November 8, 2010

posting bail

I did not want to write about this.

Because if someone else wrote this, I would be tempted to wag my little finger at them, tsk, tsk.

However, it IS what is going on around here and and it has made a HUGE impression on the boys.

Last thursday I went to MOPS for the first time in 3 years. We were at the park and it was wonderful to chit chat and catch up with old and new friends alike.

It was time to leave. I gave myself 15 minutes to go pick up Ollie from his preschool speech class(more on this another post!).

I thought I gave myself enough time. However red light, after red light after red light, and I was starting to get a bit nervous. I had the sinking feeling I was gonna be late.

We are instructed NOT to be late to pick up our preschooler because the teachers have to wait outside until mommy arrives. And little people get upset when all the other kids are gone and they are the only ones left.

In my mind, I see little Ollie waiting for mama with tears in his eyes.

I tell myself not to worry or act hurried. Just drive normal.

Another red light that lasts 2-3 minutes. A cop joins me on the left.

I am keenly aware of his presence and he is aware of mine. We drive harmoniously side-by-side, as we get stuck at every red light in town.

I am now officially late in picking up Ollie.

My brains starts to feel fuzzy.

Another light turns yellow and I gun it. The light turns red just before I sail through.

I knew in an instant it was a big mistake. I check the rear view mirror and sure enough the cop has his lights on.

I pull over and marvel at my own stupidity.

"I'm so sorry!" I wail in disbelief, as the officer takes my driver's license and walks back to his car. I quickly dial Ollie's school to let them know that I am now gonna be later than late.

After a bit, the officer walks back to my car. "It's just a warning Miss, but please watch the road next time."

I profusely thank him and am on my merry way. Now driving like a snail and terrified of every light.

I pick up Ollie and the teacher's aid says, "Don't worry! It's ok!"

I feel so very grateful and cannot believe how fortunate I am. I am overflowing with thanksgiving... until I reach my mailbox.

I open the mailbox and quickly sift through. Something catches my eye. A peculiar return address...Traffic Enforcement office? And it was addressed to ME.

Huh? A million thoughts go through my mind all in one second. "Did the cop change his mind? Did he really give me a ticket? No, it would not be in the mail on the same day...would it?"

I tear open my mail in morbid fascination. And much to my shock and horror I discover that I have indeed received a traffic ticket from a violation A WEEK PRIOR, when I went out of town to visit the folks.

Any guesses for my violation?

What? You think I ran another red light? Surely not....

But yes. I ran another red light.

By now, my brain is in a complete fuzz. I am in complete and total shock and denial.

I scan for the ticket price.

Right there on the back reads: BAIL AMOUNT $466. With traffic school and fees, $540.

Bail? What am I? A jail bird?

Well according to my dear friend Angela, I am just a crazy mama in a mini van.

She is right.

I need to SLOOOOOOW waaaaaay down and stop pushing my luck. Cuz my luck ran out big time. I totally deserved this ticket. Funny thing is, I totally scorn red light runners. Hate it when people do that. Hence the tsk, tsk finger wagging that I referred to at the beginning of my story. So I am very annoyed with myself. Looks like Loriloo and I are competing for tickets this month.

I have learned my lesson big time. I am now a much more cautious driver, and for this I am thankful. I was late to a friend's house today and told her, "Sorry I am late! It takes much longer for me to get places now that I can't run red lights." Kidding of course.

I now realize that with 4 kiddos, even when I try my hardest to be on time(get out clothes the night before, pack lunches, wake up early, etc...), there are just some days when nothing goes my way. And I will be late.

And I hate HATE being late. Makes me feel so rude. It totally stresses me out.

However, I am starting to think "better late than never". I totally would rather a friend come over late than not at all.

When Finn and Calvin heard of my 2 traffic violations in 2 weeks, they were buzzing with excitement.

Finn is a ruler keeper at heart and was completely giddy and delighted that I got a ticket. You'd think it was a ticket to Disneyland rather than a traffic ticket(that's what Grandma Betty said!).

Finn had a million questions and is now intently watching my each and every move. We were picking up daddy later that night and I had to make a phone call on my cell while I was parked(with car on) in the parking lot.

Well, this was too much for officer Finn and he wrote me up a ticket as SOON as we got home:

I am finding little tickets and pictures of me breaking the law, all over the house. This one I've entitled, "Crazy mama IN a minivan ON a cell"
If you squint, you can see my pink cell phone glued to the left side of my face.

On a more serious note, I was very contemplative that night. Thinking of how often I violate God's perfect law. And how there is no amount of money in the world that can bail me out of that one. It's only God's grace and the free gift of His Son Jesus, dying on the cross, that can pay for my sins. There is nothing I can do to earn this.

I cannot be good enough. I can only confess that I am a sinner, believe that Jesus died for my sins, accept the gift of His Son Jesus and believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. And I am forgiven. And one day I get to live with Jesus forever and ever.

And for this I am truly overflowing with praise and gratitude.


  1. As if the whole story was not enough of a crack up, your children's art work!!!!! LOL LOL LOL The money part is sad, but the rest tickles me =) I am a slow poke granny driver ... but I am ALWAYS on my phone ... I fear a ticket soon ...

  2. Davi, so sorry for your tickets :(, but thanks for making me feel convicted. It's so important to remember that all the laws are there for our safety...even that darned cell phone law. And you know what, I need to STOP breaking it!!

  3. I am not proud to admit it, but I got caught by the red light camera a few years ago. I don't think my was quite that expensive though. I think with this economy they have raised the prices!

  4. I found your blog via a friend of a friend of a friend... or something like that. I love it and follow it now. I feel ya on the tickets, man. A month ago, I had a screaming baby in the back and didn't notice the cop driving DIRECTLY behind me as I ran through two, yes two, stop signs. The screaming infant wasn't enough to make him pity me and let me go. I'll be thinking of you in traffic school! Misery loves company, right?! :)

  5. How is it that I am laughing and feeling SO BAD for you at the same time!? First off, it really sucks that your ticket was that much money - that's so insane. But I guess it does teach us a lesson. I got one ticket for speeding and now I am seriously so (probably overly) cautious not to go 5 mph over the speed limit. At least I'm not slow :)

  6. Oh my, as if you didn't feel bad enough, the artwork must REALLY rub it in! Your boys are hysterical. I am so so sorry about the ticket though! The first (and only so far) time I was pulled over (and let go with a warning) I cried all day long. And I didn't even have to pay a fine. It made me not like cops. Eeek.

  7. i love that finn is a little rule follower - how cute ;) not truly 'knowing' you and your family makes your blog even more fun - i get little glimpses of all your personalities :)
    i have a mega lead foot - every morning on the way to work, i hop on the freeway and get out to the left lane asap - so i can be the fastest one on the road.
    now with babyroman - things are much much different :) i'm a lil'slow out there on the roads :)

    i forget the CA has a no talking on cellphone while driving rule - Kansas city doesn't have any cell phone rules yet - i REALLY wish they would.

    wonderful words of wisdom........we get to live with JESUS forever and EVER! AMEN!

  8. Too cute about your boys making you tickets! Funny how kids don't give us any option but to be humble sometimes.

    I'm a little heavy on the gas sometimes (really hate being late too). My hubby's driving is what worries me though...there are plenty of times where he weaves in/out of traffic and I'm hitting the floor on the passenger side for the brakes. I imagine the car careening out of control and then we exchange words about driving needing to change once kids come along.

    Funny thing is, my Mom was a leadfoot too and I definitely picked up her bad habits. It'll be interesting to see your perspective when your boys start driving.

  9. At least Finn is a little more lenient than the state when it comes to the cost of tickets. :)

  10. The drawings are so awesome! Haha, I just love them!

    Sorry about your ticket though. :(

  11. The last 2 little paragraphs - perfection! Thank you for sharing...if for nothing else, the lesson!

  12. Oh, Davi you will never forget the traffic ticket, not the official ones but the one Finn wrote you. That was too cute. Maybe that will be his calling...Officer Finn. Love your post, it brought laughs as I shared it.

  13. Eek. I always feared getting one of those tix in the mail. The intersection always freaked me out! So sorry it's SO expensive. That's crazy!! I'm so glad we don't have the hands free law in would kill me! And I always forget about it when I'm visiting CA, so I'll probably get snagged for that sometime. =(

  14. I don't really "know" you, but reading your blog and hearing/seeing your boys makes me want to be a fly on the wall at your house just to see what hilarious things they come up with next. Know that the stories and photos you share of them bring others so much laughter and joy too! I can't believe the ticket is so much, but your point about God's grace is well said. :-) I would like to know, though, did you pay Finn his $5?!?

  15. Gave me a good laugh..and I needed one.

    But fun getting pulled over :/

    Thank you for the prayers..I am very greatful!

  16. I am guessing it was one of those cameras that caught you in the act. I have two of those that I have still not paid years later... I am not a lawyer but I know I don't have any warrants stemming from those particular violations. Certain traffic tickets are civil and you cannot be arrested for them. I think, I would still pay them so dont't take my word for it cause my dumbass has been to jail where everyone thinks they're lawyers but yet thy're stuck in jail nontheless...LOL!

  17. Oh bummer, man that is an expensive ticket. I just did traffic school today after church. NO fun! Sorry about the ticket.

  18. Hi. I found your blog and I have gone back and looked at every decorating post. Your home is absolutely lovely~ Your family is adorable and I wish I could cut and paste your cute ideas into my home. I am in the process of updating my kids' rooms into toddler rooms and I'm in love with the way you painted your frames. Anyway, thanks for sharing your stuff...I'm inspired!

  19. Karen--haha, Finn keeps asking me when I'm gonna pay...

  20. oh my word this had me laughing sooo hard! not about the fine cos thats a horrid amount of money to have to part with, but about officer finn and all the tickets. hahaha