This is a breathing room.

I am on a journey to live a slower, smaller, reprioritized life. I love my husband, my son and daughter, tea, yoga, and God. I like to think I have something to say. This is part of that speaking.

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34 Weeks

Hello written word. Hello. How are you? I do hope you are fine, and swell, and that you’ve been able to have copious amounts of tea and social gatherings.

Me? Well, don’t mind me. I’ve been crawling through this pregnancy of mine like a seal on the shoreline.

Most days consist of me sitting and watching my two-year-old Alpha Male run through the house with complete authority and comfort. Some days, I do manage to clean, to cook, to do laundry, and to get us out of the house. Sometimes I even dress in semi-decent clothes and slap some color on my face.

But don’t you dare come between me and Nap Time. Nap Time is sacred. Nap Time is what carries me from 6:30 to noon most days. I gaze longingly at the clock, see that it’s only about nine, and I intercede for that high and holy hour when my son goes down for his 1 ½-2 hour nap. I tell him (beg him? No, just tell him in a...

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Second Pregnancy Song

Thirteen weeks pregnant again. Another round of fatigue, nausea, and almost-vomiting.

A second pregnancy is interesting, especially with an under-two toddler to take care of during the downright exhausting first-trimester. Of course, I was working full-time when pregnant with that toddler, so it’s still like I’m working, but now I’m at home, and I’m much happier at home than I would have been in the classroom. This pregnancy has helped me to not miss my previous career, and so has my son.

The aches and pains are more intense this time around, perhaps because I’m three years older than I was when I experienced my initial first trimester. My sciatic pain that came in my third trimester hit me at about 9 weeks. I’m already feeling round ligament pain, I think because I started showing earlier than last time. I’ve also felt so much more fatigued and nauseated than what I remember...

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Voluntary Simplicity

Since I’ve stepped away from earning money outside the home (and haven’t solidified my vision for making money inside the home), I’m taking on more of a simplistic view of entertainment.

AKA, I’m trying not to shop when bored anymore.

This is easier said than done, since I have discovered many of the conveniences available to us smartphone users. I’m shocked I can buy almost anything (well, counting Amazon, I can indeed buy anything) just by tapping my iPhone’s screen in distinct, specific patterns.

This is the dream, isn’t it? This is the future the baby boomers dreamed about while still in diapers.

I’ve been thinking about my strive for simplicity in stuff, and I’ve been reflecting on some source material I’ve seen (primarily through devices such as my iPhone), and I think this cultural movement of minimalism is just as manufactured as the consume-till-you-drop manifesto.

For...

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Extro-Invo-Ambo

I am an ambivert. I am so happy to have discovered this new personality type because I felt stuck by the introverted category. My profession for ten years involved lecturing for hours on end (a very extroverted trait), and I served as a church worship leader (which had pros and cons, to be sure). Nowadays, my ambiversion can be represented by the way I look forward to seeing other people and attending social events (for the most part). I crash as soon as I get home. I often also end up with a bad tension headache and need to take a few excedrin to get back to normal. But after the proverbial dust settles, I’m looking forward to my next gathering.

I was very hung-up over my introverted state when I was younger. I felt that extroverts ruled classrooms and got asked to prom (no, I never did get asked to prom). Extroverts also became youth pastors and climbed the corporate ladders...

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Stay-at-Homer

On May 31st, I gathered my things, logged off of the classroom computer, erased the whiteboard, and locked the classroom door. I said hello to my new life.

I was extremely nervous about becoming a stay-at-homer. I’ve always been a worker outside of the home, and my stint of unemployment right after college left me slogging through depression and low self-esteem.

But I’m in a much different space now. I’m much more confident as a woman, for one thing. This translates to me not needing nearly as much affirmation from my social and cultural environment. It helps that my husband is so life-affirming in the way he loves me. I know I would not be in the strong, solid place I am now without him.

I would also not be in this space without my son. Becoming a mother has given me such a degree of life. I have been re-identified to my core.

I have not thought about teaching at all...

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No More

I think this is it.

I think this is the jump, the plunge into the deep-end when I am not sure how to really swim.

I think this is my last semester teaching.

I’m thinking about how I want to let my dean know. I want to tell him in person. I think that will be best. I do want to leave the door open (it’s never wise to burn these kinds of bridges). But I want to leave the door open for a very, very long time. And I may never come back.

To say I am burned out is an understatement. I fit the categories listed here.

After ten years of lesson plans, crazy freeway commutes, head and shoulder and back and foot pain from standing in front of people to lecture, grading without end, headaches once a week, student complaints, and department meetings, I am done.

I am actually overdone. I’m like a Thanksgiving turkey still in the oven long after the party has packed up its purses and...

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Distraction Becomes Positive

I have gone back and forth in so many ways with my career. Just this weekend the husband and I had yet another conversation about whether or not me working part-time is beneficial for the family.

In the short term, it is a tremendous sacrifice. I am tired a lot, and I have to leave at a time when my husband is tired from a full day of his own work outside of the home. But in considering the long term, I’m rethinking just a few points.

I am now only working at one school, three nights/ten hours a week (before having our child, I worked at two schools, teaching six classes, and commuting like a maniac). This allows me to stay home with the toddler during the day, and it supplements my husband’s employment enough for us to maintain our current lifestyle. But a new thought has come into play as well: it will provide more money in retirement, and it will allow us to purchase things...

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I Want a Minivan

Life is funny. As in, really funny.

Here I am making all these grand declarations about what I want to do with my life, and all the while the truth of who I am, who I REALLY am, is churning below the surface waiting to rise up at the right time.

When I am very quiet, and when I am at complete peace, and when I take money, prestige, pride, comfort, and false security and stability out of the picture, this is my truth:

I want to quit working outside the home and be a full-time mom and homemaker, including all the domesticity it requires.

I want to create. I want to write for pleasure. I want to play my guitar and sing again. I want to write music again. I want poems, essays, and stories to pour out of me again.

I want another baby.

And I want a minivan.


I love watching Hallmark movies during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I especially love them now that I...

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One Child

Chances are that the husband and I are only going to have one child. We still talk about the idea of having another one, but realistically? It’s an 85% probability that there’s just going to be one baby in the house.

This writer, Alyson Halberstadt, sums up my sentiments perfectly (even down the dog being a playmate!), and because I may not be able to find her blog in the future, I am re-posting her words here.


I “only” have one child. I can hold my son’s hand in the parking lot and still carry my Starbucks coffee in the other. He gets my undivided attention at all times and I never miss a somersault. I “only” have one child.

I “only” have one child. I never thought it would be this way. Everyone asks when another is coming and the truth is? I don’t think one will. His only playmate, besides his dad and I, is our dog. There’s no one his age to play hide and seek with and no one...

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For the Thousandth Time

Okay.

I feel like a hypocrite for writing this all over my blog at various times. But thank you for not calling me a hypocrite. Thank you, self, and blog self world, for letting me decide, “No, I’m not going to do this” only to turn around a few weeks later and say, “Yes, I’m going to do this.” And doing this many times over.

I am going to apply for a PhD in English.

I have a school: UC Riverside.
I have a deadline for the application: December 10th.
I have my GRE scores: 80th in Verbal, 93rd in Writing (14th in Math, but I’m not Math, no no no). And they expire next year so I need to do something with them.
I have a course of study: Consumer culture/materialism, Feminist Marxism, with some Poetry mixed in for good measure.
I have a letter of intent (written last year when I thought I was applying somewhere else and I was all pregnant and full of happy hormones).
I have a writing...

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