornado pic 2

tornado pic 3