Just Write {144}

July 15, 2014

I was trying to describe unconditional love with an analogy. So I compared loving a person to loving a favorite book, and it went something like this (I will paraphrase and elaborate, I’m sure.): It’s as if you’re sitting with that book you love so much, and you say, I love everything about this book. Its cover, its story, its words and lines and pages. And I flip through the book and I devour it and marvel at its colors and lines, its magic. And then I come to a page that’s torn nearly off. The paper dangles by a few fibers and I’m all, uh oh. I could say, Oh look at that, it isn’t right. Not good. Not perfect. No way. I could toss the book aside, done. That page might fall out. That page makes it hard to read. That page is ugly. Of course a book can’t tape itself […]

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their needs, our needs

May 22, 2014

I am waking up before the sun these days. I start the Keurig and as it warms up, I stretch my nearly 40 year old back and pray prayers that are not contrived or from a place of over-emotional-mixed-up-ness. (Those are not bad prayers, I just need different ones right now.) Like the Lord’s Prayer, it is so comforting, that one. And the Serenity Prayer. OMG (like a prayer) I definitely need that one. The wisdom to know the difference. After the coffee is ready, I come upstairs to my office, where it’s bare except for the desk and computer (a strange but good feeling comes from this emptiness), and I write. I return a few emails. I try not to get sucked in to Facebook. The boys eventually come rushing down the hall, almost always right around 6:00. Miles says HI as he streaks past the doorway and Asher runs in, hugs […]

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Just Write {136}

May 20, 2014

Their dad was on a work trip and we were eating dinner, sitting together at the round white table. I don’t know which house will have the table. These are the things I’m answering, for my children. It’s impossible that this is what I’m answering, but I am. At their ages, there is some confusion about divorce and the finality of it, and confusion on how we will have all of our things, that we have now, but split up, in two places. I don’t know if they understand that this means the end of our marriage. A marriage that was also theirs, in the way that children connect. The love stays, the parenting stays, the belonging stays…I don’t care who gets the white table. Our kids are excited that if Asher is at one house and Miles is at the other, they can still play Minecraft, in tandem. This is mind blowing […]

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“From this one place I can’t see very far, from this one moment I’m square in the dark…” – Sara Groves 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 Thing that 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 funny […]

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Just Write {130}

April 8, 2014

This post was originally freely written about 6 years ago. I edited it for the now that I live in, but very little. It seems my heart is still there:   I want a cottage style house built by my Dad somewhere near water and so many acres of nothing but grass and dirt and trees. I want salvaged barn doors in that cottage somewhere, to pull to the side, heavy and creaking. I want built-in book shelves filled with colorful stacks and rows of books.  I want vintage things all around, from years ago and grandparents. I want a really big garden full of fruits, veggies, herbs and flowers. I want a cozy space for guests to stay and kids to play above the garage. I want all of that, and yet I still want the house to be small, holding us close together so there’s nowhere we can go to end up feeling like […]

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There’s too much to say and nothing to say. There’s pain and a heavy heart in watching my parents drive away on Saturday, Nanny and Bapa and Auntie Kay riding away in a white car, and the five of us–our little King family–standing on a new-to-us sidewalk, waving back. There’s not enough time to say any of all that’s changed and happened and there’s all the time in the world. Ryan made dinner  last night. Asher said the dinner was burned and he was sitting there not eating it while Miles was trying to convince him that it was awesome. They’re both exhausted. They play and play and play and play with new neighbor friends. They play everything and nothing, as many hours as they can fit inside one day. Like it’s their job. Later in the day, after our family left, we went to Goodwill. On the way in, a woman told […]

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Just Write {88}

June 3, 2013

Turn the TV down Elsie, Nutella Face stay off the bed! Are you dressed? I asked you to get dressed. Someone get Daddy up yes I’m making you some Elsie no hitting! why are you hitting Asher? (much crying) Miles, the library books must go back find them now why aren’t you dressed? No, don’t open the door! the dog’s feet are wet stop, please. (door opens) Boxes are all around. In two days, the moving truck is coming. We sat down and made a list and tried to guesstimate how long each thing would take and the total was 27 hours and there is work and kids and life. But the windows are washed and most things are packed and now it’s the mind-bending what goes where and last-minute cleaning and you get the idea. I have been so peaceful and preparing, organizing, working hard. I’m waiting for a meltdown because I […]

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Just Write {83}

April 29, 2013

From snowing to seventy-something degrees in a just a few days, we jumped. We’ve been soaking up sun like the pale and vitamin D depleted Minnesotans that we are. The sliding glass door bangs every few seconds, in and out and in and out. There’s dirt sticking to my bare feet from the muddy shoes. I don’t even care this time, this winter was just too long to begrudge a little dried spring mud. We are going through all of our things and really considering each item, Do we need this? Are we taking this to Austin? Will we get there and open a box and say “Why in the world did I pack this? Now I have to find a place for it and we never use it.” I’m a tosser, he’s a keeper. Our new garage is about a quarter of the size it would need to be to fit all […]

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Just Write {70}

January 28, 2013

Saturday, in a coffee shop, I worked hard. Sending emails and writing posts and writing other things. I got a lot done, there in the caffeinated room, high ceilings, chill in the air from the door opening and closing. My friend Rhonda sat nearby doing her work. She has two daughters and a full-time job and a part-time job–the one she was working on today. We sat apart to stay focused but took breaks together. She loves her coffee strong and so do I but I can’t drink it in the afternoon like she can or I don’t sleep. I called Ryan to check-in and he said he was out with the kids looking at a book store for a new puzzle because we’re almost done with the last one. We do many puzzles in the winter, it started after I quit drinking. Puzzles were a way for me to distract my brain […]

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An Open Letter

November 9, 2012

{posted with permission, after reading each other’s words and deciding to post together. Vikki is co-directing LTYM Minneapolis with yours truly, and it’s a crazy good thing to be working with her.} Dear Vikki, I know there are a lot of political issues and I care about those issues, but yesterday (election day) you were heaviest on my heart. Maybe because we had lunch this week. Maybe because you shouldn’t have to be an issue. Isn’t that such a big part of it? People were voting about you, not just marriage, even if they don’t see that. That’s how it must feel. That’s how it feels to me. I try to imagine what it would be like if I were you, and I think I’d feel like a puppet and not a person–a stereotype, a label, a cardboard cut-out signage version of the all of me. All these months, while ads blared and […]

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Just Write {57}

October 15, 2012

My husband comes through the door, shuffling in his slippers. He asks me what I’m still doing up. I’m normally an “early to bed, early to rise” kind of sleeper. I don’t know. I was looking at houses for sale and it’s addicting. I let the iPad fall from my hands to the covers on my belly and yawn while he climbs in and puts his CPAP machine over his goatee, mouth and nose. I giggle. I always do, I can’t help it. I feel like I’m sleeping with a robot or a character out of Star Trek. He has to sort of yell from under the mask for me to hear his seemingly far-away voice… Stop it!   Suddenly we’re these parents of three kids and we’re nearing 40 and he has a sleep machine and my favorite thing to do is online real estate searching. I love it. It’s getting too […]

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September 26, 2012

I’m sad. Which makes very little sense considering I’m excited and happy. I spent the day with my cousin and her groom on Saturday, taking pictures. Their wedding took place at a beautiful camp on a beautiful lake surrounded by beautiful fall leaves. My cousin, she is almost strangely similar to me. She’s creative and sensitive, giggly and anxious, friendly and maybe a little scared. Her eyes are the brightest blue; they matched the lake in the background. She is many years younger than I, and her youth shines from her skin and her smile and her hair is the most beautiful blonde flowy hair.  When I was her age, I downed Dr. Pepper like it was water and furiously chewed the left over ice cubes. Amby does the exact same thing. I’m working on editing some of the pictures from her day so I can send them to she and Michael before […]

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September 7, 2012

I was rushing to get out the door to pick up Asher at preschool at one end of town and then get his brother in the middle of town and then drive out the other end of town to get Elsie. I wanted candy. I grabbed an apple. GO ME! (I didn’t have any candy.) I was driving with one hand and chomping CRUNCH my green apple in the other and the stem came off. It reminded me of when I was a kid and my friends and I would play the ABC game while twisting the stem. Whatever letter you were on when the stem broke loose was the first letter of your future husband’s name. Of course, we worked hard to pull the stem free at the first letter of the name of the boy we were “going with” at the time. Then we’d play M.A.S.H. on the bus or at […]

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When Ryan is out of town for work, we sometimes get time to talk on the phone at some point during the day, but mostly we don’t get that time. He’s super busy with teaching some sort of software thingys to people and I’m busy…yeah, busy. Three kids + one of them being a very demanding and quite feisty little lovely creature + the start of school + working + All THE THINGS = a very tired and forgetful mommy. I was talking to Ellie yesterday and she knows how much I love Elsie Jane, how grateful I am for her. So I can vent and say that sometimes, when Elsie is especially…spirited…I feel like I might explode or like my insides are just going to turn to mush and then I’ll fold over and be stuck like that for a few days. Which doesn’t sound so bad, actually. As long as I […]

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Just Write {50}

August 27, 2012

Our cupboards are bare. Not of food and pots and pans and a crock pot and vases. There is plenty on the shelves, but we’ve taken all the doors off and pulled all the drawers out. We began a project that seems simple enough until you actually do all the things it takes to do the thing. We need to sand first, but even before that, we’re marking each door and drawer so we remember where they came from. Otherwise it gets to be kind of a puzzle and you have to keep trying each space until the drawer slides in easily or the two doors close up with out banging together. Miles was using the drill to unscrew the hardware and I was pulling the doors off when he’d get to the last screw. Asher was feeding us each one pretzel at a time, while Daddy wrote up a map and numbered […]

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We only got into one fight on our road trip. What? You didn’t know that we fight? Of course we do. We’re two human married people with three small children, a dog, three chickens and a work-in-progress house and jobs and a minivan that isn’t a Chrysler Town and Country. Heh. Anyway. We do fight, but we also almost always figure out how to work through whatever it is I’m mad about we’re arguing over. Ryan loves vehicles almost as much as he loves the good old fashioned actual paper newspaper, and that’s a lot. When Chrysler contacted me to offer a Town and Country to drive for a week, I forwarded the email to my dear husband and within about ten seconds he emailed me back. It was a long heart-felt love letter to me and minivans that went like this: SAY YES! The first day we got the minivan, I couldn’t […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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Just Write {33}

April 30, 2012

The weekends have been rolling through with paintbrush strokes lately. There have been many more bright yellows and reds where there had been a lot of darker things, like depression and colic. We are moving now, wheels turning down the road to places with familiar faces and isn’t it silly that I started to wonder if that would ever happen again? If we would always stand still? You do, you know? You start to believe that “it will always be this way” whatever that way is, but it never stays. We have that one constant, in counting on change. You would think I’d be sure of it by now but I still get scared sometimes when things are hard.  I get scared they will only stay hard or get harder. But this weekend Miles had a play date and there was a pizza fundraiser and a huge indoor garage sale where I got […]

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in which I admit…

March 8, 2012

I really hate to admit it, but I’m ridiculous and I thought that perhaps, if I should write it out like a somewhat humorous but also true confession, it may improve. I mean, maybe I’ll stop making no sense about this particular thing. Ahem. Here it goes: I have to stop myself from getting really mad at my husband for nothing. A lot. It’s always about the kids. This insanity takes me over and I don’t know, I guess it’s because  I’m with the kids most of the time. I seem to have this belief that when Ryan’s home from work, he should be completely taking over everything and anything and all things related to child care at every single moment forever and ever amen.  I mean, until he leaves. So…if he starts to make himself some food, I’m all, Why are you doing that? Now? The boys need a bath…or Elsie needs […]

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Just Write {23}

February 20, 2012

We went out for an early Valentine dinner so we could get back for putting Elsie to bed. She needs me at bedtime. We didn’t say, Now no talking about the kids! Because usually I think of the things They say to do and not do and then I fail and think about it too much. So we just did our thing the best we could on that day. We ended up not talking about the kids. I got curious about things I didn’t know, from life Before Us and so I asked a lot of questions and Ryan told me about road trips and moving to Arizona and the last time he saw his Grandma. I told him some stories too and we never run out of them, you know, if we just keep digging. I remember my Grandpa saying that he learned something new about my Grandma every day. I couldn’t really believe […]

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soul pull

February 6, 2012

{Hi there, you! If you’re stopping by from Danielle’s place, the quickest way to learn about this place and this person is to clickety-click on the “Best of” or the “About” click-ables up there. So happy to have you!} I was invited to tell the story of Ryan and Heather in the a love story series with Danielle Burkleo and I said, Why yes, I’d be happy to. (Psssst! Danielle is so totally rad and so is her blog, Take Heart.) So anyway, if you head over there you’ll read about a moment in time that was all of our moments… My heart and soul were pulling past my ribs and reaching for him, that’s what it felt like and it was so palpable it was playing from the stage and in my mind, bringing the questions… You can read the rest over at Take Heart (I think that post will be my […]

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December 30, 2011

under my surface I harbor a great fear like there’s a meteor on its way to earth headed right for our home it shines like it’s beautiful and we reach for so many things that twinkle to destruct so take my hand you’re still the one my soul loves and maybe we need to duck and cover bob and weave but we are underneath it all while meteors fly through the sky and what should we grasp? we don’t know what we’re doing just trenching maybe all of it and then even more ignites beauty and some will destruct but no matter we are cared for at every aching end so take my hand.    

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Just Write ~ The 12th

November 28, 2011

He comes in the door weighed down by bags. He got the wrong sandwich meat but who cares, he went grocery shopping for me. He’s a trooper of a man, always helping, especially when I just feel awful and don’t know why but can’t help it. My husband. I’m wearing Elsie in the Ergo, with big dark circles under my eyes and I tell him that I think my thyroid must be screwed up. I’m going to get it checked tomorrow. He’s the one that made sure I made the appointment. Now he’s making me lunch. I just vacuumed again so Elsie would fall asleep. What a hilarious routine. Such a cleanly one. Now I sit here and tell you these little things and wonder how our simple stories can be so interesting to each other, so intriguing. They are the glue that holds our cyberspaces together. We see where we overlap and it’s like […]

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April 13, 2011

notes to my children: Don’t forget to feel and then move on if things don’t go the way you thought they should go. Sometimes what you want isn’t even what you wanted anyway. Open doors for girls. Or better yet, open doors for anyone and everyone coming through. Please. Your brother will be your best friend, if you let him. Don’t pass up chances to go to far-away places even if it doesn’t seem like the right time. Marry someone who likes so many of the very same things that you like. Please. You need to trust your heart-gut, it speaks to you. It is a true voice that can keep you safe from danger and lead you to great things. You were made for those great things, like laughing or changing your corner of the world. There are dreams in your heart and you’ll surely forget them sometimes so circle back and uncover […]

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one way or the other

February 14, 2011

{those of you who have been around awhile will recognize this post. It was originally posted on 9.23.09 and came to be known as The Dust Bunny post. I share it again today because it’s Valentine’s Day and so I’m reminded that love is best when the darkest places are uncovered.} There are dust bunnies. So many. They are under the bed and in me, scurrying across the wooden floors of my home and my heart. They are moving much too fast through the empty, bumping into toys and crayons and dried up play-doh, then coming to a weary stop. It seems no matter how we try to keep up with them, they are winning. So we sweep up only the ones that are out in the open and then we leave the house, coming and going with the living of everyday life. We could hold them out in the palms of our […]

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May 13, 2010

He is so often carefree and unaffectedso sure of loveand centered in fatherhood He is quirkyin the best possible waysand he has too many watchesand I roll my eyeswhen he dons the hatand the penny loafers He thinks every man should mow inpenny loafers He’s my friend and my support andmy laughterAnd today is his birthday I love you, Taco Headyou are so good to me And really, who am I to call him quirky? Like my shoes and socks,we’re a match madein Heaven. Thank you for allowing me to pop up in your inbox and for reading my words, silly or serious. I appreciate you. ~Heather

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That’s courage

May 10, 2010

“I didn’t want to get well, because if I got well, nobody would come and save me anymore. And I didn’t want to get well, because while I could not control my happiness, I could control my misery, and I would rather have had control than live in the tension of what if.” –Donald Miller in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years(This post is brought to you by the fact that I finished this book last night and my mind is reeling with good thoughts to think. Thank you (again), Donald Miller.) _______________ We need breath-taking stories in our lives. We’re made for these stories, and too often we don’t choose them. We don’t write the book or apply for the job or propose or adopt that child or take that trip or dance because we’re scared. And then we stay just where we are and wonder why life is boring and […]

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At first

April 23, 2010

I saw him first through a small window on a wooden door. The living room full of people shouted RYAN! to the stocking capped and goatied man peeking. He ducked. I laughed. He popped up and then in and through, being tackled by old college buddies. He tackled back, to the floor, rolling and yelling. He was loud. I laughed. I knew hardly anyone at the party and I was feeling insecure in the not knowing and small talk. There were appetizers and only sodas to drink. No alcohol, my usual defense, the wall I would build between myself and my lacking self worth, to look at ease and confident. He sat down by the chips and salsa and he asked what I do. I told him that I was a social worker. He stammered a bit, trying to think of the next question. He said, what uh…what um… Population? I asked, thinking […]

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February 16, 2010

At a time when my life isless about mebut more about meblogging can be confusing. The egobad selfish The healinggood selfish The bloggingbothif I’m not careful. For now I think I’m doing alright.I’m not sitting here thinking that people who read my blog are dying to know what I’m doinghow I amtheir world revolving around my every word. I’m not. I just love to writeand my journey into recovery is theinevitable story I have to tellnow. But not the only story. Sometimes my stories are just aboutfur and feet… I’ve been looking closely at these little feet, They are Asher’s feetand they are long with many linesjust like mine. And then down here,that’s Tia in the sun.She drives me crazybut I still love herand she photographs well, And as I look over that picture I rememberhow Tia is largely the reason I quit drinking that nightbut that’s yet another story about addiction and […]

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