Tuesday, November 29

29 november


grateful for: a day for me, coffee with Elizabeth, a better mood, writing, noodles & tea, picking up a happy boy.

Monday, November 28

28 november


grateful for: nearly but not completely losing my shit, chocolate, Arcade Fire.

Sunday, November 27

27 november


grateful for: sock & sweaters, tea, apple cake, a solo outing, loud music, love.

today I...

  • woke up to coffee and smiling boys
  • heard the wild wind howl at the windows, though the trees
  • sat for 15 minutes of meditation
  • ate waffles
  • finally made the unfussy apple cake (delicious & decidedly unfussy)
  • nearly lost all hope & patience with my non-napping son
  • gave myself my very first bang trim
  • dropped off half the cake to a friend recovering from surgery
  • got a much-needed chair massage
  • drank a pumpkin spice latte
  • wrote hard in this journal, then in this journal
  • played Arcade Fire and Florence + The Machine LOUD in the car
  • finished sprucing up the studio
  • took a bath with my baby
  • made Candy Cane Lane tea
  • am so deeply grateful for my sweet hubby
  • am still holding out hope

Thursday, November 24

24 november


grateful for: healthy & happy husband, son and family, cozy home, good food, tea & yoga breaks, innumerable blessings.

Wednesday, November 23

Tuesday, November 22

Sunday, November 20

20 november


grateful for: sleeping in, Sunday afternoon, chair massage, chai tea, pizza & ice cream.

Saturday, November 19

19 november


grateful for: coffeeshop time, mama friends, splendid weather, other people's toys, writing, yin yoga, baby sleeping better than yesterday.

on seeing clearly

Here is a picture of my son and I, taken recently on a warm November day at the park:

Almost 10 months into this gig, I still find it very strange to me to see a picture of myself with Silas. I am the photographer of the family, so while there are countless pictures of Silas, and tons of him with his daddy, with his grandma, grandpa, etc, there are very few of me and him, alone, except for the occasional self-portrait with child. It's as if my vision of myself hasn't fully adjusted to my new role: like getting a drastic new haircut or glasses, and for a few days, constantly startling oneself when passing a mirror. Is that really me?

I didn't expect motherhood to come with such an intense identity crisis. I have always wanted to be a mother; I have always wanted to be a stay-at-home mother. The man I married is the best friend I ever had, and the most amazing father. Our journey to fertility was long and difficult, due to a thyroid problem. This baby is very much wanted. This life is the life I have always wanted. Yet daily, I find myself wrestling with questions of self-identity. What does it mean to be a mother? What does it mean for me to be a mother? What sort of mother do I want to be? What sort of mother am I capable of being? (Two questions which, as I was much chagrined to find out, may have little to do with one the other.)

In bed the other night my husband and I were discussing this. It's not like that for men, he said. There is no fundamental shifting of their ground of being when they become fathers. It is as I suspected: on this point as in many others, motherhood is a bum deal. (Don't get me wrong: it's an honor and a privilege and a tremendous joy. And it's also very, very hard.) As is often the case though, DH cut through the fog of my neurosis with a comment of piercing and illuminating clarity:

"Silas knows that you're his mother."

My son is not confused about my role in his life. He does not wish me to be any other sort of mother. No matter how shitty or doubtful I feel about myself and my capacities (or perceived lack thereof), he accepts me fully, gladly, exuberantly. I am the one he wants, always. I am his mother. Looking at myself through his eyes, seeing what he sees, I see that all those brambly, thorny questions are just mind clutter. I do not need to figure out what it's like to be a mother. I am a mother. What I do everyday is what mothers do. There is nothing else, nothing to figure out.

In this matter, my son is my greatest teacher. He helps me to grasp and accept the truth of who I am. He cuts through my bullshit. He knows what's up. He is unrelenting in his teaching, yet filled with nothing but love and acceptance.

I am so very fortunate to share my life with two guys whose vision of me helps me see myself more clearly. Baby and all.

Friday, November 18

18 november


grateful for: mama friends, Netflix, coconut chicken soup, my husband, tea.

Thursday, November 17

17 november


grateful for: my mother, shared new journals & pens, bacon for lunch, a moment of quiet, rose soap.

Wednesday, November 16

16 november


grateful for: autumn leaves, naps together, sitting meditation, a hot shower at the end of a long day.

Tuesday, November 15

15 november


grateful for: our pilgrimage to Steeping Room, rain, Texas BBQ, a new mug.

Monday, November 14

grateful for: pumpkin spice smoothie, strong core work, brown butter, coming rain.

confessions of a serial blogger

So, Nablopomo...  I tried, friends, I really tried.

I was all set and excited to spend more time here at MHN this month. When Nablopomo struck (translation: National Blog Post Month, or a month in which we all endeavor to post on our blogs everyday) I thought this was the perfect motivation to get me onto a more regular posting schedule, something I have been stuggling with (ahem) ever since I first set up this space. And then, weekend before last, our household was hit by a double wave of sickness: little man and I got a nasty stomach bug, which we recovered from just in time to be felled by a wicked cold. We're still coughing.

Here's a confession: I am a serial blogger. I first hit Publish right here on Blogger back in the dark ages of 2004, when we had to edit ALL of our own HTML stuff. (You kids don't know how good you've got it.) I was so good at blogging back then that it snagged me a husband--true story. Between that blog and this one lay a sad trail of little clumps of posts, begun in the greatest of hopes and long since abandoned. But this one--oooh, this one, this one is shiny, this one has the feel of a winner. Now I've got the material, a wealth of stuff to write about, share, puzzle out--because I've got this kid now, and I need to figure out all over again every day how to be his mommy--but what I don't have, what I desperately lack, is time.

Here's another confession: I am a schedule addict. I like things to be reliable, predictable, I like to set it and forget it. This is when I practice yoga. This is when I bake muffins. This is when I write on my blog. But, you see, nine-month-olds laugh hysterically in the face of schedules. They mash them between their chubby fingers like so many Cheerios. My son makes a mockery of my need, my deep desire to have things the way I like them. That's fine--that's why he's here, that's why he is the best and greatest teacher I will ever have.

But there you have it--my sparkly dreams of posting every day dashed by baby germs. A perfect little microcosm to illustrate this life of mine. I could throw my hands up and wave the white flag. But I come to you here, nearly 10pm at night, saying--what, exactly? That I fell down. And that I'm picking myself back up again. And that I'm trying my darndest not to judge myself for having fallen, and not to make lofty promises about what'll happen now that I'm standing back up. I am here. Now. Writing. It is all I've got. It is good enough.

Sunday, November 13

Friday, November 11



grateful for: yoga class, cupcakes, fat orange moon, murmuration of starlings, pajama pants.

Thursday, November 10

10 november


grateful for: time, sadness, movement, noodles, swings, driving with the windows down and the music loud.

Wednesday, November 9

Friday, November 4

4 november


Grateful for: ginger tea, miso, rice, showers, and my wonderful husband and mother who looked after my son today while I was sick.

Thursday, November 3

3 november


grateful for: cold enough weather to wear handknits, running into friends at the coffeeshop, tiniest kisses all over my son's sleeping face.

Xs and Ys

Sometimes I happen upon two quotes almost simultaneously which, like the meeting point of an X and Y axis, create a bull's eye of truth that hits right at the heart of my experience. At the moment, they are:

"Whenever you do what you don't want to do, it is a spiritual practice."  -Karen Maezen Miller, from a tweet about a week ago

"Only one feat is possible: not to have run away"  -Dag Hammarskjold

I make no secret of the fact that I am deeply struggling in caring for my 9-month old son right now. His sleep is a mess from teething/learning to crawl/standing and cruising around the furniture. I wrote about it in this post last week; I'll probably write about it next week, too. It is, no doubt, the defining fact of my life right now. It's messing with my brain, big time. When I sit up with him at night, half-asleep, achy, feeling lost and crazy, my mind clouds up with dark, brooding, menacing thoughts, most of them summing up roughly to this: I am not good enough. I am a terrible mommy, and therefore, I am a terrible person.

It is incredibly easy and seductive, as a mama, to exhaustively list all of our perceived faults, and give ourselves no credit for all the good that we do in a day. It feels good to hear other people tell us that we're doing a good job, but we don't really believe them. Surely if they knew about all the stuff that's going on in our heads, what we feel we're really like, then they would retract their praise. But even amidst the densest fog of self-doubt and self-loathing, as these two quotes indicate, there is one redemptive truth one can cling to, and catch a bit of clarity from.

I show up.

I show up for my son, no matter what my state. True, sometimes I let a few wailing minutes go by, and true, I often mutter curses under my breath, but I go to him.  "This is your new spiritual practice: getting our of bed." (KMM again.) I show up, I hold and nurse him. I pick him up when he falls down. I pick him up from daycare two days a week. No matter how much I fantasize, in the dead of night, about getting in the car, setting the GPS on a course to Mexico and never looking back, I'm still here, day in and day out, and I show up for my little guy. I have made the choice to be a SAHM, and sometimes I feel like this choice is costing me a great deal, but it's still the toughest job I've ever (mostly) loved, and I do not, not ever, regret one minute of being present for my boy.

I have not run away. I will not run away. I may do it grumbling, but I do those things that I do not want to do. It may not at all feel very spiritual, but there is no doubt that it is a practice, this mothering gig.

That could be the shortest and most complete job description of motherhood: showing up.

And I do. Job well done.

2 november


Grateful for: my deeply kind and understanding husband, a lovely visit with my lovelier girlfriends, dinner at the food trailers.

Wednesday, November 2

happy place

Our little guy's sleep has been unreliable at best, and today things have really come to a head. I am worn out and near the brink. But for the almost five minutes during which I watched this video tonight, the world was again a happy place. Enjoy!

(Oh, the many incarnations of John Travolta.)

(Pssst... I'm playing along with NaBloPoMo. Here goes nothing!)

Tuesday, November 1

1 november


grateful for: solo coffee date, long yoga practice, park outing with my boy, fresh insights