Monthly Archives: May 2012

Big Brother

Barely able to hear her voice, I crane my neck around to see her.
She is in the sling but leaning to the right like she’s never done before.
It is dark enough that I can’t make out her features but I can tell that her eyes are open.
She mutters something quietly and I ask my brother-in-law to shine the flashlight on her.
Her face glows red but she is unfazed.
She’s almost asleep, I think.
But she doesn’t drift off.
She holds her head just right so that she can see the moon and the stars.
It is dark out here and the stars are brilliant.
Even as a sliver of a crescent, the moon lights our way.

She sits upright and yells “tuh-tuh”!
When she gets no response she yells it again and points.
The wind muffles her tiny voice and, even with her close to my ears, I have a hard time hearing her.
There’s no way he can hear her, I know.
And so I call to him.
“Carter! She’s calling you.”
He rushes back, proud that it is he who is the object of her affection.
I lean over so that they can be close and he kisses her gently on the cheek.
She squeals and claps.
Oh, how she adores him.

Right Now

Midnight looms and I sit just sitting.
Twelve hours ago I had hoped to be on the road but it didn’t happen.  
We are rarely on time, so this is no surprise.

Our morning was tumultuous, which also not unusual.
I was low on energy and patience.
And they were full of energy and patience-testing tactics.

When we finally got on the road, exhaustion was replaced by giddy excitement!O
They were excited, too, and we sang loud, happy songs.

Long drive, long dinner, late night.
Hours after bedtime, they all pile into bed and giggle and whisper.
I sit just outside the door and listen as words fade to mumbles and then soft snores.
Oh, my heart!
Sometimes the good is so good that it aches.

Someone sighs contentedly and my heart and face both smile.

A New Day

This morning Carter bounded into my room and asked if he could watch the sun rise.
(Never-you-mind that the sun had technically already risen.)
A little while later I heard him on the porch laughing with Asa.

The girls and I got up and headed into the kitchen for breakfast and we started our day.
I had already changed Alden’s diaper when she first woke up and it never crossed my mind to check on Asa.
If I rewind my mind, I can see that he’s already dressed but I didn’t notice it then.

After breakfast we went out to check on the garden and then back in to play.
It wasn’t until I went into Asa’s room and found a pile of dirty wipes that I realized what had happened.

I’ll spare you the details but here are the highlights.
Asa used the big boy potty but didn’t quite get clean.
Carter wiped him well, diapered him, and dressed him.
He even remembered to wash his hands.

They are growing up.
And it is (mostly) wonderful.
Especially this part.

I like them! I really like them!

“You really like your kids.”
I’ve heard it more than once.
And it’s true.  I do.
I love you and I like you.

And though I don’t believe in giving you everything you ask for,
I believe in giving you what you didn’t even know you needed.
I believe in giving you more opportunities than things.
And so we go and we do.
Or we stay and we do.
But we do a lot.

We ride scooters in the driveway.
And create chalk masterpieces together.
And play UNO and Trouble until my eyes cross.
I do it not because I think I should, but because I want to.
Because I do…I like you.
And I like doing things with you.
And I like playing and having fun.

We color and cut and glue.
We sing and dance around the house like wild things.
We do science experiments and ‘raise’ butterflies and ladybugs.
And it is as miraculous to me as it is to you.
I sit back and marvel at the Creator who created you
as you lean in closely and marvel at the Creator who created caterpillars.

I do things like decorate the Adventure Van 
And build forts and eat under the table
And dance in the rain
Because it makes you smile.
And I get to hear your laugh.
And it warms my heart and my soul beyond what I knew was possible.

And, sure, there are moments (days, even) when all I want is quiet.quiet.quiet.
And I yell.yell.yell.
And those days come, but they come less often than they used to.
And I am so very grateful.
I am so glad we’ve gotten to where we are –
This comfortable place that I know won’t last forever.
(I know it all too well and so I really revel in the now.)

I thank God so, so often for the opportunity to be your mother.
I don’t think that motherhood defines who I am, but it certainly has helped me refine who I am.
And as you change and grow, I do as well.
I want to thank you, but you wouldn’t understand.
You won’t for years to come,
But one day I hope that you’ll read these words
And know how truly, overwhelmingly thankful I am.

I like you.
I like being with you.
I like the person I am because of you.
And I hope that you will always like you.
Because you?  You are spectacular.


Oscillating between sunshine and storms, my mood matches the weather.
My eyes are tired – oh, so tired – but my brain is not.

I don’t peddle, but momentum hurls me forward.
Everything around me blurs, onethingafteranothersoquickly that my mind can’t keep up.

Minutes seem like moments, yet seconds turn into days.

The heavy clouds burst and fat drops splat on the ground.
And my own fat drops roll down my hot cheeks.
I don’t even try to hold them back.

As quickly as it began, it ends.
For her, but not for me.
And I laugh at myself for being jealous of her, our Earth.

Smoke rises from the ground, hot earth mixed with cool rain.
Dampness dances on my skin, leaving me uncomfortably sticky.

I want to crawl into bed and read a book and wait for the storm to pass.


I just wrote Just Write and realized it was Wednesday, not Tuesday.
But my heart-soul doesn’t know that it’s a day late. 


A Mama’s HeART

I am a crafter.  I like to doodle and draw and create.
Sometimes the crafts turn out well and other times they don’t.
But for this Mother’s Day, I found a fail-proof craft gift.
Hallmark’s Recordable Artwork.

For Mother’s Day, the children and I made a framed canvas for my mom and Marshall’s mom.
Since I didn’t want to do four paintings per grandmother, we did some fingerprint art.
I used some black contact paper I had left over from another project and cut out simple shapes.
(You most certainly don’t have to use black.  The color doesn’t matter.)
Then I covered the entire canvas with the contact paper, essentially creating a stencil.

Each child picked a paint color and dotted all over.
(For the heart, we used the provided colors.  For the birdie, we used some paint I already had.)

At the very bottom, I cut off some of the contact paper and let each child put one print at the bottom.
Later, I labelled each print so the grandmothers would know which color belonged to which child.
After we’d finished ‘polka-dotting’ (as Lydia called it), I let it dry completely.
Then I slipped it back into the frame and let them record a message.

Done!  Super easy!  And adorable!  And the sweetest sounding little voices ever.

For less than $15 you can give a really great keepsake that will bring back memories for years to come.
(There’s a lock button behind a screwed on panel so that you can’t accidentally erase the message.)

For those of you who live close to me and don’t have time to make it to the Hallmark Gold Crown store,
I did see several of these still at Walgreen’s.  🙂

Want to hear more on how it works?


I had the pleasure of working with Hallmark again to bring you this review.  But I know that you know that the opinions stated above are 100% Bridget.  I absolutely love the fun products that Hallmark has and hope that you do, too.  

Taboo Tattoo Tales

I took my five year old to the tattoo place.  (For the record, I did not take her to the tanning bed.)  And before I go much farther, I should back up to the beginning.  After 3 whole months of getting “greens” every day on her behavior chart, we told her she should get her ears pierced.  (It’s something she’s asked about a million times for at least a year.)  I did a little searching online and talking to people who do piercings and people who have piercings and decided that instead of getting it done with a piercing gun at a jewelry store, I’d rather go somewhere that could do it with a cored needle.  (There’s a ton of information out there, but here’s one the more concise pieces I was able to find about piercing gun vs. needle piercing.)

Before we went, I wanted to make sure I knew what I was walking into.  I asked around and talked to several friends who have had tattoos and piercings and decided to go with the place that was most often recommended.  I called ahead to see what, if anything, I needed to bring with me.  The phone conversation went something like this:

Me: Yes, I was calling to see if you did ear piercing for little girls.
Guy: How little?
Me: Five.
Guy:  Oh, yeah sure.
Me: Ok, so what do I need to know about getting it done?
Guy: Well, we have piercing specialists and some of them are real good with kids.
Me: Okay.  So do I need an appointment or how does this work.  I’m not really very tattoo-store-literate.
Guy, laughing:  Here ya go.  You’ll need to bring the kid.  And some kind of ID.  Does she have a social security card or something?
Me:  Well, I have a birth certificate and a social security card and a passport.
Guy: OH!  A passport would be good.  Passports have pictures on um, right?
Me: Um…yes.
Guy: Ok, you’ll need to bring that.  And your ID.  Does she have the same last name as you?
Me: Um…yes.
Guy: Oh, okay.  That doesn’t happen a lot around here.
Me: So I bring my ID and her ID and then what?  I ask for a specific person that can do kid piercings?
Guy:  Well, are you coming today?  Because if you come before 4, Lil Rat will be the one and if you come after 4, you’ll want Punk Ray.  He’s a real tough lookin’ dude, but he’s smooth.
Me: *gulp* Well, we won’t be there until at least 6.  So I ask for Ray.
Guy: Yeah, Punk Ray.  He’s real good.  I been piercing for about 10 years but I have a 15 month old and I let him do hers because he’s so good at it.
Me, talking while thinking ^ that ^ : Okay so I ask for Punk Ray and then what?
Guy: Well, he’ll take y’all back and get everything set up.  I can come help keep her calm if I need to.
Me, thinking: Based on this conversation, I think you really mean keep ME calm, but whatever.
Me: And he’ll just do it really quickly?  Do I need to bring the earrings or do you have them there?
Guy: We have some here.  A loop is really what we prefer but you can do a guraksbirg if you want.
(OK, OK…he didn’t say guraksbirg, but I honestly didn’t hear/understand the word he actually said.)
Me: Alrighty, so we pick them out there.  So how much is this going to run me?
Guy: Well it depends on blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.
(He said too much too fast.  I couldn’t catch up.)
Me: Ok, well…I’m not sure about all that but just tell me what the maximum amount will be.
Guy: Absolute maximum would be fifty, but probably less.
Me: Great!  See you later.
Guy: Alrighty.  Don’t forget!  You want Punk Ray.


And so we got there and Punk Ray had just started some detail work.  (Which sounded more like something you’d hear at a car place, not a tattoo place…but what do I know?)  So the other piercer, Josh, got everything set up and ready for us.  And by set up and ready that does not include putting drapes over the inappropriate photos in the piercing room.  (Granted, they were funny and she didn’t get it but DANG!) (And also?  It’s a tattoo parlor so I can’t really complain about the possible artwork, right?)

But I will say that I was very impressed with how clean it was and how professional Josh was (even with dreads and tats) and how smoothly he did his job.  She never even winced.  Not even once.  There wasn’t a single tear, not one grimace.  So…yes, I took my small child into a tattoo parlor and it was a wonderful experience and I’ll do it again if the baby one day decides she wants her ears pierced.  I do not, however, plan on returning for a tattoo.  “Mama, when I’m 18 can we come back and get tattoos?”  “Don’t hold your breath.”





She’s crazy-excited and I am, too.

Lean on Me

Motherhood isn’t always happy and sunny.
Probably more accurate: Personhood isn’t always happy and sunny.

But right now for me, for us…it is.
Right now life is good.
It’s very, very good.

And yet…that broken part within me keeps waiting.
I keep waiting on something – I don’t even know what – to mess it all up.

I’ve encountered some things that would usually topple me over.
We’ve dealt with some issues that easily could have chipped away at each of us.’t.
(And I am so, so very grateful.)

But even when life is happy and sunny, it’s not without hurt.
I look at my friends who are in hard, dark places.
And I ache for them, my chest heavy with empathy.
I want to pull them out of the shadows into the sun.
I want to say words that will soothe the soul and free the mind.
I want to hold them up until they realize that they can do it on their own.

But that’s not how it works.

And so I pray.
And I support as best I can.
And I just let them know I’m here.
Because even in the dark (or maybe especially in the dark) all we really want to know is that we aren’t alone. 


Skipping School


In the dim light coming from the bathroom, I could see Marshall straightening the collar of his shirt.
Turning the alarm off, I whispered, “I just don’t want to wake them.”
“Well don’t.”

We had a long weekend.
It was a great one, but it was long.

And so I just didn’t get them up.

Carter was first to wake up and we still theoretically had enough time to get ready if he wanted to go to school.
When I asked him if he’d like to go or stay, he only wanted to know if we could have recess at home.

And so we did.

Wagon. Bike. Bike. Helmet. Helmet.
Cheese and crackers.  Apples and snacks.

We packed it all up and picked up some burgers on the way.

The River Walk was fairly empty, save a few college students.


The big kids zoomed ahead on their bikes.
I couldn’t see them around the bend, but I could hear their laughter.
And I knew I’d made the right decision.

Linked with Heather’s Just Write.