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

The 5 Stages of Grief: Thoughts on 2016, Privilege, and Hope Headed into 2020

I’ve been thinking a lot about hope lately. And about Spring since that’s the season in Oregon right now. And about resurrection, and the pain and joy of birthing a new thing; about mourning what we thought we had but never did, and about where we are now in the stages of grief.

We’ve been doing nonstop farm work lately, getting it ready to open, and it’s been both awesome and exhausting, you know? Like, everything we wanted and also all-consuming. I haven’t had a lot of time or energy to write here, and I miss it terribly, but baby goats soothe me in the meantime.  ...  read more

On Depression, How to Tell if It’s Getting Bad Again… and Vibrators. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It Is What It Is.

Once upon a time, I went on a trip with Greg to Southern Italy, which should have been AMAZING but was, in truth, the Most Terrible Vacation Ever. I felt the whole time like I should be able to Gratitude my way through it. Like, WHO GETS TO GO ON VACATION TO SOUTHERN ITALY, BETH? I mean, other than people who live in Southern Italy. Like, people from Oregon, you know? Who gets to go on vacation to Southern Italy from Oregon? Who have 5 kids. And a mortgage. And who shop at discount grocery stores and refuse to replace towels no matter how threadbare they get because towels are really expensive, guys. REALLY , REALLY EXPENSIVE. The good ones cost $20. EACH. Or lots more. And it’s not like you can buy one towel and tell the family to share it. You have to buy at least 4 at a time. That’s the Rule of Towel Buying. And if we don’t want the humans in our household yelling at each other over Who Gets the Good Towel (“HE HAD IT LAST TIME!”), then we have to buy seven. SEVEN NEW TOWELS. For $140. 😳😳😳 Who has that kind of towel money, friends? Not me. Which is why trips to places like Southern Italy always feel like a MIRACLE to me. We can’t buy new towels, but, by God (and by my dad because he’s a pilot with travel benefits) we CAN magically arrive in places like Southern Italy upon occasion. If we stay in super cheap AirBnbs. And if we eat only cheese pizza and gelato and zero fancy restaurant meals.  ...  read more

I Am Not Qualified to Have Conversations. Nevertheless, I Persist. Sorry.

Alright. I don’t know if this is advice or anti-advice, but it’s something, and now you’ll know it, too, instead of me just carrying it around in my head all by myself where it should probably stay locked up forever. 

Here’s the sitch: We bought a stunning farm in Oregon. And we’re working on the farm — a LOT these days — hoping to open early summer as a private park. ...  read more