March 2013


March 28, 2013

In junior high and high school, my friend Jessica and I talked to each other in little kid-like voices that we borrowed from the way her mom would talk to us. We all did it on purpose, just a silly way to have our own little way of communicating. With that tone and silliness, Jess would ask me WHY after every single thing I said. (Preparation for motherhood?) But WHY? she’d ask, over and over after every answer I gave. It always came to an abrupt end when she was satisfied–with always the same exact last response I could possibly come up with–because He’s God. Then we’d move on. What else can you say? There are no answers after that. ::::: I want the marriage equality debate to be simple, but nothing with this much emotion behind it is simple. This is a many-layered issue from all viewpoints. Seeing some of my Christians friends […]



Just Write {78}

March 25, 2013

We pulled things down from the shelves in the storage room downstairs, holding them out to Grandma, What’s this? Do you want this? Goodwill? Do you want to give it to someone in the family? She answered over and over and then went upstairs for a while, to sit down and watch basketball. Her name hit the top of the list of all who are waiting to live in apartments at a lovely place in a city nearby. Two of her sisters live there now. My Grandma, she is too well to go to assisted living and ready to not have the whole house to herself anymore. It’s time to move away from the house. We found a box of things Grandpa used to have at the lumber yard, back when it was his, years ago. The guys would come and hang out there. I remember sorting nails in little containers all in […]


(glasses store with brother. you wanted to try some on for funsies.) Dear Future Elsie Jane (or, if you’re reading this now it’s the future and so HI), When I was pregnant with you, I wrote a post called PLEASE: notes to my children. Many people that read it mentioned that they wanted to know what I’d say to a girl. What they didn’t know was that I did have you in mind, you and your brothers, when I wrote that post. Since then I’ve thought about what I want to say to just you, but I didn’t know. Most of what I want to say is in that PLEASE post. I could say so many other things about the (potential) parts of your life as a female that scare me most: the partying, drinking, drugs, sex, etc., but maybe it won’t even really matter because no offense, the teenage brain has some pretty […]


I won’t ever have complete control over the minds and hearts and souls of my children, but I can assure you, I will do everything in my power to teach my boys what it means to respect and even honor girls, ladies, women. Not because they are weaker or less or second, but because they deserve it, every single last one. When my boys are sixteen-year-old boys, will they get drunk and lose themselves? Will they forget how I drilled it in since they could first speak and walk, open the door for her.  let her go first. do not speak to her that way. ask your sister before you kiss or hug her. Don’t surprise her with your smothers. I know you love her and it’s so nice, but just ask her first. If she fusses, move away right away, it’s her body and her space.  Listen to her. Same goes for […]


Just Write {77}

March 18, 2013

  more blankets of snow another blanket back on the bed for the coldest St Patrick’s Day in twenty years. Today, a blizzard closes schools and we’ll wait on plows to clear the way. There’s so much to do and the blankets of snow and the harsh winds are back. This feels cruel, like a mean joke. Like I can’t take it anymore. I’ll clear the driveway, not my mind. We’ll trudge through thick drifts to check on the chickens. Is the water frozen, yes, of course, again. No little warming box under the water is going to save it now. No blankets are keeping us warm. This is bone chilling and exhausting. Someone is coming for a second showing of our house. Please buy it. I have two pairs of socks on and I have writing to do. Due. Am I whining? Probably. Elsie is walking around the house saying Bapa and […]


Just Write {76}

March 11, 2013

These sesame rice crackers taste different today. Yesterday I thought they were the best thing I’d ever tasted. Today they just kind of taste weird. Same crackers. I chew ice, the kind that’s all blasted apart by an in-the-freezer ice maker. I don’t know how it makes ice and then you can push a button and it makes loud noises to give you bite-sized pieces, but I love it. Chewing ice is a sign of anemia, did you know that? I mean, if you chew it addictively, like me. I’m anemic. Again. You’d think I would just keep taking the iron supplements all the time forever and ever amen, but I don’t. I stop. Then I want to go back in time to be more responsible about my diet and taking iron so I don’t have a hemoglobin count thingy of 9. But I can’t go back in time, obviously. That happens in […]


Mama’s Comfort Camp

March 8, 2013

My friend Yael Saar (who I had the honor of meeting last year at BlogHer) is a mama on a mission to remove guilt and shame from parenting in order to make room for joy and love. She is the Founder and Keeper of the Mama’s Comfort Camp, a Facebook community that functions as a safe haven and refueling station for hundreds of moms from around the world. This community is free and open to moms of kids of any age, and we share our laughter, tears, and triumphs, all the while normalizing motherhood struggles and bridging the gap between expectations and reality in a uniquely nurturing environment. I’m honored to be one of the Campers, and I would love for you to join us. The Mama’s Comfort Campers will be having our first Twitter Party to celebrate the group’s first anniversary on Sunday March 10 at 8:30pm. You can join us using the hashtag #mamascomfort I’m sharing some […]


Please welcome Allison to the EO today, friends. She’s a gifted writer that I had the pleasure to meet in person this past weekend. I’m so honored to have her here. ::::: When I got married, I lost everything. It sounds strange to say that, and I’ve hesitated using those words for a long time. I wanted to protect my husband, who has bent over backwards to love me and invite me into his life and give me the things I’ve always wanted. And there’s already so much fear of marriage for my generation — I didn’t have the heart to add to it. I wanted to be one of those girls who, when you run into her at church weeks after her wedding, says, “Marriage is so awesome!” She’s practically floating, blissful, a little flushed from her love of it all. I wanted to melt in and around those words, like she did, the […]


Just Write {75}

March 4, 2013

She had been up and down all night, sick and burning up. We spent the day tied together with a sling that she still fits tucked in. Either that, or rocking in a chair, her head on my shoulder, mouth open with heavy sleep. When we’d walk around the house, her on my hip in the sling and her head still on my chest, her arms dangled limp like they were lifeless. She needed me a lot. I cleaned up her sickness, from the floor or her crib or her clothes, over and over. I held a towel in front of her to catch her sick over and over and softly repeated, it’s going to be okay, it’ll be okay. And then my heart would follow that whisper with its own prayer for it to be okay. Her fever was 103 and she wasn’t keeping anything down, and it was going on four days. […]