26 01 2011

Every year our church does ‘Give a Child a Christmas’.

I took this as a great opportunity to teach Waverly about giving to other kids.  So we chose a Saturday and went shopping.  I purposely chose a child who was the same age as Wavey and liked the same things as her (pink, Dora, art, gymnastics).  We had a fabulous time shopping and bought a lot of things for S., our chosen child.

Waverly questioned a few times why we were buying, but seemed to do well with the knowledge that this wasn’t for her.  We wrapped the presents and delivered them to church.

Afterwards, I was talking with C. whose wife runs the program. He told me about one of the lists that they had received.  On the list were soap, shampoo, and deodorant.

This really made me stop and think. These same items are just under our need to have, can’t cut them out list.

I take so much for granted.


To my good friend Leo,

5 01 2011

My good friend Leo passed away on November 17th. I will miss him greatly. He was an amazing man and and incredible role model to the youth that he served as an adviser. This is a letter that I have been composing in my head for over a month, but am just finally having the time and strength to put in words.

To my dear friend Leo,

I can’t believe that you are gone. There are still days when I think of you and my heart hurts. I know you are in a better place and that grieving is for the living. I get that, it just doesn’t make it any easier for those that are doing the grieving.

I know you were at the funeral. I pictured you sitting somewhere around pew 4. I know it was your favorite. Close to the front, but not too close. I know you saw the kids, and I know you were proud of them.

Erich and Jon just about took my breath away as pall bearers. It was such a huge responsibility, but they were so proud to do it. I remember how emotional you got this past year on the trip thinking about Erich graduating. And Jon has finished his requirements for his Eagle. They have both turned into such amazing men. They can thank you for a lot of that, you were an amazing role model for them.

Chris did an amazing job reading. I know how proud you were that he had become a lector. I wasn’t sure how he would do, but, wow. He did much better than anyone would have thought. His voice was strong and clear.

And your other boy Wil. I have loved watching him grow up with you.  I saw such a difference in him this summer and his confidence level.

I know you watched Kelly and Ashley as they served. They have gotten so pretty. I know Ashley has taken to heart what you told her last summer. And the more Kelly opens up, the more we get to see the amazing person that she is inside and out.

Kate, Becky, and Phillip took on the roles as sidesmen, Torun and Kim did the guest book.  Courtney and Phillip did oblations. Sarah Uzel rang the bell.  Kristen Hayed was intercessor.

Madie and Caroline were sad to not be able to be there, but you know as well as I do how crazy their schedules are.

It was amazing to me, and I’m sure to you, to see the impact that you have had on these youth.

I’m sure you had a good chuckle when Paul told himself that he could do this.  A thought that he hadn’t meant to say out loud.

It was, in a nutshell, awesome.

Leave of Absence…

31 12 2010

So I have been awol for a few weeks. The end of November was rough in the Marshall household as we lost a good friend the week before Thanksgiving. And since then, well, Christmas.

Part of my resolution for the upcoming year is to post more. I’m shooting for daily, but I’m SURE that weekly is more appropriate! (If you know me, you’d agree!)

So, read on, my friend.


8 11 2010

Some days it takes all my energy just to get out of the bed. Between my migraines, my feet, and my female problems, it seems some days that my body is giving up on me.

This past week, I found out that a friend of mine has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Honestly, until now I had turned up my nose at the pink ribbons. I truly didn’t know anyone who had breast cancer. I knew of a few who had close calls, but no one that was actually diagnosed.

But T. that is different. T. is the same age as me. She has one kid more than me (twin boys and a girl). Her daughter is the same age as W. and she has been married the same amount of time. T. and I have been dance moms together for the last 3 years. This year W. decided to cheer instead of dance, so, we haven’t been in contact as in the past, but this still hit me hard.

So, this morning when I crawled out of bed, I reminded myself that I’m still alive and today is another beautiful day. And I am still alive and able to enjoy it. And so is T.

I will say, I

Family Portrait Day

8 11 2010

This Saturday was a day that I dread every year.




Those three words are like a bad word to me.  The preparation.  Purchasing the dresses. The clothes. The tights.  Baths. Hair. Finding shoes that fit (this was surprisingly hard!) Getting everyone dressed.  Out the door (on time!) to the studio.  Sitting where they should.  Looking at the photographer.  And heaven forbid, a smile.

As I was running around, B. told me that I needed get into the spirit of this. My initial thought was that I AM in the spirit.  I’m up and dressed aren’t I?

But that did make me stop and think.  Maybe I do work myself up over this stuff.

I mean in ten, twenty years, am I going to remember that the girls shoes were too big? Or, that Maggie refused to sit until the photographer pulled out the dancing Santa? That after the picture was taken Maggie and Waverly played ring around the rosies? Or that the scratch on Waverly’s cheek was from the dog?

Honestly, probably not.  But, those pictures will stand for a long time as a symbol of our family.

But, for one picture, everyone smiled, looked at the camera, and was properly dressed.



6 11 2010

I consider myself an optimist.  And I try everyday to enjoy life and experience what has been given to me.  I thought I was doing a good job at this until a few weeks ago.  I was at the annual St. Peter’s Oyster Roast.  I had spent the morning rushing around with my kids.  In true fashion, that day was not only the Oyster Roast, but also Homecoming for the New Kent Falcons who W. cheers for.  I had run all over the place and dragged a tired Maggie with me.  My parents came and relieved me during the game and I was able to head off to the Oyster Roast.

I was sitting at the Raffle table (we work this as a fund raiser every year).  This year we were between the beer truck and the band.  Good locations this year!  I got to watch everyone get drunk and then head out on the dance floor.  One person in particular caught my eye.  S. is someone I had known for years from church.  She is beautiful and has a gorgeous singing voice, and she is so much fun to be around. S. has also been diagnosed with cancer.  Sitting there at the table I watched her dance.  She was having a blast (and based on the cup that was in one hand, I’d bet she was feeling pretty relaxed.  The point was that she was dancing like she was having the time of her life.  I smiled watching her, then a thought went through my head.  ‘I wish I could dance like that!’

This thought really surprised me.  I mean why couldn’t I dance like that.  It took me several days of pondering this to realize that I had become a stick in the mud.  old before my time.  There was a point and time in my life when I would have been out there with her, but now? Now I was content to sit on the side lines and watch life pass me by.

I have noticed this trend trickling over into other areas, and I must admit it has got me concerned.  So, it is a little early in the year for a New Years’ Resolution, but here is what I am working on for myself.

To enjoy myself.  I mean, you only get one chance to enjoy life, grab it by the horns and go for it.  It is easier to say I really shouldn’t have done that and have the experience than to look back in another 20 years and think, okay why didn’t I do that?

To teach my kids about the simple things that can be enjoyed.

To spend less time running and more time sitting and enjoying.

To worry less about what the house looks like and more about what I could be doing with my kids instead of sitting on the couch on the computer.

This is just a start, and we’ll see how it goes, but so far? I’m liking this!