Here’s the deal, this woman,

this one here,

in the white dress and big smile-

I’ll let you in on a secret.

She’s broken.

She fails daily.

She at times finds it hard to breathe.

She’s been a less than perfect ex-wife.

She’s struggled with forgiveness.

She is an impatient mom.

She willingly admits these faults now because she is a recovering perfectionist.

In the recovery she has learned that the only way to slay the dragon is to acknowledge it and to name it.

You see the chase to perfect has eaten her soul at times.

It’s driven her body to revolt with shingles and kept her awake at night struggling to make her home look just as perfect as she hoped her heart would feel.

But perfect is an illusion.

It always leaves you wanting more.

What she craves is the joy that is born from the brokenness, from the failing.

So today, when she fails at work, at mothering, at being a wife, she will pause and remind herself that this life is much sweeter when she loves herself as her father loves her.

With or without that white dress and the big smile, full of imperfections, she will rest in his arms.







Sometimes I think I don’t tell her enough how proud I am of her.

This girl with her smile as open as her heart.

The one who works hard,

keeps her promises,

and loves without condition.

The two of us, we have learned together.

A million and one mothering mistakes I’m sure I’ve made.

And now as she stands 5’9 and full of forgiveness for all of my failings, I am supremely proud of the young women she has become.




Grace given in daily doses.

The amount needed to see us through those 24 hours.

If only we knew to live in the present; to accept grace in the manner given.

Instead we seek to hoard it, begging for more than what’s needed in the moment.

Grant me thy grace in advance, as if today were my retirement and I was cashing in the 401k.

But grace doesn’t work like that.

It is given freely.

It is renewed daily.

He knows what’s needed. He catches us in our moments of weakness and helps us to rise.

When we lose our temper with our children, fail at our jobs and doubt God, he steps in and doles out the grace.

We can live in the moment.

When I try to plan ahead, a prayer for a peak down the path of what my life will hold, I simply need to return to Our Father’s prayer-

Give us this day our daily bread.

His grace is there feeding me daily.


Dear Ellery Jane,

Today you turn 5!!


5 years blown bye in the blink of an eye.



What a joy you are.


What an amazing soul.


How did I get so lucky to parent a child so secure in who she is? You are no doubt 100% your own person.


You own your anger, your happiness and your tears. You tell it like it is and you are quick to move on and forgive.


My hope for you is a year filled with celebration. Days filled with Ellie magic, the kind that comes from being the vibrant, engaging, charming, Ellery Jane.


I promise to never stop singing you to sleep,

to love you unwaveringly,

to help you grow your faith in God

and to nurture your soul.

Thank you Ellery Jane for being my daughter.

Happiest of birthday’s my beautiful girl!


Your one and only Momma


You picked this year’s song and how perfect it is…





“Momma what does metamorphosis mean?” she asks me.

Head buried in her book.

My eyes trained on the road in front of me.

“It means to change or grow in a dramatic fashion, like the butterfly from its cocoon” I tell her.

I try to explain more but she interrupts.

“Okay Momma I got it. Don’t need anymore”.

Just like that the moment is lost but I can’t stop thinking about her question.

I want to tell her that she on the cusp of adolescence is the definition of the word.

I watch her everyday moving away from those things that defined her as a little girl and marching straight forward into a new world.

No more dolls or dress up clothes. Cartoons are a thing of the past.

She spends her days reading her vet books and talking about the horses she loves.

Long gone are coloring books and cardboard boxes made into playhouses.

She facetimes with her friends and does homework on a computer.

Once upon a time she would crawl into my bed each night, nestle in close and tell me she was afraid of the noises outside her window.

Now she sleeps in until 9 and remarks about those noises inside of the house that keep her from more hours of slumber.

Desperately I want to press the pause button.

Hold on to these days where she still longs for my voice to be the last she hears before she falls asleep, where I can ease her worries by simply telling her “momma will handle it”.

These years of parenting, I am finding are some of the hardest. Not physically hard like the years of changing diapers and little sleep, when your body belonged to your child. No these years are mentally trying as your head encourages you to give them wings but your heart wants nothing more than to keep them in your arms.

I cried yesterday when she brought home a form for me to sign.

Right there in front of her I cried over a piece of paper. It requested her full name for inclusion on the 5th grade tile that would be placed in the entryway of her elementary school to remember the graduating class.

She laughed hysterically at my tears and then excused herself to use the bathroom.

She emerged a few moments later, the remnants of tears on her cheeks as well.

Maybe she’s not in such a hurry.



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…..