Life is Like a Tarantula Plant: A Lesson in Perspective

Posted by Kim on Friday Oct 9, 2020 Under Dear Tru, First

Our first pandemic.

Doom and gloom

That’s what it’s been for awhile now. The world is spinning a little more wobbly than normal, it seems. And we are all hanging on tight and trying not to get too dizzy. It started with Coronavirus and the whole world shutdown. Then the riots and the world was getting burned down. But really, for us, it started long before that. COVID was just the last straw.

They say happiness has a tipping point. As long as you can stay above 50%, you’re good. Smile. But once you hit 49%, that tips off the happiness scale and down you go.

Our scale tipped last year in 2019. Grammy got worse. Then Poppy got cancer. Then Grammy got even worse. Then Poppy got worse. Then Grammy died. Then poppy died. Then we got worse. And then the world got worse.

Just when we were drowning in all of the mess of life, the entire world stopped. Yes, came to a sudden halt. Well, that’s never happened before.

With all of the tragedy that has come with the Coronavirus, and it is a nasty thing, I have oddly felt a relief. A gift of some sort. As if the universe is whispering to me, “Hey, things have been super crappy for you and sorry about all of it happening at once. Take a break from life and sort things out.” I feel guilty for saying that knowing that so many have suffered and I know it didn’t happen to help my little family out, but I have to find this gift of time nothing less than miraculous. Just when we needed it most.



Time together.

Whenever tragedy strikes, we try to find the silver lining. Well, the silver lining for me is the timing of it all. When you experience a death in the family everyone sends condolences and offers thoughtful words and tells you to grieve, but really they expect the grieving to end in a few days and you go back to normal. You are expected to move on and be fine. You are judged for how you mourn – if you mourn too long or if you seem too happy too soon, if you cry or if you don’t cry. Most people mean well…I know they do. Others just really don’t care. They give you a little sigh and a moment of sorry, but in the end, they think – get on with it.

Just when I needed to be home with Grant, school shut down. Really? Never before have teachers worked from home. The whole premise of teaching, is in the classroom, with the children, not at my dining room table. But I was home, and together Grant and I took on the monumental task of filling Poppy’s shoes in the shop and in life. He was the anchor of our house. He was here every single day overseeing all of the operations of home and shop and family. Bringing you a plate of sausage or a pack of Reese’s. His presence was reassuring and his absence was terrifying.

Together we found new ways to do things. We figured out how to function and there was no guilt for taking all the time we needed. The whole world was changing how to do things. The whole world was figuring out new ways of operating. The whole world was slowing down and taking a moment of stillness. Like a global deep breath. We all inhaled and slowly exhaled together. The whole world was maybe recognizing the importance of balance. And since the whole world was on pause, we were granted some incredible guilt-free time to mend and heal.

Our breakdown started in 2019.

But 2020 has been about re-visioning. Getting clear. Changing perspective and rising above that tipping point.

A self-retreat, of some sort.

It’s been like the little plant that sits in my bedroom. I loved this plant. So soft and delicate. I thought it was beautiful. It’s a rabbit’s foot fern and when I think of a rabbit’s foot, I think of good luck. So, yay little plant! But one day, you looked at it very curiously and asked why in the world I would have such a plant. You thought it was weird and ugly. You critiqued it pretty harshly. Your nose crinkled up and your mouth turned down. You leaned in closely and said, “Who would want a tarantula plant?” I was shocked. I stopped and looked. I saw it. I totally saw it. I could not deny it. For the first time ever, it did indeed look exactly like a tarantula. It probably looked more like tarantula legs than rabbit’s feet. This plant that always made me smile and brought visions of a sweet little bunny, all of a sudden made me think of a big, scary spider!

Do I get rid of it? What now? I was at an impasse. Is that all I will see when I look at it from now on? It’s beauty ruined for me?

That’s my decision. It’s up to me as to how I see this plant. Beautiful and symbolic in inspiring hope or as terrifying and creating fear?

I choose beautiful and hopeful.

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The 3-Minute Miracle Blizzard

Posted by Kim on Saturday Jan 6, 2018 Under First

A “Bomb Cyclone” is what it was called. This storm that blew up the east coast and dropped snow everywhere.

We really thought this was our chance. 5 inches of snow! School was cancelled. Groceries bought (and some boots and snow pants) and we were ready.

First it was gonna happen around 9:00, then 1:00, then 3:00, then 5:00. When nothing was happening at 6:00, I gave up. Come to find out we had a big ol’ dry slot over us and it kept the storm off. Go figure. We were bummed, to say the least.

So, when you came running into the house screaming it was snowing, I was surprised. I told you to let me finish cleaning the kitchen and then we would go outside and play. You said to me, “Mama, this is what we’ve been waiting for. We have to go now.” I stopped and we got wrapped up.


I am so thankful I listened to you and your live-in-the-moment kind of thinking because about 3 minutes after playing, it was all over.

I cannot help but think of this hair product I like when I am buying drugstore stuff. It is called 3-Minute Miracle and my hair always feels so awesome afterwards. Well, after a few snowballs we felt awesome! That snow was a beautiful miracle for us. It was magical.

You hope for snow every winter and I remind you that it is not likely for us, but you keep wishing. Fingers crossed.

You have not given up yet. 🙂


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First: Fruit Ninja

Posted by Kim on Wednesday Jun 7, 2017 Under First

This is what happens when your dad gets you that katana you have been wanting for your birthday. I am not really sure whether to laugh or cry. I watch and I cringe. I try to laugh and be cool with it because this is so you. And more than anything I want to encourage the truth of you…the one and only Tru.

I love you too much!

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First: Soccer Game

Posted by Kim on Sunday Mar 26, 2017 Under First

“Mama, it’s like the earth wrote on the bottom of my shoes.”

I love you too much.

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Posted by Kim on Tuesday Nov 1, 2016 Under First


I have been watching your gum line drop for about a year.

We finally got to the bottom of it…a muscle.

A little muscle was pulling it down and that muscle had to be clipped.


You were such a champ.

Not a bit nervous.

Not a single complaint.

Just cool as a cucumber.

I love you too much!


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After Matth…ew!

Posted by Kim on Monday Oct 10, 2016 Under First

So Hurricane Matthew is coming our way.

Schools close and we wait.

Looks like a category 1 for us.

We have had them before. We are not worried.


Late Friday we board up the windows. Simply because the boards lay in the warehouse (never used) and we have time and nothing else to do.

It starts. Rain and wind.

Makes it hard for me to sleep. I hear the metal boards rattling. The howling wind whipping around the backyard. My phone goes off all night long with warnings about a hurricane and evacuations and tornadoes and flooding. I am awake. You sleep like a champ.

This goes on into the morning and throughout the day. We hunker down in the office.


We get a little break and venture out to see what the world looks like. We think the worst is over.

Then it happens.

The winds pick up.

And up!

Then everything falls apart.

Trees start bending and breaking.

Everything is blowing down the street.

The power goes out. Everywhere.

We ride out to take Grammy and Poppy candles.

It is cool…


until the sun sets.

Then we can not see a single thing. Like being blind with your eyes wide open.

We can not walk around for tripping and simply can not see one another.

We hear people outside yelling, but we do not know who or where they are.

We ride out to check on Greg.

It is spooooky out. We can not see a single building along Hwy 17 and the roads are covered with tree branches, but we can not see them until we are right on them. So we creep along real slow and you just want to go home.

We have our home.






(This is how you do it. This is how you do it, baby.)

We are safe.


We are together.


It’s all good.



Day 2: Progress!


Day 3: Done!



Back to normal…


I love you toooo much!




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Day Trip: South Port, NC

Posted by Kim on Sunday Jun 19, 2016 Under First

We loaded up and off we went north to South Port and spent the day with Aunt Debbie, Uncle Steve, and Lilly.

We managed to do it all in one day…

cookout…poolside (your first ever), swim, playground, ice cream, pizza, and games. With balloons, no doubt.

What a gorgeous day! Chock full of splashing, laughing, and loving.

Oh the wind! It followed us all day long.

Pushed through the trees.

Brushed the water’s surface.

Competed with the sun to get our attention.


How? You wonder. How can Aunt Debbie hold a 50 pound man????




We retreated into the shade of the playground.

You said this swing was an adult’s dream come true.

Aunt Debbie sure liked it.



I took at least 50 pics to catch one where I got your face.





Ah-ha! I caught you fixing your shoes.


We couldn’t resist the beautiful palm trees.

They were begging to have their pictures taken.






We played the whole way to the car.

Who needs a ball when you have a balloon?





Of course it blew away. 🙁

So the wind won after all.

I love you too much!

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The End of First

Posted by Kim on Friday Jun 3, 2016 Under First

All good things must come to an end.

And this year you have had in first grade, is one of them. Actually better than good.

Great! Awesome! Super! Perfect!!

First day:


Last day:


Your mind blows me away. You go from reading a few words a minute, to reading nearly 100.

From adding numbers to trying multiplication and division.

Your curiosity is refreshing. You come home and ask a million questions, but at school…

It’s a different story at school. You are all business. So focused. So serious.

You are self-motivated and do your homework on your own…which is absolutely wonderful!

You have some pretty sweet organizational skills and you keep up with all of your belongings…thank you!

You are a little too independent pushing me away when I try to sneak a hug…grrrr!

You have grown into quite the responsible student.

I love you too much!

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Crazy Like That

Posted by Kim on Sunday Jan 17, 2016 Under First

Yeah, after living at the beach for 18 years we got the bright idea to stay ocean front.

I mean seriously, 2 blocks back I can hear the ocean, but I can’t see the ocean.

So we drove to the end of our street and got a room.

Because we’re crazy like that!


Yeah, beds are cozy and great for sleeping, but way better for jumping.

Because we’re crazy like that!


Yeah, it was the middle of January and 45 degrees, but we went swimming.

Because we’re crazy like that!




Yeah, it was late and we should’ve called it a night, but we busted out the popcorn popper and played games on the tablet.

Because we’re crazy like that!


Our little vacation was jam packed with fun and we just might do it again one day.

Because we’re crazy like that!

I love you too much!


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Hidden Pickle Tradition

Posted by Kim on Wednesday Dec 23, 2015 Under First

Oh how we love the hidden pickle game!
The fun we have searching through branches for a particular ornament.
The pickle ornament!
Trying to outsmart one another. Trying to find the best, most hidden spot.
This is a holiday tradition that brings lots of laughs and lots of excitement.
Every year this is an absolute, hands down, favorite of ours.



Ok Lilu. You win.
Game over. 🙁

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