Five Poetic Years

“Blogging is the new poetry.”

Author Unknown

This contest is now closed. I will inform the winners momentarily. Thanks for participating everyone!

Five years ago tomorrow I sat down at the computer and entered my first blog post. I did not understand blogging, but I am a natural crowd follower and all the cool kids were doing it so I figured, why not?

To be honest, I’ve often thought about going back and deleting most of those early blog entries because…well, because they’re pretty bad. It was clear I didn’t understand the purpose of blogging and in some cases I overshared while in other cases I just wrote poorly.

But it’s all a journey, isn’t it, and blogging is no different.

When I began this blogging endeavor, I had three children under five. Landon was weeks old and most days I blogged while he napped in a pack and play next to me. Fittingly enough, as I type this entry he is laying beside me on the chair. It is only 5:40 in the morning, but my children all have a sixth sense, which means that there is no such thing as early morning alone time for this Mama.

His legs are slung over the side of the chair, all gangly and skinny. He’s asking me how to spell DOG, CAT and FART. Awesome…

The passing of time is so easily measured when one blogs. Moments are recorded and sent out into the void and sometimes those moments contain a huge piece of your heart. If you’re lucky, the heart pieces that were entrusted to the internet come back to you a little more whole and infused with joy. That’s what you all have done for me this half decade. You’ve infused me with joy and returned my heart just a little bit bigger.

I’ve been fortunate these last five years to have cultivated a small, but dear, community of readers who are the good ones. You all are kind and encouraging. You love to laugh (particularly at my husband) and you’re not afraid to cry. You want to help others and you are always willing to bless.

Google Analytics tells me that on average, there are 10,000 of you who visit this site monthly. That’s not very much in the grand scheme of blogging, I know. My corner is small. But it’s a nice corner. It’s peaceful here. The sun shines and the grass is fluffy and warm. We all sit around the table and drink tea out of Mason jars and eat Nutella without gaining weight.

That’s what this space is to me. It’s peace. It’s a gathering of friends who get to enjoy the best parts of life with me. Even when those best parts are hard.

I don’t share everything about my life in this space. That would be weird. I share the good, mostly. I share the funny, the sometimes mundane , the deepening of faith and the always changing craziness that makes life so exciting. There are times in the last five years when I’ve considered throwing in the towel on the whole blogging thing, but then I write a post that resonates and I remember that this life journey is much better when taken together.

I don’t know what the next five years holds. Hopefully more blogging, more growing and a lot more laughter. I may even have a book for you all to read by the end of this year! Who knows.

Life is an adventure, isn’t it? A grand, grand adventure.


I’ve decided to thank you all, my sweet readers, for walking this path with me. Especially the last few months as we’ve worked toward our adoption and as we now hang in the balance. I can’t tell you what it’s meant to know you guys have our backs. I have two awesome giveaways for today and tomorrow that I want to share with you all to celebrate five years.

Today, I am going to give away two $50 gift cards to Target.

Because if there’s one thing we have all agreed on over the years, it is that Target is The Promised Land (LEE!). So, leave me a comment for an entry to win $50 to the land of milk, honey and super cute, reasonably priced clothing. I will draw the two winners randomly on Friday, January 11 at 2:00 EST.

And come back tomorrow for a chance to win two more great prizes that I’m so excited to give away!

Now at the end of the week, I will only be able to give away four prizes, unfortunately, but NEVER YOU FEAR DEAR READERS! No one will walk away completely empty handed because everyone (EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU) who comments is going to receive a cyber hug, a cyber fist bump and five cyber high fives – one for every year I’ve been a blogger.

You. Are. Welcome.

So what are you waiting for? Leave a comment to win 50 smackers! Want me to sweeten the deal? Okay, sure! If you share this giveaway on Facebook, you can come back and leave a second comment for a second entry. If you share this giveaway on Twitter you can come leave a thrid comment for a third entry.

This means you not only have three times the potential to win – it also means you will receive 15 cyber high fives! I am nothing if not generous.

I love you all. I really, really do.

(And to keep the government people happy, I will let you know that I am purchasing the gift cards to Target myself to give away. I have not been endorsed or paid by Target to write this post, but if Target would like to endorse or pay me, I wouldn’t argue so…)

Lazy Monday

I think I’m still in a turkey coma.  Actually, it’s not so much the turkey as it is the stuffing, salad, pies and petit fors that have rendered me all but useless.  My brain has slowly shut down over the weekend.

It’s lovely.

This morning, as the alarm sang in my ear, begging me to leave the warm, plush covers of my bed (which I strongly believe has been sanctified by God Himself as a Holy Place), I found myself thinking over the blessings of this holiday weekend.  Good food combined with amazing family made this weekend my favorite since our move.  A visit from Lee’s parents was the icing on the cake.

Or the whip cream on the pie.

Or the sprinkles on the Petit Fors.

You get my drift.

We topped off a weekend of extreme laughter with a third visit to a church we really like where the message so moved me I found it difficult to breathe most of the day yesterday.  And for the first time, this place we’re in felt like home.  It felt as though we fit here.  As if, perhaps, this thing that we did – moving our family half way across the country – was…right.

Thanksgiving, indeed.  Or perhaps it’s better to say Giving Thanks.  Because this morning that is what I’m doing.

Though my eyelids are heavy and I feel more exhausted than I have in a long, long time, I find myself relishing the fatigue.  It’s only evidence of a weekend filled with laughter, food and love – five days of grace poured over my family.  I am, indeed, Humbly Grateful.

How was your Thanksgiving?

Where we were then

We are the World Series Champions!

Alternately titled: I didn’t know I could love baseball this much.

The St. Louis Cardinals are the World Series Champions.  You probably already knew that, but unless you’re from Missouri or Texas it likely didn’t mean much to you.  Truthfully, not that long ago it wouldn’t have mattered much to me either.  While I’ve always enjoyed sports, I have never been much of a fanatic.  I could take ’em or leave ’em.

Until this World Series.  I don’t know what came over me, honestly.  Maybe it’s the fact that we just moved away from St. Louis and I was feeling nostalgic, maybe it’s the fact that my son is finally at an age where sports are a huge deal, maybe it’s the fact that I was smack dab in the middle of a strict diet and I was delirious from hunger…

Whatever the case, I was a nut job over this World Series.  I wanted to see every game and I nervously paced and sighed and yelled and fussed over all of them.  I told you – I’m a terribly nervous sports fan.

It could be that this is the first time baseball has been really exciting.  Watching Sloan dissect each pitch and interact with Lee like a grown up made my heart turned ten shades of happy. Hearing Tia yell, “Texas, you awre goin’ down like China town,” cracked me up.

Hearing Landon declare that he was going to stay up “til the Wowrld Serious ends” and then watching him fall asleep before the first pitch was thrown made smile.

There was just something about this Championship series that was magical.  Had it been any other combination of teams, I probably wouldn’t have cared quite as much, though I would have still been excited to watch the game with my first born’s commentary running in the background.

“Oooohhh…that pitch was nasty. Did you see that nasty pitch?”

“Okay, John Jay…time to be a hitter.  Aw, man!  Jay don’t swing at the first pitch!”

“Okay guys, time to play smart.  We need smart baseball here.”

Thursday night found the kids and I at my parents condo so we could watch Game 6.  Lee was at a dinner and wouldn’t be home until late so we decided to make it a baseball night sans daddy.

It was a make or break game.  The Cardinals had to win it or I would be teaching my fiery first born the finer points of losing gracefully.  And after the sixth inning, when it appeared that all hope was lost and the game was over for the Cardinals, I prepared myself to give him the “someone’s got to win and someone’s got to lose” speech.

“That’s it,” Sloan huffed as yet another foolish error was made in the outfield.  “Texas is going to win.  I’m done watching this stupid game.” And with that, he stomped to his bed.

I, however, decided to stay up and see if maybe, just maybe, the Cards could pull off yet another miracle. And they did not disappoint. Lee and I texted back and forth until just after midnight when my phone died and the Cardinals and Rangers entered into the 11th inning tied…again.

And then…well, honestly?  I fell asleep.

Okay, so I’m not a total die hard sports fan yet.  I closed my eyes when the commercials came on with the intention of opening them again when the game started back up.  Instead, I opened them to find an elated Lance Berkman being interviewed with clips of David Freese hitting the game winning walk off home run.  (He’s an alumni from my high school, you know).

(Name dropper)

(Naw…if I was a name dropper I’d tell you about the time that Lee played basketball with Albert Pujols).

Stellar Parenting 101: Take your exhausted 3 year old to a sports bar at 10:00 at night and tell him you're sorry he's tired but you're not leaving so he better curl up on the chair. At least he slept, right?

So Friday night found us all piled up together at Buffalo Wild Wings for Game 7.  Landon fell asleep on my lap within minutes and we stayed until the beautiful, glorious end when the Cardinals defied the odds and won.

It was thrilling because it was our home team.

It was thrilling because they fought hard and beat a really good, tough team.

It was thrilling because we were together, just the five of us, making a memory with our kids to last a lifetime.

When the kids are grown and are taking their own children to baseball games, I pray they remember the night we closed down a sports bar.  I hope they remember what they were doing when the St. Louis Cardinals won their 11th World Series title.  I hope they tell their kids where they were when…

I will have the memory of that night treasured up and stored inside the most sacred sanctuary of my heart.  And every day, as I walk outside and watch Sloan reenact the moment the Cards won the game in our backyard (and reenact he does, he mimics every player’s reaction from Yadi to Pujols to Purcal to LaRussa) I’m reminded that raising kids is a series of moments pieced into the tapestry that makes up a life.

It is flashes of time, memories and laughter all strung together, that I pray leaves them with a sense of love that will be unmatched until they one day repeat the cycle with their own children.

Thank you, St. Louis Cardinals for giving our family a memory to last a lifetime.