Thursday, January 4, 2018

Oh, hello!  Do you have friends that you do not see very often (sometimes for years), but somehow when you finally get together, it's like no time has passed at all?  Consider this blog one of those friends. Can you hear its strong New England accent? So, how ya doin'? How's the kids?  How's your fatha? How is your motha?   Yada, yada...

Today, I am going to share part of a writing project that I am sloooooooowly working on. It's kind of a personal memoir meets stream of consciousness fiction. Your candid, honest feedback is much appreciated.




I heard it said once that we are the sum of our life experiences-be they positive or negative.  Like life is one gigantic number line and we move forward and backward on it.  A bunch of negative 2 plus positive 5 experiences until we arrive at a final sum. I guess I get that, but really, I hate math. It just sucks. Life, though, life doesn’t suck. 


The Tempo of Life

July 4, 1972, Central Park, NYC -  The swell of her belly, nine months in the making, gives nod to the swell of humanity gathering together in the park. Contracting, relaxing, quickening towards the celebration of independence. The air is thick with patchouli and pot, full, heavy, and almost tangible with earthy potential like her bosom, poised and ready to nurture new life. He runs his fingers through her straight brown hair down to her waist and enjoys the the fullness of the miraculously stretched stomach. The excitement builds to a crescendo as fireworks flicker and rocket into the air. Blinding and thunderously bombastic.  Her baby girl awakens head down in the womb, startled into curiosity by the sudden cacophony. She kicks, squirms, no room to turn.   Boom, kick, boom, kick.  The cadence, the tempo of life is now upon her and her and him. 

This Ain’t no Country Club, This Ain’t no Disco Either

If you are reading this book, you are going to get to know about some of me. The most important thing that you should know about me is that I detest onions. They are the work of the devil. In fact, I am pretty sure that the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden was an onion. Another thing that you should know about me is that my mother is Italian. She cooks with onions often.  She also cooks with mushrooms and tomatoes which my younger sisters hate.  Basically, every ingredient my mother cooks with, someone in our family has a problem with. So to save her sanity, my mom tells us to be quiet and eat. I appreciate my mom’s “this ain’t no country club, this ain’t no disco either” philosophy on feeding her family. And as much loathe onions, I believe that they provide us with a metaphor for life. Onions have many layers and often make you cry.  Life has many layers too.  And life can make you cry. Sometimes often. 

I Lost the Plastic Family in an Avalanche

My first memory is a curious one. My recollection is a bit fuzzy, but I like to think that it goes something like this: I am barely three years old and it is snowing outside. Fluffy, sparkly snowflakes are falling from the sky. I am a tiny bundle of snow suit and gloves deliriously digging with a giant silver serving spoon from our mustard yellow kitchen in the mound of fresh snow that has accumulated in the courtyard of our Englewood, New Jersey apartment building. Fresh white snow coupled with some of my most treasured toys some small plastic people from my dollhouse - a kid’s nirvana. Okay, it’s a rosy set up right?  But I am not sure how accurate the set up truly is. What I do remember is a losing that dang plastic family in the snow pile. That is the overwhelming memory that stands out to me.  Losing some plastic people in a make believe avalanche, desperately digging to find them, and subsequently losing it. Full on toddler wailing and gnashing of teeth for the lost plastic family. I may not have gotten the set up for the memory correct, but it’s close enough and definitely a prophetic set up for what would follow in life. Plastic families get lost in the snow pile, real families get lost too in the piles of life. The good news is that every winter has a spring and what once was lost, can be found. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Wish List Gone Wild

The funny thing about asking your kids for their Christmas wish list is that they will wait until the last second to give it to you and when they get the ultimate request...A REPTILE! 

Me: "Umm, NO!"

Them: (Yes,the request was plural. They totally ganged up on me.) "Pleeeeeease!"

Me: "Reptiles do not make good pets."

Monkey 1: "Bearded Dragons make great pets! (Proceeds to remind me that Bob, the Bearded Dragon class mascot, helped him with his math. 

Exhibit A:

Dang it all, Bob!!! Why do you have to be all cutesy and helpful! 

Exhibit B:  


Me: "We have a dog. We don't need another pet to care for."

Them:  "Her breath smells like death from eating cat poop out of the litter box. 

Me: "There are no words."

Exhibit C:

Just be glad this isn't a scratch and sniff picture or you would want to run away. 

Tink: "Hey kids! Where are you going?"

Kids: "Where the air is fresh and clear of your fishy, death breath!"
Me: "We have a cat."

Them: "If she's not sleeping, she's trying to get outside to have adventures."

Exhibit D:

Exhibit E: 

Me: (Thinks to self) "Sounds like a perfect plan to me." (Actually says) "That's just what cats do."

Them: "We really want a Bearded Dragon or a Lemon/Lime Gecko. They are so cute."

Me: Silently screams from within, then says, "Who is going to take care of these wild beasts?"

Them:  "We will!"

Me: "Who is going to feed them?"

Them:  "We will!"

Me: "Who is going to clean up their poop?"

Them: "Tink will!"



Sunday, November 29, 2015

Dear Kelsey

One week has passed since that joyous moment you when became Mrs. Lehman! 

You were such a beautiful bride! Your loveliness filled the room. Watching Alex's  face as he saw you walking down the aisle on your brother's arm was truly a sacred moment. Such love! I will never forget it! 

As you promised your love and devotion to each other and worshipped God together, I thanked God that He brought you into our son's life and into our lives. You are a precious gift- a pearl that we have prayed for since Alex was very young. 

As I watched you become our son's wife, I felt so proud. You are a very special woman. You have been through so much over these past four years, and through it all, we have seen you lean into Jesus. You love the Lord and that is the most precious thing about you. Your faith is strong, your hope is humbling, and your perseverance is inspiring. We thank God that we have the privilege to welcome you into our family. For many years, I have been the central woman in Alex's life, but I have handed that over to you with great confidence. I feel such peace and great joy now that he has you as his wife. You are a Godly wife and he is blessed. We are blessed. 

I want you to know that I don't expect you to be perfect because there is really only One who is perfect. He is the One who will be the center of your marriage. He will be with you every step of the way, creating the marriage that He has for you. There will be good times and bad times, but I/we will be here to cheer you on and pray for you. We love you both and we want to see you succeed! Please forgive me in advance and give me grace for my shortcomings and failures, because it's hard being a mom, and I will make mistakes. Let's make a promise to always say we are sorry if we need to and to trust God for His strength if conflict should arise.

You know that old mother-in-law stigma? The one where our relationship is supposed to be filled with strife? Let’s kick that to the curb! We have common ground, because we both love Alex, and we both love the Lord. Family dynamics can be tricky. Communication can get jumbled, people can get their feelings hurt, and things can get messy. Let's always assume the best in each other, have a spirit of forgiveness, and love each other well. 

You are a member of our family now. The moment that Alex kissed you for the first time as Mrs. Lehman, my love for you grew exponentially. You have a whole bunch of new family members who love you and care about you. I know that our house can be crazy and overwhelming at times, but I hope that you will always feel accepted, loved, and welcomed. 

Welcome to our family Mrs. Lehman..,



Sunday, November 22, 2015

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday and Today

Dear Alex,

     It seems like just yesterday you were born.  Full of promise and hope. A new beginning. Our family's first chapter.

Today, you are getting married.  Full of hope and promise. A new beginning. Your family's first chapter.

Just yesterday, you were our little boy and we held you close.  We cherished you, protected you, nurtured you, taught you, laughed with you, cried with you, prayed for you, encouraged you, disciplined you, and by the grace and mercy of God and the help of so many raised you to become...

 The man that you are today.

 Just yesterday, we were blessed with two...

 Then three...

Then four...

Then five...

Then six...

Today, we will be blessed with our seventh. Your sweet bride Kelsey Rae will become our daughter-in-love.  She is one of our precious pearls. We have prayed for her since you were both little. God  answered our prayers above and beyond what we ever imagined with Kelsey.

Just yesterday, your dad modeled for you what it means to be a man of integrity. He challenged you.  He encouraged you to do what you love, to be a good steward of you time, money, and energy.  He showed you what it means to cherish a wife and a family.  To honor your mother and father. To be an amazing brother. To remember that people are precious and relationships are more important than anything else. To be a provider.  To work hard and take nothing for granted. To be thankful everyday. To stand in the gap.  To be a protector. To be a Godly man. To worship the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind.

Today, you are a young man of integrity and you have learned so much. You will continue to walk in your father's footsteps as you become a husband and one day, a father. We are so thankful for that!

 Just yesterday, you found your love of music.  Your passion.  You heart song to God. You have led us in worship as a family, just like your dad has.

Today, you will led us in worship yet again during your wedding ceremony as you sing praises to God and your precious bride.

Just yesterday, you were building birdhouses and loving life.

Today, you will begin building your own home with the love of your life.

Just yesterday, you were hanging out with your best buddies. Cracking jokes! Having fun! Doing life together.

Today, you will get married with all of your best friends by your side.

Just yesterday, you were falling in love with the girl of your dreams.  Having adventures.  Getting to know each other's heart.  Weathering the tough waters that life can bring.  Learning to love someone more than yourself.

Today, you are marrying her. 

And today Alex, we could not be more proud to call you our son.  We know that the time has come to no longer hold you tight.  It is time for you to fly.  You have become everything we prayed that you would become and so, so much more. Your faith in the Lord is so strong.  You are a beautiful human being.  We are forever grateful to God for the gift that you are to all of us. 
This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. 

We love you forever and we are overjoyed for you and Kelsey today!

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."  Ephesians 5:31


Dad and Mom