May 31, 2012

Six More Days

Gray swings

I can't wait for the kids to be out of school remind me of this in three weeks, I said breathlessly to Jeff as we walked to the side of the house to retrieve the three baseballs that went over the fence.

Six more days of school and mostly I'm looking forward to no morning rush. I just sighed so big. (And literally again when I re-read this.) No more frantic scramble because Gray can't find any socks or "long-sleeved" pants and do you have your backpack packed. I am not going to commit to anything before ten in the morning all summer long.

Walks downtown to the library and park days and splash pads and I've got a stack of books to read. I bought a lemonade stand for Carter on Zulily today, and a pack of Mad Libs. We have a tiny blow-up pool to fill and the garage freezer is at the ready for bulk boxes of freeze-pops. I said I was going to set boundaries for the neighbor kids but knowing me, I probably won't. We are going to have fun. I'll be prepared to feed an extra kid or three. I can't wait.

Remind me of this in about three weeks.

(And let me get nostalgic here: Gray swinging summer of 2006.)

May 29, 2012


Everything smells like sunscreen and air conditioning. We went rogue to the splash pad again. "Just me and you, mama." I like the life of no set times to be anywhere, nobody to meet. We'll see who we see when we get there.

My Facebook cover photo is of my kids. My profile picture is of me and Noah from my show. It hit me that this is what I have chosen to represent "me." My blog is one thing but Facebook, my personal space, and my mom-ness shimmied in without me ever thinking about it until now. I imagine if I had a Facebook timeline cover photo fifteen years ago, it would be of me in a play or with friends at an outdoor concert. That's what I loved to do back then. And if I wanted, I could still do and then show off all of that now. But I pick my kids because they are what I want to look at when I log in to Facebook. And they make me who I am as much as I made them them.

The sky is beautiful today, so bright with white stretched-cotton-balls clouds and Ivy sighed that she doesn't like that the sky is so blue. She'd rather it be pink. "And I'm going to need a very tall ladder to climb up there to change it."

If she could I believe she would. And maybe she will.

-just write

May 28, 2012

First splash pad of the season





May 27, 2012

Head Start

summer kids 2012 ice cream time

I say this summer is off to a splendid start.

May 26, 2012

Little Me

This was my flower girl dress when I was her age. 

And a little behind the scenes info about this photo: I took it with my iPhone as she was running upstairs and somehow I caught her in the one moment she was still. 

May 25, 2012

Something Green

green necklace

Last year for my show I wore a green dress that I splurged on from Anthropologie, and this year I wanted to wear something special again but decided on a simple black wrap dress already in my closet. I looked everywhere for the perfect necklace to go with it, to no avail. Until I found the Tessellate necklace online at J.Crew two days before my show. Instantly I knew it was the one. It would be a gift to myself for this year's show. And its color, succulent green just made it all the more meant to be.

I over-nighted it- I don't think I've ever over-nighted something before in my life!- and I kind of haven't taken it off since...

May 24, 2012

better than

Ivy & Noah

We hung out at the park while Carter had baseball practice last night. I needed the air and it was good. I just typed god by accident and it was that, too. I totally hogged the big swing and closed my eyes for a long time. It was better than yoga.

Gray & Hedgie

We were climbing in the car to go when I saw Gray put on a too-small shirt (it had already been passed down to Ivy but I guess he was out of short sleeves.) We share around here.

gray, ivy, noah at park

As seen on Ivy & Gray and Noah:

  • Ivy's top & shorts are handmedowns, Gymboree and Old Navy; shoes via the mini social
  • Gray's shirt & pants are by Tea Collection, who by the way is having a big sale now until Memorial Day- $10 tees & leggings, $15 dresses. I might have stocked up a bit. Especially on short sleeves. 
  • Noah's tee & pants are thrifted, Abercrombie and Gymboree; sunglasses- small paul for Target

May 23, 2012

the hours

Tuesday, 9:36 pm, I set the alarm on my phone for four-thirty in the morning. We have to be at the surgical center by five-thirty. Noah is getting several baby teeth removed. It will be the first time he has been under anesthesia since he's been seizure-free. I am not worried.

I do feel like it will be okay. Today was a bad day for me with anxiety, but I am okay now. He went to bed early and said he was only a little scared. I told him to come and get me if he needs me and I'll see him bright and early. God I love that kid.

Wednesday, 4:30 am, I am restless and relieved when my phone rattles on the dresser to signal it is time. Let's just get this over with. A sore has appeared at the very tip of my nose, probably from stress. It's ginormous.

5:10 am, we are almost to the surgical center, twenty minutes early thanks to no traffic. We sit in the car and chat and yawn nervously. Noah wonders if the tooth fairy might bring him the $90 Lego set he wants. Um, no. We wait fifteen minutes and then we go in.

6:02 am, the waiting room smells like mildew. He has been taken back, with a blue surgical cap and green hospital pajamas. He looked so tall as he walked next to the nurse and down the hall, away from me.

6:20 am, it's taking longer than expected. I try not to worry. I check my phone to keep my mind busy and then turn it off. CBS news will not shut up about that dad at the laundromat. I am not sure I can take them showing the clip one more time. With my back to the door, I hear it open and know it's for me.

6:45 am, he's in recovery. He's very groggy and happy it's over. He feels no pain.

7:45 am, we are home. He sits at his desk to check his laptop before he crawls back into bed. His brothers oooh and ahhh over the jar full of teeth. Carter suggests putting them under his pillow one night at a time, to get the most out of the tooth fairy.

9:12 am, the windows are open. Someone is mowing and I am soothed.

Noah, 5/23/12

May 22, 2012

More Windows

We did not get that house. Actually, over time I realized I think I wanted it so badly mostly because of the barn cat. ? It was equal parts awesome and money pit. It was on all this land but close to the road. And a lot of the surrounding area (over 35 acres of "view") was for sale. My view was for sale.

We did not pursue and I think it sold not too long after that. To its rightful owners.

I said I wouldn't be ready to get our house to sell until after my show anyway, and now it's after my show. I'm working slowly very slowly here and there to get it ready. I feel no rush. The urgency to have a house with many windows, mature trees, and a spectacular view has left me for a bit. I'm quite satisfied and content with what I have right now. I don't know why I was so restless before. Now, I think just knowing that we will move and that I can wait until it's the house meant for us, it is enough.

Jeff gave me a new laptop for Mother's Day. He said I asked for more windows and, well, this has Windows 7. It's the best he could do right now and it's still pretty awesome. I was tempted to post a photo of the laptop I've been using this past year but I will spare you, it's that inappropriate and embarrassing.

I want the Family Stone house. I want a place that fits us all and guests in the kitchen. I would like my own room. Like an office or art room or a place to read. I don't want it too close to a busy road. And I want there to be enough room for parking if we want to have a party, or for when all of the kids are driving. And there must be windows and a view.

And I'd really love a barn cat, but I'm not sure he'll make it to my vision board when it's all said and done.

May 21, 2012


Tonight I did not read Gray his library book. It was too late and he dragged out bedtime long enough. I would not read him his story and I didn't feel bad about it. 

I sat down here, on the couch and breathed. They were all in bed. Then I heard Carter's voice carry down from the stairs as he cheerily read the book to his brother with only the hall light on.

Oh, I didn't feel guilty. I felt proud.

Until Ivy skittered down to pick out her book and I growled GO TO BED. Yes I might have said it just like that.

I made them their favorite dinner, from scratch. And brownies. With mini Hershey's Kisses dropped in. I let them have ice cream with their brownies. I played "checkers" with Ivy aka flipping over Rook cards and matching the colored numbers. I even let them all stay up a little late to finish their swords of cardboard and glued crayons- brand new crayons at that. 

I hope they'll only remember the good parts of me. I hope my heart remembers my good parts, too. 

friendly siren

Ivy at the waterpark

At the waterpark, a little girl swam up to me in the basketball pool and said, "I remember you. You were very nice and helped me out once. It's been years since we were last together."

I remember her exact words because they were so sharp they made a mark and I immediately turned to repeat it to Jeff. We remarked how she was kind of a fast-forwarded version of Ivy, someday.

She was seven, and her name was Ellie. And she stayed by me a long time, smiling and acting like we were friends. I even watched her when her mom went to get an iced coffee. I swear we never met before but something about it felt so right and okay.

May 20, 2012

We slipped away.

Noah, Carter, Ivy in our room

We slipped away for a few days. 

KeyLime Cove invited us to come for a visit to promote National Water Safety Month and their Behind The Scenes waterpark tour. I couldn't think of a better way to slow us down and regroup as a family after the busy past few months. Two free nights in the Toucan suite? How could I say no? 


As soon as we walked into the waterpark area Gray announced, "I do not want to get WET." So I knew we were bound to have an awesome time. He eventually came around and then he scraped his knee so life was over until I let him pick out something from the gift shop and then it was the best day ever until he got water on his cheek so I had to buy him some Dippin Dots and everything was okay again. 


We really needed this time together and it was so nice being under that biodome for a few days (as long as we kept Gray happy.) Wouldn't you know it, I forgot to pack underwear and pj tops for him again. Poor kid. I left my nice camera at home and brought my laptop, but never opened it even once. It was good.

Water slide

I could float on the lazy river all day long, and this time I left my phone in our room except for when I wanted to take pictures. It was so nice to just sit and watch Ivy go down the same water slide a hundred or more times, over and over. The look on her face thrilled me every single time. It never got old. I physically and emotionally needed this rest. 

Behind the scenes tour

Saturday morning we went on the Behind The Scenes tour for a sneak peek at the resort's water science. It's actually something that is open to the public every Friday and Saturday morning, if you want to check it out. We happened to be the only family that morning, and it was pretty cool. I think Carter must have asked Bob -our guide and chief engineer - a million questions. He and Noah actually got to flip the switches to turn the water on for the park. 

Behind the scenes tour at Key Lime Cove

We had known that KLC is only one of two waterparks in the country with impeccable water and air quality thanks to their state-of-the art ozone disinfection system. But this time we got to go down underneath the park and see how it's all made. The most exciting area was probably where they make the waves for the wave pool and the giant filter that catches all the jewelry, money, and credit cards. Noah thought the pump room was what it would be like to be in the Millennium Falcon. 

It was pretty cool.

Ivy at Key Lime Cove

May 17, 2012

watermelon watermelon

Ivy watermelon dollhouse

Even in her busy schedule filled with digging through my yarn stash, finger skateboarding, and hat-fashion-show to Coldplay on her Hello Kitty CD player, Ivy took time to style a photo shoot. Key prop being a watermelon and her dollhouse as the backdrop.

happy happy day

Life is undoubtedly good around here.

as seen on ivy...
dress by limeapple via zulily
hat -local/mama made
watermelon (with seeds!) - Aldi

linking up with small style

May 16, 2012

Tree hole


At the park we made up songs for swinging and for brushing off the dirt when she fell. We peered into a giant tree hole and when she was done she was done and it was time to go.

"Eyebrows are very complicated," she said. "Why do we have these eyebrows from Jesus?"

We were lying down on my bed for a nap. I promised paints afterward if she'd take a rest with me. She traced my face with her fingers and we closed our eyes and whisper counted our drift-off. On thirty, her hand, fist round like a paw, fell softly to my side.

May 15, 2012

It's About Time

Nothing seems to fit.

I'm in that in-between stage and can sense I'm about to get unstuck. But that means I am going to have to land somewhere new.

Years ago I had to search for people like me, really search- I found them in the basement of a church at a La Leche League meeting. I consumed their doctrine, the babywearing, the breastfeeding, their secret Mothering magazine that you either had to borrow back issues or subscribe to or hope to get one of two copies Barnes & Noble stocked every month.

She was nursing her baby in an unbleached muslin ring sling and I had found my way home. This was what I wanted. This was me. Where do I sign.

I didn't do all the babywearing and breastfeeding and non-vaccinating because I thought it made me a good or better mom. I did it because it drew me in and was where I belonged. It fit and it looked good on me.

Those days aren't over- they certainly provided the foundation of how I parent now - but I don't have any more babies and I'm not interested in keeping up with the latest pregnancy- or baby- anything. It's, like, torture. Even in the natural parenting and attachment parenting world. I am bored.

Ivy cuts off the tops of all her crayons with scissors and breaks them in two to make mommies and babies. And I let her. She climbs up the slide at the park the wrong way. And I really do not care. She had a Popsicle before breakfast today. I have a child going into middle school, we are getting ready for puberty and have IEPs and are going in all directions all the time. Where are my people? When I get to where I'm going I look and I don't see them.

I'm glad new moms have the Internet to locate their kind sooner than it took me. But online relationships - even the ones that feel like they couldn't be more your life - are different than the in-the-flesh basement meetings or messy living room coffee play dates. Sadly, though, even those aren't the same now because there's usually a phone to check, we look down at our hands. There's no going back, I know. We look down and I fear we'll no longer remember to look up at the stars.

I'm in-between because being plugged in kind of feels like home to me. But I don't like my neighbors. Or maybe it's just the scenery. Or both.

It's time to start looking again.

This is just write.

May 14, 2012

Here She Is! Listen To Your Mother Northwest Indiana is a SOLD OUT SUCCESS

LTYM 6826

It was like birthing a baby. Sort of. I expect a full six weeks for proper recovery.

After the show most of the cast walked across the street and filled the bar and just finally relaxed and breathed and enjoyed the thrill of our SOLD OUT SHOW. Two girls came up to me and one said, "You don't know me, but we were at the show and you can not just do this one night a year. You have to do it again. Same cast, same everything. You can charge double. We'll pay it!"

But the nature of this show, at least to me as director/producer, is a one-time thing. Physically, I could not birth a baby two days in a row. I'm exhausted. I need time to heal and to limit visitors and where are the casseroles? These past few days have had me wishing I had a post-show doula. Totally noting this for next year.

LTYM cast 2012

The 2012 cast... oh, it makes me so happy to see the email exchanges and interactions on Twitter and Facebook- how most of us didn't even know each other until earlier this year and now we grieve and miss our time together. We can't get enough. We are forever sealed in this magical moment in time. The loudest laughs, the biggest sighs were from the first two rows we filled in the theatre, rooting each reader on as they took the stage and poured out their hearts. This cast- they were the biggest fans there that night. 

And while the excitement of a SOLD OUT SHOW is, like, I don't know how to explain it really, but whatever. It means we sold tons of tickets and that every seat was filled. Word was out. It was awesome. 

LTYM 0344

But what mattered more than all that was the simple act of telling a story. My heart pounded from my chest clear up to my mouth. At one point I really thought I was either going to actually pass out from nerves or fall over from organ failure due to my Spanx being so freaking tight. That was what was going through my mind. I was nervous. My number one goal wasn't that the video was perfect or the photos all got taken or that the show went off smoothly to please the 350 paying ticket holders. It was to deliver each reader safely to their spot on stage, allowing their words to be spoken. As much as those words needed to be heard, they needed to be said. 

I know it would be hard not to compare last year's to this year's show, or even each piece separately but honestly (and I do mean it, honestly) it would be like comparing my children. In the words of The Avett Brothers, of course, "I love you and I'm proud of you both in so many different ways."

LTYM 0163

This year the sponsors rocked our full house. Snapfish by HP was our premium national sponsor and head cheerleader to all ten cities. They also created beautiful products to feature on our sponsor tables and I totally made another photo book- one for Jeff's mom for Mother's Day at the very last minute and she still got it in time! (Mom, I am making one for you, too, but last week was crazy and I needed more time getting my photos together. I knew you'd understand!) Thank you, Snapfish!

BlogHer was the perfect media sponsor, and I'm still trying to finagle my way to this year's conference if only to be at the Listen To Your Mother Open Mic Salon. I was also honored to have a post syndicated at the BlogHer site recently. Thank you, BlogHer! was our top local sponsor this year and they had a feature post up after our show: LTYM Celebrates the Joys, Trials of Motherhood - before I even got home that night, I think! They are incredible and make me so happy with their focus on positive news in our community and around the region. Thank you, ValpoLife!

BoyConn printed all our beautiful posters and programs and were such a delight to work with. They were always so encouraging when I would stop in or when they'd email, and were the first to put up a Listen To Your Mother poster. Above all, they do exceptional craftsmanship. Thank you, BoyConn! 

Beth Fletcher Photography was the official show photographer and as you can see from the photos, we hit the jackpot. While she specializes in newborns and family photo shoots, we are so grateful to have our Listen To Your Mother show memories captured in such a spectacular fashion. Beth was also in this year's cast, so she was quite busy that night. I don't think I could possibly understand how much pressure she was under, and I don't think I expressed my appreciation for that enough. Thank you, Beth!

Mom to Mom NWI gave their support to LTYM on and off the pages of their awesome local magazine for Northwest Indiana moms. You can find their free issues around the first of every month in many stores, restaurants, and business locations in the area. Thank you, Mom to Mom NWI!

Heart Box Studio is a friend and sponsor, constant morale booster, and LTYM super fan. Her prints, notecards and award winning book The Gift are created from amazing three dimensional paper cut shadow boxes from recycled books and journals. Thank you, Heart Box Studio!

rTrail Collective Edge was the destination for our first cast reading, and also surprised each cast member with a beautiful handcrafted silver necklace. rTrail's owner, Brenda Magnetti Erickson was also in the cast and was a fabulous lifeline spreading the word in downtown Valpo. Thank you, rTrail!

Mothering By Nature provided our dress rehearsal space, and the Northwest Indiana C.H.O.I.C.E.S. group connected with the natural parenting resource center is something I value personally, as they played a huge part in guiding my motherhood journey -- I'm so very thankful! 

There are so many more people I should be thanking right here in this spot but I do hope that they all know my gratitude,which is soul deep, and I think they do, and I thank them for giving me the grace to give thanks in this way, again and again. Thank you.

I have yet to hear the final total for ticket sales, but I'll be sure to update how much we were able to give to The Caring Place as soon as I know. Gently used handbags and toiletries were also collected at the door to be distributed to the women in their care. We are so glad to be able to give back to women and families in our community.

LTYM 0020

The applause roared over my final words on stage Thursday night- I think I was just trying to let them know that all 10 cities will share their shows on the Listen To Your Mother YouTube channel this summer. Be sure to subscribe so that you're first to know when they're up! 

We took our bow, and then we were off into the night. It really is a blur from there. I'm still hearing stories of people seeking out that one cast member who told their story, the one they could have written, because they lived that, too. I'm hearing the thank yous- "thank you for sharing your story, thank you for saying what I couldn't say, thank you for finding the words I didn't know I needed to hear, thank you for making me feel like I'm not the only one, thank you, thank you."

Thank you, Ann, for entrusting your baby in my care for another year. 

It truly is a high, taking a hit off these stories that are inside all of us. I hope you'll share yours- at an audition, open mic, on stage, in a blog post, a handwritten letter, or even if only for yourself, for now. There is no story too small or insignificant. Tell it. We are hungry to hear. 

Keep on listening.

Read what our cast has to say about the show:

More photos and recaptures of our incredible night to come...

[cross posted at Listen To Your Mother Northwest Indiana]

May 12, 2012

Remind me

Carter, little league

I must write this down so that I don't question my sanity as we get further into summer.

I enjoy Carter's Little League games. Not just to watch him play (that is my favorite part, and it's still like brand new to me every time) but also because we are all piling in the car together as a family twice a week, and hanging out on the field as a (often whiny, cold, hungry for concessions 100% of the time) family, and it also probably helps that his team is really good and undefeated.

May 11, 2012


You know when you come home late from a loud concert and your ears are all stuffy and humming and you feel heavy with smoke the next day? 

I feel the complete opposite of that. Colors seem brighter and sounds are clearer and I am so sensitive to every word and beautiful thing. 

I missed my kids. That was all I could think about and when I got home Gray's Cubs blanket was balled on my bed and I could see just a tuft of his hair poking out and I was so relieved he was there. They are my touchstones. 

This is after the show. It's over, and I don't know what to think or say, I can only feel. And it feels good.

May 10, 2012

Just Listen

It's just hours before showtime. I should be doing so many other things than writing here right now but... I'm stopping to listen. 

It's here.

Today in the car Ivy said "WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO?!" and I said "I'm practicing!!"  I think I'm ready. I think we all are so ready to do this.

The car in front of me had a bumper sticker that read Live The Life You Love. Right now I so am. 

May 9, 2012

Butterfly Net


She suggested I buy the butterfly catcher so that she could run around outside with it and I could take her picture.


butterfly catcher

This is where I type out all I'm feeling about the (sold out) show tomorrow and nerves and ready and no-more-tickets and hair appointment and full house and stories and really and happening.

Someone catch me before I fly away.

May 8, 2012



I was in the Target parking lot when I heard. There's one ticket left. I floated into the store - after sending text messages to everyone I could think of - and bought black high-waist shaping tights, hoping they will work double-rainbow magic paired with my Spanx on stage this Thursday. 

Clearing out some random papers in a drawer this morning I found Noah's handmade card to me from last year's show. What timing. Inside he wrote in pencil "Dear Mommy, I hope you have a great show. Love Noah." This year he'll be in the audience. I'm so glad I got him a ticket because I just got the call. We are SOLD OUT.

I can't feel my toes. This is... incredible.

May 7, 2012


A green truck stopped in front of our house and two people got out. They approached something in the road and I watched from the window and they picked up a little turtle and carried him back to the pond. And I felt much less alone in this world.

May 6, 2012

Listen To Your Mother: In The News!

“I don’t have children, but motherhood is still a part of my life. I see my own mother push me to be better, even as I approach my 30s. I see my friends stumble as they learn how to become mothers to their young children… I see myself take on a maternal role with younger friends who still need guidance and support. Motherhood is more than raising a child to adulthood. It’s being supportive and loving to those around you and choosing to sacrifice your own dreams in favor of helping someone else achieve theirs.” – Katy Hoagland

 Listen To Your Mother Northwest Indiana is featured on the front page of today’s Lifestyle section in The Times. You can read the full article online: ‘Listen To Your Mother’ offers honest talk about motherhood.
Listen To Your Mother Northwest Indiana is Thursday May 10 at 7PM. Tickets are available at the Memorial Opera House box office and online

Know what you’re getting Mom or Grandma (or yourself) for Mother’s Day this year?
Cross-posted at Listen To Your Mother Northwest Indiana's website. You guys! Yesterday the box office said there were only 75 tickets left! The house seats 350! I'm so excited!!!

May 4, 2012

Heart Box Studio Giveaway

On Mother's Day my sweet friend Chrissy (of Heart Box Studio goodness) and I will be heading up to Madison, the birthplace of Listen To Your Mother. We're going to spend the day talking and eating and shopping and I can not wait to be in the audience for Ann's show. The one that started it all. 

Heart Box Studio Giveaway

Heart Box Studio is also a local sponsor of LTYM NW Indiana this year, and Chrissy wanted to offer something special from her studio in honor of Mother's Day. Leave a comment for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate and a copy of her gorgeous book,The Gift

She's also offering a free notecard of your choice with each purchase (expires 5/13/12). Just let her know which one you'd like in the message at checkout. 

Giveaway ends Tuesday May 8 11:59 PM CST so that you can have your prize in time for Mother's Day. One entry per person, just a comment! Let us know your favorite thing in the shop or what you're doing for Mother's Day or about something that made you smile today.

Get to know Heart Box Studio:
Favorite the shop on etsy

Like Heart Box Studio on Facebook
Enjoy the Heart Box Studio blog

Listen To Your Mother Northwest Indiana is next Thursday May 10 at 7 PM at the Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso. I hope to see you there!  


MAY FOUR 2012: Ivy's lopsided 'do, Gray mid-sneeze aka apparently allergic to lilacs now, too.

I was out with my girls last night and unfortunately while I was away and Noah was in charge for all of five minutes Ivy took the scissors to her locks... to be freshened up professionally later today... and fortunately Jeff interviewed the four on Ways to Listen To Your Mother and Consider Her Feelings, all of which are answers totally thought up by the kids and I'm proud to present to you:

Ways to Listen to Your Mother
and Consider Her Feelings

Don't annoy her
Don't bother her while she's cooking
Don't wake her up unless it's an emergency
If she is resting, stay quiet
Don't insult her cooking
Don't fight over her iPhone
Listen to her the first time
Don't beg her to do something
Pay attention if she's talking
If she tries to wipe your nose, let her
Don't interrupt her while she's shooting videos
Nobody scream, nobody talk, and nobody snore
Get dressed on time
Don't argue about your homework
Try and keep my room clean no matter how many times stuffed animals spill out of Gray's bed
Never put your finger in a cupcake
Don't mess up her pillows
Make her happy
Give her art presents from school
When you are at a restaurant, do not goof around
If she tells you she wants to take a picture with you, don't grunt or groan
Go to bed
Give her kisses
Don't ask her for doughnuts, because she'll get doughnuts if she wants to
When she's going to the bathroom, never knock on the door
Don't be rowdy
Don't spend too much time on TV or iPods, especially at night

Listen To Your Mother Northwest Indiana is next Thursday May 10 at 7 PM at the Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso. I hope to see you there! 

I used to take photos of my kids on the first of every month, now it's on the fourth. Four for four... get it? You can see past monthly photos here.  

May 3, 2012

Upstairs Basement

You were afraid in the dentist's chair and I wished you were two again, when you were brave and didn't know to be scared. I hated that you knew hospitals more than playgrounds back then but now that you're older I see. It was better when you didn't know so much.

You picked Chinese for lunch and you were nervous, checking your watch. Guessing where your class would be right now. I wanted you to play hookey and you wanted to go back to school. When we got home you were restless and worried about library books and so I signed you back in.

We drove down Chicago Street and whirlybirds fell from the trees like snow and there was a house with a sign advertising "UPSTAIRS BASEMENT" and I squinted and laughed in my head at the thought and then we saw it actually read upstairs bedroom.

You didn't ask but if you did I would tell you my favorite color is the sky today.

May 1, 2012

Carter's First Game


"Do you have your cup?" "Where's your cup?" "Are you wearing your cup?" That's how it's been every day he has practice and then today, rushing out of the house for his very first game, he couldn't find his cup.

I thought it was going to go differently. I imagined Jeff would be the one taking him to games and practices while I tag along looking cute and dragging the rest of the clan with my snacks and stadium blankets and bottled waters.

But in reality, Dad has to work late and will have to meet us there and so I'm shoving dinner at their faces when we should already be in the car and on our way to the field, "DID YOU FIND YOUR CUP WHERE ARE YOUR SHOES OHWELL WE HAVE TO GO!" I don't even think I had on any makeup.

I glance at Carter on the way and he has food all over his face and spaghetti sauce on his brand new baseball pants. We get there and it's raining, but they don't call the game. Noah, Gray, and Ivy practically fall all over the bleachers from starvation because the concession stand is within eyesight. My mom buys them a pizza stick, popcorn, and Twizzlers.

The rain got worse so I ended up leaving around the 3rd inning with the kids. On the way back to the car Gray lost his Twizzlers and ran through the parking lot and toward the field like a crazy person. "My candy! My candy!" Rain is pouring down, people are trying to get to their cars, and I'm calling to him, "It's too late now! We can't go back! Get in the car!" It was heartbreaking. Like a really sad part in a movie. Only it's my life.

He wailed until - oh wait, he's still wailing. But! I just got a text that we won! Awesome! One game down... so many more to go. Wheee.