13 Kids & Counting "Not all who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien
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Getting Started

September 10

My first vlog! Sorry for the poor audio. I’ll try a couple things to improve that for next time!


12 Years

September 8

It’s been twelve years now since I was woken at 3:30 AM with that horrible phone call. Or was it 4:30 AM? After twelve years, it’s growing a little fuzzy. I remember thinking it was my father who had passed away, not Joey. I remember thinking my mom was confused in her grief. Expecting to jog her out of it, I asked to speak to my dad, thinking for sure that she’d recognize her mistake and tell me it was him who was gone. And then I heard my dad’s voice and I knew, irrevocably, that she was right the first time.

Two years ago, I was still waking up at that time every night. Now, I can’t remember exactly what time it was.

This year, for the first time ever, I missed the anniversary of his death. Just tonight, 9 days late, did I realize that the anniversary of his passing had come and gone.

I hesitate to say that I’ve finally gotten past the sense of loss and the feeling that he was taken too soon. I feel that may be courting trouble so to speak. No, the loss is still definitely there. I still talk to him on a weekly, if not more frequent, basis.

But maybe, finally, the intense stabbing pain in my heart may be lifting. He’s still the angel on my shoulder, seeing me through the dark and the light, and maybe making things a little easier for me. But now, there’s more rejoicing in his life than mourning his loss.

And maybe that’s my next step.

Most Beautiful Women in the World

April 28

You want to see the most beautiful women in the world??


Go to any local grocery store between 6 and 7 am on the day of an elementary school field trip.

Specifically, go to the aisle where the Lunchables reside.

There you will find them.

Some of them in pajamas, some of them dressed completely, some dressed but wearing slippers.

Notice I did not say these were the most prepared women, or the most put together women.

(Those women have prepared ahead of time, hand made a disposable, completely organic bento box full of goodies for their perfect angels.)

But let’s go back to the Lunchable aisle.

Look at their faces. The love they have for their children just oozes from them.

They have rushed to the store in the early hours of the morning because they have forgotten about the field trip until that morning (or the night before when they were already in their pajamas, in bed, after putting their kids in bed for the night, nursing their youngest) but they are determined not to let their munchkin(s) down.

I’m not saying the mothers who have it all together don’t love their children but the very real women who make mistakes and forget about things and still get up early to run to the store still need to know this: You are the most beautiful women in the world simply because of the love you have for your children and your desire to put them before yourself even if it means that you have to lose that extra hour or half hour of sleep that you so desperately want and need.

Which one am I? The totally put together woman with the disposable bento box full of yummy goodness or the one standing in the Lunchable aisle at 6:30 am looking for her sons favorite nacho Lunchable that he only gets for field trips?

I’ve been both… minus the organic part because those weren’t readily available when I actually had it together that one time…


January 19

Well, I haven’t written in a while, as you probably know. A lot has happened lately.

First of all, I was let go from my job in early December. My department was eliminated and I was eliminated along with it.

Second, Cookie started walking when she was 10 months old. Now, at just over a year, she’s pretty much running! Keeping up with her is sometimes a job and a half, so, it’s a good thing there are so many helping hands here. She has also learned to climb up the stairs, on chairs and the couches so the blinds, curtains, lamps, DVD’s and pretty much everything else is all within reach of baby hands!

I’ve been using my time without work to work on some other projects. So far, I’ve crocheted Sand a blanket, crocheted one very heavy duty large basket, one smaller basket for my tabletop in my bedroom, organized my files, deep cleaned my bedroom, and I’ve started making Mario a quilt.

His latest obsession is watching Dr. Who, so it’s a Dr. Who themed quilt. For those of you who are interested, here’s a link to the webpage I got the patterns from! (www.fandominstitches.com) The ones I am doing are the embroidered ones (not all of them, but a healthy 41 of them!). I’ve printed all the images, copied them over to the fabric (by hand!), researched the colors that all the doctors wore, assembled a little packet for each square including the paper images with my color notations, the cloth squares with the images drawn on, and the skeins of embroidery thread needed for each. That has all happened since Friday of last week! So, I’m finally working on actually embroidering the first square now. I may post pictures as I finish them. We shall see.


And last but definitely not least: I got a new job! I will be starting at Cox Communications tomorrow as a Tech Support Rep!

Talk to you all soon!


October 19

Several weeks, maybe a month and a half ago, I noticed a very pink spot on my head. I started going gray when I was 16 so I just thought that the hair in that location was going whiter than it had been before. And Sand noticed it, too.

So, when I dyed my hair the next weekend, I made sure to put a good amount in that area so that it was covered well.

When my hair dried, that was when it became really clear that my hair in that spot wasn’t just white. It was missing. Mario asked if I had cancer!

I made an appointment with my doctor for a couple weeks later. In the meantime, I just made sure that the rest of my hair was covering the spot.

My family doctor looked at it and diagnosed telogen effluvium or just hair loss and attributed it to having had Cookie.

I wasn’t so sure and he gave me a referral to a dermatologist.

While I was waiting about a week and a half for the appointment, I found 3 more spots. Two are very small about the size of a pencil eraser & a dime. The third is about the size of a half dollar. And I watched the original spot grow. It’s now about half the size of my palm.

Last week, the dermatologist only needed one brief look to diagnose alopecia areata. I’ve been putting a topical steroid on the spots for the last few days.

I never thought of myself as especially vain, but I’ve already noticed myself (very soon after I found the first spot) trying to conceal the spots. Worrying about whether they are showing when the wind blows hard or if I need to put my hair up at work. Probably didn’t help that my dad told me I needed to fix my hair the other morning before I left for work but I can’t blame it entirely on him.

I’ve found myself scrutinizing the hairbrush whenever I brush my hair. I nearly cried this morning when I looked at the strands and realized that several appeared to have come out together from the same spot. I bought a hand mirror so I can check to see if I’m developing spots on the back of my head.

I’ve googled it and read through the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. It’s an autoimmune disorder. There is no cure. I suppose I’m still in the question phase of “why me?” but there is no answer. There’s no definitive cause.

I could lose all of my hair. I’d like to tell you I’m ok with that, but I’m really not. So, I’m trying not to think about it. I will rub the steroids on my head religiously. And I will pray that it reverses, goes into remission and stays there.

But at times, part of me wants to cry. And I’m not ok.

Welcome to Life in My House. My husband and I have 14 kids, 8 of which live at home. Plus my parents live with us, too. The age range in our house is 10 months old to 80. My husband and I both work full time and it truly does take a village to raise a family when you both work. Join me to learn what it’s like to have this many kiddos, share my joys, my frustrations, and watch me figure this whole working mom thing out.

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