Sunday, November 13, 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016

It's Personal

I thought this election was personal.

I was delighted to share in this moment of history with A, celebrating powerful women shattering ceilings, achieving it all, having no limits to what they can become.

I thought it was about being with her, celebrating leadership and femininity and courage and pantsuits and bossiness and intelligence and wit being tied into a story that is beautiful and to be celebrated.

I read stories of the "why hers".

I reacted so viscerally to the reasons of why not him.

I made careful to speak only positively of Secretary Clinton, naming her opponent to R and A, but never speaking a word negatively of him.

I tried not to chuckle when R said yesterday, out of no where, "Donald Trump says mean things."

I tried to ally.  Not to borrow other's reasons why her and why not him, even when they are amazingly compelling.  Stark.  Clear.

I celebrated with the PantSuit secret Facebook group.

I'll wear one tomorrow (and so should you)

You know I was one of the first ones in there, as you do.

I was motivated and inspired by stories.  Real stories of adversity, and why their vote is making a difference.

I muted it.  It was too much celebration.   Too much sharing stories.

It turns out not just Methodists like to share stories. (SO MUCH SHARING!)

I started to panic last Friday.

What if.

I all out wept at work today when a well-meaning colleague came in to chat about the possible election results.

And I finally said to an undecided male Virginia voter and friend.

"Please, do it for me."

You see?  I don't have a unique story.  I don't have a particularly compelling one.

I wouldn't be a Humans of New York sensation.

I likely wouldn't even make a Human of my zip code unless it was about that time I organized the epic karaoke night out.

But I have a story too.  A story of why.

Vote for Her for every woman who was walked home from a bar after dark by a well meaning friend, who didn't have all the well meanings.

Vote for Her for the woman who was left in a room of very drunk clients at the age of 24, to "settle the bill"... and who wasn't allowed to leave for two hours bound by fear and their aggression.

Vote for Her for the woman who took an angry client call three weeks into maternity leave by a man who wasn't pleased on how his account was running in my absence.  And said "couldn't I have made arrangements for the baby not to cry" during that call?

Vote for Her for every missed field trip, parent-teacher conference, playdate, school celebration, volunteer opportunity.

Vote for Her for the time you were at a meeting in the Deep South and you had to walk out.  People don't say things like this in human company... right?

And the time it happened again in the industrial North three weeks later.

Vote for Her for the time that the room turned to you to get the water refilled or the notes taken because you were the female in the room.  Not the junior staffer.

Vote for Her for those days you saw the phone ring with school calling at 9:35, on a day of huge meeting.

Vote for Her for the time you put a little Tylenol in your "he's just sleepy" kid, and knew you were doing wrong, but you could NOT miss another meeting.

Vote for Her for the colleague who said "Why are you here?  Moms don't work on Fridays!"

Or for the one that said you can't go on business trips now that you have three children.

Or for the one that used THAT WORD.  The one you can't even type.  To refer to a woman.  Knowing you were in  that meeting.  You were the only woman in that meeting.

Vote for Her for every strong woman... even the one in the mirror who can't always speak up because the stakes are too high.

For every woman whose heart races when things are not right, but her mouth stays closed.

Vote for Her for Me.

For Opportunity.  For Equity.  For my reality.

It's personal.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

"I can't walk or run!"

A funny parenting moment?

The first time your kid's foot falls asleep.

R:  "Mama!  Mama!  Oh no!  My foot!   I can't walk or even run!"

(I will not laugh at my child.  I will not laugh at my child.)

Sunday, October 30, 2016


Remember when we posted all the lovely things?

We still do some of them-- like painting pumpkins in the back yard.

These days with less blogging.

Monday, October 17, 2016

On My Mom. The Best One.

You know that Mom?

The one who children flock to like the Pied Piper?

Who is both amazingly loving, raising great kids, but also herding the kid masses into one big geese gaggle?

The one whose house kids always wanted to sleep over at, not because it was the biggest, or the nicest, had the best games or best movies, but it was the warmest.  The best places to be?

The one who balances working, parenting 150 kids at school, and then her three at home without missing a beat?

The one who turns your car in dizzy circles at culdesacs?

And has a giant bell that she rings when it is time to come home, because we all ran barefooted around without watches when we were young.

The Mom who invented dirt cake way before Pinterest did.

And who made  leftover night more fantastic by calling it a smorgasbord?

And then you get to know that Mom as an adult?

You see where you get your humor from.

She's wicked funny.

And where you get your heart from.

She shows up.  For everyone.  In big and little ways.

And where you get your competitive nature from?

Because she will push anything with two or four legs out of the way to get that first snuggle of a grandbaby.

That Mom who gets on Facebook and awkwardly tags you and comments, and totally learns how to Facebook chat so she can develop nighttime love rituals with your kids... her grands.

Who has a Mary Poppins bag of treasures, all bought at the secondhand store, and all magical.

And you know, that unequivocally, you have the best Mom in the world.

There's no debate.

And that Mom is having big bad scary health things.  A brain tumor.

One we've known about for the approximately two weeks that I've been grumpy every time you've come across me.

It's not cancer, we hope.

It's no big deal (it is)

Surgery on Wednesday.

And she is the one reassuring you, because she knows how you deal with things.  How all three of you deal with things.

That E emotes and communicates it all.  And then communicates it again.

That M comes, logicalizes, and needs a few minutes away when it gets too much.

And that me... that I am just a giant turtle with my head and legs tucked in until Wednesday evening when someone calls and tells me everything is ok.

So wake me on Thursday.

When everything is ok.

Because it will be.

Because she's your Mom.

And Moms make everything ok.

Monday, August 15, 2016


"My earliest memory is my mom picking me up after I had fallen down, giving me a big hug and reading me Goodnight Moon. From that moment, to this one, every single memory I have of my mom is that regardless of what was happening in her life, she was always, always there for me. Every soccer game, every softball game, every piano recital, every dance recital, Sundays spent together at church and the local library. Countless Saturdays finding shapes in the clouds, making up stories about what we would do if we ever met at triceratops, in my opinion, the friendliest looking dinosaurs..."

I'm every woman.  Every girl.

I was greatly affected by Chelsea Clinton's speech introducing Secretary Clinton, aka her Mom at the convention a few weeks ago.

It was deeply personal, not just because I'm a daughter but also because I'm a Mom.

To get a glimpse into their life... her childhood... her Mom stirred me.  Stirred many.

I don't care if you are a Democrat or Republican (actually:  that's a lie, this year I actually do, but this post isn't about that...)

It got me thinking, REALLY thinking about what those memories are, those first memories are that our kids will carry in their hearts.

Not just the memories, the first ones.

Will it be the "I SAID GO TO BED.  LAST STRIKE.  NO TV."

I feel like it will be all of those.

Will it be the "What are ways we treat people with kindness" lecture and fun activity sit out?

Or the time when you left the playdate early because DAMN, CMON ON KID.

Or will it be the other ones?

The ones I have.

You know, the ones where your Mom spun the car around in the the neighborhood cul-de-sac and you yelled "YOU ARE MAKING ME DIZZY MOM!"

The one where you are in the basement of a parents teacher supply store in Indiana and thinking it is the coolest and spookiest place in the world.

The time you were hiding in the book nook at PK and realizing this just wasn't the place for you.

The time you opened your lunchbox-- ALL THE TIMES you opened your lunchbox and there was a guy that can only be described as a mom drawn terrible hairy guy cartoon, always carrying a sign, and it always saying I love you.

We are in the first memory place right now, and I need to work on memory capturing and chances.

My mom was a magical parent.  She captured it all.  She still does.

How can I even live up to that?

Like doing the backstroke along with Maya.

Or "Let's make all the silly faces mama!!"

Or "Remember that time we went to Costco and we all wore sunglasses and leis and said Aloha! to everyone we met mama?"

Or "Let's all dance to that song, the one from the Grease on TV, and we'll hold hands and spin?"

I am SO GOOD at the memories they won't remember.  Packing lunch.  Organizing playdates.  Killing it at the PTA.  Remembering the right clothes on swim day.  Making sure that all the kids can participate in all the possible things.

But the memories?

You know the ones... the ones that they think of in college when they are having a rough day.  Those embarrassing ones they groan about to their friends.

We'll make some of those in middle school.

What do you remember about your Mom?  What will your kids remember about you?

For now ya'll.  Let's do the backstroke.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Presented without commentary

Presented without commentary...

Every three year old girl in the USA right now.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Our Last First

All of a sudden we are done with the baby stage.


And I'll be honest.  It is bittersweet.

James was sent here from... somewhere.  

Plowing through infertility.  

Adversity of 2014-2015.  

And today we had to say goodbye to the shining gift of having an infant.  

I never felt that gift.

I'm a self-professed, non-zazooer, not a baby Mom.  

But this kid?

Happy 1st Birthday to our sunny, laughing, chill, curious, sibling loving, bread hating little buddy.

You love your brother and sister.

Your Dad.

But your mama most of all.

You have a shy flirting smile when you see one of your favorites.

You JUST moved from the army crawl to the knee crawl to the aggressive cruise.  

You love Old McDonald Had a Farm and bounce along to it, but nothing compares to the smile when Mama sings you are my sunshine.

You moved from not interested in standing or pulling up to aggressively cruising all in one week.  I'll still peg you as a late walker.  I think it will be another 6-8 weeks.

You love a breakfast frittata only with spinach added and hate broccoli.

You can crush a banana.  Your teachers call you banana boy.

You've learned how to feed Daisy the foods you don't like.

You like to look at and turn pages in books, and rolling balls.

Your best bud is Thomas and he is just as joyful and smiley as you are.

We may be wrong, but it seems like you say the words "yes", "truck", "car", "ball" and "up".

It's possible that the AHHHHYYYYY shriek you have added in the last week in you loving on your very favorite Annie.  Or you may be just testing your vocal cords.

Bottle this kids.   These years are short.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The "real" camera

The instagram has made all the real photos go by the wayside, but everytime we get out the "real" camera, I'm so happy we did.

Today, we all celebrated Robbie's buddy K's 5th birthday with some train style.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Some buddies have discovered selfies.

I wish I could have bottled the joyful laughter these produced.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

That Day

You know that day?

The one that was ALL the struggles at work?

Yet you plowed through?

And all the struggles at daycare/camp pickup?

Yet you plowed through?

And you walked in the door for the delicious smells of the crock pot dinner you made?

And there was no delicious smells?

Because the plug wasn't working?

And now you have rancid chicken on your counter?

That day?

That's today.

(Cute baby for perspective building on what's really important.  But damn.  That chicken).

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Another unrecognized milestone?

The leg pump.

Get it Annie.

Unreported accomplishments

We have all the unreported accomplishments.


Kind of, belly scooty, Army terribly?  Check.


All the things, actually none of the things, only bananas.


Nothing in between.


Car sickness?

All of it.

Hey sweet baby, we got you a convertible carseat, aren't you big time?


So, yea, there's that.

You are cuter when you aren't vomiting.

Being absent

So I'm missing the last day of R's school pickup tomorrow.  Can't do a half day

Skipped two out of two "field trips" for A. this spring

J has a field trip to the zoo on Friday that he's not attending.

Am I the only one?

Is there a way to communicate... meaningfully, how lovely daycare field trips are, but how heart-wrenchingly-choice-making they are for working parents?

Or am i the only one?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

In documenting things


I totally judged (well not really, but thought, damn), my SIL when we got no posts about #3

I totally get it.

I blame FB and Instagram.  It's just so easy.

So I'm dropping in here for posterity and reality to document James' first word.

We were seeing some dadadadadas non-directed...

I got a mamamamama when I went in this morning to pick him up....

But it was us convincing ourselves.

And just like last time, the teachers at daycare reported "Yes" as a word.

I hadn't mentioned it to them, but I had heard some "Yes" in the last week, but I didn't say anything

Because baby's first word isn't yes.


But apparently it is.

Annie, we'll see your "Dexter"

And raise you a "Yes".

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Her through your eyes

It's no secret that Annie is a giant bundle of ... Annie. 

Those who know her.  Those who barely do.  They see her wild-thing nature.

She was tough in the womb. Kicked constantly.  Kept me nauseous through 23 weeks of pregnancy.  Produced fearful and painful Braxton-Hick contractions starting at 6 months pregnant.

I both wanted and was terrified to have a girl.

Most of you know I call her our sour patch kid.  She's sweet.  She's salty.

I say "she's... a lot."  A.  Lot.

I name her as feral.

I call her spirited.

"There's no mystery to Annie." is often how I describe her.

"You always know where she stands."

"She demonstrates executive leadership skills" (aka, she's bossy.)

"She's physically confident"  (she will try ANYTHING. Kamikaze-style)

She OWNS her completely incomprehensible and uncoordinated outfits that she chooses all alone "THIS IS WHAT I WEAR MAMA".  For better but mostly worse.

She's tactical.  She loves to touch and be touched.  Hug and be hugged.  Fist bumps.  High fives.

"I need to respect his space."  We say that.  Lots.

But there are moments that stick out in my mind.

I see her determinedly marching on the altar at church to sit with the Pastor.  Or in the lap of the children's ministry coordinator.

I think of my friend Janna, at a birthday party, vocally delighting in seeing Annie doing exactly... Annie.  Feeling completely comfortable and confident and owning the room.

I remember how Stefani says she looks forward to Annie stories to share with her Mom.

I see how Susan sits with her and talks to her-- about REAL LIFE THREE YEAR OLD THINGS.

My heart swells when Grandma Doris asks after "her" Annie.

And I think these are the exact women I WANT her to be like.

She sits with near strangers.  She shares her heart.  You ALWAYS know where she stands.

She tries anything. 

She can't pass a puddle without stomping in it.

She asks questions.  She talks.  Constantly.

She's fearless. 

Smart as a whip.

She is the BEST of grown women.

I need to see that through your eyes.

I see how people want to be with her.  Feed from her energy.  Enjoy her delight in... everything.

And I am taken back and reminded of the powerful, confident, accomplished women in my village. 

These are my people.  These are my women.  I AM those women.  I support and promote and surround myself by those women.

And how I think they see a little bit of Annie in themselves.  Through their eyes.

She's unvarnished.

She's present.

She's a tough crowd.

She's our Annie.

I wouldn't change her for the world.

(But I might turn down the volume sometimes.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Instagram is awesome. 

Seriously great.

All the memories and photos?

Not annoying your Facebook friends too much?


But then your Mom isn't in on it.

And your profile is Instaprivate.

So instaphoto dump.

This one is for you Bookie.


Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S® 6, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone