September 29, 2012

To every thing there is.


When it rains and I can't see the clouds, the leaves fall like snowflakes, a sky full of gold glitter. And I sweep all day long when they follow us in but I do not mind at all.

Yesterday I had to give my name over the phone and told the gal "Capital P - r- e... um, I'm sorry. I haven't been around another adult for almost a week now." Then I mumbled something about kids and homework. Jeff was gone since Sunday and well, yeah.

Our days are easy. I mean, I had to get a new monthly planner because things need to be written down, there is busy-ness, but when we're free we're free.

And we stretch out our limbs but I still don't think I'll feel here here until our old house finally sells. It's like until then I'm afraid I'll find out this is all not real, and we have to go back. It's a chapter I'd like to come to an end. I wonder if the showings this weekend are "it." I wonder if every showing is but this time, it's a little stronger.

September 26, 2012

Watering Can

The only thing I miss about our house right now is that I knew where everything was. I don't really feel much else for it, except that we outgrew, and it's the shell we left behind. And I just hope it's the perfect fit for someone else soon. Soon would be nice.

watering can

So I never got around to hiring someone to come take care of our landscaping here and I want our neighbors to still like us. And man does it feel good to just dig, and pull, and rip, oh and spray paint things even if they might or might not turn out.

We found a box in the garage with a watering can and my iced tea pitcher that I have been looking for since we moved in. I filled the pitcher with water and poured it into the can so Ivy could water the weeds, of course. And as I poured she cried "that's enough!" and it was only just a little and I said "It's not enough- it's only a little bit" and she said "But then it will be too heavy for me to carry."

And when it was empty she'd come back and I would pour -just enough- again and again.

And I can't stop thinking about that ever since.

watering can

September 24, 2012

The Invited

Um, come on in!

We were invited to a fall party at Liz & Jon's gorgeous home and as much as I (think that I) want to meet people, sometimes I wonder if it would be better if it's just us. If we don't let anyone else in and maybe it will be easier that way for everyone... or maybe I really want someone to just show up and crawl under a blanket on my couch and we'd talk and "get" each other but all this having to go out and get dressed and make an impression and stuff is exhausting. So I was wavering on the party thing. 

Plus, I fell the other night and ripped the knee of the only jeans I have, and when I went to buy a bottle of wine to take to the party I found out that Target doesn't sell wine on Sundays! So I got a candle candle! of all lame things to take and when I got home I couldn't find our gift wrap or my nice cards- who knows which box they're in. It was like it was a sign that we shouldn't go. Jeff was out of town, too, so I'd have to take the kids all by myself, with my unwrapped candle. As much as I think I'm present and participating in this incredible life I've been given, I sometimes picture it all quite differently. It almost made sense to just stay home and watch the Emmy's.

But I knew Liz wouldn't care about the candle and I could see into the future that I'd be so happy if I just showed up and it would be good for us already. So we went. And we stayed until it was very dark. And I'm so glad we did.

fall party


Ivy & Carter, bounce house

fall party

fall party

fall party

fall party


September 21, 2012

ins and outs

Ivy started a multimedia art class at the library yesterday (I wish I could take a multimedia art class but haven't found a classtime that works with our schedule yet) and when I got there the teacher said parents usually leave and I'm like "THE BUILDING?" and she's like "Yes" and I'm like "SEEYOULATEROUTTAHERE!" and I went to Starbucks and Michael's for spray paint to do this project on a huge painting I found at Goodwill. I'm too chicken to start on it yet. Maybe today.

We usually run errands in the morning and then are always back here to have lunch. That pretty much sums up our "routine." Then I'll read and do laundry or run the dishwasher. I can't do laundry and run the dishwasher at the same time due to electrical mumbojumbo reasons. I don't know. We're renting. Then sometime after the boys get off their buses I start thinking about what to make for dinner. We've only eaten out once as a family since we moved here- once! While I'm cooking I send everyone to the backyard to get good and tired and out of my hair. I'm convinced to almost superstition that it's the only way they'll go to sleep at a decent time.

What else. We have two chipmunks who hang out on our back deck and we feed them trail mix every morning and afternoon. They are the cutest (and best!) pets ever. The squirrels here are humongous. I literally thought there was a bear in the tree outside the kitchen window yesterday but it was just a really really big black squirrel.

September 20, 2012

Rain days

rain day

Tuesday night was so gorgeous and clear that if I hadn't taken this photo I would have completely forgotten it was so stormy and gray earlier. Our park date was rained out so we ended up at an indoor jump center. Ivy didn't mind. As long as she got to wear her rainboots.

Linking up with small style, good to be back!

As seen on Ivy...

dress- Tea Collection (they are having a favorites sale right now through today- buy 3 Tea Favorites and get 20% off with code FAVE3 - buy 4 get 30% off with code FAVE4 - buy 5 get 40% off with code FAVE5!)
sweater- Noppies from Zulily
tights & boots- Target

September 18, 2012

The evidence of things not seen.

I am at the point in unpacking where I can't find anything that I'm looking for. And I know it made it, whatever it is, (as the first thought in moving is "did it make it?" : did it even end up in a box here or did it get thrown out by accident or did it break in transit?) because I saw it but didn't need it at the time and now I need it but can't find it. This goes for pretty much everything- in boxes and out of boxes, my mind - right now.

I expected some familiarity already. I'll drive a road and feel nothing. No sense of my body writing this down for future reference. I know how to get places and the streets that take me there but they don't mean anything yet. I meet people and they are so unusually nice and you can tell they are always nice but we have no history.

It's awkward to be so aware of the beginning, the starting point. I wish I could be further along, maybe that we'd fit right in, wake up one day and it all be cool and I would not have noticed the un-easy-ness along the way. But instead it's like the anesthesia is not working and I'm awake mid-surgery. There is no pain, though, just a clarity, like I'm too-present for something I shouldn't be seeing. I know too much, the kind of knowing too much that kicks you right back around to waitaminute maybe you know absolutely nothing at all.

And I have no intentions to sound so dark- it's actually really beautiful and light here. A beautiful, unfamiliar light.

Gray spiked a fever Saturday night and I lied next to him in his bed, more new walls and ceiling I've yet to try on, nervous and panic-stricken that I don't even know where the emergency room is. I'll find it if I have to, I mean I do have GPS but gah my disdain for relying so much on GPS. That safety of visualizing where everything is and was and would be is... out of my reach and okay I'll just say it, out of my control. Which is, for me, a very uncomfortable and tortuous form of healing. And so my heart has its a-ha moment and in a flash I'm let in on the secret that I - and everything I'm looking for - we are exactly where we should be.

And then it's gone.

-just write

September 15, 2012

Where Ivy Sleeps

Where Ivy Sleeps

Where Ivy Sleeps

Where Ivy Sleeps

She's four today, and Grandma & Grandpa sent a princess bed. Of course Ivy would have a bed like this.

Where Ivy Sleeps

Where Ivy Sleeps

Where Ivy Sleeps

Where Ivy Sleeps

Where Ivy Sleeps

Where Ivy Sleeps

She set the rules this morning- cake and cupcakes, with candles, balloons, sushi lunch, and also "Mom, there should be Halloween, Christmas, and egg-catching today, too, right? Because it's my birthday."

Where Ivy Sleeps

Where Ivy Sleeps

Where Ivy Sleeps

She is a dream. She is four years of holidays every day. 

Where Ivy Sleeps

September 12, 2012

Listen To Your Mother 2012 Videos

Did you hear the news?

Listen To Your Mother 2012- all ten cities including Northwest Indiana's SOLD OUT SHOW- is now online. Free to watch at your leisure, although I will suggest you view each one beginning to end if you can. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll nod your head... and maybe (hopefully) you'll even think about sharing your own story. 

I guess I haven't made an official announcement or anything, but due to our recent move to Ohio I'll no longer be directing and producing in Northwest Indiana. That doesn't mean the show won't go on- Ann will be taking applications for all cities later this year and someone could totally step up and take over. 

As for me, I can't imagine not having some part in a production for 2013 and beyond, especially as the Listen To Your Mother movement continues to grow. I'd love to bring LTYM to Ohio, but a big ingredient in making the show successful is having a strong presence in the community, and for me that will take some time. Honestly, though, who knows what could be waiting up ahead. I still sometimes feel like it's all a dream... to have directed and produced two smashing shows - I look back and am like - who was that person? I am so proud of her. 

I am in awe all over again at my all-star cast. I've linked to individual readers and pieces here and below, and included their blogs if they have one. You'll find a few of this year's readers don't even have an online presence or consider themselves a writer. But everyone- everyone- has a story to tell, and I've found that most people love to listen to a good story. 

Watch the full LTYM Northwest Indiana 2012 video playlist here. (Some material and language not suitable for children.)

September 9, 2012

♥ Hearts ♥


I just can not get over the sky. I would have never thought to put my request in, that where we move to have such an incredible view of, well, above. But there it is.

I went to a church today and I knew within minutes that it would not be our church, but I stayed to be polite and give it more chances just in case. I wanted it to be, but it's not. It's so not. And I wonder why was I made to be so discerning if it only makes it that much harder.

Ivy has it too, sometimes I think she couldn't be more like me. In the car she asked how the guy got way up in the sky. We were sitting in construction traffic at the time and I strained to see him, on a truck or a pole but he must have been out of my line of vision and I said what guy? and she said the guy who paints it blue everyday and that was when I knew she meant the actual sky. I could have told her so many things, but I decided to be quiet, she tells better stories.


She's lonely, too. She wants a friend, at that stage where she just wants to play with someone her age, someone like her. We went for a walk around the neighborhood to see if we could find a girl but all we found were baby pine cones and acorns, some big and some little and some that lost their hats in the fall. On the whole long walk only two cars passed us, and we never found any other kids. A few yards already had raked piles of dark brown leaves, and it smelled like October and the house I babysat at when I was in middle school.

September 7, 2012

One Foot

one slipper

I got my Ohio driver's license today so I'm official. I had to take a forty-question traffic laws exam and I missed five! They were about points and DUI fines and I kind of just guessed. I was panicking at first until I saw across the screen that it's only a fail if you miss 11. Phew. I got the important stuff like signs and speed limits right anyway. The BMV people here are even nice. Everyone keeps saying Welcome to Ohio.

Within minutes of having my new license in hand, I had a library card. I signed Ivy up for an art class, too. The rest of the day kind of got away from me, though.. I read a little, did some work, knitted half-heartedly. I'm just kind of restless. Ivy wanted a pair of slippers so she can "skate" to Cole Porter Pandora on our hard floors and I got bored after making one. It's super easy but I don't like the big needles. I also wanted to simmer up a pot of tomato basil soup tonight if I ever find a recipe I like to go along with grown up grilled cheeses but in the end we're having chicken bites and mini tater tots.

It still feels like vacation here in the sense that we are the only people we know, pretty much and sometimes that's nice and sometimes it's really boring. And Jeff's at work a lot and it's just me and the kids allofthetime and I really want to leave but I don't even know where I'd go. So I just mill around here doing this and that. Waiting for something to happen but I don't know what.

September 4, 2012

September FOUR

September FOUR
(our new backyard)

How it can be September, I just don't know. We've been officially moved for two whole weeks, and the six-fifteen wake ups have not set in. I still blink blurry-eyed and confused, like it's the middle of the night (because it kind of is) and like did someone have a bad dream? Go back to bed? No, it's time to get up. I try to get Noah to sleep-in five minutes longer every morning but I seriously think he gets up earlier. My latest offer is to just drive him to school. We'd probably get a good half hour more of sleep. We'll see.

My mom and Mommal came for a visit this weekend and it felt like they were here maybe a minute. Everything felt just slightly out of place- our new house, them here, trying to make the most of their time but not really doing anything at all. I wish we could have done more, wish we would have done less. We made quick trips here or there, nothing big or leisurely, including a drive to look at some shabby chic furniture I wanted only to find the store closed but then down the road there was a dresser put out for trash. We totally hauled it into the truck. It even had clothes in it. Yes we took those, too.

They were our first visitors. And within hours of their arrival Jeff and I drove off to find a Sephora and a little dinner in Akron (cucumber martini, Gouda stuffed dates, spicy baked goat cheese and marinara, tomato and artichoke soup.) I felt so guilty leaving but so thankful we had someone here who loved the kids. She also made pans of burritos to freeze. Thank you, Mom!

Not everything is sunlight through stained glass windows here- but I am still terribly upbeat about it all- I almost annoy myself. Our washer and dryer stopped working- at the same time- and I think it's a fuse but now we decide if we should call the rental maintenance or just our own handyman. I didn't mind driving up to the laundromat yesterday afternoon because I had a book to read so I practically darted out the door. I was surprised by how crowded it was, and the wide variety of people- some who looked like maybe their washer and dryer just broke, too, or college kids, and then others who looked so down on their luck, but we all sat there with our unmentionables making the same kaleidoscope swirls around the glass in unison.

And this morning- I just went to the garage to fill my iced coffee from the big jug in the fridge and I think now the fridge and freezer are out, too. But we have a house! We are here. We are here. I am so glad we are here.

P.S. we still have a house there, so very there, and it's for sale if you know anyone looking.

I used to take photos of my kids on the first of every month, now it's on the fourth. Four for four. (Here's September 2010 & 2011.) You can see all past monthly photos here.  

September 3, 2012

Connie & John

Connie & John

So, I'm long overdue in writing about two of the biggest blessings in our move. Of course Jeff's awesome new job got us here in the first place, and there he met Connie. They work together and when he was still hotel-ing it up and there were no rooms available because of the Pro Football Hall of Fame festival, she offered a room at her house. He really didn't have much for options and everyone told him he'd love Connie & John's and so he went to check it out.

(I am not kidding, just as I'm typing Ivy asked "Can we go to Connie's today?")

Soon they insisted Jeff have me and the kids come for a visit. So, a few weeks ago I came for the week and that's when we found our house (thanks to Connie spotting it one day!) and registered the kids for school the very next day. We went back home and packed up the rest of our life in Indiana and came back to live with Connie & John until our moving truck arrived. That is how the kids were able to start their first week of school out here.

John & Ivy

They have to be among the most generous and kind people we have ever met. Their home is a reflection of that, and how they just love life and sharing it with family and friends. To now be called friend by them... we hit the jackpot. 



I don't hate being able to jump in the pool whenever we want, either. While we were staying with them I'd wake up in the morning and find the coffee made with a mug and a note waiting for me. We'd come home from errands and there'd be homemade cookies with a message for the kids. One morning it was raining and there were five umbrellas out for us on the counter. And the day we came home after registering for school, Connie had gotten each of the kids official North Canton t-shirts.

Oh, and when John (who owns a painting company) found out that our new house did not have a pink room for Ivy? Well, he wouldn't hear of it. He had us pick out a color- Ivy chose Bella Pink- and by the time we arrived, her pink room was there to greet us.

It was like, instant family in this new place. And also, how could we ever repay them for their kindness? Their walls are covered with photos of friends and the places they've been and in one they are in front of the White House spelling out O-H-I-O with two of their friends. They LOVE Ohio and, on behalf of Ohio, are so glad we're to have us. We took this picture of the kids in front of their pool and framed it as a little thank you gift. It was precious, and like a declaration that we are here! and we are going to enjoy the party.


September 1, 2012

Under The Pink

I set out for a late drive to Target, an escape I called it. The moon was huge and I smiled with a knowing that it was hung there for me.

It feels cliché to say I've found my groove, the ridges of my soul fitting smoothly into drawers here. Open and close. A familiarity while everything is still shiny and new. Best of both worlds? Or just happy in the world I'm in? But it's not like I'm not expecting the drop-off, it's terrifying that I sense the darkness just waiting to pummel me when I'm good and comfortable. There's a slight dullness to my euphoria here as I anticipate the edge to wear off. I look to Jeff and he says we're good and for once I'm going to have faith that it will be all right if I run trustingly into the sun. 

I've been worried, almost sick, about one unaccounted-for box. It had Ivy's first dress in it, and I had carefully packed and marked so that I could find it quickly after the move. But it's alluded me these past two weeks and sometimes I can't fall asleep at night because of it. I had always imagined that when Ivy got her pink room we'd hang it on a pretty hook on her wall. When we picked out the paint color -a story of its own, to come- I had already packed away the dress. 

This morning as we primped the house and put away the last of the boxes in preparation for my Mom and Mommal to arrive, I found the box and tore it open to find the dress. I ran upstairs to see, oh please let it be the right pink and it was. It is.