February 25, 2010

lost boy found.

my gray

It's getting better.

I've whispered that before. I know. I know. And then we fell into a pit of notbetter.

But there is a bright in his eyes. There is a spark-le in my heart.


I've got it in a death grip.

There is much hope, my friends.

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Circle gets the square

circle gets the square

You Capture: shapes.

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February 24, 2010



Because of this chickadee I now have two kitchens to clean up alldayeveryday.

I've guest posted a little something that's been on my heart at Amy Turn Sharp's (@dooblehvay) blog today: Love me tender.

Comments are closed here because I hope you'll instead comment over there.

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February 23, 2010

In Real Life


Some mornings I let my boys eat Jell-O [and watch TV before school.]

The paperboy (paperperson?) got our newspaper stuck in the snowy bushes and so I made Noah go get it. Even though I'll never read it. And it will go straight to the recycle bin.

I love my baby girl but the fact that she was still sleeping was my favorite thing so far this morning.


And when I heard her wake, found at the top of the stairs, my heart sank a little. M
y time is over and here starts another [pretty good] day.

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February 22, 2010

This is the way we go to church.

Babywearing in the snow

Ivy had a little bit of a runny nose yesterday morning so I decided to keep her out of the church nursery. I hadn't had her in the service with me in a long time (if you only could have seen her dancing to the music in the mei tai).

I kept her in the sling, and was thankful she could watch us worship in church.

And such innocence, such a free-child, she raised her hands and clapped along.

When the message started I stood in the back and nursed her to sleep (it's easier that way in the mei tai, for me.)

babywearing at church
New friends, Emma & Alister.

Finding our new church home is like finally locating the missing piece to a puzzle [of life.] I didn't realize how awkward I was feeling in my own skin, not having the right fit of church family. We have it now.

And not just because some people there wear their babies (but it's a nice perk.)

church babywearing

Missio Dei is where we go to church.
Baby So Smart is the [absolute favorite] mei tai I'm wearing (given to me as a gift.)

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February 21, 2010

Hi. How are you?

Photo taken at Blissdom, by Mishelle Lane aka Secret Agent Mama

I haven't forgotten. I'm still going to finish my backwards Bilssdom recap. It's just been a whirlwind week and my writer brain hasn't had a chance to catch its breath.

How are you?

We're fixing up the playroom all nice and I want to know what you think are the best two color combinations I should consider. Help a friend out?

Thanks muchly!

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February 19, 2010

A Gray Day


At night I pray, please grow.

I plead him to be happy-er. To not fall through the cracks of two older brothers and one baby sister.

I'm going to love him until love comes out.

Gray eyes

He asks me, "What's your favorite color?"

The color of your eyes.

"Am I still your baby?"

You'll always be my baby.

[Alternately titled: Four (years old) is hard.]

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February 17, 2010

Around here.

beautiful ivy

Hubby is on vacation this week and so that means I am able to get more of
my job done. It's been good and I'll throw some links at you below if you want to read what I've been working on.

(I write other places, you know, for pay! Click, read, & comment and I'll love you forever.)

It seems Ivy's decided to make the most of having two parents home this week and she's been double-y as much, um, fun.

For example, I just removed her from the kitchen island counter. Her FEET were in Gray's soup.


I went to the grocery story all by mysell-eeee-elf this morning. And then I stopped by Marshall's on the way home (hubby doesn't know this part.) (But I had to treat myself.) (I was ALONE!) (And it's on the way home from the grocery store.)


I'll admit it. I'm obsessed with leggings. And dresses that are really tops that look like dresses. Worn over leggings.
I love this awesome fashion trend.

Except when those not-a-dress-tops prompt someone to ask "which number does that make this?" pointing YOU KNOW WHERE.

(True story.)

I have something on my mind all 'a brewing about how many kids I have and am going to have. It's not ready to be written just yet. But it's steeping all right.

How about those links?!

At NWIparent:

At Real Moms Guide:

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February 16, 2010

I Brought My Baby To Blissdom

photo by Moosh In Indy

I used childcare as much as possible during Blissdom so that I could speak at my workshop & session as well as be able to attend other [writing] panels, a concert, & keynotes. It worked out so well, beyond my attachment-parenting-imagination.

(And if you know me, you know I just recently started putting her in the church nursery. She's 17 months old. It took baby steps.)

Ivy did great!

And so did I. The sitters were in a room directly above where all the sessions were, so it was close by and I could check in with her via Twitter (@EventSitters) as they'd DM me how she was doing. I loved this.

The final keynote on Saturday started late, and I knew I had to pick Ivy up by 6:30. My friend Jennifer (MckMama) hadn't even started speaking yet and I had to sneak out from my front row seat to get my Ivy girl.

I really wanted to be in there for the keynote, so I brought Ivy in and took a seat on the floor in the back. She nursed to sleep immediately.

And this was one of my favorite moments in all of Blissdom.

photo by Moosh In Indy

I'm thankful Casey was aiming her camera at us,

and that I could be holding Ivy while Jennifer told the story of her son Stellan,

and I was back there to see the hugs and tears (shed several of my own) when the video of us all holding messages for Anissa was played,

and it all felt like home again.

You might note that my experience at last year's BlogHer e.g. I Brought My Baby To BlogHer Part 2 is significantly different than bringing Ivy to Blissdom, but much of that is due to my own choices. Maybe I'll write about it in more depth at a later time, but, I did not put Ivy in childcare at BlogHer, and I wasn't as discerning about the parties I attended.

It (last year's BlogHer with a baby) was a learning adventure that I feel paved a smooth path for how I navigated Blissdom and many other events and situations from then on.

I'm working my way backwards as I recap Blissdom:

Blissdom, backwards. With a baby on my back.
That tonight's gonna be a good night.
(and more to come.)

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February 14, 2010

heart pockets

anthro dress

I love dresses with pockets and crinoline.

We had a date-night last night and I wore my favorite dress and favorite shoes. Hubby sneezed and threw out his back. He also stole one of my chocolate hearts at dinner. Like I wouldn't notice! (I had two.) I put the other one in my pocket.

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February 13, 2010

That tonight's gonna be a good night...

To fully share about the last day of Blissdom, it's going to take a couple posts. Since I'm working backwards, find a comfy spot, take a deep breath,

and let me begin to tell you about
Saturday night.

Photo by Heather of Domestic Extraordinaire

After the closing keynote, a group of us girls went to dinner [in the hotel] for sushi (my first time!).

It was a peaceful, quiet chance to connect and reflect on the conference with some of my favorite people: Christine of Boston Mamas & Pop Discourse, Darcie of Such The Spot, Nicole of The Pixel Boutique, Sarah of Sarah Viola, & Esther of FaintStarLite.

It was so good to sit still and laugh and brainstorm and chase Ivy around the restaurant. Well maybe not that last part.

I remember thinking this is good. If this is it and we don't do anything else before we leave, it was perfect, and enough.

There was a Blissdom pajama party/movie/karaoke night later on that I thought, yeah, I guess we'll stop by. At least to say our goodbyes.

We went back to our room and put on jammies- even Ivy- and headed down to the ballroom where there were snacks and couches and bean bag chairs and everyone in their pajamas. We got comfy on the floor, chilled with new friends and old friends and just let go.

Felt like we were at home. Because, in that moment, in a sense, we were.

Photo by Heather of Domestic Extraordinaire

Ivy puts in her Karaoke request with sippy cup abandon.

I truly hadn't planned on us staying any longer than sneaking a piece of pizza and saying quick final goodbyes before retreating back to our room to pack and maybe hit the hay early.

Photo by Rachel of A Southern Fairytale.

We ended up staying- Ivy busting a move!- until they closed the place down.

And did we close the place D-O-W-N.

Photo by Mishelle of Secret Agent Mama.

(Ivy fast asleep in the mei tai dancing.)

For the last handful of us that remained, clock well near 1 am, we took our party up to a private suite.

Photo by Mishelle of Secret Agent Mama.

There, we filled the room and sat in chairs, couches, and the floor, in a circle. This is where it's going to be really hard for me to explain what happened, and as anticlimactic as it may sound,

you really had to be there.

Photo by Mishelle of Secret Agent Mama.

We all went one-by-one and said what our favorite part of all of Blissdom was. It was spectacular what each answer would spark in the next person, or someone across from them.

Several people in that room I hadn't even met yet, but we shared something special that night.
A constant thread of the sense of belonging was woven through the entire conference, but it really came to completion at this moment.

We all had different goals for our lives, blogs, that weekend, but we all made sense, in our own way.

And isn't it awesome when you have some pretty cool people,
people that know your language, validating that you make sense?

Photo by Heather of Domestic Extraordinaire

Ivy woke up at one point and I nursed her back to sleep. Liz Strauss was on my right and it was so precious, she placed her hand on Ivy's head,

it just felt like
what we were doing in that room was revolutionary... and supernatural.

Photo by Mishelle of Secret Agent Mama.

Times a thousand. As Ivy sprawled in my arms, my girl- what might she do when she gets her turn at this legacy?

Or whatever this is for her, someday.

More of my Blissdom '10 recaps so far:
There's a story.
This is it.
Blissdom Robots

Blissdom, backwards. With a baby on my back.
(and more to come.)

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February 11, 2010


I'll spare you the story about how she dropped and cracked my iPhone last week and then last night how she horked all over it, flipped it over, and horked all over it again.

Ivy is now saying her name. She often says it very clearly: EYE VEE. Or she'll say EYE BEE.

Either way.


You can catch a smidge of it here:

I apologize for the uterusquakes forecasted to be felt 'round the world.

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February 10, 2010

Blissdom, backwards. With a baby on my back.

blissdom babywearing, mei tai

I think the best way to write up my experience at Blissdom is to work my way backwards. It's better for my brain this way.

Sunday was our day to go home. We had late checkout so I figured Sarah, Ivy, & I would sleep in pretty late considering we didn't get back to our room until 3 in the morning. (I can't wait to write that post.)

But I actually woke up a bit early. I started getting my things packed and stepped out on our veranda (it was an indoor hotel but we were in some sort of biodome and our veranda overlooked the wild gardens --it was awesome.)

It was peaceful and quiet, and I even blogged. I had (and still have) so much to say, after the past three days. It really washed over me that morning. It's so hard to explain, but I'll try with my next few posts.

Ivy woke up and I finished packing and getting on my makeup by putting her on my back in the mei tai.

When we got in line to board the plane I put Ivy in the mei tai again (front carry) and she soon fell asleep. She ended up sleeping like that throughout the entire flight and woke up after landing.

That was also super awesome.

More of my Blissdom'10 posts can be found here.

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February 9, 2010

Blissdom Robots

blissdom robots

Key thought that keeps poplocking into my head:

Blissdom, and any blog conference for that matter, will- and can- be what you make of it.

Be social, make the first move (even if you are shy! no one knows you! you've only been blogging a week! since the beginning of blogtime! whatever!), make it what you want.

I did things differently this year- went to the main party events instead of private ones, made myself seen instead of holing up in my room all weekend, used CHILDCARE!! and actually went to sessions & keynotes and listened and learned,
made myself available in the ordinary for the out-of-the-ordinary to happen.

Heck, why just do this at blog conferences? Do this in LIFE, people.

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February 7, 2010

This is it.

This weekend,


what it was, where could I even begin?

because it was so much, it was everything.

The restoration, the renovation I have new in my writing fingers, the friends THE FRIENDS! their arms hooked in the crook of my soul, unreal,

but so real

To say it exceeded my highest expectations, and then some.

Would be an understatement.

I want to move to Blissdom!

And I have every intention to bring it home with me.

photo by [my girl] Casey, Moosh In Indy.

More Blissdom10 photos on flickr.

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February 5, 2010

There's a story.


There's a story about how I left my camera on the plane.

And a whole other story about how I got it back.

There's a story about my Blissdom Wisdom Workshop.

And how I was on Cloud 9 after my workshop.

And there's my favorite story about how the sitter said she couldn't get over how much Ivy and I resemble each other.

Blissdom is going great. I learned last night that Gray is back at home sick with the stomach flu. :( So my heart is pulled, but hubby is taking care of everything. Nothing to worry about, he says. So I am believing that. I speak again at 3pm CST today! I am so excited.

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February 3, 2010

That's just the way it is.

don't take a picture of me
[meant to be a photo of Gray, but camera focused on Ivy.
He was hiding his face from the camera anyway...]

In the car Grayson told me he wants to be a doctor when he grows up. The kind that checks you out, you know, like when Noah has a turn, then Carter, then me? (pediatrician)

Or I could be a girl doctor that takes the blood. (nurse, at last visit I had some blood drawn.)

I'll go to school and the doctor will teach me and then he'll give me his clothes and I'll put them on and then I'll be a doctor!

big dog
[snuck one in.]

Somedays I feel like I've just put on big girl clothes, Mom clothes, grown-up clothes. But I'm still just a kid.

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February 1, 2010

We go together.

She fits so perfectly, my lap her throne.

I left her a long time on Sunday, like over 8 hours. She didn't even really want to nurse when I got home, but she was happy to see me.

She wears her beads in the bath.
[She insists on wearing her beads in the bath.]

I'm leaving for Nashville, Tennessee. For Blissdom, tomorrow. But I have to take her with me. I have to, I need to, and I want to.

Eight hours is one thing, FIVE DAYS is another. I just can't do it. She is still very much a part of me as I am a part of her.

And it's different,

when I already have three other children to leave behind in someone else's care (ok, it's my loving in-laws and Mimi for like a day and then Daddy the rest of the time) but it's not like I have just one or two kids to leave behind. Responsibilities, wants, needs, are all considered.

It's harder the more you have, I think.

I'm so thankful I'm able to take her. Otherwise I wouldn't go at all.

I'm thankful that Hallmark (who is generously sponsoring my Inspirational Writing workshop on Thursday with Casey and Hallmark writers Sarah & Molly) also bought Ivy her own seat on the plane. (How nice is that.)

I'm thankful @iatraveler sent me her CARES harness system for Ivy to use as her safety seat during the flight.

I'm thankful @rostitchery has offered to watch Ivy during my workshop and that Barbara & Alli from Blissdom secured childcare for Friday & Saturday (I'm going to use it a couple hours each day.)

I'm thankful my flightmate & roommate @sarahviola doesn't mind I'm bringing Ivy along. She knows we're a package deal for a little while longer. (And at least we get our own beds this time- at Cupcake '10 Sarah, Ivy, and I all shared the same bed!)

I'm thankful our hotel is the hugemongous Opryland Hotel. Plenty of opportunities for us to explore, chase, and photograph. :)

I also hear that all the #BlissdomBabies are like a super big deal. Ivy's packed her best and ready to go. Me on the other hand? That's another story.

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Old people are cute.

So, I wanted to test drive the outfit I'm going to wear when I meet Harry Connick Jr. on Friday at BLISSDOM*.

I went to see Funny Girl with some close friends yesterday and would totally have posted a photo but it was really dark in the fancy theatre building and did I mention that we were the youngest (and I'm not exaggerating) gals in the place? Lots of perfectly-styled white hair and motorized walker-thingies. And hearing aids.

But it was awesome and cute, old people are. Except during the end of the first act when someone in front of us started wheezing or gasping and I realized the chance of someone in that room dying or needing emergency medical attention was very likely.

ANYWAY so a mature lady offered to take our photo outside the bathroom and it was so sweet as I placed my heavy, expensive camera in her shaky, aged hands. I half thought to put the strap around her neck but, eh, I just hoped for the best.

The picture didn't really turn out. (But my camera was ok.)

We ended up just taking a photo ourselves outside and I love it.

funny girls
Tammy, Jen, me.

(I love my outfit by the way, it's a winner, and for sure Harry will remember me forever.) (Also, I'm dramatically building this up to be waaaay bigger than it is but just go with it? For me?)

*I'm speaking, did you know? My Inspirational Writing workshop on Thursday is filled to capacity! If you'll be at Blissdom, I do hope you'll stop by my session "Connecting With Your Community of Readers" at 3pm on Friday, if you can!

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