Thursday, January 24, 2013


I have been toying with this post for a long time. I have been writing it and re-writing it for almost a year. Trying to make sure I am doing justice to the person the post is about and to make sure I am respecting my family who is still alive on earth.

As I write this I have an overwhelming amount of emotion running, a strange heaviness in my chest, yet an overwhelming peace. I can close my eyes and see in slow motion everything I am about to write in bright vivid images, as if this all happened yesterday,

Donna...this post is about Donna. Donna is my Mom, my birth mom, one of my Moms'. I am lucky enough to have a couple Moms, but she was the first.

My earliest memory of her is from when I was six...on my sixth birthday actually. I ran into her bedroom and stood next to her bed and woke her up by saying "Mommy!! I am six!" and I remember her saying "Yes you are! I love you!"

I remember when my brother and I were little, she always made our birthday cakes from scratch. And they were always themed. She always kept them a secret, we were never allowed to see them until it was time to blow out the candles...or that's how I remember it.

Every Christmas she made cookies. I mean ALOT of Christmas cookies...all kinds. My favorite of them were the pazels. Now, we never got to actually eat the thin waffle like cookies, we got the little bits that come off the sides of the cookies. You know, that part that gets stuck to the waffle iron that makes the waffle not you have to tear it off to make the waffle perfect. Those parts...there was always a whole bowl of these little bits, and with a little powdered sugar, its just like Christmas 1994.

On Christmas and Valentines day we always got those little lifesavers books. The ones that came with 5...thats right 5 regular sized rolls of lifesavers....we loved them. Well besides the butterscotch. Those were the last to be eaten. I have looked for them during the holidays and I can never find them...I will find them and keep this fun tradition alive (or something similar) with my own children.

She loved to cook and bake. She was so good at it to. If I ever am half the cook she was I will have some happy family and friends! She did not mess around. No boxes, mixes, or frozen stuff. All from scratch all by hand. I suppose this is why its so important to me that I do the same... because I have such great memories of her doing it, its just my way of remembering.

She loved to sew and craft...and she was good at it. She had a sewing/craft room once. I remember it being a hot mess of a room...but it was always so special to got inside. She was a master, she could sew clothes, she could embroider and cross stitch. I have two pieces of cross stitch that she made. One she gave to my Aunt as a wedding gift 20 years ago, and my Aunt handed it down to me when I got married. I plan to give it to my daughter or son when they get married. The other piece is one she gave to me as a wedding gift.

She was strong. Quite possibly the strongest person I ever knew. She managed to keep a smile on her face and keep her head above water and seem just fine to many people. She was able to do this in some cruddy circumstances. She worked so hard at being the best Mom she could be even when she was sick and struggled with addictions...she always tried.

She passed away a little over 3 years ago. I remember this day vividly to. I remember because I was 2 1/2 months pregnant with Parson. I remember that it was a sunny beautiful day outside. I remember feeling so strange and not knowing how or what to process. I remember not wanting to tell anyone.

I know a lot of people think that its strange that I don't talk about her more. But just because I don't talk about her doesn't mean I don't think about her or I don't remember her.

I look just like her...I mean like spitting image of her. Sometimes I glance in the mirror and almost mistake my reflection for her image. Every time I sit down at my sewing machine I think of her, every time I try a new recipe or bake a loaf of bread I think of her. When we are in Michigan and drive past certain places I think of her.

A few weeks ago I was going to the grocery store late at night after Parson was in bed. I had been thinking about her that day because I was working on some sewing projects. I sat down in my car and I swear on my life she was in that car with me. I could feel it and I could smell her, you know that comforting smell of Mom. I didn't break down and cry and I was not mad...I just smiled. I smiled because I knew she was happy, I knew she had the best seat in the house and she was loving watching my brother and I. I know she loves watching Parson.

Its funny how you don't need to spend your whole life with one person for them to make an impact or imprint on your life. Even though I only spent part of my childhood life living with her and a part of my life missing her she is a huge part of me.

Take it as you may...but do this. Remember no matter how short the time you are with a person, you will impact them, shape them to be who they are.

Left: My Mom with me as a newborn
Almost 23 years later
Right: Me with Parson as a newborn


Monday, January 7, 2013

Dealing with the "terrible 2's"

Parson is 21 months...that is 3 months away from being the big 2. This still blows my mind, that this little guy has held Aaron and I's hearts in his hands for almost 2 years outside my tummy.

There are some wonderful things about toddlers...their expressions are priceless, they make you laugh like crazy, they are silly, their snuggles, hugs, and kisses are intentional and steal your heart every time.

There are also some less glamorous things about toddlers, blossoming independence, learning to handle and control their emotions, and the  "Whats mine is mine and whats yours is mine" mindset...oh and don't forget the tantrums. Most times this is what people and even myself have called "Terrible 2's"

Don't get me wrong, I would be lying if I said I never thought that Parson was having "terrible 2's". But I have to give the little guy some credit. He (and all toddlers) are learning a whole bunch of crazy stuff right now. Think about it, if you and I were just know realizing our emotions and did not have all the words to express it...we would be grouchy to. In fact we as adults choose to be grouchy all the time. Toddlers little minds understand and know exactly what they are feeling and know exactly what they are trying to do. But their little bodies and vocabulary is not quite developed enough to express what they need or want.

Our jobs as parents, guardians, or whatever your title or relationship to the toddler is, is to teach them to understand what they are feeling and how to correctly react to it. This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. I will give birth all over a toddler is way harder!

So now in the midst of training and teaching a toddler, reading books on how to do this, and trying to keep my cool when this is happening is real hard.

In the midst of all of this I am seeking the Lord to keep that control and peace in my heart when dealing with this. Colossians 3:15 is something that I have memorized and repeat in my head and sometimes out loud when dealing with the challenges of toddler-hood.

"Also, let the peace of Christ control in your hearts, for you were, in fact called to it in the body. And show yourselves thankful." Colossians 3:15

So instead of calling them the "Terrible 2's" I am going to call them the "Thankful 2's". Because I am thankful for every snuggle, kiss, laugh, cry, tantrum, and accident. Because I am thankful that I have the privilege of being a Mom. Because the Lord deals with my laughs, crys, tantrums, and accidents and I well beyond the age of 2.

This to is a season, I know I wont always be picking up toys, cleaning up messes, wiping dirty bottoms and snotty noses. I also know that I wont always be getting my little snuggles, pure love of a toddler, and hearing "mommy up!".

Even though the days are hard and long...I will remember and repeat Colossians 3:15 and keep a thankful heart. Even on the days I don't want to be thankful.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Whoa its 2013? This year means many things for us like, our 5 year wedding anniversary, Parson turns 2, a new opportunity for Aaron and 1 more year of Gods great plan for our family. Aaron and I always come up with new years resolutions, and usually stick to a few of them. This year is no different except we have our own personal goals and goals as a family.

Patty's resolutions/goals:

Strive to be a Proverbs 31 women every day
Keep growing my relationship with God
Sell 5 quilts
Exercise 5 -6 times a week

Jones family resolutions/goals:

Start/Finish Parsons 2 year old preschool home-school curriculum
Eat vegetarian 3-4 nights a week.
Don't go out to eat...instead cook together for a fun night in.
Get debt free!

We are excited for 2013 because we can already see the blessings and plan that God has for us!