Tonight as Clark was reading "Captain Underpants" to me, my mind began to drift away. Except it didn't feel like drifting. It felt like falling and hitting the floor, quickly, landing somewhere. Landing in a place from the past. For some reason, perhaps my very slight sunburn, I was suddenly remembering.

It was a park. It had trails and hills and tennis courts and those little stations with pull-up bars and instruction panels where you're supposed to do the exercises along the way and oh my goodness, I spent so much time there. It was all mine. I thought it was mine.

The funny thing isn't that I remembered this park, I could remember this park at any time. It was the WAY I remembered the park, like casually thinking back on what happened today.

Did it happen today?

Sometimes I think, we don't actually understand time at all.


if you knew susie

When you miss a person you don't just miss the interactions.

My grandma and grandpa (really Papa, he was always Papa, from the time I could talk) are gone now and the world is harder and has more edges without them.

It isn't just the things they did or the way they said, "There's my girl!" when I opened their heavy noisy front door. It isn't just the way they hugged and doted and loved me, always, all the time. They had a culture. A culture that doesn't exist anymore.

When I was tiny they had parties. Parties from a long-gone time. Parties where everyone was dressed up and drinking and smoking and singing as Papa played songs familiar to them on the dark wood antique upright piano. They all knew the words and they laughed and they sang. Together. And I sat on the edge of the piano bench, swinging my legs and smiling and absorbing it and


singing along too.

Their way of living and being had tones of that long-gone time and it was graceful and respectable and I miss the way it felt to be around it.  You could feel it.  There is no way to replace it.

I miss those songs. And I miss the hugs and words and mannerisms and habits and I pretty much just miss all of it and all of them, every day, all the time.


It seems

It seems we found a house.

It is just a plain old house, in a subdivision, in a suburb. The angels weren't singing when we looked at it the first time. We looked around silently and got in the car. And then after very few words, we got right back out of the car to look at it some more.

"The things we want are here," we nodded.
"We should maybe try to buy it," we nodded some more.

It has all the stuff we need and many of the things we only hoped for. It is currently bank-owned and needs some help. But I am good at helping houses! I have many ideas about such things! I want to move in already.

It has a laundry chute and a side load garage and it is in the elementary school district Clark is already attending. It has a nice floor plan for us and lots of storage and a giant laundry room on the main floor and new clean tile in all the baths. It can be cute. It will be cute. I am excited about making it cute.

I think we may be turning a bright corner after working our way down a very long dark path. It has been too much for too long and we are finally, almost, to the air.



My house has been a character on this blog as much as any of the other parts of my daily life have been characters here. We sold our house. I didn't blog it but it happened anyway. It was hard work and emotionally confusing but we did it and it's over. Now it is a place we used to live. (Hey, remember that house? I liked that house.) I put this blog in a box with all of my other things and I don't even know now if I should get it out and look it over or just leave it be. Do people still say "blog"? It doesn't sound as natural to me as it did. We are renting for a bit (it's been two months, actually, which is another story) while we search for our next home and I am trying to sort it all out. It's like when you clean a closet and you have to mess things up before they go back in in the very best way.

All the life-things I had put way way away, the best and worst life-things, are out on the floor now and I am kicking around them,

making piles.


I am trying.

I am trying to sleep but an organ keeps waking me up. An organ that isn't really there. An organ and some drums and a pencil and a pair of shoes and a bunch of things I did wrong today that I'm going to do better tomorrow.

Writing is one of those things. I quit hitting "publish" and then I quit writing drafts and it isn't that I don't have words, I just watch them all flitter by in my mind like ticker-tape. And then with my eyes closed, I form them into sentences and then I put them to music and then it is morning.
And then it is night.
And then it is morning.

And then I get up again and all day long I knit a web for us to stand on
or maybe just
a net to catch us.

Linked up to sweet Heather's Just Write.



I've been writing a story in my mind while I run.  It's about a little girl and I don't know if it is long or short or if it will ever turn into black letters on paper (or screen) but I know the themes and I know what the little girl looks like. I know how she feels and I know how she reacts.

I used to come here every night and type stuff I didn't even know I was thinking. My fingers just typed it all, on and on, until they got tired. Then I would hit publish without even re-reading. That system worked for me, for a long time.  I miss that system but I also miss that place, that place that isn't this place. It changed here, just like it changes everywhere.

I miss the way my house looked when we moved in. I miss that time, before it all felt too small. I miss the heart-melty conversation I had with Clark yesterday.  I miss sitting in the hallway outside of my college poetry class, waiting for it to start. I miss being 28.  I turned 29 last week.  I miss everything that has ever changed, even though I love change and push for it constantly. I think I am burdened in this way. I'm just too much feeling, too much analyzing. Too much.

The girl in my story (that I will probably never write) has to confront her fears and assumptions about time. I am not the girl in my story, but I have to confront mine, too.

How can 26 month old Alice be gone? I love almost-four year old Alice just as much. I wouldn't trade this for that. But I still miss that.



Have you noticed that I have been stepping away? Or maybe more like backing away, slowly. With my mouth open and my heart hanging all sad and dangling.

Were we designed to care about so many people?
All at once?

Not just in broad terms, but that so-and-so person I never really interact with on twitter has this neighbor with a daughter with a disease and it is all I can think about.

Is that the way it's supposed to be?

I know I am supposed to feel this Earthly life, but sometimes it's like I am feeling too much. Too much for one brain and one person.

I am exploding from the ten of thousands of people all tweeting and re-tweeting the worst thing they've ever heard.

I don't know if it is too much for mankind but I think it might be too much for me.


Linking up with Just Write because it is just what I felt like writing, right now, and also because Heather is one of my favorite prople.


i guess this is something people do

So I've been running.  I wouldn't call myself "a runner" or anything so confident and commitment-y just yet, but I have forced myself to go outside and run every day (minus one or two) for the past month.

First of all, I feel like I have to tell you that am not this kind of girl.  I don't wear yoga pants or shoes with laces, EVER, and I certainly don't "go work out" or "to the gym" or whatever. I wear a lot of eye makeup and I am particular about my hair and I am disorganized. I am not a morning person. I am pear-shaped and redheaded. I am not athletic.

There was a time when reading a blog post about running would have irritated me. Twitter and Facebook updates, "I just finished a 2.8 mile run!" made me squint and shake my head a little. Why did these people have to TELL me they exercised? Why do we have to TALK about it? Either you run or you don't and either way it isn't my business.

It was this ever-so-slight irritation, however, that made me try it myself.  With each, "I just finished a 4 mile run!" status update, I began to actually believe that a four mile run is something people do. They just go outside and do it. Okay! Wait? This is something people do? They buy the right clothes and shoes and put them on. Then they go outside and move their feet back and forth.


As I was in the middle of my very long blogging break and felt like my brain was sinking right out of my head, I decided to shake some energy out. To pull myself together.  To go buy the right things and put them on like a costume and pretend I am someone who moves her feet back and forth.

I downloaded C25K and put on my running shoes and talked myself out of wearing my cardigan (I AM NOT ATHLETIC) over my Nike t-shirt. C25K didn't really work for me.  The bossy lady telling me when to go and when to stop got on my nerves. I loosely followed it for a week, and then figured out my own pace. There is a street next to ours that is exactly a half-mile loop. So I used that, adding a half-mile whenever I felt ready.

Yesterday I found myself hitting the TWEET THIS button on my Nike+ app.  "I just finished a 3.23 mile run!" I did.  I ran three and a quarter miles without stopping and I didn't want to kill myself. After the first mile I actually ENJOYED it.  I am sleeping better and have less anxiety. This is a very good thing.

I don't know how long I will stick with this but it is working for me right now. I never thought I would have a positive experience with running. I have tried many times before but never pushed past the "I want to die" stage. I am running outside, slowly, with a face the color of a tomato. It is embarrassing and sometimes hard, but I don't want to die.  You have no idea how surprised I am.  (Also Luke. He is surprised. He is so surprised that he is, in his words, "a little scared." Me too honey!)

(I have to give a TON of credit to Erin and Erica and Keli and others for their twitter chats about running. Erin started running one year ago yesterday and was totally my inspiration. Her runs and commentary about them are what got me going and keep me going.)



Not blogging has given me a lot of time to think.

I've done so much unwritten thinking and over-thinking, around and around, that my thoughts put me underground or underwater or something. When you spiral around like that you can only go down. Tighter and smaller and lower.

I have a computer. I have my own computer now.  After a few months without one.

I feel like the windows are open.  I feel like the phone is ringing, but in a good way.

Hello, hi, how ARE you?


(My friend Emily told me to just write something already and I did, for her, and this is what came out. Thank you Emily. I probably would have gone another miserable week or so if not for you.)


I think.

I think there are new wrinkles around my mouth. Actually, I know there are because my profile picture on this blog does not show them.  They are new.  They are wrinkles.  I am not prepared for this.

I got pregnant when I was 22. Twenty-two. Do you know how many times I have been in a bar?  Hmm.  I don't.  I am counting on my fingers... three? Four?  I don't know.  I don't know bars.

I had a lot of dreams when I was smaller.  I wanted to do things in a louder way. I wanted to be on stages and in magazines.  I wanted to make things you would recognize. But my life dramatically changed and then it did that again and again and again. I can count those changes on my fingers too. 

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if my life had stopped making left turns. If instead of going around in left-turn circles, I had carried on in one direction.  Those things I wanted to do are still there. I can still feel them and I am still excited and happy when I dip my toe into them.  But they don't consume me.

I am 28. Twenty-eight. I have wrinkles around my mouth. And my oldest dream, to be a mom, is my whole life.  I am not lamenting this fact.  But it would be hard to look at those wrinkles without soaking in the reality that six years of my youthiest youth are gone. That was the youngest I was ever going to be. I think I thought I had all the time in world.  I think I thought I could have the kids and then they would go to school and I could still try something else too and I don't know, maybe I can try something but I can't try everything.  I traded that for this.  But I've thought about it a lot and you know, if I could go back and do it all again, I still would.