Calling Mommy Back-Up

Mommy Back-UpA friend of mine emailed me the other day. She’s pregnant, her job is going haywire, her husband is in full-time school, and just that day, her son figured out how to climb out of his crib . . . and forgot how to sleep.

Yeah. One of those times.

And I was her about 5 years ago when my son (then 2-years-old) climbed out of his crib and promptly refused his nap, bedtime, and every other structure we had in place at the time. Did I mention that I work from home? And the only time I had to work was during nap time. Um. Problem.

So I identify with my friend. I emailed her back giving her a few hints, ideas, and thoughts. And she’s been on my mind ever since. I dropped her a line a few days later wondering if there’s something I can do to help—bring a meal, babysit, conjure sanity from thin air.

I hope she takes me up on it. I’d be happy to help, and she could use the Mommy back-up.

But I’m afraid she won’t. Because let’s face it.

When I was there I didn’t want to ask for help. It felt too, well, needy.

In fact I didn’t want to take help or in any way look like I couldn’t handle it. I should be able to do it on my own. Right? Right?! I can still see my hands shaking from too much caffeine and not enough sleep. I was so tired, I literally walked into walls.

While I’m not walking into walls these days, I am overwhelmed. Partly because I stupidly said yes to too many things. And partly because my oldest is entering teenhood, trying to figure out life, and she needs her mom (and I refuse to be anywhere else).

I hope I learned something in the last 5 years–learned to ask for help and receive it when someone offers. I know I’ve shuffled my kids to friend’s houses, ordered pizza, and broken down and let them have more screen time than I’d like. It’s what I need to do for right now. And that’s okay.

What are the things that other people have done for you that have made your life easier? What are things you wish someone would do to give you Mommy Back-Up?

There’s Something About Deadlines

It’s time for one of the two Thursdays of every month where I give a nod to the things that make us stop and say, “There’s something about . . . ”

Deadlines Twitter

It’s spring break week here in Michigan.

I’m joining my friends, neighbors, and family in the water. Theirs is of the Florida-like, warm water beach variety and mine is, unfortunately, strictly metaphorical.

My fabulous kids are home and doing a great job of entertaining themselves while I work. So it isn’t their fault that I’m near drowning and the sharks are circling.

I have an overloaded schedule.

We’ve all been there. We’re happily going through life and we think, “Yes, I can take that project on . . . and that one . . . ” and then suddenly: Continue reading “There’s Something About Deadlines”

Get Your Wallow On

Get Your Wallow On

I’ll admit there are times when I get tired of looking for beauty in all the first-world ugly I see. I just want to wallow for a minute or two . . . or a week.

Just so we’re clear, to wallow is a verb meaning to roll about in the mud for refreshment.

Yep. Rolling in the mud for refreshment. Get out me out some tunes and get a little pig wallow on.

I don’t know about you but I’m not sure rolling in the ugly is refreshing. I know it isn’t pretty for anyone to watch and it makes me downright sticky and stinky. And yet I do it.

I find myself failing again and getting stuck there, burying myself in the ugly. Counting the ways life is hard:

Continue reading “Get Your Wallow On”

There’s Something about Thursday: Two Ways to a Better Home Life

There’s Something about Thursday: Two Ways to a Better Home Life

Changing the way you look at your daily life, because there’s something about the way you think.

It’s Thursday, the day we stop and wonder, giving a nod to the things that make us stop and say, “There’s something about . . . “


2 Ways to a Better LifeA quick trip through the medical research in cyberspace will have you convinced that your brain is an amazing creation. Extremely powerful.

In addition to keeping your body functioning, there is research that proves a correlation between positive thinking and lower stress, healthier bodies, etc. All done with your brain. Who knew?

But positive thinking is a little easier said than done when you try and bring it home. Continue reading “There’s Something about Thursday: Two Ways to a Better Home Life”

There’s Something About Accountability

AccountabilityI didn’t want to write today. The last two posts were a little hard for me to write. I was walking lines, trying to step carefully, not sure if I had crossed over or not. That feeling of insecurity, combined with the busyness of the holidays and starting the first round of edits for my novel, has left me a little done in.

But I made a promise to you and myself that I would purposefully look for, see, and celebrate the good things. And that promise forced me to look today.

To see the gorgeous sunrise and watch in wonder as the sun’s spark slowly spread from a tiny spot to flames spreading from horizon to horizon.

To hear the laughter in my sister’s voice despite the hard things she endures.

To feel the heat in my home and good food filling my stomach.

So today, I thank you. Whether you know it or not, you are my accountability, my outside-myself-reason to keep finding beauty, to keep writing, and frankly, to not play it safe.

Today you helped me find the beauty in the world so filled with amazing things, I often miss the overflowing and take it for granted.

So if you took my challenge earlier this week and decided to not play it safe, what are you doing to be sure you will actually take that step? If you’re willing, I would love to know what your dreams and hopes are for the coming year. Maybe we can help keep each other accountable.

When Fine Isn’t Fine

IMG_4106I sat in church the other day and listened to folks talk to the brand new mom behind me.

“How is it going?” “Fine.” “She looks like such a good baby.” No response, but a small smile from the mom.

And when they left she breathed to her husband, “What else am I supposed to say?”

Tears filled my eyes. I hate the word fine.
Fine says nothing.
It’s neither here . . .
Nor there.

Fine makes it easy to hide.

How are you doing? Fine. When life is slipping through your fingers. Fine. When you’re barely keeping panic from exploding your chest. Fine. I look fine. Feel fine. The day is fine, thank you very much.
Continue reading “When Fine Isn’t Fine”


OverflowedIn the interest of being honest, I’m struggling.

Not in the sense that I am enduring the huge storms of life. No. It’s the slow trickle of the stream of stress that’s worn me down around the edges.

Over the last year or so, I’ve been on a journey to discover what it means to be still. It’s a glorious place . . . when I can find it.

What I’m struggling with, what I don’t know how to do, is be still within the hectic franticness that is life. How do you practice being still when helping your daughter study history, while your son is asking for help with spelling, and in the midst of realizing that you forgot to start dinner? Again.

The stream overflows. And that’s where I’m at. Overflowed. Continue reading “Overflowed”

Beautifully Diverse

trail-of-tearsMy daughter is studying the Native Americans in social studies. This week her class started studying the Eastern Woodland Indians, specifically the Cherokee. This amazing people group assimilated into the European colonies and, in many ways, looked exactly like their neighbors.

But they weren’t. They were different.

And that difference allowed people’s greed for gold to forcibly remove the Cherokee and other Native Americans from their land, enduring disease, exposure, and starvation. The Trail of Tears.

When I told my girl the story of the Cherokee, she stared at me, confusion pulling her eyebrows together.


In her wide-eyed innocence, “Why?”

Why, indeed?

You see, my girl is an artist and she understands that in art, in beauty, contrast and difference is celebrated and encouraged. That which makes something different, is core to making it beautiful. Continue reading “Beautifully Diverse”

On Real Beauty



The light bends golden across the horizon.
Yellow leaves twisting golden in the breeze.
Distant sounds of laughter call me out

To join the dance

The celebration
Of coming winter
Of summer’s dying

A remembrance
Of predictable pattern
Of persistent change

In the beautiful death of one thing
Comes the shimmering new life of another.


headshot 1 fixedWhen I realized that the late afternoon light was the perfect golden tone for pictures, I grabbed my camera for a selfie. It didn’t even occur to me to not fix my makeup.
Continue reading “On Real Beauty”