2020: The year our to-do lists died a fiery death. I’m still living by my to-do list, of course—I couldn’t survive a global pandemic without one. But the items look a lot different than I thought they would, they’re getting checked off slower (much, much s-l-o-w-e-r), and some things have been removed altogether. Gretchen Rubin (author, researcher, and happiness extraordinaire) often talks about a happiness habit she calls the “Ta-Da List.” Rather than putting so much pressure on ourselves to keep up with our long to-do lists, or beating ourselves up over all the items we didn’t get done, she… Read More
How My Children Point Me To The Tangible, Touchable Love Of God
This essay was originally featured on Joyful Life magazine’s blog. I fall backward onto the floor, overdramatizing my movements as I shout, “You got me!” Suddenly, there is a small hand in my hair, a finger in my nose, and a long string of slobber about to drop onto my face. “The monster got me again!” I say, and I am rewarded with baby giggles. I am the mother of a 4-year-old and an 11-month-old (the ‘monster’ in this scenario), which means I am neck-deep in one of the most physically demanding seasons of motherhood. All day long, I meet… Read More
Becoming a Mother Brought Me Home to My Body
This essay is a part of Verily magazine’s ongoing series Making of a Mom. I stood in the hospital bathroom and examined myself in the mirror for the first time since giving birth: My greasy hair was pulled into a makeshift bun. I had new bags under my eyes, the circles so dark they looked like bruises. My stomach was a deflated kickball, revealing stretch marks I hadn’t realized were there. My flesh spilled out of the mesh underwear a nurse had lined with a frozen pad and then helped me step into. (If I had any sense of privacy left… Read More
Happy Release Day to Expecting Wonder!
Note: This post contains affiliate links. A day that seemed so far away when I signed the contract is finally here! It’s book release day for Expecting Wonder! I never could have predicted what the world would look like right now (and I’m so glad I didn’t know I’d be releasing this baby in the middle of a global pandemic), but here’s what I do know: time marches on. Women keep on being pregnant and having babies and experiencing the deeply transformative process of becoming mothers. I sincerely hope that Expecting Wonder will be a friend and companion to them during this time, especially as our normal… Read More
The First Year, The Second Time
The early-summer sun dips lower in the sky, casting the backyard in a golden glow. The last dregs of sunshine warm my legs as the breeze picks up, ruffling the hair on my arm, dancing among the leaves in the tree overhead. I drape a muslin blanket over the newborn snuggled on my chest, buying us a few more minutes before we need to go in. My son is four days old, his legs still reflexively curled into his chest, hands up by his head, mouth wide open. His breathing is quick and shallow, then slow and deep, the rhythm… Read More
I Miss the Person I Thought I’d Be
Last week while I was changing Eamon’s diaper, he poked me in the eye. I hadn’t cut his nails in over a week (or maybe two weeks or three?), and his razor-sharp claw hooked me just right. My eyeball filled up with blood and I couldn’t blink without pain. My ophthalmologist couldn’t schedule a video visit, so I booked an early appointment for the next day. Normally, this sort of thing would be a source of frustration: the ophthalmologist’s office is a thirty-minute drive from my house, and I would have had to rearrange my schedule to fit an appointment… Read More
Finding My Way Home
The days run together, one after the next, exactly the same on the surface but conjuring new emotions at every turn. We inhabit this house, work and play and eat in these same few rooms, see only each other, rarely catch a minute to ourselves. I mark the time by Eamon’s jammies and Selah’s rotation of outfits and hairpieces—one day a tiara, the next a headband, and then a series of sparkly clips. If light is in your heart, you will find your way home. —Rumi The light pours in, the light recedes. Each day, I find my way. This… Read More
The Making of Mom: All the Details!
When I was in second grade, we spent 45 minutes every day in Writer’s Workshop. (It was a special full-circle moment when I got to facilitate Writer’s Workshop with my own class of second graders.) In this model, students move through each phase of the writing process, from brainstorming all the way through publishing. I published my first memoir that year, which I called My Family’s Trip to Disney World. (I’ve never been great at titles.) It was a glimpse into the emotions I felt in that small but monumental slice of my life: when my world broadened for the first… Read More
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