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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Colors

My sister, who is moving to Ireland in a few weeks, gave me some of her old clothes, which included some of her scarves. She covets her scarves, so I felt very lucky to obtain some of them.

Tonight I wore one to class (even though it was 100 degrees out at 6:30). I blamed the cold classroom, but ultimately, I wanted to wear it.

The colors of the scarf are striking. It holds a detailed collaboration of pinks, browns, and blues, and then the rich golds jump out like little stripes of sun.

I felt very poetic and writer-ly in this scarf. I felt it in my hair wrapped in a loose bun. In my black, flowy, post-pregnancy cover-the-belly shirt and black framed glasses.

I think that’s why I told the class tonight that my Masters is in creative writing, in poetry. I almost felt wrong saying this because I haven’t written much, especially since my blog entry here about how I must write...

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The [Time Frame] of Creativity

I’ve been writing about writing for so long. It’s been years, in fact. It’s been hiding in the corners of my notebooks, behind several emotional meltdowns with my husband, splattered all over this blog, exhaled after a long night of teaching people how to write (all the while wishing I could just write instead). It’s been in the groans I’ve had when I’ve been praying and no words came.

I have to start. I have to. And I can’t worry anymore about how it’s going to make my family money or what I’m going to produce, even. I stop myself because I’m so focused on the end result. I also make tons of excuses: I’m too tired, I have to go teach, I have to take care of the baby, I have to take care of the husband, I have to do laundry. LAUNDRY. I’m letting dirty clothes hinder my calling.

Because writing is my calling. I teach because I can teach. I fell into it, and I needed it, and...

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#momlife

The little one is a few days shy of six months.

And I think I have begun to really fall in love with him.

I’ve always loved him. I’ve always wanted him to be clean, fed, and safe. But I’m finally exiting the 4th-trimester fog and c-section recovery (I’ve heard some people say it takes almost two years to really recover from a caesarean). I’m also finally settled into my new home, and the semester back to work is coming to a close.

I wrote this after the first week or so of class (and then proceeded to take it down because it felt too vomitty).

Last night’s class experience was exhausting. I was having difficulty with the technology in the room (due to my own errors and the fact that the equipment is about ten years old, about as old as my time as a teacher). So I lectured off the top of my head, and I was able to wing it. I spoke from the well of ten years of reading, lesson...

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Mess Me Up

I’m a true believer of inviting people into your life and into your stuff. Seeing another Mama in her home is encouraging and life giving. We all know that there’s laundry to be done and diapers to change and mac ‘n’ cheese to be made. We don’t often want other people to observe us living in our “mess.” But, so many times that’s where the beauty is, in the mess of everyday life. (Daniella Murphy)

I Insta-blogged this today, in response to the above piece and in synthesis with my own life:

“I want other people, not just moms, in my home and in my life. I need to blog about this…but the short version of what I’m feeling is this: I’m not in need of another conference, another album, another teaching, even another sermon or another church service. I’m in need of true, deep, raw and sometimes even ugly, friendship. I was going to use the Christianese term "fellowship,” but that doesn’t...

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Baby Stuff: From One New Parent to Another, Month Four

I promise to not make this a “mommy blog.” No offense to mommy bloggers worldwide, but that’s not my primary reason for writing. I’ve been actively writing in some form since I was about seven years old; this is much deeper than creating a blog for the top ten smartphone apps for moms, or the best clothing brands for moms and their babies, and so on.

But I do like finding baby stuff that works for us and Little Bean. And when family members expecting their first child, a girl, asked for product advice, I gladly sent some over in an email.


Clothing sizes are wacky. L.B. is almost 4 months old and he’s wearing 9-month sizes for some things and 6-month sizes for others. Gerber clothing runs very small, and all the clothes shrink in the wash. With that being said, you don’t need Newborn clothing unless your daughter ends up being a premie. You can start with 3-month sizes.

You...

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Stress

My son will be four months old this weekend. He is doing something new and lovely each day. And every day I feel like we grow more comfortable with one another. Tonight I was carrying him around in his new Ergobaby carrier (the Baby Bjorn one we received as a baby shower gift has become too small for him), he was nuzzling into me, and I felt him really getting comfortable against me. So I talked to him, stroked his head, and rubbed his feet. He made his darling coo sounds in response (that I will ache to hear again when I realize he has finished making them).

We had a great day today. He slept from 10 pm to around 5:45 am, and then from 7 am to 10 am. Some mornings he only sleeps until 8:30 am in his second shift, but that’s because his normal sleep time is 8:00 pm. He then has a morning nap, usually an hour long and around 11:30 or so, and then an afternoon nap (whose time...

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New Every Morning

Today is a new day for our country. I recorded the inauguration because I didn’t want to watch it live. I’m not ready for the fear-based political commentary and sheer panic that many are facing today. I’ve had my fair share of panic these past few weeks.

When my son was a few days old, my sister came over to see him and help out around the house. In the evening, we watched The Pacifier because it was clean and mindless, two things I needed. At one point, Vin Diesel’s character kicks down the older son’s bedroom door, and the son comes out of the bathroom across the hall, obviously angry, and this exchange occurs:

Seth Plummer: [Shane kicks in Seth’s bedroom door - Seth exits the bathroom] Oh my god! What did you do?
Shane Wolfe: I was trying to protect you!
Seth Plummer: How? By pulling a shock-and-awe on my door?

I laughed through fresh c-section stitches at this one. The...

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Almost Four Weeks

I’ve been dying to write. But it’s been more important to sleep, nurse, bottle feed, change diapers, pump, and cuddle with my son.

Wow. My son. You have to understand something: I never planned on being a mother. This was not something I dreamed about. I never thought about babies. I did not have a biological clock demanding that my body grow a baby. But the love I have for my husband is so deep that it could no longer be contained in just our union. We needed to add a child.

(By the way, this is going to be very random and posted without much editing. I don’t have time to edit at this point. This is going to be like every meal I’ve eaten since giving birth: shoved into my face as fast as possible, without concern for taste, temperature, or presentation. This is going to be like every outfit I’ve worn since December 3rd: mismatched, baggy, and smelling of milk, pee, or...

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My Two Unpublished Pieces

During this pregnancy, I have tried to get a few pieces published. I wrote two pieces in particular about pregnancy and submitted them to two online magazines dealing with pregnancy, motherhood, etc. Both pieces were rejected.

So, rather than feeling rejected myself, I reminded myself of the reality of the publishing world: most of what one writes will not be received unless one is already a famous writer. Plus, these two pieces may not even be very good. I may be under the impression that I am not as strong of a writer as I may imagine myself to be.

Rather than try to submit these to somewhere else, I’m going to post them here. Both have a timeline on them, and I have a feeling I’m going into labor any day now, so I want to release them before the baby comes.


Entry One: “But At Your Word”
(September 14, 2016)
(submitted to a site geared towards Christian women)

My experience...

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Baby and Politics

This election has upset me more than I thought it would. Blame it on pregnancy hormones, but I’ve been glued to MSNBC, CNN, and various Twitter hashtag feeds discussing all the angst, anger, and downright fear that many people are feeling about the election results.

I think I need to put it all down, though, because now I’m dreaming about it, along with all the other weird pregnancy dreams I’m having. Case in point: last night consisted of dreams where I didn’t have enough clothes for the baby and needed to go shopping IMMEDIATELY and then couldn’t find any, which is not the case at all; he has more clothes at this point than his father. The night before, the night of the election that will probably go down in history as the biggest media upset (look at this orange clown, he’s not going to get the nomination, well he’s not going to get the presidency, oh look he’s been elected), I...

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