Being There (On the Shores of Life and Loss)

A week ago we cried over the body of my beloved Mother.  She is gone.  This keeps hitting me like ocean waves, one after the other. How it swells.  How it breaks.   It all seems like a dream.  The next day was of course a birthday.  My daughter’s third. The only time to cry was…

Standing in the Hallway of Sorrow, thoughts on losing my Mother

(In honor of my beautiful, selfless Mother who went home to be with Jesus yesterday afternoon, hours after I wrote this post.) I am going to write something that is braver and stronger than I now feel, but I believe it with all my heart. Daddy met Mama on a Sunday morning at a little…

Voices of My Life, an abridged biography

It’s easy to look back over years as a series of big events–the day I was born, schools I attended, graduations, marriage, jobs held, the birthdays of my children…  These are the visible rings around my tree, the important details in a brief biography of my life. But when I close my eyes and let…

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…

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…

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 Is Not Working

This is not working. I say that all the time. The baby won’t stay in her bed.  This laundry pile stretches out infinitely from prehistoric past to all predictions of the future.  We are outgrowing the kitchen table, which is the biggest table we can fit in the kitchen.  Cat in the house.  Math.  Bedtime…

The Snow Child Paper Dolls

This week’s paper dolls were inspired by a beautiful play that the girls and I saw with a friend over the weekend.  It was based on a Russian folktale called The Snow Child, about a barren couple who build a child out of snow.  Through love and magic, the child comes to life.  The play…

Making Time for Quiet

My life is loud.  With five happy healthy children ages seven and under, a husband who is basically the personification of music, recording in the living room and making Irish whistles and bamboo saxophones all hours of the day and night–not to mention around 25 piano, guitar, and whistle students that rotate in and out of our…

Surrender: Listening for the Song

Our baby is 3 months old now.  We have settled into our new roles and are working ourselves into a more predictable pattern of living.  Life as a mother of five small children is a blur.  Every day has its own rhythm.  Sometimes it is like a song.  Sometimes it is total chaos. Last week was particularly hard…

The Best Birthday Gift I Have Ever Been Given

Yesterday was my 33rd birthday.  I woke up to secret sounds in the kitchen as my girls decorated the holiday table for me with double table cloths and our fanciest china.  My three-year-old son came down to snuggle me.  In the monitor, I could hear the baby singing in his bed. I could never have…

Make Something Every Day Continues…

I love the Make Something Every Day idea.  It might be revolutionizing my life.  This week, I spent three days cleaning out my scary laundry room (when I say scary, I mean SCARY, as any of {and ONLY} my dearest friends can tell you).  Not many people are allowed to look into this room.  I…