Vision and Hindsight, A Tale of Two Lists

The year flew by.  This morning I was sitting at the kitchen table, lamenting all the things that I meant to do last year–my open journal with the list I scribbled down, wide-eyed, like a child on her birthday, a January ago.  Beautiful vision.  And just like that, I blinked, and those twelve months are…

Thoughts on My Mother and the Miracle of Existing in this World

My Mama had nine children.  I am the youngest.  The fact that I exist in this world at all is not a small miracle.  I see it all now, like the iconic scene in It’s a Wonderful Life, where Mary is closing up the library.  A world where I don’t exist.  My husband is scorching…

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…

Buying a House is Like Having a Baby

The process of buying a house is remarkably like the stages of labor. Step 1: It’s Time.  This is the exciting moment when you realize you are actually going to have a house.  You are going to get to see the home you have only been dreaming about for so long.  You know that you…

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…

Make Something Every Day

Over the past two weeks, I have begun to realize how much it means to me to make things.  As a mom of four (soon to be five) very creative little people who are constantly cutting and pasting and drawing and creating huge worlds out of sheets and pillows and clean laundry, I spend a…

15 Ways To Enjoy Family Life on a Tight Budget

This summer marks the beginning of our family living on one income, so our tight budget just got tighter…  Here are some of the ways that we have learned to live more frugally over the years.   I’d love to hear your comments about additional ways your family enjoys life on a modest income. Food:…