Dear Charmin, I Have Questions

Dear Charmin Toilet Paper,

I love you. I do. And I feel like it’s important to say so right up front. I love you, and I have good reasons. You’re soft. You’re dreamy. You’re durable. And you’re not likely to break under pressure, which I always admire because I can’t do that. At all. Like, not even a little.

Oh, no; I definitelybreak under pressure. This very day, for example, one of my kids looked me in the eyeballs and said in a vaguely threatening monotone, “I know you do,” after I assured him I do not have chocolate hidden in my bedroom. Like this: ...  read more

One Quick Twinsie Pic, A Life Motto, and Thoughts on Wrong Turns Which Is Really Just Another Way to Say Turns

Today’s the first day in a few I’ve had time to stop for a bit and breathe. I’m in Italy, sitting at a cafe in the plaza outside the Uffizi Museum, knocking back a cappuccino, and finishing the last bites of a fresh croissant, warm on the inside, flaky on the outside, dusted with powdered sugar and faintly flavored with orange. So you can see I’m suffering. THANK GOODNESS this trip isn’t like our last one to Italy. Those of you who’ve wandered around this blog for a while will understand the significance when I tell you my brain has been calm. THE MEDS ARE WORKING, in other words. HOT DAMN. ...  read more

A Mommy Photo Shoot: The Realistic Kind

I mentioned recently that I cleaned my room and rewarded myself by soaking in diarrhea water. It’s just one of the blessed realities of being a busy mom.

FORTUNATELY, before said cleaning, my friend Rachel came over to take some photos for me.

See, I’ve wanted to do a REALISTIC photo shoot for quite some time. You know, like, wearing the things I usually wear. Without cleaning or decluttering my house. Without avoiding the angles full of dirty dishes. I’ve wanted to do an AS IS photo shoot. What You See Is What You Get. Partially for you because EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW THEY’RE NOT ALONE in their lack-of-pristine living. And partially for me because I actually want to remember how life really was. Not a beautified version of it, but the nitty, gritty, grimy truth with its laughter AND dust bunnies, its joy AND dried ketchup, its camaraderie AND moldy flower stems, because this life is lovely. This life is wonderful. This life is gorgeous in its own muddy way, no covering up required.  ...  read more

A Romantic Post About Mental Health and Diarrhea. Enjoy.

I don’t want to brag too, too much, but I cleaned my room (mostly) and my bathroom (the clutter and a quick wipe-down, not the layers of dust, lint, and shame that have accrued in the corners), so I celebrated by taking a bath and reading a book and not being mean to myself for 5 minutes. 

It was a great bath, too. Oh, the kids interrupted — and so did the dog — but that’s the Mommy Bathtime Standard in these parts, so no worries. Besides, who doesn’t love lying naked in the tub whilst arguing with a hormonally muddled and enraged child hovering above you? ...  read more

Courage to Heal: A Haphazard Series of Brief (or not) Thoughts, Part 2

Abby, my oldest, lost a lot of blood last Christmas after an arterial bleed in her throat following a tonsillectomy for recurrent Strep. The bleed started at home, at bedtime, 24 hours after surgery, and steadily trickled into a bowl she held on her lap while she cried and I ran red lights to the hospital. After a second, emergency, surgery, I wasn’t surprised when he doctor recommended a transfusion; after all, I was the one in the ER catching vomit bag after vomit bag of the increasing stream and the massive clots she purged from her stomach.  ...  read more

A Haphazard Series of Brief (or not) Thoughts, Part 1

I left my house at 3am today, the first of 20+ days of travel this month, home after this only for farm work days every Saturday I can manage to be there. Farms, man; they’re a lot of work. But there’s so much clean air out there — and constant earth magic — so the trade-off will do. 

{Gotta say, though, Dax Shepard’s new sitcom, Bless This Mess, about a couple with less than zero farm experience (I mean it — mathematically negative farm skills) giving up their NYC life for a barren bit of land in Nebraska is cracking us up. It feels very REAL LIFE to us right now, minus barren/Nebraska, plus blackberries/Oregon.}  ...  read more

On Rachel Held Evans. And friendship. And grief. And grace. And what we do now.

I was in the hospital yesterday when Rachel Held Evans died.

I’d had an unusually bad migraine, and just past midnight, I woke Greg up to tell him I needed more help. I cried on the way to the Emergency Room with Greg’s hand on my knee, thumb rubbing gentle circles through my ancient, stained sweatpants, and I can’t tell you which was more overwhelming — the pain pulsing in my head, the gratitude that I didn’t have to navigate it alone, or the unreasonable feeling of shame flooding through my body for not being able to stick it out on my own. The shame was a real contender, though; I felt I’d failed, somehow, by needing assistance. As though I don’t know better. As if I haven’t reminded myself thousands of times that we humans aren’t solitary creatures. As though I’m not aware that  independence is one of the most dangerous lies we peddle and that we aren’t somehow viscerally and foundationally communal, seeking at a cellular level our tribe and a place of belonging.  ...  read more