What? Of course I have a job.

Of course I have a job.  It’s called Facebook.  And Blogger.

I mean, daily I empower thousands of people with my written word. I am, after all, a renowned journalist, no?

Okay.  So what I really meant was that near-daily I impact hundreds with words that I thoughtfully type on my computer.  After all, I am a brilliant philosopher and professional mother, right?


So, what I meant to say is that every once in a while I randomly pick letters on a keyboard that make words that make sometimes coherent sentences that run together to put simple thoughts onto a blog that impacts 10s of people, eh?

Right on, Brookie baby!  Right on.

See.  I told you I have a job.

What’s that?

Who are these people?


Why, that’s my hottie husband and my three wee ones.

What’s that?

No.  They are not my job.

They are my life.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a job to do.  After all, I haven’t finished “Liking” what everyone ate for breakfast yet this morning on Facebook 😉

Caution. Don’t eat raw chicken—even for a man!

“I will do anything for love…”

Richard and I had barely started dating the month before.  So, to this point, our relationship included awkward conversations, competitive tennis matches, fumbling kisses, basketball games of P-I-G, and getting to know one another.

And then that big red day hit—Valentine’s!

My husband is a total romantic.  How he ever asked out such a tomboy, I’ll never fully understand.  Perhaps I once did my hair?  And my makeup?  Perhaps I once DIDN’T wear sweats?  Who knows.  It’s all foggy to me.

Due to his romantic nature, I should have expected him to do something phenomenal for Cupid’s Day.

And he did.

A beautiful setting, under a gazebo, near a small creek.  Flowers.  Balloons.  Rich in a suit.  China place settings.  And raw chicken?

Raw chicken?!

A million thoughts were swirling through my mind.

First and foremost—oh no!

You see, my husband’s family is full of mega-watt healthy eaters.  Like Raw Foodists (not nudists), Vegans, Vegetarians (are there any more categories?).

Yes.  I know chickens are not vegetables.  But I didn’t know if eating “Raw” chicken was a new way to “Go Green” (on your plate).  You see, I am a meat and potatoes (meaning—hamburger and french fries with an XL Coke, please) type of gal.  And I really evaluated, mentally,  “How much do I like this guy?  Enough to eat one small piece of raw chicken?”

Seriously…Eating raw chicken literally crossed my mind.


Perhaps in love???

Back to the chicken.

So, as my “date” was serving up the food—all of it raw vegetables (again—family of raw food eaters), he got to the chicken. That’s when he asked, “How much chicken do you want?”

And I gulped, said a silent prayer, and also made a mental note to myself, “Remember, Brooke, if you get salmonella poisoning, let the ER know immediately that you ate raw chicken…All for a man.”

Then I looked up into his green and sparkling eyes, his bright and beautiful smile, and I said it, “One, please?!”

Slip.  Slide.  Raw chicken meat now on my plate.

Gulp.  Sigh.

“I will do anything for love…???”

He sat down across from me—so happy and proud.  And we held hands while he prayed.

Well, at least I think he was praying because I was busy in my own mind hollering, “Dear Lord God—save me from salmonella.  I know I am foolish to eat raw chicken, but I REALLY like this guy.  He went to all of this work for this beautiful Valentine’s dinner.  SAVE ME, LORD!”

I think I heard an “Amen”.  So I looked up and smiled sweetly (probably batting a few eyelashes as well).

Where do I start?  Perhaps I can nibble on a raw carrot while I see HOW he eats his chicken?  Perhaps I can eat all of my raw veggies, requesting more, and then “filling” up on raw veggies and discreetly toss my raw chicken over my shoulder when he isn’t looking?  Perhaps I can…

Wait.  What’s that?  What is he doing…

He’s pulling out a lighter.

He just lit something on fire.

And then I noticed something on the table that SHOULD HAVE been quite obvious before.

A fondue pot.

Slap my head and call me insane.  I was about to eat raw chicken.  For a man.  On Valentine’s Day.

I remember being in a Tom Sawyer play as a 5th grader, and one of Tom’s lines was, “I’ve been such a fool, Becky.  Such a fool.”

Well, I think that I can officially rephrase those lines today, “I was nearly such a fool, World.  Such a fool!”

A fool for love…

“I would do anything for love…even eat raw meat!”

And fly in small tarp planes with new pilots.


Crazy Brooke!  Keeping it real…for love.

xo for your big red day of love,



Picture is Richard as a new pilot prepared to fly Brooke, the reluctant passenger, in the Piper Super Cub.  Anything for love?! 

I, too, believed the world was flat!


Parapunting (but not N. Zealand, Austria this time)

So, I was on the precipice of death and insanity.  And it seemed that I no longer had a choice.

You see, I was dumb enough to say that, “YES!  I would go skydiving for Richard’s sister’s 18th birthday.”

What a moron.

First of all, I don’t like heights.

Second of all, I don’t like planes.

Thirdly, I don’t like the idea of being high in a plane and jumping out of it.

4th of all, I am pretty sure that my bladder was not going to hold up during this excursion.

At this point in my life, I had already been parapunting in New Zealand.  Now that was awesome!  I was 19 and we were on the South Island.  Parapunting is when you run forward (tandem) and then your parachute fills with air and it pulls you backward, and then you run forward again until you basically RUN off the mountain and soar like a lovely bird down, down, down to the bottom.

You see…parapunting is not too scary because One:  you’re on solid ground when you start.  And Two:  when you “run” off of the mountain, your little legs are like hamsters in their plastic wheels, still churning.  It’s not until your bum pulls you down in a seat-like motion that you realize you are no longer running on the ground but soaring in the air.

The entire process is peaceful.


Well, that’s another cup of tea.  Before we get there, however, let me also tell you that I have been bungee jumping in Vegas.

So, follow me to Nevada for a moment.  Ever since I jumped off a mountain in New Zealand, I thought jumping off a platform with a bungee cord attached to me sounded like fun.

Therefore, Richard, his brother, George, and I decided to head on up to Vegas.  We were young and no kids.  No sweat off of our backs — and it was a relatively cheap day trip.

Problem was, I didn’t think through being 17 stories high with only a bungee cord attached to my feet.  And you were suppose to go to the ledge, and plunge yourself over!  Yeah.  Right.  Good luck getting me off of this ledge.

So I stood there.  And the bungee cord operators said, “Okay, let’s count to three.  One.  Two.  Three.”

And I stood there.

And they said, “Okay.  Let’s count to three again.  One.  Two.   Three.”

And I stood there.  I figured they were getting paid to work.  And I was WORK!

They were like, “Brooke (you have to sign your life away, so they know your name), you need to jump.”

And I said, “Okay.  Let’s count to three one more time.  One.  Two.  Three.”

And I still stood there.

You know.  I am a fool—but I’m no fool.  17 stories and putting all my trust in a stupid cord?!

Anyhow…by this time, I have drawn a bottom crowd and people are egging me on to jump.

My brain told me “No!” and “Yes!” at the same time.  Which one was it?  What should I do?  What should I do?

And this is how my internal discussion went:

“No!  Don’t be a fool.  Don’t jump!”

Made total sense.  I do like to live.

“Yes!  Jump!  Be adventurous!”

Made no sense…but it’s the battle that won.

And so, with one more count to three, I jumped.

And I became a yo-yo!

Up and down and up and down and up and down I went…my bladder didn’t lose control, but my legs did.  They became like rubber.  I heard overhead the same Bungee cord operators shouting, “We have a shaker, folks!”

And they were right.  My legs were like Jello Jigglers.  Wobbly.  And every time I plunged at far too fast of a speed toward the earth below, I thought—“What in the world did I do!”  And then I would catapult up again.   It was non-military torture brought about by myself.  Kind of like diets.

Let’s just say, Bungee Jumping is not my favorite sport.  Can we call it a sport?

Finally I slowed down, was lowered, and released from the evil but life saving cord and swore I would NEVER do that again (Oh, right.  Haha!  I went tandem later with my husband in Austria.  I don’t talk much about it, but it’s mentioned in my story, Naked Rollerbladers.  Woe. To. Me:  http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-6Z).

A couple years after that thrilling, terrifying, life-defying event (in my opinion, life defying), I said yes to insanity once again.

And that is how I found myself attached to a peon of a little man.  Merely a boy.  With one foot on the wing of an old rickety plane, the other on the door, and between 7-10,000 feet high.

Waiting to die.

But before I was going to die, I decided to ask the small child that had my life in his hands, “Excuse me, how many jumps HAVE you done?”

And he said, in his squeaky, barely out of puberty voice, “500!”

So, I looked anew at my tiny tandem partner and thought, “Awesome.  That’s a lot.”

And then I looked at the man my husband was attached to and said, “How many do you have?”

And he said, something along the lines of “1 million!”  No, just kidding.  But it was in the VERY impressive thousands.

And I thought, “Unstrap me now, little boy, and attach me to my husband’s man!”

But no one would unstrap me—especially with an open airplane door, thousands of feet in the air.

And that is what brought me to the precipice of death and insanity.  And that is when I became a believer that the world WAS flat.  And soon I was going to be as flat as the world below.

I tried to reason with the “instructor” attached snugly to my backside, “Perhaps we don’t have to jump?”

He pretended with the wind in our faces he didn’t hear me.

What a load of crock.  And so I yelled louder.

But instead of listening, (KIDS, right?) he did something that I did NOT give the okay to…he plunged us right off of that wing and somersaulted us toward the earth.

This boy-child was no longer my favorite person.

And then it hit me…The flapping cheeks and the soar of the wind.

I truly DID feel like an eagle…twas super cool.

For a couple peaceful minutes I soared in the wind and observed the “flat” world around me.

But all of that plunging and soaring to the earth DOES have to come to an end…you know, if you want to land safely, and the ripcord was pulled.

Eventually we finished our trip down to the ground, with the parachute and the tiny man doing a good job maneuvering us to safety.

Perhaps I should have tipped him for keeping us alive?  Oops.

Anyhow…That day I realized something.

I don’t like small planes.

I don’t like parachutes.

I don’t like being 7-10,000 feet in the air with an open door.

But I did like “flying”.

Not so much that I would EVER do it again, though.


You know.  The world was flat enough to me once. And now I’m glad to be safely upon it.  Two solid feet on the ground.

But my husband swears, “When Adelyne turns 18, I just KNOW you’re going to go and skydive with her!  I just know it.”

Does he now?

I really, really, really hope he’s not right!

But he probably is.

Sigh.  When will my insanity ever come to an end?

Zoom Flume…I knew I’d find you!

Yesterday’s blog was about meeting your spouse in the middle.  Basically it was an encouragement for you to find ways to help keep your spouse’s spirit of adventure alive. 

Well, speaking of yesterday, I found it!  I was cleaning through a huge stack of papers today—let me vent for a moment—there are about 5 sheets of paper sent home with my daughter per day.  What a waste!  Anyhoo—in those papers, I found a photo that used to hang on our fridge. 

It’s the Zoom Flume! 


You’ll remember that my husband was a guide down the Arkansas River in Colorado (Buena Vista) before we married.  Well, this is one of my all-time favorite shots.  You should know that he had the day off but was able to join the caravan of rafting guides that day and take us—his future father-in-law, mother-in-law, and me (future bride) down the river.  He worked for Noah’s Ark.   Here’s their link:  http://www.noahsark.com

The funny thing about this is that when most of the other guides had family members come to visit and took them down the river, it just happened to be the day that they would dump their boat.  So Richard was chided long before we all got on that raft that he was going to have to go fishing that day…Fishing after his future father-in-law, mother-in-law, and future bride.  You know, to get us out of the river?!  Let’s just say he was nervous.

But he actually didn’t go fishing that day at all (at least for us, remember we did help clean up lots of floaters that day from other rafts).  Well done, Rich!

And maybe you’ll notice, the majority of the boat is having a lot of fun.  That means…my dad and I.  You see, Richard has to concentrate because the Zoom Flume is a Level III or Level IV rapid depending on the water level of the river (and it was a-flowing for our tour)…And he had to make sure he missed the right rocks and steered the right path to get us through the rapid.

He did a grand job.

My dad had confidence.  I had confidence.  My mom…she’s another story.

Can you see her face?  It’s the best!  She’s holding on for dear life while probably writing her Last Will and Testament out in her head at the same time.

Oh, and I should add, she really can’t swim all that well.  Rich told us at the end of rafting that day that had my mom actually gone overboard, my dad and I would be left to fend for ourselves.  He was going after my momma.

Now who wouldn’t love a man that would go after his future bride’s momma? 

Sigh!  Lovely.

Anyhow—This is the year before we married. 

Perhaps now you can see why, for me, it is important to help him keep this same spirit alive today. 

Yes…times change.  Circumstances change.  Lives change.  But, in the end, the itch is always there for guys like this…The itch for adventure.

I always tell Rich that I’m enough of an adventure.  But I know that we do truly only live once…and I definitely want to help him live his life to the fullest!

And while that might not mean guiding folks down a river (yes, he had to grow up and get a real job that actually paid for more than meals.  lol!), he’s still the guide in that boat, maneuvering through the rapids, with a smile in his eyes. 

And that is, after all, the man I fell in love with…and want him to be!

Hope you had a great Hump Day, folks!

Oh, and here’s the link in case you missed the original story to start: http://wp.me/p3Bh9m-dM

Hope you’ll come back tomorrow and hear about an adventure in Poland when an old granny tried to con us out of our money.  Now that’s a funny story.  See ya then!


Lying on the street in waste…


(copyright photo Fundacja Bread of Life, Poland)

Unfortunately, Richard didn’t get his blog writing done…this time!  I’ll get him next time.  But, today, I’d like to share with you a short lesson that Richard was able to share with a group of Amercian teenagers that came to Poland this summer.  Hopefully, it resonates in your heart that we are to judge not…but love much!  God bless


Richard and a group of teenagers in Poland for a cultural exchange found a man lying on the street highly intoxicated.  He was covered in tattoos, very tattered, and dirty.

After attempting to help this man the best they could in his current condition, Rich spoke to the teens later and said, “That man…He had many “visible” signs of his sin. But you should be very aware, while that man’s sins may have been visible, never forget that we all have sin. Sometimes we are just better at hiding ours.”

Friends—it’s true—sometimes we are too quick to judge those we see in sin and forget to check internally into our own hearts and lives.

And, in the end, we have seen many like this man—literally lying on the streets in utter waste—become completely transformed by the Grace of God!

Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons!

2Corinthians 5:17, The Message

(This post is from a June post on B/L’s FB page)