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Thursday, October 20, 2016

life, in check

I suck at blogging one handed. My only down time these days is when holding baby - who refuses to nap on any surface other than my lap, usually suckling the whole time, mama you are there, right? Milk dribbling down his chin. So shush children. Quietly parent, the fan blowing as I whisper out how to spell the word kindness or awkwardly tying bows on dresses, baby pressed to me as I reach around his flailed out body.

And, occasionally, when the laptop isnt in use and I dont have a million emails waiting in my inbox, I think about this blog. So, I take a breath and peck away at the keys, attempting to say something witty or profound about motherhood, parenting,

But instead my stilted typing keeps my thoughts from coming out.

And I am tired, Another cause of blockage. Baby is teething and wakes frequently, his cries piercing the stillness of our tiny hot condo.

And I feel distracted. The stress of life looming, pressing in on me as thunder rolls up the mountain.

We've only got a few more weeks left in this condo and then we need to find a house.

I can see this house in my mind, I decorate it with unclicked purchases on Amazon, with Pinterest boards called "next house," "design love," "someday."

It feels like "never" today.

We got one of those awful calls today, Little man fell at school, cracked his head on the ground. Dada drove to get him while I slung baby around on my hip. Reloading Facebook over and over online. Opening and closing cupboard doors. Waiting for news,

"He's okay," came the text.

He walked in the door and threw his tall strong frame onto the couch. Dada left to juggle work calls to clients, the stress of life with four kids in the most expensive state in the country eating away at us both.

Little man's eyes flutter.

"I'm tired," he says, as my mama heart seizes up.

I sit next to him, letting him listen to a book on tape, his eyes closed, face pale, nauseated with every turn. My giant boy. So grown up. Yet still my baby. His face just a more chiseled version of that baby, that toddler who stole my heart ten years ago.

Suddenly the worry and stress eating at me seems ridiculous. This. This boy.

Perspective right? My obsession with work stuff and finances and our next house seems...dumb...a wasteful distraction...from this boy.

Life, in check. Life pecked out on the keyboard. It slows down. One keystroke at a time. Slowed down to the rhythm of this heart, beating next to me, this baby in my arms, the other boy child now at the urgent care clinic, the two sisters making cards for the family. "How do you spell loving mama?" she whispers. "What about special?" Love notes delivered in tiptoed steps. Teething baby whimpering in my arms. Legos clinking as they sift through the giant box for just the right piece, clicking their dreams into place one brick at a time.

What is life giving to you? my friend asks as we walk to our cars after drinks last night (!! friends!! going out!! drinks!! yes, I did this!!)

Life giving?


This? Thinking. Adult conversations. (No talk about kids, we said. Trying and failing to escape potty training teething preschool woes)

Writing. I know this is one. And somehow writing here has gone from twice weekly to twice monthly. I let my blogging mojo stifle, stagnate, then lay forgetten, the half written posts that seem too stupid now clogging up my list of posts on blogger.

But the one handed pecking with the crabby grabbing baby makes this kind of release doubly difficult.


Oh thank God. As I type daddy texts to say, "He is okay, on our way home."

And I choke back ridiculous tears as images of brain bleeds fade away. (Damn you Google)

And baby screams at me and the cacophony of four kids in a tiny sweltering condo overwhelms me.




I need to write.

So I write here.

And I know you guys get it.

Dreams and hopes and the chaos of the day to day all streaming together into an overwhelming flood.

So we eat chocolate. And brew some iced coffee. And hit post.

And thank God for Friday.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

vision 4.0



Did you know that happened to me?

It did. Last Saturday.

I think I am still processing.

I slept in. Went to a cafe and wrote (new writing project EEEEEK). Then forced children to go to a historical coffee farm open house, at which they had a lot of fun. The day went down hill from there though. Dada took the kids to a birthday party (MOM, the whole CLASS is going to be there. I HAVE TO GO. ....commence sobbing....) I made myself steak and drank a dirty vodka martini, minus the vermouth ( and olive juice...HAHAHA) and watched Friday Night Lights, episode after episode.

I was a tiny bit put off by how un-special the day felt. Is that selfish of me? I dont know.

But then I realize.

FORTY. IS a big deal.

So, lets celebrate ALL DAMN YEAR.

That is what I intend to do.

Here is what I say.

20s. Discovering who you are. Painfully, very self-absorbedly.

30s. Discovering your place in the world. Putting in your dues. Working your butt off.

40s??? 40s is about DOING SHIT. GETTING IT DONE. Living. Loving. Feeling comfortable in your skin. And looking out into the world, through your kick ass Ray Ban aviators, and saying "HI WORLD. WHAT'S UP?"

I am feeling optimistic.

Clearly. HA.

But I really think this is it.

Forty is standing up in front of a group and casually talking about what you are passionate about (GO GO SOCIAL JUSTICE!) and sitting down and thinking for one fleeting second. Damn, I am good. (Then humbly repenting of pride, of course, due to Midwestern proper upbringing LOL)

But just for that second. You think it.

Yes. I can DO THAT.

Forty, as a mom, is rolling your eyes at your child's meltdown in Target and strolling over to look at sunhats while they put their little selves back together (Okay, fine, I lose my cool a lot too.)

Forty as a mom is putting down your smart phone and playing Uno, even when you feel like crap. Forty is being okay with leaving crabby baby with dada because MAMA NEEDS A NIGHT OUT.

Forty is recognizing that you ARENT going to be a famous XYZ but that's cool, you can still do it anyway, for fun (painting,, etc)

Forty is a poochy stomach (that is where my babies grew!) and not giving a rat's ass about your body in a bikini at the beach.

Forty is wearing what you want. (And being now allowed to embrace Eileen Fisher clothes)

Forty is only one glass of wine, because 6am comes early, and only drinking good wine, because life is too short. Plus crappy wine is full of sulfites and makes your head throb within an hour.

Forty is nursing baby in the Ergo as you browse the kitchen good aisles in Target.

Forty is dinner parties where good food and good conversation play equally important roles. Forty is valuing friendship, treasuring it like a gem. Forty is cutting off toxic relationships, learning the art of boundaries. Forty is letting people be where they are on their own journey, and being okay with that.

Forty is knowing your limits. Forty is knowing your strengths. Forty is knowing you are often your own worst enemy. Forty is staying in on a Friday night and going out on a Wednesday. Forty is saying what you think and having the wisdom to back it up (occasionally.) Forty is also knowing when to keep your mouth shut. Forty is giving advice to younger women, remembering the pain of that stage of life, grateful you made it through, sanity (somewhat) intact. Forty is giving advice and thinking "my gosh, did I just say that??? That's DAMN good advice self!" Forty is knowing there is so much more to learn. Forty is knowing you will never know it all. Forty is giving yourself pep talks. Forty is listening to your 50 year old self. Forty is honoring your 20 year old self.

Forty is golden.

Bring it.

And now, for your entertainment. Here are selections from my pinterest board. Inspiration at 40. Vision 4.0, if you will.


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