Pride = Dramatic Failure

Today is the Daddy Daughter dance at Jo’s school. Jo is very excited. img_20160916_171516084

Jordan is less excited.

But he’s a good dad so he attempts to do the Whip-Nae-Nae out of love for her.2015-11-21-14-08-38

I have three kids, so when they needed volunteers to help set up I was like, “Myself, and all the sticky appendages of myself (children) are more of a traveling disaster than a help, so I will just bake something and bring it.”

I made these beautiful piecrust sandwiches filled with chopped pecans and craisins and baked in a cinnamon egg-wash. YUM! And then I remembered something, after everything was all set to go, of course, no nuts on school campus.

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AH!

So I was like, okay, what’s easy and fast? Rice Krispie Bars!

Off to the store where they sell Rice Krispies and Marshmallows.

And also where they sell Root Beer Floats to fundraise for children with cancer. Right by the front door, where your children will see it and beg to “donate.”

So there I am, with three children, four Root Beer Floats (?), and a cart with a wobbly-wheel.

As you can imagine, we left a trail throughout the grocery store. Eventually an employee was assigned to just follow us around with a Zamboni.
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I get home, yell at everyone to clean up their mountains of crap and swear upon pizza they’re not getting anything for Christmas this year, and get to baking.

News Flash!!! Don’t assume that just because you can make great pies, you can handle Rice Krispies.

It was a disaster. And I know you all think I’m dramatic, so let me give you a reference. It was somewhere between the Bay of Pigs and Mariah Carey in Glitter. kennedy

But, being the attempting-passing-score mom that I am, I have to bring something to the dance! And being the woman who already went through the horrific experience of grocery shopping with three kids today, I am stuck, with these mongrels of strangely-orange triangles covered in burnt chocolate. Don’t believe me the chocolate is burned? Well, four fire-alarms went off this afternoon. img_20160916_171952778

Uh! I wish there was like a “Get Out Free” card for these things. I wish at the PTA they would be like, “Kayleen Barlow, what a sweetie, she tries so hard. I think we should just let her off this year since her contributions only make everyone feel awkward.”

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And I would be like, “YES! Yes thank you!”

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The Worst Comic You Will Ever See

Today is National Suicide Awareness Day. To me, it’s kind of a depressing title, but, it’s all for a good cause.

I have spent a lot of my life depressed. I remember my Marmsy crying in the car, asking me what she had to do to make me happy. Not in the way like, “You’re so spoiled!” But more like, “I don’t understand! What are you so sad about? What can I do to make you happy?”

There wasn’t a lot she could have done. It’s not common for young people to be diagnosed. Only a long time later, in a year of therapy, did my therapist tell me my actions were a sign of Borderline Personality Disorder.

I’m not really here to trudge through all that. The truth is, I was lucky to have a husband who literally dragged me to a therapist, and a doctor who got me the correct medication and diagnosis, and a wonderful woman who took me and the kids in when I was on suicide watch, so I didn’t have to stay in the hospital. In short, I had people who did their job and just proved themselves to be awesome human beings.

And I am so grateful.

I remember those first few months of healing, I constantly told Jordan, “I just can’t believe this is how normal people feel. I just can’t believe I can feel happy. I’m actually not in pain right now. I can’t believe I can go to bed without this crushing pain.”

It’s been two years now. Two years of being able to get back to my life. I hope I never forget how lucky I am, or how wonderful it is, to just be able to feel happy. To not be scared all the time. I was so afraid. All the time. And I love living without anxiety.

Through all of this I think I have learned how simple happiness can be. It’s having kids who snore, and a husband who plays nerf guns, a baby who smiles when she sees you. Today I laid on the floor while Jordan played piano, the baby toddled around screaming, and the kids played. I was so happy to be able to enjoy my family and the simple times we have together.

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I wanted to have a picture of it. So I drew it. And that made us all laugh quite hard. (JJ says he looks like a leprechaun.) But still, now I can remember this afternoon and how good it is to be able to be happy. And to just take that happiness when it comes for all its worth, because it’s a gift.

Simple things are beautiful.

Maybe is Good Enough

Yesterday was my third child’s birthday. We call her Maybe. She turned 1. Most of you don’t know anything about her, because her life is very private. Even Jordan and I feel in the dark quite a bit.

The other night we were having dinner and we love to play games. I said everyone had to go around the table and say what they would do if they could go back in time. I went first. I said I would go back, find out where Benedict Cumberbatch grew up, move in next door to him, and be the love of his life.

Jordan said he would go back in time to meet Maybe as a baby, and then be able to watch her through those first 7 months of her life that we missed out on.

Of course after this I felt like a terrible human being. But, these things do happen, and I have accepted it.

It is not easy being a foster parent. Nothing is ever decided as a foster parent. It is a complicated process in a complicated system. But one thing is for certain.

We love this baby. She is our daughter. She is the third love of our lives. We would move heaven and hell to make her happy. And Shmo and JJ have given their whole hearts to her. She has come into this family and made us complete. And we love her mother too. I feel I have gained another sister when I am with her mom and we truly hope the best that all life has to offer for her.

Yesterday, as we tried to convince Maybe to eat some of her birthday cupcake, we all went around and said the things we love about her.

  1. Maybe, we love your chubby cheeks and big round belly.
  2. We love your shy, reluctant giggle.
  3. We love the way you scream in pure joy whenever someone comes home.
  4. We love the way you toddle around with your arms in the air.
  5. We love the way you come looking for us and knock on the doors.
  6. We love your huge, wide mouthed smile.
  7. We love your giant blue eyes.
  8. We love your ridiculously long and unruly hair.
  9. We love how you think you’re so funny when you put food down your diaper.
  10. We love how you make a run for the mud whenever the door opens.
  11. We love how you bounce your booty up and down when music plays.
  12. We love how you need 5 pony-tails to get all the hair out of your face.
  13. We love how you pat our backs when we snuggle.
  14. We love how you always have to be the top of the dog-pile.
  15. We love that you love stroller walks and bike rides.
  16. We love your knack for finding all the lost Legos.
  17. We love the funny scared face you make when the wind blows in your face.
  18. We love that it is hard to hold onto you in water, because you’re so fat it feels like you’ll bob away.
  19. We love how you try to hide under your blankets in the morning.
  20. We love that you are ours.

Maybe, there is no telling what will happen, just as with everything else in life, there are risks. But we hope you always know you are our daughter. You are our family. Maybe you’ll stay with us forever, maybe you’ll leave us early, but no matter what, know that you are always enough. Know that we feel like the luckiest family in the world to have gotten that call on a Thursday, about a baby that needed a home by Monday.

When I came and saw you in that room of cribs, and you looked at me with those huge eyes, I felt so scared. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to give you everything you needed. But you have taught me that love is always enough.

And now that you’re here, I can’t imagine sitting down at this keyboard without you banging on the keys and making me erase half of everything I’ve written.

I won’t lie, your dad and I have sacrificed a lot to have you here with us. But it has all been worth it. No matter what we will never regret our baby girl.

Maybe is perfect. Maybe is more than good enough.

Tears and Easter Have All The Same Letters

It is 1 a.m. here in Southern California. It has been Easter for one hour. And I have been crying for a little less than that. True, I did stay up too late, and true, I do have that most awful of female conditions – the period – and true, I have been emotionally strung out in other ways recently. But, still, I am crying. Because it is Easter, and that makes me feel incredibly lonely.

As I enjoy these perfect 75 degree and gently windy days I find myself constantly wondering what the weather is like in Minnesota. I see my children running outside in their bare feet and imagine them in heavy boots and hats. I flinch as the cars flip by me and zig zag on the ten lane highways and I begin to wish for the slow crawls of northerners on a snow day.  And don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about my life in God’s little perfect bubble of ocean breeze and hiking trails. It’s just that, I feel so far from home. The time has come for me to set down roots for my own little family, to be the mom that guides the traditions and establishes patterns for my kids to miss when they are older. And I feel wholly unprepared for that.

Easter is awesome. And I didn’t realize I felt that way until it changed for me. Perhaps gathering a basket of eggs is somehow related to a former pagan ritual. And maybe chocolate bunnies are just a way for Hallmark to get me to spend more money. But who the freak cares? A basket of colorful plastic brings me back to that feeling of security when, what seemed like countless family members, would surround me. And eating the waxy ear off a chocolate bunny brings me back to my grandmother handing one out to each of us grand kids.

It was on an Easter that my great-grandmother wore my huge purple monster slippers cause her feet were cold. And then she shuffled outside while the rest of us cheered like she had saved the world and we took a big family picture right then. With the purple, hairy slippers front and center. And everyone was smiling so big because a 90 year-old woman looked ridiculous in those slippers. And I wasn’t particularly close to her, but that doesn’t matter, because she is part of my family, and she is a permanent part of Easter to me now. I actually remember all of us cousins discussing the weird wrinkly feeling of her cheek when we gave her the obligatory kiss. I hope she never caught on to us.

In my family. You would walk in the front door of some relative’s house. then whoever was first to see you would yell “The Downings are here!” and from the other room you would here “Hey!” and “Hello Downings!” and “Finally we can eat!” and “What took you so long?” And there would be some bickering between my mom and dad about whose fault it was we were late, and then we would all settle in and the day would fly by with grandma trying to feed us all like we were chickens in need of fattening before she could cook us.

Of course, there was the Easter Egg Decorating Competition. This held the most weight out of any other competition in my family. The winner received a perfect, smooth egg carved out of marble by my grandfather. To be prominently displayed on its own sacred handmade wooden pedestal for the rest of the year. Whoever won the Egg Decorating Contest was revered as some sort of god for the rest of the year. This was the big papoola people.wp_20160325_18_21_48_pro

And then there would be an Easter Egg hunt on my grandparents huge lawn. And there was one golden egg with a five dollar bill in it and, oh boy, we would hunt. It got intense. I distinctly remember people tackling each other one year. It wasn’t a real holiday until at least two kids were in an ace bandage and the landscaping had been ruined. And that went for every gathering. I seem to remember my cousin Sam usually being the injured one. And I know Sophie was like a rubber band and could be hit by a wrecking ball and laugh about it. And I remember the impression that my grandpa thought we were all a bunch of gooses who needed some time in the American Military.

I just wish I could go back to who I was in those times and appreciate them more. I didn’t see how lucky I was to be that person in that moment. And I guess that’s life, especially the adolescence part. You’re too busy being dramatic about everything to see that what you have now is good and it won’t last forever.

I got two Easter pictures this weekend. One showed the Egg Decorating Contest submission of my sister and her daughters. The other showed the smashed up mini-van of my sister and her sons. Both made me cry. I love my life in California and I know I am blessed. But I miss my family. I miss having to converse on the impossible task of giving an egg curly brown hair, and then working hours on building a magical department of mysteries as a set for that egg. And I hate that when I hear my nephews were in a car accident I don’t get to squeeze them and thank God all bones are still in place.

I just miss my family. And that is the simplest way to put it.

Thank the Lord for Winnie the Pooh, who said the things we all feel. “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” (You gotta love that bear.)

And so while I miss my family so much, and I miss loud holidays with yelling and crying and laughing and begging grandma to put the food away, I am going to try really hard not to make the same mistake twice. I have learned my lesson. And I have to calm down enough to realize that who I am right now, with what I have in this moment, is not going to last forever. Soon my kids will not want to search for eggs in the backyard, and they will be too old to want a picture with the Easter bunny, and one gummi bear in a plastic egg is gonna start to look cheap. So I will take this Easter that I can get.

And I will think of my family back home. And I will squeeze the one I have here, in this strange magical land where the days are all perfectly the same.

And I am gonna cry. But I am also gonna smile. Because it’s Easter. And that is just how it has always been.

 

When You Become Your Mother

ked29 (2)If you were anything like me, (self-proclaimed awful, horrible, ungrateful swine of a teenager) then you probably hated your mother at times. Especially during your formative years.

I always viewed my mother in her attempts to protect us, or teach us something, or flip her lid when she just couldn’t handle another eye-roll, and thought she was so unfair and naive and unbelievably out-of-touch.

And, if I am not mistaken, this happened to you, too. Because I feel like it has happened to about 99% of the female population. Heck, I know it happened between my mother and her mother.

It’s just something that comes with having a daughter.

IMG_20160118_145412328And my turn is coming.

I remember saying, “I will NEVER do that!”

I probably used that phrase for anywhere between 5 and 10 habits of my mother. (Now she is gonna call me and ask me what those 5 to 10 things were and it’s gonna be a lovely Skype meeting.)

Anyways. I saw those things and they were HUGE. They were the end-all of her legacy. But little did I realize, in my impaired teenage brain, that to have 5 to 10 things you couldn’t stand was not a bad percentage for the 100’s of other things she passed down. Through her looks, and her manner of sitting down, and the way she ordered something at the drive-thru window, and the way she sighed when she got red sauce on her shirt. (She will probably bring up those examples in the Skype meeting, too.)

me and momAll in all, I sigh the exact same way when my kids have pushed me to my mummy limit. The sigh that means “I should have been an artist and moved to Barcelona.” And I mutter under my breath in the same way when someone on the road won’t let me in. And I become completely deaf to my children when reading. Just like her.

But there are other things, too, in my life. Things I see today that I saw through different eyes as a little girl. To me it comes as a surprise when the things I cherish in my new family are the things my mother upheld for us in her own family.

the famTonight, as I was loading the dishwasher and listening to Jo work her heart out on her piano, I realized I became my mother in a way that I never even knew I wanted to. But this new home in this new place felt like the home I grew up in because my mother’s habits were here.

Then I saw the way I kiss Jo’s forehead and rub her hair back before turning the light out as a legacy from my mother. I saw the egg-salad sandwiches with potato chips and watermelon as a Downing staple. And I realized that my way of saying “hm?” in a bored manner when reading is just an echo of my mother’s voice.

mom making flowerThen I understood that for all my youthful promises of rising above the “horrible” ways of my mother, I had become more like her than I even once feared. And it made me happy. Really, really happy. Because she was actually pretty dang good.

Moms are never gonna be perfect. My grandmother wasn’t. My mother wasn’t. And I’m not. And on and on it goes. And on and on daughters go moaning and groaning. And on and on we go, eventually realizing how ridiculous that was.

You can never really leave your mother behind. Her shadows fall on your life in a million different ways. And that’s what makes your own attempts at building a life so beautiful. Because you don’t start alone. You start with her.

me nad momAnd you may love it, or you may hate it, but your mother is the jumping point. And your flight is her legacy.

Post-Christmas Card

I know that the tradition is to send out cards yabi-jabying about the whole family before Christmas. But honestly, who has time for that? It’s like, what a dumb tradition, let’s take the busiest time of year for Mama Clauses and then tack on a writing assignment where you have to convince everyone your lives are ideal without coming off as show-offy or snooty.

Mmmmm. Not for me.

So I’m doing the family update now. Because now I have tons of leftovers in my fridge (whew), and I have given up hope on the house. It’s ideal.

IMG_20150213_093250077As you all know, we moved to California in July. JJ’s face here pretty much sums up how we feel about that. He either looks like he is uncontrollably happy, or he is about to birth a small asteroid. And that is how we feel much of the time.

We go on LOTS of adventures. Some good. Some ending with us carrying two 45 lb kids on our backs from bus stop to bus stop at 10 o’clock at night. Either way, they’re all adventures. And if we can get a 75% success rate, then I would say we’re doing all right.

California is SUPER family friendly. And they host a TON of free events so you don’t have to balance your budget when you’re done. Bonus! 2015-11-21 16.48.00

 

We go to the park at least once a day.IMG_20150727_181039858_HDR

Jo is enjoying the unique plant-life.2015-11-21 18.22.42

We do a lot of hiking.IMG_20151017_175643568

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We participate in all the local festivities.

Light Shows

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Train rides

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Slip and Slides

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And even pirate attacks!

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We go to the model train museum and ride the trains.

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We do a lot of yoga.

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And we’ve made a ton of friends.

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And Jordan is doing GREAT at his job.

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Jo is finding lots of things to climb on.

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Grandmas came to visit

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We play a lot of games.

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We walk to school everyday. Sometimes we are late because of butterflies.

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We do a lot of baking.

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Sometimes it doesn’t work out quite so well.

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And. Of course. We LOVE the beach.

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So, there you have it.

Life has treated us well in 2015. And we hope the next year can keep the momentum going. Because we are on a ROLL!

It has been a blast.

January is bringing its own craziness. But. More on that later.

As of now, we have had an awesome six months. YAY for Awesomeness! Let it reign!

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Catchup

Ho There, 

Long time no read.
I would apologize to my unwavering fandom for the absence, but let’s be honest, if Adele isn’t gonna apologize for randomly dropping off the face of the earth, then I probably don’t need to, since my absence is much less catastrophic. 

Let’s see . . . a short recap. 

Um. Jordan got a job offer from California State University. After much fiery debate involving podiums and Hillary Clinton hair, we voted for California, throwing cost of living out the window and making close friends with the sun.

The kids and I stayed in the Minnie-Soda for a couple months while Jordan drove his desk and my absurd book collection across the country with his sister Rebekah. Shout out to my Dad, for letting the leech live on. He really is the Gandhi of frozen tundra. But with mahatma_gandhi21more hair. 

Then the kids and I flew out, and instead of crying my eyes out this time, I screamed uncontrollably as I donned my sunglasses and saw that ocean sparkle out my window.

Next was filling in the bookshelves and decorating the walls and laying out the new quilt and pillows I had made. Jo and JJ have awesome rooms filled with Tinker Bell and Dinosaurs and I have my very own private yoga studio. Not that I really need one since there are three, I repeat THREE, great yoga studios within walking distance of my house. Oh, and just to clarify, people in California are serious about their yoga. I have never seen so many handstand push-ups. 

Here are some pictures of the house.

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I was being vigilant about sunscreen for awhile but I finally just said, “Screw it!” because there is no fighting it here — you will be tan. Even Jordan is tan. JORDAN! He’s brown as a dairy cow. 

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Jo has found a home for her dare-devil ways and is California’s newest rock-climber. There is no cliff she will not scale. She is 100% California through and through. She does yoga every morning, she is obsessed with organic produce, loves to feel the waves crash at the ocean, and spends her life barefoot, growing tanner and blonder by the minute. She is making tons of friends at Kindergarten. Her new pet is the world’s largest and freakiest spider and she talks to her sunflowers every morning. She screams and rolls around in the driveway every time it rains and is hunting for a bear she can live with – in the cave. She is Jordan’s other wild canary. IMG_20150909_131552145_HDR

JJ. He is a big hunk of work. I thought all this exercise out here might lighten him up a bit but he just gets heavier and heavier by the banana. That kid is nothing but muscle. I never knew bananas were the secret to sumo status. He also does yoga, but only the poses he likes, otherwise he just rolls around on the mat shouting random things that don’t have anything to do with anything. He follows Jo’s lead and is determined to fall from some great height, but is more nervous about the ocean since he sinks like a rock. He has a great group of friends, all of them blonde little boys who like to bash things. And he will argue with you until you can’t remember which is what. Now when he points to the moon and calls it the sun I say, “Yep,” because at three he has already worn me down.

IMG_20150806_130410336Jordan is great at his job. I don’t mean to brag, but he received the highest student ratings possible his first term here and people are flocking to his classes like they’re Huntington Beach on the 4th of July. Not to be rude, but I was surprised. Then again, Jordan doesn’t do anything unless he is serious about it and will only give his best work. He’s inspiring and exhausting at the same time. He bikes up and over the highest lookout in the next three cities on his way to work every day and can beat me in any race now, but I can still stand on my hands longer so he hasn’t won yet.

And me. I got a bike trailer that has a trunk, that’s right, a trunk, because California is the land of the two-wheel free. I’m half-way through my yoga teacher training and am very sweaty, but also happy. I am also taking tap. Like with tap shoes. AH! I eat a ton of food because the restaurants are numerous and incredible, the farmer’s market is like a weeklyIMG_20150918_191238406_HDR festival, and produce is CHEAP. Every day that I say “I’m bored” I’ve found something else to do within ten minutes because Orange County was made for the hyper-active. I have gone to more festivals in the past month than I had in the ten years prior. Saturdays can be frustrating because it’s hard to choose between a music festival or a pirate festival, an author reading or a writer’s conference, free yoga on the beach or free yoga at the arboretum, going to a fireworks show or seeing a play, or grilling at the beach and spending the day building castles and watching the surfers. There is a reason the authors that come out of California don’t bother with periods or rereading something before having it printed. There is only time to scribble and run.

This is the first thing I’ve written since moving here. And that’s only because I have to sit here to make sure the house doesn’t burn down while the kids are sleeping. 

But. 

The hammock is calling. That ocean breeze has reached my back porch and the scent of our orange blossoms is something you could never find in a bottle. The garden is thirsty and the crickets are singing. And I have a bowl of raspberries and a book waiting for me.

So once again it is off to the outdoors for me.  

One of our favorite beaches

Bonnie Walton was a great friend

Writing has always been something that came naturally to me. I mean, I’m not saying I’m a natural born genius or anything, but I just haven’t had to struggle for words very often.

But I am struggling so much right now. I don’t even know if I should be writing this post, it feels weird to do it, but it feels weird to not do it as well.

My friend’s husband called me on Friday to tell me she had died. I had been expecting this call for a while now. My friend had called me a couple months ago to say goodbye to me herself. And I had cried then because I knew it was the goodbye call before she pulled back from the world and spent the rest of her time with her family.

Honestly, as callous as this sounds, I can’t believe how much my heart hurts now that she is actually gone.

This whole thing has been one weird unbelievable occurrence after another. I remember Bonnie and I hanging out at the library together. I loved hanging out with her, she could hang out and do nothing for like 5 hours straight and it was so fun to just sit around with someone for so long and watch the kids play and talk about and do random stuff. It was always like, “I better get to Target. Are you gonna come?” and then “Sure.” and the whole day could go like that, us just following each other around. We were doing one of these things at the library when Bonnie told me about how she wasn’t sure the hard spots in her breasts were just clogged milk ducts anymore. Sorry, if that is TMI, but really, we were both very convinced it was just clogged milk ducts because that is what everyone tells you it is. I remember saying, “It couldn’t be cancer. That would just be too weird. It’s not something that happens to normal people.” She agreed, and then we were both like, “Might as well just go to the doctor anyway since that’s what you’re supposed to do. But, come on, it’s not cancer.”

Then of course two days later it was. And ever since then it has just been like one weird unbelievable thing that doesn’t happen to your friends after another. All throughout it I have cried. Cried when I first found out, cried when she had surgery, cried when we found out she still had it after we had high-fived cause we were sure it was gone. Cried when she found out if was going to kill her. Cried when we talked on the phone after that.

Stupidly enough, I didn’t cry when we went out to see her after she moved back home. Because I, stupidly enough, really really thought she was going to get better. And even more stupidly I told her that. I said, “I think you’ll get better.”

I swear. They should not let me be friends with people because I am the worst. I am just one stupid comment after another.

But Bonnie was my friend. Even though I was so dumb. And that is what makes this so awful. Because she was my friend. She liked me and wanted to be with me even though I am so messed up. I just don’t want to lose someone like that. I don’t want to lose someone who would be my friend and wouldn’t mind spending 5 hours doing nothing with me and just making me feel so okay.

I have cried throughout all of this, but I always stopped myself because I knew there would be more tears to come later on and that this whole thing wasn’t over with yet. But now I feel like it is. Now I feel like I can’t wait to cry anymore because this is it. And the moment to cry has finally come and I can’t put off how heartbroken I am anymore. She actually died and there is nothing I can do about it. I can’t say that something worse is coming so I need to hold on while things aren’t as bad as they can be yet. But now they are bad as they can be. And I don’t want to cry. I don’t want to feel like this and know that she is actually dead. That my friend really did die.

My heart hurts. It hurts so bad. I feel like if I cry any more I will pass out. I just, I can’t breathe because the sobs are so long. And crying feels so final. Crying means that it really is time to feel the worst of it.

And I feel terrible because Adam and the kids have lost their wife and mother. And Denise has lost her daughter. And I can’t imagine living through that. But I know that I am sobbing because I lost my friend. And I am crying for myself. It just seems so selfish. I should be crying for Bonnie because she is a mother who died before she could raise her kids. And that was the hardest part for her. She told me that the hardest part was knowing she wouldn’t get to be there to raise her kids. And my God! How could anything be worse than that? But I am still crying because I lost my friend. I feel ridiculous, but to me, right now, the thing that hurts the most is not having Bonnie here to spend the day with me and do puzzles on the living room floor with.

She hasn’t been here for almost a year. But it still felt like we could do those things for some reason.

I just can’t believe that now whenever I am going to have Bonnie it is going to be a memory. That from now on our relationship has to be in past tense.

It’s awful. It is all just so awful.

After Bonnie moved back to Utah to be with her family we started writing letters. I wrote her more than she wrote me because it was hard for her to write, she was so tired and her hands shook. It was easier for her to call.

I was working on a letter for her when Adam called me to tell me she had passed.

Everyone keeps saying these things about Bonnie. About how she was so kind, and fun and had such a great sense of humor and was compassionate. And all of those things are true about Bonnie. But to me, the most awesome thing about Bonnie was that she was okay with people and didn’t spend her time worrying about what they did or didn’t do. We would complain to each other about things other people had done, and laugh over things other people had said, of course, like all friends do. But it was never anything to get in a bunch about with her. We would just laugh and say, “oh nooo!” and she would do this half laughing groan. But she was completely okay with people not being perfect. And for me, that is what made her such an amazing friend. I loved being around someone like that and having someone in my life who was not there to yay or nay things about me.

I have missed her so much this past year, and am now just so so sad that she is officially gone.

 

Bonnie,

Thank you for being my friend. It was awesome.

My Sincerest Apologies

One of the great things about being entirely unfamous is that when you loser it up only like five people know about it.

Life is all about silver linings.

I didn’t mean to stop posting chapters as soon as the book became available in print. I wasn’t trying to FORCE you all to buy the book. But, my life became a conundrum and I was living in something akin to a house of mirrors. Lots of running into walls and stuff. And lots of bloody noses. And lots of talking to myself because I was confused about how many people were actually there. 

 

SO!

 

I am sorry. Truly, deeply, most ardently and wholeheartedly apologetic.

It was not intended. It was just that sometimes life catches you up and you forgot all together that you even wrote a book in the first place.

Ya know?

I will commence with the novel posting.

 

CHEERS MATES!

The Time is Here

You know that part in Les Mis when General Lamarque is dead and Gavroche is like “AH!” and then Enjolras is like “The Day has Come!”

Well. Today is like that. Except this isn’t France. Or the 1800s. And there is no one nearly as dreamy as Enjolras to get us all hyped up and start throwing furniture out our windows.

But, hey, not every day can be EXACTLY like Les Mis.

It’s just fun that today is pretty close because you can go and buy a copy of the book Sins in Summer. THUMBNAIL_IMAGE

Haha.

Gotcha.

Just kidding.

You can buy a copy of the book Binny’s Boy.

Isn’t the cover art just awesome? My cousin Peter did that. He’s the best. I come from a long and wide genealogy of incredibly talented and remarkable people. Frida Kahlo is my great aunt or something like that!!!

See? I have her eyebrows.

Are you getting tired of me talking about this?

Want me to just tell you where you can buy it?

Okay fine fine.

You can buy it HERE.

Or HERE

You could even click on the picture!!!

This is the link to Binny’s Boy

And. If you would like a Kindle copy then go ahead and click right HERE.

And if you would like to be super awesome, come on over and clean my bathrooms.