Monday, March 14, 2011


Joe was out of town last week. It doesn't seem to change much about our daily routines until dinner/bedtime. Still, the kids miss him but don't seem TOO broken up about it. They are kids, what can I say? I am the one who is totally exhausted and drained by his absence, mentally, emotionally and phyiscally.

But, there is one way that I know that the kids are more deeply affected by his absence then they let on: Nightmares. Normally they are all great sleepers. We are rarely ever awake during the night, since Abby was about 6 weeks old. Once they are out, we don't hear from them again until the morning.

Except...when Joe is gone. Then, it' not unusual for all three of them to wake up at some point during the night with a nightmare for the first two or three nights that he is gone. Not all at the same time, each one takes a turn. When I say "wake up" I mean suddenly screaming hysterically and sobbing uncontrollably. It scares me to death and then I can't get back to sleep. It's one of the hardest parts about him being gone.

Now, to the point of this story....

Last week, one of the nights Andrew woke up screaming and sobbing about 2 AM. I dashed in to comfort him (and try and keep him from waking up the other two). Once he calmed down enough that I could understand what he was saying, I had to smile even though I was exhausted. This is how it went:

Andrew, sobbing: "Are we having Family Home Evening?" (Thinking he was missing out on something)

me: "No, honey we're not."

Andrew: "But WWHHYYYY????"

me: "It's the middle of the night and everyone is sleeping."

Andrew: "But why can't we have Family Home Evening??"

me: "Because it's Wednesday."

Andrew, suddenly calm: "Oh, okay."

Then he simply climbed back in bed and was asleep.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Appreciating Beauty

As many of you know, it has been a gray, dark, wet and otherwise unpleasant couple of days (or weeks) in Spokane. February and March are hard months for me because Joe travels more than usual, the weather is usually a mess, and it's too cold/wet to send the kids outside to play. This week has been exactly that. We are all a little grumpy and stir-crazy!

This afternoon, I was driving to Walmart thinking about that. I was looking at the gray sky that was threatening to rain again and noticing all of the gray piles of snow that have not yet melted. Not that I was grumpy or depressed, I was just noticing how yucky everything looked. It was at that moment, Sam decided to teach me a lesson. He and Andrew had been riding quietly in the back of the van when I hear his sweet voice say, in awe, "Wow Mom, Heavenly Father and Jesus sure made a beautiful world for us to live in!"

I was totally taken aback, as if he'd been reading my mind and was disagreeing with it. He went on to talk about the mountains in the distance that were white with snow, the clouds that made cool designs and moved in the wind, the plants that were going to grow so big with all of the rain, etc.

I was truly humbled and grateful for the insights of a child.

And very grateful for our beautiful earth. Rain and all.