Dressing Up in Sunshine

Today is my day off.

I get Friday odd because it’s my weekend to work.

We have had such a good rhythm this week, and the children have worked so hard in homeschool, and it’s a bright morning before more storms come, and my day off which just feels good anyway…. we had to come to the park.

We finished our reading first, and all the pieces of schoolwork anyone needs help with, and then picked up a picnic breakfast treat, and came to our river.

Our river, that used to be my river, back when it was only Nietzsche that came here on adventures with me every afternoon, my temple space before I ever found one in Oklahoma City.

Our river, the one I sat beside to read the Book of Mormon for the first time, late into the night, and into the morning, when everything changed.

Our river, where I brought Nathan to tell him my story, where we leaned into each other to watch the river run, where we knew our future was together no matter what else it brought us.

Challenges and children, that’s what it brought us.

And now it’s our river, after this hard year.

The river nurtured us back to life, all of us.

So many people worked so hard to help us move only an hour away, and now home again soon.

We had to come here to get Kyrie closer to the hospital.  We had to come here to get Mary in a Deaf class.  We had to come here to get the little ones in sign language preschool.

If we had not moved here, I would have only seen the children a few hours a week during residency.

The people who helped us pack or load up or clean or unload again just  fifty miles down the road weren’t just providing a service of labor for our family.

They were helping us create our family.

All the children are fluent in sign language now, both signing and understanding sign.  We had time together we would not have had otherwise, and continued our attachment building we could not have done otherwise.  When Kyrie was in the hospital, we were based out of our home instead of split apart again by crisis.  This tiny blue house that crowded us together was a hug that saved us.

We loved our house in Bartlesville, and it’s design that so well adapted to our life of fostering.  We loved our friends there, and the community was one we believed in with all our hearts.  It was very difficult to leave.

Leaving Tulsa will be hard, too.

But what I will miss most is the river.  The river with its canopy of green, and the birds that sing.

Nathan has now gotten his experience of the whole “tiny home” fad, and concluded it’s probably not ideal for a family of eight.  The children think we have been in a hotel, and that it was a fun game, but they are ready for room to wiggle and dance and play.

I was just glad to have them close, whether that was close while I was at the hospitals working or close to Kyrie in the hospital.

But with her release from life in the hospital, and the comfort given us by palliative care, we are also released from Tulsa.

And while ever our only extrovert, Mary is too bright for a class with first graders when she is in second and already doing third and fourth grade work in homeschool, and she wants to come back to it where she is challenged more.

And the preschool so good for our little ones has seen Anber graduate into Kindergarten at home, with Barrett on his way, and Kyrie wanting to be home with everyone else after so much time away.    

Tears are a river that take you somewhere

Here, at this river, I have cried about the loss of relationships and parents, cancer and miscarriages, medical dramas and illnesses.

But I have also come here to dance.  And to run.  And to ride in the wind.

I have come here to laugh and to play and to shout in triumph.

I have come here to walk my baby puppy who is now dying, to hold the hand of my husband, to push the strollers of my babies.  I have come here to chase my children and watch them climb.  I have come here to sleep under clouds and have picnics and dream about tomorrow.

Always, I come here to write, to feel, and to breathe again.

This morning was perfect, as if we were called to be here, as if it were the ritual to mark the resurrection of our family after these hard years.

It  as the best homeschool outing ever, far better than I could have planned if I tried.

It was, in the eyes of the children, the best thing that could have ever happened.

We got to watch the man turn on the splash pad.

The children cheered as water suddenly burst into the air like the first fireworks of summer.

Owasso, the children said, has the best splash pads.  You’ll see.

We’re going home to Owasso.  My mother won’t be there.  Alex barely remembers it and Anber doesn’t.  It will be new to the others, but home for all of us.  We don’t know what’s happening next, but we know we get to go home for at least a season of respite.  It was promised.

I will miss the river, but I will still come to visit.

In Owasso, the open skies and sunshine await us, and we are starting to get excited after so many years of storms.

We read Psalm 104 this morning, a translation of it also:

Dressed up in sunshine,

and all heaven stretched out for your tent.

You built your palace on the ocean depths, made a chariot out of clouds, and took off on wind-wings.

You set earth on a firm foundation,

so nothing can shake it, ever.

Baseball

The children received free tickets to the baseball game this week, with free coupons for hot dogs and chips and a drink!


Kirk even caught a ball!


They had such a blast!


Except for Kyrie, who was mad it was time to leave!


We are so grateful! 

Thanks, TSHA!

Earth Day Dance

We were very excited about Earth Day today!


We have talked a lot about protests this year, and they were very excited to make their own signs!


We met the March for Science people at the river, and they had a blast sharing their signs and why they picked what they did.







They did so great! It was a great learning opportunity in a safe environment.

It was a great experience for them.

 

They especially liked getting back home for vegetable soup and warming up again!


Even Kyrie finally ate, for which we were grateful, and she even asked for more beans!

That girl!

It’s always a relief when she is fussy again, because it means she is both breathing and conscious.  I don’t mean it’s pleasant.  I just mean it’s a relief!

Yay, toddlerhood!  It’s the point in motherhood when physical exhaustion meets emotional torture.  For both mother and child.

She was especially upset that she didn’t get to go to the Daddy-Daughter Dance tonight, but she just hasn’t been well.


We finally let her outside today, but it was too soon to put her around that many people.  We know her and that tiny body, I bet she needs four more days before she’s back to baseline.  We don’t want to mess it up!

But she is singing again, and singing is breathing!

(And much more pleasant than tantrums.)


The boys enjoyed a rare ice cream treat while the girls had their Daddy dance with Papa:

We were all worn out tonight!

That was a big day!

Easter Smurf

Every year for Easter, we have always given the children new toys for the backyard.

This is the first year they still had the toys from last year!

Half of them were homeless before they came to us, and the other half never had much, and so learning to be good stewards of their toys and things has been an uphill battle.

But they are really starting to get it, and really taking individual responsibility for their own things.

This is huge.

It’s more than just toys.

It’s attachment.

It makes me cry with relief and joy, you have no idea.

But for Easter, it meant they didn’t really need new backyard toys, and they just all got new bikes for their birthday this year.

So what to do for Easter?

Nathan and I had the same idea:


Yes!  It’s a Smurf village!

My brother and I had similar toys when we were little, and we loved them.

There was big drama amongst the Baptists back then, because of “magic” in the cartoon, but my mother said it was just science and not really a problem.

I also remember talking with my mother, as an elementary school child, how psychoanalitically, all the smurfs were different aspects of our own psyche, so we got pretty deep in our Smurf play.

It wasn’t always so intelligent, though.  

Once, my brother picked a bunch of those blue berries that grow on evergreen trees and I told him they were smurf eggs.  He slept with them under his pillow for weeks!  I was so anxious in case it turned out to be true!  We really wanted some for realz Smurfs of our very own!

Then two Christmases ago, someone brought us a whole van full of toys.  

I don’t even remember who it was.

I just remember being so overwhelmed – it was our year of being in Cincinnati – and this gift of Christmas being delivered.

One of the boxes had this Smurf stuff in it, and we couldn’t believe how fancy and fun it was!

Kyrie was too small, though, and her airway too delicate, to risk those tiny pieces.

So we saved it, and tonight we knew it would be the perfect surprise for tomorrow!

For family night talking about friendship, the kids and I watched some Smurfs just this week.  We watched some of the original series from when Nathan and I were little. They loved it, and we had fun.

Now we have these surprises for Easter in the morning, for such good playtime!

There are just enough little houses for each of the children.

Kirk is getting the big fancy one because it’s his turn for the “special one”:


We decided on the Papa Smurf one one for Barrett:

And the artist one for Mary:


And the bakery and workshop guy for Alex:


And the Smurfette one for Anber:


We gave the bigger ones and baby ones to Kyrie:


And then divided up all the little Smurf figurines so that each of the children have the same amount, and each one has their names on the bottom of the little Smurf feet.

It’s going to be so fun, and the children will be delighted with new toys and a piece of rare treats in the morning!  Thank you to the family that passed these on to our family! They are going to love these!

Day Dreams

I dreamed last night that Nathan and I were driving a very fancy car.  The children were with us in their usual seats, but it was a sports car and not a van.  I don’t know how that works in real life, but it worked in my dream.  The top was down and everything, and we were having a lovely drive with the wind blowing through our hair.

Something happened in front of us, and it was going to cause an accident.

I have a lot of car accident nightmares since my mother was killed.  Less often now, but it still comes.  I am able to intervene, though, and change my dream so it’s less scary.  I am grateful for that.

This time, I was able to put everything into slow motion by using the old school VCR remote control, the kind that had a cord connected to the machine itself.

I was able to get our car stopped in time, even though it was super heavy because of so many children.

Except I couldn’t keep Nathan in the car.  I slow-motion-ed him start to fly out of the car, and I knew I was going to have the whole mom-got-squashed nightmare again, and so I intervened and threw pillows at him while he moved still in slow motion.  I was able to catch his fall, everything except his little face.

His little face slammed into the bumper of the car in front of us.

But I refused to let this be a nightmare.

So when his face crashed into the bumper in front of us, still in slow motion, I added sound effects.

His face on that bumper made the most lovely and dainty little TINGGGG sound, like an old white lady’s chairside bell.

I don’t know where my mind came up with that, but it worked.

As Nathan bounced back into his seat, still in slow motion, I knew we had made it through again, and just hit the “play button” so my dream could finish.

The TINNGGGGG sound echoed as Nathan landed in his seat, and then his not-squashed face turned to me smiling, and said, “See?  Perfect pitch!”

I woke up laughing so hard that tears were rolling down my face, and I couldn’t even tell Nathan about it for awhile because I couldn’t breathe well enough to talk.  It made me laugh so hard!  It was so funny, in a you had to be there kind of way.

But it’s so symbolic of our marriage, too, and that’s part of what made me laugh.

Right now I have exactly twenty-seven minutes to type while the children watch Sesame Street.

We had a lovely morning, with granola and yogurt for breakfast, and then a mean game of dominoes for most of the morning.  The children really stayed with it, taking turns, playing by the rules, and each of them (even the preschoolers) playing their own pieces by matching colors and numbers.  It’s so fun for them to all be in a new developmental phase where we can play games like dominoes and chess!  I love it!

They helped me make chocolate pudding for dessert tonight, and we got in the fridge to chill.   We also turned on the beans we soaked all night, and added tomatoes and onions and peppers and carrots and broccoli and garlic, and that made for a yummy lunch with enough leftover for an easy meal when we get home tomorrow night.

Nathan has spent the day working, or trying to as I try to keep the little ones out of his office space.  He has been commissioned to write the lyrics (libretto) for an opera, and he and that same composer also got commissioned to write a musical for some kind of Erie Canal celebration.  I don’t even have all the details yet, but they are paying him and he is proud and so that is exciting.  He’s working so hard!  He’s also been writing a lot for the same up-cycled fancy catalogue he used to work for in New York, but just not having to do items he isn’t comfortable writing for as much.  He is also still working on his own pieces, plus two other plays in development.  I am grateful for the timing, as I have left the residency which also means losing that paycheck.  Heavenly Father is so faithful to us in providing, and I am so grateful!  I don’t know how long it will take us to financially recover from the two years in hospitals with Kyrie, but we are doing our best.

Physical recovery is something else, too.  Goodness.  This vacation is good for both, with actual and real rest together this last week as we have spent time in our cabin in the Ozarks.  I am so grateful for having access to it, and so thankful for my mother for passing it on to us.  We are able to come here and enjoy the activities and amenities without cost other than the gas to get here.  It is such a huge, huge gift, and it means even more to me now that I have a family.  It is helpful in other scenarios, too, like when we go to Houston to speak this summer – we will have to come up with the travel cost, but we can stay there just outside of town for free and that’s what makes it possible.  We are so glad of it!

I have my first licensing meeting with the state the very Monday we get back into town, and I am very nervous about that.  But I am as prepared as I can be, and we will see how it goes.  It is all happening so fast, and it feels good to have my own project that is an integrated use of me and what I have to offer rather than my different roles so distinct and separate.  I like the feeling, and I am excited about it, and have a thousand things more to share about it when the time is appropriate to do so.

We are slowly shifting back into our routine now, with me home with the children during the days and then working in the evenings.  We have our homeschool routine down, and Nathan’s work is picking up pace even more these last few weeks, and soon we will be moving back home to our yellow house and start fresh in a new and settled way.

Because being settled is a good thing, and that’s not too much to ask, right?

A girl can dream, anyway.

Play Mates

We spent most of the day outside today, and it was glorious!

We were so glad to have Alex back with us, and that naturally meant conquering every playground in sight.

We also played a giant game of chess, legit, and the children stayed with it the whole time!  They almost have the rules down, and it’s an important part of Mary’s history specifically (she had a chess-champion grandpa).  It’s exciting they are almost old enough to appreciate it!


We even played some miniature golf!

The more time I spent with them this week, the more I realize how much the children have grown and developed.  We are also able to see, as they get older, more in depth into how their backgrounds and physical states impact them and their interactions with the world.  It helps us love them better, but learning to do so is sometimes a bumpy road as we sort out all we are learning.

Barrett, for example, so wants to be one of the big kids, but acts younger than Kyrie, except he really has grown a lot in the last year.  When he gets upset, he is able to calm himself down.  When he makes a bad choice, he is able to self-correct it.  When he is uspet, he is able to express himself in words rather than tantrums.

The other challenging one (maybe these two boys today since we spent the day outside) is Alex, and sorting how much is defiance and how much is autism.  It would be easier if it were just defiance because we could be punitive, and punitive is always the easiest way.  But it’s not defiance, and he doesn’t need punitive.  It’s autism, and he needs pro-social modeling and social story skills.

So for example today, after playing outside today, he could not calm back down to come inside.  We let him stay outside a little longer while we cooked dinner, not for him to push boundaries, but for him to successfully transition back indoors.  The other children wanted to play outside, too, and so out they all went.

Mary, who is the oldest girl and so naturally has a problem with being bossy – which we don’t want to squash because it’s good leadership, but she does need to balance her plans for others with the preferences and needs of others to be a more effective leader… anyway, she was outside being bossy, and the other children were correcting her on this.  I was cooking and watching from the kitchen window.  To passively get back at them, she started singing really loudly and being annoying, but it was not a cheery pretty song from a happy child.  She was holding dominion over them by doing what she wanted instead of doing what they needed.

Because of all the commotion, some girls from the next condo down the road came out to see what was going on.   Mary was immediately excited that older, fancier girls wanted to know what she was doing.  But she didn’t understand they were mocking her.  She asked over and over again if they would be her friend, except she wasn’t asking – she was telling, and these other girls weren’t having it.

So they started screaming at her and being mean and then I watched, horrified, as they even bowed up at her.

Except Alex was there, and he thought it was a game, and couldn’t self-regulate and egged the whole mess on.  Mary got louder, the girls got bolder, and before I could get from the kitchen to the front door, Mary had switched sides and was helping these girls throw sticks at the other children!  Her own brothers and sisters!

Alex made it all worse yelling at them to come and chase him, and Kirk tried to be as cool as Alex, urging them to try and catch them.

Except these were older girls, and he has cerebral palsy, so of course they could catch them.

They could also catch Anber, who was (for once) an innocent bystander.

The whole thing escalated into a giant physical altercation, the first actual fight my children have been in besides with each other.  The group of girls caught Kirk and Anber, pounded on them, and threw rocks at our van and Mary and Alex and our cabin, and then tried throwing stuff at Barrett and Kyrie up on the balcony.  Kyrie was standing there crying, and saying, “Ouch! What happened?  What happened?”

It all happened so fast!

I heard Anber screaming as I opened the front door, and the girls bolted soon as they saw me coming.

I first made sure Anber and Kirk were okay, and got them safely upstairs.

Then I got Mary and Alex, who were already waiting for me with knowing looks on their faces, separated and in time out spots until I could sort out what had happened.

Then I had a chat with the mother of those girls.

I won that, let me say.

Ever so appropriately, of course.

But Mama Bear had a few things to say about teenage girls who would throw rocks and second graders and beat up preschoolers.

But Mama Bear had a few things to say to her kids who started it, too.

I was so angry!  Furious!  I was livid that they would start trouble like that!  I was shocked that they would abandon the younger two children!  I was so disappointed that they would treat others like that!  I was so scared that they could have been hurt worse.  It was awful, the whole mess.

But I did not raise my voice.

And I did not make assumptions, even though I witnessed most of it myself.

Instead, I had them take turns telling me their stories, and then I left them to wait while I calmed down and talked to Nathan.

Then we called a family council, and discussed first what each of them had experienced.  We redirected them to focus on their own experiences, what they saw and heard and felt, and their own self-reponsibility for what happened rather than blaming others.  We had a very long talk that included the children not only apologizing to each other by their own initiation, but also choosing their own consequences.

Then we had a second talk, separate from untangling it all.  This talk was just about safety.  It was about getting away from dangerous situations, about ways to get away, about screaming for help.  It was about talking to Mama and Papa about ever being hurt or anything like that happening.  It was about fighting for your life if anyone ever tried to do worse, like actually take them or touch their private areas inappropriately or without permission.

Your bodies are not bad, but they are sacred.

We know, Mom.  Only you and Papa and the doctor if we need help with our bodies.

But it’s so important, you know?

Just as much as I want them to be able to play outside safely without being the kids who start trouble, I also want them to be able to keep themselves safe and talk to us about anything that ever makes them feel unsafe.

Just as much as I want them to have good social skills, autism or not, homeschool or not, I also want them to know how to protect themselves – and that they are worth protecting.

Just as much as I want them to do the hard work of learning to be a good friend, I don’t want them just selling out for some kind of illusion that isn’t love at all.

Just as much as I don’t want to be punitive just because Alex has autism, I also want him to understand that the world will hold him accountable for his actions regardless – and that he needs to work hard for self-regulation, and to understand now that no means no, and a girl may not be teasing when she says no, and it isn’t funny for him to just keep going because he doesn’t understand it’s not a game.

These are such grown up topics!  Here are bits we reviewed tonight after dinner:

We had such a lovely week in an almost empty resort, and now people are starting to arrive for the holiday weekend just as we are leaving.  We talked about ways we could make tomorrow fun and good without repeating the challenges of today, but also how we can use the challenges of today to help us make tomorrow better.  Because that’s a thing for all of us, right?

That’s why we had to sing their “Try Again” song.

Because we always can.

That’s the whole entire point: we can try again.

Partying Our Heart Out

These are my early morning risers:

These are my sleepy heads:

Today was Kyrie’s birthday, and we had lots of celebrating to do.  But no one can celebrate until everyone is up and dressed and clean and ready for the day.  That means all the babies need new pull-ups, right?

Since our wheat allergy people are gone, I used the morning to teach the children how to make cinnamon rolls:

We spent the morning making little cakes, which I kept trying to explain needed to cool before we could put the icing on at the birthday party.  We barely squeezed in lunch before it was time for the party!

There were so many who wanted to play with us for the party, and she just cannot be around so many people, and we are on vacation, but we still wanted to thank so many people – so it seemed like a good day to use the live feed on the fan page to celebrate with so many who have helped this miracle baby make it to this miracle milestone.  We are so grateful!

Kyrie was worn out, for sure, and the other two preschoolers finally dropped for naps, too!

The second graders were busy during naptime, though!  I kept hearing squealing between the woods and our condo, and I finally peeked out because I thought Kirk had been hurt.  It turns out he was squealing with squeamish delight as Mary was trying to catch a lizard.  They spent FIVE HOURS trying to catch that lizard!  I have never laughed so hard!  Here’s a tiny clip:

Back home, Alex went to the workshop with Papa to spend some one on one time with him.  They had a blast, and made some very cool and creative stuff!  I love that they have this special one on one time together!

When naps were finally over, I split everyone up into different activities so they wouldn’t get stir crazy before the week is up.

Kyrie, though, bounces amongst everyone, especially Anber and Barrett.  She is very close to them both, in very different ways.  It’s fascinating to watch, and I so love that they have such good relationships.

I am supposed to be relaxing, but this is as close to a nap in the sunshine as I got:

Everytime we go anywhere, I unplug all the phones so the children can play with them.  We don’t actually use them or need them, and these things are relics.   Anber is old enough now to notice the letters on the keypad, and so she spent the afternoon “emailing” people on the phone by spelling their names.  It was pretty funny.

Kyrie hasn’t been eating much, and we have been more and more reliant on her feeding tube again.  So when she asked for lasagna, I went for it!  She has always loved tomato-based sauces, and it’s one way to pack in some nutrients when all she does is suck out the juice of her food and then spit it back out.

So when she asked tonight for lasagna, I made a vegetable sauce and packed the lasagna full of vegetable slices, too.  We had an excellent vegetarian lasagna, and she ate (and swallowed) two plates of it!

At one point, she dropped a squash on her chest and started screaming, “I squashed my nipple!  I squashed my nipple!”

These kids crack me up.

It was, I think, as best a birthday as we could have without Alex and Nathan, though we saw them on video phone a lot today.  It’s hard to finally be home and then missing them, but Nathan and Alex will join us after his meetings on Monday.

It’s also hard to adjust to being back home.  There is a lot of energy and work that goes into caring them, and bringing them here used to be easy-peasy for me because I was with them all the time.  Jumping straight from working 20 hour days to being alone with five of the children for the entire weekend by myself was a little rough for all of us.  They have grown so much, and I have missed so much, and it is all good, but time goes so fast!  We all have catching up to do.  They are all a little extra clingy, so I am running circles around them as they run circles around me, spending time with all of them together, and one-on-one moments, and activities with different groups of them.  I am glad we have this place, to come and re-adjust and transition back together as we prepare for what is next.

We have always come here to do that, whether that was with new fosters or after hospital stays with Kyrie, and now this.  It’s a tradition, of sorts, except it is exhausting to think we have needed this kind of tradition.  Nathan says we should have known because of how preparatory our engagement was for this – so much time apart, and the time together so very magical.

That’s us: magical, with a little bit of sticky slime on the side, and maybe a temper tantrum or two.

The kids have been good, though!

Promptings of Rest

Last night was my last night in the chaplain room at Hillcrest.


I will miss that sacred work very, very much, but am excited to see how my chaplaincy ministry unfolds in new ways post-residency.

First, though, was the most important thing: getting breakfast home early enough to surprise my kids.  It’s been nine months since I got to wake them or see them at breakfast, as I was either at one hospital or another, and they have been so excited for me to be home in the mornings.

I got them breakfast, helped them get dressed, read scriptures and prayed, and got most everyone in the car before they woke Nathan. 

I am glad he got to sleep in!  He has sacrificed so much to help me through this last year!  We knew this year would be hard, but goodness!  It is good to let go of pushing so hard, and good to be on the other side of residency and back home again.

Except when I was driving the children to school, this thing was on a truck coming up I-44 just parallel to us coming up the entrance ramp:


Except its chains broke, and it slid off and rolled across the median right toward us!

I had just received an impression to STOP! just before it happened, and I hit the brakes right there on the entrance ramp.  This would make no sense if you didn’t know about promptings, and normally would be so dangerous.  But that prompting saved our life, as it barreled past us just inches from the front of our van as I screeched to a halt.  It was so close there was dirt on our bumper – but not a scratch.

Whew. So many miracles.

After dropping the preschoolers off, we drove to Bartlesville.  We have been doing the “12 Days of Kyrie” and today was the day we planned to “heart attack” the offices of the nurses and doctors who have helped us keep her alive.  Except our nurse lost her son last week, so today we talked about our baptismal covenants to “mourn with those who mourn”, and how those promptings back in January to do this project have been so needed.

Again, promptings, guiding and providing what we need before we knew we needed it.

Here’s the story: way back in January, the children felt prompted to plan something special for Kyrie’s doctors and nurses.  I thought it was a great idea, and told them to come up with some ideas, and I would see what we could do.  They brainstormed a list, and I made up a schedule of what surprises would be delivered when… except it didn’t work for January, or even Valentine’s.   

So I thought we could do it for Kyrie’s birthday.

Except she said “that will be too late.  She needs us before that,” referencing our nurse.

So we backed it all up a few weeks, until we all felt the timing was right and received the spiritual confirmation of it.

Silliness, our idea.

Except commanded, in a spirit-love kind of way.

So we were obedient to it, made a plan to pull it off, and recruited sponsors and helpers.  One day they got flowers, and one day they got a barbershop quartet, and one day they got Sonic drinks, and all these surprises, one each day.

We got it all set up in January.

And then it started on a Thursday, the one Kyrie picked out on the calendar.

And then on Sunday, we lost our little friend, who tragically passed away completely unexpectedly.

We were all in shock.

Except the surprises were already set up, and kept going like hugs we could not have arranged after the fact.

There is more to the story too sacred to share right now, but that’s the point: Heavenly Father knows us, and loves us, and prepares us to care for each other.  That’s the miracle… love.


Once we spread out as many hearts as we could stick, we headed home.

I figured that since I didn’t have to work until my only job in the evening, we might as well take the disaster of our family hair crisis to get trimmed up.


I got my first haircut since chemo, not counting the chemo-mullet that had to be kept under control last year, and by the next cut I will have almost a normal style and regular layers.  I have hair!

Alex and Nathan got haircuts, too, and we will get Barrett’s cut when he is not in school.

Even Mary got a trim, and new braids that I didn’t have to do for once – always good rest for my painful hands when I get help with her braids.



She was awfully proud of them!


We got home just in time for me to run to work, and it’s been a crazy night in psych land.

Except even if I am exhausted by morning, I will get to rest.

No more 20 hour work days.

At least for now.

Instead, I get to follow the best prompting of all: spending time with my family.

I’m super excited about that.