July 2010

I love ya, tomorrow

July 30, 2010

I have a boy here who eats broccoli and puts himself to bed when he’s tired. (Yes, I follow him to tuck and kiss, who do you think I am, Miss Hannigan?) (Annie, people. Stick with me, here. I’m talking about that mean orphanage lady from Annie.) (Although, Miss Hannigan did love alcoholic beverages…but that’s our only similarity, I hope.) (No worries, I haven’t fallen off the wagon.) Anyway. Check it… It’s a hard-knock life. (The title of this post is also from Annie and is not meant to lead you to believe that something really amazing is happening tomorrow. But there is one thing. We get to go see my Grandma. Hi Gram! Love you!) Happy weekend, friends. Thank you for allowing me to pop up in your inbox and for reading my words, silly or serious. I appreciate you. ~Heather


*this just in: I wrote something new for Mama Manifesto and it’s up over there today. It hopefully paints a picture and sends a message and resonates. If not, it’s just about my own bouncy brain and crap television. See you there. I mean, if you go over there. Nicely. And also: Miles and Asher had a combined birthday party recently. Both sides of the family were there, so people who don’t know each other that well from either side were all there. (And yes, it was quite redundant of me to explain that.) Above, you will see Cousin O, to the right, with the squirt gun. And at the far left is Cousin M. Cousin O and Cousin M have rarely been around each other. Which brings me to this conversation between Cousin M (left) and an adult family member. Cousin M – Is O a boy or a girl? (see long-haired […]


toolbox of the soul

July 27, 2010

Every once and a while the thought passes through my mind that I should get started on painting the kitchen. We still have much to do in updating our not-so-new-to-us-anymore house, and we’re still trying to take it one room at a time. Anyway, I don’t ever start painting, that’s what I’m trying to tell you. First of all, I actually quite hate painting, it’s far too mind-numbing for me. I abhor endless repetitive sameness, unless we’re talking about a daily routine that makes me feel safe, but then again, that gets old, too. Hellooooo ADD brain! What was I saying? Okay, so. Painting. You see, the thing is, I can’t get started. I know I won’t get started unless I ask Ryan to get started for me. And then I have to get out of the way because he’s coming up and down the stairs and looking for all the right things […]


helping: a picture story

July 25, 2010

Every year around 20,000 people gather in our small Midwestern town, driving from all over the state and neighboring states for camping and music. People come to the concerts hours early, holding their space as close to the front as they can. There’s a fence to hold them back and a large gap in front of that fence in front of the stage. Usually that gap is filled with volunteers, security, people restricted to wheelchairs, and family and friends of band members. I love The David Crowder Band, so I stopped helping backstage (my mom is one of the creators of the festival, so we help each year) to go stand in the gap. I love to turn around every once and a while to look back over the jumping and screaming crowd. At one point, I turned around to see this: Apparently, a young man had been content to stay in the […]


Hi, my name is Heather and I’m here because I have a story to tell. Actually, pretty much everything I’m experiencing as of late is coming alive with what my friend Ann calls a fireworks display of story-telling. I feel like a bit of a spectator to myself, while I watch doors opening like I never even once dreamed they would. Click, the locks are turned and the creak of the swinging door blasts through my ears while I wait for the BANG! It’s exhilarating and shocking and terrifying. I sit dumbfounded at the chance to share my entire story, all that my heart-gut leads me to tell, through a book. I will meet with an agent in New York City while I am there for the BlogHer conference. I will sign my name. And then I will surrender to the chaos of life as I juggle writing, motherhood, being a wife, blogging […]


How can something be so meaningless and so meaningful at the same time? facebook.youtube.flickr.whrrl.blogging.twitter.linkedin… Neither good nor bad in their entirety, but always both good and bad.My life is here, in flesh and blood, poured out in cups of juice and sealed over with Snoopy band-aids. I am here in whispered prayers and meaningful conversation, many of my words are never put to paper or blog. I am across the table from a friend of nearly twenty years, watching the way her long brown hair still falls around her face the same way it did when she was 19. We are using the same knife to spin cream through our coffee, and we are pouring out words and laughter that is left unblogged. I am on the phone with my Aunt and then a friend and then another friend, and then off with my boys to meet my parents for dinner. I am […]



July 18, 2010

The red wine is for the skillet, for cooking, for mushrooms, for steak. It is not for me. It is not for me. I am standing and pretending I’m unaffected, handing out bread next to the skillet and its chef, downwind of the smell of the wine. To the people who curve in a line like ants, coming for food, I repeat, bread? bread? bread? would you like some bread? bread? bread? And I’m thinking, wine wine wine, even while I try to focus on other things, like the serving gloves I’m wearing, my hands sticky and hot, and the faces smiling and thanking me. For the bread. wine wine wine… Of course there is irony here. The bread and the wine, this doesn’t escape me. This thought reminds me to beg for serenity. This thought, of bread and wine together, not alone. So I say the prayer and kick at the dirt […]


All this time, I’ve been photoshopping our teeth. We actually have terrible dental hygiene. Just thought you should know. ___________ Also. A little while ago, I shared the details of my Motherhood and Addiction story over at Missy’s place. The comments were open for questions. A Hazelden expert has answered those questions today, if you’d like to take a look. Thank you all for your birthday wishes for Asher earlier today. You rock the birthday party. Thank you for allowing me to pop up in your inbox and for reading my words, silly or serious. I appreciate you. ~Heather


Me – Asher, I want to tell you something. Asher – (eyes bright, runs right over) What, Mama? Me – Today you are THREE. It’s your birthday today! Asher – oooooh. Will I get a balloon? Me – Yes. Later today….what are you going to do this year, while you’re three?Asher – play wid Zach-Max (cousins)…and brudder…and you (pronounced jew. just sayin‘)….cause I missed jew (very very sad face, oh so downcast, oh his soul)Me – Oh. When was I gone? Asher – (long pouty pause, then giggles, throws his head back) I kidding! Me – Oh, you’re silly. I love you. Asher – I wuz jew, too, Mommy. (gives big hugs, then throws noggin back again to be silly and cracks said noggin on chair.)(just keepin‘ it real, peeps.)(he’s totally fine.) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Cue The Cute: End Cute. Happy Birthday, Asher. Mommy loves you to the sky and back and back up and […]


There’s someone in my life that I love dearly, but very often, we don’t see eye to eye. More like toe to forehead. We’re both stubborn and sensitive, so this can be…interesting. (No, it’s not the Ryan. My dear husband and I see eye to eye on most things. Or at least nose to chin, or something close together like that.) The thing about this other person is that I honestly really like him, even though we want to kick each other in the teeth over our opposite opinions sometimes. I’ve heard he thinks that I don’t like him. But I do. I’ve always felt a kinship to him, seen the beauty of his heart, and have never, no matter what, been unable to forgive him. He’s good, and I respect him and love to laugh with him. That’s the truth. Because of sobriety, and the way it sheds light on what needs […]


stupid freaking balance

July 13, 2010

balanceshoulddisciplineandmoist I am not the biggest fan of these words. All of them are elusive (a word I do like). Well, okay, maybe not moist, that’s not elusive…it’s just icky. I’ve written about how I feel about balance many times, about how unattainable it is. If I’m going to mother, I’m going to have an UNbalanced life, that’s the reality. And either I can accept that, or get swallowed in the anger and tension of trying to fight for a balance that remains out of reach no matter how DISCIPLINED I am. I’m getting a tiny bit better at this acceptance thing, but man, some days I just want to scream at should and discipline and balance. Like a mad woman-just screaming until my furrowed forehead and wide open mouth get stuck in their angry wrinkle-inducing expressions. Maybe that’s what I should do, just discipline myself to let it all out, going off […]


Modern June Cleaver, no? We’ve been busy with birthday parties over here, one last night for my mom, as she turned 60 (and holding, as she likes to say) and one for our boys, because their birthdays are just two weeks apart. I’ve got some great photos for sharing here another day. Tonight I’m just too exhausted for the uploading. In the past I handled the stress of having company, lots of company, and trying so hard to keep everything impossibly perfect, by drinking. Sometimes I’d drink sneakily, and sometimes I’d drink right after the sober company left, to cope with my insecurity and need to people please. Without that option, I’m learning not only new ways of coping, but to accept and relax. To expect less of myself and simply live the moments, believing it’s all good enough simply because my intentions are good, even if there’s nothing close to perfect.I cleaned, […]


on the road again

July 9, 2010

{originally posted 6/1/09} Yesterday, at my parent’s cabin, Asher woke up at 5:00 a.m. I didn’t want to wake up the rest of the house with screeches and screams, so I put Asher in the van and we went for a drive, not really knowing where we were going. We saw the sun rise, some sheep, some cows, and long stretches of road. It was a beautiful start to the day, even if I wasn’t at all happy to roll out of bed before the sun. We drove to town and picked up a coffee and some diapers. Then with nothing else left to do, we sat in a parking lot. Asher watched Wall-E while I read a book and sipped my mocha. We did that for quite a while, lazy and content, until Asher said, “Mama…beep beep.” And I asked, “Does that mean you’d like to start driving again?” He looked right […]


Miles – 4th of July parade R & S – 4th of July dinner at Nanny and Bapa’s our very own fireworks show it was obviously quite riveting {These photos are brought to you by You Capture at I Should Be Folding Laundry} And now for your Asher update:First of all, thank you all so much for your comments and emails, your thoughts and your prayers. We feel them.Asher hasn’t had much success with that whole clearing out thing, despite our dietal (totally a word) efforts. So we’re giving it until the end of the day, hoping for a fireworks-like explosion. *ahem*Hopefully that will solve the issues with his valve tube, things will start flowing as they should, and his headaches will disappear. If there’s no luck with the clearing out, I plan to call the doc in the morning.The first thing Asher said this morning when he woke up was that when […]


(In case you’re new-ish to comin‘ around this space, Asher (almost 3) has hydrocephalus, a condition in which the spinal fluid produced in his brain basically gets stuck. So. He has a valve in place near his cloggable (totally a word) ventricles, to drain the fluid. The valve is attached to tubing that goes all the way down to his cute little round belly. This is all on the inside.) For a couple of days Asher has been complaining of headaches. This is new, he’s never really been able to articulate his pain or describe it. He’s still a bit unclear in his telling of it (when asked where his head hurts, he runs his hand all over and around his noggin), but it helps that he can say things like he did today, when I came to his room for a good morning hello, to raise my mommy red flags, “Hi Mama. […]



July 5, 2010

We sat at the parade and my friend said, “Yes, you’ve lived a lot of lives.” And I answered, with a lump in my throat, “Oh yes, I have.” ~~~~~ I grew up in a town where the 4th of July is a really big deal. If it falls on a weekend, it’s an especially long party complete with red and white and blue and a whole lot of people, and even more alcohol consumption than on the average summer weekend in Midwestern Minnesota. It took me until the 3rd to realize that this year would be different. In the years before marriage and children, I would go to the parade, hang out on the lake, and drink, and then go to the bar and drink some more. After meeting Ryan and having our kiddos, I would spend the day with my family and then always be sure to have plans with friends, […]



July 2, 2010

I had to shut the door, while they stood there crying and screaming for me, I said “Go get a hug from Daddy. I can’t. I need a minute.” It has been so loud and so whiny all morning and I’m tired. They are fighting and fussing and then one of them is screaming and I need a buffer. The door is my buffer. And now I feel trapped while my heart hurts. It’s quieter, but not in my head. These boys of mine are so good. They are good to their core, not just in the way they act. I am beyond surprised at their temperaments, the way they sit perfectly still for haircuts and almost always respond positively to my directions. They are good sleepers, they don’t fuss much over food, and they stop to ask permission if they aren’t sure if what they’re about to do is allowed. They are […]



July 1, 2010

This photo is a part of You Capture at I Should Be Folding Laundry ~~~~~~~~~~ Yesterday I was in the grocery store when the book came to me. It’s not fiction, as I had thought, but I’m going to try to stay confident that it is meant to be written, by little old me, from my experience and my heart. Not coincidentally, I came across this article by Anne Lamott through Sarah of Momalom (on Twitter, of course) the day before I had this grocery store epiphany. I’ve been saying and saying and saying that I have no time to write a book. After all, I’m interrupted when I shower, how could I sit with clear thoughts and type any kind of sense at all in five second increments? Anne writes, on finding time, “This means you have to grasp that your manic forms of connectivity—cell phone, email, text, Twitter—steal most chances of […]