Tuesday, April 29, 2014

You Know the Moment

The moment when my sentimentality loses ground to my need not to step on one more godforsaken COLORED PENCIL.

I have countless moments where I can look around my toy ridden home and smile thinking of the precious stage of life we are in. Playtime lasts all day, grape fights are a super fun way to end lunch, creativity is encouraged through various mediums of clothes staining crafts, and we choose to wrestle on the floor rather then vacuum up Play-Doh. (that was just for effect, Allie...you know this Mama does not allow Play-Doh in my house)

I am not a crazy person. I do not need my books lined up alphabetically by genre or my dinner forks to be on the left side of the silverware rack. Last year I planted annuals in dirt specifically for perennials. Sometimes my bra and underwear don't match. I live loose.

But God help us all the day when I just can't smell the roses any more. I grab an armful of Trader Joe's bags (perfect for these moments because they double bag at our TJ's and you can fit a decent weight of stuff in those paper bags) and just start to Swedish Chef my way across the house. If I haven't seen you reading this magazine this week, in the bag. Your insect parade puzzle is missing a piece? Gone. 7 Hello Kitty socks with no matches? You get one more laundry cycle to round up the odd ducks, and then they're gone. Those 42 index cards with 42 rainbows on them that you colored yesterday? I will chose one, maybe two. I am a heartless machine with no feelings other then a maniacal desire for something vanilla or white in my peripheral vision.

I am not a respecter of persons on the day the music dies. I go through my own drawers and closet and shelves and floor. If I can't imagine the perfect place to wear it, it's time to thrift. I just need some empty flat surfaces. To see my hardwood floor. To be able to pull out the coffee creamer without knocking three Mason jars of pesto linguini on the floor. I need tabula rasa. Blank canvas.

Probably to fill up with shiny things that I will most likely purchase the next time I have a free afternoon and wander up to the antique shop in Coraopolis with the awesome room of vintage beer steins and tea services.

Friday, April 25, 2014


It has been a while.

If you know me, you know that I have tendencies very like Kate Winslet's character in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I am impulsive and vagabondy and wouldn't mind at all being a book slave at Barnes and Noble. Also think I would look hot with blue hair.

I said a final farewell to my social media vices once and for all in early February, and went dark on FB, Instagram and this blog all at once. And I was lonely. And I felt isolated. And was not invited to parties. And... began living in the moment. Every moment. Just for the sake of living in them.

This is not poetry. This is a very hard way to live sometimes. Because the immediate validation of 30 other Mamas clucking their empathy over a photo of Knox sitting in a pile of empty board game boxes like a psychopath while the content lie strewn and mixed up all over my living room is very comforting. My people, my social group, my village, my fellow parents, agree with me that the next 45 minutes of my life are going to suck. And not only that, but I can count on some follow up texts or emails filled with smiles asking how many beers it took to clean up the mess?

Solidarity. Comfort. A virtual shoulder. A long distance hand reaching out for my tired face and stroking my cheek with understanding and care. A boot in the ass. An encouraging quote. Friendship. We are in this together. Pennsylvania and Colorado (or Illinois or New York or Louisiana) aren't that far apart.

Social media made that easier, and for that I will always love my IG account. My friend in San Francisco watched Pursy and Knox put their shoes on and run in the backyard via my posted photos. I couldn't give up that connection with my dearests across the country, so I started texting one photo a week that I call Whimsical Wednesday and send it to a select few of near and far friends that I want to see some intimate moment of my day. It might be a picture of the babes eating breakfast, or my freshly organized spice cabinet, or the tweenage boy I saw at the zoo wearing an acid wash jean vest. Some small way to keep our lives connected.

And then I was chatting with my favorite Anglican priest (chosen as my favorite from the host of Anglican priests circling my social group) and he mentioned that he hadn't read anything from me in a while. And I felt sad. And I realized that writing is something that I miss when I don't do it. At the end of a crazy day, I long for a little more energy to sit down and verbally process. To capture some random thought I had or heard and wanted to remember. Letters I want to write. Conversations with Purslane and Knox that I want to read again in a year or two and marvel at the evolution of humankind.

Not being connected to Facebook, and this blog not neatly fitting into any category that folks would read if not intimately connected to me, makes this space feel confidential. You have to want to come here and care about what I have to say. I like that.

And here are two photos from the past week that make my heart sing.

Sunrise in the Strip District with my favorite. We shopped for flowers and goat cheese, drank coffee and talked about love and loss. And marveled at how we have both come to think of Pittsburgh as "home".

Purslane Claire turns four. My friend Kirsten captured this moment right before Pursy blew out the candle on her ice cream sundae. Look at that little girl. She blows my mind and explodes my heart on the daily.