from here

July 24, 2013

It’s been over 4 years and I still remember clearly. I walked back from a party by myself, leaving my friends behind and heading for the hotel. I was in Chicago, alone and walking and I didn’t care. The whole night was a blur except for that walk because even though I was drunk, I knew this was stupid, being lost in a city I don’t know. Thank God I found the hotel. I had thought I couldn’t find my friends at the party, but they called to ask where I had gone. They said I was standing right next to them one moment and then I was gone. I thought I had walked around looking for them. I thought they had left. Or maybe I just wasn’t thinking. It was BlogHer ’09, the last conference I went to before I quit drinking. I went up however many floors and into the room […]

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Sometimes it seems like bad news is spreading across the Internet like wildfire at every single moment and it seems like it’s the only thing. So I LOVE it when inspiration, joy and hope show up on Facebook and Twitter and All The Other Places. My friend Ann posts inspiring things a lot and today she posted a link to an article: The Best Moments In People’s Lives in which people tweeted meaningful and powerful moments of their lives to someone because he asked. It’s so cool that he asked. Anyway, this inspired an idea in me: I want to ask the same of you, friends. I love it that you’re here. I love to display the extraordinary of life (obviously) and sometimes those things are very….you guessed it….(seemingly) ordinary. Will you send me your favorite candid photo that speaks of motherhood? Like, what kind, Heather? Good question: Any photo that speaks to you […]

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To know a “spirited” child is to know extreme highs and lows in another person. To parent a “strong-willed” child is to continuously stand at the receiving end of these changing emotions, mostly dumbfounded. Sometimes we walk away, hands thrown up in the air, no guesses. I can’t help you, I wish I could.  She gets over it, comes over and kisses a knee or your hand, says something akin to sorry, pats you softly with a dimpled little hand.   In this photo she is thrilled for two reasons. 1.She is carrying a little purse, 2. and she just got to feel the water coming out of the gutter…     I have known her for a thousand years and every day I get to meet her again for the first time.   Happy weekend, friends.

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snow glory: a picture story

February 11, 2013

Just Write will be here later tonight, but I had to show you some pictures from the recent storm and the fun Miles, Asher and Elsie (and the dog) had with the fresh white fluff and balmy 30 degree temps yesterday. (By the way, Elsie Jane hates wearing mittens and refuses to keep them on. I have found ways to keep them on, but then she’s mad that she can’t get them to work to pick up snow for eating. Her stubborn solutions? She plops down face first on her stomach and sticks her face in the snow. nomnomnom. Not kidding. She would stay like that and grow frost-bitten if we didn’t constantly pick her up, and she doesn’t even care. Toddlers are weird.) Our dog, Tia Maria? She LOVES it when we shovel. Because she thinks it’s a game in which she is required to catch every bit of snow in her […]

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December 28, 2012

My Grandma hopes to move into an independent living place that is attached to an assisted living place. We checked it out last spring and loved that it had a movie theater and yoga classes, but mostly we love it now because two of my Grandma’s sisters live there. For now she’s on the waiting list and the waiting list isn’t budging. That means she stays in her home of so many years and doesn’t really get to know when things will change. Maybe this was the last Christmas Day in that house, maybe it wasn’t. We don’t know yet, and still I tried to decide if I should cry or not. I went downstairs, to the basement with the ping pong table, by myself at one point and stood looking around. I could hear the mumbling of conversation above me, through the floor. An occasional burst of laughter and the stomping quick-feet […]

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I use and love the photo editing site PicMonkey. I edit the photos you see around here on the EO, and I even used it to edit the photos I took for my cousin at her wedding. I love how user-friendly PicMonkey is and how there continues to be no registration required. Not jumping through hoops is a win. That cute little PicMonkey is good about keeping up with the changing seasons as well. He (she?) had great Halloween fonts and creepy overlays, frames, etc., and now for winter, PicMonkey has a wide variety of wonderland tools. I truly love giving photos that extra personal touch, so I’ve gotten to know PicMonkey very well. But just in case you’re a photo editing novice and wonder what you would do with Winter Wonderland editing tools, here’s some help for you: On the home page, click on upload a photo. This opens the photo editor with […]

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1, 2, 3 FAKE SMILE!!!

October 22, 2012

this happens so rarely. all of us! same photo! go team! we’ll have to do this again in a few years. Happy Monday, friends!

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one of the best parts of having chickens is the entertainment. kids especially love to come over and try to hold them, like they’re puppies. until the wings start flapping…because chickens generally don’t dig being snuggled…   our friends C and K were over yesterday, with they’re mom, Honda. (That’s not her real name, but it might rhyme with that.) Anyway, I told K, Honda’s youngest daughter, that the black chicken has only been held once since it was tiny because she’s so fast and she really quite hates being held. K chased that black chicken for I don’t know how long, through dog poop and under trees and around all the things. Until she caught her! and then she and Honda were both very proud. and C dared to touch the black hen…with one finger…   and all was well with the backyard chicken world…   for a moment…     because […]

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October 18, 2012

I was hungry and pinning things on Pinterest. I started pinning every food pin that looked even slightly tasty to me. It didn’t take long before I was salivating and oooohing and aaaahing and wishing I was eating all the pins. Crock pot chili- done in 20 minutes! Pumpkin cookie cheesecake melt-away touch-of-cumin bars! Fig Hazelnut Ricotta Crispy Maple Crostinis! Seven layer dip with 7 new layers for dipping! The pretty pictures! Then I had an idea. Instead of salivating and pinning, I could try… doing the pins! Instead of just collecting them! You know! DOING them! I could click open something from my foodies board and I could GO MAKE that SOMETHING IN THE KITCHEN!   So that’s what I did. I got up from the chair and I made things! From now on, I’m going to DO the things I PIN. At least the doable things, anyway. Of course, I can’t […]

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October 17, 2012

Kelby at Type A Parent has a new series going called We Still Blog. I’m all pink in the cheeks with the news that I got to be the first blogger featured there. My post is about something new we have on our family plate, something unexpected and medium hard, which is hard, just like all the hard parenting things are. If that makes any sense at all. Maybe it will make more sense if you head on over there to read it. Thank you. ::::: Also. I had the honor of being interviewed over the phone by a smart and kind woman named Debbi. She laughed at my jokes, so yeah, she’s pretty kind, right? Well, anyway. The interview is going to be shared as a part of a FREE series Debbi is doing. This Telesummit is for every woman that feels she has to compromise to “do it all”. Which is […]

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Remember when I said we were doing the hydrocephalus association’s walk? And that I wanted to raise $1,000 for Asher’s Noggins!? We totally did that! Isn’t that the best!? I learned a lot that day, and I’ve been wanting to sit down to write about it, but again, time keeps on slippin’ slippin’ slippin’…into the future. Today, by a random twist of Internet Fate, or Serwebdipity, I’m over at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital blog. There’s a wonderful woman there that uses words like penultimate in conversation and then I look up the word and I’m all, OHHHH and then of course I just SAY that I didn’t know what the word was and had to look it up. I’m a pleasure to work with, I tell ya. (Also. Serwebdipity is obviously a word that should be in the dictionary with a meaning like; a serendipitous or fortuitous meeting on the world wide interweb.) So […]

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about last night

October 4, 2012

That’s a movie, right? About Last Night. Yeah, I think so. This is a picture story about life last night. (It starts below, because of course I had to say stuff first.) Oh wait, I think it may have been the night before last, but I have no idea. For the last four weeks, Ryan and I have traveled, taking turns, week by week. Me, once, to Ojai for Creative Alliance and he, three times, for the working and the paying of the bills. We pass the baton one night and then the next morning, the other of us is off on an airplane. I’m trying to focus on how there is a “We” and an “us” to even talk about at all because it makes me so grateful. WE are exhausted, so I’m glad that there are a few weeks coming up when neither of US is traveling. The thing about fall […]

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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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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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I’ve been using Picnik to edit my photos for years. So when I got the message that Picnik would be closing, I was worried that I’d never edit another photo because I am completely incapable of using Photoshop haven’t learned how to use Photoshop yet. I get asked quite often how I take my pictures; what camera I use (Nikon D60) and how I edit. I have been giving Nikon and Picnik all the credit for the way my pictures look. Now I’m going to be giving credit to PicMonkey. Thanks to She Posts, I learned about this new site and in my humble opinion, it works even more smoothly than Picnik. (Aside from not saving your photos right on the site, but I’m okay with that because they’re already saved to my computer. And it’s most likely why you don’t have to register or sign in or create an account to use […]

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let’s talk about them

March 15, 2012

People are like moths to a flame; humans to drama. It’s like we’re so otherwise bored by our existence that we just can’t stand to refrain from flocking to the gossip, the gasping stories. Like most teen girls, I was especially fond of drama, in high school. Now, it makes my stomach hurt and then I turn from it toward my life. If you’re not in the Internet/social media/blogging world, you aren’t aware that there’s drama here just like everywhere else and people get to truly know each other or sort of know each other and they talk about all the goings on. Like how ladies in long dresses used to talk on porches over lemonade, except now it’s a broadcast on Twitter and Facebook and blogs. No matter what the gasping topic or its validity, it’s like a gawker slow down in which the focus is suddenly taken from good things, and […]

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Just Write {25}

March 6, 2012

I keep trying to take a picture of Elsie in just the right light to catch the way her hair is growing in. It is wispy light, so fine and thin as baby hair is, but so sparse it’s comical. She has baby orangutan hair. It’s hard to capture it in a photo, to do it justice. I want to remember it and maybe I will because I look at it so much. I carry her around a lot, wearing her on my hip and she clings like the monkey that her hair makes her seem to be. She wants me all the time and I want her all the time. I need breaks but not that many and not for very long because I am so smitten. The other day Asher hurt her, doing something a four year old boy would do in a moment of impulsivity. It wasn’t mean-spirited or done […]

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well, be still mine

February 23, 2012

::::: Mommy, do you know what my heart is? What’s your heart, Miles? Elsie. ::::: linking with small moments at bigger picture blogs

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small style {1}

February 16, 2012

I am very stylish in my head. Especially while browsing Pinterest. But in real life, I have a tendency to keep my style in my head and out of my closet and off my body. (Truth be told, even my “My Style” pinboard on Pinterest is anemic.) Maybe it’s mostly this season of parenting, but I’m more of a, OH look! I got out of my yoga pants and into jeans! kind of girl. Also. I don’t love shopping. I consider it a chore and I make it SNAPPY. In the store, off the rack, DONE. When I was pregnant with Elsie, everyone was all, OH I bet you’re having so much fun shopping for a girl! And I was all, uuuuum…yeaaaah.  Of course, now that she’s here, it is more fun to dress her than I thought, but I will also admit that I’m totally not an overly ruffly-frilly-pinky lover. (You know, […]

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February 13, 2012

I kind of want to keep each little snapshot version of these children of ours. They just keep changing too fast with all that growing so fast. If we could keep each one, we’d have like 569 Miles’ and 348 Ashers and 72 Elsie Janes. That’s 989 varying sizes of the kids we’ve come to know that are gone and also not gone because they’re all way down deep inside these growing people. If we had kept them all, Newborn Miles and Infant Miles and another Infant Miles and then a Newborn Asher until a Toddler Asher–you get the idea–we’d be bumping around and into each other, and there would be babies and toddlers and preschoolers everywhere and more would be added all the time. They’d look around at their old selves and I’d be all, SEE? Look at you, that’s how you were! And now there you are! Here! And there and there […]

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Dear Single Mothers,

January 26, 2012

How do you do this? I am on week three of four of solo parenting. I’ve hit that wall in which I can still kind of handle it but I can’t handle the waffle getting stuck in the toaster. Right now the teething sleep deprivation is so severe I’m not sure at all ever what I’m doing exactly. Just getting him to school and then him to school and feeding and wiping and trying. Then I want to throw the toaster and I follow that I’m losing it feeling with guilt of course because look…     Just LOOK at what I have…     They are sooooo…   THEM, you know?     When I am solo, we all move down the totem pole, so to speak. No time for all of our needs or for the family utopia in my head to even come close to existing and I suppose this […]

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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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If you were on the ball and wrote a Just Write post for this week, I apologize. I’m just completely unable to set up the linky code and write a post. (One word. Christmas.) (So. Good.) BUT. Next week, we’ll be back at it, so save your draft? Please? For now, I leave you with this…     You’re welcome. xoxo

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in the big woods

December 19, 2011

  This picture is from like two weeks ago. You know, when I should have been focusing on Christmas to-do lists, but was instead just walking around Target aimlessly, not buying anything. Now I’m all stressed and I wish Christmas didn’t have to be that way and sure I do a lot of it to myself by procrastination but it also seems like even if I do some things ahead of time, the lists just keep adding stuff to themselves. (yes, I realize that’s a hugely confusing run-on sentence but I’m too tired to change it.) I wish this season was more like it was on the prairie. You know, with the Ingalls, in the little house. Just candy and a violin and some food to make the whole family overjoyed. No hustle and bustle, just a cozy fire and some singing and tradition. Anyway. I love Christmas. I really do. I especially […]

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memories captured

December 5, 2011

It was just Mommy and Asher, making a trip to the grocery store. I was playing Sara Groves and she sang, it’s a sweet sweet thing, standing here with you and nothing to hide. Light shining down to the very inside… sharin’ our secrets, barin’ our souls, helping each other come clean. He asked, Why does she say…sharing secrets? (this is when I had some rapid-fire mommy thoughts of how to explain the point of the song so a four year old could understand.) I told him that it always feels best to tell the truth, even if you have a secret about something you’ve done that you think you could never tell. I asked him if, when he sneaks something he’s not supposed to and then he tells me about it, he feels better. He said, without hesitation, YES. Yeah, it’s about that. It just feels better to not keep things inside, even […]

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motherhood math

November 30, 2011

Miles was eating breakfast at the counter while I did all kinds of things in the kitchen. He said, Grown ups are way busier than kids…especially you, you are the busiest grown up. I told him that I’m sure there are people busier than I am and he said, No. Because you have to feed Elsie… and put her to bed… and make us food and make your own food and make Asher finish his food because he doesn’t, and drive me to school and that’s 7 things OH! And what am I forgetting… You also give us stars (referring to the stars they earn for doing things) and you give Elsie a bath and you give US a bath… THAT’S TEN THINGS!!! See? You are the busiest! So. According to my six-year-old, I do ten things (maybe his counting is a little off) and all but one of them are for my […]

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November 26, 2011

sometimes there’s something about a picture that just speaks to you and you just love it so much. I don’t care that there was too much light in the background, I think it gives it the perfect glow for the way Auntie Kay is loving Elsie… OWL BUTT! and then when the cousins are walking, there’s just something about watching them from behind, keeping up, listening, loving… Asher said, When I walk, my booty shakes!!! Elsie’s tongue-ish grin and my Dad’s hand. Enough said… I was being blinded by the sun, my eyes watering in the most perfectly warm-ish Thanksgiving day ever… Pumpkin pie and then sale ads from the paper. There are so many things in there that we don’t need for like half off. (Pssst…black friday is not my favorite thing. no offense.) They named the neighbor’s horse Dixie and then they fed her a lot of grass. It was heaven… […]

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take a look

November 23, 2011

PSSSST…. it’s almost Thanksgiving and then BOOM, it’ll be time for holiday gift giving madness, so I bet you’d like to see a really great, unique and affordable gift idea… C’mon, take a look…     Yes, that’s Elsie Jane on a beautiful piece of canvas wall art from Easy Canvas Prints I’m pretty  much totally in love with how this turned out. I knew I wanted to do something special with this particular picture, capturing Elsie at this stage, and I’m so happy with how this turned out. The eyes. THE EYES. Oh how I love those eyes. So. Now let me tell you how you can get some great deals on canvas art for you or someone you love.  But wait. Just so you know, I’m thinking of ordering a few more (our walls are nearly bare~ahem) and maybe I’ll use some non-baby photos for other artistic ideas.  Like maybe one […]

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These are my ninjas. All parts to these costumes as pictured above are now strewn about the house. There were plastic swords and knives involved, that could be slid into a backpack type of ninja-wearing thing but most of them are gone. Somewhere in the yard or the playhouse or probably downstairs, buried in Legos. The masks? Maybe under a bed or something. But for one day, the boys were TOTAL ninjas and they loved every second of it. Especially the candy part. Right before trick or treating was coming to a close for us, they started actually saying trick or treat and thank you. This is progress. They don’t like talking to random people. Even random people with candy. Since that night, we’ve been battling sickness, each of us. Elsie has her first ear infection and right now as I type this, I’m trying to ignore the chills and the cough and […]

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October 28, 2011

I am exploding. Not with excitement or doughnuts but with syllables and vowels sandwiched in consonants. I have two ninjas at my house right now ready for Halloween. I’ve tried to convince them that ninjas are perfectly quiet. I am still meeting midnight and two and three and five every night with a huff, mad at the clock and my body. And just think to them, I say control your body about 97 times per day because I have two boys around a baby. They wrap each other up in black and red ninja, helping with masks and tying ties around arms and knees. The brothers ninja. The tallest one with the broken collarbone cannot stop sniffing sister-head like he’s got his face buried in pillows. WATCH THE SOFT SPOT. His love for her is so intense and free and good in the midst of the battles. Mama Mama Mama I am beckoned […]

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