September Reflection

September Reflection

I’m sitting in my new favorite coffee shop, waiting for my lavender latte. It’s unusually crowded today, full of mostly elderly men and women out for their morning joe.

I’m munching on some gluten free pumpkin bread as I wait for my drink. The woman at the counter asked me if whole milk was okay in my latte and I said yes, because I know now just how much more delicious that makes any kind of coffee drink. And if you’re paying five whole bucks for a hot drink, it better be delicious.

There was a time, though, when I wouldn’t have been able to say yes to whole milk (especially if I was also saying yes to the bread too). That kind of question would have raised an entire moral dilemma, a mini crisis that could have diverted the course of my day. And I want to put emphasis on “moral crisis” because that is what it always was for me: a decision between right and wrong, pure and corrupt, good and evil. There absolutely was no middle ground. I scoffed at “moderation” because that did not exist in my black and white thinking.

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August Reflection

August Reflection

I’d been waiting for George to start crawling for the whole summer. He was so close for so long—when anyone asked about him I’d say with practice, “yeah, almost crawling” and it seemed like that was my description of him for the entirety of July. So often Rob and I have exchanged looks when we’ve thought he might be starting. But today, he finally, finally, finally crawled. Officially.

I don’t know if this is just me, but whenever one of my boys reaches a milestone, I get this intense squeezing feeling inside of my chest. It’s like a firework going off inside my heart, an explosion of emotions that feels almost too much. It’s so emotional that it feels physical, tactile.

It’s a mix of admiration, pride, happiness, excitement, sadness, and tenderness, all at once. It’s a lot.

Do other parents feel this way? That when your child crosses that threshold, all your emotions are going to cave in and you might possibly implode? Is it weird that I feel this way? Or boring and normal?

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July reflection: a slice of life

July reflection: a slice of life

I walked slowly from my bedroom and into George’s room, my half-open eyes taking in the light from his sound machine. I didn’t bother to put on clothes when I slipped from bed to do the early morning feeding, since everyone was still asleep and the blinds were still drawn. My breasts were heavy, full of milk. It’d been ten hours, and my body was just as ready to nurse as George was.

During the day, George never goes past three hours between feedings, so even though he has been sleeping through the night for two months, my breasts always act surprised after the night stretch, like they have a mind of their own and that mind is forgetful.

George stopped crying when he saw me and smiled. I love that early morning smile, the one that says, “Oh hey, mom, funny meeting you here.”

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Book Q&A

Book Q&A

My memoir will be out July 6! For June’s blog post, I decided to celebrate the book and reached out to friends on Instagram for some questions about it. Here they are!

What is something you hope somebody takes away from reading your book?

  1. Don’t give up on God. Keep seeking. Keep pursuing. Even if it feels empty or pointless or confusing or hard. If you’re angry at God, explore that emotion rather than ignoring it. If you don’t believe in God, yet you still feel a “yearning” within yourself, explore that feeling and don’t shrug it off. I think the worst thing we can do is to land in a spot of indifference.
  2. If you’re in the midst of a messy mental illness, I promise that there is hope. At the time of writing this book, I was still finding my own mental stability, so I don’t talk a lot about “the other side” in these pages, but I hope readers know that healing, although a challenge, is possible with help.

When did you start writing it? How long did it take to write?

I started writing this book in 2016 and finished in 2018. This book has been re-written approximately 79 million times in a 2 year span.

When did you realize you wanted to share your journey with others?

After writing this book in graduate school, I originally wanted to get it traditionally published, but I learned through a series of events that I would have to focus a lot of my time and effort on social media marketing in order for that to happen. The influencer-life is not really “me” so I decided to self-publish—which, as a plus side, allows me to retain artistic control and my rights. I decided that if my story could help just one person, it was worth self-publishing and getting it out there. But then I had a baby and another baby, so it got pushed to the back burner until now. And, truthfully, I’m glad there’s been a gap between writing and publishing, because the content is no longer a fresh wound. I have some distance from it and feel a lot better about sharing such personal content!

What inspired you to write memoir?

I’ve always loved writing, and I write my best when I write about my own life. I love reading memoir and I found that I also enjoyed writing in the genre too—it’s the sweet spot between fiction and straight non-fiction. I chose the creative non-fiction track in graduate school, so here we are.

What was your favorite part of writing it?

Writing sometimes feels like doing an exciting word puzzle. It’s so fun when I would reach an “aha!” moment. “If I move this sentence here and use this word instead of this one, I get this!” I love when I have that creative energy buzz. If only that energy translated into chores around the house and changing diapers!

What was the hardest part about writing the book?

Editing, editing, editing. Writing is the easy part. Editing is hard. The 30th draft of this book looks nothing like the 1st draft. When I first started writing this book, it was going to be a collection of essays. Each essay was going to be about a different guy that I’d liked, as I was a sappy romantic with ridiculous stories of love-gone-wrong.  It was supposed to be humorous. If you look for it, you can definitely still see remnants of that first inclination in this final draft. I did not set out to write about God or mental health. The book took on a life of its own and became what it wanted to be.

Did you change names?

Oh my, yes. (Except for a couple people who gave me the okay.) People deserve privacy. But I did contact everyone in the book to let them know, even if their names were changed. Kinda (okay, very!) embarrassing to reach out to some people, but whatever.

Do you want to write another book?

Yes! Another memoir, hopefully. Maybe about body image? Maybe about motherhood? Both?

P.S. I want to add that I am so thankful to everyone, especially you faithful blog readers, who have supported me through this writing project and publishing journey. The book comes out July 6 and is available for pre-order now! (See tab at top menu bar).

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May Reflection

May Reflection

“Your hands are like my mother’s,” Grandma told me as she stroked my hand. She paused a few seconds, and although I loved the potential sentimentality in that second, I didn’t accept it completely, because I knew there was more coming. “Because your knuckles are dry. You really need to put on some lotion.”

I looked over at my sister, Abby, and we smirked at each other.

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