Wednesday, September 2, 2015

To the Mother of Three

To the Mother and Father of Three,

I'm sure it isn't always easy to be constantly have one tugging at your pants while the other lifts your shirt while the third cries somewhere about feeling "left out." I'm sure it isn't always easy to load three kids into one bright red grocery cart while anxiously deciding which one will lose it the quickest and what will cause that melt down.

And dinner do you do it? Prepare a hot meal while three little minds take over every corner of the house with primary colored crayons and white walls? How do you work 9 hours and still manage to do it all? The piles of laundry, the dog hair from the dog you got (against your better judgement) because all your 7-year-old dreamed of was a dog for her birthday? I'm sure you ended up with the dud of the litter too, huh? The one who barks all night long and can't be trained.

How do you do it? The math homework that challenges every brain cell, the english papers and science projects? How do you pack all the lunches and write tiny notes every day on yellow post-its and keep the cabinets fully stocked? How do you make sure each kid feels equally loved and equally cared for and equally special? How do you educate and build up and keep in line all at the same time?

How do you get them all to bed without falling asleep yourself in some twin bed or beside some toddler bed?

How did you do it mom and dad?


Friday, August 28, 2015


Have you seen a person at Costco and you already know everything about them so you don’t have to ask them a simple question like, “How are you?”

Have you sat on a couch with your spouse and tweeted them?

Have you hiked a mountain not for the journey but to get the Instagram shot at the top?

Have you taken a walk just to take a walk not to talk loudly on your phone about things that don’t matter?

Have you stopped to admire the way the setting sun hits the top of a tree and resisted the urge to snap chat your selfie?

Have you sat with your five childhood friends lately or is a group text enough to cure that desire?

Have you gone to a record store and gotten to know the pioneers or is the $1.29 itunes deal to good to resist?

Have you sat with the sun in your face?

Have you tried to slow your pace?

Have you visited an art museum or space museum or children’s museum?

Have you sat of a bank of a river and admired the flow, the way life moves slow?

Have you powered down your lifeline to truly take a vacation or staycation, have you felt the sensation of a hug lately?

Have you told the ones you love you appreciate them lately?

Have you sat with your aging parents and gotten to know them as they are right now in this moment?

Have you told your kid no…you can’t take that trip to the park because this e-mail is too important?

Have you laid on a blanket in a wide open field and talked about all that you feared?

Have you witnessed a moment when a man or woman drops to one knee and lays down their life?

Have you experienced the miracle of a life without asking if there is wi-fi?

Have you rolled down your car windows and disconnected your blue tooth and watched a neighborhood come to life?

Have you sat at the bottom of a tree in the middle of the woods and admired its journey and all that it gives?

Have you embraced your kids? A fully connected, undistracted, uninterrupted hug?

Have you dropped a collection of real, hold it in your hands pictures in the mail for Grandma?

Do you know how good it feels to see the sunrise before picking up your device?

To read a real book by the lake without an electronic vice?

Do you know how it feels to be free?

To open your distracted eyes and truly see? 

Do you know how it feels to be free?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Just The Two of Us At the Movies

Every so often when I start to question myself as a parent, I watch the way you walk toward a drinking fountain. I watch you put your tiny shoulders back and proceed in the direction of a destination with confidence. And I nod. In that moment, I know I'm doing ok.

When I start to wonder if I'm giving you enough this or enough that or enough of this, I stop because I know simply asking this questions means I am...enough.

When I start to ask if you feel the depth of my love, I look at your tiny hand clutching mine during the scary part of a movie and I know I am your comfort, I know you feel my love.

When I start to wonder if you will ever understand my concern for your safety, I pause because I know you look to me in all situations for approval and acceptance. I know you're watching me.

When you cry, I swear a tiny part of my heart breaks off.

When you say something adorably sweet, that tiny part repairs.

When you are happy, adrenaline pumps through my veins.

When you are mad, I want it to go away quickly...I want a magic wand with a secret solution to cure your anger because it is wasted energy for both of us.

When you kiss me, I leave the saliva on my face for as long as it will stay. I love the way it feels while I'm meeting with clients or sitting in team meetings...the saliva stuck to my face. I love the way it feels.

I love your tiny fingerprints on our glass doors and the writing on our walls. I love your muddy footprints and fear of the bath tub drain.

I love all of it, Jack. I love it all.

Get Off The Highway...

Highways are made for fast lanes and people with places to be. They are created for trucks and work commutes and billboards with loud messages. They are made for routine. They should be celebrated because they connect families and friends.

But back roads are created for adventure...for putting all the windows (and the sunroof) down and letting the signs be your guide.

If you really want to get to know a state, get off the highway.

Like today when we had some time to kill and a state park we've never toured. We followed the signs until we arrived at Mounds State Park. I pictured mounds...big ones with people lined up to stare at them. I was a little disappointed by the rolling hills until I stumbled upon a campground. You woke up from your nap.

"Are we there, Mom?"

"No, honey..."We're taking a little adventure."

"Ok," you sighed as if you were tired of my adventures.

Get off the highway. See the towns. Appreciate the state you are in, wherever you find yourself.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I Can Promise You Adventure

You won't always have dinner on the table or perfectly folded newly cleaned shorts lining your dresser or matching socks.

You won't always have the best cookies in class or the most creative Valentine's cards or perfectly parted hair or perfectly pressed pants.

You may not have the things the other kids have...the games or bracelets or phones whatever thing is popular that week.

But, sweetie, I can promise you adventures.

I can promise you the spontaneity of hopping on a bicycle just before the sunsets to feed the ducks (but not the geese because they are plotting to take over the world).

I can promise you tag in the backyard and hikes in the middle of the woods.

I can promise you conversations with the stars and the moon.

I can promise you trips we've never taken and places we've never seen and books we've never read and food we've never tasted (if you ever get up to trying new foods).

I can promise you swimming anytime a pool is near and painting anytime you want to create and listening to music all the time.

I can promise you I'll be there anytime you want to kick a ball around or throw a baseball or toss a fishing line in a pond or play an instrument.

I can promise you I'll be present for your first sporting event or band concert or play or chess tournament. I can promise to support who you are...whoever that is and to love you freely and openly and without apology (even when you're too cool).

I can't promise you the things the books tell me I should be doing, but I can promise you adventure.    

Thursday, July 9, 2015

What a Difference a Year Makes-Another Cozy Fixer Upper Post

I recently watched an old video of Jack walking down our long beat up gravel driveway dragging his blanket. Wow. Our house was in rough shape, but I still loved it. That's when you know it's meant to be...Right? 

Here are some before and afters of our newest landscaping project. We put a full turnaround drive in, fixed the drainage issue, took out a tree (sigh) and added beds. 
And here is the harvest from today's garden. This brings me so much joy.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Ducks and An Overcast Stroll in July

Of all the places. Of all the things. Of all the adventures, my favorite is right here with you feeding the ducks.

"Mama, there is a baby. He loves his mommy like I love you," you say smiling with your squinty eyes. "He's so cute."

How do you come up with this stuff? Your uncle Josh used to love to feed the ducks on the lake. Sometimes you remind me of him.

Of all the stuff, the cars and houses and pretty things, the thing that matters most to me is time with you. There is never quite enough.

I love this walk with you on an overcast day with a constant threat of a downpour. I love the way you throw your arms out like you're flying. It makes me smile with squinty eyes.

"A great blue herron!" you scream. "Hi, I'm Jack, nice to meet you."

I love how happy this makes you.

Many years ago your Great Grandpa dragged me outside and he made me walk. He made me walk slowly as he pointed high in the trees at birds. He made me really see the world with open eyes. He made me appreciate the natural beauty surrounding us: the way the river flowed through the woods, the way the street curved and the people who built it, the way the clouds looked just before the sun broke.

This is a gift passed down by him to me and now to you. Don't take it for granted, my dear son.

Don't take it for granted.