Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

Mother Math

Did you know that 9 is half of 18?


What the HALE?

We were on our way to the orthodontist.

Chatter, chatter, chatter and then I hear.

“Emma Claire! I’m almost nine years old!!”



Holy HALE!

I needed a bag. The kind they give you on airplanes.

The kind I now carry in my car since I’ve now lost 3 car seats to the back winding roads of Southwest Arkansas.

Who am I kidding?

I don’t even carry paper towels in my car.

“What’s wrong, Mom?”

“9,” I stammer.


I feel sick.

No. I am sick.

We arrived at the Orthodontist.

There were pictures of crooked teeth and crowded teeth and cross-bites and under-bites and it’s seriously amazing that the kid can eat anything at all and the Dr. lays out a plan.


The plan for now is to prepare for braces.

My mother taught me it isn’t polite to talk about money, and I’m holding camp later this month on manners and I will teach them that it isn’t polite to talk about money, but today I don’t feel like being polite. Today I’m just gonna tell you that to “prepare” for my son’s braces is going to cost more than 10% of my yearly salary.


To prepare.


I reached out to Coulter’s dad.

“Do you think we should get a second opinion?”

No response.

Again, I reach out.

Brief response telling me, in short, that braces are expensive.

Uhm, yes, this I knew.

So I reached out for my own second opinion.

And then I went to see my attorney. Not about braces but because I don’t like being ignored.

Their dad owed me a small amount of money.

A very very small amount.

Just sitting in the waiting room at the attorney’s office cost more than what was owed to me.

But do you know what isn’t small?

Being heard!

I have lived through and walked through and  marched around and fallen down and people will ask me how I did this and how I did that and it’s a little like the pain of childbirth in that you sorta forget and I do want to forget.


Last night the littles left with their Dad for a weekend vacation.

I wept uncontrollably.

Their dad has custody for the summer.





And I’m super-hot mad.


No-fault state.

Right. Because divorce just happens? It’s no-one’s fault?

No-fault  my a@#

Wait. What? I don’t swear.

I turned on the shower. For some reason a good cry is better in the shower. Plus these houses are really close together and I figured the water would drown out the sound of me crying. And my neighbors lock the dogs in my garage when they bark too much, so I’m a little worried about what they might do to me.

I couldn’t catch my breath.

Mike called and when I couldn’t talk, he said.

Hang tight.

And then he was here.

My man who doesn’t ignore.

How did I “do that”? How do I “do this?”

Somedays not very well at all.

But I always I re-visit what my  way-too-young-to-be-a-widow-friend says about 40.

It is not old.

Life too short. And life too long.

And when I forget and I when I panic and when I lose my breath, Lord just remind me.

9 is half of 18, so celebrate the 9!

Friday, this momma who swore her children would never play with toy guns will create a nerf-gun battlefield in the backyard, strap on some am0 (is that how you spell that? Y’all know I’m talking about about the little nerf pellets, right?) and yes, we are gonna celebrate NINE.

Forgetting the past, forgetting at last.

Just this.


For time today .

To love my littles.

And at 9 and 5, they are still little.

(Coulter was born on Memorial Day, 2005. When I look at this picture, I see a competitive  little man who works hard, plays hard and whose mouth is gonna be worth more than my car! ) 🙂 Thank you, Jesus for the gift of this child.






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