Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: The Year of Just Doing It.

At the end of last year, I hit a breaking point. The every day ins and outs of being a stay-at-home mom were starting to wear on me, a thick itchy sweater that I couldn't take off or find peace in. I was frustrated and restless, and I knew I needed to find something outside of the identity of "parent" to channel my energy. I even knew what I wanted that something to be. The only feeling bigger than the discontent with the rut I was in, was the fear I had about climbing out of it. I was stuck in an endless cycle of my own making (and of all the cycles to be stuck in, one you actually made yourself is the most irritating).

So, I just kind of...stewed for a while. And obviously by that I mean I complained. To God, to my husband, to all of the crazy voices in my brain and heart. I complained about the lack of motivation I felt every day and the hollow, unfulfilled part of myself no amount of Target shopping runs could fill (forgive me, Target. It was a weird time). I yammered on and on about needing a creative outlet for poor, oppressed moi, all the while avoiding actually doing anything about it. I wanted to write, and in particular start a blog, but I didn't want to do it until I was sure it would be perfect and without fault and I was the best writer I could be. Clearly I had very realistic*, attainable** expectations.

*idiotic

**unreachable, never going to happen

And then one day, a tiny whisper broke through all of the noise I was making about why I couldn't do what I wanted to do (and I'm just going to straight up point out the divinity of this whisper, because I can be quite loud and distracting when making nonsense noise).

Just do it. 

But I can't    

Just do it.

But    

Just. Do. It.

Oh.

You mean I could just try something out and not have to be immediately fantastic or perfect at it? That maybe I could find joy and peace even when things were messy and I was stumbling my way through? Hmm, that seemed super unlikely given my personality. But dissatisfaction with the way things were was at an all time high, so I (very, very, I can not overstate how very slowly) started writing and then sharing. And you know what?

It was hard. And scary. And I didn't always find immediate joy and peace in the moments of messiness and stumbling. Sometimes I was happy right away with what I had written. Usually though, I wanted to scratch my own eyeballs out.

But it was also wonderful and fun and heart changing. And most of the time those things had nothing to do with what I had specifically written, but because I had written anything at all. I didn't stop being scared, but I stopped letting that being my deciding factor. The strength I found in opening up when writing translated into being more honest and bold in my every day life. I found encouragement when I thought I'd find criticism (or at least eye rolls and heavy sighs), and level ground with people I hadn't previously thought I had much in common with. I stopped thinking of every tiny reason not to step out of my comfort zone and instead just focused on actually doing it.

So, cheers to you, 2015. You beautiful, responsive, unrelenting year of growth, I'll never forget you.




Tuesday, November 24, 2015

AGAIN


If you had told me eighteen months ago that I would be pregnant AGAIN, less than a year after my youngest had been born, I would have laughed in your face. And possibly hit you (but that would have been the pregnancy rage hitting you, and I’m sure I would have felt badly about it. Sort of).
   
If you had told me eighteen months ago that not only would I be pregnant AGAIN less than a year after my youngest had been born, but that it would not be an “Oops!” baby (or the more PC term “surprise!” baby. It’s okay, I understand. Can I introduce you to my third born and resident "oops/surprise" baby?), but rather a planned and hoped for pregnancy, I would have immediately cut off all contact with you because I have a policy about not letting crazy liars speak into my life.

Monday, October 26, 2015

An Absentee Blogger

Heeeeeey. Remember me? The writer of this blog who was all "I'm going to write twice a week!" and then "Once a week! Count on it!" then "At least once every two weeks" until finally the dark days came and it was "See you in six weeks, buh-bye now" ?

Oh, hey.

I would like to present my case for Reasons I've been an Absentee Blogger:

Exhibit A: Books

Just stacks and stacks of books. Logically, I know there are other things I should be doing, but then my heart goes, "Yeah, but wouldn't you rather read that new YA series until your eyes fall out of your head?" Yes. Yes I would, heart. And then my laundry sits on the couch for a week straight, unfolded.

Exhibit B: Fall

At first this was because it was Fall and 70 degrees out and it was too glorious to be cooped up inside on the computer. Then it was because it was Fall and 40 degrees out and rainy and a reminder that life in Michigan was about to suuuuuuck and I needed time to mourn (ie. watch Hulu and pretend outside didn't exist).

Exhibit C: Hamilton the Musical
I can get roughly six minutes into a conversation with someone before I have to bring up the genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton (which is three minutes longer than I've probably wanted to say something about it). A hip-hop musical about history shouldn't work, but holy crap IT DOES. Sharp, witty, heartbreaking. BRB I'm going to go listen to it again.



Exhibit D: Birthdays
My oldest and my youngest turned 7 and 1 respectively within 5 days of each other. And it didn't stress me out at all*
*totes a lie. SO MANY EMOTIONS.  I don't care to talk about it, actually.

Exhibit E: Slater Baby #4


Oh yeah, also we gleefully lost our minds and decided to add another hooligan to our brood. NBD. Except VERY BIG DEAL and we are super pumped to meet him or her come May (or June. Slater babies do not give a crap about due dates). We are also excited to write the book "Wow! Another One...Yikes." Working title chapters include: "Why, yes I do find my husband attractive." and "Wait, what do you mean THAT leads to BABIES?" ;)


Evidence not submitted (you're welcome):

  • Cheeseburgers, and the Gollum-like enthusiasm this baby holds for them. My preciousssss om nom nom.
  • Morning sickness. Even if Mabel did tell me I looked pretty "holding your hair back when you threw up in the sink, Mom."
  • Misery, form of pregnant-did-I-shower-this-week-oh-wait-I-have-to-throw-up-again Me.



 Case closed.















Saturday, September 19, 2015

Mabel, like a fox

Before bedtime, when the children are *supposed* to be getting ready to sleep. Mabel comes out to the kitchen, sans pajamas or teeth brushed or really anything that remotely looks like she is ready for bed. 

Mabel: "Dad, do you remember earlier today in the car when I said I was tired?"
Dan: "Yes."
Mabel: "And then I took a nap in the car (no she didn't), and when I woke up I was STILL tired?" (probably because she didn't actually nap in the car)
Dan: "Yes."
Mabel: "Well, I'm just really tired still."
Dan: "Okay, well it's bedtime so you get to go to sleep. Now go brush your teeth."
Mabel: "No, listen. Dad, I'm so tired."
Dan: "Okay, well it's bedtime   "
Mabel: "Yeah, listen. Since I'm so tired can I not brush my teeth?"

#professionalsmoothtalker.

(the teeth got brushed)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Home School: The First Week

Ella, talking to Dan at dinner tonight: "I did so good in school today, Dad! I didn't cry once!"

It took a full week of home schooling, but on the sixth day Ella made it through all five subjects with nary a tear in sight. Last week's crying was sponsored by:

  • Math (double digit addition)
  • Math (double digit subtraction)
  • Mom's inability to find seeds anywhere to do the "make something grow!" science experiment (yes, I actually do understand planting season ended long ago, Mr. Home Depot employee. But science is for all seasons apparently! And also I didn't open up the teacher's guide and find out about the needed seeds until class started, so please stop looking at me like that.)
  • Mabel getting to "do whatever she wanted" (re: destroy my house) while Ella had to do school work. 
  • Mabel making Matty laugh while Ella had to do school work. That's HER job.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First day of 2nd grade!

Today is Labor Day and you know what that means!

It means the first day of school in the Slater house, because I run the show and Ella hasn't learned about child labor laws yet. Plus I threatened to take away Netflix if she unionizes. So break out the books, baby! We've got 2nd grade to demolish.

"Mom, take a picture of me pretending to work!" You really are my child.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The last two weeks

I hadn't really intended to take the last two and a half weeks off from blogging, but here we are. I wasn't feeling overwhelmed by it (even after the 5 posts in 5 days challenge, which actually turned out to be easier and more fun that I had anticipated), but I also wasn't constantly itching to write another post. Usually I get sort of panicky if I haven't written anything in a while, but these last few weeks had me decidedly relaxed about the whole thing. As I am almost never relaxed about much, I went with it and took a break. I like to think that it's because I'm becoming more Zen as I age, but there's a much more realistic chance that since fall is almost here (as is apparent by all the autumn themed memes people keep posting on Facebook. Seriously, STOP IT. Do you know what comes after fall in northern Michigan? That's right, a frozen hell. Stop rushing it!) and our laid back summer schedule is about to become very un-laid back, my brain just shut down and went into the fetal position to prolong the imminent stress that will undoubtedly come soon enough. Either way, thanks brain!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Homecoming Haikus

The Fun Parent
Kids all weekend long
Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad!
O.M.G. I KNOW



Killing Me Slowly/Quickly 
Time is different
when you're gone. Slower days, years
taken from my life



Happy Homecoming 
You're home! Praise God! Your
kid just threw up in the car
Welcome back, Daddy! 


the good life. 










Saturday, August 15, 2015

Me vs. Motherhood


My brain.

GUYS. MY BRAIN.

Do you know how much kids can talk? I mean, we all "know", but seriously, DO YOU KNOW how much kids can talk? And sing and bicker and scream and laugh and cry and and and just

all.

the.

talking.

Friday, August 14, 2015

A follow up to "The Voice" post (and being a giant mess)

A few months ago I wrote this post about the evil, ugly voice residing in my head. It was born out of a very real place of fear, and came after days and weeks of feeling depleted and frustrated. I was so sick of the self loathing that kept me from being productive that I just dumped all of the raw emotions I was feeling into a post, hit publish, and said "good riddance, dummy!"

It wasn't enough to just write it down. I needed to purge everything and set fire to that stupid voice. I wanted it out and away from me. Clicking "publish" felt like saying a giant, "Screw you!" to all the hateful things I was feeling about myself at that time.

 The post about the voice showed very little restraint. I felt pretty broken and I did almost nothing to sugar coat how I felt versus what I chose to share. I made little effort to talk about some powerful way to crush the voice and only briefly touched on what helped to calm the inner beast. I didn't feel positive before, during or right after writing it, and I stubbornly wanted that to be very apparent.

I wanted it to be clear that I didn't have the solution to my problem. Or better yet, that I logically knew the solution to my problem, but right in that moment I was still struggling to get to it. I was still clawing my way through the mess. There was no shiny bow to wrap up the loose ends; no fist pump freeze frame or soaring music. Nothing to indicate that the story was finished, simply because it wasn't.

I worry that when I use this space to address a personal struggle or vulnerability, that it comes across as if I've already completely worked through it and am now bestowing my "wisdom" on the world.

Ugh.

Even just writing that makes me cringe. It is so easy to fall into the trap of "beginning, middle, end of story." The ability to have that metaphorical shiny bow wrapping everything up is so constant and tempting. And false. The truth is I almost always struggle with the more "serious" (for lack of a better term) posts. Partly because I'm usually still working through whatever topic is on my heart at the time. And partly because I want to be open and honest and convey those things in a way that rings true to who I am.

Nothing in my life is without it's loose ends or messiness. That's easily identifiable if you've spent any time with me in person (or even just passed me in the grocery store as I try to keep my baby from jumping out of the cart while his sisters beg for donuts). But hopefully I'm doing a semi-decent job of expressing that here, in a place where it would be easy for me to paint a different picture instead.

In short, I'm a giant mess without all the answers.

(Thank God)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

An Early Morning Surprise


I'm not super awesome with early mornings, which is great because I have three kids and they hate waking up really early, too. 


...


......


...............


Sorry, I just got lost in a day dream where that was actually real life. My children love early mornings. LOVE. In a very loud, foot stomping, you-have-to-whisper-Mabel-I-AM-WHISPERING-ELLA- type way. 

It's fun. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Five Posts in Five Days (nothing could possibly go wrong)

Dan is currently on his way down to Chicago to spend the week with our church youth group at Jesus People USA. They'll work in soup kitchens and shelters, showing the love of Christ in a very real and tangible way to the people there.  I am home (because Matty refuses to just take care of himself already. You're almost ten months old, kid. Time to get a job and stop living off the man. Or in this case, woman), running a much smaller, intimate kitchen, praying that the tangible way I show Christ's love this week is more hugs and patience, and less pulling my hair out while tossing goldfish crackers at the brood.

Since Dan is gone and my evenings are suddenly devoid of meaning (JOKING. I don't need a man to find meaning in my life. I have Netflix and pizza for that), I've decided to try and post something here every day for the next five days. Which really just shows shockingly bad judgement on my part. The commitment of five posts in five days coupled with the commitment of keeping my children alive and relatively healthy by myself in those same five days is akin to that guy who chose to walk across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope (stupid and irresponsible and also STUPID). But I once owned a Backstreet Boys album, so shockingly bad judgement is kind of my forte (#nsync4eva).

I can't promise you any amazing insight or wisdom (ever, really. So just lower those expectations real quick like, por favor), but I can promise you that I'll talk about how tired I am, how tired my kids are not, and what shows I plan to binge watch once I throw the kids into their cages rooms for the night (Spoiler alert: it's always Parks and Recreation. Always).






Monday, August 3, 2015

Knowing

A reoccurring discussion I have with Dan is whether or not we are actively seeking out the life God has called us to, both as a couple and individually. I spend a lot of time talking about what that might look like, how we might better prioritize our time and energy to achieve it, and reevaluating when it seems like we've lost focus. 

Did you notice how everything I wrote is centered on the things could do to achieve our "best" life? Yeah, that's a pretty common theme for me.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A lot of people write posts for seven years...

It's been nearly two weeks since my last post (I know you were counting the minutes, don't be shy. Ha. HA. Just humor me). I have one post about half way done and I'm just...stuck. I don't know. I look at it and it's not doing what I want it to, so I'm basically at this point with it

This blog is your home, post! Are you too good for your blog now? Answer me!

Anybody else allowed to watch Adam Sandler (and Chris Farley and David Spade and and and...) movies way too young as a kid and as a result speaks largely in former SNL cast member quotes? No? Just an 8 year old Emily? Alright then. 

ANYWAY. I've been working on above said post for days now, which is crazytown ridiculous. It should not be that hard, but I've entered into that head space where you second (and third and fourth and fifteenth) guess yourself about every. Single. Thing. And while that's SO much fun and I really couldn't think of a better, more productive way to spend my time, I've decided to put it on the back burner for a hot second and try something out. I'm giving myself an hour to type and whatever comes out is what I post (run on sentences and all. Sorry, mom!). 

(So far I've spent a good chunk of my limited amount of time looking for that picture and double checking that I really was only 8 years old when my dad let me first watch Happy Gilmore. So much about my childhood can be explained by these decisions. I will go into more detail in my new book "Emily: Girl with the Tommy Boy Tattoo." Forward by: my future therapist.)

Can my whole post just be an explanation about thinking too hard and pushing myself to write whatever first comes to my brain and 90's movies? Because right now I'm sitting on my back porch, beer in hand, husband by my side, sun setting over our 3 acres, and I'm a million percent more content than I have been all day. I struggled and fought my brain all day and apparently it was all for naught. Poor bugger was just burned out and waiting for me to catch up to that fact. Done. Caught up. 

(Time's up)






Wednesday, July 15, 2015

An Open Letter to the Childhood Brain

An Open Letter to the Childhood Brain

July 15, 2015 (I originally wrote 2014. This is your fault)

Dear Childhood Brain,

We've been close, if not sometimes wary companions for nearly seven years now. I'm in constant awe of the way you work and the new things you learn every day. But I think it's time we had a heart-to-heart about your methods. Because right now I'm going on roughly five hours of sleep and they seem straight up bonkers. 

Sleep. There's a seemingly simple concept. Let's start there. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Eight Years of Marriage (Hollaaa!)

Today is Dan and my eight year wedding anniversary (!!!). I was going to try and do a whole "8 Things I've Learned in 8 Years" post and click bait the heck out of it ("I never thought I'd live to see #3!"), but the list was getting long and exhaustive and my kids were getting sick of hearing, "I swear, mom's almost done on the computer. Just 5 more hours. Can you go hang out with your other mom, Netflix, for awhile?" I narrowed it down and boom!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Mabel (A Lesson in Boldness)

 I've described each of my girls a bit here, but in an effort to more fully bore and possibly horrify you with my parenting skills, I'm doing a two part series on what it's like parenting each girl individually (you can read part 1 here). 

Look at this kid. The sparkling eyes. The mischievous smile.
The temporary arm tattoo I forgot to scrub off before family pictures...

When Mabel is being disobedient and I have to use the age old parenting Hail Mary tactic of counting to three, she almost always responds the same way.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ella (A Lesson in Sensitivity)

I've described each of my girls a bit here, but in an effort to more fully bore and possibly horrify you with my parenting skills, I'm doing a two part series on what it's like mothering each girl individually. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sippy cups are dumb (but I may be dumber)

Last week I decided to buy Matty his first sippy cup. After spending way too much time deciding, I bought a traditional soft spout lid and one with a straw (this is fascinating, right? Please don't leave me). I brought them home, quickly remembered it is literally impossible to teach someone how to drink from a straw ("Just...suck. I DON'T KNOW.") and settled on the spouted lid as his starter cup.

I tore it out of the package and threw the directions away immediately. Directions, are you kidding me? I have three kids, I think I know how a sippy cup works. The thing you do is literally in the name. Sip from this Cup. Give me some credit, please.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Voice that Never Shuts Up

I spend a lot of time actively rooting against myself.

Part of me wants to succeed (however that may be) so badly. I want to create and be bold and release things out into the world, if only to say that I did. I've got some serious Ariel in an underwater cave longing, to do and be more. More than the stupid loud Voice in my head says I'm not.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Mabel Learns



My middle child is a risk taker. She's beautiful and feisty and a button pusher (both figuratively and literally. If there's a button, she's pushing it). She has to figure things out for herself. You can warn her all day long about the consequences of a certain action, but she won't stop until she has seen the end result for herself. For better or for worse.  

Case in point: 



Poor Abe. Fella just can't catch a break. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Motherhood (and what I didn't know)

Before I had kids, I didn't know...

Well, I could end that whole sentence there, really. I didn't know so much. I wasn't prepared for all the things I didn't know. I don't just mean about kids (though I could write for a hundred years on that topic and still not be done telling you all that I don't know about them). What I didn't know about was motherhood, specifically how it affected the women around me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Witness to Monday Morning

To keep with my goal of posting at least once a week, I should have had something up four days ago. And I tried, I really did. But I'm in hour nine of the Anne of Green Gables audio book and honestly...#priorities. I spend most of my free time time standing in our kitchen pretending to wash dishes, but really just crying whenever Matthew Cuthbert does something sweet like buy Anne a dress, or says he's proud of her, or just is mentioned in general. The only reason I'm even writing this now (aside from having a friend who has basically turned into an accountability partner, encouraging singing voice messages and all) is that I'm nearing that Matthew part and I just can't, y'all.

As you might have guessed pretending to wash dishes doesn't actually get the dishes clean. Apply that logic to cleaning in general, add in a kid whose elaborate forts are slowly spilling over into multiple rooms and you'll have a pretty clear idea of the state of my house this past week. And it was in this state when the Jehovah's Witness knocked on my door Monday morning.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A "When/Then" Life

Sometimes when I'm struggling with what to write or how to put a certain idea into coherent sentences (read: all the time), I plead with God to give me the words. I will literally walk around doing my daily life with some form of this running commentary in my head. When I make lunch for the kids, "Please, God. Just tell me what to write." When I fold laundry, "Seriously, just do it. Please. Please. Please." When I give the dog a bath, "I know asked for the words last time, but just one more time. Please." When I finally sit down to write, "FOR THE LOVE OF YOU, PLEASE JUST OPEN THE TOP OF MY HEAD AND POUR THE WORDS INTO MY BRAIN. THANKS." Sometimes I even shut up long enough to hear the reply. Most times though, because I'm complaining and begging so loudly, I have to be shown the answer. And usually I have to be shown the answer in a big way, because again: complaining, begging, blah blah blah. You get it.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Nightly Routine

Picture this if you would: A rapidly aging mother (who is no longer considered to be in her mid twenties, thanks so much for that heads up, Google) has just gotten all three of her children to bed on a Friday night. The house is quiet. She pours herself a tall bowl of Captain Crunch ('Oops! All Berries.' Because you can take her youth, but you can't take her finely tuned Gilmore Girl-esque palate), sits down to stare blankly at the computer screen write a blog post, content in the knowledge that everyone is asleep and she can push the pause button on the "mother" role for the time being.

A quick side note about above said woman. She is an idiot. After six years and three kids she should know better. Nobody is ever really asleep. Even when they're asleep they're not really asleep.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Community

I was a fresh faced, barely 19 year old when Dan and I got married. Nineteen, y'all. If you would have asked me at sixteen when I thought I would get married I would have yelled, "Never!" and hid in a cave of blankets with my books and a box of cookies (which is still how I prefer to avoid most things, but I digress).

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Traveling with Kids. (alternate working title: Graying Early)

Currently the Slater family is headed down to Chicago, a roughly six hour trip by car (don't get any ideas, robbers! My mom is house sitting. She once threatened to snap the necks of my guy friends if they tried anything. Case our home at your own risk). Would you like a little snapshot of how its currently going? Sure you do! Come, join me on the journey of Dan and Emily's collective melting brains.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Enough

I'm at Culver's right now. By myself. On a Friday night. No, Dan didn't stand me up. But he did send me out. After a week of sick kids and three nights straight of a baby who wanted to Rock (in my arms, in the dark) and Roll (me, nearly off the bed) All Night, I was becoming a real sweet treat to be around. I'm not sure if it was the 3am under the breath grumble cursing (that got increasingly less under the breath as the nights wore on), or the forlorn texts about much time I spend cleaning up other people's bodily fluids (too much), or the gem of a tantrum that had me angrily declaring, "I'm just looking for some freaking sympathy here!" (to be clear, I was the one throwing the tantrum), but somehow he picked up on the subtle clues that his wife's head might start spinning entirely around if she had to be in the house one more minute.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Honesty Hour

I feel a little silly and foolish about this whole blog business.

Okay, a lot silly and abundantly foolish.

And vulnerable and weird and also my skin is starting to itch just thinking about it. Its as if my inner voice is clawing at my brain going, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? TAKE THOSE THOUGHTS OFF THE INTERNET, DUMMY!" (my inner voice is pretty loud and also a little bit of a jerkface)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The first warm day

When I was in 3rd grade I wrote a little poem that was published in the local paper. It went something like this:

The best thing about Spring is that the snow melts
Flowers bloom
Baby animals are born 
But the very best thing about Spring is that the snow melts

 Hating winter is deep in my (achy, frozen) bones, y'all. It is not new. I felt it just as strong at 8 as I do at 26. 

Today in northern Michigan it hit 50 degrees. In October that would be a painful reminder that summer is behind us and winter is fast approaching, but in March? Oooh, girl. In March, its a sweet, sweet song. It beckons us to roll our windows down and forget our bulky coats. It calls for dancing in the tiny patch of grass in the front yard. Its so much sunshine that you're sure you'll be drunk on it or blinded by the end of the day (and it will still be there at 7:30pm and all you'll be able to think is, "Is the sun supposed to stay out this long? Its been winter for so long I don't know how it works anymore."). 

It is melting snow. 

(which 8 year old Emily ranks above baby animals. It is that good)


Thursday, March 5, 2015

One of these things is not like the other (or the other)

When my first kid was born, I was twenty years old and didn't have a clue what I was doing (I'm not trying to be humble here, I literally had no idea what I was doing. I buckled her into her car seat wrong --like, scarily wrong-- for the first few weeks of her life until someone saw and gently corrected me). Luckily for me though, this brand new little life force was fairly easy to figure out and keep relatively calm and happy. Don't get me wrong, I still endured all the new parent trials (no sleep, eating whatever I could shove into my mouth at any given moment, hygiene that would make even a medieval peasant shudder, etc.), but I was lulled into a false sense of security and self righteousness way too quickly. Look how great I am! Look at this beautiful child with her schedule and her calm personality which is obviously a sign of super cool, laid back parents. Parenting is so easy!

And then.

Dear Lord, and then.

Then my second baby came.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The (crazy, hard, beat you down) days mama said there'd be.

Yesterday was a hamster wheel day.

I moved, moved, moved all day long, but at the end looked around and saw no progress. Honestly, the only way to gauge that the day had actually happened was by my exhausted body and the way my brain felt like it was going to melt out of my ears. And these are not generally indicators of a great day.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Little known scientific facts



  1. Babies show their love by repeatedly spitting up on you.
  2. Based on above baby factoid: I am loved an infinite and unrelenting amount.
  3. Three year olds really hit their octave sweet spot after nap time on Friday afternoons.
  4. On Fridays, 3:30 pm (the end of nap time) until back up arrives (ie Dan) is equal to one day on Venus (116 Earth days, 18 minutes).






(SERENITY NOW!)

Monday, February 23, 2015

An end to the season

Well, its done. Award season is over. Despite last night's Oscars valiant attempt to keep them burning like an Olympic torch for all of time (12:15am, y'all. REALLY?), movie and television award season is kaput until August.

I like award shows (as shown by all the restraint I show on Facebook during one). I like a good host with a funny opening monologue (Tina and Amy forever!) or an elaborate song and dance number (Neil Patrick Harris obviously, but I'm partial to Jimmy Fallon's 62nd Emmy's opener, too). I like seeing the winner of a category hoof it up to the stage after being sat approximately three miles away from the front because nobody thought they would win. I like trying to figure out just what exactly was going through the head of the person who pairs up presenters.  I like the unbridled joy on someone's face as they leap from their chair to accept an award that probably means nothing, but maybe might mean something. I like wondering how many times Leo can lose before he can't take it anymore and pulls a Kanye (I give it one more year before all hell breaks loose). I like a room full of people eating tacos and drinking beer, teasing and cajoling each other as ballots are made and broken with unexpected wins and loses (Don't act like you don't have award show taco/ballot parties. Oh, you don't? No, me either).

Sometimes the show is crappy. Or boring. Or weirdly unexplainable (why is Lady Gaga singing a Sound of Music medl--HOLY CRAP IS THAT JULIE ANDREWS BE STILL MY HEART) Or full of self righteous, self congratulatory industry ninnies (okay, there's never not any of that). But sometimes, sometimes its good, y'all. Its Jamie Foxx lifting up his Oscar to thank his late grandmother teary eye good. Its Ellen DeGeneres coming out in a Bjork swan dress, trying to make a country laugh after 9/11 good. Its Sally Fields "You like me! You really like me!" good. Its a snapshot, grab bag of a year in pop culture and I love it. 


(But seriously, Oscars. SO LONG. Rein it in, man)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

When Easy Love is Hard




This guy, y'all. I have loved this guy for ten quick years.

Besides breathing, I have never done anything for ten years. And even that I can only manage to do because I don't have to think about it (except now. Now I'm thinking about it).

Loving this man has been the easiest and hardest thing I've ever done. Easiest because he is a good man. Like, saint level good. He is kind and faithful, a top level dad, funny, and has a legendary heart. The smartest thing I ever did as a seventeen year old was say yes to an ice cream date that lasted for four hours while I waited for him to tell me what his mom, my mom, and four of our friends had already told me. He has loved me fiercely and without doubt or hesitation. To be loved like that, to be loved Right, is the easiest thing I've ever done.

Except when its the hardest. Hardest because...well, being loved by someone who loves you Right is sometimes hard. Its hard because it shakes you to your core. It cracks you open and scoops out your insides. And in the midst of those soul altering, heart eye emoji moments, you're also faced with vulnerability. And selfishness. And greed. Or at least I am. I've got those in spades (cause I'm a GEM). And being loved by this man means I have to deal with those things. I have to face them and cut them down so that they don't cut us down. Sometimes I get it right. Sometimes I destroy those death bombs quick like I am freaking Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Most times, though? Most times I kick and scream my way through that nonsense (again, see above, "GEM"). I have to die to my selfishness, my greed. I have to be vulnerable in an Earth shattering, terrifying way. I have, have, have to, or else the Right is wasted. It's wasted on a shallow, petty recipient. And that would be harder to bear than the hardest.

I have been loved by this guy for ten quick years. And it has made all the difference.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Michigan: A Frozen Mitten to the Face

I live in northern Michigan, in an area surrounded by trees and lakes and so much nature you're in danger of running over it at every turn (I'm looking at you, fancy free and footloose deer). But right now I currently live in northern Michigan in February. If you didn't just metaphorically clasp your pearls and cross yourself you've either A) never been in Michigan in February (or December. Or January. or sometimes May), or B) are one of those rare unicorns who enjoys frigid temperatures, shoveling your driveway only to have the plow man come by and push it all back in, and driving in conditions where you can't see five feet in front of you. If you chose option B, kudos to you! I don't know how we'll work out our differences enough to be friends, but kudos, Snow Warrior. 

In northern Michigan, the weatherman says things like, "If you think today was cold, just wait until tomorrow!" Why, Weatherman? Why you gotta play me that way? I did think today was cold. I will think it again tomorrow. I will think it again until its 50° out wherein we the people of northern Michigan will declare it warm and collectively we will start wearing shorts and swimming in Lake Superior. Don't patronize me, Weatherman. I'm an adult who CHOOSES to live in northern Michigan. I know what cold is. 

In northern Michigan, you spend your winters desperately scanning Facebook for friends who made it out of this frozen hell for a vacation in some place warm and magical (or Florida). You live vicariously through them as they post the current temp every seven minutes and Instagram themselves staring squinty eyed into this beautiful, foreign object called, "the Sun." (I should be clear that this feeling is not extended to those who managed to move and permanently escape the frozen tundra. Yes, you're somewhere warm! Yay, we're happy for you! But once you start posting beach photos with captions like, "Its so hot here! Sorry, Michiganders! ;) ;) ;) ;)" while we're in the middle of our fifth blizzard of the season, forgetting from whence you came, all bets are off. Vacationers have to come back. They'll come back to negative temps and through the grace of God maybe they'll let us touch their hand in hopes of feeling the faint memory of warmth. Movers MOVED. Have some compassion. Don't kick us while we're already flailing around on the ice.)

I live in northern Michigan. An area that subdues you with her beauty and occasionally (read: six to nine months out of the year) places her icy Elsa like hand around your neck and squeezes. And I'm friggin' COLD.     


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Being Faithful to The Tug

I am writing this from a dirty living room. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is on the TV and two little girls keep asking me if I just saw/heard/memorized every single second of said show. A baby is sleeping in the next room, laundry is piled high next to the washer, and the dog keeps laying his head directly onto my laptop.