One-word prayers


Before having our first dinner of 2013 –

photo copy 4And after the Hubs had prayed,

I had an idea

(A truly beautiful idea if you ask me)

Initially it wasn’t warmly received

But I insisted

And so we went around the dining room table

Falafel, salad, mung bean sprouts and such, they paused

Cherishing these moments together

Cherishing these moments together

Three precious olive shoots

– A Soldier

– A ministry-minded middle

– An orange hair, freckle face sophomore

The Hubs and I

Offered a one-word prayer for the person to our left

Here are the brief utterances we spoke to each other

The one-word prayers we shared for each other. I am curious to see how these words are fulfilled.

The one-word prayers we shared for each other. I am curious to see how these words are fulfilled.

A simple, carefully selected word emerged from our lips individually

Handpicked from God, I’d like to think

A collective sigh of relief

And blessing manifested

As we feasted (finally) on all we had been given

photo copy 2

Watercolor works wonders this Christmas


Did you give a loved one a very meaningful gift this Christmas? Isn’t it a satisfying feeling? Four of the presents I gave to loved ones fell into the category of little things that mean a lot.

This holiday season I discovered a talented watercolor artist and fellow West Point mom. I admired Janet’s beautiful work on facebook and contacted her. Upon sharing a bit, Janet agreed to the daunting task of painting (in miniature) a time this year when God literally and figuratively used the Hubs and my three olive shoots to save my life.

On Christmas day, after opening all the other presents, I stood in front of my family. With a silly clearing of my throat meant for dramatic effect and levity, I read the cards I had written. The atmosphere in the living room grew from festive to reflective as I became emotional. I’m blessed (and cursed) with very active Lacrimal glands; soon my pajamas became tear-stained.

Fog, rainbow, valley watercolor

Fog, rainbow, valley watercolor

After reading each card, I simultaneously handed the Hubs and my OS their gifts. (Nate received his gift after returning from El Salvador). There were no shrieks of delight, the kind that are often associated with Christmas; these presents summoned brief silence instead. Each painting was similar yet each had a unique touch.

I gave this watercolor to my Soldier.

I gave this watercolor to my Soldier.

Without getting too personal and making things awkward, I’ll share part of my literal journey.

Some of the dense fog I experienced.

Some of the dense fog I experienced.

In the fall, while traveling to Chicago to see my ministry-minded OS Aaron, I drove through miles and miles of hazardous fog. It was the second worst fog I’ve ever encountered. The most terrifying fog was to happen on the way HOME from this trip and it wasn’t the serene, mysterious kind either. There was nothing ethereal and lovely about it, this fog was treacherous and blindingly thick, a wrong tilt of the wheel would result in certain death. And I had precious cargo aboard in both directions – my orange hair, freckle face Ike.  There was no safe way off the highway, I just had to drive through the fog until things cleared. Anxiety still looms in me as I type these words. Had I veered off the highway, we would have plunged deep into the valley below.

Yet during this journey, Ike and I also encountered a rainbow. He saw it first and pointed it out to me. Both the fog and the rainbow are metaphors for other aspects of my life and we’ll just leave it there.

Ike became my living rainbow.

Ike became my living rainbow.

Janet was “commissioned” to combine elements of both the fog and the rainbow into a 2″ x 3″ watercolor (the Hubs’ painting is a bit larger and trust me, he deserved it!).

The Hubs promptly hung his watercolor painting in his office.

The Hubs promptly hung his watercolor painting in his office.

I love this.

I love this.

And this blessed woman unbeknownst to me at the time, not only created paintings for the Hubs and my three olive shoots; she made one for me. I now own an original watercolor which travels to different rooms in my house lest I am unable to see it.

These paintings are small but Janet rendered them magnificently. Though I fancy myself as a thoughtful gift giver, the Lord gets the credit. He provided the backdrop and graciously allowed the Hubs and my three olive shoots to bestow hope and support to me at a time when the valley was dangerously tempting. The Lord created the scenery and granted me insight. Then at just the right time, God carefully provided an artist, someone with whom I share a kindred spirit.

Psalm 31:8

and have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
you have set my feet in a broad place.

It was a privilege to give these gifts and I’d love to hear about a special gift you gave or received this Christmas. If you are interested in learning more about Janet, contact her at

What color was your dinner?


“Hey everybody, this is important!”

Food is on the table

Getting ready to pray

When I look at the spread before us

And notice

Hey, this is a bi-color dinner!

Quick, grab the camera!

People need to know!

Edamame – green

Massaged kale salad – verdurous with splashes of bright yellow (mango) and sage green (pepitas)

Italian quinoa salad – social butterfly yellow, green pepper green, yellow corn

This is my unintentional bi-color dinner, everybody!)

Within arm’s reach, a shaker of homemade celery powder, made in my dehydrator

Over to the side

Popcorn – hints of soft yellow amidst the white explosions speckled with Fire Dancer seasoning

Then I realize, WHOA!


The plates are

Green plate swirls

Garden spot green

Witty green


Optimistic yellow!

The Pyrex bowl containing the roasted kale (brown green), you ask?

Cut the Mustard gold

I love all the beautiful colors in Pyrex!

I exclaim, “Hey, guys! This is really important!

But no one else noticed,

Neither, the Hubs nor the orange hair, freckle face OS cared.

They were just hungry. Phooey.

This blog post was brought to you by the colors yellow and green and by the word observant

Find your colors at Sherwin Williams and this amazing app on Sherwin Williams ColorSnap. I didn’t know about this app until I started writing this post. But you can use your smart phone to match real-world colors with paint colors. All for free! You can take a picture of your dinner (like I did) and it will tell you the names of the corresponding paint colors! How cool is that! 

Five Minute Friday – celebration time, come on!


As much as I miss the high-pitched voices of my OS when they were little –

As much as I cling to those chubby snuggles and hilarious toddler sayings,

I’ve got to say, there are things about this stage of life that have perks!

“Woo hoo! Gonna take my beautiful sweetheart out for a date night!”

I got a text from our oldest OS on our 25th anniversary. A $100 gift certificate to Ruth’s Chris was on its way!

He and his brothers had pitched in to make this possible

When I was a kid, I remember celebrating my parents’ wedding anniversary but my OS haven’t done this before.

2/3 of my OS even publicly acknowledged our special day on their facebook pages and it sincerely made me happy.

Because it’s not like we made 25 years easily.

In the past, we threw the “L” word and the “D” word with regularity. When my oldest OS was a toddler, we took him with us to the marriage counselor.

He played with a little toy on the floor as the Hubs and I sat on separate couches. We were at impasse. Would we stay together or would we go our separate ways? As we celebrate this hallmark anniversary, I can still see that toe-headed fella on the carpet. He is now an Army officer.

I began reading the card and then Ike took it from my hands and said he wanted to read it out loud to me. ❤

So as the orange hair, freckle face OS stood in front of me (the Hubs had to go to DC to attend to a speeding ticket (!) he got on the way home from Nate’s graduation from West Point), Ike presented me with a homemade anniversary card.

It’s unlikely Ike will be a great artist in the future but we love him anyway. I love these goofy cards and I really, really hope I don’t look like this in real life!

Funny how his drawings look kinda like Tess the Guinea Pig Girl dolls

Here’s what he said,

“Dear Mom and Dad,

Thank you for setting a wonderful example for us on what a faithful marriage is. Raising 3 great children and the last one possibly being the great is not easy to do.   You have shown us what leadership and sacrifice is and have blessed us by walking beside us in our Christian walks. We love you and thank you for the love you have given us. 

Isaac, Nate and Aaron 

PS. Thanks for making us”

Ike has always been such a funny guy!

Ike’s drawings look quite similar to my Tess the Guinea Pig Girl doll collection, don’t you think? Not sure what to do with that!

Jesus alone has salvaged the Hubs and me. Individually, the Lord has also redeemed my children’s lives when they repented of their sins and asked Christ into their hearts. Aaron and Ike exist today because of the mighty work Christ has done in this really human family.

My OS know our story and they see our flaws on a daily basis. And they celebrated our marriage anyway. I’m looking forward to a festive date night.

Here’s the link if you want to see more of the Guinea Pig Girl doll collection!

Birth, beads and a baby, part one


“Ok, so I let you take pictures of me with your homemade dolls. Isn’t that enough, Woman?”

There are certain family stories you just don’t share. There are other stories which become legendary. This one is a toss-up but for posterity sake, I must pass it along.

“Mom, are you really going to do this to my brother on his b-day???”

It’s my middle OS’s 18th birthday today I’m going to embarrass him/myself and anyone else I can by telling this story. I love Aaron desperately. It’s his first birthday away from home at Moody Bible Institute. BLECH! Truly, Aaron brings immeasurable joy to my life and since his conception, this guy has been making me weirder by the day. Read on for the deets.

While pregnant with my middle OS, I began to love beads. And I mean LOVE. On many Saturday mornings, you’d find me at the flea market pining over ways to make unique jewelry. Actually I never made it myself but some mother/son flea marketeers pieced together my baubles in their simple tented outdoor booth. It was a win-win situation though we were a strange trio to be sure. They lived together in a cramped trailer home in rural North Carolina and didn’t get much exercise, I was a then career-minded, super busy, suburban mama raising a family in a middle class neighborhood near Raleigh.

I believe these three beads represented each trimester…

As my due date approached, I was insistent that beads become a central theme in the delivery, second only to my pending OS. Beads were symbolic of fertility and womanhood. According to my birth plan, everyone with the exception of medical personnel had to wear beads if they wanted to see Aaron enter the world.

The Hubs didn’t/doesn’t have an impressive jewelry stash. If you add marbles, you might say that his bead collection was scant at best. But being the ever dutiful wife, I wanted to resolve his burdensome problem.

I’m not sure what these represented but they represented something!

One afternoon I set off to personally visit the mother/son duo. They had told me they had an even vaster selection of beads at their home and many more masculine beads to choose from. It was now close to my delivery and I was determined. Aaron wasn’t going anywhere until his daddy had a bead necklace to wear for the big day. The miles I logged on that mini-van were astounding. At times I thought about giving up but how could I do that to my incredible husband and precious Aaron still stuck in the womb? I finally arrived and spotted the ramshackle trailer off a dusty, unpaved road. It had taken much longer to get here but Mom and Son were waiting for me.

We all waddled into the showroom. It was similar to a greenhouse only filled with a million or so beads. I noted the selection. Daunting. How could I choose? It had to be perfect and I wanted something to match the overall color scheme and mood of my necklace.  After great thought and with my bead friends’ approval, I found the perfect pieces. For added manliness, I even included a few African bone beads. The Hubs was going to love it. They knotted and strung them all together and even gave me a satin gift bag. We all smiled and waved as I backed up my mini-van leaving a trail of dust in the midst. Mission accomplished…

“Um, thanks Mom?”

Here’s the link to Olive Shoot Institute and the aforementioned dolls. Stay tuned for part two, we’ll call it “the unveiling…”

Dinner party fun and a cool give-away!


There are two little secrets resting on these tables…

I warned my family before the company came over on Saturday night. Don’t.Mess.With.My.Plans. 

They knew that I had strategically placed two small mesh pouches on the dining room tables and they were not to remove them no matter what.

Furthermore, they received instruction not to smirk or roll their eyes when I revealed the little mystery bags to our dinner guests either.

In other words, there was some fear and trembling up in the W-H home before our company arrived.

Just before we prayed and served dinner, I announced to our guests that we were going to play a little game during dinner. The Hubs and my middle OS Aaron and the orange hair, freckle face OS nodded attentively according to orders. 😉

The people around this table shared something about themselves using Think-Ets

I told our guests we were going to go around the room and play Think-Ets. The guests weren’t sure what that meant and I continued. Each guest would remove an item from the small bag, show it to everyone else and share something about themselves as it pertained to the little trinket they held in their fingers.

All these trinkets. Can you think of a story about yourself as you look at them?

Our middle OS got things started as he pulled a tiny bell from the bag. He shared a story about his childhood and waking up early thanks to our dog Toughie. May he rest in peace. Then it was Pastor Jerry’s turn and he spoke about a recent time at the beach. Throughout the night 12 people in total gave us a glimpse into their lives with the help of these Think-Ets. Some of the stories were touching, like when one of our guests told us about his absolutely out of control curly hair he proudly wore as a teenager (the multi-colored bead) and when one of the women told about how she recounted her dreams as a single woman and gave them to her husband as a wedding gift (the book). Things got personal as the Hubs shared about growing up in Guam and shelling in the middle of the night (the shell) and one of the pastors spoke about moving as a little boy when his parents divorced from the west to the deep south (the pig). My favorite was learning about the grandparents who owned a rock shop in Florida and would drive all the way to Colorado to buy rocks for the store (the polished rock). How cool is that!

I’ve played this game many times and it’s never boring. I like hearing other people’s stories.

This loquacious group would have kept the conversation going, I am sure of that. But thanks to the Think-Ets, we went deeper, funnier and sweeter than we would have done left to our own resources. A closeness was shared not only because we had enjoyed a nice meal together but because we were real. In no small way those little mesh bags filled with tiny trinkets moved us from mundane to meaningful.

The kids’ table had a loud and crazy time with the Think-Ets!

A crazy rain storm had been brewing outside all night. Lightning flashed into the dining room and guess what? We couldn’t have cared less. We were listening to each other and making friends.

This was the little doo-dad I picked. I’ve got to tell you what I shared, it was quite a surprise!

We went to church the next day and all the folks commented on the great night we had shared! They especially mentioned “the game.” See I was right, it was a GOOD idea!

We had such a sweet time of fellowship, I want to extend the opportunity to you. Leave a comment on this blog post and on Monday August 6th, I’ll select a winner and that lucky person will receive the brand new Think-ets Party Games Edition for you to try yourself!

Think-Ets Party Games Edition – woot woot!

Here’s what the winner will get: 15 miniature trinkets from around the world, Instruction Booklet with 10 different games to play and the absolutely wonderful burgundy mesh carrying pouch.

Sample Trinkets include: “Wine” Bottle, Purple Person, Woven Rug, War & Peace Book, Meerkat, Apple, Gold Ring, Hammer, House, and more. (Items may vary due to supply changes.)

If you leave a message on my blog on this post in particular, I’ll count it as one entry but you can also enter on my personal facebook page and My Awesome Olive Shoots facebook page as well. Feel free to share with friends. Tell me how you think you could enjoy these and I’ll randomly pick a winner. So easy!

I’m just thrilled to give you the chance to enjoy a special time with friends and look forward to hearing from you!

West Point graduation touchstone moments


Pictured here are the freckle face, orange hair ginger, the Hubs, the Officer just after we pinned the bars on his uniform, the weepy proud mama, the grandpa and the ministry-bound middle brother.

This is not a glamour shot.

We are an imperfect bunch.
But we love each other.
And when not focusing on our own personal comforts which is often difficult for most people including myself and those in my clan.
We reach deep down inside and demonstrate support and care.

And this is what my oldest OS deserved on HIS day.
Not telling Nate how exhausted and hot we were (because I do not believe there are sufficient words and he was surely tired and sweaty!)
But rather standing next to our Soldier physically, emotionally and spiritually.
As he graduated from the United States Military Academy.

It was a privilege and an honor.
And if someone would have handed me a mirror,
And lipstick,
And some haircare products,
Or offered me a shower to freshen up,

It was only after taking the picture, I realized that we were all touching each other.

You know, because an important picture was going to be taken,

I would have said no

And continued to hold my son’s hand.
Unconcerned about appearance,
Shedding tears of pride.

No other place could I have been
Then next to Nate and surrounded by those who love him most.

Making memories for a lifetime,
This perspiring, imperfect collection of people
Honored a man of integrity
Whom the Lord gave me for such a time as this
And I am richly, profoundly blessed to call him (and all those in this picture) my own.

And it makes me wonder…

It’s true, mothering has allowed me 
to blossom as a woman.

I hesitated for a moment when my orange hair, freckle face OS asked me a question during dinner last night.

“Is it ever boring just staying home all day and being a mom?”

No sooner had the words parted from those teenage ruby lips when he profusely apologized for his frankness. Truly Ike has said nastier things to me without a hint of remorse (and been punished for it, thank you very much!) but it was obvious he didn’t want to hurt my feelings. 

I think it’s an honest question. But what is the correct answer? Here’s what I said.

“Sometimes it is boring but that’s usually because I’m not doing the things I need to be doing.”

It was seven and a half years before traded in my ambitious career goals and embraced the job that had been waiting for me – full-time motherhood.

The day I learned that we were going to be parents! 
Notice the EPT (Early Pregnancy Test) box 
the Hubs is holding! 

So resolute was I to stay in the business world, that upon learning that I was pregnant with my oldest OS, I ordered a TWO YEAR subscription to Working Mother magazine. I remember simultaneously nursing Nate and attempting to have a contract negotiation on the phone only ten days after his birth. But no one was going to change my opinion…not my husband, not my mom, not even my baby.

It took two more children before I figured out that the Lord had divinely appointed me to be a stay-at-home parent. I can be a bit stubborn but I was relentlessly targeted. The voice in my heart told me repeatedly that I was “perfect for the job” even if I couldn’t see my qualifications. My Heavenly Father was changing me from the inside out…

Three dudes in suits

I sincerely wrestled about what to do with my life. It wasn’t an easy decision as I recall sitting on our eggplant colored couch with the Hubs in the winter of 1998. Bless that man as he listened and encouraged me. I questioned, what if full-time motherhood was boring? What if I hated staying home with the guys? What if I was lonely? What if my brain turned to mush? The Hubs reassured me that it was going to be ok. And he was right. 

Now 13 years later, my youngest OS was lovingly challenging me to take stock at how it’s been going for me…this whole stay-at-home mom gig.

When this kid gives this mom flowers “just because”
you have to feel good about yourself! 😉

Although my boys are older, my role as their mom is still important. To have a 21 year old son who while home from West Point brings me a bouquet of flowers “just because” is evidence that I made the right decision. To be appreciated for a pantry filled with food, much of it I prepared, affirms my position in the household. When the world laments for me because I’m a mom of three sons, two of them teenage boys, I scoff at their pettiness for I am among the most blessed. 

Three legos and a football champ!

Yes, my sweet orange hair, freckle face OS, sometimes being a mother has lackluster moments but that happens with any job as you will one day discover. Jesus gave me this exalted opportunity to raise three men of honor and faith and I will forever give him praise. 

Oh and one more thing, I hope I haven’t offended anyone,
this is my personal story of transformation
and I realize other people have different mothering journeys. 

PS. I’d love to hear from you. What interesting questions have your children have posed and how you have answered them? 

Doing Hard Things – Aaron sharing from his heart


My feet and those of my boy – both of us getting 
ready for the service. I love how our feet 
are touching, I didn’t realize it until now 
when I posted the pic. 
My middle OS Aaron entered the world with great gusto on August 30,1996. Almost exactly 17 years later, on a beautiful summer’s day in the Chicagoland area, that same precious child approached a microphone and through words, gave a final gift to the grandma he loved dearly.
Pretty sure I used that entire box of Kleenex!
My grandma’s memorial service brought forth countless blessings. On every level, from the music selected, the pictures featured, the location of the service to the tender common spirit filling the morning, it was obvious that the Lord had given us a day to reflect and celebrate a remarkable person. 
Aaron was the first family member to speak.This wasn’t his choice and he fretted about the pressure and enormity of the task. Not a lot of teenage guys would relish his position. From the perspective of a great-grandchild, my OS desired to recognize and share a central message about someone we all adored. Prone to migraines, we had been praying against him having one during the service and praise the Lord, he was fine. But think of how many adults cower in front of a microphone, let alone how many grown ups willingly speak at a memorial service about someone they love… Ok, now you have a slight understanding of the pride I had in my OS. 

Aaron spoke from this podium (so did everyone else).
You can see a funny picture of Nathan 

and Grandma in the background. 
We always had so much fun with her.  
My boy had worked so hard on his message. He sought counsel from teachers, asked for prayers, listened to our advice, changed a few words and added others. He considered his outfit, his hair (it really is that important!) and his shoes. But the foremost thing Aaron desired was to fittingly articulate the impact Grandma had on his life and on the lives of all the great grandkids. 
At the beginning of his message, Aaron accidentally omitted the name of his big brother, Nathan when he was recalling all of the great-grandchildren. True to form, Aaron gracefully recovered and it gave us all a moment to chuckle when he humorously, begrudgingly inserted Nathan’s name in the list. 🙂

Grandma and her boys at The Sound of Music.
As a music lover, Aaron equated Grandma’s life to a soundtrack. He told of the time we took her to see The Sound of Music. Grandma seemed less interested in the actual performance but more focused on the time with us as a family. Grandma closed her eyes, still fully awake and hummed away at familiar songs. Aaron recalled how he looked over at her during the musical and observed such joy on her face. My OS said that the soundtrack of Grandma’s life was one with strong notes and crescendoes, beautiful and melodious. It was a moving and fitting analogy.
He continued and the tears in Aaron’s eyes and voice mirrored everyone else’s as we wept during his message. My ever growing pile of Kleenex only increased when Aaron spoke of Jesus and His love for all of us. While we were there to mark Grandma’s passing, we celebrated the depth of happiness she gave to us all. Aaron acknowledged the Source of that love, Christ our Lord. I sat there draped in the arms of my other two OS and the Hubs never more thankful for this family I’ve been given. 
I like to imagine that my grandma is in heaven and that she could see us on August 27, 2011. Since there is no sadness or pain in heaven, in my heart I envision her utterly resplendent and I wonder if tears streamed from her sweet face. Not from sadness or cancer or dementia but from joy. I picture her absolutely overwhelmed being in the presence of the Lord, worshipping Him forever and for this one shining moment, seeing her handsome teenage great grandson confidently speaking of her and standing near her portrait. Oh how that picture in my heart brings me peace. If only everyone could be loved like this on earth and then to have that love exceeded in heaven, I want to live that kind of life now and eternally.   
Thank you Aaron. Thank you Grandma. 
Thanksgiving is mixed with sorrow, tears erupt with little warning and that’s the way I process grief. I realize that it’s going to be like this for a while as I have mourned other loved ones in the past. It is possible to be simultaneously sad, proud, grateful…after all that’s just what happens when you are Aaron’s mom and Grandma’s grand-daughter. 

Doing hard things – good days and bad days


This was my Saturday post..since then I have made progress and didn’t give up after all. I’m choosing to document not only my moments of success but also times of setback and discouragement. I’m posting it because some of you might understand my struggles…

Now back to Saturday afternoon…


I want to give up and throw in the towel. Swimming is just too hard. Nothing seems to work. It’s too complicated, too many things to try and coordinate. I’m too old for this. I look stupid. When my arms are straight, they should be bent. When my legs are kicking, they should be pointed. People look so effortless in the water, strong, brave, athletic, they must be geniuses too. No one can convince me I have the same appearance, what is wrong with me?

This is where I am today. If you were looking for an encouraging word, this isn’t the blog post for you. Sorry, just being honest. Even typing these words creates anxiety within me. 

What quandary pervades my spirit! Competing forces – grief and gratitude, fear and courage, defeat and perseverance inhabit me. 

Swimming and grieving :&

Grief – My grandma was so dear to me. Someone I loved deeply is no longer in my life and it’s terribly painful without her. Mourning is tiring and I want to just crawl into a corner and cry. 

Gratitude – Yet I had a grandma for nearly 50 years, what right do I have to be sad? She brought immeasurable joy to me and lived 91 1/2 years! The Lord gave me a grandma for a longer time than most people. She led a storied life. Thank you Jesus for blessing me!

Fear – Moving forward without her is scary. And I’m finding that swimming is like grief. Is it ever going to feel natural being in the water? Living without my grandma?

This diving board is becoming my friend. 

Courage – Being a land tortoise is a thing of the past. This summer, the diving board and I have become friends, we’re not besties but we enjoy each other most of the time. Like it or not, I’m doing at least two Hard Things simultaneously – swimming and grieving (News flash…on Monday, my orange hair, freckle face OS told me I had “guts!” That meant so much to me!)

Um, yeah, that looks natural…NOT!

Defeat – I have been googling YouTube videos about the breast stroke. Who came up with this swimming maneuver? The breast stroke is a constant source of conversation in my house, when do I glide, breathe, lift my head? OY! This afternoon I practiced my breast stroke techniques perpendicularly on a kitchen stool and on the large leg rest in our family room. Even at the farmer’s market in the parking lot, I demonstrated a possible breast stroke move to the Hubs. None of it makes sense, am I on the brink of figuring it out or is this just another indication that I need to just count my losses and move on? 

Perseverance–  But I have made some progress with swimming. For the first time in my life, I went in a circle while swimming. Don’t ask me how I did it. Most of you do this effortlessly but until Wednesday, all I could do was swim in a straight line. Frankly, I most often swim (accidentally) diagonally. 

I have walked by this lap pool for years.
I jumped in it for the first time. 

I also went into the lap pool at our gym for the very first time. I plunged (sort of) into the much colder water and swam (terribly) two laps. Nearly died, gulping water, had a very unattractive choking spell while flapping my arms and legs at the wrong times but by golly, I did it. The plan is for me to return to this lap pool and eventually to feel comfortable enough with going there by myself. In the meantime, my trusty Hubs is by my side. 

I’m encouraged knowing I’m not the only one Doing Hard Things and pushing through these struggles. Thanks y’all.