Life is short.  I know this.  I say this often. Do I believe it?  We learned last week that one of my parents neighbors of like 30 years, has cancer.  Two days ago a friend I worked in the same company with, passed away after learning last month, that she had cancer.  Three weeks ago an 11 year old boy of which was a family friend of my brothers left this world from the ravishes of this dreaded disease.  My husbands grandma is currently undergoing treatments for cancer.  I hate cancer.  Can there be an answer?  I’m a questioner.  I want to always know the why and the what and the how.  Why is it getting worse and not better?  Why are so many people being diagnosed with it?   We have more advances in medicine now than we ever have, so then why is it increasing and not decreasing?  Perhaps it is something we are doing…. or not doing… Perhaps we are the key….  what if by asking more questions we find more answers…. maybe what we are doing isn’t working…. so many questions….  I’m just fed up with cancer affecting people I love.   I want to scream it from the mountaintops that it doesn’t have to be this way!  My dear friend who lost her mother to cancer at a way too early age introduced me to a docu-series called “The Truth About Cancer”.  Let’s just say it is very eye opening.   So people may ridicule me for not thinking conventionally but who cares.  If it means saving one person I love from the horrible heartbreak called cancer then it is worth it!  So I’m just gonna leave this here and yep… check it out if you dare.  Hopefully it will at least make you start thinking and asking like it did me.



img_0388So while laying in bed last night I scrolled thru my iPod (which is a classic and I’m saddened they don’t make anymore) and was taken to a place that flooded me with sights and sounds of distant memories. I could even smell the damp fall leaves and feel the cool fur of my cat as I breathed the night air in when we would let her in our bedroom window cause she wasn’t allowed in the house. It almost caused a deep ache, not like a pain ache but kinda. More like a longing for those simpler days when family was close, figuratively and literally. (Our family of 9 resided in a 3 bedroom farmhouse in the middle of the city) I had a deep desire to become a kid again when my biggest concern was deciding what to play and with which sibling. To go back to only having to worry about not getting caught harboring another stray. When did life get so complicated and stressful? Why does it have to be this way? As I laid in bed with the music playing thru my headphones I remember listening to the same tunes in my bunk bed while three of my sisters slept soundly in the same room. I really hadn’t a care in the world. When did thriving turn into surviving and how do I turn that back around? Funny how music takes us somewhere else. Last night it made me think. It has made me long for something better, simpler. Thank you David Huntsinger for the beautiful “Autumn in New England”

Fall is in the air

It’s September 2. Here in North Carolina there is a chill in the air. It’s a bit overcast and the wind is blowing. In the backyard a few leaves have fallen from the trees. It is arguably the most loved season of the year for (90% of) us Gates Girls. (Can you guess who the 10% is?) While it is still summer on the calendar, fall is just around the corner and with it all the smells, flavors, and coziness it brings. I personally have so many great memories set against the autumn backdrop…

The house we grew up in was an old farmhouse in the middle of the city. A red, two story box with green asphalt shingles and several add-ons on the back of it. It had an awesome attic, 3 bedrooms, plus a pretty cool (or scary!) basement and large backyard. It was home for the majority of our lives. The backyard was especially awesome because is was so deep. The previous owners were landscapers and had put in several rows of maple trees which were mature by the time we all were old enough to climb them. We each claimed a tree and would spend many summers scaling up and down them, building tree houses (which were just pieces of plywood laid out across two branches).

Our home at 1206. 

By the time fall arrived we hated those trees because we had to spend hours raking up the leaves and hauling them out to the street. A leaf blower? No such thing at the Gates House. It was metal rakes all the way baby! Not that it was all bad…we had some fun times too. Like when we would make leaf-lined paths curving and criss-crossing through-out the yard with a huge pile of leaves to jump in at the end. In our TV-deprived minds, we imagined we were at a carnival and this was an epic maze we had to follow. Our reward for reaching the end was a crunchy, colorful pile of joy to jump in and burrow under!

On occasion, when we were younger, we had the assistance of the little green trailer. Built by Dad, this small wooden trailer resembled a large wagon. We would pile as many leaves in as we could, then would lay on top of them to keep them from blowing out while Dad pulled the little green trailer to the street. Unloading was never much fun, but the ride back and forth was worth the work.

The smell of the leaves, the sound of the tractor, the crispness in the air, all are memories that come flooding back at the first glimpse of fall. It is bittersweet knowing that those times are past, but cherishing the bonds they created.


Coffee and Potty training

coffee on tabe

Today I broke the seal on a humongous bottle of Pumpkin Pie Spice coffee creamer. I poured it into my steaming cup of salted caramel flavored coffee and added little sugar. It was exactly what I needed for an overcast, rainy day. Made me feel all cozy and secure.

Today I also opened a package of size 3T, My Little Pony underwear. They were so little and…thin. I thought to myself, “well that won’t hold very much.” Then I remembered, oh ya they aren’t supposed to hold anything. The thought was a little jarring. “That means everything will go right through.  Down the legs. In the shoes. On the floor. Or (shudder!) on the sofa” I thought. “How am I going to do this?” Those underwear made me a little anxious. I think I should back to the coffee.

All this time it hasn’t really bothered me to change diapers…even two sets of them. (Well, first thing in the morning, when it’s poopy, is a hard one.) Now granted, I have wondered,
“will this be my last time buying diapers?” but I haven’t really pushed the potty. I am just wondering though, maybe I should? I really don’t know what the heck I am doing.

I should ask Kristy…she has 8 kids. She should know this. Maybe I should just have her come to my house and do it for me? Aha!  That’s it!! I think it’s a brilliant idea!

I’ll work on getting Kristy here…in the mean time, does anyone out there have any tips for potty training?  Tips for twins?

Need another cup of coffee,

Gates Girl #3


The REAL Reason for this Blog…

Okaaaayyy… I just killed my “home improvement” website/blog to start this one. I know, I could have both, but I can barely walk and talk on the phone at the same time, let alone manage two websites. But it’s ok because I had only posted 3 times on that one. Maybe this one will be a little better.

I wanted to start this one in particular because I have been craving some support from other women. My church is small and a little far away, so I don’t have a great support group there.

Last spring I went to the Hearts at Home conference in Illinois. My mom volunteers there and so I thought I would go. Their theme was “Moms Unite” and focused on doing mom-hood with other women/moms for guidance and support. JUST what I was looking for. I came home realizing more than ever I had to find my group.

I started searching for groups to be a part of. I have twins so I checked out the local Mothers of Multiples group. I have twins who are preschoolers so I went to a brand new local MOPS group. (Both of which are great, btw!  Only bad thing was the MOPS meeting I went to was the last for the summer!) I even checked out some local churches for women’s groups and Bible studies. I have done book clubs and am considering starting a once-a-month freezing cooking club for the purpose of friends and support. (and BONUS! getting all your cooking done for the month in one day!! More on that later!)

But it just came to me the other day that I grew up with a great support group. A family of women. My 5 sisters are unique, wise, compassionate and know everything about me (almost!!). Since I got married I have not kept in contact with them very well, even less since moving to North Carolina. That is the reason for this page. Yes we will share stories of growing up and our lives now. (More content coming soon!) But the real reason is to reconnect with each other. We can learn so much and lean on each other during seasons of life that we think are too much.

And maybe along the way, someone out there reading this will discover that it’s better to do this thing called life together.

So what do ya say girls?  Shall we do this, or what!?!