Checkout Line


Here’s how you know you’re life has changed:

You are in the checkout line at the grocery store.

You wonder why there is so little in your cart.

You remember that the 15 people who filled your home for several weeks have dispersed and there’s only two of you left.

You bag up your measly purchases and swipe your card.

You push your cart toward the exit.

You walk past the other checkout lane and are momentarily disoriented.

You see someone familiar and you are slightly taken aback.

You realize it is your newly married son unloading a full cart of groceries.

You panic for an instant as random thoughts run through your mind –

Should I be paying for his groceries?  How many bags of chips are in that cart?  Did I ever teach my son how to grocery shop?  I never sent him to the store for anything but a gallon of milk.  Have I failed as a mother?  Will he survive?????

Your eyes meet for an awkward second.

Then your newly married son smiles and says, “Hi Momma!” and gives you a big hug right there in the checkout line.

That’s when you know you’re life has changed.

The Secret of Life

“The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.”  James Taylor

So that’s it.

The secret, according to JT, is finding joy in each part of life –

acknowledging its passing,

without fighting against the natural movement of time.

It’s a secret because not many of us get it.

I’ve spent many days trying to push through to a more promising tomorrow.

Other days, I cling to a past that has come and gone.

Lately, God’s been whispering secrets in my ear,

singing James Taylor lyrics into my heart.

He says, “Time passes, but find the joy in it.”

“Since we’re only here for awhile, we might as well show some style.”

My highest goal in life was to see my children through their growing years and witness them launching out on their own.  Losing my mother at a young age, I wanted more than anything to spare my kids that pain.  Now they are all married, established, on their own.

As I told a friend, “The rest is just frosting on the cake!”

She responded, “There is  A LOT of frosting for you, my friend!”

So there is a new phase on the horizon.

I get more days.  Frosting days.

“Nobody knows how we got to the top of the hill,

but since we’re on our way down,

we might as well enjoy the ride.”

It’s a lovely ride.

This is my story.

This is my song:

Mr. and Mrs.


The new Mr. and Mrs.

I still get teary-eyed looking at this picture.


The family Scrabble board is complete.

Her name fits just right.


These guys.

All five grands dressed up fancy for Uncle Jake’s wedding.


Three weddings and five grand babies in three years.

Holy moly.

This Nonnie is plumb tuckered out, but with a full heart.

Wedding Week Interview #3

Weighing in on wedding week is brother and Best Man, Sam.

Me: How do you feel about your little brother getting married?

Sam: Oh man…’s almost an unexplainable feeling because this is my brother and best friend, so there are a whole lot of emotions.

Me: What are you most looking forward to on Saturday?

Sam: I’m most looking forward to when all the guys put the tuxes on and we’re hanging out waiting for the wedding to start.

Me: Where do you see the happy couple in five years?

Sam: Hopefully still being my next door neighbor.

Me: What are three words that describe your relationship with Jake?

Sam: Oh man……deep, protective, entertaining.

(We’re taking bets on the probability of whether or not there will be tears during the best man’s speech.  Odds are currently running 2:1.)



Wedding Week Interview #2

Wedding week continues….

Next up: big sister Katie.

Me: How do you feel about your little brother getting married?

Katie: Oh….I feel old.  I changed Jake’s diapers and carried him on my hip.  Not recently, but like 22 years ago.

Me: What are you most looking forward to on Saturday?

Katie: Seeing Jake’s face when Kelsey walks down the aisle and watching him cry his eyes out.

Me: Where do you see the happy couple in five years?

Katie: I see them living in the woods and having their own reality TV show.

Me: What are three words that describe your relationship with Jake?

Katie: Ummmm…long-distance, book-ends, favorite :-)

In all fairness, this interview was done in the kitchen while five babies were pulling on Katie’s pant legs.  One was crying, one was screaming, one was whining, one was drooling, and one was shouting.

All this while eight adults were in the other room watching “Thomas the Train”.


Wedding Week Interview #1

It’s officially wedding week in our household!  I thought this blessed event should be commemorated in a special way, so for the next few days I will be doing a series of interviews of various members of the family.  Given the nature of this slightly dysfunctional, but entirely charming clan, this should be fairly entertaining.

Day one: Sister Anna

Me: How do you feel about your little brother getting married?

Anna:  (My gosh, I can’t do this…. sniff, sniff)  I feel sad that it’s the last wedding because I really like these parties.  I’m excited to see the culmination of five years of them getting to know each other and learning to love each other well.

Me: What are you most looking forward to on Saturday?

Anna: Babysitters.  Also, the crying during the father/daughter dance, and the laughing during the mother/son dance.

Me: Where do you see the newly married couple in 10 years?

Anna: In their new hand-crafted house, built by Jake……with a baby, maybe two…..continuing to pursue the things they love.

Me: What are three words that describe your relationship with Jake?

Anna: Spontaneous (free tote!), loving (nook me), and open and honest (brother-sister time on the roof).  

Um…I think these are inside jokes….half the time I have no idea what these two are talking about.

Me: That was four words, Anna.

Anna: (laughing)


A Blessing For My Son

Jake 001

This is my baby.

He’s getting married in a few days, so naturally I’m getting all sentimental about this child.

I love this picture because it captures a moment I treasure, the perfect day.

 A summer day, barefoot on green grass, peaceful river, gentle breeze, garden ready for planting, Wisconsin cheese t-shirt, worn out blue jeans, favorite blankie hanging on the clothesline.

So, reflecting on this photo, here is a blessing for my son as he marries his love:

May you have the perfect summer day to begin your life together.

May you walk in green pastures of provision and rest by still waters of peace.

May you be refreshed by the wind of the Spirit blowing through your lives.

May you sow seeds of faith in the fertile ground of love and reap a bountiful harvest.

May you remember where you’ve been, who you are, and whose you are.

May you find satisfaction in hard work and a job well done.

May you always feel wrapped in the security and comfort of the love of God and family.

Love, Mom