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Wishcasting: New Year

It's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe. This week Jamie asks, "What is your wish for the new year?"

I wish to write.  Fiction, blog posts, letters to friends, short tweets.  I wish for writing to be a regular part of my life, rather than a "when I have time and I'm not too tired."

I wish to show love.  Use kind words, understand, breathe before I get angry, hug, encourage, listen, trust, show grace.

I wish to keep making space.  Clear out the objects I don't use regularly or love.  I've been doing this for a while, yet there is more to be done.

I wish to notice.  There are many precious moments in any given day.  A child learning something new, sunlight on countertops, the smile of a loved one.  I wish to notice and revel in these moments.

What about you?  What do you wish for the new year?

I Am Not a Hoarder

Hoarder.  That word makes me cringe.  Did you ever watch the television show?  My husband and I did... once.  Neither of us could sleep for two full weeks, during which we purged a lot of things from our house.

A few days ago, my husband dared to utter the words, "You have a little hoarder in you."  Shock!  Horror!  Outrage!  How dare he?  I'm no hoarder.


"You do, too.  Have you seen your desk?" I said, feeling a little "I'm rubber, you're glue..." about it.


He didn't get shocked or outraged.  He simply said, "I know.  That's why I want to get rid of my desk... so I can't hoard things in it."


How annoying to be married to someone who makes level-headed responses like that (she says with a goofy smile).


Then a couple nights ago, he pointed to a plastic organizational bin in a seldom used room of our house.  "What's in there?  Because it looks like it might be full of garbage."


More shock!  More outrage!  Why is he …

How Can I Explain This Feeling?

My heart is racing, yet my body is calm.  I feel this inner excitement like somewhere inside I'm doing cartwheels and simultaneously I feel grounded and focused.

One voice is saying, "Way to go!  Look what you accomplished.  I knew you could do it." Another is saying, "Now, here is what must happen next if you really want to do this.  It's going to take a lot of work."  Both voices come from somewhere deep inside me.  I listen to both.

What is it that has me feeling this way?

I just printed my first novel.  Please humor me as I say that again.  I just printed my first novel.

A plain manuscript, three hole punched and inserted in a binder.  A mere 64 pages, double spaced.  Nowhere near long enough to be considered a novel.  At 15,328 words, it needs to more than double in length to work as a middle grade novel, which is what I am aiming for. It's crap, really.  Utter first time novel writer, first draft drivel.

It starts out with feeling, then quickly become…

Wishcasting: Celebrate

It's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe. This week Jamie asks, "What do you wish to celebrate?"

First, I wish to celebrate Jamie!  Today is her birthday.  I wish for her to have a day filled with magic, blessings, and unbridled joy!

Second, I wish to celebrate new friends, most of whom I met through some new mommy programs.  As adults, sometimes it's difficult to meet new friends, so I am thankful for the groups that brought us mommies together.

Third, I wish to celebrate my leap in to the world of writing fiction.  In September I completed a short story and submitted it to NPR for a short story contest.  Even though I didn't win, I'm still really proud of myself for having the courage to send a story out into the world.  In November I finished a (really, really short) novel.  It needs some major work before it will be presentable, but holy smokes, I wrote a novel!

There are so many more t…

Paralyzing Questions

Writing is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  I’ve written lots of things in different formats over the years.  Outside of this blog and back in my classroom days, most of what I have written hasn’t seen other eyes.  


Now I want to stretch in to the publishing world.  I want to write with the intent of being published.  That has made things seem more real and also scarier.  Now questions creep up.  What should I write?  I need to pick a genre or a topic.  Every author has a genre or is an expert in a particular field.  What am I an expert in?  What if I want to write fiction and write non-fiction in an online setting?  Can I do both?  Even if they are completely different?


It’s questions like these that have kept me in limbo for a while, feeling like I shouldn’t even write until I have it all figured out.  But that’s silly, isn’t it?  The best way to figure it all out is probably by actually writing and outlining and fleshing out ideas.  


Another one I’ve struggled with is Wha…

Hello Again

Hello, blog.  Hello, blog readers... if any of you are still here, and I truly hope you are.  


I’ve given blogging a break this year, posting only very sporadically as I felt called to it.  After four years of posting and a big life shift from working web producer to stay-at-home mom, I needed some time.  Time to step away, time to figure out my new life, and time to just be.


And now... now I am ready to write.  In fact I have been writing.  I have spent the fall working on fiction.  I’ve also been dreaming of next steps for my journey.  I’ve thought about new online spaces that can offer fresh starts and overarching themes and branding and all of that stuff that “serious” writers “should” do.  In time, that may come, but I don’t want to rush into anything only to abandon it because it wasn’t the right fit.  


In the meantime, I need a place to let my creative spirit run rampant.  A place to dream and explore and acknowledge beauty and support others and be supported.  A place to celebrat…

Synchronicity at its best

An Amazon box just arrived for me with the next three months of book club picks, including We Need to Talk About Kevin for our next meeting, just a week-and-a-half away.

Coincidentally, the boys are at baseball and the baby is taking an unusually late nap.  Is this a quiet house in which to read?

Hello, reading chair. It's been a while.

I did it! I finished a story.

OH MY GOODNESS! You know how over there in the right sidebar of my blog there is a little mini bio that, among other things, proclaims me as "writer?"




And you know how sometimes we want things to be true, but when we look at our daily lives, there is little there that actually fits those things?  


I say I'm a writer because I like to write.  I used to write stories when I was growing up.  I studied English in college.  I come up with ideas for stories, or pieces of stories, all the time.  


But if I look at myself honestly, I haven't done a whole lot of writing- actually getting things on paper (or computer).  Even when I do, it's usually a short incomplete piece.  The beginnings of a scene that could be part of something beautiful... if I ever finished it, which I don't.


And now there's a sweet little baby who keeps me busy all day every day.  What a marvelous excuse not to write!


Except that I want to write.  I've had this dream for a long, long time n…

Wishcasting: Immerse

It's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe. This week Jamie asks, "What do you wish to immerse yourself in?"

I wish to immerse myself in two things: writing and life.

My writing has slowed significantly since my baby was born 7 months ago. Now I am working to bring writing back in to my life. What's more, I'm trying fiction again. I even found a short story contest that intrigued me and despite it's due date being Sunday (as in this coming Sunday), I decided to write anyway. I wrote a rough draft Monday that I admit I'm not as happy with as I had hoped. The cool thing is I'm happy anyway because I did it. I wrote a story beginning to end. That is huge for me since I tend to write snips and scenes without ever creating a full story.

As for my second wish, I wish to immerse myself in life, to find grace in the every day, and to connect with my local community. I wish to immerse …

Thankful: Little Things

I can't believe it's Friday already.  This week has gone by fast.

Every Friday I like to take a little time to look back on the things that made me happy.  This week I am thankful for...

Little feet and little hands.

The writer's group I tried for the first time.

Open windows, airing the house out.

My mommies group.

Freelance work.

Trying new things.

Happy Friday!  What are you thankful for?

Wishcasting: Guidance

It's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe. This week Jamie asks, "What guidance do you wish for?"

I wish for guidance in my writing.

Guidance might come in the form of ideas from my muse, inspiration from other writers, or a gentle nudge from the universe reminding me to write anyway (even if there is only a few minutes, even if I don't know what I'm about to write). It might be in the form of encouragement or accountability.

I've avoided writing long enough for various reasons and excuses. Valid or not, I'm ready to stop talking and start doing.

This week I brushed off a short scene I wrote last summer and took it to a writer's group. It was my very first writer's group experience. I didn't know what to expect or what to bring, but I went anyway. I left with lots of encouragement from the two other people there. Since then I made some notes for how my scene might grow i…

Thankful: Joy, Blogs, and F Words

As the week draws to a close, I am taking time once again to be thankful.

Today I am thankful for the smell of zucchini bread baking in my kitchen, made from a zucchini I grew myself.  (I will be even more thankful if this first attempt at zucchini bread is successful!)

I am thankful for the utter joy I see in my baby's face and the reminder to lighten up and be happy.

I am thankful for Jamie's Wishcasting Wednesday question about what path we wish to follow.  It allowed me to clarify my own intentions and focus on Love.

I am thankful for having found some pockets of time to write.

I am thankful Ann Voskamp's blog, A Holy Experience, the beautiful piano music it plays in the background, her photographs that pull me in to her world so vividly, and her words that remind me gentleness and grace are possible.

I am thankful for the milder weather.

I am thankful for F words.  Food, faith, friends, and family.  That other F word or variations of it occasionally come in handy, too.

I am…

Wishcasting: Paths

It's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe. Today Jamie asks, "What path do you wish to follow?"

I wish to follow the path of love.  What does that mean?  For me it means to infuse love in my actions and words.  It means choosing words that will encourage and inspire, especially when speaking with my husband and children.  It means using a calm and loving tone.  (No bickering or nagging.)

It means doing what needs to be done (with love!) when it comes to serving my family, my home, and myself.  I've been changing my mindset about doing chores, looking at them as service rather than as annoying interruptions.  Doing the dishes and laundry are not fun (and I won't pretend they are), but when I focus on the result being a good thing for my home and family, not to mention my own sanity, then I can get through them with a better attitude.

By following a path of love, I think I can improve my mental…

Thankful for Smooth Travel

It is another beautiful Friday (barely... It's almost midnight now) and I am giving thanks for this week's happiness. 

This week was all about last minute travel. On Sunday we booked a family vacation departing today. That gave us exactly four days to get all the laundry done and figure out how to fly with a baby. A message to my new mommy friends resulted in lots of helpful tips. Thank you, mommies!

I was making good progress all week and was actually pretty relaxed yesterday morning about what I had left to do. That is, until a phone call necessitated a change in plans for the first half of the trip. 

So yesterday afternoon I got online and made phone calls to cancel one hotel in a city we no longer needed to visit and book a new hotel.  Canceling the first hotel was going to leave us with a charge for the first night's stay, but the gentleman at Expedia called the hotel, explained the situation, and got the fee waived. Thank you, Expedia guy. 

The hotel we had booked for th…

Country Music Festival

Did you watch the CMA Festival last night? Ok, maybe not everyone likes country music as much as I do, but I was glued to the program, particularly because this year I was there.



From CMA Festival 2011



For Christmas last year as I waddled toward my last month of pregnancy, my husband presented me with tickets to the CMA Festival in June. By then, he said, I might want a break from new motherhood to do something "me." What a sweety.

So in June we left the baby and my teenage stepson with my in-laws and flew to Nashville for four days of country concerts.

The few main blocks of downtown Nashville were shut down. Everywhere corner we rounded revealed a new stage, each with a full lineup every day. It was at these stages where we watched Mark Wills, Bo Bice, Wade Hayes, and one of my favorites, Carolyn Dawn Johnson. It is also where we fell in love with a new group called Eden's Edge. One of the stages was at the riverfront where our pass let us use the photo line to ge…

Slow Down and Notice

It's the weekend and these days it seems like the weekends can be just as harried as the rest of the week. There are errands to run, chores to do, and people to visit.

Don't let these precious days slip away.

Slow down and take time to look at the many gifts around you. My husband spotted this tiny baby bird while mowing the lawn. Even a dull chore can be exciting if you are mindful of the beauty around you.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thankful

Happy Friday! With the week drawing to a close, it is a great time to reflect on the things I am thankful for.

I am thankful for my friends, new and old, and for the time I am getting to spend with many of them this week.

I am thankful the summer heat was a bit milder this week. 10 degrees is a big difference.

I am thankful to have had time to blog. Three posts in one week? I don't think I've even done three in one month since having the baby.

I am thankful for ripe, local produce.

I am thankful for the library.

What are you thankful for this week?

Stripping (not in the dancer way)

I am on a mission. It isn't anything covert and worldly like recovering intelligence from a foreign agent. It is a mission to reveal the new me, the now me.

Let me paint a picture of where I've been lately. I'm married with a teenage stepson and a 6 month old baby. My house is in disarray despite my efforts to keep things organized. I had nearly given up reading and writing, two activities I enjoyed immensely pre-baby. Dinners were becoming whatever I could scrounge together and cook one handed with a sleepy-but-avoiding-sleep-baby at 9:00 p.m. after the guys returned from baseball. My dining room is a junkyard of haphazardly strewn items and home decor that we don't need anymore.

I've been making a conscious effort to change all that. Too much time and energy is wasted. Our house is feeling like a house rather than a home.

My husband also feels the stress our home produces. Rather than feeling a sense of relief when he comes home after work, he too feels op…

Wishcasting: Inspiration

It's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe. Today Jamie asks, "What inspiration do you wish to follow?"

As usual, Jamie somehow touched on what I've been thinking about lately. The dreamboard I recently created included the phrase "inspiration for positive change."

I wish to follow the inspiration of simplicity. I have always loved keeping things simple, but now with a growing family, life and our home feel messy, full, and unnecessarily complicated. In my single days it was easy to keep things simple. With a family, it's not just me bringing things in the house. It's not just my schedule to follow.

For the past month I have been meeting with a simple living group where we have had wonderful discussions about time, money, what it means to live simply, and what we can do in our current home and community life. It has been wonderful to exchange ideas, discuss challenges, and jus…

If you're bad, no dessert, but if you're bad and late...

Children's books sure have changed since I was little. Not so much the books themselves, more like my perception of those books. Turns out the moral on some of them is questionable as I've been learning.

Check out my post at WorkingMother.com to see what I mean.

Wishcasting: Know

It's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe and support others' wishes. Today Jamie asks, "What do you wish to know?"

I wish to know what I am here to do. On my perpetual quest to find my purpose, I get lost, distracted, and confused. "Purpose" is so grand. How do you determine something like that? Am I here to write? Am I here to share some talent of which I'm unaware? Am I here to be the best _____ or an expert in _____? (I haven't filled in those blanks.)

What's more, I always try to equate purpose to income. Is purpose necessarily tied to income? Or am I simply looking for a way to make money while serving a greater purpose like "be kind."

I wish to know the answers to these questions, though life has taught me that there is no magic instruction book that will lead the way. In absence of clear direction, I wish to know that I am on the right path, that I…

New Journal, New Adventures

Recently I had the urge to write and found myself with the seemingly rare opportunity to do so.

I opened my journal and started with the sentence, "I feel like writing, but I don't know what to write." I proceeded to fill six pages at which point I found myself at the end of that journal.

I had started using that composition book in August of 2009 and had finally reached its end. That book saw me through my dog's passing, then my grandfather's. It saw me through infertility struggles and having a baby. Through creative desires, random ramblings, and plentiful questions- some answered, some not. Happiness, anger, desire, fear. It even got adorned with a new cover when I tired of looking at the black and white pattern.



It is the third journal I have filled completely added to a handful of others left partially filled, some reserved for particular purposes.

Reaching the end of a journal feels big. It feels like a major transition. Like it's time for the next big st…

Wishcasting: Tend

It's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe and support others' wishes. Today Jamie asks, "What do you wish to tend?"

I wish to tend to my spaces, inside and outside. I wish to continue decluttering my home and now that spring is here to make my yard a beautiful place. The grass is dying in certain places and the weeds are taking over. There are trees in pots waiting to be transplanted to their permanent locations. My small vegetable and herb garden needs to be cleaned out and replanted. The yard could be beautiful, but it looks a little sickly. With the new baby it will be difficult to make time for outdoor work, so my wish is to tend my yard.

Wishing for Less

I read something yesterday that said we are always wishing for more- more money, bigger home, fancier car, the newest this, and the latest that.

Obviously we can always use more money. I won't pretend that isn't on my wish list. But as for wishing for more... oddly enough I've been wishing for the opposite. I feel crowded and overwhelmed in my home at times. I actually want less.

I don't want to sound ungrateful and I'm certainly not wishing for any sort of tragedy to befall my family. Let's just make that clear.

What I want is more open space- a clear desk, cabinets that aren't packed to the limit with kitchen gadgetry I rarely use, shelves that aren't overflowing. More space means more energy. More space means I can get to the things I use and love. More space means I have room to create.

For example, look at my desk...



How is anything ever going to get done with all of that stuff in the way?

Periodically I go through my clothes, books, and ot…

Spring Break

Today is the first day of spring break for our schools. It looks like it will be clear and bright outside. I don't have much to say, so I thought I would share a picture of the trees that are blooming along our street. This time of year they are at their prettiest, perhaps dressing in their Easter best.

Have a glorious day! Take time to notice beauty wherever you are today.

Wishcasting: Read

It's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe and support others' wishes. Today Jamie asks, "What do you wish to read?"

I always seem to have a long list of things I want to read. Right now I have one more chapter to finish in Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.

After that, maybe I'll take on one of these...


Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference by Max Lucado


By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paolo Coelho (one of my favorite authors)


A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox Mysteries) by Charles Finch, which I found at a bookstore's going out of business sale

Or maybe it's time to re-read some of my favorites like Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.

There are so many wonderful books out there, …

Couponing

I want to be a mediocre couponer. (Is it acceptable to aspire to mediocrity?)

You may have heard of extreme couponing. There's even a TV show starting about it. Extreme couponers use coupons and sales with a vengeance to walk out of a store with their entire purchase free or as close as possible to free, often pennies on the dollar. Watch the video below to see what I mean. (RSS readers may need to click through to the full post to see the video.)

I don't have the dedication or energy to do the extreme couponing thing. And while I like to have a backup for things I use regularly so as to avoid running out, I don't want to have a year's worth of supplies stocked up.

That's where the mediocre comes in. I want to get savvier about saving money. I started at Walmart last week where I saved $7.00 by using coupons on baby supplies. (When you have a baby, companies send you coupons for diapers, wipes, formula, baby shampoo, ointments, etc.) $7.00 was exciting even …

Synchronicity and Thankfulness

When I was working through The Artist's Way with Deb Owen a couple of years ago, I learned to notice synchronicity- those times when the universe presents you with a message in multiple ways. Synchronicity came in a particularly unexpected place last week.

I've been reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and in it she mentioned a passage from the Bible in Luke about ten lepers whom Jesus told to go to their priests. All ten did and all ten were healed. One (only one) returned to Jesus to thank him. Jesus tells him that his faith has made him well. (Luke 17:11-19)

For some reason that story stuck with me, moreso than many of the other passages Ann shares in her book.

Last week I went to church for the first time in a while (meaning years, with the exception of a random visit here and there). In my small town there are five churches that I know of. I decided to go to the local Presbyterian church.

The congregation was small and amazingly welcoming (and not at all judgmen…

Phillies Opening Day

Today is opening day for the Philadelphia Phillies and our whole family is ready, even the littlest one. That's a big sign that spring is here.

My stepson plays baseball and my husband coaches. We will be deep in the game from now through June. They've already had some practices and scrimmages and their opening day is in just a few weeks.

As for the pros, go Phillies! We are excited to have Cliff Lee back and we'd sure like to see them in the World Series again.

It's time to play ball. Baby Jonas is ready. Are you?

Wishcasting: Brave

It's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe and support others' wishes. Today Jamie asks, "How do you wish to be brave?"

I wish to be brave in my spiritual growth. My footing is often unsure in this area. I'm learning to trust and have faith, but that can be a hard thing to do. I'm trying to hear what God wants to tell me and follow His lead.

Writing any mentions of religion in such a public way is epically scary, particularly when I'm still figuring out what I believe.

This is why I wish for bravery. To be brave enough to continue this journey, learn what I need to learn, and, if so inclined, be able to share my experience.

Finding Time to Write

I'm having a really hard time writing these days. I have ideas that never come to fruition because I can't capture them as they come to me like I used to.

With a newborn at home I rarely get spans of time to let my muse run wild. If I think I have some time, often sleeping wins over writing. I'm so dang tired I can't concentrate sometimes. My last few blog posts and journal entries have been written in fits and starts between caring for Jonas.

So this post is really a question. How do you find time for your creative endeavors with little ones at home taking all your energy? Goddess Leonie, if you can hear me, maybe you have ideas?! Anyone? Bueller?

Good Mom Bad Mom

Last week I had one of those good mom days. It was the kind of day where baby Jonas and I were clicking. We were working in rhythm. I was prepared for whatever might arise- feeding, changing, snuggle time, tummy time, you name it.

For example, during a visit to my doctor, Jonas started to fuss just as they were bringing me back to the exam room, but it was okay. I had all the fixings for formula and figured I could feed him while waiting for the doctor to come in.

Upon hearing his fussing, the nurse asked me if I needed to nurse. Now you have to understand, I'm not one to breastfeed in public. I have enough trouble doing so at home with my family present even though I have a cover for just that purpose.

Anyhow, that day when the nurse asked, I decided to go for it. It was a doctor's office after all. Nothing they haven't seen before. Once back in the exam room, while the nurse asked me questions with her back turned to me, I breastfed my baby like a pro.

It was …

Breaking Up With Kathie Lee

It's true. I've broken up with Kathie Lee Gifford. Sorry, but I never cared for her much anyhow.

You see, with baby Jonas occupying all of my time now (and I mean ALL), I've been spending a ton of time on the couch. Ellen DeGeneres has been great company, but the rest of the day television gets old very quickly.

So I've begun braving the world with the baby in tow. Read more in my post at WorkingMother.com.

Time to Live

I've been thinking about time a lot lately, mostly in the "where does it go" sense. My days are packed with caring for my baby and seemingly void of time for myself and others. But I wonder if that is my reality or merely a choice. I don't know the answer.

I know that I've been grieving the loss of my time- the time I used to spend reading or writing or getting things done. I know also that I should be present in the moment- that I should focus on the here and now, not on what I need to get to next. I try, but it's not easy to embrace the moment when I keep thinking I really need to do the laundry before I run out of clothes to wear or I really want to write but I don't know how long I have before the baby wakes again.

While sneaking in a few pages of reading One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp, I came across this:
...in the beep and blink of the twenty-first century, with its "live in the moment" buzz p…

The Difference a Few Seconds Can Make

There are moments when I look at baby Jonas with his wide-eyed wonder or his happy dream face and I get lost. For a few seconds there is nothing else. No people, no world, no clutter, no responsibilities, no worries. There is only him and me. Only infinite possibility. Only here and now.

In these few seconds I can't imagine being anywhere else. My stomach fills with butterflies, my heart with joy. Those few seconds make sleepless nights and fussy spells a distant memory. Those few seconds bring only hope, dreams, wishes, and wonder.

How lucky I am for moments like these.

Wishcasting: Sharing Gifts

It's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe and support others' wishes. Today Jamie asks, "What gifts do you wish to share?"

I wish to share kindness and encouragement. I believe that small things like smiling at someone, saying hello, asking how they are and really listening to the answer can make a big impact on their day.

I have been the recipient of kind acts in the past few weeks because of our new baby's arrival. A couple of friends have offered to pick things up at the store for us. We haven't taken them up on these generous offers, but the fact that they asked warms my heart.

A couple nights ago there was a knock on our door. A couple that we are friends with dropped off a giant salad, a tray of vodka rigatoni, garlic bread, and homemade banana bread and sponge cake. The woman had been cooking all afternoon so that we wouldn't have to. She said she knows how hard it can be …

One Month Old Already?

I can't believe it. My little munchkin is already one month old. One whole month!





He's grown by more than a pound in weight and by one inch in length. When I look at pictures of him from his birth and compare them to how he looks now... well, he looks huge! Seeing him all day every day, I don't notice the subtle changes, but comparing photos makes it all painfully obvious. I feel like I missed out on baby time already.


I have also changed in this first month. My body is beginning to recover, so I can once again do seemingly trivial things like go up and down stairs. As many mothers have experienced, I have lost a lot of time for myself. I don't get to read or write very often at all, but more importantly even showering has become a rushed event at whatever time of day I can squeeze it in.


Another thing I've learned about myself is I have much more patience than I ever imagined. The patience I exhibit with Jonas during fussy spells surprises both me and my…

Introducing Jonas

He's finally here. The sweet baby boy whose arrival we've been awaiting for 9+ long months. And he's beautiful.

Jonas arrived the night of February 8 at a surprising 8 lbs 12 oz and 21.75 inches long. He is a big, healthy boy.



My husband, stepson, and I are thrilled to have him here. We can't stop looking at him and we "argue" over who gets to hold him next. This little boy has no shortage of love.

In these first two weeks I've learned a few things:


As I expected, I really miss my sleep.
Crying is much easier to handle in daylight hours than nighttime hours.
Patience is a virtue.
Love is abundant.
Though it takes a little longer, I can do a lot of things one handed.
I can also pick things up with my toes.  Hooray for flexibility returning!
Recovery can't be rushed no matter how much I want to be back to "normal."
I find myself at a loss for words when I want to talk to the baby.  He must have heard me say a million times in a choked voice "…

The Touchy Topic of Religion

Religion.  There, I said it.  It's one of those taboo topics, like politics, that we aren't supposed to talk about unless we're looking for a debate.  So let me be clear when I say I'm not looking for a debate (though you are certainly welcome to comment about your own thoughts and beliefs).

I come from a long line of Christians (mostly Baptist) and a lot of my extended family continues to go to church faithfully every Sunday.  Some have taught Sunday school and some have served as missionaries.  That works for them.  My own experiences have been different.

I was more of an on-again/off-again Christian, attending church when my mom made me, when I visited family, or when I felt a particular desire to do so.  I've questioned God, the church, and the Bible.  There are some things that don't make sense to me and perhaps never will.  I guess that's why the notion of faith is so strong in religion, right?

Part of my issue was that there were always so many rules of…

Past Due

This photo is me today.  I just took it a few minutes ago.

I've been a little quiet here for the past week while anxiously preparing for our little one's arrival.  It seems, however, he has decided to sleep in.  Maybe he's decided it's warmer where he is than out here in the cold winter world.  I can't blame him there.

And so we wait.

My first due date (January 26) and revised due date (January 30) have both come and gone.  After months of thinking we would likely have a January baby, now we will be having a February baby and I'm pretty darn excited about that.

February is love and amethyst and violets.  February was named for the Latin word februum, meaning purification.  February celebrates the birthdays of my dad and two of my uncles.  Glorious!

For now, though, I'm uncomfortable.  I'm ready to have this baby.  I'm not prepared to go to my stepson's basketball game tonight and sit on the bleachers where everyone will roll their eyes and say, &quo…

Renewing My Living Space: An Update

Last week for Wishcasting Wednesday, I talked about my desire to renew my living space. With a week now past, I thought about what, if anything, I had done to bring a little renewal to my home.  Thankfully, I was able to think of a few:

Went through all my old CD's and uploaded things I wanted to my computer.  Now that box can go to the attic.
Moved a few boxes and a double bicycle from one place in the garage to another in order to make space for my car.  For the past week, my car has been safe from the outdoor winter elements.  Yay!
Called the phone company who failed to come out as scheduled two weeks ago and got them to come out and fix our phone line which was not working at all.  

Built the baby's dresser and stocked it with clothes and changing supplies.  
My husband fixed the latch on our front door that was preventing us from opening the door from the outside.  (Yes, being able to get into the house is important to me.)
My husband replaced the air filter on our heater.  I …

Wishcasting: Hunger

It's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe and support others' wishes. Today Jamie asks, "What hunger do you wish to feed?"

As usual, she asks a great question, one that stumped me for a bit. I went through my day with this question in the back of my mind and came to an answer: connection.

I have been craving connection lately. Connection to my family, friends, other women, myself, spirituality, and my home to name a few. I think I tend to remove myself at times from my surroundings- not necessarily physically, but mentally. It's also not always intentional. Often it is due to setting myself on autopilot.

But lately, I want more. I don't want to be on autopilot. I don't want to seclude myself from others or even hibernate for the winter. Well, sometimes I do. I want those times to be intentional, though. I definitely need my alone time, but even then I want to be connected t…

Dreamboard: Blue, blue, and more blue

When inspired to do so, I create a dreamboard collage collecting images that embody how I am feeling now or how I wish to be feeling. A few days ago I created this one:



The largest image, which serves as sort of a background, came from last year's calendar by Leah Piken Kolidas. The print called "Moon Dreams" spoke to me with its soothing blues and peaceful attitude. To that I added a few magazine clippings that appealed to me at first glance: a patch of paper lanterns in blue, green and white; a teddy bear sitting in a wooden chair against a blue wall; and the phrase "Find harmony - within."

In assembling these pieces, the first thing that struck me was the obvious influx of blue. Holy smokes! Does this have anything to do with the baby boy who will be joining us anytime now, or is it something else that makes this color so appealing all of a sudden? I did a quick search for color meanings and came across this interpretation at Color Wheel Pro:
Blue is the …

If I Had a Hammer... Oh Wait, I Do

A few months ago my friend introduced me to the blog Young House Love written by a do-it-yourself couple about their home improvement endeavors. I've been hooked ever since, never missing an opportunity to read about their latest project, big or small.

They have so many good ideas for reclaiming space and opening rooms up. What's better, they're not afraid to grab their tools and tear things down, build things up, or redo things themselves.

On Friday after a morning visit to my doctor, I realized that realistically this baby could come at any time. He's due at the end of the month, but they always say it could be two weeks before or after the due date. I'm in that window now.

Now it's crunch time. As much as I've tried to organize baby supplies along the hallway in order to transform the baby's room at the very second it is ready, those baby shower bags filled with clothes and supplies won't be practical to work out of should the baby arrive bef…