On My Missing Village

To the stay-at-home parent, mom, dad, or human who is battling the demon of isolation: don’t give up. The ache within you for community and “something” more is the most sane thing in the world.

The Birth Story of Aislin Gemma

We chose the name Aislin because it means “dream” in Gaelic and the only reason we even knew we were pregnant is because people kept having dreams that we were. She was a surprise from start to finish and we wouldn’t have it any other way. She is 6 pounds, 5 ounces, and 19 inches of sheer, peaceful delight. We are so excited to do life with her!

On Waiting & Not Having It Suck

Chose to spend your waiting in contentment that acknowledges the sometimes crappy reality of human wistfulness for something greater and beyond, but that also allows you to blossom, rightfully, in the midst of all the uncertainty and the patience that seems to stretch out like butter over too much bread.

On Second Baby Things

So, while this baby has a significantly smaller stockpile of trinkets waiting for him or her on the outside, the beautiful journey from inside the womb has been more transformative than I could have hoped for. To tangibly and actively seek surrender to the impenetrable mystery of life without getting restless in the waiting: that, to me, is motherhood now.

Four Years By

It completed me because it emptied me first. It is completing me more intricately and perfectly every day because I am constantly being emptied within in.

Restlessness + Coziness

But still, even on my very busiest days, I don’t like relaxing. I get restless in the morning drinking my coffee on the weekends, wondering what I’ll do to fill in my time without going to work. When I get back from school, I feel an insatiable need to tidy up every space I see needing my assistance before we make dinner.

Waiting for Good Things

This means that, for all intents and purposes, the satisfaction that comes from enjoying a good thing is nearly always preceded by careful preparation and self control in anticipation of enjoying that good thing. I won’t relax to a show unless the dishes are put away and everything in my apartment is in its proper place. If I’m starving and preparing a meal, I won’t take bites beforehand because I want that first mouthful to be the best thing since sliced bread. I usually work out hard in the morning before I have breakfast or shower, because getting in sweat and grit prior to doing anything else that day gives me such a rush of accomplishment.

Five Things We All Need To Be Enjoying A Lot More

So, if you’re feeling blahh or unsatisfied or tired or anything remotely lukewarm inside, I encourage you to seek out these five things, or even just one of them. I think that most of these things are why even poor people can be authentically joyful and radiantly happy, or conversely, why successful people who seem to have it all come up feeling empty on the inside. These things are what make the spiritual and physical composite clocks inside of us tick, and we all could do with doing our best to cultivate them, water them, and take advantage of them as best we can.

Still Good

When my dad died, I received so many messages and letters, but one in particular from my brother-in-law has stuck with me. It wasn’t long, but this line jumped out of the paper: “He is still good.” And every time that I return home, I remember this truth. I intermingle with a family that has unhealed wounds, old arguments, and tensions, still recovering from the aftermath, but He is still good.

On Free Surrender

Surrender has usually conjured up connotations of passiveness, of relinquishing control when there was control and discipline to be had, Surrender meant a lack of determination and decisiveness, which read like weakness to my structured mind.

Working, Resting, Playing

It’s a tension that maybe humans haven’t had to navigate as much before this day and age, maybe because we were too busy working and getting food and staying alive to worry about whether or not we were striking the balance of leisure and work. In any case, I find that I find myself worrying less about the balance of it all when I am just actually doing the things, both relaxing and working, without worrying about what I am supposed to be doing.

At Home

Entering into my grandma’s house with what would surely be the last time, I felt an overwhelming rush just in the smell of that home that greeted me with opening the door. I noticed all of the old, familiar, dear photographs on the wall and all the little trinkets of dogs and lighthouses and boats that she loved to keep. Touching her four-poster bed again, putting away all of her lockets and rings, gently packing away pots and pans and lamps and trays: it all was heavy, heavy, heavy with meaning.

On Rest and Guilt

ut when I stop the hurriedness of my life to play with Leo on the living room floor, to relax on the couch with coffee and a friend, to talk on the phone for two hours with my mom, to paint something that I have no intention of selling or photographing, it is a constant temptation for me to scold myself interiorally.

On Children and Grandeur

Being a mom and teacher has forced me to direct all of my talents and abilities for the flowering of others: to instill joy and wonder and virtue and an endless desire for the beautiful in little minds because I cannot think of anything else in the universe worth doing more.

On Discovering and the Like

I had always heard of an artistic experience in which the artist wasn’t really meticulously planning a piece, but rather, he was just discovering it with his hands and his eyes as it took shape right within the making of the thing. I had never quite understood that, though, because the “creation” of art was always some very calculated study of something that I almost fought for after hours and hours of work. The end product was always the true moment of satisfaction and joy for me: look, look what I have completed.

On Minutes Collecting

I recently read a quote that said something like “the reason time exists is because we cannot experience everything at once.” So maybe, this week, instead of getting caught behind the perpetual passing of minutes, we could try to embrace our ordinary and sluggish moments as a collection of experiences, handed to us one at a time, all for own good.