Category: a day in the crazy life

where would you be

I have no idea why this song is in my head tonight, but alas.

It is a great video by Martina McBride, anyway, but the live version will have to do…

South Carolina is a pretty good place to be right now. The grass and trees are pretty green. The sky is the most beautiful shade of blue. The rain smells good. And, you know, there is the ocean~

It’s a little bit amazing to me how I have shifted my perceptions to match my reality. Used to be my homes away from home were Mom & Dad’s, Jen’s, Maureen’s, Homewood Panera/Aurelio’s/Culver’s, Calvary Assembly of God. Now, basically, it is in the sand, surrounded by dollar store snacks and brightly colored chairs and sandy towels and giggling girls and a husband who pretends he isn’t completely amused by it all…

There are some other places I’d like to be right now. On any random day, when I drop the girls at their new school {which, thankfully, they love}, I find myself wishing we had some summer days to explore together. And then I recall the dreary days this winter when I had time, time, time and no motivation to explore, and I know that God is moving us in the direction He has chosen just for us. I would like to be able to stop by Mom & Dad’s after work, or have coffee around Maureen’s table with all the girls while the kids destroy her house, or chill on Jen’s couch watching something ridiculous on TV. I miss being in Mr. Brendel’s Sunday School class or getting excited when a “free 10″ inch” Aurelio’s coupon came on a random Thursday when I didn’t know what to cook. And I definitely wish I could be holding my new baby nephew right now, whispering his sweet name in all its versions {Daniel Bernard…D.B…Danny Boy…} while watching my big brother and his wife join the realm of “2 under 2.”

But I’m here. Even if I don’t always understand why. Even if sometimes I feel a little trapped between two places. Even if I resent the tourists a tiny little bit when I’m grocery shopping at 8 at night and they’re stocking up on their sunscreen and Pop Tarts (ew). And here, though it may not always be where I “would be” if I “could be” anywhere, has a whole lot of lovely to offer…

related adults

Even though I don’t feel so much like the new girl in town anymore, there are some conditions that sort of shout You aren’t quite at home to me, namely:
– the prescence of my parents/the girls’ grandparents
– the prescence of people I’ve either known all my life or act as if I have

So…it is really, really, super nice to have related adults living here. Josh and Kirsten are getting settled into their great new apartment. And…Paige is going to remain in South Carolina rather than going back to Kentucky (her story to tell, not mine…I trust in her future, and I love having her here).

So…we spent much of our weekend performing manual labor:



We’ve been really blessed, especially in the last half of the past year, for adults in our lives to support us, who can be called upon in emergencies, child care crises, birthday celebrations, etc. But having adult relatives here is…well, the bomb.


We are moving somewhere between the 23rd & 30th. My official packing plan is 5 boxes/day (this is at night, after the 12ish hour days we’ve had for the past few weeks. I. Am. Superwoman!) But first, there was unpacking to do, and we all know it must start in the kitchen. As of their first night, J&K could cook…if they wanted to!

And I’ve concluded that love is…

…packing them…

…before packing us!

like peanut butter and chocolate

May has felt like a month and a half.

It’s been packed with stuff, good stuff, busy stuff, big stuff: new jobs for Rod and me, a new home for our church, Paige returning, Josh & Kirsten making plans to move here from Illinois the end of May, our plans to move 45 minutes southeast the end of June, a 6 day trip for the girls and me, and 3 weeks in a row of traveling for Rod. Oh…and chronic fleas for sweet Max, which seem to be controlled and gone now, thank you God, Paige, and Dawn dish detergent.

Still to come: preK graduation (seriously…)

Rod and I have not been apart this much in years, definitely since before the girls were born. In fact, for the last 3 years we have pretty much been together all the time, so this was a bit of an adjustment for us.

…and a sweet, sweet reunion when he returned last night.

We are better together, like so many other things making me smile these days~

tea, sugar, & ice on a hot day (ok, any day) = better together

little girls and little dogs = better together
(don’t mind the snow boots. It was about 80 degrees out at the time of this picture).

little girls and fun costumes sent by friends who totally get their personalities = better together (thank you Ms. Sandi!)

kk and fast slides = better together

printing presses and quaint little towns where businesses look like this =
better together
(PS: this is the town where we’ll be living come July!)

the Burton girls and accessory stores = better together

my 5 and a half year old and her new big girl earrings = better together


My husband, my kids, my people…make me better.

sow something good

Randa’s class learned about gardens about a month ago, and ever since, she has been asking me if we can PLANT STUFF.

My idea of planting has to do with planting myself on the couch with my iPad and a cookie after a long day. I can ‘make-do’ with most things I try, but I can honestly say I suck at gardening.

My father, however, is a true green thumb, so I thought, Maybe it skips a generation. I also thought, this is what homeschooling is all about. I will learn with her.
I picked up a few pots, a bag of dirt, and 3 packets of organic seeds. Randa’s only request (as far as edible things – pink flowers were a given and will come already blooming) was carrots. I have heard many success stories about herb gardens, so I also chose cilantro. And, my uncle told me that lettuce is a great thing to plant with a quick payoff. Whalah. A garden was planned.

Due to our recent move to Crazytown (metaphorically, as the actual move is still 41-ish days away), Randa has had to patiently wait for this task to commence. It ended up taking us about 20 minutes, completed while our dinner (white chicken chili) was simmering on the stove).

We planned on Sunday to do it Monday after school. Then Monday at lunch, I was informed by two members of the Good Christian Men Rejoice Club* that planting season is over. Here. In South Carolina.

WHAT? I mean, in Chicago, May is normally what we call The Great Thaw. How can planting season be OVER?

I looked at those seed packets, and behold, both the lettuce and carrots suggest Feb-Mar and Sept-Oct for planting. You know, I just didn’t ever need to know that up in Da Heights. Nonetheless…in true Burton style, we planted them anyway, with a lick and a prayer and a hope for a harvest that defies logic.

And yes, we used a beach shovel for our planter-digger-thing (isn’t that what they’re called?)

When we were done, KK went to play in her clubhouse (aka: the minivan), and while the chili was thickening, Miranda and I worked on labels for the pots. This put our phonics and writing practice to use. HOMESCHOOL!

Today for my other job, I met a man who has been in the movie and concessions business for years. He was an unending source of knowledge about popcorn machines and ice makers and fun stories about concessions set-ups and crises and movie weekends. While he was talking, I looked at my friend and co-worker Terrie and said, This is why I’m going to homeschool. That man’s stories were a whole day of lessons…maybe a whole unit. And I was fascinated to learn from him.

Terrie asked me how I am going to do it. I don’t blame her. Like I said, it is CRAZYtown right now trying to get a start-up running with just a few of us on the job. And my answer remains: I don’t know, but I know I will. I believe it is what God is telling me to do right now, so how can I refuse, and how can I not trust He will show me the way?

Whether it gives us a half hour of planting things that may or may not grow or a half hour of learning about popcorn practices, the world really is a schoolhouse. I sure feel blessed to be learning, still, on a daily basis. I am excited to do so alongside my kids, planting not just stuff, but sowing good seeds…you know, the metaphorical kind.

*Since I began working every day with a bunch of good ol’ Christian boys, I had to give them a nickname. And since I think of them as Good Christian Men, the song “Good Christian Men Rejoice” always pops into my head. There you have it…

“shelved” – in a good way

Yesterday afternoon, there were 5 gentlemen gathered in my office (squee! – I have an office!) discussing the best way to hang my shelves.

We had fun with it, and it’s all figured out, but this was a special moment for me because of what it represents.

Ever since Rod & I began following a call to ministry together, I guess about 7 years ago, we’ve often – mostly – felt isolated in our efforts, like we were constantly having to break down walls with only each other to depend on. Thank God, He often put people in our path – friends, family, even strangers, likely all the people reading this, to remind us we were not actually alone, even if we feel like we are. But geographically, logistically, financially, we have been mostly just-the-two-of-us to trust in what God provided.

He always sent what we needed, even if there were scary times of delay, and He is doing it again.

It means more than we can say, in our new venture, to be on a team of people who support us, who are trustworthy, who are like-minded, who are “iron,” and – BONUS – people whom we respect and love.

I have never regretted trusting in God, Whom I cannot see or hear or feel in a sensory way. But I am super thankful right now for the security that being surrounded by fellow humans provides to me.

Super thankful.