Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I have found a recruit parent forum that I view a couple times a week. It is for all Marine recruit parents but is broken down very specifically by training base, company, platoon, graduation date, every imaginable category. The parents of platoon 2108 (Blake's platoon) have started a prayer thread for our boys as they enter their final phase of training.

I post mine here, not to lift myself up as anything more than a mother who misses her son and wants desperately to see him; but merely to record it for Blake.

Father, thank you for seeing our sons through this journey so far. We ask your healing hand upon those who are injured in body or in spirit.

Please, Father, surround our sons, Your children, with your angels of love and protection as they enter this final phase. Give them wings of eagles so that they may soar and conquer their final tasks. Protect them from injury as they move through The Crucible.

Thank you father for each one of these young men who has chosen this selfless and sacrificial path in life. Thank you for each mother, father, wife, brother, sister and other loved one who is keeping each one of these boys lifted up as he meets his goal.

Lord, thank you for the men who have trained our boys to be members of this mightiest military force in the world.

Thank you, Lord, for the chaplains who somehow reach through the dirt and grime of boot camp and shine a light - YOUR LIGHT - into our sons' hearts. Because, Lord, my son is one of those who has been reached and has chosen to be baptized in Your name. And for that Dear Father, I am eternally grateful.

Lord, I pray for safe travel for the hundreds of families who will be crossing this nation to finally see our sons. Please allow us all to return safely to our homes and embrace our children for even a brief time.

Lord you have sustained us. You will continue to sustain us and our sons. And for this I praise You and thank You.

My sweet best friend J sent me some much needed words of encouragement one day and reminded me that Blake would be soaring like an Eagle. And so I keep that image in my mind as I think of him nearing his goal. Thank you Jnet.

Two weeks from today we will board a plane and head to San Diego. We will arrive that evening but not be able to see our son until the next day. Oh, the agony of being less than two miles from our child and not hold his face in my hands.....but we are getting close.

Praise God in Heaven....we are almost there.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


For the past ten weeks, I've had a lot of dreams about baby boys. I wouldn't call these dreams disturbing but, like most dreams, they have been bizarre.

One night my dream was about me buckling a baby boy into a car seat and I looked away for one moment. When I looked back, the baby boy was gone but I continued to buckle an empty car seat.

Dreams about a baby boy simply not being there any more. These dreams have not left me fearful; but rather resigned. Resigned that my baby has gone and left in his place a man.

But early this morning? In those moments where I had awakened once but slipped back into that wonderful Saturday morning doze? I had the sweetest dream of my boy.

We were seeing each other for the first time since he left for boot camp.

He was in his dress blues and he was kissing my cheek.

And it was HIS face; not some abstract, non-face that appears in many dreams.

It was my boy's face.

And his arms around me, hugging me tight.

And in the back of my not-quite-awake-yet-not-fully-asleep mind, I was telling myself.

Don't wake up. Don't wake up. Stay asleep and this feeling will last a little longer.

But of course I woke up.

And I lay in bed and basked in that sweetest of dreams - a dream of my boy - now a man who is just a hair's width away from achieving HIS dream.

And I looked at the calendar and was reminded that we are less than three weeks from seeing him. Less than three weeks from seeing our son become a Marine.

And then I walked to the mailbox and opened another sweet letter.

But still, I want to close my eyes for just a moment and picture him in that uniform, feel those arms around me and imagine that boy kissing his mama's cheek.

Sweet dreams indeed.

Monday, September 20, 2010


My mom sends me lots of e-mail forwards. Most of them are at least slightly humorous, if not worth saving.

The one I received today is just so disturbing I have struggled with my conscience about whether to even create a post about it.

But I finally decided it is going to have such an impact on my life (and probably yours) that I simply had to step outside my comfort zone and post it:

Ladies and gentlemen, please forgive me:

Yes, this woman is at the grocery store without a blouse. And without a bra.
But apparently that is no problem since her breasts fit quite nicely into the waist band of her stretch pants.
I just...
I mean....
My eyes!! My eyes!! Please, God in Heaven, strike me blind NOW!
When I am not dreaming of pouring bleach into my eyes, the questions simply will not stop swirling around my now permanently scarred brain.
First off; Why? In the name of all that is good and holy WHY? Did this poor woman not have ONE top? NOT. ONE. TOP?
Should we be at all concerned that she's shopping for chicken breasts while hers are tucked into her waist band? What's that about?
Does this super market have no greeter? Because surely anybody with any sense (and hopes of ever sleeping again) would have called security. "Uh...yeah...Barney, we have a situation here. Please bring a blanket."
*And an ice pic so I can gouge my own eyes out.*
Was there not one person who encountered this woman and thought, "hmmm, she has no shirt on. I think I'll try to cover her up?"
And finally, where can I buy the best, most supportive bra EVER?
Because I think I want to take some pre-emptive measures for when I actually lose my last two functioning brain cells....
And now, loyal readers, good luck erasing this image from your brain.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I've had a couple of people ask me why I have not blogged a lot lately.

And those couple of people happen to be my daughter and her friend, so I should say a couple of IMPORTANT people.

And as with any question posed to me, I've given this one much deep thought and consideration.

*Thinking....thinking....thinking.....tapping chin with finger....*

And this is what I've come up with: while it's true that I ran into a little bit of writer's block a few months ago, now I think my problem is TOO MUCH writing.

First I will blame Facebook, and I intend to get off facebook when my son comes home from boot camp. I returned to it when he left so that I could give near daily posts and ask for prayers and good thoughts on his behalf. Oh and to put some cute pictures of my daughter out there too.

Plus I do like the facebook community; well most of it. There are things about it that I don't care for but I won't get into that now.

I do believe the whole facebook thing is worthy of its own post. After all there is even a movie coming out about it. But I'll move on.

I think the real reason behind my lack of blogging lately is that I write a letter to my son every night. And by the time I've typed no fewer than two pages to my recruit, filling him in on all the family tidbits and small town news, I'm just tired of typing.

And tired of thinking.


If my daughter enjoys my blog enough to ask "did you blog today?" then I should be flattered and try harder to put something out there for her.

I did, after all, start this blog as a legacy for my kids. And I must say I've been validated by both of them regarding my efforts at that. First with Kayla asking me about my posts, and second with a letter from Blake when he told me he felt like my letters to him were the same as reading one of my blog posts written just for him. That was when he assured me that he had indeed read every single post while at home; he just never let me know it.

So, where am I going with all of this?

Um....I have absolutely no idea.

I guess I'm going in the direction of trying harder to record a few words on here as often as I can - for my kids.

And I'm going to do just that when I am done helping with the homecoming float, preparing for the homecoming dance, presenting art lessons to 100 first graders, juggling various appointments, enjoying fall softball games, traveling to San Diego, putting my heart back into my chest after watching my son graduate, planning and hosting a welcome home/graduation open house for 100 family and friends, stuffing my son with homemade desserts and suppers for 10 days, telling him good bye again and putting my heart back into my chest yet again after that good bye.

So yeah. More blog posts are on the horizon.

In my free time.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Remember those days when your children were babies? Those days when you thought:

I can't wait until they sleep through the night

I can't wait until they can walk

I can't wait until they can talk

I can't wait until they are out of diapers

(or am I the only one who had those thoughts?)

It seems when my children were little, as much as I cherished my babies, I found myself looking forward to new phases.

How exciting new phases were - and how relieved I sometimes was when those new phases arrived.

The first week of sleeping through the night? Was there anything closer to heaven than my head staying on my pillow for six to eight hours at a time? I think not.

The first happy days after potty training was complete? FREEDOM!!!!

I'll admit I was not one of those moms who sobbed my eyes out when my baby went to kindergarten. I was a little melancholy about missing both of my children but I also looked forward to all of that "free time." And truthfully, I looked forward to my children experiencing the magic of learning - to the world being opened up to them in a whole new way.

But that mysterious free time that comes when all of your children are in school? It took several years for me to actually learn what that felt like, but that's a whole other post.

Like most of you moms who have teenagers or older children, I've blinked my eyes a few times and my kids are practically adults.

My son is at USMC boot camp and I have not seen his face in 8 weeks.

My daughter is a junior in high school and is busy and active and social and in love with life.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

But I realized the other day that I've spent much of my parenting years simply ignoring the beauty of the moment.

When they were babies, I so often let frustration and fatigue win out and I'd wish for them to grow up.

Now that they are growing up I want them to be little again and I dread them growing up even more.

I so enjoy my sweet daughter; and the last couple of months have been especially amazing with her. This girl knows how to make the most of life.

She sparkles.

But sometimes? Sometimes when I watch her with her friends or listen to her laugh, I find myself thinking "only two more years...." When she's working on the homecoming float in our garage, I stand back and watch and think "after this, only one more float." And my heart does a sad little flip flop.

I want to hold on to her and turn back time to the days she wore soft leather MaryJanes and big hair bows. I want to see the hole in her smile that so charmed us during the tooth fairy days. But at the same time I want to see her move deeper and deeper into this wonderful journey of life. I want to watch her experience the joys of prom, graduation, college, lifelong friendships.

And so I once again have a choice to make.

Just as I had to make a choice 15 months ago when my son enlisted in the Marine Corps - the choice to live in faith instead of in fear - now I am making the choice to live in the moment as a mother.

I cannot go back to the joys of those sweet sweet days when my children were little. But I can recognize and be entrenched in the sweet moment of today - the sweetness of a high school girl who lives life with joy and surrounds herself with girls as sweet and fun as she is; and the relief and happiness that comes from knowing my son is healthy and strong enough to endure Marine Boot Camp.

I cannot turn the calendar back; and the calendar will turn itself forward quickly enough without my watching it and dreading it.

So here is my choice.

I choose today.

And all of the blessings it holds.