Saturday, December 24, 2005

a christmas eve miracle

Family 5x7, originally uploaded by as we see it.

can't believe we got this with the self-timer... a miracle, indeed!

Merry Christmas and God bless!

like father, like son...

IMG_6783, originally uploaded by as we see it.

watching poppa's train...

Monday, December 19, 2005

thirteen years, and counting...

TomLoriecropped, originally uploaded by as we see it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

tommy and the H.O.

TrainSmall, originally uploaded by as we see it.

what have I gotten myself into now?

Gonna be a part of a carnival. In case you are, like me, completely blog-illiterate, a carnival is apparently a group of people who write about similar stuff or in a similar style/genre, and they take turns "reviewing" one anothers blogs and post about it so you can check out other stuff. This one is called The Carnival of the Mundane, and it is a bunch of folks, like me, just writing about their everyday lives. Should vary in style and content and hopefully include some good writing. Hope you enjoy!

You can check the info out here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

snippets from bedtime, part two

“I wish I was you, Momma.”

I pause, halfway out the door. It could be a ploy, but I am intrigued. Turning to face her, I reply, “Why is that, Bub?”

“I just wish I was you, Momma.” She grins a self-conscious grin—the kind of grin that wears her rather than she wearing it. I am now intrigued and perplexed.

“Why do you wish you were me?”

“I dunno. I just do.” Her head plummets under the quilt in mock embarrassment, only to reappear with the same infectious grin. I don’t know quite what to say. So, I wing it.

“Well,” I reply, turning toward the door, “I’m glad you’re not me. I’m glad you’re you.” It’s not brilliant, but it will suffice. That’s when she floors me.

“If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about bad stuff,” she blurts out. I pause, half way out into the hall, and turn back around. I am now intrigued, perplexed, and completely caught off guard.


“If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about bad stuff.” Standing, dumbfounded, in the doorway, I can’t help but smirk at her absurdity. But the sweet innocent has no idea she’s absurd at all, let alone just how absurd she really is—she’s never read my blog, after all. Obviously.

“You think Mommy doesn’t worry about bad stuff?” The same self-conscious grin shakes back and forth. Nope. Mommy doesn’t worry. My smirk threatens to erupt into outright laughter. The child really has no idea. How did I manage to pull that one off?

How did I manage to hide from her my sleepless nights as school approached each and every year? Did she really sleep through the nights I snuck into her room and curled up next to her in bed, convulsing with my fear and wetting her face with my inability to let her go? Does she not understand that I still make her hold my hand in the parking lot because visions unspeakable flash unbidden through my mind at 50 MPH? How does she not see?

Labels. Rejection from her peers. Rejection from her teachers. Rejection from other parents. Deep wounds, thick scars. Illness. Injury. Loss of life, literally. Loss of life, figuratively. Loss of a parent. Loss of our home. Loss. Rebellion. Darkness and anger. Bitterness and resentment. Loss of relationship. More loss. Bad seeds sown. Bad fruit reaped. Deception. Confusion. Walking away. My daughter on a therapist’s couch, talking about me and how I failed her. My daughter, on a morgue table. My daughter, lying in a parking lot. My daughter, in an abortion clinic. My daughter, in a big, bad world that I cannot possibly protect her from.

And those are just my fears for her.

So I’ll leave to her the thoughts of tornados, of thunder, of wind and rain. I’ll leave to her the worries of who sits by whom and what words were exchanged on the playground. I’ll leave to her the “bad stuff.”

And I’ll tell her, “No, my dear. You have it all wrong—it is I who wishes I was you.”

snippets from bedtime, part one

Korey’s Prayer

Thank you God for
Gamma and Gampa.

And thank you God for…

And thank you God for…

And thank you God for…

And thank you God for…

And thank you God for…
more buildings.

And thank you God for…
more buildings.

And thank you God for…
…(Mommy and Daddy?)
mommy and daddy.

And thank you God for…

And thank you God for Sissy…

Tank you God, Amen.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

do you believe?

“Momma, Madeleine says Santa isn’t real, only St. Nicholas is.” She sounds triumphant yet strangely conciliatory, as though we are sharing a tragic secret about poor, simple Madeleine. My eyebrows rise of their own volition—conditioned over time to do so whenever my daughter speaks with that tone.

“Oh yeah?” I ask from the driver’s seat, acting much more nonchalant than I feel as I try to keep one eye on her face in the mirror and one eye on the bumper in front of me—scanning for signs of danger from either view.

Her eyes twinkle as she leans forward. “Yeah. You wanna hear the real story?”

“Sure,” I reply, throwing Pandora’s box wide open at 70 MPH on the rush-hour-riddled freeway.

Well,” she begins, her hands punctuating every point, “St. Nicholas was real and he loved Jesus and he gave presents to people who were poor and put money in their stockings. Lots and lots of years later, Santa heard of St. Nicholas, and he began giving presents, too…”

I begin shaking my head from the front seat—our eyes meet in the mirror and my daughter’s voice trails off. “What?”

“Honey, we’ve read the story of St. Nicholas every year—you know that St. Nick is real and Santa is not.” Something not unlike dread begins to form in the pit of my stomach, spreading millimeter by millimeter like Pepto-Bismol.

“What!?” She looks at me with the look that I never wanted to see—the look that was part of the reason we taught her what we did from the beginning. But it is all there in the rear view mirror—her confusion, her fear, her disappointment. She thinks she has been betrayed. Worse yet, she thinks it was by me.

“Yeah, Honey—remember?” Stupid question, as she obviously does not or we would not be having this uncomfortable conversation. “We’ve talked about this every year. St. Nicholas is real. Jesus is real. But Santa’s just a fun thing we pretend, Honey.”

The “buts” begin from the back seat—her mind trying to make sense out of what was to her, just one minute ago, complete nonsense. How did this happen? I tried so hard to avoid this crisis of belief at so early an age—and yet believe, she did. In more than I bargained for.

“I feel like you tricked me,” she accuses from the back seat, her face confirming that this is not mere manipulation. My heart sinks.

I know how she feels. I’ve felt it before when the circumstances of my life did not seem to match up with the tales of a loving, benevolent father who claimed to have plans “not to harm me, but to give me a hope and a future.” I, too, have felt tricked by my Father—convinced that he looked down upon me and chuckled that he got me again. Convinced that my belief in him was for naught. Confused and confounded over what, if anything, to believe when all was said and done.

She pouts in the back seat, and I leave her to her thoughts as I exit the freeway. We reach the intersection and I pray for wisdom and a long red light. Turning my full body to look my daughter in the eye, I tell her that which has taken me 35 years to learn. “Sweet Pea, I’m really sorry you’re upset. But you need to make a choice, Baby. You can choose to believe that Momma meant to trick you and hurt your feelings, or you can choose to believe that you can trust me and that I never meant to hurt your feelings and never tried to trick you. Only you can make that choice, Honey Bunny. You get to choose how you feel about it.”

The light turns green, and I leave her to her quiet thoughts as we wind through our neighborhood, up our driveway, and into our garage. The ignition quiets, and I turn once again toward her. “Have you decided, Sweet Pea?”

She smiles, and I am disarmed yet again by the gaping hole where her front teeth should be. She is beautiful—looking at me with the innocent trust that only a child can muster. “I believe you, Momma. I know you didn’t try to trick me.” I smile in relief, adding Pandora’s to the pile of boxes in the corner.

“I believe you.” Oh, that it had been that easy for me to say.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

the joys of parenthood

Was going to write something brilliant tonight. Cleaned up vomit out of a crib instead. Going to go overdose on Echinacea and snort Lysol. Maybe I'll be brilliant tomorrow. Or maybe I'll be throwing up...

confection perfection

IMG_6704, originally uploaded by as we see it.

too bad you can't see the frosting smeared across her face and hands...

making friends (literally) in Toledo...

IMG_6565, originally uploaded by as we see it.

Taken in Toledo over Thanksgiving...

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Throughout my life it has been my good fortune to experience the story of Jesus with every turning of every year.  The number of the years of my unfolding age is also the number of times I’ve traveled with my Lord from his birth to his death to his triumphant rising again.

And because the story has been more than told to me; because it has surrounded me like a weather; because it comprehends me as a house does its inhabitants or a mother does her child, the life of Christ has shaped mine.  My very being has been molded in him.

And because my response to this story has been more than an act of mind, more than study and scrutiny; because the story invites my entering in and my personal participation; because I have experienced the life of Christ with deeper intensity than I have my own daily affairs, the Gospel story now interprets for me the world’s story.  It is through the Gospel narrative, as through a window or a template, that I see all things, that I relate to them and come to know them.

In every sense of the phrase: I find myself in Jesus.

As I enter his story, I enter him.  As his life embraces mine, he embraces me, and I am his.

Walter Wangerin, Jr.
Preparing for Jesus: Meditations on the Coming of Christ, Advent, Christmas, and the Kingdom

Friday, December 02, 2005

unto us a child is born (isaiah 9:2-7)

Sweat begins to form on her forehead,
her breath coming faster and faster,
her heart beating faster and faster,
her pain coming faster and faster.
Young and inexperienced,
weary and frightened,
alone and ill-prepared—
she shudders as
labor begins.

there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress

Hands strengthened from his trade now
ache from her grip as she
wrestles with her discomfort,
wrestles with her apprehension,
wrestles with her body.

…you have increased their joy, they rejoice before you…

Waves of pain overcome her—
waves of fear threatening to undo her as she
now knows that of which
every mother has a terrible tale.

…..of the increase of his peace there will be no end…

There is no rest now—
no catching her breath,
no pulling herself together
as the child descends through her lower regions,
leaving her womb,
his head pressing forth into the night air.

…on those living in the land of the shadow, a light has dawned…

Her irrepressible cries echo in the darkness,
anguish and agony shadowing her young,
delicate face—
followed by the wail of the newborn, piercing the dark night.

…shattering the yoke that burdens them…

Trembling and spent,
she gingerly reaches for the tiny child—
putting her parched lips to his blood-stained head—
and with fatigue and love in her voice
she tenderly whispers his name.

…Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…

Relief comes to the young mother—
her exhaustion given over to sleep,
her distress given over to peace,
her pain given over to joy—
and she smiles a soft smile as
she cradles
her son
in her arms.

…For unto us a child is born…