I'm the JoyGirl. 

I'm a stay-at-home Mom who thoroughly enjoys the ride.   The care and nurture of my four young children is what I do and in the face of Society, who frequently assumes that I'm a) ultrareligious, b) uneducated or c) desperately rural, I cherish every day with each one of the four of them.  They make me laugh every day and they humble me every day.  I've often thought that an important prerequisite to being a Mom is to have a solidly great self-esteem and the all-important ability to laugh at oneself.  A story - from my repertoire of countless - that illustrates my point:  I was filling out an online questionnaire that friends often forward around to their friendship community.  In an effort to enlist some help, I asked my five year old to provide three adjectives that he felt described me best.  His enthusiastic and disconcertingly immediate response was, "Big!  Shaped like a mountain!  Plus you smell nice."


What can I tell you about him?  He's been my best friend for almost 18 years, which sounds so cheesy and self-satisfied.  There's no one in this world who can make me laugh like he does.  He's deeply inappropriate whilst doing so and insists that he's justified because of his obligation to keep things spicy.  Daily this man shocks me and makes my belly ache.  I've never seen anything like him.  We have an easy relationship borne not of tremendous dedication to marriage or nobility of character, but of a naturally comfortable fit.  We are one another's personality foils and that simplifies things.  We both love to laugh, to read, to travel and to love on our kids.  He's an excellent Dad and really, I love him so much.  He's a beautiful man and there's nothing he likes more than to tease me.  Our son Jude recently commented to JoyBoy:  "Dad.  I know your three favorite hobbies.  Guitar, reading and flirting with Mom."  I'm a lucky girl.

Our Ensemble

Our firstborn is a girl who we'll call Anabel.  She's 12 and impossibly clever and insightful.  So often I wish I'd said things that I hear coming out of her mouth.
The second to join our ranks is 10-year-old Jude.  He's amazingly beautiful and has freckles that I could gaze at endlessly.  He's a people-magnet and I'm driven almost crazy by the resultant doorbell ringing.
The third is a Spicy Little Thing that doesn't take no for an answer.  Everything about her 8-year-old self is brown and we'll say that her name is Lucy.
And last (but never last) we come to Oliver:  the five-year-old boy who's destined to be a world leader at the very least.  He's the only one left who still says things like "I don't really like girls because they're too girlish.  Plus, I'm scared of girlhair."