trying to create something beautiful out of the broken pieces

Ch-ch-ch-changes August 9, 2010

Filed under: Family,Friends,Life,pieces — kunderwood @ 4:52 pm

It hasn’t gone unnoticed by me that it’s been awhile since I have posted something.  I have thought of it from time to time.  When the thought has occurred to me to maybe write something, I’ve used the excuse that I’m still adjusting to the changes.  Which is true.  But I’m just starting to realize just how deep the changes have been… and how deeply they’re affecting me.

Frankly, I’m not even sure what to say about it.  It’s not like it’s been all bad.  In fact, it’s been so good that it’s been easy to brush aside the hard parts.  I can’t say enough for living near my family.  That has been priceless.  But, it definitely cost dear friendships.  I am just not good at keeping in touch with people.  The great part, though, is that I’ve come to realize (not for the first time) that I have been so blessed with amazing friends in each place I’ve lived!  It’s pretty incredible, actually.  It keeps me going with the hope of making great friends like that here.  And again, my sisters fill that role in such a great way!

One of the many changes taking place is that I am returning to the *paid* workforce for the first time in 11 years.  The last time I taught was when I was pregnant with Trey- who will be 11 next week!  I will be teaching 2nd grade this fall at the local Christian school.  I wasn’t anticipating going back to work this soon.  However, in one year Trey will be entering middle school… and Karis the year after that.  After lots of talking (like for the last 11 years) Brent and I felt strongly that we didn’t want our kids in public middle school.  Middle school is plenty hard enough, without all of the extras.  The only way we could afford to send them to CCA was for me to teach there.  So I applied.  I’m not sure how this first year will go.  It will be an adjustment for all 6 of us for sure.  But the funny thing is that we’re all excited about it!


I miss this… July 19, 2010

Filed under: Life,pieces — kunderwood @ 8:49 am

But I haven’t really known what to say lately.


Yelling November 7, 2009

Filed under: Family,Life,parenting,pieces — kunderwood @ 10:53 am

Over the last few years (or maybe over the last few kids) I’ve become a yelling mom.  It doesn’t happen all the time.  In fact, most of my friends would probably say that they’ve never seen me yell at my kids.  I think my neighbors would disagree.  But sometimes I totally lose it and yell.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that this isn’t a good thing.  In fact, I think it’s extremely detrimental to my kids.  I don’t approve of my behavior, because frankly, it says 1. I’m out of control and 2. I’m selfish enough to know it, and yet do it anyway.  So, I’ve been trying really hard to stop yelling.  And when I do, I have been having to apologize to my kids… which usually results in them thinking that whatever behavior they were doing in the first place to get yelled at suddenly became okay to do because mom was the one apologizing, not them.  So then I’ve had to go back and fix that too.  It’s really a lot more work on my part in the long run to yell.

Well, I came upon this blog this morning from a reformed yelling mom.  It’s such basic information, but it’s a good reminder for me.  Plus it’s just nice to know that I’m not the only mom who has or does struggle with this.

Welcome to my Brain

And here’s her “How to Stop Yelling” post


watching July 15, 2009

Filed under: Family,Life,parenting,pieces — kunderwood @ 12:58 pm

I have decided that the hardest thing about parenting may not be potty-training after all… although that still holds a close second.  The hardest part is watching your child’s heart get broken.

You can do your best to keep them from getting skinned knees, getting a splinter, getting run over by a car… but you can’t really keep them from getting their heart broken.

This year I have watched one of my sweet kids navigate through friendships, growing, and maturing.  I have watched my child lose their best friend this year because the friend chose an older kid over my child.   I have watched cliques form around my child.  I have watched my child get confused because they’ve never thought they can only have 1 or 2 friends, and now they are left wondering what is wrong with them that no one will play with them.  I have watched my child get bullied because my child is trying to treat the other child the right way rather than retaliate.  I have watched my child retaliate only to be the kid who got into trouble.

This year I have watched my child make friends with whoever they came into contact with- including the child sitting next to them on the bench waiting for their swim heat’s turn.  I have watched my child be a friend to someone who isn’t like them.  I have watched my child help a friend overcome something they were scared of.  I have watched my child be a kind, helpful, loving sibling.  I have watched my child make the choice to tell the truth- even though it got them into trouble (see retaliation).  I have watched my child succeed at something they didn’t think they could do.

I never imagined before I became a parent how much more my heart would break when my child’s heart was broken.  But I also never imagined how incredibly proud I would be of my child when they overcame, when they succeeded, when they fought their way through, when they made the right choice.


Lent February 25, 2009

Filed under: faith,Life,pieces — kunderwood @ 9:14 am

Growing up a good ol’ Baptist, I didn’t observe Lent.  A couple of years ago, however, (in a Baptist church no less) I went to my first Ash Wednesday service.  Maybe it was because I didn’t know what Ash Wednesday really was (other than my high school friends getting out of school to go get ashes on their foreheads), and maybe it was because it was fresh and new and not a habit to me, I was really struck by it.  Finishing a somber service with someone placing ashes on my forehead while saying the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” made it real for me in that moment.  I entered the Lenten season actually excited to see what it could mean in my life.

While it is still a new experience in my faith, I have found it helpful in directing my thoughts and focus.  However, I realize that for others who grew up observing it, it has become stale, meaningless… possibly even a form of pride or resentment.  I don’t mean that in an insulting way- there are plenty of practices that I grew up with that have become that for me.  And I think that’s why I like  this- it gives me a new perspective.

Something that I’ve taken into consideration this year as Lent has approached is the thought- what if I add something into my life, rather than (or along with) taking something away.  My husband has even addressed this over on his blog.

So, not to steal my husband’s question… well, okay, to steal it… are you giving up or adding something into your life for Lent?


Labels February 18, 2009

Filed under: Life,pieces — kunderwood @ 4:04 pm


I hate them.

So after almost 14 years of marriage, my husband learned something new about me.  Well, it’s certainly not new, but he realized how deeply it affects me.

Apparently he didn’t read the “About” section of my blog.

Recently I had to take one of those tests.  You know, the kind that label you.  Kind of like the “Meyers Briggs Test.”  The kind that ask you all sorts of questions, and then when you are done, TA-DA!, they tell you who you are.

So one of my problems with these tests- other than the fact that they make me say words that would get me in trouble with my mother- is that I want to actually talk with the test maker/giver.  I want to know what they mean by the questions, or the answers, or both.  I sit there reading into them and wondering if I’m answering about who I am, or who I want to be, or neither.

So the other night I sat with my husband trying to take this test on the computer and completely (COMPLETELY) lost my temper.  He seriously asked me if there was something upsetting me.  Yes!  The d*&$ test!!!  I had to explain to him that I was only verbally expressing what always occurs internally while taking those tests… and I think he won’t ask me to ever take one again… at least not in his presence….

But here’s my issue.  (I know- only one?)  I know that the results are public.  And they label me.  There are now expectations out there about who I am, or what I should be doing.  I mean, that was the whole point of having to take the test.  And now I can be judged accordingly.  And fail accordingly.  And apparently, it makes me very angry… but I already knew that.


I haven’t died January 29, 2009

Filed under: faith,Family,Life,parenting,pieces — kunderwood @ 5:23 pm

I had an awareness today.  I was going to say I had a realization, but that’s not true.  I already realize this.  Unfortunately though, most days I’m not aware of it.  I willfully turn a blind eye to it.

Anyway, today I was once again made aware that I haven’t “died to myself.”  This term comes from the Bible, so I realize that it may not be recognizable in that sense, but what it means is universal.    There’s a verse in the Bible that says that if we want to find life, we must first lose ours.  In the spiritual sense, if we want to have a life in Christ, we have to give up the selfishness of ourselves and follow the things that He calls us to.

Well, I wish I could say I was being all spiritual when I was thinking about this today.  I really wasn’t.  Instead I was cleaning my house, baking bread, and thinking about the mounding laundry that needed to be folded and put away.  Now, I have started to enjoy baking bread- something I thought I’d never say.  But cleaning and laundry??  Nope.  Don’t see myself ever enjoying them.

But… I was cleaning while the bread dough was rising, and I started to think about my husband coming home to a clean house.  I am the most blessed woman that I have a husband who really doesn’t care about that.  He appreciates it to be clean, but he doesn’t complain when it’s not.  But I found myself thinking what I normally do: “Man, I hope he notices this and appreciates all I did!” [Translation: he should verbally acknowledge it!]   Did I mention the downfall of having a husband who doesn’t care when it’s dirty?  It’s that he doesn’t really notice when it’s clean either.  Needless to say… that can be disappointing.  As can the fact that my kids don’t notice and come in from school and throw their coats, hats, bookbags, and lunch boxes everywhere… after I’ve cleaned.

So where is this all going?  I was made aware that none of what I did today was done out of love.  It was done out of need and maybe  out of hope for appreciation.  This all led me to the thought that I haven’t really died to myself with my family.  I care about myself way more than I care about them.  I care that my time cleaning was “wasted.”  I care that it went unappreciated [again, it wasn’t verbally acknowledged].   When the kids ask me a question, I get annoyed that I haven’t finished  my post my work/email/facebook/whatever I am distracting myself with at the time and that they are interrupting.  Then I’m annoyed that there’s homework to be done.  Then I’m annoyed that a kid wants to be read to.  Then I’m annoyed that it’s bath night.  Then… (I’d go into all the ways I’m selfish as a wife, but this post has to have an ending sometime today).

If you were to ask me, I would totally say that I care about my family more than myself… but I was made aware today that my heart and my attitude tell the truth on that matter.