My Husband Keeps Trying to Have Sex With Me

May 19 2015

My husband keeps trying to have sex with me.

For example, he cleaned off six shelves in our living room last night. Like, sorting stuff and organizing it and getting rid of crap we don’t need.

I know, you guys. I know.

That’s pretty extreme all by itself, but desperate people sometimes take desperate measures.

But wait! There’s MORE.

Our 2nd grader, Cael, keeps having anxiety attacks about his bear. Although Cael didn’t want to be separated from Beary, he also didn’t want to take Beary to school in his backpack because the school might burn down and he might not be able to get Beary out in time. I’d be concerned about his level of anxiety, irrational worry and general paranoia, except I don’t let my kids put their beds in front of the windows because, if I do, then I’ll be responsible when they to bleed to death after either a) the Big Quake hits or b) the burglar breaks in, shattering the window in a gazillion pieces, one of which will inevitably hit an artery. Protecting Beary from the inevitable school fire? That just makes sense. So, instead of taking Beary to school or leaving Beary home to get mauled by our dogs, my kid entrusted Beary to his dad.

Now, Greg could’ve done any number of things with Beary.

Shoved him in a briefcase.

Threw him in the trunk.

Forgotten him at home.

But no.

My husband is a wise, wise man after 20 years of marriage, so he took that bear to work with him and started sending me pictures.

Pictures ostensibly for our son.

Pictures like this:


And this:


And this:


Which are ADORABLE. And heartwarming. And endearing. And, well, are more likely to result in what we shall call Positive Reinforcement than, say, pinching my butt on the way up the stairs or groping my boob.

In conclusion, Well played, Greg. Well played.




Keeping It Real

May 11 2015

Keeping It Real

“Keeping It Real.”

That is, perhaps, the stupidest name ever for one of my blog posts. EVER ever. Because when do I not keep it real around here? I mean, really.

It’s just, even though I don’t have time to write you All the Details right now, and even though I plan to write you All the Details soon, I need you to know we moved our couch yesterday.

We moved our couch yesterday, which is Always A Mistake.

We moved our couch yesterday after 18 months of Not Moving Our Couch.

We moved our couch yesterday, even though we Know Better.

We moved our couch yesterday, and this is what we found.


And this:


And this:


I just thought you should know.





P.S. I also think you should know this:


You know, in case you run across one of those things. Then you’ll know what it is.

P.P.S. That drawing is on my living room floor.


On Being Smudgy

May 6 2015

I wrote you a real letter today. On paper and everything. And it’s dated two days ago because that’s how long it took me to finish it. That’s OK, though. I think you’ll understand.



Apr 27 2015

I made writing to you a priority ever day for ReLent — you know; ReLent, which is “Lent Again” for those of us who forgot to do it the first time around. Whenever possible, minus a few extraordinary circumstances along the way, I’ve kept my promise. Writing drivel at times, yes. And using a very liberal interpretation of “extraordinary circumstances” because I believe to my toes that you, like me, know that “can’t keep going” and “need rest” and “have to watch Outlander” count as extraordinary.

But I’m writing to you today because I DID make that promise, so I won’t go all quiet and dark here even though I don’t really have time to pen this.

This time, it really is an extraordinary circumstance. Of the kind not just my fellow Mombies will understand.

On Saturday, an earthquake hit Nepal.

And my Other Life, outside my life with my family and my life here with you in this space, is that of Humanitarian Aid worker.

I work also at Medical Teams International.

I keep that quiet a lot, not because it’s a secret, but because I say Weird and Wild things here, and I never want my wild ways or weird theology or bumbling words to reflect poorly on these people I love who spend their lives to save and improve the lives of others. 

I work at Medical Teams because it’s our mission send medicines, doctors and nurses — real help — to people affected by disaster, conflict and poverty around the world.

Now, I’ve talked about Jesus here before and the ways I do and don’t fit in with Other Christians. You’ve let me process my faith, and I’ve adored you for sharing yours, especially because we’re sometimes different and sometimes the same, and there’s incredible beauty in finding all comers in this place and talking with each other instead of at each other. So, if you’ve been in this space much at all, you’ll know how sad it makes me when terrible words and deeds are done in Jesus’ name, how I almost abandoned the word “Christian” to identify myself until an athiest friend set me straight (although it occurs to me I may not have told you that story and I probably should), and therefore how healing it is for me to get to work for an organization that just loves people — without regard to faith or creed or status or symbol or ANY OF THE THINGS — just LOVES people who desperately need it, AND are Christians at the same time.

Imagine! Christians out there giving aid to people because they need it!

No requirements.

Just help and hope.

THIS is the church I want to be part of.

THIS is the way I want to spend my life.

Loving people.

I know; I’m a mushy mess.

So I work at Medical Teams International. In the president’s office, no less, although I keep waiting for him to realize I’m a nutjob. (Confession: That cat might be already out of the bag.) And there was an earthquake in the poorest country in South Asia last weekend. And we’re spending this week in emergency response mode. Because there are people who need help. And we’re uniquely positioned to provide it.

I want you to know — I’m going to try to honor my ReLent promise to write to you. And I also want you to know — if I do it, my writing may be even more disjointed and irregular and weird than usual. Because I’m working hard, and my heart is with the people of Nepal. 

My heart is with ALL the people, as you know, who are sitting in the dark and waiting for the dawn

Holding Hands in the Dark — with you and Nepal,





P.S. Medical Teams International is one of only 5 U.S.-based organizations vetted by the World Health Organization and the United Nations to send foreign medical teams to Nepal to respond to this disaster. You can learn more about the Medical Teams International Nepal Earthquake response here

This Made Me Think of You. Not Because You’re Bad at Punctuation.

Apr 25 2015

I saw this yesterday and I immediately thought of you. 


Not because you’re really bad at punctuation, but because I LOVE YOU.

“I love you with ALL MY BUTT. I would say heart, but my butt is bigger.” 

This is a true truth, friends. 

As true a truth as I know. 

I LOVE YOU WITH ALL THE BREADTH OF MY GIGANTIC BUTT. And I hope you feel at least somewhat comforted by that. I know I do. Because I grew this butt myself, and our community grew this love together, so this makes strange sense to me. Strange and beautiful, beautiful sense. 

Last night, I wrote about destinations and the unavoidable reality that we aren’t necessarily able to navigate to our destination just because we desire to be there. Diana wrote back on Facebook, “The other day I was up in the middle of the night, no reason, kids all asleep…. It’s just me who can’t sleep lately. And I hate the dark, hate the night. But I laid there and thought… I know for a fact, because of your posts and this community, that others mommas were also up and waving in the dark at that very moment. I waved, and said out loud, ‘waving in the dark,’ and the comfort that it brought me was profound. Thank you ALL.” 

And I just want you to know, friends, in case you wonder why I love you — WHY? Why? — it’s because of this thing Diana put her finger on. It’s because you’re there for each other. Because you’re creating a whole community of momrades who wave in the dark.

I think you’re incredibly rad. Times infinity. And I wanted you to know.

Love (truly),


On Making Our Way to a Destination When It’s Not Always Where We’d Planned

Apr 24 2015

My friend, Bethany, is a sailor.

Like a Spend-a-Year-Raising-Kids-on-a-Sailboat kind of sailor. 

Like a Navigate-From-Oregon-to-Mexico-and-Back kind of sailor. 

Like a Knows-What-a-Boom-Is and How-to-Build-a-Dinghy kind of sailor. 

A SAILOR sailor, you know?

Bethany and I were trying to find a restaurant tonight with Jen, Jenn and Heidi. 

I was in charge of navigating, which was, of course, a terrible mistake because I was going by memory which — HAHAHAI don’t have anymore

I got us to the neighborhood but not to our destination, and since the neighborhood wasn’t planning to honor our reservations, that was, technically speaking, a problem.

Bethany navigated us to our destination instead of me, solving problems on land the way she solves them at sea, which led us to a conversation about the ocean and listlessness and, you know, direction. So I mentioned, with all my knowledge of sailing, how nice it must be to be in a vast, wide, open space, choose a destination and then just go there. How freeing.  

“Well,” said Bethany, “sometimes you can choose a destination.” 

And I said, “Wait. Wait. What?”

Because this idea that you can sometimes choose a destination, of course, with my teeny, tiny control issues and anxiety issues and panic issues and the need for medication, terrified me. TERRIFIED me.

What?” I asked again. “What do you mean sometimes? I don’t like sometimes. SOMETIMES is no good for people like me who NEED TO GET SOMEWHERE. Who need to know we will, eventually, arrive. ‘Sometimes’ is not OK. I am very uncomfortable with sometimes.”

And when I stopped verbally panicking, Bethany said, “It’s like this. When you’re out there on the water, you can choose which direction you’re oriented. In general. You can choose where you hope to go. But this is the thing: you can’t sail directly into the wind. If you try, your sail catches nothing and you stay, stuck, where you are. So if the wind is coming from your destination, you can’t go there. You can argue with the wind as much as you want. You can yell and yell into the wind. But the wind doesn’t care. And even if the wind dies, you can’t always get through the remaining swell. 

“You know what I hate?” Bethany asked, “I hate that saying about sailing that goes ‘you can’t change the wind; you just adjust your sails’ because it’s bullshit. The reality is, when the wind changes, you can’t just go on doing what you wanted to do, no matter how badly you wanted to do it. I mean, sometimes, yes, your destination is a few degrees off the wind and you can work your way there. But sometimes? What you wanted is — truly — no longer an option.

“The weather forecast isn’t the same thing as the weather,” she went on. “Storms come up you didn’t anticipate and couldn’t foresee. Even if you drop your sails and use your engine to motor, you can’t always go straight to the destination. There are tides that run hot, and you have to gauge whether you have the fuel to get there working against the tide. Engines fail. Sometimes you have to head back. Sometimes you have to head to a safe harbor. “

Listen, friends; I don’t know about you, but I want to feel safe. I want to feel in control. I want rather desperately to always aim for a destination — in geography, in relationships, in my career, in life — but sometimes the wind blows. The wind blows and the tide comes up and storms we didn’t anticipate arrive out of no where. Just no where. So we change course. 

Here’s what I want us to hear tonight: it’s OK to find a safe harbor. It’s OK to head back. It’s OK when we don’t arrive at our planned destination — on time or at all. It’s OK to evaluate and change course. Friends, this is sailing and this is life. And it’s OK to be where we are on the water. 


P.S. Bethany blogs about sailing at Adventures in Lilo

5 Quick Questions About Personal Hygiene

Apr 22 2015

It’s time for a new edition of 5 Quick Questions!

5 Quick Questions are a Sometime Tradition here on the 5 Kids Blog. This is my opportunity to get to know you better, and it’s one of the best things we do here because it turns out you are very good at truth-telling, friends. 

To those of you who used the last few volumes to delurk, it’s wonderful to meet you! And to those of you who’ve been around a while, mucking about in this space and putting your feet on the furniture? You’re always rad. Thank you.

As you may know, 5 Quick Questions can be anything from the EVER IMPORTANT What Is Your Family Booger Rule? to the more serious (and my absolute favorite because you were so deeply honest and so very different from each other) Questions About Faith.

Today shall be along the Ever Important lines.

We shall discuss Personal Hygiene. 


Because I miss it. I miss it very much. And it’s good to mourn together. 

ID-100400665 Quick Questions about Personal Hygiene

  1. What is your personal hygiene regimen?
  2. Was question 1 too hard to answer because REGIMEN — HAHAHAHAHA?
  3. What is your best Fake-Like-You-Have-Good-Hygiene Trick?
  4. Assuming soap is provided, if you were stuck on a desert island (a desert island with little umbrella drinks and cabanas and All Your Momrades and access to long, hot baths and HUGE beds without sand or smashed cereal in them) and you could only bring TWO personal hygiene products with you, what would they be?
  5. Will you go skinny dipping with me on the island? What if it’s still daylight? ( <– Not actually a question about hygiene, but I got distracted by the whole island thing, and now I’m on a need-to-know here.)

Here are my answers:

  1. Regimen? HAHAHAHAHA. I used to have one of those. Pre-kids, I showered twice a day. Twice a day, friends. When sharing a hotel room, friends would ask, “Do you want the shower in the morning or at night?” Then I’d laugh at them and say BOTH. Like THEY were the crazy ones. Man, those were the days.
  2. YES, QUESTION 1 IS TOO HARD TO ANSWER. So far, I am NOT impressed with these questions. Does it count as a “regimen” to shower once a week when my hygiene becomes truly too awful to ignore? Does it? Does it count as a “regimen” to give myself quick sink wipe-downs between luxurious 5-minute weekly showers so no one On The Outside notices? Is it weird that I’m referring to outside my house as “On The Outside” like my house is a penitentiary or is that just good sense? I DON’T KNOW ANYMORE.
  3. This is a much better question. MUCH better. I actually have some of these Fake-Like-I-Have-Good-Hygiene Tricks. Here are two:
    A. There’s the wash-the-bangs-in-the-sink trick. That’s a life saver.
    B. There’s the buy Suave (read: cheap) Dry Shampoo trick. I honestly would consider giving up one of my toes to keep this in my life. I mean, how much can I possibly miss a toe?
  4. Assuming I have time to actually shower on this magical island, obliterating the need for Dry Shampoo (and allowing me to keep all my toes — HOORAY!), I’d go with hair conditioner and a razor. I probably should’ve picked deodorant and a toothbrush. I feel like this is unnecessarily hard.
  5. I will lead the charge. In the dark. I will lead the charge in the dark for the skinny dipping, or, as we call it in my family, the chunky dunking. Now, to be technically accurate, I will lead the chunky dunking charge in the daylight, too, if, by “lead the charge” we understand it to mean “find an unpopulated part of the island, strip so fast we break the sound barrier, and jump into mostly opaque water.” …Or if “lead the charge” means you triple dog dared me… after all, I’ve always been highly prone to peer pressure and had very poor judgement. In fact, Greg made me a Venn diagram once to illustrate what I’ll do in any given situation. He called it “practically a bicycle.” So, you know; be careful who you let lead these kinds of charges. WORD TO THE WISE.



OK – your turn. 5 Quick Questions, friends! What’ve you got??


Open Hand With Glove image credit Ambro via