Wednesday, May 30, 2012


My my body is so fatigued, and my heart is so full I don't even know where to start.

And if I do start I don't know how I could ever do this experience justice.

It's not possible to put this trip into words but I will attempt it over time.  For now, until I can wrap my brain around it all, this is all I've got:

The country is beautiful.
The food is amazing.
My kids rock.
My husband is my hero.
Airports blow.
Plugging your Chi into a 220 volt outlet is NOT a good idea.
The Knowles (our life-long friends and travel-mates) are awesome.
The taxi drivers are insane.
The people are inspiring.
God is good.

And for your viewing pleasure:

This painting was hung above the bed in the master bedroom of our rental in Rio.  Thankfully it was hidden before I Andy had to explain it to a four-year-old.
 And this is my attempt at taking a picture of a sea turtle that wandered up to the shore:
Did I mention Brazilians are quite confident?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The end of en era

Friday was Mia's last day of school.  She is officially a second grader.  I thought I would be sad, but I'm not.  I'm proud of the girl she has become.  

Her first day of first grade:
 Her last day of first grade:
This year the changes are more subtle.  She still wears the same size.  She still loves art and spanish, monkey bars and cafeteria cheeseburgers.  But she's growing deeper and more complicated by the minute.  It's scary.  It's curl up in the fetal position, rock back and forth and cry for my mother scary.  But it's also delightful.  We have conversations that I actually enjoy.  I like this girl she is becoming.  It's kind of like getting to know my husband as a child.  Creepy and interesting all at the same time.

And this marked the last week of Sonshine School for our family.  SSS has been a blessing to us for the past seven years, but it's time to move on to uncharted territory for our family - pre-k.
His first day of SSS:  

His last day of SSS:
I wouldn't hear of Mia going to pre-k.  I wanted her home with me, and besides, she was great entertainment for the Bodester.  Truth be told, I needed her to keep us all sane.  

But Bode is definitely NOT Mia.  This is a realization that still takes me by surprise all the time.  He is his own person and he will go his own way.  So off to pre-k he will go.

And so I face a new reality.  

I don't even remember who I was before I had a child attached to my hip.  The person I was before babies has long been buried and forgotten.  And I'm completely ok with that.  I don't think I could even have a conversation with her anymore - we have so little in common.  

I look forward to what God has in store for me in this next phase of motherhood.  Every time I think it can't get any better {or exhausting} it somehow does.  I am confident this season will be no exception.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

If Mia understood the point of a diary she would be furious with me right now.

Thankfully, she does not.  At least not in the sense that she writes her darkest secrets in it or anything - yet.  However, judging by her love of writing, drawing, and her massive accumulation of notebooks and sketch pads I am sure that day will come very soon.  

And I assure you that when it does, I will still be reading her diary.  Partly because I want to know what is going on in that head of hers and partly because I am too weak to resist the temptation.  

But last night she showed me these two pages and I melted.  When I am allowed a glimpse inside my child's heart my own heart grows like three sizes.  Sometimes I totally remind myself of the Grinch.

Check it out:      

"I can tell time."                                                                  

"I like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and boy stuff even
 though I"m a girl.  I don't like Polly Pockets, 
Barbie, or doll house."          

"I think everyone should be free like me and 
not have to live a life as a slave."                                   

"I think that all of us should be nice to              
everyone especially to our enemies."

"I think we should all be clean and 
obey the Lord." (I'm glad being clean is a priority.)

"I think it's ok to be unique no matter 
what people say."

Dear Mia,

If this is a fake diary you have written to throw me off, you have done a great job and you are kind of a genius.  And if this is the real deal, I am giving you ice cream for dinner for the rest of your life.

I pray you always believe this, sweet girl.  And when you doubt, because we all do, please know that I will be right here, reading your diary, and helping you through it.



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It's beginning to look at lot like chaos...

...everywhere you go (if you are in my house, car, or inside my mind, that is).

I'm about to leave the country with these two darlings.  I only have 1,243 more things on my to-do list, which means I am right on schedule.
And before you blow up this photo, dig your kid's little magnifying glass out of the toy box, and call your best friend to ask her if what you are seeing is real I'll go ahead and tell you:  Yes, that is my child in the front seat holding my other child without seat belts.  (Sometimes I don't consider the OC loop a "real" road.  Like, when one of my kids is sound asleep and I'm terrified of waking the little monster.)

I'm trying to get them ready for the crazy driving I hear about in Brazil.  I'm doing them a favor, thankyouverymuch.

If anyone would like a fish or a dog forever for the rest of the month, let me know.  I have one of each.

I fully expect my children to come back completely mature and wise beyond their years.  There is no doubt in my mind that they will be perfectly behaved, have zero meltdowns, and will forget what it means to whine.  It's going to be awesome.

In case one of my many recurring nightmares comes true and there is no 24/7 wifi, I will see you in June!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Two More Books

Here are my latest two reads thanks to a road trip to Tennessee:

This is the follow-up book to UnChristian.  One of my friends asked me why I keep reading depressing books about the church and my answer was, "Because someone has to."

It was only a matter of time before I went here.  Confession:  I have a crush on Tina Fey - there I said it.  I feel much better now.

I need some suggestions for my five million hour plane ride to Brazil.  Hit me.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This Blog Is About To Get A Lot Less Funny

Which assumes that's it's been hilarious up until this point.  That may be a bit presumptuous of me, or then again maybe not.

I have a seven-and-a-half year old.  Gone are the funny stories about potty training, nap times (or lack there-of), and trying to nurse her baby dolls.  The world of a seven-year-old girl isn't really all that funny.  It's complicated and serious.  And kind of heart-breaking.

For example, take our conversation last night.
Mia (stepping out of the bathtub):  I'm fat.
Me:  What!  You are NOT fat.  You are perfect just the way you are.
Mia (arching her back as far as she can):  Look at my stomach, it sticks out.
Me (in a complete panic):  You are arching your back.  Don't be silly.

A couple of hours later, I decided to broach the subject again.
Me:  Mia, I hope you know that you are not fat.
Mia:  I know.  But I still need to go on a diet.
Me:  How do you know about diets?
Mia:  Mom, how do I not know about diets?

And I can't get that sentence out of my mind.  How does she not know about diets?  That's the reality of our girls' lives today.

After she said that, and after I recovered from feeling like I had been punched in the gut, I rambled on about how it's not healthy for young girls to be on diets, and diets are from Satan and your brain can't grow if you don't eat and oh-my-gosh-I-am-so-not-cut-out-for-this-parenting-thing-I-want-to-get-out-of-this-I-am-going-to-kill-Andy-for-going-to-that-Thunder-game-I-need-therapy-no-she-needs-therapy-oh-my-goodness-we-ALL-need-therapy-I-can't-breathe-somebody-help-me.

I feel I handled it perfectly and am confident the subject will never be so much as thought of again.

So, this may be a turning point.  This blog is a way to document my kids' lives and so I am going to go there.  It's not all about poopy diapers anymore.  It's much scarier.  I may not survive it.
But for the sake of this adorable smile and feisty spirit,  I am determined to press on.  This blog may not always be pretty, but I'm determined that it will always, always be real.