Don’t have kids!

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Don’t have kids.

The birth process is a process that isn’t a one time occasion. The birth process happens over and over again as you push your child into new experiences… sometimes it’s a gentle push, sometimes a strong push and sometimes a push that you can’t keep from happening. And, guess what? All that pushing hurts just as much as the first time. It doesn’t matter that it’s not physical pain. That moment your child steps on the bus to go to school, or go to co-op if you homeschool, or go anywhere without you… that first moment hurts. That moment when you find out that someone mistreated your child and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it other than send your child back into the world with support, and a game plan for taking on their own battles. That moment when you have to admit that you can’t control your child’s actions, and that sometimes they are going to make horrible choices.

The moments go on and on, and each time you go through the birth of these moments, your heart bursts into a thousand tiny pieces with the intensity of a firework. And, while it doesn’t burst with a singular emotion, there always seems to be an undercurrent of pain flowing through the moments. Your child goes off to college – you feel pride, joy… and pain at the leaving, at the separation. Your child gets left out from friend gatherings – you feel anger, sorrow… and pain at the injustice.

I didn’t expect any warning about whether or not to have kids, but here is my warning to you… expect pain, expect to feel. more. deeply. And, expect joy. The same joy and rush of relief that you experience at birth when your baby finally emerges is similar to the joy you experience when your child separates from you and bravely takes on the world.


Tonight, my second son is courageously following his passion for cooking, and moving to another state 2000 miles away to pursue finding a job at one of the top restaurants in Denver.

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The Separation… tales of an Outbound Exchange Student Parent

I realized today that the crying is lessening. One week and two days have passed since I put my third son, the exact middle child of my five, on an airplane to Brazil. Before, I wasn’t crying necessarily because I missed him because he’s gone away to camp for longer than he’s been gone, but the loss of childhood… because surely after a year in Brazil, not only will he be a changed person, he will most definitely be a man. But time passes, and here, a week later, I am already moving from the mourning phase to the acceptance phase. He’s OK. He likes the people. He likes the food. He has a personal trainer, and the family he is currently staying with has a maid. Life is definitely good for this boy of mine. The Rotary Club warned him, and us, that homesickness will most likely set in around the three week mark, so now I wait to see if he follows the norm. Honestly, I don’t want him to be homesick. I want him to soak up every moment and life experience while he is there, but the fact is that I think he will soon start to learn the common threads that tie all of humanity together- we live, we care for our families, we love, we die. We are the same, and probably in that new realization, the day to day life in a different country might lose it’s luster because it will become everyday. But, there will still be new moments and adventures to be had, they just won’t come on a daily basis.

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First Knot

Inside my soul a knot of tightly wound veins, arteries and flesh pulsates with hope, pain, love, dreams, aspirations and creativity winding and winding around each other emanating from the child giving birth to a child. Only a firstborn can occupy this sacred space. The living moment where mother and child are born for the very first time. And the rebirth continues over and over each time there is positive movement, each time there is negative movement. All pushing the other into becoming stronger, more loving, better than before.

The knot expands tying up and untying hurt and the joy. Intermingling.

Don’t mistake the knot for favoritism, for there are other knots to be found. Yet nothing can replace the very first knot. The first knot begetting new life.

To my very dear Elijah, I am so proud of you tonight and always. Pouring your sorrow, pouring your joy, pouring your growth into melodies of living.

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1/365 2015

Haze, laze and waiting
For nothing, for nothing appears
Just do, spring arrives

Another Day

Another day passes and I haven’t done anything creative… haven’t written, haven’t drawn.

Another day passes and I have numbed myself with Facebook and silly games. Why?

Another day passes and I dream about my son moving back home with his girlfriend and I try to plan for their arrival.

Another day passes and I sit at the desk at the library and visit the blogs of a writer I used to follow and find that she is only 2 years younger than me and is living out the kind of dreams I envision for myself.

Another day passes.

Goodbye Yellow Caboose

Goodbye Yellow Caboose

Goodbye Yellow Caboose
Waiting for the end
Waiting with patience
Reminder of childhood
Reminder of life ever fleeting

To temper my thoughts, a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)



TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream ! —
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real ! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal ;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way ;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle !
Be a hero in the strife !

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant !
Let the dead Past bury its dead !
Act,— act in the living Present !
Heart within, and God o’erhead !

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time ;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate ;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.


My Flourless (gluten-free) & Dairy-free Chocolate Cake


The kitchen table—the place where broken hearts are mended, the place where everyone congregates at a party, and most importantly, the place where you share a meal with family and friends. Come sit for a spell, swap recipes and reveal secret ingredients.

In my family, we celebrate Easter with a huge egg hunt and dinner. Serving a dessert that everyone can enjoy has become a challenge as my family has expanded and food allergies have developed. For me, this means creating a dessert that is both gluten and dairy-free. By searching the internet and making a few tweaks of my own, I contrived a recipe for delicious gluten and dairyfree flourless chocolate cake. What’s best is that you can change the flavor profile just by changing whether you top it with fresh berries, candied jalapenos, simple powdered sugar, or ground espresso beans. Or, add a bit of vanilla or orange extract as another option. This is a rich cake with a dense, fudgy center and crispy edges, perfect for a single layer presentation.

My Flourless & Dairy-free Chocolate Cake
Makes one 8-inch cake

• 4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (check ingredient list to make sure there is no added milk or milk fat)
• 1/2 cup of coconut oil
• 3/4cup sugar
• 3 large eggs
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
optional toppings: powdered sugar, berries, a white chocolate drizzle, cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375°F

Line bottom of 8-inch round baking pan with wax paper cut to fit.
Grease pan and wax paper with oil.
Break up chocolate bar into pieces.
Place chocolate and 1/2 cup of coconut oil into a microwave safe bowl.
Microwave on medium power for 30 second increments,
stirring between each increment until melted.
(The coconut oil may be chunky when first removing it from jar)
Once melted, whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs, and whisk again.
Add cocoa powder to mixture slowly while whisking until combined. Do not overmix.
Pour batter into pan and place on middle rack in oven.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool cake in pan for 5 minutes.
Turn over onto serving plate and carefully remove wax paper.
Dust with powdered sugar and top with your choice of ingredients.


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+Return to Soul, Return to Body



Today I returned to my favorite park and walked. A simple act, walking. A simple remembrance of what running and walking in nature, in this park mean to me. A return to commune with God that comes as easily as breathing, as easily as looking over and seeing a tiny blue dragonfly on the brush beside the path. I’ve put off returning to running and walking because I tore a ligament in my foot a couple months ago. I can put it off no longer. The physical pain is worth the exchange of spiritual energy and renewal. The bitter balances the sweet.



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Soulful Saturday: Week 9

Soulful SaturdayI apologize for posting today’s theme late. It’s been a hectic day full of photo shoots, play practices and that awful deed called bill paying. I’m having a hard time staying positive. So in an attempt to be positive, this week’s theme is renewal based on the promise of spring which in some ways gives hope.

As always, feel free to share your art, poem, short story, photo and post a link under this post.

Last week, my hubby did a piece of artwork for last week’s theme of “describe the ghosts that live in your house.” His contribution can be seen here:

My contribution can be seen here:

+46 Soulful Saturday: Week 8

+46 Soulful Saturday

This week’s theme thanks to the theme generator on WordPress.

Italo Calvino said, “The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts.” Describe the ghosts that live in your house.

Create art or writing based on the above prompt and post a link, if you so desire.
Here’s my contribution for the week:

The ghosts in my house aren’t only thoughts and memories. Some of them are present in physical matter left behind from years past. Holes in the wall from teenage angst, a last minute carpet bought for the floor that I eventually gave birth to my youngest daughter on, an entryway marking the growth of children over the years.

When I was young, we moved around almost every single year until I was 12. There was no time for physical items to becomes markers of past events. There was no time for bonds to be formed among friends or even family outside my primary unit. No ghosts in those houses and apartments at all. The place that held ghosts for me at that stage of life was my mother’s car. Many road trips and moves were spent in her car where each of the three of us had our designated living area… mine was the back window. I laid against the cold of the back window watching other cars drive by and that was my place. Even though we stopped moving after I turned 12 and my Mom remarried, it took me years to feel at home anywhere other than a car. When I turned 15, my Mom wanted to move again, I told her no. I told her she could move without me, but that I was not moving again. And, truly, I haven’t. I may have lived in a couple different apartments before buying the house we have lived in for 12 years, but they have all been within about an hour of each other. Now, I have a home, ghosts and all.

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