The Day I Pooped My Closet

Jan 30 2015

 

Dear the Internets,

This is a true story.

This is my true story.

I lay down my dignity for you, because I love you very much.

Sincerely,
Beth

 

Once upon a time, I pooped my closet. 

I was pregnant.

With twins.

Approximately 100 years pregnant with twins, judging by my size, but really only 7 months or so, which made me roughly larger than a semi-truck and smaller than the Empire State building. Big, in other words, especially since I started the pregnancy “fluffy” according to a nurse who was kind and wonderful and didn’t call me chubby to my face for which I will always love her something fierce.

Fluffy to begin, I was, and then I got, well, fluffier. Growing two babies does a number on the body, and mine popped out in all sorts of delightful places not limited to my belly. No; I’m pretty sure my hind end, my thighs and my breasts were growing sympathetically in proportion to my middle, good girlfriends that they were, not wanting my belly to feel alone in all the fluff. 

Now I didn’t spend much time feeling badly about my weight because I’d lost 3 babies to miscarriage years ago, and now my body was making two of them, so HOT DAMN, Fluffy Body; you ROCK, you know?

Still, every time my mama walked into my house, she’d catch sight of my largess and her eyes would pop and her face would pale and she’d say, “Honey, you’re as big as a barn” and “You know you’re going to have those babies early, right? Because YOU CANNOT GET ANY BIGGER, Child; THERE’S NO WHERE ELSE FOR THOSE BABIES TO GO except OUT OF YOU” which I think was her prayer or an exorcism of sorts: IN JESUS’ PRECIOUS NAME, I COMMAND YOU TO GET OUT, Babies! 

So I was big, is what I’m saying. Or Enormous if one wants the technical, scientific description. And that meant it was hard to move, particularly if I was sitting or laying down or anything other than already in motion per Newton’s First Law of Motion which I’m sure he discovered whilst watching someone pregnant.

And I was tired all the time because a) growing two babies is hard work, man, and b) lugging the three of us around was tantamount to getting a cruise liner in and out of port; slow, tedious, a real nail-biter in close quarters.

On the day of the incident, I laid myself down in bed and took a nap. A nap! Which, in case you don’t have kids, I’ll tell you is a miracle both in scope and in frequency because naps are precious and rare, friends. If I ever get to nominate anything for sainthood — anything to sit at the right hand of God the Father in Glorious Heaven — it will be naps. People will be like, What about Mother Teresa who selflessly cared for the destitute and dying? And I will be all, MOVE OVER, TERESA because NAPS. 

So I was taking a nap in my nightie sans panties because I could no longer figure out how to lasso those things around my ankles much less wrestle them all the way up my legs, but I was awakened by an urge to go potty. I ignored it, of course, because NAP and exhaustion and the impractical nature of moving the ship out of port, and I fell back asleep, only to be awakened again and again.

Le sigh.

The age old decision of Go Potty vs. Stay in Bed compounded by Pregnancy. It’s a doozy, I tell you, but I finally decided to wrestle myself from the bed and make the trek through our master closet to the en suite bathroom and relieve myself.

Only, on the way, I farted.

Except it wasn’t just an air poopy like I thought.

It was a poopy poopy.

Followed by another poopy poopy.

Followed by another poopy poopy.

Poopies in rapid succession making good their escape and rushing to freedom. 

And, as I was sans panties, each soft poopy slid to the closet floor with little puh-looping sounds and sat there like brownie batter, soaking into the carpet. 

I, of course, was no longer in the proper physical condition to get my carcass down on the floor to clean it up, but I was also full of abject humiliation and paralyzed at the thought of a) telling my husband I’d just pooped our closet, and b) asking him to clean it. 

So I did what anyone in my situation would do: I stood in a sea of poopies and cried.

And cried.

And cried.

Which is where Greg found me. In my nightie. Standing in a field of daisies minus the daisies and plus my feces. Sobbing.

He tried to bundle me off to bed so he could scrub the carpet, but I wasn’t then and am not now a woman who appreciates being bundled, so, through my hiccuppy sobs, I asked the man to lower me to the closet floor, bring me a scrub brush and carpet cleaner and let me clean up my own mess in privacy. Complete privacy please, I begged, “You go AWAY, Greg. Go FAR, FAR AWAY and try to FORGET THIS EVER HAPPENED. I know we vowed for better or worse, in sickness and health, but THAT WAS A CROCK, MAN. I meant for better or worse FINANCIALLY, and in sickness and health WITH NURSES TO CLEAN OUR BOTTOMS. I did not agree to THIS. To Poop Fest 2006. So I need you to go AWAY and breathe peppermint and imagine me back when I wasn’t a closet pooper. PLEASE, man; I BEG YOU. GO AWAY.” 

And so he did. He brought me supplies. He lowered me to the floor. He went away. 

But I should’ve agreed to the bundling, because I spent the next half hour sitting crisscross in the closet trying to reach past my babies to scrub the carpet, and you guys… you guys… every time I shifted, I touched poop. To the left, my knee hit poop. To the right, my thigh nudged poop. Like St. Patrick’s prayer, except instead of Christ behind me, before me, beneath me, above me, to my left and to my right, where I sit and where I lie, it was POOP. I mean, Jesus was there, too, but mostly POOP.

Due to belly size, I didn’t have the leverage to clean. So instead of cleaning, I smeared. And when I freaked out that I was smearing — I am smearing poop in my closet. OH MY WORD. I AM SMEARING POOP IN MY CLOSET. — I smeared some more. OCD poop cleaning, except without any actual ability to clean. Obsessive compulsive poop smearing. I’m pretty sure that’s a diagnosable psychiatric condition. 

Well, eventually, I quit. Wisdom is the better part of valor, after all, and although I admittedly like to exhaust valor before I let wisdom through the door, I could admit I’d tried and was defeated and needed Greg to finish.

I went to get him. 

I mean, I tried to go get him, but that’s when I discovered my legs were asleep after being trapped under the belly all that time. 

I pulled on the dead weight of my legs to get them out from under me, sticking them straight out from my belly — and into the wasteland — to revive them, but no feeling came back. Minutes and minutes of leaving my legs in poop and just no feeling at all because they were still beneath my belly, even sticking out, and the belly was still good at cutting off blood. 

So I laid down.

In the closet.

In smeared poop. 

And Greg came back a half hour later to find me there, with poop on my hands and poop on my legs, lying in the poop I’d smushed into the carpet. 

In conclusion, I once pooped the closet.

And also, being married to me is THE BEST. 

So listen, friend. You might be having a down day. You might be going through a rough patch. You might wonder if you’re the only one sitting in a giant, figurative pile of poo. But I am here to tell you, if you are not sitting in a giant, literal pile of poo, you’re doing better than you know. Better than you know, friends, and better than me that day. 

Sending love to you,

Signature

I Want to Be Free and a Half

Jan 26 2015

IMG_2294This is Oliver.

 

IIMG_2293 met him in Australia last week, and I’ve decided to be him when I grow up.

 

IMG_2415Oliver is three and a half, and he’s got some things figured out I haven’t yet.

 

Yes, Oliver is three and a half, except Oliver can’t say the “th” sound yet, so Oliver says he’s “free and a half.”

 

Free and a half.

 

IMG_2416And he says it like he means it.

 

IMG_2292FREE AND A HALF!

 

I think that’s more truthful anyway than a mere recitation of his age, because I watched Oliver eat an ice cream cone, and he knows there’s magic to be found in the mess and to dive headfirst into the sweet even though it’s sticky there.

 

I’d even be willing to bet Oliver likes the sweet more because it’s sticky there, which is a level of freedom I’ve rarely obtained, grumping as I do about about the muck and the mess and wishing for a life that’s more clean than cluttered, more joyful than jumbled — more pristine and perfect and orderly and organized than the life I have.

 

I’ve heard a lot about freedom in my 40 years and I’ve tried to listen to the rules so I can live a life without chains, but it turns out I know more about what it is to feel stuck. Stuck in the darkness. Stuck in my brain. Stuck in my faith. Stuck, well, rather loathing myself

 

But in recent years, I’m learning to look for the lights that lead the way to freedom. To abandon the isolation of the Shoulds and the Oughts in favor of the community of Wild Grace and Messy Mamaraderie. To tell you the truth of who I am in the hope you will tell me, too. And to discover that Love really does set us free.

 

I’m learning to look for the joy in the madness, but not rule out the madness as joy.

 

I’m learning to look for the sweet in the sticky, but rejoice in the sticky, too. 

 

I’m learning to find the magic in the mess. Because it turns out the life I have is sticky and sweet, magical and mundane, steady and unstable, and more chaotic and crazy and fabulous than I ever planned. I have a funny feeling that’s the path to freedom.

 

And to finding our way to Free and a Half.

.

On the Importance of Wanderlust (and Why the “10 Women Christian Men Should Not Marry” List is WAY Off Base)

Jan 18 2015

I read a terrible article yesterday titled 10 Women Christian Men Should Not Marry. It made me crazy because it was so full of judgement, teeny, tiny boxes in which to shove women (and God), and proof texts, that poorest form of theology which makes the Bible into a rule book instead of an epic love story and makes a mockery of Jesus’ life and the way he championed people again and again.

To spare you reading it, the author’s list of women who make poor candidates for wifery is as follows:

  1. The Unbeliever
  2. The Divorcee
  3. The Older Woman
  4. The Feminist
  5. The Sexy-Dresser
  6. The Loud Mouth
  7. The Child-Hater (aka, any woman who’s unwilling to procreate)
  8. The Wander-Luster
  9. The Career Woman
  10. The Devotion-less Woman

He includes Bible verses after each category and explanations.

After I finished reading the list, gasping aloud in horror (honestly, I sounded like I was watching a YouTube video of serial kitten murders), and then checking the internet to make sure it wasn’t some sort of satirical joke, I realized I’m 40% a Good Wife Choice by this man’s measure. After all, I cling tenaciously to the ideal of equality between men and women; I wear v-cut t-shirts regularly (sexy, baby); I am very, very loud, although I’m certain the man who wrote the list would be somewhat relieved to know I used to struggle with accepting the enthusiasm and volume at which I live life; I’m a career woman; and I discovered years and years ago that the rote morning devotions I thought I had to have to be a good, Christian woman don’t have as much to do with faith as letting God out of the box, discovering that Love is sanctuary in the midst of the storm, and letting grace unearth the light and not just the darkness inside me.

I shared this guy’s article on the Five Kids Facebook page, because I just couldn’t stand it, and I am so grateful for all your “wows” and “what the…?s” because I felt so much less alone. But someone asked why I’d even bother to give this guy publicity for his article, which is a really great question that deserves an answer. My answer is this: there’s an enormous amount of garbage and judgement that happens in the name of Jesus these days from voices so loud they drown out the rest of us, and I’m not willing to allow this man or those who believe like him to speak on behalf of Christians like me who try and fail and try and fail and keep trying anyway to love each other well, and love each other loudly, and love each other with wild grace, which is the greatest commandment, above all other “rules.” (Matthew 22, etc. Proof text that, dude.

But the thing on his list that just astounded me — even more than the prohibition against Older Women which is just laughable — was his denigration of Wanderlust.

The more I thought about it, though, the more Wanderlust’s place on the list made terrible sense. It made sense because, of course, when we keep women only home, only focused on husbands and children, only giving of themselves and never caring for their own needs — when we feed women the ideal that their fulfillment comes solely from being a wife and a mother — when we tell them their dreams of both/and — both home and travel, both family and friends, both children and career, both God and grace, both boundaries and freedom, both our dreams as a family and my dreams as a person — are rich and full and a reality to reach for, we risk losing women to the wilderness. We risk losing women to complexity. We risk losing women to the place where they’re both human and divine — utterly fallible and also made in the very image of God — full of grit and grace and gratitude and grime and gory and glory all at the same time. We risk allowing women to be more than Stepford Wives and participate in the mess and find magic there and learn that there is that of God in everything. Just all of it. God in everything. Or Love, if you, like me, like to use God’s other name when The Whole God Thing becomes too muddied to understand.

It is easier, of course, to keep women contained. To squash the wanderlust that takes us physically away and the wanderlust of our hearts which lets us dream. It’s easier to keep us only home. To keep us feeling guilty when our entire fulfillment isn’t found in being a wife and a mother. Because when we women are set free to be fully who Love intended us to be, we are a force. WE ARE A FORCE to be reckoned with, and there are men and women in this world who are unwilling to do the reckoning.

To be clear, I am a woman who finds my greatest joy in my family; and they also drive me up a freaking wall. A FREAKING WALL, friends. Because my family is made out of humans, and I’m one, too, which is as awful as it is awesome, but my simultaneous desire to snuggle all five of my babies on my lap and also run away screaming to Mexico has nothing – nothing – to do with the depth of my love for or devotion to Jesus, nor my worth as woman, nor my value as a wife and a mom.

Truth is, I am a better mama and a better wife when I escape from time to time. To recenter. To rest. To live. To wander. To wonder. To think. To find myself beyond wilderness boundary and also longing to come home. To be terribly, deeply, beautifully both/and. And to be a woman fully loved and worthy of choosing, exactly as I am. 

………

P.S. After I read The Terrible Article, I offered to divorce Greg and remarry him ’cause I had an enormous urge to be an even bigger disappointment to the guy who wrote that drivel. 

P.P.S. Greg hasn’t responded yet, so I assume he’s considering divorcing me just to make me happy. That’s why I love him, and I’ll never leave him.

P.P.P.S. I’m writing this as I’m wander-lusting to Australia.

P.P.P.P.S. These are some pictures of me leading my daughter, Abby, astray and teaching her to be wanderlusty, too: 

AbbyBeth1

AbbyBeth3

AbbyBeth4

Because if I bring a child up in the way she should go, when she’s old she won’t depart from it. 

 

 

A Gift

Jan 9 2015

I walked in my chunky Mary Janes and my worn jeans and my favorite sweater through the outdoor market on a sidestreet next to a chocolate shop. It was only a glorified garage sale, with tables cobbled together and stacks of clothes and books, but it was in Paris, so it was charming. Chipped pottery. Rusty keys. Books stacked haphazardly to the overcast sky, daring us to brush by carelessly and topple ancient texts to the pavement.
 
I felt old like the books that day. Barely standing upright. In danger of falling to the earth. Brittle and fragile and more beautiful and wise than I could see.
 
I was dirty and rattled and deep in the throes of mental illness, although I hadn’t discovered it yet. I mean, I was on the brink of discovering it, filled to the brim with anxiety and rage and the teeniest bit of self-loathing which is like saying there’s the teeniest bit of cholera in the water; it doesn’t matter how much is there to start — it will pollute the whole damn thing and kill you regardless. 
 
Yes, I was on the brink of discovering my depression in disguise, but I wasn’t there yet, and so I was still dying and not yet reborn but trying bravely to soldier on as though I wasn’t emotionally and spiritually bleeding out. 
 
We were on vacation – the vacation of a lifetime – and the pressure to enjoy myself was fierce, though mostly from within. 
 
How often do you visit Paris, Beth? PARIS. Geez. Seize the Day! Breathe it all in. Practice gratitude, for God’s sake. JUST BE MORE GRATEFUL already.
 
But, of course, I couldn’t give myself credit for being merely mindful of gratitude. For trying. No; I had to TRIUMPH at gratitude. WIN at gratitude. Beat myself with the gratitude stick until I was bruised and battered and had the joy in my heart to prove it. Like making a child both apologize and mean it, which is, of course, impossible, and yet we insist upon it. You will apologize to your sister for licking her doll again AND YOU WILL MEAN IT, except the Adult Gratitude Version is you will recognize not everyone gets to do this/have this/experience this, and you will be HAPPY YOU DO because we lie and tell ourselves that acts of contrition and mindful gratitude are nothing unless we can conjure the right feelings to accompany them, which is, of course, bullshit.
 
I wandered through the market that day and lost my companions to the tables that beckoned them. Old records. New scarves. And me to the middle-aged woman in the frumpy coat on the low-slung chair selling jewelry. Nothing vintage. Nothing from old Parisian estates. Just a few earrings carved from wood, some found agates strung into necklaces, and a polished rock or two.
 
My daughter came over and we haggled for earrings – the woman without English and me without French – over a small piece of paper with a pencil, writing small numbers back and forth until we agreed. The money changed hands, and I found myself with a little package in my hands, and then, because I was weary to my soul, I muttered something uncharitable to my kid about how we probably could’ve worn her down even more on price. It was a small and petty thing to say, and also probably untrue, but I consoled myself with the fact that I’d said it quietly and I’d smiled at the woman and she’d smiled back, and I turned to go which is when the woman stood and reached across the table and grabbed my smooth hand with her wrinkled one.
 
She grabbed my hand and held it in hers and looked at my eyes and gestured to the table between us, saying something earnestly in French.
 
I didn’t understand, so she said it again, but no luck or Babel Fish or translator appeared so she held my hand tighter in one of hers while she lifted a small, blue, stone pendant off the table with the other, and she held it out to me to see. I agreed it was pretty, but shook my head to tell her no; I was done purchasing for the day. Still, she wouldn’t let me leave until she pressed the stone into the hand she held and closed my fist over it. Then she shooed me away. 
 
A gift. 
 
I finally got it. 
 
A gift, she was saying. 
 
I said no, no with my mouth and my gestures; I couldn’t accept. I’d spent what? $5? $6? on the earrings. A “gift with purchase” made no sense. But she wouldn’t take no for an answer. 
 
A gift, she insisted while she held my eyes, the pendant inside my fist.
 
I said, Merci and Thank You, and I left, wiping away sudden tears that confused me. 
 
In the years since I took her gift and walked away, I’ve wondered why she did it. Whether she heard my unkindness and chose to repay me with love anyway, which is the best kind of miracle I know. Whether she simply recognized I was lost and offered what she had to light my way home. Whether any part of her knew how much I’d come to treasure that stone and use it to remind myself to see people, too, the way she saw me that day at the market. To choose kindness to the stranger. To treat strangers like friends. And to believe, always, that the small lights we shine help each other find our way home. 

How to Know If You Have Buns of Steel

Jan 6 2015

I accidentally played Buns of Steel with my 8 year old twins.

FYI, for the uninitiated, Buns of Steel is played in one’s laundry room whilst clad in undies (or skivvies if you’re part of the Under 10 crowd), and the rules are as follows:

1. Clench your butt cheeks as tightly as you can.
2. Get someone to punch your butt – HARD.
3. Have the puncher declare whether you do, in fact, have Buns of Steel.

There I was, in the laundry room, minding my own business, trying to find something, ANYTHING, clean to wear when I was ASSAULTED by 2nd graders.

Now I have worked for years… yeeeeeears… to try to convince my children my butt is not a bongo nor is my tummy a timpani, although they’ve been reluctant adopters of the No Beating Your Mother philosophy. Similarly, I’ve tried to assist my adorable cherubs in understanding it’s impolite to giggle, and — OK — guffaw as the case may be, at the way my fine flesh reverberates and wobbles at the smallest provocation.

I thought we were making progress, too, walking that fine line between teaching my children that, while I refuse to be ashamed of being what my maternity nurse generously called “fluffy,” I also don’t need to be poked and prodded to gleeful cries of, “We just watchin’ you jiggle, Mama!” 

Yes, I thought we were making progress ’til I was punched in the rear in the laundry room.

I thought we were making progress, so I wheeled around — unhelpfully sending the whole ship a’shakin’ — to spear my precious angels with the hairy eyeball. The LOOK. The Oh No You Dih-Unt. 

They backed away with their hands raised, protesting their innocence. “We weren’t punching your butt, Mom!” they said. And, to my raised eyebrow, they followed up, “Well, OK, we WERE punching you, but just to see if you got Buns of Steel.” Because that’s way better than beating my butt like drums, I guess. 

So I asked, because I could not help myself, “And do I have Buns of Steel?” And they were caught.

Trapped.

Stuck.

Ensnared. 

Because not only had they punched me in the butt! Now they were forced to make a commentary they did not want to have to make. BWAHAHAHAHA.

No way out, baby dolls!

Full speed ahead!

Let’s see what you’ve got!

Which is when one twin looked at the other, beckoned him forward, whispered in his ear, garnered his agreement with a quick nod of the head, and said, “No, Mom. You don’t have Buns of Steel. You have Buns of Flexible, and that kind is good, too.”

So here I sit — on my battered Buns of Flexible — realizing we have, in fact, made progress. And for today, it’s enough.

Signature

 

 

 

P.S. You can see my Belly of Flexible – and read why I love it anyway – here.

Housekeeping, Stories, Some Photos, News About Jeans, A Skin Tag Named Harold, And Let’s Hang Out in Person

Jan 5 2015

I feel a little bad titling this post “Housekeeping” because I’m afraid it might give the false impression it’s about keeping house, a subject I’m patently unqualified to discuss since I’m exceedingly pathetic at the whole lot of it. However, if you clicked on the title hoping for some advice (or, more accurately, some quick ways to feel way, WAY better about your housekeeping by laughing at mine), you can disregard the rest of this and go to one of the following links, instead:

Alright, that said, let’s proceed with some housekeeping for the blog. Small updates on what’s been happening. Some updates on what’s to come.

  1. A Story: Why Twin Brothers Suck

    Today is January 5th; also known as The Day the Kids Went Back to School.

    At this point, I’d normally say, OH MY WORD, PRAISE JESUS AND ALL THE SAINTS… and GOD BLESS TEACHERS… and WOO to the HOO, YEEHAW, and PARTY ON, DUDES… except I had one little 2nd grade boy in tears this morning, not sure he was ready to return.

    He wasn’t recalcitrant or disobedient or obstinate, or even whiny and complaining. Instead, he was just quietly brokenhearted with tears slipping down his soft cheeks, hugging his teddy bear, Beary, whom he wasn’t sure he could leave behind. My mama heart
    sunk which is another way of saying he totally ruined all my plans to rejoice and skip away from the school and dance a jig in the parking lot. Ruined them completely, since now I’m left wondering whether he’s OK. 

    The only way I got Cael to school sans break-down, in fact, was by telling him he could take Beary along. “There’s no reason you can’t just put Beary in your backpack, Man. Would it make you feel better to bring him with you?”

    Cael sniffled and said that would help, which is when his pesky twin brother said, righteously, “Except we’re not allowed to bring toys from home.”

    “I’m sure it’s fine to bring Beary just for today,” I said.

    And Cai said, “Nope. No toys from home. It’s the rule.”

    And I said, “Well, then; good thing Cael’s leaving Beary in his backpack ’cause then no one will know.”

    And Cai said, “And that would be a good solution except we’re supposed to follow the rules even when no one’s looking, MOM.” Which is a GREAT thing for a kid to know and it’s AWESOME that he has convictions, and, of course, we want to honor that kind of thinking because it’ll totally keep him off of drugs and from robbing the liquor store one day, but GEEZ, kid; give your brother a break.

    So, when Cai wasn’t looking, I smuggled Beary into Cael’s backpack, winked at Cael and said, “I won’t tell if you won’t.” And he winked back and said, “DEAL.” 

    All of which is to say, having a twin brother sometimes sucks, and if Cael grows up to rob the liquor store, now you’ll know where it all began. 

  2. A Photo: A Dog and Her Boy

    I told you just before Christmas about our oldest boy’s new service dog, Zoey. I’m trying not to totally overreact, but she’s perfect, and I love this pair so much I can’t stand it.

    ADogAndHerBoy

  3. A Photo: Diversion

    This is a picture of Greg and me last week. I have the least number of double chins in this photo than of any other recently taken.

    FullSizeRender
    Also, this one nicely cuts off my butt so I’m using this to distract you from the next photo. Let me know if it works.

  4. An Update: On Jeans

    ButtNoSpeaking of butts, yes I DID get the jeans I special ordered from the made-to-fit company following the Great Pants Splitting Episode of 2014, and I DO like them, but I keep delaying updating you because it means more butt pics, and I’m having to gear up for that.

    It’s not the posting of the pictures that’s so awful. I’ll get there; I promise. (I PROMISE to show you more pictures of my rear, Internets, because mine is totes the kind of rear one looks up online.) It’s the fact that I have to find a human being and ask him or her to take photos of my butt.

    I mean, it’s one thing to discover your pants have split and have likely been split for hours while you run errands around town, and then, while still in shock, shove a phone in your husband’s hands to snap a pic.

    It’s an entirely different mental process, I assure you, to plan a Butt Photo Shoot, so you’ll have to wait a tad longer.

    In the meantime, it’s important to know a) MakeYourOwnJeans.com works as advertised, b) you shouldn’t cheat on your thigh size or the thigh parts of your jeans might end up snug, c) the fabric and construction are extremely high quality, d) it takes longer to get them (5-6 weeks with back pocket embroidery which adds time) than I would like, and e) I’ve ordered a second pair with *ahem* bigger thighs.

  5. Facebook and a Skin Tag Named Harold

    I updated you on the Five Kids Facebook page about Harold, my armpit skin tag. It’s important you join our Facebook community or you won’t get useless, gross and somewhat disturbing updates like these. Just thought you should know. Because I love you.

  6. NEWS: I Might Be Coming to a City Near You in 2015 (California and Australia in January!)

    I might be coming to a city near you sometime this year, and I would LOVE, love, LOVE to meet you in person. Thanks to my parents, whom I love and with whom I’m well pleased, I get to TRAVEL this year. I’m not traveling for anything writing or book-related; just traveling to see what we can see, and would love to see YOU. I’m positively GIDDY with excitement, and I’ll give you updates on locations as I know more. 

    THIS Friday, January 9th, I’ll be in the Fullerton area of Southern California. If you want to meet for a bring-your-own lunch in a park nearby, please email me at fivekidsisalotofkids@gmail.com with “SoCal Meet-Up” in the subject line so we can work out details. 

    On Monday, January 19th, I’ll be in Sydney, Australia along with my daughter, Abby. (I KNOW – I can’t believe it, either!) If you’d like to hang out for the day, please email me at  fivekidsisalotofkids@gmail.com with “Sydney Meet-Up” in the subject line. We have a hang-out plan I’d love to send you.

Those are my updates! It’s been a LONG few weeks of Winter Break full of glorious, grimy, grouchy, messy, mucky, magnificent time focused on my family, and I’m as sad as I am eager to move on to the mundane and magical days ahead. How are YOU? What are YOUR updates?