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The only limited resource is time.

There are days’ things just creep up on you and you were not expecting it. Ya know, when the tears start and you just can’t seem to stop it… where you must force yourself to think about the plain and boring and mundane things, really hard just to keep it together…

Today is that for me. I did my usual dropping off Josh and Mercie to school. I let them out by the back gate of the school. They both have always taken off running to the back door. They race each other but they always run where I am on the street to look over smile and wave. They smile with their big gorgeous face smiles and off they go. But today I saw Joshua and it felt like it was like a last goodbye. There is this feeling of the end of elementary that I haven’t felt before. It is ending for him this year but when I see him race his sister to the door of the school and smile a big smile and wave at me I just can’t hold in the sadness for the ending. For six years, I have been blessed with the best ‘goodbye, see you after school’ greetings and love from him.

When Mercie is in the same school with him again things will be so different.

He is my only boy, I don’t know what is it store for our relationship in the teen years.

So, then there is looking at Taylor…. y ’all she is grown in so many ways. Our days are numbered. She is so tall and so pretty. She has blown us away with how amazing she does at school and how well she balances that with church, babysitting, and golf and being such a good helper at home with so many things. She’s making her colleges to visit list. I am starting to feel sick and excited all at the same time.

Oh, and if you could see all the things Hannah creates you might cry too. I tell her all the time I want to show the world all of it… she laughs and says most are doodles. You’d laugh at that if you saw her doodles. They are not cute little flowers and squiggly lines. They are just art, with depth and scale and emotion and perfection. Her talent is so special and beyond her years.


Mercy me, Miss Mercie she thinks she’s grown and that kills me because she not. She just wants to be doing what her older sisters are doing and hanging with them. She looks at me funny when I ask for cuddles and things we used to do are becoming boring for her. I know I’m probably trying to hang on all too much for too long but it just goes by so fast and I miss all that was.

Who would’ve thought my brother finishing grad school would bring me to tears to? But it did. I am so proud of him and excited it is over for him. It’s such a big deal!

This is not good to be so emotional 2 weeks before Jackson’s wedding. He was a little man of just 3 years old in my wedding. How can it be that he is off to start his own life and family so fast? It just may be the quietest time we have with all the Tharpe’s… I know if Emily and I talk we just might end up in ugly cries for days.

Despite my emotional roller coaster these things are wonderful and they do make me excited. But sadness comes along with it, it’s almost like you cannot have one without the other. I say it all the time and it is the truest statement y’all….


The days and weeks are long but the years are so short.


So savor the moments, hang on to the memories, laugh and cry and be in the pictures. Do fun things and be silly. Make sure you fill their minds with a multitude of memories that are fun, honest, playful and loving. It will be the best thing for them to take with them wherever they go and the best thing for you to have when they go. Hug them, kiss them, and go seize the day.



Sweet moments

He wakes up early only to join me as I sit in the quiet living room sipping on coffee, pondering the day and thanking Jesus for my blessings.

He falls back to sleep quickly, he doesn’t have the words to say why he does this, maybe it’s because he’s a boy and doesn’t want to say it out loud, but either way I take it as his silent way of needing his mom and wanting to be close. I believe he’ll always be that way regardless of his age.

We didn’t have a winter this year but today it’s 40 something, foggy and drizzly so I’m taking advantage of the fireplace after a wet and chilly workout. 

It’s that time of year that the days are starting to get longer and warmer. I am sad about winter missing us but the carefree-ness of what spring brings I enjoy. It’s a hard battle of getting kids fed and ready for bed at a proper time for school. I’m ready for summer days and nights about now. Late dinners, no schedules, no have to’s, relaxation and a loose time frame.

I hate ending play dates. I didn’t call Josh home last night until 8 pm. He’s spent his day with friends playing here, outside, there houses….the kids even find it harder to stop playing. 

As the days pass eventually dinner will be served later and later. It’s just the natural consequence to the light staying around longer. It makes the end of school a little bit harder… we all do our thing and play and when our tummies growl we wonder why we are hungry. When we finally look at the time it’s 730 pm and we can’t believe time passed so quickly. 

We have much to look forward to the next few months and we are all excited about it. It’s a year of new phases, firsts and some fun celebrations.

It’s hard not to wish time to fly by when there’s so much to look forward to…I just hope we savor the occasions, memories and time with spent with our people. 


Celebrating her

my-favShe is an artist.

She has a huge heart.

She is a dog lover.

She feels your feels with you.

She is impatient. She is silly.

She has a beautiful soul.

She is determined.

She is affectionate.

She has been through some storms and rose above.

She is her father’s daughter and she is her own person so she doesn’t always like the comparison.



She turned 14 last week.

When she was 4 I wasn’t sure we would make it this far.

Her impatience and determined spirit were trying to say the least.

So we threw her a party.






But, if I am being honest we financed the party. She planned it, decided on the theme and how to decorate, made the invitations, and even decorated her own cake.

Her and her friends had a great time. It was fun to watch them karaoke and dance. All of them were so kind a polite. I know that can be a rarity for middle school kids.

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On being still

Abstract autumnal backgrounds with petzval lens bokeh

One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalms 46:10 Be still and know that I am God… 

I would love to have “Be Still” tattooed on my wrist as a daily, or rather, moment by moment reminder to be still, to pause, to reflect, enjoy, be thankful in all things. This verse has been a sort of catalyst for Jason and I to change how we do life and make sure that what we choose to do and even spend money on has a purpose that is lasting and meaningful.

Over the last several years we have been working to simplify life. Create memories that are meaningful, focus on adventures and not materialism or overabundance of things.

Quite a while back we choose to streamline Christmas and give a focus to our gift giving. Our children only receive 3 gifts each from us and they represent the gifts given to Jesus by the Wise-men.

Gold – their most wanted item

Frankincense – something to represent worship

Myrrh – a gift for their body

We also give these gifts on Christmas Eve so they are separate from all the other gifts given by family and friends. We include Jesus birth story and the significance of what the 3 gifts represent and why they were given to Jesus.

As far as birthdays we gift adventures not things.

We have limited time with our children living at home and we want to make sure that when they leave home their heads and hearts are full of memories and their cars are not full of possessions that would be a burden and collect dust. The bonus is that when they become parents they most likely will give how we gave and encourage that generation to not be consumed with materialism.

This year for Thanksgiving Jason and I decided to forgo the huge, traditional meal that takes so much time to prepare where we over eat and eventually the leftovers get thrown out because there was too much food and it eventually got tiresome to keep eating over and over. As of late it just seems so glutinous.

So we are packing up all the camping gear, the dogs and exploring together for a few nights. Just the six of us, some books and games. It will be dark around 5 or 6 pm and our only light will be a campfire. There is something about a campfire that causes you to be still, relaxed, and free to let your mind wander, open up and share things and recall memories that bring laughter. I am sure bedtime could be earlier than normal (or later) but the extended quietness we will have in the evenings will be a well-deserved and longed for rest bit for all our minds and souls, even if the children don’t know they need that or even how much they truly want it. But as parents I feel not only are these forging of memories and time together one of our most important jobs but so is enforcing the rest from the sounds, clutter, light and busyness of the world.

Only one child is not excited about this idea. She like, her mom, loves certain traditions and planning of holidays but we learned it comes down to some of her favorite foods that we only seemed to really make at Thanksgiving. That is an easy fix…. I will just change-up another tradition slightly when we return from camping. I know she will be thankful and happy for the change.

I am even pondering how we can show our thankfulness and gratitude for our blessings by giving back in a way that will truly transform someone else’s life that needs it. I am so excited about this camping trip over any others ones we have taken thus far and I love how our learning to be still is changing how we are parenting and doing life together.




Struggling with the trusting…

fullsizerenderIf worrying isn’t trusting or shows a lack of faith I’m a hot mess. As a parent how do you not worry? How do you fully release it over to God ? Can I do both and it still be considered faithful and trusting?

Or is it the absolutely need we have  at times that every second of every day for days upon days upon days all we can say is I trust you Jesus? Is that what faith really looks like? A constant, repetitive sentence prayer when you have no other words to say and nothing to offer when praying seems hard?

It feels one-sided, the constant asking and not much to offer…the constant asking and the worrying doesn’t feel to be improving…times like these I easily judge how much I took for granted and expected when things ran smoother and the worry was lighter, if any at all.

I know He hears me and will work things for the good but as a recovering perfectionist the heartache and my own inadequacy of my relationship that feels more self-serving,  needy and far from saint worthy crowds my mind and leaves me feeling empty-handed, no offering to give and I am just begging for peace.

Our faith is forged in the fire right? Why is it so hard to fully release the amazing blessing God gave you back to Him fully and completely unloading your cross for Him to carry because His plan is perfect? He even asks for us to hand over our burdens but when the burden lands in our lap why the struggle….?


So I turned 40!

Schools back in session and I am playing catch up with my blog…..HA!

This year was the big 4-0! We celebrated in 1920’s style. Costumes and all. It was fabulous.

I went a little crazy and went all out…new dress… had my make-up and hair done professionally. We rented a big house on the lake and everyone dresses up! I did not want it to end. It was all so so perfect!!!!!

I have the best family and friends. They worked hard to make the décor, set up and were why it was so fabulous!!



Being okay doing nothing

bookI started reading Present over Perfect. It is a good book and one I need to keep handy. I am recovering perfectionist….it has made me very reflective about myself and how I have changed and am changing.

I use to always have to keep busy even if it was cleaning and re-cleaning back to back. Perfection was the enemy. Busy equaled tired and at the day ended in bed but without meaningful connections being made while awake. All I was doing made others think I could do and handle all things well. I just got good at hiding how well it was not going.

This was the first year when kids were gone during the summer I did nothing… I usually have a house project or a lists of places to go or a trip. But this year for the 2 different weeks when the kids were gone I did not do anything of significance or thrilling or needed besides the usual workout, eat, sleep and laundry as needed. I wasn’t bored and didn’t look for things to do, start or finish. It was quite needed without knowing I needed it. It was good practice as well. Not working full time and all kids being in school and mostly self sufficient I have lots of down time but I fill it with noise whether it’s volunteer, clean the clean, surf the depths of the Internet for no reason or cook and bake so much that I end up hating eating because it means I’ll have to cook again.

This year, this time I sat a lot. Maybe music was in the background sometimes it wasn’t. I read books. Which is odd but the more time that goes by the more I enjoy reading books that cause me to look at myself and reflect, get in tune with my own thoughts and feelings.

When I first decided to have do nothing days it was tough. I felt guilty, I got bored, but I’m learning  to rest in the ok of accomplishing nothing on some days. I’ve found it helps me balance what’s really necessary in our life… I began making decisions more on is it best for the life style that’s focused on less… Less stress, less stuff, less crazy….it has also given a great balance to the days life is going fast and furious.

Years ago I would have never thought I’d have days I did nothing.

At my core I like doing things and going places. I love being with people, helping , having fun and creating new things… I’m very social and don’t want to miss events. I just find more meaning in making sure the things I do are fruitful, meaningful, important to life’s goals and not the to do list and that what we do isn’t just because we want something to do…

I’ve always struggled with being worthy or good enough. Growing up and mean kids and struggles can make for a nasty self-image… My thinking was always ‘If I do this or that I’ll be accepted and find friends. I’ll look important and competent.’ But perfection created messes and fights and I began to see how selfish it really was…it only took 30 something years.

To be perfect was all about me and how I looked and nothing to do with those I loved. It just made them feel less than and the distance between us grew and grew. But I’m and extremist type person, all or nothing… I’d flip between do it all perfectly to doing nothing at all. I didn’t know how to live in the in between. It took so much work to not clean or say no or miss this event or that because I just needed to slow down and cut things out.

And then, like always, I feel, your kids or your health shock you into learning how to live in the in between perfect and idle.

For me, it was seeing distance in relationships, seeing my kids feel they are not worthy of me because they cannot do all I was trying to do. Then there were hardships for one child that cut me to the core and took all my energy to help her…that battle was over and I was struck with debilitating fatigue and spent about a year getting to the core of that. Luckily, my doctor and I have found the cause and we are repairing and supporting the issues. All of those things on top of the everyday life of being a parent, spouse, working part-time and anything else that came along really took its toll. At first it was more of a physical toll but as I slowed down I began to be confronted with the emotional and spiritual side of it.

At some point my soul became dried up. I was longing for something I couldn’t quite put into words. I need something deeper than what I had, a deeper connection with people, an intimacy in friendships that are authentic and vulnerable. A soft landing-place with friends that came naturally and easily.

I began to learn that my frustrations were a result of things not going my way, not being perfect or as expected. It was hard to take the step back, when frustrated or upset, and analyze why because almost always those feelings came from what I wanted and wasn’t getting. It doesn’t feel good to admit to yourself you are being so selfish.

I wanted quiet and kids were fighting.

I wanted sleep and Jason needed me.

I wanted be at home and kids had places they needed to go.

I wanted my friend but her family needed her.

I wanted and I wanted and there wasn’t much grace on my part. I’d get frustrated and mad. At times I could mask it and no one knew. But I was a wreck and I was pouty and questioned if I was good enough or worthy. I looked to the perfection and the busyness to hide and bury the things I didn’t or couldn’t deal with the  as well as the things I wanted to go away and forget. The thing is they don’t, you become busier because it always takes more and more work to try to keep them buried. I didn’t have my people, the intimate friends and the vulnerability with them. I was searching for that, still am. I’ve tried to make it happen because I wanted it so bad and sometimes it happened with the wrong people which left more of a mess, hurt and empty space.

I still have those I call my people outside of family relationships but most live so any miles away and we don’t get to connect the way I yearn for often. Those friendships that are physically close seem to only go so far, when there’s a moment or time for intimacy and vulnerability things get silent, life seems to be really busy and it’s only after the fact you find out someone was having a rough time and needed help. I’ll admit I’ve not gone deep with them at times… Being vulnerable is earned and fearful. It all takes time and seems like everyone else’s life is so busy….


Day by Day

October 2017
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