Beyond Wildwood: The Routes We’ll Take


And so our Road Trip begins.

It’s time to load the back of the vehicle with All The Stuff.  This year I decided to put ALL of the shoes in one suitcase instead of having them in bags or floating in our car.  There are just So Many Feet in our family.  And – because we get to experience every single season on this one trip – we need a couple of shoes to match up with those needs.  Cowboy boots, of course.  Hiking shoes.  Keens. (Or Chacos.)  Last year it snowed on us as we hiked and some of the kids were wearing only their Keens.  My plans this year include much more hiking so I’m not running the risk of hiking through snow in Keens again.

In case you are curious – here’s the basic trajectory of this year’s journey.  There are four phases.  I’m labeling them each because I like to name things and I’m clearly finished naming children so I’ll just stick to naming kittens and legs of a journey,

Step One — Beyond Wildwood: The Way Out.  This includes stops to see the disgruntled brother, a seldom-visited cousin, and two buddies from college.  Also a stop over at an Audubon museum and the long passage through Kansas.  (We’re crossing our fingers that this year’s Kansas stories do NOT include tornado warnings or sirens or sighting.)  The kids are hoping this leg of the trip also does not include random older gentleman at campgrounds calling  me “babe” because that weirded them out for some reason.  Also, The Way Out includes a visit to Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park and the forecast is calling for rain on both of those days but I don’t care because I’ve packed rain jackets and I’m not traveling with newborns or toddlers and we won’t melt and sometimes Mom says we’re doing something because we drove over a thousand miles to do it and it matters that much so put on the rain jacket and be happy about it already.  (I’m prepping my speech, just in case it’s needed.)  There’s picking my dad up at the airport and the city of Denver and something my dad is beyond excited about called Cowboy Church.  Ye-haw.

Step Two — Beyond Wildwood: The Ranch.  This part includes three stellar meals daily and blue jeans and cowboy boots every day.  Seeing friends we made last year and having the indescribable pleasure of introducing my own father to a dreamy ranch in a dreamy landscape.  Someone will make my bed and tidy my space and there are hikes and relaxing afternoons and nary a cell phone in sight for an entire week – can you believe people will actually do that to themselves?  Isn’t it wonderful??  We’re already taking bets on which horse will be assigned to us and although Otto Fox is hopeful Ace will be his guy one more summer, I’ve got my eyes on a horse more built for speed than last year’s Shiloh.  And, apparently, Piper feels the same way as I do.  Fast.  We want fast horses.

Step Three — Beyond Wildwood: The Reunion.  Three brothers.  One dad.  One me.  Oh my – you can fill in all the the other blanks for yourself.  But we get to stay in a beautiful “cabin” that’s far fancier than any of us combined are.  And the pictures show this beautiful river within walking distance.  It’s in Breckenridge, which also sounds far fancier than any of us as well.  I’ve researched about five hiking trails nearby that I can’t wait to take and I look forward to laughing with my nephews and nieces and siblings.  To ridiculous conversations and meetings dad’s high birthday expectations.  (He turns 73 while we are all together and wants a red velvet cake.)  Does it make me a dork that I am excited to bake a cake using high altitude instructions?  Such a simple bucket list I’ve constructed in my life.  There will be plenty of adequate cell service for this part so you can expect all the excessive photos.  It has taken us a literal decade to all find ourselves in the same room at the same time so I imagine it might take another decade to do it all over again.  I’m certainly going to over-document.

Step Four — Beyond Wildwood: The Way Back.  Always a little less satisfying than the way out, the way back does have its advantages.  We’re heading to the Great Sand Dunes.  (Gotta have some thrills to assuage the depression from leaving The Ranch and The Reunion.)  Maybe we’ll see Emma and maybe we’ll see some other far flung friends.  We’ll definitely avoid New Mexico because Lesson Learned from last year’s New Mexico/Dairy Queen debacle.  We’ll come home tired and road weary, but we will come home.

We’re ready for adventure and we’re ready to be together and I’m almost ready to hear the same five songs played over and over.





on birthdays and cleaning up messes and this good life we’re living


There’s been so much celebration this past week, so much MAY, so many events and parties and this and that that it is a miracle we’ve coasted from day to day through it all.

This weekend we celebrated Grandson The First turning TWO.  (I feel extra shout-y tonight.  I’ll try to reign in my use of the capital letters, but I’m not making any promises ya’ll.)

Maddox enjoyed his little friends (mostly) and his cake and the sunshine and playing outdoors.  And we all enjoyed watching him.



Otto played his first flag football game (which I believe I mentioned yesterday).  He scored three touchdowns (I think) and there’s a scant amount I understand about football but I do know that getting across one of the lines drawn on the field with the football in your hand and your flags still attached to your waist is an essential part of the game.

His coach is stellar and his team is called the Grey Foxes and he’s wearing soccer cleats instead of football ones because that’s what I could find and his mouth guard is gross and not all that correctly fitting and he keeps handing it to me afterwards like I should hold it or something.



I had to get new tires on the Yukon before I wear them out driving west this week and I wish tires were free.  Like air and sunshine.

I rode a rickshaw last weekend.  And I really saw a bear last week, even if my brother doesn’t believe me.  (I’d never seen one before and the bear just booked it right across the road in front of us.  My response was a round of enthusiastic clapping.  Like – stop the car and clap loudly.)

Saturday night we sat on blankets and chairs in a friend’s picturesque front yard and our children took turns reciting poetry and singing songs and I texted another friend and told them that the entire night was so sticky sweet that it would give you diabetes.  And I want to have that sugar high all over again because I loved watching those kids perform and sing and share and be all brave standing up in front of one another and of us and saying words and sharing art.



Sitting on the lawn chairs long after darkness had fallen around us, sharing funny stories and laughing with good company was rather high on my list of favorite parts of my week.

Today we celebrated Otto Fox’s birthday with friends and cake and kayaks and paddle boats and I thought, not for the first time, that in many true ways, we are living a delightful life.  We are not a Less Than family living a Less Than life.




I love my people.

Our life is a tiny bit like our kitchen was today.

We made a colossal mess of that place this morning – together.  London and Mosely jointly baking a layered vanilla and chocolate cake with oreo crumbs and gummy worms on top, per a little brother’s request.  And we had to leave the mess spread out all over the kitchen in order to arrive at the lake at the correct time.

And, of course, when we returned home, wet from lake water and rain, car full of towels and half eaten picnic snacks and fishing poles, we had to face that mess.  Which we did, together.



Birthdays, messes, football, performances, lake days – and what do I like best about all of these highs and lows?  The people I’m trekking through it all with.







Eight Years of Otto Fox


The only Keigley baby who can claim the title “unexpected”.

The true baby of the family.  He still can’t pronounce the letter “r” and none of us are certain if he has ever actually slept in any variation of his own bed.



Otto Fox Wilder McDonald.

Named after Otto Frank and Laura Ingalls Wilder and his grandmother’s family and a wild animal.

Today he turns eight.

Eight years since I gave birth to my only child born in the state of South Carolina.

Eight years since I held a fresh-to-this-painful-and-beautiful-world newborn who shares my last name and my whole heart and who cost me extra weight and sleepless nights and held in his tiny fists both my fears and my hopes.



When he was a newborn, Otto Fox had some sort of condition whose name already escapes me.  For the first three months of his life, he had to be fed upright and he couldn’t be in a lying down position for at least thirty minutes after every. single. feeding or the entire contents of his miniature stomach would simply flow right back out.

And so, with five other children in stair step ages mostly, I sat down to nurse this infant Wilde Fox and then I held him upright for thirty minutes.  Sometimes with one hand while changing Piper Finn’s diaper with the other hand.  Sometimes while making breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Or snack.  Sometimes just quietly in his room.  Sometimes while watching Curious George with the rest of the renegades.

I knew from his start that Otto was my last.

And so the sitting still was less painful.  Or more.

This weekend Otto began flag football.  His first ever team sport.  Or team anything really.



He’s pretty into it.

His calf muscles are worthy of envy and his focus is intense.  Boy can run.

I loved watching him catch the ball and run the length of the field, one aim in mind.



When this boy wakes up, he finds me.  Like a little homing pigeon.   Still warm from sleep he always says, “I love you Mommy” and then I get a cuddle but if Ryder is around, the dog gets all the extra love.

I’m still such a fan of this EIGHT year old.  As big of a fan as I was at his birth.

It’s shocking that he is my baby, my youngest, the last of the band, and that he is already eight entire years alive.

I don’t know where those years went.

And I sort of do.



In parenting moments both glorious and regrettable.  In memories I was paying full attention while they were happening and in memories I was mom-glazed-over and missing out.  In sunshine and rain.

The years have passed as so many years before them.

I taught this boy to read and I’ve wiped a decent amount of tears from his eyes and I’ve watched him ride his bike without training wheels and  I was there when he hiked seven miles in one day.  I’ve given countless baths and thousands of tuck-ins.

I am grateful for each of those moments.

In my wallet I have a gift certificate from Otto for a foot massage.  I think he spelled it “message”.   I’ll just be keeping that little scrap of paper.  

HIs writing is improving.  He’ll find the key to pronouncing his “r'” soon enough.  He can read chapter books and he thinks math is fun.

Otto Fox — while your time is still kind of in my hands, I’ll be squeezing your face and kissing your cheeks and hugging your neck and there’s not much you can do to stop me.







five finds friday. (the kitten is cute and the brother makes me laugh and nothing impressive to eat)


What’s the point of even talking about the warp speed of my life right now?

No – really.  Someone tell me what’s the point??

(This is an unsustainable pace.  Of which I will speak more about later.  Or, better yet, of which I will begin to take action against.  Soon.)

Until that time, it’s Friday ya’ll.





This is a long story.  But I think it’s worth the read. (Obviously, I think this.  I took the time to type it all out.)

I made a terrible mistake.  I told one of my brothers the wrong date for our family reunion.  I told him the end date of the lodging was one day past what it actually is.  He purchased his plane tickets based on my erroneous message.

I don’t remember doing this. I don’t recall sending the text.

But my generous and loving brother went back through his textual records and retrieved the incriminating words.

(Dude always has to have the last word, prove his point, make me look all Little Sister and stuff.)

He forwarded the text to me, he is so thorough that way.

I’ve apologized profusely and sincerely.  I mean, basically I gave him an extra day in Colorado with his family – what’s he complaining about anyway, right?

This afternoon he called me to fill me in on this entire situation.

This is how that conversation went.

Him: Let’s get right to it.  I’ve got two things to talk to you about.

Me:  You mean three?

Him: Huh?

Me:  Three.  You love me.

Him:  Yeah, sure.  Three.  I love you.  Now.  One – it’s snowing in Colorado today.  I’ve already finished with winter.  Are you aware that it is snowing?

Me:  Yes!! Isn’t that exciting?  Won’t this be fun?  I love winter.  Be prepared.  It’s so great.  I can’t wait.

Him:  Okay.  Fine.  You’re aware.  Two.  You told me the wrong date.  I’ve got the text to prove it.  Want me to send it to you?

Me:  What?  No.  Don’t send it.  I’m sorry.  That stinks.  Why didn’t you double-check with me first?

Him:  I had it in writing.  That was my double checking.  I bought my plane tickets.  Ah, Lacey.  I should’ve expected this.

Me:  I’m really sorry.  Expected this?

Him:  You to disappoint me.

Me: !

Him:  In the Marine Corp we have a code to determine the trustworthiness of certain informants.  When one of the informants turns out to be a total liar and we have to write them off completely, we label them an F6.  That’s what you are now.  An F6.

Me: I don’t want to be an F6.

Him:  People like me, on the other hand, you can stake your life on what I say.  That’s trustworthy.

Me:  I’ll pay for your hotel on your extra night?

Him:  I’m going to send you the text you sent me.

Me:  No.  Please don’t do that.  I don’t want to see it.  I’ll feel worse.

He sent me the screenshot of the text.  Of course.

And then we have this exchange:



After this, I try to change the subject and tell him that I saw a bear at a state park today.

And he has only one response.

“I wish I could believe you.”




Let’s talk fashion advice.

I have four daughters.  Four smart and clever and lovely and unique daughters.


Photo by Emma Joersz



If I were forced to give them fashion advice, it would probably sound a little like this:

Every day is special enough to wear lovely earrings.

If one bracelet is good, three are better.

Wear whatever shoes you like, whenever you like, with whatever you like.

Your face is beautiful.  Let’s see it.  (Don’t hide it behind hair draped over your eyes or heaps of make up.)




I’m literally not even going to try this week.

We’ve eaten this week, of course, but it’s been your run of the mill kind of eating – tacos and cereal and sandwiches and spaghetti and salad and nachos, rice pudding and take out Chinese food.

The end.




One area I truly desire to be faithful in is in the area of finances.

It’s hard to teach kids how to handle their money properly if I am incapable of handling my money properly.

I’m endlessly grateful for a father who taught me from an early age how to save, how interest works, how to pay in cash, how to live within your means, how to give generously and tithe regularly and support others financially.

I have not always lived what I have known, but I have always known the right foundation.

Last week the girls opened up savings accounts with earnings they’ve gained from scone sales and selling some of their own items.  I’m hopeful they can learn early and well how to master their money so they need never be mastered by money.





All anyone needs for this section this week are photos.  Photos of Puck The Adorable.

(I will say nothing more.)







On Why I Can’t Wait To Drive 3,000 Miles Next Week


Part of the reason why I cannot wait for our departure on this Beyond Wildwood adventure is because the last month or so has found me and mine shockingly busy.  Unusually so.  Schedule stacked sort of busy.

The kind of busy I have spent the majority of my parenting years actively avoiding and orchestrating our family’s life in an opposite direction.

I know some of this shift is natural with the rising ages of my children.  Also, with the sheer number of children in my house.  (Not that the number seems big to me.)  Not even every child currently has an activity or a sport or a hobby they are pursuing outside of our four walls, but several of them do and those numbers and plans multiply in a hurry.

Some of the blame lies with the month of May herself.  The season for wrapping up school and big projects coinciding dangerously with inviting spring weather and summer planning.

Some of the fault is with my undertaking the start of a business.  That business growing and the truth that any small business run independently can occupy every minute of your time if you let it.  Constantly more could be done, more could be attempted, more could be written.  And when your office is your front porch and your living room and your kitchen table, well then, the work follows you around as you make strawberry jam and sweep the floor and fold laundry.  It’s hard to silence the thought stream.

I’ve certainly allowed this onslaught of change to take the lead in our home lately.

I’m ready for a reset button.



I don’t really plan to pull the plug on anything in particular.  I’m just hoping this stepping away, this car ride and ranch visit and family reunion will all serve to offer camaraderie back in our midst.  Will give me opportunity to breathe and to put my pen down and to not be forming stories as I walk and move.  (Well, I’m not sure I can cure that one, but at least the pressure to get the words out of my head will be lessened.)  My to-do list that keeps a steady record of what’s next can take a back seat and what’s next can be – ride a horse to Helen’s Rock and eat dinner with my dad.

I don’t mind if I am in the car for a couple thousand miles.  Kansas doesn’t scare me.  I’ve got podcasts and good company and a rotating shift of eager navigators and pro peanut butter and jelly sandwich makers.

In fact, trapped with those five wonders is exactly what I think I’ve been missing in my month.

I’ve been running circles, working hard, staying up late, waking up early, forgetting to exercise or eat well and generally giving myself wrinkles and ulcers and early hair loss.  (I hope I’m kidding about the hair loss.)

When I return I hope I remember how to say no and how to say yes.  How to do the right things in the right order.  How to talk to my kids without rushing them to the ends of their stories.  How to love the life I have been given.






our number & our table


Perspective is a kooky thing.

Even though I have six children and people told me that we looked like a preschool when all of the kids were little and we’d go anywhere – grocery store, zoo, gas station – I never thought of us as being a huge family.  And then I’d see some mom in a restaurant wth a herd of children around her and I’d catch myself counting their heads and when I reached four or five or six, I’d think – man, that woman looks like she has a lot of kids.  Oh wait.  That’s how I look to other people too.  Because it was my own life, it felt normal.  Eight people never seemed like a big number.  (Once I got used to it.)

Our family number was eight.

How many people need a reservation?  Eight.  
We need a car that seats eight.
Is there a group rate for eight tickets?
Let’s see, how many pizzas does it take to feed eight people?
We’re having sandwiches for lunch – better get two loaves of bread, there are eight of us after all.


So when two family members no longer lived at home (one through growing up and the other through, well, you know) the number we were left with felt foreign.

For a long time it just felt like our numbers were off.  Like we were always counting wrong.  

Table for six, please.
I think one pizza and breadsticks should be fine here.
We have room in the car for friends.

I’ve been slow to embrace the number six.  (I was pretty partial to the number eight.)

In our dining room is a gigantic table.  It easily seats 12 and we’ve certainly maxed it out at 16 without it being too incredibly awkward and if some of those 16 are children.

It takes up the entire dining room and if you are sitting in certain seats you pretty much need to plan to stay seated throughout the meal because it’s just too hard to get up and to get down again.

We do our school daily at this table and it’s all too easy to leave it overflowing with All The Books because you can simply shove them to one end and still comfortably eat at the other end.  In fact, this is very normal daily behavior.  Shove the books to one end, eat at the other end.

Today I decided to rearrange the dining room.  It’s the only room I have never actually rearranged.  (And I rearrange obsessively with the frequency of a perfectly normal human.)  I also did something else.  I removed the two additions to the table.  I made it shorter.  Still sufficiently long enough at six feet long.  (I measured – I took off over three feet.)



And you know what?

Our table feels tiny.

Like – miniscule.  Sort of like our family.  I honestly seldom think of us as a large family.

With the smaller table I could center it under the light.  Ah – we’ve been missing out on quality lighting over our table for years.  Years!  And we can all sit down and get up from the table with ease, not disturbing anyone else.

London said, “Mom, I love this table’s size.  It’s so pretty that it makes me want to set the table in a nicer way.”

When we ate dinner there last night we could hold hands easily for prayer.  We weren’t scattered around it and we could all reach the food to pass it around.

The table fit us better.

The six of us.  Our family.








What a Weekend: Making My Survivor Dreams Come True


My weekend stole Monday too.

It was such a full and crowded and busy and fun and exhausting weekend that it just creeped its way right into the first day of the week and I couldn’t tell Monday from Saturday somehow.  (Also, is creeped a word?  I’m not going to bother finding out.)

Friday night and Saturday I spent being a bit of a nerd.  A TV show nerd.  Or fan.  Or whatever word is the word I should use here.  (Someone tell me the words I should be using so I sound cooler than I actually am.)



Former Survivor castaways were in town for a fundraiser and I was all about enjoying the little glimpse into TV Reality Show drama that I got to witness, first in my friend’s living room and then in my town at a fitness center and then at our favorite pizza place.



It was indeed surreal to walk into my friend’s house and see former Survivor show winners Sandra and Tina just sitting on the sofa, eating burgers, chilling out in Leslie’s kitchen.  You know.  Leslie was beyond gracious and I played it as cool as I could, eating my burger and listening to everything they said.  There were about seven of the castaways there that evening while I was visiting.  They were all regular.  Of course they were.  But they were also kind of characters to me since I’d only ever seen them in the box in my own living room as I discussed their skills at challenges and groaned when they were voted out or cheered when they left the tribal counsel area.  Their faces and their images were familiar to me and yet they were complete strangers.  I was leaning against the counter and talking about Kentucky and pound cake and cutting coupons.  (Two time million dollar Survivor winner Sandra still cuts coupons.)



It was about as much fun as my little geeky Survivor fan self could handle.

When I left the house that evening, I sent a text to the only person I could think of who likes Survivor as much as I do – my college roommate Gretchen, who has actually applied to be on Survivor.  (Something I’m not sure I could actually follow through with.  Although Sandra told me I should.  So – there you have it.)

The next morning I met the Survivors and more fans like me at Hub Fitness to take on a two hour work out.  (All for charity.)  What on earth?  I don’t work out for twenty minutes.  Two hours was intense for me.  Leading us was one Survivor – one very fit Survivor.  Behind me on our little yoga mats was another Survivor.  He was rather amusingly distracting as he fumbled his way through the exercises.  I think his fumbling was the result of him laughing and playing the clown a little, while mine was for real struggling to do a plank.  A plank, ya’ll.



I paid a mighty high price for that work out too, and I don’t mean dollars.  I mean – on Sunday I thought I might literally not be able to move.  My body hurt in places I never knew actually had muscles.  I either want to do all of that exercising again so those muscles can become something they have never been, or I want to lie very still from this day until the day I die.  Whichever.



I had the opportunity to send several of the Survivors down to our Farmers Market and persuaded them to try the best shaved ice with my buddies at Nomadik Few.  I was pretty satisfied knowing that I introduced them to that treat.

The afternoon held a pizza party at Sidewall with more folks and Survivor castaways.  A really neat couple drove down from North Carolina with all of these Survivor-esque games and challenges that we could all try our hands at.  (This fella – Russell – has tried out for Survivor 17 times!!  I told him that it’s time to try out 18 times and I hope I get to see him on the show one day.  He and his wife were great!)  The challenges are my favorite part of the show so it was fun to attempt a few ourselves.  The kids beat me in almost every challenge though.



It was also such fun to just watch other Survivor fans like myself mingle with and chat with the Survivors – who were all just generous and kind with their time and their attention – who listened to people and shared pizza and laughed and enjoyed the rainy afternoon for a wonderful cause.  The question and answer section was funny and entertaining and answered a handful of those sort of questions you always want to know about the show and how it all breaks down off camera.



I found each one of the Survivors to be interesting and normal, warm and gracious, just regular people like I assumed they must be, but was still so satisfying to experience in real life.  Truly – it was such a fun day to be in my own town and eating pizza and sitting at a table with people who have sat at tribal counsel, have voted one another out, served on the jury, met Jeff Probst, won the entire show, worn the same outfit for forty days.

It makes watching the next episodes that much more exciting, that much more tangible.  And that my kids got to experience it all with me was even better!







Five Finds Friday (the wrong jar, adorable art and a swimsuit mistake)


The weather this week has been so HAPPY and that helps everything.

It’s Friday and we only have one more week of school and that is also very HAPPY.





1. This week London paid her sister to do her share of the lawn mowing because London prefers being indoors, clean, unsweaty.  She gave her actual cash, plus a Lego.

2. Also.  We had a picnic after church on Sunday and I grabbed a few snack items from our house and tossed them in a bag.

See these jars?



They were both in the fridge.

Here is what is in them.  One holds chocolate covered almonds.  One holds leftover black beans.

Guess which one I wanted to bring to a picnic.

Guess which one I actually put in my bag.




I think it’s often more fun to make note of what should not be fashionable than to actually concern myself too deeply with what should be fashionable.

A magazine came to the house this week.  I think it was Parents.  There was a spread about fashions that could take you to multiple places – the clothing you can shift quickly from work to a day at the park to a night out.

Included was this bit here ………



A top over another shirt.  That’s fine.  I’m all about the layers.  But, wait.  It isn’t just any base layer this model has going on.

Nope.  It’s not a base layer that you would expect it all.

It’s much more creative than that.



It’s a swimsuit!!

Ya’ll.  First, since when does putting a swimsuit on under your clothing constitute high fashion?  I thought wearing swimsuits under your clothing was either what happened at the beach or back in college when all the laundry was dirty.

But fine, whatever.  I really don’t care.

All I can think about, however, is what happens when this lovely model finishes drinking her eight glasses of water daily and has to use the restroom.

I mean, she has to literally take off pretty much all of her clothes, just to begin the process.  Even her top layer shirt!

No, thank you.




I bought chorizo recently for the first time.  I’d never even seen it in the store although I think I have eaten it at some point.

It is packaged so that it looks like kielbasa to me, so I assumed that was its basic structure.

It’s not like kielbasa at all.  It’s like – regular sausage, sort of.

So, chorizo fans – what am I supposed to do with it?




Our community group has morphed and changed over the years and it’s in such a lovely and sweet place right now.  I love that there is a wide age range amongst our group and that the younger people in our group are legitimately interested in including the kids and in knowing them as people, regular people, instead of treating them as extras or as burdens.

It’s wonderful to watch.




Look at these gorgeous prints of characters from some of our favorite stories.



The girls each received one recently as the sweetest gifts and I love them!

You can find them here – plus Jane Eyre and Sara Crewe and Elizabeth Bennet and more!

Aren’t they some kind of wonderful?







sort of poetry


I need to rest

and I need to be awake.

I need to write

but my words are coming slow.

It’s Too Much

and it’s Never Enough.



This is a Terrifyingly Hard and Beautiful Life

and it only makes sense about one third of the time.

In the mornings,

after the long nights of Not Enough Sleep,

what eventually propels me from the lying prone position in my bed

to the feet sliding over the side,

hit the floor,

is not hope

so much

as gravity.

Not prospect of good

but responsibility

and The Only Next Thing To Do.



And if my heart feels a little tender and bruised,

you know,

it’s just because it is coming back to life.

It’s just because it has been in solitary confinement.

It’s not so much about What I Want

as it is about What I Cannot Have


in the words of Mr. Wendell Berry, 

“it’s not right, but it’s alright”.



The sun shining the next day always helps.

Being outdoors is better than being indoors.

One always feels less desperate beside a tree.

Less lonely in the woods.

Less hopeless when the sun is warming your bare skin.

Oh Sunshine,

bring good news.



Reinvent and revive me.

Restore me and collect the bits of me floating away and apart.







just a day – in a few words and in a few pictures


Mid week and the grass is already high even though we mowed less than five days ago but the trash is at the curb despite the fact that our trash can has officially “lost” both of its wheels.

It’s a race to departure day for our Beyond Wildwood adventure and the question looming of “Will I get all the tasks completed before we leave?” feels certain to be a resounding NO but I tidied up the front porch today (finally) and we are once again taking the majority of our meals together in its paint peeling glory and sunshine.

My baby started his first practice of team sports and it’s flag football and he needs a mouth guard and tonight – completely un-sport-related – that same “baby” lost his last front tooth and when I looked at a picture a stranger took of us all this morning I realized that there are no babies hanging out at my house because my last son turns eight this month and that’s a real long distance from diapers and pull ups and extra sets of clothing in the backseat just in case and nap schedules ruling our days.  He’s reading Roald Dahl and Piper is starting her first on-her-own attempt at a Narnia book and all of that makes me all kinds of happy because teaching reading was way harder than I thought it would be but I’m not sure my heart and my brain can keep up at the same pace as my children’s limbs are stretching and growing and now it’s London who pulls me aside and shares how cute her little brother is and a family friend told me this morning that he is having a hard time coping with the adolescence of my children via social media and if he thinks it’s hard to watch them grow older in the pictures, how on earth am I supposed to sleep and breathe this coming of age all around me?

My sentences are all Charles Dickens – they’re too long to read in one breath.  My heart is all Virginia Woolf – looking back and looking forward and feeling like both are out of reach and too slippery.  My life is more William Shakespeare – tragedy and comedy and history all morphed into one heavily-worded mess that only the playwright understands.

I think I’ll stop with the words and go heavy with the pictures.  Of this day – just this one day in the life of the people I know best and love best.  Beginning to end – not important particularly, not thorough or all-inclusive by any means.  Just the story as it unfolds in bits that was a very ordinary weekday.















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