Tuesday, January 21, 2014


With my seven month old perched precariously on my hip, I did my morning rounds.  After a diaper change, it's a walk though the living room to pick up the dirty diaper and relocate the diaper bag.  On my way to the kitchen garbage I step on a small, plastic bear and mutter a made-up curse word.  I shift the baby and bend down to pick up the pokey offender while instructing my three year old to keep little bears out of the carpet.  I turn back toward the kitchen once more only to be distracted by a news story about a murder-suicide.  Sad.  The baby starts to paw and the poopy diaper which acts as a reminder of my mission.  I bounce him through the house until the cool tile floor greets and refreshes my step.  The diaper is discarded and my one free hand makes quick work of gathering breakfast dishes and piling them into the sink.  The three year old reminds me to give her vitamins and, after a one-handed struggle with a child-proof cap, the crunching of chalky tablets indicates the three year old is temporarily appeased.

I take to the stairs because above me laundry awaits.  It's Tuesday, which typically means I wash towels, but I sit the baby on the floor, handing him miscellaneous trinkets from near by, and start stripping the sheets off my bed.  After falling victim to a leaky diaper, the sheets cannot wait till my customary sheet-washing Thursday.  The seven month old sits sturdily and gums on a little penguin bucket until it is apparent by his cries he is bored and wishes to return to his regular perch on my hip.  I pick him up, gather my comforter in my free arm, and stuff it into the washing machine just outside my room.  Worried that it won't fit I contemplate a laundry mat, but the wiggly baby trying to flip himself upside down motivates me to give the blanket an extra shove.  I hear singing below.  Itsy Bitsy Spider.  Classic.  I hum along while I pin the fabric softener between my body the wall so I can remove the lid.  The tiny boy under my arm lurches for the bottle and scolds me for keeping it out of reach.  I laugh at his fit because his tiny puckered lip reminds me so much of his older sister.  We return downstairs and I spend a moment surveying the house, planing my next move in the game that is morning.

As I look out over my world I contemplate my life and feel blessed.  Not because it's perfect or glamorous or even particularly fun, but because it's beautiful, and because it's mine to captain.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


A new year usually brings new resolutions and new hope.  Hope for more money, less pounds, and increased personal growth.  Last year New Years was exciting.  Paul and I knew that the next few months would bring a new baby and a new house, so we welcomed 2013 with open arms.  Two nights ago Paul and I rang in the new year by toasting at midnight.  "To a year of no pregnancies," I said.

"And no new babies," he said.

"And no moves," I said.

"And no job changes," he said.

Our glasses clinked and we agreed that this year our resolution was to settle in and breathe.  In the four and a half years we've been married we've lived in three different places, worked in five different jobs, attended four different schools, received two degrees, had three pregnancies, and are raising two babies.  More than anything, we would like some time to rest.

How often does that actually happen though?

After downing our glasses of cheep sparkling grape juice, I began to feel sad.  No, not sad.  Dread.  I felt dread blow in like a bad storm and settle right over me, pelting my head with heavy drops of mockery and drudge.  You see, this new year as we celebrated the lack of events, I realized we were celebrating a year of monotony.  I thought back to Saturday when my baby scared me to death by violently throwing up for a few hours.  I recalled the excessive tears my daughter produces during a tantrum.  I thought of the poop-- soooo much poop-- that I smell and clean up everyday.  I felt a pit in my stomach when I remembered how alone I feel up here in Salt Lake City, and how I count down the minutes until Paul comes home so I can talk his ear off recounting the story I told Andrea before her nap and how many times Sam drooled on my toe (five, in case your wondering).  I thought about how hard I am on myself and how I hate being criticized but can't stop picking at my own faults.  Suddenly, 365 days of that sounded rather bleak, and I wanted nothing more than to stuff my head in the couch like an ostrich.

My sweet husband, who is also a superhero, could tell I was not feeling well.  He hugged me tight and asked me what was the matter.  "I'm just having a hard day," I whispered.

"I noticed," he replied.  He kept his arms around me and gently rubbed my back as I absorbed his scent.  Breathe, I thought.  This is a year to breathe.