Category Archives: Writing


I used to say I didn’t have any regrets. That every single think I had done had move me to where I was, made me who I was. I still stick to that – mostly. I never saw the point in spending a lot of time regretting what I had or hadn’t done. I couldn’t change it, I could only move forward.

Even now most of my regrets are about smaller things. I regret not saving more money, or using my credit cards too much. I regret not getting good grades in high school (and college). Small things in the grand scheme. Things that can’t be changed, and that I didn’t need to dwell on.

But there is the one thing that I have come to regret. While I was pregnant with Tiny, the situation in my house changed pretty dramatically. And it wasn’t awesome. For me, for Big Kid. I was not the mom I wanted to be, and I am still getting my parenting legs back after that. But the thing I regret is that the last 6 months I had with just Big Kid was derailed and (I hate this word, but it fits) ruined. I was focused on things that were ultimately not my problem and shouldn’t have been my focus. I can’t get that time back ever. I can’t go back to it just being me and Big Kid and have those months back. And I bitterly regret that. It is going to be a while before I can forgive myself for making the decisions that led to the situation.

I dislike having regrets. I feel like I need to make up for it, to fix it somehow. It feels like a weight that I have to carry around with me all the time. All interactions with Big Kid are weighed on that time, and how much I failed her, whether or not she is mad about it, if she will remember it. I can’t change it, but I haven’t quit figured out how to let go of it yet either.

following the daily prompts for November from

autumn falling

I feel like I write about autumn an awful lot. Just about every year actually. Autumn is different here than it is where I grew up.For one there are more trees, and those trees have leaves, not needles.

In Colorado, you can see weather, and just about everything else, coming. The wide open sky makes it easy to watch things moving, and the mountains may slow it down, but when things come over them, you can see it. Storms slowly eat the mountains, and roll over them down into the city. It is fascinating to watch. Those days are rare though, the ever present sun asserts its dominance over the clouds most of the time. It is beautiful, and open. There is a lack of mystery. Plenty of awe and stunning vistas, but not a lot is hidden.

Here in the Pacific Northwest it seems more like the sky is closing in. Dark, rainy autumn nights are possible the darkest I have ever seen. It truly feels like a falling here. The clouds fall over the city, not to be dislodged for months. The rain falls, the leaves fall. There is a weight to the arriving of Autumn. Once you have lived here a few years you understand why. It means that the months of gray have arrived. Activities move inside, lights turn on early in the day. Hibernation makes sense to me here. Here there is a distinctly mysterious feel to the change into fall. You can’t see everything, and you know it.

I enjoy the mystery. It is new still to feel like there is something out there that I can’t see coming. That there is more to discover. That when autumn falls, there is something to peer around corners for.

following the daily prompts for November from

happiness is…

*being warm
*sleeping enough
*pumpkin pie
*laughing children
*toddler kisses
*warm weight of someone small sitting on your lap
*a child’s accomplishment
*settling into bed at the end of the day
* a perfect cup of coffee
*hugs from my husband
*flannel sheets
*the smell of good food greeting me as I come home
*walks on brisk days
*quiet moments, letting my brain soak in the silence.
*hand knit socks.
*the smell of pine
*watching the snow fall (while inside with a nice cup of hot chocolate)
*being able to love the people in my life
following the daily prompts for November from

the first thing I see

A bit of fiction

The street is a common residential street. The houses are middle class, some a little better off than others. This particular street has been here for a while. The imprint in the sidewalk reads 1912. The mid century houses that appear here are next to Victorians and Craftsman models, clearly built as the original owners sold off bits of land. It makes a cozy neighborhood overall, this diversity of styles.

She had walked down the street many different times. It was a normal route for her now, one of a dozen possible ways to get where she was going, but she liked this street, with its wide sidewalks and and large trees. It made her walk a bit more lovely, peaceful and picturesque.

It was a brisk morning. Slightly damp with overnight rain, and a breeze that kicked up to a full wind from time to time. The smells were of early autumn, and the last hint of summer’s heat. She was on her way to work, strolling in the breeze and shuffling through piles of leaves already accumulating this early in the season. She followed the sidewalk, letting her feet carry her on her familiar way while her mind wandered. She watched the leaves dance by her as the squirrels raced through the trees above, chattering. Her coffee was warm in her hand.

A gust of chill wind grabbed her coat and flung it open, causing her to inhale sharply. Fumbling briefly, she tucked her coffee cup under her arm so she could button up the errant coat. That wind smelled of snow, though it was early still, it was not unheard of. She hoped it would hold off until the fall leaves had finished their show. It was always disappointing when the reds, golds and oranges of autumn finally reached a glorious blaze of color, only to end up in the gutter the next day because of a heavy, wet snow.

She looked up at a jay calling across the street to find that she had walked past her usual turn. Not far, perhaps half a block. If she crossed here an doubled back, she could get back on track pretty easily, and continue to enjoy her stroll. There was also the added benefit of the next street over being shielded from the wind. As she made her way to cross, checking for the almost always nonexistent traffic, something caught her eye. It was the first thing she had truly seen in clear focus this morning. Something out of the ordinary in her usual routine. The house she had been about to pass had gas lamps. They were lit, even though it was well after sunrise, and flickering away against the gray morning. They had the look of something from Dickens, or perhaps Disney’s interpretation of Dickens. Black iron, shiny glass panes, all angles and reflections. She walked toward them and pulled out her phone to take a picture. They seemed so oddly dated here, where there were only electric lights, and she thought that her dad might get a kick out of seeing them. Some of the ornamentation was unique, and he would enjoy telling her all about whatever he found out about the style, being the old architect that he was.

She silently snapped the picture and wondered if she had ever been down this street before. It was unlikely that she would have missed these lamps, but she supposed it might have happened. She looked down the street to see if anything looked familiar.

That was when she saw the second sharply clear thing this morning. the street went on, as most do, but two or three houses from where she stood, the street turned into a path, and then disappeared into the trees. The houses on both sides of the street, well, path, looked like they were slowly being devoured by greenery. From where she stood, to where the trees blocked her vision, it looked as though
someone had begun coloring with a green crayon, lightly at first, then slowly harder and harder until nothing remained but the green.

Had she been down this street, she was fairly positive she would have noticed that.

following the daily prompts for November from

First, Be Present…

Jumping into’s November Prompt-a-Day.  I’m a couple of days behind, and read the first two prompts (1. First, 2. Be present) as one: First, be present.

You have to show up. Sometimes that’s the hardest part.

In parenting, being present is the biggest challenge I have ever faced. I am prone to navel-gazing, being preoccupied with things to come, or just liking to focus on something until it is complete. Children, they demand your presence in ways that are non-linear and immediate. You must pay attention to THIS. RIGHT NOW. And then you must pay attention to THIS OTHER THING! RIGHT NOW. It is enchanting, fascinating and undeniably exhausting.

The days when I reach the end and find myself shaking my head an wondering what they heck just happened, or feeling like I have failed miserably, are the days when I am caught up in the “shoulds” of what I think needs to happen.  What I should do to be a good parent, or what I think my kids should have. It leaves me seeing only what I lack, rather than what these bright, shining children have to show me each and every day. It is breathtaking to feel like I lost a whole day to pushing a boulder up the wrong hill.

When I remember to be present, to watch and engage, to encourage and listen, I’m still exhausted at the end of the day, but in a way that feels rewarding and like good work was done. For this month, I think that perhaps “First, Be Present” is going to be a daily reminder. Especially as we get into the holidays and things get wound up tightly. Especially as my husband may have to go on a business trip. Especially as the rain sets in and we are stuck inside more.

Most importantly, so I don’t feel like I lost another day to seeing only what I think should be rather than what is.