January 31, 2011

On the last day of January

I did more today than I probably have in the entire month it was kind of like when I hear hubby's car pull in the drive and I frantically straighten up and try to make it look like I did something all day what? oh I have never done that.

But this month was kinda eh for me. It wasn't bad, it wasn't not good, it was just there and kinda dangling over me, like, I'm going to take some really slow first steps into this new year.

I don't know if the Listen To Your Mother shock has set in yet, you know, the whole I just leaped out of an airplane type of thing catches me daily because there is no turning back now. I had no idea how awesome it would feel to see the auditions rolling in. And I have that feeling in my soul bones of welcome home, this is what you've always wanted. And it's true. I have essay scrawls on notebook paper from fourth grade when I wanted to have my own theatre someday, producing my own shows, and I did go to college for that very thing but never finished. And never thought I would.

Finally a ball is rolling, somewhere that relates to my little universe. I've been on pause so long I thought that was a normal pace.

So anyway today I prepared a meal for a friend and a double batch of minestrone for us and used up every pot and casserole dish and utensil in my kitchen so then I washed it all (by hand, still) and even put it away. And of course then decided it was a good time to make chocolate chip cookies. But in the middle of scooping out all the ingredients I realized I didn't have brown sugar and so I just put everything in a baggie and will try to finish tomorrow. Note to self: don't get the kids excited about cookies unless you're really going to make them. But look at these yummy oranges! Mmmm!

They are saying we are supposed to get a really big snowstorm our way, so everyone's on edge about that. We are stocked up here and I even cleared out the garage so I could park my car in there (I've put that off since summer ended.) So seriously. I get an A. Or truly just bring that F for my poor effort in the past six months up to a C-?

I'm going to just put this in here nonchalantly so skimmers will miss out! but I sometimes have to ask myself if I love my kids enough to give up blogging. Of course I love them enough to do so. But I need the reminder. And I am not saying I even have to make such a choice right now but I'm really praying that I can soon-ly no longer renew anymore ads and then let my words slow to a trickle and softly make my exit or whatever happens when you move on from blogging. I mean, that's just crazy talk for right now. But I want to get more balls rolling on the outside of this inside life. (And I'd be lying if reading this post didn't make me look over my shoulder and try to shrug away confirmation of some things I've been sweeping under the rug.)

Oh! I also even knit something for a friend this morning and then trekked to the post office with Ivy in her rubber boots and mailed it.

I've still got a whole night ahead of me that probably involves writing for work and folding laundry while I watch a movie. Then more knitting. That probably sounds so incredibly boring but I am sitting here feeling so grateful that I actually enjoy the things I do to serve my family and friends. And I still get to have dreams that could actually still turn into something. And I can screw up a lot of my days but make up for it now and again in one really good day. Yay. The end.

January 30, 2011


  slugbug shoes

Gray got new shoes and I didn't think it was possible but he also got ten times cuter.

It hit me the other day that, now that it's officially 2011, he will start school this fall.

My life is starting to roll out like a carpet, I can see the things up ahead and am less tied down from back here. No more babies, just kids that only keep getting older and more independent... it's new. And surprising.

How different the day will look when it's just Ivy & me. And then, I'll blink, and it's just me.

Maybe I'll actually be available to help out and volunteer at school, maybe I"ll take some classes, maybe I'll finally clean the house.Or take a nap.

Maybe I'll be busy resting from the complicated-whatever-world as a mom of teenage boys.

I found the shoes on clearance at Piperlime. Gray was so excited. They had retro Volkswagen Beetles on them and I clicked buy as fast as I could before he grew another size or changed his mind.

January 28, 2011

little beanie

 little beans

You know how you dream sometimes of going to a coffee shop with friends and letting your kids loose in a play area that is supervised by someone other than you? 

grocery shopping 
grocery shopping at Little Beans

We have one of those not too far away now. And I won a year membership. That's awesome.

January 26, 2011

just a swingin

poppal & ivy

Mommal asked if I had seen the thing on the tee vee with the swinging babies? "They hold them by their arms and ankles and just swing them all through the air. Nekkid! They were nekkid."

She said she couldn't remember where she saw it and my Poppal said he didn't think it was on a religious program, or maybe it was.


And I had no idea what they were talking about. I told her I'd check into it and now kinda wish I hadn't. You can decide by watching it here. You know me and my loose-y goose-y ideas and still I am not sure I can get behind whatever that is...

January 24, 2011

for no reason

I had a long drive with a childhood friend the other night and we talked about how we're no longer the kids, but have the kids. And how weird is that because I still feel like the kid most days.

And no matter how hard we try to do this or that or read and follow or create and apply

there really is no guarantee.


They are who they are, and they are human, we can only guide

and pray and believe.

I was a good kid, I loved God, I had awesome parents, I got straight A's, I did a lot of things right and yet

I made a whole lot of really bad choices.

And in another twenty ten years I'm going to look back at the me of now and, you know. Huh I can look back to last week, to yesterday, and think of plenty of crappy choices. But at the time... you know.

just because cupcakes

I am just doing my best, which might just be my best at trying to do my best. Sometimes that's hardly meeting the day half-way. Sometimes it's a straggler, a dangle-r hang-er on, a barely got by, and sometimes I am a rockstar.

January 22, 2011

like the wind blows

You know when Forrest Gump goes running and run-ning and then one day he ran enough, and he was done, and he wanted to go home?

I wonder if I will write and write and write myself right off the page...

because I think I am always in a way writing and word-ing and wishing

that it will take me


or to a place that tells me it's time

to go home.

And I'll just know

that I know that I know.

January 21, 2011

This is really happening

I toured the theatre, looked out from the balcony, breathed in the backstage and the dressing room mirrors


I am...

actually doing this!*

So, please do this with me.

Visit the official Listen To Your Mother Show website, watch last year's performance on video, follow @LTYMshow on Twitter and Facebook and consider auditioning your original piece in Madison, Spokane, L.A., Austin, or with me here in Valparaiso (dates just announced)!

May I?

[bows with gratitude]

*edited to add... please click on the link! I am the director & producer of Listen To Your Mother in Valparaiso. And yes, emcee'ing and reading, too. Wooo!

January 20, 2011

breastfeeding, toddler style

extended breastfeeding

Again I don't really see it as "extended" but still it's there, continuing, whatever you want to call it. I breastfeed my baby, and she's two years four months and counting. 

A couple months ago I was so ready to be done, for whatever reasons. Wanting to claw at my skin, have my body to myself but these days I am really glad it isn't. She nurses to sleep most nights, and early mornings. And on the occasional (or not so occasional) boo-boo or nap-wake-up-tantrum. It's a gentle ease into the rest of the day. For both of us.

We can talk about it. How wonderful she has feelings about breastfeeding, in her own words, and unprompted she said it tastes like chocolate. But then she went on to name every other food she knows.

And of course it's comfort, but I am so happy for that. I am mother. I comfort. 

For some it's a pacifier, a favorite stuffed animal, and others a sippy cup or TV show or pack of fruit snacks. 

We comfort. We make do.

January 18, 2011

The Mermaid Scarf

mermaid scarf

mermaid scarf(ish)


I kind of just made it up as I went along, based on the Scarfish. It was my first time ever doing any sort of embroidery for the face, and the hair was yarn given to me for my birthday by Love.

I want her hair
she has a story & a song

more photos + pattern + yarn details on ravelry- I'm babywearknittery.

January 17, 2011

pieces of me

"When you have kids...there's something you should know. Very confusing thing they don't tell you. You see so much of yourself in them. You see your ironic take on the world, you see your smile, your walk, your sense of humor, whatever...and you think they're you.

But they're not you. And they shouldn't have all of your baggage, your fear, and your insecurity, and your life experience because that's not fair. They have their own.

Your song is beautiful. It's haunting and moving and it's so you.

...I'm so proud and I'm so impressed and I am so in awe of you."

-mom to daughter, Parenthood

My oldest child is almost ten years old. Yes, I'm shocked.

If I've learned anything about parenting, it's that it gets easier on the mind and harder on the heart. You [kinda] get more sleep, they don't need you as much for the little stuff, they can microwave their own popcorn and make their own sandwiches.

But as they stretch out those legs that won't stop growing, you don't love them any less. You love more. And faster. And you are aware and confused at how un-even it all is. When an act of love is letting go and all you want to do is to hold them tighter.

January 15, 2011

for a song



song sixly 




(For the record, two is totally my favorite. And absolutely not terrible in any way.)

[as seen on ivy: tee & crop pants Tea Collection, dress Matilda Jane, legwarmers one babylegs & one crawlers covers & more.]

January 14, 2011

message in a bottle


I used to wish for a time machine. Or more like a distance teleporter... a secret door you could walk through and be anywhere you wanted to be in the world. I would close my eyes tight and hope to be with family that lived down south, and some days the mountains, yesterday with a far-away friend.

Who am I kidding I still search for that secret door and can't believe I haven't found it yet. 

I have a hard time understanding why distance even has to exist. The heart fonder? But also weaker.


There's this photo of my mom and me at this age standing in the snow just like that.

Just like that.

And I wonder how many of my dreams and wishes were-

and are-

really messages

to my future self.

psst- more memories and thoughts on time found here, published recently at Story Bleed Magazine.

January 12, 2011

party pants


Everything is for Ivy's party. And her party never stops.

In the morning, I say let's get you dressed! and she says, "for my party?!"

and of course if shoes need to be put on, it is because she's going to her party.

And every item we buy at the grocery store is "for my party!" 

And these new polka dot pants came in the mail yesterday: "party pants for my party!" 


(Her birthday was back in September, btw.) 

What a way to live your days... 

I'm not ever telling her the party's over.

The party pants were free with my zulily credits. Thank you to all that have signed up. I've been saving up for tomorrow's big Oilily sale! 

January 11, 2011



Gray chose the pattern and picked out the colors at the knitting shop and everything.


I also left the head & tail open in the back so he can warm his hands or make the fish a puppet!

My next challenge is to modify this same pattern and knit Ivy the mermaid scarf she is so set on me making for her.

Scarfish pattern here. I'm BabywearKnittery on ravelry.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Also, I am thankful that Real Moms Guide got the greenlight to continue into 2011. This is a job I really love. I will link up to my recent posts in my left sidebar and also on Facebook, but in the meantime, here are a few things I've written recently. Would love if you get a chance to peruse!

And local readers, I'd love for you to consider attending a special short film showing this Friday night. I'll be there!

January 10, 2011

Listen To Your Mother

I was always lost, looking for that missing piece, and Motherhood found me, and I was home. -me

My location: Cloud Nine

Last year I had a wonderful chills up and down revelation while watching the video of Ann Imig's  production, Listen To Your Mother.

Here she combined my two life dreams- the theatre and motherhood. And, while I had thought I'd let the theatre part of me (a part of me since I was very young) wither away, I realized it was still possible. I could breathe life there again.

I immediately wrote Ann and told her she had to come to my town. She had to do this here. I envisioned myself trying out and hopefully getting to be one of the writers chosen to read my piece.

Back to Cloud Nine. And beyond. Over the moon!

Today I pretty much secured the venue and date and am finalizing the call for auditions details to produce and direct my own Listen To Your Mother show here in Valparaiso. I felt that nervous shaking and can't-contain-myself just like when I'd run my index finger down the director's casting sheet to see if I got the part. And how it felt when I did. That is an amazing feeling.

I still have to put down the money for the venue and then court my sponsors and hold auditions and so much more. But it's in my hands and I can touch it and I am so incredibly excited.

If you have any interest in auditioning, I encourage you to start gathering or writing your audition piece (choose what you would want to read if you are cast in the show.) You do not need to be a blogger or a Mother or even a woman.

And if you are wanting to attend the show, I hope you'll consider making the drive here (or to the Listen To Your Mother shows in Madison, Austin, L.A., & Spokane) and being a part of what is sure to be a huge amazing moment of my life. And one that will touch so many more.

I can't say this date and  location are absolutely "set in writing" but they are in my heart so save them anyway- Saturday May 7th at the Memorial Opera House. Audition dates are to be determined, but they will be held at Uptown Cafe. Follow along at the official Listen To Your Mother site- as details become known they will be updated there. And feel free to find me on Facebook to stay tuned as well.

And then jump up and down with me while I shiver in excitement!

January 8, 2011

Humbly Yours


This morning I awoke pressed tightly between one Gray and one Ivy, both warm and sleeping, once members of my body, now not, but close enough. And I tried to take a photo with my phone and it just didn't come out. 

But it's me, it's the start of a surprising feeling inside me to no longer say my age but instead a mumbled thirtycoughsomecoughthing. I never knew this about myself.

Today I found that there is a lot I don't know about myself, and what a wonderful birthday present, because I have a whole life to get acquainted. On a drive, in the snow, today is my new year's day.

I drove away and I drove to. And I hope over the next few days that I can make friends with the very words that will free me from the novel that is in my head just waiting to be breathed into the air 


A gift, something that I realized today- when I discovered I had something all wrong... which made every thing all right, and in my favor 




It's been a wondrous day of turning thirtycoughsomecoughthing. God hasn't given up on me, and - in the words of a dear dear friend- He wasn't content to have a world without me.


And you. 

I'm ordinary and shabby and so beyond touched at all your kindness and well wishes. I can feel it I can see it in the glitter that came dressed to my party as new life new snow this day.

January 6, 2011

I hate it when I fall up the stairs

Sometimes it's worse than falling down. And who knew you could get a goose egg on your knee bone? I'm sporting one now. 

This week I've felt all sorts of emotions- good and bad- and I guess it's a change from being a bit too numb toward everything. It's just hard having thoughts and feelings when you're so connected digitally. I want to tweet something and then I erase it (thank goodness) or I hesitate with a hovering finger 

blinking cursor 

over a Facebook status and have so much to say but does it even have value or is it just noise? Does it even matter either way? Whatever happened to 

sense of humor- 

light hearted- 
to easy going- fiery passion- rants to release?

Then all better.

I consider myself blessed and surrounded by awesome friends yet in the same breath I start to feel insecure and wonder why anyone would have me. And why does my inbox have an echo? And my mind starts to go there and then I feel so alone.  It's so silly because it can't be true.


And then I make deals with myself and how I am going to change this or that and surely next time they'll see I'm worth hanging on to. I do that with strangers. With people I hardly know. And even with family. 

And even myself.

And then I feel ashamed and embarrassed.

I was having fun about the whole million visits thing but it really doesn't mean a thing. I just happened to check my sitemeter one day when it read exactly 996,000 and I thought it would be really cool to catch it at 1,000,000. 

Any other time and I probably would have not even thought of it. But it doesn't make me more or less of a blogger, it doesn't really stand for anything. And I never want to appear as someone that thinks you need a lot of visits to make you feel good or something. Look at me. I've been blogging for 5 years. You can't expect to have 1 million visits if you're new around here. And us blog dinosaurs can get perturbed when we hear new-ish people want the secrets or the short-cuts to what we've been doing all these years and then resent us for it if it doesn't happen to their blog right away. Sad, actually, you'd probably expect yourself to be much much farther along within five long years, right?

Just a thought. That I might-should've kept to myself.

Because I'm happy with all this (waves hand in the air, circle-like) for now. Aside from my aching honesty and awkward-ality. 

Sometimes I share what would have been better left unsaid. But I don't know it until it's gone free. 

Sometimes I wish to find my reflection in the words of someone else that has spilled a little bit too much, too.

January 5, 2011

Those corners

homework/art center
the arts & homework center in my new-to-me hutch

I've conquered more corners than I could have imagined and it's only Wednesday. That's awesome. And really is kind of a miracle. 

I started leading a small group at church (formerly known to many as Sunday School) for 3-5 year olds and they sing a song to the verse Phillipians 4:6-7...  

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (repeat like a dozen times)


I can not get it out of my head. 

And I don't want to.

(repeat like a thousand times.) 

January 4, 2011

January FOUR

kind of

So maybe I completely missed the first of the month photo or maybe I decided on a more fitting number day for the new year... the world may never know. 

Yesterday I was washing the dishes and thinking like I tend to do and I had an awesome idea for an article and I tell you, not sooner did that idea come did it disappear. I could not grab hold of it again for over an hour! I kept back-tracking in my head trying to figure out what I had been thinking about before and tried to follow the train and it never did hit me until randomly somewhat later. And I immediately wrote it down. Is this old age? Is this worn out mom? Is this get some sleep?


Total novelty, today is the day: I am just a handfull of hits away from 1 Million visits to my blog. I am going to try to catch it when it rolls over and see if I can track who the 1 Millionth visit is, just for fun*.

January FOUR 
that'll do 

I take photos of my children on the same day every month. .You can see previous month photos here.

*Updated! The referring link for the 1 Millionth visitor was Ruhiyyih's Reflections

January 3, 2011

I don't even know where to start.

at the piano, with a side of Jesus

My hope was that I could clean one room a day this week but honestly? It





if I got a hold of one corner of a room each day. It's most possible for me to tackle one room a week- maybe. So, that might just be what I'll be doing. For a while. A really long while. And I still need to take my Christmas tree down.

That kind of stuff. It's - at some points in the night when I wake up and forget and then remember- overwhelming.

But then other times like right now I feel like, eh, it will get done. I am not saying that because I am oh so hip and mellow.  I'm saying that because I kind of give up but at the same time like the slow movement,

but then I just might take a nap instead.

And I don't know what that shadow thing is there in the photo but you know it totally looks like Jesus.

January 1, 2011



Every New Year I serve the kids star fruit for a snack. I guess it's become somewhat of a tradition. I don't make resolutions, out loud, but I have plenty of dreams that my soul knows by heart.

[excerpts from] The Invitationby Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

Thanks to my bestie @sarahviola for sharing this with me today just when I needed it so very much.


Happy New Year

This is what our night looked a little bit like... the kids stayed up past 1 am!

Happy New Year

And I'm hoping Love didn't really take a zillion photos and videos of us (including our husbands... especially our husbands!) playing Just Dance on the wii, for hours.

We were so into it we almost missed ringing in the New Year. 

Now that's living. 

That's awesome. 

[And I  have a feeling that's what this year is going to be all about.]