Our Lizard

We have a lizard.

He’s really a gecko.

His name is Spotty and Santa brought him to Audrey on Christmas day.


And if I am being honest we don’t know whether it’s a he or she, that won’t reveal itself until later down the road when Spotty gets older. But he feels like a he so we are referring to him as such.

We’ve been worried about our little gecko for some time now. He wasn’t eating those live crickets that Audrey has lovingly been covering in calcium powder and throwing into his home.

I was worried that maybe Santa didn’t realize he brought us a sick little gecko and in my head began planning how I would let Audrey know of his passing.

Then last Tuesday night happened.

It was during our evening floury of activity, half-naked children running in and out of bathrooms preparing for nightly baths; me attempting to find missing socks and unload the dishwasher; Audrey trying hard to get Spotty to eat.

Audrey’s scream pierced through the chaos.

“He’s eating guys, he’s eating. It was the coolest thing like ever!!!”

The four of us gathered round his little tank to watch him lick his lips, the ultimate sign of satisfaction.

We were mesmerized.

“Aud let’s feed him another” I suggested.

She obliged and we held our breath watching to see if Spotty would take another treat.

He stalked his prey and in a matter of seconds pounced and another of our cricket friends bit the dust.

Nose pressed against glass we all squealed with delight, in awe of life unfolding in front of us.

These are the moments you cannot fathom will delight you as a parent when you plan to become one.

Sheer joy derived from watching a gecko eat a cricket.

I am happy to report Spotty continues to eat very well…







At Sunday brunch  Sidney was reflecting on her problems with another adult whom she felt wasn’t “keeping promises”. As I was attempting to guide her through it I explained that adults make mistakes too and not everyone is perfect. She countered with “But Momma you are perfect. You never make mistakes and you always say what’s right”.


And there it was laying on my heart like a ton of bricks.

This notion that my child believes me to be perfect.

Ironic as I had just had an email exchange with an old friend where that same word was central to the conversation.

How wonderful that my child can see through it all to find the perfection inside of her momma. But what if it’s only because I am not showing her all of me?

Does she not know what the face of failure looks like?

Has she not seen me grovel; say sorry to those I have wronged; asked forgiveness for sins committed?

In my strive for authenticity I realize I cannot do it within a bubble, every few days of the week or when only certain people are in my presence. It has to be an all in approach. Even with my children.

So for Sidney I offer the following.


I love that you think I am perfect.

But I too, like the grown up who wronged you, make mistakes every day (almost hourly).

This weekend alone –

I’ve spent too much time on my iphone

I ran into the garage wall (again). I don’t want you to notice because I know you will tell Uncle David who spent hours repairing the last hole I made.

I lied to Audrey on Saturday night when I told her I would sleep in the middle. I slept on the left side of the bed as I always do. Not sure why I couldn’t just be honest with her in the first place.

And finally, I had a cup of coffee….

I’m trying really hard baby.

But perfect I am not.

How about I share more of my failings?

And, for the record, you should know that you my dear are perfect……

All my love,






And then she was 8

Dear Audrey Hope,

Your joy is contagious.


Your love for life infectious.


Your energy is endless.


When I tuck you in at night, I often pause at your door to stare at you in wonder.

How did I get so lucky? You of all the children in the world are the one God chose for me to mother? I am in awe of this beautiful gift.


The other day your big sister came home from school and ran in to tell me-

“Momma Audrey has a fan club at school. We walk down the hall and people stop to hug her and at the end of the day everyone squeals her name. It’s kind of crazy”.

You know why you have a fan club my Audrey?

It’s because you are kind.

You are generous.

You look out for everyone.

You always find the good in each person and situation.

Turning your lemons into lemonade.


Maybe that’s why when you cry it affects me so deeply. It happens so infrequently and only after you’ve exhausted every attempt to “make things better”.

Your seventh year has seen tremendous change and you have balanced it all with the grace and dignity grown women envy.


I am so proud to call you my daughter.



You make me a better human being.

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Great things are in store for you this year and I feel incredibly privileged to have a front row seat to watch it all unfold.

Do me a favor baby girl?

Don’t ever, for one second, doubt how much you are loved.

Happy eighth birthday my Audrey girl.


Your one and only Momma.

PS- you had to know I would pick this as your song this year! It has Audrey written all over it…..






Your face is glorious. Inspiring #quotes and #affirmations by Calm Down Now, an empowering mobile app for overcoming anxiety. For iOS: http://cal.ms/1mtzooS For Android: http://cal.ms/NaXUeo

Eyes up, arms straight, back plank, muscles aching-minute number 45 in an hour-long hot yoga class.


The word drifts in, smack dab between thoughts of “I can’t do this anymore” and “Everyone can see I am failing horribly”.

Even after four classes I am still the most inflexible one in the room.

My leg strength built up from hundreds of road miles does nothing for me here.

In this place I am struggling, but not hiding. My yoga mat and I are front and center.

I wasn’t always this open, so willing to display my faults.

Many times I hid the warts; masked the burdens.

Numerous situations where I altered who I was to fit the needs of others.

I am not the only woman guilty of being a “pleaser”.

Now to live my life authentically, that is the goal.

To model for those three little ladies that life must be lived from the inside out.

*This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day.

Hamlet Act 1, Scene 3

*Worth noting that this little nugget comes from Polonius’s to his son Laertes, who is in a hurry to get on the next boat to Paris, where he’ll be safe from his father’s long-winded speeches. My girls must feel like Laertes some days!


IMG_2024As we set out to tackle 2015, the girls and I sat down over the weekend to talk about individual goals for the new year. It’s an interesting conversation when you’re plotting life  with a 10, almost 8 and 4-year-old.

As usual they teach me more than I teach them, so with their help we’ve come up with quite a few goals for our new year.

Mine will include running 4 half marathons, picking up 4 new sports/physical activities and most importantly walking away from work for a full 2 weeks this summer to spend time with the girls on St. Simons Island.

Sidney has decided she wants to “dedicate herself to her riding”.

Audrey is stepping out of her comfort zone and is willing to “try new foods” and Ellie thinks she should watch more Winks and “learn how to dance better”.

We discussed the need to form goals for our little family as well and landed on a doozy – the four of us will spend time exploring our faith and finding a spiritual house to call home.

Each of my girls have strong feelings about their relationship with God but they also feel strongly that what we are doing each sunday doesn’t feel like “it should”. Some may disagree, but I believe they have every right to participate and decide on the path our family should take.

So here we head into the new year full of promises and plans.

Glad these little ladies are on this journey with me.



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