Finding one small blessing each day.

A long lost friend April 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 12:50 pm

Tonight, my wonderful friend Dominique will be coming to see me. I haven’t seen her in almost eight years. The last time I saw her, we were bridesmaids for a mutual friend, having a wonderful time at the reception until a family emergency pulled me away.

So much has changed since then. I’ve had another baby, and dramatically changed careers. She graduated from college and got married. For a minute last night, I started to panic… what if we had nothing to say to each other? What if my house wasn’t clean enough? What if she hates margaritas or guacamole or is allergic to my dog?

And then I forced myself to relax. She’s not here – after eight years – to judge my cleaning skills. If she hates dogs (which she doesn’t), the dog can go outside. If she hates margaritas, then I’ll make coffee and pull cookies out of the freezer. But she’s here to see me… and how beautiful is that?

We are blessed with so many people who come in and out of our lives. Some teach us lessons – good and bad. Some are there to lift us up when we need it the most. Some become our family. And some – like Dominique – are just gifts that we only get to enjoy once in a great, great while.

I’m so excited to hug my friend tonight and hear all about the paths life has taken her on since that wedding so many years ago. And then tomorrow morning, I’ll wave goodbye to her again. I wish I could keep her all the time. But I guess that’s what makes friends like her all the more special, isn’t it?


Good enough April 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 10:00 pm

A long, long time ago, I had cried as I told a friend that I worried I just wasn’t good enough to be E’s mom. That I loved this darling baby boy so very, very, very much… and what if I just wasn’t good enough for him? He deserved the best mom in the entire world… what that was exactly, I wasn’t sure, but he deserved it. And what if I wasn’t it???

She looked me straight in the eye, took a sip of her margarita and said, “You are. You want to know how you know this? Because of the fact that you ever even questioned it. If you weren’t, it wouldn’t even occur to you to ask.”

Today, I talked with another mom who cried as she shared the exact same worry. And I told her exactly what that friend had said to me, and as I said it to her, it hit me once again how very true that was. Why do we worry so much about things like this? Because we love them THAT MUCH.

There is nothing in the world more painful and guilt-ridden and scary than being a parent. And absolutely nothing more wonderful and rewarding in the entire universe. There is NOTHING…NOOOOTTTHIIIINNNNNGGGGG that I could ever enjoy doing more. And that alone, my friends, means that we are, in fact, good enough.

I felt such comfort when my friend had said that to me, because it made so much sense. And I was so honored to have had the chance to share that thought with someone else. I hope you aren’t in those shoes, and that you aren’t worrying about that. But on the off chance that you need to hear it, know that it’s true. The fact that we worry about it at all, in itself, says that we ARE good enough.

Good night, dear friends. Tonight, put your worries down. Relax, dream, and rest well.


Open your eyes April 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 7:16 pm
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Love is everywhere
Picture found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/flying_to_sky_monica/


When you see the above picture, what do you see?

This morning, as I drove E to school, a bird literally dive-bombed my car! I actually hit my brakes, and we both exclaimed that THAT was a crazy bird!! We were in a residential neighborhood, driving the streets as he finished his Pancake On A Stick. I dropped him off after that and didn’t give it another thought.

Then tonight, after work, I was driving and came across two separate accidents, both in the inside lane of the same street – within a few hundred yards from each other. How long is a football field? However long that is is probably about how far apart the two accidents were. The first was two young teenage girls. One had apparently hit rear-ended the other. The officer sat parked behind them, and one girl was on her cell phone, probably calling her parents. The other accident involved a young man and an older man. The damage to the second accident was a lot more severe than the first, but it didn’t appear anyone was hurt. I tried not to gawk as I drove by, but it’s hard not to when there are two separate accidents.

I continued on my way and got to the next stoplight. I sat behind a maroon Chevy truck, that I only initially noticed because it had a giant dent in the tailgate of it. I was already thinking of accidents, so I especially noticed the damage to this truck. And it had 8154 in the window, in white letters. I sat, in my own little world, and happened to look over a few lanes to another maroon truck. This one had the number 8145 in the window! I looked back and forth between the two trucks, trying to decide if they were the same truck. They were, I finally decided. How odd. The drivers didn’t pay each other any attention and 8145 drove on straight, and 8154 turned left, with me. Strange.

I kept driving on my way and got a few more stoplights and turns away. I sat at the intersection, not really thinking about much of anything when I noticed that every vehicle around me was a shade of red. Slight variances – orangey red, fire engine red, maroonish red, but all red. Ok, so now I’m on high alert. It is just plain weird to have that many strange things happen in one day.

I picked up Little One, and continued on my way home. I got to another intersection and this time all the vehicles in front of me (not behind me, thank goodness) were gray trucks, except for the lane to the left of me, which was empty. And then what rolled up? You guessed it, a silver truck. I sat there, staring at all these silver and gray trucks, of different makes and models, and I couldn’t help but wonder what the angels were trying to say to me. I felt like these trucks were all situated around me, protecting me. But from what? I have no idea, but it leads me to something else…

I cleaned out a bunch of stuff this weekend for a garage sale I have coming up and I found an old journal, from 2001. Here is what it said:

(Wednesday, 5/31/01 10:44 pm)

“… My friend Nancy and I were on our way back to work after running some errands. We stopped at a stoplight, talking. The light turned green, and while I saw it turn green, I just sat there. Nancy said “Hey… go,” to tell me the light was green. I responded “Yeah, I know…” and then paused before stepping on the gas to make my left hand turn. Just then a small black car (maybe green) went whizzing right by us, in the oncoming lane of traffic, but in the same direction I was going. The driver even turned onto the side street leading to the parking garage but kept going. There was a median separating my lane from the oncoming lane. I don’t even know how the driver got there. Nancy and I were just stunned, because had I left the intersection when I normally would have- when the light turned green, that car would have crashed into us. We couldn’t stop talking about it, it was just so strange. I don’t even know why I sat there at the light – I just did. I said to her “We must be lucky mommies today” and I truly think we were. Whoever my guardian angel is was looking out for me. Somehow it just secured for me that, for today anyway, I’m safe. My angel is there and watching. And somehow, I heard him.”

Today felt like that. I don’t know what the warning was, but it was there. It might not have even been for me, but maybe for one of you. To open your eyes, look at everything around you. Our angels talk to us but sometimes, it’s not through words. Sometimes it’s signs – like birds, and strange collections of vehicles, and things that just jump out to you. Other times it’s dreams, or even strangers on the street. But the messages are there. Listen.

Sweet dreams tonight, my friends. Thank you for visiting me today.


A beautiful start to the morning April 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 8:24 am
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I’m probably not going to have much time to blog this weekend as I will be busy hiding eggs, playing games, flying kites and cooking up a big meal but I just had to share my quick blessing of the morning. Today was my morning to sleep in… and of course Little One was chirping loudly from his bed around seven – HELLO! HELLO! HELLO! I’M HERE AND I’M WET AND I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE A BOTTLE!… so I pushed at my darling hubby to get him out of bed to get the baby. He finally disappeared out of the room, quietly shutting the door behind him.

Ahh, solace. I squished my pillow up closer to me, tucked the blankets back over me the way I like them and closed my eyes. Then the door opened, and I peeked open one eye to see a little blond head standing in the doorway. I smiled and pulled back the covers to make room. B giggled and ran across the room, leaping into my bed, where I gathered him close and we snuggled and sang our special song together very quietly. Then the door opened again, and there stood E. Ahhhh, my E! I scooted over a little and made room on the other side for him. We all lay together, talking about the Easter Bunny and our big plans for the day. Then my husband came in and smiled at us. “Looks like a big bed of boys!” He flopped down on top of us and we all giggled under the weight of him.

Sleeping in is overrated. There is NOTHING like starting your day off with the love and cuddles of two boys.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends. Peace and blessings to you and your families this Easter!


Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking… April 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 6:32 pm
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Working Grandfather Clock
Photo found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/emilywaltonjones/


It has been a really, REALLY, quick, hectic, action-packed week. I haven’t been able to blog, although my fingers have been itching to. About a myriad of topics – like my insurance settlement, which I am very fearful won’t cover a corner of my roof, let alone the whole house… or the new pinball machine that my best friends and I went together on for an insanely low amount. I can’t even tell you how low it was – but let me just say this: the girl on “American Pickers” would be jealous! I totally beat her deal this week by a landslide!

This week we have also dyed Easter eggs (I don’t recommend the roller-paint kit), started guitar lessons, bought and played Scrabble, watched American Idol, and dealt with a few ADHD-inspired meltdowns. And it’s only Thursday.

I had to take a time-out tonight. I was just plain exhausted. There just is not enough time in one lifetime to do and enjoy all the things and people that I love. I started looking at the weekend ahead of me, which merges into the week ahead of it and I almost couldn’t find one tiny chunk that wasn’t filled with something already. I owe my best friend a pedicure-date and this has been on my agenda for OVER TWO MONTHS now!

I need to sit back, slow down and chill. Put on some sweats, put my hair in a ponytail and find a good movie to watch with my kiddos. Kiss my baby. Take a bubble bath. Then pour a glass of wine and spend some quality time talking to my husband. I think God was trying to hint to us we need to talk more when he caused our phones to accidentally call each other FOUR TIMES yesterday!

But how beautiful is it that I have so much goodness in my life? That I have these awesome kids to keep me running!! That I have a best friend to laugh and watch American Idol with? That I have a husband who loves me enough to miss me when we are not together?

These are the blessings in my life right now. I wish I could stop the clock and freeze time, but I can’t. So I’m going to do my best to slow down and enjoy it tonight… until I have to spring into action again tomorrow!!

Goodnight, sweet friends. I hope your evening is filled with calm and quiet tonight. Rest well!


The gift of a visit April 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 7:52 pm
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murasakiiro momoiro odoru
Picture found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarniebill/


My grandmother’s birthday is in two days. Three years ago in June when she passed away, my family almost literally didn’t know how to imagine a future without her. She was absolutely the glue that bound our family, the focal point of holidays and gatherings, and the inspiration behind so much of what makes each of us who we are.

I am a huge believer in visits from the afterlife. This comes from a lot of things, but primarily from my own experiences both with family members as well as having lived for a time in a house that was “haunted”. I say that in quotations because it wasn’t a spooky, dark, creaky house… it was a home full of love and light and laughter… and an extra guest or two.

Back to my beautiful grandmother. I have seen her a few times since she’s died, but not more than a handful of times. Typically I find her in public places… the woman in front of me at the department store, the woman getting gas at the pump two down from me. I usually smile and thank her quietly in my head, and go about my day, thankful for the quick reminder from heaventhat she still exists.

Tonight, I met my husband and children at a mexican restaurant that sells 99 cent tacos on Monday nights. I arrived first, with Little One in tow. We were seated at a table, and I got him into his high chair, tearing open the first of many packs of Saltines that he would crumble and hopefully not toss on the floor. Seated diagonally from me was a group of women, who my grandma would have called “The Girls”. That was my very first thought upon seeing them; oh, look, it’s the girls! I smiled and turned to watch the door for E, B and my husband.

“Oh, look at that boy!” I heard one of them exclaim. I turned back to the women and smiled down at Little One as he began his happy flirting routine with them. Grin, drool, lean his head shyly down, and then shake his head No!. Then start it all over again as they “aww” and laugh at him. It was then that I noticed HER. She sat with her back mostly to me, but she just radiated what my grandma had…. she resembled her physically, her smile was the same, she wore her glasses the same. She animatedly began to tell a story to her friend, who looked suspiciously like my grandmother’s best friend. That woman, too, had her back to me.

I watched them as the others turned back to their meal and resumed their dinner. It made me smile, this woman with such a resemblance to my grandma. I decided to take out my phone and take a picture of Little One, and hopefully catch them in the background, so I could tell my family about this later. I was flipping the flash on the camera to “off” when I heard it.

“You know Kristy? Kim’s daughter?” She had asked her friend, loud enough that I could hear.

I nearly fell out of my chair. My name is not Kristy, but it’s so crazy close to Kristy that it’s unbelievable. And I am Kim’s daughter. And I have zero doubt that my grandma was making sure that I knew that it was her tonight, visiting me. Checking in. Letting me know that she’s around, and aware that I’ve been thinking of her lately.

I am so happy for that visit. What a lucky girl I am. Love you, Grammy.

Goodnight, my friends! BELIEVE, and have hope tonight.


I’ll take pepperoni and cheese on my Tombstone April 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 9:31 am

no windows only walls
Picture by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/purplbutrfly/


As I sat in my sunny dining room this morning, drinking my coffee and reading the paper, I turned the page in the local section to the obituaries. There was a really short obituary that caught my eye. It said “So and So, one hell of a woman, was born October 26….”

One hell of a woman. I love it.

That was really all that was in her obituary. Her name, her dates, and a list of her surviving family members. But “one hell of a woman” really sums it up. I wonder – did she write that? Did someone that loves her write that?

What does it take, do you suppose, to be remembered simply as “one hell of a woman”?
I hope fifty years from now, when I die, I am remembered as a lot of things. One hell of a woman wouldn’t be a bad thing to have included.

Enjoy your Sunday, my friends. I hope the sun is shining where you are at today!


HOPE walk April 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 7:20 pm
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Hittin' the pavement for the cure!

Today, I took two of my kiddo’s out to Braden’s Hope for Childhood Cancer walk. This was such an awesome event! Per the tallies preliminarily posted on Facebook, over 55 THOUSAND DOLLARS was raised today for pediatric cancer research. GO KANSAS CITY!! That is amazing!

Braden was who got me started, but since finding out about Braden and his family’s struggles, I have made pediatric cancers my personal mission. It is just heartbreaking to me that there are these kiddos, just like my own, who have to fight so hard to have all the things that my children have… that I had… that their mommies have to be scared of missing the little things… like their child’s first loose tooth. It has never occurred to me that I might miss that moment. I worry about stupid things, like missing my child’s first steps because I was at work. Missing PTO meetings because for some reason they are never held outside of business hours. But missing my child’s first loose tooth because I was scared he wouldn’t be here to lose it? I had never, ever, ever looked at it from that perspective. Thank God I never had to. And I pray every night for each of these babies, that they will be well and their mommies will never, ever, ever have to be scared about that again.

Did you know that most children with pediatric cancers are being treated with drugs that were created for adult cancers, TWENTY TO THIRTY YEARS AGO?? Pediatric cancers, plain and simply, are not researched like adult cancers. Only one (ONE!) new drug has been developed to treat pediatric cancer since 1980. There have been over 50 approved to fight adult cancers. I don’t know about you, but that fact disgusts me! I wish I was a billionnaire and I could buy a pharmaceutical company to develop these cures. Powerball, here I come!!

Tonight, I will hold my own babies close. I will play dominos and watch movies and eat popcorn. And I will say my prayers for Braden, and for Ronan, and for all the other families fighting this awful disease. And lastly, I will thank God for my healthy little ones.

Goodnight, dear friends! Hugs and blessings to you tonight!

Please check out my links!


From the mouths (or noses) of babes April 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 10:07 pm

Photo found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/flickowski/

I really just had to share this. These are all actual statements said by my children tonight:

“I’m sorry, but I just really like playing with my belly.”

Child “Mom, I have to tell you something about bananas. They can be a sword, a boomerang and a weapon.”
Me: “A weapon?”
Child “Yes. You hold it like this (mimes a gun) and squeeze. Banana will shoot out all over your friend’s face! That really happened to me!”

And the best:

“Picking your nose and eating it is really like a form of recycling.”

God, I love being a mommy!!


Adventures in gardening

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 9:07 pm
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Veldheer Tulip Farm May 2, 2009
Photo from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/milefty/

Last year I planted a TON of bulbs. Spring-time flowers are some of my favorites – with tulips, hyacinths and daffodils at the top of my list. I ordered them online, I picked them up at Home Depot, and I searched through the boxes of bulbs at the local nursery. Pretty much anywhere I could find them, I got them. Of course, buying them is a lot easier than planting them. That seems to be where my ambition wanes. Last year I also bought phlox… a live plant (kind of) that came through the mail. By the time I actually got around to planting it, it was dead. Bulbs are little hardier, but you still have to actually plant them in order to get them to bloom.

One bright Friday last fall I went out and planted all of them. I laid a fleece blanket on the ground so Little One would have a place to roll around, and I dug up the little bed surrounding a tree in my backyard. I planted a massive amount of hyacinths and tulips in the bed. I would have put them in the other bed that was out back as well, but when I stuck my hand shovel into the mulch I was appalled to see that a small universe of ants had made that bed their home, so I threw the shovel and abandoned the idea. I can’t deal with ant-nests. I let my darling hubby tackle that one for me.

In the front yard, I bought mums to plant at the same time. Mums are – theoretically – perennial and therefore, should come back year after year. So I tried to plant these starategically where they would be in the perfect spot to return next year. Taking advantage of the holes dug for the mums, I planted approximately fifty pale pink tulips. My goal was to have the spring-time look be soft pastels (whites, lavenders and pinks) and then when my summer flowers came in they would be bright (vivid blues, reds and yellows). About two weeks ago, my flowers started coming up. The ones in the back were gorgeous as they slowly filled in the bed. When the first pink and purple hyacinths bloomed, I was ecstatic and ran out to clip some for a bouquet.

In the front, however, it was a different story. For starters, we apparently gained some boarders over the winter who are called voles. Not moles, VOLES. I have no idea how we got so lucky as to have these naughty little beasts but they leave dark little holes all over my yard. They also leave dark long tracks in the yard that look suspiciously like a snake (this didn’t sit well with me either). Upon further research into these little freeloaders, I discovered that they like to tunnel underneath garden beds so that they can eat all the plant roots. This would include my tulip bulbs. Therefore, when the tulips started coming up, iIwas initially heartbroken at seeing only four or five. I was certain the little vermin had eatne all the rest. Slowly but surely, however, other shoots began to appear.

And then there was the hail storm of all hail storms. The one which caused thousands and thousands of dollars worth of damage to our home, and you can imagine what this did to my tender just-arriving flowers. It looked like a Clydesdale had danced through the flower bed. I trudged through it and picked up the remnants of my shutters and shingle pieces that had scattered throughout the flower bed during the storm. I decided I was just really going to have give up on my hopes of tulips in the front yard, and just be thankful for the pretty hyacinths out back. And then!! This week the tulips regained their power, shooting up triumphantly.

Last night, as I pulled into my driveway, I was so excited to see them in bloom. I got out of the car to check them out and lo and behold… they weren’t my pretty pastel pink tulips that I had planned out and pictured a field of in my head. Oh no. These were BIG, FAT, yellow and orangish tulips with black at the base of them. WHAT?!! These weren’t what I bought!! I had picked out beautiful, slender pink ones!! I had planted pastels intentionally with a plan in my head of what the front of my home would look like. Ginormous orange and yellow honey-bee tulips were NOT part of that picture.

And then this morning, while driving to work, something occurred to me.

I had seen tulips just like those now growing in my front flower bed… many, many years before in my mother’s flower bed. In the front of the house, under the windows grew red/black and yellow/black tulips. Some grew just beneath my bedroom window. If my mom hadn’t chosen those very tulips, I may never have grown to even like tulips at all. So this whole not-pink tulip situation could actually be a little reminder of childhood, of home. I could continue to be annoyed that they aren’t the color or style I wanted, and dig them all up in a few weeks. Or, I could choose to appreciate them for their individual beauty, for the memories they bring. Memories like playing with my fairy dolls in the flowers, or searching through them for a haphazardly thrown rubber jack ball, or even better, picking them for my mom as a little girl.

It’s all in how you look at it. I don’t think that having one’s roof demolished, windows cracked, doors dented and shutters ripped to shreds is exactly a gift either, but it DOES mean that we get to paint our house a new color and we get a brand new roof. I just need to adjust my perspective; tilt my glass so I can see the light reflecting through it instead of the residue on the glass. Perhaps I will decide that orange and yellow go better with the new paint scheme I’m picking than pink would have anyway. Either way, it’s all good.

Have a wonderful night, dear friends.