I finally learned all the right words to “Silent Night” tonight. It’s the moosh’s favorite bedtime song along with “Baby Mine.” Since December I’ve hummed and la la la’ed through verses two and three when I wasn’t entirely sure of what went next. And let me tell you, the moosh has no problem letting me know when I do something wrong.

“What song do you want tonight?”
“What songs do you know?”
“I know Baby Mine, Stay Awake, Tarzan, Child of God, Silent Night, Rock….”
“No you don’t.”
“No I don’t what?”
“Know Silent Night.”

Schooled yet again by my four year old. Tonight I got up, dug out the hymnbook and made myself learn the proper words to “Silent Night.” I’m nervous that when the moosh gets to school kids will laugh at our version of “Patty Cake.” (I didn’t know the words so I made them up too.)

Patty Cake Patty Cake Baker’s man,
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
Roll it, and smash it, and PACK IT WITH CHEESE!
Put it in the oven for mooshie and me!

I’ve always known my little kid is my life and it is a true blessing that *I* of all people get to be her mom. The past week has punched me in the face. Changed me in its own way. I’d like to say I treasure every moment, but treasuring entire bottles of pomegranate juice spilled on the clean blanket I happen to be sitting on is still a little out of my league. Then there’s the guilt. Heather will never find Maddie hidden in a corner eating an entire bag of Milano cookies and drawing on herself and surrounding areas with a permanent marker. Where is that line? The line that separates gratitude that I have a small marked up person who smells of cookies and Sharpie and the raging horror at myself that I let her get a Sharpie and a bag of Milanos and even worse that she was smart enough to know EXACTLY what to do with them?

I will never be perfect, whining will still make my ears bleed on bad days. However I can and will take the time to learn the words to “Silent Night.” To draw a heart in her peanut butter sandwich (remember circa 1986 JIF commercials? My sister and I DEMANDED hearts in our PBJ’s.) To stop off at the animal shelter to pet cats. To stand at the top of the stairs and blow bubbles down to her. To wake up (to her clobbering me) with a smile and a hug before demanding “FIVE MORE MINUTES!”

Most of all, I want her to know that her true friends and family are more valuable than anything else in this life. And I hope that I can instill in her strength, compassion and confidence so when the time comes for her to care for one of her friends more than she has ever cared for herself, she will be able to forget herself and go to work.

Three Purses

The only thing in this life that increases when we give it away is love.

Lucky for me I have lots to go around.


  1. for gosh sakes Casey even though I was forewarned this still just breaks my heart. You have such a way of cutting right to the heart of it. I luffs you to pieces!

    Jens last blog post..My Top Ten

  2. This is beautiful. Thank you for letting me be the recipient of some of your love. I could never say it to your face, but here I can tell you that you have shown me that I have a reason to believe. And even when I don’t, I can believe that you believe. There aren’t enough thank yous in the world.

    perksofbeingmes last blog post..Still in the darkness but with drugs and skateboards.

  3. This is beautiful, Casey, and full of wisdom.

  4. You have more compassion and kindness than almost anyone I’ve never met. Your daughter will learn all that you want her to and more from you.

    Very honest, this post. Cherishing moments doesn’t magically delete the ear bleed causing whining, as much as we wish it would, and I am glad to know that I’m not alone in my guilt over that.

    pgoodnesss last blog post..Things I forgot

  5. beautiful

  6. Well done, Casey. Well done.

    badassdad05s last blog post..elmo vs. the easter bunny

  7. This is so beautiful, I have been feeling the same way about my kids this week, you put it so perfectly into words. I am still however having a hard time convincing my mom that my house is a mess because having fun is way more important than a clean house. πŸ™‚

    Kim ~ Craftymamaof4s last blog post..Operation Purple Balloon Sending our Love to Maddie

  8. this – so much of this. you’ve been able to articulate so much of how i’m feeling. i moved back to this area so that my daughter will never be uncomfortable around the large family she doesn’t know. and like you – my fondest wish is that she has friends like i do.

    thank you for putting this into writing.

  9. you’re amazing with words.. every post I’ve read on here has touched my heart and soul… i loved your closing sentiments.. πŸ™‚

    Stephs last blog post..Old, Like Me

  10. beautiful and true. And I am sure the Moosh will never question how to be a good friend, mother, person, because she has you as her role model.

    The Bossy Yankees last blog post..March Of Dimes Walk In Philadelphia

  11. Well said.

    Kirstens last blog post..Lessons From Spring Break

  12. Lovely, Casey.

    Headless Moms last blog post..Name One Thing Prettier

  13. Beautiful photo, beautiful words.

    natalies last blog post..Playing on a rainy day

  14. Well said, and it rings true.

    Michelles last blog post..Grown in My Heart Fridays

  15. I think this is the part that has hit me the most and why I am thinking about Maddie and Heather constantly (Mike too).
    When I want to lose it and scream at the kids I think of Heather. When BG is driving me nuts kicking my seat in the van I think of Heather. When the cup of juice is spilled all over my newly mopped floor I think of Heather. And then I think of what Heather would give to have Maddie spilling the juice while kicking her seat driving her nuts in the van and I want to cry. I am so terrified now how quickly they can be gone. Maddie could have easily been any one of our daughters and that scares me. Does this make sense or am I rambling?

    midwest mommys last blog post..A Picture Story: The Doll

  16. Reading of Heather’s story has really touched my heart. It has also brought to the forefront some very painful memories of my own loss (miscarriage) and my sister’s loss (premature daughter passed away). I am very sorry for Heather’s loss. I can see that you’ve been a wonderful friend to her and I’m sure she appreciates it, even if she can’t quite put it into words right now.

    Melissa Weisbards last blog post..The Joy of a Child

  17. That right there? Is it all. Exactly. We aren’t perfect. And we can’t always enjoy what they do. But you are a great mom and you don’t take anything for granted.

    Plus you made me cry today when you were on the blog-radio show. I sure wish I’d had the chance to shake you hand last Wednesday. Dern that accident anyway.

    Vixens last blog post..If Only The World Could Stay Purple Forever

  18. Thank you so much for this post – I know you wrote it for you but honestly, it was what I needed to (gosh, I am so narcissistic) hear – from someone.

    I know everyone keeps telling you that you are wonderful – but I’ll just add on – you are.

    I finally (after starting and stopping 3 times this week) was able to make it through Maddie’s tribute video. You were right when you said that you and Heather rocked it because YOU DID! Touching and yes, a bit heartbreaking, but also a powerful testimony to their lives together. It was so uplifting when you see such joy.

  19. I’m at a loss for words.



    Well, except for those two.

  20. πŸ™

  21. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. You are such a beautiful person, Casey! ((HUGS))

  22. Beautifully said.

    ClassyFabSarahs last blog post..Tagged

  23. Vivid, gorgeous post, full of love and compassion…I can imagine you’re exhausted from the past week’s events, and yet here you are, managing to speak from your heart. You have such a gift.

  24. Dh and I say that “friends are the family you choose”. Making those connections are so important. I saw it first hand when my Mom died. The love from others was my biggest comfort; from the friends who willingly and happily watched our dog, to the ones who drove hours from out of state just for the funeral. There will never be enough words to thank them for that.

    Wonderful words once again.

    Jamies last blog post..Why not avoid just a little more.

  25. I think you’ve expressed the words that so many are feeling right but can’t express themselves. You are a beautiful and compassionate mother and friend. Thank for sharing your love and words with the world.

    Magda Ps last blog post..Questions and few answers

  26. I sing Silent Night to Bear – also Away in a Manger. I thought it was sort of weird that I sing Christimas songs to him, so good that I’m not alone in thinking they are year-round lullabyes!

    This was lovely. You got it just right – we look at Heather and swear we’ll treasure all of it. And we do –we really do even when we’re upset or frustrated or whatever. We treasure.

    amy @ milk breath and margaritass last blog post..Talking with Bear

  27. Thank you Casey, thank you for sharing with us your heart, your growth and your experiences. You touch so many and help so many with your words and wisdom.
    Thank you.

    rachel-asouthernfairytales last blog post..Wordless and Full of Wonder

  28. thank you

    Marinkas last blog post..It just keeps getting better

  29. Lovely.

    Fairly Odd Mothers last blog post..Keeping It Going

  30. beautiful.

    Ms. Changes Pants While Drivings last blog post..chocolate lava for my uterus

  31. I teared up reading this post. I hope your friends finds the strength she need to continue. And may god be with her and her little angel.

  32. That was beautiful, truly. I am left loving you and your friendship with Heather and hoping, beyond hope, that I have lived so far such that, if I ever faced this kind of pain, I would have at least one friend like you.

    anymommys last blog post..Snippets

  33. this is truly a beautiful post. thank you for sharing your heart with us.

    Domestic Extraordinaires last blog post..Celebrating the life of Maddie

  34. Your last two lines are perfect. This was a great post. Thank you.

    Nics last blog post..Faith

  35. Oh, the lump in my throat!


    Adventures In Babywearings last blog post..Someone Sent Me Flowers

  36. Anyone can write snarky or funny…but you can write true emotion and share love and feeling. Great job, Casey!

    Rheas last blog post..Breaking the Law

  37. so beautifully written.

    melissas last blog post..Happy Birthday, To My First Born

  38. I’m tearing up again. I understand exactly what you mean about the guilt.

    You have a beautiful way with words –

    Clearly, Heather is blessed to have you in her life. And Moosh is lucky to have a Mommy with such a wonderful heart and soul.

    ExtraordinaryMommys last blog post..Remembering Maddie – Honoring Moms – Why Moms Matter

  39. the moosh is so much like her dad it kills me. It’s a shame he can be such a jackass though. What’s a bigger shame though is that I can’t help but love him anyway.

    Olivia Singletons last blog post..The Week of the Migraine Suck Fest

  40. Beautiful words.

    Susans last blog post..Fed up

  41. Patty Cake Patty Cake Baker’s man,
    Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
    Roll it, and smash it, mark it with a !
    Put it in the oven for mooshie and me!

    πŸ˜‰ I can help you with that much at least.

    I think as Mom’s we walk the line between being grateful for our blessings (babies) but also acknowledging that motherhood is not rainbows & unicorns & big sloppy kisses EVERYSINGLEDAY. We hug our babies, love them, & make up the lyrics as we go along.

    All we can do is pray that we have the blessing of time to teach our daughters all of the important lessons. And to clean up the sharpie marks.

    Bellamommas last blog post..You Capture: Rustic

  42. Um, that line should have read:
    Roll it, smash it, mark it with a (insert Moosh’s initial)!
    Put it in the oven for Mooshie & Me!

    Bellamommas last blog post..You Capture: Rustic

  43. Perfect. Thank you.

    punkinmamas last blog post..marching for maddie

  44. you are so sweet. the moosh is a lucky little girl!

    i saw you already had a commenter named natalie on here. i must check her out! i don’t know many natalies who blog.

  45. You’ve written quite eloquently I might add exactly how I’ve been feeling.

    Thanks for that, girlfriend!

    WMs last blog post..Reading this might help save my marriage

  46. how very poignant. very good thoughts.

    mpotters last blog post..easter is for chocolate

  47. Oh, Casey. I was giggling at “Pack it with CHEESE”, had a flashback to those Jif commercials (I always wanted a piece of bread covered in peanuts that magically turned to peanut butter at the stroke of the knife), then I got to that last photo and realized what I was seeing.

    I can’t even imagine how hard that funeral must have been. You are an amazing friend with a heart so big.

  48. {{{HUGS}}} I am out of words tonight – I just have lots of HUGS!!!!

    I too have been appreciating all (well as many as I can – some of the whining moments are really difficult to appreciate!) my moments with my kids too. I just wrote a post actually for Guideposts about that – Maddie’s Lesson.

    Janice (5 Minutes for Mom)s last blog post..Thanks for the Memories Hallmark!