In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I have been MIA here and at your blogs. Although I’ve read  tiny bits here and there, most of the time I’ve been unable to read, let alone comment. I’ve missed you and your words. I’ve missed writing and connecting with you.

Pain and exhaustion and brain fog are big factors in keeping me away. Mostly, I’ve been tending to the little’s and all the things that scream for my attention. Trying to balance all of my responsibilities…trying to keep my priorities in their right places…trying to figure out all the ways I can help keep our home the way it is.

A few weeks ago, while I was washing dishes, little man was telling me about something that had happened at school. When he went silent I asked him why he had stopped talking. He responded with, “I really like looking at your face when I’m talking to you.” I turned around, dried my hands and got down to his level. He said things like “you are always so busy and hurrying and when I talk to you I like to see your face because I like to know you are listening to me”. With tears I assured him that I am listening and that I would work on slowing down.

So that's what I’ve been trying to do.

The thing is ever since my injury I have slowed down a lot. Now it takes me so much longer to do everything and it frustrates the hell out of me. Trying to get things done around here and giving the little’s quality time is a balancing act.

Still, I take little man’s message to heart and as hard as it is, I am forcing myself to slow down and to stop and  look at him when he is talking to me.

We attempt to live simple lives. We are mindful about what we put into our bodies so we had a garden and cook & bake from scratch and eat foods that are healthy 90 % of the time. Which means that the little’s have enjoyed every bit of their Halloween candy and the pumpkin bars I made yesterday are almost gone. We make our own cleaning supplies and try not use things that are not good for us or the environment. We do this not only for our health or the environment but because it saves money.

I shared recently that my doctor cut my work hours. This is affecting our finances so now more than ever, we are doing what we do out of necessity. Keeping our home the way it is, means us figuring out ways to not only be frugal but to not let the stress of it all affect it’s serenity.

This means having fun with the little’s as they help me make laundry soap or knead the bread dough. It means not jumping in the car, driving to do something fun and going out to eat. Instead it’s staying home to play restaurant, with my husband and I being the wait staff or walking up town with the little’s and watching the free movie at the theater on Saturdays.

With the holidays approaching it puts a knot in the middle of my stomach. It makes me dread them more than ever. To combat those feelings we are really focusing on all that we are thankful for. We hung a big turkey on our wall and have been writing things we are thankful for on feathers the little’s helped me cut out. My grandson grabbed my heart when he said, “ I am thankful my Grandma takes good care of me when my Mommy is at work.”

Do not for one second feel badly or sorry for us. The thing is we have so much. While we may not be rich in money or material processions, we are not without our basic needs being met plus more. There are so many that would give anything to have a warm place to call home, food in their bellies, a soft place to lay their heads to sleep and to be surrounded by people that love them. We are not lacking for anything so I cannot help but have a heart full of gratefulness.  

We have had amazing weather here in Minnesota. In fact I hung clothes outside on the line to dry and the kids played outside without jackets on Tuesday. I don’t remember drying clothes outside in November ever nor do I recall having my kids outside playing without jackets. Nonetheless, weather that is more familiar for this time of year is moving in.

As it gets colder, and with talk of snow, I cannot help but think of those out in the cold. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking of those standing out in the cold with no place to go. Here I sit in my warm home, with love surrounding me, while I sit at my computer that is hooked up to the internet. Which seems completely unfair.

Sure we could argue bad choices and all those things that bring someone to be homeless or to be living in poverty but the bottom line is that it does not sit right with me.

We might not have a lot but as the holidays approach we as a family must figure out a way to help those that are less fortunate than ourselves. How could we not? This year we will have to be more creative. I’ve offered to unplug the internet as hard as that would be to be disconnected. I have a feeling my dear husband will work his ass off even harder to keep this one luxury for me…all because he cares for me to have this here.

I don’t share things with you in order for you to think of me as good. The other day, someone referred to me as a “do gooder” and it cut to my core. It felt like she had slapped me in the face. After talking, I found out that she hadn’t meant it in a negative way. The thing is I am the way I am because of where I’ve been.

I may have a bleeding heart but I am not some “ do gooder”. I do because I care from the depths of my heart. I do because I care and because I’ve walked in these shoes…shoes that didn’t seem to fit but were mine just the same. Just maybe if I told about some of the places I’ve been, you would want nothing to do with me and this blog.

It may or may not surprise you that on two separate occasions I almost brought an elderly homeless person home with me back to Minnesota. Once in North Carolina and once in Florida. Both of them were very elderly and to this day it haunts me that I didn’t. Maybe some day I will tell you about them.

Here I am, on a late Friday night, writing from the warmth & quiet of my home, waiting for the snow to fall…all the while praying for those in need of shelter, food or a person that gives a damn. I would not for one second want to be anywhere else but here. My heart is abundantly full with all that is mine yet aches in knowing there are those hurting and without tonight.

I hope & pray with all of my heart that wherever you and your loved ones are, your heart is full with all that is yours…that you have a soft place to lay your head tonight, shelter from the cold(or from the heat :), food in your bellies and are surrounded by people that love you…and that just maybe you would find someone to share your abundance with. 

Sending you much love & big hugs, Lori


Colleen said...

Beautiful Lori, I have missed you! It's so good to read your words and really try to understand where you are at right now in your life. I see very clearly that you have an exceptionally big heart and are a good person. I think that you are so rich in spirit and joy and in those surrounding you.
Praying for you and your family and everything that burdens your heart today.
God bless you.

Natalie said...

Yes, Lori, yes.
We are not responsible for everyone though, and we must be like Mother Teresa and just keep doing what is in front of us. God would not ask for more ,honey. ♥

slommler said...

Your words warm my heart! And I am terribly thankful for all that I have and am surrounded by a loving and caring family. I too cry over those without shelter and food. It just breaks my heart and I wish I could do more. So we do what we can and just simply pay attention more. That is all we can do, Lori.
Enjoy your littles and post when you can. I know this all keeps you pretty busy.
Hugging you

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

This is such a heartfelt, wonderful, loving post!! I had tears welling....your little man made such a wonderful gesture with his words...meaning so much to a parent such as you. Sometimes we just don't take time to stop, listen, and look 'em in the face. Your words should be written on a billboard or something...we should all heed them!!!

Brian Miller said...

smiles. good to see you friend...and taking the time to look him in the face...yeah that is cool as well..this post lets us see your heart...thanks for the point of our homeless friends...they have a place in my heart....

Hilary said...

From everything I always read from you, I know you have a huge and giving heart. I'm sorry times are rough for you but I have no doubt that with the abundance of love and resourcefulness which comes from your depths, you will get through it. You're inspiring, Lori.

Post if and when you can. We'll all be here when you do. Hugs to you.

Joyce A Gray said...

Lori, I have missed you. I hope you are feeling better. I so related to your post, my husband and I know we re living a blessed life and we are grateful for every minute of it.

TechnoBabe said...

Little man could teach the rest of the human race how to communicate. If someone is doing two things while listening to someone, they are not engaged in a conversation and they are not listening. I so can relate to what you say when you said in this post that you are the way you are because of where you have been. When you have endured hard times you truly do have the heart to care about others in a meaningful way. The way you write from your heart fills the rest of us with so much love. Thank you.

Jeannie said...

Just so you know - you never come across as self-pitying - only very busy and maybe a little frustrated that you can't do as much or as well as you expect of yourself. It's good to see you here when you can make it. You have taken on quite a lot of responsibility but even with your pain, you do not let things slide that you feel are important not just to yourself but to the wider community. I don't know where you get the stamina.

Nessa said...

We can be so task oriented (I know I am) that we can miss out on life. Sometimes it is a blessing when we are forced to slow down, down size and connect.

Busy Bee Suz said...

you always make my heart open up, my mind too. Thank you for that.
I feel rich and blessed because of love also.
I read something recently that reminded me to look at my kids when they talk to me too, not just 'listen', but to REALLY listen by looking too.
I too wish I could help all the good people in the world...but we do what we can. right?

take care my friend and thank you for your kind words.

The Incredible Woody said...

I have missed you, my friend! I only wish I could have an ounce of the goodness that you have in your heart:)

The Incredible Woody said...

Is that blizzard burying you?

SciFi Dad said...

Try to remember that while you feel the financial pinch, the children will be oblivious. When I was growing up, my father was the main breadwinner (my mom worked as a substitute teacher a few days a month) and he worked in an automotive factory. I had no idea that several Christmases he was laid off shortly before the holidays, making our household income almost nothing and forcing my parents to rely on savings to pay the mortgage. There may not have been everything my parents wanted us to have, but I don't have any memories of that.

Anonymous said...

You have a big heart - compassionate and kind. And so rich in warmth and love.

Be well!

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh, I am so sad that you thought of 'do gooder' as an insult. I hope that we will have more and more people in the world that will be do gooders. Heaven knows we need more love and happiness.

I will pray that your pain lessens this week. And I will pray that I can remember, as you have, to slow down, and to look people in the eye when I am speaking to them.

You always give such great advice. Sending lots and lots of love.

Shrinky said...

Lori, the world would be such a better place were there more like you around ((hugs)). You are so right, most of us take much for granted, and are so quick to notice the short fall instead of counting our blessings.

Love to you and the littles xxx.

blueviolet said...

You have such a soft heart and I totally understand why you want and need to be more present for the littles!

I do think we all need to be more conscious of helping those in need around us too.

wolfie185 said...

Sounds to me like you just have a heart filled with compassion, the world needs more people like you!

May the Divine bless you and yours always.

Buckeroomama said...

Your words, your posts are always so heartfelt.

What your little man said to you just stopped me and made me think. I am often guilty of not giving my children my full attention and they certainly deserve better. Thank you for the reminder.

Hugs to you, Lori. May you be blessed this Christmas and always with all that you need. :)

Joanna Jenkins said...

Your kids are so lucky to have you. The lessons you are teaching them by example will stay with them all their life :-)
Your heart is beautiful and full.
Don't worry about how much you are around blogland, we're just happy to see you when you have time. No pressure.
xo jj

Katherine said...

What a beautiful, amazing, wonderful, pure lovely post.

Wishing you a glorious day..

K xx

Anonymous said...

Ah, Lori - never EVER apologize for being who you are. And you are the LAST person I'd ever pity; I could never pity anyone I admire so much.


Kathryn Magendie said...

Our posts are parallel today, aren't they ? *smiling at you ....hug*

Ash said...

loriiiiii - you're an angel! i'd take "do gooder" term positively. :) as a person you are, i dont think anyone would say hurtful things about you and if they do, send them to me so i can slap them silly. :p

your little man is so funny but sweetly sensitive and your grandson nearly made me cry! you've got amazing people with you (little or big) and i'm glad to be in this circle.

much love,
ash's mum

deb said...

you sound like you get it. really. it isn't easy to do the right thing.
I hope things become less stressful .

Unknown Mami said...

Lori, you are a kind, thoughtful, and grateful person. Do not worry about being judged for being your authentic self.

I have always been poor although I prefer to think of it as financially challenged because truly my life has always been rich.

I am always grateful for what I have and I have never "needed" or "wanted" for the necessities. As far as holidays go, I enjoy them tremendously because they have never been about the stuff for me, but about being surrounded by those I love and those that love me.

I have very little to give to others, but every year I help microfinance a loan (I contribute $25)through KIVA to an entrepreneur and when they pay me back, I lend it to someone else in need. So far I have helped 4 people and I have not missed the money at all.

As far as all the stuff that you need to get done, all you really need to do is take ccare of yourself and the loves in your life. Chores will always be there to get done even after you've just finished doing chores.

Christina said...

your little man warmed my heart.

Together We Save said...

Thank you for this touching post!! It is a wonderful reminder to us all to be thankful for what we have.

beth said...

thanks for your kind words....

Elizabeth Grimes said...

What a lovely moment with your son. I could really feel your heart reading this. Thanks also for your comment on my blog. I can't wait to read more from you whenever you're able to post.

Anonymous said...

Your little man tugs at my heart strings. Keeping priorities in their right places is something I struggle with on a daily basis. Sometimes that means that blogging has to wait.
Thank you for visiting my blog and for your written reminder here to count our blessings.