About Last Night

We had chili for supper last night. The kind with beans, cheese, onions and Fritos. It was our second day in a row of cool weather and so we wore boots and ate food that makes it feel colder than it really is. We take what we can get for Fall down here in Texas. Because you never know when it will be 85 degrees again.

Everyone shared their highs/lows for the day. My kids had a day off school (teacher work day) and my hubby caught up with the mountain of paperwork for MH. It was my turn and I got a lump in my throat. I told my family about the comments from my 5th anniversary post yesterday, about how y’all made me feel so loved and appreciated. And then I said, “I feel bad because so many women look up to me. I hope they know how much I struggle and how imperfect I am.”

And then I started to cry, right there in my chili.

My family looked around awkwardly and my oldest said, “So, I’ve noticed you cry a lot more now. Is that because you’re getting old ? Because you also pee when you jump or laugh too much. I’ve just noticed there’s a lot of water going on.”

The moment was over and we laughed (the truth hurts) and I dished out more chili.

So, all that to say, thanks for your comments. They really encouraged me.

Just before we closed our Gratitude Journal, my daughter mentioned something about college. She’s been thinking a lot about it lately Β since entering junior high and with cousins now in that phase. She said, “Ya know, I only have 6 summers left before I go to college.” Somehow we moved from that to places we’d like to visit as a family before she graduates. I flipped to a blank page and my hubby gave me a “why not?” look. My kids started shouting out destinations and these places made the short-list of dream trips we’d like to take. I have no idea how we’d pay for them or ever make it happen, but it felt amazing to write it down and dream together.

1. Disney World (to show our youngest)

2. Washington D.C. (day trip to NYC and Philadelphia)

3. Grand Canyon (camping)

4. Colorado (outdoor adventures)

5. Yellowstone National Park

6. Paris, France (layover by way of Kenya)

We left our chili bowls piled high in the sink and my hubby aired up bike tires. We rode into the sunset in perfect weather and lived happily ever after.

Only the real story: The 5 year old fell off her scooter (because she refused to ride her bike because she wasn’t wearing long pants, which she also refused) and skinned her knee. About that time my big kids started racing and arguing for the whole neighborhood to hear, then my hubby turned his bike over. Oh, and there was dog poop on shoes, tracked through the house. And I yelled some. So, yeah, just a normal day with quality family time.

And I was worried y’all might think I was perfect.


  1. 4

    Carol Darden says

    No, Kristen, we don’t think you’re perfect :) We just appreciate your honesty as you navigate through your journey with God and your family.

  2. 8

    Karen says

    I LOVE dreaming “trip” dreams. Somehow we started the tradition that when one of the boys was a senior in HS we took a big family trip. We have been to Costa Rica and Key West. This year is the last one and we are headed to the Grand Canyon….now taking a wife and fiance with us! It has been wonderful!!!!

  3. 9

    Kari says

    I enjoy your posts because you are normal! It makes me feel better…sometimes its easier to look on others lives and think they are perfect and have it all together. Its nice to know that I’m not the only one who isn’t the perfect mom or who doesn’t have the perfect kids. Thanks for being ‘normal’! :o)

  4. 11

    Jami says

    For me, a huge part of why I love reading your words is because you are not perfect and you admit it. You admit that you struggle, as so many of us do. It is comforting to know that I am not the only one who goes through some of the same things. There is no perfect person and anyone who claims to be is lying. Jesus was our example and we all fall short of His example. But we are all loved and have something to contribute to this world. Your words touch so many and I personally want to say thank you!

  5. 12

    Melissa D says

    See, this is why I want to be like you. Because you tell us the good, the bad and the ugly and do it in a way that we can rejoice over the good with you and be sympathetic over the bad and the ugly with you, rather than feeling like you are some untouchable superwoman.

  6. 13

    Nancy says

    This is why I read! I’m so envious of you “mom bloggers” who have all of these great stories (good & bad) written down to look back on. We have some great stories to tell about our younger years with our kids, but there really aren’t a lot of them…just a handful that we tell a lot! I so wish I had written down more back then.

  7. 14


    That’s it! Why we love you! Because we know you’re not perfect. BECAUSE YOU SHARE IT WITH US!!! But we know every single time you’re down, you’ll fall on grace and turn to the One who’ll pick you back up. Yep. That’s it.

  8. 15


    I love it because everytime I read one of your adventures or misadventures…..I think to myself “Phew……we are not the only ones!”

    Bless you and your family and thanks for sharing! :)

  9. 16


    I keep telling myself that my kids are gonna forget the yelling and fighting and just remember the memories of imperfect family time! Thanks for sharing yours!! (Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful!)
    I’m learning to like and celebrate imperfect moments, imperfect outings, imperfect progress!!

  10. 17


    Ah, the crying and peeing! That’s the funniest statement out of your daughter’s mouth. And a good opportunity for a confession I’m not brave enough to put on my own blog, because my mom will be mortified.

    We have a new trampoline place in Nashville. My husband and I were so excited to go, since whenever we go to one of those kids’ bouncy places, we say how there should be an “adult jump” night. So we went to the trampoline place on our date night last week. At 31, we were the oldest people jumping, most everyone else being around age 9-21, and we quickly learned that we are too old for this. We were both unlimber and sore, but I had, um, another problem. They should have posted a sign: WOMEN WHO HAVE GIVEN BIRTH SHOULD NOT JUMP ON TRAMPOLINES!

    I jumped straight up and down, with my legs clamped together, trying to subtly tell my husband why I was grimacing. He was just not getting it. What a bummer–I was hoping to have found my new workout place!

  11. 18

    Sarah says

    One of the reasons I love to read what you write is that you’re so honest with us. Thank you for sharing- good, bad, and wet! πŸ˜‰

  12. 19

    cheryl says

    thank you for sharing your life with us. It makes me laugh, cry, and think,”I am not alone in this crazy journey”

    love ya!!

  13. 20


    Oh my word… This is absolutely precious. Kids say the darndest things! Thank you for sharing your heart. I take comfort in knowing that every person is imperfect… Makes His grace that much more amazing.

  14. 23

    Teresa says

    Yeah for the vision to try and travel with your family.

    You already know with the open jaw ticket coming back from Kenya ( and going to) you can see Paris, hurray!!

    We went to the Grand Canyon this last February, the week before President’s Day.(It’s a bit crazier on that long weekend)
    It was on my list of places to see:)
    It was so peaceful, you can travel on roads that are blocked to vehicular traffic in the summer. There were maybe 200 people there when we went. Lovely weather, it was the same sight you see in the summer.
    Discounts on hotels in and out of the park, no line ups driving up.

    We saw a wolf cross the road in the park right in front of us. The visitor senter was deserted and you could walk anywhere with no crowds.

    The most people we saw was at a lookout when we all saw the sunset over the Grand Canyon.

    It was so much fun and relaxing this way:)

  15. 24

    tonya says

    i love your blog…your honesty, your love for your man and kids, your faith, your humility…YOU! thank you!

  16. 26


    You gave me the chuckle of the night, Kristen. Loved the stories about getting old and the bike ride. Yep, I think we can see that you and your great bunch of family member’s aren’t quite “Leave it to Beaver”ish.

  17. 27


    I read HERE because you are transparent….never making things “look” a different way. Relating to others each and everyday! The encouragement you give through each posts keeps me coming back….thank you for sharing your time with all of us out here in blog world. :0)

  18. 28


    Kristen: What a beautiful post with the real, the true, the honest! I’m always concerned with coming across, well, not how I really am… a mom who struggles, yells, cries (and pees alot since baby #3… so I can relate! haha!) thanks for being real but still inspiring us to walk fully, dream, + live in His grace.

  19. 29

    Nikie says

    Your kids are a great age for visiting DC. There is so much to do and most of it is free.
    We live in DC and own a restaurant so I would love to help you plan your visit when you are ready!

  20. 30

    AmberK says

    OH EM GOLLY, Kristen…I just cracked up!!! HA HA HA HA Too funny about the ending. You ARE so open and honest that YES we do realize you struggle and I think that’s why Mercy House will be blessed and why your blog is so popular and why people DO admire you. You’re real but you never quit reaching for better and higher and that is what is to be admired!!
    And it goes without saying that your heart is as big as Texas, too, ya know. And don’t even get me started on the whole sweet tea thing! :)

    So totally wishing we were neighbors…see I have a dream, LOL

    Keep keepin’ on!

    Hugs & Prayers

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