Singing Out a Baby, the Birth Story of Rune O’Carolan Chester

“I am walking into this labor differently than I ever have before.  I am walking into it with a spirit of fight.  Not just trying to keep my peace, not just trying to stay calm, not just surviving and getting to the other side.  I am walking into this labor with the desire to put…

The Poetry of This Morning (On the Day Before My Due Date)

The poetry of this particular morning is not lost on me.  May 15.  The day before my due date.  I woke early this morning after a night of mild, sporadic contractions, wondering if today will be the day that we will meet our son.  It could happen at any moment.  The waves of contractions reminded…

On Words (In every storm, mercy…)

Words are a comfort to me.  They press in around me while I am lying awake in bed.  I can feel the word mercy wrap me up like a weighted blanket.  I have heard the heavy clank and felt the ground shake under the weight of that word as it anchored my soul to the…

Living with Vision

I am up early this morning, before the little ones.  In my closet-office (where I sit in a corner at a small desk, typing this under a rack of hanging clothes), I am armed with a steaming mug of Darjeeling tea, a couple of Cinnamon-Orange-Almond-Spelt muffins, and the promise of a glorious uninterrupted hour of…

Joy and Sorrow (How Does Your Garden Grow)

It still hits me in waves. Not like it did last spring.  When my little garden was blooming and sheets of rain came down steadily day after day.  I drank tea in the music room and looked out over the mint and the marigolds and all the beautiful shimmering living things growing there in the…

Creative Family Advent Printable Calendar

It’s almost December!  I made this Creative Family Advent Printable Calendar so that you can have a visual of the days ahead.  Print it out, stick it on the fridge, and stay inspired to connect with your family through art, music, brainstorming, creative writing, storytelling, and more.  If you want more details about each activity and…

Slowing Down This Christmas Season (Creative Family Advent 2018)

Christmas is coming, and I am longing to anticipate it with more wonder and joy.  With slowness and purpose, deep gratitude and a supernatural ability to see beyond the busyness into the sacred.  I want us to savor these days as a family and make memories that will last well after the childhood years have…

The Sacred Everyday

This morning I woke up to a miracle. All of my children are still soundly sleeping in their beds, except for the baby, who came down early to snuggle.  Her head is fuzzy and soft like a little duck.  The house is dark.  And quiet.  There is no birdsong yet.  The hum of thought in…

Looking for a House and Finding Home

I have opened my heart up to want this year. One day in early January, I woke up with the clear vision that this house is never going to be ideal for our family.  And I began to want something better. When we bought this brand-new 2-bedroom, 2 bathroom house as nearly newly-weds, we saw…

Are You Going to Have More?

People are always asking me if we are going to have more children.  The tiniest bit of smalltalk can tease this question out of a complete and utter stranger.  We go from eye contact, to a silent head count of my six kids, to are all these yours and are you going to have more……

This Morning I Sat Down at the Table With My 22-Year Old Self

This morning I sat down at the table with my 22-year old self.  She drank ginger peach black tea with cream and sugar.  I drank darjeeling, black.  We met in a cafe, the kind with classical music and the pleasant hum of conversation in the background.  The people sitting next to us wondered if we…