Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day… was perfect.  I can’t begin to say how good it felt to breathe and enjoy and know that losing Mara hadn’t ruined Mother’s Day forever.  I definitely had some mixed emotions, but over it all hung an umbrella of happiness and I enjoyed every minute of it!

Gabe’s school helps the children make Mother’s Day gifts, and this year he made me a special little lunch sack that contained breakfast in bed – a muffin and a juice box!  Mixed berry juice and an Otis Spunkmeyer muffin never tasted so good!  He was so sweet, telling me how he made sure all the decorations on the bag matched.  This is a common argument between us – how his clothes don’t match.  So I thought his matching efforts on my gift bag were especially adorable.

I had very generously received an iPhone several weeks go in honor of Mother’s Day, and I’ve been having lots of fun with it since then, especially with the camera.  It’s a huge step up from the camera on the droid I used to have!  I’d fallen in a bit of a photo taking rut lately, and the phone (and Instagram, to be perfectly honest) snapped me out of it.  So for a special excursion on Mother’s Day afternoon I told Tahd I wanted to go somewhere and take some family photos.

Not far from us is a little nature preserve, so we packed up the kids and the tripod and set on our way.

I am so glad we went!  I didn’t get everything I wanted, but I love so many of the pictures I did get.  They’re not perfect, but for a short notice outing with a cranky 7-year-old and a tenuous 4-month-old I thought it went pretty well!

We started with a little humor. Because humor goes a long way at warming the reticent heart.  Bet you can’t guess whose heart was reticent… 😉

I’m so in love with this picture of Gabe.  He doesn’t let me take many pictures of him lately, and this one is so relaxed and cute!

Sister wouldn’t look at the camera to save her life!

We were trying really hard to get a picture of me with Gabe and Isla but she started melting down to epic proportions.  So I grabbed our blanket and nursed her instead.  While I did, Gabe sat by me and inspected my charm necklace.  This turned out to be one of my most favorite pictures from the whole day.

After pictures we went to my parents’ house to enjoy family dinner with them and my sisters and their husbands.  Nobody came prepared for pictures but I thought Mom might like a picture of her with all her girls.

<3 them all!

I really have the best Mom, and I love the way she loves my children.  It is a privilege to be her daughter!

I hope your Mother’s Day was as lovely as mine!

Hints of Spring

It arrived, finally – quietly, magically, unassumingly, happily.  And it was welcome – very, very welcome!

Today was our first “Spring is coming! It’s really coming!” sort of day, and we enjoyed it – every minute of it, Gabe – layered at school in his furry coat, hat, mittens and snowpants because those are their rules, and me with short sleeves and windows rolled down, pretending not to get annoyed when the wind rustled my hair a little too much.

Breaking out of our little “pick-Gabe-up-from-school-come-home-and-watch-tv-until-Phineas-and-Ferb-rot-out-our-brains” rut, I decided today was the day to cash in on a little bargain Gabe and I made, a bargain whereby I filled his water cup an extra time and he agreed to let me experiment with my new camera lens and take pictures of him. I sound like a most awesome mother, don’t I? It’s tv and bribes all around, baby! I don’t think I usually let my mothering go quite this far toward Total Lackadaisical Slackerish Bribery.  But what can I say?  Tahd is on his fifth week out of town in a row, and we’ve hit the wall.  Or perhaps more accurately, we hit the wall some time ago and now we’re just careening along glibly, a little giddy and a little more punchy.

But back to our breaking of The Rut.

Gabe got four choices of locations – the church behind our house, the beach, our town’s quaint downtown plaza, or the park.  And the winner was?

Hint: it’s a no-brainer…

The park!  So off we trudged – ball, sword, and slinky in hand – him intending to play and me intending to take pictures while he played.  Not entirely sure about the purpose of the props he selected.  I’m quite sure I couldn’t even being to guess what was in his imagination at the moment he selected the The Chosen Few.  I’m sure it was good, although we never got around to actually enacting his vision.

Pretty sure the slinky made it into at least 75% of our pictures, a nice little splash of rainbow color!

True to his word, he let me pause him periodically and snap a few photos here and there.  Even “posed” for a few and took my photo once.

We ran about the park like crazy people, running over ramps, jumping on jiggly bridges, gingerly tiptoeing through remnants of snow, and laying down in the mulch to get the desired angle.  Little life lesson – having mulch in your underpants does not feel good.

And then after an hour of hide and seek, king and queen, slides, swings, mud and snow we dragged our damp, happy selves off to a restaurant for a little date.

Enchanted today by the promise of spring, it felt good to remember that just like the seasons, life is a faithful ebb and flow.  I can’t wait for the one that is on the horizon!

On Rango and other issues




Have you heard of it?


Gabe, an advertiser’s bonanza, has diligently requested to see the movie in the theatres since he saw the first advertisement as a trailer to the recent Yogi Bear movie. And because it’s currently being advertised AD NAUSEUM on every children’s tv station, I have been the recipient of AD NAUSEUM requests about going to see this outstanding lizard. What do they call him? The fastest lizard in the west or something like that?


Anyway, for a change of pace this evening we decided to surprise Gabe with a trip to the theatre for a little movie fun. The movies always seem so magical to me, possibly because we weren’t allowed to go to the movie theatre until I was something like 16 years old. But that’s another blog post for another day… probably more like another year! 😉


However, let me tell you – Rango is weird! And inappropriate! And scary! Tahd and I turned to each other about halfway through and just sort of quizzically stared at one another because it was less bizarre than staring at the screen. Also, there’s a snake in the movie, information which would have been helpful to me before I saw it. Snakes = me no likey. Gabe, on the other hand, loved it – the whole thing! Which I suppose makes the movie a success since it’s probably geared mostly for kids. I definitely did not. To the point that I had a tremendously difficult time holding my eyes open.


So I didn’t.


I leaned my head over onto Tahd and drifted off into sweet sleep.


You know how you cool down a bit while you go to sleep? The theatre was a little on the cool side to begin with and it had been raining a chilly drizzle outside, so it was a little hard to feel cozy while I dozed. Suddenly, I had what I considered to be a genius plan. I would lean up to the seat in front of me and pick up my coat so I could use it as a blanket. Which is exactly what I did. I sat up, leaned forward, reached my hands over the seat in front of me and reached for my coat.


Except my coat wasn’t there. I had taken it off once I was seated and it was safely stored beneath my derriere.


Another lady’s head was, though.


Yes. In the middle of the movie I reached forward and grabbed the head of the woman in front of me. Can you imagine being that woman??? Quietly watching the movie with your child only to have the top of your head suddenly and unceremoniously grabbed by a stranger?


Instantly mortified, I immediately apologized to the woman, not knowing what to say. I mean, it wasn’t like I could feign accident! I had to lean forward and over the seat in front of me with both hands and attempt to pick her up BY THE HEAD. It’s not like you could accidentally bump into someone in that way. Seriously – I wanted to die, or at least melt into my own seat and disappear! She, thankfully, was very gracious and turned her attention back to her child and the movie.


Not me, though. I spent the rest of the movie fully awake, laughing nervously but uncontrollably in the seat behind her. Thankfully she left immediately as the movie ended – probably to avoid the crazy woman who assaulted her head – and I didn’t have to face her on the way out. But I still haven’t quite gotten over it. Definitely ranks up there as one of my most embarrassing life moments ever.


So my recommendations are two-fold. One, skip Rango. It sucks. Two, don’t try to pick people up by the head. Especially strangers. Especially in the dark.

Rose-Colored Glasses

My life is not perfect.







I mess up on a daily basis.  I can be too disconnected from my son.  I can go days and weeks without a kiss for my husband.  My house is perpetually cluttered.  I’m infertile.  I don’t reach out to others as often as I should.  I haven’t weeded my garden since May.  I have $2000 worth of imminent repairs needing to be done to our concrete and car.  I have way too much debt.  I am late more often than I’m on time, and I’m almost never early.

But it’s not all bad, not at all!  Sometimes I just need to put on the rose-colored glasses and completely revel in the perfection.  That’s what I’m going to do now.  Not to make anyone feel bad.  Not because I think I’m an amazing specimen of a human being.  Not because I want to be supermom.  Really, I’m going to do it because the last few days have been downers and I need the comfort of remembering that I have been successful (at least in some things), that joy can be full, and that I’ve been blessed beyond measure.

When I put on my rose-colored glasses I see…

1.  A child I’m completely in love with.  Oh, how I adore him!  I made him! And grew him! And nursed him for 20 months, exclusively for 6!

I’ve rested beside his sleeping body on hundreds of occasions, reveling in our shared rhythms.  I read him thousands of pages of books, and then I looked on while he learned to read (because to say I taught him couldn’t be further from the truth).  I powered through when he didn’t want to go to bed, pick up his toys, eat his vegetables, go to school.  I did all these things and more.

I’ve raised him and think he’s pretty amazing, and it’s remarkable that I am having a hand in creating something so amazing.

2.  A “nest,” a home that comforts me, a place in which I feel peace.  I like our house.  It is homey and comfortable and pretty.  I like my things.  Most everything displayed means something to me.  I look around and smile.  I make my bed almost every day.

We grow our own food.  I create here.  I energize here.  I rest here.  I nurture here.  I grow here.  I settle here.  My home is a lovely place.

3.  Creativity bursting from within myself.  I make things.  Wreaths.  Centerpieces.  Gabe’s nursery curtains and crib skirt.

Art clips for him to display his school work.  Accessories.  Nap mats.

Photo walls.

Delicious meals, sometimes even without recipes.  I take photos, photos I love.  I tell stories.  I experience music within myself.  I knit blankets.

4.  Strength beyond my obvious limits.  I have lived through death.  I have lived when I thought it would be better to die.

Sadness rests on my fireplace mantle in the form of my daughter’s ashes, but sometimes I can look at them and smile.  I have lived through broken hearts and worst fears.  I have lived through deadlines that have come and gone.

I have lived through failure.  I have succeeded when I should have failed.  I am strong, and I like knowing that about myself.

Tender, fragile, and strong.  It is a good combination.

5.  Captured moments.  In photos, in scrapbooks, in blogs, in journals.  They represent investments of time – time away from the pressing of the now in order to take captive the ordinary and extraordinary.  When I take the time to look back, the past fills my heart all over again, and I’m infinitely grateful for the gifts of personal history and memory.

What started as whims – my photos and memory-keeping – have gradually become irreplaceable treasures.

Can you believe I can't find one digitally stored picture of my entire family??? Not even one! I made one instead. Enjoy!

6.  A daughter and sister, made such by extraordinary people I’m lucky enough to call family.  We’re friends.  We care.  We go out of our way for one another.  We are the stable but unspoken certainty beneath it all.  We bicker and sharpen one another.  It’s rare – a group that can stand the test of time, becoming better, closer, stronger, and more real.  I believe the best is yet to come for us, and I think it’s an incredible privilege to be able to say so.

7.  A husband and wife.  Who have made a marriage.  Who have made a marriage work.  Even though they didn’t always want to.

Who have built a family.  Even when it was hard.  Who stick it out, even when the sucky “I-can’t-believe-you-did-this-again-you-are-SO-driving-me-crazy” happens one more time. And then another.

Whose feet find one another under the covers every night.  Who have begun to learn the value of being wrong, and even admitting it sometimes.  Who know one another’s strengths and weaknesses and appreciate both the giving and receiving of grace.

Who are in love, even when love doesn’t feel starry and googly-eyed.


I see in myself a good heart.  A willing heart.  A soul whose company I like to keep.  A mind that hopes.  A body that keeps trying.  Arms that gather comfort and hugs.  A belly that has nurtured babies.  Fingers that fly over keys, musical and digital.  A mouth that is learning to ask for help more quickly and offer encouragement more generously.

It’s not all perfect, but it is good.

That’s what I’m seeing while I wear my rose-colored glasses.

What do you see in yourself when you put on your rose-colored glasses?

7 Link Challenge

This looked like it might be fun so I decided to play along!

Here’s the premise – there are 7 categories.  I will provide 1 link from my blog or another’s blog related to the topic.  Feel free to play along, too!

My first post – it’s here.  My first post is not actually the post that comes first chronologicallly.  I pre-dated a bunch of random posts.  I don’t know why.

A post you enjoyed writing the most – the Olympics!  Gabe still has the rings drawn on his white board.

A post which had a great discussion – you all gave me a lot of great feedback when I asked for advice on ivf.

A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d writtenthis one really makes me smile.  It’s so lovely!  I also really, really love this one.  I need to read it often!

Your most helpful post – I assume this means the post I think will help the most people?  Maybe this one about miscarriage.  Or all the septoplasty posts.  There’s not a ton out there about septoplasties.

A post with a title that you are proud of – I think it would have to be this one: The One Where I Disappoint – Nay *Poison* – My Child.

Finally, a post that you wish more people had read – I can’t decide.  It’s between this one and this one, both about losing Mara.  I don’t know how many people read either post but I wish the whole world had read them so they’d all know about my baby.

If you decide to play along leave a comment here so I can come visit your favorite and most notable posts!

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