Results?

And my crappy Lazarus analogy

Negative. Mayo Clinic has deemed the results negative, but did acknowledge an elevated level of glycosaminoglycans. They believe this to be from contamination, or could be a sign of some other disorder. So though the answer is not a perfect and resounding “NO!” it is more of a “Almost assuredly and mostly no.”

You would think I would have jumped for joy, but instead I felt immediate fear. What if the elevated levels mean that he actually does have Hurlers?! What if we have to repeat this test?! I CANNOT WAIT AGAIN! I will kill myself. I will jump in front of a bus. I will die because I cannot take one more ounce of stress. These thoughts were immediately followed by more fear that by me saying ‘I can not take any more’ that I was issuing a challenge to God to give me more pain and anguish to prove that I can take it. Cynical, I know.

I put too much faith in science and logic and exactness. Jesus knows that about me, and He wants me to trust in Him whatever the outcome, and I struggle with that–with saying, “Whatever the outcome, I love and trust in You.” Because a part of me, the sinful part, does not feel that way. I love Jesus when I receive His blessings and goodness, and I often lose faith in Him when “it’s not fair.” Jesus knows this about me. So, I believe He gave me a lab result that wasn’t quite perfect. And I reacted predictably–in simultaneous relief and despair.

I am reminded of John 11 account of Lazarus. Jesus loved Lazarus and knew he was very, very sick. Despite this, Jesus stayed where he was for 2 days and said (paraphrased), “This will not end in death, but this will be for God’s glory, and God’s Son will be glorified through this.”

Y’all. Lazarus died. He had been dead for 4 days by the time Jesus came into town. Lazarus’ sister Mary told him,”If you had been here, Lazarus wouldn’t have died!” And then Jesus opens the tomb of a dead man, tells him to get up, and he DOES! Like a mummy, Lazarus walks up out of the tomb. Seriously on the mummy part. John 11:44 says his hands and feet and face were wrapped in cloth 😱

What I’m trying to say, and probably failing at, is that God rarely gives me expedient, nice, and tidy answers. He gives me halfway answers, prolonged waiting times, and frustrating questions. I forget that an answer of “maybe” is not the same as a hard “no,” and sometimes I forget to be grateful for that. Jesus is working for something huge, here. Bigger than huge, even. My despair is caused by putting my faith in the world instead of the One who created it. Shame on me. Jesus is healing my baby. I’ve seen proof of it over and over again, and I still doubt. And today, He answered our prayers. Thank you for your prayers. I am blessed beyond measure by those who love and pray for me and my baby.

Clark is an overcomer, and we are mighty when we unite in prayer. Love to all ❤️

EDIT: I was hesitant to submit this update because my pediatrician wanted to talk to geneticist to clarify the confusing results. I decided to believe in the negative result. I pressed submit and my pediatrician called me immediately. He said that the Mayo Clinic geneticist said the elevated level was from craniosynostosis and NOT Mucopolysaccharidosis. You will never convince me that wasn’t Jesus. 😭👏🏻🙌🏼❤️

An update with a pending update

So basically I still don’t know anything

Waiting.

We sent off labs a couple of weeks ago on Clark to test for a rare metabolic disorder called Hurler’s syndrome. The symptoms are vague in the first year of life, but become more apparent the older the child becomes. He has a few of the vague symptoms and early intervention is essential. Without treatment, children with Hurlers rarely live past 6 years old, and with treatment, some are living into their 20s. It is a life-limiting disease. All week my prayers have been that Clark does NOT have this disorder. I’ve been calling the lab directly to see if the results were in, and at 9:00 a.m. this morning, the lab confirmed that they were resulted. And now, I’m waiting.

Waiting for the doctor’s office to call me with the results. Waiting to know if our lives will be completely uprooted. Waiting to know if a timer has been set on my son’s life.

I’m scared to know what the results are. I’m scared to know whether my son will require a bone marrow transplant thus necessitating chemotherapy. I’m scared that I’ll have to leave my Darcy to be with Clark in the hospital for months. Some people say that it is foolish to “borrow trouble.” We don’t know if he even has Hurlers, afterall. But we will know today, and I’ve made plans. I’ve looked at different hospitals that treat Hurlers and offer bone marrow transplants. I’ve thought about how we can make it work living apart from one another as no hospital in Baton Rouge can treat this syndrome.

I’m praying constantly that this is not going to be a part of our story. Please pray with me, for guidance and strength. I will update very soon. Love to all ❤

There’s a lot of ugly here

My most brutally honest post to date

I’m mad at God. I mean, I am really, really pissed off. Let me back up a minute and fill you in on past events. As usual, prepare yourself for my rambling overshare–

Ben graduated! Yes, he really did. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Engineering. He had multiple job offers and accepted an awesome job before he even graduated. I. Am. So. Proud! We left Ohio with big plans and it’s happening, y’all. Ben has changed careers and has started work as a structural engineer as of Monday. I’m winding down my school year and have been re-hired as a PRN nurse on my old unit for the summer. I finished my awful research class. Basically life is awesome, right?

Then life throws you that curve-ball. I hate, hate, HATE to be cryptic, but I don’t want to share exactly what’s going on quite yet. I need another few days before I can confirm everything and share it with whatever readers may exist. Believe me, I hold no illusions of having this huge platform of captive readers. I’m not that into myself, so I can’t see that I have more than a few close friends/family member that actually have an interest in the Rayners’ going-ons. Anyway, I have this need to word-vomit– to get my anxieties out onto these blank pages and overshare. So here goes.

I’m worried. Why? Because I’m waiting on results again. Once again, I’m waiting. And I’m damn tired of waiting. I mean it. I no longer feel like I can wait in any manner that is socially acceptable. I cannot sit back and say, “I’ll know in God’s perfect timing, and that’s alright with me.” Because it is not alright. It is SO not alright. It is effing torture, and I am filled with fear and anxiety. I am also SO angry. I am angry that–once again– when life seems to be coming together that there is an insidious, lurking threat ready to destroy us.

I can’t pray this away. I alternate between feeling good and peaceful to feeling like the whole sky is falling down. Isn’t it, though? I don’t know how to deal anymore. I used to hit the pavement, you know? Throw on my raggedy tennis shoes and run until it hurt. That way I could at least feel semi-accomplished. Yesterday, I didn’t do that.

I googled worst-case scenarios, formulated hypothetical plans, and cried to my mother. I went to the grocery store to delay picking up my children. I grabbed a 6-pack of petit fours to binge on because I eat my feelings. My coping skills are 👌🏻. I then promptly dropped the box of petit fours onto the pavement while I was getting into my car, which should tell you exactly everything about how my life is going these days. I drove to daycare in defeat and then I carried my children out of said daycare, one in his heavy carrier, the other kicking and screaming because I wouldn’t allow her to continue playing in the water fountain longer than the 2 minutes she had already done so. This older woman (older than me by 20 years) was walking her children (grandchildren?) to the car. She stopped in her tracks, turned around and looked at me in disgust, and said, “Ugh. Y’all come on!” to her kids. Like I was an unfit parent for having a 2 year-old that was tantrum-ing. So, to you, 50ish, pudgy, short, dark-haired lady, “Screw you.” Seriously, though. Next time you look at me like that I will embarrass you soundly by saying, “Please offer me your *expert* advice since you are clearly not in favor of what I am currently doing. Please, do that. And in exchange I will share with you that the Carol Brady hairstyle went out of favor about 4 decades ago. See? We can help each other, you hag.”

Petty, I know. But I was not feeling like the bigger person yesterday. I wanted someone else to feel as bad as I do. I wanted someone else to worry and be anxious and understand the absolute hell I’ve been through the last year. I wanted to be understood. I wanted to enjoy the blessings in this life. I wanted to recognize all of the good, and I also wanted to be ignorant of the bad because I’m tired of knowing all the things and imagining worst case scenarios about the things, and honestly I just wanted to give up because I was so tired. The kind of tired that sleep can’t fix.

Truth be told, I have some ugly vices. I like to withdraw when I’m sad. I crave alcohol and isolation. And yet, because of Jesus and immense growth, I refuse to give into those temptations. Even though they’re there, they just aren’t that loud. I eat my feelings instead. Like yesterday, I ate 3 out of the six smushed-to-hell-petit fours instead. And have plans to eat the remaining ones today. I’m #healthy.

And, in the midst of my downward spiral–I’m reminded…that Jesus has not left me. That the moments of peace I have been blessed with are not of this world. The peace that passes understanding is a gift from my Jesus. My husband is a gift from Jesus, my children are a gift from Jesus. He loves my babies more than I ever could, and He has plans for GOOD. If I were the only human in creation, God would have still sent Jesus to die for my sins.  I don’t need to understand His ways. I just need to trust that He loves me, He is good, and He is sovereign. And if I step back for a minute, that’s pretty easy. It’s literally saying, “You are the God of all the universe. You hereby get to deal with this crap problem because I am tiny and human, and I cannot even.” And yes, I actually pray like that. I also say, “These are some shit circumstances, God, and I am majorly pissed off at you. Fix it, Jesus.” My favorite song right now, is called “Sparrows,” by Jason Gray. It’s based on Matthew 6:25-34. The chorus lyrics are:

“If He can hold the world, He can hold this moment. Not a field nor flower escape His notice. Oh, even the sparrow knows, He holds tomorrow.”

So there you have it. I am a sinful mess with poor coping skills. But I am okay with that. I am me. I’m still here. And Jesus loves me, the foul-mouthed and imperfect woman that I am. I will update soon. Love to all ❤️

Splitting my face with a plastic sword

A sappy post dedicated to my brother

Caleb and Beka/Beka and Caleb.

We are the “babies” of the family. You see, I am the youngest of four children. (1) Katie and (2) Anna are only 3 years apart, but Anna and (3) Caleb are 5 years apart. Caleb and (4) Beka–well, we’re only 19 months apart. So, you can see that there is A) Katie and Anna. & B) Caleb and Beka. I am lucky–I was born into a really great family, and I am close to every single one of my siblings. But Caleb is different. We grew up together and are bonded in a way that only siblings one school-grade apart can understand. We knew all of the same people, were in the same Sunday school classes, and hit major milestones together. He was ahead of me by one year, so there were always those times that he briefly left me behind. Like while I was still in Jr. High as a freshman, and he was a sophomore. Or, when I was finally a senior, but he left for his freshman year of college. But we *get* each other. He’s the only person in the world as funny as I am, and I can tell what he’s thinking. I can feel it when he’s sad even if he’s far away. He shares all of my childhood memories even if he remembers them “differently.” 🙄

As I am feeling sentimental today, I’ll share a few of them with y’all.

One of my earliest memories involves Caleb killing a snake. It was the summer I turned 4 and I remember a small snake was caught in one of our pool gutters. We always loved emptying the pool gutters because of all the bugs and frogs in them, but on this day there was a small pissed off snake wrapped around the handle of the basket. Using a stick, Caleb bludgeoned and killed it. I remember thinking he was so brave. I don’t know that he even remembers…

When we were kids, we both played together and fought together often simultaneously. Once, while we were actually playing, he split my face open with a plastic sword. It was a Wednesday afternoon, we were playing outside, and we were told to come inside, so we could load up and go to church. I told him that we needed to go inside, but he insisted on his stupid, “Duck!” game. He said, “I’m going to tell you to “duck,” as he swung his sword at me. He told me to “Duck!” and I did. “This time, I’m not going to tell you to duck.” I wasn’t quick enough. BLAM! The sword cracked against my left cheek, just below my eye–hard. It hurt, but when I put my hand up to my cheek and pulled it back down, my hand was absolutely covered in blood. I screamed. Supposedly, you could see my cheek bone. I had to go to Memphis, and have a pediatric plastic surgeon suture it back together, so I wouldn’t have a massive scar. I’d probably be a lot hotter without my disfiguring injury, you big jerk. 🙄 Honestly, if you’ve ever seen it, you probably thought it was just a dimple, but it was a Caleb-made dimple. Injuries aside, we spent our childhood playing outside all day everyday; going fishing, catching crawdads, and playing in the hayloft of the barn, threatening to throw each other in the horse troughs. He was my built-in playmate.

In college, our relationship changed Surprisingly, it was the time we were most distant even though we were in college at the same small university. A lot of that probably had to do with who we were each dating at the time (we were constantly going in different directions), but also because I was pretty unforgiving and felt it was my duty to use separation to punish Caleb for whatever I deemed offensive. Now we are not twins, but we are far closer than your average siblings, and the pain that comes with separation (physical distance or emotional) is real. Even so, when I needed him, or when he needed me, we jumped to each others’ aid. When he broke his ankle by being an idiot, I helped him to and from the bathroom and to and from Algebra class at DSU. When I was at death’s door and some awful nurse at the DSU infirmary accused me of being drunk, he came to my dorm to rescue me. I had a sinus infection, bilateral ear infections, bronchitis, and a 103 fever by the way, you hateful shrew of a nurse. So even though we were mad at each other, we still helped one another.

Luckily, the rockier part of our relationship began to smooth out when he met his amazing wife, Lakon. Ugh, I love her. She’s the best, man. I mean, I can make fun of her for days–she makes it SO easy–and she’ll just throw it right back at me. We can laugh at Caleb’s expense, play cards for hours, and lay on “$150 rugs” at 1 am. She’s the best, and has become a real friend to me. I just can’t tell you how much I love having another sister. So, when I first started dating Ben, I really wanted Caleb to like him. Caleb, although kind to just about everyone, does NOT let many close to him. If he doesn’t like you or feels like you are “uppity,” he will hold you at arm’s length and avoid you. I did not want that for Ben and by association, me. Luckily, I didn’t have anything to worry about. He and Ben got along well at first, and are now basically best friends. Caleb calls Ben just to chat, and he DOES NOT DO THAT. They have major bro love, and I couldn’t be happier.

As we’ve gotten older and adultier, we’ve just become closer. When Darcy was diagnosed with craniosynostosis, Caleb loaded up his family and came to Baton Rouge within 3 days. When my 20-week ultrasound with Clark showed abnormalities, Caleb immediately called and told me he would be there that weekend if I needed him. When he graduated from Chiropractic school, I drove across 3 states for a total of 8 hours to see him. That night after I arrived, I was sharing a hotel room with my parents and my father started snoring. It was the worst. I called Caleb at midnight, and he drove to my hotel to bring me to his house to let me stay on their couch. Less than 24 hours after arrival, I loaded up and drove the 8 hours back. On my first official Mother’s Day, I was neck-deep in postpartum depression. I was exhausted, tired, and lonely. Ben arranged for Caleb’s crew to join us at his parent’s lake house as a surprise. It was the best surprise ever.

And now, Caleb is headed off to a new adventure in Florida. It’s stupid because I don’t get to see him much, but I feel the distance. He feels farther away because he is. And knowing that he won’t meet us at the house when I go home to Tobie stings. It’s hard. I’m so, so happy for him and his family, but I am also selfish, and I want him to stay close. I don’t want him to move on and make this fabulous life without me, filled with people I don’t know. It was hard enough lending him to St. Louis for school! Either way, he knows that if he ever needs me, I will drive forever and ever to be there. I would hitchhike across America for that boy because he’s the one I love best. I love you, Bubby!

Opinions are like butts…

Everyone has one and they all stink

The picture is of Darcy choosing her potty she has yet to use 🙄. Whatever. Anyway, this is a different kind of blog post for me, but lately I have realized that I really just don’t agree with a lot of things, and I decided to have an unpopular opinion post! Maybe it’s that I’m getting closer to being a real adult (i.e. almost thirty) and really knowing what I do and don’t believe in, enjoy, or even condone. Or maybe it’s just that most people are stupid and have stupid opinions. Me, obviously excluded. Hey, what’s the point of having your own blog if you aren’t the queen of it? Be gone, naysayers!

Unpopular opinions that I, Rebekah Rayner, have and hold dear to my heart.

1. Chipotle is not great. Yep. I know, as a millenial I’m supposed to be all, “OMG! Chipotle, let’s get extra guac!” But, I just don’t get the fascination. Their meat is kinda gross, and overall I think it’s overpriced and under-flavored.

2. I hate the over usage of ALL CAPS when promoting your AWESOME multi-level marketing product. While I realize it may be an AMAZING OPPORTUNITY, I just think the caps and multiple emojis look stupid. Stop it.

3. This here is a biggie and I am sure people will hate me forever–I don’t like publicized adoption fundraisers. There. I said it. Maybe it’s because I feel like there are go-fund-me pages for everything today. Maybe I’m bitter because I’ve paid for both of my children to have neurosurgery, multiple scans, and therapy without asking for other people to pay my bills. Maybe it’s because I am a self-professed cynic and question people’s motives. Probably a combination of all of that and other specific reasons I won’t go into right this moment. Anyway, a lot of things about it just turns me off.

*Edited to add that I LOVE adoption itself. Seriously I do. Just not fundraisers❤️❤️

4. Putting any sauce other than Polynesian or Chik-fil-a sauce on your Chik-fil-a nuggets is a straight-up abomination. You know who you are, and you are wrong, and you are ruining the Lord’s chicken.

5. While I enjoy my friends who are mamas, I’m not into mama groups. They tend to freak out over Every. Little. Thing. Oh mylanta. Your baby has a runny nose? It’s fine. Wipe it off occasionally. Your baby is only saying 6 words and they should be saying 8?! He fell down and cried?! Agh. If you are a laid back mom, we can probably be friends. If you run to the doctor’s office every time your kid sneezes or has a fever, we will never be friends. Most of this comes from being a nurse, but also I have worked with kids who are dying of cancer. Get your perspective straight, mama. He has a cold. He’s gonna get approximately 25641321568 more in his lifetime. It’s small stuff.

6. People who constantly talk about their special diets suck. I mean I would have never guessed you ate “clean” foods when every post has #cleaneating #wholefoods #healthy. Hashtag: Get over yourself. No one cares. That’s right, no one. They really don’t. They also don’t want to see your food pictures #chefstatus. Look, I’m a nurse. I totally get healthy living. Just try not to make it your God because while eating well can and will totally improve your overall health, it will not eliminate your chance of death. You will still die. So quit trying to say your kale brownies are just as good as my butter filled ones are. You’re lying to yourself.

7. I have not cried once watching “This is Us.” It’s a really great show, but I don’t understand everyone’s constant tear-filled status updates about it. I came closer to crying watching Glenn’s garbage can scene in Walking Dead. Also Kate is really mean to her mom, and it gets annoying. Be nice, girl.

8. I don’t agree with the whole “Mama needs wine” thing. If you’ve been living under a rock, it’s really this whole social movement now, filled with memes, t-shirts, and yes, even wine glasses touting the misery of motherhood and the MUST have daily “wine to put up with your kids’ whine.” Maybe I’m just more sensitive to those who may struggle with drinking, but I find the constant promotion of needing “mommy’s juice” distasteful.

*Sidenote–I am not against drinking. I really enjoy an occasional cocktail, mug of beer, or glass of wine. Nothing wrong with that. What I’m talking about is the greater culture’s attitude associated with motherhood and needing alcohol. It’s offensive.*

10. I don’t care that McDreamy died. I’ll explain. In the beginning, he had a wife and never told Meredith until said wife showed up looking like Cruella. Then he chooses wife over Meredith. They work that mess out, but he was a total jerk his last 2 seasons of Greys. He was hateful and unforgiving and punished Meredith forever for the clinical trial/chief webber’s wife thing. He was a total jerk when he was chief. Finally, he totally strayed even if he didn’t actually sleep with that lab assistant. Suddenly he has this “I actually love Meredith” revelation, they’re happy for one episode and he dies. Big. Deal. He was a tool, good riddance.

So, there. Now you can say what a negative person I am. But in the spirit of comradeship, I will give you some examples to show that I probably love or do several things that you kind of hate. Unpopular opinions, UNITE!

1. Starbucks. I’m probably supposed to hate the overpriced drinks and stupid naming of their sizes, but I feel sassy when I get a drink there. I also love lattes, and you will not take that away from me no matter what evil Starbucks perpetuates in our world.

2. I am very ambitious. See, I totally want to be the mom in the SUV who wears yoga pants, drinks her latte, drops her kids off at daycare, and then goes to the gym before meeting her friends for lunch. I would love to be *that* mom because *that* mom has it going on and is living life right. #lifegoals #divaaspirations

3. I love “Walking Dead.” Just like the rest of the world, but maybe you don’t.

4. I think politics is the worst part of our world. I also don’t feel the need to be involved. And yes, I’m aware that people will say that is my “privilege talking,” but I don’t really care. I hate discussing politics, and if you continually espouse your hard-right or hard-left leanings, I have probably already blocked you on social media. Not sorry.

5 I’m a touchy-feely person. I tell people how I feel, and I hug ‘em hard. Some people absolutely hate affection. I’m not one of those, and if you’re my friend, I’ll tell you I love you everytime we talk. I’ll mean it, too.

6. I double dip my chips. I’m courteous enough to get my own bowl of dip, but I’m a double-dipper because the dip is the best part. By dip, I mean salsa. Obviously.

7. I zone out on social media or playing on my phone all the time, just like baby-boomers accuse the evil millenials of doing. I’ve ignored my husband talking to me and allowed Darcy to clobber Clark while doing this. I’m working on it, but yep. I’m a distracted millennial.

8. I’m not into the hella long beard thing. A little scruff is okay, but the super long beards are gross. Like don’t come near me with that. Something living might fall out of it. Just ew. Also manbuns=🤢

9. I’m not wild about avocados. I mean they’re fine on or in stuff, but I’m not trying to make an entire dish featuring avocados. I get that they are a *hot* food, but I’d rather not have avocado deviled eggs or avocado toast. Ain’t my thang, y’all.

10. I totally overshare on my blog. Not much is off limits to me, so I have a hard time understanding super mysterious people. Like what’s your deal? Why are you standoffish. Are you hiding something? Why won’t you tell me things? Why don’t you love me?! See # 5.

11. I’m a Rodan & Fields convert. Can’t argue with results, y’all.

So there you have it! What unpopular opinions do you have??

Throwing all that ish away

I’m cringing just thinking about it. SOS, y’all.

Clothing capsule. Have you ever heard of it? It’s a phrase that was super trendy a few years ago. Basically it is when you purge your closet completely, keeping only a few items that you LOVE, and then buying several quality pieces that will make up the entirety of your closet. We’re talking 25-30 items including shoes and accessories. It essentially keeps you well-dressed in clothing that makes you look awesome, put together, and minimalistic in a “I don’t need much to look good”-kind of way. I want to be that kind of person. So, I’m taking the plunge because there has got to be a change in this closet. I have a ton of clothes. I do. I hate almost all of them, but when it comes time to donate or trash the clothing, I end up keeping things I have not and will not wear in this lifetime. WHY??? What is wrong with me? I’m so sick of “stuff,” yall. Why do I have so much? I’m definitely not a hoarder, but I really want to clean out and get rid of all the crap that has moved with us from one state to another with–at best–minimal usage. I wear scrubs on the daily, so I should really love what I wear on the weekends/days off, right? I’m just feeling all itchy when I think about the junk we’ve accumulated in our four years of marriage, so I’ve decided it’s about to go DOWN in the Rayner house.

This weekend, I started with my closet, and I’ve begun the purge. By “started with,” I mean that my room is littered with garbage bags full of stuff, and my closet looks worse than before I ever even started as does my room. Le sigh. Once I finish my closet (this upcoming weekend, hopefully) I will tackle at least one room a weekend, and I am throwing the crap away. I feel the need to make things simpler. To clean out the multiple “junk” drawers and throw away papers, broken pencils, receipts, used gift cards, chargers that don’t work, and strange job-fair trinkets, etc. I mean, get out of my house, random highlighter. You are not my problem anymore.

It’s going to take time, but because our lives can just NOT ever just calm the hell down, I have decided to at least live our chaotic life in a less-cluttered, less-chaotic house. I think the greater population refers to this as “spring cleaning,” but being a self-aware individual, I don’t want to set unrealistic expectations by labeling it as such. This thing might be accomplished by fall, and I have to account for my procrastinating and ever-fading determination while setting realistic goals, y’all.

Ugh. Okay. Back to “The Capsule.” It sounds so important when I refer to it as “The Capsule.” My voice gets deeper and more authoritative in my head…”The Capsule!” Ack, I digress. Anyway, there are a lot of blogs and articles detailing the process of creating, “The Capsule,” (I’m done, I promise), but I can totally envision how this thing could go:

  • Waking up Saturday morning at 6:00 a.m. because Clark is starving, and Darcy is kicking the walls ready to get up. 😑
  • Stumble into the kitchen to make coffee while Darcy attempts to smother Clark with a blanket because, “baby code” (cold).
  • Abandon coffee-making whilst saving poor Clark from suffocation via blanket.
  • Let Ben handle making the coffee.
  • Drink said coffee and think about how I need to start the closet purging.
  • Decide I need more caffeine first.
  • Make another pot of coffee.
  • Go back and forth with Ben, “What should we do today?” “I don’t know” at least 4 times in 5 minutes, never really coming up with a plan.
  • Continue to stare at our phones instead of being productive and/or carrying through with vague aforementioned plans.
  • Deal with the inevitable meltdown over our refusal to honor Darcy’s request to watch Moana for the zillionth time this week. Not today, Darcy.
  • Finally agree to watch “Trush” (Trolls) for the zillionth time with week. Is this even a victory? 🙄
  • Feed Darcy a lunch she will largely refuse and throw to Libby.
  • Put the kids down to nap.
  • Realize I should finish the purge, but also realize that I am exhausted and should relax because I deserve it.
  • Take a bath.
  • Leave bathroom and step in dog puke because  Darcy fed Libby her entire lunch.
  • Hear the tell-tale foot beating, and know that Darcy is kicking the walls, concluding her 45 minute nap.
  • Diaper change, feed, and ward off meltdowns until 7ish when they go to sleep.
  • Start purging, but decide I can’t get rid of anything.
  • Keep my crappy closet and accomplish nothing.

I really have high hopes that this will not be how this thing goes. I really do, but because of who I am as a person, I will likely finish cleaning out my closet at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday evening. By then I will be so frustrated, I will throw everything away and have no clothes for a while because I only buy clothes for Darcy. Maybe I can hold it together and do better, but it’s questionable at best. I’ll update on my progress later. Have any of you created a clothing capsule? Any tips or must-have items? Throw your suggestions my way! Love to all! ❤

Scooter-racing and egg-hunting all while I’m helmet-hating

The past few weeks have been  busy y’all. I’m currently on Spring Break, so like a child, I am out of school! It’s awesome! I’m not even gonna try to lie to make you feel better about your crappy non-spring breaky job. Be a school nurse, yo. Or spend spring break at work. It’s your choice, people.

This past weekend, we were grateful to go to my hometown and celebrate Easter with most of my family. My brother Caleb, his wife Lakon, and their 3 rambunctious sons joined Ben, Darcy, Clark and I at our parents house. My sister Anna and her three children already live in my hometown, so it was a full and fun weekend. On Good Friday, my niece Mary Mac had her birthday party at a skating rink that I’ve been going to since the early 90s. It was awesome because nothing has changed. Seriously. Not the paint colors, not the sound system, not even the smell. All of the kids had these walkers to help them skate. It was hysterical! They looked like tiny uncoordinated old people skating around with walkers. Even the babies like Darcy had fun. There were these little foot-propelled riding scooters, and the 2-year olds loved them. They actually made it look like too much fun, so naturally I had to try one out. I sat down on the scooter. My butt was approximately 2 inches off the ground which placed my knees right next to my ears–that’s how low to the ground the scooter was. I immediately decided I needed to race Lakon. Around the rink we went as fast as our little scrunched up legs could putter. Oh Mylanta. My calves! My loins! How they burned! I totally killed her though, I was so fast. So then Caleb decides he also wants to race, and Lakon told him to hurry up because I was tired, and he could beat me. She was right, man. My legs were done, and he absolutely destroyed me. Keep in mind this was happening all while Darcy was chasing after me, weeping,”It MY!” because I had stolen “her” scooter. Whatever, kid. 🙄 You own exactly nothing in this world.

That night we played 13-sol (a family card game) and drank wine and whiskey drinks. We made stupid jokes at each others’ expense and laughed a lot because we are hilarious. My brother is leaving soon, and it breaks my heart to have him far from me. Caleb is my best friend even though he cheats at cards, screams like a girl, and uses unfair advantages in baby-scooter racing. I love his guts, that jerk.

We were able to go to my hometown church’s Easter egg hunt on Saturday. It was fun, and Darcy was a beast at hunting eggs. My siblings and I always kinda sucked, but apparently my Jewish husband would do very well at his neighborhood egg hunt as a child 🤔 So, I guess she gets it from her dad!  We went to my church on Easter Sunday, and it was good for my heart to see so many faithful members who have prayed for my family and my precious baby. My family took up an entire pew!

Clark Elliott has gotten his helmet. If you follow me on the Facebook or Instagram, you have already seen that the helmet has only enhanced his devilishly handsome looks. He wears the helmet 23 hours a day and will likely wear it for the better part of a year. In the spirit of complete honesty, I hate that helmet with the fire of a thousand suns. I know, I just said it was cute, but I actually hate it. I want to press my face against his sweet cheeks and I only get to do that for one hour each day. The other 23 hours, my cheek rests against hard plastic. I know, I know. I should be grateful, but I think it sucks, and I hate the helmet. So there. Moving on…

Clark is just so, so sweet, and he has made SO much progress with physical therapy! His doctor said that he can’t believe that Clark is even the same baby as when he was born. I’d like to say it’s because I work so hard with him, but it’s all God. He has been working miracles y’all…and yet, I still doubt. For the first time ever, I really understand the Israelites. They saw Moses part the Red Sea, and they were delivered from Pharaoh! Even after that miracle, they doubted the Lord and built and worshipped idols shortly after leaving Egypt. The apostles saw Jesus raise the dead, heal the blind and lame, and yet they still doubted that he would return as he promised. I always scoffed at their disbelief. Now? I get it, man. You see, this past week, Clark’s awesome physical therapist noticed Clark was making some odd eye movements and notified our neurologist. Our neurologist wanted to see us, and she ordered an EEG to determine if Clark could be suffering from seizures. His EEG was normal 🙌🏼 which doesn’t completely rule out seizures, but it does make them less likely especially as no other symptoms have been noticed. Y’all I got so upset when his PT initially told me her concerns. I just felt so defeated. Like, “What is this NOW?!! Could I get a damn break, please? I mean, throw me a freaking bone” My beautiful husband was like, “Chill. We’ve been here before, he’s gonna be fine.” But I? I struggled. I, who have seen my son healed so much, still doubt that God plans goodness for baby Clark. One little setback–hell, potential setback and that negative thought manages to grow an entire forest of doubt in my mind. This total Eeyore-attitude then effectively wipes away my appreciation for all the good things that have happened and in turn magnifies my fears of what’s to come. It’s ridiculous and ugly and sinful. I’m working on it. Still could use a break from scary stuff, though.

Darcy goes to a Jewish daycare, and now she covers her eyes when she sees candles because she thinks they are Shabbat candles. It’s pretty cute. She covered her eyes for her birthday cake She also sings a song called “God is everywhere,” at daycare. So now she points to the sky and says, “God…is over there!” She’s listening and putting things together, y’all. Which makes the whole interfaith thing complicated. Not in a bad way…just a complicated way. She is both Jewish and not. And I’m thankful for it. She is special and our family is pretty damn cool. One of the greatest things about it is that it keeps Ben and I on our toes praying for guidance and reading. It’s interesting, but I’d rather it be our way than any other.

It is no coincidence that all of these happenings coincide with a renewed sense of purpose for me. God is leading me to explore the Scriptures in new ways. I’m not sure where it will lead, but I am hopeful and excited in a way I cannot remember having been before. I’ll keep you updated on that.

So that pretty much concludes this session of word vomit where you learn entirely too much about my family and our going-ons. If you’re still hanging in there, I’m glad you are along for the ride. Love to all ❤