Guess whose soccer season ended Monday?

And guess who won his first game of the season Monday? ūüôā

Little people playing sports totally cracks me up. The uniforms, the shin guards, the crazy-bored dancing on the field while they wait for the ball to come their way. ¬†And it keeps me on the edge of my seat, I might add – especially when all they want is to win ONE game and they’re holding a slim lead during the last moments of the game! ¬†It felt good to become “that” parent – the one screaming cheers from the stands.



I think it really might be coming!


Along with spring comes blossoming trees. Blossoming magnolia trees. And I’m a little bit beside myself. I’m not ready to erase the sacredness of last year’s blossoms with new life. ¬†Has it really been eleven months? Has it really been almost a year?

I’m not ready for this. I’m not. I’m not ready to hurt again and I’m not ready to leave the hurt behind with the passing of time.

It occurred to me afresh this week that we might not ever have another baby. I don’t know how I “forget” this likelihood, but I seem to find myself forgetting it over and over again. I alternate between loving and hating that element in myself. Forgetting means I live with hope, but it also means inevitable pain each time its remembered.

This, I determined, is the essence of my funk. ¬†So I’ve switched gears from attempting to “inspire” it out of me to attempting to coexist with it carefully for the next month. ¬†But truth? I’m scared. And feeling fragile.


Tahd’s gone. Again.


But he’ll be home tomorrow night, and then we only have one more week to go! ¬†Coming soon? A trip to California – and Gabe and I are going, too!

Work travel is good for something, I guess!


Check out the little project we’ve been working on since Tahd has been gone…

Gabe’s most recent favorite book (which just so happens to be my most favorite children’s chapter book I’ve ever read):

Now check out our rendition of said book:

We’re quite proud of our creation. Granted, the laundry hasn’t been done and the legos haven’t been put away, but we have a killer drawing of Mr. Benedict’s house!


And borrowed from Ali Edwards… loving – reading and watching!

Book | A Place of Yes by Bethenny Frankel. I know a book by a Real Housewife of Any City might seem a little slushy, but this book is anything but slushy. ¬†In fact, it’s really good – motivating and inspiring. And its message seems to be popping up in a number of places throughout my life right now. A definite thumbs up!

Also reading Expressive Photography by the Shutter Sisters. I’ve been finding bits of myself behind the camera lens lately, and this book is inspiring and educational without being mundane or formulaic. ¬†It won’t give you a lot of specific tips or challenges to implement, but if you’re looking for some basic principles of photography presented in a stirring way, this might be the book for you.

Television | The Office. I guess I’m something like six years behind the curve on this one, but we recently got Netflix and I have started watching the series from start to finish. Aside from the fact that it makes me want to run right out and find myself a clerical job just like Pam, I have another issue. ¬† By the name of John Krasinski. ¬†In the form of a giant geeky crush on him and his messy hair and¬†mischievous¬†smile.


Also, I love Netflix for enabling this infatuation.

Email | a little bird told me by The Brave Girls Club. This is a free daily newsletter that sends the most amazing (and stunning) life truths. I am really loving these! Each one cuts to the heart of the matter and says something infinitely profound and yet refreshingly simple. Go – sign up. You’ll be so glad you did!

Online | The internet has been abounding with fantastic reads lately!

Hints of Spring

It arrived, finally Рquietly, magically, unassumingly, happily.  And it was welcome Рvery, 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 Рhaving 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!

Weird Day

Day 472 of Tahd being gone this week, and we woke up to this…


Snow Рgiant, beautiful snow!  It is March and I think most everyone I know is ready for spring, but these flakes could have caused earthquakes every time they hit the ground Рthey were enormous!  They were mostly the size of quarters with a rich dose of silver dollars thrown in for good measure.


I hate the snow when Tahd is gone, though, because snow = shoveling.  Thankfully spring must be getting close because the snow eventually turned to rain and washed away into puddles before I needed to drag out my green back, shoulder, and arm torture device.


I keep a little reminder of spring on my table, though, so my mind doesn’t dissolve away with the melting snow.



I also woke up to something I found initially annoying but later realized was slightly important. ¬†From around 5:30 or 6:00 on this morning, Gabe coughed. ¬†Non-stop. ¬†The absolutely predictable, incessant barks punctuated my last precious moments of sleep until I was finally roused for good and realized Gabe sounded like he wasn’t just coughing but was also having an asthma attack. ¬†It took approximately 1.8 seconds for me to start flashing back to my own childhood asthma attacks when I could. not. catch. my. breath and immediately had the same sensation of being unable to breathe. ¬†The good news was that I was able to breathe, and the even better news was that Gabe’s issue seemed pretty mild. ¬†I called the doctor who was able to squeeze us in for a quick appointment, and we set about our day – getting ready, picking up some pastries, and going to MOPS to drop off the food and briefly see some friends. ¬†Then it was over to the doctor.


Having never been diagnosed with asthma before I wasn’t certain Gabe had, in fact, had an asthma attack. ¬†But upon listening to his lungs and watching him breathe the doctor concurred and ordered a breathing treatment.


Can I just say that breathing treatments are deceiving?  The child sits calmly on the bed and methodically inhales the magic air for the prescribed amount of time.  It all looks so serene and unflappable.




The medication takes effect and the child begins frantically ricocheting off the walls in a jittery attempt to findsomethingtodorightnow! Said child is overhere! And overthere! And overhereandoverthere at the exact same time! ¬†As helpful as albuterol can be, I do not consider it a friend of the parents. ¬†This parent is not a fan! ¬†Granted, I’m also not a fan of children who can’t breathe very well, so I’ll take the albuterol over the labored breathing.


It seemed to help, at least enough for me to break his heart by taking him to school, so we hopped in the car and continued on our way.


Can I just say I spend an inordinate amount of time in the car? ¬†I added it up this week and realized I spend a minimum of two hours every school day. ¬†If I have any appointments or errands it’s more like 3 hours. ¬†I probably pick up an extra hour or two on the weekend. ¬†Altogether, I bet I spend at least 15 hours a week in my car. ¬†It looks something like this…



Do I look tired there? ¬†‘Cause yeah, I was. ¬†And no, I didn’t take that while driving. ¬†I was sitting in the car waiting for the school to turn Gabe loose at the end of the day.


The waiting also gave me time to observe the particularly messy condition of my car.  I swear I have crap shoved into every possible crevice.



You’d think that spending so much time in the car would motivate me to want to keep it clean. ¬†But nope – hasn’t worked so far. ¬†And that’s just the front seat. ¬†The back is worse – far, far worse!


Doesn’t Gabe look thrilled to see me here?

I swear to you – every day! ¬†He looks this thrilled every day! ¬†For someone who spent a solid hour begging me to let him skip the rest of the school day, he certainly doesn’t look happy to see me when I pick him up! ¬†I actually took this picture on Monday, but he looks this way almost every time I pick him up.


So we came home, my little asthmatic and his tired mother, and proceeded to attempt to not destroy the house before bedtime. ¬†Can any other mothers relate? ¬†I can get the house all picked up while he’s gone for the day only to have it fall apart in what seems like moments. ¬†And it’s not just him – I do at least my fair share of creating a disaster, especially when it comes to dinner preparations. ¬†Good grief! ¬†I’m a messy cook! ¬†Tonight was raw pumpkin pie soup, which sounds disgusting in print but is actually really tasty in person. ¬†If you like pumpkin pie, which I do. ¬†But do you know how many carrots you have to juice to get 32 ounces of carrot juice? ¬†Uh, a lot. ¬†There were very many carrots and very much carrot pulp and I think I may have dyed my countertops orange. ¬†Which is good or something because orange is my favorite color. ūüėČ


Gabe’s in bed now and I’m about ready to head that direction myself. ¬†I’m hoping for a regular day tomorrow. ¬†Today wasn’t bad, but it was definitely weird!

Week Four

Tahd left yesterday. ¬†Again. ¬†For the fourth week in a row. ¬†The first three weeks went pretty smooothly, and quickly as well. ¬†I like that. ¬†Gabe and I got along, nothing catastrophic happened, and it didn’t snow too much. ¬†However, I feel like I’ve hit a wall, and the prospect of two more weeks alone seems pretty… well, lonely, for lack of a better word. ¬†Five whole weeks in a row makes me a little sad!


But you know what? ¬†<said to myself as much as to anyone else> ¬†I’m lucky. ¬†I have a husband I miss desperately when he goes away, even if we bicker a bit when he comes home. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†I have a little boy whose energy I both find inspiration in and envy. ¬†And I get the remote all to myself. ¬†Focus on the positives, right?


In the meantime, we try to stay busy with a little fun. ¬†Yesterday, it was a professional indoor soccer game. ¬†Gabe was good for about 2.5 quarters, and then I nearly lost my mind trying to keep him from jamming the plastic horn into the head of the person in front of us. ¬†Thankfully the person in front of us was my brother-in-law, but even though he’s sort of compelled to love his nephew, I can’t imagine it was enjoyable to be poked, prodded, and harrassed from over your shoulder. ¬†He’s a good sport, though!


Indoor soccer is not so much my thing. ¬†Let’s face it – sports in general really aren’t my thing. ¬†I fake it reasonably well for things like World Series and Superbowls, but regular sporting events? ¬†I have to work at my focus to stick with it. ¬†Hence this picture…

Because shoes are definitely more of my thing than sports.


But making my child’s eyes light up with excitement? ¬†SO my thing! ¬†Is there anything better than seeing a smile spread across your child’s face and knowing that you had a hand in putting it there? ¬†So when he had an opportunity to go to this game, I figured it would be a great way to begin our fourth-in-a-row solo week. ¬†I wasn’t disappointed.

Gabe banged his noisemakers and ate his pretzel and blew his horn like a pro, hooping and hollering at all the right times, at least until the fourth quarter when he’d had enough.


Also, he doesn’t like buzzers.



This – his “buzzer protection move” – has been perfected during his own weekly soccer games in which he spends the last moments of the game ignoring the ball and paying rapt attention to the clock, hands poised to protect his ears as the seconds count down. ¬†It’s really cute, and made me laugh tonight while I watched him cover his ears in lieu of kicking the ball which flew right by his ankles in the last seconds.


I think we all need a buzzer protection move! ¬†ūüėČ


Gabe woke up this morning with a sniffle. ¬†I have crossed every finger and every toe in the hopes that it prevents his third sinus infection in a month. ¬†Thankfully I’m starting to feel better and am just left with a stubborn cough and some lingering fatigue. ¬†Which – let’s face it… I can blame the fatigue on my illnesses but the reality is it preceded the illnesses so I should be thankful it’s improving at all! ¬†But it is, and I’m grateful and have stayed awake for the whole day – sans naps – for FOUR DAYS IN A ROW! ¬†Granted, I slept until noon on Saturday so I’m not sure I should get full credit, but oh well.


Actually, strike that. ¬†I dozed on the couch yesterday around noon. ¬†Caught about an hour’s rest between snuggling with Gabe and answering his questions. ¬†So I guess I started my lucky napless stretch today. ¬†One day down, a whole bunch to go!


With any luck I plan to fill the rest of my week with photography, exercise, decluttering, writing, and volunteering. ¬†Seriously – I love my life. ¬†Sometimes it’s busy and stressful and it has for sure been painful, especially over the last little bit. ¬†But I was recently reminded that when in the midst of transition, something better almost always steps into the vacuum that’s created by the loss of the familiar. ¬†And that’s what’s happening – goodness is filling the gaps and cracks that plagued me long before Mara. ¬†I like the way things are shaping up.


It feels good to write those words!

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! ūüėČ


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.

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