Thursday, January 23, 2014

She went under, continued.

It has been more than 5 months and today I took her to swimming class.
I didn't think about it this morning at all. I just got her suit on, grabbed the baby and went.
To be fair, my husband has taken her the last two weeks, as I have enjoyed the quite time, getting to write or have lunch alone. As the countdown has begun on him leaving, he enjoys getting to take them to do their thing. Whether it is a park, dance class or swimming.

But today my husband had interviews to conduct over the phone so I opted to go. Even while grabbing her green alligator towel, it didn't occur to me that she had once nearly drown.

God, I don't even know if I can write this all...

Deep breath JD, deep fucking breath.

When I got the kids out of the car I still wasn't thinking about it. I took them into the locker room and between the naked old lady ass and Zeke running toward the running showers, it just didn't occur to me the insane amount of anxiety that was waiting for me. That had been waiting for me.

Like, insane amounts.

So she dashes ahead of me as we weave through the locker room hall that leads us to the pool. Past all the little feet and Moms with their giant bags. She makes it to the pool and points out her teacher "I don't even know her name but she's nice" was how she introduced me to her. Una, is her name.
She then walks to the steps that slowly bring you into the water, waved vigorously at me like she does and it hit me.

It smacked me really hard, right in the face... and in the chest. It nearly took my breath away as it did hers on that day.

I had Zeke in my arm and I took him out of the pool room to the lobby which separated her from us with a glass wall. I wanted to watch her swim but I couldn't really be in there.
The glass wall was perfect. It gave me the distance I needed and let Z play so that I could just sit there are figure out how I am going to do this.

I kept looking at her in the pool. I took a few pictures even but every time I let my mind wander, I saw her go under.

I am not sure I will ever get that image out of my head. I don't know if there will ever be a time that I can watch her in the water and not see her eyes close and her hands stop moving... I just don't know. But if I could change anything in my life, it would be this. I have always said I have no regrets in my life and there have been a lot of moments I could have lived without.

But no regrets, except that one time I looked away.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


I'll tell you why I didn't like the movie.
And I know a lot of you did or haven't seen it or don't care, but...
I didn't like it.
I heard a lot of chatter about this movie, mostly because I am the sort of anti-princess. Or maybe anti-Disney. Not completely but the barbaric things they do to the parents, they way they pull characters apart, usually family... I'm getting ahead of myself.

This movie was typical Disney. It was no different than the ones that made me feel sad as a child.
As an adult, it didn't make me happy either. Especially sitting there with my daughter. I sort of wish I was taking her to see "Her".

Here's the thing. When I was growing up, in a broken home, someone was "taken" away from me (the fact that the bastard just left is beside the point), for a long period of my life, I felt that I had been robbed.
It was all kinda of sad and dark and there was no explanations. No reason.

Just like Disney.
In this cold ass movie, appropriately titled "Frozen", within the first 10 minutes they kill the parents.
They leave, for no known reason, without the kids, and unceremoniously die when their ship just disappears.

Let me go back (again). As a child, I had family just disappear so this thing that Disney seemingly always does has always rubbed me the wrong way. Why do they have to kill someone important in a movie? Aren't we supposed to be entertained? Do I need a life lesson at the age of 4? Is it necessary to show me how my life can instantly be ripped away? Why not show me (or the younger me, better yet, my daughter) that if you love hard and work hard, life can be really good and if you are lucky, your parents get to grow old and oh, I don't know-be grandparents?! Or maybe you don't have to get married or fall in love, although the thought of that makes me a little sad but what if we just highlight an amazing time in someone's life?

I remember thinking as a child that in these "kid" movies Disney was making, it seemed like they always took the Mothers away- or just didn't have them. I am pretty well adjusted now but as a kid, that was my biggest fear in life. She was all I had... I can't imagine my daughter watching these movies where the parents die and that thought popping into her head for the first time.

What an awful thing you will be responsible for, Disney. I might add that I think you should be ashamed of yourself. I don't know what kind of messed up childhood you had but I can't imagine walking up to an innocent child and putting the thought in her head that one day her parents might "go on a trip" and never return. Because my child actually has a pretty amazing life. She is smart and funny and her parents actually constantly work at being a good couple to insure that we are not only a family that stays together but a family that WANTS to stay together.

This girl of mine is just 4, you see. She is innocent. In her movies, I want her to laugh not cry, I want her to smile, not sigh. I need her to leave telling me funny things she saw, not wonder aloud "why 'hers' parents never came back to play with her".

She doesn't need to be thinking about not having parents, I mean OH MY GOD! How scary, right? She also doesn't need to be thinking about having a 20" waist when she's grown up, but that is for another day.

So today I will try to redirect her Q&A, as 4 year olds do... I will just try to teach her to be brave.
(I'm okay with that one.)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spaghetti Family

As I put the finishing touches on out Twitter and Instagram feeds tonight, I am not only super tired, I am super stoked.
What is happening in our lives (and in many lives) has come from a 5 minute conversation I had with my husband, over the phone on less than glamorous, venerable morning. I was just thinking about how we do things and how they are fine but the amount of things he was missing and the amount of travel we were missing... it just didn't add up that morning. And I am happy to say that months later, it still doesn't add up. We are starring at a calendar that has him leaving in February and unpacking in June.
That morning I just started talking about how we need to get back together more and that there must be an easier way. He agreed, he loves his life, he loves to tour but missing the things in our kids lives, it is hard to justify sometimes. In our weaker moments, we wonder "what the fuck are we doing?!" But lately in our more sound moments, we are still missing each other so much, it is palpable.
Well, what we came up with may or may not turn out to be easier, but I do know that it is turning out to be such a cool thing for us. For all of us. Even the little ones are getting in on the action. Well, not the baby but Elvis, our 4 year old is loving the idea of the trailer. Being with her Daddy though, that's what she is loving.
We are all planning and working together. Our daily conversations are thick with "next year" and "in the trailer"... it's all still a mystery but isn't that what we all need? Isn't that what so many of us are missing?
Maybe not. Maybe we are in fact totally crazy but I'll take it. Having seen my husband 9 days in 7 months this past year was enough to make a change.
There are so many things that we will miss, that we take advantage of now but I am looking forward to that. Looking forward to seeing what is necessary in our lives, what we are doing/spending/wasting in our day to day. We are all looking forward to a more simple life, homeschooling and seeing the country together and who can forget the live music. Touring is something that I have always enjoyed and used to be a part of.

I invite you to come join us on our podcast

And to pop over to our website

We are

Thank you!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

"How do you do it?"

We are asked this question a lot.
With him doing what he does and our having three kids, we are often asked
"how do you do it?"

Mostly we just laugh it off and say we could tell them but we'd have to kill them but lately I am kinda wondering the same thing. It is insane the amount of time we are not together. It is crazy how much he misses and how much I do alone. CRAZY! But you know, I don't feel bad for him or myself. We are a team, if nothing else. The day to day just turns into a machine or maybe we are the machines... days turn into weeks and sometimes months when we are apart and in the end, it all works.

That moment when we arrive at the baggage claim, waiting for him to come up or down the escalator. That is why we do what we do. That is why it is worth it. Our kids aren't thinking of the time they couldn't fall asleep because they missed him so much. They aren't thinking about the ballet class he missed or how they missed eating his perfect omelets every morning (I make a shit omelet).
The moment they see his face they are only elated that he is home. Long gone is the chalkboard count down in Quattro's room and the morning explanation to Elvis of "how many more days?" are gone. When I see them see him, that is my happiest moment. I think it is my first big exhale since I held my breath the day he left... I have to flip a switch or I fear I won't be able to do it again. I know he does too. It is not easy for him to leave while Zeke is crawling and to come back to him walking. My heart would break, his thaws out when he gets home. I don't think he lets himself get sad or in that space of missing things.

It all works, however it does is sort of beyond me. I spend my days waking up to them and enjoying the space of time before we go to bed, to wake up and do it all again.

It's good. I don't take it for granted that I get to be here with them all day. I love the fact that I can be here waiting for our son when he gets home from school. The little kids are napping and we get to hang out and I can listen to him. He can tell me about his day, talk about how shitty middle school kids are and we can just hang. I'm not unfulfilled in my role. It is my best work ever and I know I don't get to do it forever.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


So we are doing it. My guy and I are doing our first podcast and it is really fun.
I almost hate to talk about how much I enjoy it because it makes me feel like I am being too... I don't know. You all know the people that do shit that only involves or revolves around themselves?
I hate when people talk about amazing things that ONLY benefit them.
Shit, maybe this is a bad thing for me...
I have thought my whole life about this sort of thing
I have had friends forever that do and say things that are only good for them. That don't involve or evolve and I am just not that kind of girl... maybe this makes sense to no one but me.
the podcast, the family blog it is all for our next journey. You may or may not know that my family and I are going to take this shit on the road at the end of the year.
We are packing our belongings away and we are going to live in a trailer for a year, to travel and be together as a family. Maybe mainly to do an experiment but really, in my heat to be together... but I know it is not going to be easy. I hope in the end they know it was for them.
It is going to change our lives and more importantly our children's lives, forever and that is really important to me. I mean, I know what the day to day can bring them if we stay here in the 206 but if we let ourselves see the world and do what my husband is doing, we could give them something we can't sign them up for. Sure, we will miss Little League and ballet but I think we will get so much more.
So look us up.
Subscribe to and look for our podcast on itunes.
Spread the word and lets do something cool, for everyone.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Follow your... err... dreams?

Growing up I had a pretty good life. It was decent.
I had a really amazing family but you know, the nuts and bolts were pretty good.

Divorce, check!
Three bedroom house in the valley, check!
Neighborhood shenanigans, check!
Problems in school, check!
Adulthood met kicking and screaming, check!

But as I am in my 30's and raising 3 children, one who is 13 now- I am curious about what my "dreams" were... as a youth, growing up in middle america.
What did I want to "be"?

I have no idea.

My husband and I joke about what we want to be when we "grow up", knowing full well we should be just that already. Sure we are in the throws of "Teen Mom" and all that good stuff but really with a spouse, a house and kids- growing up is upon us.
We are, as they say, in the throws of it.

So what does that do for my childhood dreams? I mean, I guess I didn't make it.
He did. He has only wanted to be one thing and he is it. He is an enigma.

There's a quote by Bukowski that I have always loved, it sort of made me feel better about the whole childhood dream. Maybe it has nothing to do with childhood, maybe it is the thing in us we finally find we love.

"Find what you love and let it kill you."

Alrighty then.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Have you seen my hat?

As I sift through my list of things I gotta do, I am realizing that lately I am wearing a LOT of hats.
Actually we all are. And I mean ALL of us.
I am guessing all families do. Working families that try to spend most of their time together (when they can) have to.

Today we are recording Quattro's "Vacation" song to use for our little video project.
This is a song he wrote for me for Mother's Day. It is such a great song, he sang it at a friends memorial and now we are using it for a new project. I am so excited to let people hear it. For the masses to hear it. It's simply amazing and eerily mature.

We are digging deeper into this adventure of ours. We are stopping at nothing in order to make this trip anything but ordinary... as if it would ever be. Elvis is doing a voice over for the video. Hearing her read lines is really quite sweet.

So while we all take off our production hats and I my writer/videographer hat, we will put this day to bed and let the evening flow like it do. Family walks and dinner will slide into evening baths and bedtime stories.

We all need our beauty sleep, as tomorrow it's time for our close up!
(much more on that later)

Happy New Year!

So it happened. We are now living in 2014.
To say I was born in the 70's is like admitting I am a relic.
Although I realize I am not, but still, don't you feel old?

This past year is something of a blur.
I know that a big part of this feeling is that my husband was gone for most of it.
My youngest turned 1, my daughter 4 and holy shit, Quattro is 13!
A lot has happened and all in all it was a good year, but I am glad it is gone.

Reflecting is something I do often but really, I try to just move forward.
Last year, with my daughters near drowning I feel like looking back on 2013, that is the thing that comes to surface. I know that there are so many amazing moments, Zeke's first words and first steps... but really, the pool flashes in my head and I just try to look forward.

This next year will bring so many changes for our family. We are preparing for a HUGE move.
We will be packing up our house and going on the road for a year and I gotta say, I am so ready.
I am looking forward to doing something new. I have this down, the living in a house and getting kids to school, baseball, ballet. I understand all that goes into this part of life but next year will not only bring new beginnings, it will teach us all a new way of life.

We are surrounded (especially after Christmas) by hundreds of toys, books and games- next year we will learn to entertain ourselves on very few things like this. I wonder what it will do to their desire to consume as adults. Maybe they are too young now to take any of this with them but at the very least I hope they thank us for putting ourselves out there to do something different.