Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Because the Good Hair Days Ought to Be Documented

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 05, 2011

Another Mindy Moment--Dedicated to my Anchors

I feel so odd lately. I don't feel like I quite fit anywhere. There are a few people (Jeffrey more than anyone, but also my family, my parents, my siblings, other friends who hopefully know who they are) who are so stabilizing and anchoring for me. When I feel so strange, so misplaced, I'm terribly grateful for those who love me just as I am.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Halloween--Another Phonetography Post

(Kaitybean actually had three costumes this year. This, Princess Luxa from Gregor the Overlander and a banana. All three she threw together with her creative brain and almost no help from me. Sadly, this is the only one I got a picture of.)

And just for a bonus, here's one of the hundreds of Peanut-stole-my-phone shots from my library:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

On a crisp November day

Life is so insane for me right now. Most days I love it. I love the wildness, the metamorphosis, the mess.

Other days--days like today--I want to curl up in a ball and cry. I want to hide. I stand in my messy kitchen and yell at the ceiling: Why can't I do anything right?

Then there are moments like this:

We visit Scud for lunch and stay to play, stay until noses are cold and hearts are warm and Coco's late for preschool but I don't care because I'm getting a bigger glimpse of my life, connecting with these boys in ways that nourish us all. It is so sweet. I am so loved. I love those around me so deeply.

All those little things I miss amidst the rushing winds of my life settle down from the sky and all is right again. Life is so, so good. I'm so in love with it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I love finding fun photo surprises on my phone.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hooray Fall!

Autumn at grandma's house is magical. Here's the proof:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, October 10, 2011

Looking Up--The Only Thing That Will Possibly See Me Through the Next Few Weeks

"Experience has taught me that if we, like President Monson, exercise our faith and look to God for help, we will not be overwhelmed with the burdens of life. We will not feel incapable of doing what we are called to do or need to do. We will be strengthened, and our lives will be filled with peace and joy.3 We will come to realize that most of what we worry about is not of eternal significance—and if it is, the Lord will help us. But we must have the faith to look up and the courage to follow His direction." --Carl B. Cook

From this talk:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Two Yummy Pasta Recipes

Because I'm a sucker for pasta and thought you might like these.  Both are light (low points in WW speak) and healthy.  The bolognese could be made from scratch and I'll be working on that recipe soon, but for now just look for a good quality jarred sauce.  It makes it easy and easy is good in my book.   Also, the carbonara can be made dairy free if you subsitute rice milk for regular milk and skip the butter and parmesan.  It would still be yummy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Loving Me Some...

Mindy Gledhill right now. Especially this song:

Such an empowering song. Love it. And I'm needing some empowerment right now.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Just Call Me Delilah

Only I was the one who cried and felt the loss today when I longed to play with those lovely blond curls. Regret and sadness and yet... He is soooo handsome.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Of Things Lost

According to my subconscious, my two youngest children died this month.

A few weeks ago, our family was swimming in a strange, stone complex of lifeguardless pools. There were lap pools and wading pools. All had stairs descending to the bottom; all were surrounded by gray, stone walls streaked with lime and rust and calcium deposits. One pool held my particular fancy. It was like a cube of water: twelve feet by twelve feet and twelve feet deep. It reminded me of the hippopotamus pool I used to stare into at Hogle Zoo when I was a kid. I couldn't see it, but like that pool at the zoo, I knew that somewhere behind me was a display of things that had been lost in the pool: false teeth, candy wrappers, sunglasses, purses... I watched my three oldest children swim confidently back and forth across the gaping green-black abyss. Then, Ammon, my youngest child waddled over from the wading pool and leapt fearlessly into the deep water. I was right by him, near the edge, and I jumped in, reached for him. I felt his soft flesh against my fingertips, but could not find a handhold, anything to grip. He slipped beyond my grasp and sunk like a lead ball to the bottom, one more addition to the collection of lost things.

Then, two nights ago, Jack and I played together at the top of a cliff. We were, in turns, at a carnival, a spectacular show, a meeting, a worship service, but always at the edge of a dizzyingly high cliff. Below us were trees and sandstone arches and white-picketed-suburban neighborhoods. At the last, we stood together in front of an audience, swinging back and forth on pine two-by-fours, holding tight to the rough and splintery rope that suspended the boards. People on the cliff above clapped and cheered, the immense scene of homes and arches and trees spread forever below us. We swung and laughed, exhilarated. Then Jack let go of the rope. "Grab the rope! Hold on tight!" I shouted, sure he was about to fall. I reached for him with one hand, caught just the seam of his shirt as he pulled away from me and plummeted to his death. The dream did not have the mercy to end there, but seemed to drag for months as it followed me through my grief. All of my days were dark, everything was inkstained black. In one scene, I had just given a powerful reading of my poetry. Then, as people asked to buy my chapbook I kept lowering the price. $4. $3. $2. It ended with me parting gladly with two copies for a handful of homemade, purple, sparkly play dough. I gave another copy away for a bowl full of noodles. 

I'm not sure if every parent feels this way, but for years I've been waiting for that proverbial shoe drop, anticipating always in the corner of my mind the day when one of my precious ones is taken from me. Each year it doesn't happen I heave a sigh of relief and brace myself anew.

So, dreams of disaster aren't uncommon for me.

These dreams, though...  They have a different feel—like my spirit, my soul, the universe, His Spirit, is trying to speak with me in the language of things that are lost.

I've felt no great sense of losing my little ones, no catch-your-breath falling feeling in my waking hours, but I have felt a slow, creeping inkling of loss.  Inch by inch, these gorgeous boys are getting away from me.  They are growing up too fast. I will not be the mother of little boys for much longer—these next few years will probably feel like a fast, fleeting dream.

But is it more than that?

Of course there is the mother-guilt.  How can I be going to school when these boys are so little???  But, the path I'm on right now was also dream-wrought, shown to me by soul-whispered and divine guidance.  And I've received powerful confirmation, even very recently, that it is the right path for me to be walking now and that I am walking it at the right pace.  

That moment I sold my poetry for so much less than I think it's worth said a lot to me, though. There are things that, soul-purpose or not, are not the most important things to me.  And am I selling myself short?  Exchanging my time and energy for the lesser things, the things that will enrich my life and the lives of those I love the least?

I only have questions right now.  No answers.  And that's ok, because that questioning, open, humble space is where I learn the best.  I know that something in my life needs to change, that it has something to do with my children, my motherhood, my priorities.  I'm praying and seeking and trusting that a whisper will come soon and show me the way.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Conversation With Scud

Transcribed for your enjoyment.

Scene: Driving by a building near our home.

Scud: I hate that Papa Murphy's isn't in that building anymore.

Me: You know they moved just down the block, right? We can still go there.

Scud: I know. I just don't like things changing.

Me: Well, you know what they say, Scud. The only thing constant is change.

Scud: That's not true. I haven't changed my pants for two weeks.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sweets to the Sweet

I made these yummy cake bites a la Bakerella for Mother's Day. They were a lot of work but a lot of fun and the boys enjoyed helping.

Oh, and did I mention that they were yummy? I gave most of them away so I wouldn't eat as many.

I have her fun Cake Pops book (Thanks Mom!)* but I'm pretty sure the basic instructions are on her website.

*You see, my mom is so awesome that even gifts I make for her are a result of something she's done for me.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, May 09, 2011

Hard Day at the Office

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Love and Kisses With Coco

Coco is snuggling on my lap.  We've been talking and cuddling and kissing all morning.

"Oh, Coco," I tell him, "Sometimes I love you so much I just want to burst."

He kisses me square on the lips.

"Kissing is love that comes bursting out of your body," he says.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Little Poetry Tuesday In Honor of Me, Myself and I

Today is my thirty-third birthday.  

I am fourteen-year-old me plus nineteen-year-old me.  I am the girl who met Jeffrey at a church dance.  I am the the very young girl who, after the wounding of teenage dating years, felt sooo old and chose to marry Jeffrey, the man whose arms felt to her like rest, like coming home.  I am six-year-old me plus twenty-seven-year-old me.  I am the girl who watched Grandpa Murray collapse in her back yard in shimmering summer and the woman who gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy in the warmth of her bedroom on a frozen new year's eve.

I am every girl and every woman I have ever been in these three decades plus three years and I am whole.

For the first time in a very long time I feel whole, authentic.  This has been the work of my thirty-third year.  Throughout this year, I have flung the doors and windows wide to welcome every regret, every mistake, every heartache, every misplaced step or hasty word of my life.  I have found it in myself to love myself, whole.  This has not been a simple forgiveness or an asking for forgiveness.  It has been a fierce and fearless, whole-hearted embrace of every element of myself in joy, with an understanding that it is the good with the bad that makes me who I am, that drives me closer to who I need to be within this world and the work that I must do to make the world better.

Six years ago, someone challenged me to learn to be my wild and authentic self.  I am only now beginning to understand what that means for me.  It feels good.

My goal for my thirty-fourth year is to do more and to do less:
  • Say yes more.  Yes to friendship, love, nature, everything that feeds and fills me.  Yes, to new experiences of every kind (even the ones that may hurt).
  • Love more.  Be more present. Connect more deeply and often with the people around me.
  • Express myself more--my love, my passion, my feelings.  Write more. Speak more. Give more.
  • More honesty, unabashed honesty with myself and others.
  • Worry less.  Worry less about what others think of me.  It doesn't matter.  Worry less about money or the future.  It will all come.  All I have right now is right now.
  • Buy less.  Own less.  Release what does not bring joy or light into my life.  Make room for those things that do.
  • Including doing less of what is not authentic, what is not important, what is not a part of my value system and my life purpose. Those things I do not feel deeply called to do, I will not do.
Those things that must be done: the laundry, the dishes, the feeding, the endless wiping of pee and poo and boogers and tears and dirt that comes with motherhood--they will be done with more love, more presence, more understanding of WHY they are essential.

When they are the less essential things, they will be done less, thrown by the wayside without guilt or apology because something more important is calling to me.

I heard a marvelous poem yesterday for the very first time.  It encompasses my recent feelings, the advice I might give to myself if I were to be honest and authentic right now.

I'll use it to close this post with a happy birthday to me and a joyous day to you.

Advice to Myself
by Louise Erdrich

Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in through the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.

Friday, April 08, 2011


I want to write something, anything, about my friend Helen.  I can't do it yet.  But I want to share with you all how much she meant to me, how illogically orphaned I feel right now.

So, I'm sharing a link to my friend Melody's words.

She meant more than words can say to a lot of us, probably more people than I can imagine.  She was one of those people who made every single person in her life feel like her special favorite.  I will miss her.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

You Are My Sunshine

I have taken to calling him Sunshine Boy.  He's such a delight every morning.