Something Worth Something.

I made it through Spring Break. Wow. I guess it was just a preview of what this summer will be like. A lot

A lot of good, a lot of bad, a lot of tears, a lot of laughter, A LOT OF CHAOS, and a lot of life. As hard as this is and as much as I struggle … and believe me, I struggle … I came away from that time exhausted and sunburned but feeling that good kind of tired that I feel when I know I’ve done hard, worthwhile work.

Maverick is 5 years and 7 months old and he now knows how to make his bed, take out the kitchen garbage, put a new bag in the can, set the table, and make his own sandwiches. He can also sweep and steam mop the kitchen with some help. He learned how to climb trees, which caterpillars are the stinging kind, and we’re working on tying his shoes. He can wash his own hair, takes a shower on his own and is pretty much all of the sudden a big boy.

Brothers sharing an afternoon snack.

Maverick picked a bouquet for me every day.


These are the things I had in mind when I signed up to be a stay-at-home mom. It brings me joy to sit outside on a blanket and watch my kids discover the world right there in their front yard. I love watching my younger kids watch their big brother. I love fostering independence in a safe environment.

We don’t have much money, so everything we do is simple — but it brings me so much happiness to see the magic that unfolds when you put a child outside and just let them do their thing. So while I may be nervous/terrified about the three months I’ll have this summer with my children, who will be 5, 2, and 1 years old … I think I can handle it? 

I was totally cringing with fright as I typed that sentence. I probably just jinxed myself for the next 7 years. Yikes. 

Anyway, clearly it’s not going to be easy, but I hope we can pull through it in one piece. And while I am certain the house and my eyebrows will be a hot mess, I hope I will feel kind of like I do now. Like I did something worth something. Because I did. I really, really did.

Watching big brother arduously drag the garbage can up to the house.

Doing Something.

Sometimes I think moms get dismissed for various reasons — because they “don’t work” or they’re “just moms” or because they start to fade into the background as soon as their babies are born.

They stop wearing heels. Their shape changes. Their priorities change, they don’t want their picture taken, and sometimes, sadly, they lose themselves. 

One thing that’s nice about going to an all-ladies gym is that when I go in the mornings, it’s mostly older women who are finished with child-rearing. Almost every time I go, one of them says something encouraging like “You have THREE kids?! And you’re at the gym?! Good for you, honey!” And sometimes they pat me. On certain days, it’s all I can do not to bury my face in a velour-jumpsuited shoulder and cry.

I don’t actually go to the gym because I want to work out. I go because I need a break from my children and housework. When I share this with one of the older ladies, they laugh and start telling me that they remember how hard it was but I will get through it, because she did and look! She’s still alive.

Yesterday I was chatting with the sweet lady sitting next to me in yoga class and she said, “If you can turn out kids that grow into decent adults … then you’ve really DONE something.” And I thought, YES. Yes I will have! Thank you so much, random stranger, for saying that out loud. Also, I’ve been up since 4:30 with a demanding toddler and my nerves are raw and all I want in this world is a pedicure, a mojito, and to be left alone for like 12 hours straight. 

Encouraging words are like manna to exhausted young mothers. It feels like I’m running a race and I’m at the part where I think it’s never going to end and I might die, and then someone hands me a cup of water and yells something inspiring.

I keep going because that is what mamas do. We press on, tired and faded as we are, with the knowledge that we are really doing something. And that is why I get so irritated when moms are asked, “What do you DO all day?” I’ll tell you what I do.  


I Totally Do Not Have This.

The other day I took all three kids to the grocery store because I’m an idiot or because I’m brave, I don’t know which. Luckily, there was a huge shopping cart made for multiple kids sitting in the parking lot, and I parked right next to it thinking to myself that I TOTALLY HAVE THIS.

Here is the picture that I posted on social media, because I totally had this. Normally people don’t post pictures of themselves NOT HAVING IT, right?


So let me tell you what happened right before this picture was taken … and you will know the truth: I so did not have this.

I put Asher in the big yellow cart first and lodged him safely behind the van. I would have wedged the cart between the van and the car next to me, but there wasn’t room and he has been known to reach over and pull on the side view mirrors of stranger’s vehicles when my back is turned.

I walked over to the baby’s side and started unbuckling her. I chatted with Maverick and gave him a cheese stick, because I was so on top of this situation that I even remembered to bring snacks. Just as I was lifting Pepper out of her carseat, Maverick walked around the back of the van and started yelling, “Asher’s rolling away! Asher’s rolling away!” 


Just like that, my fantasy of being on top of this situation came crumbling down. There he was, about 5 or 6 parking spaces down from us, gaining speed as he rolled across the parking lot.

The next few moments are a little hazy, but I know I was running with a baby which is a terrible idea. The kind patrons of Albertson’s were throwing their cars in park and jumping out to try and stop him, and one lady finally caught him and brought him back to me and I remember her telling me “I have three kids too, but they’re all grown now … can I help you with the baby?” And she stood right there the whole time I buckled Pepper into that yellow monstrosity and I really think she wanted to escort us into the grocery store herself. I was eerily calm and she probably thought I was on something. 

I kind of wish she was right.

At this point, I think I’ve used up my entire reserve of panic mode. Now when things happen, I remain freakishly calm and it understandably confuses and upsets people — like, What is wrong with this girl?! Why is she so calm?! Well, it’s because I feel like I’ve almost seen it all in a very short amount of time. It’s like I’m shell-shocked.

After I had time to process it, it kind of cracked me up that all these people out there in social media world were under the impression that I took 3 kids to the store in a big yellow cart and it was totally awesome because I am just that kind of mom.


The Time My Oven Caught Fire.

Friday, my oven caught fire when I was at home alone with all three children. The house is fine and we are fine. I’m telling you this up front, so you have the option to just say, “Wow,” and move on with your day, or stick with me and hear the whole story.


I had some people coming over, so I went full speed from the time I got up, trying to kind of clean the house amid the chaos which we all know is a pointless endeavor. I also had to shower, make myself presentable, get the kids to take their naps and feed them, make them presentable, all while texting because that is how I roll. 

I wanted to make chocolate chip cookies because that’s my signature baked item. They are easy and delightful because they are comprised mostly of Butter-Flavored Crisco. So I had Asher napping and Maverick watching TV and was simultaneously feeding Pepper in her high chair and baking the cookies. I put the first pan of them in and they came out fine. I put the second pan in and a few minutes afterward realized that I smelled something weird. So I looked at the oven from where I was sitting and saw an orange glow. I got up to investigate and the whole damn thing was ABLAZE. 

I absolutely freaked out. I have no idea what I did or said. Pepper sat there staring at me with her big owl eyes like this …

 … while I opened the stove and removed the pan and threw a box of baking soda on the flames which did NOTHING. Meanwhile, Maverick came running into the kitchen asking what was going on. I started to panic and dumped a whole bag of flour on the flames and all that did was create a lot of black smoke. 

I did what made sense: I called Husband screaming about how I was about to call 911 because the oven was on fire. I then hung up on him and dialed 911 as I frantically threw water on top of the now-bigger fire … which also did nothing … then proceeded to rush the kids to the van and start the process of buckling them in, putting jackets and shoes on them because it was like 45 degrees outside.

I have to give him credit, Maverick was a very big help to me during this particular emergency. He was calm and helped with the little kids, who were understandably confused. Poor Asher got ripped from his room by his panicked mother who was still in pajamas. After they were safely in the van I started the out-of-body experience of trying to think of what I would need should the house go up in flames. I rushed to the back and threw on clothes, put on shoes, grabbed my backpack with diapers, etc. and got Pepper’s half-empty bottle, all the while thinking, OMG, the house is going to explode while I am back here putting workout clothes on because I am too embarrassed to be seen in my ratty pajamas.  

Yes, I realize it was dumb to take the time to change clothes. But I’ll tell you what, I looked pretty cute when the firemen showed up.

Husband got here right before the fire department and he ran in to see the fire which was starting to die out and then four firemen showed up and the fire was completely out by then. I apologized and they very nicely said “Don’t apologize!” but I felt like an idiot. The heating element itself is what was burning and it had cracked in two. I stood there in my not-embarrassing outfit and thanked myself for making sure I didn’t look like hell since I had pretty much lost my dignity with the use of my oven.

After they left, I got the kids out of the van and returned to the kitchen to see Husband standing there next to the pile of water and flour, which had turned into a gelatinous goo, eating cookies off the one good pan I’d made. It was at this point that I think it dawned on him that this was going to be It. This was going to be The Thing That Sent Harmony Over The Edge.

I came unglued and I faintly recall yelling, and then … I just checked out of the entire situation. I turned around and returned to feeding Pepper the rest of her lunch. The boys stared quietly from the living room. Husband quietly went to our room and stripped down, came into the kitchen, and cleaned everything up, all of it. I had to do nothing. It was such a huge, disgusting mess, but he took care of the entire situation and then wordlessly got dressed into his work clothes again when he was done. 

Clearly this was to atone for his sin of eating off the one good pan of cookies. 

Other than the house having an odd smell, there was really no sign that anything had happened by the time my guests arrived. My oven needs replacing, and since we rent, we will have to wait until the landlord gets around to it.

If you never understood why I joke so much about it being a miracle that we all make it through the day, THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. It’s also why I’m not bothering to make New Year’s resolutions this year, because I’m too busy doing other things like keeping us all alive.

Eaten Alive.

The holidays are eating me alive and I just thought that you should know. 

Actually, life is eating me alive … I can’t blame it all on the holidays. I can, however, pinpoint the day things went from chaotic to i-n-s-a-n-e. It was Halloween evening, when I was running around frantic trying to get the kids ready for a party, thinking of a million different things like, “How will Pepper feel about being dressed like an owl for two hours? She’s going to hate it, probably. I hope this material doesn’t break her skin out … OMG, how am I going to get all three of them dressed in freaking costumes by myself?! I haven’t eaten in almost 12 hours, I should eat something …”

And in the midst of that, Asher bashed his sister over the head with his sippy cup. Hard. I didn’t see it happen, but the way she screamed was alarming. It took about 10 minutes for me to notice the dent in the top of her head, right smack in the middle of her soft spot. I placed an emergency call and Husband rushed home, and of course she’s fine now, but ever since that night I’ve been a bit of a mess. And that was nearly 2 months ago.

I don’t know what to do except continue to ride this ridiculous roller coaster, knowing that my hard work is paying off in ways I’m not yet able to see. Last week was Maverick’s school Christmas program, and he had a solo. My 5-year-old, my “big” boy who is the youngest kid in his school and looked so tiny up on that big stage, sang all by himself. It was absolutely one of the proudest moments of my life.

Thank God for those glimpses that remind me that I can do this, because I am doing this. It takes a lot of resolve to carry on, and don’t ask me where it comes from because I really don’t know. I think people are praying for me not to lose my shit, and so far, those prayers appear to be working. 

Also, it’s a lot easier to carry on when you are wearing adorable shoes. I mean, really.

Thank you Laure for my super cute boots!

Just Wait.

You know what has always gotten on my nerves? When someone says, “Just wait until …” Like, “You think this is bad? Just wait until …” Because that’s helpful. Thank you, everyone, for pointing out more things to worry about. That is exactly what the world needs.

I understand why people do this. You see a person who has no idea what’s coming, and feel the need to educate them, because, JUST WAIT. If I met my one-kid self today on the street, I’d have to fight the urge to tell her “You think you’re tired NOW?! Just wait until you have three kids. Then you’ll see what tired really means.” 

I have found myself choking back unhelpful just waits in recent weeks. I have a friend who is pregnant with her first child, other friends who don’t have children yet, people who are considering things like marriage and job changes and moving. And every time they talk to me, my first instinct is to say “Just wait until …” because I’m coming from a place of exhaustion and it’s hard for me to remember what it was like before.

So I started thinking about that. Just wait. 

Just wait until that baby looks at you for the first time.

Just wait until you can say “my husband” when you’re talking about that man. When you say your new name out loud.

Just wait until you hear baby giggles. Just wait until you see them find their feet for the first time. Or their hands.

Just wait until you understand why people say what they say about being a mother. I can’t explain it to you … just wait.

Just wait until you stop caring so much about what everyone thinks.

For every gloomy “just wait,” there are a hundred more happy ones. So maybe if I saw this girl today in the store with this little guy, I’d tell her, “You’re doing a great job. And just wait. It gets so, so good.”

Mommy and Maverick, October 2009.


We’re back from our 4-day trip to Alabama for the holiday. It was a blur … I really don’t remember any of it. I feel like I didn’t eat as much as I would have liked to. BUT, it was a success because nothing got broken and no one had to go to the E.R. Traveling with children is so exhausting. I really do not recommend it.

Real life (laundry) is too much for me to deal with right now, which is why I’m sitting at my computer instead thinking happy thoughts about my best friend in the world who is going to have her first child in March. A girl! 

Her baby shower was yesterday, and I was so excited to be there I could barely contain myself. But I did, because that’s what proper adults do.

Everyone else was behaving properly, so I tried to stuff it all in. And I did fine until the end when I had to leave, and I just got so overwhelmed because I am SO HAPPY for her that I started crying like an idiot. It’s because I know the joy that is waiting for her, and if anyone is deserving of that experience, it’s my dear friend Amy.


Thanksgiving is 2 days away and I am frantically trying to get everything ready for our first road trip as a family of five. It’s like a test of my mom-hood … can I do it? Can I pack all 5 of us and all the crap that goes along with having small children and still manage to look presentable for the holiday?

I’ll let you know how it goes. Meanwhile …

Pepper does an Elvis impersonation.


All Our Kids Want Is For Us To Be Happy.

This morning I was awakened once again at 4:17 a.m. by my toddler. And the blur continues.

Then I read this blog post by one of my favorite bloggers, Glennon Melton. Man, I love her. She sounds intense, like in person she might stress me out? But her writing … I just love.

You should read what she had to say this morning. All our children want in this world, really, is for us to be HAPPY. I am a happiness-seeker and have always tried to “feed my soul” when I feel it being emptied, but it’s true that once you become a mother people place all these extra expectations on you. You’re labeled selfish or self-involved if you feed your soul too much. You should be focused more on your children — YOU’RE A MOTHER NOW. There’s no time for you anymore. Usually the people who place that kind of crap on you have forgotten how to feed their own souls.

There are plenty of selfish parents out there who don’t know how to really love another person, and those people can’t be lumped together with people like me who just don’t want to disappear into the blur. Sometimes I feel like the only thing saving me from being sucked into the vortex is this blog, and I might be hanging onto my happiness and my SELF with my fingernails … but I’m hanging on. I have a life to live, and it’s MINE. My children are a part of it, a big part. But they are not my everything. My husband is my partner in all things, but he is also not my everything.

That does not make me self-involved. It makes me a real person with real interests other than my kids … even though they really are all I talk about. So today I encourage any woman reading this to think about what makes you truly happy, and DO IT. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for the people who love you and want you to be HAPPY.