My daughter is ruining being a teenager.

My daughter needs me.

I know it’s true.

Even (and especially) now that she’s a teenager.

It’s more obvious all the time that my oldest baby needs occasional babying despite my natural inclination to only baby the babies.

Sometimes I succeed at giving her what she needs.

And sometimes I fail.

But let’s talk about me, shall we?

Let’s talk for just one minute about what I need. ...  read more

We’re on (naked) vacation!

Dear Friends,

We’re on vacation this week (woohoo! relaxation! restrejuvenation! fun family vacay!) in Sunriver, Oregon which is important for you to know for two reasons, as follows:

  • Blog posts this week may be sporadic and short.
    Or frequent and long.
    Or sporadic and long.
    Or frequent and short.
    Who knows, really?
    Our family vacations, while always memorable and bonding, rarely go according to plan.
    Which brings me to…
  • We left every single boy suitcase at home.
    Every. Single. One.
    We planned our packing.
    We packed our bags.
    And then we loaded all of the girls’ suitcases in the cars and left the boys’ suitcases on the landing at the top of the stairs.
    Or we left them downstairs by the front door.
    Or we left them outside next to the garage.
    if you’re in Sunriver this week
    and you see our naked family walking around,
    please do introduce yourself and say hello.
    Frankly, we can use all the friends we can get.
  •  ...  read more

    Wardrobe Malfunction: Do What I Say, Not What I Do

    One of the greatest blessings of unmanageable chaos is the acceptance that I can’t do everything.

    Or, more accurately, if I don’t always accept that I can’t do everything, at least I believe that if I do do everything most of it will be crap.

    I’ve come to believe lately that my life is an experiment in holding things loosely and dropping balls. And then tripping over the balls I drop and stubbing my toe. And then cursing in front of the kids and apologizing for the cursing. And then trying to be retroactively gracious about being a Ball Dropper. So, you know, motherhood. ...  read more

    Where else would you build your nest?

    Our front porch is covered with wisteria, a jungle invasion at odds with the manicured lawns at our neighbors’ houses but somehow complementary to the flowering, resilient, eye-high weeds that welcome visitors to our house.

    Erin came over the other night in her red strappy dress and high, urban heels to announce her engagement to Stephen. Erin, who I forced years ago to call me Cousin, even though she’s technically Greg’s cousin and only, therefore, my cousin-by-marriage. My cousin-in-law. As though family should ever be so narrowly defined. I earned it, I told her after sitting vigil by her bed in the Intensive Care Unit, crocheting row after row after row of snowball afghan, praying with every other sweep of my wrist that she would live. God, let her live, I prayed with the ventilator down her throat and her mama sitting beside me. ...  read more

    So your bathroom smells like pee…

    Some people offer slippers or nice, cushy socks to guests who enter their homes. The floors stay pristine in their unscuffed beauty, and the guests are comfy.

    Well, it’s way too late for our floors. That ship sailed a decade ago, and these days we regularly beg our guests to remain shod. There are two things that are unknowable: 1) the day and time that Jesus will return to take us to Glory, and 2) the mysterious ways of the omnipresent goo and gunk into which you will certainly step at my house. For Heaven’s sake, people, keep your shoes on...  read more