The End of Winter

The last week of February has been a tad bit busy around here. There’s been fun mixed with not-fun. My nephew was born Sunday night (and a very cute nephew he is, at that). Fun. Then Wednesday morning, I had a root canal. Not-fun. A couple years ago, I broke a back molar while sleeping. Yep. I’m a sleeping teeth-grinder. Why do I do that? Grrrr. I wish I knew. It’s definitely the number one thing I would change about myself if I could. But I do it and that’s life. So, I’ve been sporting a lovely gold crown on said broken tooth for a couple years now. Well, about two months ago, I guess the crack finally reached the root and I’ve been in a fair amount of pain ever since. As much as I tried to avoid it, two different dentists said I needed a root canal. Not really the thing I would CHOOSE to spend my tax refund on, but hey. At least I had a tax refund at all, right?

Wednesday morning I went in for the procedure that everyone on the internet said is just not that bad. I am here to tell you that all those people on the internet were wrong. It was bad. So much worse than I was prepared for. After ten shots of anesthesia (with the last couple going directly in the bone), I still felt pain. But I lived with it. Then I was told that my tooth was like an old lady’s, with the roots extremely close together and all calcified. And of course, I had three canals, rather than two. Basically, I had my mouth propped open two inches wide for three hours while the endodontist dug and dug and scraped and dug. At the end of all that, she wasn’t able to finish because I’m what is lovingly referred to as a bleeder. “We got a bleeder here!” were her exact words. So they temporarily filled me in, sent me home with antibiotics and hydrocodone and told me to come back in three weeks, when I’ve hopefully stopped bleeding, so they can finish.

Wednesday night, I was determined to go to the Ash Wednesday service at church with the family. We went out to Panera to get soup before church, since that was about all my teeth and jaw could handle. While there, Grace got her fingers pinched in the hinge area of the heavy bathroom door. Ouch. It was awful. She cried and cried and kicked her legs in pain for at least forty-five minutes. No Ash Wednesday service for me and Grace. Chris took us home and took Callie and Sadie to church with him. Grace now has two very black fingernails and the bruise goes all the way through the fingertips to the inside of her poor little fingers. Again, I say ouch. Chris and I have this habit of saying “Doggone it” when our kids get hurt. It’s our way of showing sympathy. We hold them and tell them we’re sorry and say “Doggone it.” Grace, who tends to turn words around in the cutest ways without even trying to be funny, has recently turned that into “Darn slabbit.” So that’s what we’ve been saying about things this week. I mean, what else can you say, really?

Darn Slabbit.

Thursday passed in a haze, which involved some of the worst pain I can ever remember having in my life. Thank God for hydrocodone.

And now it’s Friday. I just took the kids to school and there were green and white buds on the trees. Spring is in the air. The next thing you know, March will be upon us. I think that March is glorious.

I think I can do this life.

I think I can.

Mr. Little Guy

I got a new little nephew on 2/22 at 21:21. He’s pretty sweet. And he’s actually not so little, for a guy who doesn’t have a name yet. He weighed in at nine and a half pounds and had an extremely fast, extremely intense arrival, including an ambulance ride and everything. In spite of a little scare with the little guy’s heart rate, everything turned out just beautifully and he was born screaming at the top of his not-so-little lungs. Mommy and baby are both healthy and happy and we are so, so happy he’s here. He sure is surrounded by a lot of love.

Janet, at the birth center

Marisela and Carlee, in the hospital waiting room

Happy Daddy, giving us the good news

Hi, little guy

Mr. Cute Cheeks

Mr. Mad

Jenni and Shannon Neffendorf, saying hello and passing along love

The gang that was praying in the hallway


Your Aunt Leslie loves you, little guy

So does Cousin Sadie, Uncle Chris, Grandpa Alan and Grandma Dianne

And Cousin Grace…

And Cousin Callie…

It looks here like Mr. Expressive and Mr. Energy are pretty excited about meeting new Mr. Baby Bubba

But they’re really, really wanting some of Mommy’s yummy food

They really were very sweet with him and excited about being big brothers. Here’s Nathan, giving his bubba love:


And Simeon, who is never without his sword. Rest assured you’ll be protected from bears in your new home, little guy.

Tired, happy Robbie and content, cousin Sadie

Nathan finally succeeded in getting at Mommy’s drink

Rest well, little guy. Rest well. May you all know great peace and grace in the days ahead.


At Least

Every once in a while I hear a song I’ve heard before as if I’ve never heard it before. That happened to me again this week and now I’ve listened to it about fifty times in the last four days. To say that I really like Over the Rhine doesn’t even begin to describe what it is that I feel about them. I often feel as if they must be inside my head or my heart, or wherever it is that all my flowing pours into. I don’t know how anyone could write exactly what and who and where I am, but they seem to do it, again and again. This song is especially appropriate now, as I approach Lent. It’s the way I feel, the way I move, the way I be. It basically sums up how I want to chuck and hunker, but so much more poetically. My very favorite line is the title of this post.


If this should end tomorrow
all our best laid plans
and all our typical

Am I running out of lifetimes
this is not the first time
something ends in just

But tomorrow I can’t imagine
how am I supposed to know
what’s yet to go

Is there only one religion
the kind that whispers
when nobody comes

The world can wait
The world can wait
I wanna drink the water from your well
I wanna tell you things I’ll never tell
The world can wait
The world can wait
I’m wide awake
And the world can wait

I want to feel and then some
I have five senses
I need thousands more
at least

Every day a page of paper
every night a photograph
a moveable

So fade to black and white now
roll the movie of my life
inside of my

’cause like all true believers
I am truly skeptical
of all that I
have said

The world can wait
The world can wait
I wanna drink the water from your well
I wanna tell you things i’ll never tell
The world can wait
The world can wait
I’m wide awake
And the world can wait

Haven’t I said enough?
Haven’t I said far too much?

Haven’t I done enough?
Haven’t I done far too much?

A Very Long Question-Answering Wrap-Up

From Carlee: I am just wondering how it was that you came to be a dog person? I mean, I think I have a very good idea of who influenced you in that regard, but what was the process? Was it instant or did it happen over time?

Once upon a time, I went to the City of Mesquite Animal Shelter with my good friend, Carlee. Chris and I had promised our kids a dog, even though neither of us were really dog people. At the animal shelter, there were many dogs, of many colors and many sizes. Carlee thought I was crazy for being drawn to this dog:


While the other dogs at the shelter showed signs of life, he just sat there, looking so pitiful. Carlee thought he was old and decrepit. I thought he looked sweet and gentle. Carlee thought he looked like a Leroy. I didn’t know what his name was, but I knew it wasn’t Leroy. Carlee probably thinks she was the one who turned me into a dog person. Okay, Carlee. I’ll give you half-credit, you little dog-lover, Leroy-caller. Half goes to you and half goes to Togo Jackson Linebarger.
Im id da bet barky boy I doe. Yet im id.

The other two questions I have left have been plaguing me for months now, but I’m going to get them over with here once and for all.

From Mom: When you would come home from elementary school and I would say “how was school?” and you would say “fine,” if I had asked you to write about your day at school, would you have written more than “fine” because everything was waiting to burst out only not with words, or would you have written “school was fine today” because you only got in touch with your feelings as an adult?

I’ve been racking my brain and looking through old things and searching my soul up one side and down the other and the best answer I can come up with is “I just don’t know.” I didn’t write down my feelings in elementary school, I know that. Although, I do remember spending hours awake in bed each night, writing songs in my head and sometimes singing them out loud and sometimes my mom would come in my room and tell me to sing quieter. But I don’t even know if I AM in touch with my feelings as an adult. I’ve never done well with the “How was your day” question. Or the “How was (anything)” question. I don’t ask it to my kids or anybody. I don’t ask it of myself. I don’t answer when other people ask it. I don’t even want to think about “How was.” I just like to let things be for what they are, I think, and not inject my feelings into their being.

From Lety: How can you deal with people that think they are perfect and they don’t need God?

In some ways, I want to answer this question the same way that I answered the previous question: I just don’t know. But I know this question was written from a genuine place and I don’t want to blow it off. But it’s a hard question to answer and there are so many things I don’t know! I don’t know if anybody really thinks they are perfect. I don’t know if anybody really thinks they don’t need God. I don’t know if the two always go hand in hand. But I do know this: I am not perfect. I do need God. Sometimes I forget one or the other of those things, but they’re true. I do deal with people on a daily basis. No matter who those people are and no matter what their relationship with God is like, I can give love. I have known love so much greater than anything I could ever give, after all.

I think that about covers it. Forgive me if I didn’t get your question answered. You can yell at me, if you want to in the comment section. It was probably just an oversight on my part but it’s also possible that I forgot about you intentionally. I never promised you a rose garden.

I Quit

I’ve been in a funk. I’ve decided to blame my funk on my decision to listen to my iPod alphabetically. It’s one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made. I highly do NOT recommend doing it. Not that anyone out there would probably even consider doing such a stupid thing besides me, in all my stupidity. I hated doing it so much that I don’t even want to take the time to search back through blog posts to find out when exactly it was that I decided to start doing this. I just know that it’s been somewhere around ten thousand years now and I’m only to the L’s. Partly because I have a whole heck of a lot of songs on my iPod, but more because I hate this dumb game so much now that I’ve almost stopped listening to music altogether. And that’s making me depressed. Yes, that.

But I’ve made it to the L’s! That’s really quite an accomplishment, when you think about it. I listened to every single song in alphabetical order through the letter L. Well, through Let Me Leave, by Marc Broussard, to be exact. I skipped no songs unless I deleted them completely. And that’s where I’m quitting. I am not ashamed either. I’ve quit a lot of things in my life and I haven’t been ashamed of most of them, but this is the one that I am definitely the most not ashamed of. Why ruin my life over this, after all?

The predicament that I now find myself in is that my iPod is now exactly the way I want it, songs A through L (ish), due to the fact that everything I hated was deleted. But it’s all lopsided now because songs L (ish) through Z could be just chock full of crap and I can’t do a thing about it. Because I’ve quit the game, see. Once you quit, you’ve lost and you can’t keep playing. So now I’m a lopsided loser, I guess, which is ten times worse than your average loser.

It’s kind of like life, actually. Half of my life is just the way I want it and the other half is chock full of…

You get the picture.