Category: the inevitability of change

keep me where you are

Lyrics | Mindy Smith lyricsOne Moment More lyrics

During my drive from Chicago home to South Carolina home, this was the song that broke me. After a month-long tour of amazing goodbyes, most of which did not make me cry, this one did me in.

I’m still homesick. And lonely. And feeling stupid because of how vain I feel in my inner-whininess that no one knows me here. It’s a bit ridiculous and sort of like 4th grade or freshman year all over again. (4th grade SUCKED for me, yo). I’m still a little afraid to be myself.

Meanwhile…it is selfish of me to want life to be altered for those I left behind, and sometimes I can barely stand to know about the fun/togetherness they’re having without me. I’m not quite experiencing either yet. Weekends are lonely and weekdays are weird. But who ever said building a new life would be quick and easy?


For the last two years, we’ve kept entertainer’s hours.

That is: late, late bedtime, slow mornings.

With the little chicas starting school last week, all that had to change. We have to get them to their classes by 8:30 to avoid the dreaded hall pass or worse yet, disappointing Ms. G. or Ms
K., our children’s new idols.

Rod and I have set a bedtime for ourselves, which we typically miss by 45 minutes or so, because you can’t schedule OCD, or the entertainment business, and you just never know when the 17 piles of paperwork that have accumulated in the kitchen will need to be moved into a filing system, or when this or that artist need a Burton-therapy session (God help them…)

On Sunday night, Rod dutifully fell into bed on time. His wife, however, was suffering from awesome-nap-followed-by-too-much-caffeine-to-combat-grogginess Sunday night insomnia, and so it’s possible an uncontrollable fit of cackle woke him up shortly before 1am. (I both blame and thank Chandler Bing).

The result of all this time-adjustment means that mornings are like a series of mini-explosions. BAM! Wake up! BAM! Cuddle! BAM! Imagination Movers while getting dressed (a dress for M, shorts and a t-shirt and socks for KK, without fail). BAM! Fight through the teeth-brushing process. BAM! Make a car-ready breakfast. And then thankfully, YAY! The girls can’t wait to get to school. It’s very sweet, and of course, a little sad, too.


After we drop them off, all bright-eyed and crumby from their toast, my adrenaline suffers a serious slow down. A second (and sometimes third, and honestly, fourth) coffee is in order. Rod craves sugar. We soak in some vitamin D in this blessedly sunny locale we now call home. And through exchanges of ‘what’s up today?’ and what’s funny on Twitter and ‘this will be easier when we have _________,” we gather ourselves for a day full of the unexpected.

Until 5ish pm, when we pick up the people we know best in the world, and start all over again.

the girl with the laugh, 3 months in

ah, changes.


I guess I foolishly thought the change of moving from my home of 34.5 years in the gray, industrial, cozy midwest to a locale 1000 miles away on the southeast coast was going to be the biggest one to adjust to this year.

I might have been wrong.

The girls started school – not homeschool, but somewhere-else school, full time, 8-9 hours a day, this week.

Paige left for college, nine hours away, this week.

I drove around town to shops, offices, restaurants without using the GPS or turning around, this week.

We’re getting somewhere.

It makes sense to me that these things all kind of happened at the same time. This summer was a series of things to get through…unpack, have Branson, visit Chicago, entertain out of town guests (hooray for them!) make the leap of putting M & KK in school, send Paige.

And now all those things have occurred, and we’re working big time toward getting the theater open (which I don’t expect will be a ‘normal’ thing but hopefully will ‘normalize’ our work existence just a tiny bit), and so it seems that the time has arrived not to be the new girl so much, and just be who I am.

It’s a bewildering balance to strike. My social circle is still housed in two definite places, one in Chicagoland, made of people I’ve known since the first day of Saukview to people who have been melded into my soul just in the past few years…and one in our gospel-music-traveling-world, where we meet up on Twitter and text and the occasional joint concerts or drive-throughs and certainly in Branson and usually in Louisville, although not this year.


But I need a social life here. A real one.

The work one is great. The work lunch has successfully helped me deal with losing the play date lunch. I almost embarrassingly love the work lunch. I will be a little sad when we have an office and I will not be able to justify eating out every day. Meanwhile, Rod and I have become recognizable regulars in a few places. I got called ‘Kel’ for the first time since we moved here. And people don’t seem afraid of my laugh, which is good, because that part of me cannot be edited. It is physically impossible. Plus, score, I am working with my best friend every day; if not for that, I honestly can’t imagine what going back to work (teehee. ’cause I’ve been lounging for the past four and a half years) would be like.

The church one is coming. We’ve forged some connections. We know we have people who have our backs. That is a beautiful thing that I have never taken for granted, but taken even less for granted now!

But there is comfort in knowing people…knowing their stories, knowing their sensitive topics, knowing they have breakfast with their mom and dad every Saturday morning and knowing they like fake cheese sauce rather than the shredded kind on their Tex Mex and knowing how they take their coffee and that they not only welcome but expect a hug at the beginning and end of your time together. There is comfort in people loving your kids but also being familiar enough to touch them, laugh at them, discipline them.

There is comfort in friends that doesn’t exist in any other place, and right now, for the most part, my friends exist miles from me, in welcome phone calls and funny texts, unreachable.


This weekend was a great little clinical trial. I spent my first night alone here with Rod taking Paige to UK. It was fine. I had confidence enough to take the girls to a sit down dinner and patience enough to ‘get everything done’ and energy enough to get them to school on time. I did my thing and we did our thing, and then Friday night’s craziness ensued: Rod’s connecting flight to Florence was cancelled…just as we had reached Florence. Fortunately, the girls didn’t act like maniacs the entire time in the car. We listened to stories and I got to talk on the phone and we had brought snacks, so our unfortunate LAST EXPERIENCE EVER trying to eat Burger King for dinner was even ok (Seriously. That chicken sandwich used to be good, and now it should not pass as edible). Rod caught a last minute flight to Myrtle Beach and made it there before we did. And on the way, because I tell my life story on FB sometimes (I love the challenge to make it brief and fun), I got a call from one of those new friends offering to help.


Saturday, we played low-key. The girls were up way earlier than they should have been, but get this… they played on their own for hours. I made a big breakfast and then baked, and put together care packages for the Big Kids, and Rod and I talked and talked. It was kind of awesome.

Saturday night we went to dinner, and M & KK requested, get this, their own table. So Rod and I pretended we were on a date. We have fabulous imaginations…

Sunday, well. Sundays are still hard. I still miss our church, even though I love Journey, and our being there is right, period. It’s just that sitting still in church, listening to words that are beautifully crafted to cause reflection and worship, makes me weep like a crazy lady. And this week, through a random series of events on the way to church, I was crying before we even got there. Score.

Myrtle Beach: I miss having people around on the weekends. So let’s do some stuff, ok?

Anyway, the changes continue to come. And in a few weeks, I will be able to write about another huge one that is just down the pike. And as we navigate them all, because we are who we are, I have dreams and inclinations of more changes to come. Crazy, I know. But that’s how we ride this tidal wave. Laughing all the way.

upon riding the tidal wave

A year ago we were in Colombia. It was the farthest and longest I’d been away from the girls, along with a totally perspective-changing and passion-sharpening experience. Hard to believe it’s only been one year.

I feel like I have been swept along by a tidal wave over these last few years. Compared to many other lives, mine is calm. So I wish I could allow that to make me feel at peace. Everything changes so much that the only thing I’ve come to expect is more change.

I believe the steps of the righteous are ordered of God. (Psalm 37:23)

I know that as children grow up, then grow away from us, whether it’s to an apartment in Joliet, a dorm room in Lexington, or a pre-school down the street.

But I miss us, the way we were…’two tots, two teens.’


Quite honestly, I used to look forward to a time when our family would be ‘uncomplicated,’ with no explanations of who is whom, no weird looks, no confusion. Now, the prospect seems a little boring.

I know, as I like to tell others, the best is yet to come. But right now, those sweet few years of two in high school, two in diapers, seem like the ones we’ll look back on as our golden years.

I am grateful for every opportunity, but mostly grateful for the one that lets me have them as my kids.