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…

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…

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…

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…

Family and Flexible Vision

I wish that I could find a (nonexistent) journal entry from back when I was in college where I said something like: “Ten years from now, I can see myself…”  And then I described the vision of my life.  The vision I had before marriage, before kids.  Wow. That would be good for a laugh….

The Word That’s Worth A Thousand Pictures

I will start out this post by saying I have yet to figure this out.  It is a problem that I have wrestled with for years, especially the years since I have become a mother.  It is a problem that seems to grow with each child we add to this family.  And even though it…