don’t give up on the lavender

lavender sprouts

It was Valentine’s day and the first day off that my husband had gotten in about 2 months and our first time alone together in that time. He now worked nights, seven days a week. I won’t lie and say that I was adjusting well to his new job or that the changes were easy for our family. The children missed him at bedtime, they missed him tucking them in and giving them goodnight loves. Our second son was still distraught that his father had to give up being his den leader. Though I think the youngest two and I had the biggest adjusting to do, we had to change what we did in the mornings and afternoons and how we played in the house to accommodate this sleeping presence in our day.

And me, I felt alone.
I no longer had any time alone with my husband, when he was home and awake there was always at least one child awake with us as well. Quiet nights of sitting and watching tv, talking, being silly or romantic together – they were no more. I was left alone to deal with four children, a baby and a dog for all but two to three hours in the afternoon. I felt hollow, like a shell missing its soul.

But there we were, finally together, just the two of us having a date day thanks to my parents keeping all of our little ones. In the middle of that precious time together I started getting down again, realizing how happy I was getting to spend time with the man that I loved and how brief that time would be. We were at the bookstore, waiting in line to check out when it hit me. I was staring at the knick knacks and novelty items that keep you company and tempt you while you wait to pay when I saw it. There sitting on the counter was a shelf display of happy yellow boxes of tiny pots of seeds to plant. And there, right in front of me, was the last box of lavender.

I love lavender. I love the smell. I love the color. I love the look of the plant.
So, I grabbed one.

I didn’t immediately set the plant up. It found a home on top of the microwave, occasionally getting knocked to the floor or buried under bills. I wanted to plant it, but I knew, with that dark despair that always seemed to cloud me, that I would just kill the lavender. And I just couldn’t bear the thought of that. I couldn’t stand the idea that I wouldn’t be able to grow and keep alive that ridiculously over priced little flower kit.

Then my second son had a project for school – he had to grow a cabbage plant and see how big he could grow it by the end of the year. We are plant challenged at our house, with much love – too much – and overeagerness we always end up killing them. So, I did what any good parent would do, I googled tips to keep plants alive. The biggest tip that I found was to place the plant in a container that would allow water absorption and then to place that in a cup with water in it.

And it worked. We grew cabbage.
Then somehow we kept ending up with more plants, and we kept those alive too.

Our family started adjusting more to my husband’s new work schedule. We started to grow used to the weird hours and finding ways to spend quality and intimate time together during different times. We learned to cherish phone calls during breaks and the busy season has ended so now we even get some weekends together. We were learning to find happiness, joy and peace again.

In April I dug the poor lavender box out from where it was relegated to the back of the top of the microwave and I decided it was time. I was planting the lavender. I emptied the box and saw the tiniest most adorable planter. I read all of the directions, and I followed them, too. I wanted this lavender to grow. I felt so full of hope and delight that soon, I would have my own baby lavender.

Then nothing happened, and nothing kept happening.
Each morning when I checked the other plants in the kitchen window, I checked my little lavender planter, and each morning it was still bare. I didn’t give up though. I would refill the dish it was in when I noticed it was dry. I made sure that it got sunlight. Some days, I will admit, I did feel a little defeat, because maybe I just wasn’t meant to grow this lavender. It was stupid and pointless to keep this little pot of dirt sitting there. But I just couldn’t bring myself to throw it away or to stop watering it.

I haven’t really looked at the plant in days. I just stick my finger in the dish to check the water and go about my things that I am doing in the kitchen. Today, as I was looking out the window at my husband getting ready to mow the yard I noticed something. There, hiding under some little bits of brown clingy to their tops, were a few bright green little sprouts. After a month of babying them, a month of doubting them and myself, and several months of agonizing over them, NOW I finally had baby lavender sprouts.

he dreams

and there he lay;
his head softly pillowed,
his mind off on adventures.
his dreams taking him off
to lands so far away.

he sleeps and he dreams.
he dreams and he flies.

he dreams
and he builds worlds
and futures
so bright.

he dreams.

he dreams sample - life as their mom

this post originally appeared on my old blog on February 21, 2014

ladybugs in the morning

give me ladybugs in the morning,
give me peonies in the afternoon,
give me butterfly kisses in the evening,
and give me magic underneath the full moon.

give me sleepy wonder when you see me,
give me laughing eyes when we speak,
give me the warmth of your arms for when you leave me,
give me thoughts of your love to hold me when we are apart.

give me the nows when we are together,
give me forever when you give me your love,
give me comfort when you see me crying,
and give me joy and hope for all of our tomorrows to come.


tell yourself

i see you over there crying, i hear your calls for help. let me hold you for a while and let me give you words that i often have to give myself.

tell yourself you are ok.
tell yourself that you will be fine.
tell yourself you will get through this, just give yourself some time.
tell yourself that this day is almost over and a new one will soon begin.
tell yourself you got this.
tell yourself that this time of trials will eventually have an end.

i still see you crying, i still hear your cries for help. your faith in yourself is low and you can’t trust these things that you say.

i believe that you will be ok and that you will be fine.
i believe that you will get through this, allow me to help you through this time.
i am here to help you through today, to get you to the next one,
i am here so that you don’t have to do this on your own,
i am here to help you reach the end of your trials,
i am here to build you up, and to give you that extra hand.

i hate that today is tearing you down. i hate that you feel this pain. i hate that you feel worthless. i see your pain and i know that it is real, i can’t completely take it from you, but let me help you carry it for a while.


Yesterday our hearts would beat in time together. I held you. I sustained you. I was the only universe that you ever knew.

Today I hold you in my arms. I wipe away your tears and hold you as you smile. I watch you as you drink the liquid love my body provides you. I wrap myself around you, you curl into my heart.

Tomorrow I will watch you as you run, grow and learn to fly free. Tomorrow I will kiss you and pray that you always return home to me.



when I don’t get all of the clothes folded. when dishes pile up in the sink. when the bathroom mirror is spoltchy. when the bathtub is still stained pink.

I am enough.

when the floor has gone unswept. when the counters are sticky. when the hallway needs a good cleaning. when the table stays a yucky mess.

I am enough.

when my children beat each other up. when they scream “I HATE YOU, TOO!” when they fall on the ground in angry tears. when in a rage they break all of their toys.

I am enough.

when their reading grades are low. when they’ve lost their gym shorts… again. when they still don’t know their times tables. when they refuse to do their school work.

I am enough.

when my pre-baby clothes are still too small. when I haven’t showered in days. when my legs are more than just prickly. when I feel nowhere near ok

I am enough.

when my roll of fat hangs over my pants. when my hair is faded and in knots. when I get sad looking at my body. when acne covers my face in ugly spots.

I am enough.


when all that you feel is fat and ugly. when you feel like the world’s most useless wife. when you are sure that you are a failure as a mother. when you feel like you just suck at life.

You are enough.

More than enough.


this, my body

this, my body, is beautiful.
it holds the wonders of creation and the magical mysteries of life.
it has lived, breathed, nourished and held more than just myself.
it is the creator of worlds untold and dreams uncountable.
it has features unique to just me –
things only me, God and my love will ever know of.
it is the canvas of my soul; colorful, imperfect and ever changing.

2016-01-28 23.21.29

this, my body, is powerful.
it overcomes pain – joint pain and deep in the bone pain.
it is familiar with the pain of broken bones, split skin and stubbed toes.
it endured through the pain of childbirth and the fire that is thrush.
it welcomes the monthly battle that it goes through to destroy an organ.
it has known the endless pain of failing at it’s job of carrying a baby
– the pain of losing a baby and feeling it leak out of you.

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this, my body, is precious.
it is a one of a kind special edition, a collector’s item,
something never to be seen again whole.
it is half of the blueprint that makes up my children. this nose, these eyes.
to hate any part of it would be to look at my children and to say to them
that i hate these things on and in them as well.
it is the only body that i have been given – i must cherish it.

2016-01-28 23.23.47

this, my body, is mine.
i own it.
i claim it.
i hold it dear to me.
this, my body.