Little Miracles (2020 Year in Review)

As the year draws to its conclusion, this is the time to reflect on the adventures we have embodied and to highlight the triumphs and glory that made our hearts sing. For our family, we had these moments. Mad Dog’s new job, moving to the beach, Full Speed’s coaching dreams pursued, T. Puzzle’s spelling bee victory, but they somehow pale in comparison to the one simple fact, …

we survived.

So did you.

If no one has told you lately, let me remind you what a marvel you are. You didn’t give up, even on the darkest mornings and the bleakest days. You kept rising to the challenges that erupted like land mines across all your expectations.

I am dedicating this post to you.

What an honor you continue to be a part of our family’s journey. Thank you for all the ways big and small you have shown up for us, for your loved ones and I pray above all else, for yourself.

Now that we have the scars of survival etched in our hearts, this is our roadmap to the turnaround. This is where the lessons learned, the gratitude gleaned, and the hope harvested move us beyond our collective healing.

This is where our survival becomes a revival.

We can’t prevent disaster but now we know whatever happens, we will get through it. 2020 tried everything in its power to stop us. It knocked us down more times than it lifted us, but we kept righting ourselves back to the life in front of us. To all those tiny, precious details we never had time to notice, until 2020 halted our motion and busyness and these little miracles were all we could see.

What beauty to know our strength is infinite and that together or apart, we are one.

Thank you for reading. May the year ahead provide us with all that is needed to grow our courage, cherish what matters, and cultivate love for ourselves and for one another.


New Year, New You

First of all, don’t go changing on account of the New Year.  You are much too fabulous for that.

Stay you, stay true.

In the midst of our holiday break, which is whizzing by, the boys got new glasses.  This may seem insignificant but it isn’t.  Due to their unique and complex prescriptions, we have sometimes waited up to a year (a year!) to get new glasses made.

These new frames arrived less than a month after we dropped off the prescription. That has never happened in all of our days of taking boys to eye doctors.

Not once.

Keep in mind T.Puzzle started glasses when he was six months old and Full Speed at twenty months:

It’s been a long haul.

The one thing that has remained constant is how incredibly handsome my guys are in their glasses.  I didn’t think they could improve on this, but they did.

I am choosing not to comment on how much older they look in these new frames.

Is denial a viable resolution for the New Year?

If so, I am already crushing it.

Take that 2019!

Here are the before and afters:

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Check out Full Speed’s take on the College Football Playoffs:

Championship Chatter

children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Shot Through the Heart

T.Puzzle on the first day of kindergarten

Oh, hello denial!  I didn’t see you standing there.  I was too busy pretending that sending T.Puzzle to kindergarten was a breeze.

Basically, this kindergarten thing has been fine and dandy with me as long as I could  accurately predict T.Puzzle’s behavior.  It’s when he starts going rogue on me and all of a sudden exhibits very Full Speed-like tendencies that all bets are off.

I was perfectly happy dropping him off as long as Full Speed escorted him to his class.  Things became dicey this week when he announced that he would no longer need Full Speed’s assistance and he would be walking in ‘all by myself!’ from here on out.

Now, I expected and accepted this kind of independent streak from Full Speed.  While I knew T.Puzzle had it in him, I thought that it would take a little longer to express on school grounds, like in ten years or so (ah, yes, there’s that lovely denial again).

As I watched T.Puzzle march to the entrance alone it felt like a bullet straight through my heart.

I will never be the same again and quite thankfully, neither will he.  I’m proud of his confidence and this softens the edges of the hurt I feel as I realize that everything has changed.

Mothers and kids must learn to separate, ‘bullet’ wounds eventually heal and the love a mother has for their child is always with them, even when they march their way towards independence.

Had I known he would grow so fast, I would have held him even tighter.

children, gratitude, humor, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery, Taekwondo

The Sparring Truth

Now that T.Puzzle is a camoflauge belt, he technically is allowed to spar.  This means I am technically allowed to be completely neurotic about it.

the good ol' days when T.Puzzle was still a non-sparring yellow belt.

Oh, my denial runs deep.  I keep wishing and hoping that his sparring days are far, far in the future.

In class as I grabbed a seat another Mom asked me, “Has T.Puzzle sparred, yet?”

I went into this long explanation about how he has not, how I’m not ready for it, he’s too young, too timid and maybe Mad Dog can take him to a sparring class because I don’t want to see it.

I think a simple ‘no, he has not’ would have sufficed.

Needless to say, as soon as I’m done with my crazy little speech, the instructor approaches me and asks if  T.Puzzle has his sparring gear.

Today is the day.


The more I thought about it the more I realized my concerns about T.Puzzle sparring had nothing to do with him.

I am associating this with him being grown-up.

Newsflash— he is growing up.

Sometimes knowledge like this is worse than a flying high kick to the head.

After it was over, it was all relatively harmless, and T.Puzzle shouted, ‘that was the most awesomest!’, I paused and tried to be grateful for how well he handled it. 


I still have a ways to go yet.

children, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting



Test Track, a popular attraction at Epcot, at ...
Image via Wikipedia


We were at Epcot for the day.  The weather was pitch perfect, the boys well-behaved and we were having a marvelous time.  Mad Dog insisted one of our first stops was Epcot’s Test Track.  I remember Test Track from a past trip and let’s just say, I’m not a fan.   Mad Dog and I had taken Full Speed along with my nieces and brother-in-law about two years ago.  Here is the photo of me completely relaxed and enjoying the ride:


Yes, I'm that big of a scaredy-cat


Fast forward two years and now Mad Dog wants to take both my boys.  Was he serious?  Yep.  He instructed me to go sit at the exit by the gift shop (of course the exit is by a gift shop).  I did so and ordered my mind not to think about how frightening I found the ride as a grown adult.  I ignored the instinct to grab my three year old T.Puzzle and run for the hills.  I sat quietly and I waited.

That’s when it began.  The mind-numbing roar of the test cars on the track overhead.  Each sounded like a freight train colliding with a Mack truck.  Oh, and then there were the piteous screams of the helpless passengers spilling over and making me feel very, very nauseous.

Okay.  I can do this.  I can pretend to be a rational Mommy and wait patiently.

Roar.  Scream.

Roar.  Scream.

By this time my anxiety had reached full throttle.  My stomach was in knots.  A kid next to me joked that it was taking so long for his older brother to emerge because someone must have been flung from a car.

Roar. Scream.

At that point I almost lost it.

Another fifteen minutes passed and keep in mind, my boys supposedly had fast passes to this ride.  I think I aged about thirty years as I waited for their ride to be over.

Finally, I saw them.

They were perfectly fine.  T.Puzzle cried a little at the end (the scariest portion), insisted he would not be riding it again and was quite proud of himself.  I pretended to be all calm and collected.  I congratulated him and let him have him his moment.

Looks like my boy is growing up.  Unfortunately, this feels a whole lot scarier to me than any ride in the world.