Brain Dump

Writers become angsty when they don't write. If you're a writer, you know what I mean. If you're not a writer, you know what I mean. It's like not going to therapy. Or missing a run. Or going too long without sex. Or staying inside all winter. A primal, carnal desire isn't being met and you don't feel yourself. Somehow I've been freezing up when it comes to writing. I know more now about what makes good writing and consequently my standard has risen over the years. It seems as though if I … Read More...

Expecting the Unexpected

One morning last week my five-year-old was laying on the couch, shivering in a mass of blankets, too sick to even request to watch T.V. Her flushed cheeks and glassy eyes a testament that she'd succumbed to the latest virus being passed around at school. I was to have chaperoned a field trip for my youngest that morning; it would've been our first together. But instead I played nurse to her, disappointed about the minor change of plans. I know life plans change unexpectedly in the blink of an … Read More...

To All the Burned Out Mamas

Sheer unmitigated relief. Meg Hutchinson’s dusky indie folk voice serenades through the speakers, entangling with the current of an autumn scented candle. A mother sits in the peace of her still kitchen. Shellshocked. Teary. Happy. So this is what it used to feel like? Quiet? Peaceful? She sips her jasmine green tea and honey and a tear plops into the warm water. I almost didn’t make it, she reflects. She’d birthed four souls into the world in five and a half years, joyful … Read More...

Broken Mouth, Broken World

A month ago my husband and I were hanging outdoor lights to adorn the screened-in porch. You know, the Edison bulb ones everyone's been getting from Costco? Yeah, those. We also wanted to replicate the feel of the Parenthood set in our backyard. The sounds of our four children frolicking around on the freshly constructed stone retaining wall and concrete patio filled the air. They were pouring themselves into characters with imaginative gusto that we as adults haven’t possessed in … Read More...

Meet Hedgerow Folk: Music Review at Altarwork

Imagine yourself on the front porch of a cabin in the Smoky Mountains. The fire inside is crackling, pushing puffy plumes of grey out the chimney. Lush hills are rolling across the horizon and the first rays of a glorious orange and pink sunset are appearing. There’s a faint hint of mildew mixed with evergreen being carried by the breeze and a nearby brook swirls and then straightens, off towards the next leg of its journey. This is the place where The Hedgerow Folk’s mountain folk music invited … Read More...

The Hope of Rootedness

Welcome Home! New Birch Trees It's been two months since I've published a post. Here's a summary of what's been going on: we finished building our home, moved across town into said home, moved back out while the first floor was re-sanded (the wood floors were the wrong color initially), and have been dealing with our daughter's traumatic dental accident where she dislodged her permanent front teeth. Additionally there was all the normal stuff of life—attending kids' lessons and games, paying … Read More...

On Moving

I find myself surrounded yet again by boxes. Tall, white wardrobe boxes. Short, shallow boxes for books. Medium boxes that can accommodate lamps, pillows, and art. I've packed up a home so many times before, it has a familiar rhythm-one that isn't all that unwelcome. The possibility of a new start and fresh aesthetic extends a welcome hand, beckoning me forward in the sorting, organizing, and wrapping duties. And I do love unpacking and setting up house on the other end. But on this side, … Read More...

On Being Creatively Constipated

A friend of mine commented the other day, "I noticed you haven't been posting as much as you used to." It's true, and it bothers me. Writing infrequently in recent months has morphed into some combination of guilt, frustration, and shame. Maybe you can relate regarding some creative endeavor of your own? I feel like a poser in my writer's guild, haven't pitched to publications, and have scarcely touched my blog. I hold no illusions that anyone who's ever read my writing is sitting there … Read More...

Home Building Updates

We've been building our house for years. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but it seems like it. When we moved to Wisconsin the fall of 2015, we looked at homes for a few months and decided that building was the best option for us. We found a lot location that provided walkability to downtown with it's coffee shops, parks and festivals, access to a walking/running/bike path, and a smallish neighborhood with a variety of generations and plenty of kids. Starting with one builder and having to … Read More...

Long Days of Small Things

  My word this year is compromise. It's a word that has been more incorporated into my life since motherhood found me eight years ago. I'm constantly deciding between choices that feel decidedly less-than ideal, something's always getting compromised... The amount of sleep I get versus productivity in meeting my goals. Writing versus being a present parent. Being a good employee or an available friend. Service or self-preservation. I feel this pull towards greater and … Read More...