Bacon and Tears

My dad can’t be here to enjoy this snow. But we can. So we did.

After today, I can add “have a good cry over a piece of bacon” to my life experiences. I’ve been holding in my emotions for the past few days, willing myself to NOT make eye contact with the ghost of Christmas past. The smiling, always up to mischief face of my father, who took great delight in this time of year.

As I sat at the breakfast table with my husband, listening to the sound of some red dirt band and children’s feet running around upstairs, the dam broke. I bit into the perfectly-cooked piece of bacon, commented to my husband how it was the best from the batch yet, let the glare from the fresh fallen snow fall into my …

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“Run the bathwater. She’s puking again.” Not quite the way I envisioned our Christmas morning to end. Santa had come, the gifts had been opened. Breakfast consumed. Our toddler just got over a five-day stomach bug of doom four days ago, and I was ready for the Lysol/non-stop laundry days to be over. But once again, she was throwing up. I knew it was probably a new virus, one picked up from one of several family Christmas parties we had attended over the weekend.

After a phone call to my parents, my fears were validated. “Everyone’s got it over here. I’m the only one not sick…yet,” my brother quietly said over the line. Everyone there was sleeping off a night of sickness. We’d all squished into my parent’s living room the evening before, sharing laughter, food …

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If there’s one thing I admire about parents, it’s their refusal to “parent by default.” That is, they take a stand for something, anything, and give it their best shot to not let society trample their beliefs. They avoid activities they deem inappropriate, educate their children about their beliefs, and oftentimes have to duck and dodge popular culture with its ever-present marketing messages. It’s tough. But they’re trying. They question popular toys or customs, and don’t automatically participate just because “all the other parents are doing it.”

A friend of mine is one such parent. She and her spouse want their children to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, Christ’s birth. And they don’t want them distracted with …

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This is what it’s all about. The joy of gingerbread magic! And I can’t make the toddler stay still enough for a non-fuzzy picture.

When I was nine or so, I happened upon a booth at our local Fall Festival, one that displayed delicious, artistic Gingerbread houses. I was mesmerized. Miss Paula, the master gingerbread architect, was a familiar face seen at my church, my school, and even taking our softball team pictures in the summer. So, I felt completely comfortable asking (begging) her to puh-lease make a gingerbread house with me some day. And being the generous person she is, she agreed. So, from then on, it was our little inside story, and every time we saw each other, we’d talk about making a house someday. But we never did. The years went …

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Will You Make Him Room?

I know some dismiss blogging as a “silly hobby” or perhaps a strange obsession, but for me, it’s now a way of life. Not only that, but it’s connected me to some amazing people, who I never would have met otherwise. (Well, I might have, but it’s a long shot.) One particular connection I’ve made is “I Still Hate Pickles” blogger Kirsten, but her friends call her Kiki. 🙂 She lives in Texas, has two little ones, and a baby on the way. She’s funny, feisty and completely down-to-earth. And here’s another thing that drew me to her. She follows Christ but isn’t afraid to show her flaws: “I try to live a transparent and authentic life, which means I screw up all the time but attempt to be honest about that. If …

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(image from No wonder his parents gave in to his request. Look at that face! Too bad my kid has a cute face, too.

“I want a Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle. Oooooooh!”

Now, instead of a round-faced spectacled young boy, picture a curly-haired, green-eyed young girl saying:

“I want a Cinderella dress that lights up with a Cinderella ring and a Cinderella salon. Oooooooh!”

With Ralphie-like enthusiasm, my preschooler knows what she wants for Christmas. Over and over and over again, when asked by aunts, grandparents and friends, this has been her response. It wasn’t always this answer, though. First, it was “sparkly pink light-up shoes.” So, we got her some. They’re waiting anxiously in my closet, ready to be opened Christmas morning. But will she have an enthusiastic response? Or …

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