I Didn’t Expect


I did everything in my power to delay making a final decision, but when the calendar rolled over to Gabe’s school’s registration deadline, I begrudgingly made the call to inform them that Gabe would not be returning and we’d be homeschooling instead. I expected to feel anxious or to have to hold back tears, but I didn’t. I felt…okay.

The next week, I realized that I maybe needed to file the appropriate form with the state in advance of the district’s start date lest we somehow get caught in the truancy gray area. Our state requires homeschoolers to submit notification after the public districts begin, and I fretted that since this is our first year and we were previously out-of-district, we might fall through the cracks/get reported as truant/not have a clear contact person. So I went ahead and filed the form early, further finalizing our commitment, and that didn’t bother me much, either.

I thought I might be getting off easy on the emotional front, because it wasn’t until Tuesday night–the night when Gabe would have normally attended his school’s open house–that it hit me. And it hit me harder again on Thursday, the day our former school district started. We’re really not doing this! I thought, and not in a fond way. It was more of an isolated, lonely, oh-dear-god-what-have-we-done sort of way. My sister put it best, describing it as an entire plane of existence happening around us, but one in which we no longer existed.

It also felt heavy. I knew this to be true, but I hadn’t realized how comforting it is that my son was connected to a loving, caring community outside our family that looked out for him. I became suddenly aware that our “village” was (at least temporarily) getting much smaller–not classroom teachers to get to know him, no specials teachers to broaden his horizons, no playground and lunch monitors to help him learn to navigate different authority figures.  Tahd and I were all those things, and because I’m the one at home, mostly I’m all those things. And that felt like a burdensome load to carry.

I cried a lot last week.

Thankfully, the weekend brought with it lots of busyness and family visits and festivities to distract me from my melancholy. Granted, it also meant I didn’t get done half the things I wanted to complete before school began, but our weekend readied my heart, and I’m not sure heart readiness can be overvalued.

And now, we’ve completed our first day! I’ll write more about that later, but it…was good. This plunge seemed worth the effort. I’m sure every day won’t be so rosy, but today was, and I want to mark that down.

We did it. We are really a homeschooling family. And that is something I absolutely, positively never expected.

Here We Go, August, Here We Go!


So…August. We need to have a discussion. I was not ready for you. You were not invited yet. This was not the plan! The plan was beach and road trip and picnics and festivals and fairs and many more lazy days.  We’ve covered about 14% of the items on my list. Cut a girl a break already!

Since there appears no stopping you, the next best alternative is to welcome you like a rabid cheerleading high school sports fan. In the case of my youth, basketball was our school’s sport of choice, and corny crowd cheers abounded. But in the interest of feeling young and energetic again, I’m hearkening back to those simpler teenage days and cheering myself on…


I mean that more as a kick in the everloving pants rather than a glib rah.

I know August is approaching half over, but I finally wrote down my goals for this month and thought I’d share them here. I’ve been using Lara Casey’s Power Sheets off and on this year to help me make focused, incremental progress on some of my dreams, and I’ve really enjoyed them!

monthly goals

  • set up a section in my bullet journal for encouraging quotes/verses/mantras
  • plan well for homeschooling
  • start behind-the-scenes work to consolidate blogs (more on that later)
  • establish and post AM and PM routines
  • take Isla for her (i.e. our) inaugural American Girl Doll store experience <squee!!!!>
  • come good on Gabe’s end-of-school present
  • move money into the appropriate accounts to pay the credit card bill
  • go on a date
  • try out insta videos
  • take the kids to the beach and splash pad

weekly goals

  • write
  • set up my bullet journal each week and actually use it
  • keep running (and stretching!)
  • get more sleep…how? not sure, but try

daily goals

  • speak truth over the kids and connect with them on a positive level
  • do yoga
  • meditate

What are you working on this month? Are you back to school already or are you still enjoying the lazy days of summer?

I Want A Do-Over!

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Phew! What a week! This mama is ready for a reset!

We started the week in Nashville, where I said goodbye to my sister who moved nine hours away. Very sad panda. 🙁 The return trip went a little more easily than the trip south, thankfully. Have you ever tried to caravan 4 cars and a moving van through Chicago? Hint: even harder than it sounds! lol


I took a run the day after we came home and totally wiped out. Like, fell, flat on my front side. Just on the sidewalk, too! No tricky trail running here! This, perhaps, shouldn’t surprise me since I regularly clip my shoulders going through door frames. Really, it should surprise me I haven’t fallen while running before now! I caught my toe on a slightly elevated sidewalk square, and over I went! My hands, arms, and knee sport an attractive case of road rash, but thankfully it didn’t get any worse, notwithstanding the rip in my favorite–and now discontinued–pair of leggings.  Boo!


In Nashville, a tooth started hurting, so I visited an endodontist. He took these fancy 3-d xrays and could see that yes, in fact, I had a tooth abscess. A tooth infection in a tooth that had already had a root canal, at that. I saddled up for a unexpected repeat round of tooth excavation and left feeling pretty numb and pretty good!

Ah, anesthesia, what a lovely thing you are!

By the middle of the night last night, however, neither “numbness” nor “goodness” described my state. Even though I’d taken pain pills around 11:00, by 2 AM the pain wracked me almost as badly as it wracked me when I was in labor with Jude. I’m not joking. At one point I actually found myself wistful for his labor because at least I got 1-3 minute breaks throughout the whole thing. This was just constant pain and throbbing. The whole side of my face was on fire! I could feel it moving up into my cheekbones and down by my ear, and I just wanted to crawl into a comfy hole and pummel my tooth out with a hammer. The stuff of lullabies, no?

Around 6 AM I took another round of antibiotics and pain pills and added some steroids to the mix. Ah, sweet rest!

Fun fact I learned–did you know if a person has nausea, a new study revealed that sniffing a swab of rubbing alcohol can often relieve it? Lucky me, I tested it out (mostly successfully) several times in the wee hours of the morning. I’ve taken all of these medications before, but for some reason, the Augmentin really did a number on my stomach, and by mid-morning I was losing my breakfast in the sink.  Ugh.

The best news, although I hesitate to call it that yet since it remains to be seen, is that after a hazy mid-morning nap, I woke up to less swelling and much less pain, a trend which has continued all day. The nights definitely seem to be the worst, so let’s reserve judgment until Friday morning, shall we? But here’s to hoping things are finally on the upswing!

Any takers for a do-over week? I could really use one!

A Completely Irrelevant Post About A Problem We’ve Had For A Decade


That moment when you solve a problem that’s been brewing for a decade…

I recently switched dishwasher detergents from liquid to pods, namely because my old one isn’t available for same-day delivery on Amazon Prime.

I know. The absurdity of that sentence isn’t lost on me.

But it’s totally true.

Dishwasher detergent is something I’m constantly forgetting to add to my grocery list until I’m trying to clean up the kitchen from breakfast and realize I have no detergent. I also have some mild reclusive tendencies as well as a deep aversion to hauling all my kids into any store at all, but especially stores that sell toys or cookies. So being able to get dishwasher pods delivered to my doorstep by dinner borders on priceless.

This, however, isn’t the problem. I’m getting to that.

So the dishwasher pods. They’ve been working out well for us, but this week, I discovered upon going to unload my machine that one of them didn’t dissolve, which was a tremendous annoyance since all my cups were in there and all my children were thirsty.  I popped the naughty pod out of the detergent dispenser and onto the floor of the dishwasher and ran the whole thing again on a quick cycle. Initially, I thought the problem was the pod itself, but when it finally finished its second cycle, I realized that we’d loaded something tall right in front of the detergent door, and this prevented it from opening, thereby preventing the pod from dissolving.

This, my friends, is the problem we’ve had for about a decade. The bottom rack of our dishwasher has the silverware caddy on the right and the space for the large/taller items on the left, directly in front of where the detergent dispenser is. The pots and pans just fit better there, which is obviously a problem if it prevents detergent from being used. We actually thought for a while that our detergent door was failing until we realized it was just our own user error, and now we try to be careful of what we put in that area, which is a huge pain because it’s the place those things fit best.

Also, I will once again digress and say that technically, I know nothing related to a dishwasher is a “huge” pain. Huge pains are more akin to having to inject yourself with life-saving insulin before every meal SO YOU DON’T DIE or totaling your brand-new car. On this scale, I have maybe one or two real huge pains in my life. But on the scale of Life cereal ground into the floor and mail that doesn’t show up on time and having to sit on hold to make a doctor’s appointment, my dishwasher situation is a huge pain.

So…today, while I was loading up the breakfast dishes, I dropped the pod into the dispenser and thought, I sure hope the dumb door opens this time so the pod dissolves! And that’s when the heavens parted and the angels sang and it hit me.

The bottom rack of the dishwasher is mirror identical and silverware caddy is moveable. I can move it to either the left side or the right side of the dishwasher.  The short, compact dishwasher caddy can be moved. I CAN MOVE IT TO THE LEFT SIDE OF THE RACK SO IT SITS IN FRONT OF THE DETERGENT DISPENSER, WHICH WILL ALLOW ME TO MOVE THE TALL STUFF TO THE RIGHT SIDE SO THEY WILL NO LONGER BLOCK THE DOOR FROM OPENING.

Like I said, heavens parting, angels singing. It was a quite excellent realization.

So, there you go. Problem solved. And it only took ten years.

#shakingmyhead #goodgrief

The West Wing and Other Bits

Whirling. That’s what I feel like – whirling with things to do and ideas (and laundry…), but I can’t figure out how to fit it all in. Anyone relate?  It’s not a bad feeling, per se. I like the energy and creativity that come with ideas, but I start feeling a little stuck after a while and start watching copious amounts of Netflix.

In fairness, I have to say that we haven’t had Netflix for years, and they have The West Wing. Before Jude was born, Tahd and I were working on a slow-but-sure WW marathon. We’d made it all the way to season 7 (the final season) when I developed preeclampsia and then went on to have him early. And then there was all his screaming and such…Fun memories…

Anyway, by the time we got back around to watching it (we were watching it on Amazon Prime at the time), THEY HAD REMOVED IT!!! I was beside myself! My friends…Josh! Donna! CJ! The President!!! It was a truly depressing time in my life. I’m sure the fact that my baby screamed nonstop and my husband was traveling excessively had little to do with it. I’m sure it was all West Wing Withdrawal, right?  Which, you know, is totally a thing.

Well, we recently cut the cable cord and then picked up Netflix, and I was almost giddy to find they had it. It’s what I’ve been doing in every spare minute, which is a sight exaggeration because I have accomplished a few other things in my life, but it felt like coming home and made me so happy.  Alas, we tore through the 22 episodes from the last season in short time, and I’m once again going through West Wing Withdrawal, except this time, THERE IS NO HOPE. Last time, at least I could look forward to the day when I could finally finish the series, or I could dream up plans to make the wise, wise investment in West Wing dvds so I could finally see how it ended. But this time?

NO HOPE! They are not coming back! It is over, and I try not to cry every day.

Not really. But I am sad about it, sad like I was when Friends and The Office ended.  Pam! Jim! Ross! Rachel!!! Ack!

Hm…I did not intend this to be a depressingly pitiful account of my unhealthy ability to relate to and personalize television characters…

In other news, I’ve been thinking. This writing-on-two-sites thing? I can’t do it! I can’t keep up, and when I feel behind on one thing I get paralyzed and avoid both things, thereby preventing me from writing at all! It’s a bad plan. I haven’t yet decided how to rectify this situation, but I’m considering options. Because the not-writing thing has been a real bummer.

In the meantime while I try to figure things out, here are a few pictures from our daily-life adventures…


Me and my love, sans kids, at a wedding.  I love this picture of us. We don’t have many!


I want to make this! It’s a display of wisteria at our local Anthropologie. The purple flowers are made out of balloons! It’s crazy brilliant and very striking!


He found a LeapFrog toy phone. I wondered where he was and found him like this, so I snuck a picture.


Mother’s Day morning (well – Mother’s Day redo morning…we celebrated a week late due to other commitments on the actual weekend) with my boys. They gave me a delicious breakfast feast of fruit, juice and champagne in bed. It was so sweet! Isla was around, too, but I don’t seem to have a picture with her in it.

That’s all for now!

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