Saturday, October 29, 2011

For Charity

So, do you know Charity? She guest posted here this week? She's having a rough time this week,and having a hard time seeing how far she's come this year. But she doesn't realize, I don't even know that girl she was a year ago. So here are 10 reasons I'm glad to know Charity, the girl she is now:

  1. She thinks my jokes are funny.
  2. She keeps me company when I'm tweeting myself crazy.
  3. She gives the best advice about babies, particularly about breastfeeding.
  4. She knows just the right words to comfort people.
  5. She is always looking out for someone who needs her.
  6. She can finish a 5k run.
  7. She makes giving up caffeine look easy.
  8. She gives me hope that I can conquer toddler and preschool years.
  9. She has such photogenic little girls.
  10. She is kicking ppd squarely in the rear.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Today's guest post is very special to me. It's from my real life bff and college roomie Elizabeth. Elizabeth isn't a mom (yet!), but she definitely understands self-imposed pressure and the challenges of finding balance in the blogging world. You can find her lovely craft-ish blog over at

When story asked me to write, I was nervous, because I'm not a mom (although I am not-so-patiently awaiting that day...), so I wasn't sure what I would have to say that would be fun or interesting, especially since I have been letting real life get in the way of my own blogging lately.

And the reason for that? My own self-imposed rules get in the way. I have a bad habit of getting myself into really involved blogging, photography, and craft projects, and then jumping through hoops to live up to the rules of these projects. I suppose part of me find the rules of a project to be very, very motivating... until they start to become sort of overwhelming. Here's a short run-down of the projects I've undertaken in the last few years:

--Project 365 (a photo a day for a year straight, undertaken FOUR SEPARATE times now. I'm currently almost at 100 days in year four)
--Scavenger Hunt 101 (a photo scavenger hunt)
--27 Things to do While I'm 27
--28 Things to do While I'm 28
--30 Before 30

and my current project: Handmade52, where I'm attempting to make a craft or cook something (I lived by myself up until mid-July of this year, when I moved in with my boyfriend, and I do NOT cook) each week for a whole year.

The problem, of course, is that I don't seem to be able to stop myself once I get into a project like this. I took a personality test once at a work training session that basically told me that I was an order-loving, rule-following person who loved things to be organized and as they should be and predictable. At first, I was sort of horrified, as I've always imagined myself as an easygoing creative type, a writer who then got into photography, who always secretly pictured herself as a novelist in a sunny attic room, writing the days away. And then the reality dawned on me, that I spent years as a librarian and I'm now an accountant, and when I was a kid? I collected business cards. BUSINESS CARDS, people. So I guess... I do like the rules.

And once I get myself into a project with numbers and/or deadlines, I really can't conceptualize just stopping. I got to day 92/365! I can't just... stop. I have completed 38 weeks of creativity, how can I just... abandon it now? It does not compute.

I suppose the conclusion should be that there has to be some middle ground, that if I finish 52 weeks of handmade things but they aren't consecutive weeks, that would be okay, too. And that if it's no longer fun but more like work or an obligation, that the spirit of the original project doesn't really work anymore. And when I'm feeling reasonable, sometimes that makes perfect sense. Maybe I should give myself a break, since photography and crafts and cooking are supposed to be things I enjoy and look forward to. Maybe I'm too hard on myself. Every. single. time. I have been 2/3 of the way through a Project365 year, I start whining and complaining about the rules and how HAVING to take a photo that day takes the fun out of it. I even wrote on my 30 Before 30 list that I was not allowed to start another daily photo project.

So what did I do?

Started a daily photo project on my 30th birthday. I think I have a ways to go yet.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Like the Monty Python boys say, "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition." No, wait, I mean, "And now for something completely different."

Today's guest post is from MamaGrizzly, a lovely girl who has the ability to make me smile or laugh every time I see her on twitter, and she didn't disappoint with this post. Check out her blog, to see how she navigates her life with two littles.

We have some visitors. I suppose the ever more chilling weather has something to do with it. And let me just say, they are unwelcome visitors. More than once have I reverted to childhood as a mouse scurried across the floor. By this I mean screaming like a little girl and jumping on top of the nearest object.

I'm not sure why I scream. Does it really make the mouse scurry away faster? Or perhaps he might say, "Good heavens! There is a crazy, screaming madwoman on the loose! Let us pack our bags and vacate the premises!" (Don't ask me why, but Sir Mouse has a British accent in my head.)

Well. We decided we were going to have to force our visitors to leave, much like we would certain family members upon their lingering for an overly extended period of time. (Which reminds me - are there big mouse traps for people? Well, that's another blog post entirely.) Of course, the traditional mouse traps just seemed too... well, messy and mean. And though I certainly cannot stand our furry little tenants, I hate to imagine the sight of their squirmy little bodies caught in on of those evil mouse traps. (It's not supposed to make sense so don't ask why.)

We found a nice alternative: glue traps.

Lo and behold, we came home after work the other night, checked behind the fridge, and we'd caught a furry friend! Excitement ensued. One down, ?? more to go! Soon we shall have our home back to ourselves!!

And then my husband pulled a Wal-Mart bag out of the cupboard.

"Wait, what are you doing?" I demanded anxiously. "You're not putting him in that bag, are you?! He's still alive, isn't he?!"

He gave me a withering look. "I'm going to put him in the bag and throw him in the trash can. That's what he gets for coming in MY house."

"What!" I was absolutely horrified at the prospect. "But he'll suffer and suffocate and DIE! You can't do that! That's God's creature!" (Yes. I'll admit it. I'm horribly dramatic, and I shamelessly pulled out the God-guilt card. Harsh, perhaps, but usually quite effective. As it was in this particular instance.)

"Baby," (this is what he says to me when he's channelling his patience and about to explain why I'm being utterly ridiculous) "there's no way to get him off the glue trap."

"That's not true! There's got to be a way to get him off!" And then, as any smartphone user immediately does, "I'm going to Google it!" (May I point out how very much I appreciate that Google has become a verb.)

Google triumphs yet again! Hurray Internet! Did you know vegetable oil will get a mouse loose from a glue trap? Well, now you do! And the website even gave me detailed step-by-step instructions as to how to do so. Perfect!

I excitedly showed my husband the results. His shoulders fell. Defeat! "Fine. Where am I taking him?"

We found a massive cardboard box, big enough to ship a dozen toddlers, and set the mouse and trap inside. He then proceeded to carry mouse AND box AND vegetable oil out to the car. We agreed that he should drive down the road some distance to a vacant field. Of course, my almost three year old toddler (who shares my sick fascination with these things) demanded to see the mouse before he moved out. I have to say, if you ignore the food-nibbling, poop-dropping aspect of having mice inhabitants, they are quite cute. At least much cuter than the red-eyed white lab rats seen on TV.

Life went on as normal. I immediately began preparing dinner (random side note: chicken parmesan, mmm!). By the time he returned, I was washing the table off. "Did you get the picture?" he asked. Of course I hadn't. But wouldn't you know that little critter got himself loose and scurried away! (Scurry is my new favorite word.) Granted, he took to hiding under the car, and my husband had to SCARE him away, BUT the point is, we saved a life! I'm quite proud of that accomplishment. Hubby even drove out closer to the beach, further away from houses, so that other homeowners might be safe from an invasion.

But there is still a problem. As we were freeing Mickey (we'll assume he's a boy) from behind the fridge, Minnie (we'll assume she's a girl - it's more romantic that way) came skittering out, across the kitchen, and under the dryer.

Le sigh. It is not over yet.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Getting Better

Today's post is from a lovely twitter newbie, Jenny. She is a PPD warrior mom, and she doesn't have her own blog yet, but she totally should. Give her some love today for me, okay?

I’m Jen. I met a wonderful guy eleven years ago. We got married eight years ago. Four years ago, we had our first little girl who we nicknamed Munch, short for Munchkin. We adored this little girl. It was a bit of a rough adjustment. We were nervous first-time parents. We read lots of books and asked our families for advice. We had so much fun with Munch, and she was the apple of our eye. Once Munch turned two, we decided that it was time to add to our family.

Then along came our second little girl, Skeeter. I really wanted a sibling for Munch, but I was so nervous about how Munch would adjust to the new arrival. I am a typical first born, Type A, perfectionist personality. I am also a planner, so I tried extremely hard to have everything prepared before Skeeter arrived.

Skeeter was born on October 10, 2010. Munch was a very easy baby, and Skeeter had a very different personality. It took a while for to adjust to being a family of four, but everything seemed to be going okay. I thought I was just overwhelmed with the jump from one child to two.

On Mother’s Day, I treated myself to a free yoga class taught by a dear friend of mine. As I laid in Savanasa, I was finally able to relax for the first time in months. I realized that I had been anxious and sad since Skeeter had been born. I realized that something was not right. I wasn’t myself. I realized that I had been using the mom’s room at work as a place to break down in. I couldn’t make it through a morning getting myself and the girls out the door to daycare and to work without crying or screaming. I was filled with racing thoughts, rage, sadness and anxiety.

The next day I placed two phone calls to therapists. When I didn’t hear back from anyone, I felt despondent. On my way home from work, I called my cousin, a social worker. I confessed to her that I thought I was suffering from postpartum anxiety. I started crying immediately after that statement. I was terrified that someone would take my girls away. I knew that I needed help as soon as possible. I wasn’t suicidal, but I felt like I was on the edge of a breakdown. My cousin walked me through what to say to the therapist. Two days later, Skeeter and I were in my therapist’s office. She had had a last minute cancellation and was able to fit me in.

Two weeks later, she gave me a diagnosis: postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression. I was put on medication right around the time that I received my diagnosis. I felt relieved and sad at the same time. I knew what I was battling, but I had a long ways to go towards recovery. I began to battle back, devouring books and blogs about PPD. I found a new primary care physician who is certified in both internal medicine and psychiatry who now manages my medication. I am finally at my therapeutic dose. I am in recovery, but I have not completely recovered. I am taking it one day at a time, putting one foot in front of the other. I have more good days than bad, but I still feel the haze of depression slip its veil around my psyche from time to time. I still feel the buzz of anxiety course through my body.

To other moms who are struggling, I want you to know this. You are not alone. There is a whole community of PPD warrior moms that you can find through blogs, websites, Twitter and Facebook. These women get what you are going through because they have been there. So use the Internet to your advantage. Reach out and make some online connections. You are NOT alone. You will get better. It gets better.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Welcome back

Today's post is from another of my twitter besties, Becky. Becky recently started blogging at Just Breathe. She is funny (so funny she'll make you do kegels. Ahem.), sweet, understanding, and weird in all the best ways. I'm so glad to have her here today.

Something happens when you have a child. All those articles, and books - there's a lot 'they' don't tell you. As a woman, you give part of yourself to that baby the moment you see those 2 pink lines. Everything changes. Most good. Some not so good.

You spend 9 months changing. You're adjusting to your growing belly, watching what you eat, worrying when they aren't as active as normal, wondering what IS normal, hoping they are developing okay, worrying about labor, & wondering if it's physically possible your feet might blow up because you're retaining so much water. Wait there's a chance I could poop on the delivery table? File this under 'awesome'.

Pregnancy & becoming a mom is beautiful though, right?

How many women forget about themselves during this time. How many women give & give & give & have nothing left to give themselves? Most do. I recently read one of my old blogs from college & I used to be really freaking funny! What happened? I forgot how to laugh & be lighthearted. I forgot how to crack jokes. I forgot how to just relax & enjoy life.

It's been no real secret around my blog that I battle with my own anxiety & mild depression. I believe now it's something I've always had a touch of since I was younger, but a traumatic end to my pregnancy & first few months with a newborn threw me deep into the trenches. It's tough to remember to take care of myself when my life revolves around my innocent beautiful little kid. One that looks up to you for anything & everything. He has come first since I saw that positive pregnancy test, and it's taken its toll on my well being. It hurts to say that, but I know I've suffered making sure my child has anything he could possibly need.

Recently I've been trying to take more 'me' time. Making sure I get time to do the crafts I want, or paint my fingernails. It's never really been anything major that I've wanted to do, just something here & there that makes me feel better about myself. I've been seeing parts of the 'old me' peeking her head out. It's been refreshing to say the least, & makes me incredibly happy. I've missed her. I don't know if it's because of the anxiety medicine I've been on for a few months, or because I'm finally healing. I hope both. I hope one day I can wean myself off my medicine & be comfortable in my own skin again. Someday I will.

It's so important to help new mothers (or fathers for that matter) redefine themselves after a child is born. Your worlds changed & you struggle with trying to keep that piece of you while balancing being a parent. It's not easy & takes a lot of support from others. I struggle with taking time for myself to do things I want to do & worrying it will affect my child negatively in some way. "What if he needs me? What if I'm not available for him?" It's completely irrational because I know he would be taken care of, but it's how this mom thinks.

With the help of my husband,& some dear friends I've started opening myself back up. I started blogging again. I started crafting again. I started a little pseudo cookie business that's actually doing rather well. I'm grabbing this by the balls & not letting go this time. I can do this.

And hey, I can still make my husband laugh once in a while. That's pretty sweet ;)

Girl, I've missed you.

P.S. See her button? She designed that in about half an hour today, after I asked her if she had one. Because she is an artist. An actual professional graphic artist. And some day I will be able to afford to have her make my blog prettyful and make me buttons too. But for now you're stuck with me and my words.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Three Girls

Hey guys, I'm out of town again this week. (Keep me in your thoughts please. I will have fun. I will, I will.) But don't worry, I'm not leaving you hanging. I have a treat for all of you. If anyone knows that sometimes parenting it's hard, it's Charity. If you ever need advice about babies or just a shoulder to cry on, hit her up on twitter, where she's @signingcharity. And check out her lovely blog, Giggles and Grimaces. Now, without further ado:

Three girls, I have three girls. I must say that thought still boggles my mind. It is amazing to me that I am a mama, even if I have had 5+ years to get used to the idea!

What a five years it has been. With the arrival of Caitlyn I got to use a name I had picked for a daughter, 15 years before. Bringing her home was indescribable. I was shocked at the love I could feel and the immediate desire to have more children.

I am an only child. Pregnancy was not as easy as I had hoped, neither was delivery. I said, while in labor, “women do this again?!” As soon as they put her on my chest, I knew why, I wanted another one.

Not all of it was easy. I hated seeing her grow up so fast. I hyperventilated in the store once because she was going to grow up and leave me. I was still on maternity leave at the time. I knew I could handle the age she was, an infant, but what if I could not mother the next age?

But regardless of my fear, she grew, she changed. And I could handle each age. I found joy in her advancements. I learned to trust my instincts, such as they were. I found my mothering style. Much to my surprise, it was more relaxed than I thought it would be. It included, and still does, a lot more fly by the seat of my pants moments than I ever dreamed I could tolerate.
  • I started out with the plan to cloth diaper my oldest. I didn’t really know what I was doing, it just added more stress. I stopped after two months. Disposables became my friends.
  • Co-sleeping was not for me…until our first week home and I realized baby would sleep if next to me.
  • I was never going to give my baby a pacifier. She got hers at one week old and loved it until she was 10 months old; my second got hers at 3 days old and loved it until she was 3 years old. My youngest has never taken a binky. She hates them.

The biggest thing I have learned in motherhood is to go with the flow. Babies and children change by the day, hour, minute.

One night they might sleep all night in their bed without seeming to move, another night you might end up with all three children in your bed! One night I became the bed, my three year old slept on top of my side! That was truly the worst night sleep I’ve ever had, but the love she shows by wanting to be near me. That is a love I will miss someday. I will miss it when my girls are too old to cuddle with mama. So I will do my best to savor the extra moments of love, even if I would rather be sleeping and to glory in the nights I actually get to sleep.

There are days I get to go to the bathroom alone. Other days I have all three kids in there with me. I used to wonder when I would get to be alone, then started to notice the conversations that went on while I had company. We have talked about God, friends, growing up, work, good and bad memories. All because I shared my bathroom time.

I am learning to balance the two, the joy of now, the joy of the future, the sadness of them growing up, the wonderful moments of my own time, the great pleasure in having my girls close. And this I hope for all mamas, a bit of all worlds. Love and joy from all angles. Happy to balance the challenges, perspective to contain the frustration of today and excitement to face the tomorrows.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Book Review: Purple Leaves, Red Cherries

Remember when I wrote my PR letter? Well I was mostly kidding, but that day I got an email from Tania Elfersy asking if I could review her book Purple Leaves, Red Cherries. And I'm so grateful.

To be honest? At first I was a little intimidated by the book. It's big, about 170 pages, and have I mentioned that it now takes me 9 weeks to read a novel? So, like most things I'm afraid of, I put it off. Then life got a little crazy, and I couldn't get to it.

Finally, I sat down, opened up the book, and read the intro, and I came across this:
We spent any spare reading time educating ourselves about child development and the impact of mothering on our children – on their self-esteem, their learning, their relationships, their ability to become well-adjusted adults. Yet we read very little about the impact of mothering on our self-esteem, our careers, our relationships and our ability to remain well-adjusted adults. (11)

And I was immediately in love.

Purple Leaves, Red Cherries is full of stories from real moms trying to tackle this motherhood thing. It is calming and comforting; it reminds you that you are not alone; it does everything that I want my blog and life to do.

The individual vignettes are short and sweet, which makes it the perfect book for moms who only have a few short moments of reading time to snatch at during the day. I read it quickly, hopping from one story to the next easily. It can also be read slowly, though, with careful reflection, and I hope to do that many times over.

The vignettes are divided into sections on such topics as "Beginnings" and "Relationships," and each section ends with space to journal your own experiences. My favorite section, titled "(In)sanity" contains such gems as these:

There was always hope that the next day he might cry a little less;
that I might cry a little less.(58)

When the most sophisticated thing I've done all week is eat dark chocolate; when piles of dirty laundry and unfolded clean laundry have become sites of volcanic activity; when once again I can't find anything to wear because even though it's winter outside, it's all four seasons in my closet; when the puzzle pieces are really missing; when I realize the only book I've finished in the last six months is one with 32 pages: When all this happens, I might just get lucky and capture a sight of all three of my children laughing and playing together. (59)

This book is one that is sorely needed by the mothering community. It would make a lovely gift to a friend, or to yourself. I'm so grateful to have been given the chance to read it.

I have also just found out that the the Kindle edition (which contains all the stories and connectivity to our online forum - ideal for moms of all ages and book clubs) is currently on special offer from now $0.99. Special prices for limited period only.

Disclaimer: I was given a PDF copy of this book to facilitate my review. No further compensation was given, and I will not be compensated if you buy it. But I think you should.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I'm not a bad mom

Do you know Cristi from Motherhood Unadorned? She is one of the most eloquent, graceful, and compassionate people in the blogging and twitter universe, she does amazing advocacy work, and she has the most beautiful blue hair. I'd been rather taken with her "I'm not a bad mom" series, so I decided to take the plunge and make myself sit down and write one.

So please come visit with me over at her blog and see why I am not a bad mom.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I don't give parenting advice. I give hugs.

I saw a post the other day for freelance articles about parenting. Part of me (the part that wants to do this writing thing in a professional capacity) wanted to jump at it. Then I thought about it for a second and realized I didn't have anything to say about parenting.

Wait, what?

Part of my goal for this blog is to help new moms who feel like they are all alone. If that's you and you're reading this, I want to give you a big hug. You're not alone. None of us are. The truth is, some moms have more skills than others. Some babies eat better or sleep better than others. None of this is your fault, and you aren't doing a thing wrong. And I'm so glad you found your way here, and I so want you to be part of the conversation.

But if you are looking for answers to your questions? I'm very sorry. I can't tell you how to get your child to behave, or eat, or sleep. Honestly, your guess is as good as mine. Better probably.

I've spent enough time searching the Internet for answers to know that there really aren't any out there. Or maybe there are some answers, for some people, but lemme tell you, I don't have any of them.

And the more I think about it, the more I start to understand who I am, and who I want to be. Yesterday I wrote about how I felt like I wasn't doing anything. Like my house was a mess and I didn't have a thing to show for it. Like I wasn't good at a single thing in the world.

But I am. I'm good at this. I'm good at comforting people. (...Right...?) My place in the world, my gift, my calling all have to do with hearing people and with helping them to see what is good in them. Nothing, and I mean nothing, has the ability to bring me back from the brink the way helping someone does.

The thing that I know, the thing that I am good at, the thing that absolutely fuels me, is my love and compassion. So, if I've ever helped you? Thank *you.* You're what keeps me going.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm doing my best. And so are you.

I'm not lazy.

My dearest Yael is so fond of saying, "You're not lazy. You're tired." It's such a comfort to hear, but so hard to believe.

My house isn't clean. I don't put on makeup every day. I don't do charity work. I only have one child. I don't work, at least not more than 3 hours a week. It took me 9 weeks to read a novel. I don't exercise regularly. I've eaten takeout 3 times this week. My laundry baskets are overflowing (albeit with clean laundry). I've blogged about 3 times this month. I'm afraid to even open my reader.

But I'm not lazy.

I want to do better. I'm learning to do better. But right now, it's hard. I need to learn how to do things. I need to learn balance. I'm not good at it.

I'm not good at not being good at things.

But I'm trying. I'm doing the best I can. And I know that if one of you told me this, I'd put my arm around you and say "Oh, honey. You're doing everything you need to do. You're doing your best. You're doing just fine."

I'm not lazy. I'm tired. I'm learning. I'm trying. I'm doing just fine.

And so are you. I promise.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Life's Lessons: Lunch date

Life With Baby Donut

  1. So remember that lunch date DH took me and Baby Girl on when she was 8 months old?
  2. Well, he took me back to that restaurant for lunch again.
  3. And today? It was much less eventful. Thankfully.
  4. Well, except when the old lady BG was staring at said hi, and BG decided to scream.
  5. Or when I tried to give her a taste of my pasta, and she grabbed it off the spoon, lemon butter sauce and all.
  6. Or when she let me know she was done with her bread by throwing it across the restaurant.
  7. But somehow? None of that really bothered me so much. I was eating great food and laughing with my two favorite cuties.
  8. Today was a reminder of how much things have changed in the past 5 months.
  9. And how much things haven't.
  10. I guess my point is, if there's a lesson to be learned from today? I haven't learned it yet.
  11. So I guess DH is just going to have to keep taking me out to nice restaurants for lunch until I do.
Today, I'm linking up again with Donut's Mama. Stop by and give her a little extra love today, okay? She can use it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Life's Lessons: International Traveling Edition

Life With Baby Donut

It's time for my favorite linkup of the week, with one of my dearest online friends, Donutsmama of Life with Baby Donut. As you all know, I was away last week, and I couldn't help but learn a few things, so without further ado.

  1. I am not the greatest traveler in the world.
  2. I tend to have a little bit of anxiety about being in the car. Okay, maybe a lot.
  3. I also need more confidence. It took me until the end of the week there before I got up the nerve to walk out the door of my hotel by myself and actually do anything.
  4. And I need to sometimes think a little more about what I want instead of waiting around for other people to tell me.
  5. The last day there, I got mad at myself for not enjoying my trip more and seeing the city.
  6. And then I realized I was still there. And I went out. And I enjoyed it.
  7. I dwell a little too much on the past, on what I've done wrong, on my mistakes.
  8. But I'm still here.
  9. And there's so much to enjoy, to appreciate.
  10. I just need to put one foot in front of the other and step out my front door.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

There's a post in my head and it won't come out

I spent some quiet time today thinking about me, and who I am and what I need and what I realized was this.

I need to write.

There's never been a time in my life when writing didn't make things better.

But lately I haven't been writing anything. It's these demons in my head, they tell me I can't do it. They tell me I don't have time. They tell me it's not worth the trouble.

But it is.

Yael threw me for a loop today. She told me that the little voices in my head aren't trying to destroy me. They're trying to protect me. They're doing a bass-ackward job of it, but really they mean well (geez, don't I say that about everyone else? Why didn't I think to say it about myself?).

So why am I not letting me write?

I'm terribly afraid. Afraid of reaching a dark place that I can't handle. Afraid of putting things out there that I can't take back. Afraid of being rejected. Afraid of failing.

So afraid of failing that I'm not doing the one thing in my whole life that I know is guaranteed to make me better.

So here I am. Writing.

And forgive me if I write the worst crap in all the world. Love me anyway okay? Because the only way out is through.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Not ungrateful, just sad

Lately, I've been having a hard time.

I am inclined to complain, to complain about the sleep, the travel, the laundry. To complain about the screaming baby. To complain about being alone.

I have one child, one beautiful healthy child. I don't work outside the home, and that was my choice and one I'm really pretty content with. I have a loving and (mostly) supportive husband. I don't really have to worry about money (although I do anyway). I have sweet, supportive friends, a great online support system, and a real life mom's group I like very much. It's sunny outside my window.

And I sit around feeling sorry for myself.

I feel like that's unacceptable. Almost unforgivable.

I see you with your losses, with your illnesses, with your challenges and your real life struggles and I feel like I have no right to even join the conversation. I see people with much harder rows to hoe than I have, being out there in the world and doing good work and making a difference. Taking an already full schedule and adding more to it in order to help other people. Or adding more to it to take care of yourselves, which is even more herculean.

What the hell am I doing all day? What on earth is so hard?

I want to feel grateful for the life that I have. I want to appreciate the things I've been given, to realize how fortunate I am. To know that everyone I meet is fighting a harder battle and that my problems don't amount to a hill of beans, and all that stuff. I want to think those things and believe them.

But I'm struggling.

And I don't know if it makes me ungrateful to say that. I don't know if admitting that I need help, that I'm not "content," means that I am taking for granted all the things that I have. I know how much worse it could be. I see it.

And most of the time, I'd rather talk about you than me. It gives me a sense of purpose to be able to help other people. It's probably the thing that makes me happiest in all the world.

But today? I just want to feel sorry for me a little. I'm really not ungrateful. I'm just sad.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Be it ever so humble

Last week, my family went on a trip. It was a big trip. It involved being away for a week, a 6 hour drive, and the crossing of a national border (that one to the north).

It was a nightmare. And it wasn't. And I need to write about it, I know I do. And I will, as soon as I have some more time to process it.

But now I'm home.

It's such a relief to be home. My laundry is done. I can cook my meals again. Baby Girl is napping, at least a little bit. Life is back to normal.

Which is a good thing. I think.

Because what is normal?

I'll be cheerful again. I'll be deep and thought provoking again. I'll be funny again.

But today? I'm just relieved to be on my own couch. And ON TWITTER AGAIN. Ahem.

There's no place like home.