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…)

It’s like he doesn’t know me at all

Update: Lee took me out to dinner on Saturday night, but before we went to the restaurant, we went to Target. He bought me the hat. He’s a fast learner, friends. A very fast learner. Let’s all give him a round of applause. *winky face!* 😉

Today, after dropping Landon off at preschool, I headed to the Promised Land. Target. The land of bright, happy colorful things that make the world a better, happier place.

While browsing, I came upon this hat:

I finished watching Season 2 of Downton Abbey last night and I have spent the better part of the last two weeks fawning over the fashions and styles of those days. This hat felt very Downton-esque to me and I quickly tossed it in my cart.

Then I stopped myself and put it back on the shelf, took this picture and texted my husband.

“Christmas gift idea. I love this hat from Target.” I included a winky face, of course, because every good wife should send her husband winky yellow ping pong heads when requesting a gift. It’s like wife-law in the new media age. 😉

I felt rather good about myself after sending this text for a couple of reasons, the main one being that I actually gave my husband an idea instead of shrugging my shoulders and asking the poor man (whose spiritual gift is decidedly not gift giving) to surprise me.

I went on my merry way, picking up on the items I needed and imagining wearing my new hat come Christmas day. Then I got a phone call that…well, frankly it took me very much by surprise.

Me: “Hello?”

Lee: “Alright, we need to get something straight here.”

Me: “Uh…okaaaayyyy.”

Lee: “Target is a store for buying kitchen items. You buy can openers and trash bags and maybe a brushed nickel picture frame from Target, but you do not buy hats from Target.”

Me: *silence*

Lee: “I’m not going to buy you a hat from Target.”

Me: “Why?”

Lee: “You don’t wear stuff from Target. That’s not fashion.”

Me: “You DO know that most of my clothes are from target, right?”

Lee: “That’s neither here nor there.”

Me: “Well, I mean, technically it’s here, because it’s true.”

Lee: “Go to Macy’s or some place like that and pick out a hat. I’ll buy you a hat. You look sexy in hats. But go to a place that makes quality hats.”

Me: “No, that doesn’t make sense. I could find a hat exactly like this one at Macy’s and it would cost $50. This one only costs $16 and I like it.”

Lee: “I just can’t buy you a hat from Target. It doesn’t feel right.”

Me: “Um, babe? You do know that Target is basically the Mothership for women, right? I mean, this is Mecca. It’s the Homeland.”

Lee: “No. It’s a place to buy kitchen utensils.”

Me: “It’s like I don’t even know you at all.”

Lee: “Women really like Target that much? I don’t get it.”

Me: “Clearly….so are you going to get me the hat?”

Lee: “I don’t think so.”

Me: “Huh. Can I buy it for myself for Christmas?”

Lee: “No because I’m going to get you a hat. I’ll get you the greatest hat you’ve ever seen.”

Me: “For sixteen dollars or less?”

Lee: “Go to Kohls. See if they have hats. Kohls is better than Target.”

Me: “I…I just…I don’t even know what to say.”

Lee: “Target is for kitchen supplies.”

I hung up the phone and couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry. So I just laughed until I cried, which seemed like a happy comprimise.

First of all, I’m not sure I’ve ever bought kitchen supplies from Target so that alone is cause for a bit of confusion. Secondly, it is clear – CLEAR – he is seeing Target through blue glasses while I see it through pink. That can be the only explanation. Is it the male testosterone? Is that why he’s confused? Maybe he just doesn’t know…doesn’t understand. I think we should all pray for him, that his eyes would be opened to the truth, to the retail glory to which he is so tragically blinded.

I also think that this MORE than makes up for the shock and horror I caused during our conversation about The Natural.

Babe, we’re even. 😉

Now about that hat…

Those Little Pink Bags

It was tax-free weekend here. Which means the masses were out, ignoring the weak economy and indulging in some good old fashioned retail therapy. Even Lee got into the groove and so we packed up our adorable brood Saturday morning and headed out to buy a few things we needed and a bunch of stuff we didn’t.

After filling little stomachs at Bob Evans (where Sloan specifically requested chocolate chip pancakes, which they didn’t have on the menu so they grabbed a bag of M & M’s from the store and tossed those in and even gave him a smiley face in whipped cream – that, folks, is how you keep your customers coming back!), we headed to the Promised Land.

That’s right – we went to Target. Because Target makes me happy. It’s like a drug; a beautiful, glorious good-deal drug. Forget that other mega store (the one that rhymes with Smallcart) – Target is the place that brings sweet joy to my soul…

After stocking up on Sloan’s school supplies (12 glue sticks??? Really? Why again? Do they eat it? (thanks Melissa for the great line:) ), we decided to brave the mall for some new school clothes. Us and the whole of West County.

But you see, we were smart because we hit the stores as soon as they opened. And we spent all of our money as fast as we possibly could. Which is pretty fast when the first two stores you go to are Old Navy and White House Black Market.   Oh yeah, and when you don’t have any money to begin with – that helps too…(And yes, I took advantage of the no tax weekend for myself as well and I got the rockin’ red shoes at the top of this page – aren’t they awesome?)

After all the retail loveliness, Lee and the kids went to unwind in the vortex of automated rides meant to suck the life out of anyone over the age of twelve and I headed to the store with the hidden Secret.  Because I was in need of some unmentionables…because I tend to buy those about as often as I buy a new car…which is about as much information as I’m sure any of you are going to want…

I’ll confess, shopping for underwear is not my favorite thing.  I find it horribly intrusive to have sales people hanging around me as I purchase my intimates, asking me whether I prefer a thong or full coverage, lace or cotton and would I like this specially made bra? It’s on sale for only 30 dollars!

And can we talk about the prices?  I can buy a kickin’ pair of shoes for as much as two undergarments (or one in some cases). Really?  Reeeaaallly?

So it was with a bit of reluctance that I entered the store Saturday.  And I made my plan to find what I wanted and get out of there in record time.  It’s not that I’m not seduced by all the pretty, girliness of the store – I just feel a little weird about everyone knowing what I’m buying.  Especially since it is apparently a stipulation for hire that you must be just out of puberty and as bubbly, if not more so, than the Starbucks baristas.  Maybe they all train at the same school.

So imagine my surprise/horror when I was approached by a DUDE the other day, asking me if I needed help finding anything.  If I hadn’t been trying so hard not to make eye contact with him, I would have studied him more closely to try and figure out what this guy was doing selling underwear in the store with a Secret and OMG no I don’t need your help AND CAN WE PLEASE SAY UNDERWEAR INSTEAD OF PANTIES! GAH!

Then there was the woman who dragged her poor son in the store.  Bless his heart – he was around 12 and his face was all shades of red as his mom dug through the stacks of silky underwear.  He looked like he would gladly crawl through the floor and die a thousand horrible deaths simply by being amidst all the negligee. 

 Then I remembered the one time I brought Sloan in the store about a year and a half ago and caught him oohing and aahing as he stroked the leg of one of the manniquins and I giggled.  But then the DUDE approached me again to tell me about the sales, and I got all uncomfortable and jumpy again and JUST WANTED OUT OF THE STORE WITH THE SECRET!

So I quickly went about my business, found what I needed, checked out with the DUDE (DUDE!) and left the store with the Secret.  And as I walked through the mall, I felt conspicuous with my little pink bag swinging by my side.  It’s as if everyone knew my secret.  Only I don’t know my secret. 

All I know is that I really, really hate underwear shopping.