To Read on the Journey

Monday, April 30, 2012

my old boyfriend

i'm cheating on my husband...
with my old boyfriend.
it's been years since i've seen this face.
 kissed this face. 
i think we have a bit of catching up to do.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


michael and i sat in a courtroom for 5 hours yesterday.

my dad, who had requested a trial by jury because he hopes to be released from his confinement at a state hospital, was seated a few rows ahead of us in the defendent's seat.  he was dressed in a borrowed gray polo shirt, black suit jacket, and slacks.  it's the first time in 14 years that i've seen him not wearing a state hospital or jail imposed jumper.

i was in a room with him for 5 hours. i've never been in a room with him for 5 hours. 
i sat behind him thinking about how dark his hair is.  noah has his dark hair.
i noticed his posture and how much he looks like his father who raised me.
i thought about a lot of things for those 5 hours.
i missed him. 

it was the second time michael has seen my dad.

my dad noticed us in the courtroom.  he waved and smiled.  

we spent a majority of the day listening to his psychiatrist and psychologist answer questions about my dad and his mental illness- schitzoaffective disorder/depression.

they shared about the symptoms of schitzoaffective disorder/depression: paranoia, delusions, auditory hallucinations, disorganized speech and thoughts, and clinical depression.

they shared about my dad's daily life in the hospital, and about how the symptoms of his illness manifest themselves through him.

i wasn't surprised.
i'm not a stranger to his illness.
i wish i was.
i wish he was.   

it is sad.

mental illness stole my dad from me.
and not just from me, but from my siblings, my grandparents, his sisters.
we mourn the loss of him everyday.
we were robbed of what could-have-been and should-have-been.

because he lives in a state hospital (in a controlled environment) i have a gift i never hoped to have  when his mental illness was intensified by 27 years of drug abuse.
i now have the ability to on rare occasion (when he agrees to take his meds and the illness is being managed) speak with him and even visit him.  

on those rare occasions i experience brief moments in conversation of "normal."
for a moment he is glad to see me or hear my voice, and especially glad to see and hear the voices of his grandchildren.  for a moment he delights in and expresses his love to all of us.  the moment passes too quickly as the symptoms of the illness swoop in and consume him again.
but for that moment i have the gift of  my dad.
i have a moment of should-have-been.

yesterday both the psychiatrist and psychologist testified that my dad is mentally ill, that he is not in remission, and that if released he poses a threat to others. 

this morning a jury will decide if he is to continue residing at the state hospital for treatment, or if he is eligible for release.

it is my prayer that he is not released.
it is my prayer that he continues to reside at the state hospital and receive treatment and care for his mental illness.

after court the psychologist commended my strength to be there for my dad.  she recognized my tear-stained state and acknowledged how emotionally difficult it is for family members who have lost a loved one to mental illness.
it is hard.
it is not fair.
there is a void where my dad is suppose to be.

but God.

He really does fill the void of father with Himself.
"Thou my Great Father, 
I Thy true son (daughter), 
though in me dwelling,
 and I with Thee one."
from the hymn, Be Thou My vision)

And just like a Father should, He comforts,
He speaks truth into the questions, fears, and lies,
And He causes me to Hope in Him for my dad, who my Great Father loves.

*UPDATE*  Good News- my dad will not be released from the state hospital this year.

Monday, April 23, 2012


happy monday afternoon, friends. 

it has been warm here in cali. 

this past weekend it was up in the high 80's! 

the warm temps made it easy for us to concede to the kids' request to have a camp-out in the backyard. 

i said to michael that it was 'too bad we didn't have a movie projector, because an outdoor movie would be a perfect addition to the kids' camp-out.'

i didn't know at the time that michael had movie- projector-borrowing-capabilities!
woot woot!

the camp-out/outdoor-movie night was on! 

so we set up the tents,
and an old white sheet for a movie screen.
the kids invited a few friends over. 
i rented a movie {we bought a zoo}, 
michael popped some popcorn,

and in a snap we made the kids' first camp-out in their new backyard a memorable one. 

and now i'm off to make dinner~ stuffed bell-peppers & garden salad.  yum!

how was your weekend? 

what's cooking at your casa? 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

MOG Dress

in 6 weeks i'm going to be a MOG! 

"mother of graduate"

{an 8th grade graduate}.

isn't the MOG suppose to purchase a pretty dress for the occasion?

different  MOG.

are you sure? 
cause i think this MOG needs to wear one of these lovelies to the celebration.  

 what do you think?

all dresses available at

speaking of dresses and noah~ when my almost-8th-grade-graduate was 5 he declared that when he grew up he was going to marry me. he said i was going to wear a green polka-dot dress to the wedding.  he said we would have chocolate chip cake and dance to "how sweet it is."

he knows how to tug on this mama's heart strings...
tugs on them, gives the look, and i'm wrapped around his almost-in-high-school finger.

a few years ago he took back my ring-pop and broke off our engagement. 

it was fun while it lasted. 

so i was thinking maybe he'd get a kick out of his MOG wearing this to his graduation? 

or maybe the red one, i really like the red one. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

noah's first crush

this short clip was made by noah and his friend, carson.

it's so funny i almost wet myself.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

deviled eggs {gag}

deviled eggs are gross.


"i don't think there has been a better use of deviled eggs in culinary history"
than this...

nothing is worth more than this day!

Friday, April 6, 2012

"but God."

these two words have become my life line.
what {Who} i cling to, 
and fix my eyes on 

"but God."

i once was lost..."but God."

when sorrows like sea billows roll..."but God"

prone to wander... "but God."

when i'm  found in the desert place, though i walk through the wilderness..."but God."

no power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from his hand..."but God."

i wandered so aimless life filled with sin..."but God."

when satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within..."but God."

tho' none go with me, i still will follow... "but God."

this is my story, this is my song..."but God."

and today, on this for-my-good-friday,  i remember the "but God" that paved the way for all the others.

i remember that 

"it's friday

"but God"

Sunday's a comin!"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


joining jessica, for a little bake it & make it, husband style. 

my husband "loves" pinterest.
he is "thrilled" that because of my pinning addiction his "honey-do" list of  projects:
kitchen make-over,
revamp a bedroom and part of the garage into a family room,
and landscaping,
has for the time being, been placed on the back burner to make room for my pinned honey-must-do list. 

pinterest tells me i NEED molding and an initial for the front door, headboards for the kids, a pallet coffee table outdoors, and a garden canoe.
 pinterest assures me that once i have these things i will be content.

pinterest is the devil. 

here is a bit of what the devil pinterest coerced me to entice my husband to get men-terested in.

rolled felt flowers by, craftiness is not optional.

this little pinterest project was tackled on a weekend get away with friends, jeff and kelly.

men "love" making felt flowers with their wives.
looovvvee it.

see how thrilled jeff is to be making flowers for kelly.  
it's every man's dream... flower-making.
right up there with eating quiche or watching pride & prejudice.
get  him to make some felt flowers and he'll think wish he died and gone to heaven. 

oddly, michael is in heaven when he is whipping something yummy up in the kitchen.  thankfully, he really enjoys baking.  baking terrifies me {i think it has something to do with following directions. directions terrify me, too}.  cool thing is i can pin all sorts of recipes on pinterest and michael will make them.  score!

i pinned these cinnamon roll pancakes and michael took the bait! 

he changed the recipe a bit, and added diced apples... you know to make them "healthy."
he also ditched the frosting. 
they were delish!
i'm purposely keeping a strawberry lemonade scone recipe i pinned open, hoping to woo his sweet tooth. 


to insure that i don't completely emasculate my husband,  i also pin manly things. 

my  power-sanding, table saw & router-craving, photoshop-loving man was totally men-terested in recreating this $129.00 pottery barn clock for me. 

my jack-of-all-trades husband {trades which aren't limited to crafting and cooking} showed of his burly man skills and made this clock for a fraction of a fraction of the cost!

here's a sneak peak at his handy work. 

i'll share details about the clock-making process in an upcoming post.

until then i'm off to pin.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012


"mommy, come here!"  they yell.
"mommy, mommy, come outside!"
 "come swing with us,"  they insist.
 i put down all the things that keep me occupied indoors: dirty dishes, tidying, sweeping, laundry, lesson planning, penny pinching, facebook... 

 and recess with my three people.

"look mommy, watch!"
i look. 
really look.
 and laugh.

"mommy, you should go on the swing!
come on, i'll help you."
as she helps we giggle.

she pushes.

and i swing.

they holler and cheer, "yeah! mommy, isn't the swing fun?!"  

it is fun.

after we swing they show me their fortress.
they built it together. 
 they lead me past the fort to a small patch of wild flowers. 

the wildflowers invite her to twirl in her tutu. 
she picks me a dainty flower from her dance floor.
he sits beside me, places his almost 14 yr old hand on my back.  
without words he tells me he is delighted i put down the meaningless for the meaningful.  
i listen. 
really listen.
next, they lead me over to a cluster of boulders, which they have named "bobcat rock."  i watch them climb.   

they show me the waterfalltrickle.
which leads into the creek. 

and i think about the gift it is to be, "mommy."
i am overjoyed that they call to me.
want me.
i'm honored to be invited into their backyard world. blessed to have it shared with me through their eyes. 

and i am so glad that i put down my not-important and 
took hold of my so-important.