Tuesday, January 31, 2017

This is Life

I spent the afternoon debating on if I should take the littles to the park after school. I had a ton of work to do, but decided for my mental health (thus promoting a better quality of work) and since they were expecting the outing that we would go. 

Before leaving to get them from the preschool I made sure to pack a special “park snack” and some water. I grabbed caffeine for myself and headed to the van. 

It’s a gorgeous day in NorthWest Houston so i just knew that this was going to be the best park trip ever! 

Here is a play by play of what I call “this is life these days”. 

2:05 pm left school and stopped by the house for, what I thought was a very smart idea, a potty pit-stop. 

2:20 pm we were out the door and driving to the park. Yesterday it was decided that we go to the lake that has two parks on each side. 

2:25 pm arrive at the park

2:30 pm finally get everyone out of the van after a long debate about taking a leftover sandwich with us (which wasn’t even in her lunch box) and the other child whining about the fact that I did not bring her bicycle. 

2:32 pm stopped for a “hey dad we are at the lake” picture

2:36 pm finally at the actual play ground since every duck (and this lake is full of them) caused extreme fear (which is new to us) and high pitched “he is going to attack!” screams

2:38 pm Youngest child states “I have to go potty” which leads the middle child to say “I have to go potty too”

2:39 pm we leave the park. 

2:45 pm arrive back at the van after a super slow for two girls who had to go potty badly walk where I was told at least 10 times “this would have been quicker if you brought my bike” and was asked “can I have my snack now” maybe 20 times. 

2:50 pm pull into the drive way and they slowly creep out of the van still asking for a snack

3:05 pm I finally find my cellphone wedged between the seats after frantically thinking I left it at the park. 

This is my life. 

Some days I just have to laugh. 

I wouldn’t change a thing, but I am so ready for a power nap. 

3:22 pm I read this post to my teenager and she questions my truthfulness about the times stated…this is my life. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Getting Through This Weekend as a Post-Abortive Woman

My dear friend, 

We may be the closest of friends, we may be related or this may the first time that we have every met - can I still call you my friend? I am speaking to you, the one who is hurting, the post abortive women facing another Sanctity of life Sunday, another March for Life weekend and the yearly remembrance of Roe v. Wade. 

My dear friend, I hold you in my prayers during this time. 

I pray that you understand that there will be words spoken this weekend (maybe not in your church, but during the many of the marches) that will hurt. That old rhyme we used on the playground about sticks and stones breaking our bones, but words not hurting was one big ‘ole lie. Words hurt and I know, well, that we take things personally that are not directed towards us. I will be outwardly honest (shocker) and say I am married to a man who is Pro-Life. We were married for 4 years before I shared my secrets of abortions. I heard many times how disgusted he felt about abortion. For years I translated that statement into “you disgust me.” I will speak for my husband here and say, he is still very passionate about abortion, but he had to love someone who was post-abortive to understand the other side of abortion. I am not saying he agrees or condones what I have done - I don’t agree or condone what I’ve done, but I hope that I have soften his heart some. 

I believe the love that God wants us to have is kinder than most of the words we will hear through media this weekend. This weekend is a wonderful time to show grace - grace from both sides. Just as you wish for grace from the people around you, please think about giving those who speak (normally unknowing of your struggles) grace as well. 

Personally, I don’t think you will face this in your church, but you could. I had the lovely privilege of visiting a church in North Texas that had a congregation led prayer where young women and men with black x’s across their mouths spewed statements that were everything except love and grace. This is the frightening image of “pro-lifers” that leaves me hesitant to attend any life marches. 

Far beyond grace from your spouse, your friends and your family you need to understand God’s grace because you can only get through this with the understanding that you are loved more than you could ever hope for. 

I have been blessed to receive grace from so many people, like I wrote last year (The Amazing thing About Grace), but today I would have only been a shell if I had not stopped fighting the gift of God’s grace. We always have it, He always gives it, but we fight it. We say, “oh you shouldn’t have, I don’t deserve this”, then we live life as an undeserving person or at least I always did. 
Please do not think that I am pushing you to share your secrets this weekend (even though there is healing there - trust me) what I am saying is have conversation about those secrets with God. Don’t worry, he already knows every detail that brings you shame, but still sees you pure as snow. You can thank Jesus for that. That conversation is the first step to preparing your heart for tomorrow and the days to come - to make it through the marches and the news reports. 

Know that here, in Texas, tomorrow and most days I pray for you, my friend, I pray for your heart. I pray for your pain to lessen and I pray for healing. 

If you are feeling alone this weekend and need someone to speak with about what you’ve been through please know there is the National Helpline for Abortion Recovery and they can be reached 24-hours a day at 1-866-482-LIFE. 

I feel like I should have more, more words for you as you face this time, but they fail to come to mind. If you need more please see these posts:

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day Traditions: Christmas with the Moulders

Merry Christmas!

I guess you could say we are between two Christmas Day Traditions as I type this: we have been to church and now my family is waiting on me, so that we can go to my in-law's home. They will be okay to wait a bit because I need to share these memories today.

This year I tried to hold tight to traditions my family has created over the last six years while bringing in some new things. We made sure to have pictures with Santa and last night we had tamales (a tradition I picked up from growing up in South Texas).

This Christmas I have longed for traditions of my childhood possibly due to living in boxes and boxes of old pictures of my family. I am in the middle of moving everything to digital and doing so I am capturing their memories.

My favorite Christmas memories always took place on Christmas day. It wasn't the gifts that we would open.

It was what happened afterwards. We would put on our Christmas best and pose by the tree.

We would normally pose with one toy each ad those were the toys we eagerly took to Aunt Mary's house.

I would say as long as I can remember, but actually every Christmas since my first we spent with my dad's family at my Aunt Mary's home.

My Aunt Mary, My Mother with Melinda and My Aunt Ann a few Christmas before I was born. 

Every year it was the same.

Open presents

Put on our "good clothes"

And head to Dallas,  to see Aunt Mary and Aunt Ann.

And my dad's cousin, Jimmy.

There are less pictures of Jimmy because he was the family photographer, but my memories of him are numerous and unforgettable.

I love this picture because it show the plastic Santa that we still have somewhere that will forever remind me of Aunt Mary.
As the years past, the Moulder women got older and Christmases transitioned to our home.

Love that my Meme was photobombing this picture. 

This year I am so grateful for these women (and man) and the Christmases we spent together as we continued the Moulder traditions.

All of the Moulder in 1947. My family is the young boy on his father's lap right int he middle. 

So, in the end, I am reminded that Christmas is not about tamales or pictures with Santa (though the one above is a classic), it's about family. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Holiday Home Tour

Bekah and I decided (at the last minute) to have fun with a little Holiday Home Tour.

I still have about 50% of decoration in the garage...maybe next year I will get the entire house decorated. 

Here are a few of my favorite areas

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Happy 70th Birthday Dad

Today is my father's 70th birthday. Normally (thanks to facebook's on this day for the reminder) I post one of two pictures every year.

A slightly heavier, pre-cancer, fluffy mustache picture which will probably be the image of him that I remember way into my senior years.

Or a picture taken by my father's cousin on my first Christmas

This year, I am a bit more sentimental because, today David (or Dave), my dad, is 70. And 70 deserves some of my favorite black and whites from his much younger days. I am going way back.

Your first picture is written on the back on this one in my Granny's handwriting.  In this picture my grandmother was 38 and my grandfather was 44. The story has it that my father was a bit of a surprise and he was their only child.

Luther and Lola, my grandparents, had been married since 1928. They had 18 years of marriage before my father was born - very, very out of character for that generation.

Yes, my baptist grandfather was named Luther, possibly after Martin Luther...not sure yet, but I will let you know if I find Lutheran roots on that side of my family. And, yes, my father and my father-in-law are both named David. There are a lot of D's in my family and at times it gets a bit confusing. 

My dad and grandmother in June 1947. He appears well-fed. I'm not quite sure how my grandmother toted him around with her petite frame. 

December 1948 - 1 year old before we had his haircut is written on the back of this one, again my my grandmother's handwriting.

Saying that my father was the center of my grandmother's universe would be an understatement. She was absolutely in love with him, as most of us mother's are with our babies. And who could blame her, look at his chunky cheeks!

Lola held even tighter to my father when Luther lost his life just six days before my father's seventh birthday. Luther was just 51, my grandmother was 45 and it was right after Thanksgiving. Could you even imagine? They had been married right about 25 years when he passed.

Christmas 1953 - Their first Christmas without Luther. This picture was taken by the same cousin who took the picture of my Father and I, above. I absolutely love everything about this picture. 

This is where I make sure to tell you how completely thankful I am that Luther was one of eight children. Not only was my grandmother surrounded by her family, but my grandfather's family played a huge part in raising my father. And in the end I was blessed with great aunts that made a big impact on who I am today.

August 1954 - My grandmother (on the left), my father and one of my great aunts. And also it looks like a little black cat.

The years passed and the two of them kept on going. I literally have boxes full of pictures of my father (so thankful for that!). 

I am sure that there are stories I don't know, that I may not ever know, and that things were harder than I could imagine as I flip through the photographs of the two of them, but I do know he was loved! 

And he still is loved, even when he is acting like an old curmudgeon. And man, my father made it to 70. He has far outlived just about every man on both sides of my family tree - I am BEYOND grateful for that. Ugh, tears, I love him though he drives me insane (I think that feeling is mutual). 

Happy Birthday Dad!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

My Dear Husband,

It is okay to say, "Seven years ago today I lost my wife of 11 years to cancer and today sucks."

On November 29th it is okay

to say this is not how I planned my life to be

to miss her far more than the other 364 days of the year

to think about her more than me, it's okay

to be angry about the circumstances today

to cry today

to live in the what-ifs

to eat your weight in chocolate

to lose yourself in the quiet ride home

or to lose your temper with someone in rush-hour traffic

to have a bad day

to shutdown (but just today, please)

to not shower, oh wait, you already have. It would be okay if you had not.

to stay in bed all day

Today, it's okay to miss her.

It's okay to hurt.

It's okay to cry (did I say that twice, because you know me - I'm crying today)

It's okay to show the world that life royal sucks sometimes and no matter how many blessing you are given, losing someone you love so much never gets easier.

My dear husband, it's okay to grieve.

Nicole "Nici" Bahn
July 20, 1975 - November 29, 2009

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The 39 Project

Good Morning. 

Well, it may not be morning when you read this, but as I write this it’s 7:30….wait, no, 6:30 am. 

I failed to share one of my biggest birthday gifts with the dog - the ability to get an extra hour of sleep. Don’t you just love this time change? Now if it would spur some cooler weather in NorthWest Houston, I would be delighted! 

Today I am 39. 


Dang. How did that happen? 

I need to take a moment with that number because for some reason 39 is like full on adult. 

This post was originally supposed to be called “Things I don’t want to take into my Forties” or “Things I am leaving in my thirties”. I have been compiling the list (unfortunately in my head) for awhile now. 

The focus is still the same, but I have just be honest a minute. The last few months have been brutal for me. In every area of my life there has be struggles from my faith, to my health, to my marriage to my friendships. I sat at my desk last week and seriously thought, “If I make it to my birthday.” I am very grateful for an amazing husband who knows how to handle life when it’s overwhelming. 

But I can’t do this for another year. 

Wait, hold on, I don’t mean that “I can’t do life for another year”. Please breathe. I have no intentions of ending this party. 

I can’t live in this , excuse my language, crap for another year. I can not continue to half-ass fight the devil for the next year. I have got to get up, put on some armor and go to battle. 

I am not sure if you were with me when I turned thirty, but thirty wasn’t pretty. Thirty sparked a mid-life, led me to dye my hair cherry red and bleach blonde. Thirty was the year I stood up everything that was keeping me down and thirty was the year that my life spiraled out of control. Thirty included an affair, a divorce, a pregnancy, an abortion and a to put a cherry on the calendar year with an arrest in January after I turned 31. If you click on My Story above you can find all the details because I am sure someone who is new to the show just freaked a bit. Let me summarize that 30 was the absolute worst year of my life, so far.  

Shall we move this along? My mother says, yes please! 

Here are some of the things I jotted down that I plan to not take with me into my 40s. 

1. About 40 pounds. I know, everyone’s least favorite subject, weight. I do believe this is less of a vanity thing at this point and more of a health thing. And probably a bit of a vanity thing. I will never have my 20 year old legs, but I can not take this extra fluffiness into my forties. 

2. Money Management Skills of a 20 Year Old.  I am not sure how many times I have said “We are not in our twenties” as we have sat down to figure out where money is coming from to pay for adult style bills. You know, air conditioner repairs, dental work for your children - the things you freak out about in your twenties, not in your thirties. Or at least I had hope to not still be freaking out about them in my thirties. 

3. Fear

     This word has so many subcategories. I am overjoyed by the fact that my anxiety over all has decrease tremendously. There are still days, like Friday, when headlines across Facebook (including the fact that Asps are at an all time high in Houston  and I saw one outside on Tuesday) leave me a bit off-centered. 

This year I want to leave behind the fear of speaking the truth (with grace, of course) and the fear to big things. 

4. Avoidance. Ah, again, so many subcategories that I will not get into because, well, I am avoiding them. Avoidance is my MO, if you haven’t already noticed? It’s not healthy. 

5. My lack of knowledge. I should elaborate here, but I need more coffee. 

6. Whatever block is keeping me from creating. I will find it, I will knock it down and I will regain the part of me that I love so much. Well, I did create that trunk a few weeks ago, so it is still there in someways, but it’s not on fire like it used to be. 

7. The inability to park in my garage. Otherwise known as “My Family Doesn’t Need All This Junk!” 

8. Freaking out when people show up unexpectedly (read with 10 minutes notice). Otherwise know as Keep You House Clean or Get Over Yourself. I seriously freak, but please don’t let that stop you from coming. If me freaking stopped people from coming over, I would truly be alone forever. 

9. Denying my Abilities. The horrible habit that I have for thinking I am NEVER doing a good job at anything. Which is most definitely fueled by number ten. 

10. Seeking approval in All the Wrong Places. I keep waiting for when I am too old to give a crap about what others think of me - I have seen this in women before, it looks so peaceful there, they are so relaxed (and no, they are not dead). 

So, 10 things, at least those are the ten I was able to pull from my mind yesterday. 

I also wrote: now this is just a list - not an action plan- that’s a commitment. Am I ready for that? They are in no way a list of goals for the next year of my life. Yuck, goals! 

Then, as I was getting ready, a memory played in my head. 

I once knew a pastor took an entire year off “work” to read the bible all the way through. 

Two thoughts: a. he must of been financially stable and gifted in money management. b. he had to have been doing more than just reading, he had to have been digging deep. 

But think about it, one year, to focus on one ultimate goal. 

That statement fueled The 39 Project. 

When that popped in my head, you know between my mascara applications, I always pictured some snazzy branding to go with it , but really there are only twenty-four hours in a day. 

So, what do you do when Goals make you run in fear? You create a Project. Because, really, that word is so relaxing. 

The 39 Project. 

The ultimate goal: Me. (that needs some work). 

Really, you are witnessing a brainstorming session minus the flip charts. 

It takes twenty-one days to break a habit (just googled it), so ultimately I would like to focus on one of the areas above for a month over the next year. Yes, I know some of those things will have to reworded, refocused and yes, I know there are 10. I am building in some failure time. Just kidding, I just couldn’t thinking of two more. 

This will be fine tuned, but get ready: each month a different focus for me (and my family). 

In the end, one year from now, I hope to writing to you as someone different. I hope to be stronger, less shattered. This is a must - this is the year to get this all together.