Saturday, December 17, 2011

my baby

is one.

Hopefully I'll start writing on here more often,
but until then,
here's a little recap of E's birthday.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

a case of missing

because I miss writing. I'm trying. Really really. But the words just keep welling and swelling and I don't quite know yet how to help them out. I feel I've got to wait a little longer. A little more mulling. A little more walking, seeing, feeling, breathing, sighing, laughing, and crying.

So maybe some snippets will do for now because I feel the need to get something out, even if they're slightly old ponderings/thoughts/jots. And I write them here, as opposed to my "writing blog," because I feel this space has become empty with my infrequent writing. None of these words are particularly profound. Just ideas and words that perhaps I'll come back to one day and craft into something more. But for now, they are what they are.

If you miss yourself it's either because you've gone too far or haven't come far enough. You haven't arrived at yourself. you're out of synch. Out of tune. Out. Out and out.

if I had rocks in my shoes
my heavy boots
I could walk to the bottom of the ocean
my chest would explode
but I wouldn't mind
because maybe I'd feel right at home

a bed half covered in books.
where is one to sleep?

How does one remember to always remember to remember and remember?
Remember the "bigger picture."

when we meet at Jesus' feet
pilgrims on their knees
knees worn

you endure
go and go
and go and
go and go

to the end.

so tired
you kneel in a heap


it takes all you have to raise your head
from your prostrate position


yes, you made it

come into my rest.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

favs from the last week

It's true, my world very much revolves around this wee one. I love how much time I get to spend with him. He has always been fun, but of late, it seems even more so. He makes the silliest faces and is still such a lovebug--now a bug giving very slobbery kisses.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

personal history through 2008

Not super in-depth, but a start. Trying to get back to writing again.

I was born to Shari Clark and Grant Paul Skabelund on a snowy evening (1 December 1982). We lived in Leland and then in Springville before moving to Provo when I began first grade. My memories through kindergarten are few, but I remember visiting Gramma Skabelund's often to play with my aunt Sierra, who, at only eight months my senior, was and continues to be my best friend. My brother Andrew joined our family in May 1985. I remember helping Dad with the garden at our house across the street from Grant school where I attended kindergarten.

More memories accumulated when we resided in our house on 900 East in Provo. My brother and I would walk down the street to the "cookie man's" house. He always had cookies in stock for all the neighborhood kids. Summers were full of trampoline jumping, bike riding, mud pie making, and storming the neighborhood. It was during one summer (1990) that our sweet sister Natalya joined our family. She was the cutest; at eight years old, I felt like a very big and good helper to my mom. I loved to read, swim, and play soccer. My mom read to us often and instilled within us a love of books. I attended Wasatch Elementary and remember riding my bike to school. I preferred playing with the boys over the girls; I would join them in kickball and basketball. I often was picked first for teams in kickball and was always happy about that.

We moved to the Edgemont area when I was in fourth or fifth grade. My parents bought a house along with a huge yard they planned to build a new house on. I loved our gigantic yard. We had loads of trees, many of them fruit trees. It was fun to have so much room to roam, but I despised the chores that came along with it. We had to pick up all the apricots and apples that fell to the ground. My brother and I played well together, but often got into fights. It wasn't until we were young teens that we became friends more than foes.

We moved into our newly built house and I loved having a nice, new, and big room. I attended Farrer middle school and Centennial the first year it opened. I had a hard time making friends since all of my elementary school friends were at Dixon. My best friends were in the pool and on the soccer field. I continued to love reading and would often stay up late reading my latest favorite book. I dreaded the start of high school; I was so scared and knew I'd have an even harder time making friends. I was lucky and blessed, though, with two great friends who helped save the last two years of high school. Melissa Kemp moved in my junior year. I knew she was heaven-sent when I found out she both swam and played soccer. Amazing. I also was friends with many foreign exchange students and made a lifelong friend my senior year with Arlette Riesen. She was from Switzerland and lived with a family in my ward that year. I was (and still am) so grateful for her friendship that year. High school found me in the pool more and more, on the soccer field, in Mr. Watson's pottery classroom, snuggled up in bed with a good book, or at my desk writing. I taught swim lessons almost every summer and didn't work at all during the school year.

At the beginning of my junior year of high school we got a new brother. I was almost sixteen and I reveled in his arrival. I helped my mom out a lot with baby Josh. He probably has more pictures in his baby book than Natalya because I often turned our babysitting afternoons into photo shoots. My mom coached swimming, and still does, for BYU and for a local club team. So I helped take care of him before my own afternoon swim practice. Taking care of Josh further cemented within me a love for babies.

Deciding where to attend school after Timpview felt like a really big decision for me. I narrowed it down to swimming at BYU and playing soccer at Dixie. In a perfect world, I would have been able to do both. It broke my heart to have to abandon one sport. Ultimately academics also factored in, of course, and I chose BYU. I still don't know all the reasons why BYU was the school for me because I suffered through numerous shoulder dislocations and surgeries. I never swam much faster than my times in high school. Frustration was ever-present, but I do know that my time at BYU really helped me to know how to be friends with everyone and to be easygoing.

Ever since I was a small girl I had hoped to serve a mission, and as I approached my twenty-first birthday I began to pray more fervently about it. I was confused because I didn't receive the answers I thought I would. It didn't feel like the right time to go, so I kept praying and waiting. Finally after four years of college, the time finally felt right to serve a mission. I only had a semester of school and a student teaching or internship experience to complete in order to graduate, but I still felt like those things would be fine to finish upon returning home from my mission. I had already completed my French minor and I was trying to not have any hopes about using my French on my mission; President Jackson, though, made a comment that let my hopes for such leap up a little. My dream mission was to serve in Geneva, Switzerland. In reality, my dream mission turned out to be the Ukraine Donetsk mission. I served from May 2005-November 2006. It was glorious, hard, wonderful, exhausting, heart-breaking, lovely, and so many other things. Learning Russian certainly took a lot of work, especially with all that French banging around in my head. I'm so grateful for my mission. I could write pages and pages about this, but won't do so now.

Upon returning from my mission, I finished up my semester of school and got an internship to teach English at Pleasant Grove high school. That first year of teaching was very hard, but I stuck with it. I was blessed to be hired on again, and my second year turned out to be wonderful.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Swiss Family Riesen

Monday night I got to spend some time with Larissa, Brigitte, and Peter.

Dad fixed a garden jubilee dinner. Get this. From his garden: carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, peppers, cabbage. From Grampa's: potatoes and onions. From Pa's mighty hunting skills: elk. Yep, my dad is pretty much the most amazing dad ever.

We were well fed--both physically and spiritually. I got to hear Peter recount a very sad day in February when Celine, his grand-daughter, died from crib death. Peter is my Swiss dad because his daughter, Arlette, is one of my dearest friends--a kindred spirit for sure. Celine is Arlette's second daughter. Celine was only four months old when she died. Eamon was two months old when I got the phone call. Nothing felt right as I listened to the terrible news that day. I hate the space of being more than an ocean away. Celine would have been one year old yesterday. She, Arlette, Samuel, and Sarah have been very much on my mind and in my heart this week.

I've had several "heavy boots" sorts of moments this week. It's hard to see Tawna in so much pain. It kills me I can't give Arlette a hug right now. Just lots going on. But there's hope, and hope is what I'm trying to have because that's what will pull me through.

Well, would love time to write more, but there are things to tend to. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

little rudolph

We went hiking a little over a week ago and I didn't realize Eamon would get so cold. I felt so badly as I felt his freezing hands as we were coming back down the trail. Next time we go I'll be bundling him up in his little bear suit (not made out of real bear in case you were worried). That's what I've been putting him in when we go running or walking in the morning. Keeps him toasty.

I don't want these gorgeous mornings, days, and evenings to leave. Not ready for the cold to settle in. But, alas, I guess I'll survive. And I'll certainly enjoy these days while I can. Hopefully from my bike as well. Today I discovered a flat and I don't know where my bike repair stash is. It's not always the best idea to have stuff still packed away at your parents'.

Anyway, gotta go turn the water off on the squash and then it's beddy-bye time.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

tri tri tri

Had a lot of fun Saturday. It was my first race in two years, thus, obviously, my first since birthing my firstborn.

The swim was actually the roughest part because I've been in the water fewer than ten times this whole summer. The bike wasn't too bad, and the run was probably the best because that's primarily what I've trained.

I love competing. I let out a couple war whoops on during the bike portion because I was just so excited to be pushing myself in a way I hadn't for a while.

Yuba really is the perfect triathlon. It's not killer hot because it's in September, nor is it stinking cold.

In other news, my baby has been out just about as long as he was in. Crazy!

Friday, September 9, 2011

you will come around

Don't let it bring you down.
It's only castles burning.
Find someone who's turning,
And you will come around.
-Neil Young

Thursday, September 8, 2011

because it's easier to sit here for a few minutes

than to grab my journal and jot down a few happinesses of late:
  • Finley and Eamon yesterday. Finn walks around like an impressive explorer. He pointed out the way and Eamon followed with his lumbering bear cub crawl. I loved seeing their interactions and hearing them jabber away at each other.
  • Pears from Heather. So yummy! They tasted divine in my oatmeal this morning.
  • Reading stories with Andrew and E at bedtime and then singing songs. So cozy.
  • (On a recent run) Seeing a schoolkid bolt out of his house. He was hurrying so he wouldn't be late (or later?) to school.

And that's all I have time for because I need to go wrestle with Bubsy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


It's my absolute favorite time of year. The nights cool off and leave the mornings precisely how I like them. The days warm up pleasantly and don't become unbearably hot. For me, it's perfect running and biking weather.

I have my triathlon coming up on Saturday. I signed up for the olympic distance several months back. I was optimistic I would have loads of time to train and get in tip-top shape. Problem was I didn't have as many chances to hit the pool or bike as I thought I would; swimming and biking are a bit impossible with the wee one, especially since we don't have a bike trailer. We do have our nice jog stroller, though, so I've done a lot of running, hiking, and walking. Anyway, I started to stress out about running a 10K after biking 24 miles. It just wasn't sounding fun to me. So I've now got it sorted out that I'll be doing the sprint distance. I'm feeling a lot more excited about it. I know I still won't be super speedy or anything, but it will be fun.

I haven't been reading much of late. I started a Brandon Sanderson book before Hawaii, but haven't gotten back into it yet. I want to, but we've been trying to get Eamon back on schedule and have simply just been busy with other things.

We've been enjoying heaps of tomatoes, carrots, and squash from our garden. I love picking something off the vine and eating it soon thereafter. It's just magical.

I started coaching again yesterday. It's fun to be back on deck. The real experiment will be today when I take E to practice with me. Yikes! I really don't know what to think. We had all of August off and I didn't have to take him too much in July. He's moving a whole lot more than he was back then. I think we're going to have to figure out a babysitting solution for the days Andrew teaches, but we'll see how today goes.

We took Eamon for his first swing and slide rides this past weekend. It will be fun to see him start to enjoy playgrounds more.

Well, that's all for now. Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Two vacations in one month leaves me with August almost gone, so it seems. We've been blessed to spend time with my family in Idaho and time with Andrew's in Hawaii. I now have more memories to carry forward. Pictures to come, perhaps...either here or on our family blog.

School starts tomorrow for the kids around here. My baby brother begins his first day of middle school. Kids in the neighborhood will now fill the shortcuts and paths down to the schools below our hillside homes. I miss it. I miss school. I miss teaching. I miss my students. I hope there will be a season in my life for such teaching once again. Coaching is great, and I love it, but teaching reading, writing, and loving language is something else entirely. And so as this time of year rolls round again and I'm not a student, nor a teacher, a bit of my heart mourns. Parts of my heart also hope, though, because I truly hope to teach again someday. I know I teach as a mother, but there's something magical about introducing a poem to a student and having that student absolutely fall in love with it.

And now I feel I'm blathering. But it's just what this time of year does to me. I remember when September rolled around when I was on my mission. I received emails from home about school preparation and such, and it surprised me how much I missed it. It catches me off guard and makes me take note.

But I guess I can be glad I don't get the Sunday-night-creepies anymore; you know what I'm talking about if you're a student or teacher--the slightly anxious feeling that your glorious weekend (or entire summer) is over and you must return to school once again. See, I don't view school/teaching through rose-colored glasses. But I certainly remember much more of the good than I do of the bad because the good is just so good.

Happy week to all!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


As I fed Eamon at close to 3 a.m. this morning, I read these words.

And they strongly struck my soul.

Whenever I'm reminded of the power of words, I'm humbled and awed and inspired. Because of amazing people like Courtney Jane Kendrick and Emma Lou Thayne, I'm more resolved than ever to develop what talent I have in writing, and to fit it better into my life. My soul deserves, craves, and needs it.

I love this paragraph from Kendrick:

"Emma Lou explained that those of us who are called to be writers, the writers of life, have to pay attention in a different way. We have to reserve quiet time to write what we feel. I've always loved Emma Lou's pledge to her children, 'I love you with all my heart, but not all my time' meaning that the solitude time was part of her ability to thrive. This paying attention and seeking for quiet time goes along with two ideas I've had lately, one about balancing the senses (seeing as much as hearing, touching as much as tasting) and another about this quote, 'I hold this be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other.' Rainer Maria Bilke. Also, I've come to realize that most of my frustrations can be worked out either by hard work (labor) or solitude. When scrubbing the sticky dishes isn't clearing my mind, a walk by myself usually will."

Here's to making it happen.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

a story about a unicorn on my blog

For my sister's golden birthday (even though she lied to me and told me it wasn't her golden birthday):

Once upon a time (21 July 1990, to be precise) a mommy unicorn named Sirena gave birth to twins, Malina and Petra. Both her unicorn foals were up and walking within minutes of their arrival. Despite their healthy and strong statures, Sirena looked down at her newly birthed babies in horror. She wasn't dismayed by the remnants of blood upon their bodies. That was nothing, really. What Sirena saw, and didn't see, shocked her beyond anything she'd previously experienced (which is quite a lot, you know, because unicorns lead very fanciful lives). What did she see?

Malina sported two horns while Petra lacked any horn at all.

"What's wrong Mommy?" the two-horned unicorn questioned.

Sirena couldn't even come up with a reply. She sighed. She snorted. She shook her mane in disbelief.

"I know what's wrong," Petra piped up, "You got my horn."

"You got my horn," she repeated, "And I want it back."

Petra reared back and readied to charge. Malina stood there confusedly. Sirena said, "Wait! That won't fix anything. You'll put two holes in your head and won't be any nearer having a horn."
But Petra couldn't wait. She couldn't rationalize. The newest unicorn on earth wanted her horn and she wanted it badly. She whinnied and charged. Malina stood with glazed-over eyes and made no motion to move. As Petra approached and was within inches of her, Malina flapped her wings (what? You think unicorns are wingless? Well, some are, but not Malina.). Anyway, back to the story. Malina flapped her wings and jumped up and out of the way just in time to avoid colliding with Petra.

Petra wheeled around, even more angry and frustrated, "Give me my horn!"

Malina didn't even pay her a glance; she came down from her burst of flight back to the ground. As soon as she touched down, she broke into a run and sprinted towards the nearest tree. Faster and faster she sped. She didn't slow down at all, not even as she bore her head down towards the tree's trunk.

After the impact, Malina crumpled to the meadowy earth.

"She's bleeding, Mom!" Petra cried.

"She'll be ok. You don't know this yet because you're only 14 minutes old, but unicorns heal more quickly than any beast of the forest," Sirena said, "And look what she left for you."

Petra looked at the tree and embedded into it was one of Malina's horns.

"What do I do?" Petra asked.

"Go over to it," Malina said weakly as she struggled to get back on her feet.

"Go over to it and just see what happens."

Petra shuffled over to the tree, sniffed the broken-off horn, touched her nose to it and then her forehead. When she lifted her head away from the tree, she saw the horn was gone. Cross-eyed, she peered at the new sight before her--her very own horn.

In a sing-songy voice, Petra rejoiced, "Thank you, Malina! Thank you and happy birthday!"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Papi invited me over for his patch's semi-weekly raspberry picking. Me oh my did I get us some beautifully big raspberries. It was worth getting out of bed at 5:30. So worth it. I'm going to be adventurous and try my hand at jam tomorrow or Thursday. It will be my first time doing it NOT in Dad's kitchen (read: without his vast canning wisdom). I'm nervous but excited--feeling like one more part of me will be a little bit more grown up.

a sequence

29 June
Eamon and Finley

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011


at the perfect time: 7 this morning
with favorite people: Angie and Dane
still a bit weak: in the arms

Nothing beats climbing outdoors in perfect weather with good company. I hope to go one more time with Angie before she moves away in a week and a half. I'm so glad we're somewhat related; her sister is my sister-in-law.

Thanks Dane-o and Bird for the lovely start of today.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

tee he he

Just looking through the old pictures in photo booth.
Found this gem taken in Jerusalem. Made me smile.

Monday, June 13, 2011

book talk

It always makes me happy when someone loves a book I've recommended. My parents both read Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner in the course of their trip to Ireland for two weeks. They both thought it was amazing. Makes me want to read it again. Makes me want to tell everyone about it. Stegner's writing is gorgeous and the story even more so.

I told Nat to read The Help by Kathryn Stockett. She loved it. Another good one to read, especially since I hear there's a movie coming out.

Anyone read True Grit? I'd like to read it, watch the original film, and then watch the film that recently came out. If someone tells me it's worth it, I think it'll be more likely I'll read it.

I finally read The Princess Bride. It was such a fun read. We watched that movie all the time when we were kids, but I'd never read the book. I love the lines that come straight from the book to the movie. The back stories (not presented much in the movie) are also pretty awesome.

I've also read another book of late: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I really liked it.

Next book? I started The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card with Andrew on our little road trip this weekend. I don't know if I'll finish it. We'll see. I also checked out a couple from the library, but don't know what I'll crack open next. I'm sure you'll hear about it here, though, since I like to blather on and on about books.

Happy week and happy reading!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

old words

Sometimes I come across lines I've written in the past and they surprise me. I vaguely recall writing them and that's what astonishes me. How could I forget words I strung together?

As I read through some old ideas of mine yesterday, I came across the following. I wrote it 7 November 2008. And I'll leave it without a title for now.

Sketch of a bird.
Snatch of conversation.
A broken button.

You turn the pages.

Pencil captured the bird.
Mind remembered words.
Tape holds down the pieces.

The feathers remind you of a rainy morning.
Clouds hindered the sun as you looked out the window.
You held your cup of tea and upped Neil Young’s volume.

The assumed dialogue becomes a soliloquy.
A man and his dementia battle it out.
One voice. Two tones.

The three uneven pieces beg you to finger their crags.
One hole remains intact.
Makes you ponder your own heart’s shape.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

trying to be a woman of God

I came across this quote this week:

"When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time. The women of God know this."

These words come from Neal A. Maxwell and the whole talk may be found here.

This whole talk has soothed me and inspired me to be and do better. I'm so grateful to be a woman. To be a daughter, sister, wife, and mother.

a new month

New month. New hair. New shoes.

Stake Conference begins in 20 minutes. Eamon is asleep. Andrew already left with Tawna to procure soft seats, so I wait for the babe.

It's June. Can't believe that we've been back from Jerusalem almost 11 months now. Insanity.

I chopped inches off my head of hair yesterday. I'm never quite sure what to make of my hair when I do this--reduce it to what feels like almost nothing--because I'm used to having it long.

Me just minutes ago.
(And my new hair length.)

As far as the new shoes go, I like them. I think I'll write a separate post about this because I'm cheesy like that. It's just hard and weird to replace a pair of shoes one has been wearing and cherishing for eight years. Yes, cherish I do certain shoes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2,222 nature points

The last two days have been rainy cold and have spurred on my laziness, and as a result, I haven't gone running, walking, skipping, nor hopping. Hopefully I will reverse the trend tomorrow.

BUT I did go running Monday and Tuesday. I actually had glorious runs. Monday Eamon and I happened to meet up with Mel J. It was wonderful to see her. I haven't seen her since the day I got married. She had her dog Scout out with her, so the four of us went for a jaunt. We talked and caught up. It was so nice to run with someone, especially Melissa.

On our run we were so lucky to spy two squirrels. They weren't jabbering in a tree, nor were they scurrying around on the ground. We passed beneath them as one chased the other across a thick power line. It was seriously sweet.

I told Melissa that if we had been keeping nature points, we would have scored 1,111 points for each squirrel because of how neato their passing over our heads was. If you haven't played the nature game before, you really should start; it could very well change your life.

How to play? You make up the rules as you go, which is inherent in any game worth playing, right? You assign different point values for different species found in nature. We don't often include trees in our reckoning (but you're totally free to play how ever you want, remember?). For example, one might give red-breasted robins a value of 12 points because a robin is somewhat common, while giving moose 5,000 points because they're much harder to come by when you're out and about in the city and neighborhood.

Anyway, I hope you have fun, playing the nature game or not. I hope to play this game more with Eamon once he can figure it all out. I can't wait to see what rules he makes up.

Image taken from here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


This weekend we went to Andrew's cousin's wedding. It was wonderful to be in the temple with family. The day was absolutely gorgeous and we had a nice time strolling around after. The flowers and grounds of Temple Square were in full bloom. Just splendid!

Eamon getting a little too excited and into Angry Birds.
I'll have to keep an eye on him.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I just had to put this picture up. I love my boys!
Bowling night with Josh.

a favorite thing

The little moments that make my day lately are the times when Eamon grins widely up at me before I have a chance to even send a smile his way. He's such a sweetie and so happy.

Just hanging out on our bed.

Bowling for the first time.
He turned four months old on this day.
If he looks a little out of it, it's because he was;
the shots he got earlier at his doctor's appointment subdued him.
Poor little guy. I hate hearing his sad sad cry after they poke him.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

it's kind of evil,

but it fills me with a little ounce of glee:

pushing Eamon in the stroller,
and passing someone on an uphill.

Like I said, kind of evil. So I guess that makes me kind of evil.

Which reminds me of this quote for some reason:

"I wouldn't marry anyone who was really wicked, but I think I'd like it if he could be wicked and wouldn't."

-Anne to Marilla in "Anne of Avonlea"

Oh, if only I could get Andrew to watch Anne with me. I don't think it's going to happen, though. I've already asked him a few times, and he's answered in the negative each time. Guya? You wanna sometime? I miss Katherine saying, "Well, mine's full."

Anyway, this has turned very tangential. Back to worky work.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

it's late

and i'm tired. not really into capitalizing things at the moment.

today has been ok. i'm ready to crash into bed, but thought i'd write for at least a few minutes.

want to remember how much i love spring. love how a day can start drizzly and cloudy and turn into sunshine lighting up new and fragrant blossoms.

want to remember how strapping e into his stroller calms him. how big he smiles when he gets enough naptime. how he turned himself around a full 180. he squawked for the last 90 of it, but he was working it.

want to remember how mr. manly cleaned up so i could get some other work done. how he got us a beautiful Easter (i will capitalize that) book for fhe last night. how he brought me down a bird's nest (a bowl full of desserty treats) tonight.

want to remember how it feels to rush down bannock on my bike. because i did that tonight. it's been a year since i've cruised on my bike. and oh how delicious it was. i could almost hear my legs screaming, though, on the return trip. i was tempted, oh so sorely, to get off and walk, but i kept spinning, upward and breathlessly.

want to remember the good despite how weary i am.

as i look back to the beginning of this post, i see i wrote that today was ok, but the act of remembering has changed it from ok to good.

remember remember. it's good for me.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I lucked out on my morning run. The two nickels I found faced the sky heads up.

Today I'm lucky, blessed and thankful. I'm grateful for:
  • runs in shorts and a tee
  • Eamon's smiles, squawks, and laughs
  • sleep
  • Andrew's hugs
  • sunshine
  • late afternoon walks with Eamon, Tawna, and Ember
  • hope that Eamon will sleep through the night

Sunday, April 3, 2011

sabbath thoughts

After two unbelievably warm days, the great outdoors had a foot of snow waiting for me this morning. I love shoveling. I love shoveling even more when the morning is more than gorgeous. White clouds layer upon the blue sky as it turns golden with the rising sun. Perfection.

Sadness, though, is the big tree branch that was felled at my parents'. They've been in California for several days and won't get back until tonight, so I headed down the hill to give their driveway a good shoveling as well. The snow must have been too heavy for the branch. I guess it's more of a limb. It was the second biggest limb and now it has broken off, leaving the tree looking wounded and lopsided.

Today, some years ago, my best friend was born to my grandma. I still get a kick out of the fact that my best friend is my aunt. What does "best friend" mean anyway? I have several best friends. So I hope none of my best friends feel slighted when they hear me call someone else my best friend. Sierra and I go back the longest, though. She's only eight months older than I am and always put up with my bossiness. She's a gorgeous woman inside and out. She's hilarious and I love her latest stunt about challenging spring. I miss her too much. I wish she, and her cute, blossoming family, didn't live all the way across the country. But I still wish her happy birthday all the way from here. I hope spring comes soon for her.

Looking forward to more wonderful Conference participation. Laters.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


the raising of hands
the freedom of it
the spontaneity of it

the folding of arms
the instinct of it
the comfort of it

the closing of eyes
the desire of it
the necessity of it

the kneeling of knees
the humility of it
the pause of it

Sunday, March 6, 2011

to write

How many notebooks and journals have I filled? Numerous. I used to live to write. I would sequester myself in my room, light all my candles (at least 15), turn off my lights, burn a little incense, crack open my current "tablet," and put pen to paper. Sometimes I would rushwrite--write whatever came as fast as it came. Other times I would do character sketches, jot beautiful couplets unattached to anything else, or simply vent frustrations. When I felt especially down or when I lacked energy or spark, I would crank up some Tori Amos and just write her lyrics down as she sang them out.

And now? Time's a luxury. Time to write even more so. I know I can "make" time, but right now I feel I'm just scraping by. I try to write as much as I can, but when I've grabbed a few moments I usually can only think of how tired I am or how much stuff I have to do.

But I'm still trying. I'm still pushing my pen to paper. I don't know what will ever come of it. I'm not saying anything grand has to come of it. For me, for now, simply feeling good about creating is a dandy enough reason for me. So I'm grateful for the twenty minutes I took to write this post in addition to this one (nothing much, very off the top of my head). I'm hoping to put something up over there at least once a month. I think that's a goal I can achieve. We'll see.

Anyhow, happy new week to whomever happens to read these babblings of mine.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

break and a few words for the sis

Taking a little break to write. Baby's asleep and I just need ten minutes before continuing on with swim team stuff.

February has gone by so fast. Sure, we still have a week's worth of days left, but March isn't too far off. It boggles my mind that we've been back in the States longer than we were gone.

Things are good. I'm enjoying the sunshine and hoping it continues to warm up. We ordered a stroller and I can't wait to strap Eamon in and go for walks and runs. Yippee!

I dedicate this post to Guya. I want her to know that I'm putting a link to our family blog (Happy Making) on the side so she can find it and check on it and stalk us. Just do it.

Really, though. My sister is amazing. You should check out her writing. This poem is beautiful; she inspired me to meet my goal of writing at least ten minutes a day, be it here, in my journal, in my writer's notebook, or in Eamon's book. I just need to make time for it because I miss it so much and I feel loads better when I'm able to express myself that way. Thanks, Natty.

Alright, break time is over. I'm going to steal a few more minutes to jot down a few lines in my writer's notebook. Perhaps I'll pick up posting again on my writing blog. We'll see.

PS: I love you.

Monday, February 7, 2011

baby boys

Oh, I just love this picture.

On the left is my cousin's baby (b. 21 Oct).
Eamon's in the middle (b. 15 Dec).
On the right is my cousin (b. 31 Sept).

How cool is that? I took this picture yesterday after Eamon's blessing (and after he got poop on his cute tan cords...oh well). It was so fun to visit with so many loved ones yesterday. I just love Eamon-boy. He is smiling more and more of late. This morning we even were graced with the beginnings of a laugh. I'm looking forward to him developing that even more and more.

Things are still wintry around here, but it's not as deathly cold as it was last week. I forced myself out the door after feeding the child this morning to go running. It feels so good to be able to run again. I'm nowhere near any sort of fast, but I'm trying to be patient and understanding with my body. I can't wait to go climbing again even though I'm kind of afraid of the weakling I am now.

Most embarrassing moment of yesterday: when my mom had everyone sing "Happy Anniversary" to Andrew and me. Ergh. That's why I love her, though, along with all the other nice things she and Dad do for us. Anyway, now I'm just blathering. Best be getting back to work. Eamon's asleep so I better get going.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Because one year ago Andrew was back in the country, state, and city I was in. AND because we would wed in 11 days. Also because Billy Collins is outstanding.

by Billy Collins

Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you,
Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien,
they seem to say,
I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.

Other comments are more offhand, dismissive -
"Nonsense." "Please!" "HA!!" -
that kind of thing.
I remember once looking up from my reading,
my thumb as a bookmark,
trying to imagine what the person must look like
why wrote "Don't be a ninny"
alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson.

Students are more modest
needing to leave only their splayed footprints
along the shore of the page.
One scrawls "Metaphor" next to a stanza of Eliot's.
Another notes the presence of "Irony"
fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal.

Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers,
Hands cupped around their mouths.
"Absolutely," they shout
to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin.
"Yes." "Bull's-eye." "My man!"
Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points
rain down along the sidelines.

And if you have managed to graduate from college
without ever having written "Man vs. Nature"
in a margin, perhaps now
is the time to take one step forward.

We have all seized the white perimeter as our own
and reached for a pen if only to show
we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages;
we pressed a thought into the wayside,
planted an impression along the verge.

Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria
jotted along the borders of the Gospels
brief asides about the pains of copying,
a bird signing near their window,
or the sunlight that illuminated their page-
anonymous men catching a ride into the future
on a vessel more lasting than themselves.

And you have not read Joshua Reynolds,
they say, until you have read him
enwreathed with Blake's furious scribbling.

Yet the one I think of most often,
the one that dangles from me like a locket,
was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye
I borrowed from the local library
one slow, hot summer.
I was just beginning high school then,
reading books on a davenport in my parents' living room,
and I cannot tell you
how vastly my loneliness was deepened,
how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed,
when I found on one page

A few greasy looking smears
and next to them, written in soft pencil-
by a beautiful girl, I could tell,
whom I would never meet-
"Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

first bath

Eamon had his first bath on Tuesday. Normally we throw (not literally, of course) him in the shower with me to clean him up. He took to the bath as well as he's taken to the shower--no squawking or protesting at all. Not that a miniature human with only five weeks to his existence could put up much of a protest.

More pictures of our little chunky monkey.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I'm glad my sister is blogging again. Just had to say that.

And Josh, if you're stalking my blog, keep it up. I promise to post more pictures soon of your chunky nephew. Weird. You're an uncle!

Now I'd better get some work done before the snoozer wakes up and I get to feed him and then make dinner. Life is great. Life is grand. Happy halfway (through the week)!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Well, I started this post a week ago and I'm hoping I'll finish it today (19 Jan). I haven't gotten much done today and even though I should be doing team admin stuff I just need a few minutes to write and, hopefully, relax a little bit while Baby naps. Don't get me wrong. Today has been good. I got to go for a walk/run. I showered. I fed Eamon (several times). I read a chapter of Mark with Andrew. I got some laundry going. Anyway...back to booktalk...

A while back I finished The Space Between Us, Crossing to Safety, and The Help. I really liked all of them. Sorry if you wanted more in depth analysis. I just liked them. That's all. OK, maybe I'll say a little more. I got mad a little bit at TSBU because usually I can tell or at least sort of figure out what's going to happen, but this book's plot really never let me unravel all it had in store. I thought the ending was good too. CTS: I loved the writing. It was beautiful. The story was very engaging and the characters were very deep. TH was just a fun, good read. I started it a day before Eamon was born and finished it less than a week after. Nursing him at night wasn't bad at all because I had good reading to look forward to.

Recently I finished The City of Ember and Half Broke Horses. The first: meh. Not my favorite. Not too exciting. The second: I liked. The author of The Glass Castle (which I LOVE) writes a "true life novel" about her grandmother. Her grandma was a crazily strong woman and I truly enjoyed reading about her.

And now I'm reading Warbreaker. Andrew gave it to me for my birthday. The cover is kind of ugly, but don't judge it by its cover. This is the second Brandon Sanderson book I've read (well, I haven't finished yet), and I've liked both of them. The other one I've read is Elantris.

Next on the list: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Images: here, here, here, and here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


That's what our doctor called him at his two week check up. He put on nearly two pounds in the two weeks since his birth; you can see they went straight to his cheeks and chin. I've taken to calling him Bub. Here are some pictures I took of him yesterday: