Special Perspective – guest post by Gini Florer

the-lego-movie-movie-still-11 Today, I’m so thrilled to share something written by my friend Gini Florer. She’s been such a sweet encouragement to me and to pretty much anyone who knows her. Ten years ago Sunday, Gini & John’s road took a detour, in the most wonderful and uplifting way – adjectives that at the moment were a bit hidden behind a veil of unexpected. As this couple held a new baby in their arms, they began a journey down a road that didn’t quite look like what they imagined. But who knew, that in the midst of different, joy and happiness and contentment would come with a special life. Gini, knowing my beef with comparison and interest in contentment, told me I could share with you the following update she posted to her Caring Bridge yesterday. I hope her words encourage you in whatever place you might be – whether

Detour Driving

Change - Blue Button Sometimes life happens and the road on which you were so happily traveling takes a detour. Detours, in the form of change, are part of life. And the way we handle them has a huge affect on our outlook. We can either be miserable, frustrated and complainy… or we can make the detour a high-road excursion. Unwanted change doesn’t have to land us in a ditch. On Tuesday, Fury stepped on a bee. He screamed and wailed so loud, one of the neighbor kids told me yesterday, “Yeah, I heard him from my front yard.” (Embarrassing.) Fury is actually a pretty tough kid. But, that bee nailed him right in the tender spot on the bottom of your foot; and the sting just kept coming. I quickly removed the stinger and put a baking soda paste on the spot to calm it down. We tried to distract him with a game of Mexican Trains. And all seemed well.

Required Summer Reading … and other product-pull that can sap joy from the process

required-reading It’s that time of the summer – at least for homes with school-aged kids. These are the days when we look up and see Summer’s end creeping ever closer. (boo-hoo-hoo, sob, sob, sob!!) And I watch my kids try – okay I chide them to – complete their Required Summer Reading, I know that a lot of the wonder that could accompany such a task gets lost in the completion of it. “Required reading” tends to be done rather than savored => product over process. The books my kids have on deck this year are actually terrific. Each of them, in their unique genres, has something to offer any reader. I picked one of them up, The Sufferings of Young Werther, and have found myself annotating. I know I’m a complete geek. I’ve even had to order that kid another copy since I’m now keeping his. But will he savor

Photo Strolling Perspective

IMG_186 This morning I got a tiny bit side-tracked. I sat down with my cup of coffee before anyone was awake. And what do you know, but my computer was right at my fingertips. So I opened it. And I remembered something I needed to do. But, I opened iPhoto instead. I’m sure I had something of great purpose on my mind, but in true Motherhood-Induced ADD, I saw something that grabbed my attention. Then that thing led to something else – then to another something else – and before I realized it, I was lost on memory lane – completely oblivious to whatever task started the trek. Oh – but it was such a sweet road to travel. I relished in the silliness, the stuffed animals, the missing teeth, more silliness even at special locations (outside the West Wing) very special & fun friends so much love and smiles (well, smiles

Wisdom Played Out on the World Stage

lu pulga In the midst of pool sounds, some of which were happy, some of which were fight-y, I sneaked a peek at World Cup action. And in doing so, I unexpectedly had my life-isn’t-about-you, it’s-best-to-work-together, never-quit sails filled as I did. For a little background, I’m a soccer novice. Soccer was around when I was young, but I don’t remember it much. Football – YES. Tennis, yes. Softball, volleyball, basketball, and swimming – check. But not soccer. At least not in West Texas. So when I met Jon when we were getting our MBAs at Thunderbird, I really had very little soccer knowledge. It’s hard to imagine we made it past that – considering soccer was Jon’s life. Jon grew up in Bolivia and played the game from the moment he took his first steps. It’s what they did. Kids

Life’s Secret Sauce in Action

camp barnabas “It was so great,” my daughter told us while driving home. Her sister and I had just picked Snopes up after a week at camp. “But I didn’t have a ‘mountaintop’ experience,” she added thoughtfully. “You know, some life changing experience like I hear people talk about.” I was surprised when my daughter signed up to serve at the camp. Not because she’s one to shy away from serving. She genuinely enjoys helping. Her natural giftedness centers on caring for others. My surprise at her signing up to serve for a week at camp had nothing to do with serving, but everything to do with “camp.” My kids, though I desperately tried to make them, don’t much like camp. I’ve forced them all to try. Because camp – in so many ways – is good for kids.

You Can Do It Inspiration

keep-calm-you-can-do-it “I need some help,” my friend said as she grabbed my arm. I trailed behind her and a very unsure little boy to the lane in which he was to swim at a swim meet yesterday. Her six-year-old was second guessing his pending participation in relay race. I was at the meet to watch Fury. Okay, so most of the parents and families watched. I yet again failed to restrain my inner swim coach, stood on the side of the pool, and yelled encouragement to my child in the water. How does everyone do it? Keep themselves politely engaged and happy without all the “GO! GO! PULL! YOU’VE GOT IT!!!!”s escaping their mouths at full volume. Between that and my talking too much, I need help – probably in the form of a straight-jacket on my mouth. My sweet parents came to watch Fury swim, too. It was like old home week for them. They spent

“It tastes like chicken” – and other Classic Mom Responses

momresponse “Is this cheese still good?” my daughter asks me while holding a container of shredded Parmesan. “I don’t know,” I reply. “Maybe.” Then I do what moms so often do in a pinch, add a little dose of practical and float an answer that should work – especially in those times when we don’t know the answer “…. Smell it.” “What?” she gasps standing with the refrigerator door still open. “You always say that. What if it’s rotten and I eat it?! I could get sick! I might die!!” “Oh my word.” I grab the container. I open it, smell it, and hand it back. “It’s fine.” Smell it works with most dairy products and sandwich meat. I’ve also used it with clothing, as it relates to worthiness of wear. Smell it promotes independence and responsibility as it encourages a child to rely on themselves

Magazine Style Results – Perspective on Selfie-Help

When I was in Jr. High, then extent of outward appearance self-awareness consisted of my morning love-hate relationship with the mirror above my sink. I would wake up, stumble to my closet, get dressed, and then desperately try to curling-iron copy Farah Fawcett’s whispy perfection. I’d take one last look and set out on my day. Momentary encounters in the school bathroom (“momentary” being the operative word – a girl could fear for her life in that bathroom) offered brief reminders, but that’s about it. Some of my friends kept compact mirrors in the purses, but I wouldn’t have been caught dead sneaking a peek. I didn’t want to know. I put my best foot forward at the beginning of the day and hoped for the best. What you didn’t know couldn’t hurt you. Right? My kids don’t have that out of sight, out of mind luxury.

Open Mouth, Insert Apologies … lots of them

shhhh Anyone that knows me well, knows that when it comes to confession opportunities in prayer, mine are almost always about a mouth that says too much. And I’ve been true to form of late. Saturday, when picking up Jack at birthday party, I had the chance meet someone new. She was so nice. And our kids will be in the same grade next year. But, rather than ask her about herself and her four beautiful children, I jumped into a conversation about my own child. It started with her asking a couple questions about him, then led to Jon’s & my decision to hold Jack back (start 1st grade this coming year rather than last) since his birthday is so close to summer. We didn’t make the decision in a vacuum. And though holding back might appear like we’re setting the bar low, we tried to decide what is best for him. So where did my mouth go wrong?
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