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One Thing

One Thing happened and then another and another
stacking, no piling haphazardly a top each other,
ready to crash down in a pile of frustration.

I wanted to hide, to slip away for a minute or maybe two,
but there was already someone in the staff bathroom
and there’s too much stuff under my desk for me to fit down there.

So I sit back down and look down at my MIT list*,
no idea where to begin.
“What’s the best way to eat an elephant,” I ask myself and laugh.
And I start to take the first bite.

“Ms. Ivey?”
A little head pops in my door.
“Hey, buddy. What’s up?”
“I just wanted to see if you were in here,” she says.
“Welp…I’m here!
And I’m glad you’re here…
but where are you supposed to be?”
“The library,” she says with giggle.

She goes, and I go.
Both of us doing all of our Things.
Busy, busy.
So many Things.
And my phone buzzes a reminder of yet another Thing to be done.
But this Thing?
This Thing is something I want to do.

My girls’ group.
Oh, I love my girls.
Not our usual day or usual time,
But we’ve claimed it as ours this week.
And so we gather.
And we talk.
And we laugh.
And I sit with a comb and brush all the bits of straw from her jacket
as she tells me stories of rolling down the hill
while the others color quietly.
And I sharpen color pencils as they ask for each one.
And I staple the pages of our books together juuuuuust right.
One Thing after another after another.
But these are the Things I don’t mind.
These are the Things that matter.
These are the Things that make up my days.
And, to be honest, I’m pretty okay with that.

*Most Important Things. MIT just sounds better than To Do, right?

go. go. go. stop.

Last year I started saying no more than I said yes. I started taking time to do some things I wanted to do. I started reading again. Sewing some, crafting some. For so long (too long) I let other people, circumstances dictate my time. With homeschooling four kids, life is naturally chaotic. That’s normal. That’s what it should be. We work hard in the mornings and some days we don’t have to work in the afternoon. Some days we’re still plowing through until Marshall gets home. But we have the option to take a 2-hour lunch break. Or go to the park on a lovely day. Or spend an extra 30 minutes at the library. Just because. I’ve begun to leave time in my schedule, purposely leave time open just because. And I fully believe that our life is better for it. We do one sport, one music class. That’s it. And while that may not be feasible forever, it works for now.

I don’t expect my children to be the next Mia Hamm or Yo-Yo Ma. I do expect them to work hard at what they choose to do. I expect them to play hard, to practice diligently. I expect a lot of things from them. But I also expect for them to learn how to sit and listen, how to read because they want to read. I want them to play because it’s a beautiful day. I even want them to know it’s okay to take a nap if you’re tired. Listen to your body. Listen to your heart. Fight the urge to do more, to be more unless it’s absolutely necessary. There’s nothing wrong with having drive or excelling in something. I want that for them, too! But as I try to learn how to balance life, I hope that I’m teaching them as well.

I know it’s not easy. I used to say it wasn’t possible, too. But I promise that you can squeeze it in. Five minutes. Two minutes, even. Just sit in the yard and listen to the sounds around you. Meditate. Draw. Write. Watch your children play from a place where they can’t see you. Dance in the rain. Lie on the couch and turn on a song that makes your heart soar…or settles it down…or fills you up with whatever you need. It’s when your body is quiet, your heart-gut can listen. It’s when you are doing nothing, the best ideas will flow. Not every time. But some of the time. And that’s better than none of the time.

twist and twirl and swirl

Darkness still hugs the earth,
The Sun begins her pull & tug to the top.
Something calls my name & I look up into the indigo morning.
Not quite clear, there’s a haze between this world and that.

A bright star waves good morning
And I stare closely at her.
How sad, I think, she’s lost her twinkle.
But, chin up, she has a strong, steady stare.

“Wait!” I think.
I know that look, that unwavering countenance.
That big, round body,
With an ever-swirling storm in your soul,
At the heart of who you are.
This twirl of energy defines you,
How we’ve known you for a hundred years
And (maybe) a hundred more.

But one day, one day
~maybe sooner than we think~
your heart-gut will find solace.
And the churning, turning, burning will fade away.

Everything changes eventually, doesn’t it?
Even the sure & steady.
Nothing ever stays the same.

And change is coming, you can feel it –
Not knowing quite what that means for you
Or for those around you.
We never know where the ripples of our life will reach.
And yet – for now – you just keep going on,
Going ’round and ’round and ’round some more.
Never slowing down,
Never showing all the change inside.

Good morning, Jupiter.
Your secret’s safe with me.

Outgrowing Insecurity

For some unknown reason, I thought by the time I was xx years old I would’ve grown up.
I would have learned how to balance everything I want to do.
I would know what I wanted to do with my life.
I would be able to let the little things go and embrace the important stuff with vigor.

I thought that -when I was finally a grownup – I would ‘get’ it.
I would understand the difference between right and wrong.
And I was hoping (oh, how I was hoping) that the gray areas would get smaller and smaller.

I thought that people wouldn’t act like children (myself included).
And that the middle school awkwardness would wear off.
I thought I’d be sure and confident.
And I wouldn’t be affected so much by others.

I thought that by now I’d have more things figured out.
I’d be wiser and kinder and calmer.
I’d not only know where I was headed, but I’d help others find their way.

I thought by now it would be different, I would be different.
But I’m still the same old me.

A few things have changed, though
And for this I am grateful.
I might not be much wiser in the ways of the world,
But I have learned a lot about myself.
I know that I am over-confident at times and all-too-often not confident enough.
And that figuring out when I am one or the other is the beginning of figuring out how to change it.
I know that sometimes my words are bigger and more powerful than I think they are.
And I should harness those words and value their effect.
I know that I am good at some things – very good even –
And that I should accept compliments with grace.
I know that comparing yourself to others is pointless and even dangerous to your self-esteem
And that though it looks like someone has it all, we never really know what hurts they carry.

(I’ve learned these things.  I know these things.  I know them well.
Yet knowing what I should do and what I actually do are two different things.)

But I’m hoping that by the time I’m xx years old, I’ll finally have it all figured out.
(i’m not gonna hold my breath)

the birth of words

exhausted and unable to sleep,
my brain whirs and clicks and spins

and there is something within me
something that i don’t even know of
that is aching to be freed

and i think and i pray and i write
oh…do i write!

my fingers furiously attempting to keep up with my thoughts
(but always unable)
words don’t quite form sentences
syntax and grammar hide from the fury of my mind, my fingers

(too fast for my hands to capture)

and, as with the pains of labor,
the words come crashing in all at once
and just when i think i have met my limit
they subside and settle into my chest
warm and ______
and my breath slows
and my eyes close
and it is over

for now.


and finally (finally!) i can sleep.

Bridget Ivey

Bridget Ivey from The Ivey League

Bridget Ivey is know as Mama by four little Iveys but everyone else knows her as IveyLeagueMama.  She shares about life, photography, and crafts on her blog The Ivey League. Bridget has a crazy-big love for chronicling her days on instagram as @IveyLeagueMama and she can also be found on Twitter as @IveyLeagueMama.

Bridget fell in love with Blissdom in 2009 and can’t wait to be back in Nashville with some of the most fabulous folks on the web.  She is looking forward to


  • sharing her passion for phoneography and exploring various photography apps

  • helping others move beyond green box photography

  • showing how to take better pictures with the camera you already have.

I am never alone

I am never alone.
And yet I crave aloneness.
I yearn, oh how I yearn for stillness and quiet…
For a moment of not being needed, not being called, not being.

I love it.
I love the chaos.
I love the noise.
I love being needed.

But sometimes…
Sometimes I just need to be alone.

Sitting in the sunshine.
Hearing the wind blow.
Closing my eyes and seeing infinite darkness.
Stilling my heart,
My mind.

I know I will miss it one day.
I know I will miss being called “Mommy”,
And watching Mickey Mouse,
And fixing milk cups.

I try, I mean I really really try to live in the moment-
Soak it in, remember it, revel in it.

But sometimes-
times like now-
I just need silence.

I need to not be needed.
I need to sit…
And just be me.

But you know what happens when I am alone?
I find that I’m not really alone.
I close my eyes; I still my mind.
And there they are…
Precious little faces, little voices
Nosing their way into my thoughts.
So much a part of me that I can’t seem to separate myself from them.

I am a mother.
And I am never alone.

And no matter how old they get,
Or how much they change,
Or how far apart we are…
I will never be alone.
And for that I am grateful.

Pretty Please with a Cherry on Top

So once a month there’s this photo contest. 
You submit your photo to and Aimee chooses 10 finalists. 
Then it’s left up to the public to pick a winner.

My photo “He’s Got His Whole World in His Hands” is a finalist this month! 

The winner gets a $250 camera rental, which y’all know I’d love! 

So…if you don’t mind, pretty pretty please click here and vote for me! 
My picture is the first one listed, but the poll is actually at the bottom of the page.

Thank you so much!

Friday Favorite

My friend Tiffany just opened an etsy store: Sew Cute By Tiffany.

She makes the most adorable girl’s clothes(and has the cutest model evah!)


Fun with Friends{Summer 2010}

Some of my best memories from when I was a nanny came from fun little things that the girls and I planned whenever they had a break from school.  No big fanfare, just some kids getting together and playing or making a craft.  I always said I wanted to do that with my kids, but somehow manage to never get around to it.  I’m sure you know what I mean.

I figured if I went ahead and planned a few things ahead of time, we’d actually do them instead of thinking about doing them.  We’d love to have you join us for any of these, just let me know at least 2 days before each event if you’ll be there so that I have plenty of supplies for everyone.  (The one trip to Amphora Pottery Studio requires us to call one week ahead of time with the number of people attending, so please let me know about that one by June 29th.)

Most of these events are geared towards the 2-6 age range, and they are all mid-week activities.  If you can’t make it, but want to send your kids with another adult, that’s completely acceptable.  Grandmas and babysitters are welcome.

So if you live near me, we’d love to have you join us for a few fun activities this summer!

Check out what all we have planned:

(Unfortunately if I’ve never met you, you kinda have to know a friend…or at least a friend of a friend before I give you my address.  I’m not a complete lunatic.)