I followed a sparkly red lady bug and a plush green dragon down the street.Nevermind it was October 31. It was about 100 degrees outside, and the plush, fuzzy, cozy costume—which would have been just swell in some chilly autumn Midwestern burrow—was utterly ridiculous in the desert. But dang, he was adorable.We’d just moved from one desert suburb to another… just a few miles apart, but worlds away. The place we’d been the previous year—with a two-year-old witch and a newborn, who went dre … [Read more...]

The Sacred Maybe

I have a boy who is almost 3, but he's been talking like 4 since he was 2. He didn't get the memo that boys and/or second children do not develop vocabulary as quickly as their female/first child counter parts. I mean, boy likes to chat. At his two year check-up the nurse said, "does he know a) 5-10 words, b)10-20 words, or c) more than 20 words?" My husband and I kind of looked at each other and said, "um...why don't you ask him?"For all his articulate advancement, there are certain turns … [Read more...]

On Enjoying the Show

I remember when dance recital week was the busiest/most stressful week of the year. I didn't eat much in the month leading up to the show because somewhere, along the way, I'd picked up on the memo that real dancers didn't eat. Don't worry, i didn't have the discipline and/or self-loathing to maintain 'recital diet' for the whole year. Still--much of the fatigue I recall attached to that season was probably due to some really practical factors like low blood sugar... Still and all, it was a … [Read more...]

In Season

It's fixin to be June in Phoenix. Lord help us...Some of you know that I’m kind of a snob about tomatoes. I mean, I LOVE tomatoes…But by ‘tomato,’ I do not mean those things that come out of a California hot house in January. That is NOT a tomato.But I can rhapsodize about a real tomato all day long—and the perfect BLT that I make when, on the rarest of occasions, I can lay hands on an actual tomato in the desert. My 4-year-old daughter loves tomatoes too. In fact, she frequently asks for … [Read more...]

Snow Days, Sick Days, and Other Enforced Sabbaths

I made the mistake of saying out loud last week that I hadn't been sick in more than two years. Ha ha, universe. You got me.As I battle a cold this week, I'm aware that I have used 1, maybe 2 sick days in the past 4 years. That means I've a) been healthy;  b) planned my illnesses around regular days off;  Or c) preached through a hacking cough, subjecting my congregation to germs, and also to--let's say less-than-my-usual stunning aesthetic.Now that we have another pastor on staff, I don' … [Read more...]

Watered Down

True story: my husband and i were out having dinner at a nice restaurant. Which is hard to find in the desert suburbs. There's an Applebee's, Olive Garden, and TGi whatever on every corner, but anything without a namebrand can't seem to afford the real estate. Anyway--if i recall, it was our first night out after the second baby. It was a spur of the moment thing.  We called a last minute babysitter and were instantly transported to a leather booth with mood lighting and an excellent steak. On a … [Read more...]

The Rhythms of Grace

Last week, I signed my 4-year-old daughter up for her first dance class. !!  I bought tights and leotards, and she's been wearing them around the house for weeks now. I'm trying to teach her the grande jette. Because, you know, it is always preferable to begin the (beginner, toddler, community center) class from a more advanced perspective than your peers.Oh, yeah. I'm going to be that mom. Consider yourselves forewarned.Thing is, while the 'retired' dance teacher in me is thrilling at … [Read more...]

An Empty House

A Tao of Christmas shopping, from a wannabe minimalist:So, i buy most of my kids' clothes at consignment sales. Also sell stuff there, so i almost break even. I go to this one sale twice a year (because it is at my church and i get to shop early!) While i'm shopping for clothes, i also keep my eyes peeled for good toys at super cheap prices. I buy a few here and there, so by the time Christmas rolls around, I buy each kid one new thing, and i'm pretty much done. They get about 4 gifts each, … [Read more...]

One More Piece of the Puzzle

On a lighter note... One of the most miraculous parts of parenting, by far, is listening as the pieces of the language puzzle click into place. Even though i've watched it come together with the first kid, it is no less of a wonder the second time around.One day they are screaming, crying, flailing little animals. Then they are saying short, single-syllable nouns. 'Dad'  'dog' and 'book' ranked among the first at our house. Then the single-word utterances take on purpose and urgency. 'Milk!' ' … [Read more...]