When your daily activities are in concert with your highest priorities, you have a credible claim to inner peace. – Hyrum Smith


Reason #367 it's good to be home...

My mom is here to take care of me when I'm sick.

I know I sound like a big baby, but I don't care. There is no one like your mom when you are sick. I remember getting sick during our first years of marriage. Aaron was very sweet and would check on me occasionally. Then Parker came along. Aaron cared for Parker, and I fended for myself. Then Maddie came along...It wasn't pretty.

Then, in the spring of this year, we came home to Kentucky [cue the Hallelujah Chorus].

I caught a terrible stomach virus on Christmas night. I was up all night. I'll spare you the details. The next morning, Aaron suggested I go to my mom's. After a brief phone conversation with my wonderful step-dad, I was on my way (pink Crocs, green polka-dot robe, p.j.'s, and unbrushed hair - not a good look).

I was ushered into a warm, clean, toy-free room and put in a comfy bed with fresh sheets. A few hours later, mom entered the room quietly. She asked how I was doing. She carried a large, white tray lined with a bright, beautiful Christmas tea towel. Juice, tea, cream, oatmeal, brown sugar, and toast. "Eat whatever you want, honey, and just leave the rest. I'll get it later." She left as quietly as she came.

I had tears in my eyes. I flashed back to my childhood. I remember one time in particular when I was so ill, I couldn't make it to the bathroom. I hid the evidence under my bed and cried in my room. Mom came in and comforted me. She was surprised and concerned, not angry or annoyed as I had feared. She cleaned up everything, tucked me in bed, and stroked my hair.

Some mom's just have it. My mom is one of them. I don't think this kind of nurturing comes as naturally to everyone, myself included. That's one of the reasons I'm so grateful she's my mom. What doesn't come naturally to me, I learn from her. She makes me want to be a better person and a better mommy.

Thanks, mom!


Three Ring Circus

There are different kinds of pregnancy tests. The procedure is the same (and I won't go into all that), but the results may be displayed differently depending on the brand. For example, with First Response, 2 lines mean you are pregnant. One is the "control" line to show you the test is working, and if another line is present...voilĂ ! You're pregnant.
However, with the EPT brand, there is a "control" line, but you must have a "+" in the next window to indicate you are with child.

About six months ago, I had an odd thing happen. I was tired. Not just tired, but TIRED. Picture this, one moment I was playing with the kids in Maddie's room, the next I awoke with stuffed animals piled atop my head, and the kids were nowhere in sight. I thought to myself, I haven't been this tired since I was... Oh. No.

After locating the kids, I rushed downstairs and ransacked my nightstand drawers. Hadn't I saved a pregnancy test from the last time? I didn't have the box, but there was a single test encased in its foil wrapper in the drawer.
Minutes later...2 lines. I showed Aaron. Then I cried. I cried and I cried. Maddie wasn't even 2. Parker was barely 3. I couldn't do this again. Not yet!

We shared the news with our family. They offered their condolences.

A few days later, another funny thing happened. My body did just what it does every month. How was this possible? I rushed to the store. Snatching another test off the shelf, I sped home and took it again. Still 2 lines. How could this be?

Then I actually looked at the box. Ah...EPT. The second line didn't mean pregnancy. It actually meant I was not pregnant. Had a "+" been there, it would have been a different story.

Did I feel like a complete idiot! A zillion phone calls [to giggling family members] later, I was genuinely disappointed. I even cried. Now I know why they make those jokes about women who don't know what they want.

Aaron admitted he was a bit relieved. Life went on. Then one day, Aaron told me he thought it was about time to try to add to our little family again. Say what?! Wasn't this the man who was relieved? He never ceases to amaze me.

To make a long story a bit longer, we are expecting in July 2011. Time to make the Rausch Family Circus a true three-ring circus. We are absolutely thrilled!

(Oh, by the way, I figured out what made me so tired back in July...a new allergy medication. Stopped it right away. The whereabouts of my children trump a snuffly nose.)



It's been very cold and dry here in Kentucky this winter. I have had to wear lots of lip balm to keep my lips from cracking.

Buying and using lip balm used to be such a joy to me. I loved finding interesting containers and flavors. I bought all kinds of yummy-smelling concoctions for my lips - vanilla, brown sugar, peppermint candy. Alas, these days I use whatever I can find (in my coat pocket, bottom of my purse, medicine cabinet). I wouldn't dare buy an expensive or food-flavored balm...

My kids are such little scavengers! They can sniff out a 10-day old piece of half-eaten candy in the van, on the floor, under books and toys with ease. Like sharks to blood.

If I don a new (or even old) lip balm, and my face comes within 5 feet of my children's tiny noses, they immediately perk up. Closing their eyes, they tilt their noses to the source and begin sniffing. It is not a graceful or delicate sound they make. No, their sniffing resembles a basset hound hot on the trail, snorting along the ground.

Maddie will grab my face and pull it close to hers. When she determines the source is my mouth, she tries to pry it open. I have tried to explain to both Parker and Maddie that the smell is coming only from my lips and not something I have/am eating. Neither believe me. They aren't satisfied until they have searched the recesses of my mouth (yes, sometimes with their fingers).

When they are satisfied that I'm not lying, they immediately request the lip balm. Once I have surrendered it, I never go back. They just can't understand it is meant to only go on your lips, not your tongue and fingers.

As my grandma always said, "This, too, shall pass." One day I will savor my cherry explosion balm in the light of day, without the fear of some snorting little scavengers.