June 2012


June 28, 2012

Oh Milesy, you’ve been here seven years and you are a million good things piled up through all your learning and then a million more things that simply came along with you, out into the world on the day you were born. I was reading this book about age 7, about what happens developmentally at this stage and it said something about this being the year of melancholy. A year in which kids start to spend more time alone and a year when the brain and body is doing things that make a person extra sensitive and frustrated. I thought, UH OH. But I’m glad to know this ahead of time because it already started. You’ve always done that. As a baby you did everything the books said right on target, or as the over-achiever that you are, sometimes a little ahead. Back then I had no idea what a content baby you […]


I don’t know why there’s no sound! It’s making me crazy. We’re both going to have to just imagine a song. It’ll be a fun game! RIGHT? Sing yourself something and then push play! danceparty 0001 from Heather King on Vimeo.   Our kids are rad. about that whole parenting in this technological world thing? I forgot to mention that we get to make each other smile just for kicks and that’s one of my favorite parts. Today it was my turn. Or Elsie’s, I should say. You’re welcome.


I’ve been a mother (if you count pregnancy, which you do, of course) for about eight years. I’ve been a blogger for over half that time, and I’ve been active on Twitter and Facebook since about a year after I started blogging. That said, this question was posed: How has the technological age changed parenting for you? I love this question. It fascinates me. I mean, pretty much every parent I know is involved online in one way or another. We’re tweeting or updating facebook or writing and/or reading blogs. We’re talking about this bumpy road of bringing up humans and we’re gaining avenues to different perspectives every day. We have answers at our fingertips every second of every day. We have smart phones and smart notebooks and smart computers and smart laptops…(For real, they’re all smarter than I am.) We are taking in a lot of information about parenting, especially if we’re […]


Just Write {41}

June 25, 2012

There were older boys walking by and they took the boys’ soccer ball as they went and kept going. This was quickly reported back to the mother whose house our boys were playing in front of with friends. She told her oldest son to go get the ball. Just ask them if the ball is theirs, she said. So he did. He gathered courage and picked up his bike and hopped on to go find them and it was almost like he wanted the challenge–the adventure. He came back with the ball. My eyes were wide when she told me this, the way she encouraged her boy to figure it out. She told him, If they won’t give it back, just leave. It’s not worth fighting over. He came back with the ball. No big thing. He surprised them. He said they acted nervous and couldn’t answer his question. Is that your ball? […]


sometimes I just get bummed about the world. sometimes I forget about all the good and how it will always win. love always wins. sometimes it doesn’t seem like it at all, but it does. sometimes I get scared that we’ve put three cherished souls in a world that doesn’t measure up to what they deserve and I start to wonder, will they have health care? will they be able to get jobs? will they be accepted for exactly who they are? will…. I’m just so grateful that I can shake that off by diving into thoughts like will they be friends with people like the ones in these videos… will they BE people like them? and then I feel a little hope bubble up because in the midst of all the chaos and mess there is always so much grace and art… (hat tip to Lisa) (hat tip to my cousin, Caleb […]



June 21, 2012

Sweetland {photo courtesy of google images}   There’s a scene in the movie  Sweetland (which is filmed in Minnesota) in which the starring characters are in a barn and they’re shaking something out. A blanket maybe? Why can’t I remember, it’s one of my favorite scenes in a movie ever. I need to watch it again. Maybe even tonight. Anyway, the couple, who have taken a long and winding road to a different kind of “marriage” are in the barn and the light is just so and the dust is flying all around and everything is in slow motion. When I first saw this movie in a tiny theater in St. Paul, Minnesota with one of my oldest and best friends, I wept. I watched the barn air and the working together and I wept. I still don’t fully know why. When you’re from Minnesota and you come from a long line of Minnesotans, […]


Just Write {40}

June 18, 2012

I was looking at pictures on facebook. Beautiful ocean Instagrams to be exact. The kind that make you feel the salt water on your skin and the wind blowing your hair all the way over here in Minnesota, where we are ocean-less but full of lakes. The truth is, the ocean terrifies me. It’s beautiful and epic and I love it and it terrifies me. There are so many parts of me like this. Like that Sara Groves song says, “I’ve got layers of lies that I don’t even know about yet.” I haven’t been lying about how I feel about the ocean, that’s not what I mean. It just takes me awhile to admit some things to myself and then out loud to be heard and either tossed or taken in. There are layers with truths because my fear of the ocean goes beyond a fear of drowning or being eaten by […]


With chapters like “My Cup Holders Runneth Over” and “Nanny in a Haystack”, Dan Zevin’s, Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the intersection of Dude and Dad takes us through middle-aged parenthood with charm and warmth and most of all, hilarity. Ryan and I have seriously enjoyed how much we can relate to this book. It’s the kind of book that had us reading together…out loud, which doesn’t happen frequently and can’t hurt any marriage. {It’s entirely possible that Ryan thinks the world of Dan Zevin because the man tricked out his minivan with flames.} Dan Zevin chronicles his seemingly uncool life and the changes having small children will bring you through with stories that any parent will see themselves in. We understand these feelings, of being one way and then being transformed into someone who looks more like your parents than your old hipster self, falling in love with your minivan instead of […]


Just Write {39}

June 11, 2012

A fluffy baby robin bounced around our patio door like a little plastic wind-up bird. I could hear that tick tick sound of the dial on his side even though it wasn’t actually there. I knew he was a boy because bright orange is pushing through the down on his chest. He click click hopped up on a chair and stared at me, head turned for his side-eye to get a good look. I nearly cried for him because I know where he came from, his mama’s nest is right outside my kitchen dishes-washing window. I ran over to see if his brother or sister (I can’t see the chest) was gone or if his mama was around to find him way on the other side of the house. There was his sibling, head held up high searching around peep peep peep. I wondered if the wind blew out our patio visitor because […]


these two photos were taken almost exactly one year apart.   we had a birthday party for EJ yesterday and she had the best day of her life. So much attention and cake. My girl, she loves to be the center and she now knows that most every girl is bound to love cake. She ate that stuff like it was her first and last meal. One thing I know for sure about her? She doesn’t hold back. we had a bounce house and she had no fear about the whole thing, she just laughed and laughed her deep guttural giggly laugh like Asher’s. then Daddy bounced her up and down in our small pool and she slipped around and laughed even harder, bare naked and splashing so hard everything everywhere was getting wet. then she crashed super hard at 6:45pm and then woke up four times in the night. I’ll take this […]


You were written into my motherhood story and I knew it before I realized you were a little acorn growing inside. I didn’t know how to picture you here but I knew you were coming. I looked at your daddy and I asked, Do you feel like our family is complete? and he said No and I said, Me either. Even though we were riding along with two very loud and whiny boys on a road trip, those two who would become your doting brothers. We were crazy in love with them and couldn’t see past them but we knew. We could feel you. Like you were there in an empty seat beckoning. A little Elsie Jane half-wave from the place you are from; from Everywhere like Heaven and Nowhere like the sky and totally from Love and Grace. I felt your little call to our family–I’m yours!–and it made me nervous. Nervous […]


Just Write {38}

June 4, 2012

Maybe most days are so good like today and I miss it because my head just doesn’t feel like noticing what my heart does. When your head and your heart shake hands it’s calming and you can shake the sand out of  little boy shoes and onto the floor for more sweeping and not mind. You know it means the day was more full than those shoes. My heart and mind shook hands with each other and with a friend and we stood by rushing water and walked in the sun and got interrupted eleventy-billion times by these kids of ours that must.know.this.something.right.now. And those kids, they ran circles around our new friends’ workshop space, the one I mentioned here before that will be opening to bring in mothers and children to create and commune. We stood in the workshop and thought out loud about story. We talked about motherhood and the pressure […]


There was a force in the social media world named Susan Niebur. (Many of you may have known her as @WhyMommy) Susan used her influential voice on and offline to educate, empower and inspire. On February 6, 2012 Susan passed away, but I’m not going to say she lost her battle with cancer. That phrase doesn’t sit right in my heart-gut, not when speaking of anyone who has died after living with cancer.  The word lost and Susan just don’t go together because her legacy, the way she fought to bring awareness to the world, will be kicking cancer’s ass until a cure is found. So I think I’ll change my first sentence to, “There is a force in the social media world named Susan Niebur”. That’s not just hyperbole, my friends. That’s the truth. This spitfire of a woman with a blog called Toddler Planet changed the planet and that’s why Maggie and I […]