Sunday, May 11, 2014


I had a very outdoorsy weekend. And I didn't even have a book.
So out of character!

It was 80 degrees. Summer is really happening, or so they say!

Here's an important question: How did we survive our youth without razor scooters?
I had a blue banana-seat bike. So rad. 

By fourth grade, I was riding it into town (2 miles away) along a....uh, main road, so I could tool around our podunk town with my townie friends and buy cans of pop and penny candy at Midge's.

My parents were so rogue.
Were yours? Or was it just mine?

In similar wildcat fashion, Cory and I are contemplating letting Calvin bike a two-block radius this summer on his own. Because that's almost the same not at all.

Just don't tell him I told you, because it's all still a working theory.

This morning the kids served me full-on breakfast in bed. With zero help.
Like in the movies, I woke up to some distant banging around and the smell of frying eggs.

They even made me a cup of Earl Grey - using the tea kettle!

It was bliss.

I was so super impressed by their mad kitchen skills and general lack of kitchen bickering. (Don't say that five times fast.)

After church I got to pick, so we headed over to my version of Disney World: DeFries Garden. I don't know that I've ever been there in spring. Shameful.

I feel especially bad admitting that because on the way over, I judged every single person living in a 2-mile radius of the gardens who wasn't at the gardens. There's just no reason for that kind of foolishness.

If I were them, I'd be dropped off right around now, and I'd set up housekeeping through September.

I'd read by the hellebores, joke around with the lady statue, have salsa near the red bud.


How neat is that?

That's pretty neat.

The kids' goal in life was to catch a snake. Hallelujah, they were failures.

Nevermind about living there. I forgot about the whole snake "issue".
And the mosquitoes.
And I'm not friendly with snapping turtles.

Just nevermind.

Sorry, dude. Don't look at me like that.

But day trips are pretty much perfection. 

Silas is my A-#1 picture poser. He forever wants to pose for pictures. He went through a really stoic phase with his poses, and now he's into cheesing so hard that his eyes disappear.

I mean, either way.
I'll keep him.

Since it was Mother's Day I thought I should get one of me with the three Littles.
This was the best option of the 4 Cory took. It's the absolute best we could each muster.


What is wrong with kids and people?

Why is everyone on earth such a weirdo, especially the ones I mother?
Why do I secretly love the weirdness so much?

Why the blonde Marilyn Manson creeper in the background?

Also, is Marilyn Manson still a thing? Is he still real?
Let's not think on that too hard, I've just been wondering lately.
And that's no joking matter.

There's a lot happening here.
And yet...almost nothing at all. Including nail polish.

Just the most important day ever. No big.

The rest of today included buying $1 perennials at the roadside, cleaning the house (don't judge, I wanted to do it), left-over pasta for dinner, and a whole lot of nothing else.

Hope all you ladies had a real fine day.
If you're waiting to be a Mama, have so much hope.
If your mama is no longer with you, feel so much peace.
If you're not a mama and you think you're really onto something, sleep an extra hour for me. And paint your toes.

No matter who you are, lady, no matter what your situation is or the condition of your heart tonight, you're a woman, and you give life to the world in all the best ways.

Would it be too weird to say I love you?
Would it seem too abstract and hypothetical?

Because I do.
Because we're pretty much sisters.

I'll split the cookie and give you the biggest half. Pinkie swear.


PS - Because this day never passes without my heart beating double-time for the birth moms of all of our kids, I'm linking to this , originally posted one year ago.


  1. I read your posts religiously. I worry about Robert and Calvin's health. I delight in Ruby's sweetness and Silas' orneriness. I am moved by your journey and so thankful that you share so freely and openly. I think about you, your strength, your willingness to take the road that God has set before you. Thank you for mentioning those who have lost their mothers and those who long to be mothers today. As usual, you have touched my heart.

  2. I love this. Happy Mother's Day!

  3. Your day sounds perfect : ).
    Happy Mother's Day to beautiful you.
    I was allowed to ride my bike on the big road too! I don't know how I survived.

  4. Oh to be in the days whereb the biggest decisions included budgeting a dollar for jaw breakers and Swedish fish and all the goodness in that candy case. And as the Best Aunt Ever, I slept that hour, painted my toes with the new mom and coo-ed over my adorable nephew. Happy Mother's Day!

    1. Hahaha! Love this so much.

  5. I've been thinking about my daughter's birthmom all day, too. I cry thinking of how my heart is knit to hers, a fact I so love...that used to scared the pee out of me when thinking hypothetically about adoption. All I can say is God writes a beautiful story, waaaaay better than I ever could. Happy Mother's Day!

  6. The creeper literally made me laugh out loud. I think it adds to the charm of the picture.

    Glad you had a nice day. We spent our afternoon outside too, with a bucket of grocery store friend chicken and some berries. It was pretty much perfect.

    So, I let my son ride wild through town. It's been working for us for about four years. We're considering letting my daughter ride to the library this summer, but I'll be honest, it's harder to let her go. Two blocks will probably seem like miles and miles of freedom to Calvin, and I'm sure he'll love it.

  7. that's why rodney and i started neature walk. 'cause we want everyone to know how neat nature is. instead of just me and rodney knowing it.


    happy belated, my friend. i love you very muchly.

  8. Did you take June 18th on your smartphone? So mod! I saw a pin that said "autocorrect has become my worst emema" and thought of you. And my phone just tried to turn "enema" into "mermaid", but I see now I've spelled it with an "m" in there, but just have to leave it that way.

    Yes I rode my bike ever-where and I cannot believe my folks let me. M play in the backyard, mostly, because I am a terrible hypocrite.

  9. My "smart"phone is ridiculous. That should say "my 3 play in the backyard". I had originally put "mine", but that made it sound like I make my parents play in the backyard, which I do, but that's not what I was trying to tell you. And in correcting, my phone thought I meant publish? Of course it did.

    Anyways. This is Mike. And you're so money.

    ps, love the creeper. You should photoshop her into more of your photos, just for fun.

  10. Love this. It looks like a fun day for everyone. They will remember this always. I wish we had some paths around to bike and scoot and skate, etc.

  11. I grew up smack dab in the middle of town and there really wasn't any big roads to bike on (you know roads that had a speed limit higher than 25 mph) but by 4th grade I was pretty much cut loose for the summer and didn't have to come home until the mill whistle blew at 5pm for dinner.
    Of course like any kid, I took the freedom for granted and loved every minute of it without any worries.
    20 years later and the kids in that same town can't even walk to school anymore after a couple scary incidents.
    I sure miss those carefree days and struggle with balancing parental fear with kid freedom.
    I mean if the schools don't want my kids to walk 4 blocks to school by themselves should I really let them ride around in the summer?!
    Currently my 2nd grader enjoys riding in circles in the backyard (doesn't hurt as bad when you crash in the grass than on asphalt) but I doubt she'll be content with that in a few more years.

    PS You're a much better sister than I. I'd break the cookie in half and then shove the biggest piece in my mouth before you could grab it!

  12. What a beautiful day! My banana seat had the funky 70's flowers...the bike was purple. It was fabulous. I got to ride with the big kids to the corner store for garbage can candy. It was 5 or 6 blocks and felt like MILES. I had a great day. We spent it with my mom. We took her to Redamak's in New Buffalo. Have you been there? Fried foods galore!!!!!!

  13. We were permitted to ride our bikes all over our very large neighborhood and to the city pool about 3 miles away if we were in a group with other kids in the neighborhood. We had to be home when it got dark. Such fond memories!

    Our oldest grandchild's birthday was on Mother's Day so we had a birthday party and remembered becoming grandparents for the first time on Mother's Day 6 years ago. I made cupcakes and my husband went out and picked up pizzas for us all. We ate on our deck and had a very nice time. Hubby took me out for fried fish for supper, just we two. Yummy and something we do not do often.

    I love buying plants on special days. Last weekend we visited our youngest son and DIL 3 hours away and bought plants at the farmer's market in their small town. Every time I water them I think of the nice visit we had with the kids.

  14. Your hair!!!!!!!!! It's dreamy, girl. The cut. The waviness. DREAMY.
    Happy Mother's Day. xoxo

  15. Your post made me smile. :) (See?) Ah, *the good old days* when we spent our days roaming the neighbourhood and the nearby woods...yes, my parents were the same. I had a bike with a banana seat...mine was gold. Happy Mother's Day to you (one day late...sorry). Btw...the photo of you with your little people is is how it is. Hugs, Camille

  16. I had a "Free Spirit" bike from Sears. It was red, white and blue...yeah, I might be old enough to have experienced the Bicentennial fever of 1976. It had a white banana seat and RW&B streamers coming out of the handlebars. My boundary was "down to the end of the street." Until 8th grade. The world changed. I rode my bike to the Junior High about 5 miles every morning - because I wanted to. I could have taken the bus...but then I wouldn't have my bike with me after school so I could hang out all.the.time. "Mom, it's me, I'm eating at Jill's today, ok? OK? Gotta run. Love you."

    Thanks for bringing back that memory, Shannan!
    And, Happy Mother's Day to you, too!

  17. Love your day! Except for the cleaning--I'm not a fan. My hubs made each of my kids compliment me around the dinner table, as you do, on the best day of the year. My son said he loves that I'm "quirky". Best kid compliment ever. Stay weird, friend!

  18. I have secretly stalked you for years .... now is my chance to let you know I actually exist! I live 20 mins from Disney World in Florida - if you EVER want to visit, just let me know! I know my littles would love some company and you would get to do the real thing without the expense of hotel accomodations. Don't worry - I host lots of guests (family from Canada) that come and go all the time! BTW, I make a great VIP tour guide/holiday planner too since we visit there several times a month. LOVE your blog!

  19. Love your day - I just love days like that anyway, where you can do a whole lot of nothing and not feel guilty. For my Mother's Day I got to pick out my very own frozen dinner for lunch, then lay on the couch catching up on BBC shows on Netflix BY MYSELF! It was amazing. :) I love your kids and you and your weirdness. It's the same kind of weirdness I have at my house.

    P.S. I will be praying for the two block decision for you. Last summer we finally started letting our 9 year old ride his bike around. Hard choices, girl.

  20. Neature! Love as the You Tube videos have helped my teens re-discover nature. It is pretty neat. LOVE your twist and love your day. I guess it is official: I love every. single. post. You light up my screen. - debbie

  21. i honestly LOLed at the marilyn manson creeper and your frustration at photos.
    and guess what happened at our mothers day dinner!? a neighbor rang the doorbell and said "do you mind if i kill this big snake in your yard?" everyone in my family leaped out of their chairs and bolted outside to see it. three grown men and kids all around getting up the nerve to try to kill and in a split second LAUREN swipes it up off the cement and takes it away from the killers. it was HUGE!!!! and crazy how she just snatched it from the dads. she walked it to the field behind the house (gee thanks) and let it go. and it bit her and she was all "it's no big deal. hope it's not a poisonous kind..."
    craziest thing on my mother's day for sure.
    FO SHO.

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