Out of the mouths of babes

She said it out of nowhere, apropos of nothing.

“Mom, if I were you I’d be really happy.”

“Why’s that, sweetie?”

“Because you have a great life.”

It made me smile. I didn’t ask what her measuring stick was, what she thought made my life so great – I didn’t want the shine to go off the statement if it was only because I could have ice cream for dinner if I wanted to, or because I’m allowed to wear lipstick. I just treasured the sentiment, stored it away in my heart. I’m sure I’ll need to pull it out again – on a day I’m feeling shrewish and frumpy and overwrought. On a day I forget – and it happens so often! – what a great life I truly do have. There are so many beautiful people I have the privilege to know, to love, to be loved by – I have delightful daughters, a sweet husband, a comfy sunny little home, the opportunity to write and craft and cook up a storm. I have enough quirkiness and mystery in myself and my loves to keep it interesting and make certain life isn’t sickeningly sweet. I have complete freedom to be myself and to be loved for it – and that is priceless.

So yes, my dear Olive, I am really happy – because I do have a marvelously great life.




“I can’t,” she says.

…get ready for bed.
…keep my voice down.
…eat my breakfast.
…take a nap.
…pick up my stuff.

And inside, I seethe. Yes of course because it’s an outright lie – she can obviously do those things. She’s five, for heaven’s sake. But more so because I don’t want those words falling from her mouth, feeling comfortable on her tongue. I want her to walk through life with an “I can” at the ready, to enter situations with confidence, hope, the gumption to give anything a try. And the honesty to say “I don’t want to” if that’s what she really means.


mostly treats


Olive requested a kitty pumpkin, so I did my best.

My little Dorothy could’ve trick-or-treated all night and never gone home.

Sleepy leopard baby lasted about two blocks before passing out on momma’s shoulder for the night.I showed my true personality.

And my favorite part…. relaxing afterwards, in a sugar coma.

Hope you had a happy Halloween!



They tell you it only happens like that in the movies, but no… the sudden whoosh of water was surprising and like a scene from a cheesy sitcom. What they don’t tell you – or at least didn’t tell me – is that it keeps coming. Another whoosh and then a trickle. Not stopping.

Nothing else was happening. I was happily watching the Tonight Show with my hubby & my girl, up late in the last burst of summer. Go to bed, she told me, get some rest and let your body do what it needs to do. So I trotted off to bed, sleeping snuggled to my little girl for the last time it’d be just us.

I woke with a start, tensing beneath the contraction. It felt long, tight. Another one washed over me way before I imagined one would. Out came the handy dandy contraction timer app I was so proud of finding. One minute contractions, three minutes apart.

Tiff walked in looking adorably rumpled, got settled in and off we went. The pain was more fierce and it was all I could do to grip the door handle and breathe as we drove. 2:30 am and no one on the road, we ran red lights. No one seemed to mind.

They wheeled me in, sending Jeff off to park the car. The nurse’s calm chatter was a jarring counterpoint to the still wall of gripping contractions with little reprieve between. I could barely sign my name to be admitted.

Nurses flittered around, sent me to the bathroom, asked questions as though we were at tea. Is this your first birth? Is your older one a boy or a girl? Do you know what you’re having this time? “Stop asking me questions!” I barked. Didn’t they know I had to focus? Didn’t they know I could hardly breathe?

No midwife, no doctor, no space between contractions. I couldn’t not push. Barely aware of the noise I was making, other than uttering “I can’t do this” once or twice, gripping Jeff’s fingers as tight as I could, I pushed. And there she was. Perfect.

It was 3:01 am. We’d been there 10 minutes.


just write




Sitting here in the Kohl’s parking lot, sweet baby snuggled in my arms, sweet not-so-baby dozing on the backseat after a fun-filled day at kindergarten. I remember when these sorts of things used to bother me, make me antsy…there are things to do and places to go and I can’t sit here wasting time… And I know that at home there is laundry sitting in both the washer and the dryer. The floor is so dusty you absolutely have to wear shoes so you don’t get hobbit feet. A zillion thank you notes wait to be written, and dinner needs to be cooked. Not to mention that we haven’t even begun the errand we came here for…

And yet sitting here I find myself…. content. I’m listening to the wind and the chirping birds, cuddling lovely little Lila against me where she fell asleep nursing. I hear Olive sighing in her sleep and her face looks so peaceful… not to mention the empty cup beside me with the dregs of pumpkin milkshake in it. There’s time. There’s space. It will all get done – maybe not today, but that’s okay.

I find myself smiling as I gaze out the window, and when I look down at Lila… she’s smiling, too.

*written as part of Just Write, my friend Heather’s freewriting link-up. Join in & read some of the other posts here.


please? someday? soon?

Please, little one, will you come out so we can finally meet face to face instead of inside to inside? So I can know what you feel like in my arms instead of just my belly (and ribcage and pelvis and hip bones…)?  So your big sister can see if you look like her, if you have that special little toe like she does? So your daddy can have his full passel of girls?

Please, sweet baby, will you bravely enter this world? Not just for the first time, but every time – each day when you open your eyes, when you encounter a new person, new experience, new piece of this glorious (and often heartwrenching) thing we call life? Will you love with your whole heart, and cry lustily, and be who you truly are – in each and every moment, from the very first onward?


Please, sweet girl, come out and experience our love – accept it, rely on it, learn to live and walk in it and even return it someday. We are so very excited to meet you, to hold you, to show you what you mean to us. Come out, please. Come let us love you.




***photos courtesy of my darling friend Jen Olson, aka coconutbelly. Check out her amazing photo skills here and her equally lovely writing here. She’s an amazing treasure, that one. Thanks for the gorgeous shots, love!