Mom Needs Grace

Musings on the life redeemed & purpose redefined

renovation September 1, 2011

Filed under: Better life,Faith — dayna @ 11:55 pm

Isn’t there just something about a new month? About a fresh page on the calendar with all those little boxes open for plans. For life.

For change.

And it is September! The drier early mornings and faintly breezy nights are starting to whisper that fall in the desert might, just might, be coming.

A change of seasons.

I could use some change.

I’ve been tense and toxic. Feeling my temper all too often. Running scared and it shows. I am a mom in need of some serious renovation.

So beware. It could get messy. Be on the look out, because I’m in for all-out transformation.

A change in my heart, my mind, my home. Even some change around this little ol’ site.

*Now switching gears, (but not really)…

Do you ever hear a song that you want to run out and give to everyone you know? I feel that way pretty often. This time it started with a song (this one: Rise by Shawn McDonald), but I downloaded the entire album the very next day and it was that good. Below are a few of the lyrics or JUST LISTEN– a live acoustic performance.

Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
I will rise
Cause He Who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

Sometimes my heart is on the ground
And hope is nowhere to be found
Love is a figment I once knew
And yet I hold on to what I know is true


Well I keep on coming to this place
That I don’t know quite how to face
So I lay down my life in hopes to die
That somehow I might rise


A gentle anthem happily stuck in my head.


Another Arizona July 27, 2011

Filed under: Better life,sisters — dayna @ 11:55 pm

One of the best parts about this glorious state is the sheer scope of her variety.

Last month, our little family was blessed to be able to escape the pre-monsoon Tucson heat and turn a work trip into a mini family vacation in the other Arizona.

Up north, where the temperatures are about 30 degrees cooler and they have some of these tall things…

and these…

(She called them “porcupines” for the first couple of days.)

One especially ambitious day, the little girls and I started our morning at a nearby campus coffee shop that had me drooling.

Can’t miss that schnidling of cinnamon-y deliciousness on this pensive face 🙂

Those hipster students and highly intellectual professors didn’t quite know what hit them with our mischievous but joyful mom-and-kid trio.

Next we headed up a lovely winding dirt road to The Arboretum.

We were in awe of the natural beauty, but the ladies had the most fun in this…

… the tree ring maze.

There was wandering. And much climbing.

And later…

…blissful vacation exhaustion. A day to cherish.


vigilance (some serious stuff) July 15, 2011

Filed under: Better life — dayna @ 12:00 pm

It happens more often than I would like to say. The girls are in their seats at the kitchen table. I turn my back for what seems like seconds. I may hear a strange sound, or just happen to turn around at the right moment to catch the little one with red-rimmed teary eyes nearly bulging out. My ambitious little big-biter is choking!

Usually she sputters, coughs, and works it out, although I have had to intervene more than a few times. It always feels so scary. And I am always struck by that fact that I wouldn’t have heard anything.

That sickening silence.

That very silence is one of the things that stays with me about drownings. Unlike many accidents or threatening events, a drowning is a silence unnoticed for sometimes mere seconds too long.

Those of us who work in the pediatric intensive care unit see far too many drownings and near drownings every single year. Just the night before last, I saw yet another close call reported on the local news. And really, even one is too many, isn’t it?

The other thing that I know always strikes my co-workers and I, is that many of these incidents occur in the midst of large groups of people. They are at a pool party, on a field trip, in summer camp, at a community pool. With so many people around, it can still happen so quickly. So quietly.

Now, we PICU mamas may be excessively anxious when our kids are near a pond, a water feature, or in the tub. We definitely can’t be much fun at a pool party.

We just see these tragedies happen to wonderful, responsible families all too often.

About two years ago, one of my favorite writers, Darcie (Of Such the Spot) shared about her family’s experience in this incredibly honest and compelling post. Seriously, even if you’ve never read anything I have linked to: READ THIS post.

I’ll wait.

And now, ever the woman of admirable action, Becca of (Our Crazy Boys) is hosting a local CPR event tomorrow to help make a difference. I know that I am late in telling you about this particular event, but I just didn’t want to miss the opportunity to lift my voice to the chorus urging:

Be vigilant around water and kids. Make sure someone is watching each child. Learn CPR. You really never know when you may be in a position to save a life.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to find a CPR class in your area. I know Becca would be happy to help as well.

Now to (sort of) lighten up…

At least, take a minute to laugh and learn with this funny but educational video:

*Warning: this video is for adults in more ways than one:) A little sex appeal helps to make the information memorable, and “hands only” CPR is currently recommended for adults. Rescue breathing  is still generally indicated for young children because their collapse is usually secondary to a respiratory failure.

For more information and listings of classes near you, here is the American Heart Association website .

I would love to hear from you. I’m off to hug my babies just a little too tight…


hello out there July 2, 2011

Filed under: Better life,Blogging,Motherhood,sisters — dayna @ 12:31 pm

Hello? Hello? Had you given up on me? I sure hope not.

I am well aware that this bloggish space has been languishing for a couple of…

…weeks!?  Has it really been that long?

I guess our household has been all caught up in summer-ness. Less structure somehow sometimes feels like more busy-ness.

I’ll admit, there may have been a few rough patches and some aches and pains keeping me away. But mostly, it has been the fun mini road-trips and unexpected transitions.

Not that I haven’t had anything to write about. Trust me. I’ve still got my lists. I just can’t seem to crack the computer open as often as I’d like.

Hopefully in the next week, at least a few of these posts will march themselves on to completion.

For now, I’ll leave you with a shot of our Thursday morning.

It was our first “at-home-all-day” day in way too long. ( Our little family just needs these sorts of days. Does yours?)

Happiness is…

Playdough on the kitchen island. Playdough on the kitchen floor. Playdough on favorite pajamas. (Yup, still in ’em).

If you could only hear the Jack Johnson flowing in the background and enjoy the smells of butter and coffee wafting through the kitchen- then you would truly get a feel for the bliss.

All day the little girls and I were belting out and clapping to  “This is the day! This is the day…”

(In the spirit of disclosure: there may have been a second pot of coffee brewed that morning. I confess that I seem to be a much “funner” mom when adequately caffeinated. How about you?)


list-maker May 23, 2011

Filed under: Better life,Blogging,Faith — dayna @ 11:55 pm

I hope you will kindly excuse the silence around this bloggy place.

I’ve been somewhat buried lately. Buried in mounds of laundry, buried in love for the babies, buried in… my lists.

Yup. I make lists.

I wish I could call myself a list-maker in the elegant, organized sense of the word. I wish that my lists were series of tidy tasks lined down a fresh, smooth piece of paper; items waiting to be carefully checked off or lined through.

But, no, I’m more the crazy, frenzied type of list-maker. The “heaps of post-it notes overtaking my house” type. The “half a dozen little notebooks in half a dozen strategic locations” kind of gal. These wordy scraps are often remade into more comprehensive lists, but sometimes they are desperately relegated to a bin to be gone through..ugh… later.

I know I’m not alone in my penchant for lists. In fact, I’m pretty sure that entire books have been written on this topic. Seriously, check out some of these. Not that I’ve read them, of course. They’re on my “to-read” list;).

Don’t get me wrong, I think there may be some value to all my lists. At times I know they help alleviate some churning worry, or help me to prioritize more appropriately. Some of the lists are even kind of fun. In addition to the too long “to do” lists, there are often lists of friends to call, songs to remember, ideas to write about, things for which to be thankful.

But sometimes I suspect that my lists are merely a highly evolved form of procrastination. A way of sophisticated self-enabling, if you will.

Writing down as a way of putting off.

Because I know that my very best days, the importantly productive days, are the ones when the list lays ignored on the counter.

On these days, I move forward doing the best I can, from moment to moment. I may have a general plan in mind, but I am forced to pause; to think or pray about what is the very next right thing to do. I sense my dependence with every breath- learning to lean on and in.

These are the days in which I am suddenly available to help a friend in immediate need, to write a note or send a message to someone who happens to cross my mind. On these days, I put down whatever seemingly essential chore I am doing, to read right then to an infinitely more essential little girl (or two) with book in hand. These are the days I turn the van and take a detour from running errands to play at a new playground or have an unexpected adventure.

And I never regret these days. Miraculously, on these days, the things that really need to get taken care of, somehow do.

These days have divine rhythm and a timing all their own.

So for now, I will probably keep making some of my little lists. But I look forward to days with fewer lists and a lot more listening.

Do you make lists? Of what? Do you think they help or hinder you?


the stuff of inspiration May 2, 2011

Filed under: Better life,Faith,Motherhood,Stuff — dayna @ 5:00 am

I always enjoy learning about other people’s favorite things. Just in case you were wondering, here is some of the stuff that has been inspiring me lately…

  • This necklace I found on clearance in the hospital gift shop the day before my birthday:

 – It says “she follows her dreams.”  I wear it for me, and pray it for my little ladies as well.

  • This line of journals and stationary that Target is carrying. I am at risk for a serious paper goods habit! (Always have been…)

– It says “We write to taste life twice.” (I picked one up for you too. See below.)

  • My talented cousin’s art. Cara is described as “a visual artist with a writer’s addiction to words.” Is it possible that motherhood has made her even more brilliant and creative? Pretty sure you know what my answer to that question would be …

Time is the Guide

– Check out more of her work over here. I keep wishing she designed blog themes…

  • These little (printable) gratitude journals from Ann Voskamp are quietly (but radically) changing my perspective. Every single thought this lady puts into words seems divinely breathed.

– Print your own here. And here is a link to the slightly tricky folding instructions.

  • Of course, these little ones are a never-ending source of inspiration:

– I just can’t get enough of  ’em.

  • And lately, I’ve been leaning heavily on this word:

– It reassures me that, even when I am failing miserably, I can still be of use.

 What has been inspiring you lately?  Leave me a comment by May 11th, 2011 and I’ll mail one of the pretty writing journals to a randomly-selected contact-able person. 😉 

Congratulations to Stephanie! She will receive the journal. Pretty sure she’ll fill it up quickly:)


spring in their steps April 20, 2011

Filed under: Better life — dayna @ 10:00 am