Big Announcement from The Chester Family!

Well, the day is here that I share something big that is happening to our family. After years of wrestling with a vision of a more creative life, showing up season by season to journal, write, make art, make music, encourage my husband in his incredible music, support our children through homeschool and giving them…

Embrace the Mess, A Letter to My Future Self

This letter is to my future self. One day, when you are storming around your messy life as a mother of many small children, scowling at spilled crayons and upturned buckets of legos, haunted by the ghost of clean kitchens past…  When you reach the point, clocking in late for laundry after a long day…

Marking a Season

I miscarried nine days before our 15th anniversary. There we sat, across the table at a little cafe, drinking coffee together.  Our six living children were home with a friend who gave us the day together to celebrate our marriage. The week before, Randy and I had privately laid the whisper of a body down…

Living an Unscripted Life

It is nearly September.  This is when I am always scrambling for a good idea for how to make life work around here.  We only get 24 hours a day.  There is so much to be done.  Every day is a combination of homeschool, home business (teaching music lessons most afternoons), explosive creativity that needs…

Keeping Part of You Alive (Motherhood and Creative Vision)

Sometimes I look in the mirror and barely recognize myself.  What happened to that person I used to be–the one who was bubbling over with good ideas and introduced to strangers with an impressive trail of accomplishments following her name?  The person who had dreams and ambitions greater than getting every room in the house…

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…

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…

30 Day Poetry Challenge

I love reading poetry.  When I read in poetry, I start thinking in poetry.  And this is always exciting.  Until I start speaking in poetry, and people start looking at me like I’m weird. About three years ago, I gave myself a challenge: to write and post an original poem a day for 30 days…