Happy New Year

So much for that come back to blogging. Life always gets crazy as soon as you make a commitment to something. I will keep my house clean. We start a new project. I will lose weight . There’s an event at church or a party with delicious goodies. I will exercise. I fall on the ice and hurt my back. I will write more. I start another new job.  Okay, now I am just making excuses.

This morning on the way to work I heard the song The Climb by Miley Cyrus on the radio. Why does that song always make me cry? Not a good thing while you’re driving on the freeway doing 75 mph.

So it is a new year. Time for renewed vigor and energy and zest for our goals. I made A huge list of all the all the things I want to accomplish this year. Huge. I will accomplish at least one of them.

AmI the only one that finally cam to the realization that life is about change and I should just get used to it and accept it. Every year I think it will stop but every year we have big changes in our life. So this year I am all about the change. Change is good will be my mantra.

No more excuses. I will enjoy the climb and changing scenery of life.



It Is Time

I have been thinking about this little place called The Daily Castle lately. I miss coming here and writing down my thoughts or as a friend called them my “secrets.” I guess if you don’t talk to me every day they are secrets. I am not one to tell everyone my deepest thoughts. I try to be a person that talks more about the other person than myself. I don’t always succeed but I try. Other people are so much more interesting.

So why am I here? Why keep this little space in the blog world that people click on every once in awhile to use the links I have left on the side?

I used to write because I wanted to remember all the cute things the kids said. Now that they are bigger they don’t say cute things anymore. They are still funny but I am not sure they want me sharing those events that make me laugh till I cry. I used to think I wrote just for me. But then I started getting feedback from real life people that I see all the time. It  made me uncomfortable. It changed my writing voice. I could not stop thinking about who was reading this. It should not have mattered but to me it did. I used to write to prove to myself I could still think. This was several years ago after I had all three kids and I was not working outside of our home. I am not saying it does not take a lot of thought to run a household and train three little kids, in fact it takes more than that some days. But my brain was not being stretched. Writing was just the push I needed to make my brain think just a little bit more.

So maybe I am back. My life situation has changed again. I am only working a couple of days a week. My kids are all at school and I once again find my brain needing some extra stretching. It is getting lazy. It is time to start writing again.


January 16, 2000 will forever be a date embedded in my mind. It was the day I found out I would be a mother of three children. It was the day I found out I would have three kids under the age of three. It was the day my husband decided to stop going to the Seminary for a while, like 9 years.

To say that I was surprised would be understatement.

Surprise would be a good word to describe my entire pregnancy with Susannah. After two weeks of adjusting to the idea that I was pregnant again for the third time in three years I thought I had a miscarriage. I went to the doctor and there was no heartbeat. They did an ultrasound and could not find a baby. It was a very sad time for us. The doctor was a little optimistic because my hormone levels were still so high. He sent me home to wait a week for another ultrasound. One week has never been so long.

At the second ultrasound the technician could not find a baby. There was no heartbeat. The doctor said something about an empty sac and unfertilized egg. All I heard was you’re not pregnant. They took more blood and my hormone levels were still very high. The doctor did not want to be too optimistic, but he said it would not hurt to wait one more week before doing anything drastic. He said most likely your body is adjusting to losing the baby. He made an appointment for us at the hospital to get an ultrasound with higher tech equipment.

I remember crying all the way home from the doctor’s office. I knew God was in control and I knew our baby was with Him. But it still hurt.

Meanwhile, I was planning a baby shower for my best friend. She was expecting her first baby and I was so happy for her. It was a very emotional time for me. I was happy, sad, confused, angry all at the same time.

We went with heavy hearts to the third ultrasound. We thought we would just be confirming what the doctor thought, that I was not pregnant. As soon as the technician put the scope on me there was a baby! Surprise! We both started crying. We could not believe it. There was a little beating heart and a healthy baby.

Tomorrow is Susannah’s birthday. And she has been surprising me ever since.  Surprised that one little baby could cry that much. Surprised that one little girl could destroy that many tubes of lipstick. Surprised that a girl could change her clothes that many times in one day. Surprised that an 8 year old could make me laugh that hard.

Surprised that I could love someone so much.

Happy Birthday Suze.

They are too young for this

While trying on a gazillion jeans at the big Back-To-School sale at Old Navy last night:

Ten year old daughter: These jeans make my butt look big.

Eleven year old daughter: Yeah. They do.

The First Date

High School to me can be summed up into one word: drama. More than any other time in life, drama is at an all time high in High School.

I was no different. My memories of High School are filled with some great and not so great moments. My first date with Larry falls into the great catergory. What lead up to the date falls into the latter.

The Christian school I attended did not have proms. We had banquets because what says fun to high schoolers more than sitting around uncomfortably eating with a boy you barely know. The first banquet is in the winter of ninth grade. All the girls are hoping to get a date and the boys are terrified of asking a girl. I was no different. I did not really think I would get a date and probably wouldn’t have had it not been for my mother.

No, my mother did not ask a boy for me, which would have been bad. It was worse. She forced a boy to go with me. Larry was “going with” a girl in January. As High School relationships go, they broke up after about two weeks. Larry needed a date for the banquet. I remember sitting on my basement stairs when he called and asked if I could go with him. I was so excited. I asked my parents and they were okay with it as long as they drove us around. Yeah! I had a date for the Winter banquet.

Until two weeks later when Larry and his ex decided they still liked each other. I had already bought my dress, plans were made for afterwards, rides had been arranged and now he wanted out. He wanted to go with this other girl. My Mom, bless her, called Larry’s mom and insisted that he had made a commitment to take me to the banquet and that was just what he was going to do. I had know idea she had done this or I might have dug a hole and buried myself in it. The Drama.

What might have been a nightmare actually turned into a very nice night. Larry and his girlfriend had broken up again so it worked out. My parents arranged for 8 of us to ride together in our sweet 80’s conversion van. They set up folding chairs in the back so we could fit more kids. Ah, the days before seatbelt laws. Mrs. Ragsdale arranged for Larry to get a bouquet for me. I knew it was her because Jessica, Andy’s date for the night and I had the exact same flowers. After the uncomfortable banquet where I had the same exact dress as Wendy Varga, a gray taffeta Jessica McClintock bought on clearance at Hudson’s, we all crammed into the van and got dessert at The Cafe in the Hyatt. We ate quickly and then rode the elevators up and down. I guess it was exciting to go in glass elevators. We walked around one of the floors and looked out the windows at the night sky. So romantic. Smirk.

After terrorizing the guests at the Hyatt, my parents picked us all up and we went to the Pauley’s house where all the other parents were waiting for us. We took a bunch a pictures (I will have to dig those up!) and had some snacks. I remember trying kiwi for the first time. We went downstairs and played pool.

I am sure my Mom never imagined she would set up my first date with my future husband.

Thanks Mom for making Larry take me to the banquet. He has been a great date, every night, for 15 years.


I listen from the other room as the smallest child watches Toy Story 2. She still likes to rewatch movies unlike her older sisters who have passed this stage. I hear her giggling at Woody and Buzz. Laughing at all the right parts. I forget sometimes that she is still a little girl in a big girl’s body. She is only eight yet she is the same size as her 11 year old sister. When did she get so big?

Eight going on thirteen. Some days she wants to grow up so badly. To be able to do the things her oldest sister does. Why can’t I have a cell phone? Why can’t I do this or that? And yet she is still that little girl that needs her Mama when she is sick and plays with dolls and coloring books.

The years are moving far too quickly for me. For now I will just snuggle up on the couch and laugh along with her and enjoy being eight.

Part 2: The Hayride

It was October of 1986. I was ready for the Teen activity at our church. We were going on a Hayride. I had on my yellow and white striped sweater from the Gap and my County Seat jeans were pegged. I’m sure I had Keds on. It was a perfect day for a hayride. The air was cool, but it was sunny and the sky was blue. I was ready for fun. 

We all met at the church and piled into vans and buses and headed out to a farm. I wish I could remember where it was at, but this was before I could drive and directions did not really concern me. It was the perfect  location for a hayride. There was a large barn with a loft  where we had refreshments. The area was wooded and shady. I remember sitting in the hay wagon and sneezing as the tractor pulled us down a winding trail.

And then the fun began. Teenage boys and girls do not sit on hayrides. They have hay fights. They stuff hay down shirts and in hair and in places hay should not be. This was not innocent fun. This was war and a little flirting. Okay, a lot of flirting. By the end of the trail I was a hot, sweaty, wheezing mess with frizzy hay-filled hair. I am allergic to hay. I was really wishing I had not worn a sweater. I was dying of thirst and I couldn’t breathe. 

After the hayride, we had hot dogs and there was a bonfire. It really was fun activity. But the part I remember most fondly was the ride home. I ended up sitting next to Larry on the bus. He had a girlfriend at the time, but she was not there and we were just talking. I was not intimidated by him as I was with other boys. He was just Larry. Happy to be where he was at the moment. This is one of the things I love about him. He is in the moment. He is not looking over his shoulder for something better when he is with you. And it doesn’t matter who you are when he is talking to you he is with you. 

After the bus dropped us off at the church a bunch of us were hanging out in the parking lot not wanting the fun to end. Larry was still there because his Mom was late. This would become a repeated scene throughout our youth group experience. Larry would always be the last one picked up. His mom was late that night and since my brother drove me to the activity and he was fooling around with his friends we were stuck. After awhile we got thirsty so we decided to run across the street to Sylvia’s Sub Shop to get something to drink. We spent many days after school at Sylvia’s waiting for late practice or a basketball game to start. 

Jeff gave me some money for a pop for both of us and off Larry and I ran. We had to hurry because this was before the days of cell phones and we did not want to miss his Mom picking him up. So we got our pops and started to run back. I was awkwardly running with a pop in each hand. Larry was much faster than I was and I was just trying to keep my chubby self up with him. I was doing alright until we came to a short, decorative chain fence that went around the perimeter of the parking lot. Larry easily jumped over it. I did not. I caught my ankle on the chain as I was going over and instead of dropping both of the pops like a normal person, I held on tight and I fell on my face. Bam! 

And what did Larry do? He just kept on running. He did not even notice that I was laying on the asphalt now sticky with pop. He was definitely in the moment of running across that parking lot. I remember watching him run away as I lay there with my shin throbbing in pain. Somehow I managed to keep one of the pops from spilling so I picked myself up and limped the rest of the way. 

My brother was waiting for his pop. I said sorry. I spilled yours.

Irony at the Library

Claire joined the summer reading program at the local library. Last week she read tens hours. Ten hours of peace and quiet.

Her prizes for reading: A kazoo and a slide whistle.

Happy Fourth

The house is clean, the food is made and now we are just waiting for the usual suspects to arrive for the fun to begin.

As the girls get older it is nice to have help around the house that is really help. When they were much smaller I would give them jobs to do, but I had to supervise the event. And the small job was an event for them.

Today I assigned jobs: dishwasher emptied, floors mopped and bathroom cleaned, and then I went downstairs and worked out with Jillian Michaels.

It is a good thing the kids can clean because after Jillian was done with me I don’t think I even could lift a broom.

A Series: How We Met

My ninth grade year I was Vice President or something like that of my class. I don’t remember many of my my responsibilities of being class Vice President of a class of 36 kids, but the most important one was on the first day of school. I got to sit in the lobby and pass out class schedules to all my classmates. I wasn’t really interested in any of my old classmates schedules, I was interested in checking out the new boys that would be entering my class that year. There were quite a few new students coming into our ninth grade class and some of them were boys.

One new name that I did not recognize was Larry Castle.

He came in and I gave him his class schedule. I vaguely remembered seeing him around the school at games and events with the Zimmerman boys, but I had never met him. And I don’t know if handing him a schedule actually counts as an official meeting. But I knew who he was.

I had know idea the adventures we were to have.