moms to motorcycles

Celebrating the little things in life through struggles, hardships, and challenges with God, kids, motorcycles, and everything in between!

Archive for the category “Life”

My Not-So-Green Thumb

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Lush green foliage.  Beautiful red poppies.  Lavender spikes of glory.  Trailing vines with paper-thin blooms.  White ground covers spilling over.  Rock pathways leading to a dream world.  An inviting chair with paint peeling from days of relaxing.  Bright colored pillows adorning said chair.  Wooden beamed foot stool beckoning to sit, put your feet up….relax.  Ahh…the world of a masterful green-thumbed gardener.  Yep…well, that’s not me.  My thumbs…both of them…are black.  I can’t grow a thing.  Well…for some reason the occasional Hens and Chicks…you know, the succulents that need next-to-nothing care.

I have a dream…a dream to be a masterful gardener, horticulturist, a woman of leisure in her immaculate-landscaped garden space.  I have spent dollar after dollar buying plants that should start my flower beds to bloom and reproduce only to have them die within the year…actually within weeks.  I have all of the nifty garden props, i.e:  graniteware buckets, garden fences, rusty tools, old chairs, washtubs, even an old enamel washer, but…do you think that I can pull it all together and make it fit into a beautiful landscape of dreamy proportions?  I WISH!Photo_Video_304654588_medium

I’m a “Pinner”.  You know, those who pin pins from Pinterest.  I have pin after pin of ideas to get my gardens, flower beds, landscape started.  It would seem that when you came to my house, I would have this to-die-for yard where one just wants to cozy up and never leave.  I have an aunt who pins some of the same “pins” as mine, but she can actually visualize them and make them happen.  My brain just stops the moment I walk out my back door, whistling a tune of joy, garden gloves on and pots ready to plant.  I don’t know what happens.  Overwhelming-ness?  Not enough money-ness?

wash-tub-planter-linda-phelpsWell…it’s time for a change!  I will divide and conquer!  Divide those bulbs and conquer that tough Kansas ground!  I will have a place to escape to…a place where the Kansas winds and hot summer days can only think of penetrating….well…maybe…when…I…figure out how to keep a plant alive.

 

Time to Celebrate

My birthday 2011 006

It’s my birthday today…

Now I know that when you get older and have a birthday, you’re suppose to act demure and adult-like and say, ” I don’t need a celebration or presents or special treatment. I have my health”…Oh come on!! If we were honest with ourselves and everyone else, we would tell the truth and say, “I want to be spoiled, pampered, and loved so I have no doubt that my life means something to others!”

Now I know that I have no reason for entitlement. I’m no one special. I am just a mom, wife, and daughter but…for some reason, God still keeps me on this earth AND…this is the day that He put me on this earth, so why can’t we still act like my birth was important?

My mother-in-law and my husband both asked what I wanted to do for my birthday and I nonchalantly said, “I don’t care.” But you know, the truth of the matter is that I want them to think of some way special to celebrate my day. I want them to WANT to do something creative and special without asking me what I want. I love surprises and everyone knows that. I don’t even need an extravagant expensive party. I would truly and honestly be  happy with a get together with family and some friends, a cake, and a chance to play some games.

My ideal birthday day would go as follows:

First I wake up around 8:00 with my husband’s arms wrapped around me because he decided to take the day off for my birthday. Then we spend some alone time drinking coffee out on the deck. My baby boy wakes up and dear hubby informs me that I won’t be changing any diapers for the day. My other two kids wake up and shower me with love and kisses informing me also that they will clean the house and will refrain from arguing and fighting throughout the day. Yay!

After lunch my hubby and I go on a motorcycle ride with me as a passenger this time. I want to feel the wind on my face, the freedom blowing through my hair, and the masculine smell of my husband in front of me.

For supper, since the house is clean, my close friends and family start pouring into our home to celebrate my day.  Since the weather outside is perfect and a wonderful 75 degrees, we play yard games, sit and talk, and enjoy a cake that my kids and hubby made especially for me. My hubby hands me a bowl of peppermint ice cream, which he hates but got just for me because he knows I love it.

After everyone leaves, my hubby puts the kids to bed at the glorious hour of 8:00 so that we can have a couple of hours together before our bedtime. We lay together in each other’s arms while watching an action flick. My hubby stays awake through the entire movie, wakes me up, takes my hand, and ushers me to bed where we sleep a blissful eight hours uninterrupted by any baby screams, skunk smells, or alarming outside noises…

Now…is that too much ask?

Guess what? Real life…that’s what happens. Here’s what really happens on this day of mine:

My hubby goes to work and whispers a sweet happy birthday in my ear (which really happened and I loved it). I wake up abruptly at 6:30 because a fly tries to fly up my nose (which also really happened). I wake up the older kids while trying to feed a screaming little guy. I sit down to watch a little bit of Price is Right while trying to put a squirming boy to sleep. I clean, do laundry, and wash dishes.  After lunch I get my make-up on and head to town to take my now junior high boy to band camp for the evening. We come home, grab some left overs, and sit down to watch television.  My hubby either falls asleep or gets on the computer for the evening.  Around 11:00pm the little guy falls asleep.  The other two will probably be up for a couple of more hours.  I head to bed and crash only to be woke up a couple of hours later by a shrill blood curdling scream from a restless baby.   The next morning I wake up groggy with a day that only promises to be just like the day before.

Pretty special day, huh? Well…at least I have my health…kind of.

Skydiving? Something Even Better/Daily Prompt: Might As Well Jump

Skydiving!

Skydiving! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alright, Alright, I know it sounds so cliché’, but I truly have had on my list of things to do…to skydive…literally jump out of an airplane and free fall.  (Well, that is until the person I have to tandem jump with pulls the cord).

When I turned 30, I felt old and trapped.  I helped with our youth group at church and being around teenagers and turning 30 made me feel like the oldster.  I was no longer the “cool leader”.  Course, not one of the youth told me that.  It was just all this little conversation I had in my head.  But I digress…

I made me a list…not a bucket list…a “Before I turn 35 List”.  I didn’t want to wait until the last minute of my life to realize that I was going to die soon, then hurry and do the things I wanted to do for years and check them off my “BUCKET LIST”.  I’m a horrible procrastinator, so a five-year span was better for me.  On my “Before 35 list” was things like:

1. Get more comfortable on a motorcycle.

2. Ride to Sturgis on my own motorcycle.

3. Go to a big name concert.

4. Skydive

Guess what?  I actually did all of the things on that list, except…Skydive.  My hubby made sure I checked those things off my list.  Two days before I turned 35, I finished all but the one item by going to a Bret Michaels concert while….at….Sturgis!

So…shortly after my 35th birthday, I made a…”Before I turn 40 list”.  I put the skydiving on there along with run/walking a 5k, etc.  Little did I know that God had in store for me a bigger plan and something I would do before 40 that would far surpass anything I could possibly imagine accomplishing….I had another baby!  12 years after my last child, I had a baby!  Can anyone honestly top that?  Who would have thought that this “challenge” in life would ever top skydiving?  Want to know what the biggest adrenaline rush there is?  Getting to see your newborn baby as it exits your own body and getting to touch him for the very first time in his little life.

Skydiving?  Well, it will wait for now and I may not get to do it before I turn 40, but my life has taken a wonderful turn for the better and I have a little guy who is depending on his momma to hold him close and give him the life he needs.  Can’t think of anything that I would want to do more…but, I am working up to that 5k.

Skydiving? Something Even Better/Daily Prompt: Might as Well Jump

God’s provision in a car accident

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Have you ever walked away from some sort of tragedy and wondered how in the world you could have possibly survived?  My family and I did just that on Saturday the 15th.  We were in a car accident on interstate traveling at high speeds between 60-70 mph.

Saturday afternoon we were headed home from Wichita after picking up my son, D, and his friend from church camp down near the Oklahoma border.  My teen daughter and my toddler son were with us as well, which meant we had a total of six of us all together.  We had spent the morning shopping and were looking forward to being home and relaxing the rest of the weekend while celebrating Father’s Day with my husband’s family. We hadn’t gotten far down the interstate just outside of Park City when a black SUV pulled from the right shoulder of the road and crossed clear over to the passing lane on the left, right in front of us.  We were in the passing lane passing a semi.  My husband, Billy, slowed down a bit, not knowing what was going on.  The SUV was acting like it didn’t know what it was doing.  I noticed that there was another vehicle, also a SUV but white, in front of the one we were following.  Pretty soon, the SUV in front of us, slowed to about 65 mph.  The semi we just passed went around us on the right side along with other vehicles behind it, which meant we were blocked in.  We drove that way for a couple of minutes waiting for the long line of vehicles on the right of us.  Then, without warning, the black SUV slammed on its brakes!  Billy hit the brakes and it looked like we could stop in time, but then as if in slow motion, Billy yelled, “Hang on!  We’re going to hit them!” I braced myself by putting my hands on the dash in front of me. We hit head on into the back of the SUV…the whole front end of the mini van we were in crumpled up towards us.

I hear screaming and crying from my baby boy.  Fear permeates my body and soul.  I undo my seatbelt and head back to the kids.  My oldest son, D, and daughter were wide-eyed as I asked them if they were okay and if they had noticed if their little brother had been jarred really bad.  They didn’t know.  (I don’t know why I asked.  They were just in the same tragedy I was).  I look over and my son’s friend was doubled over holding his stomach.  Then my daughter starts crying.  D reaches over and holds her just as I burst into tears.  Billy had gotten out and was yelling at the owners of the SUV.  He was worried that his family was hurt.  Pretty soon, several other people show up and as it turns out, the two SUV’s were traveling together full of people.  The white SUV had turned off into one of the emergency vehicle turn offs and the other was trying to follow, but not knowing what the other was doing, had slammed on its brakes to try to make the turn.

I called our Pastor immediately to tell him what was going on.  We had borrowed their vehicle to accommodate the number of us traveling together and we were still in harm’s way.  We needed prayer and I was panicking because we had just totalled a vehicle that wasn’t our own!

It started getting very warm in our vehicle due to the Kansas sun, so I open the side door to let in some fresh air.  The noise from the oncoming traffic was horrific and the smell of the chemicals leaking from the vehicle was nauseating , so I tried to shut the door again, but it wouldn’t close.  The impact bent the frame of the vehicle not allowing the door to reclose.  My husband reaches in, looks everyone over and gets our little guy out of his rear facing car seat.  To think that we were just looking not a couple of hours before for a front facing car seat to replace this one.  Would our baby have been as protected?  Probably not…God knew.  Thank God we didn’t find one we wanted.

I call Billy’s parents to let them know what is going on and ask for more prayer.  The traffic is horrible!  What is going on?  As I’m on the phone, a Highway Patrolman pulls up.  Someone must have called 9-1-1.  The officer starts asking questions and Billy heads toward us telling us that the other driver we hit only had a Mexico driver’s license and didn’t speak English.

After several minutes, I get out of the van and head to the ditch.  I realize my wrist and hand are really hurting.  My kids eventually follow me and we all wait in the ditch.  I feel a little better having everyone out of the van.  We each give our information to the officer just as Billy’s sister and husband show up.  Billy had called them to come pick us up due to the van being totalled.

Long story short, there were races going on, which accounts for the overflow of traffic on interstate.  My son’s friend and I ended up in the emergency room, both had CT scans-mine for my neck and his for his abdominal pain.  I also had X-rays on my wrist.  Everything came out clear.  I only had a sprained wrist.  The SUV owners were cited for the accident and lack of insurance.  The father of the boy we had with us drove three hours to pick us all up and drive us back home.  We got home about 12:30am.

When I had time to think, I realized that God had everything in control, as He always does, but let me share with you some of the things that truly hit me hard:

1. If we had found a new car seat for our son, he would have been forward facing and probably would have been seriously hurt.  Despite the fact he is old enough to be forward facing, he is better off in a rear facing car seat, which we now HAVE to get a new one due to the car accident.  We never felt good about any of the car seats we looked at.  I give glory to God for making us feel at unrest about them.

2.  In most instances like ours, some people end up dead or critically hurt.  Traveling at 60-70 mph and rear ended a vehicle is serious!  How is it possible that we were okay?  Well, only by the grace of my God, did we walk away unscathed.

3.  A lot of times, my older son, D, insists that he doesn’t need his seat belt, so he will sneakily not put it on or will pretend he does for our benefit then will ride unbuckled.  On this day, he actually had his on.  

4.  Before we asked to borrow our Pastor’s vehicle, we thought about either my husband or I riding our motorcycle to accommodate for the lack of enough space in our vehicle.  If we had decided on doing this, and had the same accident, the one riding the motorcycle would have been instantly dead.

There were so many other things that I could tell about God’s power and total control in this situation, but right now I still sit in shock.  Why though do we always act surprised when God shows his faithfulness?

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Daily Prompt/Journey

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I’m going to let these pictures tell my story…

This is a picture of motorcyclists from Kansas including Legion Riders, Abate, CMA, etc who are welcoming and showing support for those who are riding from Las Angeles, CA to Washington, DC with the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall.  We had the honor of being here…

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This is a picture of my husband and my father-in-law holding one of the American flags.  My father-in-law is a Vietnam Veteran.  His body was exposed to agent orange in Vietnam and is now paying for it with Parkinson’s Disease.  Midway through this event, he had to quit due to weakness, but he still held his head high!

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Every time one of the motorcyclists would get ready to pass under the bridge, they would honk, stand up, wave to say thank you!

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This picture doesn’t do this justice.  If you can tell, there are hundreds of motorcycles coming down the road…

This is a true journey of bravery, courage, and honor.  One of these days we hope to be doing this with them, but for now we will welcome them by standing and showing our support by flying our American flag!

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Vietnam Wall

Daily Prompt/Journey with the 2011Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

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For me the best way to escape is on a Harley!

Sunburns and Fingerprints

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Yesterday was my son’s play day at school.  Multiple track and field events are undertaken throughout the course of the day.  My boy, D, thrives in competition, so I was looking forward to getting to see him perform.

Going for an all day event outside in the Kansas heat and sun means that you have to prepare very carefully, especially with a toddler in tow.  So, I brought the necessary sunblock for myself and for the Little Guy, along with snacks, lots of water, Powerades, and a good lunch for all of us.  Before heading out of the car to the track, I slathered on the sunblock on the Little Guy.  Last thing I wanted was to have a sad Little Guy with a sunburn to take care of for days on end.  I decided, against my better judgement, to wait for my own sunblock because I THOUGHT I needed a little color.  Little being the operative word.  We then head out for an eventful day.

My tween age son is a bit small for his age, but what he lacks in stature, he makes up for in his attitude.  You get what I mean….he’s small but mighty, but I digress.  D chose to compete in the long jump, high jump, 400 run, and for a little excitement, the sack races!  One would think that these events that he chose would be for the tall and lanky, but why stunt the efforts of a little guy? IMG_5117 Well, I am proud to say that D came home with a first in all of his events for his age group, except the high jump which he got second.  Last year D broke the school record of the long jump.  I wish I could remember how far he jumped.  This year he performed just as well.

1:30 soon approached and the activities of the day came to a close.  D and the Little Guy were both tired and somewhat cranky.  Despite my best efforts of making everyone drink the necessary fluids, all of us were in need of hydration and a cool atmosphere, so we eventually headed for home.  While driving home, I felt that all too familiar tingle of an onset of a sunburn.  Oh brother, the excitement of the day made me forget or maybe not want to go back to the car and apply sunblock.  We get home and the red on my shoulders is glaring up at me.  Well, you would think that I would have enough smarts to protect myself for the rest of the day, especially when heading out on a motorcycle ride for a couple of hours…all…by…myself…yes, all by myself…without kids….without a care in the world!  Or so I thought.  I arrived home, picked up my Little Guy, and that’s when I knew that I was in for a world of hurt!  My arms, chest, and feet were screaming at me with a blazing red sunburn!  I head to the bathroom to wipe off the road grime from my ride and access the sunburn damage and that’s when I see it….right smack dab in the middle of my bicep are two very white hand prints in the middle of the scarlet red.  My Little Guy had branded me with his freshly sun-blocked hands before the day had even started!  Oh, I just had to laugh.  I love being a mom and now I have the marks to prove that I am just that…a mom…

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Daily Prompt: Landscape/ A Dreamer’s Life

Daily Prompt: Landscape

556794_4389474569621_1515783687_nWhen you gaze out your window–real or figurative–do you see the forest first or the trees?

I longingly look out into the cool windy day as I sit sipping a cup of black swirling coffee.  I tip my head to hear the song of the house finch with its red-speckled head peeking through the branches of the newly budded box elder tree…

I can see the tiny leaves starting to open up into a beautiful green hue.  The small little limbs have sprouted a new growth of lighter brown and are climbing their way to the open sky…

Wow!  The sky….what a sight!  The billowing clouds in the distance with a hint of gray preparing us for another round of storms.  Oh, how I love the rain…the way it sounds on our tin roof.  So peaceful…so calming to the soul…kind of like the ocean…25046_1339026710331_1514100_n

The ocean…what an awesome display of power!  The way the waves crash on the sandy beach leaving a trail of pure white foam behind.  Reminds me of a  creamy vanilla cappuccino….

A cappuccino sounds good right now…but I’d have to drive an hour to get me one.  Guess I’ll just sip on my black swirling coffee and listen to the house finch sing his glorious song…

Ahhh…the life of a dreamer.  How can we possibly think of the forest when there are so many trees to enjoy?  The only sad truth for a dreamer is this thing called life, also known as the forest…the big picture.  Sometimes a person can get so caught up in the big picture that they forget to stop and smell the roses….oh, the roses…I can just smell their fragrant perfume now….

Just Breathe

IMG_4901      Breathe…in…out…in…out…breathe.  Seems simple doesn’t it?  To…just breathe.  God made it so our bodies will automatically breathe without our intentional thought…without having to tell ourselves to breathe in and out…to breathe that life-giving breath.

In 2002, I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression and PTSD (Post traumatic Stress Disorder) and a Panic Disorder Without Agoraphobia.   What this all means is that I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that causes my depression.  Also some traumatic event in my life has caused me to endure flashbacks and severe stress which is the PTSD.  (This is also a disorder that a lot of military veterans are diagnosed with after coming back from war, and let me just say right now that whatever I have went through in my life will never compare with what our military men have endured.)  The third thing, the panic disorder without agoraphobia, means that my body will start to panic or have a panic attack when confronted with certain things in my life.  The “without agoraphobia” just means that I can go outside or open spaces without fear or panic.

When I have a panic attack, my whole world spins out of control.  I can’t breathe. I can’t think. Sometimes I start to choke due to lack of breath.  I get weak and shake uncontrollably.  More often than not, I have severe chest pains, and I have literally passed out before.  Seems silly, doesn’t it?  I wish it were just silliness, but it’s a very real thing.  I have to literally tell myself to breathe…to calm down…breathe in…breathe out….in…out…

I have a charm bracelet that I cherish very much with all of my interests hanging from it.  One of the charms is just a little flat silver oval that says “breathe” and a tiny brown stone hangs from the bottom.  Believe it or not, I have had to hold onto this charm to remind myself to breathe.  To breathe.  To breathe.  And admittedly, that tiny little charm has helped me keep a level head, because if you can control your breathing, you can come out of an attack a little easier.

One time I was in therapy talking through an extremely bad part of my life with the therapist and I felt like the room was getting smaller.  The room was caving in and everything was getting fuzzy and black around the edges.  I knew I was panicking and I wanted to run.  I had never panicked in front of anyone but my husband before.  I reached down and grabbed my bracelet charm and just the feel of something solid reminded me to breathe and exhale.  The room went back to its original size.  I had found something to calm me and I realized that sometimes we do just need a physical reminder to take in oxygen and not hold our breath.

The God-given gift of breathing has to have a reminder…ironic isn’t it?  But it’s true. To those of us who suffer with anxiety…it’s very true.

Genesis 2:7

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

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