Archives for February 2011

The one where we plan a trip

I wanted to go visit my parents in London, but logistically it just wasn’t coming together.  So when mom emailed me yesterday and said she was coming back in to the States in March during the kids Spring Break and asked if we’d like to join her in Florida at their condo I don’t even think a second passed before I said Yes!

After calling Lee to confirm that worked with him, we booked our tickets and BAM!  We’re getting out of here in 6 weeks.  This is just the pick me up I needed to get through this final push of winter.  We moved to St. Louis when I was 12.  We moved from Wisconsin, so I do know that winter can be worse other places.

But hands down, this has been the worst winter I have ever experienced here in St. Louis.  It’s just been nuts and I think everyone is feeling the effects.  The winter blues have settled in big time.  But alas, we now have something to look forward to.  Sunshine.  The beach.  Hours playing at the park.  Sunsets at the Sand Pearl.

In six weeks we will be doing this:


And this…


And this…


And we’ll probably watch a few of these…


There may not be a cure for the Summertime Blues, but this is definately my cure for the wintertime blues!

Wednesday Whatnots

What Not’s?  What Nots.

Grammer makes me crazy…

So today is a hodge podge of random tidbits for your reading enjoyment.  Or for my writing enjoyment.  Someone will enjoy themselves today!

Speaking of writing enjoyment.  Remember the novel I told you about?  The one I started, then stopped, then started, then stopped, then started again?  I wrote a little more last night!

So at this pace, I should finish the book by the year 2024.  I am on a roll, folks!

Seriously, though.  It’s really difficult to find time to write.  I don’t know how people do it.  Yesterday I got up at 5:30 with the sole intent of working only on my novel.  By 5:40 I felt awake enough to open up the file and at 5:45 Landon stumbled into my room and the morning was shot.  I left my house at 8:00 and only came home for two seperate one hour bursts before 10:30pm.

Then I had to work on the things I’m actually getting paid for.  So, I’m still planning on finishing that book, but I haven’t yet figured out how.

This is where I flawlessly merge from one topic to another.

I officially signed up for a marathon relay yesterday.  Me and three others will split up a marathon.  I ran this race four years ago.  One week after finishing the race (and not dying) I found out I was pregnant (surprise!) with Landon.  Here’s to hoping we don’t have a repeat of that this year, right?

Oh…and here’s to hoping I don’t die.  Considering I can only run 2 miles right now (3 miles on a really good day…which has only happened twice) and I need to be able to run 6.5 in two months, that’s a legitimate prayer worth lifting up.

And again, we transition.

I think you should all  go back to last week’s post titled I laughed until I cried and read E. Lehman’s comment.  I laughed out loud, pretty hard, when I saw it.  Then I pumped my fist in the air and yelled, “I rock,” as the dog looked on in bewilderment.

Speaking of the dog (transition), she’s making me crazy.  I’m pretty sure she’s clinically depressed and I’m wondering if I should get her on Prozac.  She mopes around the house, wimpering, and she stands right underneath my feet every second of every day.  Every second I’m home that is.  Mostly she’s cooped up all day and she’s bored and I feel terrible for her.

Not bad enough to walk her, of course, because it’s only 10 degrees outside.

She’s not a dog who enjoys laying around the house.  She’s active and she is bored and I feel bad but I don’t know what to do about it so I keep giving her food, which means now I have a depressed dog who’s getting chubby.

I’m running out of pithy transitions so I’m just going to insert a line from here on out to signify a topic change.

I have a PT appointment today for my shoulder where I may or may not have a torn rotator cuff.  I’m supposed to go see a Sports Medicine guy about it, but I haven’t yet for two reasons:

– I’ve really been quite busy and haven’t found the time to schedule the appointment.

– I’m a scardey cat and I don’t really want to know if it’s torn because then I’ll have to actually do something about it. 

So for now I’m sticking with my PT because I like him a lot and I’m hoping I can nurse it back to health ala natural.


My mom and dad are in England having a grand old time and I’m glad for them, but…

I miss my parents.  I want to go see them but, you know, logistics.  So I just try to live vicariously through my mom’s Facebook pictures and talk to her every few days instead.  I thought about taking the kids with me to see them, but then added up the costs and remembered that I would be trapped in a small space with them for an entire day with the eyes of strangers watching and decided Skype was a lovely invention worth making use of.


I sang at an event at our church a couple of weeks ago where I got to cover several great old standards.  I had way more fun than I even dreamed I would and out of the deal have made contacts with a few people here in town that do these sorts of gigs both professionally and as amateurs.  There’s a good chance I’ll get to do a bit more singing around town and I couldn’t be  more excited. 

Or nervous…

Final transition into the closing paragraph.

I’ve got another video idea rolling through my head and just need to find the time to put it together.  In my mind it’s brilliant, but it’s probably really lame in real life.  Either way, I’m hoping to include more video posts in the near future because I’m ready to spice things up a bit on the old bloggy blog.

And with that, I shall officially conclude this blog entry.

The End.

Mind the Gap

Summer '09 147

Praying for my kids is something I passionately believe in and often forget to do on a consistent basis.  I pray for patience  with them (six snow days later, that’s almost become a mantra) and I pray for grace to love them well, but I don’t always pray for them.

I don’t know why.  Perhaps it’s because to do so would require me to slow down and really get still.  I’m not good at that.  I hate sitting still.  Unless I’m on a beach.

Maybe that’s what we need!  We need to move to the beach.  My kids would be covered in prayer then.  And I’d be tan…

Wait.  That’s not right.  Scratch that.

The point is, I’m not good at sitting down and really pleading on behalf of my children.  I have great days followed by a plateau of mediocrity and on and on the cycle goes.  But the desire of my heart remains unchanged.  I long to see my kids grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.  I long to see them grow beyond a head knowledge of who Christ is and to develop a heart knowledge of Him.

I long to not screw them up.

I think my most consistent prayer for my kids is my pleading with the Lord to fill in the gaps where I am lacking as a parent.  On the days when I’m impatient, crabby, tired or just not all there like they need me to be, I pray that the Lord steps in and makes whole any damage I may have unintentionally caused.

This is not an excuse for me to be lackadaisical in my parenting. 

Lackadaisical…that’s a great word, isn’t it?

I wake up every morning desiring to be the mother my kids need me to be.  I wake up every morning with a prayer on my heart to love my kids in a way that honors God and shows them they are blessed, cherished and loved.  And, in the moments that I fail, I ask the God fill in the gaps where I am lacking.

And then I rest in the assurance and knowledge that He loves my kids more than I could ever possibly hope to.

How do you pray for your kids?  Do you have specific verses that you pour over them?  Do you have a specific place or way that you pray for your kids?  If you feel comfortable sharing, I would love to hear how you are praying over your children in an attempt to encourage and spur one another on.

Happy Tuesday!

Because everyone deserves to be a Pink Princess











Superbowl?  What Superbowl?  We had a party this weekend!  It was girly and squealy and happy and silly. 

How was your weekend?



I was twelve years old.  I woke up early and got myself dressed for school.  I even remember what I was wearing.  A white T-Shirt underneath flower printed cloth overalls.


I scrunched my permed hair and lathered it with gel because God knows I didn’t want those spirals to frizz out midday.  I put on my white Keds and I walked downstairs for breakfast.  It was early and the house was still.  The frigid winter air made the hair on my arms stand tall as I bounded into the kitchen.

Mom was standing at the kitchen sink staring out the window.  I knew something was wrong.  The air felt like sorrow.

“What’s wrong?” I asked quietly.  Mom turned to me, her eyes and nose red.  I walked over to her.

“I got a call last night,” she said with a trembly voice.  “Aunt Joy is in the hospital.  They don’t think she will live.”  And with that my mom broke down.  I will never forget that moment.  My mom’s head on my shoulder.  For the first time she needed me.

I went to school with a heavy heart that day and a sense of dread.  When I got off the bus I saw Dad’s car in the driveway.  At that moment I knew, but I didn’t want it to be true.  Dad was waiting for me in the kitchen and when I walked in the door he engulfed me in a tight embrace.

“Where’s Mom?” I asked.

“She is on a plane to South Carolina,” Dad said softly.  He stroked my hair.

“How is Aunt Joy?”  I can still feel the sense of loss when I think of that moment.

Dad paused.  “She passed away,” he said.

It was February 4, 1991.  Twenty years ago.  It is a moment that defined and shaped my young life.  It’s the moment when death became real and life became precious.  It was a time when I realized that nothing is guaranteed.  Someone can go in for a routine procedure and end up gone…sometimes without explanation.

The days that followed are some of the happiest and most sorrowful of my life.  I am blessed with an extended family that has a depth of love, grace and heritage that is hard to match.  For an entire week I was surrounded by the people who love me most and for whom I feel the deepest love.  Because I was still so young, the time together with my cousins is filled with fun memories.  Again, I believe that is God’s grace in protecting my still developing heart.

The reason, however, for our gathering was deeply sorrowful.  There are moments of that week that are burned deeply in my memory and, quite honestly, they’re too painful to record on such a public forum.  Partly because they are tucked away in places that are just mine and partly because many of them involve the pain I witnessed in others and the stories aren’t really mine to share.  They are moments that I wish I could forget.  One of the blessings of being a writer is the ability to recall in detail emotions and settings. 

It’s also a curse…

As tough as some of those moments are to think about, they are also moments that God used to show me what grace is.  My Aunt Joy’s death was not a momentary blip but was the catalyst for how God would mold and shape me as I grew.  And now, as an adult, I can still look at that day twenty years ago and see God’s grace in my life.  Aunt Joy’s death set into motion a whole host of trials to be overcome and brought about joy and triumph that wouldn’t have been seen otherwise.

Her death affected all of us.  It shaped and defined our entire family, all in different ways.  Some, like her three children, were affected much more deeply.  Others, like her siblings, still feel the sting of her death.  But all of us can look back on that time and say God is good and He was there.

Today I remember.

Don’t get me wrong…

I love my kids.  I love to be with them and I love to laugh with them and play with them and spend time with them.


These flippin’ snow days are MAKING ME BATTY.

*deep breath*

I think the children are going to start eating one another.

Sloan cleaned this morning.  He vacuumed and dusted, pulling dressers out and cleaning the floors behind him.  This is awesome, obviously, but it’s also evidence of the fact that we’re all going a little crazy.  A seven year old voluntarily scrubbing his room?  Not normal!

Did you know that the average four year old asks 437 questions a day?  So if I have a chatty three year old, stubborn five year old and headstrong seven year old all trapped under the same roof, using a model of mathematics called estimation, I can safely assume that I’m being asked 1,500 questions/day.  I’m also being told roughly 523 times that he/she kicked me, pushed me, hit me, licked me, bit me, touched me, breathed on me.  I’m being asked 47 times a day for a snack or a drink (they still expect to be fed!) and every ten minutes I’m asked if we can watch a movie, play Wii or play computer games. 

It’s tempting not to say yes and let them do that all day long.  But alas, I’ve found that when my children sit in front of the TV all day they turn into jittery, weepy zombies without the will to reason.

On the other hand…my kids are pretty dang funny and, despite being trapped, we have had some fun this week.  It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed it – it’s just that every day I enjoy it a little less.  And so do they

A few pictures of the happier times for your viewing enjoyment.



We’re not really sure who had a better birthday yesterday – Tia or Kit.





Seriously.  Where did this kid come from?  He’s yet to find a camera he didn’t love…





Five Extraordinary Years

All of my children are miracles.  They are miracles to me.  All three of them own my heart and are wrapped into the depths of my soul.  There is a feeling that is a little deeper, though, when I look at my daughter.

My daughter.

To hear those words when I had convinced myself I would never have a daughter…That moment is forever etched on my heart.  She’s my daughter.  Mine. 

And I adore her.

I want the world for her.

I want to protect her from the world.

She’s beautiful and sassy and funny and awesome.

She’s my daughter.

And today?  Today she is five.



5 Extraordinary Years from Kelli Stuart on Vimeo.

 Happy Birthday to my sweet girl today.  I look forward to many more extraordinary years…

Song by Rebekah Sullivant from her Little Lambs and Lullabies album.

Many thanks to Jim of BusyDadBlog for inspiring me to begin using video and for taking the time to teach me how to use the software.  Hopefully there will be many more videos to come.