• Cup of Grace Series

    Check on the Mom Wearing Lipstick

    Last month the world lost another beautiful woman. She was a wife and mother. She was kind, upbeat, smiling, and generous. The preschool moms watched as she ran circles around the rest of us, volunteering, coordinating and simply “making things happen.” Even after my family moved on to a different community, we were able to stay connected through social media. I, like many, were surprised when her death announcement addressed her struggle with postpartum depression. Her social media posts portrayed happiness and perfection, never indicating that she was suffering.  I think of my own bout with postpartum depression. At the time I discounted it as the chaos of moving across…

  • Cup of Grace Series

    You’re a Mess, But We All Are

    You’re a mess, but you’re among good company. Although we like to think of ourselves as a unique being, unlike any other, the reality is the same things haunt most of us having a human experience. You’re a borderline disaster, truly. But, we all are.  This motherhood thing is fulfilling and lovely, but also challenging and exhausting. Adulting is certainly not for the weak. There are not enough hours in the day to balance being a partner, a friend, daughter, mother, co-worker, good neighbor and still leave a little extra to keep ourselves well. Several years ago, we relocated across the country with a four-month-old, twenty-two-month old, third and fourth…

  • Parenting

    Let Them Fall, So They Can Fly

    One of the greatest challenges (among many) I face in motherhood is watching my kids fail, be lonely, hurt or discouraged. When I heard the quote, “A mother is only as happy as her most unhappy child,” it resonated so deeply with me that I have repeated it no less than 10,000 times among my mom friends.  Thank goodness I partnered with a person who has the stomach to watch our kids fall flat on their faces and get up again, trusting they will be better for it. Some day my kids will be overwhelmed with appreciation for a man who kept their mother from strategically entwining them in emotional…

  • Health

    One Year, One Word

    The January Hangover is a real thing. After months of planning, executing and surviving another magical holiday season, it ends like a down on a thistle. The kids are crazy-eyed, over-sugared and one sibling-rivalry away from a complete meltdown. And parents are left holding a lawn waste bag filled with hours of wrapping paper labor.  The Christmas lights need to come down in temperatures no less than 30 degrees colder than when they were put up. The loose Styrofoam that protects the sweet nativity looks like snow as the scene comes out of the box and like anthrax when it gets put away.  For a majority of us, the last…

  • Health

    The Slow Bleed: Doing Too Much

    It’s been a while since my last blog. I have not made time to write, in part because the most joyful time of year is also the most stressful and because I managed to run myself almost literally into the ground.  After becoming near-fatally anemic, I landed myself in the hospital for a blood transfusion, diagnostics and a heavy dose of “Mom Time Out.” It got me thinking about all of the other Type-A ladies (many of whom are my best friends, love you gals) out there who go and go and go without paying attention to the fact that they are literally and figuratively killing themselves in the process. …

  • Friendship

    Staying Connected in a Disconnected World

    I enjoy social media. It’s a gift to keep up with friends’ major life events, and those not-so-major events too. Most of the time, social media is mindless entertainment, to which I say, “YES PLEASE.” I need a hefty serving when I cannot deal with another load of laundry or that mounting inbox of field trip permission slips. I am also learning that if social media isn’t compartmentalized as entertainment, if I take it as real connection, it becomes something other than a way to reset my mind for a few minutes. It becomes the truth. And this is dangerous. When I traveled back to Oregon after moving away nine…

  • Holidays

    A Mom’s Evolution of Halloween

    Halloween again. That time of year. Or, as to not offend our friends on the West Coast, Fall Festival. This curious holiday has morphed through history from an ancient Celtic festival to All Hallows Eve and finally to a candy-fueled night of costumes and trick-or-treating. And like history, Halloween has evolved in the lives of moms. Birthed from the simple celebrations led by our own mothers, followed by the anti-climatic Halloweens of our teens, UberHalloween has now consumed a new generation of moms and kids.   My first childhood Halloween memories consist of digging through a huge beat-up cardboard container at the grocery store trying to find the perfect pumpkin.…

  • Parenting

    This Year It Will Be Different

    During my current season of life, Mother Of School-Aged Children, Fall signifies new beginnings. It’s a time filled with hope for organized calendars, healthy packed school lunches, and taking control of our lives after they’ve seemed to morph into an out-of-control frat house by August. All things seem possible in the early Fall. I plan hot breakfasts served each morning with a smile to children with equally enthusiastic attitudes. I envision making Halloween costumes that would put any Pinterest post to shame. Perhaps this year I will be the class mom for all four children, start that yoga class, give Whole30 a whirl, train for a marathon, and finish poor…

  • Parenting

    Things No One Told Me About Motherhood

    No one can fully prepare you for motherhood. Not books, not your mother, not your wise experienced friends. There is no instruction manual. However, here are a few warnings I wish I knew before embarking on the wild ride of mommyhood. Early Motherhood is Wet – I do not remember a dry moment when my kids’ were babies. Not one that lasted more than 20 minutes. And NO ONE warned me it would be countless hours of laundry. Leaking breast milk, watery and yellow poo, spit up, pee, and mashed bananas.  Early motherhood is wet.  Enough said. You Will Never Sleep Again – You think I’m kidding? I think the…