March 26, 2012


It's funny what can transpire in a year.

A year ago at a tool expo in Florida we felt ourselves settling into owning a business. The husband loved his costumers, and they loved him. The 5-years-in-business mark was getting close enough to see. The husband had brought us into the top 200 distributers in the nation, and our eyes were set on top 30.

We had found a rhythm, a predictable routine that I had mastered. I loved the sight of the store-on-wheels rolling in and out of the driveway every day, and the kids loved visiting Daddy on his truck.

So it felt completely natural to laugh away the very pointed "If-you-ever-have-the-opportunity-to-be-a-district-manager...." questions that came our way all during expo 2011.  For whatever reason, our senses were dulled to the path of clues that was layed out during those four days........until the flight home when I abruptly woke up from a nap on the plane. In that moment, it suddenly hit me that so-and-so said he was being promoted, leaving his job wide open. It was obvious to me that our current district manager would fill his shoes leaving his job wide open husband.

"But we can't leave our business!" I almost shouted out to everyone in the plane before I melted into my favorite defense mechanism - sleep.

And the thought never came back to me again, until the night in April when the husband told me he was asked to apply for the district manager position in our area. All of my in-flight pre-suppositions had been right on the money.

So we tiptoed our way through the summer, taking the next steps, trusting, wondering how far to go, and just walking through each open door. I was cryptic with my words as I went months keeping the secret and wondering why I was so emotional over a tool truck.

The agonizing weekend of waiting for the company's decision landed over the big wedding. To this day, I'm still not sure if the words in my toast were for us or them: "’s not just about surviving the moments, surviving the uncertainty and waiting for the clarity, it’s about living right through it all, it’s about learning from it all, and it’s in knowing that these messy, crazy, uncertain moments are the ones that make us who we are."

Finally, we knew and I let more out...

and then we slapped a smile on our faces and seized the day...

and we got through the whirlwind of ramping up...

and then...

it was expo again.


Expo 2012: MPowered. All the dust from the ladder climbing has settled, and we find ourselves, the driven, type-A perfectionists that we are, standing in the whirlwind of Las Vegas wondering how District Managers and District Managers' wives act at expo.

And then he just does it. The introverted, anti-social, small-talk loathing, slightly critical husband of mine laughs and smiles and everybody-in-the-district includes his way through a week of 16 hour days. He unknowingly takes me on a journey of seeing past the first impressions, seeing past the exteriors of our distributors to the people that are really there.

The Vietnam veteran living with side effects from Agent Orange.

The dad helping raise a step-son with significant special needs and proudly telling me of his step-son's contagious laugh.

The goofy, fun-loving couple putting their customers first and adoring their grandchildren. 


{alas, too much light and no tripod for a truly good long exposure shot}

And somehow we've melted into these roles.

{a friendly bystander was willing to take our picture}
I can hardly believe how much change can take place in one year and how we settled into the change so much quicker than I ever deemed possible.

{he was even a camera turner! but we ruined the shot}

It's just all a confirmation that we are where God wants us to be....

...and that the things He gives (and takes away) really are good.

Expo is like life; it is what you make it and what you learn from it.

March 13, 2012

A Heap of Random

I think all bloggers struggle with the phenomenon of having more to say than they have time to write here. All the ideas, thoughts, and posts that never actually make it to the screen frustrate all of us that endeavor to write.

And while I've experienced this in the past, this whole lots-to-say not-enough-time-to-say-it thing is not my current reason for the pitiful amount of posts I've been churning out lately.

No. Rather, it's the opposite. I feel I have nothing to say.

No words. No thoughts. No deep probings into my sub-conscious.

I suppose this could be due to being pregnant. Or maybe it's due to every ounce of my creativity going into the large drama production of Pollyanna I'm co-directing and producing. Either way, my brain honestly feels blank most days.

I remember the heavy posts I used to write, the way writing them was almost a birthing process, a self-realization, and often-times a God-realization. But now, I've got nothing.   And when you've written with that magical word-soul connection in the past, it's hard to just force the words out now for the sake of posting something. In fact, writing without that magic almost seems pointless, futile, and a waste of time. Without that magic, all I've got here is an endless stream of sentences starting with conjunctions.

But (see, I told you) in an effort to the keep the fingers nimble, I give you this post with a heap of random.


I'm not crafty. People always like to feign shock when they hear this. Apparently, I give off some sort of "crafty" aura or something. But I really dislike cutting and gluing and trying to make something pretty out of a pile of little things. I love the finished products that other people make, but actually pulling everything together, making it myself, and dealing with all the mess nearly gives me hives.

I was feeling guilty on Valentine's Day that I hadn't done any projects with my kids. We had just gotten over a bout with the flu that brought all four of us down on different days and in completely different ways, and the seemingly pointless holiday snuck up on me.

But (there it is again) a brief moment of inspiration came over me during lunch on Valentine's Day, and with the help of my little girl's creativity, we managed to pull a project together. The best part of it was that they were gifts for other people, which is my favorite kind of project for 2 reasons:
1. It helps the kids think about people other than themselves.
2. I don't have to try to find a home for yet another creation and go through the agonizing process of "Keep? Or throw"" that inevitably comes when children make things.

Plus, who wouldn't want a re-used pimento jar filled with unwrapped candy fingered by 4 year olds during cold and flu season?


I love grapefruit. It's like eating little bites of sunshine all winter long. My kids love it, too, and we practically fight over the one whole grapefruit per day that I currently have us rationed to.


I bought my husband the board game "Axies and Allies" for his birthday. I wasn't supposed to get him anything as we had just purchased a rather large and expensive item for each other that was going to serve as our gifts to each other for the year. But I just got the $25 version of the game instead of the $300 version of the game. (Who knew there were so many different versions and such a wide price range of a board game?)

{insert picture that simply wouldn't upload here}
So one Sunday afternoon, he spent an hour reading the instruction book, an hour setting up the game, and an hour trying to explain to me how to play it. I sort of eventually almost caught on, and six hours later my Allies finally dealt a severe blow to his Axies. It was however, nearly 1:00 am at that point, and we never did see the conclusion to the game. Funny how even with my poor tactical planning skills, the game still played out remarkably similar to the actual WWII.


Nearly every night my little boy wants to sleep in the same bedroom as my little girl. Sometimes she'll go for it, but when this happens it just extends the whole bedtime process to be even longer. I like a strict bedtime routine for them, but I think they know that after 13+ straight hours of being with them, my defenses are low.

{I thought this photo was so sweet on my camera. But then I got it up on the computer and realized she's sticking out her tongue at him.} 


And there's more. But I think I should post this before my computer decides to hyperventilate and lock up on me again (for, like, the 7th time since I started working on this post. Maybe I'm not supposed to be blogging?)