Viewing entries in
Just Sayin'

party pooper


party pooper

I planned, prepared for, and hosted my first real party yesterday. Yea, my first. At 37. I mean, I planned my wedding, but I paid other people to execute the plan on the day of, so it wasn’t all me. And this time it wasn’t all me either, but it mostly was. And, I guess I’m writing about it because I find myself, a day later, wondering if it was good enough. Was it impressive? Well done? Unique? Valued? Really seen and really noticed. My personal insecurities projected onto the event I put on.  

I’m a little uncomfortable with how uncomfortable I am with not knowing what others thought about the production/product. I don’t like being so insecure so late in life. AND, there’s a part of me that is impressed by myself. I picked out, ordered and arranged flowers for goodness’ sake! And the “brand” consistency throughout was pretty spot on. But, I felt and feel lackluster. It’s a theme in these recent days and months of mine. My daughter outshines me easily (and I want her to - she’s so so precious and worthy). My hair has thinned and fallen out. My face only ages. My body is too soft. I look at my camera roll and there’s no evidence that I exist (except for the occasional selfie with Amber). I feel like I don’t matter. I excel at nothing anyone notices and, well, that’s a first for me. And I don’t know how to shake off that uneasy, hurt feeling.


on hormones


So, that night your baby has to do an unplanned 12-hour EEG … and your period decides to return … and your milk dries up? That’s a night you survive. It’s two days later you fall apart.

Eck. Weaning and #momfear and menstruation are a HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD combo.


on feelings

Weird emotional experiences this morning. I know I was already primed, because I’d had some anxiety showing up in my body throughout the day yesterday (pre family photo shoot ... which, my anxiety and angst around is worth a future post, fyi). But, this morning, I had a major high and a major low. 

The high: I was singing Amber her namesake song - “Amber” by 311. It’s breezy and makes us think of our Caribbean vacations. When I went to sip my coffee, it was instant sensory memory - tasted of the best coffee I’ve had ... Jamaican and Costa Rican. So good.

The low: I’d just put Amber down for her morning nap. The Mr. is still sleeping (don’t get me started on that one ... 😡) and I’m alone, sitting down to pump and finish my re-heated coffee, when I feel slightly ill and then feel tears well up. I can’t even place what I was thinking about ... other than wanting to establish some healthy practices (yoga, running, etc.). Maybe that feels impossible and overwhelming right now, I don’t know. But, I’m still feeling on the edge. Still teary-eyed.

And I’m just typing about it out loud because I can. And it helps. 



things that piss me off every.single.time.

  1. Tree carnage (land being cleared for construction).

  2. People being mean to or simply objectifying animals.*

  3. Panhandlers with dogs tied up next to them.

I think the nature of my work with humans has a lot to do with my not getting super angry about human stuff.

I mean, I hear some pretty awful things on a regular basis. I sit with people in the middle of their awful. It’s emotionally draining. After work, I have little left for the rest of life … and what IS left goes to my husband and baby and then the rest of my family.

So, as a result, I get inappropriately angry and saddened by hurting dogs and the loss of green spaces instead of the great social injustices of our age. It may be wrong, but it’s my right.

* Yes, I eat meat. So, I’m admittedly a hypocrite. But, I’m really talking about dogs and horses and rodents and the occasional cat … none of which I eat.


a typical morning


This is some more real life right here. She’s napping and I’m pumping. Double pumping. Hands-free (Yay?!) with the pumping bra. Look at those tummy rolls. No makeup. Bed hair. That’s right, I woke up like this. So, so sexy. I know you’re jealous.


6 weeks old


It's starting to feel more real. Or maybe I am ... starting to feel more real, that is. It's like I've finally gotten a grasp on myself in this new reality. It's still a little disorienting, but I'm feeling more capable of navigating it without leaving myself behind.

We've gotten into a bit of a routine now. I know when she's hungry. I know when she's gassy. I know when she doesn't want her paci and when it's the only thing she's looking for. I've learned she really likes baths (love the warm water like her parents ...) and doesn't completely hate having her diaper changed (turns out, changing her BEFORE she's eaten is NOT the way to go). 

She's way more alert the past week or so - follows me with her eyes and seems to hold a gaze. Whatever that does for connection, it's something solid, because I definitely find myself more entranced and in love with her than I did prior. Her cries cause less distress in me than they did prior. I equate that to a sense of capability and adaptability I've discovered (or grown?). I'm less anxious about doing what it takes to take care of her (and, honestly, myself). That's a bit freeing.

Now my anxieties have more to do with getting a nanny and what my practice will look like financially as I head back to work next month. Time will tell ...



2 weeks old


It’s all still hard, but it’s getting better. Whether that is because of the human ability to adapt to new circumstances or because it’s legitimately slightly easier two weeks in than it was at a week and a half in, I can’t honestly say .... but it’s a tad bit better.

And she’s still adorable. And warm. And squishy. And when she falls asleep on me, immediately after nursing? There’s very little in the world that feels better.  

But she’s been air-side for TWO WEEKS. It feels so much longer and like it’s flown by at the same time. If this is any indication of how fast time will move through her childhood, I’m terrified and sad ... I don’t want to miss it. I want to cherish it. I want to be transformed by the pure joy of it. She’s precious and I never want to lose sight of that ... in fact, I want it to be so real for me that I can’t help but transfer that truth to her ... that she’ll believe it about herself and act and feel accordingly. 

I’ve spent a lot of time holding her and praying over her this past week - for her protection and health and wisdom and salvation and sanctification and innocence and confidence and mental health and relationships ... and I just get the sense that God and I are going to be talking a lot more simply because she exists. 

That’s not a bad by-product of these hard and sacred times.  


UPDATE: It’s a few hours later and I’m on the edge again. A little resentful, a lot lonely, a whole lot more insecure - about my mothering, my instincts, my future ... and it’s feeling really heavy again right now.  I’m tired with no good sleep in sight. I can’t poop or sit comfortably like I could just two weeks ago ... and it’s crazy how body discomfort can really mess with a mind (see previous post at 37 weeks, ha). 

So there’s that real life. 





40 weeks


It’s my due date, and I already have an almost two week old baby girl.

I’m celebrating by changing a dozen diapers, offering up my boobs every couple of hours, trying half a dozen techniques to calm crying (with little, to no, success), and sitting and standing with an excessive amount of caution due to tears in the lady parts.

This ish is hard. Harder than I could have expected. Harder than I wanted. Harder than I would have signed up for. We’ve walked into a very harsh reality. One that is self-doubt inducing, emotionally overwhelming, relationally challenging, and worldview confounding.

In these first days as a family of three, I’ve marveled at her every feature, took thousands of pictures, cuddled her close and posted my pride on social media. But, in and out of those days, I’ve also had what one mom friend called “buyer’s remorse.” I’ve wondered out loud, “what have we done?,” and “what if I’m not wired for this ... what if I forced His hand and she’s going to pay the price for what I lack?” I’ve felt my blood pressure rise, my survival instinct flair up, at a hint of a whimper. I’ve worked hard at breathing deeply when she’s at my breast, hoping against hope that somehow I can spare her reading (and transferring) anxiety from her caregiver. I’ve struggled, tears streaming down my face, just wanting to hear my husband say all these feelings are normal and that I am a good mother, that, somehow, he’s seen me show up and impress him with my maternal instincts. And I’ve cried more, alone on the corner of the couch, when he’s remained silent. 

This is hard. She’s beautiful and precious. And I can’t help feeling like she deserves better than I’m giving her. And that’s all I’ve got right now.




37 weeks

Well, nothing about this is enjoyable.  

I feel disgusting. My thighs are - not kidding - double their normal size. I’ve got a double chin developing. I’ve gained 50 pounds. 5-0. These boobs I paid for? No longer sexy. My ankles and feet and hands are swollen. The extra weight has turned into plantar fasciitis pain in BOTH feet. The belly (and she who dwells/moves within) has turned into very regular and painfully acute back pain - especially while sitting or laying down. The influx of hormones equates to sweat-soaked tossing and turning throughout the night, EVERY night. There’s the bruised ribs, from her stretching ... and the pain in my pelvic area EVERY time I stand up. And the itchy, stretching skin? Yea, that just started. And sometimes when I walk? Feels like I just tore my hip out of joint. 

I can’t paint my toenails. Or bend down. Or help do ANYTHING. 

In my discomfort, I’m grouchy and on edge. I legitimately have a new-found compassion and understanding for chronic pain patients. I will never judge your opioid addiction or grouchiness again. Not being able to be and or do what is desired, when it’s desired and how it’s desired is its own kind of hell.


Now, I know I’m supposed to preface or back-end this complaint with commentary on how it will all be worth it - that the temporary struggle pales in comparison to the joy having a child will bring - but I don’t do platitudes. I also don’t speak from inexperience.

So, all I can say is that I hope I like her. I truly hope I have some astonishing measure of magical connection/attachment to this being I helped create. Right now, I’m just marveling (with slight disgust and an ounce of disdain) at my audacity in thinking I had any right or wisdom enough to embark on plotting for parenthood. Foolish human.

I hope she comes soon. I hope she doesn’t. I’m scared of when she does. I’m eager to find out how it plays out. I want a known in all this unknown. I don’t want things to change. I don’t want to be pregnant anymore. I’m worried about what life looks like when we’re permanently three instead of two. I’m a bigger dichotomy then I’ve ever been and it’s driving me a little bit crazy. The hormones are not helping. 

Relaxin sucks. Ironically. 

And that’s all I’ve got for this Mother’s Day morning. Thanks for letting me be real. 



turns out i'm a three

I thought I was a six, because in all but one test, I tested so. But that one test, it cost money ($12) and it was thorough and from one of the Enneagram experts .... and the explanatory results? Pretty much spot on - in a way the six explanation, though familiar, never quite connected. 

Then I re-listened to Richard Rohr's Enneagram talk ... and, sitting at the kitchen table over laptop speakers with the Mr., I had a head-nodding confirmation. Yup, I'm a performer. An achiever. A success. I am a total three.

It doesn't sound so bad when defined in those terms, right? After all, American culture heralds those qualities. It's built on them, even. And, in large parts, these personality penchants have worked incredibly well for me.

BUT, the truth of being a three is that I've spent most of my life showcasing (and mostly rocking) only about a foot of the miles of depth I actually possess. And I've kept to that foot, because my heart doesn't believe anyone's interested in the rest ... and worse, that if they tapped into it (or rather, if I stopped the show and exposed the rest), no one would stay .... or love me ... or value me. See, we threes are doers. And we're good at what we let you see us do (explanatory sidenote: we run far from that which we don't excel at). But, if we're not doing, then what do we have? What are we left with to give/be? Who are we? 

Realizing I'm a three, facing my years of deceit and reconciling myself to the internal questions I still have yet to wrestle with, has helped me put some structure around some of the general angst I've dealt with in the past couple of years. The personal work (through counseling and intentional practice) I've done over the past six years has moved me away from many of my compulsive three-ish ways and into a healthier behavioral space, but now I'm realizing just how much more room there is to grow.  Maybe more to the point - knowing I'm a three gives me some additional clarity on where the sin still lies and where the compulsive core still gets in the way of my true self. 

Just some thoughts on my latest foray into my personal spiritual journey. More to come, I'm sure ...

23 weeks


Being pregnant is so weird.

It's exciting. It's humbling. It's terrifying. It's perfectly surreal.

As my belly has grown (and with it, aches and attention), I keep being struck with the thought: Is this real life?

And that thought is not at all unfamiliar. I distinctly remember living with that emotional distance and suspended belief when I got married. Before that, it showed up when he put a ring on my finger. Before that, in the dating.

These romantic ideals and joyful milestones in life ... I can't quite shake the thought that I never fully believed they were for me. I mean, for me, TOO. I think I may have thought I was an exception. And I don't know where that evolved from, but my current (and past) bewilderment seems to indicate there has to have been a genesis, right?

Regardless, the fact that there's a living, moving being in my abdominal region right now? The idea that I might actually be a real mom, tasked with the gift of loving and raising a human in just a few short months? It's all just SO weird. That this is happening.

But I'm grateful, even if not fully conscious to it all yet.



I found a tick walking on my dog's back. I picked it and squished it between my nails. Currently feeling like the best mom ever. 




"Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. ..."

Loving the whole of Psalm 16 this morning. Feels kind of like a proclamation of mental health on David's part. He's resourcing with an Eternal nurturer. Describing real resilience. The counselor (and human) in me loves it :)





A few years back, I accidentally started a tradition of reading through Psalms between Christmas and New Year's. This morning, I was wondering why ... and I think there's just something about all that vulnerability, all those emotions - the vacillation between fear and courage, hope and despair, joy and sorrow, and the juxtaposition of the messy human and the beautifully Divine, that resonates with the end of a year and the beginning of another. I want to believe in transformation and revelation and redemption and reconciliation and celebration in 2017 ... and I just don't think I get there without wrestling first with the disappointments and losses and woundings and confusions and griefs of 2016. So, that's what I'm doing this week - leaning into the dichotomy of life on earth and breathing in Hope.


we should be friends

I don’t know you well but I know that look
And I can judge the cover ‘cause I wrote the book
On losing sleep and gaining weight
On pain and shame and crazy trains
Well then, oh, we should be friends
Well then, oh, we can be friends
— Miranda Lambert, "We Should Be Friends"

If you put your "comfy pants" on the moment you get home ...
If you believe leggings ARE pants ...
If makeup is a daily negotiable versus a necessity ...
If you can appreciate top shelf, but given the choice, you'll likely opt for the free beer ...
If you can throw down whiskey like it's water ...
If you love Jesus, but don't know how you feel about the current state of church ...
If you think you can be 35 and still feel 18 (an occasionally act accordingly) ...
If you treat your pets like they are human children ...
If you love God and still (unapologetically) cuss a little (or a lot) ...
If a good summer day needs a body of water, a bikini, a bunch of beer and fun friends ...
If you'll spend more money on travel experiences than house upkeep ...
If you're both headstrong and insecure in each and every moment of your day ...
If your daydreams take you simultaneously to the beach, the mountains, and back in time ...
If you dance in your living room when no one's home ...

Then, yes, we should be friends.*

(*I'm not excluding the rest of you, just giving a shout out to like/life-minded)