stop and think

Sometimes I'm asked if I ever stop and think Whoa, we have three boys.
And I'm like NO. I never have time to stop and think.
Except occasionally, and then it's mostly just about how lucky I am.


Eleanor Mae

It's been a big week for our family. The boys were SO EXCITED to meet their new cousin, Eleanor Mae.

Babies are exquisitely life-affirming - vibrant and vulnerable. And she is perfect - dark blue eyes like miniature Lake Tahoes, long toes, fuzzy blonde hair, charitable cheeks.

Tucker got a little teary-eyed holding her. Tolliver calculated what grade he'll be in when she goes to kindergarten, thinking ahead about helping her learn the ropes. Hank sang to her, his "quietest version" of Twinkle Twinkle. She has no idea how adored she is already.

Grandma Eleanor was the kind of lady who smiled with her whole face, who looked at you with eyes that made you feel very loved.
We can't wait to see what kind of lady little Nora turns out to be.


It was a trip.

We made a quick trip to Detroit, playing in the sand at Belle Isle beach, visiting Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford, trying to catch a Tigers game at Comerica Park.
The big boys admitted that Dearborn was more fun than they anticipated but they're easy to please with hotel pools and breakfast buffets. Tucker was enthralled by a Thomas Edison actor telling his story at Menlo Park, and fascinated by the Wright Brothers cycle shop. Tuck also spent a lot of time trying to figure out the probability machine. Tolliver enjoyed the Heroes of Flight exhibit and riding in a Model T. Hank's very favorite thing was the MTV green screen at the museum; he made approximately fifteen music videos with dance moves that attracted a fairly large audience. We owe the boys a raincheck for the ballgame, and are hoping for a more relaxing getaway in the near future.


this fine country?

I've spent some time recently trying to reconcile what we're proud of here, as Americans.
Besides women who play soccer, OMG.

The news makes it feel mostly difficult to embrace any type of patriotic optimism,
and sometimes my own efforts seem like a mess.
I can't brush my teeth without my mind turning to cold concrete floors
and I can barely get through a poem without tears.

It's not dumb skin or smart skin, 
or keep us apart skin;
or weak skin or strong skin, 
I'm right and you're wrong skin.
Footage of families torn apart at the border and civil rights lessons on the very same bus Rosa rode,
and the boys begin to understand that bad news for brown people is bad news for all of us.

How can we show that we love this country, just not the current version of it? Maybe we need to acknowledge interdependence as a holiday too?

The boys are learning that life extends when you include more people. Each of us brings something, and our vision of community ought to be big enough to see it all,
on the playground or in the church pew, at the dinner table and at the beach.
Together we recall King's love, Hamilton's grit, and try to create in our own small ways a nation of every day kindness, neighborly compassion.
We talk about Washington's honor, Obama's hope, share pride with LGBTQ friends, and acknowledge the sacrifices of soldiers.
And we read books.

A citizen can pick up litter
A citizen can pull a weed 
A citizen can help that critter 
A citizen can plant a seed 
A citizen can aid a neighbor 
A citizen can join a cause 
A citizen can write a letter 
A citizen can help change laws

So about this fine country of ours? Maybe we can make it fine...

The Skin You Live In (text)
What Can a Citizen Do? (text)
The Scrambled States of America (photo)


whatever is left

Having spent most of the day outside, I hopped in the shower once we were home.
Andy had asked Tolliver to help him make dinner, and he began by taking orders, offering breakfast options. He hollered at me from the bathroom door about whether I wanted fresh berries and an english muffin, scrambled eggs or sausage. I came downstairs to the table set, milk poured, smiling boys times four. I really don't mind whatever's left because I already have more than I ever imagined.


a closet, for books

so that dreaming could have a room of its own.



^ this deer visits *every* day
Also, it eats a LOT.
^ It's a bearplane. I came up with that on the fly.