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Glimpses of our Lives and a Not So Lovely Police Officer

Glimpses of our lives the past three weeks, get ready for a roller coaster. It feels like I have gone nonstop without a moment to breathe, much less write.

We have had days where I have booked multiple appointments back to back.

That means Krisann has had to go to some of Zine’s appointments and Zine has had to wait on some of Krisann’s. It also has meant Chloe has played taxi driver some days where she and I have met and switched vehicles and riders!  On one of these crazy days…

An encounter with a not so lovely police officer…

On this particular day, Krisann had been with me to have Zine’s cath changed. Zine was having to wait while Krisann had one of her tutoring sessions. Of course, the place where Krisann goes is not handicap accessible and much to my luck, Zine needs to find a restroom. I leave Krisann in her session and I take Zine to Wal Mart (at least they have a somewhat accessible stall). I then proceed to leave Zine in the restroom at Wal Mart and go back to get Krisann. Upon retrieving Krisann and returning to Wal Mart, I text to find out that Zine is ready to go.

There are no parking places where I can put down my ramp. So I pull into the no parking zone near the front of the store and deploy my ramp. As Zine is rolling out of the store and my ramp is being deployed, I hear this little siren beside me. I turn my head to see a police officer who has just turned his siren on at me. Now you can imagine after the crazy morning I had had, this was not a welcome addition. This police officer proceeds to yell at me from inside his vehicle, “Can you read that sign?” as he nods to a sign that says no parking.

For the record, had I been in a good mood this probably would have irritated me, but because I had had a bad morning, this didn’t sit too well with me. I looked at the sign, looked back at the police officer who was still sitting in his vehicle seemingly unaware of all that was going on with my husband and my van. In the most respectful manner that I could muster, I answered his question. “Yes, sir I can.” This response didn’t sit well with him. But at the moment, I could have cared less! Then he proceeded to tell me what the sign said just in case I was illiterate and too scared to admit it. It was now my turn to help him understand definitions. Parking is something you do one when you intend to leave your vehicle and go inside at a designated location or two you plan to make love in your vehicle sitting in a secluded place. May I assure you that NEITHER of those things were happening. In a very nice way, I let Mr. Police Officer know that I was indeed not parking, I was loading. Suffice it to say, neither of us blessed the other that day. Although I tried to be very respectful with my words and actions, my heart was not the least bit respectful. I think my heart was saying some very not nice things about this police officer. Just another day in the life of the Smiths!

As if there wasn’t enough going on, I made a seemingly crazy decision.

Sometimes unplanned road trips lead to many blessings.

I decided to make a flying trip with my son to Mobile, AL. There was a death in his girlfriend’s family. He wanted to be with her. Since walking through my mom’s death alone, I have a more tender heart for those who lose loved ones and have to be away from their closest friends. I wanted to support my friend who had just said goodbye to her dad. Therefore, Conner and I took a road trip. What a blessing it was to get to know the extended family and to be able to love my friend in that place. What sweetness it was for my adopted daughter to have Conner there as support for her as well! Although it made my life crazy, I was grateful for my time with Conner, and I was thankful that I could love from my own place of pain.

Mother’s Day 2018

This year was a bust of Mother’s Day. It was my first Mother’s Day without my mom. However, I had prepared myself that it was going to be a horrible day and I guess God was sweet to me that day because it wasn’t as hard as I was expecting it to be. Yes, there was a longing in my heart when I saw pictures of my friends’ moms, but there wasn’t overwhelming grief for my mom.

There was overwhelming grief for something else. A loss that my husband is not able to plan events nor even get out and get me a Mother’s Day gift. He struggles to teach our children to love me on Mother’s Day. This year, the one thing that I received for Mother’s Day was a sweet, sweet card from Krisann. The letter was special because writing is extremely difficult for Krisann. I think cursive writing is going to be the answer to our handwriting woes!

My neighbor did surprise me with a gift. I asked him if I could pay him and he said only with chicken noodle soup! He’s got some chicken noodle soup coming soon. He made me not one, but two of these gardening boxes and they are both full of veggie plants! I’m excited to see if I can harvest produce from these boxes! We will pray I have obtained a little bit of my dad’s green thumb.

Not only gardening boxes, last weekend I came home from Gymfest to find that this same neighbor had cleaned my driveway and sidewalk! I love it when God uses others to bless me! I’m also grateful that God uses me sometimes to bless others!

It has taken me a long time to understand it is okay to receive from others but I’m beginning to get the picture!

Seriously, look at the difference in the sidewalks. I’m still smiling a week later everytime I pull into my driveway!

Gymfest 2018

Krisann participated in her 2nd Gymfest, an end of the year gymnastics expedition. She was very cognizant of the fact her dad was in the hospital last year for Gymfest. In her mind, it was imperative for him to attend this year. Guess what we did? We loaded her dad up and took him to Gymfest. When I told a friend, that had participated in an earlier  Gymfest, that I took Zine, she said, “wow, how in the world did that work?” The answer is those in charge went to all extremes so that Zine could get in the gym. Krisann said, “They parted the Red Sea for him.” They pulled up one LARGE gym mat that required four people to hold it up and a couple of small mats so that Zine could get in the gym. The good news is I had prepared Zine ahead time that there would be a lot of people and the logistics would be tricky, but we would make it work.  Zine did fantastically well. He didn’t get all stressed out nor upset which is a score, and Krisann had her dad there this year which was a double score!! Many things are not easy, but we choose those events we feel are important.

Gymfest ranked at the top of importance and the bottom for convenience!

This week I spent three days in a Classical Conversation Parent Practicum. This training begins at 9 am and ends at 4 pm. It is three days jam-packed with encouragement and information. I am thankful for the connections I am starting to make at our Classical Conversations group.  Often, I hear testimonies of those that have found their community to be closer than their church. I haven’t experienced that type of community yet, but I do know I’ve met some beautiful people and connections are beginning to form.

Honestly, I think my heart is just now beginning to heal and ready for some relationships. I am finally finding me again, albeit slowly. Me has been lost somewhere in all the chaos of life. I’m incredibly grateful for the snippets of healing I’m beginning to see God do in my heart. Whew…it’s been a long road!

8 year anniversary

We have also grieved the 8 year anniversary of Zine’s diagnosis day.  After multiple doctors appointments, MRI, and two spinal taps, a local doctor diagnosed Zine 8 years ago with MS.  His diagnosis of Primary Progressive MS would be further confirmed at Mayo Health Clinic.  In some ways, his diagnosis seems like an eternity ago and in other ways, it seems like yesterday.  Either way, it is a continual loss that we grieve on a daily basis.

Glimpses of Our Lives

I have given you glimpses of our lives the past few weeks.  In no way have I gotten even close to giving you the details of our lives, only glimpses.  There is so much more I would love to tell you, but my post is long enough.



Wife of 20+ years. Mom to 3 children. Love sharing my life with weary hearts so that we can know the One who is Good, who is in Control, and Whose strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.