Saturday, October 28, 2017


A loving letter to my family,
I have now used the same big thick bath towel four days in a row. Some of you would say Ew. Some say it can't be true. I assure you, not only is it true, it is also possible. Two out of the last 4 days, I have even taken 2 showers on those days. What?! I know. I like showering. I would like you to know that this magic I speak of is something you, too, can experience. If you fold the towel in threes and hang it on one of the 3749 hooks, towels racks or even shower rods provided, you, too, will be able to enjoy a dry, fresh towel that doesn't stink like your winter boots and can be used more than once! I know this sounds like crazy talk. But I am serious. I am here to help and will guide you every step of the way. Why am sharing this amazing knowledge with you? I am on strike from washing two overflowing loads of towels each week starting today. No more, I won't do it. So use your towel, fold your towel, hang your towel, repeat. My work here is done.
No longer the washer of gross towels that have been laying on the floor for three days because no one hung them up. 🙄

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Elmer's Glue

Lily: Do you think there will be a time when we won't have so much to do?

Me: What do you mean?

Lily : You said we had so much to do today to get ready for this week because you work so much.

Me: Lily, I have 6 clients in 4 days. No more than usual. But yes, with a full schedule, we do need to buckle down for 2 to 3 hours on the weekend and get everything done. You know, laundry  cleaning, backpack items for the week. Once we get those things done we can play. That's why we went to the pumpkin patch first today. Then we work for a while and then we can do a nature walk later.

Lily : I am not sure about that nature walk. When we go and get Elmer's glue at Target, craft projects will be calling my name.

Me: Who said we are going to Target? You sure seem to have a lot of plans for kid without a job, without any money and for someone who doesn't drive a car.

We never went to Target, but we did stop at Cooper's for mushrooms and bean sprouts.

She now has Elmer's glue.

So Carver Park Reserve, my guess is you won't be graced by Miss Thing's presence today... 🙄

Monday, October 16, 2017

Painting Pictures of Egypt

Sometimes walks with Zach are filled with laughter. Sometimes we are working on drying his tears and moving on with our day. Sometimes they seem very solitary. He is worried about dogs barking and wears his headphones most of time.  He also has longer legs than I do and walks at a ridiculously fast pace. I can't keep up. So I often walk behind him and admire this amazing kid.

Carrying his water bottle filled with ice in one hand and a beautiful leaf in the other, he sets his pace. He turns to tell me he likes his new Levi's shoes. And laughs when the birds get really loud at the far side of the field. As we round the bend and approach our road he turns and puffs out air. His fast pace has gotten the best of him. And he is winded. Walking up the road, there is a slight incline, Zach turns and says, " Mom, this road is so steep."

I smile from ear to ear. Steep. This is a new word for Zach. One he has never used before. But used accurately and to describe the incline he is feeling challenged by. But still, he continues. I think of all the areas of my life that seem steep. Too steep at times. When I feel winded and tired. Sometimes wanting to turn around and go back. Often I find that I am "Painting pictures of Egypt, and leaving out what it lacks. The future seems so hard and I want to go back" . The lessons I have learned from Zach are plenty. Today, it is that there is no turning around. Even when it is steep, I must continue. "The places that used to fit me, can not hold all that I've learned. Those roads have been closed off to me while my back was turned."

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Manna not Qdoba

Pastor Troy referenced the Israelites being HANGRY while wandering in exile for 40 years. (Exodus 16) He said that when God provided manna from heaven, they of course continued to grumble. They didn't like the manna, or bread that God provided so they complained rather than realizing and acknowledging that the manna was a blessing from God and He was meeting their needs. He compared it to wanting Qdoba, but only being given Chipotle. #cantmakethisstuffup #mannafromheaven #alwaysqdoba

Also you should know Zach responded with a roaring "Qdoba?!?" because he thought we were then going there. And then as we left the service he turns and asks, "Why was Pastor Troy being so funny?"

Saturday, October 14, 2017


I don't think it gets any easier. Friendships and relationships that is. I find myself often wary of others due to a false presentation of who someone is. Someone acting or putting on a facade rather than being who they really are.  I often say that with me, what you see is what you get. There is no pretending. If I am smiling,  I am content or even happy. If I am quiet, I am often lost in thought or even struggling through something in my heart. If I am crying, I may be filled with joy or so very sad by something that has occurred. But my emotions and outward appearance are always true to who I am. 

When I was in high school, I discovered that mean girls was a real thing. Teen girls are such a fickle breed. One day your best friend, the next, influenced by a mean girl, they despise you, ignore you and refuse to acknowledge your existence. Or the teacher that appeared to really enjoy thier job at the beginning of year, and that kind disposition that made me think that I could ask and receive help whenever needed revealed that wasn't true,  I was made to feel stupid when I asked for help over and over again when I struggled so much with anything past basic algebra.

There was one young man at school  that I had watched for 3 years from afar. Amazing eye contact, always smiled back and made me feel unbelievable with only a glance. One day late in my senior year, he approached and took my hand in the  hallway. When he spoke, they were words that I didn't expected from him. They were vulgar, somewhat shocking, and he sounded more like a drunken sailor than someone I wanted to spend time with.

Freshman year of college, there was the older gentleman I adored, only to find he was moving his way through the entire female roster. And the boss at a local financial institution whom everyone loved, was amazing and helpful and complimented me on work all the time, then stole every idea of worth and took credit for all my work.

I had struggled with pretty much every friendship, every family relationship every encounter I had ever had,  until I was married. My husband Josh was a true as true could be. Honest as the day is long, and a blank slate. Ask him anything, he would tell you the truth and the whole story.  I was so confused as this was something that I had never experienced before. Josh helped me discover that I am a big fan of people being exactly who they are.

Because of others not always being truthful or upfront, I have found I am an amazing judge of character. I find myself studying body language,  facial expressions and looking for everything that has been left unspoken. The slight squint of an eye, the turn of a head, the pursing of lips. A lingering hand on an arm, an extended glance, uncomfortable eye contact, prolonged hugs. A smirk, a gentle hidden smile, a tear swiped away before anyone notices. A too tight hand shake, a stolen kiss, genuine laughter that leads to fits of giggles. When our words and actions sometimes are not true to form, I find myself reverting to the non verbal, to my physical observations. My own perceptions rarely fail me.

However, it can be exhausting. Constantly studying someone, observing from afar. I have also come to discover that I won't be able to understand everyone and that I just need to let it go. And that people change, over time and because of the influences surrounding them.  Sometimes for the better, and sometimes not. Grace. It is all about Grace. Covering each new relationship with Grace. If someone says something or does something that I don't like, rather than run for the hills, it is all about second chances. And sometimes third and fourth.

Some people, some relationships are meant to be pursued. Some are only meant to last for a bit, and then maybe fall by the wayside. We each need to understand that that is alright.  I want to run hard and fast after people that don't pretend, that don't try to be someone they are not. I want to surround myself with the people that are the same in big groups as they are one on one. Because through these past 42 years, I have discovered a few things. One being that I am a big fan of people being exactly who they are.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


I asked my first of three clients today (75ish) if she would like me to move the newspapers from her bed. She replied, "Oh no. Did you see who that is? You can leave it there for awhile." #ryangosling #cantmakethisstuffup

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Please Be Funny

Today, I was asked to speak at a single father's support group in December. I got the details and asked if there were any specific things they would like to me to touch on. The main organizer of the event said, " We were wondering if you wouldn't mind calling your talk 'What To Do With All the Crap". He also asked of I could promise to be funny as their group responds to humor. I asked if he meant something like, "At the single mom's support group I spoke at last week, we never even got around to talking about what to do with all the crap. They just wanted to make sure I forwarded their roster that includes phone numbers to all the men in your group. " I may have even laughed out loud at my own joke. He then told me my services as public speaker were no longer required and he was moving on the next person on the list. #cantmakethisstuffup 🙄

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Enjoy It

St Gabriel's in Hopkins, MN  has a rummage sale the first weekend of October every year. And every year I find something amazing. I have always had a fascination with artwork surrounding music. It started when I was 12, and my grandmother promised me that on my 16 birthday, she would  give me her beloved Sonata which I always believed was Vivian Leigh in a red ball gown playing the piano Forte. Over the years, I have found more than a dozen amazing pieces but haven't added to my collection in quite some time. Today, I found this beauty hidden behind about 30 others. Worried that it was going to break the bank, I almost put it back.

After looking at all the other items I went up to pay and ask the price. I said it wasn't marked but was interested. The woman smiled and said, "Oh my. What a beauty. If it isn't marked, it is 50¢." I about fell over. I may have attempted to clarify 2 or 3 times the ridiculous price, and she said, "Stop worrying, bring it home and enjoy it." That is exactly what I plan to do.

Spider Web Smack

This morning, we had a rough start at the Gavin house. The rough start earned Lily a hand holding escort to the bus stop. In addition to hand holding, my job entailed holding the plastic bag of cereal that included my gf cereal because she "doesn't like the other 4 kinds I bought", she didn't have time to eat it out of bowl because I "didn't put out a school uniform that she liked", and because I "made a mistake letting her sleep in." Attitude and chaos abounded, and the straw that broke the camels back was when I handed her a brush and attempted to adjust an ill placed barrette. So tears were dried, I love yous were exchanged, hugs were a plenty, said barrette was stored in her back pack.  And the child went to school.
Just as I was patting myself on the back for turning that entire morning around for my sweet girl, every low lying tree branch hovering over the sidewalk that contained a spiderweb found its way to my face. Lesson learned, never pat yourself on the back. Don't even think about it. 🕷️🕸️🌳

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Space Camp

As I was packing backpacks last night, Lily asked me, "When you went to Space Camp, did you really go to space?" 🚀 I told her I did. (What? She is 11 tomorrow. That means she has had 11 years of dealing with my sarcasm. She should be able to tell from here on out if I am telling the truth or not.)

Never Leave. Never Fail. Never Abandon.

This morning, one of the last things Lily said as she was leaving for school was, "Thanks for the umbrella and I will remember my water bottles."

Yesterday morning, she informed me as she walked out the door that she knew what do in the case of an active shooter or intruder and knew how to help the little kids who might be crying and scared.

My sweet girl​ will be 11 tomorrow. I wish we lived in a world where children didn't need to understand what an active shooter or an intruder even is. The fact that she has scoped out every classroom, every room, every bathroom and even the locker room for an exit strategy is sobering.

We read through portions of the Sermon the Mount again last night and got to the section about Not Worrying.  I asked her what are examples of things she worries about. I was sure she would talk about current events, guns and violence.

She told me she was more worried about being in trouble at school for something she didn't do. I asked her if what is happening in this world worried her. She said, "God is still God, isn't he? He said he will never leave me or fail me or abandon me. I suppose that means that even if I do get in trouble tomorrow at school, he will be with me the whole time."

The amazing, rational mind of this kid is fascinating to me. She watches the news, she asks intelligent, probing questions.bAnd she fully understands the evil that exists in the world. Yet God is  still God. He will never leave us, fail us, or abandon us.

Hebrews 13:5
Matthew 5,6,7

Monday, October 2, 2017

Las Vegas Shooting

Listening to Lily's prayers this morning for the people in Las Vegas, I was stunned. This almost 11 year old girl just gets it. She prayed for the injured and for healing. He prayed for all the military present. For the police, firemen, ems, doctors and nurses at the hospitals. For the people that saw what happened and lost friends and family right before their eyes. She prayed for the families all around the USA waiting to hear from loved ones. She prayed that God would comfort those who are so sad and scared. She also prayed for the hotel employees who are going to be asked to do more and help people and feed people. She prayed that those employees would be kind and encouraging.  I sat in a pool of tears. Lily looked up and asked if I had anything to add. No Lily. I have nothing else to add. You covered it all. 💗

I Know What That Means- By: Kelli J Gavin for Writers Unite!

I Know What That Means By: Kelli J Gavin After my family moved to Minneapolis three years ago, my parents refused to visit us in our ne...