i’m a grown up and i ain’t afraid of no ghost.


October and I have a tenuous relationship.  Because October is AUTUMN and pumpkins and scarves. But October is also ghoulish Halloween decorations and horror movie trailers on television.  Anne (of Green Gables and later of the House of Dreams) would have been appalled, no matter how much she loved October.  In retrospect this might not be true, because remember how much she hung out in that graveyard in college?

“I don’t know that a graveyard is a very good place to go to get cheered up, but it seems the only get-at-able place where there are trees, and trees I must have. I’ll sit on one of those old slabs and shut my eyes and imagine I’m in the Avonlea woods.”

Anne, that’s creepy.  But I was telling you about October!  In October, my children scare me at night.  My husband is forever jumping out at me from behind doorways and darkened rooms.  Every time I scream.  For every time I don’t, I at least drop a profanity and try to punch him (in self defense).  The rambling point I am making here is that I am easily spooked.  So when I’m on red october alert for goblins- my kids stalking me at night gets scary.

I get scared when Owen stands by my bed, his face inches from mine, and wakes me from a dead sleep.  “AHHH!” I yell.  “What do you need???”  And he replies “I had a bad dream” and I think to myself,  probably your mom screaming in your face didn’t help you to be less scared huh?

I mean, look at these pumpkin faces Owen created.  They are SO FRIENDLY.  Owen comes by his fear honestly.  And I like that he’s into happy pumpkin faces.


But mostly I get scared of Maisy Jo, for just like her father she is light on her feet and appears silently.  The pale features that make her such a stand out during the day make her appear to be a straight up ghoul at night.  The wispy blonde hair, the large eyes, the skin so alabaster it has an other worldly glow.  Like, I get it.  You have to pee.  But it’s 2 am and could you just rustle your pj’s a lil and give a person a heads up?



So October- you can take your scary movies, your giant cackling skeletons, and your haunted houses and you can just keep them ok?  Come trick or treat at my scare free house.  I have a “Give Thanks” sign and just so many mini pumpkins.

Now enjoy this scene from New Girl of Nick Miller in a haunted house, who is me and who I think is all of us:




Being pregnant with my fourth baby is making me tired.  Introvert tired.  Voldemort in the forests of Albania tired.

I did the math and at the end of this pregnancy I will have been pregnant for three full years. I started this blog to document how surprising pregnancy was.  Then how surprising newborns were.  Then how crazy toddlers are.  Now when my kids shred toilet paper or I catch them riding their toy train around the living room at midnight I think “Sure.  That seems right.”  When I pregnant cry because Joe Jonas used to wear a purity ring or when I pull over to throw up in a McDonalds bathroom- yes.  It all makes sense.

But one thing that never ceases to amaze me is how much more tired I am with each child.  By my calculations Michelle Duggar should have been in a coma about 8 babies ago.  I’m trying to come up with an example of how tired I am, that can accurately convey my exhaustion.  I don’t want to talk to anyone.  Ever.  And I love talking.  Sometimes I think I’m too tired to stand up in the shower so I think about taking a bath but then do neither.  Instead of switching out my regular clothes for my maternity clothes in my dresser I just put a laundry basket next to my dresser to hold my pregnant wares.  I didn’t go to a pumpkin patch this year, I just bought ONE pumpkin from Costco.  (say WHAT?!)  I skipped church two weeks in a row because I physically could not rise up from my bed.  Even thinking of examples of how tired I am are making me tired.  I’m so tired.

I can’t tell if it is because I have three other children or because I’m on the other side of 30 and pregnant and that is just much harder than being pregnant in your 20’s.  I think what I really want you to know is that, sure, I’ve fallen off the face of the earth.  Because I’m seriously so incredibly tired.  But maybe it won’t be forever?  I don’t know.

mom’s birthday.


Today is my mom’s birthday.  I bet you don’t know my mom.  And I bet if you’ve met her that you don’t know her very well either, because my mother puts the I in introvert.  My mother gave me her good taste in curtains, pot plantings, and wall hangings.  My mom could wear a bikini after she had her children, and she didn’t give me that.  I’ll forgive her because after all, nobody’s perfect.

As it will surprise no one, I was an awkward youth.  When I reflect and realize that throughout many of my years in school that my mother was praying for me during Moms In Touch, I can say that I see the fruit of that prayer.  I walked through school with much more confidence than this earth would justify.  Making it through middle school was a result of the faithful prayers of my mother.

I’m thankful that I’ve gotten to know my mom as a real person too, not just a mom person who caters to my every whim.  I’m going to post some verses that remind me of my mom.  Proverbs 31 is overused, sure.  But not for my mom.  My mom who works away tirelessly in the kitchen to feed her one million grandchildren.  My mom who fields phone calls on how to do, well, basically anything related to being an adult.

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” (Proverbs 31:26-29 ESV)

And that’s mom.  In a nutshell.

Mom, you’re the best.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, because they would be WRONG.  And I’ll punch them in the face.  Please come live with me when you are old because I miss you.  We will stick you in the giant laundry room to earn your keep like poor old Grandma Duggar.

on how grace changed and is changing me.


Grace is God’s free and unmerited favor shown to guilty sinners who deserve only judgment. It is the love of God shown to the unlovely. It is God reaching downward to people who are in rebellion against Him. Jerry Bridges

Grace, I never knew you.  Not in middle or high school.  Certainly not in college.  Definitely not until the Navy provided the opportunity for me to know no one while across the country from everyone I had ever known.

I remember having a conversation with my brother, this was during my conversion from legalism, when I realized I really wasn’t doing a good job following God’s law and felt really discouraged.  I knew all along I was screwing it up, but I was getting closer to admitting my own failings (obvious though they were).  He asked me why I was a Christian if I felt guilty all the time.  To quote John, “So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”  I was called to Jesus and even though I was struggling to understand, I knew there was nowhere else to go.  It was and is Jesus or nothing at all.

I spent a lot of time nursing my guilt and not turning to God because clearly He knew how bad I was.  You guys, I’m such a butthole.  Just last WEEK I watched Diners, Drive ins, and Dives just to make fun of Guy Fieri.  For, like, 2 hours.  Admittedly, I was handing out sick burns like a boss.  But just because you are particularly gifted in your sin of choice doesn’t mean it’s God glorifying.

Let’s get wordy y’all.  I knew that Jesus had died for my sins.  That work was done.  That’s justification.  Sanctification?  That was harder for me.  I thought that once I was justified it was up to me to follow the law.  To get my devotions on and love people well and to stop judging people and getting annoyed by things that do not matter.  Jerry Bridges says this: “So where the law condemns, grace forgives through the Lord Jesus Christ.  Where the law commands but gives no power, grace commands but does give power through the Holy Spirit who lives and works within us.”  I was not leaving room for the Holy Spirit.  I was trying to be nicer, and it wasn’t working.  No one wanted me on a leadership team in college.  I was “the least of these.”

A beautiful cocktail of good teaching, a friend who often said “There but for the Grace of God go I,”  and people who loved me opened my heart.  People who saw that I never did dishes and just helped me do them, people who didn’t gossip about others- not self righteously, but because the love of Christ drove their actions.  People who willingly offered the gospel of grace- those people showed me grace.  The Holy Spirit changed me and it used the people around me to do it.  I realized I was worse than I thought.  I saw that God loved me more than I deserved.  He loved me- not just when He died on the cross for me- but when I was binge eating fries because I just received bad news or when I was crying out against Him because we keep moving.

Spend a day with a toddler and watch her make the same mistakes over and over.  Spend a day with yourself and notice the same thing.  Prepare to be amazed by the grace of your Heavenly Father unto you.  Know that God longs to be reconciled with you- so repent with confidence!  Fess up to your slanderous words about a Food Network star.  Jesus paid it all.  

Thanks for being there for my sanctification Lord, because the closer I get to you the more I realize my sin is like the peeling of an onion.  Layered, odiferous, and sometimes makes you cry.  I can only close with this song by Bethany Dillon- a Campus Crusade muse for the ages- but as I grow in faith I realize just how on fleek ole B-Dills was.  I know you might not know her, but she’s married to one of the Shane’s from Shane and Shane and you have to know them.  I mean, you don’t have to.  But c’mon, you probably do right??

I follow all the rules, well at least I’m trying

Hoping when my days are through, You will be pleased

I’ve lived the longest days, thinking my heart was so bad

Too scared to look into Your face.  Oh if only I had.



a real case of the pregnants!

I know what you are thinking and the answer is- no.  This is not an elaborate practical joke.  I am indeed pregnant with my FOURTH CHILD.  I’d like to answer the burning questions you have right now.  I know you have them.  I always do.

  1.  Do you know how babies are made?


2.  Have you heard of birth control?

I have actually.  And I just trust myself to know that I’ll know when I’m ovulating.  And then I don’t actually know at all and I get a lil surprise baby #3 and then again a fourth time.

3.  Are you a supermom?

I don’t want you to confuse my family’s head count with good parenting.  #blessed

4.  You’re Michelle Duggar now right?  4 kids going on 19?

I don’t understand this comment and yet I do.  But 4 is SO MANY LESS than 19.  And I still have the remnants of a bayalage in my hair.  Until I get sky high front/back bangs, I will not lump myself in with the Duggars.  Plus, in the summertime, I still wear shorts and let Nick see my sexy knees.  How do you think I got pregnant this many times?

 4. How are you surviving?

I’m not really.  Unless you count reading Job while laying on the floor swallowing a dry heave as surviving.  Nick takes care of everyone.  But as of two days ago the heaves are receding and I feel #tooblessedtobestressed. And I also got this life changing maternity pillow at a bargain fair for 2 bucks.  Soo….

5.  Lay a truth bomb on us.  

K.  I will.  When I found out I was pregnant I was immediately and simultaneously filled with a giddy joy and a wary trepidation.  Joy for the newborn I will receive and trepidation for the feels, the weight, the overall weakness that pregnancy delivers at my doorstep. My pregnant self prefers to lay up in a corner and lick my wounds.  ALONE!  But, there are those pesky older kids.  And left unsupervised and undisciplined those guys go Lord of the Flies faster than you can say “just watch another episode of My Little Pony!”

6.  How are your symptoms so far?

So far this pregnancy I have been able to (by the Grace of God) control my mood swings.  I did hide in a closet once and cry, but I haven’t smashed anything with a bat yet.  I do predict I will be sustaining a constance low level of betchiness of which I am unaware until I see Nick looking at me like this:


7.  Do you think it’s a boy or a girl?

Oh.  It’s a GIRL.  Because of the aforementioned dry heaves and the way I’m sort of carrying her down low and real wide.  Just picture Blake Lively pregnant and now picture the opposite of that and you’ll have a rough picture of what I’m working with.  We’re going to name her Ginevra Weasley.

This has been so fun internet, thank you.  In hindsight it was very prudent to name my blog “Nick Knocked Me Up” because he has and continues to do so.  Just like the majestic manatee I love so much, I too give birth every 2 years.  Now I know why manatees look that way.  Maternal fat stores.

would that I could use an emoji for this title.

Well.  How are things going in California?

Oh great.  I’ve founded a book club and sometimes all the other military spouses and I meet up and perform impromptu musical numbers in the street because there are so many of us in this neighborhood that it breeds the kind of joy only dancing can express.


Alrightalright.  The truth is that tonight in bed and wept because I missed my friends and I don’t want to make new ones.  I wept in that way that your tears sort of fly off of your face and commingle with your mucus to make some sort of sick nasal cocktail that really does convey the depth of your grief.  “The salt from my tears is what feelings taste like.”

Try as I might, I can not kick the loneliness and general bummer that moving is.  I want to, for your sake.  People only want to hear about your sadness for so long, then they move on to watching Gilmore Girls reruns.  Is this a dark night of the soul for me?  I’d rate it somewhere between how Rory felt when Paris told everyone her mom made out with her English teacher and when Lorelei married Rory’s dad instead of Luke.


I could be wrong, but as a believer there is a certain amount of fear and shame that comes from admitting that you are not thriving.  “Nope!  Still sad!”  Doesn’t sound like the kind of thing you are supposed to say.  I wanted to stay in Norfolk, but God had other plans.  It’s not like I can tell Him I have nothing left to say to him and leave it at that.  Clearly there is purpose in this duty station.  So tonight I am really trying to pull my head out of the sand, look around, and see Jesus.  I am sad, I am disappointed, and I am adrift.  But no matter what I am feeling, I am reminded that I am never beyond the reach of His grace.*  It is so easy for me to despair and forget that the Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.**  That when I sit with my head buried that He is not ignoring me, but sitting next to me with His hand on my shoulder.  The temptation remains to feel that His presence is gone when I am sad, that when I am failing, He abandons me until I can pull myself together.  But the truth is that He is near and accessible.

I don’t predict that the road ahead of me will be easy, but I do know that the Lord will throw unexpected blessings my way.  I also know that He will delight me with the comfort of His presence, if I would just maybe stop crying for, like, maybe even a minute and just let Him.


I will remember His faithfulness to me, like when I was able to sit in the perfect spring weather, propped up against the brick and mortar of the most imperfectly perfect church around and spend time with the Lord.  I’ll remember that He doesn’t give up on me even though I’ve been reduced to googling tips for parenting strong willed children.  I’ll remember that He is for me and not against me when I am embarrassed by a toxic mix of my subpar parenting and my children’s willful disobedience in front of my neighbors.

“I have gone astray like a lost sheep;  seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.”  Psalm 119:176

Please seek me Lord.  I’m the one yelling “YOU LOOK LIKE YOU WERE RAISED BY WOLVES!!!!!” at my 3 year old.  Monterey, California.  Turn right past the sea otters and the kelp beds, past that forest fire, and you’ll find me.  Oh wait, you’re already here!

*Jerry Bridges, The Discipline of Grace

**Psalm 145:8

***I didn’t really start a book club.   If I did, do you want to come?!?!