June 29, 2012

What it's like.


So basically telling Ivy that she is not to touch my super expensive new shampoo and conditioner has made those blue bottles of magic the only thing she can think about. Like the spindle to Aurora, it calls to her. As does the nail polish, lipstick, and all of my shoes.

I have a girl.

She has me.

June 28, 2012

You are only coming through in waves

What if my roots are un-rooting? What if all along my soil has been sand and shallow and that's just who I am. What if the foolish man just loved the ocean so much that he had to live by it to breathe and his house was just a shelter. Maybe he didn't even care that it all washed away because he was still by the waves that he loved. What about his heart? 

What if what is up is down and it is all really okay.

I am searching for the right way to put it, how I am shaken and the sea is chaos with big and power but I feel the most quiet, and incredible happiness, and I'm not worried that it's going to go away again this time.

This is a place holder, a record of my remarkable life. On this day I felt profoundly okay, and I know the way home.




June 26, 2012

There's Always Money In The Lemonade Stand


People are just so darned nice I want to cry. I had tried to prepare the kids for disappointment- our street isn't very busy, not a lot of pedestrians out walking on a Tuesday, today might just be a good practice run for the lemonade stand- so don't expect much. 

They made $21 in an hour and ran out of lemonade. 

Cars stopped and the kindest people on earth got out and made my kids' day. I wanted to give them something- a hug? a teary thank you? much more than lemonade. Every single one of them with their hearts of gold. I wanted to know them and wish all their dreams to come true. Even the mail lady. And the garbage man. And the guy with the pony tail who drank his cup and then purchased a refill. 

Later on inside, I overheard the kids while they dug through the basement. "Let's give a toy or a sticker with every purchase tomorrow, like happy meals." They have hearts like me, too. 

(A few of the cars stopped because they just had to know where we got the lemonade stand- I found it on Zulily.)

June 25, 2012

The no-TV truth.

So we put our cable on vacation hold for the summer, no-TV! This will be good. And the kids were bored so I thought good thing I've been saving up not letting them go in the unfinished side of the basement because it's too dangerous and messy. Today's the day. Free admittance! That should keep them busy for a long time. I just hope they don't get hurt. Or lost.

And then when that got old I let them go crazy with the junk drawer in the kitchen. Have at it! I said. They found all the batteries and Ivy played with a lint roller, like, all day and they discovered a stash of Culver's Scoopie coupons for free kids meals so we went there for lunch.

Right after we stopped at the library to stock up on DVDs.

just write

June 24, 2012

This is the summer of.


Maxi dresses and nail polish and tanned skin and freckles and baseball and bed head and Beach House and  Françoise Hardy and watermelon and the beach and outdoor concerts and the splash pad and reading old books and writing new words and sushi and art and no-TV and parks and iced coffee in a big jug in the garage fridge.


And we're only on day four.


June 20, 2012

When in doubt, be awesome.


I'm sure I've seen the advice on Pinterest somewhere. We were all restless, and they cried for the beach, and I didn't really care either way, and so I just went with awesome and we landed there.


The water was still and billowing slowly like the sheet I shook out on the sand to sit. And we played until sunset.


June 19, 2012

Up In The Air

The other parents called their kids while we were away. We did not. It seems to break the momentum, when they aren't already missing us and then hear our voice and now they remember to miss us. And maybe even more for me. Their voices sound so very tiny and far away. "Maybe we should call them before we board, you know, just in case." But we didn't.

We struck up conversations when it could have been easier, nicer, to just put in the earphones. But this is how I learned something new about myself: I'd rather like to have two houses like that couple- one in San Diego and one in Chicago. I turned to the window and watched the clouds spread like frosting, smooth across the sky. Maybe someday if the kids do move away (a worry of mine), we can just get a house in each city and we will dress like that fashionable older couple when we travel. 

Things didn't seem so big and impossible after all.

The man on the beach we asked for directions- he was helpful and mentioned that this was where he met his wife. "Heck yeah." If I could hear a story like that from every person I meet now until the end of my time, I will be happy.

And sometimes you make note of what you don't want to be, when you talk to people. But if you don't open up, if you only always go about as usual, you might miss good things about strangers, and you might miss better things about yourself.

We are back home and all together and the children are tan and smell like other people's houses. I missed them and will rub my scent on them all day until they smell like mine again.

just write

June 18, 2012

Postcards from the edge, of the country


For the first time in my life, ocean water met my toes yesterday.

It's been a fabulous vacation. All we did was eat and sight-see and nap and what more could I ask for?

Friday night we had dinner at Caffe Bella and I ordered something I couldn't pronounce and it was delicious. Saturday we visited Seaport Village and Coronado, then ate sushi in the Gaslamp Quarter that night. The plates were passed around our table to share rapid fire and it was incredible.




Sunday we headed out to the Hillcrest Farmer's Market. I wish we had these amazing vendors where we live. We called a cab to take us to Ocean Beach (thanks to Kelly's recommendation) and it was my favorite part of the trip by far. We walked the entire beach until we came upon Dog Beach, which was definitely one of the happiest places I've ever been in my life. Dozens and dozens- at least a hundred dogs roaming up and down the beach playing, smiling, retrieving frisbees from the water. It was dog heaven.




We came back to the hotel for lunch and then read and napped until dinner. We drove up to La Jolla and saw the seals and sea lions and ate with an ocean view at George's. We walked across the street for gelato (I got caramel praline with banana nut chocolate crunch. Yes.) Then we went to see Moonrise Kingdom. It was fabulous.


This morning we ventured back over to Hillcrest to eat at Hash House a Go Go (holy cow) and now are packing up to head home.

Jeff's biscuits & gravy

that's a really big pancake



Vermont Street Footbridge

I am very very full and ready to be home with my kids and do new and exciting things.

June 15, 2012

30,000 feet

I've always wanted to blog from the air. It's a little chilly in the plane, and bumpy at times, but pretty okay. We rode in a limo to the airport so that was nice and stress-free but it did smell like cat.

The in-flight movie is Man On A Ledge, edited for our entertainment I'm guessing because who ever says "son of a witch" and expects it to be taken seriously?

Jeff's luggage weighed more than mine. He even asked me if he could put his clothes in my suitcase and I was like um no. I packed thirteen outfits. I couldn't even fit a tiny tube of perfume in there. Had to have someone else put it in their Ziplock for me to get thru security. And still his bag was heavier.

I paid $7.95 for this wi-fi btw.

I am reading This Is How by Augusten Burroughs. So many good lines, I'm wishing I'd brought a highlighter.

I hope it's ok with Mr. Burroughs to share this excerpt...

We have absolutely no plans when we get to San Diego. All I know is that there will be sushi, other foods including more sushi and good times.

We've only brought up the kids about once every hour since we told them goodbye last night. I kind of miss them hard but am going to re-assign that energy to shopping for their souvenirs.

P.S. I got my toenails painted yesterday and chose red because while I'm normally more daring with my colors, that was becoming too normal and so I went with the unexpected, for me.

June 14, 2012

Hula Mula


Today is better. It took a while but I clawed my way out and probably the iced latte helped, which is tricky because I avoid caffeine when I'm anxious but it helps when I'm depressed. Right now I'm good. I'm praying that I'll feel even more relaxed on the plane. How embarrassing if my skin doesn't fit and my feelings don't feel right in front of Jeff's clients and co-workers. That's what's tripping me up but thankfully he's my stabilizer and if I'm with him, I'm okay.

I'd like it to be on the record that I actually like everything I've packed to wear and feel happy about it all, without the need to shop for anything new.

Hula Mula

I was dreading being apart from the kids but after today and all the yelling and screaming (them, not me, for once) I can say I am so very ready. As I was preparing Ivy again for my being gone, she burst into tears and I said "It's okay, you'll have so much fun!" and she said she was crying because she couldn't go to Grandma's RIGHT NOW.

We all desperately need this time out. It was super quiet while I've been writing here and then Gray shrieked up the stairs because Ivy bit him on the arm. It's only a little mark. He will live.


(I bought Ivy's ridiculous romper, by Hula Mula from Zulily.)

June 13, 2012

Caught a lite sneeze

It came on like an untimely cold. I am getting ready for a trip to San Diego with Jeff and things are going great and then this sudden sadness. Overwhelming. And so unfair.

It's like a virus. I have no reason to feel this way. Basically it took my everything to just exist through this day and I couldn't even go to Carter's game. Bed to couch to loveseat to bed to standing over the stove eating brownies out of the pan.

Gray brought down my carry-on suitcase, booming down each step. "I put something in the zipper pocket with your books so that you can remember me." It was his little stuffed polar bear named Lee.

"Mommy doesn't feel well." I just caught it somehow and I really hope I feel better in the morning.

June 12, 2012

And PS we're out of pudding cups.

I enjoy having all the kids home and that's not sarcasm. 

We're all getting along better than ever despite coming off concession-stand dinners five nights in a row (who knew you could get sick of hot pretzels with cheese? WELL YOU CAN) and the backpack explosion from the last day of school is still in my living room and I fear it might become permanent and I haven't been to the store in over a week - 8:00 am, fridge door opens: Mom! Can I have a bowl of salsa? "I think we're out!" Fridge door slams, freezer door opens. Can I have a push-pop? "Sure!" and yesterday I found a pudding cup lid stuck to the back of my arm. And I drove places like that.

Today we will play at the park again and then if I am brave we will hunt for my favorite flip flops at the Gap outlet but just typing that out made my hands shake so maybe we will skip that part because they are awesome kids but become not-awesome people I Do Not Know when we enter a store. 

I promised them we could see Madagascar 3 when it came out and so every day since on the hour every hour they have reminded me of that promise. Popcorn for lunch today! Now all I have to worry about is dinner. It's just too hot to turn on the stove, can I get a whut whut? And PS we're out of pudding cups.

Last night I called for bedtime and found Ivy and Carter watching a cartoon on the basement couch asleep and spooning. I never knew how much I'd love watching my kids love each other. 

June 11, 2012

Noonday Collection: Dulce Necklace Giveaway

Dulce Necklace

My friend Liz is offering up another generous giveaway from Noonday Collection. This time I was given the choice to keep the beautiful Dulce necklace [$78]- their most pinned piece on Pinterest- or I could do a giveaway. That was a tough decision, as I am a big fan of the statement necklace.

When I realized I didn't have anything to wear for Listen To Your Mother, Liz was kind enough to let me borrow her Cut Lace earrings for my show, and the Twisted necklace and Leather Leaf earrings for Madison's show.

And I hated giving those back.

And the Dulce is the best because it's so lightweight yet covers such a great area on your neck, with adjustable straps.

So anyway... I decided to part with it, but it's still in my possession so I could always change my mind if no one wants it. But if you would like the chance to win this very necklace, leave one comment below and let me know what else you adore at Noonday Collection. Or tell me about something fab you'll be doing this summer. Or whatever you'd like to say.

And a little background on Noonday's story: founder Jessica Honegger was fundraising for her family's international adoption and she dreamed of creating opportunities for people in the countries where she lived. By shopping online or hosting a trunk show, Noonday Collection uses fashion and style to put girls through school in Uganda, restore dignity to abandoned women in Ethiopia, and empower communities in Ecuador. 

Connect with Noonday on Facebook and Twitter.

Winner will be chosen by Random.org after 11:59 pm Monday June 18. I'll ship anywhere. 

Congrats to Meegs!

June 10, 2012

Needs More Hammock.

Life should never be short on hammocks and pool days.


June 9, 2012

That one time we lost Ivy.

I might have grumbled about and even criticized the helicopter moms at the park at Carter's game last night. One mom face-palm-pushed her kid (I think it was her kid) to get away from the slide. I sat in my chair a good distance away, and rolled my eyes at their hovering. 

When it was time for the game to start we moved our chairs down by the bleachers and there was a little confusion as to which side we were on. We realized we needed to get Ivy from the park. But she was gone. 

That was not a fun two minutes.

Which seemed like forever minutes. 

She had went and found that mom out of all the other people down by the ball field and told her she couldn't find her mommy and daddy. We had practiced such a situation with the kids when we were at the waterpark last month but never at the park park, because we are always there, except for when we aren't. And so, I am thankful for the ending to this story. May it never happen again. 

June 8, 2012

the groove that soothes

we like ice cream- Valpo Velvet

It's the first day of summer vacation and the kids are playing school. Well duh. They made me the principal and I'm about to put someone in The Chokey. We had fries for breakfast and who knows what's for lunch. Summatime!

June 7, 2012

June 6, 2012


Gray's freckles

MOM GUESS WHAT I killed a bug today and got bug blood on me.

That trail of freckles, under his left eye, is in my top favorite things I've ever loved. And we have an understanding that I must kiss them every day. Sometimes over and over.

June 5, 2012


Presently, a large decorative pillow- tan and white chevron- is missing from its perch on the overstuffed living room chair. Gray's schoolbook about Animal Babies has also disappeared. Vanished. Without a trace. It was here and now it is gone. And one bright blue baseball uniform sock. Missing.

I could tell you all the things that aren't missing, like the half-drunk bottled water from Saturday on the chest by the entryway, and the piece of orange thread - taunting me on the carpet or the back of my pant leg - that Ivy insists is her friend. How do you lose a giant pillow? How could Gray's book be here just a minute ago and now it is absolutely gone? And how can you miss a bright blue sock?

The other night I sampled a roll-on perfume and at first I did not like the scent at all. Until about fifteen minutes later, I couldn't get enough of it. It reminds me of the time in sixth grade choir when I sniffed a girl's hair and asked her what kind of shampoo she used and she said Hälsa. I went back and bought it yesterday.

- just write

June 4, 2012


June Four 2012
Noah- 11, Carter- 9, Ivy- 3, Gray- 6


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? (Here's June 2010. June 2011.) You can see all past monthly photos here.  

June Four 2012

June 3, 2012

First Recital

Ivy's first recital was today and my face still hurts from smiling. She was adorable. She also really likes being up on stage.

Her class did a ballet dance to "You've Got A Friend In Me."

Carter missed a baseball tournament game to be there- he probably has been looking forward to her performance more than anyone else. When he told his team he wouldn't be able to play, his coach said, "Well, Carter, that makes you a very good big brother."

asher & ivy, recital day

Asher came to see her. They are the cutest, ever. See them since they were just days old.

asher & ivy

ivy & asher, superheroes

June 2, 2012



Jeff took Gray golfing today so I took the rest of us to a little festival downtown.

the three