Friday, November 30, 2012

Thank goodness November is over.

I would blog, but there's a snoring dog on my lap.

There is one thing I can say though, I've been wearing teal mascara this week. Considering I've been wearing teal mascara because I couldn't read the tiny print on the bottle and didn't KNOW it was teal - I'm thinking I might just be too old to be wearing teal mascara.

Just a thought.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Listen to Your Mother: Raleigh-Durham is live!

Can I just say that the Listen to Your Mother: Raleigh-Durham show is going to be fantastic? We just finished a webinar (a word I did not make up) with the fabulous ladies of the national Listen to Your Mother group, and I am all tingly-ified (a word I did make up).

Our local site is live. It's naked, but it's live. You are going to want to bookmark it NOW so you are the first to know about the date, location, and time of the 2013 show. And you KNOW you want to be the first to know about AUDITIONS. 

In the meantime, head on over to the Listen to Your Mother show website and check out the bios of all the incredible women spearheading the shows in 24 cities next year.

KeAnne and I are working hard to secure a venue and get a date lined up for this. We want it to be a huge success, and given the talent here in the Triangle, I know it will be. 

Please stay in touch with us about the show. This is all about our community coming together to give a voice to motherhood. 

It's going to be AMAZING.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

That last glass

I'm petering out on the whole posting everyday in November. It's just not in me anymore. There is plenty I have spinning around in my head, but not really much I want to put here.

Mainly, I keep thinking about anniversaries. December marks a lot of anniversaries, most of which I'm not terribly excited about.

My last hug from Susan.

My first miscarriage.

The death of my grandmother.

Then there's Christmas. YAY! Happy times. Happy times.

I don't know. It's not as bad as I make it sound here. We have three trees up (so far), my mantle is done, my grandparent's Nativity is out for the first time in years. I'm getting it on with the holiday decor - which didn't happen last year.

I was a little distracted.

Maybe I'll always be a little distracted at Christmas time and just learn how to focus in spite of it.

There are stories that I want to write - moments that I want to put down on paper - of that last weekend I was able to spend with Susan. It's just not for the blog.

When I do that though - have things that consume my thoughts - it's hard to write anything else.

There is one other December anniversary that I don't talk about much. It is an anniversary that I wouldn't have made without Susan. One that I'm surprised I'm still celebrating now that she's gone.

My last drink.

It was a glass of prosecco, in case you are wondering. At Gravy on Wilmington Street. Don't remember what I ate or what I wore, but I remember that glass of beautiful bubbly.

Cheers, y'all. The holidays are coming. Whether you damn well like it or not.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A gift guide for the husbands and partners of blogging women

So. Your wife is a blogger and you find yourself having no earthly idea what to get her for Christmas or Hanukkah this year? I am here to make you look FABULOUS.

Sure, you could just go to her Pinterest page (Yes, she has one. Yes, I'm quite sure.) and shop straight from it. Or, I'm pretty positive that you could also go to her Etsy favorites page, although that would require a little bit of hacking on your part (and if you do that, don't order from her account, or she will know what you got her).

What you need is a fail proof list with links that will set you up right now. I have that list for you.

First of all, you need to get her a subscription to Stealing Time. For reals. It's a new magazine with actual WRITING in it. She doesn't need more magazines that tell her how to orgasm 28 times a night, wear fake eyelashes during the day, or let her know that Lindsey Lohen has gone off the deep end. She needs this magazine. Stealing Time. Go. Order it now so the Genesis copy can be under the tree and she has something to unwrap announcing her subscription.

Alright. This one might require a bit of hacking on your part too, but it would totally be worth it. You need your wife's Instagram account username and password. After that bit of espionage, head on over to Canvas Pop and start creating canvas prints of her Instagram photos. If you really want to score big, don't include any of yourself. Just use the artsy fartsy ones or the great photos of your kids. The 12x12 ones are a great size.

You can never go wrong with books written by bloggers. We like to be all community minded like that. There are books that she would love to have like Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (which I've read in one sitting) or Confessions of a Scary Mommy by Jill Smokler (which I haven't read, but come on, it's another blogger book - I wouldn't steer you wrong). Then there are books that she doesn't know she wants, but are awesome, like Behind the Woodpile by Emily Rosenbaum. It's an e-book only, but that's alright, your blogger wife can totally handle that.

Spinning off of books written by bloggers is stuff made by bloggers. You don't get much more awesome than stuff made by Robin Plemmons.

While you are on Etsy, go ahead and search "blog design." You will find tons of ideas there. Maybe your wife would like some new buttons for her posts? Pretty buttons to link to all of her other landing spots on the web? Or maybe a gift certificate for a blog redesign?

Last, but not least, in fact - it's actually the most expensive - buy your blogging wife a ticket to BlogHer. It's in Chicago in 2013. Go ahead and get her the full pass, book her a room, and plan on keeping the kids that weekend. Imagine her finding THAT in her stocking.

Now go. Get thoughtful things for your wife. Tell her they were ALL YOUR IDEA. Don't mention me at all.

You're welcome.

Oh, and nothing here is an affiliate link. I make no money off this, and I didn't get anything free for writing it. In fact, just writing this part makes me feel like I feel every time they ask me at Target, "Would you like to save 5% today and everyday and apply for the Target Red Card?" and I say, "NO. I HATE SAVING MONEY." 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday bullets

It's time for Sunday bullets! Yay! Easy blogging!

  • Thanksgiving was awesome. It makes me feel so wonderful to have friends who will spend the holiday with us. 
  • We are back up to two live trees this year. This makes me ridiculously happy. I would much rather have two smaller trees than one larger, more perfect tree. Of course there are also the smaller artificial trees to put up, but we are getting there.
  • I managed to get the winter dishes out in time to have our Thanksgiving leftovers on them. This hasn't happened in a couple of years. 
  • Not having plans to go to see Susan in December sucks. Hugely.
  • Having our house finished finally is making decorating for Christmas so much more fun. Here's my mantle full of Santas: 

  • Our big lab mix, Gibson, has developed a cough and was coughing up blood last night. We don't know how old he is, but we think he's around 10. He has lived with us for five years. Add in his really bad hips, and Gibby earned himself a place in Kevin's lap on the new couch this afternoon. If you pray for pups, add him to your list, please.
  • I had my first Etsy sale! Granted, it was a friend of mine, but YAY! I'm excited. 
  • Leftovers are gone, minus what is in the freezer. I'm slightly relieved not to be eating dressing again tomorrow. And slightly disappointed.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Kids' table

Oh, hi. I totally forgot about the blog. What with the sick kids, the Thanksgiving dinner, and the sick mama today. Throw in several Christmas trees, my first Etsy sale (yay!), and a mantle full of Santas, and I was just too busy to even think about blogging.

I haven't said much about what I'm thankful for this much, but I have a lot for which I'm thankful. Starting right here at the kids' table. We had a kids' table at Thanksgiving. With the four most awesome kids I know.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A few of my favorite smells

My house smells like nutmeg and pumpkin and stock and warm baking bread. I think I like smelling my house the days leading up to Thanksgiving more than I actually like eating on Thanksgiving day. It smells like everything I love in the world.

I've made the pies - pumpkin, pecan, and black bottom banana cream pie. I've made the sweet potato casserole, the shoepeg corn casserole, my friend Carey's marinated asparagus (that's new to the table this year), and the turkey is brining in the garage. I've already run out of stock once tonight, but a new batch is done and in the fridge to put the dressing together in the morning. Dressing, biscuits, and the Autumn chopped salad will all get put together tomorrow.

Oh, and there's this beautiful looking pumpkin bread in the oven for breakfast.

I think we'll eat well tomorrow.

It won't be a big crowd, but some of my favorite people will be here. Papa is coming. He already brought by a beautiful centerpiece that won't actually fit on the table, but will look lovely somewhere. And my friend from down the street is coming with her two children. I love them. They are just awesome people.

I did, however, forget to warn her that I cook for Thanksgiving, but I don't necessarily clean. It's a very relaxed day at my house. We don't dress up, we don't follow a rigid schedule, and there's probably going to be some clutter out and about.

I guess I'm thankful for comfort, time, and life. It's how we roll here on Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Into the ether

Some days I feel like a nonperson. Like I just take up space in the universe, but no one really pays attention to me. Which is ironic, because I am the single person capable of doing anything for the boys. I mean, if I'm gone, and the boys are home with Kevin, the moment I walk in, it's, "Mama! Can I have a glass of water? Please? I'm thirsty. Will you get me something to drink?"

It's like Kevin has starved them, denied them hydration, refused them bathroom privileges, and never ever changed a diaper. All of which is ridiculous, of course.

Other than my superpowers to "get people stuff," I seem to be pretty useless. I say, "Please clean your crayons off the table, it's time to eat," and the sound vibrations disappear into the ether. I say, "Please stop dancing and twirling in the aisles; you are going to run into someone," and the words are mysteriously transformed into magical dance music that makes four year olds unable to control their feet.

I say, "Don't forget to take Mallory her flowers," and my voice is so heavy, it weighs the bouquet down to the counter, and makes it impossible to pick up and carry to the concert.

Logically, I know it's perception. And if I had an appointment with my therapist tomorrow, we would talk through this, I would cry, and we would get back to the fact that my cheerleader, the one person who constantly told me the good about myself, is gone.

So yeah. Maybe I'm supposed to be moving on. Maybe I'm not supposed to still be writing about grief. Maybe I'm annoying and whiny. So be it. 

The truth is, it's been insanely difficult to write everyday this month without writing about grief. And I can't avoid it today. Today is one of those days we would have talked through all of these things and the things in her day, and the words really would have disappeared into the ether. They would have lifted from us and floated away together, leaving us to comfort each other, fortify each other, and laugh with each other.

Surely not everyone has that person in their life. What I want to know is this: how do they manage without it?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Running the board

Tonight I ran the board.

Not for anything hugely complicated, but I sat in the big chair, turned the knobs, adjusted the pre-amps and hit record. I loaded our project into Cubase, changed some tracks from stereo to mono, panned the drums and bass, and then I recorded Kevin's vocals over it.

If you record, you will know this is practically nothing. If you don't, I might sound like a damn genius. Or not. Whatever.

The point is, that I finally had the energy, the will, and the patience to let Kevin start teaching me how to run the controls. I'm finally getting started on not just sitting behind the piano or in front of a microphone. It's going to be his turn too.

It felt great. We felt like a team.

Not too long ago, I told my therapist that I had no idea what I wanted to do next. We decided that wasn't entirely true. I want to make things. Write. Compose. Record. Sew. Bake. Craft.

If I can make things with Kevin, even better. Maybe we will have at least started that album I've been planning by the time I'm 40.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I blame Macy Moo. She was so snugly. I just couldn't concentrate well enough to really blog. I had to cuddle. Really. Could you resist her?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Reverend Momma

Today is my momma's birthday. She's 72. This isn't just another, "Yay! It's my moms birthday!" message though. See, every birthday my mom has is a miracle. She has been fighting off cancer since I was 7 years old. To this day, she takes a daily chemo pill for metastatic ovarian cancer that gave her most people would have taken as a death sentence.

Some days, I'm not sure I believe in miracles anymore. Some days, I'm still pretty damn pissed that Susan didn't get a miracle, and if she didn't get one then they must not exist.

Then there is this day. Momma's birthday. And I'm reminded that there is still grace in this world, and that I'm a lucky girl to still have the best momma ever here on this earth with me.

Happy birthday, Reverend Momma. I love you.

Friday, November 16, 2012

25 things I do NOT miss from childhood

Remembering 25 things I don't miss about childhood was harder. I don't tend to remember a lot of the negative, so this took more time and more searching. Luckily, or unluckily, I've been in bed almost all day with some evil stomach flu thing, so I had some time to contemplate.

This is the second half of the prompt Issa and I lifted from Schmutzie. You can read Issa's post here, and Schmutzie's post here. Here are mine:

1. That time spent in the doctor's office waiting for a shot.
2. The answer, "We'll see."
3. Falling.
4. Spankings.
5. Being made to eat all of my dinner.
6. School.
7. Not being able to find anyone to play with.
8. Waiting for my mom to get home from work.
9. The movie that aired about nuclear war and how we would all be X-rayed to death. At least, that's how I remember it. I was scared of every airplane that flew over for the longest time.
10. The real feeling that I might actually die from embarrassment.
11. My inability to emotionally communicate.
12. Big, thick glasses.
13. Telephones with cords.
15. Getting yelled at.
16. Being scared of the monster that was going to come up and grab me when the flushing toilet made its last gurgle. Which is what my brother convinced me of when I was six.
17. Being sick on my birthday. It happened a lot.
18. Waking up in the middle of the night, thirsty and lonely.
19. Boring cereal.
20. Powdered milk.
21. Mean girls and boys that teased. I didn't know how to handle either.
22. Having to practice Bach when I didn't understand how.
23. Worrying my period would start.
24. My horrible haircuts.
25. Being put in the middle.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

25 things I miss about childhood

Issa and I are cheerleading each other through the month of November. Today and tomorrow we are spinning off of Elan's prompt of 25 Things I Miss About Childhood and 25 Things I Don't. Only, we are doing them in two days instead of just one. Because we could use the extra post, quite frankly.

So today, we bring you the 25 things we do miss about childhood. Here are Issa's 25 Things (which I haven't read yet because I didn't want to be all, "Oh! Me too!"). Here are mine:

1. Places to hide. There was an empty lot next door to us when we moved into our new house in 1979. It was overgrown in the back half, and although now, I realize it was just weeds and bushes, back then, it felt like I was getting lost in a forest. A builder left some bricks behind, and I built myself a fort. Read: small brick wall. It was my favorite place to read. I would also climb up onto the shelf in my closet above the rack for my clothes. I could sit up there and hide from my brother, or I could pretend it was my very own clubhouse. I always loved a fort.

2. Birthday parties. I miss other people's birthday parties. Mainly the cake. Rather, the anticipation of whether or not I would get an icing rose.

3. Getting a treat at the Tote-Sum. There was a convinence store on the way home from our school that wasn't a gas station - it was just a convinence store. It was called the Tote-Sum, and everyday, we would try and convince whatever mom was driving carpool that day to stop and buy us all a treat. Presumptious, right? But some days, they would do it. And we would pile into the Tote-Sum, pick out a piece of candy, and then pile back into the car. Sans seatbelts, of course.

4. Saturday morning cartoons. Bugs Bunny. The Smurfs.

5. Packing for a car trip. Deciding what would go in that bag was almost better than the adventure itself. Having to entertain myself confined to my half of the backseat was akin to number 1 on my list. It was like having my own little fort back there, and time to read as many books for as long as I wanted to read them.

6. Picking out an animal to hide in my daddy's bag when he had to travel. Daddy had to have some company. I used to sneak into his room while his suitcase was still open and stash one of my furry friends in it so that he wouldn't be lonely in his hotel rooms.

7. Spending the night with my grandmother. Even when she tried to curl my hair, I still loved being with her. She taught me how to make scrambled eggs, bake a cake, and never minded that my favorite thing to do was plunder through her belongings. I loved seeing what she had saved and collected over the years. Speaking of collecting, I miss

8. Watching her sew. I never thought I would miss that, but I do. She collected piles upon piles of fabric that she bought when it was on sale or just because it was beautiful. One time, she showed me how to thread the sewing machine, even though she was mostly blind at the time, and asked me to get the thread through the eye of the needle for her. I miss helping her, knowing now that she was really teaching me all the time.

9. Spaghettios and what I called Raviolios. So basically, pasta from a can. Yeah. Gross.

10. Riding my bike. All afternoon. All alone. All through the neighborhood. Without a helmet.

11. Pretend play. I miss getting lost in a story of good and evil. I miss pretending I'm a Smurf with my friend Amy. I miss the simple improvisation of childhood. My boys play this way together already, and I can't seem to slip back into it again. I was a perfectly useless Princess Lea in the backyard this past weekend.

12. Hunting Eater Eggs with my granddaddy. Every year. Into my 20's.

13. Sitting at the top of the stairs on Christmas morning with my brother. Every year. Even the first year he was married. My new sister-in-law joined us on the landing. We had coffee and groaned a lot, but I'm glad we had that one last time.

14. Sleeping on his floor the night before. My grandparents would spend the night at our house, even though they only lived about a mile away. It was just easier for everyone to come down in their pajamas at the crack of dawn. So I made a pallet and a fort with pillows and burrowed myself down into it to sleep at the foot of my brother's bed. Then I would sleep there for as many more nights as I could get away with past that too.

15. Going to the library and getting a huge stack of books that I actually had time to read. I have always gotten lost in books. Still do. That's why I rarely read anymore. My children have to eat.

16. Playing the piano and getting new music. I loved being able to just sit and play. I could play the same piece over and over and over again, just soaking in the colors and the harmonies that I loved about it - or I could sit with a new book and read straight through it, sight reading my way to a musical high.

17. Talking to my stuffed animals. They each had their own voice. Their own name. Their own story. Elaborate stories that I developed with my friend, Jill, who had moved away to Texas when we were five. We were pen pals, but our animals were pen pals too. Come to think of it, I guess Jill was my first writing group.

18. Peeling the skin off the top of the pudding. You know, pudding that your mom actually cooked on the stove top.

19. Getting my standardized test results back. I loved nothing more than staring at those results. I didn't know how I always did well, but I did. I didn't care that it actually had nothing to do with everyday life. 99th percentile? I'll take it. I would love to be in the 99th percentile for something today.

20. Asking if someone could come over and play. Playdates weren't in existence. Friends were found on a spontaneous basis. If they were home and someone could get them to your house, then you played.

21. A big bowl of peanut butter with chocolate chips stirred into it. Eaten with a spoon.

22. A plate of melted cheddar cheese. Product of the new microwave in our house. Eaten with a fork.

23. Singing John Denver in the backseat of our car. Singing it out of key when my brother bugged me to stop singing at all (yes, the beginning of the "let's sing wrong" game that I continue today). Making up my own harmony when my family would tolerate it.

24. Pretending my bed or the living room couch was a boat. Apparently, I enjoyed being trapped as a child. Perhaps I should bring this up in therapy.

25. My daddy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mother Daughter

I am not her mother.

She is my sons' sister. She is my husband's daughter. I cannot claim her.

I am not her mother.

She is her own person. She is smart. She is talented. She is kind. I passed no genes to her.

I am not her mother, but she is my daughter.

A child of my heart. I love her with the love I have for her brothers. When she leaves, I feel part of our family slipping away, leaving a huge hole where she belongs. When she is here, I curse her teachers for giving her so much homework that she can't spend time with me in the evenings, and I simultaneously burst with pride that she is so conscious of her work on her own.

So I take her M'n'M's to munch on while she studies. I make her a sandwich to take for lunch. I try to remember to get her brothers' things out of her bathroom and make sure they stay out of her room.

It's not much. I'm sure she doesn't know how much I love her. I'm positive she doesn't know how much I'm going to miss her when she goes to college in a little over a year.

I've kept my distance. It is so important that she have a good relationship with her mother. A child needs that. I want her to always have that.

But can it be time for her to know that we are also parent and child? Stepmama and stepdaughter. Family. Friends.

Before she is gone, I want her to know that she can always come back. We will always be here for her, waiting for hugs, playdoh, coloring, TV marathons, family movie nights, and brownie baking.

I want her to know that I love her, and that even though I am not her mother, she is my daughter. My only, quite perfect, daughter.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Tonight was the night of the monthly Twitter chat, #blognow. The three lovely hosts are people I met have "known" online for years, but only really introduced myself to at BlogHer this past August. I have enjoyed talking with them instead of just listening in - it really has been so nice.

I don't ever really feel like a writer though. I like to write, but I'm not a writer. I like to sew, but I'm not a seamstress. I like to sing, but, well, okay. I'll take that one. I am a musician and have worked damn hard at making sure I was successful at that. Still. Creatively, I'm not exactly excelling.

The thing about November - that month where we torture ourselves with the promise to write everyday - it's a time where I force myself to sit down and post everyday. Granted, I've done a couple of gimmie posts already, but I also have done more writing this month than the past five or six months combined. So it's good for me.

I'm good at goals. Writing everyday for a month. Tracking what I eat through Weight Watchers. Getting the Listen to Your Mother show done. Things with tangible goals and deadlines, I can do.

This book that I want to write though? That's just me, thinking about it? Promising myself that I would write at least 500 words every night before I hit the pillow? That's not going so well.

Accountability. I need it, but don't have it where the book is concerned. I guess I'm not committed enough to it. I don't know.

I do know though, that I sat down tonight, thinking I would just post three lines, and I'm still rambling on and on. I have words. I just have to get them out. And edited. Some editing ever at anytime might be good.

Monday, November 12, 2012


I did it. I finally learned how to use my serger. With this great accomplishment, I did what I told myself I would do when I finally tackled the beast of a sewing machine.

I opened my Etsy shop.

I'm freaked out because I'm scared people will order something and then hate it. Ahhhhh, nothing like dampening your own happy news with the confines of self doubt and craziness.

But it's done. We'll see how it goes. If I can just recoup the costs of my ridiculous fabric habit, I will be very happy. Ahem. Kevin will be very happy.

Please come have a look see: Specraftular. The shop.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday bullets

It's Sunday. We are about to watch Spiderman, so I'm glad I established the bullet routine last week. It will make this quick.

  • There are at least 35 baby albino dwarf pleckos in my fish task. The guppies are keeping their population in check, but the pleckos are breeding like crazy. I'm at a loss as to what to do with them. A ten gallon take really only needs one or two. I have somewhere around 40 now. 
  • Anybody want some pleckos? 
  • I forgot to post yesterday. Instead of quitting or feeling like a failure, I decided to shrug it off and move on. It's not the end of the world, and it doesn't have to stop me from posting the rest of the month.
  • Tomorrow is Circle (the monthly women's Bible study at my church), and I have to give the closing prayer at the luncheon - which is in front of all the Circles combined, not just mine. Praying in front of people is the only thing that still rattles my nerves. No other speaking or performing does.
  • I just made a vegan, nut-free version of the Nut Butter Granola bars that my friend Kara introduced me too. I think the honey will be missed the most, but maybe not.
  • I've been sewing up a storm. Something big is going to happen this week. 
  • Christopher is the special helper tomorrow at school. The line leader. The Super Star. He is beyond excited every time he gets to be the line leader, and he takes it very seriously. For show and tell, he's taking a hand me down toy from Susan's boys who were handed it down from Jean's boys. It is obviously an awesome toy. He will also take a snack to share with his class (hence the nut-free, vegan granola bars). Then, he will continue to try and lead us around at home the rest of the day. Yay.

Christopher at his last line leader day. I love how he wrote his name.
  • Really. Does anyone want some pleckos?
  • We watched Star Wars for family movie night this weekend. Christopher was blown away and can't believe we kept something so incredibly awesome from him all this time. Did you know that he fought Darth Vader? Yes, he did. And he reminded us of this fact every time DV came on  scene.

Vanquishing the Dark Lord at Hollywood Studios. 
  • Today, we played Star Wars in the backyard and decided that Gibby is Chewy, Aja is CP30, and Macy Moo is R2D2. It works out very well.
  • Also, more poisonous spiders in our backyard today. Brown recluse this time. Much smushing was had.
  • That's it. Time for Spiderman with my favorite 16 year old.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Fancy pants

Oh, November. I am so sleepy tonight. I don't think I can possibly come up with a post.

I've been sewing all day in my "ree time." Free time = the time that the boys were either napping or agreed to be occupied for 20 minutes with the Nintendo DS.

Colin demands to choose his own clothes. It's fine with me - I'm just not used to it. Christopher has always been my little fashion model, letting me dress him in whatever I wanted to. But not Colin. He has his own ideas about what to wear.

He's not terribly picky. As long as it's not a smocked jon jon (there goes his entire church wardrobe) or a pair of plain pants, he's happy. Yes. I said plain pants.

Colin likes for his pants to be flamboyant. He likes patterns and prints. All the time. So, I obliged today. I made him a pair of British flag pants, some pants with London double decker buses, and some pants with bicycles all over them.

He's a weird little dude.

And this post should have pictures. But I'm so tired.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Listen to Your Mother: Raleigh-Durham 2013

Today's post is a gimmie.

Thanks to KeAnne Hoeg to venturing on this journey with me. We have an amazing group of mothers and writers in the Triangle area who we will be presenting at one of 24 shows in Ann Imig's beautiful brainchild, Listen to Your Mother.

Details of the show will follow, but for now, please jump over to the Listen to Your Mother website and learn about the show that's been giving a voice to motherhood since 2010. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Science fiction and the blonde

Susan loved science fiction. There were whole series of books and authors she collected, scouring used bookstores wherever she went. She found used bookstores in Raleigh that I didn't even know existed.

She tried recommending science fiction books for me, but being the stereotypical dumb blonde, I just couldn't get into them. It was, of course, because I couldn't understand them. We eventually stuck to the other books we read, trading them, discussing them, and every now and then, just randomly mailing them to each other. "This one made me think of you," as the inscription.

After she died, I did so many things to try and hold onto her. Some involved Google, others involved comfort food (read: donuts), but there was one thing I found that actually did make me feel like she was right there with me. Reading. We were always talking what we had read lately.

I bought Madeline L'Engle's Time Quintet on my Nook, and I read them all over again. I have always loved A Wrinkle in Time, and I know I've tried reading A Swiftly Tilting Planet and A Wind in the Door, but I never understood them. This time, I did. I loved them all, and I felt like Susan was right there with me on every page.

This past week, I sent the books to my nephew for his birthday (which was in July, but I'm random that way). I know they will be hard to understand at first, but he is already looking at the stars and asking questions. His telescope sits in the dining room, waiting for him to discover how much is really out there. I find myself hoping that he will be able to have a conversation about books the next time I get to visit him - I do so love to talk about books with someone who loves the stars too.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


Monday, November 05, 2012


Tomorrow I will try again. I will start over in the morning and try harder not to yell. When they prance into my room just before daylight, I will be happy to see them. If they need something even earlier, I will get it for them and remember that they are only little for a short time.

Tomorrow I will start getting everyone dressed earlier so that there is no rushing to get out the door on time. I will put muffins on the table and milk in their cups and sit with them before we start our day. By 8:00, we will be upstairs, picking out clothes and brushing teeth because there is no need to rush two small boys who have been up since 6:00.

Tomorrow I will plan ahead for an earlier lunch so that the littlest won't be hungry before we have to pick up his brother. I will feed him on time so that he won't have to melt down. He will be more comfortable with a full belly, and he won't be so short tempered.

Tomorrow I will vote. I will take my boys to the polls with me and explain to them the importance of what we are doing. I will vote for all families. I will vote for women. I will vote for my daughter. I will vote for continued economic revitalization. I will have hope instead of fear. I will anticipate instead of worry about the outcome.

Tomorrow I will make time to play. I will prioritize my own responsibilities to include at least one puzzle, one round of Candyland, and a half hour of swingset time with my boys. I will enjoy their laughter. When they insert the word "poop" into song lyrics, I will laugh with them and add a verse about boogers.

Tomorrow I will get up and try again. I will try harder. I cannot fix today. I can only hope to outweigh the days like today with days like tomorrow will be.

Because as of right now, tomorrow is all I can do.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Sunday bullets

Sunday isn't a day I usually blog. Couple the scheduling conflicts with the time change and then toss on the frequent night visits from Colin - and you get my November posts for Sunday. Now with BULLETS!

  • The older Colin gets, the more I realize how easy I had it with Christopher. How very cliche.
  • Yesterday, I got to see Mallory's field show for the first time all season. She had a solo and was awesome. I am so proud of her.
  • Christopher is recognizing some sight words now. They are all names of his friends in his class. This makes me extraordinarily happy.
  • Kevin and I had a spontaneous date last night. We went out to see Tres Chicas, who I love.
  • I'm teaching 2 year old Sunday School this year.
  • I would like to make and sell some Christmas pajamas this year, but I really haven't the foggiest idea of how to go about it. Well, the making part, I can do. Past that? Clueless.
  • The boys have already decided what they want for their birthday parties. In January. Christopher wants Batman, and Colin wants Mickey Mouse. So different from last year's Superhero party and Mickey Mouse party. I wish I had saved more of the stuff.
  • One more thing that I want to make sure I remember: Last weekend, I had tickets to take Christopher to the North Carolina Symphony. When I was going over the weekend plans with Mallory, she got excited about the concert, so I gave her my ticket and she took her little brother to the concert. I could spell out how awesome she is, but I think that story and the following picture sum it up nicely.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

The jar

Today I put money in a jar for judging myself. It's my work. For myself.

Every time I judge myself or think, "I should . . ." I'm supposed to put money in a jar. The only problem with it is that when I put the money in the jar, it starts a vicious cycle of, "Why am I such a dumbass that I keep being so hard on myself and having to put money in this jar? I suck at this."

Oh, wait. More money in the jar.

I'm not sure this is really working that well.

Friday, November 02, 2012

And then I melt

He's in my bed again. The little one, Colin. Somehow he knows when I go to bed before his daddy does. Some toddler sixth sense.

"Why you wear Elmo pants to go downstairs?"

Because they're comfortable.

"Can I have some water bottle?"


"Do you remember when I was a baby? I a big boy now."

Yes. I remember. You are so big now.

"Mommy? I really want a snuggle."


I can't resist him. I can't resist the questions, the requests, or even the screaming. He is irresistible.

"Thank you, Mama, for taking me to Trick or Treat."

And then I melt. He thanks me randomly throughout the day for things that I would think were just passing events. Dinner, a kiss, changing his diaper, buckling his car seat are all worthy of a "thank you"  sprinkled into our daily life.

He is so sweet. Until he's not. I have learned that in my family, you don't get one extreme without the other. The sweet it worth it. Possibly not in the exact moment that I'm being whacked in the face by him mid-tantrum, but in the end, the sweet is worth it.

Thursday, November 01, 2012


November. That month where we torture ourselves by promising to post every day.

I'm in. Because I love this place and hate that I neglect it so for the ease of popping a picture with Instagram, checking in on Twitter, or quipping away in my Facebook status.

Thanks to Issa, I'm in this year for posting everyday in November. She is too, and I'll link when I'm not on the iPad.

This is what I've bee doing. Lots of sewing. Some Captain Americas and an outfit for a little girl I wish I got to see more often. Keeps me busy and feeling creative, even when I'm not writing.

Happy NoBloPoMo. I never get that right.