It Starts With Me: A Mother’s Honest Confession

It’s July in Minnesota.  We are not quite half-way through our summer break, and if I’m completely honest… I have been STRUGGLING!  I’ve been struggling with my patience, struggling with my temper, and struggling with this whole parenting thing.

I have three kiddos and I love them to pieces.  They are truly a blessing in my life.  You know that saying, “children are a gift from above?”  It’s true!

But let’s be real.  My kids don’t always behave in a manner that conjures up warm, fuzzy, “I’m feeling so blessed right now” emotions.  Continue reading

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You Are Not Alone

I could hear the baby wailing from across the department store. My first reaction was to breathe a sigh of relief that it wasn’t one of my kids.  I was enjoying a quiet shopping trip all alone, a scenario that rarely happens, especially on a Friday afternoon.

My husband had the day off and had graciously offered me a chance to sneak away so I could buy some much-needed items for myself. We both knew what a nightmare it could be to try to corral our kiddos in a dressing room while we frantically tried on clothes.  I was definitely relishing in this unexpected moment of retail solitude. Continue reading

I Won’t Stay Silent!

Two weeks ago, I heard the heart-wrenching news that one of my former high school classmates had been shot and killed inside her Colorado home. Molly Nickal was just 35 years old. She left behind three beautiful children, the youngest a 3-month-old baby boy. Her husband, Gary Nickal, has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder.

As I read the news articles chronicling her tragic demise, it was very clear that this beautiful woman was a victim of domestic violence. According to an article in the Mankato Free Press, Molly’s family had been afraid for her because her husband was controlling, violent, and had isolated her from the rest of the family. Molly had even told one of her sisters that she felt like a prisoner in her own home. Continue reading

A Fatal Distraction

My four-year-old son was silently struggling for his life near the edge of a swimming pool filled with people, and no one knew it… including me.

It happened so quickly.

I had just taken my little guy’s life jacket off so he could run into the house and go to the bathroom.

The pool party we were attending was starting to wind down and my mind was preoccupied with our after party plans. I wanted to call my husband to confirm our dinner arrangements. Just then, my son tugged at my arm. Continue reading

Dumpster Diving

“I’m hungry!” My 3 ½ year-old son said repeatedly as we made our way down the stairs and into the cluttered kitchen below.  Still rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I mumbled a drowsy: “what do you want for breakfast?”

Much like the red laser beam from one of his favorite nerf guns, my son’s gaze zeroed in on his target:  a stash of candy that I had placed on top of the refrigerator.  I tend to keep “the really good stuff” up and out of reach.  But some of the kids lingering Valentine’s Day candy had recently been moved to the top of the refrigerator as well.  I had naively thought that it would be safe from grabby little fingers up there. Continue reading

I’ll Give You Something To Talk About!

“I don’t want to wear glasses!” my six-year old said anxiously from the back seat of the car.  We were on our way to see a Pediatric Ophthalmologist at the University of Minnesota, after our oldest son unexpectedly developed a lazy eye in November.

My husband and I shared an uneasy glance before shifting our attention to the bundle of nerves in the backseat.

“Why don’t you want to get glasses?” we gently pressed him. Continue reading

Parenting Is For The Full Of Heart

It looked like something out of a horror movie.  One whole side of her face was covered in red.  It splattered down her neck and blanketed her black and white checkered blouse.  I’ll never forget the look on her face.  It was a mixture of shock and dismay, followed by a round of unexpected giggles.

I breathed a sigh of relief at her kind reaction, hastily apologized, and then turned to face the perpetrator of this heinous act.  My three and a half-year old looked up at me, eyes as big as saucers, the ketchup packet still crumpled under his hand. Continue reading