page contents

Monday, March 28, 2016


When I was seven-years-old, my parents sat me down the night before Easter to inform me there was no such thing as an Easter Bunny. I cried. I distinctly remember my sadness not stemming from the non-existence of the mythical hare. I was sad because I knew my dad was really just telling me I wasn't getting a gift basket the following Sunday. (They had forgotten to pick something up.) Through my blubbering, I managed to ask about the authenticity of Santa. Dad assured me that Santa would arrive next Christmas. Relief.

Easter should be esteemed as the most holy, reverent holidays for all Christians everywhere. It is, after all, what defines us as Christian. I can honestly confess (this is a confession), I haven't always embraced the spirit of the holiday for what it is–as you can guess from the story of my 7-year-old self.

As I grew older and presumably wiser, I looked forward to Easter for different reasons: to dress up my kids, decorate hard-boiled eggs, and pose as the Easter Bunny to warrant ridiculous portions of chocolate and jelly beans in the house. All of that was pretty fun. Yet, I skimmed over the true reason for the celebration.

Now I am forced to give up dressing up my kids for the holiday. I still buy them clothes, but my opinions are effectively moot. Alex would never talk to me again if I made her wear a flowery dress with a pink floppy hat. And if I attempted another sweater vest on Cole, he'd likely run away. Thus, they wear something cool and trendy that can and must be worn with dirty Converses or ratty Nikes.

Last week, I was nostalgic about the days of the egg hunts during our big family celebrations. Then it occurred to me! Those hunts were a pain in the ass. We mothers not only had to hide hundreds of eggs, but we had to find the well-hidden ones as well...and make sure all the kids got equal amounts. Neither of those two things ever happened.

So this Saturday, as we hosted family, I tried to determine how to resurrect the Easter of times past.  Then it occurred to me. Why? The youngest of the clan is now fourteen. The kids can dress themselves (most of the time) and they are quite adept at entertaining themselves.

Easter is resurrection, without the need of all the commercial antics and hoo-rah. No matter what traditions we do or not do, it's a time for all of us to be immensely happy. Because we are loved no matter what, through all of our sins and failings.

If you believe Jesus died for our sins, it really is the most wonderful time to meditate on what that really means to you. And perhaps some of you, like me, will conclude the best way to honor God for this gift is to follow His lead and show your love to others no matter what–and not necessarily with chocolate bunnies.
Look at those threads. More importantly, look at those smiles. #Loved.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

#My Best Friend

Get up. Go to work. Come home. Do laundry. Make dinner. Attend a kid's activity. Exercise. Read the paper. Go to bed. Repeat.

Sound familiar? There's probably a few more items on everyone's list. Meetings. Helping with homework. Church events. Fundraisers. More meetings. Writing books. Lots and lots of stuff.

With every minute of our schedules pre-determined, how do we possibly make time for those frivolous things like friendships and marriages?

I did it this week! I carved out quality time for friendship and my marriage. And the results so exceeded my expectations.

Not only did I have a shopping and spa day last week with one of my best friends in which we detoxed our skin with a mind-blowing facial which refashioned my hair in a Pee Wee Herman-style, but I also arranged for a couple's retreat with my husband this past weekend in Omaha. (Ironically, there was a marriage encounter happening at the hotel we stayed. We didn't attend the sessions.  I peeked at the guidebooks. Very depressing.)

Anyway, there were a few hiccups to our couple's weekend.

It sleeted. But the sun shined.

It was cold. But we found ourselves capable of speed walking.

Our bar waitress couldn't add. But we are both skilled at simple math. ($5 plus $6 DOES equals $11. Luckily, bar waitress was able to confirm with a calculator.)

The food at the fancy restaurant was not only cold, but it was tasteless as well. However, the lemon drop martinis (arguably the most important part of the meal) were spectacular.

The movie we rented in the room required technical help. But IT guy was so apologetic over our ten minute wait, he made sure we didn't get charged the $16 fee which subsidized for our room-service dessert.

Without the mishaps, I'm not sure we would've laughed as much. Maybe. But every experience seemed to promote our sense of togetherness. It was extremely liberating to ditch the to-do list and just talk and giggle at the circumstances–much like we did in the beginning of our courtship...BC...before children.

Not that we don't love spending time with our kids. We do. (We started planning our Kansas City family vacation on the way home.) But it seems like we forget who we are, as a couple, without our lovely kids. We made a pact. Twice a year. Couples retreat.

OMG. There goes my hair again on this couple's retreat weekend. Good fodder. Good, good fodder.
Next week I host Easter and amazingly, and uncharacteristically, I do not feel stressed about the upcoming event. I think it all has to do with the friends' day and the couple's retreat. My new recipe to deflate anxiety: Immerse myself in the present. Have real conversations. And laugh. Laugh lots more.

Petsmart now plays Queen's Your My Best Friend on their commercials. This also happens to be one of our wedding songs, which is kind of funny since pets find the tune meaningful as well. But I love it. I hear the song much more now. And every time the commercial comes on, I don't only see a cute cat or dog, I remember our wedding–and why we got married. It's nice. And funny.