Three are now off to school!
That one is totally a mugshot.
Three are now off to school!
That one is totally a mugshot.
A minion turns two.
Adventure up to Green Bay for a surprise trip to Bay Beach and the Tall Ships Festival. We won most awesome mom and dad ever for that.
Baseball. So. Much. Baseball.
Here’s to autumn.
My amazing friend Lindsey, who is the most adventurous and probably fearless person I know, gifted me a biplane ride for my birthday and Christmas present last year. It was a thrilling experience I am so thankful for.
Then it was on to family cabin camping week at Camp Arrowhead. Started things off right with a tour of Point Brewery.
Then some blueberry picking on the hottest day of the week.
Of course there were arts and crafts. Everyday.
Lots of swimming and other shenanigans.
My co-counselor is pretty hot.
Of all the people, this is the one who should definitely NOT be allowed to light sticks on fire. Note the crazy eye.
Summer camp wouldn’t be complete without archery.
Now that summer is officially over, I would love to share our season in photos with you!
We celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary and had a party, for which we built this kick-ass bar with four of Scott’s beers on tap.
Made these awesome yard dice:
County Fair Time!
Let me just jump in. I had a bad year. A series of unfortunate events has ripped some holes open in me. I thought perhaps I was doing an okay job mending them but then ugly and scary thoughts started seeping in recently. Thoughts on how to not be a part of this life anymore. Thoughts I have never, ever thought before. I knew this wasn’t normal or okay.
But how do you tell someone this? In what part of conversation do you mention that you’ve thought about how easily you could just slip away into the swirling current of the river a few hundred yards from your house? Or what speed you would have to be driving your car to flip it over that guard rail? How, when the one you love is frustrated with how you’ve been acting? Or when you’ve been lead to believe people are tired of hearing and reading about your depression? Or when those whom you love and care about have rightfully more legitimate reasons to feel similarly but perhaps don’t?
I was frightened of where it would go if I held it in. I knew I had to just say it. So I’ve gotten help. I stood up to keep from drowning.
And I want to begin again. I wan’t to write about the good things. The fun things that make me laugh and smile. I want to share the things I make and experience. But I also know that expressing those deep and heavy thoughts and feelings is what helps me through them. If you find yourself rolling your eyes and sighing at this, then feel free to move along. I’m not forcing you to read this. Making my vulnerabilities and faults and frayed edges known has been positive and I have missed this tremendously. I will keep writing.
And I hope you’re here with me 🙂
Please don’t ever ask me why my house isn’t clean. Don’t lift your eyebrows at my piles of laundry. Don’t purse your lips when you see we are having noodles and applesauce for dinner.
Don’t ever let your mouth form your breath into the question “What exactly do you do all day?”
I can hear your judgement as you say “It must be nice.”
Our time here is just a series of moments strung together on the fine gold thread of existence. Sometimes those moments that make up your day are ugly, not something you would choose to adorn yourself with. They are full of hot tears from anger or frustration. They hold echoes of words spoken from unkindness, resentment, or bitterness. You look back at these moments and that’s what you see and, despite looking so hollow, they are terribly heavy moments. As this life we are stringing together hangs on our necks, these days make it hard to lift your head up and see the beauty that will surely come again. Choosing happiness and gratitude can be so difficult then.
Today I am feeling like so few of those good moments are actually and wholly my own. I am dedicated to keeping a small tribe of reckless children, hellbent on destroying everything as they learn those boundaries, from coming to harm. I wish I could dedicate more of my brainpower to creating something for myself. For sewing. For painting, reading, or photography instead of refilling sippy cups and making food no one will eat and grocery shopping and picking up the toys for the 34th time in a day.
There is a part of me that says I have so much more to offer. I’m not saying that being a stay at home mom is beneath me. Some days it would just be nice to leave for a job that expanded on this. I wish I had coworkers with which to discuss ideas. It can get so mind numbingly lonely without that interaction. I know one day I will find more space in my life for these pursuits but right now, today, I worry that the small and fragile flame that is that part of me will be suffocated by the banality.
I don’t know. I might just need better coping skills or to shift my view. Lift up my head despite the weight. Or maybe I just need some new fabric and art supplies. And a few more hours in my day.
When you crack yourself open and let out the fear and love and joy and anger that resides within your walls, you hope that the courage it took you to do so isn’t met with silence. When you are searching for something and you put out that distress signal, you would give anything to hear the sweet sound of something other than static. When you feel like you’ve reached the end of the rope, all you want to see is that someone was kind and thoughtful enough to tie up a tire swing. Hope for these things but never expect them.
I’ve pulled out a bit of my heart and left it on the table, raw for all to see. I wasn’t expecting that wound to be soothed by so many kind words, to be matched with your own courage and vulnerability. I’m not sure I can convey how much your call, your message, your text meant to me. With every one hot tears from a place of love would fall down my face. So many seeking the same connectedness. A simple and true Thank You is the only thing I can find to attach to my gratitude.
I’m lost. I don’t know where I’m going.
Maybe the problem is more so that I don’t know where I fit. I’m having trouble finding my way around my own life.
There are days that leave me grasping at anything to keep from feeling untethered and disconnected, as if my body is going through the motions but my mind is orbiting around my life, the two never really coalescing. You see, I don’t know how to get close to you. I don’t know how to talk to you in a way that doesn’t leave you wanting to either run away or never hang out with me again or both. I want to dive right in and ask you what dessert you would request on your deathbed. I want to know if you’ve every been skinny dipping. I want you to tell me about your childhood, your first kiss, your first car. Is the person you’re with right now the person you’ve ever loved the most? If they aren’t, what happened to that other person? Can you do things by halves, like just sort of be with someone or be acquainted with a friend but not intend to love them intently? What do you believe happens to us when we die? Has anyone written poems about you? What has been the most terrifying thing you’ve over come?
I want to know you.
Because you fascinate me.
But I don’t know how to ask these things without coming off as, um, too intense. I might sit passively, quietly observing and nodding. I decide to not dive in and just float on the surface with the standard chatter about my latest trip to Costco, bedtime routines, that awesome new cleaning product I started using that takes the smell of puke out of car seats, or what my child recently stuck up her nose. The things that, in this whole short time I have on this earth, I could literally not give any less fucks about. I have trouble with the middle ground. Seeming interested and interesting without making you recoil in fear because a social norm has been breached. And I know this isn’t the stuff we can go about discussing on a daily basis. Sometimes it is nice to know that grapes at Costco right now are an incredible deal. Because we all need to float sometimes. But I’d rather stick my face in the water and see what’s below the idle prattle.
This trouble I have with connecting has left me lonely. I’m not sure I know how to be a good friend, sister, daughter, wife, mother. Someone who is true and honest with feelings and thoughts. I need real relationships to real people because I can’t do this life by halves anymore. I need these relationships as bright spots in a dark thinking which I can gather and align into constellations to navigate my life. To someplace I want to be. I’m just not sure how to ask.
The weather this past weekend was beautiful. We were able to play outside, riding bikes and skateboards and watching the robins that never quite made the journey south.
And we’ve started a new hobby around here. Brewing!
Now there is a fresh layer of snow on the ground. So I’m glad we got out and enjoyed it!
This. This photo right here did it. I found an orphaned memory card and when the images started loading into my photo editor, I lost it.
I don’t remember this day.
I don’t remember him being this small. What did his little head full of downy hair feel like in my hands? When I pressed my lips to it?
I wasn’t there. I held him close, I made snacks, gave kisses, took pictures. Did mom things. But I wasn’t there. Not really.
I was somewhere inside myself and it was too hazy to see these beautiful things.
I see them now, but the emotions attached to them are skewed. They should be happy and joyful but what I remember is how dark I felt.
But now I’m here. Laughter and hopefulness in my days. I’m present.
Not to say that I don’t still have bad days. On those particular days sadness laps at me like waves. Not enough to knock me down but still strong enough to sting. It’s okay. I keep moving. I think it gets to a point where no one wants to really hear about your troubles anymore because we all have them. No one wants to be sucked into unhappiness. So I’ve stopped talking about it.
I am so thankful, though, to those who are really there for me. I came across this article recently and it really hit home for me. All about just being there for someone, whatever “there” is for that person at that time and not dismissing their feelings. Kind words, long hugs, texts just to see how I’m doing. Just those small gestures have kept my head above water on so many days. True love and friendship are these things- just listening, caring, and offering a bit of yourself so the other doesn’t have to trudge through the difficult times alone. But there are many times when there is nothing offered and people who I thought would be there for me have remained silent. As hard as that has been, it’s teaching me to rely on myself. My husband always says the best place to look for a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
And so I have. I have pulled myself out of worse states than this and I know I can make it.
I’m not bitter about this. A little hurt maybe but I’m moving on. I think it’s because I wanted so badly for something to be true and good and I poured my heart out and made myself vulnerable. I was there and I cared and I listened. When I needed these things, I felt like there was no time for me. Then a moment of absolute clarity. I see it all for what it was. Maybe there was never really anything there- just a shifting mirage. Not everything works out and that’s okay. My happiness shouldn’t depend on others, so those people are off the hook. The hardest part is letting go of an idea or an expectation you had about something or someone.
Hope but don’t expect.
I’m taking a deep breath and letting go. Opening myself up to what can be. Ready to put love out and to be there for those I care about and who care about me. To make new connections. Maybe I’ve missed something and misjudged, but all I can do is let it be and know that if it is good and real it will remain.
I’m learning what I’m made of, about myself. And although the shoulders to lean on are very much appreciated, I don’t need anyone to pity me and to hold my hand. I’m here and now I can see it all for what it is.
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.
(Thanks for this, H.F. You always seem to have the right words.)