Tag Archives: miracle

Shocking Realization: I Married Pa Ingalls

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be married to your childhood celebrity crush? If you’re as old as I am, you may have fantasized about Bon Jovi, Rick Springfield or even Patrick Swayze. But who embodied the ideal husband or perfect family for you?

I grew up in the Seventies in the Midwest, a time before cable television. My youthful obsession was the prime-time series Little House on the Prairie. I read all the books and I was seriously smitten with Michael Landon. I did not realize until recently just how much I must have admired him.

Our three little girls have just discovered the wonder of this show, and anxiously await Friday movie nights so we can watch a few more episodes. While watching the first season again in adulthood, I came to the awesome realization that I had fulfilled my childhood fantasy life. Not only do my three girls look remarkably like Mary, Laura and Carrie, but my husband and I eerily resemble Charles and Caroline Ingalls.

Often in parenthood, we put all our time and energy into our children with very little thought left over for how we got these children in the first place. My “baby Carrie” turned three years old this month, so I guess I’ve had a little more time to devote to my partner, who as it turns out, is the manifestation of Pa. He is loving but firm with the girls, an extremely hard worker, amazing at remodeling and woodworking, plays folk tunes on his guitar and is a fun-loving, affectionate spouse. He is also kind enough to read my blog posts, so I imagine he is completely embarrassed right now.

But, let me be clear about my role as Ma. I still love my (unnaturally) pretty shade of blonde hair and brightly painted toenails. I do not make clothing for myself or my children, with the minor exception of a few Halloween costumes. What I do relate to is her resilience, views on motherhood, devotion to God and family, tireless work ethic and her ability to withstand the misguided arrogance of Mrs. Oleson with dignity and grace.

I wrote last week about how lack of sleep during the baby years can negatively impact your marriage. And recently, my friend and marriage researcher, Lori Lowe, wrote a fascinating post called The Formula for Unhappiness is U = I – R about how our earliest memories about relationships play into our current state of happiness or unhappiness in our marriage.

The amount of unhappiness equals images minus reality. This can be measured for relationships, careers and even how we feel about parenting. If we created an image in our minds during childhood that has not become a reality in adulthood, our happiness decreases.

I have to say that I did not consciously create this life that so closely matches my ideal family image from my youth. My husband admitted that the Ingalls were such a huge part of his childhood that he also unknowingly carried this image into adulthood. We both manifested a life that conjures up happiness for us. We have even joked about wanting to live “off the grid”, the modern equivalent of living on the prairie.

Our realization has been joyful and even divine. We are so grateful for all the stages of our lives, even the less happy struggles when we were not living as we truly desired.

So, what images did you create in your mind during childhood? If you are currently unhappy in your partnership, can you attribute it to lack of sleep (see link above) or a large gap between your images and your reality?

Has motherhood turned out the way you imagined or are you simply recreating your own reality from childhood for better or worse? And most importantly, do you have a plan to lessen the gap between your ideal images and your current reality?

Grace and Peace.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Our Christmas Miracle from God and Google

Here's Angelly, a very well-loved kitty.

Our 5-year-old daughter has a small, stuffed kitty that goes everywhere with us, and even made an appearance on one of our Christmas cards. She christened him Angelly (Angel-lee) when she was about 2 years old, mostly because our 7-year-old daughter also has a small, stuffed kitty of the same name.

Both girls have been praying for a kitten since October. EVERY night. (Dear God, please bring us a little kitten before winter.) My husband, Scott, mentioned one day that we really should make sure a kitten arrives before Christmas. As the proud father of three little girls and one female cat, he kindly suggested that God bring a boy kitten. Not so sure kittens would be abundant this time of year, I decided to Google “Free Kittens”. (That shows how much I know about feral cats.)

On the first web site that appeared, the first kitten I see is a little guy with the name “Angelly” next to his photo. I was stunned. Who would name a kitty that, especially a boy kitten? Long story short, I connected with the shelter and drove 45 minutes to pick him up. He was adorable, white with gray patches and about 12 weeks old.

Now, to make this story even more Divine, my daughter’s kitty has a heart on his chest (see first photo). I put Angelly down in the laundry room when I got home and as he walked away from me I could see the shape of a heart as plain as day on his back. My daughter summed it up by telling us “It’s like ALL my dreams just came true.” What a sweet way to teach our girls about faith.

He is the sweetest kitten, and so loving to our girls. It’s really shocking to look down and see that heart on his back. He will be a daily reminder for us of what is possible when love is involved. When the girls were praying for a cat, my oldest daughter became exasperated and asked why we couldn’t just go to the store and BUY a cat. I wasn’t really up for another animal to care for, so I explained that if we were meant to have one, God would let us know and would find a way to get that kitten to us. There was never any question that this little guy was meant for us!

So, why did he have that name? The shelter volunteer said she misspelled it on the web site. The people who found the litter named three of the kittens Peanut, Butter, … Andjelly. I told her we would not need to have it corrected. This was certainly no mistake!

May you be blessed with everyday miracles and rewarded with peace, hope, love and joy this Christmas.


Posted by on December 20, 2009 in From Toddlers to Teens


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,