Thursday, April 28, 2011


I've fallen off the face of the earth.

I have some serious grant deadlines over the next couple of weeks and, I'm checking off my grant list: effective wording, consistent formatting, compilation of attachments, director reviews, etc.--all so an organization I really believe in can receive some funding for some really exciting programs! I do like my job, mainly because I believe in the people that I work for. Work without mission sucks. And I don't have to worry about that one!

More on that later.

It is also the season for birthday parties/graduations/vacation planning/weddings/showers and more. But I am thankful that the sun has come out....

I swear I'll fill you in on all the latest very soon. But in the meantime, just a cute picture of my 18 year old sister starring as Marion in the Music Man. She goes to MS State next year. I'm going to cry. A lot.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Braden's BFF:

Recently Braden played with his friend, Wyatt. They are so cute together. Isn't that shirt Wyatt is wearing trendy??

Don't you think someone should sell them?

Don't you think you'd buy it for tons of money because it's so fashionable?

{{Comment mom makes these shirts with appliques. She's got all sorts--pirate ships, owls, monograms, cupcake, giraffe, lion, crab, and many more . They're my favorites.}}
Rox and I recently braved a trip to the Tunica outlets with the three boys. They all squished in the backseat. Eli entertained the other two, and for a moment, Roxanne and I thought our lives were pleasant and sweet.

Isaac and Mary backed out at the last minute because Isaac got sick. ISAAC--DON'T DO THAT AGAIN! I missed your adorable and most entertaining responses/reactions/expressions that are going to get me my tickets to the Ellen Degeneres show when I tell her you're my son.
Remember the post about our failures as yard-ers? Yes. I made up that word. Leave me alone.

I also am a plant killer.

I would now officially like to blame it on my mom. She has a black thumb. She can play a mean game of tennis, she can give you all the wisdom about mothering you need, and she can sing like a bird. But don't ask her to babysit your plants.

My grandmothers are both excellent plant keepers and my mother-in-love and father-in-love (I saw that somewhere. Doesn't it make in-law sound better?) have the mother of all green thumbs. Jed's mom grew up in heaven--the best farm in Iowa that you could possibly imagine--and she learned a thing or two about greenery. The in-loves have a thriving garden every year and gorgeous flowers, plants, and trees everywhere on their property. They work really hard on it.

This year I have planted a few herbs to "get back on the horse."

Don't judge. I'm starting small. And Braden helped.

And he played with his friend, Isaac, while he dug up my seeds. If they don't grow, I'll blame B this time.Psych! I might have stolen this picture from Mary's blog. She'll probably sue me because she owns the copywright. But it was worth the ensuing suing because I found it humorous that the day after I took these pics, Mary had posted that picture. It was like we had a playdate from afar.
Oh, and also, Braden has received his top two teeth from the Reverse Tooth Fairy. I'm afraid we'll have to change his last name to Rieves as this is a dominant trait in the Rieves family.

Monday, April 11, 2011

From Fear to Freedom

My family is often viewed as stable, functioning, and spiritually successful (whatever that even means). And my husband is great. He treats me well, he loves me, he has other men hold him accountable to loving me, and he works hard and feels called to his position at NICS. I also have a very healthy, easy going (overall) son. I have incredible friends who love me unconditionally and one in particular who has loved me since 6th grade--through everything including my being a plain old really bad friend. I have a part-time job that I can do "from home" that brings in extra income and allows me to do something I feel charged to do--stay at home with my son (NOT because I think working moms are wrong--I think they're right too. But that's another post).

But it is not enough. I struggle with fear, anxiety, guilt, resentment, jealousy, bitterness, and many more unbecoming nouns. No matter how "put together" my life looks, it is not. My family has issues, Jed and I disagree, I frustrate my friends and that frustrates me, my son tries my patience, and although I know you'll find this shocking--changing diapers, heating and cutting up food, giving snacks, reading baby books, playing with toys, etc. does not always make me feel sexy or fulfilled. Call me ungrateful. Call me thankless. Call me spoiled. All of the above are true.

Yesterday one of my closest friends, Emily, said she'd found a book that we had agreed to read together years ago and we never had. She'd made it halfway through the book in the last few days, and we agreed to have dinner tomorrow night because we like to eat and because we like each other. She's another that's made it many years with me....mark of a true friend. We will also be talking about this book:

I picked it up this morning and started to read Rose Marie Miller's words:

In my blindness and bitterness, I developed coping strategies. For example, I love order; it seems to promise so much. I believed that if I had outward order, then my heart would be at peace. This strategy worked until my first crisis, when I discovered that I could not control myself or my circumstances....I wanted freedom. Especially freedom from the guilt that stormed into my life when I become embittered with the people who had destabilized my world.

Pierce me through the heart, woman! I just love how you make me feel vulnerable and embarrassed!

But then:

Two seventeenth-century theologians were debating on the nature of grace. One said that grace is like one parent guiding a toddler across the room to the other parent, who has an apple for the child. The nearby parent watches the youngster; if he almost falls, this parent will hold him for a moment so that he can still cross the room under his own power. But the other theologian had a different view. For him grace comes to us only in the discovery of our total helplessness. In his concept, we are like a caterpillar in a ring of fire. Deliverance can only come from above.

Excited to keep reading and excited to embrace deliverance.

Running now. B is yelling in his high chair because he needs attention. Or oatmeal.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Do You Read Blogs A Lot?

I accidentally posted the title alone the other day. I had two quite humorous comments and I'd like to say I'm sorry! I was suddenly and dramatically distracted by a course of events that classified me as a world changer--changing diapers and teaching Braden where his eyes and nose are.

One of my favorite blogs, Rage Against the Minivan, pointed out some blog tricks that are awesome, and I thought I would do the same. IF you like to read blogs (Mom) or just my blog (Minnie), click on this link: Rage Against the Minivan

It will teach you much about the "Follow" button on blogs. Like the one on mine that looks like this:

It will also teach you about Google Reader where you can read all of your blogs in one place. And then it will teach you about the amazing NEXT button that I have now installed. I love it.

Have a lovely day, and stay outta this nastay rain!