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Happy weekend to you! We have a birthday to celebrate this weekend today, and we’ll be watching some football. I’ve enjoyed some good reading this week and wanted to pass it on to you.

The Next Light Pole — Jonathan Rogers’ meditation on running and writing applies to many other areas of life, too. “For me, at least, it helps to remember that I don’t write books. I write sentences. A book is what you have after the fact.”

I Want to Quit Homeschooling — This is where I was the day Christmas break ended. I hit an unprecedented slump. It always helps. too. to remember that Everyone Wants to Quit in November and February.

Here’s some hilarity for you: 99 Percent of all Moms’ Group Facebook Discussions End Like This

My friend David encourages us all to be like Tolkien and keep the day job: Epiphanytide, and a Proposal Concerning Your Day Job

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I loved Tsh’s reflections on her increasing gray hair. We are the same age, and I have plans to do the same — though I am not showing much gray yet.

If you are an instagrammer, you might enjoy this post called What I Instagrammed vs. What Was Really Happening, Or My Entire Life Is A Lie

In case you aren’t feeling depressed enough about the state of politics and our country: Darth Vader is Polling Higher Than All Potential 2016 Presidential Candidates

This week I was reminded of this post of Rebecca’s: To Young Mothers of Toddlers and Babies.

 

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Maybe She’s Not Afraid of What We Think She’s Afraid Of

My youngest has been in a challenging phase lately. Every time I am away from her, she is desperate for me to return. I’ve never experienced a child having separation anxiety this late in young childhood, so I’ve been trying to mine her heart a little to find out what the issue is.

It seems to be vehicle-related. She is scared anytime I am going in a car without her. She is scared if the boys are in the car and I’m not in the driver’s seat, because the van might drive away all by itself with them inside. (She did tell me that she had a nightmare about that once.)

The other night at dinner, I was telling her that I had to go to a meeting, and that she would stay home with Daddy and her brothers. The tears sprung to her eyes and she immediately began asking, “where are you going? when will you come back? how far away is it?”.

I took her hand and answered her questions. Then I said, “Maddie, are you afraid that I will get in a car accident?”

She nodded.

“Did you see a bad car accident on the news?”

No, “but we see them sometimes when we’re driving.”

“Maddie, Mommy has been driving cars for twenty years, and she has never, ever, had a car accident, OK? I am a safe driver. And you know what else?”

Tearful “what?”

“When you see an accident by the side of the road, are the people by themselves? Or do people stop to help them? Are there policemen and firemen there?”

 

She acknowledged that yes, most of the time people are being helped. We talked about who would call the helpers, me or Daddy? I told her that we even live in a special part of the country where ordinary people who aren’t police officers or firemen will stop to help you without thinking twice.

And then came the kicker. “But then how do you get home if the car doesn’t work anymore?”

Basically, when we got down to it, she’s afraid that if I get in a car accident, I will have to walk home and it will take me forever to get here.

Can I count on some of you local friends to come pick me up so this doesn’t happen?

Also, on the way to my meeting, I backed into a tree next to our driveway. So much for safe driving.

 

More Proof of Life

maddie with beads 3Well, friends, last Monday was pretty darn fun.  I opened up Instagram several times to see strollers full of sticks, broken Christmas ornaments, and all other kinds of reminders of the joys and challenges of having kids in the house.

Let’s keep it going, shall we?  I for one could use the encouragement that these things happen in your life, too.  And don’t feel limited to Mondays — please feel free to use that hashtag whenever or wherever Proof of Life happens to you.  I wish I had snapped a picture of the living room on Saturday, for instance.  It was a colorful explosion of Christmas decorations, Thanksgiving leftovers, and puzzle pieces…and dirt.

How ‘Bout a Little Proof of Life?

Back in the dark ages of this blog I had a weekly series called “Proof of Life.”  It was a photography series that captured all those delightful, bizarre, and sometimes disturbing moments in motherhood.

For example:  finding a golf ball dipped in salsa on your kitchen counter.

Here’s the original thought behind the series:

“Proof of Life” is a photography series chronicling the little (& big) things that I see as a mom of young children that other people might not see every day.  They are usually funny, sometimes poignant.  They are scenes that, upon encountering them, I might freak out and pull my hair due to the inconvenience to my control of my little world.  But they are Proof of Life.  Proof that where there once were no children, there are now five healthy, strong, funny, sometimes exasperating but always lovable children.

The title is inspired by Caedmon’s Call’s song “Sacred,” in which is found the lyric:

this house is a good mess
it’s the proof of life
no way would I trade jobs
but it don’t pay overtime…
Could it be that everything is sacred?
 
I find that if I take the time to slow down and take a picture, I’m more likely to give thanks for the little scene and the person behind it.
So here is your inaugural Proof of Life picture.  I’ll keep the captions short…no story.  Just see it for what it is.
Golf ball dipped in salsa on kitchen counter

Seeing as technology and social media has progressed as it has, I have decided to revive this series as an instagram festival.  You are all invited to join me next Monday as we chuckle and give thanks for the weird, sometimes infuriating, sometimes delightful things that children do.  If you have kids in your life — at home or elsewhere — capture a picture, throw it on IG, and hashtag it #proofoflife.

If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, you can find me at @kellkelldotcom, or just click on my images in the sidebar.

In the meantime, would you be so kind as to grab the button below and IG it today? I’d be ever so grateful.

maddie with beads 3