Sunday, April 30, 2006

Good News

Dear Blog world -
Just a note to thank you for your kind words, thoughts and prayers of sympathy for our family. Thanks also for the emails. Knowing you guys were praying made all the difference! I think it is safe to say that you CAN have community via the internet. Thanks for letting me in on the secret. :)

The good news is that we're home safely. Lucy also slept through most of the funeral service and with the exception of her loud snoring she was a quiet little bird. The other good news is that I get to go to sleep in my own bed tonight. And, all my babies are gently tucked into their warm beds fast asleep. There is no bad news. Frankly, not sure I could deal with bad news tonight anyway. The 9 hour drive with Jake and Beth bickering in the 3rd seat, Alex crying most of the way home, and Lucy off in Lu Lu land pretty much did me in for the week. Although the car ride home was somewhat undesireable we have so much to be thankful for tonight. Sleep Tight, don't let the bed bugs bite. Beep beep.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Catching up

There are 9 kids feeding off each other in the other room. There are a couple of fathers glued to the TV removing themselves from reality (and consequently the kids). Tons of people I haven't seen in years came to the viewing last night at the funeral home. It was a time of catching up with people, hearing about the hurts in others' lives, figuring how many kids we all have and whether or not we were claiming them as our own last night. One friend brought some of the food supplied for last night's dinner. My mom babysat her when we were little. She was just enough older than me that she babysat me. She came along and knew grandpa only by "grandpa" and couldn't even remember his real name. She is suffering from cancer. It started in her breasts and has spread to her bones. But she is so incredibly upbeat. She laughed with me and comforted me in the midst of her own struggles. I introduced my old tennis coach to my kids. This actually worked to my benefit as the kids now believe that I placed in State tennis before being a mom. I was talking to people and out of the corner of my eye I saw Lucy rip through the room screaming with glee and then taking necklaces that they found from the 80's and breaking the strings allowing them to throw beads at people. I kept having to tell Elizabeth to give Grandpa a break (yes, he was embalmed in a casket) because she kept going over to him and caressing his face and kissing him. It was a sweet time of remembering and teaching the kids about death. Although Lucy still was running around unteachable but nevertheless the other kids "got it". The week has been crazy. If feels as though weeks have passed since the phone call came in just before lunch on Wednesday. Today we'll be saying our last goodbyes, burying a generation of memories along with my grandfather.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Happy Birthday to the Baby

My baby is 5 today! We didn't have any gifts along so after a fast trip to Walmart and some quick thinking by my sister-in-law ordering a cake we had the "best birthday ever" according to Lucy. She loves being with her cousins and having them around on her birthday was almost as good as the all boy birthday party she requested back home. I should have known when the doctor told me I actually had to push (she was sunny-side up) in order for her to come out that she was going to be extremely unique. I remember chewing out the doctor saying, "No, you don't understand. I didn't push last time and it's supposed to get easier with every kid. I'm not pushing." I obviously ended up giving in and after a really good couple of pushes she spiritedly came into this world...whether this world was ready for her or not! Happy Birthday Lucy Goosy. We love you and although we tease about your curious and creative spirit our family wouldn't be complete without you.


If someone ever dies, the best place to do it is in a Mennonite Community. I woke up this morning to fresh cinnamon rolls. Tonight there are 3 different batches of cinnamon rolls on the counter, plenty of food to feed my big possie, and company in non-stop. While I was driving last night (for HOURS AND HOURS while Eric slept...he was supposed to keep me awake at 3 am) I thought about all kinds of things I could blog today. But now, after trips to the mortuary, flower shop, Grandpa's place to load his belongings, I am exhausted and empty. I'm trying to keep it together but sitting with my dad this afternoon writing the eulogy was tough. My own father breaking down with me while remembering and sometimes regretting. As an only child my siblings and I are all my parents have to lean on. I sang Amazing Grace at my grandmother's funeral. I was a lot like her and she taught me a lot of what I know about baking, sewing and more. But for some reason I knew I could make it through a song just for her. But tonight I am resigning to the fact that I will not be strong enough to pay a similar tribute to my grandfather. A chapter in my life is about to close. My heart is longing for one last goodbye. One last song on his harmonica: "Got ish de lieba".

Road Trip

This was from Wednesday, April 26, 2006

This morning when I crawled out of bed I never would have imagined what my day had in store. I know what was planned: drop off kids at school, preschool field trip, relay for life team meeting, mom’s group, pick up kids from school, make supper, baseball practice and somewhere in there get the 15 loads of laundry finished…at least enough so Eric had clothes for his flight tomorrow. My first clue that the day wasn’t going as planned was pulling onto Barry street just blocks away from a friend’s house where I pick up her preschooler and carpool to school. The oil check gage lights were flashing at me and the oil gage showed just below 0. I borrowed my friend’s car, got the kids to preschool, stopped at home, grabbed some oil and filled the car with oil. Made it to the preschool field trip an hour late. When we finally stopped at home on our way to the next event of the day I quickly listened to the messages. My day took a drastic turn when in disbelief I listened to my sister’s solemn voice begging to reach me. She explained that she had just received a phone call that Grandpa had suddenly died of a heart attack. The reality of what she was telling me was hard to swallow. A man who had been a rock in my life for 32 years was now gone...suddenly. It was proof that no matter how I plan my day, any day for that matter, God is the one who is truly in charge and HIS plans will always come first. Long story short, my brilliant husband fixed the oil issues, found some kind of U joint (totally a God thing...) something or another that was going out and fixed it. He informed me that the problem would have left us stranded on the road. Eric cancelled his trips for Thursday and Friday and I frantically through together 5 suitcases full of dirty laundry. We got on the road by supper time and by 3:30 am we were pulling into my parent's driveway in Kansas. Thoroughly exhausted we realized that it was the wee early hours of April 27 and it was Lucy's birthday. Although we were trying to get them back to sleep after transferring to the house from the car, I decided to sing Lucy Happy Birthday, throwing her into an exicted wake. Praising God tonight that we made it to Kansas safely (especially after almost being squished into a bridge by a semi at Christmas), Eric was not out of town when the call came in, and coffee is available 24/7.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Cruise Control

Ever have one of those days where stuff just happens? Today was a leisurely day. My guard was down enough that when a woman in leadership from church came over (we just met!) I offered her coffee and then caught myself before offering her a popcicle. I didn't bake anything to share with her...just decided to let the day happen. I'm not sure I've had a day in a while where one of the kids didn't do something outrageous (but then again, maybe I don't know about it yet!). Eric was home tonight...he took care of the kids while I sat a read on the lounge chair. It was a nice day of just enjoying the life God has given me. Life is good.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

On Probation

A couple of months ago I sat in the airport "people watching" waiting impatiently with four anxious kids for Eric's plane to land after a long two weeks in China. It was already one hour past the arrival time. The flight listings in the terminal still ranked their status as "on time". I noticed a spirited waitress working in the adjacent restuarant. With only one customer to wait on she snuck by me and into the restroom. Now understand that I am a germ-a-phobe and the first thing I noticed was that she was wearing her apron with drinking straws hanging out. A few minutes went by and she came back out, still wearing the apron, and still the thin-paper covered straws were hanging out. (The last time I watched Oprah about 4 years ago she did a story on all the unseen things that splash out of the toilet when you flush it) She went back to work, taking a drink to the patron in the resturaunt, and handed him one of the straws she had just kept on her person (although I did not see her IN the bathroom and know this for sure) while using the little girls' room. I grossed out and luckily an announcement of Eric's flight landing stole my thoughts away from the vivid germs and bacteria in my head. So, today I was baking some goodies to take somewhere tonight. I put the timer on and thought, "I have just a few minutes to run to the bathroom." As I sat down on the toilet I realized that I was wearing my apron. What a hypocrite I felt like as the airport story came gushing back into my thoughts. Instead of loving that person in my head that day I was finding something to judge this person on. She was someone I didn't even know. Yes, she looked a little leathery and maybe had been through some tough stuff in her life and yes I was judging this woman. Today I was extremely convicted of the thoughts in my head and the words in my mouth. I'm putting myself on probation (kind of like my 6 month clean record probation the city attorney put me on in court last week). I am going to work on what things are in my head...not just the things on my tongue.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


OK, this has been in my draft folder for a while so I'm going to let loose and post it. God forgive me.

Last weekend I was tempted to post my pet peeves but resisted the temptation thinking I just needed to be grateful for all this stuff. But, it's still coming to my mind so I'm going to write it down knowing these things which are so frustrating to me today are the very things that will bring tears to my eyes some day as I remember the days when my kids were little.

  • My deoderant experiencing bite marks.
  • The back outside door standing wide open in the morning...and wondering what all kinds of little creatures were able to make their way into our house during the night.
  • Toilet deposits left unflushed...not just in one toilet but every one I go to in the house.
  • The 80 lb. dog running through the house led on his leash by a screaming child.
  • Going to bed at 2 am and realizing the OUTDOOR cats are in my bedroom...and took a leak right where I stand to get into bed. Then, having them hide under my king size bed and not being able to reach them because the bed is too low. (I actually woke the sleeping children and forced them to help me...was a really pretty scene)
  • Screaming girls... just because (especially when it sounds like blood could actually be spewing somewhere).
  • Reading lights left on in the Suburban overnight...dead dad.
  • Ice cream finger prints on the front door window right after I clean it.
  • My jewelry box ransacked by the dress up princesses.
  • My make-up broken and smeared into the light-colored carpet in my bedroom.
  • Toothpaste used for purposes other than brushing teeth.
  • Little boys who shower long enough to drain the 75 gallon water heater.
  • Kitchen thieves who eat that one ingredient I needed to finish a meal.
  • Little girls who hide when it's time to go somewhere.
  • Changing clothes...(do I really have to explain how much laundry this adds???)
  • Someone using my all my shampoo for bubble bath.
  • Someone playing "dip the toilet paper roll in the toilet"

It doesn't seem like it but I really am grateful for all these kids. I am grateful for a good laugh every day and for fun people to share my life with.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Most of us don't have time to get together and dish about good books (and some of you live toooooo far away!). Sit by your computer in your underwear and take part online in our new blog club about good reads. Join us at Post me a comment or drop me an email and let me know you're up for the fun and I'll send you an invitation. You can start blogging on our site right along with us. You can buy the books on Amazon...just click the book names in the sidebar on the blog site and they'll come up. Take the Soulates challenge!

Caught Red-Handed...LITERALLY!

As if the pie massacre wasn't enough! Actually, this happened soon after our guests arrived this evening. My kids are always trying to impress people coming to our house for the first time. And, why not impress them with pretty nails... She greeted me in the kitchen with a guilty face when I noticed her brightly painted HANDS. At first I thought is was marker or paint but quickly realized it was nail polish. As I questioned her about where the tattooing took place she began to sob uncontrollably. As I was still finishing the pies (yes, they were still pretty at this point) I sent her off with her dad to expose her dirty deed and lead him to the scene of the crime. He took this picture after she coughed up which bathroom she destroyed. She was heartbroken though (but she sure made a lot of damage before her guilty conscience kicked in!). Some days I wonder if she'll ever outgrow this stuff!


Well, the cooking lessons have backfired somewhat. Not only did Lucy want to eat hot dogs (not usually a Buller meal staple) for every meal (that SHE made) since I taught her the first lesson in cooking but she's taken the whole creative thing a bit too far. This morning I woke up to mustard and goldfish cracker sandwiches...4 of them. One made for every kid in the house. And, they were sitting right by the microwave waiting to be heated up (as if that would make them taste better!). And tonight, after we had company over, she massacred the peach and pear pies I slaved over. No, that's not cream or sugar but parmesan cheese she poured all over those half eaten pies. Sure hope Eric likes parmesan on his pie for breakfast tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Cooking 101

I've decided to combat my Lucy-in-the-kitchen problems with cooking lessons. Haven't really thought through this a ton but it did cross my mind that more information about the kitchen may increase her curiosity and intrigue her more resulting in more kitchen explosions or fires. I'll let you know if I do myself in on this one. Here's the first lesson...

Sunday, April 16, 2006


The other Easter pictures are nice and all but this one captures a more real side to all our personalities. :)

Can you believe they used to call that old guy Speedball?? I think he's losing some of his speed in his old age!

Happy Easter!

I think this is our first Easter in 9 years without cousins or grandparents. I missed my mom's cooking today...missed my sisters jello eggs...missed my dad and grandpa snoring on the chairs catching their afternoon naps. I missed my brother watching the sports update or taking the boys out on the golf course to find balls. I missed someone else loading the eggs full of candy and hiding them. Thankfully these things I missed today aren't the reason we celebrate Easter. Today we've had more time to reflect on why we are here in the first place.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Today was that day where we switch out winter and summer clothes and everything in between. Everyone had their piles to try on. In the end, Jake tried on 1 item, Beth and Lucy turned it into fashion show mania, and Alex realized all she was getting was new clothes. I lost all control...Jake was sitting on the floor reading and ignoring the whole gig and the girls had layers of dresses on, mixing all the seasons. Such a simple task but it seemed to take all day.

Friday, April 14, 2006


The girls didn't think they were able to use their snow sled enough this winter and decided to carry it into spring. Such resourceful girls...

Getting to their hearts...

I am a sinful, shameful creature and yet I am my kids' biggest influence. I get frustrated with their antics (my toilet saw toothpaste, hair gel, and MY toothbrush this week, blue craft paint-hidden on a top shelf- stained my kitchen cabinets and counters, a whole box of popcicles was cut into, a window screen was cut with my sewing scissors, and anger was taken out by peeing on a newly made bed and her sister's pillow...both which were in separate locations...and yes, Lucy was very busy this week). I get frustrated with their whining and lack of response to discipline yet I keep plugging away. The sibling nipping drives me silly some days. And yet, I had a very sweet time of really seeing the fruits of hard parenting and a ton of praying. Last night during a huge round of storms and tornadoes we were crouched under the table in the laundry room. The kids were all having different levels of excitement - some nervous, some scared, and some obliviated from reality. Beth was the most scared of all and as everyone was squirming around and giggling on the verge of crying she whaled "Would someone pray or something!" She was begging for us to take our emotions to Christ and allow him to calm us. We prayed and then they began a conversation of what if's and who. They would hear that something was hit near a Wal-Mart in Iowa City so they worried about the people working there. Lucy cried over her little friend William who was visiting a new baby sister in Iowa City. With all the kids all cuddled in there with me I realized that even though there are days I feel like I'll never get through to them, God is in control of it all and HE is getting through to them.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Everything BUT laundry

A lot of stuff happened today...accept finishing that mound of laundry. Tomorrow's a new day. :) Instead of worrying about what I didn't complete by sundown here's a few pictures of the fun stuff from today.

We have this very patient dog named Moby that puts up with little girls playing dress-up.

YIPPEE ALEX! Alex placed 2nd place in a poster contest sponsored by the Environmental Center. She received an award tonight at the library. (She didn't want her picture taken anymore because she was torked at Jake about a comment he made.) What memories.


Where's my mom when I need her? This is one of the many things that needs to be accomplished by sundown (thank God for daylight savings)!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Dirty Dishes

Well, for the second night in a row I am going to bed with dirty dishes. Last night I thought I'd try it as an experiment (I like to wake up to a CLEAN kitchen!). Today I am fighting some sickness (figures, the one day I try this experiment) and I'm too tired to do them...again. So, now it's going to take me three days just to catch up. And yes, it's 6:35 pm and my kids are taking baths and target bedtime tonight is 7:00 pm. No daddy tonight and mommy's spent. Plus, someone wise once told me that having a clean house isn't in the bible! So, until I find documentation on it I'm going with that theory. Sleep tight!

Friday, April 07, 2006


Out of the corner of my eye I saw Lucy grab something off the dining room table and run downstairs with it. Upon her arrival back in her room (which is just on the other side of the open railing to the basement so we could hear clearly) she excitedly yelled to Beth, "Chopsticks!" We didn't think much of it that she had stolen Eric's chopsticks from his supper...just that it was cute that she liked them. A little while later we heard a scuffle transpiring in the hallway to the bedrooms and Jake and Alex were screaming as "chopstick" swords were being plundered into their sides. Jake came upstairs and told us they were getting nabbed with SHARP chopsticks. After getting to the bottom of it we found out that Beth and Lucy had sharpened the chopsticks with a pencil sharpener and were using these as new weapons against their older siblings. While it would be easy to believe that Lucy was the orginator of this plan, upon further research, we uncovered that Beth had brought home chopsticks from a Japanese day at school last week. SHE was the strategic mind behind the chopstick sharpening (hers were already sharpened...Lucy just wanted a pair of her own). I guess my little "fly under the radar" girl finally got caught. Lucy was still a co-conspirator but didn't think up this plan from the get-go.

As a sidenote today marks a monumental day in Buller history. We signed Lucy up for kindergarten. Although I'm not sure kindergarten is ready for Lucy! She and I went to the board office while Jake was at art class today. While I was filling out the paperwork Lucy sat quietly beside me and looked around. For a quick moment (just before she ran off terrorizing the room full of people with her wild antics) she leaned over to me and cupped my ear in her tiny little hand. "I love you," she whispered to me. As I filled out the papers and realized the meaning to this small token of appreciation my eyes began to well up with tears. Still, thinking of sending my last baby to school, I nearly cry. But, next year will be a new beginning for our whole family in many everything we do it seems there has to be moments of emotion in order to get to the other side. Today was definately an emotional day.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bedtime Prayer

I woke up at 4 am with Beth coming to my bed. I woke up an hour later with her feet in my back. At 6 am Eric was kissing me goodbye. At 7 am I was hitting the snooze for the 6th time. At 7:15 am I found out I needed a backup option for Jake during my morning bible study. By 8 am I was loudly encouraging a kindergartner to stop walking down the front steps and up the back looking for her shoes and freely contemplating where she left her jacket. 8:10 am, now my encouraging turned to yelling and by 8:11 am we were on our way to school only to realize mommy forgot to pack lunches and only half my kids remembered to brush their teeth. The morning was not unusual.

By 1 pm I had already been to Iowa City to my bible study, returned several phone calls, switched laundry loads twice (one the wet bedding from last night), made and cleaned up lunch, read a few pages in a book, cleaned up the morning messes, and located all the library books and videos to return today.

By 5 pm I had spent a total of 3 hours in the car today between Iowa City, ELP, waiting, taking and picking up kids. We'd been to the library for story hour, done homework, played outside. I had already cleaned up apples under dressers, wiped up dry erase markers Lucy had used on the fridge, countertop and microwave (oh, and herself too - she wrote LUCY on her chest), and broke up countless nanny nanny boo boo fights.

By 8 pm I had made one of Eric's favorites for supper (biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs), cleaned up the kitchen, wiped down the tables and counters, bathed the kids, overheard Eric explain to Alex what a dick was, put Lucy in time-out 3 times, sent Jake and Alex to their rooms.

A few minutes ago in my bathroom we found a new tub of lotion destroyed, a new bottle of nail polish remover poured out, 2 cans of hairspray used up and the caps off all the toothpaste. Not sure when Lucy found time for that.

And these are only the things my fried brain can remember.

My time is not my own. My life is no where near stardom and fantasy. But my kids are healthy, my husband is home for the week (first time in 5 weeks!), and I'm learning more each day how awesome God is and what he wants to do with our lives.

My bedtime prayer is this:
"But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard - things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely." Galatians 5:22-23, THE MESSAGE

May we all remember these basic "fruits of the spirit" in every area of our lives...big or small.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


AHH...the first fire of the season in the Chiminea. The kids having been begging for it over a week for...poor Lucy isn't able to enjoy the whole enchilada after trying to blow on the fire from the top of the chiminea where all the flames come out (not to mention that the top piece does come off the bottom piece when you lean on it, thus flying open flames everywhere).

SIDENOTE: Eric often asks me "Have I done anything blog-worthy?" or he kiddingly he'll say, "That was really nice of me," or "Funny enough to blog." So, here he is with the! :)

New Buller Recipe

Remember the salt episode a few days ago? Last night I ran the two big kids to the library to replenish their options and feed their reading addictions. While I was gone Eric was going to give baths to Beth and Lucy. I got home and what transpired while I was gone did not have to do with a bathtub. Lucy had taken a barbecue rub Eric buys when he is in Memphis (which we used on supper) and made some wonderful marshmallow and barbecue piles in the microwave (fully cooked, of course), a nice line of barbecue on every single countertop in the kitchen, spelled part of her name on the floor, and decided she liked the marshmallow mush (new Buller recipe - should be in the cookbook) and tried more on the outside of the microwave. It took me a good half hour to clean up the dried and half-cooked marshmallow mess. The rub spread to a nice orangish-red when I started wiping it, making a more challenging mess to clean up. This girl demands attention (and already gets more than anyone else!) which I hope she uses to God's glory someday...we're ALL praying for her. :)

Sadly, as I write she's in time-out (for a totally different offense) on her bed (it's bouncing) and I just heard her switch on the CD player to Squirrel Nut Zippers, loud enough to fill the whole house. Maybe praying for her isn't enough...pray for me. :)

We're not in Kansas least that's what I thought!

Sunday afternoon we drove away from home leisurely, leaving plenty of time to get to Iowa City for our 6 pm engagement. Little did we know a storm was brewing on the horizon (no, Jake hadn't checked the weather before we can all be very surprised back home!). We chatted over the giggles and rivalry ongoing in the back seat until we left West Liberty. At this point we turned towards I-80 and were probably 3 miles from the interstate when I noticed the sky to the south west was getting darker and darker and a wall cloud had formed. My phone rang and our friends who were meeting us in Iowa City had taken a different route and were stuck hiding out in a gas station in Nichols where the Tornado sirens were going off. We got on the interstate and as we drove the longest 15 miles of our lives the wind blew hard and the dark clouds carrying hard rain and hail billowed overhead. By this time the kids caught on to what was happening. Alex was freaking out in the third seat while Jake was amused that he may actually get to SEE a tornado in real life. Beth and Lucy were crippled with fear in the 2nd seat awaiting mommy's instructions (maybe I shouldn't have warned them that if we stop the car quickly I wanted everyone to hit the ditch as fast as possible). We saw the big wall clouds gathering speed around us and as Eric drove I attentively watched the clouds for signs of rotation. Eric was concerned, which rarely happens, and commented that the tornado usually comes out of the tale of the storm. I was praying out loud. The storm kept moving north east and we never saw a tornado. We made it to our destination...our friends made it safely too. I'm remembering a blog last week when I said I was glad to be in Iowa because at least I didn't have to worry about the Kansas tornadoes! I'm eating my words! was a good experience for the kids to see God getting us through a scary situation.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Reality Bites

Well late night blog about mommy getting out didn't last long. I'm glad I didn't walk into the kitchen Friday night when I got home. This is what I woke up to Saturday morning! :) At least the kids were all in tact...even though the kitchen didn't survive!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Reasons Why Mommys Should Get Out

  1. Mommy wakes up happy.
  2. Mommy doesn't scream at spilled milk during breakfast...or spilled juice, or spilled cereal, or kids who make their own eggs over easy or.....
  3. Mommy feels frisky...purrrrr.
  4. Lucy stories can be funny when they happen, instead of hours later.
  5. Daddy being gone during the week ahead doesn't seem taunting.
  6. When Mommy gets home late it's quiet in the house.
  7. Daddy understands the bedtime challenges.
  8. It's cute, not annoying, when Lucy wakes up the next morning with several outfits on (not to mention adding to the mound of laundry still on the laundry room floor) and a pull-up OVER her pants. Her middle-of-the night changing act is original. (The question still lingers though...what else did she do???)
  9. The kids are snuggled peacefully in their beds when I peak in on them hours after drifting off to sleep.
  10. Mommy gets her 5000 words used up for the day and daddy didn't have to listen.
  11. The kids get a marathon movie night.
  12. Mommy's positive attitude spreads contagiously throughout the household.
  13. The toilets will still be unflushed and dirty tomorrow.
  14. Daddy proves to mommy the kids can survive without her a night.
  15. Everyone realizes the maid took a night off.
  16. My silly quirks at bedtime are missed and appreciated.
  17. My prayers become thankful again. My heart is full.
  18. My energy is renewed. My friendships deepened.
  19. I love my family more than when I left.
  20. I'm reminded that being mommy to Jake, Alex, Beth and Lucy is worth every ounce of frustration.
  21. Breakfast consists of leftover cheesecake and whipping cream.
  22. Mommy chooses this life over any other.
  23. Mommy doesn't complain about daddy's snoring.
  24. Mommy loves daddy.
  25. Mommy goes to sleep, content and re-invented.

Yes, I had the night off. My cup is full. No, it's spewing over. My bubble may burst tomorrow after reality kicks in, but I'm prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. I'm thankful tonight for a husband who's willing to take the hand-off of the baton. I'm refreshed; praising God for Mommy getting out.