I’m not a yogi, but I appreciate a good yoga session. I just feel better when I leave the studio. Yoga was the kick-starter of  my fitness for about a month soon after Paisley was born. (See post: Namaste) Something one of the instructors said in that awfully humid room stuck with me:

“It’s not about hitting the pose. It’s about maintaining control through the transition.”

Wow. Maintaining control through the transitions…of a headstand or of life.

I always felt like yoga was about posing the most beautiful silhouette. Getting upside-down and staying there until blood dripped out of my eardrums…or until the girl next to me fell first. But it’s not about the twist or the bend, it’s about manipulating my body through the movements in a controlled manner. Strength is displayed in the process, not the end result.

Super Finn for Halloween!

Super Finn for Halloween!

We are thick in transition, and some days I’m not maintaining control at all. I let the stress of the details rule my mind, keeping me awake at night. My mind scrolls through To Do Lists and worries about things like double mortgages, our double-shingled roof, closing dates and still no childcare for my kids. We begin work in Tulsa on the 10th and I still don’t know who will be caring for my children.


Boo! Paisley is four months old!

Super Finn has my heart.

Super Finn has my heart.

Oh, and we decided to give Jersey away. It was such a difficult decision; she was my first kid.


But I know she’s going to a good home where she will be well taken care of. She taught us responsibility and how to love something other than ourselves. She prepared us for cleaning up messes and waking up at the crack of dawn. She was so loyal. So kind to Finn and Paisley. She was beautiful and smart. She loved us unconditionally.


I will miss you terribly, Jersey Girl.

My clients have been so good to listen to me vent for the past month. Eddie, an ultra-marathon runner and one crazy but kind-hearted dude, said yesterday during a quad extension, “If it’s not hard, where’s the fun in that?!” Keep in mind: he runs 100 miles in the mountains for fun. And John, recovering from knee surgery but still training with me twice a week, reminded me this morning that a life void of challenge is boring.

Cass and I in my last Kickboxing class. :(

Cass and I in my last Kickboxing class. :(

It’s not about having everything settled in Tulsa. It’s not about completing my To Do List. It’s not about the pose.

Can I maintain a gentle tone of voice with my kids? Can I laugh with instead of nag at Joey? (Don’t ask him that.)


Can I pray instead of worry? Can I sing instead of shout? Can I be generous despite the overwhelming amount of cash flow escaping our bank account? It’s about maintaining control through the transition.

Let’s Go

I haven’t lived anywhere as long as I’ve lived in Norman. I moved 8 times growing up and the only constancy in my life has been change. I love change. It builds character. But over the past five years I’ve tasted the comfort of being familiar.


We’ve developed friends that have become like family whilst our families have been far away. We’ve become regulars at local restaurants. We get honked at on every walk we take…and not because we’re hotties; because people know us here. It’s nice to be known.


However, God is calling our family toward change once again. We have prayerfully followed His leading over the past year and it seems He’s drawing our hearts to our families and a new, fresh take on church. Life Church, to be exact. We fell in love with the leadership and inner workings of Life Church during our three days of interviews. It is heart-wrenching to leave behind so many fantastic people in Norman–people who have held our hands through three of the most difficult years of our lives. Friends who have become family and are helping us raise our kids.

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Despite the comfort and community we have in Norman, we’re thrilled to join Life Church as they use their resources, creativity and unique gifts to introduce people to Christ.

We’ll be moving to Tulsa in early November, starting at the Midtown location.

In the last ten days we’ve put a couple offers on the same home with the same weirdo sellers, sold our house twice in four days (before it was even listed), called 47 day care centers and been turned away either because of a year-long waiting list or because my son is in a wheelchair (BELIEVE IT–church day care centers do not have to comply with ADA. Sad.), I received three job offerings and took one exciting opportunity with Sky Fitness.


New doctors and therapists and neighbors and grocery stores. Change is good but it’s also hard. It generates insecurity and uncertainty…sentiments we naturally avoid.

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Nevertheless, God calls us to follow Him and to be brave. So, let’s go.


Thank you, Hannah, for shooting our family photos. You rock.

There’s Been a Murda’

Joey and I are Office fans. Big time. We recently went back through seasons 1-8…skipping the final season without Michael Scott. I’m certain we could quote just about every episode. One of our favorites is the episode where Michael tries to distract the staff from possible bankruptcy by playing a murder mystery game in the conference room. There’s been a murda’ in Savannah…

Anyhow, our annual murder mystery party was this weekend. The theme was a 1984 class reunion. Delicious food and fun decorations, Lauren had 80’s movie posters around the room and throw-back candy in dishes. Pop Rocks rock.

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I was the valedictorian-turned-lawyer. I faked my Harvard Law degree to conceal my online credentials.

Party crasher.

Party crasher.

Paisley ripped my name tag.

Paisley ripped my name tag.

Joey was a reporter/journalist for some sketchy sources.


We’ve been super busy lately so these ridiculous wigs topped off our otherwise homemade outfits.

Hosted by the Weatherholts in their beautiful, newly renovated home.

Hosted by the Weatherholts in their beautiful, newly renovated home.

These friends are just so much fun.

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We are so blessed to be a part of such a fantastic group of people. They are life-long friends. Check out my other posts to see how to host your own murder mystery. How to Host a Murder Mystery    Murder Mystery 2013


Last week I was going to write a post about perspective and how it’s everything. Our moments, years and lives are shaped by it. I can have the exact same day with the exact wrong perspective and I feel like the world is caving in on me.

The day I began this post, I had a great perspective. Paisley had slept from 9:00-6:30am the night before. Change-your-life kind of sleep.

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We ate at Waffle Champion for lunch. Met our dear friends’ new baby, Foster Bradley. Made faces with Paisley for about an hour while Finn napped. She’s gotten so much happier these days. Praise Jesus! We went on a run in perfect weather at my favorite time of evening.

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Perspective was optimistic.

Then the weekend came. Joey was out of town for a college retreat and my sweet mom drove down to help me take care of the kids.

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They were fighting colds and whined all weekend long. I began to think Paisley was reverting to her old ways. I was reverting to my old ways, feeling like I’m just not cut out for parenthood. I left this post in “Drafts” for a week because I didn’t have anything nice to say.

I’m selfish and these kids were cramping my style. I can no longer sleep in or sleep at all sometimes. Joey and I can’t just escape to Colorado for a climbing trip. Babysitters are expensive. Daycare is expensive. Mornings start early and days end late. Car rides are loud. My shoulders are soaked in drool or decorated with boogers.

Parenthood is nothing if not sacrifice.

“After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well.” 2 Cor. 12:14,15

Paul was referring to finances and the Corinthian Church here, but the implication is the same: parenthood begs personal sacrifice. When I resist this letting go, my perspective suffers.

Today I’m choosing gratitude. Selflessness. Christ in me. I choose to “spend myself” on behalf of them. And suddenly her cries are sweet and her drool makes me laugh.

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His relentless questions are adorable, not annoying.

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Joey’s coffee stains on the counter (and the floor) mean I have a husband who brews decaf for me when I’m running late. Blessings. Perspective is a choice.

Raising Obadiah

I choose fiction every time. Give me an adventure tale, a dystopian society, or a historical romance. I will actually finish these books.

Finn had a blast exploring the Myriad Gardens this weekend.

Finn had a blast exploring the Myriad Gardens this weekend.

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When it comes to non-fiction, I’d rather glean advice from a wise friend or interpret Scripture myself instead of trusting the author. Maybe that makes me arrogant.

But these days we are deep in the trenches of newborn craziness and toddler independence. So when I found Devotions for Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas stashed away in my hope chest, I decided it was worth cracking open. I love it; so simple and so profound.

Today’s chapter was about Obadiah, a name that means, “servant of Yahweh.” He discussed the issue of why we choose to have kids and that in some cases we parent them based on that purpose.

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For some, having a baby may have been an accident. So perhaps these children are raised haphazardly, as though they were not exactly part of the plan. Some people fear being alone, so they create children who are dependent, sheltered and needy. Some parents want a redo; another chance at childhood. So they raise their children the opposite of the way they were raised.

If your goal is for your child to be “happy,” you’ll buy them whatever they want instead of teaching them simplicity, self-control and responsibility.

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Happy girl. Photo by Laura.

If you want successful children, you’ll spare no expense to get them into the right schools with the right clothes and the right connections to get the right job. If you desire athletic or achieving children, you’ll provide them with the best coaching, the most exclusive clubs, expensive equipment and ample advice to help them become the athlete that you were–or perhaps the athlete you weren’t.

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Finn loved exploring the Myriad Gardens this weekend.

Christian parents should have a different aim: that their child become an Obadiah. A servant of God. Malachi 2:5-6 sums it up…godly children are in awe of Him, they revere His Word, walk with Yahweh, live peacefully with others and turn from sin. If we realize that there is no higher goal in parenthood than raising children who love Jesus, we are willing to help them face the realities of frustration and disappointment they’ll find in the “world.” We are committed to training, correcting, encouraging and praying for our kids daily. Hourly. Even when they are screaming in the car and the light just won’t. turn. green.

While I still want Finn and Paisley to develop their abilities, find fantastic spouses and land jobs they love, my purpose for them is higher. I want them to become like Christ. I pray often that they will know Him much better and more intimately than I do.

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Thomas concludes the chapter:

May the prayer of our hearts be, “Lord, refine my motivations, purify my actions, and energize my heart so that I do all I can to help my children find their greatest joy and their highest aim in serving you.”

Time to check my motives and realign my goals for my babies.

The Worship Couch

I take lots of deeeeeep breaths these days.

It’s hard being Paisley’s mom. She’s loud. And some days it’s hard being mom to a child in a wheelchair. Nothing’s easy or all that accessible. Soccer fields still make me cry.


On Sunday evening, after a few hours of Paisley’s incessant crying and Finn waking up crying as a result of it, I was certain the Lord had made a mistake. I just don’t have what it takes to be their mom. I’m not patient enough or mature enough or laid back enough. Truthfully, I wanted to get in my car and drive away.

Joey listened so tenderly to my sobbing pity party that evening. Sometimes I just have to verbalize things; like “I can’t be their mom anymore,” to realize how ridiculous I sound. And I needed him to remind me of the truth–that I can and will be their mom.

Monday I had a couple cancellations before it was time to pick the kids up from school. For some reason I didn’t spend the hour cleaning or napping like I usually do. The Lord drew me to the living room. One couch was smothered with clean laundry. I programmed Pandora to play the All Sons and Daughters station and I folded 2T pj’s and newborn pink onesies, stacking them neatly. Once every sock had its partner, I plopped onto the opposite couch, lifted my face to the ceiling and sang along to the music:

I surrender all.

I surrender all.

All to Thee my blessed Savior;

I surrender all.

Tears released the insurmountable stress I’ve been harboring in my spirit the past two months–feelings of  inadequacy, exasperation and sometimes insanity. I hadn’t “worshiped on the couch” since my sophomore year of college. Back then it was a Discman playing Shane Bernard on a couch infused with the smell of burnt popcorn. But the purpose was the same: to sing anthems of praise to my Lord, begging Him to be near me as I navigate my current struggle.

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

EVERY HOUR I need Him. If I need him in other aspects of my life, why wouldn’t I need Him in the most difficult one–as a mom? I keep waiting and praying for Paisley to change. To just be content. But I’m the adult here…I’m the one who needs to become content. I can’t wait until the intense hours to cry out the Lord. I need to be spiritually and mentally prepared for them before they even happen. I need to be in the Word.

Jane reminded me today that He is refining me because He loves me. This isn’t the way I’d choose to be refined, but it’s a good thing I’m not in charge. His ways are higher than my ways.

“See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10).

Refinement through fire is anything but comfortable. But it produces the purest, most precious metals.

The last song I heard was one about motherhood by Bethany Dillon, “You’re the Best Song.”

Good morning
You and the sun are up before I’m ready
But ready or not, you need me
So here I am

I’m learning that in the long hard days
There is beauty…

And though I’m tired now
You’re worth every sleepless night
You’re worth it all, cause I know…

You’re the best song I’ll ever write
And we’re humming and dancing through the years together
You’re the best song I’ll ever write
And I pray you’ll hear Jesus in it when you’re older


My Beauty

I really love my kids. They’re so worth it. The Lord designed them specifically for Joey and I, and I am exactly the mom Finn and Paisley need. A mom who worships on the couch.

Macarena Mary

Mary Lou is turning 80! The Eitreim family (mom’s side) all convened at my parents’ home in Bella Vista to celebrate. I hadn’t seen my extended family in over 2 years and it was such a blessing to be together. We missed you, Becca Boo.

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We shared meals and air mattresses and lake floaties.


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My kids were so well loved; Finn was on attention overload. One night we worshiped together in the living room while Joey played the guitar.


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The next morning, we surprised Gram with a tea party while the boys went skeet shooting.


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Gram telling wedding stories.

Gram telling wedding stories.


The Man Van.

Grandma Mary requested one thing: a dance party and pizza. So that’s what we did. We rented out their neighborhood clubhouse and danced. We did the chicken dance, the cupid shuffle, some square-dancing, had a hula-hoop contest, and Gram’s favorite, the Macarena.

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I love my family. No one was “too cool;” everyone shook their groove thang. ;) Just when we thought it was all over, Grandpa Milt announced that it was time for the grand finale. Grandma disappeared. Minutes later, Gramps hit “play” on the boom box. Marching band music and the toot of a whistle sounded in the hallway while Grandma marched in wearing her old majorette uniform. White boots, a red hat, blue whistle and her baton. She flipped that thing around her graceful arthritic fingers like a teenager. She even tossed it and caught it under her legs, brimming with pride. To say we were impressed is an understatement. Jaws dropped as we watched our matriarch perform. The confidence of this woman is beautiful.


4 generations

4 generations

Grandma Mary, you are the life of the party. You’re classy and kind. Strong-willed and resilient. You raised three stellar kids, have been married almost 60 years and fought cancer twice.


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Thank you for teaching me how to be grateful for what I have and generous with it too. You are cherished. Happy Birthday (on the 25th)!