make believe

29 Jul

Recently, playtime for my littles has involved a lot of violence. Namely, Jack running away from Lucy and Lucy shouting “Tum back! I am tryin’ to spank you!”

Apparently their make-believe game of choice is “Mom an’ Baby”, in which Lucy is the mom and Jack is the baby who requires a lot of spankings.

Excuse me while I go read a parenting book on identity complexes and/or alternative discipline techniques.

In an attempt to reduce the number of times I have to say “Lucy, don’t spank your brother!” I decided to give them another make-believe option: “Mom an’ Dad”.

And while Lucy immediately asked if she could spank “Dad” (cue all kinds of awkwardness) I informed them that being a Mom and a Dad involved hugging and going on dates. They were very interested in the dates. So, after explaining that their Daddy takes this Mommy to fancy restaurants and we can order ANYTHING we want off the menu, they decided that they would give it a try:

Jack: “Tum on, wets doe to Chickalay” (I love their idea of a fancy restaurant)

Lucy: “No. I am a tid” (a kid)

Jack: “A tid?”

Lucy: “No, a chicken”

Jack: “Are you a tid or a chicken”

Lucy: “I am a chicken”


Lucy: “What is a chicken?”

Jack: “Its a small treature that lives on a farm and has orange wegs”

Lucy: “No. I am pink”

The crazy is good around here, yall.


23 Jul

So, this conversation happened before breakfast the other day:

Jack comes to me, worried, and asks “Mom! What are these!?” pointing at his little nipples…

“Just…spots.” I offer somewhat unhelpfully.

“What? Why?” He is still suspiciously inspecting them while he holds his shirt up, the concern on his face evident.

“God gave them to you” . . . which is the answer to all hard questions before I’ve finished my coffee.

“Whew. I thought they were boobs and I was going to be a boy Mom.”

Yeah. I’m gonna need some more coffee.

dawn patrol


I drive, a lone set of headlights on the highway. Intermittent rain spatters the windshield. Too early to be called morning and too late to be called night. The hour before dawn.

Nervous. Butterflies.

It was a familiar feeling, alone on the road. The destination the same. But I park someplace different than I remember from summers past.

Quiet hellos, hurried stashing of keys, phones and flip flops. The awkward clunk of a mismanaged board. Gravel pressing into bare feet. Then, sand.

The sun behind heavy clouds was just strong enough to burn off a clear line at the horizon.


This was right.

Glassy. Clean. Cool.

No. Cold. The water was cold.

Keep paddling.

Maybe the gym would have been a good idea sometime in the last five years.

Breaking waves; a sandbar. Sweet Jesus, I needed that.

Finally, out far enough. I sit up to rest surveying the sleepy hotels behind me, the incoming swell in front.

A set or two rolls under my board as I wait, bobbing.


Gathering courage, I turn towards the shore and lay down, arms churning, eyes glance backward to check the wave rising silent behind me, forward to calculate its glassy slope.

Paddle. No seriously, PADDLE.

Fleeting panic. I hear the crack of the breaking wave.

Drop in.

The force of the wave is unmistakable. My board slides downward and catches, a feeling so familiar I barely recognize when I jerk up at the exact right moment, committing to the wave no matter what the outcome.

Fingers grip the rails. Wait. The water flies by.

Pop up. Yes. I’ll need ibuprofen tomorrow. . .

Feet plunk down and find their balance.

A long line. A salty dismount.











in which my husband switches careers

14 Jul

My husband up and quit his teaching job, yall.


He said goodbye to the let’s-change-the-world-one-middle-schooler-at-a-time dream, left the hard-to-complain-about-them-because-they-are-fairly-decent insurance benefits and bid adios to the man-it-must-be-nice-to-have-ALL-summer-off comments. He put in his two weeks and peaced out like a boss. I am super proud of him. And holding my breath, because, really, WHO DOES THAT?!

We do, apparently.

After almost two years of doing real estate alongside his teaching, we finally decided it was time for him to make the jump to full time real estate. It was not an easy decision. In fact, we BOTH cried when he left for his last “last day of school”. The decision was made harder still by his recent switch to teaching middle school math – his favorite subject, a new school, a better schedule and really great coworkers. Still, he knew it was time for change.

Its exciting. And its scary. Leaving a regular paycheck, benefits and scheduled hours? Yikes. Living off our savings account for at least a year while he builds his client base? Insert mild panic attack. Trying to figure out how to fit a (quiet) home office into our two bedroom condo filled with me, three kids and a dog?

Medication, please.


Sort of.

Its not all bad. My prayer life is in top notch shape what with all the scary unknowns being well, scary and unknown. It probably is the scariest…ok, white knuckled most terrifying decision we have ever made as a married couple (five years, baby!) but I know wholeheartedly that it is the right decision for our family.

Besides upping my prayer life there are other benefits. Like touring any house I see on Zillow. Stalker much? Why yes, thank you.

Another benefit of being married to a Realtor is being able to check out the market in our neighborhood to see what our place could sell for. (The answer to that is “Crappy” and “Not enough” in case you were wondering.)

Also, we love love love the flexible schedule. I went to the dentist alone last week! Notice the exclamation point?  It was nothing short of a miracle, y’all. I have never experienced life with a husband whose job MIGHT allow for going in late, leaving early, calling in sick or being slightly accommodating for things like doctor’s appointments, repairmen or anything that might need to be taken care of between the hours of 8:15am and 3:55pm Monday thru Friday from September to June. Do I sound a bit jaded about that? Its because I am. Which is why I am SO thankful for things like a husband who can now watch the kids while I get cavities filled (sad face) or arrange to meet with the window-putter-inners at 10am on a Tuesday should the need arise. Which it did. AND I DIDN’T HAVE TO BE THERE THANK YOU JESUS.

Lastly, it feels GOOD to be doing something that we have the ability to control – its the white collar version of living off the land, so to speak. This family eats when Daddy works. The harder he works, the more we eat. And by ‘eat’ I do mean literally consume food. Every house he helps buy or sell pays for the groceries on our table and the gas in our cars. And we like eating and driving. Sometimes at the same time even. Call us crazy.

However, the above mentioned benefits to the whole job-quitting situation are all second to this:  My husband didn’t switch careers to get rich. He switched careers to serve.

Don’t get me wrong. We are hoping and praying that he will make money doing this. He has too, remember? What with the “we like eating” nonsense. I know, right? How demanding.

And sometimes, when I am feeling particularly bold, I pray that he earns LOTS of money. . . because sometimes I want ALL THE THINGS. Honesty is the best policy even with Jesus, right? I hope so.

But then, when I am grouching about not having ALL THE THINGS and generally being crabby about life, my holy husband reminds me that he is not taking scary leaps of faith into completely different careers so we can build our worldly wealth.

Say what?.

He wants to serve our family faithfully and wholly by providing for our needs. He wants to secure our future. And he really, really wants to serve Jesus.

Oh, yes. Exactly.

My husband is a man who lives to love Jesus. I am sometimes in awe of how faithfully he pursues that. And usually surprised at what his (and our) pursuit of serving Christ looks like in our lives.

Be forewarned: it usually looks crazy, y’all.

So when he came to me over a year ago and said “I think its time to leave teaching (at the end of the school year) and pursue real estate full time…” I looked at him with complete confidence and said “OK.”

And here we are.

My husband is a Realtor.

It has a nice ring to it, dontcha think?

What I am saying is this: If you have a house to buy or sell, give the man a call ;)

The people who like to eat in this house thank you.


Pretending to be a “Weeltor Agent” like Daddy. I can’t even.


2 Jul

Back to blogging, right?

I start, I stop. I dream of being a widely read, witty and well known stay at home mama blogger. You know. Then I change diapers and wipe butts for 23 hours of my 24 hour day, falling bed at midnight thinking “is that laundry STILL in the washer?”. (The answer is “DUH. YES.”) I wake up the next morning with good intentions, but promptly forget about the laundry when I hear “MAMA, I AM DONE! TAN YOU TOME WIPE ME!?”. At 6:49am. Almost as good as a cup of coffee, that adorably grating toddler lisp I tell you. Gets ya right up.


I’m Emily and I try and blog. But mostly I wipe butts.

Thats all I got for you today. If you need me…I’m probably the one explaining that “NO – you don’t need to hobble out of the bathroom with your shorts around your ankles to show me how much poop you wiped. Your butt is probably most likely clean enough and I really REALLY need you to go wash your hands. Up to the elbows, m’kay?”

Please remind me that my laundry is still waiting to be washed again.

You’re the best.



7 Jun

This kid. Finally.

ImageWe actually had him earn $110 to cover the cost of the train shed, shipping AND his tithe. 

After a month of faithfully painting and selling pet rocks, Jack is finally the super excited owner of a brand new Tidmouth Shed for his beloved train set. THANK YOU JESUS.

I am so proud of how hard he worked, the lessons he learned and the money he earned. It is with much gratitude that I thank all the new pet rock owners too – without your kind generosity this experience wouldn’t have been possible. I am also really REALLY glad that his skipping naps to paint rocks has turned into playing quietly with his newest train set addition. Hello, unsupervised playtime says the I’ve-got-dishes-to-do Mama :)  (Actually, lets be real. I’m probably playing Candy Crush.)

Really though. It was with joy and amazement that I watched my son proudly accomplish something he set out to do. Each week I smiled as he dropped a few “Jesus dollars” in the offertory basket, helped him count out his earned dollars and I laughed with him as he excitedly opened the box that held his long awaited train shed. We built “the bes track ever” all over the dining room table and played trains past bedtime.

And when we asked him at dinner a few nights ago about what his NEXT goal might be?

He promptly replied “A hamster!”.

And that, ladies and gentlemen is where you come in. PLEASE DON’T BUY ANY MORE ROCKS! I have neither the heart nor the mental stability to add a hamster to my life right now.

I’m only kidding. A hamster will never live here, but you can still buy a pet rock. Jack does have a few more that need new homes. And since he’s had his eye on Gordon and Percy (Thomas’ friends) for the last few months, we’ll set aside those dollars for new occupants for the train shed.

Here is the last of the bunch:

ImageI’d be ever so grateful if they didn’t live on my counter anymore.

UPDATE: My friend posted THIS on Facebook over the weekend and Jack got a huge kick out of wondering what the other pet rocks might be doing. If you’d like to upload a picture, tag The Heart of Life Blog and  I’ll be sure to show it to him.  Also, Katelyn get 100 awesome-Mom points for taking her son’s pet rock to the ER :P 


3 Jun

Does it get any better (or worse?) than being two years old? My sweet, silly middle child is right smack in the middle of the terrible twos and in between tantrums and sneaking jars of Nutella from the pantry into her room to consume with her fingers . . . she still ends up winning my heart at the end of every day.


Last week she was talking to Della in what I assume is her “baby voice” and she was repeating things that she has hears us say to the baby:

“Dewah, you aw so tute!” followed quickly “Dewah, you aw so pwetty, Dewah, you aw so . . . “

and then she looked at me, confused.

“Mom? Does Dewah have a bwain?”

“Yes”, I told her, wondering why she needed that information. “Everyone has a brain.”

Satisfied that her sister did indeed have cerebral abilities, Lucy continued with her baby worshiping:

“Dewah, you aw so smawt!”


Last night, as we were getting ready for bed, she asked if I could sing her favorite song. I wasn’t sure which one that was so I asked her what it was called. She replied:

“You know, the happylujah one!”

I actually don’t know that one, but I wish I did :)





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