January 2010

On both sides

January 29, 2010

I sat in the waiting room and looked around. I can’t describe the emotions of waiting your turn to see the chemical dependency counselor. I can’t find words to explain how I felt ridiculous. How I nearly burst out laughing because for eight years before I was a mom, I sat in chairs just like the one I was sitting on, but I was on the other side of it. I was a social worker, accompanying my clients to appointments just like this one. I was just like that put-together young lady across from me, reading her Twilight book and waiting for her client to come out of her meeting with the psychiatrist. I was her, standing up to meet and encourage my client, making sure we got a prescription refill, thoughts of what was next in my day planner on my mind. And then I watched as she, me, carefully helped this […]


Riding the wind

January 27, 2010

Seven days ago, these glasses meant only one thing. Wine. Today they still mean wine. But they also simply look like really cool empty glasses.Shapes and colors. These small shifts happen, they say, with time. Sooner or later these glasses will not trigger a craving. With time. One day at a time. My feelings are shifting like wind, moment by moment some days, hour by hour other days. I’ve never been good with waiting. I like to skip ahead, pass up the hard part, let’s move along now. Stop feeling stop feeling stop feeling… That just can’t be the case this time. This is just too big. So looking at those glasses today gave me hope, the way they were so kindly showing me that they look a little like something other than wine, even though they still mean wine, for now. And strangely, yesterday’s blustery wind also came bringing me hope. It […]


Dancing with an arrow

January 23, 2010

She dances and dances a funny little two year old jig, trying trying trying to get her Daddy to laugh. He sits staring around her at the TV, his elbow on the armrest, finger under his chin, no smile turning up the corners of his mouth. He just can’t. She wiggles and hops, brown curls bouncing to her heart’s desperate attempt to fix him, to make him laugh, if only she could dance long enough. He lifts his hand for his glass and the ice makes that familiar sound as it bounces like she does. He gulps and stares past her. It’s not cute. It’s not fair. It’s not her job, but her huge little heart makes her keep dancing. Because she wants to fix it, she wants to pull him out when all he can do is look in. She wants to be seen, really seen. Not with a glance away from […]


Hi, my name is Heather

January 21, 2010

from this one place I can’t see very far/in this one moment I’m square in the dark* I don’t know how to do this. Just quit. I don’t know how and haven’t been able to. I don’t even know how it happened. But it did. Even to me, the girl who is always fine because other people are not fine. It’s this disease that forgot to skip me. It laughed at my always trying to be good and please everyone self and kicked my stubborn pride in the guts. It laughed. And then it kicked harder and harder. I’ve always tried to be a bit invisible. Felt a little invisible. Even while bouncing and laughing and showing off. Even then. Keep it simple. Keep it small. No one has time for your always so overly sensitive self, always so affected, so full of emotion. Just stop. Go numb. You’ll be fine. So the […]


The Joy of Alive

January 19, 2010

Tuesday~January 19, 2010 We laughed until our cheeks hurt. We burned down that hill like gravity itself with our coats and mittens crackling under the cold and we just couldn’t stop laughing. We bounced and spun and grabbed tightly to each other. We even face planted once, spilling off the sled in a pile, me on top of Miles on top of Asher. Poof! and then a split second of silence, the kind that holds a mother’s breath while she waits to see if it will be the laugh or the cry. It was the laugh that came. The very best kind of uncontrollable belly laugh, from both of my beautiful boys. A laugh that said I cannot believe that just happened it was so terrifying and so great. We lay there, all three of us propped up on our elbows, laughing too hard to get up and feeling the ice cold of […]


Ours: Part Two

January 17, 2010

Sunday~ January 17, 2010 He woke himself up with a yelp from the flailing of his out of control two month old limbs. I fought my c-section pain and was up from the chair in a stumbling rush, hurrying to see what was wrong. Through his pumping arms and fists, I saw the damage his sharp little fingernail had done to his face. There was a line of blood that started between his eyes, trailing down under his eye and running over his cherub chubby cheek, finding its resting place in my heart. Then he cried and cried as I bounced my normally calm and peaceful little boy, a screeching kind of sound coming from him. The sound of a surprise hit of pain. Oh I’m sorry Oh I’m sorry Oh I’m sorry, I said. I thought I’d failed him, that’s what I thought. Not cutting his fingernails right or some such thing. […]


Ways to Help Haiti

January 15, 2010

Friday~January 15, 2010I started to write this long flowery post about my love for Haiti and Troy and Tara Livesay, my blog friends that have been living in Port Au Prince for four years. Then I was going to go on and talk about how Troy and Tara and I have a mutual friend in Kristen Howerton, and she happened to be in Haiti when the earthquake hit, visiting the son she and her husband have been waiting to bring home through adoption. I was going to write about all I’ve learned from coming to know these people. I was going to go on and on about my guilt. Because Tara invited me to come with Kristen on this very trip to Haiti and I said no because we were moving and I had this blogging event and… Then I deleted it because really, why am I telling MY stories right now? Why […]


This Winter

January 14, 2010

Thursday~January 14, 2010 our backyard – first winter 2010 This Winter started us off in constant motion. Holidays, lots of sickness, moving house. We were moving forward so fast it was much like that cold gust of wind to your face. That gasp-catching of breath, impossible to breathe. backyard – January 11, 2010 We’ve been moving like that for so long. So busy. So much. We’re so ready to slow down and just be, just simplify. inches – January 11, 2010 My mind is whirling with what changes need to be made, what colors to paint, what furniture we need or don’t need. What is excess and what is just right? What needs emptying out and what needs keeping, inside of me and out. So we’ve decided to stop. To leave it for Spring while our wheels creak and grind, slowing and coming to an unfamiliar halt. Less. Less worrying about a clean […]


Bumper Stickers

January 13, 2010

Wednesday~January 13, 2010I can get so confused, trying not to judge the judgers. Trying so hard to remain out of the game in which we all strut around, pointing fingers and smirking. I hate that game. So on a whirly head kind of sleep-deprived day, the last thing I need to hear is that the Haiti that I love is being ridiculed by a Christian man, a man who blames the people of Haiti for a cracking earth and buried babies and children. He says it happened because of their choices. It’s ridiculous, no? I mean, why give his words weight? Why play the game? Why jump on the Twitter bandwagon, bashing his antics? Why? This time I couldn’t help it. I was just so angry. I heard what he said and it was much the same as the sock in the gut this is so wrong feeling I get when I read […]



January 13, 2010

Wednesday~January 13, 2010 He comes in the door and his face is red from working all day in the Minnesota cold. He looks so tired. He says he loves the smell in here and I’m all proud because I’ve been working on his favorite, Mexican. Cilantro and garlic are mixing through the air when I look at him, hoping my meal is spicy enough. He likes spicy to the point of sweating the very most. I fumble around the kitchen, stirring and flipping tortillas and asking him questions. He peels off layers of winter weather wear and he sits down with a thud, like it’s all he’s wanted to do all day. Instead, he’s been lifting and bending and pounding nails and building. Miles wants him to build with Legos now and he just can’t. There’s just been too much building. Since 1970-something…building. He’s built innumerable houses and our lives. That’s what he’s […]


That’s what it was about

January 12, 2010

Tuesday~January12, 2010 It was all about casual and smalland getting a turn at holding a babyIt was all about laughingand feeling baby kicksIt was all about eating togethera lot of eatingOh the eatingAnd then just sitting and talking in this beautiful spaceLike I said, it was good… I’m in love with this picture… Erin and Baby Tommy, Beth, Steph and Ivy, Sarah, Elizabeth and Babyat Cupcake ’10 And also, I’m in love with Beth’s belly… Yes, that’s me with Beth’s really cold bare baby belly. (photo taken by the amazing Crooked Eyebrow) We took some time that night in the candlelight(not just Beth’s belly and I, but all of us)and we told our storiesand just like women dowe opened our hearts to learningmoreand hearing and being heardand I can’t describe itTheir voicesthe rise of them when moved to sadnessempathyjoyhow they gesturetheir stylelittle bits of them that there’s no other way to knowbut to […]


Monday~January 11, 2010 Cupcake ’10 was small and even cozy. It was at times over-stimulating and other times completely peaceful and intimate and raw and real. It was beautiful, really. (We’re sharing much more about it (including photos) over on the Cupcake blog.) All drama (of the weather and traveling variety) aside, we had an absolutely lovely time together. There were less than 30 women at Cupcake, and yet I found myself thinking about how I was having many of the same feelings and experiences that I’ve had at bigger events. Then I started to think about blogging events in general and will now share with you my very scientifically studied top ten things to be prepared for when attending any blogging event… (OK fine, they aren’t studied. They are more like something a person thinks about on a seven hour trip home while trying to stay awake. So they may be a […]


Thursday~January 7, 2010 Let’s start with this one from July at BlogHer. Lee and Deb, you’re welcome. Another BlogHer favorite. Kim and Libby, the very best kind of room-sharing friends… And then a couple of my besties, Kim and Carrie.Oh how I love this picture… And now for the cutest boys in all the land… My Miles My Asher Miles and his cousin, Max… Oh my little paci-lover…I love you… Um…a little too GQ for me, child. Tone it down… Ash Man, I’m ever thankful you arehealthy and you are here… And lastly, a shadow photo that I LOVE fromour family’s walk for Tuesday Whitt.Tuesday’s battle with cancer will be with me always.As a new year rushes on, I pray peace for the Whitt family.Please remember them, especially January 30th, the day they lost Tuesday… Pictures and words, they tell our stories.Let’s take a whole lot of pictures in 2010, shall we? You […]


Thursday~January 7, 2010 For You Capture this week, Beth’s assignment was to post your favorite photos of 2009. In my computer, there are thousands of 2009 pictures and I think I might love them all. What to do? What to do? I guess this will be a two post kind of day. Or maybe three or twelve. Kidding. Maybe. Let’s start with some favorite recent photos. We’ll call them moving house and holidays and snow photos…because that’s quite a good title for something… Here goes nothin‘! The day we moved, I took a gazillion photos of things we saw every day, to remember them. Like the window with the electric candle in it over at the house of The Best Neighbors in the Universe And The Best Neighbors in the Universe themselves. (Yes, that’s me crying because I’m going to miss them…and I do. A lot.) Looks like a good day for a […]


Have you met the cupcakes?

January 5, 2010

Tuesday~January 5, 2010 It seems that every time I unpack a box and put the contents of it carefully around the house, I discover four more boxes I didn’t know about. (ooooh, I almost trailed off there, with a metaphor about boxes and the stuff in them and baggage of the emotional variety, but I’ll refrain. You’re welcome.) The thing about these boxes is that I have no time for them. There are two little guys here who need my attention and they’d prefer that I NOT constantly tell them I can’t play because I have other things to do. And also, they like it if I feed them occasionally. So yeah, the boxes are slow to empty. The other thing is, I’m preparing for a blogging retreat. Remember? Cupcake ’10? It’s already here (or this weekend anyway) and I’m getting SO excited. For a while there I wondered HOW IN THE WORLD […]



January 3, 2010

Sunday~January 3, 2009 My Grandma turned 80 on New Year’s Day. We had a party for her yesterday in the basement of her church in her small Minnesota town. I had prepared some words to say but found it hard to get them out after my cousin read something before it was my turn. I was all weepy because I heard a story about my Grandma I had never heard before, one that moved me and reminded me what family is all about, what unconditional love looks like. The words that were shared were written by my cousin, Brent. On her 80th birthday, he described Grandma and thanked her for something that I’ll always remember when I look at the people in my life, especially my boys…no matter what. Brent was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his early twenties. He has lived through the nightmare of mental illness ever since, trying to overcome the […]