I Tried Revenge Chores So You Don’t Have To

Got in a fight with Greg yesterday about a Tiny Thing. For the record, it was categorically his fault and zero percent mine, and we shall ignore the fact that I’m the only one telling this story without giving him a shot at sharing His Side. Yes? Yes. Excellent. I’m glad we’re on the same page.

Don’t worry, though; I got back at him by Revenge Weeding, Revenge Dish Washing, and Revenge Dinner Cooking. That’s when you do all those things, but with anger in your heart instead of love. Well, I suppose with love, too, but only technically speaking. Revenge Chores are like when the love is definitely there, but it’s buried deep, deep down under the Muttering and the One Sided Conversations in Your Brain Where Everything YOU Have to Say Is Brilliant and Wise So That He Acquiesces, Admits Fault, and Begs for Forgiveness. That’s very satisfying if you, like me, are interested in maintaining the fantasy of Righteous Anger and stoking the flame of simultaneous Self Pity and Superiority, but it’s not very satisfying if you want to, you know, do anything actually productive in the relationship.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Sometimes you gotta make hard choices. ...  read more

Why It’s OK To Cry at Writing Retreats (or, At Least Ours): A Guest Post by Melanie Springer Mock

Dear Friends,

Today I’m delighted to share this space with my friend, Melanie, who is one of my major writing inspirations.

Although I was initially intimidated by her — she’s a real writer, after all, has authored several books, and is an award-winning professor of writing at a university —  I soon learned that Melanie is also an encourager, a kindness monger, a humble advocate and mentor, and a loyal friend. Now Melanie has released her latest book, my favorite so far, and I think you’ll see immediately why I’m sharing it (and her) with you. It’s titled Worthy: Finding Yourself in a World Expecting Someone Else. For those of us who grew up in conservative Evangelical Christian culture and have felt enormous pressure to conform in order to fit in — for those of us who have desperately longed to be wildly and truly ourselves with all our magic and mess, as though that is who we were created to be all along — this book is a life-giver and a game changer. Vulnerable, funny, heart-wrenching, and deeply true, Melanie shows us the way to discover that we’re already worthy of love exactly as we are. Which is what I hope we do here every day. ...  read more

I’m My Kids’ Friend AND Their Parent (Psst… You Don’t Have to Pick)

I spent much of my early parenting life afraid.

True truth.

And although some of my fears made sense — as in, I’m pretty sure it’s a biological imperative and plain good sense to want to keep your child from harm — many of my fears were based simply on the Great Unknown of Parenting. I was afraid I’d do it wrong. Afraid of being too lenient. Afraid of failing my kids and somehow Ruining Them Forever. ...  read more

On Moving to Belize

Exciting news, friends! Greg and I, along with our kids, are moving to Belize! We don’t have a timeline yet, as we’re just in the initial phases of looking for riverfront property in the Cayo district — probably on the Macal River — but stay tuned for more info.

Also — IMPORTANT — don’t tell Greg yet, please.

I haven’t technically mentioned it to him yet because I’ve learned it takes a while to break news like this to him. ...  read more

Help Settle an Argument…

OK — help me resolve a tiny family squabble…

My parents’ 47th wedding anniversary was yesterday, and I shared my congratulations on Facebook along with the observation that that’s a LOT of years not to smother each other with a pillow.

My dad says I’m recycling that line because I’ve used it before.

*I* say, YES, I’ve said it before, but it’s a UNIVERSAL TRUTH, and universal truths ought not be categorized as “recycling.”  ...  read more

A Letter to My Daughter’s Other Mom

26 March 2018

We found her. Finally. After nearly 20 years and an international investigation, we found our daughter’s birth mom. So I’m sitting here on a Tuesday, at my desk, with paper and a pen and a view of the rainy Oregon foothills trying to decide what to say to a mama across the ocean. A mama in Vietnam who shares my child. A mama who’s waited and wondered and longed for news. A mama who didn’t know if she’d ever hear. A mama, it turns out, who wanted desperately to keep her baby and who didn’t know her daughter would be swept away to America. A mama who, through no fault of her own, was caught up in a fraudulent baby adoption business.  ...  read more

Trophy Time: GOT DRESSED

Hey, BIG NEWS. I got dressed today. To my shoes. In Not Pajamas. With everything right side out. BEFORE NOON. I have thus been awarded the following trophy.

GOT DRESSED!

To be clear, by “I’ve been awarded,” I mean I awarded it to myself which is only appropriate as I’m the Governing Body that oversees Dressedness in my home. 

You may remember last month, when I accepted trophies in myriad categories including Smothered Zero People With a Pillow and Injury Free Workplace: 60 Minutes. Well, this trophy was available to me then (in a burst of unbridled optimism, I’d ordered it for myself from the Trophy Store), but the time never seemed right to bestow it, partly because I avoid getting dressed whenever possible, and partly because 1. Getting Dressed, 2. Remembering I’m Dressed, and 3. Taking a Photo to Prove I’m Dressed was two steps too many. My three steps looked more like 1. Getting Dressed, 2. Getting Undressed as Soon as Socially Feasible (i.e. upon walking one step in my front door), and then, 3. much later, going, “DAMN. I FORGOT MY TROPHY AGAIN.” ...  read more