My bed* was getting a little saggy so Kevin fixed it for me.  I cannot help but be at least a little offended.


I picked up Leo from his friend’s house and they have the perfect Home Alone staircase.  I was bombarded with all sorts of things on my way up.  This sign was my favorite.


Some things should never get cut short.


Leo tries on a pair of his stuffed animal’s suspender pants.  He is not the first Beto to have tried.


A graphic organizer I made to help me with my novel.


Crystal clear!

Leftovers, including but not limited to:
Spaghetti and meatballs
Chicken fajitas with tomatillo salsa
Pork chops with plum sauce
Whatever vegetables in the fridge have not gone mushy
Chocolate chip cookies

*Yes, I say “my bed” and not “our bed.”  Part of the solution to ending my insomnia was to have Kevin move to the couch.  It makes me sad, but on the other hand I am also much happier now that sleep does not a ten hour battle that everyone loses.  Hopefully we can start phasing him back in soon!

If I Had Energy to Blog

I’d blog about the three days I spent at a writing conference.

I’d blog about how the agents I met with pleaded with me to finish my novel so I can send it to them.

I’d blog about how overwhelmed and full of doubt I felt after the elation wore off.

I’d blog about how I cried and cried when the boys went back to school and friends, family, and my therapist propped me back up and got me back out there again.

I’d blog about how my only writing goal this year is to learn to be happy and also be a writer.

I’d blog about my newest picture book, “Literally,” and how I turn a whole class of students into bananas.

I’d blog about  chicken and dumplings, ginger carrot soup, peanut butter chip brownies, tomatillo salsa, chocolate macadamia nut cookies, and loaf after loaf of homemade bread.

I’d blog about the hours of my day I scrap together to read beautiful books and how lovely it is that reading is a part of being a writer.

Yes, if I had the energy, I’d probably find a funny way write about all this and then tie it together with a montage of embarrassing photos of the boys.

But I don’t.  It’s been an emotionally draining beginning to the year, but as of last week, I have met my goal every day: to be happy and to also be a writer.


And I’m totally good with that.

Chicken and dumplings
Lemon garlic broccoli
Peanut butter chip brownies

Why do I write?

People have been asking me this, especially people who are close to me and have seem me struggling, breaking down, hurting, frustrating, raging, falling down again and again.  They have seen me sobbing on the floor, literally and figuratively, and they ask me why?  Why do I keep doing it if it’s this hard?  Why don’t I stop and just enjoy life and do all the other things I love doing that don’t also make me cry, like laundry?  Laundry has never made me cry, right?.  (Well, actually it did once, but I was nine months pregnant with my third child and it was to be expected.)

I asked the question of my writing coach and she reminded me: I write because I am a writer.  I have something to say, and as hard as it is to get the words out and sounding right, it is more devastating to keep them inside.

I write because I spend a day at the beach, and this is what I feel:

And oh, how her heart broke and swelled when she saw the sea. All the life it had given, all the life it had taken back.  She could feel the struggle for life under the waves even as she felt the calm those great, lolling waves offered her.

The sea! The sea! She tasted the water, and it was the same as her tears, but it sparkled so, and the wind it brought made her think she had no use for tears anymore.

But it was a trick, for the moment she left the sea, the her heart despaired.

And even though I had these thoughts while sitting by the ocean, I couldn’t very well turn to the person sitting next to me and say them. 

Besides, while I felt all this sitting on the shore, it wasn’t until I sat down to write that I knew how big and beautiful the thought was.  My mind or my heart can start a thought but it takes my hands to finish it.

Now it’s posted on my blog and I hear my soul gasp—you’re not going to share this piece of me, are you?  But I am.  I did.  It’s embarrassing, yes, but the gasp, the thrill—it’s also something to live for.

Maybe someone who reads this has felt the same about the sea.  Maybe someone is  struck by the newness of my thought in their head.  Maybe someone will read that part again and wonder if I was writing about myself or about them.

Here they are, my words.  I give them all to you.

With a gasp and a thrill, I give them all to you.

Pasta with roasted vegetables & fresh garlic
Crusty bread
Fresh fruit

More 1st Day Pix

Because I’m feeling self-indulgent.







So obviously, I am here today so I survived Day One.  I was not alone in feeling weepy.  At one point my friend texted me a picture of a watermelon in the basket part of her grocery cart and said she felt sad because her kids should be sitting there instead of the watermelon.  I texted back that I’m right there with her. 

I miss my watermelons, too.

Baked potatoes with cheese sauce
Broccoli, also with cheese sauce
Blackberry hombre popsicles, sans cheese sauce

And here we go again…

Yes, the first day.  It is upon us.  For the past three days, it has felt like the clock has been counting down instead of forward, in an ominous, very loud and obnoxious way.  And here we are, today.

Does anyone else find it disturbing how abruptly the school year starts?  Like how one day we are here, looking like this…



And the next we are here, looking like this:


Shouldn’t there be some thing of some sort to mark the change?  A fireworks show and marching band to send them all off in their brand new shoes?  A month of half days followed by a month of 3/4 days to ease in slowly?  A superintendent who shows up and gives us all a hard slap in the face the day before?

But no.  One day it’s this:


The next, that.


And there they go. 


And here I am.

Penne a la vodka sauce
Roasted brussels sprouts   
Chocolate chip zucchini bread