~ none of these are cancelled.

The frivolous extra is.

Formal clothing, a building, hats, matching shoes, baskets, colored eggs, the have to’s, the should’s, the busy and unnecessary are all stripped away.

Essentials only.

Spring is not cancelled

The Church is not a building.

Easter is not cancelled.

The Tomb is empty.



Fully Prepared….To Never Leave The House Again!!

Okay, that may be just a tad bit unrealistic. Although I may consider wearing a sign warning people that if they are considering having children, they should look away as watching our family in action just may be the best form of birth control ever.

We went to breakfast with friends at a local restaurant and lucky for us they have 2 little ones as well. It was like looking in a mirror as all four of us adults tried to carry on a conversation while keeping 4 kids under the age of 4 entertained, wiped off, eating, food cut, drinking, not spilling, cleaned up after spills and not tear our hair out. (And yes, Hannah was stripping her clothes off halfway through breakfast!)

Breakfast completed, we made our way to Tulip Town. On a Saturday. In the midst of Tulip Season. With 2 kids. I have no clue why this ever seemed like a brilliant idea.

Stunning! And great weather too! I had to laugh as I overheard a couple exclaiming that they’d forgotten their sunscreen! It was maybe 57 degrees!

Following the herd of tourists, we made our way to the gardens (which are truly stunning in full bloom!) and it dawns on me that this is the first time I’ve made it out here despite having lived here nearly all of my life! Man, what having kids will entice you to do!

While the picture perfect day of gazing at tulips, taking adorably perfect photos of the kids (who always act perfectly) and perhaps a snack or perfect picnic afterwards was what I had in mind – the reality (as usual) was something far different!

After running over a few tourists in the parking lot (okay, not really – but believe me, I wanted to! Who the heck walks into the middle of oncoming traffic!?) we make our way into the gardens and Hannah is begging to get out of the stroller and walk. No harm in that, right? It won’t be a big deal because Eric is here so instead of my zone defense parenting strategy that I employ when he is gone, we are back to man on man formation!

Jake proceeds to attempt decapitation of some nearby tulips meanwhile Hannah is making a beeline for I don’t know what, but it was far away from Mama and Daddy! So in opposing directions go Eric and I as we attempt to redirect our minions. We snap a few pictures and then head out to the fields. The fields have been rained on. A lot. There were some great puddle stomping opportunities and the kids were in heaven! Who needs pretty flowers when you have boots and mud?!






I’m dropping camera lenses, Hannah tosses a boot off the end of the stroller that I don’t realize until a kind stranger taps me on the shoulder and hands it to me. Jake is frolicking asking to go in an area where he isn’t supposed to be. And then Hannah decides to sit down….in the mud… Up to her elbows. Fantastic! Meanwhile Jake is now walking in front of anyone who is attempting to take a picture, so he is probably featured as a blur in about a hundred tulip family portraits! I drag Hannah to the port-a-potty sinks (you know the kind you pump with one leg as water spits out. It’s sort of like trying to pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time. Everyone looks silly doing it. Only picture it with a muddy Hannah (who has now managed to get me covered in mud) propped up on my “water pumping leg” trying to wash herself, bouncing up and down, and me attempting to help her while she INSISTS on doing it herself. I put her on the ground in front of the sink and begin to wipe her off. I’m right next to the sink. There are 6 other sinks not being used. And here comes a lady who cannot figure out how to get water, so I tell her (in the most neighbor nanciest voice I can muster) that you pump the water using the pedal. What does she do? She walks right over and uses the sink I’m kneeling in front of and knocks me down in the process! Are you kidding me?! Apparently the other unused sinks weren’t sufficient! So I move me and my half cleaned Hannah down to another sink and we finish up. Seriously?! Apparently she is either blind or I am invisible.

And then I hear it. A woman hollers “Hey! Stop that!”. As I turn around I cringe realizing that she is yelling at my son who is now throwing rocks in the air and hitting her kid(s). Okay – I’ll admit it. Eric was there, he handled it and I looked the other way pretending not to see anything! I can only handle so much.

Then Jake decides he needs to pee and proceeds to drop drawers right in the middle of the garden, in front of a bazillion tulip gazers. Awesome. Eric scoops him up, pants halfway down, screaming in protest to the port-a-potty to finish up. Hannah is now only in her pull-up, strapped in so she can’t escape, happily smashing goldfish crackers to smithereens on the dash of her stroller. I am covered in mud. Jake is now melting down upon return from the potty. Tulip time is now complete.

And that is why (as Eric prepares to leave tomorrow) I am fully prepared to never leave the house. Imagine if I’d attempted this adventure alone!? Whew! The thought of that makes me feel the need to lie down…. Ahhh…and as I type this – yep! I just got peed on.  Again. Here are some more of the pretty tulips to look at while I go wipe a butt or two!


This face should have been our warning!






















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