May 2012

touch and see

May 30, 2012

(photo courtesy of google) My friend Sarah and I (so) often talk about missing quiet. About how we probably stay up too late at night because we’re so hungry for the quiet that’s only there, after all the little human noise boxes are sound asleep and the computer and TV are off. Who am I there? In the quiet moments? I just asked me that this morning because I had a few awake moments in bed before I could hear the bang and crash of fresh morning boys. I don’t know that I’ve lost myself in motherhood, like they say not to do, or if motherhood has stolen me. Or if I am motherhood. And really, is that so bad?  Maybe it’s only bad if when given the chance I can’t remember me at all, and even then maybe it’s not my fault. Maybe it’s just because there’s been so little quiet or […]

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Just Write {37}

May 28, 2012

So often I ask them how much I love them and they say to the moon and then I say and back down again and we go back and forth like that until one of us speeds up really fast and back up and back down and back up and back down… INFINITY. When I imagined having kids I thought I’d tell them I love them to the moon, but then I had kids and I found out the moon isn’t far enough. Infinity is the only thing forever and endless enough. This weekend I saw these kids move from winter tones to summer kissed ones and somehow it makes them look older. And we moved the boys’ beds from apart to stacked and so they’re bunked boys now. Like the big boys that they are, apart and together. The duo and pals that run past laughing and asking what to play next. […]

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Happy Friday to you. My friend Teri is such a lovely person. When we get on the phone, I feel…comforted. We talk a long time and say more than people usually say and it’s comfortable because she’s unconditional. I just wanted you to know that. On Fridays, Teri has Favorite Quote Fridays on her site Keeping It Personal. She asked me to share one of my favorite quotes this week over there and I was so honored. You can head over to Keeping It Personal to read my quote and why I chose it–how it’s the one that encompasses so much of how I want to live. (Rilke will do that.) What’s one of your favorite quotes? And why do you love it?    You guys, this is Teri’s book, Overcoming the Nevers and I’m reading it right now. So many times I’ve thought about how the 12 steps could help so many […]

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walking baby

May 24, 2012

she says uh oh, so soft. her first words. ones that aren’t dada or mama, how she says those all the time because she’s asked to but doesn’t seem to know who they apply to and we laugh. now it’s just constant uh oh and that suits her our little bull in a china shop spitfire Have you ever held fire close because it asks you to pull it in slight tilt of the head big eyes engulfing? We’ve been set on fire over here… on my birthday, I felt sick inside no explanation something for a therapist’s couch. The morning brought me pain down deep and when she woke up and I walked into her room, there she stood on fire ablaze and I wept I don’t know she is a healing fire God put her here for my soul and the world’s… anything she does brings the gift of feeling that […]

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Just Write {36}

May 21, 2012

Finally, I had time to sit with all of the submissions to the Use Your Words essay contest. With each and every one, my heart found touchpoints, the kind that mothers feel when we share our stories, the details of the beautiful mess. Reflections. She said, the lights were too bright in the hospital and she said she was scared on African soul, a new boy put in her arms, he’s yours now. What do I do with him? Where do I start? Who will tell me what to do?  ::: She said she was scared on a hospital bed, arms spread out in the operating room. My life is over and begun.  Every word and every line and every essay, a theme. We are all so scared at the start–that enormous engulfing fear, like lava, she said, how she flew over a volcano and saw Mother Earth spit it forth–covering and engulfing. […]

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Earlier today I shared some tips on how to make your garage sale a success. (To get people to your sale and to make some money!) And now I’m sharing some little tips that make life easier as you plan and prepare for a sale. (Yes. I’m doing two garage sale posts in one day, as if I have nothing else to do…What can I say? Typing relaxes me.) 1. Don’t put a garage sale on your calendar, place ads and then start to get ready. No matter how well organized you are, having a sale is obviously still a lot of work, so it’s best to not leave that work to the last minute. A garage sale is one of the only things I do that doesn’t involve procrastination. I have a lot of anxiety in general. I don’t need to be schlepping stuff around my garage at 2 a.m. the night before […]

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“Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris   All last week I was slowly and sporadically preparing for a garage sale. (In other words, for five minutes here and there while juggling children (literally, in the air) I went through closets and put price tags on things that we haven’t used. That always adds up to a lot.) Then a friend of mine came over the day before the sale and couldn’t believe how giddy I was.  She said she could see how happy I was to be having a garage sale in my face. Yes. I’m a giddy garage sale-having big nerd. It’s a combination of things, my friends. Purging. Cash. Purging. And the psychology of garage sales. You know, the fascinating people and conversations you have that can only come about because of strangers entering your yard, […]

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before

May 17, 2012

a note to my children: cartoons were just on Saturday mornings with Froot Loops and the whole family couldn’t miss Cosby or Simon and Simon. We would sit there together with no reality. I got the first Nintendo and it was Christmas and Cousin Angie and Mama played Mario for a week straight and then your Bapa and me, we would play every evening while Nanny and Auntie Shelly rolled their eyes. Mario came in a cartridge and we never bought more games. We just saved the princess over and over and then tried to do it without losing even one life or other rules we made up. Guess what we didn’t have computers until I was a teen and then there was still NO INTERNET. When Grandpa Glenn’s dog died that I loved he had two choices call me write me not an email, but a letter and so he did, it […]

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Just Write {35}

May 14, 2012

A robin was looking right back at me when I looked up. An orange breast just staring at me from a branch next to the kitchen window. I said HI out loud because when you live in the land of mostly cold weather, seeing a robin sends a flood of renewal through your toes and fingertips. I set down the dirty dish I was about to put in the dishwasher and I went out back to let out the chickens and then to watch them. There is heat in the morning air and there is a new kind of first light I wear flip flops or no shoes and see longer grass every morning. The boys are sprinkler jumping and bubble blowing and Elsie is sitting in the grass and taking it all in. She’s new here, to spring, and I think she likes it. Especially the grass and the chickens. The chickens […]

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closer to the middle

May 14, 2012

As mothers, we do our best to maintain a home and schedules and meet all the needs of our children and still remain even a little bit focused on the things we do outside of being a mother, whether that’s paid work or hobbies.  I’m a mother that has chosen to work part-time from home. I have some paid writing gigs and I do some speaking and the Serenity Suite at BlogHer. I’m juggling a lot. Whether or not it feels like there’s too much on my plate has less to do with what’s on that plate and more to do with whether or not someone is helping me hold it, so to speak. And what I’m learning is that even finding a paid childcare provider that suits our family’s needs is difficult.  My parents have shown our family an invaluable amount of support and we’re so incredibly grateful. We are basically totally […]

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This is a mother’s day and it has been a mothering year. We warrior mothers, we pass the thousands of hours in years and mark them with the birthdays of our children, not our own.  Today we’re marked and celebrated with messy kid-handled pancakes and syrupy kisses and handmade cards with scrawls and artist’s drawings of ourselves with the skinniest of frames and huge eyes. They’re beautiful, and the pancakes are the best we’ve ever had. Yesterday morning I had that half of the day entirely to myself and I drove around a beautiful lake and stopped at beautiful homes for an annual garage sale extravaganza. It wasn’t about stuff as much as it was about a treasure hunt and treasures I found. More than in garages, I found laughter with my own mother and a gulping of the most beautiful weather God could have lended the day. I sucked it in and […]

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ROOM 4246 That’s right, friends. Maggie and I are back to BlogHer this year in New York City to provide a low-key and relaxing space to take a break from all the beautiful conference madness–scheduling, sessions, socializing, parties and the busy New York City streets. This peaceful place? The Serenity Suite! We’ll be located in a lovely BlogHer sponsored suite in the very hotel where the conference is taking place, and we’re working hard to provide a warm and inviting comfortable space to relax, rejuvenate, regroup and talk with friends, old and new. (This is a great place to set up that “let’s get together at BlogHer!” meeting with the blog friend you feel so connected to but haven’t yet had the chance to meet in person.) Come and visit us at the Serenity Suite, have a cup of coffee or tea, a yummy dessert or three and say hello to the hosts […]

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where the days go…

May 9, 2012

Asher – (whining) (a lot) Mommy, my finger hurts soooo much. (holding up pointer finger) Me – Oh. What happened? Asher – (still whining) (just keep imagine him whining through this whole post) I don’t knooooow. Me – Oh, I don’t see anything? Asher – (looking closely) I don’t know but I need five band-aids. Me – Five? Well. Five won’t fit. Asher – I need five. Me – How about 2? Asher – Four Me – Four and a half Asher – No. It doesn’t hurt half. It hurts whole. Me – okay, Asher. You’re only getting one band-aid. There’s no blood or anything. Asher – oooooh kaaaaay. We get the band-aid and I go to put it on and Asher is holding up his middle finger. Me – Sweetie, I thought it was this finger? (pointing at pointer finger with my pointer finger) Asher – Oh. Yeah. Right. We put the […]

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Just Write {34}

May 7, 2012

On Sunday morning Asher shouted, We have a leak! and I came down the stairs to see him standing barefoot, water up to his ankles, Legos floating by, plastic bobbing up and down and laughing at me in primary colors. RYAN!!! That was me, with the shouting this time and there came my husband to stand at the bottom of the stairs with me in disbelief. It had rained and rained the night before. So much that a big empty plastic bin that was sitting outside in the storm was full halfway up by morning. And this would be the night that our sump pump up and stopped working. I could write a million whining words about the mess, I really could. The sopping wet very large area rugs, the piles of soaked laundry, etc…but unusually, this became a day that I may even call good. There was panic at first and while […]

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The parenting books don’t detail things that can’t be explained. Like the emotions you go through with a premature delivery and hour after hour in the NICU and then hours pacing around the dining room table with a crying infant. “…I passed the weeks in an exhausted daze, unable to get my mind around the ways my life had changed. And for the first time in my life, I felt desperate for words, for some way to express the changes I was undergoing as an isolated new mother.” ~Kate Hopper “Through my blog and teaching I discovered exactly what I expected: women–mothers–crafting memoirs and essays dealing with issues of identity, loss and longing, neurosis and fear, ambivalence and joy.  I found stories about transformation and how the authors see themselves in relation to the world in which they live. Last time I checked, this was the stuff of which real literature was made.” […]

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my new favorite day

May 3, 2012

I answered some questions about blogging and life for the inspirational Shannon of my new favorite day. My answers are over at  her place today and of course you don’t want to miss them because I say all kinds of riveting things. Like how I’m less serious a lot of the time in real life than I am on my blog and I may be considered… quirky. SHOCKING. But before you go, you should stare at this for a moment… I showed Ryan this picture and he said, look at that old man in the background, hunched over. Then he started talking in a rough and slow voice out the side of his mouth like he’d lost all his teeth all slow-like, saying things like, Let me just put this board right here…for the chickens. We laughed really hard and I told him he was wearing old man shorts, too. I’m so encouraging. […]

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