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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…