The Kittens Have Landed. (Sorry, Baby Skunks.)

THE KITTENS HAVE LANDED.

I REPEAT: THE FOSTER KITTENS HAVE LANDED.

Despite a WHOLE ENTIRE DINNER last week during which my beloved partner, my mother, my father, my brother, my sister-in-law, and my eldest daughter all tried to convince me foster kittens are the Worst Idea in the Known Universe, the kittens are here. Because NEVERTHELESS, I PERSISTED, friends. ...  read more

Someone Left an Exercise Bike on My Front Porch So I Can Do the Thing I’m Best At

Someone left an exercise bike on my front porch.

I don’t know how long it’s been there.

It just appeared sometime after I left the empty paint cans out to dry fourteen months ago, and before today, when my son decided to prove my neglected garden box is truly decrepit by ripping it from the earth and depositing it next to the front door.

F Your I,  that kid didn’t tell me he would be digging up my garden. He just left the rotting wooden frame for me as a decoration, as if to emphasize to anyone misguided enough to visit exactly how green my thumb is not. This is my kid who experiences disability and often has a hard time expressing himself verbally. This one isn’t too hard to interpret, though. I’m pretty sure he’s saying, “Guys. Guys. Guys. My mom is SO BAD at gardening, she doesn’t just kill the plants. She kills the container, too. YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS BEFORE YOU KNOCK. I AM TRYING TO HELP YOU.” ...  read more

Come On In. We’re Not Ready.

Come on in. We’re not ready.

I was at the discount grocery store last week when I saw the stack of welcome mats between the soda and the giant bags of brownie brittle. They said,

Come on in,
We’re not ready

I laughed out loud because YES. YES; THIS IS US, EXACTLY. 

Come on in. We’re not ready. BUT WHO CARES? Come in, anyway, because Being Inside Together is More Important than Preparation. Opening the Door Wide to the Wild and the Weird is More Important than Pretending We Have It All Together. More wonderful, too. Yes? Yes. This is true.   ...  read more

5 Real Ways I Eased My Depression This Year

SERIOUS ACCOMPLISHMENT TODAY, friends.

I called the pharmacy. On the TELEPHONE.

Like, I was out of medicine, so I casually picked up the phone, all la-dee-da as though I do this every day, dialed, talked to another human, and ordered more meds.

TRUE STORY.

It took less than two minutes, as opposed to the usual two weeks of crippling inertia and dread.

It took no brain space and carried no anxiety, as opposed to a full mental shut-down, clammy skin, and racing heart. ...  read more

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

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