My love,

Today it has been five years since you and I promised each other forever. Five years…time flies when you’re having fun, eh? Or something like that.

Tonight I’m reminded that marriage isn’t always fun. In fact, It’s a lot of hard work. Its a ton of falling down and then getting back up- trying and trying again. It’s releasing your ego and desperately racing after it again upon second thought only to watch it float away out of reach into the night sky. Its grieving that loss of child-like certainty, an I-don’t-give-a-shit-what-you-think attitude. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to care what you think. And then I realize that I don’t actually *have* to care, I want to care because you have never stopped giving me chances.

Truth is, I still love you with just as fierce a commitment today as I did on that day five years ago. I guess I entered this relationship in a realistic kind of way. I’ve always known that the marriages which last are the ones in which people fight for each other and yet I also couldn’t have imagined just how gut-wrenching the growth that fighting produces could actually be. The key to this, as I see it now, is that we both take responsibility for our individual growth and hold each other accountable for that growth as well. Our fighting is productive! I think we were lucky to find that willingness in each other. You reel me back in when I’ve gone off the deep end and I do the same for you. Oh, who am I kidding? You never go off the deep end. But I do keep telling you what I think. You are the only person in the world whom I trust enough to hold even the ugliest of my feelings.

If ever we stop believing in us, stop talking, stop fighting, stop caring- that will surely be the beginning of the end. Lest you ever forget, please hear me now my love, I’m never EVER gonna give you up.

Brain Dump

I’ve got so much to do that my stomach is burning and buzzing and my mouth is dry and my jaw is clenched and my shoulders are scrunched up around my neck. I’m dumping out here because if I don’t, I may continue to panic like I am and this is not comfortable, so I need to do something about it.

Mainly, I’m trying to remind myself to breathe. Just breathe. Its hard to do though when you have a million things running around in your head, like the need to make a doctors appointment, the need to stop drinking caffeine, the need to get to your homework finally, the need to clean the house and pick up the daughter from daycare, the need to eat something more substantial than a sugary oatmeal cup and iced latte from the corner coffee shop.

Y’all, I feel like I’m failing. I feel like I just want to give up because that’s what I’d do anyway, right? I’d quit. I’d “just do whatever I want to anyway.” Why not just give in?

Breathing in………….breathing out…………breathing in………..breathing out…………

Okay, that’s a little bit better.

I’m breathing now.

Sometimes that’s all I can do in any given moment. I wish I could multi-task, even though I know this concept is a fiction- a story we tell ourselves in our hectic digitalized age. None of us really can multi-task. Only one thing at a time if you are going to do any one thing remotely well. Still, I fall for it. I see my list – broken up into sections, naturally- but each list is a mile long and I think about how much time I have to do these things and I think about the conditions that are ideal for me to get through the list and I cannot reconcile these two things.

My inner wisdom says to just sit with the discomfort, but y’all, I don’t have time to just sit with the discomfort.

What happens if I don’t do it all? What happens if I fail this class? What happens if I get my homework done on time, but the house doesn’t get cleaned? What happens if I lose my mind while sitting in a crazy messy, smelly house (because I will) and I permanently emotionally damage Olivia?

Okay, now that I type this out I realize how ridiculous this sounds.

Before I started typing this post, I typed out my list with the intention of sharing it here, so that’s what I’ll go back to now. My list. Slowly and steadily I’ll cross each item off, prioritizing as I go, always putting Olivia first. What is best for her? See…that’s where I get so stuck! If I’m concerned about her welfare then why do I spend so much time away from her doing my homework? If I love her, why am I so stressed out about the house being messy? If I care, why do I……………

This is about control, isn’t it?


The decision to make no decision 

For a while now C and I have been debating some really big decisions regarding jobs, home, and daycare. We live across the state line from a big city and most of our business happens in that city. O goes to daycare there, my counselor is there, C works there and my school is there. We live in this city in a different state, however, because we like the fact that it’s more laid back, our family and friends are here, the schools are better, and we don’t have to pay income tax. If I find a job in this state I also won’t have to pay income tax and that’s my goal. The thing is that so many people have been moving to our area that traffic has gotten so much worse in the last year. It feels to me like a crisis. Sitting in traffic is soul sucking and it activates my anxiety really extremely because O simply can’t tolerate it either.

So, we have been debating what to do about where we live, what daycare O goes to and where I should start looking for a job. There are honestly so many options that both of our heads have been spinning. I personally have had more than one full on panic attack, which is never fun. Without going into too many details, I have also begun to work on mindfulness training and deciphering wise mind apart from emotional/rational mind. I’m telling you, this couldn’t have come at a better time because through that practice I started to really sit with what my wise mind was saying about all of these balls that were in the air. Ultimately, my wise mind was telling me that we should not make a decision about our home, jobs, or daycare until I’m done with school. Fortunately, I will be done with my grad program by the end of spring 2016. I could be done at the end of winter, but I don’t want to push myself too hard and go crazy again. In some ways I still feel like I’m in the postpartum stage where emotions are fragile and sanity is more elusive than I like. I work very hard on maintaining equilibrium and I just feel like not pushing myself to finish one term earlier will help with that balance I seek.

So, we sit and wait. No decisions and no more talk about all the options until at least February when our lease is up. I will start to look for a job beginning in January, so who knows where I will find one. I might have to look outside of this area, which is a whole other post in and of itself. There is peace, though, in making no decisions. C and I literally shook hands to cement the agreement and I couldn’t help but throw myself into her arms for a hug afterward. It felt so good to be on the same page and to know that finally the chaos was coming to an end. I guess we actually did make a decision to make no decision. Now we just live our lives and the challenge becomes tolerating the distress of traffic with the baby who hates riding in the car. Knowing we will revisit the topic in February makes it a tiny bit more bearable. Also, I plan to look into Spanish language tapes for toddlers and more fun and engaging CDs. My hope is that she will start to look forward to this time in the car and if not, every time she screams and says my name over and over that’s just one more opportunity for mindfulness practice!

Here’s a moment of calm from yesterday:)



One thing I know for sure about myself is that I thrive on routine and predictability. This has only become more pronounced since becoming a mother. With all the chaos and unpredictability of parenting a toddler, if I can’t rely on certain touchstones then ima lose it, if you know what I mean. Thing is, I’m also still so frickin tired all the time that I have been subbing in bad habits for the benefit of a few more minutes of sleep.

For example, every day, like clockwork I get a large iced latte from the coffee stand by my house and lunch on the go. This saves me time making coffee and lunch at home, but costs me literally hundreds of dollars per month. Fail.

I get so resentful when I’m missing sleep and unfortunately there isn’t any way around it right now. Baby girl still crawls into our bed at night and nurses, so my sleep isn’t restful. Besides this, my body just needs more sleep than the average person. Even without her in bed, the amount of sleep I need to stay sane precludes  certain activities that I wish I had time for. This leads to resentment from my wife… So often it feels like I can’t win for losing.

However, tonight I’m thinking about a decision I made recently that I think is going to help with the money piece, so I’m feeling a tiny bit optimistic. O goes to daycare Tues-Fri and I recently switched the times to 8:30-2:30. This will allow DW to take her to daycare sometimes, but more importantly, it allows me to pick her up and drive home before traffic gets bad (her daycare is 1/2 hour away with no traffic). It also gives me time to fix dinner and prepare lunches for the next day before DW gets home. For a while now baby girl and I have had the morning breakfast smoothie routine in place, so combined with this plan for lunch and dinner, I’m really feeling positive about my ability to start saving some money! I’m also just stoked to have found a schedule that finally feels manageable and consistent enough to help me stay sane. So, we’ll see! Maybe if I’m able to do this the way I plan for a few weeks, I’ll have enough savings set aside for that inevitable time when I’m sick or tired or there’s bad traffic or something else comes up that keeps me from cooking and eating at home.

Keeping my fingers crossed and closing my eyes for the night!

Past tense

I’m keeping it all inside these days.

According to who I knew myself to be for the first 32 years of my life, this is a strange phenomenon. Not anymore, though.

So much is different about me now and I’m not sure how to feel other than…too tired to care most of the time. I see myself changing, not necessarily for the worse, and I can’t seem to find the sustained motivation to return to my former self.

Before Olivia peeked her big, sweet head into this world, I was adamant about staying true to myself despite my new title. I knew myself very, very well and believe me, that self-knowledge was hard won. No one was going to make me change!

What I didn’t anticipate were the natural changes that could occur without my explicit resistance- the shifts in my focus, my interests- even my values.

Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I up and became a gun-toting, stay-at-home, republican, home-schooling, evangelical Christian-ist mommy blogger. These shifts were much, much more subtle. They took me by surprise at a time when I had very little fight left. And you know what? Maybe some of these changes aren’t necessarily working for me anymore. I get it. The adaptive nature of survival. What was once a useful tool can become irrelevant once we are past the really hard part. Also, maybe, the realization that this tool is no longer useful is actually the first glimmer of emergence into a better space.

I want to write again, y’all. I want to care. I want to set up a schedule, wake up early with the birds, make coffee, take time to myself, get it all down and out.

Also, I don’t.

What I am sure of is this: This pulling inward, zipping my lips, pushing, pushing, pushing through, worked for 19 months. I guess I needed it. still do. My dearest wife does not, however, and its begun to get in our way.

When I was 20, my boyfriend at the time (who was 27), told me that I was going to change drastically between 20 and 25 and then again between 25 and 30. Indeed, looking back, I’m virtually unrecognizable to myself. Implicit in this developmental view, though, was the assertion that upon reaching 30 I’d never again be so changed that I would find myself a mere shell after the transition.

Motherhood did that to me. And again this time it was all for the better.

More, please.

Okay, maybe it’s the hormones released by holding my tiny niece or maybe it’s that I’m about to start my monthly girl time. Then again it could also be that I’ve been weaning Olivia and enjoying a newfound cuddly connection not merely based on meeting physical needs. Whatever it is, I totally want another baby.

Now is not the time. I’m still in graduate school and have about a year left. Olivia is still so small and life with her is only now starting to get even microscopically easier. We don’t have the money. I don’t have the patience. We haven’t yet finished filling in the cracks in our relational foundation. I’m not in shape enough to support another pregnancy. We don’t live in a big enough place….

You catch the drift. The list goes on and on. And yet… we do have those four vials on ice!

Hey, the good thing is that it really ain’t gonna happen by accident. Lol! It may not be time right now, but more and more I’m thinking we might just have to go for seconds sometime in the next few years.

Kisses for cousin 💗

She’s Here!!!!

Introducing baby Cora Ruth- all 8lbs, 3oz of her! She is a wee one at only 19″ long. Big bro and big sis were each 21.5″. She has a shiny halo of strawberry blond hair and is just the most perfect mix of her parents and older siblings! I’m so in love!!